Being Aware Of Any Changes In Moles

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Knowing the ABCDE rule can help save your life.

didyouknow?We’re fortunate enough to live in a time where medical information is widely available and easy to access. With such information at our fingertips, there are times when we can become hyper-sensitive and blow things out of proportion. One such area where people can become unduly concerned is the appearance of moles on one’s skin. People are constantly told by public service announcements on TV to be on the lookout for any changes, which can lead some people to worry needlessly over the moles that they have. It is true that melanoma, a type of skin cancer, can grow around or in a mole, but that does not mean that every mole will become cancerous.

In fact, it’s quite normal for a person to have moles on their body. The American Academy of Dermatology states that it’s not unusual for the average person to have between ten to forty moles on their skin. (1) Most moles actually appear early on in a person’s life, usually when they’re a young child and up through the first thirty years of life. While parents may worry when spotting a new mole on their child, it’s really nothing to worry about. Moles will actually grow as the child grows up, and they can even darken or lighten. This does not normally mean that a young person is developing melanoma, but if a parent is concerned enough, they should consult a licensed dermatologist, such as Dr. F. Victor Rueckl of Lakes Dermatology in Las Vegas, to make sure that nothing is wrong.

A mole is a growth that occurs when cells in the skin grow in a cluster instead of spreading throughout the skin. There are several different types of moles. A common mole is known as an acquired nevus and is harmless. These moles appear as a flat, round spot that is one color throughout and grow symmetrically. A congenital mole can take several different forms. They can look like normal moles or as a bluish-gray spot that’s usually called Mongolian spots. Congenital moles are mostly harmless, but there is a marked risk for developing melanoma if the mole is large (having a diameter of over 20 centimeters). Having a giant congenital nevus increases the chance of developing melanoma anywhere from 4.5% to 10%, with other studies suggesting an even higher percentage. (2) If your child has such a mole, you should immediately meet with an experienced dermatologist, such as Dr. F. Victor Rueckl of Lakes Dermatology.

Another mole type is the dysplastic mole, which is a classification for moles that do not look like normal moles. They may be asymmetrical, have an irregular border, have more than one color, or have a larger diameter. A spitz nevus is a mole that resembles melanoma. It is often a raised, dome-shaped lesion that is pink in color. It can bleed, ooze through an opening, and have a mix of colors. Most spitz nevi occur during the first two decades of a person’s life, but any appearance of them should have one scheduling an examination with a medical professional, such as Dr. F. Victor Rueckl of Lakes Dermatology in Las Vegas, to make sure that everything is ok.

Moles can serve as an early warning system for melanoma. Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer, and the American Cancer Society estimated that around 76,000 cases of melanoma were diagnosed in 2014. (3) One can check for melanoma by using the ABCDE rule. These rules are:

A – Asymmetry: This occurs when one half of a mole does not match the other half.

B – Border: Check to see if the edges of the mole are ragged, blurred, or irregular.

C – Color: Most moles are uniform in color. Look to see if the color changes or if there are different colors in the same mole.

D – Diameter: Most moles are equal to or smaller than the size of a pencil eraser (about 1/4 inch). Be on the lookout if a mole is larger than that size.

E – Evolving: If the mole changes in size, shape, or color, then meet with a medical doctor to let them know.

Moles are a fact of life, and something that people shouldn’t worry excessively over. As Dr. F. Victor Rueckl of Lakes Dermatology notes, “Most people have a number of moles upon their skin that started in childhood. It’s quite normal that children develop moles, but it is wise to keep track of their development to ensure that any warning signs are not missed. Melanoma is a very treatable cancer if caught early, so use the ABCDE rule to regularly give yourself a checkup. If you spot something troubling, schedule an appointment with a doctor immediately as there’s no time to waste.” (4)

Most of us have moles, and they develop early on in our life. While most moles will remain benign, it behooves us to keep a wary eye on them to ensure that all stays well. Still, there’s a healthy distinction between being aware and being obsessive. There’s no reason to panic if a new mole appears. If you do feel that there’s a cause for concern, them make sure you consult an experienced doctor, such as Dr. F. Victor Rueckl of Lakes Dermatology in Las Vegas, to put your mind at ease.





4) Quote from Dr. F. Victor Rueckl, dermatologist at Lakes Dermatology

Are You Aware of OCD?

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By Ajaiwant Cheema, owner of Cheema Medical Complex

didyouknow?Obsessive-compulsive disorder is explained as an anxiety disorder. The situation has two main fragments: obsessions and compulsions.


Obsessions are unwanted thoughts, descriptions, needs or doubts that frequently occur in the mind; like you have been thinking that you are contaminated by dirt and germs, or undergoing a sudden urge to hurt somebody. These obsessions are usually terrifying or seem so awful that nobody will share them with others. The obsession disturbs person’s other thoughts and makes him feel very restless. These unwanted thoughts are very distressing and affects your interaction with others and also effects on your studies and work.


Compulsions are monotonous activities that you think you have to do. This might be something like frequently checking a door to make sure it is locked or repeating a specific slogan in your mind to avoid any damage coming to a loved one. The target of a compulsion is to try and deal with the suffering caused by the obsessive thoughts and discharge the anxiety you are feeling. However, any relief you feel is often for a short-term. Getting ready, every day includes so much hand washing, mental formalities, and doing things in the same order every day.

Symptoms of OCD

Though each person will have their own involvements, there are some common obsessions and compulsions that occur as part of OCD.

1. Unwanted thoughts about harm or violence

2. Unwanted sexual feelings

3. Unwanted offensive thoughts

Causes of OCD

There are different perspectives about why OCD occurs:

1. ‘Dysfunctional’ beliefs

One philosophy suggests that OCD grows because of ‘dysfunctional’ beliefs and explanations. If you have an OCD, you might rely on that you have more responsibility for a condition than you actually do. Because of this, your reaction may go out of the way.

2. Personal experience

Some specialists’ theories advise that OCD is initiated by personal experience. Myth has been created that if you have had a painful childhood experience or suffered trauma, you might learn to use obsessions and compulsions to handle with anxiety. Conversely, this theory does not enlighten why people who cannot have any agonising experiences might experience OCD.

3. Biological factors

Some biological theories conclude that a deficiency in the brain chemical serotonin may cause OCD. However, experts disagree about it, and it is unclear either the lack of this chemical causes OCD or is the effect of having the condition. Studies have also observed at genetic factors and how different parts of the brain might be involved in causing OCD but have found nothing worth.

How to tackle with OCD?

1. Peer groups

A self-help, or peer support group, provides a chance to meet up with those persons who have suffered from the same type of issues as you. It can make you feel less isolated and give you and other group fellows a chance to share their views, feelings and experiences in coping with OCD.

2. Physical activity

Add some physical activity in your daily routine, whether it is a short walk or playing any game, can help you in improving mental wellbeing. Exercise makes you active and can distract you from unwanted thoughts.

3. Share your thoughts

It’s not that easy to discuss OCD. But if you can succeed to talk to somebody you have faith about your situation, it could help you feel better and less isolated. It can also help other people recognise your OCD nature and how they can help you.

Ingredients Nannies To Children With Gluten Intolerance Should Be Aware Of

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kidsAs a primary caretaker of children, nannies are constantly on alert – from helping little ones avoid slipping in the bathtub to keeping a careful eye on them as they play at the playground. For children with gluten intolerance, it’s imperative that nannies are vigilant during meal times to safeguard them from harm.

Learning how to avoid ingredients that can cause the child discomfort and understanding the signs and symptoms of gluten intolerance will help ease the minds of the parents, the child and the nanny.

Defining Gluten Intolerance

Children with gluten intolerance, also known as non-celiac gluten sensitivity, are unable to tolerate gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye, barley and contaminated oats. According to Laura Cipullo, New York-based nutritionist, registered dietitian and founder of, those with gluten intolerance experience similar symptoms to those affiliated with Celiac Disease, where the intolerance can lead to inflammation that damages the intestinal lining, ultimately leading to malabsorption.

“Research suggests that non-celiac gluten sensitivity is a natural immune response to the ingestion of gluten and affects an estimated 18 million Americans,” says Cipullo.

If a child who is gluten intolerant ingests gluten, says Cipullo, they can experience some of the following symptoms:

* Stomach discomfort
* Diarrhea
* Cramping
* Gas
* Bloating
* Brain fogginess
* Joint pain
* Numbing of the extremities
* Headaches

When a child is sensitive to gluten, his body considers it a foreign substance and produces antibodies to eliminate it, says Dr. David Katz, founding director of Yale University’s Prevention Research Center and author of Disease Proof. “Inflammation from gluten sensitivity can result in damage to the villi, or tiny hair-like projections in the small intestine which absorb nutrients and cause problems with absorption of nutrients necessary for good health.”

Furthermore, if gluten sensitivity goes unmanaged, it can affect a child’s behavior and ability to grow and learn, says Debbi Beauvais, New York-based registered dietitian, nutritionist and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. “For growth and development, children have very high energy and nutrient needs,” she says. “To manage a diet for children with this sensitivity, it is best to consult a registered dietitian to work with you and your child to plan meals that will ensure all energy and nutrient needs are being met.”

Ingredients to Avoid

informationredOne rule of thumb is to avoid any food with the word wheat in the ingredient list, says Beauvais. “Many foods now are clearly labeled gluten free and most food markets have specific food sections which contain gluten free foods clearly labeled as such,” she says.

However, you can never be too careful. Keep an eye out for the following ingredients:

* Barley (flakes, flour, pearl)
* Breading and bread stuffing
* Brewer’s yeast
* Bulgur
* Durum (type of wheat)
* Farro/Faro (also known as spelt)
* Graham flour
* Hydrolyzed wheat protein
* Kamut (a type of wheat)
* Malt, malt extract, malt syrup and malt flavoring
* Malt vinegar
* Malted milk
* Matzoh, matzoh meal
* Modified wheat starch
* Oatmeal, oat bran, oat flour and whole oats (unless they are from pure, uncontaminated oats)
* Rye bread and flour
* Seitan (a meat-like food derived from wheat gluten that is used in many vegetarian dishes)
* Semolina
* Spelt (a type of wheat also known as farro or faro, dinkel)
* Triticale
* Wheat bran, flour, germ or starch

According to Cipullo, common sources of gluten in packaged goods include bars, candies, fruit snacks and chips. “Hidden sources of gluten can lurk in ketchup, salad dressings, oats, dried fruits, sauces, soy sauce, processed meat products and certain ice creams,” she says.

What to Eat

With a long list of ingredients to stray from, it’s easy to get discouraged when trying to prepare meals for a child who is gluten intolerant. One common concern of parents and caretakers is ensuring their children with gluten sensitivity are getting the proper nutrition, says Dr. Katz. He suggests the following:

* Look for whole grain gluten-free products

* Aim for at least two servings of fruits and three servings of vegetables a day

* Incorporate beans, as they are a great source of gluten-free fiber and protein

One of the best ways to ensure a gluten intolerant child is getting his daily dose of nutrients is to enhance his diet with the very nutrients he needs, says Katz. “Boost the child’s diet with a gluten-free, nutrient-dense children’s multivitamin,” he says, “which combines a full multivitamin, Omega 3 DHA and EPA and more than 100 percent of Vitamin D.”

To avoid the symptoms and further enhance the child’s diet, it is essential to discuss the child’s gluten intolerance with his parents and ensure that appropriate gluten-free snacks are available for the child, recommends Cipullo. “This child’s intolerance to gluten should be a top priority and planning a safe and effective way to have safe snacks and meals available to him or her is beneficial to avoiding gluten,” she says.

– Submitted by Sara Dawkins of

Caregivers Need To Be Aware Of Link Between Depression And Dementia

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By Mardy Chizek

womanDepression is more common in the elderly than in any other age group, affecting 20% of those living in the community and 40% of those who are living in care homes, according to the Mental Health Foundation statistics on mental health. Clinical practice suggests that the number may even be greater than this.

Depression is not a normal part of aging. Depression is grossly under diagnosed and treated in the elderly. Untreated depression is a significant quality of life issue for seniors. The presentation of depression in the elderly is different than in younger individuals. Seniors often present with weight loss and difficulty sleeping rather than feelings of hopelessness and worthlessness. The rate of recurrence of depression in the elderly is as high as 33 percent within a year. This is serious condition that requires diagnosis, treatment and ongoing monitoring for recurrence. The missed diagnosis is often because we do not look for it.

Medical evidence in clinical practice has long been thought to be a precursor for dementia. New research suggests that older women suffering from depression were nearly twice as likely to develop dementia and cognitive impairment. In a study involving 302 women who were at least 85 years old, 70 percent of whom had been depressed five years previously, demonstrated at least mild cognitive impairment, compared with just 37 percent of the women who were not depressed.

stressOther research suggests that having mild cognitive impairment along with depression doubled the risk of developing fully developed dementia.

This has ramifications for women, as supported by findings published in 2012 in the Archives of General Psychology that found that more women were depressed than men at each interval of the study, and women were more likely than men to suffer from depression at different time points. However, older women were less likely than men to die while depressed.

Caregivers need to recognize the potential for depression in their family members. Depression treatment options depend on whether the depression is secondary to an acute loss or is more profound problem lasting weeks or months. Unfortunately our society does not recognize that mental health issues are as painful and debilitating as physical health issues. With depression, the quality of life and long term outcome of the senior’s life is dependent on recognition and treatment by all involved.

The diagnosis of depression in elderly people is different than that in the younger population. It does not mean that depression is any less significant a problem for seniors. It is simply different. It is of special concern because of the well documented risks of suicide and dementia seen in depressed seniors. Depression is not a sign of weakness and inability to handle life; it is a real physiologic condition that requires aggressive treatment.

Mardy Chizek, RN, FNP, BSN, MBA, AAS is the president of Westmont’s Charism Elder Care Services. For more information on depression and dementia visit Charism Eldercare Services at