National Health Observances

Dementia: The facts

·         Dementia is a term used to describe different brain disorders that affect memory, thinking, behaviour and emotion.

·         Early symptoms of dementia can include memory loss, difficultly performing familiar tasks, problems with language and changes in personality. View the early symptoms.

·         There is currently no cure for dementia, but a range of support is available for people with dementia and their carers.

·         Dementia knows no social, economic, or ethnic boundaries.

·         Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia. Other causes include vascular disease, dementia with Lewy bodies and fronto-temporal dementia.

·         There are currently estimated to be over 46 million people worldwide living with dementia. The number of people affected is set to rise to over 131 million by 2050.

·         There is one new case of dementia worldwide every three seconds.

·         The worldwide costs of dementia are estimated at US$818 billion. As a result, if dementia care were a country, it would be the world’s 18th largest economy. If it were a company, it would be the world’s largest by annual revenue exceeding Apple (US $742 billion) and Google (US $368 billion).

Dementia is often hidden away, not spoken about, or ignored at a time when the person living with dementia and their family carers are most in need of support within their families, friendship groups and communities.

The social stigma is the consequence of a lack of knowledge about dementia and it can have numerous long- and short-term effects, including:

·         Dehumanization of the person with dementia

·         Strain within families and friendships

·         A lack of sufficient care for people with dementia and their carers

·         A lower rate of diagnosis of dementia

·         Delayed diagnosis and support

The stigmatization of dementia is a global problem and it is clear that the less we talk about dementia, the more the stigma will grow. During World Alzheimer’s Month we encourage you to find out more and play your part in reducing the stigma and improving the lives of people with dementia and their carers in your community.

 

Source https://www.alz.co.uk/world-alzheimers-month/dementia-facts


Pain Management

Lifestyle & Management

The importance of maintaining an engaged and active lifestyle cannot be overemphasized. To the extent possible, you should participate in physical activities or exercise programs, and keep up social activities and family engagements. This approach will reduce your risk of depression and isolation.

Diet and Exercise

It’s important to stay well-nourished and active, even if you are in pain. Having a good diet will help improve the way your medications work, help reduce side effects, and help you maintain the energy you need to carry out your daily activities An exercise program that involves joining a group or a gym can also help reduce the risk of social isolation. Exercise programs like yoga or Tai Chi will also keep your muscles toned, improve balance, and reduce your risk of falling.

Taking an Active Role in Your Treatment

Only you know what your experience of pain is. For this reason, it is important that you take control of your situation. Make sure to inform your healthcare provider if you are still in a lot of pain even when you are following their instructions. A simple dosage change, trying a different treatment option, or using a different combination of treatments is part of the process of finding what works for you. There is no reason to suffer in silence when effective pain relief is available.

 

Source https://www.healthinaging.org/a-z-topic/pain-management/lifestyle


Basic Rights

People with chronic pain are often “people pleasers.” We find it hard to express our needs and require that others respect them. And when our needs are not met, tension is increased and our pain seems worse.

But you do have the same basic rights that you grant to others. You have the right to:

·     Act in a way that promotes dignity and self-respect.

·     Be treated with respect.

·     Make mistakes.

·     Do less than you are humanly capable of doing.

·     Change your mind.

·     Ask for what you want.

·     Take time to slow down and think before you act.

·     Ask for information.

·     Ask for help or assistance.

·     Feel good about yourself.

·     Disagree.

·     Not have to explain everything you do and think.

·     Say “no” and not feel guilty.

·     Ask why.

·     Be listened to and taken seriously when expressing your feelings.

·     Read and reread these rights so that you not only know them by heart, but so that they become part of your daily life.

 

Source https://www.theacpa.org/pain-management-tools/basic-rights/

 


Am I At Risk for Ovarian Cancer?

Ovarian Cancer Risk Factors

·        All women are at risk

·        Symptoms exist – they can be vague, but usually get more intense over time

·        Early detection increases survival rate

·        A Pap test DOES NOT detect ovarian cancer

 

Ovarian cancer risk factors include:

·        Genetic predisposition

·        Personal or family history of breast, ovarian, or colon cancer

·        Increasing age

·        Infertility

 

While the presence of one or more risk factors may increase a woman’s chance of developing ovarian cancer, it does not necessarily mean that she will get the disease. A woman with one or more risk factors should be extra vigilant in watching for early symptoms.

Recommendations

Current recommendations for management of women at high risk for ovarian cancer are summarized below:

·        Women who appear to be at high risk for ovarian cancer should undergo genetic counseling and, if the risk appears to be substantial, may be offered genetic testing for BRCA1 and BRCA2.

·        Women who wish to preserve their reproductive capacity can undergo screening by transvaginal ultrasonography every six months, although the efficacy of this approach is not clearly established.

·        Oral contraceptives should be recommended to young women before they embark on a planned family.

·        Women who do not wish to maintain their fertility, or who have completed their family, may undergo prophylactic bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy. The risk should be clearly documented, preferably established by BRCA1 and BRCA2 testing, before surgery. These women should be counseled that this operation does not offer absolute protection because peritoneal carcinomas occasionally can occur after bilateral oophorectomy.

·        Since BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene mutations also increase the risk of developing breast cancer, annual mammography screening is suggested, beginning at age 25.

·        Women with a documented HNPCC Syndrome, also known as Lynch Syndrome, should undergo periodic screening mammography, colonoscopy, and endometrial biopsy.

 

Source http://www.ovarian.org/about-ovarian-cancer/am-i-at-risk


Childhood Obesity

Childhood Obesity Is a Major Public Health Problem

  • Children with obesity are at higher risk for having other chronic health conditions and diseases, such as asthma, sleep apnea, bone and joint problems, and type 2 diabetes. They also have more risk factors for heart disease like high blood pressure and high cholesterol than their normal weight peers.
  • Children with obesity can be bullied and teased more than their normal weight peers. They are also more likely to suffer from social isolation, depression, and lower self-esteem.
  • Children with obesity are more likely to have obesity as adults. This can lead to lifelong physical and mental health problems. Adult obesity is associated with a higher risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and many types of cancers.

 

Childhood Obesity Is Influenced by Many Factors

Many factors can have an impact on childhood obesity, including eating and physical activity behaviors, genetics, metabolism, family and home environment, and community and social factors. For some children and families, obesity may be influenced by the following:

  • too much time spent being inactive
  • lack of sleep
  • lack of places to go in the community to get physical activity
  • easy access to inexpensive, high calorie foods and sugary beverages
  • lack of access to affordable, healthier foods

 

Addressing Obesity Can Start in the Home, but Also Requires the Support of Providers and Communities

We can all take part in the effort to encourage children to be more physically active and eat a healthy diet.

State and local health departments, businesses, and community groups can:

  • Ensure that neighborhoods have low-cost physical activity opportunities such as parks, trails, and community centers.
  • Offer easy access to safe, free drinking water and healthy, affordable food options.

Health Care Providers can:

  • Measure children’s weight, height and body mass index routinely.
  • Connect or refer families to breastfeeding support services, nutrition education, or childhood healthy weight programs as needed.

Early Care and Education centers and schools can:

  • Adopt policies and practices that support healthy eating, regular physical activity, and limited screen time.
  • Provide opportunities for students to learn about and practice these behaviors.

Working together, we all have a role in making healthier foods, beverages, and physical activity the easy choice for children and adolescents to help prevent childhood obesity.

 

Source https://www.cdc.gov/features/childhoodobesity/index.html


Gastroparesis

Gastroparesis

Gastric motility disorders are gastrointestinal conditions which affect the body’s ability to digest food normally. A number of conditions fall into this category, including gastroparesis.

Gastroparesis literally means paralyzed stomach. It is one of the most severe and complicated gastric motility disorders. Gastroparesis can be caused by a number of factors and is commonly seen in the diabetic population; however, often the cause is unknown. It is more prominent among females than males.

Approximately 1 in 25 Americans, including children, suffers from gastroparesis. In some instances, it appears for a brief time and goes away on its own or improves with treatment. Many cases are refractory and do not respond well to treatment.

Gastroparesis is complicated to treat and treatment options are limited. There are few medications available, mostly geared towards symptom control rather than dealing with the underlying problem. For this reason, they are often ineffective.

Additional treatment options include diet changes, certain surgical procedures and, in severe cases, nutritional support through feeding tubes or IV nutrition.

Gastroparesis Symptoms

Symptoms of Gastroparesis often imitate those of other GI disorders which can make diagnosis difficult. Patients may complain of one or more of these symptoms:

  • Early Satietyafter a few bites of food
  • Nausea(especially after eating)
  • Vomiting(often undigested food from hours or even days before)
  • Abdominal Pain
  • Hiccupping
  • Excessive Belching
  • Bloating
  • Weight Gain
  • Weight Loss
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Malnutrition
  • Dehydration
  • Heartburn or gastroesophageal reflux which is not controlled by acid suppressants
  • Erratic blood glucose levels

 

Source https://www.g-pact.org/gastroparesis


Gastroparesis Tips

Gastroparesis Tips

Tips offered by other gastroparesis patients:

 – Sit up after eating

 – Walk after eating

 – Belly massage

 – Chew small bites of ginger

 – Acupuncture

 – Nausea wrist bands

 – Try to eat foods that are GP friendly.  Stay away from fried and greasy foods

 – Chew gum

 – Do mild exercise such as walking, Pilates, or yoga

 – Use heating pads on your stomach to help ease the pain

 – Eat small meals – 5 to 6 small meals per day

Source https://www.g-pact.org/gastroparesis/tips


Water and Contact Lenses Don’t Mix

Water and contact lenses don’t mix

Many people who wear contact lenses do not know that contact lenses and water are a bad combination—even when showering, swimming, or using a hot tub 1-4.

Water can introduce germs to the eyes through contact lenses

Water can cause soft contact lenses to change shape, swell, and stick to the eye. This is uncomfortable, and can scratch the cornea (the clear dome that covers the colored part of the eye), which makes it easier for germs to enter the eye and cause infection.

Most water is not germ-free. There are many different kinds of germs in water that can cause eye infections, but a particularly dangerous germ—an ameba called Acanthamoeba—is commonly found in tap water, lake water, well water, and other water sources 5. This germ can cause a very severe type of eye infection called Acanthamoeba keratitis, which is often very painful and difficult to treat—sometimes requiring a year or more of treatment 6-8. Although rare, this type of infection can result in the need for a corneal transplant, or blindness 9, 10.

Keep contact lenses away from all water

For contact lens wearers, it is best to remove lenses before showering, swimming, or using a hot tub—and contact lenses should never be rinsed or stored in water 121112. It is also important to wash and dry hands well before handling lenses 13-15, and to clean contact lens cases with solution rather than water to avoid contaminating the lenses with germs found in water.

For those who are actively involved in swimming or other water sports and concerned about being able to see well enough without wearing lenses, prescription goggles may be a good option—or possibly even a different form of vision correction, such as laser eye surgery.

Throw away or disinfect contact lenses that touch water

If water touches contact lenses for any reason, take them out as soon as possible. Throw them away, or clean and disinfect them overnight before wearing them again. This may help to reduce the risk of infection, but these recommendations are not based on scientific testing. The safest option is to keep contact lenses away from all water.

References

1.    Hammersmith KM. Diagnosis and management of Acanthamoeba keratitisExternal. Curr Opin Ophthalmol. 2006;17(4):327-31.

2.    Butcko V, McMahon TT, Joslin CE, Jones L. Microbial keratitis and the role of rub and rinsingExternal. Eye Contact Lens. 2007;33(6 Pt 2):421-3; discussion 424-5.

3.    Beattie TK, Tomlinson A, McFadyen AK, Seal DV, Grimason AM. Enhanced attachment of Acanthamoeba to extended-wear silicone hydrogel contact lenses: a new risk factor for infection?External Ophthalmology. 2003;110(4):765-71.

4.    Wu Y, Carnt N, Stapleton F. Contact lens user profile, attitudes and level of compliance to lens careExternal. Cont Lens Anterior Eye. 2010;33(4):183-8.

5.    Visvesvara GS,  Moura H, Schuster FL. Pathogenic and opportunistic free-living amoebae: Acanthamoeba spp., Balamuthia mandrillaris, Naegleria fowleri, and Sappinia diploideaExternal. FEMS Immunol Med Microbiol. 2007;50(1):1-26.

6.    Guerriero S, La Tegola MG, Monno R, Apruzzese M, Cantatore A. A case of descemet’s membrane rupture in a patient affected by AcanthamoebakeratitisExternal. Eye Contact Lens. 2009;35(6):338-40.

7.    Dart JK,  Saw VP, Kilvington S.  Acanthamoeba keratitis: diagnosis and treatment update 2009External. Am J Ophthalmol. 2009;148(4):487-499 e2.

8.    Ross J, Roy SL, Mathers WD, Ritterband DC, Yoder JS, Ayers T, Shah RD, Samper ME, Shih CY, Schmitz A, Brown AC. Clinical characteristics of Acanthamoeba keratitis infections in 28 states, 2008 to 2011External. Cornea. 2014;33(2): 161-8.

9.    Gagnon MR,  Walter KA.  A case of Acanthamoeba keratitis as a result of a cosmetic contact lensExternal. Eye Contact Lens. 2006;32(1):37-8.

10. Page MA, Mathers WD. Acanthamoeba keratitis: a 12-year experience covering a wide spectrum of presentations, diagnoses, and outcomesExternal. J Ophthalmol. 2013;2013:670242.

11. Joslin CE, Tu EY, Shoff ME, Booton GC, Fuerst PA, McMahon TT, Anderson RJ, Dworkin MS, Sugar J, Davis FG, Stayner LT. The association of contact lens solution use and Acanthamoeba keratitisExternal. Am J Ophthalmol. 2007;144(2):169-180.

12. Beattie TK, Tomlinson A, McFadyen AK. Attachment of Acanthamoeba to first- and second-generation silicone hydrogel contact lenses.ExternalOphthalmology. 2006;113(1): 117-25.

13. Radford CF, Minassian D, Dart JK, Stapleton F, Verma S. Risk factors for nonulcerative contact lens complications in an ophthalmic accident and emergency department: a case-control studyExternal. Ophthalmology. 2009;116(3):385-92.

14. Sokol JL, Mier MG, Bloom S, Asbell PA.  A study of patient compliance in a contact lens-wearing populationExternal. CLAO J. 1990;16(3):209-13.

15. Collins MJ, Carney LG. Patient compliance and its influence on contact lens wearing problemsExternal. Am J Optom Physiol Opt. 1986;63(12):952-6.

 

Source https://www.cdc.gov/contactlenses/water-and-contact-lenses.html

 


Facts About Psoriasis

Facts about psoriasis

What is psoriasis?

Psoriasis is a genetic skin disease associated with the immune system. Your immune system causes your skin cells to reproduce too quickly. A normal skin cell matures and falls off the body’s surface in 28 to 30 days. However, skin affected by psoriasis takes only three to four days to mature and move to the surface. Instead of falling off (shedding), the cells pile up and form lesions. The skin also becomes very red due to increased blood flow.

Is psoriasis contagious?

Psoriasis is not contagious. It is not something you can “catch” or “pass on.” The lesions may not look good, but they are not infections or open wounds. People with psoriasis pose no threat to the health or safety of others.

Who gets psoriasis?

The disease affects more than 8 million people in the U.S. Ordinarily, people have their first outbreak between the ages of 15 and 35, but it can appear at any age. Approximately one-third of those who get psoriasis are under 20 years old when the disease first surfaces.

What causes psoriasis?

No one knows exactly what causes psoriasis, but it has a genetic component. Most researchers agree that the immune system is mistakenly triggered, which speeds up the growth cycle of skin cells. A person can have the genes for psoriasis without having the disease on their skin. Genes may be passed through several generations of a family before someone encounters the “right” mix of genes and environmental factors that lead to the development of psoriasis.

Is there a cure?

Currently, there is no cure for psoriasis. However, there is hope for a cure. Researchers are studying psoriasis more than ever before. They understand much more about its genetic causes and how it involves the immune system. The National Psoriasis Foundation and the federal government are promoting and funding research to find the cause and cure for psoriasis.

Are there different types of psoriasis?

There are five forms of psoriasis:

·         Plaque [plak] psoriasis: The most common form, characterized by inflamed skin lesions topped with white scales

·         Guttate [GUH-tate]: Characterized by small dot-like lesions

·         Pustular [PUHS-choo-ler]: Characterized by pus-filled, blister-like lesions and intense scaling

·         Inverse: characterized by intense inflammation in the folds of the skin

·         Erythrodermic [eh-REETH-ro-der-mik]: Characterized by intense shedding and redness of the skin. If this rare form develops, see a doctor immediately

Approximately 10 percent to 30 percent of people with psoriasis will develop psoriatic arthritis. This form of arthritis is similar to rheumatoid arthritis. It can develop at any time, but for most people it appears between the ages of 30 and 50. In psoriatic arthritis, the joints and the soft tissue around them become inflamed and stiff. Psoriatic arthritis can affect the fingers and toes and may involve the neck, lower back, knees and ankles. Having psoriasis does not guarantee that you will eventually develop psoriatic arthritis.

Source https://www.psoriasis.org/teens/about-psoriasis

 

 


Vaccines for Adults

You’re not a kid anymore, so you don’t have to worry about shots, right? Wrong. Find out how to stay on top of your vaccines.

 

What vaccines do adults need?

Vaccines for adults are recommended based on your age, prior vaccinations, health, lifestyle, occupation and travel destinations.

The schedule is updated every year, and changes range from the addition of a new vaccine to tweaks of current recommendations. To determine exactly which vaccines you need now and which vaccines are coming up, check the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website.

 

What factors might affect my vaccine recommendations?

Several factors can affect whether you need certain vaccines. Be sure to tell your doctor if you:

·         Are planning to travel abroad

·         Have had your spleen removed

·         Work in certain occupations where exposures could occur

·         Are or might be pregnant

·         Are breast-feeding

·         Are moderately or severely ill or have a chronic illness

·         Have any severe allergies, including a serious allergic reaction to a previous dose of a vaccine

·         Have had a disorder in which your body’s immune system attacks your nerves, such as Guillain-Barre syndrome

·         Have a weakened immune system or are being treated with an immunosuppressant

·         Have recently had another vaccine

·         Have recently had a transfusion or received other blood products

·         Have a personal or family history of seizures

 

Your doctor might also recommend certain vaccines based on your sexual activity. Vaccinations can protect you from hepatitis A and hepatitis B, serious liver infections that can spread through sexual contact. The HPV vaccine is recommended for men up to age 21 and women up to age 26.

 

Why are some vaccines particularly important for adults?

Adults of any age can benefit from vaccines. However, certain diseases, such as the flu, can be particularly serious for older adults or those living with certain chronic illnesses.

 

How can I keep track of my vaccines?

To gather information about your vaccination status, talk to your parents or other caregivers. Check with your doctor’s office, as well as any previous doctors’ offices, schools and employers. Some states also have registries that include adult immunizations. To check, contact your state health department.

If you can’t find your records, talk to your doctor. He or she might be able to do blood tests to see if you are immune to certain diseases that can be prevented by vaccines. You might need to get some vaccines again.

To stay on top of your vaccines, ask your doctor for an immunization record form. Bring the form with you to all of your doctor visits and ask your provider to sign and date the form for each vaccine you receive.

Source https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/vaccines/art-20046750