Fertility Struggles: The Truth About Having Children

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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Getting Rid Of The Pain And Numbness In Your Hands And Wrists

It starts as a mild pain in your wrists as you work but quickly develops into numbness and tingling in your hand. Eventually, you find it difficult to grasp anything and hold onto it. These are the signs of carpal tunnel syndrome and, if not addressed, can leave you without the use of your hands. Here is what is happening to your wrists and hands and the help available to you.

An Irritated Nerve is the Cause

The median nerve extends down your forearm, through your wrist and into your palm. It must travel through a small channel, the carpal tunnel, created by the bones in your wrist. The nerve can become irritated a number of ways in this area:

  • abnormal growths, such as bone spurs, can rub on the nerve
  • degeneration of the bones in the wrist from osteoporosis can put pressure on the nerve
  • pressure on the nerve through constant use, such as when typing for long periods, creates irritation of the nerve

Any prolonged irritation of the nerve causes inflammation and pain. If this continues, you’ll experience numbness and tingling in your wrist and hand and the lack of hand strength. In severe cases, your hands become unable to grasp normally.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Treatment

Your doctor will try a number of approaches to reduce the irritation of the nerve. The first attempts will be non-invasive such as:

  • Physical therapy – This is used to strengthen the muscles in the wrist and hand to better support the nerve without irritation.
  • Steroid injections – This is a short-term treatment which immediately reduces the inflammation around the nerve in your wrist.
  • Wrist splints – These devices hold your wrist at the proper angle to remove pressure from the nerve.

Recovery from carpal tunnel syndrome can take weeks with these non-invasive treatments. Should they fail to give you enough relief, surgical intervention is the next step. This can include:

  • Removal of bone spurs in the carpal tunnel that are irritating the nerve.
  • Widening of the carpal tunnel to allow the nerve to move freely.
  • Reconstruction of the carpal tunnel due to degeneration of the bones in the wrists.

Once the irritation of the nerve is prevented by the surgery, the inflammation decreases and the pain goes away. You’ll regain normal movement and feeling in your hand. When the wrist has healed from the surgery, you’ll begin physical therapy to build back up the strength and flexibility of your hand.

For more information, contact Hand Rehabilitation Specialists or a similar organization.

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How To Create A Medical Care Binder For An Aging Parent

A medical binder is one of the single most important tools you can have when it comes to managing an aging parent’s healthcare. While it’s useful if your parent is still independent, it is indispensable if they have a home caregiver that is helping them manage their health. The purpose of the binder is to keep all of their health records in a single place. It is then taken to each medical appointment and available for every visiting healthcare worker. This way, both you and the healthcare aide have all medical info available, making it easier to answer a doctor’s questions should the need arise.


  • 2-inch three ring binder. Choose one with hard sides so the papers inside are fully protected.

  • Tabbed dividers. Those with pockets are handy in case paperwork isn’t filed right away.

  • Clear pocket protectors. These are for papers that are prone to damage, like meal plans.

  • Baseball card protector sheets. These sheets are perfect for business cards.

  • Three-hole punch

  • Label maker

Putting It Together

Your binder should have a minimum of five sections, but you can add more to fit your specific needs. The following are a few of the most useful sections for caregivers and medical providers alike:

  1. Emergency sheet. Make this a single sheet. It should contain your parent’s full name, date of birth, insurance providers and policy numbers, all current prescriptions, current health conditions, primary physician, and emergency contact information. Keep this sheet up to date and place a few extras in the binder, so there is always one on hand. A caregiver can grab this sheet to show to emergency and hospital staff in the event of an emergency medical visit. It can also be handy to take with the parent to a new doctor’s appointment, since it has all the vital information on it.

  2. Calendar pages. Use this to create an appointment book for your parent. A 12- to 18-month calendar is best, since some appointments can be made very far out in advance. This way, each different caregiver knows what appointments are coming up, and they have the freedom to help your parent make new appointments without the fear of a conflict.

  3. Doctor and Insurance Information. Provide a sheet with all current doctor names, addresses, and contact information. Make sure to list what the doctor is being seen for. This is also a good place to list health insurance or Medicare policy information. Follow this sheet with some simple log sheets. The health care provider or relative taking your parent to doctor’s appointments will log the date, time, doctor name, and purpose of each visit on this sheet. Make sure there are a few blank lines so any advice or treatment plans can be noted.

  4. Medication lists. This section simply contains a list of all current prescription and non-prescription medications along with dosage requirements. You may also want to include copies of prescriptions, in case a pharmacy switch or travel is necessary.

  5. Dietary section. Many people must pay special attention to their diet as they age. This is especially true for diabetics and those with heart disease. Use this section to outline any dietary restrictions because of health conditions or allergies. You may want to include sample menus or recipes for caregivers to choose from, or you may need to include a food log if you must closely monitor your loved one’s diet.

For more information, speak with professionals like AAA Referral & Home Health.

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Knee Replacement? 3 Physical Activities That Will Help You Recover Quicker

While you may expect to be laid up for a few days or even a week or more after knee replacement surgery, you won’t be. Within at least 24 hours of your surgery, you will begin the arduous journey of physical rehabilitation. The process starts with your first attempt to get out of bed and ends when you resume your normal activities without pain and restriction. For most people, this takes approximately 12 weeks, but everyone is different. So be sure to follow your doctor’s orders. During your recovery period, you may want to try these three physical activities that will help you recover quicker. 


The second day after your surgery, you should begin walking unless your doctor tells you otherwise. In the beginning, you will probably only walk a few steps at a time and may need a walker. However, you will probably be walking the hallways before you leave the hospital, and you may even be able to navigate a few steps. By the third week, you should be able to go on short walks around your neighborhood. Gradually increase the distance you walk and be sure to walk daily for the best results. 

Home Exercises

Your doctor will send home with you a list of exercises that you should perform at least two to three times per day. Exercises may include stretches, leg extensions, knee bending, ankle pumps and thigh squeezes. Your doctor may also prescribe exercises to strengthen your core and improve your posture as this will help improve your entire physical fitness, which will change the way you move and may even take pressure off of your knee. 

Physical Therapy

Around week 12, you can start to do low-impact activities, such as bicycling and swimming. Remember, high-impact activities are still off limits at this time. These activities include running, aerobics and most sports. At this time, you might want to think about starting some physical therapy classes or taking an aquatic exercise class. Water exercises are ideal because they give you an intense workout without putting undue pressure on your knee. You can talk to your physical therapist about water exercises or check with your local gym. 

Never perform physical activities unless they are approved by your doctor first. The more closely you follow your doctor’s orders after surgery, the faster you will recover. Staying consistent with your exercise regimen will also help you out immensely. For more information, contact Advanced Physical Therapy or a similar location.

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Tips For New Prosthetic Leg Patients

Losing your leg can be an extremely difficult loss to experience. In addition to the intense pain and stress this causes, it can make daily life far more difficult. Fortunately, prosthetics have experienced numerous advancements in recent years that have helped improve the quality of these devices. However, if you have never been around prosthetic legs, you may not understand what to expect from these devices. By using these following tips, you can avoid some routine sources of issues. 

Invest In A Waterproof Cover

Your prosthetic leg is not designed to get wet, and this can create numerous issues for it. For example, exposure to water can cause certain components to become extremely rusted, and this may severely impact the functionality of the leg. Also, there may be cloth components that can start to grow molds or other bacteria that can pose a health concern. 

To minimize these risks, you should invest in a waterproof cover that can wrap around or slide over your prosthetic leg. These covers are designed to minimize the amount of water that comes into direct contact with the leg, but it should be observed that they will not make your leg fully waterproof. 

Regularly Clean The Pad

The pad that supports your organic leg must be regularly cleaned. Over the course of time, your sweat will cause bacteria to start growing on this pad, and this may make it possible for you to develop a skin infection or rash from using the leg. Luckily, cleaning these pads is a relatively straightforward task. 

You will want to avoid getting the pad excessively wet, because it may take several days to fully dry. Rather, you want to apply a disinfectant to the surface of it and wipe it away using a clean cloth. Alcohol is often a suitable substance for this task, but if your pad is made of synthetic fiber, you will want to make sure that alcohol can be used on it before cleaning. It is possible for alcohol to dissolve some materials, and if your pad is made of these substances, you will need to use a special cleaning solution that will not harm it. 

Your prosthetic leg may be the best option for restoring your freedom. However, you may not be sure of the type of care that your leg will require. By understanding the benefits of using a waterproof cover and cleaning the support pad with a disinfectant, you can help ensure that you avoid routine issues that prosthetic legs can experience. 

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