Risks and Benefits of Cod Liver Oil

There are health benefits of cod liver oil and there are drawbacks. Cod liver oil benefits may not outweigh the risks. The primary benefit of cod liver oil is related to its omega-3 content, but fish oils derived from the flesh of fish, rather than the liver, provide that benefit without the risks.

The health benefits of cod liver oil are related, primarily to omega-3 fatty acids. These are essential for the healthy function of the brain, the heart, the joints, the digestive system and many other systems of the body. Another benefit of cod liver oil is related to its vitamin E content, which helps the body process the fatty acids, is an essential antioxidant and promotes the health of the skin and the hair.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids/Benefits of Cod Liver Oil

Omega-3s are essential to human health, cannot be produced inside the body, and so, must be obtained from food or through supplementation. The best know source of omega-3 fatty acids is fish. Some fish contain more omega 3s than others.

There are two types of omega-3 fatty acids that have been identified as essential for human health. They are Docosahexaenoic Acid or DHA and Eicosapentaenoic Acid or EPA. These are found primarily in fish. The body can convert another omega-3 fatty acid, known as Alpha-linolenic acid or ALA, to DHA and EPA, but the process is relatively inefficient. It is believed that one would have to consume a great deal of ALA in order to get the health benefits provided by DHA and EPA.

The omega-3 found in flax seed oil is ALA. And some believe that flax seed oil can provide cod liver oil benefits, without the risks, but this is debatable. Although there are no risks associated with flax seed oil, it is unknown if ALA provides the same health benefits as DHA and EPA.

The Risks

Cod liver oil contains large amounts of vitamin A and vitamin D and may contain contaminants such as mercury and pesticides. The body needs adequate amounts of vitamin A, but large amounts can be toxic. Vitamin D is not commonly found in natural foods, but many processed foods are fortified with vitamin D to ensure good nutrition.

At one time the benefits of cod liver oil were believed to be associated with its vitamin A and D content. This was before omega-3 fatty acids had been identified and before food fortification was a common practice. It was also before taking daily multi-vitamins became a common practice and before industrial pollutants had contaminated our oceans.

Vitamin D

While no tolerable upper limit for vitamin D consumption has been established, adequate intake for adults, under the age of 50, and children is believed to be around 200 units per day. Adults over 50 should increase consumption to 400 units per day for men and 600 units per day for women. Vitamin D is necessary for the body to process calcium and is therefore a factor in preventing osteoporosis and maintaining bone health. However, one of the popular cod liver oil products contains 4000 to 5000 units of vitamin D per teaspoon, more than anyone needs on a daily basis.

Vitamin A

A tolerable upper limit for vitamin A has been established. The maximum amount of vitamin A that a 25 year old man should consumer per day is 10,000 IU. Women should consume less than half that amount. Women who are pregnant should avoid dietary supplements that contain vitamin A because of the risk of birth defects. While vitamin A is necessary for fetal development and overall good health, it is stored in the fat cells and there is a great risk of over supplementation. Excess consumption of vitamin A is also believed to contribute to osteoporosis.

One of the popular cod liver oil products contains 4000-5000 IU of vitamin A, per teaspoon. When added to the amount that may be present in other dietary supplements, as well as the food that a person consumes per day, it will put most people over the safe upper limit for vitamin A. While the benefit of cod liver oil for supplying essential omega 3s is known, it is unknown if excess consumption of vitamin A will counteract those effects.

A better choice for vitamin A supplementation is beta carotene and other carotenoids. Present in the better daily dietary supplements, carotenoids are converted by the body to vitamin A on an as-needed basis and are not associated with the negative effects of “pre-formed” vitamin A. The only known side effect of excess consumption of carotenoids is a yellowing of the skin, called carotenosis, which is not dangerous, but may be undesirable.

Alternatives

Fish oil derived from the flesh of fish does not contain the vitamins A and D. Those vitamins are usually present in adequate amounts in daily multi-vitamins and fortified foods. Though extra vitamin D supplementation is often recommended for persons over the age of 50, it is not a benefit of cod liver oil and there are better choices for vitamin D supplementation.

From an environmental standpoint, over harvesting of the cod fish has led to the depletion of many populations. Farms affect the health of wild fish. The equipment used for harvesting damages the habitat of other water dwelling life forms. Although there are cod liver oil benefits, these health benefits can be obtained from other sources that do not cause damage to our environment.

You can get the health benefits of cod liver oil by taking fish oil supplements derived from the flesh, rather than the liver of fish. To learn more, please visit the Fish Oil Guide.

Anti Snoring Mouthpiece – Are They Any Good?

If you want to know if it’s worth buying a anti stoning mouthpiece then this is the article for you. We will discuss what they are, what do they do, and if there are any permanent alternatives. At the end of this article you will have the information you need to make a informed choice.

Snoring is something that can quite literary destroy your marriage , it has been cited as the prime reason for divorce on more than a few occasions.

So what can be done about it?

Well one of the devices that has been designed to tackle the problem of snoring is a anti snoring mouthpiece. The idea is it keeps the airways open so eliminating the dread snores

How do they work?

There are a few different types on the market but they all have one goal in mind to stop the tissue or soft palate at the back of the throat from vibrating. Most seem to work on the principle of setting the jaw in a certain position so the air passage is clear. Some simply keep the jaw slight open where others bring the jaw forward which raises the soft palate preventing any sagging in the throat. There are other anti snoring mouthpieces that prevent the tongue from blocking the throat but that is often only one part of the problem.

There are Pros and cons to using these devices

Pros

Most snoring mouthpieces are relatively cheap compared to other devices you can buy if you buy of the shelf regular ones, you can have them individually made but of course at a cost.

They are simple to use pop it in and away you go.

They have a above average success rate.

Cons

They can take some getting used to.

As with all anti snoring devices they are not a permanent solution to the problem only a temporary fix.

Is there a permanent solution?

There is surgery or laser treatment, but this can cost upwards of $5000 and as with any type of operation there are dangers.

The best safe virtually guaranteed stop snoring solution is specialized exercise that strengthen the whole throat area permanently keeping your airways open for snore free nights. You don’t have to go to a gym for them and they take about 3-5 minutes a day. However you do have to do them consistently for about 2 months for a permanent cure.

So if you don’t fancy using a anti snoring mouthpiece for the rest of your life check out these special exercises.

How To Choose Good Health Insurance

In this day and time, not having health insurance might one day lead to the decimation of lifetime savings. Many people receive health insurance through their employer, therefore they usually have just a few choices between plans, such as an HMO or PPO. Others, like those who are self-employed, might need to purchase a health plan on their own, so they will have to do some research before selecting a plan.

If you are among those who have to decide which health insurance is the best for your circumstances, consider the following:

1) Your current health care needs and medical expenses

2) Medical needs and expenses of your family members

3) Medical services that are most important to you

When looking at health plans, compare benefits, monthly premiums, deductibles, co-pays, coverage for physicals and immunizations, preventive care, etc. Depending on your family's present and long-term needs, you might want to explore coverage for infertility, mental health services, or long-term care.

But do not stop there. Learn how the plans you consider work:

1) Is your current health care provider in the network?

2) How much does it cost to see somebody out-of-network?

3) Are referrals needed to see a specialist?

4) What is the referral process?

5) How easy is it to get a referral?

6) What hospitals are in the network?

7) Are benefits limited to pre-existing conditions?

Decide what's important to you. Do you want to be able to see the health care provider of your choice? Are you concerned with convenience of the clinic's location, covered benefits, or meeting a monthly budget? Which Factors deciding The while are On essential to you, Consider checking out the report card for America's best health plans, color : as well color : as the Recognized physician directory available online at: Http://www.ncqa.org/tabid/60/Default.aspx

Homemade Treatment Of Cold Sores

Aside from over the counter drugs, homemade treatment of cold sores is also effective in relieving the symptoms of the disease.

Homemade treatment of cold sores can be as effective as drug medications in treating the disease and its symptoms. One should remember though that no homemade treatment can cure the cold sore. In fact, not even over the counter medications can cure it. With this, the main idea of ​​homemade treatment would revolve around strengthening the body's immune system as well as prevent sores from developing.

First and foremost, substances that can trigger or stimulate a cold sore outbreak to happen should be avoided. It is of utmost importance that the diet should be carefully monitored. Fresh fruits and vegetables would be the best choices as homemade treatment. They are not only safe to consume but fresh fruits and vegetables can also strengthen the body's immune system.

Homemade treatment of cold sores also includes topical salves. This is very useful especially if symptoms like sores on the affected area start to manifest themselves. Aloe vera, tea tree and lysine are good sources for homemade topical salves to treat the sores since they promote fast healing.

Another homemade way to relieve symptoms, specifically the tingling sensation on the affected area is by applying ice to it. The herpes simplex virus can not effectively replicate itself in cold temperatures thus application of ice becomes quite effective.

Other homemade treatment of cold sores [http://permanent-cold-sore-cure.blogspot.com/2007/09/cold-sore-cure.html] includes the application of tea bags on the sore. The tannic acid contained in the tea has been proven to prevent the growth of sores. Petroleum jelly is also another substance that can be used as a homemade treatment.

Windows Vista Repair

Now that just about everyone knows how to use the XP Recovery Console Microsoft’s newest OS does not contain one. Not to worry we have a detailed article that will walk you through how to use these great new features in Vista.

The Purpose of this article is to teach you how to make vista repairs if you are having startup issues or you can’t seem to use the vista system restore option. There are two ways to use these options and they depend on if you have a Windows Vista install disk or if Vista was pre-installed on your OS you will have a ghost image on your hard drive.

If you have the windows vista repair disk: (This should be your backup copy of Vista if you made one)

PLEASE NOTE: This Vista install CD can be run from within Vista. Just insert the CD once Vista has loaded up and go to install, go > Install Now > Upgrade.

1. Boot up with the Vista install disc

2. You should see a screen that says “Windows is loading files”

3. After a few minutes you will get a language option. Select your language and hit next.

4. On the install screen select “Repair your computer”

5. Windows will find your copy of Vista on the machine

6. Select your copy of Vista and click next

7. You will now see the following options.

* Startup repair – This automatically fixes problems that are preventing Windows from starting

* System Restore – This will Restore Windows to an earlier point in time

* Windows Complete PC Restore – This will completely restore your entire PC – programs, system settings and files – from a back up that you have previously created (Available in Windows Vista Business, Enterprise and Ultimate editions only)

* Windows Memory Diagnostic Tool – This checks your computer’s memory hardware for errors

* Command Prompt

8. Assuming you are using this option because you were unable to boot to Windows Vista select the system Restore option and then select the date you would like to go back to. If your OS is fine you can always use the startup repair option.

Pre-Installed and OEM versions: (please check with your manufacturer fist. They may have replaced these tools with their own.

1. Turn your computer on and start pressing the F8 key. If you see the Windows Vista Logo you have gone too far and need to reboot and try again

2. You will get an advanced options screen. Select the “Repair your computer option” and hit enter.

3. Select your language and hit next.

4. Enter your user name and password and then next.

5. The recovery options should now appear.

6. In most cases just using the system restore to set your computer back will solve your issue. If this is not the case try the Startup repair option.

Calcium, Vitamin A and Vitamin D3 – Three Essential Vitamins For Turtles As Pets

When keeping turtles as pets you’ll know that a massive part of caring for your turtle is trying to keep them healthy and a good way to do that is through the food you feed them and providing them with a nutritious diet.

All turtles are different and you will need to feed your turtle a specific diet depending on what species of turtle he/she is. Even though some turtles will enjoy certain foods more than others there are vitamins and minerals that are essential for all turtles, three of the most important being vitamin D3, calcium and vitamin A. So why are they important and how can I introduce them into my turtle’s diet?

Vitamin D3 partners well with calcium and is an aid which helps the absorption of calcium into your turtles body. Naturally in their habitats in the wild, turtles generate vitamin D3 through exposure to sunlight while going about their daily adventures. Most people who have turtles as pets keep them indoors so a good way to ensure your turtle receives this vital vitamin is to have a UVB lamp providing ultraviolet light into a section of their tank for at least 8-10 hrs a day. Ideally it is a lot easier and cheaper to allow your turtle 30 – 40 minutes of sunbathing where you would take the turtle outside into your yard and it can have exposure to natural sunlight every two to three times a week. Those few minutes will be more than enough time for them to generate enough vitamin D3 compared to the 8-10 hrs of artificial light.

One thing to keep in mind is that turtles are not used to extremely cold temperatures so if the weather is not particularly warm in your area it’s always better to stick with UVB lighting.

Calcium is extremely important for good turtle shell development and healthy bones in turtles. If there is a lack of calcium in a turtles diet it can cause severe problems to both land and aquatic turtles alike. The shells of aquatic turtles will become soft and rubbery and it’s very possible that a young calcium deficient turtle will develop malformed limbs. Land turtles on the other hand can suffer from pyramiding which is a condition that causes the shell of a tortoise to become lumpy and form pyramid like deformations. The cause of pyramiding is through too much protein and not enough calcium in a tortoise’s diet. Too much protein causes the turtle to grow at a much quicker rate than usual and this combined with a lack of calcium means the shell cannot expand quickly to keep up.

The best ways to provide calcium into your turtle’s diet is to provide them with calcium supplements which can come in few different forms. Calcium supplements for turtles usually come as powder but you can also use cuttlebones which is also used for birds and are a great way to induce calcium into your turtles diet to ensure they have good bone and shell health.

Make sure you buy the phosphurus-free calcium powder to allow your turtle to take in only calcium which will ensure your turtle does not unbalance their calcium to phosphorus ratio.

Vitamin A is important for your turtle’s skin, eyes and mucous membranes. Vitamin A deficiency in a turtle’s diet often results in turtles losing their appetites, swollen eyes and a runny nose. These symptoms all point at a condition known as hypovitaminosis A in turtles. A good way to provide your turtle with vitamin A is to feed them foods that are rich in this vitamin and this will be a good way for them to receive the sufficient amount needed.

These foods are:

*Dark leafy greens such as collard greens, mustard greens, Kale and parsley.

*yellow, orange flesh coloured vegetables such as carrots and sweet potatoes

*Cod liver oil: Just drizzle a bit over their food before you give it to.

Comparing Medical Transcription Factoring to Bank Loans

Many medical transcription service owners (MTSOs) tend to shy away from factoring because of the notion that it is more expensive than a bank loan. To be perfectly honest, factoring is more expensive than a traditional line of credit; however, the age old saying: “You get what you pay for” comes into play when comparing and contrasting a bank loan to accounts receivable funding.

Medical Transcription Factoring Has a Quick Approval Process

When it comes to lending money, banks move slowly. Even in the best of times, borrowers are required to sign mounds of paperwork, provide extensive historical personal and business information, and then wait to be approved by a loan committee. With the current credit crisis, the requirements are stricter and waiting times have increased dramatically.

On the other hand, the approval process for medical transcription invoice funding takes a mere 1-3 days upon receipt of the fully completed documents. Once approved, the initial cash advance can happen within 24 hours.

Medical Transcription Factors Keep Personal and Business Obligations Separate

In order to be approved for a bank line of credit, most business owners would be required to sign a personal guarantee, whereby an MTSO is required to assume personal responsibility for repayment of the loan, should the business not be able to repay the obligation. Moreover, most banks require an MTSO to pledge additional collateral (i.e. house or marketable securities). These can be daunting responsibilities for business owners who strive to keep their personal credit/collateral separate from the company’s.

Many medical transcription funding firms do not ask for a personal guarantee. Some factoring firms will only ask a business owner to sign a validity guarantee, attesting that any invoices he/she sells to the factor are valid. In addition, the only collateral a factoring firm requires is a first security position on the transcription service’s accounts receivables.

Factoring Firms Work with Startup Medical Transcription Companies

Traditional lenders require their borrowers to show at least two years of profitable operations before extending credit. In addition, banks require a clean and strong credit history for both the MTSO and the transcription service.

On the other hand, medical transcription factors extend credit based on the credit worthiness of an MTSO’s customers (i.e. medical clinics, doctors’ offices, and hospitals), rather than the credit history of the business or its owner. Because of this, many factoring firms have no qualms about extending credit to brand new transcription services.

Credit Limits Grow as the Transcription Business Grows

Once approved for a small business loan, most MTSOs have enough to jumpstart their business – buy computers and other equipment, hire transcriptionists, and market their services to medical facilities. However, business owners tend to run into problems as soon as the cash runs out, which is usually right around the time that the business is ready to literally open its doors. Hence, one big problem with bank financing is outgrowing the maximum credit line.

With medical transcription factoring, the sky is the (credit) limit. Medical transcription factors provide cash based on the quality and liquidity of the company’s receivables. Moreover, each account is evaluated individually, allowing for the ultimate in credit-lending flexibility. In essence, each time an MTSO starts transcribing for a new credit-worthy customer, he/she gains immediate access to additional capital.

Transcription Factoring Provides More than Cash

Unlike a bank relationship with limited communication, accounts receivable factoring firms maintain a day-to-day connection with their clients. Medical transcription factors monitor invoices, check credit on potential new customers, and provide detailed reports on an ongoing basis for MTSOs. Business owners will be paired with one specific person or department who handles the day-to-day obligations of the transcription owner’s accounts.

In addition, there are factoring firms that specialize in funding medical transcription invoices exclusively. These specialty factors are uniquely familiar with the intricacies of the transcription industry – jargon, payment terms, line counts, etc. Whereas, banks work with all kinds of companies, and often times, there’s a learning curve that has to happen before funding approval.

As stated earlier in the article, factoring firms cannot compete with banks on price alone. However, when researching the pros and cons of invoice factoring and bank loans, MTSOs should take the time to look at more than just pricing, as factoring firms offer so much more than money.

Anti Aging Medicine

The field of anti aging medicine is a growing specialty spurred on by ever increasing demand for ways to stay young. The incredible advances of modern medicine over the last century make it plausible that, at some time in the not too distant future, we will be able to halt or even reverse the aging process. For now, we are making progress in baby steps.

Antiaging medication includes a broad spectrum of drugs, vitamin and mineral supplements, and foods with exceptional health giving properties. There is no "magic bullet" anti aging medicine to simply halt the physical process of aging: such a drug is still a long way away, and may be an unrealistic expectation in a world where aging is influenced by many diverse factors.

Anti aging medicine studies the natural changes in body physiology over the course of a human life. Why do we become physically weaker as the years pass and what makes older people more susceptible to certain diseases than young people? Some research focuses on prevention, while other studies look for cures. Anti aging studies necessarily cross over into other medical specialty areas, such as cancer research and gene therapy, and any specific antiaging medication might also be shared with other disciplines.

Perhaps it is a change in the perception of how many diseases are linked to aging that makes anti aging medicine seem like something new. Knowledge gained in preventing the spread of infectious diseases, the importance of clean food and water, and the ability of certain drugs to cure have all contributed to a continually lengthening life expectancy in the Western world. In a sense, then, immunization, water treatment, food inspection, and antibiotic use are all types of antiaging medication.

Outside the realm of specific diseases, however, anti aging medicine has embraced a whole group of treatments that simply claim to make people look and feel younger. These include the newest antiaging medication, such as glucosamine sulfate to ease aging joints or human growth hormone therapy to increase energy, muscle mass, and strength. It is here that the most controversy exists, for many treatments are simply too new to have any solid track record, or make promises that are not fulfilled.

The range of products is vast, both on the internet and on store shelves, and no one review or reference can adequately cover them all. Before taking any antiaging medication or submitting to any treatment. Take the time to research the product claims and investigate possible side effects. If you can, back up your decision by consulting a qualified specialist in anti aging medicine.

AIDS Is a Lethal Disease

AIDS is the abbreviation for Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. It is caused by HIV which is Human Immune Deficiency Virus. It is classified under the group of Retroviruses. Discovery of HIV was made in 1985. This was the year which proved that HIV was the actual cause of AIDS. This gruesome and lethal disease is related with the immune system of a person.

Initially it causes malaise and leads to coarse health of a patient. A series of turmoil appear inside the body as the immune system gets affected by HIV. The person becomes insipid after it is diagnosed and has to go through a condition of apathy. This disorder targets lymphatic cell. The virus starts replicating itself in T4. T4 cells are called helper cells. Most of the time people having HIV are termed as carriers. The virus can retain itself in the body fluids only. Transmission of the virus usually occurs by blood or semen.

Let me tell you a fact. About 90% people get this virus by sexual contact, whether it is homosexual or heterosexual activity. There are other causes for its transmission as well that includes drug using activities, blood transfusion in an unhealthy environment, through cuts and open wounds etc. A pregnant woman can also pass this virus to her baby. AIDS result in immune deficiency. Weight loss, fever and flu like illnesses are the earlier symptoms of AIDS. AIDS involve in a cell mediated immune response, hence the term immune deficiency. Opportunistic infections then ensue, that is micro organisms that we normally live with, and which we can easily destroy may cause killer diseases. Cause of death is commonly a rare type of pneumonia, many patients suffer a rare and disfiguring from skin cancer known as Kaposi’s sarcoma. Blood poisoning which is also called septicaemia can become an early sign and symptom of this disease. Dementia is also observed in most of the patients suffering from AIDS.

For curing AIDS there are no successful drugs yet. But some drugs are designed to slow the progression of the disease. Azidothymidine is a drug used for AIDS patient that can attack the virus even in the brain. Viral replication can be inhibited by SUMARIN.

The best prevention regarding AIDS is to educate people using media or other ways. Sterile syringes should be used. Intimate sexual contact should be avoided. Remember prevention is always better than cure!

Belly Button Piercing

Belly button piercing has become one of the most trendy directions in the body art. It is less traumatic than the rest of the perforations on the body and face – like nose, lips, breast and genitals perforations. Navel piercing came into fashion due to atop model Christy Turlington, who for the first time ever appeared on the podium with the pierced navel during one of the Fashion Weeks in London in the late eighties. The example of Christie turned out to be catchy and was followed by Naomi Campbell, who wanted to keep up with her rival and came onto the podium with a similar adornment in her navel the next day.

Belly Button piercing jewelry

Belly button piercing jewelry is usually made of such materials as surgical steel, titanium, silver and bioplastics. It can be made indifferent shapes like rings, micro barbells and so on. It is strongly recommended to wear a barbell right after a fresh perforation, which accelerates the healing process. With a barbell it goes much faster than with a belly button ring. And then you can insert into the pierced hole any other jewelry including belly button rings.

In the most cases for the navel piercing a special type of barbells is applied – the banana barbell, called so for its curved shape. There are also some other varieties of jewelry for the belly button piercing such as simple curved barbells, rings with ball-shaped locks, barbells with pendants and many others.

Experts do not recommend to use jewelry made of surgical steel right after perforation. Statistics shows that only fifteen percent of the perforations with these adornments heal without problems. The ideal option of jewelry for belly button piercing in the fresh perforations is jewelry made of gold and silver, but it is certainly much more expensive than the affordable models made of bioplastics and surgical steel. You may also purchase several various adornments made of different materials and change them to match your clothes or the way you feel at the moment. It is as easy as changing your earrings.

Belly Button piercing: types and aspects of treatment.

There are two basic types of belly button piercing – standard and multiple. In the standard type there is only one perforation of the navel, which is done strictly vertical. The pin is inserted into the hole so that to keep the upper ball slightly raised above the skin for about half a millimeter. Otherwise, the adornment will put pressure on the belly button and may cause a feeling of discomfort.

The multiple belly button piercing consists of a number of perforations. They shouldn’t in any case be done simultaneously because the wounds healing may interfere with each other. Besides that, running to such extremes is fraught with all kinds of complications.

Healing of the perforations for the belly button piercing may last very long, because the waist is one of the most flexible parts of the body. Constant movement of the waist can injure fresh perforations. In addition, the navel is a place, where the body dirt amasses, which may cause a variety of infections.

Until the wounds heal, they should be daily washed with antibacterial soap, which contains triclosan. You don’t have to pull your adornments out of the navel during this procedure. It is enough to move them up and down to let the solution penetrate into the wound. Afterwards the perforations are rinsed with clean water the same way. Rinsing the navel with salt water accelerates the healing process as well. The appropriate solution is prepared by dissolving of one teaspoon of salt in a quarter glass of warm boiled water. Lavender oil may also be used for this purpose.

Pulsatile Tinnitus: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment

Tinnitus is the perception of unwanted sound. There are various causes and the sound can range in severity, volume, and pitch. Tinnitus can either be subjective, meaning only the person suffering from tinnitus can hear the unwanted noise, or objective, meaning someone else is able to hear the sound in addition to the sufferer. Those suffering from tinnitus can be very descriptive when trying to express what they are hearing. The noise can sound like anything imaginable, from birds chirping to rushing water. The sound generated can be high or low in pitch and can also fluctuate throughout the day. In addition, one can hear the tinnitus constantly or intermittently. Tinnitus can effect sleep as well as one’s emotional state.

Pulsatile tinnitus is a form of tinnitus when the unwanted sound one hears tends to match that of his or her own heart rate or pulse. There seems to be a rhythm to the sound. It can be heard on one or both sides of the head and can effect men and women of all ages.

Although it is not recommended as part of a treatment to listen or pay attention to tinnitus, one can check for pulsatile tinnitus by feeling your pulse while listening to the sound. This can be an indicator that the person is suffering from pulsatile tinnitus specifically.

The cause of pulsatile tinnitus is typically not associated with hearing loss. They may or may not be a change in blood flow but an increase of awareness of the individual’s blood flow. It is typically related to a vascular process and, if there is a change in blood flow, the cause can be from numerous reasons. It is important for anyone with pulsatile tinnitus to rule out the chance of a greater physical threat or ailment with a thorough examination from a medical doctor. Therefore pulsatile tinnitus can either be a symptom or the problem in and of itself. This warrants a medical evaluation to look for know, identifiable, and treatable causes. There is an opportunity to treat a greater problem as well as possibly eliminate the tinnitus as it would only a symptom in this case. If it is proven that the pulsatile tinnitus is the only presenting issue then it can be treated to achieve habituation and possible remission. Underlying causes of tinnitus are often unidentifiable and it is rare to find a single identifiable cause. However there is an increase in the possibility of finding an underlying cause when the tinnitus is pulsatile in form.

As with “regular” tinnitus, many people who suffer from pulsatile tinnitus experience insomnia, loss of concentration, anxiety, and depression. They may have difficulty completing tasks, going to work, and maintain relationships. Support from those who care is extremely important for the tinnitus sufferer to get well, particularly when there is an emotional response to the sound.

Treatment for pulsatile tinnitus is similar to that of “regular” tinnitus in that treatment should involve developing coping skills and learning to detach from the sound. If the mind finds the noise to be insignificant then it tends to focus on something else, thereby pushing the tinnitus into the background and out of conscious thought. When habituation is achieved, the volume tends to decrease and the sufferer experiences relief in both volume and emotional stress. Some other methods that can help include hearing aids, some sound producing devices, hypnotherapy, meditation, learning coping skills and tools to detach and retrain the brain, and, in some cases, one can consult a doctor to discuss medication options. Overall someone who suffers from pulsatile tinnitus needs a multi-modal approach to achieve sound reduction and emotional response desensitization to provide the greatest opportunity for habituation or remission. It is not common for pulsatile tinnitus to resolve itself without intervention so a proactive approach will help to achieve the best results.

Vascular Stroke Screening Helps Indicate Early Stroke Detection Risks

Cardiovascular disease (heart and circulatory disease) causes more than one in four of all deaths in the UK – that’s around 160,000 deaths a year. This figure includes deaths from stroke, heart attacks, heart failure, cardiomyopathy and atrial fibrillation.

How can vascular stroke screening help?

Because strokes and heart attacks are so-called ‘silent killers’ in that they rarely have any symptoms and strike without warning, it makes good sense to have your vascular health (that’s the health of your arteries) checked. Vascular Stroke Screening is a comprehensive package of scans and ultrasound tests, which can you, give a representative snapshot of the state of your arteries.

Finding out if you have a problem with your arteries gives you the chance to lower your risk factors for a stroke or heart attack before it happens by making lifestyle changes such as taking more exercise, giving up smoking and losing weight, as well as taking medication to help lower you blood pressure and cholesterol and controlling your blood sugar.

What ‘s included in vascular stroke screening?

Our package of scans costs £179 and is available to men over 45, the purpose is to examine three key areas of the body to assess the state of your vascular system (arteries).

These examinations include:

  • An abdominal aorta scan: The aorta is the main blood vessel leading from the heart down to your abdomen and the rest of the body. It’s normally about the width of a hosepipe (approximately 2cm), but if the wall weakens it can ‘bulge’ to (this is called aortic dilatation) double the size at 5.5cm and can be in danger of bursting. This is called an abdominal aortic aneurysm and is rare but very serious, because if it bursts it can cause fatal bleeding. A rupture accounts for one in 50 deaths in men aged over 65 and causes 6,000 deaths a year in England. Ultrasound Direct’s scan of your aorta will examine the aorta to check for signs of an abdominal aortic aneurysm and also examine the iliac arteries, a network of arteries that supply a number of areas of the body including the lower limbs and pelvis. The scan will be checking for signs of narrowing caused by calcification (fatty deposits) or thrombus build-up (clotted blood) and can also monitor aortic dilatation (swelling of the aorta).

If an abdominal aortic aneurysm is detected, both kidney and renal arteries will be checked too.

  • A carotid scan: The carotid arteries are in the front of your neck and carry oxygenated blood to the brain. When the carotid arteries narrow due to a build-up of plaque it raises the risk of you having a stroke. Carotid artery disease accounts for 20 in 100 of all strokes. Our Doppler ultrasound examination will check the size; condition and blood flow of your carotid arteries, from their origin to where they divide in two, to supply different areas of the brain/ head. We will also check internal and external carotid arteries and vertebral arteries. The scan will check for plaque build-up and narrowing.
  • A scan for peripheral arterial disease: Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) is where your arteries begin to narrow – it affects one in five men aged 50 to 75 and one in eight women in the same age group. It mainly affects the arteries supplying blood to the legs. The main symptom of PAD is pain in one leg or both on walking (this is called intermittent claudication), but only one in four people experience any symptoms – hence why scanning is a good idea as it can help build up a picture of your arteries.
    Ultrasound Direct uses a Doppler scan to measure blood flow in the brachial arteries in both arms and also takes a blood pressure measurement in the arm and the ankle while a person is at rest called the ankle brachial index. The Doppler scan also checks the tibial arteries in both legs. The tests will help your sonographer determine whether you have signs of PAD, and can also help with on-going monitoring of aortic dilatation.

If you do have PAD, taking 30 minutes of exercise a day (walking is regarded as the best form) has been shown to improve PAD symptoms, as it encourages a network of smaller blood vessels to grow and improves blood flow to the legs.

We will provide a sonographer’s report at the time of the scan with a medical follow-up recommendation if needed.

Preparing for your vascular stroke screening

Prior to your appointment you’ll be asked to fast for eight hours – so no breakfast if your appointment is in the morning and no lunch if it’s in the afternoon. Stick to clear fluids (black tea or coffee are allowed). Diabetics are allowed to eat but must avoid fatty/dairy products.

We advise wearing a loose-fitting top, which is easy to get on and off, as you’ll need to expose the upper and lower parts of your abdomen, neck, upper arms and ankles.

Hallucinations Are More Frequent Than We Think

An editorial in the September 2010 edition of the British Journal of Psychiatry challenges our ideas about the nature of hallucinations and delusions as a sign of illness or madness. Population-based studies using both self-report and interview surveys show that the prevalence of psychotic symptoms is far greater than had been previously considered. [1]

Hallucinatory experiences are as old as humankind and until the nineteenth century these experiences were generally attributed to mystical or divine sources such as gods or demons, whereas in modern times, hallucinations have generally been regarded as signs of illness.

Population-based studies using both self-report and interview surveys show that the prevalence of psychotic symptoms is far greater than had been previously considered, with a recent meta-analysis suggesting a prevalence rate of 5-8% in the general population (Schizophrenia has a prevalence of 0.8-1% in the general population).

Psychosis exerts strong negative fitness effects. Despite this apparent disadvantage, schizophrenia maintains a relatively stable prevalence worldwide. Several theories have been formulated to explain the persistence of psychosis in the human population.

Burns proposed that schizophrenia is a ‘costly by-product’ in the evolution of complex social cognition and Nesse developed this idea further in terms of ‘cliff-edge’ fitness, whereby certain traits may increase fitness up to a critical threshold, but beyond this point, fitness falls precipitously. For instance, strong tendencies to use metarepresentation and theory of mind can increase the ability to predict other people’s behaviours and discern their intentions, but, as Nesse explains, ‘it is only one step further, over the cliff’s edge of psychotic cognition… to finding secret meanings and evidence for conspiracies in other people’s most casual gesture.’

Recently, Dodgson & Gordon have proposed that certain types of hallucinations could be viewed as evolutionary by-products of a cognitive system designed to detect threat since, from a survival perspective, it is much worse to fail to recognise a threat such as the sound of an approaching predator than to mistakenly believe that a predator is approaching when it is not. Evolution may therefore favour a selective skew towards propagation of genes that promote false positives over false negatives, thus resulting in ‘hypervigilance hallucinations’ in the population. In social or pack animals, such as humans, hypervigilance is not necessary for every member, but the presence of this trait in at least some members stands to benefit the entire group. Such a trade-off allows the persistence of advantageous traits even in the presence of increased risk of disorder.

Higher than expected prevalences have been reported for depression and anxiety as well. Prospective studies are showing that up to half (and perhaps even a majority) of the population can expect one or more episodes of depression over their lifetime. Taking an evolutionary perspective, one could speculate that the tendency for unhappiness and dissatisfaction is intrinsic to the human species (man as the ‘unhappy ape’) and this is one of the features that has been a contributory factor in the success of our species, driving Homo sapiens onwards, even to the surface of the moon, in search of new terrain and challenges.

Evolutionary theories lend support for the idea of a continuum approach to the diagnosis of psychosis and provide some clues as to why the traditional Kraepelinian or categorical approaches to psychosis are beginning to prove problematic.

Van Os and Hansen interviewed 7076 men and women aged 18-64years with the Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI). Of the 1237 individuals with any type of positive psychosis rating (sample prevalence 17.5%), only 26 (2.1%) had a DSM-III-R diagnosis of non-affective psychosis. [2]

References:

(1) Ian K, Jenner JA, Cannon M: Psychotic symptoms in the general population – an evolutionary perspective., Br J Psychiatry. 2010 Sep;197:167-9)

(2) van Os J, Hanssen M, Bijl RV, Ravelli: Strauss (1969) revisited: a psychosis continuum in the general population?, A (Schizophr Res. 2000 Sep 29;45(1-2):11-20.)

Dr Hua Tuo and a Jail Guard

There is always a point where legend or myth takes shape as the beginning of history, as if there were an overlapping period between myth and history. This transit time is rather long, longer than people often imagine. Some people lived in the transition period as legend became historically proven fact. Dr. Hua Tuo was one of these. He was a legendary physician in ancient China. His birth year is unknown; his death, according to records, was in 208 AD. He was a doctor who performed surgery in the early third century, and he was the first doctor to use anesthesia for his surgeries in China. He treated and cured several historical figures who would have died without his care. These patients include Cao Cao, the first emperor of the Wei Dynasty of the Three Kingdoms.

His name appears historical documents including the “Book of Later Han” and the “Records of Three Kingdoms”. Both records are reliable sources. Historians have concluded that Dr. Hua was a genuine historical figure, but the stories about him are full of myths. For example, one story states that when he treated a general, he predicted that the general’s sickness would return in 18 years. It happened, but as Hua Tuo was dead when the general was sick again, the general died because Hua Tao could not treat him. Another story tells how people believed that Hua Tuo had invented a prescription for the elixir of life.

In later life, Dr. Hua served Cao Cao, the first emperor of Wei Dynasty in the Three Kingdoms period. Dr. Hua was the only one who could ease Cao’s chronic migraines. Dr. Hua eased Cao’s pain whenever it occurred, but did not cure it completely. The emperor asked the doctor if he knew any way to get rid of his migraine forever. Tuo thought for a moment, and then answered that he would be able to cure the migraine, but that the cure involved surgery on the emperor’s head. Emperor Cao was old and suspicious.

He did not believe the doctor could cure his migraine by cutting open his head. Instead, the emperor, Cao, suspected the doctor was trying to kill him. He put the doctor in prison and later executed him.

While the doctor was in jail, he met a young jail guard, Wu. Wu had studied medicine before becoming a jail guard. Wu treated Dr. Hua like his father during the doctor’s time in jail. Dr. Hua told Wu, before his execution, that Wu could have all of his medical books after his death. Wu received Dr. Hua’s entire collection, including a book describing a prescription for the elixir of life. Young Wu was glad. He resigned from his position at the jail and went home to study the doctor’s books. At home, Wu found his wife burning the entire collection. He was upset and asked his wife why she was burning them. She said it did not make sense to be a general surgeon because the emperor had put Dr. Hua in jail and killed him. Hua Tuo’s entire collection of medical books was burned to ashes. Nothing significant was left. This is why human beings today do not have the elixir of life.

Even though there is no elixir of life, it is unfortunate that the genius doctor’s medical books were lost. However, the author understands Wu’s wife’s reasoning and actions. Which would you prefer: life or execution? Would you run the risk of being executed if you could be a legendary doctor?

All About the Best Hair Loss Treatments

If you want to fight with hair loss then you need to find out the best hair loss treatment for yourself. When you see your hair falling at an alarming rate you get stressed and wonder why is this happening to you. But you need not worry because this problem is not only occurring to you but almost everybody. Just about everyone will suffer some periods of time where their is falling out. Therefore you need not panic. You have to deal the problem with cool head and patiently. If you hurry then you might end taking the wrong decision and that might increase your problem rather than decreasing it.

If you go to the doctor for this problem the doctor will either suggest you some costly medicines or ointments or other treatments and if your hair fall problem is leading to baldness he can also suggest a hair transplant. But for many these treatments are quite expensive. Almost all these treatment require a lot of money and most of us do not have that much money to spare. So you need to find some other way with the help of which you can solve your hair loss problem. You do not need to worry because there are number of natural ways with the help of which you can solve this problem.

Using the natural or the home remedies will not only help you to save your money and provide the best hair loss treatment but it will also not have any side effects which the medicines could have. One of the natural remedies which you can practice is regular message of the scalp. If you message your scalp regularly it will increase the blood flow to the area of ​​the scalp and help in the regrowth of the hairs.