Health and Disease, Uncategorized

Bad Breath? Natural Ways to Address The Issue

Bad Breath?  Natural Ways to Address The Issue

Cucumber slices for bad breadth

Bad breath can be caused by bacteria from decaying food particles or debris in the mouth or can occur as the result of poor oral hygiene. To freshen your breath naturally, consider:

 

  • Eating hydrating foods. Oranges and organic celery – along with other water-rich produce – can help prevent dry mouth, which can contribute to halitosis. Also be sure to drink water throughout the day to maintain good hydration.
  • Ask your healthcare provider is magnesium is right for you, and what other supplements you must take with it.  If he or she does not know then contact us.
  • Trying natural mouth fresheners. Chew on parsley after meals, sip on peppermint tea or fresh peppermint leaves, or chew (but don’t swallow) cardamom seeds. There are a number of probiotic-based toothpastes now that are worth considering for oral and breath health as well.
  • Dont take laxatives
  • Stay away from all carbonated beverages
  • Stay away from fast food restaurants

 

-People Start to Heal The Moment They Are Heard-

 

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Health and Disease, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Hawaii Warns Tourists Of Parasitic Worm That Can Burrow Into Human Brains

Hawaii Warns Tourists Of Parasitic Worm That Can Burrow Into Human Brains

Parasitic Worm, Hawaii

If you have plans to go to Hawaii this summer, take note! The state’s health department has recently released warnings about a parasitic worm capable of infecting humans and affecting the brain and spinal cord. While you might be determined to prevent anything from ruining your island vacation, this squirmy bugger just might!

What’s Happening with the Parasitic Worm in Hawaii?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there have been three brand new cases of United States mainland adults infected with this brain worm while visiting Hawaii Island. These three cases were completely unrelated, become infected at different times, and all lived in different places. They bring the state’s case total to 5 infections in 2019 and 10 infections in 2018. These numbers don’t represent the 17 confirmed cases that occurred back in the year 2017 or the two recorded cases in the previous decade. According to officials, this new eruption in parasitic worm infections is due to a boom in the population of semi-slugs, a carrier of the worm.

What Is Hawaii’s Parasitic Worm?

Disgust is any reasonable person’s reaction to hearing about any kind of parasitic worm! But it might be worth your while to learn a bit about them. In all of the Hawaii cases, the particular parasite was the rat lungworm (Angiostrongylus cantonensis). As their name suggests, this nasty creature usually makes its home inside the lungs of rats. Females lay eggs there and then young worms abandon their nest soon in order to discover their own home.

Nature takes its somewhat revolting course when the larvae get coughed up the rat’s airway, then swallowed and passed through their digestive system. Snails, slugs, and other feces-eating bugs soon become intermediate hosts until new rodents eat these infested mollusks. Prepubescent parasites make their temporary home in the rat’s brain until they’re mature enough to resettle and reproduce in the lungs.

According to the State of Hawaii Department of Health, “You can get angiostrongyliasis by eating food contaminated by the larval stage of A. cantonensis worms. In Hawaii, these larval worms can be found in raw or undercooked snails or slugs. Sometimes people can become infected by eating raw produce that contains a small infected snail or slug, or part of one.”

How to Prevent a Rat Lungworm Infection

Diagnosing a rat lungworm infection is difficult. Some cases are entirely symptomless and blood tests don’t identify the parasite. Typically patients infected with the worm are left to manage their own symptoms while they wait for the worm to die on its own. This usually happens before the worm is able to infest a human’s lungs.

If you plan to visit Hawaii any time soon, carefully inspect and thoroughly wash all produce purchased in store. Once you purchase it, keep your produce properly sealed in airtight containers. Avoid eating snails or slugs in Hawaii. Wash any food item that might have come into contact with snails or slugs, such as salad fixings that snails or slugs might have used as grazing foods.

Conclusion

It’s important to be careful with what you eat anytime you travel. Be sure you wash all fruits and vegetables, only eat meat that’s fully cooked, and do not drink the tap water. If you’re going to Hawaii this summer, just be extra careful with fruits and vegetables. Rat lungworm isn’t something to scoff at!

-People Start to Heal The Moment They Are Heard- 

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Health and Disease, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

More ‘Flesh-Eating’ Bacteria?

More ‘Flesh-Eating’ Bacteria?

News Picture: Another Climate Change Threat: More 'Flesh-Eating' Bacteria?

A flesh-eating bacteria has migrated into the Delaware Bay between Delaware and New Jersey, drawn north by the warmer waters of climate change, doctors say.

Five cases of infection with Vibrio vulnificusoccurred in 2017 and 2018 along the Delaware Bay, compared to one infection with the devastating bacteria in the eight years prior, researchers said.

The infections resulted in one death and multiple rounds of surgery to save the other patients. One had all his limbs removed at the elbows and knees due to severe bacterial infection, said Dr. Katherine Doktor, an infectious disease specialist at Cooper University Hospital in Camden, N.J.

“In order to stop the infection, the person needs antibiotics and they need to be taken to the OR [operating room] quickly so any infected tissue can be removed, so it doesn’t spread further,” she said.

But Doktor added that the bacteria tends to strike hardest at people with pre-existing health problems like liver disease, diabetes, kidney failure or a compromised immune system.

“Just going to the beach or going to the bay is not going to make you sick,” she said. “These people usually have a cut and the infected water gets into the cut, or they eat raw seafood that’s infected.”

Vibrio bacteria cause an estimated 80,000 illnesses and 100 deaths in the United States each year, with most infections in May through October when water temperatures are warm, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

One in five people with this type of infection die, sometimes within days of becoming ill, the CDC warns.

Because the bacteria thrive in warmer, salty water, it’s usually found mostly in southern waters, Doktor said.

But cases of Vibrio infection began showing up in emergency rooms along the Delaware Bay a few years back, Doktor and her colleagues reported June 18 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Four of the cases involved middle-aged or older men who had been crabbing in the bay or eating crabs taken from the bay, the doctors said. The fifth case involved a man who worked at a seafood restaurant in New Jersey.

Wound infections affecting a person’s limbs occur through breaks in the skin, while eating tainted seafood can cause intestinal and bloodstream infections, the researchers said. Large blood blisters start popping up at sites where skin cells are dying off, Doktor explained.

“On average, people need to be taken back to the OR two to four times to remove any tissue that has died,” she said.

It’s not just in the United States that Vibrio is migrating northward, Doktor said. In Europe, infections with the bacteria have extended as far north as Norway.

Dr. Amesh Adalja is a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, in Baltimore. He said, “Vibrio vulnificus infections contracted in the Delaware Bay, an area not known to be endemic for the bacteria, should serve as an important reminder that infectious diseases can expand from their traditional areas so long as the environment is hospitable to them.” Adalja was not involved with the new report.

“If certain bodies of water have had temperature changes that allow Vibrio vulnificus to flourish in a new region, it will be important that clinicians have heightened awareness of this serious, and sometimes fatal, infection in order to diagnose and treat it appropriately,” Adalja added.

Doktor advised that shellfish lovers should exercise caution when having a seafood meal, especially if they have a health condition that compromises their body’s ability to stave off infection.

“Some people, when they shuck the crabs, they use gloves,” she said. “I would protect your skin by wearing gloves.”

You might want to think twice about hitting the raw bar, too.

“As an infectious disease physician, I don’t think people should be eating raw seafood,” Doktor said. “But if you don’t have any of these risk factors, the chance of infection is much, much lower.”

-People Start to Heal The Moment They Are Heard- 

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Foods, Health and Disease, Uncategorized

The Benefits of Ginger

Ginger: A Natural Anti-Inflammatory Spice For Nausea And Motion Sickness

Ginger: A Natural Anti-Inflammatory Spice For Nausea and Motion Sickness

If minor aches and pains are an issue for you, try ginger, a natural anti-inflammatory agent that is useful for relieving symptoms associated with arthritis, bursitis, motion sickness, nausea and more. Ginger is commonly available in forms ranging from whole fresh root, crystallized ginger and honey-based ginger syrups to capsules containing powdered extracts. Look for products made with only 100 percent pure ginger. For inflammatory conditions, take 1,000 to 2,000mg (or 1 to 2 grams) of powdered ginger a day; for nausea and prevention of motion sickness, take 1,000 mg as a preventive, following that with 500 mg every four hours as needed. (You may also try eating two pieces of crystallized ginger, taking a spoonful of ginger syrup or sipping ginger tea.)

 

To prevent high doses from causing stomach irritation, take ginger with food. Ginger may also act as a blood thinner, so curbing daily use at least two weeks before surgery is advisable. If you are pregnant, use ginger to address morning sickness with some caution – I would not recommend using more 1,000 to 1,500 mg per day divided into two to four doses throughout, particularly during the early stages of pregnancy.

 

-People Start to Heal The Moment They Are Heard- 

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Foods, Health and Disease, Uncategorized

Soy Foods: Possibly for Girls Only

Some people think soy is a great plant-based protein option, but what are the dangers of eating soy? Learn about the risks and benefits, plus some ways to consume soy safely.

soy beans and soy milk

Why do we eat soy?

With the rise in popularity of vegetarian and vegan diets, soy has stepped onto the scene as a source of plant-based protein. Those who don’t eat meat praise the protein content of soy. One cup of boiled soybeans contains about 29 grams of protein which is comparable to a serving of meat. Soy also contains vitamins and minerals such as copper and phosphorus.

However, other people denounce soy as dangerous or, at the least, not optimal for frequent consumption. The Paleo movement in particular, has helped highlight the dangers of eating soy, ranging from the phytoestrogens present in soy to the high levels of antinutrients in soy.

Where are soy and soy products in our food?

In the United States, soy is most commonly consumed as a replacement for animal products, as an emulsifier in processed foods, or in soy sauce. You’ll also find soy in these common products:

  • Soy-based infant formula, as a replacement for breast milk or milk-based formula
  • Chocolate bars, processed foods, and some supplements as soy lecithin used to preserve shelf life and improve texture
  • Tempeh and tofu, as a replacement for meat
  • Soy milk, as a replacement for dairy milk
  • Condiments such as soy sauce or miso paste used to add flavor to traditional Asian dishes
  • Natto and edamame, as snacks or side dishes
  • Soy protein isolate, as plant-based protein powder, either used alone as a powder supplement or used in protein bars/bites/etc.
  • Processed and conventional meat: even though soy is used as a meat alternative, it has also been used as a filler in processed meat and the diets of conventionally-raised animals are often supplemented with GMO soy feed.

What is the controversy surrounding soy?

Soy is controversial for a few different reasons, the most common being the isoflavones present in soy (see below for more information). Soy is also one of the top 8 allergens in the United States–such a highly allergenic food invites controversy, whether founded or not, unto itself.

Other controversial characteristics of soy include GMOs, antinutrients, and goitrogens. Here is some more in-depth information about each controversial characteristic of soy.

1. Isoflavones (phytoestrogens)

Isoflavones, also known as phytoestrogens, are particularly concentrated in soy. These natural compounds have a chemical structure similar to the human hormone known as estrogen; thus, they can attach to estrogen receptor sites in the human body and affect natural estrogen production and metabolism.

Having excess estrogen in the body can have an array of health consequences. These include, but are not limited to: breast cancer (though some research indicates a lower risk of breast cancer in women who consume soy), estrogen dominance, acne due to imbalanced hormones, endometriosis, male infertility(though more research is needed), and–in rare cases–gynecomastia (male breast growth).

The possible manipulation of estrogen as a result of eating soy or soy products is a big potential danger of eating soy. The harmful effects may be exacerbated with non-organic, highly processed forms of soy.

2. GMOs

As much as 80% of soybean production in the United States comes from genetically modified soybeans. GMOs were only introduced to the public food supply in 1994 and there has been no opportunity to conduct long-lasting studies of the effects of GMO-containing diets. We do not have credible information on the safety of GMOs, which has led many people to forgo consuming GMO foods completely.

3. Antinutrients

Soy, like other legumes, is high in phytic acid. Phytic acid is an antinutrient, meaning it is the plant’s natural protective system that impedes the absorption of nutrients when consumed.

If you’re eating soy for the high levels of nutrients, some of them are bound to antinutrients and are therefore unavailable to your body. Antinutrients can even bind to other minerals and vitamins present in your body, leaching them from you. Soy also contains protease inhibitors, which inhibit the metabolism of certain types of proteins.

4. Goitrogens

Soy contains naturally higher levels of goitrogens, which can interfere with proper thyroid function when consumed in excess.

What are the possible benefits of eating soy foods?

tofu veggie soup bowl

Some health experts encourage the consumption of soy for its health benefits. Like most foods, there are both downsides and upsides to consuming soy. Keep in mind that when consuming soy, you’ll get the most nutrient density from organic, non-GMO soy in its whole form.

Here are some commonly perceived benefits of eating soy and the associated research.

1. Possible Lower Risk of Breast Cancer

Some research has shown that females who consume soy prior to and during pre-adolescent breast development have a lower risk for breast cancer later in life.

2. Lower LDL (“bad” cholesterol)

Though soy has been touted as beneficial for lowering high levels of Low-density lipoprotein (LDL), the amount is indirect and not significant. The FDA has revoked the claim that soy is beneficial for lowering LDL levels.

3. High in nutrients

Soy is particularly high in iron, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, and copper.

4. Lowers blood pressure

There is data to suggest that soy is hypotensive, meaning it helps lower blood pressure, and therefore can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Safer soy consumption recommendations

If you have digestive issues such as leaky gut or gut dysbiosis or autoimmune disorder, consider avoiding all soy altogether.

If you choose to incorporate soy into your diet, it’s best to be sure you’re consuming it in moderation and that you’re getting high quality, properly prepared soy. Ideally, the soy you consume should be:

  • Organic: at least 80% of soy in the United States is genetically modified, but you can avoid both GMOs and heavy pesticide use by choosing certified organic soy
  • Soaked/sprouted: like all legumes and beans, the digestibility of soy can be improved through soaking and/or sprouting. This traditional method of preparation lowers antinutrients and makes it easier to digest (though a significant amount of the antinutrients still remain.)
  • Fermented: fermented soy products like tempeh and natto offer an impressive nutrient profile, probiotics, and increased digestibility.
  • Whole: avoid soy protein isolates, which contain all of the isoflavones and antinutrients with none of the vitamins and minerals. Soy protein isolate is notoriously difficult to digest.

The moderate benefits of properly prepared, well-sourced soy do not outweigh the potential risks of digestive distress, hormonal imbalance, and nutrient depletion for those with compromised health. Avoiding soy in your diet can free you to include more nutrient-dense foods and help you avoid the risks associated with eating soy.

-People Start to Heal The Moment They Are Heard- 

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Foods, Uncategorized

Itsy-Bitsy Teeny-Weeny Colored Polka-Dot Rotini Recipe

Itsy-Bitsy Teeny-Weeny Colored Polka-Dot Rotini Recipe

Itsy-Bitsy Teeny-Weeny Colored Polka-Dot Rotini Recipe - Genius Kitchen

Ingredients

 

  • 8 oz tri-color spiral pasta, uncooked (about 3 cups dry )
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup light coconut milk
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp curry powder
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 cup frozen green peas, thawed or 1 cup cooked lentils
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup dried currant

 

Directions

Directions:

  1. In a medium saucepan, combine broth, coconut milk, sugar and spices.
  2. Bring to a boil.
  3. Add rotini.
  4. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and simmer for six minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Add peas, red pepper and currants.
  6. Simmer for 6 to 7 minutes, until liquid has been absorbed and pasta is tender.
  7. Remove from heat and let stand for five minutes before serving.

 

-People Start to Heal The Moment They Are Heard-

 

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Foods, Uncategorized

NAME-THAT-TUNA CASSEROLE

NAME-THAT-TUNA CASSEROLE

 

Name-That-Tuna Casserole

 

Ingredients

4 cup uncooked high-fibre rotini pasta

1 cup frozen green peas

1 Tbsp butter

¾ cup diced yellow onions

½ cup diced celery

1 tsp minced garlic

½ tsp dried tarragon

1 can reduced-sodium chicken broth, undiluted (10 oz/284 mL)

1 can 2% evaporated milk (13 oz/370 mL)

2 Tbsp all-purpose flour

1 tsp Dijon mustard

Grated zest of 1 lemon

¼ tsp each salt and freshly ground black pepper (or to taste)

¾ cup packed shredded light Monterey Jack cheese (3 oz/85 g)

½ cup packed shredded Parmesan cheese (2 oz/56 g)

1 Tbsp minced fresh dill

1 can wild salmon, well drained (6 oz/170 g)

1 can tuna, well drained (6 oz/170 g)

 

 

Directions

 

  1. It is best to have all ingredients ready to go before starting. Chop the onions and celery, grate the cheeses, drain the canned fish, etc.

2. In a large pot, cook pasta according to package directions, adding frozen green peas to pot during last 2 minutes of cooking time. Drain and keep warm.

3. Meanwhile, prepare sauce. Melt butter over medium heat in a large non-stick pot. Add onions, celery, and garlic. Cook and stir until vegetables are tender, about 4 minutes. Stir in tarragon and cook 30 more seconds. Add broth. Whisk together evaporated milk and flour until smooth. Add to pot. Cook and stir until sauce bubbles and begins to thicken.

4. Stir in mustard, lemon zest, salt, and pepper. Cook 1 more minute. Remove sauce from heat and stir in both cheeses until melted. Add drained tuna and salmon and mix well. Add drained noodles and peas and mix well. Serve hot with freshly ground black pepper on top. Enjoy!

 

-People Start to Heal The Moment They Are Heard-

 

 

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Foods, Uncategorized

Put Up Your Cukes

Put Up Your Cukes

 

There is a lot of punch packed into this simple cucumber salad, so expect to duke, or should I say Cuke,  it out with your friends.

Image result for Put Up Your Cukes

1 cup of low fat sour cream or plain yogurt
¼ cup of chopped green onions
1 tbsp. Each of lemon juice, and sugar
1 tbsp. Minced fresh dill
¼ tsp. salt
6 cups peeled seeded and diced English cucumbers *

To make the dressing, combine all of the ingredients except for
the cucumbers in a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate for 30
Minutes.

Add dressing to diced cucumbers in a medium bowl. Mix well.
Refrigerate until ready to serve. Best if eaten with in 24 hours.

Makes 6 servings

Hint* When a recipe calls for seeded cucumbers, split the cucumber lengthwise and scrape out the seeds and the watery membrane with a spoon. Salads made from seeded cucumbers stay fresh longer.

 

-People Start to Heal The Moment They Are Heard-

 

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Diets and Weight Loss, Foods, Health and Disease, Uncategorized

Paleo Turkey Wonton Soup Recipe

Paleo Turkey Wonton Soup Recipe

Have you ever thought of wonton soup as a health food? Probably not. But with my gluten-free, gut- and figure-friendly wonton soup recipe, you can think again! For my wonton soup recipe, I use a combination of gluten-free cassava flour and tapioca flour to make the wonton dough. I also fill the wontons with ground turkey instead of pork or shrimp since I avoid both of those foods.

And the healthy choices don’t stop there. I also add a ton of vegetables, herbs and spices to this soup to boost its nutritional value. The vegetables in this wonton soup recipe may just leave you with a stronger immune system, healthier heart and gut and improved digestive tract. You’ll also feel completely satisfied from this hearty recipe.

 

What is Wonton Soup?

Wonton soup is commonly prepared in Chinese cuisine. It includes wontons, which are tiny dumplings that are filled with a seasoned ground meat. The traditional way to prepare wonton dough is using a combination of flour, egg, salt and water, but for my wonton soup, I chose to use cassava flour and tapioca flour so the wontons are completely gluten-free.

Wonton soup recipe - Dr. Axe

My favorite thing about wonton soup is that it includes a bunch of nutrient-dense vegetables, like mushrooms, cabbage, carrots and onions, plus a handful of anti-inflammatory herbs and spices, like ginger, garlic, cayenne pepper and cilantro. With so many ingredients in wonton soup, you are getting a slew of health benefits, from improved digestion and heart health, to a reduced risk of obesity.

INGREDIENTS:

  • Wonton Wrapper:
  • 1 cup cassava flour
  • 1 cup tapioca starch
  • 1 cup hot water
  • ½ cup avocado oil
  • Filling:
  • ½ pound ground turkey
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon ginger powder
  • 1 green onion, chopped
  • 2 cups cabbage, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup carrots, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons coconut aminos
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Soup:
  • 8 cups chicken bone broth
  • 4 tablespoons coconut aminos
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 cup of mushrooms
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon ginger powder
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon chili flakes
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a large pot, combine broth, aminos, garlic, onion, ginger, cayenne, sesame oil, chili flakes, cilantro, salt and pepper.
  2. Bring broth to a boil and then simmer on low.
  3. While broth is simmering, combine cabbage and carrots in a strainer placed over a bowl. Pour 1 teaspoon of salt over the top. Let sit for 10 min.
  4. Massage cabbage and carrots to release excess water. Ring out the water and place in a medium sized bowl.
  5. Add ground turkey, onions, coconut aminos, garlic, ginger and salt. Set aside.
  6. In a large bowl, mix flours, avocado oil and hot water. Knead dough thoroughly until smooth.
  7. Lay parchment paper on a flat surface and sprinkle flour.
  8. Place 2 tablespoons of dough on the parchment and flatten with a rolling pin. Cut dough into 3 inch squares.
  9. Place 1 tablespoon of turkey filling in the center of the dough. With one lightly wet finger, trace two edges of the wonton dough in an “L” shape.
  10. Gently, enclose wonton fillings to create a triangle shape. Fold the wings inward, making sure to release any air pockets.
  11. Bring the broth back to a boil and gently drop wontons into the soup.
  12. Boil wontons for about 10 minutes.
  13. Serve with fresh green onions, sliced.

 

-People Start to Heal The Moment They Are Heard- 

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Lifestyle, Rx to Wellness, Uncategorized

Schizophrenia: Symptoms, Types, Causes, Treatment

Schizophrenia: Symptoms, Types, Causes, Treatment

 

A panoramic concept shows the face of a man with schizophrenia.

 

Schizophrenia is a chronic, severe, debilitating mental illness characterized by disordered thoughts, abnormal behaviors, and anti-social behaviors. It is a psychotic disorder, meaning the person with schizophrenia does not identify with reality at times.

Who is Affected

Schizophrenia affects more than 2 million people in the U.S.

  • Schizophrenia affects about 1.1% of the world’s population
  • 3.5 million Americans have schizophrenia
  • Schizophrenia is most commonly diagnosed between the ages of 16 to 25
  • Schizophrenia can be hereditary (runs in families)
  • It affects men 1.5 times more commonly than women
  • Schizophrenia and its treatment has an enormous effect on the economy, costing between $32.5-$65 billion each year

How Common Is Schizophrenia in Children?

 

Children may also be affected by schizophrenia.

Schizophrenia in young children is rare. The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) estimates only 1 in 40,000 children experience the onset of schizophrenia symptoms before the age of 13.

Types of Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia health care check list.

There are five types of schizophrenia (discussed in the following slides). They are categorized by the types of symptoms the person exhibits when they are assessed:

  • Paranoid schizophrenia
  • Disorganized schizophrenia
  • Catatonic schizophrenia
  • Undifferentiated schizophrenia
  • Residual schizophrenia

Paranoid Schizophrenia

A woman suffering from paranoid schizophrenia is distressed.

Paranoid-type schizophrenia is distinguished by paranoid behavior, including delusions and auditory hallucinations. Paranoid behavior is exhibited by feelings of persecution, of being watched, or sometimes this behavior is associated with a famous or noteworthy person a celebrity or politician, or an entity such as a corporation. People with paranoid-type schizophrenia may display anger, anxiety, and hostility. The person usually has relatively normal intellectual functioning and expression of affect.

Disorganized Schizophrenia

A young woman pours a pot of spaghetti on her head.

A person with disorganized-type schizophrenia will exhibit behaviors that are disorganized or speech that may be bizarre or difficult to understand. They may display inappropriate emotions or reactions that do not relate to the situation at-hand. Daily activities such as hygiene, eating, and working may be disrupted or neglected by their disorganized thought patterns.

Catatonic Schizophrenia

A man is in a catatonic state.

Disturbances of movement mark catatonic-type schizophrenia. People with this type of schizophrenia may vary between extremes: they may remain immobile or may move all over the place. They may say nothing for hours, or they may repeat everything you say or do. These behaviors put these people with catatonic-type schizophrenia at high risk because they are often unable to take care of themselves or complete daily activities.

Undifferentiated Schizophrenia

A young man with undifferentiated schizophrenia wears a tinfoil hat while staring into a TV.

Undifferentiated-type schizophrenia is a classification used when a person exhibits behaviors which fit into two or more of the other types of schizophrenia, including symptoms such as delusions, hallucinations, disorganized speech or behavior, catatonic behavior.

Residual Schizophrenia

A schizophrenic girl's reflection shows her inner turmoil.

When a person has a past history of at least one episode of schizophrenia, but the currently has no symptoms (delusions, hallucinations, disorganized speech or behavior) they are considered to have residual-type schizophrenia. The person may be in complete remission, or may at some point resume symptoms.

What Are Causes of Schizophrenia?

Rate of gray matter loss: Composite MRI scan data showing areas of gray matter loss over 5 years, comparing 12 normal teens (left) and 12 teens with childhood-onset schizophrenia. Red and yellow denotes areas of greater loss. Front of brain is at left.

Schizophrenia has multiple, intermingled causes which may differ from person to person, including:

  • Genetics (runs in families)
  • Environment
  • Brain chemistry
  • History of abuse or neglect

Is Schizophrenia Hereditary?

Twin sisters look at each other.

Schizophrenia has a genetic component. While schizophrenia occurs in only 1% of the general population, it occurs in 10% of people with a first-degree relative (parent, sibling) with the disorder. The risk is highest if an identical twin has schizophrenia. It is also more common in people with a second-degree relative (aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents) with the disorder.

Schizophrenia Symptoms

Intense anxiety is a symptom of schizophrenia.

Many people with schizophrenia do not appear ill. However, many behavioral changes will cause the person to seem ‘off’ as the disease progresses. Symptoms include:

  • Social withdrawal
  • Anxiety
  • Delusions
  • Hallucinations
  • Paranoid feelings or feelings of persecution
  • Loss of appetite or neglecting to eat
  • Loss of hygiene

Symptoms may also be grouped into categories, discussed in the following slides.

Positive (More Overtly Psychotic) Symptoms

A person with schizophrenia may experience psychotic symptoms.

The “positive,” or overtly psychotic, symptoms are symptoms not seen in healthy people, include:

  • Delusions
  • Hallucinations
  • Disorganized speech or behavior
  • Dysfunctional thinking
  • Catatonia or other movement disorders

Negative (Deficit) Symptoms

A man sits by himself.

“Negative” symptoms disrupt normal emotions and behaviors and include:

  • Social withdrawal
  • “Flat affect,” dull or monotonous speech, and lack of facial expression
  • Difficulty expressing emotions
  • Lack of self-care
  • Inability to feel pleasure (anhedonia)

Cognitive Symptoms

A schizophrenic may have difficulty remembering simple tasks.

Cognitive symptoms may be most difficult to detect and these include:

  • Inability to process information and make decisions
  • Difficulty focusing or paying attention
  • Problems with memory or learning new tasks

Affective (or Mood) Symptoms

A depressed woman.

Affective symptoms refer to those which affect mood. Patients with schizophrenia often have overlapping depression and may have suicidal thoughts or behaviors.

How Is Schizophrenia Diagnosed?

Doctor with stethoscope.

The diagnosis of schizophrenia is made both by ruling out other medical disorders that can cause the behavioral symptoms (exclusion), and by observation of the presence of characteristic symptoms of the disorder. The doctor will look for the presence of delusions, hallucinations, disorganized speech or behavior, and/or negative symptoms, along with social withdrawal and/or dysfunction at work or in daily activities for at least six months.

The doctor may use physical examination, psychological evaluation, laboratory testing of blood, and imaging scans to produce a complete picture of the patient’s condition.

How Is Schizophrenia Diagnosed?

A mental-health professional diagnoses a patient.

Mental health screening and evaluation is an important part of the diagnosis process for schizophrenia. Many other mental illnesses such as bipolar disorder, schizoaffective disorder, anxiety disorders, severe depression, and substance abuse may mimic symptoms of schizophrenia. A doctor will perform an assessment to rule out these other conditions.

Schizophrenia Treatment – Medications

Zyprexa 10 mg vial, Abilify Discmelt 15 mg tablet, Risperdal M-Tab 1 mg ODT, Geodon 20 mg vial

Antipsychotic medications are the first-line treatment for many patients with schizophrenia. Medications are often used in combination with other types of drugs to decrease or control the symptoms associated with schizophrenia. Some antipsychotic medications include:

  • olanzapine (Zyprexa)
  • risperidone (Risperdal)
  • quetiapine (Seroquel)
  • ziprasidone (Geodon)
  • aripiprazole (Abilify)
  • paliperidone (Invega)

Schizophrenia Treatment – Medications (Continued)

Lamictal XR 25 mg tablet, Depakote 125 mg sprinkle cap, Zoloft 100 mg tablet, Cymbalta 20 mg capsule

Mood swings and depression are common in patients with schizophrenia. In addition to antipsychotics, other types of medications are used.

Mood stabilizers include:

  • lithium (Lithobid)
  • divalproex (Depakote)
  • carbamazepine (Tegretol)
  • lamotrigine (Lamictal)

Antidepressants include:

  • fluoxetine (Prozac)
  • sertraline (Zoloft)
  • paroxetine (Paxil)
  • citalopram (Celexa)
  • escitalopram (Lexapro)
  • venlafaxine (Effexor)
  • desvenlafaxine (Pristiq)
  • duloxetine (Cymbalta)
  • bupropion (Wellbutrin)

Schizophrenia Treatment – Psychosocial Interventions

Family psycho-education teaches family members problem-solving skills.

Family psycho-education: It is important to include psychosocial interventions in the treatment of schizophrenia. Including family members to support patients decreases the relapse rate of psychotic episodes and improves the person’s outcomes. Family relationships are improved when everyone knows how to support their loved one dealing with schizophrenia.

Schizophrenia Treatment – Psychosocial Interventions (Continued)

A psychiatrist, nurse, case manager, employment counselor, and substance-abuse counselor often make up an ACT team.

Assertive community treatment (ACT): Another form of psychosocial intervention includes use of out-patient support groups. Support teams including psychiatrists, nurses, case managers, and other counselors, meet regularly with the schizophrenic patient to help reduce the need for hospitalization or a decline in their mental status.

Schizophrenia Treatment – Psychosocial Interventions (Continued)

About 50% of individuals with schizophrenia suffer from some kind of substance abuse or dependence.

Substance abuse treatment: Many people with schizophrenia (up to 50%) also have substance abuse issues. These substance abuse issues worsen the behavioral symptoms of schizophrenia and need to be addressed for better outcomes.

Schizophrenia Treatment – Psychosocial Interventions (Continued)

A group socializes around a laptop computer.

Social skills training: Patients with schizophrenia may need to re-learn how to appropriately interact in social situations. This kind of psychosocial intervention involves rehearsing or role-playing real-life situations so the person is prepared when they occur. This type of training can reduce drug use, and improve relationships.

Schizophrenia Treatment – Psychosocial Interventions (Continued)

A woman helps a job applicant fill out forms.

Supported employment: Many people with schizophrenia have difficulty entering or re-entering the work force due to their condition. This type of psychosocial intervention helps people with schizophrenia to construct resumes, interview for jobs, and even connects them with employers willing to hire people with mental illness.

Schizophrenia Treatment – Psychosocial Interventions (Continued)

A doctor uses cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) intervention with a patient.

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT): This type of intervention can help patients with schizophrenia change disruptive or destructive thought patterns, and enable them to function more optimally. It can help patients “test” the reality of their thoughts to identify hallucinations or “voices” and ignore them. This type of therapy may not work in actively psychotic patients, but it can help others who may have residual symptoms that medication does not alleviate.

Schizophrenia Treatment – Psychosocial Interventions (Continued)

Weight gain can be a side effect of some antipsychotic and other psychiatric medications.

Weight management: Many anti-psychotic and psychiatric drugs cause weight gain as a side effect. Maintaining a healthy weight, eating a well-balanced diet, and exercising regularly helps prevent or alleviate other medical issues.

What Is the Prognosis for Schizophrenia?

A family supports each other.

The prognosis for people with schizophrenia can vary depending on the amount of support and treatment the patients receives. Many people with schizophrenia are able to function well and lead normal lives. However, people with schizophrenia have a higher death rate and higher incidence of substance abuse. When medications are taken regularly and the family is supportive, patients can have better outcomes.

 

-People Start to Heal The Moment They Are Heard- 

Health and Wellness Associates
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