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Monthly Archives: January 2017

Understanding Allergy Diagnosis

Allergy-Testing

Image is from Treat Allergic Disorder

Allergies are a very common problem. One in five Americans have symptoms of allergies or asthma, and over half of people tested for allergies test positive for one or more allergies. Despite the commonness of allergies, it can be difficult to understand your allergy diagnosis.

Medical History and Symptoms

Your allergy diagnosis will begin with your doctor taking a medical history and asking you about your symptoms. They will also perform a physical exam to check for any common allergy symptoms.

Allergic Rhinitis

If your allergy symptoms involve a runny or stuffy nose and itchy eyes, you are most likely suffering from allergic rhinitis. These can include pets, pollen, dust, and mold. Your doctor may choose to treat you with medication and forego further testing. Your doctor may be able to tell you what you are most likely to be allergic to based on your symptoms and when they occur.

Drug and Insect Allergies

Drug allergies and allergies to insect stings can cause itching, swelling, hives, and anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis is a life-threatening condition that can cause nausea, a severe drop in blood pressure, severe breathing difficulty, unconsciousness, and death. These allergies are easily identified because you will develop symptoms after being exposed to your allergen. If you are diagnosed with one of these allergens, you will need to take great care to avoid them.

Allergy Testing

Allergy testing is needed when a medical history and exam isn’t enough to make a diagnosis. They can be performed to diagnose any type of allergy.

Skin Prick Test

A skin prick test is an accurate way to diagnose most allergies, including those caused by environmental allergens, food, and contact allergies. The doctor will place a small amount of the allergen on your skin and prick or scratch it. If you are allergic to the substance, you will develop swelling, redness, and itching at the site within fifteen minutes. A positive test result means that you are likely allergic to the substance.

Blood Tests

Blood tests can be useful when you are taking medications to manage your allergy symptoms or you have very sensitive skin. The doctor will draw your blood. Then the lab will expose your blood to your suspected allergens. They then measure the amount of antibodies your body produces in response to the allergen.

Patch Test

The patch test is generally used when your doctor suspects that you have contact dermatitis. The doctor will place the allergen on your skin and apply a bandage. After 24-48 hours, the doctor will remove the bandage and check for any reaction. Redness and itching at the site means that you are allergic to the substance. The patch test can also be used with trays. The tray has small compartments that contain different allergens. This is an effective way to test for multiple skin allergies at once.

 

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Salt and Heart Disease

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Image is from Live Science

Do you know how much salt you consume on a daily basis? If not, you are not alone. Most people erroneously believe that their salt consumption is under control because they don’t pick up the salt shaker at home very often and when they do, they just use a little bit. The truth is that less than 25 percent of the average person’s salt consumption comes from table salt. Instead, the majority of most people’s salt consumption comes from processed foods and pre-made foods.

Increased Heart Disease

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This means that many people don’t even realize the deadly effects that high levels of salt can have on their lives. The problem with too much salt in your body is that is it pushes water into your blood vessels, which increases the total volume of blood in your system. This increase places more pressure on your heart and puts you at much higher risk for high blood pressure. As most people know, high blood pressure can lead to heart disease, which can cause a stroke, heart attack, or even heart failure.

How Much Salt

While salt is an important part of a healthy diet, most people consume a lot more than is necessary. According to the American Heart Association, most people require about 1,500 mg of sodium daily, but everyone should limit their salt intake to no more than 2,300 mg per day. Studies show, however, that the average person consumes more than 3,400 mg every day, and most don’t even realize it. This hidden danger is affecting millions of people across the country.

How to Reduce Your Salt Intake

The first step to reducing your salt intake is to start tracking how much salt you consume on an average day. You can use the Nutrition Facts Label on the foods you purchase at the grocery store to find out how many milligrams of sodium are in each serving. You also can start making healthy food choices. Trade in high sodium foods, such as red meat, candy, chips, and sugary drinks like soda for healthier alternatives like fruits, vegetables, fish, poultry, and fish. The American Heart Association also list six salty foods, including pizza, cold cut meats, soup, chicken nuggets, bread, and packaged tacos/burritos.

One positive step you can take today to avoid the dangers of high blood pressure is to reduce the amount of salt you consume on a daily basis. You can make this change by making smart food choices that limit process foods, which oftentimes are packed with high levels of sodium. Eating healthy has many other great benefits, including weight loss.

 

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What is Eczema?

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Images is from TruKid

Have you ever noticed itchy red patches of skin on your child’s hands or face, or maybe noticed the same irritation on your elbows, neck, hands or knees? If so, the skin irritation you are seeing could be the result of eczema.

Eczema is a category of medical conditions that cause inflammation and irritation of the skin. Symptoms of eczema can include, dryness, itchy skin, redness or rash, scaly or thickened areas of skin.

Types of Eczema

There are many types of eczema and knowing the type of eczema is necessary to determine the best course of treatment. There are seven common types of eczema including,

Contact Dermatitis

This type of eczema occurs when you come into contact with an allergens or irritants, such as solvents, detergents, paints, bleach, smoke, or fumes. Most often it is found on the hand or other body part that touches the irritant and can causes redness, burning, and itching.

Hand Eczema

As the name suggests, this condition is usually found on the hand and is caused by a combination of genetics and exposures to irritants. It is one of the most common types of eczema and it can cause pain, dryness, blisters, cracking, and redness on the hand.

Atopic Dermatitis

This type of eczema is a chronic condition that develops typically in children starting as young as six months old. With this type you may often experience flare ups as well as periods with no symptoms. While the exact cause is unknown, atopic eczema comes about when your immune system goes into overdrive.

Neurodermatitits

Neurodermatitis is characterized by itching, discoloration, and thick areas of skin that are often the result of rubbing and scratching the affected area too much. If you suffer from this form of eczema you may notice these scaly patches of skin on your neck shoulders, feet, wrists, and scalp.

Dyshidrotic Eczema

Exposure to nickel, chromium salts, or cobalt can cause dyshidrotic eczema. You can also have this brought about by stress or allergies. This type of eczema is characterized by small and itchy blisters on the edges and soles of the feet and tips of the fingers.

Nummular Eczema

You can suffer from this type at any age and it usually occurs from either dry skin in the winter, insect bites, or skin inflammation. Like the other types, you may notice dry skin and itching, but this type is most identifiable by its round spots or open sores.

Stasis Dermatitis

This type of skin condition occurs due to changes in the pressure of the blood flow in your veins. Too much pressure in your veins can cause the blood to leak out into the skin causing scaling, swelling, redness, pain, itching, and in severe cases can lead to infection.

If you have symptoms of eczema, determining the type you have is important for you to receive the best possible treatment. Treatments can range from ointments, to simply avoiding irritants, and even chronic conditions can be well controlled if properly treated. If you have skin irritation, or other symptoms of eczema, contact your doctor today to determine your best course of treatment.

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Celiac Disease

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Image is from Gastroenterology Consultants Orlando

Celiac Disease: Patient Guide and Treatment Information

For people with celiac disease, going gluten-free is a medical necessity rather than a choice. Celiac disease is a serious digestive disorder that is triggered by the protein gluten. When people with celiac disease eat foods that have gluten, such as barley, rye and wheat, their immune system responds by damaging the intestine. Over time, this results in the body being unable to absorb nutrients. Celiac disease leads to a host of problems, including:

  • Malnourishment
  • Osteoporosis
  • Thyroid Disease
  • Cancer

Symptoms of Celiac Disease

Here are some of the symptoms of celiac disease. If you have these symptoms, check with your doctor for an official diagnosis. There are many other diseases that could be causing these symptoms, as well.

  • Chronic diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Swelling in the abdomen or feeling of fullness
  • Foul-smelling, pale stools that float
  • Nausea
  • Gas
  • Stomach pain
  • Vomiting

How is Celiac Disease Diagnosed?

Celiac disease can be diagnosed by your physician. They will ask you for a complete family medical history. Then, you physician may order a physical exam and other tests, such as genetic tests, blood test or a biopsy.

Treatments for Celiac Disease

There is no cure for celiac disease. The only treatment is to remain on a gluten-free diet. Following a gluten-free diet will significantly reduce the symptoms of this disorder and may eventually end the symptoms altogether as the villi of your intestines are healed. Eating any gluten at all will restart the damage to your intestine. Therefore, you will have to remain on a gluten-free diet for the rest of your life.

In some cases, the damage to the intestines is so significant that eating a gluten free diet will not help. If this happens, the only way to get nutrients is intravenously.

Living with Celiac Disease

Living with celiac disease requires a big change in your diet. A true gluten-free diet will limit what you can eat. You cannot eat many of the staples, including:

  • Cereals
  • Pasta
  • Crackers
  • Cakes
  • Cookies
  • Ice cream
  • Instant coffee
  • Ketchup
  • Mustard
  • Yogurt
  • Pizza
  • Processed foods

Read food labels carefully before eating any food to be sure that it does not contain wheat or any other type of gluten. Some patients with celiac disease can eat oats and others cannot. So, if you have celiac disease, ask your doctor whether or not you should consume oats. Just be aware that packaged oats are sometimes contaminated with wheat.

It is also a good idea to pay close attention to over-the-counter capsules, vitamins and tablets as many of these contain wheat starch, which is used as a binding agent in capsules and tablets. Gluten is present in barley so avoid beer. Brandy, whiskey, wine and other alcohols are fine as they do not contain gluten.

It is always a good idea to work with a dietitian, who can provide you with more information about a gluten-free diet.

When eating in restaurants, you will have to ask what the ingredients are in each dish that you order. Eating just a small amount of gluten will cause some people with celiac disease to vomit or have severe diarrhea that lasts for hours.

Even though you have celiac disease, you can still enjoy a healthy diet. You can get pasta and bread that are made from other types of flour, such as rice flour. In addition, many food companies have significantly increased their gluten-free offerings over the last couple of years as gluten-free has become quite popular. In addition, you can enjoy fresh vegetables, fruits, fish and meats, as long as they have not been artificially processed.

 

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Seven Common Allergy Myths

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Image is from Reader’s Digest

There are over 90 million people in the U.S. alone that suffer from allergies, and there are no shortage of myths about allergies either. It’s time to separate fact from fiction, and get to the bottom of common allergy myths.

Developing a Tolerance to Medication

Many allergy sufferers believe that their allergy medication stops working after a period of time because they have built up a tolerance to it. It’s true that allergy symptoms do have periods when they are worse than others. However, this isn’t caused by a tolerance to the medication. It is possible to develop new allergies or for new ones to become more severe. Exposure levels also change, which causes the severity of symptoms to change as well.

Most experts recommend taking the same allergy medicine on a consistent basis, because these medications are the most effective when they have had time to build up in your system.

Blame the Flowers

Most people with seasonal allergies believe that flowers are the culprit. Flowers are pollinated by insects, which is why their colors and smells are designed to entice them. Pollen from trees, grass, and ragweed is carried by the wind. This airborne pollen is what causes problems for allergy sufferers.

Local Honey Prevents Allergies

The logic is that honey contains local honey contains pollen from local plants, so it can desensitize you to allergens in your area. Unfortunately, even if this was effective it would desensitize you to flowering plants, which aren’t likely to be the cause of your allergies in the first place.

Very Clean Houses Prevent Allergies

There is a kernel of truth to this one. If you are allergic to dust, keeping your home free of dust can help lessen your allergies. However, the opposite seems to be true when it comes to children. Emerging science is showing that exposing children to potential allergens earlier in life can actually help prevent allergies. One study found that children exposed to mouse dander, cat dander, and roach droppings before their first birthday were 3 times less likely to have allergies at three years of age.

Adults Can’t Develop Allergies

Many adults believe that if they didn’t develop allergies as a child, that they won’t develop them in their adult years. However, we now know that some people are genetically predisposed to develop allergies. These individuals can develop allergies at any point in their life. It’s also possible for allergies to lessen or increase in severity over time. Some people develop allergies later in life, while some develop them in childhood and seem to outgrow them as adults.

Allergy Shots Are Only Effective For Children

Allergy shots expose your body to small amounts of the substance you are allergic to. It works similar to a vaccine. By exposing your body to the allergen, you can become desensitized to it over time. Allergy shots are effective at any stage of life, and they can help treat the underlying cause of your allergy rather than simply treating the symptoms.

Short Haired Animals Don’t Cause Allergies

Most people believe that it’s an animal’s hair that causes allergies, so a shorter haired animal would be less likely to cause allergies. However, allergies are caused by animal dander. This dander is found on the animal’s skin, their saliva, and urine. This means that the length of their hair has little to do with whether or not they will irritate your allergies.

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Understanding Colon Cancer

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Image is from Health Essentials From Cleveland Clinic

Colon cancer is synonymous with the cancer of the large intestines, which is the lower region the digestive system. In the United States, over twelve thousand people are diagnosed with this form of cancer every year. The American Cancer Society released this data. Usually, the new cases of colon cancer start with small cell clumps then developing into dangerous cancer cells over time.

How does cancer come about?

Generally, cancer comes about when healthy body cells start to fight other cells within the body. Before the actual cancer cells have begun developing, you will often not notice any symptoms. For this reason, it is critical to get an early screening of the cancer cells as it is the only surest way of detecting the colon cancer and acting on it appropriately to terminate its growth and development.

What are the common signs and symptoms of colon cancer?

Cancer has a plethora of signs and symptoms which include:

  • Blood in stools
  • Change in bowel habits
  • Bloating and abdominal pain
  • Recurring cramping
  • Gas

While blood in stool can be indicative of cancer, it can also indicate some conditions such as hemorrhoids in the anal area. You should immediately visit a health center the moment you notice recurring blood in your stool.

Risk factors

There is a myriad of risk factors which may significantly increase your risk of being ill with colon cancer. They include

  • Age (fifty years or older are more predisposed)
  • A family history of colon cancer
  • Long-standing inflammatory infections of the colon

As well, colon cancer has been linked to dieting that has little fiber but high fat content as well as calories. In as much as scientists have not agreed on the effect of junks in relationship to cancer, it is general knowledge that junks have a lot of unhealthy fats which has been shown to affect a patient’s health negatively.

Couch potatoes stand a higher risk of getting colon cancer. As well, obesity, smoking, and consumption of large amounts of alcohol are all predisposing factors of colon cancer. It is, nevertheless, imperative to note that these pieces only increase the risk of getting cancer significantly and does not in any way mean that whoever smokes will get colon cancer.

Treatment of colon cancer

The standard treatment for cancer is surgery in all the stages of the colon cancer. There are three types of surgery which specialist can opt for to remove cancer. They include:

  • Local excision- this is mainly for cancer that is still in the early stages. The doctor will insert a tube into your rectum then push it through to the colon. He then cuts the cancerous section of the colon
  • Resection- doctors often opt for this method when cancer has grown significantly large. The doctor will make a careful incision into the abdomen and get rid of the affected part of the colon. As well, they will remove small sections of healthy tissues that surround the part of the bowel which is diseased.
  • Resection and colostomy- sometimes, the surgeon may find it difficult to sew the ends of the colon after the surgery together. In that instance, a whole will be made in the abdomen, and one end of the colon will be brought towards this hole. The patient will need to wear a bag over the opening to collect the waste being expelled from the colon. This is commonly referred to as colostomy.
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Lupus Symptoms

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Image is from Lupus Foundation of America

Millions of people suffer with the autoimmune disease known as Lupus. This chronic inflammatory disease affects a person’s immune system. Rather than fighting to protect your body from viruses and bacteria, the immune system actually attacks various organs and tissues. Since, Lupus can affect different parts of the body, its symptoms vary greatly from person to person. The intensity of these symptoms also varies greatly, but most people experience flares, which will worsen and improve randomly.

Below is a look at some of the main symptoms of Lupus.

  • Anemia – Characterized by lower than normal levels of red blood cells in the body’s blood.
  • Chest Pain – Chest pain that occurs when taking a deep breathe. This can be caused by an inflammation of the pleura membrane that surrounds the lungs, also referred to as Pleurisy.
  • Dry or Swollen Eyes – Lupus can cause dry eyes or even swelling and pain in the area surrounding the eyes.
  • Fatigue – Lupus oftentimes causes extreme fatigue that is typically more severe during and immediately after a flare.
  • Fever – Many patients experience unexplainable fevers.
  • Hair Loss – Depending on which organs and tissues are affected, Lupus may cause hair loss.
  • Headaches – Many Lupus patient complain of severe headaches, which may be accompanied by confusion or even memory loss.
  • Joint Pain – Lupus can cause pain, swelling, and stiffness of joints in the areas affected by the disease,
  • Photosensitivity – Some Lupus patients also experience a sensitivity to the sun and the light. In these cases, it is best to avoid direct sunlight when possible.
  • Rash – Many Lupus patients, but not all, experience a distinguishable rash on their face. This rash typically takes on a butterfly shape and spreads from the bridge of the nose outwards over both cheeks.
  • Raynaud’s Phenomenon – This phenomenon causes a person’s fingers and/or toes to turn a whitish or bluish color when subjected to intense stress or extreme colds.
  • Shortness of Breath – In addition to chest pain, Lupus patients may experience periods of shortness of breath.
  • Skin Lesions – These types of lesions are most common among those whose Lupus affects their skin. Overexposure to direct sunlight should be avoided because this can worsen the lesions.
  • Swelling – Lupus patients commonly show signs of swelling in their feet and legs.
  • Unusual Blood Clotting – When Lupus affect the blood cells, a person may experience unusual blood clotting.
  • Ulcers – Some people with Lupus also experience frequent ulcers in the nose and/or mouth.

Lupus is sometime referred to as “The Great Imitator” because its symptoms are very similar to several other medical conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, thyroid problems and fibromyalgia. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you should schedule an appointment with your primary care physician to discuss these concerns.

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Understanding Immunotherapy

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Image is from Cancer Research Catalyst – American Association for Cancer Research

Immunotherapy also known as biologic therapy is a type of treatment that induces or enhances the body’s immune system instead of using medicines. This process is usually done to treat cancer by stimulating the immune system to become more active in attacking cancer cells or by sustaining the body with man-made immune system proteins.

How Does the Immune System Work?

The immune system is the sum of all components that work together to maintain the normal functions of body organs. These components include but not limited to white blood cells, nutrients, and organ functions.

When the surface of skin is wounded, white blood cells work to heal the wound by eliminating foreign substances. When the wound is larger, it requires a lot of white blood cells to cover the wounded area. This will result in the appearance of lymph nodes near the area. This is where white blood cells build up.

In the process of eliminating foreign substances such as bacteria, germs, and cancer cells, body nutrients such as vitamin C may work to repair the damaged tissues and collagen.

Meanwhile, body organs work together to prevent disease-causing agents to stay inside the body. Kidney works to filter toxins, which are excreted through the urine. Digestive system separate important substances needed by the body from waste. The heart continues to pump blood to carry white blood cells and red blood cells needed to heal wounds.

These are some examples of how the immune system work. The immune system is not a single substance nor a single organ. It is an integration of several body systems that work together to protect the body from certain diseases.

The Immune System as Treatment for Cancer

There still no single medicine that can cure cancer. So far, an effective way to suppress the spread of cancer cells is through the immune system. The immune system serves as the police inside the body. It detects unwanted substances that may infect any area of the body.

However, cancer cells are not detected by the immune system as they appear to be like normal cells by of sending signals to the PD-1 CTLA-4 receptors. These signals confuse the immune system. This is why even a healthy body with strong immune system cannot prevent cancer.

Nonetheless, there is a way to make cancer cells detected by the immune system. The use of immunotherapy drugs such as inhibitors can disrupt the signals that are sent by cancer cells. This will let the cancer cells exposed to the immune system. Cytokines and cancer vaccines are examples of these inhibitors.

Monoclonal Antibodies

Monoclonal antibodies are man-made immune system proteins. These proteins attach to cancer cells thereby flagging the cancer cells to be recognized by the immune system. On the other hand, monoclonal antibodies work to block the abnormal proteins in cancer cells, so they can also be used to prevent cancer cells from spreading.

These are examples of man-made antibodies:

  • Pembrolizumab (Keytruda)
  • Nivolumab (Opdivo)
  • Ipilimumab (Yervoy)

Non-Specific Immunotherapies

Non-specific immunotherapies are used to boost the immune system to directly stop and kill cancer cells. Examples of these are interferons and interleukin’s.

Conclusion

The use of the immune system is still the most recommended method in the treatment of cancer. It only needs the help of inhibitors to let it work properly on the target. The problem with the immune system is that it is not intelligent enough to keep cancer cells from being hidden. This is why there is still a need for human intervention with the help of man-made antibodies.

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Tips on Dealing With Depression

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Image is from Huffington Post

Depression can be described as feelings of dejection and despondency. Depressions drain your hope, energy, and drive which makes it more difficult for you to do what you need to feel better. It interferes with the way you would enjoy life or interact with other people. If depression affects you, then you are not only just upset or sad. You have a condition that involves hopelessness and helplessness and an intense feeling of persistent sadness. You will also have physical problems including physical pains and aches, loss of energy, and sleeplessness. Depression is an illness that you need support to help fight. While overcoming it isn’t easy or quick, it’s far from impossible. The secret is to start small and rise from there. You can use the following tips;

Diagnosing and Treating Depression

  • Look for signs of depression

There are numerous common symptoms associated with depression. Seek help from your doctor if you identify with any of the following;

  • Experiencing insomnia
  • Inability to function well in everyday life
  • Persistent sadness that may include crying uncontrollably
  • Feelings of lack of self-esteem, worthlessness or self-blame
  • Feeling a sense that life is pointless, hopeless and futile
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Inability to enjoy activities you once loved
  • Finding concentrating difficult

 

  • Consult your doctor to help you ascertain medical causes behind your depression.

Some depression may be caused by treatment of other medical conditions or their side effects. Medical conditions can mimic depression in some cases. Your doctor can identify any physical causes for depression that may require specific treatment.

  • Research on depression to understand it

Learning what you can do about depression will help you overcome it. A wider understanding of depression will help you alleviate some of your worries and fears. It will also furnish you with tools to try for yourself.

  • Try talk therapy

Schedule an appointment with a mental health therapist for psychotherapy as this can be helpful in solving your depression. You are more likely to be successful in therapy if you feel comfortable with your therapist.

  • Consider taking prescribed medicine

Ask your doctor about the medication you are taking including side effects and duration. If you are experiencing side effects, be sure to report back to your doctor.

  • Try alternative remedies or therapies

You can explore the potential of alternative therapies that can help restore your emotional balance like music, pet therapy, art therapy, and acupuncture.

Making lifestyle changes

  • Eat healthy

Do research on foods that are said to improve your well-being and state of mind. Reduce your intake of fast foods, processed foods, high fructose corn syrup and sugar. Eat more vegetables, whole foods, and fruits. Also, drink plenty of water.

  • Exercise

Exercise is effective in treating depression by releasing a natural anti-depressant chemical in your brain that gets you into doing something active

  • Sleep well

Sleep is essential for a healthy, balanced body.

  • Be around positive people

Spend time with people who see the world in a positive way and talk to family, colleagues, and friends who make you feel good.

Changing your behavior

You can initiate this by doing fun things and treating yourself or keep busy to prevent negative thoughts around your head.

Changing negative thinking patterns

Understand the importance of overcoming negative thinking and look for the good even when talking.

Provided that you can access information and have a good support network and doctor around you, even severe depression can become a highly treatable condition. Recovering might take time, but you can get there if you make positive choices for yourself each day.

 

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Understanding Celiac Disease

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Image is from Dr.Starpoli

Celiac Disease is a genetic, digestive, autoimmune disorder that is characterized by damage to the small intestine when you consume gluten. Gluten is a protein found in barley, rye, and wheat. If you have Celiac Disease and ingest gluten, your body reacts with an immune response that attacks and eventually damages the villi in the small intestine. Villi are tiny, finger-shaped projections that line the small intestine and promote nutrient absorption. Malfunction of the villi can lead to malnutrition.

Diagnosis

Celiac Disease is diagnosed symptomatically, along with a blood test to look for a high level of certain antibodies and a biopsy of the small intestine. An estimated 1 out of every 100 people worldwide have the disease. It is also hereditary, so if you have a first-degree relative who has been diagnosed with it, your chances of developing the disease increases to approximately 1 out of 10.

Symptoms of Celiac Disease include:

  • Stomach pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Joint pain
  • Fatigue
  • Itchy skin rash
  • Weight loss

While Celiac Disease cannot be cured, it can be managed, so that you can go on to live a long, healthy life.

Treatment

There is only one treatment for Celiac Disease and that is to eat a gluten-free diet. Fortunately, there are many foods that are naturally gluten-free such as:

  • Fish
  • Poultry
  • Beef
  • Vegetables
  • Fruits
  • Eggs
  • Nuts

There are also a growing number of gluten-free products that are being developed by manufacturers.

There is, however, a little bit more to managing Celiac Disease than just eliminating gluten from your diet. You also have to make sure you are getting the proper amount of nutrients and vitamins including:

  • Calcium
  • Iron
  • Folate
  • Niacin
  • Riboflavin
  • Thiamin
  • Fiber

Weight gain can also be a problem for you if you are treating Celiac Disease, because you are now absorbing more calories from your gluten-free food.

Life with Celiac Disease

There are several steps you can take to live more healthfully:

  • See a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) – He or she can help you to understand what foods are safe to eat and what you should avoid. An RDN can also help you with meal planning and what to do when eating in a restaurant. They will also ensure that you are receiving the proper vitamins and nutrients from your gluten-free diet and help you maintain a healthy weight.
  • Try Alternate Grains – There are several grains that can be used in place of grains with gluten. These include: corn, rice, amaranth, sorghum, millet, quinoa and teff. There is also a large variety of plant foods and starches you can consume, such as: potato, buckwheat, flax, lentils, soy, tapioca, yucca, wild rice, and Indian rice grass. You can also speak to your grocer and ask for some of these alternatives to be put in stock. Most grocers will do their best to accommodate you.
  • Learn about Ingredients – Many foods contain gluten even if they are barley, rye, and wheat-free. For example, soy sauce, malt, and modified food starch all contain gluten. Most processed foods and condiments contain gluten, as well. If you have Celiac Disease, it is critical to start reading ingredient lists on labels.
  • Look for Gluten-Free Labels – While manufacturers are creating more and more gluten-free foods, if it doesn’t say gluten-free on the label, don’t purchase it. Something as seemingly innocuous as a rice mix can have traces of gluten in it.

While it may seem overwhelming at first, it can actually be fun to create your own gluten-free recipes. After awhile, you will know exactly what products you can enjoy to live a healthy, happy, productive life.

 

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