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infection

Symptoms of Whooping Cough

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Due to the years of medical research, many of the ‘old time’ illness, such as the following showed rarity. Medical communities all agreed that there was no longer any need to vaccine children and adults due no incidents of these diseases reported for many years.

Now in recent years these ‘old time’ illnesses are starting to rear their ugly head because vaccinations stopped. Now the CDC is starting to urge you and your children to be vaccinated once again. A DPT vaccination is a combination of Diphtheria, Pertussis, and Tetanus.

Those vaccinated need a revaccination against this with a TDap booster. Whooping Cough is a serious disease and can cause death. Every age group should get a vaccination to protect them against this illness. It is hard to diagnose Whooping Cough because the symptoms are that of a common cold.

  • Whooping Cough
  • Chicken Pox
  • Scarlet Fever
  • Polio

Whooping Cough, Pertussis, or the 100-Day Cough

Whooping Cough is a difficult and challenging illness for any child or adult. This disease takes on a more difficult elimination, and the signs and symptoms become worse in seniors and infants.

If you, as an adult, or a baby is exposed to Pertussis it takes from five to ten days and sometimes up to three weeks to develop symptoms.

If you received a vaccination and then exposed to Whooping Cough, your cough would not last as long. If a baby contracts Pertussis and they are less than one year of age, hospitalization is usually required. Symptoms of this illness include,

  • A whooping type cough
  • Constant coughing fits
  • Instances of vomiting after coughing fits
  • Symptoms mimicking a cold such as, mild cough and low-grade fever
  • Periods of apnea in babies

Early on in the process of this illness symptoms can last for one to a few weeks and may include,

  • A mild and occasional cough
  • Low-grade fever
  • Episodes of apnea in a baby
  • Runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Common cold or bronchitis

If you have a baby with Whooping Cough, the chances of them coughing may not be apparent. Instead, a child displays apnea and cyanosis (bluish tinge to the skin) from lack of oxygen.

As this illness progresses, symptoms become more intense after one to two weeks. These symptoms can include,

  • You have frequent, rapid coughing. Coughing fits come so frequently and violently it takes all the air from your lungs. To breathe you must try to take in a deep breath causing a whooping sound.
  • Vomiting, sometimes
  • Extreme fatigue

There is no quick recovery from Pertussis. Coughing fits last for weeks, usually up to and exceeding 10-weeks.

Vaccinations for Whooping Cough lessen the duration and intensity of a cough and time ill.

Recovery

Recovery is slow and agonizing. A cough starts to decrease and is milder. Symptoms can return over the course of many months, whenever you develop another respiratory infection.

Vaccination against Diphtheria,Tetanus, and Pertussis is essential to good health and lessens the symptoms should you get any of these illnesses.

This vaccination is essential to good health and lessens the symptoms should you get any of these illnesses.Vaccinations are highly safe, but you may experience some mild reactions such as in the following.

  • Mild pain and redness at injection site
  • Mild fever
  • Slight headache
  • Mild fatigue

When you consider full-blown Pertussis and the weeks and months of difficult recovery, these few possible reactions are minimal and you will be glad you protected yourself and children from Whooping Cough.

Pertussis is on the rise and proves a very contagious respiratory infection. Vaccination of adults and children every ten years is essential for a healthy life.

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Information and Treatment Guide: Celiac Disease

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Celiac Disease: Patient Guide and Treatment Information

For people with celiac disease, going gluten-free is a medical necessity rather than a choice. Celiac disease is a serious digestive disorder that is triggered by the protein gluten. When people with celiac disease eat foods that have gluten, such as barley, rye and wheat, their immune system responds by damaging the intestine. Over time, this results in the body being unable to absorb nutrients. Celiac disease leads to a host of problems, including:

  • Malnourishment
  • Osteoporosis
  • Thyroid Disease
  • Cancer

Symptoms of Celiac Disease

Here are some of the symptoms of celiac disease. If you have these symptoms, check with your doctor for an official diagnosis. There are many other diseases that could be causing these symptoms, as well.

  • Chronic diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Swelling in the abdomen or feeling of fullness
  • Foul-smelling, pale stools that float
  • Nausea
  • Gas
  • Stomach pain
  • Vomiting

How is Celiac Disease Diagnosed?

Celiac disease can be diagnosed by your physician. They will ask you for a complete family medical history. Then, you physician may order a physical exam and other tests, such as genetic tests, blood test or a biopsy.

Treatments for Celiac Disease

There is no cure for celiac disease. The only treatment is to remain on a gluten-free diet. Following a gluten-free diet will significantly reduce the symptoms of this disorder and may eventually end the symptoms altogether as the villi of your intestines are healed. Eating any gluten at all will restart the damage to your intestine. Therefore, you will have to remain on a gluten-free diet for the rest of your life.

In some cases, the damage to the intestines is so significant that eating a gluten free diet will not help. If this happens, the only way to get nutrients is intravenously.

Living with Celiac Disease

Living with celiac disease requires a big change in your diet. A true gluten-free diet will limit what you can eat. You cannot eat many of the staples, including:

  • Cereals
  • Pasta
  • Crackers
  • Cakes
  • Cookies
  • Ice cream
  • Instant coffee
  • Ketchup
  • Mustard
  • Yogurt
  • Pizza
  • Processed foods

Read food labels carefully before eating any food to be sure that it does not contain wheat or any other type of gluten. Some patients with celiac disease can eat oats and others cannot. So, if you have celiac disease, ask your doctor whether or not you should consume oats. Just be aware that packaged oats are sometimes contaminated with wheat.

It is also a good idea to pay close attention to over-the-counter capsules, vitamins and tablets as many of these contain wheat starch, which is used as a binding agent in capsules and tablets. Gluten is present in barley so avoid beer. Brandy, whiskey, wine and other alcohols are fine as they do not contain gluten.

It is always a good idea to work with a dietitian, who can provide you with more information about a gluten-free diet.

When eating in restaurants, you will have to ask what the ingredients are in each dish that you order. Eating just a small amount of gluten will cause some people with celiac disease to vomit or have severe diarrhea that lasts for hours.

Even though you have celiac disease, you can still enjoy a healthy diet. You can get pasta and bread that are made from other types of flour, such as rice flour. In addition, many food companies have significantly increased their gluten-free offerings over the last couple of years as gluten-free has become quite popular. In addition, you can enjoy fresh vegetables, fruits, fish and meats, as long as they have not been artificially processed.

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Immunity-Boosting Foods

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When it comes to your immune system, getting proper nutrition cannot be underestimated. The antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals you receive through your food are what keeps your body strong enough to fight off infection. It is important to make the following foods a part of your diet to ensure a good defense against colds and flu.

Beef

Beef will boost your immune system, because:

  • It is a good source of zinc, and zinc aids in the development of white blood cells.
  • These white blood cells improve both immune function and response.
  • It’s protein supports the building of antibodies to fight off infection.

Oily Fish

These types of fish include salmon, mackerel, and tuna. Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, these fish:

  • Help reduce harmful inflammation in the body.
  • Control chronic inflammation that can keep your immune system from working properly.
  • Can prevent cold, flu, and more serious diseases.

They also contain Vitamin D, and as daylight hours decrease during the colder months of the year, your Vitamin D stores are depleted. Vitamin D:

  • Is critical to fighting off colds and flu.
  • Reduces the frequency and duration of colds and flu.

Leafy Greens

Dark, leafy greens such as kale, spinach, arugula, and Swiss chard, all contain significant amounts of Vitamin C which:

  • If consistently taken, they will shorten the duration of a cold or possibly prevent it altogether.
  • If cooked, they will shrink in size so you can consume more of them.
  • Increases white blood cell production.

Carrots and Sweet Potatoes

These vegetables are rich in beta-carotene. Our bodies convert beta-carotene to Vitamin A that:

  • Keeps the mucus membranes that line your nose, throat, and gastrointestinal tract, along with your skin, healthy.
  • By keeping these membranes healthy, it builds your first line of defense against colds and flu.

Chicken Soup

You really should eat chicken soup when you’re sick, and when you’re not. It combines many elements that boost your immune system. Hot chicken soup:

  • Raises the temperature in your airways, which loosens mucus secretions.
  • Releases cysteine, an amino acid that resembles a drug used to treat bronchitis.
  • Contains a high concentration of vegetables and protein that provide many different vitamins.

Garlic

According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, garlic contains allicin, which has antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. Garlic has been shown to:

  • Cause you to experience fewer and less severe colds.
  • Promote balanced gut flora, which rids the body of viruses, bacteria, and toxins.
  • Contain the most antioxidants when eaten raw.

Yogurt

Yogurt contains microorganisms, or “good bacteria”, that keeps you healthy. It:

  • Is a probiotic food that replenishes this good bacteria.
  • Promotes digestive health.
  • Helps prevent stomach ailments.
  • Lowers the risk of upper respiratory infections.

Tea

While a hot cup of tea can soothe a sore throat and break up chest congestion, it also provides other benefits. All tea, green, black, or white contains catechins, which:

  • Are a group of antioxidants that contain flu-fighting properties.
  • Protect you from cancer and heart disease.
  • Increase your metabolism.
  • Boost your overall immunity.

Dark Chocolate

The nutritional benefits of cocoa are often overlooked, because many chocolate treats contain sugar and saturated fat. However, chocolate:

  • Contains polyphenols that are disease-fighting antioxidants.
  • Also contains a high concentration of zinc.
  • Can be consumed daily if you stick to 1/4 ounce servings.

The following foods are also recommended:

  • Oysters
  • Anise Seeds
  • Citrus
  • Milk
  • Mushrooms
  • Skinned Turkey Breast
  • Blueberries
  • Brazil Nuts
  • Sunflower Seeds
  • Oats

With this abundant selection of immunity-boosting foods, we can enjoy better health during cold and flu season and all year around.

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MD AllergyPro Rhinitis Testing

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Rhinitis is One of the Most Frequently Reported Conditions in the United States

  • Symptoms of allergic rhinitis include nasal congestion, rhinorrhea, sneezing, and itching of the nose
  • Allergic rhinitis and nonallergic rhinitis overlap, have overlapping symptoms, making accurate diagnosis a challenge
  • Headache, fatigue, cognitive impairment, and sleep disturbance may occur, leading to significant detriments to quality of life and performance at school and work

Allergic or Nonallergic?

  • The prevalence of allergic rhinitis (in patients with rhinitis symptoms) has been estimated to range from as low as 9% to more than 40%
    • Only 35% of patients taking non-sedating antihistamines were found to be allergic via IgE blood testing
  • Routine history and physical examination alone may not always provide accurate evidence to distinguish specific allergic conditions
    • Diagnostic accuracy rarely exceeds 50%

Appropriate management of rhinitis is an important part of effectively managing comorbidities, including asthma.

 

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Understanding Sickle Cell Disease

Microscopic view of sicke cells causing anemia disease.

There are many kinds of diseases that are associated with blood. Some are contagious diseases. Others are developed within the body because of lifestyle or unhealthy habits. On the other hand, there are also such diseases that are inherited, and one of these diseases is sickle cell.

What Is Sickle Cell Disease?

Sickle cell disease, or SCD, is a red blood cell disorder that is passed on from parents to children. This red blood cell is identified as sickle hemoglobin or hemoglobin S. There are many people with abnormal hemoglobin such as hemoglobin S, but the most common type of SCD is hemoglobin SS or sickle-cell anemia.

Overview

Our body tissues require oxygen, and this is being supplied by our hemoglobin or red blood cells throughout our body. Since hemoglobin has a round shape, it becomes flexible enough to easily flow through blood vessels. It’s soft and elastic, so it can fit freely flow along with other red blood cells.

Meanwhile, sickle cell has a sickle shape similar with that of a leech. Inside the sickle cell, there are strands that form such a shape, and these stands are hard. As a result, sickle cells don’t easily flow through blood vessels. Instead, they stick to the wall and block the blood vessel. Because of this, the supply of oxygen to our tissues are slowed down or even blocked completely.

When your body tissues don’t have enough supply of oxygen, you may suffer from severe pain crises. Such pain comes without early signs or warning, and this usually ends up being sent to the hospital for immediate treatment. In some cases, it can also harm or damage organs such as lungs, heart, brain, kidneys, and liver.

Causes

SCD is only inherited from a parent as it’s not contagious nor developed overtime. Nevertheless, the probability of inheriting sickle cell disease is low because even if your parent has SCD doesn’t necessarily mean you have also inherited it. There are factors that affect the transfer of SCD such as another parent’s condition. This means that both parents should have SCD in order to pass it on to their children. If only one of the parents has SCD, the disease will not be passed down.

Symptoms

There are different symptoms of sickle cell disease, and they vary from one patient to another depending on health condition. Nonetheless, these are some common symptoms you should observe:

  • Eye Problems
  • Slow Growth
  • Infections
  • Swelling
  • Pain

Swelling takes place in hands and feet; however, chronic pain is usually experienced by young adults who have SCD. If not managed properly, it may lead to bone damage and ulcers. Meanwhile, vision problems happen when eyes have the lack the supply of blood as a result of sickle cell blockage.

When You Should See a Doctor

Symptoms may be a false sign or just a sign of another different disease. It’s difficult to predict until you see a doctor. Visit a doctor if you see and experience the following signs:

  • Yellow Skin
  • Frequent Fever
  • Abnormal Swelling
  • Episodes of Pain

Treatment

The only cure for SCD is stem-cell transplant or bone marrow transplant. However, it has a lot of challenges to do so. Aside from the fact that it is difficult to find a donor, only those who are16 years old or below are able to undergo such an operation. Moreover, the operation is risky, and it sometimes leads to death. Nevertheless, antibiotics are administered to cure the crises or pain.

 

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Understanding Radiation Therapy

Radiation-Therapy

If there is one illness that many people are afraid of, it’s cancer. This is because cancer is one of the most fatal illnesses that is hard to treat. Moreover, there is really no definite treatment for it yet.

Although chemotherapy is the most popular treatment for cancer, there is still no guaranty it can cure all types of cancer. This is why another type of treatment has been developed to treat cancer. This treatment is called radiation therapy.

Radiation Therapy Explained

Radiation therapy is the use of radiation such as gamma rays and X-rays to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors. This happens with the help of three types of radiation therapy such as:

  • External-Beam Radiation Therapy
  • Internal Radiation Therapy or Brachytherapy
  • Systemic Radiation

External-Beam Radiation Therapy

This type of radiation therapy is done with the use of a radiation machine. The machine is similar to the X-ray machine will release its charged particles through a beam radiation. The radiation will penetrate the cancer-infected area from outside the body.

Internal Radiation

Internal radiation, on the other hand, is the method of directly placing the radioactive materials in the area around cancer cells. The process is a bit complicated, but it can be more potent.

Systemic Radiation

Meanwhile, systemic radiation treatment is the use of radioactive substances that can move through the blood to reach the areas with cancer cells. This works like a regular medicine in the sense that the substances are absorbed into the blood stream. An example of a radioactive substance is radioactive iodine.

How Does Radiation Therapy Work Against Cancer?

Radiation therapy kills cancer cells by damaging cell DNA. This also can happen by creating free radicals within the cells that kills the cancer as well.

Does Radiation Therapy Kill Other Cells?

The drawback in using radiation therapy is that it kills not only the cancer cells but also other cells nearby. This problem causes side effects depending on which cells are damaged as the result of killing cancer cells. Nevertheless, our tissues have a certain level of tolerance against radiation. It’s your doctor who will determine such levels before this treatment is performed.

Why Is Radiation Therapy Needed?

Radiation therapy is a powerful treatment against cancer. It’s so strong that other cells may also be sacrificed in the process. Nonetheless, the result is significant. It’s needed when the purpose is to completely eliminate the cancer. This means radiation therapy is used for curative intent, and it can also be used for palliative care to shrink tumors.

On the other hand, radiation therapy can also be applied along with chemotherapy. It can also be used for curative intent, control treatment, and palliative care at the same time.

How Is Radiation Therapy Scheduled?

Before radiation therapy is scheduled, your oncologist will ask you to undergo several tests such as CT scans, MRI, PET, and ultrasounds. All such tests will determine the location and the position of cancer infections inside the body. Once identified, radiation therapy will be applied in the target areas.

Conclusion

Radiation therapy may be much stronger than chemotherapy. However, there are risks involved as the radiation can also damage other non-cancer cells. Radiation therapy is ideal for curative intent as it requires patients to be much healthier and tolerant against certain radioactive materials and substances.

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What is Oral Cancer?

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Oral cancer is a persistent growth or sore inside the mouth that is caused by an uncontrollable growth of cells that invade and cause damage. It will not go away on its own. It includes the following surrounding tissues:

  • Throat
  • Tonsils
  • Sinuses
  • Hard and Soft Palate
  • Floor of the Mouth
  • Cheeks
  • Tongue
  • Lips

What are the Symptoms?

There are numerous symptoms associated with oral cancer. The most common ones are:

  • Any lesions or swelling on the lips, gums, or other areas inside your mouth
  • Unexplained oral bleeding
  • Unexplained numbness, tenderness, or pain in any areas of the mouth, face or neck
  • Persistent sores in the mouth or the neck and face that do not heal within two weeks.
  • Red, white, or red and white speckled patches in your mouth
  • A feeling that something is caught in the back of your throat
  • Difficulty speaking, chewing, swallowing, or moving the tongue or jaw
  • Chronic sore throat, hoarseness, or change of voice
  • Earache
  • A change in your teeth or the way your dentures fit together
  • Large weight loss

If you notice any of these symptoms, it is important to make an appointment with your dentist or primary care physician as soon as possible.

Who is at Risk?

It is estimated that over 40,000 people are diagnosed with oral cancer each year. Men face twice the risk than women, and men over the age of 50 face the greatest risk of all.

Oral cancer risk factors include:

  • Smoking. Whether you smoke cigarettes, cigars, or a pipe, you are six times more likely to contract oral cancer than nonsmokers.
  • Using smokeless tobacco. Chewing tobacco, snuff, or dip makes you 50 times more likely to develop cancers of the lining of the lips, gums, or cheeks.
  • Drinking a lot of alcohol. You are six times more likely to contract oral cancer than nondrinkers.
  • Family history of cancer. If cancer runs in your family, then you are more genetically predisposed.
  • Too much sun. If you have excessive exposure to the sun, especially when you are young, it increases your odds of contracting oral cancer.
  • If you have been diagnosed with HPV (Human Papillomavirus), some strains put you at a higher risk for contracting oral cancer.

It is important to note, however, that 25% of diagnosed cases of oral cancer do occur in nonsmokers and social drinkers.

What Can You Do to Prevent a Diagnosis?

There are some things you can do to lower your risk, such as:

  • Drink alcohol in moderation, and do not smoke or use any tobacco products.
  • Maintain a well-balanced diet.
  • Limit your exposure to the sun, and when you are out in the sun, apply UV-A/B sun blocking products on your skin and lips.

Early Detection is Key

The earlier you see any symptoms, the greater the chance of successful treatment. You can also take an active role in early detection by doing the following:

  • Do a Self Exam Once per Month – Use a bright light and a mirror to examine all the surfaces of your mouth and lips. Feel for lumps and thoroughly look over every part of your mouth, throat, and gums. Check for enlarged lymph nodes in the neck. If you find anything suspicious, contact your health care professional immediately.
  • See your Dentist Regularly – No matter how thorough, you can’t always see everything, so ask your dentist to conduct an exam at your next visit.

Remember, understanding what oral cancer is and how to detect it increases your chances of successful treatment.

 

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Quick Facts about AIDS

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One of the world’s most significant health problems today is HIV and AIDS. The epidemic is worse in low and middle-income countries, however, it is a problem all over the world. In 2017, there were an estimated 20.9 million people in the United States who were receiving treatment for the HIV virus. Over the last decade or so, progress has been made in preventing AIDS. People who are diagnosed with the HIV virus can start taking anti-retroviral medications that can slow down the progress of the AIDS virus. There are plenty of facts and data about this disease that everyone should know to prevent it and treat it.

#1 The Virus Was Not Always Called AIDS

In the late 70’s and early 80’s, doctors didn’t know what the AIDS virus was or what caused it. It was originally thought that only homosexual men could contract the virus. Because of this, it was called Gay Related Immune Deficiency (GRID). It wasn’t until heterosexual people were coming down with the disease that they realized that everyone was susceptible to the virus.

#2 HIV Infects The Immune System

The disease causes the immune system to deteriorate. This can make it difficult for the body to fend off infections and diseases. AIDS is the most advanced stage of HIV and there are over 20 infections and cancers that can occur during this stage.

#3 It Can Be Transmitted in a Variety of Ways

There are a few ways that this disease can be transmitted.

  • Unprotected sex with an infected partner (oral, anal, or vaginal)
  • Sharing needles with an infected person
  • Transfusion of contaminated blood
  • Between mother and baby during pregnancy
  • Use of contaminated surgical equipment

#4 HIV/AIDS Can Be Prevented

There are several ways that you can keep from contracting the HIV virus. These methods include:

  • Have protected sex by always using a condom. This includes when having oral sex.
  • IV drug users should only use clean, fresh needles and they should never share with others.
  • When getting a tattoo or a piercing, make sure the artist is always using fresh needles.
  • Ensure that any blood products you are given have been tested.

#5 Early Detection Can Save Your Life

It is important that people are tested for the HIV/AIDS virus regularly. If the virus is caught in the early stages, anti-retroviral drugs can be taken to prevent the HIV virus from progressing to AIDS. When the virus progresses this far, the prognosis is much worse. Expectant mothers should also be tested. If they do have HIV, they can take medication to keep from spreading it to their unborn child during delivery.

#6 There Is a Link Between HIV/AIDS and TB

According to a study performed by the World Health Organization (WHO), there is a link between HIV/AIDS and TB. In 2015, 10.4 million people developed TB. Of that number, 1.2 million or 11 percent of them were also HIV positive. That same year, 390,000 of the people who died of TB were also living with HIV. Of these deaths, 75 percent of them were people living in the African region.

The HIV/AIDS epidemic is very serious. Knowledge and education are two of the best defenses that people have against contracting this virus. The more people understand about how the disease is transmitted and the more they know about how to avoid contracting it, the safer they will be. While there is currently no vaccination against the virus, scientists and researchers are working every day to develop one so that one day, HIV/AIDS will no longer exist.

 

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What to Avoid When You Have a Gluten Allergy

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Do you or a family member suffer from frequent or infrequent brain fog, lethargy, painful stomach maladies or a combination of each? The struggle is real. The acknowledgement of gluten allergies in the last decade has recently illuminated the often debilitating symptoms that affect upwards of 18 million people in the United States. One grain of wheat could make the difference between a better quality of life and barely getting by. So what can you do to stop something so seemingly insignificant from negatively impacting the way you live? Discover what to look for and what to avoid in your day-to-day routine to avoid needless pain and suffering.

Show Me The Ingredients

When going gluten-free, consummate foodies may find the “food lifestyle” change a little daunting. It doesn’t have to be. Here are a few ways you can satisfy your taste buds and avoid the dangers gluten allergies can bring to your everyday nutriments.

1. Be vigilant. It’s simple, read the nutritional information! Do this and at the very least you will be aware of the possibility of gluten in your food choices.

2. Don’t just read the ingredients, read by the asterisk. For gluten sensitive stomachs, cross contamination of food items in factories that also process nuts, soy and wheat products can affect the most sensitive of stomachs. Many packaged products have additional information marked by an asterisk at the beginning or end of their ingredient list. If the product is produced in the same building as wheat products, you may want to set the food item back on the shelf.

3. Know your trigger words. Dextrin, barley, bleached flour, bulgur, beer, brown flour, hydrolyzed vegetable protein, various malt products and yeast products in food can cause the troubling and debilitating symptoms of a gluten allergy attack. If you see any of these in the ingredients, it’s best to steer clear and opt for a clearly marked “gluten-free” substitution.

4. Stay positive and look for options. The more options you find to replace gluten-rich products with gluten-free delicious alternatives the less tempted you’ll be to indulge in that little bit of tainted decadence that can bring on fogginess, cramping, nausea or shooting pains.

5. It is best to abstain. If you can’t find the information you need to determine without a doubt that what you put in your mouth is untouched by gluten, don’t bite. If there is a snack you just can’t live without, do the research. With gluten allergy awareness quickly becoming a must-have for food-producing companies in the current market, food companies post gluten information on their websites for quick and easy answers.

6. Expect nothing. What you may think as naturally gluten free, may be contaminated in processing and packaging. Gluten-free products are not guaranteed to remain gluten-free. Some companies may change the ingredients they use at their own discretion. Many companies engage in their own comprehensive food-testing and may have discovered gluten contamination in the process. If you peruse the numerous gluten-free food lists online that are periodically updated online, what was once gluten free could now be off the list.

Gluten isn’t just found in various foods. Shampoos, cosmetic products, medications, vitamins and even stamps and envelopes may all contain a form of gluten. From hot dogs to precooked flour dusted French fries, gluten is an ingredient that continues to find its way into our lives, but it is possible to avoid it. Thankfully as awareness grows, so does the list of food alternatives. Protect yourself by never making assumptions and you’ll be able to exemplify what it means to live a gluten-free life!

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Everything You Need to Know about AIDS

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AIDS is caused by a virus called human immunodeficiency virus, also known as HIV. When a person contracts HIV through unprotected sex with an infected partner or by sharing needles with an infected person, it weakens their ability to fight off infections. Although HIV is the virus that initially attacks the body’s immune system (the T cells in particular), it eventually destroys so many cells that the body is no longer able to protect itself. HIV eventually progresses to AIDS within a short span of only a few years. Fortunately, there are medications available today that can suppress the effect of HIV on the body and help to delay the onset of AIDS.

Symptoms of HIV

Many people who have HIV don’t know it. This is why it is so important that you are tested regularly, especially if you have unprotected sex or share needles. No two people will have the same symptoms if they contract HIV. This is because everyone’s body is different. Within the first month of being infected, some people will suffer symptoms as a result of their body reacting to the disease and their body is working hard to fight it off. The symptoms are often flu-like symptoms and include:

  • Fever
  • Muscle aches
  • Headache
  • Swollen glands
  • Sore throat
  • Upset stomach
  • Body rash

When most people experience these symptoms, they just assume that they have the flu. The symptoms last usually for a week or two and then the person will start to feel better. This does not mean that the virus is gone. It can take years for the symptoms of AIDS to show up. During this time, the virus (HIV) is active and it is attacking all of the new cells created by the body.

Symptoms of AIDS

After 10 years or so, the HIV virus can cause AIDS. This occurs when the body is no longer able to fight off infections that are caused by fungi, bacteria, or viruses. There are certain symptoms that a person will experience that is a sign that their infection has gone from HIV to AIDS.

  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Frequent Diarrhea
  • High Fever
  • A persistent cough
  • Night sweats
  • Skin issues such as rashes and boils
  • Lesions in the mouth
  • Frequent infections
  • Development of serious illnesses and diseases
  • Development of pneumocystis pneumonia

Most people won’t experience all of the symptoms at once. These can also be signs of another disease or illness. Before a person assumes that they have AIDS, they should see a doctor to be tested.

Prognosis

Thanks to medical advances, the prognosis for someone living with HIV is very good. There are anti-retroviral drugs that can be taken that can greatly slow the process of the HIV virus. Most people can live a long, full life. Also, it is possible for women with HIV to have children without passing the disease on to them. This is not something that was possible 20 or 30 years ago. Back then, HIV/AIDS was considered a death sentence. When the virus develops into AIDS, the prognosis is worse. When the HIV virus causes AIDS, the person’s immune system is greatly weakened. This makes it impossible for the body to fight off illnesses and diseases that will eventually be fatal.

Preventing HIV/AIDS

Your best defense against HIV/AIDS is to know how to keep from getting it. There are a few ways to ensure your health.

  • Use a condom every time you have sex.
  • If you are an IV drug user, don’t share needles.
  • If you work in the medical field, follow proper protocol regarding needle disposal and working with infected patients.
  • Get tested every year for the HIV/AIDS virus.

Today, it is possible to live with the HIV virus. If you develop the virus and you catch it early, the medications available can keep you from developing AIDS for decades. Prevention and early diagnosis are the keys to good health.

 

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