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Chronic itch can be just as unpleasant and difficult to live with as is chronic pain and it has many similarities to chronic pain. There is ongoing research to determine the causes of chronic itching, what exactly it has in common with pain, and how best to treat it. In one study of patients who were undergoing dialysis , researchers found that of the 18,000 patients, there was a 17 percent higher mortality risk among those who experienced a chronic itch, or pruritis . Another large study of 18,770 subjects found that more than 8 percent of them complained of chronic itching and that this chronic itching was also associated with poorer overall health. In trying to understand the mechanism of chronic itch, researchers have found that although pain can go deep into the body, itching remains on the skin or in some areas like the mouth, throat, etc. What they also found was that while chronic pain can be caused by a sensitization of nerve endings, so may chronic itching. An interesting findin...
Out with the old, in with the new; the world seems to revolve around this constant turnover. Sometimes new technology has a huge advantage, but sometimes the old stuff is just irreplaceable - like an old pair of jeans that fits just right and is soft from use.
Some medications from the past might be irreplaceable too. One such category of medications is the tricyclic antidepressants (TCA) . Although they are rarely used to treat depression, they are still used to treat chronic pain. Lately, the new medications on the block called the serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs ) are grabbing the attention of physicians and patients around the world, leaving the TCAs nearly a forgotten memory. Is the replacement of the TCA by the SNRI justified? To answer that question, comparisons regarding effectiveness and safety must be made.
Both the old and the new antidepressants seem to be effective at treating chronic pain. Even some of the most difficult to treat pains res...
Caring for a child with a chronic illness places many demands on
a parent. While the practical challenges may be the most exhausting
physically, they may not be the hardest part of the experience. In
fact, the practical challenges can often be shared with others who
want to lend a helping hand which then lightens the burden for the
However, the more demanding challenge may be the emotional side
of the situation. When we embark on the journey toward parenthood
we tend not to focus on the scary possibilities of what might go
wrong during pregnancy, birth, or childhood. If we did, we might
decide not to have children at all. As parents, we also quickly
discover that we have an intense need to protect our children from
harm and shield them from unhappiness as much as possible. As I
have learned from a woman whose child has severe acid reflux and a
host of complicated food allergies, chronic illnesses in children
often alter the day to day experience of the child so severely that
You should know
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