GOING GLUTEN-FREE

Gluten is a particular kind of protein that is not found in eggs or meat but is in barley, rye, wheat and triticale (a cross between wheat and rye). Going gluten-free means avoiding these grains. A gluten-free diet is essential for those who have celiac disease, a condition that causes inflammation in the small intestines, or gluten allergies.  Symptoms of celiac disease include anemia, constipation or diarrhea, bloating, gas, headaches, skin rashes, joint pain and fatigue.

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A DIET FOR HEALTH & WEIGHT LOSS

Have you noticed? Look around and you’ll see a majority of Americans who are either overweight or obese. Look in supermarkets and you’ll see a plethora of food products, many of them processed or high-fat and/or sweet laden.  Consuming such a diet often leads to poor health and weight gain. It is not surprising that the leading cause of death in the United States is heart disease. A number of diseases, including pre-diabetes, diabetes, stroke and depression, are linked to how we eat .....

….FULL ARTICLE

ANTIBIOTICS IN OUR FOOD

Just what is in the food we eat? Considering the food chain, did you know adding antibiotics to food dates back to the 1940s? Antibiotic use has led to a dramatic reduction in illness and death from infectious diseases, yet there is a downside to this practice. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and others encourage health care professionals and patients to use antibiotics more wisely and seek education and understanding about both the risks and benefits of using them.

….FULL ARTICLE

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Your doctor will prescribe treatment based on the cause of your dry mouth. He or she commonly changes medications or dosages of drugs. The doctor may prescribe something to moisturize the mouth, such as Biotene, a mouthwash, or drugs that increase saliva production, such as Pilocarpine and Cevimeline. Your dentist can provide treatment to prevent or treat oral caries commonly caused by dry mouth. He might also prescribe a fluoride toothpaste that helps cut down on dental caries.


Here are some more tips for dealing with dry mouth:


1.  Keep water nearby and sip frequently.

2.  Chew sugar-free gum or suck on sugar-free candy.

3.  Breathe through your nose rather than through your mouth.

4.  Use a room humidifier at night to add moisture to the air.

5.  Use moisturizer to treat cracks in the lips.

6.  Avoid caffeine and alcohol as well as tobacco products, all of which may worsen dry mouth.

7.  Avoid spicy foods.

8.  Have frequent check-ups with your dentist.

Everyone has a dry mouth occasionally, but when dry mouth persists over time, it can become a problem. Dry mouth, also called xerostomia, is fairly common and can range from being annoying to being a serious source of tooth decay. It can cause infection in the mouth and poor nutrition because of problems with chewing. It may also be an impediment to good overall health, not just oral health.


Symptoms of dry mouth may include a feeling of dryness and/or burning in your mouth or throat; thick saliva; bad breath; gum irritation; gum disease; and having a hard time chewing, swallowing and/or speaking. Another common symptom is hoarseness. Your sense of taste may change as well. Often in xerostomia, the lips become cracked, the tongue is dry and rough and occasionally there are mouth sores.


Dry mouth is likely due to a decrease in saliva. It happens when the glands in the mouth that make saliva are not working properly. The salivary glands could be impaired due to:


1.  Medications. There are over 400 drugs whose side effects include dry mouth. High blood pressure and depression medications, along with antihistamines, decongestants, muscle relaxants and some pain medications are most likely to cause dry mouth.

DRY MOUTH A COMMON ORAL HEALTH PROBLEM

JEAN JEFFERS

Jean is an RN with an MSN from University of Cincinnati. She is a staff writer for Living Well 60 Plus and Health & Wellness magazines.

more articles by jean jeffers

2.  Aging. This period in life does not implicitly cause dry mouth, but seniors are more likely to take drugs that cause it or to have other health conditions that lead to dry mouth.


3.  Cancer therapy. Both chemother- apy and radiation used in cancer treatment may cause dry mouth. They interfere with production of saliva by causing damage to the salivary glands.


4.  Other health conditions. HIV/AIDS and diabetes are two conditions that cause dry mouth.


5.  Smoking. Using tobacco products may cause dry mouth.


If you notice you have a dry mouth and it persists, make an appointment with your doctor to discuss the situation. Your doctor will ask you a number of questions and also perform an oral exam. Sometimes blood tests are required or imaging scans of the salivary glands are taken.