'Dry mouth' can cause big problems
If your mouth feels dry when you wake up in the
morning, usually a glass of water and brushing your teeth will make it
feel good again.
For a large number of people, this is not the case. They may have
chronic dry mouth, which can cause the tongue to feel hot, sore throat,
and difficulty swallowing dry foods.
Saliva is an important part of the immune system. It
contains antibodies, enzymes, and minerals. Saliva works to eliminate
oral bacteria, start the digestion of food, and helps you taste food. It
protects the teeth from mouth acids and makes it possible for teeth to
remineralize, which is essential to dental health.
Doctors at Johns Hopkins Medical Centers say many
medications can cause the dry-mouth feeling. Common drugs that can cause
it include antidepressants, antihypertensives, diuretics, decongestants
such as Sudafed, sedatives, and anti-Parkinson drugs.
If you think a medication is causing your mouth to
feel dry, ask your doctor for a different medicine.
Be sure to take steps to protect your teeth. Get
frequent dental checkups and fluoride treatments.
Follow a low-sugar diet and include plenty of fruits,
soups, and other foods high in water content. Avoid dry snacks.
Try chewing sugarless gum to stimulate saliva
production, and don't smoke or drink much alcohol.
Use a dehumidifier at home, sip water frequently, and
have a bottle of water by your bed.
Brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste and floss frequently.
Fatty livers can cause inflammation and more
Doctors say it's the 'silent' liver disease.
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease has doctors worried.
By some estimates it may affect up to one-third of adult Americans.
It's similar to alcoholic liver disease but occurs in
people who drink little or no alcohol. As the incidence of overweight
and diabetes increase, so do cases of liver disease.
In mild cases, fat accumulates around the liver but
doesn't cause damage. It is commonly diagnosed in middle-aged people who
are overweight, may have diabetes, and do have elevated cholesterol and
People with mild cases may develop serious liver
problems within 10 years if the condition isn't treated.
They could develop nonalcoholic steatohepatitis
(NASH), which causes liver-damaging inflammation and formation of
fibrous tissue. This can lead to cirrhosis or cancer of the liver.
Treatment for mild cases, as recommended by the Mayo
Clinic: Weight loss through diet and exercise. Adopt a diet rich in
fruits and vegetables and low in saturated fat. Diabetes control.
Management with diet and medication to lower blood sugar may prevent
Cholesterol control. Control with diet, exercise, and
cholesterol-lowering medications such as statins.
Avoidance of toxic substances. It means not drinking
alcohol and avoiding other toxic substances.
Getting tested. Get a simple liver function blood
test that checks for enzymes released by a fatty liver.