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Your guide to cold weather illnesses this winter | LMH Health

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As temperatures drop and people spend more time together indoors, the likelihood of spreading a virus increases. In addition, our immune systems are generally less effective during the cold winter months, and some viruses survive better in cold, dry environments. Learning more about these common cold illnesses and ways to protect yourself from them will keep you and your community happy and healthy this winter.

What are common cold illnesses?

Hallie Kretsinger, MD

According to Hallie Kretsinger, MD, a doctor with the Internal Medicine Group at LMH Health, respiratory viral diseases like the common cold and flu are more common in winter. The symptoms for these disorders can range from very mild to very severe symptoms. Be aware of these diseases in the coming months:

  • Common cold: This term is used to describe mild respiratory symptoms such as runny nose, constipation, and a slight cough.
  • Influenza: Influenza virus infections generally lead to more severe respiratory symptoms than the common cold, such as fever, headache, body aches, and heavy cough.
  • Bronchitis: Inflammation of the bronchi that bring air into the lungs. It is usually caused by a viral infection, but can occasionally be the result of a bacterial infection. Symptoms include coughing, mucus production, tiredness, shortness of breath, mild fever and chills, and chest discomfort.
  • Pneumonia: the inflammation of the alveoli of the lungs. It can also be caused by viral or bacterial infections. A milder illness like the common cold can make you more susceptible to conditions like pneumonia. Symptoms include cough, fever, shortness of breath, chest pain, tiredness, nausea and vomiting (especially in young children), and confusion (especially in the elderly).
  • Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV): A common respiratory virus that causes mild, cold-like symptoms. While most people recover in a week or two, RSV can be severe for infants and older adults.

Rashid Riaz, MD

Rashid Riaz, MD

According to Rashid Riaz, MD, a pulmonologist with Lawrence Pulmonary Specialists, certain groups may be at higher risk of developing complications from these viruses.

“People over 65 years of age or with certain health conditions like heart disease, lung diseases like COPD or asthma, or people with weakened immune systems may be at higher risk of more severe illnesses from illnesses like the flu or RSV.” said Dr. Riaz.

Even if you do not belong to a risk group, it is still important to be aware of these conditions and monitor all symptoms in order to receive the correct treatment.

“If you have mild to moderate symptoms that do not get better, or if you have severe symptoms, you should contact your doctor,” said Dr. Kretsinger.

Prevention and treatment

The best way to keep yourself healthy is to take precautions to avoid getting sick in the first place. With the pandemic, these measures are more important than ever and can protect you from other respiratory viral diseases like the ones mentioned above.

“Last year we actually had a very mild flu season, probably in part because people wear masks and avoid being around others. I think the pandemic has shown us that by wearing a mask and increasing social distance you can reduce not only COVID-19 but other diseases as well, ”said Dr. Riaz.

In addition to washing your hands frequently and thoroughly, wearing a face mask around others, and avoiding large gatherings, getting the flu and COVID vaccination can provide protection and / or reduce the severity of symptoms.

For respiratory virus treatment, mild cold symptoms can be treated with rest, hydration, and over-the-counter medications. Antiviral drugs can be used to treat flu infections. So, if you suspect you may have the flu, see your doctor to see if you should be tested. You should also see your doctor if you suspect you have bronchitis or pneumonia, as further examination may be needed to make a diagnosis and differentiate between viral and bacterial forms and determine the most appropriate treatment.

Respiratory viruses and COVID-19

Because COVID-19 is also a respiratory viral infection, it shares many of the same symptoms with other respiratory viruses that are common in winter. This can lead people to misdiagnose a more serious medical condition, like a COVID case, the flu or a severe cold, and, if treated improperly, can further spread the virus.

Jennifer Clair, MD

Jennifer Clair, MD

Jennifer Clair, MD, a doctor with Total Family Care, said it is important to stay home from work or school and get tested for COVID if you experience symptoms like the ones listed above.

“Because of the pandemic, we want to make sure that people with suspected COVID isolate themselves to prevent the virus from spreading further,” said Dr. Clair.

Dr. Clair also mentioned that treatment for influenza is most effective when started within 48-72 hours of symptoms appearing. Individuals at high risk for severe COVID illness may be considered for monoclonal antibodies, a therapy that is also time dependent.

By taking care of your own health this winter, you are also helping to keep your own community healthy and reducing the stress on key health professionals.

“COVID-19 has put a considerable strain on the medical system. In order to prevent hospitals from becoming overloaded and thereby providing them with adequate care for COVID-19 patients (and all hospitalized patients in general), we need to minimize hospital stays for other preventable illnesses such as flu, “said Dr. Kretsinger.

If you do not have a family doctor yet, you can make an appointment for “Establish Care” through any LMH Health clinic so that you can contact a doctor if you become ill and need a further examination. Visit https://www.lmh.org/primary-care to find a doctor in your area.

Isabel Ashley is an intern at LMH Health Strategic Communications.

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Cleveland Clinic launches largest ever clinical study of neurological disorders | Health

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Updated: Wednesday 19 January 2022 10:03 am

The Cleveland Clinic has launched the largest clinical study to date to better understand why millions of people – about one in six people – around the world suffer from neurological diseases, including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, stroke or epilepsy.

The clinic on Wednesday announced the multi-year longitudinal study, which will collect data from 200,000 neurologically healthy individuals over a 20-year period to identify biomarkers of brain disease and targets to prevent and cure neurological disorders.

“What we’re suggesting here is … there should be some changes – in the blood, in the stool, in the brain, in our ability to think, walk, speak – that could give us if we follow.” [these] different factors over time so we may be able to identify something that will change,” said Dr. Imad Najm, principal investigator of the study and director of the clinic’s epilepsy center. “This will give us the opportunity to use it for pre-disease diagnosis and hopefully to develop new treatment approaches to stop the disease before it occurs.”

Researchers hope to uncover the causes of neurological disorders and figure out what’s happening before the symptoms become apparent — a time known as the “silent phase,” said Dr. Andre Machado, one of the leaders of the study, in a press release.

“Our hope is to change the course of neurodegeneration with the long-term goal of curing diseases in their earliest stages, years before symptoms even appear,” Machado said.

The study, which is funded in part by philanthropic contributions of all magnitudes, started at the hospital’s main Cleveland campus but will expand to other Cleveland Clinic locations over time, according to the press release.

During the first five years of the study, researchers will enroll and thoroughly screen 10,000 volunteers, the press release said. This group includes adults 50 years and older with no known neurological disorder and neurologically healthy adults 20 years and older who have a first-degree relative with multiple sclerosis.

The likelihood of someone developing a neurological condition increases over time, Najm said. Those aged 50 to 55 have a 1 percent chance of developing one, while the risk increases to 14 percent after age 75.

Because of this, researchers believe some of the older participants could develop brain disease within the first five years of the study, and investigators could begin exploring treatments and possible cures in the years that follow, Najm added.

“We think that in the first five years we’re going to have … some results that will hopefully provide a goal or two that we can build on,” he said, “to stop the disease after we understand the risk factor and the cause of it.” have identified disease. We don’t believe we will cure all diseases in five years, but we do believe that we will hopefully contribute to a better understanding of the silent phase before these debilitating disorders emerge.”

You do not have to be a current patient at the Cleveland Clinic to participate in the study. If a participant is diagnosed with a brain disorder at any point during the study, they will either be referred to their primary care physician for treatment or may elect to receive treatment at the Cleveland Clinic, Najm said.

Participants will be evaluated annually and undergo a neurological exam, blood tests, eye retina scans, brain MRIs, EEG and sleep studies, and other cognitive function tests, the clinic said.

The researchers will collect data points from these assessments to look for trend lines that capture genetic risk factors and unseen molecular, structural, neurophysiological and cognitive changes in the brain over time, according to the press release. These “disease fingerprints” can help researchers guide diagnostic and preventative medicine.

According to the press release, modern medicine has learned to deal with some symptoms of brain diseases. However, doctors continue to struggle with predicting who will become ill and how to stop—let alone cure—the progression of these diseases once they are diagnosed.

The study’s leaders hope their research will change that.

“This research will help to understand the mechanisms of brain diseases and lead to the development of preventive treatments for neurological diseases. This is precision medicine at its best,” said Najm. “We’re building a base to screen one person at a time — perhaps with something as routine as a blood test — to immediately diagnose a brain disorder and prevent it from occurring outright.”

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Overcoming Patient Barriers to Chronic Disease Management

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All too often, patients with chronic illnesses feel like a burden to their clinicians or caregivers.

Chronic illnesses don’t make days off—they’re called “chronic” for a reason. Since most patients (and physicians too) are unable to spend all day in an exam room, a large part of day-to-day disease management falls to the patient himself. This heavy responsibility can significantly affect a person’s mental health.

The challenges of disease self-care

To put the challenges of self-management in perspective, this section focuses on a chronic disease that affects 422 million people worldwide and causes 1.5 million deaths annually: diabetes.

Outside the doctor’s office, around-the-clock diabetes care is the patient’s responsibility. Patients must watch what they eat, monitor their blood sugar levels, take their medications, maintain a routine of moderate exercise, and some must self-administer insulin injections multiple times a day. They also need to know what to do in the event of a health emergency, such as: B. a sudden rise or fall in blood sugar levels that can cause dizziness, loss of consciousness, vomiting and other symptoms that can range from bothersome to life-threatening. And the more complex their diabetes is, the more difficult patient adherence becomes.

If they manage their condition well, people with diabetes can lead relatively normal lives. However, everyone has their own unique set of circumstances that are influenced by their underlying physical health, personal history, geographic location, and economic stability—the list goes on. However, there are some issues that are proving to be persistent obstacles to effective diabetes management:

Lack of education and understanding of the condition

To truly understand how to self-manage, patients with complex diabetes and their families or caregivers need educational support about the effects of disease on the body and how medication, exercise, and lifestyle adjustments can counteract these effects. And since most people rely on GPs for their primary health care, they may be missing important, disease-specific training.

Intrinsic barriers to adherence

A patient’s socioeconomic status, age, cultural beliefs, and other health factors can inform how they perceive self-management advice—or make it difficult to access help. Underlying psychological factors such as anxiety, depression, and eating disorders can also exacerbate these problems or act as additional barriers to compliance.

Frustration with the complexity of treatment

When patients find their treatment difficult or complicated, they are less likely to adhere to their recommended self-management. Physicians must ensure that patients do not experience any adverse effects – both physical and psychological – related to taking medication or treatments at home. It is also important for clinicians to understand if patients experience uncomfortable feelings related to medication, such as: B. Fear of injections or difficulty swallowing pills.

Difficulty affording treatment

In countries without universal health coverage, studies have found that out-of-pocket expenses are an important determinant of how likely patients are to adhere to their treatment. Patients with lower incomes are more likely to face economic barriers when it comes to consistently taking their prescribed medications. Patients cannot be expected to overcome their own economic barriers and many GPs are ill-equipped to provide patients with access to more affordable treatment.

If these barriers to successful adherence are not addressed, they can result in patient deterioration, reduced quality of life, development of additional health problems, long-term or re-hospitalization, or death.

Despite these multifaceted challenges, there are steps clinicians and patients can take to improve patient access and experience to disease management.

How to improve care systems for patients

When patients understand and feel involved in their own treatment plans, they are much more likely to adhere to clinical recommendations.

The patient’s relationship with their healthcare provider is one of the most important interactions in healthcare, but it’s only part of a larger support system. Augmenting the patient’s care team with a variety of support specialists—such as health coaches, counselors, care coordinators, and disease educators—can help patients adhere to treatment plans and achieve better health outcomes.

These methods of patient support can greatly improve self-management between doctor visits, making appointments more efficient and productive.

  • Use additional support programs
  • Approach communication from a patient-centric perspective
  • Provide multiple communication touchpoints

How to help patients overcome adherence barriers

While it may feel contradictory to a clinician, the key to overcoming patient non-compliance is this: Healthcare professionals must position the patient as the primary decision-maker in their own care and actively support the patient’s efforts to meet their care goals.

Doctors can embody this approach by asking the patient questions such as:

“What would you like to take away from today’s visit?”

“What is most important to you?”

“How can I help you achieve your goals?”

“What do you find difficult?”

“What confuses, troubles or scares you?”

“Need help identifying less complicated treatment options?”

“Need help finding cheaper treatment options?”

Integrating activities such as goal setting and problem solving into routine appointments will help facilitate patient-physician communication beyond mere status updates. Additionally, connecting patients with health coaches gives them the opportunity to easily ask questions and share self-management updates between appointments.

Alicia Warnock, MD, is Chief Operating Officer of Stability Health, a diabetes management company.

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Mental disorders remain significant global burden on health

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January 18, 2022

2 minutes read

Source/Disclosures

Disclosure:
Ferrari does not report any relevant financial disclosures. All other relevant financial information can be found in the study.

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According to a 30-year global systematic analysis published in The Lancet Psychiatry, the prevalence of mental disorders has increased and remains a leading contributor to the global burden of disease.

“Mental disorders are increasingly recognized as a major contributor to the burden of disease. In order to meet the mental health needs of individual countries in a way that prioritizes health systems transformation, an in-depth understanding of the magnitude of the impact of these disorders, including their distribution in the population, the health burden imposed and their wider health outcomes, is essential “, Alize Ferrari, PhD, from the Queensland Center for Mental Health Research at the University of Queensland and colleagues.

Infographic data derived from: Ferrari A, et al. Lancet Psychiatry. 2022;doi/10.1016/S2215-0366(22)00002-5.

Ferrari and colleagues attempted to measure the impact and incidence of 12 mental disorders between 1990 and 2019 at global, regional, and national levels using multiple quality of life metrics: disability-adjusted life years (DALYs), years lived with disability (YLDs), and years of life lost (YLLs).

Researchers evaluated estimates of prevalence and burden in males and females in 23 different age groups in 204 countries and territories worldwide. They estimated DALYs as the sum of YLDs and YLLs up to premature mortality. In addition, they included information analyzed from multiple databases for prevalence, incidence, remission, duration, severity, and excess mortality for individual mental disorders. They performed Bayesian meta-regression analysis to estimate frequency by disorder, age, sex, year, and location.

The results showed that mental disorders accounted for an estimated 654.8 million cases in 1990 and 970.1 million cases in 2019, an increase of 48.1 percent. Australasia, tropical Latin America, and high-income North America had the highest prevalence of mental disorders across all measurements.

The prevalence of depressive disorders was high in sub-Saharan Africa, North Africa and the Middle East, as well as in Australasia, tropical Latin America, and high-income North America. The frequency of bipolar disorder and schizophrenia varied to a lesser extent in all regions.

Depressive disorders ranked highest among all age groups in the study except those from birth to age 14, for whom behavioral problems were the main cause of distress.

A sharp increase in the global number of DALYs due to mental disorders over the course of the study was noted, from 80.8 million in 1990 to 125.3 million in 2019, and an increase in the percentage of resulting DALYs to 3.1% in 1990 and 4.9% in 2019.

The highest DALY rates were observed in the US, Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, Western Europe, Sub-Saharan Africa, North Africa and the Middle East. The lowest DALY rates were observed in Southeast Asia, East Asia, high-income Asia-Pacific and Central Asia.

Women and girls were found to carry a greater burden of depressive disorders, anxiety disorders and eating disorders than men and boys, while the opposite was true for autism spectrum disorders and ADHD. At the end of the study, 80.6% of the burden of mental disorders was in those of working age (16 to 65 years), with 9.2% of the remaining burden being in those under 16 years of age.

“The GBD 2019 results underscore the large proportion of the global burden of disease attributable to mental disorders and the global disparities in this burden,” Ferrari and colleagues wrote. Furthermore, there has been no evidence of a global reduction in exposure since 1990, despite evidence-based interventions that can reduce exposure across age, gender, and geographic locations.”

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