Sunday, August 31, 2014

GETTING USED TO SIDE EFFECTS! IS IT SAFE?

All pain medications have side effects. Many may make you sleepy, constipated, itchy, nauseous, dizzy or confused, among other possible side effects. Some can give you abnormal heart rhythms or skin blisters. Looking at these side effects one would realize that some are more important than others. Some would gradually get better and resolve, some may get worse over time and cause dangers to your health. For example most of Narcotic medications can cause nausea, somnolence, itchiness or constipation. Most of people would develop tolerance to these side effects over time. Some side effects may take long time to go away, for example constipation can take a long time and it may not go away in all patients. Sever constipation can lead into bowel obstruction which can be very dangerous if not treated. Some anti-epileptic medications may cause skin rashes or blood production problems that can be very dangerous if not properly dealt with, one cannot wait on these side effects to go away, they may only get worse with time. The message is this: ALTHOUGH SOME SIDE EFFECTS MAY GO AWAY WITH TIME, ONE SHOULD ALWAYS CHECK WITH THE DOCTOR ABOUT EVERY SINGLE SIDE EFFECT. DON'T WAIT, IT MAY TURN OUT TO BE A DANGEROUS SIDE EFFECT.  

Saturday, August 23, 2014

THE DANGER OF MIXING DRUGS

It is known that any drug, be it prescribed or not can have potential side effects. Doctors often mix different medications to get the best therapeutic effects of their combination. In many cases medications can have adding effects on each other or increasing each others effects. This is the synergistic effect that many doctors are looking for when they prescribe a combination of medications. However, the side effects of medications can combine as well. Some medications may have side effects that adds to other side effects from other medications, or they may increase each other's side effects. 
One of the major side effects of many medications is the suppressing effects on respiration. Pain medications and sleep medication are often taken together and their accidental or intentional increased doses can become a deadly combination. 
Marijuana is being widely used for medicinal purposes in patients with pain who have failed to improve by other medications. Most of these patients are on a combination of other medications as well. Marijuana can have cognitive side effects such as slowing down the reaction times or creating hallucinations or paranoid ideas. A patient who could perfectly drive or safely work at their work place, by mixing their current medications with Marijuana my become impaired driver or unsafe at work. It is very critical to try the effects and side effects first for a while to be clear about their risks before engaging in activities like work or driving.
MIXING MEDICATIONS, MARIJUANA, ALCOHOL AND OTHER DRUGS CAN BE DEADLY.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

INFLAMMATORY ARTHRITIS

When we suffer from Arthritis it is important to know what is the exact diagnosis of our condition. There are some medical terms that have turned into UMBRELLA DIAGNOSIS, meaning that we try to explain everything with just one word. In most instances this would lead into using medical terms for what they don't mean, or naming medical conditions with a wrong term. Many joint pain conditions are simply called Arthritis. Arthritis has many forms and the clinical history of each type is different from others. One way of looking at arthritis can be dividing most types of it into two main groups of OSTEOARTHRITIS and INFLAMMATORY ARTHRITIS. Osteoarthritis is the result of wear and tear over time. Some people may be more susceptible to this type of arthritis than others. Inflammatory arthritis on the other hand is the result of inflammations in joints that start to damage and deform the joints over time. In most cases it is because of autoimmune diseases, meaning the body starts to attack its joints and damaging them in the process. In order to treat the inflammatory arthritis one must use medications that reduce joint inflammation, or reduce the over activity of immune system which is attacking the joints. Without these proper treatments, the process of inflammation continues and damages to joints increase to the levels of joint destruction. So it is very important to have the proper diagnosis for arthritis. Special blood tests, X-Rays and scans can help doctors to properly diagnose the inflammatory arthritis. If your joints are hurting and they continues to hurt despite the usual treatments, ask your doctor to do more investigations to rule out inflammatory arthritis.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

PATIENT SELF MANAGEMENT, WHY?

We all go to doctors to get better but there is an old saying that says: If doctor is trying harder than the patient, there is a problem. Doctors are trained to diagnose conditions and formulate the best course of treatment. But who does actually go through the treatment? It is the patient who has to follow the instructions, take the medications or undergo different procedures and rehabilitation to get better. But the reality is that patients spend a small portion of their times with doctors or therapists. The rest of their time they have to deal with all their issues. Even the time they spend with their doctors are well spent only if they are collaborating with the treating team. So its the patient who is at the center of healing and this cannot happen in a passive way. Patients can learn about their diseases and how to prevent them from getting worse. How to keep a proper diet, exercise, meditate and prevent chronic conditions by keeping a healthy life style. It is the patient who would benefit from getting the best treatment so it is in their best interest to become the masters of PATIENT SELF MANAGEMENT

Monday, August 4, 2014

DON'T LET YOUR PAIN DEFINE YOU

What defines us? Our genes? Our experiences? Our character, culture or religion? Our abilities or our disabilities? or our Pain? When we think about our body, we think of My hand, My leg, My eye, etc. When it comes to our mental capacities we think of words like my culture, my ideas, my decisions, etc. When we look closer, we can see that our thought process is built based on duality of me and my. It means that we consider ME different from all MY related entities. This is a very helpful mechanism because when we have any of MY related entities, it is considered as an addition to our strength and when we lose any of these entities, we feel the separation of Me and My. I may lose MY eye but Me is still here. It is helpful to separate My problems and losses from ME. In this process, the entity of ME does not allow self to be defined by the problems and losses. Problems and losses may come and go, but ME is not defined by them. This is the reason why we should not allow our Pain to define us. DON'T LET YOUR PAIN DEFINE YOU.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

HOPE WILL MAKE US SUFFER LESS

There is not enough emphasis put on the difference of pain and suffering. In my experience of life as a pain patient and practice as a chronic pain physician I have noticed that hope plays an important role. If one has no hope or has given into the hopelessness, then even a simple condition can lead into significant suffering. However I have seen many patients with complex and difficult pain conditions who where not suffering as much because of being hopeful. To an observer it may seem curious that why would people who are living in the same society with similar conditions and access to the same services would have different levels of hope. The key answer is in the power of positive thinking which can be strengthened by practice. Positive thinking improves hopefulness and leads into less suffering. We are all hopeful to suffer less in this life. We just need to practice more positive thinking.