Best Joint Supplements

Best Joint Supplements by Perfect Health Magazine

6 Best Joint Supplements

  • Glucosamine Chondroitin
  • Fish Oil/Omega-3s
  • Methylsulfonylmethane
  • Borage Oil Capsules
  • Cat’s claw
  • Boswellia

Joint pain or arthritis is a chronic medical condition that causes the slow deterioration of the cartilage, joints and bones in the body. This condition causes pain, stiffness and loss of flexibility and mobility in the joints. 

Joint supplements are medication recommended by doctors which counteract the symptoms of joint pain and improve the bone and joint health of the patient. 

PHM has carefully curated a list of the best 5 joint supplements available in the market with a detailed product analysis. Let’s take a look:

#1 WOW Life Science Omega-3 1000mg Capsules with Fish oil - EPA + DHA Enriched

Manufacturer: WOW Life Science

Amazon Rating: 4.3 (25,867 ratings)

Price Range: INR 779

Dosage Form: Capsule

Net Quantity: 60 counts

Special Ingredients: Docosahexaenoic acid, Fish Oil, Eicosapentaenoic acid

WOW Life Science Omega-3 by Perfect Health Magazine

PHM Analysis: WOW Life Science’s Omega-3 1000mg Capsules is an incredible supplement that works wonders for strengthening the joints and improving cardiovascular health. This is one of the most popular joint health supplements on amazon with over 25k ratings from verified purchases.

Benefits:

  • They are a rich source of pure Omega-3. 
  • They are gluten-free and hence can be consumed by anyone. 
  • These capsules lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels while improving the cardiovascular system. 
  • It provides much-needed lubrication to the joints and cellular structure within the body. Especially for patients who have chronic joint pain or any form of arthritis.
  • Omega-3 capsules play a significant role in improving the joint and bone health of joint pain patients. 
  • Another benefit of consuming these is a boost to the nervous system.

Disadvantages:

While everyone may not experience these symptoms after taking Omega-3, it is important to be aware of the possible side effects of the capsules. 

  • The capsules may leave you with a fish-like aftertaste. 
  • They may cause nausea and an upset stomach. 
  • Some people may experience loose stools.

Conclusion

PHM’s pick of the top 5 joint supplements is based on research and popular choice by Amazon’s verified users. We recommend getting in touch with your physician before you start consuming any of the above health supplements.

Types of Arthritis

Types of Arthritis by Perfect Health Magazine

Types of Arthritis - Quick 30 Seconds Summary

  • Arthritis is all about weakening of joints which causes joint pain in different body areas.
  • Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Juvenile arthritis, Spondyloarthropathies, Lupus erythematosus and Gout are some of the types of arthritis.
  • Once should seek medical attention immediately in case of joint pain.
  • Doctors may advise to do urine, blood or fluid tests to identify the root cause. 

Arthritis is a breakout of the joints resulting in weakening joint pain. There are nearly 100 or more kinds of arthritis and related conditions.

Osteoarthritis (OA)

Osteoarthritis (OA), similarly named degenerative arthritis, is the prevalent type of arthritis. With OA, the cartilage in your joints cracks down, ultimately provoking your bones to knead together and your joints to be outraged, which directs to pain, bone injury, and actual bone spur array. 

It may arise in barely one or two joints on a single body side. Age, chubbiness, wounds, family past, and joint overuse can increase your danger of developing it.

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA)

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease where your body damages the healthy joint tissue. 

Familiar symptoms of RA comprise daylight stiffness and joint pain, commonly in the similar joint on both angles of your body. Common deficiencies can eventually develop. 

Further signs may expand in other parts of your body, involving the heart, eyes, lungs or skin.

Juvenile arthritis (JA)

JA is an umbrella phrase for various types of arthritis that implicate kids. The most traditional kind is juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA), previously known as juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. This is a denomination of autoimmune illnesses that can influence children’s joints. 

JIA turns on occurring minor children below 16 years old.

Spondyloarthropathies

Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) and other varieties are autoimmune ailments that ambush where tendons and ligaments connect to your bone. Indications include discomfort and stiffness, particularly in your lower back. It usually influences mainly the pelvis and spine but can impact other joints in the body. 

Additional spondyloarthropathies can ambush peripheral joints, such as the ones in your hands and feet. In AS, bone fusion may arise, resulting in deformation of your spine and dysfunction of your hips and shoulders.

Lupus erythematosus

Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is an autoimmune disease that can implicate your connective tissue and joints in your body. It can furthermore harm other organs, like: 

  • skin
  • kidneys
  • lungs
  • heart
  • brain

Gout

Gout is a kind of arthritis affected by the expansion of urate goblets inside your joints. High uric acid levels in your blood may plop you at risk of gout. 

Age, alcohol use, diet and family history can simulate your chance of developing gout. Gout can be severe. A joint at the root of your big toe is most inclined to be implicated, although it can potentially influence other joints. 

An acute gout attack can arrive within a few hours and last for days to weeks. Gout can evolve to be more severe over time. You may experience swelling, redness or pain in toes, ankles, wrists, knees, hands, toes etc.

Arthritis statistics by type

  • Around 22% of adults globally who are above 40 years of age have knee Osteoarthritis.
  • According to WHO 14 million people globally have Rheumatoid arthritis.
  • 42 million people around the world suffer from the gout arthritis.

Around 1 child among 1,000 develops Juvenile arthritis.

Arthritis - Concluding Remarks

If you’re encountering joint pain, immobility, or other indications, talk to your physician. They can analyze the reason for your symptoms and propose a therapy plan. In the meanwhile, find solace from arthritis pain naturally. To study these disorders, your physician can request tests on samples of your urine, blood, and fluid present inside the affected joint.

Psoriatic Arthritis – Symptoms, Causes & Treatments

Psoriatic Arthritis Perfect Health Magazine

Psoriatic Arthritis - Quick 30 Seconds Summary

Psoriatic arthritis is chronic arthritis that causes pain and stiffness in your joints. It also causes red patches in the skin.

  • Sometimes psoriatic arthritis can occur before the occurrence of psoriasis. Moreover, it can also permanently damage toes.
  • It is an autoimmune condition where the body’s immune cells fight their healthy cells. As a result, there is inflammation in the joints and tremendous pain.
  • Psoriatic arthritis can affect the lower extremities, fingers, and toes joints. In addition, it can also affect the spine and pelvis. Furthermore, sometimes it can also affect the eyes, gastrointestinal system, tendons, and nails.

Once you get hints from your body that you have psoriatic arthritis, you should quickly see a doctor.

Psoriatic Arthritis - Meaning & Introduction

Psoriasis is a disease where the skin gets red patches and is topped with silvery scales. Psoriatic arthritis affects some individuals who already have psoriasis. 

Moreover, psoriasis is an autoimmune disease. Therefore it causes inflammation in the joints. As a result, there is joint pain along with stiffness and swelling. 

The affected joints and fingers are referred to as dactylitis. At the same time, the same condition in the spine is also known as spondylitis. Furthermore, psoriatic arthritis may also lead to enthesitis, which results in pain in the heels and soles. Also, it can lead to joint damage, so it must be diagnosed early. 

To understand arthritis better please read our extensive blogThe 2022 Arthritis Guide – Symptoms, Causes & Treatments

Psoriatic Arthritis Symptoms

There are many symptoms of Psoriatic arthritis. Here are a few of them outlined specifically:

  • Pain in joints
  • Stiffness in joints
  • Swelling of joints
  • Swollen fingers and toes
  • Morning stiffness
  • Painful muscles and tendons
  • Flaky scalp
  • Scaly skin patches
  • Fatigue
  • Pain in eyes and redness
  • Separation of your nail from the nail bed 

Moreover, spondylitis psoriatic arthritis can cause another set of symptoms. These include:

  • Stiffness of the spine along with pain
  • Pain and swelling in the hips, ankles, knees and feet. It can also accompany weakness and pain in the wrists, elbow, shoulder, hand, and other joints. 

When you see these symptoms and you have been previously diagnosed with psoriasis then you must visit a doctor immediately.

Causes of psoriatic arthritis

The main causes of this disease are not known, but they can be inherited from certain family members.

Moreover, it is an autoimmune disease. Here, your body’s immune cells cannot distinguish between a foreign cell and a normal body cell. As a result, the immune cells start attacking the healthy cell. This is called the autoimmune response and results in inflammation and pain in joints. 

Furthermore, genetics also have a role to play. If there is a family member with this disease, then the chances of getting it are high. Apart from this, bacteria or viral infections can also cause psoriasis. Moreover, physical trauma and other environmental factors can also lead to this disease.

Factors that increase the risk of arthritis

  • Age is another factor. Adults from 25-50 most often tend to have this disease.
  • If there is someone in your family with this disease. Chances are there that you may carry it and pass it on to the next generation. It is also possible for you to contact it.

Complications that arise due to psoriatic arthritis

It can lead to arthritis mutilans. Moreover, it slowly damages the bones in your hand, resulting in disability. Also, it increases the risks of hypertension, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome. Furthermore, it can lead to cardiovascular disease. 

Psoriatic arthritis also causes uveitis. It is the inflammation of the eyes. Your vision may go blurry also you will become sensitive to light. If not treated in proper time, it may cost your eyes. It can also cause heart disease. You can reduce your risk by eating healthily and quitting smoking and drinking. Also, exercising regularly and maintaining your weight. 

In addition, psoriatic arthritis can also cause Crohn’s disease. It is the inflammation of the digestive system. Furthermore, it can also cause non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

Diagnosis of this disease

It can be diagnosed by examining the joints, fingernails, heels, and soles of your feet. Moreover, the advanced test includes imaging. 

X-rays can help identify whether the joints have psoriatic arthritis. But it will not be able to say if you have rheumatoid arthritis. Magnetic resonance imaging uses radio waves to produce images. It can detect the disorder in both hard and soft tissues. This can also help detect changes caused in your body by psoriatic arthritis. 

Also, there are a few laboratory tests that are helpful and are required for diagnosis: 

Rheumatoid factor is an antibody that is present in the body of people having rheumatoid arthritis. This test can help the doctor distinguish between the two as bodies with psoriatic arthritis do not have the rheumatoid factor. Moreover, there is a joint fluid test. The doctor takes a small amount of fluid from the affected area in this test. It is examined later to see whether you have a uric acid crystal.

Treatments of psoriatic arthritis

Treatment of psoriatic arthritis follows the method of treating the target. There is a specific drug that can treat the disease. These are as follows: 

Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs.

These drugs decrease inflammation. It also prevents joint damage. It is taken orally, or it can also be injected. Moreover, it slows down the progression of Psoriatic arthritis. These include:

  • Arava
  • Trexall
  • Azulfidine

Side effects of these drugs include lung infection, bone marrow damage, and damage to the liver. 

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

These medicines control and reduce pain. These include:

Side effects of these drugs include stomach irritation, stroke, heart attack, and damage to the liver and kidneys.

Immunosuppressants: Should only be taken under a doctor's supervision.

  • Cyclosporine
  • Azathioprine
  • Ayurvedic treatments include:
  • Oral administration of medicated ghee
  • Dribbling medicated buttermilk on head
  • Purging and vomiting
  • Performing medicated procedure called enemas
  • Applying leypam or a paste of medicines and mud

Psoriatic arthritis - Concluding Remarks

There is nothing to worry about if you get this disease. All you need to do is be aware of your body's symptoms. Suppose you visit the doctor at the right time. The symptoms will get under your control. Many advanced treatments can reduce the symptoms and help relax your body.

6 Arthritis Symptoms That You Must Know

Types of Arthritis by Perfect Health Magazine

Arthistis Symptoms - Quick 30 Seconds Summary

  • Arthritis is a joint pain which can be severe or mild depending on the circumstances.
  • This disease can affect the hands, feet and wrist joints.
  • Apart from pain, patients can also suffer from sleepless nights or rashes.
  • Consult a doctor if the pain remains for more than a week.

Arthritis - Meaning and Overview

Arthritis is a medical condition which causes the degeneration of the joints over time. Patients with arthritis experience mild to severe discomfort, swelling and stiffness in joints. While arthritis usually influences older adults, it can also be found in men, women and teenagers of any age. 

Learn more about Arthritis with our detailed blog: The 2022 Arthritis Guide – Symptoms, Causes & Treatments

Symptoms of Arthritis

Various types of arthritis possess different symptoms. They could be mild in a few people and hazardous in others. Joint irritation might appear and disappear or it could be a perenial nagging pain. However, some of the most commonly known symptoms of arthritis include: 

  • Joint PainJoint Pain, which can differ in harshness, is a familiar symptom in almost all kinds of arthritis. Other symptoms involve joint stiffness, swelling, redness, and agonizing around the joint. Arthritic difficulties like rheumatoid and lupus arthritis can implicate other organs in our body, running to a diversity of symptoms. 
  • Joint Stiffness – The primary symptoms of arthritis are joint discomfort and stiffness, which generally worsens with growing age. The most common types of arthritis that usually go through this symptom are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. As arthritis continues, you can’t use your hands to regulate everyday chores as you once could. 
  • Rash or itch – Symptoms correlated with the condition of rheumatoid arthritis encompass red plaques or swellings which approximately resemble eczema. The rash is prickling and often depressing. 
  • Malaise or fatigue – The disease inside the body can direct to joint physical deformity, sleepiness and fatigue (exhaustion). Some patients find this to be an awful symptom of the disease. 
  • Muscle pain – Muscle suffering is a crucial symptom in a few types of arthritis-related disorders, such as myositis fibromyalgia and polymyalgiarheumatica. Your muscles may similarly hurt if weakened due to famine of use or when striving to support joints with arthritis. 

Poor sleep – Many individuals often criticize their restless nights on arthritis pain. But study finds that the connection certainly works both ways – inadequate sleep can give rise to your joint pain being worse, and even intensify the probability that you may become paralytic or depressed.

Depression - Concluding Remarks

Pain, tenderness, swelling and joint pain can be signifying signs of arthritis. You must consider seeing a qualified consultant for arthritis indications or joint discomfort. Home treatment has helped none. Slight aches and irritations usually improve with ice or warmth therapy or pain relievers. But if your symptoms don’t get better after approximately a week, it may be something additionally serious. Perfect Health Magazine recommends visiting a medical expert on a timely basis to begin treatments and corrective course of action immediately.

Rheumatoid Arthritis Explained – Meaning, Symptoms & Treatment

Rheumatoid Arthistis by Perfect Health Management

Rheumatoid Arthritis - Quick 30 Seconds Summary

  • Rheumatoid arthritis is now the most common long-term autoimmune disease that causes persistent inflammation of the joints and other body components.
  • Individuals’ immune systems mistakenly target their joint lining capsules or bodily tissues, resulting in this condition.
  • Blood tests, x-rays, and imaging scans are used to diagnose rheumatoid arthritis.
  • The treatment procedure for RA includes medicines, surgery, and Ayurvedic treatment.

Rheumatoid Arthritis - Introduction & Overview

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease in which your immune system assaults your own body’s tissues.

According to the World Health Organisation, rheumatoid arthritis affects up to 14 million people worldwide

Rheumatoid arthritis is a lengthy inflammatory condition that affects more than your joints. Unlike osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis affects the lining of your joints, causing a painful swelling that can lead to bone loss and joint deformity.

The condition creates inflammation throughout the body, which can impair other organs. But, many novel drugs have vastly enhanced treatment options, even for severe cases.

Rheumatoid Arthritis is a sub-category of Arthritis. Arthritis is a joint pain condition that affects millions of people globally. Learn more about it with our detailed blog The 2022 Arthritis Guide – Symptoms, Causes & Treatments

Rheumatoid Arthritis Symptoms

Early rheumatoid arthritis usually targets smaller joints first, like from fingers to hands and your toes to your feet. As the disease progresses, the wrists, knees, ankles, elbows, hips, and shoulders are usually affected. 

The symptoms can range from mild to severe and can affect any part of the body.

  • Fever
  • Inflammation of the joints
  • Joints have less flexibility
  • Morning stiffness or joint stiffness

About 40% of patients with rheumatoid arthritis also have indications and symptoms that aren’t related to their joints. 

Joint pain is a common complaint amongst those who suffer from Rheumatoid Arthritis. Learn everything about Joint Pain with our detailed blog8 Joint Pain Truths That You Must Read

Rheumatoid Arthritis Causes

The immune system of humans is quite protective. When a foreign substance, such as bacteria or fungus, enters the human body, it produces antibodies. Those antibodies battle and kill the alien substance.

In rare circumstances, however, the immune system releases antibodies to assault the joint lining by mistake. Rheumatoid Arthritis develops as a result of this. The explanation for the immune system’s unusual behavior is unknown.

Women are more likely than men to get this autoimmune illness. According to a study, those who smoke have a higher risk of acquiring Rheumatoid Arthritis.

Doctors aren’t sure what triggers this action, but it appears to have a strong genetic component. While your genes do not cause rheumatoid arthritis, they can make you more susceptible to environmental conditions that can start the disease, such as infection by certain bacteria or viruses.

Some of the following causes can increases the chances of getting rheumatoid arthritis:

  • Your gender – Women are more prone to get rheumatoid arthritis than men.
  • Age-Rheumatoid arthritis can strike at any age, but it most typically strikes people in their forties and fifties.
  • Heredity – If a member of your family has rheumatoid arthritis, you may be at a higher risk of developing the disease.
  • Smoking – Raises your risk of rheumatoid arthritis, especially if you have a genetic susceptibility to the condition.
  • Obesity – Overweight people tend to have a slightly greater chance of getting rheumatoid arthritis.

Rheumatoid arthritis raises your chances of getting: 

  •  Osteoporosis – Rheumatoid arthritis drugs, might raise your risk of osteoporosis, a condition that weakens your bones and makes them more susceptible to fracture.
  • Rheumatoid nodules – They are a kind of rheumatoid arthritis. The most typical location for these hard tissue bumps is in pressure areas, such as the elbows.
  • Mouth and eyes both turn dry –   Rheumatoid arthritis patients are more likely to develop Sjogren’s syndrome, a condition in which the amount of moisture in the eyes and mouth reduces.
  • Infections -Anti-rheumatoid medications may suppress the immune system, exposing it to be prone to infection. Vaccinations can help you avoid infections including influenza, pneumonia, shingles, and COVID-19.
  • Incorrect Body composition – Even in those with a normal BMI, the percentage of fat to lean mass is generally higher in people with rheumatoid arthritis (BMI).
  • Problems with the heart – Rheumatoid arthritis can lead to clogged and hardened arteries, as well as inflammation of the sac that surrounds your heart.
  • Lung disease – It is a common ailment. Rheumatoid arthritis patients are at a greater risk of lung tissue inflammation and scarring, which can lead to progressive shortness of breath.
  • Lymphoma – Lymphoma, a type of blood cancer that forms in the lymph system, is more common in people with rheumatoid arthritis.

Diagnosis of Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid Arthritis is difficult to identify in its early stages since the symptoms might be confused with those of other disorders. 

Your doctor will examine your joints for swelling, redness, and warmth during the physical exam. He or she may also assess your muscle strength and reflexes.

Blood test

A high erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) or C-reactive protein (CRP) level in people with rheumatoid arthritis may indicate the presence of an inflammatory process in the body. Rheumatoid factor and anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide (anti-CCP) antibodies are two other popular blood tests.

Imaging Tests

Your doctor may suggest X-rays to track the evolution of rheumatoid arthritis in your joints over time. Your doctor can use MRI and ultrasound tests to assess the degree of the disease in your body.

When to See a Doctor for Rheumatoid Arthritis?

You should schedule an appointment with your doctor as soon as you notice any of the symptoms listed above. Early detection can save a lot of time, and treatment can begin right away.

Treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid Arthritis does not have a specific treatment. Treatment usually consists of a combination of patient education, rest, exercise, medication, and surgery.

The treatment’s main purpose is to:

  • Lessen the Pain
  • Reduce swelling
  • Assist folks in staying active.
  • Protect your joints from further harm.

Medications

  • Methotrexate
  • Leflunomide 
  • Sulfasalazine 
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • Corticosteroid
  • Conventional DMARDs

Disclaimer: Always ask your doctor before taking any medicine.

Surgical Treatments for Rheumatoid Arthritis:

If drugs do not prevent or reduce joint damage, you and your doctor may decide to have surgery to restore the damaged joints. Surgery may be able to help you regain your capacity to move your joint. It can also help with pain and function.

One or more of the following procedures may be used in rheumatoid arthritis surgery:

  • Synovectomy – During surgery, the inflammatory lining of the joint (synovium) can be removed to reduce pain and improve joint flexibility.
  • Tendon resurfacing – Tendons around your joint may loosen or rupture as a result of inflammation and joint injury. Your surgeon could be able to restore the tendons that surround your joint.
  • Joint fusion – When a joint replacement isn’t an option, surgically fusing a joint to stabilise or straighten it and relieve pain is a possibility.
  • Replacement of the whole joint – Your surgeon will remove the damaged portions of your joint and replace them with a metal and plastic prosthesis during joint replacement surgery.

Ayurvedic treatment

People with rheumatoid arthritis may benefit from Ayurvedic food and lifestyle practices, such as taking herbs and vitamins and doing yoga (RA). According to Trusted Source, adhering to Ayurveda practices can help reduce inflammation, ease RA symptoms, and limit flare-ups. 

A diet that pacifies or balances Vata is recommended according to Ayurveda. 

  • Lentils, dal, mung beans, tofu
  • Grains like cooked oats, rice, and cream of wheat grains
  • Buttermilk 
  • Meat 
  • Vegetables that are leafy green
  • To aid digestion and eliminate toxins, drink lukewarm water or water boiled with ginger root.
  • Anti-inflammatory spices such as ginger, turmeric, and garlic can help with digestion.

Gentle activities- yoga, tai chi, swimming, and walking are commonly recommended Ayurveda workouts. Daily meditation and deep breathing are also recommended. Yoga may be particularly beneficial for people with RA.

Apply either heat or cold to the affected area. Heat might help you relax and ease discomfort in stiff, painful muscles. Exposure to cold may reduce the experience of discomfort. Edema can be reduced by using cold to numb the skin.

Other ayurvedic methods that could help with your RA symptoms are: Purifying rituals with specialized oil therapy, herbal pastes, and castor oil.

Depression - Concluding Remarks

Diet and exercise are key parts of our lifestyle, and the diet we follow affects the quality of our lives. Exercise is beneficial in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. Exercise can help reduce joint discomfort, inflammation, and stiffness while also increasing flexibility. If you see any signs or symptoms of RA, arrange an appointment with a rheumatologist. They will further guide you with medications and all necessary treatment procedures.

Causes of Arthritis

Causes of arthritis by Perfect Health Magazine

Causes of Arthritis - Quick 30 Seconds Summary

  • Arthritis is related to joint pain, which hampers your day-to-day activities
  • There are many types of arthritis that are commonly seen in the world such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout etc. 
  • Causes of arthritis include  genetic, diet or wear and tear.
  • It mainly affects the hip, knees, feet and hands joints.

Arthritis - Meaning & Overview

Arthritis is a common illness that results in joint pain. Arthritis reduces the range of motion of the joints, causes stiffness, swelling and pain. It leads to restricted movements and hampers everyday activities as the severity increases. 

There are several kinds of arthritis. While arthritis generally occurs at an older age, it can also occur in young women, men, and kids of any age. 

Arthritis is seen in the following joints of the human body:

Causes of Arthritis

  • wear and tear of a joint by overuse.
  • autoimmune illnesses
  • genes or family record
  • muscle weakness
  • Unique metabolism, leading to pseudogout.
  • Diseases, like the one in Lyme disease.
  • Immunity systems dysfunction, like Systemic lupus erythematosus and rheumatoid arthritis. 
  • Inflammation in the joints.
  • Actions that entail repetitive activities of a specific joint. (E.g., If you knit every day for hours, you perform repetitive motions with your hands. This can direct to overuse of your hands)
  • Prior injury to a joint, such as from athletic suffering.

Genetic

Handful people might be genetically more inclined to formulate specific arthritic circumstances. Other factors, such as prior injury, illness, smoking, and physically rigorous occupations, might interact with genes to heighten the risk of arthritis.

Diet

Diet and nourishment play a massive part in enduring arthritis and the hazards of arthritis, although particular foods, food keenness, or intolerances are not recognized to result in arthritis. Nutrition and food intake that gain plague, particularly animal-derived substances and foods high in savoury sugar, can aggravate symptoms.

Uric Acid

Gout is a kind of arthritis that is nearly correlated to diet, as it is affected by high statuses of uric acid, which can occur from nourishment high in purines. Nutriments that include high-purine diets, such as seafood, meats, wine, can accelerate a gout burst. Although, vegetables and other plant foods that comprise increased level purine do not seem to worsen gout symptoms.

Age

After a certain period, your joints tend to decay. That’s why the threat of formulating arthritis, particularly osteoarthritis, rises with age.

Depression - Concluding Remarks

The causes of several types of arthritis are yet unknown, but by taking a proper diet and avoiding certain nutrients which are high in purines can indeed reduce your chances of arthritis. Perfect Health Magazine recommends reading our blog on “Treatments for arthritis” to learn more about how to manage chronic arthritis and reduce pain.

The Best Diabetes Guide of 2022 – Symptoms, Causes, Risks & Treatments

Diabetes by Perfect Health Magazine

Diabetes - Quick 30 Seconds Summary

  • Diabetes is a chronic medical condition where the blood sugar is high in the patient since the insulin in the body is not sufficient or properly utilised. 
  • Approximately 537 million adults in the age group of 20-79, globally are living with diabetes, as per the International Diabetes Federation.
  • There are three types of Diabetes – Type 1, Type 2 and Gestational Diabetes
  • Diabetes can be treated and managed using oral medication, insulin pumps and injections and changes in lifestyle. 
  • Risks associated with diabetes include heart diseases, organ failure, kidney deterioration etc.

Diabetes - Introduction, Meaning & Overview

Diabetes is a serious chronic condition where there is excess blood sugar or blood glucose in your body. According to the International Diabetes Federation, approximately 537 million adults in the age group of 20-79, globally are living with diabetes. 

What is Diabetes? 

Let us understand the basics first. The pancreas is in charge of making the hormone called insulin. Insulin’s job is to take the glucose available in our bloodstream and pass it into every cell in the body. Glucose comes from the food that is consumed by us. 

Diabetes is a medical condition where the pancreas can no longer produce sufficient insulin or in extreme cases no insulin at all. When the pancreas does not make enough insulin, then the glucose in the bloodstream which was supposed to reach the cells continues to remain in the blood leading to an excess of blood glucose in the body. 

Excess blood glucose can cause serious damage to the patient if left untreated. High blood sugar has been known to cause kidney disease, vision loss, heart disease and organ failures. 

Unfortunately, there is no cure for diabetes nor is there any reversal to this disorder. The patients can only manage it with medication and a healthy lifestyle throughout their lives.

Types of Diabetes

Primarily there are three types of diabetes:

Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes is commonly seen in children and adolescents rather than adults. Although it is not entirely impossible for adults to have Type 1 Diabetes. Under this type, the body produces small quantities of insulin or zero insulin. People suffering from Type 1 need insulin injections regularly to maintain a healthy blood glucose level.

Type 2 Diabetes

This type of diabetes is seen in 90% of the diabetic patients in the world. In Type 2 Diabetes the insulin quantity is insufficient or it is not utilised properly by the body. Adults generally suffer from Type 2. Oral medication and a healthy lifestyle can control blood sugar efficiently.

Gestetional Diabetes (GDM)

Pregnant women may find increased blood glucose levels during their pregnancy. Mostly, gestational diabetes vanishes from the woman’s body after childbirth. However, both the mother and child should be on guard since GDM later manifests as Type 2 Diabetes in the future.

Symptoms of Diabetes

First off let’s see the generic symptoms of diabetes and then move to specific symptoms for Type 1, 2 and GDM. 

The American Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or CDC (in short) has given the following common symptoms of Diabetes: 

  • Feeling hungrier than usual while there is no change in physical activity levels or lifestyle. 
  • Getting tired more easily without a justifiable reason to it. 
  • Unquenching thirst accompanied by extra rounds to the loo.
  • Vision gets blurred 
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Either numb tips of toes or fingers or tingling sensation at tips of toes and fingers. 
  • Dry skin
  • Contracts infections more easily than usual
  • Cuts and sores take a longer time to heal. 

These types of symptoms will be seen in all three types of diabetics. 

Type 1 Diabetes Symptoms: 

Additionally, if someone has Typer 1 Diabetes they may have bouts of vomitting, and nausea accompanied by drastic weight loss. 

Type 2 Diabetes Symptoms: 

Patients in this category will see either or all of the above-listed symptoms in the general category. Type 2 Diabetes is a slow killer, hence it may take months or years for all of these symptoms to manifest in the person. 

Gestational Diabetes Symptoms: 

There are no visible symptoms for this type. It is best to get a blood sugar test done during the pregnancy to know whether or not GDM is there in the body.

When To See A Doctor For Diabetes

In case you experience or observe any of the above-mentioned symptoms in yourself or your loved one, then get in touch with a qualified General Physician immediately. Diabetes is a chronic health issue and must be treated with seriousness. However, if you don’t have any of the above-mentioned symptoms but Diabetes runs in your family then get your blood sugar levels tested every year just to be safe.

Diagnosis of Diabetes

Diabetes is diagnosed by medical professionals based on the following standard blood tests which determine blood sugar levels in the body: 

  1. Fasting Plasma Glucose Test (This requires the patient to fast for at least 8 hours before the test) 
  2. Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (8 hours of fasting plus 2 hours after drinking a glucose drink) 
  3. Random Plasma Glucose Test (No fasting required, testing is done at random)
  4. Hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) Test (No fasting required and blood sugar average for the past 2-3 months is shown) 

The results of these results and the glucose range displayed to determine whether the patient is diabetic or not:

1. Fasting Plasma Glucose Test

Plasma Glucose Result (mg/dL)

Diagnosis

99 & below

Normal

100 to 125

Prediabetes
(impaired glucose tolerance)

126 & above

Diabetes*

*Confirmed by repeating the test on a different day.

2. Oral Glucose Tolerance Test

Plasma Glucose Result (mg/dL)

Diagnosis

139 & below

Normal

140 to 199

Prediabetes
(impaired glucose tolerance)

200 & above

Diabetes*

*Confirmed by repeating the test on a different day.

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3. Random Plasma Glucose Test

If the blood glucose levels are above 200 mg/dL then the candidate may have diabetes. Fasting Plasma Glucose Test is recommended for coming to the right conclusion.

4. HbA1c Test

Diagnosis

Percentage

Normal

Below 5.7%

Prediabetes

5.7% to 6.4%

Diabetes

6.5% & above

Causes of Diabetes

The main causes of Type 1 Diabetes are: 

When the immune system destroys the insulin-producing beta cells in the body, the pancreas is unable to produce insulin and this causes Type 1 Diabetes. 

Other factors that may cause Type 1 Diabetes include genetic composition, environmental factors and other viruses that may trigger this response from the body. 

The main causes of Type 2 Diabetes are 

  • Obesity and sedentary lifestyle 
  • Genetics and family history of diabetes
  • Insulin resistance (a condition where the insulin in the body is not utilised properly)

Other causes of diabetes are 

  • Removal of the pancreas 
  • Genetic mutation 
  • Strong medication given to treat or manage other health conditions 
  • Hormonal disorders that trigger imbalance in creation and utilisation of insulin

Risks and Complications Associated With Diabetes

High blood sugar is a dangerous and chronic medical condition. There are many serious risks involved if this condition is left untreated. 

Following is a list of complications associated with Diabetes 

  • heart disease, heart attack and stroke
  • Neuropathy – dysfunction of one or more peripheral nerves
  • Nephropathy – deterioration of the kidneys
  • retinopathy (impairment of retina) and vision loss
  • hearing loss
  • foot damage such as infections and sores that don’t heal
  • skin conditions such as bacterial and fungal infections
  • depression
  • dementia

In case of Gestational Diabetes these are the complications to watch out for: 

  • low blood glusoce levels
  • jaundice
  • Stillborn baby
  • Prematurely born baby
  • higher-than-normal weight at birth
  • increased risk for type 2 diabetes later in life for both mother and baby

As you can see diabetes in any form can lead to serious health issues and hence must be proactively treated and managed throughout the patient’s life. If you or your loved one has been diagnosed with diabetes then please make sure that he/she follows her treatments meticulously.

Treatment for Diabetes

Treatment plans for diabetes are prescribed by qualified doctors and medical experts. The treatment plan is uniquely designed based on the case of the patient. 

Medication 

All types of diabetes need oral medication to control the insulin levels. The medicines and the correct dosage is prescribed by the qualified doctor who is in charge of your case. Metformin, Glumetza, Fortamet etc. are some of the most common diabetes drugs given to patients. 

Insulin 

Type 1 Diabetics need to take insulin via pumps or injections regularly every few hours since their body does not produce any insulin at all. Pumps or injections are available in medical stores which have to be used as per the prescription given by the doctor.  

Changes in lifestyle 

The most important aspect of managing diabetes is changing your lifestyle. Incorporate lots of physical activities into your routine. Keep your weight in check, monitor blood sugar levels regularly and eat a healthy diet.

Diabetes - Concluding Remarks

Diabetes is a chronic medical condition that should be managed and monitored for the patient’s lifetime. Finding a good doctor and following his/her instructions carefully is essential in this case. Medication, exercise and diet is key to conquering diabetes!

5 Things We Bet You Didn’t Know About DANDRUFF

Dandruff by Perfect Health Magazine

Dandruff - Quick 30 Seconds Summary

  • Dandruff is the white, dry flakes you can see on your scalp, hair, eyebrows, shoulders, beard and mustache. 
  • It is a common problem especially during winters. 
  • Dandruff symptoms include itchiness, dry, white flakes and scaly skin or red patches on the scalp. 
  • Variety of causes give rise to dandruff such as Seborrheic Dermatitis, Contact Dermatitis, age, gender, neurological and skin disorders. 
  • Dandruff can be treated using anti-dandruff shampoos available OTC. Other treatment plans included prescription shampoos, lotions for the scalp and many simple home remedies.

Dandruff - Meaning & Overview

Dandruff is one of the most common skin conditions that originate mostly on the scalp. Often thought to be a hair related problem dandruff actually is a skin problem. The white coloured and dry skin flakes that are seen on your shoulders or when you casually brush your hands through your hair are nothing but dandruff flakes. 

While dandruff is not a serious medical condition that should send the alarm bells ringing, it is quite embarrassing when in the public eye and may cause self-esteem issues, especially in youngsters. 

The skin is perenially producing new cells and getting rid of old cells. When this cycle speeds up unusually it leads to dandruff. Dandruff is mostly a harmless condition when it is in a mild form, but in severe form, it may cause inflammation to the skin and scaly zones in the scalp.

Dandruff Symptoms

It is absolutely easy to identify dandruff since the symptoms of dandruff are pretty obvious to the naked eye: 

  1.  Dry and white skin flakes are visible on the scalp, hair, shoulder, moustache, beard and eyebrows. 
  2. Itchy scalp 
  3. Scaly and slightly reddish zones on the scalp

Generally, dandruff issues aggravate when the weather outside is dry or cold or both. So it is natural to observe dandruff during the winters more than during monsoon.

When To See A Doctor For Dandruff?

Having dandruff is not a cause for concern and you need not visit a doctor immediately. Using a good quality anti-dandruff shampoo may solve the issue over time. 

However, Perfect Health Magazine recommends visiting a dermatologist (skin specialist) if your anti-dandruff shampoo routine hasn’t worked, and you notice red patches on your scalp, or severe itchiness or a weak immune system or swelling and scaly skin. If these symptoms persist then visit a qualified medical professional soon.

Causes of Dandruff

According to leading medical practitioners and researchers, often there are no direct reasons that cause dandruff. However, some of the linked causes could be – 

Seborrheic Dermatitis

This is a common skin condition which affects those parts of your body where most sebum or oil is secreted. Seborrheic dermatitis is a type of eczema and can become a chronic condition. People who suffer from Seborrheic dermatitis have severe dandruff. 

Contact Dermatitis 

This is a type of skin irritation that is caused by allergens or irritants. Contact Dermatitis leads to rashes and itchiness along with dandruff. It is not contagious but needs timely care. 

Dry Skin 

People with dry skin are more prone to dandruff. This is why winters seem to be one of those seasons where maximum people are plagued by dandruff problems. 

Gender and Hormones 

The male body releases more hormones linked to the sebum such as testosterone, hence they tend to have dandruff issues more than women. 

Hair Care Habits 

Ideally every person should shampoo their hair atleast twice a week. People whose hair hygiene is not correct will face more dandruff issues. 

Puberty 

The human body undergoes a lot of changes during puberty, this leads to hormonal imbalance. Teenagers therefore suffer more from dandruff problems. 

Skin Conditions & Psychiatric Disorders

Eczema, psoriasis etc. worsen dandruff issues since the skin is already aggravated and fighting against problems. 

Neurological conditions and psyhiatric disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, epilepsy etc. are among the conditions that elevate one’s risk of Seborrheic dermatitis, including dandruff.

Oily Skin 

Oily skin tends to release more sebum and hence is more likely to get dandruff.

Treatments for Dandruff

Anti-dandruff Shampoo 

The best and easiest way to treat dandruff is anti-dandruff shampoos and conditioners. Follow the instructions given on the pack carefully for best results. Most big hair care and cosmetics brands have anti-dandruff shampoos and conditioners that are effective. Choose the right one by analysing your scalp type (dry, oily or regular) and how much dandruff is there. 

Prescription Shampoos

In some cases if the dermatologist believes that gentle OTC dandruff shampoo is not enough then he/she may prescribe a stronger medicated shampoo like  Loprox or Nizoral. For patients suffering from over-irritation or itchiness a topical cortecosteroid lotion like Capex or Synalar (fluocinolone topical), Luxiq (betamethasone topical), or Clobex (clobetasol topical) maybe prescribed. 

Home Remedies 

Generally home remedies along with an OTC dandruff shampoo work wonders for anyone who has dandruff. We have already covered the shampoo section, so now let us look at home remedies for dandruff. 

  1. Oiling your hair: One of the oldest traditions in an Indian home is oiling your hair with coconut oil for a minimum of 2-3 hours before it is washed. This is a great home remedy to treat dandruff. 
  2. Aloe Vera: Aloe Vera is a plant with high medicinal properties. Applying aloe vera to the hair before washing them can eliminate dandruff from the scalp. 
  3. Baking Soda: Gently apply baking soda to your scalp in the shower and rinse your hair carefully after a few minutes. 
  4. Lime Juice: Squeeze out fresh lemon juice (approximately 2 teaspoons), apply it on your scalp and rinse it out. Take one more teaspoon of lime juice mix it with 1 cup of water and pour it over your hair. 
  5. Apple Cider Vinegar: Take apple cider vinegar and fill 1/4th of a cup with it. Mix 1/4th cup water in the rest of the cup. Apply it atleast 15 minutes before you wash your hair. Then wash it out with shampoo and conditioner.

Depression - Concluding Remarks

Dandruff is a skin problem faced by numerous people across the globe. It is treatable with simple OTC anti-dandruff shampoos and some home remedies.

Cholesterol – Is It REALLY Bad For You? Find Out The Truth

Cholestrol by Perfect Health Magazine

Cholesterol - Quick 30 Seconds Summary

  • Cholesterol is a waxy lipid substance found in the human body. It is produced by the liver and sent to all cells within the body. 
  • High cholesterol is a medical condition where excess cholesterol forms plaque like deposits around the arteries. Essentially it begins narrowing the arteries and slowing down the blood flowand narrows them down. 
  • LDL, HDL and VLDL are different types of lipoproteins that form the total cholesterol in the body. 
  • High cholesterol has no symptoms and can be diagnosed with a blood test. 
  • Risks associated with high cholesterol include heart attack and stroke. 
  • It is treatable with medication and lifestyle changes.

Cholesterol - Meaning & Overview

Cholesterol is a natural substance in the lipid family found in the human body. It assists in the production of hormones, Vitamin D and other digestive fluids. The texture of cholesterol is waxy and fat-like and it is found in all cells of your body. The liver is the main centre of cholesterol production.

Out of the total 100% cholesterol needed by the body, 75% is produced by the liver while 25% is acquired through food from the outside. The food sources of cholesterol include meat, poultry, eggs and all dairy products. 

Cholesterol is not soluble in water, and cannot be transported from one place to the other via blood. The liver creates lipoproteins to move cholesterol from one part of the body to another. 

Cholesterol in itself is not a medical condition or disease. In fact, the natural production and distribution of cholesterol is a sign of a healthy body. However, high cholesterol is a medical issue and raised cholesterol may lead to heart problems and stroke. 

According to the World Health Organisation, one-third of ischaemic heart disease is attributable to high cholesterol. Therefore, it is important for you to understand the symptoms, causes, treatments and long term management options of high cholesterol.

High Cholesterol - Meaning

An excess of cholesterol in the body is known as high cholesterol by medical experts. As mentioned earlier, cholesterol is not a clear liquid, it is a combination of fat and protein. It is thicker and waxier than blood. 

High cholesterol combines with blood and begins forming a plaque around the blood arteries. Essentially it begins narrowing the arteries and slowing down the blood flow. This is dangerous and is often termed as a silent killer like high blood pressure. The worst possible outcome of high cholesterol is creating clots and blockages that could lead to heart attacks or strokes.

Types of Cholesterol

Cholesterol is a broad term and can be subdivided into different categories based on the role each category plays. This subdivision is important because it helps in understanding the fundamentals of the high cholesterol medical condition. 

The lipoproteins that carry cholesterol from one part of the body to the other form the different types of cholesterol. They are as follows: 

  • Low-density Lipoprotein (LDL): LDL is often referred to as the “bad cholesterol” because higher levels of LDL form plaque around the arteries narrowing them down considerably. LDL carries cholesterol from the liver to other parts of the body. 
  • High-density Lipoprotein (HDL): HDL is the “good cholesterol” in the body. Its role is to carry cholesterol which has served its purpose back to the liver, wherein the liver then removes it from the body. 

Very Low-density Lipoprotein (VLDL):  VLDL’s main role is to carry triglycerides from the liver to other parts of the body.

Symptoms of High Cholesterol

The most dangerous thing about high cholesterol is the lack of symptoms. There are no visible symptoms of raised cholesterol levels in the body. It is a silent medical condition that slowly grows within the body over time.

Diagnosis of High Cholesterol

Cholesterol can be diagnosed only through a blood test where the fasting lipid profile is checked. This gives accurate results and you can check whether your numbers are within the desirable range or outside the desirable range. When the numbers move outside the desirable range the person is diagnosed with “high cholesterol” by medical practitioners. 

Cholesterol is measured in milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL). A lipid profile report contains the following parameters: 

  • Total Cholesterol: This number shows the total cholesterol within the body. 
  • Non-HDL: Under this head, the calculation is total cholesterol minus HDL. Non-HDL includes LDL and VLDL. 
  • LDL: The number of Low-density Lipoprotein in the body. 
  • HDL: You will find the measurement of High-density Lipoprotein under this parameter. 

According to the American National Library of Medicine, following is the description of healthy levels of cholesterol for various age groups: 

Age group: 19 or younger

Type of Cholesterol

Healthy Level

Total Cholesterol

Less than 170mg/dL

Non-HDL

Less than 120mg/dL

LDL

Less than 100mg/dL

HDL

More than 45mg/dL

Age Group: 20 and older (Gender: Male)

Type of Cholesterol

Healthy Level

Total Cholesterol

125 to 200mg/dL

Non-HDL

Less than 130mg/dL

LDL

Less than 100mg/dL

HDL

40mg/dL or higher

Age Group: 20 and older (Gender: Female)

Type of Cholesterol

Healthy Level

Total Cholesterol

125 to 200mg/dL

Non-HDL

Less than 130mg/dL

LDL

Less than 100mg/dL

HDL

50mg/dL or higher

Causes of High Cholesterol

When it comes to increased levels of cholesterol there are some causes that can be controlled or avoided by taking the right steps but some causes are beyond the control of the patient. 

Here’s a list of causes of high cholesterol that can be controlled: 

  • Obesity: Obesity is a major cause of elevated levels of cholesterol. The increased level of fat in the body and inactivity causes high cholesterol in obese individuals. 
  • Unhealthy Diet: When a person eats foods rich in saturated fats and trans fats it increases cholesterol in the body. Deep-fried food, junk food, baked goods and sugary food choices lead to high cholesterol. 
  • Sedentary Lifestyle: A lifestyle where the individual is physically inactive for long hours causes high cholesterol. Little or no exercise has ill effects on the body such as raised cholesterol levels. 

Now, let us outline the causes of high cholesterol that are beyond your control: 

  • Genetic factors: High blood cholesterol runs in the family. So you may inherit it from your parents as part of your genetic composition. 
  • Medical conditions: Existing medical conditions may cause high cholesterol and you will have no control over this factor. Chronic diabetes, hyperthyroidism, kidney disease, lupus and HIV/AIDS can cause high cholesterol.

Risks Associated with High Cholesterol

Many people are under the wrong impression that cholesterol in itself is a risky medical condition. This is false. Only high cholesterol is a medical condition that proves to be dangerous because of the lack of symptoms and other health risks it causes. 

  • Atherosclerosis: Unnaturally high cholesterol leads to plaque build-up and fat deposits in the blood vessels. This causes a condition called atherosclerosis where the blood vessels carrying blood, oxygen and other nutrients become stiff and thick over time. 
  • Blood Clots: Raised cholesterol narrows the arteries sometimes to the point of clotting. Blood clots due to cholesterol can burst or lead to strokes and heart trouble. 
  • Chest Pain: Less blood flow due to high cholesterol can cause angina or chest pain in the patient. 
  • Heart Attack: In many cases when the arteries are too clogged by cholesterol deposits a patient may suffer from a heart attack. 
  • Stroke: A stroke is a very serious condition where the blood flow to the brain is interrupted. Narrowed arteries due to high cholesterol can cause a brain stroke.

Treatments for High Cholesterol

Cholesterol is not a life threatening disease, it is a medical condition that can be treated and managed by the patient. Medication and changes in lifestyle are the two main tools to tackle high cholesterol.

Medication for High Cholesterol

There a variety of medications available to treat high cholesterol. Medicines from the Statin family of drugs are generally prescribed by medical practitioners to lower cholesterol levels and maintain the heart health of the patients. 

Some drugs from the statins include:

  • atorvastatin (Lipitor)
  • fluvastatin (Lescol)
  • rosuvastatin (Crestor)
  • simvastatin (Zocor)

In certain cases other medicines are also prescribed for high cholesterol such as: 

  • niacin
  • bile acid resins or sequestrants, such as colesevalam (Welchol), colestipol (Colestid), or cholestyramine (Prevalite)
  • cholesterol absorption inhibitors, such as ezetimibe (Zetia)
  • PCSK9 inhibitors, such as alirocumab (Praluent) and evolocumab (Repatha)

The dosage and the duration of the prescription will depend upon the individual case. Consult a doctor before taking any of the above mentioned drugs.

Lifestyle changes for High Cholesterol

  • Put a full stop to all alcohol and tobacco consumption immediately. These are very harmful substances and can lead to increased risks of angina and heart attacks. 
  • Changes in dietary habits are also a must if you are suffering from high cholesterol issues. Consciously eat heart healthy foods such as salads, fruits, vegetables etc. for better health. Avoid eating fried foods, desserts with high quantities of sugar and red meats. Stick to food that is cooked with small quantities of oil, less salt and less spices. 
  • Regular exercise is an important step in lowering cholesterol levels naturally. Engaging in a physical activity on an everyday basis works wonders for lowering cholesterol levels and maintaining them over time.

Depression - Concluding Remarks

Cholesterol is a natural substance produced by the body and needed by the body for essential functions such as gatekeeping of cell membranes and production of hormones. However high cholesterol or increase in bad cholesterol in the body causes problems for the patient. Cholesterol can be lowered by medication and lifestyle changes. It is 100% treatable and not a serious condition if managed properly.

Antidepressants & Psychotherapy – Depression Treatments That Actually Help

Depression Treatments by Perfect Health Magazine

Depression Treatments - Quick 30 Seconds Summary

  • Clinical depression or major depressive disorder is a mental illness that is completely treatable.
  • According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) 5% of adults suffer from depression globally. 
  • The stigma attached to depression and mental illnesses in general stops patients from seeking professional help. 
  • Treatments for depression include medication known as anti-depressants which assist in restoring the chemical balance of the patient’s brain. 
  • Psychotherapy with a licensed therapist is a vital aspect of treating depression. 
  • Remember that depression is treatable and help is always available for mental health issues.

Depression - Meaning & Overview

Depression is classified as a major mood disorder that is a mental health issue. Medically speaking depression is known as clinical depression or major depressive disorder. It is a complex mental illness that results in deep-seated feelings of gloom, sadness and overall negativity. 

According to Center for Disease Control & Prevention estimates, 18.5% of American Adults had depression symptoms in any given 2-week period in 2019. 

Depression Treatments

Since depression is a complex health issue it needs proper medical care, attention and treatments. Psychiatrists and Psychologists are the right medical professionals for depression treatment. 

When other doctors observe the symptoms of depression in a patient, they recommend a visit to the psychiatrist or psychologist for further evaluation, diagnosis and treatment. 

Most people are scared of seeking professional help because of the stigma attached to depression and mental illnesses in general. People with mental illnesses try to cover up or self treat these issues with little or no results. Perfect Health Magazine recommends seeking professional help on a timely basis. 

Depression treatments typically include medication accompanied by psychotherapy sessions with a licensed therapist. The therapist helps patients in breaking patterns of negative thinking and replace them with positive ideas and processes.

Medication for Depression:

1. SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors) and SNRIs (Serotonin Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors)

These are the most prescribed group of antidepressants in today’s age. SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors) include Citalopram, Escitalopram, Fluoxetine, Fluvoxamine, Paroxetine and Sertraline. 

SNRIs (Serotonin Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors) include Desvenlafaxine, Desvenlafaxine Succinate, Duloxetine, Levomilnacipran and Venlafaxine. These are two types of antidepressants that act on serotonin and norepinephrine but differently.

SSRIs help regulate the chemical serotonin in the brain. SNRIs also act on serotonin and norepinephrine but in different ways than the SSRIs. Other drugs such as Vortioxetine and Vilazodone affect the serotonin receptors (like SSRIs) but also affect other receptors related to serotonin function. 

Other antidepressants include Bupropion, a drug that affects dopamine and norepinephrine regulation, and Mirtazapine, which increases the levels of serotonin and norepinephrine by a different mechanism as the SNRIs.

2. Tricyclic Antidepressants (TCAs)

These have been used to treat depression since the 1950s but are known to have more side effects than SSRIs.

3. Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs)

The third group of antidepressants known as the MAOIs, are also known to regulate the serotonin in the brain. These act faster than the TCAs, however, the patients have to avoid certain food groups while on these medications. MAOIs are only prescribed if SSRIs and TCAs or other types of antidepressants don’t work.

4. Antipsychotics

Lithium Carbonate (Eskalith) is a common drug used for the treatment of manic depression. However it is sometimes used in combination with another antidepressant. 

Atypical antipsychotic medicine side effects include weight gain, changes in blood sugar and cholesterol, sedation and abnormal movements.

5. Ketamine

Ketamine can be given intravenously or through an inhaled nasal mist to treat major depression. It is becoming more widely available for depression that is not treatable with conventional means.

According to medical experts all of these drugs are strong in nature and hence can be procured only after showing a valid prescription. These drugs should be consumed only in the dosages recommended by the doctor. 

Medication prescribed for depression is referred to as anti depressants. Anti depressants are known to restore the chemical balance in the patient. However, long term consumption of anti depressants can cause harmful effects on the patient’s mind and body. Remember to have a detailed discussion with your therapist when starting off on anti depressants.

Psychotherapy for Depression:

One of the most significant aspects of depression treatments is psychotherapy. Psychotherapy means one-to-one sessions with a licensed therapist where the patient who is suffering from depression discusses in-depth his current feelings, past issues, traumas etc. This is a confidential discussion and the doctor never reveals any of the details to anyone else. Patient-Doctor confidentiality is taken very seriously and is upheld at all times. 

Commonly used forms of psychotherapy are cognitive, behavioral and interpersonal therapies.

  1. Cognitive therapies help change the negative thought patterns that accompany depressive moods and teach you new ways to build positive thinking patterns.
  2. Behavioral therapies concentrate on teaching you positive behavior patterns.
  3. Interpersonal therapies study how your interpersonal relationships affect your mood.

Other Treatment Methods for depression:

  • Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT)
  • Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (RTMS)
  • Vagus Nerve Stimulation (VNS)
  • Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS)

Depression - Concluding Remarks

Treatments of depression and the course of action for every patient will vary on case to case basis. Not all depression patients may need anti-depressants. It is of the utmost importance to start all treatments on time and follow everything the therapist has to say to get well soon.