Thursday, August 7, 2014

Get your community aware of outreach programs

Outreach programs are meant to raise awareness among minorities and hard to reach communities about basic life skills, medical facilities and other resources. Some of the important work that outreach programs do is:

Offering medical help

Many communities are unaware of the medical help available to them. Good outreach programs help communities understand the need for medical health checkups and use many resources to help raise awareness. They conduct meetings and organize discussions as well as more complicated programs like setting up free medical camps to help these communities. They address all kinds of problems from teen pregnancy, AIDS to drugs and alcoholism.

Raising awareness in the youth

The young men and women of a community are the future, and need to be aware of the resources available to them. As the new generation gets educated, the quality of life for their children will get better. Many outreach programs concentrate on reaching out to youngsters and helping qualify themselves, as well as help them in finding employment. This decreases a lot of social issues that pervade these communities and help them make a change for the better.
These are just a couple of important issues among many others that outreach programs do.

How do you ensure that your outreach program is helpful?

A good outreach program helps people help themselves. By offering charity and donation, all that is being done is giving people what they need without them having to do anything for it. Outreach programs do not believe in that. They believe in helping communities learn to fend for themselves, and help them start improving the quality of their lives. To this end, these programs should try and involve the members of the community. Some of the more effective outreach programs execute some of the below tips when conducting outreach programs.

Ask for volunteers

By making the people of the community volunteer to be part of the program, you will be increasing their sense of responsibility. By interacting with other volunteers, they will gain real insights into the program’s purpose, and this will help them trust the program and want to participate in the other activities that the outreach program offers. By making them a part of the program, word spreads through the community about the help being offered.
Activities for children
Parents all over the world love their children and want a better life for them. By having programs that involve and educate children, you will find that there is more participation from the community members. When the activity is free and is fun, you will find more people bringing their children and participating in the programs.

Medical camps

Though they may be a bit wary of this in the beginning, most community members will soon start visiting medical camps regularly. Most of these communities may not have seen a doctor or visited a medical facility even once in their lives. If your outreach program is linked to a medical facility where they can get free medical help, it would make a big difference in their lives.

Youth education

Have your youth activities in school campuses on holidays. Most teenagers are looking for something to do on the day off, and by having activities on holidays it would help keep them occupied. They may drop by the program centers to check it out, but if the activities are interesting enough, some will stay.
The most important rules of outreach programs are consistency, patience and commitment. It may be a difficult job and sometimes downright frustrating, but remember that if you make a difference in even one life it is all worth it.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Juvenile Arthritis

Juvenile Arthritis has become one of the nation’s most common childhood ailments.  Approximately 295,000 children suffer from several types of rheumatologic conditions which can greatly affect their ability to develop normally and lead active lives without pain.  Basic symptoms include tenderness, stiffness, pain or swelling of joints resulting in restricted movements and limited range of motion.
To date, the cause of rheumatoid arthritis remains an enigma and there is no cure, be it among children or adults.  It has not been found to be related to eating habits, vitamin deficiency or allergies, but maybe present in genes and triggered by unknown factors. Only after assessing the patient’s complete medical history can rheumatoid arthritis be diagnosed. For arthritic problems in children, evaluation should be done by a pediatric rheumatologist after joint swelling is present in two or more joints for six weeks.
Treatment concentrates on controlling inflammation, joint deformity and pain. While medications can be adopted as a first line of treatment, pediatric rheumatologists also encourage physical activity, occupational therapy and proper nutrition to manage symptoms.
Awareness is growing worldwide as July is declared the Juvenile Arthritis awareness month. If you would like to learn more please visit


Thursday, July 17, 2014

What is the definition of holistic wellness?

We define wellness as the optimum state of health for a person. Wellness is when the physical, mental and spiritual states of a person are in harmony with each other and are perfectly balanced. It is an ongoing journey and one that, according to circumstances, will change and can change you. This is also called holistic health. Holistic means ‘of the whole’. It is not only about the physical health or mental health, but includes the health of all parts of the body.
What is the importance of holistic health?
Very often, a person is sick and medicine is at a loss to define what the problem is. For example, a person could have psoriasis and the doctor could keep treating the patient with topical medication and oral medication. But it doesn’t always get cured with doses of medication, or it may recur again in some cases. In such cases, one needs to find the reason for the psoriasis. Very often, doctors have found that the underlying cause of the psoriasis is stress, where the patient would need a holistic treatment. They need not only the medication for their current symptoms, but they also need to de-stress which is a state of mind and not of the body. Holistic health tries to determine the underlying cause of problems and tries to treat the problem as a whole.
How is holistic health applied?
Let us take a simple case of alcoholism to explain how holistic wellness works. The physical results of alcoholism are liver damage, fatigue, cancer, kidney damage, unproductiveness, etc. But when approaching this problem from a holistic point of view, the person who is treating the patient will approach the problem in two ways.
The first one would be treating the physical problems that have risen out of alcoholism. The second part is delving deeper into the person’s life and trying to find out why the person turned to alcohol in the first place. It could be due to trauma, marital problems, loss of a job, etc. The doctor will try and get help for the patient by encouraging them to join support groups.
The spiritual aspect of this journey will be addressed too. A change to a healthy lifestyle, yoga, alternative medicine therapies are all recommended for holistic treatment. By working holistically, there are two advantages. The patient starts feeling better, and secondly there is less chance for a reoccurrence of the illness.
What are the different ways that we can practice an optimum state of wellness?
The best way to ensure that you are in a state of holistic wellness is to make sure that all the three aspects – physical, mental and spiritual wellness – are equally addressed. Some ways that you can ensure that you are on the path to holistic wellness are:
  •  Exercise regularly
  • Sleep well
  • Eat healthy and nutritious food
  • Stop all kinds of substance abuse
  • Lead an active lifestyle
  • Make your life more organized, so your stress level becomes less
  • Take some time out of your day for yourself, every day. It makes a big difference
  • Try and make your environment stress-free or at least try and lessen the stress in your life
  •  Meditate regularly
  •  Be productive

By following these small tips you can ensure holistic wellness!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Factors to consider when choosing your health center

Choosing a health center for your family is a decision that needs to be considered carefully.  The first step is to do research. Doing the research on finding a good health center may take a while. From your research you then want to consider your options. You will want to make the best choice for yourself and your family.
Some factors that play a part in your decision
Work plans
The company you work for might be affiliated with a health center. Check into what healthcare options may be available through your employment.
Get references
Ask around in your area, among your family and friends to find out which health centers they are using. You will get an idea of how good the services of the health center are, how affordable the services are, etc.
It is important to consider the proximity of the health center to your location. It would be wise to consider both your means of transportation and distance when considering which health center to use.
Quality of care
This can include the expertise and experience of the professionals in the health center, equipment and facilities. Also, consider if the doctors, staff and nurses in a health center are polite, considerate and compassionate.
Even though you and your family have health insurance, your actual expenses may often exceed what is covered, and you may have to pay from out of your own pocket. The important part is to find a health center that you feel comfortable with and one that has experienced doctors as well as offers quality care.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Tips for a healthy summer

Summer is a time for fun and games. But it is also a time where people need to be extra careful about their health with regards to the sun, and their eating and drinking habits. There must be a slight change in your lifestyle during summer. People tend to take care of themselves more in the winter while they tend to think that summer is a healthy season and don’t take enough precautions. These precautions will help keep you and your family healthy and enjoy the summer break. Here are a few tips to stay healthy this summer:
1.    Hydrate
Water is a must for summer. Drink plenty of water and keep yourself well hydrated. The body loses a lot of fluid because we sweat during the summer season. Many people do not realize that they are dehydrated. Dehydration can cause dizziness, nausea and can lead to other problems.
2.    Drink wisely
Hydrate with water. Hydrating does not include other types of liquids. Keep high calorie liquids like soda, milk, alcohol and juices to a minimum. It may taste good, it may make you feel fresh and it is fine to have a glass or two now and then, but do not replace water with other beverages.
3.    Eat a lot of fresh fruits and salads
Summer is the time when most fruits are in season and there is a reason why. It is healthy for you. So make a lot of healthy salads. Cold salads are great on a hot summer day.
4.    Use sunscreen
Sunscreen is not solely to be used if you are spending a day at the beach. During summer, it is advisable to use sunscreen whenever you go out. It protects your skin.
5.    Ventilate your home
Many people have centrally air conditioned homes and stay indoors in their cool homes, the whole day. But unfortunately, the air in the home can get stale, if not ventilated well. Make sure to either have fans to ventilate your home, or leave the doors and windows open early in the morning, to dispel the stale air.
6.    Exercise with care
If you are into fitness, make sure that you do your workout either in the early mornings or late evenings, when the weather has cooled down. Hydrate well when exercising.

Summer is a time to enjoy yourself so don’t hold back. Have fun but make sure that you are being careful in the process.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Counseling for pregnant women

Being pregnant and feeling a life grow within you is one of the most beautiful experiences to have for a woman. But, it is also a period of change and adapting, and having some help along the way is useful. There are three trimesters during a pregnancy, each bringing with it, new experiences, hormonal changes, and body changes. Going to a counselor during a pregnancy will help you and your partner understand, adapt and enjoy the joy of pregnancy.
Counseling through the first trimester 

During the first trimester there are many sudden changes to the body.
  • The shape of your body changes and the loss of control over the increasing weight gain and resulting change can upset many women.
  •  There are hormonal changes leading to mood swings and personality changes. There may be a tendency to be more aggressive or in others it could lead to depression.
  •  The first trimester is when you may have nausea and fatigue. If you don’t understand that these changes are normal, you may get stressed.
  •  As a couple, the changes to his partner may affect the way the man feels about  his partner and this in turn may add to the stress in the pregnant woman.

A counselor can advice you on the changes that you can expect during the first trimester. They can help explain behavioral changes. They can also counsel the couple and help the man understand that his partner needs his understanding and love more than ever at this time. If there is any problem at this point of the pregnancy physically to the baby or to you, the help of a counselor will be invaluable.
Counseling during the second trimester
The second trimester is usually more peaceful than the first. Your body has adapted to the changes, and for most people the nausea and fatigue disappear. In fact, they may have an increased energy level. Partners also get used to the changes and it is a time of loving and sharing the anticipation of the arrival of a baby. Some people have anxiety issues during this time. They sometimes feel they have bitten off more than they can chew. This is the time that the movements of the baby can be felt. The reality of impending parenthood can send some people into a panic.
Being in touch with your counselor can alleviate the feelings of anxiety. Talking about what upsets you or your partner could help ease tension. The less stress a pregnant woman is under, the better for the baby. The counselor would advise you to start classes to help with the birth of the baby. They will be able to advise you on the various options available for birthing, and help you choose one that is suitable for you.
Counseling during the third trimester
Quite often panic sets in during the third trimester, as the due date approaches. At this time, there are again hormonal changes in the body, as the body gets ready to have the baby. Many women get scared as the ninth month comes around about the birthing process, and the pain that they may have to go through. A counselor can be a great comfort at this time. Many counselors will have support groups where you can hear from new mothers on what to expect and all the choices that you have to ease the pain of birthing. This helps al lot in easing stress.
Counseling during and after pregnancy can help you and your partner enjoy the experience of impending parenthood and enjoy the joy that a new baby will bring to your lives.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Different types of substances abuse

There are many reasons why people start unhealthy practices like smoking, drinking alcohol and other kinds of substance abuse. Some of the reasons could be:
Peer pressure
Many young people start on this track to an unhealthy lifestyle because they want to be accepted by their peers.
Personal issues
Some start unhealthy habits to cope with personal problems. It could be loss of a job, a divorce or separation, depression over the loss of a loved one or a move that they are not happy with.
Social issues
Some turn to substance abuse when they feel ostracized by friends or family. They become reclusive and depressed and they find release and relaxation with some kind of addictive substance.
There are a whole lot of other reasons for substance abuse. It is important to find the underlying reason for the substance abuse, as only then can help be given.
The 2012 National Household Survey on Drug Abuse estimated the number of users of illicit drugs in the United States ages 12 and over to be about 24 million. In addition, the survey estimated that 6.8% of Americans abuse or are dependent on alcohol (down from 7.7% in 2002), and 22% of Americans smoke cigarettes (down from 26 percent in 2002)
Different kinds of substance abuse
To help someone, one needs to understand what the problem. There are many kinds of substances that provide a release from anxiety and depression by altering perception, concentration and attention. Some of them are:
·        Tobacco
Tobacco is one of the main health hazards. The main addictive ingredient in tobacco is nicotine. Tobacco releases a hormone that lowers anxiety. Smokers usually increase their intake of tobacco when stressed.
·        Alcohol
People think that alcohol is a stress buster and a pick me up when it actually dulls the senses. In large amounts it can cause liver, kidney and even brain damage
·        Marijuana
Many places now allow marijuana for medical purposes. But when abused, it can become a terrible habit, dulling the senses and causing impairment in concentration. Another big reason to avoid getting hooked on marijuana is that once the body gets used to the effects of marijuana, it becomes immune to it. Then users usually progress to harder and more dangerous drugs.
·       Cocaine, heroin, methamphetamines, ecstasy etc. are drugs that are very addictive. As your body gets used to the substance, the amount the body needs to sustain the feeling of pleasure increases. This could result in an overdose which could prove fatal.
Help for people who have substance abuse problems
A person who has a substance abuse problem needs counseling to help them overcome the addiction. They have to be ready to accept the help. Unless they want to give up their addiction, you may not be able to make them. Many come forward themselves and ask for help, when they see that what they are doing is affecting their life and the lives of their loved ones. There are many support groups that help people with different kinds of abuse problems.

Being aware of the dangers that they face due to substance abuse, and seeing the support that they get from friends and family help people overcome their problems. Counseling will usually be individual and with family. This helps the family understand the symptoms and pain that the individual is going through in their fight against their addiction. Counseling sessions help addicts to vent their feelings, and deal with the problems they face. Only then, can they overcome the addiction and make sure that they do not fall under the influence again.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Diabetes and Peripheral Neuropathy

Many people are not aware that there is any connection between diabetes and peripheral neuropathy. Sometimes, neuropathy is the first signs that you may have diabetes. In the same way if you are a diabetic you may manifest symptoms of neuropathy.
About 60% to 70% of all people with diabetes will eventually develop peripheral neuropathy, although not all suffer pain. Yet this nerve damage is not inevitable. Studies have shown that people with diabetes can reduce their risk of developing nerve damage by keeping their blood sugar levels as close to normal as possible.
Let us take a look at diabetes and peripheral neuropathy
When the sugar levels in your body go up over the normal parameters, you are diagnosed as a diabetic. There are different types of diabetes. There are:
  • Juvenile diabetes
  • Type1 diabetes
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Gestational diabetes
  • Adult diabetes
  • Elderly diabetes
Some of these may overlap one another. For example, juvenile diabetes may disappear after the child reaches a certain age. Gestational diabetes crops up when a woman is pregnant. Adult diabetes can be Type 1 or Type 2. Elderly diabetes can also be either, but is happens as a part of aging.
Peripheral neuropathy
This could be a side effect of diabetes or a precursor to the fact that you are on your way to being a diabetic. The symptoms of neuropathy are:
  1. Numbness of the extremities
  2. Tingling in the extremities
  3. Feeling of pins and needles
  4. A prickly sensation
  5. A burning sensation
  6. Coldness of hands and feet
  7. Buzzing
  8. Sharp pinpoints of pain
  9. Stabbing pains
  10. Cramps
These symptoms are quite often worse at night. If you are a diabetic be on the lookout for these sensations.
      Sensitivity to touch. You will have a heightened sensitivity to touch, heat and cold
       Weakness in the muscles. You find it difficult to carry things, get up and sit down, walk, climb stairs etc.
       Problems with balancing. You may feel giddy headed and have problems with co ordination. This is caused by muscle damage.
         Fatigue. A feeling of always being tired.
If you aren’t a diabetic and you are experiencing these symptoms, you should see a doctor immediately and get our blood sugar tested to check if you have diabetes.
Get yourself checked as soon as possible
The combination of diabetes and neuropathy can be quite serious, and you should make sure that you are getting the best medical attention possible. Chronically high blood sugar levels can damage nerves. It may start in the extremities, but may soon spread to other parts of the body. Once the nerves are damages the messages between the brain and various parts of your body gets disrupted. So you will have unsteadiness, difficulty in co ordination, difficulty in talking etc, because of nerve damage.
You will also not be able to feel heat, cold, wounds, blisters etc. For example, if you get an infection or a wound, you may not feel pain because of nerve damage and when you do finally see a doctor, it may be too late as people with high blood sugar do not heal fast. This could also prove life threatening or may result in the loss of a limb.
The consequences can be life-threatening. An infection that won't heal because of poor blood flow causes risk for developing ulcers and can lead to amputation and even death.
If you have any of the above symptoms or if you are a diabetic, take your health seriously and see a doctor.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Finding a good dentist in the Bay Area

Most people take their teeth for granted. According to dentist and health experts, you should see a dentist every six months, to make sure that there are no problems. Do you know that many illnesses first manifest in the mouth? Ulcers and infections in the mouth could be precursors to some underlying medical problem. So it is important to have a regular dental checkup.
What are the factors that you have to consider when choosing a dentist?
  • Experience- It is always good to pick your dentist depending on how much experience they have. The more experience they have, the more that you can be assured that they will be able to diagnose your problem and give you the correct treatment.
  • Qualification- Make sure that the dentist that you pick is properly qualified. Good dentists will be listed and will have their qualifications available for you to take a look at. Do some research
  • Word of mouth- This sounds simple but actually is a good way to find an experienced dentist. If someone you know has a good dentist, and can recommend them to you, that gives you an assurance of the experience and work of the dentist
  • Location- Many people do not think of location when picking a dentist, as they feel that there is no way that they could have a dental emergency. But if you do have a dental problem at some point, and need to see the dentist often, isn’t it better to have a dentist who is close by.
  • Hours- this is another factor that people don’t consider when choosing a dentist. On a regular day, making an appointment and going for a dental checkup is okay. But if you have a sudden toothache or any other dental problems that may need immediate attention, then it is better to have a dentist who you can call at odd hours. Another reason why you should check the hours of the dentist is to see if it works for you in regard to your job timing or your children’s school timing etc.
  • Cost- When it is an emergency nobody minds paying whatever it takes to find release from the pain. But on a regular basis for ordinary checkups, you need a dentist who will suit your budget.
  • Rapport-You need to find a dentist that you have a good rapport with. Many people gave a big fear of a dental visit. So it is important to have a dentist who makes you feel comfortable and listens to your needs.
  • Emergency- You need to make sure that your dentist is there for you during an emergency. There is no harm in checking what emergency procedures your dentist will follow when you first visit them. Good dentists will have a protocol that should set your mind at ease.
  • Dental License- You can check with your state licensing board on the credentials of your dentist.

As you can see, finding a good dentist needs some time and effort because you are putting your teeth in their care. A dentist is usually for life, so when picking a dentist make sure that you have done your research well. If your dentist is retiring or moving, she/he would be the best person to suggest a new dentist for you to go to.
Take care of your teeth
Healthy teeth mean healthy bodies. By having a regular dental check up, you will ensure that your teeth last long and risk of illnesses and infections is kept at bay.

Thursday, April 10, 2014



Patient-Centered Medical Home (TM) 2011 standards emphasize enhanced care through patient- clinician partnership

WASHINGTON, DC- The National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) today announced that Indian Health Center of Santa Clara Valley has received  Recognition from the Patient-Centered Medical Home 2011 (PCMH 2011) program for using evidence-based, patient-centered processes that focus on highly coordinated care and long term participative relationships.

The patient-centered medical home is a model of care emphasizing care coordination and communication to transform primary care into “what patients want it to be.” Research shows that medical homes can lead to higher and lower costs, and improve patients ‘ and providers’ reported experiences of care. The PCMH identifies practices that promote partnerships between individual patients and their personal clinicians, instead of treating patient care as the sum of several episodic office visits. Each patient’s care is tended to by clinician –led care teams, who provide for all the patient’s health care needs and coordinate treatments across the healthcare system. Medical home clinicians demonstrate the benchmarks of patient- centered care, including open scheduling, expanded hours and appropriate use of proven health information systems.

“The patient-centered medical home raises the bar in defining high-quality care by emphasizing access, health information technology and partnerships between clinicians and patients,  “ said NCQA President Margaret E. Okane. PCMH Recognition shows that Indian Health Center of Santa Clara Valley has the tools, systems and resources to provide their patients with the right care at the right time.”

To receive recognition, which is valid for three years , Indian Health Center of Santa Clara Valley demonstrated the ability to meet the program’s key elements embodying characteristics of the medical home.

The standards are aligned with the joint principles of the Patient-Centered Medical Home established with the American College of Physicians, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Osteopathic Association.

Indian Health Center of Santa Clara Valley met key program components in the following areas:
·       Written standards for patient access and continuity of care
·       Use of patient feedback materials
·       Appropriate use of charting tools to track patients and organize clinical information
·       Responsive care management techniques with an emphasis on preventive care for individual patients and for the entire patient population
·       Adaptation to patient’s cultural and linguistic needs
·       Use of information technology for prescriptions, test and referral tracking and coordination with other health care providers
·       Use of evidence-based guidelines to treat chronic conditions
·       Measurement and reporting of clinical and service performance

To find clinicians and their practices that have been recognized by the Patient-Centered Medical Home 2011 program please visit For further information, contact NCQA Customer Support at (888) 275-7585.

About NCQA

NCQA is a private, non-profit organization dedicated to improving health care quality. NCQA accredits and certifies a wide range of health care organizations. It also recognizes clinicians and practices in key areas of performance. NCQA’s Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEIDS(R) ) is the most widely used performance measurement tool in health care. NCQA is committed to providing health care quality information for consumers, purchasers, health care providers and researchers.

Friday, March 28, 2014

STD Testing and Treatment

Most people are not aware that some sexually transmitted diseases can be cured. They are caused by infections that get passed through sexual contact. Most sexually transmitted diseases do not show any outward symptoms , so people who are infected may not even be aware of it. This is one of the reasons that these diseases are so infectious. When people are not aware that they have an STD they do not use any protection during sexual contact, and their infection gets passed on. It is lack of infection, awareness and the possibility of social stigma that stops people from looking for help.
The different kinds of STDs
·         Chlamydia
·         Gonorrhea
·         Genital Herpes
·         HIV/AIDS
·         Human Papillomavirus (HPV)
·         Syphilis
·         Bacterial Vaginosis
·         Trichomoniasis
·         Viral Hepatitis


This is a common STD/STI which is caused by a bacterium called Chlamydia trachomatis. It is transmitted through vaginal, oral, or anal sexual contact with a person who is infected. It is usually accompanied by pain, fever and discharge in their genital areas.


Gonorrhea is caused by Neisseria gonorrhoeae. This is also a bacterium which multiplies rapidly in the reproductive tract when a person gets infected. Some symptoms of gonorrheal infection is pain when urinating and discharge in the genital areas.

Genital Herpes

This a very infectious disease cause by a virus- herpes simplex virus. There are actually two strains of this virus, and both can cause genital herpes. A large number of people do not show any symptoms and so are carriers of this illness. So, they may not be aware that they have it and could unknowingly pass it on. Herpes manifests as blisters on the face and body and the infected person usually has cold sores on the lips. It is a very painful infection if not treated immediately. In severe cases, blisters can appear inside the mouth and in the genital area.


People who suffer from AIDS have been long ostracized and treatment denied to them. But the world is aware now that AIDS is not passed by casual contact and people are getting help for it. The HIV virus destroys the immune system of the body and kills the cells that fight infection. Most people with HIV succumb to other illnesses that affect them because of low immunity.

Human Papillomavirus

This is the most common STD, and can affect men and women. It causes genital warts and can even lead to cancer in severe attacks.


Syphilis is caused by the bacterium Treponema pallidum. Usually the first symptom of syphilis is a genital sore and then it spreads outwards from there. Syphilis is curable if treated immediately.

Bacterial Vaginosis and Trichomoniasis

It is normal for genital areas to have bacteria. But sometimes due to hormonal imbalance or other problems, the bacteria may multiply, causing infections. The former is a vaginal infection that happens in women of reproductive age. The latter can affect men and women, and can be passed through sexual contact.

Viral Hepatitis

Viral hepatitis is a serious liver disease that can occur due to several different viruses, and can be transmitted through sexual contact.

Use protection

STDs are quite common and more than half of us will get one at some time in our lives. The good news is that we can protect ourselves and prevent passing on the infectious STDs. Practicing safe sex reduces the risk of getting a sexually transmitted disease. If you fear that you may have an STD, get tested immediately. The earlier you get help, the better the chances of recovery.
It is always better to be safe than sorry.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Common geriatric problems

Aging is not easy and most people try to be as independent as possible for as long as they can. But age creeps up on you, nevertheless. These days, seniors look after themselves and try to lead a healthy lifestyle. So, they are able to remain active and healthy longer. But there are some problems that eventually arise. Some common geriatric problems that seniors face are:
1.      Loss of cognition due to diseases like alzheimer’s and dementia
2.      Depression
3.      Hearing problems
4.      Joint pain
5.      Visual impairment
Some of these problems can be treated with drugs and simple aids but for others there is no cure, and the elderly and their caregivers have to learn to understand, accept and learn to cope with these problems.

Loss of cognition

As people age, there is usually memory loss. Memory loss is a general term that may include some or all of the following:
·         Loss of concentration
·         Not being able to recognize people they know
·         Loss of reasoning
·         Forgetfulness
These symptoms could be because of the onset of Alzheimer’s or dementia. Dementia is related to aging and affects a large percent of the elderly. Alzheimer’s is hereditary. Neither have a cure, but there has been a lot of research done on these geriatric problems, and there are many resources available on how to deal with it.


Many elderly people feel depressed. There are many reasons for this. They get frustrated when they need help doing simple things. Their memory loss causes them to be forgetful, and this can get quite annoying over time. If their partners have passed on, loneliness could cause depression. Having to depend on caregivers to take of their personal hygiene could be embarrassing. Most people lead an active life and having to compromise that may cause depression. There are several prescription drugs that can be given to help calm them.

Hearing problems

A lot of senior citizens refuse to get medical help when their hearing starts to fail. They feel that if they do, they are giving in to old age. But, with the help of hearing aids, people can hear well for a very long time. There are also surgical options to help with hearing problems.

Joint pains

This is inevitable with age. After a lifetime of use, the body tends to start wearing away. Most problems are related to the joints. Different types of arthritis can cause joint pain. There may come a time where the senior would have to consider a joint replacement surgery to continue being mobile. There are drugs and topical creams to help alleviate joint pains. Funnily, exercise can help relieve joint pains. But a senior should find a workout program that helps them. Yoga, senior pilates and stretches are good to help relieve joint pains.

Vision problems

Our eyes grow weaker as we age, so there will come a point where you would need glasses to help you read. Usually, the power of a person who wears glasses later in life does not increase much. It is just part of aging. But other problems like glaucoma, if not treated could make the vision so bad that a person could be almost blind. A person who has glaucoma sees the world as a blur of shapeless forms and figures. This can be helped with surgery.

Coping with geriatric problems

As a person grows older, they should have regular health checkups. There are geriatric doctors who specialize in treating the elderly. If you or someone you know is going through some kind of geriatric problem, consult a doctor. There will be help available for their problem.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Why are regular pediatric checkups important?

There are people in this day and age who still go to a general practitioner for any ailment that they or their family may have. If it’s a mild case of a running nose or a slight fever, that may be a good idea. But it is important to go to specialists for more specific ailments. The same way it is important to take your child to a pediatrician and not to a general practitioner for their checkups, even if they are routine. This is because pediatricians have more experience working with children and will notice certain symptoms and can diagnose illnesses more effectively than a general practitioner.
In a nutshell, pediatricians will take care of the physical, emotional, and social health of infants, pre adolescents, pre teens, and young adults. Many people stop seeing pediatricians once they’re around 16 but according to health definitions pediatricians can look after the welfare of children from birth to 21 years. They have been trained in the assessment, prevention, management and detection of the mental, physical, developmental, and social problems that children may face.

What are the dangers that face children? 

The whole world is a dangerous place to an infant. From the safety of their mother’s womb, they have been thrown into a world of germs and viruses. They need good care. Infants are susceptible to a variety of illnesses. There are many immunizations that protect children from these illnesses. The pediatrician will administer these immunizations and keep a record of them, and make sure the correct prevention is given at the correct time.
As infants grow into toddlers, they start playing with other children. The spectrum of illnesses that they can be exposed to is much more. There may also be cuts and bruises, falls and breaks that need tending to.
Up to the age of nine or ten, children will still be susceptible to infections more easily than adults. Some children might show signs of developmental problems which may be recognized in school. A pediatrician will be able to help the child and the families cope with dealing with these problems. There may be children who still cling on to child like behavior, are still bed wetting etc. These may be related to some kind of mental or social problems that the child may be facing at home or school. Obesity is rising in the country and it is important that your child is eating healthy food and leading a healthy lifestyle.
The teenage years can be very trying for many children. Their immunity levels may have gone up as they grow older and therefore their susceptibility to infections may have gone down. But there are whole host of new problems that face teenagers. Problems in school, sex education, bullying in schools etc are among the many issues that children need help dealing with. Their pediatrician will be someone they are familiar with and someone they trust. What they do not want to tell their families, they may find easier to tell an outsider they trust.
As you can see, a pediatrician’s role in a child’s life doesn’t stop at infancy. They need to be a part of the child’s life for a long time. The pediatrician will know the history of your child, from all the illnesses they have had, to all the issues they have had to deal with. It is important therefore to make a pediatric check up a regular routine in your child’s life. If you do that, illnesses and other problems can be detected early on and help given.
Make time for the pediatrician!


Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Control your Type 2 Diabetes

What is Type 2 Diabetes? 

Most of us know what diabetes is. But did you know that there were different types of diabetes? Type 2 diabetes is a kind of diabetes that strikes a person after a certain age. It is also called non insulin dependent diabetes, as usually it can be controlled by a healthy lifestyle. But with childhood obesity on the increase, there have been an increasing occurrence of this kind of diabetes in people who are younger. Type 2 diabetes has been found to be linked to obesity.

What causes Type 2 diabetes? 

When a person gets affected by Type 2 diabetes, the pancreas starts producing insufficient amounts of insulin. Insulin is the hormone that controls the blood glucose levels in an individual. The body also builds up something called insulin resistance. It is a Catch 22 situation as insulin resistance increases obesity as the body does not use its sugar sufficiently to produce energy. On the other hand, the body becomes sluggish and it is difficult for a person to lose weight.

What are symptoms of Type 2 diabetes? 

This kind of diabetes causes a number of symptoms that can include some or all of the following.
·         The person is excessively thirsty
·         Urine output becomes more
·         Fatigue
·         Skin ailments
·         Scratchiness
·         Allergies

Preventing Type 2 diabetes 

As ever, prevention is better than cure. You can prevent the onset of Type 2 diabetes by following a few simple tips.
·         Make sure that you exercise regularly
·         Make sure that you eat healthy food
·         Eat at regular times
·         Prevent substance abuse
·         Lead a healthy lifestyle
Sometimes Type 2 diabetes is hereditary, and even with following a healthy lifestyle a person can succumb to this illness.

Controlling your diabetes 

The most important part of diabetes control is controlling your sugar levels. This may mean dietary and lifestyle changes. Your doctor and nutritionist will be able to help you figure this out. They may also ask you to have some kind of exercise plan to help.  
For some sufferers of Type 2 diabetes, treatment with dietary changes and tablets is not entirely effective for diabetes management, and they may then need insulin injections.

Help for people who suffer from diabetes 

In earlier days, people had to visit the doctor often to keep track of their diabetes. But these days there are a number of ways in which you can check your own diabetes. There are devices available that allow a person to check their own sugar levels every day. There are applications that will help you keep track of the food that you are eating, and the exercise that you are doing.
But of course no app can take the place of a regular visit to the doctor. These apps are to help you manage your everyday lifestyle. You should record your routine carefully and take it along with you when you see a doctor. The doctor will be able to tell you what you are doing right and what you are doing wrong. A regular visit to a nutritionist is also important as they will make sure that you are having a balanced diet, and not missing out on important nutrients while trying to manage your weight and your diabetes. Counseling is also a good idea when dealing with diabetes, as this can be a frustrating journey. Dealing with diabetes on an everyday basis is not easy and getting counseled will help. Your family should also accompany you for the counseling as they will be part of your support group.
With a little care and effort, you should be able to cope with diabetes effectively.