Posted in Medical News Today

Diabetes and hypertension: What is the relationship?

Hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, often affects people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

The American Diabetes Association reports that from 2000 to 2012, 71 percent of adults with diabetes had a blood pressure of greater or equal to 140/90 or were taking medications to help normalize blood pressure.

What are hypertension and diabetes

Many people with diabetes also have hypertension, or high blood pressure. Having these conditions together can make them both worse.

What is hypertension?

Known the “silent killer,” hypertension usually has no signs or symptoms and many people are not aware they have it.

[hypertension often occurs with diabetes]
A blood pressure that is higher than 140/90 needs to be monitored, especially if it occurs with diabetes.

High blood pressure increases a person’s risk of stroke and heart attack. It often occurs with diabetes.

Blood pressure is measured in millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) and can be assessed using a blood pressure monitor.

Two numbers will be produced. The first refers to the systolic blood pressure, or the highest level of the blood pressure during a heartbeat. The second, the diastolic blood pressure, points to the lowest level.

Any blood pressure reading of less than or equal to 119/79 is considered normal.

A reading between 120 and 139 for systolic pressure and between 80 and 89 for diastolic pressure is considered prehypertension. This is a sign of possible hypertension if a person does not take preventive steps.

A doctor will diagnose a reading of 140/90 mm Hg or higher as high blood pressure.

People can control hypertension with healthy lifestyle habits. These can include exercise and a low-fat, low-sodium diet. If necessary, a person with hypertension may reduce their blood pressure using medication.

What is diabetes?

Diabetes occurs when blood sugar increases because the body cannot use the glucose properly. This happens when there a problem with insulin levels in the blood. There are two different types of diabetes. Insulin makes it possible for body cells to absorb glucose.

Type 1 diabetes accounts for about 5 percent of diabetes cases, according to the American Diabetes Association (ADA).

Type 1 diabetes occurs when the body does not produce enough insulin. With the help of insulin therapy, anyone can learn to manage and live with type 1 diabetes. Symptoms include increased thirst, frequent urination, fatigue, blurred vision, and increased hunger.

According to the ADA, type 2 diabetes accounts for at least 90 percent of all diagnosed cases of diabetes. Risk factors are family history, prior gestational diabetes during pregnancy, impaired glucose intolerance, lack of exercise, and being overweight.

Some ethnic groups are at a higher risk of type 2 diabetes, including African Americans, Hispanics and Latinos, and Native Americans.

Symptoms are similar to those of type 1 diabetes, but some patients may not have symptoms until their blood sugar levels reach dangerous levels. Treatment for type 2 diabetes involves diet changes, increasing physical activity, blood glucose monitoring, and oral medication or insulin injections.

Read the rest at Medical News Today.

Posted in Mango Health

Practical Tips for Parenting with Depression

Parenting with depression is often a lonely and overwhelming experience, whether you are doing it alone or with the help of a partner. Drawing from her own experience, health writer Lana Barhum shares her advice on how to be the best parent possible, in spite of depression.

I AM NO STRANGER TO DEPRESSION. I HAVE STRUGGLED WITH IT MOST OF MY ADULT LIFE, AND I KNOW THE LIES WITH WHICH DEPRESSION CAN FILL YOUR MIND.

I am no stranger to depression. I have struggled with it most of my adult life, and I know the lies with which depression can fill your mind. That you are a failure because you didn’t do everything you meant to, for instance, or that your kids deserve a better parent. Depression may even tell you everyone would be better without you.

But I also know that you can still be a good parent even when you feel like you have nothing left to give. Here’s how:

1. Learn your triggers.
It has taken me years to understand my feelings and what triggers them. Every once in a while, my emotions may even lead to an outburst of anger, a panic attack, or a crying fit. Should this happen to you, try to reflect on what led you to feel upset in this way. Knowing my triggers helps me avoid them – or at least expect them – so I am better able to deal with how I reaction.

Lately, the news has been one of my personal triggers, as it can bring about feelings of hopelessness or lack of control. So I keep this in mind as I watch the news on television or read news stories online. I also manage my Facebook feed to exercise control over the information I see, and how it makes me feel.

READ THE REST AT MANGO HEALTH.

Posted in NewLife Outlook

How Atrial Fibrillation Affects Pregnancy

Coping With AFib and Pregnancy

Atrial fibrillation (AFib) is a heart rhythm disorder, causing an arrhythmia (an irregular heartbeat). AFib generally goes undiagnosed until something goes wrong.

Pregnant women living with AFib must pay special attention to their heart rates in order ensure a healthy pregnancy. Essentially, you need to make sure your heart rate stays at a normal level – which is 60 to 100 beats per minute.

Pregnant women are generally at a higher risk for blood clots of the heart during pregnancy. Pregnancy also increases the risk for blood clots in the legs.

If you have A-Fib, your doctor may prescribe blood thinning medications to reduce your chance of a clot. It is also possible for you to develop AFib during pregnancy.

Heart Changes During Pregnancy

When you are pregnant, your blood volume increases by up to 50 percent, which means your heart has to work much harder to pump blood throughout your body. As result, increases in heart rate – up to 25 percent – are not unusual, even in healthy women.

Blood volume and heart rate increases may trigger palpitations – when the heart beats too fast or irregularly. This is one symptom of an arrhythmia; other symptoms include lightheadedness, shortness of breath, and anxiety.

For healthy women or women with no previous history of arrhythmia, symptoms are generally harmless. But if you have had a previous abnormal heart rhythm or other heart conditions, an arrhythmia should be treated seriously, as it may be a sign of a bigger problem.

And if you have already been diagnosed with AFib, any arrhythmia symptoms, especially palpitations, need immediate medical attention.

READ THE REST AT NEW LIFE OUTLOOK.

Posted in NewLife Outlook

ADHD – Medication options for children with ADHD

ADHD Medication for Children

If your child has been diagnosed with ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), you probably have many questions about the medication options available. Finding the right medication isn’t easy and what best works for your child will require some time to figure out.

What is ADHD?

ADHD in children manifests in signs of inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsiveness.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a doctor can make a diagnosis of ADHD based on specific criteria found in the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, Fifth edition (DSM-5).

This generally includes six or more specific symptoms of inattention or hyperactively on a regular basis for six or more months. The doctor may also look at your child’s behavior and compare it to other children of the same age.

How is ADHD Treated?

Treating ADHD in children requires medical, behavioral, psychological, and educational intervention. This type of treatment approach is called multimodal, and according to the National Institute of Mental Health, involves parent and child education about treatment and support, behavioral therapy, medication, counseling, and school support.

One study of the medical journal, Archives of General Psychiatry, finds that combination treatment of medication, behavioral treatment, and community care were effective in reducing ADHD symptoms. The study also reported these benefits lasting for up to 14 months.  

The Role of Medication

For most children with ADHD, medication is part of a multimodal treatment plan. The goal of medicinal treatment is not to control behavior, but rather to improve symptoms of ADHD to help your child focus and function effectively.

If you decide medication therapy is an option for your child, you should learn as much as you can about medication options and talk them over with your child’s doctor to figure out the best plan for treating your child’s symptoms.

Read the rest at New Life Outlook.

Posted in Pain News Network

Readers Sound Off on Fibromyalgia Drugs

In my previous column, “Lyrica, Cymbalta and Savella: Do They Work?” I shared research studies and my own experience with the three medications approved for use in treating fibromyalgia.

Clinical studies on all three drugs don’t seem to offer enough creditable evidence that they are effective in managing fibromyalgia symptoms.  Moreover, they carry very harsh side effects, including weight gain, edema, nausea, headaches, vertigo, sleep issues, and changes in blood pressure.

My experience was similar. Lyrica, Cymbalta and Savella were ineffective for me, and had some tough and life-altering side effects.

It makes me wonder why doctors are still prescribing these medications and why the Food and Drug Administration continues to allow them to stay on the market. 

In 2012, German researchers aimed to assess the benefits and harms of Cymbalta and Savella in treating fibromyalgia.  Ten studies with over 6,000 fibromyalgia patients were reviewed.

The results were that 22 percent of patients reported substantial relief and 21 percent had to quit treatment due to unpleasant side effects.

Read the rest at the Pain News Network.

Posted in NewLife Outlook

Foods to Avoid With Psoriasis

Avoid These Foods to Stay Flare-Free

When you are living with a chronic condition like psoriasis, you can often find yourself powerless. Taking charge of your diet is one way to take back control of your life and fight back against psoriasis.

There is no specific diet people with psoriasis should follow and researchers say there is little evidence supporting any claims diet has a significant impact on the disease. But many people with psoriasis will attest they have found relief in removing some foods from their diets.

Limited Research

A study collaboration, involving researchers in Malaysia and Santa Clara, California, focused on the case of a 36-year-old woman who had been treating psoriasis for 14 years with steroid creams. She was put on a diet for six months of a plentiful amount of vegetables, low meat, and no junk food and sugar in foods or drinks, as well as nutritional supplements.

The diet changes and supplements resolved the patient’s psoriasis symptoms over a six-month period. While the study is promising, it is limited in size, focusing on one person.

Researchers aren’t really sure of any specific link between some foods and psoriasis and what little research exists is either controversial or limited. But most experts do agree it is best to eat a diet low in fats and high in fruits and veggies, lean meats and other proteins, including beans.

While the research on diet and psoriasis isn’t conclusive, you shouldn’t ignore your own responses to certain foods. If your skin symptoms worsen after eating certain foods, these may be triggers for you and you should probably remove them from your diet.

Foods Linked to Triggering Psoriasis Symptoms

There are some foods and beverages that seem to affect many people with psoriasis and there is some research and findings to possibly back up theories these may affect and cause flares. You may want to cut them from your diet and see what effect, if any, they have on your skin.

Gluten

Studies have found a connection between the severity of psoriasis and gluten. One study from the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology found 82 percent of people who tried a gluten-free diet showed decreased antigliadin antibodies (AGAs).

Gliadin is one of the chief proteins in gluten. Antibodies form when your body is trying to fight off disease or bacteria.

Another study published in the Clinical and Experimental Dermatology found that at least one-third of people with psoriasis also had elevated AGAs in their blood.

Alcohol

Alcohol opens up your blood vessels and when they become expanded, white blood cells (including t-cells, which are responsible for psoriasis) slip into the outer layers of your skin much more easily. Even if you are a light drinker, you may still see your psoriasis symptoms increase.

A 2010 study followed 82,869 women over a 14-year period and found those consuming two or more alcohol beverages daily put themselves at considerable risk for developing psoriasis. That same study also found drinking non-light beer was another risk factor for women in developing psoriasis.

Men also have an increased risk for developing psoriasis if their alcohol consumption is more than 100g per day according to researchers out of National Public Health Institute, Helsinki, Finland. And according to researchers from the University of Michigan, the excess use of alcohol in psoriasis patients is linked to decreased treatment responses.

Read the rest at New Life Outlook.

Posted in Medical News Today

Diet tips for gastritis and stomach ulcers

Indigestion is a common condition for many people, especially considering the types of diets many Americans have. However, if someone experiences burning sensations in the stomach along with ongoing pain and nausea, they may have gastritis.

Gastritis is a digestive condition resulting from inflammation of the lining of the stomach. If the stomach lining wears away, stomach acid can cause a burning sensation in the middle part of the abdomen and chest.

Untreated gastritis can lead to ulcers, ongoing pain, ongoing inflammation, and bleeding, which can become life-threatening. Chronic stomach inflammation can also lead to stomach cancer.

A common cause of gastritis is now known to be due to the bacteria Helicobacter pylori, known as H.pylori, which infects the stomach.

Symptoms that may signal gastritis, alongside burning sensations, include stomach aches and pains, nausea, and constant burping. Anyone experiencing these symptoms should see a doctor for further evaluation.

Read the rest at Medical News Today.

Posted in NewLife Outlook

Maintaining Independence With COPD

5 Ways to Maintain Your Independence With COPD

Having low energy levels during the day and sleepless nights due to breathing difficulties can take its toll. If you are not careful, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) may limit your independence.

Your COPD may get worse with time and even lead to lung damage. But if you take a proactive role in managing your COPD and overall health, you can continue to maintain control over your life.

Here are 5 ways to work towards maintaining your independence with COPD

Stay Active

You may find that dealing with limited mobility and getting tired too quickly and easily are the two of the toughest parts of living with COPD. You may also think you cannot exercise or be active, but that is not true.

Staying active is one of the most important parts of managing COPD. And doing the things you love helps you enjoy life so much more.

Even a small amount of exercise helps your heart and lungs stay in shape. If you are getting enough physical exercise, your body won’t need extra oxygen when you are participating in treasured hobbies and activities or just spending time when the people you love.

You will, of course, need to make adjustments to stay active. Take your oxygen tank with you everywhere you go and wear a mask when you are outdoors and pollen levels are high.

Make Healthy Food Choices

A healthy diet is important for managing COPD. Eating the right foods will help you to increase energy and give your body the nutrients it needs to feel better and fight off disease.

Talk to your doctor about the best diet plan for you. Your doctor may recommend you see a dietitian who can work with you develop a meal plan for your unique situation.

In general, you should monitor your calorie intake. The American Lung Association recommends keeping an ideal weight to best manage your COPD symptoms.

The best diet for people with COPD is a balance of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and lean meats, according to the International Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. This way you can get key vitamins and nutrients linked to better COPD outcomes.

Additional diet considerations include watching portion sizes, limiting salt intake to avoid fluid retention (which worsens symptoms), and using your supplemental oxygen during and after meals to avoid shortness of breath while eating.

Read the rest at New Life Outlook.

Posted in Medical News Today

Can a gluten-free diet help with psoriasis?

Psoriasis is chronic skin disease where patches of red skin and thick silvery scales cover any part of the skin.

This condition is an autoimmune skin disease, where the immune system attacks healthy tissues because it mistakes them for unhealthy ones.

Symptoms of psoriasis, include skin rashes, dryness, flakiness, peeling, small bumps, skin thickness, and redness.

According to the National Psoriasis Foundation, up to 25 percent of people with psoriasis are sensitive to gluten. These people could consider a gluten-free diet to help them to manage symptoms of psoriasis.

The connection between psoriasis and gluten

[wheat and gluten products]
Gluten is contained in wheat and other grains, making it a common ingredient in many everyday foods, such as breads, cereals, and pasta.

Gluten is the name given to a group of proteins found in wheat and other similar grains, including rye, barley, and oat. Gluten is what physically shapes certain foods, in a similar way to how glue binds things together.

Gluten is found in a range of foods, including breads, cereals, pasta, cakes, and cookies. And because it is in so many foods, the best way to avoid it is to read the food labels.

One 2013 survey from the NPD Group found that at least 30 percent of American adults are trying to cut down or have completely removed gluten from their diets.

Read the rest at Medical News Today.

Posted in NewLife Outlook

The Link Between Alcohol Use and Liver Cancer

Alcohol Consumption and Cancer

You may know heavy drinking leads to health problems. What you may not know, however, is that heavy alcohol consumption increases your risk for certain cancers.

In fact, alcohol accounts for up to four percent of cancer deaths in the United States according to the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland. One international study from the World Cancer Research Fund finds that just three alcohol beverages a day can cause liver cancer.

Alcohol Consumption and Your Liver

In 1998, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) confirmed alcohol was a carcinogen. A carcinogen is any substance that can cause cancer in living tissues.

Heavy alcohol use damages the liver and causes inflammation. That inflammation puts your liver at a higher risk for liver cancer.

Cirrhosis of the liver is also the result of heavy alcohol consumption. Cirrhosis results when scar tissues forms and adds up. The building up of scar tissue eventually stops the liver from functioning. Symptoms of cirrhosis include weakness, easy bruising, jaundice (yellowing of the skin), fatigue, itching, and lack of appetite.

At least five percent of people with cirrhosis will develop liver cancer and up to 90 percent with liver cancer also have cirrhosis, according to the Cancer Treatment Centers of America.

Alcoholic fatty liver disease is another consequence of heavy alcohol consumption. Fatty liver can be reversed in its early stages, but if you continue to drink heavily, it will turn into alcoholic hepatitis or liver inflammation caused by drinking.

Many heavy drinkers have fatty liver and up to 35 percent develop alcoholic hepatitis, according to the American Liver Foundation. And by having either of these conditions, you are at a much higher risk of developing liver cancer.

Read the rest at New Life Outlook.