Saturday, October 28, 2017

Have Bipolar? Watch Out for These Mood Triggers

Changes in Sleep Habits

Sleep can be part of a bad cycle for people with bipolar disorder. It’s common to have insomnia during a manic or depressive phase. But a lack of sleep can also bring on mania. Too much sleep is linked with depression. A regular sleep routine -- going to bed and waking up at the same time every day -- is a good way to keep things stable. Talk to your doctor to see if sleep medications might help you, too.

Sensory Overload

Loud noise, lights, crowds, traffic, lots of deadlines, or too much caffeine or nicotine can set you up for a bipolar episode. Younger people with the disorder say all-night partying is a trigger, maybe because it involves skipping sleep along with loud music, lights, and crowds.


The strain of relationships, finances, work (or no work), or loss of a loved one can make mood symptoms worse. Stress can even trigger the first bipolar episode for some people. The trick is to manage it. Try regular exercise, avoid caffeine and alcohol, and watch your diet. Meditation also can ease depression and anxiety.

Lots of Excitement

Life’s victories are sweet, but success and excitement can be a form of stress and overstimulation. Milestones like winning a prize, finishing an exam, or a promotion can push you beyond happy or proud into mania. Some people with bipolar disorder also set extreme goals for themselves when they’re in the middle of a manic phase. Work with a therapist on how you can set reasonable goals and manage your emotions when you reach them.

A Break From the Norm

Any major change to your routine (a vacation, going to a conference, a new fitness program) can set you up for mood changes. It can also make it harder to stick to your medication schedule. No matter what’s going on in your life, plan set times for meals, work, and socializing. If you do want to get away, make it a point to stick to those parts of your routine.

Fights With Family or Friends

Good relationships help your moods stay stable. The stress of conflicts, though, can trigger a change. The cycle also works in reverse -- manic or depressive phases can be a source of conflict for family members and friends. Think about sitting down with a counselor or therapist, as a family, a couple, or on your own. A professional can help you find better ways to communicate and handle emotions.

You Quit Your Meds Suddenly

It’s dangerous to stop taking your bipolar medicine all of a sudden. It can trigger a relapse and even make your symptoms worse. A combination of talk therapy and different drugs (antidepressants, antipsychotic drugs, and mood stabilizers) can control extreme high and low moods in most people with bipolar disorder. Don’t quit them without talking to your doctor.

Drugs or Alcohol

Up to 60% of people with bipolar disorder also abuse alcohol or other substances. Alcohol may make depression worse, while recreational drugs can trigger mania. Another reason to avoid these substances: They often keep bipolar medications from working well.

A New Baby

Having a child is life-changing for anyone. It can also be a major mood-altering event if you have bipolar disorder. To ensure the best health for yourself and your baby, start talking to your doctor before you conceive. Ask about the risks -- to yourself and your baby -- of any medicines you take, but don’t stop using them without your doctor’s guidance. The right amount of sleep and stress relief can also help keep you steady.

Switching Time Zones

A trip from Nebraska to Utah probably isn’t enough of a time change to trigger a mood swing, but a flight across the Pacific might be. A few studies have found that travel across time zones can be a trigger for some, but not all, people with bipolar disorder. Continue taking your medications when you travel, and ask your doctor how to adjust doses to account for time differences.


Like migraines, asthma, and other conditions, bipolar moods sometimes come and go with the weather. One study found that atmospheric pressure, humidity, and the high and low temperatures on any given day could trigger mood swings. For the most part, the changes weren’t dramatic, with one exception: High temperatures could move you into mania. Keep the forecast in mind when you plan activities, especially time outside.

Can Duct Tape Really Remove a Wart?

What Are They?

These small, noncancerous growths appear when your skin is infected with one of the many viruses of the human papillomavirus (HPV) family. The virus triggers extra cell growth, which makes the outer layer of skin thick and hard in that spot. While they can grow anywhere you have skin, you're more likely to get one on your hands or feet. The type of wart depends on where it is and what it looks like.

Who Gets Them?

Because each person's immune system responds differently to the virus, not everyone who comes in contact with HPV will get a wart. And if you cut or damage your skin in some way, it's easier for the virus to take hold. That's why people with chronic skin conditions, such as eczema, or who bite their nails or pick at hangnails are prone to getting warts.

Your Body Plays Defense

Kids and teens get more warts than adults because their immune systems haven't built up defenses against the many types of HPV. People with weakened immune systems -- like those with HIV or who are taking biologic drugs for conditions like RA, psoriasis, and IBD -- are also more susceptible to getting warts because their body may not be able to fight them off.

How They Spread

Warts are highly contagious and are mainly passed by direct skin contact, such as when you pick at your warts and then touch another area of your body. You can also spread them with things like towels or razors that have touched a wart on your body or on someone else's. Warts like moist and soft or injured skin.

Fairy Tales Are Wrong

You can touch or kiss all the frogs and toads you like because they won't give you warts.

Having a wart on your nose -- or anywhere else, for that matter -- doesn't make you a witch, either.

Common Warts

These flesh-colored growths are most often on the backs of hands, the fingers, the skin around nails, and the feet. They're small -- from the size of a pinhead to a pea -- and feel like rough, hard bumps. They may have black dots that look like seeds, which are really tiny blood clots. Typically they show up where the skin was broken, perhaps from biting your fingernails. (This can also transfer the virus from your hands to your face.)

Plantar Warts

Does it feel like you have pebbles in your shoe? Check the soles of your feet. These warts got their name because "plantar" means "of the sole" in Latin. Unlike other warts, the pressure from walking and standing makes them grow into your skin. You may have just one or a cluster (called mosaic warts). Because they're flat, tough, and thick, it's easy to confuse them with calluses. Look for black dots on the surface.

Flat Warts

The upside of these warts is that they're smaller (maybe 1/8 inch wide, the thickness of the cord that charges your phone) and smoother than other types. The downside? They tend to grow in large numbers -- often 20 to 100 at a time. Flat warts tend to appear on children's faces, men's beard areas, and women's legs.

Filiform Warts

These fast-growing warts look thread-like and spiky, sometimes like tiny brushes. Because they tend to grow on the face -- around your mouth, eyes, and nose -- they can be annoying, even though they don't usually hurt.

Genital Warts

As you might expect, you get these by having sex with someone who has them. They may look like small, scattered, skin-colored bumps or like a cluster of bumps similar to a little bit of cauliflower on your genitals. And they can spread, even if you can't see them. Don't try to get rid of genital warts yourself; they can be hard to treat.

Other types of HPV that could cause cancer may be passed sexually, too, including through oral and anal sex.

How Long They Last

Over time, your body will often build up a resistance and fight warts off. But it may take months or as many as 2 years for them to disappear. In adults, warts often stick around even longer, perhaps several years or more. Some warts won't ever go away. Doctors aren't sure why some do and others don't.

To Treat or Not to Treat?

Most warts are harmless, and you don't need to do anything -- unless, of course, they're painful or embarrassing. Waiting for warts to go away could backfire, though: A wart might get bigger, new warts may appear, or you could give them to someone else. The best treatment depends on your age and health and the type of wart. But there's no cure for HPV, so some of the virus might stay in your skin after the wart is gone and reappear later.

Peeling Products

Over-the-counter gels, liquids, and pads with salicylic acid work by peeling away the dead skin cells of the wart to gradually dissolve it. For better results, soak the wart in warm water, then gently sand it with a disposable emery board before you apply the product. Be sure to use a new emery board each time. Be patient -- it can take several months.

Duct Tape

Yes, you may be able to get a remedy for warts at the hardware store! Study results are mixed, but covering warts with duct tape may peel away layers of skin and irritate it to kick-start your immune system. Soak, sand, and put duct tape on the area (use silver stuff because it's stickier). Remove and re-do the process every 5-6 days until the wart is gone. If it works for you, the wart should be gone within 4 weeks.

When to See the Doctor

If you're not sure your skin growth is a wart (some skin cancers look like them), it doesn't get better with home treatment, it hurts, or you have a lot of them, check with your doctor. If you have diabetes or a weakened immune system, you should have a doctor take a look before you treat a wart yourself.


For adults and older children with common warts, your doctor will likely want to freeze them off with liquid nitrogen. (Because the nitrogen is so cold, it can cause a stabbing pain for a little while, which is why it's not used for small children.) You'll probably need more than one session. It works better when you follow up with a salicylic acid treatment after the area heals. Cryosurgery can cause light spots on people who have dark skin.


"Painting" a wart with this liquid makes a blister form underneath it, lifting it off the skin. When the blister dries (after about a week), the wart comes off with the blistered skin. Cantharidin is often the way to treat young children because it doesn't hurt at first, though it may tingle, itch, burn, or swell a few hours later.

Burning and Cutting

Doctors may use one or both of these methods after they numb the area.

Electrosurgery burns the wart with an electric charge through the tip of a needle. It's good for common warts, filiform warts, and foot warts. Your doctor could also use a laser.

Prescription Creams

For stubborn warts, peeling creams with glycolic acid, stronger salicylic acid, or tretinoin could do the trick. Diphencyprone (DCP) and imiquimod (Aldara) irritate your skin to encourage your immune system to go to work there. 5-Fluorouracil is a cancer medicine that may stop your body from making extra skin cells the same way it stops tumors from growing.


Your doctor may use a needle to put medicine into the wart to help get rid of it. Bleomycin, a cancer drug, may stop infected cells from making more. Interferon boosts your immune system to better fight the HPV, typically for genital warts.

These usually aren't the first things your doctor will try, and you may need to use salicylic acid or duct tape on your wart, too.

Stop the Spread

There's no way yet to prevent warts, but you can lower your chances of getting or spreading them:

o Don't touch, pick, or scratch your warts, or touch someone else's.
o Wash your hands after treating warts.
o Keep foot warts dry.
o Wear waterproof sandals or flip-flops in public showers, locker rooms, and around public pools.

Inspirational Quote – October 28, 2017

“Not everyone you lose is a loss.”

Well I guess we can all relate to this although not all of us will have realized it at the time. Have you ever bemoaned the fact that someone you considered a friend, a lover, a trusted colleague, etc., has left your life and you wondering what just happened? Perhaps there was no explanation for their departure or, if there was, maybe you disagreed with their reasons and begged them to stay around. However, when you’ve looked back, sometime in the future, how many times have you realized that they actually did you a favor and you should actually get down on your knees and thank your lucky stars that you “lost” them when you did. Whew!

Speaking Loudly for a Quiet Place

"Bear Witness," chronicles the year Dave and Amy Freeman spent in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area (BWCA) Wilderness to bring awareness to the threats posed by a proposed sulfide-ore copper mining on the wilderness edge. The video is divided up into four seasons and documents the beauty of the BWCA during each season through video and journal-like audio. It tells their story through their words and perspective, adding a personal touch and a descriptive connection to an area that many may never see. Not only are they advocating for BWCA, but also for standing up for all of the world's wilderness areas. In December 2016, U.S. Federal Agencies denied the mining lease and began an environmental review of the Boundary Waters to determine potential impacts from mining.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Telltale Signs of Adult ADHD

ADHD Affects Adults, Too

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is not limited to children -- 30% to 70% of kids with ADHD continue having symptoms when they grow up. In addition, people who were never diagnosed as kids may develop more obvious symptoms in adulthood, causing trouble on the job or in relationships. Many adults don’t realize they have ADHD, leaving them mystified about why their goals seem to slip out of reach.

Signs of Adult ADHD: Running Late

ADHD in adults follows a slightly different pattern than in children. Adults may be chronically late for work or important events. Adults may realize that their tardiness is undermining their goals, but they just can't seem to be on time.

Signs of Adult ADHD: Risky Driving

One of the hallmarks of ADHD is difficulty keeping your mind on the task at hand. That spells trouble for teens and adults when they're behind the wheel of a vehicle. Studies show that people with ADHD are more likely to speed, have accidents, and lose their drivers' licenses.

Signs of Adult ADHD: Distraction

Adults with ADHD may have trouble prioritizing, starting, and finishing tasks. They tend to be disorganized, restless, and easily distracted. Some people with ADHD have trouble concentrating while reading. The inability to stay focused and follow through on tasks can derail careers, ambitions, and relationships.

Signs of Adult ADHD: Outbursts

Adults with ADHD may have problems with self-control. This can lead to:

o Difficulty controlling anger
o Impulsive behaviors
o Blurting out rude or insulting thoughts

Signs of Adult ADHD: Hyperfocus

Some adults with ADHD can focus intently on things they enjoy or find interesting -- the ability to hyperfocus. But they struggle to pay attention to tasks that bore them. The trouble is that many tasks necessary for success in everyday life are dull, from making a grocery list to filing documents at work. People with ADHD tend to put off boring tasks in favor of more enjoyable activities.

Multitasking or ADHD?

It may seem like everyone has ADHD these days, as we respond to text messages, email, calls, and fast-paced work environments. While all of this can be distracting, most people manage to focus on important responsibilities. In people with ADHD, distractions interfere with the completion of vital tasks at home and at work.

ADHD or Something Else?

If you are often restless and have trouble concentrating, don't jump to the conclusion that you have ADHD. These symptoms are also common in other conditions. Poor concentration is a classic sign of depression. Restlessness or anxiety could indicate an overactive thyroid or anxiety disorder. Your health care provider will investigate whether these conditions could be causing your symptoms instead of -- or in addition to -- ADHD.

What Causes ADHD?

In people with ADHD, brain chemicals called neurotransmitters are less active in areas of the brain that control attention. Researchers don't know exactly what causes this chemical imbalance, but they think genes may play a role, because ADHD often runs in families. Studies have also linked ADHD to prenatal exposure to cigarettes and alcohol.

An Evolutionary Advantage?

One genetic variation that causes ADHD-like traits is more common in the world's nomadic peoples. Researchers think that traits such as impulsive behavior, novelty-seeking, and unpredictability might help nomads track down food and other resources. So the same qualities that make it challenging to excel at a desk job may have been an advantage to nomadic ancestors.

Diagnosing ADHD in Adults

Many adults don’t learn that they have ADHD until they get help for another problem, such as anxiety or depression. Discussing poor habits, troubles at work, or marital conflicts often reveals that ADHD is at fault. To confirm the diagnosis, the disorder must have been present during childhood, even if it was never diagnosed. Old report cards or talking with relatives can document childhood problems, such as poor focus and hyperactivity.

Testing for ADHD

During an evaluation for ADHD, some mental health professionals use neuropsychological tests. These can include timed, computer-based tests that measure attention and problem-solving skills. Neuropsychological testing is not needed to make a diagnosis, but it can shed light on how ADHD affects a person's daily life. It can also uncover coexisting conditions, such as learning disabilities.

Complications of Adult ADHD

Coping with the symptoms of adult ADHD can be frustrating in itself. At the same time, many adults with ADHD struggle with depression, anxiety, or obsessive compulsive disorder. They’re also more likely to smoke or abuse drugs. People with ADHD can limit these problems by seeking proper treatment.

Medications for ADHD

The most common medicines for ADHD are stimulants. It may seem ironic that people who are restless or hyperactive get help from stimulants. These drugs may sharpen concentration and curb distractibility by fine-tuning brain circuits that affect attention. If stimulants don't help enough, your doctor may prescribe an antidepressant to stabilize mood or a selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor, such as atomoxetine, which can help control impulsive behaviors.

How Effective Are ADHD Drugs?

There have been far fewer studies of ADHD drugs in adults than in children, but the research to date is promising. Studies have shown adults taking stimulants have fewer ADHD symptoms -- and some people may feel they can concentrate better within about 30 minutes.

Counseling for ADHD

Most adults with ADHD improve when they start medication, but they may continue to struggle with poor habits and low self-esteem. Counseling for ADHD focuses on getting organized, setting helpful routines, repairing relationships, and improving social skills. There is evidence that cognitive-behavioral therapy is particularly helpful in managing problems of daily life that are associated with ADHD.

Adult ADHD on the Job

Holding down a job can be tough for people with ADHD. They often have trouble breaking down tasks and following directions, staying organized, and making deadlines. They’re also prone to tardiness and careless mistakes. In one national survey, only half of adults with ADHD were employed full time, compared to 72% of adults without the disorder. People with ADHD also tend to earn less than their peers.

Careers for Adults with ADHD

There's not much research yet into the careers where people with ADHD are likely to thrive. But ADHD expert Russell A. Barkely, MD, says his patients have excelled in sales, acting, the military, photography, athletic coaching, and many trade professions. A person with ADHD can pursue almost any career that interests them.

Job Coaching for ADHD

People with ADHD may be able to boost their job performance with coaching or mentoring. The mentor will help with organization skills, such as taking notes, keeping a daily planner and prioritizing a to-do list. A quiet workspace with few distractions may help. ADHD is a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act. This means employers must make adjustments to support a worker’s needs.

Adult ADHD and Marriage

ADHD can sabotage marriage and other relationships. The condition makes it difficult to remember social commitments, birthdays, or anniversaries, finish household chores, and pay bills on time. Adults with ADHD may lose their tempers easily or engage in reckless behavior. This leads to higher rates of separation and divorce.

Life Coaching for ADHD

Like having a mentor in the workplace, some people with ADHD benefit from having a coach for everyday life. Coaching is generally a supplement to more formal psychological counseling. The mentor helps the patient put newly learned skills into practice in real-life situations, whether organizing the home or planning a trip.

Organizational Skills for ADHD

Smart phone "organizer" apps can be especially useful for people with ADHD. Use an app to create a new to-do list every night, and you'll always have it with you on your phone. Keep your list organized by using four categories: calls, emails, tasks, and errands. Other apps can help you keep your schedule up to date, so you won't miss important events.

Diet Tips for Adults with ADHD

Some experts believe foods that provide quality brain fuel could reduce symptoms of ADHD. High-protein foods, including nuts, meat, beans, and eggs, may improve concentration. Replacing simple carbs with complex carbs, like whole-grain pasta or brown rice, can help ward off mood swings and stabilize energy levels.

Does Sugar Worsen ADHD?

The idea that sugar makes people hyperactive is popular, but there is no evidence that sweets cause ADHD or make its symptoms worse. Research in children indicates switching to a sugar substitute, such as aspartame, does not reduce symptoms of ADHD.

Outlook for Adults With ADHD

Adults with ADHD don’t outgrow the condition, but many learn to manage it successfully. Long-term treatment can reduce problems at home and at work, bringing patients closer to their families and their professional goals.