There are many different types of cancer such as leukemia, breast cancer, and melanoma. This means that there are many different warning signs to look out for. However, if you figure out that you or a loved one has cancer, there are plenty of treatment options to consider. Cancer drugs like Eribulin, Omacetaxine, and Vorinostat can work to treat cancer in a variety of patients. Specifically, AYVAKIT® (avapritinib) for unresectable or metastatic gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST) is an option for those with GIST to consider. Additionally, various therapies are available to treat cancer such as hormone therapy, immunotherapy, radiation therapy, and more. If you or your loved one has cancer, it’s important to consult with a medical professional about tailoring the best possible treatment plan. Otherwise, if you suspect that you or your loved one may have cancer, here are 4 early warning signs to keep an eye out for:
While this warning sign is very general and can, of course, be caused by any number of things—various conditions, illnesses, lifestyle choices, and more—pain can also be caused by cancer. The disease can result in different types of pain due to the chemicals that a cancer releases, the spread of cancer throughout the body—also known as metastasis—and a tumor or mass putting pressure on another area of the body. Experiencing persistent pain is always worth getting checked out by a medical professional, whether the underlying cause is cancer or otherwise.
2. Skin changes
There are various skin changes that can be early warning signs of cancer. Jaundice—also known as the yellowing of the fingertips or eyes—is one of these, while noticeable changes in a mole is another. For the latter, it’s best to contact a medical professional if a mole is large or growing larger, has changed color or is getting darker, is asymmetrical or has jagged edges, or has irregular borders.
Plenty of us know how it feels to be exhausted after an all nighter. Fatigue, however, differs from the typical exhaustion that many of us are accustomed to: if your tiredness refuses to ebb away with sleep or rest, this could be an early warning sign of cancer. Since cancer uses the nutrients present within the body to grow, the nutrients that your system is used to having are no longer readily available, thus resulting in fatigue.
4. Blood in the stool
If you notice blood in your stool, this is usually coming from somewhere in the stomach, intestines, esophagus, or GI tract. While bright red blood can indicate an issue in the rectum or end of intestines, dark red blood can indicate an issue located higher up, such as somewhere in the stomach. Finding blood in the stool can be a sign of cancer, but it could also be a sign of many other conditions such as stomach ulcers, hemorrhoids, and more. No matter what, it’s important to reach out to a medical professional if you notice blood in your stool.
Eosinophilic esophagitis is a chronic allergic/immune condition of the esophagus, causing a large number of white blood cells (known as eosinophils) in the inner lining of the esophagus. These eosinophils can release substances into surrounding tissue, causing inflammation, eosinophilic asthma symptoms, and other symptoms such as decreased appetite, abdominal pain, trouble swallowing, vomiting, and so on. Symptoms often vary by age, but the biologics for eosinophilic esophagitis include medications like Dupixent, Dupilumab, proton pump inhibitors, and topical steroids. To help manage the condition, there is also the option of dietary therapy, in which you practice the six-food elimination diet (SFED), outlined below:
The SFED diet has patients eliminate wheat from the diet, as it is a common allergen and food trigger for some conditions, especially eosinophilic esophagitis. Some substitutes for wheat ingredients in a meal include barley, oats, corn, potatoes, and beans.
Milk is another top allergen and food trigger for a variety of conditions—so much so that it is often recommended you eliminate dairy and wheat first on this list of foods. Milk goes hand in hand with all dairy products, but luckily there are many dairy substitutes made with bases like almond milk, oat milk, coconut milk, and rice milk.
Another common allergen and trigger are eggs, earning them a spot on this list of foods to eliminate. While they are a great source of nutrients, you can substitute them for alternatives in cooking and baking with items like applesauce, mashed banana, yogurt, buttermilk, ground flaxseed or chia seed, and more.
Many schools are nut-free due to the common allergy to them—the top nut allergies are towards peanuts, walnuts, almonds, cashews, pecans, and pistachios. If you still crave that crunch, you can try replacing them with seeds like pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, hemp seeds, chia seeds, and more.
Many individuals have issues with soy allergies and sensitivities, which is why they are another food to be eliminated in this diet. Soy is found in many items, such as infant formulas, canned broths, soups, canned tuna, baked goods, processed meats, energy bars, and more—be sure to check the labels of every food before consuming.
Lastly, shellfish is another common allergy and sensitivity that can cause undesirable reactions. Foods that fall under the category of a shellfish allergy include shrimp, crabs, lobster, squid, oysters, scallops, and snails, making it a good idea to avoid seafood almost entirely during the SFED diet.
The six food elimination diet was proposed by a gastroenterologist due to limited access to allergists that perform food allergy evaluations for eosinophilic esophagitis. The diet was so successful that it resulted in an 88% resolution of diseases in children with the condition. However, you should keep in mind that the diet is quite challenging to follow as major changes in eating habits will need to occur. Before beginning the SFED diet, be sure to speak to your healthcare team to make sure it’s right for you.
The progression of ALS can vary from person to person, so symptoms may present differently among individuals in the initial stages. While ALS doesn’t have a cure, the drug edaravone can be administered both by mouth and by intravenous infusion to prevent nerve damage and therefore slow the progression of ALS. Riluzole, a drug taken by mouth, can also be prescribed to treat ALS and increase life expectancy by around 25%. Additionally, various therapies can be provided to treat ALS such as speech therapy, respiratory therapy, occupational therapy, and whirlpool or heat therapy. If you believe that you or a loved one may have ALS, here are some early warning symptoms to look out for:
1. Slurred speech
For those with ALS, speech may begin to slur early on. Dysarthria—slow, labored, slurred speech and a voice that is hoarse or breathy—is commonly caused by the tightening and weakening of muscles such as the lung muscles, another symptom that is associated with ALS. If you begin to notice signs of slurred speech, it may be time to get in touch with a medical professional.
2. Tight, stiff muscles
Losing nerves results in abnormally tightened and stiffened muscles. This is otherwise known as spasticity, a symptom associated with ALS. While muscle discomfort may occur as a result of multiple other conditions—or even as a result of physical exercise or strain—it can also be an early warning symptom of ALS to look out for.
3. Difficulty walking
Some individuals with ALS may notice early on that they have difficulty walking due to weakening muscles—especially in the ankles, legs, or feet—which may lead to tripping and falling more often. A feeling of clumsiness may be associated with ALS as well and, while everyone can be clumsy from time to time, it might be worth keeping an eye on if you suspect that you or your loved one may have ALS.
4. Difficulty chewing and swallowing
In the early stages of ALS, there might be some difficulty with chewing and swallowing food. As the disease progresses, this symptom may become worse and result in dysphagia, a term used to define swallowing difficulties. Dysphagia can range anywhere from having trouble swallowing certain foods to being unable to swallow at all. Bringing food back up after swallowing, occasionally through the nose, as well as choking and coughing while eating, can also occur for those with dysphagia.
5. Difficulty breathing
Initially, those with ALS may notice that they are having some trouble breathing. Eventually, this can progress into dyspnea, which is an intense shortness of breath. Those with ALS will lose the ability to breath on their own and will therefore need to depend on a ventilator.
It is well known that certain foods can be carcinogenic, yet many individuals still consume them daily, increasing their risk of developing cancer. A cancer diagnosis is a long road to recovery, with debilitating cancer treatments, like immunotherapy and chemotherapy, and cancer medicines that can deplete your energy and leave you feeling incredibly weak. In order to remain as healthy as possible, you must start from the outside in—meaning consuming a balanced diet of healthy superfoods and avoiding known carcinogens. Here are the best and worst foods for cancer:
1. Fruits and vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are an excellent source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals as well as antioxidants that are great for cancer prevention. In particular, it has been found that fruits and veggies protect against mouth, throat, stomach, and bowel cancer.
2. Whole grains
Whole grains, like whole grain bread, quinoa, brown rice, oats, and barley, are packed with fiber. Fiber helps you stay lean, thus preventing your risk of developing cancer, which is increased with obesity.
Nuts are loaded with nutrients and phytochemicals, which act as chemoprevention—they have the ability to hinder cancer development by preventing DNA damage. So stock up on almonds, pistachios, walnuts, pecans, and more.
Beans are full of excellent compounds that are anticarcinogenic, including fiber, protease inhibitors, phytic acid, and polyphenols. They are also antioxidant, antimutagenic, and they search for and collect free radicals—keeping you healthy as can be!
1. Processed meat
Hot dogs, salami, sausages, beef jerky, and similar processed meats contain abundant preservatives and undergo curing methods that can generate carcinogenic compounds. It’s advisable to restrict or remove consumption of processed meats preserved through salting, curing, canning, or smoking.
The liver breaks down alcohol into acetaldehyde, a carcinogenic substance. This compound causes DNA harm, raises oxidative stress, and disrupts immune function. This immune suppression hinders your body’s ability to detect and combat precancerous and cancerous cells effectively.
3. Deep-fried foods
Cooking starchy foods like french fries, potato chips, and onion rings at high temperatures can lead to the formation of the carcinogenic substance known as acrylamide. This compound has the potential to harm DNA, leading to cell death. Moreover, it contributes to elevated oxidative stress and inflammation, thereby raising the likelihood of developing cancer.
4. Sugary foods and refined carbohydrates
Sugary drinks, pastries, white pasta, rice, sugary cereals, and white bread are sugary foods and refined carbs, which heighten cancer risk indirectly. These items can contribute to conditions like type 2 diabetes and obesity, fostering inflammation and oxidative stress—consequently heightening cancer risk due to these factors.
Atrial fibrillation, or Afib, is a form of arrhythmia that gives rise to an exceedingly rapid and irregular heartbeat. The ramifications of this ailment can be quite serious, as it may result in a lack of coordination between the atria and ventricles. In turn, this can lead to blood pooling within the heart’s chambers, potentially triggering the formation of blood clots, strokes, or even heart failure. Afib is commonly seen in those with heart valve disorders, but other risk factors include sleep apnea, high blood pressure, obesity, having undergone the TAVR procedure, and more. While Afib can manifest intermittently for some, it can persist chronically for others.
The best way to protect yourself is to wear an ECG/EKG monitor to detect when your heart rate is getting too high. Additionally, there are treatments such as the pacemaker implant to help your heart beat properly. With the recommendation of a monitor or the pacemaker implant, your doctor may also recommend a change in diet. Here are a few foods that help to manage Afib:
1. Fruits and vegetables
A diet loaded with fruits and vegetables can help to decrease obesity and high blood pressure, both of which are risk factors of Afib. By decreasing the two, you decrease your chances of experiencing another Afib episode. Try topping your oatmeal with strawberries, enjoying a bowl of blueberries and raspberries, cutting up some veggies with hummus, or throwing a mix together into a smoothie.
2. Whole grains
Whole grains are very filling and have many benefits, including improving cholesterol levels and decreasing your risk of stroke, heart disease, obesity, and type 2 diabetes. In turn, this also decreases the risk of Afib. Foods like brown rice, oatmeal, whole grain bread, and quinoa are great whole grains to add to your diet.
3. Low-fat or fat-free dairy products
Low-fat milk, low-fat plain yogurt, small amounts of cheese, or dairy alternatives like almond or oat milk, are best for those with Afib. This type of food is linked to the Mediterranean diet, which has been found to lower the risk of heart problems.
Lean meats, nuts, and seeds are all great examples of the types of proteins you should be including in your diet. Proteins are filling and can keep you at a healthy weight, thus lowering your risk of an Afib episode.
5. Low salt foods
High sodium in foods can raise your blood pressure, making you more likely to go into Afib. Be sure to look at the labels on your food and opt for low sodium choices—common high salt foods include pizza, deli meat, canned soups, and dinner rolls.
Osteoporosis is what occurs when more bone gets broken down than replaced, resulting in brittle bones, or easily breaking bones, weaker grip strength, back or neck pain, receding gums, weak or brittle finger nails, stooped posture, and more. There are some medications and treatments that can help reduce these symptoms such as Evenity, Forteo, Fosamax, Prolia, and Boniva, but one of the best ways to improve bone strength is through your diet. Just as there are some foods you should eat more of, there are some foods you should try to avoid entirely. Here are 5 foods to avoid to keep osteoporosis at bay:
1. High sodium foods
High sodium foods can result in a loss in calcium in your body, the mineral associated with healthy bones and teeth. With a lack of calcium, you will suffer from bone loss, causing your bones to become weak and you to develop osteoporosis. Processed foods and canned foods are typically very high in sodium, so make sure to read your labels and try seasoning your food with spices as opposed to added salt.
2. Wheat bran
Wheat bran contains what’s known as phytates, something considered an anti-nutrient that makes it harder for your body to absorb calcium and other essential nutrients. Try to avoid too much of this in your diet, and if you take calcium supplements, wait about 2 or more hours before eating 100% wheat bran to allow your body to absorb it properly.
Heavy drinking can lead to bone loss by interfering with bone growth and the replacement of bone tissue. What’s more, it decreases the amount of calcium your body can absorb and can have an effect on your pancreas and vitamin D metabolism, which in turn impacts bone density.
Caffeine filled drinks, including coffee, tea, soda, and energy drinks, can decrease calcium absorption, thus contributing to bone loss and potentially causing osteoporosis. Opt for decaf drinks instead and try sparkling water instead of soda.
5. Sugary treats
Cakes, candy, cookies, and other highly sweet foods might help your sweet tooth, but they certainly don’t help your bones. Sugary foods often don’t contain many nutrients, and consuming too much doesn’t leave any room for you to consume the foods and nutrients that matter. Eat these treats in moderation and be sure not to go overboard on the sweets.
Parkison’s disease—a brain disorder that impacts the nervous system and results in a variety of challenging symptoms. This disease can affect the patients quality of life through negatively impacting their ability to move. Many patients choose to take medications and treatments that ease their symptoms, such as Gocovri ER, Rytary, Ingrezza, Austedo XR; however, it’s important to look at side effects, as some medications can cause symptoms like tardive dyskinesia. The sooner this disease is diagnosed, the sooner patients can receive treatments and experience some relief of symptoms. Here’s 6 early signs of Parkison’s disease:
Tremors are one of the most common and most characteristic symptoms of Parkinson’s. Tremors can show up as shaking, or other involuntary movement of the body. Typically this symptom begins in the fingers or hand, and is often called the ‘pill-rolling’ tremor—where you rub your thumb and forefinger together. Any unexplained, involuntary tremors are a raise for concern and could lead to a potential diagnosis for Parkinson’s.
2. Stiff-looking walking
If anyone has commented that you look stiff while walking lately, this could be a sign of Parkinson’s. With the disease, normal, unconscious movements like swinging your arms while walking may stop—you’ll have to think about doing it in order for it to happen, whereas for individuals without Parkinson’s naturally do it without trying.
3. Issues with urinating
With Parkinson’s affecting the nervous system, the messages sent to your brain may become blocked or interfered with. When this comes to the bladder, messages that have been interfered with may result in an overactive bladder, frequent urges to urinate in the night that interrupts sleep, urinary incontinence, and more.
4. Slowed movements
Known as bradykinesia, this symptom of Parkinson’s makes movements and simple tasks take much longer and a patient may experience decreased mobility. This symptom can be frustrating as daily tasks can become time-consuming and more challenging—getting out of bed in the morning may take longer, walking may become shuffling, and more.
5. Changes in speech
If you or someone else has noticed that your speech has changed, this can be a sign of Parkinson’s. Whether you have started to speak more softly, with a slur, or hesitation before talking, these can all be signs.
6. Limited or no facial expressions
You may not even realize it until someone points it out, but Parkinson’s can result in limited or no facial expression. While talking, you will assume you’re making these expressions, but really they may not be there at all.
Imagine you could optimize your daily water intake for superior health benefits. From a brisk bottle of sparkling water to a crystal-clear drink from your home’s water filter, knowing when to drink can enhance your hydration’s impact on your health. Whether you are relishing a chilled bottle of water, freshly filtered water, or a glass from a pure water system, timing is the hidden key to unlocking maximum hydration benefits. Read on for the best times to drink water for peak health benefits:
1. Start of the day
Kickstart your morning with a glass of water. Sleeping leaves your body in a state of dehydration. Rehydrating first thing in the morning accelerates your metabolism, helps to cleanse your body, and prepares your body for nutrient absorption from your first meal.
2. Pre-meal hydration
Consuming water approximately 30 minutes before your meals primes your digestive system. It gears up your stomach for the incoming meal, aids in the efficient breakdown of food and prevents overeating for those on a weight loss journey.
3. Surrounding exercise
Hydrate before you break a sweat! It helps to maintain fluid balance and lubricate your joints and muscles. Post-workout hydration replenishes any fluids lost during exercise and fosters muscle recovery.
4. Hunger vs. thirst
Sometimes we mistake thirst for hunger. If you find yourself reaching for a snack shortly after a meal, opt for a glass of water first. If the hunger persists post-hydration, it’s likely genuine.
5. Pre-bath quench
An interesting practice involves consuming one or two glasses of water before your bath, which can help decrease blood pressure. It’s a simple routine with substantial potential long-term benefits.
6. Pre-sleep sip
A common piece of advice is to avoid water right before bed due to potential sleep disruptions. However, a small sip of water can be beneficial, particularly for those with certain heart conditions or prone to strokes. This should be personalized to your health status and ideally discussed with a health professional.
7. When you’re feeling unwell
If you’re feeling unwell, hydration is key. It helps your body fight off sickness and aids in recovery by replacing fluids lost due to fever and alleviating symptoms of common illnesses like cold and flu.
8. Thirst alert
Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, drink water when you’re thirsty. It’s your body’s natural alert system indicating that it needs hydration.
The kind of water—be it sparkling water, water from filters, bottled water, or from pure water systems—is secondary to maintaining regular hydration. Intentionally hydrating at these peak times can amplify the health benefits you receive. Let’s not forget: water is life’s essential liquid, and how we drink it can significantly influence our overall health.
If you suffer from allergies, asthma, nasal polyps, NTM lung disease, MAC lung infection, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection, or cold and flu, chances are you’ve experienced issues with breathing at one point or another. There are many ways to help treat and medicate breathing issues, whether that be with an air purifier, puffers, Flonase, Stiolto, Spiriva, Allegra, Claritin, Dupixent, or in more serious cases, oxygen therapy. There are also prevention methods, so look into joining things like the Novavax clinical trials (this example is a vaccine for Covid) or other vaccinations to protect yourself.
It is a well-established fact that vaccines play a crucial role in treating numerous respiratory and breathing disorders. Among the respiratory conditions that benefit from vaccines are Influenza, Pneumonia, Whooping Cough, Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV), and Tuberculosis, among others. Interestingly, the common cold, which is highly prevalent, remains without a vaccine. Notable vaccine manufacturers, including Novovax, Fluarix Quadrivalent, Vaxelis, Infanrix, Kinrix, Pediarix, Pentacel, and others, produce these immunizations.
But did you know that there are certain foods and changes you can make to your diet that will help you with breathing issues? Based on what you eat, different nutrients make you produce more carbon dioxide for the amount of oxygen used, and others make you produce less. Read on to see what foods and nutrients you should incorporate into your diet to help with your breathing:
1. Whole grains
Whole grains are packed with important vitamins and nutrients like vitamin E, fatty acids, selenium, and fiber that are all great for lung health and have antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. Avoid refined grains and instead reach for whole-wheat bread, quinoa, oats, barley, and other whole grain products.
Garlic is rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, thanks to the compound known as allicin. What’s more, garlic has been shown to improve lung function by decreasing oxidative stress. These properties make them a healthy additive for a great boost of flavor to your meals.
3. Leafy greens
Spinach, kale, collards, romaine, and broccoli are great sources of the antioxidant carotenoids. Eating a balanced diet with a good amount of leafy greens is shown to reduce risk of lung cancer and will boost healthy breathing and lung function.
4. Sources of protein
Good sources of protein include most meats, nut butter, milk, eggs, fish, and beans. Getting enough protein supports the maintenance of strong respiratory muscles as well as strengthening respiratory cells, thanks to proteins assistance in repairing cells and making new ones.
Tomatoes are the biggest source of lycopene—an antioxidant known to improve lung health. Tomatoes have been shown to reduce airway inflammation and improve lung function. Try adding sliced tomatoes to your sandwiches or chop them up and add to a fresh salad.
6. Lots of fluids
I know what you’re thinking—water isn’t food! But, it is an important enough factor in helping you breathe, so it needed a place on this list. Staying hydrated is essential to keeping mucus thin for easier removal, thus keeping your airways clear and unblocked. Spread out drinking 6-8 glasses of water a day, and keep in mind that many caffeine-free beverages and a variety of foods contain a substantial amount of water as well.