Mitral Valve Prolapse: Truth vs. Fiction

“There is nothing to fear except the persistent refusal to find out the truth.” – Dorothy Thompson

One of the chapters in my recent book, “Courageous Confrontations,” describes my experience with a patient named Emma Jorgenson. Shortly after sitting down in my consultation room, she said, “I hope you can help me, Doctor. Those other doctors keep saying that my symptoms are all in my head.”

“What seems to be bothering you, Emma?”

“Bothering me? My problems aren’t just bothering me, they’re killing me. If you don’t do something to help me, I am going to die. I just know it.”

“What kind of symptoms are you having?”

Heaving a huge sigh, Emma shifted uncomfortably in her chair. “I don’t know where to begin,” she said. “Whenever I try to explain my symptoms to a doctor, he just rolls his eyes, and tells me it’s nothing to worry about.” Emma hunched over, and began to well up.

I reached for the box of tissues on my desk and handed them to Emma. “Let’s figure out how we can help you. How about starting at the beginning?” I said. “What was your first symptom?”

“One night, about three years ago, I woke up with a pounding sensation in my chest. My heart was racing so fast, I thought it was going to jump out of my chest. Then I began to get nauseous and dizzy. I called Dr. Cahill, my family doctor who’s also my gynecologist, and when I went in to see her the next day, she found a tumor in my tummy. She said I needed to have an operation to remove it.”

“What did she find?”

“A cyst on my ovary. It was nothing serious, but after the operation, the pounding and the dizziness became more frequent, so she sent me to a neurologist.”

“Why a neurologist?”

“I’d read an article that said the three most common symptoms of brain tumors were headaches, nausea and dizziness, so I asked her to send me to a specialist. He did a bunch of scans and electrical tests, and said everything was okay. He prescribed a tranquilizer, but I knew that wasn’t going to solve my problem.”

“Did the tranquilizer help?”

“A little at first, but then my symptoms got worse. When the pounding started, in addition to becoming dizzy and nauseous, my hands would begin to tingle and become numb. After a while, the numbness spread to my face. The whole area around my mouth would lose all feeling, except for a wired tingling sensation. I was sure I going to have a stroke. That’s when Dr. Cahill referred me to an ENT doctor.”

“An Ears, Nose and Throat doctor?”

“That’s right. She thought my dizziness might be due to an inner ear problem. He examined me and said he wasn’t sure what was going on, but that I needed an operation to get to the bottom of it. But I was too scared. Besides, I still hadn’t recovered from the ovary surgery, and my wounds weren’t healing right, so my gynecologist said that I could wait before having another operation.”

Emma’s story made me wince. She had unwittingly fallen into the maze of modern medicine. Each specialist viewed her symptoms through the prism of his own specialty, ordered the inevitable battery of tests, and treated her with a pill or a procedure without having a diagnosis. Medications are the fifth leading cause of preventable death in the United States.

“Why did she send you to me?”

“I told her I didn’t think I had an inner ear problem, and that it had to be some kind of a heart condition. After all, how could an inner ear problem cause chest pains and shortness of breath?”

“Chest pain and shortness of breath? You didn’t say anything about that.”

I explained that there are several causes for chest discomfort, and each has a telltale set of characteristics. For example, in patients with pleurisy, an inflammation of the lining of the lungs, pain occurs with deep breaths. With an inflammation of the sac around the heart, called pericarditis, the pain increases when a patient lies down, and improves when they sit up and lean forward. In patients with blocked coronary arteries, the discomfort occurs during physical activity, like walking or climbing stairs. A bulging or tear in the aorta, the main artery in the body, also has characteristic features.

All these possibilities and more needed to be carefully explored by delving into the nuances of Emma’s chest pain, as well as her palpitations and shortness of breath. Emma’s description of her chest pains did not conform to any of the common causes of chest discomfort, but it was important not to overlook other serious possibilities. In patients with pleuritis a rubbing sound can be heard with a stethoscope over the lungs during a deep inhalation. Pericarditis sounds like sandpaper being rubbed in synchrony with the heartbeat. Cardiac birth defects, diseases of the heart muscle, and valve abnormalities all provide telltale murmurs and other characteristic clues on the physical exam.

Despite Emma’s rapid pulse, her blood pressure was normal and her lungs sounded clear. On the cardiac exam, her heart impulse was normal, but when I placed the stethoscope under her left breast, the diagnosis immediately became obvious.

When Emma’s heart contracted, a series of loud clicking sounds were audible. My patient had mitral valve prolapse.

The heart is divided into two sides, each having four chambers. The upper two are called atria, and the lower two are the ventricles. The right atrium and ventricle receives oxygen-depleted blood from the body and sends it to the lungs where its oxygen content is replenished. The left atrium then receives the rejuvenated blood, passing it along to the left ventricle. The powerful left ventricular chamber then pumps its contents back to the body.

The atria and ventricles are separated from each other by valves. The tricuspid valve is located on the right side of the heart, while the mitral valve resides on the left. When the mitral valve opens, blood exits the left atrium, travels through the valve, and enters the left ventricle. As the left ventricle begins to contract, the valve closes, preventing blood from moving backwards into the left atrium.

The mitral valve consists of two leaflets, or flaps, each in the shape of a parachute. Normally, both leaflets close in unison, but in patients with mitral valve prolapse, either the valve leaflets are too large, the chords that attach them to the heart are too long, or the connective tissue in the structure are more elastic than normal. In any case, one or both of them balloons, or flops—prolapsing into the left atrium. The characteristic click heard when listening to the heart is caused by the sound of the valve leaflet prolapsing into the atrial chamber, much like a parachute in the wind.

Mitral valve prolapse is a relatively common condition, occurring in two and a half to five percent of people in the United States. It is particularly prevalent in pre-menopausal women between the ages of fourteen and forty. There has been a considerable amount of speculation about how the valve abnormalities occur, but recent research has shown that there is a genetic predisposition for the syndrome. Between twenty and fifty percent of the relatives of mitral valve prolapse patients also have the syndrome.

Echocardiograms are a valuable means of evaluating patients with suspected mitral valve prolapse. The test confirms the diagnosis by demonstrating the prolapsing valve leaflets. In addition, the presence and severity of any blood leaking backwards across the valve from the ventricle to the atrium can also be detected. In Emma’s case, I did not hear the telltale murmur suggesting the presence of a leak.

Patients with mitral valve prolapse often have symptoms that mimic serious illnesses like heart attacks and cardiac rhythm abnormalities, but in the vast majority of women, the condition is neither dangerous nor life threatening. Most of the close relatives of patients with mitral valve prolapse who demonstrate a floppy valve on echocardiography are completely free of symptoms.

The reason for the chest pains, palpitations, or shortness of breath that occur in some patients with mitral valve prolapse has never been understood. For want of a more scientific explanation, it has been hypothesized that, their nervous systems are programmed to respond excessively to stress. For unknown reasons, they are triggered to react to unthreatening circumstances as though they were dangerous. This imbalance is called dysautonomia.

After putting my stethoscope in the pocket of my lab coat, I patted Emma gently on the shoulder. “I have wonderful news! Your symptoms are being caused by a benign condition called mitral valve prolapse.” I assumed that Emma would be relieved. Instead, the diagnosis increased her anxiety to the point where she became a shut-in.

While the symptoms of mitral valve prolapse are divers and can be frighteningly severe, it is important to emphasize that for the overwhelming majority of individuals with the condition, it is neither dangerous nor life-threatening. Studies have found that increase levels of circulating adrenalin like substances account for the symptoms of chest pains, palpitations, shortness of breath, anxiety and panic attacks that plague people with the problem.

The outlook for the great majority of people with mitral prolapse is excellent. My experience has been that those with debilitating symptoms gradually do feel better over time. They come to realize that their symptoms will not result in a heart attack or sudden death, and the symptoms themselves then become less incapacitating. As one of my patients said, “I just put the pains in my handbag and went about my business.”

For most patients, the only treatment necessary is the use of prophylactic antibiotics before various types of surgery and dental work, but this is used only in those who have a leaking valve. Medication, particularly a group of drugs called “beta blockers” can be useful to control debilitating symptoms. Exercise, a healthy diet and relaxation techniques have all been useful in controlling symptoms.

And as for Emma, she had a transformative experience that changed her life. No longer immobilized by fear, she developed a remarkable new equanimity and a new appreciation of life.

It also gave her a new life purpose. Emma became a patient care counselor and an invaluable member of our health care team, using her experience as a resource to counsel our fear-ridden patients.

Cold Or Flu Virus? 5 Symptoms That Indicate Flu Rather Than a Cold

Because a cold and flu (short for influenza) have many symptoms in common, it is easy to mistake one illness for the other. Early detection of the flu and being treated before the virus progresses can really make a big difference in its duration and severity.

So being able to tell the difference between the two is crucial. And even though you may not get it right every time, here are 5 symptoms that will help you be able to more accurately detect the flu.

High Fever – One of the symptoms that is usually not present with a cold is high fever. With the flu, the onset of the fever is usually very sudden and the temperature generally ranges from 102 to higher. The increase in body temperature is an indication that the body is fighting a significant threat.

Aches and Pains – Muscles are achy for seemingly no reason, and the pain is usually not associated with muscles in a specific part of the body like legs or arms, but all over the body. Many complain that even the sheet hurts when it touches the body.

Erratic Body Temperature – Often a flu victim will feel cold to the point of teeth chattering one moment, then flushed, warm, or even perspiring profusely the next. This is rarely the case with the common cold.

Tiredness – Many of us can power through a cold, going on with daily activities while being congested, sneezing, coughing, and nursing a runny nose. And while this is not the recommended way to treat a cold, most people generally maintain an energy level that is pretty close to normal.

With the flu, there is a noticeable lack of energy. Some describe it as feeling like the wind has gone out of their sails, or that they have been hit by a Mack truck. This is a clear indication that the body is using all of its energy to fight off a condition that is more serious than a cold.

Dry Cough – Many times a cold will produce increased mucous. This is the body’s way of trying to flush out the germs. Many times the excess fluid will drain from the nose into the throat causing a cough that brings up this phlegm. With the flu, the cough is often an acute dry cough.

Obviously, these symptoms can vary from one individual to another and should serve as general guidelines. And since the flu is spread by airborne viruses, and can affect huge numbers of people very quickly, early detection is the key to not only your good health, but the good health of those around you.

If you suspect that you have the flu, seek medical attention immediately, because if treated in the first 48 hours you can greatly increase your chances of reducing the duration and diminishing the effects of the flu.

Type 2 Diabetes – You Can Eat An Occasional Cheat Meal and Beat High Blood Sugar Levels

It is indeed possible to reverse Type 2 diabetes but you are bound to face your share of struggles in controlling your blood sugar. There is no easy way to overcome a disease that developed over the course of many years. Even though it should not take you as long to treat it, it can still take time. Truthfully, the amount of time it takes to reverse Type 2 diabetes depends on you – if you are disciplined and committed to the task, you can significantly reduce your blood sugar levels in a few weeks. And if you can make healthy eating and physical activity regular habits in your life, it is just a matter of time until your blood sugar returns to within a normal range once more.

But again, it is not going to be easy. One of the challenges you will face is in regards to how you eat. Eating healthily all the time is not realistic, regardless of how much willpower you possess. You are going to slip now and then. You just have to make sure digressions are not the rule: stay in control, because your long-term well-being depends on it. That being said, you may still be wondering if it is possible to eat guilt-free as a person with Type 2 diabetes. While there is not a simple yes or no answer to this question, we can assure you it is still possible to treat yourself on occasion, even if your goal is weight loss and control of your blood sugar

But eating guilt-free has to be done right. Don’t be misled into thinking a “cheat day” is what you need. Eating to your heart’s content over the course of a full day could be dangerous because you would be pushing past your limits. Never forget diabetes of any kind is a blood sugar condition.

However, there is no harm in planning a “cheat meal,” or being slightly relaxed with your diet every so often. As long as what you do does not oppose your objectives entirely, allow yourself occasional guilt-free moments. For instance: allow more freedom over your lunch and dinner during the weekend, and enjoy your favorite desserts, regardless of their sugar content. There’s no need to worry if you keep your portion size under control. But be sensible.

Remember the goals you are aiming to achieve. Don’t forget to exercise, because it will help you ensure those extra calories are put to good use, not to mention help manage your insulin level. And if you are allowing yourself a couple of guilt-free meals over the weekend, make sure your diet is precise during the week.

See it as taking two or three steps forward, with the occasional step back. What matters, in the end, is you are moving forward.

When it comes to treating and stabilizing blood sugar levels and losing weight, patience is a virtue.

Beat water retention

Looking for ways to beat water retention? Here are some tips to help you do just that. But first you need to realize a couple of things about water retention or edema. The first of these things is that water retention can take place due to a multitude of conditions – from less serious ones such as a slightly sedentary lifestyle, to much more serious ones like kidney problems. So different cases of edema can have different causes, even if symptom-wise they seem very similar. In some cases, as a matter of fact, the edema is the only immediately perceivable symptom of a far worse underlying problem that has yet to manifest itself. This is the reason why, if you are suffering from water retention, it is always safest to seek professional help and advice before undergoing any sort of treatment regimen, just to make sure that you are receiving the treatment you really need for your condition – and to make sure that you are really treating the root cause of the problem.

Firstly, doctors can recommend certain medicines based on their diagnosis of your condition. Should they discover, for instance, that your edema is due to a kidney problem, they can prescribe a medicine to help deal with that problem and eliminate it altogether. The bodies of those who suffer from kidney-issue-related water retention may be secreting too much of a certain hormone that makes the body retain both water and salt, thus leading to edema. Medicines that counteract this hormone may be available to manage or eliminate the edema.

Those who have been cleared by medical professionals, or who are under advisement by naturopaths or homeopathic experts, may elect to take natural substances instead, such as diuretics. Many of these substances are quite powerful, so powerful, as a matter of fact, that overuse can result in dehydration. So the advice and/or oversight of a professional may be necessary especially if the case is serious. Many natural substances are known to be diuretics, such as grape seed extract, dandelion, golden seal, gingko biloba, wintergreen, saw palmetto and mint. A wide variety of ways to ingest these substances is available. One may elect to buy preparations in tea form or capsule form, readily available in stores. One may choose to buy or pick raw herbs and concoct preparations oneself – they can be consumed by themselves or as part of a meal, whether in tea form or salad form. Of course this must only be done under the supervision of an expert, as many such herbs are very potent and may be too effective.

Lastly, those who are healthy enough can try to either fast, exercise more, or try a seemingly strange but effective solution: drinking more water. Fasting will stimulate the body to use more of its stored resources, including water. Exercising can have multiple benefits – increased fluid and salt loss through increased perspiration and breathing, better circulation, and higher metabolic rate. Lastly, increasing water intake (albeit not by too much) can help in those cases where edema is caused by low water intake and a resulting tendency of the body to hold on to the water it already has; better water intake can jolt the body back to its normal cycle.

My Dog Beat Epilepsy!

I look forward to sharing a very profound story, lesson and piece of our lives with you. For the last fourteen years our family has included our dogs with just about everything we do from outdoor activities to purchasing a couch large enough for 6 dogs. If you are reading my article, I imagine you have been part of or experienced the horrific act of a dog having a seizure. Please read on so I can share a success story on canine epilepsy.

Tank is our young 6 month old German shorthaired pointer. He earned his name at birth due to the fact that he was one of the biggest pups in the litter and he plowed his way to feed over the others to get milk from mom. One late afternoon as Tank sat in his lazyboy recliner watching animal planet, he went into a stiff posture and started convulsing violently. As his body fell onto the floor with a thud assisted by a gasping sound you would expect from someone who was trying to regain their breath after holding it for an overextended time, the 1 minute seizure seemed like eternity. Rushing to hold him, my wife was already calling our Veterinarian Dr. Dose. As a million thoughts raced through my mind wondering if he was having a heart attack, choking, or some sort of internal organ failure, he continued to convulse and lose all control of his bowels. The uncontrollable thrusting and gasping started to slow down and his body started to feel a little limp. He laid there with his eyes wide open but didn’t show any signs of coherency. While I made my attempts to have him acknowledge my existence and calling his name to try and calm him, Dr. Dose was explaining to my wife what was occurring as a seizure was in progress.

Tank seems to be coming out of the fog. I frantically try to stay calm, gently pet him and try to reassure he is going to be OK as I suddenly realize he still feels confused. He fights through his inability to gain stature, balance and awareness to a mode of fight or flight. The growling and rage compared to that of an animal that was cornered. He made a run for personal safety as his vision and awareness of his surroundings was seriously impaired. Tank hit the wall with enough force to damage the sheetrock. Being the back seat quarter back now, I should have given some space but this was our first episode for both of us. I grabbed a blanket and covered him and proceeded to take him to the backyard so he wouldn’t hurt himself. As Dr. Dose relayed informational instructions to my wife, we gave Tank some time on his own to regain some sort of normalcy. I can share from personal experience having a dedicated and professional veterinarian such as Dr. Dose to help you understand what was happening and what to do is invaluable. Late into the night we took Tank to the Doctors office. We spent some time discussing the possibility of Tank having juvenile epilepsy or various reasons to why the seizure was triggered. The list of reasons was comprehensive. Tests were scheduled and performed. He was put on medication known as Phenobarbital. The long sad drive home was filled with an extensive list of “what if’s” and the hopeful thinking this would be the only seizure our baby would ever have again. The next day his body was trying to adjust to the medicine. His balance was off and a few times witnessed and heard the heartbreaking sound of him stumbling into walls and furniture.

We had a consultation with Dr. Dose and learned about the intricate and diverse nature of not just having a seizure but how Tanks life could or will change. This would affect ours as well. There were hundreds of reasons that could have caused it. I could go on and on about the possibilities for his situation but this is not what this article is about. Going forward the doctor said it is about monitoring and adjusting medication if it persists. Of course there are specialists that can do extensive tests but at this stage we are hoping it is a onetime occurrence.

Not so lucky! Three weeks later while in bed, he became restless and minutes later he subsided to a full blown out seizure again. Our hearts sank as we made sure he was in a safe place and learning from the first episode, we gave him space to let it run its course and again my wife was on the phone with Doctor Dose. We are now starting to have the indication that our Tank didn’t have a onetime deal but would have to live with this the rest of his life. Over the next couple of years there were cycles and clusters of seizures that ranged as frequent as multiples in a week and rarely made it more than a month in between episodes. As time went on, blood tests were done to assure it was OK to increase his dose of Phenobarbital. As the frequency of seizures started to happen, Potassium Bromide was added to his regiment twice a day. Daily at 6:00am and 6:00pm became a time stamp for our daily lives.

The dynamic importance of the first few years and the basis for the title of this article revolves around a little book. Dr. Dose recommended we keep a daily log of Tanks activity, behaviors, foods, weight, medication, seizures, duration and well you get the picture. We kept track of just about everything as we were determined to find out if there was something we could identify as a trigger to his seizures. Some felt this may not be as helpful because it was more than likely a neurological issue that could not be controlled. We wanted to believe we could narrow down the factors and if we could find a pattern we could make adjustments of some sort and do a better job at controlling the amount of episodes our buddy Tank was having. Dr Dose told us about a person who would have a seizure every time this person would smell a bakery or be walking by one. It could have been the smell of bread or something. It was like time to be a detective and see if we could help. We fully understood that this wouldn’t be a cure but again it gives us hope to possibly help or reduce his episodes. I will tell you that a person will need to be dedicated to truly monitoring and logging daily until something is discovered.

Here we go! After extensive monitoring of all daily factors associated with Tank, we came up with a couple of common denominators. We could tie a seizure to Tank on just about 99% of the time whenever he had anything with cheese or the Peanut Butter cookies we purchased from a large chain store. At first we were thinking what a coincidence but could it be true we found the triggering attributes? Immediately we cut these items out of the food stream. It was hard to do for the other dogs as they sure enjoyed the peanut butter milk bones and pizza! For the first time ever, tank was looking at two months without an episode. After week three during the first seizure free month, it was day by day for us wondering when? During first couple of years this was the week we would prepare for him to suffer through another one. We still couldn’t believe we are in the second month and nada! We were wondering if we hit a point of coincidental chance still considering no seizure after three months. Sure enough we need to know so I figure lets really see if cheese could be a trigger or not and gave Tank a slice of mild cheddar. That night he exhibited the restlessness like in the past before an episode and sure enough it was a grand mal. It was now time to keep cheese out of reach for Tank.

A few more successful months went by and now it was time to test the peanut butter milk bones. Sure enough we got the results at Tanks expense. Well I can tell you that we dialed in two items that without a doubt caused havoc in his life. One of the greatest mysteries is how or what does the two items have in common? Cheese and peanut butter milk bones seem so far apart its mind boggling how it is these two items we identified. Tank went years without a seizure and one day while we were having a party, one of our guests gave him a bite of their pizza and presto we gathered more ammo to support our investigative work. Tank lived to be thirteen years old when cancer claimed the guy. His last six years the guy ate like a king. We wanted to make sure he didn’t eat any foods with preservatives or processed ingredients. We also supported his diet with a soy based dog food that was also hypoallergenic. As he got older we wanted to make sure we didn’t go down any paths that would lead him to epileptic fits because it would be a greater strain to his aging body. He got so accustomed to raiding the garden he would actually pick his own tomatoes, green beans and radishes. Most of the time he couldn’t wait for someone to take the greens off the radishes so he would consume it before you could cut it.

I want to make it clear to anyone who reads and hopefully enjoyed this article that this story is based on our true experience, trials and jubilations while sharing our lives with Tank. We are not saying this would work on all dogs, but if you love your dog and have the desire, you may be able to gain some sort of insight as to a common denominator related to seizures in your baby! They key to the possibility of having a similar success in finding such attributes is to take the time to track all daily factors related to each and every issue in your dogs life. This will include what types of food, stressors and even including if your dog was exposed to any type of chemicals which could include the monthly exterminator service.

How To Read Your Spark Plug in a Two Stroke Engine

For a two-stroke engine, having a fresh spark plug is incredibly important. So you should check your plug often.

By “reading” the color of the plug you can tell a lot of things about how the engine is running. The top of a new spark plug is covered in white ceramic insulation. If your engine is running perfectly, then this part of the plug would soon become a tan color. If your plug is grey or white, than you know that your engine is running too lean and you need to take steps to prevent engine damage. First, clean your fuel system, looking for any blockage. Dirt in your carb can cause the bike to run lean. Check your fuel mixture to see if you are mixing the oil and fuel in the correct proportions (50 parts fuel to 1 part oil). There are many factors that can cause an oil and fuel mixture that worked great to become less than ideal. The brand of the gas and the oil as well as air density can affect how well the mixture works.

The lean condition can also be caused by fresh air entering the engine somewhere it shouldn’t. So you should look for loose intake manifold bolts, leaks in the carburetor mounting, faulty gaskets and leaks in the crank seals. You may also need to change to a larger carburetor jet.

If your spark plug is black or oily than that means the engine is running too rich and is not properly combusting fuel. This problem can be caused by too much oil in the fuel and oil mixture and/or having a faulty spark plug that is misfiring. First, you should figure out if the spark plug is the problem. To do so, touch the electrode end of the plug to the engine while pulling the starter. If the sparks that result are blue, then you know you have a fully functioning plug. Install the plug and run the bike for a few minutes. Then stop the bike, remove the spark plug and look at it. If the plug is dark and oily, then you know that the problem is not your plug. You should check your oil and fuel mixture. If the bike’s engine stumbles, sounds clogged up or doesn’t run clear than you might want to get a smaller carburetor jet.

While you should regularly inspect your spark plug, it is essential to check your plug after any type of engine modification to make sure the engine isn’t running too lean. For standard use, the NGK B7HS short thread plugs and B9ES long thread plugs are recommended. For use in competition, the NGK B7HS-10 short thread plugs and the NGK BR9EIX long thread plugs are recommended.

First check your coil for a healthy spark. Use a fresh plug and ground the electrode to the engine while pulling the starter – the spark should be a healthy blue. If so, install the fresh plug, and operate the bike normally for a few minutes, remove the new plug and “read” it. If it still appears blackened or oily, the problem lies elsewhere. A hotter plug in not recommended – make sure your fuel mix is correct, and consider a smaller jet only if the bike stumbles or sounds “full of snot” and doesn’t run crisp. Operating your bike a little too rich won’t hurt it – but too lean is never good. A little dirt in your carb could cause it to run lean, and you wouldn’t even know why your bike was running so nice and crisp until it seized

Alpha Lipoic Acid and Thyroid

Alpha lipoic acid is a great nutrient and if someone has thyroid problems should be careful when taking this substance with their medicine. The thyroid gland is a small organ located on someone’s neck that can look similar to a butterfly. In may seem like it’s not that important of an organ however if it gets damaged it can negatively affect someone’s weight and mood levels like depression.

If someone is taking medication for a thyroid problem they should consult their doctor before taking extra ALA since it can interact with this nutrient. If someone is taking thyroid supplements they should also be very careful of taking alpha lipoic acid because in can increase someone’s metabolism even more and can effect hormone levels.

Alpha lipoic acid also known as ALA is a fatty acid that is good for the human body. It’s created in cells of the human body and its number one job is to convert sugars into energy.  As you can probably imagine it can be very helpful for people who want to lose weight since it can help burn away fat and can help regulate blood sugars since it burns away glucose.

One of the very awesome things about this fatty acid is that it’s an antioxidant and can work in both water and fatty tissue. Antioxidants can neutralize free radicals which stops their destruction and thus improving health in the human body. The fact that it can work in both water and fatty tissue means that it can penetrate many areas of the human system. For example it can be great with nerve damage and has been shown to help with the disease peripheral neuropathy.  

Nerves affect so many things and the disease Parkinson’s as well Alzheimer’s is affected by this as well. Well, ALA can assist with both of these ailments as well as liver disease, cataracts, cancers, and even wrinkles plus many other health problems.

Someone can get more alpha lipoic acid by consuming vegetables such as Brussels sprouts, broccoli, spinach and also some animal proteins as well as whole wheat grains. The next option is for someone to take supplement. Shopping for supplements can be very challenging because there are so many choices and so much information. Imagine if you knew exactly what to look for as well as what to avoid when shopping. Would that make your job easier? Well are group has created a guide that can do this as well as help someone find a really good supplement with alpha lipoic acid. You can view this guide by clicking on <a rel=”nofollow” onclick=”javascript:ga(‘send’, ‘pageview’, ‘/outgoing/article_exit_link/5371550’);” href=””></a>.

How To Teach a Student With Schizophrenia

Schizophrenic symptoms are characterized by hallucinations, delusions, thinking disorder, disorganized behavior, social withdrawal and difficulty in processing one’s thoughts. All these signs can have bad effects on a person’s ability to learn and grow at school.

Teaching a person suffering from schizophrenia is a huge challenge for teachers. The student dealing with this mental disorder falls under the category known as educable mentally handicapped. Educators and heath care professionals say that there are multiple levels of need, based on the person’s testable IQ in a particular question, and the resulting level he or she experiences. These high functioning individuals with lower IQ than the average are known as educable mentally retarded. The IQ of the people who are diagnosed as educable mentally retarded, have noticeable delays, and usually their IQ’s fall in an approximate range of 50 to 75.

Emotionally or behaviorally handicapped student is an industry-wide category that assists teachers in understanding what the student needs are. Teaching methods involves creating individual education plans and putting together specific learning guides for each student. A meeting is necessary for all teachers who guide the students, the school psychologist, therapists or team of medical professionals, guidance counselor, parents or guardians, and the student if they are able to comprehend. During the meeting, the team will create an effective place based on the student’s condition and behavior. This may include using graphic organizers and textbooks.

Individual educational plan often calls for accommodations and adjustments for the student who has schizophrenic symptoms. These modifications may include using graphic organizers for comprehension and learning techniques to aid memory recall. People with schizophrenia often have troubles with understanding and memory recall. Their intellectual capacity is quite weak that is why in most cases using visual map of ideas or concepts helps them to easily comprehend. Creating worksheets for students help them organize their thoughts and understand what they are reading. For instance, some teachers use instructions like “Please click on the “Graphic Organizers” link to find out more graphic organizers”. This may improve the students’ ability to follow instructions and teach them how to use the graphic organizer, and then practice using it with a certain lesson. For example, using ROY G BIV to help the students in remembering the order of the colors in a rainbow and using Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally, this helps them in remembering the order of operations in math involving parenthesis, exponents, multiplication, division, addition, and subtraction.

It is very important to put the modifications in place. It changes to what the student is expected to learn, how they perform during their lessons, and how they will be tested and graded. For instance, if a student is placed in a regular classroom, there will be small, if any, modifications since he will learn what the others are learning. Each modification has more value in a classroom which focuses on special education. Schizophrenic students will have modification like working on a lower grade level book. Moreover, a student who takes an easier standard test, would also take advantage of a modification.

How To Recover From A Mental Illness In A Short Period Of Time

Eight months of dream therapy are enough to help you eliminate the worst symptoms of a mental illness and understand your psychological problems. If you are merely feeling depressed, you will already feel better and believe that you found sound mental health.

You have to keep translating the meaning of your dreams for life if you want to really become a mentally healthy individual because you have inherited too much absurdity and evilness into your anti-conscience, but you will already be able to deal with life’s challenges after seriously following dream therapy for eight months.

I’m talking about translating the meaning of all your dreams according to the scientific method of dream interpretation everyday during these months. If you won’t be so dedicated to your mental health treatment, it will take one year or more. Everything depends on your dedication and on your obedience to the divine guidance in your dreams.

You can learn the dream language thanks to my clarifications and simplifications, and you can also submit your dreams for professional translation.

If your mental health problem is more complicated you need more time, but the first eight months will show you what is happening within your conscience. You will understand why you have strange reactions and feelings.

Your satanic anti-conscience is the main responsible for all your psychological problems. If it managed to destroy a big portion of your human conscience, you keep listening to its thoughts in your conscience. The invasion of your anti-conscience into the conscious field happens with absurd thoughts. With these thoughts, your anti-conscience keeps inducing you to indifferently accept its absurdity and evilness.

All your dreams are produced by God, the only one who knows how to fight Satan. Your satanic anti-conscience is a terrible demon that generates terrible mental illnesses within your conscience in order to control your behavior. This is a scientific and a religious fact.

Unfortunately, everything you have learned about Satan is true, and this monster lives in your own brain. The anti-conscience is a crazy demon that wants to spread terror everywhere. It pretends to be ‘you’ and it pretends to have the desire to help you achieve your goals, however, this is not true.

Your anti-conscience’s intention is to destroy your conscience with its absurd thoughts and with all the deceptions you will have after doing what it suggests. All mental illnesses are formed by the absurdity imposed by the anti-conscience and the traumatic experiences it generates in the outside world.

Dream therapy helps you recover from a mental illness because the information you have in your dreams shows you how to stop being a slave for your anti-conscience. You learn how to develop your conscience instead of being a victim of your evil side.

You learn how to offer resistance to the invasion of absurdity and evilness into your conscience, and you understand how to behave based on God’s wisdom.

This method works for all cases, since all mental illnesses are caused by the anti-conscience, and God knows how to help your conscience fight the demon in all situations.

Today you have a clear image of what generates a mental disorder and how you can fight your invisible enemy. Your dreams and your religion help you understand the abstract meaning of your existence, which is as important as the meaning of your physical reality.

Duck CVA diagnosis coding pitfalls with 438.13, 438.14

However, you will turn to a V code when your neurologist reports.

When your neurologist tends to a patient who had a stroke, either now or in the distant past, he may record a number of different conditions, which makes your job tougher. If you remember a few guidelines, you will choose the right ICD-9 codes for every cerebrovascular accident (CVA) case your neurologist tends to.

Get specific with two CVA diagnosis codes

When your neurologist tends to a patient who has had a stroke, or CVA, he may document multiple deficiencies, both new as well as lingering. When the patient presents with speech and language deficits, you have two diagnosis codes to select from.

To aid both differentiate the etiology of speech and language deficits, and to add specificity to those deficits, ICD-9 2010 covers two cerebrovascular disease late effects codes 438.13 (Late effects of cerebrovascular disease, speech and language deficits, dysarthria) and 438.14 (…, fluency disorder [stuttering]).

If you’re not aware of the “combined” ICD-9 late effects codes often you might misreport the ICD-9 code(s) indicating that the patient has the active or ongoing condition; in this case a CVA rather than going for the compliant late effect code.

Here’s an example: Your neurologist tends to a patient who suffered a stroke three years ago and has subsequent hemiplegia on her right (dominant) side. Here, you may go for 434.91 (Cerebral artery occlusion, unspecified, with cerebral infarction) and 342.91 (Hemiplegia, unspecified, affecting dominant side) in error as if the patient is dynamically being treated for a current occlusion and hemiplegia rather than going for the correct combined late effects code, 438.21 (Late effect of cerebrovascular disease; Hemiplegia affecting dominant side), according to Marvel J. Hammer, RN, CPC, CCS-P, PCS, ACSPM, CHCO, owner of MJH Consulting in Denver.

Alter your late effects code thinking for CVA

Coding for CVA patients is done a bit differently than coding late effects from other conditions like spinal cord injury from an accident.

Important: When reporting late effects of a stroke, you only require to use a single ICD-9 code to describe the late effects or manifestations of the CVA, rather than go for two ICD-9 codes – one for the residual effect while one for the condition’s cause or as sometimes referenced as the etiology of the manifestation.

Codes recounting late effects of stroke appear in a different section of the ICD-9 manual (438). These codes, like 438.11 (Late effects of cerebrovascular disease; aphasia) and 438.21 (… hemiplegia affecting dominant side), explain both the manifestation as well as the etiology of the condition.

Let documentation show you the way on active versus late effects

“A late effect is any residual effect that results from the original injury and/or condition and can be coded as such at any time after the onset of the condition,” Claudia Kernaghan, CPC, coder for Nevada Imaging Centers in Las Vegas says.

Here’s an example: A patient may have a vertebral fracture and continue to suffer from pain years after the fracture heals. While some late effects present early, others might become obvious months or years later.

Watch out: Do not confuse late effects with complications. A complication is normally associated with a difficulty or problem that takes place with a specific procedure (996.xx) and not a condition owing to the original disease or injury.

To find out if a condition is a late effect, you should look in your neurologist’s documentation for keywords like:

Due to – like “pain in right hip due to fracture last year” • Following – like “personality changes following a brain injury in 1996” • As a consequence of – such as “hemiplegia as a result of CVA” • Residual effect — like “arthritis that’s a residual effect of previous hip fracture.” Capture ‘No Effects’ with the help of V12.54 There can be examples where a patient who suffered a CVA doesn’t have any neurologic deficits present.

The Causes of Aura Migraine

Aura migraine is a common type of migraine, often classified as the casual aura migraine, wherein the person who suffers from it is experiencing not just severe pain in the head but also some sort of visual disturbances such as blurred vision, difficulty in distinguishing color, hallucinations, partial blindness and eye numbness. These disturbances are also called auras, and these usually proceed to migraine headaches most of the times. The auras usually happen for about minutes then to hours before the migraine starts to trigger. The auras can occur without pain, and this is called a migraine equivalent.

The causes of aura migraine are also similar with the causes that trigger the actual migraine. But generally, the cause of aura migraine is the preceding of the migraine attack. So what are focused here will be the causes of migraine itself. Scientifically, migraine is caused by the rapid narrowing and swelling of the blood vessels and some of it being clogged in due to excessive secretion of chemicals produced by the nerve fibers in the brain that causes the blockage. These activities inside the brain are due to the man’s involvement on harmful acts, plus some factors in the environment. Some of these include:

(1) eating certain foods that you are allergic of;

(2) frequent smoking and drinking;

(3) bright lights and loud sounds;

(4) unbalanced diet and lack of exercise;

(5) irregular sleep and rest;

(6) engaging in stressful activities;

(7) eating foods with many preservatives such as monosodium glutamate and tyramine;

(8) physical, mental and emotional stress;

(9) tensions and pressures; and

(10) hormonal changes.

The term “aura” describes a neurological disorder that occurs shortly before the migraine starts to be felt. The symptoms of aura migraine include visual, sensory, auditory and natural symptoms. Visual symptoms are events that happen in the eyes that affects the sight; sensory and auditory symptoms are those that affect the hearing and sensing capabilities of the migraine sufferer; and natural symptoms include fears, tensions and anxieties. Visual aura migraine is the most common among the neurological events. The visual changes that happen before the occurrence of the aura migraine include: appearance of zigzag lines in the sight, flashing lights, visual hallucinations, blurredness, sighting blind spots which are temporary, sensitivity to light and pain in the eyeballs. Aura migraines also include auditory changes such as hearing unusual voices and sounds and their modulations from the environment. Other disturbances include smelling strange scents, feelings of numbness, weakness or unsteadiness, inability to understand or comprehend, inability to speak properly and clearly, the feeling of being separated from your own body, excessive saliva forming in the mouth and gustatory hallucinations.

Aura migraines can cause great discomfort, but this is not life-threatening, unless you did not took care of yourself from this painful disorder. There are proper medications in treating aura migraine such as natural cures and drugs. But when they are taken excessively, it will result to more severe migraines; when they are consumed for a long period of time, they can cause stomach pains, ulcers and internal hemorrhages. The frequency of the migraine can be determined by knowing the intensity of the aura. So the things should be prevented when experiencing an aura are driving, playing a sport, studying and being exposed to radiations. Aura tends to show up first before the migraine, so at the first place, start knowing the possible medications to treat that. Aura migraines are difficult to handle like other forms of migraines, but this condition is considered to be the disorder with the widest scope.

Herbal Remedies to Control Scarring In Alopecia

Treating this hair loss condition proves to be extremely difficult as with the destruction of the hair follicles, it becomes very difficult to carry out a hair restoration. Hair loss treatment for this condition is usually based on retaining the remaining hair which is vulnerable to falling out and arresting further loss. The treatment procedure also targets a reduction in inflammation, scaling, pigmentation, and redness of the scalp area.

Scarring Alopecia and Possibilities of Hair Loss Treatment and Hair Restoration

In case of scarring alopecia, the hair loss is permanent. Hair follicles do not get restored to the scarred areas and a hair transplant is also not possible. However, for those affected with this hair fall condition, there are a number of remedies that can help in treating the scar tissues.

Gotu Kola

This is an aquatic herb commonly found in the southern hemisphere. Its medicinal qualities have made it popular down the years and Gotu Kola has been in use for many centuries. This herb can be easily procured in the form of an ointment from all health stores. Applying on newly formed scars usually gives the best results for this herbal remedy. The various components present within it help in regulating collagen production. It also increases blood flow to the scarring tissues thereby improving the skin elasticity. Gotu Kola also has an antioxidant effect that helps in regeneration of the skin tissues.

Aloe Vera

Aloe vera exists in 400 different species and it is the aloe barbadensis variety that usually possesses all medicinal properties. Numerous cosmetics contain aloe vera extracts but its effects are best observed when the gel is applied in wholesome form directly from the leaves. This herb has an anti-inflammatory effect that helps in regeneration of new skin cells and also repairs wounds. The use of aloe vera also helps in improving the appearances of existing scars.


One of the most popular over-the-counter scar treatment creams Mederma contains onions as an active ingredient. Applying this gel around four times a day to the scarred areas help in producing improved results. Onions have anti-inflammatory properties which also regulate over-production of collagen that would have otherwise led to hypertrophic scars breaking out on the skin.

While there are no approved methods for treating the scarring alopecia hair loss condition, surgery is the only way forward that helps in arresting the hair fall. Once the condition dies down, patches of skin from the unaffected areas may be taken and transplanted on to the larger areas that have been affected by scarring. Topical application of minoxidil combined with hair grafting surgery also helps in hair loss treatment to a certain extent.

The Connection Between Thyroid Function and Heart Attacks

The thyroid gland is a small formation at the base of the throat that plays a tremendous role in the energetic metabolism of the cells. In case of a hypo-reactive thyroid there are some alarming signs from other parts of the body: high cholesterol in the blood, high blood pressure and as consequences, high risks of heart and blood vessels diseases.
Many elderly women prove no major signs of thyroid dysfunction, but if a high pressure in the blood occurs, additional testing might diagnose a link.

A large scientific study was made in the Dutch city of Rotterdam on persons over 55 years of age. About 1000 women had already undergone menopause at the time of the study. The subjects were asked about their age, medical history, weight, height, and smoking status. Further testing was based on measuring the blood pressure, the blood cholesterol and the thyroid hormone level in the blood; every patient underwent an EKG examination and also the antibodies of the thyroid cells were leveled.

A clearly under-active thyroid would show evident signs such as dry skin and hair, lethargy, feeling cold. That is why all patients with no manifested symptoms but with a normal thyroxin level and a TSH over 4mUI were diagnosed with subclinical hypothyroidism.

Questions about the medical history and an EKG exam helped doctors determine if the subjects had before suffered from a heart attack. A lower back radiography was done to establish possible signs of atherosclerosis if calcium deposits were present in the aorta.

All patients were dynamically observed and the families were asked about the morbidity or mortality connected to a miocardic infarct.

From about 1000 women aged 69 12% have been diagnosed with a subclinical hypothyroidism but the major percent of them had a normal thyroid activity. The women diagnosed with an under active gland showed a higher susceptibility to developing atherosclerosis or experience a MI.

But scientists also showed that subclnical hypothyroidism increased the risk of a micardic infarct in the same level smoking, diabetes, high blood pressure and high blood cholesterol did.

In the investigated women group, 16 patients suffered a MI in the following 4-5 years. Studies showed susceptibility two and a half times higher in women with under active thyroid gland.

Final results of the study showed a direct connection between the subclinical hypothyroidism and the risk of cardiovascular diseases. The risk of heart attack and aorta atherosclerosis is as high in case of under-active thyroid gland as in case of the other risk factors like smoking, high blood cholesterol, diabetes and hypertension.

For more resources about thyroid or even about thyroid conditions please review this pages

Don’t Give Up on Hair Loss Treatments Yet – Here Are 6 of the Best Natural Hair Growth Remedies

Natural hair restoration remedies are in abundance for those of you who would prefer to achieve regrowth of hair naturally, and heal your body from the inside out. All of the ingredients are healthy, natural and cheap, readily available from your local market, health food stores. Cut out the expense of surgical procedures and try these herbal remedies for hair regrowth.

Aloe Vera

We all know that Aloe Vera contains properties that are great for healing our skin from cuts and burns. But did you know it contains enzymes that also promote hair growth? It is probably one of the best herbal remedies for hair regrowth and you can use it many different ways:

  • Aloe Vera Gel or Lotion – this is easily available from your local health-food store. Make sure its purity is no less than 99.9%. You can apply it directly to your scalp daily. Leave on for between 30-45mins and rinse out
  • Aloe Vera Shampoo – You can make your own shampoo, combining Aloe Vera gel with a small amount of wheat germ oil and coconut milk. This can be used daily as your staple shampoo
  • In its natural state – you can also buy the plant for your home, which is relatively cheap! Instead of the gel, you can take a few leaves off, cut them open and massage the pulp and juice onto your scalp. Rinse off after 30 mins

Wild Yam Root

This one is just for you ladies! Wild Yam Root promotes hair growth in women…and women only. The root produces Progesterone in your body, which not only balances the production of hormones, but also treats several menopausal symptoms, including hair loss. It makes a great natural hair restoration remedy and fortunately, it is available in many forms:

  • Orally – via liquid extract, tablets or capsules. Normal doses of wild yam are 2 capsules three times a day or as a tincture, 40 – 120 drops, three times daily
  • As a herbal tea – steep 1 to 2 teaspoons of dried root in 8 oz of boiling water for 3 to 5 minutes


For those of you that don’t know already, onions are an excellent source for its cleansing, antibacterial and stimulation effects on the scalp. Containing a high number of important vitamins and minerals, onions are extremely effective in regenerating hair follicles, scalp circulation and stimulating hair growth. Here’s how best to experience this herbal remedy for hair growth:

  • Peel the skin off one large onion and place into a juicer. If you don’t own a juicer, you can try a blender
  • Massage the juice into the scalp and onto the roots of your hair, specifically in the thinning and balding area
  • Leave there to sit for at least 1 hour
  • Follow this with your regular shampoo and conditioner
  • Repeat this twice a day and you should see the start of hair growth within two weeks


Not only is it perfect for adding that bit of extra flavour to your spicy meals, but garlic is also brilliant in its ability to remove harmful toxins stimulate blood circulation, essential for hair growth and preventing hair from shedding. So how best to take it:

  • Garlic Extract – odourless garlic extract supplements are available form any health-food store. It’s advised to take 1-6 daily, preferably with meals
  • In natural form – adding 1 garlic clove for added flavor in meals

Emu Oil

Emu oil is obtained from Emu fat and has been proven to regenerate inactive hair follicles. Studies have reported that Emu oil revitalizes skin cells on the scalp and produce up to 80% hair regrowth naturally. Emu oil can be applied topically to the balding/thinning area and deeply massaged into the scalp. Leave it on for 10-20mins and immediately follow up with your regular shampoo. You don’t need to rinse the oil off first.

Essential Oils

There are many essential oils that promote natural hair regrowth by stimulating the hair follicles. The following recipe contains the most effective herbal oils for hair growth

Hair Oil Recipe

  • 3 drops of essential oil of thyme, lavender, rosemary, cedarwood, 20ml of grapeseed oil and 20ml of jojoba oil
  • Mix the ingredients together and massage 6-15 drops into your scalp and hair for 3-5 minutes every night, paying particular attention to the balding/thinning area
  • Cover your hair in either a warm towel or plastic shower cap for at least 45mins for your scalp to generate heat and absorb the oils. If applying at night, you can sleep with the oils on overnight
  • Wash out with your regular shampoo

How To Stop Tinnitus – This Is How To Get Rid Of Tinnitus The Natural Way!

Tinnitus is a phenomenon of the nervous system that is characterized by the perception of a ringing or buzzing noise with no external source. Tinnitus and dementia are usually closely connected with each other. Dementia is characterized by a decrease in cognitive ability. The person may have a reduced ability to concentrate, recall information and assess the situation correctly. People with tinnitus often have neurological disorders and blood circulation problems. Due to the fact that tinnitus is a medical condition in which the nervous system is also involved, if left untreated it could lead to premature senility or dementia. If the patient that suffers from tinnitus also shows signs of early dementia like forgetting names and important dates and experiencing disorientation, then the problem should not be taken lightly. It must be treated immediately to prevent further deterioration of the mental condition of the patient.

Causes of the disease: As a general rule, anything that can lead to hearing loss can also result in tinnitus. The most common causes include:

  • Exposure to noise. People who go to concerts or clubs frequently without protecting their ears, can suffer the greatest damage. Even in our daily lives, the noise level is often very high. Although we do not always perceive it, we are exposed to loud noise every day. In this way, our ears are actually approaching the limit of noise that they can withstand by nature. People who work for years in a noisy environment are particularly at risk.
  • Ear infections. Scarlet fever, meningitis or even something as simple as otitis, can lead to permanent hearing loss and tinnitus if not treated with the appropriate medication.
  • Some medications such as aspirin and certain antibiotics.
  • An overactive thyroid or the presence of anemia.
  • Diseases of the head (certain kinds of cancer) and serious head injuries.]
  • Ossification of the small ear bones (otosclerosis).
  • Presence of ear wax
  • Injury
  • Stress
  • Meniere’s syndrome
  • Problems with blood pressure

If the ringing occurs in only one ear it should be taken more seriously, as it could be caused by an acoustic neuroma, a rare tumor that grows near the auditory nerve that connects the ear to the brain.

How to get rid of tinnitus:

  • Avoid aspirin, alcohol and smoking, because these substances can damage your hearing.
  • Never sit directly in front of the speakers: doubling the distance from the sound source can reduce the level of the noise by about 6 dB.
  • Take a break: after listening to loud music, take a break longer than the exposure to the sound.
  • Wear earplugs or hearing protection, even when the sound does not feel uncomfortable. Hearing loss can occur even at lower frequencies that may be hardly felt, because it doesn’t cause any pain.
  • Using alternative treatments, such as relaxation techniques, yoga, meditation, acupuncture and hypnosis can also be helpful.