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for those who have had a bad cancer diagnosis lately, or those who just fear the BIG C!
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Here’s an interesting article by an MD who reads the new studies and tries to decide what to tell her patients.
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Scientists say they have developed a breath-test that can accurately tell if a person has bowel cancer. The test, which looks for exhaled chemicals linked to tumour activity, was able to identify a majority of patients with the disease. The British Journal of Surgery reported an overall accuracy of 76%.
Scientists are working on breath-tests for a host of other diseases, including several types of cancer, TB and diabetes. These technologies show a great deal of promise. If diagnosed and treated early, the chances of stopping cancer can be good, but there is often little or no outward sign of the disease until it has progressed significantly.
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Because stomach pain is incredibly common, impacting just about everyone at some point, it does seem strange that generally we have no idea what’s causing our pain. Because your abdomen houses numerous organs (your stomach, small intestine, colon, liver, gallbladder, and pancreas), the first step to identifying the cause of your pain is to figure out where it hurts.
According to the Mayo Clinic, you can narrow down the source accordingly:
Navel: Pain near your belly button may be related to a small intestine disorder or an inflammation of your appendix.
Upper middle abdomen: Pain in the upper middle section of your stomach, just above your abdomen, may be a sign of a stomach disorder. Persistent upper middle abdomen pain may be related to your pancreas or gallbladder.
Upper left abdomen: Pain in this area is uncommon, but may signal a stomach, colon, spleen or pancreas problem.
Upper right abdomen: Pain in your upper right abdomen (that may also extend to your back) may be related to inflammation of your gallbladder, or on occasion could be caused by an inflamed pancreas, colon or duodenum.
Lower middle abdomen: Pain that spreads to either side below your navel can indicate a colon disorder, kidney stones or urinary tract infection. In women it may also signify pelvic inflammatory disease.
Lower left abdomen: This suggests a problem with your lower colon, where food waste is expelled. This could include inflammatory bowel disease or diverticulitis.
Lower right abdomen: Pain in this area may be caused by inflammation of the bowel, spreading pain from appendicitis, hernia, or ectopic pregnancy.
Migrating pain: Because your abdomen houses deep nerve pathways, it’s possible for pain to migrate to other areas of your body. For instance, gallbladder inflammation can cause pain in your chest and right shoulder, while pain related to your pancreas can travel between your shoulder blades.
The most common causes of abdominal pain are not serious, however they can be a sign of severe underlying illness in some cases. Most often, pain in your abdomen will be caused by:
1. Indigestion: This results in burning in the stomach or upper abdomen, along with bloating, belching and gas. Indigestion may be a sign of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), ulcers or gallbladder disease. Most cases of indigestion go away within a few hours, but if your symptoms get worse you should see a doctor.
2. Constipation: A swollen abdomen and abdominal pain is common with constipation. In children, in particular, constipation is the most common cause of abdominal pain, according to a recent study in the Journal of Pediatrics. Constipation can often be relieved by:
Drinking two to four extra glasses of water a day
Drinking warm liquids, particularly in the morning
Eating more fruits and vegetables
Eating prunes or bran cereal
3. Stomach flu: More than 90 percent of stomach flu outbreaks in the United States each year are caused by a group of related viruses called norovirus. The illness is usually self-limiting and will disappear after a day or two (though you can remain contagious for at least three days, and up to three weeks, after symptoms resolve).
4. Menstrual cramps: It’s estimated that three out of every four menstruating women experience some form of menstrual stress, such as menstrual cramps. Menstrual cramps may be caused by prostaglandins, which are hormone-like substances involved in pain and inflammation that trigger your uterus to contract to expel its lining. Exercise, rest, massage, yoga and meditation may all help to relieve the symptoms.
5. Food poisoning: More than 250 different diseases can cause food poisoning, but some of the most common diseases are infections caused by bacteria, such as Campylobacter, Salmonella, Shigella, E. coli O157:H7, Listeria, and botulism. Most cases of food poisoning go away on their own in several days, but if the condition is persistent or severe you should see a doctor.
6. Food allergies: To find out if a food allergy is causing your abdominal pain and cramping, make note of recurring symptoms associated with a certain food. To help you narrow down what may be causing your symptoms, The Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network suggests keeping track of and writing down the following:
How the symptoms felt
How soon they came on after eating
How long they lasted after eating
The food or foods eaten prior to the onset of the symptoms
The amount of each food eaten
Whether similar reactions have occurred before
There are also two tests that can be used to determine if an allergy exists, and they work by indicating whether or not IgE is present. They are:
A skin prick test: A doctor places a drop of the substance being tested on your forearm or back, then pricks the skin. If you are allergic the site will begin swelling within 15 minutes.
A blood test: These include a RAST (radioallergosorbent test) or a CAP ELISA (enzyme linked immunosorbent assay). The blood sample is sent to a lab where tests are done with specific foods to determine whether you have IgE antibodies to those foods. Results usually take about a week.
Ideally, a food allergy should be diagnosed using the food/symptoms history you’ve been keeping, along with a skin prick or blood test.
There is currently no way to cure food allergies, so the best, and only, way to avoid a reaction is to strictly avoid the allergy-causing foods. If you believe you have a food allergy, be sure to make an appointment as soon as possible to share your specific symptoms and what you believe might be related foods to discuss what your food triggers might be, how to avoid them, and alternatives.
7. Gas: According to the American College of Gastroenterology, 10 to 18 passages per day are normal. Despite its frequency, passing gas is something that is almost never discussed … except among the elementary school crowd. Which means, for the millions of North Americans who suffer from excess gas and bloating from time to time, they’re suffering largely in silence (or so they hope). Vegans are said to often have less bloating and flatulence. Traditionally , one of the top recommendations to keep gas to a minimum is to identify what was believed to be gas-forming foods in your diet, then avoid or reduce them. Such foods that were typically considered to be highly suspect included:
Baked beans and other beans
However, many experts are now saying that avoiding these foods, particularly those that are high in fiber, may be a driving force behind the gas.
The solution is to be sure to include these foods in your diet regularly, but make the initial transition very slowly.
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Learn what it is like to fall in love with, and then care for a husband with CFS.
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Learn how young people see and read differently than us older ones!
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Remember all small businesses today, and BTW I’m just about the smallest business you’re ever going to run into!
Please consider the purchase of my books as GREAT holiday gifts for your friends and family with midlife or love concerns… and help out a struggling writer today!
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Do you ever just stop and think about the many blessings in your life?
What would your life be like without your marvelous senses? I have had a bad cold this past week, my nose is still plugged up, and I have really missed my sense of taste lately! We’re talking some serious quality of life issues here. I regularly feel gratitude for my ability to see and hear and communicate with the world in a healthy way.
The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association recently asked me to encourage everyone to break through the silence this holiday season, and openly discuss untreated hearing loss with your older family members. With Thanksgiving and Christmas coming right up, this is a perfect time to consider how well your parents and older friends are hearing you.
The ASHA has found that nearly 70% of respondents do seek treatment for a hearing problem if they were asked to do so by a loved one, and hearing loss is a problem for nearly half of all seniors. Untreated hearing loss can easily lead to some very negative emotional impacts like feelings of isolation, depression and even dementia. I remember how sad it was to watch my grandfather slowly recede from our lives, as his hearing got worse. But he assisted it was normal and would do nothing about it.
Untreated hearing loss can make family gatherings more difficult and strain relationships as we age. This is too bad because it does not need to be that way. Today there are many different ways of treating hearing impairment and different types of hearing aids too!
Check out this marvelous online tool to help you easily find professional audiologists and speech-language pathologists near you. If your loved one is beginning to wonder if their hearing is going, help them find a well-qualified professional who holds the Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC) from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA).
Start them on their road towards a return to excellent hearing again, so you can all join in the holiday fun for years to come!
This blog post was written while participating in a campaign by BOOMboxNetwork.com on behalf of ASHA.org for which I received payment. All opinions stated within are my own.
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