Monthly Archives: April 2015

Stress Management – The First Step to Mental Health

At Midwest Neurology Associates, the disorders, diseases and injuries we care for definitely run the gamete from severe to mild. When patients come to us with problems like anxiety, trouble focusing, stress, lack of sleep or inability to fall asleep, nervous tremors, panic attacks and other social issues, we always try to start at the source of the problem—the stress itself.

Let’s clear this up—stress is more than just some mental discomfort. Stress is typically caused by Cortisol, a neurotransmitter released from the brain as a stress response to negative stimulus. Think about all of the different negative stressors that occur in everyday life, and it’s easy to see why controlling Cortisol levels is such an issue these days. Having high stress levels and high Cortisol levels results in some serious side effects.

High Cortisol levels can be correlated with a myriad of health disorders. One of the first and foremost symptoms of high Cortisol levels is sleep loss and deprivation. Not only does this cause more stress, which results in more cortisol being produced, it also involves all of the different health problems and risks that go along with not sleeping enough – vulnerability to mood swings, anxiety and even migraine headaches. Some suffering from high Cortisol levels can develop a disorder known as Cushing’s Syndrome. This syndrome can cause loss of sex drive, extreme fatigue, high blood pressure and blood sugar, irritability, anxiety, depression and many other problems that will only cause more stress. So, what do you do?

Stress management and mindfulness are two things that people can do every day to keep their minds and bodies healthy. While the mind and the nervous system are sometimes beyond stress management practices and require individuals to seek professional diagnosis and treatment, many techniques can be executed from the comfort of your own home. Here are some ways you can help manage your stress and keep down your Cortisol levels naturally—try practicing them and see the changes in your life.

Meditation – Meditation is one of the most overlooked methods of stress relief and release. Meditation can be as easy as sitting down, closing your eyes, counting to 100 and going over the things you have to be grateful for. Meditation can also be more involved and include reading books on Zen and/or Buddhist meditation practices. Either way, it’s a great way to manage stress, and each individual can practice in a way that suits their needs and time constraints.

Anger Management – There are many different ways to manage anger and frustration. The more you manage it and release it, the less time it has to fester in your system and build up Cortisol levels. Do some rigorous exercise or yardwork. If you’re into training, hit a punching bag and get your blood flowing. Sometimes all it takes is a little bit of release. You can also try taking a swim if you have access to water—it loosens the muscles and promotes healthy breathing. Breathe control and anger management should go hand-in-hand. We know that anger management can be a big hurdle to overcome, and we are here to help if you need us.

Sleep Schedule – This is another widely overlooked method of stress management. Getting on a proper sleep cycle, and getting into a habit of getting sleep when you need it, is a great way to manage stress and improve health. There’s no substitute for a good night’s sleep—coffee just masks the damage with caffeine and sugar. Practice a good sleep schedule and it’ll help.

Time Management – Ever find yourself stressing about being on time, or forgetting about an appointment? Time management is important in this day and age of online and digital scheduling, strict appointments and expectations of punctuality. Having a schedule will keep you and others from overbooking your time. At the same time, it decreases stress to know exactly what to expect throughout a day. Being prepared is a great way to avoid stress.

Positive Thinking – Positive thinking is typically overlooked, but is a great way to promote mental health and assists with stress management. There is actually a quantifiable difference between waking up and saying “I’m ready for today,” and waking up and saying “I’m not ready for today.” Having a strong, positive mindset will instill positive thoughts into your head throughout the day, which helps control stress and thus decreases Cortisol levels.

Proper Nutrition — Eating a balanced diet definitely helps with mental health. Constantly eating fast foods and other junk food with no nutritional value will take its toll on the human body over time. It’s important to eat a balanced diet full of vegetables and nutrient-rich foods to ensure that the body is getting all of the nutrition, vitamins and minerals needed to function healthily.

Counseling/Self-Counseling – When all else fails, talk to someone. It could be a friend, family member, significant other or medical professional. It never hurts to talk to someone and just “get things off your chest.” If you don’t feel comfortable talking to a professional, keep a journal—at the end of the day, jot down your thoughts and how you feel about the day. If you don’t want to save it, burn it—nobody has to see it but you. However, it’s extremely therapeutic to get these thoughts out of your head and onto some paper, or into a conversation.

These are just some rough examples of how to manage stress. Each person does this in their own way. Everyone has their own habits of going to the gym and exercising, and has people that they go to in their times of need. However, sometimes seeing a medical professional is unavoidable Rest assured that professionals only want to help restore your life to a comfortable standard. Contact us today at (219) 836-2096 for more information on how we can help you manage your stress.

 

The Unseen Uses of Botulinum Toxin That You Weren’t Told About

Botox, the injectable treatment derived from toxins created by the Botulinum bacteria, is being seen more and more frequently in recent years. Celebrities and others concerned with their appearance use the paralytic effects of Botulinum toxin to smooth the muscles it’s injected into. Through this slight paralysis, cosmetic specialists are able to remove wrinkles and make skin look otherwise revitalized. In a sense, Botox treatments are used to fight against time and the natural aging process. However, we’re here to tell you that Botox isn’t all about cosmetics – Botox has many practical uses in the medical and neurological world and, as time progresses, we are developing newer and newer ways to use this fascinating chemical.

Bladder Control – This is one of the many things that Botox does outside of cosmetics. Elderly patients and those suffering from lack of control of their lower muscles may have issues with holding their bladders or maintaining a full bladder without having to urinate shortly after. Through effective Botox injections, bladder control can be bolstered in these individuals, giving them the control that they need over their bladder and urinary functions. This is a huge breakthrough for individuals suffering from spinal injuries or multiple sclerosis which effect the body’s ability to regulate the bladder.

Sweating Disorders – Known as “Hyperhidrosis,” patients suffering from this disorder experience excess sweating at inopportune times, or show an extreme response to stressors like embarrassment or anxiety. The sweat can become unsightly and even bleed through clothing. Botox can be used on the areas around the sweat glands to tighten the areas that sweat typically pours from. After the Botox is used, the patient should experience drastically greater control over their sweating and bodily odor.

Migraine Headaches – These extremely persistent, sharp and potentially dangerous headaches affect a wide variety of Americans every year. Through Botox injections, many of the areas responsible for causing head pain and migraine headaches can be suppressed and even completely numbed. This treatment effectively suppresses a migraine headache, though regular Botox treatments may be needed to keep the problem at bay permanently.

Muscle Spasms/Tremors – This is used throughout the neurological field right now, but is still not known to many individuals. Botox treatments can be extremely effective in treating patients with uncontrollable muscle spasms and tremors. This is especially true for individuals suffering from multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy and many other issues. With experienced Botox treatments, these areas can be calmed, temporarily ceasing the tremors for the patient.

Crossed Eyes/Squinting – Botox treatments can be used to treat “strabismus,” which is known as a crossed or “lazy” eye, or an involuntary squint. Proper Botox injections can relax the muscles causing the strabismus, making the eye function and appear normal. This does not replace a formal muscle treatment for lazy eye, but it is a substitute that lasts for a long while.

Tennis Elbow/ Other Strained Joints – Botox treatments can effectively treat disorders like “Tennis Elbow,” which come from repeated use of any joint or muscle, causing it to become loose and prone to damage. Botox injections will help to ease up the tension and spasms on the muscle and bring it back to a point where the patient can play sports, like tennis, again.

Botox Treatments

We hope that our readers have learned that there’s more to Botox than cosmetics. There’s a lot to be said for the research and development of new neurological treatments and techniques, and, in the future, physicians and medical researchers will be finding new uses for Botox injections. As they research these new treatments, we’ll use them at Midwest Neurology Associates.

There are many other non-cosmetic uses for Botox injections—ask a medical professional from Midwest Neurology Associates today to learn more about them. We can be reached on the phone from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday-Friday, at 219.836.2096 and we have offices in Dyer and East Chicago, Indiana.

 

Seek Non-Emergent Care at Midwest Neurology Associates

At Midwest Neurology Associates, we help individuals experiencing all levels of neurological disorders. In doing so, we deal with a lot of intense things here—brain surgery, neurological cancer therapy and therapy for serious behavioral and cognitive disorders.

Thus, we understand when individuals are intimidated by our center. However, you don’t have to be seriously ill to seek help from a neurological associate. We treat fully functional adults every year for a wide variety of disorders and issues. And we do so fully believing that everyone should enjoy a healthy body and mind.

Sleep Disorders

We offer in-depth analysis, diagnosis and treatment for sleep disorders. We understand that sleep disorders of all levels can be extremely stressful and inconvenient for adults trying to lead functioning and productive lives.

One of the most common sleep disorders is Sleep Apnea. This disorder is often characterized by inconsistent breathing through the night, as well as loud snoring. If you believe you suffer from Sleep Apnea, please contact us today—it can become life threatening as you become older!

We also offer solutions for other sleep disorders, including night terrors, insomnia, sleep-walking and Restless Leg Syndrome, so contact us today if you suffer from a sleep disorder. Though we don’t perform sleep studies at the clinic, we have associates with the latest and greatest in sleep study equipment to assist our patients all throughout treatment.

Excess Sweating

Excess sweating can occur for multiple reasons. Sometimes, it’s a glandular issue. Other times, it might only happen during exercise. Other people sweat as a nervous reaction to anxiety, stress or anger.

We offer comprehensive treatment for those suffering from perspiration disorders. We can provide topical solutions to alleviate the problems. If that fails, we can also perform BOTOX injection treatments.

Many mistake BOTOX as a purely cosmetic treatment. However, it has many implications in the neurological world. Botulinum toxin injections, or BOTOX, are also used to relax and ease muscles suffering from spasms and uncontrolled movements. In some areas of the human body, BOTOX can be used to effectively control sweating from pores and glands.

Behavioral and Cognitive Disorders

We can’t emphasize the importance of having behavioral and cognitive disorders treated before it becomes too late. We have the medical experts here to help you. For adults suffering from depression, you should know that you are not alone.

According to the National Network of Depression Centers at NNDC.org, 80% of individuals that pursue therapy, medication, and attend support groups to treat their depression will see improvement in their symptoms. They also go on to explain that these treatments take upwards of four to six weeks.

In addition, distractions and hyperactivity can be problems for adults, as well as children. If you suffered from ADD in the past and believe that it still impedes your ability to focus and bring out 100% of your potential, Midwest Neurology Associates may have the appropriate treatment for you.

There are many other cognitive and behavioral disorders that affect adults throughout America today. If you believe you need help, don’t hesitate to contact us ASAP.
Comprehensive Neurological Assessments and Solutions

We offer solutions for all of these disorders and more. Dr. Kassar and every other medical professional at Midwest Neurology Associates guarantees the highest level of customer service as well as patient confidentiality and comfort.

Regardless of the level of your neurological condition, please contact us today. We have two treatment centers, one in Dyers, Indiana, and one in East Chicago, Indiana. We provide services throughout Indiana and in many regions of Illinois.