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What Is Chemotherapy?

There are many different types of illnesses we should be aware of in order to prevent them. However, prevention may be too late if the illness is severe. Some illnesses can be treated by regular medicines while others are so serious a different type of treatment is needed such as chemotherapy.

What Is Chemotherapy?

Chemotherapy is known to be a method for treating for cancer. However, it can also be used in several types of illnesses such as lupus, multiple sclerosis, and rheumatoid arthritis. Chemotherapy is the use of drugs that kill cancer cells. This can be administered in several ways such as through:

  • Intravenous Fluid
  • Injections
  • Pills
  • Liquid form
  • Topical Cream

Whatever the method is, the purpose of chemotherapy is to kill cancer cells. This won’t happen overnight as the ultimate objective is to kill the cells, there are three levels of treating cancer:

  • Palliation
  • Control
  • Cure

Palliation

When cancer has already grown malignant, many symptoms start showing. These symptoms are very inconvenient as most of them are painful. One example is infection that causes discomfort and pain. Through palliation, these symptoms such as infections and tumors can be treated separately to provide temporary relief.

This method doesn’t actually eliminate cancer nor weaken it. It focuses on immediate effects of cancer. Any kind of treatment that aims to reduce only the symptoms is called palliative care.

Control

Control is another method of treatment that does not also eliminate cancer. In this method, it may be considered during a particular stage when the cancer starts spreading. The purpose of the control method is to contain and reduce the growth of the illness in order to prevent further symptoms.

Just like diabetes and heart diseases, cancer also has a control stage where patients take some maintenance pills. There are times that the cancer seems to have gone away because there are no more symptoms present. However, it may come back in an instant without any warning. If this happens, a control chemotherapy will be performed again.

Cure

This method of chemotherapy may be obscure as the term “cure” is still theoretical. It means there is still no exact cure for cancer, but this method aims to cure it. It aims to kill and eliminate cancer.

This is possible in some cases especially at a very early stage. There are cases that cancer is cured on this method. However, there is always no guaranty that every cancer can be eliminated this way. This is why this method is called curative intent.

When to Start Chemotherapy?

If you suspect that you have cancer, it is recommended you look for cancer doctor called an oncologist. It is your oncologist who will determine the diagnosis and the proper treatment.

When your oncologist found that you have a cancer, they will then prescribe which combinations of medicine to use in a particular chemotherapy and which method of therapy should be used.

If your cancer is already malignant, your oncologist will ask you to undergo certain surgical operations to remove some tumors. However, if the stage is still early, the curative intent may be applied.

Conclusion

Chemotherapy is still the ultimate method of treatment for cancer. While research on cancers cure is still ongoing, this medical method proves helpful. However, not all patients can undergo this process because it is very expensive. If you have a cancer, it is better to immediately control it before you reach the palliative stage. Nevertheless, prevention is the best method.

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Understanding Celiac Disease

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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Early Signs of Cancer Symptoms

No matter how healthy you are, it is important to be aware of the early signs and symptoms of cancer. This will enable you to prevent it or treat it as early as possible if you happen to have cancer. Moreover, your doctors can have solid information on your condition. In this way, a more accurate method of cancer treatment can be applied to cure it.

There are many signs and symptoms of cancers you should watch out for. Below are the ones both men and women should take note:

1. Pain

Pain is the most common symptom in many illnesses. But when it occurs, many people would suspect it to be associated with cancer, especially if the pain is unusual and excruciating.

There are different types of pains you can experience depending upon the type of cancer you have. If you have a brain tumor, you may experience a severe headache all the time. If you have testicular cancer or bone cancer, you will experience the pain right in the beginning stage of these cancers.

2. Weight Loss

Weight loss has several factors. There are some illnesses that can reduce your appetite for food. As a result, your reduced diet makes you lose weight. However, there are illnesses that can automatically make you lose weight quickly without affecting your diet. The most common of which is cancer.

Cancer consumes a lot of protein. This is because the immune system produces antibodies that also require these proteins. This process inside the body is constant, and it eventually depletes the fats and the protein in the body.

3. Fatigue

Fatigue is another symptom of cancer. Although it can also be a symptom of other illnesses, the fatigue of a cancer patient can experience is somewhat regular. There are times you feel so stressed you almost would like to vomit. Moreover, you will notice that you easily get tired even during even simple movements.

On the other hand, there are also times you seem so tired even without doing anything. This is probably because your heart pumps more frequently than normal.

4. Fever

Fever that occurs out of nothing means you have an infection inside your body that is growing and spreading. When your body is being attacked by bacterial or cancer infection, our body naturally fights them. Our immune system uses the available resources we have in our body. As a result, our body seems to feel stressed and weak. This condition also weakens our immune system in the long run, so we tend to suffer from fever.

5. Skin Degeneration

If you have cancer, your skin degenerates. It gets dry and pale, and you will also notice some moles, marks, or bumps. Your skin texture changes depending on the type of cancer you have. Some cancer patients notice their skin to be yellowish while others become red or hairy.

6. Sores

Sores do not automatically appear when you suffer from cancer. However, they don’t seem to heal when you accidentally have some. This is also the same case with diabetes. The reason behind it is that your antibodies are busy fighting the cancer cells. As a result, less and less antibodies are assigned to heal the sores.

Conclusion

Symptoms may vary from one person to another. In addition, some symptoms may be associated with another illness. Furthermore, every symptom has different levels or degrees of severity. The above signs and symptoms may help you determine whether or not you suffer from cancer. Nevertheless, it is recommended you consult your doctor if you experience such early signs and symptoms.

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5 Common Allergy Triggers

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Allergies can make a person miserable. If you have allergies, your eyes get itchy and watery, your nose gets runny and stuffy, you sneeze often, and it can be difficult to breathe. The best way to avoid allergy symptoms is to avoid the allergen altogether. There are several common allergy triggers that can make a person miserable.

#1 Pollen

Pollen is one of the most common allergens. When a person has a reaction from the pollen, they call it “hay fever.” Pollen comes from many different plants, and there are some days where pollen can be worse than others.

While there are times that you cannot avoid the pollen, there are a few things that you can do to prevent a serious reaction.

  • Stay indoors when the pollen count is high
  • Close the windows and use an air conditioner when the pollen count is high
  • Don’t hang your clothes outside to dry when pollen counts are high

There are a few different treatments if you are suffering from hay fever. Some of these treatments include:

  • Nasal spray
  • Antihistamines
  • Decongestants
  • Allergy tablets
  • Allergy shots

#2 Dust Mites

Dust mites live in dust, and they are so small that unless you look at the dust under a microscope, you won’t see them. The symptoms that you get from an allergy to dust mites are similar to that of pollen, however, you need to worry about the allergen all year long.

To treat the symptoms of a dust mite allergy, you should:

  • Use nasal spray
  • Take an antihistamine
  • Take a decongestant

To prevent the symptoms of dust mite allergies, you should do the following:

  • Use hypoallergenic pillows
  • Put dust mite covers over mattresses and box springs
  • Wash your sheet every week in hot water
  • Try to keep the home dust free

#3 Animal Dander

Animal dander is a very common allergy. Not only can you be allergic to the animal’s fur, you can also be allergic to the oil in their glands and their saliva. When you are allergic to animal dander, you could find yourself sneezing, congested, and the dander can cause itchy watery eyes.

To treat the allergy symptoms, you should:

  • Take an allergy pill
  • Get allergy shots
  • Use an antihistamine

In order to avoid the symptoms of being allergic to an animal, you should do the following:

  • If possible, avoid the animal that you are allergic to. If you want a dog, there are dogs with hypoallergenic hair that you can adopt.
  • Wash your pet once a week
  • Don’t allow your pet to sleep on your bed

#4 Food Allergies

Many people have a food allergy. Some have mild reactions, while other people have severe reactions. Some of the reactions include, hives, vomiting, diarrhea, wheezing or trouble breathing, swelling in the mouth. Some foods include milk, fish and shellfish, nuts, and eggs.

If you are allergic to any type of food, you should always have a shot containing epinephrine with you at all times. It could save your life.

#5 Mold

Mold are tiny spores that can float through the air. Mold thrives in dark, damp areas. They symptoms of a mold allergy are much like the symptoms of a pollen or dust mite allergy, and the treatment is the same as well.

The best way to avoid a mold allergy is to repair water damage in the home and wear a mask when working near damp areas, including when you rake the yard. When you get rid of the source of the mold, not only will your feel better but you will be protecting the structure of your home.

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Understanding Foodborne Outbreaks

A foodborne outbreak occurs when there are two or more cases of confirmed illness after consumption of a specific food product. These outbreaks involve the CDC as well as other public health officials and staff members try to control, manage and prevent these types of occurrences. Many times, investigative work is needed in order to determine the scope of the outbreak, the extent and the original source. Learning from each situation is what helps prevent these outbreaks from occurring again in the future.

Investigation

Once reports are made that a foodborne illness was contracted, public health officials work with regulatory officials to collect a large amount of data. They want to know what the food or product was that caused the illness, what were the symptoms, what was the outcome, what batch was this from and so on. This information will be used long term for better quality control and regulations that are enforced by the U.S. Sometimes a recall will need to be issued in order to prevent more people from getting sick. Often times, a warning is all that is needed.

Some data will point specifically to a foodborne outbreak and this includes:

-A pattern to the illness. Either all the cases were in a short period of time or from the same germ.
-A larger number of people are ill within the same area than normal.
-People who otherwise have no connection to one another are ill but ate at the same restaurant or purchased the same product.
-Common point of confirmed contamination.
-A certain germ of pathogen is found at a suspected restaurant or store.

Prevention

Ultimately, United States regulatory agencies want to protect the public and prevent foodborne outbreaks from occurring again. Investigation is important when an outbreak occurs, but ongoing research is also part of successful prevention. While not every case of foodborne outbreak is solved, many times there is at least a suspected source of the problem. This leads to better prevention at food producing facilities but also better prevention and investigation methods on a nationwide level.

Ongoing Reporting and Monitoring

An original complaint or report comes from a local or state level in most instances. From there, public health authorities will investigate the claim and involve the CDC when multiple states have become affected by a certain issue. Reports are compiled that include the number of illnesses that are present, hospitalizations, deaths, symptoms, toxins and chemicals that may have caused the issue.

Common symptoms of a foodborne outbreak typically include symptoms that are similar to food poisoning. Stomach upset, vomiting, diarrhea, headache, aches, etc. Seeking medical assistance can help reduce the severity and danger of the illness and can also lead to preventing other people from getting sick. It takes many different people to prevent foodborne outbreaks from occurring. It starts with the farms that produce our food and ends with the location selling and manufacturing our food. Proper quality control and agricultural practices are ideal for keeping everyone in the United States safe.

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The Difference Between Antiviral Drugs and Antibiotics

There is a wide difference between antiviral drugs and antibiotics, and you should know the effects of these two drug classifications on your body. The range of antiviral medications is narrow while the range of antibiotics is quite full.

Antiviral Drugs

The doctor may prescribe an antiviral medication for you if you suspect you recently were around someone displaying a viral illness such as flu symptoms. If you have good reason to believe you contacted a viral disease, but you are not yet showing signs and symptoms an antiviral medication may prevent you from coming down with that illness, or at least minimize the effect of that disease before it occurs.

An antiviral drug is effective, but only when administered at the first signs of contact or symptoms. An antiviral diminishes the development of the illness.

A few virus includes,

  • Standard coughs
  • Sore throats except for strep throat
  • HIV
  • Hepatitis B and C
  • Flu

There are a few drugs in the antiviral category. These drugs used short-term, are not profitable for pharmaceutical companies to research or keep to a high supply.

The antiviral drugs used in the treatment of HIV are in high supply and demand, because of the many people using them and the fact that this particular antiviral drug takes the HIV infection and turns it into a chronic, not terminal condition you can manage.

HIV is not necessarily a life sentence since these antivirals came onto the drug market. Pharmaceutical companies need to put more research into a larger variety of medications to fight other viruses.

If you develop a secondary infection from a virus such as you have the flu, now you develop pneumonia is the flu many times does, you need an antibiotic to fight pneumonia.

Powerful Antibiotics

If you contact a bacterial infection on the outside or inside of the body, the doctor may prescribe for you an antibiotic. There is a broad range of antibiotics on the marketplace today, each offering different targets of healing. Antibiotics kill the bacteria in your body that is making you ill. Antibiotics also stop these bacteria from multiplying and growing.

Doctors today are taught to use extreme caution in ordering patients antibiotics because research is finding more and more people becoming resistive to the usefulness of appropriate antibiotics because people are taking too much of a particular antibiotic and building up a resistance, thus, the antibiotic becomes useless in fighting off bacterial infections for you.

You may go to the doctors when you have a bad case of the flu, and you feel you need an antibiotic. However, the doctor will not prescribe an antibiotic for you because it will not help you get over the flu and in the end, the antibiotic makes your body more harm.

There is an extensive list of reasons why your doctor may prescribe an antibiotic such as but not limited to,

  • Ear infections
  • Strep throat
  • Sinus infections
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Wound infections
  • Diverticulitis
  • Colitis
  • Bronchitis
  • Pneumonia

Antibiotics also put up an invisible protective barrier between you and others around you once you have taken the antibiotic 24-48 hours.

Resistance to Antibiotics

  • Do not demand any antibiotics from your doctor if he or she feels you do not need them.
  • Never take antibiotics for viral infections.
  • Never demand an antibiotic every time you get the sniffles or a cough.

Antibiotics are powerful drugs and when used for the right reasons save lives. Take your antibiotic, according to your doctor’s orders. Never skip doses or incomplete an antibiotic because you feel better and think you are over the infection.

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How Does Sleep Deprivation Relate to Heart Health

When it comes to sleep deprivation, you have to be careful. On one hand there are constantly more and more people who stress the ideas of productivity, efficiency, and even accomplishment to suggest sleep is not important. However, when you think about the actual facts and figures surrounding sleep and sleep deprivation then you can see how important it actually is to get a full night of rest. Consider the following few items and how important sleep can be for you to be at your fullest, especially if you have any sort of heart issues in your family or with you personally.

General Recovery

When people are asleep at night, then their body is doing less. You are obviously still alive and your entire system is still capable of doing things, but when your body goes into sleep mode at night then you get to rest because your body isn’t doing as much and doesn’t have to support as much. Your heart rate will slow, your major systems will relax, and you can spend a period of many hours just laying there while the rest of your body heals and repairs itself as you prepare for the next day. However, without having the chance to rest fully and be able to recover, then you could wind up injured and even the minor bumps and bruises won’t be able to fully heal. The worst part of this overall equation however, is that if you can’t sleep your heart will not ever get the chance to rest overnight. It will keep working overtime and can start to burn itself out from overuse.

General Body Shape And Weight Loss

One of the major side effects of having any sort of schedule is you can keep your body and eating habits in a normal and constant cycle. This usually means you will be more fit and more active, generally speaking. However, when someone is not on a normal scale then they can run into multiple problems as their body tries to adjust to the lack of sleep. When you don’t get as many winks overnight as you are ideally supposed to, you can wind up having a decreased and inefficient metabolism. This will lead you to carrying extra weight and looking down upon exercise as you simply don’t have the energy to participate.

Sleep Means Peace

One of the biggest things that people forget about is general irritability. When you start to consider someone with high blood pressure and general stress issues, you are thinking about someone who simply does not get enough rest in a given day. That is why if you are trying to find a way to keep blood pressure low, then you should consider getting rest and relaxation. The best form of which is sleep. The converse and not getting enough sleep would lead to higher irritability, less patience, and someone being more likely to blow up and become enraged. That would definitely not be good for heart and blood pressure regulation.

Whatever the specific reason you are looking for, the fact of the matter is you must sleep. And, because human beings can seriously run into some major problems if they aren’t able to sleep, you shouldn’t really be playing around with your system in that regard anyways. But, if you are going to cut back on sleep for one reason or another, then you need to be aware of the potential negative side effects and how not getting enough sleep could lead to some major problems within your cardiovascular system and within your heart overall as well.

 

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Heart Disease Prevention

Cardiac disease in on the rise and many medical professionals believes that it is the way you live in today’s busy world.

While our digital technologies of today are supposed to make life easier at work and home, in many aspects is only making life more challenging.

You may complain that you do not have the time to prepare well-balanced meals offering your body the essential nutrients it needs to stay healthy.

You may, like many may have a sedentary job at a computer that provides no worthwhile exercise.

You must take time for yourself. You must pay attention to what you feed your body and fit in some attractive exercise options for yourself to keep your heart as healthy as possible.

Recognize that if heart disease runs in your family history, this puts you at risk for heart problems. There is nothing you can do about your genes, but you can change your lifestyle to help prevent this family history from becoming a more serious heart problem.

Smoking

Smoking adds to heart problems in addition to other risks like cancer. If you smoke, cut this out of your life. If you are devoted to living your life to the fullest, you can and will quit smoking. Smoking shortens your life because of the chemicals in tobacco, no matter what form you use, narrows the heart’s vital arteries. When artery walls narrow this leads to a heart attack you may not survive.

Obesity

Did you know that close to 60% of all Americans are overweight?

. 30 pounds over your ideal body weight equals overweight

. 30 pounds over your ideal body weight equals obesity. Get in your perfect body weight for you, for a healthier heart. Stops making excuses of why you overweight, such as,

  • It is in your genes
  • The medicine you take
  • Your mental health
  • Stress

It is time to avoid excuses and get on a heart-healthy lifestyle.

Never say diet, and never consider going on a diet. Diets cannot last the rest of your life, and while they may initially work, when you stop your diet the weight comes back two fold at least.

Exercise

No weight loss plan works without constant exercise. If all you can do is walking for 30 minutes a day, devote yourself to doing an exercise you enjoy. It is only 15 to 30 minutes out of your day, and it helps you,

  • Lose Weight
  • Strengthens your heart muscles
  • Decreases Blood Pressure
  • Decreases Cholesterol Levels
  • Decreases Diabetes

Eat Well-Balanced Meals and Snacks

Three meals a day with three fruits, vegetable, or protein snacks per day. Refer to the original food pyramid for guidance on what to eat and what proportions every day. Your food pyramid includes just the right amounts, the body requires daily to provide the right amount of essential nutrients.

  • Whole grains
  • Fruits
  • Vegetable
  • Fats
  • Proteins (Greatly decrease red meat and eat more chicken, turkey, fish)
  • Dairy

Think about removing from your kitchen every white food such as salt, sugar, and white flour. White is not healthy or good for your heart. Decrease or avoid alcohol, caffeine, and sodas.

Preparation of Foods

Learn how to prepare meals healthy. Avoid,

  • Deep fried foods
  • Using a lot of oil (use extra virgin olive oil for cooking
  • Canned goods, use fresh or fresh frozen
  • Use a vegetable steamer. Steaming does not destroy essential vitamins and minerals
  • Bake, broil, or grill

Visit your doctor as soon as possible. Talk to your doctor about your ideas for a lifestyle change and weight loss to prevent or decrease your risks for heart disease before initiating any changes.

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Symptoms of Stomach Flu

Symptoms of Stomach Flu

Stomach flu also goes by the name gastroenteritis. Usually, the flu goes away on its own after a short time. You may confuse stomach flu as being caused by the influenza virus. However, that is not the case. The strain of flu responsible for the condition is found around the regions of stomach and intestines, unlike influenza which involves the respiratory tract, head, and lungs. The agents that cause it are bacteria, viruses, and parasites including Cryptosporidium among others. These organisms enter the regions they infect through the mouth.

Stomach flu symptoms will manifest themselves after you have had physical contacts with an infected person. Among the physical contacts that will also get you infected are; handshakes, sharing food with someone having the virus and maybe drinking from a cup that has been used by a patient. Once you have been in contact with an infected person, the virus will transport itself to the regions where it will cause the condition. In the stomach and intestines, the virus will cause an inflammation at different spots and thus will lead to diarrhea and vomiting.

This virus manifests itself through a myriad of symptoms. Before the symptoms start to appear and reveal themselves, the virus shall have taken several days in your body. The number of days the symptoms will take will largely depend on the type of infection. While others can stretch up to ten days, others take a shorter time, probably a day or two. Usually, the symptoms will go away even without the assistance of a doctor.

The symptoms of stomach flu and how the virus will manifest itself will differ among individuals. Moreover, the severity of the symptoms will largely depend on how resistant your body is to the virus. If your body is less resilient, you will get more severe symptoms unlike when you have excellent resistance to the infection.

Below are some of the symptoms that will show in a patient infected by flu virus:

  • You will have fever that keeps escalating daily
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Weakness
  • Nausea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Weight loss
  • Fainting spells
  • Muscle pains
  • Burning pains in the stomach
  • Blackouts

Stomach flu cannot be considered as a critical condition since it can disappear by itself. Though at other times, the condition may escalate and the patient may appear very ill to the point that it could be life threatening. At this point, you must seek the attention of a physician. You need to take great care when you start noticing the symptoms especially dehydration and its developments. This is because it is the most dangerous symptom of stomach flu. If you vomit and diarrhea continuously, you will lose water and electrolytes from the body and which eventually lead to dehydration.

Here are some of the symptoms of dehydration;

  • Sunken eyes
  • Increased thirst
  • Skin loses its elasticity
  • Fever shoots to above 101 degrees F
  • Mucous membranes in the mouth become dry
  • Bloody vomit
  • Bloody stool
  • Decreased urination
  • Drowsiness
  • Swollen abdomen
  • Constant vomiting

While it can be a less severe condition, stomach flu comes with symptoms that are life-threatening. You can, however, handle the symptoms by taking more fluids aside from seeking medication. Above all, ensure that you avoid as much as you can, the areas that may get you contacting the condition. This will help you stay safe and not worried about the discomfort that the state subjects you to.

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Symptoms of Thyroid Cancer

Your thyroid is a butterfly shape gland located at the base of your neck. The purpose of the thyroid is to produce hormones that regulate your weight, your body temperature, and your heart rate.

Although thyroid cancer is not the most common type of cancer in the United States, over the years, the rates have been increasing. The reason for this is because doctors use new technology that helps them catch thyroid cancer in the early stages. This technology wasn’t available before, therefore, it was not picked up in the past. The new technology helps doctors detect thyroid cancer early on, increasing the patients’ chances of survival.

Who Is At Risk For Thyroid Cancer?

The cause of thyroid cancer is unknown. While the causes are not clear, there a few risk factors that can put you at risk of developing thyroid cancer.

  • Exposure to radiation: If a person has been in contact with radiation, they are at risk of developing thyroid cancer. For example, if a person has undergone radiation treatment either as an adult or as a child, they are at risk. If a person works at a nuclear power plant, if they work doing weapons testing, or if there was an accident at a power plant, they could be at great risk.
  • Being a Female: If you are a woman, you are more at risk of developing thyroid cancer than a man. Thyroid cancer is twice as common in women than men.
  • Inherited genetic syndromes: If a person has a family history of medullary thyroid cancer or multiple endocrine neoplasia, they are at risk of developing thyroid cancer.

Symptoms of Thyroid Cancer

There are various symptoms of thyroid cancer that a person should look for, especially if they have any of the thyroid cancer risk factors.

  • A lump in the neck: If you discover a lump in your neck, you should see a doctor. In some cases, the lump will grow rapidly.
  • Neck swelling: If you have noticed swelling in your neck and you were not injured, you should see a doctor.
  • Pain in the neck: Pain is a common symptom of thyroid cancer. The pain typically radiates in the front of the neck. In some cases, it can travel up to your ears.
  • Voice changes: If your voice changes or becomes hoarse and it doesn’t go away, it is a common symptom of thyroid cancer and it warrants a visit to the doctor.
  • A constant cough: If you are suffering from a constant cough that is not associated with a cold, you should make an appointment to see a doctor.
  • Trouble swallowing: Trouble swallowing is a common symptom in the later stages of thyroid cancer.
  • Difficulty breathing: Wheezing and trouble breathing are two symptoms that can occur in the later stages of thyroid cancer.

It is important to understand that each of these symptoms could be symptoms of other medical conditions. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms above, it is not a guarantee that you have cancer. You should, however, make an appointment so that your doctor can order the appropriate test to determine they causes of the symptoms.

Fortunately, if thyroid cancer is caught early, it can be treated. Despite treatment, it is possible for thyroid cancer to return even if the thyroid has been removed. This can happen if microscopic cancer cells spread beyond the thyroid before the thyroidectomy. Your best chance at beating the cancer is knowing what symptoms to look for and seeking treatment as quickly as possible.

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