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Q&A.

Q A good friend of mine has all the symptoms of attention-deficit-hyperactvity disorder. Is it possible for an adult to have this? How should it be treated?

A While attention-deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is thought of as a children's issue, as many as 15 million American adults also have the disorder. Sometimes it begins in childhood, but it also can appear years later. Just as with children with the disorder, adults also may have symptoms of the disorder, such as inattention and distractibility (which can emerge when they 're involved in a boring task), including difficulty organizing, planning, initiating, and executing tasks, difficulty paying attention, failure to complete tasks, forgetfulness and losing track of conversations.

Another symptom is hyperactivity/impulsivity, manifesting as difficulty restraining immediate reactions, hasty or risky decision making, restlessness, impatience, and becoming easily frustrated . At an extreme, adults with ADHD have difficulty handling the demands of adult responsibilities, and tend to have more interpersonal problems with spouses, children, bosses,and colleagues.

ADHD can be treated effectively with medications. Treatment includes getting a professional diagnosis and following up with regular assessments for ADHD, taking medications consistently, establishing structure at work and at home, educating yourself about ADHD, and joining a support group.

Q My husband has atrial flutter. I've never heard of this condition-is it like atrial fibrillation? What is the difference between atrial flutter and atrial fibrillation?

A Both conditions have to do with the flow of electrical signals in the heart. The main symptom of atrial flutter is a prolonged episode of rapid heartbeats, lasting longer than about of palpitations and sometimes longer than an episode of Afib. In a normal heart, electrical impulses start in the sinoatrial node near the top of the right atrium, causing the atria to contract and send blood down to the heart's ventricles (lower chambers). The signals then travel through the atrioventricular (AV) node, located between the atria and the ventricles. The AV node sends a signal to make the ventricles contract, which pumps blood out to the lungs and the rest of the body.

But if you're having atrial flutter, the electrical impulses will travel around the right atrium in a loop, causing the atria to beat much faster than normal and out of synch with the ventricles. You also may have a rapid pulse, pounding heart rate, shortness of breath, and dizziness. In Afib, impulses also remain in the atria, but the heart rate is irregular, not just accelerated.

Treatment includes some medications, but for many people, ablation is the correct solution. This procedure uses radio waves or electrical energy to deaden the tissue causing the arrhythmia.Your husband should continue to be monitored after ablation.

Q I'm 65 years old and my feet are literally killing me! Is there a reason for this and what can I do about it? The pain is localized along the bottom of my foot.

A First, know that foot pain is not an inevitable part of aging. The first thing you should do is get a diagnosis of what the problem could be and start treatment; the faster you act, the sooner you can take proper care of your feet. Another reason for fast action is that your feet can affect other parts of your body, such as your back and hip, lower leg, or knee, and cause further complications.

Be sure you wear appropriate footwear for the activity you're involved in-for example, proper running or walking shoes, and orthotics or inserts to help protect your feet.

The pain on the bottom of your foot could result from injury to the plantar fascia, a fibrous band that runs along the bottom of your foot. Inflammation of this band can lead to Achilles tendinitis and posterior tibial tendinitis, which in turn can cause pain or discomfort on the inner side of your foot and ankle. Try stretching your Achilles tendon in the morning before you get out of bed and start walking. You can use a towel or resistance band to wrap around your foot and stretch your foot toward you, holding the stretch for 15 or 20 seconds. Otherwise, see a foot health care professional for a proper diagnosis.
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Publication:Duke Medicine Health News
Date:Sep 1, 2016
Words:697
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