HealthThis is how depression takes a toll on your body
It is alright to feel sad or anxious at times in your life, but if these feelings linger for more than two weeks, it could be a sign of depression. Although depression is a mental disorder, the effects it has on an individual’s body cannot be ignored. A person diagnosed with depression may experience physical pain, fatigue, heart problems, and other serious issues. Research has revealed how depression can affect your body.
Depression can make people binge eat or experience a significant loss of appetite. The contributing factor to weight gain can be emotional eating, in which the person eats food subconsciously, thinking that it may subside the feeling of depression. On the other hand, a person in a depressive state may lose interest in eating much, and have less motivation to prepare meals, leading to weight loss.
Persistent physical pain
People in depressive states tend to experience unexplained pains or aches on their back, joints, and limbs. It may also cause a headache and breast tenderness. Some people can even feel full-body pain, which can be chronic and extremely weakening. Plus, chronic pain can make symptoms of depression worse.
It’s common for people with depression to go through bouts of stomach or digestion problems, such as constipation, vomiting, nausea, or diarrhea. In some cases, people may also experience chronic conditions, like irritable bowel syndrome.
Insomnia or trouble falling asleep or staying asleep is quite common among people who are depressed. The lack of sleep makes people feel exhausted and invites a variety of health problems. Researches have shown that long-term sleeping problems can cause diabetes, weight problems, high blood pressure, and even some types of cancer.
Deteriorating chronic illnesses
People with depression have often reported about their chronic health condition worsening over time. Chronic diseases are stressful as it is, and depression plays a part in intensifying these feelings. People with depression may have a hard time following treatment procedures of their chronic conditions, making them more serious.
People who are depressed feel endlessly tired even after sleeping for long hours. Getting out of bed every morning is a big challenge for them, and they even struggle to do daily activities like bathing, cooking, and other chores. One can relate fatigue with lack of sleep, but research has revealed that no matter how much a person with depression sleeps, they may still feel tired throughout the day.
High blood pressure and heart conditions
A depressed person is mostly under stress, and this stressful feeling can last for a long time. Chronic stress has long been known to be a contributing factor to hypertension or high blood pressure. Furthermore, high blood pressure increases the chances of developing cardiovascular disease, including heart attacks and strokes. Researchers have claimed depression to be one of the risk factors for heart diseases.
Finance5 benefits of opting for debt settlement
Debt settlement can be a financial lifesaver for many. Managing debt is quite a difficult task. With every advancing payment due date, one may feel their finances getting tighter and tighter. Between paying for a house mortgage, student loans, credit card debt, personal loans, and many other debts, it is quite common to miss out on paying one payment. Although it may not seem like a big problem initially, this is not good for financial health in the long term. This is where debt settlement comes in. There are multiple benefits to availing debt settlement offered by some of the top 10 debt settlement companies.
No more bills
With debt settlement, no more bills will be incoming in the mailbox. Debt settlement results in the closure of a debt account by the creditor. In such cases, one will not be able to use their credit cards again. However, this can be beneficial since it will prevent further debt in the future. With debt settlement, there is a permanent erasure of debt.
No more collection calls
With mounting debt, the calls of creditors are always incessant. If one if falling behind on too many bills, they are bound to be subjected to creditor calls throughout the day. This can add to the stress of not being able to clear away all the dues. Plus, many collection departments are not known to be kind on calls. When a debt settlement is opted for, it will stop the incessant calls from the various collection departments.
No bankruptcy risk
Rather than filing for bankruptcy, debt settlement is a better option. With the bankruptcy filing, credit score can deteriorate quite significantly. In some cases, the credit score has slid down by nearly 200 points, taking a good credit score to bad credit score. The credit score lowers with debt settlement too. However, it is not as drastic as with bankruptcy. Furthermore, bankruptcy follows one for life since a bankruptcy entry has to be imprinted on the credit report for at least 10 years. Additionally, one must mention whether they have ever filed for bankruptcy when applying for personal loans, job applications, or credit cards. Thus, debt settlement can save one from the consequences of bankruptcy.
Better credit score
In reality, debt settlement may not seem to have much effect on the credit score. However, when compared to missed payments or ever-increasing debt, settling debt can be quite a savior for credit score. Late fees and penalty interest can cause quite a dent in the credit history. A debt settlement will prevent further deterioration of credit score. Additionally, debt settlement will be proof of attempting to debt repayment. Over time, the credit scores will start to improve steadily as one begins to rebuild credit after all the settlements.
Quicker repayment of debt
To avail of these advantages, one may approach some of the top 10 debt settlement companies, including National Debt Relief, Freedom Debt Relief, Accredited Debt Relief, and Guardian Debt Relief.
HealthHow to identify and combat multiple sclerosis
Multiple sclerosis is a chronic disease of the central nervous system, which comprises the brain, spinal cord, and optic nerves. It’s an unpredictable disease that disrupts the flow of information between the body and brain. The exact cause of multiple sclerosis is not fully understood yet, but experts believe that it is an autoimmune disorder in which the immune system attacks the myelin sheath that covers and protects the nerve fibers from damage.
When this protective myelin sheath is destroyed, it leaves a scar or sclerosis. Doctors often refer to these damaged areas as plaques or lesions. The damage prevents the brain from effectively sending signals to the rest of the body.
Signs and symptoms
Multiple sclerosis can lead to a variety of symptoms that can differ in each individual. The severity of symptoms can also change over time. Since it affects the central nervous system, which controls the movements in the rest of the body, the symptoms can be observed in various body parts. Some of the most common symptoms of multiple sclerosis include:
- Muscle weakness
- Numbness and a tingling sensation in the face, torso, arms, and legs
- Bladder and bowel problems
- Chronic pain
- Dizziness and vertigo
- Vision problems
- Mood changes and depression
There are four types of multiple sclerosis. These include:
- Clinically isolated syndrome (CIS)
This involves one episode of symptoms due to myelin damage, and can last for about 24 hours. If another episode of symptoms occurs, then the individual is diagnosed with the next type of multiple sclerosis.
- Relapse-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS)
This is the most common type of multiple sclerosis observed in people. When an individual experiences the second episode of symptoms, they are diagnosed with RRMS. These new episodes can be more severe and are often followed by periods of remission, during which symptoms disappear to some extent or completely.
- Primary progressive multiple sclerosis (PPMS)
In PPMS, the symptoms of the disease steadily become worse. In this stage, however, one can also experience bouts of stability.
- Secondary progressive multiple sclerosis (SPMS)
In this type, one may experience some amount of remission or relapses, but the symptoms eventually become more severe.
There is no definite cure for multiple sclerosis, but there are treatments that are meant to slow the progression of the disease and lower the number and severity of relapses.
Many disease-modifying agents (DMA) have received approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat multiple sclerosis. They modify the function of the immune system, slow disease progression, and reduce the number of relapses. Some of these medicines are taken orally, while others are injected or infused. The number of doses depends on the type of drug the doctor prescribes. Doctors suggest that taking these drugs at an early stage can be effective in controlling the progression of the disease. A list of FDA-approved medications is available on the official website of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.
HealthWhy talking about mental health in the workplace is essential
Most people spend a huge part of their lives in their offices. If they’re suffering from some kind of mental illness, then it must be addressed in the workplace as it severely impacts their performance. Many employees with mental health issues shy away from discussing their problems with their peers and bosses out of fear of damaging their working relationships. It is equally the employer’s responsibility to ensure that employees feel encouraged to talk about their mental health woes and that they seek professional intervention as well. Taking mental health seriously can significantly improve employees’ productivity. Here are a few more reasons why employers must incorporate dialogues around and tools to deal with mental health in the workplace:
- Helps employees feel comfortable and more productive
It’s important for an employer to understand how mental disorders can affect an employee’s work and behavior. For instance, if one of the employees has a history of panic attacks, it is quite likely that he suffers from attacks at work too. But if they are not comfortable talking about their mental health issues in the office, then their condition could worsen and their performance, too, may drop. On the other hand, if employees feel comfortable to discuss this issue with their bosses, then they can together find a way to cope with the problem. This ensures that the employee’s confidence is boosted and that their mental health is not a hindrance to their performance at work.
- Builds a culture of happiness and acceptance
Employers must create an environment wherein employees can talk freely about their mental health issues whenever they feel like it. Some employers do this by first talking about their own issues and how they overcame/are overcoming them. This motivates their employees to step forward and talk openly about any issue that they may be dealing with. The goal here is to make people understand that mental illness is not abnormal and encourage them to seek help.
- Eliminates the stigma surrounding mental illness
Let’s say that someone who is diagnosed with a certain kind of mental illness is seeing a therapist after work. The therapist tells them that it’s alright to be fighting the issue, and that they’re lucky enough to have those who support them. The next day, they go into the office where nobody talks about mental illness and perceives it as something non-existential. Now, if this person comes across a situation where they fail to deliver results because of their mental illness, then it is likely that colleagues or others in the office will accuse them of using mental illness as an excuse for their inability to perform well. Regardless of what therapists say, this can force them to believe that it is indeed not okay to be fighting a mental illness. This can permanently affect their personal as well as professional life.
- It is a positive way to attract good employees
If you were not already aware, many talented and valuable employees suffer from mental illnesses. These people may not consider working for an organization that does not have mechanisms to address mental health and well-being at work. Many of them are even ready to forgo a higher salary only to work for a company that can understand their needs and help them build their mental well-being.
HealthCommon bodily changes that women experience during menopause
Menopause is a stage in a woman’s life that signals the end of her monthly period cycle. However, it does not occur overnight. Women first enter the perimenopause stage, wherein the physical and hormonal structures of their bodies undergo many changes. If there is no recurrence of the cycle for 12 consecutive months, then they are said to have entered menopause. Monthly menstrual cycles generally stop between the ages of 45 and 55; the average age at which menopause sets in is 51, when the functions of a woman’s ovaries gradually start to decline.
It is important to note that this is a perfectly natural cycle and hardly a cause for concern. However, as women near their menopausal stages, they might be faced with certain health risks that increase over time. While research attributes some triggers to genetics, there is a number of other factors that can give rise to these changes. When one starts to experience adverse symptoms, it is advisable to consult a specialist. However, with adequate care and timely changes made to one’s lifestyle, this transition can be easily managed. Here are some of the transitions that women go through during their perimenopausal and menopausal stages:
Reduced levels of estrogen in the body can cause hot flashes, one of the most common symptoms women experience during a normal menopausal transition. The shift in hormonal cycles caused due to low levels of estrogen, age, and changes in daily lifestyle can also trigger mood swings in women.
Menopause affects bone health as well—the gradual decline in estrogen levels can also lead to a loss of calcium, making the bones brittle. Women are highly susceptible to bone-related conditions such as osteoporosis during menopause. This is one of the reasons why women must adopt a healthier diet and make lifestyle changes that help promote bone health. Steps must also be taken to reduce the risk of spine, hip, and joint fractures during this time.
It is not uncommon for women to experience weight gain during and after the transition. Body weight is directly linked to certain hormones, and changes in the same can trigger weight gain. Weight gain can further lead to complications; this is why there is a strong need to create a healthy and regular diet plan and exercise routine at this stage. It is also crucial to avoid complications in heart health. Often during menopause, a severe drop in estrogen levels can cause the arteries that pump blood throughout the body to lose flexibility. This, in turn, can impact blood circulation and increase the chances of cardiac palpitations.
Severity of symptoms
Different women may experience different symptoms but the severity of these symptoms greatly varies depending on one’s age, health, and other factors.. For instance, one may experience hot flashes frequently, but may not necessarily experience mood swings at the same time; some women might experience more facial hair growth while others might not. Treatment of these symptoms, too, will vary accordingly.
HealthUnusual and underlying causes of joint conditions
Joints form the connection between the bones and facilitate a range of motions. Any damage caused to these joints can interfere with the ability to move and cause a lot of pain. There are several joint conditions such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, and bursitis that are debilitating and painful. Joint pain is one of the most common pains that people, in general, complain about. A national survey suggested that one-third of adults have reported joint pain at least once in a month. Out of this, knee pain is the most common complaint followed by hip and shoulder pain.
Here are some of the unusual underlying causes that give rise to painful joint condition:
It is a common form of arthritis that can affect any age group. Gout is characterized by episodes of severe pain, swelling, redness, and swelling of the joints typically at the base of the big toe. Gout is caused due to the formation of uric acid crystals near the toe. The body produces uric acid when it breaks down purines. Due to gout, the body loses its capacity to convert purines.
It is a systemic autoimmune disease that occurs when the body’s immune system attacks its own organs and tissues. Lupus affects not only joints, but also affects the skin, blood cells, lungs, heart, and the brain. Apart from causing joint conditions, the most distinct sign of lupus is the formation of rashes that resembles butterfly wings unfolding across both cheeks.
Underactive thyroid or hypothyroidism is a condition in which the thyroid gland does not produce required hormones. Hypothyroidism may not cause noticeable symptoms in the early stages but can cause several problems. One major symptom of hypothyroidism is obesity. Unexplained weight gain, followed by joint conditions.
- Lyme disease
It is caused by specific species of bacteria, it is the most common tick-borne illness that is transmitted from the bite of a bacteria-infected tick. Out of all the typical symptoms, Lyme disease can cause joint conditions such as severe knee swelling and pain. The pain can shift from one joint to another.
It is an infection in the bone. Several infections can reach the bone traveling through the bloodstream or nearby infected tissue. In some cases, infections can also occur if an injury exposes the bone to germs. The infection can sometimes cause pain in the bones and joints. This condition is called septic arthritis.
This type of disorder is usually characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain. Researchers usually attribute physical trauma, surgery, infection, and significant psychological stress as the causes of fibromyalgia. In many causes fibromyalgia also causes temporomandibular joint disorders, which can result in dull joint aches that can last for up to three months.
The causes mentioned above could result in joint conditions. So, it is necessary to be aware of all the symptoms and discuss the same with a doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment.
HealthA comprehensive guide on hearing aids
Hearing loss can be sensorineural, conductive, or a combination of both. The type of hearing loss determines whether a person has lost his/her hearing ability completely or partially. Once the hair cells in the inner ear are dead, they can’t be treated, and the ability to hear is permanently lost. Regardless of the type of hearing impairment, a person can utilize hearing aids to help hear better. These aids significantly improve hearing ability by amplifying sounds so that it reaches your inner ear. Read on to know more about hearing aids.
What are hearing aids?
Hearing aids are wearable, sound-amplifying devices designed to help people with complete or partial hearing loss. Hearing aids have a microphone that picks up sounds, an amplifier that increases sound levels, and a receiver that conducts sounds to the inner ear.
Hearing aids differ by the technology used to amplify the sound, analog or digital, their various designs, and distinctive features. Some aids come with earmolds or earpieces that direct the sound flow inside the ear canal and improve sound quality. Before choosing a particular aid, it is recommended that the individual consult an audiologist to understand the severity of hearing loss.
Analog vs. Digital hearing aids
Although not as popular as digital hearing aids today, analog hearing aids are still available and offer quite a few benefits. A sound amplifier is at the core of analog devices. They cannot isolate background noises, so they amplify all sound signals equally. However, these devices are programmable and can be tweaked to work for different environments like a library, restaurants, or music concert. But even there, they will equally amplify all sounds in the set frequency range. Analog devices tend to have longer battery life and are cheaper than digital aids.
Digital hearing aids are an enhancement over analog devices and are the most preferred type of hearing aids today. They are equipped with advanced processors, which is essentially a tiny computer chip that receives the signal from the microphone and converts them to digital signals. These signals can then be adjusted to help an individual hear clearly in different environments, and can virtually eliminate background noise.
Different styles of hearing aids
Hearing aids come in five major styles. You can select them based on your preferences.
- Behind-the-ear (BTE) aids: All electronic parts are enclosed in a small plastic case that rests behind the ear. The case is attached to the earmold or earpiece through the tubing.
- Mini behind-the-ear (mBTE) aids: In this type, the earpiece is inside the ear canal. A thin tube is used to connect the aid to the canal. These are more comfortable than BTEs and barely visible.
- Completely-in-the-canal (CIC) aids: These tiny aids go deep into the ear canal and fit tightly. They are virtually invisible and less sensitive to wind noise.
- In-the-canal (ITC) aids: These are compact aids that go into the canal and are barely visible. They don’t give much of a plugged-up feeling like completely-in-the-canal aids, which is preferable to some.
- In-the-ear (ITE) aids: All electronic components of the aid are enclosed in the case which rests in the outer part of the ear. They are bigger than in-the-canal and completely-in-the-canal aids.