Posted in Medical News Today

Joint space narrowing: Treatment, causes, and more

Determining the amount of space between the bones in a person’s joints is a tool that doctors use when evaluating arthritis. When the space starts to narrow, it may be an early indication that someone has an arthritic condition.

Joint space narrowing (JSN) is also a starting point for deciding the type of treatment to give for arthritis.

When joints are healthy, they show normal spacing where the bone ends meet. The bone ends are covered by white tissue called articular cartilage, which covers the place where bones come together to form the joints.

The goal in treating arthritis is to prevent further damage to joints and any worsening of the accompanying pain and lack of mobility.

Read the rest at Medical News Today.

Posted in NewLife Outlook

8 Coping Skills for People Battling Depression

Depression is known for draining your energy, motivation, and desire, which makes it harder for to feel better.

While it is true you cannot just magically snap out of depression; you still have some control. Even the most stubborn and persistent depression can be managed and treated.

It is important to note that feeling better takes time, but you can eventually get there. You can start small and work towards making positive daily choices.

I’ve personally used these coping skills for depression myself and have found that they have helped me manage my symptoms of depression.

Take Action

Recovering from and coping with depression requires effort on your part. But the catch-22 with depression is that taking action is hard to do.

But even the simplest response on your part means that you are doing something.

For example, if all the strength you have today is enough for showering, just do that but the next day, and going outside – if are just sitting on your front porch – to your to-do list. And the following day, take a walk around the block and try something more the next day, and so on.

Stay Connected

Depression makes you want to withdraw and isolate yourself even from those who you have been closest with. And while alone time is okay sometimes, social support is necessary for coping with and recovering from depression.

Stay connected by:

  • Looking for support from loved ones. Your friends and family care about you and while they may not be able to do anything specific to help, talking to them and having a listening ear can help you to manage some of your feelings.
  • Getting out of the house. While social media, email, and telephone are great ways to connect, the simple act of being with friends and family face-to-face plays a significant role in reducing depressed feelings.
  • Not giving up social activities. You may want to withdraw, but it is important that you not give up on the activities that bring you happiness.
  • Supporting others. Research shows helping and supporting others can boost your mood. Find ways to help by volunteering, helping a friend or by just being a listening ear.
  • Caring for pets. Pets can bring great joy and companionship to your life. And taking of a pet is a mood booster because it helps you feel needed.

Read the rest at New Life Outlook.

Posted in Medical News Today

Seborrheic dermatitis: Natural treatments and remedies

Seborrheic dermatitis is an inflammatory skin condition. It often affects the scalp, causing scaly, red patches. The patches may also appear on the face and upper part of the body.  Affected areas may have a secretion of an oily substance into the hair follicles.

Seborrheic dermatitis (SD) is caused by an autoimmune response or allergy, and it is not contagious. It is also not curable but can be managed with treatment.

Treatment of SD is not always necessary, as symptoms can clear up naturally. But for most people, SD is a lifelong condition that will continue to flare up and clear up. Proper skin care can help keep symptoms at bay.

Fast facts on seborrheic dermatitis:

  • SD is just as common as acne.
  • The condition affects people of all ages.
  • The condition affects people of all ages.
  • To diagnose SD, a doctor – typically a dermatologist – will examine the affected areas.
  • Someone should speak to their dermatologist or doctor to decide the best treatment.

What is seborrheic dermatitis?

SD can cause a rash that is reddish in color, swollen, greasy, and has a white or yellowish crust.

There are two types of SD:

Cradle cap

Seborrheic Dermatitis or cradle cap on scalp.
Seborrheic dermatitis may occur in infancy, particularly in the form ‘cradle cap’, which affects the scalp.

Cradle cap is common in babies. It causes scaly patches on the baby’s scalp that may be greasy or crusty.

Cradle cap is generally not harmful, and may go away without treatment within a few months. Some babies may get SD in the diaper area, which is usually mistaken for diaper rash.

In rare cases, SD may cover the entire body of the baby, causing red, scaly patches and inflamed skin.

Regardless of the form SD takes in infants, it tends to disappear permanently before the age of one. Choosing topical treatments for children under a year in age should be done in consultation with a doctor.

Read the rest at Medical News Today.

Posted in Medical News Today

Breast cancer and Mirena IUD: What’s the link?

Mirena is a hormonal intrauterine device. Similarly to other hormonal IUDs, it releases levonorgestrel, a synthetic form of the naturally occurring hormone progesterone.

Progesterone often fuels breast cancer. Consequently, there has been a question about a link between breast cancer and hormonal IUDs, specifically Mirena.

Fast facts on breast cancer and Mirena

  • Mirena is used long-term and can prevent pregnancy for up to 5 years.
  • There have been varying reports about a link between the use of Mirena and breast cancer.
  • Other brands of hormonal IUDs on the market carry similar warnings as Mirena about breast cancer. All note the research but conclude there is no definitive evidence.
  • Mirena is only one long-term birth control option. If women have health concerns about using it, they should talk to their doctor and raise any worries before deciding.

The Mirena IUD

The Mirena IUD works by thickening the cervix which stops sperm from reaching the eggs released from the ovaries. It also thins the uterine walls, which means that, for some women, ovulation is suppressed.

 Read the rest at Medical News Today.

Posted in NewLife Outlook

Is COPD Hereditary?

About 15.7 Americans have chronic pulmonary disease (COPD), according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Most of these people have both chronic bronchitis and emphysema.

Do Genetics Play a Role?

Most of the time COPD is not hereditary. The most common risk factors for COPD are tobacco smoke and chemical fumes.

Some people have an inherited condition called alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency where there is improper DNA coding to make the alpha-1 antitrypsin protein.

The alpha-1 antitrypsin protein protects the body against certain enzymes, but without enough of this protein, destructive enzymes attack the body’s tissues, especially the lungs. Tobacco smoke and chemical exposures make alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency worse.

Since the discovery of the alpha-1 antitrypsin protein back in the 1960s, researchers have identified new genes that play a role in COPD development. However, there is still a lot about genetic foundations to learn.

Recently, researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital were able to designate 13 new genetic areas related to COPD, including four that were not previously associated with lung function. This new discovery is significant because it confirms a genetic link and brings with it a potential for new and advanced treatment options.

Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency

Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency (AATD) is common in 1 out of 2,500 of people and mostly those with European ancestry, this according to The National Human Genome Research Institute. Interestingly, it is uncommon among people of Asian descent.

AATD is an inherited condition that causes lung disease, including COPD. People with this condition usually start having symptoms between ages 20 and 50.

Read the rest at New Life Outlook.

Posted in NewLife Outlook

8 Books About Depression That Will Change Your Perspective

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, depression affects over 15 million people in the United States.

There have been some remarkable books about depression from how-to/self-help books to memoirs from people living with the chaos depression brings in its wake.

If you want to read up about depression, here are some great books worth checking out.

When Someone You Love Is Depressed by Mitch Galant, Ph.D.

When Someone You Love Is Depressed is an excellent guide for people who have a loved one suffering from depression. Written by a clinical psychologist, this book has helped thousands of people by offering advice and comfort.

Among the many topics covered in this book are:

  • The warning signs of depression
  • Maintaining intimacy and communicating
  • Successful treatment options
  • Responding when someone threatens suicide
  • Finding the right type of help
  • The role of medication
  • Specific examples of challenges and how to handle them.

The Black Veil by Rick Moody

This is the memoir of the fictional writer, Rick Moody. Moody shares his experiences of living with and struggling with substance abuse and depression.

From his stay in a psychiatric hospital to his many transgressions, Moody bares it all. He also touches on the painful loss of his sister and his many fears and anxieties.

When he is not talking about the things he has endured, he is digging into his family history and trying to figure out whether depression is a common occurrence amongst family members.

Read the rest at New Life Outlook.

Posted in CancerLiving, Uncategorized

Symptoms of Pancreatic Cancer

The American Cancer Society estimates there will be 53,670 new cases of pancreatic cancer in the United States in 2017 and 43,090 deaths. Pancreatic cancer accounts for 3 percent of the of all cancers and 7 percent of cancer mortality.

This particular cancer has claimed the lives of numerous famous names, including Steve Jobs and Patrick Swayze.

Pancreatic cancer often goes undetected until it is in an advanced stage when is too difficult to treat. Unfortunately, most of the time, symptoms only develop after the cancer has spread.

Signs and Symptoms

Most people diagnosed with pancreatic cancer are already at a late stage by the time the disease is detected, and by that point, the prognosis could mean death for some people.

While there are early signs, these often go undetected because they could mean anything. But if you find you are experiencing two or more early warning signs, call your doctor and ask for testing.

Some of the early warning signs of pancreatic cancer are listed below.

Diabetes That Suddenly Comes On

Diabetes is either a symptom of pancreatic cancer or a risk factor. People have had diabetes for a long time have a higher chance of developing this type of cancer.

In individuals who have had diabetes for shorter periods, the research is unclear as to whether diabetes contributed to cancer or whether pre-cancer cells caused diabetes.

New onset diabetes may be any early symptom of pancreatic cancer in people over 50, this according to a 2009 report in the journal, The Lancet Oncology. A sudden change in blood sugar in people with diabetes that was previously well-controlled is also a sign of pancreatic cancer.

Read the rest at New Life Outlook.

Posted in NewLife Outlook

What You Need to Know About Stage 4 Kidney Cancer

Stage 4 kidney cancer means cancer cells have metastasized to the lymph nodes and/or other organs.

The adrenal gland is the first place that cancer spreads, as this gland is attached to the kidney. Cancer may also spread into nearby lymph nodes near the kidney or elsewhere in the body.

Renal cell carcinoma (RCC) is the most common type of kidney cancer, affecting up to 90 percent of the people with kidney cancer, this according to the American Cancer Society. Up to 25 percent of new diagnoses of RCC are cases where the cancer has already metastasized.

What Is Metastasis?

Metastasis is the medical term for cancer that has spread to another part of the body. Other names for metastasis are advanced stage cancer, metastatic cancer or stage 4 cancer.

Metastasis develop when cancer cells break away from the main tumor and enter your bloodstream or lymphatic system. Any cancer can metastasize, but the more aggressive cancer, the more likely this will happen. Metastasis to the bones, brain, liver, lungs and lymph nodes are most common. Doctors give the same name to the metastasis that they give to original cancer.

When kidney cancer spreads, it is called metastatic renal cell carcinoma. When kidney cancer is in an early stage, most people do not notice symptoms, but symptoms are noticeable when the disease has metastasized.

Read the rest at New Life Outlook.

Posted in NewLife Outlook

How To Cope When RA Complicates Your Life

The Complications of Rheumatoid Arthritis

No one ever plans for a chronic illness. We plan on going to college, being successful in our careers, finding love, having kids and raising them to be great and retiring comfortably.

But developing rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is not our list of things to do with our lives. Unfortunately, for some of us, it happened, and RA hijacked our once normal lives.

It feels like as soon as RA takes it hold of you, it never lets you go. That is because RA affects every single part of your life down to the little details.

So, how do the complications of rheumatoid arthritis affect our lives?

Everyone is Different

The complications of rheumatoid arthritis affect people differently. Some people have a milder form of the disease with periods of flares, where symptoms worsen, and periods of remission, where symptoms are gone or minimal.

Some with RA have a more severe form of the disease where RA fatigue and pain are experienced on most days. For these people, persistent inflammation leads to joint damage, disease complications, and disability.

RA is primarily a joint disease, but its symptoms are not just physical. Many people with RA have problems with depression and anxiety.

Emotional problems arise because RA invades every part of your life from home life to work. RA gets in the way of family responsibilities and even in the decision to have children.

The good news is RA is a manageable disease, and most newer RA medications allow help people to continue to be productive and functioning. These medicines help with pain and slow down joint damage.

Read the rest at New Life Outlook.