Chest Pain: Causes and Treatment

In medicine, chest pain is a symptom of a number of serious conditions and is generally considered a medical emergency, unless the patient is a known angina pectoris sufferer and the symptoms are familiar (appearing at exertion and resolving at rest, known as “stable angina”). When the chest pain is not attributed to heart disease, it is termed non-cardiac chest pain.

Chest pain is one of the most frightening symptoms a person can have. It is sometimes difficult even for a doctor or other medical professional to tell what is causing chest pain and whether it is life-threatening.

Chest pain and heart attack

Chest discomfort or pain is a key warning symptom of a heart attack. Heart attack symptoms include:

1. Chest discomfort or pain that is crushing or squeezing or feels like a heavy weight on the chest.

2. Chest discomfort or pain that occurs with:
a. Sweating.
b. Shortness of breath.

Causes

causes of chest pain include:

1. Asthma, which is generally accompanied by shortness of breath, wheezing, or cough.

2. Pneumonia, a blood clot to the lung (pulmonary embolism), the collapse of a small area of a lung (pneumothorax), or inflammation of the lining around the lung (pleurisy). In these cases, the chest pain often worsens when you take a deep breath or cough and usually feels sharp.

3. Chest pain is merely a symptom, not a diagnosis. Many medical problems can cause chest pain, and before the chest pain can be adequately treated, the actual underlying cause needs to be identified. The following is a list of the more common causes of chest pain, roughly in order of the frequency in which they are seen in the emergency room.

4. Heart attack. A heart attack can cause pressure, fullness or a crushing pain in your chest that lasts more than a few minutes.

5. Pericarditis. Inflammation of the sac surrounding your heart (pericarditis) causes sharp, piercing and centralized chest pain. You may also have a fever and feel sick.

6. A broken rib can be quite painful, especially when you cough or try to take a deep breath.

7. A blood clot in the lung (pulmonary embolism), which usually causes deep chest pain with the rapid development of extreme shortness of breath.

Treatment of Chest Pain

Taking care of yourself at home
If your doctor has ruled out serious causes of chest pain, it is likely you will make a full recovery. General self-care suggestions include:

* Follow your doctor’s advice about treatment.
* In the first few days at home, try to take it easy.
* Rest if you feel tired.

Standard treatment begins with coronary angiogram to determine the presence of disease and medication therapy. As disease severity progresses, treatment moves to interventional strategies, such as stents or coronary artery bypass surgery. The majority of patients with coronary artery disease achieve excellent results with these standard therapies.

Home Remedies for Ankle Swelling – Quickest Ways to Get Rid of it

It may affect both legs and may include the calves or even the thighs. But, most importantly, cut down on processed foods and fast foods, all of which are overflowing with salt.

Swollen ankles, feet and legs, referred to medically as edema, occur when fluid is retained in the spaces between body cells. While edema typically affects the feet, ankles and lower legs, it can also impact any area of the body, causing systemic symptoms.

Symptoms:
Initially, the feet, ankles and legs will appear swollen as the day progresses, but after a period of time, the swelling will set in first thing in the morning and continue to worsen throughout the day. Long-term edema causes pitting: When you press on the swollen area for a few seconds, you will notice an indentation in that area. Continued swelling can cause skin ulcerations.

Home Remedies for Ankle Swelling
Lift ankle so that the leg is straight in front of you on the sofa or on a chair. Place an ice pack, or ice in a plastic bag wrapped in a clean dish towel on the raised ankle.

Apply a cold pack to control the swelling, such as crushed ice in a plastic bag, a cold gel pack, or a bag of frozen peas or green beans. Wrap the cold pack in a dishcloth so that it does not contact your skin directly. When the pack warms up, refreeze it and reapply it later. I use two 12 x 18 in gel packs, so one is always in the freezer.

Vinegar To soothe tendinitis, sprains, strains, and general foot aches, alternate hot and cold vinegar wraps. First, heat equal amounts of vinegar and water. Soak a towel in the mixture, wring it out, and wrap it around your foot. Leave it wrapped for five minutes. Then mix equal parts vinegar and cold water and follow the same procedure. Repeat this entire sequence three times.

Cucumber is another great cure for swollen feet. Place a slice of cucumber on your foot and cover with a cotton cloth or bandage. Cucumber will absorb the fluid and speed recovery.

Lecithin seeds
Lecithin seeds are another effective home remedy for the treatment of Swelling of Feet during Pregnancy. Take 3-4 tablespoon of lecithin seeds every day for 2-3 month. This has a magical effect and shows great result within 2-3 months.

Sleeping or resting in one direction of your body (side turn) and keeping your legs raised using soft cushion reduces swelling of feet.

Boil 1-2 glass of water containing half tablespoon molasses (gud) and one tablespoon saunf, and boil it down to half. Leave it wrapped for five minutes. Duncan. Vessels and capillaries tear, leaking blood. Repeat this entire sequence three times.

Vitamin E-rich food
It is also found that Vitamin E-rich food is good for patients suffering from Swelling of Feet during Pregnancy. Some of the Vitamin E-rich food is spinach, almond oil, sweet potato, sunflower seeds, and wheat germs.

Exercise

Sit on the carpet and stretch your leg in the front, rotate your leg 10-15 times in a clockwise direction and then in the same way rotate in the anti-clock wise direction for 10-15 times. This reduces swelling of feet and improves blood circulation in the feet.

Living with Mitral Valve Prolapse Syndrome/Dysautonomia

Mitral Valve Prolapse Syndrome with dysautonomia is a potentially disabling disorder that is difficult to control. Once you learn how, you can live a normal life again.

To begin, contact a knowledgeable cardiologist, who specializes in MVPS/D. Some patients have to carry literature to inform their local doctors. Before I found my good cardiologist, I read the few books and articles available then and gave the copied articles to my doctor. He then arranged for a cardiologist, specialized in MVPS/D, to visit the clinic monthly.

The cardiologist might need to prescribe medications for your many and varied symptoms. Not all MVPS/D patients take medications. If you can tolerate your symptoms, as my son chose to do, you don’t need drugs. If you cannot control your chest pain, the doctor may prescribe a beta blocker. If your nervous system gets out of balance and a dysautonomia sets in, other medications can be prescribed so you can live without panic attacks, extreme nervousness, depression, or even migraine headaches. Every patient is different.

Two musts for all MVSP/D patients are exercise and rest. The easiest exercise is a daily, half-hour walk at least four times weekly. If it’s too cold or hot outside, find an indoor place. A treadmill or stationery bicycle can be used. Yet adequate rest is necessary to recondition your body with adequate exercise.

The final necessity lies in diet. Intake no stimulants, which include caffeine and sugar and many food preservatives. Most MVPS/D patients have low blood volume, so it is vital to drink enough liquids daily. A good equation is one ounce of non-alcoholic fluid to every degree of the outside temperature. Thus, if the day is 70 degrees, drink 70 ounces. In the winter, drink eight, eight-ounce glasses daily.

While MVPS/D varies with each patient, all MVPS/D patients must include in their lives diet (and drinking) and exercise (and rest), locate a knowledgeable cardiologist, and perhaps take medications. Once those nasty symptoms are under control, you can enjoy life again.

Heart Attack: Delaying Brain Death In Cardiac Arrest Victims

Heart Attack: Delaying Brain Death in Cardiac Arrest Victims

As the victim of a heart attack stops breathing, a process of irreversible brain damage starts to occur within the first three or four minutes.  Or, does it?

Years ago, while researching heart attack and cases of sudden cardiac arrest, I stumbled upon an article in Newsweek Magazine about a boy drowning in icy waters.  Despite being submerged for over half an hour, he was pulled from the frigid river, resuscitated, and lived to recover completely.  He suffered no brain damage, and I wondered how this could happen.

My investigations shifted to how some people can apparently drown in cold water, have their heart stop beating (as in acute myocardial infarction or cardiac arrest,) stop breathing, and upon resuscitation — sometimes up to an hour later — completely recover and experience no brain damage. 

I wondered if a person’s chance for survival from a heart attack without brain damage could be extended past the 4-minute mark, as if he were submerged in cold water. 

My investigations became centered around why there is a delay of brain damage and brain death in cold water drowning victims and could that transfer to heart attack victims.

Brain Injury

An injury to the brain occurs when the flow of blood is disrupted.  It’s called a hypoxic-anoxic brain injury or “HAI.”  Hypoxic means partial lack of oxygen, anoxic means total lack of oxygen.

When oxygen deprivation to the brain is caused by an internal event like a heart attack, or acute myocardial infarction, it is considered an Hypoxicischemic injury – or HII.  The most frequent cause is from cardiac arrest.     

Driven to Research

I became curious… Every day I thought about “What if?”

What if…  we could delay brain death by submersing the heart attack victim in cold water? 

What if…  in an emergency – a victim could be placed in cold water at the first signs of cardiac arrest.

What if…  we could trigger this delay of brain damage in the event of an acute myocardial infarction by placing the victim in a cold shower?  What if…  that would delay the onset of an hypoxic brain damage injury?  What if… there was just something we could do to delay brain death in heart attack victims – like in cold water drownings…

The real question remained: In an emergency can the delay of brain damage be extended in cardiac arrest victims? 

If this were possible, to delay brain damage past four minutes, it would allow critical extra time before brain damage would start to occur to allow emergency personnel to reach heart attack victims and apply CPR, chest compressions or other therapy.

What if… you lived in the country and your spouse had a heart attack, and you didn’t know CPR?  Would submersion in cold water delay the onset of brain damage?  Because your choices of what you can do would be very poor without this kind of option.  You could call for help or an ambulance, then you could watch.  Sorry if this doesn’t sound good, but that’s the reality of it.

The questions kept me up at nights for years.

I kept thinking about it and thinking about it – what is it about cold water that delayed brain damage?  Can this be used in heart attack victims?  What if… if it worked?  How many lives it would save. 

I spent the nights and weekends, and the next few summers in the Philadelphia medical hospital libraries.  Days and nights of research.  Until I figured out the answer.  And here it is.

Here’s how to delay brain damage in heart attack victims.

My research into cold water drowning victims showed that the hypothermia created by the cold water helps to delay brain damage in cold water drowning victims.  But that’s not the specific reason cold water drowning victims survive up to an hour with no brain damage. 

The specific reason cold-water drowning victims survival without brain damage is due to the triggering of a natural reflex called the Mammalian Diving Reflex.  This oxygen-conserving reflex – found in all mammals – is responsible for delaying brain death and saving cold water drowning victim’s lives without brain injury, or HAI. 

My research also uncovered that the specific trigger point of initiating the diving reflex is a facial immersion in cold water.  Just the face.  Cold water — face only, triggers this entire reflex. 

Hypothesis:

When the oxygen supply to the brain of a person is shut off by heart attack or acute myocardial infarction, I believe it is possible to delay the onset of brain damage by triggering the mammalian diving reflex. 

The Dobkin Technique to trigger the diving reflex is to apply wet, cold compresses TO THE FACE of the victim.  When a person has a heart attack and stops breathing, immediately apply cold water, cold wet towels, or cold compresses (58 degrees or colder) to the face of the victim specifically covering the eyes.

The eyes, the ophthalmic nerve, is the exact trigger point to initiate the diving reflex — and delay the onset of brain damage formerly thought to occur within 3 to 4 minutes of oxygen deprivation to the brain.

The most apparent and immediate application for initiating the Dobkin Technique is to delay brain damage in heart attack victims. Heart attacks are the fourth largest cause of death in the U.S.  Using The Dobkin Trigger to initiate the diving reflex would expand the 3 or 4 minute safety window by delaying brain damage and brain death up to a half hour, maybe longer in heart attack victims.

The Dobkin Technique to delay brain death in heart attack victims will also work in victims of suffocation (asphyxia), electrocution, drug overdose, warm water drownings (which does not trigger this reflex), chest trauma – all these people could be helped by this easy to use, time-buying procedure of a simple cold wet towel or cold water compress to the face to delay the onset of brain damage. 

You can help.  You can help a lot.  Simply be aware you may be able to save someone’s life by initiating the Dobkin Technique – the immediate application of cold water or cold wet towels to the face of a heart attack victim in an emergency.

The Dobkin Technique is a simple-to-do, non-invasive time-buying procedure to delay brain damage.  It can be explained over the phone.  The procedure can be  done someone who is not trained; or by a child.

Please help.  Please report any instances of cold water drownings or the application of The Dobkin Technique to Delay Brain Damage to the writer – we’ll make sure to post all results.

You can make a real difference. Right here, right now. Pass it on. Publish this article on your website.  Please forward this article to family and friends, anyone you care about.  This simple technique may save someone’s life. Maybe the life of someone you know – or the life of one of their children.  Thanks.

Discovering the 6 Causes of Heart Attacks

The four chambered heart in human beings is a complex pumping device where purified blood from the pulmonary veins coming from the lungs is supplied to the rest of the body and carbonated blood from the pulmonary artery is pumped for purification and oxygenation to the lungs. This small piece of organ is as vital as the human brain itself and though we fancy our brains for most of the chores executed daily in our lives it is the heart, which at the foundation of the human organs, governs the vital activities of all the other organs in the body including the brain. Once the heart stops pumping then all the vital signs of life cease to exist. It is for this reason that the heart occupies the very helm of all the organs structured inside a mammal and other life forms.

Myocardium Infraction or coronary thrombosis as it is popularly called in the medical terminology is known as a heart attack for the layman. A heart attack is one of the most acute problems that the human body can suffer from as heart disease in one of America’s greatest killers.

Scientific researchers have revealed that the prime cause of heart arrest is due to blockage in the coronary artery via cholesterol; while some of the others view it in the light of the genetic inheritance of the human chromosome. Whatever the reasons may be, impromptu medical attention is required for the patient suffering from a heart attack.

Even as the scientific researchers identify the minor and major degrees of heart attacks, prevention is always at the forefront of heart health.

The following is a list of some of the known and unknown causes of cardiac arrest:

Smoking is indeed perceived as the most common cause for lung cancer but did you know it is also a major cause for cardiac arrest? Smoking causes artery stiffness by acute deposition of carbon into them, thus elevating the CLD levels in the body which is the root cause of heart attacks.

Hypertension: – Hyper tension is one of the most common problems of the contemporary world and is a result of eminent anxiety caused by excessive work loads or concern. The arteries tend to dilate thus profusion of cholesterol increases, thereby increasing the chances of heart attacks.

Sex oriented medicines: – Recently large numbers of cases were reported for cardiac arrest with the introduction of Viagra. Acting as a stimulant for the body, the medicine is said to have aroused sudden increases in blood supply to all the major muscles which unfortunately caused the unnatural break down of already clogged arteries and veins damaging the vital network of the heart.

Aggression: – It is believed that too much aggression can also play a significant role in causing heart attacks.

Diet: – While it is very much emphasized to maintain a balanced diet rich in fibers and vitamins, the advice goes unheeded by the majority of us. Junk food is the major concern as the majority of food we eat comes fried or is associated with preservatives which when mixed with the blood becomes the major cause of concern for our metabolism and heart which is constantly pumping impure abnormal viscous blood. 

Fried food: – Most of us appreciate deep fried chicken or French fries from time to time. Well, for the record each time we consume such delicacies, we are injecting mammoth proportions of cholesterol into our body and heart. Although the food may tantalize your taste buds, it is also a sweet poison that will gradually make your heart weak resulting in Myocardium Infraction.   

Living a healthier lifestyle can greatly improve your chances of living longer and happier. Even though we tend to live at a rapid pace with a daily routine of work, family, friends and more, you must always take the time to treat your body right by slowing things down for a minute. Eat right if not always, then at least every once in awhile. Exercise and maintain a stable state of mind to help alleviate stress. Follow a few simple rules to create better heart health. For more on living a healthier life, visit our “Health” section.        

Heart Diseases— Symptoms of Heart Diseases

Beside cancer, heart disease kills more than 2,000 Americans everyday. Approximately 60 million Americans have heart disease. There are many causes of heart disease. Anything that serves to damage the inner lining of blood vessels and impedes the transportation of oxygen and nutrition to the heart can be defined as a risk of heart disease. Here are some early indication of heart disease symptoms:

1. Leg cramps during walking
Leg cramps during exercise might be caused by dehydration. It is important to drink a lot of fluid during exercise. Leg cramps occur when the muscle suddenly and forcefully contracts. The most common muscles to contract in this manner are muscles that cross two joints. Leg cramps during walking might be an indication of heart disease caused by arteries in your leg being clogged up by cholesterol in result of not enough oxygen being delivered to the cells in your leg. If this symptom persists, please consult with your doctor.

2. Chest pain
Chest pain is caused by blood vessels in the heart temporarily being blocked up. It is also caused by inadequate oxygen supply to the heart muscle or coronary . The persistence of chest pain would be an early indication of heart diseases.

3. Shortness of breath
Shortness of breath (dyspnea) is the major symptom of the left ventricular insufficiency. People with shortness of breath are four times more likely to die from a heart disease related cause than individuals without any symptoms.

4. Headaches
People see sparkling zigzag lines or loss of vision before a migraine attack may be at particular risk of future cardiovascular problems. Generally headaches do not cause heart diseases but a sudden, explosive onset of great pain might be.

5. Dizziness
Dizziness can have many causes including low blood count, low iron in the blood stream and other blood disorders, dehydration, and viral illnesses. Since there are many different conditions that can produce these symptoms, anybody experiencing episodes of severe headaches or dizziness ought to be checked by your doctor.

6. Palpitations
Palpitations is an extremely common symptom of heart disease. Palpitations are skips in the heart beats and irregular heart beats.

7. Loss of consciousness
It is a common symptom, most people pass out at least once in their lives. However, sometimes loss of consciousness indicates a dangerous or even life-threatening condition such as heart disease so when loss of consciousness occurs it is important to figure out the cause.

There are many more symptoms such as fatigue, memory defects, and changes in skin tone and temperature. If you have any of the above symptoms please check with your doctor. For more information, please visit my home page at:

Kyle J. Norton
http://medicaladvisorjournals.blogspot.com

http://heartdiseases01.blogspot.com/

How Is Tuberculosis Treated?

Tuberculosis Treatment

Tuberculosis, commonly referred to as TB, is an infection that affects the lungs and may also affect bones, joints, the circulatory system and central nervous system. This disease can be highly contagious if left untreated. In 1993, the World Health Organization declared TB to be a world health emergency because of the frequency of infection and the ease in which it spreads. It is estimated that nine billion new cases are reported each year.

As with any disease, it is better to ensure prevention. TB vaccinations are common and highly effective, especially in children. TB vaccinations are very common in the United States as well as other countries. Although a higher percent of children are successfully protected, if adults have not received a TB vaccination it is recommended they get one.

Symptoms of TB include chest pain, coughing, inability to breathe and pneumonia-like symptoms. However, it is also common to be infected and show no outward signs. Diagnosis of the disease will occur with a complete examination including a TB skin test. It is important to minimize the damages by early detection and prompt treatment. This can mean the difference between full recovery and possible death.

Treatment of this disease can be complicated, especially if there are other factors such as HIV. It is recommended that quarantined hospitalization occur to monitor progress and reduce the risk of spreading. Common drug therapies include antibiotics specifically designed for TB treatment such as Isoniazid, Rifampin, Pyrazinamide, Streptomycin and Ethambutol. Unfortunately, there are many strains of tuberculosis that have become resistant to the medications. It is very important for continued monitoring to ensure effectiveness of a drug or combination of drugs.

In the instance where the body is resisting drugs, surgery may be necessary. The portion of the lungs affected may be removed. Also, chest tube drainage may be required. In these cases, recovery percentages are very low. In order to reduce this risk, treatment as early as possible is advised. Patients who have an early diagnosis or are not immune to the drug treatments have a high success rate of complete recovery. Relapses are extremely rare with proper treatment.

With over two billion people affected with tuberculosis in the world, the seriousness of this disease can not be denied. Prevention of the disease is the best way to keep the spreading of it in check. This includes ensuring children are properly vaccinated and all shots are kept up to date. Early detection and treatment are also key factors in guaranteeing complete recovery and minimizing risk of relapse.

Divide Your Bulb Plants To Produce New Growth

When you’re learning about something new, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the sheer amount of relevant information available. This informative article should help you focus on the central points.

One of the features of bulbs that make them so attractive is the ability for the gardener to divide their bulb plants to produce new growth, share with friends, or just plant in different areas of the landscape.

In addition, many bulb flowers become overgrown, and reducing the growth through dividing bulbs is the best way to get things back under control. It is generally easy to tell when a planting of bulbs needs to be divided. One sure sign is when a previously well blooming planting of bulbs has begun to provide only sparse blooms. Most times the culprit is overcrowding, and the solution is to divide those bulbs. Properly dividing the bulbs will reduce the overcrowding and allow the remaining bulbs to bloom for vibrantly.

The techniques used to divide bulbs depend on the exact type of bulb to be divided. There are actually five different types of bulb flowers – true bulbs, corms, tubers, rhizomes and tuberous roots. The techniques for dividing each type of bulb vary, so it is important to know which type you are working with. Any good gardening guide will tell you which type of bulb you have, and that information is usually provided when you buy the bulbs as well.

True bulbs
To divide a true bulb, you should begin by carefully separating the original bulb from the smaller bulb growing at its base. When dividing lily bulbs, you should be careful to first remove the outer scales from the basal plate. After the outer scales are removed, the ends of the bulb should be dipped in a rooting hormone, and the bulb should be planted immediately.

Corms
Corms are not true bulbs, and they renew their growth each season through the production of a new corm, and sometimes also small cormels growing on top of the original corm. To divide corms, the gardener should simply separate the healthy new corms, as well as any cormels, from the original corms.

Tubers
As tubers mature, they increase both their size and the number of growing points. However, most tubers do not form distinct increases. Therefore, to divide tubers, a large tuber should be cut into two or more sections, being sure that each section contains at least one growing point.

Rhizomes
The new growth on rhizomes is produced from growth points located at their sides. Rhizomes are divided by breaking the sections apart at the natural divisions between them, being sure that each of the new divisions has at least one growth point on it.

Tuberous roots
A tuberous root will contain several growing points. Some, like daylilies, form separate and distinct plants, which can simply be pulled apart. This type of sectioning is generally done in fall or summer while the plant is still in its growth stage.

Other tuberous root plants, such as dahlias, are more difficult to separate. In order to separate more difficult plants like dahlias, you will need to cut the clumps apart so that each root has a growth bud from which to start. With these types of plants, it is best to separate them in early spring, before planting.

Truthfully, the only difference between you and experts is time. If you’ll invest a little more time in reading, you’ll be that much nearer to expert status when it comes to dividing your bulbs properly.

The day will come when you can use something you read about here to have a beneficial impact. Then you’ll be glad you took the time to learn more about dividing your bulbs properly.

Gist is now curable as medical science made it possible

Gist is a stomach tumor which is called as gastrointestinal stromal tumors. It is very dangerous disease belongs to a group of cancers called soft tissue sarcomas. The name cancer itself can threaten us and if it is related with the stomach then it can be understood how dangerous it would be? In earlier time it was impossible to fight against such dangerous diseases but now in this growing world nothing is impossible because science has made everything possible. The term Gist was first used in 1983 by Mazur and Clark but in 1998 Hirota described about the cause and concrescences of the gastrointestinal stromal tumors.

Gist is a tumor in different shape and size which gradually increase with the time and in critical cases it can burst and spread poison in the body. Primarily gist can occur anywhere in the stomach and it frequently spreads from the original site to distant locations. When gist spread to the liver it is called gist tumor and very much different from the liver cancer. With the development of the many therapies and pathology experts the tumor and its type can be detected. Gist is a very typical type of cancer which is caused either from the cells called interstitial cells of cajal (ICCs) or from less differentiated stem cells or precursor cells that can develop in to ICCs. This infected cell directly affects to the digestive system of the body and makes the person week. Gist generally occurs after the age of 50 and it is the genetic diseases which has no relation from your diet and the life style choices.

Initially the Gist don’t show any remarkable symptoms but when its size increases then the body feels the increased mass in the stomach, many digestive problems arises and the person get tired soon. There are different treatment for the different stages of the Gist and each stage treatment undergone with different strategies. At initial level the treatment is done on the basis of the surgery where the patient is operated and the tumor is taken out from the body but if the size of the tumor is remarkable then it can be cured by the medicines. Now a day’s medical science has improved a lot and many other Treatments are available for the Gist where the patients need not to pay a large amount on the operations and the pain they got during that.

Like Many other cancers like skin cancer, blood cancer, prostate cancer etc the Gist is also very dangerous and leads person to the death but to be aware about the cause and the concrescences of the Gist and its proper treatment a person can be cured and can live a healthy life. We would be thankful to the medical science that it provided such advance and tremendous medical facilities that saves a person from the dreadful diseases like cancer.

Pneumonia – Information on Pneumonia

Pneumonia is an inflammatory illness of the lung. Frequently, it is described as lung parenchyma/alveolar inflammation and abnormal alveolar filling with fluid. (The alveoli are microscopic air-filled sacs in the lungs responsible for absorbing oxygen from the atmosphere.) Pneumonia can result from a variety of causes, including infection with bacteria, viruses, fungi, or parasites, and chemical or physical injury to the lungs. Its cause may also be officially described as idiopathic—that is, unknown—when infectious causes have been excluded.

The viruses and bacteria that cause pneumonia are contagious and are usually found in fluid from the mouth or nose of an infected person. Illness can spread when an infected person coughs or sneezes on a person, by sharing drinking glasses and eating utensils, and when a person touches the used tissues or handkerchiefs of an infected person.

Some cases of pneumonia are contracted by breathing in small droplets that contain the organisms that can cause pneumonia. These droplets get into the air when a person infected with these germs coughs or sneezes. In other cases, pneumonia is caused when bacteria or viruses that are normally present in the mouth, throat, or nose inadvertently enter the lung. During sleep, it is quite common for people to aspirate secretions from the mouth, throat, or nose. Normally, the body’s reflex response (coughing back up the secretions) and immune system will prevent the aspirated organisms from causing pneumonia. However, if a person is in a weakened condition from another illness, a severe pneumonia can develop.

The initial symptoms of viral pneumonia are the same as influenza symptoms: fever, a dry cough, headache, muscle pain, and weakness. Within 12 to 36 hours, there is increasing breathlessness; the cough becomes worse and produces a small amount of mucus. There is a high fever and there may be blueness of the lips.

There are many kinds of pneumonia ranging in seriousness from mild to life-threatening. Pneumonia acquired while in the hospital can be particularly virulent and deadly. Although signs and symptoms vary, many cases of pneumonia develop suddenly, with chest pain, fever, chills, cough and shortness of breath. Infection often follows a cold or the flu, but it can also be associated with other illnesses or occur on its own.

Pneumonia usually starts when you breathe the germs into your lungs. You may be more likely to get the disease after having a cold or the flu. These illnesses make it hard for your lungs to fight infection, so it is easier to get pneumonia. Having a long-term, or chronic, disease like asthma, heart disease, cancer, or diabetes also makes you more likely to get pneumonia.

People who have trouble swallowing are at risk of aspiration pneumonia. In this condition, food, liquid, or saliva accidentally goes into the airways. It is more common in people who have had a stroke, Parkinson’s disease, or previous throat surgery.

Preventing pneumonia is always better than treating it. The best preventive measures include washing your hands frequently, not smoking, and wearing a mask when cleaning dusty or moldy areas. There is a vaccine for pneumococcal pneumonia, a bacterial infection which accounts for up to a quarter of all pneumonias.

There are several ways to keep from getting pneumonia. One is to get all your shots because one of them can help to prevent a type of pneumonia called pneumococcal (say: new-mo-cock-al) pneumonia. Getting a flu shot can also help guard against getting pneumonia, particularly in kids who have asthma or certain other lung conditions. Getting enough rest is also very important because lack of sleep may make it harder for your immune system to fight infections.

What You Need To Understand About Pleurisy

Pleurisy is an infection of the pleura, the delicate membranes separating the lungs from the chest wall. It is usually the result of a virus infection, but it can also be caused by pneumonia, a chest injury, inflammation of the pericardial heart lining, a blood clot of the lung, and, rarely, lung cancer.  Pleuritis occurs when the two layers of the pleura become red and inflamed. Then they rub against each other every time your lungs expand to breathe in air. This can cause sharp pain with breathing.

Pleurisy symptoms typically include a cough, fever, a sharp sticking pain and shallow breathing. The pain is normally worse for any movement, such as breathing in. It can be a complication after you have had pneumonia or some other lung related condition, and your treatment didn’t make things any better.

Pleurisy symptoms can actually be symptoms of Mesothelioma: Asbestos mesothelioma is a rare and deadly cancer that most often strikes in the lungs. There it can produce what seems like pleurisy symptoms that are actually symptoms of mesothelioma. Being short of breath may be caused by many things, but it is also a frequent sign of pleurisy as well as of both peritoneal mesothelioma and pleural mesothelioma, both of which often involve effusions—which is when fluid collects in the lining of the lungs or the lining of the peritoneum (the abdominal cavity).

Pleurisy treatment is often directed first towards the cause of the condition. That means to help relieve discomfort caused by pleurisy, the infection or the tumor must be managed along with some pain medications that can help ease the pain. The pain will not go away if the cause is not removed. If you are coughing heavily and it is causing you pain, then you may want to hug a pillow or two to help splint your chest. This will give support to your chest wall and help prevent your chest from expanding too much.

There are also helpful herbal remedies for pleurisy treatment available in the market. Wild cherries are known to be a tonic fruit that is used to treat pleurisy since the early times. Common herbs such as coltsfoot, buckthorn, thyme and comfrey also have some traces in records that is said to alleviate the pain felt by affected individuals. It is also noted that tilgner has expectorant and antispasmodic properties that is indicative for pleurisy treatment. However, this should not be given to pregnant patients as this may cause untoward reactions to the pregnancy. Another herbal medicine for pleurisy treatment is the use of camphor. It has properties of muscle relaxant and acts as a counter irritant promoting blood flow and distribution.

Siddha Herbal Remedies for Cough and Cold

Medicinal herbs are well known for their curative properties.  When used as prescribed they effectively cure the patients of their diseases without the dreaded side effects.  Herbs can be used for treating afflictions that manifest due to seasonal changes.  Cough and cold problems surface during the winter months.  More than half of the population are affected at any one time during those months.  There are excellent herbs that are used to treat cough and cold.  Unlike sleep inducing syrups of allopathy, herbs cure cough and cold without side effects.

Basil, adathoda zeylanica, ginger, piper longum are some of the herbs and spices used in treating cough and cold.  I will explain below briefly each of them and then describe some ways to prepare the remedies.

Basil expels phlegm from chest.  Juice obtained by crushing the basil leaves is used in treating ailments of upper respiratory tract.

Adathoda zylanica is the herb for lungs.  Most of the home remedies used in treating lung diseases contain adathoda.

Juice of ginger and honey mixed in equal quantity and taken soothes the throat.

Piper longum is an excellent expectorant.  It has a hot taste and induces heat in the body.

When kids suffer from phlegm in chest, mother’s milk and juice of basil leaves are mixed in equal quantity and given to the baby.  This is found to be very effective in bringing out the phlegm in chest.

An infusion of adathoda leaves is very effective in curing cough and cold.  Collect a few adathoda leaves, clean them and fry them with honey.  Add piper longum powder,  taxus baccata powder and licorice powder 4 gm each to these leaves.  Now add 500 ml water and let it boil and reduce to 150 ml.  Remove from heat and let it cool.  50 ml of this infusion is taken three times a day.  Prepare the infusion afresh each day.  This infusion helps in curing cough and cold..

Mycoplasma Bronchitis

Mycoplasma can cause sore throat, bronchitis, and pneumonia. Mycoplasma is usually spread from person-to-person through the air and by direct contact. Mycoplasma is found in the throat of infected persons and is spread to other people through the air by sneezing or coughing. It can also be spread by touching tissues or other things recently soiled by secretions from the nose or throat of an infected person. People of any age can get Mycoplasma

Children under 5 years usually have mild symptoms or no symptoms at all. The illness is recognized more in school-age children and young adults. Occasionally, epidemics can occur, especially in military populations and institutions (colleges, for example) where people live in close quarters. These occur more often in late summer or fall.

Symptoms to look for include:

* Headache
* Tiredness
* Cough, often in spasms
* Chest discomfort
* Sore throat
* Fever

Symptoms start from 6 to 32 days after exposure. The illness can last from a few days to a month or more (especially coughing). Complications do not happen often. No one knows how long an infected person remains contagious, but it is probably less than 20 days.Mycoplasma pneumonia is usually diagnosed by blood tests and x-ray of the chest.

The disease can be treated with antibiotics. While antibiotics help an infected person to feel better faster, they do not remove the bacteria from the throat. Mycoplasma can remain in the throat for as long as 13 weeks.

Steps to take to prevent the spread of Mycoplasma infection

* Cover the mouth when coughing or sneezing.
* Use tissues when coughing, sneezing, and wiping or blowing the nose and throw them   away.
* Wash hands after coughing, sneezing, and wiping or blowing the nose.
* Avoid crowded living and sleeping quarters whenever possible.

Chiropractic And Shoulder Joint Pain

This is a very common problem that is seen daily in chiropractic practices. I have patients who come in to my offices  and complain about their painful and stiff shoulder. By this they usually mean that their upper trapezius muscles are tight and painful and that they have restricted movement and pain in the region of the upper thoracic spine where it meets the cervical spine at the neck.

Chiropractors enjoy a large success rate with these patients who respond well to manipulation and muscle stretching. The second category of patients are those who have a genuine problem with the shoulder. By this I mean the area where the head of the humerus or upper arm bone inserts into the glenoid fossa of the scapula or shoulder blade.

The muscles that hold the humerus in place are called rotator cuff muscles and there are four of those. Painful shoulder conditions that limit movement are common, and are caused by problems with the shoulder joint and its surrounding structures. The shoulder is more prone to injuries than other joints because of its wide range of movement

What are some of the common causes of shoulder pain? There are several conditions that cause pain and limit movement of the shoulder joint, including:

* Rotator cuff disorders. The rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons that help to move the shoulder and hold the joint in place. Rotator cuff disorders result from
inflammation or damage to the rotator cuff muscles or tendons, or inflammation of the subacromial bursa (which is a fluid-filled pad that sits under the highest part of the shoulder). The inflammation can be caused by general wear and tear that occurs with age, activities that require constant or repetitive shoulder motion (especially above
shoulder level), heavy lifting, trauma, or poor posture. Serious  injuries and untreated inflammation of the tendons can cause the rotator cuff to tear.

The pain associated with rotator cuff problems is normally felt at the front or on the outside of the shoulder, particularly when you raise your arm or lift something above your head. You may also notice the pain more when lying in bed. Severe injuries can cause weakness of the shoulder muscles, restricted shoulder movement and continuous pain.

Your rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons that hold the shoulder joint in place and help move the shoulder. The 4 muscles (and their tendons) that make up the rotator cuff include:

* the supraspinatus;
* the infraspinatus;
* the subscapularis; and
* the teres minor.

Usually it is the rotator cuff tendons (the thick bands of tissue that connect the muscles to the bones) that tear, but sometimes the tear occurs in the muscle. The most common site of a tear is in the supraspinatus tendon. Severe injuries can cause several of the tendons and muscles to tear. There are special movement tests that your doctor can use to help determine which of the muscles or tendons has been torn.

Frozen Shoulder is another painful condition. Frozen shoulder, also known as adhesive capsulitis, is characterised by progressive pain and stiffness in the shoulder. The pain is felt deep in the shoulder joint and may be worse at night. It can be treated by cortisone injections or by a hydrodilatation, a surgical procedure developed by Dr. Frank Burke of Melbourne. This procedure involves an injection of saline and local anesthetic into the shoulder capsule. It is usually not overly painful and is done at his practice in Prahran, Melbourne. This procedure has been very successful in a great majority of patients. The old idea that one had to endure pain for 2 years has been largely disbanded.

Dislocation of the shoulder can occur after a fall. Shoulder dislocation occurs when the ball-shaped head of your upper arm bone (humerus) comes out of the shoulder socket. It may be caused by a fall, a sporting injury, or trauma, and is an extremely painful condition. A dislocated shoulder is visibly deformed or out of place, and there may be swelling or bruising around the joint. Shoulder movement is severely restricted in people with a dislocated shoulder.  Doctors can usually put the shoulder bones back into place using gentle manoeuvres.

Following a dislocation, the shoulder joint sometimes becomes unstable and is susceptible to repeated dislocations. This condition is known as shoulder instability, and causes pain and unsteadiness when you raise your arm or move it away from your body. Your shoulder may feel as if it is slipping out of place when you lift your arm over your head.Arthritis can cause shoulder pain. Arthritis causes progressive joint pain, tenderness, swelling and stiffness. Both rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis can affect the
shoulder joint. Shoulder pain can come from other causes such as referred pain. Sometimes shoulder pain is actually due to problems in your neck or a mixture of several different problems. Rarely, shoulder pain may be caused by infection, problems with the nerves, or a tumour.

Tests need to be done to determine the cause. You may also need to have an X-ray, or other scans, such as an ultrasound scan or MRI. Sometimes, an arthroscopy is needed. In this  test, your doctor can look inside the shoulder joint using a small, telescopic instrument that has a camera on the end.  Your chiropractor will refer you to your doctor if necessary and a referral to a shoulder specialist can be arranged.

Knee Pain Relief : Patellar Subluxation – a Knee Brace Can Help

There are a number of problems that can strike the knee, but few are as painful as patellar subluxation. Read on for information regarding this painful knee issue and how to help treat it.

The trochlea is a groove on the thigh bone (femur) that is essential for knee movement. The kneecap moves along this grove, which allows for your knee to bend in a proper manner. Unfortunately, sometimes the kneecap does not move properly in the groove, which can lead to problems. In some cases, the knee leaves the groove altogether, which results in knee dislocation. In others it just slides improperly, which can cause pain or discomfort for the patient.

Although patellar subluxations can affect anyone of us, adolescents and young children usually are the ones to suffer. There are a number of reasons why someone may get patellar subluxation, including being born with a groove that is too shallow, a wide pelvis or abnormalities in ones gait.

A doctor will typically take X-rays of the knee to assess the damage. If the knee cap has deviated from the grove, the knee will have to be realigned. If the knee is still within the groove, there are a number of other treatment options available.

Therapy

Physical therapy is commonly used to treat patellar subluxation. Strengthening the hip abductors and hip flexors is crucial to controlling the motion of the kneecap. This is accomplished using a range of pelvic stabilization exercises, which help to strengthen the muscles and support your knee.

Your Shoes

Take a look at your footwear. Improper shoes can promote an abnormal gait. Making sure that you have decent footwear can both help control your gait, and lessen the tension on your knee.

Using A Knee Brace

Using a knee brace can help provide knee support and to lessen the pain. There are knee braces that help control the knee cap, so it does not deviate from its course along the trochlea. The knee supports can be very helpful in reducing knee pain as well.

Surgery

In some cases, the above treatment options may not work in the long term, and surgery may be required. In most cases surgery is not needed, but if your knee constantly gets dislocated or you are in severe pain a lot of the time, there may be no other option.

Patellar subluxation can cause other problems with the knee to occur. For instance, osteoarthritis can be caused by patellar subluxation, which is why consulting your physician is a wise decision if you are experiencing knee pain.