Tips to Prevent Heart Disease

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that heart disease is the leading cause of death for women in the United States, which means one in four women will die from heart disease in America.

There are some preventive strategies you can adopt to reduce the risk of heart disease. The FDA has recommended the following tips to assist women in reducing the risk of death from heart disease.

Tips to Reduce Your Risk

Although heart disease can cause stroke and heart attack fatalities, there are some strategies you can employ to decrease the risk.

Take care of your current health issues. Conditions like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes all increase the potential for heart disease if you don’t discuss with your health care provider the best treatment options for these conditions.

Quit smoking. The FDA’s website has great information on medical treatments to help you stop the habit.

Exercise regularly for healthy weight maintenance. Everybody may not be a gym fan and can complete all their exercises in one set. You may have to start out by walking or doing some other activity as your doctor recommends.

Know the symptoms of a heart attack in women.  Call 911 if you feel you are having the symptoms of a heart attack: nausea, ache or tight feeling in the chest (or jaw, neck or abdomen), or shortness of breath.

A daily aspirin regimen is not for everybody. Before committing to an aspirin regimen as a heart attack preventative, consult your doctor first.

Eat healthier.  A diet rich in fruits and vegetables and limited in fats and sugars is good prescription for healthier eating. Also, include more whole grains and less prepared and packaged/processed foods. Check out the food labels to see what you are consuming in the food products you buy. You may want to discuss your dietary needs with your health care provider.

Always consult your health care provider before committing to a clinical trial for heart medications or treatments.  A clinical trial is an experimental study requiring human volunteers to test out new medicines and treatments.

Menopause and Heart Health

The decrease in estrogen that occurs during menopause can be a contributing factor for the increased risk of heart disease in women. Weight gain is another menopause factor that may also contribute. To remedy the issue of decreased estrogen, hormone therapy is often done to remedy some of the ailments of menopause.

Allergy Relief for Your Child

Children are prone to having colds, but if the symptoms last for weeks on end, the problem may be another culprit: allergies.

Long-term episodes of runny (or stuffy) nose and sneezing are often signs of allergic rhinitis—the combination of symptoms that affect the nose when you have an allergic reaction to something you inhaled (or something that lands on the inside of your nose).

Allergies can be either seasonal or year-round (perennial). In most of the US, plant pollens cause the most cases of seasonal allergies (often known as hay fever). Mold, pet dander and dust mites often cause most cases of perennial allergies.

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) reports that up to 40 percent of children suffer from allergic rhinitis, and the potential for allergies is higher in children with a family history of allergies.

Although the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) allergy medicines, parents still should exercise caution when giving these medicines to their children.

Immune System Reaction

Allergies occur when our immune system responds to an allergen by releasing histamine and other chemicals that causes nose, lungs, sinus, throat, eyes, ears, skin or stomach lining symptoms.

Some children are more prone to suffer from asthma episodes (periods of wheezing or breathing difficulties) when their allergies are triggered.

Doctor for the FDA’s Division of Pulmonary, Allergy, and Rheumatology, Dr. Antony Durmowicz, cautions that parents treat allergies in children who have both conditions or else the asthma treatment will not be effective.

Allergy Medicines

OTC medicines are effective for treating childhood allergies. However, prescription treatments may be needed for more stubborn and persistent allergy cases. Seven options exist for pediatric allergy relief. And even if allergy medicine can be used in children as young as 6 months, you should always check the product label to determine if the medicine covers your child’s age group. Just because it’s a children’s medicine doesn’t mean it covers all age groups.

More Child-Friendly Medicines

Current pediatric legislation and FDA regulations for pharmaceutical companies promotes research and development of children’s medicines that have friendlier ingredients on the label. Since 1997, federal regulations have prompted the study of at least 600 products for minors.

Traumatic Brain Injury

Falls, football tackles, car accidents, etc. are known to cause head injuries. Anyone of any age can get a head injury that may also damage the brain.

Sudden head movements can make the brain twist in the skull and injure (or stretch) brain cells, which will alter the chemical makeup in the brain. This occurrence is known as Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).

While children and parents are gearing up for fall school sports activities, the FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) is studying TBI and promoting the discovery of innovative treatment options.

Symptoms and Diagnosis

Most TBI incidents happen after the head receives a jolt, blow, bump or explosive blast to the head. Sometimes, TBI comes from an existing head injury that changes brain function. Keep in mind that not all hits to the head will cause TBI. Sometimes, the occurrence is mild (like when people are somewhat disoriented); but in other instances, the damage is severe (with serious thinking and behavioral issues or change in consciousness or mental state. A concussion is a mild type of TBI.

In 2010, an estimated 2.5 million medical emergency room visits involved TBI. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)) states that almost 30% of all deaths related to injuries in the United States come from TBI.

TBI symptoms are confusion, blurred vision, headache and behavioral changes. Moderate and severe TBI are also accompanied by slurred speech, nausea or vomiting, arms or legs weakness and thinking problems. (Please refer to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke for more information concerning TBI symptoms.)

Head injuries must be diagnosed via medical examination that will entail a neurological exam. Neurological exams included an examination of a person’s motor function, thinking, coordination, reflexes and sensory function.

To date, there is no universal diagnostic standard to diagnose TBI because some forms are harder to diagnose than others. However, there are some guidelines for TBI diagnostics that are established by the American College of Rehabilitation Medicine, the CDC and other companies.

Computerized tomography scans (“CT” scans), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) tests and other imaging tests are not used to diagnose TBI but can rule out other conditions from the brain injury that may be fatal (like bleeding or other conditions that may require prompt medical attention).

There are short- and long-term effects on mental abilities after having a TBI. A first-time, mild TBI may only require simple rest for a short time span. Moderate and severe cases may require therapy (occupational, physical or psychiatric) and other treatments.