Category Archives: Pro Health

Child Nearly Dies After Taking Big Bite of Hot Dog

Taking a big bite of a hot dog nearly killed a 9-year-old boy in Turkey, but it was a rare heart disorder, not choking, that triggered the close call, a new case report reveals.

The boy suffered sudden cardiac arrest after the mouthful, was revived by emergency services and was later diagnosed with Brugada syndrome, a heart rhythm disorder that usually has no symptoms, according to a report of the case, published online Sept. 6 in the journal Pediatrics.

Brugada syndrome is a rare condition that is usually inherited; it disrupts the electrical impulses between the ventricles, or lower chambers of the heart, which causes them to beat abnormally, according to the National Organization for Rare Diseases. [27 Oddest Medical Case Reports]

People with Brugada syndrome may develop a fast and dangerous heart rhythm known as ventricular fibrillation that prevents the heart from pumping enough blood to the rest of the body. Sometimes, the first signs of Brugada syndrome are passing out, a sudden fast heart beat or even sudden death, according to the Mayo Clinic.

The boy in the recent case fainted and experienced a sudden heart attack during lunch at his school.

It’s not uncommon for kids to choke on a hot dog or even on popcorn if they are running around and eating these foods at a ball game, for example, and some children may even die as a result of choking on these foods, said Dr. Elizabeth Saarel, chair of pediatric cardiology at Cleveland Clinic Children’s in Ohio.

Pediatricians have typically assumed that these deaths were due to an airways issue, meaning the food blocked the child’s ability to breathe, Saarel said.

In this child’s case, there may have been a cardiac reason to explain the way his body reacted after he took a large bite of food, Saarel said.

A big bite irritated his vagal nerve, which runs behind the throat, Saarel told Live Science. When the vagal nerve is stimulated by a large bite of food sliding down a person’s throat, the heart rate slows down and blood pressure drops, she said.

But in a person who has Brugada syndrome, like this 9-year-old, a slower heart rate can trigger a life-threatening and abnormally fast heart rhythm, Saarel explained. This may lead to fainting, sudden cardiac arrest or sudden death, she added.

After paramedics successfully resuscitated the boy, he was sent to the children’s intensive care unit of the hospital for evaluation. He had normal results on an electrocardiograph (ECG) and exercise stress test. But his doctors noticed a suspicious elevation in one of his heart-rhythm patterns, and the boy was sent to a specialist, according to the case report.

Heart specialists detected a type 1 Brugada pattern on the boy’s ECG, the telltale abnormality used to diagnose Brugada syndrome.

Named for the Spanish cardiologists who first described the condition, in 1992, Brugada syndrome tends to be more common in men and may occur more frequently in people of Asian descent. Sometimes, this abnormal heart rhythm is first seen in children after they have experienced a high fever, which can irritate the heart, according to the case report.

This dangerous heart rhythm may also occur after consuming too much alcohol, when taking certain medications or, more frequently, while people are sleeping, according to the case report.

To prevent future heart attacks, the 9-year-old boy was treated with an implantable cardioverter defibrillator placed under his skin. This small device monitors the rhythm of the heart and delivers a small electrical shock to control an abnormal heartbeat, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Because Brugada syndrome can be inherited, the boy’s parents and brother were also screened for the condition. Only his brother was diagnosed with this abnormal heart rhythm, according to the case report, but that boy did not receive an implantable defibrillator, because he had no symptoms.

It’s rare to diagnose Brugada syndrome in children, and usually kids are first diagnosed after the condition is seen in one of their parents, Saarel said. And though the disorder runs in families, it’s very rare for Brugada syndrome to not be seen in parents, but to be found in two of their children, as occurred in this case, she said.

Currently, no medication has been shown to be completely protective for people with Brugada syndrome, but the implantable defibrillators generally work well for people with the condition, Saarel said. The devices are not typically put in kids unless the measure is really needed, she explained.

Is ‘Chicken Sashimi’ Safe?

It’s not uncommon to find raw foods on a restaurant menu — think sushi or steak tartare — but if you see uncooked poultry as an option the next time you’re dining out, you may want to opt for something else.

Several restaurants in the United States are serving up a raw chicken dish that’s referred to as either chicken sashimi or chicken tartare, according to Food & Wine Magazine. Though the “specialty” hasn’t caught on much in the U.S., it’s more widely available in Japan.

But if you’re wondering whether raw chicken served in a restaurant has suddenly become safe to eat, the answer is still no.

Eating chicken sashimi puts a person at a “pretty high risk” of getting an infection caused by Campylobacter or Salmonella, two types of bacteria that cause food poisoning, said Ben Chapman, a food safety specialist and an associate professor at North Carolina State University.

“There’s a pretty good chance that one or both of these pathogens are on/in the chicken meat itself,” Chapman told Live Science in an email.

Campylobacter infections are one of the most common causes of diarrheal infections in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The bacteria cause gastrointestinal symptoms including diarrhea, cramping and abdominal pain, and in some cases can also cause nausea and vomiting, the CDC says. There are an estimated 1.3 million cases in the U.S. each year and fewer than 100 deaths, on average, each year from the infection.

Salmonella infections also cause symptoms such as diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps, according to the CDC. About 1.2 million people contract Salmonella each year, and about 450 people die from the infection, the CDC says.

Chapman noted that eating raw chicken is different from eating raw fish, which can be found in sushi dishes. With raw fish, the germs that are most likely to make a person sick are parasites, and these parasites can be killed by freezing the fish, he said. Salmonella, on the other hand, “isn’t going to be affected by freezing.”

Chicken sashimi is sometimes prepared by boiling or searing the chicken for no more than 10 seconds, according to Food & Wine Magazine.

But these preparations probably only kill off the germs on the surface of the chicken, Chapman said. “But even that I’m not sure about,” he added. In addition, when a chicken is deboned, other germs can get into the inside of the chicken, he said.

In Japan, where the dish is more popular, the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare advised restaurants in June 2016 to “re-evaluate raw and half-raw chicken menus,” according to The Asahi Shimbun, a Japanese newspaper. The ministry urged restaurants to cook chicken to an internal temperature of 75 degrees Celsius (167 degrees Fahrenheit).

The recommendation from the ministry came after more than 800 people said they were sickened several months earlier after eating chicken sashimi and chicken “sushi” rolls, The Asahi Shimbun reported.

Marijuana with ‘CBD’ May Pose Less Risk to Long-Term Users

Marijuana with relatively high levels of a compound called cannabidiolmay be less risky to smoke over the long term, because this ingredient may counteract some of the drug’s harmful effects, according to a new study in mice.

The study found that adolescent mice injected with frequent doses of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) — the ingredient in marijuana that produces a “high” — showed signs of impaired memory and increased anxiety over the long term. But mice that received daily doses of THC combined with an equal amount of cannabidiol (CBD) did not experience these negative effects.

The study “suggests that strains of cannabis with similar levels of CBD and THC would pose significantly less long-term risk due to CBD’s protective effect against THC,” study author Dr. Ken Mackie, a professor in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences at Indiana University, said in a statement.

Over the last several decades, THC levels in marijuana used in the United States have increased 300 percent, while levels of CBD in marijuana have decreased, the researchers said. But the long-term effects of exposure to THC and CBD need to be studied further, they said. [25 Odd Facts About Marijuana]

Studies on whether CBD can counteract the negative effects of THC have been mixed, according to a 2013 review paper on the topic. For example, some studies have found that people experience fewer symptoms of anxiety when they smoke marijuana with high CBD levels, compared to when they smoke marijuana with high THC levels, but other studies failed to replicate these results, according to the review. Another study, published in 2011, found that people who tended to use marijuana products with high CBD levels were at lower risk for psychotic symptoms over the long term, although the effect was subtle.

In the new study, the researchers examined the effects of THC and CBD on both adolescent and adult mice. The mice were divided into five groups: a group that received THC only; a group that received CBD only; a group that received THC and CBD; a group that received a placebo; and a group that received no treatment. The mice in the first four groups were injected with the substances every day for three weeks. The researchers examined the mice shortly after their drug treatment and after a six-week drug-free period.

The researchers found that, immediately after treatment, the mice exposed to THC alone showed signs of impaired memory and increased obsessive-compulsive behavior. Six weeks later, the adolescent mice still showed these symptoms, while the adult mice did not. (This finding agrees with research in humans suggesting that teens may be at greater risk for long-term problems from marijuana, compared with adults.)

However, both the adolescent and adult mice that were exposed to THC experienced long-term increases in anxiety.

In contrast, mice that were exposed to both THC and CBD together (in equal amounts) showed no changes in their behavior, either over the short or long term.

“This is the first study in a rigorously controlled animal model to find that CBD appears to protect the brain against the negative effects of chronic THC,” Mackie said.

Animal models allow researchers to conduct experiments in a controlled way, without putting people at risk for harm from the study. But findings in animals don’t always translate to humans.

More studies are also needed to determine how CBD counters the effects of THC, and how much CBD is needed to confer a protective effect, the researchers said.

Earlier this year, Canada issued new guidelines for how people can lower their risk of health problems linked to marijuana use, if they choose to use the drug. (In April, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau introduced legislation to legalize the recreational use of marijuana in the country.) One of the recommendations was to choose products with high levels of CBD relative to THC, which the guidelines also said may be “lower- risk” products.

Puppies Are ‘Likely Source’ of Outbreak That Has Sickened Dozens in US

Could that doggy in the window make you sick?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced today (Sept. 11) that it is investigating an outbreak of Campylobacter — a type of bacteria that causes diarrhea — linked with puppies sold at Petland stores, a national pet store chain.

So far, the outbreak has sickened 39 people in seven states (Florida, Kansas, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Wisconsin), the CDC said.

Of those who became ill, 12 are Petland employees, and 27 came into contact with puppies sold at Petland because they recently bought a puppy at Petland, visited a Petland, or visited or lived in a home with a puppy sold through Petland, the CDC said.

All of the illnesses occurred within the past year, and the most recent illness was reported on Sept. 1, 2017. [11 Ways Your Beloved Pet May Make You Sick]

Those infected ranged in age from less than a year to 64 years, and nine people were hospitalized. So far, no deaths have been tied to the outbreak.

Puppies sold at Petland are a “likely source” of this outbreak, and officials are working to stop its spread, the CDC said.

Symptoms of a Campylobacter infection usually begin within two to five days of exposure to the bacteria and include diarrhea, fever, stomach cramps, nausea and vomiting.

Campylobacter is one of the most common infections that people can catch from dogs, the CDC said. But usually, when people get sick from their pet, it’s an isolated case that’s not part of a larger outbreak.

People can catch Campylobacter through contact with dog feces; even ingesting minuscule amounts can lead to infection. The infection does not usually spread from person to person, the CDC said.

To prevent the spread of pathogens or diseases from dogs to people, the CDC recommends washing your hands thoroughly with soap and water every time you have contact with dogs, their food or their messes —including dog poop, pee and vomit. You should also take your pet to the veterinarian for regular checkups to keep it healthy, CDC officials advised. Signs of illness in dogs include sluggishness, loss of appetite, diarrhea and abnormal breathing, according to the CDC.

Tonsil Stones: Causes, Removal & Prevention

While tonsil stones may seem like a bad medical hoax, they can be a real problem. Tonsil stones, also known as tonsilloliths or tonsilliths, are benign accumulations of bacteria and debris in the crypts of some people’s tonsils. Though this problem may cause discomfort, it is not dangerous and is usually easily treatable.

The tonsils are part of a protection system that keeps foreign objects from slipping into the lungs. They are also lymph nodes that filter for bacteria and viruses while producing white blood cells and antibodies, according to the Mayo Clinic. Objects such as food, dirt and other particles can get stuck in the groves on the surface of the tonsils. The grooves, called crypts, also collect old cells and bacteria.

The body’s white blood cells proceed to attack the foreign objects stuck in the tonsils. When the white blood cells are finished, hard particles remain on the tonsils. Most people simply swallow what is left behind and never know that it was there in the first place. If the particles are lodged into the crypts, though, the particles will continue to grow. These growing objects are tonsil stones, which are also called tonsil calculi.

According to a study in 2009 by the Center for Genomic Science at the Allegheny-Singer Research Institute in the Otolaryngology journal, tonsil stones are more alive than actual stones. They are actually a living biofilm that breathes oxygen.

According to Dr. Alan Greene, a pediatrician and author, tonsil stones are most common in teens and those with large tonsils. Those with poor dental hygiene may also experience tonsil stones.

Some people have no symptoms when afflicted with tonsil stones. Those who do have symptoms often report redness or irritation of the tonsils. There are several other symptoms that can be related to tonsil stones, with bad breath being one of the most obvious. According to the Mayo Clinic, bacteria grow on the stones, which produces a foul odor.

People with throat stones can also feel like they have something stuck in their throats, according to Dr. Erich P. Voigt, an associate professor of otolaryngology at NYU-Langone Medical Center. Other symptoms can include chronic, mild sore throat and reoccurring tonsillitis.

Tonsil stones can often be seen in the mirror. The tonsils won’t seem smooth. “Instead, they look like prunes, with crevices where bacteria can accumulate,” said Chetan Kaher, a dentist in London.

Typically, tonsil stones can be seen as white, yellow or grey nodes on the tonsils. This isn’t always the case, though. Many tonsil stones aren’t visible because they are burrowed down inside of the tonsil, said Dr. Ileana Showalter, an otolaryngologist at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore, Maryland.

Tonsil stones can grow to 1 to 2 millimeters across. But they can be up to 1 centimeters across, according to the Australian Government Department of Health.

One of most common treatments to cure tonsil stones is simply scraping them off with a toothbrush. If that doesn’t work, there are several other at-home options. “Gargling with salt water can help dislodge them. Using a cotton swab to express them from the little small cavities that are visible is another option,” said Showalter. A water flossing device such as a Waterpik can also be used to power wash the debris out of the tonsils.

Sometimes the tonsil stones are so deeply embedded that they cannot be removed at home. In this case, an ear, nose and throat specialist can often remove the stones. If a person gets tonsil stones often, then the patient and doctor may discuss removing the tonsils.

“A last resort cure of this problem is tonsillectomy. However, this surgery carries risks of anesthesia, pain and bleeding, as well as other risks, thus a decision of this type must be balanced by a risk/benefit discussion,” said Voigt.

Preventing the formation of tonsil stones is as simple as good dental hygiene. The Mayo Clinic suggests brushing teeth and tongue after meals, at bedtime and first thing in the morning. Flossing teeth daily can also help by cleaning out bacteria. Voigt also suggested gargling daily suing commercial gargles, or a homemade solution of hydrogen peroxide and water. The Mayo Clinic advises against using a mouthwash that contains alcohol.

How Many Viruses Can Get into Men’s Semen?

During recent outbreaks of the Zika virus, researchers discovered that the virus could find its way into men’s semen and stay there for months. But how many other viruses can get into semen?

To find out, researchers at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom searched the scientific literature for reports of “viremic” viruses — ones that get into the blood —  that have also been found in semen.

The results showed that at least 27 viruses can make their way into human semen.

“The presence of viruses in semen is probably more widespread than currently appreciated,” the researchers wrote in the October issue of the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases. [10 Deadly Diseases That Hopped Across Species]

The list includes a number of well-known viruses, such as Ebola, HIV, hepatitis C, chickenpox, herpes, mumps and chikungunya (a mosquito-borne virus), as well as some lesser-known viruses, such as JC virus, simian foamy virus and Rift Valley fever.

In addition, some of these viruses, such as HIV and herpes, are known to spread sexually. But for many of the viruses on the list, it’s unclear whether they can be spread through sex, the researchers said.

The results raise a number of questions, including how long the viruses remain in semen, at what concentrations they are present, and whether the viruses remain “viable” or capable of causing disease, the researchers said. The answers to these questions will help researchers better understand the risk for sexual spread of these viruses, the study said.

More research is also needed on whether these viruses can infect sperm, the researchers said. (Sperm are men’s reproductive cells, whereas semen is usually a mixture of sperm and fluids.) This is an important question, because infections in sperm could cause mutations in the sperm DNA that might be passed on to the next generation, and possibly increase the risk of conditions such as cancer, the researchers said.

It’s thought that some viruses persist in semen — even when they’ve been cleared from the rest of the body — because the testes are an “immunologically privileged” site in the body, meaning they are protected from attack by the body’s immune system.

The findings also highlight the need for researchers to consider whether treatments being developed for virial diseases can be effective against viruses in all parts of the body, including the male reproductive tract, the researchers said.

Lady Gaga’s Chronic Pain: What Is Fibromyalgia?

Singer Lady Gaga recently revealed that she has fibromyalgia; the painful condition is often hard to diagnose, and its causes are still unclear.

Yesterday, the singer said on Twitter that her upcoming Netflix documentary “Gaga: Five Foot Two” will touch on her struggles with chronic pain.

“In our documentary, the #chronicillness #chronicpain I deal w/ is #Fibromyalgia,” she wrote on Twitter. “I wish to help raise awareness & connect people who have it.”

The chronic disorder causes pain throughout the body, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). People with the condition have “tender points” — for example, on their necks, shoulders, backs, hips, arms and legs — that hurt when touched or when pressure is put on them, the NIH says. Most often, this pain affects the muscles, but it can sometimes affect joints or even the skin, according to the American College of Rheumatology (ACR). [5 Surprising Facts About Pain]

(The word “fibromyalgia” literally means “muscle and tissue pain,” coming from the Latin term “fibro,” meaning fibrous tissue, and the Greek words “myo,” meaning muscle, and “algia,” meaning pain, according to the NIH.)

In addition to pain, people with fibromyalgia often experience other symptoms, including fatigue, trouble sleeping, headaches, tingling or numbness in the hands and feet, and problems with thinking and memory.

An estimated 5 million U.S. adults have fibromyalgia, according to the NIH. About 80 to 90 percent of those with fibromyalgia are women, but men and children can also have the condition.

The exact causes of fibromyalgia are still unknown, but it’s likely that many factors contribute to the condition, according to the Mayo Clinic. For example, certain genes may make a person more susceptible to fibromyalgia. In addition, experiencing a physically or emotionally traumatic event may trigger the condition, the Mayo Clinic says.

Researchers now think that changes caused by fibromyalgia affect the way the brain and body communicate. These changes may involve increased levels of certain brain chemicals that signal pain, the Mayo Clinic says. Additionally, receptors in the brain may develop a “memory” of the pain, which causes them to overreact to pain signals, the clinic says.

Diagnosing fibromyalgia can be challenging, in part because its two main symptoms — pain and fatigue — are common in many conditions, according to the NIH. This means that doctors often have to rule out other possible causes of pain and fatigue before diagnosing a patient with fibromyalgia. There’s no single diagnostic lab test for the condition, either.

But doctors familiar with fibromyalgia can diagnose it based on certain symptoms, including widespread pain that lasts for more than three months and that doesn’t have another medical explanation, according to the Mayo Clinic.

There is no cure for fibromyalgia, but symptoms can be treated with medication as well as nondrug treatments, according to the ACR. Often, people have the best results when they use multiple treatments, the ACR said.

There are three approved drugs to treat fibromyalgia symptoms: duloxetine, milnacipran and pregabalin. Duloxetine and milnacipran work by changing the levels of brain chemicals that help control pain levels, and pregabalin works by blocking excessive activity of nerve cells, the ACR said. Over-the-counter painkillers, including acetaminophen and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) may also help the ease pain and stiffness caused by fibromyalgia.

Nondrug treatments for fibromyalgia include low-impact exercises, such as walking, biking and swimming, as well as yoga and tai chi. In addition, mindfulness-based therapies may help with fibromyalgia, according to the ACR. These are therapies in which people learn to increase their awareness of the present moment and their acceptance of difficult thoughts and feelings.

Sleep Paralysis: Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

Sleep paralysis is the inability to move or speak immediately after waking up. This can be an exceptionally scary time for those afflicted with this weird phenomenon, but despite former beliefs, the feeling of paralysis is not caused by supernatural beings.

During rapid eye movement (REM) sleep the brain has vivid dreams, while the muscles of the body are essentially turned off. While sleeping, the muscles are unable to move so that the person won’t be able to act out dreams with their body. Sleep paralysis happens when a person wakes up before REM is finished. The person will be conscious, but the body’s ability to move hasn’t been turned back on yet.

Several things can bring on episodes of sleep paralysis. For example, sleep deprivation, some medications and some sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea, are triggers. Also, sleep paralysis is commonly seen in patients with narcolepsy, said Dr. Shelby Harris, director of Behavioral Sleep Medicine at the Sleep-Wake Disorders Center at the Montefiore Health System in the Bronx, New York.

Youth seems to be a factor in the occurrence of sleep paralysis. According to the Mayo Clinic, this disorder is more likely to happen to people between the ages of 10 and 25. Sleep paralysis is also more prevalent in those with post-traumatic stress disorder and panic disorder, according to a 2017 report published by the National Institutes of Health.

Sleep paralysis may also be genetic, according to a study done on 862 twins and siblings. “It’s still a preliminary finding,” said Daniel Denis, a psychologist at the University of Sheffield in England, and co-author of the study published online February 2015 in the Journal of Sleep Research, but added that it provides “a general inkling that something to do with the control of circadian rhythms is probably involved in sleep paralysis.” [Sleep Paralysis Linked to Genetics]

According to a study in 2011 by Pennsylvania State University, 7.6 percent of the general population has problems with sleep paralysis. People with mental disorders such as anxiety and depression are more likely to experience sleep paralysis. According to the study, 31.9 percent of those with mental disorders experienced episodes.

Those afflicted with sleep paralysis are often unable to move their bodies or speak immediately after waking up. This can last one to two minutes, according to the Mayo Clinic. People experiencing sleep paralysis may also feel a weight on their chest or a choking feeling.

In the past, it was believed that demons caused sleep paralysis by holding people down or sitting on their chest. This was often due to hallucinations, which are a common symptom during sleep paralysis because the brain is still in a dream state. People have reported seeing ghosts, demons and other strange apparitions while experiencing paralysis.

For most people, there is no treatment for sleep paralysis. The key is prevention and the treatment of any underlying causes.

After one episode of sleep paralysis, it may not be necessary to get a doctor’s appointment right away. “If you have rare episodes of sleep paralysis, but haven’t been seen by a sleep specialist, make sure your sleep hygiene is solid. For example, sleep paralysis can be a sign that you’re sleep deprived,” Harris told Live Science. Harris suggested that those experiencing sleep paralysis should make sure to get enough sleep on a regular basis, avoid alcohol, nicotine and drugs all night, starting three hours before bedtime. They should also limit caffeine after 2 p.m. and keep electronics out of the bedroom.

“If these things don’t help, and you’re having episodes that are becoming somewhat more frequent, see a sleep specialist to see if there’s any underlying medical disorder that might be causing the sleep paralysis,” Harris said.

According to the U.K. National Health System (NHS), sleep paralysis is not dangerous, though those experiencing extreme sleep paralysis may be prescribed a short course of antidepressant medication, such as clomipramine (Anafranil).

During the attack, it is important to stay calm and realize that it will pass soon. “There’s not much you can do during an attack besides say to yourself, ‘This is only temporary. It will pass very shortly and I will be able to move soon,'” Harris said. “This really only works if you’ve had an episode or two before and know what to expect. These attacks can be quite scary to experience, especially if you’ve never had one before.”

Why Selena Gomez Needed a Kidney Transplant

Singer Selena Gomez revealed today (Sept. 14) that she recently had a kidney transplant due to complications from lupus. But how does lupus affect the kidneys, and why do people with the condition sometimes need kidney transplants?

In an Instagram post, Gomez, who is 25, explained to fans why she appeared to be “laying low” over the summer. “I found out I needed to get a kidney transplant due to my Lupus and was recovering,” Gomez said. “It was what I needed to do for my overall health.” The post included a photo of her in the hospital with friend Francia Raisa, who donated the kidney to Gomez.

Lupus is an autoimmune disorder, which means the body’s immune system attacks its own tissues, according to the Mayo Clinic. This leads to inflammation that can cause damage in many parts of the body, including the joints, skin, kidneys, heart and lungs.

Damage to the kidneys is one of the most common health problems for people with lupus, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). About half of adults and 80 percent of children with lupus have kidney disease, the NIH said.

In the kidneys, lupus can cause swelling and scarring of the small blood vessels called glomeruli that filter waste products from the blood, according to the National Kidney Foundation.

People with lupus who have inflammation in their kidneys are treated with medicines to suppress their immune systems, according to the NIH. These medicines often work well to control the inflammation, but up to 30 percent of people with lupus who also have related kidney inflammation will develop kidney failure, the NIH said. (Kidney failure means that the kidneys stop working properly and can no longer meet the body’s needs.)

Most patients with lupus-related kidney failure are good candidates for kidney transplant, according to a 2005 review paper. People who undergo kidney transplants need to take drugs for the rest of their lives to stop their bodies from rejecting the new organ, but these drugs are similar to the medications already used to treat lupus, according to the National Kidney Foundation.

Gomez was diagnosed with lupus in 2013, and she first revealed her diagnosis to the public in 2015.

In her post today, Gomez had a special note of thanks to her friend for donating the kidney.

“There aren’t words to describe how I can possibly thank my beautiful friend Francia Raisa. She gave me the ultimate gift and sacrifice by donating her kidney to me,” Gomez said.

Tramadol: Dosage & Side Effects

Tramadol is a prescription medication used to treat moderate to moderately severe pain. It is sold under the brand name Ultram in the United States, and as Ralivia, Dromodol and other names elsewhere. It is intended to work by changing the way the central nervous system responds to pain.

Tramadol is effective on two fronts: About 20 percent of its painkilling effects come from opioids, and 80 percent from ingredients that inhibit the reuptake of serotonin and norepinephrine, two chemicals in the brain associated with mood and responsiveness to pain, said Dr. Lewis Nelson, a professor of emergency medicine at New York University’s Langone Medical Center.

Because tramadol has less opioid content than other addictive painkillers such as oxycodone, hydrocodone and morphine, “a lot of doctors inappropriately view this as safer,” Nelson told Live Science. But tramadol carries risks: People can still abuse and overdose on tramadol because of its opioid component. Its interaction with serotonin can also affect people taking other serotoninlike drugs, such as antidepressants, he said.

However, tramadol’s opioid and serotonergic effects are important because they allow tramadol to treat both pain and the psychological components of pain, he said.

Researchers first synthesized tramadol in the 1970s, and the Food and Drug Administration approved it for treatment of acute and chronic pain in 1995. The Drug Enforcement Administration identified it as a Schedule IV drug in 2014 to show that tramadol has potential for abuse.

Tramadol is available in several forms: tablet, orally disintegrating tablet, extended-release capsule and extended-release tablet, orally disintegrating tablet and suspension. The extended-release tablets and capsules are prescribed for patients who need round-the-clock pain relief.

Safe dosage of tramadol varies based on the patient and his or her needs. For chronic pain, doctors often prescribe a low dose at first, usually after surgery. Doctors also prescribe tramadol to treat arthritis, fibromyalgiaand other chronic pain conditions. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the regular tablet and disintegrating tablet are usually taken with or without food every four to six hours as needed. The extended-release tablet and extended-release capsule should be taken once a day.

Patients should not take a larger dose or take it more often or for a longer period of time than prescribed. The NIH advises that if you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember, unless it is very close to the time for the next dose. Then, skip the missed dose and continue the regular schedule. The dosage may be increased by the doctor, but should not be increased by the patient.

It is also important not to suddenly stop taking tramadol, according to the NIH. Doing so may cause withdrawal symptoms, such as nervousness, panic, sweating, difficulty falling asleep, runny nose, chills, nausea, diarrhea and hallucinations. Your doctor will likely decrease your dose gradually.

Children younger than 12 should not take tramadol, according to 2017 rules from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). “Our decision today was made based on the latest evidence and with this goal in mind: keeping our kids safe,” Dr. Douglas Throckmorton, deputy center director for regulatory programs at the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, said in a statement.

As noted, tramadol can interact with drugs that affect serotonin levels, such as antidepressants, sometimes leading to serotonin syndrome, described as uncontrollable shaking, altered mental status, rigidity and high body temperature, Nelson said.

Seizures have been reported both in animals and humans taking tramadol. Seizures can happen even at recommended doses, but are more common if a person misuses or overdoses on the drug, or if tramadol interacts with another drug, especially antidepressants, according to a 2009 study published in the journal Psychiatry.