How to Deal With Glaucoma

Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness, especially among African-Americans over the age of 40, people over the age of 65, and individuals with family history of glaucoma. Usually associated with increased pressure in the eye, it damages the optic nerve and often leads to progressive blindness.

Management of glaucoma as early as possible is the key to preventing blindness from developing. However, in the case of open-angle glaucoma, it is not recognized until the disease has progressed to an advanced stage. With closed-angle glaucoma, the patient usually seeks medical attention as soon as possible due to the sudden eye pain.

The most common and most convenient way to manage glaucoma is through medication in the form of eye drops. Several eye drops are used and the functions are usually to decrease the production of aqueous humor and to increase its outflow leading to decrease in intraocular pressure. Some medications are administrated for short-term and long-term effects so each one is necessary. This requires an effort in the part of the patient since compliance with the regimen is important. According to studies, the blindness among those who are already diagnosed and started medication was changed from non-compliance to home medication.

Beside medication, surgery is also one of the effective managements of glaucoma. It is important to note that surgery does not cure glaucoma. Instead, it only provides symptomatic treatment. To date, there is still no cure for glaucoma.

Trabeculectomy is the conventional surgery for glaucoma patients. This is done by removing a portion of the blocked fluid pathways, making an opening in the sclera of the eye and closing it loosely to function as the new drain of the eye fluid. It is effective in lowering intraocular pressure but may have side effects such as scarring, infection and cataract formation.

Laser trabeculoplasty is a treatment specifically for open-angle glaucoma. The laser stimulates the trabecular meshwork to open and drain fluid more effectively. Laser iridotomy is done by making a hole in the iris of the eye to drain fluid. It is effective among those with closed-angle glaucoma.

Artificial drain may also be implanted in the eye if the response to medication is poor. Another procedure called viscocanalostomy is done by making the front of the eye thinner to help drain the fluid, but this is not as effective as the conventional surgery.

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Natural Tonics for Health and Wellness

I'm a great believer in natural tonics to strengthen or invigorate the healing system. – Dr. Andrew Weil

The American Heritage Dictionary says that a tonic is …

… an agent, such as a medication, that restores or increases body tone, an invigorating, refreshing, ororative agent or influence. And a tonic is for producing or stimulating physical, mental, or emotional vigor.

Tonics are typically liquid preparations that have a combination of herbs, vitamins, minerals and other ingredients. No tonic has any magical healing effect on any disease. That may seem to be a strange thing to say in an article about Natural Tonics for Health and Wellness . Let me explain.

The only thing that can heal a body is the body itself. Nature has designed a self repair system for the human body that will accomplish the seeming miraculous. Most of the time all we have to do is stay out of the way.

Sometimes a toxic agent, biological or chemical, can overwhelm the body's capacity to heal itself. Medical science can assist by removing any overload. The body itself then takes over and does the actual healing. A tonic acts to supply the body's repair mechanism with missing nutrients so that it functions at its best.

Is it possible to help the body by supplying things it needs to do its job? Of course it is. Ordinarily these nutrients come from the foods we eat. Often our foods do not contain all the nutrients they should, for whatever reason. This is why we are beginning to see the medical profession suggesting we take a good multi vitamin and mineral supplement daily. Before this, our ancestors learned through experience, the value of getting certain substances into the body. They made tonics to supply these substances. Natural tonics can fill the gaps in our nutrition. Our own bodies will then do the rest.

You can find recipes for tonsics that are made with just about any thing under the sun. Usually natural tonics are made with some single herb or a combination of herbs. Some of the more common are garlic, ginseng, ginger, and green tea. Mushrooms are also used as tonics. Chinese caterpillar fungus (Cordyceps sinensis) improves athletic performance and increases energy. Species like reishi (Ganoderma lucidum), shitake (Lentinella edodes), and maitake (Grifola frondosa) are used to boost immunity.

Even plain water can be a tonic for someone who is suffering from dehydration. After all, the human body is made up of 55 to 75 percent water.

It would seem the best way to incorporate all the minerals your body needs is to have a tonic made with something like seawater, but you can not drink seawater. The salt content will kill you.

If you went to school in the 1960's you might remember watching an educational film called Hemo the Magnificent . Hemo was the cartoon god of blood and with the real-life Dr. Frank C. Baxter, they made several films for Disney. Hemo proclaims that he's the mysterious source of life, and the good doctor informs him, "You know what you are? You're just seawater!"

So like the seas that are essential to all life on earth, our blood is essentially seawater too. Science speculates that life began in the sea. Amniotic fluid is almost identical to seawater.

Rene Quinton, a French physicist, performed a famous study on the effects of seawater. Quinton experiments proved seawater and blood plasma are remarkably similar in composition. As a result, Quinton said, "All living organisms are in fact a marine aquarium." He said seawater should be used to heal.

Because of the complete nutrient content of seawater, sea vegetables, growing in clean seawater, supply all of the minerals necessary for life. Sea vegetables have more minerals than any land plant. Between 7 and 38 percent of the dry weight of sea vegetables are minerals.

Any kind of high quality natural tonic made with sea vegetables should supply the body with every mineral it needs to function at its best. That just makes sense does not it?

Many illnesses can be traced to mineral imbalances in the body. Minerals are responsible for many functions in our bodies, such as helping to keep our body repair systems working. Adequate minerals should be ingested every day.

Unlike medicines, which can have an immediate effect on symptoms, you may not see immediate results with tonics. Allowed your body to heal itself may take some time. Use a tonic regularly for a few months. You are letting your body do what it knows how to do. Give it what needs and trust it to heal itself.

See if you have an increased sense of well-being or more energy when taking a tonic. Even if you do not notice immediate effects, pay attention to how you respond to physical and emotional stress. See if you become less susceptible to illnesses. Give natural tonics an honest try.

After a Stroke

There are changes after a stroke which are not only physical – your personality often changes too. These alterations have an impact on your family, who are not prepared for this. They cannot see these variations to your persona, only the physical changes are apparent. You can become short tempered, irrational and uncooperative, in fact quite unlike your old self. It often takes a long time for your family and colleagues to appreciate these changes to your personality.

The stroke can decrease your “Executive Function”. This means your ability to make responsible and rational decisions as these thought processes become impaired and your concentration becomes limited. You may want to hide these changes and worry about them alone hoping matters will improve, and, of course, this is possible. However by far the best approach is to share these worries of loss of memory etc. with your loved ones. They are not at all concerned at, say, memory loss of times gone by, people’s names or birthdays. The family is just delighted to have you with them again, to share in future exploits, however limited.

Another often undiagnosed outcome for you is depression – it is sometimes overlooked even by the medical profession. Your spouse may become affected too and also other members of your family. Speak to your doctor about these experiences and he will offer advice, perhaps medication and maybe even suggest you join a Rehabilitation Clinic where you will meet other similar stroke victims.

The greatest success seems to come for stroke survivors who fight to regain their losses. Yes, you are alone to some extent but it comes down to the information in the ‘Serenity Prayer’: Having the courage to change what you can, the humility to accept what you can’t and the wisdom to know the difference!

Always remember to ENJOY LIFE, however limited. Always remember your loved ones want you and, yes, need you, and that the journey is not over until someone else calls “Time”.

Helping Aids – Perhaps you could use a computer to find out if second hand items are available to aid your mobility, i.e. electric ride-on vehicles, walking frames or chairs which can be operated to help you get up more easily. You could collate all of this information onto a “news Sheet” and give it to hospitals, clinics and various other outlets. Not everyone has a computer or knows hot to operate one. This information could prove to be invaluable to fellow sufferers and will make you feel you’ve made a very worthwhile contribution to Society. It could also mean you make a new circle of friends. The ramifications are enormous – Good Luck!

Improve Vision Naturally – How to Cure Glaucoma Naturally

While most people are familiar with the term "glaucoma," not many people know exactly what it is, so what is glaucoma? Glaucoma is a deteriorating vision problem which is caused by excess strain on the eyes. While the cause may sound as if those who have glaucoma are in pain, the truth is that most people who are diagnosed with it do not even know or feel their symptoms. If you are diagnosed with this condition, it can be a frightening experience, mainly due to the fact that the first indications do not show up until it is too late to fix the problem. As soon as vision quality starts to deteriorate, there is no way to reverse its effects.

Tunnel vision and having a narrow line of sight are the first symptoms which manifest themselves. There is not much room to improve or repair this, as they quickly progress to the final stage of glaucoma – blindness.

Doctors believe that glaucoma is caused by bad circulation around the eye sockets, clogged channels, andadequate drainage of the eyes. These factors are generally caused excess mental stress, eye strain, and high levels of toxins present in the body.

The only "cure" for glaucoma is not really a cure at all, but just medication which is given to treat the symptoms, but not cure the problem. The medication works to relieve tension and increase drain from the eyes. Unfortunately, the majority of people diagnosed with glaucoma still become blind. The medicine is given to allow the patient to see a little while longer, adding life to the vision cycle, until blindness historically sets in.

Because glaucoma is mainly brought on by stress, the stress will not stop once the disease is diagnosed. More often than not, stress levels get higher because many patients are overly concerned by the threat of going blind, which is inevitable. All too often, sufferers of this disease occupy themselves daily with these stressful thoughts and make the symptoms markedly worst.

All patients of glaucoma should receive medical attention as blindness is unavoidable. With this in mind, there are also many things that sufferers can do, taking precautions to cure the symptoms yourself by relaxing the eyes. Each night when you go to sleep, make sure to relax completely before you go to sleep. When you are in bed, close your eyes, and create a mental image of your muscles becoming more relaxed from head to toe. Do your best to try and concentrate especially on the areas and muscles around the eye sockets. By doing this, you will unduly wake up more refreshed, and releasing a lot of pressure which leads to blindness.

While having glaucoma is certainly scary thing to think about, learning how to put the eyes at ease is the best natural way to cure this vision-threatening condition.

Health Risks Of A Non-Ergonomic Environment

Can working in a non-ergonomic office be bad for your health? Yes, say some advocates of the ergonomic way of life. But, let’s face it; people have worked in traditional offices for years without risking their health and well being. Of course being smart about how you work can help increase your chances of staying safe and well.

The truth is that overly stressing any part of your body, albeit a set of muscles and tendons, your immune system or even your mental health can all be dangerous, and since ergonomics relies on bringing the physical, mental, emotional and technological beings together in better alignment and harmony it can only help create a healthier and more comfortable work environment.

Without an ergonomically designed workspace you could be setting yourself up for a myriad of physical ailments including:

  • Carpel tunnel syndrome – this can be avoided by using better aligned keyboards and other office tools
  • Tendonitis – finding a better fit in office equipment can help alleviate this painful disorder
  • Fatigue – something as simple as putting a glare filter on an annoying computer screen can ease eye strain and help alleviate mid-day fatigue
  • Chronic colds and flu – stress can lower the immune system. Ergonomics helps to find ways to lower physical and emotional stress by improving the way people view their job tasks and finding better (and easier) ways to accomplish them. Another way to avoid more physical ailments is to make your work environment more physically comfortable in terms of temperature. People who feel too cold or hot in the office may be more apt to suffer with the sniffles or worse on a regular basis. Regulating temperatures and the like can help alleviate these problems once and for all.
  • Mental health – psychological issues too can be avoided lowering stress levels, frustration and feelings of incompetence

So, now that you better understand the dangers of working in a non-ergonomic environment what can you do about? First, make sure the equipment and tools you use (computers, desks, chairs, etc), are comfortable to use. Be sure chairs and desks are at the right height to prevent neck and back strain; install extra lighting to stop eye strain; and use keyboards that are specially designed to prevent wrist and hand problems.

Next, make sure the outdoor environment is comfortable. Get rid of plants that may be causing allergy symptoms; lower or raise the temperature in your office or cubicle for the most comfort and add some soft music if that helps you relax more and concentrate better.

Finally, find ways to complete tasks in an easier manner. If you are having hand pain from folding newsletter and brochures, either enlist some help or try to talk your boss into buying a folding machine. You aren’t always going to be able to incorporate the best ergonomics ideas and designs into the workplace, but the key is to find as many as you can to make your work life easier and more comfortable.

Cure For the Flu

The majority of people make a full recovery from flu without needing treatment, by just letting it run its course with the help of an analgesic such as Aspirin (children should not be given Aspirin as it can cause damage to the brain) or Ibuprofen if it is felt necessary. But there are exceptions. Flu can cause serious complications in infants and in people with pre-existing medical conditions, such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), kidney disease, heart and liver disease, and a weakened immune system, and those over 65 years of age .

DO ANTIVIRAL DRUGS CURE FLU

No. Antiviral drugs can stop the virus from spreading, and less the risk of complications setting in, and help the patient recover sooner. Antibiotics will have zero effect on a cure for flu, and they will not normally be medically prescribed as they have no effect on a virus infection.

WHAT TREATMENTS WORK FOR SWINE FLU

Tamiflu:

This is the brand name of (Oseltamivir) and is manufactured by the Swiss firm Roche Laboratories is effective against influenza type A and type B. Type A (H1N1) is the current version of swine flu. Tamiflu needs to be taken within 48 hours of getting the first symptoms of flu, which usually starts with a fever, aching muscles, chills, sore throat and possibly a cough. If you have any of these symptoms it is important to drink plenty of fluids, as the increased body temperature will cause fluid loss due to dehydration.

Research has shown that Tamiflu is not a cure for flu but is likely to reduce flu symptoms by a few days and can also be prescribed by Doctors to people who have recently traveled to countries which have a high incidence of the virus. Patients who take the drug are less likely to suffer from bronchitis and pneumonia.

Tamiflu is prescribed in capsule or liquid form to be taken over a 5 day period, and as a preventive for a longer period, usually over 10 days, and is not given to children under 12 months old. Researchers looked out adults who had been in contact or nursing a person with fl, those taking Tamiflu were up to 90% less likely to catch flu themselves.

Relenza:

This is the brand name for (Zanamivir) and is manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline, an antiviral drug and is taken orally as a spray in powder form using a Diskhaler. It is usually taken twice a day for 5 days to treat flu. As with Tamiflu it should be taken within 2 days of the sunset of the same symptoms as above. If you are nursing or living with someone with flu then it can be taken once a day for 28 days as a preventative measure.

Relenza is not recommended for patients with lung problems such as asthma or COPD or emphysema, or children under 12.

Children and adolescents taking Relenza have experienced some side effects, such as anxiety, hallucinations, seizures, and depression and even suicidal tendencies. Doctors have warned patients of the possible side effects and unusual behavior and to seek medical advice should this occur.

This content is for information purposes only and should not be a substitute for a consultation with a qualified medical practitioner.

You Can Prevent Stroke

If you've ever witnessed someone suffer a stroke, you understand the humbling nature of this disease. It can reduce the mighty human being to an immobile, helpless creature. Impairment of critical functions like speech, walking, and control of bowel and bladder can wrench control from the body in a moment.

Even perpetually youthful TV personality Dick Clark was stuck down by stroke at age 75, despite the outward appearance of perfect health. Clark's stroke resolved in a six-week hospital stay and, judging from fragmented reports, significant disability. Stroke can be like a devastating fire that strikes without warning, leaving only smoldering rubble. Stroke can so ravage basic bodily functions that often all you can hope for is to regain a portion through rehabilitation.

The disease process that underlies stroke requires decades – 30 or 40 years – to develop. With that much lead time, why are not we better able to detect or stop this crippling disease?

The truth is that we are able to predict many, if not most, strokes. Advances in imaging technology allow detection of atherosclerotic plaque that cause stroke years before it becomes a threat. Progress in deciphering the causes of stroke has also leapt forward.

Unfortunately, your neighborhood physician still focuses on diagnosing the crisis rather than anticipating it. Physicians prefer to deal with catastrophes and are just not that interested in prevention. Most doctors ask: "Is it time to operate or not?" The medical community obsesses over procedures like carotid endarterectomy (surgical removal of plaque) or carotid stents. Even when a person is afforded the warnings of a "mini-stroke", or transient ischemic attack (TIA), little more is done once it's determined that surgery is not necessary – even though this person has high risk for future stroke (50) % over 10 years).

Let's flip-flop this approach to stroke. Procedures represent a failure of prevention!

Where do strokes come from?

Stroke develops when some portion of the brain is deprived of blood. This usually results from a tiny bit of debris that dislodges from an atherosclerotic plaque along the walls of an artery (the same sort that accumulates in coronaries causing heart attack). The sources of debris have been a subject of controversy, but new imaging technologies have settled the question. Any blood vessel that leads from the heart to the brain can be a source. The two carotid arteries on both sides of your neck are a frequent source, as these arteries are pre to develop plaque. (Our discussion will be defined to what are called thromboembolic, or ischemic, strokes, ie, strokes that occurs from plaque that fragments, sending debris to the brain, and will not include the far less common hemorrhagic strokes due to rupture of small vessels in the brain, nor will we discuss atrial fibrillation and other heart causes of stroke.

Over the last 10 years, the aorta has been recognized as another important source of stroke. The aorta is the main artery of the body which branches go to the head, arms, and legs.

Atherosclerotic plaque is a live tissue that, through poor diet ,activity, high cholesterol, overweight, etc., grows and becomes progressively more unstable. At some point, plaque fragments. Little bits break away, traveling to the brain. Fractured plaque also poses its detrimental structures to flowing blood, triggering blood clot formation, which in turn can also fragment and go to the brain. Atherosclerotic plaque is a prerequisite for the most common causes of stroke.

If the majority of strokes originate from plaque, why not measure plaque to determine if you're at risk for stroke? How can we easily, safely, and accurately measure plaque in the carotid arteries and aorta? And if plaque can be measured, can it be shrunk or inactivated to reduce or eliminate risk for stroke?

How can plaque be measured?

Just 20 years ago, the only practical method of identifying plaque in the carotids or aorta was through angiography, requiring catheters inserted into the body to inject x-ray dye. Angiography was impractical as a screening measure.

CT scanning and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) are emerging as exciting methods of imaging both carotids and aorta. Unfortunately, most centers and physicians are much more focused on the diagnostic uses of these technologies for people who have already suffered stroke or other catastrophe, and application of these devices for preventive uses is still evolving. One exception is when aortic calcification or aortic enlargement is incidentally noted on the increasingly popular CT heart scans; This is an important finding that can signal presence of aortic plaque.

The one test that is broadly available and can be performed in just about any center is carotid ultrasound. It's simple, painless, and precise. Two basic observations can be made:

1. Plaque detection – Atherosclerotic plaque can be clearly visualized. If plaque blocks more than 70% of the diameter of the vessel, or if there are "soft" (unstable) elements in plaque, then stroke risk may be high enough to justify surgery or stents. However, if there are plaques that are less severe, substantial risk for stroke may still be present that can be reduced with preventive measures.
2. Carotid intimal-medial thickness – This is a measure of the thickness of the lining of the carotid artery in areas not involved by plaque, but often precedes the development of mature plaque. Carotid intimal-medial thickness also provides an index of body-wide potential for atherosclerotic plaque that can place you at risk for stroke. The aorta, for instance, can not be well imagined by surface ultrasound but can still be a source for stroke. Increased carotid intimal-medial thickness and carotid plaque are closely associated with likelihood of aortic plaque. The Rotterdam Study of 4000 participants demonstrated that if carotid intimal-medial thickness is greater than normal (1.0 mm), then you can be at risk for stroke (and heart attack), even if no carotid plaques are detected.

Carotid ultrasound is the one test you should consider that provides the most information with least effort. Ultrasound is harmless, painless, and can be obtained just about anywhere. Even if your doctor disagrees with your request for a carotid ultrasound, an increasing number of mobile services are popping up nationwide that make this test available for around $ 100. One important point: many scanners and interpreters will only report whether plaque is present or not. While this is important information, you should request that the carotid-intimal medial thickness be made as well. Not all centers can make this simple measure (because of software requirements), but it does not hurt to try. Any amount of carotid plaque is reason to follow a preventive program, even if the plaque is insufficient to justify surgery.

Can plaque be reduced?

Can we shrink plaque in carotid arteries and aorta and thenby reduce, possibly eliminate, these sources of stroke? That question is gaining momentum as effective therapies become available that pack real punch for reducing plaque.

Study after study has now documented that plaque can be reduced and, with it, risk for stroke. Reduction in plaque of 10-20% is possible within a year or two. Let's consider the most potent effects on carotid and aortic plaque growth that need to be considered in a plaque-reducing program. (I assume that you are a non-smoker – if you are a smoker, you first need to concentrate on quitting.)

Hypertension

Considerable experience documents the power of blood pressure-lowering for prevention of stroke. The most recently updated guidelines, the JNC-VII, recommends a blood pressure of Diabetes, Metabolic Syndrome, and Hyperinsulinemia

Just being overweight increases the risk of stroke. A Swedish study in 7400 obese men had double the risk of stroke compared to non-obese men. Increased body weight leads to diabetes and its close relationships, metabolic syndrome and hyperinsulinemia (increased insulin levels), which play an overwhelmingly important role in increasing stroke risk. Of people who suffer strokes, a shocking 70% have one of these diagnoses. When diabetes is present, risk for stroke can be as much as six-fold higher.

Metabolic syndrome and insulin resistance, predecessors of diabetes, are far more common than full-blown diabetes. Metabolic syndrome consists of excessive abdominal fat, high blood pressure, low HDL cholesterol, increased triglycerides, and resistance to insulin. Metabolic syndrome is rampant through the US, afflicting one of three adults due to sedentary lifestyles, processed foods, and overweight. High insulin levels and resistance to insulin are powerful drivers of plaque growth, and carotid plaque grows faster. Judging from the rapid escalation of precalence of metabolic syndrome and diabetes in the population, it is likely that an epidemic of stroke is in our country's future.

LipoproteinsSMall LDL, IDL, and Lipoprotein (a)

More than high cholesterol, various lipoprotein abnormalities carry greater risk for carotid and aortic plaque growth and stroke. Lipoproteins are fat-carrying proteins in blood that cause plaque growth. Patterns which are instigators of plaque growth and stroke include:
o Small LDL particlesSMall LDL particles cause carotid plaque growth more than large LDL particles. This abnormality also triples heart attack risk.
o Intermediate-density lipoproteins (IDL) These triglyceride-rich lipoproteins (present even when triglycerides are low) are a measure of how effectively you clear fat from blood after a meal. IDL is a potent driver of carotid plaque growth. Increased IDL also creates fat-rich plaque that makes it more prone to fragment.
o Lipoprotein (a) This underappreciated lipoprotein is associated with heightened risk of stroke and heart attack by promoting blood clotting, constricting arteries, and increasing dangers of cholesterol. Carotid ultrasound studies have shown that lipoprotein (a) causes accelerated plaque growth.

Fibrinogen

This blood clotting protein not only causes carotid plaque growth, but also contributes to formation of unstable plaques, ones that have more inflammatory cells and a thinner tissue covering, making plaque more rupture-prone. An Oxford University analysis of 5000 participants confirmed the role of fibrinogen in increasing stroke risk. Fibrinogen levels> 407 mg / dl heightens stroke risk six-fold.

C-reactive protein (CRP)

This measure of pollution is proving to be a useful marker for identifying people at risk for stroke, with increased risk beginning at a level of 0.5 mg / l. High CRP also precedes more rapidly growing carotid plaque.

Homocysteine

Homocysteine ​​is an important marker of increased likelihood of both carotid and aortic plaque, as well as stroke. In 1997, the European Concected Action Project reported more than a doubling of stroke when homocysteine ​​levels exceeded 12 mol / l. As homocysteine ​​increases to 20 μmol / l, risk for stroke and heart attack increases an amazing 10-fold over that at a level of 9 μmol / l.

Asymmetric dimethylarginine (ADMA)

ADMA is recently discovered amino acid which blood levels can skyrocket up to 10-fold in the presence of hypertensive, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, high cholesterol and triglycerides, obesity, and high homocysteine ​​levels. ADMA blocks the action of the amino acid, l-arginine. This mimicry reduces the availability of nitric oxide, a powerful dilator and protector of arteries. ADMA levels in the top 10% predict a six-fold heightened risk for future stroke, and ADMA levels in people with strokes are double that in other people. A carotid ultrasound study in 116 subjects showed that higher blood levels of ADMA are associated with more severe carotid plaque. Because of ADMA's shared role across a variety of abnormal conditions, correction or blocking the action of the ADMA has been proposed as a unique therapeutic tool to reduce stroke risk.

Cholesterol

Data suggest that lowering cholesterol with statin cholesterol-lowering drugs slows carotid plaque growth and reduce stroke risk approximately 22%. An interesting study from the Cardiovascular Institute at Mt. Sinai School of Medicine in New York using the precursor measuring ability of MRI of the carotids and thoracic aorta shown an impressive 20% regression of plaque area with simvastatin (Zocor®) taken for two years.

Although guidelines for cholesterol treatment recommend reduction of LDL cholesterol to 100 mg / dl in high-risk persons, a report from the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, DC, showed that carotid plaque was more effectively reduced when LDL cholesterol of 70 mg / dl or lower was achieved with statin cholesterol drugs. Lower LDL cholesterol may, therefore, be better.

Treatment Strategies to Reduce Carotid and Aortic Plaque

The essential question: How do we reduce carotid and aortic plaque? If we make this the focus of our efforts, many pieces begin to fall into place. If you've had any measure of carotid or aortic plaque such as a carotid ultrasound or aortic calcification on a CT heart scan, you know that you're at increased risk for stroke. You also have a baseline for future comparison to gauge whether your program is working or not.

Because most people have not one but multiple causes of carotid and aortic plaque, there is no one single treatment that effectively eliminates risk for stroke. Instead, most people require a comprehensive program of healthy diet, exercise, supplements, and medication when indicated. Here, we focus on the nutritional supplements that can be critical components of your plaque-reduction program.

Fish oil

Fish oil is a cornerstone of your stroke prevention program. Epidemiological observations suggest a strong relationship of fish intake and reduction of stroke risk. Carotid ultrasound studies demonstrate less carotid plaque with greater intakes of fish.

A cleverly designed University of Southampton study made the fascinating observation that fish oil transforms the structure of carotid plaque. 150 people with severe carotid plaque scheduled for carotid endarterectomy (surgical removal of the plaque) were given fish oil, sunflower oil, or no treatment over several months while waiting for their procedure. (Delays in the British health system permitted this unique design.) Plaque was removed at surgery and examined. Participants taking fish oil had reduced inflammation in plaque and thicker tissue covering the fatty core, marks of more stable plaque. Those taking sunflower oil or no treatment had unstable plaques with greater pollution and thinner, less sturdy covering tissue. This suggests that fish oil stabilizes carotid plaque, making it less likely to rupture and fragment.

A standard capsule of fish oil (containing 300 mg of EPA + DHA) contains the same amount of omega-3s as a 3 oz serving of cod or halibut; three capsules (900 mg DHA + EPA) contain the equivalent of a serving of farm-raised salmon. The dose that sees to provide greatest protection from stroke, lowers triglycerides (that form abnormal lipoproteins; see above), and reduces fibrinogen, is four capsules per day (1200 mg EPA + DHA).

Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10)

Although there are no data specifically addressing whether CoQ10 reduces plaque, it is a marvelously effective way to reduce blood pressure, one of the critical factors causing carotid and aortic plaque growth. A pooled analysis of eight studies showed that, on average, CoQ10 in daily doses of 50-200 mg reduced systolic blood pressure by 16 mm Hg, diastolic pressure by 10 mm Hg. Data suggest that CoQ10 can reverse abnormal heart muscle thickening (hypertrophy), another manifestation of high blood pressure, strongly suggesting that CoQ10 has benefits beyond just reducing pressure.

Supplements to correct the metabolic syndrome

Weight loss is, without question, the most immediate and direct path to correction of this dangerous pre-diabetic condition. A drop of even 10-20 lbs yields improvements across the board: increased susceptibility to insulin, increased HDL, and reductions in triglycerides, CRP, fibrinogen, small LDL particles, and blood pressure. Diet and exercise are fundamental components of an effort to lose weight; low carbohydrate or reduced glycemic index diets (eg, South Beach or Mediterranean) rich in fibers are clearly effective. Several supplements can amplify weight-reduction efforts and be useful adjustments to your lifestyle program. Among them:

White bean extract
White bean extract blocks intestinal absorption of carbohydrates by 66%. 1500 mg twice a day with meals yields, on average, 3-7 lbs of weight loss in the first month of use. The only side-effect is excess gas, due to unabsorbed starches.

Glucomannan
This unique fiber taken prior to meals absorbs many times its weight in water and thebyfill fills your stomach. You inevitably take in less food. Most people lose around four lbs per month using 1500 mg prior to each meal. Interestingly, glucomannan also blunts the rise in blood sugar after meals, an effect that, by itself, may lead to weight loss. Be sure to take with plenty of water.

DHEA
This adrenal hormone is key to maintaining physical stamina, mood, muscle mass in men, and libido in women. A recent randomized, placebo-controlled study at Washington University in 56 subjects showed a 13% decline in abdominal fat (fat that drives resistance to insulin) measured by MRI with 50 mg of DHEA per day at bedtime, along with improved sugar control and lower insulin levels.

Pectin, beta-glucan
Pectin is the soluble fiber in citrus rinds, green vegetables, and apples, also available as a supplement. Beta-glucan is the soluble fiber of oats and is also available as a supplement. Both are wonderful fibers that provide feelings of fullness, lower cholesterol, slow release of sugars, and can yield modest weight reduction. A USC study in 573 subjects using carotid ultrasound shown that greater intake of healthy fibers like pectin and beta-glucan is associated with less carotid plaque growth.

Folic acid, vitamins B6 and B12
Dr. Daniel Hackam at the Stroke Prevention and Atherosclerosis Research Center in Ontario conducted a study using carotid ultrasound in 101 participants treated with folic acid 2.5 mg, vitamin B6 25 mg, and B12 250 mcg per day. Treatment resulated in plaque reduction, especially when homocysteine ​​levels exceeded 14μmol / l at the start, compared to untreated participants who experienced substantive plaque growth.

An attempt to clarify the role of homocysteine ​​treatment was made through a National Institute of Health-sponsored study of stroke prevention. 3680 participants with a prior history of stroke were controlled and given either a "low-dose" (20 mcg folic acid, 0.2 mg B6, 6 mcg B12) or a "high-dose" (2.5 mg folic acid, 25 mg B6, 400 mcg B12) regimen. Although starting homocysteine ​​levels shown a graduated association with stroke risk (higher homocysteine ​​levels predicted greater stroke risk), the treatment groups experienced, on average, only a 2 μmol drop in homocysteine ​​levels and no reduction in stroke risk over two years. The study investigators as well as critics have suggested that the study failed due to an inadequate treatment period and that the doses were too low. (The doses we use in our plaque reduction program are folic acid 2.5-5.0 mg, B6 50-100 mg, B12 1000-2500 mcg.)

L-arginine
L-arginine can be used to overpower the adverse effects of ADMA. L-arginine is emerging as an important carotid plaque-reversing tool. Early reports in animals showed that l-arginine completely halved growth of aortic plaque, and did so more effectively than lovastatin (a cholesterol-lowering drug).

In humans, L-arginine reduces blood pressure, abnormal constriction of carotid and coronary arteries, blocks entry of inflammatory cells into plaque, increases sensitivity to insulin, and heightens exercise capacity. Following coronary angioplasty or stent placement, l-arginine results in up to 36% reduction in plaque growth.

The average American takes in 5400 mg of l-arginine through food every day. Supplementing with doses of 3000-12,000 mg per day has proven useful to correct many of these phenomena. (We use a dose of 6000 mg of l-arginine powder, twice a day on an empty stomach, dissolved in water, for our plaque regression program.) Does this result in a reduction of stroke risk? The emerging data suggest that l-arginine is likely to exert a powerful plaque-reducing and stroke-preventing benefit, but we await more clinical trial data.

Conclusion

Reducing stroke risk by reversing carotid and aortic plaque is becoming an everyday reality, with better tools becoming available. To know whether you're at risk, the best and most available imaging tool is carotid ultrasound, aiming to identify intimal-medial thickness> 1.0 mm, or carotid plaque. Any degree of calcification of the aorta, such as on a CT heart scan, is another useful measure of risk.

Treatment to reduce risk is multi-faceted but is based on examining all your sources of risk, including metabolic syndrome, small LDL, lipoprotein (a), and C-reactive protein. Fish oil is the one absolutely critical ingredient in any stroke prevention program. Other supplements can be used in a targeted fashion, depending on the causes identified for your carotid or aortic plaque. Ideally, repeat scanning of your carotids should be done once after your program has begun to assess whether you've successfully achieved reversal of plaque growth.

How to Prevent Glaucoma

Our eyes are greatly ignored, because they are very important organs for our human beings. Generally, receiving eye examinations is very effective to detect some potential eye problems. But most of us have failed to do this. Therefore, many eye diseases became worsened when they are diagnosed.

Most of us seldom pay any attention to our eyes till they become sick. However, those problems can always not be easily inspected when detected, though we go to visit eye doctors.

For example, the damage caused by glaucoma is not reversible and sufferers may become blind. But if it can be detected at its early stage and treated properly, suffers' vision can be saved. In a word, prevention is much more effective than cure and receiving regular eye examinations is essential.

We can always enjoy the brightness of good vision even when we get eaten if we can take care of our eyes. Receiving Regular eye examination is one of the best preventive methods. It is a bad habit to neglect eye care and visit the eye doctor until the problems get worsened.

In most cases, some symptoms can tell the existence of particular eye diseases. However, some disease will show no such symptoms. For example, sufferers of glaucoma can seldom detect any symptom until their vision gets lost completely.

If those diseases can be detected at early stage, they can be cured successfully. And examination is one of the best to detect any potential diseases. Of course, physical examinations are also needed if we want to maintain good vision.

Five Man 1 Man Oil Side Effects Men May Not Know About

Side effects… they’re what everyone checks before buying or using a new product. And everyone should practice due diligence! Men using a penis health crème in pursuit of a healthy penis should know what continued use can result in. When specifically using Man 1 Man Oil, one of the top-rated crèmes out there, men should be aware of some of the potential side effects that a number of men experience with regular use. Let’s break down each Man 1 Man Oil Side effect and what causes it.

Side Effect #1: Calm, Clear Skin

Just like the face or back, the penis can get zits too! Acne and folliculitis, which are inflamed hair follicles, often happen in the nether region. While a man should definitely not use medicated acne products in the fun zone, Man 1 Man Oil can safely be used in the area because it contains vitamins A and C. Vitamin A is known for its pimple-pounding and antibacterial properties, while vitamin C is a vital part of collagen which helps with skin tone. These vitamins are delivered in a neutral, all-natural Shea butter base to nourish the skin while calming the aggressors.

Side Effect #2: Regained Sensitivity

Age, overuse, injury, or bad blood flow are all issues that can lead to a desensitized penis. Often times, friction without proper lubrication or too much rubbing can lead to peripheral friction damage which can cause a feeling of numbness in the penis. The amino acid, L-Carnitine, is a blue-ribbon addition to Man 1 Man Oil because it has been shown to protect against nerve damage. Another ingredient in the crème is Alpha-Lipoic Acid, which prevents against premature aging and helps inhibit the thinning of the penile skin. Together, these ingredients help men regain sensitivity in their penis.

Side Effect #3: Stronger Erections

Of course, one of the most celebrated side effects of Man 1 Man Oil is the prevalence of stronger erections. How is this crème helping men get more oomph in the O-Zone? The secret may lie in the vitamin C and L-Arginine in the crème. Vitamin C not only contributes to skin elasticity; it’s also critical for maintaining proper blood flow – the key to strong erections. Add in the L-Arginine: this brings a power vasodilator, something that widens and dilates the blood vessels, to the mix. This increases blood flow to the penis, making it harder and stronger.

Side Effect #4: Itch and Irritation Abolished

The penis is often “indoors,” meaning it is kept in underwear and other constricting garments, in all sorts of fibers, is rubbed against, chafed, and constricted. Then there’s sweat, bacteria, and shedding skin cells are resulting in a funky stew that can sometimes cause itch and irritation. That’s why Man 1 Man Oil side effects include getting rid of these very common results. The vitamin A in the crème has antibacterial properties that combat funk from a man’s junk while preventing bacteria from snuggling into the more dark and moist areas. Shea butter and vitamin E serve as skin soothers. They lock in skin’s natural moisture and create a barrier to keep skin calm and hydrated. Together, men are finding they have less to scratch about and don’t have any red rashes to explain during sexy time.

Side Effect #5: Sexual Confidence

When a man feels good about how his penis looks and knows it’s strong and sensitive, he feels better about using it. He also doesn’t have to sport a Roman toga ala bed sheet after sex. He can strut to the kitchen to make a sandwich in the buff knowing his penis looks inviting and healthy. It may not seem as noteworthy as the other side effects, but it very well may be the most important one there is.

Finally, side effects a man can feel good about! Men can get these when they regularly use a penis health creme (health professionals recommend Man 1 Man Oil, which has been clinically proven safe and mild for skin) This particular crème has been a winner for tons of men. It has every natural ingredient above and a few others for cellular regeneration and skin soothing.

Swine Flu Pandemic – Why I Changed My Mind About the Danger

I kind of think that for most folks, their concern and fears about swine flu probably peaked that day when the World Health Organization raised the threat level of the H1N1 virus up to level 6 and declared it a full pandemic and started talking about shortages in available vaccinations. While this sounded an alarm in most people's minds, it has not resolved in the world meltdown or some other world level disaster. As a result, it splashed onto the scene, and then disappeared into the chaos of the news cycle.

As time has passed since that original pronunciation that we have a CDC pandemic on our hands, it has proven to be less than an all-consuming virus that's spreading non-stop across the globe. Yes, some people have died of H1N1 virus complications; however, it's been less than originally forecast. In the United States, the number of people who have died as of October 2009 has just passed the 1000 mark. So, I felt that, like most people, it was more hype than reality.

I felt that way until I started reading an eBook on the swine flu pandemic. It went into how to protect yourself and your family from what is called "novel strains of Influenza", which is exactly what Swine Flu is categorized as. While pandemics like H1N1 seem to start out slow, they can eventually end killing about 100 million people before it's run its course.

1918 Pandemic Flu

In the span of time, it has not been that long since the last pandemic hit the world. The year 1918 comes to mind, and that's a little over a century ago, and while medicine has come an incredible way since that original outbreak of H1N1, it came out of now around the same time of year, disappeared for a little over two months and returned in the fall.

And, when it returned, it had changed. The mutated virus ran through the population dropping folks like flies. People turned blue and shortly died to a point where the cities did not even have adequate coffins to bury the dead. As a result they had to stack the corps and dig mass graves to hold them.

2009 Pandemic Flu

While there are obvious similarities between the 1918 strain and the 2009 one, we have progressed in the way that we deal with it. There is also evidence that this is not the first incarnation of a virirent strain of influenza. This is just one of the surprising facts I learned in Survive Pandemic Flu. I can also guarantee that those officials that we all laughed at early on for raising the alarm with nothing happening, were not quite the idiots we first thought them to be.

Usually when someone reviews a book, they say that this is the most important book you'l read this year, which we all know is just so much hype to make sales. So, I will not lay it on you about Survive Flu Pandemic. Make up your own mind based on the way things are unfolding on the news. Is this going to be the most important book you'll read in 2009? If you find it to be true, thank me later for pointing you in the right direction.

Facts About Stroke Recovery and Rehabilitation

Recovering from a stroke can take months or years for some and a few weeks for others. The amount of time stroke recovery takes is determined mostly by the amount of damaged caused from the stroke. There are many devices and products that aid in stroke recovery. There are only a few real stroke recovery options that are effective at aid in optimal recovery for strike victims. You should know the facts about stroke and the prevention and risk factors involved when dealing with strokes.

The biggest risk factors of stroke are smoking, improper diet, lack of exercise, genetics and various health conditions. The first recommendation of almost any doctor is to stop smoking. If you are overweight, you will need to lose weight and if you have any kind of serious health condition, make sure to monitor it closely. Stroke treatment should start with prevention and education. Once you understand the risk factors involved in strokes, you will want to find out the preventive measures you can take to avoid a stroke.

Keeping your heart healthy by eating right, getting an adequate amount of exercise (you do not have to overdo), making sure to get restful sleep and addressing any health issues that might lead to a stroke. Remember to see your doctor before you begin any diet or exercise program. Even too much diet and exercise can be detrimental to your heart and brain.

What are some of the after effects of a stroke? One of the most common after effects involves the mouth and throat area. Many times after a stroke, the sufferer may have difficulty swallowing. This disorder is called dysphagia and the levels can vary depending on the strength of the stroke. Dysphagia requires treatment and rehab just like any other after affect such as the loss of the use of an arm or hand.

Besides the more common after effects of stroke, other complications, though less common, can occur. Some related diseases that can occur after a stroke include paralysis of movement (this can be from a hand to a whole side or region), loss of memory and cognitive ability, dementia, emotional disorders and deep vein thrombosis. In some cases of stroke, the victim continues to have mini strokes called TIA's caused by the brain damage of a more severe stroke. Special Stroke recovery techniques are used to help the victim overcome the debilitating after effects of a stroke. If you are at risk, or you have already suffered a stroke, get the information you need for prevention and treatments.

Dispose of Glasses – Glaucoma Natural Healing

Everyone has heard of glaucoma, but what is it exactly? Glaucoma is a disease caused by excessive pressure in the eye. Despite it sounds painful, most people have no idea who else. Glaucoma is because at the time of sunset of symptoms of anxiety, it is too late to do anything. Once the downward spiral begins, there is nothing you can do about it.

The first symptoms of glaucoma is tunnel vision and narrowing of the field. He moves quickly in the final stages of glaucoma blindness is permanent.

The main causes of glaucoma have poor circulation around the eyes, obstruction of channels and poor drainage. These symptoms are caused by excessive stress, tension, stress and too many toxins in the body.

The only cure for glaucoma is to put pressure medication or drain fluids from the eyes. Both are quick solutions to revive again only to the symptoms but not the problem. Most people are even up to blindness. These revisions only prolong the inevitable a little longer.

Glaucoma is usually stopped by stress and not even with the illness-related stress. In most cases, the stress is even worse. People are now worried and nervous and scared of blindness. Fear of the unknown and fear begins to consume their daily lives, only adds stress and fatigue of the eyes. Ultimately, that aggravates the symptoms, rather than steps to solve the problem.

Any person with glaucoma should consult a doctor due to persistent blindness if it does not go unnoticed. However, you can take steps to their ailments of the eye itself by learning to relax your eyes heal. Take time to relax every evening around before bedtime. While in bed with closed eyes, the muscles of the picture of relaxation from head to toe. Focus mainly on the relaxation of the muscles around the eyes. Really relaxing before bed will wake for a better sleep and refreshed.

Glaucoma can be a scary thought, but by learning to relax your eyes, you can be involved in the steps for the natural cure of diseases.

Health Enhancing Behaviors

Health is wealth and there is no substitute to health. If a person is healthy, then everything seems sweet but if health is disturbed then the sweetest thing will look bad. A healthy person can enjoy every aspect of life and praise the beauty of nature, whereas a sick person cannot enjoy anything about life.

Everyone likes to remain healthy and enjoy life, but many people are unable to enjoy life because of health problems, the health problems arises when a person fails to take care of his/her health in way it is required, resulting in distress and illness. Health is nature’s gift, and health can be improved by following some small measures.

Healthy body leads to healthy mind, and healthy mind leads to positive thoughts, and positive thoughts leads to ideas that bring positive change in the world and make world a better place. So to remain healthy is very important, not only for individual but for whole society.

Following are some health enhancing behaviors, which can help people in leading a healthy life:

Early to bed and early to rise

“Early to bed and early to rise; makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.” It is a very famous quote and is taught widely in nursery Rhymes to children in order to strengthen this habit from very early age. It is a known fact that six hours sleep is mandatory for human mind and body to get required rest. The night is made for rest and day for working. Sleeping early and waking up early in the morning is the key to lead a healthy life, when a person gets a good six hours sleep at night, then the body and mind remain fresh all day and a person’s performance increases every day. Lack of sleep is the cause of unrest and makes a person tired all day; similarly sleeping more than required i.e., more than six hours also cause tiredness. Sleeping early and rising early is a basic health enhancing behavior.

Daily Exercise

Human body operates like a machine, when the machine remains idle for a long time, it gets rusted and its performance declines. Similarly muscles of human body require movements to work properly. Exercise is very important health enhancing behavior; it keeps muscles strong and increases the stamina, thus helping a person to work more without getting tired. The best time to do exercise is early in the morning. Exercise keeps the body healthy and strong. People who exercise daily are less likely to get sick very often.

Eating Properly Avoid Junk Foods

Taking care of what people eat is very important, as the food directly affects the metabolic and digestive system and it is the only source of energy for the body to work properly. Eating proper food with right amount of calories, proteins and vitamins at the right time is very important in keeping mind and body healthy. Vegetables, fruits and meat etc contains all the vitamins, calories and proteins required by a body so eating them at the right time is a good health enhancing behavior. Over eating and under eating both are dangerous, similarly eating more and more junk food can cause diseases. Excess of everything is dangerous and excess of food is very dangerous as it directly affect the stomach.

Eating vegetables, fruits and meat with bread or rice is a healthy nutrition, and it is a key to lead a healthy life. Junk foods and over eating is very dangerous for health so to avoid them as much as possible is a key to lead a healthy life.

Stop Smoking

The worst thing a person can do to his health is smoke cigarettes; in taking smoke into lungs is nothing but stupidity, cigarette’s smoke contain all the pollution and germs required for lungs cancer, so to remain healthy and avoid lungs diseases, it is essential not to smoke cigarettes.

Health is a God’s greatest gift to mankind, but to remain healthy is totally dependent on the person, a person can be very healthy if he/she follows the above stated health enhancing behaviors, whereas failure to follow the proper health enhancing behavior can cause diseases and distress leading to unhealthy life.

If the person is unhealthy, then he will be in stress and tension all the time and will cause trouble to himself/herself and people around. Unhealthy people are the cause of trouble for themselves and others. So rather than a constant pain to others, it is wise to follow these health enhancing behavior in order to lead a healthy life and to help others.

Levels of Skin Burns

While you may not consider skin in the same category as the heart, lungs, kidneys, and other organs, the skin is actually the largest organ of the body. It serves many purposes: protects the internal organs, acts as a barrier against viruses and bacteria, regulates our body temperature, and allows our cells to "breathe." Therefore, when the skin suffers an injury such as a burn, it can cause sever damages.

Your skin can become burned in different ways, not just by exposure to fire. Beside heat and flame, your skin can be injured with corrosive liquids such as chlorine and other chemicals, electricity, ultraviolet rays, steam, hot liquids, radiation, friction, and even wind. Depending on the source of the injury, doctors may choose to treat your burns in different ways. Additionally, one important thing to look at in the treatment and care of burns is the level of the injury.

Skin burns are divided into three different levels: first degree, second degree, and third degree. First degree burns are the most minor, affecting only the outer layer of the skin. They typically cause redness, swelling, and pain. In most cases, sunburn is only a first degree burn. You may experience tenderness and tightness of your skin, and it may seem to radiate heat.

Most first degree burns are treatable at home. If you are burned by a single thing, like a touch of the hot stove, you should run the burn under cool water. You can take aspirin to reduce the pain, and you may want to rub on burn ointment or aloe vera to soothe your skin. Avoid butter and antiseptic creams like Neosporin because they can make your burn worse.

Next, second degree burns are worse than first degree. These burns reach through the first layer of skin and also affect the underlay layer. Like first degree burns, they can cause pain, redness, and swelling, but the other identifying characteristic of second degree burns is that they can blister. In this case, do not peel off deadened skin or break the blister, as bacteria can get in the wound and cause serious infections.

This level of burns may require medical attention. However, there are things that you can do at home to help reduce your pain. Keep your scald in cold water for at least five minutes, then you can use a plastic-wrapped cold compress to cool the skin as well. Do not let cloth adhere to your wound, as it can peel off your skin when removed.

Third degree burns are the worst. They penetrate all layers of the skin, which can turn your skin black or white and cause numbness. These burns can be deadly and require immediate medical attention.

Burns can permanent damage your skin and the undering tissue. If you have been burned due to another person's reckless actions, he or she should be held liable for the negligence. To help you get the financial compensation that you deserve, talk to the experienced accident attorneys from Friedman & Bonebrake, PC ., Today.

Swine Flu – Enough's Enough

Are you one of the scared or one of the tired of hearing about it? It seems most people now fall into one of these categories when the topic of the swine flu comes up.

I am not one of the scared.

It was after reading a newsletter from Dr. Julian Whitaker, MD, that I decided to follow his footsteps and put in my two cents (and common sense) as well by writing this article.

As the global pandemic alert levels continue to climb, media jumps to find the most shocking pieces to report and government protect itself by taking strong action. Despite the fact that there has only been one reported death in the United States, a toddler brought in from Mexico, Governments around the world are declaring states of public emergency. Countries are cutting flights to Mexico. President Obama is requesting billions of dollars to be spent on monitoring the disease, stocking up on medicines, and to help other countries. Countries are baking pork products. Stores are running out of surgical masks. The World Health Organization is warning countries not to lower their guard.

Some perspective:

  • "Nearly all infections outside of Mexico have been mild and only a handful of patients have needed hospital treatment."
  • According to research conducted at the World Influenza Center in the UK, "Preliminary analysis of the swine flu virus suggests it is a fairly mild strain, scientists say."
  • "Common seasonal flu kills 250,000 to 500,000 people every year worldwide, far more than the current outbreak of swine flu."

Some Traditional Chinese Medicine solutions:

I can not predict the future. I do know, however, that the best way to not get the swine flu is to not get sick. 🙂 So, how do you avoid getting sick? Or, at least, how do you not get too sick? You support your whole body, including your immune system.

Written 2000 years ago, the book Su Wen ("Plain Questions"), a TCM classic, states that "If 'zheng Qi' [the functioning of the body] remains strong, 'xie Qi' [viruses, bacteria, parasites, etc .] can not invade the body. 'Zheng Qi' must be weak for the invasion of 'xie Qi' to take place.

Part of that is certainly to strengthen your immune system, which TCM referes to as 'wei Qi' or defensive Qi. Herbs such as huang qi (astralagus), ling zhi (reishi mushroom), and dong chong xia cao (cordyceps) are powerful immune stimulants. Herbs that help kill a virus or bacteria include ban lan gen (isatis root), lian qiao (forsythia fruit), and jie geng (balloon flower rhizome). One challenge is that because each virus and bacteria can have very different properties, and because each herb affects the body differently, you are best to talk with a qualified TCM herbalist or TCM doctor to determine what will work for you if you come down with a flu.

In addition, because all your body's systems are interconnected, you will want to make sure that your digestive system, cardiovascular system, reproductive system, respiratory system, and nervous system are also addressed. Injured? Take care of that so that your body can focus on other health issues. And, I did not even mention your emotional wellness-feeling down can make you more susceptible to illness.

Acupuncture can also be used to build your defenses and balance to your whole body, not to mention the major reason why people come to see me-to relieve stress.

Stuff You Can Do:

  • Get enough sleep
  • Wash your hands (just use regular soap; let's not keep creating more superbugs with all the chemical antibacterial products out there; wash your hands while singing "Happy Birthday" in your head so that you know that you've washed long enough)
  • De-stress (meditate, breathe, find a hobby)
  • Eat healthy (more veggies, less sugar; more whole foods, less processed foods)
  • Listen to your body. If you feel the beginning of a cold or flu, slow down, take some immune boosting supplements listed below, get more sleep, and try to avoid infecting others (stay home and maybe do as the Japanese do and wear a mask when you're sick so that all others do not have to)
  • Take vitamin C, essential fatty acids (fish oils, flax oil, hemp oil, etc.), probiotics (good bacteria have been shown to stimulate the immune system)
  • If you start to succumb, find a good herbal immune product. I have my favorites-FluStop, manuka honey, oregano oil, and customized TCM herbal formulas.
  • And, above all, do not panic. Panic and stress stimulate your adrenal glands to pump out adrenaline which will send you into a state of fight or flight. That brings blood away from "non-vital" systems for your immediate survival-immune system included-and to your heart to pump more blood and your muscles to get ready to move! Continued stress causes your body to release cortisol which further weakens your immune system.