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Decrease Pain, Increase Energy

 Exercise more to decrease pain and feel more energetic? Hardly seems possible with Rheumatoid Arthritis. But it’s true! Inactivity decreases joint motion and flexibility. Inactivity also can lead to weak muscles and deformed joints. Regular exercise helps reverse joint stiffness, builds muscle, and boosts overall fitness. With regular exercise, you can feel stronger with less fatigue. But first, see your doctor before starting an exercise program.

Choose Low-Impact Aerobics

 These exercises build endurance and strong bones and also strengthen leg muscles. Low-impact aerobic exercises include stair climbing, walking, dancing, and low-impact cardio machines, like the elliptical trainer.

To do: Start by exercising a few minutes each day, adding more time as you can. Aim to exercise at a moderate pace, 30 to 60 minutes, most days each week.

Strengthen Muscles and Bones

 Include resistance exercises two to three times a week to improve muscle strength and mobility and decrease joint pain. Stronger muscles decrease joint pain by better supporting the joints. Strengthening exercises also increase your metabolism and help you shed pounds.

To do: Use elastic bands, free weights, or machines for resistance. Ask the trainer at your local fitness center to show you how to use resistance machines.

Swimmers, Take Your Mark!

 Swimming is a great way to increase conditioning for all your joints, as well as strengthen your back, without putting excess stress on your joints.

To do: Start slowly with just a few minutes in a heated pool. Use a kickboard when you first start to get used to moving in the water. Gradually build to a goal of swimming 30 minutes at a time. Increase physical activity with each exercise period until you reach your goal time.

Healthy Body, Healthy Heart

 Aerobic exercise helps build a healthy body and a stronger heart. People with Rheumatoid Arthritis are more likely to develop heart disease. However, getting your heart pumping with exercise helps reduce that risk. Aerobic exercise reduces blood pressure and improves cholesterol. Because bone loss often occurs with Rheumatoid Arthritis, weight-bearing exercise like walking, dancing, and climbing stairs helps prevent osteoporosis.

Try Isometrics

 When regular strength training is painful on the joints, isometric exercise is another way to build muscle. Isometrics involve tensing the muscle without any visible movement.

Isometric Chest Press

To do: With your arms at chest level, press the palms of your hands together as hard as you can. Hold the press for 5 seconds; then rest for 5 seconds. Do another 5 second press and a 5 second rest. Do 5 repetitions. Slowly build up to holding the press for 10 to 15 seconds at a time. If this exercise hurts your joints, ask a trainer to show you another isometric chest exercise.

Isometric Shoulder Extension

To do: This isometric exercise is done standing with your back against a wall and your arms at your sides. With your elbows straight, push your arms back toward the wall. Hold for 5 seconds, and then rest. You can repeat this 10 times. If this exercise hurts your joints, ask a trainer to show you another isometric shoulder exercise.

Thigh Exercise

 This exercise strengthens the thigh muscles, which are a major support for the knees.

To do: Sit on the floor or a bed with one leg straight and the other bent. Then tighten the thigh muscles of your straight leg as hard as you can. Keep the thigh muscle tight and count to six. Relax, and then repeat. Do with the opposite leg, gradually increasing up to five, then 10, then 15 repetitions, twice daily with each leg. If this exercise hurts your joints, ask a trainer to show you another isometric thigh exercise.

Stretch to Increase Flexibility

 Regular stretching is important to increase flexibility and restore joint motion. To ease pain and stiffness, use moist heat or warm baths before and after stretching exercises. Also, warm up with light aerobic exercise such as walking for 10 minutes before stretching to decrease risk of injury. Hold stretches for 30 seconds without bouncing or jerking.

Tip: Use a towel to bridge the distance between your hands if you cannot comfortably connect them.

Stretch Your Fingers

To do: Close your fingers, making a fist. Then, open and extend the fingers as straight as possible. Repeat this exercise, gradually increasing up to 20 times, twice daily. To further increase strength, squeeze a foam or sponge ball about the size of a tennis ball. Release and extend the fingers.

Keep Wrists Flexible

To do: This exercise is done sitting at a table or desk. With your left forearm on the table, let your left hand hang over the edge of the table. Using your right hand, grab the fingers of your left hand and bend your left hand at the wrist, slowly moving it up and then down as far as possible without pain. Repeat with the opposite hand. Increase up to 20 repetitions, twice daily.

Perform an Elbow Stretch

To do: With your arm extended, parallel to the floor, position your palm face up. Using your opposite hand, grab hold of the fingers and pull the palm of the extended hand toward the floor. Hold for 30 seconds. Now, do the same exercise, except this time turn your palm face down. Using the opposite hand, push the top of your extended fingers and hand down toward the floor. Hold for 30 seconds.

Try Hip Rotation

To do: Sit or lie on your back on the floor or on a bed, feet slightly apart. With your legs and knees straight, turn your knees in toward each other and touch the toes of your feet together, holding for 5 seconds. Now turn the legs and knees out, and hold for 5 seconds. Repeat this, gradually increasing up to five, 10, and then 20 repetitions, twice daily.

Get Flexible Feet

To do: Facing the wall, place palms flat on the wall, one foot forward, and one foot back. Leaving your heels on the floor, lean forward. As you do so, feel the pull in the calf of your back leg and the Achilles tendon at the back of the ankle. Hold for 30 seconds. Do three repetitions. Then reverse the position of your legs and repeat.

Tai Chi Increases Flexibility

 The ancient discipline of tai chi can help those with Rheumatoid Arthritis increase range of motion, boost flexibility, and tone muscles to provide better balance. The focus of tai chi is on breathing and creating an inner stillness, allowing participants to relax.

Avoid High-Impact Exercise

 High-impact exercises, such as jogging, running, or playing tennis on hard pavement, can put excess stress on your joints. Lifting heavy weights may also not be the best form of exercise for people with Rheumatoid Arthritis. Looking for a more intense workout? Talk with your doctor first to see if you can do more taxing exercises such as heavy weight lifting, tennis, basketball, or volleyball without risk of joint injury.

Balance Rest with Exercise

 Fatigue is common with Rheumatoid Arthritis, making it difficult to feel energetic, so balance rest with exercise. During a flare, short periods of rest are important to reduce active joint inflammation and pain and to fight fatigue. This doesn’t mean bed rest, unless your doctor recommends it. Too much inactivity weakens muscles and can increase joint pain.

Consider a Personal Trainer

 Talk with your doctor about the benefits of a personal trainer. Having a personal trainer may allow you to personalize your exercise regimen, while increasing fitness and avoiding injury. Don’t let the fact that you have rheumatoid arthritis stop you from exercising the way you’d like.

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Septum

The septum is the wall of bone and cartilage that divides your nose into two separate nostrils. A deviated septum occurs when your septum is moved to one side of your nose. Some people are born with a deviated septum, but it can also be caused by an injury to your nose. Most people with a deviated septum have one nasal passage that’s much smaller than the other.

Septoplasty

Septoplasty is a surgical procedure to correct a deviated septum. Septoplasty straightens the septum, allowing for better airflow through your nose.

    • Septoplasty is a surgical procedure that’s done to fix a deviated nasal septum. A deviated septum occurs when the cartilage that separates your nostrils is out of position. This can cause breathing problems, nosebleeds, and pain.
    • The main goal of septoplasty is to correct the alignment of your septum in order to improve airflow through your nose.
    • Septoplasty is typically an outpatient procedure and can be done under either local or general anesthesia.

Procedure for Septoplasty

A septoplasty takes anywhere from 30 to 90 minutes to complete, depending on the complexity of the condition. You’ll be under either local or general anesthesia, depending on what you and your doctor decide is best for you.

In a typical procedure, the surgeon will make an incision on one side of your nose to access the septum. They’ll then lift up the mucous membrane, which is the protective covering of the septum. Then, the deviated septum will be moved into the right position. Any barriers, such as extra pieces of bone or cartilage, will be removed. The last step is the repositioning of the mucous membrane.

You may need stitches to hold the septum and membrane in place. However, packing the nose with cotton is sometimes enough to keep them in position.

 

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Indigestion

Indigestion (dyspepsia) happens to almost everyone from time to time. It may cause stomach discomfort or a feeling of being too full. When severe, it can cause heartburn, bloating, nausea, and vomiting. Indigestion may be the result of your eating habits, or it can be a chronic problem.

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Symptoms

    • Bloating
    • Belching and gas
    • Nausea and vomiting
    • An acidic taste in your mouth
    • Fullness during or after a meal
    • Growling stomach
    • Burning in your stomach or upper belly
    • Belly pain

Causes

    • Ulcers
    • GERD
    • Stomach cancer. This is rare
    • Gastroparesis, a condition where the stomach doesn’t empty properly. It often happens to people with diabetes
    • Stomach infections
    • Irritable bowel syndrome
    • Pancreatitis, an inflamed pancreas
    • Thyroid disease

How Can I Prevent Indigestion?

The best way to avoid getting it is to steer clear of the foods and situations that seem to cause it. You can keep a food diary to figure out what you eat that gives you trouble. Other ways to prevent the problem:

    • Eat small meals so your stomach doesn’t have to work as hard or as long.
    • Eat slowly.
    • Avoid foods with a lot of acid, such as citrus fruits and tomatoes.
    • Cut back on or avoid foods and drinks that have caffeine.
    • If stress is a trigger, learn new ways to manage it, such as relaxation and biofeedback techniques.
    • If you smoke, quit. Or at least, don’t light up right before or after you eat, since smoking can irritate your stomach.
    • Cut back on alcohol.
    • Avoid wearing tight-fitting clothes. They can put pressure on your stomach, which can make the food you’ve eaten move up into your esophagus.
    • Don’t exercise with a full stomach. Do it before a meal or at least 1 hour after you eat.
    • Don’t lie down right after you’ve eaten.
    • Wait at least 3 hours after your last meal of the day before you go to bed.

Raise the top of your bed so that your head and chest are higher than your feet. You can do this by placing 6-inch blocks under the top bedposts. Don’t use piles of pillows to achieve the same goal. You’ll only put your head at an angle that can increase pressure on your stomach and make heartburn worse.

When Should I Call the Doctor?

Because indigestion can be a sign of a more serious health problem, let your doctor know if you have any of the following symptoms:

    • Vomiting or blood in your vomit. It may look like coffee grounds.
    • Weight loss you can’t explain
    • Loss of appetite
    • Stools that are bloody, black, or tarry
    • Severe pain in your upper-right belly
    • Pain in the upper- or lower-right parts of your belly
    • Feeling uncomfortable even if you haven’t eaten

A heart attack can cause symptoms that feel like indigestion. Get medical help right away if you have shortness of breath, sweating, or pain that spreads along your jaw, neck, or arm.

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What is Alzheimer’s Disease?

Alzheimer’s disease is an irreversible, progressive brain disorder that slowly destroys memory and thinking skills, and eventually the ability to carry out the simplest tasks. In most people with Alzheimer’s, symptoms first appear in their mid-60s.

What is the cause of Alzheimer’s disease?

Like all types of dementia, Alzheimer’s is caused by brain cell death. It is a neurodegenerative disease, which means there is progressive brain cell death that happens over a course of time. The total brain size shrinks with Alzheimer’s– the tissue has progressively fewer nerve cells and connections.

Is there a cure for Alzheimer’s disease?

Currently, there is no cure for Alzheimer’s. But drug and non-drug treatments may help with both cognitive and behavioral symptoms. Researchers are looking for new treatments to alter the course of the disease and improve the quality of life for people with dementia.

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7 Stages of Alzheimer’s Disease:

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Stage 1: No Impairment

During this stage, Alzheimer’s disease is not detectable and no memory problems or other symptoms of dementia are evident.

Stage 2: Very Mild Decline

The senior may notice minor memory problems or lose things around the house, although not to the point where the memory loss can easily be distinguished from normal age related memory loss. The person will still do well on memory tests and the disease is unlikely to be detected by physicians or loved ones.

Stage 3: Mild Decline

At this stage, the friends and family members of the senior may begin to notice memory and cognitive problems. Performance on memory and cognitive tests are affected and physicians will be able to detect impaired cognitive function.

Patients in stage 3 will have difficulty in many areas including:

  • Finding the right word during conversations
  • Remembering names of new acquaintances
  • Planning and organizing

People with stage three Alzheimer’s may also frequently lose personal possessions, including
valuables.

Stage 4: Moderate Decline

In stage four of Alzheimer’s disease clear cut symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease are apparent. Patients with stage four Alzheimer’s disease:

  • Have difficulty with simple arithmetic
  • May forget details about their life histories
  • Have poor short term memory (may not recall what they ate for breakfast, for example)
  • Inability to manage finance and pay bills

Stage 5: Moderately Severe Decline

During the fifth stage of Alzheimer’s, patients begin to need help with many day to day activities. People in stage five of the disease may experience:

    • Significant confusion
    • Inability to recall simple details about themselves such as their own phone number
    • Difficulty dressing appropriately

On the other hand, patients in stage five maintain a modicum of functionality. They typically can still bathe and toilet independently. They also usually still know their family members and some detail about their personal histories, especially their childhood and youth.

Stage 6: Severe Decline

Patients with the sixth stage of Alzheimer’s disease need constant supervision and frequently require professional care. Symptoms include:

      • Confusion or unawareness of environment and surroundings
      • Major personality changes and potential behavior problems
      • The need for assistance with activities of daily living such as toileting and bathing
      • Inability to recognize faces except closest friends and relatives
      • Inability to remember most details of personal history
      • Loss of bowel and bladder control
      • Wandering

Stages 7: Very Severe Decline

Stage seven is the final stage of Alzheimer’s disease. Because Alzheimer’s disease is a terminal illness, patients in stage seven are nearing death. In stage seven of the disease, patients lose ability to respond to their environment or communicate. While they may still be able to utter words and phrases, they have no insight into their condition and need assistance with all activities of daily living. In the final stages of the illness, patients may lose their ability to swallow.

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What Causes Liver Failure?

The most common causes of chronic liver failure (where the liver fails over months to years) include:

    • Hepatitis B
    • Hepatitis C
    • Long-term alcohol consumption
    • Cirrhosis
    • Hemochromatosis (an inherited disorder that causes the body to absorb and store too much iron)
    • Malnutrition

The causes of acute liver failure, when the liver fails rapidly, however, are often different. These include:

    • Acetaminophen (Tylenol) overdose
    • Viruses including hepatitis A, B, and C (especially in children)
    • Reactions to certain prescription and herbal medications
    • Ingestion of poisonous wild mushrooms

What Are the Symptoms of Liver Failure?

The initial symptoms of liver failure are often ones that can be due to any number or conditions. Because of this, liver failure may be initially difficult to diagnose. Early symptoms include:

    • Nausea
    • Loss of appetite
    • Fatigue
    • Diarrhea

However, as liver failure progresses, the symptoms become more serious, requiring urgent care. These symptoms include:

    • Jaundice
    • Bleeding easily
    • Swollen abdomen
    • Mental disorientation or confusion (known as hepatic encephalopathy)
    • Sleepiness
    • Coma

How Is Liver Failure Treated?

If detected early enough, acute liver failure caused by an overdose of acetaminophen can sometimes be treated and its effects reversed. Likewise, if a virus causes liver failure, supportive care can be given at a hospital to treat the symptoms until the virus runs its course. In these cases, the liver will sometimes recover on its own.

For liver failure that is the result of long-term deterioration, the initial treatment goal may be to save whatever part of the liver is still functioning. If this is not possible, then a liver transplant is required. Fortunately, liver transplant is a common procedure that is often successful.

How Can Liver Failure Be Prevented?

The best way to prevent liver failure is to limit your risk of developing cirrhosis or hepatitis. Here are some tips to help prevent these conditions:

    • Get a hepatitis vaccine or an immunoglobulin shot to prevent hepatitis A or B.
    • Eat a proper diet from all of the food groups.
    • Drink alcohol in moderation. Avoid alcohol when you are taking acetaminophen (Tylenol).
    • Practice proper hygiene. Since germs are commonly spread by hands, be sure to wash your hands thoroughly after you use the bathroom. Also, wash your hands before you touch any food.
    • Don’t handle any blood or blood products.
    • Don’t share any personal toiletry items, including toothbrushes and razors.
    • If you get a tattoo or a body piercing, make sure the conditions are sanitary and all equipment is aseptic (free of disease-causing microorganisms).
    • Be sure to use protection (condoms) when having sex.
    • If you use illegal intravenous drugs, don’t share needles with anyone.

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Most Embarrassing Pregnancy Symptoms & Tips

1. Excess Gas

Virtually every pregnant woman gets gassy. That’s because pregnancy brings a hormonal surge that can slow down your gastrointestinal tract.

You might not be able to keep it to yourself because you don’t have the same control over your muscles during pregnancy.

Though you can’t erase the problem, you can reduce your tendency toward gassiness with exercise and changes to your diet.

Tip: Exercise helps increase the motility of the GI tract, allowing food to move through faster. “The less time it has to sit around and ferment, the less gas is produced. Some foods are more likely to produce gas, so the best bet is to avoid them completely: carbonated drinks, beans, broccoli, cauliflower, and dried fruit.”

2. Incontinence

You may have heard stories about pregnant women sneezing and accidentally emptying their bladders while standing among friends or co-workers. Most pregnant women who experience stress incontinence – involuntarily leaking urine because of a jarring cough, sneeze, or laugh — only lose a few drops. But it can still feel embarrassing.

Tip: Many doctors recommend that women wear panty liners to catch leaks during the last few months of pregnancy when stress incontinence is more likely. Regular trips to the bathroom can also help.

3. Odors

Some women develop a stronger sense of smell during pregnancy. Many develop an aversion to strong food odors, such as poultry or seafood. A smaller percentage of women begin picking up on their own scent, which can be embarrassing.

Tip: Tell your doctor about any new noticeable vaginal odors to rule out a yeast infection, which can be safely treated with anti-fungals during pregnancy.

4. Hemorrhoids

Hemorrhoids are a sure bet when a woman becomes pregnant,” They often occur with Constipation and the straining that ensues in an attempt to have a bowel movement. And we all know that constipation is one of the most common complaints in pregnancy.”

Tip: Reduce your risk of developing hemorrhoids by avoiding constipation. Stay well-hydrated, eat more fiber, and use over-the-counter stool softeners.

If hemorrhoids develop, witch hazel pads and anti-inflammatory creams can help, and they’re safe during pregnancy.

5. Acne

Pimples and unsightly outbreaks are common — especially during the first trimester– because of the additional hormones coursing through your system. Certain acne medications, such as Retin-A, are off-limits during pregnancy, but other treatments are allowed.

Tip: “Most acne washes are safe since the product does not sit on your skin for long periods of time. But ask your doctor before using any acne product. Use topical acne medication sparingly, only on affected areas. Products containing salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide and azelaic acid are safe to use in small amounts.”

6. Intimacy Issues

Weight Gain and other physical changes can make you feel unattractive around your partner. Don’t let that lead to communication and intimacy problems.

Some people get embarrassed about being physically intimate, The discharge will change. There’s a potential for vulvar swelling. They feel very uncomfortable and don’t feel they look attractive.”

Tip: If you’re having trouble broaching this topic with your partner, consider inviting your partner to an ob-gyn visit, particularly if you’ve discussed your intimacy issues with your doctor at a previous appointment.


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