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Are you missing these signs of anxiety or depression?

It's easy to overlook the clues that you may need help for one of these common conditions. The signs of mental illness aren't always obvious. Subtle changes in mood or behavior are often attributed to aging, just like weaker muscles and fuzzy thinking. "There's a tendency to dismiss it as, 'Well, of course I'm worried, I have heart disease,' or, 'Of course I'm sad, I'm not as relevant as I once was,'" But depression (extreme sadness, worthlessness, or hopelessness) and anxiety (debilitating worry and agitation) do not...

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Anticholinergic drugs linked with dementia

Anticholinergic medications used to treat bladder conditions, Parkinson's disease, and depression are associated with an increased risk of dementia, according to a large study published online April 25, 2018, by The BMJ. Anticholinergic drugs help to contract and relax muscles. They work by blocking acetylcholine, a substance that also transmits messages in the nervous system. In the study, researchers compared the medical records of 40,770 people older than 65 who were diagnosed with dementia and 283,933 seniors without. They found that people diagnosed with dementia were up to...

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Take steps to prevent or reverse stress-related health problems

The relaxation response appears to manage stress and some chronic conditions at the deepest levels. Chronic stress takes a toll on the body: it contributes to everything from high blood pressure and heart disease to anxiety, digestive disorders, and slow wound healing. On the flip side, managing stress helps control many chronic conditions or reduce your risk for developing them. Strategies include regular exercise, a healthy diet, and better sleep. And one strategy in particular—eliciting the relaxation response—may enable you to manage stress right down to your...

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Uncovering the link between emotional stress and heart disease

The brain's fear center may trigger inflammation and lead to a heart attack. But stress reduction techniques can break the chain. A small, almond-shaped area deep inside the brain called the amygdala is involved in processing intense emotions, such as anxiety, fear, and stress. Now, a new brain-imaging study reveals how heightened activity in the amygdala may trigger a series of events throughout the body that raises heart attack risk. "This study identifies a mechanism that links stress, artery inflammation, and subsequent risk of a heart attack," Earlier animal...

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The Future of HIV Prevention

The future of HIV prevention is here, and now it’s easier than ever to access online tools to determine HIV risk level and receive easy and affordable preventative care via PlushCare’s PrEP program. HIV is something that affects over one million people today, and 15% of those people are not even aware they are infected. The good news is there are new innovations available to help lower the rate of HIV infections and to prevent HIV altogether using a groundbreaking new algorithm that determines HIV risk levels. Let’s dive into what the future...

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Why Is Alzheimer’s More Likely in Women?

While Alzheimer’s is indiscriminate, recent studies have found that women are bearing a disproportionate amount of Alzheimer’s burden: Aside from the fact that 60% of all Alzheimer’s caregivers are women, at the age of 65, women have a 1 in 5 chance of developing Alzheimer’s, compared to a 1 in 11 chance for men.Additionally, out of the 5 million people living with Alzheimer’s in the U.S., 3.2 million are women.Research has found that women in their 60s are twice as likely to develop Alzheimer’s than to develop breast cancer. Maria Carrillo, chief science officer for the...

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How Does HIV Affect the Body?

What effect does HIV have on the body? HIV attacks a specific type of immune system cell in the body. It’s known as the CD4 helper cell or T cell. When HIV destroys this cell, it becomes harder for the body to fight off other infections. When HIV is left untreated, even a minor infection such as a cold can be much more severe. This is because the body has difficulty responding to new infections. Not only does HIV attack CD4 cells, it also uses the cells to make...

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Depression and Sexual Health

Despite social stigma, depression is a very common illness. According to the Centers for Disease Control and PreventionTrusted Source (CDC), about one in 20 Americans over the age of 12 has some form of depression. While the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) reports a higher prevalence in women, the fact is that depression can develop in anyone, and at any age. The types of depression include: persistent depressive disorder (symptoms last for two years)psychotic depressionmajor depressionbipolar disorderpostpartum depression (occurs in women after having a ...

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Prediabetes Doesn’t Have to Turn Into Diabetes: Here’s How to Make Sure It Doesn’t

A new study concludes that a majority of prediabetes cases don’t eventually develop into type 2 diabetes.Millions of people in the United States have prediabetes, but most of them don’t know they have the condition.A diet high in fiber, grains, and vegetables as well as a regular exercise routine can help reverse a prediabetes...

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Anxiety and physical illness

Understanding and treating anxiety can often improve the outcome of chronic disease, such as GI tract problems and heart disease. With headlines warning us of international terrorism, global warming, and economic uncertainty, we're all likely to be a little more anxious these days. As an everyday emotion, anxiety — the "fight or flight" response — can be a good thing, prompting us to take extra precautions. But when anxiety persists in the absence of a need to fight or flee, it can not only interfere with our...

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