Category Archives: Health

Caring For Your Foley Catheter

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From time to time, patients with various conditions and diagnosis are unable to empty their bladders on their own.  This can be a physical problem with passing urine, or even a mobility problem.  Either way, a Foley catheter can be helpful in all kinds of situations.  A Foley catheter is a flexible tube with a small diameter that is placed inside the bladder for the purposes of draining urine.  If you will be at home with a Foley catheter it is important to learn proper at-home care practices.

Daily catheter care is important for your own health and safety.  Poor care practices can lead to bladder infections and other serious problems with the urinary tract.  Care can be performed while in the shower, but not in the bathtub while bathing.  Gather the following supplies before performing catheter care:

• Clean water
• A mild soap, like Dove soap
• A clean wash cloth or a 4×4 piece of gauze
• 1 Cath-Secure

First, wash your hands well with plain soap and water.  Then with the soap and clean water, clean your genital area. Clean where the catheter enters your body and down and away from your body. Be careful to hold the catheter where it enters the body when cleaning it, as not to put tension on it while cleaning it.  Rinse all areas thoroughly and pat dry.  Use the Cath-Secure to keep the catheter in place.

Always be sure to keep your leg bag or night bag below the level of your bladder to ensure proper drainage and to prevent infection.  Do not let your bag become overly full.  You should empty it about every 2 to 4 hours. You should not lie down for more than 2 hours at a time while wearing a leg bag.  If it will be longer than 2 hours, attach the night bag. Be sure your leg bag straps are not too tight, as this can cause pain, and even blood clots to form.  If the straps leave a mark on your leg, they are too tight.

Although caring for your Foley catheter may seem intimidating at first, it can become a normal part of your daily routine.  Talk to your doctor or nurse if you have questions or concerns about home catheter care or problems.

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Common Side Effects Of Blood Pressure Medications

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Most medicine has side effects. When treating blood pressure, you may experience some effects. The following are some of the side effects of blood pressure medications. You may experience bout of dehydration if you are not careful. This means that you should take a lot of water to prevent dehydrating your body and therefore slowing down the metabolic rate. You may also experience constipation from time to time. This is brought about by central alpha agonists or the calcium channel blockers. Constipation can be averted through eating foods that are rich in fiber. These foods include fruits, vegetables and legumes.

Fainting, bouts of dizziness or you may even feel light headed once in a while. May medicines used for treatment of hypertension have this side effect. To deal with it, you should always ensure that you stand slowly. Do not change positions abruptly as this may make the situation worse. Always ensure that you take your time before stepping down from the bed, climbing down the stairs and also ensure that you do not stay standing for extended periods of time. Some patients will experience frequent urination especially during the night. In such a case, you may ask your doctor to schedule your medicine in such a way that you will avoid waking up too many times during the night.

You may also experience increased sensitivity to cold. You may therefore find yourself shaking during the night or experiencing excessive cold during the cold seasons. In such a case, you can ensure that you dress warmly especially when leaving the house. While in the house, you may use the fireplace to keep warm or use your HVAC system. In some situation, you may be faced with headaches or stomach upset. Potassium loss is also common in some patients especially those taking thiazide diuretics. You can take supplements that enhance the level of potassium in your body.

Increases sensitivity to sunlight is also a side effect of blood pressure medications. You may avoid direct exposure to sunlight especially for extended periods of time. In addition, you may use hats to minimize the area exposed to sunlight. Other side effects include swollen gums, tender and bleeding gums and dry mouth.

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Coping With A Terminal Illness

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Terminal illnesses can elicit a wide range of emotions from sufferers when first informed by their doctors. This includes fear, denial, shock, frustration, relief, anger, confusion, sadness, and helplessness. Here are tips for coping with a terminal illness:

After Your Doctor Breaks the News

Upon learning that they are suffering from a terminal disease, most patients experience apprehension and anxiety. Do not worry too much if you experience similar emotions because the human body naturally primes itself to flee from danger. For this reason, it is advisable to attend your doctor’s appointments in the company of a relative or close friend who can offer emotional support.

Pour Out Your Heart

Your mind is likely to generate tons of questions as well as conjure up all manner of real and imaginary fears in the hours and days after receiving terminal illness news. If you can, confide and pour out your heart to a friend, relative, professional, spiritual guide, or family member. In addition, contact people suffering from the same terminal illness. They can help you come to terms with your medical condition. The good news is most hospitals keep email and phone contacts of many support groups.

Handling Uncertainty

A sad aspect of living with a terminal illness is the uncertainty that hangs over one’s life. As a result, you may worry about how much time you have left to live and how to deal with inability to feed, clothe, and bathe yourself. In this case, talking to others about your fears can offer relief.

Depression

If you feel that you could be developing depression, consult your doctor. In most cases, doctors prescribe medication or recommend counseling.

Benefits

Find out if you are eligible for benefits to cover hospital, living, or transport costs.

Positive Living

Focus on living your life one day at a time and learn to confront your fears whenever they crop up in your mind. Finally, take medications, keep up with hospital appointments, eat healthy foods and follow your doctor’s advice.

Although living with a terminal illness can be tough, it need not turn your life into a gloomy affair. Seek support from friends, counselors, and people suffering from the same disease.

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Living With One Kidney: What It’s Like

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There are three main reasons why you may be living with in kidney. One, your kidney may have been removed for medical reasons. For example, the kidney was affected by cancer and to avoid spread of the disease, it was removed. Secondly, you may have donated a kidney to a person whose kidneys were failing him or her. The third reason may be that you were born with just a single kidney or that you have two kidneys but one does not function. However, people live healthily with on kidney for a long period of time. Here are tips for living with one kidney.

One, it is advisable to get regular checkups to ensure that your kidney is functioning well. This will give the doctors the chance to discover things that may affect your kidney long before they happen and therefore you may avert serious illnesses. Secondly, you should ensure that your body stays hydrated all the times. Eat a healthy and balanced diet and engage in regular exercise for a healthy life. In addition, you need to regularly check your blood pressure. Living with one kidney increases the risk of blood pressure and therefore regular checkups will ensure that the condition is kept in check early enough if it is discovered.

For blood pressure medication, your doctor needs to know that you only have one kidney since some medications are friendlier to kidneys than others. Your participation is sports and games that are potentially dangerous should be limited. Always consult with your doctor before you engage in such sports. Since you only have one kidney, you should aim at protecting it at all times. Injury to this kidney may have devastating effect on your health. Therefore you should be very careful about what you engage yourself in. Your diet should not consist of too much protein. This is because you are susceptible to proteinuria and therefore you need to keep your protein intake in check.

You should also monitor your Glomerular Filtration Rate. This gives you an idea of the performance of your kidney in the removal of waste products from your blood. It also gives an idea of when the kidney has any disease or is developing one. You will therefore be at a position to take precautions to avoid worsening the disease or to avert its occurrence. Living with one kidney requires a lot of precaution in order to lead a normal and healthy life. Maintaining proper health, exercising regularly and getting regular checkups should be your routine. To learn more about leading a healthy and prosperous life, kindly follow us.

Living With Lupus: Important Tips

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Lupus is an autoimmune, chronic condition which can affect any part of the human body such as organs inside the body, the skin or even the joints. People who suffer from this condition know that living with lupus is not something that is simple to do. This does not matter if you have had the disease for years or for only a short period of time. This is the type of condition that not only affects you physically; it will also affect you emotionally. It is important to note that all those challenging feelings that you will be experiencing are all very normal. However, despite those challenges, it is actually possible to lead a productive and positive life.

There are several challenges that people with this condition often face. The visible effects of this condition include weight gain caused by the corticosteroids which are prescribed for the treatment of lupus. Lupus patients can also have different types of rashes and ulcers. Physical symptoms include pain and fatigue. These symptoms often lead to other conditions such as anxiety and depression. That is why it is important to learn to live with the condition.

What you can do to cope with Lupus

Exercise regularly

If you suffer from this disease you should engage in low impact exercises on a regular basis. These include walking, cycling and swimming. These can help to minimize muscle stiffness, relieve stress, improve muscular strength and prevent osteoporosis.

Stop smoking

Smoking is already bad for your health in many other ways and if you have lupus, smoking can actually worsen the condition. You will notice that as soon as you stop smoking, the negative effects of smoking will be reserved.

You need to get proper rest

If you are a lupus sufferer, resting is of paramount importance. Make sure that you get at least seven hours of sleep every night as this will help with the fatigue that is normally linked to lupus.

Although living with lupus is no easy task, you can lead a normal life if you take into account the tips discussed above.

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What Is Graves’ Disease? What Women Need To Know

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Graves’ disease is an autoimmune disease that affects women 10 times more than it affects men. With this disease the thyroid produces more hormones than the body needs. This leads to a host of symptoms.

Symptoms of Graves’ Disease

One of the more noticeable signs of this disease is a goiter. This is an enlargement of the thyroid. The thyroid gland is in the front of the neck. The disease also affects the eyes by causing swelling. This can result in the eyes bulging out. Other symptoms are sensitivity to heat, trembling hands, rapid heartbeat, muscle weakness, fewer periods, and brittle hair.

For most people, the symptoms begin in the 20s or 30s, but some people with Graves’ disease don’t have any symptoms. Symptoms often start very slowly, or come on suddenly.

The Causes of Graves’ Disease

Many factors contribute to a person getting the disease. Heredity is one important component. If other family members have thyroid problems, this increases your likelihood of getting the disease. An infection can also play a role in who gets Graves’ disease. Stress and emotional trauma also contributing factors, as are female hormones. Pregnancy is a major cause. Thirty percent of women who get Graves’ disease were pregnant in the 12 months prior to being diagnosed.

How to Treat Graves’ Disease

There are two anti-thyroid drugs that are used in the United States. These drugs prevent the thyroid from producing too much of the hormones. These drugs can only be used for one to two years. Another treatment is radioactive iodine (RAI). The tiny iodine pill damages the thyroid gland so it can’t produce an excess amount of the hormones. The final treatment option is surgery in which part of the thyroid or the entire gland is removed.

What Is Graves’ Disease?

Graves’ disease is a serious condition, especially for women. If left untreated, it can cause heart problems or even death. However, the disease affects everyone differently and some people only have mild forms of the disease.

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Unique Symptoms Of Dehydration

The body is primarily made up of water. It needs the substance in ample amounts to function well. When we are not able to consume enough liquid, we begin to suffer symptoms of dehydration like the ones mentioned below:

Headaches

Our delicate brains are protected by a fluid sac. This prevents it from rubbing against the walls of the skull. When we are dangerously low on water, the sac gets depleted and the organ gets into contact with the walls resulting in massive headaches. Whenever you feel this symptom, consume a few glasses of water and see if you’ll feel better.

Hunger

Our muscles get the energy they need through the influx from nutrients from the bloodstream. Dehydration slows down circulation so energy levels are not as good as they should be. The body tries to compensate by sending signals to the brain that it is hungry and craving for more food. This could be anything that comes to mind but it usually leads to a sweet craving since they usually provide a quick energy boost. The problem is that sweet foods can make dehydration worse by making the body secrete more fluids. An excess could also lead to weight gain.

Muscle Cramps

Athletes are careful about avoiding dehydration as it has been shown that even a small amount can adversely reduce their performance potential and lead to muscle cramps. It is a delicate balancing act since going overboard can be equally dangerous. Water helps to regulate the electrolyte levels in the body. Drinking to thirst is a good rule of thumb.

Dry Skin

You can tell if a person is chronically dehydrated by the state of their skin. People who do not consume enough water everyday tend to have dry flaky skin. This could be a problem in hot weather as it might be easy to get dermal irritation. It will also be harder to keep cool since there is less fluid available to generate sweat for evaporative cooling. Drink a lot and drink often to avoid all of these symptoms of dehydration.

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