Monday, November 28, 2016

Health Care and Senior Wellness

Most senior citizens typically have at least one health care issue that they deal with on a daily basis, whether it’s either physical or mental difficulty. Possibly it is both in many cases. As you age, staying active mentally is just as important as staying physically active. Now more than ever, seniors are leading active lifestyles, traveling, and trying new activities. However, older adults that could use a little support and assistance in their daily lives often are not sure how to accomplish those tasks.

There are many available resources that provide the human connection needed to enhance a senior’s quality of life, also to help reduce loneliness and provide information on available senior support services, including caring volunteers who provide support with errands such as transportation for grocery shopping, short medical appointments, errands and social outings. Seniors in many cases need assistance, depending on age and physical and mental capabilities.

Providing coordinated care with specific attention to most common problems within the senior population is important for a well rounded senior wellness regimen. Some of the more critical areas of care and support should include the following steps:

Basic Physical Assessments:
·         Intellectual impairment
·         Immobility
·         Instability
·         Incontinence
·         Iatrogenic (inadvertently induced) disorders

Geriatric Assessments
·         Clinical history
·         Nutritional assessment
·         Social evaluation
·         Neuropsychiatric evaluation
·         Physical examination
·         Functional examination

Support services and educational classes:
·         Nutrition
·         Diabetes
·         Independent living
·         Memory and healthy brain function
·         Fall prevention
·         Exercise
·         Caregiver support

Both seniors and caregivers should understand the importance of preventive healthcare and be involved with senior wellness programs that focus on prevention, detection, education and follow-up in order to achieve and maintain productive, high-quality lives.  Whether you live independently at home or in a senior living facility, you may benefit from occasional visits by a registered nurse to ensure you are maintaining a healthy lifestyle. At your first visit, a complete medical assessment should be provided by a registered nurse for the following areas:
  • Physical
  • Emotional
  • Psychosocial
Another consideration for seniors is prescription adherence. According to the Institute of Medicine, over 1.5 million people each year have adverse reactions due to medication errors or interactions. Caregivers and medical professionals, such as a doctor, nurse or physician assistant, should come to your senior center, group residence, or home and perform a complete medication review, to help you with the following needs:

·         Understand what medications you are taking and why
·         Learn how to properly take your medication and at what times for optimal results
·         Develop a medication chart that is easy to follow
·         Separate medication into daily/weekly containers
·         Create a telephone list of contact numbers or medication record in the case of an emergency to keep in a convenient location

For seniors to stay their healthiest and enjoy life to the fullest, it's important to have regular health checkups by a medical professional. Assessments can include:
·         Physical
·         Emotional
·         Psychosocial
·         Neurological
·         Chronic illness such as diabetes, cholesterol, hypertension and asthma
·         Hearing
·         Medication review

An indepth health program for seniors may provide more detailed provision for the following needs for wellness that focus on helping them strengthen and maintain the skills that other workouts often overlook:

Gross motor skills—including balance and proprioception to keep you on your feet and active. Proprioception is the ability to innately sense your body’s position, movement, and spatial orientation, even when you are not looking. Examples of this are walking up and down steps without looking at each step, catching a fly ball, or closing the eyes and touching the nose.

Mental processing, motor planning, and motor sequencing—the ability to take information, process it, plan next actions, and implement those actions. The goal is to keep the senior’s mind and body working together.

Visual motor skills—like peripheral vision and efficient visual information processing—to maintain and enhance the mental connection between what seniors see and how their bodies reacts to it.

Personal Training--fitness specialists work with seniors one-on-one—at their comfort level—to develop a customized fitness plan that focuses on the areas and skills they wish to target.

Bone & Joint Health Program--uses state-of-the-art technology to help seniors safely and comfortably build bone, muscle, and joint strength and counteract the effects of osteoporosis and osteopenia.

Accessible health, nutrition, exercise, and insurance information is increasingly important to older adults, seniors, and members of their families, who are often their part-time caregivers. Yet information about providers, programs, services, resources, and preventive care is overwhelming, confusing, and fairly inaccessible. Because many federal, state, and city programs overlap, older adults and seniors need help understanding what services are available and whether they qualify.

A good senior wellness program engages both English- and Spanish-speaking seniors to help them understand the information, services, benefits, and programs that exist to help them maintain and improve their physical health and emotional well-being. Senior wellness program benefits may also include:

·         Insurance counseling, including Medicare and Medicaid
·         Benefit Access Program
·         Energy assistance
·         Senior companion program
·         Pet companion service

Educational classes may include:
·         Aging well and diseases related to aging
·         Medical management for physical health and mental health
·         Crime prevention
·         Senior resources, including government benefits and housing information

Here are a few websites that have senior friendly information: https://www.agingcare.com/Articles/Home-Modification-for-Senior-Friendly-Living-104573.htm ; http://www.everydayhealth.com/bipolar-disorder/bipolar-disorder-in-seniors.aspx ; http://www.assistedlivingct.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/RT-Aging-in-Place-Safe-at-Home-Checklist.pdf ; http://www.aplaceformom.com/senior-care-resources/articles/elderly-depression .

Senior wellness programs can be very basic, such as just providing an exercise program or minimal social services at a local senior daycare center, to as inclusive as providing most of the services described in this story. Depending on the financial capabilities of how seniors can most afford those programs, it is in the best interest of caregivers and those seniors they are assisting to help those senior adults in navigating their pending wellness needs.


Until next time.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Health Care and Sleep Apnea

One of the most challenging aspects of sleeping soundly is a health issue known as sleep apnea. It is a common disorder that causes interruptions in breathing during sleep, preventing oxygen from reaching the brain. Sufferers wake hundreds of times per night, each time normal breathing is interrupted and the brain is depleted of oxygen.

As a result, they never feel rested and experience excessive daytime grogginess. It is not a disease but increases risks of contracting other diseases and conditions. There are three types: obstructive, central and complex, which is a combination of the first two, according to SimpleSleepSolutions.com.

Central Sleep Apnea is caused when the brain fails to properly signal the muscles to breath. It is very uncommon and snoring is generally not a symptom.

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is the most common form of sleep apnea, with some estimates at 1 in 7 people in the U.S being afflicted with some form of OSA. In OSA, the muscles around the throat and airway relax, causing the airway to collapse. Sometimes the tongue falls back and obstructs the airway. The brain can no longer receive oxygen and sends a signal to the muscles to open, often causing the person to wake up with a gasp or a snort. Most of the time, sufferers do not recall waking up during these episodes.

More than 18 million adults have sleep apnea, according to the National Sleep Foundation. It is very difficult at present to estimate the prevalence of childhood OSA because of widely varying monitoring techniques, but a minimum prevalence of 2 to 3% is likely, with prevalence as high as 10 to 20% in habitually snoring children. More information is located at this website: https://sleepfoundation.org/sleep-disorders-problems/sleep-apnea/page/0/1 .

Sleep apnea can make you wake up in the morning feeling tired or unrefreshed even though you have had a full night of sleep, according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. During the day, you may feel fatigued, have difficulty concentrating or you may even unintentionally fall asleep. This is because your body is waking up numerous times throughout the night, even though you might not be conscious of each awakening.

The lack of oxygen your body receives can have negative long-term consequences for your health. This includes:
·         High blood pressure
·         Heart disease
·         Stroke
·         Pre-diabetes and diabetes
·         Depression

If you sleep on your back, gravity can cause the tongue to fall back. This narrows the airway, which reduces the amount of air that can reach your lungs. The narrowed airway causes snoring by making the tissue in back of the throat vibrate as you breathe. Obstructive sleep apnea in adults is considered a sleep-related breathing disorder. Causes and symptoms differ for obstructive sleep apnea in children and central sleep apnea. More info is available at this site: http://www.sleepeducation.org/essentials-in-sleep/sleep-apnea .

Anyone can develop it, regardless of gender or age, and even children can be afflicted, according to Simple Sleep Solutions. The most common risk factors include:
·         Excess weight, especially obesity – about half of all OSA sufferers are overweight
·         Male, although recent research has indicated that women’s risk increases to about the same level as men once they reach post-menopausal age
·         Over the age of 60
·         Smoking
·         Enlarged tonsils and adenoids, one of the most common factors for children with OSA, particularly overweight children
·         Having certain anatomical features such as a thick neck, narrowed airway, deviated spectrum or a receding chin
·         Using alcohol, sedatives and tranquilizers, all of which relax the muscles in the airway
·         Having asthma, in adults and children, particularly if they are overweight
·         Race and ethnicity can play a part as well – some studies have indicated African Americans, Hispanics and other races have a slightly higher risk
·         Allergies and chronic nasal congestion

Only a doctor or sleep specialist can confirm if you or a loved one is suffering from sleep apnea. More information is available at this website: http://www.simplesleepservices.com/what-is-sleep-apnea/ .

According to the National Institutes for Health (NIH), Doctors diagnose sleep apnea based on medical and family histories, a physical exam, and sleep study results. Your primary care doctor may evaluate your symptoms first, and will then decide whether you need to see a sleep specialist. Sleep specialists are doctors who diagnose and treat people who have sleep problems. Examples of such doctors include lung and nerve specialists and ear, nose, and throat specialists. Other types of doctors also can be sleep specialists.

If you think you have a sleep problem, consider keeping a sleep diary for 1 to 2 weeks. Bring the diary with you to your next medical appointment. Write down when you go to sleep, wake up, and take naps. Also write down how much you sleep each night, how alert and rested you feel in the morning, and how sleepy you feel at various times during the day. This information can help your doctor figure out whether you have a sleep disorder.

Sleep studies are tests that measure how well you sleep and how your body responds to sleep problems. These tests can help your doctor find out whether you have a sleep disorder and how severe it is. Sleep studies are the most accurate tests for diagnosing sleep apnea. There are different kinds of sleep studies.

If your doctor thinks you have sleep apnea, he or she may recommend a polysomnogram (also called a PSG) or a home-based portable monitor. Testing can show patterns and symptoms that can help lead to a diagnosis and treatment options. More information is available at this site: https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/sleepapnea .

According to HelpGuide.org, if your sleep apnea is moderate to severe, or you’ve tried self-help strategies and lifestyle changes without success, a sleep doctor may help you find an effective treatment. Treatment for sleep apnea has come a long way in recent times, so even if you were unhappy with sleep apnea treatment in the past, you may now find something that works for you.

Treatments for central and complex sleep apnea usually include treating any underlying medical condition causing the apnea, such as a heart or neuromuscular disorder, and using supplemental oxygen and breathing devices while you sleep. Treatment options for obstructive sleep apnea include:
·         CPAP
·         Other breathing devices
·         Dental devices
·         Implants
·         Surgery

Medications are only available to treat the sleepiness associated with sleep apnea, not the sleep apnea itself. Much more material on this health care issue can be found at this website: http://www.helpguide.org/articles/sleep/sleep-apnea.htm .

Since so many people suffer from sleep apnea, it is perceived as a very common problem, but not that many take steps to deal with the problem. As sleep apnea can result in long term more severe health issues, it is advisable to see your doctor for a solution that is to your benefit. If you have it, or think you do, get help. You’ll sleep better for it.


Until next time. 

Friday, September 23, 2016

Health Care and Fainting

Have you ever passed out, or fainted? What caused it, and did you get a doctor to help you with a possible diagnosis? Do you remember what happened right before you blacked out, or is that memory still foggy? Was it caused by an accident or an illness? Have you had repetitive occasions of fainting spells? These are very common questions that you may hear from a doctor that examines you after you’ve fainted.

According to Healthline.com, fainting happens when you lose consciousness for a short amount of time because your brain isn’t getting enough oxygen. The medical term for fainting is syncope, but it’s more commonly known as “passing out.” A fainting spell generally lasts from a few seconds to a few minutes. They have listed 41 possible scenarios that can lead to this situation. Read more at this site:   http://www.healthline.com/symptom/fainting .

Fainting can happen to anyone at any age. When someone faints, it's usually because changes in the nervous system and circulatory system cause a temporary drop in the amount of blood reaching the brain. When the blood supply to the brain is decreased, a person loses consciousness and falls over. After lying down, a person's head is at the same level as the heart, which helps restore blood flow to the brain. So the person usually recovers after a minute or two, according to Kidshealth.org.

Fainting is pretty common in teens. The good news is that most of the time it's not a sign of something serious. More details are available at this site: http://kidshealth.org/en/teens/fainting.html .

When you faint, you not only lose consciousness, you also lose muscle tone and the color in your face, according to the NY Times. Before fainting, you may also feel weak, nauseated, and have the sense that your vision is constricting (tunnel vision) or noises are fading into the background. Fainting may occur while or after you:

Cough very hard
Have a bowel movement (especially if you are straining)
Have been standing in one place for too long
Urinate
Fainting can also be related to:
Emotional distress
Fear
Severe pain

Other causes of fainting can be attributed to these events:
Certain medicines, including those used for anxiety, depression, high blood pressure, and allergies (these drugs may cause a drop in blood pressure)
Drug or alcohol use
Hyperventilation
Low blood sugar
Seizures
Sudden drop in blood pressure (such as from bleeding or being severely dehydrated)
Standing up very suddenly from a lying position

Less common but more serious reasons for fainting include heart disease (such as abnormal heart rhythm or heart attack) and stroke. These conditions are more likely in persons over age 65. More info on fainting can be found at this website: http://www.nytimes.com/health/guides/symptoms/fainting/overview.html .

According to the American Heart Association, Some forms of syncope suggest a serious disorder:
Those occurring with exercise.
Those associated with palpitations or irregularities of the heart.
Those associated with family history of recurrent syncope or sudden death.

What is neurally mediated syncope? Neurally mediated syncope (NMS) is called also neurocardiogenic, vasovagal, vasodepressor or reflex mediated syncope. It's a benign (and the most frequent) cause of fainting. However, life-threatening conditions may also manifest as syncope. NMS is more common in children and young adults, although it can occur at any age. NMS happens because blood pressure drops, reducing circulation to the brain and causing loss of consciousness.

Typical NMS occurs while standing and is often preceded by a sensation of warmth, nausea, lightheadedness and visual "grayout." If the syncope is prolonged, it can trigger a seizure. Placing the person in a reclining position will restore blood flow and consciousness and end the seizure. More details are located here: http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/Arrhythmia/SymptomsDiagnosisMonitoringofArrhythmia/Syncope-Fainting_UCM_430006_Article.jsp#.V-Um5XlTGUk

According to this website, http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/diseases-conditions/fainting.printerview.all.html , before fainting, you may feel lightheaded, dizzy, like the room is spinning, sick to your stomach. You may also have blurry vision or a hard time hearing. If you feel like you're going to faint, lie down. If you can't lie down, sit and bend forward with your head between your knees. This helps get the blood flowing to your brain. Wait until you feel better before trying to stand up. When you stand up, do so slowly.

Your doctor will probably ask you about what was happening or what you were doing when you fainted. He or she may ask you for details about how you felt right before and right after you fainted. Your doctor will probably also want to examine you and may perform some tests to find out why you fainted.

If you have a history of fainting, follow your health care provider's instructions for how to prevent fainting, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC). For example, if you know the situations that cause you to faint, avoid or change them. You can also take immediate treatment steps when someone else has fainted:

Check the person's airway and breathing. If necessary, call 911 and begin rescue breathing and CPR.
Loosen tight clothing around the neck.
Raise the person's feet above the level of the heart (about 12 inches).
If the person has vomited, turn him or her onto their side to prevent choking.
Keep the person lying down for at least 10 to 15 minutes, preferably in a cool and quiet space. If this is not possible, sit the person forward with the head between the knees.

Call 911 if the person who fainted:

Fell from a height, especially if injured or bleeding.
Does not become alert quickly (within a couple of minutes).
Is pregnant.
Is over age 50.
Has diabetes (check for medical identification bracelets).
Feels chest pain, pressure, or discomfort.
Has a pounding or irregular heartbeat.
Has a loss of speech, vision problems, or is unable to move one or more limbs.
Has convulsions, a tongue injury, or a loss of bladder or bowel control.

Even if it is not an emergency situation, you should be seen by a provider if you have never fainted before, if you faint often, or if you have new symptoms with fainting. Call for an appointment to be seen as soon as possible. More info on fainting is at this website:  http://umm.edu/health/medical/ency/articles/fainting .

Fainting is usually temporary situation, but it may be a symptom of a more serious medical condition. For serious syncope episodes, get immediate medical attention. At a minimum, consult your family physician or a healthcare professional when you have any fainting occurrence. It pays to be aware of your health and any potential problems for any reason.

Until next time.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Health Care and Tetanus

One of the most painful medical conditions you can get is tetanus. Also known as lockjaw, tetanus is an infection characterized by muscle spasms. In the most common type, the spasms begin in the jaw and then progress to the rest of the body. These spasms usually last a few minutes each time and occur frequently for three to four weeks.

According to the Mayo Clinic, tetanus is a serious bacterial disease that affects your nervous system, leading to painful muscle contractions, particularly of your jaw and neck muscles. Tetanus can interfere with your ability to breathe and can threaten your life. Thanks to the tetanus vaccine, cases of tetanus are rare in the United States and other parts of the developed world. However, the disease remains a threat to those who aren't up to date on their vaccinations, and is more common in developing countries. There's no cure for tetanus. Treatment focuses on managing complications until the effects of the tetanus toxin resolve.

See your doctor for a tetanus booster shot if you have a deep or dirty wound and you haven't had a booster shot in five years. If you aren't sure of when your last booster was, get a booster. Or, see your family physician about a tetanus booster for any wound — especially if it might have been contaminated with dirt, animal feces or manure — if you haven't had a booster shot within the past ten years or aren't sure of when you were last vaccinated. Much more detailed info is available at this website: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/tetanus/home/ovc-20200456 .

The Clostridium bacteria live in soil, saliva, dust, and manure. The bacteria can enter the body through a deep cut, like those you might get from stepping on a nail, or through a burn, according to the National Institutes for Health (NIH). In the US, where 50 or fewer cases of tetanus occur each year, deaths are more likely to occur in persons 60 years of age and older and in persons who are diabetic. More material on tetanus is available at these two websites: https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/tetanus.html , and http://www.adultvaccination.org/tetanus_vaccine_vaccination_adult_immunizations.htm .

According to Nemours, Once the bacteria are in the body, they produce a neurotoxin (a protein that acts as a poison to the body's nervous system) that causes muscle spasms. The toxin can travel throughout the body via the bloodstream and lymph system. As it circulates more widely, the toxin interferes with the normal activity of nerves throughout the body, leading to generalized muscle spasms. Spasms can be so forceful that they tear muscles or even cause spine fractures. Without treatment, tetanus can be fatal.

In the United States, most cases of tetanus follow a contaminated cut or deep puncture injury, such as a wound caused by stepping on a nail. Sometimes the injury is so small the person never even sees a doctor. Injuries that involve dead skin (such as burns, frostbite, gangrene, or crush injuries) are more likely to cause tetanus. Wounds contaminated with soil, saliva, or feces — especially if not properly cleaned — and skin punctures from non-sterile needles (such as with drug use or self-performed tattooing or body piercing) are also at increased risk.

Another form of tetanus, neonatal tetanus, occurs in newborns who are delivered in unsanitary conditions, especially if the umbilical cord stump becomes contaminated. Prior to immunizations, neonatal tetanus was much more common in the United States. Now, routine immunizations for tetanus produce antibodies that mothers pass to their unborn babies. These maternal antibodies and sanitary cord-care techniques have made newborn tetanus very rare in developed countries. Much more information is available at this site: http://kidshealth.org/en/parents/tetanus.html .

Tetanus leads to death in about 1 in 10 cases. Several vaccines are used to prevent tetanus among children, adolescents, and adults including DTaP, Tdap, DT, and Td, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommends 5 doses of diphtheria and tetanus toxoids and acellular pertussis (DTaP) vaccine for infants and children. One dose of DTaP vaccine is recommended at each of the following ages: 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, 15 through 18 months, 4 through 6 years old. DTaP vaccine may be given at the same time as other vaccines.

Some children should not get DTaP vaccine or should wait:
·         Children with minor illnesses, such as a cold, may be vaccinated. But children who are moderately or severely ill should usually wait until they recover before getting DTaP vaccine.
·         Any child who had a life-threatening allergic reaction after a dose of DTaP should not get another dose.
·         Any child who suffered a brain or nervous system disease within 7 days after a dose of DTaP should not get another dose.

According to the CDC, you should talk with your doctor if your child:
·         Had a seizure or collapsed after a dose of DTaP
·         Cried non-stop for 3 hours or more after a dose of DTaP
·         Had a fever over 105 degrees Fahrenheit after a dose of DTaP.

Ask your health care provider for more information. Some of these children should not get another dose of pertussis vaccine, but may get a vaccine without pertussis, called DT. DTaP should not be given to anyone 7 years of age or older. Much more info is available at this website: http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vpd-vac/tetanus/ .

According to the National Vaccine Information Center, tetanus bacteria do not survive in the presence of oxygen, which is why puncture wounds, which do not bleed very much and are protected by tissue and skin from direct exposure to the air, are a perfect environment for tetanus bacteria to multiply and cause infection. The incubation period for tetanus infection, from time of exposure to appearance of the first symptoms, can be three days to three weeks.

From 1972 to 2001, 52% of all tetanus cases reported in the U.S., and 76% of all deaths from tetanus were in persons over age 65. From 1987 to 2008, persons with diabetes accounted for 13% of all reported tetanus cases and 29% of all tetanus deaths. Intravenous drug abusers accounted for 15% of all cases during that time period. In 2009 there were 19 tetanus cases reported with two related deaths.

Vaccination is not completely foolproof and can cause some serious side effects in certain cases. The good news is that cases of tetanus have been vastly reduced over the last few decades. The bad news is that there have been some serious repercussions in a very small percentage of the overall population:

·         As of September 1, 2015, there had been 5,277 claims filed in the federal Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) for injuries and deaths following vaccination with tetanus or tetanus-containing vaccines combined with diphtheria vaccine, including 842 deaths and 4,344 serious injuries.

·         Using the MedAlerts search engine, as of September 30, 2015 there had been 22,686 serious adverse events reported to the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS) in connection with tetanus and tetanus-containing vaccines combined with diphtheria vaccine since 1990.

·         Over 70%  of those serious tetanus vaccine-related adverse events occurring in children six years old and under. Of these tetanus-vaccine related adverse event reports to VAERS, 2,678 were deaths, with over 90% of the deaths occurring in children under six years of age.

Currently, there are 15 different tetanus-containing vaccines manufactured by various drug companies, which are licensed in the U.S.  More detailed material about tetanus is available at this website: http://www.nvic.org/Vaccines-and-Diseases/Tetanus.aspx .

Tetanus is a serious medical condition and should be treated as a deadly healthcare situation. Do not go without vaccination, but see your pediatrician or family medical practitioner to talk about all the available options and what they recommend as the best course of action for you and your family. Although all vaccinations carry some risk, the risk of going without preventive care is even greater. Talk with your doctor whenever you have any questions about tetanus.


Until next time.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Health Care and Inflammation

Do you ever suffer from joint pain or other maladies caused by inflammation? It’s more common than you may think. Inflammation is typically defined as a localized physical condition in which part of the body becomes reddened, swollen, hot, and often painful, especially as a reaction to injury or infection.

According to LiveScience, inflammation is a vital part of the body's immune response. It is the body's attempt to heal itself after an injury; defend itself against foreign invaders, such as viruses and bacteria; and repair damaged tissue. Without inflammation, wounds would fester and infections could become deadly. 

Inflammation can also be problematic, though, and it plays a role in some chronic diseases. Inflammation is often characterized by redness, swelling, warmth, and sometimes pain and some immobility. Much more detailed information is located at this website: http://www.livescience.com/52344-inflammation.html .

In a delicate balance of give-and-take, inflammation begins when pro-inflammatory hormones in your body call out for your white blood cells to come and clear out infection and damaged tissue, according to WomenToWomen. These agents are matched by equally powerful, closely related anti-inflammatory compounds, which move in once the threat is neutralized to begin the healing process.

Acute inflammation that ebbs and flows as needed signifies a well-balanced immune system. But symptoms of inflammation that don’t recede are telling you that the “on” switch to your immune system is stuck. It’s poised on high alert — even when you aren’t in imminent danger. In some cases, what started as a healthy mechanism, like building scar tissue or swelling, just won’t shut off. More material about inflammation is available at this website: https://www.womentowomen.com/inflammation/causes-of-inflammation/ .

According to Prevention Magazine, scientists refer to the immune response gone rogue as chronic inflammation and have identified it as a contributor to a wide range of conditions, including heart disease, asthma, and joint pain. Since studies started making these links in the early 2000s, the term inflammation has become somewhat of a buzzword, bandied about by health nuts and doctors alike.

Some physicians consider it such an important predictor of poor health that they monitor patients' blood for a marker of inflammation, called C-reactive protein, as part of a standard workup. This testing is still uncommon, and it's somewhat controversial, but more and more doctors are adjusting to the idea of quantifying how sick is their patient…really. One hundred million Americans suffer from chronic pain, and they deal with it day after day with no clear fix. Twenty-one million have depression, and for many of them, medication and therapy help only so much.

Meanwhile, scientists are still exploring what inflammation is and how it might be responsible for so many health problems like depression and depression symptoms. Much more detail on the connection between inflammation and depression is located at this site: http://www.prevention.com/health/health-concerns/ .

Inflammation has become a medical hot topic, according to Women’s Health Magazine. More and more research shows that chronic inflammation is involved in heavy-hitting illnesses like the following:
·         Cancer
·         Heart disease
·         Diabetes
·         Depression
·         Allergies

It all starts with the immune system, the body's first line of defense against any kind of harm. When you're injured or sick, your bone marrow dispatches veritable SWAT teams of white blood cells to root out infection and jump-start the healing process. Sometimes, however, the immune system gets a faulty distress signal and deploys an unnecessary first-aid squad. Those misguided white blood cells still mobilize just like they would if you were actually under the weather, but because there's no infection for them to attack, they end up just hanging around, often for a long, long time.

However, the problem is that your body isn't made to accommodate this kind of unfocused immune activity, and eventually those white blood cells can start damaging your internal organs. They can also needlessly assault other cells the body routinely uses to push off disease, leaving the door cracked open for illnesses such as cancer. More information on inflammation is located at this website: http://www.womenshealthmag.com/health/chronic-inflammation .

For centuries, scientists have debated whether inflammation is good or bad for you, according to New Yorker Magazine. Now they believe that it’s both: too little, and microbes fester and spread in the body, or wounds fail to heal; too much, and nearby healthy tissue can be degraded or destroyed. The fire of inflammation must be tightly controlled—turned on at the right moment and, just as critically, turned off.

Understanding and controlling inflammation has become a central goal of modern medical investigation. The internal research arm of the National Institutes of Health recently designated inflammation a priority, mobilizing several hundred scientists and hundreds of millions of dollars to better define its role in health and disease. More detailed material about this topic is available at this site: http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/11/30/inflamed .

According to BodyEcology, there are many reasons why you may suffer from inflammation:
·         Chronic low-grade food allergies or food sensitivities that may cause a few symptoms.
·         An imbalance of bacteria and fungi in your gastrointestinal tract, also known as dysbiosis. This causes your immune system to overreact to bacteria in your gut and can be without notable symptoms.
·         Stress! Constant psychological, emotional or physical stress raises the level of cortisol, creating inflammation.
·         Environmental toxicity from air, water, food pollutants and toxic metals like mercury and lead all contribute to inflammation and have been linked to diseases as varied as endometriosis and cancer.
·         Diet and lifestyle: too much fat, sugar, and protein in your diet, constant dehydration, consumption of too many sodas or caffeine, inactivity, and lack of sleep can all increase inflammation in your body.

If you reduce inflammation in your body, you'll not only look and feel younger, but you'll significantly lower your risk for chronic disease. More info on this subject is located at this site: http://bodyecology.com/articles/inflammation_cause_of_disease_how_to_prevent.php .

According to Mercola, the presence of inflammation is what makes most disease perceptible to an individual. It can and often does occur for years before it exists at levels sufficient to be apparent or clinically significant. How long it has been smoldering really determines the degree of severity of a disease and often the prognosis assuming the inflammation can be controlled.

Inflammation is rampant. In fact 1 in 12 women and 1 in 24 men are dealing with full blown autoimmune mediated inflammation. The number of undiagnosed people is going to be much higher. People with inflammation in the early phases of autoimmunity will often claim no dietary involvement. This is an inaccurate assumption however because the autoimmunity is often triggered by factors not strictly related to diet and the diet can become a secondary trigger later in the development of the condition.

If you are dealing with inflammation, then get a comprehensive professional medical evaluation to look at what is perpetuating your personal situation. More information is located at this website: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/03/07/inflammation-triggers-disease-symptoms.aspx .

Inflammation can be good for you when it’s controlled. When it is out of control, then your natural healing process needs help. See your doctor in cases of acute or ongoing inflammation, and recognize the symptoms of how your personal situation have developed. Diagnosis and treatment in a timely manner are worth the time and effort to discover the cause and possible options for your own healthcare when you suffer from inflammation.


Until next time.