Since 2015 Allearplugs.com has been running the #Saveyourhearing campaign in aid of spreading awareness of tinnitus and hearing loss across the globe. 1.1 billion people are at risk of hearing loss, but most cases are preventable.
Most of us know that a tightening sensation in the chest accompanied by pain down the arms can be a tell-tale sign of a heart attack, and that action should be taken immediately. Fewer of us are aware, however, of earlier signs and symptoms that can alert us to heart problems before they get out of hand.
Dr Gigi Taguri has prepared a simple guide to the warning signs to look out for – and what to do about them (short version: see your doctor!). For example, did you know that swollen feet can indicate a back-up of blood due to under-efficiency of the heart? Likewise, memory loss or the sudden onset of dizziness for no apparent reason can be connected with impaired blood flow to the brain. And erectile dysfunction may seem an embarrassing issue that you would rather keep to yourself in the hope that things will get better – but it is often a symptom of deeper issues, and can be one of the first signs of a heart problem.
These are just some of the symptoms to be aware of, and they may well be indicative of a completely different issue – but regardless, as Dr Taguri advises, it is best to see a doctor as soon as possible and get the treatment you need to prevent the problem escalating.
Exciting new developments are happening in Medicine every day but patients are flooded with information and cannot keep up with the latest evidence. Navigating the sea of information available online can be daunting at best, and dangerous at worst.
A close family member of mine has been suffering from Crohn’s Disease for over 15 years. He was struck in his mid twenties and had to undergo countless surgeries. His journey from doctor to doctor, hospital to hospital without any relief highlights the lack of consensus on courses of treatment and the heterogeneity of care. After years of looking for a long-term solution to help manage recurring infections, he came upon an online article highlighting a simple day-to-day approach that immediately provided relief. This was not a recommendation from his doctors but information he had uncovered through his own extensive online research.
Doctors are overburdened with patients and (understandably) cannot dedicate the appropriate time and attention to each individual case. Patients not only have the ability but a responsibility to do their own research and learn about their diagnosis and the available treatments. The question is, how can someone without the benefit of a formal medical education make sense of and vet all the information they come across?
I am the co-developer of MedNexus, a medical search engine for patients – think “Google for Medicine”. At MedNexus we believe having access to the right information can change someone’s life. We have developed a solution to cut through the noise of typical health sites. We want to provide a viable alternative to WebMD and all the pseudo-science you can find online, and enable patients to engage in meaningful conversations with their doctor.
Through our search engine, you can find the most relevant content from a variety of sources: medical journals, government health sites, patient forums, etc. Whether you are looking for the latest evidence, or to learn from fellow patients, you can find reliable and actionable answers at MedNexus.
Please keep in mind that our platform is still a work in progress! We are happy to get your feedback (and constructive criticism) to help us improve on it.
We are please to share with you a new documentary on autism by Isha Badoniya.
Badoniya writes “Mentally disabled children and animals. Two highly neglected and marginalized sections of our society. But are there ways in which hope is being rekindled in the lives of both these children and animals? Is there a way in which we could use animals to help children with special needs? How can art and music be used in therapeutic ways to add a healing touch to their lives?
‘Tiny Rays of Hope’ is a humble attempt to address these very curiosities. On one level, it’s a documentary that provides a comprehensive overview about Art, Music and Animal-Assisted Therapy (AAT) for children with special needs. But on a deeper level, it’s a documentary that celebrates life, seen through the eyes of these ‘special’ children, who lie at the heart of it.
A heartfelt thanks to the staff, children (and their parents) of Sri Sarada Math and Manas Healing Centre Indore, and the mental healthcare community in Indore, without whom, this documentary wouldn’t have come to life.”
If you have any questions for Ms Badoniya please use comments section below!
Latest research reveals that over 22 million adults in the U K alone, which numbers to almost 40% of the population, are experiencing various forms of anxiety at least twice a fortnight, as compared to 32% only five years ago, when the recession was at its peak. Over 21% of the individuals who participated in the study revealed that daily anxiety is a constant problem that they face and overcome.
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Published by United Kingdom’s largest healthcare charity, Nuffield health, the study further revealed that the early indicators of declining mental ability and depression are also on the rise. A disturbing trend in this direction is that an increasing number of general practitioners have begun to prescribe medication to combat anxiety symptoms rather than advise the patient to opt for exercise or physical activity in order to beat poor mental health.
One important highlight of the research also indicates that over 40% of people are now experiencing early signs of depression such as low moods, at least twice a fortnight, as compared to just 29% five years ago. From the percentile, more than 30% of the population who experienced anxiety symptoms and low moods revealed that they are unable to cope with everyday life unless there is an immediate remedial suggestion. While a further 28% revealed that their anxiety and low moods become so consuming at the time that they find it difficult to work or concentrate on anything important that they are doing at the time.
Some of the leading reasons for people experiencing low moods are financial problems, family troubles, and concerns at work. When asked about their remedial action for their mental problems, less than 1% of the population revealed that their general practitioner would recommend exercise as a way of diminishing anxiety symptoms and low moods. Over 47% of the population revealed that their general practitioners would prescribe only medication rather than suggest exercise as an option or combine exercise with low medication.
It is now more important than ever to explore the possibility of a medical proven alternative to medication that is exercise, in order to banish all signs of early depression or low moods amongst individuals. Additional research from various institutions such as the National Institute For Clinical Excellence, The Mental Health Foundation, and The Department Of Health reveals that daily physical activity is extremely instrumental in reducing anxiety symptoms, decreasing signs of early depression and elevating mood levels.
It is important to note that one must not suddenly begin to start doing a lot of exercise in order to make a difference in their physical and mental well-being, but starting small and building up can make a huge difference in one’s overall outlook towards life. The best way of gaining the most benefit from exercise is to get customised support from experts when you commence any form of physical activity. Most fitness professionals and health experts are of the opinion that it is important to find out what is the right form of exercise for an individual and thereon help the person to stay on track and progress further for best physical and mental results.
Carol is passionate writer on overall health and wellness subjects. She is currently working as a content editor at US Premium Garcinia Cambogia, an online shop for pure garcinia cambogia extract that helps in reducing weight.
Emergency situations are challenging for everyone, but the the sensory, communication, social and behavioral challenges associate with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), can turn an emergency into a disaster for person with autism.
What is ICE4Autism?
ICE4Autism is the only ICE (in case of emergency) mobile app specially designed to meet the unique needs of individuals with ASDs. It stores vital information about an autistic person’s unique needs and sensitivities directly on their iPhone or iPad affording a practical and effective means of providing first responders with actionable information about themselves quickly and efficiently.
What is “autism-specific” about ICE4Autism?
ICE4Autism was developed in collaboration with people with autism for people with autism. It was designed based on the recognition that each person’s autism is as unique as the individual him/herself. The distinctive nature of autism means that even if first responders are aware that a person has autism, they do not have the specifics necessary to treat that particular individual properly.
First responders, ER doctors and nurses need to know what the particular person’s autism involves. Does s/he, for example, have communication differences, and if so, what are they? Does s/he have sensory issues? How does s/he react when overstimulated? And how can and should they respond effectively and appropriately?
ICE4Autism is person-centered and makes no assumptions or generalizations. Each self-explanatory widget stores and then displays only the information the person (or a loved one) enters about his/her individual needs.
Additional Special Features
The Alert my Emergency Contacts button sends a text message – including the user’s location pinned on Google maps — to pre-designated emergency contacts notifying them that the person may be in distress. In addition to its obvious usefulness in emergency situations, this feature can be used any time the user feels uneasy or in need of a bit of extra support.
The ICE Audio button plays the user’s own pre-recorded message including the most important information about his/her needs, sensitivities, behaviors and anything else s/he (or a loved one/caregiver) deems vital to their treatment. This special feature can be of particular value when the user is unable to communicate at all and/or when multi-tasking by first responders is critical to care.
Who should get ICE4Autism and Why?
Emergencies happen! They happen to everyone and they happen without warning! The good news is that it has never been easier to be prepared! Planning for the unexpected can be as simple as just a few clicks to download an ICE app and just a few minutes to enter your personal information.
EVERYONE should have an ICE app installed on their mobile devices – it’s just plain common sense! And if you or someone you love has autism, then ICE4Autism is the right ICE app for you. In addition to providing emergency contact, allergy, medications and other medical and insurance information, ICE4Autism can also provide first responders with specific details about how you want and need to be treated based on the personalized information about YOU entered in the app.
Kids, teens and adults with autism should have ICE4Autism on their devices because you simply never know when an emergency will strike. And, parents, siblings and caregivers are encouraged to install it on their devices, as well. Having ICE4Autism on your devices means that all the important – and often complicated and tough to explain “off the cuff” — details about the person’s unique needs are readily accessible whether s/he is out alone or with a loved one who can help.
Is the information entered into ICE4Autism secure?
The ICE4Autism mobile app stores all of the information entered directly on the user’s device. The special Lock Option password protects the information entered in the app ensuring that data can be viewed in the locked position, but it cannot be altered.
On which devices can ICE4Autism be installed and used?
The ICE4Autism mobile app is designed for both iPhone and iPad and can be installed on any iPhone 4, 5, 6 and 6Plus, iPad or iPod Touch. It requires iOS7.1 or later
Where to get ICE4Autism, how much (little) it costs and more info about it
ICE4Autism is available on the App Store (https://itunes.apple.com/app/ice4autism/id969601780?mt=8 or search: ICE4Autism) for a one-time fee of only $1.99 (on the US App Store) — or a similarly nominal fee on your country’s App Store — for the full-featured application. ICE4Autism has NO pop-up ads, NO in-app purchases and requires NO on-going subscription fees.
Learn more including detailed descriptions of each ICE4Autism feature, FAQs, a downloadable step-by-step user guide, a brief video and much more at www.ICE4Autism.com
Millions of us are cutting out different foods and ingredients from our diets, without any medical guidance to do so.
That’s according to new research released today which shows that almost one in ten have eliminated dairy from their diet – half of those based on their own self-diagnosis, slightly less wheat – more than 40% having self-diaganosed an intolerance, and a similar number gluten – with half of those having made the decision based on their own knowledge.
Furthermore, following the war on sugar in the last two years, one in five of us have eliminated it from our diets, while one in six have ditched fat.
The study by Nutricentre also asked respondents what other measures they have taken to improve their health and or lose weight in the last two years, with a third having tried eating smaller portions, one in six skipping meals and a similar number skipping breakfast.
More than one in 20 have gone on a juice diet, while slightly less have tried weight management classes and soup diets, with some having gone vegetarian and some vegan.
But do these measures actually work? And what do you need to know if you are set on cutting out certain foods in 2016?
Recent research suggests:-
• As many of us continue on with our new year health kicks, a new study released today looks at the trend for eliminating food groups from our diets as a fix-all solution to weight and health issues
• Almost one out of ten say they have cut out dairy in the last two years, with similar numbers having eliminated gluten and wheat
• More than 40% who have eliminated those food groups have done so after self-diagnosis
• With the war on sugar one of the biggest health stories of the last year, it’s no surprise that more than a fifth have cut out sugar, while one in six have got rid of fat in their diet
• But could the trend for cutting things from our diet without medical advice to do so, be unnecessary?
So Patient Talk interviewed Shona Wilkinson, a leading nutritionist, to get the facts straight!
PatientTalk.Org – What are the common food groups being eliminated and why? And is the overall effect a positive one?
Shona Wilkinson- Nutricentre has done a study on over 2000 people, and we’ve actually seen that about 1 in 10 people are cutting out a common food group. These seem to really be wheat, dairy, fat, and sugar, as the predominant ones. So sometimes this can be necessary, and sometimes it can’t. So we just have to be a bit careful if were cutting out whole food groups from our diet, to make sure that were not cutting out nutrient groups as well.
PatientTalk.Org- Is it really possible to cut out fat and sugar from a diet given basic chemistry?
Shona Wilkinson- Probably not. And I don’t know quite why you’d want to cut them totally out of your diet. Why would you want to cut out fat from your diet? This was a message that was going around in the 70s and still seems to be hanging on out there at the moment, so no we don’t want to cut fat out of our diet. Sugar, yes it’s not great for us, but again we don’t want to cut it totally out of our diet. And as soon as you cut something out of your diet, the one thing you can guarantee is that you have real cravings for it, so don’t cut it totally out of your diet, we’re talking about reducing it.
PatientTalk.Org- And how much of it is intolerance related?
Shona Wilkinson -As far as the wheat and dairy is concerned, quite a lot of it. So talking about wheat, quite often people when they have wheat in their diet it can give them digestive problems, so it could be cramping, it could be diahrrea, it could be constipation, quite often a lot of bloating as well. So that can be an intolerance. As far as dairy is concerned, common side effects of having dairy are usually kind of mucus related, a blocked nose, blocked air passages, that kind of thing.
PatientTalk.Org- Okay. What is the difference between an allergy and intolerance?
Shona Wilkinson- There’s a big difference between an allergy and an intolerance, so an example would be, being a celiac. A celiac is someone who has got an auto immune disease and cannot have gluten in their diet. So that’s an actual allergy. The difference there would be someone who gets digestive problems after they’ve had gluten. So rather than it being very severe it could be just a bit of bloating. So they are very two distinct different things.
PatientTalk.Org – So in terms of severity, an allergy is a way more severe problem than an intolerance?
Shona Wilkinson- Absolutely and it can in some cases be life threatening.
PatientTalk.Org – Why has gluten intolerance increased in the last few years?
Shona Wilkinson- Yes gluten intolerance has seemed to increase in the last few years and there’s two schools of thought about this. Partly because one reason could be its quite trendy at the moment to follow a gluten free diet. The other reason is purely the amount of gluten we have in our diets nowadays. So we may have toast or cereal for breakfast, followed by a sandwich or baguette or some sort for lunch, followed by a pasta meal in the evening. That’s quite a common diet for a lot of people nowadays, and if you think about it that’s wheat, wheat, wheat for every single meal, and it’s just becoming too much for our bodies to deal with. So if you’re in that kind of situation, it’s just a matter of reducing your intake, or perhaps cutting out of your diet for 12 weeks and then slowly reintroducing it at a steady slow level and letting your body let you know what is the amount it can deal with every day.
PatientTalk.Org – What is the difference between celiac and gluten intolerance?
Shona Wilkinson – yes so celiac is an actual auto immune disease. It’s medically recognized and it can be life threatening. An intolerance is when you get slight digestive conditions after eating wheat containing food. So they are very different, one is a medical condition and one is more an intolerance that you just can’t cope with it as much.
PatientTalk.Org – What is a juice diet and how would it work?
Shona Wilkinson – Yeah, the juice diet again is quite trendy at the moment, especially it being January. Basically its people living for probably usually about 7 days, just purely on juices. We have to be very careful about this because it’s not really training you on how to eat healthily so by the end of your juice diet you can just go back to your normal unhealthy eating habits. But also with juices, they tend to be predominately fruit, which can be high sugar content. So not the healthiest of thing, not something a nutritionist usually recommends.
PatientTalk.Org- Is there much evidence of self-diagnosis? How is it done? What are the dangers, if any, associated with self-diagnosis?
Shona Wilkinson – Yes the study done by Nutricentre shows that 40% of people have eliminated food groups from their diet just on self-diagnosis. This is usually just by monitoring their symptoms, some people keep a food diary and monitor any symptoms they’ve got after they’ve eating a certain type of food. A lot of people reading things on the internet. There aren’t really any dangers of this unless you’re cutting out a food group and not getting the nutrients that you need. So for example if you become a vegan, then you have to be careful that you’re still getting the nutrients that you need there. Self-diagnosis can also be done through a blood test, which is quite an accurate way to see if you’ve got a food intolerance. There’s lots of other tests out there which I wouldn’t necessarily recommend, but a blood test is the most accurate.
PatientTalk.Org – Does this trend suggest a decrease in confidence in traditional health care providers?
Shona Wilkinson- I don’t think it does, I think it’s just that people are more health aware nowadays, and they have access to more information through the internet.
PatientTalk.Org- What common ways are used by empowered patients to improve their health?
Shona Wilkinson- Yes, I think people are now more aware of their health. They’re more aware of where to find out information. I think also people know that if you cook your food at home you know exactly what’s going into that food. Whereas if you buy a ready meal for example you can probably guarantee it’s got sugar and salt in it to begin with because that’s what our taste buds like. So I think the health empowered patient is knowing that they want to cook their food at home and be a bit more aware of exactly what they’re eating.
PatientTalk.Org- Finally what advice would you give to somebody who has just diagnosed themselves with an allergy or intolerance?
Shona Wilkinson – Yes I wouldn’t like to think that anyone is diagnosing themselves with an allergy that has to be done by a medical professional. If they think they have a food intolerance, try keeping a food diary and making sure that you do. And perhaps speak to a nutritionist to get some advice, the best way to deal with this.