Archive for January 15, 2014

Interstitial Lung Disease Information

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Interstitial Lung Disease Information
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For many patients who suffer from autoimmune diseases, COPD, breathing issues, and lung cancer, simply breathing can be this biggest challenge of their every day. Interstitial lung disease describes a group of lung scarring disorders, that affect one’s ability to breath, thusly making it impossible for the patient to get enough oxygen into their blood. For the most part, ILD’s causes are unknown. There have been documented cases of ILD flaring after long term exposure to hazardous chemicals, and in many rheumatoid diseases. Once lung scarring occurs, there is no way to erase the damages. Certain medicines may help slow the damage, but these patients never regain the full use of their lungs.
Below you’ll find some facts and important information about ILD.

Symptoms & Causes
There are two main symptoms of serious lung issues, and those are a persistent dry cough, and shortness of breath, especially during times of exertion. If at any time you’re experiencing these symptoms, it may be best to consult with your doctor.
ILD seems to occur more when the lungs are injured, or damaged in some way. Instead of the body healing them normally, the body overreacts, and goes off the grid. The tissue around the alveoli becomes thickened and scarred, making it difficult or impossible for oxygen to transport through your body.

Medical Conditions known to have high rates of ILD:
Scleroderma
Sarcoidosis
SLE Lupus
Rheumatoid Arthritis

Most Common Pollutant Causes:
Grain dust
Silica dust
Asbestos fibers
Bird and Animal Droppings

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Most Common Medications Listed as Triggering Further Lung Damage:
Cytoxan and Trexall, and other Chemotherapy drugs
Heart Medications like Cordarone or Innopran
Some Antibiotics like Macrobid and Azulfidine

Complications from ILD
-High Blood Pressure in the Lungs (Pulmonary Hypertension)
-Right Sided Heart Failure (cor pulmonale)
-Respiratory Failure

Tests & Answers.
Getting a straight diagnosis on this can be very complicated, as they have multi-levels of issues, and underlying issues. However, there are certain tests that can rule out other issues, and prove somethings are happening.
Chest Xray. Xrays can show damage done to the lungs, but not always. Many times the scar tissue is not picked up, or shown to be in less areas in the lungs than it truly is.
CT Scan. These cross sectional images done by a large machine, can put together your body in layered pictures. This allows doctors to see how deep infections are, and how much tissue in your lungs and heart are being affected by the ILD.
-Echocardiogram. A sonogram on the heart, to check on it’s function and status. This test can check pressure, as well as arterial function.

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Pulmonary Function Tests
Spirometry. A breathing test, requiring one to exhale quickly and forcefully through a tube to measure how much air your lungs can hold, and how quickly the air leaves your lung.
Oximetry. The finger probe gently squeezed on the tip of your finger that monitors the oxygen levels in your blood. This test has been proven more effective than the standard chest xray.
Stress Test. By exercising a proscribed amount of time, and with proscribed tasks, one’s heart rate and body function is measured during said exercise.

Lung Tissue Analysis
Bronchoscopy. During a scoping event, the doctor uses the tubs to pull a small tissue sample from your body. This sample is no larger than the head of an eraser. Sometimes these samples end up not proviing enough tissue to sample to get the correct, definitive answers.
Bronchoalveolar Lavage. Here, your doctor flows salt water through a bronchoscope into a section of your lung, and then turns immediately to remove it. The solution that’s withdrawn contains cells from the pateints’ internal air sacs. In some cases, this works, but often is not enough information to diagnose pulmonary fibrosis.
Surgical Biopsy. The most invasive, with the most risk. This way does ensure enough tissue is collected for study, and results. Entering with cameras and instruments between the ribs, the camera allows the doctor to visually see your lungs, as well as safely take a sample.

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Treatments, Drugs, Home Changes, and More.
There are no specific drugs to combat the effects of ILD, but there are some given to help curb the further damage. Prednisone is often given first, and if that does not help, Immunosupressors are given to allow the body to relax, and stop attacking itself.
Oxygen therapy, and a gradual increase of exercise can help the body as a whole be able to handle the effects from the lack of oxygen. Exercising my help the body be able to absorb more oxygen, as well.
Lung transplants are the last resort move for young people suffering from this terrible disease.

Three ways to Improve your Health Today.
-Stop Smoking.
-Stay healthy.
-Eat well.

Sometimes, the hardest parts about having ILD and other autoimmune issues is the feeling of being alone. Many times family and friends just do not understand, unless they too have some incurable disease. They may tire of hearing the truth as to how you’re feeling, leaving you even more angry than before you tried to talk about it. Don’t be afraid to seek out counseling, or a support group in your area. The internet and Facebook have made such groups easy to find, and now they come with a certain amount of anonymity, too.
Please remember, I am no doctor, and if you’re having any of these issues, PLEASE GO TO YOUR DOCTOR THIS MINUTE!

Resources Used:
Mayo Clinic

Personal, Home & Phone Safety in 2014

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Personal, Home & Phone Safety in 2014
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Although we have touched on the topics of safety in previous years, we must revisit this topic frequently with our elderly relatives and seniors we may know. Why must we do this? Because our world is constantly changing, and it is no longer the 1950s, where leaving your front door unlocked was the norm. Because thieves thrive on technology, and via phone calls, more than mail scams. Because neighbors are no longer always friendly, trust worthy individuals. Regardless of the reasoning, it just has to be done.
If you’ve ever thought about how you cannot be around your loved ones as much as you’d like, or worried that the distance between you may be a problem in the event of an illness, or medical issue, you should consider having extra care for these individuals in place. Checking out the Senior Care Solutions at Care.com may be what you’re looking for.
Find Quality In-home Care for Seniors

Phone Safety
Nowadays, it’s easy to have a phone with caller ID. They even make telephone now that will speak to you who is calling, so there is no guessing as to who it is. Scam artists are still calling the elderly, and posing as grandchildren, lost in another country needing funds to return home. They’re preying on the emotion of one of the most giving, and trusting age groups in America. This is exactly why they do it. Most of the time their calls come through as “unavailable” or “unknown.”
We always encouraged our elderly relatives to NOT ANSWER at all if they do not know the number on caller ID, or the name showing on the phone. They may protest, and say it could be important. It is this point that I would implore that you get them an answering machine, so that they can be reassured that anyone important will leave a message, and they can call right back.
This is important because people are still getting swindled out of thousands of dollars each year, and with cuts in Medicare and Medicaid, and the trouble with Social Security—elderly folks and seniors need to hold tight to their money plans, and not veer off course.

Home Safety
Home safety is an important thing that many families do for their relatives, but sometimes forget about the total picture. OF course, you’re probably readying the house for your loved one. Grab bars, slip resistant rugs and pads, life-saving alarms and buttons, emergency phone lists, and more. However, you also need to check the structure’s safety, too. Ensuring that locks are working on all exterior doors, and batteries in fire alarms are working. Make sure that outdoor lighting is working, and think about motion lights that come on automatically with movement outside.
Things like this are necessary in making your loved one feel more secure, and also for your own peace of mind. You’ll know that Aunt Betty is safer with working locks, and that she can see outside in her front and back yard if there is movement or motion. You know she’ll have her list of numbers, and know who to call if there is an emergency.

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It’s often the simple things that we may forget, or just not think of, that can cause unneeded stress and strife for both your elderly relative, and yourself. Making sure there are extra batteries for flashlights, a plan for emergencies if the power goes out, and what you’re going to do to reassure your relative they are okay after turmoil.

2014: Safety, Health, and Living!

2014: Safety, Health, and Living!

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2014 will bring much more to Elderly Care Resources! We’ll have more reviews of products geared towards giving seniors and the elderly more freedom to continue living fully. We’ll cover more medicine related news and controversy, and of course, cover more on the new developments on Obamacare. We’ll soon be linking to our new Facebook page, too! We’ll also cover more on living…having fun…getting our there, and experiencing life as long as you can. Happiness. Light. Love.

This year, instead of taking care of my Grandma, who left us in 2013, we’re expanding our circle of helping the elderly in our community! I know there’s no way I’ll ever be able NOT to help, after going through so many struggles with my own Grandma over the years, and I was pleasantly surprised by my children’s instant love for my ideas. To start, we’ll be volunteering monthly at our local food bank, and making lunches for the elderly in their lunch program. We’ll be making regular visits to our own elderly family members, and making sure they have what they need, and getting them out of the house more. We’ll be relocating sometime this year, and will be closer to a new nursing home, and plan to invade it with our kid-made goodies, and love.

We can’t wait for 2014, and to see just what this year will hold! Almost anything is an improvement from last year!!

Thanks & Peace!

*All for you, always. My Angel. BJC 07-21-1930/10-31-013*