Top 5 IBS Diets for Improving Your Symptoms

Irritable bowel syndrome, often abbreviated as IBS, refers to a number of gastrointestinal manifestations that can occur on a long-term basis (chronic condition). One may experience diarrhea or constipation, as well as abdominal pain, bloating and cramps. Medication can help improve the discomfort but it is important to be aware of the fact that the Read more about Top 5 IBS Diets for Improving Your Symptoms[…]

Reasons You Should Use a Endometriosis Symptom Tracker

The female reproductive system is perhaps one of the most productive compared to the other parts of the body. And with that, there are some diseases which are inevitable. One of which is endometriosis. This occurs when the tissue that lines the uterus also shows up on the other parts such as the Fallopian tubes, ovaries, ligaments, anterior and posterior cul-de-sac, and tissues lining the pelvis.

There are also cases when the endometrial tissue sticks to the intestines, rectum, bladder, vagina, cervix, vulva and abdominal surgery scars. During each menstrual cycle, the displaced endometrial tissue continues to thicken, break down and bleed. Since this issue doesn’t have a way out of the body, it becomes trapped.

There are some cases in which endometriosis involves the ovaries and cysts form. The surrounding tissue becomes irritated and develops scar tissue, which are abnormal bands of fibrous tissue that causes pelvic tissues and organs to adhere to each other.

Endometriosis affects 1 in 10 women during their reproductive age ranging from 15 to 49. This is approximately 176 million women in the world. It is one of the top three causes of female infertility.  This disease can only be fully diagnosed by having a laparoscopy and a pathology confirmation of biopsy specimens. A gynecologist may also suggest an ultrasound, CT scan or an MRI see the structures.

The disease is also classified into different stages such as minimal, mild, moderate and severe. These stages are based on the extent of the spread of the endometrial tissue; the involvement of the pelvic structures; the extent of pelvic adhesion; and the blockage of the Fallopian tubes. The level of pain does not coincide with the stage because there are some women who may still be in stage 1 yet experience excruciating pain already.

In most cases, women experience a decade long delay until they are accurately diagnosed with endometriosis. In the US, this disease costs over $87 billion annually in medical costs and work productivity.  Aside from its physical ailments, this disease can also impact a lot on all aspects of life such as education, career, relationship and the overall well-being of a woman.

What causes Endometriosis?

Like most severe conditions, the exact cause of endometriosis cannot be pinpointed. But after several studies, medical experts have come up with possible explanations of this disease:

  • Induction theory – researchers propose that immune factors or hormones promote the transformation of the peritoneal cell into endometrial cells
  • Retrograde menstruation – this happens when the menstrual blood which contains endometrial cells pass back to the Fallopian tubes instead of outside the body. The displaced endometrial cells adhere to the pelvic walls and organs in which they continue to grow, thicken and bleed.
  • Surgical scar implantation –  C-section or hysterectomy may have the endometrial cells adhere to the incision area
  • Embryonic cell transformation – Estrogen plays a major role in transforming embryonic cells into endometrial cells
  • Immune system disorder – if there is a problem within the immune system, the body may fail to check and destroy the endometrial tissue outside the uterus

This condition causes discomfort and severe pain commonly during your period. In other cases, fertility problems arise. On a lighter note, there are actually effective treatments available especially when you are able to track the symptoms through your Android or iPhone with CareClinic.

Symptoms can be tracked and monitored

Endometriosis is mainly characterized by pelvic pain that is often associated with the monthly period.  Some women experience cramping during the menstrual period but those with endometriosis have worse pain that tends to increase over time. This condition has these signs and symptoms:

  • Dysmenorrhea – cramping and pelvic pain may be felt before and the entire menstrual period. Back pain is also bound to happen.
  • Pain during or after intercourse
  • Pain with urination or bowel movements
  • Menorrhagia (heavy menstrual periods) or menometrorrhagia (bleeding between periods)
  • Infertility
  • Other symptoms may include diarrhea, constipation, fatigue, nausea, bloating

The severity of pain is not a reliable indicator of the extent of the condition. Some women may have mild pain but have advanced endometriosis. The condition is also challenging to diagnose as it can also be confused with pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), ovarian cysts, or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

In the worst cases, IBS can accompany endometriosis and make the diagnosis very complicated. For the record, a lot of women are misdiagnosed which leads to wrong treatment. That is why health apps have been created to make sure every little detail of what you are experiencing will be recorded and relayed to the medical professional right away.

Having an endometriosis symptom tracker app makes everything convenient especially when it comes to monitoring the disease. CareClinic sees to it that all data you input in it becomes stored and printed out right before your next doctor’s appointment.

Works Well On Mobile or the Web

The Android or iOS app helps in tracking menstrual cramps, pelvic pain and all other symptoms associated with endometriosis. What makes this health app great is that you can also include the degree and location of the pain experienced.

If your physician needs you to take continuous hormone medications, you can log invaluable information into this handy endometriosis pain diary. The app sends notifications as to what exact time and dosage you need to take these pills. Charting is also possible, so the app can also be used as a reliable period tracker.

Risk factors of Endometriosis

Not all women get this disease. Though there are several factors which put you on a higher risk in developing endometriosis such as:

  • The menstrual period starts at an early age
  • Menopause starts at a much older age
  • Never giving birth
  • Short menstrual cycles
  • Higher levels of estrogen
  • Low BMI (body mass index)
  • Family medical history of endometriosis
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Uterine abnormalities

Endometriosis is not a disease that happens overnight. This develops several years after menarche. When you become pregnant, the signs and symptoms end temporarily. At menopause, everything ends permanently, unless you are taking in estrogen. The disease is also linked to two major complications such as infertility and ovarian cancer. When you suspect that you might have the disease, consulting a physician is the best thing to do.

Treatment Options for Endometriosis

When the doctor already confirms that you have endometriosis, medications are usually prescribed. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications such as Ibuprofen help in alleviating the pain caused by this condition. Medications affecting hormones such as oral contraceptive pills are also given.

Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonists put you in a temporary menopause state to curb the symptoms of endometriosis. Other doctors let their patients have acupuncture or a change in diet to treat the symptoms rather than the possible cause.

If all else fails, minimally invasive laparoscopic excision surgery is the best treatment option. A specialist performs this to remove or burn endometriosis lesions outside the uterus. Scar tissues are also eradicated so that the reproductive organs can go back to their normal locations in the area of the pelvis. Surgery has been proven to alleviate the pain associated with endometriosis. This procedure also helps in making women become pregnant.

Then again, each woman is different. What may work for one, may not for the other. Each patient will benefit differently from each treatment. It is vital for patients to work hand in hand with her physician and create a possible, effective pain management strategy that works best.

Tracking & Monitoring a healthy reproductive system with CareClinic

Women, unlike men,  undergo menstrual period and even the capacity to become pregnant. A lot is on the plate and thus requires women to be healthy at all times. With CareClinic, you can say goodbye to forgotten pills and medications. This health app is one of the most reliable in terms of performance.

You can record your monthly period in the app as well as input signs and symptoms if you suspect that you have endometriosis. After having gone for a check-up, your specialist will advise you to track the symptoms, such as pelvic pain during your menstruation. The intensity of the pain may also be recorded so that it will be easy to formulate an appropriate treatment plan or therapy for your case.

Aside from symptoms, the health app can also send reminders through push notifications and vibrating alerts. So there is no reason why you cannot follow your health regimen. You may scan the bar code of your prescription and it will automatically be populated and stored in the app. This will serve as a basis when your doctor will adjust your treatment plan along the way.

Certain medications are needed to be taken at the same time each day as well as using the correct dosage. CareClinic helps patients adhere strictly to their medications making it the best companion to treating endometriosis. This app does not only send reminders but also acts as a health diary in which all measurements regarding your health status will be saved.

At the end of the month, all of the data you saved daily can then be converted into a printed report which you can share with your doctor. Being responsible enough to track everything every day will only make things easier for you and your doctor. CareClinic does not only help promote a healthy reproductive system but life in general.

If you would like to get started tracking your health symptoms, sign up to CareClinic by clicking here.

[…]

Tracking & Monitoring Atrial Fibrillation Symptoms

The heart normally functions by contracting and relaxing to a regular beat every day. It pumps blood to the other parts of the body. If something goes wrong with the heart and the entire circulatory system, the entire body cannot function to its optimum. One of which is when the upper chambers of the heart, such as the atria, beat irregularly. This is called a quiver as the blood is not effectively moved into the ventricles.

When suddenly a clot is dislodged and enters the bloodstream. If this then lodges in the artery going to the brain, a stroke occurs. Around 15 to 20 percent of stroke patients are due to heart arrhythmias. This is the reason why these patients are prescribed blood thinners to avoid the risk of clot formation.

In the world, atrial fibrillation (AF) is one of the most frequently experienced arrhythmia by patients. It is associated with an increased morbidity rate, as it is linked to ischemic strokes. Untreated atrial fibrillation actually doubles the risk of cardiovascular deaths associated with a tremendous increased risk for stroke. And even with this, there are a lot of people who are not aware of its severity.

How does AF occur?

The heart is controlled by various electrical messages produced by the sinus node, commonly known as the heart’s natural pacemaker. These “messages” come regularly and instructs the heart to contract and pump non-stop, otherwise known as our heartbeat or pulse.

As the heart continues to pump and the pacemaker does its job, the upper chambers of the heart also send out electrical messages in an uncoordinated way. An irregular beat happens and makes the atria twitch or quiver, or also known as fibrillation. You may be able to recognize this as a fast heartbeat.

Atrial fibrillation may be classified as occasional, persistent, long-standing persistent and permanent. When symptoms come and go, it is usually referred to as paroxysmal or occasional, which lasts for a few minutes or hours until it stops.

Persistent AF occurs when the rhythm of your heart does not go back to normal anymore. You need to take medications or have an electrical shock to restore its rhythm.

Long-standing persistent AF is continuous and can last for more than a year. Lastly, permanent AF is an abnormal heart rhythm that regularly needs medications to control the heart rate.

If AF is not treated, it can lead to complications that are indeed fatal such as stroke and heart failure. A stroke actually depends on the age, history of family disease and medications are taken. Heart failure, on the other hand, is due to the weakening of the heart due to atrial fibrillation. This is when your heart cannot circulate enough blood to meet the entire body’s needs.

How do you know its AF?

While people experience different symptoms, there are some who never feel anything unusual until they undergo a physical examination. For those diagnosed with AF, here are the following signs and symptoms:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Palpitations
  • Weakness
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Chest pain
  • Confusion

The symptoms may seem like any other cardiovascular disease, but these are typical of atrial fibrillation. If you happen to have these, using a health app such as CareClinic in your Android or iOS will help you log in important details for your doctor. The app pretty much makes it easy for patients to chart and note the frequency of their symptoms.

Causes of AF

When the structure of the heart is damaged, atrial fibrillation is bound to happen. The following are known to cause AF:

  • Heart attacks
  • Hypertension
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Abnormal heart valves
  • Congenital heart defects
  • Metabolic imbalance
  • Exposure to stimulants
  • Dysfunctional sinus node
  • Lung diseases
  • Viral infections
  • Sleep apnea
  • Previous heart surgery
  • Stress

Who is at risk of Atrial Fibrillation?

Atrial fibrillation occurs due to several factors. According to research, age has a bearing on AF. When you become older, this gives you a higher risk of developing the disease. If you have had cardiovascular disease in the past or someone in the family has a heart problem, this gives you a higher chance of getting atrial fibrillation. If your blood pressure is consistently high and you are not doing anything about it, chances of developing AF is high.

Alcoholics are pretty much at a higher risk in triggering an episode of atrial fibrillation, especially those who go binge drinking. Obese people are also more likely to develop AF, as well as those who have thyroid problems, diabetes, and chronic kidney disease.

AF Diagnostics

If your doctor already suspects you might have atrial fibrillation, aside from medical history and physical examination, you may need to undergo the following tests to rule out the disease:

  • Electrocardiogram (ECG) – this is the primary tool for diagnosing AF
  • Echocardiogram – a non-invasive test which detects blood clots formed in the heart
  • Blood exams – to rule out thyroid problems and other substances in the blood leading to AF
  • Stress test – tests are run on the heart while doing physical activity
  • Chest X-ray – imaging that best sees the condition of heart and lungs

Treatment options for AF

There are only three treatment goals of atrial fibrillation:

  1. To reset the rhythm or to control the heart rate
  2. To prevent blood clots
  3. To decrease the risk of having a stroke

You and your doctor may come up with the best treatment depending on the health data you placed in your app. For some manageable cases, medications will help a lot. For those needing a more invasive treatment, surgery is performed.

To reset the rhythm of your heart rate, cardioversion is done depending on the cause of atrial fibrillation. This may be done in two ways:

  • Electrical cardioversion – an electrical shock is delivered to your heart through some patches placed on the chest
  • Cardioversion with medications – antiarrhythmics are given to restore the normal sinus rhythm

Medications that are given after electrical cardioversion are as follows:

  • Dofetilide
  • Flecainide
  • Propafenone (Rythmol)
  • Amiodarone (Cordarone, Pacerone)
  • Sotalol (Betapace, Sorine)

To prevent blood clots and reduce the risk of having a stroke, anticoagulants are usually prescribed. These are also called blood-thinning medications:

  • Warfarin (Coumadin) – This medication is to be taken with caution and doctor’s orders must be followed. If taken in large amounts, it may cause dangerous bleeding.
  • Dabigatran (Pradaxa) – It is as effective as warfarin and does not require blood tests, though should not be taken with those having a mechanical heart valve.
  • Rivaroxaban (Xarelto) – This anticoagulant prevents strokes and taken only once daily.
  • Apixaban (Eliquis) – An anticoagulant as effective as warfarin

Aside from clinical procedures and medications, there are also things that you can do as a patient to alleviate the symptoms or even prevent complications of AF:

  • Eating a heart-healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains
  • A regular exercise reduces risks of getting a stroke
  • Quit smoking
  • Keep blood pressure and cholesterol levels controlled
  • Watch your weight
  • Drinking alcohol moderately

Keep your heart healthy with CareClinic

As they say, prevention is way better than cure. Changing your lifestyle is a big step in having a healthy heart, but if you already suspect that you might have AF, installing CareClinic into your smartphone is a great start. This app lets you create a concise atrial fibrillation log. When you start to feel the symptoms, jot them down and also include the intensity and frequency of each symptom. This way, your doctor may see what is really bothering your heart.

Aside from tracking symptoms, the health app also sends medication reminders in pop up notifications or sound/vibrating alerts. You can scan the bar code of your anticoagulant or any medication with the built-in scanner and save it directly in the health app. Indicate the dosage and timing is important so that you will never miss a dose. These reminders are very accurate and helpful when you are on a strict therapy.

CareClinic also sends appointment reminders for that next visit to the doctor. A regular visit is important so that your doctor can monitor the activity of your heart. Aside from that, the app also keeps track of your blood pressure and weight, as well as INR lab results. CareClinic puts everything into place and you will no longer need a separate app to track other health measurements. That is the great thing about CareClinic- it holds every single piece of data in one place for convenience.

At the end of the week or month, you may print out the health results and dairy in a report. This is very essential when you are going to see your specialist very soon. He or she can see your progress, as well as the INR results you have been self-monitoring. This app helps doctors adjust or even change a treatment plan if there is a need to do so.

CareClinic pulls these insights on a clear chart or data sheet so that the doctor will know how to effectively manage your condition. Some cardiologists also use the app for the procedure called cardioversion, so that you will strictly adhere to taking your anticoagulant in the weeks prior to the procedure.

To get started tracking the symptoms of AFib, click here to sign up.

[…]

How To Track Your Autoimmune Disease Symptoms To Better Understand Your Health

The body is such a wonder because it can protect itself from foreign bodies. It has the immune system which is essential for survival. This vast network of tissues and cells is on-call 24/7 checking for viruses, bacteria or even parasites that may threaten the entire body. It is the immune system’s job to keep us healthy as we go on with our lives which may be filled with pathogens.

The body’s defenders

The immune system is composed mainly of the lymph nodes, spleen, bone marrow, lymphocytes, leukocytes, and thymus. Each has its own role in protecting the body and attacking anything unusual that’s bound to happen. The immune system is divided into innate and adaptive immunity.

The innate immunity is present at birth and consists of barriers that keep foreign threats outside the body. Main components are the skin and stomach acid, as well as the enzymes found in skin oils and tears. Mucus and the cough reflex are also part of the innate immunity which is non-specific. Substances such as interleukin-1 and interferon are also part of the body’s innate defense.

The adaptive or acquired immunity, on the other hand, is more complex as it targets the specific threats to the body. Before these “fighters” do their job, the body needs to process and recognize the threat before creating antibodies which are specifically designed to that threat. Once the threat is neutralized, this immunity remembers it and responds similarly and more effectively when the threat shows up again in the future.

When the immune system mistakenly attacks your body, a condition called autoimmune disease occurs. It releases autoantibodies that target healthy cells instead of foreign bodies. In the world, there are over 700 million people estimated to acquire such disease. Autoimmune diseases cases have risen through the years and should not be taken for granted.

Risks of autoimmune diseases

Medical professionals and researchers cannot pinpoint why for some people,  the immune system does not function properly. But according to statistics, women get autoimmune diseases more than men. About 78% of autoimmune diseases occur in women. This usually occurs during the woman’s childbearing years, ages 14 to 44. Other experts believe that it must be due to higher levels of hormones in women as compared to men.

Another thing that experts say is that there are certain groups that are most likely hit by this disease like lupus affects African-Americans and Hispanic individuals than Caucasians. There are over 23.5 million Americans diagnosed with autoimmune diseases at present. Race and ethnicity, though not yet fully backed up with research, may increase the risk of getting the disease.

Researchers also say that autoimmune diseases are hereditary. So those who have this disease will put the succeeding generations at higher risk in acquiring it. Though genetics alone is not enough to cause the disease. There may be other factors that work together with genetics to make the immune system attack itself.

Exposure to chemicals and infections are some of the environmental factors that make the immune system dysfunction.  When your body detects danger from an infection, the immune system wakes up and attack the foreign bodies. However, during this “battle”, there are actually healthy cells and tissues caught up in the middle, and this is when an autoimmune disease occurs. An example would be rheumatoid arthritis, in which the body itself attacks the cells in the joints.

Another probable risk is an injury. According to medical professionals, when a certain part of the body experiences high levels of stress, an autoimmune response occurs. An example would be the runner’s heel. This is an area in which the muscle is always pulling the bone to create some movement. Due to repeated stress and if the tissue is exposed (like a wound), blood cells will normally try to heal it. Otherwise, an abnormal immune response will make the joints and tendons inflamed.

There may be a lot of research about how an autoimmune disease occurs, but medical experts still cannot prove it black and white.

Symptoms to watch out for

There are early signs and symptoms if one has an autoimmune disease such as:

  • Sore, achy muscles
  • Fatigue
  • Redness and swelling
  • Low-grade fever
  • Numbness and tingling in the feet and hands
  • Rashes
  • Hair loss

Since there are over 80 autoimmune diseases to date, each has its own unique symptoms. An example would be psoriasis, symptoms usually come and go and have flare-ups or remissions.

Aside from consulting with the best autoimmune doctors in your area, there are experts who developed a health app for iOs and Android, such as CareClinic. With advanced technology, creators of the app have made it convenient for patients and doctors to work with each other in creating an appropriate treatment plan. This may be used for food and symptom tracking when you suspect you have an autoimmune disease.

The app is able to store valuable data, such as measurements that are needed in making a treatment option. Symptoms may be accurately tracked every day and medications will be prescribed well. With the app, it is easy for you and your doctor to make some adjustments to your therapy depending on your records. 

How hard is it to get diagnosed?

There is no single examination to rule out autoimmune diseases. That’s why patients find it frustrating if they are not diagnosed properly. The first test done to most patients is the antinuclear antibody test or ANA. When the test is positive, it means you have an autoimmune disease but there is no clear confirmation as to what exact disease you have.

Patients also undergo a thorough physical examination and should accurately disclose their family medical history. Biopsies and x-rays may also be done to rule out autoimmune diseases.

Most patients can go to up to 5 doctors until properly diagnosed with an autoimmune disease. This is because the symptoms may overlap with other autoimmune diseases and non-autoimmune diseases.

Treatment options for Autoimmune Symptoms

If it is hard to diagnose an autoimmune disease, treating it would also be very tricky. Most doctors, though, focus on controlling the autoimmune reaction with the following:

  • Corticosteroids – this is given to reduce inflammation in the body such as acute flares
  • Anti-inflammatory drugs – to alleviate pain and inflammation
  • Painkillers – paracetamol and codeine are usually prescribed
  • Immunosuppressants – to inhibit the activity of the immune system
  • High dose immunosuppression – this is given when intervention is done at an early stage to gain promising results
  • Treatment for the specific deficiency – insulin injections to diabetic patients

Aside from being given synthetic medications, doctors would also suggest physical therapy to increase mobility. For severe cases, surgery is recommended especially for those having Crohn’s disease. Surgery is performed to treat bowel blockage.

Having a healthy diet is also one way of alleviating the symptoms, but this has to be first approved by your specialist to rule out some allergies and other conditions you might be having. According to experts, having a plant-based diet can significantly improve the signs and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis or RA.

To have a healthy gut, taking healthy probiotics can make a big difference. Anti-inflammatory food and those that maintain the immune system include leafy greens, mushrooms, onions, squash, turnips, and rutabaga. Spices also play a major role in boosting the immune system. Ginger, cayenne pepper, garlic, cinnamon, and turmeric can help minimize inflammation.

Stay on Track with Symptoms using CareClinic’s App

Everything may seem so hard when it comes to managing an autoimmune disease and living with it is indeed a challenge. Morbidity rates do not look good that’s why science and technology must be doing something about it to lower it down. But if you have CareClinic, you might be able to relax and let the app do the tracking for you.

It helps patients monitor symptoms on a daily basis. There is also an option on putting a scale on a particular symptom so that your doctor will be able to take note of your symptoms accurately. Color coordination is very helpful to avoid confusion with different symptoms that you may be experiencing simultaneously.

Aside from that, CareClinic has a medication reminder in which periodic or daily notifications pop up or vibrate on your smartphone. Even if the medications are only to alleviate the symptoms, strict adherence must be done by patients. This ensures that the full dose is taken at the right time. Missed medications will result in ineffective treatment or your body will not respond well anymore. This is also one of the reasons why a lot of people live their life suffering from the disease even more.

Aside from medication reminders, the app also sends notifications on when your next clinic visit or physical therapy is. Following a schedule is crucial in making your therapy effective. At the end of the month, all significant information that you have logged in can be printed into a report.

You can bring this health summary to your doctor and discuss changes or adjustments in your treatment plan. CareClinic was not only created to record details regarding your specific autoimmune disease, but also an aid to living a healthy life.

If you would like to sign up to CareClinic to better understand your health and symptoms over time, sign up for free by signing up here.

[…]

Your Guide to Tracking and Managing Hypertension using Apps

The food that we eat usually shows how our health status looks like. We are what we eat, as well as what we do on a daily basis in life. So if we love fatty and greasy food plus a sedentary lifestyle will only put us on a higher risk of a chronic condition called hypertension. How bad can this be?

In the world, raised high blood pressure or commonly known as hypertension, accounts for approximately 40% in adults ranging 25 years old and over. This condition causes 7.5 million deaths annually and is considered as a major risk factor for hemorrhagic stroke and coronary heart disease.

For each increment of 20/10mmHg of blood pressure, there are some age groups whose risk of cardiovascular disease doubles significantly. Complications such as renal impairment, retinal hemorrhage, and visual impairment. This is what makes hypertension an inconvenience because it is linked with other life-threatening conditions.

What’s challenging about managing hypertension?

Hypertension entails the intake of various medications but the effects are not seen right away. This is why patients easily get discouraged or even do not make their treatment plans a priority. Yet despite this setback, advanced technology has its way of making things convenient when it comes to taking medications regularly.

CareClinic, a helpful health app, is one of the best companions for those suffering from hypertension. It has a symptom and activity tracker for hypertension where you can store information on a daily basis. Aside from monitoring hypertension, the app also has a medication reminder option to avoid missing any dose.  CareClinic sees to it that you stick to your treatment plan no matter what happens.

This Android and iOS mobile app functions as an effective health diary in which all data can be stored and shared with your specialist. Everything you input in the app will be of great help when the physician creates a treatment plan personalized to your health status.

As you go on with your life experiencing the signs and symptoms, the specialist will be able to adjust the medications and options available. Controlling hypertension requires a change in lifestyle or engage in regular exercise aside from maintenance medications. Eating a healthy and balanced diet such as avoiding too much sodium helps lower down blood pressure levels. 

Reducing or even avoiding alcohol and tobacco use has a significant effect on blood pressure levels. All of these activities may be tracked using CareClinic. However, hypertensive patients still need medication all throughout their lives so this health app really comes in handy. Taking medications such as beta blockers, ACE inhibitors and angiotensin II receptor blockers may be tracked by the app efficiently.

This multi-functional app helps a lot in tracking not only the condition but your overall health status. You can record your weight and blood pressure readings aside from the symptoms. Setting exercise goals, as well as diet plans, can also be jotted down in this app. Aside from that, uploading your medication may be done by scanning the bar code on the package. The setting of alarms for different time schedules with the correct dosage can also be done. The app then sends notifications through pop-up windows or vibrating alerts.

Another great feature of this app is that at the end of the month, you can easily print out a health report based on all the data. This report is very important when you visit your specialist. He or she will be able to check your blood pressure readings and symptoms, then create treatment options. Adjustments may be easily made to achieve the best results for your health.

Types of Hypertension

Before diving into using the app, it is best to understand this condition first. There are actually two types of hypertension: primary and secondary. Primary hypertension is raised blood pressure that’s not caused by any other condition. Factors increasing its risk include:

  • Old age
  • Obesity
  • Smoking
  • Stress
  • High sodium diet
  • High intake of alcohol
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Long term sleep deprivation

Secondary hypertension occurs when it is linked with another condition or disease. Unlike the primary type, this condition is caused by numerous factors such as:

  • Kidney disease
  • Diabetes Mellitus
  • Pregnancy
  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Tumors in the adrenal gland
  • Hormonal imbalance
  • Lupus
  • Steroids, birth control pills, cough, and cold medicines

Hypertension, if left untreated, usually result in life-threatening complications. That’s why controlling blood pressure levels is very important to avoid the following:

  • Aneurysm
  • Stroke
  • Heart failure
  • Kidney disease
  • Dementia
  • Loss of vision

What blood pressure level is considered safe?

To answer that question, understanding what blood pressure is prime. It is the force exerted by the blood to the walls of the blood vessels in the body. Blood pressure is determined by the systole and diastole. The systolic pressure refers to how much pressure is inside the blood vessels when the entire heart pumps.

The diastolic pressure, on the other hand, refers to the pressure in the blood vessels when the heart is at rest in between beats. Ideally, healthy blood pressure has a range of 90/60mmHg to 120/80mmHg. According to medical experts, stage 1 hypertension ranges from 130-139/80-89mmHg and stage 2 hypertension is 140/90mHg or higher.

If you happen to belong in between those ranges, there is a greater chance of you developing the disease. This usually happens if you are not actively controlling it. Having raised blood pressure is dangerous because it can lead to stroke, heart failure, atherosclerosis, and even kidney disease. Symptoms are very rare and less obvious making it a silent killer.

Medical professionals can only diagnose it with regular check-ups. Those who happen to be hypertensive usually experience anxiety, sweating and sleeping problems. When you already experience headaches and nose bleeds, then it is already called a hypertensive crisis.

Treatment options for Hypertension

Specialists base their diagnosis after a series of tests to rule out other diseases. Once it is confirmed that you are hypertensive, medication is usually prescribed to control your blood pressure levels. Your doctor checks your family medical history, as well as age, ethnicity and other factors. As the patient, you will have to make sure to adhere to the medication schedule for the treatment to be effective. The following are common blood pressure medications:

  • Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors such as lisinopril (Zestril), benazepril (Lotensin),  and captopril (Capoten). These drugs block the formation of a chemical that narrows blood vessels, thereby relaxing the blood vessels effectively.
  • Angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs) include candesartan (Atacand) and losartan (Cozaar). These medicines work by blocking the action of the chemical that narrows the blood vessels.
  • Calcium channel blockers such as amlodipine (Norvasc) and diltiazem (Cardizem). These drugs relax the muscles of the blood vessels.
  • Diuretics like hydrochlorothiazide (Microzide) and chlorthalidone. These drugs actually work on the kidneys and help the body flush out excess sodium and water, which then reduces blood volume.
  • Beta blockers such as acebutolol (Sectral) and atenolol (Tenormin). These drugs help lower blood pressure by making the heart beat slower and with less force. They are not as effective as a stand-alone but are often prescribed in conjunction with other drugs.

Drugs are not the only solution because changing your lifestyle can work wonders on your health. Yes, doctors prescribe medications but these are also proven to work well if you help your body. One of which is eating food less in salt. Fruits and vegetables are very important and considered less in fat.

Having regular exercise also boosts the immune system and prevent a person from being overweight. Avoiding alcohol intake also helps in lowering blood pressure as well as stopping cigarette smoking. Caffeine is also linked with hypertension so reducing intake would be beneficial to your health. Lastly, sleep is very important for a healthy life. Getting at least six hours of bedtime helps in lowering blood pressure levels.

Managing Hypertension by Tracking & Monitoring Triggers with Apps

Hypertensive patients almost always do not feel very sick with the condition itself. The disease is asymptomatic that is why most do not adhere strictly in taking their prescribed medication. Some also forget the time in taking these medications or even think that they don’t need to be treated already because of the loss of symptoms. However, as experts say, hypertension can become really critical if left untreated.

As patients, you need to take full responsibility for your medication and therapy. Doctors can only suggest, prescribe and diagnose, but it is still up to you to man up and adhere to the medication schedule. Getting discouraged with the results will not help during the treatment phase. Don’t stop taking the prescribed medicines unless your specialist tells you to.

Medications that are meant to regulate blood pressure levels are to be taken long-term, at the right time and dosage. So this is where CareClinic comes in.

The app is tailored to each patient’s medical needs and has a built-in medication database that works for any medicine. This hypertension app sends notifications when it is time to take your medication. The dosage can also be stored by using the medication’s bar code. Aside from medication reminders, the app also records lifestyle changes, diet and blood pressure readings.

CareClinic sees to it that everything comes handy when you are scheduled to visit the doctor. The outstanding features of this app not only reminds you of your treatment plan, but it also encourages you to manage your condition well by having an active lifestyle and eating a healthy, balanced diet.

If you need help managing hypertension, use CareClinic to manage your health and discover correlations and triggers that can help you. To get started using the CareClinic app, click here.

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Managing Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis and IPF Symptoms with Apps

In the world, the incidence of Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF) is around 10.7 cases per 100,000 person-years. It is also found to be higher in men aged 55 years and above as compared to women. According to studies, IPF shows a poor prognosis with a mean survival of 2-5 years from onset of diagnosis. It is also estimated that 60% of most IPF patients die from idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.

This data only shows how grave the condition is and it does not choose a certain socio-economic status. Though age has a big factor in IPF and there are fewer cases of people getting the disease less than 55 years of age. IPF is a chronic lung disease that entails proper medical intervention and a drastic change of lifestyle. But what is the story behind Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis and can it be managed with Apps?

Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis: behind the scenes

Pulmonary Fibrosis refers to the scarring of the lung tissues. There are different types of PF but the most common is Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis. The scarring occurs for an unknown reason. Once a person has this, the scarring eventually gets worse and hard to take a deep breath. The lungs also do not have the capacity to take in enough oxygen once it is already scarred.

Anatomically speaking, the lungs are made up of a series of smaller airways. The oxygen that you breathe in from the environment goes through the lung’s trachea and bronchi.  The bronchi then further subdivide and branch out into bronchioles. These bronchioles also branch out and subdivide into tiny air vesicles called alveoli. Since IPF is an interstitial lung disease, it does not affect the blood vessels directly, but can eventually lead to respiratory failure in the long run.

Still an unknown cause

It is still unclear as to what the cause of IPF really is. Nobody really knows even if ample studies have been conducted. However, there are several risk factors identified that increase the chance of acquiring IPF. These are the following:

  • Genetics or family history of disease: if two or more members of the family have IPF, it is eventually called familial pulmonary fibrosis.
  • Cigarette smoking: an estimate of 75% of diagnosed IPF patients were previous or current smokers
  • Acid reflux or Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
  • Age: almost all diagnosed with IPF are over 50 years of age
  • Viral infections: Epstein-Barr, hepatitis C, herpes
  • Exposure to hazardous materials

As the condition progresses, the scar tissue can eventually destroy your lungs, making it hard for oxygen to get into your blood. IPF differs a lot from PF because there is no known cause for IPF (note: there are known causes for PF according). Although there is no exact cure for this disease as it is also terminal, managing the symptoms well is crucial. Slowing down the progression of the disease is possible by taking medication religiously.

Since it may be a struggle to adhere to the medication schedule for whatever reason, smartphone apps are very helpful in the management of IPF. CareClinic, specifically has a lot of features that support the treatment options of IPF. It has a reliable medication and health tracker which assist patients on their IPF journey.

Living with IPF is tough and it is important that you take your medication properly in order to help with symptom relief and slowing the progression of the disease. CareClinic was basically designed to help chronically-ill patients get through their lives day by day. If taking pills or any type of medication every day seem like a mundane task, wait until you try CareClinic to make things easier. The only thing you need to do is to upload your medication (via scanning the bar code) and other relevant information. After that, the app will do the rest.

With this health app, tracking your symptoms, health measurements and physical activity will definitely be a breeze. All the data that you input into the app can easily be printed as a monthly report that you can share openly with your specialist. With CareClinic, managing IPF will only get better. As for security issues, the app has a passcode or fingerprint scanner which locks your device. The team constantly develops the app making it up to date all the time. CareClinic is very user-friendly and simple to use for all ages. You can also invite your family and friends to download the app so that you will have a great support system. This way, your group will have a better understanding about how you handle IPF.

What to watch out for in IPF

In idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, the lungs become inflamed and a scar tissue called fibrosis is formed. The scar tissue makes the lungs hard, thick and less elastic. That’s why oxygen has a hard time passing from the alveoli  (in the lungs) to the bloodstream. Various complications such as high blood pressure, high levels of red blood cells or collapsed lungs.

The most common symptom is shortness of breath, even during activities that would not usually  give you a reason to be tired (for example getting dressed). The symptoms of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis usually develop slowly and worsen over time. However,there is also a possibility for a sudden worsening of the condition. In some cases, the symptoms remain stable and then suddenly flare up in an episode called acute exacerbation. These are the things to watch out for if a person has IPF:

  • Shortness or breath and/or cough lasting for at least six months
  • Fatigue
  • Mild fevers
  • Weigh loss
  • Joint pain or discomfort
  • Muscle or body pain
  • Clubbing or enlargement of fingers
  • Ankle swelling or inflammation
  • Heart murmurs

Often people relate the feelings of breathlessness and tiredness to old age. However, it is important not to take these symptoms for granted and seeing a specialist such as a pulmonologist is highly recommended. Whenever your doctor suspects that you have idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, he or she will be conducting an overall physical examination.

Your medical history will play a major role and several tests will be done such as blood examinations, lung  function test, chest X-rays and computerized tomography (CT) scans. In worse cases, a lung biopsy may be needed. All of the test results will then be collected by your specialist and rule out other types of interstitial lung diseases.

How to manage IPF

Since there is no known cure for IPF, there are advancements in research that have given people the luxury to live longer and have a better quality of life. Nobody can predict the disease progression so you of all people, must learn how to take care of yourself before visiting a clinic.

Before succumbing to taking synthetic medications, making lifestyle changes is a must. This usually involves smoking cessation, regular exercise and maintaining a healthy and balanced diet every day. Getting the flu vaccine also helps in alleviating the symptoms, as well as staying away from people who are diagnosed with chest infections.

In most cases, specialists prescribe two types of medication to slow down the prognosis of this disease. pirfenidone (Esbriet) is taken to decrease the activity of the body’s immune system. This, in turn, slows down the scarring of the lung tissues. Nintedanib (Ofev) is a new drug that minimizes lung tissue scarring. But due to the side effects, not all patients can withstand in taking these medications.

To further reduce the symptoms of IPF, other treatment options are given by specialists such as:

  • Anti-acid therapy: treatment of gastroesophageal reflux
  • Opioids: treatment of shortness of breath
  • Oxygen therapy: to make breathing easier
  • Pulmonary rehabilitation: exercise training, support, and education for people diagnosed with chronic lung disease
  • Lung transplant: severe cases of IPF

Breathe better with CareClinic

Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis is one of those lung conditions in which you can manage with CareClinic on your mobile phone or iPad. Treatment options may include self-care, medication, and therapy. All of these may sound easy and manageable, but when everything gets busy, remembering when to take a pill every day, is indeed challenging. Remembering when to visit your doctor amidst your hectic schedule is also hard that’s why all sorts of support are needed to get through. CareClinic has a feature in which you can send reminders on the date of your next doctor’s appointment.

CareClinic also sends medication reminders so that you will never forget a single dose every day. It may come in the form of an alarm or pop up a message that doesn’t go away until you personally click on them. A built-in health diary keeps track of your symptoms as well as vital measurements and diagnostic results so that it can be printed at the end of the month.

This valuable print out is the health information that you share with your doctor. Using CareClinic closely with your doctors is crucial in the improvement of your lung condition. Thus, with this IPF app, the quality of your life will become better in the days ahead. At the palm of your hand, you will be able to breathe better and have a positive outlook in life as a whole.

To get started tracking your treatment and symptoms for IPF, click here to sign up.

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Managing Generalized Anxiety Disorder with 1 Mood Tracking App

There is no single day that a person does not worry. In fact, worrying is part of a normal life. When the time comes that you worry over petty things so much, then it is time to collect yourself and have yourself checked by a medical professional.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is defined as excessive and persistent worry that interferes with feelings, thoughts and even behavior. Patients having this disorder may be overthinking about work, family, money or almost everything in life. The condition is very exhausting in all aspects and patients find it hard to control their worries.

GAD affects over 6.8 million people in the US every year which is approximately 3.1% of the American population. According to studies, women are more affected as compared to men. GAD comes on gradually and may begin at any point in the life cycle. Though the risk is actually highest during childhood and middle age.

There are a lot of treatment plans given by specialists of this disorder. Therapy and SSRIs are the main options and these can be very overwhelming during the first few days. To have an assistant when it comes to planning and setting a schedule, check out CareClinic. This generalized anxiety disorder app helps in monitoring moods, tracking symptoms and sends out notifications on when to take next the dose of the medicine. It also comes with a health journal to help you manage and control the disorder.

How Anxiety Disorder Apps helps manage your feelings, thoughts, and behavior

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) mainly requires treatment and it may be through synthetic medications and/or therapy. Relaxation activities such as yoga, meditation and mindfulness may help significantly. CareClinic sends out notifications regarding the therapy schedule at present. Aside from that, the app generates medication reminders so that missing a dose is never possible. The alarm reminder may also help by changing it according to the doctor’s treatment plan.

With this medication reminder, you will be able to take medications which alleviate the condition, as well as preventing side effects. The app’s bar code scanner can immediately get the details of the medication and upload right away. After doing this, the app will practically do the rest which gives patients ample time to relax and sleep.

Another great feature of CareClinic is having a digital health diary to store moods and symptoms which help control anxiety and stress. Aside from that, all the data placed in the tracker will then be converted into a monthly report in which your specialist may take a look and probably make some adjustments in your treatment plan. The data will also show the progress that comes along with treatment. With this, CareClinic only makes the lives of GAD patients better.

The team at CareClinic takes feedback well and from time to time, they update the app. If you have privacy issues, the app is secured as you can create a passcode so that no one else can use it for whatever reason. This feature makes all data saved in the app protected.

Worrying too much is not okay

GAD is a long-term condition that is characterized by excessive worrying without any validated reason. If you apparently have this condition, you may be so concerned about a lot of things and even anticipate disasters that will happen. This type of worry is irrational and unrealistic and find it close to impossible to control. As this condition persists, this eventually affects work and all activities of daily living.

GAD symptoms are very detrimental to your behavioral, emotional and physical well-being. These are the following:

Physical symptoms
  • Feeling tense, muscle tightness, body pain
  • Problems falling asleep or staying asleep
  • Stomach problems, nausea, diarrhea
  • Excessive sweating
  • Headaches
  • Trembling
  • Being easily fatigued
  • Muscle tension and aches
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Shortness of breath
  • Dizziness, sickness
  • tachycardia
Behavioral symptoms
  • Inability to relax
  • Difficulties concentrating
  • Avoiding situations that can cause or increase anxiety
  • Delaying tasks because of feeling overwhelmed
  • Irritability
Emotional symptoms
  • Constant and uncontrolled worrying
  • Inability to tolerate uncertainty
  • Feelings of apprehension or dread
  • Restlessness

Aside from these usual symptoms, some GAD patients also have phobias and panic disorders. This is also the reason why diagnosing GAD is difficult because most of the symptoms are the same as other mental health illnesses. Most specialists rule out GAD once the symptoms persist for more than 6 months.

What are the usual triggers?

No known cause nor cure, Generalized Anxiety Disorder only has some known triggers. It may be one or a combination of genetics, brain chemistry and external factors. If you have a family history of GAD, there is a higher risk of the disorder to manifest on you. Abnormal functioning of certain neurons focusing on emotions and thinking is also a possible trigger. An imbalance of serotonin and noradrenaline is very common in patients with GAD, as these are responsible for mood regulation.

Aside from these intrinsic factors, traumas and stressful life experiences are also known to contribute to the development of having GAD. Alcohol abuse, drugs and violence are also some of the factors that can trigger the disorder.

What can be done

Generalized Anxiety Disorder does not have a cure but there are medications and treatments which help alleviate the dreaded symptoms. After diagnosis, specialists check all aspects before creating a treatment plan. As for severe cases, medications are given to patients when the disorder already affects activities of daily living.

The different types of medicines specific for GAD are:

  • Benzodiazepines –  sedative for severe cases of GAD and should not be taken for more than 4 weeks because of addiction
  • Selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (SSRIs) – antidepressants which are safely taken for a long time as it increases serotonin levels in the brain. (Citalopram, Fluoxetine)
  • Serotonin and noradrenaline reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) – antidepressants which increase serotonin and noradrenaline levels. (Duloxetine, Desvenlafaxine)
  • Pregabalin – an anticonvulsant usually given to epileptic patients

Aside from synthetic medications, GAD may also be treated with cognitive behavioral treatment (CBT) which targets physical symptoms and behavior. This is one of the most effective forms of psychological treatment. A positive outcome has also been observed with the Acceptance Commitment Therapy and mindfulness-based approaches. These type of therapies help patients change their relationship with their GAD symptoms. These are very effective and help anyone burdened with GAD to understand the nature of their anxiety; to be stronger in the presence of anxiety, and be able to make independent choices amidst anxiety.

Psychological treatments are as effective as medications. These just vary between different patients as GAD is a case-to-case basis. When you have CareClinic, it is easy to jot down the information you learn from your specialist. Once you have input your moods, symptoms, and triggers, that data will be stored in the app. On your next visit to the clinic, be sure to print a copy so that your doctor can accurately create treatment options for you.

Just like any other disorder, there is no one treatment. There is a combination of therapies and medications that will effectively help alleviate the symptoms of the disorder. GAD is a very exhausting and disappointing illness that is so real like Diabetes Mellitus and other severe disorders. It should not be taken lightly and for granted as it can affect your way of life by a great deal. Once the symptoms start to take place, be sure to record them in your health tracker app and consult your doctor.

Have a peace of mind with CareClinic

Having Generalized Anxiety Disorder is tough and it may crush anyone’s life eventually. Too much thinking and concern over all the things in life may be too much for someone suffering from this disorder. So remembering when to take medications on time, as well as the exact dosage may be an added burden to the patient. So CareClinic, one of the best android apps, has devised a way to keep track of the medications.

CareClinic has a mood tracking feature in which you can record your mood at different times throughout the day and check out the results to determine such triggers. These triggers are the ones responsible for having mood-related disorders as well as anxiety and depression.

There is also a diary where you can input your thoughts or moods to help you “unpack” and lessen the burden of keeping everything in.  This also makes anyone feel relaxed and better after jotting it down in the health tracker app. Recording moods will also help monitor your medication intake, especially the PRN ones. The medication tracker will send notifications so that you will not stress over a missed dose.

Aside from that, the mood tracker serves as a self-care technique in which you can take some cautionary steps on your own even if the doctor is away.  The health journal also encourages you to have an in-depth understanding of your condition. Your doctor will also find this very helpful in preparing or adjusting treatment options.

CareClinic is more than just the usual health tracker app. It is created to be part of your GAD journey.  Every feature of this app makes you less worried and have a more relaxed and fruitful life ahead.

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Physician Recommend Autism Journal & Tracker App for those on the Spectrum

Autism can be defined as a developmental disorder, which is present from birth and characterized by repeated behaviors, avoidance of social interaction and communication difficulties. Children can present different grades of involvement, the condition is sometimes accompanied by cognitive impairment.

Despite the extensive research in the field of autism, the condition cannot be cured. At the moment, existent therapies and medication concentrate on improving social abilities, communication, and independence. A person with autism might have meltdowns, trying to hurt themselves or destroy various objects. They might also have food intolerances and additional health problems.

CareClinic’s health app can be used to keep track of autistic behaviors

If you have a child with autism, your life is anything but easy. First and foremost, you are dealing with the requirements of a child, on top of which comes the autistic behavior. Your child might have meltdowns, have periods when he/she will only eat a certain type of food or be hyperactive all of a sudden. All of these things are difficult to keep track of, so as they can be reported to different health specialists.

With the help of CareClinic’s health app, you can keep track of your child’s autistic behavior and the manifestations associated with each episode. There is the health journal which allows you to record the different symptoms experienced, as well as additional information. For example, you can record information about body weight, sleep patterns, diet, and physical exercise.

Regular reports provide insight into the world of your child

Therapists often have difficulties forming an opinion about the child with autism, as the manifestations can be so different and the meltdowns so intense. By logging on everything that happens into the application, you will be given a health report at the end of each month.

This information can be then shared with your therapist or other healthcare professionals, providing insight into the world of your child. The report often includes graphs, which can be used to identify patterns of behavior and potential triggers of meltdowns.

Autism tracking for parents and others involved

Why should you consider sharing this application with other caregivers? CareClinic delivers autism tracking for parents but this does not mean you cannot share this information with additional caregivers and other involved parties, such as teachers, parents, and therapists.

Within the application, you can record the entire team working with your child and even share the recorded information with them. If desired, you can add information about them as well, whether they are grandparents, teachers or various therapists. Together, you can use the application to document your child’s behavior and analyze the signs of progress made after following different therapies.

Setting up reminders to stay organized

A parent who finds us that his/her child has autism will most likely go through a period of shock. However, like any other parents, he/she will eventually realize that it is not right to waste time and will move on to finding solutions to improve the child’s abilities and overall health.

Soon, the said parent will have to keep track of various therapies and treatments, including medication. It might be difficult to stay organized and this pressure will only add to the existent stress. With the help of CareClinic’s health app, you can set up daily reminders and never forget therapy appointments, or administering the necessary treatment to the child.

If you have been prescribed a specific treatment plan, it is important to adhere to the said regimen. You can use the application and set up reminders for each of the prescribed medication, including the dosage and frequency. The application will send you pop-up notifications or email alerts, as you prefer. Moreover, you will have the snooze feature, which will keep on sending additional reminders for the medication, appointments and so on.

Many parents try to organize a routine for the child with autism, as predictability gives comfort and prevents meltdowns. If you find yourself interested in giving your child a routine as well, you can set up reminders for various daily activities. These can concern social engagements, for example. The different activities can be organized on the app calendar and you are free to customize your reminders as you want.

What kind of information should you track for Autistic Children on the spectrum?

Life with autism is complex. You must keep track of your child’s behavior and analyze it from multiple perspectives. Thanks to CareClinic, you can record your child’s mood at particular times and see what makes him/her feel stressed, happy or identify the causes of hyperactivity.

You can make connections between the mood and different activities, and even determine how the weather influences his/her behavior. Speaking about that, you can record meltdown episodes and be specific about the way he/she behaved. For instance, you can mention whether he/she tried to hurt himself/herself or others, to destroy various items or had the classical tantrum.

Children with autism often have strange dietary preferences or tend to concentrate on eating one single food. As his/her parent, you will no doubt do your best to improve his/her diet and ensure that it is more diverse. Within the CareClinic health app, you can record information about your child’s diet and even make notes on preferences (including those related to texture). You can also add potential meals in case of intolerances (lactose, gluten, etc.).

If your child has sleep difficulties, you can record information on his/her sleeping behavior and, thus, identify potential triggers of insomnia. The same goes for bowel movements, as there are many children with autism who refrain from going to the bathroom.

From a general perspective, you can use CareClinic’s health app to monitor your child’s behavior and identify how they are feeling in a particular situation, what might stress them and so on. There are many children who are stressed because of forced social interactions or when something changes in their environment. Even the weather changing can cause a meltdown, so it is important to keep track of that.

Journal entries on meltdown episodes

Autistic children can experience frequent meltdown episodes, which can leave you drained of energy. As a parent of such a child, you might find it easier to deal with such an episode, if you were aware of potential triggers. You might even be able to prevent meltdowns or use the information regarding previous episodes to ease your child into a new situation (thus avoiding the episode altogether).

The CareClinic health app can be used to record information on these episodes – how frequent and severe these were, what caused them, etc. You can also use the app journal to record emotional symptoms and even ask the child to add information, in case he/she is older in age and has such abilities. These journal entries can also be shared with different therapists, helping you find the best coping strategies for such episodes.

The CareClinic app can be used as a health manager

You can rely on the health app to record information about your child’s different investigations. You can log details about various blood tests, as well as the results of imaging studies (including EEG, which can offer information on the brain electrical activity). Dental information and mentions about urgent care needs can be introduced as well.

By entering all of this information, you will no longer need to go from one therapist to the other with a large file. You can simply access the app and get details on your child’s medical history in an instant. This will help you save precious time at the therapist’s office, as well as energy.

Autism is a Condition Which is Not Well Understood

The developmental disorder begins to show its first signs at an early age. As the child grows, it might appear as if it is progressing but this is simply related to the complex demands of each age. The exact cause behind the appearance of autism has yet to be identified, with genetics and environmental factors being commonly incriminated.

Autism can be present in a mild form, with the child maintaining an adequate level of independence and capable of communicating normally. However, there are also severe cases, in which the child presents severe cognitive impairment and absence of speech. Given the diversity of the autism spectrum, it is important that the treatment addresses the specific needs of the child.

Cognitive behavioral therapy, speech therapy, physical therapy, and occupational therapy are just a few of the intervention solutions recommended for autism. Recently, stem cell transplantation has appeared as a promising solution, leading to improvements in cognitive and speech abilities.

A comprehensive app for the autistic child and his/her needs

Applications such as CareClinic can help parents monitor their children and every aspect related to their condition. One can use the health app to record medical information and specific symptoms, as well as details on various therapies and health measurements.

The CareClinic app allows one to set up reminders for medication and therapy appointments, as well as organize a calendar of activities in accordance with the needs of the child.

To get started tracking your treatment and understanding symptoms better, sign up to CareClinic by clicking here.

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Best App to Manage Coronary Heart Disease and Prevent Heart Attacks

Every 40 seconds, somebody experiences a heart attack. In a year, approximately 790,000 Americans suffer this heart disease due to a lot of factors. According to WHO, cardiovascular diseases are the number one cause of death in the world, since more individuals die yearly from this disease as compared to other cause.

In 2016, around 17.9 million people died from cardiovascular diseases in which 85% are due to stroke and heart attack. That allows a big percentage and very alarming to the world’s population.

What is a heart attack?

One in 5 heart attacks is usually silent. This means that the damage has been done without the person knowing or feeling it. A heart attack occurs when there is a blockage and the flow of the oxygenated blood cannot reach the heart muscles. As this happens, there is no oxygen supply in the heart and if this takes a long time, the heart muscle will eventually die.

In most cases, coronary artery disease is usually the main cause of heart attacks or myocardial infarction. This is considered a severe medical emergency and calling 911 is a must. The longer the patient endures the condition, the more damage the heart will have.

Patients who have this disease need to wake up and make some dietary and lifestyle changes because it should not be taken for granted. Those who are at higher risk may need to take some medications prescribed by their specialist. Adhering to medications, lifestyle changes and exercises is not at all easy for a busy individual. Health apps such as CareClinic help in such a way that you are able to make some life-saving changes.

How does the app work?

CareClinic has a medication reminder that sends timely notifications on the exact time and dose you need to take each day. This may be in the form of an alarm or pop-up notification that will surely get your attention when you hold your smartphone. The notification will only go away if you press the confirm button.

The app’s reminder feature is also applicable to your specialist’s appointment, as well as engaging in physical activities to lessen the risk of having a heart attack. Aside from that, CareClinic has a built-in health diary which allows you to track your symptoms, measurements, side effects of medications and more. Laboratory results may also be recorded and have everything printed out on a monthly basis. The health report is the best information you can share with your doctor so that any treatment or therapy can easily be adjusted accordingly.

Daily health goals may also be set and monitored on a daily basis. CareClinic is one of the best partners when it comes to managing heart diseases. The people behind the app are consistently developing the features so rest assured that everything is up to date. Since you will be putting in some health information, privacy issues are not a problem. You can easily set a passcode so that you are the only one who can access the tracker. CareClinic is highly recommended for patients with heart problems so that medication adherence rates will increase and you will stay on top of your health all the time.

Coronary Heart Disease: A Walkthrough

Also known as myocardial infarction (MI), a heart attack requires an immediate medical response. As we all grow old, plaque (fat and cholesterol build up) piles up inside the arteries. Through time, the buildup of plaque narrows the arteries known as atherosclerosis.  If the plaque ruptures inside the artery, a blood clot forms on the surface. If the clot is big enough it can then block the flow of blood through the coronary artery. As this happens, the heart muscle is deprived of nutrients and oxygen. Heart cells die off as they get damaged continuously and result in a heart attack. Serious complications occur afterward such as arrhythmias or cardiogenic shock.

This is the usual cause of a heart attack but sometimes, it could be due to a severe spasm of the coronary artery. In the world, a third of the population who experience heart attacks die from complications. If patients survive for more than 28 days, and their outlook improves, they may be able for many years.

What to watch out for when it comes to heart attacks

Men and women have roughly the same chance in getting a heart attack and here is a list of the usual symptoms:

  • Chest pain or discomfort in the center or left side of the chest (Angina Pectoris)
  • Tightness in the chest, which can feel like squeezing or heartburn
  • Upper body discomfort (pain in one or both arms, the back, shoulders, neck, jaw, or upper part of the stomach)
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty of breathing
  • Feeling light-headed
  • An overwhelming feeling of anxiety
  • Cold sweat
  • Nausea and vomiting

There are some patients who also experience a stroke as characterized by:

  • sudden numbness of the face, leg or arm (one-sided)
  • difficulty speaking or confusion
  • difficulty with sight
  • difficulty walking or loss of balance
  • fainting
  • severe headache

Since each patient is different, not all experience all the symptoms all at once. Cardiologists need to rule out all signs and symptoms well as these are similar to most cardiovascular diseases. That’s why when using CareClinic, tracking your condition is very important. Your specialist will be able to check how mild or severe your heart condition is.

To diagnose a heart attack, the specialist usually performs an electrocardiogram (ECG) after checking the medical history. Blood tests are also taken to check if there are proteins found in the blood which indicate heart muscle damage. Some patients eventually undergo angioplasty, stent implantation or even a bypass surgery depending on the case.

Who is at risk in developing CVD?

As mentioned, coronary heart disease is the most common cause of heart attacks and these are the risks associated to it:

  • Smoking/ tobacco use
  • Obesity
  • Having high blood pressure (hypertension)
  • Having a high level of cholesterol
  • Having Diabetes Mellitus
  • A diet that is high in saturated fat and salt
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Having a family history of coronary heart disease
  • Age (the risk increases for women after the age of 55 and after the age of 45 in men)
  • Preeclampsia, where there is a rise in blood pressure and excess protein in the urine
  • Stress
  • Having an autoimmune condition

Like other conditions, there are risks that are connected with others and this is called metabolic syndrome. If you happen to have this, you have a higher chance of developing heart disease, as well as Diabetes Mellitus, another complication. If you see or know anyone who is at high risk, refer them to medical professionals for proper heart health education.

Treatment Options for Better Heart Health

There are a lot of interventions, cost-effective ones that are feasible enough to be implemented in low-resource settings. Lifestyle change is one of the top preventive actions in acquiring heart diseases. Smoking cessation, eating a healthy diet and having an active lifestyle should be done. Alcohol consumption must also be avoided as this increases the risk of having a heart attack.

There are also medications that are considered as secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease. The following medications are deemed necessary:

  • Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors such as benazepril (Lotensin), and captopril (Capoten). These drugs prevent the hormone angiotensin from constricting the blood vessels and the blood can then move easily through the enlarged blood vessels.
  • Angiotensin-II receptor blockers (ARBs)  include candesartan (Atacand) and losartan (Cozaar)
  • Calcium channel blockers such as amlodipine (Norvasc) and diltiazem (Cardizem, Tiazac). The action of these drugs reduces the rate at which calcium triggers heart contractions and then reduce blood pressure.
  • Anticoagulants such as warfarin (Coumadin)
  • Beta-blockers like acebutolol (Sectral) and atenolol (Tenormin)
  • Cholesterol-lowering medications which include statins and nicotinic acids
  • Anti-platelet agents such as aspirin, clopidogrel (Plavix), and prasugrel (Effient)

Have a healthy heart with CareClinic

Without the heart, blood may not be able to reach the other organs in our body. Therefore, taking good care of it is crucial in surviving. Heart attacks are usually considered major medical emergencies that only a few recover fully. So to prevent myocardial infarction, CareClinic is one of the best heart disease apps for iOS and Android that aids in all aspects.

CareClinic helps you track your health by recording symptoms and medications properly. The app has a reminder function and heart disease journal which makes it easy for your cardiologist to create a treatment plan. Heart-healthy goals may also be placed in the app so that you get to exercise and eat well every single day. CareClinic is unique because it is both patient and doctor-centered. So there is an open communication which facilitates your progress with the treatment course.

Prevention is definitely better than cure so having this app on your phone will save you a lot of money and stress. Start tracking your health every day and achieve your goals on a monthly basis as this app summarizes all data in a journal form. Be sure to print it out and share it with your specialist. CareClinic only wants the best not only for your heart but to the entire body system as well.

If you would like to get started tracking your heart health, click here.

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Why You Need A Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) Symptom Tracking App

Classified as an autoimmune disorder, Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a lifelong inflammatory condition that gives affected individuals excruciating pain to their bodily joints. These joints get swollen and inflamed making it uncomfortable to move or even perform activities of daily living.

If you are one busy individual, this disorder may be more of a hassle as it can also damage the skin, eyes, heart, lungs and even the blood vessels in your body. As RA reaches this point, joint degeneration, as well as deformities, occurs. Heart attacks have been reported when the disease slowly spreads to the other parts of the body.

The action of this disorder is that your body attacks its own cells thinking that these are foreign bodies. There is still no known cure for Rheumatoid arthritis and the medications are for helping improve the symptoms. New and improved treatment options are available to ease the burden of having RA.

Patients living with this disorder have different cases so medications depend on the severity of the symptoms. Physicians need to know all information so as to have a correct treatment plan. That’s why health apps have been created to further assist you in tracking symptoms, as well as sending medication reminders to make you adhere strictly to any therapy or treatment option.

The Positive Impact of Using Apps to Manage RA

CareClinic is one of the top health apps in iOS and Android that make any condition bearable. If you have Rheumatoid arthritis, this app can help increase medication adherence rates on a greater scale. CareClinic supports a patient in various ways. This rheumatoid arthritis app sends notifications to the patient when it is time to take medicine. Medication reminders specify the exact dosage and timing of particular medications as prescribed by the physician.

There is a cool feature in this app that makes you upload your medication directly to the journal. You just need to scan the barcode of the medicine packaging by using the app’s barcode scanner. Once done, the app will instantly generate reminders to make sure you take the medication on time. The reminder comes in the form of an alarm or pop-up-notification. It is easy to notice this alarm because your mobile phone may either vibrate or make a distinct sound. This notification then goes into a simplified to-do list making sure you will never miss a single dose.

Another great feature of CareClinic is its digital health diary in which you may use to monitor RA symptoms and other health measurements related to the condition. This includes your weight, amount of C-reactive protein in the blood, as well as record laboratory test results in the app. Once all of the data are gathered every day, you will be able to monitor your RA and work hand-in-hand with your doctor in checking if the specific treatment plan is effective or not. Your doctor will evaluate your condition and find out if adjustments are needed. With regards to the safety of your data, CareClinic is protected by privacy laws so there is no need to worry.

If this app reminds you when to take your medications, it also sends notifications about your next doctor’s appointment or next visit to the therapist. CareClinic is so easy to use as the app is tailored to meet your condition’s needs. Aside from that, this Rheumatoid arthritis note app is constantly updated and developed after receiving user feedbacks. Anyone can absolutely use the app, be it kids or adults.

To maximize the app’s features, it is best to understand fully what your condition is all about.

Rheumatoid Arthritis: how painful can it be?

Rheumatoid arthritis can easily be distinguished from osteoarthritis, in which the damage is due to wear and tear. RA targets the lining of the joints in the body system which causes inflammation and stiffening. It is very painful and may even lead to joint deformities and bone erosion.  Since it is an autoimmune disease, the body mistakenly attacks its own cells – particularly on the lining of the joints.

The inflammation causes the thickening of the synovium, a tissue found inside the joints and produces lubrication. Synovium is the one responsible for allowing smooth movement along the joints. If this is swollen, joints get painful and hard to move. One thing to note is that if the left knee is affected, the right knee is bound to feel the same thing.

Since RA is the most common form of an autoimmune type of arthritis, approximately one percent of the world population is affected by it. It is very devastating to the body if not treated properly.  It may affect all age groups but more than half of all new cases happen to be in the 40-70 age range. RA is also common among women.

This only means that as the population of those having RA ages, there will be a higher incidence of these patients developing heart disease and other complications. Long-term disease management will also rise. Aside from that, as RA cases increase in the world, a lot of countries will have fewer rheumatologists because one-third of those practicing at present will be retiring in 5 to 10 years.

Who is at higher risk of RA?

Rheumatoid arthritis has no clear evidence as to how it came to be. However, there are risk factors identified with this autoimmune disease such as:

  • Diet with mostly red meat
  • Cigarette smoking
  • High coffee intake
  • Overweight or obesity
  • Asbestos and silica exposure
  • Family history (genetics)
  • Previous infection
  • Gut bacteria

There are also medical professionals who believe that RA is caused primarily by hormones such as estrogen. Estrogen is found in women that’s why there is a higher risk for them in acquiring this disease.  Aside from that, cold weather only makes the condition worse.

What are the hallmark signs and symptoms of this illness?

Arthritis, in general, is characterized by joint pains. In Rheumatoid arthritis, there are specific signs and symptoms that are commonly experienced by patients.

  • Morning stiffness ( this usually lasts for more than 30 minutes)
  • Inflammation and/or pain in the joints on both sides of the entire body
  • Simultaneous pain in three or more bodily joints
  • Loss of motion on stiff and/or painful joints
  • High level of fatigue

In some people, they also feel the inflammation in their eyes, as well as other body parts such as lungs, heart membranes, and blood vessels. Rheumatoid nodules also from below the elbows, hands, and feet.

Since RA cases are quite different, symptoms occur in different periods. In case you already experience two or more symptoms, be sure to see a specialist (a rheumatologist to be exact) right away. He or she is an expert when it comes to diagnosis and treatment.

Rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis

RA usually starts slow and difficult to diagnose, as there is no single test to rule out the specific symptoms. In most cases, several examinations are done to make sure that you have this particular disorder. One of the things that your specialist will ask is a blood test. This is done to check some abnormal blood antibodies, as well as blood and baseline liver counts. The erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) and C-reactive protein (CRP) are also done to measure inflammation.

The rheumatoid factor, an antibody produced in response to your immune system, can also be checked thru blood examinations. An antibody test such as the anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide test is also done. Testing positive for anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide test and rheumatoid factor is said to have a greater chance of developing severe Rheumatoid arthritis.

X-ray imaging will also be asked for checking joint deterioration or damage. Bone scans are not commonly done but important when you have joint inflammation.

Arthrocentesis is done by extracting a considerable amount of fluid in the joints and have it analyzed thoroughly in the laboratory.

Medication management of Rheumatoid Arthritis

Just like any other disease, early treatment at around the first 6 weeks increases the chances that you will achieve remission or prevent further damage to the body joints and other organs. A well-thought-of treatment plan is essential and must include:

Rheumatoid Arthritis is a life long disease and has no known cure. But due to several scientific advancements, medications can slow down the prognosis of RA and help out in managing the symptoms. These are classified as:

  • disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs)
  • steroids such as prednisone (Deltasone)
  • non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • COX-2 NSAIDs such as celecoxib (Celebrex)
  • targeted synthetic molecule (tsDMARDs) such as tofacitinib (Xeljang)
  • biologic response modifiers (biosimilars bsDMARDs)
  • conventional synthetic disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (csDMARDs) such as azathioprine (AZA), methotrexate (Rheumatrex) and sulfasalazine (Azulfidine)

Biological agents such as infliximab, adalimumab, certolizumab, and etanercept are new forms of medication which are injected to the body. The action of these medications is to activate the immune system to attack the joints. Aside from these, specialists suggest physiotherapy and occupational therapy. These are done to improve muscle strength, fitness, and even flexibility.  For severe cases of RA, surgery may be done.

Treatment plans differ from one patient to the other and medications may be taken alone or in conjunction with another therapeutic care plan. These options constantly change depending on the severity of your case.

How CareClinic make your RA life easier

Since it is a fact that Rheumatoid Arthritis has no cure, a patient can only undergo therapy or take medications to alleviate the symptoms. So as what specialists always say, taking medications at the right time with the correct dose is crucial to slow down RA’s progression. CareClinic is one of the top arthritis apps to use in support of this health journey.

The app sends medication reminders and notifications so that you will not miss a dose every day. Aside from that, you will never miss your therapy schedule as the app also sends reminders on the date and time of your next session.

CareClinic also features a built-in journal in which you can record and monitor your condition on a daily basis. This, in turn, becomes handy when you visit your specialist. All the data you input into the app can be used as a basis for your treatment plan. Your support system can also help you in adhering to CareClinic’s notification every single day. Living with RA is extremely tough and that’s exactly what the app is all about: making your life close to normal and easier day by day.

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