Health & Disease Prevention

Mental Health Conditions

Mental Health Conditions

A mental illness is a condition that affects a person’s thinking, feeling or mood. Such conditions may affect someone’s ability to relate to others and function each day. Each person will have different experiences, even people with the same diagnosis.

Recovery, including meaningful roles in social life, school and work, is possible, especially when you start treatment early and play a strong role in your own recovery process.

A mental health condition isn’t the result of one event. Research suggests multiple, linking causes. Genetics, environment and lifestyle influence whether someone develops a mental health condition. A stressful job or home life makes some people more susceptible, as do traumatic life events like being the victim of a crime. Biochemical processes and circuits and basic brain structure may play a role, too.

Recovery and Wellness

One in 5 adults experiences a mental health condition every year. One in 17 lives with a serious mental illness such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. In addition to a person’s directly experiencing a mental illness, family, friends and communities are also affected.

Half of mental health conditions begin by age 14, and 75% of mental health conditions develop by age 24. The normal personality and behavior changes of adolescence may mimic or mask symptoms of a mental health condition. Early engagement and support are crucial to improving outcomes and increasing the promise of recovery. 

Source https://www.nami.org/Learn-More/Mental-Health-Conditions


Oral health: A window to your overall health

Did you know that your oral health offers clues about your overall health — or that problems in your mouth can affect the rest of your body? Protect yourself by learning more about the connection between your oral health and overall health.

What’s the connection between oral health and overall health?

Like many areas of the body, your mouth is teeming with bacteria — most of them harmless. Normally the body’s natural defenses and good oral health care, such as daily brushing and flossing, can keep these bacteria under control. However, without proper oral hygiene, bacteria can reach levels that might lead to oral infections, such as tooth decay and gum disease.

In addition, certain medications — such as decongestants, antihistamines, painkillers, diuretics and antidepressants — can reduce saliva flow. Saliva washes away food and neutralizes acids produced by bacteria in the mouth, helping to protect you from microbial invasion or overgrowth that might lead to disease.

Studies also suggest that oral bacteria and the inflammation associated with periodontitis — a severe form of gum disease — might play a role in some diseases. In addition, certain diseases, such as diabetes and HIV/AIDS, can lower the body’s resistance to infection, making oral health problems more severe.

What conditions may be linked to oral health?

Your oral health might contribute to various diseases and conditions, including:

  • Endocarditis.Endocarditis is an infection of the inner lining of your heart (endocardium). Endocarditis typically occurs when bacteria or other germs from another part of your body, such as your mouth, spread through your bloodstream and attach to damaged areas in your heart.
  • Cardiovascular disease.Some research suggests that heart disease, clogged arteries and stroke might be linked to the inflammation and infections that oral bacteria can cause.
  • Pregnancy and birth.Periodontitis has been linked to premature birth and low birth weight.

 

Certain conditions also might affect your oral health, including:

  • Diabetes.Diabetes reduces the body’s resistance to infection — putting the gums at risk. Gum disease appears to be more frequent and severe among people who have diabetes. Research shows that people who have gum disease have a harder time controlling their blood sugar levels, and that regular periodontal care can improve diabetes control.
  • HIV/AIDS.Oral problems, such as painful mucosal lesions, are common in people who have HIV/AIDS.
  • Osteoporosis.Osteoporosis — which causes bones to become weak and brittle — might be linked with periodontal bone loss and tooth loss. Drugs used to treat osteoporosis carry a small risk of damage to the bones of the jaw.
  • Alzheimer’s disease.Worsening oral health is seen as Alzheimer’s disease progresses.

Other conditions that might be linked to oral health include eating disorders, rheumatoid arthritis, head and neck cancers, and Sjogren’s syndrome — an immune system disorder that causes dry mouth.

Because of these potential links, tell your dentist if you’re taking any medications or have had any changes in your overall health — especially if you’ve had any recent illnesses or you have a chronic condition, such as diabetes.

Source http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/dental/art-20047475


Oral health: Brush up on dental care basics

Your smile depends on simple dental care habits, such as brushing and flossing. But are you using the right techniques? Follow these steps to protect your oral health.

Brushing for oral health

Oral health begins with clean teeth. Keeping the area where your teeth meet your gums clean can prevent gum disease, while keeping your tooth surfaces clean can help you stave off cavities. Consider these brushing basics from the American Dental Association:

  • Brush your teeth twice a day. When you brush, don’t rush. Take time to do a thorough job.
  • Use the proper equipment. Use a fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush that fits your mouth comfortably. Consider using an electric or battery-operated toothbrush, which can reduce plaque and a mild form of gum disease (gingivitis) more than does manual brushing. These devices are also helpful if you have arthritis or other problems that make it difficult to brush effectively.
  • Practice good technique. Hold your toothbrush at a slight angle — aiming the bristles toward the area where your tooth meets your gum. Gently brush with short back-and-forth motions. Remember to brush the outside, inside and chewing surfaces of your teeth, as well as your tongue.
  • Keep your equipment clean. Always rinse your toothbrush with water after brushing. Store your toothbrush in an upright position and allow it to air-dry until using it again. Try to keep it separate from other toothbrushes in the same holder to prevent cross-contamination. Don’t routinely cover toothbrushes or store them in closed containers, which can encourage the growth of bacteria, mold and yeast.
  • Know when to replace your toothbrush. Invest in a new toothbrush or a replacement head for your electric or battery-operated toothbrush every three to four months — or sooner if the bristles become irregular or frayed.

 

Flossing for oral health

You can’t reach the tight spaces between your teeth and under the gumline with a toothbrush. That’s why daily flossing is important. When you floss:

  • Don’t skimp. Break off about 18 inches (46 centimeters) of dental floss. Wind most of the floss around the middle finger on one hand, and the rest around the middle finger on the other hand. Grip the floss tightly between your thumbs and forefingers.
  • Be gentle. Guide the floss between your teeth using a rubbing motion. Don’t snap the floss into your gums. When the floss reaches your gumline, curve it against one tooth.
  • Take it one tooth at a time. Slide the floss into the space between your gum and tooth. Use the floss to gently rub the side of the tooth in an up-and-down motion. Unwind fresh floss as you progress to the rest of your teeth.
  • Keep it up. If you find it hard to handle floss, use an interdental cleaner — such as a dental pick, pre-threaded flosser, tiny brushes that reach between teeth, a water flosser or wooden or silicone plaque remover.

 

As long as you do a thorough job, it doesn’t matter if you brush or floss first.

Source http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/dental/art-20045536?pg=1


Eye Injury Facts and Myths

Eye Injury Facts and Myths

  • Men are more likely to sustain an eye injury than women.
  • Most people believe that eye injuries are most common on the job — especially in the course of work at factories and construction sites. But, in fact, nearly half (44.7 percent) of all eye injuries occurred in the home, as reported during the fifth-annual Eye Injury Snapshot (conducted by the American Academy of Ophthalmology and the American Society of Ocular Trauma).
  • More than 40 percent of eye injuries reported in the Eye Injury Snapshot were caused by projects and activities such as home repairs, yard work, cleaning and cooking. More than a third (34.2 percent) of injuries in the home occurred in living areas such as the kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, living or family room.
  • More than 40 percent of eye injuries every year are related to sports or recreational activities.
  • Eyes can be damaged by sun exposure, not just chemicals, dust or objects.
  • Among all eye injuries reported in the Eye Injury Snapshot, more than 78 percent of people were not wearing eyewear at the time of injury. Of those reported to be wearing eyewear of some sort at the time of injury (including glasses or contact lenses), only 5.3 percent were wearing safety or sports glasses.

Source https://www.aao.org/eye-health/diseases/preventing-injuries


What Can I Do to Reduce My Risk of Breast Cancer?

Many factors over the course of a lifetime can influence your breast cancer risk. You can’t change some factors, such as getting older or your family history, but you can help lower your risk of breast cancer by taking care of your health in the following ways—

·         Keep a healthy weight.

·         Exercise regularly (at least four hours a week).

·         Research shows that lack of nighttime sleep can be a risk factor.

·         Don’t drink alcohol, or limit alcoholic drinks to no more than one per day.

·         Avoid exposure to chemicals that can cause cancer (carcinogens)and chemicals that interfere with the normal function of the body.

·         Limit exposure to radiation from medical imaging tests like X-rays, CT scans, and PET scans if not medically necessary.

·         If you are taking, or have been told to take, hormone replacement therapy or oral contraceptives(birth control pills), ask your doctor about the risks and find out if it is right for you.

·         Breastfeed any children you may have, if possible.

If you have a family history of breast cancer or inherited changes in your BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, you may be at high risk for getting breast cancer. Talk to your doctor about more ways to lower your risk.

Staying healthy throughout your life will lower your risk of developing cancer, and improve your chances of surviving cancer if it occurs.

Source https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/breast/basic_info/prevention.htm


What Can I Do to Reduce My Risk of Breast Cancer?

Many factors over the course of a lifetime can influence your breast cancer risk. You can’t change some factors, such as getting older or your family history, but you can help lower your risk of breast cancer by taking care of your health in the following ways—

·         Keep a healthy weight.

·         Exercise regularly (at least four hours a week).

·         Research shows that lack of nighttime sleep can be a risk factor.

·         Don’t drink alcohol, or limit alcoholic drinks to no more than one per day.

·         Avoid exposure to chemicals that can cause cancer (carcinogens)and chemicals that interfere with the normal function of the body.

·         Limit exposure to radiation from medical imaging tests like X-rays, CT scans, and PET scans if not medically necessary.

·         If you are taking, or have been told to take, hormone replacement therapy or oral contraceptives(birth control pills), ask your doctor about the risks and find out if it is right for you.

·         Breastfeed any children you may have, if possible.

If you have a family history of breast cancer or inherited changes in your BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, you may be at high risk for getting breast cancer. Talk to your doctor about more ways to lower your risk.

Staying healthy throughout your life will lower your risk of developing cancer, and improve your chances of surviving cancer if it occurs.

Source https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/breast/basic_info/prevention.htm




Over 50 and Want to Boost Brain Health? You Should Exercise, Study Says:

You might want to gift your parent or grandparent a sweatband soon, because exercise could confer significant benefits on the aging brain, according to a new study.

Specifically, people ages 50 and older experienced boosts to brain health following exercise sessions lasting 45 minutes to an hour at a minimum of moderate intensity. The study was recently published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

Researchers analyzed 39 studies published through 2016 in an attempt to look at the effects of exercise on brain health in this age group. They examined aerobic exercise, resistance training (i.e. weights) and a combination of the two. They also studied yoga and tai chi.

Aerobic exercise led to greater improvements in cognitive abilities (think: reading and learning, reports the BBC), and resistance training enhanced memory and executive function. The status of a person’s current brain health was immaterial.

The research offers further incentive for health care providers to recommend that their patients undertake moderate aerobic and resistance exercise as much as possible, according to a news release.

However, some experts worry the findings could have unintended consequences.

“It could lead to increased pressure for the 50-plus age group to exercise more in order to stay mentally healthy, which is good advice but also overlooks the fact that as we age it’s increasingly difficult to engage in physical activity, as our bodies are simply less capable of it,” Dean Burnett, of Cardiff University, told the BBC.

Limitations included that the studies analyzed were only ones where exercise was supervised.

The World Health Organization recommends 150 minutes of moderate aerobic physical activity every week, 75 minutes at a vigorous intensity or a mix of the two. The research team would like to see future research go further to uncover what “prescription of training” would “promote the greatest benefits to cognitive function,” according to the study.

Source:  https://health.usnews.com/wellness/health-buzz/articles/2017-04-25/over-50-and-want-to-boost-brain-health-you-should-exercise-study-says