Patient Education

Advancing Wellness, LLC would like to be your partner in health care. Feel free to ask your questions and share your concerns with us. We will work with you to develop a wellness program for the care and treatment you need.

We welcome you to our practice and look forward to caring for you.

Advancing Wellness, LLC provides a full range of medical services that includes patient education materials.  Please peruse the following:


Routine Physical Exam

A routine physical exam is recommended at least once each year for patients of all ages. This complete medical examination allows the doctor to evaluate the patients health and discover problems before they start. Early detection of a disease could result in easier and more effective treatment. ...


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Shingles

Shingles is a disease caused by the varicella-zoster virus, the herpes virus responsible for chickenpox. Once an individual has been infected with chickenpox, this virus lies dormant within the body's nerve tissue. Years later, the virus may reactivate as shingles, often after another illness or during a period of great stress. Advancing age and immune deficiency disorders are also risk factors for shingles. ...


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High Cholesterol

Cholesterol is produced by the liver, the intestines and nearly all tissues in the body. Cholesterol is needed for the production of hormones, vitamin D and the bile necessary to digest the fats in food. Cholesterol also protects cell membranes from changes in temperature. While a certain amount of cholesterol is needed, too much cholesterol is unhealthy. An excessive amount of cholesterol can block blood flow in the arteries. This lack of blood flow can lead to a stroke. While there are no symptoms of high cholesterol, a simple blood test can provide patients with results. Cholesterol levels can be controlled or reduced with an active and healthy lifestyle. In some cases, medication may be necessary to control high levels of cholesterol. ...


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Asthma

Asthma is a condition in which the lungs and air passages become inflamed and constricted, interfering with normal breathing. During the first stage of an asthmatic response, inhaled allergens or other irritants cause the airways to constrict. During the second stage, there is an inflammatory response, causing the airways to swell and fill with thickened, sticky mucus. Patients with asthma have increasing difficulty breathing during an attack, making the wheezing sound associated with the condition. Asthma affects approximately 15 million Americans each year. Although life-threatening, it can most often be well-controlled with medication. ...


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Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, also known as COPD, is a lung disease that obstructs airflow. It is a progressive condition involving a constant obstruction of the airways, which results in difficulty breathing. COPD usually includes emphysema or chronic obstructive bronchitis or both. Seventy five percent of those afflicted with COPD are cigarette smokers. In some cases, however, COPD can be caused by other environmental irritants, such as air pollution and chemical fumes. This condition affects nearly 12 million people and is the third most common cause of death in the United States. ...


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Exercise

Regular exercise has many benefits that may help individuals live longer, healthier lives. Individuals who engage in regular moderately intense physical activity may reduce their risks of developing heart disease and other serious illnesses.

Benefits of an Exercise Routine

Regular physical activity can improve health and lengthen life expectancy by helping a patient to achieve and maintain an appropriate weight, become energetic and fit, strengthen the immune system, and preserve emotional balance. ...


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Nutrition

Proper diet is essential to maintaining good health. Keeping the body well-nourished and at a healthy weight has been proven to improve mood, quality of life and longevity. It may also go a long way in preventing or controlling many serious illnesses. Obesity, which has now reached epidemic proportions in the United States, and an enemy of good health, can be kept at bay through proper nutrition along with a program of healthy exercise. ...


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Diet and Exercise

Developing a healthy diet and regular exercise regimen are equally important. Many people only consider improving their diet and exercise routine when they want to lose weight. Diet and exercise, however, should not be forgotten once weight loss goals are achieved since they are important health factors even in individuals who are at an optimal weight. ...


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Obesity

Obesity is a chronic condition defined by an excess of body fat. Body fat has several important functions in the body, such as storing energy and providing insulation. Excess body fat, however, may interfere with an individual's health and well-being, particularly if a patient becomes morbidly obese. Not only does obesity interfere with everyday activities, it also increases the risk of developing serious medical conditions, such as high blood pressure and diabetes. Obesity is a serious health issue presently reaching epidemic proportions in society. It results in medical complications and early morbidity for a great many people. Other health conditions caused or exacerbated by obesity may include heart disease, osteoarthritis, sleep apnea, high cholesterol and asthma. The good news is that obesity is a treatable ailment and that modern medicine provides more remedies for the condition than previously existed. ...


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Coronary Artery Disease

Coronary artery disease is a buildup of fatty deposits in the coronary arteries, which supply blood to the heart. This buildup of fat, cholesterol and calcium, known collectively as plaque, can cause a hardening and narrowing of the arteries which restricts blood from reaching the heart. Blood clots can also form and completely block the artery. Coronary artery disease develops gradually and can eventually lead to a heart attack or heart failure. Coronary artery disease is the leading cause of death in the United States for both men and women. ...


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Osteoarthritis

Arthritis is a condition that causes pain, stiffness and swelling in the joints. Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis. It develops as the cartilage protecting the bones of a joint wears down over time. Over the years, as stress is put on the joints, cartilage wears thin and sometimes even erodes completely, resulting in stiffness and pain. It occurs more frequently in older individuals, however it sometimes develops in athletes from overuse of a joint or after an injury. It commonly affects the fingers, knees, lower back and hips and is often treated with medication and certain forms of exercise and physical therapy. In severe cases, joint replacement surgery may be suggested. Osteoarthritis tends to get worse over time. ...


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Heart Attack

A heart attack occurs when the coronary arteries, the blood vessels that deliver blood to the heart, are suddenly blocked and cannot supply the heart with blood and oxygen. This blockage causes damage and gradual death of the heart muscle and often requires immediate treatment in order to save the person's life. Also known as a myocardial infarction, heart attacks most often occur as a result of coronary artery disease, a condition in which plaque builds up inside the arteries. Heart attacks are the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States. ...


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Dementia

Dementia is not a single disorder, but rather a combination of age-related symptoms involving a loss of mental skills and deteriorating brain function. Dementia literally translates to "deprived of mind," and may be the result of several different underlying conditions, some of which are treatable and some of which are not. Patients with dementia gradually lose memory, communication skills, the ability to reason, and the facility to complete the tasks of everyday living. ...


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Stroke

A stroke occurs when there is a reduction in the flow of blood to the brain. The lack of blood supply may be the result of a blockage in an artery or a burst blood vessel in the brain. A stroke deprives brain tissue of oxygen and nutrients, causing brain cells to die. A stroke is a medical emergency and requires immediate attention by a medical professional. Prompt treatment can minimize damage to the brain and prevent further complications. ...


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Smoking Cessation

Smoking cessation, also known as quitting smoking, is the process of stopping smoking and the use of tobacco products. Around 6 million deaths worldwide, per year, can be attributed to tobacco use. Of that amount, about 443,000 Americans die each year due to smoking and secondhand smoke related illnesses. Smoking cigarettes is responsible for more American deaths than car accidents, alcohol, and other causes of death combined. Smoking related illnesses account for 20 percent of all deaths in the United States. ...


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Urinary Incontinence

Urinary incontinence, also known as UI, is a common condition that involves the involuntary loss of urine. Although it is not usually a serious condition, UI can be embarrassing and affect a person's daily life. Urinary incontinence is most common in women, especially during and after pregnancy, but can affect people of all ages. ...


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Diabetes

Diabetes is the inability of the body to create or use insulin, a hormone secreted by the pancreas that enables sugar or glucose, to enter the cells. Diabetes is a serious, chronic metabolic disorder in which the body either does not produce enough insulin or does not respond to the insulin being produced. ...


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Restless Legs Syndrome

Restless legs syndrome, also known as RLS, is a condition that causes tingling sensations in the feet and legs, prompting people to move them constantly to seek relief. These movements often occur at night or at periods of rest and can disrupt sleep. The exact cause of RLS is unknown but it may be caused by heredity, iron deficiency, kidney problems or peripheral neuropathy. RLS treatment varies based on any underlying conditions, however it is commonly treated with muscle relaxants and sleep inducing medication. Some women may experience restless legs syndrome while they are pregnant. This condition can affect patients of all ages, but tends to occur most often in older patients and is more common in women than men. ...


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Sleep Disorders

Sleep disorders are disturbances in sleep patterns. They involve difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, excessive daytime tiredness, irregular breathing during sleep, or abnormal sleep behaviors. Sleep disorders may develop as a result of changes in the neurotransmitters of the brain, taking certain medications (such as corticosteroids), illness, stress, anxiety, depression, excessive caffeine or alcohol, or drug use. A sleep disorder can interfere with daily activities, and affect overall health and quality of life. When accurately diagnosed, however, most sleep disorders can be effectively treated. ...


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Constipation

Constipation affects most people at some point in time. A person is considered to be constipated if they have three or fewer bowel movements in a week or if they do have a bowel movement they are hard, dry or painful. Depending on how often a bowel movement normally occurs will determine what is considered to be "infrequent" for each individual patient. ...


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Atrial Fibrillation

Atrial fibrillation is an irregular or too-rapid beating (contraction) of the heart's upper chambers (atria) that affects the movement of blood into the heart's lower chambers (ventricles). It can lead to stroke or heart failure. When the movement of blood is irregular, blood may pool and form a clot; if a clot breaks off and travels to an artery leading to the brain, stroke can result. When the heart is incapable of pumping the amount of blood required to meet the body's needs, heart failure can result. Atrial fibrillation affects more than 2.7 million people in the United States, and often requires medical intervention. ...


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Hospice Care

Hospice care provides medical services, emotional support and various other resources to a patient who is in the last stages of a terminal illness. Hospice care also provides the patient's loved ones with the support they need to deal with the difficulties inherent in caring for a terminally ill patient. The primary goal of hospice care is to provide patients with the ability to die without pain and with dignity. ...


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Overactive Bladder

Overactive bladder, also known as OAB or urge incontinence, occurs when a person experiences a sudden and frequent urge to urinate that may also be accompanied by urine leakage. This happens because the bladder muscles contract at inappropriate times, regardless of how much urine has collected in the bladder. It can happen to anyone at any age, although it is most common in women and the elderly. ...


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Urinary Tract Infection

A urinary tract infection (UTI) is a common infection of the urinary system, which includes the kidneys, ureters, bladder and urethra. The urinary tract refers to just the bladder and the urethra, and an infection can develop in either of these areas. These infections occur much more frequently in women than in men and may cause intense pain and discomfort. ...


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Enlarged Prostate

The prostate is a golf ball-sized gland located under the bladder and in front of the rectum in men. While all of its functions are not known, the prostate adds fluid and nutrients to sperm to produce semen and allow the sperm to move more effectively. An enlarged prostate, known as benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH, is a common condition that occurs as men age. BPH causes the prostate to press against the urethra which results in urinary problems. It is believed that an enlarged prostate may be due to an excess of certain hormones in the body. ...


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Stress Incontinence

Stress incontinence is a common condition involving an involuntary loss of urine that occurs when a physical movement places pressure or stress on the bladder. Patients with this condition may experience a leakage of urine while coughing, sneezing, laughing, jogging or lifting something heavy. This condition usually occurs as a result of weakened sphincter and pelvic muscles that cannot adequately support the bladder or urethra. ...


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Women and Heart Disease

Heart (cardiovascular) disease is the leading cause of death in women older than 40. The death rate from heart disease increases as women age, especially after they reach menopause. It has claimed the lives of more women than men since 1984, and is responsible for the deaths of more women than breast and lung cancers combined. Each year, one of every four women in the United States will die from heart disease, with African-American women having a higher death rate than Caucasian women. ...


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Menopause

Menopause is the time in a woman's life when her menstrual period has stopped. Menopause is caused by a decrease in the ovaries' production of the hormones estrogen and progesterone, which eventually results in the ovaries' ceasing to produce eggs, and the end of menstruation.

A woman has reached menopause when she has not had a menstrual period for at least 12 months. Menopause is a natural process that takes several years. During this time, fertility decreases, and periods often change in duration, frequency, and amount of blood flow. This stage is known as perimenopause, and it is often when symptoms of menopause begin. The average age that menopause occurs is 51, although it may occur prematurely in women who have had total hysterectomies or have received chemotherapy or radiation treatments. ...


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Postmenopausal Osteoporosis

Half of all postmenopausal women in the United States experience fractures due to the bone loss of osteoporosis. Although some bone loss occurs naturally due to the aging process, osteoporosis is, most often, preventable. Because there is a direct relationship between the lack of estrogen during perimenopause and menopause, it is essential that women, especially those at increased risk for developing the disease, take precautions. ...


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Low Testosterone

Testosterone is a sex hormone naturally produced within the body. In men, this hormone helps to maintain sperm production, control sex drive, and regulate muscle mass and bone health. The pituitary gland and the brain control the production of testosterone which is secreted through the testicles. ...


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Erectile Dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction (ED), refers to the consistent inability to achieve or maintain an erection. For an erection to occur, a specific sequence of event needs to take place, allowing blood to enter the penis while restricting the outflow of blood. The pressure created by this "trapped" blood is what maintains an erection. If there is a consistent breakdown in any steps in the sequence, erectile dysfunction is the result. Erectile dysfunction may occur at any age, however, the occurrence of ED is increasingly common as a man ages. However, it should not be considered a natural part of aging. ...


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Depression

Depression, is a medical condition that causes extreme feelings of sadness and emptiness. People who suffer from depression may lose interest in activities they once enjoyed and experience a constant feeling of hopelessness on a daily basis. Depression, also known as clinical or major depression, may be triggered by certain events or occur along with other illnesses. Severe depression can interfere with a person's ability to work, sleep, eat, interact with others or enjoy life. With treatment, however, depression can become a manageable condition. ...


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Alcoholism

Alcoholism is a chronic addiction disorder in which a person becomes dependent on alcohol. Individuals with this condition are unable to control how much they drink and often experience serious consequences as a result of their alcohol consumption. Some people may not be characterized as alcoholics, but can suffer from alcohol abuse, meaning that they drink excessively but are not fully dependent on alcohol. Both conditions are considered serious and require long-term treatment in order to resume a normal, fully functioning lifestyle. ...


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Panic Disorder

Panic disorder is an anxiety disorder in which patients suffer from sudden and unexplained attacks of extreme fear and loss of physical and psychological control. They may feel in terrible danger of overwhelming embarrassment or death. Panic attacks are sometimes precipitated by an anxiety-producing event, but often seem to occur without any provocation and are all the more terrifying for that reason. ...


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Anger Management

Anger management is the process of learning to recognize the signs of one's own encroaching anger and mastering techniques to deal with it safely and effectively. While anger is a normal, healthy emotion, in many people it becomes excessive and out of control, resulting in damaged relationships, employment difficulties, and even physical violence. Uncontrolled anger not only causes disharmony and pain, it is a frequent cause of criminal behavior. In recent years, there has been increasing recognition of how widespread issues with anger are and how greatly they affect the world around us. This has resulted in the development of various anger management techniques designed to channel anger in constructive ways. ...


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Polysomnogram

A polysomnogram is a comprehensive test to evaluate patients for possible sleep disorders. This test monitors various physiological processes during sleep to diagnose or rule out specific sleep disturbances. Polysomnograms are typically performed at a sleep center, but may sometimes be self-administered at home using a portable device. ...


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Insomnia

Insomnia is a sleep disorder that involves difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, sometimes both. Although most people suffer an occasional sleepless night, patients with insomnia have difficulty sleeping on a regular basis. This condition affects approximately 1 in 10 people in the United States and can lead to other troubling symptoms, such as fatigue, low energy level, and a weakened immune system. While insomnia is not normally considered a serious medical disorder, it can make life difficult, or even unmanageable. ...


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Grief Counseling

In recent decades, various types of grief counseling have been developed to help individuals cope with the intense and complicated pain involved in losing a loved one. It has been accepted that loss involves many emotions which must be dealt with before the bereaved individual can successfully move on and adapt to the changes wrought by the death. For many people, assistance in the form of grief counseling is a necessary part of the process. Grief counselors, trained in the discipline, may be clergy, psychiatric nurses, physician assistants (PAs), psychologists, nurse practitioners, social workers, or psychiatrists. ...


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Hypothyroidism

Hypothyroidism is a common condition that occurs when an underactive thyroid gland does not produce enough hormones to properly manage many important functions of the body. The thyroid is the gland in the front of the neck that controls energy use and metabolic functions. If the thyroid gland is not active enough, it does not make enough thyroid hormone to meet the body's needs and causes certain functions of the body to slow down. As a result, functions such as heart rate, brain function and the rate that the body converts food into energy, all slow down. Women over the age of age of 60 are at the highest risk for developing hypothyroidism. If left untreated, this condition may cause a variety of health complications including obesity, joint pain, infertility and heart disease ...


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Hyperthyroidism

Hyperthyroidism, also known as an overactive thyroid gland, is a condition that occurs when the thyroid gland excretes an excessive amount of thyroid hormones. This overproduction creates more hormones than the body needs and causes many important bodily functions to speed up. The thyroid is the gland in the front of the neck that controls energy use, metabolism, heart and nervous system functions and other metabolic functions. An overproduction of thyroid hormones can lead to weight loss, irregular heartbeat and irritability. Hyperthyroidism is more common in people over the age of 60 and women are more likely than men to develop hyperthyroidism. ...


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Bone Mineral Density Test

A bone mineral density (BMD) test, is a test administered to evaluate an individual's bone strength by measuring the density of calcium and other minerals in particular areas of bone. During normal aging, bones lose minerals and become thinner. If they become abnormally thin, however, the patient has a disease condition known as osteoporosis. ...


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Mammogram

A mammogram is an X-ray examination of the breast. It is performed to detect breast cancer in its earliest stages, often before any signs or symptoms of the disease are present. Mammograms are an effective way to detect cancer early and can aid in the goal of successfully treating and beating the disease. ...


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Colonoscopy

A colonoscopy is a diagnostic procedure performed to examine the inside of the colon and rectum. The colonoscopy procedure is performed to determine the cause of changes in bowel activity, abdominal pain, or rectal bleeding, as well as to detect early signs of cancer. Colonoscopies are recommended every 10 years for everyone between the ages of 50 and 75. They may be recommended more frequently, or at a younger age, for people at elevated risk of developing colorectal cancer (CRC), typically patients with certain medical conditions or with a family history of the disease. Colonoscopies are also performed as a follow-up to other screening tests with positive results, such as a fecal occult blood tests. ...


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High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, occurs when the pressure of the blood flowing against the artery walls is above the normal range. Blood pressure is determined by the amount of blood the heart pumps and the blood flow resistance in the arteries. If the heart pumps more blood than normal, and the the arteries are narrower than normal, the result is high blood pressure. Untreated high blood pressure can cause serious health problems, including heart attack, kidney failure and stroke. There are two types of high blood pressure: primary and secondary. Primary hypertension is high blood pressure that develops gradually over the course of time, and secondary hypertension is high blood pressure that results from an underlying medical condition. ...


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Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Irritable bowel syndrome, also known as IBS or spastic colon, is a disorder of the gastrointestinal tract. IBS is not a disease, but a functional disorder. Although, unlike Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, it is not a form of inflammatory bowel disease, it causes very uncomfortable, and sometimes embarrassing, symptoms that require long-term management. ...


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Heartburn

Heartburn, also known as pyrosis, is a painful, burning sensation in the chest or throat. The problem occurs when stomach acid travels up into the esophagus, the portion of the digestive tract that transports food from the mouth to the stomach. Although heartburn is usually temporary and not serious, for some individuals it develops into a chronic problem. It may be a symptom of a more serious disorder, such as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), which may eventually cause extensive damage to the esophagus. ...


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Migraine Headache

Migraines are chronic headaches that affect almost 30 million people in the United States. They cause severe and sometimes debilitating pain that can last from 4 hours to 3 days and, at times, longer. Migraines are most often experienced by people between the ages of 15 and 55, with more women than men affected. Of those affected, 70 to 80 percent have a family history of migraines. ...


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Tension Headache

A tension headache is the most common type of headache that affects people of all ages but typically affect adults and adolescents.

Causes of Tension Headaches

Tension headaches occur due to the contraction of the muscles in the neck and scalp. These contractions may be due to the following: ...


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Relaxation Techniques

Practicing different methods of relaxation may be an effective form of treatment for the symptoms of depression, anxiety, insomnia, headaches, irritable bowel syndrome and other conditions. Stress can contribute to a range of mental and physical health problems. When stress is present on a regular basis, some individuals find that the symptoms of their health conditions may worsen. Since stress plays a major role in many cases of chronic pain or discomfort, reducing stress through relaxation, may in turn reduce these symptoms. ...


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Social Anxiety Disorder

Social anxiety disorder, also known as social phobia, is a common anxiety disorder that affects many people. People with social anxiety have excessive and unreasonable fears before and during different social situations. With a social anxiety disorder, normal, everyday interactions may cause feelings of anxiety, nervousness, self-consciousness and embarrassment. Individuals who suffer from social phobia may avoid certain social situations because of the overwhelming fear and anxiety that these situations may cause. The anxiety and emotional discomfort caused by a social anxiety disorder may interfere with daily routines, relationships, school or employment. ...


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