Keep Track of Your Headaches using a Headache Diary

Headaches are among the most common complaints, affecting both adults and children. It has been estimated that 90% of the entire world population has experienced at least a headache at some point. Severe headaches can be accompanied by additional symptoms, such as nausea and sensitivity to light, influencing the overall quality of life.

There are different factors that contribute to the appearance of headaches – generally known as triggers – including the prolonged screen time, stress and pre-existent conditions. Recurring headaches must be investigated, as they can be a sign of brain tumors or other serious conditions. Monitoring one’s symptoms can be useful in finding out more information on the underlying cause.

CareClinic, the health app that can be used as a headache diary

If you are experiencing headaches on a regular basis, you might want to consider using CareClinic’s health app as your very own headache diary. This application allows you to keep track of your symptoms and various treatments, creating monthly reports based on your entries. These reports can be further shared with healthcare professionals and used for treatment adjustment.

Every time you experience a headache, you should enter the date and time into the application, as well as the additional symptoms, potential triggers and remedies you tried (medication, other treatments, alternative solutions, etc.). By keeping track of when the headaches occur, as well as on the location of the pain, duration and intensity, you will be able to form a clear image about your condition.

A headache journal can help you identify the type of headache you suffer from. For example, you can use it to make the difference between recurring migraines and tension headaches. As you will also enter the treatment, you will be able to see which medication brings you the most effective pain relief. You will be able to improve your condition and keep track of potential triggers, reducing the risk of future headaches.

It is recommended that you make an effort and record every symptom you are experiencing on the spot. Do not rely on your memory at the end of the day, as you might not remember everything about the headache or the factors that contributed to it in the first place.

When recording your symptoms into the application, do not hesitate to be as specific as you possibly can. Describe your pain using words such as “throbbing”, “sharp”, “dull” or “pulsating”, as well as the other manifestations, such as nausea, vomiting or sensitivity to light (R). Mention the presence of aura as well, as this is quite important, and describe your mood. Provide details on your menstrual cycle, as this element can have a significant influence on your headaches.

Application recommended to those who are prone to headaches

You can trust CareClinic’s health app as your headache log, getting a better understanding of your symptoms and developing a treatment plan that actually works. The application is more than recommended to those who are prone to headaches and it can be used to identify potential causes, as well as the methods to prevent such complaints.

If you have already been prescribed a treatment by your physician, you can record it within the application. As you will keep track of your symptoms and begin to notice patterns, you will also be able to determine whether the current treatment works or not. As mentioned, you can take the reports created by the application to the doctor and discuss both the treatment, and potential triggers.

Find out what triggers your headaches

There are numerous factors that can cause headaches to appear but we rarely have the time or patience to keep track of them. By entering how you felt each time a headache occurred, you might find it easier to identify triggers. For example, a migraine headache can be triggered by weather conditions, while the tension headache is most likely to be caused by prolonged screen time, anxiety or stress.

Weather tracking is more important than you might think, as the slightest change in barometric pressure can trigger a headache. You can use CareClinic to record weather changes and even set up alerts for the changes in the forecast. Thus, when it is windy outside, you will know to stay in, in order to prevent another sinus headache.

You might be surprised to discover that certain factors can cause headaches, even though you did not think this to be possible. For example, did you know that chemicals or preservatives used in food can lead to headaches? Or that migraines can be triggered by loud noises or bright light? It is important to be aware of these factors, as they can guide you towards the best preventative measures.

Identifying the correlation between sleep and headaches

Sleep deprivation is one of the main factors that can contribute to the appearance of headaches. CareClinic’s health app allows you to keep track of your sleep patterns so that you can easily identify a correlation between sleep and headaches.

Recording your treatments within the application

When you suffer from chronic headaches, it can be difficult to keep track of all the medication and other treatments. In order to make things easier, you can record your entire treatment plan into the CareClinic application. This will allow you to see which treatment works the best and make the necessary adjustments with our doctor.

Apart from the actual medication (ibuprofen, acetaminophen), you can record alternative therapies which have brought you relief from the symptoms experienced. For example, acupressure often helps in case of minor headaches, providing excellent pain relief (R). You can also record herbal remedies, as well as beverages that are helpful (tea, coffee, etc.).

Medication reminder

If you have been prescribed a lot of drugs to handle your headache, you might have difficulties remembering which medication to take and when. With the help of CareClinic, you can easily set up reminders for various drugs and take them accordingly. For each medication, in particular, you can also choose the dose and there is even a snooze feature, which will keep on reminding you to take your medication (in case of missed doses).

Calendar view of your headaches

The application allows you to see your headaches in calendar view so that you can measure the impact of such symptoms on your life. You will be able to see how many headaches have occurred over a period of time, as well as how many days have passed since the last headache or the average severity & duration.

The calendar view can help you see which symptoms are associated with each type of headache, plus the various triggers that can contribute to their appearance (stress, anxiety). Within the calendar, you can easily add new headaches and identify potential negative patterns. Of course, the calendar can be used for prevention purposes as well.

Symptom analysis – emergency or not?

By introducing your symptoms into CareClinic’s health app, not only you will get a clear view of your condition but you will be able to decide in an instant when a situation requires emergency care.

For example, a severe headache that continues to persist or even aggravate, can be suggestive of a brain tumor – and this is a situation that might require emergency intervention. The same goes for meningitis, an infectious condition which is accompanied by severe headaches, fever and sensitivity to light (R).

User-friendly interface makes the application easy to use

People of all ages can experience headaches, seeking out relief from the headache itself and the associated symptoms. CareClinic has been developed so as to be used by anyone, regardless of age, gender or occupation. It has a user-friendly interface, being easy to use and quite effective – including during an actual attack. It is the perfect headache tracker, delivering information on the location and time of occurrence, as well as duration and intensity.

The app has been developed for all major platforms, including Android and iOS. You can download it on your iPhone and benefit from its full range of features, as well as on any other smartphone that has the previously-mentioned operating system. For those who prefer using a computer, there is a web version available as well.

Self-monitoring through the headache diary

The developments in smartphone technology have led to the appearance of health apps, such as CareClinic. These can be used, among other things, as headache diaries, allowing people to monitor their condition.

Using a headache diary, one can get a better understanding with regard to his/her complaints and manage the condition more effectively. Moreover, the application – through its reports – can provide healthcare professionals with relevant data (regarding treatment, triggers and so on).

Doctors have long recommended people to keep a headache diary, as it helped them assess the impact of the symptoms on the overall quality of life and make an accurate diagnosis, followed by adequate treatment. However, paper diaries have a reduced compliance rate, due to the fact that the information must be written by hand. Moreover, one can easily lose or forget such a diary.

An electronic diary, such as the one offered through CareClinic, is convenient and easy to access. Moreover, you have it with you all the time, which allows you to share your information with doctors and other healthcare professionals. Electronic diaries, thus, have a higher compliance rate (R).

Headaches, common medical complaints

As it was already mentioned at the beginning of the article, headaches represent a common medical complaint (R). They can affect people of various ages and occupations, being triggered by stress, anxiety and emotional distress. They can also appear as a result of underlying conditions, is known as secondary headaches. When severe, they can prevent one from enjoying life.

Primary headaches appear on their own, including migraines, cluster headaches and tension headaches. As for the secondary ones, these can be caused by brain tumors, concussions, glaucoma, high blood pressure, stroke, blood clots and brain bleeding. The carbon monoxide poisoning, dehydration, alcohol abuse and panic attacks can lead to headaches as well.

The tension headache is generally felt in the neck, being either acute or chronic. The migraine, on the other hand, is defined by a pulsating or throbbing pain; it is present on one side of the head, being accompanied by aura, nausea and vomiting, lightheadedness and blurred vision. Cluster headaches appear on one side (typically around the eye), being severe and sharp in nature.

The treatment for headaches includes symptomatic medication and physical rest. Preventative solutions include antidepressants, antiepileptic drugs and beta blockers. When prescribed a treatment, it is important not to overuse it, as this can lead to rebound headaches.

Alternative treatments include cognitive behavioral therapy, acupressure, herbal remedies, meditation and hypnosis. Magnesium and vitamin B supplements are recommended, as well as diet changes and increased water consumption. Ice applications can help with the symptoms, as well as eating regularly to keep blood sugar levels stable.

To get started tracking your headache, click here to sign up to CareClinic.

[…]

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.

[…]

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.

[…]

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.

[…]

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.

[…]

How To Track & Manage Your Anxiety Effectively Using a Diary

In simple terms, anxiety can be defined as a feeling of worry, often complicated by uncertainty. While everyone will experience anxiety at some point in their lives, when this feeling becomes generalized and affects the quality of life, we are talking about a disorder.

Anxiety can manifest itself in many different ways, affecting one’s ability to work, travel or interact with others. It can be accompanied by chronic stress, depression and other medical problems, such as a chronic disease (diabetes, heart disease, cancer). It requires long-term management and the careful monitoring of associated manifestations.

Tracking Anxiety Using a digital Anxiety tracking Diary

The CareClinic app can be used as an effective anxiety tracker app, allowing you to track and manage your anxiety-related symptoms. You can also record information about your habits, discovering potential triggers of anxiety/panic attacks. For example, these can be brought upon by working too many hours, sleep deprivation or stress intensification.

Thanks to the anxiety tracking log, you can see a pattern in your behavior and use that information to identify better management solutions. For example, you can record which activities or situations make your throat feel tight or the stomach to be all knots. It is helpful, as it can also be used to see the things making you feel better, such as spending time outdoors or seeing a friend.

Why is it so important to record your symptoms? The answer is simple. Because you will find information on what causes your anxiety to even appear in the first place. It might be that you are not satisfied with your job, or perhaps you have family issues that need to be resolved. What matters is that you keep tabs on various days and see the major anxiety triggers.

Once you know these triggers and understand how they appear, you will find it easier to deal with your anxiety and find the best therapies for your needs. Of course, you can use CareClinic’s app, which is available on iPhone and Android smartphones, to record additional manifestations (feeling stressed, depressed or angry).

How to track panic and anxiety attacks?

Anxiety tends to show its worst side when you are vulnerable. Panic/anxiety attacks can leave you depleted of energy and have a negative impact on your life, preventing you from functioning as a healthy individual. With CareClinic’s health app, you can log the symptoms of these attacks and also take notes on how you were feeling during the attack.

Thanks to the regular logging of these attacks, you will be able to notice potential triggers. In turn, this will help you predict when an anxiety attack might occur and take measures to reduce its intensity, or even avoid it altogether. As you become more aware of these potential triggers, you will feel better prepared to deal with the state of panic.

A diary to record intimate thoughts and feelings

Anxiety is first and foremost an emotional disorder. It causes you to give in to negative thoughts, to experience days when your self-esteem is at its lowest and makes you feel like everyone else knows how to live. This spiral of thoughts can be interrupted by putting your thoughts into writing.

Using CareClinic as an anxiety diary app, you can record such thoughts and feelings as journal entries. If kept inside, these thoughts will only become more powerful and get a hold of you. On the other hand, by writing them, you will see that they are just thoughts and you will be able to control your reactions in an effective manner.

You can rely on the anxiety diary to record how you are feeling and keep track of your emotions. You can also mention life events that made you feel anxious and track your mood in different periods.

Reminders for everything necessary for optimal well-being

Living with anxiety, your mind might be preoccupied with so many thoughts, that you will have difficulties remembering anything. You might forget to take your medication (if prescribed) or even skip doctor appointments. Once again, the CareClinic health app is here to help.

You can easily set up reminders for your medication, entering the date and time, as well as the dose. The application will send pop-up notifications and even offer a snooze feature, in the situation you failed to take your treatment at the right moment. These reminders can be just as easily set for doctor or therapy appointments so that you can get better and improve the quality of life.

Recording useful information into the application

The journal of CareClinic can be used to record useful information about your anxiety management. For example, you can include entries on guided meditation, various therapies for stress relief, self-help techniques for managing anxiety/panic attacks and cognitive behavioral therapy solutions. All of these things will help you challenge negative thoughts and deal with anxiety in a useful manner.

The app also comes with a health diary, in which you can record information about your sleep schedule, current treatment plan, and even your energy levels. You can use the app to keep track of your menstruation cycle, as well as to record your weight, blood pressure and other potentially-useful health measurements.

Monthly health reports available

All the information saved within the application is compiled into a health report at the end of the month. You can use this in the electronic version or, if you prefer, as a printable anxiety tracker. The report can be shared with your therapist, doctor or other healthcare professionals, as it offers valuable information on your condition.

The report can offer information on the prevalence of panic attacks, identifying specific symptoms, such as shortness of breath, chest pain, nausea, dizziness, feeling like choking or experiencing heart palpitations, profuse sweating. You can understand that these symptoms were not manifestations of an acute condition but only psychosomatic changes caused by anxiety.

Anxiety does not seem so overwhelming when using a health app

A mood disorder such as anxiety can make you feel overwhelmed by even the simplest of tasks. However, thanks to CareClinic’s health app, you can successfully manage your condition and feel more in control. You can use its different features to calm your mind and put things into perspective, tracking thought patterns and potential triggers.

The application can be used to record relaxation techniques and reach more peaceful thoughts. You can log information on alternative therapies, such as acupressure, useful for stress and tension relief. The personal diary can be relied on to enter worries and overcome panic attacks, as well as to feel less stressed about daily life.

You can trust CareClinic to record and observe a pattern whereas sleep is concerned. Once you know that triggers your insomnia and how these factors are connected to your anxiety, you can take specific measures to improve sleep quality and quantity (thus escaping the vicious cycle).

The application allows you to monitor stress levels, which we all know to share a direct connection with anxiety. Based on this information, you can make changes regarding stress processing and resilience. You can even get to the root of your anxiety and finally bring your emotions into alignment.

Perhaps the most important advantage is that you will be able to determine what places your brain in the “fight-or-flight” response. You will thus be able to develop effective and healthy coping mechanisms, reducing the intensity and frequency of your attacks.

Quick Facts on Anxiety

Anxiety is one of the most common mental health problems in the world, affecting millions of people. It can appear as a generalized disorder or take the form of social anxiety. Panic/anxiety attacks can prevent one from working, engaging in social activities or even leaving the house. The person will prefer a predictable pattern of living, being thrown off by new or unexpected situations.

Outside the actual attack, the person suffering from anxiety will be defined by a general feeling of worry. He/she will experience a state of panic upon being forced to be in particular situations; anxiety is often connected to various phobias, involving hospitals, traveling by plane or engaging in a new activity.

Even though medication might be prescribed for the management of anxiety, this is often reserved for severe cases. In the majority of the cases, the condition can be kept under control with the help of meditation, relaxation technique, and cognitive behavioral therapy.

The most important thing is that one gets to the root of the problem and understands why anxiety has even appeared in the first place. Many people develop anxiety as a result of a major life event, such as the death of a parent. Therapy can help them recover from the inherent trauma and associated anxiety, returning to a healthy lifestyle.

If you are living with anxiety, do not hesitate to use CareClinic’s health app to manage your condition and improve the overall quality of life. Take advantage of its many different features and rise above your anxiety. It does not define you and you should never let it! You can live a good life and overcome your anxiety, but you need to be willing to put in all the effort.

[…]

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Management with Apps

The chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, often abbreviated COPD, is a complex medical condition, which includes a number of pathological changes. The person in question might suffer from emphysema and chronic bronchitis, as well as from non-reversible asthma.

Facts on Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

Those who suffer from this condition experience breathing difficulties and have a chronic cough, which often leads to the production of sputum (excessive production of mucus). Wheezing might also be present in COPD patients. In the majority of the cases, the symptoms are caused by the presence of emphysema and chronic bronchitis.

The good news is that the manifestations of COPD can be kept under control with proper management. It is important that the patient follows a strict treatment plan, often consisting of medication, physical therapy and oxygen administration. Left untreated, the condition can cause organ damage, including of the heart and lungs.

According to the World Health Organization, there are approximately 65 million people who suffer from different forms of COPD (ranging from moderate to severe). Health specialists, however, draw attention to the fact that there are many more other people out there who are not aware of suffering from this condition (despite the manifestations).

COPD is a condition which can lead to life-threatening complications and even death if left untreated. The overwhelming majority of the deaths occur in underdeveloped or developing countries. The number one risk factors is cigarette smoke but air pollution and the presence of irritating gases can lead to this condition as well.

For a long time, it has been believed that chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is diagnosed only in smokers. This belief has been demoted and, today, it is a known fact that COPD can be easily diagnosed in those who have not smoked once in their lives (but live in polluted airs, for example, or have an occupational hazard, such as a job in the mine).

With the right treatment plan, often based on the regular intake of prescription medication, the condition can be managed and, in some cases, even treated. The main idea is to find adequate treatment/management solutions, so as to improve the overall quality of life.

CareClinic, a useful tool for the management of COPD

If you have been diagnosed with this condition, you can rely on CareClinic as your COPD app. It will be useful for managing every aspect related to the disease and also serve as a highly-effective medication reminder.

A chronic condition can have a severe impact on your life. As you will deal with so many symptoms and find yourself to be less able to handle everyday activities, you might feel overwhelmed. Moreover, you might have difficulties staying organized, remembering doctor appointments and when to take your medication. CareClinic can help with all that and even more.

You can rely on the COPD care app to manage your health in the context of a chronic condition. The application can be accessed through a smartphone or through a regular computer (web interface is just simple and easy to use). You can use even use it to simplify your treatment plan, taking advantage of the daily checklist.

Speaking about accessibility, you have two options available, depending on your smartphone: the COPD app android or iOS. Regardless of the smartphone from which you will access the application, the features offered are the same. Also, the application is available for free, with no in-application purchases.

A reminder for all – doctor appointments, medication

How can you be sure that this is the right application for you? Well, first and foremost, it will serve as a medical reminder. You can set up reminders for different types of medication and receive push notifications for each. If desired, you can set up the time when the notification will be sent. There is also the snooze feature, which can be used to keep on reminding you about a particular dose (in case you did not take it at the intended time).

The pill reminder is more than necessary for someone who suffers from such a complex condition as COPD. You might have to take several pills for the different manifestations, perhaps at even various moments in the day or week. You can organize reminders for your entire treatment, receiving alerts on when and how the medication should be taken.

It is useful to know that the reminder function can be used for other reasons as well, including doctor appointments. Imagine that you have several appointments in the week, for a diverse number of specialists.

Some might be in the same location but the hours will certainly differ. You need to stay organized and the CareClinic app can help you with all of those things, serving as a functional COPD treatment log.

You can also upload the medication you are currently taking into the application, customizing your treatment plan accordingly. Thus, you will be able to review your treatment at any moment and even discuss potential adjustments with your treating physician. What matters is that thanks to this application, you will be less stressed and find it easier to deal with the chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Health Journal – a way to keep track of your condition & progress

The health journal of CareClinic is one of the most exciting features, helping you manage your condition in an effective manner. You can record symptoms in the journal, as well as medication, potential side-effects and response to certain treatments or therapies.

It is possible to add information about your current diet, as well as physical activities and sleep quality/frequency. A comprehensive health report will be created based on the information you have entered at the end of each month.

Apart from recording and monitoring your COPD symptoms, you can trust the health journal to keep track of important measurements. For instance, you can record your breathing frequency and volume – these are highly-essential parameters for someone who suffers from a respiratory disease. Of course, you can also record your blood pressure, respiratory gases values and other useful measurements.

The health report, which is generated from the data you have logged, can be shared with the doctor quite easily. You can either export it as a PDF document or print it out, using it to improve the communication with different healthcare professionals. Together, you can establish the best treatment regimens, suited to your medical needs.

Better breathing with CareClinic’s app

You can improve your breathing with the help of CareClinic. Using it as a COPD breathing app, you can make entries regarding the correct management of inhalers and even add breathing exercises of your health journal.

For a person diagnosed with COPD, inhaled medicine might be a part of the daily routine. However, this will only work its effect upon being correctly administered. You can make recordings of proper techniques, in accordance to your inhaler type and also program the dosing schedule. Of course, you can set up reminders to use the inhaler at specific moments in the day.

COPD Management and Treatment

Based on the above-mentioned symptoms and with the help of standardized investigations, such as spirometry, imaging studies (X-ray, CT, MRI) and arterial blood gas testing, one can make the diagnosis of COPD. Depending on the severity of the condition and the pre-existing conditions, the doctor might recommend a number of treatment solutions.

Medication is often prescribed for the management of this chronic condition. Bronchodilators, either to be inhaled or in the form of tablets, are recommended to improve breathing and reduce the production of mucus. Common choices include beta-2-sympathomimetics and theophylline. The dilatation of the bronchial tubes can also be obtained with anticholinergics, which offer similar benefits in terms of breathing capacity/quality.

If the patient experiences acute respiratory distress, beta-2-sympathomimetics are commonly administered. In accordance with the exhibited manifestations, the doctor might prescribe medication with short-term effects, such as Salbutamol, or drugs with a longer period of action, including Indacaterol, Formoterol or Salmeterol.

Theophylline is a medication which is often kept as a last resort. It can dilate the bronchial tubes but it can also lead to a number of serious side-effects. Cortisone has potent anti-inflammatory properties and it can be inhaled, but it can cause the patient to become dependent.

Specific medication is administered to reduce the production of mucus and make the chronic cough less severe/frequent. Apart from mucolytic medicine, bronchodilators might be recommended, especially with a slow-acting effect (for example, one can administer Tiotropium). These are suited to those who do not exhibit an improvement of symptoms after being treated with beta-2-sympathomimetics.

Additional treatment/management solutions include:

  • Vaccination (influenza, pneumococcal disease)
  • Oxygen therapy
  • Beta-blockers (reduce the risk of life-threatening heart conditions, such as myocardial infarction)
  • Physical therapy
  • Patient education (inhalation techniques)

CareClinic is constantly improved by a complex team of specialists

A complex team of specialists works to consistently improve the CareClinic application and adapt it to the needs of those suffering from chronic conditions, COPD included. The application is meant to be easy to understand and use, suited to patients of all ages and occupations. Moreover, you can add a caregiver or more, and save their information for future reference.

It is also worth mentioning that the strictest privacy laws are respected, with your information being protected at all times. You can opt for additional information security by setting a password for your application.

To manage your COPD, click here to sign up and create a care plan.

[…]

Managing Psoriasis Effectively Using a Health Diary

Managing Psoriasis Effectively With a Health Tracker App

Probably one of the most challenging diseases that affect all aspects of a person’s life is psoriasis. This is a chronic, autoimmune disease that often comes and goes with periods called flare-ups and remission.

This typically affects any location of the body’s skin and has been linked to other conditions as well. Psoriasis is linked with type 2 diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease, heart disease, and psoriatic arthritis. It is characterized by inflammation and redness around the scales. Psoriasis affects about 3% of the world’s population and has still no cure discovered.

No cure but researchers have created ways on how to manage and alleviate its symptoms. Treatment plans range from topical ointments to light therapy that targets the body’s immune system. Just like any other disease, one must adhere strictly to any treatment plan so as to alleviate the symptoms of psoriasis.

Taking medications or undergoing therapy on a busy day is a challenging task and frustrating if you miss a dose. That’s why special health apps such as CareClinic may play a major role in preventing the symptoms from getting worse each day.

CareClinic is one of the top medication reminder and health tracker apps that has been developed for those suffering from chronic diseases. This is perfect for those who need a skin tracking app which stores data needed by your specialist.

The app lists down the name of the medicine and will remind you of the exact time you need to take it, as well as the process on how to take it. These reminders do not look complicated as it is simplified in a to-do-list form. All the patient has to do is input valuable data and the app will do its job to make your life easier. Setting a passcode on this app is also possible if ever you have privacy issues.

Aside from that, it also has a psoriasis journal to help you manage the symptoms of the disease itself. Setting fitness goals and therapy may also be done to help improve the quality of your life. At the end of each month, all information stored in the app will then be converted into a health record in which you can bring to your next doctor’s appointment. This report will also show you if you are doing well with the treatment plan or not.

Just like any other app, CareClinic is up to date and feedbacks are taken seriously. It is easy to use and understand, which is perfect for any age. Anybody with psoriasis can use it to improve symptoms and achieve remission right away.

The scaly reality of Psoriasis

Psoriasis is the product of a sped-up skin production process and typically, the cells grow deep in the skin and then it rises slowly to the surface. The skin does not have time to fall off and the rapid overproduction leads to a buildup of more skin cells. Scales develop mainly on elbows, knees, and other joints.

Psoriasis has five types:

  • Plaque psoriasis ( the most common type in which 80 percent of people with psoriasis has this type)
  • Guttate psoriasis ( common in childhood and second most common form)
  • Pustular psoriasis (common in adults)
  • Inverse psoriasis (causes bright areas of red, shiny inflamed skin)
  • Erythrodermic psoriasis (severe and very rare type)

The dreadful symptoms

Psoriasis is one of those diseases that occurs in episodes and no one can predict on when it lasts. There are periods of remission that ranges from days, weeks and even years. Here are the common symptoms with regards to the type of psoriasis a patient has:

  • Plaque psoriasis: dry, raised, red skin lesions covered with silvery-like scales.
  • Guttate psoriasis: small sores that appear on the back, arms, legs, and scalp.
  • Inverse psoriasis: smooth, shiny patches of red, inflamed skin found usually in the armpits, under the breasts, behind the knee, or groin. These are usually very sore and only appear in the folds of the skin.
  • Pustular psoriasis: reddish, swollen patches on the hands, feet, or fingertips that develop quickly with pus-filled bumps. This form of psoriasis can be hazardous and a physician must be called to check on its prognosis.
  • Erythrodermic psoriasis: a red, peeling rash which can cover the entire body. The skin becomes itchy and painful and looks almost like a bad sunburn.

Aside from the usual symptoms, there is also what you call psoriatic arthritis. This is the inflammation of the skin around the joints of the ankles, knees and feet. Patients usually feel pain, swelling, warmth and stiffness. According to medical experts, 20-30% of psoriasis patients develop psoriatic arthritis.

What causes Psoriasis?

The main cause of this autoimmune disease is still unclear at this point in time. But according to researchers, the disease is related to white blood cells known as T – cells which mistakenly fight off skin cells in the body.

This “wrong attack” causes skin cell production to speed up causing new skin cells to develop fast. These are then pushed to the surface and little by little, pile up. The piles that we see are actually the plaques and are characterized by red, inflamed areas.

Medical experts believe that the T-cells malfunction due to genetics and other environmental factors. Anyone can develop psoriasis, but these factors/ triggers may increase your susceptibility to it:

  • Body infections (tonsillitis and middle ear inflammation, tooth and nasal sinus infections, gastrointestinal infections, sexually transmitted diseases)
  • Skin irritation caused by severe sunburn, cuts, injuries, bug bites, or tattoos
  • Metabolic disorders/anomalies
  • Fluctuations of hormones
  • Medications (beta-blockers, ACE inhibitors, lithium salts, interferons, chloroquine, certain NSAIDS)
  • Allergy-causing substances
  • Injury
  • Stress
  • Excessive consumption of alcohol
  • Smoking
  • Unhealthy diet

This autoimmune disease is also associated with other health conditions, like cancer, metabolic syndrome, depression and cardiovascular diseases.

In almost all cases, diagnosing psoriasis is pretty direct. Your physician will check your medical history, rule out other conditions, such as eczema, skin fungus or syphilis.  He or she will then examine your skin, scalp, and nails.

The specialist will also take a small sample of skin (biopsy) and have it examined under a microscope. Most specialists may also opt to use MRI scans and radiographs to diagnose psoriasis specifically.

Treatment options

While there is currently no certified cure for psoriasis, there are a number of effective treatments available. These treatments aim to minimize the inflammation and clear the skin and can be divided into three main categories:

  • Topical treatments: creams and ointments are good for treating mild to moderate psoriasis. In more severe cases, creams are combined with oral medication or light therapy. Topical psoriasis treatments include corticosteroids, vitamin D analogues, anthralin, topical retinoids, calcineurin inhibitors, salicylic acid, coal tar, and moisturizers.
  • Light therapy (phototherapy): this treatment makes use of either natural or artificial UV light, and can include using sunlight, UVB phototherapy, narrow band UVB phototherapy, Goeckerman therapy, psoralen plus ultraviolet A, and excimer laser.
  • Oral or injected systemic medications: these are mainly used in severe cases of psoriasis which include retinoids, methotrexate, cyclosporine, and drugs that alter or suppress the immune system.

Your physician will choose a treatment plan/therapy best suited to your needs and type of psoriasis. You will be given mild medications at first before gradually proceeding to stronger ones. Some doctors may also try to combine different types of treatment to reduce the symptoms fast. But this actually depends on the patient’s case. Some may be using the same treatment their entire lives while some have changes in their treatment plans along the way.

Aside from taking medications, having a balanced diet helps in alleviating symptoms of this disease. Losing weight is a good start as it reduces the severity of the condition. Others also choose to eat foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids and protein.

Drinking less alcohol lowers flare-ups so make sure to abstain from drinking. Avoiding trigger foods such as red meat, refined sugar, dairy and processed products. Taking multivitamins helps strengthen the immune system, lowering the risk of having severe psoriasis. All of this information can then be inputted in the app to have a constant reminder of eating a healthy meal every day.

Psoriasis: Less of stress with CareClinic

Having psoriasis is tough and challenging for most people. It’s something that stays physically for a long time and may even affect the socio-emotional aspect of your life. But CareClinic has amazing features that facilitate with any treatment plan available.

It has a psoriasis journal in which you can input your symptoms, medications, triggers, and mood on a daily basis. It also has an option to compile it into a monthly report for your doctor.

This allows your specialist to come up with a relevant treatment plan or therapy for your condition. The medication reminder may also be used to set up notifications for your specialist’s appointments, light therapy, and other activities.

CareClinic indeed has a lot of features to help curb the challenging life of having psoriasis. At the palm of your hand, this app will surely make a big difference and make each day bearable as possible.

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Track The Symptoms of Lupus with this Symptom Tracking App

Lupus can be defined as an autoimmune disease, which is primarily characterized by the hyperactivity of the immune system. What happens is that healthy tissues are attacked by the body’s own immune system, affecting major organs (kidneys, heart and lungs), but also the joints, blood circulation and skin.

According to the World Health Organization, there are at least five million of people diagnosed with lupus (different forms). The condition is most often diagnosed in women, especially those at childbearing age. However, lupus is encountered in men and children as well.

Why should you consider an app for tracking the effects of Lupus?

The symptoms caused by lupus can vary tremendously from one person to the other, and even from one period to the next. You can use CareClinic’s app as your lupus app, keeping track of the different manifestations you might experience over the course of time.

The health tool can be used to record the presence of a skin rash, along with its characteristics (color, texture and how far it has spread), as well as arthritis-like symptoms – joint pain, inflammation and stiffness. You can mention the periods when you felt more tired than usual, had difficulties concentrating or remembering information.

Moreover, as lupus is known to cause skin sensitivity to the sun, you can record such problems as well. Other manifestations – oral ulcers, chest pain with breathing, fever with no known cause, general discomfort and hair loss – can be recorded in the health journal of CareClinic. You can then share all this gathered data with your doctor and reach better treatment strategies.

Upon trusting the CareClinic app as the lupus android app to track symptom changes, you will feel less stressed during your doctor visits. We all know that the time for each appointment is limited and, in a state of panic, you might forget everything you wanted to talk about.

The application, which is also available on iOS, can be used to record all of your manifestations and even more. In fact, the lupus app iPhone version has the same features to offer and it is just as complex as the one available on the other platform. Both versions are free to use.

If you are wondering how to track your lupus symptoms, you should consider CareClinic as the answer to your question. For each of the manifestations, be sure to record the day and time, as well as the type of symptom (fatigue, pain in your joints, muscle spasms, etc.).

In case of pain, you should rely on the rating scale to record how severe it was. Do not hesitate to use descriptive words for your symptoms; for example, you can mention a throbbing headache or a stabbing pain in your joints. As for the characteristic lupus rash, you can mention its color and size. It will also be useful to specify the location of each symptom (rash on your face, a frontal headache and so on).

Monthly health reports – monitor your condition effectively

Health reports are generated on the basis of your entries, allowing you to get a complex perspective on your overall health. You can see spikes in different manifestations, such as pain, fatigue or skin rashes, and identify potential triggers. Moreover, you can arrange a calendar to contain all of your appointments and receive reminders for these as well.

Better Understanding Your Condition

The lupus symptom tracker app can make your life easier, allowing you to gain a better understanding of your condition. As you will use CareClinic to track your symptoms, you will also begin to notice certain particularities. You can record changes in your health and make journal entries about the impact they had on your life.

The CareClinic app also comes with a journal, in which you can make notes about your condition and your emotional manifestations. Many people find it therapeutic to write about their illness, not to mention these journal entries can serve as a chronological reference.

The general idea behind this application was to offer lupus patients with an effective way to manage their condition. Apart from being able to record symptoms, one can also use the pill reminder feature and even add medical records to the application. It is possible to add information regarding the current diet and level of physical exercise as well.

Preventing flare-ups with the lupus log app

People who suffer from lupus present a higher risk of skin manifestations, with the rash being the most common. You can rely on CareClinic’s app as your lupus log app but also enter additional information, such as the UV index for each day. In this way, you will know when sun exposure is more dangerous, reducing the risk of skin flare-ups.

As you will use the application as a medication log, among other things, you will be able to also enter the different side-effects your medication has caused. You can then go to the doctor and use these logs to request a change in your medication. Together, you can find the best treatment solutions, especially in terms of medication (what works and what does not have a positive result on your manifestations).

With each new medication, you can record the day and time when the treatment started. Be sure to mention the clear name of each drug, as well as its strength and dose. This will be useful information for future references and potential adjustments to the treatment plan.

One of the major benefits of CareClinic’s app is that it allows you to track symptoms over any period of time. You can use your own entries to identify patterns and the way you felt from one day to the other.

For example, you might find not that difficult to remember your head hurt the previous day. However, it will not be as easy to recount how many days included headaches and how severe these were. With the health journal, you can easily refer to such data.

 

The pill reminder, helping you stay on the right track with your medication

As lupus is an autoimmune condition, the treatment mainly consists of immunosuppressive drugs. The doctor might prescribe different corticosteroids or hydroxychloroquine, as well as methotrexate in various doses. Depending on the severity of your lupus manifestations, you might find yourself having to follow a complex treatment plan.

CareClinic can be indeed considered as the best lupus app, helping you stay on the right track when it comes to your medication. You can organize reminders for each type of medication and receive notifications at the desired time. If you have difficulties following these notifications, you can also activate the snooze feature and keep on receiving alerts until you have actually taken your treatment.

You can add details about the right dose and the frequency with which the drug must be taken. In this way, you will ensure that you have taken the medication at the right time and also in a correct manner. Living with a chronic illness can be difficult to remember all your medication; CareClinic comes to the rescue, with its highly-useful pill reminder.

Period tracking, an important issue to consider

As lupus is a common condition diagnosed in women of childbearing age, it might be useful to use CareClinic to also keep track of your period. This will offer additional information to your treating physician, aside from the medical records and tracking of various manifestations.

By noticing the changes associated with the menstrual cycle – for example, some women feel more tired or experience soreness – you can identify additional patterns and find a more suitable treatment. The doctor might decide to adjust the treatment plan in order to minimize the flare-ups associated with menstruation.

Other features worth knowing

People who suffer from chronic conditions have to pay a lot of attention to their general well-being. The CareClinic app can be used for diet monitoring, among other things. You can rely on it to track your food intake, recording the foods that make you feel better or, on the contrary, worse (as well as make sure you are getting enough calories/you are not overeating). Moreover, you can use the application to follow a balanced diet and maintain the best possible state of health.

The application also allows you to record your physical activities. You can opt for simple activities, such as walking or climbing stairs, using CareClinic to keep track of your level of activity and general progress. Once again, the journal will be useful to identify activities that worsen your condition, as well as those that are beneficial.

A brief summary of lupus treatment solutions

As you have already read above, immunosuppressive medication is regularly prescribed to those who have been diagnosed with different types of lupus. Belimumab is one of the most recent medications to be indicated for the management of systemic lupus erythematosus.

Due to the psychological and social impact of this chronic condition, patients are advised to opt for cognitive behavioral therapy. This can help them find the best coping strategies, reducing the intensity and frequency of emotional manifestations (stress, anxiety, and depression).

Get started with CareClinic to make managing Lupus better for yourself, your caregivers and your loved ones, by clicking here.

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