Posts Tagged ‘Health’
The site offers entertaining videos and blog posts, overtly targeted at males, providing information on diet and nutrition. Topics range from destroying your fear of the gym to healthy alternatives for normally fattening or sugary foods.
With a sense a humor and a contagious dose of motivation, the B.U.F.F. Dudes provide practical information and resources for those trying to improve their health.
Note: The AOA does not officially endorse BUFF-Dudes.com as a source of health information.
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Fibromyalgia is one of the most common chronic pain conditions. The disorder affects an estimated 10 million people in the U.S. and an estimated 3-6% of the world population. While the number of fibromyalgia cases rises with age, diagnosis is sometimes made as early as age 20 and is most often diagnosed in patients in their 20s and 30s. It is also most prevalent in women. In fact, 75-90% of the people who have fibromyalgia are female.
So, why hasn’t this condition received much attention or proper diagnosis?
According to a recent survey conducted by the American Osteopathic Association (AOA), many patients delay diagnosis and treatment because they fear that they will be perceived as “faking” the disease or simply complaining.
“As fibromyalgia gains more attention, now more than ever, patients can move beyond the stigma, relieve the symptoms of this condition with treatment, and lead full lives,” says Jennifer N. Caudle, DO, an AOA board-certified family physician in Philadelphia.
What are the symptoms?
“Fibromyalgia is a multifaceted syndrome that impacts each patient differently,” says Dr. Caudle. “The condition affects patients physically, emotionally and socially, interfering with their basic daily activities, such as sleeping, exercising, and working.”
Common symptoms include:
• Widespread pain
• Joint stiffness
• Debilitating fatigue
• Irritable bowel syndrome
• Sleep disturbance
• Cognitive symptoms, such as difficulty concentrating
On average, Americans living with fibromyalgia endure three years of symptoms and visit at least three different physicians before receiving an accurate diagnosis.
How can I ensure a proper diagnosis?
Before beginning a dialogue with your physician, Dr. Caudle recommends recording your symptoms:
• Describe what you’re feeling.
• Rate the severity of your symptoms.
• Note how frequently your symptoms occur.
• Record what you’re doing when the symptoms begin.
She also recommends analyzing your lifestyle:
• Keep track of the medications/therapies you regularly use.
• Document your current exercise routine.
• Note how your symptoms impact your daily life.
• Talk to other people about your symptoms and concerns, including family members who can discuss your family health history.
• Conduct research to learn more about fibromyalgia and the different treatment options available.
What treatments are available?
The most important step to living an active life with fibromyalgia is finding the right physician who can develop an individualized approach to managing your symptoms.
“The condition can be effectively managed by exploring a range of different treatment options, such as medications, diet, lifestyle changes and other therapies such as osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT), a hands-on treatment used by DOs to care for musculoskeletal pain,” explains Dr. Caudle. “With the support of a physician, as well as friends and family, you can live an active life with fibromyalgia.”
Visit www.osteopathic.org/fibro to download a tip sheet to help you and your physician discuss your symptoms and a 60-day action plan for getting the proper treatment.
- How Exercise Fits In to Fibromyalgia Treatment (everydayhealth.com)
- 1 in 10 Fibromyalgia Patients Uses Marijuana to Ease Pain (nlm.nih.gov)
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Some days you just need that extra cup of coffee to help you stay awake and energized. Too much caffeine, however, can leave you wide awake later that night. Besides insomnia, too much caffeine can lead to other health problems, like upset stomachs and restlessness.
“A healthy intake of caffeine ranges from two to four cups of brewed coffee a day or just less than a can of soda, about 200 to 300 milligrams,” explains Ivan Rusilko, DO, an osteopathic physician from Miami. “People who don’t drink caffeine often may experience a larger effect when they do indulge.”
People need to watch the amount of caffeine not only in beverages but also in foods, such as chocolate. “You may be surprised to find some of your favorite foods contain various amounts of caffeine in it,” Dr. Rusilko adds.
Dr. Rusilko offers tips on how to safely consume caffeine:
- Use caffeine only certain times of the day. “Because it takes about five to seven hours for your body to eliminate half of the caffeine you consume, try to avoid drinking large amounts of caffeine eight to 10 hours before sleep to allow your body to eliminate about 75% of the caffeine within it,” suggests Dr. Rusilko.
- Slowly cut back. It is important to do this gradually to experience the least amount of side effects. “Abruptly stopping the intake of caffeine can cause unpleasant symptoms, such as anxiety, fatigue and headaches, for a few days,” Dr. Rusilko notes.
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Ever joke about being allergic to exercise when you’re not in the mood for a workout? A recent post on Self magazine’s Healthy Self blog discusses how for some this is no laughing matter. The condition is called exercise-induced anaphylaxis (EIA).
Brian Smart, MD, an allergist and immunologist at the DuPage Medical Group Asthma and Allergy Center in Glen Ellyn, Ill., points out in the post that you can’t actually be allergic to exercise but that it can trigger anaphylaxis, which is a severe, whole-body reaction to a particular trigger.
“Life-threatening episodes and fatalities have been reported, but are quite uncommon with this condition,” he is quoted as saying. “Nonetheless, anaphylaxis is always serious and should be treated as such.”
Learn more about EIA symptoms and treatment for those afflicted with the condition on the Healthy Self blog at Self.com.
- What Is a Drug Allergy? (everydayhealth.com)
- Food allergies affect more city kids than rural ones (cbsnews.com)
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Sure it’s best to get all your vitamins and minerals directly from the source. But most people find it daunting to incorporate the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables, high-fiber whole grains, healthy fats and lean protein into their diets every day. That’s where multivitamins can help.
“Multivitamins are not intended to take the place of a healthy diet, but they can provide a healthy foundation in case you don’t get certain nutrients on a given day,” explains Natalie A. Nevins, DO, an osteopathic physician from Hollywood, Calif.
Here are some tips from Dr. Nevins about how you can incorporate multivitamins and supplements into your diet to help satisfy those nutritional needs:
1) Get the right multivitamin. Multivitamins are recommended to be taken daily and at any age. “Your multivitamin should include vitamins A, B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B5 (pantothenic acid), B6 (pyridoxine), B7 (biotin), B9 (folic acid), B12, C, D, E and K. Minerals should include copper, chromium, magnesium, manganese, molybdenum, selenium and zinc,” says Dr. Nevins.
2) Take the pill that’s right for you. If you have issues with swallowing pills, consider smaller pills, chewable pills or powders you can mix with water. If you have any food sensitivities such as wheat or dairy, or prefer a vegetarian preparation, make sure to check the ingredient label.