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How can you diagnose a drug allergy

Switching or starting a new drug prescribed by a doctor can be scary with the long line of side effects that come along with most of them these days. One of the possible serious side effects being a drug allergy, which can cause severe and even life threatening side effects.

With that said, when a drug allergy occurs symptoms appear within an hour, but in rare cases allergic reactions can occur with prolong use of a drug as late as a month. Either way, knowing the side effects of a drug allergy is a helpful way to diagnose one.

What are some of the side effects of a possible drug allergy?

Some of the most common side effects of a drug allergy are:

  • Constant runny nose
  • Swelling in the face and body
  • Watery itchy eyes
  • Breathing complications such as wheezing, shortness of breath, and an asthma attack
  • High fever
  • Skin reactions such as rashes and hives

Rare, but a severe condition that can occur with a drug allergy is anaphylaxis, which is a condition that causes side effects such as:

  • Tightening of the airways
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Abdominal discomforts
  • Dizziness
  • Weakness
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Seizures
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Unbalanced blood pressure levels
  • Irregular bowel movements
  • Headaches
  • Dehydration

Reactions that occur from a drug allergy weeks or even months later from long exposure to a medication can cause drug allergies known as:

  • Serum sickness that causes flu like symptoms
  • Drug-induced anemia causing fatigue and blood loss
  • Nephritis a condition that causes inflammation of the kidneys
  • Drug rash eosinophilia and systemic symptoms also known as DRESS

What should occur if a drug allergy develops?

If a drug allergy occurs or you are experience a negative reaction to it, you must call a doctor or seek out medical attention immediately. Some allergic reactions to medications can cause death if not caught and treated in time.

With that said, if the allergic reaction is occurring rapidly just dial 911 from your home phone, cell phone or any landline. Medical responders can reach you faster than you can reach a hospital, which increases your chances of stopping the reaction sooner rather than later, and in life threatening cases saving your life.

What are some end thoughts to keep in mind?

Some end thoughts to keep in mind with a drug allergy are sometimes mood changes can be one of the side effects of a drug allergy, but are rare. Muscle aches, swollen lymph nodes, high white blood cell counts, extreme fatigue and heart complications are also rare, but possible allergic reactions that can occur with medications, which are also important to keep in mind and tell your doctor.

Remember, every bit of information you remember and can give your doctor will help diagnose your drug allergy. After a proper diagnosis, your doctor will take you off the drug and prescribe you a new one to help get you feeling better.

 

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Possible causes of autism

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Combined Causes

It is very important that condemnation should not come prior investigation, as William Paley once pointed out. With that in mind, some have posited autism derives from several different things working together, rather than a singular distinct cause. Factors could include:

  • Frigid, Or Absent, Parenting
  • Too Much Technology Too Soon
  • Unproven Medical Techniques
  • Genetic Proclivities
  • Health And Nutrition
  • Poverty

Causes Examined

One of the originally suspected culprits of autism was defined as “refrigerator mother theory“. Autism and schizophrenia used to be often diagnosed together. Since then, mechanistic explanations have replaced the theory; but the basic concept is parents don’t properly bring up their children, resulting in this strange behavior.

It’s easy to see how there may be some level of truth in this. Imagine two parents who work online, and are part of the online gaming community. Imagine they have a young child who doesn’t receive proper levels of attention, as a result, and must initiate its own psychological coping mechanisms to feel loved and entertained.

This could very well produce an individual with an inward self-focus who isn’t good at socializing. Feral children have been linked to autism before; and neglect is the prime culprit. However, there are plenty of conscientious parents who love their children and do their best to socialize them, only to see a sudden change later.

Technology

There are those who include their children technologically. Smartphones and tablets can be very entertaining. Autistic children definitely love them, and those who aren’t autistic are likewise fascinated. A combination of lackluster parenting and over-stimulation of technology early on could be linked to autistic tendencies in later life, according to Psychology Today.

Diet

Another area seen to contribute to autism involves diet. Some foods are bad for those who have autistic behaviors. Gluten and cassein are often good to reduce in the diet of a child with autism.

Medical Complications

Inoculation theory is sound, but doesn’t always take into account certain chemical compounds sometimes contained in vaccines like Measles, Mumphs Rubella (MMR), such as thimerisal, which is mercury-based.

The FDA classifies mercury in greater quantities than 1 part per million as dangerous. While thimerisal has been removed from many vaccines, it still can be found in some. Also, CDC guidelines would have parents provide children 49 doses of 14 different vaccines by age six. If some of those have chemicals in them that are dangerous, it could adversely affect development.

Additionally, 49 vaccines in 6 years averages to a vaccine every 1.46 months. A vaccine introduces an inert antigen into the body’s immune system so the body can “learn” it and be better fortified for when a non-inert antigen infiltrates. What this leads to is a sickness, or pseudo-sickness, more mild than the full-blown sickness, after most vaccinations. Do that every six weeks or so until a child is six, and that could be bad for their developing immune system. It could over-tax it–especially if the child isn’t getting proper nutrition, has distant parents, is using technology too much, or part of a poor household.

When you add to that hereditary links seen to be involved in autistic development, it becomes more clear why autism has jumped from 1 in 10,000 during the 1980s, to about 1 in 42 boys and 1 in 189 girls as of 2014.

Treatment
The solution? Well, there may not be one; but what you can do is have as close a relationship with your children as possible, allow ample time between vaccinations, restrict too much technology, and avoid feeding them too much gluten or cassein–depending on doctor orders, or course.

 

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How You Can Get STI’s and How to Prevent Them

Sexually transferred infection (STI) is the most current term used by professionals to describe the group of medial infections that are spread via sexual contact. Sexually transmitted infections do not consistently develop into a disease. People who have been diagnosed with an STI, may not have a sexually transferred disease (STD) but both involve a harmful bacterial or viral infection that is transferred by contact with infected body fluids. There are approximately 30 sexually transferred infections/diseases that have been identified across the world. Some of the more serious infections are well-known, and include gonorrhea, hepatitis, syphilis, and the HIV/Aids virus. There are lesser known diseases that are more widespread such as Chlamydia, HPV (Human Papillomavirus) and herpes. While these infections may be less serious than other STD’s, serious health consequences can arise if left untreated. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported record highs of STD cases in 2016 and the numbers continue to increase. For sexually active individuals, it is important to know the facts of how you get STI’s and how you can prevent getting them.

How STI’s are Transferred

The germs that trigger an STI are concealed in semen, vaginal secretions, blood, and saliva. Infections can be transferred by any contact with affected body fluids. While the transfer often takes place during vaginal, anal, or oral sexual activity, some infections, such as genital warts and genital herpes, can be spread during skin-to-skin contact with an infected individual. Trichomoniasis, the most common, curable STI, is a parasitic infection that can be spread by coming into contact with clammy, or damp materials, such as towels, wet undergarments, or toilet seats. Hepatitis B can be gotten from using the personal items of an infected individual, such as their toothbrush or razor.

STI Prevention

Abstinence, is of course, a proven method of eliminating the possibility of acquiring an STI. This is not a realistic option by most sexually active people in the United States, as indicated by the increasing number of STI/STD cases. Some sexual behaviors put people at a much higher risk of getting an infection. These behaviors include:

  • Having two or more sex partners
  • Not using a condom or dental dam when having sex
  • Having sex with a person who has had numerous partners
  • Sharing needles when using intravenous drugs

Besides abstinence, there are several ways to reduce the risk of getting an STI, which still allows someone to enjoy sex and intimacy with another. These include:

  • Engaging in a long-term monogamous relationship with a partner who has been tested
  • Avoiding unprotected sex with anyone who has not tested negative for an STD in the last six months
  • Limiting the number of sexual partners that you have
  • Establishing that your partner has been tested if they have had new partners since their last test
  • Using a barrier method, such as a dental dam or condom, every time you have oral sex
  • Not engaging in sex with anyone who has genital sores, discharge, a rash, or any other symptoms
  • Using latex condoms correctly, and every time you have sex
  • Not sharing towels or undergarments
  • Washing or bathing prior to, and after, having intercourse
  • Getting vaccinated for hepatitis B

Several STI’s occur without any symptoms, so many people continue with sexual activity after becoming infected themselves, increasing the contagion with each new partner. Today, if one is sexually active, it is critical to take precautions if you want to stay healthy, and safe.

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The Difference Between a STD and a STI

Most of the time, when it came to sex talk, you would hear about STD or STI. These two were mainly interchanged, and you probably took no notice of it. Over the years, you might have started wondering if there is a difference between the two. If you go online, you will probably see STI more than you used to which will make you more confused.

Technically, there is no major difference between the two. However, you will find that most physicians prefer using STI than STD. Although they seem the same, here are some differences you can get from the two:

Infection and Disease

An STI is an infection that has not fully developed into a disease. Once the infection evolves n to a disease, it can then be called an STD. This is even more confusing. What is the difference between an infection and a disease?

When the body gets exposed to bacteria, a virus or microbes, the first step of the disease is an infection. When you have an infection, it is when the number of microbes is multiplying in your body, but you have no physical symptoms yet. However, infection is referred to as a disease when there are physical signs and symptoms that start disrupting normal body structure and function.

A good example of the two is if someone has the HPV virus and shows no symptoms, they are said to have an infection. However, if the symptoms evolve to a point where it is now something serious like cervical cancer, it can be called an STD.

Less stigma

STDs have been around for a while which makes them sound more serious. However, when you hear about STIs, they have less stigma around them. Also, since most STIs do not present any symptoms, most people do not know if they are suffering from them. An example for this is asymptomatic chlamydia that does not show any infections. Once the symptoms start manifesting, the person now has an STD. This will help them seek treatment if they have bacterial infections since they can be cured.

Symptoms of STDs and STIs

As you have seen earlier, STIs have no noticeable symptoms. However, STDs have some symptoms you can look out for:

  • Strange discharge from genital areas
  • Blisters around the genitals
  • Uncommon growths around the genitals
  • Pain while passing urine
  • Persistent itching or tingling sensation around the genitals
  • Pain in the pelvis or abdomen for women
  • Irregular periods
  • Pain during sex and bleeding afterwards
  • Pain in the testicles

Different STDs have different symptoms, and for some, they do not see the symptoms until it is too late. For some, you can see flu-like symptoms or rashes. For instance, for syphilis, there are painless sores.

However, scabies and pubic lice can also be spread sexually but are not sexually transmitted infections. If you are infested with them, you will experience a rash, scratching and possibly blood on your genitals due to the scratching.

Final Thoughts

While they appear different, STIs lead to STDs. This means you need to protect yourself from getting STIs and get tested whenever you have unprotected sex. There are different places you can get tested. You should not wait until the symptoms manifest so you can get tested. If you are unsure about your health, it is better to do it sooner rather than later. It is easier to treat STIs than STDs.

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The Number of Autism Diagnosis Each Year

A Target That Seems To Move

Autism Spectrum Disorder has a broad definition, and it is only recently that codified understanding of the disorder has begun to become prevalent. Currently, approximately 1 in 68 children are diagnosed with autism. In 2010, 3,999,386 infants were born in the United States. At a ratio of 1/68, that would come to 58,814.5 new cases of autism.

Complicating the issue is previous estimates of autism. In the 1980s, autism was only diagnosed in about 1 out of 10,000. As can be seen, there is a massive difference between 1/68 and 1/10,000. However, some of that disparity results from means by which autism is categorized. When the disorder was first noted in modern medicine, it was often confused with schizophrenia. The years have seen greater understanding of autism than there has been; but this change in diagnosis isn’t quite enough to justify the massive difference in numbers.

The Rising Tide Of Autism

Autism is statistically on the rise, and as yet there is no concrete answer why. The blame game is heavy here, with fingers pointing at diet, nutrition, poverty, technology, chemicals associated with vaccinations, and poor parenting. In reality the truth may be that autism results from a confluence of such things, which themselves seem to be on the increase. Poverty and poor nutrition are increasingly widespread through foodstuffs replacing sound supplements, and economic fluidity. Meanwhile, technology is more pernicious than ever. There will be very few reading this who have not at some time seen a young child with a tablet, smartphone, or other electronic device. There has been shown to be a link between screen time and susceptibility to autism; at least according to Psychology Today.

But then there is also a hereditary link to autism as well. Engineers and scientists are scientifically more likely to have autistic traits. If this is true, it can be expected that a family of engineers and scientists will be more likely to have autistic children. However, the prevalence of the condition, and its expansion, seem to indicate there are preventable factors in play. That is to say: there are things modern society does today which are to some degree stimulating the spread of autistic tendencies. As yet the full scope of such possibly influential behaviors have not been nailed down, but there are treatments which have been shown to decrease the severity of autistic symptoms. Certain diets which restrict gluten and casein have been observed to reduce how severe autistic symptoms are.

Complications And Cures?

As you can see, anything and everything about autism has a high degree of complication. This is one reason it’s described as a spectrum disorder. Some children with autism are just inverted socially and a little incidentally estranged. Some children are so deep into the spectrum their only means of ingesting sustenance is a feeding tube. Though there are increasing treatments available, as yet the condition is not known to be curable. Still, some parents have developed strategies that seem to have worked. This woman had a husband who was a Ph. D., and claims she and he managed to cure their son primarily through catching the condition early and using proper dietary strategies.

Continuing Developments

There is success being experienced in terms of autism research, but it is taking time. If you are a parent with a child who suffers from autism spectrum disorder, there is hope. The internet represents one of the finest resources at your disposal, and you are not alone. There is a community out there that wants to help you, and more is becoming understood.

 

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The Purpose of NIIW (National Infant Immunization Week)

 

For one week each year, National Infant Immunization Week takes place at the end of April. This is an annual observance that is dedicated to highlighting how important it is to immunize your young children as a way of protecting them from a number of vaccine preventable diseases. Also, achievements that have taken place over a number of years are celebrated as are the partners in the medical field that contribute to this event each year. Since 1994 this event has taken place in hundreds of different communities all across the United States. Vaccinating your child helps to protect your children as well as other children in the community and it helps control our public health situation. Let’s take a look at how vaccinations help your infants and children:

Life Threatening Diseases

Vaccinations have been developed over the years to protect infants and other children from becoming ill with life threatening conditions or illnesses that could permanently affect their health for the rest of their lives. The current vaccination schedule that is recommended by the American Board of Pediatrics includes vaccines for things like measles, mumps, rubella, tetanus, polio, diphtheria and more. These vaccinations are scheduled throughout the first couple years of a child’s life. Some may be required prior to a child entering daycare at the age of six weeks old and boosters are also needed later on in life to continue a child’s protection against a disease. There are some conditions that for many people, would not be life threatening such as measles. However, there are always complications associated with these conditions and you can never predict what the outcome would be for your child.

Controlling The Population

When people of any age routinely get their immunizations or their booster shots, this will help protect the community as a whole. Without these vaccinations we would not have certain diseases eradicated. This also helps protect the demographics that are more at risk for complications associated with these diseases like infants, the elderly and people with compromised immune systems. At one point in time things like polio were very prevalent and many people died or were permanently disabled because of these diseases. Once people began to vaccinate against these diseases it slowed things down and eventually, got rid of these issues. Our country doesn’t see polio cases the way hospitals did decades ago.

Talking With Your Doctor

Some people have concerns with vaccines whether it be because of the schedule involved or because of the ingredients of an immunization. It is important to speak with your child’s doctor in order to find out more so you will feel comfortable with the process. There are sometimes changes that can be made to the schedule if need be and you will be able to work with your doctor’s office to immunize your child properly before they enter school in the future. It is important to have a pediatrician that you trust and that will help keep your children safe as they grow up. Their advice is important and should be able to be trusted.

This year National Infant Immunization Week will take place at the very end of April and everyone is encouraged to spread the word and participate any way that you can. If you have young children or are pregnant you are encouraged to speak with your pediatrician to find out more about the importance of vaccinating as well as the current recommended vaccination schedule in your state. Protecting your infants is important so they will be able to thrive and continue to grow and learn as they get older.

 

 

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What is World Health Day?

What is World Health Day?

The World Health Day is a global celebration by people from all over the world and is held each year on 7th April. The day is sponsored by the World Health Organization which held its first assembly in Geneva in the year 1948 and it was then that the World Health day was founded. It was first celebrated in 1950 and has been celebrated since. Each year, WHO carries out a variety of events that rotate around a specific theme. Some of the themes that have been used before are;

  • 2003- Shape of the future life
  • 2005- Road Safety
  • 2007- International Health Security
  • 2008- Protecting Health From Climate Change

The annual event is used to raise public awareness towards issues concerning health and safety. The theme is chosen to guide activities for the whole year. A good example is the Polio Eradication Theme which was in 1995, most countries are now free from polio due to the concerted efforts that were led by WHO.

WHO target global health issues from where programs are derived from and organized by WHO and other health organizations such as schools, NGOs and even governments. This day is celebrated to remember the establishment of WHO which is under the United Nations. WHO has played a significant role in combating diseases such as smallpox, TB, chickenpox and leprosy especially in developing countries.

Duties and responsibilities of WHO

  1. Promote development- poor health is mainly attributed to poverty, therefore, uplifting the economic status of a population leads to improved health.
  2. Strengthen Health Systems- In poor countries, the health systems are usually weak or lacking, WHO provides medicines, relevant technology and infrastructure to improve them.
  3. Reduce health risk- WHO is entrusted to reduce or avoid the outbreak of new or existing diseases.
  4. Promote research and gather information- WHO requires accurate data to set health regulations and therefore consults with world leading authorities and institutions to come up with technical guidelines.
  5. Enhance partnerships- by working with various governments and health organizations, information is easily shared and WHO can disseminate technical guidelines that are supposed to be used in building health systems
  6. Improve Performance- WHO is a large organizations with set goals and therefore it needs to constantly evaluate itself to ensure that it improves it performance by implementing results based management.

How World Health Day is celebrated

World Health Day is celebrated worldwide by governments and NGOs who organize activities that relate to public health issues so as to create awareness. Organizations that participate in this activities highlight their efforts through media reports such as press releases. Health authorities make their pledges in support of health issues in the domain. Other activities that are carried on include; debates on related topics, exhibitions, essay writing competitions and award ceremonies aimed at recognizing efforts of individuals and institutions in tackling health issues.

Why World Health Day is celebrated?

WHO focuses on increasing the life expectancy by promoting good health practices and some of the objectives of why the day is celebrated yearly are;

  1. To increase awareness on the causes and prevention of various diseases
  2. To provide detailed knowledge to the masses and relevant institutions on ways of preventing various diseases
  3. To encourage the vulnerable group of people to speak out and be heard by relevant authorities.
  4. To promote self-care among the people
  5. To encourage world health authorities to make their own effort in promoting the agendas of World Health day
  6. To protect families and other vulnerable people who are prone to diseases
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Understanding High Blood Pressure

For many, the closest they have ever come to understanding hypertension is the medical shows they watch. Unfortunately, some of these programs have inaccurate information and therefore cannot be trusted. Should you rely on them, you will be lost and find an entirely wrong information of high blood pressure. This will not give you accurate information about the disease and what it can mean to you. Understanding blood pressure is supposed to be a priority for all adults. Currently, the condition is endemic with one in three adults suffering from it. The following is a quick guide the disease and the treatments available.

What is blood pressure?

Essentially, blood pressure is the force with which blood circulates through your veins and blood vessels. The reading of your blood pressure is usually taken by an instrument known as a manometer, an instrument which looks like a strip of rubber attached to a thermometer. Alternatively, a sphygmomanometer is used for measuring the pressure. As your heart beats, your blood pressure records a variation in pressure i.e. maximum, scientifically known as systolic, and minimum, known as diastolic pressure.

What is classified as high blood pressure and low blood pressure?

High blood pressure, also known as hypertension is the instance where the blood pressure shoots from a regular rate of 90-119 systolic pressure and a diastolic pressure of 60-79 up to 120-139 and 80-89 in the case of prehypertension. As the condition advances, the blood pressure records 140-159 and 90-95 for systolic and diastolic pressure respectively. Low blood pressure is the instance where it is below 90 systolic over 60 diastolic.

Consequences of hypotension and hypertension

Hypertension can result in a variety of unpleasant things happening in your body. Some of the effects include

• Heart attacks

• Burst blood vessels in the eye

• Drowsiness

• Kidney failure

• Confusion

• Nausea

Causes of high blood pressure

Even though there is not yet a definite cause of the condition, some behaviors have widely been associated with it. The behaviors include

• Sedentary life

• Diets with a high content of animal fats and salt

• Unmanaged stress

• Obesity

High blood pressure treatment

Currently, there exist more than two hundred separate brands of medication which aim to solve the problem of high blood pressure. There has not been a single drug manufactured that can permanently cure the condition, and so doctors often prescribe a combination. After that comes a period of adjusting doses to achieve optimal effects on blood pressure while at the same time alleviating the side effects of the drugs used for treatment. The primary objective of the drug is to control the condition and not necessarily to cure it. Once you get the conditions and start using the medication, you are on drugs for life.

High blood pressure medication comes in four different classes, each of which has subcategories. The classes include

• Diuretics

• Beta blockers

• Ace inhibitors

• Calcium channel blockers

What’s the alternative treatment and control of high blood pressure?

Many people for lifestyle change in a bid to control and treat this condition. It is possible to reduce significantly high blood pressure. What would make this possible is diet adjustment, taking up daily exercise as well as managing stress. However, just as in medication, once you take up a lifestyle of healthy living, there is no going back.

High blood pressure is a condition that could catch up with just about anyone. Knowing about it will greatly help you to know how to take care of it.

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Asthma and Allergies: Understanding the Connection

There are various kinds of asthma. One of these is exercise-induced bronchoconstriction (EIB), or exercise-induced asthma (EIA). Other types include childhood and occupational asthma. But did you know that asthma and allergies are inextricably linked and that allergic asthma is always triggered by an allergy? These allergies could present itself in the form of dust mites, pollen, or mold. According to The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAA) this form of asthma is triggered when you inhale allergens The AAAA also notes that more than half of America’s asthma sufferers have this type of asthma. Allergic asthma occurs when allergens cause an allergic reaction that constricts your airways, and makes it swollen and inflamed. This in turn may make you cough and wheeze or experience shortness of breath. Here’s what symptoms to look out for, diagnosis,treatment, and how to go about reducing your chances of developing allergic asthma.

The Symptoms of Allergy-Induced Asthma

  • Persistent cough. One of the earliest warning signs of allergy-related asthma is a cough, specifically one that develops at night.
  • Shortness of breath. If you suffer from shortness of breath after being exposed to a dusty environment, the outdoors during Spring, or after playing with your pet, you may have allergic asthma.
  • Pain, pressure, or tightness in your chest.
  • Wheezing. This may occur more frequently at night, but you may also develop wheezing during the day.
  • Insomnia. Breathing difficulties often leads to sleeplessness.

How to Diagnose Asthma

  • Skin allergy tests. Skin allergy tests often include scratch, patch and intradermal testing. With the scratch test, your healthcare provider will cover a tiny part of your back or forearm with an allergen, and then perform a painless prick or puncture on your skin. The patch test would require two consecutive visits to your doctor. He or she will place a patch containing allergens on your back or arm for 48 hours here. With the intradermal test, your doctor will inject a tiny amount of allergens just beneath your skin.
  • Allergy blood tests. These types of tests are beneficial in diagnosing approximately 10 types of allergens including pollen, dander, mold spores, and even some food allergies. They include enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (EIA or ELISA) tests, and radioallergosorbent (RAST) tests.
  • Chest X-rays. Your doctor will obtain an image of your lungs to ascertain your pulmonary health.
  • Pulmonary function test. Also known as spirometry, this test serves as an indicator of your inhaling and exhaling capacity.
  • Methacholine challenge test. Here your healthcare provider will place methacholine in your airways to see if it will constrict your airways. Methacholine is an irritant with the tendency to tighten airways in asthma sufferers.

Treatment and Preventative Measures

  • Avoiding triggers. You could do this by ensuring your environment is clear of any pet dander and dust mites. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), a case study of 400 children aged under 7 years was conducted by Celedon et al. Researchers discovered that the children exposed to dust mite allergens from birth to three months, were more prone to develop asthma by the age of seven. If possible, always use dust mite encasing for your bedding. Also, ensure that you’re outdoors less often on windy days during the pollen season.
  • Bronchodilators. This form of medication helps relax the muscles around your airways. It also clears excess mucous from your lungs. Theophylline and anticholinergics are bronchodilators.
  • Use anti-inflammatories. These pharmaceuticals include inhaled corticosteroids that help reduce inflammation and mucous in your airways. Some well-known brands here include Asmanex, Flovent, Qvar, Pulmicort, and Alvesco. If taken daily, your symptoms should start disappearing within weeks.
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Understanding Mental Illnesses

Guide to Mental Illness

Mental health refers to our psychological, social and emotional health. Mental health affects the way one thinks, feels and behaves. It is normal for our emotional well-being to change due to positive or negative life events. Positive events, such as winning the lottery may cause happiness or feelings of joy. Negative things, like losing a loved one, may trigger feelings of sadness or anxiety. These changes are usually temporary.

Mental illness, on the other hand, involves persistent changes in emotions, thoughts and behavior. Mental illness is more than just a temporary change in emotional well-being. Mental illnesses affect a person’s ability to cope with day-to-day life and to relate to others. People that suffer from mental illness often have difficulty in their employment, school, social relationships and other important areas of life.

What Causes Mental Illness?

The cause of mental illness varies. There are more than 200 different mental illness and they each have different causes, symptoms and prognoses. Research suggests that, in most cases, mental illness is brought on by varying factors, including environmental stressors, genetics, brain structure and lifestyle choices. Traumatic events, such as being the victim of a crime, makes one more susceptible to mental illness, but not everyone who is the victim of a violent crime will go on to develop mental health problems. It is likely these stressors, combined with other factors, that makes one more susceptible.

How Common Is Mental Illness?

According to National Alliance on Mental Illness, one out of every five adults experiences a mental health problem each year. Serious or chronic mental illness, such as bipolar or schizophrenia, affects one out of every 17 persons. Most serious mental health problems began by the teen or early adult years.

What Are the Different Types of Mental Health Conditions?

Depression

Depression occurs when someone experiences feelings of sadness or irritation for periods longer than a couple of weeks. Depression is more than just feeling sad. Everyone has normal sadness from time to time. Depression interferes with one’s ability to go to school or work. Here are some of the common symptoms of depression:

  • Depressed or sad mood
  • Changes in eating or sleeping patterns
  • Feelings of hopelessness
  • Lack of energy
  • Trouble concentrating

Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder causes dramatics shifts in a person’s mood, from feeling overly high to extremely sad or irritated. It interferes with one’s ability to think clearly. Common symptoms of bipolar disorder include:

  • Distinct periods of depressed mood
  • Mania symptoms, such as excessive happiness, excitement, pressured speech

Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety is normal, but when the worry becomes difficult to control, it may be an anxiety disorder. Here are some of the most common symptoms of an anxiety disorder:

  • Persistent worry
  • Restlessness
  • Irritability
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Racing heart
  • Frequent physical symptoms like stomach pain

Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is a psychotic disorder. Often people with schizophrenia lose touch with reality. They may hear and see things that are not really there or believe that others are out to harm them. Other symptoms include disordered behavior and thoughts.

Borderline Personality Disorder

This serious mental disorder causes mood swings, instability in relationships, impulsivity and poor self-image. A person with borderline personality disorder may have periods of severe anger or depression lasting anywhere from a few hours to a few days. They often engage in self-harming behaviors.

Is Recovery Possible?

It is possible to recover from mental illness and enjoy meaningful work, relationships and other things in life. The important thing when it comes to recovery is to get help as soon as you notice the symptoms and to stay involved in your treatment.

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