Weak Hamstrings: Cause Of Lower Back Pain

Tight, inflexible hamstrings get a lot of attention as a cause of lower back pain, but weak hamstrings may also be the source. The hamstring is actually a set of three muscles that run from the pelvis to the knee in the back of the thigh. These muscles are used to facilitate the bending of the knee behind the midline of the body while the hip is extended, such as when running or walking. The group also helps to keep the knee aligned.

Tight quadriceps and weak hamstrings are a common muscle imbalance. We tend to use our quads more in everyday life, and many popular exercises at the gym emphasize the isolated development of quads. There are two main ways in which weak hamstrings can cause back pain.

1. Biomechanical

Hamstrings work with the quadriceps to stabilize movements of the knee and pelvis. This requires that the muscles are equal in strength, length and flexibility. If the hamstrings are weaker than the quadriceps, then the pulley system formed by the muscles is disrupted. The tighter, shorter quadriceps will pull downward on the pelvis in front and upward on the knee, since the hamstrings are too weak to exert a counterbalancing pull.

When the pelvis is pulled down in front, the lower back arches inward. This is called hyper-extension of the lumbar spine. Tight hip flexors and erector spinae muscles in the lower back often accompany weak hamstrings because of this postural change. As vertebral angles change in the spine, there is an increase of pressure placed on the back side of spinal discs, which can lead to premature disc wear, bulging or herniation. These disc changes can cause sciatica.

2. Fatigue

Weak hamstrings can quickly turn into tight hamstrings. Weak muscles tire quickly due to their lack of strength, and tired muscles go into contraction to protect themselves from further use. This forcible tightening of the muscle sets up a ripe situation for strain; the quadriceps fire into action before the hamstring has recovered and lengthened. A pulled, strained or torn hamstring can result.

When the hamstring is injured, the body will naturally compensate for it by employing other nearby muscles to do the work the hamstrings normally do. Lower back muscles may be called into action when the leg is moved, though this action is beyond its scope of natural duties. The muscles in the back and hips that compensate for hamstrings can become sore and strained.

Signs Of Hamstring Weakness

There are a few symptoms that point to hamstrings as the cause of back pain. If your hamstrings are weaker than your quadriceps, you may notice that your bottom sticks out and that you have an exaggerated lumbar arch.

If you have localized pain in the hamstring and pain in the lower back, then a strained hamstring is indicated.

Another sign of a quadricep/hamstring imbalance is clicking or cracking of the knee when it is bent or straightened.

Prevention and Treatment

Hamstring weakness and injury can be prevented by pursuing an exercise regimen that includes both strengthening and stretching of the muscle group, balanced with strengthening and stretching of the quadriceps. See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QGTcgPVexrI for a number of hamstring exercises. See 4 hamstring stretches at http://physicaltherapy.about.com/od/flexibilityexercises/a/hamstingstretch.htm.

Treating a well-established muscle imbalances requires a combination of myofascial release and targeted exercise. If your quads have been chronically tight, they will need to be forced to relax and re-lengthen. Foam rolling at home or myofascial release performed by a practitioner can accomplish this. Once the quadriceps have regained elasticity, the hamstrings can be developed.

A pulled hamstring can usually be resolved with a brief period of rest and ice. The above steps will need to be taken in addition to rest and ice to prevent re-injury if a muscle imbalance is responsible for the strain.

It is important to understand that weak hamstrings may be at the source of back pain and hamstring strain. Keeping your body in balance will help to resolve lower back pain.

Get Rid of Bruises

Bruises are very common, and if you are human, you've suffered a bruise in your life. Getting rid of bruises is very easy. When I was a kid I would get bruises on my legs and arms all the time but I did not care about it, I was a kid and did not care about anything. When I got older and got a bruise I needed to apply some treatment on it cause they look bad. When I first know a bruise is coming I make sure the area is clean, ice it down with a bag of ice, and drink juices during the day. I rub the bruise softly and it helps it so it does not look as bad as it could. I use a ice pack first then a heat pack after that.

Remember a bruise will look much worse before it looks better, once its that dark purple or black then it typically will start to look better shortly after. Another effective method is using a bruise remover liniment. This method has been successful in many cases so it may be worth giving a try. If you want to think outside of the box you can try using banana peel and rub this on the bruise.

Bruises are very ugly looking but will go away if you treat them quickly, the faster you treat a bruise the faster it will go away. To get rid of bruises do not sweat it because they are nothing to worry about.

Heart Disease and Aerobic Exercise

Aerobic Exercise and Heart Disease

It is without question that heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S. and Canada. Even with this being so common, people still are not sure what heart disease actually is. And so do I.

What is Heart Disease?

Quickly said, heart disease is a topic that describes a large number of diseases that affect the heart. Coronary heart disease (or heart attacks), cardiovascular disease, and hypertensive heart disease are just a few of them.

It is also without question that doing various aerobic exercises can lower the incidents of heart disease. However, there are still many people who are unfamiliar with aerobic exercise.

What is Aerobic Exercise?

Simply stated, aerobic exercise is a physical activity that keeps muscles active and the heart beating faster. Examples include a quick walk or jog.

This differs from an anaerobic exercise, which concerns burst uses of energy. Sprinting is a great example of anaerobic exercise. A ton of energy is used up over a very short space of time.

How do aerobic exercises help reduce heart disease?

That s a very good question. Aerobic exercises battle heart disease by reducing some chemicals the body makes that finally result in a type of heart disease. Aerobic exercises also keep your muscles big, bones strong, improve reception of oxygen, and even release chemicals to enhance the sense of feeling well (endorphins).

All those factors help contribute to a strong, healthful, disease free heart.

What are a few aerobic exercises that I can try?

The variety of exercises a person can do are unlimited. From running, jogging, and strolling to going for a swim, skipping, and skating, the choices are endless.

Getting involved in a challenging sport is a fantastic way to stay in shape. A recreational soccer or hockey team or perhaps basketball or softball leagues, all of which is an aerobic exercise that should help stop heart disease. I personally played soccer on two recreational indoor teams

Overall, the correlation between heart disease and aerobic exercise is easy to see: physical activity and exercise are the main factors when eliminating diseases of the heart. Maybe some people have yet to figure out what any of this means. But rest assured, as times goes by more people will make the time to learn.

For more articles please visit our health and fitness website.

Upper Back Pain Between Shoulder Blades

When it comes to upper back pain between shoulder blades, there is some good news and some bad news. The bad news is that there is a whole host of problems that can cause upper back pain between the shoulder blades.

Fortunately…

The pain is not always the sharp intense pain that is associated with osteoporosis, herniated discs, sciatica, a malformed spinal cord, compressed vertebra, rheumatoid arthritis, or one of the other many degenerative physical problems that can create upper back pain.

These sort of disorders require professional medical treatment – frequently will require surgery – and are beyond the scope of this article…

It’s a scary list of problems that can cause back pain.

But, for severe back pain relief, there is hope…

Though it is often far more annoying than the sharp pains mentioned above, we often experience a dull ache between the shoulder blades. This type of malady is frequently muscular in nature and treatable with some simple exercises.

One main cause of this upper back pain between shoulder blades is poor posture. When you have poor posture, the extra pressure placed on the neck muscles is often the cause of upper back pain.

The first step is to be aware that our backache is caused by poor posture – check with your family physician. Then – of course – it is important that you find the best way to get rid of that pain. One of the best treatments to get rid of inflammatory back pain is to exercise.

Not only will exercising the muscles loosen them up, but you’ll learn to maintain the proper posture that will keep the upper back pain between shoulder blades away.

Here are 5 ideas…

1. One of the best stretches that you can do to loosen the muscles is to sit with your legs extended straight out in front of you.

Bend forward and reach for your toes, if you can, hook your fingers under your feet. If you aren’t able to do that (yet), stretch your arms as far forward as you can. Bending forward helps to loosen the muscles of the lower back, and stretching your arms helps to loosen the muscles of your upper back.

On ALL stretching exercises – do them as a gentle, continuous stretch – don’t bounce! Bouncing can strain or even sprain your muscles. In extreme cases it could cause vertebral injury.

Another excellent stretch is to lie on your back and reach your arms and legs as far in the opposite directions as possible. This therapy will help to loosen and relax the muscles that you have tensed up with poor posture.

One way to prevent and relieve the chronic pain we often get in our neck is to actually strengthen our neck muscles.

Here is a simple way you can exercise your neck to build the muscle strength that will help you avoid the causes of and get upper back pain relief.

2. Push your neck in one direction with your finger, while your neck muscles push your head in the other direction.

3. You can also use your head to hold a ball against the wall as an exercise to work out your neck muscles. You can start simply by holding it, then move on to pushing it against the wall 10 or 20 times, then pushing the ball against the wall continuously for 20 to 30 seconds.

4. Work in some exercises to help strengthen your back and abdominal muscles, especially exercises that focus on the upper back. Exercises that require your arms to pull, use your upper back muscles. Strengthening these muscles is one of the best ways to avoid and get relief from upper back pain between shoulder blades.

5. Correct your posture by practicing standing up straight and holding your head up high. Roll your shoulders back in order to lift them and keep your spine straight. Point your chin forward and lift your head to correct your posture.

Be careful if you are going to work out your neck to reduce upper back pain between shoulder blades. Your neck is delicate and can be sensitive, and you could injure it if you aren’t careful. Start slowly when doing neck exercises, and slowly increase the intensity of your neck workout as time progresses. If you start to feel sore, stop.

Medication…

As soon as we start to feel any pain in our body, many of us immediately go for the nearest pain medication. Medications (such as ibuprofen) can help with the immediate inflammation… but this can be a big mistake. Medication only treats the symptoms, not the root causes of the problem and you will find only temporary pain relief. As soon as the medication wears off, the chronic back pain comes back.

True, it’s more work and a bit of a hassle, but taking the time to exercise and strengthen your back and neck muscles will have long term benefits and is well worth the effort.

Check to be sure you don’t have any sort of vertebrae herniation or disease and you’ll often find that a simple massage will do the trick! Or possibly a visit or two to get an acupuncture treatment.

The point is, not all back problems are the result of stenosis or osteopathic in nature or require back surgery. Often, to get rid of upper back pain between the shoulder blades, the top therapy may be a daily 10 minute exercise session.

Pedicure Infections Can be Deadly!

A pedicure infection can become a very serious thing and any unusual symptom noticed immediately after a pedicure should not be taken lightly. In recent years many people have had amputations and even died as a result of infections contracted while receiving pedicures. Yes, it’s that serious!

Although pedicures can be very beneficial to your feet, contracting an infection while getting one can be very detrimental to your health. If the pedicure tools used are not properly disinfected, most notably vessels used to soak the feet, bacteria can be allowed to build to dangerously high levels.

The bad part is that any break in the skin can help harmful bacteria get into your bloodstream. It could be a scrape from scratching a bump too hard, a nick from shaving or even an insect bite. All of these can lead to a pedicure infection by allowing germs to enter your body.

It is very possible also, to contract bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics. The usual kind of bacterium associated with pedicures that is resistant to antibiotics is MSRA or Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. This strain of staph bacterium is resistant to all of the penicillins and as a result is extremely difficult to treat.

If this strain is contracted, the infected area may have to be amputated in order to save the rest of the body from an untreatable infection. If left to progress and spread too long, it will most likely lead to death.

Symptoms of pedicure infection include, small red bumps (resembling spider bites), (deep) pus filled boils, rashes and usually fever. If you notice any of these symptoms after getting a pedicure, please see your doctor immediately!

It is so important that when receiving a pedicure that all equipment and implements used are properly disinfected, especially foot soak vessels that circulate water. Units that circulate water usually have crevices for bacteria to hide and build up.

If someone else is performing the pedicure don’t be afraid to ask them what they used to disinfect the equipment. Also don’t be afraid to ask them to disinfect everything in the front of you and show you the cleaning agents they are using to disinfect. If you’re not sure if a pedicure tub or other pedicure tools have been properly cleaned and disinfected – don’t use them or let them be used on you!

The best way to disinfect pedicure equipment, is by using an EPA registered fungicide bactericide and viricide. Look for this designation on the label of cleaning agents used to disinfect equipment used on you. Also, if you have any nicks or scrapes on your legs or feet, its best to wait at least 24 hours before getting a pedicure that involves soaking the feet. And remember to always use the proper methods of how to do a pedicure .

Following this advice could literally save life and limb!

A Key to Good Health – Probiotics

A common theme throughout my practice of Biological Dentistry is the importance of establishing and maintaining a healthy body balance. This simply means encouraging a lifestyle that continues to support rather than undermine the basic needs of our bodies.

Probiotics, which can be found in conventional foods and dietary supplements, are “friendly bacteria” that are key components to this balancing act. They are vital in providing the proper development of the immune system, to protect against agents that could cause disease, and the digestion and absorption of food and nutrients.

The World Health Organization, calls probiotics “live microorganisms, which, when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit to the host.” There are many beneficial bacteria that can be contained in a good probiotic, but two are preeminent.

L. acidophilus resides primarily in the small intestine. It produces a number of powerful antimicrobial compounds that can inhibit the growth and toxin producing capabilities of 23 known disease-causing pathogens (including sampylobacter, listeria, and staphylococci).

Bifidobacteria is mainly found in the large intestines. It provides the body with protection against chronic degenerative diseases. It also consumes old fecal matter and has the ability to protect against the formation of liver, colon, and mammary gland tumors.

A good probiotic formulation will usually contain fructooligosaccharides (FOS) which help promote the growth of beneficial bacteria. For some friendly bacteria, such as the Bifidus, FOS can increase their effectiveness a factor of 1,000 times or more.

Normally, for general purposes the suggested usage for probiotics is one capsule daily with a meal or as directed by your physician.

Although each person’s balance of bacteria varies, the interaction between a person and the microorganisms in their body can be crucial to the person’s health and well-being.

This bacterial balance can be thrown off in two major ways:

By antibiotics. The problem is that antibiotics indiscriminately destroy both good and bad bacteria. By destroying good bacteria, they allow virulent, mutant strains of harmful microorganisms to emerge and run rampant inside the body.

Antibiotics are the #1 culprit in the overgrowth of harmful pathogens in the gastrointestinal tract (a condition called dysbiosis). Some people use probiotics to try to offset side effects from antibiotics like gas, cramping, or diarrhea.

By “unfriendly” microorganisms. Unfriendly microorganisms such as disease-causing bacteria, yeasts, fungi, and parasites can upset your body balance. Many researchers now believe that declining levels of friendly bacteria in the intestinal tract may actually mark the onset of chronic, degenerative disease and a suppressed immune system.

Menstruation Disorders – Dysmenorrhea – Causes of Damp Heat in TCM Perspective

Girls in South East Asia have learnt in their early women life from grand mother wisdom, that they do not engage in any activity that distorts their regular period. Menstruation disorder should be treated immediately, otherwise, it may cause wide range of women diseases, such as infertility, according to traditional Chinese medicine.

If our lung is affected by environment pollution, it may cause the spleen to lose the function in transforming and transporting fluids, leading to dampness accumulation and excessive yang deficiency can lead to damp heat.

1. Causes of Damp Heat in TCM Perspective
Damp heat is defined as a condition of extreme yin deficiency or yin vacuity, leading to scanty qi or qi vacuity.
CE1 Infection or inflammation
Infection or inflammation increases the body temperature, together with yang deficiency, it may cause damp heat accumulated in the abdomen region, leading to abdomen discomfort and cramps and pains.

2. Allergic reaction and Spleen deficiency
It may also be caused by abnormal function of immune system in attacking certain unharmful substance entering our body, thus raising the body temperature, leading damp heat. The affects of Spleen qi deficiency due abnormal function of Spleen in qi transportation and transformation can also cause inability of lung's function in countered reacting to the kidney function in moving the fluid upward, leading to dampness accumulated in the admen, causing dull menstrual cramps and cramp and back pain.

3. Raw food diet and cold drink
Raw food diet and cold drink is considered as yin pathogen. Prolonged period intake of these types of food of time may cause extreme yang deficiency, leading to yin vacuity, resulting in damp heat.

4. The typical American diet
Typical American diet is extreme yang in nature, it is completely opposite to raw food diet but they both have the same effect to cause yin vacuity and damp heat accumulation.

5. Kidney deficiency
a) Kidney yang deficiency
Under extreme condition causes yang vacuity, as a result of the inability of kidney in fluid regulation that causes excess fluids accumulation in the abdomen, leading to infection or inflammation, resulting in damp heat.
b Kidney) yin deficiency
If there is a condition of kidney yin deficiency, it causes dryness and heat that in the lung and stomach, leading to fire effulgence, resulting in yin vacuity or extreme heat that distort the kidney function in movement of fluids, give rising to damp heat.

Prostate Problems – The Adenoma of the Prostate

Adenoma of the prostate (benign prostatic hyperplasia, BPH) – is one of the most common urological disease in adult men.

According to recent statistics, almost half of men aged 40 have some form of changes in the prostate, which are connected with the increase (called hyperplasia). It is believed that after 80 years of prostate adenoma is found in every man.

The appearance of prostate adenoma associated with hormonal disorders in the organism of man, which occur in virtually all men over 40 – 45 years (the so-called male menopause, or andropause). But until now, many of the basic mechanisms of prostatic adenoma remains unclear, and this, in turn, does not allow scientists to develop effective prevention of this disease.

The prostate plays an important role in a man. It was her secret is responsible for sperm motility in semen, as well as its composition. Prostate – a body resembling the fruit of the chestnut. It is located directly at the bladder neck and its thickness covers the urethra.

The prostate is an organ which consists of two types of tissues: glandular and smooth muscle. This glandular tissue is the major component of it. When prostate adenoma is the expansion of the muscle tissue of the prostate, resulting in compression of the urethra passing through it. This is manifested in the initial stages of difficulty of urination, the patient must make an effort, the jet of urine at the same time rather weak. Over time, urethra can completely shut down, which results in urinary retention.

Adenoma of the prostate is fraught with its complications, among which can be noted such as:

* Hydronephrosis kidneys, caused by violation of the outflow of urine from the bladder.
* Infectious processes in the kidney – pyelonephritis caused by vesicoureteral reflux.
* Chronic renal failure, which is the cause of hydronephrosis or pyelonephritis.

Unfortunately, to date, despite the emergence of new methods of diagnosis and treatment of prostate adenoma, the disease is often diagnosed at later stages, which lead to the development of typical complications of prostate adenoma. The reason for this, mainly, is that most men do not usually attach importance to this disease. They regard the symptoms of prostatic adenoma as a normal state, due to age and does not require any treatment.

But at the same time, timely diagnosis and treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia can avoid serious complications and significantly improve the quality of life of men.

It should be noted immediately that the term "prostate adenoma" not correctly reflect the main changes that occur in the gland. Adenoma – a benign tumor of glandular tissue. In BPH, we are dealing with a disease not of glandular tissue and muscle. Therefore, evidence that the prostate adenoma develop into prostate cancer, no.

Diagnosis of prostate adenoma today was quite simple with the advent of such a method, like ultrasound. Even normal ultrasound of the prostate, not to mention more than its modified forms, such as transrectal ultrasound, can confirm the enlargement of the prostate.

Before the advent of ultrasound, the main method of diagnosis of diseases of the prostate was digital rectal examination. At present, it also remains an essential diagnostic method, especially in cases where other methods simply do not.

In the diagnosis of prostate adenoma also plays a role, and blood, and this method of study as a blood test for PSA (prostate specific antigen). This analysis allows us to distinguish prostate cancer from its benign hyperplasia.

Treatment of prostate adenoma is composed of two methods:

* Conservative
* Operations.

Unfortunately, conservative treatment, which consists of medication, many of which are of plant origin, can not be cured of adenoma. High on drugs that are capable of – it's a bit to reduce swelling of the prostate and stop (or slow) growth. Reverse "resorption" adenoma with tablets so far still can be done.

Among the surgical methods of treatment of adenoma can be divided into two main groups: an open transvezikalnaya adenomectomy and various endoscopic surgery – TUR (transurethral resection) and others (balloon dilatation, stents, hyperthermia, etc.).

Uterine Fibroids and Bloating

If you are already aware that you have fibroids, you may well be worried about some of your symptoms or simply wondering if there are any simple steps you can take to eliminate them. If you have an enlarged abdomen, then it is likely that that your fibroids are responsible as uterine fibroids and bloating do go hand in hand!

Larger fibroid tumors become more noticeable as your body changes to accommodate them. For some women, this might be swelling like you experience during your monthly menstrual period. For others, this might be like a pregnancy and could vary from a small “3 month bump” to something resembling a 7 month pregnancy depending on the size and location of your fibroids. This type of fibroid bloating can give you a sense of fullness and discomfort in the abdomen as the fibroid grows and takes up room which should be occupied by your internal organs. Although not usually dangerous, this swelling can be very uncomfortable and can begin to affect the quality of your life.

There are a couple of steps you can take to combat uterine fibroids and bloating. First of all, try resting with your legs lifted for a few minutes during the day. Also, try to ensure that your diet does not encourage stomach gas as whilst the two are not connected, if you are already bloated due to fibroids, you need to minimize the impact of other issues.

The best step you can possibly take is to look at how you can begin to shrink your fibroids naturally. The problem with uterine fibroids and bloating is that this is not a problem which will go away on its own. Most women will find that unless they take proactive steps, their fibroids will increase over time, causing the problem to worsen.

Handling Cancer in American Bulldog

Cancer in Your Pet?

For you, it may be unthinkable, but reality says that your pet, just like any other, can be a victim of canine cancer. Animals can get different forms of cancer, just like humans. These various forms of dog cancer range in their effects and gravity. They also differ based on the type of response that is expected from you, as a dog owner. Some forms of canine cancer are still curable, and thus, you would need to take your dog on a race to overcome the dreaded disease. There are, however, cancer forms that are beyond cure.  

The First Step is Diagnosis

Before actions can be undertaken towards the recovery and well-being of the affected animal, first, the type, level, and location of the cancer in the dog need to be determined. These are determined during diagnosis. Since there are several types and several possible locations, there are also several ways to diagnose a cancer. Diagnosis involves a biopsy of the malignant tumor, and a test to determine the metastatic sites, which refers to the areas that are also affected by the cancer. Diagnosis can also be done through ultrasound and radiographic studies. Your dog’s entire medical state can also affect the type of treatment that will be appropriate for its case.  

Different Cancer Forms in Dogs

There are several possible cancers in dogs. These are hemangiosarcomas, histiocytoma, osteosarcoma, and the most common forms, lymphona, mammary cancers, mast cell tumors, and testicular tumors. Lymphona is a form of canine cancer that occurs in a dog’s lymph nodes. This form of cancer has high chances of resulting to death, especially in older dogs. Also, lymphona cannot be easily treated, but can be maintained and controlled so that your dog’s life is consdierably lengthened. Mammary tumors are also very common. These are caused by tumors in female dogs, and are common among unspayed dogs. Mast cell tumors, on the other hand, are skin tumors. This form of cancer in dogs can be easily treated by the removal of the malignant tumors. However, some mast cell tumors can severely affect a dog, and can also cause death.   

Canine Cancer Treatments

Canine cancer treatments can also come in several forms. A dog with cancer may need to undergo surgery to remove the malignant cells. Some dogs may just be required to undergo chemotherapy, a medication-based treatment. Chemotherapy is mostly recommended for dogs whose cancer condition has spread to other parts of the body. The effects of chemotherapy may vary based on the specific form of cancer that affects the dog. Some cancer forms can be cured by chemotherapy, while some may not respond to the treatment at all. Other forms of therapy to treat canine cancer are also available, such as radiation therapy. There can also be a combination of various therapies and medications. And just as treatment alternatives vary, so do the side effects. Some dogs may suffer from negative side effects, while some may even reap benefits from their treatment, aside from the curing of the canine cancer. Finally, to treat cancer in dogs, an early diagnosis can make a big difference. It is recommended that dogs should be taken to regular vet visits to ensure its proper health and nutrition, and to detect irregularities.

How to Naturally Shrink Fibroids

If given a choice, most women would prefer to know how to naturally shrink fibroids rather than undergoing costly and often painful surgery, which is rarely a permanent cure. Unfortunately, the truth is that unless you remove the root causes of fibroids, they will regrow following conventional treatment.

Fibroids are not usually dangerous or life threatening and this can be both a benefit and, to some extent a drawback. It puts women in the unique position of being able to take their time to consider what to do, but some believe that it also means that fibroids are not taken seriously be the medical profession, who often advocate a “wait and see” approach as fibroids will shrink during the menopause.

Alternative practitioners who can teach women how to naturally shrink fibroids are few and far between and those who are available for consultation tend to be in great demand and consequently charge high fees. This often means that information is sparse and women often find that the information around on the internet is based on anecdotal accounts.

Personally, I had had terrible fibroid symptoms for some time. I had one very large and a few smaller fibroids. I had been given the option of a hysterectomy as my doctor felt there was no alternative but this was the last thing I wanted. I eventually came across some information written by a qualified alternative practitioner who specialized in teaching women how to naturally shrink fibroids.

After a great deal of thought, I gave the system a try. I went into it with my eyes open, with the full knowledge that I would have to do some work myself in terms of making lifestyle and dietary changes. I could not face a hysterectomy, as I was only in my mid thirties yet I could not face these symptoms for the next 10 or 15 years!

At first I found the information overwhelming, yet it all made sense. It did demand commitment and dedication and I’d be lying if I didn’t say that at times I wondered if it was all worth it. However, it wasn’t long before I found out!

Within a month, there was a noticeable reduction in my pain and bleeding and it took another 6 weeks before I could really tell that my abdomen had shrunk. If you decide to learn how to naturally shrink fibroids, then don’t expect a “quick fix”!

The treatment I used is very much “multifaceted” and based around the fact that fibroids form due to the subtle interaction of a number of factors, rather than there being just one cause. Having said this, much fibroid growth is intrinsically linked to estrogen, so one of the starting points is to reduce estrogen levels.

Estrogen is both stored in, and manufactured by fat cells and so reducing the size and number of fat cells is logical. I needed to lose a few pounds, so this aspect of my treatment made me feel pretty good about myself! I embarked on a low-fat diet which was based around organic produce and avoided eating animal fats and red meat. I also drank at least 2 liters of filtered water each day. I upped my exercise level not only to help with weight loss, but one of the treatments is to improve circulation around the abdomen to avoid congestion ( a factor in fibroids). One exercise I enjoyed was rebounding on a mini trampoline-apparently a good way to relieve congestion!

Another treatment I underwent to reduce estrogen was to undergo several liver detoxes over a period of a couple of months. This was because women with fibroids are often found to have estrogen mimicking substances “locked” in the liver which cannot be excreted. These often come from pesticides and environmental toxins.

Thrush – Common Symptoms and Cure

Thrush is a mouth infection that is caused by Candida fungus. It is also known as oral yeast infection.

Thrush can infect all, irrespective of age and sex. It occurs generally in infants and people with weak immune systems. Candida is normally present in human body in the digestive tract, genitalia, mouth, and skin. The good bacteria in the body usually keep these in check. However, use of birth control pills, antibiotics and certain other medications can kill the good bacteria and lead to over growth of Candida, leading to thrush.

Symptoms of Thrush

Thrush may develop without any warning. However, some of the most common symptoms include:

· White and creamy lesions in tongue and mouth and inside the cheeks, which look like cottage cheese.

· The scars may bleed occasionally

· It may cause fever if the infection has crossed esophagus

· Chocked feeling in the throat and the chest.

· Difficulty in swallowing food.

Diagnosis of Thrush

The dentist would examine the mouth for detecting presence of thrush infection, and would look out for lesions in the mouth, tongue and cheeks.

Treatment of Thrush

Once the infection is confirmed, it is easy to treat thrush in kids and otherwise healthy individuals. However, it can lead to complications for people suffering from other diseases such as HIV and cancer as their immune system is weak.

Doctors would generally prescribe anti fungal drugs to be taken orally for 10-15 days.

Home Remedies for Thrush

Apart from medication, you can also try some home remedies to get rid of thrush infection as follows:

· Fill your mouth with plain yogurt for about 1 minute, then rinse the mouth thoroughly.

· Apply unrefined coconut oil in the mouth over the lesions. You can also use tea tree oil.

· Clove oil has antifungal properties and is considered effective in curing thrush. Clove oil is pungent in taste and therefore it should not be used to cure thrush in babies.

· Take one tea spoon of apple cider vinegar and mix it with one cup of water. Gargle with this water two to three times a day.

In addition, you should take preventive steps to avoid Thrush infection:

· Maintain a good oral hygiene. Brush at least twice a day and use floss at least once.

· Gargle with water after each meal.

· Avoid using mouth wash and mouth spray as they hamper the natural balance and allow the fungus to thrive.

· If you are wearing dentures, see to it that it fixes securely in mouth. Ill fitted dentures are the most common cause of Thrush in elderly.

· Quit smoking if you are doing so.

· Maintain a well balanced and regular lifestyle.

· Avoid refined and processed food such as white bread, refined sugar etc

· Drink ample water to keep your body hydrated.

Thrush can be cured. However, it is advisable to take preventive steps to avoid it in the first place.

Bronchitis And Pneumonia – Various Differences Explained

It is very difficult to understand the differences between bronchitis and pneumonia. Both are diseases of the lower respiratory system and have an equally adverse effect on pulmonary air passages. Proper knowledge about the difference between pneumonia and bronchitis facilitates correct diagnosis, a factor that is of utmost importance in the effective management and treatment of respiratory disorders.

What is Pneumonia?

Pneumonia is a severe infection of the lungs in which pus and other fluids fill the alveoli and prevent the free flow of air into the lungs. Due to this, the body does not get sufficient oxygen, and the cells are unable to function normally. Headache, excessive sweating, fatigue, and lack of appetite are some of the symptoms of pneumonia. The condition, if not treated with care, can cause death.

Several factors are responsible for pneumonia; however, the major causes of this condition are bacteria.

– Streptococcus pneumoniae causes community-acquired pneumonia in around 20-60 percent adults and 13-30 percent children.
– Group A or streptococcus pyogenes is also responsible for pneumonia.
– Staphylococcus aureus causes pneumonia in about 10-15 percent of hospitalized people. A fragile immune system and pre-existing viral influenza go hand in hand with this variety of pneumonia.
– Gram negative bacteria causes certain cases of community-acquired pneumonia. It also attacks people suffering from chronic lung disorders and children suffering from cystic fibrosis.

Certain viruses such as SARS (severe acute respiratory distress syndrome) virus, adenoviruses, herpesviruses, influenza viruses, RSV (respiratory syncytial virus), and HPV (human parainfluenza virus) also cause pneumonia.

Types of Pneumonia

There are different types of pneumonia.

Atypical Pneumonia: Bacteria are responsible for these types of pnuemonia, including walking pneumonia. A person suffering from this variety could have a dry cough. It is a mild variety, and the patient need not be admitted to the hospital.

Aspiration Pneumonia: In this condition, bacteria are present in the oral cavity. If the bacteria remain in the oral cavity, they are harmless. However, if they penetrate the lungs, perhaps due to a weakening of the gag reflex, they could cause pneumonia.

Opportunistic pneumonia: As long as your immune system is in good condition, you don’t have to worry about contracting this disease. However, people with weak immune systems should take special care not to get infected.

Regional and occupational pneumonia: For example, exposure to chemicals or cattle can cause this condition.

What is Bronchitis?

Bronchitis is a disorder characterized by inflammation of the bronchi or air passages that transport air from the trachea to the lungs. Inflammation of the bronchi leads to the accumulation of mucus, which causes the blocking of the bronchial cells. The body then takes refuge in the cough mechanism to get rid of the accumulated mucus. Unfortunately, cough, while it gets rid of excess mucus, also makes the air passages more susceptible to infection. Moreover, if the infection continues, the tissues of the bronchi might get damaged.

Types of bronchitis

Basically, there are two types of bronchitis–acute and chronic bronchitis.

Acute bronchitis is a short-term condition accompanied by a bad flu or a cold. It can keep you in a miserable condition for around two weeks. In certain cases, viral bronchitis can last for 8-12 weeks.

Chronic bronchitis is a long-term condition that can last anywhere from three weeks to two years. It always comes with a danger of relapse. In severe cases of chronic bronchitis, the bronchi get dilated, and this makes the patient more vulnerable to all types of infection. Due to its life-threatening nature, it should be taken seriously, and proper medical care should be taken to keep it in check.

Causes and Treatment of Bronchitis

Around ninety percent of the people contract acute bronchitis due to viral infection. Many cases are also caused due to bacterial infection. If you contract acute bronchitis many times, you might contract chronic bronchitis sooner or later. Infection need not always be the cause for acute bronchitis. If you live in a dirty, polluted area or if you a heavy smoker, you stand a greater risk of contracting chronic bronchitis.

If the condition is due to viral infection, polluted conditions, or heavy smoking, it is of no use taking antibiotics because they can do nothing to eliminate irritants or viruses. Antibiotics are useful only in case of bacterial infection.

It is possible to draw up any number of treatment plans for acute bronchitis. Follow your doctor’s advice, avoid irritants, and adopt healthy patterns of lifestyle.

Hepatitis – Ayurvedic Herbal Treatment

Hepatitis is inflammation of the liver resulting in damage and destruction of the liver cells. Hepatitis can be either acute or chronic. Acute hepatitis is usually caused by viral infection, drug overdose or reaction, and exposure to chemicals. Hepatitis which persists longer than six months is termed as chronic hepatitis.

Acute hepatitis usually results in jaundice, which is a yellowish pigmentation of the eyes, urine, and later, the nails and skin. This is called as "Kamla" in Ayurveda, and is divided into two types: "Bahupitta Kamla" and "Ruddhapath Kamla". The first type is caused by excessive breakdown of the red blood cells (eg malaria), whereas the second type is caused by obstruction of bile flow due to swelling in the liver cells or due to some actual obstruction in the bile duct. The main apparent difference in the two is that feces (stools) are normal colored in the first type, and pale or whitish in the second type. Treatment for both types of "Kamla" is radically different.

Ayurvedic medicines are very effective in both acute and chronic hepatitis. Ayurvedic formulations which are well known for the treatment of liver disorders are: Arogya Vardhini, Kumaryasava, Rohitakarishta, Praval Panchamrut, Kamdudha, Chandanadi Vati, Chandrakala Rasa, Shankh Bhasma and Sutshekhar Rasa. Herbal medicines useful in hepatitis are: Kutki (Picrorrhiza kurroa), Trikatu (Three pungent herbs), Punarnava (Boerhaavia diffusa), Kalmegh (Andrographis paniculata), Bhrungraj (Eclipta alba), Bhumiamalaki (Phyllanthus niruri), Yashtimadhuk (Glycerrhiza glabra), Guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia), Daruharidra (Berberis aristata), Triphala (Three fruits), Kakmachi (Solanum nigrum) and Sharpunkha (Tephrosia purpurea).

Most of these medicines act directly on the liver cells, reduce inflammation and swelling, and normalize cell function. Some of these medicines have strong anti-viral activity. Some medicines boost the immune mechanism of the body. These medicines help in bile secretion and improve appetite. Because of these properties, the above mentioned medicines are effective in all types of hepatitis. These medicines can also be given to reduce or eliminate the toxic effects of essential drugs like anti-tuberculosis and anti-cancer drugs.

For chronic hepatitis, in addition to the above mentioned medicines, some special formulations are used such as Suvarna Sutshekhar Rasa, Suvarna Malini Vasant and Tamra Bhasma. Fermented herbal formulations called "Asavas" and "Arishtas" are used.

Symptoms of Liver Disease – A Not So Silent Killer

Liver disease in the United States is an important cause of mortality and morbidity from coast-to-coast, with disease symptoms affecting many people across the entire age spectrum, but most usually those affected are people in the most productive years of their life between the ages of 35 and 60 years old. To the surprise of many, a significant cause of death in people with type 2 diabetes is as a result of liver disease. The term liver disease is a term describing a variety of conditions and infections that dramatically affected tissues, structures, cells, and functions of the liver.

Liver disease – Hepatitis B or C?

Another common cause of cirrhosis of the liver is hepatitis, which is caused by infection with either the C virus or the B virus. The C variety is the most common reason in the United States for the decline of the liver. On the other hand, Hepatitis B could be completely eliminated if only everyone were vaccinated against it.

Situations suggesting liver testing

Cirrhosis of the liver resulting from the abuse of alcohol is one of the top 10 causes in the United States of death each year. Actual failure of the liver is a life-threatening condition and always requires urgent medical care. It disproportionately affects minority individuals and those that are economically disadvantaged. It is a slow and gradually increasing disease which takes years to develop and most frequently without any obvious symptoms.

Symptoms suggesting the need for liver testing

The symptoms of impending liver deterioration cross over into other medical problems as well making early and precise laboratory tests and narrative. The symptoms will likely include nausea, loss of appetite, abdominal pain and tenderness, vomiting, fever and jaundice. Further complicating the issue is that symptoms of cirrhosis are quite often almost identical to those of alcohol hepatitis.

Liver disease is always difficult to diagnose and more and more difficult to treat depending on how long the liver has been in decline. Liver disease is categorized not only by the effect that it has on the liver but also by virtue of the cause. The reality of liver disease is rising quickly and affecting nearly 10% of all Americans.