As people are living longer, a number of chronic conditions that affect the brain are now being more frequently seen. Not all these conditions are isolated to the older age groups, but it is more likely to affect people over the age of 60 years. These conditions that are often confused and misunderstood in how it affects the brain structure and function. Some develop gradually while others strike suddenly with no previous warnings. The effects may be minimal in some instances and even reversible to some degree, while others can be severely debilitating and even life threatening depending on the nature of the condition.
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Sciatica is one of the most common causes of lower back pain that extends down to the legs. It occurs due to compression of the root of the sciatic nerve as it emerges from the spinal cord. Depending on the cause, it can be a chronic condition that requires surgery. However, many people do not realize that not every case of sciatica is permanent. In fact sciatica can resolve on its own sometimes without even using any medication, let alone undergoing surgery. It depends on each individual case. But the fact is that simple home remedies and preventative measures can make a significant difference in easing symptoms and even leading to almost complete sciatica pain relief.
Obesity is known to be a major contributor to poor health. It is a global problem that is continuing to rise, largely fueled by the modern diet and lifestyle. Traditionally obesity is expressed by a body mass index (BMI) exceeding 30, although a BMI over 25 which is indicative of being overweight can also be associated with detrimental health effects. BMI is the ratio between weight and height. It continues to be the standard for determining obesity but it is not always an accurate reflection of the body fat content. For example, a muscular person may have a higher BMI which indicates obesity yet their body fat content is low.
Autoimmune diseases are not longer the mystery it used to be in the past. It is now fairly well understood. These conditions occur when the immune system attacks parts of the body and this leads to inflammation. Since it is long term, there are various complications that may arise over time. Despite greater public awareness and a better understanding of these conditions, there are still many misconceptions that exist around autoimmune diseases. Normally the body has mechanisms to protect against the immune system attacking it. At most the immune system may attack a cell that is heavily infected with a biological agent or if it is abnormal and cancerous. Otherwise a healthy immune system continues to defend the body without harming the cells, tissues and organs.
Caring for a newborn baby can be daunting for any parent. It is generally more difficult for first time parents despite the advice and assistance of others. However, in most instances it is a matter of common sense and a few simple measures that most people know even if they are not parents. The first few weeks of life is the most delicate and while parents may have the child’s best interests at heart, conflicting advice and uncertainty can lead to incorrect decisions. Here are 8 simple tips on some of the most common points of concern for first time parents.
Airway infections are common both among adults and children. In fact it is the most common type of acute illness that affects every person quite frequently in life. However, many people still confuse infections affecting different parts of the airways. Although all parts of the airways serve the same primary function – the movement of air to and from the lungs – each part may have additional functions.Therefore understanding the terms related to these parts of the airways with different names is important in order to understand how the symptoms may vary when an infection sets in.
Ear problems are common particularly in childhood and can be a major stress for parents as well. It has become so widespread that most parents feel that repeated ear problems in childhood are a norm. But it is not. Most ear problems can be prevented, treated and managed quite effectively without repeated visits to a doctor or surgical procedures. However, parents should not delay when medical and surgical treatment is necessary as untreated ear problems in children can lead to serious complications, some of which hamper development and in rare cases even become life threatening.
Medication to relieve heartburn is some of the most commonly prescribed and purchased drugs. Some are available over-the-counter (OTC) while others can only be obtained with a prescription from a medical doctor. Heartburn is just a symptom. These drugs target the root cause of heartburn, which is acid reflux. While heartburn medication can vary in the way they work, they offer relief within minutes and even be used to prevent heartburn for several hours. Through one way or the other, these drugs counteracting the effects of acidic stomach contents in the esophagus. Heartburn medication are not anti-inflammatory drugs or painkillers (analgesics) that just numbs the sensation.
We are exposed to millions of bacteria in our environment everyday. Some species are harmful, while others are less so. The skin and the various defense mechanisms at the different entry points in the body ensure that these bacteria do not enter the body. One of the common ways to get an infection caused by bacteria is through food. Here the bacteria may thrive within the food and eventually the contaminated food may contain millions of bacteria that will be subsequently consumed during a meal.
Once these bacteria are within the gut, it has essentially bypassed the defensive capabilities of the skin and entry points. The bacteria could be destroyed by the body but it may also cause disease. Sometimes the bacteria are neutralized but the toxins it had produced can still cause disease. An infection with foodborne bacteria tends to affect the gut only and is restricted by the immune system from penetrating further into the body. It typically causes diarrhea but may also cause vomiting, fever and abdominal pain.
As exciting as pregnancy is, it is also taxing on the mother’s body. The host of hormone changes and alterations in body weight and size coupled with the oxygen and nutritional demands of the growing fetus places significant stress on the system thereby causing a range of symptoms and discomfort. Living with these ever-increasing changes for 40 weeks can be frustrating and make pregnancy into a dreadful experience for some women who tend to suffer with pregnancy-related symptoms to a greater degree than other women. Most of these changes are considered normal for the physiological state of pregnancy but this should not detract from the fact that it is unpleasant for the mother.
For most of us, stress in everyday life has become an accepted part of living in the modern world. It is a combination of physical, mental and emotional strain as we deal with the demands of a modern lifestyle and life events that can be very disruptive. Some people handle stress better than others but stress affects every person to some degree at some point in time. Stress is a broad term that refers to any substance, disturbance, activity or event that places a strain on the body. Different types of stress may affect the body in different ways.
Running around the block when you are not conditioned for this type of activity is considered as stress. But life stress specifically focuses on activities and situations that cause a sustained strain on the system. It can range from minor incidents like feeling overwhelmed when rushing around to many appointments in a day on a tight schedule or driving around a car full of screaming kids. More severe stress is seen with events like losing your job, a failed relationship or death of a loved one. It is usually a combination of physical strain on the body, mental exhaustion and emotional episodes.
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia among seniors. Every person dreads having Alzheimer’s disease as they get older, especially if they have seen or lived with a loved one who had the condition. But the facts are that the risk is high in North America in particular. Up to 10% of people older than 65 years will develop Alzheimer’s disease and there are some 5.4million people with the disease in the United States. As yet there is no known measure to completely prevent Alzheimer’s disease nor cure it, although there is hope that ongoing research will eventually reveal the ‘silver bullet’ at some point.
However, there are a host of risk factors that have been associated with Alzheimer’s disease. This means that having one or more of these factors increases your chances of developing Alzheimer’s disease. Some of the factors are modifiable – like your diet and lifestyle. Others are not – like your genes. Nevertheless, reducing your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and possibly preventing is at the very least better than trying to treat it once it has started.
continue reading 6 Foods To Reduce Alzheimer’s Disease Risk
A urinary tract infection, UTI, is a common problem especially among females. It can be effectively treated and complications are unlikely to occur if it is detected early and attended to promptly. While a UTI may be a once off episode, in many cases it tends to recur. The key is not only identifying the symptoms and seeking medical attention but also making dietary and lifestyle changes that can prevent repeated UTIs. However, UTIs are not always obvious. Many people develop urinary tract infections and not even know that they have it. Sometimes the infection can progress to a point where it causes dangerous complications and only then becomes evident.
Hemorrhoids, or piles as it is commonly referred to, is a problem with the veins in the lowest portion of the gut. Overall it is a common problem and some cases are so mild that a person gives it little thought. However, hemorrhoids can also be an excruciatingly painful condition that causes a great deal distress and even affects a person’s quality of life. It is not life threatening but it can lead to very serious complications that requires emergency medical attention. Most people suffer with hemorrhoids for years or even decades before seeking medical attention. Eventually simpler measures that could have helped may no longer be useful and surgery is then the only option.
A fever in a child tends to worry most parents and naturally so. It is a sign of some disturbance within the body where the core temperature has been raised to levels above the norm. Often a fever is a sign of an infection and usually there are other symptoms that may indicate where the problem is located, like a sore throat with a fever may be due to tonsillitis. But not always. Sometimes a fever occurs for no apparent reason. The raised body temperature may be all that is present with no other clearly identifiable symptoms. This does not mean it is any less serious.
Most of us just worry about the taste of the food we are eating. Is it well spiced? Does it have enough salt? But for people with allergies, every meal is a potential obstacle course of what to eat, not eat or sample with caution. Food allergies are not uncommon. It is often seen in children, many of whom outgrow it. But allergies can be just as much of a problem for adults and the dietary and even lifestyle changes that follow can be a bother. Remember that allergens are not only in foods. More commonly allergens are in the environment and when airborne, it can be inhaled and trigger an allergic reaction. However, food allergies are more likely to trigger a severe allergic reaction than airborne allergens.
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