The Blistering Effects Of Anorexia And What To Watch Out For

Anorexia Nervosa is an eating disorder where an individual has an intense fear of gaining weight. In turn, they will limit the food they eat and the caloric intake in order to avoid putting on pounds. Although it may start as dieting, the condition affects the mind and body and it can quickly turn in to something serious. The individual may start to obsess about food and dieting at all times of the day. The condition will usually start during one’s teen years, therefore early treatment is vital to ensure it does not continue on through adulthood. When not treated, the condition can lead to starvation or other serious health problems, which can affect other areas of one’s life. The statistics on anorexia or scary and it is important to know what to look for in friends and family in order to get them timely help.

Causes of Anorexia

There are many factors which may lead to an eating disorder, from family history to social factors and interaction traits. As eating disorders are so complex, it is difficult to pinpoint one thing which leads to the problem. Individuals will find they are more likely to have anorexia if they:

  • deal with stressful events in life (from a divorce to losing a job or any difficult family issues)
  • other individuals in your family may have eating disorders
  • if you are an individual who always wants things to be perfect, this may lead to a distorted perception of your body image
  • if your job requires you to stay fit, some people may take it to the extremes due to the fact that they are always in the public eye (from athletes to models)

Regardless of what causes the disorder, making sure the eating disorder is diagnosed and spotted at an early stage is important to getting proper and effective treatment so that further health and psychological problems can be avoided.

Symptoms of Anorexia

Most people with the condition will deny they have a problem. Therefore, family, friends, and loved ones will usually have to intervene for an individual to get help. Some common signs of anorexia include:

  • much lower weight than average body frame should be
  • individuals are afraid of gaining weight (regardless of what they eat, or how small a meal they consume)
  • refusing to stay at a normal, healthy weight
  • the individual thinks they are overweight when they are in fact too thin for their body frame.
  • Many individuals will also become consumed by the condition and will:
  • obsess about foods and dieting at all times of the day;
  • limit the caloric intake each day;
  • exercise in excessive amounts each day; or,
  • vomit or use other laxatives, in order to ensure they do not gain any weight at all.

Getting Help

If a doctor diagnoses a case of anorexia, or any similar eating disorder, they are likely to monitor the body weight, and compare it to someone of the same age (height, gender, and body frame). They will check the lungs, internal organs, and body frame to ensure there has been no damage to the body, and they will run necessary tests to get each individual the proper form of treatment, depending on how bad their condition is personally. The hardest part is getting someone to realize that they have a problem. Their sense of their own body image has become so distorted usually that they will see continue to see themselves as overweight when it is obvious to everyone around them that they may be dangerously thin.

Treatment Options for Anorexia

Whether you choose to speak to a therapist, go in to a nutritionist for help with dieting, or check in to any facilities for help and constant monitoring, there are different options to turn to for help. Getting the right medical attention is key early on in order to ensure you are taking in the proper nutrients and the right amount of calories on a day to day basis, especially if you have to gain weight and be brought up to a normal healthy weight level.

Regardless of how bad the condition has gotten, seeking medical help should be the first step when dealing with anorexia. The sooner one can get the help, the better it is going to be in the long run. Looking for the warning signs, talking to a doctor, and getting the information regarding treatment centers and clinics in your area are some things that can be done to start a person with anorexia on the road to recovery. Seeking professional medical attention and assistance is highly recommended for anyone dealing with any form of eating disorder.

Tips For Comforting Your Crying Baby

All babies tend to cry no matter how well you take care of the little one. The fact that your infant is totally dependent on you to provide him/ her with all the comfort, warmth and food, crying is your infant’s way of communicating to you all their needs. However, since a wailing child can make many parents frustrated at times, learning some simple tips to soothe your child will not only help you ease the crying and enhance their calmness, but will also help your baby feel safe, secure and comfortable.

5 Tips To Stop Crying Babies

Tip #1: Swaddling

When a baby is in its mother’s womb, they are accustomed to feeling warm, cozy and squished. Providing a similar environment outside by swaddling your infant in a blanket may help your baby experience the same confined feeling and will calm them and help them feel more secure. In addition, swaddling your baby will also help you prevent your infant’s uncontrolled arm and leg flailing that can otherwise lead to hysterical wailing. However, for safety reasons, remember to position you’re little on their back rather than on the side or stomach to ensure the legs do not get cramped in the swaddle.

Tip #2: Rock-a-Bye Baby

Any sort of rhythmic movements such as moving your little one side to side, up and down or back and forth imitates the baby’s experience of being in the womb. Swaying the baby rhythmically works on the motion sensors inside the infant’s ears and helps produce a hypnotic, calming effect. To rock babies, you can sit with them on a rocking chair, take them around the block in a stroller, walk around by rocking her or just take her out for a ride in your car. However, since babies tend to respond differently to different movements, experimenting with each one will help you select the one that best suits your baby.

Tip #3: Create White Noise

Babies in the womb tend to become used to the sound of the blood flowing through the mother’s arteries and the sound of her heart beat. Thus, creating similar sound can prove to be a great technique that can help a baby stop crying and stay comfortable. White noise is basically a noise that is usually dull, predictably repetitive and is generated by combining different frequencies together. While the noise of a vacuum cleaner or hairdryer or the steady rhythm of a washing machine can help get a baby stop crying, you can also download white noise sounds or buy a white noise CD created for babies. In addition, saying sounds such as “shh, shh, shh” in your little one’ ear is also a great tip to stop crying babies and help them stay calmer.

Tip #4: Try a massage or a tummy rub

Using a baby oil or baby cream, gently massaging your baby with rhythmic strokes with your hands is a great way to cope with a crying baby. Touch stimulates the pressure receptors in the baby’s brain and helps the infant calm down and feel more secured. In addition, massaging the baby’s tummy can help move wind and help ease colic, wind or constipation; thereby relieving him of the discomfort and help reduce crying and fussiness. Massaging your baby regularly helps reduce the overall crying time of infants and toddlers significantly and helps them stay happy and healthy.

Tip#5: Give the baby something to suck on

Newborns tend to have a great desire to suck. Comfort sucking can help relax an infant’s tummy, steady the heart rate of the baby and help a settle down. Occupying your baby with an infant bottle, a pacifier or breast feeding can bring great comfort and help the baby stop crying.

Candy is often the go to method for some to stop their children from crying, however there are some precautions to be aware of. While traveling in a vehicle you should obviously use caution and not give them anything that they can choke on. They will not be readily with in reach and you never know if you will be able to pull over right away depending on traffic. Secondly, while candy is often the easiest option, it is not exactly the most healthy option.

The above mentioned tips to stop crying babies can prove to be highly beneficial in helping you cope with baby crying. As parents, it is important to remind yourself that crying is a natural process that does not cause any harm to the infant. It is therefore advisable that parents do not blame themselves for their baby crying or become hyper or agitate of the issue. However, if you find that your little one is crying too often or is unresponsive, it is highly recommended that seek help from a child development specialist or your pediatrician to help you cope with crying babies.

A Basic Overview Of Depression Medication Used Today

Antidepressants are often prescribed to those suffering through depression and depression symptoms as part of a treatment plan. They work off of the belief that low levels of chemicals in the brain called neurotransmitters play a part in depression. An increase of these chemicals may cause improvement in mood, appetite, brain function and sleep habits for patients battling the illness. They usually just address the symptoms of depression and not the root causes for the disorder, so in a lot of cases antidepressants are just part of the treatment process that may also include psychotherapy. For those suffering with major depression, antidepressants may offer relief. For more mild to moderate cases of depression, the results may be mixed.

Antidepressants are not a cure for depression, but they can help severe patients stabilize and improve the way they feel as they work to recover from their depressive episode. They can only be prescribed by physician’s and psychiatrists and often times may produce unwanted side effects.

Studies have called into question the efficacy of antidepressants and if they truly offer any benefit to patients. They can take several weeks for any substantial effect to be seen and once they are stopped a relapse of depression symptoms may occur.

There are several types of depression medications that work in slightly different ways to relieve the signs of depression. It is important to know how they work, and what side effects and risks may be involved before this course of treatment is carried out.

Different Types of Antidepressants?

Serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine are the three key neurotransmitters thought to be associated with depression. The different types of depression medication all deal with at least one of these three brain chemicals to some degree or another.

MAOIs (Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors)

These were the first kind of antidepressants to be established. This medication targets the enzyme monoamine oxidase which breaks down serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine. When the enzyme is blocked or “inhibited” it cannot break down those three chemicals thus keeping their levels high in the brain.

MAOIs are used with caution as concerns over possible interactions with certain foods and other drugs exist.

Brand names of some popular MAOIs include Nardil (Phenelzine), Parnate (Tranylcypromine), Marlpan (Isocarboxizid) and Emsam and Zelapar (Selegiline)

TCAs (Tricyclic Antidepressants)

TCAs have been around since the 1950s and primarily target norepinephrine levels with a minor effect on serotonin levels in the brain. Brand names of tricyclic antidepressants include Pamelor (Nortriptyline), Norpramin (Desipramine), Tofranil (Imipramine), Vivactil (Protriptyline) and Surmontil (Trimipramine)

SNRIs (Serotonin and Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors)

These block the reuptake (reabsorbtion) of both serotonin and norepinephrine inside of the brain. Sometimes referred to a a dual uptake inhibitor, SNRIs may also affect other neurotransmitters as well. Brand names of SNRIs include Effexor and Effexor XR (Venlafaxine), Pristiq (Desvenlafaxine) and Cymbalta (Duloxetine). SNRIs are occasionally used to treat anxiety.

SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors)

These are also a relatively new form of antidepressants, coming after TCAs, and are probably the most widely prescribed kind of depression medication. These work solely to increase the levels of serotonin in the brain by blocking the reuptake (reabsortion) of the chemical.

Some of the brand names of popular SSRIs include Zoloft (Setraline), Prozac (Fluoxetine), Paxil (Paroxetine), Celexa (Citalopram) and Lexapro (Escitalopram).

Side Effects and Risks Associated with Antidepressants

Treatment of depression symptoms with any of the different types of antidepressants does not come without any risks.. Patients are urged to discuss with their psychiatrist or prescribing physician any of the potential side effects or health risks that might occur when taking depression medications.

MAOIs – There are some side affects associated with MAOIs, but their interactions with other drugs as well as with certain foods has been their greatest detractor and has limited their use. MAOIs may cause fainting spells as a result of lowering blood pressure. Some other side effects may include, dry mouth, sexual dysfunction, aches, insomnia and weight gain.

Besides serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine, monoamine oxidase also break down tyramine, a chemical found in aged foods such as cheeses. MAOIs prevent the normal breakdown of tyramine causing levels of it to build in the body. Too much tyramine can lead to high blood pressure or hypertensive crisis. Anyone prescribed an MAOI should alter their diets to avoid foods with tyramine.
The greatest risks of MAOIs come as a result of interactions with other drugs or supplements. They should not be used along side substances that raise levels of serotonin, norepinephrine or dopamine.

TCAs – Each of the different TCAs may carry their own set of side effects but the most common may be:

  • Dry mouth
  • Dizziness
  • Blurred vision
  • Constipation
  • Weight gain
  • Fatigue
  • Aches
  • Decreased libido
  • Nausea
  • Light sensitivity
  • Increase in appetite
  • Seizures
  • Drowsiness

SNRIs – Some of the more common side effects one may experience with SNRIs may include:

  • Appetite changes
  • Tremor
  • Dizziness
  • Reduced libido, climactic difficulty
  • Blurred vision
  • Heart palpitations
  • Aches
  • Insomnia or sleeping too much
  • Nausea
  • Dry mouth
  • Weakness
  • Increase in sweat production

SSRIs – Side effects of SSRIs are similar to other types of antidepressants and may include the following:

  • Sexual side effects, reduced libido, erectile dysfunction
  • Headaches
  • Dry mouth
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Insomnia or drowsiness
  • Increase in sweat production
  • Weight gain
  • Nausea
  • Restlessness

Nearly half of all patients taking a SSRI report some kind of sexual side effect.

Patients taking warafin should also use caution as SSRIs increase the effectiveness of warafin and it may lead to immoderate bleeding.
Those using SSRIs while taking NSAIDs are at great risk of intestinal bleeding.

Note: There is always a slight chance and risk with any antidepressant that instead of lowering depression symptoms, they might make them worse in certain individuals increasing the risk of suicide. Extreme caution and careful monitoring of children and teenagers who are prescribed depression medications should be exercised. Although it is more prevalent in younger patients, all patients should take notice of the state of their depression symptoms when taking antidepressants.

Any changes for the worse should be reported to the primary physician or psychiatrist immediately.

Patients should not stop their antidepressants abruptly. They should slowly ween themselves off of the medication by slowly decreasing their dosage over a period of time and only under the guidance of the prescribing doctor. They should never do it on their own.

Weighing the Risks

Each antidepressant approved to treat depression comes with some form of risk or potential for side effects. It is not uncommon for patients to try different types or brands of depression medication due to side effects. It may take a few tries before finding an antidepressant who’s side effects are not present or at least tolerable for the patient.

Before starting on an antidepressant it is important for depression sufferers to be well informed of what to expect and to weigh the potential side effects and health risks to the potential benefits the medication might give them. A thorough discussion between a psychiatrist and the patient is always recommended prior to the start of antidepressant treatment.

While antidepressants are not a magic cure for depression and some might argue against their effectiveness, they are still a big part of modern psychiatry.