Heartburn or GERD can Kill

Heartburn is a common annoyance. The busy lifestyle, quick meals, fatty or spicy foods all contribute to the occasional need of a chewable pain reliever. The acceptance of heartburn as an inconvenient, but natural, part of the daily grind can blind you to the warning that a severe heartburn symptom can bring.

Heartburn as a Disorder

Heartburn can be a symptom as well as a disorder. Simple heartburn or GERD can be controlled and dealt with. However, heartburn can signal the presence of a much more serious problem. If it’s heartburn, you will have a burning sensation in the chest usually after eating. There may be a spread of the burning to the throat, sometimes accompanied by a bad taste, difficulty in swallowing, belching, coughing, hoarseness and/or wheezing.

It can become worse by lying down or bending over or by eating. Relief can come from an antacid. While the more severe heartburn symptoms may be mistaken for a heart attack, simple heartburn is usually not made worse by exercise. If there is any concern that the pain may signal a heart attack, get help quickly.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

An Adult Acne Breakout Seems to Come at the Worst Times

By Jason Z. Malcolm

Acne is a hassle and an inconvenience for a lot of people, and it can strike when you least expect it. You can get it years after you thought you were done with it forever. Adult acne can be persistent and difficult to get rid of, and most of us will have to deal with it at some point. Those treatments that work for teenage acne are often ineffective for adults, and in a lot of cases can make acne worse.

Most adults that get acne will try almost anything to get rid of it, and they often try scores of treatments before they find one that works. If you've done this, you probably wonder if your acne will ever go away. If you'll just read a little further, you might have some of your questions answered.

You probably think that acne is really a teenager's problem, but nothing could be further from the truth. Adults can and do get acne- some have it at thirty, forty, or even fifty. If your acne has not cleared up by the time you turn 25, you are considered to have persistent acne. Cases of adult acne usually have painful, inflamed, and large pimples. Stubborn cases of adult acne usually appear on the chin, mouth and jaw line, but lesions can also appear on the back and buttocks.

Late onset or adult acne is more common in women, although some men get it too. It is an equal opportunity condition, affecting both those who had acne as a teen and those who've never had a breakout. Adult acne is largely hormonally triggered, and many menopausal women get it.

No matter when you get it, your acne has a root cause- overstimulation of the oil glands in your skin, and pores that are clogged with bacteria and dead skin cells. Those hormone fluctuations that we mentioned can bring about the production of too much sebum- which can explain why a lot of women get acne flare-ups right around the start of their menstrual cycle, or when they are expecting a baby.

Certain medications can trigger acne outbreaks. Women on contraceptives can either see their acne get worse or improve, depending on the pill they're taking. If your pill has both progestin and estrogen, normally acne will subside. If the pill only has progestins, acne can get a lot worse- as it also can if you stop taking your pills.

Other drugs can cause acne, too. Medicines like corticosteroids and anticonvulsants can cause acne, but you should never stop taking them because they make your acne worse. Talk to your doctor if you are concerned.

It is known that acne has a genetic component. About half of adults who have acne also have an immediate family member (a parent, child, or brother/sister) who has it too. The genetic link isn't completely understood, so more research is needed.

Stress is also known to trigger acne, and this is particularly true for women. Research has shown a link between higher stress and more serious cases of acne, especially in women that have stressful jobs and home lives. A body under stress makes more stress hormones, which in turn induce the glands to make more oil.

Those with adult acne should be selective in choosing skincare and haircare products. A lot of hair and skin products contain a high amount of oil, that can lead to cosmetic acne. To avoid this, look for products that don't have oil in them (they'll usually be labeled "non-comedogenic" or something similar). These will reduce your chances of getting cosmetic acne.

Adult acne can also be a sign of another underlying problem. If you also are losing your hair, or your cycle has become hit-and-miss, you could have an adrenal or ovary disorder, or even a tumor. If you have any of thse symptoms, you should contact your doctor as soon as possible. They'll be able to treat your acne as well as the other symptoms you're having.

If you've seen your doctor, and they've ruled out polycystic ovary syndrome or other conditions, your acne may need more aggressive treatment. There are a lot of effective natural remedies available. You don't have to live with adult acne anymore- with persistence it can be treated.

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