What You Need to Know about PTSD and How You Can Prevent it from Controlling Your Life

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a disorder that can develop after experiencing any kind of shocking event. Often times, people associate PTSD with members of the armed forces. While there are people in the military who do develop this disorder after a traumatic event, it can also occur in people who are involved in car accidents, have undergone a surgery or who have experienced a loved one passing away.

According to auto accident attorneys at Millar and Mixon, if you have been in a motor vehicle accident of any kind, you could be at risk of developing PTSD. If you start to notice signs or symptoms, it’s important that you speak with your doctor right away.

Symptoms of PTSD typically begin early – within 3 months of the incident – though there are situations where they can start to arise years later. Because each individual’s situation is so different, the course of the disorder will always vary. Some people recover after 6 months, while for others it can take years to heal.

There are several different types of symptoms that can be seen in PTSD. Re-experiencing symptoms include flashbacks, bad dreams and frightening thoughts. Avoidance symptoms are things such as not visiting certain places and avoiding feelings or thoughts that trigger certain memories. Arousal and reactivity symptoms include the feeling of constantly being on edge or tense. Negative thoughts and loss of interest in enjoyable activities are cognition and mood symptoms.

If you have PTSD, what kinds of treatments are out there that might help? What can you do to stop PTSD from taking a hold of your life?

Cognitive Therapy

Your therapist will help you understand how to change your thoughts and ideas about your trauma and its aftermath. Your goal is to understand how your negative thoughts are bringing on more stress and ultimately worsening your symptoms. Replacing these thoughts with less destructive ones is key as well as learning to cope with feelings of guilt, fear and anger.

Exposure Therapy

Having less fear regarding your memories is the goal with exposure therapy. You’ll learn to take charge of your memories and ultimately show them you’re not afraid or overwhelmed by them anymore.

Group Therapy

For many people, it can help to talk your situation out with others in similar circumstances. Simply knowing you’re not the only person experiencing these thoughts and emotions can help immensely. Sharing your issues can also help build trust and confidence in yourself.

Family Therapy

Involving your whole family is important, especially if your situation has lead to a lack of communication between you and the people you love. Everyone will have the chance to express their feelings open and honestly. This can also help your family be better equipped to support you.

The most important thing is to not lose faith. Stay positive and know that with perseverance, you’ll come out of this a stronger person.

8 Questions to Ask Your Doctor Before Surgery

Surgery can be a scary thing to undergo – not just for the person undergoing it, but also for the person’s loved ones. Complications in surgery can be devastating, and it’s important to cover all of your bases. While you may feel there is uncertainty with surgery, there are questions you, your friends and your family can ask before any action is taken that will help you get the information you need to feel secure.

The wrong move in surgery can be detrimental and can even lead to permanent brain injury. Johns Hopkins medicine recommends several questions to ask before undergoing surgery to help ensure your safety and understanding.

  1. What is the Recommended Operation and Why?

First and foremost, it’s crucial to understand what the recommended operation is and why. What are the details of the procedure? What exactly will your healthcare provider be doing? Ask if there are multiple ways of performing the surgery, and if so, why they’ve chosen one particular method.

  1. Why is This Procedure Needed and is There Any Alternative Treatment?

How will this procedure improve how you currently feel? Know if this procedure is needed to alleviate pain or improve physical function. Are there any less invasive procedures or treatments that could achieve the same or similar results? Additionally, if you do not have the surgery, will your condition worsen, or might the issue fix itself after time?

  1. What Are the Benefits of This Surgery and How Long Will They Last?

In addition to knowing how this procedure could improve your mental and physical wellbeing, it’s crucial to know if these results will be permanent. Will another procedure be needed down the line to keep you reaping the benefits?

  1. What Are the Risks and Possible Complications?

Weigh the pros and the cons. What is the likelihood that something could go wrong, and what is the worst-case scenario if it does?

  1. What is the Cost?

Health care plans are all incredibly unique, so make sure you’re completely clear on what your insurance will cover.

  1. What Should I Expect During Recovery?

While it may not change your recovery period or the intensity of your recovery, knowing what to expect ahead of time can often help you overcome the mental aspect of the challenge. What will the first week or so be like after surgery, and what is the timeline like from there on out?

  1. What is the Experience of the Surgeon?

Know all about your healthcare provider. How many times have they performed this surgery, and how long has he or she been practicing? Don’t be afraid to ask about the sanitation practices of the surgical team. Make sure you have peace of mind that the surgery area will be completely clean and germ free.

  1. What Type of Anesthesia Will I Receive?

Will it be local, regional or general? Is there a reason that this type of anesthesia is being administered?

According to brain injury attorneys at The Colleran Firm, brain injury lawsuits can be filed due to surgical or anesthesia errors, a delayed or missed diagnosis, birth trauma and other various forms of medical malpractice. Make sure you know all there is to know about your specific situation, surgery, healthcare provider, and alternative options to help ensure your safety before any action is taken.

Understanding Malignant Mesothelioma

If you have ever been exposed to asbestos in your lifetime, you’re at a greater risk of being diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma at some point in your life. Malignant mesothelioma is an aggressive form of cancer that most often forms in the lungs, chest wall, or abdomen and may also affect the heart or testicles. While malignant mesothelioma is rare, affecting about 3,000 people per year, the diagnosis is often an advanced stage due to the latency period that can be anywhere from 10 to 50 years.

Asbestos Exposure


Asbestos is a natural silicate mineral that was popularly used in a variety of products (particularly between the 1930’s and ‘50s), from housing materials to automotive parts, for its heat-resistant and fire-proof properties. It wasn’t until the 1970’s, when the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) began to ban the use of asbestos in certain products, that people started to take notice that asbestos may actually be harmful to the environment and to individuals who work with or live around it.


Any home or industrial building that was built prior to 1980 may have been constructed or insulated with asbestos related materials and while the risk of exposure may be low, particularly when such materials are in good condition and have not been manipulated, no exposure to asbestos is considered “safe”.


Individuals who worked in an occupational field that had contact with asbestos related materials are at a greater risk of developing malignant mesothelioma. Such occupations may include, but are not limited to: electricians, mechanics, HVAC workers, Navy shipyard workers, firefighters, and construction workers. Additionally, family members of individuals who worked with or around asbestos may also be at a high risk due to the exposure carried on the skin or clothing.

Signs & Symptoms


The signs and symptoms of malignant mesothelioma may vary depending on where the cancer occurs and how advanced the cancer may be. According to the Mayo Clinic, the signs and symptoms of pleural mesothelioma (which affects the lungs) includes, but is not limited to: chest pain under the rib cage, painful coughing, shortness of breath, and unusual lumps under the chest. Peritoneal mesothelioma (which affects the abdomen) may be identified through abdominal pain and swelling, lumps in the abdomen, and unexplained weight loss. If mesothelioma affects the heart or testicles, individuals may experience pain and swelling in the affected area.


Since the signs and symptoms of malignant mesothelioma are similar to other types of illness or disease, it’s important to visit a doctor as soon as possible and be sure to report if you know or suspect that you have been exposed to asbestos.

Treatment Options


Like other types of cancer, your doctor will discuss treatment options once the malignant mesothelioma is found and staged. Treatment plans vary based upon the location and size of the tumor and whether or not it has spread to lymph nodes, organs, and other parts of your body. The most common treatment options include surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, or a combination of any of the treatments. Since malignant mesothelioma is a rare and aggressive cancer, there is no “tried and true” treatment and some individuals, under the guidance of their doctors, may be able to try alternative treatments or be eligible for clinical trials.

Heart Health: How To Protect Your Most Precious Organ


Have you ever stopped to think about what’s going on in your body at any given time? The human body is a feat of engineering. As you read this, your organs are carrying out hundreds of different processes. The way your body works is heavily dependent on the choices you make. If you make positive choices, you’re much more likely to enjoy good health. Perhaps your most important consideration should be your heart. This vital organ pumps blood around your body all day, every day. If you’re keen to keep it ticking along nicely, here are some tips to help you protect your most precious organ.


Improving Heart Health


Heart disease is the most common killer in the USA. According to the CDC, around 610,000 lives are lost to heart disease every year. Many people associate heart problems with older men. But the reality is that they can affect anyone. Increasingly, women and younger people are being diagnosed with cardiovascular illnesses. Sometimes, heart disease is impossible to prevent. Heart failure is common in the elderly, and this is usually a result of aging. The heart muscle simply becomes tired, and it can no longer keep up. However, in many cases, heart disease is preventable.


Lifestyle factors play a major role in determining heart disease risk. If you smoke and drink, for example, your chances of suffering a heart attack or stroke are much higher than those who don’t smoke or drink. If you have a poor diet, which is high in fat, your risk will also be elevated. High blood pressure, high cholesterol, and type 2 diabetes are all risk factors for cardiovascular disease. If you have family history of heart disease, this also puts you at greater risk.


There are certain things you can do to reduce your risk of developing heart disease. Regular exercise is one of the best uses of your time when it comes to heart health. The heart is a muscle, and it benefits from exercise in the same way as all your other muscles. Exercise makes it stronger and increases your stamina. It also helps to lower blood pressure and cholesterol, decreasing your risk of heart attacks and stroke. Ideally, you should aim to work out at least five times per week for 30 minutes each time.


Giving up smoking has far-reaching implications for your health. Many people associate smoking with the lungs, but it has negative effects on almost every organ. Quitting will reduce your risk of cancer, respiratory diseases, and heart problems.


Your diet also has a significant influence on your heart. Eating fast food, fatty products and sugary and salty foods can harm your heart. Try and increase your intake of whole grains, and moderate your consumption of saturated fats and sugars. Drink plenty of water, and hit your 5-a-day target every day.

Most people are aware that drinking alcohol harms your liver. But it can also increase the risk of cardiovascular complications. Keep an eye on how much you drink, and try and cut down if you’re over the recommended intake.


Common Cardiovascular Illnesses and Treatment Options


Cardiovascular disease

Cardiovascular disease is an umbrella term, which covers a range of conditions that affect the heart and blood vessels. Coronary heart disease occurs when the blood vessels around the heart become blocked. This is known as atherosclerosis. Fatty deposits collect inside the artery walls, preventing blood from flowing freely. If blood flow is restricted, this can cause a heart attack or stroke. If blood flow to the brain is blocked, this may result in a stroke. If the supply to the heart is restricted, this may cause a heart attack. Symptoms of a heart attack include chest pain, shortness of breath, and feeling weak or dizzy. Signs of a stroke may include slurred speech, inability to lift the arms and the face drooping on one side.


Treatment options depend on the severity of the individual’s condition. If you’ve had a heart attack, you may be prescribed medication to break down clots, and surgery may be recommended. If the arteries are narrow, a procedure to remove blockages and widen the passage may be carried out. This is known as coronary angioplasty. If you’ve had a stroke, urgent treatment is recommended. The primary aim is to break down the clot, which is slowing blood flow to the brain. The quicker a stroke is treated, the higher the chance of limiting the consequences. Subsequent treatment will depend on the severity of the stroke and the impact. Strokes can result in paralysis and loss of speech. In this case, physical therapy is often recommended.


Atrial fibrillation

Atrial fibrillation is a condition, which affects the rhythm of the heartbeat. It is also known as AF. If you have AF, you may experience periods where the heartbeat is irregular or rushed. As well as a rapid pulse, AF can also cause dizziness and breathlessness. If you have AF, you may be at greater risk of a stroke.


Treatment options for atrial fibrillation include medication to prevent clots and regulate the heartbeat. If you have AF, you may be interested in seeking specialist treatment. If this is the case, you can find out more info about AbbottEP.com online.



Angina is a common side-effect of heart disease. It is characterized by persistent spells of chest pain. Many people say that it feels like having something heavy on your chest. Pain can also radiate into the arms, shoulders, and neck. If you suffer from chest pain, it’s always advisable to seek medical attention. If you do have angina, you will probably be advised to take medication. There are drugs available to control the symptoms of angina, and also those aimed at reducing your risk of heart attacks and stroke.

It’s never too early to start taking steps to protect your heart. You want to be as healthy and happy for as long as possible, and your heart is the best place to start. Get active, watch what you eat, and avoid smoking or drinking to excess. Check your blood pressure on a regular basis, and seek advice if you notice signs like chest pain, dizziness, and a racing pulse. Looking after your heart could add years to your life.

What is Neuropathy, And Are You At Risk?

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What is Neuropathy?

Neuropathy is a condition affecting the nerves in the body. It specifically affects the peripheral nerves which are the motor and sensory nerves. These regulate a range of bodily functions, including voluntary muscle movement, involuntary organ activity and sensory nerves which affect how external stimuli is perceived. Neuropathy occurs when your peripheral nerves become disrupted or damaged.


What Are The Symptoms?

There are a broad range of symptoms for neuropathy, since every nerve in your body performs a function it depends on which nerves are affected. But some symptoms to watch out for include numbness, prickling or tingling which starts in the hands and feet but can spread up to the arms and legs. Stabbing, throbbing or burning pains, sensitivity to touch and muscle weakness. If the body’s autonomic nerves are affected you can experience a range of symptoms. These include changes in blood pressure leading to dizziness or fainting. A range of digestive issues are also likely. Should you notice any unusual tingling in your hands and feet, it’s important to speak to your GP right away. The sooner the damage is spotted the easier it is to control, with less chance of it causing more damage to your peripheral nerves.


What Are The Causes?

Neuropathy isn’t a single disease and is instead caused by nerve damage from a range of disorders. These can include alcoholism, diabetes, infection, trauma or pressure to the nerve, exposure to toxins and vitamin deficiencies. Looking after your general health can help to prevent neuropathy, although in some cases the cause is genetic.


Who Is Affected?

Neuropathy is a common disorder, and it’s estimated that over twenty million people in America suffer with it on some level. Any age can be affected, although it’s more common in older adults. Due to the nature of the condition, those who are already affected by other illnesses are more likely to get it. In some cases, there is no apparent cause. This is called idiopathic neuropathy and accounts for up to 40% of neuropathy cases.


What Are The Treatments?

When an underlying cause of neuropathy is known, treating the symptoms of this can help to ease the symptoms. For example, a vitamin deficiency can be treated with vitamin b12 injections or tablets. When the cause is known to be diabetes, controlling blood sugar levels can help. Physical therapy can help to relieve pressure on the nerves. Medication can be taken to help with the symptoms of nerve pain. General over the counter painkillers aren’t usually effective. However, these are known to cause effects such as tiredness and dizziness. Alternative medicine such as acupuncture and herbal remedies can be effective. These can be used with no adverse side effects. You could visit a clinic such as Happy Healthy Wellbeing Centre, to discover how natural solutions can help with neuropathy symptoms.


What Is The Prognosis?

Neuropathy isn’t something that can be ‘cured’, but symptoms can be managed effectively. Catching it early before further damage has been caused to the nerves will give the best outlook. So it’s important to speak to a doctor as soon as you notice symptoms so they can check if anything else is going on in your body.


Common Signs of Medical Malpractice

medical malpractice

Each year, millions of Americans rely on and trust their medical professionals to offer optimal care for their health. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reports that approximately 83% of adults keep in contact with their health care professional each year. Although a patient’s well-being should be a medical professional’s number one priority, mistakes are made, such as delayed medical diagnoses, medication errors, or an overall lack of proper care, leaving many patients as a victim of medical malpractice.


Sadly, according to the Journal of American Medical Association, medical negligence is a top cause of death, behind heart disease and cancer and while medical malpractice doesn’t always result in death, it can be life changing. If you have experienced or currently experiencing the following, under your medical professional’s care, you may be a victim of medical malpractice:

Your Treatment Isn’t Working or Doesn’t Seem to Fit Your Diagnosis


When your doctor prescribes a treatment, such as a medication, for your medical condition, it may take awhile before you start to see results. However, if your condition continues to persist and even worsens during your treatment, there’s a good chance that your medical condition was misdiagnosed and additionally, if you feel as if your treatment doesn’t fit your diagnosis, your condition may have been misdiagnosed. While it’s likely that you don’t have the same training or medical knowledge as your doctor, you have the right to a second opinion, question your treatment, and know whether or not there are alternate treatment plans.

The Care You Receive is Subpar


A doctor’s office is, without a doubt, a busy place and there may be moments when the patients are backed up and the doctor and other medical staff seems to be in a rush. Unfortunately, many patients leave the doctor’s office feeling as though their medical concerns were an inconvenience and may not have had their questions answered or leave with more questions than they had going in. While the medical field will always be busy and fast paced by nature, no patient should ever feel as if he or she received less than the quality of care he or she deserves. As a patient, you have the right to receive as much information as you want or need about your condition, anything less and your doctor is not doing his or her job.

Major Mistakes Are Made


As the old saying goes, “to err is human,” however, major mistakes should be avoided at all costs in the medical field. A major medical error, such as operating on the wrong body part, administering the wrong dosage of anesthesia, or even leaving a surgical sponge in the body after a surgery, can be life-threatening and even result in more medical issues, as well as physical, mental, and emotional suffering. Victims of medical malpractice do not need suffer from a major medical mistake, however, these types of cases (i.e. surgical errors) make up a large number of medical malpractice claims.


The best way to avoid becoming a victim of medical malpractice is by being aware of the signs, taking control of your health, be your own advocate, and ask questions until you get the answers and information you need and deserve.