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The content in this "Health" section of quicktip.com was development through extensive research in medical journals.

The information herein is not a substitute for your doctor's medical advice

You should promptly consult a medical professional if you have concerns about your health.
"The purpose of the content is to provide you with a cursory description of various health issues".

 

Dying is easy; you have to work at living

 

ACID REFLEX/HEARTBURN

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a more serious form of gastroesophageal reflux (GER), which is common. GER occurs when the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) opens spontaneously, for varying periods of time, or does not close properly and stomach contents rise up into the esophagus. GER is also called acid reflux or acid regurgitation, because digestive juices—called acids—rise up with the food. The esophagus is the tube that carries food from the mouth to the stomach. The LES is a ring of muscle at the bottom of the esophagus that acts like a valve between the esophagus and stomach.

When acid reflux occurs, food or fluid can be tasted in the back of the mouth. When refluxed stomach acid touches the lining of the esophagus it may cause a burning sensation in the chest or throat called heartburn or acid indigestion. Occasional GER is common and does not necessarily mean one has GERD. Persistent reflux that occurs more than twice a week is considered GERD, and it can eventually lead to more serious health problems. People of all ages can have GERD

The reason some people develop GERD is still unclear. However, research shows that in people with GERD, the LES relaxes while the rest of the esophagus is working. Anatomical abnormalities such as a hiatal hernia may also contribute to GERD. A hiatal hernia occurs when the upper part of the stomach and the LES move above the diaphragm, the muscle wall that separates the stomach from the chest. Normally, the diaphragm helps the LES keep acid from rising up into the esophagus. When a hiatal hernia is present, acid reflux can occur more easily. A hiatal hernia can occur in people of any age and is most often a normal finding in otherwise healthy people over age 50. Most of the time, a hiatal hernia produces no symptoms.

Other factors that may contribute to GERD include

  • obesity
  • pregnancy
  • smoking

Common foods that can worsen reflux symptoms include

  • citrus fruits
  • chocolate
  • drinks with caffeine or alcohol
  • fatty and fried foods
  • garlic and onions
  • mint flavorings
  • spicy foods
  • tomato-based foods, like spaghetti sauce, salsa, chili, and pizza

If you have had symptoms of GERD and have been using antacids or other over-the-counter reflux medications for more than 2 weeks. Your health care provider may refer you to a gastroenterologist, a doctor who treats diseases of the stomach and intestines. Depending on the severity of your GERD, treatment may involve one or more of the following lifestyle changes, medications, or surgery.

Lifestyle Changes

  • If you smoke, stop.
  • Avoid foods and beverages that worsen symptoms.
  • Lose weight if needed.
  • Eat small, frequent meals.
  • Wear loose-fitting clothes.
  • Avoid lying down for 3 hours after a meal.
  • Raise the head of your bed 6 to 8 inches by securing wood blocks under the mattress.

 

Remember

·         Frequent heartburn, also called acid indigestion, is the most common symptom of GERD in adults. Anyone experiencing heartburn twice a week or more may have GERD.

·         You can have GERD without having heartburn. Your symptoms could include a dry cough, asthma symptoms, or trouble swallowing.

·         If you have been using antacids for more than 2 weeks, it is time to see your health care provider. Most doctors can treat GERD. Your health care provider may refer you to a gastroenterologist, a doctor who treats diseases of the stomach and intestines.

·         Health care providers usually recommend lifestyle and dietary changes to relieve symptoms of GERD. Many people with GERD also need medication. Surgery may be considered as a treatment option.

·         Most infants with GER are healthy even though they may frequently spit up or vomit. Most infants outgrow GER by their first birthday. Reflux that continues past 1 year of age may be GERD.

·         The persistence of GER along with other symptoms—arching and irritability in infants, or abdominal and chest pain in older children—is GERD. GERD is the outcome of frequent and persistent GER in infants and children and may cause repeated vomiting, coughing, and respiratory problems.

Bananas have a natural antacid effect on the body, so if you suffer from heartburn, try eating a banana for soothing relief.

 

Medications

Your health care provider may recommend over-the-counter antacids or medications that stop acid production or help the muscles that empty your stomach. You can buy many of these medications without a prescription. However, see your health care provider before starting or adding a medication.

Antacids, such as Alka-Seltzer, Maalox, Mylanta, Rolaids, and Riopan, are usually the first drugs recommended to relieve heartburn and other mild GERD symptoms. Many brands on the market use different combinations of three basic salts—magnesium, calcium, and aluminum—with hydroxide or bicarbonate ions to neutralize the acid in your stomach. Antacids, however, can have side effects. Magnesium salt can lead to diarrhea, and aluminum salt may cause constipation. Aluminum and magnesium salts are often combined in a single product to balance these effects.

Calcium carbonate antacids, such as Tums, Titralac, and Alka-2, can also be a supplemental source of calcium. They can cause constipation as well.

Foaming agents, such as Gaviscon, work by covering your stomach contents with foam to prevent reflux.

H2 blockers, such as cimetidine (Tagamet HB), famotidine (Pepcid AC), nizatidine (Axid AR), and ranitidine (Zantac 75), decrease acid production. They are available in prescription strength and over-the-counter strength. These drugs provide short-term relief and are effective for about half of those who have GERD symptoms.

 

 

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder -ADHD


ADHD is a problem with inattentiveness, over-activity, impulsivity, or a combination
. For these problems to be diagnosed as ADHD, they must be out of the normal range for the child's age and development.

Symptoms

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-IV) divides the symptoms of ADHD into those of inattentiveness and those of hyperactivity and impulsivity.

To be diagnosed with ADHD, children should have at least 6 attention symptoms or 6 activity and impulsivity symptoms -- to a degree beyond what would be expected for children their age.

The symptoms must be present for at least 6 months, observable in 2 or more settings, and not caused by another problem. The symptoms must be severe enough to cause significant difficulties. Some symptoms must be present before age 7.

Older children have ADHD in partial remission when they still have symptoms but no longer meet the full definition of the disorder.

Some children with ADHD primarily have the Inattentive Type, some the Hyperactive-Impulsive Type, and some the Combined Type. Those with the Inattentive type are less disruptive and are easier to miss being diagnosed with ADHD.

Inattention symptoms:

# Fails to give close attention to details or makes careless mistakes in schoolwork
# Difficulty sustaining attention in tasks or play
# Does not seem to listen when spoken to directly
# Does not follow through on instructions and fails to finish schoolwork, chores, or duties in the workplace
# Difficulty organizing tasks and activities
# Avoids or dislikes tasks that require sustained mental effort (such as schoolwork)
# Often loses toys, assignments, pencils, books, or tools needed for tasks or activities
# Easily distracted
# Often forgetful in daily activities

Hyperactivity symptoms:
# Fidgets with hands or feet or squirms in seat
# Leaves seat when remaining seated is expected
# Runs about or climbs in inappropriate situations
# Difficulty playing quietly
# Often "on the go," acts as if "driven by a motor," talks excessively

Impulsivity symptoms:
# Blurts out answers before questions have been completed
# Difficulty awaiting turn
# Interrupts or intrudes on others (butts into conversations or games)
Treatment

The American Academy of Pediatrics has guidelines for treating ADHD:

    * Set specific, appropriate target goals to guide therapy.
    * Medication and behavior therapy should be started.
    * When treatment has not met the target goals, evaluate the original diagnosis, the possible presence of other conditions, and how well the treatment plan has been implemented.
    * Systematic follow-up is important to regularly reassess target goals, results, and any side effects of medications. Information should be gathered from parents, teachers, and the child.

ADHD can be a frustrating problem. Alternative remedies have become quite popular, including herbs, supplements, and chiropractic manipulation. However, there is little or no solid evidence for many remedies marketed to parents.

Children who receive both behavioral treatment and medication often do the best. Medications should not be used just to make life easier for the parents or the school. There are now several different classes of ADHD medications that may be used alone or in combination. Psychostimulants are the primary drugs used to treat ADHD. Although these drugs stimulate the central nervous system, they have a calming effect on people with ADHD.

These drugs include:

    * Methylphenidate (Ritalin, Concerta, Metadate, Daytrana)
    * Dexmethylphenidate (Focalin)
    * Amphetamine-dextroamphetamine (Adderall)
    * Dextroamphetamine (Dexedrine, Dextrostat)
    * Lisdexamfetamine (Vyvanse)

The FDA has approved the nonstimulant drug atomoxetine (Strattera) for use in ADHD. Effectiveness appears to be similar to that of stimulants. Strattera is not addicting.

Some ADHD medicines have been linked to sudden death in children with heart problems. Talk to your doctor about which drug is best for your child.

The following may also help:

    * Limit distractions in the child's environment.
    * Provide one-on-one instruction with the teacher.
    * Make sure the child gets enough sleep.
    * Make sure the child gets a healthy, varied diet, with plenty of fiber and basic nutrients.

Causes

ADHD affects school performance and interpersonal relationships. Parents of children with ADHD are often exhausted and frustrated.

Neuroimaging studies suggest that the brains of children with ADHD are different from those of other children. These children handle neurotransmitters (including dopamine, serotonin, and adrenalin) differently from their peers.

ADHD is often genetic. Whatever the specific cause may be, it seems to be set in motion early in life as the brain is developing.

Depression, sleep deprivation, learning disabilities, tic disorders, and behavior problems may be confused with, or appear along with, ADHD. Every child suspected of having ADHD deserves a careful evaluation to sort out exactly what is contributing to the behaviors causing concern.

Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) is the most commonly diagnosed behavioral disorder of childhood, affecting an estimated 3 - 5% of school aged children. It is diagnosed much more often in boys than in girls.

Most children with ADHD also have at least one other developmental or behavioral problem.

Tests & diagnosis

Too often, difficult children are incorrectly labeled with ADHD. On the other hand, many children who do have ADHD remain undiagnosed. In either case, related learning disabilities or mood problems are often missed. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has issued guidelines to bring more clarity to this issue.

The diagnosis is based on very specific symptoms, which must be present in more than one setting. The child should have a clinical evaluation if ADHD is suspected.

Evaluation may include:

    * Parent and teacher questionnaires (Connors, Burks)
    * Psychological evaluation of the child AND family including IQ testing and psychological testing
    * Complete developmental, mental, nutritional, physical, and psychosocial examination

Prognosis

ADHD is a long-term, chronic condition. About half of the children with ADHD will continue to have troublesome symptoms of inattention or impulsivity as adults. However, adults are often more capable of controlling behavior and masking difficulties.

Statistics show that there is an increased incidence of juvenile delinquency and adult encounters with the law among individuals who had ADHD as a child.

Every effort should be made to manage symptoms and direct the child's energy to constructive and educational paths.

 

 

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ALCOHOLISM

 

It is not a symptom of other diseases or emotional problems. The chemistry of alcohol affects nearly every type of cell in the body, including those in the central nervous system. Prolonged exposure to alcohol causes the brain to become dependent on it. The severity of this disease is influenced by factors such as genetics, psychology, culture, and response to physical pain.

Before treatment or recovery, most people with alcoholism deny that they have a drinking problem. Other indications of alcoholism and alcohol abuse include:

  • Drinking alone or in secret
  • Being unable to limit the amount of alcohol you drink
  • Not remembering conversations or commitments, sometimes referred to as "blacking out"
  • Making a ritual of having drinks before, with or after dinner and becoming annoyed when this ritual is disturbed or questioned
  • Losing interest in activities and hobbies that used to bring pleasure
  • Feeling a need or compulsion to drink
  • Irritability when your usual drinking time nears, especially if alcohol isn't available
  • Keeping alcohol in unlikely places at home, at work or in the car
  • Gulping drinks, ordering doubles, becoming intoxicated intentionally to feel good or drinking to feel "normal"
  • Having legal problems or problems with relationships, employment or finances
  • Building a tolerance to alcohol so that you need an increasing number of drinks to feel alcohol's effects
  • Experiencing physical withdrawal symptoms — such as nausea, sweating and shaking — if you don't drink

People who abuse alcohol may experience many of the same signs and symptoms as people who are dependent on alcohol. However, alcohol abusers don't feel the same compulsion to drink and usually don't experience physical withdrawal symptoms when they don't drink. A dependence on alcohol also creates a tolerance to alcohol and the inability to control your drinking.

Below are a few questions regarding your own alcohol consumption, do you abuse or are you dependant?

  • Do you need a drink as soon as you get up?
  • Do you feel guilty about your drinking?
  • Do you think you need to cut back on your alcohol consumption?
  • Are you annoyed when other people comment on or criticize your drinking habits?

If you answered yes, to even one of these questions, you may a problem.

 Alcoholism can develop insidiously, and often there is no clear line between problem drinking and alcoholism. Eventually alcohol dominates ones actions, emotions and thinking, becoming  the primary means through which a person can deal with life, usually to his/hers detriment. There are cures for Alcoholism, but they are not of any use, unless, you are willing to accept that you have a disease and need help for your addiction.

Alcoholism is a chronic, progressive, and sometimes fatal disease!

 

Even if you feel better after a few days of taking prescribed antibiotic medication for illness or infection, always take the entire bottle of pills. The last few pills kill the toughest germs. If you don't take all of them, you risk getting sick all over again. Not taking the full prescription can also contribute to antibiotic resistance.

 

COMMON FOOD ALLERGIES


Wheat Allergy (Triticum Sativum): All purpose flour, wheat gluten, bread flour, cake flour, enriched flour, pastry flour, phosphated flour, white flour, semolina, bran, bread crumbs, farina, food starch, modified food starch, malt and wheat germ.
Corn Allergies: These are very common. Found in cornmeal, polenta, maltodexrose, dextrose, corn oil, corn fructose and corn syrup.
Gluten-sensitive (celiac sprue) is a malabsorpion syndrom, not an allergy, in which the absorptive surface of the small intestine is damaged by gluten. This is cause for a strict adherence to a gluten-free diet. Protein from wheat, barley, rye, oats, spelt, semolina, kamut and triticale must not be consumed by persons with celiac sprue.
Dairy allergies are a reaction to the proteins in milk-casein and whey. People with a dairy allergy must avoid foods with casein or whey or both. Most often this is a sign of lactose intolerance. Lactose is the sugar in milk. Some people do not produce enough lactose. These people need to limit or avoid dairy products or take lactase when they eat dairy products.
Peanuts and Nuts allergies are fairly common. Read the label to check for peanuts, peanut butter or peanut oil, or the specific nut that causes your allergic reactions.

 

ANEMIA

If you have anemia, your blood does not carry enough oxygen to the rest of your body. The most common cause of anemia is not having enough iron. Your body needs iron to make hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is an iron-rich protein that gives the red color to blood. It carries oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body.

Your iron might be too low because of heavy periods, pregnancy, ulcers, excessive bleeding, colon polyps, colon cancer, inherited disorders or a diet that does not have enough iron. You can also get anemia from not getting enough folic acid or vitamin B 12. Blood disorders such as sickle cell anemia and thalassemia, or cancer may also lead to anemia.

The body also has a remarkable ability to compensate for early anemia. If your anemia is mild or developed over a long period of time, you may not notice any symptoms.

Anemia can make you feel weak, cold, dizzy and irritable. It is confirmed with a blood test. Treatment depends on the kind of anemia one has, Do check with your health care provider A simple blood sample can identify it immediately and the course of treatment.

The symptoms of anemia will vary according to the type of anemia, the underlying cause and your underlying health problems. Anemia may be associated with other medical conditions such as hemorrhage, ulcers, menstrual problems or cancer -- and specific symptoms of those conditions may be noticed first.

Symptoms common to many types of anemia are: Shortness of Breath, Headache, usually from exercise. Unusual rapid heart beat, again from exercise. Difficulty concentration. Easy fatigue and loss of energy (lethargic)

There are more than 400 types of anemia, which can be broadly classified into three categories:

  • anemia caused by blood loss.
  • anemia caused by decreased or faulty red blood cell production.
  • anemia caused by destruction of red blood cells.

Normally, under a treatment described by your health care provider for simple anemia, you will notice a significant return to normality, usually taking a month or two. Avoidance in dealing with anemia, can lead to serious consequences.

 

ANTIDEPRESSANTS/DEPRESSION

There is no single known cause of depression. Rather, it likely results from a combination of genetic, biochemical, environmental, and psychological factors.

Research indicates that depressive illnesses are disorders of the brain. Brain-imaging technologies, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), have shown that the brains of people who have depression look different than those of people without depression. The parts of the brain responsible for regulating mood, thinking, sleep, appetite and behavior appear to function abnormally. In addition, important neurotransmitters–chemicals that brain cells use to communicate–appear to be out of balance. But these images do not reveal why the depression has occurred.

Some types of depression tend to run in families, suggesting a genetic link. However, depression can occur in people without family histories of depression as well. Genetics research indicates that risk for depression results from the influence of multiple genes acting together with environmental or other factors.

In addition, trauma, loss of a loved one, a difficult relationship, or any stressful situation may trigger a depressive episode. Subsequent depressive episodes may occur with or without an obvious trigger.

Several effective medications are available to treat depression. Called antidepressants, these drugs appear to correct an imbalance in brain chemistry- more specifically, such as serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine that are often deficient in cases of depression.

Do consult your health care provider about counseling or your need for medication. Before starting a treatment regime with an antidepressant drug, thoroughly discuss the possible side effects with your provider. If they bother you, do not stop your medicine regime, but see your provider without delay, usually the problem is simply changing your dosage. The prescribed medicine may take 1-3 months to reach its full effect. Once you're feeling better, medication is usually advised for 6-12 months; longer treatment can help prevent recurring depression.

People with depressive illnesses do not all experience the same symptoms. The severity, frequency and duration of symptoms will vary depending on the individual and his or her particular illness.

It often takes two to four weeks for antidepressants to start having an effect and six to 12 weeks for antidepressants to have their
full effect.  Research has shown that imbalances in neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine can be corrected with antidepressants. The FDA regularly approves different medicines; visit www.fda.gov for the most current list. Four groups of antidepressant medications are most often prescribed for depression:

• Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) act specifically on the neurotransmitter serotonin. They are the most common
agents prescribed for depression worldwide. These agents block the reuptake of serotonin from the synapse to the nerve, thus
artificially increasing the serotonin that is available in the synapse (this is functional serotonin, since it can become involved in
signal transmission, the cardinal function of neurotransmitters). SSRIs include fluoxetine (Prozac), sertraline (Zoloft), paroxetine
(Paxil), citalopram (Celexa), escitalopram (Lexapro) and fluvoxamine (Luvox).

• Serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) are the second-most popular antidepressants worldwide. These agents
block the reuptake of both serotonin and norepinephrine from the synapse into the nerve (thus increasing the amounts of these
chemicals that can participate in signal transmission). SNRIs include venlafaxine (Effexor) and duloxetine (Cymbalta).
• Bupropion (Wellbutrin) is a very popular antidepressant medication classified as a norepinephrine-dopamine reuptake inhibitor
(NDRI). It acts by blocking the reuptake of dopamine and norepinephrine.

• Mirtazapine (Remeron) works differently from the compounds discussed above. Mirtazapine targets specific serotonin and
norepinephrine receptors in the brain, thus indirectly increasing the activity of several brain circuits.

• Tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) are older agents seldom used now as first-line treatment. They work similarly to the SNRIs, but
have other neurochemical properties which result in very high side effect rates, as compared to almost all other antidepressants.
They are sometimes used in cases where other antidepressants have not worked. TCAs include amitriptyline (Elavil, Limbitrol),
desipramine (Norpramin), doxepin (Sinequan), imipramine (Norpramin, Tofranil), nortriptyline (Pamelor, Aventyl) and protriptyline
(Vivactil).

• Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) are also seldom used now. They work by inactivating enzymes in the brain which catabolize
(chew up) serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine from the synapse, thus increasing the levels of these chemicals in the
brain. They can sometimes be effective for people who do not respond to other medications or who have “atypical” depression
with marked anxiety, excessive sleeping, irritability, hypochondria or phobic characteristics. However, they are the least safe
antidepressants to use, as they have important medication interactions and require adherence to a particular diet. MAOIs include
phenelzine (Nardil), isocarboxazid (Marplan) and tranylcypromine sulfate (Parnate).

• Nonantidepressant adjunctive agents. Often psychiatrists will combine the antidepressants mentioned above with each other (we
call this a “combination”) or with agents which are not antidepressants themselves (we call this “augmentation”). These latter
agents can include the atypical antipsychotic agents [aripiprazole (Abilify), olanzapine (Zyprexa), quetiapine (Seroquel), ziprasidone
(Geodon), risperidone (Risperdal)], buspirone (Buspar), thyroid hormone (triiodothyonine or “T3”), the stimulants (methylphenidate
(Ritalin), dextroaphetamine (Aderall)), dopamine receptor agonists (pramipexole (Mirapex), ropinirole (Requipp)), lithium,
lamotrigine (Lamictal), s-adenosyl methionine (SAMe), pindolol and steroid hormones (testosterone, estrogen, DHEA).

Women experience twice the rate of depression as men, regardless of race or ethnic background. Researchers suspect that many factors unique to women’s lives play a role.

Symptoms include:

  • Persistent sad, anxious or "empty" feelings
  • Feelings of hopelessness and/or pessimism
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness and/or helplessness
  • Irritability, restlessness
  • Loss of interest in activities or hobbies once pleasurable, including sex
  • Fatigue and decreased energy
  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering details and making decisions
  • Insomnia, early–morning wakefulness, or excessive sleeping
  • Overeating, or appetite loss
  • Thoughts of suicide, suicide attempts
  • Persistent aches or pains, headaches, cramps or digestive problems that do not ease even with treatment

 

Depression is not a normal part of aging, and studies show that most seniors feel satisfied with their lives, despite increased physical ailments. However, when older adults do have depression, it may be overlooked because seniors may show different, less obvious symptoms, and may be less inclined to experience or acknowledge feelings of sadness or grief.

Scientists and doctors have begun to take seriously the risk of depression in children. Research has shown that childhood depression often persists, recurs and continues into adulthood, especially if it goes untreated. The presence of childhood depression also tends to be a predictor of more severe illnesses in adulthood.

You may be able to avoid some episodes of depression by:

  • Avoiding alcohol, drugs, and caffeine
  • Exercising regularly
  • Learning how to relax and manage stress
  • Maintaining good sleep habits


Types of Depression:

  • Major Depression/Clinical Depression - This is the most serious type of depression, in terms of number of symptoms and severity of symptoms, but there are significant individual differences in the symptoms and severity. You do not need to feel suicidal to have a major depression, and you do not need to have a history of hospitalizations either, although both of these factors are present in some people with major depression. There is no official diagnosis of "moderate depression." Major depression is the leading cause of disability in the United States and many other developed countries.


The onset of the first episode of major depression may not be obvious if it is gradual or mild. The symptoms of major depression
characteristically represent a significant change from how a person functioned before the illness. The symptoms of depression
include:

• persistently sad or irritable mood
• pronounced changes in sleep, appetite and energy
• difficulty thinking, concentrating and remembering
• physical slowing or agitation
• lack of interest in or pleasure from activities that were once enjoyed
• feelings of guilt, worthlessness, hopelessness and emptiness
• recurrent thoughts of death or suicide
• persistent physical symptoms that do not respond to treatment, such as headaches, digestive disorders and chronic pain

When several of these symptoms of depressive illness occur at the same time, last longer than two weeks and interfere with
ordinary functioning, professional treatment is needed.

  • Dysthymic Disorder - This refers to a low to moderate level of depression that persists for at least two years, and often longer. While the symptoms are not as severe as a major depression, they are more enduring and resistant to treatment. Some people with dysthymia develop a major depression at some time during the course of their depression.


Dysthymic Disorder (Dysthymia) presents with a chronic feeling of ill being or lack of interest in activities that were formerly enjoyable, but to a lesser level than that required for Major depression. In addition, the symptoms have to have been present for at least two years either continually or episodically (off and on). There may be periods of well being that last no longer than several weeks, and normal moods that last no longer than several months. A major depression may be superimposed on a dysthymicdisorder, in which is colloquially called a "double depression".

Unlike major depression, in which clients are unable to function socially or in the work setting, those with Dysthymic Disorder are able to work and function, although at a less than peak performance. They never present with delusions or hallucinations. The depressions are less severe than major depression, and these patients may occasional laugh and even enjoy themselves, although their support system still can become frustrated with the ongoing expressions of habitual complaints, and upsets over stressors that others have no problem with. Approximately 50% of patients with Dysthymia recover, while those with "double depression" recover at a rate of 32%.

Dysthymia generally occurs during early adulthood, although it can also occur in children and adolescents. Its onset is gradual, so it is difficult to accurately pinpoint the exact time when it begins.

Treatment for Dysthymic Disorder begins with chemical anti-depressants. There are a number of different classes of antidepressants, including the tricyclic antidepressants, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, monamine-oxidase inhibitors to name a few. Each class acts differently upon the body, offering the person a wide variety of options that can be tried in order to control their depression.

  • Unspecified Depression - This category is used to help researchers who are studying other specific types of depression, and do not want their data confounded with marginal diagnoses. It includes people with a serious depression, but not quite severe enough to have a diagnosis of a major depression. It also includes people with chronic, moderate depression, which has not been present long enough for a diagnosis of a Dysthymic disorder.

 

As its name implies, unspecified depression is a form of depression that does not fall into any general categories. The inability to label this kind of depression does not imply that it is somehow more serious; in fact, unspecified depression is often a less severe form of depression than identifiable forms. Some can be diagnosed with unspecified depression if they have been suffering with symptoms of depression long enough that it can be considered to be a dysthymic disorder (usually two years). What can become unspecified depression is a condition that was thought to have been related to a certain event, but enough time has passed since the event to rule this out.

The most effective treatment for unspecified depression is cognitive therapy, which focuses on dealing with the patient's belief system. Cognitive therapy is a technique that helps the patient understand his or her reasoning process, which produces the emotions that accompany depression. Medication may be used along with cognitive therapy, but in mild cases, it is not necessary. Hospitalization is required only in serious cases. Family or marital counseling might also be included in the treatment package if the depression seems to have been triggered by or is affecting a spouse or family members.

Since cognitive therapy has been shown to be an effective way of treating depression, prognosis for recovery from unspecified depression is very good as long as the patient stays with the treatment program long enough for significant improvement. Cognitive therapy is not as radical a cure as many others, and it might take more time to see results.

  • Adjustment Disorder, with Depression - This category describes depression that occurs in response to a major life stressor or crisis. The type of stress that can trigger adjustment disorder varies depending on the person, but can include:
  1. Ending of a relationship or marriage.
  2. Losing or changing job.
  3. Death of a loved one
  4. Developing a serious illness (yourself or a loved one).
  5. Being a victim of a crime.
  6. Having an accident.
  7. Undergoing a major life change (such as getting married, having a baby or retiring from a job).
  8. Living through a disaster, such as a fire, flood or hurricane.

A person with adjustment disorder develops emotional and/or behavioral symptoms as a reaction to a stressful event. These symptoms generally begin within three months of the event and rarely last for longer than six months after the event or situation. In an adjustment disorder, the reaction to the stressor is greater than what is typical or expected for the situation or event. In addition, the symptoms may cause problems with a person's ability to function; for example, the person may be unable to sleep, work or study.

Adjustment disorder is not the same as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). PTSD generally occurs as a reaction to a life-threatening event and tends to last longer. Adjustment disorder, on the other hand, is short-term, rarely lasting longer than six months.

An adjustment disorder can have a wide variety of symptoms, which may include:

  • Feeling of hopelessness.
  • Sadness.
  • Frequent crying.
  • Anxiety (nervousness).
  • Worry.
  • Headaches or stomachaches.
  • Palpitations (an unpleasant sensation of irregular or forceful beating of the heart).
  • Withdrawal or isolation from people and social activities.
  • Absence from work or school.
  • Dangerous or destructive behavior, such as fighting, reckless driving and vandalism.
  • Changes in appetite, either loss of appetite or overeating.
  • Problems sleeping.
  • Feeling tired or without energy.
  • Increase in the use of alcohol or other drugs.

Symptoms in children and teens tend to be more behavioral in nature, such as skipping school, fighting or acting out. Adults, on the other hand, tend to experience more emotional symptoms, such as sadness and anxiety.

Adjustment disorder is very common and can affect anyone, regardless of gender, age, race or lifestyle. Although an adjustment disorder can occur at any age, it is more common at times in life when major transitions occur, such as adolescence, mid-life and late-life.

  • Bipolar Depression/Manic Depression- This type includes both high and low mood swings, as well as a variety of other significant symptoms not present in other depressions.


The distinguishing characteristic of Bipolar Disorder, as compared to other mood disorders, is the presence of at least one manic episode. Additionally, it is presumed to be a chronic condition because the vast majority of individuals who have one manic episode have additional episodes in the future. The statistics suggest that four episodes in ten years is an average, without preventative treatment. Every individual with bipolar disorder has a unique pattern of mood cycles, combining depression and manic episodes, that is specific to that individual, but predictable once the pattern is identified. Research studies suggest a strong genetic influence in bipolar disorder. 

Bipolar disorder typically begins in adolescence or early adulthood and continues throughout life. It is often not recognized as a psychological problem, because it is episodic.  Consequently, those who have it may suffer needlessly for years without treatment.

Effective treatment is available for bipolar disorder. Without treatment, marital breakups, job loss, alcohol and drug abuse, and suicide may result from the chronic, episodic mood swings. The most significant treatment issue is noncompliance with treatment. Most individuals with bipolar disorder do not perceive their manic episodes as needing treatment, and they resist entering treatment. In fact, most people report feeling very good during the beginning of a manic episode, and don't want it to stop. This is a serious judgment problem. As the manic episode progresses, concentration becomes difficult, thinking becomes more grandiose, and problems develop. Unfortunately, the risk taking behavior usually results in significant painful consequences such as loss of a job or a relationship, running up excessive debts, or getting into legal difficulties. Many individuals with bipolar disorder abuse drugs or alcohol during manic episodes, and some of these develop secondary substance abuse problems. 

A manic episode is an abnormally elevated, expansive or irritable mood, not related to substance abuse or a medical condition, that lasts for at least a week, and includes a number of disturbances in behavior and thinking that results in significant life adjustment problems. Chronic behavior that appears somewhat similar to manic behavior is more likely ADHD or evidence of personality problem.

A Manic Episode 

  • Extreme irritability & distractibility
  • Excessive "high" or euphoric feelings 
  • Sustained periods of unusual, even bizarre, behavior with significant risk-taking
  • Increased energy, activity, rapid talking & thinking, agitation 
  • Decreased sleep 
  • Unrealistic belief in one's own abilities 
  • Poor judgment 
  • Increased sex drive 
  • Substance abuse 
  • Provocative or obnoxious behavior 
  • Denial of problem


Bipolar disorder is a lifetime illness. To keep his/her mood stable, ongoing treatment is needed, even when the person is feeling better.  It may take time to discover the best treatment regimen for an individual. It is very important for both the person with bipolar disorder, and his/her family, to work with a psychologist and physician to develop the most appropriate treatment plan

Bananas contain tryptophan, a type of protein that the body converts into serotonin, known to relax and improve your mood for the better.


Children, adolescents and young adults taking antidepressants should be closely monitored, especially during the initial weeks of treatment. Possible side effects to look for are worsening depression, suicidal thinking or behavior, or any unusual changes in behavior such as sleeplessness, agitation, or withdrawal from normal social situations.

Tricyclic antidepressants also can cause side effects including:

  • Dry mouth-it is helpful to drink plenty of water, chew gum, and clean teeth daily.
  • Constipation-it is helpful to eat more bran cereals, prunes, fruits, and vegetables.
  • Bladder problems–emptying the bladder may be difficult, and the urine stream may not be as strong as usual. Older men with enlarged prostate conditions may be more affected. The doctor should be notified if it is painful to urinate.
  • Sexual problems–sexual functioning may change, and side effects are similar to those from SSRIs.
  • Blurred vision–often passes soon and usually will not require a new corrective lenses prescription.
  • Drowsiness during the day–usually passes soon, but driving or operating heavy machinery should be avoided while drowsiness occurs. The more sedating antidepressants are generally taken at bedtime to help sleep and minimize daytime drowsiness.

 

ANTI-OXIDANTS/OXIDANTS

A good example of oxidants is that of a freshly cut apple, not too soon after you cut it, the apple has turned a distasteful shade of brown, this is oxidation, this is same thing that happens to a rusty nail. This is what the oxidants in your blood vessels and arteries resemble.  This is why we need the Antioxidants. They are present in foods as vitamins, minerals, carotenoids, and polyphenols, among others. Many antioxidants are often identified in food by their distinctive colors—the deep red of cherries and of tomatoes; the orange of carrots; the yellow of corn, mangos, and saffron; and the blue-purple of blueberries, blackberries, and grapes
Vitamin A protect cells from free radicals, the best sources are dairy products, liver and fish. Vitamin C also protects cells from free radicals, sources are citrus fruits and bell peppers. Vitamin E helps protects cells from free radicals, helps with immune function and repairs DNA. Selenium  is for prevention of cell damage from free radicals, excellent sources are plant foods, meats and some varieties of nuts, such as walnuts, pistachios, pecans, hazelnuts and almond.

Other antioxidants are found in fruits, such as various types of (not pealed) apples, avocados, cherries, green and red pears, fresh or dried plums, pineapple and oranges to name a few..

Oxidation, or the loss of an electron, can often produce reactive substances that can cause oxidative stress or damage to the cells. Antioxidants, which are capable of stabilizing free radicals before they can react and cause harm. oxidation is a normal  process within the body,  and we require balance with antioxidants, which must exist to maintain quality health.

Some of the degenerative conditions caused by free radicals include:

  • Deterioration of the eye lens, which contributes to blindness.
  • Inflammation of the joints (arthritis).
  • Damage to nerve cells in the brain, which contributes to conditions such as Parkinson's or Alzheimer's disease.
  • Acceleration of the aging process.
  • Increased risk of coronary heart disease, since free radicals encourage low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol to adhere to artery walls.
  • Certain cancers, triggered by damaged cell DNA.

As to supplements, recent evidence suggests that antioxidant supplements do not work as well as the naturally occurring antioxidants in foods such as fruits and vegetables. Though supplements containing antioxidants are generally considered safe, two recent studies have suggested that taking higher than recommended doses of supplements such as vitamin E over time may actually be harmful and possibly toxic

Recent research suggest that the following Supplements are possibly effective, you should consult with your health provider prior to taking any supplement, as it could create adverse reaction's with your present drugs or your personal health.

Selenium

POWER BENEFIT Essential for proper immune function; may reduce the risk of certain cancers; helps rid the body of free radicals.

THE SCIENCE While some people have already crossed paths with selenium, few know how critical it is to overall health, or how agricultural and processing practices degrade food sources of this essential trace mineral. A powerful antioxidant, selenium works especially well with vitamin E to fight damaging free radicals. It's vital for the immune system, boosting the body's defenses against bacteria and viruses, and it may reduce cancer risk, particularly in the prostate, colon, and lungs. The National Cancer Institute is currently sponsoring a study on whether supplementing with selenium and vitamin E can help prevent or delay prostate cancer.

Selenium is found in meat, wheat germ, nuts (particularly Brazil nuts), eggs, oats, whole-wheat bread, and brown rice. "But modern farming practices have depleted the soil, so many people don't get sufficient selenium from their diets anymore," says Tanya Edwards, M.D., medical director for the Center for Integrative Medicine at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio. Refining and processing also reduce selenium levels, which is why eating whole, unprocessed, organic food is the best way to obtain the nutrient.

Since this isn't always possible, Edwards recommends supplementing with selenium, which can be found by itself or in multivitamins. Taking selenium is particularly recommended for people with certain digestive conditions, such as Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis.

How TO TAKE IT 200 micrograms per day, in combination with vitamin E for best results. Since vitamin C can interfere with the absorption of selenium, take them at separate times.

CAVEATS Over time, high doses (over 900 meg per day) may lead to depression, nervousness, vomiting, and nausea.

Chasteberry -hormone balancer-

(Vitex agnus castus)

POWER BENEFIT Relieves symptoms of PMS and pert-menopause and may be helpful for some kinds of infertility.

THE SCIENCE A shrub in the verbena family, chasteberry bears a fruit that has been used medicinally for centuries. As the name suggests, it was once thought to dampen sexual desire; it's also called "monk's pepper," since brothers in orders reportedly chewed the dried berries to decrease libido. Contemporary studies have found that the herb can help regulate hormones, and it has become a standard European treatment for premenstrual syndrome--it's especially effective in helping decrease symptoms of cyclic breast tenderness and fibrocystic breast disease.

"Chasteberry can be particularly helpful during peri-menopause, when the hormones can go completely crazy," explains Edwards. During this time, progesterone levels often start to decline before estrogen levels fall, which can lead to depression, headache, bloating, fatigue, irritability, and breast tenderness. Unlike creams that introduce progesterone from an outside source, "chasteberry helps the body increase its own natural levels of progesterone," notes Edwards. It may also be helpful for infertility caused by high levels of prolactin, since chasteberry can suppress the release of this hormone from the pituitary gland.

HOW TO TAKE IT One 400-milligram capsule daily.

CAVEATS Discontinue if nausea, rash, headache, or agitation occurs. Chasteberry's influence on hormones can interfere with the effectiveness of oral contraceptives, and its effect on prolactin makes it inadvisable for women who are pregnant or nursing.

 

APPENDICITIS

You are having severe pain on the side of your stomach you are having an appendicitis? The word strikes fear in many people because they have heard of other people who have had them. Appendicitis's are scary, but if you know the symptoms then you will be able to determine if a stomach ache is just that or more serious.

We all have an appendix; it is a small, thin, tube like structure at the end of the large intestine. Sometimes the appendix will get inflamed due to the way it is anatomically shaped. In some people the appendix will get blocked with feces. When either of these things happen, the appendix can get infected and develop into an appendicitis. There is no way to stop appendicitis once it is occurring. And, there is no known way to prevent one from happening to you. The best thing you can do is know the symptoms so that you can seek medical attention immediately should suspect you are having appendicitis.

Sometimes the symptoms of appendicitis are confusing. You might  think you are having a really bad stomach ache. The pain usually starts right around the belly button area. The pain persists and over the next few hours it moves down and over to the right area of the abdomen. Sometimes it is so painful on the lower right side you will not want any pressure there. In some people the pain will come and go for a few days before it intensifies. Vomiting is common, as well as a fever. The appetite will have decreased or disappeared and you might have diarrhea. Sneezing, coughing or even breathing deeply may become painful. Occasionally the pain radiates down into the right leg. At the hospital or in the doctor’s office an abdominal and rectal exam may be done. The doctor will take a blood sample to find any infection and possibly have an x-ray ultrasound done. Most likely your caregiver will begin a regime of antibiotic's to get rid of the infection, if it is too late, and appendicitis is found, emergency surgery is scheduled quickly to avoid a burst appendix. 

An inflamed appendix can burst, don't wait, it is urgent that you seek medical attention if you suspect appendicitis, immediately contact your doctor or go to the emergency room. If the appendix burst it is life threatening, as the infection will spread into the abdominal wall. A rupture causes extreme pain, and a fever, or far worse.

If the suspect is appendicitis, surgery is required; you could possibly be laid up in the hospital for a week. Most likely intravenous feeding will be necessary for a few days, at least until the intestines begin functioning as normal. You can also expect a tube down placed via your nasal cavity down into the stomach to extract its contents, so that nausea and vomiting will not occur.

You can expect the nurses to have you walk the day after surgery, this is to get the intestines working again, to prevent pneumonia and kick start the healing process.

Your appetite will begin to increase once healing has started. You may want to start slowly eating only juices and other clear liquids. Applesauce, gelatin, bananas, milkshakes and other soft foods are the next step. Within a few weeks you will work your way up to your normal diet, but avoiding foods that cause gas for awhile.

Get plenty of rest.

 

ARTHRITIS

If you feel pain and stiffness in your body or have trouble moving around, you might have arthritis, if you feel stiffness or pain in your joints. Most types of arthritis cause pain and swelling in your joints. Joints are  where two bones meet, such as your elbow,  knee or knuckles. Given time, a swollen joint can become severely damaged. 

One type of arthritis, osteoarthritis, is often related to aging or to an injury, which is extremely painful and crippling. Other types occur when your immune system, which normally protects your body from infection, attacks your body's own tissues, this is an auto immune disease, Rheumatoid arthritis is the most common form of this kind of arthritis. Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis is a form of the disease that happens in children. Arthritis refers to more than 100 different diseases, affecting areas in and around joints.. More women than men suffer the disease.

The disease also can affect other parts of the body. Arthritis causes pain, loss of movement and sometimes swelling. The most common types of arthritis are:

  • Osteoarthritis, a degenerative joint disease in which the cartilage that covers the ends of bones in the joint deteriorates, causing pain and loss of movement as bone begins to rub against bone. It is the most prevalent form of arthritis.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disease in which the joint lining becomes inflamed as part of the body’s immune system activity. Rheumatoid arthritis is one of the most serious and disabling types, affecting mostly women.
  • Gout, which affects mostly men. Is primarily a defect in the body chemistry. This very painful condition most often attacks the small joints, especially the big toe. Fortunately, gout almost always can be completely controlled with medication and changes in diet.
  • Ankylosing spondylitis, a type of arthritis that affects the spine. As a result of inflammation, the bones of the spine grow together.
  • Juvenile arthritis, a general term for all types of arthritis that occur in children. Children may develop juvenile rheumatoid arthritis or childhood forms of lupus, ankylosing spondylitis or other types of arthritis.
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus (lupus), a serious disorder that can inflame and damage joints and other connective tissues throughout the body.
  • Scleroderma, a disease of the body’s connective tissue that causes a thickening and hardening of the skin.
  • Fibromyalgia, is widespread pain affects the muscles and attachments to the bone, affecting mostly women.

The good news is that there relief for the treatments for the disease.

Physical therapy and occupation therapy are the primary means to maintain joint mobility and range of motion. The amount of therapy depending on the underlying cause and the individual factors that your physician diagnosis will present.

Many drugs are presently used in the treatment of the pain and inflammation brought about by arthritis. Aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, consisting of ibuprofen, naproxen and others, have immediate analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects with relatively safety. Caution should always be the standard when taking any drug, as they have helpful effects as well as detrimental effects, usually to the stomach, kidneys and the liver.

It appears that fish oil, vitamin C and E, as well as that of Green Tea, sops up radicals, sometimes producing effective reduction in the disabling  pain, as they are anti-inflammatory, also simple aspirin.

 

AUTISM

Autism (ASD) is a disorder that is usually first diagnosed in early childhood. The main signs and symptoms of autism involve communication, social interactions and repetitive behaviors. Parents should talk to their pediatrician if a baby shows any signs of these below:

  • No babbling, pointing, or other gestures by 12 months
  • No use of a single word by 16 months

  • No two-word spontaneous phrases by 24 months
  • Loss of language or social skills at any age.



Autism is not the only cause of these signs, but early diagnosis and treatment can lead to a better outcome for autism, a sprectrum of behavior disorders that effects child development.

Children with autism might have problems talking with you, or they might not look you when you talk to them. They may have to place whatever they are working with in a specific order before they can pay attention, or they may say the same sentence again and again. They may flap their arms when they are happy, or they might hurt themselves when they are not. Some people with autism never learn how to talk. This depends entirely on the type of autism they have.

Because people with autism can have very different features or symptoms, health care providers think of autism as a "spectrum" disorder. Asperger syndrome being a milder version of the disorder.

1 in 59 children in the united states today have an autism spectrum disorder (ASD).  Autism is a national health crisis.

Autism's cause is unknown, and unfortunately Autism lasts throughout a person's lifetime. There is no cure, but treatment is available. Treatments include behavior and communication therapies, as well as medicines to control symptoms.

 

 

Heart Tip: Eating Margarine can increase Heart disease in women by 53% over eating the same amount of butter, according to a  Harvard Medical study

 

 

A No-No Tip: A quarter cup of ranch (non fat-free) dressing, can add 340 calories and 36 grams of fat.

 

BIPOLAR DISORDER

Is characterized by an alternating pattern of emotional highs (mania) and lows (depression). The intensity of the associated signs and symptoms varies. Bipolar disorder can range from a mild condition to a severe condition, and there may be periods of normal behavior.

Manic phase
For many people, signs and symptoms in the manic phase may include:

  • Feelings of euphoria, extreme optimism and inflated self-esteem
  • Rapid speech, racing thoughts, agitation and increased physical activity
  • Poor judgment
  • Recklessness or taking chances not normally taken
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Tendency to be easily distracted
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Aggressive behavior

Depressive phase
In the depressive phase, signs and symptoms include:

  • Persistent feelings of sadness, anxiety, guilt or hopelessness
  • Disturbances in sleep and appetite
  • Fatigue and loss of interest in daily activities
  • Problems concentrating
  • Irritability
  • Chronic pain without a known cause
  • Recurring thoughts of suicide

 

Are you drinking enough fluids? You can tell if you are not drinking enough, as your urine color should be pale or colorless, if you are not, it will be yellowish or dark yellow. Drink plenty of fluids during the day., If bladder control is a problem for you, limit drinks with caffeine and alcohol. They can increase the amount of urine and can make your urge to urinate stronger.

 

BLADDER


A urinary tract infection (UTI) is a bacterial infection that affects any part of the urinary tract. Although urine contains a variety of fluids, salts and waste products,  normally it does not have bacteria in it. When bacteria does get into the bladder and multiple's in the urine, it causes a urinary tract infection.

The most common type of urinary tract infection  is a bladder infection, which is also often called cystitis. Cystitis meaning an inflammation of the bladder. The other kind is a kidney infection, which is also known as pyelonephritis. This infection can be very serious, but treated quickly, the kidney is most often not permanently damaged.

The cause and discomfort of urinary tract infections are usually treated easily, but you must contact your health care provider promptly for treatment.

Although antibiotics begin fighting the infection immediately, they do not stop all the symptoms immediately. If you have a lot of pain, your physician may recommend a medication to relieve the pain in your bladder, This medicine will clear up the painful symptoms in about 2-3 days, usually you will become more comfortable within 12 hours. It's important to take the antibiotics until the prescription is finished, that means the whole prescribed regime. Although antibiotics begin fighting the infection right away, they can't stop all the symptoms right away. it is important that you take the antibiotics until the prescription is finished. Your infection will normal be gone in 7-10 days. Many people stop taking the medication when they begin to feel better, but that doesn't allow the antibiotics to completely kill the bacteria, which increases the risk that the infection will return.

It's important to drink lots of water during and after treatment because each time you urinate, the bladder cleanses itself a little bit more. Cranberry juice also has been shown to have positive effects. Don't use the kind of juice that says Juice Cocktail on the label. That has too much sugar and it is not concentrated enough with cranberries. Make certain that the bottle label states that the "cranberry juice is 100% juice", many brands are now 100% cranberry. Quality cranberry juice produces hippuric acid in the urine which acidifies the urine and prevents bacteria from sticking to the walls of the bladder.

In the event you develop a rash from an antibiotic or have difficulty breathing, "STOP TAKING IT IMMEDIATELY" and quickly contact your health care provider who prescribed the medication!

The majority of bladder infections are caused  by the bacteria Escherichia coli. When the bacteria (e-coli) passes through the urethra, they can get inside the bladder and cause an infection. Some females get urinary tract infections more frequently, this may be because of the differences in the shape and length of the urethra in different people. Males have fewer bladder infections than females, likely due to the length of the shorter urethra in females.

 

Ear cleaning Tip: Cotton swabs and other small items such as hairpins may actually push ear wax deeper into the ear and damage the ear canal or eardrum, resulting in hearing loss. In most cases, the ear actually cleans itself. Old wax makes its way to the opening of the ear canal, where it falls out or is washed away. cleaning the outer ear with a washcloth can usually help this process.

 

                                                                                          BLOOD PRESSURE

Taking your blood pressure at home can helpl your doctor get a more accurate picture of your true blood pressure over time
Many people have "white coat hypertension." Their blood pressure foes up in the doctor's office because of nervousness.
If you take your blood pressure at home:

  • Have your doctor check your monitor for accuracy and show you how to properly use it.
  • Real and follow all instructions included with the monitor, such as where to place the cuff and where to put your are while taking the reading.
  • Take your blood pressure at certain times of the day for consistency.
  • Show your log of daily blood pressure readings to your doctor.
  • Make certain it fits. Thin adults and Children may need a smaller cuff. Adults with large arms may need a bigger cuff.


Normal blood pressure is below 120/80. A reading above 140/90 is high blood pressure and needs treatment.

Getting regular exercise; losing even a small amount of weight; eating less salt, fat, and cholesterol; limiting alcohol to no more than one drink per day for women or two drinks per day for men; and reducing stress may help lower blood pressure. In some cases, prescription medications may be necessary.

Bananas and other foods high inpotassium but low in sodium can help you control blood pressure.
Most fruits and vegetables contain potassium. Exceptionally good sources are cantaloupe, *grapefruit juice, honeydew melon, nectarines, prunes and prune juice, raisins, beans, unsalted tomato juice, and baked or boiled otatoes with the skins. Avocados are another excellent source, but they are high in fat and calories.
.
(*Grapefruit juice can interffere with some prescription medications. Check with your doctor or pharmacist if this could be a problem.)

 

 

 

 

CANCER

Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States. Half of all men and one third of all women in the United States will develop cancer during their lifetime and Cancer is not just one disease but many diseases.

Cancer types: aggressive (fast-growing) or indolent (slow-growing)

 Types of Treatment

 




There are more than 100 different types of cancer. The main categories of cancer include:

  • Carcinoma - cancer that begins in the skin or in tissues that line or cover internal organs.
  • Central Nervous System Cancers -cancers that begin in the tissues of the brain and spinal cord.
  • Leukemia - cancer that starts in blood-forming tissue such as the bone marrow and causes large numbers of abnormal blood cells to be produced and enter the blood.
  • Lymphoma and myeloma - cancers that begin in the cells of the immune system (a complex group of organs and cells that defends the body against infections and other diseases).
  • Melanoma - There are four major types of melanoma
  1. Superficial spreading melanoma is the most common type of melanoma. It is usually flat and irregular in shape and color, with varying shades of black and brown. It may occur at any age or body site, and is most common in Caucasians.
  2. Nodular melanoma usually starts as a raised area that is dark blackish-blue or bluish-red, although some are without color.
  3. Lentigo maligna melanoma usually occurs in the elderly. It is most common in sun-damaged skin on the face, neck, and arms. The abnormal skin areas are usually large, flat, and tan with intermixed areas of brown.
  4. Acral lentiginous melanoma is the least common form of melanoma. It usually occurs on the palms, soles, or under the nails and is more common in African Americans.

Melanoma can spread very rapidly. Although it is less common than other types of skin cancer, the rate of melanoma is steadily increasing. It is the leading cause of death from skin disease.

The risk of developing melanoma increases with age, but the disease also frequently affects young, otherwise healthy people.

Melanoma may appear on normal skin, or it may begin at a mole or other area that has changed in appearance. Some moles present at birth may develop into melanomas.

The development of melanoma is related to sun exposure, particularly to sunburns during childhood. It is most common among people with fair skin, blue or green eyes, and red or blond hair.

Risk factors include the following:

  • Family history of melanoma
  • Red or blond hair and fair skin
  • Presence of multiple birthmarks
  • Development of precancerous sores
  • Obvious freckling on the upper back
  • Three or more blistering sunburns before age 20
  • Three or more years spent at an outdoor summer job as a teenager
  • High levels of exposure to strong sunlight

Symptoms

The primary symptom of any skin cancer is usually a mole, sore, lump, or growth on the skin. Any change in appearance of a pigmented skin sore over time is a warning sign. Also, watch for any bleeding from a skin growth.

The ABCD system may help you remember features that might be symptoms of melanoma:

  • Asymmetry: One half of the abnormal area is different from the other half.
  • Borders: The lesion or growth has irregular edges.
  • Color: Color changes from one area to another, with shades of tan, brown, or black (sometimes white, red, or blue). A mixture of colors may appear within one sore.
  • Diameter: The trouble spot is usually (but not always) larger than 6 mm in diameter -- about the size of a pencil eraser.

The key to treating melanoma is recognizing symptoms early. You might not notice a small spot of concern if you don't look carefully, so perform thorough self-examinations monthly, and schedule a formal skin exam with a dermatologist yearly.

 

  • Sarcoma - cancer that begins in bone, cartilage, fat, muscle, blood vessels, or other connective or supportive tissue.


At least 90% of colon cancer deaths could be avoided if people followed lifestyle recommendations and screening guidelines.
The key to fighting colon cancer is diet.

Those who consume 4 plus servings of red meat weekly nearly tripled their risk.
Those who consume at least 8 grams of fiber from cereal daily cut their risk by hearty one-half.
Those who took between 900 - 1,200 mg. of calcium daily (depending on age) lowered their risk by half.

This year, over eleven thousand women will be diagnosed with cervical cancer.
Prostate cancer is the second most common type of cancer among men in the United States. Only skin cancer is more common. Out of every three men who are diagnosed with cancer each year, one is diagnosed with prostate cancer.

B-Cell Lymphoma

 

Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma is cancer that originates in your lymphatic system, the disease-fighting network spread throughout your body. In non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, tumors develop from lymphocytes — a type of white blood cell.

Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma is more than five times as common as the other general type of lymphoma — Hodgkin's disease. And Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma has been increasing in incidence in the United States since the 1970s.

The most common type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma is diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, which accounts for about a third of the cases in the United States. About one-fourth of non-Hodgkin lymphomas involve one of two related diseases, chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) and small lymphocytic lymphoma (SLL). Other forms include follicular lymphoma, various marginal zone lymphomas, and several kinds of peripheral T-cell lymphomas. Forms that each account for a tiny percentage of all lymphomas include mantle-cell lymphoma, primary mediastinal B-cell lymphoma, Burkitt lymphoma, and lymphoplasmocytic lymphoma.

In children, the most common types are lymphoblastic lymphoma, small noncleaved cell lymphoma (which may be Burkitt or non-Burkitt lymphoma), and large cell lymphoma.

There are two basic categories of lymphomas: Hodgkin's lymphoma (also called Hodgkin's disease) and non-Hodgkin's lymphomas. The difference between these is in the specific lymphocytes involved. Hodgkin's lymphoma is marked by the presence of an abnormal lymphocyte called the Reed-Sternberg cell (or B lymphocyte). Non-Hodgkin's lymphomas (NHL) include all other types of lymphomas. NHL develops from white blood cells in other parts of the lymphatic system, including the bone marrow, spleen, thymus and lymph nodes. There are more than 30 different types of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, including types.aggressive (fast-growing) or indolent (slow-growing).

Lymphomas may cause many different signs and symptoms, depending on the type of lymphoma and where it is found in the body. Potential lymphoma symptoms include but not limited to:

-Swelling in the lymph nodes in the neck, groin, armpit
-Severe itchiness
-Persistent fatigue, feeling of tiredness
-Abdominal pain or swelling
-Loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting
-Fever
-Night sweats
-Unexplained weight loss
-Coughing or shortness of breath
-Headaches
-Difficulty moving parts of the body

It is important to remember that these potential symptoms may be attributed to a number of conditions other than cancer, such as an infection or other illness. Only a medical professional make this determination.

 

Treatment

Several factors affect the choice of treatment, including the type and stage of your lymphoma, your age, and your overall medical condition. The main treatment options include:

·         Chemotherapy. Doctors use a combination of drugs — given orally or by injection — against fast-growing cancer cells. This combined treatment approach is used for intermediate- and high-grade lymphomas and advanced stages of low-grade lymphomas. A single drug may be used if you have a low-grade type of the disease.

·         Radiation. High doses of radiation kill cancerous cells and shrink tumors. This treatment is for early stages of low-grade lymphomas. Sometimes, it's used along with chemotherapy on intermediate-grade tumors or to treat specific sites, such as the brain.

·         Stem cell transplantation. Lymphomas tend to be sensitive to chemotherapy. However, if lymphoma recurs, higher doses of chemotherapy may be necessary to treat the disease. The amount of chemotherapy that can be given is limited because of the damage chemotherapy does to your bone marrow. In order to avoid this serious side effect, healthy stem cells — those capable of producing new cells — are taken from your blood or bone marrow and frozen. After you undergo very high doses of chemotherapy to kill the lymphoma, the healthy stem cells are thawed and injected back into your body. This treatment is used primarily to treat intermediate- or high-grade lymphomas that relapse after initial, successful treatment.

·         Observation. If your lymphoma appears to be slow growing, a wait and see approach may be an option. Slowly growing lymphomas with few symptoms may not require treatment for a year or more.

·         Biotherapy. Rituximab (Rituxan) is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of B cell non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Rituximab is a type of monoclonal antibody that helps the immune system specifically target and destroy cancer cells. Rituximab is frequently used in combination with chemotherapy. It's also sometimes given in tandem with radioimmunotherapy.

·         Radioimmunotherapy. Two radioimmunotherapy drugs — ibritumomab (Zevalin) and tositumomab (Bexxar) — are currently FDA-approved. Radioimmunotherapy uses monoclonal antibodies combined with radioactive isotopes. The antibodies attach themselves to the cancer cells, while the added radiation helps destroy the cancer cells. Radioimmunotherapy is generally well tolerated; however, serious side effects, including reduced blood cell counts, hemorrhage and life-threatening infections, are possible with these medications. That's why the FDA has approved their use only after other treatments have failed.

·         Interferon therapy. Interferons are proteins that occur naturally in your body to help fight viral infection and regulate your immune system. Some research suggests that genetically engineered interferon can slow or stop the progression of some types of non-Hodgkin's lymphomas. More studies are needed to determine whether interferon medications are an effective treatment for this disease.


Chemotherapy and radiation therapy are the most commonly used lymphoma treatments, and may be used alone or combined. Chemotherapy is a systemic treatment that uses a combination of several drugs, given by IV injection or by mouth, to kill the malignant cells. It is typically given in cycles, based on the duration of the drug's effect and other factors. Radiation therapy is a local treatment that uses high-energy rays to target and kill cancer cells in a specific area. Since lymphoma cells are likely to be present in widespread areas, radiation therapy is not commonly used alone.

Stages of Lymphoma:

-Stage 1. Lymphoma is only present in one group of lymph nodes and in just one particular area of the body.
-Stage 2. More than one group of lymph nodes is affected, but they are all contained within either the upper half or the lower half of the body.
-Stage 3.  Lymphoma is present in lymph nodes in both the upper and the lower parts of the body.
-Stage 4. Lymphoma has spread beyond the affected lymph nodes to other lymphatic organs.

 

Paget's disease of the nipple is that the symptoms appear to be harmless. It is frequently thought to be a skin inflammation or infection, leading to unfortunate delays in detection and care.) What are the symptoms? 1. A persistent redness, oozing, and crusting of your nipple causing it to itch and burn. 2. A sore on your nipple that will not heal. 3. Usually only one nipple is effected. How is it diagnosed? Your doctor will do a physical exam and should suggest having a mammogram of both breasts, done immediately. Even though the redness, oozing and crusting closely resemble dermatitis (inflammation of the skin), your doctor should suspect cancer if the sore is only on one breast. Your doctor should order a biopsy of your sore to confirm what is going on.

 

 

CARDIOMYOPATHY
(Heart  Muscle Disease)


Cardiomyopathy is a weakening of the heart muscle or a change in heart muscle structure. It is often associated with inadequate heart pumping or other heart function abnormalities.

Cardiomyopathy can be classified as primary or secondary. Primary cardiomyopathy can't be attributed to a specific cause, such as high blood pressure, heart valve disease, artery diseases or congenital heart defects. Secondary cardiomyopathy is due to specific causes. It's often associated with diseases involving other organs as well as the heart.

Symptoms   

  • Shortness of breath (dyspnea)
    • Need for extra pillows to sleep - lying flat causes shortness of breath
    • Waking up at night with sudden shortness of breath (paroxysmal nocturnal dyspnea)
  • Cough - may be caused by extra liquid accumulating in the lungs, secondary to heart failure
  • Fatigue (decreasing ability to tolerate physical exertion)
  • Swelling of legs or ankles (edema)
  • Abdominal swelling
  • Chest pain - also known as "angina," consists of a feeling of sharp, unrelenting pressure the middle of the chest (more common in ischemic cardiomyopathy)
  • Palpitations - the sensation of feeling the heart beat
  • High blood pressure
  • Fainting - especially after activity; temporary and brief loss of consciousness
  • Light-headedness - especially after activity
  • Dizziness
  • Low amount of urine during daytime
  • Need to urinate at night
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Decreased alertness
  • Loss of appetite
  • De-conditioning may occur as a consequence of the other symptoms, leading to a reduction in the heart's muscle mass

There are three main types of cardiomyopathy: dilated, hypertrophic and restrictive.

 Dilated (congestive)

This is the most common form. In it, the heart cavity is enlarged and stretched (cardiac dilation). The heart is weak and doesn't pump normally, and most patients develop heart failure. Abnormal heart rhythms called arrhythmias and disturbances in the heart's electrical conduction also may occur.

Blood flows more slowly through an enlarged heart, so blood clots may form. A blood clot that forms in an artery or the heart is called a thrombus. A clot that breaks free, circulates in the bloodstream and blocks a small blood vessel is called an embolus.

  • Clots that stick to the inner lining of the heart are called mural thrombi.
  • If the clot breaks off the right ventricle (pumping chamber), it can be carried into the pulmonary circulation in the lung, forming pulmonary emboli.
  • Blood clots that form in the heart's left side may be dislodged and carried into the body's circulation to form cerebral emboli in the brain, renal emboli in the kidney, peripheral emboli or even coronary artery emboli.

In these young patients the heart condition is often associated with changes in the skeletal muscles, short stature and an increased likelihood of catching bacterial infections. They also have neutropenia, which is a decrease in the number of white blood cells known as neutrophils. There are clinical signs of the cardiomyopathy in the newborn child or within the first months of life. These children also have metabolic and mitochondrial abnormalities.

Treatment

A person with cardiomyopathy may suffer an embolus before any other symptom of cardiomyopathy appears. That's why anti-clotting (anticoagulant) drug therapy may be needed. Arrhythmias may require antiarrhythmic drugs. Therapy for dilated cardiomyopathy is often aimed at treating the underlying cause, however. If the person is young and otherwise healthy, and if the disease gets worse, a heart transplant may be considered.

When cardiomyopathy results in a significantly enlarged heart, the mitral and tricuspid valves may not be able to close properly, resulting in murmurs. Blood pressure may increase because of increased sympathetic nerve activity. These nerves can also cause arteries to narrow. This mimics hypertensive heart disease (high blood pressure). That's why some people have high blood pressure readings. Because the blood pressure determines the heart's workload and oxygen needs, one treatment approach is to use vasodilators (drugs that "relax" the arteries). They lower blood pressure and thus the left ventricle's workload.

Hypertrophic

In up to 70% of cases, there is a family history of this condition. In this condition, the muscle mass of the left ventricle enlarges or "hypertrophies."

In one form of the disease, the wall (septum) between the two ventricles (pumping chamber) becomes enlarged and obstructs the blood flow from the left ventricle. The syndrome is known as hypertrophic obstructive cardiomyopathy (H.O.C.M.) or asymmetric septal hypertrophy (A.S.H.). It's also called idiopathic hypertrophic subaortic stenosis (I.H.S.S.).

Besides obstructing blood flow, the thickened wall sometimes distorts one leaflet of the mitral valve, causing it to leak. Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is the most common inherited heart defect. Close blood relatives (parents, children or siblings) of such persons often have enlarged septums, although they may have no symptoms. This disease is most common in young adults.

In the other form of the disease, non-obstructive hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, the enlarged muscle doesn't obstruct blood flow.

The symptoms of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy include shortness of breath on exertion, dizziness, fainting and angina pectoris. (Angina is chest pain or discomfort caused by reduced blood supply to the heart muscle.) Some people have cardiac arrhythmias. These are abnormal heart rhythms that in some cases can lead to sudden death. Often an implanted cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) is needed to shock the heart to restart a normal heart rhythm and prevent sudden death. The obstruction to blood flow from the left ventricle increases the ventricle's work, and a heart murmur may be heard.

Treatment

The usual treatment involves taking a drug known as a beta blocker or a calcium channel blocker. If a person has an arrhythmia, an antiarrhythmic drug may also be used. Surgical treatment of the obstructive form is possible in some cases if the drug treatment fails.

Alcohol ablation is a type of nonsurgical treatment for hypertrophic obstructive cardiomyopathy. It involves injecting alcohol down a small branch of one of the heart arteries to deaden the extra heart muscle. This allows the extra heart muscle to thin out without having to cut it out surgically.

Restrictive

This is the least common type in the United States. The myocardium (heart muscle) of the ventricles becomes excessively "rigid," so it's harder for the ventricles to fill with blood between heartbeats. A person with restrictive cardiomyopathy often complains of being tired, may have swollen hands and feet, and may have difficulty breathing on exertion. This type of cardiomyopathy is usually seen in the elderly and may be due to another disease process.

Possible medications include:

  • Positive inotropic medications: These medicines help the heart contract. Digoxin is one type of positive inotropic medication. It is no longer widely used, except in cases complicated by atrial arrhythmias. Other medicines have replaced digoxin. Positive inotropic medications given to patients in the hospital include dopamine, dobutamine, and milrinone.
  • Diuretics: Often called "water pills," diuretics help relieve the fluid overloads in heart failure.
  • Vasodilators: These drugs dilate blood vessels at several levels in the body, reducing the workload for the heart.
  • ACE-inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs): These drugs have been shown to improve survival and reduce heart-related complications.
  • Aldosterone blockers: These drugs help balance electrolytes in the body. Studies have shown that aldosterone blockers can improve survival in patients who have a heart attacked complicated by cardiomyopathy.
  • Beta blockers: In the past, these drugs were not recommended for those with cardiomyopathy. However, beta blockers are now becoming more widely used for the treatment of congestive heart failure, particularly when it is severe. Beta blockers slow the heart rate.
  • Other drugs:  Antiarrhythmic drugs and blood thinners may also be used.

In some individuals with severely weak pumping function of the heart and severe heart failure, a special pacemaker, called a biventricular pacemaker, may be needed. It makes the contraction of the left and right bottom chambers (ventricles) more efficient. In very specific cases, biventricular pacemakers with defibrillation functions are used.

 

CAROTID ARTERY DISEASE


Carotid artery disease occurs when the major arteries in your neck become narrowed or blocked. These arteries, called the carotid arteries, supply your brain with blood. Your carotid arteries extend from your aorta in your chest to the brain inside your skull.

You are more likely to develop carotid artery disease as you age. Only 1 percent of adults age 50 to 59 have significantly narrowed carotid arteries, but 10 percent of adults age 80 to 89 have this problem.

Your arteries are normally smooth and unobstructed on the inside, but as you age, a sticky substance called plaque can build up in the walls of your arteries. Plaque is made up of cholesterol, calcium, and fibrous tissue. As more plaque builds up, your arteries narrow and stiffen. This process is called atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries. Eventually, when enough plaque builds up to reduce or disturb blood flow through your carotid arteries, physicians call this problem carotid artery disease. Carotid artery disease is a serious health problem because it can cause a stroke.

Some plaque deposits are soft and are prone to cracking or forming roughened, irregular areas inside the  artery. If this happens, your body will respond as if you were injured and flood the cracked and irregular area with blood-clotting cells called platelets. A large blood clot may then form in your carotid artery or one of its branches. If the clot blocks the artery enough to slow or stop blood and oxygen flow to your brain, it could cause a stroke. More commonly, a piece of the plaque itself, or a clot, breaks off from the plaque deposit and travels through your bloodstream. This particle can then lodge in a smaller artery in your brain and cause a stroke by blocking the artery.
Fortunately, you may be able to prevent or slow carotid artery disease. Quitting smoking is the most important change you can make to avoid this disease. Other ways to prevent carotid artery disease include:
Eating a Helathy Diet, Exercising "regularly' and maintaining a healthy weight.

Controlling factors that increase your chances of developing carotid artery disease, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol, also help prevent the disease.

Carotid artery disease may not cause symptoms in its early stages.

Unfortunately, the first sign of carotid artery disease could be a stroke. However, you may experience warning symptoms of a stroke called transient ischemic attacks, or TIAs. Symptoms of a TIA usually last for a few minutes to 1 hour and include:

Feeling weakness, numbness, or a tingling sensation on one side of your body, for example, in an arm or a leg.
Being unable to control the movement of an arm or a leg
Being unable to speak clearly
Losing vision in one eye



These symptoms usually go away completely within 24 hours. However, you should not ignore them. Having a TIA means that you are at serious risk of a stroke in the near future. You should report TIA symptoms to your physician immediately. If you experience the above symptoms for longer than a few hours, or they

Your treatment will depend on the severity of your condition, and whether or not you are having symptoms from the carotid artery disease, as well as your general health.  As a first step, your vascular surgeon may recommend medications and the lifestyle changes.

If you have any other medical conditions, for example, if you have diabetes, be sure to monitor and control your blood sugar levels. If you have high blood pressure, your physician may prescribe medications to lower it. If you are smoking, you should quit. Your physician will check your cholesterol levels regularly to be sure they stay within normal limits, he may also medications such as statins to reduce high cholesterol.

You may require surgery if your carotid artery disease is severe or has progressed. Signs of severe disease include having TIA symptoms, having experienced a stroke in the past, or just having a severely narrowed carotid artery even without symptoms.

 

 

CELIAC DISEASE

Celiac disease is an inherited, autoimmune disease in which the lining of the small intestine is damaged from eating gluten and other
proteins found in wheat, barley, rye, and possibly oats.

It is found mainly in foods but may also be in other products like medicines, vitamins and even the glue on stamps and envelopes.

Celiac disease affects each person differently. Symptoms may occur in the digestive system, or in other parts of the body. One person might have diarrhea and abdominal pain, while another person may be irritable or depressed. Irritability is one of the most common symptoms in children. Some people have no symptoms.

Celiac disease is genetic. Blood tests can help your doctor diagnose the disease. Your doctor may also need to examine a small piece of tissue from your small intestine. Treatment is a diet free of gluten.

Most often it usually causes stomach pain, diarrhea, bloating, weight loss, anemia and a vague not-so-good feeling.

 

Pain does not take a holiday

                                            Dr. Shawn Gay D.C. Washington State

Your Spinal column has four functions:

  1. To house and protect your spinal cord and spinal nerves
  2. To support your hips and shoulders
  3. To serve as an attachment to your muscles.
  4. To support your head and ribs.

 

CHIROPRACTIC

Chiropractic is a branch of the healing arts which is based upon the understanding that good health depends, in part, upon a normally functioning nervous system (especially the spine, and the nerves extending from the spine to all parts of the body). Chiropractic is a drug-free, non-surgical science and, as such, does not include pharmaceuticals or incisive surgery, instead by locating and adjusting a musculoskeletal area of the body which is functioning improperly.

Chiropractors use a standard procedure of examination to diagnose a patient's condition and arrive at a course of treatment. Doctors of chiropractic use the same time-honored methods of consultation, case history, physical examination, laboratory analysis and x-ray examination as any other doctor. In addition, they provide a careful chiropractic structural examination, paying particular attention to the spine.

The examination of the spine to evaluate structure and function is what makes chiropractic different from other health care procedures. Your spinal column is a series of movable bones which begin at the base of your skull and end in the center of your hips. Thirty-one pairs of spinal nerves extend down the spine from the brain and exit through a series of openings. The nerves leave the spine and form a complicated network which influences every living tissue in your body.

Accidents, falls, stress, tension, overexertion, and countless other factors can result in a displacements or derangements of the spinal column, causing irritation to spinal nerve roots. These irritations are often what cause malfunctions in the human body in areas such as the back, neck, extremities, and joints. Chiropractic teaches that reducing or eliminating this irritation to spinal nerves can cause your body to operate more efficiently and more comfortably.

Chiropractic also places an emphasis on nutritional and exercise programs, wellness and lifestyle modifications for promoting physical and mental health. While chiropractors make no use of drugs or surgery, Doctors of chiropractic do refer patients for medical care when those interventions are indicated. In fact, chiropractors, medical doctors, physical therapists and other health care professionals now work as partners in occupational health, sports medicine, and a wide variety of other rehabilitation practices.
 

Chiropractic Perspectives That Reflect a Holistic Approach to Patient Care

·         noninvasive, emphasizes patient's inherent recuperative abilities

·         recognizes dynamics between lifestyle, environment, and health

·         emphasizes understanding the cause of illness in an effort to eradicate, rather than palliate, associated symptoms

·         recognizes the centrality of the nervous system and its intimate relationship with both the structural and regulatory capacities of the body

·         appreciates the multifactorial nature of influences (structural, chemical, and psychological) on the nervous system

·         balances the benefits against the risks of clinical interventions

·         recognizes as imperative the need to monitor progress and effectiveness through appropriate diagnostic procedures

·         prevents unnecessary barriers in the doctor-patient encounter

·         emphasizes a patient-centered, hands-on approach intent on influencing function through structure

·         strives toward early intervention, emphasizing timely diagnosis and treatment of functional, reversible conditions

Source: AHCPR Chapter 2 Chiropractic Belief Systems, Robert D. Mootz DC; Reed B. Phillips DC, PhD

Some suggestions for you to follow:
After a Spinal Correction

  • Avoid rubbing, probing or poking in the areas your doctor adjusts.
  • Avoid sudden twist of movement beyond normal limits of motion, especially of the neck.
  • Avoid extreme bending of your spine in any direction; avoid stretching, reaching, or other overhead work. Be particulary careful when brushing or shampooing your hair.
  • Avoid bending or stooping sharply to pick up objects; rather, bend your knees to minimize the strain on your lower back.
  • When lifting, keep your back straight; bend your knees and let your legs bear the strain. Hold the object lifted as close to your body as possible.
  • When bathing, sit rather than recline in the tub. Lying back against the tub may cause a vertabrae to slip out of its normal position. If you are tired and wish to relax, it's better to lie in bed.
  • Participate in simple exrcise to strengthen your body, but avoid jarring activities which place stress on your neck and spine.
  • Watch your posture at all times; stand tall, sleep tall, and think tall.

 

REST, RELAXATION AND SLEEP

  • Set aside a special time each day for complete mental and physical relaxation. This is important in the restoration, as well as with maintenance of normal health.
  • When sitting, choose a chair that has adequate firmness to hold your weight comfortable, and then sit straight. Avoid too soft, overstuffed chairs. Recliner chairs are acceptable if they are constructed so that when you are reclining, your back is in a normal straight position.
  • Cross your legs only at the angles, not at the knees. Crossing your legs at the knees could aggravate an exiting back condition as well as interfere with the circulation to the lower limbs.
  • Be sure to get lenty of sleep to allow your body to recuperate and repair.
  • Sleep on a firm mattress preferable one which is neither too hard nor too soft, but just firm enough to hold your body level while at the same time soft enough so that your shoulders, buttocks, etc., will depress into the mattress.
  • Your pillow should be neigher too high nor too low. The ideal pillow is one which supports your head so that your neck vertebrae will be level with the rest of your spine. Avoid sleeping on your stomach. Raise your head off of the pillow when changing positions.
  • Rise from your bed by turning on your side and swinging your legs off the bed, pushing yourself into a sitting position with your arms, thus minimizing the amount of strain on your back.
  • Do not read or watch television in bed, particularly with your head propped at a shart or strained angle.
  • Do not sleep sitting in a chair. Lie down in bed when it is time to sleep.

 

CHOLESTEROL


Highs & Lows:


 l. You want to have your total number below 200
2. HDL or "Good Cholesterol", the higher the better. Men ideally 40 and above. For Women, 50 or above.
3. Your LDL "Bad Cholesterol" under 130 is the target for most people. But that can drop to less than 100, depending upon your overall risk for heart disease. The optimum number for triglycerides is below 150.

Cholesterol is a soft, waxy substance found among the lipids (fats) in the bloodstream and in all your body's cells. It's an important part of a healthy body because it's used to form cell membranes, some hormones and is needed for other functions. But a high level of cholesterol in the blood — hypercholesterolemia — is a major risk factor for coronary heart disease, which leads to heart attack.

Cholesterol and other fats can't dissolve in the blood. They have to be transported to and from the cells by special carriers called lipoproteins. There are several kinds, but the ones to focus on are low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL).

LDL cholesterol

Low-density lipoprotein is the major cholesterol carrier in the blood. If too much LDL cholesterol circulates in the blood, it can slowly build up in the walls of the arteries feeding the heart and brain. Together with other substances it can form plaque, a thick, hard deposit that can clog those arteries. This condition is known as atherosclerosis. A clot (thrombus) that forms near this plaque can block the blood flow to part of the heart muscle and cause a heart attack. If a clot blocks the blood flow to part of the brain, a stroke results. A high level of LDL cholesterol (160 mg/dL and above) reflects an increased risk of heart disease. If you have heart disease, your LDL cholesterol should be less than 100 mg/dL and your doctor may even set your goal to be less than 70 mg/dL. That's why LDL cholesterol is called "bad" cholesterol. Lower levels of LDL cholesterol reflect a lower risk of heart disease.

HDL cholesterol

About one-third to one-fourth of blood cholesterol is carried by HDL. Medical experts think HDL tends to carry cholesterol away from the arteries and back to the liver, where it's passed from the body. Some experts believe HDL removes excess cholesterol from plaques and thus slows their growth. HDL cholesterol is known as "good" cholesterol because a high HDL level seems to protect against heart attack. The opposite is also true: a low HDL level (less than 40 mg/dL in men; less than 50 mg/dL in women) indicates a greater risk. A low HDL cholesterol level also may raise stroke risk.

Lp(a) is a genetic variation of plasma LDL. A high level of Lp(a) is an important risk factor for developing atherosclerosis prematurely. How an increased Lp(a) contributes to heart disease isn't clear. The lesions in artery walls contain substances that may interact with Lp(a), leading to the buildup of fatty deposits.

People get cholesterol in two ways. The body — mainly the liver — produces varying amounts, usually about 1,000 milligrams a day. Foods also can contain cholesterol. Foods from animals (especially egg yolks, meat, poultry, shellfish and whole- and reduced-fat milk and dairy products) contain it. Foods from plants (fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts and seeds) don't contain cholesterol.

Typically the body makes all the cholesterol it needs, so people don't need to consume it. Saturated fatty acids are the main culprit in raising blood cholesterol, which increases your risk of heart disease. Trans fats also raise blood cholesterol. But dietary cholesterol also plays a part. The average American man consumes about 337 milligrams of cholesterol a day; the average woman, 217 milligrams.

Some of the excess dietary cholesterol is removed from the body through the liver. Still, the American Heart Association recommends that you limit your average daily cholesterol intake to less than 300 milligrams. If you have heart disease, limit your daily intake to less than 200 milligrams. Still, everyone should remember that by keeping their dietary intake of saturated and trans fats low, they can significantly lower their dietary cholesterol intake. Foods high in saturated fat generally contain substantial amounts of dietary cholesterol.

People with severe high blood cholesterol levels may need an even greater reduction. Since cholesterol is in all foods from animal sources, care must be taken to eat no more than six ounces of lean meat, fish and poultry per day and to use fat-free and low-fat dairy products. High-quality proteins from vegetable sources such as beans are good substitutes for animal sources of protein.

Regular physical activity increases HDL cholesterol in some people. A higher HDL cholesterol is linked with a lower risk of heart disease. Physical activity can also help control weight, diabetes and high blood pressure. Aerobic physical activity raises your heart and breathing rates. Regular moderate-to-vigorous-intensity physical activity such as brisk walking, jogging and swimming also condition your heart and lungs.

Physical inactivity is a major risk factor for heart disease. Even moderate-intensity activities, if done daily, help reduce your risk. Examples are walking for pleasure, gardening, yard work, housework, dancing and prescribed home exercise.

Tobacco smoke is one of the six major risk factors of heart disease that you can change or treat. Smoking lowers HDL cholesterol levels and increases the tendency for blood to clot.

In some studies, moderate use of alcohol is linked with higher HDL cholesterol levels. However, because of other risks, the benefit isn't great enough to recommend drinking alcohol if you don't do so already.

If you drink, do so in moderation. People who consume moderate amounts of alcohol (an average of one to two drinks per day for men and one drink per day for women) have a lower risk of heart disease than nondrinkers. However, increased consumption of alcohol brings other health dangers, such as alcoholism, high blood pressure, obesity, stroke, cancer, suicide, etc. Given these and other risks, the American Heart Association cautions people against increasing their alcohol intake or starting to drink if they don't already do so.  Consult your doctor for advice on consuming alcohol in moderation.

AHA Recommendation

Dietary fiber is the term for several materials in the parts of plants that your body can't digest. Fruits, vegetables, some whole-grain foods, beans and legumes are all good sources of dietary fiber. Fiber is classified as soluble or insoluble. The American Heart Association Eating Plan suggests that you eat foods high in both types of fiber.

When regularly eaten as part of a diet low in saturated fat, trans fat and cholesterol, soluble fiber has been shown to help lower blood cholesterol. Foods high in soluble fiber include oat bran, oatmeal, beans, peas, rice bran, barley, citrus fruits, strawberries and apple pulp.

Insoluble fiber doesn't seem to help lower blood cholesterol. But it's an important aid in normal bowel function. Foods high in insoluble fiber include whole-wheat breads, wheat cereals, wheat bran, cabbage, beets, carrots, Brussels sprouts, turnips, cauliflower and apple skin.

Many commercial oat bran and wheat bran products (muffins, chips, waffles) actually contain very little bran. They may also be high in sodium, total fat, saturated fat and trans fat. We recommend reading the labels on all packaged foods.


Raise your HDL, Lower your LDL and triglycerides levels by not smoking, losing weight, if needed and exercising briskly for at least 30 minutes every day.

Your diet is the natural way to lower LDL: Eat more foods high in soluble fiber such as oats, apples, and beans. Keep down the saturated fats and trans fats. Also, easy on the alcohol and those foods high in sugar.

If these lifestyles changes are not effective, there are medications which can significantly help.

 

CPR
Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation


Rescue breathing:


Is breathing into the mouth of a person who is unable to breathe well enough on their own. A chest compression is the placement of pressure on and off the chest with your hands. A compression presses the heart between the spine (backbone) and sternum (breastbone). This forces blood out of the heart and into the rest of the body. A chest compression done with rescue breathing is called CPR. An automatic external defibrillator (AED) is often found in public places such as airports, casinos, and shopping malls. The use of an AED device in addition to correctly doing CPR may help save a person's life.


If you have not taken a refresher course in years. Take one.


If you witness a sudden cardiac arrest. If you see an adult suddenly drop over, be quick to do the following:

  1. Have someone call 911 immediately, or do it yourself.
  2. With the patient flat on his or her back, place the heel of one hand on the centere of the chest and the hand on top of the first. Lock your elbows and perform fast, forceful chest compressions at a rate of 100 per minute, lifting your hands slightly after each push to allow the chest to recoil. Take turns with a partner if one is available, and continue until paramedics arrive.
  3. If an automated external defibrillator is available, attach it to the patient and follow the voice prompts. Otherwise, keep compressing the chest.



A child who collapses is more likely to hve breathing problems,  so mouth-to-mouth resuscitation should still be used with children.

 

CROHN'S DISEASE

Is a form of inflammatory bowel disease, a group of  conditions in which the GI tract is chronically inflamed. Crohn's symptoms are similar to those of IBS, but unlike IBS, in which there's no detectable damage to the digestive system. Crohn's causes the intestine to be inflamed. This can narrow the end of the small intestine, so it has to work harder to lpush waste through the canal, causing stomach pain (especially during eating), diarrhea, vomiting and weight loss.  It is supposed that Genes may ploy a role or possibly something in your diet?. It is diagnosed in many ways: Your doctor may feel a mass in your abdominal cacity, you may have abnormal blood test, or other test many reveal nutrient deficiencies or ulcers.

The use of an Endoscopy, X-ray or an intestinal biopsy can confirm the diagnosis. In the past, the condition was often treated with steriods, but now, present day doctors are prescribing immunosuppressant drugs or IV infusion, which have fewer side effects. Eating more protein and avoiding foods that take a long time to break down (including many fruits and vegetables) can help prevent the pain.

 

DEMENTIA "The Long goodbye"

Dementia is not a specific disease. It is a descriptive term for a collection of symptoms that can be caused by a number of disorders that affect the brain. People with dementia have significantly impaired intellectual functioning that interferes with normal activities and relationships. They also lose their ability to solve problems and maintain emotional control, and they may experience personality changes and behavioral problems, such as agitation, delusions, and hallucinations. While memory loss is a common symptom of dementia, memory loss by itself does not mean that a person has dementia. Doctors diagnose dementia only if two or more brain functions - such as memory and language skills -- are significantly impaired without loss of consciousness. Some of the diseases that can cause symptoms of dementia are:

Alzheimer’s disease, Binswangers disease, Lewy body dementia, Frontotemporal dementia, Huntington’s disease, normal pressure hydrocephalus, Parkinsons Disease, Picks disease, Vascular Dementia, Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome, neurosyphilis and Creutzfeldt-Jakob (CJD) disease. Doctors have identified other conditions that can cause dementia or dementia-like symptoms including reactions to medications, metabolic problems and endocrine abnormalities, nutritional deficiencies, infections, poisoning, brain tumors, anoxia or hypoxia (conditions in which the brain’s oxygen supply is either reduced or cut off entirely), and heart and lung problems. Although it is common in very elderly individuals, dementia is not a normal part of the aging process.

Dementia is a progressive brain dysfunction that gradually causes a loss of daily activities. The most well-known type of dementia is Alzheimer's disease. Dementia not only affects patients, but also those surrounding them, as most patients require care in the long-term Dementia is a word for a group of symptoms caused by disorders that affect the brain. It is not a specific disease. People with dementia may not be able to think well enough to do normal activities, such as getting dressed or eating. They may lose their ability to solve problems or control their emotions. Their personalities may change. They may become agitated or see things that are not there.

Memory loss is a common symptom of dementia. However, memory loss by itself does not mean you have dementia. People with dementia have serious problems with two or more brain functions, such as memory and language.

Dementia is a word for a group of symptoms caused by disorders that affect the brain. It is not a specific disease. People with dementia may not be able to think well enough to do normal activities, such as getting dressed or eating. They may lose their ability to solve problems or control their emotions. Their personalities may change. They may become agitated or see things that are not there.

Alzheimer's (AD) is the most common cause of dementia. It is a brain disorder that interferes with a person’s ability to carry out normal activities. Abnormal areas of the brain contain senile plaques and tangles of abnormal proteins. These destroy connections between connecting cells. These usually affect that part of the brain that controls cognitive (intellectual) actions, such as language and memory. The resulting loss in intellectual ability is called dementia, When they finally become severe enough to disrupt everyday functions.

Over 5 million of the elderly in the United States have Alzheimer disease, while many others have minimal or mild cognitive impairment, which is usually a precursor to dementia. Alzheimer's affects all ethnic groups and races, affecting women more than men. Symptoms begin very slowly at the onset. Over time, those effected begin to have poor judgment in situations, the ability to think clearly and reason diminishes, concentrate, remember useful information, take care of themselves, and even speak.. It is also not uncommon for their behavior and personality to alter.

1. Forgetfulness:

Most people sometimes forget names or appointments. If this happens more frequently and inexplicable states of confusion also occur, this might be an indication for a decline in memory function.

2. Difficulties with familiar activities:

People who are very busy are sometimes absent-minded and for example forget the pot on the stove. People with dementia possibly not only forget the pot on the stove but also that they have cooked at all.

3. Language problems:

Most people sometimes experience difficulties in finding the right words. Dementia sufferers often cannot remember simple words and instead they use inappropriate fillers which makes it difficult to understand the sentences.

4. Problems with spatial and temporal orientation:

A lot of people sometimes forget e.g. the day of the week or they get lost in unfamiliar surroundings. Dementia sufferers might be in their own street and no longer know where they are, how they got there and how to get home again.

5. Impaired capacity of judgment:

People not always choose clothes suitable for the weather. Dementia sufferers sometimes wear totally inappropriate clothes. For example, they wear a bathrobe while shopping or several blouses on top of each other on a hot summer day.

6. Problems with abstract thinking:

For many people running a bank account is a challenge. Dementia patients can often neither recognize numbers nor carry out simple calculations.

7. Leaving things behind:

From time to time almost everybody leaves their keys or a wallet behind. Dementia sufferers however might put things in completely inappropriate places, such as for example the iron in the refrigerator or a watch in a bowl. Afterwards they do not remember where they put them.

8. Mood swings and behavioral changes

Everybody has mood swings. People with dementia may have very sudden mood swings, often without discernible cause.

9. Personality changes:

With advancing age the personality of most people changes a little. People affected by dementia may experience a very pronounced personality change suddenly or over a longer period of time. Somebody who is generally friendly, for example, becomes unexpectedly angry, jealous or timid.

10. Loss of initiative:

Nobody continuously works with the same motivation. Dementia patients sometimes loose the zest in their work and the interest in their hobbies completely without enjoying new activities.

People with early or mild Alzheimer disease require close supervision and help with everyday tasks, such as cooking and attention requiring task. Those who have severe Alzheimer's disease usually require full-time care. There are exceptions, but very rare.

Although Alzheimer disease is not reversible, treatment can slow the progression of symptoms in some people. Relieving symptoms can improve function significantly. Some of the important treatment strategies in dementia are:

-Prescribing drugs are helping the individual adjust or control his or her behavior. Others focus on helping caregivers and other family members helping to change the person’s behavior.

-Treating the symptoms of Alzheimer disease with drugs can sometimes slow the disease, at least temporarily, by medication. These drugs not only improve or stabilize cognitive functions, they may also have positive effects on behavior and activities of daily living, but they do slow down the rate of decline in some people. In many people the effect is modest, and in others, the effect is not noticeable, as the effects are temporary, as these drugs do not change the underlying cause of the dementia.

Drugs are used to treat specific symptoms or behavior changes. Such as mood swings and emotional outburst, utilizing antidepressant or mood stabilizing drugs. Also, anger and disruptive or psychotic behavior are often diminished by anti psychotic medication and mood stabilizers.


Science has recently developed a blood test (although still in developmental stage) that can provide an advance warning of one developing Alzheimer's disease 6 years before its onset, in 9 out of 10 people.

An increasing body of evidence suggests that some with Alzheimer's disease appear to benefit from effects of the antioxidants present in grapes, cocoa, blueberries, and green teas on cardiovascular health. Oxidants restrict the neuro-transmitters from properly sending and receiving in the brain.

 

A nutraceutical is a food or part of a food that allegedly provides medicinal or health benefits,

 

 

DIABETES

 

A Fasting blood glucose test can tell you if your have diabetes.

  • Normal fasting blood sugar:               Under 100 mg/dL
  • Pre-diabetes:                                      between 100 - 125 mg/dL
  • Diabetes:                                            126 mg/dL or higher


see
Metabolic Syndrome:

 

Diabetes facts: Diabetes occurs when the body does not make enough insulin, does not use insulin effectively, or both. Clumps of cells called islets in the pancreas make insulin. Insulin is a hormone that helps the body use glucose, the body's main energy source.
Most People with diabetes have one of two kinds: type 1 or type 2.
* Type 1 diabetes is an auto immune disease, which means that the immune system attacks the body's own beta cells-part of the of the islets-which make insulin. Type 1 diabetes accounts for about 10 percent of all cases of diabetes.

* Type 2 diabetes is far more common, accounting for about 90 percent of all cases. In type 2, beta cells make insulin, but the body is resistant to the hormone. Insulin is supposed to help the body's cells take up and use glucose, but for some reason, cells do not respond as they should. Beta cells are overworked and, in some people, they wear out and stop making the right amount of insulin.
In both cases, too much sugar stays in the blood and can cause damage to the eyes. kidneys, nerves and blood vessels.

Many people with type 2 diabetes never show any signs. But some people do show symptoms. The most common symptoms of type 2 diabetes are:

  • Greater need to urinate
  • Frequent hunger or thirst
  • Weight loss
  • Blurred vision
  • Tingling/numbness in hands or feet
  • Feeling tired
  • Very dry skin
  • Slow-healing sores
  • Infections

These symptoms are caused by high blood sugar. Some may seem minor. With time, they can lead to much more serious health problems. But, if you manage your blood sugar now, you may avoid future complications of diabetes later.

Diabetes Complications

Control your blood sugar and you reduce your risk of serious problems, later.

  • Heart disease and stroke. Adults with diabetes are more likely to have heart disease or a stroke. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in people with diabetes.
     
  • High blood pressure. Many adults with diabetes have high blood pressure or take prescription medicine(s) for high blood pressure.
     
  • Eye problems. People with diabetes are at risk for cataracts, glaucoma, and problems with the retina (retinopathy), which can reduce vision or cause blindness. Diabetes is the leading cause of new cases of blindness in adults ages 20 to 74.
     
  • Kidney damage. Diabetes is the leading cause of severe kidney disease.
     
  • Nerve damage. Many people with diabetes have some nerve damage. This shows up as numbness or tingling in the feet or hands. You may not feel pain well, so sores can get worse and get infected. Severe nerve damage in people with diabetes is a major cause of leg and foot amputations.
     
  • Infections. People with diabetes may be at greater risk for infection and death from infections. High blood sugar may make it harder for your body to fight infections. People with diabetes may be at a greater risk for getting many other illnesses. Once they get these illnesses, they have more trouble getting better.
     
  • Gum disease. Because infections are harder to fight, you’re more likely to develop gum disease.
     
  • Problems in pregnancy. Diabetes that isn’t managed well, before pregnancy and during pregnancy, can cause birth defects and miscarriages. During the later parts of pregnancy, poorly controlled diabetes can lead to very large babies, which is risky for both mother and child.



 

METABOLIC SYNDROME

Metabolic syndrome means that some of your body's cells are insulin resistant. These cells-mainly your fat, liver and muscle cells-do not properly use the insulin your body makes. The result is that your pancreas makes more and more insulin to control the blood glucose. This causes your blood pressure to go up. It also results in abnorrmal blood lipid levels, including high triglycerides and low HDL (Good Cholesterol). If high insulin levels continue for years, blood glucose levels may begin to rise above normal.

It is easy to find out if you have or are at risk for the metabolic syndrome because of its telltale signs. If you think you have metabolic syndrome, get in touch with your healthcare provider.

Weight & BMI: Those with metabolic syndrome are usually over-weight. Healthcare providers use your body mass index (BMI) as a mesure of healthy weight. It is based on your height and weight.

 

DIET AND EXERCISE


Weight Loss: If you want to lose unwanted pounds, try the easiest and least expensive method available.
Push back from the table after you have eaten 3/4 of your meal. Make fast foods a weekly treat, not a daily event.
You are guaranteed to lose those unwanted pounds and live a longer healthier life. Walking really helps beat

other health problems..  It reduces some types of cancer and osteoporosis, it fights the battle of the bulge, reducing body fat and building muscle. Walking can also help people with diabetes, no to mention all of the other benefits. a half hour of moderate physical activity 4-5 times a week can deliver fitness similar to that of traditional exercise routines.

-Burn 100 Calories-
Activity and Minutes needed:
Gardening=20 min, Jogging=15 min, Washing car=20 min, Walking dog=20 min, Pushing stroller=20 min,
Bicycling=20 min, Aerobic dance=15 min  

Fruits, Vegetables, and Cardiovascular Disease

There is compelling evidence that a diet rich in fruits and vegetables can lower
the risk of heart disease and stroke.

The largest and longest study to date, done as part of the Harvard-based Nurses'
Health Study and Health Professionals Follow-up Study, included almost 110,000 men
and women whose health and dietary habits were followed for 14 years. The higher
the average daily intake of fruits and vegetables, the lower the chances of developing
cardiovascular disease. Compared with those in the lowest category of fruit and
vegetable intake (less than 1.5 servings a day), those who averaged 8 or more servings
a day were 30% less likely to have had a heart attack or stroke.

Although all fruits and vegetables likely contribute to this benefit, green leafy
vegetables such as lettuce, spinach, Swiss chard, and mustard greens; cruciferous
vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, bok choy, and
kale; and citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons, limes, and grapefruit (and their
juices) make important contributions.

Fruits and Vegetables, Blood Pressure, and Cholesterol

High blood pressure is a primary risk factor for heart disease and stroke. As such,
it's a condition that is very important to control. Diet can be a very effective
tool for lowering blood pressure. One of the most convincing associations between
diet and blood pressure was found in the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension
(DASH) study. This trial examined the effect on blood pressure of a diet that
was rich in fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy products and that restricted the
amount of saturated and total fat. The researchers found that people with high blood
pressure who followed this diet reduced their systolic blood pressure (the upper
number of a blood pressure reading) by about 11 mm Hg and their diastolic blood
pressure (the lower number) by almost 6 mm Hg - as much as medications can achieve.

Eating more fruits and vegetables can also help lower cholesterol. In the National
Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute's Family Heart Study, the 4466 subjects consumed
on average a shade over 3 servings of fruits and vegetables a day. Men and women
with the highest daily consumption (more than 4 servings a day) had significantly
lower levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol than those with lower consumption. How
fruits and vegetables lower cholesterol is still something of a mystery. It is possible
that eating more fruits and vegetables means eating less meat and dairy products,
and thus less cholesterol-boosting saturated fat. Soluble fiber in fruits and vegetables
may also block the absorption of cholesterol from food.

Fruits, Vegetables, and Cancer

Numerous early studies revealed what appeared to be a strong link between eating
fruits and vegetables and protection against cancer. But because many of these were
case-control studies, it is possible that the results may have been skewed by problems
inherent in these types of studies, such as recall bias and selection bias. Data
from cohort studies that follow large groups of initially healthy individuals for
years have not consistently shown that a diet rich in fruits and vegetables prevents
cancer in general. Data from the Nurses' Health Study and Health Professionals
Follow-up Study support this finding. Over a 14-year period, men and women with
the highest intake of fruits and vegetables (8+ servings a day) were just as likely
to have developed cancer as those who ate the fewest daily servings

A more likely possibility is that fruits and vegetables may protect against certain
cancers. The International Agency for Research on Cancer, which is part of the World
Health Organization, recently completed a monumental review of the best research
on fruits, vegetables, and cancer. The conclusion: "There is limited evidence for a cancer-preventive
effect of consumption of fruit and of vegetables for cancers of the mouth and pharynx,
esophagus, stomach, colon-rectum, larynx, lung, ovary (vegetables only), bladder
(fruit only), and kidney. There is inadequate evidence for a cancer-preventive effect
of consumption of fruit and of vegetables for all other sites." However,
considering all evidence from human epidemiological, animal, and other types of
studies, it appears that eating more fruit "probably lowers the risk of cancers
of the esophagus, stomach and lung" and "possibly reduces the risk of
cancers of the mouth, pharynx, colon-rectum, larynx, kidney, and urinary bladder."
Eating more vegetables "probably lowers the risk of cancers of the esophagus
and colon-rectum" and "possibly reduces the risk of cancers of the mouth,
pharynx, stomach, larynx, lung, ovary and kidney."

Keep in mind that this is for total fruit and total vegetable consumption and that,
as pointed out by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, specific fruits
and vegetables may protect against specific types of cancer. For example, a line
of research stemming from a finding from the Health Professionals Follow-up Study
suggest that tomatoes may help protect men against prostate cancer, especially aggressive
forms of it. One of the pigments that give tomatoes their red hue - lycopene
- could be involved in this protective effect. Although several studies other than
the Health Professionals' study have also demonstrated a link between tomatoes
or lycopene and prostate cancer, others have not or have found only a weak connection.
Taken as a whole, however, these studies suggest that increased consumption of tomato-based
products (especially cooked tomato products) and other lycopene-containing foods
may reduce the occurrence or progression of prostate cancer. But more research is
needed before we know the exact relationship between fruits and vegetables, carotenoids,
and prostate cancer.

Fruits, Vegetables, and Gastrointestinal Health

One of the wonderful components of fruits and vegetables is their indigestible fiber.
As fiber passes through the digestive system, it sops up water like a sponge and
expands. This can calm the irritable bowel and, by triggering regular bowel movements,
can relieve or prevent constipation. The bulking and softening action of insoluble
fiber also decrease pressure inside the intestinal tract and so may help prevent
diverticulosis (the development of tiny, easily irritated pouches inside the colon)
and diverticulitis (the often painful inflammation of these pouches).

Fruits, Vegetables, and Vision


Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables also keeps your eyes in good shape. You may
have learned that the vitamin A in carrots aids night vision. Other fruits and vegetables
help prevent two common aging-related eye diseases - cataract and macular degeneration
- which afflict millions of Americans over age sixty-five. Cataract is the gradual
clouding of the eye's lens, a disk of protein that focuses light on the light-sensitive
retina. Macular degeneration is caused by cumulative damage to the macula, the center
of the retina. It starts as a blurred spot in the center of what you see. As the
degeneration spreads, vision shrinks.

 

Free radicals generated by sunlight, cigarette smoke, air pollution, infection,
and metabolism cause much of this damage. Dark green leafy vegetables contain two
pigments, lutein and zeaxanthin, that accumulate in the eye. These two appear to
be able to snuff out free radicals before they can harm the eye's sensitive
tissues.

In general, a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains appears to reduce
the chances of developing cataract or macular degeneration.

   

 

EARTHQUAKE SAFETY
 TRIANGLE OF LIFE

 

 

EXTRACT FROM DOUG COPP'S ARTICLE ON THE: "TRIANGLE OF LIFE"

The information in this article will save lives in an earthquake.

I have crawled inside 875 collapsed buildings, worked with rescue teams from 60 countries, founded rescue teams in several countries, and I am a member of many rescue teams from many countries. I was the United Nations expert in Disaster Mitigation for two years. I have worked at every major disaster in the world since 1985, except for simultaneous disasters.

The first building I ever crawled inside of was a school in Mexico City during the 1985 earthquake!  Every child was under its desk. Every child was crushed to the thickness of their bones. They could have survived by lying down next to their desks in the aisles. It was obscene, unnecessary and I wondered why the children were not in the aisles. I didn't at the time know that the children were told to hide under something.

Simply stated, when buildings collapse, the weight of the ceilings falling upon the objects or furniture inside crushes these objects, leaving a space or void next to them. This space is what I call the "triangle of life". The larger the object, the stronger, the less it will compact. The less the object compacts, the larger the void, the greater the probability that the person who is using this void for! Safety will not be injured.

The next time you watch collapsed buildings, on television, count the "triangles" you see formed. They are everywhere. It is the most common shape, you will see, in a collapsed building.

 

TIPS FOR EARTHQUAKE SAFETY

 

 1) Most everyone who simply "ducks and covers" WHEN BUILDINGS COLLAPSE are crushed to death. People who get under objects, like desks or cars, are crushed.

2) Cats, dogs and babies often naturally curl up in the fetal position. You should too in an earthquake. It is a natural safety/survival instinct. You can survive in a smaller void. Get next to an object, next to a sofa, next  to a large bulky object that will compress slightly but leave a  void next to it.

3) Wooden buildings are the safest type of construction to be in during an earthquake. Wood is flexible and moves with the force of the earthquake.  If   the wooden building does collapse, large survival voids are created. Also, the wooden building has less concentrated, crushing weight. Brick buildings   will break into individual bricks. Bricks will cause many injuries but less squashed bodies than concrete slabs.

 

 4) If you are in bed during the night and an earthquake occurs, simply roll  off the bed. A safe void will exist around the bed. Hotels can achieve a much greater survival rate in earthquakes, simply by posting a sign on the back of the door of every room telling occupants to lie down on the floor, next to the bottom of the bed during an earthquake.

 

 5) If an earthquake happens and you cannot easily escape by getting out the door or window, then lie down and curl up in the fetal position next to a sofa, or large chair.

 

 6) Most everyone who gets under a doorway when buildings collapse is killed.  How? If you stand under a doorway and the doorjamb falls forward or backward you will be crushed by the ceiling above. If the door jam falls sideways you will be cut in half by the doorway. In either case, you will be killed!

 

 7) Never go to the stairs. The stairs have a different "moment of frequency"  (they swing separately from the main part of the building). The stairs and remainder of the building continuously bump into each other until structural failure of the stairs takes place. The people who get on stairs before they fail are hopped up by the stair treads ‑ horribly mutilated. Even if the building doesn't collapse, stay away from the stairs. The stairs are a likely part of the building to be damaged. Even if the stairs are not collapsed by the earthquake, they may collapse later when overloaded by fleeing people. They should always be checked for safety, even when the rest of the building is not damaged.

 

8) Get Near the Outer Walls Of Buildings Or Outside Of Them If Possible ‑ It is much better to be near the outside of the building rather than the interior. The farther inside you are from the outside perimeter of the building the greater the probability that your escape route will  be blocked.

 

 9) People inside of their vehicles are crushed when the road above falls in an earthquake and crushes their vehicles; which is exactly what happened with the slabs between the decks of the Nimitz Freeway. The victims of the San Francisco earthquake all stayed inside of their vehicles. They were all killed. They could have easily survived by getting out and sitting or lying next to their vehicles. Everyone killed would have survived if they had been able to get out of their cars and sit or lie next to them. All the crushed cars had voids 3 feet high next to them, except for the cars that had columns fall directly across them.

 

10) I discovered, while crawling inside of collapsed newspaper offices and other offices with a lot of paper, that paper does not compact.  Large voids are found surrounding stacks of paper. 

 

Spread the word and save someone's life... The Entire world is experiencing natural calamities so be prepared! "We are but angels with one wing, it takes two to fly"

 In 1996 we made a film, which proved my survival methodology to be correct.  The Turkish Federal Government, City of Istanbul, University of Istanbul Case Productions and ARTI cooperated to film this practical, scientific  test. We collapsed a school and a home with 20 mannequins inside. Ten  mannequins did  "duck and cover," and ten mannequins I used in my "triangle of life" survival method . After the simulated earthquake collapse we crawled through the rubble and entered the building to film and document the results. The film, in which I practiced my survival techniques under directly observable, scientific conditions, relevant to building collapse, showed there  would have been zero percent survival for those doing duck and cover.

There would likely have been 100 percent survivability for people using my method of the "triangle of life." This film has been seen by millions of viewers on television in Turkey and the rest of Europe, and it was seen in the USA, Canada and Latin America on the TV program Real TV.

 

-Senior Exercise and Senior Fitness-
Mary Ann Wilson's

 

-NATURAL FOODS THAT HEAL-

Almonds* - fight heart disease
Avocados - good for your cholesterol
Beans - help slash cholesterol
Broccoli - has agents that fight cancer
Cabbage - discourages breast cancer
Celery - may help lower your blood pressure
Cinnamon - good for blood sugar
Cranberries - fight bladder infections
Cumin & Ginger - antioxidant
Garlic - may help lift your mood
Ginger - nausea and motion sickness
Grape Juice - contains "blood thinners"
Hot Peppers - relieve congestion
Licorice - soothes ulcers
Spinach - reduced risk of cataracts
Wheat Bran - may deter colon cancer


* One-ounce of Almonds (about 23) added to your daily diet provides: Vitamin E, Protein and Fiber, Magnesium, Potassium, Calcium, Phosphorous. It also can help manage blood sugar and insulin levels.
a lot of bang for 160 Calories.

 

ELECTROLYTES

Are basically a salt that can carry an electrical charge. The cells of your body rely on electrolytes to carry the electrical impulses responsible for muscle contractions and nerve impulses to other sells. Without electrolytes, your body wouldn't communicate efficiently. The balance of the electrolytes in our bodies is essential for normal function of our cells and our organs. Bicarbonate / Chloride / Potassium / Sodium /  & Magnesium.
.

 

EPILEPSY


Is a brain disorder in which clusters of nerve cells in the brain occasionally signal abnormally. In epilepsy, the normal pattern of nerve cell activity becomes disturbed, causing strange sensations, emotions, and behavior or sometimes convulsions, muscle spasms, and loss of consciousness. Epilepsy is a disorder with many possible causes. Anything that disturbs the normal pattern of neuron activity - from illness to brain damage to abnormal brain development - can lead to seizures. Epilepsy may develop because of an abnormality in brain wiring, an imbalance of nerve signaling chemicals called neurotransmitters, or some combination. Having a seizure does not necessarily mean that a person has epilepsy. To be considered an epileptic, a person must have had  two or more seizures, The use of  EEGs and brain scans are the common diagnostic test for epilepsy.

Epileptic Seizure Tip
: When you come across someone that is having a seizure, make sure nothing is going to injure (is the airway clear?) them . If it is a Petit Mal / Atonic seizure, it will pass in a few  minutes, if it is a Grand Mal / Tonic-Clonic, it will last a little longer and is much more violent (jerking and contorted) in appearance, be supportive, don't be a coward and draw back, THEY NEED YOUR HELP!. The individual "will not" swallow their tongue Make sure they are on their side, not on their back, place something under their head and 'do not' attempt to restrain them. If they are coherent or when the seizure subsides, get their name, age and birthrate, which medication they are on and where they live. As soon as the seizure is over, have them say "Ahh" so you can see if they have bitten their tongue. The individual will be very tired when the seizure is over. Actually this is not a medical emergency, although it looks like one, it will stop after a few minutes. The average person is able to continue about their business after a rest period and may only need limited assistance, or none at all, in other circumstances, call 911.

Once one is diagnosed with epilepsy, it is important to begin treatment as soon as possible. For about 85 percent of those diagnosed with epilepsy, seizures can be controlled with modern medicines and  modern surgical techniques.

 

ERGONOMICS

The Monitor:

-Position the computer monitor so the top of the screen is at or below eye level. This can be accomplished by taking the computer off its base or stand, or if it is too low, adding something underneath it.

-Make sure the chair at the workstation fits correctly. An ergonomic back cushion, pillow or a rolled-up towel can be placed in the small of the back for added back support. There should be two inches between the front edge of the seat and the back of the knees. The chair should have arm supports so that elbows are resting within a 70- to 135-degree angle to the computer keyboard.

-Your wrists should be held in a neutral position while typing - not angled up or down. The mousing surface should be close to the keyboard so you have to reach or hold the arm away from the body.

-Your knees should be positioned at an approximate 90- to 120-degree angle. To accomplish this angle, feet can be placed on a foot rest, box, stool or similar object.

-Reduce eyestrain by making sure there is adequate lighting and that there is no glare on the monitor screen. Use an anti-glare screen if necessary.

-Limit your time at the computer and make sure to take periodic stretch breaks during computing time. Stretches can include: clenching hands into fists and moving them in 10 circles inward and 10 circles outward; placing hands in a praying position and squeezing them together for 10 seconds and then pointing them downward and squeezing them together for 10 seconds; spreading fingers apart and then closing them one by one; standing and wrapping arms around the body and turning all the way to the left and then all the way to the right.

 

ESOPHAGUS

The esophagus is a tube surrounded by muscle that carries food and liquid from the mouth to the stomach. It is about 12 inches long on average. The normal adult esophagus is roughly three fourths of an inch across at its smallest point.

The wall of the esophagus has several layers. Cancer of the esophagus ( esophageal cancer) begins from the inner layer and grows outward. The layer that lines the inside of the esophagus is called the mucosa. The mucosa is made up with 2 parts: the epithelium and the lamina propria. The epithelium forms the lining of the esophagus and is made up of flat, thin cells called squamous cells. The lamina propria is a thin layer of connective tissue right under the epithelium.

The next layer is the submucosa. Some parts of the esophagus have mucus-secreting glands in this layer. The layer under the submucosa is a thick band of muscle called the muscularis propria. This layer of muscle contracts in a coordinated, rhythmic way to force food along the esophagus from the throat to the stomach. The outermost layer of the esophagus is formed by connective tissue. It is called the adventitia.

The upper part of the esophagus has a special area of muscle at its beginning that relaxes to open the esophagus when it senses food or liquid coming toward it. This muscle is called the upper esophageal sphincter. The lower part of the esophagus that connects to the stomach is called the gastroesophageal junction. There is a special area of muscle near the junction called the lower esophageal sphincter. The lower esophageal sphincter controls the movement of food from the esophagus into the stomach and it keeps the stomach’s acid and digestive enzymes out of the esophagus.

The stomach has strong acid and enzymes that digest food. The epithelium or lining of the stomach is made of glandular cells that release acid, enzymes, and mucus. These cells have special features that protect them from the stomach’s acid and digestive enzymes.

Some people have acid that can escape from the stomach into the esophagus. This is referred to as acid  reflux or gastroesophageal reflux disease. In many cases, reflux can cause symptoms such as heartburn or a burning sensation radiating from the middle of the chest. However, in some cases, reflux can occur without any symptoms at all. If the reflux of stomach acid into the lower esophagus continues for a long time, the acid can cause injury to the lining of the esophagus, with abnormal glandular cells replacing the squamous cells that usually line the esophagus. These glandular cells usually look like the cells that line the stomach and are more resistant to stomach acid. When these glandular cells are noted in a person’s esophagus, he or she has a condition called Barrett esophagus.

There are 2 main types of esophageal cancer: squamous cell carcinoma and adenocarcinoma.

 

QT Fact: The human body, which is made up of between 55 and 75 percent water (lean people have more water in their bodies because muscle holds more water than fat), is in need of constant water replenishment.

 

FATS ( Saturated/Trans fats)


Health warnings to "avoid saturated fat" have been misinterpreted to mean "avoid ALL fats." But the truth is, good fat is absolutely essential for good health.

Some fats promote our health positively while some increase our risks of heart disease. The key is to replace bad fats with good fats in our diet. The Saturated fats raise your total blood cholesterol and your LDL, the bad cholesterol. They are found in eggs, meat and sea foods. There are also found in the oils, of coconut and palm.

Trans fats are manmade "hydrogenate" liquid oils that they can withstand better in the production of food providing for a longer shelf life. As a result of hydrogenation, trans fatty acids are formed. Trans fatty acids are found in many commercially packaged foods, commercially fried food such as some fast food French Fries, as well as many packaged snacks as well as in vegetable shortening and hard stick margarine.

Monounsaturated fats lower total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol ( bad cholesterol) and increase the HDL cholesterol (the good cholesterol). Nut, canola and *olive oils are high in monounsaturated. They are also
considered to be probably the healthiest type of general fat. It has none of the adverse effects associated with saturated fats, trans-fats or omega-6 polyunsaturated vegetable oils.

Polyunsaturated fats also lower total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol. Seafood like salmon and fish oil, as well as corn, soy, safflower and sunflower oils are high in polyunsaturated fats. Omega 3 fatty acids belong to this group.

*Oils high in monounsaturates are better oils for cooking. Olive oil is the best as it has the highest oxidation threshold: i.e. it remains stable at higher temperatures and does not easily become hydrogenated or saturated.

 

 

FIBROMYALGIA

Fibromyalgia syndrome is a common and chronic disorder characterized by widespread pain, diffuse tenderness, and a number of other symptoms.  Presently approximately 6 million Americans are diagnosed with this syndrome.

 

Although fibromyalgia is often considered an arthritis-related condition, it is not truly a form of arthritis (a disease of the joints) because it does not cause inflammation or damage to the joints, muscles, or other tissues. Like arthritis, however, fibromyalgia can cause significant pain and fatigue, and it can interfere with a person’s ability to carry on daily activities. Also like arthritis, fibromyalgia is considered a rheumatic condition, a medical condition that impairs the joints and/or soft tissues and causes chronic pain.

In addition to pain and fatigue, people who have fibromyalgia may experience a variety of other symptoms including:

  • cognitive and memory problems
  • sleep disturbances
  • morning stiffness
  • headaches
  • irritable bowel syndrome
  • painful menstrual periods
  • numbness or tingling of the extremities
  • restless legs syndrome
  • temperature sensitivity
  • Sensitivity to loud noises or bright lights.

 

Fibromyalgia is a syndrome rather than a disease. A syndrome is a collection of signs, symptoms, and medical problems that tend to occur together but are not related to a specific, identifiable cause. A disease, on the other hand, has a specific cause or causes and recognizable signs and symptoms.

The causes of fibromyalgia are unknown, but there are probably a number of factors involved. Many people associate the development of fibromyalgia with a physically or emotionally stressful or traumatic event, such as an automobile accident. Some connect it to repetitive injuries. Others link it to an illness. For others, fibromyalgia seems to occur spontaneously.

Many researchers are examining other causes, including problems with how the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord) processes pain.

Perhaps the most useful medications for fibromyalgia are several in the antidepressant class. These drugs work equally well in fibromyalgia patients with and without depression, because antidepressants elevate the levels of certain chemicals in the brain (including serotonin and norepinephrine) that are associated not only with depression, but also with pain and fatigue. Increasing the levels of these chemicals can reduce pain in people who have fibromyalgia. Doctors prescribe several types of antidepressants for people with fibromyalgia, described below.

  • Tricyclic antidepressants. When taken at bedtime in dosages lower than those used to treat depression, tricyclic antidepressants can help promote restorative sleep in people with fibromyalgia. They also can relax painful muscles and heighten the effects of the body’s natural pain-killing substances called endorphins. Tricyclic antidepressants have been around for almost half a century. Some examples of tricyclic medications used to treat fibromyalgia include amitriptyline hydrochloride (Elavil, Endep), cyclobenzaprine (Cycloflex, Flexeril, Flexiban), doxepin (Adapin, Sinequan), and nortriptyline (Aventyl, Pamelor). Both amitriptyline and cyclobenzaprine have been proven useful for the treatment of fibromyalgia.

 

  • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. If a tricyclic antidepressant fails to bring relief, doctors sometimes prescribe a newer type of antidepressant called a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI). As with tricyclics, doctors usually prescribe these for people with fibromyalgia in lower dosages than are used to treat depression. By promoting the release of serotonin, these drugs may reduce fatigue and some other symptoms associated with fibromyalgia. The group of SSRIs includes fluoxetine (Prozac), paroxetine (Paxil), and sertraline (Zoloft). Newer SSRIs such as citalopram (Celexa) or escitalopram (Lexapro) do not seem to work as well for pain as the older SSRIs.

SSRIs may be prescribed along with a tricyclic antidepressant. Studies have shown that a combination therapy of the tricyclic amitriptyline and the SSRI fluoxetine resulted in greater improvements in the study participants’ fibromyalgia symptoms than either drug alone.

  • Mixed reuptake inhibitors. Some newer antidepressants raise levels of both serotonin and norepinephrine and are therefore called mixed reuptake inhibitors. Examples of these medications include venlafaxine (Effexor), duloxetine (Cymbalta), and (Savella). In general, these drugs work better for pain than SSRIs, probably because they also raise norepinephrine, which may play an even greater role in pain transmission than serotonin.

 

Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition, meaning it lasts a long time—possibly a lifetime. However, it may be comforting to know that fibromyalgia is not a progressive disease. It is never fatal, and it will not cause damage to the joints, muscles, or internal organs. In many people, the condition does improve over time.

 

Improving Symptoms. A better understanding of fibromyalgia and the mechanisms involved in chronic pain are enabling researchers to find effective treatments for it. Some of the most promising lines of research in this area include the following:

·       Increasing exercise. Although fibromyalgia is often associated with fatigue that makes exercise difficult, regular exercise has been shown to be one of the most beneficial treatments for the condition. A new NIAMS-supported study is trying to determine whether increasing lifestyle physical activity (that is, adding more exercise such as walking up stairs instead of taking the elevator) throughout the day produces similar benefits to exercise for fibromyalgia, improving symptoms such as pain, fatigue, and tenderness. The study is also examining the potential mechanisms by which lifestyle physical activity might influence symptoms. Other research supported by NIAMS is examining the effectiveness of a 16-week program of a simplified form of Tai Chi on pain and other measures such as sleep quality, fatigue, anxiety, and depression.

NIAMS-supported research is also examining ways to help people maintain helpful exercise programs. Because many people with fibromyalgia associate increased exercise with increased pain, doctors and therapists often have a difficult time getting patients to stick with their exercise program. The new research is examining patients’ fears that cause them to avoid exercise as well as behavioral therapies to reduce fears and help them maintain exercise.

·       Improving sleep. Researchers supported by NIAMS are investigating ways to improve sleep for people with fibromyalgia whose sleep problems persist despite treatment with medications. One team has observed that fibromyalgia patients with persistent sleep problems share characteristics with people who have sleep-disordered breathing—a group of disorders, the most common of which is the obstructive sleep apnea, characterized by pauses in breathing during sleep. These researchers are studying whether continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP, a therapy administered by a machine that increases air pressure in the throat to hold it open during sleep) might improve the symptoms of fibromyalgia.

Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition, meaning it lasts a long time—possibly a lifetime. However, it may be comforting to know that fibromyalgia is not a progressive disease. It is never fatal, and it will not cause damage to the joints, muscles, or internal organs. In many people, the condition does improve over time.

 

An epidemiology study consisting of an internet-based survey of 2,596 people with fibromyalgia reported that the most frequently cited factors perceived to worsen fibromyalgia symptoms were emotional distress (83%), weather changes (80%), sleeping problems (79%), strenuous activity (70%), mental stress (68%), worrying (60%), car travel (57%), family conflicts (52%), physical injuries (50%) and physical inactivity (50%). Other factors included infections, allergies, lack of emotional support, perfectionism, side effects of medications, and chemical exposures.

 


 

FIRST AID

Cuts:

Everyone should keep a first aid kit in an accessible location in their home, garage, car and workplace.

Step 1. Minor cuts and scrapes stop bleeding on their own, in most cases. If they don't, apply gentle pressure to the wound with a clean cloth for 20-30 minutes. Don't lift the cloth while you wait. It is liable to reopen the wound.

Step 2. Use plain water to rinse dirt and foreign matter from cuts. Don't apply soap to the wound, as it can irritate it. Gently clean around the wound with soap, water and a clean washcloth. There is no need to use iodine based cleaners or hydrogen peroxide, but you certainly may do so.

Step 3. Once you have cleaned the wound, apply an antibiotic to keep the surface moist and to discourage infection.

Step 4. Cover the wound with a bandage. After your cut has healed enough such that infection is unlikely, remove it. Exposure to the air will speed up the healing process.

Ice or Heat for healing?

Heat and cold have opposite effects that can aid the healing of muscle strains and injuires, depending on the timing and type of injury.

COLD reduces blood flow to the injured area by constricting the arteries. This decreases bleeding, muscle spasm and pain. Cold is also a vital component of first-aid therapy: It reduces sweeling, which can also reduce recovery time. Ice packs are generally used for the first several days after an acute infury. Keep a damp cloth between the cold pack and your skin. Apply for 10 minutes twice a day.

HEAT increases blood flow to the infured area by dilating arteries. This can help promote healing in the sub-acute or chronic phases of an injury after swelling has subsided. Apply a heating pad or warm pack to the affected area for 15 minutes twice a day.

When using cold or heat, be careful to avoid frostbite or burns on your skin.

Scratching makes an itch worse. Scratching releases histamine from mast cells, which stimulates the itch. Apply an ice pack, a cold water compress or an antihistamine.

Eating Bananas outdoors in a humid conditions appears to attract mosquitoes to people.

 

 

                                                                                        About GREEN TEA

 

Green Tea (Camellia Sinensis) Theanine is an amino acid in green tea

 

Green tea and its extracts already have a positive reputation, with studies reporting they may offer protective effects against Alzheimer's and certain cancers, improve cardiovascular and oral health, and play a positive role in weight management.

The secret of green tea lies in the fact it is rich in catechin polyphenols, particularly epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). EGCG is a powerful anti-oxidant: besides inhibiting the growth of cancer cells, it kills cancer cells without harming healthy tissue. It has also been effective in lowering LDL cholesterol levels, and inhibiting the abnormal formation of blood clots. The latter takes on added importance when you consider that thrombosis (the formation of abnormal blood clots) is the leading cause of heart attacks and stroke.

 

Green tea, like black tea is made from the leaves of the plant Camellia sinensis. The difference between the three main types of tea is the way that they are produced. Green tea is unfermented tea meaning that the leaves used for green tea are steamed soon after been plucked in order to prevent the oxidation of the leaves. In this way the leaves remain green and the active substances within the leaves retain their qualities. Black teas on the other hand are made from fermented leaves and as a result have less nutritional and enzyme content as the green tea. Thus green and black teas have different chemical properties.

Modern science has in recent times been able to demonstrate that green tea is beneficial to one's health and this is mainly due to the fact that tea contains high levels of antioxidants called polyphenols or flavonoids. The antioxidant activity of tea has been compared to that of fruit and vegetables in a number of studies. One study concluded that consuming three cups of tea a day produced a similar amount of antioxidants as eating six apples. Antioxidants help your body fight against free radicals which cause damage to cells and tissues in your body, and extract can increase metabolism and fat oxidation of the body.

While all tea is healthy to drink, it is green tea that contains the highest level of flavonoids. Recent medical studies suggest green tea to be beneficial in many areas including the following
:

-Digestive and respiratory health.

-Lowers cholesterol levels.

-Boosts your immune system.

-Reduces high blood pressure.

-Arthritis - anti-inflammatory effect.

-Oral hygiene - due to antibacterial properties.

-Skin conditions such as acne.

-Possible  help in slowing or stopping  already damaged neurons in the brain, due to Parkinson's and  Alzheimer's disease.

-Lowers blood sugar.

-Appears to be beneficial to weight loss.

 

Brewing green tea:


You brew just as you would any other kind of tea, whether you have bagged tea or loose green tea. Although there is one caution: don't use fully boiling water. Green tea is more delicate than black, so you want to keep the water a little cooler. Brewing when your water is just about to hit the boil is good.

Dragon Well tea (also called Lung Ching) is the ultimate green tea. The name comes from West Lake region of China where the tea is produced.  It is praised for its "four unique’s": jade color, vegetative aroma, mellow chestnut flavor and singular shape.

Sencha is the most popular of Japan's green teas. It has a lightly astringent taste along with a slight sweetness.

 

Caffeine*

 

Unless specifically decaffeinated, green tea contains caffeine. Normal green tea itself may contain more caffeine than coffee, but the length of infusion with hot water and the number of times the leaves are reused can greatly alter caffeine intake. Experiments have shown after the first 5 minutes of brewing, green tea contains 32 mg caffeine. But if the same leaves are then used for a second and then a third five minute brew, the caffeine drops to 12 mg and then 4 mg, respectively.

While coffee and tea are both sources of caffeine, the amounts of caffeine in any single serving of these beverages varies significantly. An average serving of coffee contains the most caffeine, yet the same serving size of tea provides only 1/2 to 1/3 as much. One of the more confusing aspects of caffeine content is the fact that coffee contains less caffeine than tea when measured in its dry form. The caffeine content of a prepared cup of coffee is significantly higher than the caffeine content of a prepared cup of tea.

 

*Green teas contain two caffeine metabolites (caffeine-like substances):theophylline, which is stronger than caffeine, and theobromine, which is slightly weaker than caffeine.

 

 

 

  •  

 

FOOD POISONING

Food poisoning can affect one person or it can occur as an outbreak in a group of people who all ate the same contaminated food.

Even though food poisoning is relatively rare in the United States, it affects between 60 and 80 million people worldwide each year and results in approximately 6 to 8 million deaths.

Food poisoning tends to occur at picnics, school cafeterias, and large social functions. These are situations where food may be left unrefrigerated too long or food preparation techniques are not clean. Food poisoning often occurs from eating undercooked meats, dairy products, or food containing mayonnaise (like coleslaw or potato salad) that have sat out too long.
In many cases, food poisoning is brought on by lax hygiene, from food preparation. Everyone must wash their hands with soap and water, while preparing food. More often that not, one suffering from food poisoning, obtains it because of neglect on the part of food handlers, failing to wash their hands.


The symptoms from the most common types of food poisoning generally start within 2 to 6 hours of eating the food responsible. That time may be longer (even a number of days) or shorter, depending on the toxin or organism responsible for the food poisoning.

Food poisoning can be caused by: Staph aureus, E. coli enteritis, Salmonella, Cholera, Botulism (the worst of the worst), Mushrooms, Listeria, Fish poisoning and many other poisons.

Infants and elderly people have the greatest risk for food poisoning. You are also at higher risk if you have a serious medical condition, like kidney disease or diabetes, a weakened immune system, or you travel outside of the U.S. to areas where there is more exposure to organisms that cause food poisoning. Pregnant and breast feeding women have to be especially careful.

You will usually recover from the most common types of food poisoning within a couple of days. The goal is to make you feel better and avoid dehydration. Drink any fluid (except milk or caffeinated beverages) to replace fluids lost by diarrhea and vomiting. Children should be given an electrolyte sold in drugstores, or small sips of Gatorade, this goes for adults too, it is great at replacing your electrolytes. It will help, when you are felling a little better, to nibble on a saltine cracker, it helps to provide a small amount of food to your stomach. Don't eat solid foods until the diarrhea has passed, and avoid dairy, which can worsen diarrhea.

If you have diarrhea and are unable to drink fluids due to vomiting or nausea, you may need to seek medical attention and a regime of intravenous fluids. This is especially true for young children. If you take diuretics, you need to manage diarrhea carefully. Talk to your doctor -- you may need to stop taking the diuretic while you have the diarrhea. Medications should NEVER be stopped or changed without discussing with your doctor and getting specific instructions.

For the most common causes of food poisoning, your doctor would NOT prescribe antibiotics.

Antibiotics can actually prolong diarrhea and keep the organism in your body longer. This can also cause havoc with your electrolytes, which are critical to your well-being.

If you have eaten toxins from mushrooms or shellfish, you will need to be seen right away. The emergency room doctor will take steps to empty out your stomach and remove the toxin.

ALWAYS WASH YOUR HANDS AFTER USING THE BATHROOM AND PRIOR TO HANDLING FOOD.

 

 

                                                       One Pound of body fat is equal to 3,500 calorie

 

Maintain a healthy weight. Fat, especially about the waist. It can put undue stress on your lower back. Lose weight by lowering your calorie intake and doing at least 30 minutes daily of exercise at least 5 days per week. Walking would also be great. Consider that walking helps eliminate many other health problems, fights weight gain, helps people with diabetes, due to circulation enhancement and in some cases helps with osteoporosis..

 

GALLBLADDER

The gallbladder is a sac located under the liver. It stores and concentrates bile produced in the liver. Bile aids in the digestion of fats, and is released from the gallbladder into the upper small intestine (duodenum) in response to food ( fats). Conditions which slow or obstruct the flow of bile out of the gallbladder result in gallbladder disease.

Gall bladder disease includes inflammation, infection, stones, or obstruction of the gallbladder.
Types of gallbladder disease include:
Cholecystitis:
Acute cholecystitis is a sudden inflammation of the gallbladder that causes severe abdominal pain.
Cause:

In 90% of acute cases, acute cholecystitis is caused by gallstones in the gallbladder. Severe illness, alcohol abuse and, rarely, tumors of the gallbladder may also cause cholecystitis. Acute cholecystitis causes bile to become trapped in the gallbladder. The build up of bile causes irritation and pressure in the gallbladder. This can lead to bacterial infection and perforation of the organ. The main symptom is abdominal pain -- particularly after a fatty meal -- that is located on the upper right side of the abdomen. Occasionally, nausea and vomiting or fever may occur.

Cholelithiasis
Gallstones are formed within the gallbladder, an organ that stores bile excreted from the liver. Bile is made up of water, salts, lecithin, cholesterol, and other substances. If the concentration of these components changes, gallstones may form. Gallstones occur more frequently in women than men, becoming more common with age in both sexes.

Gallstones may be as small as a grain of sand, or they may become as large as an inch in diameter, depending on how long they have been forming.

Gallstones often have no symptoms and are usually discovered by a routine x-ray, surgery, or autopsy.

Gallstones are a common health problem worldwide. They are more common in women, and people over the age of 40.

Other risk factors include ethnic and hereditary factors, obesity, diabetes, liver cirrhosis, long-term intravenous nutrition, and some operations for peptic ulcers.

Symptoms usually start after a stone of sufficient size  blocks the cystic duct or the common bile duct. The cystic duct drains the gallbladder, and the common bile duct is the main duct draining into the duodenum.

A stone blocking the opening from the gallbladder or cystic duct usually produces symptoms of biliary colic, which is right upper abdominal pain that feels like cramping. If the stone does not pass into the duodenum, but continues to block the cystic duct, acute cholecystitis results.

If the common bile duct is blocked for a long period of time, bacteria may grow behind the stone in the stagnant bile, producing symptoms of  Cholangitis, which is a serious condition and usually requires hospitalization. Continued blockage of normal bile flow may also produce yellow (jaundice) skin and in the eyes..

Stones blocking the lower end of the common bile duct (where it enters the duodenum) may obstruct secretion from the pancreas, producing pancreatitis. This condition can also be very serious and may require hospitalization.

 

GASTRIC CANCER

Gastric cancer generally comes in two forms. One is an adenocarcinoma, which is about 90 percent of them, and then the other 10 percent are less common forms, like gastrointestinal stromal tumors. That's a cancer of the supporting cells like connective tissue. They're also known as GIST tumors.

Stomach cancer in this country is more common after age 50, and there are a variety of risk factors associated with it. The risk factors for stomach cancer include an infection with Helicobacter pylori, which is also known as H. pylori. It also includes tobacco, obesity, being a male. If they have a history of ulcers, a family history of stomach cancer, people should look out for those things and get evaluated.

People suffering from early gastric cancer usually experience no symptoms. Even when the disease progresses, symptoms can be subtle.

Many people with stomach cancer will first just begin to lose weight, not really have a reason for why they're doing that. There's a symptom called early satiety, where we eat a little bit and we feel full, and that can be a sign. Other times, there can be some nausea, vomiting.

As the cancer begins growing, there might be some oozing of blood that could lead to fatigue or tiredness. Sometimes, you can get a skin rash or things like that, but most often you wouldn't have any symptoms.

The best test, by far, is what's called an upper endoscopy and that's an endoscopic procedure where the doctor puts down a lighted tube and looks into the stomach, and he or she can see whether there's any abnormality in the stomach. If there's an abnormality, they can biopsy right through that scope and take tissue and make the diagnosis.

The next steps are to decide whether or not the patient is a good candidate for major surgery. Then after that, after you think the patient may be a candidate, you want to do scans, typically CAT scans of the chest, abdomen and pelvis, to make sure there's no evidence that the cancer has already spread.

Like many cancers, it's important to understand the stages of stomach cancer, because that gives you some information on prognosis. The earliest stage is when the tumor is just in the stomach and hasn't spread into the wall of the stomach and that would be called a stage I. As the tumor spreads through the wall of the stomach, you get to stage II. When you begin to have lymph node involvement, you get to stage III. And if the tumor spreads to other organs, you have stage IV stomach cancer.

Gastric cancer can definitely be cured, if it's caught early enough. If you look at patients sort of across the board who have stomach cancers, and when they're surgically removed there's no involvement of the lymph nodes, then at least 50 percent of those patients are cured with the surgery alone.

Surgery for stomach cancer comes in two main forms. One is a total gastrectomy, which is a removal of the entire stomach, or a partial gastrectomy, which is removing part of the stomach. The partial gastrectomy is known also as a subtotal gastrectomy, less than total.

Surgery is the normal treatment for Early stage 1 Gastric. Later stages ( 2 –3- 4) of the cancer when they spread to the organs results in more radical surgeries and treatments. For stage IV stomach cancers, chemotherapy is the main treatment. There are many different types of drugs that are chemotherapy that are active in the disease.

 


GENERIC PRESCRIPTION MEDICATIONS


They may cost up to 80% less than name brands. Even though they may look different, the medicine is the same because generics have gone through the FDA approval process to make sure they are safe and have the same effects in the body as brand medicines.

Consult with your doctor about whether or not your taking generics would be appropriate for you.

Example: Name brand vs. Generic version
 For 1 month 
Allegra (180 mg) cost twice that of Fexofenadine.
Cardizem (CD 240 mg)  cost twice the  Diltiazem Hci
Prilosec (20 mg)  cost over six times that of Omeprazole.
Valium (5 mg) cost over 50 times more than that of Diazepam
Zocor (20 mg)  cost over 12 times that of Simvastatin
And the list goes on..........

 

GESTATIONAL DIABETES

Is a form of diabetes found for the first time when a woman is pregnant. Out of every 100 pregnant women in the United States, three to eight get gestational diabetes. Diabetes means that your blood glucose (also called blood sugar) is too high. Your body uses glucose for energy. But too much glucose in your blood can be harmful. When you are pregnant, too much glucose is not good for your baby.

Changing hormones and weight gain are part of a healthy pregnancy. But both changes make it hard for your body to keep up with its need for a hormone called insulin. When that happens, your body doesn't get the energy it needs from the food you eat.

Gestational diabetes generally has few symptoms and it is most commonly diagnosed by screening during pregnancy. Diagnostic tests detect high levels of glucose in blood samples.

Babies born to mothers with gestational diabetes are at increased risk of complications, primarily growth abnormalities and chemical imbalances such as low blood sugar. Gestational diabetes is a reversible condition and women who have adequate control of glucose levels can effectively decrease the associated risks and give birth to healthy babies.

Women with gestational diabetes are at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes mellitus after pregnancy, while their offspring are prone to developing childhood obesity, with type 2 diabetes later in life. Most patients are treated only with diet modification and moderate exercise but some take anti-diabetic drugs, including insulin therapy.

Untreated or uncontrolled gestational diabetes can mean problems for your baby, such as

  • being born very large and with extra fat; this can make delivery difficult and more dangerous for your baby
  • low blood glucose right after birth
  • breathing problems

If you have gestational diabetes, your health care team may recommend some extra tests to check on your baby, such as

  • an ultrasound exam, to see how your baby is growing
  • "kick counts" to check your baby's activity (the time between the baby's movements) or special "stress" tests

Working closely with your health care team will help you give birth to a healthy baby.

Both you and your baby are at increased risk for type 2 diabetes for the rest of your lives.

How will gestational diabetes affects you

Often, women with gestational diabetes have no symptoms. However, gestational diabetes may

  • increase your risk of high blood pressure during pregnancy
  • increase the risk of a large baby and the need for cesarean section at delivery

Gestational diabetes will probably go away after ther baby is born. However, the mother  will be more likely to get type 2 diabetes later in life. The mother may also get gestational diabetes again if she get pregnant again.

Some women wonder whether breastfeeding is OK after they have had gestational diabetes. Breastfeeding is recommended for most babies, including those whose mothers had gestational diabetes.

Gestational diabetes is serious, even if you have no symptoms.

Physical activity, such as walking and swimming, can help one reach your blood glucose targets. Talk with a health care team about the type of activity that is best. If one are already active, tell the health care team what you do.

 

.

 

The "Chinese" Wolfberry, also called Goji Berries, contain over 18 amino acids (proportionally six times higher than bee pollen), 21 trace minerals, more beta carotene than carrots, and an astonishing 500 times more vitamin C by weight than oranges. It is also packed with vitamin B1, vitamin B6 and vitamin E.

 

 

 

Children &  Weight  

Children who are overweight are more likely to become overweight adults. They may develop type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and other illnesses that can follow them into adulthood. Overweight in children can also lead to stress, sadness and low self esteem. Involve the whole family in building healthy eating  and physical activity habits. It benefits everyone and does not single out the child who is overweight

 

HEARING "AUDITORY" LOSS


Deafness, can be congenital (present at birth), or acquired in life. There is no difference, the only distinction being, whether at birth or later in life.

Acquired deafness is possibly a manifestation of a delayed-onset form of genetic deafness. Alternatively, "acquired" deafness may be due to damage to the ear from noise.

<>Congenital deafness similarly may or may not be genetic. It may be caused by a genetic disease called Waardenburg syndrome. The fact is, more than half of congenital hearing loss is inherited. Alternatively, congenital deafness may be due to a condition or infection to which the mother was exposed during pregnancy, such as rubella..

Hearing loss can also be classified based on which portions of the hearing system (auditory system) are affected. When the nervous system is affected, it is referred to as sensorineural hearing loss. When the portions of the ear that are responsible for transmitting the sound to the nerves are affected, it is referred to as conductive hearing loss.

There are three sections of the ear. The external ear, the middle ear, and the inner ear.

Most hearing loss is attributed to Presbycusis, which is age-related hearing loss with the gradual inability to hear, especially high frequency sounds. Presbycusis most often occurs in both ears. Because the loss of hearing is so subtle, many people do not realize that their hearing is even diminishing. They usually have trouble distinguishing and understanding conversation in a noisy setting. Presbycusis is quite common, affecting a third of people between 65 and 75 years and up to a half of people 75 and over. Fortunately, this loss of hearing usually can be be corrected with a hearing aid. Environmental exposures (such as loud industrial machinery, guns and very loud music) can also contribute to presbycusis.


There a various other causes of hearing loss, some know as idiopathic, which is from unknown cause. Any disease that is of uncertain or unknown origin may be termed idiopathic. They are just a real, simply are not defined as caused by disease, presbycusis or injury. Other types of auditory loss can be caused by  Meniere's disease, which is also idiopathic, as it's cause is unknown, and various types of nerve damage from illness, nerve tumors and possible drug toxins.

If you have any of the following, it is suggested that you contact your ENT or Audiologist for further testing.

  • Do you have trouble hearing when there is noise in the background?
  • Is it hard for you to follow a conversation when two or more people talk at once?
  • Do you have to strain to understand a conversation?
  • Do many people seem to mumble or not speak clearly?
  • Do you misunderstand what others are saying and respond inappropriately?
  • Do you often ask people to repeat themselves?
  • Do you hear an constant roar, hissing or ringing?

You are not alone and help is readily accessible.

 

HEADACHE

Different headaches responds to different treatments. There are treatments for just about every type of headache.

A few examples:

Migraine headache. (Lasting a few hours to several days)
A throbbing or steady pain, this type of headache occurs on one or both sides of the head and is moderate to very severe in its intensity. Fortunately, if you call it that, sufferers usually have one or more warning signs that occur a few days before onset. Symptoms can include fatigue, muscle pain pain in the neck and shoulder, excessive yawning and difficulty concentrating.

Most sufferers report that once the pain begins, they become nauseated, and have difficulty thinking and are very sensitive to light and sound. Some suffers (Aura) say that they get tunnel vision, flashing or blind spots, and tingling in body parts, as well as dizziness. These disappear once the pain starts.

Most sufferers simply sleep off the migraine, hiding out in a quiet dark room.

Acute Sinus headache:

Acute sinus infection may be accompanied by a headache. In these patients, a common cold or nasal allergy progresses to increasing congestion, fever, and pain in the area of the involved sinus. This headache increases in severity when coughing or bending over. The pain tends to be dull rather than piercing or knifelike.

Adults have four pairs of sinuses. The frontal sinuses are located over the eyes, with pain presenting in the forehead when these sinuses are infected. Infection of the ethmoid sinuses, located in the deeper recesses of the nose rather than in the front of the face, causes pain between and behind the eyes. The deepest pair of sinuses, named the sphenoid sinuses, results in pain referred to the back of the head. This is a rare occurrence. The maxillary sinuses are located in the middle third of the face, below the eyes and to the side of the nose. These are the most frequently infected sinuses, with pain across the face or in the upper teeth on the affected side.

A sinus headache usually subsides within a few days. or it may last until the infection that caused it has been treated and the mucus has drained. Most often they clear up on their own, but treatment will probably speed up recovery and lessen the severity of the pain.

For those who suffer Sinus headaches regularly, a daily ritual of the use of over-the-counter saline nasal products helps rinse out pollutants, and allergens that can cause sinus headache.

Tension Headache:

A tension headache usually is a mild to moderate pain over your head. Many people describe them as the felling of a tight band around their head. A tension headache may also cause pain in the back of your neck at the base of your skull.

Although headache pain sometimes can be severe, in most cases it's not the result of an underlying disease. The vast majority of headaches are so-called primary headaches. Besides tension headaches, these include migraines and cluster headaches.

In many cases, there's no clear cause for a tension headache. To name just a few, some triggers are hunger, lack of sleep and changes in sleeping patters. Managing a tension headache is often a balance between healthy habits, finding effective non drug treatments and using medications appropriately.

Most tension headaches respond to recommended doses of over-the- counter drugs, such as Acetaminophen (Tylenol) or Naproxen sodium (Aleve) or Ibuprofen (Advil). Using extra strength Excedrin helps some sufferers, as it is a combination of acetaminophen, aspirin and caffeine, do be cautious though, this should not be taken more than a few times a week.

 

HEART


#1 DISEASE IN AMERICA

A Potential Life Saver



 "How to survive a Heart Attack When Alone"

Suddenly you start experiencing severe pain in your chest that starts to radiate out into your arms and up your jaw, Your maybe five miles to your nearest hospital or help, what are you to do? You only have about 10 Seconds left before losing consciousness. Immediate Help is at hand. START COUGHING REPEATEDLY AND VERY VIGOROUSLY. A DEEP BREATH SHOULD BE TAKEN BEFORE EACH COUGH AND THE COUGH MUST BE DEEP AND PROLONGED, AS WHEN PRODUCING SPUTUM FROM DEEP INSIDE THE CHEST AND A COUGH MUST BE REPEATED ABOUT EVERY 2 SECONDS WITHOUT LET UP UNTIL HELP ARRIVES, OR UNTIL THE HEART IS FELT TO BE BEATING NORMALLY AGAIN

                                                                                                 HEART ATTACK

If you believe you are having a Heart Attack, "IMMEDIATLEY" take one Bayer aspirin and call 911. It just could save your life.  A wise precaution after checking with your Physician for approval is to daily take one (1) small bayer childrens aspirin.

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Deep breaths get oxygen into the lungs and coughing movements squeeze the heart and keep the blood circulating. The squeezing pressure on the heart also helps it regain normal rhythm. In this way, heart attack victims can get to the hospital.

Antioxidants are necessary in slowing down the development of plaque formation in the arteries. Taking vitamin A, C, E, and beta-carotene can really be of help, along with a proper diet.

MYOCARDIAL INFARCTION
HEART ATTACK!!!



The symptoms of a heart attack usually last 30 minutes or longer and are not relieved by rest or oral medications.
Symptoms include:

  • Discomfort, pressure, heaviness, or pain in the chest, arm or below the breastbone
  • Discomfort radiating to the back, jaw, throat or arm
  • Fullness, indigestion or choking feeling (may feel like heartburn)
  • Sweating, nausea, vomiting or dizziness
  • Extreme weakness, anxiety or shortness of breath
  • Rapid or irregular heartbeats 

CALL 911 if you have any chest pain that lasts for more than a few minutes, or goes away and then comes back.

Some can experience a heart attack (silent heart attack) and not even know it has happened, none the less, they had one and now have scarring (damage) to their heart.

Even for experts, sometimes it's impossible to tell the difference between heartburn and a heart attack.
Heartburn includes a sharp burning sensation just below the rib cage or breastbone that does not usually radiate to the shoulder, arm, or neck, although it can in some cases.

Heartburn also typically comes on after meals, responds quickly to antacids, and is rarely accompanied by the shortness of breath, dizziness, or lightheadedness that is associated with heart attacks.

Heart attacks are brought about by various causes, such as genetics, stress, blood clots, and plaque, to name a few. Your goal after you experience a heart attack is To keep your heart healthy and reduce your risks of having another one. Take your medications, change your lifestyle, and see you doctor for regular heart checkups.


A good way  to avoid a heart attack is:

  • Quit smoking. Your doctor can help you. (If you don't smoke, don't start!)
  • Eat a healthy diet. Cut back on foods high in saturated fat and sodium (salt) to lower cholesterol and blood pressure. Ask your doctor about how to start eating a healthy diet.
  • Control your blood sugar if you have diabetes.
  • Exercise. Work up to at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise (that raises your heart rate) at least 4 times a week. Any exercise is better than none.
  • Lose weight if you're overweight. Your doctor can advise you about the best ways to lose weight. Forget the fad diets.
  • Control your blood pressure if you have hypertension.
  • Avoid stress.


More than a million heart attacks occur in the U.S. each year. Fortunately, it is now easier to survive one, thanks to medical advances.  You could possibly avoid this trauma, disability, hospital confinement and risk of death if you would adopt some basic habits.
The key to these changes are:
Exercise regularly, eating a healthful diet and kicking the use of tobacco. The first two will control weight, blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol levels-all major factors for heart disease. Your quitting tobacco could very likely lower your odds of early heart attack. These changes are sometimes difficult, but not nearly as disastrous and life changes when one has a Heart Attack.

So you know your personal risk, schedule a visit with your health care provider. They can quickly predict with simple tests who is at risk of having a heart attack in the next 10 years. If you have not had a checkup and you are 40, smoke, are overweight or have a family history of early cardiovascular problems, you should have a screening. An early diagnosis could prevent a heart attack, and if you are in the risk category, medications can help tread the leading indicators for heart attack. You might find that just minor changes, such as adding exercise and eating a balanced diet, can prevent or significantly delay heart trouble.

Most of the ways to avoid a heart attack are up to you.

 

SUDDEN CARDIAC ARREST (SCA) 

SCA is the leading cause of death amoung high school and college athletes, and can sometimes be mistaken for other causes of colllapse. Make sure that your childs school and other facilities where your child performs in athletic programs has a written emergency plan in place. Personnel trained to use an Automatic Electronic Defibrillator (AED) may be able to shock the heart back to normal rhythm before emergency care arrives. Always immediately call 911. But defibrillation within three to five minutes is critical. Each minute lost reduces the chance of survial by approximately 10%.



BRAIN TIP:

Don't Skip Breakfast, 7:00 - Noon is when most people experience heart attacks. Eating breakfast appears to make the platelets less sticky and less likely to clump together, blocking the vital artery.

Watch your blood pressure, those who appear to overreact to stressful situations are much more prone to have heart trouble. Take a short walk it will help clear your mind and will calm you down. You will see things in a totally different light, usually.

Headache Tip: When you are experiencing a headache, instead of taking aspirin and doing damage to your insides, try drinking a can of cold Coca-Cola, laying down for 15-20 minutes with your eyes closed. Normally this will greatly diminish the headache. For those who do not drink coke, try eating a cup of coffee-flavored yogurt, it contains about as much caffeine as a 12-ounce can of coke. For extreme headaches, your doctor should be immediately consulted.

 

HYPERTENSION

Unfortunately there are usually no symptoms or signs of hypertension. Statistics have shown that  nearly one-third of those who have it don't know it. The only way to know if you have hypertension definitely is to have your blood pressure checked.

Normal blood pressure is below 120/80; blood pressure between 120/80 and 139/89 is called "pre–hypertension", and a blood pressure of 140/90 or above is considered high.

This unique tropical fruit is extremely high in potassium yet low in salt, making it the perfect way to beat blood pressure. The US Food and Drug Administration has recently allowed the banana industry to make official claims for the fruit's ability to aid in lowering blood pressure and stroke.

The top number, the systolic blood pressure, corresponds to the pressure in the arteries as the heart contracts and pumps blood forward into the arteries. The bottom number, the diastolic pressure, represents the pressure in the arteries as the heart relaxes after the contraction. The diastolic pressure reflects the lowest pressure to which the arteries are exposed.

Uncomplicated high blood pressure usually occurs without any symptoms (silently) and so hypertension has been labeled "the silent killer." It is called this because the disease can progress to finally develop any one or more of the several potentially fatal complications of hypertension such as heart attacks or strokes. Uncomplicated hypertension may be present and remain unnoticed for many years, or even decades. This happens when there are no symptoms, and those affected fail to undergo periodic blood pressure screening.

Some people with uncomplicated hypertension, however, may experience symptoms such as headache, dizziness, shortness of breath, and blurred vision.

If your blood pressure is extremely high, there may be certain symptoms to look out for, to name a few:

  • Blood in Urine
  • Chest Pain
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue or confusion
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Vision Problems

The goal of treatment is to reduce blood pressure so that you have a lower risk of complications.

There are many different medicines that can be used to treat high blood pressure. Such medicines include:

  • Alpha blockers
  • Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors
  • Angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs)
  • Beta-blockers
  • Calcium channel blockers
  • Central alpha agonists
  • Diuretics
  • Renin inhibitors, including aliskiren (Tekturna)
  • Vasodilators

Medicines used if the blood pressure is very high may include:

  • Clonidine
  • Diazoxide
  • Furosemide
  • Hydralazine
  • Minoxidil
  • Nitroprusside

 

HYPOGLYCEMIA

 

Glucose is a form of sugar, after you eat, glucose molecules are absorbed into your bloodstream and carried to the cells, where they are used for energy. Insulin, a hormone produced by your pancreas, helps glucose enter cells. If you take in more glucose than your body needs at the time, your body stores the extra glucose in your liver and muscles in a form called glycogen. Your body can use the stored glucose whenever it is needed for energy between meals. Extra glucose can also be converted to fat and stored in fat cells. In most people, this raises blood sugar. If it doesn't, you have hypoglycemia, and your blood sugar can be dangerously low. You can also have Hypoglycemia "low blood sugar" without having diabetes. Hypoglycemia can occur in people with diabetes who take certain medications to keep their blood glucose levels in control. Usually hypoglycemia is mild and can easily be treated by eating or drinking something with carbohydrate. But left untreated, hypoglycemia can lead to loss of consciousness. Although hypoglycemia can happen suddenly, it can usually be treated quickly, bringing your blood glucose level back to normal.

Some medications, including some used to treat diabetes, are the most common cause of hypoglycemia. Other medications that can cause hypoglycemia include

  • salicylates, including aspirin, when taken in large doses
  • sulfa medicines, which are used to treat infections
  • pentamidine, which treats a very serious kind of pneumonia
  • quinine, which is used to treat malaria

If using any of these medications causes your blood glucose to drop, your doctor may advise you to stop using the drug or change the dosage.

Carbohydrates are the main dietary sources of glucose. Rice, potatoes, bread, tortillas, cereal, milk, fruit, and sweets are all carbohydrate-rich foods.

Normal and target blood glucose ranges (mg/dL)

Normal blood glucose levels in people who do not have diabetes

Upon waking (fasting)

70 to 110

After meals

70 to 140

Target blood glucose levels in people who have diabetes

Before meals

90 to 130

1 to 2 hours after the start of a meal

less than 180

Hypoglycemia (low blood glucose)

70 or below

Some of the signs of low blood sugar are:

  • Hunger
  • Shakiness
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Feeling anxious or weak

Hypoglycemia is usually a side effect of diabetes medicines for many. Eating or drinking something with carbohydrates can help. If it happens often, your physician may need to change your treatment plan.

 

INHALANTS


Teenagers and some even younger are likely to use inhalants, in part because inhalants are cheap, and a accessible substitute for alcohol and readily available and inexpensive, usually in the home. Statistics now represent that one in five teenagers have tried Inhalants at least once.

It only takes seconds for inhalants to enter the blood and travel through the body. Sniffing large amounts can cause a heart attack or death from suffocation, because inhalants repalce oxygen in the lungs.

Inhalants fall into the following categories:

  • Solvents
    • industrial or household solvents or solvent-containing products, including paint thinners or solvents, degreasers (dry-cleaning fluids), gasoline, and glues
    • art or office supply solvents, including correction fluids, felt-tip-marker fluid, and electronic contact cleaners
  • Gases
    • gases used in household or commercial products, including butane lighters and propane tanks, whipping cream aerosols or dispensers (whippets), and refrigerant gases
    • household aerosol propellants and associated solvents in items such as spray paints, hair or deodorant sprays, and fabric protector sprays
    • medical anesthetic gases, such as ether, chloroform, halothane, and nitrous oxide (laughing gas)
  • Nitrites
    • aliphatic nitrites, including cyclohexyl nitrite, which is available to the general public; amyl nitrite, which is available only by prescription; and butyl nitrite, which is now an illegal substance.

 

  • In addition  to glue, other household substances that can be abused by inhaling include: marking pens, nail polish remover, spray paint and rubber cement.

Health Hazards

Although different in makeup, nearly all abused inhalants produce effects similar to anesthetics, which act to slow down the body's functions. When inhaled via the nose or mouth into the lungs in sufficient concentrations, inhalants can cause intoxicating effects. Intoxication can last only a few minutes or several hours if inhalants are taken repeatedly. Initially, users may feel slightly stimulated; with successive inhalations, they may feel less inhibited and less in control; finally, a user can lose consciousness.

Sniffing highly concentrated amounts of the chemicals in solvents or aerosol sprays can directly induce heart failure and death. This is especially common from the abuse of fluorocarbons and butane-type gases. High concentrations of inhalants also cause death from suffocation by displacing oxygen in the lungs and then in the central nervous system so that breathing ceases. Other irreversible effects caused by inhaling specific solvents are as follows:

  • Hearing loss - toluene (paint sprays, glues, dewaxers) and trichloroethylene (cleaning fluids, correction fluids)
  • Peripheral neuropathies or limb spasms - hexane (glues, gasoline) and nitrous oxide (whipping cream, gas cylinders)
  • Central nervous system or brain damage - toluene (paint sprays, glues, de-waxers)
  • Bone marrow damage - benzene (gasoline).

Serious but potentially maybe reversible effects include:

  • Liver and kidney damage - toluene- containing substances and chlorinated hydrocarbons (correction fluids, dry- cleaning fluids)
  • Blood oxygen depletion - organic nitrites ("poppers," "bold," and "rush") and methylene chloride (varnish removers, paint thinners).

Young people are likely to abuse inhalants, in part because inhalants are readily available and inexpensive. Sometimes children unintentionally misuse inhalant products that are found in household products.

Parents should see that these substances are monitored closely so that they are not inhaled by young children.

 

 KIDNEY FAILURE (Nephropathy)

Their Function & Failure

The kidneys are a pair of bean–shaped organs that lie on either side of the spine in the lower middle of the back. Each kidney weighs about ¼ pound and contains approximately one million filtering units called nephrons. Each nephron is made of a glomerulus and a tubule. The glomerulus is a miniature filtering or sieving device while the tubule is a tiny tube like structure attached to the glomerulus.

The kidneys are connected to the urinary bladder by tubes called ureters. Urine is stored in the urinary bladder until the bladder is emptied by urinating. The bladder is connected to the outside of the body by another tube like structure called the urethra.

The  kidneys function is to remove waste products and excess water from the blood. The kidneys process about 200 liters of blood every day and produce about two liters of urine. The waste products are generated from normal metabolic processes including the breakdown of active tissues, ingested foods, and other substances. The kidneys allow consumption of a variety of foods, drugs, vitamins and supplements, additives, and excess fluids without worry that toxic by–products will build up to harmful levels. The kidney also plays a major role in regulating levels of various minerals such as calcium, sodium, and potassium in the blood.

Chronic kidney disease includes conditions that damage your kidneys and decrease their ability to keep you healthy by doing the jobs listed. If kidney disease gets worse, wastes can build to high levels in your blood and make you feel sick. You may develop complications like high blood pressure, anemia (low blood count), weak bones, poor nutritional health and nerve damage. Also, kidney disease increases your risk of having heart and blood vessel disease. These problems may happen slowly over a long period of time. Chronic kidney disease may be caused by diabetes, high blood pressure and other disorders. Early detection and treatment can often keep chronic kidney disease from getting worse. When kidney disease progresses, it may eventually lead to kidney failure, which requires dialysis or a kidney transplant to maintain life.

Kidney failure occurs when the kidneys partly or completely lose their ability to carry out normal functions. This is dangerous because water, waste, and toxic substances build up that normally are removed from the body by the kidneys. It also causes other problems such as anemia, high blood pressure, acidosis (excessive acidity of body fluids), disorders of cholesterol and fatty acids, and bone disease in the body by impairing hormone production by the kidneys.

The signs of kidney disease

People in the early stages of kidney disease usually do not feel sick at all.

If your kidney disease gets worse, you may need to urinate more often or less often. You may feel tired or itchy. You may lose your appetite or experience nausea and vomiting. Your hands or feet may swell or feel numb. You may get drowsy or have trouble concentrating. Your skin may darken. You may have muscle cramps.

Acute Kidney failure

Unlike chronic kidney disease, acute kidney failure develops rapidly, over days or weeks. Acute kidney failure usually develops in response to a disorder that directly affects the kidney, its blood supply, or urine flow from it. Acute kidney failure usually does not cause permanent damage to the kidneys. With treatment of the underlying condition, it is often reversible, with complete recovery. In some cases, though, it may progress to chronic kidney disease.

Kidney Stones (not the same as Gallstones)

Kidney stones often do not cause any symptoms. Usually, the first symptom of a kidney stone is extreme pain, which occurs when a stone acutely blocks the flow of urine. The pain often begins suddenly when a stone moves in the urinary tract, causing irritation or blockage. Typically, a person feels a sharp, cramping pain in the back and side in the area of the kidney or in the lower abdomen ( you will have a tendency to reach back with your hand and push on it to alleviate the pain, unfortunately, this will do little to help). Sometimes nausea and vomiting occur. Later, pain may spread to the groin. Another sign is your urine will be extremely yellow in color, and you will have great difficulty in urinating, although, that is just what you want to do.

If the stone is too large to pass easily, pain continues as the muscles in the wall of the tiny ureter try to squeeze the stone along into the bladder. As a stone grows or moves, blood may appear in the urine. As the stone moves down the urethra closer to the bladder, you may feel the need to urinate more often or feel a burning sensation during urination, if you can urinate at all..

Fortunately, surgery is not usually necessary. Most kidney stones can pass through the urinary system with plenty of water (2 to 3 quarts a day) to help move the stone along. Often, you can stay home during this process, drinking fluids and taking pain medication as needed. The doctor usually asks you to save the passed stone(s) for testing. (You can catch it in a cup or tea strainer used only for this purpose.)

If fever and chills accompany any of these symptoms, an infection may be present. It is recommended that you visit your physician, as they can prescribe you a pain medication, as the period of passing a stone (gravel) can take between 3 and 16 hours, and be very painful.

 

Suggested Medical Information Links:

Alzheimer's Association - www.alz.org/

American Academy of Sleep Medicine - www.asda.org/

American Anorexia/Bulemia Association - www.aabainc.org/

American Association for Respiratory Cure - www.aarc.org/

American Cancer Society - www.cancer.org/

American Council of the Blind - www.acb.org/

American Counseling Association - www.counseling.org/

American Diabetes Association - www.diabetes.org/

American Heart Association - www.americanheart.org/

American Liver Foundation - gi.ucsf.edu/alf/alf.html

American Lung Association - www.lungusa.org/

American Pain Foundation - www.painfoundation.org/

American Urological Association- http://www.urologyhealth.org/

Department of Health and Human Services - www.dhhs.gov/

Epilepsy foundation- www.epilepsyfoundation.org

National Autism Association- http://www.nationalautismassociation.org

National Cancer Institute - www.nci.nih.gov/

National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine - altmed.od.nih.gov/ncc/am/

National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence - www.ncadd.org/

National Council on the Aging - http://www.ncoa.org/

Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases - www.niaid.nih.gov/

National Kidney Foundation - www.kidney.org/

National Library of Medicine - www.nlm.nih.gov/

National Multiple Sclerosis Society - www.nmss.org/

National Organization for Diseases - www.rarediseases.org/

National Safety Council - www.nsc.org/

National Stroke Association - www.stroke.org/

 


 

Pollen Tip: By washing your hair in the evening, you will be removing pollen keeping it from settling on pillows and bedding.

Many people that have allergies, think that they are caused by food, and this is true, but actually, what they are experiencing are signs of disgestive problems, food poisoning or stress.

Bee Sting Tip: When stung, apply a strip of scotch tape over where the stinger went in; the stinger will stick to the tape when you pull off the tape.

 

 

  Transfat Tip: What you should know about "Transfats" (Hydrogenated Oils) Aside from the fact that they can kill you.
Imagine drinking a glass full of cold grease, that is exactly what you are doing! subsequently causing clogging of your arteries and blood vessels.



Visit: 

LEAD

 -It's Deadly Poisoning effects-

It is a Neurotoxin, too much lead in your system can cause irreparable damage to the brain and the
central nervous system. It accumulates in the Bones and Blood. Levels measured in the US today, show that we have over 675 times more lead in our bodies than were present 100 years ago.

Check Your home for lease-based paints (National Lead Information Center 1-800-424-LEAD

 

The LIVER

Is the largest organ inside your body, as well as one of the most important. The liver has many functions, including changing food into energy and cleaning alcohol and poisons from the blood. Your liver also makes bile, a yellowish green liquid that helps with digestion.

When diagnosed with hepatitis, patients often expect to feel pain over the liver. In fact, many people with chronic hepatitis do experience abdominal pain or discomfort over the liver. Others say that they do not actually experience pain, they do feel a vague sense of “fullness”, or an “awareness”, of the liver.  However, patients who report these symptoms to the doctor, will likely be informed that the liver itself does not typically cause pain or discomfort. Abdominal pain and/or pain over the liver (known as right upper quadrant pain), in people with liver disease may have many causes. Approximately 50% of chronic hepatitis patients also have gallbladder problems, pain that originates in the gallbladder are often mistaken as liver pain.

There are many kinds of liver diseases. Viruses in the liver such as hepatitis A, hepatitis B and hepatitis C. Others disease of the Liver can be due to excessive alcohol consumption, drugs and other sources, such as poison. If the liver forms scar tissue because of an illness, it's called cirrhosis. Jaundice, or yellowing of the skin, can be one of the sign's of liver disease. The gall bladder receives bile from the liver.

  • Cirrhosis of the liver is the result of atrophy of the liver. Over time, there will be jaundice.
  • Jaundice is an accumulation of bile pigment in the blood stream. This is frequently a result of obstruction of the duct system.
  • The liver is often a site for secondary metastasis of cancer from almost any part of the body because of its vast circulation of (vescularly) blood vessels


Liver cancer may also cause abdominal or right upper quadrant pain. People with a history of chronic hepatitis B or C, and those with cirrhosis due to any chronic liver disease are at risk for developing liver cancer, (also known as hepatocellular carcinoma, (HCC) or hepatoma).  HCC being one of the most common cancers.


Treatment options:

There are effective medicines for "some" liver diseases. Some treat only the complications of the disease, which may be all that is needed if the liver is not failing. Other times, medical treatment will only delay the inevitable need for a transplant.

Liver transplantation offers an acceptable treatment for many forms of end-stage liver disease. However, a liver transplant is not a treatment for certain diseases, such as some infections and types of cancer, because they likely will reoccur in the new organ. 

It is important to understand liver transplantation is not a cure. Caring for the transplanted liver is a lifelong commitment, requiring frequent blood tests and daily medications for the rest of the life of the recipient.

Tomato Juice is excellent for regeneratining liver growth.

 

 

LOW-BACK PAIN

Some specific exercises can help your back. One is to gently stretch your back muscles. Lie on your back with your knees bent and slowly raise your left knee to your chest. Press your lower back against the floor. Hold for 5 seconds. Relax and repeat the exercise with your right knee. Do 10 of these exercises for each leg, switching legs.

 

Get up frequently to stretch or walk around. Sit tall with your neck straight, as slouching irritates the back muscles. Always utilize a straight back and low back support .

Proper lifting prevents strain and injury. Bend at your knees, not at your waist; let your leg muscles power the lift. Keep the lifted item close to your body, and avoid twisting as you lift and move.

Regular exercise is an ideal way to prevent back pain. Try walking, swimming, biking or other activities. A weight training routine can strengthen back muscles to offset unnecessary strain.

Do not lift excess weight, you could possibly pay dearly, for the rest of your life.

Purchase a supportive mattress; they can make a big difference. Backaches upon waking each day can mean your mattress is either too soft or too firm.

See a doctor immediately if your back pain:

  • Is constant or intense, especially at night or when you lie down
  • Spreads down one or both legs, especially if the pain extends below the knee
  • Causes weakness, numbness or tingling in one or both legs
  • Causes new bowel or bladder problems
  • Is associated with pain or pulsation (throbbing) in the abdomen, or fever
  • Follows a fall, blow to your back or other injury
  • Is accompanied by unexplained weight loss

A slipped disk (also called a herniated disk) happens when a disk between the bones of the spine bulges and presses on nerves. This is often caused by twisting while lifting. But many people won't know what caused their slipped disk. In most cases, slipped disks and other back pain can be relieved by following a few simple methods.

The best position for relief when your back hurts is to lie on your back on the floor with pillows under your knees, with your hips and knees bent and your feet on a chair, or just with your hips and knees bent. This takes the pressure and weight off your back.

You may need 1 to 2 days of this sort of rest for a hurt back. Resting longer than this can cause your muscles to weaken, which can slow your recovery. Even if it hurts, walk around for a few minutes every hour.

Low back (Lumbar Spine)  injuries muscle strain or spasm, sprains of ligaments, joint problems or a "slipped disk." The most common cause is using your back muscles in activities you're not used to, lifting activities you normally do not Perform.


A herniated (slipped disk)  the soft inner cushioning material protrudes through the disk's outer rim and irritates an adjacent nerve root, can be the source of pain. Or the culprit might be spinal stenosis, a narrowing of the spinal canal that can cause a "pinched nerve"; stenosis (see bottom) usually accompanies aging and wear of the disks, the facet joints and ligaments in the spinal canal..

Back pain also may be the result of congenital abnormalities of the spine. These odd structures are often asymptomatic but may cause trouble if severe enough. Diseases of other parts of the anatomy, such as the kidneys, pancreas, aorta or sex organs, can be responsible as well.

Most low back pain can be treated without surgery. Treatment involves using analgesics, reducing inflammation, restoring proper function and strength to the back, and preventing recurrence of the injury. Most patients with back pain recover without residual functional loss. Patients should contact a doctor if there is not a noticeable reduction in pain and inflammation after 72 hours of self-care.

Although ice and heat (the use of cold and hot compresses) have never been scientifically proven to quickly resolve low back injury, compresses may help reduce pain and inflammation and allow greater mobility for some individuals. As soon as possible following trauma, patients should apply a cold pack or a cold compress (such as a bag of ice or bag of frozen vegetables wrapped in a towel) to the tender spot several times a day for up to 20 minutes. After 2 to 3 days of cold treatment, they should then apply heat (such as a heating lamp or hot pad) for brief periods to relax muscles and increase blood flow. Warm baths may also help relax muscles. Patients should avoid sleeping on a heating pad, which can cause burns and lead to additional tissue damage.

Medications are often used to treat acute and chronic low back pain. Effective pain relief may involve a combination of prescription drugs and over-the-counter remedies. Patients should always check with a doctor before taking drugs for pain relief. Certain medicines, even those sold over the counter, are unsafe during pregnancy, may conflict with other medications, may cause side effects including drowsiness, or may lead to liver damage.

Bed rest — 1–2 days at most. Studies have found that persons who continued their activities without bed rest following onset of low back pain appeared to have better back flexibility than those who rested in bed for a week. Other studies suggest that bed rest alone may make back pain worse and can lead to secondary complications such as depression, decreased muscle tone, and blood clots in the legs. Patients should resume activities as soon as possible. At night or during rest, patients should lie on one side, with a pillow between the knees (some doctors suggest resting on the back and putting a pillow beneath the knees).

Exercise may be the most effective way to speed recovery from low back pain and help strengthen back and abdominal muscles. Maintaining and building muscle strength is particularly important for persons with skeletal irregularities. Doctors and physical therapists can provide a list of gentle exercises that help keep muscles moving and speed the recovery process. A routine of back-healthy activities may include stretching exercises, swimming, walking, and movement therapy to improve coordination and develop proper posture and muscle balance.  Any mild discomfort felt at the start of these exercises should disappear as muscles become stronger. One very good exercise is to gently stretch your back muscles. Lie on your back with your knees bent and slowly raise your left knee to your chest. Press your lower back against the floor. Hold for 5 seconds. Relax and repeat the exercise with your right knee. Do 10 of these exercises for each leg, switching legs. The key to this exercise is keeping your center lower back flat on the floor.

But, if pain is more than mild and lasts more than 15 minutes during exercise, patients should stop exercising and contact a doctor.

Since invasive back surgery is not always successful, it should be performed only in patients with progressive neurologic disease or damage to the peripheral nerves.

  • Discectomy is one of the more common ways to remove pressure on a nerve root from a bulging disc or bone spur. During the procedure the surgeon takes out a small piece of the lamina (the arched bony roof of the spinal canal) to remove the obstruction below.
  • Foraminotomy is an operation that “cleans out” or enlarges the bony hole (foramen) where a nerve root exits the (spinal stenosis) spinal canal. Bulging discs or joints thickened with age can cause narrowing of the space through which the spinal nerve exits and can press on the nerve, resulting in pain, numbness, and weakness in an arm or leg. Small pieces of bone over the nerve are removed through a small slit, allowing the surgeon to cut away the blockage and relieve the pressure on the nerve.
  • IntraDiscal Electrothermal Therapy (IDET) uses thermal energy to treat pain resulting from a cracked or bulging spinal disc. A special needle is inserted via a catheter into the disc and heated to a high temperature for up to 20 minutes. The heat thickens and seals the disc wall and reduces inner disc bulge and irritation of the spinal nerve.
  • Nucleoplasty uses radiofrequency energy to treat patients with low back pain from contained, or mildly herniated, discs. Guided by x-ray imaging, a wand-like instrument is inserted through a needle into the disc to create a channel that allows inner disc material to be removed. The wand then heats and shrinks the tissue, sealing the disc wall. Several channels are made depending on how much disc material needs to be removed.
  • Radiofrequency lesioning is a procedure using electrical impulses to interrupt nerve conduction (including the conduction of pain signals) for 6 to12 months. Using x-ray guidance, a special needle is inserted into nerve tissue in the affected area. Tissue surrounding the needle tip is heated for 90-120 seconds, resulting in localized destruction of the nerves.
  • Spinal fusion is used to strengthen the spine and prevent painful movements. The spinal disc(s) between two or more vertebrae is removed and the adjacent vertebrae are “fused” by bone grafts and/or metal devices secured by screws. Spinal fusion may result in some loss of flexibility in the spine and requires a long recovery period to allow the bone grafts to grow and fuse the vertebrae together.
  • Spinal laminectomy (also known as spinal decompression) involves the removal of the lamina (usually both sides) to increase the size of the spinal canal and relieve pressure on the spinal cord and nerve roots.

Also under study for patients with degenerative disc disease is artificial spinal disc replacement surgery. The damaged disc is removed and a metal and plastic disc about the size of a quarter is inserted into the spine. Ideal candidates for disc replacement surgery are persons between the ages of 20 and 60 who have only one degenerating disc, do not have a systemic bone disease such as osteoporosis, have not had previous back surgery, and have failed to respond to other forms of nonsurgical treatment. Compared to other forms of back surgery, recovery from this form of surgery appears to be shorter and the procedure has fewer complications.

The lumbar spine (lower back) provides a foundation to carry the weight of the upper body. It also houses the nerves that control the lower body. With aging, degenerative changes in the spine can occur. The disks between the vertebrae (bones) may become dehydrated, and the joints may become overgrown due to arthritis. Over time, these changes can also lead to Stenosis, which is the narrowing of the lumbar spinal canal, causing the pinching of the nerves that go to the skin and muscles of the legs. Sometimes, the pinched nerves become inflamed, causing pain in the buttocks and/or legs.

Most patients with lumbar spinal stenosis do not require surgery, although some will require it.

A possible new key to having a pain-free back:
The key is to work your deep trunk muscles, which support and control the spine.
Some suggestions on keeping back pain at-bay;

  1. On all fours, with your spine in a neutral position, lift one are so it's parallel to the floor. Lower it, then raise and lower the other arm. Repeat fives times. Then lift one leg to the back, parallel to the floor. Lower it, then raise and lower the other leg. Do five reps. Work up to lifting arm and opposite leg simultaneously; gradually increase reps to ten.
  2. Lie on back with knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Keep spine in a neutral position (not arched or pressed against the floor). Raise the left leg; at the same time, raise the right arm and sweep it back allowing it to lie flat on the floor. Return to beginning position; repeat on opposite side. Do five repetitions. Gradually increase to ten.

 


 

MEDICATIONS

When taking your medications, especially those in the morning, it turns out that grapefruit juice can directly or indirectly interact in important ways with a number of medications, including high blood pressure medications! This is especially since grapefruit juice is consumed by approximately one fifth of Americans for breakfast a time when medications are also commonly taken.

If you are taking more than one medication, and at different times of the day, it is essential that you take the correct dosage of each medication. An easy way to make sure you do this is to use a 7-day pillbox, available in any pharmacy, and to fill the box with the proper medication at the beginning of each week. Many pharmacies also have pillboxes with sections for medications that must be taken more than once a day.

As to side effect, which are usually regarded as an undesirable secondary effect which occurs in addition to the desired therapeutic effect of a drug or medication. Side effects may vary for each individual depending on the person's disease state, age, weight, gender, ethnicity and general health.

Side effects can occur when commencing, decreasing/increasing dosages, or ending a drug or medication regimen. Side effects may also lead to non-compliance with prescribed treatment. When side effects of a drug or medication are severe, the dosage may be adjusted or a second medication may be prescribed. Lifestyle or dietary changes may also help to minimize side effects.

Anti-anxiety Medications

Everyone experiences anxiety at one time or another — “butterflies in the stomach” before giving a speech or sweaty palms during a job interview are common symptoms. Other symptoms include irritability, uneasiness, jumpiness, feelings of apprehension, rapid or irregular heartbeat, stomachache, nausea, faintness, and breathing problems.

Anxiety is often manageable and mild, but sometimes it can present serious problems. A high level or prolonged state of anxiety can make the activities of daily life difficult or impossible. People may have generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) or more specific anxiety disorders such as panic, phobias, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Both antidepressants and antianxiety medications are used to treat anxiety disorders. The broad-spectrum activity of most antidepressants provides effectiveness in anxiety disorders as well as depression. The first medication specifically approved for use in the treatment of OCD was the tricyclic antidepressant clomipramine (Anafranil). The SSRIs, fluoxetine (Prozac), fluvoxamine (Luvox), paroxetine (Paxil), and sertraline (Zoloft) have now been approved for use with OCD. Paroxetine has also been approved for social anxiety disorder (social phobia), GAD, and panic disorder; and sertraline is approved for panic disorder and PTSD. Venlafaxine (Effexor) has been approved for GAD.

Anti-anxiety medications include the benzodiazepines, which can relieve symptoms within a short time. They have relatively few side effects: drowsiness and loss of coordination are most common; fatigue and mental slowing or confusion can also occur.

Antidepressant Medications

Major depression, the kind of depression that will most likely benefit from treatment with medications, is more than just “the blues.” It is a condition that lasts 2 weeks or more, and interferes with a person’s ability to carry on daily tasks and enjoy activities that previously brought pleasure. Depression is associated with abnormal functioning of the brain. An interaction between genetic tendency and life history appears to determine a person’s chance of becoming depressed. Episodes of depression may be triggered by stress, difficult life events, side effects of medications, or medication/substance withdrawal, or even viral infections that can affect the brain.

Depressed people will seem sad, or “down,” or may be unable to enjoy their normal activities. They may have no appetite and lose weight (although some people eat more and gain weight when depressed). They may sleep too much or too little, have difficulty going to sleep, sleep restlessly, or awaken very early in the morning. They may speak of feeling guilty, worthless, or hopeless; they may lack energy or be jumpy and agitated. They may think about killing themselves and may even make a suicide attempt. Some depressed people have delusions (false, fixed ideas) about poverty, sickness, or sinfulness that are related to their depression. Often feelings of depression are worse at a particular time of day, for instance, every morning or every evening.

Not everyone who is depressed has all these symptoms, but everyone who is depressed has at least some of them, co-existing, on most days. Depression can range in intensity from mild to severe. Depression can co-occur with other medical disorders such as cancer, heart disease, stroke, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and diabetes. In such cases, the depression is often overlooked and is not treated. If the depression is recognized and treated, a person’s quality of life can be greatly improved.

Antidepressants are used most often for serious depressions, but they can also be helpful for some milder depressions. Antidepressants are not “uppers” or stimulants, but rather take away or reduce the symptoms of depression and help depressed people feel the way they did before they became depressed.

OVER-THE-COUNTER PAIN MEDICINES

Over-the-counter (OTC) medications are good for many types of pain. OTC medicines include:

  • Acetaminophen (Tylenol)
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)

Acetaminophen is a non-aspirin pain reliever. It can be used to lower a fever and soothe headaches and other common aches and pains. However, acetaminophen does not reduce swelling (inflammation). This medicine is easier on the stomach than other pain medications, and it is safer for children. It can, however, be harmful to the liver if you take more than the recommended dose. See: Acetaminophen overdose

NSAIDs include aspirin, naproxen, and ibuprofen. These medicines relieve pain, but they also reduce inflammation caused by injury, arthritis, or fever. NSAIDs work by reducing the production of hormone-like substances that cause pain.

DO NOT give aspirin to children. Reye syndrome is associated with the use of aspirin to treat children with viral infections, such as chicken pox or the flu.

If you have high blood pressure, kidney disease, or a history of gastrointestinal bleeding, you should talk to your health care provider before using any over-the-counter NSAID.

PRESCRIPTION PAIN MEDICINES

Prescription medications may be needed for other types of pain. COX-2 inhibitors are a type of prescription painkiller that block an inflammation-promoting substance called COX-2. This class of drugs was initially believed to work as well as traditional NSAIDs, but with fewer stomach problems. However, numerous reports of heart attacks and stroke have prompted the FDA to re-evaluate the risks and benefits of the COX-2s. Patients should ask their doctor whether a COX-2 drug is appropriate and safe for them.

Narcotic painkillers are very strong, potentially habit-forming medicines used to treat severe pain. They include morphine and codeine.

Talk to your doctor if your pain lasts longer than a few days, if over-the-counter pain medications do not relieve your pain, or if other symptoms develop. A pain specialist may be needed to help control long-term pain.

ALTERNATIVES TO PAIN MEDICINE

You might ask your doctor about alternatives to pain medicines, which include:

  • Heat
  • Ice
  • Massage
  • Rest
  • Biofeedback
  • Relaxation techniques

 

Complementary and Alternative Medicine (Also called CAM)Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is the term for medical products and practices that are not part of standard care. Standard care is what medical doctors, doctors of osteopathy and allied health professionals, such as registered nurses and physical therapists, practice. Alternative medicine means treatments that you use instead of standard ones. Complementary medicine means nonstandard treatments that you use along with standard ones. Examples of CAM therapies are acupuncture, chiropractic and herbal medicine.

 

  • Complementary medicine is used together with conventional medicine. An example of a complementary therapy is using aromatherapyA therapy in which the scent of essential oils from flowers, herbs, and trees is inhaled to promote health and well-being. to help lessen a patient's discomfort following surgery.
  • Alternative medicine is used in place of conventional medicine. An example of an alternative therapy is using a special diet to treat cancer instead of undergoing surgery, radiation, or chemotherapy that has been recommended by a conventional doctor.

 

METABOLIC

Insulin: is manufactured by the pancreas, insulin transports sugar from your blood to your cells and is  key player to regulating body weight.

Thyroid hormone: Facilities and controls metabolism rate in each and every cell in your body. It regulates energy levels, body weight, and body temperature. Thyroid hormone  has a direct effect on the level of adrenal and sex hormone
s.

 

MULTIPLE SCHEROSIS

Is an autoimmune disease that affects the central nervous system (CNS). The CNS consists of the brain, spinal cord, and the optic nerves. Surrounding and protecting the nerve fibers of the CNS is a fatty tissue called myelin, which helps nerve fibers conduct electrical impulses

In MS, myelin is lost in multiple areas, leaving scar tissue called sclerosis. These damaged areas are also known as plaques or lesions. Sometimes the nerve fiber itself is damaged or broken.

Myelin not only protects nerve fibers, but makes their job possible. When myelin or the nerve fiber is destroyed or damaged, the ability of the nerves to conduct electrical impulses to and from the brain is disrupted, and this produces the various symptoms of MS.

Fortunately most people with MS do not become severely disabled, some living relative normal lives and near normal life expectancy. Unfortunately MS, is chronic and a unpredictable neurological disease, affecting the CNS. MS is not contagious and is not directly inherited.

The more Common symptoms of MS include fatigue, weakness, spasticity, balance problems, bladder and bowel problems, numbness, vision loss, tremors and depression. Not all symptoms affect all MS patients. No two persons have the same complaints; no one develops all of the symptoms. 

Symptoms may be persistent or may cease from time to time. Most patients have episodic patterns of attacks and remissions throughout the disease course. Symptoms may remit completely, leaving no residual damage, or partially leaving degrees of permanent impairment.

Because the symptoms that define the clinical picture of MS are the result of nerve lesions causing disturbances in electrical conduction in one or more areas of the CNS, the nature of the symptoms that occur is determined by the location of the lesion. For example: an optic nerve lesion may cause blurred vision; a brain stem lesion may cause dizziness or double vision; a spinal cord lesion may cause coordination/balance problems.

Studies have shown that early treatment delays disability, presumably by decreasing the injury to the nervous system caused by the disease. In the last seven years there has been a significant progress in the treatment of MS, They come in two categories. One being treatments that address symptom management, and treatments that change the course of the disease by modifying the number and severity of attacks and the progression of disability. There are now different products which have won FDA approval as disease modifying treatments for MS. Your attending physician can direct you to those that would best work for you.

MS treatment has vastly changed in the last five years. The possibility of a  favorable outcome and better quality of life are definitely more attainable by people with MS through appropriate and aggressive management. You should consider all possible options; m medications, symptomatic treatments, medical, rehabilitative and psychological approaches, alternative treatment options, and experimental treatments, through clinical trials.

 

MUSCLE CRAMPS

INCLUDING: "Ischemia" Nocturnal (calf, toe, arch, thigh) claudication

All of the muscles in our body contract and relax as we move around, pick things up, walk or carry out our various other activities in the course of a day. Sometimes a muscle will contract spontaneously, that is, involuntarily. This is known as a spasm. If the strength and length of time that the spasm lasts is significant, it becomes what's known as a cramp. Muscle cramps are usually intensely painful and uncomfortable and can last for a few seconds or up to fifteen minutes and sometimes longer. They can also recur several times before settling completely. Anyone who has experienced muscle cramps will cringe at the thought! They attack the muscles of the extremities; particularly the legs, feet and toes, and calf muscles are particularly vulnerable. The muscle concerned will become rigid and may even look distorted until the spasm passes.

Muscle cramps is somewhat of a mystery but it is believed that muscle fatigue and not stretching muscles enough results in a malfunctioning of the way the body handles normal contractions. Dehydration is the depletion of electrolytes and this is thought be a major contributing factor. Muscle cramps can occur when a person exercises in hot conditions and sweats profusely, resulting in the loss of fluids.

If people over exert themselves, especially if their body is unaccustomed to particular activities, the supply of oxygen to the muscles can be diminished. The buildup of waste products leads to spasm and in turn, cramping.

Many suffer's report that their muscle cramps occur mostly at night when they are relaxing.

It is believed that a deficiency of potassium, calcium and magnesium can contribute to the incidence of muscle cramps. People who suffer from cramps  might find supplementing their diet with these minerals helpful.

Another miserable form of muscle cramp is Nocturnal leg cramps. These cramps (include: toes, calf, thigh, and arch) are sudden, involuntary contractions of the calf muscles that occur during the night or while at rest, causing you to come flying out of your slumber. Occasionally, muscles in the soles of the feet also become cramped. The cramping sensation can last 5 minutes "or more". Unfortunately, even after the sufferer has walked off the cramp, it can raise it's ugly head again and the attack continues, sometimes in the opposite leg. Often times one will walk the hall for a half hour, in fear that it will again return, or simply it will take that long for the cramp to abate. You can be sure that soreness may linger the next day. The cramps can affect persons in any age-group, but they tend to occur in middle-aged and older populations. Sometimes, messaging the cramp will help, sometimes?

Be assured, you are not alone in this one.

When you have cramps in your toes, ball or arch of your feet, wrap a thin towel around a Ice-Gel (for those who suffer often, simply keep one in the freezer on top of the ice all of the time) pack and stand on it for about 10-15 minutes. It might be uncomfortable, but you will relieve the pain from the cramp. Do  make certain to place the  Ice-Gel pack inside a dish towel, as direct contact with the skin can cause a burn.


Nocturnal leg cramps should not be confused with restless legs syndrome, a crawling sensation that is relieved by walking or moving around. Although uncomfortable, restless legs syndrome typically does not involve cramping or pain.

No one knows for sure what causes nocturnal leg cramps. In many cases, there doesn't seem to be any specific trigger. However, sometimes the cramps are caused by overexertion of the muscles, structural disorders (eg, flat feet), standing on concrete, prolonged sitting, inappropriate leg positions while sedentary, or dehydration. Less common causes include diabetes, Parkinson's disease, hypoglycemia, anemia, thyroid and endocrine disorders, and use of some medications.

Suggested remedies include:


Drink six to eight glasses of water daily. Doing so will help prevent dehydration, which may play a role in the cramping.
Stretch calves regularly throughout the day and at night. Ride a stationary bicycle for a few minutes before bedtime. This activity can help prevent cramps from developing during the night, especially if you do not get a lot of exercise during the day.


Keep blankets loose at the foot of the bed to prevent your toes and feet from pointing downward while you sleep.


Do aquatic exercises regularly during the week to help stretch and condition your muscles.


Wear proper shoes.

Take a hot shower or warm bath, or apply an ice massage to the cramped muscle.


For some, the use of Gel packs does the trick. Keep a few in the freezer on Ice. If the cramp is in the bottom of the foot or toes, place your feet on the Gel packs (for the desperate, use packages of frozen vegetables) for about 10-15 minutes, It does work.

Persistent or severe leg cramps often are treated with medication. Quinine sulfate tablets (the down side to this one, is the after taste the next day) is considered the most effective drug, but it can have unpredictable adverse effects and should be used with caution. Also, it can only can be purchased with a doctors perscription. Another source that many subscribe to is drinking a small bottle or can of soda w/quinine (8-12 oz.) about one (1) hour prior  to retiring for the night.


Scientifically described:

Ischemia is the term used to describe a situation when there is insufficient circulation to tissue. When blood flow to a muscle is inadequate, the muscle will cramp. The pain that accompanies the cramp prompts us to walk or rub the cramp which in turn results in increased circulation. Ischemic cramping typically occurs at night and is called nocturnal claudication. Muscle cramping due to ischemia can also occur with exercise and is called intermittent claudication. Doctors will often ask patients with poor circulation to describe how far they can walk before the cramp and will use this as a measure of their peripheral vascular disease.

The most common metabolic deficiency that causes foot and leg cramping is low potassium. Hypokalemia (low potassium) can result from over exercise, use of diuretics (water pills) and a host of other reasons. Potassium is one of the two primary molecules that controls how our muscles work. In addition to potassium, sodium works to initiate muscle contraction and an imbalance or lack of these two salts will result in cramping

Biomechanics is the science of how the body moves. The biomechanics of walking and running is quite complex. The act of walking is a finely tuned symphony of brain messages and muscle contraction. If an imbalance is found in muscle groups and one group is forced to work too much, muscle cramping can occur. Muscle cramping happens often in the foot as evidenced by a cramp of the big toe or calf. As with ischemic cramping, we will be forced to walk off the cramp and in this case affecting the biomechanics. Biomechanical cramping can be helped with supportive shoes and arch supports

 

OBESITY


The normal amount of body fat (expressed as percentage of body fat) is between 25-30% in women and 18-23% in men. Women with over 30% body fat and men with over 25% body fat are considered obese. 

A physical examination, including a measurement of weight and height, is usually sufficient to diagnose obesity. A complete medical history, including age of onset, family history, eating and exercise behavior, smoking, alcohol use, and previous weight loss experience are all important. Your physician may also order blood tests, including fasting levels of glucose, cholesterol and triglycerides, to determine whether any obesity related conditions are present.

Unfortunately current life-style is causing stress that was not prevalent twenty years ago. Experts now believe that a number of different aspects of society may help to promote weight gain. Stress being a common denominator. Today it is commonplace to work long hours and take shorter, less, or no vacations at all. In many families, both parents work, which makes it harder to find time for families to shop, prepare, and eat healthy foods together. Also, today's children  no longer commute on their bicycles, or for that matter, even walk, instead they are transported, hence, little or no exercise. There is a minimum of physical (physical education) activity in most present day schools, this too adds to excess weight gain. Our bodies require exercise for a mental and physical well-being.

Research as found that some people eat more when affected by depression, anxiety, or other emotional disorders. In turn, overweight and obesity themselves can promote emotional disorders: If you repeatedly try to lose weight and fail, or if you succeed in losing weight only to gain it all back, the struggle can cause tremendous frustration over time, which can cause or worsen anxiety and depression. A cycle develops that leads to greater and greater obesity, associated with increasingly severe emotional difficulties.

Recommended programs for weight loss reduction and maintenance should be started and followed under the care of a physician and/or a nutritionist. A weight-loss program may include:

  • Exercise (at least 30 minutes of physical activity most days of the week)
  • A low-fat, high-complex carbohydrate, high fiber diet
  • Limited fast food
  • Limitations on sugar intake
  • Behavior modification to change eating behavior
  • Possible medications.

Being overweight or obese increases the risk of many diseases and health conditions, including the following:

  • Type 2 (non-insulin dependent) diabetes
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Stroke
  • Hypertension
  • hypothyroidism
  • Dyslipidemia
  • Hyperinsulinemia, insulin resistance, glucose intolerance
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Angina pectoris
  • Cholecystitis
  • Cholelithiasis
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Gout
  • Fatty liver disease
  • Sleep apnea and other respiratory problems
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome
  • Fertility complications
  • Pregnancy complications
  • Psychological disorders
  • Uric acid nephrolithiasis (kidney stones)
  • Stress urinary incontinence
  • Cancer of the kidney, endometrium, breast, colon and rectum, esophagus, prostate and gall bladder.


Recent surveys of endocrinologist have found that more than a third (37 percent) of *endocrinologists report that at least one quarter of their obese patients have underlying endocrine issues that contribute to their obesity.

You health care provider should refer you to an  endocrinologist about your obesity if:

  1. An individual has a Body Mass Index (BMI) > 30 and shows signs of weight gain without a clear increase in food intake.
  2. An individual has a Body Mass Index calculated BMI > 30 and has weight gain centered around the abdomen and stomach with thin arms and legs OR weight gain with easy bruising.
  3. A woman has a Body Mass Index BMI > 30 and has experienced irregular menses or abnormal hair growth.
  4. An individual has a Body Mass Index BMI > 30 and has developed unusual stretch marks on the skin.
  5. An individual has a Body Mass Index BMI > 30 and has hypertension with abnormal potassium levels.

Several diets are somewhat effective ways of losing weight, but the only way one will be successful in losing weight is for you to consume fewer calories than what you are expending.

Current guidelines recommend drug treatment for individuals, especially those with other obesity-related health conditions, those who have failed to respond adequately to dietary and behavioral modifications. Presently there are a limited number of medications now available to treat your obesity. those must be prescribed by your physician and monitored closely.


*An Endocrinologist is a specially trained doctor who diagnoses and treats diseases related to hormones and glands. Hormones control reproduction, metabolism (food burning and waste elimination) and growth and development, as well as the way a person responds to their environment

 

High-ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity)

ORAC, short for Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity, is a test tube analysis that measures the total antioxidant power of foods and other chemical substances.

Early findings suggest that eating plenty of high-ORAC fruits and vegetables--such as spinach and blueberries--may help slow the processes associated with aging in both body and brain.

"If these findings are borne out in further research, young and middle-aged people may be able to reduce risk of diseases of aging--including senility--simply by adding high-ORAC foods to their diets,"

Top-Scoring Fruits & Vegetables

ORAC units per 100 grams (about 3 ½ ounces)

 

Fruits


Vegetables


Prunes

5770

Kale

1770

Raisins

2830

Spinach

1260

Blueberries

2400

Brussels sprouts

980

Blackberries

2036

Alfalfa sprouts

930

Strawberries

1540

Broccoli flowers

890

Raspberries

1220

Beets

840

Plums

949

Red bell pepper

710

Oranges

750

Onion

450

Red grapes

739

Corn

400

Cherries

670

Eggplant

390

Kiwi fruit

602



Grapefruit, pink

483



 

OSTEOPOROSIS


Osteoporosis, or porous bone, is a disease characterized by low bone mass and structural deterioration of bone tissue, leading to bone fragility and an increased risk of fractures of the hip, spine, and wrist. Men as well as women are affected by osteoporosis, a disease that can be prevented and treated.

Any bone can be affected, but of special concern are fractures of the hip and spine. A hip fracture almost always requires hospitalization and major surgery. It can impair a person's ability to walk unassisted and may cause prolonged or permanent disability or even death. Spinal or vertebral fractures also have serious consequences, including loss of height, severe back pain, and deformity.

Risk factors include

  • Getting older
  • Being small and thin
  • Having a family history of osteoporosis
  • Taking certain medicines
  • Being a white or Asian woman
  • Having osteopenia, which is low bone mass

Facts and Figures

  • Osteoporosis is a major public health threat for 44 million Americans, 68 percent of whom are women.
  • In the U.S. today, 10 million individuals already have osteoporosis and 34 million more have low bone mass, placing them at increased risk for this disease.
  • One out of every two women and one in four men over 50 will have an osteoporosis-related fracture in their lifetime.
  • More than 2 million American men suffer from osteoporosis, and millions more are at risk. Each year, 80,000 men have a hip fracture and one-third of these men die within a year.
  • Osteoporosis can strike at any age.
  • Osteoporosis is responsible for more than 1.5 million fractures annually, including 300,000 hip fractures, approximately 700,000 vertebral fractures, 250,000 wrist fractures, and more than 300,000 fractures at other sites.
  • Based on figures from hospitals and nursing homes, the estimated national direct expenditures for osteoporosis and related fractures total $14 billion each year.

What Is Bone?

Bone is living, growing tissue. It is made mostly of collagen, a protein that provides a soft framework, and calcium phosphate, a mineral that adds strength and hardens the framework.

This combination of collagen and calcium makes bone both flexible and strong, which in turn helps it to withstand stress. More than 99 percent of the body's calcium is contained in the bones and teeth. The remaining 1 percent is found in the blood.

Throughout your lifetime, old bone is removed (resorption) and new bone is added to the skeleton (formation). During childhood and teenage years, new bone is added faster than old bone is removed. As a result, bones become larger, heavier, and denser. Bone formation outpaces resorption until peak bone mass (maximum bone density and strength) is reached around age 30. After that time, bone resorption slowly begins to exceed bone formation.

For women, bone loss is fastest in the first few years after menopause, and it continues into the postmenopausal years. Osteoporosis - which mainly affects women but may also affect men - will develop when bone resorption occurs too quickly or when replacement occurs too slowly. Osteoporosis is more likely to develop if you did not reach optimal peak bone mass during your bone-building years.

Risk Factors

Certain risk factors are linked to the development of osteoporosis and contribute to an individual's likelihood of developing the disease. Many people with osteoporosis have several risk factors, but others who develop the disease have no known risk factors. There are some you cannot change and others you can.

Risk factors you cannot change:

·         Gender - Your chances of developing osteoporosis are greater if you are a woman. Women have less bone tissue and lose bone faster than men because of the changes that happen with menopause.

·         Age - The older you are, the greater your risk of osteoporosis. Your bones become thinner and weaker as you age.

·         Body size - Small, thin-boned women are at greater risk.

·         Ethnicity - Caucasian and Asian women are at highest risk. African American and Hispanic women have a lower but significant risk.

·         Family history - Fracture risk may be due, in part, to heredity. People whose parents have a history of fractures also seem to have reduced bone mass and may be at risk for fractures.

Risk factors you can change:

·         Sex hormones - Abnormal absence of menstrual periods (amenorrhea), low estrogen level (menopause), and low testosterone level in men can bring on osteoporosis.

·         Anorexia nervosa - Characterized by an irrational fear of weight gain, this eating disorder increases your risk for osteoporosis.

·         Calcium and vitamin D intake - A lifetime diet low in calcium and vitamin D makes you more prone to bone loss.

·         Medication use - Long-term use of glucocorticoids and some anticonvulsants can lead to loss of bone density and fractures.

·         Lifestyle - An inactive lifestyle or extended bed rest tends to weaken bones.

·         Cigarette smoking - Cigarettes are bad for bones as well as the heart and lungs.

·         Alcohol intake - Excessive consumption increases the risk of bone loss and fractures.

·         Thin skinned

·         taking thyroid medication or steroid-based drugs for asthma, arhritis or cancer.

Prevention

To reach optimal peak bone mass and continue building new bone tissue as you age, there are several factors you should consider.

Calcium: An inadequate supply of calcium over a lifetime contributes to the development of osteoporosis. Many published studies show that low calcium intake appears to be associated with low bone mass, rapid bone loss, and high fracture rates. National nutrition surveys show that many people consume less than half the amount of calcium recommended to build and maintain healthy bones. Good sources of calcium include low-fat dairy products, such as milk, yogurt, cheese, and ice cream; dark green, leafy vegetables, such as broccoli, collard greens, bok choy, and spinach; sardines and salmon with bones; tofu; almonds; and foods fortified with calcium, such as orange juice, cereals, and breads. Depending upon how much calcium you get each day from food, you may need to take a calcium supplement.

Calcium needs change during one's lifetime. The body's demand for calcium is greater during childhood and adolescence, when the skeleton is growing rapidly, and during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Postmenopausal women and older men also need to consume more calcium. Also, as you age, your body becomes less efficient at absorbing calcium and other nutrients. Older adults also are more likely to have chronic medical problems and to use medications that may impair calcium absorption.

Vitamin D: Vitamin D plays an important role in calcium absorption and in bone health. It is made in the skin through exposure to sunlight. While many people are able to obtain enough vitamin D naturally, studies show that vitamin D production decreases in the elderly, in people who are housebound, and for people in general during the winter. Depending on your situation, you may need to take vitamin D supplements to ensure a daily intake of between 400 to 800 IU of vitamin D. Massive doses are not recommended.

Exercise: Like muscle, bone is living tissue that responds to exercise by becoming stronger. Weight-bearing exercise is the best for your bones because it forces you to work against gravity. Examples include walking, hiking, jogging, stair climbing, weight training, tennis, and dancing.

Smoking: Smoking is bad for your bones as well as for your heart and lungs. Women who smoke have lower levels of estrogen compared to nonsmokers, and they often go through menopause earlier. Smokers also may absorb less calcium from their diets.

Alcohol: Regular consumption of 2 to 3 ounces a day of alcohol may be damaging to the skeleton, even in young women and men. Those who drink heavily are more prone to bone loss and fractures, because of both poor nutrition and increased risk of falling.

Medications that cause bone loss: The long-term use of glucocorticoids (medications prescribed for a wide range of diseases, including arthritis, asthma, Crohn's disease, lupus, and other diseases of the lungs, kidneys, and liver) can lead to a loss of bone density and fractures. Bone loss can also result from long-term treatment with certain antiseizure drugs - such as phenytoin (Dilantin¹) and barbiturates; gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) drugs used to treat endometriosis; excessive use of aluminum-containing antacids; certain cancer treatments; and excessive thyroid hormone. It is important to discuss the use of these drugs with your physician and not to stop or change your medication dose on your own.

¹ Brand names included in this publication are provided as examples only, and their inclusion does not mean that these products are endorsed by the National Institutes of Health or any other Government agency. Also, if a particular brand name is not mentioned, this does not mean or imply that the product is unsatisfactory.

Preventive medications: Various medications are available for preventing and treating osteoporosis. See section entitled "Therapeutic Medications."

Symptoms

Osteoporosis is often called the "silent disease" because bone loss occurs without symptoms. People may not know that they have osteoporosis until their bones become so weak that a sudden strain, bump, or fall causes a hip to fracture or a vertebra to collapse. Collapsed vertebrae may initially be felt or seen in the form of severe back pain, loss of height, or spinal deformities such as kyphosis (severely stooped posture).

Detection

Following a comprehensive medical assessment, your doctor may recommend that you have your bone mass measured. A bone mineral density (BMD) test is the best way to determine your bone health. BMD tests can identify osteoporosis, determine your risk for fractures (broken bones), and measure your response to osteoporosis treatment. The most widely recognized bone mineral density test is called a dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry or DXA test. It is painless - a bit like having an x ray, but with much less exposure to radiation. It can measure bone density at your hip and spine. Bone density tests can:

  • Detect low bone density before a fracture occurs.
  • Confirm a diagnosis of osteoporosis if you already have one or more fractures.
  • Predict your chances of fracturing in the future.
  • Determine your rate of bone loss, and/or monitor the effects of treatment if the test is conducted at intervals of a year or more.

Treatment

A comprehensive osteoporosis treatment program includes a focus on proper nutrition, exercise, and safety issues to prevent falls that may result in fractures. In addition, your physician may prescribe a medication to slow or stop bone loss, increase bone density, and reduce fracture risk.

Nutrition: The foods we eat contain a variety of vitamins, minerals, and other important nutrients that help keep our bodies healthy. All of these nutrients are needed in balanced proportion. In particular, calcium and vitamin D are needed for strong bones and for your heart, muscles, and nerves to function properly. (See Prevention section for recommended amounts of calcium.)

Exercise: Exercise is an important component of an osteoporosis prevention and treatment program. Exercise not only improves your bone health, but it increases muscle strength, coordination, and balance, and leads to better overall health. While exercise is good for someone with osteoporosis, it should not put any sudden or excessive strain on your bones. As extra insurance against fractures, your doctor can recommend specific exercises to strengthen and support your back.

 

Therapeutic Medications: Currently, alendronate, raloxifene, risedronate, and ibandronate are approved by the U. S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for preventing and treating postmenopausal osteoporosis. Teriparatide is approved for treating the disease in postmenopausal women and men at high risk for fracture. Estrogen/hormone therapy (ET/HT) is approved for preventing postmenopausal osteoporosis, and calcitonin is approved for treatment.

·         Bisphosphonates - Alendronate (Fosamax), risedronate (Actonel), and ibandronate (Boniva) are medications from the class of drugs called bisphosphonates. Like estrogen and raloxifene, these bisphosphonates are approved for both prevention and treatment of postmenopausal osteoporosis. Alendronate is also approved to treat bone loss that results from glucocorticoid medications like prednisone or cortisone and is approved for treating osteoporosis in men. Risedronate is approved to prevent and treat glucocorticoid-induced osteoporosis and to treat osteoporosis in men.

Alendronate and risedronate have been shown to increase bone mass and reduce the incidence of spine, hip, and other fractures. Ibandronate has been shown to reduce the incidence of spine fractures.

Alendronate is available in daily and weekly doses, while alendronate plus vitamin D is available in a weekly dose. Risedronate is available in daily and weekly doses, while risedronate with calcium is available in a weekly dose. Ibandronate is available in a monthly dose and as an intravenous injection administered once every three months.

Oral bisphosphonates should be taken on an empty stomach and with a full glass of water first thing in the morning. It is important to remain in an upright position and refrain from eating or drinking for at least 30 minutes after taking a bisphosphonate.

Side effects for all bisphosphonates include gastrointestinal problems such as difficulty swallowing, inflammation of the esophagus, and gastric ulcer. There have been rare reports of osteonecrosis of the jaw and of visual disturbances in people taking bisphosphonates.

Some bisphosphonates are fortified with calcium and vitamin D. These nutrients are important for everyone, and people should include adequate amounts of them in their diets.

·         Raloxifene - Raloxifene (Evista) is approved for the prevention and treatment of postmenopausal osteoporosis. It is from a class of drugs called Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators (SERMs) that appear to prevent bone loss in the spine, hip, and total body. Raloxifene has beneficial effects on bone mass and bone turnover and can reduce the risk of vertebral fractures. While side effects are not common with raloxifene, those reported include hot flashes and blood clots in the veins, the latter of which is also associated with estrogen therapy. Additional research studies on raloxifene will continue for several more years.

·         Calcitonin - Calcitonin (Miacalcin, Fortical) is a naturally occurring hormone involved in calcium regulation and bone metabolism. In women who are at least 5 years past menopause, calcitonin slows bone loss, increases spinal bone density, and according to anecdotal reports, relieves the pain associated with bone fractures. Calcitonin reduces the risk of spinal fractures and may reduce hip fracture risk as well. Studies on fracture reduction are ongoing. Calcitonin is currently available as an injection or nasal spray. While it does not affect other organs or systems in the body, injectable calcitonin may cause an allergic reaction and unpleasant side effects including flushing of the face and hands, frequent urination, nausea, and skin rash. The only side effect reported with nasal calcitonin is a runny nose.

·         Teriparatide - Teriparatide (Forteo) is an injectable form of human parathyroid hormone. It is approved for postmenopausal women and men with osteoporosis who are at high risk for having a fracture. Teriparatide stimulates new bone formation in both the spine and the hip. It also reduces the risk of vertebral and nonvertebral fractures in postmenopausal women. In men, teriparatide reduces the risk of vertebral fractures. However, it is not known whether teriparatide reduces the risk of nonvertebral fractures. Side effects include nausea, dizziness, and leg cramps. Teriparatide is approved for use for up to 24 months.

·         Estrogen/Hormone Therapy - Estrogen/hormone therapy (ET/HT) has been shown to reduce bone loss, increase bone density in both the spine and hip, and reduce the risk of hip and spine fractures in postmenopausal women. ET/HT is approved for preventing postmenopausal osteoporosis and is most commonly administered in the form of a pill or skin patch. When estrogen - also known as estrogen therapy or ET - is taken alone, it can increase a woman's risk of developing cancer of the uterine lining (endometrial cancer). To eliminate this risk, physicians prescribe the hormone progestin - also known as hormone therapy or HT - in combination with estrogen for those women who have not had a hysterectomy. Side effects of ET/HT include vaginal bleeding, breast tenderness, mood disturbances, blood clots in the veins, and gallbladder disease.

The Women's Health Initiative, a large Government-funded research study, recently demonstrated that the drug Prempro, which is used in hormone therapy, is associated with a modest increase in the risk of breast cancer, stroke, and heart attack. The WHI also demonstrated that estrogen therapy is associated with an increase in the risk of stroke. It is unclear whether estrogen therapy is associated with an increased risk of breast cancer or cardiovascular events. A large study from the National Cancer Institute indicated that long-term use of estrogen therapy may be associated with an increased risk of ovarian cancer. It is unclear whether hormone therapy carries a similar risk.

Any estrogen therapy should be prescribed for the shortest period of time possible. When used solely for the prevention of postmenopausal osteoporosis, any ET/HT regimen should only be considered for women at significant risk of osteoporosis, and nonestrogen medications should be carefully considered first.

Fall Prevention

Preventing falls is a special concern for men and women with osteoporosis. Falls can increase the likelihood of fracturing a bone in the hip, wrist, spine, or other part of the skeleton. In addition to the environmental factors listed below, falls can also be caused by impaired vision and/or balance, chronic diseases that affect mental or physical functioning, and certain medications, such as sedatives and antidepressants. It is important that individuals with osteoporosis be aware of any physical changes that affect their balance or gait, and that they discuss these changes with their health care provider. Here are some tips to help eliminate the environmental factors that lead to falls.

Outdoors:

·         Use a cane or walker for added stability.

·         Wear rubber-soled shoes for traction.

·         Walk on grass when sidewalks are slippery.

·         In winter, carry salt or kitty litter to sprinkle on slippery sidewalks.

·         Be careful on highly polished floors that become slick and dangerous when wet.

·         Use plastic or carpet runners when possible.

Indoors:

·         Keep rooms free of clutter, especially on floors.

·         Keep floor surfaces smooth but not slippery.

·         Wear supportive, low-heeled shoes even at home.

·         Avoid walking in socks, stockings, or slippers.

·         Be sure carpets and area rugs have skid-proof backing or are tacked to the floor.

·         Be sure stairwells are well lit and that stairs have handrails on both sides.

·         Install grab bars on bathroom walls near tub, shower, and toilet.

·         Use a rubber bath mat in shower or tub.

·         Keep a flashlight with fresh batteries beside your bed.

·         If using a step stool for hard-to-reach areas, use a sturdy one with a handrail and wide steps.

·         Add ceiling fixtures to rooms lit by lamps.

·         Consider purchasing a cordless phone so that you don't have to rush to answer the phone when it rings, or so that you can call for help if you do fall.



 OVARIAN CANCER

Is cancer that begins in the ovaries. The cause is unknown and Ovarian cancer is hard to detect early on. Although there are some warning symptoms. A PAP smear will not provide evidence of Ovarian Cancer, as it is a test used for evidence of cervical cancer.

  • Abnormal heavy  feeling in pelvis                                                       
  • Pain in lower abdomen
  • Bleeding from the vagina
  • Weight gain or loss                                                                        
  • Abnormal periods                                                                                     
  • Unexplained back pain that gets worse
  • Gas, nausea, vomiting, or loss of appetite

There are also other considerations for those who:

  • Have a family history of ovarian cancer: Women who have a mother, daughter, or sister with ovarian cancer have an increased risk of the disease. Also, women with a family history of cancer of the breast, uterus, colon, or rectum may also have an increased risk of ovarian cancer
  • Have never been pregnant
  • Are over the age of 50, since the likelihood of developing ovarian cancer increases as you age
  • Carrying the BRACA gene
  • Some studies have suggested that women who take estrogen by itself (estrogen without progesterone) for 10 or more years may have an increased risk of ovarian cancer.

The sooner ovarian cancer is found and treated, the better the chance for recovery. Unfortunately, ovarian cancer is hard to detect early. Often being the case, women with ovarian cancer have no symptoms or just mild symptoms until the disease is in an advanced stage and hard to treat. In women, the ovaries produce ova (egg) for reproduction. The ova travel through the fallopian tubes into the uterus where the fertilized "egg" implants and develops into a fetus. Cancer can also begin in the fallopian (extremely rare) tubes. The ovaries are also the main source of the female hormones estrogen and progesterone. One ovary is located on each side of the uterus in the pelvis.

There are 3 main types of ovarian tumors:

  • Germ cell tumors start from the cells that produce the ova (eggs).
  • Stromal tumors start from connective tissue cells that hold the ovary together and produce the female hormones estrogen and progesterone.
  • Epithelial tumors start from the cells that cover the outer surface of the ovary.

Treatment normally falls into the following, but not always. After tests are done, your specialist team will recommend 1 or more treatment options. The choice of treatment depends largely on the type of cancer and the stage of the disease. In patients who did not have surgery as their first treatment, the exact stage may not be known. Treatment then is based on other available information.

Other factors that could play a part in choosing the best treatment plan might include your general state of health, whether you plan to have children, and other personal considerations. Age alone is not a determining factor, as older women tolerate ovarian cancer treatments well. Be sure you understand all the risks and side effects of the various therapies before making a decision about treatment.

The main treatments for ovarian cancer are surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy. In some cases 2 or even all of these treatments will be recommended.

Follow-up for ovarian cancer usually includes a careful general physical exam and blood tests for tumor markers that help recognize recurrence. The choice of which tumor marker blood tests to check depends on the type of cancer a woman has. CA-125 is the tumor marker used in follow-up of women with epithelial ovarian cancers. For women with germ cell tumors, blood tests for alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) and/or human chronic gonadotropin (HCG) are done.

If the cancer continues to grow after one kind of treatment, or if it returns, it is often possible to try another treatment plan that might still cure the cancer, or at least shrink the tumors enough to help the patient live longer and feel better.


Having a risk factor does not mean that a woman will get ovarian cancer. Most women who have risk factors do not get ovarian cancer. On the other hand, women who do get the disease often have no known risk factors, except for growing older

 

PANCREAS

The pancreas is shaped like a tadpole, and  is located deep in the abdomen, between the stomach and spine. Located partially behind the stomach and the remainder packed in the curve of the small intestine (duodenum).  It digests your food and produces insulin, the main chemical for balancing the sugar level in the blood. The gland is as integral part of the digestive system. One normally is unaware of it, until a problem occurs. Because of it's deep location, it explains why many symptoms of pancreatic cancer do not appear until a tumor has grown large enough to interfere with the function of the gallbladder, stomach, small intestine and liver. The signs of pancreatic cancer are like many other illnesses, and there may be no signs in the first stages. You should see your doctor if you have any of the following: nausea, loss of appetite, weight loss without trying to lose weight, pain in the upper or middle of your abdomen, or yellowing of your skin (jaundice). If you are concerned about cancer of the pancreas, you will want a lot more information about Pancreatic cancer. Pancreatic cancer is the fourth leading cause of death to both men and women in the United States.

Five-year survival rates approach 40% if the cancers are surgically removed while they are still small and have not spread to the lymph nodes.

  • Pancreatic cancer is one of the most deadly of all types of cancer.
  • This year 32,000 Americans will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and most will die from it.
  • There is no reliable screening test for the early detection of pancreatic cancer.
  • Symptoms are often vague and easily confused with other diseases.
  •  

Not all problems with the Pancreas denote cancer. There are other conditions such as the gland stops working properly. Depending upon how badly the pancreas functions there are two problems. The first is that food is poorly absorbed, which causes weight loss, and there is diarrhea, often rather fatty as the undigested fat causes pale, bulky and smelly motions. The second is, if too little insulin is made, diabetes develops with frequent passage of urine and weight loss. These two problems need not occur together.

Pancreatitis
is one complication that can be very unpleasant and serious illness. There are two forms of it - the acute form which may be severe and life threatening with complications; and much less commonly, the chronic form which can cause continuing and severe pain and poor function of the pancreas, affecting digestion and causing weight loss.

Acute Pancreatitis 

 It occurs when the pancreas suddenly becomes inflamed. The two most common causes for it are drinking excessive alcohol (alcohol induced pancreatitis) or gallstones within the bile tubes (gallstone pancreatitis). The symptoms of acute pancreatitis are severe upper abdominal pain and vomiting. The pain may be felt in the back and the patient feels very unwell. Fortunately, three out of four cases of pancreatitis settle down without any specific treatment.

It is usual to rest the pancreas by not allowing the patient to eat anything until it has settled. However, one person in four will have a very bad attack (severe acute pancreatitis) which may require a prolonged stay in the intensive care unit and operations to remove parts of the gland that have been destroyed by the attack. Although excessive drinking of alcohol or gallstones are commonly identified causes of acute pancreatitis (two thirds of all cases), your doctor will want to do various tests when you have recovered from the attack to make sure that the diagnosis is definite and that you are unlikely to get another one.

Chronic Pancreatitis 

This is a condition is brought about by the pancreas being severely diseased and its function is impaired. It normally follows excessive years of alcohol abuse. Those with chronic pancreatitis have severe pain, very poor absorption of food, thus causing weight loss or diabetes. The condition is often painful and special treatment for the pain may be required.

 

 

PAPILLOMAVIRUS (HPV)

Genital human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted infection (STI). The virus infects the skin and mucous membranes. There are more than 40 HPV types that can infect the genital areas of men and women, including the skin of the penis, vulva (area outside the vagina), and anus, and the linings of the vagina, cervix, and rectum. You cannot see HPV. Most people who become infected with HPV do not even know they have it.

Symptoms:

Most people with HPV do not develop symptoms or health problems. But sometimes, certain types of HPV can cause genital warts in men and women. Other HPV types can cause cervical cancer and other less common cancers, such as cancers of the vulva, vagina, anus, and penis. The types of HPV that can cause genital warts are not the same as the types that can cause cancer.

HPV types are often referred to as “low-risk” (wart-causing) or “high-risk” (cancer-causing), based on whether they put a person at risk for cancer. In 90% of cases, the body’s immune system clears the HPV infection naturally within two years. This is true of both high-risk and low-risk types.

Genital warts usually appear as small bumps or groups of bumps, usually in the genital area. They can be raised or flat, single or multiple, small or large, and sometimes cauliflower shaped. They can appear on the vulva, in or around the vagina or anus, on the cervix, and on the penis, scrotum, groin, or thigh. Warts may appear within weeks or months after sexual contact with an infected person. Or, they may not appear at all. If left untreated, genital warts may go away, remain unchanged, or increase in size or number. They will not turn into cancer.

Cervical cancer does not have symptoms until it is quite advanced. For this reason, it is important for women to get screened regularly for cervical cancer. 

Other less common HPV-related cancers, such as cancers of the vulva, vagina, anus and penis, also may not have signs or symptoms until they are advanced.

Genital HPV is passed on through genital contact, most often during vaginal and anal sex. A person can have HPV even if years have passed since he or she had sex. Most infected persons do not realize they are infected or that they are passing the virus to a sex partner.

Very rarely, a pregnant woman with genital HPV can pass HPV to her baby during vaginal delivery. In these cases, the child may develop warts in the throat or voice box – a condition called recurrent respiratory papillomatosis (RRP).

HPV can cause normal cells on infected skin or mucous membranes to turn abnormal. Most of the time, you cannot see or feel these cell changes. In most cases, the body fights off HPV naturally and the infected cells then go back to normal. 

·         Sometimes, low-risk types of HPV can cause visible changes that take the form of genital warts.

  • If a high-risk HPV infection is not cleared by the immune system, it can linger for many years and turn abnormal cells into cancer over time. About 10% of women with high-risk HPV on their cervix will develop long-lasting HPV infections that put them at risk for cervical cancer. Similarly, when high-risk HPV lingers and infects the cells of the penis, anus, vulva, or vagina, it can cause cancer in those areas. But these cancers are much less common than cervical cancer.

HPV infection. Approximately 79 million Americans are currently infected with HPV, with roughly 14 million people becoming newly infected each year. Most men and women — about 80 percent of sexually active people — are infected with HPV at some point in their lives

Genital warts. About 1% of sexually active adults in the U.S. have genital warts at any one time.

Cervical cancer. The American Cancer Society estimates that in 2020, 13,170 women in the United States will be diagnosed with invasive cervical cancer. 

Other HPV-related cancers are much less common than cervical cancer. The American Cancer Society estimates that in 2000, there will be:

According to the American Cancer Society, every year in the United States, more than 33,000 men and women are diagnosed with cancers caused by HPV

cause most cervical cancers and genital warts. The vaccine is recommended for 11 and 12 year-old girls. It is also recommended for girls and women age 13 through 26 who have not yet been vaccinated or completed the vaccine series.
 
For those who choose to be sexually active, condoms may lower the risk of HPV, if used all the time and the right way. Condoms may also lower the risk of developing HPV-related diseases, such as genital warts and cervical cancer. But HPV can infect areas that are not covered by a condom—so condoms may not fully protect against HPV.  So the only sure way to prevent HPV is to avoid all sexual activity.

Individuals can also lower their chances of getting HPV by being in a mutually faithful relationship with someone who has had no or few sex partners. However, even people with only one lifetime sex partner can get HPV, if their partner was infected with HPV. For those who are not in long-term mutually monogamous relationships, limiting the number of sex partners and choosing a partner less likely to be infected may lower the risk of HPV. Partners less likely to be infected include those who have had no or few prior sex partners. But it may not be possible to determine if a partner who has been sexually active in the past is currently infected.

There are important steps girls and women can take to prevent cervical cancer. The HPV vaccine can protect against most cervical cancers (see above). Cervical cancer can also be prevented with routine cervical cancer screening and follow-up of abnormal results. The Pap test can identify abnormal or pre-cancerous changes in the cervix so that they can be removed before cancer develops. An HPV DNA test, which can find high-risk HPV on a woman’s cervix, may also be used with a Pap test in certain cases. The HPV test can help healthcare professionals decide if more tests or treatment are needed. Even women who got the vaccine when they were younger need regular cervical cancer screening because the vaccine does not protect against all cervical cancers.

There is currently no vaccine licensed to prevent HPV-related diseases in men. Studies are now being done to find out if the vaccine is also safe in men, and if it can protect them against HPV and related conditions. The FDA will consider licensing the vaccine for boys and men if there is proof that it is safe and effective for them. There is also no approved screening test to find early signs of penile or anal cancer. Some experts recommend yearly anal Pap tests for gay and bisexual men and for HIV-positive persons because anal cancer is more common in these populations. Scientists are still studying how best to screen for penile and anal cancers in those who may be at highest risk for those diseases.

Generally, cesarean delivery is not recommended for women with genital warts to prevent RRP in their babies. This is because it is unclear whether cesarean delivery actually prevents RRP in infants and children.

The HPV test on the market is only used as part of cervical cancer screening. There is no general test for men or women to check one’s overall “HPV status.”  HPV usually goes away on its own, without causing health problems. So an HPV infection that is found today will most likely not be there a year or two from now. For this reason, there is no need to be tested just to find out if you have HPV now. However, you should get tested for signs of disease that HPV can cause, such as cervical cancer.

·         Genital warts are diagnosed by visual inspection. Some health care providers may use acetic acid, a vinegar solution, to help identify flat warts. But this is not a sensitive test so it may wrongly identify normal skin as a wart.

·         Cervical cell changes (early signs of cervical cancer) can be identified by routine Pap tests. The HPV test can identify high-risk HPV types on a woman’s cervix, which can cause cervical cell changes and cancer.

  • As noted above, there is currently no approved test to find HPV or related cancers in men. But HPV is very common and 

There is no treatment for the virus itself, but a healthy immune system can usually fight off HPV naturally. There are treatments for the diseases that HPV can cause:

Visible genital warts can be removed by patient-applied medications, or by treatments performed by a health care provider. Some individuals choose to forego treatment to see if the warts will disappear on their own. No one treatment is better than another.

Cervical cancer is most treatable when it is diagnosed and treated early. There are new forms of surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy available for patients. But women who get routine Pap testing and follow up as needed can identify problems before cancer develops. Prevention is always better than treatment.

Other HPV-related cancers are also more treatable when diagnosed and treated early. There are new forms of surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy available for patients. 

 

PARKINSONS DISEASE

  • Tremors. These usually starts with a slight shaking in your hand or even one finger. Sometimes hand tremor causes a back-and-forth rubbing of your thumb and forefinger known as pill-rolling. Tremor may also develop in your legs. These signs may occur on one or both sides of your body and may be more noticeable when you're under stress. Although tremor can be very distressing, it's usually not disabling and often disappears when you're sleeping. Many people with Parkinson's disease do not experience substantial tremor.
  • Slowed motion. Over time, Parkinson's disease may cause a slow, shuffling walk with an unsteady gait and stooped posture. And leg muscles may freeze up, making it hard to resume normal movement. This is especially distressing because it can make performing the simplest tasks difficult and time-consuming.
  • Rigid muscles. Muscle stiffness often occurs in your limbs and neck. Sometimes the stiffness can be so severe that it limits the size of your movements and causes pain.
  • Impaired balance. Your posture may become unstable as a result of Parkinson's disease. Often this problem remains minor for many years.
  • Loss of automatic movements. Blinking, smiling and swinging your arms when you walk are all unconscious acts that are a normal part of being human. In Parkinson's disease, these acts tend to be diminished and even lost. Some people may develop a fixed staring expression and unblinking eyes. Others may no longer gesture or seem animated when they speak.
  • Impaired speech. Many people with Parkinson's disease have some trouble speaking, and their voices often become monotonous and very soft. This may be a special problem for older adults because the soft voice of a person with Parkinson's disease may not be audible to a spouse with poor hearing.
  • Difficulty swallowing. This may develop in the later stages of the disease, but except in rare cases, most people who have trouble swallowing can continue to eat on their own.

 

Tip: Many people who have food allergies to nuts do not realize that nut oils in massage lotions, oils and creams may cause the same reaction. With nut allergies on the rise, therapist need to be aware of your allergy and use nut-oil free massage products.

 

 

TIP

Facts about Honey and Cinnamon


It is found that a mix of honey and cinnamon CURES some diseases. Honey is produced in most of the countries of the world. Scientists of today also note honey as very effective medicine for all kinds of diseases. Honey can be used without side effects which is also a plus.

 

Today’s science says that even though honey is sweet, when it is taken in the right dosage as a medicine, it does not harm even diabetic patients.

HEART DISEASES: Make a paste of honey and cinnamon powder, put it on toast instead of jelly and jam and eat it regularly for breakfast. It reduces the cholesterol and could potentially save one from heart attack. Also, even if you have already had an attack studies show you could be kept miles away from the next attack. Regular use of cinnamon honey strengthens the heartbeat. In America and Canada, various nursing homes have treated patients successfully and have found that as one ages the arteries and veins lose their flexibility and get clogged; honey and cinnamon revitalize the arteries and the veins.

ARTHRITIS: Arthritis patients can benefit by taking one cup of hot water with two tablespoons of honey and one small teaspoon of cinnamon powder. When taken daily even chronic arthritis can be cured. In a recent research conducted at the Copenhagen University, it was found that when the doctors treated their patients with a mixture of one tablespoon Honey and half teaspoon Cinnamon powder before breakfast, they found that within a week (out of the 200 people so treated) practically 73 patients were totally relieved of pain -- and within a month, most all the patients who could not walk or move around because of arthritis now started walking without pain.

BLADDER INFECTIONS: Take two tablespoons of cinnamon powder and one teaspoon of honey in a glass of lukewarm water and drink it. It destroys the germs in the bladder....who knew?

CHOLESTEROL: Two tablespoons of honey and three teaspoons of Cinnamon Powder mixed in 16 ounces of tea water given to a cholesterol patient was found to reduce the level of cholesterol in the blood by 10 percent within two hours. As mentioned for arthritic patients, when taken three times a day, any chronic cholesterol-could be cured. According to information received in the said Journal, pure honey taken with food daily relieves complaints of cholesterol.

COLDS: Those suffering from common or severe colds should take one tablespoon lukewarm honey with 1/4 spoon cinnamon powder daily for three days. This process will cure most chronic cough, cold, and, clear the sinuses, and it's delicious too!

UPSET STOMACH: Honey taken with cinnamon powder cures stomach ache and also is said to clear stomach ulcers from its root.
GAS: According to the studies done in India and Japan, it is revealed that when Honey is taken with cinnamon powder the stomach is relieved of gas.

IMMUNE.SYSTEM: Daily use of honey and cinnamon powder strengthens the immune system and protects the body from bacterial and viral attacks. Scientists have found that honey has various vitamins and iron in large amounts. Constant use of Honey strengthens the white blood corpuscles (where DNA is contained) to fight bacterial and viral diseases.

  INDIGESTION: Cinnamon powder sprinkled on two tablespoons of honey taken before food is eaten relieves acidity and digests the heaviest of meals.

INFLUENZA: A scientist in Spain has proved that honey contains a natural 'Ingredient' which kills the influenza germs and saves the patient from flu.

LONGEVITY: Tea made with honey and cinnamon powder, when taken regularly, arrests the ravages of old age. Use four teaspoons of honey, one teaspoon of cinnamon powder, and three cups of boiling water to make a tea. Drink 1/4 cup, three to four times a day. It keeps the skin fresh and soft and arrests old age. Life spans increase and even a 100-year-old will start performing the chores of a 20-year-old.

OR SORE THROAT: When throat has a tickle or is raspy, take one tablespoon of honey and sip until gone. Repeat every three hours until throat is without symptoms.

PIMPLES: Three tablespoons of honey and one teaspoon of cinnamon powder paste. Apply this paste on the pimples before sleeping and wash it off the next morning with warm water. When done daily for two weeks, it removes all pimples from the root.

SKIN INFECTIONS: Applying honey and cinnamon powder in equal parts on the affected parts cures eczema, ringworm and all types of skin Infections.

WEIGHT LOSS: Daily in the morning one half hour before breakfast and on an empty stomach, and at night before sleeping, drink honey and cinnamon powder boiled in one cup of water.1 teaspoon honey
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon powder
1 cup of water When taken regularly, it reduces the weight of even the most obese person. Also, drinking this mixture regularly does not allow the fat to accumulate in the body even though the person may eat a high calorie diet.

CANCER: Recent research in Japan and Australia has revealed that advanced cancer of the stomach and bones have been cured successfully. Patients suffering from these kinds of cancer should daily take one tablespoon of honey with one teaspoon of cinnamon powder three times a day for one month.

FATIGUE: Recent studies have shown that the sugar content of honey is more helpful rather than being detrimental to the strength of the body. Senior citizens who take honey and cinnamon powder in equal parts are more alert and flexible. Dr. Milton, who has done research, says that a half tablespoon of honey taken in a glass of water and sprinkled with cinnamon powder, even when the vitality of the body starts to decrease, when taken daily after brushing and in the afternoon at about 3:00 P.M., the vitality of the body increases within a week.

BAD BREATH: People of South America, gargle with one teaspoon of honey and cinnamon powder mixed in hot water first thing in the morning so their breath stays fresh throughout the day.

HEARING LOSS: Daily morning and night honey and cinnamon powder, taken in equal parts restores hearing.

 

 

 

 

 Phantoms

The Elusive Diseases

Crainal abscess:
Most symptoms are low or high grade fever, headache, motor speech disorder, visual defect, drowsiness, mental status deterioration, nausea and vomiting and dysmetria, rigidity. In the initial states of the infection, an abscess can manifest as a nonspecific form of encephalitis accompanied by signs of increased intracranial pressure, sometimes exhibiting visual exterior swelling. Often times, this is very elusive and difficult to diagnose.


A sudden worsening of the headache is often the sign of rupture of the abscess. A ruptured brain abscess may produce purulent meningitis associated with signs of neuralgic damage. If antibiotics cannot quickly deal with the abscess, cranial surgery is often required; untreated, this is life threatening.

 

Lyme Disease:-"spirochete bacteria") is tick borne. Many symptoms are similar to those of other diseases. The fever, muscle aches, and fatigue of Lyme disease can be mistaken for viral infections, such as influenza or infectious mononucleosis. Joint pain can be mistaken for other types of arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis, and neurologic signs can mimic those caused by other conditions, such as multiple sclerosis.  On the other hand, other infections, arthritis, or neurologic diseases can be misdiagnosed as Lyme disease. Along with Lyme disease, ticks can transmit other diseases like: Tick Paralysis, Tularemia, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Colorado Tick Fever, Masters Disease, STARI (southern tick associated rash illness) and there seems to be a connection between Lyme disease and Morgellon's disease. Usually begins with a red bulls-eye rash on the skin, and this can be anywhere. Symptoms begin with rash, joint pain (like that of arthritis), fever, later delusion state of confusion, lethargy.

 Seek medical attention immediately.

 

Some additional signs you should not ignore:

  1. Mysterious changes. Physical symptoms that should be discussed with your health care provider include, unexplained weight loss; persistent or unusual headaches; a sore that will not heal; a change in the color or size of a mole; or a lump or thickening in the breast (Male/Female)
  2. Bleeding. Rectal bleeding, blood in the urine, or blood when you vomit or cough can be signs of something simple (such as hemorrhoids in the case of rectal bleeding), but they can also signal something more serious, such as cancerous growths.
  3. Blues you cannot shake. If, for a period of two or more weeks, you feel sad or irritable and have lost interest in activities that once gave you pleassure, you may be suffering from depression. Although serious, it is highly treatable, so speak to your health care provider without delay.

 

 

PNEUMONIA


Once organisms enter the lungs, they usually settle in the air sacs of the lung where they rapidly grow in number. This area of the lung then becomes filled with fluid and pus as the body attempts to fight off the infection.

The symptoms of pneumonia:

Most people who develop pneumonia initially have symptoms of a cold which are then followed by a high fever (sometimes as high as 104 degrees Fahrenheit), shaking chills, and a cough with sputum production. The sputum is usually discolored and sometimes bloody. Patients may become short of breath. Chest pain may develop if the outer aspects of the lung are involved. This pain is usually sharp and worsens when taking a deep breath, known as pleuritic pain.

In other cases of pneumonia, there can be a slow onset of symptoms. A worsening cough, headaches, and muscle aches may be the only symptoms. In some people with pneumonia, coughing is not a major symptom because the infection is located in areas of the lung away from the larger airways. At times, the individual's skin color may change and become dusky or purplish (a condition known as "cyanosis") due to their blood being poorly oxygenated.

Children and babies who develop pneumonia often do not have any specific signs of a chest infection, but develop a fever, appear quite ill, and can become lethargic. Elderly people may also have few symptoms with pneumonia.

Pneumonia can be a very serious illness and require hospitalization for the very young, the elderly, or people whose immune systems are compromised.

While for most people, a trip to the hospital isn't needed, pneumonia isn't to be taken lightly.

The most common physician suggestions for the treatment of pneumonia:

  • A prescription antibiotic.
  • Drinking lots of fluids.
  • Use of an expectorant, but not a cough suppressant.
  • Taking pain relievers.
  • Practicing breathing exercise

 

Bronchitis / Pneumonia? Bronchitis is in the Bronchial Tubes , while Pneumonia is in the sacs of the lungs.

 

ACCIDENTAL POISONING


Post the Poison Control phone number on or near every home telephone
1-800-222-1222
Store Medicines, household products, and personal care items in locked cabinets.
Identify poisonous plants in and around your home and places them out of reach.
Be aware of medications that visitors bring into your home.
Place carbon monoxide monitors near the bedrooms in your home.
Have all fuel burning appliances professionally installed, serviced, and maintained.

 

The Contour of your face is referred to as "Physiognomy"

 

Alternative

Medicine.com

Hydrogenated Tip: Avoid Margarine for life and anything else that is hydrogenated (this means hydrogen is added, changing the molecular structure of the substance). FYI, Margarine's molecular structure differs just slightly from that of Plastic CHOOSE BUTTER INSTEAD! but also minimize your consumption of it.

 

One out of every eight babies born in the United States in 2007, were Premature births.

 

PROSTATE

The prostate is a walnut-sized gland that forms part of the male reproductive system. The gland is made of two lobes, or regions, enclosed by an outer layer of tissue. As the diagrams show, the prostate is located in front of the rectum and just below the bladder, where urine is stored. The prostate also surrounds the urethra, the canal through which urine passes out of the body.

Scientists do not know all the prostate's functions. One of its main roles, though, is to squeeze fluid into the urethra as sperm move through during sexual climax. This fluid, which helps make up semen, energizes the sperm and makes the vaginal canal less acidic.

Benign Prostatic HyperplasiaIt is common for the prostate gland to become enlarged as a man ages. Doctors call this condition benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), or benign prostatic hypertrophy.

Cooked Tomatoes, including everything from pasta sauce to ketchup, are high in lycopene, a chemical that may help revent prostate cancer


PSA Blood Test:
prostate-specific antigen

As the prostate enlarges, the layer of tissue surrounding it stops it from expanding, causing the gland to press against the urethra like a clamp on a garden hose. The bladder wall becomes thicker and irritable. The bladder begins to contract even when it contains small amounts of urine, causing more frequent urination. Eventually, the bladder weakens and loses the ability to empty itself, so some of the urine remains in the bladder. The narrowing of the urethra and partial emptying of the bladder cause many of the problems associated with BPH.

Many symptoms of BPH stem from obstruction of the urethra and gradual loss of bladder function, which results in incomplete emptying of the bladder. The symptoms of BPH vary, but the most common ones involve changes or problems with urination, such as

  • a hesitant, interrupted, weak stream
  • difficulty starting urination or holding back urine
  • inability to urinate
  • painful or burning urination
  • difficulty in having an erection
  • painful ejaculation
  • blood in urine or semen
  • frequent pain or stiffness in the lower back, hips, or upper thighs
  • urgency and leaking or dribbling
  • more frequent urination, especially at night


There is no Apparent Relation to Prostate Cancer and BPH

Although some of the signs of BPH and prostate cancer are the same, having BPH does not seem to increase the chances of getting prostate cancer. Nevertheless, a man who has BPH may have undetected prostate cancer at the same time or may develop prostate cancer in the future. For this reason, the National Cancer Institute and the American Cancer Society recommend that all men over 40 have a rectal examination once a year to screen for prostate cancer. The success ratio for early detection of Prostate Cancer is 99%.
If you have problems, immediately consult your healthcare provider.

Health Fact about Prostate Cancer

Age is the biggest risk factor: most prostate cancers happen in men over 65 years of age. A man's risk for developing prostate cancer is higher if his father or brother has had the disease.

There are different types of treatment for patients with prostate cancer. 

Different types of treatment are available for patients with prostate cancer. Some treatments are standard (the currently used treatment), and some are being tested in clinical trials. A treatment clinical trial is a research study meant to help improve current treatments or obtain information on new treatments for patients with cancer. When clinical trials show that a new treatment is better than the standard treatment, the new treatment may become the standard treatment. Patients may want to think about taking part in a clinical trial. Some clinical trials are open only to patients who have not started treatment.

If one is diagnosed with Prostate Cancer, the following are options.

Four types of standard treatment are used:

Watchful waiting

Watchful waiting is closely monitoring a patient’s condition without giving any treatment until symptoms appear or change. This is usually used in older men with other medical problems and early- stage disease.

Surgery

Patients in good health are usually offered surgery as treatment for prostate cancer. The following types of surgery are us

·         Pelvic lymphadenectomy: A surgical procedure to remove the lymph nodes in the pelvis. A pathologist views the tissue under a microscope to look for cancer cells. If the lymph nodes contain cancer, the doctor will not remove the prostate and may recommend other treatment.

·         Radical prostatectomy: A surgical procedure to remove the prostate, surrounding tissue, and seminal vesicles. There are 2 types of radical prostatectomy: 

o    Retropubic prostatectomy: A surgical procedure to remove the prostate through an incision (cut) in the abdominal wall. Removal of nearby lymph nodes may be done at the same time.

o    Perineal prostatectomy: A surgical procedure to remove the prostate through an incision (cut) made in the perineum (area between the scrotum and anus). Nearby lymph nodes may also be removed through a separate incision in the abdomen.

 

·         Transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP): A surgical procedure to remove tissue from the prostate using a resectoscope (a thin, lighted tube with a cutting tool) inserted through the urethra. This procedure is sometimes done to relieve symptoms caused by a tumor before other cancer treatment is given. Transurethral resection of the prostate may also be done in men who cannot have a radical prostatectomy because of age or illness.

Impotence and leakage of urine from the bladder or stool from the rectum may occur in men treated with surgery. In some cases, doctors can use a technique known as nerve-sparing surgery. This type of surgery may save the nerves that control erection. However, men with large tumors or tumors that are very close to the nerves may not be able to have this surgery.

Radiation therapy

Radiation therapy is a cancer treatment that uses high-energy x-rays or other types of radiation to kill cancer cells or keep them from growing. There are two types of radiation therapy. External radiation therapy uses a machine outside the body to send radiation toward the cancer. Internal radiation therapy uses a radioactive substance sealed in needles, seeds, wires, or catheters that are placed directly into or near the cancer. The way the radiation therapy is given depends on the type and stage of the cancer being treated.

There is an increased risk of bladder cancer and/or rectal cancer in men treated with radiation therapy.

Impotence and urinary problems may occur in men treated with radiation therapy.

Hormone therapy

Hormone therapy is a cancer treatment that removes hormones or blocks their action and stops cancer cells from growing. Hormones are substances produced by glands in the body and circulated in the bloodstream. In prostate cancer, male sex hormones can cause prostate cancer to grow. Drugs, surgery, or other hormones are used to reduce the production of male hormones or block them from working.

Hormone therapy used in the treatment of prostate cancer may include the following

·         Luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone agonists can prevent the testicles from producing testosterone. Examples are leuprolide, goserelin, and buserelin.

·         Antiandrogens can block the action of androgens (hormones that promote male sex characteristics). Two examples are flutamide and nilutamide.

·         Drugs that can prevent the adrenal glands from making androgens include ketoconazole and aminoglutethimide.

·         Orchiectomy is a surgical procedure to remove one or both testicles, the main source of male hormones, to decrease hormone production.

·         Estrogens (hormones that promote female sex characteristics) can prevent the testicles from producing testosterone. However, estrogens are seldom used today in the treatment of prostate cancer because of the risk of serious side effects.

 

Hot flashes, impaired sexual function, loss of desire for sex, and weakened bones may occur in men treated with hormone therapy. Other side effects include diarrhea, nausea, and pruritus (itching).

Other Methods:

Cryosurgery

Cryosurgery is a treatment that uses an instrument to freeze and destroy prostate cancer cells. This type of treatment is also called cryotherapy.

Impotence and leakage of urine from the bladder or stool from the rectum may occur in men treated with cryosurgery.

Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy is a cancer treatment that uses drugs to stop the growth of cancer cells, either by killing the cells or by stopping them from dividing. When chemotherapy is taken by mouth or injected into a vein or muscle, the drugs enter the bloodstream and can reach cancer cells throughout the body (systemic chemotherapy). When chemotherapy is placed directly into the spinal column, an organ, or a body cavity such as the abdomen, the drugs mainly affect cancer cells in those areas (regional chemotherapy). The way the chemotherapy is given depends on the type and stage of the cancer being treated.

Biologic therapy

Biologic therapy is a treatment that uses the patient’s immune system to fight cancer. Substances made by the body or made in a laboratory are used to boost, direct, or restore the body’s natural defenses against cancer. This type of cancer treatment is also called biotherapy or immunotherapy.

High-intensity focused ultrasound

High-intensity focused ultrasound is a treatment that uses ultrasound (high-energy sound waves) to destroy cancer cells. To treat prostate cancer, an endorectal probe is used to make the sound wave

Proton beam radiation therapy

Proton beam radiation therapy is a type of high-energy, external radiation therapy that targets tumors with streams of protons (small, positively charged particles). This type of radiation therapy is being studied in the treatment of prostate cancer.

 

REPRODUCTIVE

Estrogen: Stimulates breast cells and signals the uterus to develop a protective lining in preparation for a possible fertilized egg each month. But it affects much more than reproduction- it also plays a vital role in bone and skin health, promotes clear thinking and concentration, and boots confidence.

Progesterone: Released at ovulation, progesterone maintains the uterine lining, supports pregnancy, and keeps estrogen in check. It is also a calming agent that reduces anxiety and promotes sleep.

Testosterone
: Encourages libido and boost ambition in women as well as men. "Tester one gives us our drive to get things done and to reproduce and to be in the extroverted world, we live in". It is also a potent bone builder, it helps us form and maintain muscle, and it regulates levels of body fat.



 

Bending over Tip: When lifting or bending down to pick something up, begin by acting as though you are going to sit down, squatting down, bending at your knees, with your hands on your knees, then pick up the item, using your legs to bring you back upright, What a difference! and much less strain on your back.

 

SHINGLES
(Herpes Zoster)
Anyone who's ever had chickenpox can someday get shingles.

Shingles (herpes zoster) is an outbreak of rash or blisters on the skin that is caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox — the varicella-zoster virus. The first sign of shingles is often burning or tingling pain, or sometimes numbness or itch, in one particular location on only one side of the body. After several days or a week, a rash of fluid-filled blisters, similar to chickenpox, appears in one area on one side of the body. Shingles pain can be mild or intense.  Some people have mostly itching; some feel pain from the gentlest touch or breeze.  The most common location for shingles is a band, called a dermatome, spanning one side of the trunk around the waistline, following along the affected nerve. Anyone who has had chickenpox is at risk for shingles. The blisters follow the path of individual nerves that comes out of the spinal cord (called dermatomal pattern). The entire path of the nerve may be involved or there may be areas with blisters and areas without blisters. Generally, only one nerve level is involved. In a rare case, more than one nerve will be involved. Eventually, the blisters pop and the area starts to ooze. The area will then crust over and heal. The whole process may take three to four weeks from start to finish. On occasion, the pain will be present but the blisters may never appear. This can be a very confusing cause of local pain!

Scientists think that in the original battle with the varicella-zoster virus, some of the virus particles leave the skin blisters and move into the nervous system.  When the varicella-zoster virus reactivates, the virus moves back down the long nerve fibers that extend from the sensory cell bodies to the skin.  The viruses multiply, the tell-tale rash erupts, and the person now has shingles.

The severity and duration of an attack of shingles can be significantly reduced by immediate treatment with antiviral drugs, which include acyclovir, valcyclovir, or famcyclovir. Antiviral drugs may also help stave off the painful after-effects of shingles known as postherpetic neuralgia. Other treatments for postherpetic neuralgia include steroids, antidepressants, anticonvulsants, and topical agents.

There are several effective treatments for shingles. Drugs that fight viruses (antivirals), such as acyclovirfamciclovir (Famvir) can reduce the duration of the rash if started early (which must be administered within 48 hours of the appearance of the rash) for use in people 60 and older who have had chickenpox.

 When the vaccine becomes more widely available, many older adults will for the first time have a means of preventing shingles. Researchers found that giving older adults the vaccine reduced the expected number of later cases of shingles by half. And in people who still got the disease despite immunization, the severity and complications of shingles were dramatically reduced. The shingles vaccine is only a preventive therapy and is not a treatment for those who already have shingles or postherpetic neuralgia

For most healthy people, the lesions heal, the pain subsides within 3 to 5 weeks, and the blisters leave no scars.  However, shingles is a serious threat in immunosuppressed individuals — for example, those with HIV infection or who are receiving cancer treatments that can weaken their immune systems.  People who receive organ transplants are also vulnerable to shingles because they are given drugs that suppress the immune system.

 

The most common complication of shingles is postherpetic neuralgia. This occurs when the pain associated with shingles persists beyond one month, even after the rash is gone. The pain can be severe and debilitating and occurs primarily in persons over the age of 50. There is some evidence that treating shingles with steroids and antiviral agents can reduce the duration and occurrence of postherpetic neuralgia. However, the decrease is minimal.

 

A person with a shingles rash can pass the virus to someone, usually a child, who has never had chickenpox, but the child will develop chickenpox, not shingles.  A person with chickenpox cannot communicate shingles to someone else.  Shingles comes from the virus hiding inside the person's body, not from an outside source.

 

SINUS (SINUSITIS)


Is an inflammation of the membrane lining of any sinus, especially one of the paranasal sinuses.10 percent of Americans suffer from a least one acute sinusitis attack annually. Due to increased pollution and our increased resistance to antibiotics. Acute sinusitis is a short-term condition that responds well to antibiotics and decongestants. Chronic sinusitis is characterized by four or more recurrences of acute sinusitis.

Acute sinusitis is generally treated with ten to 14 days of antibiotic care. With treatment, the symptoms usually disappear, and antibiotics are no longer required for that episode. Oral and topical decongestants also may be prescribed to alleviate the symptoms

A prescribed regime of medication usually reduces the congestion. Your physician may prescribe antibiotics, decongestants, nasal steroid sprays, antihistamines for any bacterial infection found in the sinuses (antibiotics are not effective against a viral infection). Antihistamines may be recommended for the treatment of allergies. Use of non-prescription drops or sprays might help control symptoms; unfortunately, extended use of non-prescription decongestant nasal sprays could aggravate symptoms
.
There are occasions when physician and patient find that the infections are recurrent and/or non-responsive to medication. At this point one surgery (endoscopic) is a possible solution. The surgeon use's a nasal endoscope, a tool that has revolutionized sinusitis surgery. The procedure enlarges the natural opening to the sinuses. It is highly effective in restoring normal function to the sinuses; this procedure removes areas of obstruction, resulting in the normal flow of mucus.  This operation is normally done on a out-patient basis, usually at the doctor’s office or clinic. After the surgery, the patient will usually have nasal packing in the cavity for a few days and approximately ten days after the procedure, nasal irrigation may be recommended to prevent crusting.

 

SLEEP DISORDER


There appears to be more than 70 sleep disorders, many can be managed effectively once diagnosed. The most prevalent disorders include insomnia, sleep apnea, restless legs syndrome, and narcolepsy.

1 in 5 Americans suffer from Insomnia. It tends to increase with age and affects about 40 percent of women and 30 percent of men. Is also often is a sign of underlying medical disorder. For short-term insomnia, doctors usually prescribe sleeping pills. Most sleeping pills stop working after several weeks of nightly use, however, and long-term use can actually interfere with good sleep. Mild insomnia often can be prevented or cured by practicing good sleep habits.

Sleep Apnea causes the individuals effort to inhale air creates suction that collapses the windpipe. This blocks the air flow for 8 seconds to a minute while the sleeping person struggles to breathe. When the person's blood oxygen level falls, the brain responds by awakening the person enough to tighten the upper airway muscles and open the windpipe. The person may snort or gasp, then resume snoring. This cycle may be repeated numerous times each night.

Restless legs syndrome (RLS), a familial disorder causing unpleasant crawling, prickling, or tingling sensations in the legs and feet and an urge to move them for relief. The use drugs that affect the neurotransmitter dopamine are usually prescribed for relief. Severe RLS is most common in elderly people.

Those with Narcolepsy have frequent "sleep attacks" at various times of the day, even if they have had a normal amount of sleep. These attacks last from several seconds to more than 30 minutes. They are similar to periods of REM periods of normal sleep, but happening during waking hours which suggests that narcolepsy is a sleep regulation disorder. Typically the symptoms of narcolepsy appear during adolescence. Recent studies indicate that narcolepsy is brought on by a receptor gene which allows brain cells to receive instructions from other cells. The defective versions of the gene encode proteins that cannot recognize these messages, possibly cutting the cells off from messages that promote wakefulness.

For now the use of stimulants, antidepressants, or other drugs can help to control the symptoms and prevent the embarrassing and dangerous effects of falling asleep at the a most improper time, like when driving.

 

  

Sleep Tip: If you have difficulty getting a  full night's sleep, take 3 mg of Melatonin a few minutes before retiring. Check with your Physician prior to use. Carefully read the label instructions before taking. If you experience very Vivid & Colorful dreams, you should "Reduce the dosage
(One can cut the pill in half, most likely that will be enough for you)

 

STRESS

Yoga can reduce anxiety, lower blood pressure and help your heart work more efficiently, according to recent date from the National Institute of Health. Regular yoga practice can increase joint flexibility and balance, which may also be helpful in preventing injuries during physical activity.

The key is deep, slow breathing. Breathe through your nose, drawing air down into your lungs as you expand your diaphragm. As you relax and exhale, the diaphragm contracts. The process controls the pace of your breathing and creates a natural calmness.


Adrenaline
: is what the body releases in time of immediate stress. It provides for stamina to flee or the strength to fight in a confrontation. This powerful chemical boost blood glucose levels, raises blood pressure, and facilitates delivery of blood to the muscles.

Cortisol: is the body's answer to continuous stress. These are the normal daily pressures, from driving to dealing with co-workers or clients, etc. It is much slower working than that of adrenaline, although it still raises blood glucose levels. Cortisol levels are normally high in the morning and lower in the evening, helping you to rest well.

 

STROKE    

 

         

   

 -Recognizing A Stroke-

Stroke is a medical emergency. Know these warning signs of stroke and teach them to others. Every second counts:

Sometimes symptoms of a stroke are difficult to identify. Unfortunately, the lack
of awareness spells disaster. The stroke victim may suffer severe brain damage when



       
people nearby fail to recognize the symptoms of a stroke. Now doctors say 
 
a bystander can recognize a stroke by asking some simple questions:   
      
 Ask the individual to SMILE    
    
    
 Ask the person to TALK to SPEAK A SIMPLE SENTENCE COHERENTLY
 
i.e. is it sunny out today
 
Ask him or her to RAISE BOTH ARMS. 
    
 NOTE: Another 'sign' of a stroke is this: 
 
 Ask the person to 'stick' out their tongue. If the tongue is 'crooked', 
    
 if it goes to one side or the other that is also an indication of a stroke.

·         Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body

·         Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding

·         Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes

·         Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination

·         Sudden, severe headache with no known cause

Call 9-1-1 immediately if you experience symptoms!

Time lost is brain lost

Common risk factors for coronary heart disease and stroke that can be controlled or treated include high LDL cholesterol levels, low HDL cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, smoking, diabetes, physical inactivity, and being overweight or obese.

High levels of LDL cholesterol contribute to the development of atherosclerosis as the cholesterol is deposited in artery walls, increasing the buildup of plaque. Low levels of HDL cholesterol raise stroke risk because HDL cholesterol carries cholesterol away from the arteries and back to the liver where it is removed from the body.

Major Causes:

Atrial Fibrillation - Upper chamber does not move blood properly into the upper ventricle.
Blood Pressure  - Ischemic and Hemorrhagic stroke/ = 140/90 mm hg or higher, the risk begins.

Healthy food habits can help you reduce three risk factors for heart attack and stroke — high blood cholesterol, high blood pressure and excess body weight.

 

SUNBURN

 

Sunburn results when the amount of exposure to the sun or other ultraviolet light source exceeds the ability of the body's protective pigment, melanin, to protect the skin. Sunburn in a very light-skinned person may occur in less than 15 minutes of midday sun exposure, while a dark-skinned person may tolerate the same exposure for hours.

It is now recognized that sunburn and sun exposure should not be treated as insignificant. Deaths have resulted from acute sun exposure, and significant temporary disability is experienced by millions of sunburned people each year.

Unlike a thermal burn, sunburn is not immediately apparent. By the time the skin starts to become painful and red, the damage has been done. The pain is worst between 6 and 48 hours after sun exposure. In severe sunburns, blistering of the skin may occur.

Swelling of the skin, especially in the legs, is common. Toxins are released with sunburn, and fever is not uncommon. Skin peeling usually begins between three and eight days after exposure.

The long-term consequences of years of overexposure to the sun are significant. Just one blistering sunburn doubles the likelihood of developing malignant melanoma. Chronic sun exposure causes premature wrinkling and aging of the skin. Age spots are a result of sun exposure.

Skin cancer (basal cell and squamous cell cancer) is directly related to the amount of sun exposure (determined by skin pigmentation and hours in the sun). Finally, sun exposure and ultraviolet damage have been implicated in the development of cataracts.

Very effective sunscreens have been developed that protect from UVA and UVB (long and short wavelengths of ultraviolet light), which are the components of sunlight responsible for burning and cancerous changes in the skin.

Sunscreen, protective clothing, and ultraviolet-protected sunglasses are all recommended to prevent excessive sun exposure. Wearing a sunscreen with high sun protection factor (SPF) is recommended. The higher SPF numbers indicate greater protection. Unfortunately, there is no way to get a "safe tan" from the sun.

The sun is responsible for over 90 percent of all skin cancers, including "Basal cell carcinoma" BCCs, which occur most frequently on the sun-exposed areas of the body: face, ears, neck, scalp, shoulders and back. 

If you do get a sunburn:

  • Try taking a cool shower or bath or placing wet, cold wash rags on the burn.
  • Avoid products that contain benzocaine, lidocaine, or petroleum (like Vaseline).
  • If blisters are present, dry bandages may help prevent infection.
  • If your skin is not blistering, moisturizing cream may be applied to relieve discomfort.
  • Over the counter medications, like ibuprofen, may help to relieve pain from sunburn. (Aspirin should be avoided in children who are running a fever.)

 

Sunburn Tip: When faced with the small blisters and itching from Sunburn, gently rub on household vinegar with a sponge or soft towel. Relief will soon be found, this also works for minor household kitchen burns. Rub Vitamin E oil on blisters after a few hours and you will be amazed at how fast you heal. Parents beware; studies have shown that even one blistering sunburn can double your child's risk of later developing Malignant Melanoma or Skin Cancer. Even when you/they are in the shade. The sun's rays reflect off water, sand, concrete and other surfaces. Use a Minimum sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or higher and a lip balm to protect the lips..

 

VISION

 


How Your Eyes Work
The light rays enter the eye through the cornea, which is a thick, transparent protective layer on the surface of your eye. Then the light rays pass through the pupil (the dark circle in the center of your eye) and into the lens. When you look at an object, electrical signals travel via the optic nerves to an area in your brain called the thalamus. This then sends the information to the visual cortex, where it is examined in detail. Different parts of the visual cortex simultaneously process the color, shape, movement and depth of the object. Other parts of the cortex put this information together to give you a complete picture of the object.

When light rays pass through your pupil, the muscle called the iris (colored ring) makes the size of the pupil change depending on the amount of light that's available. You may have noticed this with your own eye if you have looked at it closely in a mirror. If there is too much light, your pupil will shrink to limit the number of light rays that enter. Likewise, if there is very little light available, the pupil will enlarge to let in as many light rays as it can.

Just behind the pupil is the lens and it focuses the image through a jelly-like substance called the vitreous humor onto the back surface of the eyeball, called the retina.

The retina, which is the size of your thumbnail, is filled with approximately 150 million light-sensitive cells called rods and cones. Rods identify shapes and work best in dim light. Cones on the other hand, identify color and work best in bright light. Both of these types of cells then send the information to the brain by way of the optic nerve. The amazing thing is, when they send the image to the brain, the image is upside down! It is the brain's job to turn the image right side up and then tell you what you are looking at. The brain does this in a specific place called the visual cortex.

Protection
Because the eye is such an important and complex part of our body, we have many features which protect the eye. The eyebrows are the strips of hair above your eyes which prevent sweat from running into them. Eyelashes help keep the eye clean by collecting small dirt and dust particles floating through the air. The eyelashes also protect the eye from the sun's and other light's glare. The eyelids sweep dirt from the surface of the eye. The eyelid also protects the eye from injury. Tears are sterile drops of clean water which constantly bathe the front of the eye, keeping it clean and moist
.


 Optometric examinations

2 to 5 years

At 3 years of age or as recommended

Poor eyesight is detrimental to a child's learning & social ability. If your child appears to have problems in vision, this is the ideal time to deal with it.

6 to 18 years

Before entering the first grade and then every two years or as recommended.

Vision may change frequently during the school years. The most common problems are due to the development and progression of nearsightedness

18 to 40 years

Every two to three years

41 to 60 years

Every two years

Beginning in their early to mid-40s, we experience changes in ourr ability to see clearly at close distances. This normal aging change in the eye's focusing ability will continue during the 40s and 50s. Also the incidence of eye health problems occur during these years.

61 and older

Annually

Individuals age 61 or older have an increasing risk for the development of cataracts, glaucoma and macular degeneration and other sight threatening or visually disabling eye conditions as well as systemic health conditions. Therefore, annual eye examinations are recommended.

At Risk: Individuals diagnosed with diabetes or hypertension, or who have a family history of glaucoma or cataracts, and those taking systemic medications with ocular side effects or those with other health concerns or conditions.

 

CATARACT

 

The lens is a clear part of the eye that helps to focus light, or an image, on the retina. The retina is the light sensitive tissue at the back of the eye. A cataract is a clouding of the lens in the eye affecting your vision. It obstructs your vision as though looking through a haze or cloud. Most cataracts are related to aging, and quite common in older people. After age 75 more than half of all Americans either have a cataract or have had cataract surgery. You can have a cataract in one or both eyes. It does not spread from one eye to the other.

A cataract needs to be removed only when vision loss interferes with your everyday activities, such as driving a vehicle, reading or watching movies or television. Although most cataracts are related to aging, there are other types of cataract. These include congenital cataract, radiation cataract, secondary cataract and traumatic cataract.

Symptoms of early cataract may be improved with new eyeglasses, brighter lighting, anti-glare sunglasses, or magnifying lenses. If these don't work, then surgery is the only effective treatment. Surgery involves removing the cloudy lens and replacing it with an artificial lens.

At the hospital or eye clinic, drops will be put into your eye to dilate the pupil. The area around your eye will be washed and cleansed. The operation usually lasts less than one hour and is almost painless. Many people choose to stay awake during surgery. Others may need to be put to sleep for a short time. If you are awake, you will have an anesthetic to numb the nerves in and around your eye. After the operation, a patch may be placed over your eye (provided by the surgery center), you will wear this during sleeping hours for the first day or two. You will rest for a while. Your medical team will watch for any problems, such as bleeding.
Most people who have cataract surgery can go home the same day. You will need someone to drive you home. That evening you will put drops (a steroid) in the eye 4 times a day for a week..You will visit your surgeon the following day for a checkup, and you can expect your eye to be bloodshot for a few days.

You can return quickly to many everyday activities, but your vision may be blurry. The healing eye needs time to adjust so that it can focus properly with the other eye, especially if the other eye has a cataract. Ask your doctor when you can resume driving

Problems after surgery are rare, but they can occur. These problems can include infection, bleeding, pain, redness, swelling, loss of vision, double vision, and high or low eye pressure. Should any of these occur, you should seek prompt medical attention, these problems usually can be treated successfully.

 

GLAUCOMA


Is a disease caused by increased intraocular pressure (IOP) resulting either from a malformation or malfunction of the eye’s drainage structures, left untreated, an elevated IOP causes irreversible damage to the optic nerve and retinal fibers resulting in a progressive, permanent loss of vision. Early detection and treatment might slow, or even halt the progression of the disease.

Causes of Glaucoma:

The eye constantly produces a clear fluid that fills the anterior chamber, that being the space between the cornea and iris.  The aqueous filters out of the anterior chamber through a very complex drainage system.  The delicate balance between the production and drainage of aqueous determines the eye’s intraocular pressure (IOP). Most people’s IOPs fall between 8 and 21.  However, some eyes can tolerate higher pressures than others. That’s why it may be normal for one person to have a higher pressure than another.

Types of more common Glaucoma:

Open angle: Is the most common type of glaucoma, this is also referred to as chronic open angle or primary open angle.  With this type, even though the anterior structures of the eye appear normal, aqueous fluid builds within the anterior chamber, causing the IOP to become elevated.  Left untreated, this may result in permanent damage of the optic nerve and retina.  Eye drops are generally prescribed to lower the eye pressure.  In some cases, surgery is performed if the IOP cannot be adequately controlled with medical therapy. 

Acute Angle Closure: Only about 10% of the population with glaucoma has this type.  Acute angle closure occurs because of an abnormality of the structures in the front of the eye.  In most of these cases, the space between the iris and cornea is more narrow than normal, leaving a smaller channel for the aqueous to pass through.  If the flow of aqueous becomes completely blocked, the IOP rises sharply, causing a sudden angle closure attack.

While patients with open angle glaucoma don’t typically have symptoms, those with angle closure glaucoma likely will experience severe eye pain accompanied by nausea, blurred vision, rainbows around lights, and a red eye. This problem is an emergency and should be treated by an ophthalmologist immediately. If left untreated, severe and permanent loss of vision will occur, very quickly, perhaps in a matter of a few days.

Secondary Glaucoma: This type occurs as a result of another disease or problem within the eye such as: inflammation, trauma, previous surgery, diabetes, tumor, and certain medications.  For this type, both the glaucoma and the underlying problem must be treated. 

Congenital

This is a rare type of glaucoma that is generally seen in infants. In most cases, surgery is required.

Glaucoma is insidious at best, for it rarely shows symptoms. Detection and prevention are only possible with routine eye examinations.  However, there are certain types, such as angle closure and congenital, that do cause symptoms.

Angle Closure (Immediately seek emergency care)

·         Sudden decrease of vision

·         Extreme eye pain

·         Headache

·         Nausea and vomiting

·         Glare and light sensitivity

Congenital

·         Tearing

·         Light sensitivity

·         Enlargement of the cornea

Because glaucoma does not cause symptoms in most cases, those who are 40 or older should have an annual examination including a measurement of the intraocular pressure. Those who are glaucoma suspects may need additional testing. 

Treatment of most patients with glaucoma requires only medication to control the eye pressure. Occasionally it requires server different medications that work with each other are necessary to reduce the pressure adequately. Surgery is necessary when medical treatment fails to lower the pressure. There are different types of procedures, some involve the use of a laser, which can be done in the office, others must be performed in an operating room. The objective of any glaucoma operation is to allow fluid to efficiently drain from the eye

 

VITREOUS FLOATERS

Floaters are little "cobwebs" or specks that float about in your field of vision. They are small, dark, shadowy shapes that can look like spots, thread-like strands, or squiggly lines. They move as your eyes move and seem to dart away when you try to look at them directly. They do not follow your eye movements precisely, and usually drift when your eyes stop moving.

In most cases, floaters are part of the natural aging process and simply an annoyance. They can be distracting at first, but eventually tend to "settle" at the bottom of the eye, becoming less bothersome. They usually settle below the line of sight and do not go away completely. Most people have floaters and learn to ignore them; they are usually not noticed until they become numerous or more prominent. Floaters can become apparent when looking at something bright, such as white paper or a blue sky.

Floaters occur when the vitreous, a gel-like substance that fills about 80 percent of the eye and helps it maintain a round shape, slowly shrinks. As the vitreous shrinks, it becomes somewhat stringy, and the strands can cast tiny shadows on the retina. These are floaters.

Floaters are more likely to develop as we age and are more common in people who are very nearsighted, have diabetes, or who have had a cataract operation. There are other, more serious causes of floaters, including infection, inflammation (uveitis), hemorrhaging, retinal tears, and injury to the eye.

Sometimes a section of the vitreous pulls the fine fibers away from the retina all at once, rather than gradually, causing many new floaters to appear suddenly. This is called a vitreous detachment, which in most cases is not sight-threatening and requires no treatment. However, a sudden increase in floaters, possibly accompanied by light flashes or peripheral (side) vision loss, could indicate a retinal detachment. A retinal detachment occurs when any part of the retina, the eye's light-sensitive tissue, is lifted or pulled from its normal position at the back wall of the eye. A retinal detachment is a serious condition and should always be considered an emergency. If left untreated, it can lead to permanent visual impairment within two or three days or even blindness in the eye. Those who experience a sudden increase in floaters, flashes of light in peripheral vision, or a loss of peripheral vision should have an eye care professional examine their eyes as soon as possible.

For people who have floaters that are simply annoying, no treatment is recommended. On rare occasions, floaters can be so dense and numerous that they significantly affect vision. In these cases, a vitrectomy, a surgical procedure that removes floaters from the vitreous, may be needed. A vitrectomy removes the vitreous gel, along with its floating debris, from the eye. The vitreous is replaced with a salt solution. Because the vitreous is mostly water, you will not notice any change between the salt solution and the original vitreous. This operation carries significant risks to sight because of possible complications, which include retinal detachment, retinal tears, and cataract. Most eye surgeons are reluctant to recommend this surgery unless the floaters seriously interfere with vision.

 

RETINAL DETACHMENT
(Detached retina, and retinal tear)


The retina is the light-sensitive layer of tissue that lines the inside of the eye and sends visual messages through the optic nerve to the brain. When the retina detaches, it is lifted or pulled from its normal position. If not promptly treated, retinal detachment can cause permanent vision loss.

In some cases, there may be small areas of the retina that are torn. These areas, called retinal tears or retinal breaks, can lead to retinal detachment.

Symtoms:

Symptoms include a sudden or gradual increase in either the number of floaters, which are little "cobwebs" or specks that float about in your field of vision, and/or light flashes in the eye. Another symptom is the appearance of a curtain over the field of vision. A retinal detachment is a medical emergency. Anyone experiencing the symptoms of a retinal detachment should see an eye care professional immediately.

There are three different types of retinal detachment:

Rhegmatogenous [reg-ma-TAH-jenous] -- A tear or break in the retina allows fluid to get under the retina and separate it from the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE), the pigmented cell layer that nourishes the retina. These types of retinal detachments are the most common.

Tractional -- In this type of detachment, scar tissue on the retina's surface contracts and causes the retina to separate from the RPE. This type of detachment is less common.

Exudative -- Frequently caused by retinal diseases, including inflammatory disorders and injury/trauma to the eye. In this type, fluid leaks into the area underneath the retina, but there are no tears or breaks in the retina.

Risk Factors:

A retinal detachment can occur at any age, but it is more common in people over age 40. It affects men more than women, and Whites more than African Americans.

A retinal detachment is also more likely to occur in people who:

  • Are extremely nearsighted
  • Have had a retinal detachment in the other eye
  • Have a family history of retinal detachment
  • Have had cataract surgery
  • Have other eye diseases or disorders, such as retinoschisis, uveitis, degenerative myopia, or lattice degeneration
  • Have had an eye injury
  •  

Treatment:

Small holes and tears are treated with laser surgery or a freeze treatment called cryopexy. These procedures are usually performed in the doctor's office. During laser surgery tiny burns are made around the hole to "weld" the retina back into place. Cryopexy freezes the area around the hole and helps reattach the retina.

Retinal detachments are treated with surgery that may require the patient to stay in the hospital. In some cases, a scleral buckle, a tiny synthetic band, is attached to the outside of the eyeball to gently push the wall of the eye against the detached retina. If necessary, a vitrectomy may also be performed. During a vitrectomy, the doctor makes a tiny incision in the sclera (white of the eye). Next, a small instrument is placed into the eye to remove the vitreous, a gel-like substance that fills the center of the eye and helps the eye maintain a round shape. Gas is often injected to into the eye to replace the vitreous and reattach the retina; the gas pushes the retina back against the wall of the eye. During the healing process, the eye makes fluid that gradually replaces the gas and fills the eye. With all of these procedures, either laser or cryopexy is used to "weld" the retina back in place.

With modern therapy, over 90 percent of those with a retinal detachment can be successfully treated, although sometimes a second treatment is needed. However, the visual outcome is not always predictable. The final visual result may not be known for up to several months following surgery. Even under the best of circumstances, and even after multiple attempts at repair, treatment sometimes fails and vision may eventually be lost. Visual results are best if the retinal detachment is repaired before the macula (the center region of the retina responsible for fine, detailed vision) detaches. That is why it is important to contact an eye care professional immediately if you see a sudden or gradual increase in the number of floaters and/or light flashes, or a dark curtain over the field of vision.


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The information herein is not a substitute for your doctor's medical advice

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