Beliefnet
A Prescription for Healthy Living

It’s been noticed without even relying on statistics that the majority of men over 50 are liable to having prostate problems which could directly affect two vital activities which are urination and having sex. It’s never good news when you’re being informed of having a prostate problem, however there are things you could do to minimize or even avoid chances of hiving this problem.

The prostate is a gland in men about the shape and size of a walnut. It’s a part of the reproductive system. As a man ages, the prostate can grow larger and this enlargement could squeeze the urethra causing problems in passing urine and in some cases impotence.

 Symptoms of enlarged prostate may include:

–       Trouble starting to urinate

–       Having to urinate more frequently and more often at night

–       Feeling that the bladder is not empty after urinating

–       Having a sudden urge to urinate

–       Some patients complain of having to stop and start repeatedly while urinating

 

If you are experiencing any of the above mentioned symptoms, it’s very important that you talk to your doctor as it’s very important as early treatment could save you some more serious complications. Your doctor could prescribe some medications like alpha-blocker and 5 alpha-reductase inhibitors. Those could help with the symptoms and could also help shrink the prostate.

How to maintain a healthy prostate:

There is no garaunteed way to prevent prostate enlargement as it’s a part of aging, but there are few things that could help delay the problem and improve symptoms.

–       Exercise regularly and maintain a healthy weight.

–       Watch your diet. Eat more fruits and vegetables, especially those that have Lycopene such tomatoes, watermelons and grapefruits. Also, zinc is a vital mineral for the health of prostate. It’s found in oysters ,chocolate, peanuts, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds and sesame oil

–       Some supplements are believed to help like Saw Palmetto over-the-counter

–       Avoid too much caffeine, alcohol and fatty food.

–       Include more soy in your diet

–       Quite smoking

–       Stay warm

–       Get a PSA blood test regularly beginning at the age of 50. If you have a family history of prostate problems then you need to begin testing at the age of 45.

–       Cranberry juice could help prevent urinary tract infections which could worsen your condition

 

If you have prostate problem it’s very important to ask your doctor or your pharmacist before taking any over the counter medication.

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You’re on line at the grocery store when all of a sudden you experience that all-too-familiar abdominal pain ricocheting through your colon. The pain is enough to make you freeze in your tracks; you know there will be trouble if you don’t find a bathroom immediately. Have you ever experienced this, or a similar scenario? If so, you are familiar with the pain, discomfort and urgency associated with a condition known as Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome is a chronic condition that affects the large intestine. In a patient with IBS, food travels either too quickly or too slowly through the intestines causing pain. Irritable Bowel Syndrome is a common condition that occurs more frequently in women than in men.

Symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Quite a few symptoms are associated with Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Just because you may have one or two of the symptoms listed below does not necessarily mean that you have Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Contact your doctor for referral to a gastroenterologist in order to receive a conclusive diagnosis. This list of common symptoms of IBS is not exhaustive. Contact your doctor if you are experiencing a persistent problem not mentioned here. Since everyone is unique, symptoms will vary from person to person.

The most common symptoms associated with Irritable Bowel Syndrome include:

– Bloating and gas
– Constipation
– Diarrhea
– Alternating bouts of constipation and diarrhea
– Feeling like you still have to go to the bathroom even after you have just had a bowel movement
– Abdominal distress that may or may not go away after having a bowel movement

What Causes Irritable Bowel Syndrome?

While the main cause remains unknown, there are a few triggers related to Irritable Bowel Syndrome that, if avoided, may potentially reduce the number of episodes experienced each day or week.

Food: Many people who have Irritable Bowel Syndrome have reported that chocolate, milk and alcohol may lead to bouts of constipation or diarrhea. Additionally, others have found that the carbonation contained in soft drinks and certain fruits and vegetables may cause painful bouts of bloating.

Hormones: Since women develop Irritable Bowel Syndrome more frequently than men, it is suspected that hormones may play a role in this condition.

Stress: Most people who have Irritable Bowel Syndrome have reported that they notice the symptoms become more severe during periods of stress. And while stress cannot be completely eradicated from a person’s life, there are a number of things you can do to keep stress at a minimum. Seeking counsel from a trained professional may be a good starting point to ridding yourself of stressors.

What are the Risk Factors Associated With Irritable Bowel Syndrome?

While everyone may experience some of the symptoms listed above at one time or another, there are certain characteristics that may put you at higher risk for developing this condition. These include:

Age – Most people experience their first symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome before they reach the ripe old age of 35.

Gender – Your risk of developing the condition increases if you are a woman.

History – If you have a person in your immediate family who has the condition, you may be predisposed to developing it as well.

How to Treat Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Treatment will differ from person to person. It may take time before you notice an obvious trend in what triggers an onset of symptoms. Lifestyle modifications will likely have to be made once you are aware of those triggers. Until you know for sure what affects you the most, try the following modifications:

– Avoid caffeine and alcoholic beverages
– Limit the amount of fatty foods you at each day
– Avoid such gas-producing vegetables as beans, cabbage, raw broccoli and cauliflower
– Exercise regularly in order to keep your bowels moving properly

Your doctor may prescribe such medications as anticholinergics to treat cramping, diarrhea and constipation. If stress is believed to be one of the issues involved in your Irritable Bowel Syndrome, you may need an anti-anxiety or antidepressant medication. Clinical studies reveal that starting a regiment of probiotic supplements may help alleviate symptoms of pain and bloating while regulating bowel movements. Yogurt contains probiotics. Other studies have found that psyllium may relieve the pain associated with constipation or diarrhea.

In order to rule out any other possible conditions, it is important to see your physician if symptoms do not resolve themselves within a few weeks.

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I am frequently asked whether certain over-the-counter medications are safe to take with high blood pressure. I do like to hear this question, as it shows me that people are taking their healthcare seriously. High blood pressure is one of those conditions that happens to come attached with a list of do’s and don’ts as far as over-the-counter, and even prescribed, medications are concerned.

High blood pressure has the potential of causing major complications; therefore, it is vital to keep the condition well under control, not only by taking the prescribed medication, but also by keeping away from certain over-the-counter medications that may interfere with the high blood pressure medication. It is important to keep in mind that just because an over-the-counter medication does not require a prescription and is easily accessible does not mean that it is good for you. In fact, depending on the type of medication you are taking to treat your hypertension, an over-the-counter medication could be downright dangerous.

The following is a list of medications that should not be taken if you are being treated for hypertension. This list is not exhaustive; therefore, it is very important to check with your doctor before you take any medication. It is also prudent to check with your doctor each time he or she prescribes a new medication. Remind him of what you are already taking to be certain that it will not contraindicate with other medications. This goes for over-the-counter and prescription medication, as well as herbal supplements.

– Pain relievers: This particularly refers to over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen and naproxen. This group of medication is known to reduce the flow of blood to the kidneys. Repeated use of NSAIDs can interfere with the kidneys’ function and may ultimately cause them to work at a slower pace, resulting in a build-up of fluid. An increase in fluid means an elevation in blood pressure. If you absolutely must take a pain-relieving medication, your best bet is to take a product containing acetaminophen, provided your liver is in good health. Other pain-relieving options include ice and heat application, heating pad, and topical gels and creams.

– Decongestants: This type of medication can be particularly problematic when it comes to hypertension. Decongestants are used to alleviate nasal stuffiness. This effect is achieved as the decongestant narrows the blood vessels and reduces the swelling in the nose. The problem is that the nose is not the only place where blood vessels might be narrowing. As a result, blood pressure numbers tend to rise. Hypertensive patients should avoid taking such over-the-counter medications as pseudoephedrine, ephedrine, phenylphrine, naphazoline and oxymetazoline. There are plenty of other alternatives available when it comes to treating sinus problems ad cold symptoms. Always be sure to read labels, and if you are not sure if a certain ingredient will have a negative effect on your blood pressure, ask your pharmacist.

 

Tylenol is an effective pain reliever that will not negatively interfere with your high blood pressure medication if your cold or sinus problems are accompanied by fever and body aches. Gargling with warm salt water is a good way to kill germs in the throat that may lead to infection. Warm water with lemon juice and honey is a soothing mixture that will temporarily relieve burning throat irritation. Saline spray is an effective way to get rid of nasal congestion and kill infections. Keep a humidifier or vaporizer running while you sleep as moist air will relieve congestion and cough. Your healthcare provider may prescribe an over-the-counter antihistamine, but be careful to check with your pharmacist to see that it is safe for you to take. If your symptoms persist for more than ten days, you should make an appointment to see your doctor as an antibiotic may be in order.

 

The most important thing to remember is that just because a certain medication is available without prescription does not mean it will not interfere with the prescribed medication you are currently taking. If you are on more than one medication, keep a list in your wallet to show to your doctor or pharmacist whenever you are prescribed something new, or are in need of an over-the-counter medication.

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Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic condition that results in tender swollen joints, and may also affect certain internal organs. The exact etiology of this condition is not known; however, it is classified as an autoimmune disorder. Under normal circumstances, a properly functioning immune system will attack any invading substances, but in cases where an immune system is compromised, it actually attacks itself. It is believed that rheumatoid arthritis may result from a conglomeration of genes, the environment and certain hormones; however, this is speculative. It has also been suggested that rheumatoid arthritis occurs due to various infectious factors such as a certain virus, bacteria or fungus.

Rheumatoid arthritis most commonly strikes the 40-60-year-old age group; however, it has been known to hit any age group. Reports indicate that more women than men develop rheumatoid arthritis, although the reason for this imbalance is not clear. Rheumatoid arthritis equally affects the joints on both sides of the body. In the earlier stages of the disease, the smaller joints, such as the fingers, wrists, ankles and toes, are affected. As the disease progresses, the large joints, such as the shoulders, elbows, neck and jaw, are targeted. This type of arthritis is also known to affect the skin, eyes, lungs, heart, blood and nerves.

What are the Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Many, if not most, of the symptoms associated with this disease revolve around the various joints of the body. The list below is by no means exhaustive; therefore, if you experience a symptom not mentioned on this list, speak with your healthcare provider for an evaluation and conclusive diagnosis. The symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis include the following:

– Pain in the joints
– Stiffness upon rising out of bed
– Generalized fatigue
– Loss of appetite/weight loss
– Unexplained muscle aches
– Anemia
– Low-grade fever
– Deformities of the hands and feet
– Itching, burning and discharge from one or both eyes
– Numbness and/or tingling of the extremities
– Hard bumps underneath the skin of the arms

Rheumatoid arthritis differs in severity on a person to person basis. Some people have reported periods when their particular symptoms feel unmanageable, while others feel they have the disease under control. These periods of flare-up and remission can be taxing on a person with rheumatoid arthritis from a physical, emotional and mental stand-point.

Are There Risk Factors Associated With Rheumatoid Arthritis?

While there is no rhyme or reason as to who does or does not develop this disease, there are a few factors that may be considered as markers that put one at a higher risk of developing this type of arthritis. Just because you happen to fall into one of the below-mentioned categories does not mean that you have the disease, or ever will have it, it simply means you may be predisposed to it. The following is a list of risk factors:

Gender: There is no conclusive reason why this disease strikes more women than men.

Age: Most people who develop this disease are between the ages of 40-60. However, rheumatoid arthritis has been known to hit people who are younger than 40.

History: Having a family member with rheumatoid arthritis puts you at an increased risk of developing it. While the condition is not believed to be passed on, doctors have suggested a person may be predisposed to the condition.

Smoking: Smoking cigarettes also increases a person’s chances of developing the disease. There are already so many reasons to quit smoking. Add rheumatoid arthritis to the list.

How Can Rheumatoid Arthritis Be Treated?

There is no known cure for this disease at this point in time; however, encouraging strides are being made towards developing treatments that will alleviate symptoms more effectively, ultimately allowing the sufferer a chance to enjoy a better quality of life. The most commonly prescribed treatments for this disease include the following:

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication (NSAIDS): These drugs not only reduce inflammation, but they can also alleviate the pain associated with joint swelling.

Steroids: In addition to reducing inflammation, corticosteroids also aid in slowing down the damage done to the affected joint(s).

Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDS): These drugs not only have the ability to slow down the rate at which rheumatoid arthritis develops, but can also protect the joints from being permanently damaged. The downside to this drug is that the side effects can be very severe. Speak with your healthcare provider to see if this particular type of medication is right for you.

The physical affects of this disease can be debilitating. Be sure to discuss with your doctor which treatment would best address your symptoms. Additionally, the psychological aspect of the disease can be equally upsetting; therefore, it is wise to set up meetings with a counselor, or have some other support system to lean on when your body goes through periods of exacerbation.

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