Fertility Struggles: The Truth About Having Children

How Your Diet And Health May Be Affecting Your Psoriasis

Living with psoriasis can be painful, uncomfortable, and embarrassing; however, there are ways to reduce the common symptoms this skin disorder causes. Many people turn to medications and ointments for help, but what you may not realize is that your weight could be causing your symptoms to worsen. Losing weight and keeping your body at an average weight might actually help your psoriasis symptoms go away or at least lessen.

How does weight affect psoriasis?

Studies on the subject of how weight affects psoriasis show that overweight people tend to have more flare ups than people that are within normal weight averages. This is why your doctor might recommend losing weight as a way of treating your psoriasis if you are currently overweight.

There are two main steps you may need to take to achieve this. The first is changing your diet, which typically involves cutting out foods that are bad for you and eating more foods that are good for your health. The second step you may need to take is exercising, which is also a great way to lose weight.

You should realize that you can experience a decrease in psoriasis systems from exercising, even if you are not losing any weight from working out. Exercising is also good for your heart, and it may help improve your overall health, which in turn could help with the psoriasis symptoms you are experiencing.

Can certain foods trigger psoriasis?

Many people also believe that the types of foods you eat may affect the severity of psoriasis flare ups. For example, increasing the amount of fresh fruits and vegetables you consume may actually help decrease your psoriasis symptoms. Increasing the food items you eat that contain Omega-3 fatty acids could also help. Foods high in Omega-3 fatty acids are helpful for improving the functions of the immune system and decreasing inflammation.

Another option is to eliminate dairy and gluten from your diet. Dairy foods are known for increasing inflammation in the body. Psoriasis symptoms worsen with inflammation, so cutting dairy products out of your diet might be extremely helpful.

Making certain lifestyle changes like these may help you control your psoriasis a little easier. In addition, you should also visit your doctor regularly to find out what else you can do to help ease the painful and uncomfortable symptoms you have from psoriasis. To learn more, schedule an appointment with a doctor or dermatologist like Henry D. McKinney M.D.

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4 Things You Need To Know About Halo Moles

Normal moles tend to look the same over time, but in some cases, they can evolve and become halo moles. Here are four things you need to know about halo moles.

What are the signs of halo moles?

Halo moles aren’t usually painful, so you’ll need to do a visual inspection of your skin to notice their presence. If you develop halo moles, you’ll notice that one or more of your existing moles has developed a depigmented (lighter than the rest of your skin) ring of tissue around it. This pale ring of tissue tends to be between 0.25 and 0.5 inches wide and is typically circular, with the affected mole in the center of the circle. In some cases, the depigmented tissue around the mole can become inflamed and crusted.

If you notice any changes in the appearance of your existing moles or the skin that surrounds them, make sure to seek the advice of a dermatologist.

Why do they develop?

It’s well known that the sun can damage your skin, but surprisingly, your moles can be damaged by the sun, too. When your moles become damaged, your immune system may think they’re foreign and attack them. This attack destroys the pigment cells within your mole, which causes the mole to fade away and in some cases vanish completely.

The immune system’s attack isn’t very precise, so the mole’s pigment cells aren’t the only ones that are destroyed: the pigment cells in the surrounding skin are destroyed, too. This is why the skin around a halo mole becomes depigmented.

Are they serious?

Halo moles are benign and therefore not serious. However, since evolution in the appearance of a mole is a warning sign of skin cancer, your dermatologist will take a biopsy of the tissue, just to be sure that your mole is actually a halo mole, and not skin cancer masquerading as a halo mole.

This procedure is simple and only takes about 15 minutes. Your dermatologist will shave off a small piece of your mole with a scalpel; this tissue sample will then be analyzed under a microscope.

How are they treated?

If your mole is confirmed to be a halo mole, no treatment is necessary. The depigmented tissue generally darkens to its normal color over a period of months or years, according to Medscape. However, this doesn’t always happen, so you may be left with lightened halos on your skin. If your halos don’t go away, your dermatologist may recommend concealing them with makeup.

If you’ve developed lightened rings around your moles, see a dermatologist like J Kent Bartruff MD PA right away to make sure nothing’s wrong. 

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Finding Success With A Family-Owned Pharmacy

Patients today are looking for more personalized service when it comes to their doctors as well as their pharmacists. Technology has taken away the more personal side of medicine, so smaller, family-owned pharmacies make a great alternative for people who are looking for a business that cares about them and their well-being. If you already own a small family pharmacy, or if you’ve considered starting your own, here are a few tips to help you become successful.

Attitude Is Everything

For successful small pharmacies, an attitude of gratitude for your customers can go a long way. Take a real interest in each and every customer, and get to know them personally as well as medically. By showing a real interest in their health, you will get repeat customers who will refer you to others. Provide extra services like free blood pressure tests and diabetes screenings. These extra services show your customers you care, and will ensure that they continue to use you for their medicine needs. People who use family-owned pharmacies like Camelback Pharmacy are looking for friendly service, so it’s essential to give them what they desire.

Consider Compounding

The process of compounding is comprised of making your own medication on site. This can be an excellent alternative for patients who need special doses of medication and is also a great way to cater to small children. When you have a compounding pharmacy option available, you can provide better medication options to people in need. The process involves mixing medications to create the best dosage and crafting medicine in easier to take forms like liquids or even lollipops for children, and it gives your pharmacy an edge in terms of customer service. You will need to make sure you can get the proper licensing to perform compounding, but once you do it can be a real benefit to your family-owned pharmacy.

Get Involved In Your Community

Word of mouth is the best advertising for any business, and pharmacies are no exception. Create a sense of community by offering free flu shots, giving special discounts to local residents, and hosting some special events. Once the local community gets to know you and your staff, you will open the doors to a lot more customers coming in to get their prescriptions filled. Consider doing some charity events that raise money for local clinics and patients, and develop a partnership with others in your community. This feeling of goodwill is great for business, and it will help you create a brand that will be able to stand the test of time for your pharmacy and your patients.

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3 Potential Causes Of Painful Gingival Lesions

Gingival lesions are open, blister-like sores that form on the soft tissue of your gums due to an underlying medical issue. The lesions can cause discomfort and threaten the health of the nearby teeth. Call your dentist as soon as gingival lesions for proper diagnosis and immediate treatment as at least one of the causes can prove fatal without intervention.

What are a few of the potential causes of gingival lesions – and how can your dentist help?

Lichen Planus

Lichen planus causes lesions that resemble welts or raised hives with alternating patches of white and red discoloration. The lesions can cause pain, swelling, and peeling away of the soft tissue. These lesions can be caused by an allergic reaction to medication or by a systemic illness.

Minor lichen planus will likely go away without intervention from your dentist. You can take over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications to help ease the pain while the lichen planus heals.

Severe or recurrent cases might require corticosteroid medications from your dentist as well as a soothing ointment to ease the pain until healing completes.

Pemphigus Vulgaris

Do the lesions inside your mouth look more like pus-filled white blisters? You could have the autoimmune condition pemphigus vulgaris, which causes your body to attack your skin. The mouth blisters can pop and cause painful, seeping lesions. You might also experience blisters elsewhere on your skin.

The treatments for pemphigus vulgaris include corticosteroids and antifungal medications. It is vital that you are diagnosed and treated early as pemphigus vulgaris can lead to fatal infections. Note that even with early diagnosis you might have to undergo medicinal treatment over a long period of time to ensure you are safe from the infections.

Mucous Membrane Pemphigoid

Mucous membrane pemphigold, or MMP, is an umbrella term covering a few different autoimmune conditions that can cause oral blisters or lesions. The lesions might heal without treatment but leave scarring and frequently return. Your gums will likely become quite red and can slough or peel off easily. Similar lesions might appear elsewhere on your body.

Due to the visual similarities between MMP and pemphigus vulgaris, you should make a dentist appointment as soon as you spot the first lesion to ensure that you receive the proper treatment as early as possible.

Treatments for MMP will vary depending on the severity and whether the blisters have spread elsewhere. Oral or topical corticosteroids are commonly prescribed to treat MMP as are some immunosuppressant drugs. Your dentist and general practitioner will likely ask to monitor your progress over an extended period of time to ensure that the symptoms of MMP are subsiding.

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Under 50 And Colon Cancer: What Should You Know About Colonoscopy Screening?

If you’re under 50 years of age and experience strange problems with your digestive system, such as nausea and painful bowel movements, speak to your doctor about having a colonoscopy done. Although colon cancer typically affects adults 50 years and older, it can develop in young people who have family histories of colon cancer, poor eating habits and several other risk factors. A colonoscopy screening is one of your best defenses against colorectal cancer because it gives doctors a chance to detect and diagnose the disease early. 

How Does Colon Cancer Develop?

Colon cancer develops in your large intestine and rectum when the cells in these tissues forget to die when they complete their tasks, or when the cells mutate or change how they function. Eventually, the abnormal cells clump or stick together and form polyps. Polyps can be benign or noncancerous at first, but quickly turn cancerous without the proper care. 

Small polyps are difficult to detect without a colonoscopy because they usually don’t cause pain or irritation in the large intestine or rectum. However, if the polyps grow exceedingly large, they can prevent waste from passing through the colon or your rectum properly. As a result, you can experience pain when you pass bowel movements or digest food. You may even feel nauseous if your colon builds up with unexpelled waste.

A colonoscopy is an effective way to find out why you have problems with your digestive system. It also helps your doctor find polyps.

How Does a Colonoscopy Work?

A colonoscopy involves inserting a thin tube with a tiny camera on the end of it inside your rectum and colon. The camera picks up detailed images of your colon and rectum, including polyps, internal bleeding and inflammation. Polyps can cause bleeding in your rectum when you pass bowel movements. However, the bleeding may not be enough to alert you.

Your doctor may take cultures or blood samples of the blood and stools found inside your rectum and colon for examination. If the doctor finds cancerous cells in the samples, they can plan the right treatment for you. Your options may include cancer treatments, such as radiation therapy or chemotherapy. These types of treatments kill the dangerous cells in your colon and rectum.

If the samples don’t reveal cancer, your doctor may change your diet. For example, if you eat too much red meat, your doctor may take this type of food out of your diet and replace it with vegetables that provide protein and other beneficial nutrients. Red meat, chicken high in hormones and other types of processed meat contain chemicals that change the DNA in your digestive system. Changing your diet may reduce your chances of developing colon cancer.

If you have more questions about colon cancer or colonoscopy screening, contact your doctor today. To find out more, speak with someone like Clinical Gastrointestinal Associates, PC.

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Central Serous Retinopathy: Gaining A Better Understanding Of The Disease

Central serous retinopathy–also known as central serous chorioretinopathy–is a condition that occurs when fluid builds up and accumulates under the retina. The leakage of choroidal fluid between the retina and the outer layer of the eyeball can lead to distorted central vision. Although the condition generally affects only one eye, it can occur in both eyes at the same time. Since your eye often looks normal, it’s important to understand how to identify and manage the disease.

What are the symptoms?

In addition to distorted central vision, central serous retinopathy can cause symptoms including:

  • Headaches similar to a migraine

  • Blind spots

  • Blurred or dim vision

  • Making objects appear smaller or farther away

  • Making straight lines look bent

  • Reduced color vision

  • Reduced ability to distinguish an image from its background (contrast sensitivity)

While the symptoms of this eye disease are usually only temporary, you can suffer permanent vision loss if fluid continues to accumulate over a long period of time and the condition is left untreated. While vision usually improves as the affected eye heals, your night vision and ability to distinguish colors may be affected. The condition also reoccurs in some people.

Who is at risk?

While the exact cause of central serous retinopathy is unknown, stress appears to increase the risk of developing the condition. Higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol have been found in individuals diagnosed with central serous retinopathy.

Studies suggest that the condition is more common in men than in women. Individuals with type “A” personalities–aggressive and over-stressed–may also be among those at higher risk. Other risk factors include:

  • High blood pressure

  • Use of steroid medications (including inhaled steroids)

How do doctors diagnose central serous retinopathy?

Along with dilating your eyes to examine your retina, your eye doctor may use fluorescein angiography or optical coherence tomography (OCT) to determine whether you have central serous retinopathy. Fluorescein angiography involves injecting dye into the vein of an arm. The dye travels to your eyes allowing the optometrist or ophthalmologist to detect any abnormalities in the retinal blood vessels. OCT scanning takes a cross-section picture of the retina so that the doctor can identify any areas of swelling.

How is central serous retinopathy treated?

Most times, central serous retinopathy clears up on its own. Although the condition may not be serious enough to require medical treatment, your eye doctor will schedule regular followup eye exams to monitor the accumulation of fluid.

If the condition does not clear up, or if you have severe vision loss, you may require laser treatment or photodynamic therapy to seal the leak and improve your vision. Photodynamic therapy may be a safer treatment alternative than laser photocoagulation, which can damage vision where it is applied, especially if the leak is near the central macula where your vision is sharpest.

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Answering Common But Important Glaucoma Questions

Problems with your sense of site can be particularly problematic because of your reliance on this invaluable sense. Sadly, there are many issues that your eyes may encounter over the course of your life. For example, glaucoma is a relatively common condition that many patients will have to battle at some point during their lives. If you are suspecting that you may be developing this condition, it is important for you to know the answers to these two questions. 

How Do Patients Know They Have Glaucoma?

Unfortunately, glaucoma is a condition that may not show any noticeable symptoms to the patient until it has reached an advanced stage of development. Once symptoms become noticeable, treatment can become more complicated and intensive. Generally, these indications may include things such as difficulty seeing in in the center of your vision or the edges.

To ensure that this condition is diagnosed as soon as possible, it is important for you to visit the eye doctor on a routine basis to have your vision checked. These exams will allow the doctor to determine whether your eyes are developing this condition by allowing them to measure the pressure in the eyes to determine if it is elevated.

What Types Of Treatments Are Available To Glaucoma Patients?

When a person is unfortunate enough to develop glaucoma, it is important to note that there are many treatment options available that can provide relief from this condition. In situations where the glaucoma is still in the early stages, it may be possible to provide the patient with relief from these symptoms through the use of special eye drops that can reduce the pressure in the eyes.

In situations where the condition is relatively advanced, it may be necessary to have the patient undergo surgery to reduce the pressure. While most people want to avoid undergoing surgery, it may be the only way to reduce the pressure in the eyes and prevent major damage from occurring to this sensitive tissue.

Patients that suspect they may have glaucoma or are at a high risk of developing this condition need to be as informed as possible. Having a thorough understanding concerning the warning signs of developing this condition as well as the treatment options that can be used to control it will give you a better understanding of how to prevent the worst consequences of developing glaucoma, which can include the loss of your ability to see.

Contact local professionals, such as those from Leader Heights Eye Center, for further assistance.

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