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Understanding the deadly effects of tobacco addiction

Understanding the deadly effects of tobacco addiction: Why we must stop smoking?

Understanding the deadly effects of tobacco addiction

Understanding the deadly effects of tobacco addiction is very important because being informed will save you from being in bondage of addiction to not only cigarette but to all other substances.

Addiction is a chronic disease characterized by compulsive drug seeking and abuse and by long-lasting chemical and molecular changes in the brain. The effects of addiction are realistically harmful to everyone whether you are using the drug directly or not. We spoke to doctor Dalal Akoury (MD) and founder of AWAREmed Health and Wellness Resource Center about this scourge and she is going to be very helpful to us in understanding the deadly effects of tobacco addiction in our societies and individual lives. She says that even though tobacco is one of the most heavily and widely used addictive products across the globe, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) states that in the United States in particular the usage is overwhelmingly worrying and unless something is done we may not have a productive society to live in in the future. We are therefore going to use the US as a point of reference throughout this discussion to put the effects of addiction into perspective. In that regard NIDA has establishes from their research findings that in 2004 alone it is estimated that up to 70.3 million people used tobacco at least once in the month before being interviewed. That was more than a quarter of the U.S. population aged 12 and older. In other words all our teenagers are introduced to cigarette smoking at very tender age and this is not good for the society. That is why we the professionals at AWAREmed Health and Wellness Resource Center, have deliberately resolve to be on the front lane in fighting drug addiction because we understand the consequences very well. We will use this media among other platforms to propagate the most valuable health information about the dangers of abusing drugs irrespective of whether the drug in question is illegal or legalized. We are actually disturbed by the legalized once since they are use freely yet they are causing more harm than good to their users and that is why we want to focus our discussion on the understanding the deadly effects of tobacco addiction in our lives progressively.

Understanding the deadly effects of tobacco addiction: Nicotine 

We have said time and again in our previous postings that nicotine is the main ingredient in tobacco that causes addiction. And for sure various research findings have established that nicotine activates the parts of the brain that control feelings of pleasure. Nicotine works fast. Drug levels peak within 10 seconds of inhalation nonetheless it is equally important to appreciate that cigar and pipe smokers and smokeless tobacco users absorb nicotine more slowly but this does not in any way reduce their effects on users’ lives. Doctor Dalal Akoury explains that even though the effects of nicotine will disappear within a few minutes, all addicts to cigarette will continue to use the substance more and more to keep feeling good, it therefore means that a smoker will most likely take another puff or lights another cigarette to sustain the effect thereby motivating the addictiveness of the substance.

Smoking is very dangerous and it harms literally every organ in the body. It is no wonder cigarette smoking accounts for about one-third of all cancer deaths, including those from lung cancer. And in fact doctor Akoury reports that, cigarette smoking has since been linked to about 90 percent of all lung cancer cases. This is according to various studies which have established that smoking increases the risk of heart disease. The most disturbing fact is that smokers while “enjoying their habit” ends up harming others in the process as well as themselves through secondhand smoke. We will be discussing this as we progress into the discussion so stay on the link and be informed appropriately.

Understanding the deadly effects of tobacco addiction: Teens and tobacco

According to the Monitoring the Future Survey for 2005, cigarette smoking among students is at the lowest levels in the history of the survey. Since 1975 the survey has measured drug, alcohol, cigarette use, and related attitudes among students in 8th, 10th, and 12th grades nationwide. This is quit an irony but nonetheless the decrease in use corresponds to a continuous increase in the number of teens who believe there are “great” health risks from cigarette smoking. Doctor Akoury says that while this is good news, research suggests that teens who do use tobacco are more likely than adults to become addicted. Even occasional smoking can result in tobacco addiction in some teens. In animal research, investigators have shown adolescents to be more susceptible to the effects of nicotine than adults.

Understanding the deadly effects of tobacco addiction: Secondhand smoke

There is a wise saying in our community that the young one of a snake is actually a snake, it means that when bitten by an adult snake the dangers of the venom will be as dangerous when bitten by their young once. Therefore when we talk about secondhand smoke, the real danger doesn’t change. Remember that cigarette smoke contains thousands of dangerous chemicals that are unhealthy for both smokers and nonsmokers. Secondhand smoke therefore refers to the smoke from the burning end of a cigarette and the smoke exhaled by smokers. And since the US harbors most smokers according to NIDA findings, it won’t surprise you to note that more than 126 million Americans are regularly exposed to secondhand smoke at different places including at home, at work, and in enclosed public spaces or social places. The following are some of the deadly effects of secondhand smoke:

  • Secondhand smoke can cause heart disease and lung cancer in nonsmoking adults. Breathing secondhand smoke for even a short time increases risk for those diseases.
  • Children and infants are especially vulnerable to the poisons in secondhand smoke. Almost 3 million children in the United States under the age of six breathe secondhand smoke at home at least four days per week.
  • Secondhand smoke is a known cause of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), respiratory problems, ear infections, and asthma attacks in infants and children.
  • Secondhand smoke in the home environment can slow the lung growth of exposed children. Older children whose parents smoke get bronchitis and pneumonia more often than the children of nonsmokers.
  • Wheezing and coughing are also more common in children who breathe secondhand smoke.

Finally and with the information already discussed above, it is only fair that when faced with the challenge of smoking and you are wondering how to go about it, we want to bring the good news to you that help is only a phone call away. You can reach out to doctor Akoury on telephone number 843 213 1480 to schedule for an appointment for the commencement of your treatment process.

Understanding the deadly effects of tobacco addiction: Why we must stop smoking?

 

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The painful suicidal nature of drug addiction

The painful suicidal nature of drug addiction: The consequences are real

The painful suicidal nature of drug addiction

The painful suicidal nature of drug addiction is not to be taken for granted because the consequences can be very dangerous.

One of the good things about life is that it is full of choices and everyone is given the freedom to choose from the plenty that life can offer voluntarily and without any form of duress. This freedom of choice has however been abused by very many people, and even though people chose to abuse the freedom bestowed on them differently, one abuse caught my heart, soul body and mind. I am talking about the choice of substance abuse. We are living at a time when the freedom of mingling and socialization coupled with modernization and human right takes the center stage. The authorities who have been given the responsibility of caring and protecting their citizens have also let their subjects down by legalizing some of the most addictive and dangerous drugs including alcohol and cigarette. Even with the knowledge of the painful suicidal nature of drug addiction, these drugs are marketed vigorously in all the print and electronic media to the disadvantage of their users. While hospitals and rehabilitation centers are full beyond capacity, traders in these substances are laughing all the way to the bank. To be honest with you, it always not very easy to hear that a breweries firm or a tobacco manufacturing plant and their chain of distributors have posted a loss in any given financial year. Theirs is ever profit and annual growth from the previous performance year in year out. Now what surprises me is that do we really understand the painful suicidal nature of drug addiction? Let us seek for some answers from the house of experts from AWAREmed Health and Wellness Resource Center under the able leadership of doctor Dalal Akoury who is one of the veteran addiction experts with several decades of professional experience in this discipline.

The painful suicidal nature of drug addiction: The fears associated with drug addiction
Doctor Akoury in her several decades of service delivery to her clients globally, is very emphatic that no one is born permanently addicted to the drugs the abuse. This is a treatable condition and no matter the duration one has been addicted or the magnitude of the quantity one uses daily, treatment is possible for a lasting solution for both the victim and their loved ones. When we are focusing on our lives, we often set certain objectives and put targets and time frame of delivery. These are good ways of ensuring that we are comfortable in our lives and at the same time being able to share our blessings with others. The problem that comes when one is into drugs is that, the voice of reason and concentration towards realizing these dreams and goals fades away as all focus in turn to the drug of choice. Professionally doctor Akoury is very categorical that we may absolutely not be able to achieve these objectives if we are not sober in our minds. Therefore to be sober we must all desire to stay away from all kind of drugs and drug related activities or influences. Collectively and individually we must make all efforts to ensure that our neighborhood is safe and free from any kind of substance abuse. Our children must be brought up to the highest standards of moral soundness and any element of depression must be brought to manageable levels if we cannot avoid them. As professionals from AWAREmed Health and Wellness Resource Center, we recommend that doing this should be a collective responsibility to everyone because the consequences of drugs are fatal and suicidal. Therefore if you are out there and you are accessible to this article, we want to appeal to you that doing something about drug addiction starts with you then to others. We must be our brother’s keepers at all times meaning that anyone who cares about an addict will have several concerns including some of the following:
• The fear of addicts getting into serious accident and other body injuries
• The fear of losing a loved one due to the associated health complications
• The fear of drug overdose and subsequent loss of consciousness
• The fear of committing suicide

The painful suicidal nature of drug addiction: The fear of committing suicide
Looking at the above mentioned elements of fear that are associated to drug addiction, the fear of committing suicide is one that is probably most scary. And to that effect, we want to take some time to addressing this concern objectively. To start us off suicide is a well-known risk for those suffering from mental health problems requiring special medical attention in the assessment and treatment of addiction. You must take keen attention on depression and other mood disorders because these are the primary indicators of risk factors for suicide. Besides this alcohol and general drug abuse are also influential in triggering suicide. As a matter of fact studies have established that alcoholism is a strong indicator even without being depressed and those suffering from drug use disorders are said to be about six times likely to commit suicide than the population not using drugs. It is however important to note that drug abuse does not only increase the likelihood that a person will take his or her own life, but it is also used as a means for committing suicide. Doctor Akoury is raising red flag that from the available statistics, the available evidence indicates that for every three people dying from suicide one of them will be as a result of drug influence and specifically the family of opiates such as oxycodone or heroin, or alcohol. Poisoning is another leading method used in suicide deaths and on this regard yet again miss use of drugs make up to 75 percent of suicide deaths due to poisoning. Does that sound good? Certainly NOT, Therefore as a community me must stand out to be counted because we all owe one another the duty of care, if we all pay our part soberly, then in just a very short duration, we will all be happily living in a community that is free from all kinds of addiction says doctor Dalal Akoury.

Finally having appreciated the common service of duty of care to all, if therefore you or anyone you know is struggling with any kind of drug addiction, the time to help is now. You can do that by calling doctor Dalal Akoury today on telephone number 843 213 1480 so that you can schedule for an appointment either for yourself or for the loved one and doctor Akoury and her team of experts will not disappoint you in any way.
The painful suicidal nature of drug addiction: The consequences are real

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The general effects of Alcohol abuse today

The general effects of Alcohol abuse today: The body responsiveness to Alcohol abuse

The general effects of Alcohol abuse today

The general effects of Alcohol abuse today are evident on how users of alcohol live their lives. A life full of destruction

The life complications keep getting more and more frustrating because of several factors including alcohol abuse and drug addiction. These two health conditions directly affect the well-being of human life and cannot be over looked. Over the years people have been into the business of marry making while consuming alcohol and all other alcoholic beverages across the globe. It is through this marry making that today life is almost becoming unbearable for most families and especially those taking care on an alcoholic loved one. One may wonder how marry making and self-enjoyment of life while taking a few bottles of drinks could be a problem. If this is what is going on in your mind right now, then you are at the right place, because throughout this article, we are going to be discussing the general effects of alcohol abuse today in our lives. With the help of doctor Dalal Akoury MD and founder of AWAREmed Health and Wellness Resource Center, one of the leading pioneers in natural and holistic addiction treatment we will be well informed of the health effects of alcohol abuse and even drug addiction. You can therefore take this earliest opportunity to schedule for an appointment with her for more guidance and professional help.

Individual’s patients struggling with substance abuse may opt for the appointment with the experts for lasting solution, however the experience doctor Akoury has garnered over the past few decades can be very beneficial to other professional in the same discipline. And if you are wondering on how you can be part of this doctor Akoury is organizing an Educational, Functional and Integrative Addiction conference for medical experts including doctors, counselors, nurses and addiction therapists. The conference will be August 23-25 in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. This new frontier in Addiction Medicine will be conducted by the most influential group of leading visionaries specializing in the latest advances in natural and integrative addiction medicine, under the theme “The Future of Integrative Addiction”. You can get more information about this on www.integrativeaddiction2015.com or email sharon@integrativeaddiction2015.com. Just to give you a preview of those who will be attending this very important conference, we currently have confirmations from the who is who in the world of medicine including Dr. Mitch Ghen, DO, Ph.D, Sean Devlin, DO, HMD., Sahar Swidan, Pharma D. BCPS., Kenneth Proefrock, N.M.D., William Eidelman, M.D., and Gregory G. Smith, MD. That is just a preview you can get more information from the contacts given above and you are highly welcome to this one in a life time event. Back to the general effects of alcohol abuse today, the body is very much vulnerable to the toxic elements as we will soon find out from the explanations in this discussion.

The general effects of Alcohol abuse today: Effects to the Skin, Muscle, and Bone Disorders

Several studies have associated severe alcoholism with osteoporosis which is the loss of bone density, muscular deterioration, skin sores, and itching. Whereas women are the most concern with the beauty of their skin complexion as compared to men, alcohol-dependent women seem to face a higher risk than men for damage to muscles, including muscles of the heart, from the toxic effects of alcohol.

The general effects of Alcohol abuse today: Effects on Reproduction and Fetal Development

Sexual Function and Fertility – Alcoholism increases levels of the female hormone estrogen and reduces levels of the male hormone testosterone, factors that are closely associated with erectile dysfunction and enlarged breasts in men, and infertility in women. Such changes may also be responsible for the higher risks for absent periods and abnormal uterine bleeding in women with alcoholism.

Drinking During Pregnancy and Effects on the Infant – it is important to note that when nursing pregnancy even the so called moderate amounts of alcohol can have damaging effects on the developing fetus, including low birth weight and increased risk for miscarriage. High amounts can cause fetal alcohol syndrome, a condition that can cause mental and growth retardation. Although there is no specific amount of alcohol intake, the risk of developing the syndrome is increased depending on the time of alcohol exposure during pregnancy, a pattern of drinking (four or more drinks per occasion), and how often alcohol consumption occurs.

The general effects of Alcohol abuse today: Effect on Weight and Diabetes

Moderate alcohol consumption may help protect the hearts of adults with type 2 diabetes. Heavy drinking, however, is associated with obesity, which is a risk factor for this form of diabetes. In addition, alcohol can cause hypoglycemia, a drop in blood sugar, which is especially dangerous for people with diabetes who are taking insulin. Intoxicated diabetics may not be able to recognize symptoms of hypoglycemia.

The general effects of Alcohol abuse today: Effect on Central and Peripheral Nervous System and Mental Functioning

Drinking too much alcohol can cause immediate mild neurologic problems in anyone, including insomnia and headache. Long-term alcohol use can physically affect the brain. Depending on length and severity of alcohol abuse, neurologic damage may not be permanent, and abstinence nearly always leads to eventual recovery of normal mental function.

The general effects of Alcohol abuse today: Vitamin and Mineral Deficiencies

People with alcoholism should be sure to take vitamin and mineral supplements. Even apparently well-nourished people with alcoholism may be deficient in important nutrients. Deficiencies in vitamin B pose particular health risks in people with alcoholism. Other vitamin and mineral deficiencies, however, can also cause widespread health problems.

Folate Deficiencies – Alcohol interferes with the metabolism of folate, a very important B vitamin, called folic acid when used as a supplement. Folate deficiencies can cause severe anemia. Deficiencies during pregnancy can lead to birth defects in the infant.

Peripheral Neuropathy – Vitamin B12 deficiencies can also lead to peripheral neuropathy, a condition that causes pain, tingling, and other abnormal sensations in the arms and legs.

The general effects of Alcohol abuse today: Drug Interactions

The effects of many medications are strengthened by alcohol, while others are inhibited. Of particular importance is alcohol’s reinforcing effect on anti-anxiety drugs, sedatives, antidepressants, and antipsychotic medications.

Alcohol also interacts with many drugs used by people with diabetes. It interferes with drugs that prevent seizures or blood clotting. It increases the risk for gastrointestinal bleeding in people taking aspirin or other non-steroidal inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) including ibuprofen and naproxen. Chronic alcohol abusers have a particularly high risk for adverse side effects from consuming alcohol while taking certain antibiotics. These side effects include flushing, headache, nausea, and vomiting. In other words, taking almost any medication should preclude drinking alcohol. If you were not aware of the effects of alcohol before, now you know and it is time for you to make a difference in your society. If you know of anyone who is struggling with alcoholism, you can be the bridge of recovery to them by arranging with then to schedule for an appointment with doctor Dalal Akoury for help. But for the experts the Integrative Addiction conference for doctors, counselors, nurses and addiction therapists is a must attend for you and you can also consult with doctor Akoury for more information about Integrative Addiction Treatment on the following contact details:

Dalal Akoury M.D

AWAREmed

Tel: 843 213 1480

Email: dollyanis@hotmail.com

www.awaremednetwork.com

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ILBEhjYkwKQ

The general effects of Alcohol abuse today: The body responsiveness to Alcohol abuse

 

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Why alcohol should be your foremost enemy

Why alcohol should be your foremost enemy: There is nothing like moderate drinking

Why alcohol should be your foremost enemy

Why alcohol should be your foremost enemy. Treating this substance as an enemy will make you take treatment precautions in good time.

It may be there in paper that men and women should drink up to a certain minimum daily. This is a written proclamation that has been proven to be very difficult to apply owing to the complexity and addictiveness of the substance in question. Doctor Akoury says that the seriousness of drug addiction or miss use of alcohol is seen in the attachment they have with other chronic health conditions that are life threatening and damages nearly all the vital body organs and that explains why alcohol should be your foremost enemy. Over the years in her professional practice, doctor Dalal Akoury has been of great help to very many people across the globe transforming lives and giving back lost hopes to the victims. Together with her team of experienced experts, doctor Akoury founded a health facility (AWAREmed Health and Wellness Resource Center) where she is administering treatment not just for the ailing public but she also offers NAD treatment for addiction and besides that doctor Akoury is also offering lectures to all medical professional including Physicians, doctors, nurses and others on how to treat addiction naturally, safely, effectively and safely professionally. If you are looking for an opportunity to mover your practice to the next level then this is the place to so that you can learn from the expert.

In the meantime this coming August 2015 doctor Akoury and her team of experts at AWAREmed Health and Wellness Resource Center, a renowned collection of brains in matters addiction and one of the leading pioneers in natural and holistic addiction treatment, will be conducting their first ever Educational, Functional and Integrative Addiction conference for doctors, counselors, nurses and addiction therapists. This conference is tailored just for medical professionals across the globe at Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. It is important to note that this new frontier in Addiction Medicine will be conducted by the most and highly influential group of leading visionaries specializing in the latest advances in natural and integrative addiction medicine, under the theme “The Future of Integrative Addiction”. This is something yo doesn’t want to miss and for more information even as we get back into the discussion you can consult with or make reference to the following event website:

www.integrativeaddiction2015.com or email sharon@integrativeaddiction2015.com.

For more information about Integrative Addiction 2015:

Sharon Phillips

Event Planner

Tel: 954 540 1896

sharon@integrativeaddiction2015.com

www.integrativeaddiction2015.com

For more information about Integrative Addiction Treatment:

Dalal Akoury, M.D.

AWAREMed

Tel: 843 213 1480

Email: dollyanis@hotmail.com

www.awaremednetwork.com

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ILBEhjYkwKQ

Besides that a must attend conference, drug addiction is and will never be good for any human life, in fact as we move from one generation to another, the complications of addiction also moves to greater levels. If you were to study the impact of substance abuse in the last three decades, you will come to appreciate that the complexity of addiction is also evolving with the changes we have in our day today lifestyle. This is one thing that we must by all means fight and defeat. The lives of our future generation depend heavily on the good choices we are going to make today. That is why doctor Akoury is taking very seriously the effects of alcohol addiction and all other drug related problems. In this article, we are going to look at the effects of alcohol abuse on heart diseases and stroke alongside cancer. Therefore keep reading and get the best medical information about addiction for your own health protection.

 

Why alcohol should be your foremost enemy: Effect on Heart Disease and Stroke

It is often said that moderate amounts (one to two drinks a day) of alcohol can improve some heart disease risk factors, such as increasing HDL (“good cholesterol”) levels. However, at this time there is no definitive scientific evidence or proof that moderate drinking improves overall health says doctor Dalal Akoury an expert of over two decades. The luck of proper authentication about this hypothesis explains why bodies like the American Heart Association have not recommended drinking alcoholic beverages solely to reduce cardiovascular risk.

Excessive drinking clearly has negative effects on heart health. Alcohol is a toxin that damages the heart muscle. In fact, heart disease is one of the leading causes of death for alcoholics. Alcohol abuse increases levels of triglycerides (unhealthy fats) and increases the risks for high blood pressure, heart failure, and stroke. In addition, the extra calories in alcohol can contribute to obesity, a major risk factor for many heart problems.

Why alcohol should be your foremost enemy: Cancer

Experts across the globe are in agreement that alcohol abuse and dependence may increase the risk for certain type of cancers. In particular, heavy alcohol use appears to increase the risks for mouth, throat, esophageal, gastrointestinal, liver, and colorectal, cancers. Even moderate drinking can increase the risk of breast cancer. Although the additional risk is small, women who are at high risk for breast cancer should consider not drinking at all. But most importantly to continually consult with their doctors for a more professional treatment approach.

Why alcohol should be your foremost enemy: Effects on the Lungs

Pneumonia – Over time, chronic alcoholism can cause severe reductions in white blood cells, which increase the risk for community acquired pneumonia (pneumonia acquired outside of hospitals or nursing homes). When patients are inebriated they are also at risk for aspiration of mucus from the airways, causing pneumonia. Patients who abuse alcoholism have a greater risk for developing severe pneumonia. Doctors recommend that patients with alcohol dependence receive an annual pneumococcal pneumonia vaccination. Therefore it is important that everybody should be well informed of the initial signs of pneumococcal pneumonia which include the following high fever, cough and stabbing chest pains. When these signs are noted then that calls for an immediate appointment with your doctor. Remember that under normal circumstances prevention is always the best but now that we have some signs treatment becomes necessary and that is why scheduling for an appointment with doctor Dalal Akoury becomes the better option and for you the professionals, attending the August Integrative Addiction Conference 2015 is a great opportunity to shine in your career, the contact details is as stipulated above.

Why alcohol should be your foremost enemy: There is nothing like moderate drinking

 

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Understanding the Distress in People with Cancer

Understanding the Distress in People with Cancer: What is normal or abnormal?

Understanding the Distress in People with Cancer

Understanding the Distress in People with Cancer will help in offering quality ant timely treatment solutions.

With the prevalence of chronic diseases like cancer, there are certain questions that we need to answer well if we want to keep distance from such diseases. Being distressful is one common problem that is associated with cancer, and this brings us to the first question to respond to. “How do you know when your distress level is normal or more serious?” according to the experts at AWAREmed Health and Wellness Resource Center, responding to this question directly may be very difficult due to the fact that some distress are normal and are expected when one is struggling with cancer. However doctor Akoury, who is also the founder of AWAREmed Health and Wellness Resource Center, says that certain signs and symptoms can warn you that your distress level is too high and is becoming serious. Some of those sign and symptoms may include:

  • Feeling flabbergasted to the point of panic
  • Being overcome by a sense of anxiety
  • Being overwhelmed with sadness to the point that you think you won’t make it through treatment
  • Being unusually irritable and angry
  • Feeling unable to cope with pain, tiredness, and nausea
  • Poor concentration, fuzzy thinking and sudden memory problems
  • Having difficulties in making certain decisions including very little and simple things.
  • Feeling hopeless – wondering if there is any point in going on
  • Thinking about cancer and death all the time
  • Trouble getting to sleep or early waking (getting less than 4 hours of sleep a night)
  • Trouble eating (a decrease in appetite, or no appetite) for a few weeks
  • Family conflicts and issues that seem impossible to resolve
  • Questioning your faith and religious beliefs that once gave you comfort
  • Feeling worthless and useless

Understanding the distress in people with cancer can be very complicated because a lot of things can be involved. Like for instance in some cases and many of them historical things from the past may put you or your loved one in danger of greater distress and in need of help. The following are some examples of past events that can cause distress to be worse when you have cancer:

  • Having a loved one who died from cancer
  • Having a recent serious illness or death of someone close to you
  • Having had depression or suicidal thoughts in the past
  • Memories of painful events from your past that come back as nightmares or panic attacks

If any of these describe you or a loved one, then you need to talk to your doctor immediately for direction. This could be an indication that you need help in dealing with distress. Remember that currently doctors and nurses and even other health professionals have established that emotional distress is closely associated with having cancer and should be treated along with the physical symptoms of cancer. If you are looking for the best cancer treatment centers, remember to have this problem of distress treatment in mind. Look for facilities that offer both cancer and distress treatment all together.

Understanding the Distress in People with Cancer: Tools to help measure distress

Sometimes it’s hard to talk about distress in a way that helps your cancer care team understand how much distress you’re having and how it’s affecting you. There’s a distress tool that’s much like a pain scale to help measure your distress. The pain scale works like this:

When asking about pain, the doctor might say, “How is your pain right now on a scale from 0 to 10, with 0 being no pain and 10 the worst pain you can imagine?” This has proved to be a helpful way to measure pain. A score above 5 is a sign of significant pain, and tells the cancer care team that the patient needs more help to manage it.

Some cancer teams measure distress in the same way, using a 0 to 10 scale. Just as with the pain scale, you are asked to choose the number from 0 to 10 that reflects how much distress you feel today and how much you felt over the past week. Ten is the highest level of distress you can imagine, and 0 is no distress. Most people can use this scale to rate their distress in a way that helps the cancer team. If your response is 4 or more, you are likely to have a moderate-to-high degree of distress. Your doctor and/or cancer team should find out more and offer some help with your distress.

Not only does this tool tell your team about your emotional health, but it also gives you a chance to talk and work out problems during your visit. Surveys done in cancer clinics have shown that up to 4 in 10 patients have significant levels of distress. It therefore means that no matter how distressful you may be, you are not alone in your distress situation.

Another part of the distress tool is the “Problem List,” or a list of things that may be causing your distress. For this, you read through a list of common problems and mark possible reasons for your distress. This helps your doctor to know whom you need to see to get help. The list of physical problems helps you remember those you should tell your treatment team about.

Understanding the Distress in People with Cancer: Do you need extra help for your distress?

People are affected differently with some people having a higher risk of serious distress. Like for instance if you have any of these experiences, then you will need some extra help:

  • Have had depression or other major mental health problems in the past
  • Have made a suicide attempt in the past
  • Suffer from other serious medical problems besides cancer
  • Have communication problems (such as a different language, trouble reading, or hearing problems)
  • Have some type of social or family problems
  • Have ever been physically or sexually abused
  • Are younger
  • Are female
  • Live alone
  • Have limited access to medical care
  • Have young children in the home
  • Lived with very high stress levels (even before the cancer)
  • Have ever abused alcohol or drugs
  • Have financial problems
  • Have spiritual or religious concerns
  • Have uncontrolled symptoms

Both you and your cancer care team may also notice when there are times when you are at risk for greater distress during the course of illness and treatment. Cancer is often said to be “like being on a roller coaster.” These times for more distress are often at points of change in the illness and treatment:

  • Finding a suspicious new symptom
  • During work-up and diagnosis
  • Waiting to start treatment
  • Changing treatment
  • Going home from the hospital
  • Finishing treatment
  • Going back to your cancer doctor for follow-up visits
  • Going back to a “normal” life after treatment
  • Cancer comes back
  • Treatment doesn’t work
  • Cancer gets worse or becomes advanced
  • Nearing the end of life
  • Going into hospice care

If your distress reaches moderate to severe levels at these times, you may need extra help. And up on understanding the distress in people with cancer, you can schedule for an appointment with doctor Dalal Akoury today for that much needed professional help.

Understanding the Distress in People with Cancer: What is normal or abnormal?

 

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