Protecting Your Baby from a Measles Outbreak by Colleen Kraft, M.D.

Measles is wildly contagious. How worried should parents be if their baby is too young for the vaccine? Nearly 1 out of every 3 children under the age of 5 who catches measles ends up in the hospital. Are some babies at a greater risk? What, if anything, can parents do to protect their little ones?

Here are some answers from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

How soon can my baby get the measles vaccine?

The recommended age for the first dose of measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine is 12 to 15 months of age. If you live in a community experiencing an outbreak, or if you travel internationally, your baby may be vaccinated as early as 6 months of age. Talk with your pediatrician if this applies to you.

Babies who get one dose of MMR vaccine before their first birthday should get two more doses (one dose at 12 through 15 months of age and another dose at least 28 days later).

My baby is too young for the vaccine. Is there anything I can do to protect her?

Wash your hands! Just as you would to prevent germs at any time, use soap and water and scrub for at least 20 seconds. Remind others in your home or anyone who is near your baby to do the same.

Other things that can help:

  • Limit your baby's exposure to crowds, other children, and anyone with colds.

  • Go germ-free. Disinfect objects and surfaces in your home regularly.

  • Feed your baby breastmilk. It has unique antibodiesto prevent and fight infections.


Remember, the measles virus can live for two hours on a surface or suspended in the air.

Babies at a greater risk for catching measles include:

  • Ones under 12 months who have not received the measles vaccine.

  • Ones in a child care setting or living in crowded living conditions.

  • Ones with older siblings.

  • Ones who are not breastfed


If you are planning an international trip, consider your baby's age.

  • Babies less than 6 months old who are too young to be vaccinated may still have some protection from the antibodies from their mother. However, if you are traveling with an infant under 6 months of age to a place with a significant number of measles cases reported, it is worth considering delaying travel as measles can still be very severe in these young infants.

  • Babies 6 to 11 months old should receive the MMR vaccine (and the hepatitis A vaccine), but still require two doses of vaccine at age 12 months or older.

  • Babies 12 months and older should receive their first dose of MMR vaccine in addition to the other vaccines recommended at that age. Infants 12 months and older may also receive a second dose of the MMR vaccine as soon as 28 days after the first dose.


What are the signs and symptoms of measles in babies?

Infants and children can be contagious four days before they even show any symptoms!

Measles typically starts like a bad cold with symptoms such as fever, cough, runny nose, and conjunctivitis (pink eye). A rash then starts to develop on the head and spreads down to the rest of the body. Many children also get ear infections.

While the main symptoms of measles are bad enough, the reason we vaccinate against measles are to prevent the complications associated with it―such as pneumonia and encephalitis (an infection of the brain).

What is the outlook for a child who gets measles?

Not good. In the US, 1-2 out of every 1,000 children who get measles die from it. A similar number of children suffer from encephalitis and many go on to have long-term brain damage. The disease is even more severe in developing countries, where as many as 1 out of 3 children who get measles die from it.

Why don't babies get the MMR shot sooner?

The MMR vaccine is a live vaccine, which means it contains weakened forms of the viruses. In order to work, those weakened forms of the virus need to multiply to create an immune response. Since the natural protection newborns get from their moms wears off gradually over a period of months, the viruses may not be able to multiply the way they would when the baby is a little older. That's why we recommend the first dose of the MMR starting at 12 months of age. Not because it's too dangerous but because that's the age at which the vaccine works best.

What about pregnant moms?

Most women of child-bearing age have been vaccinated against measles, mumps, and rubella―and therefore are protected against these diseases.

If for some reason a pregnant woman was not previously vaccinated against measles, she cannot receive the MMR vaccine until after delivery. This is because the MMR vaccine is prepared with weakened live viruses (in contrast to many vaccines that are prepared with killed viruses), so doctors usually advise avoiding pregnancy for at least one month after receiving the vaccine to reduce the risk of becoming infected.

Do parents and grandparents need a booster MMR shot?

Anyone born before 1957 is generally considered immune to measles. This means they are fully protected from measles for life and no additional vaccination is necessary.

If you're unsure whether you're immune to measles, you should first try to find your vaccination records or documentation of measles immunity. If you do not have written documentation of measles immunity, you should get the MMR vaccine. There is no harm in getting another dose of MMR vaccine if you may already be immune to measles (or mumps or rubella).

The information provided is for general interest only and should not be misconstrued as a diagnosis, prognosis or treatment recommendation. This information does not in any way constitute the practice of medicine, or any other health care profession. Readers are directed to consult their health care provider regarding their specific health situation. Marque Medical is not liable for any action taken by a reader based upon this information.

 

 

Physical Therapy by Janell Pierce

janell lo resWhat is physical therapy?

Physical therapy is a treatment program that helps decrease your pain and restore your strength and range of motion.  Your health care provider may recommend physical therapy after an injury of surgery to help you fully recover.  Physical therapy is also used to teach people how to move properly to prevent injuries.

What is a physical therapist?

A physical therapist is a health care professional that is an expert in treating muscle and skeletal problems that affect your ability to move and function in daily life.  A physical therapist is trained in an accredited program.  They are required to be licensed in the state which they practice.

What can I expect from physical therapy?

Your first visit with the physical therapist he or she will exam you and ask you about your health history and any problems you are having. After the physical therapist takes down your health history, the therapist will do a series of tests and measures, such as range of motion and strength.  Once your problem has been identified, the therapist will discuss a care plan with you.  Your care plan may include frequent visits with a physical therapist for weeks or months until you have reached your treatment goals.

There are several types of treatments that a physical therapist may give you.  The treatments you have will depend on your problem or condition.  During your visit, your physical therapist my do the following:

physical therapyPhysical Treatments

  • Deep heating

  • Cold packs and ice massage

  • Whirlpools and water therapy

  • Hot packs and paraffin baths

  • Electrical muscle stimulation

  • Transcutaneous electrical stimulation (TENS)

  • Massage

  • Movements that help your joints and soft tissues


 

How can I receive physical therapy?

In most cases, a medical provider such as a physician, physician’s assistant, or nurse practitioner refer you to physical therapy.  Make sure to check with your insurance company to determine the extent of coverage for physical therapy.

The information provided is for general interest only and should not be misconstrued as a diagnosis, prognosis or treatment recommendation. This information does not in any way constitute the practice of medicine, or any other health care profession. Readers are directed to consult their health care provider regarding their specific health situation. Marque Medical is not liable for any action taken by a reader based upon this information.

 

The Dangerous Myth of XYY Syndrome by Ellia Manzo

Genetic disorder XYY syndrome has become a fable among sociologists, geneticists, and microbiologists, since the 1970s. Researchers such as molecular geneticists are challenging notions that XYY syndrome has a correlation to criminal, anti-social and/or abnormal behavior. This is a male-specific condition where the male has an extra copy of the Y chromosome. Back in the 1960s, there were early reports of criminal activity linking individuals with XYY syndrome. Males were admitted to more insane asylums, hospitals, and confined to prison systems if that extra chromosome was present, and they were deemed as dangerous or criminal-like. Considerable publicity followed the misconception, dooming all males with this syndrome to a life of anti-social behavior. Such fear of XYY syndrome has even translated for some women to opt out of continuing a pregnancy after learning their fetus had an additional Y chromosome.

There are many instances when researchers might even influence parents when they inform them that their newborn being screened for the XYY karyotype might have some difficulty in their early and adolescent development which could someday lead to a life of crime or unruly behavior. What basis do such researchers have to lead the public to believe such a misconception or dangerous myth based solely on what they see as high-risk? Unfortunately, uncontrolled studies and considerable amounts of publicity have lead the public to unwisely believe such statements. For example, in some American prison systems, screening for the XYY karyotype was not present in most of the inmates as presumed due to their high criminality. Other studies suggested that males with XYY syndrome tended to be significantly taller than the average male, therefore, more of the taller inmates were qualified candidates for the screening which created a bias in the data collected.

Now, let’s analyze how the XYY karyotype occurs. An extra Y copy in a male’s sex cell is present. Typically, there are 46 chromosomes in each cell of a person. That extra Y chromosome is a genetic mutation. XYY is not inherited by parent cells, but occurs as a sporadic mutation during cell development and division. Taller than average, most males with XYY syndrome do not have unusual features that can be identified immediately. These males also have normal levels of testosterone and go through all normal phases of sexual development. During childhood development, XYY syndrome is frequently associated with increased learning disability or difficulty, slow speech and language development, flat feet, hand tremors, scoliosis, and even seizures. XYY syndrome also has an increased connection with behavioral disorders such as ADHD, anxiety, depression and in some cases, autism.

We all have individual internal and external characteristics that make us unique. Some have freckles and strawberry blonde hair, others have alcohol flush, and some can even have a trait for hemoglobin deficiency. Genetic differences such as a different karyotype should not be the cause to assume criminality. Positive attitudes can change and better the life of an individual with XYY syndrome, and all individuals for that matter with different traits and karyotypes.

The information provided is for general interest only and should not be misconstrued as a diagnosis, prognosis or treatment recommendation. This information does not in any way constitute the practice of medicine, or any other health care profession. Readers are directed to consult their health care provider regarding their specific health situation. Marque Medical is not liable for any action taken by a reader based upon this information.

Depression by Your Marque Team



“Sadness is an emotion, whereas depression is an illness,” says Dr. Ken Robbins.

What is depression?

Depression is a mood disorder that’s characterized by a persistent low mood, lethargy, and feelings of worthlessness. It interferes with concentration, motivation, and everyday activities. Not only does it affect a person’s mood but the entire body; it weakens the immune system, increases susceptibility to viral infections, and even cancer. According to Dr. George Krucik, out of the 7 billion people worldwide, there was an estimated 121 million people that have some form of depression, but less than 25 percent have access to treatment.

There are various types of depression. If the depression is related to bereavement, it’s called complicated bereavement. Unipolar depression is when depressed mood is the predominant feature. Bipolar, also known as manic depression, is when there are both manic and depressive episodes that are associated with periods of normal mood. The last type of depression is called seasonal affective disorder (SAD), which is related to the reduced daylight in the winter. With SAD, the depression only occurs during the winter time and the mood lifts for the remaining of the year.

Who can get it?

The cause of depression can be a factor of numerous reasons. For some, it’s genetic, so for people that have had or have someone in their family with depression, they have a higher chance of having depression as well. Another reason could be from past physical, sexual, or emotional abuse that one has experienced that can cause depression. The death or a loss of a loved one, even if it was natural, can increase one’s risk of depression. Another related cause is substance abuse. According to National Alliance on Mental Illness, they found approximately 30 percent of people with substance abuse have developed depression.

What are the symptoms?

When it comes to depression, it affects a person psychologically, physically, and socially. Psychologically, there are feelings of persistent sadness, hopelessness and helplessness, low self-esteem, feeling irritable and intolerant of others, lacking motivation, anxiousness, and/or suicidal thoughts. Some might feel guilt-ridden or have difficulty making decisions on their own.

Physically, for someone who suffers from depression, their moving or speaking is slower than usual, drastic chances in appetite and/or weight, unexplained aches and pain, and insomnia.

Socially, one would take part in fewer social activities, neglecting hobbies and interests, and difficulty at work and in school.

How is depression treated?

One of the key factors when it comes to getting treatment for depression is support from friends or family. The ones suffering from depression need to know they’re not alone. Along with the support, psychotherapy is recommended for mild cases of depression.

In moderate to severe depression, antidepressants can be used along with psychotherapy. Some of the classes of antidepressants are Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs), Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors (MAOIs), Tricyclic antidepressants, atypical antidepressants, and Selective Serotonin and Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors (SNRIs).

In addition to psychotherapy and/or antidepressants, aerobic exercise helps with mild cases of depression because it raises the levels of endorphins and it stimulates the neurotransmitter norepinephrine, which is associated with a person’s mood.

How can I prevent it?

There isn’t a way to prevent depression, but there are ways to minimize the effects of depression and to be aware of a loved one suffering from depression.

To help minimize the effects of depression, find a way to control stress. It will help increase resilience and boost one’s self-esteem. Another way is to reach out to your loved ones in times of crisis. Going through hardship alone is difficult, but with the help of friends and family, one will be able to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

There are a number of warning signs of loved ones suffering from depression. The blank stares, loss of interest, and/or inability to express happiness for more than a few weeks is a start. Sometimes crying may or may not be an obvious trigger, but looking out for tearful eyes, furrowed eyebrows, slumped posture, and lack of eye contact and/or facial expression can be helpful indicators of depression. The more obvious signs are when he/she is fixated on past mistakes expressing guilt and/or self-blame. You want to listen for statements such as “it’s hopeless,” “I have no choice,” “nobody cares.” In some cases, one might express thoughts of suicide. Listen for “you’d be better off without me,” “I can’t go on,” “I wish it were over.” If a loved one expresses thoughts of suicide, encourage them to talk about it because it helps lower the risk of following through with it, but more importantly, listen to what they have to say.

“Depression is not a bad mood. It is a biological reality and a medical condition, and when we talk about it as anything less than that, we belittle the people suffering from it.” -Cate Matthews, The Huffington Post

The information provided is for general interest only and should not be misconstrued as a diagnosis, prognosis or treatment recommendation. This information does not in any way constitute the practice of medicine, or any other health care profession. Readers are directed to consult their health care provider regarding their specific health situation. Marque Medical is not liable for any action taken by a reader based upon this information.

 

The Pelvic Floor: What You Need To Know

 

What is the pelvic floor?


The pelvic floor is one of the most crucial support systems you have in your body. Think of it as a strong security system that helps your body know who to keep in and who to kick out.  In more scientifically defined terms, the “Pelvic floor muscles are the layer of muscles that support the pelvic organs and span the bottom of the pelvis. The pelvic organs are the bladder and bowel in men, and bladder, bowel and uterus in women.” Because of the pelvic floor, the most vital functions of an individual’s body can be properly performed.

Why is the pelvic floor important?


One of the most vital functions of the pelvic floor is to support the pelvic organs. The strength of muscle determines the strength in the facilitation of the pelvic organs in their functions. Furthermore, if the muscle is weak, it is more difficult for the organs to perform properly.

In order to better illustrate the importance of the pelvic floor, one must understand the organs that these muscles support. Below are the functions of the pelvic organs in relation to the pelvic floor.

The Sexual Function


The sexual function of both men and women demands a proper relationship between the pelvic organs and the pelvic floor. The Continence Foundation of Australia defines the importance of this relationship in the following way, “Pelvic floor muscles are...important for sexual function in both men and women. In men, it is important for erectile function and ejaculation. In women, voluntary contractions (squeezing) of the pelvic floor contribute to sexual sensation and arousal. The pelvic floor muscles in women also provide support for the baby during pregnancy and assist in the birthing process.” This defined relationship, furthermore, illustrates the vitality of the strength in the pelvic floor. It is more difficult and more painful for an individual’s body to properly perform these sexual functions with a weak pelvic floor.



Releasing Waste In The Body


Passing waste through the bladder and bowels requires proper shifts between contracting and relaxing, similar to the sexual function. Contraction in the pelvic floor secures the organs in their place. This prevents the passage of waste from being released constantly. Relaxation, on the other hand, provides a release of urine and bowels. If the pelvic floor is strong, there will be a proper balance between the processes of contraction and relaxation. If the pelvic floor is weak, however, there will be less contraction and more release. This will result in irregular leaks from the bladder and bowels.


 

What weakens the pelvic floor?


In general, an individual’s age and weight can affect the strength of their pelvic floor. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) statistics concerning women, “Underweight and normal weight women were less likely to have a pelvic floor disorder (15.1 percent) than were overweight women (26.3 percent) and obese women (30.4 percent).” It has also been proven that pelvic floor disorders are more prevalent as an individual gets older, particularly for women. This can be due to how pregnancy and childbirth affect the women throughout their life. Lifting heavier when exercising, for men and women, has also been shown to loosen pelvic floor muscles. Click here for more causes of weakness within the pelvic floor.

 

How to strengthen the pelvic floor?


An individual can always strengthen their pelvic floor through particular exercises. In fact, it is highly recommended to continue to strengthen the pelvic floor throughout one’s life in order to prevent an imbalance of the contraction and relaxation processes in the body. These exercises will vary between men and women. Click here for the proper exercises to strengthen the pelvic floor. These exercises include illustrations and videos on how to perform them properly.




 

The information provided is for general interest only and should not be misconstrued as a diagnosis, prognosis or treatment recommendation. This information does not in any way constitute the practice of medicine, or any other health care profession. Readers are directed to consult their health care provider regarding their specific health situation. Marque Medical is not liable for any action taken by a reader based upon this information.

3 Best Practices After Physical Therapy

 

So you finally finished physical therapy!

Congratulations! You are now well on your way back towards a healthy, active, pain-free lifestyle.

But you aren’t out of the woods quite yet.

Most people end up seeing a physical therapist due to an injury, surgery, or because of little injuries or trauma that have gotten worse over the years. Whether you were doing too much exercise, not enough exercise, exercising with poor form, or even just faulty everyday movements, it ended up causing enough pain or discomfort that you went to your trusted physical therapist to get the issues resolved. Now that the issues are resolved, the last thing you want to do is re-injure or aggravate an injury by resorting back to old habits.

Here are the best 3 ways that you can avoid returning to your physical therapist’s office:

1) Continue to Exercise with Good Form


If you have some extra hundred dollar bills lying around and can afford a personal trainer, great! They are well worth the investment and will help you perfect your form, correct muscle imbalances, and improve strength.

However, most of us just don’t have that kind of spare cash. Take the time to research good form for your exercises and remember what your physical therapist instructed. Follow the timeline exactly and don’t do certain exercises before the recommended date. Sometimes more is less but don’t get caught doing nothing. Your muscles will atrophy, and you’ll likely end up in a worse place than you were before.

2) Stretch


Stretching is an often-overlooked aspect of health and wellness. Nutrition and exercise are often put upon a pedestal and stretching is only an afterthought.

Yet there are many benefits to stretching, including: increased flexibility, improved posture, increased nutrient absorption, and injury prevention (which is forgotten all too often).

Injury prevention may be the most important aspect of stretching—especially for someone who just finished physical therapy. According to UC Davis, stretching helps prevent injury because when your muscles are warm and stretched, your movements become easier and more fluid—thus preventing injury.

When you don’t stretch, your muscles become tight and there is an increased chance that you’ll tear or pull a muscle. But it will also cause muscle imbalances that will take you straight back to your physical therapist.

3) Practice What Your Physical Therapist Taught You


By far the most important thing you can do post-physical therapy is just to practice what your physical therapist taught you. During your visits, he or she should have given you different exercises and stretches to practice at home and then shown you how to execute these movements correctly.

Do them! You will recover faster and more completely by doing the “homework” your physical therapist has assigned you. Follow the timeline that your physical therapist has laid out for you and don’t push yourself too hard too soon.

Do not take the easy route and get lazy thinking you’ll be fine now that your sessions are over. You’ll undoubtedly regret it in the long run. Make sure you schedule time to complete your exercises, stretch, and follow the exact recovery timeline that your physical therapist gave you.




 

The information provided is for general interest only and should not be misconstrued as a diagnosis, prognosis or treatment recommendation. This information does not in any way constitute the practice of medicine, or any other health care profession. Readers are directed to consult their health care provider regarding their specific health situation. Marque Medical is not liable for any action taken by a reader based upon this information.

How to Decrease Your Chances of Sports-Related Injuries and Illnesses by Pete Brundu

I’m sure you have heard of the term sports medicine while at a sporting event, watching your favorite football team, or mixed martial arts fighter on TV, but never really gave much thought about the importance of sports medicine to both professional and amateur athletes.

Sports Medicine is the practice of the diagnosis, treatment and preventative treatment of sports-related injuries and illness.  Any athlete who participates in any sport may at some point need professional and clinical treatment for a sport-related injury or illness.

Why should you consider advise or treatment from a sports medicine provider?  Whether you are training for the Olympics, your children are going to be the next soccer superstars, or you’re the weekend warrior CrossFit novice, injuries can and often happen.

Injury and illness risks are much more likely to occur from exercising without proper stretching, warm-up, and cool down techniques. Your provider can help you determine appropriate warm-up techniques, how long and the reason for them based upon your physical activity, intensity and duration. Your provider can help you prevent muscle strains by giving you a detailed plan of stretching and warm-up exercises to implement before your physical activity. In the event of an injury, your sports medicine doctor can offer orthopedic treatment or refer you to an orthopedic specialist in their group. Another option is physical therapy, depending on the extent of your injury, your provider might feel physical therapy is the proper treatment for you.

Sports medicine doctors will not only help with physical injuries, but also diet and nutrition.

Most of the larger, more established sports medicine organizations will have dieticians and nutritionists available.  As your activity level increases so does the demand your body has for a more proper diet and nutrition. With improper diet and nutrition, you might notice a loss of energy, weakness, lack of endurance and stamina due to dehydration, electrolyte imbalance or both. Your provider, after examining you and listening to your routines, exercise, training schedule and diet, can give you specialized advise to your diet and nutritive intake.  Additionally, they can order laboratory tests to have an accurate representation of what your various blood levels are to customize a more complete intake regiment.  These are ways to help you stay healthy and enable your body to be able to sustain peak performance when in demand.

Do you have to seek the advice of a sports medicine provider if you’re just starting out with an exercise routine? No, but at a minimum you should make an appointment to see your physician, let them know your plans to begin exercising. They can give you advise based on their examination of you and your physical condition about the best way to get started to prevent unnecessary injury and illness as well as keep track of your health and physical improvements.

Who knows? Maybe your simple exercise routine will turn into a passion and more intense workouts will follow.  If so, you already took the first step in preventing exercise injury and illness. Your next logical step in this progression is sports medicine. Congratulations on choosing a healthy lifestyle.

The information provided is for general interest only and should not be misconstrued as a diagnosis, prognosis or treatment recommendation. This information does not in any way constitute the practice of medicine, or any other health care profession. Readers are directed to consult their health care provider regarding their specific health situation. Marque Medical is not liable for any action taken by a reader based upon this information.

 

 

 

Autoimmune Disorders by Your Marque Team

“Autoimmune” means immunity against the self. When an intruder invades your body such as a cold, virus, or bacteria your immune system protects you. Your immune system’s job is to identify and eliminate the foreign invaders that might cause harm. Sometimes problems with your immune system can cause it to mistake your body’s own healthy cells as invaders and then repeatedly attack them. This is called an autoimmune disease.

Examples of Autoimmune Diseases:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis

  • Lupus

  • Multiple sclerosis (MS)

  • Type 1 diabetes

  • Guillain-Barre syndrome

  • Graves’ disease

  • Hashimoto’s thyroiditis

  • Myasthenia gravis

  • Vasculitis


According to the National Institutes of Health, “autoimmunity is the underlying cause of more than 100 serious, chronic illnesses.  There are roughly 50 million Americans living, and dealing with autoimmune disease, more than 75 percent of the people that are affected are women.” Women have stronger immune systems compared to men. As a result, this increases women’s resistance to many types of infection, but unfortunately this makes them more susceptible to autoimmune diseases, especially after childbirth.

Autoimmunity is known to have a genetic background, so you may be more susceptible to developing an autoimmune disease if you have a family member with one. For example, a mother has lupus, her daughter has Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, her sister has Graves’ disease; and her grandmother has rheumatoid arthritis. Different ethnic groups are more susceptible to certain autoimmune diseases. “In lupus, African-American, Hispanic, Asian and Native American women are two to three times more likely to develop the disease than Caucasian women. And 9 out of 10 people who have lupus are women.’” (National Women’s Health Information Center. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office on Women’s Health.)

The cause of autoimmune disease is unknown. There are a lot of theories about what triggers autoimmune diseases, including. bacteria or virus, drugs, chemical irritants, environmental irritants. You could have a genetic predisposition to develop a disease and under the right circumstance, an outside invader like a virus might trigger it.

The signs and symptoms of autoimmune disease vary depending on the diseases. According to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS): “The classic sign of an autoimmune disease is inflammation, which can cause redness, heat, pain, and swelling. How an autoimmune disease affects you depends on what part of the body is targeted? If the disease affects the joints, as in rheumatoid arthritis, you might have joint pain, stiffness, and loss of function. If it affects the thyroid, as in Graves’ disease and thyroiditis, it might cause tiredness, weight gain, and muscle aches. If it attacks the skin, as it does in scleroderma/systemic sclerosis, vitiligo, and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), it can cause rashes, blisters, and color changes.”

Unfortunately, autoimmune diseases are chronic conditions which means there is no known cure, but there is treatment to help keep the disease at bay. Treatment involves attempts to control the disease and to decrease the symptoms. Symptoms of autoimmune diseases come and go, and when they get worse it is called a “flare up.” Treatments can vary.

Examples of Treatment Options for Autoimmune Disease:

  • Pills to replace a substance that the body lacks, such as thyroid hormone, or insulin, due to the autoimmune disease.

  • Blood transfusions if blood is affected.

  • Physical therapy to help with movement if the joints or muscles are affected.


Many people have to take medicines to reduce the immune system's abnormal response to help keep the autoimmune disease at bay. These medications are called immunosuppressive medicines. Examples include corticosteroids (such as prednisone) and nonsteroidal drugs such as azathioprine, cyclophosphamide, or mycophenolate. Targeted drugs called Biologics (or known as anti-tumor necrosis factor (Anti-TNF) Inhibitor can be used for some diseases. Many of these medications are self-injectable taken on an alternating, weekly, monthly, and bi-monthly schedule depending on what medication is prescribed.

The information provided is for general interest only and should not be misconstrued as a diagnosis, prognosis or treatment recommendation. This information does not in any way constitute the practice of medicine, or any other health care profession. Readers are directed to consult their health care provider regarding their specific health situation. Marque Medical is not liable for any action taken by a reader based upon this information.

 

 

 

Cholesterol by Jennifer Quach

Cholesterol is a white fat-like substance that is found in the cells of our body. It is essential to our health, but too much cholesterol is harmful to our bodies.  Since there are usually no signs of high cholesterol, it is important to check your cholesterol level which varies depending on your age and risk factors. This can be done by getting a blood test.

There are different types of cholesterol known as HDL (High Density Lipoprotein) and LDL (Low Density Lipoprotein).  HDL is known as the "good" cholesterol while LDL is the "bad" cholesterol.  HDL is known as the good cholesterol because it helps protect the body by decreasing the buildup of the LDL in the arteries.  LDL is the bad cholesterol forming a plaque-like substance that can block the natural flow of blood in the coronary arteries which can lead to stroke and heart attacks.

One can lower or improve their cholesterol level by changing their eating habits.  Eating lots of unhealthy fats such as saturated fats can raise LDL levels. Therefore, it is important to avoid fatty meats, dairy products, deep fried foods and processed food (or consume such foods in moderation). While there are foods to avoid, there are foods that we can eat that can lower our cholesterol. Avocados can replace oils and creams which add flavor to your food, but at the same time can help you regulate your bad cholesterol levels (Mayo Clinic). It is also helpful to add high fiber foods to our diet.  It has been proven that foods high in fiber such as fruits, vegetables, brown rice and oatmeal can help lower the "bad" cholesterol by keeping our body from absorbing cholesterol into our bloodstream (Harvard Health). These are just a few, but there are more foods to consider as part of your diet to maintain a healthy level of cholesterol.

Exercising and staying physically active are also ways to maintain a healthy cholesterol level along with a healthy diet. It's important to accommodate any health needs and physical restrictions you may have.  Aerobic exercise or any workout that gets your blood pumping are shown to help raise HDL levels, the "good" cholesterol which help to remove the "bad" cholesterol.

Weight can also be a factor in one's cholesterol level. Being overweight increases your risk of having high LDL "bad" cholesterol, and low HDL "good" cholesterol. Often, just losing weight can help lower cholesterol (WebMD). With the above mentioned, choosing to limit unhealthy fats, eating the right foods, and exercising should also help with lowering one's weight and help your overall cholesterol.

There are other causes or risk factors to having high cholesterol. These include age, heredity, and race. Yet, you should be aware by checking your cholesterol levels and changing your diet, including exercise, and maintaining your weight which are all things one can choose to do to stay healthy. If lifestyle changes do not lower your cholesterol enough, medications may be an option as well.

The information provided is for general interest only and should not be misconstrued as a diagnosis, prognosis or treatment recommendation. This information does not in any way constitute the practice of medicine, or any other health care profession. Readers are directed to consult their health care provider regarding their specific health situation. Marque Medical is not liable for any action taken by a reader based upon this information.