• Common Symptoms of Cold and Allergies You Should Know Common Symptoms of Cold and Allergies You Should Know

    Colds and allergies are two extremely common conditions, somewhat similar in nature and expression, and affect both children as well as adults of all ages. According to a survey published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it is not at all uncommon for an adult to suffer from cold two to three times a year. This survey also correctly concludes that children are more likely to suffer from more frequent bouts of cold every year immune system is still developing.

    Allergies as a condition are also very common in both children and adults. According to a survey, around 50 million people in the country suffer from allergies. Read on to know more about the symptoms that help provide a difference between these two conditions.

    Cold and allergies are not the same
    It is true that the symptoms of these two conditions are somewhat similar, but cold and allergies themselves are fundamentally different from one another. These two conditions have significantly different causes and outbursts and the cold and allergies symptoms vary in type as well as the duration for which they last. If the doctor correctly identifies the cause behind the symptoms, then appropriate and timely treatment can be undertaken.

    Symptoms of a common cold
    Despite the apparent similarities between cold and allergies’ symptoms, the essential differences between them would be best explained if one understands these conditions would be beneficial.

    A cold, which is also known as “the common cold,” is, more often than not, caused by a virus and its symptoms show that. There are many different types of viruses which are responsible for causing a cold. While the symptoms and their severity may differ from individual to individual, all types of cold generally share some of the same basic characteristics. Here are some of the most common symptoms of cold:

    • A runny nose with mucus being constantly secreted by the inner glands of the nose
    • In addition to the most common symptoms of coughing and sneezing, cold symptoms can often include a sore throat and a stuffy nose
    • The cold which is more severe in nature also has the potential to cause headaches, fever, and body aches for a considerable span of time.
    • Headaches are accompanied by fever in some serious cases. This is often the first symptom that surfaces.
    • If these symptoms last more than a week or two, then there is a possibility that the virus may have contributed to a more serious infection, for instance, a sinus infection, pneumonia, or even bronchitis.
    • Randomly feeling hot or cold throughout the day and generic nausea.

    Symptoms of allergies
    Allergies can occur when any particular patient’s immune system has an adverse reaction to certain substances. These are often established right from a tender age and doctors advise patients to stay away from whatever they are allergic to. When someone is exposed to an allergy trigger, which is defined as an allergen, the patient’s immune system releases chemicals in the body known as histamines. The histamines, when released by the body, are what causes allergy symptoms.

    These cold and allergy symptoms are common to both the diseases, but they are more obvious and common in the case of allergies:

    • Sneezing, especially continuously
    • Coughing
    • A sore throat
    • A runny nose
    • Nasal congestion
    • Watery eyes

    Key differences between cold and allergy symptoms
    Although cold and allergy symptoms may be similar, there are also many key differences. Sufferers should keep the following differences in mind when trying to identify whether they are experiencing the symptoms of a cold or an allergy:

    • If the eyes are itchy and watery, then those are often obvious signs that the symptoms have occurred due to an allergy.
    • A fever is a very common occurrence with a severe cold, especially in infants and children, but is not known as an allergy symptom.
    • A sore throat can occur when someone is suffering from allergies but it is a more common symptom with a cold.
    • Body aches are not a common occurrence in the case of allergies, but they might be common with a cold

    Symptoms which are exclusive to that of a cold are as follows:

    • Fatigue and a pain in the body
    • Aches and pains
    • A sore throat and, at times, even a partially clogged throat

    Symptoms which are exclusive to that of allergies are as follows:

    • Itchy eyes
    • Wheezing
    • Skin rashes, such as eczema or hives; these are common for a dermatological allergy

    Thus, it is essential for all to understand the differences between the symptoms of these two apparently similar diseases. It is not desirable for any patient to be diagnosed with some disease which he or she does not have. Therefore, it is important for both the patient and the doctor concerned to analyze the symptoms carefully and then follow a treatment path.

  • Burning Pain in Feet – Causes and Treatments Burning Pain in Feet – Causes and Treatments

    A burning sensation in your feet can have many causes like diabetic neuropathy, athlete’s foot, alcohol use, and so on. Identifying the cause is vital for focused medical treatments. Besides this, you can also try several home remedies.

    What causes a burning sensation in the feet?
    Many diseases and infections can cause burning pain in your feet.

    • Diabetic neuropathy: If you have diabetes, gradually, your nerves can get damaged. This nerve damage starts in the feet. Damaged nerves may send incorrect signals to the brain, inducing pain sensations even when there is no wound or another injury.
    • Heavy alcohol use: If you have a practice of regularly consuming alcohol in large amounts, then you can face nerve damage.
    • Erythromelalgia: This condition produces a shooting and burning pain in your feet, without any recognizable cause. It is a rare disease. If you have it, then the pain can get worse after stressful activities like long walks, running, or standing for a long time.
    • Infectious diseases: Infectious diseases like Lyme disease, athlete’s foot, shingles, and HIV can induce a sharp pain in your feet.
    • Kidney Disease: Kidney dysfunction results in a build-up of toxins as the kidneys are no longer capable of clearing the waste and toxins from your body. Thus, this can result in pain in your feet.
    • Hypothyroidism: Underactive thyroid results in low levels of thyroid hormones. A low level of these hormones can cause your feet to swell up and feel painful.
    • Nutritional deficiencies: Vitamin B deficiency can cause burning pain in feet.

    Treatments for burning pain in the feet
    Depending on the cause of the burning pain, treatments may vary. For instance, burning pain in the feet caused by diabetic neuropathy may require you to keep your blood sugar levels in control by taking the right medications.

    Kidney disease-induced burning feet pain may be relieved by dialysis, which is a process that removes toxins from the body. You may have to take vitamin B supplements if you have a deficiency. For athlete’s foot, your doctor may prescribe an antifungal medication.

    To get relief from the burning pain in your feet, you can try some over-the-counter medicines but always consult your doctor first.

    Clinical and traditional therapies
    For severe burning pain in the feet, you may get relief through electrical nerve stimulation, laser therapy, and magnetic therapy. You can also try acupuncture.

    Simple remedies to get relief from pain in the burning feet
    You can try following these simple remedies at home:

    • Cold water therapy
      Fill a tub with cold water. Put your feet in it for a few minutes. Take your feet out, rest for a minute or so, and then soak it again. You can repeat this treatment option two or three times a day. However, avoid this therapy if the pain is due to erythromelalgia.
    • Epsom salt and warm water soak
      Epsom salt helps in reducing inflammation. Put a cup of Epsom salt in a tub of warm water. Keep your feet in this water for around 15 minutes. You can repeat this once every three or four days. If you have diabetes or high blood pressure, consult your doctor before trying this remedy.
    • Apple cider vinegar
      Apple cider vinegar (ACV) can help balance your body’s pH levels, thus providing relief from the burning feet pain.

    You can try adding some ACV to the Epsom salt foot soak, or you can use only ACV and skip Epsom salt altogether. Create a warm water bath for soaking your feet. Keep your feet in it for a few minutes.

    Add a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar to a glass of water. Mix it well and drink it. Besides pain relief, it also provides other benefits.

    • Thyme
      Thyme relaxes blood vessels and promotes blood circulation to the affected feet. For this remedy, you need two tubs, one filled with warm water, and one filled with cold water. Keep them side-by-side. Take some thyme, put half of it in one tub and half in the other one.

    Put your feet in the warm water tub for 5 minutes. Next, switch to the cold water tub and keep your feet in this for 5 minutes. Repeat this for twenty minutes to get relief from burning feet pain.

    • Hawthorne
      This herb is capable of dilating constricted blood vessels and improving blood flow. Make a herbal tea with it by boiling Hawthorne in water for some time, then allowing it to cool. Filter it and drink this tea to get relief from the burning pain in your feet.
    • Ginger
      Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties and also improves blood circulation. Peel a tiny piece of ginger, and make a herbal tea. After it has cooled down, filter it, add some honey and drink this mixture.

    You can also extract ginger juice from fresh ginger, mix a small amount with coconut oil, and massage this on your feet.

    • Bitter gourd or bitter melon
      Grind a bunch of freshly picked and cleaned bitter gourd leaves. Add some water to it and make a smooth paste. Apply this on your feet.
    • Turmeric
      Turmeric has anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties. It can boost your immune system as well.

    Add a teaspoon of turmeric powder to milk or water, boil this to blend it properly, and drink it.

    Make a paste of turmeric powder and water, or turmeric powder and coconut oil. Apply this on your feet.

    • Exercise
      If the cause of the burning pain in your feet is the stress due to vigorous activities, you should rest your feet. Otherwise, walk or jog for short distances to improve blood circulation.
    • Massage
      Massage your feet using warm coconut oil or olive oil. The oil will lubricate your skin and soothe it. The massage will stimulate your feet and enhance blood circulation. Just perform a mild massage and do not exert pressure.

    Burning feet pain may have many causes. Besides treating the underlying condition with medications, you may also try some home remedies to get relief from burning feet pain.

  • 5 Ways to Treat Hernia Without Surgery 5 Ways to Treat Hernia Without Surgery

    A hernia occurs when an internal part such as an organ or a fatty tissue pushes through an opening in the muscle or tissue that holds it in place. The common types of hernias are an inguinal hernia (inner groin), incisional hernia (resulting from an incision), femoral hernia (outer groin), umbilical hernia (belly button), and hiatal hernia (upper stomach). Even though they are most common in the abdomen, hernias may appear in the upper thigh, belly button, and groin regions. If the opening in the abdomen through which the umbilical cord passes does not seal properly after birth, infants may also suffer from this condition. This condition occurs in adults if there is repeated strain on the abdomen. Most of the hernias are not immediately life-threatening, but they require surgical correction to prevent potentially dangerous complications as they will not go away on their own. You can do some exercises at home and make some lifestyle changes to cure a hernia without surgery.

    Symptoms of a hernia
    The symptoms of a hernia include a prominent swelling under the skin of the abdomen or the groin which can disappear when you lie down. The pain might be tender or sore. You might experience the feeling of a heavy weight in the abdomen which might be accompanied by constipation or blood in the stool. You may feel abdominal discomfort while coughing, lifting weights or bending over. You may also experience heartburn, acid reflux, chest pain, and difficulty in swallowing. For some people, there may be no visible symptoms of a hernia. It will show up only during a routine medical exam or a physical exam for some other medical issue.

    Here are a few techniques that you can follow to cure a hernia without surgery:

    Change eating practices
    It is suggested to eat six small meals through the day — three main meals and three snacks in between. Having heavy meals is not recommended as this can lead to a backflow of stomach contents. Avoid eating spicy foods, soda, coffee or anything that can upset the gastric contents of your stomach. Taking antacids once a day before having meals can help in curing a hernia without surgery. Avoid lying down, bending over, or performing physical activities directly after a meal. These activities can also lead to a backflow of stomach contents.

    Lose weight
    Being overweight raises the pressure on the abdominal cavity and makes the intestine protrude, thus causing a hernia. One must consult their doctor before changing their diet and workout routine. People should try to weight gradually rather than opting for crash diets.

    Wear a truss or brace to support a hernia
    Wearing a supportive device like a truss or brace prevents a hernia from protruding. Although there isn’t any study about this, wearing a truss after manually maneuvering the hernia in place helps in relieving its symptoms. However, this is a painful and uncomfortable procedure.

    Practice light exercises or yoga
    A weak area such as the abdominal wall can result in the protrusion of an organ. So, the best way to cure a hernia without surgery is doing exercises that strengthen the body part in which a hernia can occur. Exercises like an inclined leg lift, cycling, pillow squeezes, mini-crunches, pool exercises, or doing yoga helps. Make sure to consult your healthcare provider before trying out any strenuous form of yoga as it is not recommended for some individuals. While doing yoga, perform the poses in the presence of a trained yoga instructor so that he or she can guide you along the way. Supported shoulder stand, fish pose, raised legs pose, wind-relieving pose, forward bends, and diamond pose are believed to relieve abdominal pressure, strengthen abdominal muscles, and compress the inguinal canal. Also, a simple walk for at least forty-five minutes daily at a brisk pace strengthens the upper and lower abdomen and the pelvic floor.

    Follow healthier routines
    To cure a hernia without surgery, avoid putting pressure on your muscles and your abdomen. Avoid lifting heavy objects. If you must lift a heavy object, try to do so by applying pressure to your knees and not your back. Bend low before picking up the object. Another non-surgical cure for a hernia is quitting smoking as this habit can lead to deterioration of not only your muscles but also other tissues in your body. Try to keep your immune system robust as far as possible since sneezing, coughing, and vomiting can strain your intestines and abdominal cavity. Also, avoid straining during bowel movements so that you do not put too much pressure on the abdominal area.

    Even though a hernia may not seem grave initially, if left untreated, it may grow and become incredibly painful. It is better to consult your healthcare provider at the first sign of a hernia. If untreated, it may lead to obstruction in the bowel as well.

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  • Diet for schizophrenia – what to eat and what to avoid Diet for schizophrenia – what to eat and what to avoid

    Diet for schizophrenia: What to eat and what to avoid?
    Schizophrenia is a mental illness that can cause delusions, paranoia, social and cognitive problems, and hallucinations. While the most common method of this condition is medication and psychotherapy, those who have schizophrenia can benefit from following a proper diet. Certain food items must be avoided, while there are a few that would be good for schizophrenia patients.

    What to avoid
    There are certain food items that a schizophrenia patient should avoid as can cause various health problems that can aggravate the condition.

    • Sugar
      Schizophrenia patients need to be in good physical health to ensure their mental health improves. Maintaining blood sugar levels is important and for this, sugar and food items containing sugar must be avoided or eaten in moderation.
    • Carbohydrates
      A diet that has high carbohydrate content needs to be avoided. Instead, a diet that has low carbs and helps in keeping blood sugar in check should be preferred. It also helps in weight control, which is required for those suffering from schizophrenia.
    • Gluten
      Gluten needs to be removed from the diet for schizophrenics. Most people are allergic to gluten found in wheat, rye, and barley. Studies have shown a link between gluten and aggravated symptoms of schizophrenia.

    What to eat
    A healthy and well-balanced diet helps improve both physical and mental health. The following food items and nutrients are essential for someone who has schizophrenia.

    • Omega-3 fatty acids
      Omega-3 is a very powerful fatty acid that has multiple health benefits. It has been found to be useful in improving mental health. Fish like salmon, tuna, mackerel, and sardines are rich in omega-3 and if one doesn’t have access to these varieties of fish, fish oil capsules and omega-3 supplements can also be consumed. Omega-3 is also found in nuts and seeds like flaxseed and pumpkin seeds.
    • Antioxidants
      Antioxidants help to fight free radicals and are good for improving mental health and are found in fruits and vegetables. Beans, berries, pecans, carrots, lean meat, onion, red wine, and green tea have antioxidants that can be consumed.
    • Fiber
      Food rich in fiber is a good option. It helps control blood sugar and prevents weight gain. Fiber is found in most fruits and vegetables. Wholegrain bread and cereals, potatoes with skin, peas, pulses, and nuts have high fiber content and should be included in the diet for individuals suffering from schizophrenia.
    • Niacin
      Niacin is a very helpful vitamin and can reduce symptoms of schizophrenia. The food items that are rich in niacin are liver, chicken breast, salmon, turkey, ground beef, anchovies, brown rice, avocado, and whole wheat.
    • Zinc
      Low levels of zinc can aggravate schizophrenia symptoms. Consuming food rich in zinc is a positive choice for those suffering from schizophrenia. Shellfish, dairy products, legumes, and beef are rich in zinc.
    • Vitamin B12
      Vitamin B12 is helpful for those having schizophrenia. Food rich in vitamin B12 like clams, trout, fortified cereal, and eggs can be consumed regularly for optimum benefits.
  • Methods to Use a Thermometer and a Fever Temperature Chart with Children Methods to Use a Thermometer and a Fever Temperature Chart with Children

    The fever temperature chart indicates the range of normal temperature measured in different ways for different age groups of children. When the temperature exceeds the upper limit, it is an indication of fever.

    Measuring fever in a child
    The mode of measurement depends on the extent of discomfort the child is facing as well as the target temperature indicated by the fever temperature chart. The fever temperature chart varies according to the age group of the child. For children between 0 and 3 months, normal temperature is between 97℉ or 36℃ to 100.4℉ or 38℃ or and temperatures above 100.4℉ or 38℃ indicate fever. The temperature range is the same for children between 3 and 6 months and temperature above 101℉ or 38℃ indicates fever. For children over 6 months, a temperature of 102℉ or 39℃ and above indicates fever.

    Situations when medical consultation is required
    Medical consultation is necessary when the temperature as per the fever temperature chart indicates fever and if there are certain accompanying symptoms.

    Babies below 3 months with fever require immediate medical attention.

    Children: When the child is fussy or not behaving in a normal way even after medications to reduce fever have been administered, or if he/she is refusing fluids and is dehydrated with dryness of the mouth, stiffness of the neck or a headache, pain in the abdomen, difficulty breathing, rashes or pain in the joints, fever persisting continuously for 5 days—these are the signs that a doctor needs to be consulted.

    Different ways to measure temperature and corresponding fever temperature chart ranges
    It is advisable to use a digital thermometer to measure someone’s temperature for recording and determining the fever levels. The different thermometers that are available include—rectal thermometers, oral thermometers, thermometers for measuring temperature through the temporal artery, and thermometers to measure the temperature through the armpit or the ear.

    The rectal temperature in case of infants:
    For rectal measurement, the normal range is from 97.9 ℉ to 100.4 ℉ or 36.6 ℃ to 38 degrees Celsius. Temperature over 100.4 ℉ or 38 ℃ indicates fever.

    In case of measuring rectal temperature, lubricate the tip of the digital thermometer with petroleum jelly. With knees in a flexed position, the child should be laid on the stomach or on the side. The tip should be inserted up to 1 inch with extreme care into the rectum.

    You need to ensure the child does not move until the beep from the thermometer indicates that it’s over.

    Oral temperature:
    For oral measurements, the normal range is between 95.5 ℉ and 99.5 ℉ or 35.3 ℃ to 37.5 ℃. When the temperature is greater than 99.5 ℉ or 37.5 ℃, that is an indication of fever.

    After the digital thermometer is switched on, the tip should be placed below the tongue. Ensure that the mouth is closed until the beep is heard. One can then check the temperature.

    Temperature from the temporal artery:
    The fever temperature chart in case of temporal measurement states that temperature is normal when it ranges from 97.9 ℉ to 100.1 ℉ or 36.6 ℃ to 37.8 ℃. When the temperature is greater than 100.1 ℉ or 37.8 degrees Celsius, that is an indication of fever.

    The temperature is measured by sweeping the thermometer through the forehead.

    Armpit temperature:
    The fever temperature chart in case of axillary measurement states that temperature is normal when it ranges from 94.5 ℉ to 99.3 ℉ or 34.7 ℃ to 37.4 ℃. When the temperature is greater than 99.3 ℉ or 37.4 ℃, it is an indication of fever.

    The digital thermometer is switched on and placed under the arm and one has to ensure it is in contact with the skin. The thermometer should be held tightly and taken out after the beep is heard after which the temperature can be checked.

    Ear temperature:
    The fever temperature chart in case of tympanic measurement states that temperature is normal when it ranges from 96.3 ℉ to 100 ℉ or 35.7 ℃ to 37.8 ℃. When the temperature is greater than 100 ℉ or 37.8 ℃, that is an indication for fever.

    Read the instructions given along with your thermometer carefully, and put the thermometer in the ear canal up to the indicated distance. The thermometer should be tightly held and it has to be taken out only after the beep is heard. The temperature can then be checked.

    Precautions to be followed when using the thermometers:
    While using thermometers, the instructions that are provided with the thermometer should be read carefully. Make sure you use lukewarm water along with soap or rubbing alcohol to thoroughly clean the thermometer before using it. Ensure that separate thermometers are used for measuring temperatures orally and through the rectum. Use separate labels for safety purposes.


Find a doctor

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  • Cancer Memorial Contribution-American Institute For Cancer
    (180) 084 - 3811
  • Virginia Cancer Specialists - Loudoun
    44035 Riverside Parkway Suite 300LeesburgVA
    (170) 355 - 4680
  • Virginia Cancer Care: Ravneet Grewal, MD
    19415 Deerfield Ave Suite 107LeesburgVA
    (170) 399 - 7131
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