FAMILY HEALTH 4 Are antipsychotic medications safe in diabetes treatment? People with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder may be using a drug to treat mental illness. Antipsychotics and high blood sugar can be an unsafe mixture because mental health treatment drugs often lead to weight gain and high blood sugar. Antipsychotic drugs, such as risperidone, aripiprazole and olanzapine, are known to have side effects. These side effects can increase hunger and weight gain, which can raise the risk of type 2 diabetes. If you are taking these types of meds, you should have routine checkups of your weight and your blood sugars. What you should do next: y Ask for a yearly diabetes test (such as HbA1c blood test) from your doctor. y Share test results with all of your doctors to help arrange the best care plan for you. y Know the warnings signs of high blood sugar: – Frequent peeing. –Being more thirsty than normal. – Being tired. – Eyesight changes. Get serious about treating hemorrhoids Have you ever had hemorrhoids? By age 50, about half of us have. They can be a painful, itchy and messy problem. But as annoying as they can be, hemorrhoids are not life-threatening. Their care is most often easy and works well. Clinically speaking, hemorrhoids are enlarged veins either in the lower rectum on the inside or under the skin around the anus on the outside. They’re often the result of extra pressure on the abdomen. How can they start? y From constipation (not enough fiber and water). y From pushing too hard when going number 2. y From sitting on the toilet for a long time. y During pregnancy. y From being obese. Bleeding from the anus after going to the restroom is the most common sign of internal (inside the rectum) hemorrhoids. Pain may be a sign of external (outside) hemorrhoids. How are they treated? Hemorrhoids sometimes go away on their own and do well with simple home remedies. Start by drinking plenty of water and eating high-fiber foods, such as fruits, veggies and whole grains. Use the toilet as soon as possible when you have the need to go number 2. Don’t sit on the toilet too long or push too hard. Over-the-counter hemorrhoid meds can help with pain and itching. If these methods aren’t working, talk to your doctor. There are a number of choices that could be right for you. Some involve using chemicals, heat, cold or infrared light to wipe out hemorrhoids. One method involves putting a small rubber band around the problem tissue, which cuts off blood flow so the hemorrhoid drops off on its own. (This can only be done by your doctor.) In rare cases, surgery may be needed. Always talk to your doctor to get the best care for you! If you need help setting up a doctor’s visit, we can help. Give us a call at 800-391-2000.