Medical News Today: What causes a lump on the areola

A lump on the areola, or area around the nipple, can occur in both males and females. A lump can be a local infection that may or may not be the result of inflammation of the breast.

Although this condition is possible in males, researchers suggest that more than 95% of people with a lump on the areola are females.

In females, there are two different types of lumps on the areola. These are nonpuerperal subareolar abscesses, which occur in a person who is not breastfeeding, and puerperal abscesses, which occur in women who are breastfeeding.

In this article, we review the causes, symptoms, and treatment options for a lump on the areola.

Causes

breastfeeding mother who may be worried about hpv
Breastfeeding may cause lumps to develop on the areolas.

The most common cause of breast infections is breastfeeding.

Inflammation of the breasts during breastfeeding can affect between 2% to 3% of lactating women, and 5% to 11% of these women may develop an abscess.

Males and females who are not lactating may also develop a lump on the areola. These abscesses may occur in people across a wide range of ages.

Non-lactational breast abscesses seem to have links with smoking and diabetes.

Also, researchers have shown that people who are obese and black people may have a higher incidence of breast abscesses than others.

Individuals who have nipple piercings can develop lumps on the areola as well.

The most common bacteria that causes breast abscesses in lactating women are Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) and Streptococcus species.

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Doctors are noticing that a specific strain of S. aureus that is resistant to methicillin antibiotics is sometimes also found in lumps on the areola.

Methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) infections are more difficult to treat and require different antibiotics.

Bacteria that tend to cause breast abscesses in males and non-lactating females are usually a mix of S.s aureus, Streptococcus species, and anaerobic bacteria.

Pictures

Symptoms

A person with a lump on the areola may complain of the following symptoms:

  • breast pain
  • redness in the area
  • warmth to the touch
  • fluid accumulation at the site of the lump

People may also report fever, nausea, vomiting, and fluid drainage from the nipple or site of redness.

Young people of any sex who are not lactating tend to report more breast pain than those who are older.

About 15% to 20% of people with lumps on the areola will have discharge draining from the nipple. The fluid that drains from a lump on the areola of a younger person will appear thinner, whereas an older person may have a thicker discharge.

Doctors report that lumps on the areola in females who are not lactating and males recur more often than lumps in lactating women.

Doctors can request an ultrasound of the breast or a mammogram to gain more information on the size, depth, and location of the abscess.


Treatment

When doctors diagnose a lump on the areola, they will cut and drain out the fluid from the lump. They may take a biopsy of the lump to rule out breast cancer.

People may start antibiotic treatment if the doctor is unable to perform the drainage immediately.

Doctors may prescribe the following antibiotics for lumps on the areola:

  • nafcillin
  • ampicillin/sulbactam
  • amoxicillin/clavulanic acid
  • doxycycline
  • trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole
  • clindamycin
  • vancomycin

If the doctor can identify the bacteria present in a sample of the fluid they drain from the lump, they can prescribe an antibiotic that will target those specific bacteria.

Taking a sample of the fluid is important for people who have recurring abscesses because these lumps tend to have a mixture of bacteria, including anaerobic bacteria, as the cause.

Doctors will consider which antibiotics are safe to give to breastfeeding women with lumps on the areola. Women are commonly encouraged to continue breastfeeding.

If someone has a large lump or signs of severe infection, the doctor may admit them to the hospital. These larger lumps require cutting and drainage in the operating room and treatment with intravenous antibiotics.


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Care and prevention

woman speaking to doctor about lumps on areola.
A doctor may recommend treatment options such as NSAIDs.

Once a doctor drains the fluid from the lump, a person should no longer feel pain at the site. However, some people will still need painkillers after drainage. Doctors may sometimes suggest narcotics and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to reduce pain.

If a person is still experiencing inflammation at the site, they can apply a warm compress and moisturizer to prevent cracking of the areola.

People with nipple piercings should make sure they know how to keep the area clean correctly.

Breastfeeding women can consult a lactation nurse to find out how to prevent swelling of the breasts.

Lumps on the areola in breastfeeding women tend to respond well to treatment and are less likely to recur if people manage them appropriately with drainage and antibiotics.

Recurrence rates are high in people who are not breastfeeding. Doctors do not have standardized guidelines for treating lumps on the areola, and this may be a cause of recurrence in some people.

A person with a lump on the areola can consult a team of professionals, including a radiologist, general surgeon, infectious disease specialist, pharmacist, and lactation nurse, if appropriate.

Consulting a multi-professional team can reduce healthcare costs, improve recurrence rates, and reduce the need for unnecessary operations.


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Complications

Fistulas are a complication of lumps on the areola that occur in as many as one-third of people.

A fistula is a tract that forms between the milk duct or the opening of the abscess in the breast and the areola. If this occurs, a doctor will notice a raised, crusted lesion on the nipple during a physical examination.

Fistulas can also occur in men.

When to see a doctor

People should consult their doctors if they notice a lump on the breast or nipple or experience any fluid leaking from the nipple.

Doctors will examine the lump and recommend medical imaging to rule out breast cancer, especially in non-lactating people or any sex.

Women who are breastfeeding also need to see their doctors if a lump forms on the areola. A lactation nurse can help a woman prevent future abscesses and coach her to continue breastfeeding or using a breast pump to take the milk from the affected breast.

Any lump that has links with symptoms of severe infection requires hospitalization.

Doctors will also check for fistulas if a person has recurring lumps on the areola.


Takeaway

People who notice a lump on the areola should consult a doctor. With a quick diagnosis, the doctor can start the treatment early. Treatment involves draining the lump and antibiotic therapy.

Women who are breastfeeding are more likely to have lumps on the areola, but both males and females who are not lactating may also develop these abscesses.

Smoking and diabetes seem to have links to lumps on the areola. Obese and black people may also have increased incidence rates.

These painful lumps can recur in some people. Recurrence rates are high in females who are not breastfeeding and in males.

Source Article from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/325501.php

Medical News Today: Is there a link between ADHD and dopamine?

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects children and often persists into adulthood. Research suggests that there is a link between dopamine levels and the development of this condition.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 6.1 million children living in the United States in 2016 had received a diagnosis of ADHD. The symptoms of ADHD can vary from person to person, but they typically include difficulties with concentrating, paying attention, and controlling impulses.

It is not clear what causes ADHD, but scientists believe that genetics, certain environmental factors, and brain changes may play a role in its development. Researchers have also investigated the role of neurotransmitters, such as dopamine.

In this article, we discuss the link between dopamine and ADHD. We also cover other effects of low dopamine levels and treatment options for ADHD.

What is the link?

Woman holding daughters hand
Genetics and family history may be a risk factor for ADHD.

Multiple factors are likely to contribute to ADHD. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, risk factors for ADHD may include:

  • genetics and family history of ADHD
  • low birth weight
  • premature delivery
  • alcohol, tobacco, or drug use during pregnancy
  • exposure to toxins, such as lead, during pregnancy or early childhood
  • brain injury

Scientists have also been studying the role of dopamine in the development of ADHD. Dopamine is a type of neurotransmitter that has several important functions in the brain and body. There is an association between dopamine levels and several psychiatric and neurological disorders, including Parkinson’s disease.

Dopamine levels can affect a person’s mood, attention, motivation, and movement. Dopamine also regulates the brain’s reward system, with its levels increasing in the brain when a person experiences something pleasurable, such as eating food or having sex.

Experts initially believed that ADHD occurs as a result of low levels of dopamine, but they have since realized that the relationship is a little more complicated.

According to the Gulf Bend Center, people with ADHD may have a higher concentration of dopamine transporters in the brain. These transporters remove dopamine from brain cells. When there are more transporters in one area of the brain, they do this too quickly, which means that dopamine has less time to exert its effects.

Reduced levels of the neurotransmitters serotonin and norepinephrine may also contribute to the development of ADHD.


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What does the research say?

Scientists have been studying the link between dopamine transporters and ADHD symptoms. However, other research suggests that structural changes in the brain may also play a role in ADHD.

According to the DNA Learning Center, a small study in 16 children and adolescents with ADHD found that medications that increase the availability of dopamine in the brain lead to the inhibition of the motor cortex, the brain region that controls voluntary movement. This effect was more significant in children with a genetic variation called DAT1, which is a gene that usually increases the activity of dopamine transporters.

These results suggest that genetic factors that affect dopamine transporters may play a role in the development of ADHD.

The DNA Learning Center also report on another study that compared the MRI brain scans of children with and without ADHD. The researchers found that the children with ADHD had a thinner cortex in the areas of the brain responsible for attention control.

The researchers behind a small 2013 study found that methylphenidate (Ritalin) increased dopamine levels in the brain and improved attention in adults both with and without ADHD.

They also observed that both groups of participants had an equivalent availability of dopamine receptors in the brain. They concluded that their results suggest that dopamine dysregulation is unlikely to be the leading cause of ADHD in adults.

In a study from 2015, researchers identified an association between genetic changes in the DAT1 gene and mood instability in healthy adults. Mood instability tends to be a persistent symptom in people with ADHD.


Other effects of low dopamine

Dopamine has a powerful effect on the brain and plays a role in other mental health disorders. We discuss some of these below.

Drug use

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, when a person experiences pleasure, this activates the reward circuitry in the brain and causes the release of dopamine. This process reinforces the association between the activity that the person was doing and pleasure, which encourages them to repeat the activity in the future and can lead to a habit forming.

Recreational drugs, such as cocaine or amphetamine, can cause a feeling of intense euphoria that produces a large surge of dopamine in the brain. This burst of dopamine can lead to a person favoring drugs over more healthful activities and personal goals.

Over time, continued drug use can result in the brain producing less dopamine or fewer dopamine receptors. As a result, the person needs to keep using drugs to maintain a normal level of reward, which worsens the problem and creates a cycle that can be difficult to break. The person may also need to take increasing amounts of the drug to get the same high.

Parkinson’s disease

Parkinson’s disease is a chronic neurodegenerative disorder that primarily occurs due to the loss of neurons in the substantia nigra, which is the area of the brain that produces dopamine. The reduction of dopamine in the brain can affect a person’s coordination and body movement.

The symptoms of Parkinson’s tend to develop gradually and can vary from person to person. However, the main symptoms include:

  • tremor, or shaking, in the hands, arms, legs, and head
  • stiffness in the muscles, particularly in the arms
  • slower movement
  • balance and coordination difficulties, which can increase the risk of falls

Doctors do not fully understand what causes the loss of dopamine-producing neurons in people with Parkinson’s, but they believe that it may involve a combination of genetic mutations and environmental factors, such as exposure to specific toxins.

The treatment for Parkinson’s disease includes therapies that increase the levels of dopamine in the brain and medications that can help improve motor symptoms.

Depression

Depression, or major depressive disorder, is a mood disorder that can severely affect how a person feels and thinks. The symptoms of depression can vary greatly among individuals, but people with this condition will often feel sad and hopeless and lose interest in activities that they previously enjoyed.

Research suggests that the disruption of the dopaminergic system may play a role in the development of depression.

Schizophrenia

Scientific studies have also linked dopamine to the underlying pathology of schizophrenia. Schizophrenia is a chronic mental health disorder that can cause a range of severe psychological symptoms.

According to a 2014 review, the reduced activation of a type of dopamine receptor may cause the “negative” symptoms of schizophrenia, which include speech changes, loss of pleasure, and poor motivation. Conversely, experts believe that “positive” symptoms, such as hallucinations and delusions, are the result of an increased release of dopamine.


ADHD treatment

A therapist works with a young boy
Experts recommend behavior therapy as the first line of treatment for young children.

The treatment of ADHD often involves a combination of therapies.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommend teacher- or parent-administered behavior therapy as the first line of treatment for children aged 4–5 years. For children over the age of 6 years, the AAP suggest that doctors prescribe a combination of behavior therapy and medication.

Medication options for ADHD include both stimulant and nonstimulant drugs that can help improve a person’s symptoms and enhance functioning.

Stimulants, which contain forms of amphetamine and methylphenidate, help with focus and attention. Experts also believe that these medications increase levels of dopamine in the brain.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have also approved three nonstimulant medications for treating the symptoms of ADHD: atomoxetine (Strattera), guanfacine (Intuniv), and clonidine (Kapvay). Doctors typically prescribe these drugs for people who have problems when taking stimulants.


Summary

ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder that can cause attention difficulties, impulsivity, and hyperactivity. Research suggests that imbalances of neurotransmitters, such as dopamine, and structural changes in the brain may play a role in the development of this condition.

Dopamine levels also seem to be a factor in several other neurological and mental health disorders, including Parkinson’s disease, substance use disorder, depression, and schizophrenia.

Source Article from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/325499.php

Medical News Today: What is end-diastolic volume?

End-diastolic volume: What is it, and how do doctors use it?

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Medical News Today: What to know about intermittent asthma

Intermittent asthma is a type of asthma wherein a person has symptoms on no more than 2 days per week and nightly flares on no more than 2 nights per month.

If a person experiences asthma symptoms more frequently, they may receive a diagnosis of persistent asthma. Intermittent asthma can range in severity and is usually treatable with medications.

Read on for more information about intermittent asthma and how it differs from persistent types of asthma.

How it affects the respiratory system

Intermittent asthma
A person with intermittent asthma has symptoms for a maximum of 2 days per week.

The key difference between intermittent asthma and persistent asthma is timing.

A person with intermittent asthma does not experience the regular breathing difficulties a person with persistent asthma might. A person with intermittent asthma may only have a flare-up of symptoms once every few months.

Although most episodes of intermittent asthma are mild, this is not always the case. It is possible for a person with intermittent asthma to have an asthma attack with symptoms that are mild, moderate, or even severe.

In 2007, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) released their guidelines for the diagnosis and management of asthma. These guidelines are the most recent from the NHLBI.

According to these guidelines, the following factors can help a doctor classify asthma by type:

Intermittent asthma

A person with intermittent asthma has symptoms on fewer than 2 days per week, does not usually wake up with asthma symptoms, and requires treatment with short-acting inhalers on 2 days per week or fewer.

They also have symptoms that a doctor can treat with steroids once per year or not at all.

Persistent types of asthma

It is possible for a person to first have intermittent asthma symptoms and then progress to persistent asthma.

The classifications for persistent types of asthma include:

Mild

A person with mild persistent asthma can have asthma symptoms on more than 2 days per week and nighttime awakenings once or twice each month.

These people require their short-acting inhaler more than 2 days per week, but not every day.

Moderate

People with moderate persistent asthma tend to experience symptoms on a daily basis and nighttime awakenings with symptoms three to four times each month.

They may use their short-acting inhaler daily and may have to limit their activities due to their symptoms.

Severe

A person with severe persistent asthma has symptoms throughout the day. They usually wake up with nighttime symptoms once per week or more and use their short-acting inhaler throughout the day.

Because of their asthma, their daily activities tend to be severely limited.


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Symptoms

Intermittent asthma out of breath
Asthma symptoms include coughing after exercise.

Asthma symptoms, whether they are intermittent or persistent, have several characteristics that differentiate them from those of other respiratory-related conditions.

These symptoms include:

  • Airflow obstruction: Asthma causes changes in the lungs that make it difficult for a person to breathe in and out as easily as they normally would.
  • Inflammation: Asthma triggers lead to airway inflammation that makes it harder to breathe.
  • Hyperresponsiveness: Asthma causes the lungs to shrink and spasm more easily than those of a person who does not have asthma.

These factors can cause asthma symptoms that include:

  • coughing, usually at night or after exercise
  • problems breathing
  • shortness of breath
  • tightness in the chest
  • wheezing

If a person experiences these symptoms, it is important to talk to a doctor to determine whether or not asthma is the cause.

Treatment

Because people with intermittent asthma do not have frequent symptoms, they usually require fewer treatments to control their condition.

Doctors will usually prescribe a short-acting beta agonist to treat intermittent asthma. These medications relax and open up the airways, making it easier for a person with the condition to breathe.

One example of this type of medication is albuterol (Ventolin, Proventil). A person can use these inhalers every 4–6 hours to reduce symptoms such as wheezing and difficulty breathing.

If a person experiences a moderate to severe episode of intermittent asthma, their doctor may prescribe a short course of oral corticosteroids such as prednisone.

A person may find that they require oral corticosteroids during or after an upper respiratory infection. Prednisone can reduce inflammation in the airways, making it easier to breathe.


Living with intermittent asthma

A person with intermittent asthma should be able to control their symptoms with occasional inhaler use and nothing more.

They should discuss any symptoms that might indicate the presence of moderate to severe asthma with their doctor. This is because they may require emergency medical attention.

A doctor can work with a person to create an asthma action plan that includes how to avoid potential triggers that could worsen symptoms and how to manage their breathing.

Avoiding triggers

Intermittent asthma wood-stove
Exposure to wood-burning stoves may trigger symptoms for people with intermittent asthma.

People with intermittent asthma often find that their symptoms become worse following exposure to specific triggers.

Common examples of intermittent asthma triggers include:

  • exposure to very cold air
  • exposure to noxious fumes or chemical irritants
  • exposure to wood-burning stoves, fireplaces, or kerosene heaters
  • pet dander
  • pollen
  • smoke
  • viruses that cause upper respiratory infections

A person can try to avoid these triggers to prevent the symptoms of intermittent asthma from reoccurring.

Management

As well as avoiding triggers that cause symptoms to develop, a person may wish to consider keeping their inhaler in a convenient location where they can access it easily.

If allergies trigger a person’s asthma, a doctor may recommend additional treatments. These may include allergy injections, which involve the person having exposure to a small amount of an allergen to make them less sensitive to it the next time they have exposure.

Also, seeking treatment during an upper respiratory infection and when asthma symptoms worsen can help a person manage intermittent asthma.

If a person finds that they start requiring their inhaler more often than twice each week, they should talk to their doctor. This could indicate that their asthma has transitioned from intermittent to persistent.


Summary

Intermittent asthma is a treatable form of the condition that causes symptoms to develop on fewer than 2 days per week.

The symptoms can range in severity but are usually mild.

If a person starts to have more frequent symptoms or experiences a moderate to severe asthma attack, they should talk to their doctor.

Source Article from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/325494.php

Medical News Today: What to know about cold-induced asthma

Asthma causes airway inflammation and difficulty breathing. Several factors, including exercise and cold weather, can trigger asthma symptoms. Inhaling cold, dry air can cause the airways to tighten, making it harder to breathe.

Several treatments and preventive measures can help minimize the effects of cold air on a person with asthma.

This article describes why cold weather can worsen asthma symptoms and how to recognize when symptoms are being triggered.

How does cold weather affect asthma?

Inhaling cold, dry air can trigger asthma symptoms.
Inhaling cold, dry air can trigger asthma symptoms.

The nose and mouth typically warm and humidify the air before it reaches the lungs, and this makes it easier to breathe.

When the air is very dry and cold, as in the winter, it is more difficult for the body to warm.

When cold air hits the airways, the lungs react by tightening. Cold air contains less moisture, and breathing it in can dry out the airways. This can cause the airways to spasm, triggering an asthma attack, which can involve coughing.

According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, researchers once believed that the coldness of the air was the primary trigger of symptoms. However, more up-to-date research indicates that the dryness, rather than the temperature, is the culprit.

A person often finds that their symptoms worsen when they are being active outdoors — skiing, shoveling snow, or running, for example.

During exercise, it is more common to breathe through the mouth than the nose. Because the mouth does not warm air as well as the nose, a person is more likely to inhale colder air while exercising.

A combination of physical activity and breathing cold air can significantly worsen asthma symptoms.


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Symptoms

Cold-induced asthma can cause symptoms that include:

These symptoms tend to develop shortly after a person is exposed to cold air outdoors. They usually go away after the person reaches a warmer environment.

However, an individual with more severe asthma may experience longer-lasting symptoms.


How to manage

If a person has an asthma attack that is triggered by cold weather, they should first use their short-acting inhaler to loosen and open up the airways.

Typically, this inhaler contains albuterol, a beta agonist. A person should always carry their inhaler with them if they are going outdoors in colder temperatures.

Next, a person experiencing a cold-induced asthma attack should try to get to a warmer environment as quickly as possible.

After breathing in warmer air for several minutes, the airways should start to open up, and symptoms should reduce quickly.

If a person experiences these symptoms regularly, they should bring this up with their doctor. The doctor may prescribe further long-term treatments, such as a long-acting bronchodilator.

When exercise triggers asthma symptoms, the medical term for this is exercise-induced bronchoconstriction. To reduce this effect, a doctor may also prescribe medications called leukotriene receptor inhibitors.

For anyone with asthma, working to control symptoms and reduce the number of attacks can help prevent symptoms from developing in cold weather.


Prevention

mature lady using an inhaler
Using a short-acting inhaler before going outdoors may prevent cold weather from triggering asthma.

A person can take certain steps to prevent cold weather from triggering asthma symptoms.

Beyond taking medications, the following strategies can help:

  • Warming up for about 5–10 minutes before going outdoors. This could involve aerobic activity, such as dancing.
  • Using a short-acting inhaler 10–15 minutes before going outdoors. This can reduce the likelihood that cold air will cause the airways to narrow.
  • Wearing something that covers the mouth when outside. Covering the mouth with a scarf, for example, can warm the air on its way to the lungs.
  • Concentrating on breathing through the nose whenever possible. This also helps to warm the air before it reaches the lungs.

If possible, a person with cold-induced asthma should avoid going outdoors when temperatures reach 10°F or lower. Weather this cold is significantly more likely to trigger asthma symptoms.

Summary

Cold weather is a common asthma trigger, though the dryness of the air is more likely to cause problems than the temperature alone.

Engaging in physical activity while breathing in cold air can further worsen asthma symptoms.

If a person cannot manage their asthma symptoms well with preventive measures and prescribed medications, such as short-acting inhalers, they should consult a doctor.

The doctor can recommend further treatments to prevent symptoms from growing more severe.

Source Article from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/325492.php

Medical News Today: What to know about cardiorespiratory endurance

Cardiorespiratory endurance: Importance and how to improve

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Medical News Today: What to expect during a physical exam

Physical exam: Types and what to expect

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Medical News Today: What to know about stress-induced asthma

Stress is a common trigger of asthma symptoms. Stress and anxiety can also cause asthma attacks.

Asthma is a condition in which the airways become inflamed, making it difficult to breathe. Symptoms typically come and go with triggers, such as irritants, humid weather, and exercise.

According to Asthma UK, 43% of people with asthma report that stress can trigger their symptoms. Managing stress and anxiety can help minimize asthma flare-ups.

In this article, we look at the link between stress and asthma in more detail.

Stress and asthma

Stress induced asthma inhaler
When a person feels stressed, they may experience more frequent and severe asthma symptoms.

When a person feels stressed, they may notice that their asthma symptoms flare up. Periods of stress can increase the severity, frequency, and duration of asthma symptoms.

Stress can cause people to become more sensitive to their asthma triggers. Common triggers include pet dander, pollen, humidity, and cold, dry air.

Stressors might include work, school, or family stress. Significant life changes and traumatic experiences can also cause stress.

Stress can make inflammation worse, and it can trigger shortness of breath or breathing difficulties, all of which can exacerbate asthma symptoms.

If a person can manage their asthma, they are less likely to experience stress or anxiety related asthma.

Stress can also indirectly cause asthma flare-ups. A person who is stressed may experience certain emotions, such as anger and irritation, more strongly. Strong emotions can trigger asthma symptoms.

A person who experiences stress for prolonged periods may feel more anxious. Anxiety can trigger panic attacks that can, in turn, cause an asthma attack.

People may also sometimes find that stress leads to unhealthful habits, such as smoking or drinking alcohol. These habits can trigger asthma.


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Symptoms of stress-induced asthma

People may notice that their normal asthma symptoms worsen when they feel overly stressed or anxious. This feeling can be temporary, such as before an exam, or it can be due to chronic stress, which occurs over an extended period.

Asthma symptoms are similar regardless of the trigger. Common symptoms of asthma include:

  • tightness in the chest
  • wheezing
  • trouble breathing
  • rapid breathing
  • shortness of breath
  • coughing

Managing stress with asthma

Stress induced asthma yogs
Doing yoga or just focusing on controlling the breath can help manage stress and reduce the likelihood of an asthma attack

People may find relief from asthma symptoms by making some lifestyle changes to help manage their stress levels.

Getting enough rest, eating a healthful diet, and exercising regularly are often effective ways to reduce stress levels.

Stress is most likely to affect asthma when the condition is not under control. People can usually reduce asthma flare-ups by following the treatment plan that a doctor prescribed.

If the current medications are not effective enough, people can visit their doctor to discuss changing or refining their treatment plan.

Some people benefit from taking more of their asthma medication during periods of stress.

The following steps can help people manage their stress and reduce the likelihood of it triggering an asthma attack:

  • getting adequate sleep each night
  • exercising regularly
  • walking away from stressful situations at home, work, or school
  • doing yoga or other forms of meditative exercise
  • focusing on controlling the breathing
  • practicing meditation
  • trying counseling


Primary care

People can usually manage asthma with long-term care and acute treatments. Both measures typically come in the form of an inhaler or nebulizer. The difference is the speed with which they work. People often need to carry a rescue inhaler with them to help treat sudden flare-ups.

Asthma attacks can be life-threatening. If a person has sudden trouble breathing and either does not have a fast acting inhaler or finds that their medication is not effective, they should seek emergency medical help.

A treatment plan that a doctor has recommended can help people prepare for possible asthma attacks. If a person knows their triggers and the symptoms that lead up to an attack, such as coughing or stress, they may be able to take steps to prevent an attack from occurring.

Other triggers of asthma

Stress induced asthma allergy
Grass and tree pollen can trigger asthma flare-ups.

Many different triggers cause asthma symptoms to flare up. People should be aware of the factors that cause flare-ups and avoid them as much as possible.

When it is not possible to avoid a trigger, a person should carry their fast acting inhaler with them for any sudden, unexpected symptoms.

Common asthma triggers include:

  • tree pollen
  • grass
  • dust mites
  • weed pollen
  • cockroaches
  • animal dander
  • strong odors from perfumes, candles, or other scented products
  • smoke
  • chemical fumes
  • flu
  • upper respiratory infections
  • rigorous exercise
  • extreme weather conditions, such as dryness


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Summary

Stress is both a direct and an indirect trigger of asthma.

Stress can cause a person to experience a flare-up by making them more susceptible to their normal triggers. It can also cause a person to have a flare-up because it leads to strong emotions or unhealthful habits that can trigger an attack.

A person should follow their doctor’s treatment recommendations and take steps to reduce the amount of stress in their life. If symptoms get worse, they should seek immediate medical attention.

Source Article from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/325486.php

Medical News Today: Mouse study finds enzyme that prolongs life

New research in mice uncovers a previously unknown “pathway toward healthy aging.” A circulating protein from the blood of young mice led to health improvements and visible signs of rejuvenation when researchers gave it to aging mice.
close up of scientist
Scientists have found an enzyme that might have antiaging properties in humans as it does in mice.

As well as hair loss, wrinkles, and lessening mobility, less visible, underlying bodily changes also characterize the aging process.

One of these changes is the loss of a kind of “fuel” that keeps the body healthy — the so-called nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD).

NAD plays key roles in metabolism, DNA repair, and overall aging and longevity. With time, however, aging cells find it harder to produce energy, in general, and NAD, in particular.

But, in the energy-making process comes another critical player — an enzyme called eNAMPT. New research finds that taking eNAMPT from the blood of younger mice and giving it to older mice boosts NAD levels and staves off aging.

The findings appear in the journal Cell Metabolism. Dr. Shin-ichiro Imai, Ph.D., who is a professor of developmental biology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, is the senior author of the study.

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The role of NAD and eNAMPT in aging

Dr. Imai and colleagues revealed the beneficial effects of eNAMPT in previous research in mice. They showed that raised blood levels of this circulating protein improved insulin resistance, sleep quality, mobility, and cognitive function in older mice.

“We think the body has so many redundant systems to maintain proper NAD levels because it is so important,” says Dr. Imai.

“Our work and others’ suggest it governs how long we live and how healthy we remain as we age. Since we know that NAD inevitably declines with age, whether in worms, fruit flies, mice, or people, many researchers are interested in finding antiaging interventions that might maintain NAD levels as we get older.”

Zooming in on the NAD-creating process, the researchers also showed that the hypothalamus — a brain region responsible for regulating metabolic processes, temperature, thirst, hunger, and sleep-wake cycles — produces NAD using the eNAMPT enzyme.

The hypothalamus is also critical for the aging process.

eNAMPT lengthens lifespan by 16%

In their new research, Dr. Imai and team explain that eNAMPT travels through the bloodstream to the brain in small “carriers” called extracellular vesicles. This fact is true for both mice and humans.

They also reveal that blood levels of eNAMPT drop with aging, so less of it reaches the brain’s hypothalamus. In turn, the hypothalamus stops working properly, shortening the life span.

In the Cell Metabolism paper, the scientists show that levels of eNAMPT were directly proportional to how long the mice lived.

The group of older mice that received eNAMPT lived at least 1,029 days, or 2.8 years, whereas the control group that they gave saline solution to survived only 881 days, or approximately 2.4 years.

Overall, administering eNAMPT to older mice led to a lifespan increase of 16%.

“We were surprised by the dramatic differences between the old mice that received the eNAMPT of young mice and old mice that received saline as a control,” Dr. Imai comments.

These are old mice with no special genetic modifications, and when supplemented with eNAMPT, their wheel-running behavior, sleep patterns and physical appearance -— thicker, shinier fur, for example — resemble that of young mice.”

Dr. Shin-ichiro Imai

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Meaning for humans of ‘remarkable’ results?

“We have found a totally new pathway toward healthy aging,” Dr. Imai adds.

“That we can take eNAMPT from the blood of young mice and give it to older mice and see that the older mice show marked improvements in health — including increased physical activity and better sleep — is remarkable.”

The researchers say that future studies should examine if eNAMPT levels correlate with aging-related diseases or lifespan in humans.

“We could predict, with surprising accuracy, how long mice would live based on their levels of circulating eNAMPT,” says Dr. Imai.

“We don’t know yet if this association is present in people, but it does suggest that eNAMPT levels should be studied further to see if it could be used as a potential biomarker of aging.”

Source Article from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/325477.php

Medical News Today: Vitamin D supplements may not prevent type 2 diabetes

A large new study has examined the effects of vitamin D on a diverse group of adults and found no evidence that this supplement can prevent type 2 diabetes.
vitamin D shape made of pills on blue background
Vitamin D supplements don’t do much to prevent type 2 diabetes.

Vitamin D is an essential vitamin; it builds and maintains healthy bones.

Our bodies produce vitamin D in response to sun exposure, and they can only absorb alcium, the main component of bones, when this vitamin is present.

We can also find vitamin D in certain foods, such as salmon, mackerel, sardines, and fortified milk and cereals. Supplements are also available.

In addition to ensuring the health of bones and teeth, vitamin D can offer other health benefits.

Vitamin D supports the brain and immune and nervous systems. It also helps regulate insulin levels, promotes cardiovascular health, and may help prevent cancer. Official guidelines recommend that adults take 600 International Units (IU), or 15 micrograms (mcg), of vitamin D daily.

It is important to keep in mind that high doses of vitamin D may have side effects. A 2010 study, for example, showed that too much vitamin D among older women may lead to falls and bone fractures. It may also raise the risk of kidney stones among women.

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Vitamin D has no effect on type 2 diabetes

Now, a large-scale study called D2d — which the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) funded — has examined whether or not vitamin D supplementation can prevent type 2 diabetes. The study also shed light on the benefits and side effects of this vitamin.

A diverse group of more than 2,000 adults from 22 sites across the United States participated in the study. The results now appear in the New England Journal of Medicine, and the scientists presented them at the American Diabetes Association annual meeting in San Francisco, CA.

“Observational studies have reported an association between low levels of vitamin D and increased risk for type 2 diabetes […]. However, whether vitamin D supplementation may help prevent or delay type 2 diabetes was not known,” explains Dr. Myrlene Staten, a D2d project scientist at the NIDDK.

The researchers measured the participants’ vitamin D levels at the beginning of the study and found that around 80% of them had sufficient levels of vitamin D based on the recommended intake. Then, the scientists divided them into groups that took either 4,000 IU of vitamin D or a placebo pill daily.

The scientists screened the participants every 3–6 months for an average of about 2 years. At the end of the analysis, they found that 293 out of 1,211 participants in the vitamin D group developed diabetes. Meanwhile, 323 out of 1,212 in the placebo group developed it.

The difference between the two groups was not statistically significant.

The D2d study and future research

D2d is the largest study to date to examine whether daily vitamin D can help prevent type 2 diabetes. In addition to its size, it also included a diverse group of adults in terms of race, sex, age, and body mass index (BMI). The size and diversity of the cohort ensure that the results are applicable on a large scale.

“When the study ended, we found no meaningful difference between the two groups regardless of age, sex, race, or ethnicity,” reports lead study author Dr. Anastassios G. Pittas, of the Tufts Medical Center in Boston, MA.

The use of dietary supplements has been increasing in the U.S., and vitamin D is one of the most common supplements among adults. In light of these trends, the D2d study also evaluated the safety of taking 4,000 IU of vitamin D daily. This is higher than the recommended dose.

Although previous studies had revealed side effects and warned against high doses of vitamin D, the results of the D2d study showed no difference in the risk of high blood calcium levels and kidney stones between the vitamin D and placebo groups.

“While we continue to search for new ways to prevent the disease, we know that lifestyle change or the drug metformin remain effective methods to prevent type 2 diabetes,” concludes Dr. Griffin P. Rodgers, director of the NIDDK.

We encourage the 84 million U.S. adults at high risk for developing type 2 diabetes to explore options like the CDC’s National [Diabetes Prevention Program], available to communities throughout the country.”

Dr. Griffin P. Rodgers

Source Article from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/325464.php