Thursday, 21 October 2021

What is Anxiety: Meaning and Symptoms

 
What is anxiety? meaning and symptoms


What Is Anxiety?

Anxiety is your body's normal reaction to stress. It can be a feeling of worry, fear, or unease.

Do you feel anxious before a dental visit or starting something new? Have you gotten the jitters before speaking in front of a large group? Do you sometimes get sweaty palms when thinking about the future?


These are common reactions when faced with something that's scary or unfamiliar and it doesn't necessarily mean that anything is wrong.


However, some people suffer from a more severe form of anxiety that causes more serious physical symptoms which can interfere with their daily activities. The feelings of fear and unease are often intense, repeated, and out of proportion to the actual danger. These are called anxiety disorders.


To better understand if your anxious feelings could be a sign of anxiety or panic disorder, let's take a look at some of the symptoms.


What Are The Symptoms of Anxiety Disorders?


1. If you feel your heart is racing and you can't breathe properly, this can be a symptom of anxiety that is severe enough to get professional help.

2. Some people have uncontrollable fears of things like crowded places, driving, or germs that make them completely avoid some places or situations.

3. The consistent inability to concentrate can be a symptom of anxiety. This must be consistent behavior, and not just on those occasions when you lack sleep or are hungry for instance.

4. Nervous behaviors, such as walking around the same area over and over again or twitching your fingers and toes repetitively can be a symptom.

5. A feeling of doom or that something bad will happen to you, such as an accident, heart attack, or even death, can be symptoms of an anxiety disorder or panic disorder.

6. Numbness in your hands, fingers, toes, and legs or feeling like you can't stand are also common symptoms.

7. If you find you have trouble swallowing or unusual dry mouth episodes, these may be indications of anxiety.

8. Fear of people around you and the desire to be alone are feelings that many anxiety sufferers face.

9. The inability to leave your home can be a symptom of severe anxiety or panic disorder.

10. If your normal activities become overwhelming to you, you could be suffering from anxiety or a panic disorder.

The good news is these symptoms and conditions are no longer thought of as being something people shouldn't reveal or talk about. There is help for you if you suffer from anxiety. 

Many mental health clinics and hospitals offer affordable help if you are on a lower or fixed income. Your health insurance may help you get treatment, and they cannot reveal your medical treatment to your employer.

As scientists and the medical world become more informed about these disorders, more medications, and other forms of relief are found to be effective in treating them. Relaxation techniques are very effective and can even be done at home or in the workplace.


Understanding your situation can help you alleviate the stress and fear these panic attacks cause. It will also help you and your healthcare provider find a solution to stopping the attacks altogether. Living in fear of another panic attack will hold you hostage and prevent you from doing the things you love.

If you suffer from some of the symptoms above, seek help from a professional. Get the treatment you need to get you back on the road to peace, health, and happiness. You will be glad









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How to Free Yourself from Anxiety

 

How To Free yourself from anxiety


Anxiety and worry can take over your life if you allow it to. Whether we like it or not, constant stress and worry can physically make us sick. The good news is that there are ways to help alleviate anxiety.


The first step is to figure out exactly what you are stressing about. Is it something you can change? Is it something you have no control over? By determining the root of your anxiety. you can better understand how you can overcome it.


For example, if you are feeling anxious about losing your job, you have the capability to change this worry. You can work harder to prove that you are an indispensable part of the team or you can start searching for a new job. Taking action is the surest way to defeat anxiety.


The truth is, there are many situations that you can change with some effort. For example, if you are concerned about your weight, the good news is that you can change it! You already know it takes a healthy diet coupled with regular exercise. Little by little, your weight will melt away and your health will improve.


By determining the root of your anxieties, and developing ways to turn them into something positive, you can overcome them.


Here are some tips and techniques to help you manage your anxiety.


1. Know your anxieties. Write them down exactly what is causing your anxiety, then note down ways you can change the outcome. Knowing what you are up against is the key to feeling better about yourself and your current situation.


2. Breathe! Once you have pinpointed the things you need to change, sit back and take a breath. This form of relaxation can help you calm your racing heart and give you peace of mind. Rapid breathing from anxiety can lead to a panic attack. Breathe deeply and slowly as soon as you feel yourself becoming worried or anxious.


Download: Breathing exercises to relieve stress quickly


3. Visualize. Perhaps one of the most effective ways to overcome anxiety is the technique of visualization. Choose a quiet space in your home, light some candles, and close your eyes.


 Imagine yourself in your ideal situation. Feel how calm you are and visualize letting go of your worries. Think how happy you will be once your source of stress has been diminished. Positive visualization can help you move toward the happier vision you have created in your mind.


4. Use positive affirmations. When things get tough and you feel yourself losing control, repeat a positive statement over and over in your head. For example, if you need a job, you can repeat something like: "I am a valuable and hardworking individual who is worthy of a fulfilling new opportunity!"


Reaffirming positive thoughts repeatedly can help you believe that anything is possible. The power of the mind is endless.


5. Diet and exercise. Eating a well-balanced diet and exercising can physically help you handle stress and anxiety. The stronger the body is, the stronger the mind is. It is a fact that if you abuse your body with junk foods and alcohol, your body and mind will react negatively.


6. Seek support. Seeking professional help and reaching out to friends and family can do wonders to help you get rid of your anxiety.


Once you have seen that someone else has gone through and overcome what you are experiencing, it gives you hope that you, too can do the same.


Anxieties are a part of everyday life. How you chose to manage them is what makes the difference.


Read: Dealing with stress? 5ways to relieve stress











Thursday, 14 October 2021

Common Symptoms of Breast Cancer

According to the World Health Organization, breast cancer is the most common cancer among women worldwide. Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death after lung cancer in the United States. In Nigeria, more than 100,000 thousand cases are reported every year. In this article, you will learn about breast cancer, its common symptoms, and how it is diagnosed and treated.

COMMON SYMPTOMS OF BREAST CANCER



What is Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is a type of cancer that forms in the breast. This happens when abnormal breast cells begin to grow and divide in an uncontrolled manner creating a tumor or mass of cells. The breast cancer can grow into tissues surrounding the breast. 

There are different kinds of breast cancer depending on which cells in the breast turn into cancer. The breast is made up  of three parts. These are the lobules, ducts, and connective tissue. The lobules  are the glands that produce milk. The ducts are tubes that carry milk to the nipple. Connective tissue holds everything together. Most breast cancer starts in the ducts or lobules. It can also travel to other parts of the body like the lungs, bones e.t.c. and form new tumors there. This process is called metastasis. 


What Causes Breast Cancer

It is difficult to say what makes a woman develop breast cancer because the causes have not been fully understood. However, there are some risk factors that have been found to increase the possibility of developing cancer. Having a risk factor does not mean that a woman will get breast cancer.

Family history

If you have a family members like a mother, daughter or sister who has developed breast or ovarian cancer, you may have a higher risk of developing cancer. Genes known as BRCA1 and BRCA2 can increase the risk of developing breast cancer.
 It is possible for these genes to be passed on from parent to children.


Age

The risk of  developing breast cancer increases with age. Many breast cancers are diagnosed after the age of 50.


Reproductive history

Starting periods before age 12 and starting menopause after age 55 expose the woman's body longer to hormones which can increase the risk of getting cancer.


Personal history of breast cancer

Women who had breast cancer before are at a higher risk of developing it again.


Previous radiation therapy treatment

Women who had radiation therapy to the chest or breast before the age of 30 are at higher risk of developing breast cancer later in life.

These risk factors can be reduced with lifestyle modification

  • Drinking alcohol
  • Being overweight after menopause
  • Being physically inactive


Common Symptoms of Breast Cancer

Different people have different symptoms of breast cancer. One of the most common symptoms is breast lump or thickening of the breast. If you find an unusual lump or thickening of the breast, it is important to consult your healthcare provider immediately for  proper examination.

Read: How to do breast self examination


Other symptoms of breast cancer include:

  • Pain in the nipple and pulling in(retraction) of the nipple area.
  • Nipple discharge that is not breast milk including blood
  • Pain in any area of the breast
  • Change in shape or size of the breast
  • Dimpling, redness or pitting or any change in the skin of the breast

Read: How Is Breast Cancer Diagnosed

Friday, 8 October 2021

What Screening Is Used To Test For Breast Cancer?

What Screening Is Used To Test For Breast Cancer?



 Breast cancer screening means checking the breasts for signs of cancer even before they have symptoms. Screening is done to find cancer early when it can be treated. Your doctor may recommend screening even when you have no symptoms. Talk to your doctor to determine the right kind of screening test for you.


Types of screening

Mammography

This is the most common type of screening test. A mammogram is an X-ray of the breast. They help to find tumors that are so small you can't feel them. It can also help to find ductal carcinoma in situ(DCIS) where abnormal cells line the breast duct.


Mammography Guidelines

Women age 40-54 are recommended to get mammograms every year.

Women 55 and older who are at average risk can get mammograms done every two years.

Screening should continue as long as a woman is in good health and expected to live ten more years or longer.


Types of mammograms

There are three types of mammograms.

  • Film mammogram is an x-ray picture of the breast.
  • Digital mammogram is a picture of the breast taken by a computer.
  • Digital breast tomosynthesis takes pictures of the breast from many angles using X-rays. A computer then makes 3D images of the breast using these pictures.


Breast Magnetic Resonance Imaging(MRI)

The breast MRI uses magnets, radio waves, and computers to take detailed pictures of the breast tissues. This is used in addition to the mammogram to screen women at high risk of getting cancer. MRI does not use xrays and you are not exposed to radiation.

Factors that put women at risk include family history with breast cancer(mother, daughter, or sister), certain gene changes like in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes and some genetic conditions like Li-Fraumeni and Cowden Syndrome.


Clinical Breast Exam

The breasts are inspected and checked for lumps or any other abnormality by a doctor or health professional.


Breast Self Examination

This is not usually included as part of breast screening because there is no evidence to show that it decreases the chances of dying from cancer. However, it helps you to become familiar with the look and feel of your breast so you can know when there are unusual changes in the breast.


Talk to your healthcare provider about your risk of breast cancer and what type of screening test is appropriate for you.


Read: How To Do Breast Self Exam




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