Steroid Abuse Harms Gingival Tissues

Researchers found that prolonged use of anabolic androgenic steroid (AAS) is closely associated with significant levels of gingival enlargement, according to a new study published in the Journal of Periodontology. Gingival overgrowth is a condition in which the gingival tissues become swollen and grow over the teeth. Overgrown gums make it easier for bacteria found in plaque to accumulate and attack supporting structures of the teeth, potentially leading to severe periodontal infection. “It was found that AAS abusers had statistically significant levels of gingival enlargement compared to non-users, requiring a gingivectomy for many cases,” explains Onur Ozcelik, DDS, PhD, Faculty of Dentistry, Cukurova University, Department of Periodontology, Adana, Turkey. “Although it has been reported that many of the adverse effects of AAS abuse are fully reversible within several months after the cessation of the drug, it is not known if … Read more

Methadone Used for Chronic Pain

Canadian study shows how a pain center’s case-management program allows out-patients to use methadone for relief from chronic pain. The study, published in Pain Management Nursing, found 57 percent of the 75 patients involved were satisfied with the program. Methadone, well known as a treatment for heroin addiction, is also used in hospitals for pain management. Since the body metabolizes methadone slowly, intense monitoring is required to avoid toxicity. “We needed a way to monitor patients effectively after they go home with their prescriptions,” explained Louise Lamb, a clinician nurse at the Pain Center of the Montreal University Health Center. The program begins with an education session with patients and their families receiving information and a diary in which to note pain intensity and its impact on mood and activities. Thereafter, regular telephone communication — via 194 calls — allowed … Read more

Post Nasal Drip

With flu season just around the corner it is important to be ready for nuisances like post nasal drip to occur. The feeling that it is accumulating in the throat or dripping from the back of your nose is called post-nasal drip. Treatment for Post Nasal Drip  A correct diagnosis requires a detailed ear, nose, and throat exam and possible laboratory, endoscopic, and x-ray studies. Each treatment is different. Bacterial infection– if it is present, it is treated with antibiotics. In cases of chronic sinusitis, surgery to open the blocked sinuses may be required. Allergy is managed by avoiding the cause if possible. Antihistamines and decongestants, cromolyn and steroid (cortisone type) nasal sprays, and other forms of steroids may offer relief. Immunotherapy (allergy shots) also may be helpful. However, some older, sedating antihistamines may dry and thicken post-nasal secretions even … Read more

Keeping Stress Under Control

Stop the cycle You can’t avoid daily stress. But you can keep stress under control — which can help prevent headaches. Consider these tips: Simplify your life. Rather than looking for ways to squeeze more activities or chores into the day, leave some things out. Ask yourself what really needs to be done, what can wait and what can be dropped entirely. It’s OK to say no occasionally. Manage your time wisely. Update your to-do list every day — both at work and at home. Delegate what you can, and break large projects into manageable chunks. Tackle the rest one task at a time. Be prepared. Organize your day ahead of time. Anticipate challenges. Try to keep your plan flexible, in case a headache strikes and you need to change course. Let go. Don’t worry about things you can’t control. … Read more

5 Steps to Exercise

Starting a fitness program may be one of the best things you can do for your health. With your doctor’s OK to exercise, physical activity can reduce your risk of chronic disease, improve your balance and coordination, help you lose weight — even improve your sleep habits and self-esteem. And there’s more good news. You can do it in just five steps. Step 1: Assess your fitness level You probably have some idea of how fit you are. But assessing and recording baseline fitness scores can give you benchmarks against which to measure your progress. To assess your aerobic and muscular fitness, flexibility and body composition, consider recording: Your pulse rate before and after a one-mile walk How long it takes to walk one mile How many push-ups you can do at a time How far you can reach forward … Read more