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Types of Metabolic Disorders

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Numerous types of metabolic disorders exist in the contemporary world. While some are relatively minor, others are major and can be life threatening. The moment you notice symptoms of any metabolic disorder, it is prudent to visit your doctor to have it attended to before it escalates into something dangerous.

The primary cause of metabolic conditions is a malfunction in the body’s metabolism. In some instances, though, metabolism disorders arise from inadequate chemical reactions. Below are some of the main metabolic disorders:

  • Obesity

Obesity can be brought about by a plethora of factors. Among these factors are metabolic problems. There are diseases which have been confirmed to be a trigger factor for obesity. Some of those diseases are thyroid disorders among others. Individuals who have a low basal metabolic rate tend to be fatter than their counterparts who have high metabolic rates.

  • Hyperthyroidism

This is another major metabolic disorder characterized by too much hormone being produced by the thyroid. The thyroid is located in the area front of the larynx and is a key gland for metabolism. It is the organ responsible for the production of thyroxine and triiodothyronine, the two thyroid hormones critical to body metabolism of fats, emotional heats as well as heat. If these hormones are produced in excess, the result is the triggering of an entire series of metabolic disorders that is capable of producing serious or less serious damage to an individual’s health.

  • Hypothyroidism

This is a condition brought about when the thyroid produces insufficient thyroid hormones. It is also a major cause of the occurrence of goiter. Goiter is brought about when there is an increase in the size of the thyroid. The increase is seen in the appearance of a bulge on the front side of the neck. The proper weight of the thyroid gland is usually about 20-30 grams. The weight of an enlarged thyroid gland can be as serious as one kilogram. This can easily become one of the leading causes of difficulty in breathing as well as swallowing.

If left untreated, hypothyroidism can cause cretinism. Cretinism is a physical condition which is characterized by poor physical and mental development. Other characteristic physical symptoms may include waxy skin, belly and speech problems.

Low thyroid hormones can also be a cause of other far-reaching conditions including myxedema coma. This condition is preceded by characteristic symptoms including hypotension, slow breathing, extremely dry skin, and hyposensitivity to cold.

  • Diabetes

This is a metabolic disorder characterized by excess sugar in the blood and urine. Diabetes is of two types.

– Diabetes insipidus which is a result of the lack of vasopressin hormone.

– Diabetes mellitus which is as a result of the alteration in sugar metabolism.

Diabetes mellitus is further subdivided into:

– Insulin dependent diabetes type 1. This is a disease that is most prevalent in children and youths. Its characteristic is the deficiency of insulin in the blood. Resulting from a pancreas which produces too little insulin.

– Non-insulin dependent diabetes (type II). This condition, on the other hand, is prevalent in individuals aged 40 and above. Here, the cells find it difficult to absorb insulin from the blood. This may happen even with a normal insulin production by the pancreas. The evolution of this type of diabetes is much slower than that of juvenile diabetes.

The above are some of the metabolic disorders that are prevalent among humans in the modern world. If you fall victim to any of them, be fast in opting for medical solutions before it’s too late.

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Alcohol and Drug Abuse Awareness

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Alcohol has been shown to statistically cause more teenage fatalities than all other drugs put together.

Because alcohol has been shown to be strongly correlated with the three leading causes of death among young adults – suicide, murder, and accidents , such as car accidents – the threat that alcohol poses to young populations needs to be taken more seriously.

The health care costs of both drug and alcohol abuse are staggering as well. The National Institute of Drug Abuse found that alcohol abuse costs $27 billion every year in health care costs and drug abuse collectively costs $37 billion for illicit and prescription drug abuse combined. Those numbers are worrying.

More worrying still is the fact that these numbers are only a drop in the bucket compared to the overall costs that alcohol and drug abuse take on a nation in terms of lost productivity, increased crime, and as already alluded to skyrocketing health care costs.

When you add up these three costs (lower productivity, higher crime, and higher health care costs) you’re talking about nearly a quarter-trillion or $249 billion annually for alcohol abuse and over a quarter trillion for illicit and prescription drugs combined.

The Monitoring the Future study’s results show some promising trends as well as areas for continued concern with respect to today’s youth and tomorrow’s future. Alcohol use among 12th graders, for instance, has gone down about 7% over the last 3 years whereas illicit drug use has pretty much stayed steady with about half of 12th graders indulging in illicit drugs.

Fortunately, the number of 8th graders choosing to partake in alcohol use has gone down since 2013 when it was 27.80% – today that number is 22.80%, which means that fewer than one in four 8th graders is choosing to use alcohol. The number of 12th graders using marijuana, though, has remained fairly constant at around half (~48%) over the last three years.

The frightening reality for many substance abuse, mental health experts, politicians, and concerned parents is that youngsters that drink are more than 7 times more likely to partake in other illicit drugs. And get this: A kid who drinks who 50 times more likely to use cocaine illicitly and on a recreational basis than another kid who abstains from alcohol altogether through his or her middle school, high school, and early adult years.

Recent data shows that among the nearly 4 million people who were treated in 2005 for substance abuse a full 2.4 million were also treated for alcohol abuse. That’s because there’s a big comorbidity (or co-occurrence) between the two kinds of abuse. There also happens to be a big correlation between drug abuse, alcohol abuse, anxiety disorders, and depression.

This is still a chicken or the egg question that psychologists and mental health professionals are trying to work out but it’s currently believed that anxiety disorders, major depression, or bipolar disorder could predispose certain people to start using certain illicit substances and alcohol in order to self medicate. This is never appropriate and a mental health professional and substance abuse counselor should always be called in to help.

Help is needed more desperately than ever because more Americans are falling prey to drug and alcohol abuse. Worryingly, a full 40% of violent crime has been associated with alcohol use, according to the United States Department of Justice. In a single year (2007) alcohol-related traffic fatalities topped 10,000 people. That’s more than should ever succumb to these kinds of accidents.

If you or a loved one are struggled with drug abuse or alcohol abuse contact a substance abuse counselor today for help.

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What is Red Ribbon Week?

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Each year, the nation celebrates Red Ribbon Week. However, many people aren’t quite sure what it is, or how it got started. Red Ribbon Week is a campaign dedicated to bringing awareness to drug, alcohol, and violence prevention. It is observed during October each year in the United States. It is the largest, and oldest, drug prevention program in the country.

Red Ribbon Week’s Origins

In 1988, the National Family Partnership organized the first Nationwide Red Ribbon Week in partnership with President and First Lady Reagan. Red ribbons began showing up in 1985, in response to the murder of Special Agent Enrique Camarena. Camarena was a DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) Agent, who was kidnapped, brutally tortured and killed by the drug traffickers he was investigating in Mexico in 1985. He joined the DEA to make a difference, and his death angered parents and children across the country.

Red Badges

In honor of Camarena’s memory and the work he did to rid the country of illegal drugs, Camerena’s childhood friend, Henry Lozano and Congressman Duncan Hunter created “Camarena Club”. They began wearing red satin ribbons to show their opposition to drugs. The symbol spread across the country. Soon, parents who were sick of the destruction caused by alcohol and drugs joined them. They formed coalitions, coalitions that adopted the symbol of Camarena’s memory, the red satin ribbon.

Red Ribbon Week Today

Today, Red Ribbon Week is celebrated during the last week of October each year. It is a way for schools, businesses, and families to educate their youth and get them to participate in drug prevention activities. Red Ribbon Week activities reach millions of people each year. Wearing red ribbons during the month of October represents a pledge to live drug free and honors the sacrifice of Special Agent Camarena and others who have lost their lives fighting against drugs.

From Red Ribbon Week photo contests to Red Ribbon Week-themed essays, schools take part each year in a big way, and parents are always encouraged to participate. Businesses often hand out Red Ribbons, and employees wear them to show their support. Rallies are often planned in cities, and even in the nation’s capital to bring awareness to this important subject.

Now, even the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts can earn a DEA Red Ribbon Patch.

See what your community is doing this year to commemorate Red Ribbon Week, and make sure to wear your ribbon.

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Symptoms of Depression

Feeling blue

Over 16.1 million people in the United States suffer from depression. For some, it is mild. There are other people who suffer from persistent depressive disorder (PDD), which continues for at least two years. Some people become depressed after serious life events such as chronic illness, the death of a loved one, or the end of a relationship or a marriage. There are others who become depressed due to a chemical imbalance in the brain. There are several symptoms that are related to a major depressive episode.

Feelings of Sadness

Everyone feels sad at one time or another, however, if your sadness persists and doesn’t seem to go away, you could be suffering from depression. Feelings of emptiness is also a symptom.

Feelings of Hopelessness

If you once felt hope about your life and your future and suddenly you are experiencing feelings of hopelessness, you could be suffering from depression.

Lack of Interest in Activities that Once Caused Pleasure

If you once had hobbies and activities that you enjoyed and suddenly, you don’t find pleasure in any of them, you could be suffering from depression. For example, if you once looked forward to your Saturday afternoon basketball game and suddenly you would rather stay home, depression could be the underlying reason. Also, if you once enjoyed sex and suddenly you have no sex drive at all, you could be suffering from depression.

Lack of Energy

Lack of energy is a common symptom of depression. If you suddenly have no energy and you feel tired all the time, it could be that you are working too hard and spreading yourself too thin, however, it could be a sign of depression. If you find that you are sleeping several more hours each day than usual or that you would rather be sleeping than doing anything else, you could be suffering from depression or PDD.

Insomnia

While fatigue and sleeping more is a symptom depression, insomnia is as well. If you have trouble sleeping at night even though you are tired, you could be suffering from depression.

Changes in Appetite

Changes in appetite is a sign of depression. For some people, they lose their appetite, resulting in a weight loss. There are some people who overeat when they are suffering from depression which results in weight gain. If you notice changes in your appetite, it is a warning sign.

Irritability

If you were once a happy, easy going person and suddenly you find that you are irritable, it could be a sign of depression. There are some cases when irritability is caused by other issues, such as stress and lack of sleep, however, if you find that you are feeling irritable often, you could be suffering from depression.

Persistent Physical Symptoms

There are cases where depression can manifest itself in physical symptoms. There are people who suffer from depression who complain of frequent headaches, digestive disorders, and pain that have no medical explanations. While depression manifesting itself as physical symptoms is rare, it does happen.

Cognitive Problems

Depression can result in cognitive problems such as difficulty concentrating, difficulty making decisions and short-term memory loss. Since these problems are signs of other health problems, depression can be difficult to diagnose if these are the only symptoms.

Thoughts of Suicide

Thoughts of suicide are the most danger

ous symptom of depression. Many depressed people who think about committing suicide eventually attempt it.

Depression is a very serious illness. It can result in physical ailments and in more severe cases, death. Fortunately, through regular visits with a mental health professional and with medication, depression can be treated.

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How to Handle Domestic Violence

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Domestic violence is a very serious problem in the United States. Statistics show that 20 people are physically abused by an intimate partner every minute. If you suspect that a friend or family member is being abused, it is up to you to intervene. If you don’t do something early enough, your loved one could be severely injured or possibly killed. When it comes to domestic violence, there are a few ways that you should handle it.

Look for the Signs

Most victims of domestic violence don’t want to admit that there is anything wrong with the relationship. Even though it is not the victim’s fault, they often take the blame. Many victims are too embarrassed to admit that they are being victimized. Finally, many victims still love their abusers and they don’t want people to think poorly about them. If you suspect that your loved one is being abused, you should look for the signs.

  • Becoming isolated from family and friends
  • Being sad or withdrawn
  • Mysterious bruises on their body
  • Nervousness and jumpiness when their partner is around.

Ask Questions Without Berating

If you suspect that a loved one is being abused, you should ask them straight out. If they don’t admit it, you should press them without berating them. Let them know the reasons that you suspect that there is abuse. If you have recognized the signs, let your loved one know. In many cases, they will see that they are not hiding it as well as they thought they were and they will come clean.

Help Them Create a Safety Plan

If your loved one is willing to admit to you that they are being abused, it doesn’t mean that they will be ready to leave the relationship. If this is the case, it is up to you to help keep them as safe as possible. You should help your loved one come up with an emergency plan if their partner hits them. This means coming up with a place for them to go where they can be safe. When they leave, they are going to need to get away as quickly as possible and be away for a few days. It is a good idea for your loved one to pack a safety bag. It should include a few days worth of clothing and medication. If they have children, make sure that the victim has packed clothing and toys for them as well. If they feel safe, they can hide the bag in the trunk of the car. If the victim is worried that their partner will discover the bag, you can keep it at your house so that their partner won’t find it.

Encourage Them To Get Help

As mentioned above, most victims of domestic violence don’t want to go to the police. They worry about getting their partner into trouble, even though they are being abused. If you cannot get your loved one to go to the police, you should talk them into getting counseling. Many people who are victims of domestic abuse suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). This can cause panic attacks, depression, anxiety, nightmares, and insomnia. Your loved one will need the help of a mental health professional to treat the PDSD. Also, the therapist might be able to get your loved one to understand that it is not their fault and they need to report the violence to the police.

If you believe that someone you love is being abused, it is up to you to be there for them. You could be the one to save their life.

 

 

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Standing up to Bullies

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Image is from MH West & Co., Inc.

Bullies are people who are cruel and intimidate those who are weaker. One may tend to think that bullies are only found in our junior years but you can also encounter them in your adulthood. You’re probably wondering how this is possible since it is very unlikely that someone grown up will be bullied. In the contemporary society, there are so many cyber bullies and also workmates who would find pleasure in mocking you for anything you do. So, if by chance someone is belittling you, making you upset and depressed you should take some action. Here are ways you can deal with such people;

Stand up for yourself.

Bullies like using insulting words when confronting their victims. If you meet one look them straight in the eye and hold their gaze. Don’t back down at all even if they will probably be taller than you. Tell them firmly that you want them to stop bullying you at that very moment.

Gather some evidence.

You can do this by:

  • Recording words your bully is using, where it took place, and the time it happened.
  • Taking pictures of any bruising if they hurt you physically and don’t get rid of the clothes they ruined.
  • If cyberbullied, take screenshots and make copies.

Take the evidence you have gathered to the relevant authorities so that they can discipline the bully.

Go for therapy.

Growing up most parents always taught us to be strong and some parents will even tell you that therapy is for the weak. However, if you have been bullied, it is advisable that you undergo counseling. Bullying in most cases messes up with people’s emotions, and that can lead to depression. Seeking a therapist will help you heal psychologically. In some cases where victims don’t seek help, they result to committing suicide. This affects their friends and families as they are left wishing they could have done more for the victim.

Deal with aggression in an assertive manner.

This might seem like a stupid idea since this person is bullying you. Most books indicate that bullies victimize others due to insecurities and mainly jealousy towards the victim’s wonderful personality. A bully always thinks that making you feel bad about yourself will be a boost to their ego. The best way to deal with such aggressive people is by confronting in a neutral place such as a church, park or a coffee shop. In such an environment the bully will not try anything as there will be many by-standers. Calmly ask them why they are always picking on you. Don’t let your emotions take over as you may not get answers when you start screaming at the person who constantly hurts you.

Forgive your bully.

Forgiveness most likely seems impossible but it might be the right thing to do. Although bullies may have made your life a living hell, you don’t necessarily have to do the same thing to retaliate. Rather than keeping grudges, you will be more at peace when you forgive your bullies. It takes a lot of courage to do this, but deep in your heart you always find that it is the right thing to do. No matter what words they have used against you, or any physical pain they’ve induced in you, the best thing to do is to let go. That way you will be able to form better relationships with everyone around you.

 

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Depression: Seeking Help

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Millions of everyday Americans suffer from depression in one form or another. A milder form of depression known as persistent depression disorder – once referred to as dysthymia – is characterized by sadness, anger, guilty feelings, and a general loss of hope.

Persistent depression disorder affects over one percent of the total U.S. population and encompasses more than 3 million American adults. Only about three out of five adults suffering from persistent depression disorder are receiving any kind of mental health or medical treatment whatsoever.

If left untreated, persistent depression disorder could devolve into more serious conditions like major depressive disorder.

Major depressive disorder affects more 6 persistent of the United States’ adult population making it the leading cause of disability for adults under age 45. Major depressive disorder is marked by persistent, profound sadness and loss of interest in many activities that sufferers previously drew pleasure from.

A general feeling of apathy, discontentment, and comorbid (co-occuring) anxiety are not usual symptoms for sufferers of major depressive disorder to experience while in the throes of the disorder.

Some lesser known symptoms of major depressive disorder are weight gain or extreme weight loss and a diminished appetite. Sufferers might also experience agitation and social isolation.

It’s not uncommon for a sufferer to want to withdraw from friends and even close family members because of feelings of guilt or feelings that their presence is somehow unwanted or “bad” for those around them.

Low-energy levels, issues concentrating, self-esteem issues, and problems falling or staying asleep (insomnia) can characterize both persistent depression disorder and major depressive disorder. Major depressive disorder is sometimes called unipolar depression (as opposed to bipolar depression in which the suffer oscillates between being manic and depressed) and requires a medical diagnosis from a qualified medical professional.

According to the experts there are many different shades of major depressive disorder that can be diagnosed and treated by mental health experts. These include: seasonal affective disorder (common), psychotic depression (less common), post-partum depression (very common), melancholic depression (common), and catatonic depression (less common).

Melancholic depression can be characterized by feelings of guilt, sadness, and hypersomnia or oversleeping. Negative thinking patterns, feelings of disappointment and social withdrawal are characteristic of seasonal affective disorder and melancholic depression alike.

Morbid thoughts and feelings of lethargy or a general decreased energy level might also be accompanying symptoms for sufferers of either melancholic depression or seasonal affective disorder. So, can anything be done?

A doctor may ask you a standard set of questions to determine whether you might suffer from depression in addition to drawing blood and checking for any irregular medical conditions that might mimic or cause the symptoms of depression, according to WebMD. Because you may show different manifestations of depression (e.g., weight gain versus loss or apathy versus irritation) it’s important to consult with a mental health professional or your general practitioner and ask for a depression screening.

Cognitive behavioral therapy is one possible means of treating your depression. Cognitive behavioral therapy takes the view that a depression sufferer’s mood is partly or entirely attributable to maladaptive thoughts. Negative thoughts, thoughts that exacerbate feelings of low self-esteem (“I’m really no good anyway” or “they wouldn’t miss me if I didn’t show up to the party” or “nobody really appreciates me in the end”), and skewed perceptions of the past are common.

Psychotherapy is another route that depression sufferers have taken to tackle the underlying issues of their depression. Antidepressant medications can also be used as a complement to cognitive behavioral therapy or as a standalone treatment for depression among adults.

 

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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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