• Top 3 foods for multiple myeloma symptoms Top 3 foods for multiple myeloma symptoms

    Nutrition plays a vital role in the battle against multiple myeloma, a type of cancer that starts from the bone marrow. Fatigue, loss of appetite, chronic constipation, bone pain, and weight loss are some of the commonly experienced signs of multiple myeloma. These symptoms can take a serious toll on one’s quality of life, and not keeping them under control may lead to serious health complications.

    Studies and trials have found that certain types of foods may help ease the symptoms associated with this type of cancer. Listed here are the top 3 foods one can incorporate in their diet plan to get effective relief:

    • Fiber-rich foods
      The consumption of food items rich in fiber may help in easing the symptoms of multiple myeloma. Fiber-rich food items can be instrumental in sustaining energy levels and combating fatigue in individuals suffering from this type of cancer. Also, increasing the intake of fiber may give relief from digestive problems like constipation, which may be side effects of treatment like chemotherapy.
      Fiber is a type of carbohydrate that helps break down food and facilitates digestion. One should make food items replete with fiber a part of their diet to help curb the symptoms of this life-threatening condition. Some of the healthiest high-fiber foods are whole grains like brown rice, whole-grain pasta, green vegetables like broccoli and celery, fruits like apples and figs, and oatmeal.
    • Iron-rich foods
      Research has shown that there is a strong link between multiple myeloma and anemia. Anemia is a condition that results from poor nutrition, specifically iron deficiency, making iron-rich food items an important part of the diet for patients of multiple myeloma.
      Multiple myeloma may adversely affect the levels of key nutrients like iron in the body, and it is important to make food items like beans, lean meats, and dark leafy green vegetables a part of the diet to naturally boost iron levels.
    • Fruits and vegetables
      The powerful antioxidant potential of fruits and vegetables makes them some of the most nutritious food items to be included in one’s diet to fight off the symptoms of this form of blood cancer. The anti-cancer properties of antioxidants may prove to be effective in providing relief from a host of painful symptoms of multiple myeloma.
      Apart from being helpful with the symptoms, the consumption of fruits and vegetables may also help tackle the potential side effects of multiple myeloma treatment. They can aid in digestion and alleviate issues like constipation. However, it is important to maintain caution while consuming them, as eating raw vegetables and unclean fruits could increase the likelihood of an infection. One should ensure that they clean the fruits thoroughly and only consume fully-cooked vegetables for effective relief.

    With the help of these food items, one can control the symptoms associated with this form of cancer. If amid treatment or on special medication, one should consult their doctor before making crucial modifications to their diet.

  • Benefits of Following the Meditteranean Diet Benefits of Following the Meditteranean Diet

    Several popular diet plans set guidelines on the types of food for cholesterol control that you can or cannot consume. The Mediterranean diet is one such successful diet. Apart from its obvious benefit in reducing bad cholesterol levels, it is an excellent source of vitamins and proteins.

    What is the Mediterranean Diet?
    The Mediterranean diet gets its name from the region where it is commonly followed, namely the nations near the Mediterranean Sea. The Mediterranean diet chiefly comprises food for cholesterol reduction. The focus of this diet is on lean meats, red wine, whole grain, good fats, and fresh produce.

    Studies have shown that the people from Greece and Southern Italy, who mainly followed the Mediterranean diet, have lesser rates of heart disease. They were also found to have lower cholesterol levels.

    Features of the Mediterranean Diet
    A Mediterranean diet typically has the following features:

    • The Mediterranean diet mostly comprises nuts, seeds, and olive oil as they are rich in monounsaturated fats
    • Legumes like beans are used more often in this diet
    • Red wine is consumed almost daily, but in moderation
    • Fish that have a good amount of omega-3 fatty acids, like salmon, are part of this diet
    • Grains that are rich in fiber, like oatmeal and other whole grains, are consumed
    • People from the Mediterranean do not consume a lot of red meat
    • They also consume less sugar in this diet
    • There is moderate use of dairy products, with mainly healthy items such as parmesan cheese and yogurt used in their cooking
    • The Mediterranean diet makes liberal use of fresh vegetables and fruits in the dishes prepared

    It is chiefly due to the features mentioned above that a Mediterranean diet is popular with those suffering from high cholesterol.

    Chief Foods for Cholesterol Reduction
    The Mediterranean diet includes the following foods that are great for lowering cholesterol.

    • Whole Grains
      Brown rice, oats, barley, rye, corn, whole wheat, and bread made from whole wheat is an integral part of the Mediterranean diet.
    • Fresh and Dry Fruits
      Dates, grapes, melons, figs, strawberries, pears, apples, and banana are some of the fruits that form a part of this diet. All of them are highly rich in nutrients.
    • Vegetables and Legumes
      The Mediterranean diet makes use of vegetables like kale, spinach, cauliflower, tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, onions, and spinach to make their dishes. Tubers like sweet potato, yam, and potatoes are also a chief part of this diet. Peas, beans, pulses, lentils, chickpeas, etc. are some legumes used regularly in cooking.
    • Seafood
      Seafood like salmon, sardines, tuna, oysters, clam, crab, shrimp, and mackerel are a large part of Mediterranean cuisine and can be included in a diet as food for cholesterol patients.
    • Healthy Dairy Products
      Feta cheese, parmesan cheese, Greek yogurt are liberally used in this diet and is food for cholesterol reduction.
    • Lots of Nuts
      Almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, cashew, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds are the main part of various dishes in the Mediterranean cuisine.
    • Healthy meat and eggs
      Poultry like chicken, turkey, and duck are consumed extensively in this diet. You can also include the eggs of duck and chicken as food for cholesterol control.
    • Oil
      Extra virgin olive oil is the preferred choice, along with avocado oil.
    • Seasoning
      Food in Mediterranean cuisine contains plenty of herbs and spices, including garlic, basil, oregano, nutmeg, thyme, cinnamon, and pepper.

    What to Drink?
    Red wine is popular in Mediterranean countries. Most people drink one or two glasses per day, which is good for the heart. Due to the hot climate, people in these areas also drink plenty of water.

    A Typical Mediterranean Menu

    • Breakfast
      For breakfast, you can eat an omelet with vegetables, or Greek yogurt with fruits and nuts.
    • Morning snack
      Fruits like plums, oranges, or cucumber seasoned with herbs.
    • Lunch
      A whole-grain sandwich with cheese and fresh vegetables, or chicken and white bean soup is a good lunch option. Another choice is pizza made of whole wheat bread topped with vegetables and cheese.
    • Evening snack
      Carrot and hummus, or raspberries.
    • Dinner
      Cod in tomato cream sauce with quinoa, or salmon with green bean pilaf, is a good dinner option. You can also choose a grilled lamb with a salad.

    How Helpful is this Diet?
    Numerous studies were carried out in Mediterranean countries to find out if this diet can help lower cholesterol levels in the body. The results reveal some interesting facts:

    • LDL or bad cholesterol levels reduced by ten percent
    • Levels of good cholesterol (HDL cholesterol) increased by five percent
    • LDL oxidation that leads to the formation of plaque was seen to be reduced
    • Levels of triglycerides were also found to be reduced

    Studies have shown that Mediterranean diet is more effective in managing cholesterol than a low-fat diet. Consuming the right food for cholesterol management can help you lead a healthier life.

  • The types of dyskinesia The types of dyskinesia

    The types of dyskinesia

    The causes of dyskinesia vary but most cases are due to altered brain chemistry. Dyskinesia is caused due to medication and injury or trauma to the region of the brain known as the basal ganglia. Brain damage is also a major cause when it comes to dyskinesia. The basal ganglia is the region where voluntary movements are learned and controlled. This article examines the types of dyskinesia.

    Parkinson’s dyskinesia

    A high number of people, around 50% of patients with Parkinson’s who are being treated with levodopa, develop dyskinesia. Levodopa alters the dopamine levels in the brain, and this rise and fall of dopamine levels causes dyskinesia. The common symptoms of dyskinesia are fidgeting, head bobbing, swaying of the body, wriggling, and writhing. About half of the people who develop dyskinesia do not find the need to seek help and may continue to live healthy lives as the condition is mild and poses no challenge.

    Tremors

    Rhythmic movements are used to classify tremors. Some of the familiar types are:

    • Resting or static tremors wherein tremors occur on a limb that is completely supported and is relaxed. These tremors may be associated with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) or Parkinson’s.
    • Action and intention or kinetic tremors occur when the muscle is in motion and is normally seen during movement of an upper-body part, which includes the hand or the arm. Doctors usually attribute these tremors to MS, cerebral degeneration, vascular diseases, or a tumor. Tests are conducted to reveal the cause.
    • Postural tremors occur when the muscle is not being moved but continue after it is moved. They are the result of alcohol abuse, heavy metal poisoning, and other physiological factors. Sometimes they may be caused by abusing antidepressants. Neurological conditions like Wilson’s disease have also been associated with tremors of this sort.

    Dystonia

    Dystonia is characterized by abnormal twisting of the body and is defined as sustained muscle contractions that may involve repetitive movements and postures. Blepharospasms are another common side effect of this condition and people have also reported continuous blinking as one of their symptoms. Writer’s cramp is also common and is the inability to write due to abnormal hand posture.

    Chorea

    Chorea includes sudden jerky movements that are involuntary and cannot be controlled. The movements are held for a few seconds. It affects the hands, legs, and the head. The symptoms are known to affect a particular side of the body or they could alternate between both sides. Chorea is the outcome of some medications including:

    • Antiepileptic medication
    • Antipsychotic medication
    • Parkinson’s disease medication

    Chorea may also be acquired due to lupus, AIDS, HIV, meningitis, encephalitis, Lyme disease, pregnancy, hormone replacement therapy, or a host of other conditions.

    Tardive dyskinesia

    Antipsychotic medications are the main cause of tardive dyskinesia. These medicines are used to treat mental conditions like bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. The alteration in the dopamine levels may lead to stiff and jerky movements. The dopamine that is essentially blocked may affect communication between the cells. This leads to the onset of the condition.

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  • All You Need to Know about Nerve Pain Relief All You Need to Know about Nerve Pain Relief

    Nerve pain is a condition that affects 7%-10% of the population in the country. It is also known as neuropathic pain and it is a highly subjective experience for each individual. There are several nerve pain relief treatments available, based on the diagnosis.

    What is Nerve Pain?
    The nerves in our body help us feel sensations like touch, heat, cold, pressure, pleasure, and pain. When they suffer damage due to disease or injuries, they may send random, inaccurate, or false signals to the pain centers in the brain and spinal cord.

    Specific Neuropathy Types
    There are different, specific forms of nerve pain:

    • Trigeminal Neuralgia
      It is a type where patients experience intense and sudden facial pain due to damage to the trigeminal nerve that controls chewing and sensation in the face.
    • Phantom-limb Pain
      The person experiences false pain in a missing or amputated limb.
    • Herpes
      Herpes pain follows an attack of herpes zoster or shingles and can last for months, sometimes even years.

    Symptoms
    People with this condition feel stabbing, shooting, burning or crawling sensations, along with other sensations like tingling, numbness, or a feeling of being pricked by pins and needles. Some people experience an electric-shock kind of sensation. People who suffer from this condition are over-sensitive to different sensations like cold, heat, and touch.

    Even a casual brushing of the skin can cause enormous discomfort and pain. It is usually worse at night. Sleep disturbances, anxiety and depression are commonly experienced by those with nerve pain. Nerve pain is more commonly reported in women especially for patients aged above 50.

    In other cases, there may be a complete lack of the response to pain even when injuries are suffered. This is commonly seen in conditions like diabetic neuropathy or vitamin B12 deficiency when the person does not feel any sensation of pain although injuries have occurred.

    Diagnosis
    General practitioners can diagnose nerve pain after a physical exam, consider your medical history, and perform certain tests. These include palpating the affected area with fingers, toothpicks, cold or hot objects, cotton-wool etc to gauge the severity.

    Other tests like blood tests, MRI scan, skin biopsy, nerve-conduction, tissue and nerve biopsy can also help doctors to locate and identify the type of neuropathy that the patient suffers from.

    Causes
    When a part of the somatosensory nervous system that interprets and conveys the conscious perception of touch, pressure, pain, temperature, vibration, movement, pressure etc get damaged, the result is neuropathic pain. In rare cases, neuropathy can be inherited.

    Typical causes include:

    • Nerve injury
    • Damage to the spinal cord
    • Nerve compression
    • Diabetes
    • A tumor pressing against a nerve
    • HIV/AIDS infection
    • Stroke
    • Multiple sclerosis and other motor neuron diseases like Lou Gehrig’s disease
    • Chemotherapy
    • Drug reactions
    • Ingestion of toxic substances
    • Vitamin B12 or thiamine deficiency
    • Infectious diseases like herpes

    Modulation Mechanism

    Pain is a highly subjective, individual response. Some patients experience intense and debilitating pain, while others may show a more moderate response. The response to medications may also be similarly modified and personalized in people. Pain expectancy is also something that is modified by individuals and those around them.

    Experiments have been carried out using techniques like suggestion and placebo trials to create a pain-profile for all the affected people. This concept holds much potential for pain-management. Pain-profiles can help doctors to manage pain in postoperative conditions.

    Treatment
    Treatment for nerve pain for those seeking nerve pain relief is based on the accurate identification of the root cause of the pain. This is done by consulting a pain specialist. General practitioners can also treat pain with different pain relief medications. Other professionals who may be involved are psychologists, occupational therapists, nurses, physiotherapists etc.

    Multidisciplinary Approach
    Nerve pain treatments are available on various levels to provide nerve pain relief.

    • Medications
      OTC medications are usually the first line of treatment. These include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, acetaminophen etc. which may be ingested or applied topically in gel, cream, spray, oil or ointment forms. Local anesthetics like paracetamol may provide temporary relief. Opioids show limited effectiveness. Capsaicin cream provides relief but they have to be used in consultation with your doctor. Research shows that antidepressants and anticonvulsant medications show good results. However, it’s important to monitor their use since many of them are addictive.
    • Root Cause Treatment
      Doctors can locate and pinpoint the exact cause of pain in most cases. In the case of diabetic neuropathy, control of blood glucose levels provides relief. In the case of diabetic neuropathy, the peculiar phenomenon of “glove and stocking” type of pain distribution is seen, where the hands, forearms, legs, and feet are involved. Conditions like vitamin B12 or thiamine deficiency can be addressed with the intake of adequate dietary supplements.
    • Mental/Emotional Therapy
      Psychotherapy, counseling and cognitive behavior therapy provide respite from pain. Relaxation techniques, yoga, meditation, and massage can help in certain cases. Biofeedback, hypnosis, etc may give comfort and relief.
    • TENS
      Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation uses low-level electric currents to block pain sensations to the brain.
    • Acupuncture
      Traditional Chinese systems and modern acupuncture techniques may provide relief.
    • Complementary, Traditional, and Natural Treatments
      Dietary intervention, herbs, roots and natural products used in traditional medicine all around the world can yield good results.
    • Exercise, Diet, and Sleep
      Weight-loss, regular exercise that triggers the release of endorphins, proper rest and relaxation with adequate sleep provides relief from pain.
    • Invasive Treatments
      In severe cases, surgery, injections, or nerve blocks may be needed to block pain transmission.
  • 8 Ways to Treat Hemorrhoids 8 Ways to Treat Hemorrhoids

    Hemorrhoids, or piles, is a medical condition where the blood vessels in the anus inflame and cause pain and discomfort to the individual. With time, these blood vessels swell up and enlarge in size, causing further inconvenience. Mostly, people around the age of 50 years tend to face this problem. Hemorrhoids might occur due to strain during excretion or pressure sustained by the veins due to obesity or pregnancy. The pain can either be internal or external. Although there are medical treatments to cure this condition, one can try various home remedies if they don’t wish to opt for medical treatment immediately. This article provides some home remedies that can help patients deal with the problem of hemorrhoids as well as its symptoms like itching.

    How to get rid of hemorrhoids using home remedies?
    The home-based treatments mentioned below have helped innumerable people and will help you as well if you follow them correctly:

    • Essential oils: Essential oils play a significant role in reducing the size of the blood vessels, and it stops itching too. These oils have anti-inflammatory properties which are vital for getting relief from the burning sensation created around the affected area. One can use several types of essential oils for treating hemorrhoids such as chamomile oil, tea tree oil, geranium oil, lavender oil, peppermint oil, juniper oil, and so on. These oils have several nutrients and vitamins which enhance a patient’s overall health. However, you must consult a doctor before using any of these oils.
    • Sitz shower or bath: If you want to know how to get rid of hemorrhoids using home remedies, then you must give this method a try. The affected person should sit in lukewarm water to get relief from the itching and pain caused in the lower regions of the body. Several doctors and medical professionals recommend sitz baths to get rid of hemorrhoids.
    • Ointments: Several ointments can be used to get rid of the problem of hemorrhoids. Some of them even reduce the swelling and promote faster healing. However, do not apply any random cream or ointment, based upon an internet search. Consult a doctor to get a prescription for the right products that can help you get rid of hemorrhoids.
    • Ice packs: Ice packs are one of the best home remedies that can reduce swelling caused by hemorrhoids. If you experience inflammation and swelling around the affected area, then you can try placing an ice pack at that spot for 15-20 minutes to get temporary relief from the problem.

    Here are some dietary and lifestyle changes that can help heal hemorrhoids faster:

    • Drink plenty of water: Drinking adequate water can help in keeping the body and skin healthy and hence is recommended by several health specialists. Drinking plenty of water not only keeps the body hydrated but also flushes out the toxic substances, thus reducing the risk of acidity problems. One must consume around six to eight glasses of water every day to keep the digestive system healthy and promote better bowel movements.
    • Consume fiber-rich foods: People whose diet consists of food that have little or no fiber are more likely to face the problem of hemorrhoids. Consuming fiber is not only beneficial for treating hemorrhoids, but it also promotes a patient’s overall health. Fiber-rich food facilitates regular bowel movements. Some of the most preferred fiber-rich foods are fruits such as pears, raspberries, and bananas, vegetables like peas, broccoli, and artichoke, legumes such as lima beans, lentils, and split beans, and whole grains like oatmeal, barley, and brown rice.
    • Laxatives: Laxatives are food or medicines that assist in smooth bowel movements. Usually, people who are facing constipation problems take such medications. You must consult a medical professional to get a prescription for the right amount of laxatives.
    • Exercise regularly: Whether or not you are suffering from any health condition, regular exercise is a must. Exercise keeps the digestive system healthy. You don’t need to indulge in heavy activities. Mild exercises with light weights and yoga postures including stretching can do the job.

    When should one seek medical assistance?
    When people think of “how to get rid of hemorrhoids,” the first thought that strikes their mind is seeking a doctor’s help. There are some instances when a person suffering from hemorrhoids must see the doctor as soon as possible. If you face blood loss due to hemorrhoids, then you should talk to a doctor without any delay. Although external hemorrhoids can be treated with the application of ointments, essential oils, and creams, internal hemorrhoids, in some extreme cases, need to be treated with surgeries. Hence, one must take some precautions from the start to ensure that the problem of hemorrhoids does not get worse.

Find a doctor

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  • Cancer Memorial Contribution-American Institute For Cancer
    WashingtonDC
    (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