Hypothermia – The Basics

Know how to spot hypothermia and what steps to take if someone has it.

Source

To find a healthcare professional, use HealthLynked. It is a first of its kind medical network built as a social ecosystem with a higher purpose – improving healthcare.  Go to HealthLynked.com to learn more, sign up for free, connect with your doctor, find a new doctor, and securely store and share your health information. Download our HealthLynked app available on Apple and Android devices.

Hyperthyroidism and Graves’ Disease

What Is the Thyroid?

The thyroid is a small gland below the skin and muscles at the front of the neck, at the spot where a bow tie would rest.

It’s brownish red, with left and right halves (called lobes) that look like a butterfly’s wings. It weighs less than an ounce, but helps the body do many things, such as get energy from food, grow, and go through sexual development.

What Is Hyperthyroidism?

Thyroid hormone problems happen when the thyroid gland makes either too much or too little hormone for the body.

If the thyroid is overactive, it releases too much thyroid hormone into the bloodstream, causing hyperthyroidism. The body use up energy more quickly than it should, and chemical activity (like metabolism) in the cells speeds up.

If the thyroid is underactive, it makes too little thyroid hormone, causing hypothyroidism. The body uses up energy more slowly, and chemical activity (metabolism) in the cells slows down.

What Are the Signs & Symptoms of Hyperthyroidism?

High thyroid hormone levels (hyperthyroidism) can cause:

  • nervousness
  • irritability
  • increased sweating
  • bulging eyes
  • trouble sleeping
  • a fast heartbeat
  • irregular menstrual periods in girls
  • weight loss

Sometimes the thyroid gland grows and forms a bulge in the neck called a goiter.

Medicines and other techniques can effectively treat hyperthyroidism. It’s important to work with an

(a doctor who specializes in hormone problems) or other doctor who knows how to treat thyroid conditions.

What Causes Hyperthyroidism?

The three main causes of hyperthyroidism are:

  1. Graves’ disease. This is the most common cause of hyperthyroidism in children. It happens when the body produces antibodies that make the thyroid gland overactive. Antibodies usually help the body fight infection, but these antibodies stop the body from controlling the thyroid gland correctly (like a car without brakes). As a result, the thyroid hormone levels in the blood can get very high. Doctors don’t know why the body starts making these antibodies. Graves’ disease can affect health for the rest of a person’s life. So it’s important to get medical treatment to control it.
  2. Thyroid gland inflammation (thyroiditis). This causes the thyroid gland to leak too much thyroid hormone into the blood. Thyroiditis can be caused by a lots of things — for example, a blow to the thyroid gland, infections, and
    diseases (like Hashimoto’s thyroiditis). Hyperthyroidism from thyroiditis usually lasts for a few months and then gets better on its own. The thyroid usually recovers, but sometimes is damaged and can’t work normally again. This causes hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid).
  3. Thyroid nodules (growths in the thyroid gland). These can sometimes make large amounts of thyroid hormones, causing symptoms of hyperthyroidism. Overactive thyroid nodules are usually large (an inch or more in size) and can be big enough to feel in the neck. Most overactive thyroid nodules are
    and treated with surgery.

What Are the Signs & Symptoms of Graves’ Disease?

Kids and teens with Graves’ disease might notice that:

  • they’re more tired than usual
  • they have lots of trouble sleeping
  • they lose weight
  • their heart is beating very fast
  • their hands shake (called tremor)
  • they have a lot of trouble focusing

Girls with Graves’ disease sometimes notice that they have fewer (or less regular) menstrual cycles. Over time, many people notice that their thyroid glands are enlarged.

Some people with Graves’ disease have troubles with their eyes — itching, burning, redness, and sometimes trouble seeing normally. Sometimes they feel pressure behind the eyes, feel their eyes bulging, or see double. This is because the antibodies that make the thyroid overactive also cause

and swelling behind the eyes. When this happens, it’s called Graves’ eye disease.

How Is Graves’ Disease Diagnosed?

Graves’ disease is diagnosed based on a visit with a doctor who will review the symptoms and examine the patient.

It’s important to do lab tests too, because many people can have some of the symptoms of hyperthyroidism for other reasons. Sometimes the blood tests aren’t enough to be sure of the diagnosis and other tests are needed, like a thyroid scan or ultrasound.

How Is Graves’ Disease Treated?

Doctors usually treat Graves’ disease with anti-thyroid medicines. These medicines slow the release of thyroid hormones from the gland. They usually bring hormone levels down to normal within a couple of months.

Many people with Graves’ disease need to take anti-thyroid medicines for a long time to control the condition — sometimes for the rest of their lives.

Some might need other treatment if anti-thyroid medicines don’t help or cause side effects, or if the disease is very hard to control. In these cases, two permanent treatment options can be used: radioactive iodine treatment and surgery.

Radioactive iodine (RAI) is the most commonly used permanent treatment for Graves’ disease. RAI damages the thyroid gland so that it can’t make too much thyroid hormone. This doesn’t harm other parts of the body. The RAI treatment is taken in capsules or mixed with a glass of water. The thyroid gland quickly absorbs the RAI from the bloodstream and, within a few months, the gland shrinks and symptoms slowly disappear.

Surgery to remove most of the thyroid gland is called a thyroidectomy. It’s done in a hospital under general anesthesia, so the person is asleep and feels nothing. A small incision (cut) in the lower central part of the neck usually leaves a thin scar. It’s common to have some pain for a few days after the surgery, but most people feel much better within a few days.

After treatment for hyperthyroidism, hormone production often slows down to hypothyroid (underactive) levels. So the person needs to take a thyroid hormone replacement tablet each day. This treatment is a lot easier to manage than taking pills to control the hyperthyroidism — fewer blood tests, doctor visits, and medicine changes are needed.

As the body adjusts to the hormone replacement tablets, a doctor may increase or reduce the dosage until the levels of thyroid hormone are normal. When the doctor finds the proper dosage, people usually feel well and free of symptoms. The doctor will continue to check hormone levels to make sure the dosage is right, especially for growing teens whose levels might change over just a few months.

What Else Should I Know?

We don’t know why people develop Graves’ disease. But with good medical help, kids and teens can be healthy and do all the things other kids and teens can do.

Graves’ eye disease can develop at any time in someone who has Graves’ disease. Smoke can make this eye disease much worse, so it’s very important to not smoke and to avoid secondhand smoke.

Women with Graves’ disease need to be very careful to keep their hormone levels in balance. Uncontrolled thyroid hormone levels in a pregnant woman can lead to problems during pregnancy and harm her baby.

Source

To find a healthcare professional, use HealthLynked. It is a first of its kind medical network built as a social ecosystem with a higher purpose – improving healthcare.  Go to HealthLynked.com to learn more, sign up for free, connect with your doctor, find a new doctor, and securely store and share your health information. Download our HealthLynked app available on Apple and Android devices.

New Esophageal Cancer Treatment-Mayo Clinic

Cancer of the esophagus is like many other types of cancer. It’s often curable if caught early. Treatment for esophagus cancer, even in the early stage, has traditionally been surgery — removal of the entire esophagus. But now, doctors at Mayo Clinic are using minimally invasive endoscopies to treat early cancers. Patients have the procedure and go home the very same day.

source

To find a healthcare professional, use HealthLynked. It is a first of its kind medical network built as a social ecosystem with a higher purpose – improving healthcare.  Go to HealthLynked.com to learn more, sign up for free, connect with your doctor, find a new doctor, and securely store and share your health information. Download our HealthLynked app available on Apple and Android devices.

The Basics: Blood Donation

Want to give blood? Find out what your need to do before, during, and after donating.

Source

To find a healthcare professional, use HealthLynked. It is a first of its kind medical network built as a social ecosystem with a higher purpose – improving healthcare.  Go to HealthLynked.com to learn more, sign up for free, connect with your doctor, find a new doctor, and securely store and share your health information. Download our HealthLynked app available on Apple and Android devices.

Hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis

What Is the Thyroid?

The thyroid is a small gland below the skin and muscles at the front of the neck, at the spot where a bow tie would rest.

It’s brownish red, with left and right halves (called lobes) that look like a butterfly’s wings. It weighs less than an ounce, but helps the body do many things, such as get energy from food, grow, and go through sexual development. In younger children, it is also important for brain development.

What Is Hypothyroidism?

Hypothyroidism (or underactive thyroid) is when the thyroid gland doesn’t make enough of some important hormones. This makes the body use up energy more slowly, and chemical activity (metabolism) in the cells slows down.

Hypothyroidism is a common condition, especially in adult women. But kids can have it too. Some children are born with it — this is called congenital hypothyroidism. Others develop it later, usually late in childhood or as teens. The most common cause of hypothyroidism in kids and teens is the

disease Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.

What Are the Signs & Symptoms of Hypothyroidism?

A person with mild hypothyroidism may feel just fine — in fact, it might cause no symptoms at all.

But if thyroid hormone levels get too low, symptoms can become more obvious. These include:

  • sluggishness
  • depression
  • dry skin or hair loss
  • feeling cold
  • muscle weakness
  • poor memory or trouble concentrating
  • constipation
  • facial puffiness
  • weight gain (even when not eating more or exercising less)
  • slowed growth
  • slow sexual development
  • irregular menstrual periods in girls

What Is Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis?

Hashimoto’s thyroiditis (hah-she-MOE-toes thy-roy-DYE-tiss) is an autoimmune disease. It causes most cases of hypothyroidism in kids and teens. Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is also called
lymphocytic thyroiditis.

What Happens in Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis?

Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is an ongoing condition in which the immune system attacks the thyroid. Often, this prevents the thyroid from making enough thyroid hormone, causing hypothyroidism. The body responds by sending a message to the thyroid to work harder to make enough hormone.

This, and the swelling the immune system causes as it attacks the gland, can make the thyroid get bigger, leading to a goiter. The thyroid can keep changing size over months or years. Surgery is sometimes done to treat goiters, especially if the thyroid is big enough to cause problems with swallowing. But this is rarely needed in children.

How Are Hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis Diagnosed?

To diagnose hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, doctors ask about a person’s symptoms, do a physical exam, and order blood tests. The tests measure:

  • thyroid hormone levels, particularly thyroxine (T4) and thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH). TSH is a hormone made in the
    (a pea-sized gland just beneath the brain). More TSH is released into the blood when the brain and pituitary sense that the levels of thyroid hormone in the blood are too low. TSH stimulates the thyroid to work harder to make more thyroid hormone.
  • some antibodies (proteins made by the immune system). High levels of these antibodies in the blood are a sign that the gland is being attack by the immune system in Hashimoto’s. The two antibodies commonly measured are thyroglobulin antibodies (TgAb) and thyroid peroxidase antibodies (TPO).

How Are Hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis Treated?

Doctors treat an underactive thyroid with daily thyroid hormone replacement pills. These will bring the body’s levels of thyroid hormone back to normal.

This treatment is fairly simple, but a person will have doctor visits several times a year for an exam, blood tests, and medicine changes as needed.

What Else Should I Know?

In rare cases, the immune system of a child with Hashimoto’s can cause

in the brain and nervous system. Symptoms can include strange behavior, confusion, muscle twitching, and seizures.

Source

To find a healthcare professional, use HealthLynked. It is a first of its kind medical network built as a social ecosystem with a higher purpose – improving healthcare.  Go to HealthLynked.com to learn more, sign up for free, connect with your doctor, find a new doctor, and securely store and share your health information. Download our HealthLynked app available on Apple and Android devices.

How to Safely Handle Food and Why It Matters

September is National Food Safety Education Month. It provides an opportunity to raise awareness about the steps you can take to prevent food poisoning.

Every year, an estimated 1 in 6 Americans (or 48 million people) get sick, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die from eating contaminated food. Some people are more susceptible to contracting a foodborne illness (also called food poisoning) or to become seriously ill.

Why Food Safety Matters

Food safety means knowing how to avoid the spread of bacteria when you’re buying, preparing, and storing food. Food that hasn’t been prepared safely may contain bacteria like E. coli. Unsafe food can also spread foodborne illnesses like salmonellosis and Campylobacter (pronounced: kam-pye-low-BAK-tur) infection.

The good news: you can keep on top of bacteria and foodborne illness by playing it safe when buying, preparing, and storing food.

Start at the Supermarket

You have your shopping list in one hand and a squeaky shopping cart with the bad wheel in the other. Now, where should you start and how do you know which foods are safe?  Follow these tips:

  • Make sure you put refrigerated foods in your cart last. For example, meat, fish, eggs, and milk should hit your cart after cereals, produce, and chips.
  • When buying packaged meat, poultry (chicken or turkey), or fish, check the expiration date on the label (the date may be printed on the front, side, or bottom, depending on the food). Don’t buy a food if it has expired or if it will expire before you plan to use it.
  • Don’t buy or use fish or meat that has a strong or strange odor or appears discolored. Follow your nose and eyes — even if the expiration date is OK, pass on any fresh food that has a strange smell or looks unusual.
  • We applaud you bringing in your own market bags.  Still, place meats in plastic bags so any juices do not leak onto other foods in your cart or in your car.
  • Separate any raw meat, fish, or poultry from vegetables, fruit, and other foods you’ll eat uncooked.
  • Check eggs before buying them. Make sure that none of the eggs are cracked and they are all clean. Eggs should be grade A or AA.

Cart surf by these bad-news foods:

  • fruit with broken skin (bacteria can enter through the skin and contaminate the fruit)
  • unpasteurized milk, ciders, or juices (they can contain harmful bacteria)
  • pre-stuffed fresh turkeys or chickens

In the Kitchen

After a trip to the market, the first things you should put away are those that belong in the refrigerator and freezer. Keep eggs in the original carton on a shelf in the fridge – most refrigerator doors don’t keep eggs cold enough.

Ready to cook but not sure how quickly things should be used, how long they should cook, or what should be washed? Here are some important guidelines:

  • Most raw meat, poultry, or fish should be cooked or frozen within 2 days. Steaks, chops, and roasts can stay in the refrigerator 3-5 days.
  • Unopened packages of hot dogs and deli meats can be kept in the refrigerator for 2 weeks. Opened packages of hot dogs should be eaten within 1 week and deli meats within 3-5 days.
  • Thaw frozen meat, poultry, and fish in the refrigerator or microwave, never at room temperature.
  • For best results, use a food thermometer when cooking meat and poultry.
  • Cook thawed meat, poultry, and fish immediately; don’t let it hang around for hours.
  • Never wash raw chicken. Washing raw meat and poultry can spread germs around the kitchen. Germs are killed during cooking when chicken is cooked to an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C). So washing doesn’t help.
  • Cook roasts, steaks, chops, and other solid cuts of meat (beef, veal, pork, and lamb) until the juices run clear or until the meat has an internal temperature of at least 145°F (63°C). After the meat finishes cooking, let it rest for 3 minutes at room temperature before eating it.
  • Cook ground beef, veal, pork, or lamb until it’s no longer pink or until it has an internal temperature of at least 160°F (71°C). Cook ground chicken or turkey to 165°F (74°C).
  • Cook chicken and other turkey until it’s no longer pink or has an internal temperature of at least 165°F (74°C). Check chicken and turkey in several places — breast meat and leg meat — to be sure it’s cooked.
  • Cook fish until it is opaque and flaky when separated with a fork or until it has an internal temperature of 145°F (63°C).
  • Scrub all fruits and veggies with plain water to remove any pesticides, dirt, or bacterial contamination.
  • Remove the outer leaves of leafy greens, such as spinach or lettuce.
  • Don’t let eggs stay at room temperature for more than 2 hours.
  • Make sure you cook eggs thoroughly so yokes or whites are firm. Scrambled eggs should not be runny.

Clean Up

Even though the kitchen might look clean, your hands, the countertops, and the utensils you use could still contain lots of bacteria that you can’t even see. To prevent the spread of bacteria while you’re preparing food:

  • Always wash your hands with warm water and soap before preparing any food.
  • Wash your hands after handling raw meat, poultry, fish, or egg products.
  • Keep raw meats and their juices away from other foods in the refrigerator and on countertops.
  • Never put cooked food on a dish that was holding raw meat, poultry, or fish.
  • If you use knives and other utensils on raw meat, poultry, or fish, you need to wash them before using them to cut or handle something else.
  • If you touch raw meat, poultry, or fish, wash your hands. Don’t wipe them on a dish towel — this can contaminate the towel with bacteria, which may be spread to someone else’s hands.
  • Use one cutting board for raw meat, poultry, and fish, and another board for everything else.
  • When you’re done preparing food, wipe down the countertops with hot soapy water or a commercial or homemade cleaning solution. Consider using paper towels to clean surfaces. Don’t forget to wash the dishes, utensils, and cutting board in hot, soapy water.
  • Wash cutting boards — which can become a breeding ground for bacteria if they aren’t cleaned carefully — separately from other dishes and utensils in hot, soapy water. Cutting boards can be sanitized with a homemade cleaning solution (1 tablespoon of chlorine bleach in 1 gallon of water). After washing and disinfecting the cutting board, rinse it thoroughly with plain water and pat with paper towels or leave it to air dry.
  • Wash dirty dish towels in hot water.

Storing Leftovers Safely

Your dinner was a success and you’re lucky to have some to enjoy later. Here are some tips on handling leftovers:

  • Put leftovers in the fridge as soon as possible, within 2 hours. If you leave leftovers out for too long at room temperature, bacteria can quickly multiply, turning your delightful dish into a food poisoning disaster.
  • Store leftovers in containers with lids that can be snapped tightly shut. Bowls are OK for storing leftovers, but be sure to cover them tightly with plastic wrap or aluminum foil to keep the food from drying out, and avoid storing the food deeper than two inches.
  • Eat any leftovers within 3 to 4 days or freeze them. Don’t freeze any dishes that contain uncooked fruit or veggies, hard-cooked eggs, or mayonnaise.
  • If you’re freezing leftovers, freeze them in one- or two-portion servings, so they’ll be easy to take out of the freezer, pop in the microwave, and eat.
  • Store leftovers in plastic containers, plastic bags, or aluminum foil. Don’t fill bowls all the way to the top; when food is frozen, it expands. Leave a little extra space — about ½ inch (about 13 millimeters) should do it.
  • For best quality, eat frozen leftovers within 2 months.

Do I have Food Poisoning?

Food poisoning, also called foodborne illness, is illness caused by eating contaminated food. Infectious organisms — including bacteria, viruses and parasites — or their toxins are the most common causes of food poisoning.

Infectious organisms or their toxins can contaminate food at any point of processing or production. Contamination can also occur at home if food is incorrectly handled or cooked.

Food poisoning symptoms, which can start within hours of eating contaminated food, often include nausea, vomiting or diarrhea. Most often, food poisoning is mild and resolves without treatment. But some people need to go to the hospital.

Anyone can get sick from eating spoiled food. Some people are more likely to get sick from food illnesses.

  • Pregnant women
  • Older Adults
  • People with certain health conditions like cancer, HIV/AIDS, diabetes, autoimmune disorders and kidney disease

Some foods are riskier for these people. Talk to your doctor or other health provider about which foods are safe for you to eat.

Symptoms

Food poisoning symptoms vary with the source of contamination. Most types of food poisoning cause one or more of the following signs and symptoms:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Watery or bloody diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain and cramps
  • Fever

Signs and symptoms may start within hours after eating the contaminated food, or they may begin days or even weeks later. Sickness caused by food poisoning generally lasts from a few hours to several days.

When to see a doctor

If you experience any of the following signs or symptoms, seek medical attention.

  • Frequent episodes of vomiting and inability to keep liquids down
  • Bloody vomit or stools
  • Diarrhea for more than three days
  • Extreme pain or severe abdominal cramping
  • An oral temperature higher than 100.4 F (38 C)
  • Signs or symptoms of dehydration — excessive thirst, dry mouth, little or no urination, severe weakness, dizziness, or lightheadedness
  • Neurological symptoms such as blurry vision, muscle weakness and tingling in the arms

4 Basic Food Safety Tips for Review

Clean

Always wash your food, hands, counters and cooking tools. 

  • Wash hands in warm soapy water for at least 20 seconds. Do this before and after touching food.
  • Wash your cutting boards, dishes, forks, spoons, knives and counter tops with hot soapy water. Do this after working with each food item.
  • Scrub fruits and veggies in fresh water.
  • Clean the lids on canned goods before opening.

Separate (Keep Apart)

Keep raw foods to themselves. Germs can spread from one food to another.

  • Keep raw meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs away from other foods.
  • Do this in your shopping cart, bags, and fridge.
  • Do not reuse marinades used on raw foods unless you bring them to a boil first.
  • Use a special cutting board or plate for raw foods only.

Cook

Foods need to get hot and stay hot. Heat kills germs.

  • Cook to safe temperatures:
    • Beef, Pork, Lamb 145 °F
    • Fish 145 °F
    • Ground Beef, Pork, Lamb 160 °F
    • Turkey, Chicken, Duck 165 °F
  • Use a food thermometer to make sure that food is done. You can’t always tell by looking.

Chill

Put food in the fridge right away. 

  • 2-Hour Rule: Put foods in the fridge or freezer within 2 hours after cooking or buying from the store. Do this within 1 hour if it is 90 degrees or hotter outside.
  • Never thaw food by simply taking it out of the fridge.
  • Thaw food:
    • In the fridge
    • Under cold water
    • In the microwave
  • Marinate foods in the fridge.

Think you have a food illness?

Call your doctor and get medical care right away if you think you have a food illness. Save the food package, can or carton. Then report the problem. Call USDA at 1-888-674-6854 if you think the illness was caused by meat, poultry or eggs. Call FDA at 1-866-300-4374 for all other foods.

Call your local health department if you think you got sick from food you ate in a restaurant or another food seller.

Feeling a little less than well?  Something you ate? To find a healthcare professional, use HealthLynked. It is a first of its kind medical network built as a social ecosystem with a higher purpose – improving healthcare.  Go to HealthLynked.com to learn more, sign up for free, connect with your doctor, find a new doctor, and securely store and share your health information. Download our HealthLynked app available on Apple and Android devices.

Adapted from:
kidshealth.org
cdc.gov
foodsafetyfocus.com

The Basics: How to Deal With Ingrown Hairs

You just waxed, shaved, or tweezed, but instead of smooth skin, you’ve got little bumps! Here’s how you can avoid pesky ingrown hairs and which danger zones are prone to bumps.

Source To find a healthcare professional, use HealthLynked. It is a first of its kind medical network built as a social ecosystem with a higher purpose – improving healthcare.  Go to HealthLynked.com to learn more, sign up for free, connect with your doctor, find a new doctor, and securely store and share your health information. Download our HealthLynked app available on Apple and Android devices.

Help is Needed to Tackle Childhood Cancers and Improve Survivorship

Each year, over 15,000 kids and young adults are diagnosed with cancer—that’s about 42 per day.

Though the 5-year-survival rate for childhood cancers has reached over 80 percent, nearly 2,000 kids under age 19 are taken from us each year – this makes cancer the leading killer of children by disease.

And that’s just in the United States. In 2016, over 300,000 kids and young adults were diagnosed worldwide.

Today is National Tackle Kids Cancer Day, originally established by the Children’s Cancer Institute at Hackensack University Medical Center as a day to raise awareness about the challenges and make it possible for everyone to be part of the cure by raising funds for pediatric cancer research.  National Tackle Kids Cancer Day supports the innovative research and patient care programs at CCI and its efforts to pioneer over a dozen clinical trials to treat aggressive types of pediatric cancer.  Additionally, Tackle Kids Cancer funds the Cure and Beyond Program – one of the handful survivorship programs for pediatric cancer survivors in the country.

Cancer in Little Ones is a BIG problem:

Children’s cancer cannot be treated exactly like adult cancers, where most of federal research funding goes.  Current treatments are devastatingly toxic, affect a child’s development and are often decades old.

  • To treat childhood cancer in the best way possible, we need to create specialized treatments just for kids, yet only 4% of all federal cancer funds go to pediatric care and research.
  • The causes of childhood cancer are largely unknown. We need to study what causes childhood cancer to understand what treatments work best.
  • Many childhood cancer survivors in the U.S. suffer from lifelong damage to their organs, mental health and more. We must understand how treatments affect kids long-term and discover methods to prevent late effects.

Post-Treatment and Survivorship Research

Childhood cancer leaves a lasting impact on children and their families. Even after treatment ends, ongoing effects of cancer treatment may pose challenges for survivors. Children and young adults, along with their families, may experience significant changes to their lifestyle.

As researchers continuously work to increase the survivorship rates for childhood cancer, they’re also studying ways to improve the health and well-being of survivors after the cancer has been treated.

Today, there are an estimated 15.5 million childhood cancer survivors in the U.S. and survivorship research is more important than ever.

Late and Lasting Effects

Toxic cancer treatments often cause lasting effects on a child’s body. These effects can last months or years after treatment ends.

Effects will vary depending on the type of cancer and form of treatment a child receives.  A few common late effects may include:

  • Memory or hearing loss
  • Learning disabilities
  • Nerve damage, pain and weakness
  • Stunted bone growth
  • Secondary cancers
  • More cavities or loss of teeth
  • Heart damage
  • Delayed or early puberty and infertility
  • Depression and anxiety

Health Care After Cancer

Survivors should create a plan with their care team to help them practice a healthy lifestyle and cope with any possible late effects that they may experience. Regular follow up appointments with a care team are critical to monitoring late effects and the long-term health of childhood cancer survivors. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is especially important for survivors.

Children’s Cancer Research Fund supports ongoing research to help understand survivorship. Each year, they help to underwrite the Survivorship Conference, held by the Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota. This initiative gets cancer survivors together to talk about common experiences they face. Panel discussions, researcher presentations and keynote speakers are just a few elements offered at the Survivorship Conference.

About Tackle Kids Cancer

Tackle Kids Cancer is a philanthropic initiative of the Children’s Cancer Institute at the Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital at Hackensack Meridian Health Hackensack University Medical Center dedicated to finding a cure for pediatric cancer.  Funds raised support pediatric cancer research and innovative patient services.

Pediatric cancer is the number one cause of death by disease in children. The Children’s Cancer Institute is the only center conducting bone marrow transplants and the only site for the new immunotherapy CAR-T treatment in New Jersey. The Children’s Cancer Institute provides a growing research program, including pioneering work in neuro-oncology, and is home to Cure and Beyond, a pediatric cancer survivorship program, providing services and medical support for pediatric cancer survivors.

Community supporters and corporate partners are dedicated to supporting the essential work toward a cure for pediatric cancer. To date, Tackle Kids Cancer has raised more than $5 million to support its mission. For additional information, please visit TackleKidsCancer.org

Get Connected

Everyday, you can find physicians in your area who are looking for new and unique ways to connect and collaborate with you on your care and the wellness of your family. To find a healthcare professional, use HealthLynked. It is a first of its kind medical network built as a social ecosystem with a higher purpose – improving healthcare.  Go to HealthLynked.com to learn more, sign up for free, connect with your doctor, find a new doctor, and securely store and share your health information. Download our HealthLynked app available on Apple and Android devices.

If you are enduring the challenges of Childhood Cancer, or any other disease, find strength and real connectedness by getting Lynked.  Go to HealthLynked.com to sign up for free and start taking control of your family’s health.

Adapted from:
childrenscancer.org
tacklekidscancer.org

Arthrogryposis

What Is Arthrogryposis?

Arthrogryposis (ar-throw-grih-POE-sis) is when children have stiffness and loss of motion in more than one joint. Babies are born with arthrogryposis, and it is usually permanent. But medical experts can help kids get the best range of motion their stiff joints will allow.

What Are the Signs & Symptoms of Arthrogryposis?

The joint stiffness that happens with arthrogryposis is called contracture (kun-TRAK-cher). It means the joint can’t move the way it should. Joints may stay straight and not bend, or they may stay bent and a child can’t straighten them.

Some contractures are mild. Others can be severe. Children may have:

  • trouble moving
  • poor growth
  • weak muscles
  • very thin or bony-looking arms and legs

Some children have problems in most of their joints. They may have stiff shoulders, elbows, hands, hips, knees, and feet. Some kids have only a few stiff joints.

When a child has contracture in just one joint (such as clubfoot), it’s not usually arthrogryposis.

What Causes Arthrogryposis?

Experts don’t always know why children have arthrogryposis. It could be something that stops the muscles and joints from developing as they should. Sometimes it’s because of another condition, like a disease of the nerves or muscles. Or it might happen because a fetus doesn’t move much during pregnancy. This can affect the way the baby’s muscles and nerves develop.

With some babies, there’s a genetic reason for arthrogryposis. If doctors tell you that your child’s condition is genetic, ask if your family should see a genetic counselor.

How Is Arthrogryposis Diagnosed?

When a baby is born with more than one contracture, doctors will check the baby’s nerves and muscles. They may order blood tests or imaging tests like X-rays.

Doctors sometimes know that a baby has arthrogryposis before birth. That’s because it can show up on a prenatal ultrasound.

Most of the time, doctors can diagnose the problem and plan treatment based on a physical exam and routine tests. Doctors may also need to do tests like these:

How Is Arthrogryposis Treated?

Doctors and other medical experts work together as a team to treat arthrogryposis. To help kids get the best range of motion from stiff, tight joints, treatment might include:

  • bracing and orthotics for joint support
  • splints and casts to improve joint position and motion
  • physical therapy and occupational therapy
  • at-home exercises and stretching to increase strength and flexibility
  • surgery to reposition bones or move tendons (the cords that connect muscles to the bones)

What Can I Expect?

Therapy helps kids do the most they can as they grow. Your care team will give you exercises to do with your child at home. It takes time for a child’s abilities to improve. Be patient and offer your support to older kids. Parents play a big part in the treatment of arthrogryposis.

Many kids can do things on their own and grow up to be independent. Others need more help. Even when arthrogryposis limits physical abilities, kids usually can think and learn just as well as other kids do.

How Can I Help My Child?

  • Focus on the things your child can do.
  • Encourage your child to try new things.
  • Help your child be as active as possible.
  • Give your child plenty of ways to learn and use all his or her abilities.

Date reviewed: September 2018

Source

To find a healthcare professional, use HealthLynked. It is a first of its kind medical network built as a social ecosystem with a higher purpose – improving healthcare.  Go to HealthLynked.com to learn more, sign up for free, connect with your doctor, find a new doctor, and securely store and share your health information. Download our HealthLynked app available on Apple and Android devices.

Thyroid Tests

What Is the Thyroid?

The thyroid is a small gland below the skin and muscles at the front of the neck, at the spot where a bow tie would rest. It makes two types of thyroid hormones: T3 (triiodothyronine) and T4 (thyroxine). It helps the body do many things, such as get energy from food, grow, and go through sexual development.

The pituitary is a pea-sized gland at the bottom of the brain that makes thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH). TSH triggers the thyroid to make more thyroid hormone. The pituitary gland and the thyroid gland send messages back and forth to each other about how much hormone to make to keep the levels normal.

What Is Thyroid Disease?

Some diseases of the thyroid or pituitary gland cause the thyroid to make too much or too little thyroid hormone:

  • If the thyroid is overactive, it releases too much thyroid hormone, causing hyperthyroidism. The body use up energy more quickly than it should, and chemical activity (like metabolism) in the cells speeds up. Symptoms include sweating, trembling, weight loss, and fast heartbeat.
  • If the thyroid is underactive, it makes too little thyroid hormone, causing hypothyroidism. The body uses up energy more slowly, and chemical activity (metabolism) in the cells slows down. Symptoms include tiredness, feeling cold, constipation, dry skin, and slow height growth in children.

What Are Thyroid Blood Tests?

Doctors use blood tests to check for thyroid or pituitary problems. In kids already diagnosed with thyroid or pituitary problems, the tests are used to guide treatment.

Commonly ordered thyroid blood tests include:

  • T4 test: This is done to measure the blood level of the hormone T4 (thyroxine). It might be done in one or both of the following ways:
    total T4, which measures the entire amount of thyroxine in the blood, including the amount attached to blood proteins that help carry the hormone through the bloodstream
    free T4, which measures only the thyroxine that’s not attached to proteins. This is the part of T4 in the blood that affects how the body’s cells work.
    The results of the T4 blood tests can help diagnose hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism and guide treatment.
  • TSH test: A thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) test can help tell how well the thyroid is working. If a thyroid disease prevents the gland from making enough thyroid hormone, the pituitary gland releases more TSH into the blood. If the thyroid is making too much thyroid hormone, the pituitary releases less TSH, which can lower the levels of TSH in the blood.
  • T3 total test: The T3 total test measures the other major thyroid hormone in the blood. It’s particularly useful in diagnosing hyperthyroidism.
  • thyroid antibodies test: Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is an
    condition in which the immune system attacks the thyroid gland. To diagnose it, doctors check for high levels of antibodies that are a sign of the immune system’s attack on proteins in the thyroid gland. Usually, two types of thyroid antibodies are measured: thyroglobulin antibodies (TgAb) and thyroid peroxidase antibodies (TPO).

In some cases, abnormal thyroid test results can be due to a medicine, an ongoing medical condition, or pregnancy. In these cases, there may be nothing wrong with the thyroid or pituitary glands themselves.

The normal ranges of thyroid function test results vary by age. Doctors think about this carefully when they interpret them.

What if I Have Questions?

If you have any questions about a thyroid blood test, speak with your doctor. You can also talk to the technician who’s doing the blood draw before the procedure.

Source

To find a healthcare professional, use HealthLynked. It is a first of its kind medical network built as a social ecosystem with a higher purpose – improving healthcare.  Go to HealthLynked.com to learn more, sign up for free, connect with your doctor, find a new doctor, and securely store and share your health information. Download our HealthLynked app available on Apple and Android devices.

How to Make a Sugar Face Scrub

Exfoliating and softening your skin is a cinch! Mix these ingredients together for a DIY sugar scrub face mask that will leave your skin soft and you feeling refreshed.

Source

To find a healthcare professional, use HealthLynked. It is a first of its kind medical network built as a social ecosystem with a higher purpose – improving healthcare.  Go to HealthLynked.com to learn more, sign up for free, connect with your doctor, find a new doctor, and securely store and share your health information. Download our HealthLynked app available on Apple and Android devices.

What is Celiac Disease and Why Is It on the Rise?

Historically, the United States Senate has designated September 13th as “National Celiac Awareness Day.”  According to the original resolution, the Senate “recognizes that all people of the United States should become more informed and aware of celiac disease” and encourages all Americans to participate in activities to observe this day.

Why September 13th?  The 13th is the birthday of Samuel Gee, a pediatrician who published the first complete clinical description of celiac disease in 1888.  Gee was the first to recognize the symptoms of celiac disease are related to diet.

Celiac disease affects an estimated 3 million Americans, 85% of whom remain undiagnosed or misdiagnosed.  It is generally considered an autoimmune disorder with genetic predisposition. Some important exceptions notwithstanding, the prevalence of celiac disease is estimated to range between 0.6 and 1 percent of the world’s population.

The name celiac derives from the Greek word for “hollow,” as in bowels. Gluten proteins in wheat, barley and rye prompt the body to turn on itself and attack the small intestine. Complications range from diarrhea and anemia to osteoporosis and, in extreme cases, lymphoma.

Celiac disease

Overview

Celiac disease (gluten-sensitive enteropathy), sometimes called sprue or coeliac, is an immune reaction to eating gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley and rye.

If you have celiac disease, eating gluten triggers an immune response in your small intestine. Over time, this reaction damages your small intestine’s lining and prevents absorption of some nutrients (malabsorption). The intestinal damage often causes diarrhea, fatigue, weight loss, bloating and anemia, and can lead to serious complications.

In children, malabsorption can affect growth and development, in addition to the symptoms seen in adults.

There’s no cure for celiac disease — but for most people, following a strict gluten-free diet can help manage symptoms and promote intestinal healing.

Symptoms

The signs and symptoms of celiac disease can vary greatly and are different in children and adults. The most common signs for adults are diarrhea, fatigue and weight loss. Adults may also experience bloating and gas, abdominal pain, nausea, constipation, and vomiting.

However, more than half of adults with celiac disease have signs and symptoms that are not related to the digestive system, including:

  • Anemia, usually resulting from iron deficiency
  • Loss of bone density (osteoporosis) or softening of bone (osteomalacia)
  • Itchy, blistery skin rash (dermatitis herpetiformis)
  • Damage to dental enamel
  • Mouth ulcers
  • Headaches and fatigue
  • Nervous system injury, including numbness and tingling in the feet and hands, possible problems with balance, and cognitive impairment
  • Joint pain
  • Reduced functioning of the spleen (hyposplenism)
  • Acid reflux and heartburn

Children

In children under 2 years old, typical signs and symptoms of celiac disease include:

  • Vomiting
  • Chronic diarrhea
  • Swollen belly
  • Failure to thrive
  • Poor appetite
  • Muscle wasting

Older children may experience:

  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Weight loss
  • Irritability
  • Short stature
  • Delayed puberty
  • Neurological symptoms, including attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), learning disabilities, headaches, lack of muscle coordination and seizures

Dermatitis herpetiformis

Dermatitis herpetiformis is an itchy, blistering skin disease that stems from intestinal gluten intolerance. The rash usually occurs on the elbows, knees, torso, scalp and buttocks.

Dermatitis herpetiformis is often associated with changes to the lining of the small intestine identical to those of celiac disease, but the disease may not produce noticeable digestive symptoms.

Doctors treat dermatitis herpetiformis with a gluten-free diet or medication, or both, to control the rash.

Causes

Celiac disease occurs from an interaction between genes, eating foods with gluten and other environmental factors, but the precise cause isn’t known. Infant feeding practices, gastrointestinal infections and gut bacteria might contribute to developing celiac disease.

Sometimes celiac disease is triggered — or becomes active for the first time — after surgery, pregnancy, childbirth, viral infection or severe emotional stress.

When the body’s immune system overreacts to gluten in food, the reaction damages the tiny, hair-like projections (villi) that line the small intestine. Villi absorb vitamins, minerals and other nutrients from the food you eat. If your villi are damaged, you can’t get enough nutrients, no matter how much you eat.

Some gene variations appear to increase the risk of developing the disease. But having those gene variants doesn’t mean you’ll get celiac disease, which suggests that additional factors must be involved.

The rate of celiac disease in Western countries is estimated at about 1 percent of the population. Celiac disease is most common in Caucasians; however, it is now being diagnosed among many ethnic groups and is being found globally.

Risk factors

Celiac disease can affect anyone. However, it tends to be more common in people who have:

  • A family member with celiac disease or dermatitis herpetiformis
  • Type 1 diabetes
  • Down syndrome or Turner syndrome
  • Autoimmune thyroid disease
  • Microscopic colitis (lymphocytic or collagenous colitis)
  • Addison’s disease
  • Rheumatoid arthritis

Complications

Untreated, celiac disease can cause:

  • Malnutrition. The damage to your small intestine means it can’t absorb enough nutrients. Malnutrition can lead to anemia and weight loss. In children, malnutrition can cause slow growth and short stature.
  • Loss of calcium and bone density. Malabsorption of calcium and vitamin D may lead to a softening of the bone (osteomalacia or rickets) in children and a loss of bone density (osteoporosis) in adults.
  • Infertility and miscarriage. Malabsorption of calcium and vitamin D can contribute to reproductive issues.
  • Lactose intolerance. Damage to your small intestine may cause you to experience abdominal pain and diarrhea after eating lactose-containing dairy products, even though they don’t contain gluten. Once your intestine has healed, you may be able to tolerate dairy products again. However, some people continue to experience lactose intolerance despite successful management of celiac disease.
  • Cancer. People with celiac disease who don’t maintain a gluten-free diet have a greater risk of developing several forms of cancer, including intestinal lymphoma and small bowel cancer.
  • Neurological problems. Some people with celiac disease may develop neurological problems such as seizures or peripheral neuropathy (disease of the nerves that lead to the hands and feet).

In children, celiac disease can also lead to failure to thrive, delayed puberty, weight loss, irritability and dental enamel defects, anemia, arthritis, and epilepsy.

Nonresponsive celiac disease

As many as 30 percent of people with celiac disease may not have, or be able to maintain, a good response to a gluten-free diet. This condition, known as nonresponsive celiac disease, is often due to contamination of the diet with gluten. Therefore, it’s important to work with a dietitian.

People with nonresponsive celiac disease may have additional conditions, such as bacteria in the small intestine (bacterial overgrowth), microscopic colitis, poor pancreas function, irritable bowel syndrome or intolerance to disaccharides (lactose and fructose). Or, they may have refractory celiac disease.

Refractory celiac disease

In rare instances, the intestinal injury of celiac disease persists and leads to substantial malabsorption, even though you have followed a strict gluten-free diet. This combination is known as refractory celiac disease.

If you continue to experience signs and symptoms despite following a gluten-free diet for six months to one year, your doctor may recommend further testing and look for other explanations for your symptoms. Your doctor may recommend treatment with a steroid to reduce intestinal inflammation, or a medication that suppresses your immune system. All patients with celiac disease should be followed up to monitor the response of their disease to treatment.

Celiac is on the Rise

While we know proteins called gluten provoke celiac disease; and, we understand the disease is treated with a gluten free diet, the rapid increase in prevalence of celiac disease, which has quadrupled in the United States in just 50 years, is mystifying.

Scientists are pursuing some intriguing possibilities. One is that breast-feeding may protect against the disease, and it has been on the decline in our fast paced, Self-care society.  Another is that we have neglected the microbes teeming in our gut — bacteria that may determine whether the immune system treats gluten as food or as a deadly invader.  The microbiome wants us to survive.

Nearly everyone with celiac disease has one of two versions of a cellular receptor called the human leukocyte antigen, or H.L.A. These receptors, the thinking goes, naturally increase carriers’ immune response to gluten.

This detailed understanding makes celiac disease unique among autoimmune disorders. Two factors — one a protein, another genetic — are clearly defined; and in most cases, eliminating gluten from the patient’s diet turns off the disease.

When to see a doctor

Consult your doctor if you have diarrhea or digestive discomfort that lasts for more than two weeks. Consult your child’s doctor if your child is pale, irritable or failing to grow or has a potbelly and foul-smelling, bulky stools.

Be sure to consult your doctor before trying a gluten-free diet. If you stop or even reduce the amount of gluten you eat before you’re tested for celiac disease, you may change the test results.

Celiac disease tends to run in families. If someone in your family has the condition, ask your doctor if you should be tested. Also ask your doctor about testing if you or someone in your family has a risk factor for celiac disease, such as type 1 diabetes.

Get Help

To find a healthcare professional, use HealthLynked. It is a first of its kind medical network built as a social ecosystem with a higher purpose – improving healthcare.  Go to HealthLynked.com to learn more, sign up for free, connect with your doctor, find a new doctor, and securely store and share your health information. Download our HealthLynked app available on Apple and Android devices.

Sources Adapted from:
MayoClinic.org
nyt.com