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Constipation

Think Pink: Breast Cancer Awareness Month

The Pink Ribbon

Conquering Cancer

Breast Cancer Awareness Month is between October 1st and 31st this year. This tragic condition affects approximately 1 in 8 women throughout their lives. That’s 12.5 percent of the total population, according to those numbers. If the world has a population of seven billion, that means a whopping 875,000,000 women will eventually encounter breast cancer at some point in their lives.

Now, the funny thing about statistics is that they’re prospective, not necessarily representative. While they can be used to identify a trend, and help prevent against that trend, they aren’t ironclad numbers representing the history of that trend’s ultimate impact. For example, statistically, it may be unlikely for a person to make a living as, say, an entertainer. Artists who paint, act, tell jokes, or make music represent a minority of the population; though they do ultimately have a big impact. But just because it’s statistically unlikely to be a successful artist doesn’t mean you can’t be a successful artist. It just means getting there is more difficult.

Likewise, with breast cancer, just because statistically 1 in 8 women come down with this condition over the course of their lifetime doesn’t mean that out of eight women you know, one of them will find a malignancy in her breast. According to the American Cancer Society, it is estimated that 2017 will see 252,710 invasive breast cancer cases diagnosed in women (because, though a minority of the population, men can also get breast cancer), and it’s predicted that 40,610 will die from this condition. You’ll notice that this represents a fraction of the 12.5% supposed by the earlier statistic. Though it is still a debilitating condition, in some countries it is being successfully contended with.

That said, these numbers also don’t take into account the many women who get breast cancer but go without diagnosis until it is too late, and they’re already terminal.

Surprising Causes

What is known is that there are certain causes for breast cancer which are often ignored by mainstream media outlets for reasons of economy. For example, certain compounds in beauty products are often toxic. Have you ever used deodorant and found yourself breaking out where you applied it? This is because the deodorant blocks your pores. Now according to the ACA

, only a few studies have ever indicated a correlation between antiperspirants/deodorants and breast cancer; but there have been studies that have found a link.

It’s just possible that part of breast cancer’s cause stems from social norms which are unhealthy. Without raising awareness for this reality, the scourge of preventable cancer will not be lessened. But that scourge is lessening, and part of that has to do with the pink ribbon army sweeping our nation.

Get Your Pink Ribbon

You’ve seen the ribbons on license plates, bicycles, instrument cases, bumpers, back windows, bulletin boards and more. The pink ribbon represents breast cancer, and raising awareness for the condition. This coming October, you may feel compelled to do your part to combat breast cancer. Some suggestions involve:

  • Buying And Decorating Visibly With Pink Ribbons
  • Raising Awareness On Social Media
  • Doing Your Own Research To Better Understand The Condition
  • Reaching Out To Friends And Loved Ones Living With This Cancer
  • Helping To Educate Women On Possibly Dangerous Activities

The best way to fight cancer is with proper diet, proper exercise, healthy supplementation, and the avoidance of known unhealthy activities. Don’t spend too much time in the sun, don’t use substances which are known to be toxic, and avoid questionable beauty products. The more aware people are, the better this cancer can be fought.

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Digestive Tract Paralysis

Digest

In the most comprehensive definition, digestive tract paralysis refers to an inconsistent movement of certain parts of the digestive tract which in turn poses challenges to the smooth operation of the gut. When you take in food, peristalsis ensures that the food is pushed down from your throat to other parts of the digestive system so that further action can be taken on the food material. This smooth movement of food through the system lacks in individuals who have digestive tract paralysis. The muscles are not able to facilitate the push the food further down for more action thus slowing down its movement. This condition can manifest in as either gastroparesis which is partial paralysis of the stomach or intestinal pseudo obstruction which is a paralysis of the intestines. The following are symptoms and treatment of digestive tract paralysis.

Symptoms

If you have digestive tract paralysis, you will notice several symptoms including:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Feeling of satiety
  • Heartburn
  • Sweats
  • Lack of appetite

There are also several secondary conditions including malnutrition and dehydration are as a result of vomiting and lack of appetite. Individuals with chronic intestinal pseudo-obstruction will present with constipation, bloating, diarrhea, nausea, and loss of appetite. These symptoms, however, will not show at the same time and will, to a large degree, depend on the part of the small intestine that has been affected.

Treatment

It is important to know what causes brings about the condition in order to find out how to treat it. Both conditions of the digestive tract paralysis have an array of causes associated with each most of which are common. They can either be triggered by a problem in the nervous system of the loss of a muscle function. In some cases, these disorders can be inherited. Likewise, individuals who have undergone treatments for chemotherapy or even illnesses like Parkinson’s disease or multiple sclerosis can easily get the disease.

Most treatments of this ailment focus more on easing the symptoms. Aside from medication, changes in eating patterns are some of the approaches used to combat both conditions of digestive tract paralysis. A good chunk of relief comes when the digestion is sped up by watching your diet. For instance, you should avoid fats and fiber. Fats leads to the production of certain hormones that impedes digestion while fiber generally is slow to be digested. Better still, have small meals with regular small intervals to hasten the digestion process.

Medication on the other hand often depends on specific symptoms. If you present with nausea then you will be given anti-vomiting medication, similarly, when you present with diarrhea, ant kinetic comes in handy. Pro-kinetic drugs are also vita in improving bowel movements as well as reducing nausea and bloating. In more advanced cases, you may need hospitalization where you will be given intravenous nutrition for some time before you can manage the condition on your own. Studies are also still underway to test the viability of certain treatments. There are also a variety of approaches that can work excellently to bring relief. If you suffer from this condition frequently then chances are you have a transient condition which is triggered by stress. Meditative chanting among other activities can help to relieve stress and ultimately digestive tract paralysis.

The above are some of the symptoms and treatments for digestive tract paralysis. It is critical that you understand them to the core so that you may know how to avoid it, use remedies, and when to see a doctor.

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Understanding Gluten Intolerance

basics-of-gluten

Image is from Doctor Doni

Gluten is a protein that is found in wheat, barley, rye, kamut, spelt, and other grains. A gluten intolerance does not necessarily mean you have Celiac disease. There are many people who cannot tolerate gluten that do not test positive for Celiac disease. Tests for Celiac disease include:

  • Biopsy of small intestine
  • Reticulin antibody test
  • Endomysial antibody test
  • Transglutaminase antibody test

Many of the patients who tested negative for Celiac disease do have results that indicate they are gluten intolerant, however, which is a good starting point to receiving proper treatment.

How to Test for Non-Celiac Gluten Intolerance

The Gliadin antibody test is often positive when other tests, such as those above, are negative. While Gliadin antibodies will not result in a diagnosis of Celiac disease, they do indicate that your immune system is reacting against the Gliadin, which is a part of what makes up gluten.

Celiac disease is just another name for a condition called villous atrophy, which causes visible changes in the lining of your digestive tract. While villous atrophy can result from an immune reaction to gluten, it is only one possible result. In a nutshell, Celiac disease is just one type of gluten intolerance.

Other Tests for Gluten Intolerance

IgE and IgG are antibody tests for allergic reactions that can include numerous foods and food components. In this case, these tests are run to determine gluten intolerance. Most non-Celiac gluten sensitivity patients have elevated antibodies to:

  • Gluten
  • Gliadin
  • Barley
  • Rye
  • Wheat
  • Spelt

These patients usually feel much better after eliminating the foods they test positive for. In addition to several GI symptoms such as IBS, constipation, diarrhea, heartburn, bloating, or gas, patients with gluten sensitivity can also experience:

  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Eczema or other skin rashes
  • Chronic sinusitis
  • Arthritis

What if You Already Know You Can’t Gluten?

According to Dr. Stephen Wangen, co-founder and Medical Director of the IBS Treatment Centers in Seattle, WA, and Los Angeles, CA, there are many patients who determine, through trial and error, that they can’t eat gluten. And if you have already found this to be true and have stopped eating gluten, it is highly likely that any tests run will come back negative.

Treatment

The treatment plan for any type of gluten intolerance is as simple as it can be complicated: avoid gluten. It is complicated, because gluten hides in many foods that you would not think contained any gluten. One example of this is corn syrup. Corn syrup contains gluten and it is a very common ingredient in so many of our processed foods today. It is even most sodas, condiments, sauces, and ice creams.

Avoiding the list of grains above is the easy part, however, in order to maintain a gluten-free diet, you must read labels on every product you buy. It sounds daunting, but after a few trips to the store, you will have a good working knowledge of what you can and cannot digest. Then you will just have to read the labels on any food product you have never eaten before.

More and more grocery stores are now carrying a gluten-free line of foods and many of them are quite tasty. Again, you will go through a process of trial and error trying these new foods and determining whether you like them or not, but it is definitely worth it.

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How Does Blood Pressure Medicine Relate to Health

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Image from www.foxnews.com

High blood pressure is a condition that, unfortunately, is a condition that many people suffer from. High blood pressure can result in serious health and heart issues. If left untreated, high blood pressure can result in death. When the doctor diagnoses you with high blood pressure, they will often prescribe a medication. There are several types of medications, and each one will have a different effect on your health.

Diuretics

Diuretics are a popular type of high blood pressure medication. They are designed to flush the extra water and sodium from your body. While diuretics can treat your high blood pressure, they can have adverse effects on your health, including:

  • Frequent urination: When the water is removed from your body, it has to go somewhere.
  • Erectile dysfunction: Some men have trouble getting erections when on these medications.
  • Weakness in the legs and cramps: Diuretics can decrease the levels of potassium in the body, which can result in leg problems. This lack of potassium can also result in fatigue.
  • Sudden, intense foot pain: While this is rare, diuretics can result in gout.

Beta-Blockers

Beta-blockers are commonly prescribed for high blood pressure. They make your heart beat less forcefully and more slowly. These medications are quite effective in treating high blood pressure, but they can cause certain side effects.

  • Asthma symptoms: Coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath.
  • Unusually cold hands and feet.
  • Depression
  • Erection problems in men
  • Insomnia and other sleep problems

Angiotensin Converting Enzyme (ACE) Inhibitor

This type of medication will prevent the formation of a hormone that causes your blood vessels to narrow, helping the vessels to relax. Many high blood pressure patients have had great success with this medication, however, there are some side effects.

  • A dry hacking cough that doesn’t go away. Patients who suffer from this side effect are often required to try another medication.
  • Skin rashes
  • Loss of taste

Angiotensin II Receptor Blockers (ARBs)

this is another medication that causes the blood vessels to narrow. It also allows your the blood vessels to stay open by shielding the blood vessels from dangerous hormones. Many patients are prescribed this medication and it has just one side effect.

  • Dizziness: This often occurs when you get up quickly. It is also often very mild.

Calcium Channel Blockers (CCBs)

This is a commonly used high blood pressure medication, which keeps the calcium from entering the blood vessel cells and the heart muscle. This allows the blood vessels to relax. There are a few side effects associated with this medication, including:

  • An irregular or rapid heartbeat (palpitations)
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Swollen ankles
  • Constipation

Alpha-Blockers

Alpha-blockers allow the blood to flow through the heart more easily by reducing nerve impulses to the blood vessels. Some of the side effects associated with this medication includes:

  • Fast heart rate
  • Dizziness and lightheartedness, especially when standing up quickly or waking up in the morning. This is due to a reduced blood pressure.

Alpha-2 Receptor Agonist

This medication is not prescribed as often as some of the other high blood pressure medications. It works by decreasing activity in the part of the nervous system that produces adrenaline. The side effects are very mild and rare. They include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness

There are many people who avoid taking high blood pressure medication in order to avoid dealing with the side effects. What they may not know is that the dangers of high blood pressure are much worse than the side effects that they may or may not experience. The medication that your doctor prescribes would depend on your particualr condition and any underlying health issues that you may have.

 

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