Slideshow: Diabetes and Your Mouth

Slideshow: Diabetes and Your Mouth

Diabetes puts you at risk for dental problems. It hurts your ability to fight bacteria in your mouth. Having high blood sugar encourages bacteria to grow and contributes to gum disease. You may have gum disease if you have:

Well-controlled diabetes helps keep your mouth healthy. If you have poorly controlled or high blood sugar, you have a higher chance of dry mouth, gum disease, tooth loss, and fungal infections like thrush. Since infections can also make your blood sugar rise, your diabetes may become harder to control. Keeping your mouth healthy can help you manage your blood sugar.

People with diabetes are more likely to have oral infections. You should get dental checkups at least twice a year. Let your dentist know you have diabetes and what medicines you take. Regular checkups and professional cleanings can help keep a mouth healthy. And your dentist can teach you the best ways to care for your teeth and gums at home.

Sticky plaque — food, saliva, and bacteria — starts to form on your teeth after you eat, releasing acids that attack tooth enamel. Untreated plaque turns into tartar, which builds under gum lines and is hard to remove with flossing. The longer it stays on your teeth, the more harmful it is. Bacteria in plaque causes inflammation and leads to gum disease. High blood sugar can make gum disease worse.

When you brush your teeth twice a day, it not only keeps your breath fresh, but it also helps rid your mouth of bacteria that makes up plaque and can lead to infections. To brush properly, point your bristles at a 45-degree angle against your gums. Use gentle back-and-forth strokes all over your teeth — in front, in back, and on chewing surfaces — for two minutes. If holding a toothbrush is hard for you, try an electric toothbrush. Also brush your gums and tongue.

It helps control plaque. Floss can reach where a toothbrush can’t, like between the teeth. Do it every day, and use floss and interdental cleaners that carry the American Dental Association (ADA) seal. Ask your dentist for tips if you’re not sure how to floss. Like everything else, it gets easier with practice.

Use an anti-bacterial mouthwash every day. It freshens your breath, gets debris out of your mouth, and helps ward off gum disease and plaque buildup. Talk to your doctor about the best rinse for you.

Loose-fitting or poorly maintained dentures can lead to gum irritation and infections. It’s important to talk to your dentist about any changes in the fit of your dentures. When you have diabetes, you are at a higher risk of fungal infections like thrush. Poorly maintained dentures can contribute to thrush, too. Remove and clean your dentures daily to help lower your risk of infection.

Tobacco products — cigarettes, cigars, smokeless tobacco, and pipes — are bad for anyone’s mouth. But if you have diabetes and you smoke, you have even higher odds of developing gum disease. Tobacco can damage tissue and cause receding gums. It can also speed up bone and tissue loss. Motivate yourself to quit. List your reasons for quitting, set a date, and get the support of family and friends.

Well-controlled blood sugar reduces your chance of infection and speeds healing. If you need oral surgery, tell your dentist and surgeon you have diabetes beforehand. Your doctor may recommend that you wait to have surgery until your blood sugars are under control

The same steps that ensure a healthy mouth also help you manage your diabetes.

 

Regular dental checkups are important because your dentist can spot gum disease even when you don’t have any pain or symptoms. But you should examine your teeth and gums yourself for early signs of trouble. Infections can move fast. If you notice redness, swelling, bleeding, loose teeth, dry mouth, pain, or any other symptoms that worry you, talk to your dentist right away

Sources
|

Medically Reviewed on 02/01/2017

Reviewed by Michael

Friedman, DDS on February 01, 2017

IMAGES PROVIDED BY:

 

REFERENCES:

South Dakota Department of Health, Diabetes Prevention and Control Program: “Diabetes and Your Mouth.”
American Diabetes Association: “Warning Signs,” “Diabetes and Oral Health Problems,” “Frequently Asked Questions,” “More on the Mouth, “Brush and Floss,” “Gum Disease and Plaque,” “Learn More About Mouthrinses.””Diabetes.” 
National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases: “Prevent diabetes problems: Keep your teeth and gums healthy.”
Ohio State University Medical Center: “Diabetes and Periodontal (Gum) Disease.”
Cleveland Clinic: “Your Guide to Managing Diabetes.”
American Dental Association: “Diabetes,” “Cleaning Your Teeth and Gums.” “Consumer Resources,” “Diabetes tips for good oral health,” “Smoking and Tobacco Cessation,” “Cancer, Oral.”
Greater St. Louis Dental Hygienists’ Association: “What is Plaque and Tartar?”
National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research: “Periodontal (Gum) Disease: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments”
National Caregivers Library: “Mouth Care and Diabetes.”
University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics: “Thrush.”
Metzer, B. American Medical Association Guide to Living With Diabetes, John Wiley and Sons, 2006.
National Institutes of Health: “Smoking – tips on how to quit.”
Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene: “Diabetes and Your Oral Health.”
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse (NDIC): “What I need to know about Physical Activity and Diabetes.”
International Diabetes Federation: “Diabetes and Oral Health – Information for the Public.”

Reviewed by Michael

Friedman, DDS on February 01, 2017

This tool does not provide medical advice. See additional information.

THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

View our slideshows to learn more about your health.

© 2005 – 2018 WebMD LLC. All rights reserved.

WebMD does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

See additional information.

Slideshow: Diabetes and Your Mouth

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Slideshow: How to Count Carbs When You Use Insulin

Slideshow: How to Count Carbs When You Use Insulin

They’re found in lots of foods. Whether the carbs are starches, sugars, or fiber, they give your body energy to use right away or to store for later. Different types affect your blood sugar in different ways.

Your body breaks down carbs from foods into sugar (also called “glucose”) for energy. This rise in blood sugar tells your pancreas to release insulin, which helps your body use or store the glucose. When you have type 2 diabetes, you might not make enough insulin, or your insulin may not work well. Treatments with lifestyle changes or medications can help your body handle the glucose. When you live with diabetes, manage your diet, physical activity, medications, and insulin use to help keep your blood sugar and weight stable.

 

Your body breaks these down fast. That leads to a quick spike in blood sugar. Simple carbs are found in table sugar, the sugars added to processed foods, and the natural ones in fruits and milk. 

Your body has to work harder to break these down. They’re better for you, because they take longer to digest. They give you steady energy and fiber. You can find them in spinach, watercress, buckwheat, barley, wild or brown rice, beans, and some fruits.

Pay attention to serving sizes and food labels to see how many grams of carbs are in your food. In some cases, you may have to guess. Some people aim for 45-60 grams of carbs per meal. So, suppose you eat a plain turkey sandwich with a half cup of fruit. Two slices of bread have 30 carb grams, and the fruit has 15, for a total of 45. (The turkey has no carbs.)

Check the “total carbohydrate” grams on your food labels. These can also be listed as “dietary fiber” and “sugars.” But “sugars” won’t tell the whole story. They include the natural sugars found in fruit and milk products, and those that are added. A food that lists a form of sugar as its first ingredient may be high in total sugars.

This ranks foods based on how much they raise your blood sugar. It gives you a way to tell slower-acting “good carbs” from the faster “bad carbs.” Each food on the index gets a number. The smaller the number, the less impact the food has on your blood sugar. A low-GI diet won’t do it all for you, though. Count those grams of carbohydrates, and split them evenly between meals.

It can help you lose weight and control your blood sugar. Get at least 3-5 servings of vegetables a day. Cooked, non-starchy veggies like okra, beets, and eggplant have only 5 grams of carbs per half cup. Even though your attention is on counting carbs, you also need to eat enough protein and healthy fats. Don’t skip meals, and eat nutritious snacks to help keep your blood sugar under control.

Choose whole grains over “refined” ones, which lose fiber, vitamins, and minerals in the refining process. When you buy bread and cereal, look for whole grains as the first ingredient on the label.

Treats like soft drinks, cookies, and cake have added sugar. But so can healthier choices like yogurt and cereal. Read ingredient labels and think twice about foods that list sugar as the first ingredient. Tip: Some added sugars have “ose”  in their name like dextrose, sucrose, maltose, or high fructose corn syrup.

Is a glass of wine off-limits? It depends. Alcohol can cause low blood sugar, so ask your doctor if it’s safe for you to drink. Check your blood sugar before and after. If you drink, do so in moderation with some food, and when your blood sugar is under control. Check your levels again before you go to bed to make sure they’re in a healthy range.

Sources
|

Medically Reviewed on 3/11/2018

Reviewed by Laura

J.

Martin, MD on March 11, 2018

IMAGES PROVIDED BY:

(1)    Jose Luis Pelaez Inc / Blend Images
(2)    Thinkstock / iStockphoto
(3)    iStockphoto / Hemera
(4)    Comstock / iStockphoto
(5)    Carlos Hernandez / Cultura
(6)    Laurent / Garnier / BSIP
(7)    Jamie Grill
(8)    iStockphoto / Purestock / Hemera
(9)    Rita Maas / The Image Bank
(10)    Fuse
(11)    iStockphoto
(12)    Comstock Images

REFERENCES:

Rachel Beller, RD, president, Beller Nutritional Institute.
American Diabetes Association: “Carbohydrates,” “Glycemic Index and Diabetes,” “Sugar and Desserts,” “Making Healthy Food Choices,” “Insulin Basics,” “Carbohydrate Counting,” “Create Your Plate,” “Non-Starchy Vegetables,” “Alcohol,” “The Glycemic Index of Foods.”
American Diabetes Association / Diabetes Forecast: “For Health, Hold the Sugar.”
Massachusetts Institute of Technology: “Glycemic Index.”
Harvard Medical School / Harvard Health Publications: Glycemic Index and glycemic load for 100+ foods.”
CDC: “Carbohydrates.”
Medline Plus: “Fiber,” “Carbohydrates.”
Oregon State University Linus Pauling Institute: “Glycemic Index and Glycemic Load.”
Center for Science in the Public Interest: “Nutrition Action Health Letter: The Whole Grain Guide.”
National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse: “Insulin Resistance and Pre-diabetes.”
University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics: “Nutrition for Diabetics.”
USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference: “Melons, cantaloupe, raw, 1 cup, diced,” “Peaches, raw, 1 small (2 1/2″ diameter).”
Family Doctor.org: “Added Sugar: What You Need to Know.”
U.S. Department of Agriculture: “Empty Calories: What are ‘added sugars’?”
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: “A Healthier You: Chapter 8: Fats, Added Sugars, and Salt.”
University of Maryland Medical Center: “Diabetes Diet – General Dietary Guidelines

Reviewed by Laura

J.

Martin, MD on March 11, 2018

This tool does not provide medical advice. See additional information.

THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

View our slideshows to learn more about your health.

© 2005 – 2018 WebMD LLC. All rights reserved.

WebMD does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

See additional information.

Slideshow: How to Count Carbs When You Use Insulin

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Is Your Antidepressant Working?

Is Your Antidepressant Working?

Most antidepressants work by changing the balance of brain chemicals called neurotransmitters. In people with depression, the cells in the brain do not have access to the correct amount of these chemical messengers. Antidepressants make the chemicals more available to brain cells.

Antidepressants can be prescribed by any doctor, but people with severe symptoms are often referred to a psychiatrist.

In general, antidepressants work well, especially when used along with psychotherapy. (The combination is thought to be slightly more effective than either type of treatment alone.) Most people on antidepressants report eventual improvements in symptoms such as sadness, loss of interest, and hopelessness.

But these drugs do not work right away. It may take 1 to 3 weeks before you start to feel better and even longer before you feel the full benefit. It’s not common, but some people don’t improve with antidepressants and need to try other treatments with their doctor.

If your symptoms don’t improve after 4 to 6 weeks, tell your doctor. You may need a higher dose or a different medicine. 

Some people do not respond to the first antidepressant they try. Most of those people do respond to a different medicine. Remember, it can take up to 3 months to feel the full benefit of an antidepressant.

Also, antidepressants may stop working in a small number of people who have been taking them for a while.

 

According to the FDA, there is no difference in the strength, safety, or quality of generic vs. brand-name drugs.

But one study did suggest that there may be slight variations in how well generics are absorbed and used by the body. If you switched to a generic and it doesn’t seem to be working, tell your doctor.

A successful course of treatment usually lasts several months to a year. Don’t quit, even if you feel better sooner. If you do, it’s possible your depression will come back.

Your doctor can help you develop a convenient routine for staying on your medication — for example, taking your pills with breakfast every day.

Don’t be shy in telling your doctor about side effects. There are often ways to manage them. Here are some examples, but check with your doctor first to see if these are right for you. Taking your antidepressant with food can help nausea. If you’re having sexual problems, changing antidepressants may help.

If you feel fatigued, try taking your medicine 1 to 2 hours before bedtime. If the antidepressant causes insomnia, take it in the morning. Many side effects diminish on their own after a few weeks.

Antidepressants used most often today have fewer side effects and drug interactions than older types of antidepressants. Still, any antidepressant can interact with other medications, and even with herbal or dietary supplements. Drug interactions can lead to more severe side effects and reduce how well your medicine works. 

Let your doctor know about any new prescription drug, over-the-counter medicine, or dietary supplement you plan to take.

It is vital to continue follow-up care while you are on antidepressants.

Relapses are common. Your doctor may advise changing the dose — or trying a new medication — if your symptoms return.

Be sure to tell your doctor of major changes in your life, such as losing a job, developing another medical condition, or becoming pregnant.

Some people worry that antidepressants will leave them robotic. The fact is, antidepressants help relieve feelings of sadness, but they do not eliminate your emotions.

Another myth is that you’ll need to take the drugs for life. A typical course of antidepressants lasts 6 to 12 months. Antidepressants are not physically addictive but should not be stopped abruptly.

Getting psychotherapy while you take antidepressants can be a more effective way to treat depression, studies show.

Types of therapy include cognitive behavioral therapy, which focuses on changing negative thoughts and behaviors, and interpersonal therapy, which focuses on your relationships with others.

Exercise releases endorphins, chemicals linked to improved mood and lower rates of depression.

Several studies suggest regular exercise, without medicine, is an effective treatment for mild depression. Exercise can also help your medicine work better. Group sessions or exercising with a partner may be particularly helpful.

Your doctor will help you determine the right time to stop your antidepressants. Quitting abruptly can cause unwanted side effects or even a relapse.

With many antidepressants, it’s best to gradually reduce your dose according to your doctor’s guidance.

Sources
|

Medically Reviewed on 3/22/2018

Reviewed by Melinda

Ratini, DO, MS on March 22, 2018

IMAGES PROVIDED BY:
(1) Corbis, Photo Researchers, Getty
(2) Echo/Cultura
(3) Ronnie Kaufman/Blend Images
(4) Jonathan Nourok/Stone, Mark Weiss/Digital Vision
(5) Sydney Shaffer/Digital Vision
(6) Dougal Waters/Iconica
(7) Phil Leo/Photographer’s Choice
(8) Geoff Manasse/Photodisc
(9) Rob Melnychuk/Taxi
(10) Tony Latham/Stone
(11) Dave & Les Jacobs/Blend Images
(12) Kali Nine LLC/iStock

REFERENCES:
Medline Plus: “Antidepressants.”
Mayo Clinic: “Antidepressants (major depressive disorder).”
Royal College of Psychiatrists: “Antidepressants: key facts.”
PDR Health: “Top 10 Things to Know About Antidepressants.”
Harvard Health Publications: “What are the real risks of antidepressants.”

Reviewed by Melinda

Ratini, DO, MS on March 22, 2018

This tool does not provide medical advice. See additional information.

THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

View our slideshows to learn more about your health.

© 2005 – 2018 WebMD LLC. All rights reserved.

WebMD does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

See additional information.

Is Your Antidepressant Working?

Research & References of Is Your Antidepressant Working?|A&C Accounting And Tax Services
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13 Tips to Strengthen Your Immune System

13 Tips to Strengthen Your Immune System

Some stress can be a good thing. It helps your body get ready for a challenge. But if it lasts too long, that’s bad news. Studies show it can weaken your body’s defense system. Avoid it when you can. Make it a point to unwind and do things you enjoy.

It doesn’t just make you feel good — it’s good for you, too. One study found a link between a healthy immune system and how often you get busy. Those who made love more often had higher levels of a cold-fighting substance in their bodies.

There’s a reason we call them “man’s best friend.” Dogs and other pets aren’t just good buddies. They also give us a reason to exercise and boost our health in other ways. Pet owners have lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels and healthier hearts. Dogs can help your child’s immune response and make him less likely to get allergies.

We all know friends are important, but strong social ties can also have a big effect on your health. People with healthy relationships are likely to outlive those with poor social ties. Want to broaden your circle? Volunteer, take a class, or join a group that interests you. And nurture the bonds you already have.

When you think good thoughts, your body’s defenses work better. Want to stay in your happy place? Savor the things you enjoy. Look for a silver lining — even in tough times — and try not to dwell on the bad stuff.

A giggle or two is good for you. Not only does it make you feel better, there’s no downside. One study found that after people laughed out loud at funny videos, their immune systems worked better. But we aren’t sure yet if that means less illness in the long run.

Colorful fruits and vegetables are full of antioxidants. These nutrients guard against free radicals, molecules that can harm your cells. To get a wide range, go for oranges, green peppers, broccoli, kiwi, strawberries, carrots, watermelon, papaya, leafy greens, and cantaloupe.

Some of these products can help your immune system, but we need more research to know for sure if they’re really good for you. Because they can interact with other medicines, let your doctor know if you want to try them. He can help you decide which ones are safe for you.

Exercise is a simple way to rev up your defense system. It can also ease stress and make you less likely to get osteoporosis, heart disease, and certain types of cancer. You’ll get the most bang for your workout buck if you do about half an hour a day. It doesn’t have to be hard-core. Any type of movement can help: ride a bike, walk, do yoga, swim, or even play golf.

Without it, your immune system won’t have the strength it needs to fight off illness. Most adults need about 7 to 9 hours of sleep a night. To get better shut-eye, you need to stick to a regular bedtime schedule, stay active during the day, skip caffeine and booze near bedtime, keep the bedroom cool, and give yourself time to unwind at the end of the day.

Alcohol plays a major role in how we socialize and celebrate. But too much can weaken your defenses and cause you to get sick more often. How much is too much? More than two drinks a day for men and more than one for women.

Do your immune system a favor and give up smoking. If it takes you a couple of tries before you quit for good, hang in there! Ask your doctor for advice on how to make this major life change. Stay away from secondhand smoke, too.

Send those germs down the drain before your body ever has to fight them off. Use soap and clean, running water. Wash for at least 20 seconds. If you don’t have access to soap and water, a hand sanitizer can help (unless your skin is caked with dirt and grease). Just know that it won’t remove all the germs and other bad stuff. Choose one with at least 60% alcohol.

Sources
|

Medically Reviewed on 02/28/2017

Reviewed by Minesh

Khatri, MD on February 28, 2017

IMAGES PROVIDED BY:

(1)    Cultura / Bill Sykes
(2)    Blue Jean Images
(3)    Brandon Freeland / Flickr Select
(4)    DreamPictures / Photodisc
(5)    Pascal Broze
(6)    Fuse
(7)    Fotokia / StockFood Creative
(8)    Image Source
(9)    Mark Andersen / Rubberball
(10)   Totojang / Thinkstock
(11)   Richard Mack / Workbook Stock
(12)   Image Source
(13)   Dave and Les Jacobs / Blend Images
(14)   Image Source
(15)   Steve Mason / Photodisc

SOURCES:

National Institute of Mental Health: “Fact Sheet on Stress.” 

Lindau, S. British Medical Journal, 2010

NIH News in Health: “Can Pets Help Keep You Healthy? Exploring the Human-Animal Bond.”

CDC: “Health Benefits of Pets.”
Gern, J. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, February 2004.

American Psychological Association: “Stress Weakens the Immune System.”

News release, Association for Psychological Science.

Mental Health America: “Stay Positive.”

Bennett, M. Evidence Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, June 2009.

National Cancer Institute: “Antioxidants and Cancer Prevention.”

CDC: “Managing Stress.”

Anxiety and Depression Society of America: “Exercise for Stress and Anxiety.”

Harvard Health Publications: “How to Boost Your Immune System.”

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke: “Brain Basics: Understanding Sleep.”

Harvard Health Publications: “How to Boost Your Immune System.”

Steps for Stress: “Avoid Alcohol and Drugs.”

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism: “Beyond Hangovers: Understanding Alcohol’s Impact on Your Health.”

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: Smokefree.gov: “18 Ways Smoking Affects Your Health.”

QuitDay.org: “How Smoking Affects the Immune System.”

CDC: “Handwashing: Clean Hands Save Lives.”

Reviewed by Minesh

Khatri, MD on February 28, 2017

This tool does not provide medical advice. See additional information.

THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

View our slideshows to learn more about your health.

© 2005 – 2018 WebMD LLC. All rights reserved.

WebMD does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

See additional information.

13 Tips to Strengthen Your Immune System

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Slideshow: A Visual Guide to Knee Replacement

Slideshow: A Visual Guide to Knee Replacement

Knee replacement surgery can help with severe arthritis pain and may help you walk easier too. Wear and tear, illness, or a knee injury can damage the cartilage around your knee bones and keep the joint from working well. If arthritis symptoms are severe, your doctor may suggest knee replacement.

During knee replacement surgery, the surgeon takes damaged cartilage and bone out of the knee joint and replaces them with a manmade joint. The operation is also called knee arthroplasty, and it’s one of the most common bone surgeries in the U.S.

Common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and arthritis that happens after an injury. No matter what type you have, the main symptoms of knee arthritis are pain, swelling, and stiffness in the knee. Over time, it may get so stiff that walking is hard or even impossible. You might have other symptoms too, depending on your type of arthritis.

The cartilage that cushions the knee joint can wear away as you age, so that bone rubs against bone. The result: Normal motions of the knee get more and more painful. This “wear and tear” is called osteoarthritis, and it is most common in people over 50.

Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic illness in which the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks the joints, causing pain and swelling. While osteoarthritis can strike just one knee, rheumatoid arthritis tends to happen on both sides of the body. It can also affect the hands, wrists, and feet. RA can also cause other symptoms too, like fever and fatigue.

In some cases, arthritis starts after an injury, like breaking a knee bone or tearing one of the ligaments. The arthritis might not happen right away. Damaged bones or ligaments can lead to damaged cartilage over time, causing pain and stiffness later on.

Knee replacement surgery may help you if other arthritis treatments don’t work and you have any of the following:

If you have knee replacement surgery, think about making some changes at home ahead of time:

You should also ask someone to help you with daily activities during the first few weeks of recovery.

Knee replacement usually takes 1 to 2 hours. The surgeon removes damaged cartilage and bone from the knee. Then the doctor attaches metal implants to the ends of the thigh and calf bones. A plastic spacer goes between the metal pieces and helps the new joint move smoothly.

Most people spend several nights in the hospital after knee replacement surgery. You will take some pain medicine. You should try to move your leg soon afterward. Moving around increases blood flow to the leg muscles and can help reduce swelling.

When you get back home from the hospital, you should be able to walk with crutches or a walker. But you may need help bathing, cooking, and with household chores for the first 3 to 6 weeks. If you live alone, you may want to stay in a rehab center until you can do daily activities by yourself.

To make the most of your new knee, you should follow your doctor’s orders about being active in the weeks after the surgery. Too much rest can slow your recovery down, but you don’t want to overdo it, either. Focus on moving around your house, taking walks, and doing the exercises suggested by your physical therapist.

Physical therapy for knee replacement includes exercises for flexibility and strength. You can do these exercises at a physical therapy center or at home, but be sure to ask the therapist how to do them the right way. You should keep them up as long as your doctor recommends, usually at least 2 months after surgery.

All patients heal from surgery at their own pace. Your doctor will tell you when it is safe to go back to your normal activities. Here are some guidelines:

Knee replacement is safe for most people, but all surgery has risks, including:

 

Blood clots in the calf or thigh can happen after knee surgery. A clot can be life-threatening if it breaks off and goes to the lungs. Your doctor will help you take steps to keep blood clots from forming. Support hose, compression devices, and blood thinners can cut down the risk of clots. Foot and ankle movement  help too, so it’s important to move around as soon as you get the green light from your doctor.

Warning signs of a blood clot in the lungs (called a pulmonary embolism) include sudden shortness of breath, chest pain, and coughing. Signs of infection include fever, worsening redness or tenderness of the knee, and pus draining from the surgical wound. If you feel or see any of these symptoms after knee replacement, call your doctor immediately.

Knee implants continue to get more sophisticated, but they are not perfect. They can wear down over time or may come loose from the bone. Scar tissue can grow around an implant, limiting its range of motion. And even when they work well, implants can cause a clicking sound as the knee bends back and forth.

You can extend the life of your knee implant by doing several things. After surgery, use a cane or walker until your balance improves — taking a fall can cause serious damage to a new joint. High-impact exercise can also take a toll on knee implants, so most doctors warn against jogging, jumping, and contact sports.

While some activities are off-limits after a knee replacement, you still have plenty of others to choose from. Unlimited walking, golf, light hiking, cycling, ballroom dancing, and swimming are all safe for most people with knee implants. By following your doctor’s guidelines, you can expect long-lasting results — about 85% of knee replacements will last 20 years. 

 

Sources
|

Medically Reviewed on 2/15/2017

Reviewed by David

Zelman, MD on February 15, 2017

IMAGES PROVIDED BY:

1)    Nucleus Medical Art, Inc.
2)    MedicalRF. Com
3)    Brand X Pictures / Jupiter Images
4)    Copyright © ISM / Phototake — All rights reserved.
5)    Copyright © Bart’s Medical Library / Phototake — All rights reserved.
6)    Terje Rakke / The Image Bank
7)    Princess Margaret Rose Orthopaedic Hospital / Photo Researchers, Inc.
8)    Scimat / Photo Researchers, Inc.
9)    Southern Illinois University / Apogee Apogee / Photo Researchers, Inc.
10)    Juice Images / Cultura
11)    Dr. Steven J. Wolf, Biology Department, California State University Stanislaus
12)    Huntstock
13)    Frank Gaglione / Photodisc
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15)    Stuart Paton / Thomas Tolstrup / Tetra Images / Howard Sokol / David Engelhardt
16)    Ellen Whiten / WebMD staff
17)    Life in View / Photo Researchers, Inc
18)    Sam Edwards / OFO Images.
19)    Photodisc
20)    I Love Images / age footstock
21)    Jon Feingersh / Blend Images

SOURCES:

American Academy of Family Physicians: “Treating Osteoarthritis of the Knee.”
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality: “Total Knee Replacement.”
National Library of Medicine: “X-Plain Knee Replacement.”
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons: “Total Knee Replacement.”
American Academy of Family Physicians: “Rheumatoid Arthritis.”
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons: “Activities After a Knee Replacement.”

Reviewed by David

Zelman, MD on February 15, 2017

This tool does not provide medical advice. See additional information.

THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

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Slideshow: A Visual Guide to Knee Replacement

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Slideshow: Fungus Among Us

Slideshow: Fungus Among Us

Fungal skin infections can be itchy and annoying, but they’re rarely serious. Common infections such as athlete’s foot, jock itch, and ringworm are caused by fungus and are easy to get and to pass around. In healthy people, they usually don’t spread beyond the skin’s surface, so they’re easy to treat. If you spend a lot of time at the gym, take steps to protect yourself against fungal infections.

 

Ringworm isn’t caused by worms. This raised, red, circular, itchy fungal infection can occur on the body or scalp. You’re at greater risk if you come in contact with a pet or person with ringworm or with contaminated items. Prevent it by keeping your body clean and dry. It’s easily spread, so don’t share towels, combs, or other personal items.

Itchy, burning, cracked, and peeling feet? Athlete’s foot is a form of ringworm that usually develops between the toes. It can spread via wet locker room floors and contaminated towels and shoes. Prevent it by wearing shower shoes at the gym, washing your feet daily, drying them well, and wearing clean socks.

A raised, itchy, red rash around your groin means you probably have jock itch, which can affect men and women. It’s another type of ringworm, and it can be caused by sweating and the humid environment often created by athletic gear. You can prevent it by keeping your groin clean and dry, changing into dry, clean clothes and underwear every day, and avoiding tight clothing.

Brittle, discolored, thick nails may mean you have nail fungus. It can affect fingernails or toenails. Prevent nail fungus by keeping hands and feet clean and dry, wearing dry socks and changing them often, wearing shoes in a public shower, pool, or locker room, and not scratching infected skin, such as athlete’s foot. Wear wide-toed shoes (so toes aren’t crammed together), and don’t share nail clippers.

Change out of your gym clothes right after a workout. Sweaty gear provides a perfect home for fungi and other germs to thrive and grow. Wash exercise clothes after each use. Wear clean clothes before each workout.

To prevent fungal infections from taking a foothold at home, your best defense is to keep skin clean and dry. Change underwear and socks daily. Let your sneakers air out and wash them regularly. Take your shoes off at home to expose your feet to the air.

To fight fungal infections at the gym, wear shower shoes in the locker room and avoid sitting on wet benches. Don’t share workout mats or towels. Wash your hands before and after a workout, and don’t forget to wipe down gym equipment before and after using it.

Despite your best efforts at prevention, you think you have a fungal infection. Now what? First, talk to your doctor. Other skin problems can look a lot like fungal infections, but require different treatment. For mild infections, topical medication may be all you need. Stubborn infections could require oral prescription drugs.

Fungal skin and nail infections may look bad, but they rarely lead to more than itching and irritation. Still, if you’re worried about your jock itch, athlete’s foot, or any rash, talk to your health care provider.

Sources
|

Medically Reviewed on 7/17/2018

Reviewed by Debra

Jaliman, MD on July 17, 2018

IMAGES PROVIDED BY:

1)   Comstock
2)   Copyright © 2011 Dr. H.C. Robinson / Photo Researchers, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
3)   Copyright © 2011 SPL / Photo Researchers, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
4)   Copyright © 2011 Dr. Harout Tanielian / Photo Researchers, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
5)   Copyright © 2011 Dr. P. Marazzi / Photo Researchers, Inc. All Rights Reserved
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7)   Helena Wahlman / Maskot
8)   Sanna Lindberg / PhotoAlto Agency RF Collections
9)   ALLESALLTAG BILDAGENT
10)   Terje Rakke / The Image Bank

SOURCES:

American Academy of Family Physicians: “Tinea Infections: Athlete’s Foot, Jock Itch and Ringworm,” “Fungal Infections of Fingernails and Toenails.”

CDC: “Lurking in the Locker Room.”

KidsHealth: “Fungal Infections,” “Jock Itch.”

National Institutes of Health: “Athlete’s Foot.”

PubMed Health: “Ringworm.”

Simmons College: “Gym Hygiene: How to Reduce the Risk of Infections in the Gym.”

University of California, Davis: “Nail Fungal Infections.”

University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas: “Health Watch – Toxic Gym Clothes.”

Reviewed by Debra

Jaliman, MD on July 17, 2018

This tool does not provide medical advice. See additional information.

THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

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© 2005 – 2018 WebMD LLC. All rights reserved.

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Slideshow: Fungus Among Us

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Daily Living Tips for Adult ADHD

Daily Living Tips for Adult ADHD

Whether you have ADHD or just too much to remember, organizing tips can help you manage your time and activities better. Get into the habit of putting all your appointments and activities on a calendar. It doesn’t matter if it’s a day planner, a smartphone app, or just a plain old desk calendar. Keep it in one spot and check it at least three times a day. Make it a habit to check at the same times each day.

Each morning, make a list of the things you want to get done that day. Try to keep your list realistic, so you’ll have a good chance of getting to everything. Arrange your tasks in order of importance, putting the most important tasks first. Assign each task a specific time of day. Cross off each task when you complete it.

Don’t be intimidated by the idea of “getting organized.” Start by putting things back where they belong and throwing away things you don’t need.

Don’t think of it as cleaning up. Think of it as following your organization plan:

Place a small table or bookshelf near the entryway of your home. Put a tray or basket on top of it to hold important items such as keys, wallets, watches, glasses, and phones. You can also use this area to hold other items you want to remember, such as lunchboxes, briefcases, important papers, or outgoing mail.

Planning regular meals for the entire family may be a challenge. Create a “Top 10” dinner list or regular rotating menu of dishes that you can cook easily. Try to keep those ingredients on hand, or list the ingredients on index cards that you can take with you. Don’t carry the burden of feeding everyone yourself: Have a floating “free” night when you order takeout, or share the kitchen responsibilities with other family members.

Develop a system for checking and sorting mail every day. One idea is to create a special area to hold all important mail, such as bills, insurance information, checks, and bank statements. Review this pile at least once a week, sorting bills into a pile to be paid, and filing other important documents where they belong. Stop junk mail from coming to your house by taking your name off mailing lists.

Managing money can be difficult for people with ADHD, especially if you tend to make impulse purchases. Carry a notebook or use an electronic device or financial website to keep track of everything you buy — even very small purchases. Knowing how much you spend each month — and on what — will help you manage your money.

Forgetting meetings, deadlines, medications, or other responsibilities can create problems at work and in your personal life. For help, turn to computer programs and other electronic devices to remind you of appointments and deadlines. For example, set your computer or smartphone to alert you five minutes before every event in your calendar.

Distractions at work can be a big challenge for adults with ADHD. Try these strategies:

Many people with ADHD get bored easily — especially during routine tasks or paperwork. This can make it difficult to stay focused at work. Try these tips:

Organizing and simplifying your surroundings will help you reduce clutter, keep track of your belongings, and remove some of the distractions that prevent you from focusing.

Simplifying can work for your schedule, too. Don’t start a new project or task until you’ve finished the current one. Try not to overschedule yourself with too many projects or tasks at once. You may need to practice saying no to new tasks to stay focused.

Regular exercise may help manage your ADHD symptoms. At the very least, it can help you channel extra energy. But regular exercise and team sports can also help you work together with others, learn to set and meet goals, and feel better about yourself. Some research suggests that physical activity may stimulate parts of the brain associated with ADHD. Activities like yoga and karate may be better for ADHD because they offer opportunities for memorizing movements.

When you’re having trouble starting a project, try this exercise:

Colored files, folders, and notes can help you stay better organized. Here are a few examples:

If you see a lot of unfinished tasks left on your “to-do” lists, try to figure out why. Did you try to get everything done at one time? Did you list big tasks that could have been broken down into smaller ones? Or did distractions keep you from completing your tasks? Use this information to help arrange future “to-do” lists, or to find ways to work more efficiently.

Sources
|

Medically Reviewed on 6/19/2018

Reviewed by Smitha

Bhandari, MD on June 19, 2018

IMAGES PROVIDED BY:

(1)    Photodisc
(2)    Purestock
(3)    Comstock
(4)    Ron Krisel/Workbook Stock
(5)    Anna Webb/WebMD
(6)    Anna Webb/WebMD
(7)    Tetra Images
(8)    Tetra Images
(9)    Laurence Dutton/Stone
(10)    Ciaran Griffin/Stockbyte
(11)    Tim Robberts/The Image Bank
(12)    Datacraft Co Ltd
(13)    Paul Bradbury/The Image Bank
(14)    Photodisc, Jan Stromme/Stone
(15)    Visage/Stockbyte
(16)    Janie Airey/Lifesize

SOURCES:

ADDitude Magazine
Children and Adults with Attention Deficit /Hyperactivity Disorder
Harvard Health Publications
National Resource Center on ADHD
U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services

Reviewed by Smitha

Bhandari, MD on June 19, 2018

This tool does not provide medical advice. See additional information.

THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

View our slideshows to learn more about your health.

© 2005 – 2018 WebMD LLC. All rights reserved.

WebMD does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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Daily Living Tips for Adult ADHD

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Slideshow: 8 Digestive Health Supplements

Slideshow: 8 Digestive Health Supplements

Probiotics contain living organisms — mainly bacteria and one type of yeast. These resemble good bacteria in the gut that help with digestion. The supplements are used to treat certain GI problems and for general digestive health. Some types of probiotics may provide relief from diarrhea and may also relieve symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Consider adding them to malted milk or yogurt.

Licorice has long been used to treat symptoms of indigestion like heartburn and acid reflux. These uses aren’t backed by scientific evidence, though. In its unpurified form, licorice can also have side effects, including contributing to high blood pressure in some people. DGL is a specific extract of licorice with a certain chemical removed, and it doesn’t seem to have as many side effects. Still, pregnant women should not take DGL — or any other supplement — without consulting their doctor.

While the jury’s still out, several studies suggest that peppermint oil may lessen pain and bloating that comes with IBS. Enteric-coated capsules of it don’t dissolve in the stomach. They pass through to the small and large intestines, where the oil is released. In small doses, peppermint oil appears to be safe.

Chamomile is widely used for multiple ailments. Naturalists have tried chamomile in an effort to treat digestive problems such as upset stomach, colic, and nausea, as well as anxiety and insomnia. People with some plant allergies like ragweed, though, could possibly have an allergic reaction to chamomile. Always discuss your use of any supplement with your doctor.

Asian medicine uses ginger to treat stomachaches. In the West, ginger is used to relieve nausea and vomiting during pregnancy. Ginger is available as a powder, in capsules or tablets, or as freshly cut root. It’s generally considered safe when taken in small doses — 1 to 2 grams per day.

Glutamine is found naturally in your body; it supports the intestines and other organs. Some experts believe that the supplement L-glutamine may help relieve diarrhea induced by surgery, infections, or stress. It may help some people better absorb nutrients. That includes people with too much unfriendly bacteria in their digestive tracts, people who are taking cancer drugs, and people who’ve had part of their intestines removed. But more research is needed.

Psyllium is used as an ingredient in bulk laxatives. Because of its high fiber content, it’s able to absorb water in the intestines. That makes the stool bulky and easier to pass. It’s important when treating constipation to drink plenty of fluids. This helps you avoid dehydration or a worse case of constipation. People allergic to English plantain pollen, grass pollen, or melon could have a serious allergic reaction when taking psyllium.

Artichoke leaf extract may relieve symptoms of indigestion. When used daily, the extract seems to lessen nausea, vomiting, gas, and abdominal pain. It also might help treat IBS and reduce cramps and abdominal pain. The extract has no known interactions with drugs. But it can cause allergic reactions in people who are allergic to ragweed and related pollens.

Dietary supplements are not strictly regulated by the FDA. That means there is no guarantee of their quality, effectiveness, or safety. It’s important to always read the labels. It’s also important to talk with your doctor before starting any new supplement. That’s especially true if you’re pregnant, have an existing medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements.

Sources
|

Medically Reviewed on 11/13/2017

Reviewed by Minesh

Khatri, MD on November 13, 2017

IMAGES PROVIDED BY:
1)         WebMD
2)         Thinkstock
3)         Getty
4)         Getty
5)         Thinkstock
6)         Getty
7)         Thinkstock
8)         Thinkstock
9)         Photolibrary RF

REFERENCES:

Borrelli, F. International American Academy of Obstetrics and Gynecology, April 2005.
Bundy, R. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 2004.
Chittumma, P. Journal of the Medical Association of Thailand, January 2007.
Marakis, G. Phytomedicine, 2002.
National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine.
Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database.
University of Maryland Medical Center.
Walker, A.F. Phytotherapy Research, February 2001.

Reviewed by Minesh

Khatri, MD on November 13, 2017

This tool does not provide medical advice. See additional information.

THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

View our slideshows to learn more about your health.

© 2005 – 2018 WebMD LLC. All rights reserved.

WebMD does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

See additional information.

Slideshow: 8 Digestive Health Supplements

Research & References of Slideshow: 8 Digestive Health Supplements|A&C Accounting And Tax Services
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