• Nasal polyps develop as soft and painless, non-cancerous growths in the lining of your nasal passages and sinuses. Nasal polyps hang down from the nasal passage like teardrops. They are usually caused by chronic inflammation associated with asthma, allergies, recurring sinus infections, drug sensitivity, and some immune disorders.
    Tiny nasal polyps may not cause any symptoms, but large polyps make it difficult for one to breathe because they block the nasal passages and lead to loss of smell and cause recurrent infections. Nasal polyps are more common in adults. Medication can be used to treat polyps, but surgery is often recommended in severe cases, even though nasal polyps often return. Signs and symptoms of polyps include the following:

    1. Runny nose
    Excessive production of mucus normally causes a running nose. One may have a chronic running nose and makes patients feel like they always have a cold. Runny noses are a very uncomfortable experience, especially if they occur for an abnormally long period.

    2. Persistent congestion
    Nasal polyps normally grow into large lumps over time if untreated. Therefore, the patient finds it very hard to breathe through the nose, which often causes breathing problems and disrupts sleeping patterns. Nasal polyps make the nose feel stuffy. And only surgery would solve the polyps by stopping its growth for permanent relief and better breathing.

    3. Postnasal drip
    Everyday nasal, throat, and intestinal tracts produce mucus. Normally mucus mixes with saliva from the nose and slowly drips down through the back of your throat effortlessly. So when the body produces mucus in excess or even thicker mucus, it may drip at the back of your throat, which is called postnasal drip. Swallowing problems may cause the buildup of liquids in the throat, which may feel like a post nasal drip. Therefore, polyps make a patient feel the urge to keep swallowing. Postal nasal drip often at times causes coughing, especially at night, when you lie down to sleep.

    4. Loss of sense of taste and smell
    The loss of the ability to identify smells and taste occurs when the taste and smell sensors, located within our nasal passages, are blocked.  In this case, polyps develop and may result in lack of taste and smell, or unpleasant smells and tastes. The loss of taste and smell may not return after polyp removal. A combination of smell and taste is what helps human beings experience the flavor of food. In most cases, your taste buds may function fine, but nasal congestion often causes the impairment of normal taste and/or smell.

    5. Facial pain and headache
    Severe and frequent headaches affect quality of life. Surprisingly, large nasal polyps may cause frequent headaches and even migraines if the pressure is severe. Frontal headaches are common with nasal polyps as well as pain in the face, ears, and teeth. Tension headaches due to nasal polyps may cause mild or moderate pain that feels like it’s spreading from your neck to your shoulders. You may also feel  pain in your forehead, eyes, cheeks, and in your upper teeth. Therefore, leaning forward may cause increased pain and pressure. 

  • Overactive Bladder

    OAB, otherwise known as overactive bladder, is a condition in which an individual has frequent urges to urinate that are very hard to control. These urges are caused by involuntary muscle contractions in the bladder regardless of the amount of urine that is currently in the bladder. Common symptoms of overactive bladder are sudden urges to urinate, frequent urination, and waking up two or more times during the night to urinate.

    While OAB occurs due to involuntary contractions of the muscles in the bladder, there are things that can be done to try and control and manage the symptoms. For instance, diet plays a large role in controlling OAB, and there are certain foods and beverages that should be eliminated to control symptoms:

    1. Carbonated beverages
    Beverages such as sparkling water, or pop, can aggravate the bladder due to the fizz that is included in carbonated drinks. It is important that one consumes water for overall health, but with OAB a lot of water consumption can cause more trips to the restroom. Since it is important to get enough water each day all other beverages that are not necessary should be eliminated.

    2. Caffeine
    Foods like chocolate and beverages such as coffee and energy drinks that contain caffeine can increase bladder activity, thus worsening OAB. Also, the excess liquids can cause extra trips to the restroom that otherwise would not be necessary.

    3. Alcohol
    Beverages such as beer, wine, and liquor, can further aggravate the bladder. The alcohol can interrupt the signals to the brain and cause for the body to be unaware of bladder overflow. Also, the excess liquids can cause extra trips to the restroom that would otherwise be unnecessary.

    4. Citrus
    These foods contain a lot of citric acids. Citric acids can worsen bladder control thus making symptoms of OAB worse. Not all fruitsn are bad for OAB, but those high in citric acids can lead to worsening symptoms.

    5. Chocolate
    Chocolate contains traces of caffeine. As previously mentioned with the caffeinated beverages, caffeine can increase bladder activity. White chocolate typically does not contain caffeine and can be safe to eat with OAB if you would like to indulge in a treat.

    6. Spicy foods
    Hot spices (i.e., red peppers and chilis) that are contained within spicy foods can potentially irritate your bladder. Bladder irritation can lead to increased symptoms of OAB, which can result in unnecessary trips to the restroom.

    Diet plays a large role in managing the symptoms of OAB. It is important to realize though that different foods can cause different reactions for an individual. Some individuals may not see an impact in their OAB symptoms after consuming foods/beverages on this list, and some individuals may see worsened symptoms. It is important that you keep track of what you eat in order to see what foods and beverages may lead to worse symptoms of OAB, as well as what foods and beverages may alleviate some of the symptoms of OAB. If you would like to seek other treatments for your OAB, there are medications that can be prescribed to alleviate symptoms. However, watching dietary habits can be easier and more conventional.

  • Ulcerative colitis is a type of inflammatory bowel disease (or IBD) that occurs when chronic inflammation causes ulcers to develop in the inner lining (i.e., colon and rectum) of the digestive tract. Colitis may cause symptoms of abdominal cramping, bleeding, and pain. There are several ulcerative rx colitis medications that your doctor may prescribe as treatment, however, diet is also important. 

    Here are six foods to avoid if you suffer from ulcerative colitis:

    1. Fibrous foods
    Fiber is a part of a healthy diet. However, fiber is one of the foods that you will need to avoid if you use biologic treatments for ulcerative colitis. Fiber can irritate the digestive system. You should limit your intake of whole grains as well as raw and undercooked vegetables. Vegetables are an important part of your diet. However, you should try pureed vegetable soup. It will be a lot easier for your body to digest them.

    2. Sulfates
    Sulfate is a nutrient that the body requires. However, it can also feed a bacteria that creates a toxic gas inside of the intestines. If you find yourself constantly bloating, then you may have too much sulfur and sulfates in your diet. Red meat, beer, wine, apple juice, grape juice, cheese and eggs are some of the foods that have sulfates in them.

    3. Dairy products
    It is common for people who have ulcerative colitis to have an intolerance to dairy products. If you do not know whether dairy products are a trigger for you, then it is a good idea for you to keep a food diary. You should eliminate yogurt, milk, butter and cheese if your symptoms get worse.

    4. Carbonated drinks
    Carbonated drinks are beverages that fizzle when you open them. This includes sodas and carbonated water. Drinking carbonated beverages can also increase the risk of obesity. People who are obese usually have worse symptoms of ulcerative colitis. Obesity can also increase the risk of heart disease.

    5. Caffeine
    It is a good idea to limit your intake of caffeine if you are taking ulcerative colitis. This includes sodas, teas, chocolate and coffee. Caffeine is a stimulant, so it has a tendency to get things going. That is why you may suffer diarrhea and stomach pain after you consume something that has caffeine in it.

    6. Alcohol
    Alcohol is not good for you to drink if you suffer from ulcerative colitis. Alcohol has a tendency to affect people differently. Some people experience vomiting, gastrointestinal bleeding, vomiting and nausea. Excessive alcohol intake can also lead to liver problems. The liver is responsible for detoxifying the body. Furthermore, alcohol has a tendency to interfere with the way that your body processes medications. This can alter the way that the active drug molecules are excreted. It can also increase the risk of liver complications.

  • Ovarian cancer is a type of cancer that forms inside of the ovaries. It is most common in women who are over the age of 50. It is common for women who have ovarian cancer to not have any symptoms at all. However, women who are in the latter stages of ovarian cancer may have weight loss, discomfort in the pelvic area, a feeling of fullness after eating abdominal bloating.
    Ovarian cancer can spread to other parts of the body. The good news is that there are several options if you need ovarian cancer therapy:

    1. Targeted therapy

    Targeted therapy involves injecting drugs directly into the cancerous cells. They also block certain particles that can cause cancerous cells to grow. Avastin is one of the targeted therapy drugs that you can use. There are several benefits that you can reap from getting ovarian cancer treatment with Avastin. It has the ability to treat cancers that have spread to other parts of the body. It can also be used as a maintenance treatment in order to prevent the cancer from coming back.

    2. Surgery

    Surgery is one of the most commonly used treatments for ovarian cancer. The doctor may surgically remove one or both ovaries. They may also remove the uterus if the cancer has spread. Often, the most recommended surgery for ovarian cancer is a total hysterectomy, in which the fallopian tubes and ovaries are removed, as well as omentum (or fatty tissue). If cancer has spread throughout the abdomen, debulking surgery is often recommended to remove all signs of visible cancer and tumors.

    3. Chemotherapy

    Chemotherapy is used to destroy the cancerous cells. It is often used when the cancer has spread to other parts of the body. Doctors may also recommend chemotherapy in order to ensure that the cancer does not come back.

    4. Hormone therapy

    Hormone therapy involves using hormones in order to fight off cancer. It may also involve the use of hormone-blocking drugs. Luteinizing-hormone releasing agonists are some of the drugs that can be used. They work by lowering the estrogen levels. These drugs are effective, but they are not recommended for long-term use. Long-term use of these drugs has a tendency to weaken the bones. Tamoxifen is another drug that can be used. It is usually recommended for breast cancer, but it can also be used for ovarian cancer. Tamoxifen has anti-estrogen effects. It can increase the risk of blood clots. Furthermore, aromatase inhibitors can be used for hormone therapy. They can lower estrogen levels. Bone thinning is one of the possible side effects. This can increase your risk of breaking a bone. It can also increase your risk of developing osteoporosis.

    5. Radiation therapy

    Radiation therapy is a treatment that involves using x-rays to kill the cancer. There are several reasons that radiation therapy may be recommended. It may be recommended before surgery in order to shrink the cells. It may also be used if the cancer has spread. Additionally, doctors may recommend radiation therapy after surgery in order to ensure that the cancerous cells are gone.

  • Dermatologists specify eczema as a form of atopic dermatitis, which affects babies and children more often and may require pediatric atopic dermatitis treatment and/or home remedy care. Eczema symptoms include itchy and dry skin that can lead to rashes, flare ups, and infections of the skin. Scientific researchers suggest eczema development can be linked to genetics or the environment. 

    This overview provides parents with tips and recommendations for treating eczema in babies and children:

    1. Bathe with warm water
    Use only warm water to bathe your baby or child and avoid bubble bathes. Purchase cleansers that are fragrance-free or mild. Dermatologists may recommend bleach baths to help treat severe eczema in kids. Limit bath time 5 to 10 minutes and rinse your baby’s body carefully.

    2. Use cream or ointment 
    After bathing babies and kids, dry their skin gently by patting with a towel until nearly dry. Apply prescribed or over-the-counter ointments before moisturizing your child. Then, moisturize the body, including the area with the medicine. Use a non-fragrance moisturizer or petroleum jelly, which is effective and affordable to manage eczema.

    3. Moisturize twice daily
    Apply moisturizer or cream twice daily. It will prevent the skin from drying and cracking. Keeping your child moisturized as recommended can decrease and eliminate the need for medicine treatment.

    4. Use products for sensitive skin 
    Wash children’s clothes using laundry products for sensitive skin. Choose laundry detergent, fabric softener, and dryer sheets that are unscented. Scented products can irritate the skin. Read the directions carefully to ensure you are using the proper amount of detergent and fabric softener per wash.

    5. Remove clothing tags
    Purchase your kid’s and baby’s clothes with no inside tags or remove the tag from the garment. Tags can cause itching of the skin.

    6. Use a wet dressing
    Your dermatologist may recommend using a wet dressing to treat eczema. The treatment can help the skin heal, relieve itching, and make ointment medicine more effective. A wet dressing is safe for kids and babies to reduce swelling and the sensation to scratch.

    7. Shorten fingernails
    Keep your child’s fingernails smoothly short to reduce scratching and avoid skin punctures. For babies and toddlers, put on gloves made of cotton material when you put them to bed. The gloves will provide protection while they are sleeping.

    8. Keep the temperature comfortable 
    Ensure the temperature and humidity levels in the home are comfortable for babies, toddlers, and children. Avoid keeping your home too warm. The heat causes the air to dry and triggers eczema symptoms, including skin flare ups, rashes, irritation, and the urge to scratch.

    9. Use oral antihistamines for babies
    Dermatologists can prescribe your baby oral antihistamine medication as a pediatric atopic dermatitis treatment. For many years, medical physicians have been prescribing the medicine to babies to reduce itching of the skin. It may relieve the symptoms when ointments and creams are ineffective.

    10. Talk to a doctor
    Consult with your primary medical care giver before using any over-the-counter medicines to treat your child’s eczema. Although there is no cure for the disease, the care treatments and recommendations listed above are very helpful in reducing symptoms.

  • Quit somoking

    Giving up smoking takes more than a desire to quit. It takes a solid game plan, and people that have given thought to quitting are going to benefit greatly from things like nicotine patches and gum that can curb the desire for a cigarette. Some people stop smoking simply because of their health while others are encouraged by family members to stop out of health concerns. Here are fives methods to quit smoking for good:

    1. Smoking cessation programs
    Smoking cessation programs are a great way to put things into perspective when it comes to establishing reasons for giving up cigarettes. So many people have that desire for nicotine but listing reasons to stop smoking can reinforce the desire to make a change. In many instances people are conflicted because they have been smoking for so long unconsciously. There are people that smoke cigarettes by the pack and they never think about issues with their health or the large sums of money that they’re spending. When smokers take a conscious approach with smoking cessation programs they can connect with a group. They can get with more people that are going to be able to provide insight on how you can stop smoking.

    2. Nicotine replacement aids
    It should come as no surprise to most people that nicotine is the thing that is driving the addiction. Those that have nicotine cravings are going to find it hard to quit cold turkey. They may need an alternative that provides nicotine without utilizing cigarettes. This is where nicotine patches, lozenges, and nicotine gum come into the picture. These are great products that allow people to get their nicotine needs satisfied in smaller amounts, without smoking a cigarette.

    3. Avoiding other smokers
    It has been said that birds of a feather flock together. This certainly rings true for those that are socializing with other smokers. Someone that is trying to give up smoking is going to have a much harder time when they are constantly part of a social group of smokers. It is much easier to avoid smokers altogether than it is to avoid smoking when in the presence of others that smoke. That is the temptation that smokers should bypass. If they can get away from smokers and the smell of cigarette smoke, they are going to be less likely to think about having a cigarette themselves.

    4. Cutting down gradually
    Sometimes it works well to just cut down the number of cigarettes that are being smoked. This is a small step in the right direction. It is very commendable for those that try to stop smoking cold turkey, but it usually leads to a relapse because it is such a strong move from one direction to another. Those that have found it difficult to simply cut out smoking through discipline should take the small or steps to smoke fewer cigarettes. Smokers that quit smoking with nicotine gum can minimize daily cigarette intake and eventually stop altogether.

    5. Acupuncture
    Acupuncture is an alternative therapy that works by bringing balance and regulation to the natural energy flow within the body. Acupuncture is about aligning inner energy in order to reduce smoking cravings while minimizing nicotine withdrawal naturally. Acupuncture brings calm to the body and mind and ease anxiety and strengthen willpower, while supporting lung health and cleansing nicotine from the body.

    The great thing about giving up smoking is that there are a multitude of options to explore. Nicotine gum works well for many people. Others may avoid the nicotine gum, but they may get with groups where they talk about the reasons that smoking is a bad idea is no longer a viable option. Some people mix and match multiple methods to improve their success rates for quitting.

  • HIV, or human immunodeficiency virus, is an infection that causes damage to the body’s immune system. This limits the body’s ability to fight other infections and disease. HIV is spread through contact with infected blood and bodily fluids from other individuals that have HIV. HIV can lead to a person developing AIDS. HIV is incurable but there are FDA approved HIV medicine and treatments that can keep HIV from progressing and lessen any impact to a person’s life. 

    Some patients remain asymptomatic until the infection has grown severe, so the following FDA-approved treatments are vital to slow or stop the virus’ spread in the body:

    1. NNRTIs and NRTIs
    Non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTIs) and Nucleoside or nucleotide reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs) prevent HIV from replicating and spreading throughout the body. HIV spreads through reverse transcriptase which means that it converts its RNA into DNA (called reverse transcription). NNRTIs/NRTIs block this process, prohibiting replication and avoiding further damage to the body’s immune system.

    2. Integrase inhibitors
    Integrase inhibitors like dolutegravir and raltegravir are HIV treatment medicines that are designed to stop the spread of HIV in the body. Similar to NNRTIs and NRTIs, integrase inhibitors act by blocking HIV integrase, an enzyme required for HIV to complete transcriptase replication.

    3. Protease inhibitors
    Protease inhibitors(PIs) like atazanavir, ritonavir, and darunavir are medicines that are designed to stop the spread of the HIV virus by blocking a specific enzyme that allows for replication. Similar to how integrase inhibitors target HIV integrase, protease inhibitors target the HIV protease enzyme which blocks the ability of the virus to replicate.

    4. Entry or fusion inhibitors
    Entry or fusion inhibitors include drugs such as enfuvirtide and function by blocking HIV enzymes from entering CD4 T lymphocyte cells. HIV enzymes cause damage to the immune system by entering the CD4 T cells and damaging or destroying them. By inhibiting this process, the progression of HIV in the body is slowed or halted outright.

    5. Combination drugs
    A combination drug treatment is a HIV 1 treatment that is developed to include two or more other FDA approved HIV treatments. Often different types of inhibitors, such as integrase and protease inhibitors, are used in conjunction to discourage viral replication. In many cases, a cocktail of drugs including antiretroviral therapy ART is prescribed to achieve the desired effect of keeping the viral load low, stopping the progression of the infection, and reducing the risk that the infection can be spread to others.. HIV is a complex medical condition and the treatment has to be tailored to each individual.

  • Migraines are among the leading causes of health-related problems, especially in American females. A form of primary headache disorder, migraines are often marked by moderate to severe headaches that are pulsating in nature. Symptoms of migraine may include pain on one side of the head; sensitivity to sound, smell and light; nausea, vomiting, and pain that may last between a few hours to 3 days in duration. 

    Migraines are often caused by environmental factors such as noise or bright lights. They can also be the result of underlying health conditions such as hormonal imbalances (i.e., menopause).  However, in some cases migraines may also be triggered by the foods we eat:

    1. Alcohol

    According to data from the American Migraine Association, roughly one-third of migraine sufferers reported alcohol as a migraine trigger. Alcohol can trigger migraines in one of two ways. For example, drinking red wine may trigger a migraine attack within a few hours or it may cause a delayed migraine, due to a hangover. Red wine does contain high levels of nitrates, which are also commonly associated with migraines. 

    2. Chocolate 

    According to other patients, chocolate is a common migraine trigger. Neurologists suggest that chocolate causes migraines due to an amino acid, known as tyramine. However, due to the fact that many women crave chocolate (or sweets) during periods of hormonal imbalance or in times of stress, scientists speculate that these could also play a role. 

    3. Aged cheeses

    While the verdict on cheese and its effect on migraines is still out, many patients have found a correlation between migraine onset and eating certain types of cheese. Aged or ripened cheese such as blue cheese, cheddar, parmesan, mozzarella, aged cheddar, Emmentaler, Stilton, brie, Camembert, and swiss are often reported by patients. 

    If you suffer from migraines and you believe food is the source. Keep a food journal and track your symptoms and frequency of migraines after you eat. Then speak to your doctor. Bring your food journal along to your appointment and consider eliminating the food from your diet to see if you experience a reduction in symptoms. Your doctor may also recommend over the counter or prescription remedies to help manage your migraine pain. Common remedies include Motrin, Ibuprofen, Aleve, Excedrin Migraine, and Tylenol Extra Strength. If headaches continue, your primary care physician may order a CT scan or bloodwork to determine an underlying health condition. 

  • The distinction between having the blues and clinical depression is the latter requires psychotherapy and medication. Patients experience the following forms of depression: clinical depression, postpartum depression, bipolar depression, manic depression, dysthymia, and cyclothymia. Risk factors for all types of depression are genetics, and trauma, such as ongoing abuse, relationship or job loss, diagnosis of a chronic disease, or the loss of a loved one. 

    Knowing the early warning symptoms of depression is key to a proper diagnosis:

    1. Insomnia

    The connection between depression and insomnia is not clear. It could be an inability to calm down enough to enter a restful state. Prolonged sleep deprivation contributes to developing diabetes. There is an increased risk of developing hypertension. In turn, high blood pressure increases the risk of stroke and heart attack.

    2. Overeating

    Some people try to manage depression by overeating. Foods high in sugar and fat are mood elevators. Not only are these foods unhealthy, but upon reflection, consuming such foods exacerbates other depression symptoms like guilt and feelings of worthlessness. There are also the potential physical consequences of being overweight, like an increased risk of coronary artery disease.

    3. Guilt

    Guilt can be both a symptom and a cause of depression. Someone with clinical depression may experience delusional guilt. Simply put, delusional guilt is guilt without cause. Depression might be triggered by other forms of guilt, such as:

    • Omnipotent responsibility guilt or feeling responsible for everyone
    • Guilt from feeling like a burden
    • Guilt from self loathing
    • Survivors guilt, or outliving a family member or friend

    Feeling guilty contributes to the lack of self-esteem and sleeplessness that are symptomatic of depression. Besides the emotional consequences, prolonged guilt has physical effects, including head and stomach ache, and stiff muscles. Guilt impairs the body’s ability to heal and ward off infection. There is a causal link between excessive guilt and developing bipolar disorder.

    4. Suicidal thoughts and feelings

    The most serious of the early warning symptoms of depression is suicidal ideation, which can be a momentary thought of committing suicide or an obsession with ending your life. In the later case, the depressed individual is incapable of rational thinking about the consequences of self-destruction to themselves or those they leave behind. Contemplating suicide worsens other symptoms of depression (i.e., shame, guilt, anger, and self-loathing). Thinking or talking about suicide could be a plea for help. Suicidal thoughts should never be dismissed and require immediate professional intervention.