Causes of Coronary Heart Disease

Numerous extensive researches and studies have recognized a number of factors responsible for increasing the risk of coronary heart disease. According to those researches, these risk factors are highly associated with coronary heart disease, but the degree of their prevalence is not yet accurately determined, the reason that these factors are just deemed by many as contributing causes of coronary heart disease.

The contributing causes of coronary heart disease are to some degree controllable, modifiable and treatable. However, there are some that can’t really be changed in whatever way you may think. They just happen naturally and no one can escape from them. Examples of these natural causes of coronary heart disease are age, heredity, and sex. Let’s talk about these factors one by one.

* Age: Human beings live with an increasing age. As the days go by, their age increase and the more they age, the more chances for the coronary heart disease to occur. This is what many studies have shown. They based their theories mainly on the findings that more than 83 percent of those who die of coronary heart disease are 65 or older.

* Hereditary Factors: Coronary heart disease is said to occur as a result of heredity. This means that a person who has a family history of coronary heart disease is more likely to develop the disease. Simply put, the chances of coronary heart disease to occur in a person depend largely on the medical history of that person. As what most people have said, CHD runs in the blood.

* Gender: A multitude of researches have found out that men have a greater risk of developing coronary heart disease than women. They even have attacks earlier in life, and although the rate of women who die from CHD after the menopausal is high, it’s not as great as men’s rate.

So you’ve read about the causes of coronary heart disease that can’t be altered or changed. Let us now take a look at the causes of coronary heart diseases that CAN be modified and treated.

* Smoking: Cigarette smoking has long been considered as one of the biggest contributing causes of coronary heart disease. It is said that those who smoke are likely to die from sudden cardiac death for about twice the risk of nonsmokers. This is the reason basically that people are strongly advised to quit smoking.

* High Cholesterol Level: When the level of cholesterol in the body increase, the greater the chances of CHD to develop. This may even lead to high blood pressure, further causing CHD to occur. And, an uncontrolled level of cholesterol may lead to obesity, which is but one of the biggest causes of coronary heart disease.

* Inactive Lifestyle: This is but another huge factor causing CHD to occur and develop into something chronic. So, people who have greater risks of developing coronary heart disease are advised to take regular exercise, which can help increase the flow of blood and oxygen to the body. It can even strengthen the heart contractions, allowing your heart to pump more blood without much effort.

So those are basically the major causes of coronary heart disease. It is wise to note and understand them to easily identify the best treatment. And, if you want heart disease to keep it’s distance from you, then do something to change the modifiable causes . Make your heart healthy. If you don’t know where to start, maybe it’s time to visit your doctor.

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10 facts about your body you might not have known

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Arthritis Medications

Arthritis Medication

Arthritis is a painful condition of the joints that causes swelling and inflammation. It can occur at any time of a person’s life, no matter the gender. As of now, medical science has yet to find a cure to arthritis, but there are several treatment methods available to alleviate the symptoms, the most common of which is pain.

Below are some arthritis medications that have been approved for consumer use:

NSAIDs (Non Steroidal Anti Inflammatory Drugs)

NSAIDs are the most common arthritis medications, available in most drugstore shelves, supermarket, and even discount or convenient stores. As an over the counter drug, you do not need a physician’s prescription to start using this arthritis medication.

The main purpose of the drug is to reduce pain – from muscles aches and headaches to minor joint pains and fever, all of which are common symptoms of arthritis. In addition to pain reduction, NSAID can also help alleviate joint inflammation.

NSAIDs are available in three basic categories: traditional NSAIDs, COX-2 inhibitors, and salicylates.

Analgesics

Analgesics are like NSAIDs in that they can provide relief for pain. However, that is all that this arthritis medication can do. It cannot reduce inflammation or swelling of the joints. Nevertheless, analgesics are most helpful if, for some reason, the patient cannot take NSAIDs (like if he is allergic to it or suffers stomach problems if he takes that arthritis medication) to help relieve pain.

Biologic Response Modifiers

Most arthritis medications are symptom-specified. That is, they commonly target only the signs and symptoms of arthritis, such as joint pains and inflammation, not the disease itself. However, there is a class of arthritis medications that aim at halting disease progression. They are called biologic response modifiers or BRMs. This class of arthritis medication works in different ways, although all of them have something to do with a protein called cytokines. By inhibiting the production of cytokines, BRMs can effectively stop inflammation.

Corticosteroids

Corticosteroids, more commonly known as steroids, make up some of the oldest and most effective arthritis medication. It is also one of the fastest working. Joints, eyes, and internal organs that have been damaged due to arthritic inflammation can be spared with the application of steroids. Not only that, but there have been many cases where steroids saved lives.

However, this arthritis medication needs to be used properly and sparingly. Because while steroids have the potential to help arthritic patients, they also have the potential to do great harm by causing bones to become brittle, cataracts to occur, and blood sugar levels to elevate.

DMARDs (Disease Modifying Anti Rheumatic Drugs

This is another arthritis medication that targets arthritis as a disease and not just its symptoms. In this aspect, DMARDs are similar to BRMs, which also aims to halt progression of the disease. One key difference is that DMARDs, while effective, work slow and produce gradual results. Some types of this drug, like hydroxychloroquine for instance, may take three or four months before you notice any results. This gives you all the more reason to start it early.

This type of arthritis medication is commonly used for rheumatoid arthritis, as what its name suggests. However, there have been cases where this DMARDs were also used to treat juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spndylitis, psoriatic arthritis, and lupus.

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Diabetes and Heart Disease

Diabetes management is critical. Let your doctor help put together a plan you can manage.

Diabetes management is critical. Let your doctor help put together a plan you can manage.

Diabetes and heart disease go hand-in-hand. Diabetic persons are at much greater risk of having heart attacks, high blood pressure, and strokes. People who have diabetes have often much higher blood sugar level that can cause damage to many parts of the body including the blood vessels. Vascular problems due to diabetes may also include poor circulation to the legs and feet, unfortunately these problems can go undetected and can start early in life.

Diabetes and heart disease can start before the age of thirty. Two most common types of diabetes are type 1 and type 2. Type 1 diabetes also called insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus is an autoimmune disease where the body’s immune system attacks the pancreas’ cells that produce insulin, resulting in low amount of insulin or no insulin at all. Type 2 diabetes or non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus is the outcome of the body’s inability to produce enough insulin or no insulin at all.

The American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends early diagnosis, treatment and management of risk factors.

Sufferers of this disease experience changes in the blood vessels where the linings of the blood vessels may become thicker making it more difficult for the flow of blood through the vessels. Blood vessels in other parts of the body can also be damaged due to diabetes that can lead to kidney problems, eye problems, and poor circulation to the legs and feet.

Heart disease rates in adults are two to four times higher with diabetes than adults without. The risk of stroke is also two to four times higher for diabetic people. Seventy- three percent of diabetic adults also has high blood pressure and has heart attacks at an earlier age.

The most common symptoms of heart disease may include chest pain, shortness of breath, irregular heartbeat, and swollen ankles. However, every person may experience symptoms differently. These symptoms may also resemble other medical conditions and so it is always advisable to seek the help of a physician for diagnosis.

Heart disease may still occur to a person taking proper self-care. The physician will determine specific treatment of the heart disease according to age, medical history and overall health of the person. It will also be based on the extent of the disease and the tolerance for specific medications, procedure or therapies.

When risk factors for a person with diabetes are eliminated or reduced, the risk for heart disease may also be reduced. Taking care of ones health and controlling blood sugar can often slow down or avoid the onset of complications for diabetes and heart disease.

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Sore Throat Set off by Acid Reflux

Acid Reflux Disease

Not just a little heartburn, acid reflux disease can lead to serious complications. See your doctor for help.

Acid reflux refers to the condition in which the partially digested food containing digestive juices travels back into the esophagus from the mouth.

To describe the mechanical layout of this disease, our digestive system has a circular band of muscle called lower esophageal sphincter. This muscle splits the stomach from the esophagus. When the food enters the stomach, this muscle closes so as to prevent the partially digested materials from traveling back into the esophagus. But when the lower esophageal sphincter is rendered incompetent, the stomach contents are allowed to regurgitate or spit up.

The stomach contents that moves back to the esophagus contains digestive acids since they have undergone digestion in the stomach where digestive liquids are released to facilitate the digestion. Because of the acidic nature of the refluxed materials, inflammation develops in the lining of the throat; thus a sore throat is one of the most common symptoms of this condition.

Sore throat is usually associated with other symptoms, though sometimes it is uncommon, such as the occurrence of pus on the tonsil surface and drooling or frequent spitting. Moreover, a patient with sore throat may also experience difficulty in breathing caused by the narrowing of the air passage through the larynx or pharynx.

The pain or other difficulties caused by sore throat can be abated, if not treated, with simple self-treatments that can be done at home. Gargling is a recommended practice. You may try gargling with warm water mixed with table salt. Drinking a lot of water is also very important. Get extra sleep, for this encourages faster recovery. Popsicles or cold drinks are good for sore throats. Humidifiers or vaporizers can be used to sooth the pain in the throat. And also, sucking on solid candies, which help promote saliva production, works as an alternative remedy. It is known that saliva contains bicarbonates that help neutralize the acids that might have remained in the throat due to the reflux.

But if home-treatments are not enough to ease your condition with the sore throat, medical treatments are available. The intake of medicine is particularly advised for those who experience associated symptoms like difficulty in breathing, dehydration or body water loss, and severe pains. Take antibiotics if you feel that viral or bacterial infections have further developed in the throat. Also, rheumatic fever can be prevented from arising, though this condition is very much uncommon. Corticosteroids, which have an anti-inflammatory effect, can help in case of critical sore throat conditions.

Preventive measures and remedies, of course, are available to minimize the incidence of acid reflux, and sore throat, as well. One practical and immediate treatment is the application of gravity; that is, the person is kept in upright position at most times so to hold the digested materials down. Gravity can help prevent regurgitation, or the traveling of the stomach contents back up to the esophagus.

Eating habits should also be changed to facilitate in the treatment of acid reflux. Usual cases of acid reflux usually take place after a meal. It is recommended that evening meals should be taken earlier and in smaller quantities. This is so that the stomach can get emptied in a shorter period of time as compared to when heavy meals are eaten. Moreover, patients with acid reflux have less chances of regurgitating when they lie down.

Medications are also available. Some drugs act to neutralize the acids in the stomach and some work by blocking the production of acids by controlling the actions of histamine.

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Anxiety and Depression

Depression and anxiety

You are not alone. Your doctor is here to help. Depression and anxiety are diseases. Treatments exist.

Summary: Anxiety and depression are familiar conditions to us, but are also among the most serious illnesses in the world.

There are times when we feel anxious and moody. So what? We all go through the same things from time to time, don’t we? Anxiety and depression are normal part of life. Who has not studied for an exam without having test anxiety, and then scored much higher for it? Anxiety can keep us alert. Depression, on the other hand, can slow us down, giving us time to reflect and recollect ourselves. In other words, anxiety and depression express moods that are familiar to everybody.

But, when anxiety and depression seem to come from nowhere, last for weeks without relief, and get in the way of everyday activities, then we are not talking ordinary moods anymore; they are now illnesses. Anxiety and depressions are one of the most common mental illnesses in the world today.

People with anxiety disorder may have several physical symptoms, like trembling, sweating, muscle aches, nausea, fatigue, palpitation, dry mouth, cold and clammy hands. Emotionally, they are apprehensive, irritable; they have the feeling of impending doom, and they are self-conscious- feeling like being watched and criticized, etc. Obviously, people with anxiety disorder are often left immobilized. Anxiety keeps them house-bound, away from people, not able to do normal and simple for fear of this or that. People experiencing anxiety symptoms should know that it is a common disorder and is very curable.
The anxiety symptoms that you may experience include:
o Palpitations
o Increased sweating
o Shaking
o Shortness of breath
o Chest pain
o Nausea or stomach discomfort
o Feeling of light-headedness
o A feeling of unreality
o Feeling of being detached from oneself
o Fear of losing control or going crazy
o Fear of dying
o Feeling of impending doom
Depression, on the other hand, is a serious medical condition that affects the body, mood, and thoughts. It affects the way a person eats and sleeps, ones self concept, and the way one thinks about things. A depressive disorder is not the same as passing blue mood. It is not an indication of personal weakness or a state that can be willed or wished away. A person with depressive disorder usually can’t pull themselves together and get better. Without treatment, symptoms can last for weeks to years. The treatment involves medications and/or temporary psychotherapy, which can be more helpful with depression sufferer. The symptoms of depressions may include:
o Persistent sad, anxious, or empty mood
o Feelings of hopelessness, pessimism
o Loss of interest in hobbies or activities that were once enjoyed, including sex
o Guilty feelings, worthlessness, helplessness
o Decreased energy, fatigue
o Difficulty concentrating, remembering, making decisions
o Appetite and/or weight changes
o Trouble sleeping or oversleeping, early morning awakening
o Thoughts of death or suicide, or suicide attempts
o Restlessness and irritability
o Persistent physical symptoms such as headaches, digestive disorders, and chronic pain that does not respond to routine treatment.

Anxiety and depression are two different conditions, but they are the same in the sense of the intensity of how serious these conditions can be. They are among the most common and most treatable mental illnesses in the world.

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