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Signs of Alzheimer’s

WorldAlzMonth

Image is from Alzheimer’s Disease International

Alzheimer’s is a brain disease that causes a person’s thinking and reasoning skills to slow down. This disease is much more than becoming forgetful once in a while. For most people the signs start out relatively minor, and over time, the symptoms begin to progress. There are 10 warning signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s. People can experience one or more symptom and everyone will experience the symptoms to different degrees.

Memory Loss To the Extent That It Disrupts Your Daily Life

The most common sign of Alzheimer’s disease is memory loss. The memory loss associated with this disease is more serious than forgetting a dentist appointment or losing your keys once or twice. Most people with this disease forget things that they have recently learned. It is also not uncommon to forget dates and events. Finally, if you are constantly asking people to give you the same information again and again, it could be a sign of Alzheimer’s.

Trouble With Problem Solving and Planning

Many people with Alzheimer’s have trouble following plans. For example, if you are struggling to follow a recipe that you have made in the past, it could be an early sign of Alzheimer’s. Also, if you are typically great keeping track of your bills and suddenly your bills aren’t getting paid, you should see a doctor. Finally, concentration problems are a very common sign.

Difficulty Completing Familiar Tasks

Alzheimer’s makes it difficult for you to complete common tasks that you can usually handle everyday. Driving to familiar locations, handling normal tasks at work, and even remembering the rules to your favorite game can suddenly be difficult. As the disease progresses, you could start to struggle with using the microwave or turning on the television.

Confusion Regarding Time and Place

Alzheimer’s can make it difficult for you to understand time. Many people with Alzheimer’s disease believe that things from their past are occurring in the present. For example, you could be in the present, but think that things from your life 20 years ago are occurring now. It is very easy for a person with Alzheimer’s to get stuck in the past. It can also be easy for you to forget where you are. When you have figured out where you are, you can struggle to remember how you got there.

Trouble Understanding Visual Images

There are some Alzheimer’s patients who struggle with visual images. If you have trouble reading or judging distance, it is a sign of Alzheimer’s. Also, if you struggle to determine colors or contrast, it is also cause for concern.

Trouble Having a Conversation

If you have Alzheimer’s disease, it can be difficult for you to engage in a conversation with other people. In the middle of the conversation, you can forget what you were talking about, resulting in a long pause. Also, it is not uncommon to repeat yourself often. Finally, it can be difficult to find the right word for certain objects. When you cannot think of the right word, you may be tempted to make up a word for the object yourself. For example, if you cannot remember the name for a refrigerator, you might call it a cold box.

Frequently Misplacing Objects

A common sign of Alzheimer’s is misplacing things often. Many people with this disease will put things away in strange places. If you lose something and your loved ones ask you to retrace your steps, you might not be able to remember where you just were.

Alzheimer’s disease can effect your brain in many ways. A mind that was once clear can often become foggy and confused.

 

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Hepatitis Causes and Prevention

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Image is from National Hemophilia Foundation

Hepatitis means inflammation of a person’s liver cells due to an injury to the liver. There are different types of hepatitis you can get that can be determined through a laboratory test. Hepatitis can heal on its own without the need of treatment, but in some cases, treatment is necessary since the virus causes a chronic infection. The main types of hepatitis are A, B, C, D, and E. Hepatitis A, B, and C cause the most liver damage.

Hepatitis can be a symptom of another disease, and it is mainly a symptom of autoimmune diseases. The hepatitis is a disease that is mainly caused by a viral infection. Hepatitis often starts as an acute disease but can progress and become chronic if not detected early. The disease can cause liver cirrhosis, liver failure or liver cancer to the patient.

Causes of Hepatitis

Hepatitis can be caused by toxins from drugs, alcohol or other sources of toxins. It can also be caused by bacteria, viruses, parasites or an autoimmune disease where the body attacks the liver. However, the most known common cause of hepatitis is a virus.

Hepatitis A and E are short term viral infections that are mainly transmitted through water or food that is contaminated by human or animal waste. Other sources of these forms of hepatitis include under cooked food or raw food that has not been handled in a hygienic way.

Hepatitis B can be spread through having direct contact with infected blood. It can also be sexually transmitted or spread to a child during childbirth.

Hepatitis C can be spread through direct contact with infected blood. It is rare for the disease to be spread from mother to child during childbirth or during sexual intercourse.

Hepatitis D can also be spread through infected blood. However, you can only get hepatitis D if you were infected with hepatitis B. Those who are at the greatest risk of getting the infection include drug users since most share needles. Other at-risk groups include those who have unprotected sex with multiple partners.

Prevention

New cases of hepatitis have been significantly reduced through vaccinations. There are vaccines available for prevention of hepatitis A and B. the vaccinations are effective in reducing the number of infections in children as well as adults.

Currently, there is no vaccine for hepatitis D. however; the disease can be prevented once you get immunized for hepatitis B.

Babies who are delivered to mothers suffering from hepatitis B should get the vaccine within 12 hours of birth to prevent them from getting infections.

Other things that can be done to prevent infection include the following:

  • Washing your hands and encouraging other people to do the same with water and soap after changing a diaper, after coming from using the bathroom and before handling any food.
  • Avoid eating raw foods from unknown places and always drink bottled, boiled or chemically treated water.
  • Practice safe sex. Using condoms goes a long way in preventing the spread of the infection.
  • Do not share sharp objects or toothbrushes.
  • When performing first aid, always wear gloves.
  • Disinfect all blood spills and wear gloves when cleaning up any body fluids.
  • Seek regular prenatal care when you are pregnant.

To reduce the risk of getting a non-viral type of hepatitis, avoid taking excessive alcohol. Also, consult a physician before starting a new prescription and on taking supplements. Hepatitis is a disease that needs to be taken seriously as it can cause severe damage to your liver.

 

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Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Months

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Image is from Michigan House Republicans

Many people think that Alzheimer’s is just part getting older. Sometimes, it becomes comical when older people get forgetful. However, this is not funny because Alzheimer’s is not part of getting older. Instead, it’s a disease that needs to be prevented.

As a matter of fact, even those who aren’t that old can suffer from Alzheimer’s disease. Although this is not contagious nor inherited, it can still be epidemic in a way people are not aware how to avoid it. It is a lifestyle-based disease which can also be avoided by changing your lifestyle. There is more to teach about Alzheimer’s, and this is what Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Months strives to achieve every year in June.

Ways to Participate in Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Months

Learn About Alzheimer’s

The most important thing you should do in Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Months is to learn everything about Alzheimer’s disease and other brain disorders. You don’t have to wait for any scheduled seminar to do so. You can learn about it on your own for free by reading blogs, and other articles you can browse on the internet.

However, if there are some awareness seminars to be held in your local area, don’t hesitate to join and ask questions. You can also visit a specialist and ask about all that you need to know about Alzheimer’s disease.

Donate Cash

There are many organizations and associations that are actively helping people with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and brain abnormalities. If you have some extra money, you can donate cash to any such organization. This is because most organizations that help and care for people with brain disorders depend upon the generosity of the public.

Teach Others About Alzheimer’s

If you are already knowledgeable about Alzheimer’s and other brain diseases, you can teach others in your own little way by telling your friends and relatives about the ways to prevent Alzheimer’s. You can also blog about it and share information to your social media following, so that more people will become curious and interested to learn about it, too.

Volunteer for Alzheimer’s Campaign

If you really want to go the extra mile in participating Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Months, you can volunteer for the campaign and work with organizations or associations that propagate information.

Usually, campaign work for awareness month such as this involves organizing a series of seminars and forums. You can volunteer in any related associations or movement and help them organize or schedule such events. Along the way, you can also teach people more about Alzheimer’s.

Go Purple

Purple is the color of Alzheimer’s awareness campaign. You can dress yourself up with anything purple and encourage others to do the same. You may also go purple on your Facebook account by changing your theme to purple color.

In this way, many people will become curious about the color. Not only does it catch attention, but it also leads to explaining what it is all about. Why not go purple together with your family and friends?

There are many things to be learned about Alzheimer’s and other brain diseases, and this can’t be discussed in just one sitting. This is why it should take a month to campaign for it.

 

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Understanding Hepatitis A

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Image is from Travel Vaccination New York

Guidelines for Understanding Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A is a highly contagious viral disease of the liver that can be transmitted up to 14 days before you show any symptoms yourself, as well as during your symptoms. Diagnosing the disease requires a medical blood test. The typical painful and depleting symptoms indicating Hepatitis A include:

Contagion Factors

Hepatitis can be transmitted through contact with foods that have been contaminated with exposure to a diseased person’s urine, fecal matter, and polluted with foods, water, ice and bodily fluids contaminated by a person with Hepatitis A. This can be avoided by being careful to never:

  • Eat fruits, vegetables, and any other foods that became contaminated during handling by infected workers,
  • Eat raw shellfish harvested from contaminated water,
  • Swallow contaminated ice,
  • Using shared hypodermic needles,
  • Unprotected sexual contact

Risk Factors are high for those residing with infected persons, traveling to areas with high concentrations of Hepatitis A and participating in sexual relations with an infected person.

Vaccine Immune Globulin

Getting vaccinated is your best defense against Hepatitis A. If you come in contact with someone with Hepatitis A, you should acquire the medication immune globulin within 2 weeks of exposure. Another defense is practicing good hygiene by washing your hands with soap and water after using the bathroom, before and after handling food or contact with soiled diapers and undergarments.

The vaccine is administered by your physician in doses and is urgently recommended for anyone who may have been or may be soon exposed to the hepatitis virus. This includes all of the At Risk for Contamination persons as above referenced, plus persons with blood clotting difficulties or diagnosed with a long-term liver disease.

While there is no set treatment for this strain of hepatitis, your physician will monitor you to determine that your liver is strengthening and healing. In healthy individuals, symptoms will cease in about sixty days. If the liver does not heal and deteriorates without the availability of treatment, the only recourse for the patient is to become a candidate for liver transplant, a stressful and serious procedure that is not always successful and requires prescribing of drugs affecting the auto- immune system, increasing the patient’s risk for other diseases. Fortunately, you can only become ill with Hepatitis A once if you have a healthy body to begin with, as your healthy body will build its own defense against a future infection.

Child Care Liver Disease Dangers

The disease can spread quickly in children’s day care centers. Workers could spread the virus if they don’t wash their hands thoroughly after changing each diaper. Washing their hands and putting dirty diapers in a covered diaper pail will help prevent Hepatitis A spreading into all age groups attended as well as all staff and personnel.

Children also spread the disease as well as similar ailments due to children not yet being well trained in safe hygiene in their toilet habits. Contamination can spread very fast through a day care center if the hygiene of children and staff is not strictly enforced and watch-dogged.

Resources for Families

There are resource agencies for the education and counseling of patients and their families pertaining to viral hepatitis. They include:

  • American Liver Foundation,
  • Hepatitis Foundation International,
  • Hepatitis Branch of the U. S. Center for Disease Control.

These agencies provide educational materials and group support assistance for family members as well as patients affected by Hepatitis A.

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Symptoms of Stomach Flu

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Image is from NaturalON

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:

  • 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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Understanding Alzheimer's Disease

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Image is from www.bbc.com

It is normal that with age, elderly people tend to forget simple things that otherwise were very routine and common to them. When this starts to occur more frequently or more major things are forgotten (like where a person lives, the names of relatives, etc.) this can be a sign of Alzheimer’s disease. This disease is devastating to those families that are affected as quality of life can quickly decline as more and more nerve cells die in the brain.

The Progression

Often beginning subtly and progressing slowly, Alzheimer’s disease is often blamed as just typical forgetfulness in the later years of life. As time progresses it often becomes obvious that there is a more serious problem going on. Driving a car, cooking, writing, reading and managing a household become far too difficult for a person to take on each day and confusion takes over. Later on when the person is very confused they may become anxious, paranoid or even violent. This is usually an indicator that professional help is needed and sometimes around the clock, full time medical care.

The Challenges

Many people need assistance with very routine and common tasks like bathing, cooking, feeding and using the bathroom. Of course this is in the later stages of Alzheimer’s and for many years early on after diagnosis, a person can live at home with a little bit of extra help from family members or friends.

The Signs And Symptoms

While some forgetfulness may just be signs of old age and are perfectly normal parts of aging, when it comes to Alzheimer’s disease, there are some very common signs that typically present themselves. These include the following:

  • Having trouble remembering things both short term and long term.
  • Asking something repeatedly
  • Inability to complete basic math such as when paying the bills or buying something at the store.
  • Wandering away or getting lost.
  • Putting things away in incorrect or odd places.
  • Losing items.

As the disease progresses these symptoms are still present but the following signs begin to creep up as well:

  • Forgetting how to accomplish basic tasks such as brushing teeth or grooming oneself.
  • Confusion regarding time; such as getting generations mixed up, people, places, etc.
  • Forgetting the name of very common items that occur in every day life like an apple, a house, a car, etc.
  • Leaving home and forgetting how to get back or not remembering where one came from.

Diagnosis

When medical attention is required because the symptoms of potential Alzheimer’s disease are present, there are a number of things that a medical professional will do as part of an exam. This includes:

  • A thorough physical and check up.
  • Review family history, including family members who had Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Question a day in the life of the patient, including what kind of common tasks are easy and which are hard.
  • Speak with a family member who can explain what has been going on.
  • Have the patient answer some questions such as who the current president is, what the date is, simple math problems, counting, etc.
  • The final step is sending the patient for a brain scan that will show the current state of the brain and how it is functioning.

Patients with Alzheimer’s disease have trouble remembering things and are not able to exercise good judgment. While the cause of the disease is not yet understood by scientists and medical professionals, it often affects adults that are over the age of sixty years old. In some situations, mild cognitive impairment is present but not due to Alzheimer’s disease. If you or someone you know and love is showing early signs of Alzheimer’s disease, early intervention and treatment is key.

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