Health-Related Problems

This site covers the following topics:


Headache

Over 90% of people report having at least one headache a year. When these headaches are severe or frequent, such as with migraine, chronic tension-type, or cluster headaches, they can affect one's work or social life. Headaches become totally disabling for a small number of sufferers.

Behavior therapy is a beneficial treatment for headache. There is some evidence that thermal biofeedback plus autogenic relaxation training is useful for migraine headaches. While other approaches may be helpful for treatment of headaches, they have not been evaluated scientifically in the same way as the treatments listed here.

Vist here for more information on Headaches (in general). For more information on Migraines, please see the Mayo Clinic Information Site on Migraine


Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Irritable bowel syndrome involves fairly constant abdominal pain or cramping. The person also has a change in bowel habits such as diarrhea or constipation, or bouts of both diarrhea and constipation. An exam from a specialist called a gastroenterologist is needed to rule out other diseases that may cause the same symptoms.

A treatment called multi-component cognitive therapy is helpful in treatment of irritable bowel syndrome. While other approaches may be helpful for treatment of irritable bowel syndrome, they have not been evaluated scientifically in the same way as the treatments listed here.

For more information on Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), please see the Irritable Bowel Syndrome Web Page


Pain

Pain is caused by some chronic health problems such as rheumatic disease or sickle cell disease. With these diseases, frequent periods of pain can seriously decrease the person's quality of life. Pain can increase feelings of anxiety, depression, and helplessness. Also, anxiety and depression (and life stressors that cause them) may cause or increase pain.

Multi-component cognitive behavior therapy is a beneficial treatment for pain from rheumatic disease. This treatment may also be helpful for sickle cell disease pain. There is some evidence that multi-component operant-behavioral therapy, EMG biofeedback, and cognitive behavior therapy plus physical therapy are all useful treatments for chronic pain. Cognitive behavior therapy may also be useful for treatment of chronic low back pain. While other approaches may be helpful for treatment of pain, they have not been evaluated scientifically in the same way as the treatments listed here.

Visit here or more information on Chronic Pain (in general). For more information on Rheumatoid Arthritis (pain), please see the site on Rheumatoid Arthritis at Medicine Net. For more information on Sickle Cell Disease (pain), please see The Sickle Cell Information Center


Raynaud's Disease

Raynaud's disease affects the blood vessels in the fingers, toes, ears, and nose. Attacks result from a narrowing of the blood vessels in these areas. When exposed to the cold, patients notice skin discoloration. They also may experience tingling and numbness in the affected areas. If these attacks continue, they can be painful or cause ulceration of the skin.

There is some evidence that thermal biofeedback is useful for treatment of Raynaud's disease. While other approaches may be helpful for treatment of Raynaud's disease, they have not been evaluated scientifically in the same way as the treatments listed here.

For more information on Raynaud's Disease, please see the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Disorders: Raynaud's Disease


Smoking

Because of the negative health effects of cigarettes on the smoker and on others, many people try to quit. Nicotine addiction is hard to overcome. Most people who try to stop smoking return to cigarettes within a year.

Some evidence suggests that scheduled, reduced smoking plus multi-component behavior therapy is useful for smoking cessation. While other psychological approaches may be helpful for smoking cessation, they have not been evaluated scientifically in the same way as the treatments listed here.

For more information on Smoking, please see About.com: Quit Smoking


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