Battling Infertility with Hope

Dental Issues Related to Lupus

Routine dental exams that detect changes—some of which you may not even be aware of—in the mouth play a significant role in the management of lupus. Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease that can affect multiple parts of the body, including your mouth.

Your dentist can check for lesions inside the cheeks and on the lips and roof of your mouth. Oral problems that are detected may be related to the disease process itself, medications, or secondary infections.

Oral Symptoms of Lupus

Red ulcers in your mouth can be a sign of active lupus disease. Since these discoid lesions aren’t always painful, if you have lupus, your dentist can check for oral lesions inside the mouth and on the tongue during your regular dental exams.

It may be necessary to biopsy any lesions discovered to determine if they are symptoms of active lupus disease–commonly known as periods of flare. Sometimes oral lesions are not a sign of active disease but are a reaction to medications used to treat lupus.

Oral Side Effects of Lupus Treatment

Drugs, such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatories, corticosteroids, antimalarials, and immunosuppressives, used to treat lupus symptoms can cause oral complications. Reactions to these drugs can change the color of the lining on the palate of your mouth—often a side effect of antimalarial drugs.

Oral thrush yeast infection is an oral fungal infection that can develop due to a suppressed immune system from taking corticosteroids or immunosuppressive drugs. Immunosuppressant drugs can also cause gingival hyperplasia–enlargement of gum tissue. Therefore, it’s important to practice good oral hygiene.

Swelling of the tongue and lip may also occur as a side effect of immunosuppressive medications. While lip swelling is common, a tongue that swells within minutes is a severe reaction that can block the airway. Slight tongue swelling that occurs slowly isn’t as serious and may be due to inflammation. Your dentist may prescribe steroids to reduce inflammation and swelling.

Herpes simplex—a viral infection—is another oral complication that may occur as a reaction to medications. Oral herpes generally presents as painful fever blisters or cold sores on the lips. Although uncommon, the infection can occur on the tongue and gums or upper part of the throat.

Co-Existing Autoimmune Disease

Sjogren’s syndrome is a common chronic autoimmune disorder that often occurs with lupus. The disease affects the salivary glands in the mouth, causing dry mouth. Saliva keeps oral tissue inside the mouth moist and helps neutralize acids that can lead to cavities.

Lack of saliva production makes you more susceptible to tooth decay as well as oral fungal infections such as angular cheilitis, which is characterized by sores in the corners of the mouth. Dry mouth can also cause red or white spots on the tongue. A tongue that appears shiny and red is another sign of dry mouth related to Sjogren’s syndrome. Other oral symptoms of Sjogren’s syndrome include cracks or deep grooves in the tongue, a burning sensation that affects the tongue, and trouble swallowing due to dry mouth.

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3 Benefits of Nanoknife Cancer Treatment

Getting diagnosed with cancer is always a stressful time, but it can be especially bad if the doctors inform you that the cancer is inoperable or difficult-to-reach because it is located near your vital organs. Luckily, thanks to advances in modern technology, there is now at least one option for these types of tumors that can give the patient a fighting chance. NanoKnife surgery works by using electrical currents that are essentially used to zap the tumor into submission. Here are three reasons why NanoKnife surgery might be right for you.

No Open Incisions or Significant Damage to Healthy Tissue

NanoKnife surgery requires a few small needles to be placed into the body that are used to help aim the electrical current at the tumor but there is no significant incision made like with other types of cancer surgery. The electrical current also does not have any significant negative side effects like say, radiation does, and you will not experience significant damage to otherwise healthy tissue located near the tumor.

No Long Hospital Stays

NanoKnife cancer treatments can be completed within a few hours and are typically performed on an outpatient basis. It’s possible to get NanoKnife cancer treatments while still maintaining your normal life outside of the hospital. You’ll also experience less pain after the fact and your energy won’t be sapped like with other types of cancer treatments.

The Body Heals Naturally

NanoKnife treatment essentially gets your tumor to become unbalanced and triggers a “cell suicide” that causes it to die. After this happens, your body will begin to naturally replace the dead cells in the area with new, healthy cells. While NanoKnife is typically used on patients with hard to reach tumors, it can technically be used by anyone who doesn’t want to deal with the negative side effects of other treatments. For example, if you have been offered some form of chemical treatment for your cancer but you don’t like the idea of introducing a foreign substance into your body, NanoKnife might be just what you are looking for, as the healing process is 100 percent natural.

NanoKnife cancer treatment is a viable option for patients who have an otherwise inoperable tumor or for anyone who doesn’t like the idea of open incisions. NanoKnife also has less negative side effects than some other options and can almost always be performed on an outpatient basis. Talk to your doctor today about NanoKnife cancer treatment for more information. For more information, contact a business such as ATLAS ONCOLOGY.

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What Can You Do To Prevent A Recurrence Of Skin Cancer?

After being diagnosed and treated for skin cancer, you have to be vigilant for dangers that could potentially lead to a recurrence. Your medical history leaves you more vulnerable to a recurrence than others. If you previously had skin cancer, here are some steps you can take to potentially prevent a recurrence.  

Talk to Your Oncologist About Nicotinamide

Researchers have found that nicotinamide has been useful in preventing the recurrence of skin cancer. The supplement is a form of vitamin B3 and a naturally occurring enzyme that your body creates. The enzyme helps to produce substances that are crucial to cell growth. The production helps to cut down on your risk of developing skin cancer.  

Unfortunately, as you age, the levels of nicotinamide decrease in your body, which leaves you more susceptible to developing skin-related diseases, including skin cancer. To counter this, you can take nicotinamide, which can also help with other issues, such as redness and hyperpigmentation.  

Although nicotinamide occurs naturally, you still need to discuss its usage with your oncologist. The oncologist can help determine if there are any potential interactions with other treatments you are currently taking.  

Avoid Drugs That Can Cause Photosensitivity

Photosensitivity can sometimes result from some medications that are used following skin cancer treatment. If you suffer from photosensitivity, your immune system can react when you are exposed to the sun. Some people experience red blotches on their skin, but others might have a more serious reaction. Photosensitivity is not just a nuisance, it can potentially lead to a recurrence for skin cancer.  

Photosensitivity can sometimes be triggered by taking certain medications, such as corticosteroids. You can also develop it if you are applying certain creams to your skin, such as hydroxychloroquine. If you are taking any medications that contain these substances, talk to your doctor about using alternatives.  

If there are no alternatives or your doctor feels the benefits of the prescription drugs outweigh the risks, be sure to take precautions when you go outside. Keep your skin covered with long sleeves, pants, and a hat. You also need to wear a wide-brimmed hat that will shield your face from the sun. If possible, avoid going outside until evening.  

Your oncologist can help you pinpoint other ways you can prevent a recurrence of skin cancer. Talk to your doctor about any concerns you have about anything that you believe could potentially result in a recurrence.

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Smart Ways For Parents To Prepare For Insect Allergy Reactions In The Outdoors

Spending time with your children at the beach, the park, or even while away on a camping trip are rewarding for both children and parents. It may be second nature to pack extra food or an additional set of clothes, but when your child has a severe insect allergy, you must also be prepared to handle a potential medical emergency. Be certain that you have medical response supplies, the contact number of local emergency services and a strategy for keeping your child stabilized in case of an insect bite.

Knowing What Insect Allergy Reaction Symptoms To Look For

In the case of certain symptom, like a bee sting allergic reaction, the signs will be clear immediately. Your child will probably know if he or she has been stung by a bee because it will be painful, and the bite site will very rapidly begin to swell. There will also be visible redness in the same area.

After being stung by a bee, someone with an allergy may also begin to develop hives and complain of itching sensations all over their body. Although a bee sting allergic reaction can be traumatic to a child, knowing when your child has been stung by a bee is actually extremely helpful when you need to call for help and render medical care.

Self-Administered Insect Bite Medical Steps

The best thing that you can do if your child is experience a bee sting allergic reaction is to call for an ambulance. If the child has a prescription for epinephrine, always carry it with you so that the symptoms of an allergic reaction to bee stings can be stopped or slowed. While your child may begin to feel better after receiving this medication, you should still wait for emergency medical services to arrive at your location and assess the situation.

Reducing The Risk Of Insect Bites Outdoors

Some insects are harder to avoid than most others, especially when you and your child will be traveling outdoors. Avoid going close to areas that you know are home to bees nests or ant hills or are prone to have any type of insect your child has an allergy to. You may want to eat in the car with the windows up and the heat or air conditioning on so that insects won’t be attracted to you.

While you may be able to avoid swarms or hives of insects, all it takes is being bitten by one for an allergic reaction to ensue. Discuss the severity of your child’s allergy to insects with his or her pediatrician, always stay in areas where emergency medical services can get to you quickly and keep medications on hand so that your child can get relief in case of an allergic reaction.

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Degenerative Scoliosis And Football: The Painful Connection

Football is a fun, but physically demanding, sport that can be enjoyed by people of all ages. Unfortunately those who have scoliosis, particularly degenerative scoliosis, are putting their health and well being at risk when playing. Here’s why.

Degenerative Scoliosis Can Be Caused By Injury

Scoliosis is a lateral curve in the spine that is typically caused by genetic pre-disposition. However, degenerative scoliosis can actually be caused by a serious or traumatic injury. For example, people who receive a heavy blow to the back (such as when playing a sport like football) may suffer from an onset of degenerative scoliosis.

Typically those who get degenerative scoliosis in this way already have some form of scoliosis and only develop a degenerative condition after the injury. For those who play football, it can be very easy to turn a mild case of scoliosis into one that can threaten their mobility.

How Playing Football Can Contribute To It

When a person is suffering from degenerative scoliosis, doctors suggest that they don’t play high contact sports like football. But what if the person doesn’t know they have this condition? Playing football is a serious risk because it can put a heavy strain on the spinal cord. For example, getting tackled and trapped under a pile of players could twist the spine in a dangerous way.

While hits like this can’t cause scoliosis, they can increase the degeneration to a serious point. For example, a player with minor scoliosis could end up with severely degenerated discs and a condition that continues to get worse over time. As a result, it is important to get treatment as soon as possible.

Treating It Successfully

Managing scoliosis, particularly degenerative scoliosis that may have been worsened by a hit on the football field, must be done as soon as possible. The disc degeneration caused by degenerative scoliosis will cause a variety of serious problems, including back pain, numbness, pain down the legs, and a crooked back that can be debilitating if it is allowed to worsen over time.

Treatment will usually include a variety of pain medications, exercises to improve core flexibility and strength, short-term braces use, pain relief with nerve block injections, and surgery to correct spinal cord placement. Surgery is typically held back until the person with degenerative scoliosis has failed all other treatments or is disabled to pain and spinal imbalance.

Will a person who suffers from degenerative scoliosis ever play football again? Probably not, as the damage caused by the average hit on the field can be debilitating and even paralyzing. However, this minor setback is easy to ignore with the help of someone like C D Denison.

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3 Lifestyle Habits That Can Be A Real Pain In The Neck

Chronic neck pain is a common ailment that can become severe enough to impede your activities. Neck pain can be the result of traumatic injuries, such as those sustained in car accidents or in high impact sports activities. Age-related wear and tear that leads to osteoarthritis can also cause neck pain, and cancer is another culprit. You have minimal control over these causes. Three causes of chronic neck pain are common lifestyle habits that you can change, however, resulting in pain relief now and preserving the alignment and function of your neck through your future.

Necks Are Complex

As you may have heard before, extra bells and whistles in a car can be perceived as more things that can malfunction. The same can be thought of your neck. Your cervical spine, which is the section of your spine that is located in your neck, is made up of your spinal cord, vertebrae, intervertebral disks, nerve roots, blood vessels, muscles and ligaments, all working together to support your skull and provide greater mobility and flexibility than any other part of your spine. The level of complexity and function means more opportunity to sustain painful strains, sprains, and other injuries. 

Look Up to Your Screens

Your high tech lifestyle can be a pain in your neck. In a digital age when everyone is staring down at their smartphones and tablets, it is no surprise that poor posture is such a frequent cause of neck pain. The phenomenon is known as text neck syndrome, but the same discomfort can also result from poor posture as you tilt your head downward over a workbench or jut your head forward toward a desktop computer monitor for lengthy periods of time. Assuming these positions on a frequent and regular basis causes chronic soreness in your neck and severe muscle spasms in your upper back. Over time, damage can result, such as an early onset of arthritis in your cervical spine. Consider making the following changes to improve your posture and relieve your discomfort:

  • Hold your mobile devices up to your eye level when using them instead of on your lap or at waist or chest level.
  • Use Bluetooth or a hands-free headset when you talk on the phone instead of curving your neck to hold phone in between your chin and shoulder.
  • If you work at a computer all day, position the monitor so that it sits at your eye level instead of positioning your head to meet the screen.
  • Invest in a desk chair that has a headrest, and sit up straight in the chair while you work. If your ears are positioned directly above your shoulders instead of closer to the screen than your shoulders, then you are sitting correctly.

Banish the Butt to Save Your Neck

If you are a smoker, you have repeatedly heard numerous reasons why you should extinguish the unhealthy habit. It is widely known that smoking causes lung cancer as well as atherosclerosis, a condition that increases your risk for hypertension and coronary heart disease, but did you know that your smoking habit can result in chronic neck pain? Atherosclerosis is defined as the accumulation of plaque within your arteries. The chemicals found in tobacco smoke can cause this condition. The cervical disks in your neck depend on nourishment from blood that travels through the small blood vessels located alongside them. As atherosclerosis progresses, the arteries harden and narrow, inhibiting the flow of oxygen-rich blood to the disks. These nutrient-deficient disks start to deteriorate, which is a condition known as degenerative cervical disk disease. The same damage can be incurred anywhere along your spinal column, in which case is it referred to as intervertebral disc disease and results in back pain.

Stop Sleeping On Your Stomach

If you wake up with a stiff and sore neck, your sleeping habits could be the culprit. Many people find that they get a good night’s sleep when they snooze on their bellies. While they may sleep soundly overnight, this poor nocturnal posture will result in painful daytime hours over time. If you are a stomach sleeper, you are forcing your head to turn sharply to one side and crane upward to rest on a puffy pile of pillows. This holds your neck out of alignment for hours while you sleep. If you absolutely cannot fall asleep on your side or back, consider using only a single flat pillow so that your head is better aligned with your cervical spine. Alternately, regardless of your positional preference, you may want to experiment with an orthopedic neck pillow or a chiropractic water pillow.

If these changes do not relieve your chronic neck pain, schedule an appointment with your physician. He or she may refer you to an orthopedic specialist or physical therapist for further evaluation and treatment. Diagnostic imaging tests, such as radiographs or magnetic resonance imaging, may be ordered to assess the condition of your cervical spine. Several forms of treatment can be implemented to alleviate neck pain, including physical therapy exercises, steroid injections, oral analgesic medications, laser therapy, chiropractic adjustments, and acupuncture. For more information, contact local neck pain experts, such as Isaacson Wayne MD.

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Macular Degeneration: Treatment That Can Slow the Progression of the Disease

Macular degeneration is a disease of the eyes that does not yet have a cure. It causes vision loss, and it occurs when the back of the retina begins to deteriorate. While early macular degeneration may not produce symptoms, as the disease progresses, the person may experience wavy lines or blurry vision. When the disease is advanced, the person loses their central vision. While peripheral vision remains intact, the person is considered legally blind. Eye exams at any stage can identify the disease, and treatment can help slow the progression of macular degeneration. With dietary and lifestyle changes, you can help your eyes remain as healthy as possible, even when diagnosed with this debilitating disease.

Eye Vitamins for Macular Degeneration

While there is no cure for macular degeneration, patients who took a formula for an Age-Related Eye Disease Study, AREDS, found that the progression of macular degeneration was slowed by 25%. The formula includes Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Betacarotene, Zinc, and Copper. While this formula did not prevent macular degeneration, the nutrients provided to the eyes appears to have helped with vision loss quite significantly.

Changing Your Diet 

You can make dietary changes that will have a positive impact on your overall health, and on the health of your eyes. Leafy vegetables, fish, and foods that are low in saturated fat can help you maintain better eye health. Patients who maintain a diet high in dark leafy greens and vegetables are less likely to develop macular degeneration, while those who eat diets high in saturated fat have an increased risk.

Habits That Help Your Eyesight

Your eyesight matters, and you can make changes in your lifestyle that will have a direct effect on your eye health. If you’re a smoker, it’s time to stop. Smoking causes all kinds of health problems, and it can make macular degeneration progress more rapidly. You should also work exercise into your weekly schedule, and focus on light to moderate exercise three times a week. Focus on improving your overall health, and your eyes will become healthier to.

When you focus on your health, you will have a better chance slowing down the progression of most diseases. A healthy diet, moderate exercise, and stress reduction techniques can help you live a fuller, more active long into your senior years. The better you take care of yourself now, the healthier you will be as you age.

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