Best Ways to Treat a Cold Sore

If you are being bothered by a cold sore that just will not seem to go away, then you will need to know what to do in order to both prevent and treat them effectively. This article will give you all the information you need on how to be prepared for when they show up, because once you are the chances of you getting rid of it increase dramatically.

These can often times be painful and unattractive when they appear on the corner of your lips. One of the best things you can do to prevent these is to keep your immune system strong and health. The reason that you got one in the first place is most likely because your body was unable to fight off the bacteria that caused it to form.

To keep your immune system strong, you can vitamin C supplements in the winter to prevent them from forming. If you find that you already have one and want to know how to go about dealing with it, you can use products that have been designed to treat them and moisturize that part of your skin so they will disappear as quickly as possible. You can find them in most drugstores and even some grocery stores in the health and beauty section.

If you feel a cold sore coming on, you have to stop it immediately. One effective way to do so is to rub a piece of ice around on the corner of your lip that you feel tingling or some other sensation that is hinting at an incoming cold sore. This way you can protect yourself against them before they form, causing pain and frustration for up to 2 or 3 weeks.

Psoriasis Eczema Skin Symptoms and a New Psoriasis Eczema Treatment

Eczema and Psoriasis are the two names given to a range of harsh skin conditions that for the patient are distressing and often painful to endure. This breakdown and deterioration in the skin are frequently also referred to as dermatitis in more general terms.

Eczema skin symptoms with the dryness, inflammation can become even more of a problem if infection gains hold. But in its many different and specific formations Psoriasis is the more caustic and irritating, although none of these skin problems can not be passed on from person to person.

Many things can act as a trigger for dermatitis such as certain medically prescribed drugs such as beta blockers and lithium based medicine. A strong genetic link has been established in people with regularly occurring dermatitis.

Guttate Dermatitis is identified by a rash, red lumps raised skin lesions that occur mainly on the arms legs, front of abdomen and back area. Commonly occurs after a throat infection known in medical circles as streptococcul viral infection.

Over three quarters of sufferers that have dermatitis have Plaque dermatitis.This particular type can occur on any part of the body in large accumulations of red lumpy raised tracts of blisters with flaking white scaly surface lying over it. When it forms on the knee joints, elbow, underarm or neck it can crack and bleed and can lead to possible further infection.

Like most forms of dermatitis it can settle down for a period of weeks and flare up again and last for a longer or shorter period of time.

Toenail Fungus – Symptoms and Treatments

Toenail fungus may not be a deadly disease but it can be painful if left untreated. Knowing the signs and symptoms of toenail fungus can give you a better idea on what kind of treatment approach is appropriate for your condition.

When the fungus starts to attack, the nail tends to change in color and to lose its shine. In addition, nail becomes dull and turns into yellowish or white. The nail’s shape will begin to change resulting to bumps and waves. Nails that are infected with fungus look ragged and cracked. The nail tends to be thick and may flake. When the nail separates from the nail bed, it can be painful and foul odor can be present.

Toe nail fungus can be acquired from public places such as swimming pools, showers and locker rooms. These fungi can develop and breed under the toenails because of its warm and moist environment. Wearing damp and dirty socks and shoes often can lead to toe nail fungal infection. There are different kinds of treatments available for toe nail fungus such as creams, liquids, sprays and ointments. However, these medications may not produce good results. Also, most medications for toe nail fungus may cause side effects such as rashes and even liver complications.

Natural anti fungal treatments are also available in forms of tinctures and lacquers, which are painted to the nails and infected areas. In addition, lavender and tea tree oil or apple cider vinegar are effective in treating toenail fungus. It is best to prevent acquiring fungus rather than suffer the condition and have a hard time finding an effective treatment. Having good foot hygiene is the best way to prevent the infection.

Hip Replacement Surgery Recovery: What It Takes to Heal

A period of healing can be misperceived as a time to be laid up in bed, drugged up on painkillers.  This, I think, couldn’t be further from the truth.  Especially if you’re in the process of hip replacement surgery recovery, you’re not healing if you’re still in bed, half-conscious, with your system full of pharmaceuticals.  

Hip replacement patients often start their physical therapy the day after their surgery.  While this might not be true for all patients, it is true that physical therapy is an integral part of the healing process.  

In fact, physical therapy is now being recommended as a treatment for a variety of ailments, especially in older people; people suffering from cancer, Parkinson’s, urinary incontinence, stroke, and arthritis, among others, are all given physical therapy regimes.  While physical therapy was once considered “something to try,” more of an experimental type of treatment than anything else, it is now very often the primary treatment.   

Physical therapy is almost always prescribed for people who have had hip fractures or replacements – in cases where physical therapy wasn’t prescribed, that was probably only due to rare and unexpected complications that prevented it.  If it’s expected that someone would not be able to participate in physical therapy following hip replacement surgery, that patient should not be recommended as a candidate for surgery, because what’s the point of an artificial hip you can’t use?

Engaging in some sort of physical therapy or exercise routine prior to surgery will also help make the recovery process smoother.  Physical therapy has been proven to help replenish or enhance strength, coordination, flexibility, range of motion, and endurance, not to mention to reduce pain.

Also, if you’ve always been an exerciser, don’t stop.  Sure, you might have to modify your routine and definitely talk to your doctor about what activities might put a strain on your new hip.  But don’t be discouraged, and try not to think of it as having to give something up, but rather as getting the opportunity to learn new ways of strengthening your body and building up your endurance.

An interesting statistical tidbit is that people who engage in weight-bearing exercises when they’re younger tend to have a decreased risk of osteoporosis.  Osteoporosis, of course, can lead to hip fracture, and thus to hip replacement.  Think about why weight bearing might help to prevent all of that.  It seems simple and logical enough that because the muscles that support the bones are stronger, there has been less negative pressure on the bones throughout life.  

But even if you’re not “younger,” even if it’s too late to prevent it, that information is not useless to you.  It’s going to be important to learn how to use your muscles in such a way as to not put adverse pressure on your new hip.  There are still exercises you can do, physical therapy and beyond, to strengthen your muscles and increase your endurance, thereby increasing your your stamina, your mental well-being, and your sense of balance, which decreases your likelihood of falls.

When it comes to hip replacement surgery recovery, getting the right information can be a daunting task.  That’s why we put together this confidential report for you at our hip replacement surgery recovery website.

What is the Cause of Pet Allergies?

As pet allergies become more common in households across the World, many people start to wonder the cause of pet allergies.

Where are the allergens found?

Although many are quick to point out that the fur is responsible for the allergy, it isn’t. The main cause of the allergy is dander, invisible tiny flakes of skin. These dander particles are very sticky hat means that they are easily carried on clothes, furniture and carpets.

The allergens are also found in the pet’s saliva which is spread in the pet’s body when they start licking themselves. The pet saliva then spreads to also carpets, furniture and even bedding if you let your pet enter the bedrooms.

For the most part these allergens are harmless, unless you have a weak immune system. A weak immune system will perceive these allergens as a serious threat to your health, releasing all the counter-measures to fight them. These measures manifest as the symptoms of the pet allergy. For example the runny nose and watery eyes help you wash away the allergens from the nose and eyes.

The body also produces an antibody to fight the allergen called immunoglobulin E (IgE)

Discovering the cause of pet allergies

All of this that happens inside your body will affect future exposure to the allergens. The next time you are close to a pet, cat or dog, the antibody will trigger the release of histamine. This again will give you all the pet allergy symptoms (dripping nose, watery eyes, itchy eyes, sore throat, etc)

It is important to recognize these symptoms to take prompt action against the allergy, if you think you have pet allergy consult with a health professional as soon as possible, specially if you have asthma.

Tips To Effectively Cope With Marijuana Withdrawal Symptoms

Failure to cope with marijuana withdrawal symptoms is the most common cause of relapse among its dependent users. Many find it hard to give up the vice because of the undesirable symptoms that comes with a few days after stopping marijuana. Furthermore, there are many others who, by genetic predisposition or perhaps lack of will power, simply can not cope with the initial effects of giving up the vice. If you happen to be one of them, relax and do not lose hope. You are not alone.

Free As A Bird
Let's face it, the reason why people become dependent on marijuana is due to its seemingly beneficial psychoactive effects. Cannabis is known to elicit feelings of well-being, a means of stress-reduction, an escape. On the other hand, the commonly reported withdrawal symptoms of cannabis are hostility, restlessness, anxiety, irritability, and mood swings. By looking closely, it is obvious that these withdrawal symptoms are simply direct opposites of the psychoactive effects of marijuana. These are obvious reasons why some people find it hard to quit smoking pot. Everyone seems to find a sense of freedom by smoking weed.

"Then You Will Know The Truth, And The Truth Will Set You Free." (John 8:32)
But the truth is, unless we have the courage to deal with our problems without resorting to smoking pot, our attempt to rehabilitate ourselves is more likely to become futile. And since marijuana withdrawal symptoms are nothing physical but a general manifestation of psychological stress, minimizing the symptoms of stress by dealing with the problem itself can free us from being dependent to it.

Diggin The Root
In such case, anxiety, restlessness, and mood swings come as forms of marijuana withdrawal syndrome. These feelings are usually manifestation of "fear of change." So, being in the fight-or-flight situation, the best strategy is to directly attack anxiety by deliberately doing other activities to keep our mind busy rather than focusing on the feeling. Introspection or soul-searching in the form of psychotherapy can be a great help in understanding oneself.

Peace, Man
Hostility, irritability and mood swing usually pent-up frustrations that predispose people into smoking marijuana. They usually resurface in a person's consciousness once he stops smoking weed, hence, labelled as withdrawal symptoms. Learn to accept the noble truth that there is no perfect life on earth. That it is normal for people to commit mistakes. That life is a constant struggle. In short, having the courage to face the world as it is. This is the only way to appreciate the real beauty and meaning of life, without ever having to smoke a joint!

Natural High
Healthy lifestyle can help alleviate marijuana withdrawal symptoms. Changing to a better diet, having regular exercise, and indulging in new hobbies and other recreational activities will not only make you more resistant to stress but also help you re-focus the mind. Participating in community services, joining social clubs and spiritual pursuits can develop a sense of self-worth and positive outlook in life which can help prevent relapse in the future.

Marijuana withdrawal symptoms normally last only for a few days. But the lure of going back to smoking pot is usually caused by the unwillingness of the person to stop rather than the intolerable physical addiction. So, to free oneself from marijuana dependency is to learn new strategies and to cope with the stresses of life with courage and dedication to truth. Embrace the truth that life is not perfect. Pot can not make life perfect either. It will only make life worse. Let us just embrace this simple truth and let the truth set us free!

Birth Injuries, Birth Defects, & Michigan Medical Malpractice Claims

Many types of injuries can occur during pregnancy, labor or after birth. Some of the most common types of birth injuries include cerebral palsy, erb’s palsy, and brachial palsy. Birth trauma is an injury to the child during the delivery. Caring for a child with a birth injury, caused by the negligence, costs an unfathomable amount over the lifetime of the child. Filing a medical malpractice claim through can result in much needed financial assistant for medical expenses and other costs.

Medical error can cause birth injuries or can increase their severity or permanence. Medical errors include: failing to anticipate birth complications, such as your baby’s twisted umbilical cord; failure to respond appropriately to bleeding; failure to respond to fetal distress; delay in ordering a cesarean section when medically necessary; misuse of forceps or a vacuum extractor during delivery; or poor after-care after.

Injuries can occur during the birth of a child. A child can suffer permanent brain injury, Cerebral Palsy, nerve injury or even death as well as other complications later in life like learning difficulties, emotional difficulties and mental retardation.

One of the common birth injuries is shoulder dystocia which can be caused during delivery by a physician’s improper use of forceps. Besides pain, the injury results a limited ability to move a hand or arm. Often a baby suffering from shoulder dystocia cannot lift their arm above the shoulder level. Other common birth injuries are Erb’s Palsy and Brachial Plexus injuries.

Lack of oxygen to the brain during delivery can cause an anoxic or mechanical injury. Anoxic injuries are those caused by a reduced oxygen supply during delivery. The same kind of brain damage can be produced by a physical trauma during birth. This type of physical trauma is known as a “mechanical injury,” such as a fractured skull.

Indicators that a fetus has an higher risk of birth injury include a difficult, prolonged labor, improper use of medication by the pregnant mother, a large fetus or a breech birth. An unreasonable delay in performing an emergency cesarean section can increase the risk of injury.

A pregnant woman with gestational diabetes faces a greater risk of complications at birth. About two to seven babies out of a thousand births will suffer birth injuries. Every precaution to ensure a healthy delivery should be pursued by seeing a competent pre-natal physician.

The statute of limitations for birth injury cases varies from state to state. In Michigan, you must file a lawsuit within two years after the minors 10th birthday. If you miss a deadline, your claim will be lost forever. To avoid these severe consequences it is important that you contact a Michigan birth injury lawyer so that you may make a medical malpractice claim.

Real Men, Real Depression! (Mental Health Matters)

Depression is a serious but treatable medical condition – a brain disease – that can strike anyone, including men. In America alone, over 6 million men have depression each year.

Whether you’re a company executive, a construction worker, a writer, a police officer, or a student, whether you are rich or poor, surrounded by loved ones or alone, you are not immune to depression. Some factors, however, such as family history, undue stress, the loss of a loved one or other serious illnesses can make you more vulnerable.

If left untreated, depression can lead to personal, family and financial difficulties, and, in some cases, end in suicide. With appropriate diagnosis and treatment, however, most people recover. The darkness disappears, hope for the future returns, energy and desire come back, and interest in life becomes stronger than ever

Depression can strike anyone regardless of age, ethnic background, socioeconomic status, or gender; however, large scale research studies have found that depression is about twice as common in women as in men. In the United States, researchers estimate that in any given one year period, depressive illnesses affect 12 percent of women (more than 12 million women) and nearly 7 percent of men (more than six million men).3 But important questions remain to be answered about the causes underlying this gender difference. We still do not know if depression is truly less common among men, or if men are just less likely than women to recognize, acknowledge, and seek help for depression.

Types of Depression

Just like other illnesses, such as heart disease, depression comes in different forms. This booklet briefly describes three of the most common types of depressive disorders. However, within these types, there are variations in the number of symptoms, their severity, and persistence.

Major depression (or major depressive disorder) is manifested by a combination of symptoms (see symptoms list below) that interferes with the ability to work, study, sleep, eat, and enjoy once pleasurable activities. A major depressive episode may occur only once; but more commonly, several episodes may occur in a lifetime. Chronic major depression may require a person to continue treatment indefinitely.

A less severe type of depression, dysthymia (or dysthymic disorder), involves long lasting, chronic symptoms that do not seriously disable, but keep one from functioning well or feeling good. Many people with dysthymia also experience major depressive episodes at some time in their lives.

Depression

Persistent sad, anxious, or “empty” mood.

Feelings of hopelessness or pessimism.

Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness.

Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities that were once enjoyable, including sex.

Decreased energy, fatigue; feeling “slowed down.”

Difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions.

Trouble sleeping, early morning awakening, or oversleeping.

Changes in appetite and/or weight.

Thoughts of death or suicide, or suicide attempts.

Restlessness or irritability.

Persistent physical symptoms, such as headaches, digestive disorders, and chronic pain that do not respond to routine treatment.

Men and Depression

Researchers estimate that at least six million men in the United States suffer from a depressive disorder every year. Research and clinical evidence reveal that while both women and men can develop the standard symptoms of depression, they often experience depression differently and may have different ways of coping with the symptoms. Men may be more willing to acknowledge fatigue, irritability, loss of interest in work or hobbies, and sleep disturbances rather than feelings of sadness, worthlessness, and excessive guilt. Some researchers question whether the standard definition of depression and the diagnostic tests based upon it adequately capture the condition as it occurs in men.

Men are more likely than women to report alcohol and drug abuse or dependence in their lifetime;14 however, there is debate among researchers as to whether substance use is a “symptom” of underlying depression in men or a co occurring condition that more commonly develops in men. Nevertheless, substance use can mask depression, making it harder to recognize depression as a separate illness that needs treatment.

Instead of acknowledging their feelings, asking for help, or seeking appropriate treatment, men may turn to alcohol or drugs when they are depressed, or become frustrated, discouraged, angry, irritable, and, sometimes, violently abusive. Some men deal with depression by throwing themselves compulsively into their work, attempting to hide their depression from themselves, family, and friends. Other men may respond to depression by engaging in reckless behavior, taking risks, and putting themselves in harm’s way.

More than four times as many men as women die by suicide in the United States, even though women make more suicide attempts during their lives. In addition to the fact that men attempt suicide using methods that are generally more lethal than those used by women, there may be other factors that protect women against suicide death. In light of research indicating that suicide is often associated with depression, the alarming suicide rate among men may reflect the fact that men are less likely to seek treatment for depression. Many men with depression do not obtain adequate diagnosis and treatment that may be life saving.

Depression in Older Men

Men must cope with several kinds of stress as they age. If they have been the primary wage earners for their families and have identified heavily with their jobs, they may feel stress upon retirement­loss of an important role, loss of self esteem­that can lead to depression. Similarly, the loss of friends and family and the onset of other health problems can trigger depression.

Depression is not a normal part of aging. Depression is an illness that can be effectively treated, thereby decreasing unnecessary suffering, improving the chances for recovery from other illnesses, and prolonging productive life. However, health care professionals may miss depressive symptoms in older patients. Older adults may be reluctant to discuss feelings of sadness or grief, or loss of interest in pleasurable activities.

They may complain primarily of physical symptoms. It may be difficult to discern a co occurring depressive disorder in patients who present with other illnesses, such as heart disease, stroke, or cancer, which may cause depressive symptoms or may be treated with medications that have side effects that cause depression. If a depressive illness is diagnosed, treatment with appropriate medication and/or brief psychotherapy can help older adults manage both diseases, thus enhancing survival and quality of life.

Identifying and treating depression in older adults is critical. There is a common misperception that suicide rates are highest among the young, but it is older white males who suffer the highest rate. Over 70 percent of older suicide victims visit their primary care physician within the month of their death; many have a depressive illness that goes undetected during these visits. This fact has led to research efforts to determine how to best improve physicians’ abilities to detect and treat depression in older adults.

Approximately 80 percent of older adults with depression improve when they receive treatment with antidepressant medication, psychotherapy, or a combination of both. In addition, research has shown that a combination of psychotherapy and antidepressant medication is highly effective for reducing recurrences of depression among older adults. Psychotherapy alone has been shown to prolong periods of good health free from depression, and is particularly useful for older patients who cannot or will not take medication.18 Improved recognition and treatment of depression in later life will make those years more enjoyable and fulfilling for the depressed elderly person, and his family and caregivers.

A depressive disorder is not the same as a passing blue mood.

Depression can strike anyone regardless of age, ethnic background, socioeconomic status, or gender; however, large scale research studies have found that depression is about twice as common in women as in men.In the United States, researchers estimate that in any given one year period, depressive illnesses affect 12 percent of women (more than 12 million women) and nearly 7 percent of men (more than six million men) But important questions remain to be answered about the causes underlying this gender difference. We still do not know if depression is truly less common among men, or if men are just less likely than women to recognize, acknowledge, and seek help for depression.

Symptoms of Depression

Not everyone who is depressed or manic experiences every symptom. Some people experience only a few; some people suffer many. The severity of symptoms varies among individuals and also over time.

Depression

Persistent sad, anxious, or “empty” mood.

Feelings of hopelessness or pessimism.

Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness.

Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities that were once enjoyable, including sex.

Decreased energy, fatigue; feeling “slowed down.”

Difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions.

Trouble sleeping, early morning awakening, or oversleeping.

Changes in appetite and/or weight.

Thoughts of death or suicide, or suicide attempts.

Restlessness or irritability.

Persistent physical symptoms, such as headaches, digestive disorders, and chronic pain that do not respond to routine treatment.

Depression can coexist with other illnesses. In such cases, it is important that the depression and each co occurring illness be appropriately diagnosed and treated.

Research has shown that anxiety disorders­which include post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), obsessive compulsive disorder, panic disorder, social phobia, and generalized anxiety disorder­commonly accompany depression. Depression is especially prevalent among people with PTSD, a debilitating condition that can develop after exposure to a terrifying event or ordeal in which grave physical harm occurred or was threatened.

Traumatic events that can trigger PTSD include violent personal assaults such as rape or mugging, natural disasters, accidents, terrorism, and military combat. PTSD symptoms include: re experiencing the traumatic event in the form of flashback episodes, memories, or nightmares; emotional numbness; sleep disturbances; irritability; outbursts of anger; intense guilt; and avoidance of any reminders or thoughts of the ordeal. In one NIMH supported study, more than 40 percent of people with PTSD also had depression when evaluated at one month and four months following the traumatic event.

Substance use disorders (abuse or dependence) also frequently co occur with depressive disorders. Research has revealed that people with alcoholism are almost twice as likely as those without alcoholism to also suffer from major depression. In addition, more than half of people with bipolar disorder type I (with severe mania) have a co occurring substance use disorder.

Men and Depression

Researchers estimate that at least six million men in the United States suffer from a depressive disorder every year. Research and clinical evidence reveal that while both women and men can develop the standard symptoms of depression, they often experience depression differently and may have different ways of coping with the symptoms. Men may be more willing to acknowledge fatigue, irritability, loss of interest in work or hobbies, and sleep disturbances rather than feelings of sadness, worthlessness, and excessive guilt. Some researchers question whether the standard definition of depression and the diagnostic tests based upon it adequately capture the condition as it occurs in men.

Men are more likely than women to report alcohol and drug abuse or dependence in their lifetime; however, there is debate among researchers as to whether substance use is a “symptom” of underlying depression in men or a co occurring condition that more commonly develops in men. Nevertheless, substance use can mask depression, making it harder to recognize depression as a separate illness that needs treatment.

Instead of acknowledging their feelings, asking for help, or seeking appropriate treatment, men may turn to alcohol or drugs when they are depressed, or become frustrated, discouraged, angry, irritable, and, sometimes, violently abusive. Some men deal with depression by throwing themselves compulsively into their work, attempting to hide their depression from themselves, family, and friends. Other men may respond to depression by engaging in reckless behavior, taking risks, and putting themselves in harm’s way.

More than four times as many men as women die by suicide in the United States, even though women make more suicide attempts during their lives. In addition to the fact that men attempt suicide using methods that are generally more lethal than those used by women, there may be other factors that protect women against suicide death. In light of research indicating that suicide is often associated with depression,17 the alarming suicide rate among men may reflect the fact that men are less likely to seek treatment for depression. Many men with depression do not obtain adequate diagnosis and treatment that may be life saving.

More research is needed to understand all aspects of depression in men, including how men respond to stress and feelings associated with depression, how to make men more comfortable acknowledging these feelings and getting the help they need, and how to train physicians to better recognize and treat depression in men. Family members, friends, and employee assistance professionals in the workplace also can play important roles in recognizing depressive symptoms in men and helping them get treatment.

The first step to getting appropriate treatment for depression is a physical examination by a physician. Certain medications as well as some medical conditions such as a viral infection, thyroid disorder, or low testosterone level can cause the same symptoms as depression, and the physician should rule out these possibilities through examination, interview, and lab tests. If no such cause of the depressive symptoms is found, the physician should do a psychological evaluation or refer the patient to a mental health professional.

A good diagnostic evaluation will include a complete history of symptoms: i.e., when they started, how long they have lasted, their severity, and whether the patient had them before and, if so, if the symptoms were treated and what treatment was given. The doctor should ask about alcohol and drug use, and if the patient has thoughts about death or suicide. Further, a history should include questions about whether other family members have had a depressive illness and, if treated, what treatments they may have received and if they were effective. Last, a diagnostic evaluation should include a mental status examination to determine if speech, thought patterns, or memory has been affected, as sometimes happens with depressive disorders.

Treatment choice will depend on the patient’s diagnosis, severity of symptoms, and preference. There are a variety of treatments, including medications and short term psychotherapies (i.e., “talk” therapies), that have proven effective for depressive disorders. In general, severe depressive illnesses, particularly those that are recurrent, will require a combination of treatments for the best outcome.

Alcohol­ including wine, beer, and hard liquor­or street drugs may reduce the effectiveness of antidepressants and should be avoided. However, doctors may permit people who have not had a problem with alcohol abuse or dependence to use a modest amount of alcohol while taking one of the newer antidepressants.

Questions about any medication prescribed, or problems that may be related to it, should be discussed with your doctor.

How to Help Yourself if You Are Depressed

Depressive disorders can make one feel exhausted, worthless, helpless, and hopeless. It is important to realize that these negative views are part of the depression and do not accurately reflect the actual circumstances. Negative thinking fades as treatment begins to take effect. In the meantime: Engage in mild exercise. Go to a movie, a ballgame, or participate in religious, social, or other activities.

Set realistic goals and assume a reasonable amount of responsibility.

Break large tasks into small ones, set some priorities, and do what you can as you can.

Try to be with other people and to confide in someone; it is usually better than being alone and secretive.

Participate in activities that may make you feel better.

Expect your mood to improve gradually, not immediately. Feeling better takes time. Often during treatment of depression, sleep and appetite will begin to improve before depressed mood lifts.

Postpone important decisions. Before deciding to make a significant transition-change jobs, get married or divorced-discuss it with others who know you well and have a more objective view of your situation.

Do not expect to ‘snap out of’ a depression. But do expect to feel a little better day by day.

Remember, positive thinking will replace the negative thinking as your depression responds to treatment.

Let your family and friends help you.

How Family and Friends Can Help

The most important thing anyone can do for a man who may have depression is to help him get to a doctor for a diagnostic evaluation and treatment. First, try to talk to him about depression­help him understand that depression is a common illness among men and is nothing to be ashamed about. Perhaps share this booklet with him. Then encourage him to see a doctor to determine the cause of his symptoms and obtain appropriate treatment.

Occasionally, you may need to make an appointment for the depressed person and accompany him to the doctor. Once he is in treatment, you may continue to help by encouraging him to stay with treatment until symptoms begin to lift (several weeks) or to seek different treatment if no improvement occurs. This may also mean monitoring whether he is taking prescribed medication and/or attending therapy sessions. Encourage him to be honest with the doctor about his use of alcohol and prescription or recreational drugs, and to follow the doctor’s orders about the use of these substances while on antidepressant medication.

The second most important thing is to offer emotional support to the depressed person. This involves understanding, patience, affection, and encouragement. Engage him in conversation and listen carefully. Do not disparage the feelings he may express, but point out realities and offer hope. Do not ignore remarks about suicide. Report them to the depressed person’s doctor. In an emergency, call 911. Invite him for walks, outings, to the movies, and other activities. Be gently insistent if your invitation is refused. Encourage participation in some activities that once gave pleasure, such as hobbies, sports, religious or cultural activities, but do not push him to undertake too much too soon. The depressed person needs diversion and company, but too many demands can increase feelings of failure.

Listed below are the types of people and places that will make a referral to, or provide, diagnostic and treatment services.

Family doctors

Mental health specialists, such as psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, or mental health counselors

Religious leaders/counselors

Health maintenance organizations

Community mental health centers

Hospital psychiatry departments and outpatient clinics

University or medical school affiliated programs

State hospital outpatient clinics

Social service agencies

Private clinics and facilities

Employee assistance programs

Local medical and/or psychiatric societies

Conclusion

A man can experience depression in many different ways. He may be grumpy or irritable, or have lost his sense of humor. He might drink too much or abuse drugs. It may be that he physically or verbally abuses his wife and his kids. He might work all the time, or compulsively seek thrills in high risk behavior. Or, he may seem isolated, withdrawn, and no longer interested in the people or activities he used to enjoy.

Perhaps this man sounds like you. If so, it is important to understand that there is a brain disorder called depression that may be underlying these feelings and behaviors. It’s real: scientists have developed sensitive imaging devices that enable us to see depression in the brain. And it’s treatable: more than 80 percent of those suffering from depression respond to existing treatments, and new ones are continually becoming available and helping more people. Talk to a healthcare provider about how you are feeling, and ask for help.

Or perhaps this man sound like someone you care about. Try to talk to him, or to someone who has a chance of getting through to him. Help him to understand that depression is a common illness among men and is nothing to be ashamed about. Encourage him to see a doctor and get an evaluation for depression.

For most men with depression, life doesn’t have to be so dark and hopeless. Life is hard enough as it is; and treating depression can free up vital resources to cope with life’s challenges effectively. When a man is depressed, he’s not the only one who suffers. His depression also darkens the lives of his family, his friends, virtually everyone close to him. Getting him into treatment can send ripples of healing and hope into all of those lives.

Depression is a real illness; it is treatable; and men can have it. It takes courage to ask for help, but help can make all the difference.

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Specific Phobia – Do You Suffer From A Specific Phobia?

Most people are not aware that they are having a phobia. However, it is very important to know whether you are having it. Try to determine the following:

a) Are you afraid to fly?

b) Are you unable to stand needles?

c) Do you tend to cancel your appointments with the doctor?

If the answers to the above mentioned questions is in a 'yes' may have a specific phobia.

What is it? The term may sound bizarre to you but it is not. This is an anxiety disorder. It is a type of fear. However, it is quite different from the usual fear that we tend to face on a daily basis or we normally have. These are intense fears.

An individual having specific phobia can suffer from intense or excessive fear of a certain object or situation. The object or the situation may not be very difficult or dangerous. The person still reacts to it.

It starts during childhood or during the adolescence stage of a person. These are very common among men.

In order to know whether a fear you have is an actual phobia, you must understand different diagnostic criteria.

1) Here are some diagnostic criteria:

a) The fear is intense and may start even with the imagination of the object or situation that is feared.

b) The anxiety starts as soon as the person sees the feared object or situation. The anxiety may also take shape of an attack.

c) Adults with this disorder are aware that their fear to a specific object or situation is intense.

d) The person usually tries to avoid the situation an object that is feared.

e) The fear and avoiding certain objects or situation tends to interfere with daily activities. The person tends to spend most of his time worrying about the phobia.

2) Here are some different types of the condition:

a) Animal type

The person worries about a particular animal and can not stand the right or imagination of this animal.

b) Natural environment type

Here, the individual tends to worry about a specific environmental object such as water, heights or storms.

c) Blood, injection or injury type

As the name suggest, the person fears blood and needles.

d) Situational type

The patient feels anxiety when facing or thinking about a situation such as airplanes, enclosed places, elevators etc.

3) Symptoms

A person with this phobia shows the following symptoms

a) Intense feeling of terror when face to face with feared object.

b) A panic attack such as shortness of breath, sweating, numbness, and dizziness.

c) The person tends to avoid the feared object to such an extent that it starts to interfere the daily activities.

d) The person faces obsessive worry related to an upcoming in counter with the feared object or situation.

Visit a health care practitioner as soon as you observe any of the above mentioned symptoms.

Shortness of Breath – Anxiety & Panic

Probably the most common symptom of them all with anxiety & panic is shortness of breath; some also describe it as a smothering sensation, or feeling like they are suffocating, like there is no air around them.

This is often the first symptom that will trigger off a panic attack. As soon as the sufferer feels they cannot breathe then the heart begins to race 50 to the dozen, then you begin to feel dizzy like your going to pass out and that’s when the fear of death hits you dead in your tracks.

Or of course, you could feel short of breath, then dizzy (or light-headed), then racing heart beat then scared to your wits end that your going to die or pass-out.

If you’ve ever felt this sensation before, then you should be aware that this is classic symptoms of a panic attack.

It can hit anytime, anywhere. Heck, I used to get this one a lot while driving in my car. And anyone who can relate to that knows that is dam frightening! Because now you’re afraid you’re going to have a car accident with it!

The most important thing in this scenario is to deal with the first symptom. The shortness of breath. I will begin by explaining to you why you feel the shortness of breath.

The blunt of it is obviously poor breathing technique, which apparently majority of the world does not breathe properly. But for the anxiety sufferer it’s usually much more predominant. The anxiety sufferer takes very short quick breaths, therefore not allowing sufficient amount of air flow to your lungs and body.

Here is a quick test you can perform right now on yourself to see if you are breathing correctly. Place your hand between your chest and stomach area, as you breathe in is your chest and stomach area rising? As you breathe out does your hand fall with your stomach and chest?

When I first did this test, I was quite surprised to find that there was little movement at all.

What you need to do is encourage deeper slower breaths. Breathe in slowly and deeply through your nose, and then breathe out through your mouth slowly. You will find when you first start practicing this technique that it will probably make you feel a bit light headed. That’s ok. It’s because your body isn’t used to receiving so much oxygen. It is used to living on the “bread and dripping” bum end scale of oxygen.

Try doing this exercise a few times a day, eventually it will become habit and you will adopt new and healthier breathing habits.

It is important for the anxiety sufferer to know that he/she will not stop breathing from these sensations. You try holding your breath; your body will shortly after force you to breathe again.

Note: Never self diagnose. Make sure you visit your local GP first. All material provided is for informational or educational purposes only. No content is intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Consult your doctor regarding the applicability of any opinions or recommendations with respect to your symptoms or medical condition.

© Joanne King – http://www.anxiety-panic-free.com

Natural Remedies To Combat Panic Attacks In Children

A panic attack is a sudden intense fear, hesitation, malaise, dread or terror, worry, and numerous other negative signs such as shortness of breath, etc. The physical symptoms that accompany such an attack include, jitters, sweating, insomnia, a cranked up heart beat, chest pains, nausea, and/ or diarrhea. This happens due to the stimulation of the adrenal hormone by the adrenal glands. This secreted adrenaline gets your body in a pumped up state, which is usually good yet sometimes causes worry. A frequent occurrence of such attacks could get difficult to manage. At a more chronic level and over exposure to these acute panic attacks can lead to anxiety attacks.

Alternate panic attack remedies for children:

o Kava: Making use of natural herbs such as Kava works perfectly well as a treatment alternative to those compared to the chemically oriented drugs. Kava is well known for its calming effects and holds truly healing properties. It is recommended to start on the consumption of Kava on catching the first symptom an attack.

o Valerian Root: Traditionally, Valerian has been prescribed as a natural sedative to help relax the central nervous system in moderate doses. It has been clinically proven to promote relaxation and emotional balance.

o Passion Flower: The flower holds medicinal compounds often used to relax the nervous system. A healthy and positive power of the passion flower helps tackle, nervousness, anxiety, a depressed state of mind, restlessness, etc.

o Rhodiola Rosea/ Arctic Root: The Arctic Root plant has been reported to have adaptogenic properties. An adaptogen is an agent that is known to naturally increase the body’s resistance to physical/ emotional stress. A good antidote to a panic attack.

o Winter Cherry Monograph: The strengthening part of this plant is its root. The root of this small shrub is recognized for its medicinal qualities of naturally increasing the body’s resistance. It is also known to be a healthy option to develop one’s immunity.

The above stated remedies are also applicable for adults coping with panic attacks/ anxiety. Yet, it is always appropriate to resort to natural remedies for children tackling these disorders. Besides the use of these Alternate Natural Remedies, it is essential for the parents to include, breathing regimes, meditation, a change in atmosphere, ensuring adequate sleep, bringing about a significant change in diet, seeking herbal medical advice, etc. The child must be well- taken care of and must feel secured around the members he/ she spends most of their time with.

How to Avoid a Hernia – and How to Fix One if You Don’t

They come by the thousands each January. As the last phosphors of football season fade from their widescreens, legions of American men firmly put down their remotes, leap from their recliners, tog up in the sweats they just got for Christmas, and head down to the local gym to join the droogs for a bit o’ the old ultraviolent exercise. Pledging to restore their flab-enfolded bodies to (often imaginary) pre-holiday hardness, these grim new apostles of the weight room dutifully put in the recommended 20 minutes of warm-up time on the treadmill, then saunter over to the free weights for some manly iron-pumping.

For most of these amateur Apollos, the whole back-to-the-barbells New Year’s routine peters out around Mardi Gras time – but there’s always one guy who takes it too far. He straddles the bench, grabs the barbell handles in his manly paws, and, with a knowing wink at the cute coed on the exercise bike nearby, proceeds to press more weight overhead than should be allowed by law – and in so doing pops his abdominal wall open like a water balloon under a steamroller.

Welcome to the wide, wide world of hernia, sports fans.

Of course, there is nothing funny about hernia. Despite its goofy-sounding name and status as the subject of many old jokes, a hernia is a serious medical condition. Every year, people can and do die from the direct effects and complications from an untreated hernia. Serious surgery is required to repair a hernia, and even when successful, the surgery entails a substantial period of post-operative care.

Hernia is no laughing matter. But what is a hernia?

“Basically, a hernia is a bulge where a bulge shouldn’t be,” explains Dr. Jason Harrison, a general surgeon in Arlington, TX, who has performed hundreds of hernia repair surgeries.

The prime spot where hernias occur is in the lower abdomen, he explains, where the internal organs are held in place by the thick walls of abdominal muscle. These abdominal muscles are strong, but age, strain, and injury can weaken them. (Fun fact:  men are six times more likely to get hernias than women!) When one spot in the abdominal wall weakens enough, internal pressure can push internal organs and muscles outward through the weak spot, and bam: hernia.

The resulting searing pain is only part of the fun. Once internal tissues are bulging through the muscular wall (usually into the scrotum – ouch), pressure from the muscles can cut off their blood supply, causing them to atrophy or even become gangrenous – with predictably negative results. This kind of hernia is called the inguinal hernia.

And let’s not forget the jolly old hiatal hernia, when the upper part of the stomach pokes into the thorax through a rip or defect in the diaphragm. That’s even more fun.

Fortunately, hernias can be corrected by surgery, usually laparoscopically. Your surgeon will access the hernia via incisions in the abdominal wall, then push the bulging tissues back into place; finally, he or she will shore up the weak area (often with a plastic mesh) so that they don’t push loose again and close up the cuts.

And that’s it. Four to six weeks of recovery later, fellas, and you can hit the gym again – but this time, take it easy on the heavy lifting. Trying to prove to that cute coed on the stationary bike is only going to get somebody hurt.

5 Things You Can Do to Help Your Painful Ingrown Nail

Ingrown toe nails can cause pain and discomfort (especially if the little person (or big person for that matter) in your home likes to walk all over it). If you suspect you have an ingrown toenail, it’s probably best to go see your podiatrist about it, especially if infection is present. Definitely see your foot doctor if you have diabetes, nerve damage, or poor circulation in your foot. Your podiatrist should be able to make the diagnosis by performing a physical exam of your toe. Here are 5 things your podiatrist will do or recommend.

1)If you do not have an infection in your toe, you may be able to get away with just doing some home treatments (unless you’re diabetic or have nerve or circulation problems in your foot). You can soak your foot in warm water or salt water three or four times a day, and gently massage the sides of your nail to help reduce inflammation. Then, apply antiseptic and a bandage over your toe.

2)You may want to wear shoes, like sandals, that put no pressure on your toe while it heals. Don’t try to perform the endearingly named “bathroom surgery” by attempting to cut out the ingrown portion of your nail yourself. Also, (although you may have heard different from your best friend’s mother-in-law’s cousin’s wife) doing things like cutting a V-shape in the end of your toenail is pretty much useless. (Some believe that it allows the edges of an ingrown nail to grow together, but nail growth depends on the nail root, not the end of the nail. The V-method simply doesn’t work.)

3)If your nail fails to improve, or if you have an infection in your toe or other medical problems, your podiatrist can help bring your ingrown toenail back from the dark side. He or she will likely inject a local anesthetic into the area and remove the side of the nail that’s causing the problem. Your podiatrist may also opt to destroy the portion of your nail root that’s contributing to the ingrown nail (especially if this is a recurring problem for you). This may be done by using a special medicine to destroy the root, or by using a laser. (Who knew treatments for ingrown toenails could be so close to science fiction?)

4)Your podiatrist will also likely prescribe an antibiotic to clear up the infection in your toe. (Be sure to take all of the prescribed medication, by the way, even if your symptoms appear to have cleared up.)

5)You’ll probably want to stay off your foot and keep it elevated for a few hours, but you should be able to resume many normal activities the next day (although you’ll want to avoid vigorous movements like running for about two weeks). Occasionally, the entire nail may fall off after surgery; a new nail will grow over the next few months, although it will probably be a bit more narrow if your podiatrist has destroyed a portion of the nail root.

With the ingrown portion and accompanying infection taken care of, your toenail should reassume that harmless nature we love so well. Just treat it as well as you can, or it may show its destructive side once again.

Using the Art of Aromatherapy in the Treatment of Sprains, Strains and Broken Bones

It happens to all of us. We trip, we fall, we step off the stairs wrong, we do not pay attention to the hole in the road. The next thing we know is that we find ourselves splayed out on the sidewalk or street and in the best case scenario, at the doctor's office. In the worst case scenario, we find ourselves in the hospital with a sprain or a cast on our leg or arm, and usually quite a bit of pain to go with it.

Whether the diagnosis is a sprain or break, the suffering is great. The cast or bandaging does not allow us to return to normalcy. We can not even enjoy our shower and we have to depend on friends or family to perform even the simplest task. In both cases the healing time can last a few weeks to a few months. In some cases, even after removal of bandaging, the affected area is still swollen, hurting and causes severe and ongoing anguish. Those who have suffered severe breaks, continue to have problems for the rest of their lives.

According to the doctors, time heals all wounds. The sprain will heal after a couple of weeks. The sensitivity will last for a few more months, and then you'll be like new. But what are you to do in the meantime? The pain is still there and the affected part of the body does not function like it did before the injury. And painkillers are highly addictive and come with a variety of undesirable side effects.

I'm know all of this from personal experience. Several years ago I broke my elbow. This is an area that can not be casted so the arm is immobilized in a brace. The doctor explained that the arm will be bandaged for about a month and after that the bandages will be removed and I will need physiotherapy for a month or two in order to return the arm to full motion. But the doctor was wrong. After a month they x-rayed the arm and discovered the bone did not heal sufficiently. It is important to emphasize that I am in perfect health.

For the next three months I required weekly x-rays to monitor the healing process. The area was very slow to heal and I went from being a very independent person to being very dependent.

Since I had time on my hands, I started researching herbs and essential oils to find if there was a natural remedy that will help speed up the healing of bones and relieve the pain. I found such a remedy and had a mixture of oils formulated according to my recipe. This oil formula helps with any kind of bone injury, and is even helpful in easing arthritis pain. It helps speed up the body's natural healing and reduces the pain.

I have since tried this essential oil formula on several thousand people during and after an injury to the bone. I saw a man who had a concussion and refused to go to the hospital. I spread the oil on the affected area and the next day there was no evidence of the injury and no pain, it worked like a miracle. I also discovered that you can use this oil even if the area is bandaged. Just apply the essential oil blend to the exposed skin around the bandage or cast. The essential oils are absorbed through the bloodstream. Aromatherapy is a very powerful herbal healing modality, which compliments traditional medicine.

I highly recommend that you use this essential oil blend during and after any kind of bone injury. We promise, you will not be sorry!

Gamma Knife Surgery Offers New Hope

Gamma knife surgery which had been proven safe and effective, is offering new hope to patients suffering from nervous system diseases across the globe. With its non invasive surgical procedure, Gamma Knife provides patients with a better alternative in treating tumors, vascular deformation, trigeminal neuralgia, Parkinson’s Disease, Alzheimer’s Disease and other conditions of the brain that were once require an open brain surgery.

Presently Asian Medical Tourism together with Philippine Gamma Knife Center had made Gamma Knife surgery available to Filipinos. Philippine Gamma Knife Center has state of the art facility and equipments needed to perform the said surgery. The Center uses computerized data from imaging tests, such as CT scans, MRIs or arteriograms to pinpoint problem areas in the brain. As a result, Philippine Gamma Knife Center destroys the cancer cells using multiple beams of gamma radiation with unparallel precision.

With its sub-millimeter accuracy Gamma Knife Surgery reduces the risk of damaging surrounding normal tissues and minimizes the brain’s exposure to the radiation. Gamma Knife surgery is recognized worldwide as the preferred treatment for brain tumors, arteriovenous malformations and brain dysfunctions such as trigeminal neuralgia. It is supported by over 2,500 medically reviewed research articles that are primarily published in neurosurgery journals.

This fact coupled with published reports indicated that the Gamma Knife can be used as an alternative to adjunctive therapy in the treatment of residual or recurrent lesions that were not removed by conventional brain tumor surgery. Gamma Knife surgery can be especially useful for those patients who are not suitable for standard surgical techniques due to illness or advanced age. In many neurosurgical cases, Gamma Knife is the only feasible treatment.

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