• A 3-step guide to certifying your emotional support dog

    The constant lifestyle changes and the increasing number of stressors have caused mental health problems to become prevalent in recent times. Having a pet can be extremely helpful to comfort and support you through difficult times. And if you are already a dog parent, you can check out how to register them as your emotional support animal.

    Emotional support animals are different from service/therapy animals. While they are don’t have the same rights or therapy training as service dogs do, certain factors set them apart from regular pets. Here’s how to register a dog as an emotional support animal:

    1. Approach a certified mental health provider
    When requesting Emotional Support Animal (ESA) rights for your dog, it is important to remember that there is no official registration database for ESAs. Instead, you require a recommendation letter from a certified mental health professional. You can get this letter from your own mental health provider or make an appointment with one. You can also apply through a reliable online ESA letter service like Emotional Pet Support, ESA Doctors, or CertaPet to register a dog as a support animal.

    2. Choose the right type of ESA letter
    Different types of ESA letters are given to a pet owner depending upon their needs. A certified ESA letter for housing will allow you to reside with your ESA even in no-pets accommodation. A travel confirmation makes your pet eligible to travel with you in the cabin without additional charges for airlines that accept ESAs. In these cases, the animal must fulfill the airline’s requirements for pets, so it is better to check with your airline about their ESA programs before traveling. You can also choose to get a house and travel combo ESA letter to meet both needs.

    3. Receive an ESA Letter
    The ESA letter that you receive must follow certain guidelines to be accepted everywhere. It must be written on a letterhead provided by a licensed mental health professional and must display their license number, signature, and date of issue. An ESA letter should also not be older than a year. It should also mention your need for an ESA, prescribing an emotional support dog or cat as necessary for your mental health and well-being.

    Read More...
  • How Alzheimer’s disease is treated and managed

    A person suffering from Alzheimer’s disease would experience memory problems, and even face issues with their thinking process and behaviour patterns. This disease does not set in instantly, as its progression is slow; the symptoms start showing gradually over the years. With time, they get worse to the point where they affect the person’s ability to perform day to day tasks.

    Let us take a look at how Alzheimer’s disease is treated:

    Alzheimer’s is diagnosed with a series of tests. These include a physical check-up and certain medical tests. The medical tests involve neurological evaluation of basic movements like balancing and standing, as well as blood tests, CT scans, and MRI scans. The patient’s mental health is also evaluated. Following diagnosis, the treatment of Alzheimer’s involves the use of certain medicines. The main one used are:

    Memantine

    Memantine is a medication that works towards slowing down the advancement of Alzheimer’s from a mid-level to a more serious phase. It is typically not given alone, but with other medication as well.

    Cholinesterase inhibitors

    Cholinesterase inhibitors work by raising cellular communication to improve the balance of certain chemicals in the body. It is due to an imbalance in these chemicals that Alzheimer’s develops. Cholinesterase inhibitors also help to cope with certain symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease such as agitated behaviours. They are also useful for patients who feel low. Donepezil is an example of a Cholinesterase inhibitor.

    Antidepressants

    Patients who suffer from Alzheimer’s disease are often prescribed antidepressants along with other medications. This is to help cope with behavioural symptoms such as depression. The use of these medications can vary from case to case and patient to patient depending on a range of factors.

    Sleeping tablets

    This medication is not generally prescribed to patients suffering from Alzheimer’s. This is because these patients are already prone to confusion. But in certain rare cases, doctors do prescribe sleeping tablets for these patients.

    Antipsychotic medications

    Antipsychotic medications are given to Alzheimer’s patients who have severe symptoms like hallucinations and agitation. Antipsychotics can be very lethal for patients with Alzheimer’s disease. This is why these medications are only prescribed in the rarest of cases.

    These are some common medicines that doctors prescribe patients suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. There are many clinical trials that are underway in the hopes of being able to treat Alzheimer’s disease more efficiently.

    There are also some lifestyle and management tips that are used by families of patients suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. Even though they do not cure the disease, these tips help in bringing about improvement in the patient’s condition.

    • Store medicines in a safe location
    • Keep valuable items such as money, credit cards, and cell phones in the exact same place so they can be found easily
    • Ensure that the patient has a smartphone with their GPS location enabled in order to track them any time
    • Declutter the house so that they do not stumble upon anything, minimizing the risk of injuring themselves
    • Remove any unnecessary mirrors around the house as the patients may find reflections scary
    Read More...
  • Stomach conditions – Types and treatment

    The stomach is located between the esophagus and the small intestine. It is the place where proteins are digested. The stomach has three primary functions: storing the food that one swallows, amalgamating the food with stomach acids, and transferring the mixture to the small intestine. Since the stomach serves so many essential functions, it is prone to suffer from certain disorders.

    Some of the stomach conditions like heartburn and indigestion are very common among most people.

    Stomach conditions and their treatment

    Gastritis
    Gastritis is referred to as the stomach condition where the stomach lining suffers from inflammation. While chronic gastritis occurs at a slow pace, acute gastritis attacks the stomach suddenly. According to a report published by a renowned clinic, 8 out of 1,000 people show symptoms of acute gastritis, and 2 out of 10, 000 people suffer from chronic gastritis at some point in their lives. Some common signs of gastritis are nausea, indigestion, appetite loss, bloating, and hiccups. It is largely caused because of stress, chronic vomiting, viral or bacterial infections, excessive alcohol consumption, pernicious anemia, or auto-immune diseases.

    Treatment for gastritis

    • If gastritis is caused due to H.pylori infection, one will be given a couple of antibiotics along with a medication that blocks the entry of acid to their stomach.
    • B12 vitamin shots are recommended for gastritis. These are known to arise from pernicious anemia.

    Peptic ulcer

    One can get to know if they are suffering from peptic ulcer when the stomach lining breaks down. An ulcer that travels across the stomach and reaches up to its lining is referred to as a perforation. When that happens, one must consult a doctor immediately. Some of the common symptoms of peptic ulcers include the inability to consume liquid, frequent hunger pangs, fatigue, chest pain, nausea, abdominal pain, and vomiting. If one has been undergoing radiation treatment for a particular disease, they will be susceptible to peptic ulcers.


    Treatment for peptic ulcer

    • Mild peptic ulcers heal automatically. Nevertheless, one must consult a doctor because if they do not heal completely, they may resurface later on.
    • Medications like cytoprotective agents help protect the stomach lining and the small intestine so that the peptic ulcer heals completely.

    Hiatal hernia

    There is a space in the muscle wall which serves as a barrier between the abdomen and the chest. If the stomach reaches the portion of one’s chest, finding its way through this gap, then it is a sign that one is suffering from hiatal hernia. There is a similar kind of stomach condition called paraesophageal hernia. It is not as common as hiatal hernia, but if one is diagnosed with it, it can result in blood supply to the stomach being cut off. Some of the symptoms of hiatal hernia include bloating of stomach and feeling a sense of bitterness in the throat.


    Treatment options for hiatal hernia

    • Consult a doctor and seek medication for heartburn and pain in the stomach
    • Try and maintain a healthy and stable weight
    • Avoid the consumption of oily or spicy food items.
    Read More...
  • Common sleep disorders and their treatment

    A disruption in your sleep cycle will have an adverse effect on most of the activities you do during a day. Every human should sleep for seven to nine hours every night, to be able to function well during the day.

    Unfortunately, in today’s times, when people lead extremely busy lives, it is very rare for people to adhere to healthy sleeping habits. Because of this, many suffer from different kinds of sleep disorders, which has a long-lasting impact on their health.

    Types of sleep disorders and their treatment

    Insomnia

    Insomnia refers to the sleep disorder in which a person finds it difficult to sleep or stay asleep for a long time. If you are suffering from this condition, you will find it difficult to sleep even when you come home after a long day at work. There are a variety of reasons behind a person suffering from insomnia. Poor sleep cycle, breathing disorder, disruption in sleep-wake schedule, disturbance in the circadian rhythm, and hormonal changes are some of the most common reasons. There are two kinds of insomnia, chronic insomnia and transient or short-term insomnia.

    Chronic insomnia

    This condition is characterized by sleeping difficulties, suffering from non-restorative sleep, and not being able to maintain the sleep-wake schedule consistently. When you suffer from chronic insomnia, you feel a sense of fatigue and suffer from low energy levels throughout the day. You might have a good night of sleep, but it will be followed by sleepless nights at a stretch.

    Transient or short-term insomnia

    People suffer from transient insomnia mostly when they go through a tragic incident in their lives, like losing a friend to death or some major issue in the relationship with their partner or spouse. Such things can destabilize the mental balance of a person and set them on a path of feeling depressed most of the time. This results in being disturbed all the time and finding it extremely difficult to sleep.

    Treatments for insomnia

    If you consult a doctor, he will prescribe medications after analyzing your condition. If you are suffering from insomnia on account of depression, you will be prescribed antidepressants. There are some non-medicinal methods too, like hypnosis, stimulus control, cognitive behavior therapy, and relaxation techniques.

    Sleep apnea

    This is a serious sleep disorder, and many people suffer from sleep apnea across the world. The airways in your lungs get blocked and you will find it difficult to breathe. You might start choking or snoring loudly. When this happens, you will wake up from your slumber immediately as both your brain and body will be deprived of oxygen. This might happen a couple of times during a single night. Some of the common symptoms of sleep apnea include waking up in the middle of the night with a sore throat, feeling lethargic throughout the day, suffering from a headache, and loud snoring.

    Treatment for sleep apnea

    If the symptoms are severe, you might be prescribed to undergo CPAP, or continuous positive airway pressure therapy. It is primarily a machine which helps in keeping your airways open while you are sleeping. The device operates with the help of air pressure. It is attached to a mask-like object which can be fit in your nose. If you feel uncomfortable wearing it, you can try out other options like wearing an oral or dental device or going through a surgery.

    Read More...
  • Weight management – How to go about with it

    Today, with excessive information available at one’s disposal, people are getting aware of health-related issues. It is important to bear the fact that being overweight is an issue you have to address seriously. Obesity, just like high blood pressure and diabetes, is a chronic condition. No quick or easy way leads to weight management. If you are determined to lose weight and lead a healthy lifestyle, it is essential to go through the process slowly.

    Organic ways to lose weight

    Stay away from processed food items

    Processed foods, such as cheese, bread, tinned vegetables, frozen meat products, and cakes are not healthy for your body. Such foods, which are also categorized as comfort food, lure you, and it is easy to get attracted to them because of the taste or flavor they offer. But, if you are serious about getting in to shape and, most importantly, refrain from consuming anything that adversely affects your health, do not eat any processed foods.

    Limit your sugar intake

    Though sugar forms a large part of our diet and is used in food items daily, it does not do any good for your health. Eating food products that contain sugar affects your body in various ways. Some of the most well-known diseases worldwide are caused because of excessive consumption of sugar-based foods. Most of the time, people are not even aware of the amount of sugar they are consuming. What seems like moderate consumption often results in diabetes, different kinds of heart-related diseases, and cancer.

    Drink water at regular intervals

    Water is one of the greatest gifts to humanity by nature, and yet, we do not value it enough. The irony is that we waste a lot of water every day but do not consume enough of it. Apart from several health benefits, drinking water regularly helps tremendously in losing the extra kilos you put in. Drinking water before having a big meal helps in the reduction of calorie intake. Instead of consuming carbonated beverages, drink water when you feel thirsty.

    Consume a protein-rich diet

    The body burns calories when you digest and process protein-based food items. A protein-rich diet contributes significantly to weight loss. It also helps in giving a significant boost to your metabolic rate. Having a meal that is rich in protein will make your stomach feel full and will not let you suffer from hunger pangs. You do not have to stress yourself about how you can prepare a high-protein meal for yourself. Just a simple breakfast filled with eggs will be enough to lend your body the right amount of protein for the day.

    Limit refined carbs intake

    The right kinds of carbs are good for your health. They even contribute to weight management. However, refined carbs serve no such purpose. They do not have any rich nutrients or fiber, like good carbs. After the carbs are refined, they become easily digestible food items, increasing one’s tendency to overeat. Avoid food products like white bread, soda, cakes, confectionery, as they are rich in refined carbs.

    Read More...
  • 5 home remedies for skin problems

    Eczema, acne, rosacea, psoriasis, ichthyosis, vitiligo, and hives are some of the most commonly occurring skin problems. Skin health is a mirror of your overall health, and your skin requires constant care as it is exposed to pollutants and may develop reactions. If you encounter any unnatural sensation on your skin like irritation or a burning sensation, do not take it casually. Do not leave it unattended, and consult a doctor if need be. You can also start with simple treatments at home.

    Home remedies for curing skin problems

    The following are some simple yet effective home remedies for skin problems:

    • Fresh aloe vera
      Aloe vera has been used to treat skin problems since time immemorial. When you accidentally injure your finger in the kitchen, you are recommended to apply aloe vera gel, and when you are suffering from dry skin, you can use it to nourish your skin. Apart from healing wounds, aloe vera is widely renowned for its antioxidant, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and anti-viral properties. The gel that oozes out of the aloe vera leaves is very effective when it comes to treating itchy or irritated skin. Just ensure that the aloe you get is fresh.
    • Coconut oil
      Coconut oil is derived from the milk content in coconuts, and apart from being used as a cooking oil, it helps moisturize the skin. It has saturated fats in high amounts, and its anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties make it a very valuable medicinal product. You can apply it to itchy or irritated skin, but you must use unprocessed coconut oil to get the best benefits of its antimicrobial and antioxidant properties.
    • Baking soda
      One of the most popular things that have been used in home-based treatments for skin problems is baking soda. Apart from treating itchy skin, it is known to cure rashes, bug bites, and poison ivy. Also, it is very convenient to use. Put 1 or 2 cups (as per your requirement) of baking soda in a small bucket filled with moderately warm water. Soak the part of the skin that needs treatment in this water for some time, dry it, and then apply some moisturizer.
    • Indigo naturalis
      This is a powdered substance, dark-blue in color and made from dry Qing Dai, a Chinese herb. Indigo naturalis has proved to be an effective cure for mild or moderate psoriasis and other complications arising as a result of inflammation. It is also applied as an ointment to provide relief from irritated or inflamed skin. Though it may leave the skin colored blue, the stain goes away after some time. Also, it can be refined to remove the dark-blue dye while still retaining its healing properties.
    • Oatmeal
      For centuries, oatmeal has proved to treat several mild to severe allergic skin problems. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized using oatmeal as a skin protectant in the year 2003. Now, you have several skin care products using oatmeal as one of their primary ingredients. You can use oatmeal while taking a shower to reap its benefits, and you can choose from a range of products from several lifestyle companies that manufacture and market products to be used for an oatmeal bath.
    Read More...
  • Tips to protect your skin from premature aging

    Aging is unavoidable and so are its signs. Aging is a gradual process and our skin becomes one of the most prominent evidence of this process. The aging of the skin in its due course is normal. However, if the skin starts aging prematurely, it can be a matter of concern. Fortunately, there are some treatments and natural care remedies that you can follow to avoid this premature aging of the skin. Let’s have a look at them.

    Treatments

    When the skin starts to age prematurely, there are several treatments that can be used to reverse those signs. Some of the treatments involve the use of hydroxy acids and vitamin C which is enough to cure some cases. For cases with sun damage ranging between moderate to severe, treatment options such as dermabrasion, chemical peels, laser resurfacing, and ultrasound energy devices can be used.

    People who have more severe facial lines, treatment involving botulinum toxins can be used. In addition to this, injections with hyaluronic acid, Gore-Tex implants, and the person’s own body fat can also be used in the treatment for fine lines.

    Some people with premature aging of skin go for surgeries. Their options include brow lift, facelift, and surgery on the eyelids.

    Natural ways to prevent and cure premature aging of the skin

    Make sure you wear sunscreen

    Protecting your skin from the sun is the first rule of preventing your skin from premature aging. Even if you have stepped out to run a quick errand, make sure that you have covered your skin with sunscreen. Use a sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher. You can also protect your skin by wearing clothes that cover you up completely.

    Quit smoking

    If you care for your skin, you must stop smoking. It not only makes your lungs suffer, but it also makes your skin age prematurely. It can lead to wrinkles, cause dullness, harm the complexion of the skin.

    Make sure your diet is balanced

    There have been studies that show eating a lot of fruits and vegetables can prevent the skin damage that leads to premature aging of the skin. Also, diets that contain a lot of refined sugar and carbs can accelerate the aging of the skin.

    Reduce alcohol consumption

    Alcohol consumption is not just harmful to your liver, but also for your skin. Drinking alcohol dehydrates your body and causes damage to the skin. Thus, making the skin age prematurely.

    Don’t experiment too much

    There will be a lot of cosmetic products that will make tall claims to make your skin glow like a teenager. However, when you use these products in abundance without testing them, they might wreak havoc on your skin. So, it is better to go for one product at a time, let it show its results, and then go for the next one.

    Don’t sleep with your makeup on
    How many times you clean your face in a day can play a very big role in the way your skin ages. Remove all your makeup before going to bed. Wash your face using warm water at least twice a day.

    Read More...
  • 7 ways to treat addictions

    Addictions to harmful substances can cause mental as well as physical damage. Therefore, taking treatment is essential. If the habit has become chronic, it might not respond to treatment, and the patient might be required to be on regular care.

    The treatment for addictions is a step-by-step process and can take a while to show results.

    Initial steps

    The very first step towards getting treatment is acceptance. To get treated for addictions, a person must accept that they have become dependent on the substance, and it is interfering with their everyday life. This can include disruption in their work life, school, and social life.

    When the individual accepts that substance is hurting their life, they start with the course of treatment.

    The treatment options can depend on a lot of factors, and these include:

    • Which addictive disorder is the person suffering?
    • For how long have they been using it?
    • What is the severity of substance use?
    • How has it affected the person?

    There will be a combination of several treatments used on a person. These can include psychological counseling, various programs, medication, and joining some groups.

    Detox

    Once the treatment starts, detoxification is always the first step. Here, the focus is to flush out the substance from the body and to put a limit on withdrawal symptoms. As many as 80 percent of all addiction cases have prescribed medications to limit the withdrawal symptoms to a minimum. In cases where an individual is addicted to several substances, medications are given to counter withdrawal symptoms associated with each addiction.

    Counseling

    After detoxification, getting behavioral therapies and counseling is one of the standard treatment options. Based on the needs of an individual, therapy can be provided in one-on-one sessions, family, or even in groups. There are various types of therapies offered. These include:

    • Cognitive-behavioral therapy
    • A multi-dimensional therapy which takes place with family members
    • Some motivational interviewing sessions

    Programs for rehabilitation

    Programs which remain on-going can work effectively in keeping an individual off prescriptions and let them get back to their routine social and work life. There are several residential facilities offered to treat addictions. These facilities provide residential options in a peaceful environment and provide all kinds of crucial medical assistance.

    Home remedies and natural ways to fight addictions

    When addictions become chronic, an on-going management mechanism becomes essential. Thankfully, many home strategies can help you fight addictions at home, in the most natural way. These include the following:

    Keep positive support around you

    This might look very basic, but it is one of the most important ways to cope with addictions. While you are fighting with your addictions, having those people around you who stand by you no matter what is extremely important. When a person is battling addiction, he needs to be surrounded by people who do not judge him and instead show their complete support to help him fight the problems.

    Exercise

    Some of the common withdrawal symptoms include fatigue and sleep disorders. Although it might look contrary to popular belief, exercising regularly can help you fight these symptoms. A study has shown that exercise can not only help with fighting withdrawal symptoms, but it can also reduce cravings.

    Read More...
TRENDING Articles