Infertility – Seven Stages of an Emotional Journey

It goes without saying that infertility is a life-altering experience for couples. Many couples who struggle with infertility can attest to the toll it takes on relationships, careers, family planning, and self-esteem. And while numerous medical treatments for infertility are becoming available, the emotional aspect of infertility is often overlooked. Ultimately, infertility is not just a medical problem. It is also a condition with both social and emotional consequences.

There are seven emotional stages of infertility. While these stages can be generalized to many couples, it should be recognized that given the very personal nature of this struggle, every couple's experience is different and unique.

Stage One: Concern (6 to 8 months) This is where it all begins. A couple decides that they will begin to try to get pregnant. The birth control is stashed away in the medicine cabinet; The condoms are no longer needed. Most couples will not get pregnant immediately (and this is to be expected) however after six months of trying, they find that they are still not successful. At this point, many women will seek the help of their family doctor. After the traditional battery of tests have been performed (ultrasounds, internal examinations, blood work, etc.), the doctor concludes that while not necessarily downright infertile, she will have difficulty conceiving.

Stage Two: Denial (6 months) While not outright dismissing the doctor's opinion, it is still hard to swallow, and some women find themselves feeling skeptical. A lot of women think of all the various reasons they may not be getting pregnant: poor eating habits, lack of real effort, poor cycle timing, stress levels, and the list goes on. So with a new steadfast resolve, the attempts at conception continue. This time, extra attention is placed on monitoring of cycles, eating well, stress management, etc. After approximately a year of trying to no avail, a sense of fear begins to set in.

Stage Three: Anxiety ( canker from a few months to a year) At this point, the couple has realized that their problems with infertility extend beyond their immediate control. Many women experience a drop in self-esteem: feeling as though their infertility somehow symbolizes their failure as a woman. This stage is also characterized by feelings of depression, anger, and self-blame. Relationships between partners and loved ones may become strained, and it is as though life has been put on hold, all the while, the women can hear their biological clock loudly ticking away.

Stage Four: Intervention (up to 2 years) After the initial sting wears off, it is time to take a more medically focused aggressive approach to conception. Specialists are consulted, and different treatment options are discussed. In order to determine the most effective treatment, it is vital that all potential causes of infertility be examined, this includes having the male partner examined as well. Alternative therapies are also considered. Towards the end of this stage, it feels as though all efforts and options have been exhausted yielding no results, and despairs begin to set in.

Stage Five: Despair (up to 2 years) At this emotional stage of infertility, it is very common to feel a sense of defeat. The struggle with infertility does not remain contained within the marriage or relationship, either it sees into every other aspect of their lives. Social situations where children will be present or discussed become increasingly awkward and emotionally challenging to handle. It seems as though every other couple has already begun to start a family. Children are everywhere; Happy parents continue to talk about them, in effect the couple coping with infertility can never forget that they are missing out. There is also a certain amount of internal conflict: on the one hand, a stubborn determination to become pregnant, and on the other an overwhelming sense of depression and constant defeat.

Stage Six: Mourning (up to a year) There is a certain sense of finality that often firms this emotional stage of infertility. The realization that they will never be parents, for example, feels very much like a loss; A loss of something that was meant to naturally happen, a loss of the opportunity that so many people say is unlike any other life experience. Some couples grieve the loss of babies lost through miscarriage or still-births, while others grieve the loss of a baby that was never conceived at all.

Stage Seven: Reorganization (on going) During the final emotional phase of infertility, couples take inventory of their situation. It is time to explore the remaining options and determine both what is desirable and feasible. Couples can explore options such as surrogacy, sperm banks, open or closed adoption, or to live child-free. Weighing the costs and benefits for any of these options can be emotionally challenging, not to mention potentially financially stressful. Access to resources and information can make this stage a lot easier, combined with the support and guidance of friends, family members, and professionals.

All couples coping with infertility go through some form of these stages although it is important to point out that the best way to manage these stages is by developing a strong support team. Of course your team already would consist of your spouse, your doctors and possibly some close family and friends. Also consider adding a nutritionist to help you make good eating decisions, a personal trainer to keep you physically in shape for the challenges ahead and a fertility coach to help you make sense of it all. Infertility can be emotionally draining but having a support team will get you through it.

Passion Flower – Medicinal Uses, Interactions, Side Effects, Dosage

Passion Flower

There are over 400 species of passion flower (genus Passiflora), which are also known as maypop, apricot vine, or passion vine. The dried, leafy, aerial parts of the P. incarnata species have been most frequently used medicinally.

Uses and Benefits:

Passion flower is promoted as a mild herbal anxiolytic, sedative, and hypnotic. It is a popular ingredient in many European sedative-hypnotic herbal combination products (often with valerian, lemon balm, and other herbs). Herbalists have also used passion flower for neuralgia, seizures, hysteria, and various physiologic disorders of presumed nervous origin-whenever a “calming” action is desired. Passion flower was included in over-the-counter (OTC) sedative and sleep aids in the United States until 1978, when the FDA banned it due to lack of proven effectiveness.


P. incarnata contains flavonoids (e.g., vitexin and isovitexin), small amounts of indole or harmala alkaloids (harman and related compounds), and maltol, all of which have pharmacologic activity in animal models. In most rodent studies, herbal extracts administered orally and by injection have sedative or hypnotic activityHarmala alkaloids have CNS activity (includ�ing psychedelic properties when given in large amounts); interact with a variety of neuroreceptor systems; and are inhibitors of the monoamine oxidase (MAO) enzyme. Chrysin, thought to be a flavonoid component of a related Passiflora species (P. coerulea), binds to benzodiazepine receptors and has anxiolytic actions in mice. however, chrysin may not be found in P. incarnata.

Clinical Trials:

Passion flower has only been studied in combi�nation products with other potentially sedative-hypnotic herbs or drugs; thus, the efficacy of passion flower itself is unknown. Euphytose, a European product that combines P. incarnata with several other herbal sedatives (including valerian), was found to have statistically beneficial anxiolytic properties in a double-blind, placebo-controlled study. In contrast, a European controlled study comparing a single oral dose of Valverde (P. incarnata, va�lerian, balm, and pestilence wort) with 3 mg of bromazepam found that both were no more effective than placebo.

Compoz, formerly a popular U.S. OTC product that contained P. incarnata (as well as scopolamine and antihistamines), was found to have equivalent anxiolytic effects to placebo in one study; however, the amount of Passiflora in 3 tablets of Compoz was 22.5 mg, a daily dose that was probably negligible. Compoz has been removed from the market.

Despite having CNS effects in rodents, an aqueous extract from a related Passiflora species, P. edulis, had no sedative-hyp�notic effects in nine healthy volunteers.

Adverse Effects:

In general, passion flower is considered to be safe and nontoxic, and dependence and withdrawal have not been reported. However, there are isolated case reports of adverse reactions. Five patients required hospitalization due to unresponsiveness or altered consciousness associated with overdoses (100-600 ml) of a P. incarnata product (Relaxir; usual dose 2 teaspoons) used in Norway. One patient appeared to respond to flumazenil. In Australia, a 34-year-old female developed severe nausea, vomiting, drowsiness, prolonged QTc on EKG, and episodes of nonsustained ventricular tachycardia associated with initiation of a P. incarnata product (Sedacalm) at therapeutic doses. Lastly, a patient with rheumatoid arthritis developed a cutaneous hypersensitivity reaction associated with the use of an oral extract. Product adulteration or contamination may have been responsible for these disparate reactions.

Other species of Passiflora have been implicated in toxicities. An aqueous extract of P. edulis caused abnormal elevations of aspartate aminotransferase (AST) and amylase in several healthy volunteers. Old reports that passion flower contains toxic cyanogenic glycosides are probably referring to the ornamental blue passion flower, P. coerulea, and not to P. incarnata.

Side Effects and Interactions:

Although pure harmala alkaloids have MAO inhibitor activity in animal experiments, adverse reactions or interactions in humans using passion flower have not been reported. Newer studies have shown that only trace amounts of the alkaloids are contained in the herb ( <0.1 ppm), and thus doses used clinically should not have MAO inhibitor activity.


Safety in pregnant and breast-feeding women hafl not been evaluated.

Preparations & Doses:

The usual recommended dose is about 500-2000 mg of dried herb, or 300-400 mg of commonly prepared extracts, 3-4 times daily, or as needed.

Summary Evaluation :

Passion flower is commonly used as a mild anxiolytic, sedative, and hypnotic herb, properties which have been demonstrated only with large doses in animal studies. Beneficial activity in humans has not been adequately evaluated at therapeutic doses, and evidence-based recommendations cannot be made. Avail�able information suggests that effects are likely to be mild in usual doses, and can only be regarded as possibly beneficial for minor problems of anxiety or insomnia

Ten Tips to Change Your Drinking Habits

If you would like to change your drinking habits, AA and total abstinence are not your only options. Research from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism shows that the majority of people who change their drinking habits do so without AA or rehab. Many decide that quitting completely is their best option, but just as many, if not more, resolve their problems by cutting back or becoming safer drinkers.

1) Safety First

If you have engaged in any unsafe behaviors when drinking alcohol, such as drunk driving, unsafe sex, drunk dialing or any of a host of others, there a is a way to help you to avoid this in the future. Get a sheet of paper and make a list of the risky behaviors you have engaged in and rank them in a hierarchy–remember that it is most important to avoid the riskiest behaviors first. Then make a written plan to avoid your high risk behaviors before you ever take the first drink. For example, if you want to drink at a bar, take a taxi there so that you will have to take a taxi home. You can’t drive if your car isn’t there. Remember: think before you drink. It is always a good idea to put safety first. The life you save may be your own.

2) Decide What Kind of a Drinker You Want to Be

Many people find that quitting alcohol altogether is their best option. It does not matter how much or how little you drink, anyone can make the choice to abstain completely from alcohol. Others find that moderate drinking is their best goal and they will choose to have a goal of drinking moderately and never becoming intoxicated. Even those people who are unwilling or unable to refrain from drinking to intoxication at times can work at becoming safer drinkers by planning ahead. Safer drinking can be an important harm reduction goal for these individuals, since any plan to be safer is always an improvement over unsafe drinking. Safer drinking, reduced drinking, or abstinence from alcohol are all legitimate harm reduction goals and they are all better than making no change at all. Also remember that your goal is not set in stone–many people who choose goals of safer drinking or reduced drinking decide later that switching to abstinence is their best bet. Life changes and it is good to be flexible and change with it.

3) Add Some Non-Drinking Days

Many people find that having several alcohol-free days each week helps them to keep their habit under control. If you have been drinking every day for a long time you might find that adding in even one non-drinking day each week can help you to get started on your change plan. Feel free to go at your own pace in adding alcohol-free days into your week. Warning: If you have been drinking heavily every day for a long time you may have alcohol withdrawal if you stop all at once. If you begin to have withdrawal symptoms when you stop drinking then it is safest to either taper off slowly, to check into a detox, or to get some medications from your doctor to help you with alcohol withdrawal.

4) Count and Chart How Much You Drink

One of the best ways to get a handle on your drinking is to count your drinks and keep a daily record on a calendar or some other type of drinking chart. To keep an accurate record of how much you drink you will need to learn what a standard drink is. In the US this is one twelve oz beer at five percent alcohol or one five oz glass of wine at twelve percent alcohol or one and a half oz of 80 proof booze. One drink in a bar can contain up to half a dozen standard drinks so beware of this when charting your drinks. Practice measuring at home to get a feel for how much a standard drink really is. Write down your drink numbers on your calendar every day; if you have an abstinence day then write down a zero. Many people find that the act of charting in itself helps them to cut back.

5) Make a Drinking Plan

You can use the same calendar where you chart your drink numbers to plan how many drinks you will have in a given day. For example, you might want to reserve every Sunday for making your drinking plan for the week to come and write down which days will be alcohol-free and how many drinks you intend to have on your drinking days. Some people might want to have the same plan every week and will choose to write it down just once. For example, a person may choose to drink safely at home every Saturday night and abstain the other six days of the week. There are as many different possible drinking plans as there are people so feel free to make the plan which is right for you.

6) Make a Pros and Cons List

Get out four sheets of paper. On the first write out the pros of your current drinking habits and on the second write out the cons. On the third write out the pros of your intended change and on the fourth write out the cons. Don’t be afraid of saying that there are positives about alcohol; if you try to repress the positives they will just stay in your subconscious and cause you trouble later on. If you get this out into the open now you can recognize it and you can find other positive things to substitute for the benefits you get from alcohol. Feel free to do the pros and cons list frequently–every time you write these out it will strengthen your resolve to change.

7) Take a Break from Drinking

Some people find that the best way to jump start a change in their drinking habits is to have a non-drinking period. Taking a week or two or even a month or two off from drinking can be a great help in changing your relationship with alcohol for the better. A stretch of alcohol-free time will give you a chance to encounter all your old drinking situations without alcohol–and you will learn new ways to cope with these situations without booze.

8) Make a List of Ways to Have Fun without Drinking

There are unlimited ways to have fun without alcohol ranging from swimming to knitting to the New York Times crossword. Get out a sheet of paper and make a list of fun things that you can do without alcohol and keep it handy to refer to when you get the urge to break your drinking plan.

9) Accentuate the Positive

Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t stick to your plan perfectly. Research shows that most people don’t get it perfect the first time. Making a change usually takes several tries and there are some slip ups on the way to achieving your change goal. If you beat yourself up over a small slip you can make yourself so miserable that you want to drown your sorrows in booze and you can wind up going on a major bender as a result. The people who achieve success in the long run are the ones who praise themselves for every positive change. If you decide to take a month off from booze and make it to ten days then make sure to praise yourself for those ten days of abstinence from alcohol–you will never lose them. Don’t waste a lot of time beating yourself up over the fact that you didn’t make the full thirty days, get right back on the plan, whether you decide to finish out the remaining twenty days, go for thirty consecutive days, or go for a whole new plan.

10) Have a “Plan B” in Place

Slip ups are the norm when people try to change their habits; only the minority make the change completely the first time. But having one piece of chocolate cake doesn’t mean that you have to eat the whole cake. One drink does not have to mean one drunk. If you are planning to abstain but slip up and decide to have a drink then make sure to do it safely; if you are out in your car then take your car home first and take a taxi to the bar. Have your plan B in place so that you continue to remain safe even if you do slip up. A backup plan is essential whether your goal is safer drinking, reduced drinking, or quitting altogether.

Always remember that better is better. Any improvement you make over your old drinking habits, no matter how small, is a success!

Lumbar Disc Conditions And Low Back Pain

Disc troubles are in all probability linked to low back discomfort more than anything else, especially in middle aged and older adults.  The vertebral discs act as “shock absorbers” to some degree and aid in both the capacity of the spinal vertebra to maintain flexibility and at the same time delivering balance to the vertebral joints.

Spinal discs are made up of two primary components. The annulus is a structure that looks like an onion or a tree trunk with many concentric circles emanating from the center to the outermost margin of the disc. The nucleus pulposis is a “jelly” like structure that makes up the core of the disc and because of its higher water content truly imparts some hydraulic function to the backbone as it simultaneously supports and offers flexibility for the body.

A disc protrusion happens when the nucleus or “jelly” center pushes out by means of tears or cracks in the annulus and ultimately escapes the annulus altogether. Depending on the place this happens will determine the type and seriousness of resulting ailment. If the nucleus pushes out into the canal in which the spinal cord lies , it might exert pressure on the spinal cord itself and cause a wide assortment of neurological conditions. If the nucleus pushes out towards the lateral aspect of the vertebra, it could impinge or put pressure on the spinal nerves at the point they exit the spine occasionally leading to conditions such as a pinched sciatic nerve. These conditions are a bit easier to diagnose because each nerve has specific indicators that help a physician diagnose the cause of pain and weakness.

Disc conditions are commonly apparent in middle to more mature individuals due to the long term results of gravity and repeated trauma or micro trauma ( less than optimal posture over time for example). The daily effects of poor posture, the compressive force of gravity, and human nature of overdoing many physical activities like exercise or work can gradually weaken the outer components of the disc until the center (the nucleus) pushes through and escapes .

Countering the effects of compression (as inversion therapy tables do), using common sense while working out and working, as well as preserving great postural routines can help sustain disc well being far into later years avoiding the agonizing and devastating problem of a disc prolapse .

Discover a Holistic Cure For Pet Diarrhea

There are several things you can do for diarrhea if your pet does not have any serious complications such as bloody stools, loss of appetite or suspected infections. First of all, do not give solid food for at least twelve hours; This will give the intestinal tract time to rest and expel anything that may be irritating the bowels, ie contaminated food they may have ingested, etc. When you do start introducing food, make sure it is only a small amount and only a high quality protein such as white chicken meat, beef or fish along with plenty of water.

The most important holistic cure for pet diarrhea is a probiotic. The good thing is, probiotics are not just for diarrhea. Probiotics supply beneficial bacterial to maintain health throughout the body. Probiotics help break down food for digestion, change the acidic environment in the intestine creating an environment that will make the intestinal track less intolerable to harmful organizations. Probiotics reduce or prevent diarrhea, reduce infection, can help prevent allergic reactions and helps alleviate constipation while enhancing the immune system so it can fight off infections.

Another holistic cure for pet diarrhea are herbal treatments that combine several ingredients which work in conjunction with each other. Plantain (Plantago major) a well-known herbal remedy used for the health of the digestive system and mucous membranes has an important ingredient called tannins; These tannins dry secretions and have been used with the specific action of treating diarrhea.

Another is Lady's Mantle (Alchemilla vulgaris) used for many years to support firm stools and bowel functioning. Alchemilla also contains tannins, which maintain the natural production of secretions that work by forming a soothing layer on the lining of the digestive tract. Pets that have had antibiotic treatments, immune suppressing medications such as steroids and particularly those on dry food diets are much more susceptible to germs that normally stay in the digestive tract when their resistance is lowered.

Using these holistic cures for pet diarrhea on a daily basis for their health program, or for the duration of times when your pet is exposed to emotional, physical, or digestive stress, including any change in environment, diarrhea, deworming; Which uses harsh chemicals that destroy the good bacteria, loss of appetite could help prevent future illness or upsets.

Suffering From Cold Sore Symptoms

Anybody who catches cold always feels to get relief from this contagious sickness. A person gets easily irritated by cold and feels to get rid from cold infection. And if adult cannot share their experience of such incidents than just imagine how child must be suffering from if he/she catches cold.

Mainly viruses are the main cause of it. When the infected people sneeze or cough nearby healthy surroundings then these viruses make their way to get into nose or throat and start their work.


You need to face many of health problems if infected by cold. Symptoms can be seen easily if your baby is having cold. Firstly, your baby will be sneezing and have a gooey nose. It becomes really much difficult to swallow anything whether it is a liquid like juice and even food as baby’s throat is aching. Problems may arise in respiratory tract.

Of course, because of sore throat your baby won’t feel to eat much because of irritation in throat. Chances are there that your baby may develop cough and even a slight fever having a body temperature like 101-102 degree Fahrenheit.

When steps to be taken-

Immediately consult a pediatrician if you find any cold symptoms in 3months old baby or even less than 3months. If proper steps not taken at time, then it could lead your baby to a serious ailment. Just rush to a doctor if your child is more than 3months old and you see him/her is breathing speedily and with each breath his nostrils expands.

Any person can make through baby’s body language. Your child must have developed cough and lasting for more than a week. Body pain or pains in joints is a common problem that each individual faces. Even your ears start aching. You may notice fever or body temperature like 102-103 degree Fahrenheit. Baby may get frustrated or feels giddy while suffering from bad cold. His nails or lips are becoming blue. His mucus is thick, gooey or may be green or blue in color

Steps towards Your Baby-

Doctors and various consultants tell that common cold has no perfect medicine that can solve your problem. But, surely there are easy steps that can fight against this common cold symptoms or increase your resistance power against cold infection.

Make your baby rest for long time and look whether he is taking proper dosage of medicine. Give your baby acetaminophen for fever if it is not more than 6months or else you may give ibuprofen if your child is more than that. If your child is under 3years and has developed cough then do not offer cough medicines or cough syrup which checks control unless it’s prescribed by a pediatrician. Strictly, it is advisable to keep a hold on using allopathic medicines if your child’s health aggravate for 1-2days.

Use of any rubber material thin stick will help to draw out the mucus from his nostrils, if your baby’s nose has jammed. Before doing this process, just check whether the baby’s mucus is thick or runny. If it’s too thick use of saline nose drops can soften the mucus or a humidifier used in a baby’s room can also gooey the mucus to clean the nasal secretions.

Conclusion –

Just keep the baby away from infected peoples as their disease resistance power is low to fight against such infection like cold. But still, if your child catches cold then try out every possible homely way and then follow allopathic medicine to overcome this cold problem. Take care, by making him/her relax or comfortable will soon cure your child from cold symptoms bringing him back to healthy body. Hence, now it’s completely on you how to nourish your child in different situations.

Causes, Symptoms and Cures of Goiter

Iodine, the fourth member of the halogen family and a blue-black solid at room temperature is a chemically reactive element of the periodic table that was first isolated from seaweed residues in 1811. The nature of the element was further established and the element so named in 1813. This lustrous, blue-black, soft substance sublimes when heated, giving off a violet vapor with a stinging odor like that of chlorine. The element’s name comes from its color; as iodes is a Greek word for violet. The vapor rapidly condenses again on a cold surface. The only isotope that occurs in nature is stable, but several radioactive ones have been produced artificially. Iodine, like all halogens, is chemically active and in pure form, it is poisonous. Though it is only slightly soluble in water and soluble in some organic reagents, it dissolves readily in an aqueous solution of potassium iodide.

 With seven electrons in the outer shell of its atom, iodine has several oxidation states, of which the main ones are -1, +1, +3, +5, and +7. It combines readily with most metals to form iodides, and it also combines with other halides. Reactions with oxygen, nitrogen, and carbon are accomplished with more difficulty. Iodine is a relatively rare element, ranking about 62nd in abundance on Earth, but its compounds are widespread in seawater, soil, and rocks. Iodine is obtained from brines and from Chilean nitrate ores in which it occurs as an impurity. To a lesser extent, iodine is also derived from sea organisms, such as brown seaweeds, that concentrate iodine in their tissues. Iodine is medicinally very important because it is an essential trace element; present in the hormone that is involved in growth-controlling and other metabolic functions. Without iodine, stunted and awful growth can result. Thus in areas where iodine is not sufficiently abundant naturally, iodine-containing salt serves to make up the deficit. In medicine, iodine-alcohol solutions and iodine complexes have been used as antiseptics and disinfectants. Radioisotopes of iodine are used in medical and other fields of research. More broadly, various iodine compounds find use in photography, the making of dyes, and cloud-seeding operations. In chemistry, various iodine compounds serve as strong oxidizing agents, among other uses.

Thyroid Gland is the endocrine gland found in almost all vertebrate animals and so called because it is located in front of and on each side of the thyroid cartilage of the larynx. The thyroid gland in human beings is a brownish-red organ having two lobes connected by an isthmus; it normally weighs about 28 g (about 1 oz) and consists of cuboidal epithelial cells arranged to form small sacs known as vesicles or follicles. The vesicles are supported by connective tissue that forms a framework for the entire gland. In the normal thyroid gland, the vesicles are usually filled with a colloid substance containing the protein thyroglobulin in combination with the two thyroid hormones tetraiodothyronine (T4), and triiodothyronine (T3). These hormones are composed of the amino acid tyrosine, containing four and three iodine atoms, respectively.

The amount of thyroglobulin secreted by the thyroid is controlled by the thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH which, in turn, is regulated by a substance called thyroid-stimulating hormone releasing factor (TRF) that is secreted by the hypothalamus. Thyroglobulin is especially rich in iodine. Although the thyroid gland constitutes about 0.5 percent of the total human body weight, it holds about 25 percent of the total iodine in the body, which is obtained from food and water in the diet. Iodine usually circulates in the blood as an inorganic iodide and is concentrated in the thyroid to as much as 500 times the iodide level of the blood.

Many different laboratory tests, including direct measurement of thyroxine and triiodothyronine, are used to test the activity of the thyroid gland. Thyroid scanning with radioiodine or technetium-99m is especially useful for detecting or ruling out cancer of the thyroid in persons who have a palpable nodule, or thyroid lump. In most cases thyroid cancers are slow-growing and not fatal. The thyroid gland appears to be quite sensitive to irradiation: during the 1970s an increased incidence of thyroid cancer was found among people who had been treated early in life with X-rays for such conditions as acne, ringworm, and tonsillitis.

Excessive production of thyroid hormones, called hyperthyroidism or Graves’ disease, results in elevated metabolism and activity. Sometimes this condition is associated with abnormalities of the eye, including bulging eyes. The usual treatment is to administer an antithyroid drug, such as propylthiouracil, or a dose of radioactive iodine, which is concentrated in the thyroid gland and destroys some of the tissue. Apparent hyperthyroidism can result from destruction of thyroid cells with release of large amounts of hormone. In one condition, called Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, this destruction results from production of an antibody against thyroid tissue.

Deficiency of thyroid hormones, or hypothyroidism, is characterized by lethargy and lowering of metabolism. This condition can result from disorders of the pituitary or of the thyroid gland itself. Iodide is now added to table salt in order to avoid a deficiency of iodine in the diet. The condition called cretinism, more properly known as congenital hypothyroidism, is an inherited deficiency to thyroid function that occurs in about one in every 6000 births. In most instances, but not all, these infants grow up to be mentally retarded. However, its early treatment can prevent retardation.

Simple goiter is characterized by an enlargement of the entire thyroid gland or one of its two lobes. It is associated with hypothyroidism, a condition caused by insufficient production of thyroid hormone. As the body needs iodine to produce thyroid hormone, inadequate amounts of iodine in the diet may result in simple goiters. Simple goiters may be classified as either endemic or nontoxic. Endemic goiters are caused by a deficiency of iodine in the diet and usually occur in populations living in areas with iodine-depleted soil. Ingestion of iodine supplements prevents development of the diseases related to the deficiency of iodine.

The cause of most nontoxic goiters is unknown, but researchers suspect that environmental factors and heredity play a role. In some areas of the world, certain chemical compounds in food or water may block the body’s production of thyroid hormones and lead to nontoxic goiter formation. These compounds, known as goitrogens, also include certain drugs, such as aminoglutethimide. Most simple goiters do not produce any symptoms. The administration of thyroid hormone will lead to a reduction in size of simple goiters in most cases. Surgical removal of a simple goiter is usually unnecessary unless the goiter is very large and is impingeing on vital body organs.

This disease, also called exophthalmic goiter, hyperthyroidism, thyrotoxicosis, or Graves’ disease, for the Irish physician Robert James Graves, is caused by an excess of thyroxine secretion. The cause of the excessive secretion is obscure. The symptoms of toxic goiter may include a rapid heartbeat, tremor, increased sweating, increased appetite, weight loss, weakness etc. Toxic goiter is commonly treated with radioactive iodine, which is taken up by the gland and destroys the cells by irradiation. Drugs also can be used to suppress hormone production, or most of the toxic goiter can be removed surgically.

Causes of Tinnitus, Thyroid Disorders

Disorders of the thyroid gland can cause temporary or permanent degenerative changes in the inner ear, resulting in tinnitus. These hormonal disorders are commonly manifested as either a deficiency of the thyroid hormone (hypothyroidism) or an abundance of thyroid hormone (hyperthyroidism).

The thyroid hormones are essential for regulating the basal metabolic rate of almost every single cell in the body. They are involved in cell protein synthesis, differentiation, maturation, metabolism amongst countless other functions.

Hypothyroidism is a common endocrine disorder affecting approximately 1.4% to 2% of women and 0.1% to 0.2% of men. Common symptoms of the condition include fatigue, depression, mental slowing, weight gain, cold intolerance, itchy skin, and lifeless hair. Less common symptoms of hypothyroidism include hearing impairment and tinnitus.

There does seem to be a link between hypothyroidism and tinnitus. Although there hasn’t been too much formal clinical evidence investigating the link, there are a number of hyperthyroid sufferers at the discussion board who talk about their experiences with the condition. One user posted that she was a hyperthyrodism (Graves disease) sufferer, and after receiving treatment she had a deficiency of thyroid hormones and noticed a loud ringing in her ears.

Although there are some hyperthyroid sufferers who experience tinnitus, hypothyroidism appears to be the main thyroid disorder that results in ringing in the ears. It is possible that tinnitus may occur in some patients as a result of increased blood pressure or hypertension.

The treatment for hypothyroidism is levothyroxine which replaces the deficient hormones not produced by the thyroid gland. The tablets must be taken every day for the rest of the sufferers life.

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The Vision Benefits Of Anthocyanin Rich Berries

There are many different plant compounds that protect our eyesight and strengthen our vision health. Some of these plant compounds include phytonutrients, carotenoids, flavonoids, Lipoic acid and polyphenols to name a few. A lot of these have disease fighting abilities and provide our bodies with a variety of health benefits that include protection from heart disease, diabetes, the prevention of cognitive decline and cancer. Another example of a common type of disease fighting plant compound is called Anthocyanins. What exactly are Anthocyanins? Anthocyanins are plant compounds that consist of pigments found in the tissues of plants, leaves, stems and flowers that give fruits and vegetables various colors ranging from red to purple and blue. Many of these pigments are found in different fruits and vegetables. Some main food sources of Anthocyanins are various fruits from the family of berries. These include Blueberries, Strawberries, Cranberries, Raspberries, and blackberries to name a few. Some additional foods sources of anthocyanins also include black currants, red grapes, pink grapefruit, pomegranates and asparagus to name a few. Anthocyanins in berries play a major role in improving your vision health and improve eyesight as well. Therefore, here are some benefits of anthocyanins in berries for better vision:

Eye Health Benefits of Anthocyanins in Berries: Anthocyanin plant nutrients are abundant sources of antioxidants. One of the main causes of degenerative diseases such as macular degeneration relates to an increase in free radical activity that causes damage to healthy cells in the eyes. Berries consist of anthocyanins that are rich in antioxidants. These antioxidants are able to reduce the negative effects of free radical cells on our eyes. These antioxidant rich foods fight these rogue cells that cause the breakdown of healthy cell DNA. Therefore, they are useful in protecting the eyes from age related vision disorders such as macular degeneration.

Anthocyanins protect Heart Health: Scientific research studies show that there is a link between regular consumption of anthocyanin rich foods and protection from cardiovascular disease. A study that evaluated the effects of Anthocyanins in heart health was conducted on 87,000 participants. The study assessed the health progress of over 46,000 women and 23,000 men. The results of the study concluded that the participants in the study who consumed anthocyanin rich foods such as strawberries and blueberries even once a week saw a significant reduction in their risks for heart disease. The study also noted that the participants who ate these types of foods saw a major improvement in their blood pressure numbers even in spite of factors related to age, family history and physical activity and nutritional habits associated with hypertension.

This Is War

It's 9:00 am, Monday, June 6th, and I am laughing with nerves, unsure of what to expect. My hand shakes slightly as I force biscuits and gravy into my already unsettled stomach. I've been wide awake for hours before my alarm, roaming around the room, trying to keep myself busy. But as soon as it goes off, I want to disappear into the comfort of my bed and stay under the covers until the hotel kicks us out.

My mind dances back and forth between the two options before me: "Do not think too much about a negative, you need to prepare for the worst …" "Do not think too much about a positive … you can 'T break down before. " I try to focus my attention on my friend and my lover, worrying about what the next hour will bring for them rather than me.

At 9:30 am My friend and I are packed and in the car, waiting for the other to check out of the hotel. Of course he is making us late and I am focused on him and the potential traffic rather than what it will mean to finally walk into the hospital.

At 9:45 am I arrive at the hospital and argument with the desk clerk, telling her that I want to pay out of pocket instead of applying for financial aid since I am not using insurance. I can tell that she obviously thinks I'm insane, and my appointment for neurology probably solidifies her thoughts.

Walk to the elevator. Wait.

Find the waiting room we need. Wait.

Continue laughing, talking about unrelated things, and focusing on subjects we did not really care about then and do not really care about now. The distance between DC and Columbus. The weather outside and the rolling hills on our drive. What to eat for lunch.

At 10:00 am My genetic counselor walks into the waiting room and does not say a word. I half smile at her, recognizing the look on her face immediately. We all stand like zombies, half walking and half floating over to her. When I get closer, I feel my feet touch the ground again.

I know. In her face, I can see the answer.




C7. Room C7.

"We're in here" she says and gestures inward.

My immediate thoughts: Okay, this is real. This room is cramped. Maybe it's negative. Where should I sit? Is my doctor really introducing herself to my boyfriend right now? Out of all things, does that matter? She holds out her hand to him and it hangs there for what looks like forever. Who is sitting where? There are not enough chairs. Is everyone okay? It's warm in here. My genetic counselor is still half smiling. Okay …

There is an awkward struggle and hesitation between everyone. My posse is finally imprisoned and I am squished between the man who swears he loves me and the uncomfortable arm rest on the small bench we share. There are too many people in the room. The heat from the loved ones around me surrounds me and I feel cramped but secure for one second.
Just one second.

I imagine my doctor hovering for a few minutes before she sits down and opens the folder. I know she's already seen it. She knows what she has to say. My mind flashes in what looks like bursts of light, photographing every few seconds and making time fly by without my knowledge of what is really happening. She does not hesitate for a moment.

"We got your test results back and unfortunately you tested positive for Huntington's."

Duh you got my test results back. Oh. Deep breath. Heartbreak. Shit.

I start crying, one hand covering my entire face as the other clenches my two friends' hands at once. I feel the love of my life tense up next to me. His chest tightens and his heart bursts through his ribs. He is frozen, as everyone else in the room seems to be, but I am catching fire. The spark I always felt finally burst into flame. I expected this, at least somewhere inside of me I knew, but he was the one who kept the hope for a negative result alive. And now that hope is gone.

What do I do? Stop crying. Ask questions.

"Do you know the CAG repeat?"

"Eighteen from your mom, forty-three from your dad."

I hear my heart shatter inside and I lose my breath. I take a minute as I sob and then pull myself together again.

Quit looking me in the eyes lady, I'm fine. I knew my CAG would most likely mutate up, so I was not too surprised. I can handle 43. I can fight with 43.

My lover wraps his arm around me and starts stroking my shoulder and arm. Does he know what this really means? I should ask.

I stop crying again, wipe the wetness from my face and simply ask, "Now what?"

Please tell me what to do next.
My mind returns to normal speed and it suddenly starts racing between every question I really wanted answered. What is the best doctor around here? Are there any in this building or across the states that I can talk to? How do I get a hold of them? Are there drugs I can start taking to slow things down? What research do you know of, or are you doing, that I can participate in? How do I get into clinical trials?

I can not actually ask these questions, as my throat has not caught up to my thoughts yet. Plus, I know the answers to some of them already but I want to hear it from her. I need something positive to come from her.

Her response is something like: "Take all the time you need to figure things out."

What. Obviously not what I needed or wanted to hear. I'm not a sit-back kind of girl who waits for time to take control of things. I take control of things for myself. And you, the professional doctor who is supposedly to be good at delivering this kind of news, are not being helpful.

Let me out of the room, please.

Silence … lots of staring … waiting for me to break down.

I know the psychiatrist, the social worker, and the genetic counselor are all ready to watch me break into a million small pieces on the floor. And honestly, before she spoke at all, that was what I would have expected from myself, too. But I'm not going to. I do not need to. I want to take action. I want to do something right away. And all they are doing is staring at me in silence, snot and tear stains covering my face.

I want to melt into my boyfriend and disappear. I want to read his mind and feel his pain because I am alright and I want him to know that. I keep telling everyone that I am okay. The room is getting smaller and I am getting warmer and sweatier as my nerves and newly-lit fire combine and I want out.

"I'm okay."

The doctors ignore my desperate plea for release and instead prod me with questions, slowly and painfully. I get why they're doing it. They have to make sure I will not jump out of the hospital window or do something impulsive on the way home. But I have the two best people in my support system standing next to me. I have the best supporters waiting back home, texting me, and sending their love. I have people wanting to hear – people that I want to tell! Sitting in a small room that's beginning to feel like a jail cell for an hour is not what I need.

My Boyfriend.

My awareness of his body and attempts to stay put together for me trigger something. I want to mourn the loss of my life for him, with him, but I can not with all these other people watching.
Instead, I turn my head into his shoulder and cry. I cry hard. "I'm so sorry." I'm so sorry, "I repeat in my head.

I feel as if the doctor's announcement ripped something away from him suddenly and unexpectedly, like discovering a wounded you did not know you had. Now, it's stripping away the rights of a future that everyone is born with, a right I now know I do not have. It's destroying the possibility of us dying of old age together, from him more so than me. I mourn the loss of our kids and any possibility that they may have held for him and for us.

"I'm so sorry."

He does not have to be here. He did not have to go through this with me. And he does not have to stay. But I will actively love him more every single day. I will commit to spending my life with him in a way that will make this process easier for both of us in the end. All I have is now and the next few years before this disease takes over. My time to love him will be limited, while his clock will continue ticking beyond my wellness and into my illness, into the time when it is harder to love someone who may not be able to love you back.

I will give him all that I have but I will not expect him to stay when my body is taken over and my mind starts to think he is evil. He can, if he wants, but I will not chain him down, because my love goes beyond him, beyond us, and into the eternal happiness I wish for him.

"I am so sorry for bringing this to you, for inheriting an illness that will take me away from you. You did not sign up for this. I do not deserve this.

Stop crying. They will not let you leave if you keep crying

"Okay" I say, asking to leave with just that word.

They ask me what I am thinking about as I stare down at the floor and avoid theirs eyes.

I reply, "Who to tell first."

The doctor responds with, "You do not have to tell anyone if you do not want to."

I know this, but I'm going to, probably moments after I walk out of this door. I will not sit back, I can not sit back. I have to let people know. They have to join me in my fight.

I need to tell my friend who shares the same CAG number as me first. I need to tell her that she is not alone. "We are twins."

My mom.

I have to tell her. I start crying again. "I'm so sorry, Mom," I think as I ignore the doctor's stares.
I hope her memories of me as a young girl playing with chalk and imaginary dinosaurs in the driveway is not tainted. If my symptoms present themselves as schizophrenia and paranoia, I hope she still reminds me as her sweet little girl.

I hope when she sees me struggling with the involuntary moments that I will call my dance, she thinks of me at 5-years-old, walking on my dad's feet to our favorite songs. I hope she does not see my symptoms as a replacement of my dancing as a child, but views them as the same, just filled with a new purpose.

I hope she can still see me as a 2-year-old, throwing tantrums out of hunger or sleepiness, rather than the anger and emotional outbursts I may present in years' time.

I hope she's okay with her grandchildren being dogs and cats for the rest of my life.

I hope she does not blame herself. She could not have known. And I hope I can out-live her because I am not okay with placing this burden upon her shoulders.

My brother.

Because inheriting HD is a 50/50 chance, I can joke that he's in the clear. I'm taking the bullet on this one and that's the way I would have asked for it anyway, if I could have. But I am sorry, because we do not know. And I am sorry that you may be the caretaker for both your dad and your little sister.

You've worked so hard to build your career and follow your dreams. You deserve the rewards you receive from that and the peace that it should offer you and your future family. It is not fair, and I love you for encouraging me to test and place this burden on you. I wish we could go back to swinging outside, riding bikes down the street, and building snowmen together.

My dad.

How do I tell my dad? He has not talked to me in over a month, and I am scared that he will feel guilty. "I am so sorry" I cry. I knew it would be this way. I felt it and I have known for years now. Maybe you knew too, Dad, and that's why you were so scared. I really am okay, I promise. We have fought this fight together for fourteen years and I know we are prepared to fight it together for the rest of our lives. We will be okay, and I love you for making me as strong as I am and for giving me the weapons I need for this battle.

Stop crying. I say I'm okay once again. "I need to leave this room or I'll keep crying."

The doctor finally handed me the sheet of paper connecting my CAG numbers with my alias, her signature sitting at the bottom as if she was signing my life over to this disease. She gets up to open the door. The doctors politely tell me to reach out to them if I ever need anything.
"Okay," I say, assuming that I will not.

Walking out the door means walking back into real life. It means that I will forever be surrounded by people who do not understand, who will never understand. Forty-five minutes before, when I was standing here without the knowledge of having Huntington's Disease in my genes, was the last moment in my life that formed of this uncertainty. And with this new realization, the hallway becomes foggy, tainted over with the truth.

I do not remember walking out. I just remember floating on feet that knew their way and wrapping my arm around the love of my life. A nurse in room C2 calls out "Have a good day!"

I burst out laughing. Reality hits. I start crying. Then in a confusing mixture of both laughter and sadness, my loved ones around me panic in attempt to see if I am okay and I start laughing again. I will attack this thing with humor and laughter, with love and joy. I will complete my days one at a time from here on out because that is the only way to get through it. My smile may distort over time, but I will never lose my laughter.

People keep telling me that despite my strength, I am allowed to break down. I am allowed to not be okay. But what they do not understand, and what may just be my immediate reaction for now, is that I really am okay. I have lived the last 8 years assuming that I had this disease. Testing positive for the HD gene mutation means that I hardly have to change my plans. In a way, it is a relief to finally know.

Growing up with one parent in the household who also has Huntington's Disease brave me the weapons I need to start this battle. I have been training for years and years, building up my ammo in preparation for the first bomb that signals the beginning of this war.

I always knew there was something living inside of me that did not belong and I felt that almost every day. There's a little devil sitting on my genes, waiting to spring loose, and now that I know he is there, I can attack before time hands him the power to destroy me. He has limitations that I do not.

With each twitch in my foot and every stumble of my words, I can find strength in his taunting and turn it around. With all the evil he has planned and all the pain he has let me experience, I can build up walls and expand my army. I can join research trials and be a part of history in ways that other HD advocates may not be able to. I can tell my story to Congress and fight to pass the Parity Act. I can make the future better for myself and generations after me that receive the same news that I just have.

I have ways to fight that this little devil does not know about. While he plays jokes on me, I prepare for war. This is more than just a battle against Huntington's disease: This is a war for my life and my loved ones. I do not need to say sorry anymore; I just need to fight. I am finally a Huntington's Disease warrior and I can not be stopped.

What Is Gestational Diabetes?

Gestational Diabetes is a rare form of Diabetes that affects a small percentage of pregnant women. This can be a frightening experience for a mother-to-be when she first learns of her condition. The expectant mother’s level of physical awareness is already at its’ peak so when she later learns of her Gestational Diabetes condition, this make cause her significant anxiety.

How Is Gestational Diabetes Diagnosed?

Most OB/GYN doctors will require that the pregnant woman be tested for gestational diabetes at or around the 24th week of pregnancy. At this time there are a number of hormonal changes in the body which can bring about insulin resistance, especially the hormones that are produced by the placenta itself. At the same time, the fetus will have increased demands for insulin which brings up the total requirement to up to three times the normal quantity. If the insulin required is not available in the body or from external sources, the sugar remains in the blood. This is called as gestational diabetes.

Once gestational diabetes is diagnosed, the doctor will prescribe a strict regimen of general exercise and a moderated gestational diabetes diet plan which will help both the pregnant mother and the baby stay away from any dangers caused by the disease. When treated through moderation and close patient care, the pregnant mother and unborn child should not suffer ill effects.

The diet is one of the most important tools in fighting diabetes. It has been observed through a number of medical research studies that a well-designed and carefully prescribed gestational diabetes diet plan can be the key ingredient to successfully treating the disease. A mother-to-be will asked to pay strict attention to the type and quantity of carbohydrates she ingests. Along with general proteins, complex carbohydrates will be stressed over the simple type and foods lower on the glycemic index scale are considered the optimal choice for the gestational diabetes diet plan.

Besides following a balanced and carefully designed gestational diabetes diet plan the pregnant mother should try to break her daily food intake into more numerous smaller meals to give the pancreas sufficient time to break down the sugar in the blood before the next batch is sent. A pregnant woman will need a higher dose of glucose in the blood to nurture the growing baby and with moderated more frequent food ingestion, the pancreas is given sufficient time to break down the ingested sugar, calories, and fat.

Through continuous and simple blood sugar monitoring, regular exercise and a structured diet plan, an expectant mother should be able to lead a normal pregnancy. Paying particular attention to the foods she eats and keying on those that are low in the glycemic index will be the chief factors to success.

Things That Stunt Your Growth

If you want to increase your height, it is important to avoid the things that can stunt your growth. Doing so, will help you to squeeze out the necessary HGH or human growth hormone that your pituitary gland secretes thus helping you to achieve your maximum height potential. It is useless to do the things that can help to increase height if you are also doing the things that can stunt your growth. For example, Eating lots of protein foods which helps to increase your height and at the same time eating too much carbohydrate foods is totally useless because those two have opposite effects on the production of HGH.

So what are the factors that can stunt your growth? Here are some of the factors that will stunt your height, make sure to avoid these things if you want to grow taller naturally. Let’s start with “Lack of Sleep”.

Lack of Sleep:

We know how important the “sleep” is when it comes to our growth and development. Our pituitary gland produces the largest amount of HGH during sleep so its just make sense that “Lack of Sleep” will definitely prevent you from growing taller because it only means depriving your body of a large amount of the HGH it produces. So, make sure that you are getting at least 8 hours of sleep every night.

Too Much Carbohydrate:

When I was a child, I remember my parents always told me “Eat more rice if you want to grow taller fast” but unknown to me and my parents at that time, too much carbohydrates actually stunts individual’s height. Although, it give us lot of energy, too much of it has stunting effect because it raises the insulin levels in our body. Surge of insulin tends to switch off the GH production. This is the reason why Asian countries that always have too much carbohydrate in their diet like rice and corn have such a short average height compare to other countries.

Cigarette Smoking:

Cigarette Smoking is also one thing that stop your height from increasing. When you are smoking the level of oxygen in your blood decreases while at the same time the harmful substances that cigarette produces like the carbon monoxide increases. We know how important the oxygen is when it comes to our health. Carbon monoxide robs your brain, muscles and body tissue of oxygen badly affecting the health and of course our body’s growth. Aside from its stunting effect, cigarette smoking can also lead emphysema, lung cancer, and hearth disease. So if you are smoking, better stop it now before it leads to these illnesses.

Drinking Soda:

Drinking Soda is also one thing that can also prevent you from growing taller. Carbonated drinks deplete calcium in our bone. And aside from that, soda also contains lots of phosphorous that badly affects your body’s calcium absorption. So taking calcium supplements while drinking soda doesn’t help. It’s like you’re not taking calcium at all. We know how important the calcium to our bone’s growth. So stay away from carbonated drinks if you want to grow taller naturally.

The Top Five Diseases Associated With Being Overweight

The obesity epidemic is on everyone’s mind lately, as it should, given that the number of people battling the bulge has doubled in the last 30 years. Unfortunately, most of us are more concerned with how those extra pounds make us look instead of what those extra pounds are doing to the health of our bodies. In fact, scientists are consistently discovering new facts linking obesity to many different health problems.Generally speaking, men whose waist circumference exceeds 40 inches, and women whose waist circumference exceeds 36 inches are at increased risk of getting these diseases:

Heart Disease and Stroke
Hypertension (high blood pressure) is a symptom of developing heart disease, and is a risk factor for having a stroke. One-third to one-half of all individuals with high blood pressure are overweight. Your Blood pressure rises as you gain weight, and usually begins to drop as you start losing weight. Once you reach the ideal weight for you height, your blood pressure usually stabilizes at a normal range..

Breast, Endometrial, Gallbladder and Colon Cancer
Post menopausal women who are obese have a 50% higher risk of getting breast cancer, and obese men have a 40% higher risk of colon cancer. Men and women have five times the risk of getting endometrial or gallbladder cancer if they are obese. Most recent research is beginning to indicate a higher risk of kidney, pancreas, rectum, esophagus, and liver cancer also.

Type 2 Diabetes
Although the exact mechanism behind it is not yet known, it is known that over 80% of patients with type 2 diabetes are overweight. Reduce your risk of this chronic illness, which can cause blindness, amputation, kidney and nerve disease, by walking at least 30 minutes everyday. Daily exercise has been proven to decrease the risk of getting type 2 diabetes.

The most common form of joint disease in the United States (with over 21 million people suffering), osteoarthritis is a major cause of disability in people over 55. Obesity is one of the top ten causes of osteoarthritis, and makes healing more difficult should joint replacement surgery be required.

Sleep Apnea and Respiratory Problems
Sleep apnea (also known as obstructive sleep apnea) is a diagnosis that within the last 10 years has been link to obesity or being overweight. In the past, many patients who snored loudly and stopped breathing during the night were simply considered to have nasal irregularities. It has been shown that many of these actually have a condition called obstructive sleep apnea and are therefore at a higher risk of stroke, heart disease, insomnia and mood disorders. They also usually have high blood pressure. Most people diagnosed with sleep apnea are overweight, and in many cases, losing weight reverses the condition.

Unfortunately, knowing about the risks of being overweight may give impetus to the decision to lose weight, but it does not make losing weight any easier. There is good news though; research shows that losing just 10% of your body weight reduces the risk of these diseases significantly. So whether you are 20 pounds overweight or 100 pounds, losing just 10% of your total body weight is enough to decrease the risk of these top five diseases. Keep that 10% goal in mind for whenever you begin to feel discouraged about how slowly the pounds are coming off. In the end, it is not what you look like that counts, it is how healthy you are, and it only takes a 10% weight loss to significantly increase the odds your future will be a healthier one.

The JBA Awards Competition For Hottest Headers and Exhaust

This past summer was hot one for us. I truly think that this was one of the first years that you cold fry an egg on the sidewalk. My brother and I spent countless days working on our trucks in our garage and I remember gleaming down the street laying down on my creeper, seeing the heat waves rising off the asphalt. We have not gone for the complete lift yet, but after saving for a couple of months, I might beat my brother to it.

The main thing that we tested in August was a couple of different exhaust tweaks and some cold air intake enhancements that we made under the hood. I have read on the forums that these can help performance, and sound sweet. I do like cruising the strip and revving up from time to time, so beefing up my exhaust was a pretty top priority for me.

My brother was more in it for the performance improvements that he read he could receive. It's funny because we both have '04 Dodge Rams and I get nearly 8 MPG's better than his ride. He is a bit chubbier, but not enough to make that much of a difference 🙂

So we set out to get our first big investments for our rides. I was amazed to see the price ranges for all of these products. It's pretty confusing because because there are so many options available, and so many companies are making products that they claim are the hottest. "So why should I pay $ 600 for this muffler and tip kit if this one is $ 400?" I kept finding myself wondering who I could trust and where I should go for an answer.

I found great answers to questions that I had on the forums out there online, especially the Dodge Ram specific forums. Those guys that are on there all the time REALLY know their trucks. They can tell you every part and explain all of the ins and outs. So I posed my question that I had about exhaust and got a lot of replies, lots of brands that would be cool, and went with one called JBA. I'm not sure what the letters stand for, but I like to think that it means Jams, Boosts, Accelerates, because that's what my truck did when I retrofitted it with the new kit. The sound was insane, sounded like a completely different truck. I almost tried re-painting the entire vehicle too because it was a different beast. I think it really helped that it's a '04 because the performance really benefited from the upgrade. And the sound too, probably something special locked inside the JBA headers, maybe a pit-bull or something really mean.

The experience that my brother had was totally different. He heard about all sorts of intake companies out there and how some were better than others, closed-box, versus no closed box, etc. He ended up chatting with one of the older guys on the forums about how to make an improved air intake for his make and model from scratch. So he did not have to dish out too many dollars to improve his MPG's.

We both lucked out, but my miles per gallon are still better and my exhaust sounds WAYYY better than his – Spoken from a true older brother.

Baby Rash Face – Choose Natural Cures for This Uncomfortable Skin Condition

Baby rash face can make your baby irritable and awake at nights. Usually when rashes start to appear, they can be very itchy.

The first thing to do is to get a doctor to have a look and diagnose it. Sometimes, rashes can be symptoms of allergic reactions to food or materials around the baby. It is appropriate to ask the doctor to carry out some tests for allergies.

Babies can be allergic to the clothes they wear and the fabric used to make their bedding. Cotton is by far the best material to use for babies. Cotton is natural and absorbent.

Too frequent baths and excessive usage of soap can also cause the baby’s skin to dry out. So, bathe him once a day, and spare him the soap. While he is still damp, apply moisturizing cream. You can give him oatmeal baths a few times a week.

Since allergies can also be caused by dust and mites, it is advisable to keep the house extra clean. One way is to keep away the carpet in the living room till the baby can walk. Either that, or you would have to vacuum the carpet every day, and even then, frequent vacuuming cannot guarantee the room to be dust and mite free.

Although off the counter medications do help to ease the itch, they usually provide temporary relief for baby rash face for the baby. But it is good to explore natural cures for eczema as they can provide for long term freedom from rashes and itchiness.