How to Treat Throat Thrush

While there is much literature out there about vaginal thrush, there is not much about other kinds of thrush. Throat thrush is one such type and is a form of thrush which occurs in the throat.

The symptoms of this disease are:
an uncomfortable burning sensation in the throat
white spots which you may be able to observe by looking into a mirror

However, because of the positioning it can be difficult to determine what might be causing this sensation. If you happen to scrape the small white spots you will find that they may bleed or weep, which can make it diificial to eat certain hard foods which may cause a scratching sensation.

The candida fungus is nothing to be ashamed of, in fact half the population harbor the fungus in their body, it is during an imbalance in their body, which may be due to stress, sickness or illness, that the fungus becomes overgrown and the problems can remark.

There are very effective treatments on the market to combat this uncomfortable condition. Homeopathic remedies have been proven to be far more effective than over the counter solutions which simply mask the symptoms of thrush.

One of the most recent developments has been the extensive testing of Yeastrol, an oral spray which combats the disease. This spray has been found to be far more effective than over the counter treatments as it actually works with your body to reduce the symptoms and prevent further outbreaks rather than just masking the symptoms.

World Hepatitis Day – A Warm Welcome

Over five million Americans are estimated to be living with chronic viral hepatitis. Up to 1.4 million have hepatitis B and over 3 million are infected with hepatitis C. With the observation of May as Hepatitis Awareness Month, I'm reminded of my own screening experience six months ago.

I walked past the tabletop plastic Christmas tree with blinking white lights and sporadic tinsel. Winter decorations always seemed a little out of place to me in sunny southern California. I waited a few minutes at the lobby desk, and eventually I was directed to a woman who spoke English. I asked her where the screening event was.

"It is testing for hepatitis B."

"Yes, I know. Is it here?"

"You want testing for hepatitis B?"

"Yes. Is this the Herald Community Center?"

She nodded, and with a sigh of resignation, explained that I needed to go out and in the next building. "Hepatitis B!" she called after me, in a last ditch attempt to explain the situation.

I work on the Los Angeles Hepatitis Intervention Project (LA HIP), a project of the Asian Pacific Liver Center (APLC) of St. Louis. Vincent Medical Center, so actually, I did not need an explanation. I was in San Gabriel, CA, a predominately Chinese suburb of Los Angeles, attending one of the APLC's free screening events. I think the woman thought that I did not need to be screened, since I'm not Asian. The hepatitis B virus (HBV) disproportionately affects Asians and Pacific Islanders (API) in the US – approximately one in ten has HBV and does not know it. It is a particularly big problem in immigrant populations since many countries do not test for hepatitis B or vaccinate against it. Mothers with chronic HBV unknowingly pass the infection on to their babies which immune systems are not strong enough to fight it off. The disease often shows no symptoms until middle age when sever liver damage has already set in. If used early, the infection can be controlled with medication, and those who test negative can be vaccinated to prevent contracting it in the future. The APLC's senior nurse practitioner, Mimi Chang, MSN, NP, recommends that all Asians and Pacific Islanders who have not built up antibodies to hepatitis B, either through vaccination or previous exposure to the disease, be immunized.

Asians and Pacific Islanders are not the only ethnic groups affected; any immigrant or child of immigrants from a country with a greater than 2% prevalence of HBV should be screened, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). In addition to all of the API countries except Japan, this includes countries from Africa, the Middle East, the former Soviet Union, and Europe, among others. A complete list is included at the end of this article. It is also important to screen and vaccinate infants adopted from any of those countries, even if the adoption organization in the foreign country claims all tests and immunizations are up to date.

The virus is transmitted through blood contact, so household members and sexual partners of those with chronic HBV should be screened and vaccinated, as well as pregnant women, health care workers, sexual men, intravenous drug users, and anyone traveling to a country with a high prevalence of hepatitis B. I did not know about viral hepatitis back in 1992 before I left to work in Russia. Luckily, I did not have a problem, but I wish my doctor had recommended that I get vaccinated. Unfortunately, because family doctors in the US are lacking basic knowledge about the disease, testing and custody are not recommended as often as they should be for those at risk.

I have very little opportunity now to be exposed to HBV, and as a healthy adult, if I were to contract it, I would probably clear the disease on my own, but I wanted to understand the screening process that is part of our project. I went in to the other building and made my way to the registration table. Everyone was speaking Chinese. I grabbed a survey form and asked one woman where the screening was being set up. She did not understand. I asked her if she knew where Mimi or Jason were, two members of the APLC staff. She pointed me to another woman at the end of the table. I asked that woman, and she stared at me silently for a few minutes, shaking her head sideways. "Hepatitis B screening!" she sounded at me. I guess she thought I was in the wrong place too.

A third woman approached the second woman and chatted with her loudly in Chinese. People reached around me from behind to grab survey forms, looking askance at me as they left. The new woman asked me what I wanted, and I asked again about Mimi, Jason, or any of the APLC staff setting up to screen. Her face lighted up. "Yes, yes!" she said excitedly. "You go see lady down there."

I followed the direction of her outstretched arm to a tall blonde woman I had never seen before – the only other white woman in the room. Disheartened, I approached her. It turned out that she was the representative for Gilead, the pharmaceutical company sponsoring the event. While she did not know Mimi or Jason and had never heard of the LA HIP project, she did know that the screening would be upstairs, so I headed that way. I needed a familiar face.

I found Jason and the APLC volunteers setting up to screen. On one table there were a few laptop computers for entering basic registration data and preparing a test tube label for each patient. I had not realized that staff was inputting this info twice – once on site and then again into the new data base LA HIP programmers had designed for them. It was good that I learned this; now our programmers are creating a way for the staff to easily upload this registration excel sheet into the data base directly, eliminating the data entry duplication. Other tables were set up with test tubes, rubber gloves, and disposable needles for drawing blood. The screening room was very organized, with signs in English and Chinese.

After taking some photos for the LA HIP Facebook page, I went back downstairs to sit in on the lecture by Tse-Ling Fong, MD, a liver specialist at the APLC. I was very excited to attend his talk; I had read a lot about hepatitis B and was eager to fill in any gaps in my knowledge. Additionally, I was curious to see what kinds of questions the audience members would have. Dr. Fong approached the front of the room and stood under a bright red slide with a large white "B" – part of Gilead's "B Here" campaign to raise awareness of hepatitis B in the Asian American community. Exception for that massive B shining brightly above Dr. Fong, the rest of the slide was in Chinese. Then he began speaking in Chinese. He spoke in the same voice, with his usual calm, measured tone, and sounded so like himself that I had to strain to be sure that it was not English. No, he was definitely speaking Chinese.

The experience was a little surreal, like watching a ventriloquist dummy. I was sure that he would switch to English in a few minutes. He did not. I turned to the man next to me. "Do you think he is going to do the entire lecture in Chinese?"

"Yes," he answered. I groaned. "Do you need me to translate for you?" he offered. I smoked, happy to finally feel welcome, but declined. The man pointed to the survey form in my hand. "You know this is a test for hepatitis B?" I explained that I worked on a project doing outreach and designing a data base for Dr. Fong's group, so yes , I did know. It felt good to finally give an explanation. I reminded him that Asians were not the only ones infected with hepatitis B, but he did not seem convinced.

I left my seat and moved up closer, crouching in the aisle to take pictures. When I was done with that, I filled out my survey form, and then I listened to Dr. Fong, trying to pick out Chinese phrases to identify. It was useless. The red slide with the white B stayed up the whole time, taunting me. Many of the audience questions appeared to deal with specific results of previous screenings, which I resulted from the lab reports being waved about as each question was posed. There were probably 70 people or so at the lecture, and on a Thursday afternoon at that, so people were definitely interested in the topic. This presentation had been advertised in Chinese language newspapers and was held at a community center in a predominately Chinese area; other screenings were often held at local health fairs or churches in API communities.

When the lecture was over, a man with thick glasses made an announcement in Chinese. My neighbor explained the system – a range of numbers would be called out and when the number on my survey form fell into that range, I could go upstairs for the screening. He told me how to say 37 in Chinese so that I could recognize it when it was called. Right . I think it had seven syllables. Luckily Mimi spotted me and bought me upstairs herself. The staff entered my registration data, made a test tube label for my blood, and asked me to verify the information they had printed out.

As Mimi tied the tourniquet on my arm and felt for my vein with her finger, I looked away, slightly light-headed. "You're not going to fault on me, are you?" Mimi asked loudly. "I've never had anyone fault on me." A number of elderly patients smiled at me and chuckled. My lecture neighbor appeared at the table across from me and roled up his sleeve for the nurse. "You'll be fine, will not you?" I nodded and breathed in deeply, focusing my gaze intentionally away from my arm. I imagined the hubbub that would ensue if I did pass out. "What was she doing here?" they would cluck at each other. "Did not she know this was a hepatitis B screening?"

The blood was drawn without any false spells and I gathered my things to leave. A young man offered me a bottle of water on my way out of the screening room, and then downstairs a pair of women handed out bright pink boxes from a local bakery. A present! A completely wonderful, unexpected present! I walked out into the bright sunlight, dumbfounded. An old Chinese man stand by the door with his box, apparently as surprised as I was. We looked at each other and smoked.

"It is nice, yes?" he pointed towards his box.

"It's great!" I agreed. "I'm starving."

Excited like a little kid, I to turn open the pink box as soon as I reached my car. There was a little custard cup with fruit on top (I ate that right away) and two triangles of a sandwich with the crust cut off. I bit into one and the three layers slid out in succession like a set of stairs. It was white, pink, and gold, the ham all slippery from the mayonnaise and strange, foamy cheese. I ate all of it and loved it. If I'd also had a cup of tea, I think I would have fallen sleep right there, completely content.

Wednesday, May 19, was World Hepatitis Day, and the entire month of May is dedicated to hepatitis awareness. Currently 800,000 to 1.4 million Americans are chronically infected with HBV, a real tragedy since a vaccine does exist. The APLC's Mimi Chang, MSN, NP, explains that the majority of those infected are foreign-born or the children of recent immigrants who just do not know that they are at risk. "Hepatitis B is a silent disease." Patients do not have symptoms until the liver is seriously damaged. " She adds that a bigger problem for the APLC is that many patients who test positive either have no insurance or are underinsured and can not afford the treatment. "Patients who have HIV automatically get Medi-Cal, but there is no system for that with hepatitis B. But the CDC fund for HIV is much bigger than the one for viral hepatitis. " Patients who avoid treatment until they need liver surgery or a transplant create a much heavier financial burden on the health care system than they would have if their condition had been monitored and controlled.

The US health care system needs to welcome all of its citizens, sick or healthy, recent immigrant or fourth generation American. My neighbor's offer to translate, Mimi's joking to relax me, and the pretty boxed lunch went a long way towards making me feel comfortable and, well, wanted . Should not we do at least that for our fellow citizens – particularly when the financial stability of our country and, even more importantly, lives are at stake? Solid policies to spread awareness and distribute timely treatment instill the warm acceptance that all Americans need to feel good about our country again.

Thankfully, my test came back negative for the hepatitis B antigen and negative for antibodies, which means I have no immunity to the disease and should be vaccinated. It is a series of 3 shots, $ 17 each at a reduced rate at the APLC. Next time I'll try to catch the APLC's other liver specialist, Dr. Ho Bae, when he gives a talk in Korean. I have no doubt that it will go as well as the first time.

************

CDC recommends that people born in these countries or born of parents from these countries be tested for hepatitis B.

APPENDIX: LIST OF COUNTRIES WITH 2 2% HBSAG PREVALENCE

Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Angola, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Benin, Bhutan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brunei, Bulgaria, Burkina, Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad , China, Comoros, Congo, Croatia, Cyprus, Czechoslovakia (including Czech Republic and Slovakia), Democratic Republic of Congo (Zaire), Djibouti, East Timor, Ecuador, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Europa Island, Gabon , Gambia, Ghana, Glorioso Islands, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ivory Coast, Jamaica, Japan, Juan de Nova Island, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Korea , Kuwait, Laos, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Lithuania, Macedonia, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mayotte, Moldova, Montenegro, Rus, Reunion, Qatar, Rus, Reunion, Denmark, Oman, sia, Rwanda, Sao Tome & Principe, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovenia, Somalia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, St.. Sudan, Yugoslavia, Tanzania, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Arab Emirates, United Arab Emirates, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, Uzbekistan, Zimbabwe.

excerpted from:
Journal of Viral Hepatitis , Vol. 17, p. Info can also be found on CDC website, MMWR Report for Sept. 19, 2008, figure 3 and table 3.

The Three Types of Alcohol Liver Disease

Alcohol liver disease is, sadly, well-known in our country. One kind is better known than the other two, but they all affect many people.

How does the liver process alcohol? It breaks down alcohol so that your body can eliminate it. If you consume more than your liver is able to process, the imbalance that results can injure your liver by not allowing it to do its normal breaking down of carbohydrates, fats and protein.

There are three types of alcohol liver disease. Fatty liver is caused by a buildup of cells of fat within the liver. There are generally no symptoms, even though the liver could be enlarged. Sometimes, victims will experience upper abdominal discomfort. Almost all heavy drinkers develop fatty liver, but it will improve if and when they stop drinking.

Alcoholic hepatitis is also caused by alcohol. Liver disease of this type is found in nearly thirty-five percent of people who drink heavily. The symptoms are jaundice, fever, abdominal tenderness and pain, vomiting, nausea and loss of appetite. If the victim only has the mild form of this disease, it may last for years, and during this time will cause more liver damage. This damage may be reversible, assuming that the victim stops drinking. The severe form of alcoholic hepatitis may come on suddenly, usually after a bout of binge drinking, and the complications can be life-threatening.

Alcoholic cirrhosis is easily the most serious form of alcohol-induced liver disease. In this disease, the normal tissue in the liver is replaced by scar tissue. Between ten and twenty percent of heavy drinkers will develop cirrhosis, and it usually occurs after more than ten years of drinking. Cirrhosis' symptoms are much like those of alcoholic hepatitis. The damage that cirrhosis causes is not reversible, and it can threaten your life if you keep drinking. Your condition may or may not stabilize if you quit drinking.

Quite a few people who drink heavily will contract fatty liver disease that will progress to alcoholic hepatitis and then to cirrhosis, though the actual incidence of progress may vary from person to person. Alcohol liver disease of one type or another is probable if you drink heavily, and the risk for developing cirrhosis is especially high for drinkers who already have another liver ailment like viral hepatitis C.

The complications of alcohol-induced liver disease usually begin to make them known after a period of years in which the victim drinks heavily. Some of these include high blood pressure in your liver, accumulation of abdominal fluids, an enlarged spleen, bleeding from esophageal veins, liver cancer, kidney failure and changes in mental function, including possible coma. To be safe, it's best not to engage in heavy drinking. If you already do drink, the safest course of action is to stop drinking, even if some damage can not be reversed.

What You Should Know About Ulcers

Eating is a pleasure to most people. The experience of tasting salty, sweet and spicy foods is a treat for the taste buds. But for some people food is a not a pleasure. After eating, they know that in 2-3 hours their stomach will be aching and they might even be sick to their stomach.

The pain takes away the enjoyment of eating. That pain is an ulcer but it is often mistaken for indigestion or heartburn. Millions of Americans suffer from ulcers every day. To them eating and digestion is a cycle of pain and misery. But what is an ulcer?

An ulcer is a small erosion in the intestinal lining or the stomach lining. When such an attack happens the person can be in a lot of pain. It flares up when stomach acid touches the area where the erosion is located.

The attack can feel like indigestion and some people have thought they were having a heart attack, when in reality it was the ulcer. The size of it can vary from 1/8 inches to 3/4 inches. So, if you are suffering from a large one, then you will need to take some precautions healing healthy. Ulcer prevention is the best way to combat these pesky internal sores.

If you do not know the difference between a gastric and a stomach ulcer, then you are not alone. Most people just barely know that they have ulcers period. But for a little clarity, the difference between a gastric and a stomach one is all in the location.

One is located at the top of the intestine within the first twelve inches from where it exits the stomach. The stomach ulcer is of course found inside the stomach itself. The location will determine the treatment plan.

Do not let ulcers stand in your way. You can fight back with a diet that is low in fat and spices. You can avoid smoking and always take your doctor prescribed medication. If you feel that the ulcer is getting worse or you have intense pain in the area, then you need to notify your primary care physician as soon as possible.

It may be a symptom of a bigger problem and you will want to get ulcer treatment as soon as possible. There are millions of people who manage to live with ulcers everyday, and you can live with it too, with the right treatment.

How Important is Acid and Alkali Balance in Blood?

The ratio of acids to alkalis in blood is generally 20:80. For proper functioning of the body organs and to keep your body system away from the accumulation of toxic substances, it is very important to keep the ratio of acids to alkalis maintained. The body naturally extracts its utmost to maintain this ratio.

Some of our foods leave alkaline residing in the body after undergoing the full cycle of digestive and metabolic processes; some others leave acidic residues. We may call such foods alkali-genic and acid-genic respectively. Generally, the acids produced by the metabolic activities, (such as uric acid, lactic acid, etc.) react with the alkalis in the blood, lymph, bile, etc., thus being neutralized and rendered innocuous. But if our diet is complete with acid-genic foods, the body can not cope with all the resulting acids. When the acids accumulate in the blood, heath problems like fatigue, anorexia, insomnia, headache, nervous tension, hyperacidity, coryza, etc., begin to appear.

Acidic blood is an abnormal condition that hinders the physical development of children and adolescents, causes degeneration in older people, and diminishes vitality. It causes difficulties in pregnancy and lactation. It is the origin of diseases like measles, pneumonia, tuberculosis, appendicitis, and cancer.

All the toxic substances in the body are in the form of acids, and that in order to prevent or counteract the accumulation of acids in the body we must take food that is mainly alkali-genic.

Meat, eggs, fish and pulses are highly acid-genic. Wholemeal wheat flour, traditionally de-husked unpolished rice, and such other cereals in their more or less natural forms are only mildly acidic, but processing or refining them makes them much more acidic in effect. All vegetables, tubers, roots and fruits are alkali-genic. Green leafy vegetables are of special importance in this respect.

It is quite possible to maintain a balance between the acids and alkalis in the body by a judicious combination of various unprocessed cereals, raw vegetables, fruits and nuts in our daily diet. The alkalis in such foods neutralize the acids in other foods, but they also help in extracting the acids and toxins accumulated in the cells of the body, and ejecting them from the system. These qualities make a diet made up of alkali-genic components not only pure and wholesome, but also an efficient cleaning and eliminating agency.

Disclaimer: This article is not meant to provide health advice and is for general information only. Always seek the insights of a qualified health professional before embarking on any health program.

All Types of Stomach Diseases Predicted in Astrology

The planetary positions in a horoscope will clearly indicate the nature of the disease one would suffer from, the time and the cause of physical suffering can be previously ascertained and an appropriate remedy can be made to minimize the malefic affects.

Factors Responsible For Stomach Ailments

· Sun: fever, bile, Sun causes physical disorders and those arising from Heat.

· Moon: stomach, fluidic and lymphatic systems, diabetes, anemia

· Mars: inflammatory, bile, gall bladder, boils, burns, tumors, causes inflammatory disorders.

· Jupiter: absorptive system, diabetes, jaundice, stomach problems, abscesses.

· Saturn: denotes chronic complaints, stomach problems, gastric problems, different forms of cancers, tumors

· Rahu [dragon head]: diseases of spleen, ulcer, diseases difficult to be diagnosed

· Ketu [dragon tail]: stomach troubles, pains, diseases from unknown causes, wounds

· Mercury: abdomen, bowels, bile

· Virgo / 6th house : intestinal and digestive organisms, abdominal diseases, solar plexus and bowels

· Scorpio / 8th house : excretory system and bladder

Different Combinations for Stomach Problems

Constipation and Flatulent dyspepsia [gastric problem]

· Sun, Moon and Mars in 6th, indicates gastric problems.

· Ascendant is Capricorn / Aquarius, waning Moon and a malefic placed in it.

· Waning Moon and a malefic placed in 6th / 8th

· Moon and a malefic posited in 6th and expected by a malefic

· Ascendant is aspected by Mars and Venus, and a malefic planet posited in 6th and being expected by a malefic planet gives the problem of chronic constipation

Dyspepsia and anorexia [impaired function of digestive system]

· 8th lord is weak, malefic planets posited in ascendant and 8th indications weak digestive system

· Mars in ascendant and 6th lord is weak

· Lords of 6th and 12th exchange their homes

Diarrhoea and Dysentery

· Jupiter in Virgo / 6th, being afflicted

· Venus in 7th with a malefic and expected by a malefic, causes dysentery and diarrhoea to the native

· Jupiter and Moon in 6th, in their period and sub period there may be chances of having the problems of diarrhoea and dysentery

Acidity

· Sun in 6th, aspected by a malefic and lord of 6th is with malefic chances of having acidity increases

· Sun in 8th, a malefic in 2nd and the Mars is weak gives the problem of acidity

· Lord of ascendant and mercury are posited in 6th

Peptic ulcer

· Mars in 7th with a malefic and aspected by a malefic gives the problem of peptic ulcers

· Moon is with a malefic being being placed in 6th, aspected by a malefic and Mars is placed in 7th native may suffer from peptic ulcer

Colitis

· 12th and 6th lords exchange each other houses, the native may suffer from colitis near stomach pain

Cancer of abdomen

· 5th house afflicted by Saturn and Rahu gives the problem of stomach cancer

· 6th / 8th / 12th lord, aspect by Saturn and Rahu give serious diseases like cancer in that part of body in which the lords are posited. Like 6th lord posited in 5th house aspect by Saturn and Rahu may give stomach cancer.

· Saturn and Mars posited in 6th, expected by the Sun / Rahu, having weak ascendant, the native may suffer from prolonged stomach problem may result in cancer

Ascitis [abdominal dropsy]

· Saturn in Cancer sign and Moon in Capricorn, gives the problem of stomach dropsy

Fistula and piles

· Jupiter is with the lord of 6th / 8th and placed in 7th / 8th house, gives the problem of fistula and piles

· Ascendant and Mars are in Virgo and associated / expected by Mercury the disease of fistula arises

· Lord of ascendant aspected by Mars, gives the problem of piles

· Saturn is placed in ascendant and Mars in 7th, the native may suffer from piles.

Vomiting

· Saturn / Jupiter being lord of 6th, placed in 4th, the native may have vomiting tendencies.

· Waning Moon and a malefic placed in 6th / 8th indicative vomiting tendencies

BY

GEETA JHA [SPIRITUAL HEALER]

INDIA

Probiotics And Acid Reflux – Marriage Made In Heaven?

Probiotics and acid reflux have long been linked. It is well known that probiotics have beneficial effects for the entire digestive system but does this include stopping acid reflux and GERD?

You may have heard of probiotics containing "friendly bacteria". This is because probiotics are dietary supplements that do indeed contain potentially beneficial bacteria that can aid digestion.

These bacteria already exist in the intestines but some studies indicate that introducing them into the diet can also have beneficial effects. Here, the suggested link between taking probiotics and acid reflux cessation.

Probioitics are well known for helping after a digestive disorder such as food poisoning in helping to reintroduce the good bacteria to the system. Studies also indicate that they are effective when used to combat IBS, or irritable bowel syndrome as well as other conditions such as constipation. But, is there any correlation between taking probiotics and acid reflux reduction?

At least one study has identified a correlation between taking probiotics and acid reflux reduction in patients with Helicobacter pylori infection, a common cause of acid reflux. However, antibiotics already exist to treat this infection and it is also fast becoming a minor cause of acid reflux / GERD.

The above appears to be the only observed relationship between probiotics and acid reflux and unfortunately, this therapy does not appear to be useful for more common cases of acid reflux. If you know for sure that your acid reflux is caused by H. pylori (this can be confirmed by biopsy) then it will be worth your while taking them, but otherwise they look to be little or no benefit, specifically for acid reflux.

Do You Know What Systemic Lupus Is?

The immune system is a mysterious mechanism. Like a pitbull, the immune system will guard against foreign attackers mercilessly to protect its home, and yet, it can also turn on its master, attacking it ferociously all the same. Doctors are not exactly sure what causes the autoimmune disease called systemic lupus, but they suspect it's a murky concoction of factors.

Inherited genes, UV light, hormones, viruses and drugs may all contribute to the condition. Some of the most recent Lupus Foundation research suggests that a key enzyme fails to eliminate cellular debris, which can happen as a result of a gene mutation.

So, you ask, what are the symptoms and signs of systemic lupus? In 5-10% of the patients with systemic lupus erythematosus, they develop red, bordered, non-itchy skin rashes on the face and scalp. This form of lupus is called "discoid lupus" and while painless, can cause permanent hair loss and scarring.

Half the patients with systemic lupus have a red "butterfly rash" across the bridge of their nose and experience extreme sensitivity to sunlight. Most patients experience arthritis in their hands, wrists and feet.

More serious inflammation of organs occurs in the brain, liver, and kidneys. White blood cells and blood clotting factors also can be decreed in SLE, thereby increasing the risk of infection and bleeding. Inflamed muscles, blood vessels, lungs, kidneys and other body parts can cause internal injuries resulting in chest pain, fluid retention, high blood pressure, kidney failure, loss of appetite, seizures, comas, personality changes, fatigue, fever, numbness, hair loss and Raynaud's phenomenon (lack of blood supply and pain in the fingers and toes). The symptoms vary, depending on which part of the body is affected and the severity of the condition, of course.

Doctors can diagnose systemic lupus using eleven criteria established by the American Rheumatism Association. If a patient has four or more symptoms, then a diagnosis is strongly urged. Symptoms of systemic lupus erythematosus are: malar (butterfly rash over the cheeks), discoid skin rash (patchy redness), photosensitivity (reaction to sunlight), mucus membrane ulcers (in the mouth, nose or throat), arthritis (swollen, tender joints ), pleuritis / pericarditis (inflammation of the lungs / heart tissue), kidney abnormalities (excessive urine protein or cellular casts), brain irritation (seizures or psychosis), blood count abnormalities (low red or white blood cells), immunologic disorder -DNA or abnormal activity) and antinuclear antibody (presence of ANA antibody). Blood tests, blood chemistry tests, body fluid tests and tissue biopsies can help unexpected symptoms of lupus as well.

Treatment for systemic lupus is determined on an individual basis, depending on symptoms and inflation levels. Patients with mild symptoms may not need treatment at all, but those with more symptoms may try medications that suppress the body's immune system or decrements inflammation.

Many patients report difficulty sleep, which can lead to depression, lethargy, random eating patterns and reduced coping abilities. Therefore, sleep aids are an important complementary treatment. Most recently, the 2007 national Rheumatology meeting said that an omega-3 fish oil supplement may decrease heart risks and diminish disease activity.

What is Hereditary Lymphedema?

Hereditary lymphedema is a disorder usually affecting the lymph vessels of the individual and is genetically inherited. Swelling caused on account of the pooling of the lymph on account of some trauma or obstruction in the lymph vessels is known as lymphedema. Hereditary lymphedema generally affects the legs and may be of three different types:

Milroy's Disease:

This is the first type of hereditary lymphedema caused as a result of inheriting a certain gene at birth. The condition is generally apparent in the legs, usually in one leg, but in some cases, it may be seen in both legs. Doctors diagnose the condition by studying the swapping present in the legs right from birth. Deeper enquiries may result in finding a family history of such type of swelling. In order to confirm the diagnosis, tests may be conducted. A dye is injected into the leg which is traced by a computer to find out where the blockages are present. Milroy's Disease is treated with decongestive therapy. Patients may experience complications like fibrosis in the limb tissues, lymphangitis or cellulitis. Initial treatment is absolutely essential to control the condition.

Lymphedema Praecox Meige (Hereditary Lymphedema Type II):

This condition of lymphedema shows up during the teenage years and is quite a common variety of primary lymphedema. The legs are affected in this case and the first signs of the condition are a swelling below the waist, red patches on the skin, inflammation and discomfort. Again, this hereditary lymphedema is diagnosed by observing the swelling and the family history confirming the verdict. Some other hints could have yellow nail syndrome or pulmonary hypertension. As with all other lymphedema treatments, decongestive therapy is the ideal choice here as well. Treatment must be started at the initial phase of the condition.

Lymphedema Tarda (Hereditary Lymphedema Type III) / Delayed Onset Lymphedema:

As the name suggests, this condition becomes only after the age of thirty five. Swelling may be present in either one or both the legs. Women are more at risk for this ailment than men. Very often, family history of a similar swapping is observed. Tests can also be connected to find the lymphatic blockages. The treatment is, again, decongestive therapy begon at the earliest possible opportunity. This type of lymphedema can not be cured, but with the right treatment, it can be managed better.

Genetic factors causing the malformation of the lymphatic system is the original source of hereditary lymphedema. Malformation would mean either few lymph vessels or they may be in excess. Both would cause a hindrance to the smooth working of the lymphatic system resulting in the pooling of fluids. Although lymphedema can not be cured, steps can be taken to keep it under control. Simple precautions like keeping the skin clean, wearing gloves while working, washing and drying the feet go a long way in keeping the infections at bay. Fungal infections, especially on the feet should be attended to immediately.

Anxiety Disorders and Their Causes – How Anxiety Disorders Are Caused

Anxiety disorders are a common condition. We all get angry from time to time. Anxiety is a normal reaction to how we cope with every day life. But when your worries become excessive and your fears turn irrational, you are suffering form an anxiety disorder. In America alone, an estimated 40 million people are infected with this condition.

Much is known about anxiety disorders, from the signs and symptoms, the different types to treatment options. And although researchers do not know the exact reason people get anxiety disorders, they do know that there are many factors that are involved. Usually one factor alone will not cause the disorder, it has to be several of these factors working together and over a period of time. Here, we will discuss anxiety disorders and their causes.

GENETICS
If you were raised by highly sensitive parents, there's a chance you may develop an anxiety disorder. Research shows that anxiety disorder and obsessive compulsive disorder tend to be hereditary. There is also some indication that social anxiety may be caused by genetic factors as well.

MEDICAL DISEASES
Certain medical illnesses such as anemia and thyroid problems can also cause anxiety symptoms. Other causes can be due to hypoglycemia, mitral valve prolapse, tumors and neurological illnesses. If you develop anxiety symptoms, it's best to seek out a doctor first to rule out any of the above diseases.

STRESS
Over time, when you excessively stress over things, your body can trigger the fight – or flight response. Your body then mistakenly responds to daily situations like they are dangerous. If you are overworked, do not get enough sleep, do not eat right and do not get exercise, this can cause unnecessary stress and trigger anxiety.

CHEMICAL IMBALANCE
People with social anxiety disorder and other emotional disorders most likely have an abnormality in parts of their anxiety response system and the way it functions. The balance of your brain chemicals can also be affected by recreational drug use. This can lead to high levels of anxiety and even an attack.

PERSONALITY
The way you think affects how you see the world and how you deal with stress. If you are a negative person and always think the worst, you'll be more prone to anxiety disorders.

Do not let anxiety disorders and their causes put a strain on your life. As we discussed earlier, the factors that cause us to have them all have to be working together. The good news is that you can change some of those factors. You can change your personality. If you're a negative thinker, try to have some positive thoughts. Work on building better coping skills and try to view the world in a better light. You can also change your stress level. Make sure you eat a balanced diet, eat enough sleep, make time for exercise and you should be free of anxiety.

Silent Heart Attack Symptoms

The first and only symptom of a silent heart attack (SHA) could be sudden death! A study found that death rates from silent attacks were the same as those from non-silent heart attacks. SHA symptoms are not typical as heart attacks go – a SHA is very hard to detect and is usually detected long after the event through a careful study of medical history, ECG (electrocardiogram; measures heart activity) and testing blood for cardiac enzymes. Other means of detection include a stress test or a blood test that detects certain hormones in the blood. Since the patient is not aware of the attack and significant, valuable time is wasted, the heart becomes permanently damaged. These attacks are worrisome in that seeking and getting prompt treatment after an attack is essential for both recovery and survival. People most susceptible to SHA's are those that have had a prior heart attack, individuals who have diabetes, men and women over the age of 65 and those prone to strokes. There is more research to be done to determine Individuals taking medication on a regular basis may also experience a SHA. Twice as many people die from a SHA as compared to those that experienced a myocardial infarction (MI) with chest pain.

The most important treatment for a SHA is restoring the blood flow to the heart. These silent attacks lack the majority of the usual symptoms of a standard heart attack but can still be recognized through ordinary signs such as discomfort in your chest, arms or jaw that seem to go away after resting, fatigue or extreme tiredness, nausea, sweating ( particularly cold sweat), breathlessness and dizziness. An interesting statistic is that 25-30% of all heart attacks are silent.

It is believed that women have silent attacks a little more often than men. They can include discomfort in your chest, arms or jaw that seem to go away after resting, shortness of breath and tiring. In a significant number of women with diabetics and the over-65, an attack comes without any symptoms. But SHA symptoms may not include chest pain. Common SHA symptoms include chest discomfort, or pains in the arm and / or jaw that go away after you rest, getting tired easily, and experiencing shortness of breath. One odd symptom that is not reported often or fully explained in regular and SHAs is a feeling of impending doom. If you feel you have had a SHA, you may want to take a non-acetaminophen aspirin as studies have shown doing so may help prevent heart damage that can occur from a SHA.

Women

Even though women account for nearly half of all heart attack deaths they are less likely than men to believe they're having a heart attack. They also are more likely to delay seeking emergency treatment. Women with the highest calcium scores were especially at risk. Women tend to have their heart attacks after sunset of menopause. One study found that about 5 percent of women considered at low risk for heart disease still face potential cardiovascular problems because of calcium buildup in their arteries. Symptoms in women are often mis-diagnosed. Women tend to have cardiovascular events later in life than do men and they are more often fatal or debilitating. Women should quit smoking, take steps to lower high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels and control their blood sugar if they have diabetes. Women may experience atypical symptoms such as a pain between the shoulder blades rather than crushing chest pain. As with men, women's most common heart attack symptom is chest pain or discomfort. But women are somewhat more likely than men to experience some of the other common symptoms, particularly shortness of breath, nausea / vomiting, and back or jaw pain.

Major Risk Factors

– Diabetes

– High Blood Pressure

– Hypercholesterolemia

– Positive family history of heart attack and stroke

– Smoking

– Obesity – if your waist is more than 40 inches for men and 35 inches for women, then you have "central obesity."

The risks are often underestimated because women develop heart disease later than men – often at age 65. Studies are showing that younger women are developing heart disease earlier than originally thought. One study stated that women still face potential cardiovascular problems because of calcium buildup in their arteries. There is consideration for routine testing of coronary artery calcium to gauge heart risk for women. While there are no known measures to reduce coronary artery calcium, women can reduce their risk for heart disease by measuring calcium which can show they might actually be at higher risk. After this finding, they can benefit from preventive measures. The current situation is that there are no known ways to reduce the calcium. Women have to offset it with lifestyle changes that reduce risk factors such as cholesterol.

Necrosis of a region of the heart muscle caused by an interruption in the supply of blood to the heart, usually as a result of occlusion of a coronary artery resulting from coronary artery disease. The most common cause is a blood clot (thrombus) that lodges in an area of ​​a coronary artery thickened with cholesterol-containing plaque due to atherosclerosis. It is caused by a severely narrowed or completely blocked coronary artery that keeps oxygen and nutrients from reaching heart muscle.

Restoring blood flow can be accomplished by dissolving clots found in the artery (thrombolysis) or by pushing the artery open using a balloon (angioplasty). Since there is no awareness of coronary artery blocks, the cause of the heart attack, the person continues with the habitual life style that played a major role in creation of those blocks. Silent heart attacks are only the most extreme case of a still more precalent condition called "silent ischemia" – a chronic shortage of oxygen- and nutrient-bearing blood to a portion of the heart. Although chest pain is usually the number 1 indicator, extreme shortness of breath would normally take second place. The patient has to find and use the reliable, proven information that can prevent and even reverse advanced coronary artery blocks. The most trusted approach to build up your cardiovascular health (even with advanced coronary artery blockage) is the adoption of a regular and intelligent exercise plan. A test for coronary artery calcium is easily done and lifestyle changes can be performed immediately.

Damaged

In the case of a silent heart attack, the patient is not aware of the infarction and because valuable time is wasted, the heart becomes permanently damaged. Finding out that your heart is seriously damaged because you did not act right after a silent attack can be devastating. Your doctor can conduct a test that enables looking for damaged areas of the heart and problems with the heart's pumping action. This indicates the healthy and damaged areas of the heart.

Heart Attack Treatment Tip – Cayenne For the Heart

These tiny, colorful hot pepper powerhouses really pack a punch. Not only do they add zing to your food but they have an absolute plethora of health benefits especially for the heart. Cayenne and other hot peppers are all members of the genus Capsicum and wherever you choose cayenne, habanero, red Thai, or any of the other hot varieties, they all have amazing heart healthy properties. Anyone with a family history of cardiovascular disease or if they have heart disease themselves needs to add cayenne to the diet.

Cayenne does not have just one heart healthy action; it has them all! It lowers blood pressure benefiting those with hypertension. This relieves the stress on the heart. High blood pressure makes the heart pump harder and harder, ever wearing out the heart. It opens up the blood vessels almost immediately allowing blood to flow freely. In addition it fights cholesterol, cleansing the blood vessels of deposits that can lead to atherosclerosis. Cayenne helps bring nutrients and oxygen directly to the

heart by opening up the coronary blood vessels, strengthening the heart muscle.

Cayenne strengnthens every blood vessel in the body including tiny capillaries that bring nutrients and oxygen to every cell and remove the toxic waste products from the cells. Hot peppers even keep the blood from sticking together preventing dangerous clots. All of these actions help cayenne prevent heart attacks and strokes. Herbalists agree that hot peppers are the number one herb for the heart.

Studies show that cultures that consume a lot of hot peppers in their food have a much lower incidence of heart and cardiovascular disease. You can add peppers to food, make an instant stimulating cup of hot cayenne tea, use high quality hot sauce on vegetables or in soups and stews, or take cayenne capsules.

Worried about ulcers? No need, cayenne actually has properties that heal ulcers! Loaded with nutrients and phytochemicals, cayenne is high in Vitamins A and C. Vitamin C is essential for the health of blood vessels. It strengthens vessel walls and is necessary for the body to produce collagen, the substance that keeps the cell walls flexible and supple. There are many stories of heart attacks and strokes being immediately stopped by cayenne. This is certainly not a substitute for medical attention but in an emergency situation before help arrive, a cup of hot water with cayenne, or even a tablespoon of hot sauce placed under the tongue can stop the heart attack.

Statin Drugs, CoQ10 and Vitamin D: What You Need to Know and Why

One of the most commonly prescribed drugs for adults is a drug from the Statin class; these drugs are intended to lower cholesterol in an effort to decrease the risk of developing a heart attack

Look around you at your co-workers, family members, friends, or even just those at the supermarket. Either you or one of these people is taking or have taken a Statin drug. It has been estimated that 8 out of 10 adults have taken a statin drug, with over 200 million new prescriptions written each year (some are written for those who took them the previous year).

Unfortunately, they are also the most common drug that people stop taking because of its side effects. It is estimated that 54% of those taking Statin drugs stop taking them after 2 – 3 months.

Many of the side effects, however, are caused by a deficiency in CoQ10 (short for Co-enzyme Q10) resulting from the action of the Statin drug in the liver. It usually takes 3 months for a person to experience the side effects of CoQ10 deficiency.

Statin drugs work in the liver to inhibit the enzyme HMG-CoA reductase. This enzyme is responsible for manufacturing 70% of the cholesterol the body uses. However, another use of this enzyme is to manufacture CoQ10 which is essential to the body-meaning the body can make all the CoQ10 it needs so long as this enzyme is working. Without that enzyme, the body can not make the CoQ10, and the body will suffer if the nutrient is not supplemented or taken into the body from the diet.

Looking at the side effects that most trouble someone taking a Statin drug, these are the signs of a deficiency of CoQ10: memory loss, depression, fatigue; shortness of breath; irregular heart rhythm, palpitations; leg cramps or heavy, aching legs; diabetes; and impotence. The main symptoms that causes people to stop taking the drug is the effect on the legs-the pain or heaviness sensation. The second-most common is loss of libido or impotence.

CoQ10 in itself has heart-protective properties. Statin drugs are intended to help reduce the risk of a heart attack; but studies have shown they have little effect on the prevention of a heart attack. Perhaps it is because the drug causes a deficiency in CoQ10.

Several of the other side effects of these drugs are caused by a deficiency of vitamin D; This drug class depletes vitamin D. These side effects are: depression, anxiety, Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD); shortness of breath; muscle weakness or osteoporosis; loss of or diminished hearing; increased risk of cancer; rheumatic pain; or decreased appetite or food cravings.

Therefore, unless otherwise contraindicated, it is a good idea to supplement with both CoQ10 and vitamin D daily while taking a Statin drug. Although some doctors are recommending fish oil supplements to their patients, most fish oil supplements do not contain enough of either CoQ10 or vitamin D to offset the deficiency created by the drug. Therefore, it is recommended a person take 100mg CoQ10 and 50,000 IU vitamin D daily.

If you would like to increase your diet intake of these nutrients, you can find higher levels of CoQ10 in fish, beef and poultry; Egypt in pistachios or peanuts. Although you can find CoQ10 in foods, most have too low of amounts to counteract the deficiency created by a Statin drug. It is best to take a supplement.

For vitamin D, foods rich in this nutrient are cold water seafood, enriched milk, liver, and fortified cereal. If you get 20 minutes of sunshine daily (unprotected by sunscreen), you are likely getting enough vitamin D to offset the deficiency created by the drug.

Since we are talking about supplements, it may be a good idea to take a supplement to protect the liver as Statin drugs are very hard on the liver and over time, liver damage can occur. Consider a supplement such as Milk Thistle, ALA (alpha lipoic acid) or NAC (n-acetyl cysteine) to help protect the liver from damage.

As a note, be aware that a Statin drug interferes with absorption of ALL nutrients being ingested; therefore, it is recommended this drug be taken at bedtime so that nutrients from your meals through the day get absorbed. But do not take with pomegranate or grapefruit juice as these juices increase the side effects of the drug and can greatly increase the risk of liver damage or disease. It may also cause neuropathy (nerve damage).

As always, talk to someone knowledgeable in both supplements and medical drugs before taking any supplements.

It is possible to take a medical drug and diminish or remove the side effects of that drug-sometimes you need to look to nature to do it. Just be wise and make sure what you take from nature is compatible with the drug.

Disclaimer: The information provided is for educational purposes only. It is important that you do not make health decisions or stop any medication without first consulting your personal physician or health care provider.

Vivien Leigh – An Actress Whose Life Was Affected by Bipolar Disorder

Vivien Leigh was born Vivien Mary Hartley in Darjeeling, India. At a very early age, she showed an aptitude for acting but she could only indulge into it at the age of 18 when she enrolled in the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London.

At the age of 19, she married Leigh Holman, who was a barrister and it was his name that she used to make up her stage name. A year after the marriage, Vivien was still studying and she had a daughter named Suzanne.

Then in mid-1930s, Vivien happens to meet Laurence Olivier and then began one of the most passionate affairs of that time. Olivier was married during this period to Jill Osmond but it did not stop Vivien and Olivier from publicizing their affair.

During this period, both lovers acted frequently together on stage and screen and by this time they had left their spouses to be together. Then Olivier signed up for Wuthering Heights and Leigh requested to be cast as Cathy in the film. However, her demand was rejected because she was not well-known in America.

Leigh ended up getting her most famous role – Scarlett O'Hara – in the film Gone With The Wind and the film was released the same year as Wuthering Heights. Leigh's movie was a box office success and this little unknown actress ended up winning the Best Actress Award in 1939.

In 1940, Olivier and Leigh got married finally. Then World War II happened and Vivien worked mostly on plays staged in and around London. During this period she became an insomniac and her stepson Tarquin Olivier had to stay up the nights with her.

In 1994, during the shooting of Caesar and Cleopatra, Vivien realized that she was pregnant but unfortunately she miscarried after having a fall on the set of the film. Her stepson her manic depression to the loss of the baby. In 1945, Leigh was also diagnosed with tuberculosis, which didnt help the situation.

During this period, manic depression was not understood and as result Leigh received shock therapy for her disorder. Her mental condition coupled with physical illness started playing havoc in her personal life and this affected her marriage; leading to a divorce in 1960. In addition, she has also started drinking heavily.

Although Leigh had bipolar disorder and tuberculosis, she continued acting and won her second Oscar for her role in the film A Streetcar Named Desire.

In 1967, Leigh died due to tuberculosis.

Drink For Healthy Joints

Cargill, Inc. stated that it will team up with a Cincinnati-based beverage maker on a new line of drinks that will be designed to not only improve people’s health but will improve the health of their joints. This new product line is called Elations Joint Health Supplement Beverage. This product includes a variety of ingredients supplied by Minnetonka-based Cargill which includes Regeasure glucosamine HCL. This product forms the building blocks for cartilage that is found in the joints. Cargill also supplies Aerose erythritol;. This gives the drink its sweet flavor without racking up the calories.

This product is actually made by The Elations Co., which used to be a former Procter & Gamble division. However, it is now independently owned and operated. Every 8-ounce bottle only contains about 30 calories. This drink comes in two flavors – cranberry apple and raspberry white grape. You can find the product in drug stores, grocery stores and through the mass merchandisers.

Forever Living Aloe Vera Drink is a great help to your skin, aids digestion and helps joints. You should drink Aloe Vera for a least every day for six months and see the difference it will make in your life! We invite you now to drink our 100% stabilized aloe vera gel as well as our vegetable juice which contains aloe vera and has approximately 200 different nutrients. This includes 8 essential amino acids, 18 amino acids, and vitamins and minerals.

If you want to be kind to your joints, then you should start taking the Aloe vera freedom drink. This contains glucosamine in liquid form,which is the natural treatment for arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and to try and prevent any joint problems.

Something for Sports People and Those with arthritis

Today for the first time there is a unique formulation in an aloe vera drink, This breakthrough formula is essential to be able to maintain mobility and healthy joint function.

The rich nutrients are blended into the Aloe Vera gel with the following:

-Glucosamine Sulfate (1,500 mg.)

-Chondroitin sulfate (1,200 mg.)

Working together, these first two ingredients are your first line of defense again deteriorating joints. In order to bring to completion this exceptional formula, MSM (750 MG.) was added as an anti-inflammatory agent. It is also a very good source of bio-available sulfur. This is needed by the body to maintain healthy connective tissues as well as joint function. You should take this along with Vitamin C which is critical for the production of collagen and the continued maintenance of healthy cartilage. You should be taking 60-100 ml. which results in 2 to 4 ounces every day.

If this Aloe Vera drink could really extend the life of the joints in one;s body, this would be a much better and safer option than surgery. There would be no painful operations and rehab to go through! So, if you are all fired up, why don’t you stat this plan today?