General Health

Signs and Symptoms of Addiction

signs of addiction

Signs and Symptoms of Addiction

Addiction to drugs affects people from all cultural, ethnic, and socioeconomic backgrounds. The addictions often set in before the person even realizes that they have a dependency. But there are patterns to addictions, symptoms that can be noticeable.  It is important to be aware of the signs as a drug rehab may be needed.

Do you think a loved one of yours might be suffering with and addiction? If you notice the signs, you may be able to help that person take action. These are the many different signs and symptoms of drug addiction:

Behavioral Changes

Drug use can very drastically affect a person behavior, personality, and habits. Once someone is addicted to a substance, their primary focus is on the drug, the fix, and the next shot at getting that drug. This means that many other aspects of life can get pushed to the wayside.

Drugs are also notorious for making people aggressive and irritable, as well as lead to serious depression. These behavioral and personality changes can lead to a shift in a person’s priorities, causing problems with their friends and family, work life, finances, and more.

Physical Changes

Addiction to drugs is cause by the upped amount of dopamine production in the body, which regulates out emotions. This means that when you take a drug, your body is tricked into thinking its happy and therefore wants more drugs. Before you realize it, your body has a dependency on that feeling (and that drug) and you’re addicted.

Drug use over an extended period of time can also lead your body to develop tolerances to the drug, and your body will need more of the drug to feel the same level of feelings, the ‘high’ that you get. This can be dangerous, as it can lead to overdose.

Other physical symptoms of drug addiction can include changes in weight, bloodshot and glazed-over eyes, enlarged or restricted pupils, and chills or sweating, and even hallucinations and paranoia. Long term use can also lead to problems with the brain, heart, and other organs.


Signs of Methamphetamine Addiction

Signs of Opiate Addiction

Signs of Heroin Addiction

General Health

Negligible Garcinia Cambogia Side Effects

Negligible Garcinia Cambogia Side Effects

There has been a lot of discussion about a weight loss supplement called Garcinia Cambogia. It has recently come to the public’s attention thanks to a positive report by popular television medical personality Dr. Mehmet Oz. Opinions pro and con about potential Garcinia Cambogia side effects have been the subject of on-line posts and discussions with health conscious people everywhere.

What Is Garcinia Cambogia?

To consider Garcinia Cambogia side effects we must first know something about the supplement. It is grown on a fruiting tree native to Indonesia, Australia and East Asia. The supplement is made from the rind of the fruit.

The fruit has been eaten by the indigenous people where it is grown for centuries. The medicinal properties have been known and used in traditional medicine for centuries. There have been no Garcinia Cambogia side effects known in folk medicine. Varieties of butterflies as well as other native species eat the fruit and tree as well without Garcinia Cambogia side effects.

Medicinal Use

The primary uses of Garcinia Cambogia in medicine are for weight loss and as a purgative in higher doses. The current discussions and common use in modern medicine is for its weight loss properties. The active chemical compound is Hydroxycitric acid (HCA).

Dr. Julie Chen presented the current scientific research on Garcinia Cambogia that Dr. Oz reviewed. She provided several current studies documenting its efficacy in weight loss and having a positive effect on serum lipids. The data clearly documented no evidence of negative Garcinia Cambogia side effects over 8 weeks of the one study group.

Study Results

The results of the medical investigation showed that participants lost 20-30% more weight over the study period with the supplement than without. In addition the effects on serum lipids were impressive. LDL (“bad” cholesterol) and triglycerides were both lowered while HDL (“good” cholesterol) was improved. An interesting side finding was increased serotonin levels. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter associated with mood, so it may improve mood as well.

How It Works

HCA has been shown to be a fat binder. It prevents ingested fats from being absorbed. The fats eaten bind to the HCA and are eliminated through the gastrointestinal tract. A second mechanism is stimulation of the satiety or hunger center in the brain suppressing hunger. Alone Garcinia Cambogia side effects are negligible.

The Controversy

Hydroxycitric acid is a component of several over the counter weight reduction formulas such as Hydroxycut, Leptoprin and XanGo. Several years ago several of these products came under fire for serious side effects from the drug ephedra. As a result ephedra has been taken off the market. These weight loss formulas no longer contain this chemical. There was never any evidence to support Garcinia Cambogia side effectsof any kind existed or contributed to the complaints lodged at that time.

In Excess

In excess too much water can kill you; it doesn’t mean it should be avoided. Garcinia Cambogia side effects result in loose stools with certain doses. It is a desired effect in traditional medicine. Recent scientific study and centuries of use support Garcinia Cambogia’s benefits in weight loss.

General Health

Benefits of Urgent Care in New Orleans


Urgent care is an efficient form of medical services that not only saves you time but also enables you to improve your health condition quickly or lessen your pain rapidly. The difference between the urgent care and the emergency room (ER) is that in the urgent care you can be treated for any condition irrespective of whether it’s severe or not while for ER you need to be in a critical condition to get medical attention. New Orleans urgent care facility, has professional doctors who treat their patients quickly and cautiously. There are several benefits that urgent care has over the emergency room (ER) and they include:

Urgent care is a cost-effective alternative to an ER. Urgent care is often cheaper even when the patient does not have an insurance cover while a trip to an emergency room can be expensive whether you had trauma or accident. You might be required to only pay $25 for your plan cover for an urgent care while you will pay up to $100 for the same medical plan for ER treatment.

Urgent care is faster than an emergency room.  Because urgent care locations are much smaller than traditional Emergency Rooms, they have the ability to have more of them and potentially closer to you.  You are almost guaranteed to have an urgent care near you, just about anywhere in Greater New Orleans.  Urgent care facility is your usually open for normal operations and their equipment, and medication is usually available together with the doctor’s attention. Emergency room or ER, on the other hand, can be little slower because the doctors at the facility might not know your condition and they might take the time to carry out diagnosis and understand your condition.

Urgent care facilities don’t need an appointment like your personal doctor. You will not need to wait for long hours to be attended to in an urgent care facility. Additionally, your personal doctor might be absent but on most occasions, the New Orleans urgent care facility is always open for the patients to check in and seek medical attention. Most urgent care centers are also open for long hours and even on weekends, and it’s always hard to be inconvenienced by a physician at an urgent care facility.

Cost Effectiveness of Urgent Care

Many urgent cares take insurance some urgent care facilities take Medicaid and Medicare. This is usually very helpful especially when you do not have ready money in the pocket. Medicaid and Medicare are some of the best insurance options as well that covering several unique and special covers such as paying for several types of preventive services. Additionally, these types of insurance covers are accepted in many locations and urgent care centers, and you can rest assured that your medical needs will be paid any time you wish to pay for your urgent care medications.

You should always consider the services that are offered by the urgent care centers because of their convenience in receiving treatments and ease of access. Lower costs make this type of health treatment more affordable as well, and it’s advisable to consider them especially because the health costs are always on the rise for those who choose to seek the services of a personal doctor. Personal health for and your family is very important and is more enjoyable if you get it urgently and comfortably.

Home Health Care

Home heath care is another option.  Although not for emergencies, having someone visit your home on a regular basis can avoid having to visit either an ER or Urgent Care in the first place.  Home health care facilities have nurses that visit you at your home to ensure that whatever medical condition you may have is under control.  They will usually check all of your vitals, check your medications and ensure you are on track with your condition.

General Health

Where To Get Help In An Emergency

Everyone at some point in their life will most likely have to deal with a personal, family or close friend’s medical emergency. Knowing where to go can be very confusing when you are in the midst of dealing with a medical crisis. There are distinct differences between the care an emergency room, an urgent care center and a rehabilitation center provides. Not only can going to the right medical provider save you time and money but, more importantly, it ensures that you or your loved one is getting the best care possible.

Small Injuries

When an illness or injury appears out of the blue — for instance,you wake up in the middle of the night with intense pain, or worse, your child does or you stumble and fall while carrying groceries or the baby spikes a high fever over a weekend, or your brother calls because he’s fallen off the wagon and needs help. In all of these scenarios, it’s important to understand the differences of these providers and be able to act quickly if the situation requires it.

Where To Go?

What will you do if your regular doctor’s office is closed when something sudden or traumatic happens? While the answer is not always a simple one, knowing the differences between the care and treatment and the services that these different health care providers are equipped to handle could save your life or someone else’s in a medical emergency.

Urgent Care

Urgent care clinics have been around for awhile and, although there were skeptics about their quality of care when they first started in the US, they now help to fill a vital gap in our health care system for those who get sick or injured outside their primary care doctors normal office hours. One simple test is to determine if your symptoms are similar to those you would normally address with your doctor, if so, then an urgent care setting is probably more appropriate than the emergency room.

Hospital Emergency Rooms

Hospital emergency room departments are equipped to provide medical care at any moment and, unlike urgent care centers, they are trained to be prepared for even the most critical and complex situations, and certainly in the most dire of life threatening situations from heart attack and stroke to traumatic injuries following an accident. Medical conditions that are considered emergencies are those that require immediate medical treatment such as surgery and, of course, the more advanced ongoing treatments that are only available in a hospital setting.

Some of the more common symptoms that are best evaluated in an emergency room include:

  • Persistent chest pain
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Any severe internal pain in the abdomen or halfway down the back
  • Sudden clumsiness, loss of balance or fainting
  • Sudden difficulty speaking, or trouble understanding speech
  • Altered mental status, confusion or suicidal thoughts
  • Sudden weakness or paralysis
  • Severe heart palpitations
  • Sudden, severe headache
  • Sudden testicular pain and swelling
  • Newborn baby with a fever of 100.4 degrees or higher
  • Broken bones or dislocated joints
  • Deep cuts that require stitches or an open wound that won’t stop bleeding
  • Head or eye injuries
  • Severe and persistent vomiting or diarrhea
  • Serious burns

Major Emergencies

In an emergency situation you may be hesitant about whether you should drive yourself to the emergency room or call 911. If you are at all in doubt, call 911. It is far better to be alive and a little embarrassed than to find yourself in a life threatening situation and too far from the care you need. You should never drive yourself if you are having severe chest pain or severe bleeding, if you feel like you might faint, or if your vision is impaired.

Home Heath

Another option for follow up care and ongoing health issues are home healthcare nurses.  These nurses are part of Home Healthcare companies and  provide nurses who come out to your home to insure recovery, check vital signs and other basic healthcare.

Call For Help

When in doubt, and particularly for certain medical emergencies such as a heart attack or a stroke, calling 911 for an ambulance is always the right decision. Paramedics and EMT’s are trained to begin delivering life-saving treatment immediately on-site and on the way to the hospital. In the few moments that you sometimes have to make these decisions in what could be a life-threatening situations, what matters most is that you get to the emergency room quickly and safely.

A recent study conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics found that 48 percent of the patients who visited an emergency room but did not get admitted to the hospital, went there because their doctor’s office was not open. In many cases, this is because people use their local hospital emergency room as a place to receive after-hours care for minor illnesses or injuries without realizing they have other options such as an urgent care center.

What An Urgent Care Can Do

Urgent care centers can handle a variety of medical problems that need immediate treatment, but are not considered emergencies. Symptoms that can be evaluated and treated at an urgent care clinic include:

  • Fever without rash
  • Flu symptoms
  • Ear pain
  • Painful urination
  • Persistent diarrhea
  • Cold and sore throat relief
  • Vomiting
  • Minor sprain or shallow cut

When symptoms come on gradually or you already have the diagnosis, for example, repeat urinary tract infections, or when your child has come down with yet another ear infection, it’s a best practice to start by calling your primary care doctor’s office to see if you can get a same-day appointment. After all, your primary care doctor knows your health history better than anyone else, and knows what treatments have worked for you from your history. They are also aware of any other medical conditions that you have had or have that need to be taken into consideration for your treatment.

However, while urgent care clinics are not a substitute for your primary care physician, they are a great resource when you need care but can’t get in with your doctor.

Help For Addiction

If your life and relationships are being negatively affected by your own substance use or that of a loved one, you probably have an addiction. Addiction is usually diagnosed but sometimes you don’t need a diagnosis to know you need the help of professional. The criteria for addiction can help you determine if your addiction is mild, moderate or severe. There are eleven criteria total:

  • Lack of control
  • Desire to quit but unable
  • Spending a lot of time trying to get the substance
  • Cravings
  • Lack of responsibility
  • Problems with relationships
  • Loss of interest
  • Dangerous use
  • Worsening situations
  • Tolerance
  • Withdrawal

Substance Abuse Help

The severity is determined by how many criteria you meet. As an example, if you or a loved one meet 2 to 3 of the criteria, you have a mild substance abuse disorder — even with a mild diagnosis, you should still seek help to get sober. Seeking out a reputable drug rehab will do you far more good than trying to manage the health issues that go along with drinking and substance abuse. Getting to the root of the problem by going through a rehabilitation program will get you started on the road to good health and a better quality of life.

It’s always a best practice to have your medical records handy, but certainly when you are visiting an urgent care clinic or an emergency room you need to bring a list of all the medications you take, including over-the-counter medicine, vitamins and supplements. This list should include how much of each medication you take as well as how often you take it, a list of any allergies, including medications you are allergic to and any previous medical procedures or surgeries you’ve had.

Particularly in an emergency room setting when so much is going on for those who are there to care for you, it can be very helpful for them to know whether you’ve had operations in the past, or whether you’re allergic to medications or anesthesia.