Tuesday, October 15, 2019

The Allergy Relief Supplements You Need

If the thought of the arrival of seasonal allergies brings you dread, then it is about time you looked into finding some relief from them. Allergies can leave you suffering from symptoms such as sinus congestion, hives, dermatitis, hay fever, and even asthma. These are all signs of a weakened immune system and are symptoms that affect over 50 million Americans.

Depending on what the allergy is, it can persist for a number of months and can become frustrating. To combat them, most individuals usually go for the standard decongestants and antihistamines, which can be purchased from pharmacies and even supermarkets. However, these come with negative side effects such as feelings of dizziness and / or drowsiness.

But there is a way of getting the required level of relief without the unwanted side effects, and that is by using Allergy Relief Supplements that enhances the immune system. Some of the most effective include:
  • Minerals / Multivitamins – These are essential for the functioning of the immune, digestive, metabolic, and nervous systems. It also helps with the growth of muscles and detoxification of the liver. Research shows that most Americans have a deficiency in many essential minerals and nutrients as a result of a poor diet. The consumption of things such as caffeine and drugs, as well as exposure to pollution and / or stress are responsible for the depletion of vital nutrients. Therefore, a comprehensive mineral and multivitamin supplement is absolutely necessary in ensuring good health.
  • Some favorite products include Pioneer’s 1 + 1 Vitamin Mineral and Nature’s Way Alive! Max Daily Multi Vitamin with Iron.
  • Quercetin – This is a bioflavonoid and improves the effects of antihistamines, as it decreases the activity of histamine. It is formed of natural anti viral compounds that can prevent common colds and the breakout of herpes, as well as combating the symptoms of bronchitis, flu, sinusitis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma. Quercetin works by stabilizing the immune cells that are responsible for causing allergic reactions and decreases histamine release.
  • Some favorite products include Life Extension’s Optimized Quercetin and Source Naturals’ Activated Quercetin.
  • Probiotics – Research suggests that taking a probiotic reduces both the severity and frequency of infections. The balance of bacteria in the gut can be negatively affected by the excessive consumption of carbohydrates and sugar, as well from taking the birth control bill and from using antibiotics. A probiotic that contains between 10 – 15 billion live cells per capsule should be taken daily on an empty stomach.
  • Some favorite products include Flora’s Adult’s Blend probiotic and Dr. Mercola’s Complete Probiotics.
  • Plant Sterols – These work to stabilize the body’s immune system by bringing down any aspects that may be running overly high, such as when suffering from allergies. At the same time they also bring up any aspects that are running too low, such as when suffering from the flu or a cold.
  • A favorite plant sterol product is Now’s Beta-Sitosterol Plant Sterols.
This is a guest blog entry.

Friday, October 11, 2019

Understanding Different Types of Medical Malpractice

Medical malpractice is the third leading cause of death in the United States, and 10% of all deaths occur as a result of negligence. Medical malpractice involves an instance where, given competent and proper care, a consequential error could have been prevented. Contrary to popular belief, medical malpractice is more common than you might think: in fact, half of all doctors will deal with a medical malpractice lawsuit at least once in the duration of their career.

Many doctors make critical mistakes that are never taken to court, absolving them of responsibility. However, there are multiple types of medical malpractice, and the more you understand about these various categories, the smarter you’ll be when it comes to dealing with medical institutions.

Birth Injury Malpractice
There are many long-term issues that could be caused by medical malpractice during birth, including cerebral palsy. Cerebral palsy is a brain injury that typically occurs during birth due to a lack of oxygen, and stunts muscle growth in the child.

This limited mobility will affect the child for the duration of their life. There are several reasons the doctor could be at fault here; perhaps they didn’t use birthing tools correctly, failed to detect the necessity of an emergency C-section, pulled too hard on the infant’s head during birth, or didn’t detect maternal infections.

According to The Lancione Law Firm, “Issues that result in cerebral palsy could have almost always been prevented with proper pre-birth and birthing care, and parents should never feel forced to accept life-changing mistakes and simple accidents they have to deal with.”

A missed diagnosis occurs when a doctor fails to recognize the correct illness. This is considered a medical malpractice because a more competent doctor could take a look at the same charts, lab results, and/or symptoms and come to an accurate conclusion. When a misdiagnosis occurs, a patient fails to receive the proper treatment, and the consequences could be life-changing, or even deadly. For instance, the Journal of Clinical Oncology found that cancer misdiagnosis occur as much as 28% of the time—which is why it’s so important to seek second opinions. Stroke, heart attacks, fibromyalgia, and depression all also among the most common misdiagnosed issues.

Surgical Errors
Surgical errors can dramatically reduce the quality of life for an individual. This could involve the doctor performing the wrong type of surgery, using non-sterile surgical equipment that leads to infections, damaging internal areas during surgery, administering an inaccurate amount of anesthesia, and much more.

There’s a common misconception that patients who suffer as a result of negligent surgical error have no right to file a lawsuit because of the mountain of consenting paperwork they’ve signed for treatment. These documents are often null and void when it comes to medical malpractice. Just because you signed a paper warning you of the consequences of a particular operation, for example, doesn’t mean it’s acceptable for a doctor to treat you negligently.

Medication Mishaps
According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, 1.3 million people are injured every year because of medication errors. It’s critical for every doctor to carefully analyze a patient’s medical history before they give them any prescriptions. Any time a doctor writes a script, they need to have a comprehensive, 360-degree view of that patient’s health history and current medication list and dosages. Prescribing the wrong medication or dosage could result in disastrous consequences. Sometimes, patients might be given the wrong medication as a result of a misdiagnosis.

In other cases, the doctor fails to warn the patient about potential side effects. It’s a medical professional’s job to educate a patient about the medication that they are taking. For instance, perhaps there are certain foods you shouldn’t take, or medications that you shouldn’t mix. Without the proper knowledge, you could easily make a mistake that further compounds this issue, or even creates new complications.

Speak Up Against Medical Malpractice
It’s important that you always speak up if you believe you or a loved one have suffered as a result of medical malpractice. Unfortunately, although many deaths and complications occur because of negligence, the majority of those victims never take these cases to court. This is because they are either uninformed or don’t believe they have a case on their hands. It’s always better to be safe than sorry; many lawyers will advise you whether you have a strong case on your hands, and some don’t take money from you until the case is won. Always look into your options to determine the best course of action.

This is a guest blog entry.

Sunday, October 06, 2019

10 Steps To Getting Help for a Drug or Alcohol Addiction

Realizing you may have a substance abuse problem can be frightening, but there is a way to get help and start feeling like yourself again. Substance abuse problems impact people from all walks of life and a variety of socioeconomic groups. No one starts off attempting to get addicted to drugs or alcohol, but it's important to take action if you suspect you have a problem. If you are struggling with an addiction to prescription drugs, alcohol, or illegal drugs, there is a way to get your life back. Here are 10 steps to getting help for an addiction. 

1. Determine If You Have a Problem

The first step to getting help is identifying that you have a problem with a substance. Some drug and alcohol users can use recreationally and experience no addiction issues. Prescription drug users may also have no substance abuse warning flags going off in their life. You may have a problem if you can't stop thinking about using, you've taken more than your prescribed dose, your drug or alcohol use has interfered with your job or personal life, or if you've stolen money to get more drugs or alcohol.

2. Confide in a Friend or Family Member

Once you've recognized that you have a problem, it's time to seek help. It may be helpful to tell someone about your struggles before you take steps to get help from a medical provider or drug and alcohol counselor. If you have a trusted friend or family member in your life that you feel comfortable confiding in, it may be beneficial to talk to someone. Hopefully, you'll realize, admitting a substance use disorder doesn't make you a failure.

3. Call an Addiction Help Line
Another way to get immediate help and advice about a potential substance use problem is through an addiction hotline. The National Helpline from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration is a good place to start. Simply call 1-800-662-HELP to get free 24-hour access to addiction services and advice about what you should do next to get treatment.

4. See Your Family Doctor
You may also be able to get addiction treatment through your primary care physician or family doctor. Don't be embarrassed about admitting your problem to your doctor. Your treatment and concerns will always be confidential. Your doctor may be able to give you a referral for psychiatric treatment services that could potentially be covered by your health insurance and save you some money.

5. Research Different Types of Treatment
Drug abuse typically requires some sort of treatment plan because it is a disease. Once you've accepted that you have a problem, it's important to do some research about potential treatment options for your addiction. For some drug and alcohol addictions, your physician can prescribe medication to help with the cravings, withdrawals, and side effects of dependence. Another form of treatment is outpatient behavioral therapy. Many drug addicts seek in-patient intense therapy in the form of a drug treatment center.

6. Check Out a Treatment Center

If you decide to consider a treatment center for your substance abuse problem, you should explore the options before committing to any plan. Residential treatment centers may start off with a detoxification program to help your body adjust to the withdrawal from drugs or alcohol. Detoxing on your own at home can be dangerous and lead to potential problems, so it's important to seek medical help during this step. Then, the treatment program may focus on counseling and other addiction support therapies for 30 or more days.

7. Connect With Support Groups

Throughout your recovery, it's vital to stay connected and reach out to others possibly going through the same experience. There are many different support groups around to help people on the road to recovery, such as Narcotics Anonymous and Alcoholics Anonymous. The people in your group all understand why calling for addiction help can be difficult and can offer support on your journey to healing.

8. Consider Counseling 
Counseling services are also essential to anyone who is serious about recovery and living a sober life. Residential treatment centers usually offer intense counseling during their programs, but it's up to an individual to continue counseling once time at the treatment center is up. In some cases, addiction is simply a symptom of a bigger issue in mental health, such as bipolar disorder, depression, or anxiety. You can work with your therapist to deal with certain areas of your life and avoid using drugs and alcohol to numb yourself.

9. Avoid Triggers
Once you're in recovery, it's important to stay out of situations that could possibly trigger your addictive tendencies and get you back into using drugs or alcohol. That may mean you might need to cut out certain people out of your life, such as friends and family members who have their own addiction problems. Addicts may also have to avoid functions that center around alcohol and stay away from bars and nightclubs.

10. Practice Healthy Habits

The last way to help yourself is to begin a new, healthier lifestyle. Start adding regular exercise to your daily routine, such as a cardiovascular program or a weight training schedule. Design a wholesome eating plan that will give you back the vitamins and nutrients into your body and continue the healing process.

If you are experiencing problems with substance abuse, there is a way you can get help and get back to being a healthier you. Once you take on your problem head-on and get the help you need, you can start improving your life and reaching your goals and dreams.

This is a guest blog entry.

Thursday, October 03, 2019

Dr. Michael Lange Analyzes the Pros and Cons of Corrective Laser-Eye Surgery

(AdobeStock - Licensed 10/3/2019 | File #64432840)
For many patients, wearing either glasses or contact lenses has become a routine part of daily life, and the thought of having 20/20 vision without them is almost unfathomable. Luckily for most patients, 20/20 vision has become a reality with newer technologies and the advent of laser eye surgery, allowing for patients to undergo a one-time procedure to give them near-perfect vision without the need for corrective lenses. As an optometrist, Dr. Michael Lange of Ocala, Florida understands that many of his patients may be compelled to undergo corrective surgery, but he does warn that as is the case with almost any medical treatment or surgery, there are both benefits and risks – which Dr. Michael Lange has outlined below:

Reduced need for corrective lenses

One of the most obvious reasons and benefits for undergoing laser eye surgery is to reduce or completely become free from the need to use corrective glasses or contact lenses. While all patients may have their own reasons for wanting to take away the need for glasses, most will agree that waking up in the morning without having to fumble around looking for glasses can definitely be added to the pros list. For many patients, glasses and contacts are a nuisance in daily life; especially for those partaking in physical activity, and laser eye surgery gives patients more freedom allowing them to do what they want to do without having to worry about their vision.

Better visual acuity quickly
Laser eye surgery provides a precise correction of vision, and most patients are able to see just as well without the need for glasses or contacts within 24 hours, with vision improving in as little as a few days to weeks. Depending on the type of procedure being done, it can be as quick as 20 minutes per eye, and most patients are able to go home the same day. Dr. Michael Lange explains that those patients with lower to mid range prescriptions generally see the best results, while those patients with fairly high prescriptions may not see at 20/20 but will have greater vision without the need for corrective lenses.

Permanent pain free vision solution
Another big pro of laser eye surgery is that it provides a permanent solution to a patient’s vision needs, compared to glasses and contact lenses which are temporary and are replaced fairly often. Dr. Michael Lange assures the patients who express concerns about pain tolerance and discomfort, that the procedure is relatively pain-free as they receive anesthetic eye drops for the procedure, and most patients only experience a mild amount of discomfort during the healing process.

Not perfect vision

Some patients may find that their vision is not as good as it was when wearing glasses or contact lenses, and this can worsen over time. Known as ‘myopic regression’, a patient’s prescription may actually continue to change over the years, sometimes warranting the need to wear glasses or even the need to redo the procedure. According to Dr. Michael Lange, patients with higher initial prescriptions have an increased risk of this and should talk to their optometrist or consulting laser eye surgeon about concerns prior to surgery. It does become more difficult to redo a laser eye surgery, and patients should understand that it is not a cure for poor vision. Some patients may find they require glasses for particular tasks, such as meticulous tasks or for nighttime driving. Sometimes surgeons may overcorrect on purpose to negate the effects of myopic regression, and these patients may find difficulty in reading and may require reading glasses.

Laser eye surgery is not cheap, sometimes costing thousands of dollars per eye, and while some argue that it is cheaper in the long run, the other cons, such as need for redoing the surgery, should be kept in mind. One thing that Dr. Michael Lange notes is that some patients do not realize that most private insurance does not cover laser eye surgery, and a majority of the cost is out of pocket.

Side effects and other risks
As with any surgery, there are associated side effects and risks present. One of the most common side effects is the dry-eye that patients will experience during the healing process. Although symptoms typically go away after a couple of weeks, some people can develop long-term dry eyes due to the procedure. Another common side effect is a glare or halo around lights, especially during the night, and again is something that will usually disappear within the first few months following surgery. Other risks include surgical site infection and bleeding, while serious complications such as loss of movement and loss of vision can occur, although Dr. Michael Lange states this very rarely occurs. One common worry for patients is getting subconjunctival hemorrhages after the procedure, which are small bleeds that occur in the white part of the eye due to the procedure itself. These fortunately are not cause for worry and are similar to bruises and self-resolve within a few weeks.

Dr. Michael Lange’s Final Thoughts
Thanks to technological advancements in the medical equipment used, corrective laser-eye surgery is safer and easier than ever. Of course, there are risks to this procedure, but they are manageable, and the more severe risks are rare. Dr. Michael Lange noted “as with any medical procedure, the viability and safety comes down to patient health and fit. The only way to determine if you are eligible for corrective laser-eye surgery is to visit your optometric physician for a consultation.”

This is a guest blog entry.

Tuesday, October 01, 2019

Should You Hold Onto Ketamine's Promise to Relieve Depression?

 In case you've heard of ketamine, it's unlikely that you've heard of it as a possible treatment for depression. It's mostly known as a recreational drug that is quite popular in clubs. However, if recent research is anything to go by, ketamine might also turn out to be the greatest drug of modern times to be used to treat severe depression and ketamine treatments for depression will become commonplace. 

If you're wondering how this is so, then it is understandable. How can ketamine be so effective and promising? Well, it all has to do with your brain. Ketamine takes over certain receptors in your brain and, in the process, it can save you from the debilitating depths of depression.

Ketamine started in the 1960s as a form of anesthesia. It was commonly used on the battlefront in the Vietnam War. It was found to be quite effective as a pain reliever when taken in small doses. It helped people to get off of addictive painkillers, such as morphine, and was very powerful when working with sedatives. When ketamine is taken in large doses, it can cause hallucinations and cause a feeling of dissociation from the environment as well as from self. For this reason, it has infamously been used before as a date rape drug.

There is an opportunity for redemption for this drug with a checkered reputation: the opportunity for a new life as an antidepressant.

Ketamine as an Antidepressant 

You might have heard that there is research being conducted into the possible use of ketamine as an antidepressant. Well, hold on to that promise because it seems to grow stronger and more promising every day.

The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a ketamine-based drug, called Spravato, for sufferers of depression. There are numerous studies that have been conducted to find out the effectiveness of ketamine and also efforts to make drugs based on ketamine. These studies were carried out on people with depressive symptoms that had resisted conventional treatments. In some studies, as many as 85 percent of participants who took ketamine saw a significant ease in their depressive symptoms.

A significant setback with ketamine is the fact that there are attendant sights and sounds that come with large enough dosage. There is a lot of research into how to measure doses so that the effectiveness remains, but the side effects are lost.
Ketamine Clinics

There is much interest in ketamine and its utility as a treatment for depression. Ketamine is currently licensed as a form of anesthesia. It can, therefore, be used without legal repercussions as long as it is prescribed by a doctor. For this reason, many ketamine clinics are popping up all over the country, with patients going for doses every few weeks to deal with their depressive symptoms. The duration of the effects varies from individual to individual, with some coming back for a dose after a few days and other coming back after several weeks.

Perhaps the most inhibiting factor to using ketamine as a treatment is its forbidding cost. A single session can cost anywhere between $400 and $1,000, depending on the clinic, and the treatment isn't covered by insurance. This, however, has not stopped patients with depression from trying it out. It is a testament to their willingness to try anything that gives them hope of escaping the throes of depression.

This is a guest blog entry.