Depression (also known as major depressive disorder) is a mood disorder that has a significant impact on the feelings, thoughts, and behavior of those affected. It causes persistent feelings of sadness, which can make one lose interest in daily activities. This may lead to emotional and physical problems in day-to-day life, interfering with work, school, and relationships. To help one recognize the disorder and seek help to manage it, here are warning signs of depression:
1. Loss of interest in daily activities
Activities that one used to enjoy previously may not interest one anymore. This could be true of hobbies, pastimes, and social activities. One may also be unable to take care of oneself and face issues eating, bathing, or fulfilling family or work responsibilities.
2. Changes in appetite
Some people with depression may experience loss of appetite, while others may feel like eating too often.
3. Sleep-related changes
Another common warning sign of depression is changes in the sleeping schedule. Here, one may either experience insomnia (sleeplessness) or oversleeping.
4. Feelings of hopelessness
As a result of depression, one may develop a hopeless outlook on certain situations. They may also feel helpless in their ability to change a situation.
5. Feelings of guilt or shame
According to research, those with major depressive disorder tend to experience excessive or inappropriate guilt or shame. This can lead to self-critical remarks.
6. Poor memory
Depression has also been associated with memory problems such as forgetfulness and confusion. In some cases, it may also lead to difficulty focusing on work, making decisions, or thinking clearly.
7. Anger or irritability
Those with the disorder may also experience high levels of anger or irritability. It may result in lower tolerance levels and a shorter temper, making one feel agitated and restless.
8. Lack of energy
People with depression may experience a lack of energy and motivation and may feel fatigued. Small routine tasks may also feel exhausting or take longer to complete due to this symptom.
9. Changes in behavior
Depression may cause one to engage in reckless or escapist behavior, such as reckless driving or dangerous sports.
10. Feelings of fear
During a depressive episode, one may also experience a fear of failure, even without any conscious reason.
11. Unexplained pain
The mental health disorder may also cause physical symptoms such as headaches, back pain, or stomach pain.
12. Social withdrawal
Social withdrawal is another common symptom among people with depression. Going out or interacting with friends and family members may feel overwhelming or tiresome. This may cause isolation, loneliness, stress, and interpersonal conflicts.
In severe cases of depression, one may also experience hallucinations or delusions, which are symptoms of psychosis. Here, delusions refer to a false judgment about external reality, which may contribute to the development of inaccurate thoughts or feelings. Alternatively, one may hallucinate, i.e., they may hear, smell, see, feel, or taste things that are not there.
If one notices any depression symptoms and warning signs, they should consult a mental health professional immediately.
Parkinson’s disease (PD) and tardive dyskinesia (TD) are neurological disorders impacting individuals’ motor functions. Despite their unique origins and symptom profiles, these conditions exhibit unexpected parallels in their health implications. Their similarities may result in multiple challenges when it comes to diagnosing each individual condition. It may also affect the way Parkison’s or TD is treated. Therefore, it is essential for one to learn about these seven common indicators in both these conditions.
Difficulties with speech
Symptoms like difficulties with speech are a prevalent concern in Parkinson’s disease and tardive dyskinesia. In Parkinson’s disease, bradykinesia and muscle rigidity affect vocal muscles, leading to soft, monotonous speech, often interspersed with freezing of speech. Conversely, tardive dyskinesia induces speech challenges through involuntary movements in the tongue, lips, and face, causing slurred speech and articulation difficulties. These speech-related issues significantly impact communication for individuals with both conditions, highlighting the importance of tailored interventions and support.
People with Parkinson’s disease may develop akathisia as a secondary symptom, driven by discomfort resulting from bradykinesia and rigidity. Individuals with PD may constantly shift positions or fidget to alleviate this inner restlessness. Conversely, in tardive dyskinesia, akathisia is often induced or exacerbated by antipsychotic prescriptions, causing profound inner restlessness and difficulty remaining still. This restlessness adds an extra layer of complexity to the management of both conditions.
Anxiety and depression
These neurological symptoms often accompany Parkinson’s disease and tardive dyskinesia. In Parkinson’s, the loss of dopamine-producing neurons contributes to emotional imbalances, leading to heightened anxiety and depressive symptoms. The constant struggle with motor limitations and the uncertainty of progression compound these emotional challenges. Similarly, tardive dyskinesia, with its socially isolating symptoms, may provoke embarrassment and emotional distress, increasing the risk of anxiety and depression.
This sign is an intriguing manifestation observed in both the conditions. In PD, it might result from muscle rigidity affecting respiratory muscles, making exhalation challenging. In contrast, TD-induced grunting stems from involuntary muscle movements affecting the chest and abdomen. These vocalizations provide subtle yet distinctive cues, aiding in differential diagnosis and highlighting the intricate ways in which these neurological conditions affect various aspects of an individual’s life.
Involuntary movements are a prominent feature, though with distinct characteristics seen in both diseases. Parkinson’s patients commonly exhibit resting tremors, affecting hands, fingers, and occasionally the jaw, while experiencing bradykinesia and muscle rigidity. Tardive dyskinesia patients present involuntary, repetitive facial movements such as lip smacking and tongue protrusion and may extend to limb and trunk involvement.
In Parkinson’s disease, a festinating gait manifests as a shuffling, hesitant walk with reduced arm swing. This results from muscle rigidity and impaired initiation of steps. Likewise, in tardive dyskinesia, festinating gait arises from involuntary, jerky movements affecting the limbs and trunk. These abnormal movements disrupt coordination and contribute to an unsteady walk in people with TD.
Parkinson’s patients often display a mask-like expression and reduced facial mobility due to muscle rigidity. Resting tremors may affect the lower face. Similarly, tardive dyskinesia manifests through involuntary, repetitive facial movements, such as lip smacking, tongue protrusion, and grimacing. These unpredictable motions disrupt natural facial expressions. While facial involvement differs in presentation, it significantly impacts social interactions and communication in individuals with these neurological conditions.
Osteogenesis imperfecta (OI), also known as brittle bone disease, is a genetic bone disorder present at birth. About 25,000 to 50,000 people in the country have this condition. Children born with OI may have bones that are soft and fracture easily, those that are not properly formed, and other related problems. There are about eight types of the disease, based on the type of inheritance and signs and symptoms.
The symptoms of osteogenesis imperfect usually differ within and between types. These symptoms may also look like those that occur in other health conditions. Therefore, one should always consult an expert who may diagnose and identify the most likely cause. A few symptoms of OI include:
Experts believe that osteogenesis imperfecta is passed through the genes, and each type is passed on in its way. Some genes might be inherited from one parent, while others may come from both parents. It may also be inherited from an unexplained change, such as the spontaneous mutation of a gene. Most infants with the disease have a defect of one of two genes responsible for forming collagen, a primary part of connective tissue responsible for connecting and supporting the whole body, including bones. Therefore, a mutation might disrupt the production of this property, which can lead to weakened bones.
The primary goal of treatment for osteogenesis imperfecta is to prevent fractures and deformities with the help of rodding, dental procedures, physical therapy and assistive devices, bracing, and splinting. One should also remember that an expert may recommend certain prescriptions to treat OI. Multiple studies are being conducted to create more advanced remedies to manage various types of osteogenesis imperfecta.
Some studies focus on the effects of prescriptions in young patients with OI Types I, II, or IV. Experts want to determine if these remedies could reduce the number of fractures a patient with the disorder experiences. These studies also focus on children of various age groups, such as those over two. The studies are available for individuals to sign up for.
There is also an eligibility criteria to sign up for these programs that can be found online. Since individuals give their valuable time towards such projects, they may also receive support for travel costs for visits to healthcare establishments and compensation. It is recommended that individuals willing to participate in such programs speak with a healthcare professional before signing up. Participating in these programs might be an ideal method to improve the current treatments available for osteogenesis imperfecta.
Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is classified as a motor neuron disease as it involves the loss of nerve cells called motor neurons. It is a genetically acquired condition that affects the central nervous system, voluntary muscle movements, and peripheral nervous system. Therefore, SMA results in muscles getting smaller because they are not stimulated by nerve cells. The rare complication affects 1 in 6,000 to 10,000 children in the country.
A healthy SMN1 gene produces the SMN protein, which is required by motor neurons to survive and function appropriately. Healthcare experts indicate that the most viable cause of spinal muscular atrophy is a deficiency of the SMN protein. Children with SMA usually lack part of the SMN1 gene or have changed (mutated) genes. Therefore, people with spinal muscular atrophy do not create sufficient SMN protein, which could cause the motor neurons to shrink and cease to exist. As a result, the individual’s brain might be unable to control voluntary movements, especially motions associated with the neck, arms, legs, and head.
There are four common types of SMA that one may develop.
SMA is not associated with chromosome 5
SMA isn’t always caused by gene mutations or a deficiency of the SMN protein. So, people who develop other forms of spinal muscular atrophy, such as Kennedy’s disease, might experience a different severity. Others might experience symptoms in muscles farther away from the center of the body than those associated with SMA types 1 through 4.
The signs and symptoms of spinal muscular atrophy may vary from one person to the other. They might also be mild or disabling but involve a weakness of the muscles responsible for muscle control. One may not experience involuntary movements in regions like the blood vessels, digestive tract, and heart. However, the disease may weaken muscles closer to the center of the body, including the hips, thighs, shoulders, and upper back. Furthermore, children affected by SMA may develop a curve in the spin following the loss of size and strength of the back muscles. It may also affect breathing and swallowing, putting one’s life at risk.
If you’re considering orthodontic treatment to correct misaligned teeth or other dental issues, you’ll likely encounter two primary options: traditional metal braces and clear aligners. While metal braces have been a reliable option for decades, clear aligners have surged in popularity due to their numerous advantages and are often the preferred choice for orthodontic patients of all ages. Below is a comparison of the two and six reasons aligners may be the better choice.
One of the primary factors to consider is appearance; people lean towards clear aligners because of their nearly invisible nature. Unlike conspicuous metal braces, clear aligners are discreet and barely noticeable. This is particularly appealing to adults and teenagers who may feel self-conscious about their appearance. Clear aligners provide the confidence to smile and speak without drawing attention to orthodontic treatment.
Enhanced comfort and reduced irritation
Traditional metal braces are noted for their sharp wires and brackets that can cause discomfort, irritation, and even ulcers in the mouth. In contrast, clear aligners are made from smooth, professional, health-grade plastic, eliminating the need for uncomfortable wires and brackets. This results in a more comfortable orthodontic experience, with reduced friction against the delicate oral tissues. Clear aligners are also removable, allowing wearers to take them out for special occasions or while eating, providing additional comfort and flexibility.
Improved oral hygiene
Maintaining proper oral hygiene is a critical aspect of any orthodontic treatment. Traditional braces have wires and brackets, which pose a challenge when cleaning the teeth and gums. Clear aligners, on the other hand, are removable, making it easy to brush and floss your teeth effectively. Without the hindrance of brackets and wires, you can maintain better oral hygiene and reduce the risk of cavities and gum issues.
No food restrictions
Anyone who has worn metal braces knows the extensive list of foods to avoid – no popcorn, no sticky candies, and no chewing gum. These restrictions can be frustrating and limit your food choices. There are no such limitations with clear aligners. Since they are removable, you can enjoy all your favorite foods without worrying about damaging the orthodontic aid. Just remember to remove the aligners before eating and brush your teeth before putting them back in.
Reduced appointments and treatment time
Clear aligner treatment often requires fewer in-person appointments compared to traditional braces. The aligner trays are typically provided in sets, and you change them at home according to your orthodontist’s instructions. Adjustments and maintenance are typically needed more frequently with metal braces. Additionally, clear aligner treatment can be more time-efficient, with some cases showing results in a shorter duration than traditional braces.
Minimal impact on speech
While some individuals may experience speech impediments or difficulty pronouncing certain sounds when they first get braces, clear aligners generally have a minimal impact on speech. This can be especially significant for adults in professional settings or anyone concerned about speech changes during orthodontic treatment.
With a little help from dentists, everyone can achieve the bright smile they desire. Instead of braces, many people are now moving to aligners. These clear orthodontic devices are practically invisible. The process makes use of a series of tight-fitting custom-made pieces that slip over the teeth to correct teeth placement. However, these may only be suitable for some. Read on to learn more about invisible dental aligners and how they work.
Who can get invisible aligners?
Invisible aligners are custom-built and offer a tight grip, making them ideal for teenagers and adults. They are generally not advisable for growing children.
These aligners are typically used for people with mild to moderately crowded teeth or minor spacing issues. Those with severe crowding or spacing problems may need to opt for other complex treatment options. It is best to consult a dentist before opting for aligners.
How do invisible aligners work?
Depending on one’s current teeth alignment, the doctor creates a plan to correct the bite. Based on this plan, several versions of the clear aligners are made. Several digital scans are conducted for every patient to ensure a snug fit on the teeth over the course of the treatment. The aligners are changed every few weeks to continually move the teeth and bring them to their desired position.
How long does the treatment take?
Bite correction using invisible aligners can take anywhere between 10 and 24 months. The duration of this period is determined by the extent to which the teeth need to be moved or rotated.
What are the pros and cons of invisible dental aligners?
There are several benefits and drawbacks to using invisible dental aligners, such as:
Hypersomnia, a sleep disorder, affects one with constant drowsiness, impacting daily life and overall well-being. While it may not be as widely recognized as its counterpart, insomnia, hypersomnia deserves equal attention. It impacts approximately 5% of people and is found to be more common in females than males. By understanding this sleep disorder, let’s learn how to manage this often-overlooked condition and support those who grapple with excessive daytime sleepiness.
Causes of hypersomnia
Hypersomnia can be caused due to an underlying condition, genetic factor, or because of an unclear cause. Other factors include:
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a condition in which the patient experiences the airway being partially or completely blocked when sleeping. This can give rise to interrupted sleep patterns, frequent bouts of being awake, and continued feelings of sleepiness during the day. Patients living with untreated OSA tend to struggle with staying awake in the daytime, irrespective of the hours spent in bed the previous night. Effective treatment of OSA can significantly alleviate hypersomnia symptoms, emphasizing the importance of early diagnosis.
Another cause of hypersomnia is narcolepsy. It is a neurological disorder characterized by the sudden onset of uncontrollable episodes of sleep anytime during the day. It is one of the tell-tale signs of hypersomnia. Also known as “sleep attacks,” these episodes can occur at any time of the day. These are considered a little dangerous as they can occur even in the midst of some activities like conversing , eating, and working. It is a common cause of disruption in the patient’s sleep-wake cycle, making it difficult to maintain focus and alertness during the day. Treatment and lifestyle adjustments can help manage narcolepsy symptoms, providing hope for those affected.
This is considered a cause of excessive daytime sleepiness when all other causes and factors have been ruled out for the individual. The condition is characterized by excessive nighttime sleep, close to 10 hours or more, followed by an overwhelming feeling of tiredness. The exact chain of events leading to idiopathic hypersomnia remains unknown. It is, therefore, important to explore lifestyle modifications, such as improved sleep hygiene.
Symptoms of hypersomnia
The hallmark symptom of hypersomnia is excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS). Individuals with hypersomnia often find themselves struggling to stay awake and alert throughout the day, despite getting what seems to be adequate nighttime sleep. This can interfere with work, social activities, and overall quality of life. Coping strategies, such as planned short naps and frequent movement, can help manage EDS.
While taking short naps is common and can be refreshing, individuals with hypersomnia tend to take long, unrefreshing naps during the day. These naps can last for several hours and provide little to no relief. Establishing a consistent sleep-wake schedule and avoiding extended daytime naps can aid in regulating sleep patterns.
Individuals may experience difficulties with concentration, memory, and decision-making. It can be particularly concerning when it interferes with daily responsibilities or work. Cognitive behavioral therapy and lifestyle adjustments can mitigate these challenges.
It’s not uncommon for those with hypersomnia to experience mood shifts such as irritability, rage, depression, or anxiety. Seeking support from mental health professionals and incorporating stress management techniques can help alleviate these symptoms.
Breast cancer develops when the cells in the breasts grow and divide in an uncontrolled manner. This leads to the formation of a mass tissue known as a tumor. Typically, this type of cancer develops in either the milk-making glands of the breast or the ducts that carry milk. If left unchecked, the tumor can grow and spread to the surrounding lymph nodes and other parts of the body. Here is everything to know:
Generally, the symptoms of breast cancer can vary from one person to another. However, here are a few common symptoms of the condition:
– Changes in shape, size, or appearance of the breasts
– Development of small pea-sized lumps or mass in the breasts
– Redness developing on the breast skin or nipple
– A hardened spot under the skin
– Clear or blood-stained discharge from the nipple
While some of these signs can be easily observed, others may be harder to spot. This is why routine checkups, self-examination, and mammograms can help one get an early diagnosis
The primary cause of cancer is the uncontrolled growth and division of breast cells. However, what triggers this process is not yet known. However, the following risk factors have been associated with the development of breast cancer:
Age: The risk of the condition increases with age, so those aged 55 and above have an increased risk of developing breast cancer.
Gender: Women are more likely to develop breast cancer than men, as women’s breast cells have a higher exposure to hormones such as estrogen and progesterone, which promote cell growth.
Family history: Those who have close family members with a history of breast cancer are more likely to develop the condition in the future. This risk factor can be confirmed with genetic testing, as almost 5% to 10% of cases can be attributed to abnormal genes passed down from one generation to the other.
Some of the other risk factors associated with the condition are exposure to radiation and undergoing hormone replacement therapy.
In addition to physical breast examinations, most healthcare providers may suggest certain tests to check for abnormalities in the breasts. This includes mammograms, positron emission tomography scanning ( PET scans), ultrasonography, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Based on the results, a diagnosis of breast cancer may be offered.
While there are many treatment options for the condition, the most suitable one is determined by factors such as the location of the tumor, its size, and whether cancerous cells have spread to other areas. Accordingly, the healthcare provider can offer options like surgery in combination with immunotherapy, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy to help get rid of cancer cells.
One should consult a doctor if they observe any signs of cancer, as an early diagnosis can be a key step toward better management of the condition.
Cancer is triggered due to an uncontrolled multiplication of healthy cells in the body that affects vital organs and functions. Lung cancer is detected when these cells mutate, affecting the lung’s ability to absorb oxygen. It is a progressive disorder and cannot be completely cured. The risk is high among patients exposed to elements that worsen the cancer progression. Here is an overview of the causes, symptoms, and treatment options for lung cancer.
Causes of lung cancer
Exposure to pollutants
Exposure to known pollutants and carcinogens is one of the significant risk factors associated with lung cancer. Pollutants comprise chemicals and particulate matter that damage the air sacs in the lungs. This comprises the ability of the lungs to absorb oxygen.
Radon is one of the most severe triggers of lung cancer. Exposure to this gas is quite common in residential homes as this compound is naturally present in the soil. Over time the gasses creep up into the building’s foundation and leak inside the home. Since this is a colorless, odorless gas, it’s quite difficult to identify this risk without smoke and gas detectors.
Certain genetic conditions or mutations in the genome sequence can also trigger lung cancer, especially if there is a history of the condition diagnosed among close members.
Signs and symptoms
Symptoms of lung cancer will vary depending primarily on the stage of its progression.
A persistent cough that worsens over time could indicate lung tissue damage due to cancer. Coughing can also result in tissue damage that triggers bleeding. So, coughing up blood with mucus is another sign to look out for with developing lung cancer.
Shortness of breath
Breathlessness is another symptom that develops as the lungs cannot absorb oxygen efficiently, forcing the organ to work overtime. As a result, one might frequently gasp for bouts of air to fill up the lungs efficiently.
Chest pain and wheezing
Gasping for air can trigger wheezing, where most people experience severe breathlessness. Often, people also complain about chest pain that develops as a result of putting the organ under immense pressure.
Treatment and remedies
Treatment will help improve the outlook for a person living with lung cancer. These options will vary depending on the severity of the symptoms.
Depending on the progression of the cancer, oncologists may recommend either a wedge resection (removal of a small tumor) or a segmental resection (removal of a larger portion) during the early stages. In more advanced stages, a lobectomy (complete removal of the lobe) or pneumonectomy (complete removal of the lung) may be necessary to prevent the cancer from spreading.
Radiation therapy, chemotherapy, targeted therapy, immunotherapy, and stereotactic body therapy can be done to manage the spread of cancer. Doctors will assess the viability of these procedures by considering factors like age, health, patient preferences, and outlook for treating the type of cancer.
Doctors will further suggest changes in daily nutrition, remedies for palliative care, stress management techniques, and healthy lifestyle changes to improve the outlook on living with lung cancer.
Osteogenesis imperfecta, or brittle bone disease, is a genetic disorder that makes bones become extremely soft and highly susceptible to damage in the form of fractures. There are eight known types of this condition, each brought on by a unique defect in the gene that monitors growth and development. Nevertheless, certain treatment options can help one deal with the condition. So, here are the common symptoms of osteogenesis imperfecta one should recognize:
The most common symptom of osteogenesis imperfecta (or OI) is bone injuries, as the bones break easily at the slightest impact. Many types of OI affect bone density, so another sign could be bone deformities that manifest as bowing of the legs among children.
Deformed chest and spine
The spinal cord and chest plate contain a large number of bones. Osteogenesis imperfecta affects the natural shape of these bones, leading to the development of a barrel-shaped chest. As the condition progresses, it also affects the natural curvature of the spine, making the body bend forward and affecting the normal posture. Here, the type and severity of OI determine the intensity of such symptoms. Some may also develop irregularities in the face, affecting its shape.
Skeletal muscles develop around the bones and are responsible for movement. They also support the skeletal structure, enabling one to perform all kinds of activities requiring stability and mobility. However, osteogenesis imperfecta contributes to poor muscle development along with bone deformities.
Oral problems like discoloration of the teeth, frequent and multiple cavities, and changes in the strength, shape, and structure of teeth are some of the common signs of osteogenesis imperfecta. When dealing with type I OI, the symptoms are limited to changes in the strength and color of the teeth. However, type II may cause misalignment along with discoloration. The severity of the symptoms can vary depending on the type and overall health of those affected.
Symptoms of osteogenesis imperfecta may also develop on the surface of the skin. However, skin that bruises easily with the slightest impact and results in wounds that do not heal for a long period could be a sign of underlying bone problems. Additionally, frequent nosebleeds and heavy bleeding following an injury may be observed when dealing with OI.
Another common symptom that develops with all known types of osteogenesis imperfecta is hearing loss. This is because the condition may cause a deformity of the ossicles (bones in the middle ear). Over time, ossicle fracture and other issues in these bones can contribute to a loss of hearing in early adulthood.
It is important to consult a health professional upon noticing any signs of osteogenesis imperfecta, as early diagnosis can help one manage the condition.