Monthly Archives: April 2016

Heat Dome Tips

The meteorological monster dubbed a “heat dome” by weather expert that has wilted much of the United States from the Southwest to the Ohio Valley for days, pushed into the Northeast Wednesday, bearing oppressive humidity, temperatures in the high 90s and heat indices surpassing 100 degrees.

The heat wave, blamed for as many as 13 deaths in the Midwest alone, is expected to break for some parts of the northern United States late Wednesday and Thursday with the arrival of a cold front. The result will be a significant drop in temperatures across the north central states for the rest of the week. But, the central and southern Plains, much of the Midwest and even the Northeast won’t feel much change from the extended heat, according to the National Weather Service.

Triple-digit temperatures are forecast to remain in place across much of the eastern United States through Saturday, before cooling off slightly to the mid-90s by Sunday, the weather service said.

Until the heat breaks, doctors are warning that high temperatures can cause serious and potentially fatal health problems, especially for the very young, the elderly and those with chronic medical conditions.

Dr. Janyce Sanford, chair of emergency medicine at the University of Alabama at Birmingham Hospital, said heat-related illnesses include a range of ills, from mild to severe.

“Someone who has been working out in the heat may start to experience the beginning stages with heat cramps. As it progresses, the next step is heat exhaustion. They may develop a severe headache, nausea, vomiting, and a feeling of severe weakness,” she said in a university news release.

The most serious and potentially fatal heat-related illness is heat stroke, Sanford said.

“When you reach this point, the severely elevated body temperature causes an altered mental state, dizziness and ultimately can lead to a loss of consciousness. The muscles can start to break down, which leads to kidney failure; this makes heat stroke a life-threatening illness,” she said.

Though rare, heat stroke is most often seen in very young and elderly people, or people with a chronic illness.

The safest place to be during a heat wave is indoor if air conditioning is available, experts say. Remain in the air-conditioning as long as possible. And limit outdoor activity to morning and evening hours when temperatures are relatively cooler.

Sanford offers the following advice:

  • Avoid being outside during the hottest part of the day, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wear light-colored and lightweight clothing, a hat, and remember that 100 percent cotton clothing tends to hold sweat, making it harder for your body to cool off.
  • Thirst isn’t always a good sign of hydration status. In children, the thirst mechanism isn’t fully developed, and in seniors, the sense of thirst has diminished. By the time your brain signals thirst, you may have lost 1 percent of your body weight about 3 cups of sweat for a 150-pound person.
  • Urine color is an important indicator of hydration. A well-hydrated person’s urine will be almost clear. Darker colors indicate less hydration. Not having to urinate at all after intense workouts is a warning sign of real dehydration.

The Dangerous of Sinus Infection

  • Sinusitis or sinus infection is inflammation of the air cavities within the passages of the nose.
  • Sinusitis can be caused by infection,allergies, and chemical or particulate irritation of the sinuses.
  • Most people do not spread sinus infections to other people.
  • Sinusitis may be classified as acute sinus infection, subacute sinus infection, chronic sinus infection, infected sinusitis, and noninfectious sinusitis.
  • Sinusitis signs and symptoms include
  • The majority of doctors think that most people do not transmit sinus infections except in rare instances, and conclude that sinus infections are not contagious.

    Sinus infections usually begin with the symptoms of a cold (for example, a runny nose, occasional cough and/or mild fever), and then develop into pain and pressure in the sinus cavities. About 7 to 10 days after initial cold-like symptoms other symptoms develop that suggest you may have a sinus infection. Sinus infection symptoms include

    • a yellowish-greenish nasal discharge that may have an odor,
    • bad breath,
    • puffiness around the eyes,
    • headaches,
    • pressure in the sinuses, and
    • coughing.
    • sinus headache,
    • facial tenderness,
    • pressure or pain in the sinuses, in the ears and teeth,
    • fever,
    • cloudy discolored nasal or postnasal drainage,
    • feeling of nasal stuffiness,
    • sore throat,
    • cough, and
    • occasionally facial swelling.
  • Symptoms of a bacterial sinus infection include
    • facial pain,
    • pus-like nasal discharge, and
    • symptoms that persist for longer than a week and that are not responding to over-the-counter (OTC) nasal medications.
  • Sinus infection is generally diagnosed based on the patient history and physical examination.
  • Bacterial sinusitis is usually treated with antibiotics. Early treatment of allergic sinusitis may prevent secondary bacterial sinus infections.
  • Home remedies for sinusitis and sinus infections include over-the-counter (OTC) medications such asacetaminophen (Tylenol and others), decongestants, and mucolytics.Nasal irrigation can be accomplished with a Neti-pot or rinse kit (nasal bidet).
  • Rarefungal infections of the sinuses (for example,zygomycosis) are medical emergencies.
  • Complications of a sinus infection that may develop aremeningitis, brain abscess,osteomyelitis, and orbital cellulitis.
  • There are no fungal vaccines available to prevent fungal sinus infections.

Know More About Pulmonary Fibrosis

Maybe you’ve been feeling short of breath lately. At first it might happen when you exercise, but after a while you have trouble breathing even while you’re at rest. Or you may get a hacking cough that’s hard to get under control. What’s going on, you wonder.

There are a lot of possible causes, but your doctor may tell you that you’ve got a condition called idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). Your symptoms are brought on by scarring in your lungs that makes it hard to breathe.

There’s no cure, and the disease gets worse over time. But there are things you can do and medicines to take that will make you feel better and live longer.

Make sure you don’t face things alone. Get the emotional backing you need from your family and friends.  Or look for a support group in your area, where you can meet people who know what you’re going through.

What Causes Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis?

The word “idiopathic” means unexplained. Doctors use it when they can’t pinpoint the cause of a condition. That’s the case with IPF.

Researchers believe some things you may have breathed in could be linked to IPF. For example, if you spend time working around metal or wood dust, or asbestos, you may be at higher risk for the disease.

Whatever the cause, IPF leads to scarring in your lungs, which makes your airways thick and stiff. It becomes harder and harder to breathe.

 

Who Gets IPF?

About 48,000 people get it each year in the U.S. It can happen at any age, but most people learn they have it when they’re between 50 and 75. More men get IPF than women, and men tend to get diagnosed at a later, more serious stage of the disease.

IPF can run in families. Some people with the disease have one or more relatives who have it. In these cases, it’s known as familial IPF.

Cigarette smoking is linked to IPF. So are some infections, such as the flu, Epstein-Barr virus (which causes mononucleosis), hepatitis, and herpes. These things may increase your risk of the disease, although they are not direct causes.

People with IPF often also have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), also known as acid reflux. Scientists don’t know if one disease causes the other, but they suspect that people with GERD may breathe tiny drops of stomach acid into their lungs, which can cause damage over time.

Therapy for Multiple Myeloma Tips

Radiation therapy can ease the pain caused by multiple myeloma’s damage to your bones. It may also be used with other treatments to help you fight the disease if it’s spread.

It’s not a cancer cure, but it is a treatment you’ll try along with drugs, surgery, or a stem cell transplant.

When You Need Radiation

Cancer drugs may not work well enough to fight your myeloma. If so, your doctor can aim a beam of radiation at a cluster of cancer cells to kill them. This treatment can also work on damaged bone to ease your pain.

But pain isn’t the only sign that myeloma is harming your bones. Cancer cells may damage your spine and cause its small bones to collapse. The cells can also press on your spinal cord and nerves.

If you have these sudden symptoms, you may need emergency radiation treatment on your spine:

  • Numbness or tingling
  • Weakness in your legs
  • Problems urinating or controlling your bowel movements

After radiation destroys your myeloma cells, your bone should grow back in that spot. With new, stronger bone, you should have less pain and a lower risk of a break.

 

External Beam Radiation Therapy

This is the most common type of radiation used to treat multiple myeloma. You may hear it called “EBRT.” A doctor called a radiation oncologist will create your treatment plan.

Usually, you’ll need a series of these treatments. That will last for several weeks. A radiation therapist will treat you at the hospital or a clinic.

You’ll be put under a large machine that looks like an X-ray. The therapist will aim a beam of radiation right where your bone’s been damaged or where a tumor is. Radiation attacks the genes in the cancer cells. This either kills the cells or doesn’t let new cells to grow and spread your myeloma.

An EBRT beam can go right through skin and tissues to reach the spot that needs treatment.

 

Total Body Radiation

If your myeloma has spread, you may need total body radiation. Your doctor may call it TBI. This would happen in the hospital, and you’d have to stay there for a few days.

TBI radiation can kill cancer cells all over your body. Your therapist can aim it at large areas in a series of treatments, usually during a few days. It’s given with high doses of cancer drugs or with a stem cell transplant.

TBI can prepare your bone marrow to accept donated stem cells that help you fight your cancer. Marrow is a soft, spongy tissue inside your bones.

Radiation beams are aimed at your whole body to help slow down your immune system. This will make sure you don’t reject your new stem cells.

The treatment can harm healthy tissue or organs, especially your lungs. Your therapist will use blocks to protect you.

 

Side Effects

Because radiation can also harm your skin, muscles, or other tissues, it can cause you to feel sick or have other side effects.

After your radiation treatment, you may have:

  • Red or peeling skin, blisters, or sensitive skin in the spot where radiation is beamed
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Diarrhea (if you’re getting radiation aimed at your belly)
  • Loss  of hair in the treatment area
  • Low blood cells