Emetophobia – How to Overcome Emetophobia

Emetophobia self help programs are designed to help you overcome your fear of vomiting. The first step is to identify your phobia and gauge its severity. You can take control of your fear of being sick no matter how long you have had the phobia.

Identifying Emetophobia

It is perfectly natural to be afraid of vomiting. The experience is unpleasant to the core and it is commonly associated with severe illnesses. There is little wonder that you feel apprehension an anxiety at the very thought of being sick.

However, your mind may run into overdrive when it comes to the fear of vomiting. You may be an emetophobic if your fear actually makes you feel sick. When you develop an emetohphobia self help plan, you need to know how severe your problem is.

Confusion

You may not even realize that you are an emetophobic until you begin to address your other fears. Some therapists find that a client will approach them with a fear of heights – or another similar fear – citing nausea and possible vomiting as a worrisome side effect.

Your fear of being sick may not be because of the heights. You may be finding a reason for your apprehension. This is problematic in the proper diagnosis and treatment of this condition. It is hard to create a emetohobia self help plan if you are not recognizing the symptoms.

Ramifications

The irrational or excessive fear of vomiting has serious ramifications on your daily life. The condition can keep you from attending certain functions. You may be too afraid to leave your home because you are afraid of being sick in public. Some women avoid pregnancy for fear of morning sickness.

You Are Not Alone

Many people share this phobia. Emetophobia is defined as "an irrational or excessive fear of vomiting" and this very definition can be a source of distress for many. Some feel extreme embarrassment because of the fearful condition.

The notion of vomiting in public is completely unbearable for many people who suffer from this condition. Throwing up is typically associated with illness and it is outright messy. People do not want to talk about their fear of being sick and this may make developing emetophobia self help plans nearly impossible.

Creating Your Emetophobia Self Help Plan

It helps to recognize that you are perfectly normal in your fear of being sick. Vomiting can make you feel as if something is terribly wrong with your body and it is closely linked to illness. You may feel as if you are going to die at the very thought of vomiting.

Remember that this is a perfectly natural fear that many people share but it does not mean that the emotion has to take over your life. You can gain control by using self-hypnosis. This approach addresses the underlying problems that lead to your phobia.

Once you are able to calm and organize your thoughts you are well on your way to overcoming your excessive fear of being sick. Self-hypnosis is a natural choice for your emetophobia self-help plan.

Menopause and Insomnia

Losing sleep during the critical years of a woman’s middle age can be frustrating, not to mention inconvenient. Menopause insomnia, in fact, is inescapable, and a symptom of the slowing down of a woman’s reproductive system. Menopause insomnia is caused by many factors, but it can be treated or made milder with the proper medication, diet, and sleeping habits.

If you are suffering from menopause insomnia, you need to understand the different kinds of insomnia that exist. Transient insomnia will last anywhere from a single night, to two to three weeks. Transient insomnia may be due to altered work hours, jet lag, or anxiety. Acute insomnia occurs when the sufferer cannot sleep over a period of three to twenty four weeks. Insomnia can be classified as chronic when sleeplessness is persistent.

There are also two levels of insomnia. Primary insomnia is characterized by sleeplessness that cannot be traced to anything in the body or the environment. Secondary insomnia, on the other hand, is characterized by difficulty sleeping because of health conditions. In either case, medication may be required, and will be formulated by a physician.

Insomnia is also caused by a variety of factors. The body is controlled by a circadian rhythm, which regulates sleep and waking hours. If the circadian rhythm is disrupted, such as when you take long-haul flights through multiple time zones, or if you take the night shift of a job, then you may find yourself sleepless for days. Physical pain, discomfort, and anxiety can also induce insomnia. Ingesting large servings of stimulants, lack of exercise, and dehydration can also bring insomnia on.

Hormonal changes can also cause sleeplessness, and can bring about menopause insomnia. In order to ease the discomfort of not being able to sleep at night, your doctor may recommend hormone replacement therapy medication to supplement decreasing levels of estrogen in your body. Lower estrogen levels can translate into a drop in serotonin levels, the brain hormone that controls sleep. What menopause insomnia medication cannot directly counter, however, is the vicious cycle that menopause insomnia causes. With less sleep, you will most likely be more irritable and stressed out; this lack of relaxation and increased stress on your body can also lead to more insomnia.

Menopause insomnia can be eased by taking a few sleep-inviting measures during the day. Exercise for about half an hour in the afternoon, but not before bedtime. The afternoon exercise can relax your muscles, but the evening exercise can make you more awake and alert. Avoid stimulants, such as tea, coffee, chocolate, nicotine, or sugar, for up to three or four hours before bedtime, since stimulants can keep you awake. Avoid taking alcoholic beverages before you go to bed: alcohol may be a relaxant, but it can also keep you from sleeping soundly.

You may also want to change your night time diet. Drink chamomile tea or a glass of warm milk before bed. Chamomile tea can relax you, while milk has calcium to calm your nerves, and tryptophan, a mild sedative. Milk is more effective as a sedative if you take some carbohydrates, such as crackers or a small chicken sandwich, with it.

You may also suffer from night sweats during menopause, so keep your bedroom temperature cool. Cold feet, however, can keep you alert and awake, so cover your extremities. As soon as you get into bed, breathe deeply and slowly, then work one by one on your muscles. Tense, and then relax them, in order to release stress. Before you go to bed, do not engage in mentally challenging or stimulating activities. Watch TV, read a relaxing book, or read a warm bath in order to help your body relax.

Your doctor may also recommend medication to treat your menopause insomnia. If these medications do not work, do not self medicate by using antihistamines or antidepressants. Their side effects may stress you out more. Moreover, be wary of herbal remedies, as some medications may not have any approved therapeutic claims.

Whichever method you will use to treat your menopause insomnia, follow your doctor’s orders and do not engage in any activities or take any medication without his express approval or prescription. Read as much as you can on menopause and insomnia. Menopause insomnia is a typical symptom of your age and state, so be extra cautious in keeping yourself healthy.

Anxiety Home Remedies – What You Can Do To Help Your Anxiety

Anxiety home remedies have become a popular area of interest these days. Now-a-days, almost everyone is troubled with anxiety disorders. Besides medication an individual can also go for the numerous home remedies. These remedies are quite beneficial from the health point of view and they does not entail any side-effects. There is a sequence of home remedies that one can follow as long as it is not the extreme stage of the anxiety disorder. If an anxiety disorder does not affect the normal routine of a person, then he can surely go for anxiety home remedies to overcome the problem.

Different Anxiety Home Remedies

The foremost remedy that a person can follow is to try out certain exercises. Regular exercising not only provides physical relaxation to your body and soul but it also helps to overcome the mental strain. It also enhances the secretion of serotonin chemical secreted by the brain. The release of serotonin in the brain activates the nice and generous senses. So, whenever you are suffering from anxiety disorder, just go outside and take a long walk. Playing your favorite sport will also help in reducing the anxiety disorder. Besides this, if you think about other interesting things, it will definitely give you a feeling of mental and physical relaxation. An alternative home remedy for anxiety disorder is the intake of rich and nutritious diet. There are certain herbs which on included in the food supplements will definitely prove helpful in reducing the level of anxiousness and fear. These include chamomile, skullcap, orange blossom, cloves, balm, thyme, lavender, hops, wood betony and much more.

Another crucial remedy to overcome the anxiety disorder is interaction with the family and friends. Adopting a social attitude will definitely calm the feelings of anxiety. If a person remains in the company of optimistic and fun loving people, his mind remains distracted from all the mental worries and illnesses. Prefer to move in the social gatherings along with your friends or planning a movie outing is also a nice way to overcome the anxiety. Even expressing your viewpoint and sharing your ideas with others can also prove to be helpful.

A final remedial measure to overcome distress or anxiety is to take a hot shower bath. This will definitely revolutionize your thoughts regarding life. Take a time from your busy schedule and plan a weekend or a short holiday trip. This will not provide relaxation to your body but also improves the mental state. You can also spend some time in playing extra co-circular activities.

Ashwagandha- An Anxiety Herbal Remedy

Ashwagandha is a well-known herbal remedy that helps to cure the anxiety disorder. In the Ayurvedic science, it is popular by the name of Indian Ginseng or Winter Cherry.

Ashwagandha is basically a little evergreen shrub found not only in India but also in the major parts of Mediterranean as well as African countries. It contains anti-depressant & anti-anxiety properties. This shrub basically belongs to the pepper family and is used for various medicinal purposes. This shrub is highly used in Ayurvedic medicine. The roots of Ashwagandha contain iron and steroidal lactones, which is termed as withanolides. Besides curing anxiety, it is also good from the health point of view. It also helps to overcome stress, low immunity and osteoarthritis.

Copyright (c) 2008 Hailey Harris

Insomnia Sleep Disorder – What Causes Insomnia

The inability to sleep soundly for the duration normally required by the body is called insomnia. The disorder has many causes, and it may be transient or persistent, if it lasts more than a few days.

Women are more susceptible perhaps because they undergo hormonal changes more intensively and frequently than men. Insomnia may be brought about by a sedentary lifestyle or an underlying medical condition. Insomnia can be the side effect of prescribed medication or be a natural part of the process of aging. Like many phenomena, insomnia may well be the outcome of a confluence of factors.

Some of the known causes of transient or intermittent insomnia are emotional stress, crossing over time zones and such environmental stressors as increased noise levels, temperature variations of more than a few degrees, and excessive light. Something as mundane as traffic noise or second-hand snoring can make sleep temporarily elusive. There may even be instances when sleeplessness is learned behavior.

Medication is generally not recommended for transient insomnia since, being temporary, it will go into remission by itself or when the individual acts to bring about appropriate situational changes.

Chronic or permanent insomnia is more serious. In general, its severity will be determined to a large extent by what the underlying causes are. Sufferers of chronic or permanent insomnia need to consult with a health professional who can help narrow down possible sources of the disorder. Sometimes, obtaining relief from insomnia can be as simple as refraining from ingesting caffeine a few hours before bedtime.

The causes of persistent insomnia vary considerably and may come in combination. Lifestyle factors include narcotics and caffeine habit, and shifts in work hours. Psychological sources of the condition include anxiety and depression. Kidney and heart troubles, restless leg syndrome, Parkinson's disease, asthma and sleep apnea are candidates for underlying physiological cause of insomnia.

The process of pinpointing an underlying causative factor may require many tests and evaluations, but these tests have to be done. Once known, the cause of insomnia may be treated by medication or via a behavioral approach.

Because sleep has subjective elements to it, diagnosing insomnia can sometimes be more complicated than searching for an underlying cause. What may be adequate slumber for one person may be deprivation for another. Telltale signs of sleeplessness include declines in alertness and in the faculty of concentration. Sleep journals and sets of questions relating to sleep or its lack are evaluative tools that may help the specialist arrive at an accurate diagnosis.

Tips for a Foot Friendly Pedicure From Boston Common Podiatry

A regular pedicure can be a relaxing and enjoyable part of your regular foot care routine and there is no shortage of fantastic salons in Boston. Foot care is serious business, though. So, before you head to your Boston foot care salon, there are a few key things to remember to protect your foot health.

1. Bring your own instruments and files. Many Boston foot care salons use a fresh set of instruments for each client, but if you are unsure of the salon’s policy, bring your own.

2. Do not soak your feet unless you are able to use a fresh liner in the basin.  Improper cleaning of the basins can result in the spread of bacterial, fungal and viral infections, including plantar warts.

3. Ask the nail technician to cut toenails straight across and to slightly file any sharp edges.  Straight edges will decrease the chances for an ingrown toenail.

4. Choose lighter colors or polish without formaldehyde. Darker polishes and formulas containing formaldehyde can result in yellowing of the nails. Formaldehyde is also drying to nails and can cause nails to become weakened and brittle over time.

5. Leave nails unpolished and open to air for a week or so every couple of months. Over time, nail polish can leave nails brittle and susceptible to breakage. Giving them a break once in awhile by substituting a quick buff without polish can help minimize damage.

6. Cuticles around the toenails should only be gently pushed back, never cut. Any type of cutting, either with clippers or scissors can result in infection.

7. Call a podiatrist immediately if:

• You suspect that you have an ingrown toenail;
• Your toenails become thick or discolored;
• You notice peeling or itchiness on the feet; or
• You develop any new calluses or rough areas on the skin.

By taking a proactive approach, you can ensure that your feet look wonderful and stay healthy. If you will be visiting a salon you have not used before, call ahead ask about their sanitation policies. Most Boston foot care salons are proud of their good practices and are happy to share this information. If they are not, try another Boston foot care salon instead. Don’t take chances with your health.

If a problem develops after your treatment, don’t hesitate to consult with a Boston podiatry professional.

Many Products Are Available For Ingrown Toenail Treatment

There are many products on the market to help treat ingrown toenail. The most common reason for ingrown toenail is cutting or trimming the nail improperly so there are a variety of special clippers that are sold to help ensure proper trimming. Improper trimming results in curving of the nail into the nail fold. This curvature can cause the toenail to injure the soft surface of the nail.

While an ingrown toenail itself is not a disease, it can certainly lead to a nail infection. Onychomyscosis is the most common type of nail infection and it accounts for about half of all nail disorders. The infections are particularly prominent in nails that are exposed to warm, moist environments like sweaty shoes or shower floors.

The eloi ingrown nail clipper is a popular product for people who suffer from ingrown toenails. These clippers are designed to help prevent the formation of ingrown toenail. The seki ingrown tail clipper has a slanted edge that makes the toenail easier to trim.

There are specially designed ingrown toenail files that make it easy to trim and shape the toenail. These are thin files that can be used to cover the edges and the painful areas of the ingrown toenail.

It is extremely important to sterilize clippers and nail files with alcohol before using them in order to prevent the possibility of a nail fungus infection. If you have an ingrown toenail and you go for a professional pedicure, you should take your own pedicure instruments with you so that you can be certain that they are sterile. : Many nail fungus infections are On Acquired During professional Pedicures.

There are several products on the market that can help ease the pain that is caused by ingrown toenails. Some are topical and some are taken by mouth. Some doctors prescribe an anti-fungal lacquer, such as Penlac, which can be painted on the nail and surrounding skin. This protects the skin from further injury and helps promote healing. After a few days the polish is removed and a new coat is applied. This may be done as often as needed to provide relief.
If your ingrown toenail becomes infected you should talk to your doctor about products that are best for you.

Onychomycosis – What is Onychomycosis Infection?

Onychomycosis, also known as nail fungus, is one of the more common infections. It is common enough to say that almost anybody had Onychomycosis infection before. The way we use our hands and feet and how we take care of them can mean the difference between having fungal infection or not.

Onychomycosis can not easily penetrate our nails. Our nails are the ultimate barrier against the infection. Even so, once our nails have been penetrated it will not be long before infection sets in and eventually spread. Prevention is still the better choice.

The idea of ​​fungal infection being contagious is not too far-fetched. People can pass on the infection by indiscriminate use of contaminated equipment. Not wearing the right size of shoes and overly tight socks can contribute to the growth of fungal infection. Having your fungal infection treated is not a walk in the park. The treatment itself last long and the recovery period for a nail may take over a year.

Preventing re-infection is of utmost importance while nearing the end of the recovery period of a nail. Just because your nail looks normal does not mean that you relax on your treatment. If ever a re-infection appears, you will have to undergo the same treatment again for a longer period than before.

3 Types of Onychomycosis Infection

There are 3 types of Onychomycosis infection depending on its appearance. One is the "Distal Subungual Onychomycosis", the second is "Proximal Subungual Onychomycosis" and the third is the "White Superficial Onychomycosis". The most common nail fungal infection is the first one. It is based on the point where the nail separates from the skin. The second one is based on the area where the nail is closer to the body of the person. The second type usually appears in people with weak immune systems. The third one is based on the upper part of the nail specifically the surface.

People with discolored nails may not be as showy with them as compared to normal ones. People have this idea that fungal infections are contagious and are a result of bad fingernail and toenail care.

3 Kinds of Fungi That Cause Onychomycosis

There are 3 kinds of fungi that cause Onychomycosis. These are dermatophytes, yeasts, and non-dermatophytes. Any of these 3 kinds can already be on your nails without any indication of pain or discoloration. The foul smell, by the way, comes from the debris that may collect under the nail. Talk about not clipping your nails. When you clip your nails, be sure to clean it also. You will be amazed at how neat your toenails or fingernails will look, if you clean it properly.

Since Onychomycosis is hard to cure, you might as well control it. There are medications solely for the control of this infection. Proper nutrition also plays a vital part in good nail health. A sufficient intake of proteins and minerals, avoiding sugar, alcohol, and caffeine will contribute to the well-being of your nails. There are herbal remedies for Onychomycosis. It is used to relieve, and not cure, some of the symptoms. Whatever medication you take, be it chemical creams or herbal, use it properly for it to be effective.

Nail Polish – Nail Fungus Treatment?

Nail polish is a cosmetic product that is one of the leading in sales. Most women, I bet 99%, will have some polish on their finger and toe nails. This may be just for the purpose of making an attractive dressing or to conceal an ugly nail that is affected by fungus.

There are various products that have been used to make polish. Most of them are however solutions and pastes made from petroleum byproducts. If you did not know, petroleum or what makes a large part of your gasoline is a fossil fuel. This means that is actually made of animal and plant materials that have been compressed in the deep earth under enormous pressure over several thousands of years. In other words, 90% of the polish is dead matter! It is large structure of carbon.

We all know it, that every medicine should have some active ingredient that is reacts against the pathogen or intruder by either destroying its cells or stopping some enzymatic processes. In evaluating polish efficiency in treatment of nail fungus, one needs to consider the active ingredient that would be effective in stopping the growth process of the fungus.

The nail fungus is actually a colony of fungus that has developed and changed the chemistry of the nail plate. It is often caused by poor hygiene which may also lead to other fungal infections such as athlete foot. Other causes include weakening of the keratin structure that provides the hard cuticle like nail structure, or poor immunity due to HIV or cancer or diabetes. In the early stages of the fungal growth, the nail plate will develop yellowish color and later progress to green or black color. The nail then disintegrates.

Therefore the effective remedy is one that will stop the activity of the nail fungus by countering the pH of the nail and the surrounding tissues and also by rejuvenating the activity of the cells.

These abilities may not be available in the nail polish. This is because it is mainly a mass of dead matter made from the carbon. It cannot be able to reverse the effects of the fungi. Instead, nail polish may make the advancement of the fungi be even greater by preventing the air flow and oxygenation. The anaerobic fungi will thrive well under the masked condition provided by the nail polish.

The only way to convert nail polish into an effective medicine for fungus treatment is by using it as medium to dissolve the essential oils with curative properties.

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Lumbar Sprain – Not Just Another Back Ache! Braces For Support

Most people think that a backache is not something to be too worried about. We often treat backaches as something that is caused by exhaustion or something that can be treated with a bunch of pain relievers. Backaches can be the result of sudden strain and exhaustion. But if you are experiencing lower back pain all the time, then, you may have to consider that what you are experiencing is not just a backache – but a lumbar sprain. Here are some reasons why you need to take lower back pains or lumbar sprains seriously.

It can lead to a lumbar spasm

Although you may think that the lower back pain you are experiencing is bearable and can easily be fought by taking pain relievers, extensive strain on your lower back muscles will cause the soft-tissues on your lower back to swell. The inflammation of your lower back muscles can lead to a muscle spasm which is something that your pain relievers may not help you with. Although the word "spasm" would make you believe that a lumbar spasm is something that will happen momentarily and just get lost after some time – the truth is that it can take days for you to fully recover from a lumbar spasm. In fact, most patients who have lumbar spasms have to be on bed rest for several days with an adequate dose of muscle relaxants and pain relievers to help them through the ordeal.

A lumbar spasm can be really painful

Once the muscles on your lumbar spine is affected, you can barely move your body without experiencing pain – this is what happens when you are afflicted with a lumbar spasm. Walking, sitting up and basic functions or movements will seem like such an effort because everything you do will cause you pain.

Lumbar Sprain may only be the beginning

The lumbar sprain that you are experiencing may just be an underlying symptom or result of a bigger back problem like a ruptured disc or Sciatica. If you are experiencing lower back pains or lumbar spasms, the best option for you is to consult your doctor and have yourself checked on what is causing these back pains. Most often than not, lower back pains may be caused by being overweight, unhealthy lifestyle habits (smoking, too much alcohol), poor conditioning or over-exertion of the muscles.

Aside from taking pain relievers and muscle relaxants, most doctors are now suggesting for their patients to make use of back braces in order to take away the pressure from the lumbar spine and provide you with relief from the pain that lumbar sprain or spasms is causing you . There really are a lot of options for you to deal with lumbar sprain, so make sure to ask your doctor about it.

Back Braces For Support

When you are struggling with low back pain then it is time you looked into back brace support. These can also be very helpful in helping to reduce your pain, add support and they can also help to promote healing.

* This article is helpful health information, but it is not a substitute for your doctors advice.

I Have Arthritis In My Ankle… What Can I Do?

Ankle arthritis is one of the most common problems seen in a rheumatology office. While it is a relatively small joint complex, it is subjected to a great deal of stress because of the weight-bearing required with standing and walking.

Throw in the need to make forward and backward movements as well as side to side movements, it becomes clear that the stress placed on the bones, ligaments and tendons is tremendous. And that doesn’t even account for the twisting and [pivoting motions that are often required during a typical day.

Because of this responsibility and location, ankles are probably injured more than any other joint complex.

Many different kinds of arthritis can affect the ankle. The most common are osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is a wear and tear type of arthritis. The cartilage that cushions the joint begins to wear away prematurely as a result of trauma and localized inflammation. This type of osteoarthritis that occurs following injury is referred to as post-traumatic osteoarthritis. A common scenario is someone who sprains their ankle as an adolescent or young adult and then develops ankle arthritis years later.

Rheumatoid arthritis comprises about 15 per cent of ankle arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic systemic autoimmune disease that affects virtually all joints. The chronic inflammation leads to progressive deterioration of cartilage, bone, and ligaments.

Other types of arthritis that can attack the ankle include psoriatic arthritis, Reiter’s disease, gout, pseudogout, sarcoidosis, juvenile arthritis, and ankylosing spondylitis.

Treatment of ankle arthritis first consists of making the correct diagnosis. That takes a careful history and physical examination. Laboratory testing and imaging studies such as x-ray, ultrasound, and magnetic resonance imaging are useful.

Treatment for mild discomfort is straightforward. Limit activities that cause pain. That means high impact sports like running, soccer, and basketball. If excess weight is an issue, then weight loss is mandatory. Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medicines can also provide symptomatic relief.

Various ankle braces can be a lifesaver. These come in different varieties and shapes. They can fasten using laces or Velcro. Braces may be soft or may contain a hard synthetic shell. It is best to consult with your rheumatologist or orthopedist before purchasing a brace.

Orthotics are shoe inserts that tilt the ankle and relieve pain by altering the direction of stress forces. These should be custom-made for optimal results.

Rocker bottom shoes reduce pain with walking because they limit the amount of motion the joint has to go through. People who have had ankle fusion surgery 9where the joijt is fused together) often find rocker bottom shoes helpful.

When ankle pain is severe due to inflammation and/or fluid accumulation, then aspirating the joint with a needle and injecting a long-acting glucocorticoid (“steroid”) may be very useful. Following a procedure like this, it is a good idea for the patient to have their ankle braced for at least three days to rest the joint.

Physical therapy is also an excellent adjunctive therapeutic approach. The therapist can help the patient with different modalities that can reduce edema (soft tissue swelling0 as well as inflammation and also teach a patient exercises to strengthen and stabilize the ankle so that future ankle sprains and strains are less likely.

Patients who have severe ankle arthritis due to osteoarthritis may benefit from viscosupplementation. This is a procedure where a lubricant is injected into the joint. Viscosupplements have been used successfully in many joints including the knee, hip, and shoulder, as well as the ankle.

Surgery is an option for patients who have failed more conservative measures. Arthroscopy, which is a procedure where a small telescope is inserted into the ankle joint through a tiny incision. Small instruments are used to remove loose pieces of cartilage. This procedure can also be incorporated with simultaneous cartilage transplant where healthy cartilage is inserted in place of damaged cartilage at the time of the procedure. Cartilage transplant procedures are very time intensive and require limited weight bearing for several weeks to months afterward.

Joint realignment is a procedure where a wedge of bone is removed from one side of the ankle so that stress forces are transferred to the healthy part of the ankle. While this is a temporary fix, it is useful for some patients.

Ankle fusion is a surgical procedure where the tibia (leg bone) is screwed to the talus (upper ankle bone). This restores alignment and reduces pain. Unfortunately, the patient loses about half of the plantar and dorsiflexion (toe down and toe up) movement in the ankle. The ability to walk without pain is restored to the ankle; however, there is more stress placed on other weight-bearing joints such as the knee, which can lead to the development of osteoarthritis in these joints.

Ankle replacement is an increasingly popular option. In the past, ankle replacements weren’t that effective but technological advances have improved their success. Good candidates for ankle replacement are those who are older than 55 years of age, in good medial condition, have their weight in the normal range, and who don’t engage in high impact activities either at work or during their leisure time.

Sciatica – Causes and Treatment Methods

Sciatica is a condition involving pain down the sciatic nerve– the largest peripheral nerve in the body.  Although sciatica is more common in the older population, it can also affect younger people as well.  It is characterized by a sharp, focal pain in the lower buttock, very close to the part of the pelvic bone that we sit on (called the ischial tuberosity).  In some cases, it can travel down the back of the thigh, all the way to the back of the calf.  Sciatica is usually unilateral (one side only), but can also be bilateral (both buttocks/ legs affected).  It may  be accompanied by lower back pain; and numbness, tingling and weakness in the lower leg.

The sciatica patient will report intermittent pain in the buttock, and may show labored gait.  Sitting for more than a few minutes aggravates the condition, so the patient will favor standing when possible.  The condition usually is not so severe that it causes disability (the need to stop working).  It is more of a “significant annoyance”; most sciatica patients can still walk about, and even engage in light sports.

There are several, known causes of sciatica:

(1)  Disc herniation:  when a spinal disc herniates (ruptures or bulges outwards), it does so in the posterior (rear) direction, where the spinal cord and nerve roots reside.  This is because a very strong ligament called the anterior longitudinal ligament covers the front part of the spinal column, preventing disc movement in that direction.  If the bulge presses against one of the nerve roots that form the sciatic nerve, it can cause radicular pain that travels down the buttock and leg.  The L3,  L4, L5, S1, S2, and S3 nerve roots branch in pairs from the sides of the lumbar (lower) spine and sacrum (triangular bone at the base of the spine that connects to the flat pelvic bones) and eventually combine to form the sciatic nerve, which starts in the gluteal area and travels down the leg.

(2)  Spinal stenosis:  older people often suffer from degenerative disc disease (DJD).  DJD involves thinning discs, hypertrophic (thickened) ligaments, and spondylosis (bone spurring/ thickening).  All three of these things can result in the narrowing of the spinal canal– the space between the vertebral bodies and facet joints and spinous processes.  The spinal canal is where the spinal cord and nerve roots reside.  As the space narrows, cord material can get compressed or irritated by frequent contact with bone, ligament, or disc.  Imagine years of moving your back, causing the cord to rub against hard, bony material.  Over time, it can adversely affect nerve function, permanently.  Spinal stenosis is usually the cause of the chronic, unrelenting form of sciatica.

(3)  Piriformis Syndrome:  the piriformis muscle is one of the deep gluteal muscles responsible for hip movement.  It is attached to the side of the sacrum on one end, and the greater tuberosity of the same side femur bone (hip).  The piriformis muscle turns your hip outwards.  The sciatic nerve passes between the piriformis muscle and adjacent muscles as it makes its way down the gluteal region to the thigh.  If the piriformis muscle spasms, it can effectively “pinch” the sciatic nerve, causing buttock pain and posterior thigh pain.

(4)  Pelvic unleveling:  the pelvis is made up of two flat bones (named “ischium”), and the sacrum.  The femur heads of the femur bones insert into the ischium bones.  Under normal conditions, when standing on a flat surface, the femur heads and tops of the pelvis should be exactly parallel to the surface.  If for some reason one side is higher than the other, it can cause a shearing force in the gluteal muscles.  This can irritate one or several gluteal muscles, and can affect the sciatic nerve as well.  Pelvic unleveling can be the result of a hard fall on one buttock and other trauma to the spine and pelvis; uneven leg lengths (one leg physically shorter than the other); foot problems, knee reconstruction, and fractures or bone diseases that result in loss of bone in the femur or tibia.

Treatment Options

Sciatica, depending on the cause, can be very difficult to resolve.  In some cases, it resolves on its own with rest.

If the cause is related to a disc herniation, treatment geared towards reducing the disc herniation should be considered.  This includes surgery, physical therapy, and non-surgical spinal decompression.

If the cause is related to spinal stenosis, the goal of treatment would be pain alleviation.  If the stenosis is multiple-level, surgery may not be an option.  For these cases, pain medications, nerve blocks/ cortisone injections, and epidurals may be helpful.  Hotpacks, icepacks, and gentle stretching of the gluteals can help as well.

If the cause is due to piriformis syndrome, measures to reduce the piriformis muscle spasm would be appropriate.  This includes massage therapy, ice and heat, joint mobilization, chiropractic adjustments, and muscle stim.

If the cause of the sciatica is pelvic unleveling, chiropractic adjustments to restore pelvic alignment could help.  If the pelvic unleveling does not correct all the way, then shoe orthotics with a heel lift can help keep the pelvis even when standing; thus reducing the shearing force to the gluteal muscles.

In summary, sciatica, while not a very serious condition can adversely affect quality of life by limiting mobility.  Self help measures include gently stretching the gluteal muscles, and applying ice and heat.  Wear comfortable shoes, and be careful not to walk on uneven surfaces for extended periods (hill, beach, etc.).  If it does not go away on its own, visit a qualified health professional to get a proper diagnosis and treatment.

What is Distal Esophageal Cancer?

Esophageal adenocarcinoma is one of the common types of cancers that is developed in the lower part or distal of the esophagus that it is also known as distal esophageal cancer or carcinoma. Normally the cancer starts in the glands which are situated along the esophagus junction and stomach and this kind of cancer is found to be very common in men than when compared to in women. Most often distal esophageal cancer is observed in elderly people in the age range of sixty and seventy.

Various factors are involved in the increased risk for developing esophageal adenocarcinoma or what is called as distal esophageal cancer. Important factors responsible for this condition include drinking beverages of alcoholic nature, smoking and consumption of toxic materials like alkalis or acids. Out of all GERD or gastroesophageal reflux disease is said to complicate this form into barrett's esophagus. Barrett's esophagus is developed when stomach acids move back inside the esophagus creating irritation of the cell linings. When the condition is found, the cell linings of the esophagus has already damaged due to frequent irritation and would look very much similar to the cell lining seen in the stomach and with barrett's esophagus the portion of esophagus can get ulcerated or bleed which progresses to distal esophageal cancer.

Patients with esophageal adenocarcinoma might feel hard to drink liquids and swallow foods as the esophagus is narrowed. The symptoms that show the incidence of the disease includes pain during swallowing, food regurgitation, voice becomes hoarse and in some can also exhibit through blood in stools and blood in vomit. Patients are tested often to evaluate the progression of the disease using barium swallow, tomography scan and endoscopic ultrasound. A procedure called esopagogastroduodenoscopy is also done by interesting a camera with light using a thin tube. It is done for seeing the condition of the esophagus and also for collecting samples of tissues for cancer staging.

Treatment of distal esophageal cancer depends on the cancer stage. When the cancerous cells have not spread to the near body parts it is ideally treated using surgery for removing a section of esophagus affected by cancer. Radiation and chemo therapy are found to be beneficial in patients who have already undergone surgery. Since most of the persons affected by this condition are diagnosed at a later stage it becomes difficult to provide an accurate prognosis and the treatment is mainly focused for comforting the patients and relieving them from pain rather than for curing them.

Natural Remedies:

There are certain natural remedies that offer a promising cure for esophageal cancer. Along with the natural remedies and a well-researched different diet pattern, a few simple adjustments to your lifestyle can make a huge difference to your efforts for prolonging the life for several years.

Natural Remedies For Symptoms of Cervical Dysplasia

Cervical Dysplasia is nothing but abnormal growth of cells on the inner lining of the cervix, which is the opening to the uterus. It is commonly found in teenagers and young women who are sexually active. This condition can be fatal, as the symptoms appear rarely and this increases the risk of this disease being undiagnosed and thus leading to cervical cancer.

Causes

Infection caused by human papillomavirus (HPV) transmitted through sexual contact is the major cause of this disorder. The risk factors are:

  • Having multiple sexual partners
  • Smoking
  • Having genital warts
  • Having sex before age 18
  • Having children before age 16
  • Suffering from other sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV
  • Using contraceptive or birth control pills for 5 years or more
  • Having dietary deficiencies

Symptoms

Normally this disorder does not show any signs or symptoms but in some women, symptoms such as genital warts, abnormal bleeding, spotting after intercourse, vaginal discharge, low back pain are found to occur.

Help for Cervical Dysplasia

  • Increase in the level of estrogen and toxins can lead to this condition as well as cervical cancer. Liver plays an important role in breaking down and regulating estrogen levels and in getting rid of toxic waste. An abnormal liver wouldn’t be able to perform these functions properly. Having burdock, dandelion, and milk thistle can improve liver function. Vitex helps in regulating the hormone levels in the body.
  • Beta-carotene deficiency is found to cause cancer and therefore include in your diet carrots, winter squash, broccoli, sweet potato, and dark leafy vegetables. These are rich source of beta-carotene and vitamin A.
  • Folic acid or vitamin B9 deficiency can increase the level of homocysteine, which can cause or worsen cervical problems, in the body. Birth control pills are one important factor that brings down the folate levels in the body. Therefore, discontinue contraceptive pills and have vitamin B9 supplements to lower the homocysteine levels in the body. Foods such as kale, broccoli, wheat germ, asparagus, beet greens, endive are rich in folic acid.
  • Placing Tea tree oil suppositories in the vagina can help heal this disorder.
  • Echinacea tea or tincture, calendula, false indigo, astragalus, reishi and shiitake strengthen the immune system.
  • Herbal sitz baths and castor oil packs are very effective.

This disease is on the rise and the only way for an early detection of this disease is regular Pap tests and pelvic exams by a physician. Practicing safe sex and avoiding promiscuity can help prevent this disease to a great extent.

Peptic ulcer disease & H. Pylori

Peptic Ulcer Disease and H. pylori are interrelated. H. pylori, also known as Helicobacter pylori, a bacterium present in the stomach of many people, is the major cause behind peptic ulcer disease. A peptic ulcer is an open infection on the lining of the stomach or the duodenum.

Causes of Peptic Ulcer

As mentioned earlier, the Helicobacter pylori bacterium is the prime cause behind peptic ulcers. The bacterium damages the mucous coating protecting the stomach and the duodenum thereby leading to peptic ulcer. The damage caused by the bacterium exposes the sensitive lining of the stomach to stomach acids.  The bacterium and the stomach acid then together cause irritation to the area, which ultimately leads to the development of ulcers.

Symptoms of Peptic Ulcer

The most common symptom of peptic ulcer is abdominal discomfort. This discomfort is generally in the form of burning pain, which lasts for minutes to hours and is experienced between the navel and breastbone. Severe stomach pain, black or bloody stools or vomiting are some of the emergency symptoms of H. pylori-induced peptic ulcer.

Treatment for H pylori-induced peptic ulcer

H. pylori-induced peptic ulcers can be treated with the help of drugs, which reduce stomach acid, kill the harmful bacteria and act as a shield to the stomach and duodenal lining. Histamine receptor blockers (H2 blockers) and proton pump inhibitors are effective in reducing stomach acid. These also help in reducing pain and expedite the process of healing.

Another treatment is the Bismuth quadruple therapy. The patient needs to take a bismuth subsalicylate, metronidazole, proton pump inhibitors and tetracycline for a period of 10-14 days. This treatment is often used by patients who are allergic to penicillin, have taken a prior treatment with clarithromycin or are still infected with H. pylori after undergoing an ineffective triple therapy treatment.

Colon Cancer and Colon Cancer Symptoms

Cancer of the colon cancer is the third leading cause of cancer deaths in America. There are certain signs and manifestations that most patients feel when they have advanced stage of cancer of the colon such as a substantial change in the bowel activity, regular constipation, flatulence, rectal bleeding, severe stomach pain and lethargy.

Cancer of the colon is believed to be preventable, by specialists, if regular colon cleansing is performed. Development of cancer stimulating polyps is promoted by toxins that are present, and amass within the colon wall, according to experts.

Body detox and colon cleansing can bring many health advantages. The main benefits are aiding you to shed weight, an increase in your body's energy and the purifying of your whole digestive system. Still, it also breaks up fecal waste accumulated in the colon, reduces bloating, lessens water retention as well as upholding the smooth functioning of your colon, and the rest of your body.

If recognized quickly, colon cancer can be avoided even though it is one of the most familiar forms of cancer in the world. Nevertheless, it is normal for a colon cancer patient not to feel manifestations during the early phases. As soon as the fourth stage is attained the patient will feel severe pain and this is when most symptoms are noticed.

With an average diagnosed age of 64, about 90 percent of cancer of the colon examples are from individuals over 50. Scientific research prove that by age fifty or above, the ratio of individuals who get polyps in the colon is 1 in 4.

Most scientific investigation indicates that an active way of life can decrease the risk of cancer of the colon to about 40 percent. The chance of diabetes and obesity are in addition reduced when reasonable exercise is carried out.

Cancer of the colon as well as many other forms of cancer and disease have been linked with smoking as a contributing factor. When you smoke, you can worsen the risk since the inhaled tobacco can transmit cancer-causing agents to the colon and can increase the size of the cancer polyp.

Foodstuffs that are rich in cholesterol and fat are likely to raise the risk of colon cancer. The health hazard is reduced if foodstuffs like vegetables, fruit, whole grains, nuts and legumes, which contain natural roughage are consumed.