How To Find Your Perfect Puppy

The choices you make at the start are crucial. You have to ask yourself if you are prepared to devote the next ten to fifteen years of your life to the care of this living, adorable creature. Are you ready to give him unconventional love and attention, for that is what he will be giving you in return, if you treat him the right way.

If your answer is yes to these first basic questions, then you have to consider other choices, which are numerous. How big or small do you want him? Do you want an energetic or a docile pet? Do you like them long haired or short haired? Do you want him to be kid friendly? Do you want a pedigreed puppy, or a cross breed, or a saved one?

A lot of the choices will fall into place, if you consider where you live and how you live. For instance, is your home large enough for a Great Dane? Do you have a balcony or a fenced-in yard, or either? Are you an indoors person, or do you love going on long walks? Do your neighbors like dogs? Are there kids at home, or any other pet? Will there be someone at home at all times, or will your puppy have to get used to being home alone? Lastly, will you be able to afford feeding him, paying the vet's bills, and kennel charges when you go on vacations?

So do all the research you can beforehand. Talk to the local vet; if there is a local dog rescue center, you can tell them about your requirements; see the kind of dogs the neighbors have, they may have already done their homework, and their experience with their pet dog may give you valuable insights; read up on different breeds at the local library, the internet, or at the bookstore. Do not make the mistake of giving in to the kids' whims; you have to be totally comfortable with the choice you are going to make, since you will be carrying the brunt of nurturing the puppy!

When you are doing your research, note down any special equipment which may be required for the breed you will be choosing, like yard fencing, collars and leashes, bedding, food, toys etc. You have to know beforehand if your chosen breed is for any health problems which it might develop; you might even have to change your mind.

Lastly, never buy a puppy for someone as a surprise, and never buy one for someone without asking them these questions.

How to Prevent Ankle Sprains – Risk Factors (Part 3)

There have been numerous studies about how ankle sprains are caused and what factors increase your risk for ankle sprains. In this article I will go over some of the more and less common risk factors for incurring an ankle sprain. While ankle sprains can occur in anyone who walks or runs, they occur most frequently in athletes. There are several proposed risk factors for ankle sprains in athletes. While it can be difficult for researchers to design good studies of risk factors there are a few that are generally accepted for ankle sprains.

History of Ankle Sprain. The strongest predictor of ankle sprains is a previous history of ankle sprains. This conclusion is shared by almost every study directed on the subject [1], [2], [3], [4]. The people with the highest risk after they have previously sprained their ankle are those who did not properly rehabilitate the injury. An unrehabilitated ankle can be unstable afterwards and is open to being sprained over and over again. The reason for this, some researchers think, is that when an ankle injury occurs some of the nerves that tell your body what position your ankle is in are damaged. These nerves are called proprioceptors and the ability to determine the position of your body parts is called proprioception. When these nerves are injured it can be more difficult for your body to know how to position your foot to keep it safe.

Balance. Lack of balance (also referred to as Postural Sway), may indicate a lack of proprioception due to ankle stability. A study of ankle sprain risk factors identified athletes with poor balance as those who could not maintain a single-leg status for at least 15 seconds without touching down the unplanted foot to remain steady [5]. These people had an increased occurrence of ankle sprain injuries. Another researcher studied high school basketball players using a specially designed machine to identify those with poor balance [6]. Players with low pre-season testing scores experienced nearly 7 times more ankle sprains than those with normal balance.

Height and Weight. There is not much agreement as to whether height and weight are significant factors for ankle sprains. Studies of soldiers in basic training exercises indicated that being taller and heavier were risk factors. Another research study, however, experienced different results and determined that height, by itself, was not a risk factor [7]. This was based on a study of 1,601 West Point cadets who participated in basketball with no history of ankle sprain or instability. There were no findings to indicate height and weight as something that would increase or decrease the risk of an ankle sprain. Until more research is done it is unclear either taller or heavier people have a greater risk for spraining an ankle.

Foot Shape / Joint Laxity. You may expect a lax ankle joint to be at a greater risk for ankle sprains. However, evidence indicates that this is not the case. One research study evaluated ankle joint laxity using orthopedic testing [8]. Based on these results it was not possible to predict an increased likelihood for ankle sprains based on the mobility of the joint. Other factors like the shape of the foot or whether it over-pronated during running or walking, did not indicate a higher risk for sprains. However, over- and under-pronation may indicate some degree of foot instability.

Gender. Males and females tend to experience the same frequency of ankle sprains. When all other risk factors are taken out of the equation, neither gender is at a greater risk for an ankle sprain.

Muscle Strength and Reaction Time. Muscle strength and reaction time are not risk factors for ankle sprains. The muscles in your legs control the position of your foot. Researchers have studied the velocity and forces necessary to sprain an ankle [9], [10]. In order to rupture a ligament in the ankle complex the speed required is greater than the speed with which your muscles react to the stimulus that your ankle is about to go too far in one direction or another. In addition it takes even longer for your muscles to reach full contraction. By the time this happens your ligaments could be long gone. What reaction time and muscle strength do affect is the positioning of your foot before it hits the ground. This positioning can be very important when it comes to increasing you risk of ankle sprain [11].

Shoe Type. Shoes may increase or decrease your risk for ankle sprains. Some researchers theorize that certain types, such as high-top basketball shoes, may increase proprioceptive feedback from the ankle joint [12]. There is also some evidence that shoes offer some resistance to the excessive range of motion in the ankle [13]. One study was done of over 10,000 recreational / elite basketball players to determine some ankle sprain risk factors. In a questionnaire distributed to players who had suffered an ankle sprain they asked several questions about shoes including: cut (high, mid, low-top), cost, brand / model, and condition (good, fair, poor). When they noticed a high frequency of players wearing more expensive shoes also suffered ankle injuries that they looked at other commonalities in the high priced shoes. The most common feature of these shoes was the presence of air cushions in the heel portion of the shoe. From this research they conclude that these air cushions increase the likelihood of an ankle sprain. The same may be true for shoes with energy return systems like Nike Shox. There are four key features of a shoe that will help limit ankle injury. These are lateral (side-to-side) stability, torsional (twisting) flexibility, cushioning, and traction control. The most significant of these features is traction control [14]. Among soccer and football players, cleat length and design has been linked to an increase in ankle injuries [15]. The increased traction increases foot fixation. This foot fixation increases the vulnerability of all of the lower joints of the leg, in particular, the ankle.

Surface conditions. The quality and condition of the playing surface is a risk factor for ankle sprains. Any surface that has friction which is not optimal (too high or too low) increases an athlete's risk for injury. For instance artificial turf increases friction, while water on a court surface may drastically decrease it. High friction will hold the contact foot stationary while the momentum of the rest of the body will create great stress on the joints and ligaments of the ankle. Low friction will cause the contact foot to slip from under the body causing excessive motion at the ankle joint, thereby stressing the ligaments. With these risk factors in mind it is possible to greatly reduce your likelihood of suffering and ankle sprain. Some risk factors can not be avoided. To help protect yourself in these situations there are some proven methods for reducing your risk of ankle sprain. Now with this information in mind we are ready to discuss the top three methods for preventing ankle sprains: taping, braces, and exercises.

[1] Thacker SB, Stroup DF, Branche CM, Gilchrist J, Goodman RA, Weitman EA. Prevention of Ankle Sprains in Sports: A Systematic Review of Literature. The American Journal of Sports Medicine 1999; 27 (6) 753-760.
[2] Beynnon BD, Murphy DF, Alosa DM. Predictive Factors for Lateral Ankle Sprains: A Literature Review. Journal of Athletic Training 2002; 37 (4) 376-380.
[3] McKay GD, Goldie PA, Payne WR, Oakes BW. Ankle Injuries in Basketball: Injury Rate and Risk Factors. British Journal of Sports Medicine. 2001; 35: 103-108.
[4] Willems T, Witvrouw E, Verstuyft J, Vaes P, De Clercq D. Proprioception and Muscle Strength in Subjects with a History of Ankle Sprains and Chronic Instability. Journal of Athletic Training. 2002; 37 (4) 487-493.
[5] Watson AW. Ankle Sprains in Players of the Field-Games Gaelic Football and Hurling. Journal of Sports Medicine, Physiology and Fitness. 1999 v39: 66-70.
[6] McGuine TA, Greene JJ, Best T, Leverson G. Balance As a Predictor of Ankle Injuries in High School Basketball Players. Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine. October 2000 v10 (4): 239-244.
[7] Sitler M, Ryan J, Wheeler B, McBride J, Arciero R, Anderson J, Horodyski M. The efficacy of a semirigid ankle stabilizer to reduce acute ankle injuries in basketball. A randomized clinical study at West Point. American Journal of Sports Medicine. 1994: v22: 454-461.
[8] Barrett JR, Tanji JL, Drake C, Fuller D, Kawasaki RI, Fenton RM. High-versus low-top shoes for the prevention of ankle sprains in basketball players: a prospective randomized study. American Journal of Sports Medicine. 1993; 21: 582-585.
[9] Vaes PH, Duquet W, Casteleyn P, Handelburg, Opdecam P. Static and Dynamic Roentgenographic Analysis of Ankle Stability in Braced and Nonbraced Stable and Functionally Unstable Ankles. American Journal of Sports Medicine. 1998 v 26.5: 691-702.
[10] Konradsen L, Voight M, Højsgaard C. Ankle inversion injuries. The role of the dynamic defense mechanism. American Journal of Sports Medicine 1997: 25: 54-58.
[11] Carnes, Michael. Personal communication. February 2007.
[12] Barrett J, Bilisko T. The role of shoes in the prevention of ankle sprains. Sports Medicine. 1995 Oct; 20 (4): 277-80. [13] Ottaviani RA, Ashton-Miller JA, Kothari SU, Wojtys EM. Basketball Shoe Height and the Maximal Muscular Resistance to Applied Ankle Inversion and Eversion Moments. The American Journal of Sports Medicine. 1995. v23 (4): 418-423.
[14] Reinschmidt C, Nigg BM. Current Issues in the Design of Running and Court Shoes. Sportveri Sportschad 2000; 14: 71-81.
[15] Torg JS, Quedenfeld T. Effect of shoe type and cleat length on incidence and severity of knee injuries among high school football players. Res Q. 1971; 42: 203-211. 16] Hamill J, Knutzen KM. Biomechanical Basis of Human Movement 2nd ed. Baltimore: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins 2003

Caput Succedaneum Vs Cephalohematoma

When it is finally time for the birth of a baby, parents are ready to hold their precious and perfect child in their arms. They should not have to worry about birth injuries suffered by their baby during the delivery. Sadly, though, medical staff does not always perform up to their expected level, which can result in injuries to a baby. Two such problems are caput succedaneum and cephalohematoma.

A caput succedaneum is swelling that occurs in the scalp of a newborn. This means that bruising occurs in the thin layer of tissue between the hair and the skull itself. This typically appears as a puffy spot on the baby's head, but it can even be so large as to cover the whole top portion of the skull, making the newborn's head look misshapen. A caput can also cause molding of the head.

While this problem can be caused from the pressure of the newborn's head against the vaginal wall during a normal, headfirst delivery, it can also be due to a vacuum extraction. Thankfully, this injury typically goes away on its own. However, it can later contribute to jaundice as the baby's body tries to process and rid itself of the excess blood in the bruise.

A caput's main difference from a cephalohematoma is that it can occur across the midline of the skull. Additionally, while the former is swelling of the scalp tissue, the litter occurs deeper towards the skull itself. There is a tough tissue that lines the outside of bones, called periosteum. A cephalohematoma is a collection of blood under this material.

Slightly similar to a caput, a cephalohematoma can result from a forceful delivery. As the baby's body is forced forwards either during a natural birth or a specialized extraction process, the scalp sticks to the interior of the birth canal. These results in the teasing of blood vessels connecting the periosteum to the scalp and skull. While a caput succedaneum typically disappears in a few days, a hematoma of the periosteum can last longer.

Although some babies can develop a caput while still in the womb, many others suffer from the injury during the delivery process. In most instances, bruising is unavoidable, but proper and responsible management of labor and delivery should reduce your baby's chances of having this problem. Additionally, cephalohematomas are most often caused by vacuum and forceps-assisted deliveries. While these two extraction methods may be necessary, proper care and use of the tools should help protect your baby from this injury.

You should be able to trust your doctors to help you through delivery in a careful, efficient, and safe manner. However, sometimes doctors fail in their responsibilities to us. If you or someone you know has had a baby that suffered from a caput succedaneum or cephalohematoma due to unsafe use of forceps or a vacuum, you should speak to an attorney regarding your options.

How To Recognize The Signs Of An Ulcer

An ulcer is a crater like sore usually 1/4 to 3/4 inch in diameter (can sometimes be 1 to 2 inches in diameter) and can form in either the lining of the stomach (gastric ulcer), below the stomach at the beginning of the small intestine in the duodenum (duodenal ulcer) or sometimes (but not often) in the esophagus (esophageal ulcer). Also the stomach and duodenal ulcers can be referred to as peptic ulcers.

An ulcer is caused because of an imbalance between the aggressive and defensive factors of a persons stomach and there are two ways in which this can occur. This first is where too much of the body's digestive juices (hydrochloric acid and pepsin) have caused damaged to the stomach lining. The other and which is the more common of the two is when damage has been caused to the stomach lining in another way and it makes it unacceptable to damage even by ordinary levels of the body's gastric acid (digestive juices).

If a person who is suffering from a ulcer does not receive the right kind of treatment then further complications could arise. They may find themselves suffering from a bleeding ulcer in which the ulcer has eaten into the blood vessels and blood has been able to enter the digestive tract. Or they may even suffer a perforated ulcer and this is when the ulcer has eaten a hole in the stomach wall or duodenum and both bacteria and partly eaten food will be able to escape through this hole causing inflammation to the stomach as well as either narrowing or blocking the intestinal opening which will not allow food to leave the stomach and enter the small intestine.

The more common symptoms to look out if you have an ulcer are as follows:

It feels like a sharp ache between the breastbone and belly button.

Often the pain is felt only a few hours after you have ateen. However, this pain can also occur during the night or early in the morning at those times when your stomach is empty.

Sometimes eating a particular food or taking some antacid medication will help to take the pain away for a while.

You may find you lose your appetite.

In some cases people suffering from ulcers often complain of sudden, sharp stomach pains.

You may feel nauseas.

You may find yourself burping or hic cupping more frequently.

You may experience some weight loss.

Should you find yourself vomiting and there is blood in the vomit (or it looks like coffee grounds), then you need to contact your doctor straight away.

If you bowel movements become bloody or blackish in color then this may well indicate a far more serious problem and you should arrange to see a doctor immediately.

If after reading the information above you think that you may have an ulcer then it is important that you make an appointment to see your doctor as soon as possible. Unfortunately if a ulcer is left alone and allowed to grow then other more serious problems may evolve.

Relation Between Anatomy and Physiology

Anatomy and physiology of human body are very closely connected medical sciences which are generally taught together. In simple words, anatomy is actually the study of the physical structure of the human body, on the other hand physiology deals with the explanation of the functions of specific organisms together with systems within the man. In the larger aspect, anatomy clarifies the structure whereas physiology describes the function of the human body. A knowledge of human anatomy is important to the review of physiology. Equally understanding about physiology is important to those who prefer to discover how anatomical structures perform. Thus it is visible that both branches of science are interrelated together closely and both must be learned and understood alongside each other.

Both anatomy and physiology had been learned for a long period of time. Humankind has generally retained a curiosity about how they and various other living things are structured and how they perform functions. Many people through history have also been serious about reviewing and contrasting distinct living beings to search for parallels and recognize discrepancies.

The research of anatomy concentrates on understanding about the specifications, contour, and specific location of different parts in human body. It constantly stresses around dissection, whereby examples are diligently cut up to reveal the structures within. Physical aspects of human body structures are frequently recognized without the aid of any instrument by a naked eye, or viewed with magnification of a special instrument known as microscope for more detail. Through the dissection course of action, students might diligently register everything they come across, and see how systems in the human body are joined. An imperfect understanding of anatomy may result in large confusion for medical students, since understanding anatomy is a necessary component of mastering the progress of ailment.

Anatomy can be thought to be a static study, while physiology is a lot more dynamic, relating the chemical, physical, and electrical systems that make an organism function, from the operations which manages the rate of beating of heart to the elaborate systems involved in visual perception. In order to study physiology, it is ordinarily needed to work with living bodies or organs to fully realize physical functions, for instance the release of neurotransmitters inside the brain and the storage of energy in cells. Both anatomy and physiology could be analyzed with the aid of dissection and clinical investigation of biological materials from specimens.

Medical students understand anatomy and also physiology extensively over the course of their educations, so they really know the way the human body operates all together, and how the varied systems are human body are associated with each other. These medical sciences also form a topic of attention for people in several allied health care professionals, including x-ray experts who have taken to have a methodological information about anatomy to accomplish their job.

The structure and function of the parts of your body are intentionally connected with one another and basically, the study of one of them is incomplete without the other. For the reason that content of anatomy is structure and the topic of physiology is function, it is very clearly comparable to say that anatomy and physiology are closely connected to one another and the study of a single of them alone is incomplete without the other. In-spite of the presence of the close relationship, it is always expected to retain a boundary among the two considering that both fields are incredibly broad in amount and studying both concurrently is a difficult process.

Benign Tumors Of The Cervix

Endocervical polyps

Endocervical polyps are the most common benign neoplasms of the cervix. Please note that the word neoplasm reflects to a cancerous growth. They are focal hyperplastic (abnormal cell growth) protrusions of the endocervical folds, including the epithelium and substantia propria. They are most common in the fourth to sixth decades of life and usually are asymptomatic but may cause profuse leukorrhea or postcoital spotting. (blood after orgasm)

Grossly, they appear as typical polypoid structures protruding from the cervical os. At times, endometrial polyps protrude through the cervical os. They can not be distinguished from endocervical polyps by gross appearance. Microscopically, a variety of histologic patterns are observed, including
(1) typical endocervical mucosal
(2) inflammatory (granulation tissue)
(3) fibrous
(4) vascular
(5) pseudodecidual
(6) mixed endocervical and endometrial
(7) pseudosarcomatous.

Treatment is removal, which can usually be accomplished by twisting the polyp with a dressing forceps if the pedicle is slender. Smaller polyps may be removed with punch biopsy forceps. Polyps with a thick stalk may require surgical removal.

Microglandular hyperplasia
Microglandular hyperplasia refers to a clinically polypoid growth measuring 1-2 cm. It occurs most often in women who are on oral contraceptive therapy or Depo-Provera and in pregnant or postpartum women. It reflects the influence of progesterone.

Microscopically, it consist of tightly packed glandular or tubular units, which vary in size, lined by a flattened-to-cuboidal epithelium with eosinophilic granular cytoplasm containing small quantities of mucin. Nuclei are uniform, and mitotic figures are rare. Squamous metaplasia and reserve cell hyperplasia are common. An atypical form of hyperplasia can be mistaken for clear cell carcinoma. Unlike clear cell carcinoma, it lacks stromal invasion, has scant mitotic activity, and lacks intracellular glycogen

Squamous papilloma
Squamous papilloma is a benign solid tumor typically located on the ectocervix. It arises most commonly as a result of inflammation or trauma.

Grossly, the tumors are usually small, measuring 2-5 mm in diameter. Microscopically, the surface epithelium may show acanthosis, parakeratosis, and hyperkeratosis. The stroma has increased vascularity and a chronic inflammatory infiltrate. Treatment is removal. The squamous papilloma resembles a typical condyloma acuminatum but lacks the koilocytes microscopically.

Smooth muscle tumors (leiomyomas)
These benign neoplasms may originate in the cervix and account for approximately 8% of all uterine smooth muscle tumors. They are similar to tumors in the fundus. When located in the cervix, they usually are small, ie, 5-10 mm in diameter.

Symptoms depend on size and location. Microscopically, leiomyomas resemble the typical smooth muscle tumor found in the uterine corpus. Treatment is required only for those patients who are symptomatic. The cervical leiomyoma is usually part of the spectrum of uterine smooth muscle tumors.

Mesonephric duct remnants
When present, mesonephric duct remnants are typically located at the 3-o'clock and the 9-o'clock positions, deep within the cervical stroma. They usually are incidental finds and are present in approximately 15-20% of seriously sectioned cervices. As the name implies, mesonephric duct remnants are vestiges of the mesonephric or Wolffian duct. Usually, they are only a few millimeters in diameter and seldom are grossly visible.
Microscopically, they consist of a proliferation of small round tubules lined by epithelium that is cuboidal to low columnar. The tubules tend to cluster around a central duct. The cells lining the tubules contain no glycogen or mucin, but the center of the tubule may contain a pink material that contains glycogen or mucin.

When present in the cervix, endometriosis is usually an incidental finding. Grossly, it may appear as a bluish-red or bluish-black lesion, typically 1-3 mm in diameter. Microscopically, the implants are typical endometriosis, consisting of endometrial glands, endometrial stroma, and hemosiderin-laden macrophages. The implants usually gain access to the cervix during childbirth or previous surgery.

Papillary adenofibroma
This neoplasm is uncommon. Grossly, it appears as a polypoid structure. Microscopically, the neoplasm contains branching clefts and papillary excrescences lined by mucinous epithelium with foci of squamous metaplasia. A compact, cellular, fibrous tissue composed of spindle-shaped and stellate fibroblasts supporting the epithelium. The stroma is devoid of smooth muscle, and mitoses are rare. Similar growths in the endometrium and the fallopian tubes.

Heterologous tissue
Heterologous tissue includes cartilage, glia, and skin with appendages. This type of tumor rarely occurs in the cervix. While they may arise de novo, these tumors probably represent implants of fetal tissue from a previous aborted pregnancy.

Hemangiomas in the cervix are rare in occurrence and are similar to those found elsewhere in the body.

Treatment of Ovarian Cysts – Pills and Surgery Are Not the Best Answer

Ovarian cysts are common in women. They usually form during the menstrual cycle and most of the time we do not have any symptoms. They dissolve without causing any pain. However, when there are symptoms and the cyst begins to grow it is necessary to get treatment of ovarian cysts before the symptoms get worse.

Ovarian cysts can get very painful and can grow to the size of a watermelon. They produce boiling and bloating and weight gain, along with bleeding, vomiting and nausea and all sorts of discomfort. Many women who have them become angry and depressed. And if you are sooner to cysts you will keep producing them without you change the root of the problem which is creating them.

Conventional medicine does not address the cause of the cysts. The cysts are actually warning signals from your body that something is wrong – usually a hormonal or insulin imbalance. Doctors just shut down these signals by giving you medication. They suppress the symptoms through hormonal pills that prevent you from ovulating, and through surgery. These two remedies do not remove the problem that causes the cysts and they return.

Natural treatment of ovarian cysts addresses the current condition of the body which is producing the cysts. You can change this condition by changing to a healthier diet and lifestyle that will make you feel a lot better while eliminating the cysts and their recurrence. Drink plenty of water and herbal teas and start taking fiber and reduce your sugar and carbs. All these things address the problem that is causing the cysts.

There are natural remedies for the pain. You do not have to take pain pills which can dull your mental activity and become addictive. By placing a heating pad on your abdomen and taking Tylenol you can heal your pain.

Find out how treatment of ovarian cysts the natural way is the only real cure to your cysts. You can eliminate your cysts in as little as 8 weeks, stop them from coming back, and become healthier and pain free just by a simple change in diet.

Oral Thrush Symptoms and Treatment

Oral thrush, which is also known as a yeast infection of the mouth, occurs when the body fails to properly manage yeast which is naturally found all about the human body.

Oral Thrush can cause an uncomfortable burning sensation, and is accompanied by white spots occurring on the tongue, knees and roof of the mouth. While these spots do not give the sufferer any pain, if they are scraped they will bleed lightly.

Around 50% of the population have the candida fungus occurring in their mouth, however just because the yeast is occurring does not mean that the carrier has a yeast infection. Oral thrush can occur in anyone, although it is often seen in those with weakened immune systems.
Oral yeast infections can also be a secondary symptom of diseases such as cancer, aids and diabetes. It is also noted that many women who suffer vaginal yeast infections are most likely to suffer from oral thrush.

If you are suffering from oral thrush, or have suffered from yeast infections previously, you will be glad to know that help is at hand. New homeopathic remedies have been identified as the most effective treatment to both ease occurring yeast infections and prevent further yeast infections from reoccurring.

Yeastrol has been shown as the most effective treatment for oral thrush, as well as thrush occurring in other parts of the body. It is simple to use, being a spray which is taken in the mouth daily. The special formulation rebalances your body's immune system to properly control the yeast overgrowth.

Hepatitis C: Diagnosis and Treatment

Hepatitis C is a very important viral illness that primarily affect the liver. Most recent estimates indicate that about 1-2% of US population are affected by this illness. It is one of the most frequent causes of chronic liver condition, leading to hardening and cancer of the liver. Not surprisingly, hepatitis C remains one of the most common indications for liver transplant surgery in the United States.

In general, hepatitis C virus is transmitted through blood products. As a result, hepatitis C is contracted from items that are contaminated with blood such as needles and IV drugs. However, this virus is inadvertently to be transmitted by casual contact, or from food. In addition, unlike hepatitis B, hepatitis C is rarely trasmitted from sexual contact. Unfortunately, there is no effective form of vaccination for hepatitis C.

Hepatitis C is a chronic viral illness in which the infection lasts longer at least 6 months in duration. In general, patients with chronic hepatitis C infection are not aware of their illness, because symptoms associated with this disease is rare early on. However, as the viral infection persists, individuals may start to experience persistent and chronic lassitude (fatigue). Others may complain of anorexia, nausea, and even weight loss in rare cases. As the illness advances, there may be finds such as yellowing of the skin (jaundice), vomiting of blood (hematemesis), fluid in the abdomen (ascites), and altered level of consciousness and confusion (encephalopathy). However, even more worrisome complication of chronic hepatitis C is the occurrence of cirrhosis or the hardening of liver, and liver cancer, known as hepatocellular carcinoma (hepatoma).

Hepatitis C is diagnosed using blood tests. The first step in the diagnosis includes hepatitis C antibody (ELISA based), and liver function test (ALT / AST). If the antibody is detected, hepatitis C viral RNA test will confirm the active infection. For cases of hepatitis C confirmed with viral RNA, additional tests that are often necessary include genotyping, alpha-feto-protein (AFP), a serum marker for liver cancer, and ultrasound of the liver. Finally, a liver biopsy may be obtained to fully characterize the overall condition of the liver disease and to exclude presence of fibrosis (cirrhosis).

The treatment options for hepatitis C is rapidly evolving. Currently available treatments include ribavirin, PEG-interferon, and protease inhibitor such as telaprevir and boceprevir. For patients with genotype 1 hepatitis C, a triple combination of ribavirin, interferon, and protease inhibitor is recommended for 6-12 months. They can expect cure rate of approximately 70%. On the other hand, patients with genotype 2 and 3 are treated for 6 months with a dual regimen of interferon and ribavirin. They have a higher cure rate of 80-90%.

Chronic hepatitis C is a very serious condition. For individuals with this illness, it is very important that they undergo a regular check-up including periodic liver function test, AFP determination, and sonogram. It is also advisable to avoid alcohol, and any unnecessary medication. For individuals with active viral replication, the treatment with anti-viral drugs is recommended to prevent potential complications including cirrhosis and hepatoma.

How Does Alcohol Lead to Liver Disease?

In order to understand how alcohol leads to liver disease, you must first understand the function of the liver and alcohol's effects on this function. The liver helps your body break down fat and protein compounds by producing bile which enters the stomach to help the digestive process. It also helps to remove poisons and toxins which enter your body, including alcohol. When you consume alcohol, it is absorbed into the bloodstream through your stomach and intestines. All of the blood from your stomach and intestines then passes through the liver for cleaning before it is circulated around your entire body. However, your liver can only clean a certain amount of alcohol per hour. Therefore, if you consume alcohol faster than your liver can process it, your blood alcohol content level rises.

Consuming too much alcohol can lead to various different liver conditions, including hepatitis, cirrhosis, and fatty liver. These conditions can occur together in the same person, at the same time. Fatty liver is the beginning of hepatitis, in which a large fat build up occurs in the liver of people who drink heavily. By its self, the condition is not really serious and usually reverses its self. However, continued drinking can lead to hepatitis. Hepatitis is the inflammation of the liver. There are mild to severe cases of hepatitis, with the most severe causes causing liver failure, blood clotting problems, coma, and even death. Cirrhosis is the most severe condition of the three, in which regular liver tissue is replaced by scar tissue. Scar tissue development is regular and usually occurs in heavy drinkers of more than ten years. If enough scar tissue develops, it can lead to liver failure and sometimes even death. The scarring of Cirrhosis is usually permanent and can not be fixed by any current medical procedures.

How to Pass a Kidney Stone – The 5 Best Ways to Pass a Kidney Stone Naturally

Ouch! You are suffering from one of the most painful diseases and you are wondering how to pass a kidney stone! You are part of the 5% of the population who will develop kidney stones sometimes in their life! You are not alone and water is not the only way to flush them.

There are numerous kidney stone home remedies and many of them do not work but there are a few that do! It is important that you educate yourself on renal calculi (kidney stones) and natural health. By understanding the problem and how your body functions to flush kidney stones, you will be on a sure path to pass them in days!

Is Water the Only Way to Flush Kidney Stones?

No! Although it is a great place to start! Water is incorporated in most natural health treatment plans because there are literally thousands of benefits of drinking adequate amounts of water. If you have seen a doctor, he will typically recommend a water flush to pass your stones. But there are other remedies other than water.

Water keeps the body working at optimal levels. It has been shown that your body is 75% water. If you live in a developed country, you probably have fresh, clean water available anywhere you go. However, you also have hundreds of other beverages to choose from and we often choose the wrong ones! There is no substitute for water when it comes to being healthy!

5 Natural Remedies for Kidney Stones

Typically, the best natural remedies for kidney stones are ones that dissolve the stones and flush them with water and fiber. Because kidney stones are usually calcium-based, natural remedies that incorporate acids to dissolve the calcium stones have been shown the most effective. Here are a few!

1. What kind of water! Start drinking distilled water if you have the option. Distilled drinking water is purified from bacteria, viruses, metals, impurities and sediments. Distilled water is a sure way to flush your stones and not add more sedimentation to your stones.

2. Lemons! – Lemons are extremely healthy, citric and are also water-soluble fiber which will flush your body. It is believed that citric acid can aid in the dissolution of calcium-based kidney stones. Many of our customers add a couple slices of lemons in every drink. Fun tip! You can make free lemonade at a restaurant by mixing water, lemons and some sweetener to you glass. It's healthy and free!

3. Exercise- Are you regularly exercising or do you live a sedentary lifestyle? Did you know there are also hundreds of benefits of exercising? Exercising also prevails kidney stones but it also keeps your body flushing impurities, toxins and calcium deposits efficiently. And finally, it also makes you become thirsty which will make your drink more water. Fact! People who exercise regularly drink twice the amount of water than those who do not exercise.

4. Citrates- Citrates work by reducing the build up of uric acid and eliminating calcium salts from building up. Along with water, you should also drink a glass or two of vegetable or fruit juices such as grape, carrot or orange juices. We also recommend V8.

5. Prevention- Prevention is always the best medicine! A good way to prevent kidney stones is by reducing your sugar intake. People who eat high amounts of sugars typically are at a greater risk of kidney stones. Avoid sugary drinks and foods.

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How to Treat Bacterial Vaginitis

There are two possible ways to treat bacterial vaginitis. One path is a doctor, and the other involves natural or holistic medicine plans. A doctor will prescribe medicine one of two ways, oral or topical. Both have the same efficiency rate, but most women prefer the oral medication due to comfort reasons.

There are however a few problems with prescription medicine (antibiotics). There are some alarming side effects and the chances of having another outbreak of bv are high (65% in fact). Natural or home treatment remedies are much safer and are largely becoming the best way to treat bacterial vaginitis for several reasons. But before I talk about natural remedies, I’m going to discuss a few side effects for prescription medicines.


– Vomiting

– Nausea

– Unpleasant, metallic-taste in the mouth (common with metronidazole and tinidazole).

– Diarrhea


– Linked to weakening latex contraceptives, could lead to unwanted pregnancy or STDs.

– Most common side effect is a yeast infection after using topical creams to treat bacterial vaginitis.

Or instead of worrying about all the side effect or even the chance of a reccurence of BV, you can try a natural or home remedy to treat bacterial vaginitis.

Did you know that your body has the power to actually fight off most infections? Not many people do. They spend all their money on doctors and supposed treatments, not knowing that they could natural strengthen their bodies immune system to fight off infections. Not only that, you get to learn about your body and why it reacts the way it does to certain things. So here a few possible home remedies:

Take Supplements – Any of the vitamins, goldenseal, garlic and Femanol. Femanol is a natural supplement used to cure feminine odors (one of the unpleasant side effects of BV). There also lactobacilli capsules you can take to help increase the good bacteria counts inside your vagina. This way you can naturally fight off the infection.

Apple Cider Vinegar Bath – Take a hot bath with 2 cups of apple cider vinegar. Soak for about 20-30 minutes. This will cure the smell and gross feelings (itching, discharge, and burning).

Eat Yogurt! – Yogurt is amazing for the intestinal tract and urinary tract. You need to eat yogurt with natural live and active bacteria cultures. This promotes good vaginal health by strengthening your immune system.

Preventing Ulcers – In Layman's Terms

There is one thing about the topic of equine gastric ulcers that I am clear on – the more I learn about it, the more I realize we do not know. Most of the studies that have been done have been to show the effectiveness of omeprazole, an effective drug for curing and preventing ulcers. For a horse with severe ulcers, omeprazole does work extremely well and should be used as a treatment. However, there are downsides; daily treatment with omeprazole is not only expensive, but there are a lot of other questions that arise with its use, such as when or not a horse receiving omeprazole daily is in violation of the AERC Drug Policy if you stop giving it within 24 hours of a ride.

Omeprazole works by stopping stomach acid – an important function of the stomach that aids in destroying bacteria that could cause intestinal tract infections such as salmonella. The altered pH of the stomach may not kill viruses and fungi. Stomach acid is necessary to digest protein. The undigested protein moves through the cecum and large bowel, where fermentation can cause bloating, discomfort and foul smelling manure. Prolonged acid suppression in humans causes vitamin B12 mal-absorption. Further human studies have shown an increase in acid production following treatment. Omeprazole has been shown to significantly delay gastric emptying in humans, and there are several other potentially serious side effects that have been documented in humans, rats, and dogs (1). Long-term use in rats has shown thickening of the stomach lining which may or may not predispose for gastric cancer.

Even if we use the drug to cure our horses' ulcers, but do not change any of the management issues that are causing the ulcers – we could face the possibility of having to maintain our horses on omeprazole daily for the life of the horse while it is competitiveness, or possibly having to retire the horse from competition. It is especially important for us to learn the best way to manage our horses so that we can help them with the problem of ulcers.
Causes of Ulcers

o Extended periods (8-10 hours) with no food

o Progressively increasing workload

o Stress. Which can include a variety of factors – confinement in a stall, trailering, traveling to new places, changes in feed, etc.

o High grain diets

o Corticosteroid therapy

o Anti-inflammatory drugs (such as phenylbutazone ('Bute') or flunixin meglumine (Banamine)

o Horses suffering from diarrhea are at increased risk

o Being a horse!

Symptoms of Ulcers (any of the following)

o Diarrhea

o Low grade colic

o Poor appetite, including the horse refusing foods or supplements that were previously consumed before

o Slow eating, sometimes walking away without finishing meals all at once

o Belching noises

o Decreased performance

o Gradual loss of body condition

o Weight loss

o Pot belly appearance

o Teeth grinding, salivation, froth around the lips

o Lying on their back for prolonged periods

Functional Considerations of the stomach

Adult horses secret up to 7 or 8 gallons of gastric acid per day, or more than 6 cups per hour. This is continuous, independent of feed intake and the reason for stomach ulcers. One major cause of gastric ulcers in horses is prolonged exposure of the stomach to high acid levels. The equine stomach is designed for constant feed intake, which provides something for the acid to work on there before using up the acid.

The stomach of the horse is very small and makes up only 10% of the capacity of the digestive system. The upper compartment of the stomach is lined with a nonglandular squamous mucosa that is similar to that lining the oesophagus. 80% of equine gastric ulcers occur in this compartment, primarily because it has limited intrinsic resistance to hydrochloric acid and pepsin.

The lower compartment is lined with glandular and mucus-secreting tissue. Only 20% of equine gastric ulcers occurs in this compartment of the stomach because of its many intrinsic protective properties.

Emptying of the stomach takes 30 minutes for a liquid meal, while complete emptying after a hay-meal can take up to 24 hours. When a horse grazes all day, the roughage he consumes absorbs a reasonable amount of digestive acid, keeping the level within the stomach low. In addition, a horse's saliva has an acid-neutralizing effect. As a result, the amount of acid that accumulates in a horse's stomach Declines when he's eating and increases when he's not.

Colonic Ulcers Significant Risk for Performance Horses.
In a study conducted by Frank Pellegrini, DVM, 63% of horses involved in competition sports – ranged from dressage to racing – suffered from colonic ulceration.
Pellegrini's work confirmed the findings of earlier studies, showing that 87% of horses have gastric ulcers (ulcers of the stomach). When combined with his findings on the less-understood issue of colonic ulcers, however, Pellegrini's study yielded some new information. He found that 54% of performance horses suffered from both gastric and colonic ulcers. Further, Pellegrini's study showed that 97% of performance horses had some type of ulceration.

"This research suggests that ulceration in the colon may be to blame for the low grade anemia, colic and other conditions seen frequently in high performance horses," said Pellegrini. "Most importantly, it brings into focus the need for further research on the direct causes of colonic ulcers and how exactly they affect the horse."

Pellegrini's research proves that colonic ulcers exist prevently within the performance horse population. Unfortunately, no treatment now available can cure them. Omeprazole, used for gastric ulcers, was formulated for the specific conditions found within the stomach and will not positively affect the delicate colonic environment.

"Given that more than 60 percent of all performance horses may be suffering from colonic ulceration – which can not be treated with traditional ulcer medicines – it may be time for equine caregivers to consider other options," said Pellegrini. "A dietary supplement intended to maintain optimum digestive health health may be the best solution to preventing colonic ulcers before they negatively affect performance and attitude in the horse."

One approach to promoting overall digestive tract health involves the use of non-testable, natural foodstuffs to heal the intestinal tract and support good health through this critical system. Here is a quick summary of some substances and how they may work to help keep the horse's gut healthy:

o Beta glucan is a dietary fiber found in oats and barley that has been shown to slow down the movement of feed through the gut, allowing excess starches to be digested before they enter the colon. Beta glucan is also a powerful immune stimulant, encouraging the horse's immune system to attack any bacterium that might otherwise enter an ulcer.

o Polar lipids are found in specially processed oat oil. Lipids (or fats) help to protect the lining of the gut. Polar lipids are emulsifiers ¬ they help water and oil to mix, and there before allow certain oil-soluble vitamins, such as A, D, E and K, to be absorbed by the gut.

o Glutamine is a natural amino acid that may help the gut renew and heal itself. It is "essentially essential," ¬meaning that the body can not produce enough of this amino acid when it is undergoing stressful situations, such as heavy competition training. Glutamine assays the cells of the gut to grow close together, keeping out dangerous micro-organisms.

o Threonine is another amino acid. It is "essential," ¬meaning that the body does not produce enough on its own, so it must be supplied in the feed. Threonine is needed for the creation of mucus, which lines the stomach and intestines, protecting them from acidic digestive juices.

o Yeast sugars called mannan oligosaccharides (or MOS, for short) help the immune system to get rid of bad bacteria. MOS also absorb dangerous toxins so they can be safely excreted. (Pellegrini, Franklin L. 2005)

Prevention and Recommendations.

o Respect the function of the gut!

o Turn horses out as much as possible so they can graze

o Do not feed a lot of grain

o If grain must be fed in large amounts, division feedings so that no more than three pounds is given at any one time.

o Avoid prolonged periods of fasting – ulcers can develop within 10-12 hours when horses have no access to feed

o Keep roughage available at all times. Horses need to eat continuously

o Provide free choice grass hay at all times

o Feed frequent small meals – optimum is 4 times a day

o Place feed bins on the ground – horses chew and swallow more efficiently when their heads are down and the throat extended

o Use steam-extruded feeds which have been processed in such a way that eating is slower, resulting in more chewing, increased saliva production and higher saliva bicarbonate levels

o Match your horse with a job he enjoys and is well suited for

o Gradually increase training schedule

o Ride conservatively until you know your horse handles competition

o Provide as much exercise and entertainment as possible.

o Provide Probiotics on a daily basis if your horse is in training or bound due to injury or illness

o Avoid frequent or long-term use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents

o Tapeworm infestation can mimic symptoms of ulcers. Be sure to worm with a wormer that gets rid of tapes

o Add c cup of corn oil to your horses diet daily

o Bananas are a high energy feed and they also contain high levels of phospholipids that can assist in lining the horse's stomach and preventing acid damage to the stomach

o Papayas are another natural way to help horses with ulcers. Papain stimulates the appetite, soothes membranes of the esophagus and stomach and quiets inflammatory bowel disorders. Raw papain is used medically for enzyme replacement in pancreatic insufficiency and has anti-microbial, anthelmintic and anti-ulceratial effects.

o Horse owners have reported anecdotally that a cup of aloe vera juice twice a day helped their horses ulcer symptoms go away

o Horses should be fed no less than 50% (and preferably> 70%) of their dry matter take as long dry hay or pasture

o Feed a small amount of alfalfa (2-3 pounds once or twice daily), the calcium may buffer stomach acid

o Keep your horse in good body weight and a good body condition score

o Check out other non-antacid type ulcer products:

All but the last 2 listed projects as well as Pellegrini's work above were done on other than endurance horses. When race horses were studied well over 90% had ulcers. The incidence of ulcers in Endurance horses is as low as 50%, probably because of the closer relationship between horse and care giver along with management practices that are shown to be less likely to cause ulcers.

Benefits of Corn Oil Supplementation. Ponies fed a free-choice hay diet for 5 weeks, which was followed by 5 weeks of the same diet supplemented with 45 mL of corn oil daily. The study concluded that corn oil supplementation may be an effective and inexpensive way to increase the protective properties of equine glandular gastric mucosa. (Cargile JL et al., 2004)

Effects of exercise on gastric volume and pH in the proximal portion of the stomach of horses. Increased intra-abdominal pressure during intestinal exercise in horses causing gastric compression, pushing acidic contents into the proximal, squamous-lined region of the stomach. Increased duration of acid exposure directly related to daily duration of exercise may be the reason that squamous lesions tend to develop or worsen when horses are in intensive training programs. (Lorenzo-Figueras M et al., 2003)

Prevalence of gastric ulcers in show horses. Gastric ulceration was detected in 58% of the horses. Horses with a nervous disposition were more likely to have ulceration than quiet or behavively normal horses. Horses with gastric ulceration had significantly lower RBC counts and hemoglobin concentrations than those without ulceration. (McClure SR et al., 1999)

Do age or sex matter? One study on 224 Standardbred racehorses in training concluded that although there was little association between age and prevalence of ulcers, there was an association between age and severity of ulcers. Most 2-year-old horses (57.7%) had an ulcer score of 0 or 1. In all other age groups, most (58% to 82.61%) of horses had an ulcer score of 2 or 3. Despite overall prevalence of ulceration was comparable among sex groups, the relative risk for gastric ulceration increased with age in castrated males, whereas it decreed in females and sexually intact males. (Rabuffo TS et al. 2002)

Gastric ulcers in Standardbred racehorses: prevalence, lesion description, and risk factors. The number of lesion sites (P Omeprazole is labeled for use for a maximum of 90 days in horses. We simply have no data on the consequences of long term use in horses. rugal hypertrophy and gastric carcinoid (ie, it is not normal not to produce gastric acid chronically) In elderly patients especially, the chronic use of omeprazole has some association with becoming infected with Clostridium difficile (changing the normal environment leading to colonization with a pathogenic There has not been sufficient use of omeprazole in a wide variety of horses nor long term use for any of us in veterinary medicine to make any associations like this for horses. I would not put horses on it for longer than 90 days without more data. Trisha Dowling, DVM

Eat Right For A Healthy Life

Our diet is an essential factor for the formation of our body. It is clearly stated in an Ayurvedic classic 'Charak Samhita' that consuming improper diet in improper way is the main cause of 'Disease'.

According to Charak Samhita – "An appropriate and suitable diet in a disease is equivalent to a hundred drugs and any quantity of drug severely compares to good results in disease without following proper dietetic regimen"

Ayurvedic has stated following principles for living full span of life with perfect health.

Diet should be regulated taking into account the 'Desha' (territory), 'Kala' (Season as well as time of the day) etc. On should be in a habit of taking all six 'Rasa' (tastes) in order to prevent nutritional deficiency disorders.

Time of consuming food: A person should take meal only when he feels hungry. Lunch should be taken early between 12 and 1P.M. this coincides with the peak Pitta period, Pitta is responsible for the digestion. Ayurveda recommends that the lunch should be the largest meal of the day. The supper should be less and lighter than lunch

Quantity of food: Generally half of the capacity of stomach should be filled with solids, th th with liquids and rest empty empty for the free movements of body humors.

Sequence of consuming food: Madhur (sweet) rasa food like fruits are advisable to take in the bigining of meal, food with Amla and Lavana (sour and salty) rasa in the middle and Katu, Tikta, Kashay (bitter, astringent and pungent) foods should be taken at the end of meal

Method of consuming food:

* Wash the face hands and feet before meal. Dine in an isolated neat and clean place in pleasant environment with the affectionate persons in sitting position.

* Food should be taken after complete digestion of previous one.

* Hard items should be consumed in the beginning followed by soft and liquids subregently.

* Few sips of water is advised now and then while taking meal.

* Heavy substances are contraindicated after meals and should be avoided

* Consumption of excess hot food leads to weakness. Cold and dry food leads to delayed digestion. Intake of food prepared by giving extra

heat leads to 'Glani'. This consumption of such food should be avoided

Incompatible Food (Viruddha ahara):

Milk followed by fruits and vice versa.

Soar substance along with milk.

Milk with salt, horse gram, green gram & cow gram

Wheat preparations in gingelly oil (Tila taila)

Hot drinks after alcohol, curd or honey.

Cold and hot substances together

Banana with curd and butter milk

Chicken with curd

Ghee kept in bronze vessel

Radish with jaggery

Fish with jaggery or sugar

Jingelly seeds with kanjika.

Use of incompatible food leads to skin disorders, Gastro intestinal.Disorders, anemia, leucoderma hyperacidity impotence etc. hence should be avoided.

General Rules about food consumption:

Walk a while after meal to help digestion

No traveling, exercise or sexual intercourse within one hour after meal.

Avoid meals when thirsty and water while hungry.

Avoid meals after exertion

Avoid meals when you are having no appetite.

Do not suppress the appetite as it leads to body pain, anorexia, lassitude, vertigo and general debility

Do not suppress the thirst as it leads to general debility, giddiness and heart diseases.

Consumption of the fresh, acceptable, easily available and compatible food with various nutrients is a key to lead a healthy life.

Dandelion Root Tea Benefits

Just as the name implies, dandelion root tea is made from the roots of dandelions. Dandelions have been used over the years to treat a host of ailments such as bloating, breast illnesses, fever, gastrointestinal system disorders, joint aches and skin conditions among many other afflictions. Dandelion leaves contain a number of minerals including boron, calcium, choline, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, silicon and zinc potassium along with vitamins such as A, B-complexes, C and D.

There are other dandelion root benefits, particularly for older, menopausal and pregnant women, since the plant is so nutrient rich. It has also been used as a gentle diuretic and has been shown to decrease serum cholesterol in some. Others have used it to alleviate digestive disorders and as an appetite stimulant. In fact, dandelion root tea is seen as a substance that can help improve one's overall general health and a healthier alternative to coffee when one needs a boost.

Although there are many benefits to using a dandelion supplement, there are also possible side effects such as stomach pain due to hyperacidity. In rare cases, some may experience allergic reactions when they first begin drinking the tea. Those who have allergies to chamomile, echinacea or ragweed, as well as any other member of the aster family, must consult a health care specialist before using the tea or supplement.

Dandelion supplements are also available as capsules instead of tea. However, those who decide to drink dandelion root tea need to know how to prepare it and take the proper dosage. For loose tea, use about one to two teaspoons per cup of hot water and let it steep from five to ten minutes in a tea ball or other filter. Otherwise, it is often available already bagged. One should only start off with one cup per day until he or she observes how it reacts to the body. Then he or she can gradually increase the dosage to three cups a day if it is found to be beneficial.