Are there Alternative Medications for Gastritis Treatment?

Gastritis is inflammation (irritation) of the stomach lining. This may be caused by many factors including infection, alcohol, particular medications and some allergic and immune conditions. Gastritis can be either acute (with severe attacks lasting a day or two) or chronic (with long-term appetite loss or nausea). In many cases, gastritis has no symptoms (asymptomatic).

Some forms, including chronic atrophic gastritis, have been associated with an increased risk of stomach cancer. Treatment options include avoiding exposure to known irritants and taking medication to reduce the amount of gastric juices.

While there are instances where medical treatment is necessary to treat gastritis, many people find they can manage the symptoms at home. People with gastritis should see a doctor if they experience:

  • a gastritis flare-up that lasts more than a week
  • vomiting blood
  • blood in the stool

However, outside of medication, the four main causes of gastritis can all be remedied to some extent by changing your diet. Gastritis is the weakening of the stomach lining, and can sometimes be cured by a lifestyle change. Symptoms for gastritis can range from none at all to abdominal pain, indigestion, nausea, and even anemia. A diet change for gastritis focuses on alleviating the common causes of gastritis, and can be an effective gastritis treatment.

Finally, some people also choose to take over-the-counter drugs, such as antacids, to control severe symptoms, while others are prescribed proton pump inhibitors or H2 blockers to help control levels of stomach acid. In the cases where chronic gastritis causes anemia, it’s common for vitamin B12 deficiency to be treated using intermittent injections.

Research shows that foods that can help manage gastritis symptoms include high-antioxidant foods (especially those with flavonoids, like berries), onions, garlic, squash, bell peppers, nuts, soaked legumes/beans, sprouted whole grains, sea vegetables, and grass-fed meat or pasture-raised poultry. Supplements like omega-3 fatty acids, probiotics and vitamin C can also be beneficial for gastritis sufferers.

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The Treatment and Prevention of Head Lice

When your kids start school, they instantly become at risk for getting head lice, which they may then spread to other people in your household. Head lice can occur at any time but are most common in the fall when kids go back to school, as well as in January, according to Patricia Brown, M.D., a dermatologist at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

While many people believe that poor hygiene is the cause of head lice, the truth is that direct head-to-head contact with a head lice sufferer is how they spread. Head lice are only ever found on humans so your pet will be safe.

Discovering and Treating Head Lice

Head lice are generally about the size of a sesame seed, tan or grayish-white in color, and feed on human blood. They attach to the skin and lay eggs known as nits in the hair.

The best way to check for lice is to part the hair in a number of different spots. Using a bright light and magnifying glass will help you find them. Head lice move fast so you may have more luck tracking down the eggs. The nits have the appearance of dandruff, but when you pick up a strand of hair close to the scalp, the nits will stay in place, unlike dandruff, which is easily removed.

The FDA had approved head lice treatments that are available over the counter (OTC), as well as in prescription form. They often come as creams, lotions, and shampoos, with Nix and Rid among the most common. If you are using a product on a child under the age of 2, Brown says that it is important to carefully read the label to ensure that it is indeed safe to use.

Head Lice Prevention Tips

  • Make sure that your children know that they should avoid head-to-head contact at home, school, and when out playing with other kids
  • Teach little ones not to share items that they use on their head, which includes hats, scarves, helmets, bandanas, hair ties, brushes, and combs
  • Steer clear of items that have come into contact with someone who has head lice. This includes items like carpets, pillows, beds, and stuffed toys
  • Steer clear of items that contacted the head of a person with head lice 48 hours prior to the start of treatment

How to Safely use Treatment Products

Using the following steps will help you use head lice treatment products safely:

  • Once the product has been rinsed from the hair and scalp, use a nit comb to remove lice and nits that are now dead
  • Only apply products to the hair on the scalp, not anywhere else
  • Ask your doctor for a product recommendation so that you get the perfect treatment for the age and weight of your child
  • Read the label on the product and use it exactly as described, unless you are told to do otherwise by a medical professional

 

 

 

The Symptoms, Treatment, and Prevention of Lyme Disease

Ticks deliver a variety of diseases, with Lyme disease at the top. The cases of these diseases are climbing, and have jumped from 12,000 per year in 1995 to almost 40,000 per year in 2015. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) try to keep track of the figures, but expert estimates put the real number of infections closer to 300,000.

Who is Susceptible to Lyme Disease, and at What Time of Year?

The bite from an infected disease is how Lyme disease is spread. The little pests will attach anywhere but are most attracted to most hairy body regions, such as the armpits and groin.

Anyone can fall prey to a tick bite, but outdoorsy types like hikers and campers, as well as people who work in gardens or leafy areas, are at the highest risk. With the suburbs expanding and woodland preservation in full effect, the number of deer and mice are on the rise, giving ticks plenty to feast on.

The Symptoms and Stages of Lyme Disease

Early-stage Lyme disease comes with the following symptoms:

  • muscle and joint aches
  • headache
  • fever
  • chills
  • fatigue
  • swollen lymph nodes

A rash that is known as Erythema migrans is another symptom found with Lyme disease. Roughly 80% of people infected with the disease will develop a rash, with about 20% of that number having a rash that looks like a bulls-eye.

The infection can reach the joints, nervous system, and heart if left untreated.

It may take weeks or months after a tick bite for later-stage symptoms to present themselves. These symptoms include:

  • heart-rhythm irregularities
  • arthritic symptoms such as pain and swelling in the joint, particularly the knee
  • nervous system abnormalities

The joints and nervous system can be hit with permanent damage during the late stages of Lyme disease. Fatalities are extremely rare.

Testing for and Treating Lyme Disease

You should talk to your doctor if you believe you may have Lyme disease.

Diagnostic tests that your doctor may use to check for Lyme disease are regulated by the FDA to ensure that they are safe and effective. Blood tests can be effective assuming the timing is right. These tests check for the antibodies that fight infection, but if they are done too soon after the tick bite, they may not work as well. Antibodies usually develop 2-5 weeks after the initial bite.

Prior to the completion of diagnostic tests, your doctor may prescribe a round of antibiotics. The CDC says that patients that are treated with the correct antibiotics may well experience a speedy, complete recovery from the early stages of Lyme disease.

Things You Can Do to Prevent Tick Bites

  • Steer clear of bushy, grassy areas, especially between May and July
  • Wear light-colored clothing so that you can easily spot ticks
  • Shoes, long pants, and long-sleeved shirts are essential wear
  • Tuck your shirt into your pants and your pants into your socks
  • Add an extra layer of protection by wearing a hat
  • Use insect spray with DEET on all uncovered body parts
  • Stick to trails and keep off grass and brush
  • Wash and dry your clothes at high temperatures when you get back indoors
  • Scan your body for ticks after being outside


 

Caring for Your Nails

Manicures and pedicures are a great way to stay looking good, but it’s important that the nail polishes and removers that you use are safe, which means using products regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Electronic, radiation emitting, products used to dry gel nail polish and artificial nails need to be regulated by the FDA.

The best way to stay safe, and still look good, is to make sure that you read the labels of these products and heed any warnings that may be listed there.

The Ingredients and Warnings on Cosmetic Nail Care Products

The FDA approves a lot of things before they go to market, but nail products and cosmetic ingredients (except for the majority of color additives) do not require approval.

While they do not require approval, they do still need to be safe to use as directed. Please note that nail products used for medical issues do require FDA approval, as they are classified as drugs.

Cosmetic nail products are usually labeled with instructions and warnings that inform consumers how the product should be used correctly. These include some or all of the following:

  • Some nail products are flammable, and should therefore not be exposed to open flames (cigarette lighter) or other sources of heat (curling iron)
  • Some products can injure the eyes, and should therefore be kept clear of the eyes
  • Some products should only be used in areas that are well ventilated
  • Some products are made from ingredients that are harmful if ingested. As such, they should not be consumed by humans or pets

When you order cosmetics online or at a retail store, be aware that the ingredients need to be listed in the order of decreasing amounts. This is worth knowing if you are allergic to certain ingredients, as you can avoid products that contain those items.

An example of such an issue can be found with nail polishes, some of which contain formaldehyde, which can cause an allergic reaction in some users. Allergic reactions are also common when using some types of artificial nails. The FDA website has more information about all the ingredients used in cosmetics.

The simple rule here is that you should always read the labels on cosmetic products and follow all directions. Nails salons should be well ventilated, so look for that when you go for a manicure.

Information About Nail Drying, Curing Lamps, and UV Exposure

UV (ultraviolet) curing lamps are devices used to dry gel nail polish and acrylic gel nails. You can buy your own online and will find them in most nail salons. The lamps use LED lights that emit UV radiation. While you might think that this is the same process used in tanning beds, the two are actually quite different. Tanning beds use sunlamps, and you can find more about their potential risks on the FDA website.

Skin damage can occur when it is exposed to UV radiation, especially if the skin is repeatedly exposed over time. Age spots, wrinkles, and potentially skin cancer can occur.

The FDA believes that nail curing lamps are low risk as long as they are used as directed. A study published back in 2013 showed that 36 minutes of daily exposure, even when using the worst lamp available, fell below the occupational limits for UV radiation. It should be noted that the results are in regard to healthy individuals and not those who have a sensitivity to UV radiation.


 

The Most Commonly Asked Questions About Tooth Braces

There are lots of questions about tooth braces and their usage. You can find the answer to the most commonly asked questions below:

Q: Are Braces just for Children?

A: This is no longer the case. The American Association of Orthodontics says that roughly 20% of people who wear braces are over the age of 21. Not wearing braces to straighten your teeth as a kid does no rule you out of doing so when you reach your adult years.

Q: Why are Braces Needed?

A: The simple answer is that they will straighten your teeth, which will make them more aesthetically pleasing and easier to clean. It can be particularly tough to keep crooked teeth properly cleaned, and when that happens, gum and dental diseases become more common. Wearing braces can allow you to have healthier teeth and gums in the long term.

Q: Will the Braces Create a Mouth Full of Metal?

A: Your dentist will examine your teeth and make a decision that works best for your specific situation. Sometimes that will mean using metal braces, although some are smaller and less obtrusive than the older versions. There are also braces that are clear or tooth-colored, although you can get a little flashy by getting the rubber connectors in a variety of different colors.

Q: How do Metal Braces Actually Work?

A: The braces apply pressure to the teeth to move them. The braces are comprised of a series of small brackets that are cemented to the teeth. They are all connected by rubber bands or wire, the latter of which can be tightened to help the dentist achieve the desired goal. Brackets are usually metal or tooth colored.

Q: What are “Invisible” Braces, and How do They Work?

A: These types of braces are also referred to as aligners, and are made from a clear plastic material that you wear over your teeth. Invisible braces work to straighten the teeth, and are usually worn for a month or less at a time. The braces are replaced with a new set to create a gradual change that fits your personal treatment plan.

Q: How Long are Braces Kept in Place?

A: There is no set amount of time, as it depends on the condition of your teeth. Your orthodontist will discuss the length of time with you, but on average, you can expect to have braces for 2 years.

While this may seem like a long time, there really is no quicker way to straighten teeth. The movement needs to be done gradually, as going too fast could lead to teeth becoming broken or the bones breaking down.

Q: Is it Difficult to Clean your Teeth when Wearing Braces?

A: Food can very easily get stuck in your braces, so you really need to go to great lengths to keep your teeth clean. If you don’t commit to a regular cleaning schedule, you run the risk of getting cavities, which could affect the effectiveness of the braces. Making a couple of extra visits to the dentist’s office for check-ups should help ensure that your teeth stay clean.

Watch Out for Products Which Claim to Cure Cancer

Scour the internet or social media sites and you will be sure to find some products that claim to cure cancer. Nicole Kornspan, M.P.H., a consumer safety officer at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), believes that the number of such products is very much on the rise.

Kornspan believes that these new products continue to sell because they play on the fears of people who are dealing with cancer personally, or helping a friend or family member suffering from the disease.

In order for a cancer-treating drug or device to be deemed legitimate, it must first receive approval or clearance from the FDA before going to market. The FDA goes to great lengths to ensure that products are safe and effective before being released to the general public,

There are plenty of products that slip through the cracks, though, which is why the internet is teeming with capsules, powders, pills, teas, creams, oils, and treatment kits, all of which claim to be the cure for cancer.

Manufacturers of these products as natural treatments, whilst also claiming that they are dietary supplements. These methods are used to make it seem as though the products are safe, but all that really happens is that cancer patients avoid legitimate treatment in favor of a “miracle cure.”

A product that does not have FDA approval may be one that contains unsafe ingredients.

Not only are humans at risk, pets are, too, as manufacturers target both. Kornspan says that there are a growing number of products out there that are sold as effective cancer treatments for cats and dogs. Vet bills can be expensive, which is why so many pet owners are drawn to the cheaper, albeit bogus, alternatives.

The FDA recommended that people steer clear of products not approved by them. They also advise that you should talk to a licensed health care professional about treatment options.

Red Flags to Watch out For

The one thing that most bogus products have in common is that they all use a specific vocabulary. Kornspan says that consumers should be on the lookout for the following phrases, which should be regarded as red flags:

  • Treats all forms of cancer
  • Miraculously kills cancer cells and tumors
  • Shrinks malignant tumors
  • Selectively kills cancer cells
  • More effective than chemotherapy
  • Attacks cancer cells, leaving healthy cells intact
  • Cures cancer

It is very often those statements, a well as a few others, that clearly show that a supposed cancer-curing drug is in fact fraudulent.

This is not to say that there are not investigational cancer treatments out there, but patients should talk to their doctor about the options as opposed to hitting the internet in search of a cure.


 

How Tramadol and Codeine Can Lead to Breathing Issues in Children

Tramadol and codeine are opioid medications most commonly used to treat pain. Codeine is also sometimes found in cough and cold medicines.

While effective in adults, both medicines can deliver potentially fatal breathing problems in children. The problem here is that some kids and adults break tramadol and codeine down into their active forms quicker than most, which can lead to a spike in their opioid levels.

Mother who breastfeed while taking these medicines can unwittingly pass on unsafe levels of the opioids to their little ones through their breast milk. Those infants may have difficulty breastfeeding, become drowsy, or potentially experience serious breathing issues.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are doing their part to battle this problem by requiring codeine and tramadol labels to be strengthened so that parents are aware of the potential health issues their children may face.

Take Care when Giving Tramadol or Codeine to Children

The FDA recommends that children under the age of 12 should not be given pain or cough medications containing codeine or tramadol.

Tramadol has not been approved for use in children by the FDA. Children under the age of 18 should not take tramadol to ease the pain that follows procedures such as tonsil or adenoid removal. Codeine labels already contain warnings stating that the medication should not be used by children to treat pain from those procedures.

Kids aged 12 through 18 who are considered obese or who have obstructive sleep apnea or a weak respiratory system are advised not to take codeine or tramadol because of the potential breathing issues that may follow.

Tramadol is intended as a prescription pain medication for adults. Codeine come via prescription, but may also be available over the counter in some states.

You will often find that codeine is mixed with acetaminophen in prescription pain meds, and also with several different cold medicines when used as a cough treatment.

Codeine and Tramadol Alternatives

There are a number of different pain management alternatives that are safe for children. Your local pharmacist or doctor can help you find one that is suitable.

You also have the option of several different OTC medications for the treatment of cough in kids. It should be noted that the FDA does not believe that OTC cough and cold medicines are suitable for children under the age of 2. Colds generally go away on their own after a few days, so you also have the option of allowing your child to get better without the use of drugs.

Finding out if Codeine or Tramadol is on your Child’s Medication

The labels on medicines should clearly show if codeine or tramadol is present. You can also talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you are still unsure.