Medical News Today: Average life expectancies for cystic fibrosis

Cystic fibrosis (CF) can affect a person’s quality of life and influence their life expectancy. How long someone with CF can expect to live depends on their age and the stage of their condition.

Before the 1980s, about half of the people with CF did not live into their 20s. However, over the past few decades, life expectancy for people with this condition has improved dramatically.

Thanks to advances in treatment and care, people with CF can now expect to live much longer. In fact, recent research suggests that by 2025, the number of adults living with CF will increase by approximately 75%.

Several factors — including sex, lifestyle choices, any infections, and the type of CF gene mutation that a person has — can influence life expectancy.

Some research has reported that people with CF find information on life expectancy to be useful. It may especially help with formulating a healthcare plan and dealing emotionally with the condition.

In this article, we look at average life expectancies for people with CF based on their age and other factors.


Life expectancies by birth year

a teenage girl with Cystic fibrosis looking out to sea and wondering what her life expectancy is
Life expectancy for people with CF has increased dramatically over the last few decades.

The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Patient Registry tracks people with CF who are receiving care at specialist centers across the United States.

The Patient Registry Annual Data Report publishes the median predicted survival age of people with CF based on their year of birth. The median predicted survival age is an internationally accepted way to estimate life expectancy.

Unlike a mean average, the median uses the midpoint in a set of numbers. It more accurately reflects the age that a person with CF can expect to reach.

Based on the 2017 statistics, the median predicted survival ages are:

The data also indicate that half of all babies born with CF in 2017 will live to be 46 or older.

Other statistics suggest that more than 50% of babies with CF born in 2018 and 50% of people with CF aged 30 or older in 2018 will likely reach at least their fifth decade of life.

It is important to note that small changes in the CF population can have significant effects on the calculations. The current figures for life expectancy at birth are estimates that can change from one year to the next.

Also, these predictions do not take into account the potential for improvements in care and treatment that may occur as people age.

It is also important to note that these figures are just averages. Some people will live longer. In fact, some people with CF are living into their 70s.


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Life expectancy outside the US

These statistics reflect current life expectancy rates in developed countries, such as the U.S. and the United Kingdom.

However, Cystic Fibrosis Worldwide suggest that in developing countries, such as El Salvador and India, life expectancy for people with CF is under 15 years of age.

Quality of life with CF

a young boy having his chest examined by a doctor.
A doctor will consider a person’s quality of life when treating CF.

When discussing life expectancy, it is also important to consider a person’s quality of life. How an individual views their quality of life depends on a number of factors, including their age and general health status.

Many people with CF develop health complications as they age. Some of these can contribute to reduced quality of life and early death.

Potential complications include:

  • bile duct or intestinal obstructions
  • bronchiectasis, a condition that causes airway damage
  • chronic infections, including bronchitis and pneumonia
  • diabetes
  • infertility, particularly in males
  • nutritional deficiencies
  • osteoporosis, a type of bone condition
  • pneumothorax, which involves air collecting in the space between the lungs and the chest wall
  • respiratory failure

Despite the possibility of these complications, some research suggests that the perception of quality of life improves as people with CF get older. The study relied on self-reported data from more than 300 adults with CF.

More specifically, the findings suggest that as people with CF age, they perceive their treatment burden differently and their “emotional functioning” increases.

This differs from person to person, however. For example, people with better lung function consistently rate their quality of life as being higher, compared with the ratings of people with poorer lung function.


End stage CF

In the later stages of CF, complications often cause serious problems for people. These complications typically affect the lungs, but they may also affect the:

  • endocrine (hormone) system
  • intestines
  • liver
  • pancreas

The leading causes of death among people with CF are respiratory failure and chronic progressive pulmonary disease.

Other conditions, such as acute pancreatitis, can lead to fatal heart, lung, or kidney issues.

Factors that influence life expectancy

Several factors can influence a person’s quality of life and life expectancy. These include:

Age

As people get older, there is an increased risk of complications, some of which can be fatal.

However, other factors may have a greater influence on life expectancy, which is why some people with CF live into their 70s.

Sex

Women with CF have a poorer outlook than men with the condition. Some research suggests that this is due to the increased risk of death in women with CF-related diabetes.

Health status

Life expectancy for people with CF largely depends on the complications that they develop. Conditions associated with a lower survival rate include:

  • certain infections, including Staphylococcus aureus
  • diabetes, in women
  • being female
  • malnutrition
  • low body mass index, or BMI
  • pancreatic insufficiency
  • low lung function
  • frequent pulmonary exacerbations, or episodes during which lung symptoms get worse

Gene variation

To date, researchers have discovered over 1,700 mutations in the CFTR gene that can give rise to CF. Some mutations cause more severe symptoms than others, and some may be associated with earlier death.

For example, the delta F508 mutation is one that scientists have linked with a shorter life expectancy. This is the most common mutation, representing around 70% of mutations.

Treatments

surgeons working on surgery for ms
A lung transplant may increase the life expectancy of a person with CF.

There are many treatment options available for CF. Often, people receive a combination of treatments, depending on their symptoms and complications.

For example, people with severe lung problems may require a lung transplant. Although this does not cure CF, receiving a transplant may improve survival and quality of life. The 5 year survival rate after a transplant is approximately 50%.

Newer treatments, including inhaled antibiotics and other medications, have increased and will likely continue to increase life expectancy rates going forward.

Also, the availability of newborn screening tests in all 50 states means that most people in the U.S. can receive a diagnosis and treatment at the earliest stage. In general, the earlier people begin treatment, the better their outlook will be.

Other factors

Some other factors can play a role in life expectancy rates. For example, exposure to cigarette smoke or a low socioeconomic status may increase the risk of earlier death.


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Outlook

Although there is no cure for CF, people with the condition are now living longer than ever. Their self-reported quality of life is also much better than in previous decades.

Researchers continue to investigate the genetic mutations that cause CF and work toward potential treatments and cures.

It is important for people with CF to try to remain optimistic about the future, as scientists continue to make advances.

Source Article from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/326316.php

Medical News Today: Can you take Adderall and Xanax together?

Xanax is a benzodiazepine, while Adderall is a stimulant. Under the supervision of a doctor, the drugs may be safe to use together.

Benzodiazepines slow down activity in the central nervous system and can help a person feel more relaxed and less anxious. Stimulants, on the other hand, speed up central nervous system activity, helping a person feel more awake and focused.

Since these drugs have opposite effects on the central nervous system, they may work less well if a person takes them together.

It is not safe to combine Xanax (alprazolam) and Adderall (mixed amphetamine salts) without a prescription. Learn more about Adderall and Xanax, and how they may interact with each other, in this article.


Are Adderall and Xanax safe to take together?

A woman putting Adderall and Xanax into a medicine box
Adderall and Xanax might work less well when a person takes them together.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) labels for Xanax and Adderall do not list interactions between these two drugs. No official guidelines recommend that people avoid taking Xanax and Adderall together.

Under the guidance of a doctor who has diagnosed a person with conditions for which each drug is appropriate, taking Xanax and Adderall together may be safe.

However, as with any other drug, these two medications may interact in harmful ways. This risk is especially so in those with serious medical conditions and anyone who use these drugs without a prescription.

A person who uses Adderall as a performance-enhancing drug might feel jittery or anxious, and they may take Xanax to calm their nerves. As the drugs have opposing effects on the central nervous system, neither drug may work as well.

It is also vital to note that benzodiazepines such as Xanax are a major culprit in the drug overdose epidemic.

In 2017, 11,537 people in the United States died of overdoses involving benzodiazepine. Most of these cases involved taking benzodiazepine with another drug, usually opioids.

As Xanax and similar drugs depress brain activity and can make a person feel sleepy, they are dangerous to take with any other medication that has similar effects.

While opioids are the leading cause of drug related overdose, benzodiazepines, such as Xanax, followed closely behind in 2016. Xanax was involved in 6,209 overdose deaths that year, accounting for 9.8 percent of all drug overdose deaths.


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Interactions

The way Adderall and Xanax interact depends on many factors, including a person’s overall health.

In some cases, stimulant drugs may cause someone to need more oxygen, especially when the individual becomes more active. Conversely, benzodiazepines can slow breathing, making it difficult for a person to meet their oxygen needs.

While some people take Xanax and Adderall to treat both anxiety and symptoms of ADHD, others mistakenly believe they can reverse an overdose of one drug with the other.

People who suspect they have overdosed on Xanax or Adderall should seek emergency medical care rather than self-medicate with another drug. Trying to reverse an overdose with a second drug can intensify the effects of the first drug or cause serious complications.

The risk of taking Adderall and Xanax together is highest when:

  • A person takes significantly more than the recommended dose.
  • A person combines the two drugs with another drug, such as alcohol or opioids.
  • A person has a medical condition, such as a heart or breathing defect or cardiovascular disease.

What to do

A person who has taken both drugs under a doctor’s guidance should speak to their doctor if they have any queries. If someone accidentally takes more than the recommended dosage, they must call the doctor.

A person who takes significantly more than the recommended dose should call a poison control center, go to the emergency room, or dial 911. They must not go to sleep.

People must not assume that the absence of symptoms, such as vomiting, means there is no risk of overdose. Sometimes, signs of an overdose take several hours to appear.

An individual who has overdosed may fall into a deep sleep that prevents them from seeking help. Secondary overdose symptoms, such as vomiting, may also be harmful, for example, when someone vomits in their sleep and chokes.


Other options

Xanax can treat several medical conditions, including anxiety and panic disorder. Some doctors may also prescribe it to treat insomnia, which is an off-label use of the medication.

Adderall can treat ADHD and narcolepsy. A person should only consider taking both drugs under the direction of a doctor when they have anxiety and ADHD, or another FDA-approved reason for taking either medication.

To reduce the risk of dangerous drug interactions, people can ask a doctor about alternative medications.

It is also crucial to get an accurate diagnosis of any illness, for example, some people with ADHD experience anxiety related to their inattention. Treating the ADHD may relieve the underlying anxiety, eliminating the need for an anti-anxiety drug.

Some other strategies that can reduce the risk of interactions and side effects include:

  • Starting with one drug, and only add a second after the body has adjusted to the first.
  • Asking the doctor to start with a low dosage, then gradually increase the amount.
  • Discussing the risks and benefits of using both drugs with a doctor.
  • Telling a doctor about all medication a person takes, including supplements.
  • Keeping a log of any side effects and telling a doctor about any new symptoms.

When to speak to a doctor

a patient with hyperkalemia speaking to doctor in office
If a person feels jittery after taking either drug, they should speak to their doctor.

A person should never take Adderall or Xanax without a prescription and must first see a doctor for any symptoms of anxiety, ADHD, or unusual sleep patterns.

People should speak to a doctor if:

  • they feel jittery, anxious, or angry when taking either drug
  • they develop new side effects after taking a second drug
  • they feel dependent on Adderall or Xanax
  • they start taking more than the recommended dosage

Seek emergency medical attention if:

  • A person takes much more than the recommended dosage of either drug.
  • A person develops serious side effects, such as slurred speech, a rash, trouble breathing, dramatic personality changes, or trouble staying awake, after taking either drug.
  • A person loses consciousness after combining Adderall and Xanax.


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Summary

Adderall and Xanax can offer quick relief from some mental health symptoms. Under a doctor’s strict guidance, they may be safe to use together. However, it is never safe to use these drugs without a prescription.

Self-diagnosis is not always reliable and deviating from the dosage a doctor recommends increases the risk of addiction and overdose.

Doctors who prescribe these drugs understand that they can be addictive and are able to work with an individual to find alternatives. It is essential that people are honest about all their symptoms, including those of prescription drug abuse.

Source Article from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/326314.php

Medical News Today: What to know about muscle fatigue

Muscle fatigue: Causes and treatments

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Medical News Today: What are the common causes of food poisoning?

Food poisoning occurs when a person eats food that contains bacteria, viruses, or other pathogens that can make people sick.

Dozens of microbes can cause food poisoning. However, some of the most common include norovirus and Salmonella.

Escherichia coli (E. coli) is less common, and it typically causes more severe symptoms.

Any contaminated food can cause food poisoning, though some foods are more vulnerable than others to contamination.

In this article, learn about which foods are more likely to cause food poisoning, as well as how to take steps to prevent it.

6 foods with a high risk of food poisoning

a woman cracking eggs which are one of the foods that cause food poisoning
A person may get Salmonella from eating raw or undercooked eggs.

Researchers have identified more than 250 foodborne diseases.

Some of the germs that cause these illnesses grow more easily on particular foods.

Certain food preparation practices can also increase the risk of food poisoning, such as when a person prepares vegetables on an unwashed cutting board where they previously prepared meat.

Some foods that present a higher risk of food poisoning include:

1. Eggs

Salmonella, one of the germs that commonly causes food poisoning, may contaminate eggs. The risk of contamination is much higher when a person eats raw or undercooked eggs.

Salmonella can contaminate eggs when the birds that lay them have the infection. The infection can contaminate the insides of the eggs as they form in the bird’s body.

Contaminated feces from an infected bird can also affect the egg.

Staphylococcus aureus (Staph aureus) is a bacterium that produces poison in food that has been unrefrigerated for too long. Although cooking the food can kill the majority of bacteria, the Staph aureus toxins remain and may still cause illness.

To reduce the risk of infection, keep eggs refrigerated at 40°F (4.4°C) or lower. Do not use cracked or damaged eggs, and thoroughly cook eggs until the yolks are firm. For dishes that require partially uncooked eggs, only use pasteurized eggs.

Any meal that contains eggs or egg based mayonnaise also needs to be refrigerated within 2 hours of preparation.

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2. Meat

Meat, especially uncooked or undercooked meat, can carry a wide range of foodborne illnesses, such as Salmonella, E. coli, Clostridium perfringens, and Yersinia.

Contaminated meat can also infect other foods via cross-contamination. To reduce the risk of cross-contamination, people should:

  • wash their hands after handling raw or undercooked meat
  • not store raw meat near or with other foods
  • thoroughly wash any utensils they used for meat preparation
  • fully cook meat using a cooking thermometer
  • refrigerate any leftovers

Cooking meat to a high internal temperature will kill most pathogens, but the required temperature will vary with the type of meat. People can check the guidelines for each type of food.

Be sure to refrigerate meat within 2 hours of preparation and take special care to keep meat and meat dishes chilled if eating outside. This helps prevent Staph aureus infections.

3. Produce

sprouts in a colander
If people keep sprouts in warm, humid conditions, they may cause Listeria, E. coli, or Salmonella.

Almost half of food poisoning cases are from infected produce. Leafy greens, fruits, and sprouts can infect a person with Listeria, E. coli, Salmonella, and other pathogens.

Sprouts are a common culprit because they need warm, humid conditions to grow. These conditions also provide an ideal breeding ground for bacteria and other germs.

Pregnant women and other people at risk of severe illness related to food poisoning should not eat sprouts.

To reduce the risk of illness from produce, people should:

  • wash all fruits and vegetables
  • refrigerate peeled or chopped produce within 2 hours, or 1 hour if the outside temperature is 90°F (32.2°C) or higher
  • separate fruits and vegetables from other raw foods, especially meats

4. Fermented food

Fermented and canned foods use healthful bacteria to give the foods their flavor. Properly fermented and canned foods are safe, but when something goes wrong in the fermenting process, dangerous bacteria can get into the food.

One of the biggest risks of fermented food is a botulism infection. Botulism damages the nervous system and causes paralysis. It can be fatal if a person does not receive prompt treatment.

Low acid foods are more likely to cause botulism from home canning. Such foods include:

  • green beans
  • asparagus
  • corn
  • beets
  • potatoes

In Alaska, fermented fish and seafood are the primary cause of botulism.

Avoiding these fermented foods can reduce the risk of food poisoning. People must also refrigerate any oils they use in home canning and refrigerate canned foods after opening.

5. Seafood

Seafood, especially raw and undercooked foods such as shellfish, causes many types of food poisoning, including illnesses from Listeria and Salmonella.

Seafood can also cause an infection called Vibrio, or vibriosis. Vibrio vulnificus can cause dangerous and life threatening wound infections.

Many people call Vibrio vulnificus “flesh eating bacteria,” as it causes the flesh around the wound to die.

To reduce the risk of this infection, people should wash their hands when preparing seafood. People at high risk of foodborne illnesses should avoid raw or undercooked seafood altogether.

It is also best to avoid eating seafood from areas that have recently had an outbreak of Vibrio vulnificus.

Although eating raw oysters at any time of the year can cause vibriosis, most cases seem to occur during the summer months of May to October, when ocean waters are warmer.

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6. Unpasteurized milk and cheeses

Soft cheeses, raw milk, and unpasteurized milk are all breeding grounds for bacteria, including Listeria. Pregnant women and other groups with a high risk of foodborne illness should consider avoiding these foods altogether.

Washing the hands before and after eating unpasteurized foods can reduce the risk of infection, as can only eating soft cheeses made from pasteurized milk.

Cottage food operations, such as small vendors who sell at farmers markets, may not pasteurize or properly store their products. So, always exercise caution when purchasing these items, and consider asking about food safety.

Dairy products and meals containing dairy products left out at room temperature may also enable Staph aureus to grow and cause foodborne illnesses.

Take care to ensure that meals and foods containing dairy products are refrigerated at 35–40°F (1.6 to 4.4°C) within 2 hours of preparation.


Treatment

a person cleaning a surface.
Thoroughly cleaning and disinfecting a surface after use may help prevent food poisoning.

Treatment for food poisoning depends on the type of infection a person has.

In mild cases, food poisoning can clear up on its own, especially in adults who are otherwise healthy. Children, older adults, and pregnant women may be more prone to severe illness and should always see a doctor for suspected food poisoning.

In most cases, treatment focuses on managing symptoms and preventing dehydration. In the hospital, a doctor may recommend intravenous fluids or prescription antinausea drugs.

Home treatment usually includes consuming electrolyte drinks, drinking lots of water, and resting. Note that sports drinks such as Gatorade cannot adequately replace lost electrolytes, so a person should not drink them to treat food poisoning.


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Prevention

Safe food handling is key to preventing food poisoning. To reduce the risk, people should:

  • thoroughly cook foods that present a high risk of causing food poisoning if a person eats them raw
  • avoid foods with a high risk of causing food poisoning (if the person has a weak immune system or is at risk of illness)
  • avoid cross-contamination by preparing different foods on different surfaces
  • thoroughly clean and disinfect each surface after use
  • wash their hands before preparing food, before eating, and when transitioning from preparing one food to another
  • refrigerate foods at 35–40°F (1.6 to 4.4°C) within 2 hours of preparation
  • avoid leaving foods unrefrigerated for longer than 2 hours at any time after preparation


Summary

Food poisoning is usually a minor illness that requires a person to take a few days off work or school. However, more severe cases may require a hospital stay or even be life threatening.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggest that each year, about 128,000 people go to the hospital because of food poisoning and around 3,000 die.

People should see a doctor for any symptoms of foodborne illness. Receiving prompt treatment may help reduce the risk of serious complications.

Source Article from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/326307.php

Medical News Today: What to know about the 10-panel drug test

A 10-panel drug test is a common way to check for various drugs in a person’s body. The most common 10-panel drug tests use urine to check for many of the legal and illicit drugs people sometimes abuse.

Typically, traces of these substances in the urine mean the individual has these substances in their body. However, false positives can occur, where the test detects drugs when a person has not taken any.

The tests are simple to administer and take and are widely available. Similar tests are popular for testing potential employees, though a simpler 4- or 5-panel drug test with alcohol is more common.

What is a 10-panel drug test?

a urine test as part of a 10 panel drug test
The standard 10-panel drug test uses a person’s urine to check for drug residues.

A 10-panel drug test will look for 10 of the most common drugs that a person may be abusing. This selection usually includes five common prescription medications and five illicit street drugs.

Standard 10-panel drug tests normally test a person’s urine. This is a simple approach, as these drugs leave traces in the urine when it passes out of the body.

As a study in the journal Analytical Toxicology notes, urine testing is also more likely to detect substance use than other forms of tests, such as saliva tests.

There are some tests that use other substances, such as blood or hair, to test for the drugs. These may be more accurate in some cases, but the process is more complicated.

Many administrators prefer to use urine tests because of the accuracy and simplicity of the process.


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What drugs can the test find?

As the name suggests, a 10-panel drug tests will test the person for 10 different types of drugs. These are most of the drugs people commonly abuse, including both street and prescription drugs.

Marijuana

10-panel drug tests will test for marijuana and its resins, such as:

  • marijuana
  • hashish
  • extracts, including THC oil, wax, and glass

Cocaine

10-panel drug tests will also test for cocaine and other drugs containing cocaine, such as freebase or crack cocaine.

Opioids

Opioids come in many different forms, from prescription pills to illegal drugs. Some of the most common include:

  • smoked opium
  • heroin
  • morphine
  • codeine
  • oxycodone
  • hydrocodone

Benzodiazepines, or benzos

a pile of presciption drugs on a table.
Benzodiazepines are among the drugs that the 10-panel drug test checks for.

10-panel drug tests will also check for benzodiazepines, or benzos, which include common drugs, such as:

  • diazepam (Valium)
  • alprazolam (Xanax)
  • lorazepam (Ativan)

Doctors may prescribe these drugs for certain medical issues, but they also have a risk of abuse.

Amphetamines

Amphetamines the test detects include:

  • methamphetamine, or meth
  • amphetamine sulfate, or speed
  • attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) medications, such as Ritalin and Adderall

Barbiturates

Several barbiturates leave similar residues that the 10-panel drug test may pick up. These include:

  • amobarbital
  • phenobarbitol
  • penobarbitiol
  • secobarbital

Individual drugs

The test will also screen for the traces of individual drugs, including:

  • phencyclidine (PCP)
  • methadone
  • methaqualone (Quaaludes)
  • propoxyphene

These drugs do not fit into other categories and have their own panel for testing.

Detection times

While a 10-panel drug test may help screen for drug use, it has limitations.

Detection times refer to the amount of time it takes for the body to get rid of the byproducts of the drugs. Detection times for different drugs vary greatly.

Detection times may depend on the type of drug, how much the person took, and how fast their metabolism works.

Another important fact to note is that a 10-panel drug test will not tell if the person is currently on the drug. The tests measure byproducts in the body that come from breaking down the drug, so they cannot detect how much of the drug is circulating in the body.

The following table provides a rough estimate for detection times for various drugs via urine tests:


How and when to get one

10-panel drug tests are widely available online and from some specialist stores selling pharmaceutical equipment. Ordering a test through a doctor’s office or lab itself is the most direct way. However, there are also some kits a person can buy and send to the lab themselves. This latter option may be a bit more tricky, however.

Most companies or doctors will work directly with a lab that analyzes the results of the test. Going through them to get the test done is a simple, direct approach.

What to expect

If a company or organization requires a person to take a 10-panel drug test, they will generally give them notice of about 24 hours. Some professions may require the person to agree to random drug testing where they have little to no knowledge of the test beforehand.

The test administrators may have special preparation instructions as well. These may include not urinating for a couple of hours before the test or avoiding drinking extra water before the test.

Procedure

The test environment may differ depending on who administers the test. Bathrooms are common locations, as these tests require urine. In some cases, the administrator may ask a person to use a particular bathroom stall to take the test.

If an administrator is concerned with contamination, they may take precautions such as turning off tap water in the bathroom or adding a dye to the toilet water. This can make the test more accurate and prevent tampering.

In rare cases, a same sex administrator stays in the room with the person to be sure they take the test.

Taking the test

The test itself is straightforward. The person starts urinating and collects urine in the collection cup during the middle of their urine stream. They then close the container with the lid and give the sample to the test administrator.

Analyzing the results

When they receive the sample, the lab will test the urine for the 10 different drugs. Some tests offer onsite results that can analyze the urine samples straightaway. With that said, most samples will go to a lab for analysis, which can take a few days.


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What do the results mean?

There are three possible results from the test. These results are:

  • positive
  • negative
  • inconclusive

Positive results

a researcher doing some lab work
If a person has detectable amounts of certain drugs in their system, the result will be positive.

A positive result indicates that the drug or its byproducts are present in the person’s system in detectable amounts. This finding suggests they have used the drug recently.

As the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration point out, federal employees and employees in many other safety fields have the right to have a second lab test their specimen if they receive a positive result. This precaution helps protect the individual from disciplinary action due to false positives.

Negative results

A negative result indicates that the drugs tested for are not present or are not present in a high enough quantity to detect. It does not indicate that the person has never used the drugs or that they will not use the drugs in the future.

Inconclusive results

An inconclusive result means the test was not successful. Labs may order the test again if results come back as inconclusive.

Summary

A 10-panel drug test is not the most common drug test. For instance, most employers who require testing will use a 4- or 5-panel drug test and an alcohol test. With that said, some professions involving personal and public safety may require regular 10-panel drug tests.

10-panel drug tests can effectively test for 10 substances within their own window of detection. These detection times vary with each drug and personal factors, such as individual metabolism.

Labs may check positive drug results again to confirm their diagnosis and avoid false positives. Inconclusive results may mean the person needs to repeat the test.

Source Article from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/326305.php

Medical News Today: Olive oil for ears: Everything you need to know

Olive oil in ear: Uses, effectiveness, and safety

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Medical News Today: Foods to eat and avoid with the flu

A person may not feel like eating much when they have the flu. However, certain foods may aid recovery.

The flu is a collective term that refers to infection with an influenza virus.

Eating nourishing food and drinking plenty of fluids can provide essential nutrients and keep the body hydrated, which may help speed recovery from the flu.

In this article, we describe which foods may help or harm a person who has the flu, according to scientific evidence. Read on for a practical dietary guide to recovery from the flu.

Which foods may help flu recovery?

Medical research suggests that the following foods may reduce symptoms of the flu:

Chicken soup

a bowl of chicken soup which is What to eat when you have the flu
Chicken soup may reduce inflammatory responses in the body.

A study from 2000 suggests that common ingredients in chicken soup may collectively combat inflammation, reducing inflammatory responses in the body.

As a result, chicken soup may help clear congestion in the nose and airways and soothe other symptoms in the upper respiratory tract.

Other soups, including vegetarian or vegan options, may have similar effects.

Soups can be nutritious, easy to digest, soothing, and easy to prepare, even during illnesses. Also, because they contain water, soups can promote hydration.

Garlic

Garlic may have antiviral and antimicrobial properties. These can help support the immune system as it combats infection, including a cold or the flu.

Authors of a 2014 review have looked at the effects of garlic on the common cold.

They refer to a 146-participant study in which participants who took a garlic supplement every day for 3 months had fewer colds than those who took a placebo. The authors note that confirming the effects will require further research, however.

Eating meals with plenty of garlic may help the body fight off infection.

Learn more about the health benefits of garlic.

Foods high in vitamin C

Fruits and vegetables rich in vitamin C help support the immune system. Those with the highest levels of vitamin C include:

  • sweet or hot peppers of any color
  • oranges and orange juice
  • grapefruit
  • kiwifruit

Many fruits and vegetables rich in vitamin C are also excellent sources of flavonoids, which are compounds that can provide a wide range of health benefits. For example, flavonoids may help reduce the risk of upper respiratory tract infections.

Beyond the foods listed above, good sources of both vitamin C and flavonoids include:

  • other citrus fruits, such as lemons
  • red, blue, or purple berries
  • red or purple grapes
  • raw broccoli
  • raw, dark leafy greens

Ginger

ginger appears to lower blood sugar levels in diabetes
A person can combine ginger with water, honey, and lemon to make an herbal tea.

Ginger may help relieve any nausea that accompanies the flu. Properties in ginger can help with the digestive process, and the emptying of the stomach, in particular.

One review found evidence to suggest that ginger was more effective than a placebo in treating:

The researchers also noted that ginger helped lower the frequency of vomiting and the intensity of nausea during pregnancy.

Chopped ginger root or ground ginger can be a delicious addition to soups, stews, and other meals. Ginger also goes well in herbal teas or a mixture of hot water, honey, and lemon.

Leafy greens

Leafy greens contain plenty of fiber, which aids digestion. These vegetables also provide key nutrients, such as:

These play an important role in supporting the immune system.

Leafy green vegetables may also have antibacterial properties and anti-inflammatory effects. As a result, eating leafy greens may help the body heal from the flu.

Leafy greens can be an easy addition to soups or stews. They can also make an excellent side dish. Examples of these vegetables include:

  • kale
  • spinach
  • cabbage
  • Swiss chard
  • collard greens

Oatmeal

Oatmeal is filling, easy to make, and a great source of fiber. In fact, the prebiotic fiber in oats can help feed healthful bacteria in the body.

Adding a banana to oatmeal can provide extra fiber, as well as vitamins such as potassium.

This may be especially beneficial for a person with flu symptoms because a fever, diarrhea, and vomiting can all deplete levels of potassium and other electrolytes.

Bland foods

The flu can cause nausea, and rich foods may not be appealing. Bland foods, such as toast or brown rice, may be easier to eat.

Pairing either toast or brown rice with soups or simple, vegetable-based meals can ensure that the body is getting enough vitamins and minerals.

Yogurt

Eating yogurt that contains live bacteria may help fight off the flu. Yogurt is also a good source of protein.

A 2011 study found that fermented yogurt combatted the flu virus in mice. However, confirming this effect in humans will require further research.

It is important to note that dairy increases mucus production in some people. This can temporarily worsen flu symptoms.

Other fermented foods, such as sauerkraut, kombucha, and plant-based yogurts, are excellent substitutes that also contain live bacteria.

Here, learn about the possible health benefits of Greek yogurt.

Fluids

Staying hydrated is one of the most important things that a person can do to help their body fight off the flu.

Below are some fluids that may be particularly helpful:

  • Water: The kidneys use water to flush waste products from the body. Drinking plenty of water may help speed recovery.
  • Coconut water: Coconut water is rich in potassium, sodium, and chloride. Drinking coconut water may help replace electrolytes that the body loses through sweating, vomiting, or diarrhea.
  • Hot water with honey, lemon, and ginger: The ginger in this soothing drink may reduce nausea.


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Foods to avoid

Certain foods and drinks may slow recovery from the flu, including:

  • Alcohol: Alcohol dehydrates the body and reduces the function of the immune system.
  • Processed foods: These can be high in salt, which can dehydrate the body, and sugar, which can increase inflammation.
  • Greasy foods: These can slow down digestion.
  • Dairy: Lactose, a compound in dairy, can be hard to digest. Anyone who is feeling nauseous or who experiences increased mucus production after eating dairy should avoid it until flu symptoms resolve.
  • Food with rough edges: Crackers and other crispy foods can scratch the throat and worsen any soreness.

Other recovery tips

If a person has mild to moderate flu symptoms, staying home and resting is best.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend:

  • staying home until at least 24 hours have passed since a fever subsided
  • that anyone younger than 18 refrain from taking aspirin for their symptoms

Taking aspirin can cause Reye’s syndrome, a rare disorder, in people under 18.

Avoiding contact with other people can help keep the flu from spreading.

People who smoke should avoid it while they have the flu. Smoking can aggravate flu symptoms and delay recovery.

Taking medicine such as acetaminophen can help relieve a fever and ease aches and pains.


When to see a doctor

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People with existing medical conditions should see their doctors if they experience flu symptoms.

Anyone with concerns about their flu symptoms should see a doctor.

The flu can have more severe effects for certain people, including:

  • people aged 65 or over
  • babies and young children
  • pregnant women
  • people with existing medical conditions

Anyone in these groups should seek treatment within 2 days of getting the flu to prevent complications. A doctor may prescribe antiviral medications.

Summary

Certain nourishing foods and drinks may aid recovery from the flu — by supporting the immune system or helping to fight inflammation, for example.

Other foods and drinks may slow recovery. Dairy and greasy foods may increase the risk of nausea and be difficult to digest, while alcohol can cause dehydration.

Anyone with severe flu symptoms should see a doctor.

Also, some people have a higher risk of more severe flu symptoms and complications. Anyone in a high-risk group should see a doctor about flu symptoms, even when they are mild.

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Medical News Today: How to stop or reduce a stutter

Stuttering is a speech disorder. People who stutter may repeat sounds, syllables, or words, or they may prolong sounds. There may also be interruptions to the normal flow of speech, known as blocks, along with unusual expressions or movements.

Stuttering affects more than 70 million people worldwide, including more than 3 million people in the United States. It is more common among men than women. Some people refer to stuttering as stammering or childhood onset fluency disorder.

Approximately 5–10% of all children will stutter at some point in their lives, but most will typically outgrow this within a few months or years. Early intervention can help children overcome stuttering.

For 1 in 4 of these children, however, the problem will persist into adulthood and can become a lifelong communication disorder.

In this article, we describe strategies that people who stutter can use to try to reduce these speech disruptions. We also list ways in which parents and caregivers can help children overcome a stutter.


Quick tips for reducing stuttering

a woman practising talking in front of a mirror as that is How to stop stuttering
A person can read aloud at a slow pace to reduce stress around speaking.

There is no instant cure for stuttering. However, certain situations — such as stress, fatigue, or pressure — can make stuttering worse. By managing these situations, as far as possible, people may be able to improve their flow of speech.

With this in mind, the following tips may be useful:

Practice speaking slowly

Speaking slowly and deliberately can reduce stress and the symptoms of a stutter. It can be helpful to practice speaking slowly every day.

For example, people could try reading aloud at a slow pace when they are on their own. Then, when they have mastered this, they can use this pace when speaking to others.

Another option is to add a brief pause between phrases and sentences to help slow down speech.

Avoid trigger words

People who stutter should not feel as though they have to stop using particular words if this is not their preference.

However, some people may wish to avoid specific words that tend to cause them to stammer. In this case, it might be helpful to make a list of these words and find alternatives to use.

Try mindfulness

Mindfulness is a proven way to reduce anxiety and stress. Research suggests that there is an overlap between the effects of mindfulness and the tools necessary for stuttering management, including:

  • decreased use of avoidance strategies, such as speaking less
  • improved emotional control
  • acceptance

According to the authors of a 2018 case study, adding mindfulness meditation to a treatment program for stuttering may be beneficial for some people.

To practice mindfulness, consider joining a class, downloading a smartphone app, or watching videos online.


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Long term treatments

speech therapist speaking with patient to help her stop stuttering
A speech therapist can help a person manage situations in which stuttering gets worse.

Treatment usually works best when people begin to address stuttering at an early stage. The parents and caregivers of children who stutter should consider taking a child to see a speech therapist if:

  • they have stuttered for 3–6 months
  • they show signs of struggling with stuttering, such as lip tremors
  • there is a family history of stuttering or other communication disorders

Although it may not stop stuttering completely, treatment at any age aims to improve speech fluency, build the person’s confidence, and help them participate in school, work, and social settings.

Treatments for stuttering include:

Speech therapy

A speech therapist can teach people to:

  • slow down their rate of speech
  • notice when they stutter
  • manage situations in which stuttering gets worse
  • work on a fluid speech pattern

Research suggests that speech therapy is the best treatment for both adults and children who stutter, with a large body of evidence supporting its efficacy.

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)

CBT is a type of psychotherapy that helps people change how they think and alter their behavior accordingly. CBT for stuttering may involve:

  • direct communication
  • educating the person about stuttering
  • humming
  • problem solving
  • exercises to extend the length of sounds
  • relaxation techniques, including deep breathing
  • challenging unhelpful thoughts

CBT may lead to positive changes in thoughts and attitudes around stuttering and reduce stuttering-related anxiety.

Electronic devices

Electronic devices are available to help people manage their speech and improve their fluency. Some of these devices work by assisting people in slowing down their speech. Others mimic speech so that it sounds as though the person is talking in unison with someone else.

According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, speaking in unison with someone else may temporarily reduce a person’s stuttering.

Medication

Some of the medications that doctors prescribe for stuttering include:

  • alprazolam (Xanax), an anti-anxiety drug
  • citalopram (Celexa), an antidepressant
  • clomipramine (Anafranil), another antidepressant

However, The Stuttering Foundation advise that these drugs are not effective for the majority of people. Even when they do work, people report the improvements as being modest.

The National Stuttering Foundation suggest that medications may work best when people combine their use with speech therapy.

Support

It is important that parents and caregivers support children who stutter. They can do this by:

  • listening attentively and using appropriate eye contact
  • refraining from completing words or phrases for a child
  • avoiding interrupting, correcting, or criticizing a child
  • avoiding focusing on the stutter and using phrases such as “slow down” or “take your time,” as these can make a child feel more self-conscious
  • speaking slowly and deliberately to children who stutter, as they may mirror the adult’s pace when they speak
  • minimizing stress in the home, as stress can make stuttering worse
  • reducing a child’s exposure to situations in which they feel pressured or rushed and those that require them to speak in front of others
  • speaking to a teacher if bullying is occurring in school as a result of a child’s stutter

Self-help groups

Connecting with others who stutter can be beneficial for many people. Self-help groups enable people to discover additional resources and supports for stuttering.

For more information, see the National Stuttering Association’s list of local chapters.


Stuttering causes

Father and son playing with building blocks together
Genetics may be a causative factor for some cases of stuttering.

Researchers do not understand the exact cause of stuttering. Based on current knowledge, they typically class stuttering as one of the following types:

Developmental

Developmental stuttering is the most common type. It occurs in young children who are learning language skills. It is likely to be the result of multiple factors, including genetics.

Due to its genetic component, developmental stuttering can run in families. Approximately 60% of people who stutter have a family member who also stutters.

Neurogenic

Neurogenic stuttering can occur due to brain trauma, such as that resulting from a stroke or head injury. The brain then struggles to coordinate the mechanisms that speech involves.

Psychogenic

In the past, scientists believed that all stuttering was psychogenic, meaning that it was due to emotional trauma. Now, they consider this type of stuttering to be rare.


Can a stutter be cured?

There is no cure for stuttering, although early treatment may stop childhood stuttering from persisting into adulthood.

A variety of treatments can help those with a lifelong stutter manage their speech and reduce the frequency and severity of stuttering.


Outlook

Early intervention is important for children who stutter, most of whom will eventually outgrow it. About 25% will continue to experience stuttering throughout their adult lives, however.

While there is no cure for stuttering, speech therapy can be particularly effective in helping people gain control over their speech. CBT and mindfulness interventions may also help with some aspects of stuttering.

Researchers are continuing to explore the causes of stuttering and potential treatment options. In time, they may be able to identify the children who are more likely to continue stuttering in adulthood.

If scientists can understand the underlying cause of stuttering, they may be able to identify more effective medications or other treatments.

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