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Infactual Articles » 2007 » February

Archive for February, 2007

Gout and the Risk of Kidney Stones

Posted in Health & Fitness on February 27th, 2007

Despite what joints may be affected by gout, this particular form of arthritis can cause another complication – kidney stones.

What are kidney stones and what causes them?  Kidney stones are small masses that are rock-like in substance.  They can be small enough to be passed through urination, or large enough to block the flow of urine.  Passing kidney stones is often an extremely painful experience that most people don’t soon forget.  Kidney stones can occur for different reasons.  However, in the case of gout, kidney stones form as a result of too much uric acid in the urine.

Who is most at risk for developing kidney stones?  Essentially, anyone who has recurring cases of gout is at risk for developing kidney stones.  However, middle aged men, and the elderly (both women and men) are more likely to develop kidney stones, due to the fact that they are the primary gout sufferers, and have higher levels of uric acid.

Furthermore, kidney stones are most likely to occur in those who suffer from secondary gout and primary gout.  Approximately 42% of those diagnosed with secondary gout will experience kidney stones.  However, only 10 – 25% of primary gout sufferers will develop stones.  

Why is the risk so much higher for secondary gout sufferers?  The reason is because unlike those who have primary gout - high levels of uric acid without a known cause, those with secondary gout have high levels of uric acid because of their long-term medication (IE. diuretics, aspirin, levodopa, etc.) or health condition (IE. alcoholism, obesity, diabetes, kidney dysfunction, etc.)

Additionally, people who have experienced kidney stones are more likely to develop stones again in the future.

What are the signs and symptoms of kidney stones?   Although in some cases there may be no symptoms at all, most people who suffer kidney stones report the following:
- Sudden extreme painful cramping that occurs in the lower back, side, groin or abdomen.
- Nausea or vomiting caused by severe pain
- Blood in urine
- Fever and chills may occur if there is an infection in the urinary tract

If you have any of the above symptoms, you should visit your doctor or the emergency room to make sure that what you are experiencing is indeed kidney stones.

How are kidney stones treated?  Although the sudden onset of pain may compel you to take a trip to the emergency room, the chances are after you’ve been x-rayed and diagnosed, a doctor will likely prescribe you pain medication and tell you to drink plenty of water and wait for the kidney stone to pass naturally.  Most stones pass within 48 hours when significant fluid is ingested.  Symptoms should stop as soon as stones pass.

If the stone will not pass naturally due to its size, a doctor may perform:
- Lithotripsy – A common procedure that uses a shock wave to break up the large stone into small pieces so they can be passed.
- Surgery – there are a few techniques used to surgically remove the stones.  These surgeries are often uncomplicated.
How to prevent uric acid kidney stones – The following are ways a gout sufferer can reduce their risk of developing stones:

- Avoid or limit alcohol intake
- Eliminate or limit foods in your diet that raise uric acid levels such as: organ meat, red meat, shellfish, mushrooms, asparagus, dried peas and beans, etc.
- Drink plenty of water and stay well hydrated all the time
- Exercise regularly
- Loose weight realistically – If you are overweight or obese avoid crash diets to lose weight quickly.  Losing weight too fast can cause a rise in uric acid levels and increase the risk of stones.
- Medication – Talk to your doctor about medication that can help lower and control uric acid levels.

By Lisa McDowell. Sign up for a free newsletter & discover whether you are experiencing a gout symptom treatments. On the site you’ll also find more on proven gout remedy options and how deal with a gout attack.  

Finding Support For Adult Autism

Posted in Health & Fitness on February 26th, 2007

Toys are a great way to stimulate autistic children, but what about adult autism?  All autistics, regardless of their age or degree of autism require proper care and support.  That being said, although high functioning autistics do require support, they don’t always require constant care like those who have low functioning autism.

High functioning autistics (HFA)
 High functioning autistic adults can be very successful and live relatively normal lives.  They can work, care, and support themselves, live independently, and in some cases, even have a family.  However, in order to be successfully independent an HFA adult must have had the proper education growing up.  If an HFA child is effectively taught and understands accepted behaviors and social responses, by the time they reach adulthood, they can contribute to society like everyone else.

Of course, not all high functioning autistics are independent, and even those that are may still struggle with finding suitable employment and suffer with social interaction.  For this reason, those with high functioning adult autism require support to help them take care of themselves, and live the best life they can live.

Support for high functioning autistics
The following are ways in which HFA adults can find support:

Locally – Finding support locally may be a challenge if you don’t know where to look.  Nevertheless it doesn’t hurt to try searching with the help of:
- Health care providers – Talk to any doctors or those who provided you therapy over the years.  They may be able to get you in touch with local organizations or support groups.
- Government – Call or visit the government website to learn about support for those with adult autism
- Yellow Pages – Search the phone book to see if any support groups are listed locally
- The internet – Conduct a search by using the name of your city and “autism support”
Online - There are many support groups online.  The following are some websites that offer support and may be helpful for employment and information:
- http://www.csaac.org/
- www.udel.edu/bkirby/asperger

Low functioning autistics
Low functioning adult autism means that these individuals are unable to measure up to societal standards and can not function independently, regardless of how they are educated as children.  Therefore, these autistics typically live at home with their parents or in special residences where their needs can be continually addressed.  Nevertheless, due to the fact that residential facilities or group homes are quite costly, many low functioning adults (and even some HFA adults) live with their families.

In these cases, the ones who require support and assistance are the caregivers.  Caring for an autistic can be extremely overwhelming and stressful, especially when you are faced with:

- Learning everything you can about adult autism
- Locating the necessary services, treatments and supports needed
- Dealing with different health care service providers
- Financial burden
- Socially isolating yourself in your home, as making social calls can be difficult
- Focusing all your attention on one child and giving less attention to the rest
- Discrimination from others

Support for caregivers of autistics
There are different services you can look for to help you cope with adult autism, such as counseling, reducing stress, learning new techniques, financial advice, etc.  Support can be found in the following ways -

Locally – The same methods used in HFA support listed above can be used to find local support.
- Friends – If you have made friends who also have autistic children, use them as support and find out if they have any new information they can provide for a particular problem you may be facing.

Online – There are many support groups online.  Check out the following:
- http://www.autism-society.org/
- http://www.autismsociety.ca/
- http://www.bbbautism.com/
- http://www.autismlink.com/
- http://www.udel.edu/

Each provides you with information, resources and support groups for adult autism.

By Rachel Evans. Sign up for a free newsletter and discover how to understand and manage an autism diagnosis. On the site you’ll find more information about high functioning autism.