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Signs of Diabetes

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Diabetes is divided into two main categories, type 1 and type 2. They are both chronic diseases that develop when the body is unable to regulate blood sugar, also known as glucose. Individuals diagnosed with diabetes lack the ability to use or store sugar from their food, which is vital for producing energy to live. Insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas, delivers glucose into the bloodstream, resulting in sugar distribution to the muscles, liver, fat, and other cells in the body. Insulin levels control sugar levels by indicating to the organs when the body needs fuel, and when insulin needs to be stored in the liver for future energy use. Almost all cells in the body require the presence of insulin to procure glucose from the blood. Diabetes results in protracted high blood sugar levels, which heighten the risk of complications. Following are recognizable signs of diabetes displayed by the two types of diabetes.

Type 1 Diabetes

Individuals who have type 1 diabetes are unable to produce insulin. The cause for this type of diabetes is still under investigation, however researcher do know that in type 1 diabetic individuals, the body’s immune system is flawed, mistaking healthy body cells for foreign invaders. In responding to the “attack”, the immune system eradicates the beta cells in the pancreas that are responsible for producing insulin. The complete lack of insulin production causes diabetic symptoms to rapidly develop, in just a matter of weeks. Symptoms are typically severe and include:

  • Extreme thirst and increased urination
  • Intense hunger, even after eating
  • Headache
  • Unexplained, rapid weight loss
  • Sores or cuts that don’t heal appropriately
  • Weakness and exhaustion
  • Visible emotional or behavior changes
  • Distorted vision
  • Fruity-smelling breath

Type 1 diabetes is typically diagnosed in childhood, or adolescence, and is often referred to as juvenile diabetes. Insulin must be systematically injected, or pumped, into the body to maintain healthy blood sugar levels. Type 1 diabetes cannot yet be prevented, and there is no cure. Healthy living requires consistent blood sugar testing.

Type 2 Diabetes

The signs of type 2 diabetes often develop very gradually, and may not be apparent to the individual. According to the Mayo Clinic, approximately one-third of all people that have this type of diabetes, do not know they have it. With this type of diabetes, insulin is being produced by the individual, but their body is not able to effectively use the insulin produced. Type 1 and 2 diabetes, share many warning signs, but individuals with type 2 diabetes may experience additional symptoms, because of the delay of onset. For example, pre-diabetes, a condition that occurs when glucose levels are higher than normal, may not produce any systems, and can often, only be determined by a blood test. If the pre-diabetes is not addressed by lifestyle or diet changes, it typically develops into type 2 diabetes within a matter of five years, or less. Along with the symptoms listed above for type 1 diabetes, type 2 sufferers may experience:

  • Red, swollen, tender gums
  • Numbness or tingling in the hands and feet
  • Dry, itchy skin, particularly around the groin or vaginal area
  • Recent weight increase
  • Numerous yeast infections
  • Darkened skin changes of the groin, armpit, and neck regions
  • Impotency,
  • Decreased vision

A glycated hemoglobin (A1C) test, is the primary method of establishing a diagnosis of diabetes, as it analyzes blood sugar levels for the prior two to three-month period. See your physician if you are experiencing any of the signs of diabetes, or have any concerns.

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Benefits of Washing Your Hands

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Your hands are the best tools for a variety of purposes. You use them for making delicious meals, completing work, caring for yourself, holding hands with loved ones, walking those furry four-legged friends and a countless amount of other tasks. Making sure you care for them by washing them regularly can ensure you stay healthy and they stay functioning.

How can washing your hands provide benefits to your health?

Hands are the common carriers for all kinds of bacteria that can cause many kinds of illnesses. Some of the most common ones are the cold and flu. These limbs also have the potential to transport bacteria that could cause eye, respiratory, and skin infections. Certain types of skin infections are fatal such as MRSA commonly known as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. Just like skin infections could be fatal, some eye infections could leave you blind, and particularly respiratory infections even with treatment could leave you needing medications for the rest of your life. Simply washing your hands with soap and water after using the restrooms, coming in contact with an ill individual, or touching anything in general that could potentially carry any kind of bacteria can not only protect your health but save your life.

When are the best times to wash your hands?

  • After coughing and sneezing
  • Before touching a newborn or elderly
  • Once you are done using the restroom
  • Before cooking or baking in the kitchen
  • After taking the trash out or picking up garbage
  • After touching your pets and cleaning up their messes
  • Once you are done grocery shopping carts are full of germs
  • After visiting a hospital or nursing home
  • Anytime you use your hands for cleaning the house
  • Whenever you feel or know your hands need a good washing

What soaps should you use to cleanse your hands?

Some people say that washing your hands with antibacterial soap is the best kind to use because it kills all germs, but others say that particular kind of soap will prevent your immune system from becoming stronger. Bottom line when it comes to washing your hands is that any good old fashion soap will get your hands clean and safe to use. The part that people don’t usually keep in mind is the amount of time you wash your hands is what determines how clean and safe your hands are. Quickly rinse your hands with tons of warm water and soap doesn’t always do the trick for killing dangerous bacteria. In order to achieve clean and almost completely germ-free hands, you must wash them for at least 20 seconds or more. You must also focus on lathering in between the fingers and scrubbing underneath the nails since these are areas that dangerous germs could potentially hangout.

What are some end thoughts to keep in mind?

If you skip on washing your hands often because you are afraid they will dry out go ahead and use a moisturizing hand soap, or apply a moisturizing hand cream after washing them. This will ensure your hands stay soft and healthy to use for whatever purposes you need to use them for on a daily basis. It will also ensure anyone you touch stays healthy too, which they will gladly thank you for.

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Signs of Drug Addiction

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When a person is addicted to drugs, the last thing that they want is for certain friends and family members to know about it. Addicts look at anyone who is not doing drugs with them as someone who will judge them. They will also look at these people as a person who will try to make them stop, which they likely won’t want to. If you have a loved one who you think may be an addict, it is a good idea to know the signs of drug abuse. The sooner you know, the sooner you can help.

Physical Changes

When a person is addicted to drugs, they will exhibit a variety of physical symptoms. If you start to notice these symptoms, it is not uncommon for an addict to explain them away and create lies and reasons for these changes. There are some physical side effects that go along with certain drugs. Others can be exhibited regardless of what drug the addict is using. The changes to look for include:

  • Glazed or bloodshot eyes
  • Dilated or constricted pupils (this will only occur when the person is high)
  • Loss of appetite
  • A noticeable weight loss in a very short period of time.
  • Certain drugs will cause rashes and sores on the person’s face.
  • Bruises on the arms, mostly over the veins. These will appear if the person is using IV drugs.
  • Infections inside and around the mouth.
  • Burn marks on the lips from smoking out of a pipe.
  • Stuffy, red, chapped nostrils
  • Constant sniffing
  • Eyes rolling in the back of the head
  • Passing out while sitting down or standing up
  • The inability to walk in a straight line

Behavioral Changes

The more a person becomes dependent on the drugs, the more their behavior and habits will change. The drugs can change the way the brain focuses and forms coherent thoughts. Different drugs can affect people in different and dangerous ways. Regardless of the drug, the changes in an addict’s behavior are often the same. Some of the behavioral changes include:

  • Irritability even when there is nothing wrong
  • Becoming aggressive for no reason
  • Changes in personality and attitude
  • Loss of interest in things that they used to love doing
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • They start hanging around with new friends
  • The stop hanging around with old friends
  • Inability to hold a job
  • Financial problems
  • Being involved in criminal activity and their very first arrest
  • Staying up all night and sleeping all day
  • Excessive talking or talking really fast
  • Speaking nonsense
  • The inability to sit still
  • Seeing or hearing things that are not there (hallucinations)
  • Paranoia

What To Do if You Suspect That a Loved One is Addicted to Drugs

If you notice that a family member or loved one is exhibiting many of the symptoms listed above, chances are they have a drug problem. The sooner you confront them with your suspicions, the sooner you can try to help. It is not uncommon for an addict to lie and deny, however, the only way to save their life is to push them to get the help that they need.

If you are unable to get through to them, you may need to seek professional help. There are several agencies who have experience working with addicts, that can help you get through to your loved one. In some cases an intervention or even help from the police and the courts is necessary to get an addict to agree to get help with thei addiction. If you can get an addict to agree to go to treatment, you are essentially saving their life.

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What To Know About Hospice And Palliative Care

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Never Apologize

There is nothing harder to do than to care for a loved one towards the end of their life. If you believe that you cannot care for an ill loved one, never feel guilty, because not everyone is cut out to be a caregiver.

Every city has a hospice house or hospice staff through your local hospital, available to give you and your loved one support and care. Hospice Houses are becoming more prevalent than in previous years.

When you enter into hospice care, doctors have told you and your family that there is nothing more that your doctor can do to make your health improve, and death for that person is a possible reality.

Doctors can re-certify your terminal condition at the end of six months. This re-certification by the doctors assures your insurance is going to pay for hospice services. In some instances, you may surprise your doctors and recover.

Hospice in a Nutshell

Hospice care is a specialized care for patients who have six to eight months to live. Hospice staff is trained to supply you and your family with physical, emotional, social, and spiritual needs when death is imminent.

The primary basis for hospice care is comfort and to alleviate pain issues. It is always the goal of hospice caregivers to enhance your quality of life as much as possible.

If you are caring for a loved one at home, hospice staff comes daily to help you meet personal hygiene needs and help with any emotional challenges. They are available 24/7 for questions and concerns.

Hospice services are paid for by insurance if the doctor certifies your condition as terminal and needing hospice care.

An IV can be ordered to give pain medications, but usually, these medicines are given via under the tongue, in patch form, or rectally. Your doctor may order medications to alleviate breathing problems, and nausea in addition to oxygen administered as a comfort measure.

What is Palliative Care?

The focus of palliative care is the comfort of the patient as is the same in hospice care.

While hospice care starts when all treatments stop, and you are deemed terminal by the doctor, palliative care begins at the time the doctor gives you the diagnosis and starts your treatment plan of care.

Medical staff provides you with palliative care to give you relief from the symptoms of your diagnosis. The goal of palliative care is to help you and your family through the difficult time.

Palliative care works to improve your quality of life if you have a life-limiting illness involving not just your physical body, but emotional and mental status. When medical staff reduces your pain, this in itself increases your quality of life. To assure quality palliative care, the doctor must identify your diagnosis early and administer the proper pain treatments.

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Safe Gifts to Give Your Child This Month

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Safe Gifts to Give Your Child This Month

This month is the best and trickiest month for parents. The festive season is around the corner, and the desires to get your children a gift could be overwhelming to a point you forget safety measures that comes with them. The excitement that comes with gifts, toys, and presents makes many shoppers overlook the safety associated with these items. Therefore, before purchasing a gift, it is paramount to consider your child’s age, their safety, and what impact the gift will have on them. Furthermore, shoppers should find out if the gifts they purchase will suit abilities and skills of the individual child.

Types of safe gifts for your child

  • Art. This could be the best gift this month for your kid. Does your Peter or Jane love nature? Get an art along with some Christmas writings which depict what they love. Your child will be thankful for it. It is safe, appealing and will be there for remembrance for long.
  • Toys. As long as they bear the label of safety standards- “ATSM”, they are in line with your child’s preference, and they are safe, it is an excellent gift you can get. In this category, you will have lots of them from dolls, toy cars, remote control drones and turbo racer among others.
  • Accessories. Being a technological world, today’s children have become fascinated with accessories. Gifts like Immersion plus-virtual, walkie-talkies, smartphone projector or a hair hockey that will make your child’s room lively. These accessories will go well with every child depending on age and are very safe since most of them are remote controlled.
  • Sporty gifts. Got a kid who cannot get out of the field or court? Be happy! You can boost his novice talents and skills this month. There are many sporty gifts that can fascinate your child and these range from video games to their favorite team jersey. Most of sporty materials are safe. You can decide to guide them on using somewhere they may not have clues.

Factors to consider before purchasing your child a gift

Choosing an appropriate gift for your child is an important step to make their December. To decide on the best, splendid and safe gifts this month, there are critical factors to consider. These include;

  • The child’s interest. Depending on your child’s age level, you need to consider what your child is interested at the moment. For instance, gifts for preschool children are different from toddlers’. Their preferences and abilities vary, their interests should be prioritized.
  • Impact of the gift. You should ensure that the gift will support your child. If the gift is a toy, it should not only encourage small and large motors but also self-awareness and social skills.
  • Inspection. Keenly inspect the gift to ensure the gift will not harm your child. Should not have very sharp ages (for toys) or should not include parts that break, shoot or fly off. Check your child’s gift for age, development appropriateness or skill level.
  • Protection. Ensure the gift is accompanied by safety gears especially for sport-related gifts.
  • Safety standards. Check for safety label standards before purchasing that gift. The labels should assure you that the gift or material in question has passed the safety inspection.

When choosing the best and safest gift for your child, always ensure it is simple, convenient, and easy to assemble and they need not be expensive.

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National Influenza Vaccination Week

Seasonal flu shots given in Boston Thursday, Oct. 1, 2009. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

Different occasions present the opportunity to learn and practice new things. As the holiday season starts, you have the opportunity to protect yourself from seasonal flu. That is where the National Influenza Vaccination Week (NIVW) comes in. Having been formed in 2015 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the NIVW runs in early December annually.

For 2017, the NIVW will run from December 3 to 9th. As you prepare to take part in the vaccination, this is a good time to learn a thing about influenza.

What Is Influenza

The seasonal flu is caused by different influenza viruses. Being a respiratory illness, flu affects your nose, throat, and can spread to the lungs. The viruses can cause severe illness or lead to death hence the reason for getting a flu vaccine yearly.

Influenza is contagious and spreads mainly through droplets from sneezes and coughs from infected people. You will get the flu if the droplets land in your nose or mouth. In few instances, seasonal flu can spread when a person touches a surface that has the influenza viruses and proceeds to touch the nose, eyes, or mouth.

As you might have already noted, the certain way to avoid getting flu is through getting the vaccine. Being influenza free also means minimizing its spread to the people around you. However, if you are yet to get the vaccine, you can minimize the chances of spreading the flu by always closing your mouth when coughing and sneezing. This measure is important as you might be infected without knowing since the symptoms manifest after several days.

Symptoms and Signs You Have Influenza

As mentioned, you might have already caught the flu virus and spreading it without knowing. In that case, you need to remain keen and look out for signs that show you might have flu, especially during the holiday season.

Here are the common symptoms of flu in which case they start suddenly.

  • Sore throat
  • Cough
  • Feeling feverish
  • Headaches
  • Stuffy or a runny nose
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Diarrhea and vomiting in children

Why Vaccination Is Important

Seek immediate medical attention if you have any of the symptoms listed. Delayed medication or vaccination can open the window for flu complications especially in people at high risk. People at high risk of flu complication include:

  • Pregnant women
  • People aged over 65
  • Individuals with chronic health conditions like heart or lung disease, asthma, and diabetes

The serious complications associated with flu include sinus infections, ear infections, bacterial pneumonia, and the worsening of chronic medical conditions like asthma and congestive heart failure.

An injection into the deltoid muscle, especially on the right hand, is how the flu vaccine is administered. Always have a qualified medical practitioner perform the vaccination to ensure the injection is in the right muscle. The vaccine in the injection syringe trigger antibodies to develop in the body. Afterward, the antibodies will prevent infection from flu viruses.

With the NIVW around the corner, it is a great opportunity to get the vaccine shot. Getting vaccinated even after falling sick with influenza is beneficial as the vaccine can still protect you from other influenza viruses.

The CDC’s agenda in creating the National Influenza Vaccination Week was to inform people the importance of flu vaccination through the holiday season. Your contribution to the same campaign can be in tagging your family members and friends when going to get the vaccine shot. In doing so, you would have minimized the spread of flu among the people around you hence get the chance to enjoy your holiday in peace.

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Signs to look for with Alzheimer’s

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Alzheimer’s is a very serious brain disease that can cause a slow decline in the patient’s cognitive skills. Over time, the patient’s memory, reasoning skills, and thinking can begin to decline. As the disease progresses, the disease can get so severe that the patient doesn’t recognize their family members and they don’t even know who they are. If you are caring for a loved one and you are concerned that they may be in early stages of the disease, you should know what symptoms to look for. It is important to understand that every person is different. The combination of symptoms can differ from person to person.

#1 Memory Loss That Effects Their Daily Life

Forgetfulness is a normal sign of aging, however, if your loved one becomes especially forgetful, it could be cause for concern. There are certain memory issues that a person with Alzheimer’s will have that aren’t a normal part of aging.

  • Forgetting recently learned information
  • Forgetting important dates or events
  • Relying on memory aids often such as notes or electronic devices
  • Asking to have the same information repeated again and again
  • Forgetting names or important dates but then remembering them later

#2 Problems With Planning and Problem Solving

It is not uncommon for a person with Alzheimer’s to suddenly have trouble making plans. Something simple like following a recipe or understanding the directions to a board game can become difficult. People with Alzheimer’s also struggle with numbers, therefore, paying bills and balancing their checkbook can become difficult. Finally, a person with Alzheimer’s may need to concentrate much longer to do things that were once easy for them.

#3 Familiar Tasks Suddenly Become Difficult

When a person is suffering from Alzheimer’s, familiar tasks that they have been doing for years can become difficult. This can include driving to a familiar location, remembering their daily routine, and forgetting how to use their household appliances.

#4 Confusion With Time or Place

People with Alzheimer’s often lose track of time. This doesn’t mean that they forget what day of the week it is. People who suffer from this disease will often forget what year and even what decade it is. Also, they might have trouble understanding if something is happening immediately. Finally, it is not uncommon for a person to go somewhere and forget how they got there.

#5 Difficulty Seeing and Understanding Visual Images

Many people who suffer from Alzheimer’s have problems with their vision. This doesn’t mean needing a pair of reading glasses. Alzheimer’s patients often have trouble judging distance. They also have trouble determining color or contrast. These vision changes can make it dangerous for a person with Alzheimer’s to drive a vehicle.

#6 Sudden Issues With Speaking

As a person gets older, it is not uncommon for them to have trouble finding the right word, however, if they are in the middle of a conversation and suddenly forget what they were talking about, it is a serious cause for concern. People with Alzheimer’s often repeat themselves because they forgot what they just said. Finally, many Alzheimer’s patients will call things by the wrong name because they cannot remember the correct one. For example, if the person says little clock instead of watch, it is cause for concern.

#7 Difficulty Retracing Steps

Alzheimer’s patients will often misplace things. While this is common for many people, Alzheimer’s will make it difficult for them to remember where they just were so that they can retrace their steps.

Some people confuse old age with Alzheimer’s, however, when it is Alzheimer’s, the symptoms are more serious and disruptive to their life.

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Proper Hand Washing

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Proper hand washing is one of the critical steps we undertake to avoid falling ill and spreading germs to others. Many conditions and diseases can be spread through poor hand hygiene, and therefore it’s essential to wash your hands using clean running water and soap. If running water is inaccessible, you can use the available clean water and soap. An alcohol-based hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol can substitute soap and water if the two are unavailable. It’s important to note that regular soaps are as effective as antibacterial soaps. In any case, prolonged use of the antibacterial soaps might lead to the development of bacteria that are resistant to its antimicrobial agents.

How to wash hands properly

Hand washing can be referred to as a DIY (do-it-yourself) vaccine that you can take to stay healthy and keep respiratory and gastrointestinal diseases at bay. Regular hand washing before and after particular activities has proven to be effective to remove and prevent the spread of germs to others. Hand washing is simple and quick and most importantly prevents diseases. Proper hand washing involves five simple steps namely; Wet, Lather, Scrub, Rinse, and Dry.

  • First, you will use clean water running from the tap to wet your hands then apply soap after turning off the tap
  • You will then use soap to lather your hands (front and back, under the nails, in between your fingers) by rubbing them with soap.
  • Scrub your hands carefully for about twenty to thirty seconds.
  • Open the tap to rinse your hands with clean water running from the tap.
  • Use a clean towel to dry your hands or simply air dry them

What to do if Soap and Clean Running Water are Unavailable

Washing your hands with water and soap is the best way to eliminate germs on most occasions. However, if soap and water are not accessible, you can use alcohol-based hand sanitizers as mentioned earlier. Although these sanitizers can quickly reduce the number of germs on your hands, they do not eradicate all types of bacteria and might not eliminate harmful chemicals. Hand sanitizers might not also be as effective when your hands are excessively dirty or greasy.

How to use Hand Sanitizers

Hand sanitizers are usually very simple to use. You should read the label for instructions and the correct amount to use for efficacy. Start by applying the sanitizer to the palm of one hand. You will then rub your hands together and apply it over all surfaces, i.e. in between your fingers and the back of your hands until they’re dry.

When to Wash Your Hands

Physicians recommend that you wash your hands especially after these activities that are mostly associated with dangerous germs that cause diseases;

  • Before eating food
  • After using the toilet
  • After handling pet treats or pet food
  • After cleaning up a child who has used the toilet or changing diapers
  • Before, during, and after preparing food
  • After blowing your nose or sneezing
  • Before and after caring for a sick individual
  • After touching garbage
  • Before and after treating a cut or wound
  • After touching an animal, animal waste, or animal feed

Proper hand washing saves lives. Proper hand hygiene can protect you, your family, and many others whether you’re at work, at home, traveling, or even when you’re already sick. It’s crucial to help your children stay healthy by teaching them to wash their hands properly and frequently. You can show your kids how to do it properly by washing your hands with them. Proper hand washing can simply be put as a win for everyone except for the germs.

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Why You Should Get Your Influenza Vaccine this Month

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Flu season occurs during the fall and winter months, between October and February. It is possible to get the flu during other times of the year, however, it is not as common. The flu season peaks during the winter, particular December, therefore, it is important that you get the flu vaccine now.

Symptoms of the Flu

The symptoms of the flu can keep you bedridden for a week or longer. The symptoms of the flu include:

  • High fever (101 or higher)
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Muscle aches and pains
  • Headaches
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Dry, unproductive cough
  • Loss of appetite

In some cases, the flu can lead to serious complications such as pneumonia, which can land you in the hospital. This is especially true in the elderly and people who have conditions and illness that have compromised their immune systems.

Types of Flu Vaccines

Your best defense against the flu is to be vaccinated every year. If you were vaccinated last year, it won’t protect you from the flu this year. This is because the flu vaccine only lasts for so long. Also, each year, the flu strain is different, therefore, you would need a different type of vaccine. There are a few types of flu vaccines available. The one that you choose would depend on your own situation.

  • Standard dose: The standard dose vaccine is recommended for people between 6 months and 64 years old. It is administered using a needle injection.
  • High dose: The high dose vaccine is recommended for people 65 years of age or older. Also, people with compromised immune systems should go with the high dose vaccine. This vaccine is also administered using a needle.
  • Flu-Mist: The Flu-Mist vaccine is recommended for people between 2 and 49 years old. This vaccine is not given via injection like the others. It is given through a spray that goes up your nose.

Why Do People Avoid Getting the Flu Shot?

There are some people who avoid getting the flu shot because they are worried about the side effects associated with the vaccine. The side effects are often very mild and they include:

  • Redness and soreness at the injection site
  • A fever that lasts for less than 24 hours
  • Slight fatigue

There are some people who avoid getting the flu shot because they are worried that it will give them the flu. There is no active virus in the standard dose or the high dose vaccines, therefore, you cannot get the flu by getting vaccinated. The Flu-Mist does contain a live virus. However, it isn’t enough to cause you to contract the flu.

The flu is a very contagious disease. It can be spread in the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes. It can also be spread if you touch something that a person who has the flu has recently touched. There are ways to prevent catching the flu such as washing your hands frequently and avoiding people you know are sick. The best way to keep from getting the flu is to get the flu vaccination every year at the beginning of flu season.

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What is Gastroparesis?

stomach

When the stomach takes more time than normal to empty the food inside of it, the delayed gastric emptying is known as gastroparesis. Typically, this is caused by weakened or abnormally formed muscles in the stomach. Currently, there is no known cure for this condition, but there are numerous medical procedures and treatments that can help manage the symptoms once a patient receives a proper diagnosis.

The Cause

Gastroparesis can occur at birth or can become more prominent later on in life. While the precise cause of the condition is not known, there is some understanding of what happens to a person suffering from gastroparesis. The nerve signals in the stomach do not function properly because of an underlying nervous system condition or a problem with the vagus nerve, which moves food along the digestive tract. When symptoms appear later on in life, this usually means the vagus nerve became damaged around the time of symptoms presenting themselves. Often times this damage occurs from diabetes or a physical injury. Unfortunately, it is currently unknown how to fix this damage. This is also the case with a variety of stomach issues that can result in gastroparesis such as infection, bulimia, anorexia and medications that target the stomach.

Symptoms

The severity of symptoms that patients with gastroparesis experience vary but typically include:
-Pain in the abdomen
-Nausea or vomiting
-Bloating after meals
-Excess gas
-Heartburn
-Fluctuations in blood sugar non-related to diabetes
-Inability to eat larger quantities of food
-Unexplained weight loss
-Nutritional deficiencies

Diagnosis

Prior to conducting any testing, your doctor will want to know a full medical history. You will also have to explain your symptoms in great detail. Once your doctor suspects a condition like gastroparesis exists, you may be asked to undergo some diagnostic testing. This can include ultrasounds of the abdomen to check on your internal organs and rule out any other issues such as gallbladder disease or pancreatitis. An upper endoscopy can be used to look at the lining of your stomach and see if the emptying process is functioning as normal.

Treatment Options

If you have a confirmed case of gastroparesis, then you may want to consider treatment options to help you lead a normal life. Of course, if you have another medical condition present such as diabetes, you will want to make sure that condition is well managed as well. Considering dietary changes, medication and surgery are all options. Medications are available to help control symptoms you may be experience like bloating and gas. You can also take medications which help stimulate your digestive tract; speeding things up a bit. All medications come with side effects so it is important to speak with a trusted medical professional to weigh the pros and cons of taking a drug.

If medication is not helping your condition and you feel you would like to go a step further, there are surgical options to consider. Surgery involves a stomach bypass surgery to completely bypass the stomach you stomach stapling. These procedures can be very invasive and involve a lot of recovery so if you can make dietary changes and utilize medications to keep you in a stable condition, this may be the way to go. Typically a doctor will refer you to a nutritionist that will help you with things like increasing your cooked vegetable intake, reducing fat content in foods, drinking enough water during and after meals, avoiding foods with excessive fiber and decreasing the size of your meals while increasing the amount of times you eat.

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