Archive | January 2016

QUOTE FOR THE WEEKEND:

“They said I was a valued customer, now they send me hate mail.”

― Sophie Kinsella, Confessions of a Shopaholic (a British author and The first two novels in her best-selling Shopaholic series, The Secret Dreamworld of a Shopaholic and Shopaholic Abroad were adapted into the film Confessions of a Shopaholic starring Isla Fisher.)

Shopping Addiction

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Shopping addiction actually has a technical term that is called Omniomania. This means compulsive shopping and is perhaps the most socially reinforced of the behavioral addictions. Shopping addiction is characterized by the widespread desire to shop and purchase items despite a need for such items or despite a necessary ability to afford such items. Consumerism is one of the biggest measures of social elite in America and this makes shopping addiction an even more widespread problem for many.

Shopaholics, also known as compulsive shoppers or shopping addicts, may actually be suffering from a psychiatric disorder known as compulsive buying disorder.

Compulsive buying disorder (CBD) sufferers have a sense of excitement before a purchase, an inability to resist the urge to shop and a rush or sense of reward while spending, despite any negative consequences of their actions. CBD is considered an impulse-control disorder. Just as with other impulse-control disorders such as drug and alcohol addiction and pathological gambling, for many compulsive shoppers the “high”of the spending spree is followed by a low, where the powerful euphoric feelings are replaced with those of distress, shame and guilt.

Shopping addiction is not a newfound disorder. It has affected millions of people for many years and dates back to as early as the 19th century. Friends and family members go out and shop together, people shop socially, people shop for something to do and people shop to fulfill negative emotions. An addiction to shopping leads to compulsive shopping that can result in many negative feelings. According to the US National Library of Medicine, over 5% of Americans are affected by compulsive buying disorder.

While some of us may enjoy the thrill of an occasional splurge or scoring a good deal, spending more than you bargained for during an annual holiday shopping spree doesn’t automatically make you a shopaholic. But that thrill, what some shopaholics describe as a high, helps drive compulsive shoppers to want more — excessive shopping, uncontrolled spending sprees and impulse buys are the defining characteristics of compulsive buying disorder.

People who suffer from compulsive buying disorder may also have feelings of anxiety or tension while they try to resist the urge to shop. And unlike those who compulsively shop without regret during the manic periods of bipolar disorder, CBD sufferers often feel depressed or distressed for having given in to the urge and guilty over their growing debts after they’ve gone on a spree. But it can be those very feelings of distress, shame and depression that ignite the shopping addict to again seek the “high” that comes along with shopping, despite any negative consequences of their actions.

The average American has about three credit cards and knows how to use them — on average, a cardholder owes almost $16,000 on their plastic [source: Woolsey]. Compulsive shoppers have, on average, the same number of cards as the rest of us but the difference is that they’re more likely to maintain balances between $100 to $500 shy of each card’s maximum limit [source: Koran]. They shop excessively and impulsively, typically making their purchases on credit.

What’s excessive? Treating yourself to that pair of luxurious new boots you’ve had your eye on may feel excessive and unnecessary, especially if you’re on a tight budget, but compulsive shoppers might buy five, 10 or even 20 pairs of those boots without hesitation. Some shopaholics shop for the thrill of the purchase no matter what the item is. Others may have specific shopping preferences — consider the 2,000 to 3,000 pairs of shoes former first lady of the Philippines Imelda Marcos had collected, for example.

Any debt you can’t (or don’t) pay off quickly is too much debt. While the amount of debt you carry is ultimately going to be a personal decision, there’s a quick way to know for sure how your monthly financial obligations stack up against your monthly income. Add up your monthly debt obligations — that’s your rent or mortgage, your credit card, car loan, student loan and any other loan payments (this does not include what you pay for food, clothing, utilities or your discretionary spending). Add up your monthly income — that’s your gross salary plus any other income such as a bonus or alimony. If less than 30 percent of your income is used to pay your debts, you’re in pretty good shape at the moment. When the ratio begins to creep towards 40 percent or greater, though, it’s time for a financial intervention.

Do you think about shopping every day?  Do you shop for yourself every day or every week?  Do you understand why you shop – what drives it, what triggers it, and what consequences it has (could you write those things down or cogently describe them to someone else)?  Do you ever feel bad (guilty, ashamed, fearful) after a shopping trip?  Do you ever feel weirdly ‘up’ after a shopping trip (triumphant, exultant, complete)?  Does shopping fill a lot of your time, thoughts and creative energy?  Does shopping take a large portion of your disposable income? Is your relationship to shopping one of your most important? Do you have significant credit card debt, racked up on clothing, shoes and accessories purchases? Are you on a first name basis with the sales people of your favourite stores, you shop there so much?   Do you have the phone numbers of your favourite stores on speed dial? Is the thought of not going shopping for any period of time (a month, 6 months, a year) cause you to feel light-headed, heavy-hearted or short-of-breath with the sheer mortification of it?  Who’s the boss – shopping or you?

If you say yes to a lot of these questions or just know shopping is the boss than you have a shopping problem and it’s up to you only to make the choice in making this shopaholic habits be put to rest and allow you to control your own life not shopping control you. Good luck if you have or now know you have a problem.

How do you resolve it control it yourself or go to a doctor or psychologist or psychiatrist or even a specialist who majors in counseling people with this problem.

 

QUOTE FOR FRIDAY:

“Most cases of colon cancer begin as small, noncancerous (benign) clumps of cells called adenomatous polyps. Over time some of these polyps become colon cancers.”

MAYO CLINIC

QUOTE FOR THURSDAY:

“Many STDs cause no symptoms in some people, which is one of the reasons experts prefer the term “sexually transmitted infections” to “sexually transmitted diseases.”
MAYO CLINIC

Top 10 Sexual Diseases in the US

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Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) have been known to mankind for centuries. Before the advent of modern medicine, people’s lack of awareness and understanding of STDs contributed to the widespread transmission of the infections while few or no treatments were available to treat the conditions.

In medieval times, syphilis and gonorrhoea were two of the most prevalent STDs in Europe.

Some STDs can have severe, life-changing consequences; syphilis, for example, can eventually cause progressive destruction of the brain and spinal cord, leading to mental dysfunction and hallucinations, speech problems and general paresis.

It’s kind of puzzling that sexually transmitted diseases are so prevalent—particularly when you consider that you have to get pretty up close and personal to contract one. An STD is characterized by any disease that is spread by one partner to another via sexual contact, and that can be orally, vaginally, anally, or via hand to genital contact. Regardless, they are spread when one partner passes the disease-causing organism on to the other. Obviously, preventing STD transmission is first and foremost by practicing safe sex (PREVENTION) and not enough do it in America for some crazy reason hurting themselves and other people. However, if you think you might have contracted one of the most common STDs, recognizing the disease is imperative for swift treatment and preventing further spreading.

Top venereal diseases in the USA:

1-Gonorrhea

The Centers for Disease Control estimate that 700,000 new cases of Gonorrhea, or the “clap”, crop up every year. This long-term STD that is spread bacterially, affecting a female’s cervix, a male’s urethra, or the throat in both sexes, which means that it’s transmitted by vaginal, oral, and anal sex. The symptoms of gonorrhea are pretty subtle; the most noticeable being burning when urinating or a yellowish penile discharge in men.

2-Hepatitis

Sexually transmitted hepatitis is hepatitis B (or HBV), which afflicts more than 1.25 million individuals in the U.S. even though there is a vaccine. If left untreated, a Hep B infection will scar and damage the liver, causing cirrhosis and liver cancer. Unfortunately, over half of those affected show no symptoms, but those who do suffer muscle pain and fatigue, yellowing of the eyes (or jaundice), nausea, and a distended stomach.

3-Syphilis

Syphilis is a particularly sneaky STD that caused by a type bacterial infection of the genital tract, known as Treponema Pallidum. Syphilis is transmitted when direct contact is made between the small, painless sores on the mouth, rectum, vagina, or around the genitals in areas not protected by latex condoms. It can also be transmitted via infected mother to her baby during pregnancy. When there are no sores, the disease is still present. Syphilis symptoms are rare , however, the most telling are sores or lesions on and around the genitals, as well as hair loss, sore throat, fever; headache; and a white patchy skin rash.

4- Chlamydia

Like Gonorrhea, Chlamydia affects a man’s penile urethra and a woman’s cervix. However, oftentimes those who’ve contracted Chlamydia don’t show symptoms for months or even years, which explains why it’s the most common and rampant STD. If you do show symptoms, you’ll feel pain during intercourse and have a discolored, thick discharge from the vagina or penis. Transmitted via sexual penetration with an affected partner, using latex condoms can prevent transmission of this curable STD.

 5. Crabs

If you feel a creepy-crawly, itchy sensation in your genitals, you may have crabs (or public lice). They show themselves as visible eggs or lice in the coarse hair of the genital region (even if you shave it off), and they can spread to the armpits and eyebrows if left untreated. Typically transmitted via sexual contact, crabs can also be passed via contact with infested linens or clothing.

6. Human Papilloma Virus

Human Papilloma Virus (or HPV) is currently the most wide spread STD. It affects roughly three-quarters of the sexually active population and a staggering one-quarter of sexually active women, which is why there is a North American vaccine to protect young women from certain types of HPV that are linked to genital warts and cervical cancer. HPV is transmitted through genital contact—via vaginal and anal sex, and also oral sex and genital-to-genital contact. Most times HPV doesn’t show any symptoms until it’s far advanced, but genital warts as well as RRP, a condition where warts grow in the throat and eventually cause breathing difficulties are common.

7. Bacterial Vaginosis

Bacterial Vaginosis, or BV, is not always considered an STD even though it typically afflicts those of child-bearing age with multiple or new sex partners. BV occurs when healthy bacteria in the vagina overgrow and become imbalanced, causing burning and itching around the vagina and a thick, grey discharge with a strong fishy odor. Antibiotics will quickly clear up bouts of BV, but it can reoccur, leaving the victim prone to pelvic inflammatory disease, other STDs, and premature births (if pregnant).

 8. Herpes

Painful sores or lesions on your mouth or genitals may indicate herpes, a viral STD that comes in two forms HSV1 (herpes of the mouth) and HSV2 (herpes of the genitals). Herpes is transmitted skin-to-skin—for instance, from genital to genital, mouth to genital, or mouth to mouth contact with an infected individual, even when they don’t have visible sores. Even though herpes symptoms be treated with antibiotics, the virus never goes away and reoccurs typically 2 to 4 times per year.

9. Trichomoniasis

Trichomoniasis, or “trich”, often masks itself as a yeast infection or bacterial vaginosis (BV) in women with similar symptoms—including a thick, grey discharge, offensive vaginal odor, pain or burning intercourse, and itchiness. A parasitic trichomonas vaginalis infection affects the urethra and the vagina in women. It can be transmitted back and forth between sex partners (man to woman and woman to woman) via vaginal intercourse and contact. However, most men typically don’t have any symptoms.

10. HIV

HIV is transmitted via the exchange of body fluids—such as semen, vaginal secretions, blood, or breast milk. Within a month or 2 of contracting HIV, about 40 to 90-percent of those afflicted suffer from flu-like symptoms including fever, fatigue, achy muscles, swollen lymph glands, sore throat, headache, skin rash, dry cough, nausea, rapid weight loss, night sweats, frequent yeast infections (for women), cold sores, and eventually, pneumonia. Luckily, many individuals who are diagnosed early can live a long, productive life with HIV thanks to a combination of highly active anti-retroviral drug therapy, which prevents to progression to AIDS.

QUOTE FOR TUESDAY:

“About half of all men and one-third of all women in the US will develop cancer during their lifetimes. Today, millions of people are living with cancer or have had cancer.

The risk of developing many types of cancer can be reduced by changes in a person’s lifestyle, for example, by staying away from tobacco, limiting time in the sun, being physically active, and eating healthy.”

AMERICAN CANCER SOCIETY

What happens in the body when you have cancer?

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Cancer can be a simple disease or a monster to the body and let us first start reviewing the basics of cancer to understand this sentence. 

The body is made up of trillions of living cells.  Normal body cells grow, divide to make new cells, and die in an orderly fashion.  During the early years of a person’s life, normal cells divide faster to allow the person to grow. 

After the person becomes an adult, most cells divide only to replace worn-out or dying cells or to repair injuries. 

The pathophysiological responses of a patient with cancer are frequently determined by the size and extent of the tumor and by the presence or absence of metastases.

Cancer starts when cells in a part of the body start to grow out of control. Cancer cell growth is different from normal cell growth. Instead of dying, cancer cells continue to grow and form new, abnormal cells. Cancer cells can also invade (grow into) other tissues, something that normal cells cannot do. Growing out of control and invading other tissues are what makes a cell a cancer cell. Cells become cancer cells because of DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) damage.

DNA is in every cell and it directs all its actions. In a normal cell, when DNA is damaged the cell either repairs the damage or the cell dies. In cancer cells, the damaged DNA is not repaired, but the cell doesn’t die like it should. Instead, the cell goes on making new cells that the body doesn’t need. These new cells all have the same damaged DNA as the first abnormal cell does=cancer cells.

The normal cells of a human body=Our red blood cells (our iron and cells that provide nutrition to our tissues by feeding oxygen to all our tissues), our white blood cells (fight infection off our body-part of immunity system), and our platelets (controls our clotting of the blood) all are taken over by the cancer cells especially if the cancer is primarily in the bone or metastasized to the bone since this organ in the human body produces all our blood cells in the bone marrow and the cancer in that causes the bone marrow to make cancer cells which is hard to cure especially if your cancer in the bone is at grade 3 or 4.   If a patient’s cancer is grade 1 or 2 its much easier to treat to possible completely cure. 

Again cancer can be a simple disease or a monster.

People can inherit abnormal DNA (it’s passed on from their parents), but most often the DNA damage is caused by mistakes that happen while the normal cell is reproducing or by something in the environment. Sometimes the cause of the DNA damage may be something obvious like cigarette smoking or sun exposure. But it’s rare to know exactly what caused any one person’s cancer. In most cases, the cancer cells form a tumor.

Some cancers, like leukemia, rarely form tumors. Instead, these cancer cells involve the blood and blood-forming organs and circulate through other tissues where they grow. Neoplasms or “new growths” are relatively autonomous (independent).  This means that the growth and its behavior are more or less independent of the host (the normal body functions).

  Neoplasms have been defined as benign or malignant; cancer is a common synonym used to refer to a malignant neoplasm.  The difference between a benign and malignant neoplasm depends on its behavior in the host.  Now if the neoplasm stays localized, enlarges slowly, is homogeneous in appearance, and can be resected or removed, then it is benign. 

On the other hand, if the neoplasm spreads or metastasizes to other areas of the body, infiltrates and causes the destruction of normal tissue, left untreated, will kill the host, then the neoplasm is considered malignant (it takes over in the body).

If a large tumor is occupying the oral cavity, then the patients will have problems with ingestion that might lead to an altered immune-responsiveness. 

If the tumor is in the large colon, then obstruction of the lumen, changes in bowel habits, and GI bleeding can occur. 

In addition, if tumors are large they often outgrow the blood supply, which leads to necrosis and bleeding. 

However, all the above changes are relatively late signs; the tumor would be quite large for a patient to exhibit these effects.  Most small tumors are painless and symptomless. 

In one sense this is unfortunate.  If small tumors were painful, perhaps more patients would seek earlier treatment and tumors could be treated more successful being diagnosed before they are large.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

QUOTE FOR MONDAY:

Sciatica most commonly occurs when a herniated disk, bone spur on the spine or narrowing of the spine (spinal stenosis) compresses part of the nerve.

Mayo Clinic

QUOTE FOR THE WEEKEND:

It is the life of the crystal, the architect of the flake, the fire of the frost, the soul of the sunbeam. This crisp winter air is full of it.

~John Burroughs, “Winter Sunshine”.  (April 3, 1837 – March 29, 1921) was an American naturalist and nature essayist, active in the U.S. conservation movement.