Using a Wheat Bag to Treat Arthritis Pain Through Cold and Heat Therapy

Both hot and cold remedies are recommended by doctors when treating arthritis suffering caused by swelling to help take out the stiffness and inflammation and to lessen the pain. Arthritis can be managed with the right balance between both types of therapies.

Wheat bags are the most recommended method for using heat therapy; they can be quickly warmed in a microwave and then ready to use. They can be conformed or moulded to fit the contours of the body. They may also be used for cold therapy simply by freezing them.

Heat and being warm have been linked to relaxing comfort for centuries, and heat therapy does one better by adding healing and pain relief to its benefits in the treating of joint and muscle pain. Relief is almost instantaneous by applying heat to stiff, sore and tight joints and muscles.

Both cold and heat therapies are successful in getting your own body’s healing functions spurred into action. You would use heat when you need to reduce pain in your body, and to lessen the stiffness you might have in your joints. Heat is also great for muscle spasms. What happens is the heat will enlarge your blood vessels, so that more blood can flow through them, speeding up the inflammation necessary to heal. These are the after effects of how your body responds to heat therapy.

What happens when you apply heat to any part of your body is that it joins up with the energy in your body in specific, localized regions. Your metabolism gets higher within all of your various cell types. This heat applied in a local region dilates your blood vessels, which causes more blood flow to occur. Muscle spasms are dealt with my relaxing the tension in key muscle areas, and allow the tendons of the muscle to stretch properly because they are relaxed. This happens because the heat lowers the collagen viscosity in these affected muscles. Collagen is a protein, one of the most common in your body. You can find collagen in tendon and ligaments, skin, the covering of your muscles, cartilage and in your bones. By lowering the viscosity in the collagen when you apply heat to an area, the tendons and muscles soften, allowing those muscles to stretch more comfortably and smoothly. Keep the heat on long enough, and your muscles and tendons enter a very relaxed state so that you can move them better and exercise them back into shape. This is what happens also when you use a wheat bag for heat therapy to heal cramps in your muscles, and in countering the painful effects of joint stiffness. Pain is handled well because heat will slow down and reduce the severity and frequency of pain signals sent from the nerves to the brain. So your brain can easily handle the soreness.

On the other side of things, cold has its benefits as well. Setting a cold compress in an area will counter swelling that is a result of enlarged blood vessels. The cold will do the opposite of heat and constrict those vessels. Cold therapy will numb the injured region and lower the effects of swelling and inflammation. Cold therapy is really good for pain in your joints caused by a flare-up of arthritis. Muscle spasms can also benefit by having the cold increase your body’s tolerance for pain.

There are some people who like cold rather than heat therapy to treat the pain of their arthritis. Others will recommend both, by alternating treatments. The best thing you can do is to try each one, and go with the type of therapy that you find the greatest relief from using.

For joint and muscle stiffness, you’ll want to apply either ice or heat packs to the suffering area two times per day at a minimum, to get the greatest results of relieving your pain. Each session should last from five to ten minutes on the cold compress, but get to it within forty-eight hours of when you first feel the pain, for it to be the most effective in treating it. Heat can be applied during this 48 hour time period also, so that your muscles can be given a chance to relax. Then use heat for any pain and stiffness that goes beyond the initial 48 hours.

A microwave wheat bag is a soothing way to release stress and ease everyday aches and pains. A wheat bag be easily heated in a microwave and then applied to tired joints and aching muscles with the user enjoying the soothing warmth. Wheat bags, heat pads and wheat cushions are a convenient method of applying heat therapy which has been shown to be an effective method for reducing muscle pain and reducing muscle and joint stiffness. They may soothe frozen shoulder and neck pains, give comfort to back or stomach pains, and ease arthritic pain. Wheat bags can also be chilled in a freezer and used as a cold compress as a method of cold therapy to ease sprains, swelling, bruising, headaches and sports injuries.

7 Diseases Spread by Mosquitoes

No doubt, mosquitoes are such bothersome insects plaguing mankind today. With just one bite, this tiny pest can cause you trouble for a period of time.

On most cases, a mosquito bite can be harmless. Small bumps may emerge on the bitten skin, which may itch for a while and then disappear and disregarded.

However, there are times when a simple mosquito bite can result into something life-threatening. These tiny insects consume the blood of their hosts and as they fly from one victim to another, they can transmit mosquito-borne diseases. Various types of diseases can be acquired from a mosquito bite that can range from merely an annoyance to grave and alarming illnesses. Exterminating mosquitoes can be tough, but there are certain actions that you can take to protect yourself from getting bitten and refrain from having a mosquito-borne illness.

Below is a list of mosquito-borne diseases and symptoms that you should watch out for:

Zika Virus

Symptoms of Zika virus include fever, rash, pain in the joints and redness in the eyes. This disease is highly dangerous to pregnant women as it can cause birth defects such as microcephaly, which affects the head and brain.

Brazil and other South American countries are the areas where Zika virus is endemic. Up to date, there is still no known vaccine for Zika. Pregnant women should stay away from these areas to avoid coming into contact with the virus or mosquitoes carrying it.

Dengue Virus

This virus is found in many tourist spots in South America, the Pacific Islands, and Southeast Asia but is rare in the United States. Rash, fever, headache, abnormal bruising and bleeding gums are the typical symptoms of this virus. There is no vaccine for Dengue and if neglected and not treated properly, this virus can cause a hemorrhagic fever that can be very fatal. It’s best to take measures to prevent mosquito bites, especially in areas frequented by the Dengue virus.

West Nile Virus

Most of the time, people do not experience symptoms from this virus. However, there are cases when this virus causes fever, joint pain, diarrhea, vomiting, and rash. On some occasion, this virus can lead to serious complications such as encephalitis and meningitis. Prevalent in almost every U.S. states, this virus, again, has no available vaccine.

Malaria

Commonly found in African countries, Malaria has symptoms like headache, fever, chills and vomiting. It is rarely found in the U.S. but if you travel a lot especially in African countries, you may get infected with the disease too. If you are in a place where this virus is prevalent, it is highly recommended to sleep under a mosquito net, apply insect repellent spray or lotion and spray insecticides in the area to keep the mosquitoes away.

Yellow Fever

Jaundice is caused by yellow fever, which can make one’s skin and eyes look yellowish. In addition, symptoms like headache, backache, chills and vomiting may also be experienced. Mosquitoes carrying this disease are prevalent in South America or Africa. There is a vaccine available to fight off this disease.

Chikungunya

Strong joint pain that in most cases may be severe that can affect one’s movement is the main symptom of Chikungunya. Rash, headache, nausea, and fatigue are other symptoms included in this disease. As there are many cases of Chikungunya in Europe and the Americas, this disease is found in Asia and India too. While many people recover from this disease, there is no known cure for Chikungunya. This disease may last for months or even years.

La Crosse Encephalitis

Most of the time, symptoms of this illness are not noticeable, but it may cause fever, headache, and nausea. There are around 100 cases of La Crosse Encephalitis reported in the US each year, mainly in the upper mid-west, mid-Atlantic and southwest.

Stay Safe

If mosquitoes are chronic in your area, guard yourself from being bitten. You should avoid areas where there’s stagnant water in which mosquitoes may breed. Try to stay indoors during the times when these insects are out the most. If you need to go out, make sure to use repellents for your protection.

When you are faced with symptoms other than the itchiness and redness from a mosquito bite, consult a doctor immediately to prevent any further complications.

Gallbladder Problems

Could cholecystectomy (gallbladder removal surgery) be the new trend or fad in today’s medicine? When I was a kid the medical question most asked was “do you have your tonsils?” Then it became “do you have your appendix?” And now it seems to be, or is at least becoming, “do you have your gallbladder?”

When Rock was knocked down with a “stomach ache” and diagnosed with a gallbladder problem, I started taking notice. I’ve had friends comment for years about their gallbladder aches and pains, but never took notice because it wasn’t “me”, as in my family. It’s closer to home now so I’m looking into this situation. Once you start paying attention you become aware of just how many people have had their gallbladders removed.

According to Merck.com there are more than 500,000 cholecystectomy’s done annually in the US. While the incidence of gallbladder disease has remained fairly constant, according to LaparoEndoscopy.com, the performance of cholecystectomy has increased dramatically. Laparoscopic surgery revolutionized cholecystectomy and the treatment of gallbladder disease. That approach was introduced into the US in 1989, and is now one of the top 10 surgeries performed in the US.

Are cholecystitis (glabbladder inflammation) and gallstones yet more evidence of the problems with a modern Western diet? I suspect so. I’d like to briefly explore what type of gallbladder problems there are, what causes gallbladder problems, and what options are available to help you feel better again. I don’t expect any absolute findings, but hopefully enough information exposed to help you before you get into trouble with your gallbladder.

The gallbladder, a 3-4 inch (7-10cm) pear shaped organ, tucks in below your liver in the upper right quadrant of your abdomen. It stores bile, the digestive fluid produced in your liver, as a back-up source for the liver’s storage capacity. It’s like a cul de sac with one road (bile duct) in and out. The liver’s bile is used to help you digest meals, especially fatty ones. Removing the gallbladder is done through a laparoscopic procedure called a cholecystectomy. And it seems to be done frequently. Is it the right choice for Rock? At 86?

What can go wrong with your gallbladder? Here’s a list, culled from various online resources:

  • gallstones in the gallbladder(cholelithiasis)
  • gallstones in the bile duct (choledocholithias)
  • obstruction of bile ducts, impairing bile flow (cholestasis)
  • cancer
  • polyps
  • inflammation, or cholecycstitis
  • bile reflux
  • disorder of the gallbladder where it doesn’t empty readily (biliary dyskinesia)
  • inflammation of the bile ducts (cholangitis)
  • hardening of the bile ducts (primary schlerosing cholangitis)

It seems as if there’s a lot that can go wrong with your gallbladder.

There are four general causes of gallbladder problems including gallstones, infection, injury, and tumor. Prolonged labor, diabetes, hypothyroidism, being overweight, food allergies, and ethnicity can also impact your chances for gallbladder problems. Symptoms, usually occurring after a meal — especially a large or fatty one — may include:

  • severe and constant pain in upper right quadrant of your abdomen, just under your ribs
  • pain that radiates from your abdomen to your right shoulder or back
  • tenderness of your abdomen at the gallbladder area
  • indigestion, complete with burping/gas/bloating/heartburn
  • chills/fever/sweating
  • nausea/vomiting
  • constipation or diarrhea
  • loss of appetite

According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, 90 percent of gallstones are asymptomatic — meaning they aren’t causing any problems that the patient is noticing — and during the first ten years of getting gallstones there’s only a very slight chance (2 percent) of developing pain. Your chance for developing symptoms declines after ten years for some unknown reason. Should you have a problem, though, you should get it checked out because there can be serious repercussions of ignoring the “discomfort”.

What can you do to avoid gallbladder problems? I found several approaches, most concerned with diet. Diet solutions can roughly be categorized into a diet that potentially causes problems, a cleanse, and a diet that supports a healthy gallbladder function. The jury is out on whether a cleanse really makes a difference, and isn’t without potential problems itself.

GallBladderAttack.com had an eye-catching comment: “Major risk factors for gallbladder disease include a sedentary lifestyle and a diet rich in refined sugars. In genetically prone individuals, these two factors lead to an abnormal bile composition, altered gut microflora, and hyperinsulinemia, with resulting gallstone formation.” That sure sounds like a Western lifestyle to me. So potentially, many of us are at risk here. They go on to say that regular aerobic exercise, removing offending foods, and substituting unrefined carbohydrates for refined carbohydrates may be helpful in reducing your risk of gallbladder problems.

Diary of a Breast Cancer Scare

Six weeks ago, in the shower one day, I noticed that I was bleeding from my nipple, just from one breast and it was just a small amount – only a few drops. In fact I wasn’t overly concerned until later that day I was doing my washing and found blood stains in several of my bras and even on one of my shirts. In Australia, it’s Winter and I’d been so rugged up keeping warm that I hadn’t really noticed before then.

At first I looked on the internet to find out what it could be thinking there was probably a perfectly innocent explanation and I didn’t want to over-react. This is why I’m sharing my story here in the hope that it might help other women looking for information. By the way, I’m a young 34 years of age, am not pregnant and have not had a child.

There was lots of information online about ‘rusty pipes’ which is blood women who are lactating sometimes experience. And I found lots of references to runners (mostly men) who had problems with bleeding nipples caused by chaffing but I couldn’t see anything that applied to me, other than very scary references to breast cancer. I don’t know if it’s true but some information I found suggested that bleeding from one duct was worse so I was hoping like heck that I could find it coming from more than one but nope it seemed to be just one. Still, I refused to let myself be scared.

In the past, I’ve had doctors tell me very scary things about my health, diagnose me (falsely as I eventually discovered) with a life threatening illness and I let it eat me up with worry thinking literally that I was probably going to die. It wasn’t until years later that I was told I’d received a false positive and it all turned out to be nothing. So now I refuse to let myself get that worked up, the stress is worse!

Anyway, I couldn’t get any information online about bleeding nipples so I went to my next resource – I sent a text message to my Mom and best friend, Allayne. They’re full of lots of great common sense and have seen a lot of things and may have heard something that I hadn’t, like the time I had blood in my urine and thought I must be bleeding internally (LOL result of watching too much ER). I then was very embarrassed to find out later from them it is very common and a quick trip to the drug store to pick up some Ural would soon fix it. Allayne had heard about ‘rusty pipes’ but nothing that would apply to me. Mom, a former nurse, told me not to be concerned but to get it checked out.

I couldn’t put it off any longer so I made the appointment with a doctor who had been highly recommended by a friend who had brain cancer. I had seen the doctor give a public lecture and I’d been quite impressed by his holistic, very natural approach. By the time I saw him I worked out it had been happening for almost 10 days and by that time the bleeding had lessened quite a bit. Now there was just a small amount when I gently pressed or ‘expressed’ and it seemed to be less bloody like there was clear liquid with just a trace of blood. I was relieved thinking that my body was healing itself and the doctor would find it was something completely normal and that would be the end of it.

Turns out that he had a lot of young women patients who had breast cancer and although he has a strong natural approach he made it very clear that I needed to take this seriously and get it checked out.

He surprised me by consulting a breast surgeon who recommended a mammogram, ultrasound and cytology (getting a sample of the blood/fluid) and she said when I got the mammogram and ultrasound, they would probably also recommend a biopsy to be sure. My doctor told the surgeon that if it turned out to be nothing that I’d probably refuse the recommended biopsy and she said that in that case I should have followup mammograms every 6 months.

The next day I tried getting the cytology done but by this stage the bleeding had stopped and there was just a tiny amount of almost clear liquid and I was unable to get enough fluid out to do the tests.

A few days later I was at the Xray clinic for my ultrasound and mammogram with my Mom who I’d asked to come with me for moral support. (Yes I’m a big girl and haven’t had my Mom along for doctors appointments since I was a little girl but I just needed to know that I had someone there.) I had been told not to wear deodorant and talcum powder as it could interfere with the testing so I was feeling grateful it was winter and not a hot day!

I remembered lots of women joking about how the mammogram machine must have been designed by men and how it was quite painful. Unlike most women, I’m not good with pain so I was a bit concerned I might pass out which has happened once before when I’ve been in pain. I never expected to get a mammogram, well at least not until I was 50 so I hadn’t paid too much attention previously.

After a short wait, it was time for me to go in. Mom wasn’t allowed in and waited outside. I wasn’t sure what to expect but the radiographer was terrific and I didn’t feel embarrassed, it was similar to have a bra fitting. In the small room, I took off my shirt and bra and put it along with my things in the handy basket for me to carry from the mammogram to the ultrasound. I would be putting on a front closing gown to go between the two rooms. The radiographer was very reassuring, she explained exactly what was going to happen and how they needed to have as much tissue as possible in there. I had to turn my arm in weird positions for the machine to be able to get as much of me as possible in the picture. It felt like I practically had my armpit in there!

I don’t know whether the machine is different now but it wasn’t as bad as I was prepared for. Yes, they do squash your breasts (horizontally and then vertically, one side at a time) and it does hurt if you’ve got lumpy breasts like me but it is for a much briefer time that I thought it would be. I felt like I was in control because the radiographer slowly lowered the plates until I told her it was enough. Hold your breath, click, and the plates automatically release! After the first one when I found how quickly it releases I felt a lot more willing to put up with even more discomfort because I knew it would only hurt for a short amount of time.

The worst part for me was the next couple of days I felt a tiny amount of pain when I breathed. Oh, that sounds worse than it was. You know when you work a muscle and it’s sore a couple of days later? It was like that, more of an awareness of muscles I didn’t previously know existed. So it really wasn’t as bad as you hear.

The ultrasound was much better. If you haven’t had one, it’s just like it looks on tv, there’s cold gel and a wand is rolled slowly over your skin. Actually when I see the results I don’t know why they waste time doing the mammogram because the ultrasound seems to give a much clearer picture. Well, at least in my case. It found that I had lots of cysts [the technician said it’s normal in women of child bearing age; my doctor later told me it’s normal in women who are iodine deficient] & I also had something else that concerned them a bit. To me, the cysts looked like oval shaped black cells. The ‘something else’ looked to me very similar to the cysts but a bit like an eye – oval with a round black bit in the middle. They told me the bits that weren’t black indicated that there was fluid. The ultrasound technician and the doctor consulted and told me it was probably a ‘fibroadenoma’ and in 95% of times it’s nothing but because of my relatively young age I should definitely have a biopsy.

I cheerfully informed them thank you very much, I’m happy with 95% chance that it’s nothing and I won’t be doing the recommended biopsy. After all, I could clearly see on the scan that it had a nice cell wall and looked very nicely contained and I didn’t want anyone breaking it open. If you’ve heard the Texan Don Tolman talk about cancer, you’ll know why. He calls tumours “rubbish cans” that the body creates to store toxins and lock them away from hurting the surrounding area but I didn’t dare share that with the staff because they would have thought I was a complete nut.

They were pretty upset about me saying ‘thanks but no thanks’ and from there I got told about several of the Australian celebrities with breast cancer (Kylie Minogue, Belinda Emmett etc) and how the problem was that they were told they were too young to have breast cancer. They told me that if only they’d done something about it sooner it they could have been okay. They also told me how they are seeing younger and younger women come in and that they’d even recently found breast cancer in a teenage girl!

The report that went to my doctor said they found “an oval solid lesion, with a transverse orientation and is well defined and would be consistent with a fibroadenoma although non specific”. Blah, blah, blah. I tried googling this too but couldn’t really find anything that helped me. My Mom and my best friend were very upset with me about my decision not to have the biopsy and pressured me to reconsider. To get them to leave me alone I told them I’d talk to my doctor. My REAL doctor who doesn’t over react and would take a natural approach.

A couple of weeks later I had my scheduled followup appointment with him along with the results of the blood and urine tests he’d gotten me do. He proceeded to sit me down and tell me how I really should have the biopsy. I was shocked! Here’s this alternative doctor recommending that I do this. I said “what about what about what the surgeon said?”. He said, that’s only if they didn’t find anything. I was confused and asked him to explain. He told me that taking even a 5% chance was too much of a risk. He got a bit dramatic to prove his point and said if I had a gun to my head and was told there was a 5% chance there was a bullet in there, would I let him pull the trigger? He said that he was seeing too many young women with breast cancer that could have been prevented and that our focus should be on first of all getting rid of cancer AND THEN focussing on preventing cancer, getting the body so well that cancer doesn’t get an opportunity. (I am paraphrasing, can’t recall his exact words.) He then went on and showed me my blood & urine tests showed a problem with my thyroid and also deficiencies in several blood levels, but that’s another story. Side note: studies have linked iodine deficiencies and mercury to breast cancer and I have a iodine deficiency and have several signs that my body is being affected by mercury in my body (amalgum fillings in my teeth).

So at my doctor’s strong encouragement, I conceded and had the biopsy last week. It’s what is called a needle biopsy and they just take a sample. The nurse and doctor who did the test were absolutely wonderful, very patient and explained the whole process thoroughly.

What I didn’t know until I was lying down was that I had to have another ultrasound (makes sense so they can find the exact location), I’d get a local anaesthetic (have I mentioned I’m really anti all drugs?) and that it went through the breast rather than the nipple. They told me they had to take 2 swabs and that I’d feel the movement of them pushing up and down. A bit like vaccuming it seemed to me on the receiving end. They also said that in about 1% of cases they don’t get enough tissue to do the sample and it has to be redone. I invited them to take a third swab while they were there so they could be absolutely sure they had enough but they said no, it looked fine. The good news was that it was ‘behaving like a fibroadenoma’ that is, like fibrous tissue which is what we were hoping it would be.

Afterwards, the nurse put pressure on the wound for a while before putting on a waterproof dressing. She was so caring, told me that I needed to stay lying down for a few more minutes, putting pressure on so it wouldn’t bruise and relax as much as possible. She didn’t want me doing anything with that arm, not even picking up my handbag and asked if there was anyone at home who could make me dinner. I think she went over the top but it was so nice to have someone be so caring, especially when I was feeling so alone. Today, a week later, the spot where the needle went in is practically healed. I’m a slow healer so it may heal faster in other people. There’s no scar and at a quick glance it just looks like a small pink freckle.

I was told my doctor would have the results in a couple of days. We had a public holiday so it took a bit longer and I got the good news yesterday. “Results showed benign fibroadenoma. No further action required.”

Being the Google fan that I am, I did a bit more research and found “Benign fibroadenoma tumors are non-cancerous breast tumors. They are common in young women.”

Although, I was confident the whole time (well, pretty much) that it would turn out to be nothing I’m so happy to have it confirmed.

5 Healthy Tips for Bronchial Asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

With the holiday season fast approaching and with added travel and holiday stress, a change in sleeping behavior may affect your asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Here are some helpful tips this holiday season that may help prevent exacerbation of asthma or COPD. The common symptoms of bronchial asthma are nighttime cough, wheezing and shortness of breath. The common exacerbation cause of bronchial asthma is respiratory tract infection, postnasal drip, gastroesophagel reflux disease (GERD) or heartburn.

1. Sleep adequately. You will want to sleep a little longer and go to bed earlier by the start of the holiday season if you feel there will be sleep deprivation on the weekend if you are planning to stay up late. Maybe, if this is the case, you will want to start going to bed a half an hour to an hour earlier from now on so that it helps the immunity and prevents infection.

2. Avoid junk food. Needless to say, it is very tempting but it may be a good idea to replace junk food snacks with good and healthy foods, thereby preventing bronchospasm, mucus formation, and nighttime symptoms of bronchial asthma. Cookies, pasties, etc., have refined sugar, which cause mucus formation and bronchospasm. Making sure a high-fiber diet is continued during the holiday season so there are normal bowel movements every day in the morning helps to prevent bronchospasm. If one is not getting a high-fiber diet regularly, he/she may help with starting one. Eating lots of fruits and vegetables helps. Apples, pears, grapes, strawberries, carrots, cabbage, and spinach to name a few, are good sources of healthy fiber. Understanding the basics of the diet and what needs to be avoided on a regular basis may help prevent exacerbation of asthma. Avoid dairy products such as cold food, ice cream (produces bronchospasm and mucus), bananas (increases sputum production and chest congestion), cold water or ice water or ice drinks also increase bronchospasm and replace them with room temperature water or drinks. Just like cold weather makes asthma worse, so do cold liquids and drinks which create winter inside the body. It slows stomach digestion, producing bronchospasm. We have seen in our practice that stopping this has decreased the need of a rescue inhaler by more than 50% in about 6 weeks in many asthma patients and in many after only a few months. It may help if one is looking for ideas that help to decrease the need for rescue inhaler use.

3. Compliance with the treatment of bronchial asthma. Continue the regular inhalers, nebulizers and other medication as prescribed by your health care professional. Understand the correct technique of the inhaler or nebulizer. Get familiar with the medication and its normal dose, the maximum dose that is allowed and its common side effects. If you feel that you are getting any of the side effects, let your doctor know about it. Make sure you rinse your mouth after the use of the inhaler or nebulizer to prevent oral thrush. Use the peak flow meter to check the asthma symptoms and keep a log of it. If one is a smoker than smoking cessation is the key to improve health, otherwise bronchial asthma or COPD will not get better and with time it will get worse. Inhalers or medication will not work with ongoing smoking. A person can end up with respiratory failure and be on a ventilator with ongoing smoking if asthma or COPD exacerbation cannot be controlled with nebulizers, steroids and antibiotics. Smoking cessation is key.

4. Exercise. Regular exercise helps to prevent the bronchospasm and chest congestion. In patients with exercise-induced bronchospasm, they may need to take the inhaler prior to work out. This is equally true for the patient with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease as well as bronchial asthma patients.

5. Yoga and Pranayama. Pranayama are the breathing exercises of yoga. One may learn Pranayama and many other exercises of yoga to reduce stress from a local yoga instructor, which may help prevent bronchospasm, chest congestion, and nighttime wheezing. Yoga exercise is very different from a regular work out or aerobic exercise. After yoga, one may feel more relaxed and calm. Both exercises have their own merits and limitations and based on one’s personality one may favor one over the other. The goal is to do one or both than none at all.

In our practice, we have patients with severe persistent bronchial asthma symptoms on round-the-clock inhalers and nebulizers with multiple modalities of treatment and exercise. Yoga has shown such improvement in some patients that they do not need a need of inhalers or nebulizers. The point here is to say that yoga exercise and/or other regular or aerobic exercises do help if one does them regularly and helps the asthma symptoms as well as overall health when done regularly along with medical treatment.

Natural Ways to Douse Autoimmune Conditions Like MS and ALS

Attention autoimmune disease sufferers. I want to offer you some natural options that may help you feel better and not carry side effects like many medications do. What is an Autoimmune disease?

Imagine looking into the mirror, but instead of seeing your sweet self, you see a creepy robber and then start punching yourself, and it hurts. That’s autoimmune disease – your immune system perceives its own tissue as an invader, then seeks to destroy it, little by little. With rheumatoid arthritis, the joints are primarily affected; with Hashimoto’s, it’s the thyroid; with MS, it’s the brain and spinal cord nerves and so on.

Avoid high doses of vitamin C, beta carotene, cat’s claw, echinacea, ginseng, among others. Why add fuel to the fire? Doing so may cause you to slip out of remission and into more misery. I think I heard someone just say, “Ah ha!”

Copaxone has become a popular prescription drug choice for MS sufferers because it seems to spark some relief in patients, plus its side effects are reportedly less disabling. There are several other medications and your physician will know what’s right for you.

I’ll share some tips in the space provided, but there are so many other nutrients. Readers can subscribe to my weekly health newsletter for free (www.DearPharmacist.com) and I’ll send you more information and dosages on every column I write. For now, consider a gluten-free diet and any of these nutrients:

DHA: A type of essential fatty acid found in fish oils that helps nourish nerve cells and balance angry inflammatory chemicals. You often find this substance in fish oils that contain both DHA and EPA together. This is fine, however, it’s the DHA that is most important. You can find how amounts of pure DHA in cod liver oil supplements.

Since the brain is about 60 percent fat, it’s clear why a healthy fatty supplement like DHA is so important. Deficiencies of this fatty acid may increase your risk of depression, multiple sclerosis, inflammation, memory loss and even alcoholism. We also need healthy fats to combat the effects of all the bad fats we get in our diet. The DHA helps make all the neurons and cells communicate with one another better. It also reduces inflammation and cools the body off.

Vitamin D: The sunlight vitamin seems to help with MS; it’s because the sunlight helps your skin create vitamin D which ultimately forms a hormone in your body. When it becomes a hormone, it is called calcitriol and affects 200 genes, some of those genes are in charge of your immune system. This is why vitamin D helps balance the immune system and protect you from cancer according to some studies. People with MS, should take 5 – 10,000 IU cholecalciferol (or D3) if it’s okay with their doctor. The sun is fine too, you can’t overdo vitamin D when it comes from the sun. The problem is that heat, and hot temperatures make some people with MS much worse, so supplementation may be the best way to get vitamin D. One more thing, prescribed forms of vitamin D are not natural forms that the body easily recognizes. I may be going against the grain on this (conventionally-speaking) but I prefer natural vitamin D (cholecalciferol or D3), rather than prescribed forms which are usually D2 or some other unnatural form of D.

Melatonin: It’s your sleep hormone, and people with MS seem to lack it. In this case, I prefer synthetic versions of melatonin because the natural sources come from cow brains. I don’t recommend cow brain-derived melatonin because it could have contaminants in it. Melatonin is the sleep hormone that you naturally make when the lights go out and you fall asleep. When the sun shines in the morning, that’s the signal for your brain to stop making melatonin (and for you to wake up). In people with autoimmune disorders, especially MS, this circadian rhythm is off. Melatonin dosages of about 1 or 2 mg taken each night can help with sleep, and reduce inflammatory chemicals in the body.

Methylcobalamin: It’s a form of vitamin B12 that helps you remyelinate and it’s the remyelination process that helps people with MS the most. All it means is that you are recoating the sensitive nerve fibers. Most people know B12 as “cyanocobalamin” and they take it for energy. I don’t recommend that form because it is harder for your body to use and eliminate since it has a little ‘cyanide’ molecule on it. Don’t freak out, it’s not enough to hurt you, but it’s enough for me to recommend that you take the proper form of B12, the methylcobalamin. It’s easy to find in health food stores, you just have to get used to reading labels. Sublingual forms are just fine, or chewable tablets.

Padma Basic: This centuries-old formula was handed down from Tibet. It’s sold without a prescription in the United States, but overseas, this is a drug called “Padma 28.” It’s all natural, with 20 herbs and spices that balance your immune system and squash inflammation. The nerd in me examined this one-of-a-kind blend of herbs which includes ginger, valerian, clove flower, resurrection lily, heartleaf and others.

It helps autoimmune sufferers because it’s “cooling” to an immune system that’s on fire. It’s also great for the blood circulation and heart and has well-designed clinical trials to back its use in atherosclerosis, angina and heart failure. There are very few products that actually help put people back into remission with MS, this is one of them in my opinion.

Diseases that have names ending in “itis” are all inflammation states. Padma can help with any kind of “itis” like hepatitis, arthritis, thyroiditis, bronchitis – and get this, it might stave off a root canal (pulpitis)! Yes, there’s a study to prove it. Padma Basic is sold online at the Web site, http://www.econugenics.com or by phone at 800-308-5518. They even post their research for other scientific junkies like me.

N.A.C.: This stands for N-acetylcysteine and this turns into glutathione in the body. That’s important for people with autoimmune problems because glutathione cleans up the liver, and it sweeps away free radical damage in the body. People with MS are usually deficient in glutathione. One way to get this is by supplementing with N.A.C. (sold widely at health food stores) or to drink whey protein shakes.

Inosine: Inosine is usually associated with body builders. It increases muscle strength and performance, as well as energy and stamina. When inosine is taken in combination with D-ribose (Corvalen or Morningstar Minerals sells this), you really see improvements in people with MS who are dealing with poor muscle strength, lack of coordination, atrophy, leg pain and weakness. Fitness experts recommend inosine to help with strength training.

Now, this may be a bit technical, but I realize some of you are going to print this and show it to your physician, so here goes: People with MS produce a lot of a substance called “peroxynitrates.” Peroxynitrates are damaging to the the myelin. Uric acid is a scavenger and hunts down these bad “peroxynitrates” thereby inactivating them. Inosine MAKES the uric acid so you can see now, how inosine serves two purposes, one to improve muscle health and two, helps you reduce inflammatory chemicals which worsen MS.

Inosine is sold online, and in some health food stores. It helps your body make “uric acid” and people with MS are actually deficient in uric acid. You may have heard of uric acid before, in fact, people who have too much get a condition called gout and they have to avoid foods and supplements that raise uric acid. But people with MS have the opposite situation, they have very LOW levels of uric acid. Inosine is a supplement that is a precursor to uric acid and in a small study of 11 people, everyone who took the inosine supplements saw a halt in disease progression (remission). Three people actually improved. This may not be enough to recommend it to everyone with MS, but I think it’s worth a try. Not too much, remember, it can cause gout.

Dosages vary to a great extent ranging from 1,000 – 5,000 mg per day.

Short Term Effects of Bulimia

People often ask me about different side effects of bulimia: about short term, long term and the most dangerous ones. This article is about short term effects which appear soon after bulimia begins.

People are also interested if the short term effects are 100% reversible or not. Well, probably most of the short term bulimia effects are reversible but it is also depends on the intensity of the bulimia. It is also depends on association with other medical and psychological problems the person as at the time they start being bulimic. So, I would say it is all down to the individual and for many people the short term effects are 100% reversible when they stop their bulimia. But there are some people who can have irreversible damage.

Now, let’s look at them – short term effects.

1. Digestive system suffers because of vomiting. People experience bloating, indigestion, bad taste in the mouth, breath smells, pains and aches in the stomach, reflux, heart burn and nausea.

2. Swallowing can be painful if throat gets damaged while vomiting.

3. Teeth get eroded quickly from the acid during and after vomiting.

4. Heart problems can become obvious especially in people who purge often.

5. Constipation is a common concern in bulimics. It can become complicated with haemorrhoids and tears.

6. Low body temperature which makes people sensitive to cold weather. Bulimics are cold most of the time.

7. Tendency to faint.

8. Mood swings and intolerance to mental pressure.

9. Getting tired quickly and the inability to concentrate. Even simple mental tasks like reading can make some bulimics tired and even exhausted. Studying and learning can become problematic also.

10. Muscular tension can bring a lot of suffering. It appears as back pains, neck pains, tension headaches and aches or pains in other parts of the body.

11. Depression and anxiety can be very severe. The more people think and act bulimic the more depressed they become.

12. Dry skin is the problem too, accompanied by brittle hair and weak nails. Skin problems can be noticeable on sufferer’s hands especially. Knuckles can be damaged when they induce vomiting. One quick way to see if a loved one is bulimic check their knuckles, they will be all hard and wrinkled.

13. The Immune system can suffer making a person vulnerable to many infections. They experience colds and flu often.

14. People become withdrawn and avoid others.

15. Stress levels increases significantly.

16. Insomnia is common due to increased stress.

17. Distorted thoughts: constantly thinking about food, even dreaming about it.

18. Menstrual problems can range from painful periods to absence of periods.

19. Bone density decreases. Osteoporosis in severe cases of bulimia.

20. Voice changes due to damaged vocal cords.

These are the most common short term bulimia side effects. There are many more and people get affected by bulimia differently. All side effects can turn into dangerous complications. So the best way to prevent them is to stop your bulimia all together. You can always start looking for help: read more about it, educate yourself, ask professionals, work on changing your psychology, change behavioural pattern etc. Never give up and never take the side of disease.

Health & Safety Code Requirements of a Salad Bar Or Buffet and How to Prevent a Food Poisoning

Except for the high end establishments, just about every type of restaurant these days has some form of customer self-service buffet or salad bar serving ready-to-eat foods. Even El Pollo Loco and other Mexican style restaurants allow you to pick and fill up from a choice of salsas. Asian style all-you-can-eat restaurants are another big one with many popping up in most big cities. Then there are of course the restaurants that focus entirely on buffets and salad bars.

The health and safety laws governing these displays have developed over the years to address the uniqueness of this type of set up and some of the unique hazards or risks to consumers. Noted below are most of those requirements as well as my own recommendations from years of experience inspecting restaurant buffets and salad bars:

–One obvious requirement is that all open exposed ready-to-eat food must be shielded so as to block a direct line between the customer’s mouth and the food on display. This shield is generally known as a sneeze guard for the larger displays of food and is usually glass or transparent plastic, angled above the food enough to block possible contamination coming from a customer’s mouth (saliva from sneezing, coughing, talking, etc.). The shield can also take the form of a container with a tight fitting securely attached lid, normally with hinges. If there is no evidence of a shield or lid then the display is most likely not approved and should be avoided.

–A separate utensil with a handle is required for each food displayed for self-service. No customer is allowed to touch any of the exposed food with their hands.

–There must be clean plates and other tableware at or adjacent to the buffet or salad bar and customers should be reminded, or notified if need be, that only clean tableware is to be used when returning to the buffet.

–The proper temperatures must be maintained. The food is usually displayed on ice (and actually should be buried in ice), or the containers are sitting either in a refrigerated unit or warmer, or the food is sitting under a heating lamp. Look for steam coming from the warmer or steam table and even the food itself. Do not trust a chafing dish for long term holding (more than 2 hours) of foods. You will generally only see chafing dishes at a temporary buffet setting. They are large shallow metal platters with one or two canned gas lighted flames underneath, attempting to keep the food warm. They are maybe good for short periods of time only, and are not to be trusted or definitely not approved for a more permanent buffet setting. Heat lamps usually fall into this same category. They also are not the best means of maintaining hot holding temperatures for long period of times.

–Employees should be constantly monitoring and maintaining the buffet or salad bar. They should be doing everything from replenishing it to cleaning and checking temperatures frequently.

–No sulfites or sulfating agents. Sulfites used to be a common preserving agent especially in fruits, maintaining a fresh appearance. Most if not all states prohibit any food facility from applying sulfating agents to fresh fruits and vegetables intended for raw consumption, or to any potentially hazardous foods. Sulfites are still allowed on fruits and vegetables not sold in the raw state, such as dried fruits and grapes used for wine.

–Absolutely no flies or other types of vermin (cockroaches, rodents) can be present. Contrary to what you may have heard, there is no acceptable number or amount of vermin allowed in a food facility. Vermin are strictly illegal in all areas of the establishment. They harbor and can transmit dangerous microorganisms as well as general filth to your food and should not be tolerated.

— No leaking and pooling waste water on the floor area, either from melting ice, or the refrigeration or warmer unit.

–Most foods should have a label identifying the common name of the food, sauce, dressing, condiments etc.

Learning the requirements and potential hazards of a buffet or salad bar is just good consumer awareness and can give you the advantage in preventing a serious food borne illness.

How Plantain Extract Boosts Kidney Health in Sexual Functions of a Man

A MEAL of unripe plantain with local spices like cloves, onions, garlic and ginger could be the answer to erectile dysfunction, low sperm count, ulcer, kidney problems, diabetes, and high blood pressure.

Unripe plantain cooked or roasted has been proven over the years to induce, sustain and maintain erection. It also helps to make semen thick and increases sperm volume.

Roasted plantain fruit is good for men with weak erection and low sperm count. Make a habit of eating one or two roasted plantain daily. If you wish, you can eat it with vegetable soup. Enjoy yourself while you improve your health the natural way. The ripe plantain fruit can be used to treat indigestion. Mash some ripe plantain to make a paste. Take one tablespoon twice daily.

Take more plantain or unripe bananas. They help to rejuvenate the sexual organ with high level of potassium. Include garlic in every meal. Garlic is generally a good anti oxidant and a good remedy for impotence in particular. Include ginger in every meal too. Ginger has healing properties to treat erectile dysfunction. Include onion as much as possible in all your meals. It has been taken fresh by ancient Greece to lighten the balance of blood and to firm up their muscles. Fresh green vegetables, all kinds of nuts, grains and fresh fruits, which are rich in mineral, are generally good to impotence cure.

According to “Medicinal Uses of Fruits and Vegetable sun ripe plantain contains special dietary fibre called pectin, which increases the number of calories ingested thus can shed weight or treat obesityĆ”.

Researches by alternative medical practitioners have shown that people experiencing frigidity, sterility and most especially very cold sexual drive may not necessarily need to take drugs like Viagra, but natural diets like plantain.

Although some herbal doctors call it natural remedy for weak penile erection, but many other neuropaths say it should not be regarded as Viagra because of its negative interpretation. They say it is only a libido enhancing natural therapy that has no dangerous effect on body organs like the heart as that of Viagra.

Researchers have shown that co-treatment of extract of root of plantain to streptozotocin-treated diabetic rat resulted in a significant correction in the levels of sex organ relative weights, serum insulin and testosterone levels, sperm count and viability, androgenic enzyme activity, antioxidant enzymes, conjugated diene and thiobarbituric acid reactive substance levels in testis and germ cells counts at stage VII of the seminiferous epithelial cycle.

The results of the study published in Journal of Herbs, Spices & Medicinal Plants support the validity of this herbal drug for the management of diabetes as well as diabetes-induced testicular disorder.

How does plantain boost sexual performance, reduce impotence, unsatisfactory erection, sexual weakness and increase sex drive, including women you may ask? How can it be prepared might be the question of some people? The answer is that only unripe plantain is required for this purpose. Fresh unripe plantain would be used with the peel removed.

Some naturopaths recommend: Unripe plantain, pure honey, cloves and walnuts will be grinded, mashed or pound together to make a gel or paste. After this, the gel will be sun-dried to form a cake or flakes. During sun-drying, the materials should be protected either with tiny, spacing wire mesh or iron mosquito nets from flies. Once totally dried and has become a flake, it has become a “drug” referred to as sex enhancing drug capable of improving penile-erection, cure sexual coldness in women and also prevent early or premature ejaculation in men during sexual intercourse.

The results of the experimental study indicate that, in the mammalian model used, methanolic extract of mature.

Although the precise mechanism of the hypoglycemic action of MEMP is still unclear and will have to await further studies, it could be due, at least in part, to stimulation of insulin production and subsequent glucose utilization.

Nevertheless, the findings of this experimental animal study indicate that MEMP possesses hypoglycemic activity, and thus lends credence to the suggested folkloric use of the plant in the management and/or control of adult-onset, type-2 diabetic mellitus among the Yoruba-speaking people of South-Western Nigeria.”

A study on the effect of plantains on Desoxycorticosterone acetate (DOCA)-induced hypertension in rats indicates that chronic consumption of plantain diet is capable of lowering the DOCA-induced elevated mean arterial pressure in rats.

According to the study published in Pharmaceutical Biology by E. E. Osim of the Department of Physiology College of Medical Sciences, University of Calabar; and J. O Ibu of the Department of Physiology, College of Medical Sciences, University of Port Harcourt, plantain diet can also prevent the onset of DOCA-induced hypertension in rats.

They wrote: “DOCA administration to rats placed on normal rat feed elevated the mean arterial blood pressure. The consumption of plantain diet by rats previously treated with DOCA lowered the mean arterial blood pressure to control values. DOCA administration to rats previously placed on plantain diet produced no significant change in the mean arterial blood pressure when compared with control.”

Plantain is also recommended for the treatment of urinary stones. The stem juices of Musa paradisiaca have been reported for dissolving pre-formed stones and in preventing the formation of stones in the urinary bladder of rats. Stem juice is also used in nervous affectations like epilepsy, hysteria and in dysentery and diarrhoea. Several oligosaccharides comprising fructose, xylose, galactose, glucose and mannose occur naturally in plantain, making it an excellent prebiotic for the selective growth of beneficial bacteria in the intestine.

Effects of High Blood Pressure – What Are the Short and Long Term Effects of Hypertension?

The effects of high blood pressure are real and damaging. Little wonder then that doctors call this condition the “silent killer” as it is responsible for millions of deaths worldwide each year. In this article, I’ll show you exactly what effects hypertension has on the human body.

The Vascular System And The Organs

When the blood pressure of the blood is too high, this is equivalent to running your home water system on too high a pressure. Pretty soon leaks and breakages will start to appear.

In your body, your arteries are most directly affected. Anywhere that the blood runs is affected so this also includes all the organs of your body. Let’s see in further detail what the long term consequences of this are.

The Eyes

The eyes contain very tiny blood vessels that are especially susceptible to rupture. In fact, many people are diagnosed with hypertension when they visit an eye doctor.

In extreme cases, you can even go blind.

Increased Risk Of Stroke

The brain features an advanced network of blood vessels. The higher the pressure of the blood flowing through them, the greater the chance of damage.

Eventually, you can have a breakage in one of these vessels or a blockage. This is a stroke. You are 5 times more likely to suffer one if you have this condition.

Heart Problems

The heart must work harder if the pressure is higher. This leads to thickening of the heart muscle, reduced inefficiency and heart failure.

Arterial deposits are also more likely in those with this condition. This can lead to an increased risk of death due to heart attack.

Kidney Failure

A third of those who receive dialysis are there because their blood pressure is too high. And a quarter of those on dialysis will die because of it.

Low Blood Pressure – When Is It Too Low?

When is our blood pressure so low that it is at a dangerous level. Low blood pressure can be more of a problem if it falls below a manageable level, so it is important to monitor your levels constantly if you suffer with this disease.

An acceptable reading that is considered normal for blood pressure is 120/80, but sufferers of low hypertension can have readings of 90/60, or sometimes even lower.

There is also an acceptable low level for athletes or people who live a very healthy lifestyle, and of course never smoke. It would be very rare for a smoker to have lower than normal readings unless they were unwell or were suffering with some other complaint. However in some people that have an underlying heart disease it could be a warning, or indication of inadequate blood flow into the vital organs. This is particularly prevalent in older people. So if you are one of those people who have low blood pressure but have no symptoms, then you will probably be wondering when is your pressure too low.

First you must understand just what exactly low blood pressure is. Because your hypertension alters from person to person, when one of you gets a reading of 90 millimeters of mercury (mm hg) or less as systolic readings and 60 mm Hg or less as diastolic readings, eg: 90/60 it is considered to be low blood pressure. We have already established this in the first paragraph, and realized that this pressure is only normal if you are a fit, healthy, clean living non smoker, for the rest of you, bar a few on other medical grounds, you are in trouble and need to take a good hard look at your lifestyle, or your family tree.

Chronic low blood pressure symptoms are a red flag pointing to many other health concerns. These things include serious heart disease, neurological disorders, and many others that can be just as serious. If low blood pressure is not treated in time or corrected, it can make these illnesses force the body to go into shock. This may sound like a far off tale to you, but if you think about our heart and what it does to keep our blood flowing in a controlled manner so that all our organs can function, then you will understand that this is indeed very serious.

I will now endeavor to answer the question, when is low blood pressure too low.

  • When you are lying down on bed for a long time and then sit upright you feel like you could pass out.
  • An injury or accident that leads to loss of too much blood
  • A person who is on medication that helps lower high blood pressure, medications for treatment of heart diseases, Parkinson’s disease, antidepressants or erectile dysfunction
  • A patient suffering from endocrine problems like Addison’s disease, low blood sugar, diabetes, parathyroid disease, hypothyroidism, etc.
  • Severe septicemia
  • Anaphylaxis
  • Vitamin B12 deficiency as well as folic acid deficiency
  • Dehydration
  • Low blood pressure after eating; known as postparandial hypotension

So, when is low blood pressure too low? If the systolic pressure is 115 and diastolic pressure is 50, it is considered to be lower than normal. For example, when there is a sudden drop in 130 systolic pressure to 110 systolic pressure, it leads to dizziness, fainting and shock. Thus, a sudden drop in low blood pressure can be considered dangerously life threatening.

Below are some symptoms of low blood pressure that you should look out for if you are at all worried that you could be suffering from hypotension. If you can relate to some or any of these I suggest that you see your family doctor and let him do your reading and give you a good health check.

  • Excessive thirst
  • Sudden depression
  • Fatigue
  • Shallow breath
  • Cold clammy skin that looks pale
  • Blurred vision
  • Nausea
  • Fainting
  • Dizziness and light headedness

This all about when is low blood pressure too low. If you suffer from this without any symptoms, you should always remain alert.

We have covered the symptoms and now we will look at some of the side effects that low blood pressure can have on you, and your vital organs.

Our readings are at its lowest when we are sleeping, but if, while in this relaxed state it was to drop to 90/60 or lower then that could put our bodies organs into a bit of a panic, and if not taken care of in time, it may lead to dangerous consequences.

I will just run through some of the possible side effects from low blood pressure, or hypotension.

One of the most common signs is nausea. Because the blood flow slows down, there is a lack of oxygen to the brain. This causes gastrointestinal distress which leads to the nausea.

Dizziness and fainting are a result of hypotention, getting up too quickly, or, fast movements will cause this, because the blood is not being pumped through the arteries fast enough to get oxygen to the brain.

Heart disease is a real concern with low blood pressure, because there is not enough pressure for the heart to be able to pump blood to all the parts of the body, this puts a strain on the heart that can lead to heart disease or even cause a heart attack.

The brain is also under stress in this situation because it does not get enough oxygen and blood. This can effect the nervous system, and may result in confusion, mental illness, and even strokes. It can also affect the functioning of other parts of the body, because all parts of the body take direction from the brain.

The Kidneys are also in trouble here because the job of the kidney is to remove the toxins from our bodies. Low blood pressure can slow down this process causing toxins to build up in the blood.

This may all look a little scary but it is a warning for all of us to look after our bodies and get as much exercise as we can, and aim for a healthy lifestyle. If you are concerned that you have low blood pressure, see your doctor as soon as you can. Keep popping back for more info on this site, and take care.

Why Vitiligo in Children? Understanding the Mechanism of Disease in Childhood Vitiligo

Childhood vitiligo is a puzzle to many parents, primary care physicians and dermatologists.

This is because although vitiligo is an acquired degenerative “skin disease,” it is uncommon in neonates and infants.

By the way from pediatric definition, a neonate is a baby under one month. An infant is a child above one month but under one year. Vitiligo rarely occur during this age period, although a few cases has been reported in newborn babies.

Many people want to know why vitiligo occurs in childhood since stress and autoimmune disease seem to be less pronounced as triggers in this age group.

One experiment tested the umblical cords of several newborns and found an average of 200 toxins. These toxins include banned chemicals like DDT, PCB, mycotoxins, pesticides, insecticides, dioxins, and heavy metals like lead, arsenic, mercury, cadmium, and aluminium (behaves like heavy metals). Know that toxins and heavy metals are toxic, acidic and provoke free radical damage, inflammation, upset the genes, autoimmunity and nutrient depletion. The body always burn nutrients to modulate the immune system or to stay in balance. When these toxins pollute and overwhelm the body, vitiligo result depending on the genetic predisposition.

Don’t blame vitiligo on genetics or the child’s parents. This is because even in 30% of relatives with the carrier gene (autosomal dorminant inheritance), less than 7% manifest vitiligo. Even then, vitiligo can still be cured. The normal gene is complex enough to make enough melanin for repigmentation.

The key to understanding vitiligo in children is knowing the incubation period of disease. By the time vitiligo manifests, it has gone through several processes. During this time, the body tries to compensate and fight off the disorder. This is because nature tends towards wholeness before the immune system breaks down.

The most important cause of vitiligo in childhood is food and drink. This is where all the many causes of vitiligo converge. Please don’t let your dermatologist insult your intelligence by telling you, “diet has nothing to do with it.” Vitiligo is primarily a nutrien-deficiency and degenerative disease. The skin manifestation is an outward sign of this internal imbalance. I prefer to call it a disorder more than a disease. Allergies and autoimmune tendencies tend to manifest long after a poor nutritional series of challenges. People tend to develop allergies and autoimmunity to food they eat more often. Any nutrient deficient cell is an inefficient cell. Remember that nutrient deficiency occurs in different ways: nutrient insufficiency, nutrient depletion, nutrient inefficiency, nutrient malabsorption, and nutrient indigestion. I have even seen babies born with nutrient deficiency blurring the line between acquired and inherited diseases.

Nutrient deficiency provoking vitiligo could be due to eating one type or the wrong kind of food. Malabsorption of nutrients could be due to coelic syndrome. Pernicious anemia occurs when lack of intrinsic factor provokes malabsorption of vitamin B12. leaky gut syndrome that creates allergy and autoimmunity due to partially digested allergens. Recall that 70% of the body’s immune system is located in the gastrointestinal tract. It’s called GALT (gut associated lymphoid tissues).

When the GALT barrier is broken, vitiligo manifest as a breach on the skin which is the last and final frontier of the immune system coming from the inside. Note first that the liver clears digested food, allergens, and debris from the gut through the portal circulation. The skin becomes a secondary back-up and clearing organ only when the liver filters are overwhelmed. Therefore, vitiligo is a sign of leaky gut syndrome and sluggish liver. As such must be treated from the inside out and not otherwise which is what many dermatologists do. Treating vitiligo from outside without exploring the child’s diet is the reason why doctors get mixed results and recurrence because the underlying root cause was not addressed.

IPL Machines With SHR Technology

IPL, or Intense Pulsed Light machines have been around for a while now, and are mostly used for hair reduction. A couple of years ago, Elight appeared, which allowed the Therapist to treat darker skinned clients with less discomfort and better results. Elight is a combination of two parts of the EM spectrum, that being light and RF, or Radio frequency.

Elight mostly dominates the market in terms of machine sales due to it’s unrivalled flexibility and consistently good results. There are a number of business to business dealers for this equipment with big names such as Caci, Ellipse, Lynton and Clinical Lasers. All of whom have a global reach.

Recently launched into the market is a new kind of IPL technology is SHR. SHR stands for Super Hair Removal, a technology of permanent hair removal which is having a sweeping success. The system combines laser technology and the benefits of the pulsating light method achieving practically painless results. Even hairs which until now have been difficult or even impossible to be removed can now be treated. "In Motion" represents a breakthrough in permanent hair removal with light technology. The treatment is more pleasant than with the conventional systems and your skin is better protected.

What is the difference between the laser and the IPL technology? Traditional laser or IPL technologies employ short impulses of approximately 2-300 milliseconds, applying a vast amount of energy (12-120 Joule on one square centimetre). Energy is transported to the hair root through melanin, where warmth of 65-72 degrees Celsius is produced. Energy reaches the root of the hair follicle solely through melanin. Skin and red blood cells have a similar absorption coefficient as melanin and therefore also absorb the high levels of energy produced by the laser and IPL methods. This can lead to swelling lasting several days or even to third-degree burns.

SHR technology, on the other hand, utilizes the melanin path only partially (50%). Skin is penetrated down to the follicles which produce hair growth. Conventional devices, not using SHR technology, merely transport energy along the melanin to the follicles.

SHR gently transports the energy through the skin and through the melanin to the hair follicles.

Research has shown that a slower, but longer heating process is considerably more effective for permanent hair removal than high and short levels of energy. Therefore, when using SHR, the device is passed over the tissue 6-10 times (in motion) using low energy but a high rate of repetition (up to 10Hz, i.e. 10 times per second) instead of using the traditional method with single, high-energy impulses. Thus, the hair melanin, as well as the tissue of the stem cells, is heated with low energy at a slow pace and over a longer period of time (90 seconds) to a comfortable temperature of 45 degrees Celsius. SHR enables the successful treatment of blonde and, in part even white hair, given that the hair pigment is only secondary.

Which advantages does this have for you? An optimal intensity can be achieved given that the same area is treated multiple times with low energy impulses. The treatment is more comfortable and the skin is better protected than with conventional methods. How are different hair and skin colours affected?

Light skin with dark hair responds most favourably to the treatments. In addition to targeting the melanin, SHR-technology affects the chromophore, a protein located in the follicle, enabling the successful treatment of dark skin removing achromous, fine hairs.

What does the client feel during treatment?

Treatment with SHR is practically painless as opposed to treatment with the conventional IPL devices. On areas with dense hair growth, warmth from the light impulses is evoked and the light impulses may be felt to a much lesser extent than with laser or IPL.

Which areas can be treated?

Body hair can be removed on any part of the body. It is recommended a test be performed on a small patch before the first treatment.

How many treatments are necessary?

Until now hair had to be treated during the growing phase (20%-30%). In the telogen phase, stem cells are in a resting phase but can still successfully be treated with the SHR system. Since growth cycles vary, approx. 8 treatments are usually necessary.

How long should the intervals between treatments be?

The hair growth cycle and the interval between treatments should correspond requiring spacing of approximately 6-8 weeks.

How much time is necessary for a treatment?

Depending on the size of the area to be treated, the time varies from 15 to 30 minutes for a facial treatment and about 3 hours for both legs.

Will there be any side-effects?

Skin is more sensitive in some areas of the body than in others and redness can occur as a side effect. It should disappear in a matter of hours but could potentially be as intense as a sunburn lasting a few days. Contrary to conventional methods, a light crusting which will vanish after 2-3 weeks, or an alteration of the sin’s pigmentation which will disappear after 4-6 months, are very rare.

Are precautions to be taken before the treatment?

At least 1 week before the first treatment, intense sun exposure or solarium visits should be avoided. Hairs should not be waxed or plucked less than 6 weeks before treatment. Shaving is permitted any time. Areas to be treated should be shaved one day before the scheduled appointment.

Are precautions to be taken after the treatment?

The skin’s natural protection is highly weakened after this intense light treatment. Therefore a high level of UV protection (30-50) in the form of suntan lotion should be applied for about 1 week.

After 1-5 weeks hair will fall out. Shaving is possible any time but hair should not be plucked. Allow for the natural process to take place, or you could stimulate new growth. Once the hair has dropped out, it is unlikely to grow back again.

What are the costs?

SHR technology is better for all of the reasons above and this carries a cost implication. However, Clinical Lasers has always led the way on pricing and still does. Couple this with their global solution that offers instant guaranteed acceptance to anyone, anywhere, Therapists can access much needed new equipment, even with the economy in the current state.

Dog Liver Cancer – Is Liver Cancer In Dogs Treatable?

There are two types of dog liver cancer – a primary liver cell cancer, and a secondary tumor which has spread from another part of the body such as the mammary gland. In this article, we will only discuss primary liver cancer.

Cancer of the liver occurs most frequently in elderly dogs. In fact, over 80% of dogs affected by this type of cancer are over 10 years of age. In almost one-third of dogs that are diagnosed with primary liver cancer, they have no symptoms of the disease. Their cancer is an incidental finding when they are taken to their veterinarian for some other reason.

Diagnosis

Those dogs that do have symptoms of cancer show signs of liver disease. These include vomiting, increased thirst and yellowing of the skin, gums and conjunctiva. As the tumor grows, their abdomen may appear swollen.

Your veterinarian will suspect some form of liver disease based on these symptoms, and will run some blood tests to make sure they are on the right track. They are looking for high levels of liver enzymes in your dog’s blood. This may not mean your dog has cancer, but definitely indicates that their liver isn’t working properly.

The next step in getting an accurate diagnosis is to have an ultrasound of your dog’s abdomen, so their liver can be examined. Dog liver cancer can show up in two forms. Firstly, there may be many small cancerous nodules distributed throughout the liver. Secondly, there may be one large tumor affecting just one lobe of the liver.

A biopsy of the liver tumor will identify the exact type of cancer, and give you a better idea of your dog’s prognosis. This can be done in two ways. Firstly, a biopsy needle can be guided by ultrasound into the tumor, and a sample removed for examination. The second method is by fine needle aspirate biopsy. This is safer for those dogs with extensive dog liver cancer, because if the liver isn’t working well it can affect the ability of the blood to clot. A fine needle biopsy has less risk of hemorrhage.

Prognosis

If the cancer is confined to one lobe of the liver, the median survival time for dogs suffering from primary liver cancer is around 3 years. The mass can be surgically removed and the patients tend to do well for quite some time.

The outlook for those with the nodular form of liver cancer isn’t good.

If you own a senior dog, and they start to become unwell with vomiting and excessive drinking, it’s important to rule out dog liver cancer.

Has your dog been diagnosed with cancer? Perhaps you suspect he might have this dreaded disease…

Book Review: The Catcher in the Rye

Trust me, till I was done with three quarters of this book, I wasn’t really too impressed. I would have given it 3 stars at most and not think about recommending it to anybody. I mean, I could relate to Holden’s angst at the hypocrisy of adults, the painful small talk of all the “phony” people around, the failure of religion to answer his questions, his aimlessness, his feelings of not being perturbed if he were to die the next moment, his disenchantment with society or rather ‘adults’ in general(which I came to understand much later, when I understood how pregnant with meaning the ‘museum’ reference was) but it struck me as the usual identity-moral-spiritual crisis of a regular teenager. Only, I didn’t expect Salinger to deal with it the way he did. This is to tell you, obviously, that the last 70 pages or so are what make this book what it is. A classic.

Alright, coming back, I have been through it all, and the part about society, hypocrisy (add to that injustice) is still there. But I have also come to see some of the brighter side of it so that going on in this world doesn’t appear as worthless as it used to. So, Holden, in spite of flashes of his ‘genuineness’ and ‘beautiful’ heart and need to “like a lot” the girl he was supposed to go physical with and his ‘love’ for his dead brother Allie and his views on his elder brother D.B ‘selling his writing talent to the hollywood’ and thereby becoming a prostitute, was still not something of a hero to me. I was afraid the writer was going to offer some kind of a rosy ending that all coming-of-age movies/stories have, all the time expecting Salinger to prescribe some quick-fix solution and almost ‘knowing’ that Holden was going to be ‘lost’ to the ‘society’.

Things changed the moment I came across the poignant part where Holden sneaks in to see his kid sister Phoebe in case he died of pneumonia and spends some touching moments. This was when I realised the meaning of ‘The catcher in the rye’ for the first time. I had to go through the paragraph quite a few times and it immensely helped that this was when the real meaning behind the ‘museum’ reference opened itself to me in an ‘aha’ moment. I felt like I had been stabbed, a painfully beautiful sensation throbbing inside me. I instantly knew this wasn’t the kind of guy that would sell his dream to fit in.

I have cried innumerable times while reading romance genre, but this was different. It was such a blend of heart-wrenching and making-your-heart-swell-with-bliss kind of a moment. His desire to protect children from the of loss of innocence, from being exposed to corruption and phoniness of the adults was moving. The line “I know it’s crazy, but that’s the only thing I would really like to be” is, I believe, going to stay with me for a long, long time to come.

Holden’s relationship with his dead brother Allie and his kid sister Phoebe put a smile on my lips more often that I can now enumerate and the ending was just about perfect. What with the desire of not hurting little Phoebe making Holden not leaving his home made it touching. That Holden ended up in some kind of a mental asylum only adds to the depth of the story that ‘The catcher in the rye’ turned out to be.

It is an eloquent example of how most of those depressed are actually the ones who have eyes to notice and brains to think about the madness or as Holden would put it, the ‘phoniness’ all around. That teenage is a transition period when the big, bad ‘real’ world comes to clash with the idealism of our childhood gives it its tumultuous nature. Too bad that most of the teens give up their ‘changing the world’/’changing the society’ dreams and go for mindless conformity in the name of ‘growing up’. Making peace with the world is costly that ways, and according to me, not worth it. Selling your soul to fit yourself in the society, that is.

I’m just about to step out of teenage and no, I don’t intend being assigned to a mental asylum. One just needs to look hard enough to find something, in this very society, worth living for. As Victor E. Frankl would have put it, figuring out some ‘meaning’. And holding fast to it. Even if that is being something as idealistic as ‘The catcher in the rye.’

Holden, I swear, is now one of my favourite characters. And I really don’t care how many brickbats this gets me now. The loneliness, the pathos, the grace with which he kept it all inside, the purity of his heart, the intellect, the honesty, all make him one well worth reading over and over again.

It is only the cussing that would make it difficult for me to reread it though, and also to give it 5 stars. I know it being a teenager’s narrative(and an American teenager’s), cussing is supposed to be a part and parcel of it, but if something made this book, at many a times “a royal pain in the a**”, it was all the swearing that went around in each and every sentence. After all there is only a certain number of times u can use those words without making it leave a bad taste in the mouth.

A swell read, on the whole. Everyone disenchanted with the goings-on around must read it though I doubt if a grown up person can really like it as much as a teenager would. I would myself like to read it 20 years on and see what I feel about the book, its writer and this review.