Symptoms of Interstitial Cystitis

Interstitial cystitis, or IC, is a chronic pelvic pain syndrome originating in the bladder. Other names for IC include painful bladder syndrome (PBS), bladder pain syndrome (BPS, used primarily in Europe), and hypersensitive bladder syndrome (HBS, used primarily in Asia). Men may also be diagnosed with chronic prostatitis (CP), which shares similar symptom characteristics with IC.
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Patients with IC experience urinary pain, frequency, urgency, and nighttime urination that cannot be attributed to other causes. Although symptoms of interstitial cystitis can be confused with a urinary tract infection, urine from an IC patient does not show any bacteria when cultured. Sometimes I describe IC to people as the difference between a cold and allergies. A person may sneeze with both, but a cold is caused by a germ and allergies are not.

Patients with IC have a damaged bladder lining. Both the glycosaminoglycans (GAG) layer (the protective mucous coating on the surface of the bladder), and the urothelial layer (the skin-like barrier that transmits the messages of pain and urgency to the brain) can be damaged in a bladder causing IC symptoms.

Glomerulations, or petechial hemorrhages, are often observed when a patient undergoes a cystoscopy under anesthesia, however, there is some concern that this damage could actually be caused by the procedure itself. Mastocytosis (almost like having hives in the bladder) is also a common finding. About seven to nine percent of patients actually have ulcerations in the bladder lining.

For diagnostic purposes, IC pain generally worsens as the bladder fills with urine and is relieved upon emptying the bladder. The pain may or may not be perceived as coming from the bladder. Many patients report that their pain is urethral, with varying degrees of pelvic pain. Other patients report back pain, shooting pain down the legs, and pain that is positional-for example, sitting in one place too long can trigger symptoms. In addition, both men and women report pain with intercourse. Men with IC often experience penile pain at the moment of ejaculation, whereas women might experience pelvic pain up to 24 hours after intercourse. Women’s symptoms may also increase premenstrually and at ovulation. IC pain can be visceral, which means that the pain signals travel to the same area of the brain where emotions are generated, so IC patients may appear to be highly emotional. In addition, IC pain can be neuropathic. Simply put, the person is in pain for so long that the nerves become damaged and begin to send more intense pain signals over time.

The other two cardinal symptoms are frequent urination and an unexpected urge to get to the bathroom immediately. Patients have reported having to use the bathroom up to 60 times a day. Sleep disruption from these symptoms is often a major cause of distress for patients.

Although it is valuable to know those clinical descriptions of the disease, no definition of IC is complete without the vivid descriptions IC patients use to explain how they feel. Often patients will describe the pain as if they have “razor blades or battery acid” in their bladders. Patients may be frustrated about the fact that they are fine one moment and doubled over in excruciating pain the next. Or, they will express defeat and resignation saying, “I may as well put a mattress in the bathroom; I go so often at night.”

IC patients often have other coexisting conditions including irritable bowel syndrome, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, vulvodynia, and various allergies, all suggesting a connection with the immune system may be involved in some way. Patients may also experience a variety of mood or mental health disorders related to their disease. People living with chronic pain often experience a tremendous amount of stress, suffering emotionally as well as physically. Their social lives may be disrupted because of their symptoms, and their intimate relations strained. The disability of many with IC is very real; nearly half of all IC patients in 1987 could not hold full-time jobs. Relationships can be strained, and many patients become depressed. Suicidal thoughts are not uncommon, and frequently enough, patients act on those thoughts.cystitis, or IC, is a chronic pelvic pain syndrome originating in the bladder. Other names for IC include painful bladder syndrome (PBS), bladder pain syndrome (BPS, used primarily in Europe), and hypersensitive bladder syndrome (HBS, used primarily in Asia). Men may also be diagnosed with chronic prostatitis (CP), which shares similar symptom characteristics with IC.

Patients with IC experience urinary pain, frequency, urgency, and nighttime urination that cannot be attributed to other causes. Although symptoms of interstitial cystitis can be confused with a urinary tract infection, urine from an IC patient does not show any bacteria when cultured. Sometimes I describe IC to people as the difference between a cold and allergies. A person may sneeze with both, but a cold is caused by a germ and allergies are not.

Patients with IC have a damaged bladder lining. Both the glycosaminoglycans (GAG) layer (the protective mucous coating on the surface of the bladder), and the urothelial layer (the skin-like barrier that transmits the messages of pain and urgency to the brain) can be damaged in a bladder causing IC symptoms.

Glomerulations, or petechial hemorrhages, are often observed when a patient undergoes a cystoscopy under anesthesia, however, there is some concern that this damage could actually be caused by the procedure itself. Mastocytosis (almost like having hives in the bladder) is also a common finding. About seven to nine percent of patients actually have ulcerations in the bladder lining.
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For diagnostic purposes, IC pain generally worsens as the bladder fills with urine and is relieved upon emptying the bladder. The pain may or may not be perceived as coming from the bladder. Many patients report that their pain is urethral, with varying degrees of pelvic pain. Other patients report back pain, shooting pain down the legs, and pain that is positional-for example, sitting in one place too long can trigger symptoms. In addition, both men and women report pain with intercourse. Men with IC often experience penile pain at the moment of ejaculation, whereas women might experience pelvic pain up to 24 hours after intercourse. Women’s symptoms may also increase premenstrually and at ovulation. IC pain can be visceral, which means that the pain signals travel to the same area of the brain where emotions are generated, so IC patients may appear to be highly emotional. In addition, IC pain can be neuropathic. Simply put, the person is in pain for so long that the nerves become damaged and begin to send more intense pain signals over time.

The other two cardinal symptoms are frequent urination and an unexpected urge to get to the bathroom immediately. Patients have reported having to use the bathroom up to 60 times a day. Sleep disruption from these symptoms is often a major cause of distress for patients.

Although it is valuable to know those clinical descriptions of the disease, no definition of IC is complete without the vivid descriptions IC patients use to explain how they feel. Often patients will describe the pain as if they have “razor blades or battery acid” in their bladders. Patients may be frustrated about the fact that they are fine one moment and doubled over in excruciating pain the next. Or, they will express defeat and resignation saying, “I may as well put a mattress in the bathroom; I go so often at night.”

IC patients often have other coexisting conditions including irritable bowel syndrome, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, vulvodynia, and various allergies, all suggesting a connection with the immune system may be involved in some way. Patients may also experience a variety of mood or mental health disorders related to their disease. People living with chronic pain often experience a tremendous amount of stress, suffering emotionally as well as physically. Their social lives may be disrupted because of their symptoms, and their intimate relations strained. The disability of many with IC is very real; nearly half of all IC patients in 1987 could not hold full-time jobs. Relationships can be strained, and many patients become depressed. Suicidal thoughts are not uncommon, and frequently enough, patients act on those thoughts.

The good news is that a well-designed and individualized treatment plan can moderate symptoms for most IC patients. Oral medications, intravesical instillations (medications put into the bladder via a catheter), physical therapy, and a variety of self-help methods are the most common treatments. One of the most conservative treatments, dietary modification, is helpful for over 90% of IC patients-a claim that no other treatment can make to date. In fact, many patients can regain an acceptable quality of life by simply eliminating the most abrasive foods-coffee, tea, chocolate, alcohol, citrus fruits and juices, chili spices, tomato products, and soy products. The most important thing to remember is that there is always hope for healing, and many patients find a way to coexist with their fragile bladders, living normal, active lives.

The good news is that a well-designed and individualized treatment plan can moderate symptoms for most IC patients. Oral medications, intravesical instillations (medications put into the bladder via a catheter), physical therapy, and a variety of self-help methods are the most common treatments. One of the most conservative treatments, dietary modification, is helpful for over 90% of IC patients-a claim that no other treatment can make to date. In fact, many patients can regain an acceptable quality of life by simply eliminating the most abrasive foods-coffee, tea, chocolate, alcohol, citrus fruits and juices, chili spices, tomato products, and soy products. The most important thing to remember is that there is always hope for healing, and many patients find a way to coexist with their fragile bladders, living normal, active lives.

Severe Rib Pain Causes

Not all ribcage pain is caused by cracked or fractured ribs. Some are caused by a disorder called osteochondritis dissecans. This is not only an affliction of the ribs, but it can certainly cause severe rib pain. It is not commonly found in smaller joints such as the fingers and toes. It is commonly found in those who are very active such as athletes.

What Causes Osteochondritis Dissecans?

This is a condition that strikes those who are quite active, meaning you don’t get it from long term joint or bone deterioration. Osteochondritis dissecans is caused by force or injury to the end of the bone. When it happens to a rib the rib, it occurs where the rib attaches to the spine or sternum. Generally speaking, it doesn’t often occur because of a single incident: it is more likely to occur after repeated blows to the same area.

Osteochondritis dissecans can be caused by repetitive motion and overuse – in other words, performing the same task or doing the same motion over and over. Think of an NFL quarterback constantly throwing passes. This is the type of action that can cause this affliction. Also, imagine the same quarterback taking tackles over the period of a season to the same area of the rib cage. This is a perfect combination of action to trigger osteochondritis dissecans.

Symptoms of Osteochondritis Dissecans

One of the best indicators of osteochondritis dissecans is tenderness in the rib area. This is going to be at the end of the bone.

When you do a physical activity which causes some pain or discomfort, it can be another indication of this disorder. Even pain when breathing may be a symptom. You may notice that the site of the pain becoming swollen and tender to the touch.

Treating Osteochondritis Dissecans

The main thing to remember is that if you have any of the signs or symptoms or participate in any of the activities that can make you prone to osteochondritis dissecans, you should seek a medical evaluation immediately. When it is not treated, the long term effects can be debilitating. Quick treatment can mean a lessening of the symptoms and a return to some normalcy of the joints. This can also help to lessen the intense pain that is associated with this condition.

The best medicine for this injury is simply to rest the body and to avoid sports or anything that can aggravate it. It is also a good idea to stay as immobile as possible. This can be difficult when it affects the ribs, since nearly everything any motion or movement you make is going to aggravate them. Just sleeping and rolling over can wake you out of a deep sleep. Normal breathing can be painful, but strenuous activities can make it even more painful.

When the pain is too intense, your doctor can prescribe pain killers from mexico. Some physicians may want to do surgery to repair as much of the affected area as possible in extreme cases. The important thing it to get medical attention as soon as the pain begins to get a proper diagnosis.

Migraine Headache Relief

It is estimated that 12 million Americans suffer from migraines. If you are one of these people like I am, migraine headache relief is an important but confusing subject. You want to prevent migraines from coming on in the first place, and get rid of them fast when they do. You’ve probably tried various over the counter options, and may have tried many prescription options as well. Unfortunately many of these options can cause trouble for your body when taken over a long period of time, and also have strong side effects that are almost as debilitating as the migraine itself. Another option you may not have tried yet are natural options for migraine headache relief. Natural options have the benefits of preventing and curing headaches with no side effects, and are often just as effective as over the counter and prescription options.

Prevent

Find your Triggers – There are a wide variety of things that can trigger a migraine. Foods are a common trigger of headaches. Things such as processed meats, alcohol, dried fish, caffeine, dairy products or grains. Other things that can trigger migraines are hormone level changes such as those that occur in menstruation or while taking birth control, changes in sleeping patterns, and dramatic weather changes. Keep a diary of your eating and sleeping habits, as well as other notes so you can determine what your triggers are and eliminate those that are within your control. By recognizing and eliminating triggers, migraine headache relief is within your grasp.

Homeopathic Remedies – Headaches are often caused by either constricted blood vessels or the presence of allergens and toxins in your body. By bringing and keeping your nervous system and liver in a healthy balance you can achieve migraine headache relief that is more effective than many prescription options. The herb feverfew has been found to prevent many migraines by limiting the production of prostaglandins, the brain chemicals responsible for contracting blood vessels. Another herb milk thistle, helps to support liver function and can allow your liver to more effectively filter allergens and toxins from your body. These homeopathic remedies do not work instantly, and are not terribly effective to cure migraines, but over time they have shown to be very effective in preventing migraines from occurring.

Cure

Aromatherapy – Once a migraine has come on, there are a whole range of options for migraine headache relief. Unfortunately many of these options come with the side effect of grogginess. Being sleepy and out of it is really not much better than having the migraine as far as getting things done and getting on with the business of daily life. Aromatherapy is a great option for migraine headache relief because many people find it highly effective and there are no side effects to deal with. A great combination of essential oils for migraine relief are Lavender, rosemary, and peppermint. Lavender relaxes tense muscles, Rosemary acts as a stimulant similar to caffeine to increase blood flow, and peppermint has a cooling effect. Combine these oils in equal amounts into a carrier oil and massage on neck, shoulders, and temples to experience amazing migraine headache relief.

Migraines don’t have to be a part of your daily life. You can get effective headache relief without the strong side effects of prescription medications or the potential damage to your body caused by overuse of over the counter medications. Using natural remedies to achieve migraine headache relief is a safe and effective option to explore. By keeping a diary of potential triggers, using herbal remedies to prevent headaches and aromatherapy to manage the migraines that do slip through, you will find that you can continue on with your daily life without interruption.

Solutions For Influenza

Influenza affects many people by causing symptoms of painful muscles, chills, sore throats, fever, and chills. Additional issues of headache, coughing, and lethargy are also present during this illness. The progression of influenza can lead to pneumonia at is often fatal to younger individuals as well as the elderly. The flu can easily be confused with the common cold due to the similar symptoms of coughs, fever, and chills but it is a much harsher due to its viral composition.

The transmission of influenza is generally airborne as a result of coughing and sneezing of infected individuals. Also, direct contact with nasal mucous or other contaminated surface or areas are also ways of transmitting the virus.

During the regional influenza seasons, which result in 250,000 to 500,000 deaths per year, the spread of influenza is generally to pandemic proportions. The emergence of different strains was the cause for the three pandemics during the 20th century where millions of people were killed. Generally, these new strains are the result of an animal influenza strain transferring to humans.

At the end of the influenza season, a group of the strains actually migrate other regions. The common hypothesis regarding influenza is that the strain actually originates in China and Southeast Asia and makes it way to the United States or other parts of the world. During the sequencing of influenza genes, it was found that some of these compilations were able to relocate to more abiding environments.

This research is beneficial for vaccination development to better safeguard specific regions. South America, for example, gets most, if not all, of the influenza from North America. This means that instead of administering the same globally available vaccine, it would be better to construct a vaccine specific to the strain type in that area. The more thorough the investigation, the more information can be garnered as to where influenza is coming from.

Vaccinations generally include two influenza A virus types and a strain of influenza B virus. This trivalent influenza vaccine (TIV) is purified and inactivated causing very little disease transmission although people may exhibit flu-like symptoms up to week after the vaccination. However, a vaccine that is created for one year’s flu season may be ineffective the next year. The continual emergence of different strains makes new vaccination and regional flu research a necessary and exciting venture.

Since influenza is a virus, there are no cures after infection has taken place. The best course of action is to receive an annual flu shot during the flu season. The symptoms can be calmed by using over the counter medications to help your body recover and fight off the infection. Since your body must build a resistance to the virus, it is important to get the adequate amount of sleep.

Four Serious Summer Illnesses

Especially as we get older, or deal with various health issues, it’s crucial to avoid too much exertion in too much heat.

A host of heat-related maladies can plague us if we don’t:

• Heat cramps

• Heat rash

• Heat exhaustion

• Heat stroke

The first two are usually relatively minor problems but they can become more serious for gardeners with other health problems.

Heat exhaustion is more serious and most serious of all is heat stroke – a potentially fatal condition that calls for immediate medical attention.

Signs and symptoms

If you feel dizzy or faint while working in the summer garden, you should stop and rest in the shade. Drink plenty of water or Gatorade-type electrolyte replacement to rehydrate yourself.

Heat cramps cause muscle spasms and twinges in the stomach or limbs combined with excessive sweating and thirst. You should seek shade and loosen your clothing. Drinking an electrolyte replacement could help since the cause of cramps is loss of body salt from sweating.

Prickly heat is a common name for heat rash, caused by clogged or irritated sweat glands. It presents as itchy, prickly red blisters typically in areas under clothing. If affected, wash your skin, powder yourself with talcum or baby powder and wear looser clothing.

Heat exhaustion signals a more serious condition with potential to progress to heat stroke. The signs of heat exhaustion, according to medicinenet.com are:

• Heavy sweating

• Paleness

• Muscle cramps

• Tiredness/weakness

• Dizziness

Headache

• Nausea or vomiting

• Fainting

The skin may be cool and moist. The pulse rate will be fast and weak, and breathing will be fast and shallow.

Treatment for this condition calls for moving to a shaded area, loosening clothing and slowly drinking cool water – a half glass every 15-20 minutes until symptoms lessen.

Heat stroke

Heat stroke may occur suddenly and can be life-threatening. Its symptoms include confusion, dizziness and perhaps coma. Unlike heat exhaustion, the sufferer’s pulse and breathing may be rapid. There may be convulsions and vomiting.

If these symptoms occur, you should immediately call 911 for emergency medical attention. While waiting for help to arrive, give small amounts of water and cool the victim in any way possible – fanning, cool compresses, flushing with cool water from the hose. Remove restrictive clothing, lay the victim down and elevate his or her feet.
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If nausea is present, make sure the airways are clear.
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Alcoholism Treatment Centers

A chronic alcoholic is much like a drowning person. He is going down and he cannot swim. He flounders before sinking. He knows he is drowning and that he needs help to get out of his situation. He looks here and there frantically for succor, for a lifeline. An ordinary person cannot help. A doctor cannot help. A priest cannot help.

The only help he can get is at an alcoholism treatment center. This is the only place where he can witness his own turnaround. But to get to this stage he has to have a steely determination to recover, a will to go through the entire painful process.

These centers are fully equipped with all facilities and staff needed to bring about this change in the alcoholic. They are the only ones to offer a lifeline to such people who have lost all hope in life. An alcoholism treatment center is staffed with doctors, psychiatrist, psychologists, nutritionists, therapists, even spiritual guides. Each has the professional skill and the expertise born of years of experience to effect this change. Each works in his own way to bring about this change through treatment processes finely tuned to the individual’s psyche and physical condition. It is not just the people, it is also the calm and serene environment at the alcoholism treatment centers that works. It is also the company of other people and interacting with them that helps. It is also the opening up and purging of guilt feelings, feelings of shame and remorse that help the alcoholic come out of his predicament.

Self realization dawns on the addict. He looks back and shudders. He looks forward with a renewed hope and determination that the future will not be like the past. This is the result that alcoholism treatment centers have achieved through their treatments.

He will have to go through the process of detox, intensive counseling, group therapies, interaction with other inmates, spiritual and holistic meditations and education on handling life. All these help a great deal in fine tuning various aspects of the patient both physical and psychological. While methods like detx and medication take care of the physical aspect, education and counseling takes care of the psychological aspects. The thought process of the addict is altered as a result of counseling sessions. He is helped to let go of his fears, understand the situation he is in and how treatment will help him. This helps him to undergo treatment honestly and move towards a bright future. As he passes each stage he begins to find joy and peace in life. These treatment centers have indeed offered him a priceless lifeline!

Syndrome X

Just what is Syndrome X? Is this causal and how can you prevent this affliction?

Syndrome X is also known as insulin resistance syndrome, or better still, the Metabolic Syndrome. Affecting nearly one in every three adults, Syndrome X is a medical term for a number of conditions that, when occurring together, may indicate a predisposition of diabetes, hypertension, cancer and heart disease. It has been threatening, and unfortunately for some, ending the lives of many since as early as 1988. According to an expert, Syndrome X is the condition where the hormone insulin fails to transport glucose to body cells, thus preventing the cells to utilize much needed energy. At the same time, blood glucose levels rise above the normal range. As more insulin is secreted by the pancreas in the hope of overcoming this resistance, more and more insulin circulates in the blood. As a consequence of this, one is likely to experience an energy crash, and the body’s cells quickly learn to ignore the hormone, causing the condition of insulin resistance.

High insulin levels can pose as danger to one’s well being as it leads to serious health problems and elevates the amount of stress hormone (cortisol) in the body, reinforcing other ageing-related concerns.

Since Syndrome X is composed of a cluster of other conditions (obesity, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, lipid disorders, and kidney dysfunction), improving one of the members of the syndrome will tend to improve the others. For instance, if one is overweight, losing up to five to 10 percent of current body weight can bring the blood pressure down and increase the cells’ sensitivity to insulin. It also decreases one’s risk for heart attack and stroke.

One must also follow a balanced diet. If one’s diet mainly consists of soda, snack foods, and refined carbs (thin pasta, breads, and white rice), it’s time to make some adjustments. Trim down consumption of refined carbohydrates and saturated fats. For every meal, add additional servings of protein (lean meats, eggs) and non-starchy vegetables (broccoli, lettuce and greens): These foods won’t jack up glucose and insulin levels, instead they provide essential nutrients.

Exercise, especially the aerobic kind, is also important. Numerous studies show that increased physical activity can improve insulin sensitivity and decreases high blood pressure, while helping burn calories. Experts highly recommend 30 minutes of exercise a day for five days. However, even 15 to 20 minutes every day of brisk walking can benefit anyone.

Finally, one should consult his or her doctor regarding the possibility of taking weight-reducing medication.

You have your own health concern and that’s fine with you. While it’s better to be safe than sorry, you can prevent Syndrome X by consulting your doctor so you can take the necessary precautions and, if needed, the appropriate medication.

Urinary Tract Infections

Urinary tract infections are associated with multiplication of organisms in the urinary tract and is defined by the presence of more than a hundred thousand organisms per ml in mid stream sample of urine (MSU). UTI is common in women; in fact the majority of women will have a UTI some time during their life. UTI is usually uncommon in men except in elders.

Before we discuss the symptoms of UTIs, it must be kept in mind that UTI can be further categorized into two categories, the upper UTI and the lower UTI. Symptoms vary according to these categories.

The lower urinary tract infection includes urethritis (inflammation and infection of urethra), cystitis (inflammation and infection of bladder) and prostatitis (inflammation and infection of prostate).

There is often an abrupt onset of frequency of micturition (urination) and dysuria (painful urination with burning sensation). Scalding pain is felt in the urethra during micturition. Cystitis may give rise to supra pubic pain in women and in case of men, sense of pressure or pain in rectum, during and after voiding.

After the bladder has been emptied, there may be an intense desire to pass more urine due to spasm of the inflamed bladder wall. Supra pubic tenderness is often present or may occur on examination PR (per rectum) or PV (per vagina).

Urine may have an unpleasant odor and appear cloudy (indicating pus in the urine). Gross hematuria (blood in the urine) may occur.

The presence of pus cells in the urine (pyuria) is common, but not invariable.

Generalized symptoms like tiredness and weakness may accompany UTI, but fever is uncommon in lower urinary tract infection, but may be present if infection reaches to blood or kidneys.

Infants usually do not have characteristic symptoms as that of adults or elder children. They may have only fever and no other symptoms. But it must be kept in mind that UTI affects both male and female infants. Infants suffering from UTI are mostly irritable, with feeding problems accompanied by diarrhea and vomiting. Since nature of symptoms is so non-specific, UTI is difficult to diagnose in infants.

Elderly people usually present with fever, altered mental status, low body temperature (hypothermia) along with poor appetite.

In case of upper UTI when kidney gets infected, the condition is known as pyelonephritis. This condition presents with moderately high fever, loin pain (usually about at waist level), dysuria, cloudy or bloodstained urine and rigors. Another fact must not be ignored that sometimes the symptoms of UTI may resemble with those of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).

Living With Coeliac Disease

Coeliac disease can be difficult to detect, and has often been misdiagnosed as Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Crohn’s disease, and intestinal infections. This is complicated further due to the varying nature of symptoms displayed from one person to the next. The most common signs are intestinal pains, flatulence, and a feeling of fatigue or lethargy. However, patients can also display mouth ulcers or an itchy rash developing on the skin. The latter are less common in Coeliac patients, and can de diagnosed as a form of eczema or other condition such as nodular prurigo.

Another circumstance may be that the patient is asymptomatic, in which case it becomes a highly concerning matter as the person will still experience the effects of the illness, including malnutrition. Of course, the longer a person goes undiagnosed and untreated, the greater the chance of the development of malnutrition, anaemia, and delayed growth. These effects are a very high risk for children, as they require sufficient levels of nutrients in order to develop properly.

Although the only treatment is the strict adherence to a gluten free diet, there is a wide range of products readily available for those with Coeliac Disease. Over the past few years gluten free products have become a common sight in all the major supermarkets, and of course there are gluten free alternatives to staple food items such as bread, flour and pasta. The basic gluten free diet comprises of meat, fish, fruit and vegetables, rice, potatoes, and lentils. In addition to these, there are now gluten free ready-made meals and soups available to gluten intolerant individuals. It is not even necessary to give up biscuits and sweets on this diet, as appropriate alternatives can be found easily.

Although there are a list of do’s and don’t’s when it comes to maintaining a diet without gluten, there are a number of foodstuffs which occupy a grey area, and can have different results in different people. Oats, for instance, form the basis of an ongoing debate as to their suitability for a Coeliac disease patient. Whilst there is the possibility of cross-contamination due to the fact that some oat products are produced in close proximity to wheat, rye, and barley, uncontaminated oats will be labelled as such, and are safe for the vast majority of people with Coeliac disease.

Pure, uncontaminated oats can provide an extra bit of variety to a gluten free diet, perhaps in the form of oat biscuits or oat muesli. They are also a good source of soluble fibre which promotes a healthy gut. If you are concerned about consuming oats it is perhaps sensible to forego the pleasure for the first 6 months after diagnosis to allow your gut to recover, and then to introduce them under surveillance conditions.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

There is no shortage of rheumatoid arthritis treatments. A great many researchers are working on ways to relieve the pain, disfigurement and discomfort of RA. But doctors say there is no cure! However, there is hope.

In recent years, researchers have developed a number of treatments that make life easier for the RA patient. The goal is to provide as normal a life as possible for the sufferer with the lowest level of discomfort, disfigurement and interruption of a normal life.

Until a cure is found, doctors find themselves minimizing joint damage, disfigurement and pain while enhancing the patient’s ability to engage in enjoy a quality lifestyle. Doctors have also learned that it’s far easier for the patient if families and loved ones understand what is happening – that is, the nature of RA.

So, what can actually be done? Three classes of drugs are usually utilized for rheumatoid arthritis treatments:

  • non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents (or NSAIDs),
  • disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (or DMARDs)
  • corticosteroids.
  • The major benefit of NSAIDs is to relieve inflammation. That decreases pain and improves function. However, NSAIDs alone can’t change the course of the disease nor prevent destruction of the affected joints.

    For years, aspirin was the primary treatment – and still relieves pain quite effectively. However, it often causes stomach discomfort and has to be taken repeatedly during the day. Thus, many doctors have replaced it with other NSAIDs.

    Fortunately, there are quite a few to choose from.

    Over-the-counter NSAIDs include naproxen sodium (such as Aleve®) and ibuprofen (such as Advil®, Motrin® and Nuprin®.

    Prescription NSAIDs include choline magnesium salicylate (Trilasate®), diclofenac (Cataflam®, Voltaren®, Arthrotec®), diflusinal (Dolobid®), etodolac (Lodine®), indomethicin (Indocin®), ketoprofen (Orudis®, Oruvail®), meloxicam (Mobic®), nabumetone (Relafen®), oxaprozin (Daypro®), piroxicam (Feldene®), sulindac (Clinoril®) and tolementin (Tolectin®).

    Many patients prefer naproxen sodium since it can be taken once every 12 hours – rather than four times a day as with some of the others.

    NSAIDs provide quick but short-term help.

    DMARDs can take several weeks or months. Among those most commonly used are abatacept (Orencia®), adalimumab (Humira®), anakinra (Kineret®), antimalarials, azathioprine (Imuran), cyclophosphamide cyclosporin A, d-penicillamine, etanercept (Enbrel®), gold salts, infliximab (Remicade®), leflunomide (Arava®), methotrexate, rituximab (Rituxan®) and sulfasalazine.

    Most are very effective in preventing cartilage damage and the bone erosions that can come as early as during the first two years of the disease. As a result, many doctors prescribe a DMARD as soon as RA is diagnosed.

    But since DMARDs can be so slow acting, aspirin and other analgesics are also taken since they are so effective in decreasing pain – but not in stopping the disease’s progression.

    So, NSAIDs are taken to ease discomfort, particularly until DMARDs take effect.

    Corticosteroids are the third category of drugs used with RA. These are often prescribed for patients with severe cases who aren’t responding to NSAIDs or DMARDs. However, there are side effects such as weight gain, puffiness around the face, redness of the cheeks, and even such oddities as the development of a “buffalo hump” over the neck.

    Any rheumatoid arthritis sufferer is wise to stay current of new developments – and to ask their doctor whether this or that “wonder treatment” on the internet actually works.