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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Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) makes it difficult to empty air out of the lungs. About 64 million people worldwide carry a diagnosis of COPD. In the United States, about 15 million adults have COPD.


There is a growing body of research evidence (Burgess, Kunik, Stanley, 2005) that COPD is a physical condition with significant psychosocial consequences. The stigma arises because individuals’ behavior, such as smoking, is associated with those who have COPD, holding them responsible for their disease. To add to this, persons with COPD are often supplied with oxygen equipment. They experience some bodily changes and sometimes face a disruption in their social interactions.


Having COPD can create for both patient and family an extremely distressing lifestyle. For the patient, CPOD can result in anxiety, panic and, in some cases, functional depression because of breathing difficulties. Anxiety is sometimes displayed in restlessness, muscle tension, loss of concentration and irritability. Physical symptoms such as shortness of breath, chest pains, tingling sensations, trembling, feelings of faintness and choking can perpetuate the patient’s anxiety and lead to panic disorder. Professional care may be necessary if the symptoms persist. Failure to discuss these complications with your primary care physician or health care provider can lead to more serious mental health issues. The symptoms of depression associated with COPD include loss

UNDERSTANDING THE PSYCHOLOGICAL ISSUES OF COPD

of interest or pleasure in every-day activities, sleep disturbances, weight changes, fatigue, poor concentration and, in some rare cases, thoughts of death.


There are effective treatment options that can help you manage COPD. Treatment choices include both drug and non-drug protocols that are suitable for emotional problems. The non-drug treatment options include short-term psychotherapy and cognitive behavioral interventions. It is often beneficial for both patient and caregiver to participate in this level of care. A credentialed psychotherapist can help the patient and caregiver better understand the links between the symptoms of COPD itself, psychological overlying factors and managing COPD.


Sources and Resources:

Berger, P. (2006). Social changes and stigma in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Burgess, K. Kunik, S. and Stanley, B. (2005). Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: Assessing and treating psychological issues in patients with COPD. Geriatrics, 1818-1821.

DR. THOMAS W. MILLER, PH.D, ABPP

Thomas W. Miller, Ph.D., ABPP, is a professor emeritus and senior research scientist, Center for Health, Intervention and Prevention, University of Connecticut; retired service chief from the VA Medical Center; and tenured professor in the Department of Psychiatry, College of Medicine, University of Kentucky.

more articles by Dr thomas w. miller