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May 2017


Living with Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy

Diabetic neuropathy is a complication of diabetes that results from uncontrolled, high blood sugar levels. The disorder typically occurs over a long period of time, as high blood sugars gradually damage nerve cells within the body. Peripheral neuropathy most commonly affects the hands and feet, resulting in numbness, tingling or pain. If left uncontrolled, neuropathy can affect other major, internal organs in the body such as the heart and digestive system.

Certain prescription medications may help restore function or slow progression of neuropathy. Anti-seizure medications such as gabapentin (Neurontin) and pregabalin (Lyrica) help relieve nerve pain by relaxing the body. Antidepressants such as amitriptyline (Elavil) or duloxetine (Cymbalta) may also help decrease symptoms by blocking the transfer of certain pain signals in the brain. Both classes of medications may cause drowsiness and dizziness as side effects.

Management of Travelerís Diarrhea

Travelerís diarrhea (TD) is an infection of the intestines that happens during, or shortly after a trip to a foreign country. The infection is often a result of unsanitary conditions in local restaurants, such as unclean or contaminated cooking utensils. The most common bacteria that causes the infection is Escherichia coli (E. coli). In addition to frequent diarrhea, symptoms may include stomach cramps and tiredness.

Antibiotics work by killing bacteria that may have invaded the digestive tract. Commonly prescribed antibiotics are the drugs levofloxacin (Levaquin) and ciprofloxacin (Cipro). For relief from diarrhea, Loperamide (Imodium) may be used. It works by slowing digestion and decreasing the number of bowel movements. Frequent diarrhea may also cause dehydration, in which case oral preparations such as Pedialyte (various electrolytes and nutrients) may be obtained over-the-counter to replace lost fluids.

Living with Endometriosis

Endometriosis is a condition that may involve the ovaries, fallopian tubes, or tissue around the pelvis. With this condition, the tissue that usually lines the inside of the uterus grows outside of the uterus. It may be caused by the flow of menstrual blood through the fallopian tubes and pelvis instead of out of the body. Endometriosis may also be caused by an immune system disorder that keeps the body from destroying the tissue outside of the uterus. Symptoms of endometriosis may include painful periods and diarrhea.

Medications that can decrease pain or slow endometrial tissue growth may be used to manage this condition. Naproxen (Aleve) may be used to ease the pain of menstrual cramps. Side effects may include nausea. To block the growth of endometrial tissue, danazol (Danocrine) may also be used. Danazol may also prevent menstruation and the symptoms of endometriosis. Side effects of danazol include flushing.

Managing a Fever

A fever is a short-term increase in the bodyís normal temperature, which is usually 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit. It occurs when an area in the brain called the hypothalamus sends signals to increase the bodyís temperature. A fever may be caused by a virus, a bacterial infection, or an inflammatory condition. Symptoms of a fever may include a temperature above normal range, sweating, shivering, muscle aches, hallucinations, and dehydration.

Medications that lower the bodyís temperature or treat infections may be used to manage a fever. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) or Ibuprofen (Advil) help to decrease body temperature. Side effects of acetaminophen may include itching or redness. Side effects of ibuprofen may include an upset stomach. If a fever is caused by a bacterial infection, an antibiotic such as amoxicillin (Amoxil) may be chosen by a healthcare professional. Antibiotics work to kill the bacteria causing the fever. Side effects of amoxicillin include upset stomach.


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