Male Yeast Infection – More Common in Uncircumcised Men

Male yeast infection in uncircumcised men is much more common than in those who are circumcised. It’s that extra foreskin that proves to be the reason for this. Let me explain.

Yeast is a fungus that lives on every surface of our bodies. Everyone has it, it’s just part of who we are.

The body is an incredible creation and it has the ability to heal itself when given the proper environment to do so. In order to keep it running in tip-top shape, there are checks and balances to keep everything in control and functioning properly. This applies to the amount of yeast we have in our bodies as well. Along with the yeast, we have good bacteria that keep the yeast under control. When the eco system of the body is altered in some way, things get out of whack and don’t work as they should. That’s when the checks and balance system breaks down and you are prone to conditions and disease that are not normal. In this case, the yeast gets out of control and causes a yeast infection.

There are many factors that can cause a yeast overgrowth among men such as:

  • steroid use
  • antibiotics
  • sexual intercourse with someone with a yeast infection
  • condoms containing Nonoxynol-9
  • diabetes
  • compromised immune system
  • allergies
  • poor hygiene
  • chemical allergies (detergent, cologne, clothing dyes)

Yeast is a very common problem among both men and women, though a male yeast infection is much less common than in females. Many male yeast infections go untreated because men don’t think of it as a male problem.

Yeast loves to live in warm, moist environments. The following areas are an ideal breeding ground for it:

  • penis
  • scrotum
  • groin
  • anus
  • between the thighs
  • armpits
  • under any flap of fat that hangs down and overlaps the skin
  • mouth

Obviously if yeast thrives in warm, moist places, an uncircumcised man has the perfect breeding ground within the penis foreskin. This area is the ideal place for bacteria and fungus to thrive because it’s dark, warm, and it holds moisture. It’s important for all men to keep their genital area clean and dry in order to avoid odors but it’s doubly important for uncircumcised men to pay close attention to their personal hygiene.

In addition to personal hygiene, there are other factors that come into play pertaining to a male yeast infection. It’s possible that you may be having an allergic reaction to some type of chemical in your clothing or in your brand of condoms or lubricants. There are many companies who are offering unscented products now because of the allergic reactions many people are having to the perfumes and dyes put into these products.

Any type of illness that compromises your immune system can be the major cause of getting an infection. People with HIV, Lyme disease, etc. have a hard time avoiding and getting rid of these type of infections. Diabetes is another illness that tends to be a factor in male yeast infections.

Taking steroids is so bad for you in so many ways. I won’t get on my soap box about them right now, but just know that steroids will cause yeast infections.

Antibiotics kill the good bacteria in your body that keeps the yeast in check. You can try to avoid this by asking for an anti-fungal pill from your doctor when they prescribe antibiotics. Of course you should only take that type of pill if you’re particularly prone to these types of infections.

If you happen to be uncircumcised and have a yeast infection now or have had one in the past, here are some things you can do to help prevent getting another one:

  • clean your genital area daily and make sure it’s completely dry
  • wash your penis immediately after having sex and dry it completely
  • avoid the use of condoms containing Nonoxynol-9
  • change lubricants
  • change your laundry detergent to another brand that is unscented
  • only wear white, unbleached underwear
  • try looser fitting underwear – boxers vs. briefs

If you follow these simple guidelines, you’ll most likely cut down or eliminate future infections.

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) And Sperm Allergy

There are rare disorders, which affect a woman’s fertility, and yet which are not ‘household names’ so-to-speak, even among those women who would consider themselves to be well-informed about woman’s health issues. If you talk to women about Polycystic Ovary Syndrome and Sperm Allergy, you are likely to get a few raised eyebrows. This might be due to the fact that they are considered to be somewhat rare. Females attempting to get pregnant want to be as well-read on fertility-related issues as possible.

Here is a brief overview these two disorders:

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome: This is an endocrine disorder that affects approx. 5% to 10% of women are of child bearing age, and which is a leading cause of infertility. The symptoms vary significantly in women. Women with this disorder have higher than normal levels of male hormones (all women have both male and female hormones). The excessive amounts of masculinizing (androgenic) hormone result in increased hair growth and irregular or absent menstrual cycles (anovulation), and small-fluid filled cysts on their ovaries. If a woman is pregnant or trying to conceive, she needs to consult with a doctor before taking any medication to deal with the increased hair, since they can affect the development of a fetus. Polycystic Ovary Syndrome is also strongly correlated and to diabetes, obesity, and the body producing too much insulin.

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome affects ovulation. Different medications can be prescribed to help the ovaries release eggs. IVF can be used to help a woman with PCOS conceive. There is also a laparoscopic procedure which may be considered, although it is not considered as a first option. A small portion of the ovary is destroyed by a small electric current. This intervention can decrease the production of male hormones and increase ovulation.

The exact cause of PCOS is unknown. There may be a genetic factor, but further testing is needed.

There is no cure for PCOS.

Sperm Allergy: Females can suffer from a sperm allergy, or human seminal plasma hypersensitivity, which is a rare allergic reaction to seminal fluids, or sensitivity to semen.

The best way to test for such an allergy is to use a condom during intercourse. If the symptoms go away with the use of a condom, this is a possible. In mild cases, there usually are no symptoms. In more severe cases, symptoms may include vaginal itching, redness, swelling, or blisters within 30 minutes of contact. They may also include generalized itching, hives, and even difficulty breathing.

Both mild and severe allergies may interfere with a couple trying to conceive. Up to 25% of couples experiencing difficulties conceiving may have sperm allergies. Of those with such an allergy, 20% to 40% are able to conceive with the help of artificial insemination or an Assisted Reproductive Technology treatment.

A woman consulting a fertility specialist is well-advised to share any medical concerns that she has, whether or not she can see a direct correlation between the concern and her attempts to become pregnant. Fertility specialists are trained to see links between fertility and health-issues.

Anxiety and Depersonalization Fueled By Energy Drinks

Consumer alert, as loosely regulated, highly commercialized energy drinks are victimizing those who believe the hype. Serious health issues are being noted by innocent consumers who bought into the false claims surrounding these potentially dangerous drinks.

The ingredients of high energy drinks revolve around massive doses of caffeine, inordinate amounts of sugar and other unnecessary so-called vitamins. Two small drinks containing the “vitamin rich” ingredients often lead to severe reactions such as vitamin toxicity, especially concerning B vitamins (B6 and Niacin). Another ingredient known as Guarana is basically another form of caffeine, adding to the existing overload of caffeine in this potentially dangerous cocktail. This adds up to concentrated doses of caffeine, greater by nearly nine times the amount in coffee. This is not only risky to those who are already prone to anxiety but dangerous to one’s physical health as well.

Side Effects of Energy Drinks

– Severe Anxiety, Panic Attacks, Increase in DP and OCD symptoms.

– Serious Heart Problems including cardiac arrhythmias, cardiac contractions and cardiac arrest.

– Dehydration caused by extreme sugar content.

– Insomnia, nocturnal panic attacks, sleep disturbances. heart shakes.

– High Blood Pressure

– Tremors

– Irritability

– Mood Swings

– Vitamin Toxicity

– Palpitations

These so-called energy enhancers create more mental and physical problems than the imaginary benefits they offer. Sadly, many are drawn in by the commercialization of these products and victimized by very frightening reactions.

B vitamins are helpful when taken correctly but it has been cited that merely two energy drinks have resulted in levels greater than daily recommended allowances, resulting in flushing of skin and often B6 toxicity. High sugar levels impair absorption of fluids in the body and often lead to dehydration.

Emergency rooms are filled with those who believed a little energy boost would help them negotiate their day, only to experience severe, interfering symptoms of anxiety, panic, unreality and contractions of the heart.

Most deal with occasional sleepless nights, hoping to summon additional energy the next morning but have learned it is best to deal with fatigue through a more natural approach.

Fatigue Busters:

– Drink plenty of hydrating fluids.

– Moderate exercise, preferably outdoors.

– Nutritious Meals, (lean protein, whole grain and fresh fruits)

– Do not skip meals.

– Frequent Exercise breaks.

– Proper rest and full night sleep.

– Stress Reducing Techniques

– Sunlight

– Breathing corrections.

– Hot beverage, rather than highly caffeinated drinks

– Correct Circadian Rhythm by healthier sleep routines.

An overload of caffeine seems to last interminably long for anyone who is prone to anxiety reactions. Therefore, these highly caffeinated formulas must be avoided at all costs by anyone with a history of anxiety or anxiety related conditions such as depersonalization, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) or irritable bowel syndrome.

Above all, Buyer Beware when it comes to these potentially dangerous products. Read the warnings and believe them. Any product with the capability to interfere with the rhythm of one’s heart and/or central nervous system is not to be treated lightly.

An informed consumer is a smart one. Avoid these difficulties before they begin by knowing the truth behind the products and knowing yourself. Most of these emergency room episodes are clearly avoidable when one investigates common adverse reactions to these potentially dangerous formulas and goes deeper than the deluge of commercialized hype.

Severe Depression – The Worst of Its Kind?

Severe Depression occurs when the illness is in its worse stages. Too many Americans will not seek help for this disorder until it is so severe that it takes years to bring under control. Depression of some type afflicts 15 million people in the USA annually. Medical attention will only be sought by about 4.5 million of these people. They try to hide it, wish it away, because of fear of being labeled crazy or insane. The problem is that Sever Depression will not be wished away. The condition gets worse and those afflicted will lose control.

Many Americans are too ashamed to admit they are afflicted. Severe depression does not make you sub-human. It doesn’t make you less of a human. Depression is a disease like any other disease. Medical care is needed. The normal symptoms of depression are multiplied in severe cases. The illness and its effects get much much worse. It becomes harder to deal with every day situations. Negative feelings intensify to make you a total loner. This disease can’t be avoided. Treatment is possible. Attacking it in its early stage is a key.

The ability to identify the symptoms associated with depression is essential in the process of diagnosis and treatment. Depression is associated with many symptoms. A transparent one is that the sufferer will withdraw into themselves. Dealing with other people becomes too difficult. They cannot overcome their feelings of guilt, hopelessness and uselessness. They always seem angry and short tempered. In some cases of severe depression people claim to hear evil spirits whispering in their ear. Suicide often becomes a way out for victims of severe depression. It takes treatment and a great deal of support from loved ones to help people with the disease..

Severe depression is terrible. Those who suffer it cannot live normal lives, as they once knew it. There is no feeling like the feeling of losing self-control. Hope is slim, but treatment is hope. Typically, anti-depressants and ‘talk therapy’ are prescribed to treat depression. There are also many support groups available to assist these individuals to adjust in society. Once victims seek treatment they can be put on the road to a better life. They can again be the ruler of their own domain. But first the illness must be admitted and treatment sought.

Anxiety Of Death – How to Get Rid of Phobia of Death?

Anxiety of death, also known as death phobia or necrophobia, is the most common type of phobia that scares the hell out of its victims. It is the result of the unconscious mind that acts to protect itself from possible threats. In most cases, these are past seen or witnessed events in life that have a connection to death that resulted, although not always necessarily linked to serious emotional trauma. Such situations lead to an aftermath containing emotional turmoil, potentially for the rest of any person’s life, if left untreated.

Anxiety of death is normal. However, if this overpowers you, it would be best for you to steer clear from the triggers. However, you cannot do this forever for the rest of your life since you will only be avoiding a predator that will inevitably consume you in time. You must learn to face it. Your unreasonable phobia of death will not go away on its own.

If you’re afraid of dying through drowning, start by learning how to swim in the kid’s pool. Once you get good at it, you can level up by going to a deeper pool. You don’t have to rush it. You can stay on the edge of the pool where you can get a grip on the railing or the concrete. With a number visits to that pool and submerging your whole body for a number of times, you should try swimming. Still, near the end of the pool where you can easily reach the concrete. After relieving yourself from too much fear, you can now try swimming short distances in the pool and gradually go for the whole length. If you’re successful with this, you can go to a bigger body of water.

This is just a specific example on how to control your fear of death. Aquaphobia (fear of large bodies of water) is a different form of phobia. The main point in the example is the fear of dying through drowning and not the fear of water.

Since your mind is being bullied by the anxiety of death, you should teach it to think logically. Tell it that you’ll die anyways and that there’s no reason for you to fear it more than anyone else does. Everything and everyone dies. And your life will be well-spent if you kill that unreasonable fear before nature and time kills you.

If it helps you to understand, read the Bible. Even if not for the reason of faith, you can still do it for intellectual purposes. It will give your fear direction and possibly give you a more acceptable view over death if you embrace its teachings.

You should also try to relax. Think of what will happen if you die. If you do die, there will no longer be any fears- your soul is free. You can either spend your eternity in heaven or burn in hell. If you die, it will no longer be your problem. Your death will eliminate your anxiety of death. It’s as simple as that. But before you grab that rope or open that bottle of bleach, remember to enjoy your life to the fullest first. There are effective treatments available to stop phobia of death. So you can put those things down now.

In order to eliminate this problem and prevent any panic attacks that it may cause, you should put an end to the cycle before it completes itself. If you haven’t experienced any attacks yet, well, good for you. If you already have had attacks, stopping the cycle is the key. A program in the name of Panic Away greatly explains this technique in detail.

10 Over The Counter Supplements for Relieving Anxiety

Anxiety and depression are common disorders that many people suffer from. Doctors and scientists will agree that good nutrition and the right combination of vitamins and supplements can reduce or even alleviate the need for prescription based medications. There are several different supplements that may help bring anxiety under control. All of these supplements can be purchased over the counter without a prescription. Consulting a health professional before taking any new supplements is always recommended, especially if they are going to be added with prescription medication.

Passion Flower (Passiflora Incarnata)

Passion Flower is an herbal supplement. The leaves, petals, and stems of the plant are used in making teas or tinctures. When in tea form it may be mixed with other calming herbs to increase its effectiveness. Tinctures can be added to juice or other drinks and taken as needed. Passion flower is primarily used as a calming agent to help with anxiety or insomnia. Doctors agree that is does work as well as some prescription drugs for aiding in anxiety disorders, however, there are few studies on how it actually works. It is theorized that it increases the production of GABA (gamma aminobutyric acid) in the brain. GABA is an amino acid that helps calm and reduce hyper-activity which is why passion flower has become such a popular supplement for treating children.

Valerian Root (Valeriana Officinalis)

Valerian Root is another herbal supplement that is highly regarded for its calming abilities. The root of the plant is ground and used either is tea or pill form. The tea is extremely pungent for people with sensitivity to taste it may be a bit hard to swallow. The pills are generally is gel cap form and are easy to take. Valerian root is thought of as a general sedative and is used to treat both anxiety and insomnia. There are no known side effects, but patients should be careful is they are mixing it with other sedative based prescriptions. This is another herbal supplement that increases the production of GABA in the brain.

St. John’s Wort (Hypericum Perforatum)

St. Johns Wort is one of the herbal supplements that is frequently compared to prescription based drugs such as Prozac. It is generally available for purchase in pill, tea or tinctures. St. John’s Wort has been widely tested for its properties as an anti-depressant and sedative. It is frequently used to treated mild forms or depression and anxiety, and is especially useful is children and young adults. Speaking with a doctor before taking St. John’s Wort is highly recommended. It has been known to interact with some prescription drugs such as birth control, rendering them ineffective.

Rhodiloa Rosea

Rhodiola Rosea is and herbal supplement that is native to the colder regions of the world. It reached popularity is Russia as a supplement that assisting in helping the population deal with the cold Siberian climate. It is generally sold in pill or capsule form. The root is the part of the plant that is used when manufacturing the herbal supplement. Rhodiola Rosea is highly effective as an anti-depressant. It is believed that this herbal compound adjusts the levels of serotonin and dopamine in the brain. It may also act as an MAO inhibitor. Side effects of this herb are unknown. A doctor should be consulted before adding this supplement to the diet.

Winter Cherry (Withania Somnifera)

Winter cherry is an herbal supplement that comes from India. It is sometimes referred to as Ashwaganha. The root of the plant is powered and sold in pill form. This plant is used to treat both depression and anxiety. There are no known side effects for this herbal supplement. It is not recommended for women who are pregnant or nursing. People who are taking MAO inhibitors should also avoid this supplement.

5-HTP (5-Hydroxytryptophan)

5-HTP is an amino acid. It occurs naturally is foods such as turkey, milk, and pumpkins. It is metabolized in the body and turned into the chemical Tryptophan. This chemical is thought to increase production of Serotonin and Melatonin in the brain, both of which are highly effective mood stabilizers. 5-HTP can be found in capsule form and added as a dietary supplement. There are no known side effects and it is generally thought of as being safe.

Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid)

Vitamin C occurs naturally is fresh fruits. It is often used to protect the body from illness. Research had shown that deficiencies in vitamin C may cause mental disease and anxiety. This vitamin can be found in a variety of forms such as pill and liquid. Often foods are enriched with vitamin C to promote health. There are no known risk associated with vitamin C. It is a water soluble vitamin and the risk of overdose is low.

Vitamin B Complex

Vitamin B complex is a group of vitamins that are necessary for the body to function. This complex is generally found in pill form. Since Vitamin B complex is a water soluble group of vitamins, the risk of overdose is low. This group of vitamins had a broad effect on the bodies health. Deficiencies have been linked with mental illnesses such as Depression and Bipolar disorder. When paired with Vitamin C, as well as Magnesium and Zinc, Vitamin B complex has proved to drastically reduce depression.

Magnesium

Magnesium in one of the most common minerals in the human body. It is found in pill form, and is always an ingredient in multivitamins. It is also found in several types of over the counter drugs such as laxatives and antacids. The risk of overdose is low. Magnesium works to increase mental function.

Zinc

Zinc is a mineral that the human body needs in order to process other enzymes. Zinc is found naturally in foods, and also comes in pill form and in multivitamins. Zinc overdoses may be potentially dangerous as they interfere with the body’s ability to absorb other vitamins and minerals. Consumers should consult a doctor before adding Zinc supplement to their diets.

The Risks of Eating Too Much Pepper

People who love freshly ground black pepper should not panic when they read this article. Black pepper taken in moderation has mainly positive effects on our body as it provides it with the trace minerals chromium and vanadium. Vanadium is being researched because it might be beneficial to those with Type-2 diabetes as it may reduce blood sugar levels and improve sensitivity to insulin, so one study showed which involved patients with Type-2 diabetes. However research is in its early stages so nothing can be definitely said about vanadium and its health benefits.

The peppers that can be harmful are the red ones, red chilli peppers and cayenne in particular which contain capsaicin. This substance is sometimes found in ointments which are used to relieve skin irritations and pain from joints and muscles affected by arthritis and rheumatism. Capsaicin is a hot substance which gives chillies their bite and it is used in medicine as it blocks pain signals to the brain. However, if you get this substance on your skin, it will probably cause a burning sensation and it can damage the cornea in the eye as it is an irritant. It may have anti-microbial and antioxidant effects but research is still on-going.

Capsaicin can cause an increase in stomach acids, so people with too much of them should avoid eating red peppers or their derivatives. Capsaicin should not be taken with aspirin as it increases the risk of bleeding associated with it. If you are using theophylline for asthma then capsaicin should be avoided as it can increase the theophylline in the body to toxic levels. Also if you are taking medication to thin the blood or ACE inhibitors then avoid capsaicin.

However if you are a healthy individual a few chilli peppers here and there in moderation will do you no harm. If you eat too many or indulge in chilli-eating competitions however you will probably irritate your stomach and could get peptic ulcers. Research is underway to discover if capsaicin can help combat obesity, as eating chillies appears to increase the body’s production of heat for a short time. This may help to regulate blood sugar levels by helping to break down carbohydrates ingested in a meal.

People who are allergic to kiwis, bananas, chestnuts and avocados may also be allergic to cayenne pepper and chillies.

In some people spicy food which contains chillies, cayenne pepper and black pepper along with other spices, can suffer from acid reflux, which is not fatal or dangerous, just troublesome and results in burping; this is the body’s way of telling you that it can’t handle spicy food well. Chronic acid reflux disease can in rare cases result in esophageal cancer. If you suffer in this way after eating spicy food, cut down on the spices especially at night as acid reflux can also erode the teeth.

Eating spicy food including chilli peppers can lead to insomnia, as well as impairing the ability of the taste buds to distinguish between different flavours. There is also an ailment known as geographic tongue which is the rapid irritation of the tongue after eating very spicy, peppery food and this causes strange patterns to form on the tongue, and can weaken the sense of taste for up to a month. Clearly this is not life-threatening, but it can be annoying.

Peppers are good for us if we are healthy individuals, but if you take any supplements containing cayenne or chilli pepper derivatives you should consult your health care provider before taking them. In fact this advice goes for all supplements that can be bought over the counter. Commonsense is necessary so that you don’t over-indulge in pepper, but in moderation, it is unlikely to harm you.

The Top Seven Questions About Ankle Fractures

Breaking your ankle can be a very devastating injury which can involve significant time off your feet depending on the extent of your injury. The below question and answer format will give you much of the information you need to know about treatment if you or someone you know sustains a broken ankle.

FAQ (Frequently asked questions):

What should I do if I think I broke my ankle?

You should be treated immediately. If a local podiatric surgeon is not immediately available in his/her private office, a hospital emergency room is the best place to go. Pain medication will be administered and X-rays will be taken. If a fracture is confirmed and the fracture segments have moved apart significantly, pain medication will be given and a manual (closed) reduction to put the segments closer together will be attempted. If surgery isn’t needed, then an above or below the knee fiberglass cast will be applied and crutches, a walker and/or wheelchair will be given as no weight can be applied to the foot.

How do I know if I have a broken bone vs. a bad sprain?

There is no way of knowing whether you sprained your ankle instead of fracturing it without getting an X-ray. Blisters, swelling, pain, bruising and redness with either a fracture or a sprain may be present. Pain directly on the bones of the ankle with direct touch is a clinical test but often times even in a sprain there is pain everywhere even on the bone. X-rays are the only way of knowing for sure if you broke a bone. If you sustained a very intricate fracture, your doctor may also order a CAT scan.

Will I need surgery?

If the bones cannot be manually reduced or put back together, than surgery will be performed. This surgery for an ankle fracture is called an open reduction with internal fixation (ORIF).

How long does it take to recover?

Bony healing typically takes 6-8 weeks to occur. However depending on your overall health, other factors such as smoking, diabetes, poor nutrition and poor circulation can delay this process.

How long will I be in a cast?

Regardless of if you have surgery or not, a cast will be in place for at least 6-8 weeks in order to give the bone enough time to heal.

When will I be able to walk normal again?

This depends on the severity of the fracture but typically one will be able to ambulate in a sneaker after 8-10 weeks. Even then, the ankle will still be somewhat swollen.

How long will I be out of work?

It depends on the type of work you do. If you have a very accommodating job and can sit most of the time, then you may be able to return as soon as 2-3 weeks after treatment. While at work you need to keep your foot elevated on another chair. You should keep ice applied for 20 minutes every hour when awake. Most people will need to take at least 4-6 weeks off from work, but if you have a job where you need to stand and walk, then you will need to take at least 3-4 months off from work. You may qualify for short-term disability or workman’s compensation (if the injury occurred at work).

SAQ (Should ask questions):

What bones are involved in an ankle fracture?

The ankle consists of the end of the tibia bone called the medial malleolus, the end of the fibula bone called the lateral malleolus and the bottom of the ankle called the talus bone.

Are certain people prone to breaking their ankle?

Oftentimes, an ankle fracture involves a simple, unintentional slip, fall or accident. Other times it involves a twisted ankle injury from someone who has frequently sprained his or her ankle in the past. These people have chronic ankle instability and have high arches that are unstable on uneven surfaces. This leads them to sprain their ankle a lot and even fracture it if the force of the sprain is high enough.

How can I prevent an ankle fracture if I am prone to this?

If you have high arches, have sprained your ankle in the past and feel unstable on uneven surfaces, you need the proper support to prevent not just another sprain but a fractured ankle. Good, sturdy shoes as well as a pair of functional customized orthotics (inserts) to straighten out the foot and offer stability are best to prevent a fracture or sprain.

What determines if I need surgery for the ankle break?

If the bony segments of the fracture are shifted enough more than 2mm and closed manual reduction cannot close the gap enough, you will need surgery/ORIF. Also surgical repair of the ligaments may be performed if the ligaments are torn as seen as a wide gap of the bones on X-ray.

Will I have long-term pain after the ankle is healed?

Just as in other joints, the ankle joint should be comprised of healthy cartilage that covers the bone to allow for up (dorsiflexion) and down (plantarflexion) motion. A break of the ankle usually involved a break or injury to the cartilage as well. Therefore and theoretically, someone who sustains an injury to the ankle joint (intra-articular fracture) may develop chronic ankle arthritis called osteoarthritis or degenerative joint disease. Arthritis involves cartilage damage where the bones rub together causing inflammation and pain. You might not have severe arthritis, but if the cartilage is slightly damaged you may have persistent but occasional pain and stiffness in cold or rainy weather.

Will I need physical therapy?

Yes, most patients whom are in a cast for 6-8 weeks will develop weakness and visible calf atrophy or a smaller calf. These muscles need to be strengthened and the ankle needs to be moved to increase ankle range of motion. A formal therapy program of 2-3 times per week for at least 1 month is needed at a therapy facility for optimal healing.

What is the difference between a podiatric surgeon and orthopedic surgeon? Who should I see for my ankle injury?

Seek treatment from a podiatric foot and ankle surgeon as they are uniquely qualified to not just perform the surgery but also to carry out the long-term care of patients by addressing the biomechanical conditions affecting the foot and ankle. Unlike orthopedists, a podiatric foot and ankle surgeon, in addition to the general medical training, focuses on the foot and ankle from the beginning of their medical tr

Client Care Tips For Your CNAs – Bathing

Assisting clients at bath time is part of the job of a nursing assistant. Do the CNAs at your workplace know how important this routine task is to their clients? Do they use bath time as an opportunity to observe their clients closely? By sharing the following information and tips at your next CNA inservice meeting, you may give your aides a new outlook on personal care.

The Joys of Bathing

Imagine this: You’ve had a rough day at work. You’re feeling sweaty and tired. You’re looking forward to taking a nice hot relaxing shower. Now, imagine how it would feel if instead of being able to simply hop in the shower, your physical condition required you to:

  • Take your clothes off in front of a stranger.
  • Hold onto grab bars because you were afraid of falling in the shower.
  • Ask for help washing the private areas of your body.
  • Stand and shiver while waiting for someone to bring you a towel.

Suddenly, the idea of a nice hot shower doesn’t seem so appealing, does it? Your clients used to be able to take care of their own bathing needs. Now, many of them need your help. And, they probably aren’t happy about that! Being dependent on others for bathing probably makes them feel:

  • Old and useless.
  • Ashamed.
  • Scared about what else they might have to give up doing for themselves.

Bathing clients requires patience, strength, compassion and skill. Keep reading to learn ways to make bathing a safer, more efficient process for you and your clients.

8 Benefits of Bathing

Bathing is important because it:

1. Cleanses the body by removing dirt and dead skin cells.

2. Promotes comfort by cooling and refreshing the skin and relaxing the client.

3. Controls body odor by removing bacteria and germs from the skin.

4. Prevents infection.

5. Provides an opportunity for clients to move their muscles and joints.

6. Stimulates circulation.

7. Helps prevent skin breakdown.

8. Gives you an opportunity to communicate with the client and to observe his or her body for changes.

Making Observations at Bath Time

Bath time gives you a terrific opportunity to observe your clients for physical changes. Keep an eye out for problems and report any changes right away.

  • Check the hair and scalp for head lice. (Lice can happen to anyone-no matter how young or old, dirty or clean, rich or poor.) Look for white lice eggs (known as “nits”). They look like small bits of dandruff, but do not wash or flake off. Instead, they stick firmly to strands of hair.
  • As you comb or wash your client’s hair, observe the scalp for scaling, crusting, irritation, bruises, bleeding, lumps or large areas of missing hair.
  • Look over the whole body, making note of any areas of redness, rashes, bed sores, moles or other changes in the skin.
  • Check the entire body for puffiness or swelling, broken skin, redness, bruises or bleeding.
  • Report any unusual body odors. A strange odor may be a symptom of an illness.
  • Watch out for clients who seem to sweat too much, too little or who tend to sweat a lot at night. There are medical conditions that can cause sweating problems. (In fact, it can be life-threatening if a person doesn’t sweat at all.)
  • Look for white or yellow areas on finger and toe nails. Your client may have a nail fungus.
  • Check for itching, cracked skin between the toes or on the soles of the feet. These are signs of infections such as “athlete’s foot”.
  • Watch for black warts on the soles of the feet.

Bath Time Tips

Let your supervisor know if you feel a bath is ordered too often or too seldom for one of your clients. In addition, be sure to report if your client needs a different kind of bath. For example, a client who is getting stronger may be able to switch from a sponge bath to a shower. Or, a client who is getting weaker may need to stop taking tub baths.

Take your clients’ suggestions and feelings into consideration. As much as possible, stick to the same bathing routines that your clients had before they needed your help.

Remember that slowing the pace of the bathing process may allow older people to do more for themselves. If you rush them, you may be robbing them of the opportunity to remain semi-independent.

If possible, ask a physical or occupational therapist to teach you techniques for making bath time safer for a particular client.

Praise your clients when they participate in their own personal care. For example, “Your arm seems stronger today. You were able to scrub your back by yourself.” or “Your hair looks lovely. You did a great job brushing it.”

Safety Issues

The greatest danger in a bathroom comes when clients get in and out of the tub or shower. The risk of falling is high! As you assist clients in and out of the tub or shower, you are at risk for falling, too. Most of these “double” falls happen:

  • At the end of the bath when the client is tired and/or relaxed.
  • If a client’s physical condition has worsened.
  • While transferring a client out of a tub- because the client’s body, the tub and the floor are wet and slippery.

Your clients may be physically dependent on you for help at bath time. For example, a client with arthritis may not be able to turn the water faucets on and off. A client may also be psychologically dependent on you. For example, he or she may be afraid to take a bath alone for fear of falling.

If you work in clients’ homes-and have access to a cell phone-consider keeping it in the bathroom during bath time. You’ll be able to call for help if you and/or the client falls down.

Keep the bathroom well-lit during bath time. Make sure it is well-ventilated, too, so that the room doesn’t become too hot. (You-and your client-may become faint in the heat.)

Remember that older people are more sensitive to heat and cold. Test the temperature of the water before your elderly clients get into the tub or shower. If you use a bath thermometer, it should read between 105 and 110 degrees F. After reading the thermometer, test the water on the inside of your wrist…and consider asking your client to do the same.

Empty the tub before you help your client out of it. Getting out of an empty tub is easier than getting out of a filled one.

Solutions For Exercise – Induced Back Pain

Did you know that low back pain at some point in time will inflict over 80% of the population? Proper footwear can potentially prevent, reduce and treat biomechanical factors associated with low back pain in runners. Back pain can be a mysterious thing. Every time your feet hit the ground, the reacting shock is transferred up your legs to your hips and spine, and any biomechanical imbalance can ultimately cause lower back pain.

It could be that you have flat feet, and your over-pronation (rolling in of your feet) is causing your back ache. It could be that you have really high-arched, rigid feet and the lack of pronation is causing your back pain. It could be that one of your legs is ever-so-slightly shorter than the other, or that your pelvis is just a tiny bit uneven or tilted. You could have a curve in your spine. More seriously, one of the discs between the vertebrae of your spine could be degenerating or arthritis is setting in.

Back pain can be a tough mystery to solve, but with a little help from your friendly neighborhood sports medicine specialist you should be able to track down the cause. By far the most common diagnosis in patients with low back pain is the lumbar sprain/strain, which accounts for about 75% of all cases of low back pain. While muscle strain is the most common cause of back pain for runners, play it safe and visit a sports medicine orthopedist or a chiropractor to have your spine and vertebrae examined if you are experiencing severe pain.

If you have ruled out all the worrisome spine issue, you may have an uneven pelvis or unequal leg lengths. These conditions are relatively common and can be ascertained with a good biomechanical exam. With either, the muscles on one side are being pulled. They’re tense to begin with, and the added stress of running can put them into spasm. Relatively weak abdominal and lower back muscles might also contribute to the problem. Running generally tends to cause strength imbalances between these muscle groups. Add tight hamstrings, another common condition among runners, and you have a nifty recipe for back pain. Core strengthening exercises and a lot of stretching can help.

Finally, the root cause is often in your foot, the last place most people look! Back pain is a common injury associated with flat feet and over-pronation. Likewise, if your feet are rigid and high-arched, their lack of stress relief and under-pronation can cause stress imbalance resulting in back pain.

For immediate relief, cut back on the mileage, moist heating pads, anti-inflammatories like ibuprofen, and a good massage. If the problem is disc deterioration or spinal arthritis, surgery may be necessary, and an adjustment in training is absolutely required. Take this condition seriously, and see a spinal specialist. If your spine is merely out of alignment, manipulation by a chiropractor or physical therapist may help ease your pain. This may also ease your muscle strain.

If your doctor confirms that you have an uneven pelvis or unequal leg lengths, the solution will likely be to try to correct the problem with a heel lift on the short side. This may be as simple as putting a piece of 1/4″ foam or cork into the heel of your running shoe. If you don’t get any relief at all within a week, go ahead and take the lift out. If it does no good, its better just not to wear one; your body may have adjusted to different leg lengths, and “fixing” it may cause more discomfort. Whatever the case, make sure that the remedy matches the problem; do not use a heel lift if your doctor does not confirm that you have an uneven pelvis or unequal leg lengths, or you may only make your problems worse.

If your problem is in the structure of your foot, your solution may be as simple as wearing different running shoes or adding orthotics to the mix. Shoes have been shown to lose almost 75% of their shock absorption after approximately 500 miles. This appears to be the critical point in which injuries tend to develop as a result of shoe wear. Thus it is important to have a rough idea how many miles are on your shoes and to replace them before soreness begins. If your shoes are not worn out, see your podiatrist for recommendations of shoe types and to see if an orthotic will help decrease the biomechanical strain causing your back pain. . In most cases of lower back pain, you will benefit from exercises to strengthen your back and abdominal muscles.

Back pain can be an indicator of a serious problem and can lead to a cascading injury that slows your running to a complete halt! Muscular back pain is the most common and can be annoying and complicated to treat due to the myriad of causes. If you have severe pain, seek medical attention immediately. If your pain is mild and seems to be directly related to your running, look to your feet as a possible contributor to you pain.

Twelve Green Coffee Bean "Defects" That Will Damage Your Roast

Continuing with our Green Bean Series, this month we’re going to take on defects in wet processed Arabica coffee beans; their cause, how to identify them and the effect they have on the roast.

Our “Roasters Tools – Green Bean Series” is a five part evaluation of how the characteristics of green coffee beans affect the outcome of the roast.

Roasters who consistently purchase strictly top grade premium coffees may have only rarely been confronted with defects, while the majority of roasters run across them much too often, even when presented with what is being sold as “Specialty” grade coffees.

The fact is, any one of these dozen defects will negatively affect the quality and alter the taste of the coffee you’re producing. These defects are both identifiable and preventable.

The defects in this article are different than the “formation” defects we talked about in a previous article.

With that in mind, we aim to give you a very straightforward, to the point identification of what these defects look like, their causes, and how they can affect the profile of your roast.

The Twelve Key Defects To Look Out For:

  1. Faded Beans
  2. Amber Beans
  3. Coated Beans
  4. Green Water Damaged
  5. Pulper Damaged
  6. Insect Damaged
  7. Immature Beans
  8. Foxy Beans
  9. Triple Center Cuts
  10. Stinkers
  11. Over-Fermented
  12. Diseased

FADED BEANS

Faded beans can be a result of either over drying or absorbing excessive moisture, depending on the environment. Either way, faded beans have a low resistance to environmental factors.

The effect on the roast is that they give a dull roast regardless of the roasting profile. The result is a soft bean with musty and woody flavors in the cup. And, the percentage moisture loss will be very high. The color of these beans is pale, whitish brown.

Normally, they result from beans that have a high moisture content (11% – 13%) and when stored in a warehouse, they’ll tend to dry out. In the process of drying out, and because they are not in contact with direct sunshine, these beans tend to fade.

Instead of drying, these beans are actually rotting and developing molds inside. It’s these molds that cause the beans to dry excessively, producing their pale to whitish brown color.

In addition, during the drying of wet or dry processed beans, the coffee can be negatively affected if not properly exposed to sunshine at the appropriate stage in the drying process.

Another cause is when coffee has been over-hulled using a hammer mill. In this case, the beans will come out with a dull color as a result of the outer cells being bruised and microscopic dust permeating the outer layer of the beans.

One final factor that can contribute to the fading of coffee is from older coffee that has been kept in a warehouse for two to three years or more, causing the beans to dry out, develop molds and other negative consequences.

AMBER BEANS

These beans have a bright shiny gold color. The cause is due to mineral deficiencies in the soil (including iron).

When you roast these beans, the cup will be lacking in acidity, with a flat harsh body and a bitter flavor. Also, the roast produced by these beans will be very dull in color.

COATED BEANS

These beans have a sticky silver skin caused by either overbearing or from being drought affected. The characteristics of these beans look whitish, rough and display microscopic lines from the silver skin.

In the process of roasting, you’ll experience soft beans with excessive chaff. The roast can result in negative effects in the cup, including excessively high grassy, hay, earthy, woody, greenish and potato flavors.

GREEN WATER DAMAGED

These are fully processed beans that, when hulled, get in contact with water where a chemical reaction takes place, turning the beans a greenish color. This situation results in the beans becoming moldy and toxic.

PULPER DAMAGED

In the process of going through the pulping machine, coffee beans can get stuck, creating excessive pressure which causes the beans to become wounded.

These wounded beans will burst and then begin to slightly oxidize, become contaminated with water and over ferment, causing molds which result in earthy, leather and musty flavors.

In addition, the roasted beans will be uneven; some will be split, while others will appear round and mixed together with the solid beans.

INSECT DAMAGED

Berry moths inject the coffee cherry in the process of laying eggs, creating a black needle-like hole.

Antestia bugs damage beans causing them to bruise, which produces rough black to yellow-like colored spots.

Beans with these types of insect damage will give a soft roast and the beans will tend to shrink, creating dominant musty, alkaline and salty flavors.

IMMATURE BEANS

Picked under-ripe, often as a result of overbearing and drought affected conditions, the characteristics of immature beans include a rough surface and greenish color with a sticky silver skin and will usually have thin edges.

The roast will be very dull, with open center-cuts, soft beans and subsequently produce no acidity, heavy body, with greenish and grassy flavors.

These beans can also lead to Quakers in the roast; visible only after roasting by their pale appearance and flat peanut butter taste. Avoiding the purchase of immature beans is the best way to avoid contamination by these defective beans.

FOXY BEANS

As you might imagine, the name comes from the color of a red fox.

This rusty-red color is generally brought about by the beans being over-ripe. These beans tend to have a dead embryo and will give you fruity fermented and nutty flavors.

TRIPLE CENTER CUTS

These are deformed beans caused by malnourishment due to either drought affected conditions or lack of minerals, creating ragged beans with multiple center cuts.

During the roast, these beans can split open at their double or triple center cuts. They are fragile, soft and very permeable; which will over roast, creating a heavy body, a flat cup and a smoky, burnt taste.

STINKERS

Stinker beans can have a normal formation, but have a dead embryo and are yellow in color caused by over-fermentation and/or over-ripe. If crushed, broken or cut open when raw, they put off an order that’s very unpleasant.

Even one or two stinkers in your roast can ruin the whole batch and give you a foul cup.

OVER-FERMENTED

These beans look soiled and have a tobacco color.

When roasted you’ll get a pulpy, sour flavor and unclean, dirty cup; with a smell of rotting flesh or a cow shed aroma. If only slightly over-fermented, your roast may give sour and onion flavors.

DISEASED

These defects are brought about by the coffee being affected by various diseases like CBD (Coffee Berry Disease) and Leaf Rust.

When disease strikes a coffee farm, the mother plant will produce beans that are premature. This will affect the berry before it ripens, usually at the milk stage, and the beans will either not develop at all or only partially develop, with a very small berry or nonexistent berry inside the parchment within the cherry.

The deformed part of these beans looks somewhat brownish to very dark brown in color, often with deformities that resemble a chipped off piece where the bean is left with dark brown marks which go deep into the bean. The deformed part of these beans is generally flaky and ragged in formation.

These small diseased beans will be only partially developed, but can still be harvested and end up mixed with other beans of normal quality, then sold in the marketplace.

SO, WHAT DO YOU DO?

  • First, avoid these nasty defects when you’re purchasing green coffee whenever possible.
  • Second, educate your customers about the tastes inherent in a quality cup. An uneducated palette can even get accustomed to over-fermented, moldy, musty, peanut-buttery and other flavor defects that are actually toxic when ingested into the human body!
  • AND, continue your quest to create the perfect roast!

Septated Ovarian Cyst – Symptoms of Septated Cysts on Ovaries

It is not uncommon for women to get ovarian cysts. With this in mind, it is important to go for regular check ups so as to know its effect. The reason is that it might grow and develop thus bringing about serious health complication. It also helps your doctor to determine whether it is a septated ovarian cyst or another kind.

There are symptoms that should have you go to the hospital for check up. A frequent or regular dull ache that suddenly develops into a sharp or severe pain should have you seek medical help. Such pain is commonly experienced in the lower back, pelvis, vagina, thighs and lower abdomen. The ache can come about and then disappear only to come back again.

Sometimes, one experiences breast tenderness. The stomach might feel full, swollen, heavy or bloated. A constant feeling of pressure in the abdominal area along side some of the signs mentioned before should have you checked for septated ovarian cyst.

Other symptoms that might come about include pain during and after menstruation. One should also watch out for a sudden gain or loss in weight. A septated ovarian cyst might also bring about abdominal bleeding in the uterine.

Other signs that one might have a septated ovarian cyst are when one gets nausea and vomiting. It is possible to experience an abnormal increase of hair growth on the face and other parts of the body. Pain in the muscular parts on the ribs and abnormal nodule like bruises under the skin are some of the signs associated with condition.

One can also experience pain or difficulty when passing urine. It is also possible to experience pain when pressure is applied on the lower parts of the abdomen. A septated ovarian cyst might also cause infertility if it goes untreated. It is advisable to seek medical attention in case one or more of these symptoms are observed.

Five Common Illnesses in Newborns – Symptoms and Treatment

Every new parent hopes that their child’s health will be free of all health complications, but a number of illnesses have been shown to afflict many newborns on a regular basis. This article will discuss five common illnesses in newborns, giving causes, symptoms and treatment options for each.

The rotovirus is a viral infection found in babies and young children. Symptoms of the illness include diarrhea, vomiting, nausea and fever. The virus acts by attacking the lining of the small intestine. This results in dehydration from excessive loss of fluids and electrolytes. Often these symptoms will last from three to ten days. Children infected with the rotavirus can be contagious for ten to twelve days following the first signs of diarrhea. Home treatment consists of rest and administration of specially made electrolyte replacement products. Examples of these include gastrolyte, pedialyte and plamalyte.

Oral thrush is an infection caused by the yeast fungus known as Candida albicans. It is also called candidosis or moniliasis, but usually these terms describe the appearance of infection in adults (candida albicans). Oral thrush often finds its way into the human body when the immune system is in a weakened state. Newborn babies are especially at risk from infections such as oral thrush. Two specific causes of oral thrush are a reaction to antibiotics and transmission from a mother with a yeast infection. The main symptom of oral thrush is evidence of painful white lesions on the inside of the mouth. When oral thrush or a yeast infection has been diagnosed, both the mother and her baby should be treated simultaneously. The infection is usually treated with Nystatin.

Cradle cap is a common scalp and skin condition caused by excess oil production from the scalp. Symptoms include flaky, scaly or greasy crusts on the scalp, ears or eyebrows of an infant. Cradle cap can be treated by first loosening the crusts. Using baby, mineral or olive oil, gently rub the the crusts for ten minutes followed shortly by shampooing. Comb the hair in one direction with a baby comb, carefully removing crust remnants as you go. You should then shampoo your child’s hair three times a week during the first three weeks following the treatment. Afterwards, use the anti-dandruff shampoo once a week until the cradle cap is completely gone. If the condition worsens or begins to look infected you should immediately contact your pediatrician.

Cat scratch fever is a bacterial infection caused by the microorganism Bartonella henselae. It is most often caused from a scratch or bite from a cat or kitten. Symptoms of a cat scratch infection include small pimples forming around the wound as it heals. These pimples can last up to a month. Your baby’s lymph nodes may become swollen and tender. Other symptoms include headache, fever, poor appetite and fatigue. If you suspect that your child has developed cat scratch fever, you should contact your pediatrician immediately. You can take preventative measures by carefully cleaning scratches and bites from cats with soap and water.

Like oral thrush, ringworm is a fungal infection of the skin. It generally affects the scalp in a condition called tinea capitis. When the fungal infection is present on the body it is referred to as tinea coporis. Symptoms of a ringworm infection in infants include coin-sized scaly patches. These rashes may be dry or moist and generally stop growing once they are an inch in diameter. Ringworm on the scalp may look like bald spots or scaly patches with hair broken off in the center. Sometimes ringworm is inappropriately confused with cradle cap. Treatment for ringworm should begin by consulting with your pediatrician. He or she will most likely suggest an over-the-counter anti-fungus cream. Further prevention of reinfection includes carefully washing your baby’s bedding until the infection is completely cleared up.

The presence of any one of these illnesses would be cause for concern by any parent. Thankfully, with proper attention to symptoms, consultation with a pediatrician and careful treatment each of them can be addressed and cured. With patience and care you will be able to return to the joy of nourishing your healthy newborn child.

Copyright © Safe-Baby.net 2006.

Cascara Sagrada Bark Side Effects and Complications

Cascara sagrada bark is a common ingredient in colon cleansers, often reported to promote ‘detoxification of the colon’. In actuality, cascara sagrada is a powerful stimulant laxative, which initiates fecal elimination by triggering contractions in the colon.

Cascara sagrada bark has numerous side effects and contraindications, all which affect colon, stomach and liver function. This herb is not safe to use if you have a history of any colon or gastrointestinal problems, such as ulcerative colitis or diverticular disease. Pregnant women cannot take cascara sagrada bark because it can put undue stress on the fetus. Long-term use can also cause permanent damage to these organs.

Short-term side effects of cascara sagrada bark include:

* Stomach pain or cramps

* Persistent diarrhea.

* Dehydration

* Dizziness, fainting

Long-term side effects associated with cascara sagrada bark include:

* Chronic constipation

* Loss of normal bowel function

* Colon or bowel damage

* Muscle weakness

* Fatigue, pronounced tiredness

* Decrease in bowel movements

* Pigmentation of the colon (melanosis coli)

* Changes in heartbeat

* Electrolyte loss

* Possible liver, kidney or heart damage

Long-term use is also associated with laxative dependency, a condition that causes the colon to become dependent on laxatives in order to have a bowel movement. Using cascara sagrada bark for longer than prescribed, or more than seven days, can increase a person’s risk for these side effects.

There have also been rare reports of hepatitis occurring after long-term use. It can also increase a person’s risk for adenomas, or colorectal growths. This may be a precursor to cancer.

Allergic Side Effects

Cascara sagrada bark can also cause severe allergic reactions in some individuals. The following reactions have been reported:

* Hives

* Skin rash, excessive itching

* Difficulty breathing

* Chest tightness

* Swelling of the lips, tongue or mouth

* No bowel movement

* Bleeding of the rectal area

If any of these side effects are reported, seek medical treatment immediately. This is a sign of a severe allergic reaction, which can be fatal if left untreated.

Possible Complications

This herb can also worsen the severity of certain illnesses. If you have any of the following health conditions below, this herb may be possibly unsafe to take:

* Diverticular disease

* Ulcerative colitis

* Congestive heart failure

* Heart disease

* Anemia

* Liver disease

* Kidney disease

* Appendicitis

* Crohn’s disease

* Hemorrhoids

* General heart problems

* Cancer of the colon or gastrointestinal tract

People who suffer from laxative dependency or who have abused laxatives in the past should not take this herb. People with a history of eating disorders, such as anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa, should also avoid using this herb.

The information provided in this article is for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for medical advice. Any health concerns or questions should be discussed with your local healthcare provider.

Alcoholism – Causes and Effects

Alcoholism is the inability to control or ignore a strong craving for alcohol. People suffering from alcoholism often find that they need the aid of alcohol to feel good or normal. They often crave alcohol, but this craving is much stronger than the occasional craving people have for certain foods. The craving for alcohol experienced by those suffering from alcoholism is often so severe that the individual feels they need alcohol as if it were food or water. They do not feel they can go a day, or in some extreme cases, an hour, without consuming alcohol.

Alcoholism is not characterized by the type of alcohol consumed or how much alcohol is needed to satisfy the craving. Alcoholism is characterized mostly by the loss of control. Alcoholics often build up a tolerance to alcohol over time. This means they need more and more alcohol to satisfy their need for it. As they consume more and more alcohol, serious health problems manifest themselves. Alcoholism also affects the sufferer psychologically, as well as physically.

Alcoholism differs from alcohol abuse in that a person who abuses alcohol does not display a loss of control over their drinking. An individual who abuses alcohol may act irresponsibly while under the influence. They may also put themselves and others in danger by driving or operating machinery while drinking. Relationships may suffer, as with alcoholism and work performance may become careless. While alcohol abuse differs from alcoholism, it can be a serious problem and should not be ignored.

There are many symptoms of alcoholism. Many of the symptoms of alcohol abuse are also displayed by those suffering from alcoholism. Some symptoms include drinking alone or secretly (hiding the fact that they are drinking), memory loss (also known as “blacking out”), ritually drinking at certain times during the day and becoming irritable when this ritual is disturbed, feeling the need to drink to feel normal, loss of interest in relationships or activities that were once enjoyed, experiencing financial, marital, or legal problems caused by drinking, building a tolerance to alcohol or experiencing withdrawal symptoms if alcohol is not available. These symptoms are just a few of the possible symptoms that could be displayed by alcoholics.

Studies show that some individuals are more likely to experience alcoholism at some point in their lives than others. For example, genetics can play a role in whether or not a person is likely to be drawn to alcohol. Often the children of alcoholics will have a higher risk of one day becoming an alcoholic themselves. Psychological problems also increase the risk for alcoholism. Individuals suffering from depression, attention deficit disorder, bipolar disorder and many other psychological disorders often turn to alcohol to make them feel better or ease their suffering. This often turns into a dependency.

There are many health problems that are caused by alcoholism. Alcoholism depresses the central nervous system. Over time, alcoholism can cause fatigue, paralysis of the muscles surrounding the eyes and short-term memory loss. Other, more life-threatening health problems caused by alcoholism include cirrhosis of the liver, high blood pressure, heart failure, stroke, gastrointestinal problems, neurological disorders, sexual dysfunction and bone loss. Alcoholism also increases the risk of certain cancers, such as cancer of the esophagus, larynx, liver and colon. If left untreated, alcoholism can lead to death.