Articles

Emotional Challenges of Vestibular Disorders

Throughout my struggle with vestibular disorders, setbacks presented difficult emotional and physical challenges. I knew the healing would not be linear, that I would reach plateaus and that there would be setbacks. Understanding these things intellectually and tolerating the setback with patience and grace were two different things entirely. One part of enduring without losing hope was gaining a sense of progress with the vestibular problem of the moment. With multiple problems it is essential...

Options for Treating Endolymphatic Hydrops

I had already been diagnosed and treated for the vestibular disorder perilymph fistulas. Now it was time to deal with another vestibular disorder: endolymphatic hydrops. Hydrops was basically a swelling inside the inner ear. Although many vestibular disorders have similar symptoms—for example, headache and dizziness—the treatment approaches are quite different. Dr. Black first determined that my hydrops was “out of control.” The normal range for the indicator...

Treating Vestibular Disorders: Perilymph Fistulas

Many vestibular disorders have similar symptoms, but the treatment approaches are quite different. For this reason, physicians need to determine which specific condition affects a person the most before recommending a treatment plan. For my perilymph fistulas, rips or tears in a membrane in my inner ear, my doctor put me on treatment that started with six to eight weeks of bed rest—carefully restricting pressure to the head, chest, or abdomen. Too much pressure could reopen the...

Food Triggers and Preventing Headaches with Diet

Even though it’s discussed frequently in the popular media, the subject of food sensitivities is very complex, and the ways in which foods and food additives affect those with headaches are even more difficult to understand. But for about 20% to 25% of headache sufferers, learning to identify food triggers can be life-changing. In addition to individual food allergies, the following are some triggers that are thought to cause headaches: ...

10 Things on the Horizon for Treating Parkinson’s Disease

The Parkinson's disease (PD) community is lucky because there are thousands of multi/interdisciplinary health care professionals dedicated to research, care, and outreach planet-wide. The network that we have developed is diverse, and so it is difficult to be concrete in making predictions. We hope that there will be more than 10 new and innovative things that will help speed the evolution and fuel the revolution in PD services. For now, we can look forward to the following 10 developments in...

Are Alternative or Complementary Medications for Parkinson's Disease Common?

With the widespread utilization of the Internet, the use of complementary therapies by people with Parkinson's disease (PD) has dramatically risen. Even as early as a decade ago, a study showed that 40% of people with PD utilized complementary therapies including vitamins, herbs, massage, and acupuncture. Unfortunately, little scientific evidence existed regarding the safety and efficacy of most of these alternative treatments. Twelve years ago, the out-of-pocket conservative expenditures...

Exercising Right with Diabetes

Exercise is important for all people, but it is also an important way to help regulate blood sugar for people with diabetes. Physical activity can help reduce high blood sugar and put you back in the normal blood sugar range. The reason for this is that physical activity makes muscles more sensitive to insulin, and therefore glucose is used at a much faster rate. Studies of sedentary individuals have shown that those who engage in regular,...

Medicating Diabetes with Insulin Injections

When lifestyle changes such as healthy eating, weight loss, and exercise are not enough to normalize blood sugars for diabetics, there is always medication to consider as an option. There are two kinds of medications: oral antidiabetic medications and injectable antidiabetic medication (e.g. insulin). Oral antidiabetic medications may sound more appealing to people trying to control their blood sugar. When you look at the side effects of some of the drugs, however, you may decide that...

What to Do if You're Having a Heart Attack - and Are You?

Let’s get the important stuff out of the way first. Are you having chest pain or pressure? If you are, ask yourself these questions: Can I make it feel better or worse by moving or pressing on my chest? Does it hurt to cough or breathe? Have I ever felt this before? If you answer “no” to all three questions, stop reading this and call 911. If you can answer yes to some or all of these, I still have one more question for you: Do you think the chest...

Tips for Seniors: Keeping Track of Your Medications

I used to pride myself on being drug free, and then my doctor raised an eyebrow at my blood pressure. Now I have to take a couple of medications to keep it under control. Oh! You thought I meant the other kind of drug free? Well, yeah, I’m that, too. As far as I’m concerned, keeping track of my medications is pretty easy: every morning I take one of each pill. That’s it, just two pills a day. I’m not organized enough to order my prescription by mail 3 months at a time, but...