Alzheimer’s Disease Early Detection

Alzheimer’s Disease

 

Nearly everyone has heard of Alzheimer’s Disease, but few understand what it is or what they can do about it. When aging relatives start experiencing memory loss and mild behavior change, family members assume it’s a normal part of aging. They could be missing out on the opportunity to slow the progress of a degenerative disease.

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a brain disease that results in memory loss, poor reasoning skills, and behavioral changes. Even though it’s incurable, the progress of the disease can be slowed if caught early.

Dementia and memory loss shouldn’t be ignored. It may be a sign of AD. If you catch it early, you could significantly impact the quality of life as the disease progresses.

 

Benefits of Early Detection

So often, we avoid getting bad news because we’re afraid of how our lives will change. With AD, catching it early will allow you to gather support, discuss treatment to slow memory decline, and create a plan for handling the progress of the disease.

In some cases, medications that slow decline of AD may be effective. Conversely, certain prescriptions may exacerbate AD so a doctor should review prescription lists and determine how to manage comorbid conditions.

Support groups and family counselors can help create plans that address safety concerns while encouraging as much independence as possible. As the disease progresses, family members will likely notice behavior changes and a counselor can help everyone decide how to handle those changes.

Finally, catching AD early allows an individual to make important financial and legal decisions while they still can.

 

Why Alzheimer’s Disease Often Goes Undetected

There’s a prevailing myth that AD is an extreme form of dementia and a normal part of growing old. Few people understand it’s a fatal disease. For this reason, early signs of AD are often ignored or dismissed.

Physicians may have a hard time detecting AD if they haven’t established a baseline for a person’s normal cognitive functioning. Their medical records may not be extensive enough for early Alzheimer’s symptoms to trigger an alert.

 

How to Detect Alzheimer’s in the Early Stages

To recognize changes in cognitive abilities, a physician needs to establish a cognitive baseline. Deterioration in cognitive abilities can be a sign of many illnesses,so establishing a baseline will help detect problems in the early stages.

The Alzheimer’s Association lists 10 symptoms that could indicate AD. Becoming familiar with the symptoms will help you differentiate between the customary decline that happens with age and a brain disease.

New medical research suggests a new artificial intelligence can use MRI to detect AD before symptoms appear.  Previously, MRI could be used to detect tissue loss that accompanies AD. The newer technology allows MRI to detect the functional changes in the brain that occur before tissue loss.

As our understanding of the brain evolves, families will benefit from the ability to detect brain diseases in early stages. For the technology to be effective, doctors and patients need to understand the importance of catching AD early and the possibilities for treatment.

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Why Cancer Needs To Be On Everyone’s Minds

It seems like cancer seems to be the single disease that is talked about most. In part, that’s because it’s not just one disease but a whole range of diverse conditions that threatens the lives of millions of people. In but one year, 8.2 million people died of cancer. There are many reasons that you should think about cancer in real terms. Here, we’re going to look at why you should be thinking about it.

 

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It’s happening to more people

If you want to start talking about cancer on a serious note, then the scope of the problem has to be acknowledged. Recently, the conversation around that scope has been on how it’s widening. Rates of cancer are rising, even taken in the context of the rising population. We are seeing some progress, how, in declining the rates of death. Prevention and treatment are helping us fight certain cancers, like childhood leukemia. Yet the health and resources toll of that fight is still growing. It’s a fight that we don’t have infinite time to win, which is why we should be doing more now.

 

It can happen to anyone

It’s an experience that many survivors and patients will attest to. Even when it affects people around you, cancer can seem like a removed threat. That is until you have a scare of your own. Cancer can strike anyone at any time. That’s why it’s important to not only be aware of the danger but how you spot it. Identifying cancer as soon as possible is one of the most important factors in having better chances of fighting. That’s why it’s important to follow instructions like http://www.cancer.org/cancer/skincancer/galleries/skin-self-exam-images. Certain cancers like skin, breast, and testicular cancer can be examined for and should be, routinely. Similarly, you should be aware of any new lumps or changes in your body and get them checked as soon as you can.

 

We do a lot of harm to ourselves

Being fully aware of the risk of cancer means being fully aware of what we’re doing that can even heighten those risks. It’s important to fully understand the weight of some of your habits and do your best to remove them from your lives. For example, consider the serious risk of lung and throat cancer from smoking. Nicotine therapy and e-cigarettes are making it easier to quit than ever, so you have no excuse. Similarly, even if you don’t consider yourself to have an alcohol problem, frequent drinking can be a problem. Do your best to keep all your indulgences under control if you can’t stop them entirely. You will already be removing some severe risk factors in your life.

 

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Another reason to change your diet

Diet is another aspect of living that can have a big effect on your chances of developing cancer. For instance, obesity has long been considered a predictor of cancer. Meanwhile, fresh fruit and vegetables have all kinds of effects that can reduce your chances of different kinds of cancers. Carrots and sprouts can reduce your chance of lung and mouth cancer. Broccoli, spinach, and beans can reduce your chance of stomach and esophageal cancer. Tomatoes and watermelon do the same for prostate cancer. Processed foods, however, increase your chances of obesity. As with all nutrition, your best chances lie in developing a healthier, whole foods diet rather than relying on processed food.

 

Know about the fight against it

It’s important to not just be aware of your own risk of cancer. You should also be aware of the world at a large and how we’re fighting it. For example, keep an ear for about news on developments in new treatments. Many of them, as www.herabiolabs.com/assays-services/in-vivo-solutions/cancer-xenografts/ shows, use live test animals. It’s important to know that test animals are an important factor in fighting for the survival of our own race. That way, we can better inform our opinions on some of the bigger morality questions around modern science. Without that knowledge, we may very well be protesting or voting against the progress that could save us down the line. With cancer, as in all things, progress is vital.

 

Finding out how to deal with it

We shouldn’t just be aware of how it’s treated at large, in research labs and tests, either. We should be aware of how those we care for deal with it. Cancer will affect 1 in 4 people, according to statistics. Which means that we are almost guaranteed to come up against it at some point of our lives. Being more aware of the risks and the treatments can enable us to help our loved ones cope with it. It can also prepare us for what we might experience as we support them. Depression, fatalism, some of the more distressing physical changes can all be anticipated. Allowing us to be of more real assistance to those we care about.

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Getting involved in the cause

Knowing more about cancer means knowing just how much of a threat it is. Knowing that we can and should be doing more to help the fight against it. Even if it’s as simple as giving more to charities. These foundations are always looking for more people to help run, recruit and organize drives, too. Look for the cancer charities in your area and find out how you can do more. If you’re eligible, then sign up for a donor card that you might help a cancer patient get a transplant in the future. If we all do our bit, then the fight against cancer can be resolved all the quicker. So make sure you do yours.

Cancer is a great enemy of humanity. But it’s one that we can fight. We can fight it individually in prevention and treatment. We can help our friends fight it. We can help the world fight it by learning about the efforts being done to cure it and how we can help. It’s an enemy to all of us, so it’s an enemy we should all be facing.

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What Women Need to Know About Hormones and Depression

Have you not been feeling in the best of moods lately? While circumstances differ from person to person, the problem may be connected to your hormones, which is especially true for women who go through menstruation, pregnancy, and menopause. In this article, we will discuss a few things you should know about this condition, such as what could cause it and how you can treat it.

 

depression

 

What Are Some Symptoms of Depression?

If you can check at least a few items on this list, then you might be dealing with a form of depression. If so, you may need to make some lifestyle adjustments or see a medical professional for a better diagnosis.

  • Losing interest in or ceasing to enjoy your favorite activities.
  • Getting too much sleep or not enough sleep.
  • Having recurring thoughts about death or suicide.
  • Feeling irrationally guilty or constantly anxious.
  • Losing or gaining a lot of weight in a short period of time.
  • Experiencing a lack of appetite or stress eating.
  • Struggling to concentrate or focus on tasks.
  • Not having enough energy or feeling easily fatigued.

 

What Causes Depression in Women?

Depression, at its very core, is the result of chemical imbalances within the brain. Women are more susceptible to hormones rising and falling due to how their bodies are wired. Some common causes include:

  • Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS): Hormones fluctuate rapidly during each menstrual cycle. While symptoms are usually manageable, some women end up being diagnosed with a more severe condition called premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD).
  • Pregnancy: Estrogen tends to drop postpartum, especially in the first six months after childbirth. Low levels of estrogen can also lead to low levels of serotonin, which can cause depression.
  • Menopause: Estrogen and progesterone levels fall greatly during this period of time, which can cause symptoms similar to depression, such as irritation or insomnia.

 

How to Cope with Depression

While there is no treatment that fits every individual, there are a few things you can try in order to get this condition under control.

  • Open up to people you trust.Do not keep all of those complicated feelings in. Turn to your friends and family and let them know what you are going through.
  • Seek therapy and counseling.If the former may not be an option, or if you need additional assistance, therapists will be able to help you figure out some of the possible root causes of your depression. They can also teach you some behavioral therapy techniques to get through each day.
  • Consider medication. Consulting a psychiatrist can help you figure out the right type of medicine for your condition. You might also want to consider having yourself tested for hormonal imbalance. Your doctor might recommend bioidentical hormone replacement therapy to correct your imbalances.

 

Remember: You Are Not Alone

Depression can make women feel isolated, but it is a condition that can be treated with time and patience. If you suffer from any of the symptoms mentioned above, reach out for help now before it worsens. The sooner you treat depression, the better you will feel with each day that goes by.

 

Image credit: Shanon Wise – https://flic.kr/p/7hh5Dc

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Asthma Sufferer? Here’s How You Can Keep Fit Safely

An asthma diagnosis can often feel limiting. It might make it hard for you to exercise, or sometimes even to go outside. You might have certain triggers you need to avoid, which can mean there are some things you can’t do. However, for the majority of people with asthma, it’s still possible to keep fit. It can sometimes take a while to get there, but many can reach a point when they exercise regularly and keep fit. If you have asthma, and you’re on a mission to get fit, try this guide to achieve your goals.

asthma sufferer

Reasons to Exercise When You Have Asthma

People often think that it’s hard or even impossible to keep fit when they have asthma. The truth is that if your symptoms are well-managed, you can exercise just as much as anyone else. Some people will have to limit themselves if they don’t have their asthma entirely under control. However, exercising can be good for asthma and help to improve symptoms. In fact, some top athletes and sportspeople have asthma. Exercising helps to give you more stamina and improve the functioning of your lungs. It can boost your immune system and help with weight loss too, both of which can reduce asthma symptoms.

 

Speak to Your Doctor

Before you start a new exercise regime, you might want to talk to your doctor. This is especially important if you want to start a rigorous training program. For example, if you want to train for a marathon, you should visit your doctor for a check-up first. It’s important to discuss how well you are managing your asthma and what sort of exercise you can handle. Your doctor or nurse might recommend that you start off with light exercise, such as walking. They can give you advice on how to handle your asthma when you’re working out.

 

Take Medication as Prescribed

If you have asthma, and you want to get fit, keeping your asthma under control is essential. Most people with asthma are able to exercise if their symptoms are well-managed. However, this requires you to be responsible and stay on top of your medication. You are likely to have preventative and reliever inhalers that you use on a regular basis. You might also have treatments you use for prevention or during an asthma attack. It’s important that you pick up your prescribed medications so that you always have them. You also need to renew your prescription when you need to. If you’re ever in a situation when you can’t get your prescription in the usual way, you can buy Ventolin online. This is an excellent solution when you can’t see your GP or get to your regular pharmacy.

 

Finding the Exercise for You

Finding an exercise you enjoy is an important part of getting fit, whether you have asthma or not. Most people who have their asthma under control can try any exercise that takes their fancy. You don’t need to limit yourself to anything in particular. And you’ll be able to stick to a routine better if you enjoy what you’re doing. Don’t feel like you have to go running or do yoga because that’s what other people do. You can think outside the box and try something a little more unusual, from roller derby to kabaddi.

 

Asthma-friendly Exercising

Sometimes you might have to take things easily if your asthma is harder to manage. This could be for a short period, or it might be something you struggle with for a while. If you don’t have your asthma under control as well, you can stick to some more gentle exercises. These can include walking, badminton, and yoga. Swimming can also be an excellent exercise for people with asthma, but you might need to be cautious. Chlorine can be a trigger for some people with asthma, so be aware of whether it might affect you.

 

Safety When Exercising

When you’re working out, you need to watch out for symptoms that indicate you should stop. You might feel a little breathless and sweaty, and your heart might be pumping, especially if you haven’t exercised in a while. However, these signs shouldn’t be anything to worry about. However, you should stop if you’re coughing, wheezing or gasping for breath. If your chest feels tight or you can’t speak in short sentences, you should take a break. Always have your reliever inhaler with you so you can take it if you experience these symptoms.

 

Asthma doesn’t have to be a barrier to keeping fit. As long as you manage your asthma and discuss any concerns with a doctor or nurse, you can exercise regularly.

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First Steps to Treating your Depression

Depression is a slippery beast to treat. This is for many reasons: general stigma surrounding mental health treatment, depression’s symptoms can often be confused with other emotional responses, and the inertia depression generates. Although awareness of mental illness has generally increased over the past several decades, folks can still face repercussions at work or from their family when disclosing mental illness.

 

depression

 

The conversation about how to shift culture and change fundamental issues within the mental health system is for another article. For now it’s enough to say – mental health is a right, not a privilege. Every person deserves access to resources that can help them to be healthy, and 1 in 4 American adults experience mental illness in a given year. Depression isn’t fun but it is common, and treatable.

 

Am I Depressed?

Sometimes depression can be easy to miss because it doesn’t fit our preconception of what depression is supposed to look or feel like. While TV may have taught us that depression = sad, in reality there are a variety of symptoms wrapped up in it.

 

  • Depressed or irritable mood most of the day, every day, that is different from your “normal” mood.
  • Impaired level of function – i.e. it’s hard to go to work, clean the house, and other daily tasks of living.
  • Decreased interest in pleasurable activities
  • Significant weight change (gain or loss)
  • Change in sleep (inability to sleep or sleeping all the time)
  • Change in activity (slowing down or speeding up)
  • Fatigue/loss of energy
  • Feeling guilty or worthless
  • Inability to concentrate or be decisive
  • Thoughts of suicide or self-harm

 

When noticing these symptoms in yourself it’s important to also consider duration. Many of these may come up normally just as part of being a human living an imperfect life. If these symptoms or feelings persist continually for more than two weeks, then you may have depression. If you or someone you love are experiencing these symptoms, seek treatment with a therapist immediately.

 

How do I Start Therapy?

In addition to general stigma, Depression’s symptoms can create barriers to treatment. Depression can take away motivation to do things you used to enjoy, much less boring and repetitive tasks like making the necessary phone calls to enter treatment. Worse, depression can make you feel worthless and guilty – suddenly the fact that you’re not in therapy is because you’re lazy or undeserving and not because you’re sick. In order to keep depression from keeping you out of therapy, use the tips below:

 

  • Get a buddy. Starting therapy can feel overwhelming – it involves phone calls and google searches and leaving your house, all things that depression may tell you are too hard. Ask a friend to help you look up providers or sit with you while you make phone calls and even take you to your first therapy appointment. If you have a friend experiencing depression the single most helpful thing you can do is make an appointment for them.
  • If you have insurance, go to their website to find a list of providers that definitely accept your coverage. This can save you a lot of time, and prevent any added financial stress or disappointment during appointments.
  • If you don’t have insurance and money is a concern, look for universities with Social Work or Psychology programs – they will often offer reduced price or sliding scale services by students who are in training. You can also find group practices like http://www.therapyinphiladelphia.com, The Center for Growth. Private training programs like The Center for Growth, have the added bonus of more intensive supervision for interns, meaning more oversight for your issues.
  • If finances are not an issue, we strongly encourage working with senior level therapists. Therapists who have at least ten years of experience have a higher treatment “success” rate than new therapists.  Depression is a serious condition that is treatable.  With the right supports, most people can learn to manage their depression as opposed to depression managing them!
  • Treat your first therapy session as an interview. This is a chance to see if you want to work with this therapist, and to help them identify your treatment goals. Come up with a list of things that are important to you: More important than their educational level, or even school that they attended is were their clinical hours video-taped? Unfortunately most training programs do not require clinicians to have their work videotaped and reviewed on a weekly basis with a supervisor and thus many new therapists are poorly trained. Other important questions to ask is have they treated depression before? And if so, what percent of their population struggles with that particular issue.  Many therapists will tell you they treat depression (eating disorders, grief, addiction etc) even if they only work with 2 people a year with that issue.  It is absolutely your right to know the frequency that they work with your particular issues.  In addition, you want to know how many clients a week your therapist sees.  10-25 clients a week typically allows the therapist enough emotional energy to spend thinking about each particular case and continuing to push themselves to clinically grow. Therapists that see 30+ clients a week typically are emotionally overloaded and do not have enough emotional energy to clinically grow.  Yes, many good clinicians work more than 30 hours a week, they are just not spending all of their time in people’s heads. They are doing other types of work like consulting, teaching, writing etc.  Lastly, asking your therapist if they have they worked with people who share your racial, gender, sexual, religious, etc identities is recommended?  It’s not your job to educate your health care providers on your identities.
  • Remember that therapy is about fit. Too many first-time patients stick with therapists they hate or think “therapy isn’t for me” because they don’t click with their first therapist. If you don’t feel comfortable opening up to your therapist- find a new one! They are professionals and it will NOT hurt their feelings. We strongly recommend making several first sessions and then you have a way of comparing them. If all three of them tell you the same thing, that says something. Typically, you will find yourself gravitating towards one person over the next.  If you hate all three of them, then the issue is likely you.  One major benefit of seeing a therapist at a group practice is that if you don’t like one practitioner, you often are allowed to “test” out a different one free of charge.

 

Above all remember: you deserve help. Help is within reach. If it feels like too big a task to manage on your own, ask for help getting help. Call 267-324-9564 to make an appointment with a therapist at the http://www.therapyinphiladelphia.com The Center for Growth today.

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Common Diabetic Problems (And How To Fix Them)

Diabetes just by itself is enough of a problem for those carrying the illness. That’s not to mention the host of other health problems that can crop up along the way! It’s a disease that affects life, and lifestyle, in many different ways, and there’s not always a solution to each issue.

That being said, it is possible to help yourself if you know what to look for. Diabetes sufferers often possess a specific set of symptoms which relate to another, more serious problem. By catching these symptoms early on, the problem can be fought – and potentially fixed!

Kidney problems

 

2610 The Kidney

Diabetes and the kidneys are directly related. Diabetes affects the blood vessels in the kidneys, meaning that they cannot clean your blood properly. This can result in waste building up in your blood, as well as your body holding more water and salt than necessary.

Difficulties include the inability to empty your bladder, kidney failure and urine tract infections. To solve these issues, or at the very least catch them early on, it’s recommended to have your urine checked for protein regularly. If you show any of these symptoms – swollen ankles, excessive weight gain – visit your doctor immediately! Quick treatment can halt these effects.

Kidney failure in diabetes sufferers is also commonly caused by medication like Invokana. Invokana injuries also range from strokes and heart attacks, so make sure you’re aware of the risks before getting a prescription.

Heart problems

 

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Patients suffering from any type of diabetes are more prone to heart disease. Other related issues include high blood pressure, and fluctuating blood sugar levels. Your first port of call will be to stay on the lookout for any of the basic signs of a heart attack or stroke. These include:

  • Feeling dizzy and faint
  • Chest pains
  • Sickness/being sick
  • Blurred vision or difficulty speaking
  • Painful headaches

If you suddenly gain two or more of these symptoms, you must visit your nearest hospital immediately. It could be nothing, but it could also be a serious issue. Better safe than sorry!

However, there are a couple of things you can do to delay the onset of, and possibly even prevent, any heart attacks or failure. For starters, you can stop smoking – smoking doubles your chances of a heart attack.

Secondly, if you remove your central obesity, you can reduce the risk of heart disease. Central obesity refers to the amount of weight you’re carrying around your waist. This type of fat can increase your cholesterol, and deposits blood fat on the inside of your vessels.

Other problems

 

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Your feet are also at risk if you have diabetes. High blood sugar can lead to nerve damage, and loss of feeling in your feet. To prevent infection, it’s essential that you keep your feet and skin healthy and attend to any cuts or sores.

And finally, that high blood sugar can also cause a condition known as neuropathy. Neuropathy is a condition which affects the nerves up and down our body. Symptoms include tingling, numbness and loss of feeling. You must consult a doctor if you experience any of these on a long-term basis!

 

Image credit:

Image 1 – By OpenStax College [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Image 2 – By Patrick J. Lynch, medical illustrator – Patrick J. Lynch, medical illustrator, CC BY 2.5, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1492978

Image 3 – pixabay.com

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