Steps To Preventing Medication Errors

Medication errors occur every day, both in the health care setting and at home.

In the hospital, medicines pass through a series of steps to prevent possible errors before reaching the patient.

“Checks are in place at the point when medicine is prescribed, when the prescription order is documented, when the medication is dispensed and when the prescribed medicine is administered to the patient,” says Diane Cousins, R.Ph., vice president, Department of Patient Safety Standards Division at the United States Pharmacopeia (USP). “The patient is also monitored to assess any response to the medication-all in an effort to ensure patient safety.”

• Talk with your doctor, pharmacist or other health care professionals about safe medication use. Keep an up-to-date list of medicines and dietary supplements you use, and always ask questions about any concerns or thoughts.

• Know your medicines by being aware of when, how and how long to use them. Also know what to do if you miss a dose, and whether or not there are any side effects.

• Read the label and follow directions. Always double-check that you have the right medicine, particularly if you are refilling a prescription, and never combine medicines in the same bottle. Make sure you understand the directions.

• Avoid interactions. Before starting any new medicine or dietary supplement, ask your health care provider or pharmacist if there are possible interactions with what you are currently using. Whenever possible, use the same pharmacy for all your prescriptions.

• Monitor your medicines’ effects and the effects of other medications or supplements you take. Pay attention to how you are feeling and write down the changes so that you can remember to tell your health care provider or pharmacist. If you experience any side effects, contact your health care provider immediately.

The Two Sides of Medicine

Throughout time there have always been two opposing points of view as to how to maintain good health, or how to regain it after having lost it. This
conflict has continued since ancient times … and no doubt will continue well into the future.

One ‘side’ believes good health is as a result of outside intervention… drugs, surgery etc. The other ‘side’ believes that good health results from
living in harmony with natural law… correct nutrition… cleanliness etc.

The ancient Greeks had terms for these two groups of people. As was often the case in those days each group came under the umbrella of a ‘god’. One was ‘Asklepios’… the god of medicine, whose proponents advocated the ‘intervention’ approach. These people were known as ‘Asklepians’. Those who believed that the secret of good health resulted from living in
harmony with nature looked up to ‘Hygeia’… Goddess of health. These people were known as ‘Hygeian’.

Asklepians versus Hygeian

Both sides tended to be critical of the other… nothing much has changed over the ages. Modern mainstream western medicine takes the ‘Asklepian’ approach. However, in recent years the Hygeian approach which has always
been the underlying principle behind Chinese traditional medicine has gained much ground. The increase in the popularity of the ‘Hygeian’ approach is no doubt due to a combination of several factors:

* Dissatisfaction of traditional mainstream medicine.
* Increasing cases of medical ‘misadventure’. (Hospitals are places to stay away from)
* Awareness that good health is primarily a personal responsibility… not of overworked physicians.
* An increasing awareness that the medical industry is highly influenced by drug companies and that there are often better, safer and more economic
natural alternatives to drugs.

In spite of this justified ‘swing’ away from mainstream medicine, mainstream medicine does have a place in everyone’s health program … apart from the obvious ones in treating accident cases or chronic urgent illness. So, if you are already a ‘Hygeian’ don’t over look the benefits that mainstream medicine can offer to you in your overall quest for good health and longevity.

These benefits are primarily in the early detection of a pending disease that you may not as yet be aware of!

An example

Let’s assume that you are over 40 years of age… you are healthy, fit and not overweight. You eat well, you don’t smoke, don’t drink excessively and rarely get sick. You probably think that you will live forever… well at least
into ripe old age! Right? Maybe… or maybe not.

Reflect on this for a moment. Have you ever known anyone around this age that has died suddenly to your amazement because you thought they were so healthy? That person may even have been a competitive athlete!

Let me tell you a true story.

About 15 years ago a friend of mine who was around 40, a former competitive body builder who was still in great shape and extremely fit was at a lake water-skiing. He was watching some young water-skiers doing some ‘tricks’.

Being the competitive person that he was he waited until they came in and went down to the waters edge and said “Now, I’ll show you how to really do it”. Those were the last words he ever uttered… a couple of minutes later
he was lying on the ground dead of a massive heart attack.

My friend died instantly. He could just as easily had a stroke which he may or may not have recovered from… which would also have been a major tragedy.

Tragedies can often be avoided

Tragedies like this happen every day and the results are devastating not only to the victims but also their families, friends and loved ones. Sadly, many of these tragedies could have been averted … if more people were aware of
their risk factors and could correct any abnormalities before it was too late!

Now back to the point of this story. My friend died of a blockage in his artery. Only takes one! If 15 years ago the technology for measuring ALL the ‘predictors’ which indicate your risk of such an event were available AND
my friend had understood what they meant he would probably still be showing those young fellows how to do water-skiing tricks!

How many thousands of people are still dying needlessly because they do not know how to take advantage of current technology … or, in some cases are so opposed to mainstream medicine that they do not take advantage of
the ‘good’parts!

OK… what should you do?

First of all, if you are over 35 and have not had a blood
test within the last few years … arrange one… NOW!

Get a general one, which tests for:

* Cholesterol. Both LDL and HDL
* Triglycerides
* Homocysteine
* Lipoproteins
* Liver Function
* Renal Function
* Plasma Glucose

If you are a man over 40 make sure you also have a PSA. (Prostate Specific Antigen) test) Hint: There is recent evidence that suggests that if you have had sex within the previous 72 hours your PSA levels could be affected.
Play it safe and abstain for 2 – 3 days before your test.

Irrespective of your gender ask your physician if any other tests are also recommended for you. If each test is within the normal range, that’s great, you can rest easy knowing that you are unlikely to be subject to any
immediate health risk. You can then direct your efforts towards improving the way you feel and slowing down your aging process.

If any of your tests are abnormal you will need to do something about bringing them back to within ‘normal’ ranges … and possibly be subject to more tests. It is the treatment of any abnormalities from these blood tests
that create a potential conflict between ‘Askelepians’ and ‘Hygeians’.

Here is an example of potential conflict

Let’s say your tests show that your cholesterol is ‘out of whack’, your ‘mainstream’ physician may first propose lowering your intake of diet cholesterol. That’s unlikely to be successful as ingested cholesterol only
makes up a relatively small percentage of blood cholesterol.

They will next likely propose one of the cholesterol lowering drugs commonly known as ‘statins’. These are drugs that work by blocking an enzyme that your liver needs to manufacture cholesterol. (Up to 80% of your blood cholesterol is manufactured by your liver, NOT from the ingestion of cholesterol within your diet).

These statin drugs are very powerful and have been known to cause serious side effects including deaths. In fact Bayers were recently forced to withdraw their statin drug from the market place because of ‘unacceptable’ levels of fatalities. In spite of these risks, sales of statin drugs amount to billions of dollars per year and are commonly prescribed.

It’s ironic that there are natural alternatives to these statin drugs which can assist in lowering cholesterol, and do it safely, and without side effects. But the general public hears very little about them as they are not patentable and there is not the financial incentive for the big corporate’s to promote them.

The same principle applies for many different ailments. There can be many legitimate methods of treatments. What is important is that you seek out the natural alternatives and apply them before agreeing to subject yourself to the
negative side effects of pharmaceutical drugs.

Pharmaceutical drugs are ‘blockers’ whereas natural remedies are ‘enablers’

Pharmaceutical drugs are ‘blockers’ and do not normally heal the underlying ailment. They generally work by suppressing natural functions such as certain enzymes which I mentioned earlier when giving the ‘statin’ example. Because of this process, results are often ‘instant’ and as such there is sometimes a place for these powerful prescription drugs in the case of life threatening emergencies.

In contrast, natural products such as herbs, vitamins etc are ‘enablers’. They work at correcting the cause of the ailment which is often a nutrient deficiency of some sort. The results are not immediate and have to be measured in weeks, or even months.

If you have a serious ailment, work with your physician to try and correct it… by first using natural remedies. If she or he is not familiar with the treatment you would like to try, do some further research and get hold of supporting
information so you are in a better position to discuss the options intelligently. If your physician has a closed mind to natural remedies it may be wise to ask around and find another qualified physician with an open mind.

Treating Crohn’s Disease With A Special Diet

Dietary recommendations must be individualized in order to suit the various dietary needs of individual patients. The diet recommendation you get will depend on which part of the intestine affected. Aside from that, this disease is not static — changing over time. Your eating patterns need to reflect those changes. The vital objective in creating your own special diet is to try and achieve a well balanced diet that is healthy and nutritious.

The only way you’ll know if your diet is working is to test it rigorously. If you cut down on hard to digest carbohydrates you should see a lessening of your gas, bloating, cramping and diarrhea. But be aware that the diet will only treat your symptoms; it will not cure your Crohn’s.

Foods to be avoided

There are no rules or recommendations on the food that should be avoided. Nevertheless, it is important to distinguish between an allergy to a certain type of food as opposed to an intolerance for that type of food. Most people usually have food intolerances that they may think of as an allergy. An elimination test is the idea way to select the food that must be avoided or at least reduced.

There are many books available that will tell you how to conduct an elimination diet. You should also keep a food and symptom diary on your own. This will help you identify which foods cause your symptoms to get worse, and which foods you can still enjoy.

It’s also important to remember that it’s not only the amount of food that a patient takes in, but rather eating more of the right foods to promote good health. The ideal daily intake should be a combination of a variety of foods from all food groups. If you can tolerate them, it’s good to add meat, fish, poultry and dairy products for protein. Bread, cereal, starches, fruits and vegetables are excellent sources of carbohydrates.

Likewise, margarine and oils are sources of fat.

Fluid intake

A big part of Crohn’s disease is diarrhea, and with it the danger of dehydration. Dehydration happens when fluid intake fails to keep up with diarrhea, and can also effect kidney functions.

Crohn’s patients often have a high incidence of kidney stones that make the Crohn’s even worse. Severe dehydration as well as salt loss creates a feeling of weakness. This is why it is so critical for Crohn’s patients to take in ample amounts of fluids especially during warm weather when the skin tends to lose a large amount of moisture and salt.

The way to prevent dehydration is to drink at least 70 ounces of liquid a day. It is also better to sip rather than gulp the liquid, since gulping tends to introduce air in the digestive system that can cause additional discomfort.

The importance of nutrition to Crohn’s patients

Crohn’s disease can leave some patients with problems in their small intestines, and can result in malnutrition. Not only the loss of appetite, but this chronic condition tends to aggravate the calorie needs of the body, especially during flare-ups. Beyond this, Crohn’s can also lead to the poor digestion and malabsorption of dietary protein, fat, carbohydrates, water and other vitamins and minerals.

Correct and proper nutrition is one way of restoring your health. That is why it is so important to work hard to keep yourself from becoming malnourished.

If you suspect you have Crohn’s disease, you should first consult your primary care physician before taking other steps. Careful diagnosis and monitoring is the key to living comfortably with Crohn’s.

Treatment For Bacterial Vaginitis

Bacterial Vaginitis is an inflammation of the vagina which is caused by excessive growth of the bacteria called Gardnerella vaginitis, already present in the vagina. Gardnerella vaginitis is not solely responsible for this problem. When these different species of bacteria are imbalanced the vaginal discharge gives out a foul odor. Excess discharge and foul odor are the most common symptoms of this disease.

Even though the exact cause is unknown this disease mainly spreads through sexual intercourse, douching, use of intrauterine birth control device (IUD). It is one of the most common types of vaginal infection found in women. Even though there are quick remedies and medicines for this disease, if not treated on time it can be very dangerous. It may cause pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), endometritis, cervcitis, pregnancy complication and post-operative infection.

Home Remedies for Bacterial Vaginitis

• A good hygiene becomes very important if you want to stay away from bacterial vaginitis.

• Wear clean and properly washed underwear because the detergent residue may just cause an itching problem.

• Always wipe from front to back whenever you visit the toilet or otherwise to avoid the transfer of germs from rectal to genital area.

• If you have a bathtub see to it that it is properly cleansed as it is one of the favorite places for germs to reside.

• Have a warm bath, if possible without soap as it may cause irritation to the genital tissue. Soap removes natural oils from your body and also makes you defenseless against the germs. This aggravates your problem of vaginal infection.

• Drink at least four ounces of pure cranberry juice everyday to fight this bacterial disease.

• Having eight-ounces of yoghurt everyday keep women away from frequent problems of bacterial vaginitis or vaginosis. The acidophilus bacteria present in the yoghurt helps in creating a healthy bacterial environment.

• If the vagina is swollen you can use plain tea bag soaked in water, cooled in refrigerator to be applied externally to prevent itching. The tannin in tea gives a soothing touch.

• You can also use cold compress which alleviates the swelling and itching of the vagina. The cooling factor squeezes the blood vessels and prevents it from swelling and turning red.

• Avoid tight clothes and try to wear cotton panties which absorb moisture and provide good air circulation.

Warning: The reader of this article should exercise all precautionary measures while following instructions on the home remedies from this article. Avoid using any of these products if you are allergic to it. The responsibility lies with the reader and not with the site or the writer.

Using Vitamins to Prevent Alzheimer’s

Understanding what happens when an individual develops Alzheimer’s is still something that is being investigated. What scientists do know about Alzheimer’s is that it is a slow-developing disease of the brain that is characterized by dying brain cells. While the direct cause is unknown, it is theorized that the death of the cells is attributed to a lack of chemicals necessary to keep brain cells healthy.

After the age of 20, human brain cells (neurons) start to die at a rate of about 9000 per day. This results in a natural decline of mental acuity. There are reports that some vitamins can help to restore brain cells, but these reports are highly controversial. Once brain cells die, there really is no way to restore them. What scientists focus on is how to prevent Alzheimer’s. In the last few years, scientists have been testing the effects of vitamins on the brain. Those that seem to provide the most benefit are vitamins C and E.

In the world of vitamin supplementation, vitamin C and E are building blocks of good health. These vitamins are antioxidants that has proven beneficial in numerous health conditions, including heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and stress. The body normally produces enough vitamin C and E in the body to protect the brain from damage from free radicals. However, the amount of vitamin C may be depleted by factors, such as diet and genetics. Scientists believe that taking 500 milligrams of vitamin C and 500 milligrams of vitamin E daily protects brain cells from premature destruction, a key to Alzheimer’s prevention.

These recommended amounts of vitamin C and E supplementation to prevent Alzheimer’s is way beyond what is recommended for general health. Before you consider taking these vitamins, you should discuss your plans with a medical doctor. Excessive amounts of vitamin C are flushed out in the urine and don’t usually cause serious problems, but excessive amounts of vitamin E can result in some unpleasant side effects. As with any vitamins or medication, you should store them in a location that is out of reach from children. Vitamins C and E can cause serious problems in children.

Viagra and Its Relatives

This is a universal truth that it is really a difficult task to restrain the thoughts and desire of having sex. This is an unquestionable fact. But the real problem arises when your mind is willing to have a shot but the physical conditions don’t cooperate with your mind. But as said by Uncle Sam, where there is a problem, there is a solution. When the problem is as serious and hazardous as ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION, surely there is time to go for a definitive savior and to buy ‘GENERIC VIAGRA’.

Generic Viagra is sold by many names such as sildenafil citrate, cavirta, silagra, meltabs, kamagra, penegra, kamagra oral jelly, and viagra soft tabs. Erectile dysfunction, formerly called impotency is a physical condition under which a man is not able to get and/or hold the erection for the time to have complete sex. It is hard for everyone to talk about penis because there is a mentality that it is a private part of the body and it should not be discussed openly in society.

But the fact is that it is also a part of male structure and is there to finish some jobs. Generally, we use muscles to move our body. But in penis the process is little different from whole body. Not a single muscle works in making a penis erected. Instead it uses pressure. The pressurized blood is used to make penis rigid and stiff. The penis contains two cigar-shaped or tube-shaped structures, called corpora cavernosa (singular – corpus cavernosum), which it uses to become erect.

When man gets sexually aroused the arteries brings blood to this structure and when the arousal is over veins carry blood back from them. Thus the mechanism of erection depends on the flow of blood. When this system is disturbed the case of ED emerges. In such cases, penegra is used but this should be noted that it does not cure this problem of erectile dysfunction but only provides an option for getting erection and that too only if the man is sexually aroused.

Just like Viagra is manufactured and marketed by Pfizer pharmaceutical company, this drug is made and sold by ranbaxy. Generic viagra, also known as cavirta or penegra and it is a powerful and effectual treatment for the patients suffering from the problem of erectile dysfunction regardless of their age and the length of the time of this problem. This pill is taken orally which helps in getting the penis erected and also helps in maintaining this erection until the sexual satisfaction is achieved. It works as a sexual stimulator.

The ingredients and USP of generic viagra is almost same as of viagra hence it works in the same style as viagra. At this point, this question might arise. Why generic viagra? Well, the answer is very much proved. The first reason for ‘why generic viagra’ is that it is as safe as the original version i.e. viagra. It’s much cheaper than viagra. The effectiveness of cavirta or generic viagra is one hundred percent equal to viagra. Penegra, the generic version of viagra and viagra both consists of huge amount of 100 mg of a chemical called sildenafil citrate.

Both these drugs are equivalent to each other in terms of chemical composition so there is no point worrying about the originality and the compatibility of the drug. One interesting and useful thing about this version of viagra is that it can help many more people overcome their problem of ED because of its low cost.

If the man is suffering from ED the making of cGMP is lessened which relaxes the arteries in the penis by an enzyme called as PDE5. Because of which arteries do not open sufficiently and the required amount of blood to get erection does not reach in penis. Penegra reduces the effect of PDE5. When taken, sildenafil citrate travels to penis in blood and makes it ineffective to much extent.

When the man is aroused sexually, the brain sends the normal message to the NANC cells in the penis, which produces nitric oxide. The nitric oxide creates cGMP, which starts relaxing the arteries in his penis. Since the PDE5 has been disabled, the cGMP in the penis does not break down. This cGMP allows the arteries to expand completely and the man gets a full erection.

The dosage of this generic viagra or penegra is pretty simple as it is in the case of its senior sister viagra. It is a pill that is taken orally approximately forty-five minutes before starting any sexual activity. Normally, 100 mg pill is advised once daily. This pill works best when it is used along with sexual stimulation. Penegra starts its magic in bout 30 minutes after consuming this pill and this magic can stay up to 4 hours. If this pill is taken after a high-fat food, it might take a bit more time to get started. Penegra or generic viagra can be taken in both the cases i.e., if a man is suffering from erectile dysfunction or if he wants to enjoy sex life more by getting good and prolonged erection. It does not mean that anyone can have cavirta or generic viagra to enjoy sex.

Like all other pills used to tackle the problem of ED, cavirta or generic viagra can also cause some side effects. These are very familiar side effects such as headache, flushing of the face, dizziness and upset stomach. Side effects like temporary change in color vision and blurred vision may also occur. In very rare cases, an erection can stay even more than four hours and this is also a side effect of Penegra. Heart attack, stroke, irregular heartbeats and death are also noticed in people taking penegra. Penegra may cause other side effects also besides those listed in this report.

Generic Viagra or cavirta meets the strictest guidelines and rules made by FDA. These rules and regulations are checked and revised from time to time to check any discrepancy. This is the best and finest assurance, anyone can ask for while using or buying generic viagra. So, it’s not a good thought to walk away from generic viagra thinking that it’s fake viagra. The smarter men are those who save the money by buying cheap generic viagra or cavirta instead of expensive Viagra and enjoy their sexual life in the same way.

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Vitamin Deficiency And Acne

In today’s fast food society, it is no wonder that diet is such an extreme issue. It is almost impossible for anybody to maintain a healthy diet now-a-days. Health organizations estimate that only 10-20% even consume the recommended amounts of the most important vitamins and minerals on a daily basis. This is a startling low number and simply results from the fact that a healthy diet is very hard to maintain.

In order to be able to maintain a healthy body and in order to be able to have clear, healthy, acne free skin, it is important to consume the recommended amount of many crucial vitamins and minerals on a daily basis. However, diet alone often falls short of this. Fast foods don’t contain many vitamins and minerals in the first place, people usually don’t have time to try and prepare full, healthy, rounded meals, and even the foods purchased in stores now have many of their vitamins and minerals taken out of them in order to help them stay fresh longer.

For these reasons, it is often necessary to look elsewhere in order to get the right amounts of vitamins and minerals each day. Foods and diet will almost always still lead to some short of deficiency, no matter how careful one tries to be, and therefore it become necessary often times to look to supplements in order to fill the gap. Supplements can be extremely helpful in ensuring the body receives the vitamins and minerals it needs to be healthy.

Supplements are not a bad thing and are not some sort of “short cut.” Many people think they are cheating themselves by taking a vitamin supplement but this simply isn’t so. Most one-a-day vitamin supplements are extremely useful for the simple fact that they will help to provide the body with the essential vitamins and minerals it needs. People also worry about then consuming too much of certain vitamins and minerals due to the combination of the supplement and eating. Again, this is almost never a problem since the supplements only provide the minimum recommended amounts each day, meaning that there is plenty of ceiling room left above that.

When foods and dieting simply aren’t cutting it, it is good to look for a vitamin supplement. Your body needs the vitamins and minerals and to deprive it of them would be extremely unhealthy.

Want To Live Longer? Detox Today!

Never before has the need to detoxify our body system become more important than today. With the advancement of technology there are now more things that negatively affect our health and our environment.

The air we breathe, the water we drink, even the food we eat is polluted in one way or the other. This is because the air we breathe has carbon byproducts and the water we drink has heavy metals and the food we eat is not as natural as it should be. Most of it is chemically enhanced or genetically modified one way or the other.

All these things make the statement that “We live in a very toxic age” very true!

In order to live longer and healthier there is a growing need to detoxify our bodies. If you don’t detox regularly, these poisonous substances from the air you breath, the water you drink and the food you eat will lead to ill-health such as insomnia, gastric problems, poor skin, premature aging due to accumulation of toxins over the years and ultimately untimely death.

You can decide to naturally detox or take herbs and vitamins to detox. A lot of people choose to detox naturally because they know the body has its own ability to clean itself up.

Our bodies have natural defenses and resources that work to constantly to clean up our systems, even when we sleep.

Unfortunately, most people’s bodies are unable to detox mainly because of poor health. If the body is performing at optimal level, it should be able to detox itself.

As I’ve mentioned before, because of the polluted air, water and food we eat, it becomes impossible for anyone’s body to perform at optimal level. There is always some form of pollution affecting the body one way or the other.

That is why it is necessary to use some detox herbs and vitamins to assist the body in detoxifying itself. These detox herbs and vitamins can help to restore the body to its optimal level, thereby giving it the strength to detox it self.

These detox herbs and vitamins and some healthy habits can really go a long way in helping the body to take care of it self, thereby allowing us to live longer.

So, if you want to live longer and healthier, there is the need to constantly detoxify your system either naturally or with the help of detox herbs and vitamins.

What Is Used To Treat Bipolar Disorder?

Bipolar disorder is also referred to as manic depression. Atypical mood swings, depression, shifts in energy levels and an inability for the person to function normally in society or in relationships are signs of this ailment. Approximately one percent of the population is diagnosed with this disorder each year. It can affect academic growth, careers, and personal relationships negatively. This long term disorder requires lifetime maintenance and monitoring to assure proper treatment.

Most treatment methods combine the use of prescription medications with counseling or other forms of mental health assistance. It is recommended that people who experience these symptoms consult a psychiatrist for diagnosis and the complete spectrum of treatment needed to control it. There are two types of medications generally prescribed for this, mood stabilizers and antidepressants. It is very common for both types to be used in order to prevent swinging from one extreme to another.

Lithium is one of the first and most popular medications to be prescribed. It is also the drug most readily prescribed for use with children and teenagers. Some drugs like valproate or carbamazepine are traditionally used as an anticonvulsant but have been found to also act as a stabilizing agent for mood swings. One or a combination of these drugs will help equalize the moods of a patient. Benzodiazepine or lamotrigine are often used as antipsychotic and antidepressant medications to compliment the mood stabilizers.

Omega-3, St. John’s wort and SAM-e are popular natural supplements reported to improve the effects of bipolar disorder. It is important, though, to consult with your physician before adding natural remedies to prescription drugs. Often doses and types of medication will have to be adjusted throughout the life cycle of the disorder for maximum benefit.

Psychotherapy is an important treatment and should not be ignored even if medications are prescribed. Individual and group counseling is readily available from psychiatrists and hospitals. It will provide a supportive environment to discuss issues and come to terms with the issues. Education will assist in recognizing signs and improving means of dealing with the symptoms. Including family members as a part of the therapy will help them understand and better cope with the effects of the problem.

More than two million adults in the United States are diagnosed with bipolar disorder. The effects can be harmful to the patient as well as family and friends. Proper treatment is essential in maintaining solid relationships and the ability to function in school or in the workplace. With a complete regimen of medication and therapy, the effects of this disorder can be controlled and most people can live a normal and full life.