RateMDs Health News https://www.ratemds.com/blog Doctors You Can Trust Sat, 21 Apr 2018 09:12:27 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8.2 How to Do a Self-Check for Oral Cancer https://www.ratemds.com/blog/how-to-do-a-self-check-for-oral-cancer/ Sat, 21 Apr 2018 09:12:27 +0000 https://www.ratemds.com/blog/?p=180464 HPV is one of the growing causes of oral cancer, proving anyone can develop it. Like any major illness, if you’re worried you have cancer in your mouth you should see a doctor as soon as possible. Knowing how to spot the early signs of the disease though, is always a good skill to have. According to The Oral Cancer Foundation, this year close to 49,750 Americans will be diagnosed with oral oropharyngeal cancer. It will cause over 9,750 deaths, killing roughly 1 person per hour, 24 hours per day. What does it look like? Oral cancer can develop on

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HPV is one of the growing causes of oral cancer, proving anyone can develop it.

Like any major illness, if you’re worried you have cancer in your mouth you should see a doctor as soon as possible. Knowing how to spot the early signs of the disease though, is always a good skill to have.

According to The Oral Cancer Foundation, this year close to 49,750 Americans will be diagnosed with oral oropharyngeal cancer. It will cause over 9,750 deaths, killing roughly 1 person per hour, 24 hours per day.

What does it look like?

Oral cancer can develop on your lips, gums, tongue, the roof of your mouth, the floor, and on your cheeks.

Related: Broccoli May Help Reduce the Risk of Cancer When Prepared Like This

It can appear as red or white patches in your mouth, an abnormal thickening of your oral tissues, or a lump or mass in your neck.

If you smoke or use any type of tobacco, drink heavily, suffer from a weakened immune system, have human papillomavirus (HPV), or spend a lot of time in the sun exposing your lips to damaging rays, you have a higher risk of developing it.

Here’s how the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons suggest you perform a self-check:

  • Take out any dentures
  • Look and feel inside your lips and the front of your gums
  • Tilt your head back and inspect the roof of your mouth
  • Pull your cheek out to look at the inside surface and your gums
  • Examine your tongue, top and bottom
  • Feel your neck and lower jaw for lumps or enlarged lymph nodes on both sides.

Again, you’re looking for those unsightly red or white patches of skin, sores that don’t heal, a thickening of your tissues, jaw pain and lumps or masses on your neck.

For more information and photo examples, click here.

Photo credits: Arindam Ghosh/Shutterstock.com

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This is Why It’s So Hard to Quit Bad Habits, (Even When You Want To) https://www.ratemds.com/blog/this-is-why-its-so-hard-to-quit-those-bad-habits-even-when-you-want-to/ Fri, 20 Apr 2018 09:11:16 +0000 https://www.ratemds.com/blog/?p=180442 Still haven’t paid that bill? Blame your procrastination on these two teams competing for power, in your head. We all have them- things we do that aren’t really good for us, and we’d like to stop doing but we actually can’t seem to. Smoking, drinking, procrastinating- some negative habits are worse than others. So, what’s going on in your brain when they take over? According to experts in human thinking, two parts of your brain are always at play: a goal-directed side and a side that works on automatic-pilot. The trouble comes when you let the “bad guys” win. In

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Still haven’t paid that bill? Blame your procrastination on these two teams competing for power, in your head.

We all have them- things we do that aren’t really good for us, and we’d like to stop doing but we actually can’t seem to.

Smoking, drinking, procrastinating- some negative habits are worse than others.

So, what’s going on in your brain when they take over? According to experts in human thinking, two parts of your brain are always at play: a goal-directed side and a side that works on automatic-pilot. The trouble comes when you let the “bad guys” win.

In a study published in the journal Neuron, researchers from the University of California, San Diego, conducted studies on the brains of mice. They discovered that competition is constantly taking place. The habit circuits in the area of your brain that controls decision-making are always competing for control of your mind against your goal-directed circuits.

Related: How Exercise Can Change Your Pooping Habits

Certain neurochemicals produced by the habit-side essentially put the breaks on your goal-directed thinking. In order to fix this, you have to physically (or mentally) override it.

Both circuits in your brain are useful, but it’s about balance. With habitual thinking, we’re able to complete so many daily tasks without really having to think about them. Things like getting dressed, brushing your teeth and having breakfast on time can form themselves into useful, fast routines.

This circuit only becomes a problem when you start habitually doing things that are bad for you.

Seeking change? Check out these tips for breaking bad habits by substituting new ones and enjoy a new you.

Photo credits: Trueffelpix/Shutterstock.com

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Here’s What You Need to Know About the World’s Hottest Chili https://www.ratemds.com/blog/heres-what-you-need-to-know-about-the-worlds-hottest-chili/ Fri, 20 Apr 2018 09:00:14 +0000 https://www.ratemds.com/blog/?p=180438 It’s unique, dangerous and thousands of times hotter than a jalapeno. First of all, know that if you eat one, you could end up pretty sick. This chili is called the Carolina Reaper and recently, a 34-year old man who ate one in a chili eating contest in New York ended up in hospital. He developed something known as thunderclap headaches that were so painful, he turned himself in to the local emergency room. What actually happened to him? It seems like the chili disagreed with him…severely. Immediately after eating the Reaper, reports indicate the man experienced dry heaves. A

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It’s unique, dangerous and thousands of times hotter than a jalapeno.

First of all, know that if you eat one, you could end up pretty sick. This chili is called the Carolina Reaper and recently, a 34-year old man who ate one in a chili eating contest in New York ended up in hospital.

He developed something known as thunderclap headaches that were so painful, he turned himself in to the local emergency room.

What actually happened to him? It seems like the chili disagreed with him…severely. Immediately after eating the Reaper, reports indicate the man experienced dry heaves.

A couple of days later he started experiencing “crushingly painful” headaches, for a few seconds at a time.

Related: The World’s 5 Hottest Peppers and How to Eat Them

“Thunderclap” headaches happen when the vessels supplying blood to your brain suddenly tighten. It causes a condition known as reversible cerebral vasoconstriction syndrome (RCSV), something that’s extremely inconvenient, but eventually goes away.

The Carolina Reaper is a man-made chili. Over a decade ago Ed Currie from the Pucker Butt Pepper Company in South Carolina developed it himself. It’s exceedingly hot, pulling in an average of 1,569,300 Scoville Heat Units (SHU). FYI, jalapeno peppers score somewhere between 2,500 and 8,000 SHU.

What should you do if you encounter one? Don’t rub your eyes if you’ve touched one with bare hands. Ouch. Wash up first with soap and water. And eat one if you dare…but don’t say no one warned you.

Photo credits: Lenscap Photography/Shutterstock.com

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It’s Alcohol Awareness Month: How Much is Ok? https://www.ratemds.com/blog/its-alcohol-awareness-month-how-much-is-ok/ Thu, 19 Apr 2018 09:08:50 +0000 https://www.ratemds.com/blog/?p=180448 Problem drinking can build up over years, but help is out there. This past weekend, the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) held Alcohol-Free Weekend. It marks the second weekend in April, a month dedicated to raising awareness about the use of alcohol across the country. Alcohol-Free Weekend posed an invitation to all Americans. It asked people to go without an alcoholic drink for 3 days. Related: Are You Addicted to Alcohol? Here Are 6 Typical Signs Those who found this hard to do were, (and are), encouraged to contact their local NCADD affiliate, Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and/or

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Problem drinking can build up over years, but help is out there.

This past weekend, the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) held Alcohol-Free Weekend. It marks the second weekend in April, a month dedicated to raising awareness about the use of alcohol across the country.

Alcohol-Free Weekend posed an invitation to all Americans. It asked people to go without an alcoholic drink for 3 days.

Related: Are You Addicted to Alcohol? Here Are 6 Typical Signs

Those who found this hard to do were, (and are), encouraged to contact their local NCADD affiliate, Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and/or Al-Anon. These organizations can help you learn more about alcoholism, and detecting the early signs.

The groups can also lead you to get help for a long-time problem habit, if it’s forming.

Just how severe is alcoholism in the U.S? It’s estimated that as many as 20 million individuals and their family members are currently living lives in recovery. But knowing you have a problem with alcohol addiction isn’t always straightforward.

Drink Limits

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism defines a heavy drinker as someone who has had over 4 drinks in about 2 hours, on 5 or more days in the last month.

For men, this limit is 5 or more drinks during this time span. For women, it amounts to 4 or more.

What’s a healthy limit? Women who intake 3 or less drinks on a single day, (to a maximum of 7 drinks per week), are considered low-risk drinkers.

For their part, men who drink up to 4 drinks on any single day, and no more than 14 drinks per week are doing well.

If you’re worried that you, or someone you know, could have an unhealthy relationship with alcohol, seek help.

Take this quick online test with the NCADD and find out where you sit.

Photo credits: Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock.com

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Why Wearing Shoes Without Socks is Bad for Your Health https://www.ratemds.com/blog/wearing-shoes-without-socks-bad-health/ Thu, 19 Apr 2018 09:00:24 +0000 https://www.ratemds.com/blog/?p=180389 We’ve all been guilty of the fashion faux pas of wearing shoes without socks, but doing so isn’t just bad for your fashion health, but your actual health. People who regularly wear shoes without socks are at more risk of developing fungal problems and infections like athlete’s foot, according to the College of Podiatry. Experts point to the ‘bare ankle’ trend, which has been popularized by celebrities (especially men) like Bradley Cooper, Ryan Gosling, and Orlando Bloom. The fashion phenomena, combined with more poorly-made footwear, has led to an increase in the the number of unwanted foot conditions, says podiatrist

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We’ve all been guilty of the fashion faux pas of wearing shoes without socks, but doing so isn’t just bad for your fashion health, but your actual health.

People who regularly wear shoes without socks are at more risk of developing fungal problems and infections like athlete’s foot, according to the College of Podiatry.

Experts point to the ‘bare ankle’ trend, which has been popularized by celebrities (especially men) like Bradley Cooper, Ryan Gosling, and Orlando Bloom. The fashion phenomena, combined with more poorly-made footwear, has led to an increase in the the number of unwanted foot conditions, says podiatrist Emma Stevenson from the College of Podiatry.

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“Depending on the level of sweatiness of the foot, there may be issues with too much moisture in the feet, which can leave you vulnerable to fungal infections such as athlete’s foot. On average your feet will sweat half a pint a day; that’s a lot to be pouring out straight into your shoe without it being absorbed by a sock,” Stevenson explained.

The aforementioned poorly made shoes, along with excessive sweat and a lack of socks, creates an ideal environment for fungal bacteria to thrive.

Related: Why Do My Feet Smell so Bad?

“Many shoes that are available today may have leather uppers but are lined in synthetic material, which is not breathable. If the lining is not breathable then moisture, heat and bacteria will all be trapped inside the shoe,” Stevenson adds.

But if you must go sockless, try these simple steps to keep stench and pain problems at bay:

  • Spray the feet with antiperspirant prior to putting shoes on.
  • Don’t wear the same shoes every day.
  • Give shoes 48 hours to dry off.
  • Use dry tea bags to absorb excess moisture in shoes.
  • Wash and dry feet correctly after going sockless.
  • Stop wearing shoes that give you pain.

Photo Credit: Fabio mazzarotto/Shutterstock.com; freedarst/Shutterstock.com

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Irritable Bowel Syndrome? 5 Signs You Should be Looking For https://www.ratemds.com/blog/is-it-irritable-bowel-syndrome-5-signs-you-should-be-looking-for/ Wed, 18 Apr 2018 09:04:42 +0000 https://www.ratemds.com/blog/?p=180457 From bloating and gas to constipation and running to the bathroom, IBS is no party. It’s that time of day again: diarrhea time. As disgusting as that sounds, many people are familiar with it. You may experience it frequently- no matter what you eat- or it could be something that disappears and resurfaces over time. Or, you might have other symptoms. Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) surfaces in many ways, depending on the person. According to the Mayo Clinic, some of the most common complaints include abdominal pain, excess gas, diarrhea or its cousin, constipation, and last but not least, mucus

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From bloating and gas to constipation and running to the bathroom, IBS is no party.

It’s that time of day again: diarrhea time. As disgusting as that sounds, many people are familiar with it. You may experience it frequently- no matter what you eat- or it could be something that disappears and resurfaces over time. Or, you might have other symptoms.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) surfaces in many ways, depending on the person. According to the Mayo Clinic, some of the most common complaints include abdominal pain, excess gas, diarrhea or its cousin, constipation, and last but not least, mucus in your stool.

Related: 9 Ways Your Food Might Be Giving You Diarrhea

How prevalent is it? IBS affects up to 1 in 7 Americans, and is thought to be cause by many different factors. A malfunctioning nervous system, stress, a severe infection, changes in your gut bacteria and extra-strong muscle contractions in your intestine can all result in irritated bowels.

And sadly, hormones could also be a large contributor. Statistics show that women are twice as likely as men to develop IBS, and most often before or during their period.

Counseling, engaging in biofeedback and muscle relaxation techniques and following mindfulness training can all help as treatment. Avoiding trigger foods can also do wonders.

If you’re feeling discomfort, talk to your doctor, and get to the root of the problem.

Photo credits: chombosan/Shutterstock.com

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The (Surprising) Reason Dentists Say Coffee is Bad for Your Mouth https://www.ratemds.com/blog/the-surprising-reason-dentists-say-coffee-is-bad-for-your-mouth/ Wed, 18 Apr 2018 09:02:25 +0000 https://www.ratemds.com/blog/?p=180471 Yummm…coffee. She’s a popular gal. But those few cups a day could be damaging your teeth. Americans drink 400 million cups of coffee every day, a staggering amount that’s hard to really comprehend. Coffee on its own has sparked many health debates. A little is said to be good for you but like wine, too much can spell trouble. Jitters, coffee headaches and caffeine addiction are the down side. And now dentists are in on the doomsday message as well. The American Dental Association has coffee listed as one of their top foods (and drinks) that can cause damage to

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Yummm…coffee. She’s a popular gal. But those few cups a day could be damaging your teeth.

Americans drink 400 million cups of coffee every day, a staggering amount that’s hard to really comprehend.

Coffee on its own has sparked many health debates. A little is said to be good for you but like wine, too much can spell trouble. Jitters, coffee headaches and caffeine addiction are the down side. And now dentists are in on the doomsday message as well.

The American Dental Association has coffee listed as one of their top foods (and drinks) that can cause damage to your teeth.

Why? Well, it’s obvious the dark drink can build up stains over time, but the rest comes down to what you put in your mug. According to statistics, only about a quarter of Americans take their coffee black. The rest of us can’t help but add a healthy portion of milk, cream, non-dairy creamer, sugar and things like hazelnut syrup to our brew.

Related: What’s Really In That Coffee Creamer

And the result isn’t pretty. Your teeth could be paying the price.

In order to avoid unwanted decay, (is any decay wanted?) professionals advise that you go easy on your additions. Drinking water after your coffee can help to rinse your mouth. Save that morning brush until your done drinking that cup or two.

Follow these simple steps, and we can all convince those dentists to put coffee back in the ‘well behaved’ chair where it belongs. Keep your mouth healthy and happy.

Photo credits: Liderina/Shutterstock.com

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Syncing Classes with Biological Clocks May Boost Students’ Grades https://www.ratemds.com/blog/syncing-classes-biological-clocks-may-boost-students-grades/ Tue, 17 Apr 2018 09:00:49 +0000 https://www.ratemds.com/blog/?p=180419 New U.S. research suggests that students’ academic excellence can suffer if their class schedules don’t align with their biological clocks. Conducted by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley and Northeastern Illinois University, the study is thought to be the largest-ever survey of social jet lag utilizing real-world data. Social jet lag is due to inconsistency between activity and the body’s natural biological rhythm – like starting work or classes very early, when you’re not at peak alertness or wakefulness. This misalignment has been associated to health conditions like obesity, depression, and alcohol use. The study examined the daily online

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New U.S. research suggests that students’ academic excellence can suffer if their class schedules don’t align with their biological clocks.

Conducted by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley and Northeastern Illinois University, the study is thought to be the largest-ever survey of social jet lag utilizing real-world data.

Social jet lag is due to inconsistency between activity and the body’s natural biological rhythm – like starting work or classes very early, when you’re not at peak alertness or wakefulness. This misalignment has been associated to health conditions like obesity, depression, and alcohol use.

The study examined the daily online activity of 14,894 Northeastern Illinois University students who logged in and out of the campus server over a two-year period. The students were divided into three groups – “night owls,” “daytime finches” or “morning larks”. The researchers then compared the students’ class schedules to their academic performance.

biological-clock-and-school-study

Related: Are smartphones making teens unhealthy & unhappy?

Results showed that the majority of students who had class schedules not in tune with their biological clock – like night owls taking morning classes – resulted in lower grades thanks to social jet lag.

50 per cent of students were taking classes before they were fully alert; another 10 per cent had already peaked in alertness before the classes started; the final 40 per cent that were mostly in sync, resulting in better academic performance and higher GPAs.

“Because owls are later and classes tend to be earlier, this mismatch hits owls the hardest, but we see larks and finches taking later classes and also suffering from the mismatch,” said co-lead author Benjamin Smarr. “Different people really do have biologically diverse timing, so there isn’t a one-time-fits-all solution for education.”

Study co-lead author Aaron Schirmer added, “Our research indicates that if a student can structure a consistent schedule in which class days resemble non-class days, they are more likely to achieve academic success.”

Photo Credit: ABO Photography/Shutterstock.com; ESB Professional/Shutterstock.com

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What You Need to Know About the Nationwide Salmonella Egg Recall https://www.ratemds.com/blog/what-you-need-to-know-about-the-nationwide-salmonella-egg-recall/ Tue, 17 Apr 2018 09:00:22 +0000 https://www.ratemds.com/blog/?p=180540 Millions of eggs have been recalled, many of them sold in popular locations such as Walmart and Waffle House Restaurants. Rose Acre farms in Seymour, Indiana recalled millions of eggs last week, due to fears they could be contaminated with salmonella. The bacteria is said to be the cause behind 22 recently reported cases of salmonella infections, traced to a farm in North Carolina. Rose Acre farms is said to be the second largest producer in the United States. The recalled eggs were sold in Colorado, Florida, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia,

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Millions of eggs have been recalled, many of them sold in popular locations such as Walmart and Waffle House Restaurants.

Rose Acre farms in Seymour, Indiana recalled millions of eggs last week, due to fears they could be contaminated with salmonella. The bacteria is said to be the cause behind 22 recently reported cases of salmonella infections, traced to a farm in North Carolina.

Rose Acre farms is said to be the second largest producer in the United States.

The recalled eggs were sold in Colorado, Florida, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia, under various brands.

These include: Country Daybreak, Food Lion, Loose USDA, Nelms A Jumbo, Waffle House Loose USDA, Crystal Farms, Coburn Farms, Sunshine Farms, Glenview and Great Value.  (For a full list posted by the FDA, click here.)

Related: These 3 Sources of Salmonella Have Caused Recent Outbreaks in the United States

The eggs were labeled with the plant number P-1065, and display packing dates ranging from 011 through 102.

Are eggs currently in stores safe to eat? Authorities are saying yes. If you suspect you have contaminated eggs at home, the FDA is urging consumers to throw them out. Seek a store credit or a full refund for your purchase.

Salmonella poisoning can be mild, and most people who suffer from it recover. This being said, it can also be deadly, and it takes hundreds of lives in the U.S each year.

The infection is most dangerous for people with weakened immune systems including pregnant women, the elderly and young children. It causes fever, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain.

In rare circumstances, salmonella can enter your bloodstream and produce more severe illnesses such as arterial infections.

 

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Here’s Why Pediatricians Are Advocating Against Gun Violence https://www.ratemds.com/blog/heres-why-pediatricians-are-advocating-against-gun-violence/ Tue, 17 Apr 2018 09:00:03 +0000 https://www.ratemds.com/blog/?p=180399 This week, hundreds of doctors brought their stories of children suffering from gun violence to congress, in an act of hope. Dr. Ben Hoffman is a pediatrician interviewed by NBCNews.com. He remains haunted by the three-year old boy who accidentally shot himself in the face with his parents’ gun, and died in his emergency room, and he wants to be clear on his position. Hoffman doesn’t oppose guns. Or parents having them in the home. As chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Council on Injury, Violence and Poison Prevention, he insists he’s in favor of a middle ground. “With

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This week, hundreds of doctors brought their stories of children suffering from gun violence to congress, in an act of hope.

Dr. Ben Hoffman is a pediatrician interviewed by NBCNews.com. He remains haunted by the three-year old boy who accidentally shot himself in the face with his parents’ gun, and died in his emergency room, and he wants to be clear on his position.

Hoffman doesn’t oppose guns. Or parents having them in the home. As chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Council on Injury, Violence and Poison Prevention, he insists he’s in favor of a middle ground.

“With rights come responsibilities,” Hoffman told NBC News. “When I think back to the toddler who died- if that gun had been stored in a locked gun safe, that child would have been safe.”

Dr. Hoffman was part of a team of pediatricians who approached congress on April 10th, with three main requests. He wishes to protect kids from what may be seen as their own curiosity.

Related: Patients With Gunshot Wounds Fare Better Traveling to Hospital in a Car: Study

He and the team representing the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) was asking congress to:

  • Provide $50 million to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for public health research into firearm safety and injury prevention;
  • Support a minimum purchase age of 21 for semiautomatic assault weapons and high-capacity magazines; and
  • Support a ban on semiautomatic assault weapons.

Hoffman says he’ll never forget crying with the patient’s parents, as their toddler slipped away.

According to recent reports, an average of 74 children and teens under the age of 21 are killed or severely injured by guns each day in the United States.

How can statistics change? In addition to other measures, the AAP is urging parents to learn the best ways of storing firearms in the home.

Keep them unloaded, in a locked case, with the ammunition locked in a separate location. If you’re not sure where to start, feel free to ask your pediatrician or local firing range on best practices involving guns and children. Help everyone stay happy, alive, and safe.

Photo credits: hidesy/Shutterstock.com

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