The Correlation Between Heartburn And Headache

Pain in the chest, stomach acid rising to the throat and a sour taste in the mouth are the basic symptoms most heartburn sufferers have to deal with. It gets even worse when you lie down. Dealing with heartburn is bad enough, but put back pain or a headache in the mix then you feel absolutely miserable. If this has ever happened to you then you may feel that any health issues you have is related to heartburn.

Having heartburn and headache issues at the same time may lead one to think they are linked together. They are, but not in the way most people believe. The rise of heartburn pain may be in direct correlation to any throbbing pain in the head. It’s actually the medication we take to treat headaches may in fact cause heartburn.

Most pain killers contain caffeine and caffeine is one of the biggest heartburn triggers. The sphincter separating the esophagus and stomach from each other is affected by the caffeine found in medication and it causes it not to seal properly. Acid from the stomach enters the esophagus and creates problems. Acid entering the esophagus is the biggest reason for heartburn.

People who suffer from the frequent heartburn are often told by their doctors to quit coffee in order to avoid heartburn. But, habitual coffee drinkers, who are used to drinking five or six cups a day will go through a severe withdrawal if they stop ‘cold turkey.’ The consequence is often a bad headache.

Coffee isn’t the only reason for the pairing of heartburn and headache. Terrible heartburn will still be the end result whether it’s from coffee or some other caffeine-related product. And you could get headaches from trying to quit, just like with coffee.

Just as there are side effects in pain killers that can cause heartburn, likewise there are also heartburn meds that one of the possible side effects is – you guessed it – headaches. To find the solution to end one while not causing the other can be an arduous endeavor. Changing eating habits makes great difference. Not indulging in foods that are greasy, spicy or acidic and losing a few pounds are the best ways of keeping heartburn away so you don’t have to take meds for it. Doctors are becoming increasingly aware that the most popular heartburn drugs have a range of consequences and that they are hugely over-prescribed. Most people don’t really need them if they have a plan of action with regards to their diet.

Heartburn is linked to eating bad foods that are a problem for a large amount of men and women Heartburn can also be a precursor for other illnesses that could be life-threatening so knowing what to look out for could be a serious matter. The same is true with headaches. Such as it is with heartburn, a headache may only be the beginning of something more serious. Make a appointment to learn the answers. Awareness of a solution is key.

Do I Have Parkinson’s? Article 2: Differential Diagnosis and the Neurologist

As was discussed in the 1st article of this three-part series, neurologists who face a patient with possible Parkinson’s have no definitive test: no scans, no blood tests or spinal taps with which to base their diagnosis. Parkinson’s disease is what is referred to as a “clinical diagnosis.” This means that the decision as to whether or not a patient truly has Parkinson’s requires an extensive face to face interaction with a neurologist. That meeting usually involves a thorough history-taking or interview, and a comprehensive physical examination. Although very often videotaping or other aids are used, the diagnosis totally depends on the clinical acumen of the neurologist as he/she investigates what the patient presents in word and on exam.

To sum up the approach very briefly, while interviewing and examining the patient, the neurologist creates a running list of possibilities in his/her head. This list is called the “differential diagnosis,” often referred to a just the “differential.” A good neurologist much like a good detective, keeps adjusting, refining the differential as if it were a list of suspects. He/she redirects the line of questioning and the focus of the physical exam based on ruling in and ruling out suspects.

Each of the findings helps the neurologist to continuously reshuffle and re-prioritize the differential. As the list narrows to just a few possibilities, he/she will ask further questions and refine the examination. Then the patient is sent for tests that might rule out other possibilities. For instance, patients get a brain CT or MRI not to diagnose Parkinson’s but to rule out larger structural causes that might mimic Parkinson’s symptoms like a brain tumor or even multiple sclerosis. Often an electrical stimulation and measurement of nerve response in an affected limb called an EMG (electromyogram) is done to rule out local nerve injury as another cause.

If everything points to Parkinson’s the patient is given a trial of a drug that either replaces or mimics dopamine. If the patient shows improvement then everyone can be pretty certain it’s Parkinson’s

The point is that there is no single protocol or textbook pathway to making the diagnosis. Though the neurologist follows a formal structure to cover all the so-called bases, the specifics of that path highly depend upon the findings along the way, which guide each next step within that structure.

Early Parkinson’s can be difficult to diagnose because it presents differently in every patient, and often with symptoms that can easily be dismissed as minor like a small persistent twitching, sleepiness, a minor tremor, and even depression or anxiety attacks.

A typical story everyone has either experienced or heard of is that one or two of the ten common early warning symptoms (Part 1) show up and on that first visit to a neurologist the twitching pinky finger (in Michael J. Fox’s case) or in my own, new-onset depression, either get dismissed or symptomatically treated. I was given an antidepressant and when a tremor developed it was dismissed as a side effect of the antidepressant. It was not until I was completely unable to play piano and had inordinate difficulty writing, both from severe slowing in my right hand, that I was then fully worked up.

In either case, mine or Mr. Fox’s, nobody made a mistake or missed anything important. It’s just that for instance any one or two of the ten warning signs can be interpreted as due to other causes, and usually is.

Review of early symptoms:

  1. Tremor or shaking greater on one side
  2. Small handwriting
  3. Loss of smell
  4. Trouble sleeping
  5. Trouble/stiffness in moving or walking
  6. Constipation
  7. Soft or Low Voice
  8. Loss of facial expression, “masked facies”
  9. Dizziness and fainting
  10. Stooping or hunching over

I have added two more to this list:

  1. EDS (excessive daytime sleepiness) or fatigue
  2. New-onset psychiatric disorder (usually depression or anxiety attacks)

Once PD is suspected, a host of other diseases and conditions need to be considered and ruled out. That’s where the so called “differential diagnosis” list comes in. Each differential list is slightly different depending on what the patient presents to the neurologist and in admiration to neurology as a specialty, these lists can initially be quite large. Ruling out all the other causes on the list before PD reaches the top requires a solid working knowledge of each list item and how it is diagnosed.

Other lab tests and scans are used to rule out other causes but ultimately, Parkinson’s disease is a clinical diagnosis with the most essential “test” being that first old-fashioned face to face discussion with, and physical exam by a seasoned neurologist.

Example:

A 42 year old woman, a cello player in the local symphony, presents to the neurologist complaining of tremor in her right hand and difficulty manipulating the bow while playing. Sadly she has been politely asked to “take a break” from her job with the symphony until she gets adequately evaluated. She has also become quite depressed over the incident. She says the tremor actually goes away when she’s playing but it feels like the bow is “caught on something” and so she cannot sweep it across the strings as swiftly.

Here’s a sample starting differential diagnosis for someone presenting with a persistent tremor of the right hand. Although the fact that the tremor occurs at rest and goes away with movement, and especially combined with the fact that it occurs only on the right side elevates PD to #1 on the list.

Sample differential diagnosis list for Parkinson’s (remember that the neurologist must have extensive working knowledge of how each of these presents):

  1. Parkinson’s Disease
  2. Essential tremor (a nonspecific tremor of unknown cause and which does not get worse)
  3. Brain Tumor: she will have to have a CT scan or MRI scan of the brain
  4. Damage to the nerves in the arm in the affected side by trauma or multiple sclerosis(MS). She will likely undergo EMG nerve evaluation of the right arm.
  5. Other degenerative neurologic diseases, a long sub-list, details of which I shall skip:
    • Benign familial tremor
    • Dominant SCA (Spinal Cerebellar ataxia)
    • Cerebellar ataxia
    • Olivopontocerebellar degeneration
    • Familial Basal ganglion calcification (Fahr’s syndrome)
    • Alzheimer’s syndrome
    • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
    • Dementia, Lewy-body type
    • Parkinsonism-dementia complex
    • Progressive supranuclear palsy
    • Cerebellar degeneration, subacute
    • Shy-Drager syndrome
    • Striatonigral degeneration
    • Corticobasal Degeneration syndromes
    • Frontotemporal dementia
  6. Lesions of the basal ganglia where the brain controls movement by stroke/hemorrhage
  7. Lyme disease
  8. Drugs (her primary doctor put her on nortriptyline for depression)
    • Antipsychotic medications
    • Antidepressants
    • Lithium
    • Amphetamines
    • Cocaine
    • MPTP (a byproduct of bad practices in making Ecstasy that can induce a parkinson’s like syndrome after a single dose)
  9. Alcohol or narcotic withdrawal
  10. Alcoholic brain degeneration

After performing a directed interview and examination, her neurologist utilized his own fund of knowledge and experience, and did not think she showed features of any of the other degenerative diseases listed.

On physical exam and observation he noticed that she would swing her right arm less when walking down the hallway. She even slightly dragged her right foot.

He had her copy some sentences out of a medical text. It took her a long time and the writing was very small.

When he held her arm and moved it at the wrist and elbow he could feel a ratcheting rather than smooth passive movement (known as “cogwheeling”, a classic PD sign).

She denied any drug history and rarely consumes alcohol.

She’s from San Diego where Lyme-carrying deer ticks don’t flourish.

An MRI scan of her brain was normal so there’s no brain tumor or evidence or stroke/hemorrhage, and no defects suggestive of MS. Parkinson’s generally yields a very normal brain scan. Some research techniques that use radioactive dopamine-like compounds can reveal a defect however they are not generally available, and unnecessary as we see here that the diagnosis can be adequately made without it.

Her EMG nerve exam showed normal nerve function in the affected arm.

Finally, and extremely important in establishing Parkinson’s as her diagnosis, he placed her on a drug that mimics dopamine and examined her a week later. She showed almost none of the previous findings on that second visit after a week on the drug.

At that point the neurologist was certain it was PD and gently broke the news to her.

What is High Cholesterol Explained in Layman’s Terms?

What is high cholesterol is a question more and more people are asking these days. The really scary thing about cholesterol levels which fall out of the healthy range is that you may not even know you have a problem. What I mean by that is sometimes the first signs of a cholesterol problem are so subtle you may not even notice them at all, or simply write them off as being tired or part of the natural aging process. Don’t fall into this trap!

Nevertheless, often times the accumulation of arterial plaque caused by high cholesterol does produce some telltale signs that can be recognized in time to reverse the condition, thus reducing your chances of a major health disaster such as a heart attack or stroke.

If you start to notice any of these symptoms you should immediately visit your doctor for a lipid profile to determine the cause.

*Do you sweat more than you used to when doing minor physical activity.

*Do you notice your breathing being labored even during the night when you are trying to relax.

*Is it difficult to conduct any type of physical activity without experiencing shortness of breath.

*Is your face becoming fatty or chubby.

*Do you experience chest pain or unexplained pain in your arms or legs.

*Do any of your extremities feel cold to the touch or tingle for no apparent reason.

*Are you experiencing erectile dysfunction. Yes, arterial clogging high cholesterol can affect that area as well!

The seven examples above are just a few warning signs that cholesterol induced plaque could be building up in the arteries causing the arteries to become smaller. This in turn reduces the blood flow to the major organs including the heart, the brain, as well as extremities such as the fingers or toes.

But What Is High Cholesterol By The Numbers.

Blood cholesterol is measured in four major categories. They are total cholesterol, LDL or bad cholesterol, HDL or good cholesterol, and triglycerides. Total cholesterol over 240 mg/dl is considered high risk with levels below 200 or so considered desirable; LDL readings over 160 are considered dangerously high with LDL of 100 or so being optimal; HDL blood lipid reading of below 40 are dangerously low with 60 or above considered to be optimal; Triglyceride levels over 200 are considered high with 150 or less considered optimal.

There are many ways to interpret exactly what is high cholesterol but the guidelines above are generally accepted standards according to the American Medical Association.

Now that we have answered the question of what is high cholesterol the next logical step is to determine what can be done about it.

This is a determination best left up to your doctor after running a few simple tests. On the other hand you may be one of the millions of people worldwide who either don’t have a doctor, or the cost is more than you can currently afford. If this is the case you will have some very good options in the area of self help solutions. First, reduce the amount of saturated fat in your diet to less than 10 percent of calories; second, consider implementing a gentle exercise program three times a week, if you are physically able; third; consider adding baked fish to your diet two or three times a week; and lastly consider adding an affordable natural cholesterol reducing remedy as a way to improve your overall results. While these are good time tested suggestions that will likely show results, they are just that, suggestions, and there is no substitute for a sound medical opinion from a trained professional.

Some Health and Care Tips for a Woman That You Should Be Aware Of!

The need to know some health and care tips for woman:

A woman can usually be seen working all day long, running after the kids, handling the household jobs, doing the groceries, and sometimes even working in the office. There are many women out there who handle their jobs along with their household responsibilities and show off their multitasking side. However what we need to realize is that women are also human beings. A woman is neither a robot nor a mutant who never gets tired, and so it is essential for women to take care of their health. Cause if you will fall sick the entire house will have to suffer!

The need to take of your health!

And therefore, it is crucial for every woman out there to be aware of some health and care tips for a woman, to stay fit and healthy. As it is commonly seen that women are so caught up in their work that they are unable to find time for themselves, this causes them to face some troubles. Therefore, it is highly important for women to be aware of some tips so that they can take better care of their health. What women need to realize is that if they don’t take care of their health properly, they might have to form serious issues; this could later cause them, even more, problems!

Tips to follow:

Here are some health and care tips for a woman to follow! Firstly, it is important for every woman to get rid of stress and tension from their body. You must remember that stress is the leading cause of all theses disease that you face! Stress can cause some health serious issues such as infertility in women, depression and heart disease!

Secondly, what women must realize is that they must stop dieting. Maintaining a leveled diet which includes all the nutrients and sometimes a bit of some chocolate cake won’t hurt you. Also, you must understand that orange juice is not the only source of calcium, it is highly important for women to take care of their calcium intake.

You must also realize that exercising is a must for you. If you wish to be able to move just like how you did when you were 18 then it is important for you to indulge in more than just cardio exercises! This exercise will protect you from tons of diseases such as heart diseases, cancer, etc.

Some more tips that you should be following:

It is better to take use of birth control pills also known as contraceptive pills as a means of staying away from any sexually transmitted disease. Also, these pills help by making your cycle regular! Make sure you don’t wait too long; there is no knowing till when you are going to remain fertile! Make sure to visit the doctor each year and get your PAP and HPV and some genetic tests were done as a precaution. And lastly, you must realize that it is important for you to take care of your sleeping habits!

Some Details About The US Immigration Medical Examination In India

US Consulates outside of the United States of India too issue visas. For example, the Hyderabad Consulate in India issues only non-immigrant visas, while the ones in Delhi and Mumbai issue both – immigrant as well as non-immigrant visas. A major development however is that those immigrant visa applicants from the states of Orissa, Telangana or Andhra Pradesh who had to get their immigrant medical checkup done only in Mumbai or New Delhi can now get the same done in their home states, instead of having to travel to these 2 places.

A Panel Physician has been appointed by the U S Consulate General of Hyderabad who is authorized to conduct the Immigrant Visa Medical Examinations for all those immigrant applicants who stay in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Orissa. The physician can be contacted if one needs more information about the immigration examination procedure or if the applicant wishes to schedule an appointment.

THE IMMIGRATION MEDICAL

As all visa applicants are required to go through a medical examination that is conducted by a Consulate-approved Panel Doctor the visa applicant is advised to contact the relevant physician in his/her state and have an appointment fixed.

The reports of the medical are valid for around 6 months from the date of the examination and have to be re-done if they expire before the visa interview is held.

Generally there will be 2 appointments on two separate days for the medical examination. The first one will consist of x-rays and blood tests. These will be usually held in the morning, and the second day involves a review of the previous day’s tests and results. The physical examination will also be conducted on this day. Any remaining documentation will also be completed. Additional vaccines may also be prescribed by the Panel Physician if needed.

WHAT HAS TO BE CARRIED BY THE APPLICANT TO THE EXAMINATION

TO THE LABORATORY: The applicant’s passport and notice regarding the appointment for the interview along with complete vaccination records of all family members and 3 visa-type pictures of each family member have to be carried along.

TO THE PHYSICAL EXAMINATION: The applicant’s passport along with interview date notice, and medical and vaccination records of each and every family member will have to be carried. 1 visa-type picture of each and every family member will also have to be carried along, to the physical examination.

The reports of the medical examination will be handed over by the physician to the applicant. These records will have to be brought along to the Consulate General’s office where the interview of the Immigrant Visa is going to be held.

Plant Fertilizer For Your Living Balcony’s Herbs, Tomatoes, Flowers and Foliage Plants

Once you have turned your apartment or condominium balcony into a unique living space alive with plants, and have developed a comfort zone with your ability to care for it, you are now ready to fine-tune your growing skills. Optimizing the fertilization program will reward you with stronger plants capable of more and/or larger flowers, larger, tastier fruit and vegetables, less disease susceptibility, and increase survivability throughout the seasons.

As a balcony gardener, you may have started using a relatively balanced fertilizer, which will be indicated on your fertilizer label with the three primary fertilizer components in more or less equal ratio. With a balanced fertilizer like 10-10-10 or 20-20-20, the ratio is 1:1:1. The first number stands for Nitrogen(N), the second for Phosphorus(P), and third for Potassium(K), and all are equally weighted in a balanced fertilizer mix. A fertilizer “ratio” is just a way to express basic fertilizer N-P-K variations. The math to determine the fertilizer ratios is really quite simple. Take the smallest of the three numbers and divide it into each of the three numbers to reduce to the lowest ratio. For example, 6-30-30 would reduce to 1-5-5 or 10-30-20 would reduce to 1-3-2 and 17-9-11 would reduce to 1.89-1-1.22. Most plants will grow with an evenly balanced fertilizer, but many plants will only thrive with a fertilizer blend that is tailored to their particular needs. The three primary fertilizer components (N-P-K) contribute to specific areas of plant development.

High Nitrogen(N) fertilizers will produce more foliage growth which would, for instance, be beneficial for lawns, leafy vegetables, and herbs. For those crops we might select an N-P-K ratio of 2-1-1 (10-5-5 or 20-10-10) for the fertilizer feeding program.

The second number on the label refers to Phosphorus(P), which contributes to stem strength, flower development, fruit and seed set, and roots.

The last number on the label refers to Potassium(K), which promotes internal cellular development and influences overall plant growth, strength of the weight-bearing stem structure, resistance to diseases, summer heat and winter cold hardiness.

For flowering and fruiting crops, the gardener might choose a 1-2-1 or 1-2-2 ratio to increase the number of flowers and the plant support system to hold those flowers and any subsequent fruit. In the fall, going into winter, the gardener might choose a 1-2-3 or 1-4-4 ratio to limit frost-susceptible tender new growth and fortify and promote resistance to diseases and winter cold hardiness.

Often neglected in consideration of fertilizer variation is the composition of the soil medium of the plants in question. If the gardener is using a planting mix that is primarily inorganic, consisting of sand, diatomaceous earth, charcoal, perlite, or vermiculite, then a slightly lower ratio of nitrogen(N) may be required. If, on the other hand, the soil contains a lot of non-nitrolized organic matter (especially incompletely composted fir bark), at least initially, the gardener may need a slightly higher ratio of Nitrogen(N). This is because fir bark can rob nitrogen from the soil and plant as part of its decomposition and aging process.

While the three chemical nutrients listed prominently on the fertilizer label(N-P-K) are the “meat and potatoes” of plant growth and winter hardiness, there are trace elements that also impact the optimal development of plants. The seven “basic trace elements” are Iron(Fe), Zinc(Zn), Copper(Cu), Sulphur(S), Manganese(Mn), Boron(Bo), and Molybdenum(Mo). The fertilizer industry knows that most hobbyists will not and cannot be expected to keep and blend these trace elements in the kitchen sink. Therefore most top-of-the-line home gardener fertilizers have a small percentage of these in the mix. In reading the entire label, the gardener will find some or all of the trace element percentages listed in the small print. They are important, and for some plants optimum plant growth cannot be achieved without them. If the hobbyist is unsatisfied with the development of the plants using a packaged fertilizer, it may be that the particular species being grown requires a trace element and that is lacking from the fertilizer in use. Often perfect amounts of N-P-K will not optimize plant growth because the plant lacks a trace element which is limiting improved plant development.

Manipulation of the three main chemical nutrients and supply of the necessary trace elements in your living balcony fertilization program can increase your cultivation satisfaction. Over the course of the year, a fine-tuned fertilization program can reward you with stronger plants capable of more and/or larger flowers, larger and tastier fruit and vegetables, less disease susceptibility, and increase survivability throughout the seasons.

Copyright: Gilbert Foerster/2009

Back Pain – 7 Potentially Fatal Causes

Your back hurts. So what? Everybody has a little back pain now and then.

But what if it could kill you?

Most people suffer back pain as the result of daily stresses on the structural support of the body: the bones, discs, muscles, and ligaments in and around the spine. Just as a car gets rusty with age, the human body succumbs to the effects of gravity over the years. Aches and sprains, muscle pulls and strains, are part of life from middle-age onward.

However, back pain may be the result of other abnormalities within the body, several of which can cause death, whether in minutes or years. It’s wise to think twice when your back starts hurting. Was it too much yardwork over the weekend or perhaps something else?

Here are 7 potentially fatal causes of back pain:

1. Aortic aneurysm. The large artery that carries blood away from the heart sometimes weakens with age and balloons outward, like a weak spot on a tire. If the aorta ruptures, massive internal bleeding may occur, sometimes causing death within minutes. Fairly often the pain from a damaged aorta is felt the back. If the vessel is stretching slowly with time, the pain may be chronic or intermittent in nature. If the vessel is rupturing quickly, the pain is usually intense and accompanied by other symptoms such as weakness, abdominal pain, and faintness. If you have a strange back pain, different than your usual pattern, it’s best to consult your doctor. If the pain is abrupt and severe, call 911.

2. Cancer and tumors. Both cancer originating in the bones of the back and cancer that spreads to the back from another location commonly cause back pain. A benign tumor of the spinal cord and vertebrae may also produce pain, as the enlarging mass presses on sensitive structures. The pain may occur with movement or at rest, but tends to worsen over time and may be severe. Any back pain that persists or worsens with time should be professionally evaluated.

3. Infection. When bacteria invade the deep structures of the body, such as the bones, discs, and spinal cord, serious infection may ensue. These infections are fairly uncommon and may go unrecognized until the process is quite advanced. Kidney and lung infections may cause back pain as well, and are often dismissed as nothing more than a back strain. When any of these conditions is untreated, bacteria may enter the blood stream and cause sepsis, a potentially fatal infection of the blood. When infection is the cause of back pain, other symptoms may be present as well, for example fever, nausea, and sweating. Again, see your doctor if these symptoms occur.

4. Pancreatitis. When the pancreas becomes inflamed for whatever reason, the enzymes that are designed to help digest your food may begin digesting your own body instead. Usually this produces nausea, loss of appetite, and abdominal pain, but may produce back pain as well. Pancreatitis may cause internal bleeding, dehydration, elevated blood sugar, electrolyte imbalance, dehydration, and death. Alcohol abuse and gallstones are among the common causes. Call your doctor or go to the ER if you experience these symptoms.

5. Penetrating ulcer. Just as pancreatic juices may eat through the pancreas and other abdominal structures, so may stomach acid burn a hole through the duodenum or stomach. When this happens, internal bleeding occurs and the stomach contents spill into the abdominal cavity, where they cause further destruction and infection. The pain of an ulcer may be felt in the abdomen, the chest, or the back. Heartburn or stomach pain in association with back pain may be an indication of an ulcer and should be evaluated by a physician.

6. Inflammatory bowel disease. When the colon is inflamed the pain may be experienced in the abdomen, pelvis, or back. Inflammation may cause the bowel to perforate, similar to an ulcer, or cause a bowel obstruction. Either of these conditions is potentially fatal. Seek professional care for any abdominal pain accompanied by back pain.

7. Pulmonary embolism. Blood clots usually form deep inside the legs, where they may cause leg swelling, discomfort, and sometimes redness. When a clot dislodges and moves upward through the heart into the lungs, chest pain and/or back pain may occur, usually along with difficulty breathing. If the clot is large, it may obstruct air exchange and result in too little oxygen in the blood. Sudden onset of back pain associated with difficulty breathing may be a pulmonary embolism (blood clot in the lungs) or even a heart attack. Don’t drive yourself to the hospital – call 911.

The above examples illustrate that not all back pain is a simple matter. Fortunately, all of these conditions are fairly rare. If you’ve found your symptoms on the list, seek prompt medical attention.

On the other hand, if you have the same back pain that you get every time you weed your garden or mop the floor, take an aspirin and call your doctor in the morning.

Copyright 2010 Cynthia J. Koelker, M.D.

Recurrent Epstein Barr

The Epstein Barr virus that causes mononucleosis or glandular fever, has the ability to establish a lifelong presence in the body. In the majority of people a healthy immune system keeps the virus in check. However about 6% of people get re-activated or recurrent Epstein Barr for weeks, months or years after the initial infection.

So why do some people get recurrent Epstein Barr? The bottom line is how healthy your immune system is. Your immune system may be suppressed from poor eating habits, stress, smoking or a chronic underlying disease. Your genes can also make you more susceptible to the disease.

Recurrent Epstein Barr and Nutrition

How well your immune system functions is closely linked to what you eat. A deficiency of even a single nutrient can impair your defenses, and trigger symptoms. Plenty of studies have linked weakened immunity and subsequent illness to deficiencies of vitamins A, C, E, zinc and selenium. The other nutrients crucial for immunity are iron, vitamin D and the B complex vitamins. These nutrients help your body make T- cells, B- cells, antibodies and other immune proteins that keep you healthy.

Recurrent Epstein Barr and Stress

Stress is a known trigger for infections like mononucleosis. A stressful event like a new job, divorce, the loss of someone close, moving house, major exams, money problems or relationship issues, can suppress your immunity and allow mono to flourish.

More recently there has been a belief that recurrent mononucleosis may be due to our mind’s emotional blocks and limiting ideas. According to Louise Hay, author of “You can heal your life”, mono is caused by pushing beyond one’s limits, and a fear of not being good enough. It can be activated by anger at not receiving love and attention. These emotional blocks can be tackled by chatting with a counselor or health professional.

Recurrent Epstein Barr and Other Illnesses

Secondary infections like mycoplasma, Ricketssia, Chlamydia pneumonia or Lymes disease can suppress your immunity to the point where it is difficult to recover from mono. Other conditions like anaemia, allergy, low blood sugar, an under active thyroid, liver problems and sarcoidosis are other conditions that can prolong the length and severity of the illness.

Recurrent Epstein Barr and Genes

Your genes can also play a part in recurrent Epstein Barr. Researchers from NSW University tested the activity of 30,000 genes in the blood of people who either recovered quickly after mono or developed a prolonged illness. The activity of a group of 35 genes was found to match symptoms from onset of the disease to recovery. Unfortunately you can’t swap your genes but you can bolster your immune system through lifestyle modifications.

Through general lifestyle practices like a healthy diet, stress reduction, regular exercise and taking some immune boosting supplements, you can strengthen your immunity and keep the symptoms of recurrent Epstein Barr at bay. These treatments are discussed in the e-book Nature’s Amazing Mononucleosis Cures by qualified naturopath Elizabeth Noble.

Suboptimal Thyroid Can Cause Weight Gain and Depression

One of Oprah’s viewers diagnosed her as having a problem with her thyroid. That was one factor in her constant struggle with weight. Your thyroid is the main hormone of metabolism and it affects your energy, weight, mood, temperature, fertility, menstrual cycles, hair growth, bowel movements, sleep and more. It’s a hormone that is sometimes misunderstood and it is suggested that the range of normal be changed. I will shed some light on the symptoms and tests. These are the most common symptoms and is not a complete list:

Symptoms of Overactive Thyroid- Hyperthyroidism

  • Rapid heart beat
  • Chest pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Insomnia
  • Weight loss
  • Irregular menses
  • Anxiety
  • Feel hot & sweaty

Symptom of Underactive Thyroid – Hypothyroidism

  • Weight gain
  • Fatigue
  • Constipation
  • Excess sleep
  • Depression
  • Dry coarse hair & skin
  • Poor memory
  • Hair loss
  • Muscle pain and weakness
  • Feeling cold

These symptoms can overlap with other conditions. You may have one or more of these and should report these to your doctor, have a check up and get laboratory studies to determine if an overactive or underactive thyroid is causing the symptoms. You may find a difference in opinion when it comes to measuring and interpreting thyroid levels. Here are some tests you should be aware of:

Thyroid Tests

  • TSH – this is a common screening test and most doctors order this. It is the signal from the pituitary gland in your brain that tells your thyroid to make more hormones. If it is high, it means it is shouting at your thyroid gland to make more hormones because your levels are too low. The common misinterpretation is that high means high thyroid levels and it is actually the opposite.
  • New range of normal – The current range of normal for TSH is quite wide 0.5-5. Normal and optimal are not the same. People with symptoms who are on either end of the range, may be considered normal and won’t be treated. The American Association of Clinical endocrinology and the National Academy of Clinical Biochemistry have recommended changing the range since people who don’t have severe symptoms may be suffering and can benefit from treatment. They recommend a range of 0.3-2.5.
  • Free versus bound – most hormones are carried through the blood stream by protein carriers. If they are bound to protein, they are inactive. When it comes to thyroid, the free hormone is what counts.
  • Free T4 – has 4 iodine molecules, it is a reserve or storage hormone that becomes active when it is converted to the active hormone free T3 by removing one iodine molecule.
  • Free T3 – is the active hormone. This conversion can be halted by aging, stress, nutritional deficiencies, trauma, infection, surgery, medications, hormone imbalance and diet. The hormone’s actions can also be blocked by thyroid antibodies (Antithyroglobulin or Anti Thyroid Peroxidase (TPO) Antibodies) and/or Reverse T3. The standard of care is to measure TSH and free T4 or to calculate free T4, however you can see that there is more to it than that. There also seems to be a subset of people with depression that respond better when a combination of T3 and T4 is given. The most commonly used thyroid replacement medication, synthroid, only has T4 and if you have a problem converting to the active form, it may not feel as effective.
  • Reverse T3 – binds to the same receptor as T3 and blocks its actions. If it is too high, even though all of the other lab tests are “normal” you may have symptoms of low thyroid function. The most common causes are stress and hormone imbalance. Anything that interferes with the conversion of free T4 to free T3 can also cause an elevation of reverse T3. The ratio of free T3 to reverse T3 is important. Just think of one as the gas (free T3) and the other the brake (reverse T3). If you are below the midpoint of the range of free T3 you have less gas, and if you are above the midpoint of the range of reverse T3 you have too much braking action.

Hormone balance is complex. It requires a nutritionally balanced diet, hormone balance, stress management and other factors. There may be restrictions on your doctor to do the full battery of thyroid tests. If that is the case, consult an anti aging, metabolic or functional medicine physician to help you get to the root cause of your issues and find a natural approach.

Diatomaceous Earth – An Amazing Creation of Mother Nature

In Biochemistry of Essential Ultratrace Elements, a 1972 report by Dr. Edith Carlisle, she states that Silicon is an essential element for bone growth and nutritionally important for preventing some forms of chronic diseases associated with aging. Unusually large amounts of silicon was noted in the skin and hair. More impressive was that the aorta, trachea and tendons were found to be 4 – 5 times richer in Silicon than the liver, heart, an muscle. Diatomaceous Earth, which is composed primarily of silicon dioxide, is now becoming more recognized as playing a major role in anti-aging, by reversing and preventing the chronic diseases that appear associated with the areas of the body where there is a Silicon deficiency.

Dr. Adolfo Butenandt in his 1993 Nobel Price winning research stated that “life cannot exist without silica”. He proved that Silica is a necessary nutrient for all life forms.

These teeny tiny microscopic fossilized diatoms, Diatomaceous Earth, are cylindrical in shape and have lattice like walls made of Silicone Dioxide – Silica. As millions of these negatively charged cylinders move through the gastrointestinal tract, they attract, absorb and trap positively charged fungi, protozoa, viruses, endotoxins, pesticides, drug residues, E-Coli, and heavy metals which are then passed out of the body. Any parasite that escapes this vacuum cleaner type action is then ‘cut up’ and/or killed by the hardness and sharpness of these microscopic skeletons of the diatoms. The result of this process is a cleaner healthier colon and therefore an over-all healthier body. Some of the silica in Diatomaceous Earth is absorbed into the blood vessels and helps destroy bad fats.

Perma-Guard’s Fresh Water Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth mined and milled into Fossil Shell Flour is 89-95% Amorphous Silica. It’s no wonder that people, and as observed in animals too, are experiencing health improvements. Some of them are:

40 to 60 points dropped in cholesterol levels just two weeks after taking DE.

Lowered blood pressure.

Healthier blood sugar levels – silica can help diabetes by promoting synthesis of elastase inhibitor by the pancreas.

Joint pain, osteoporosis, rheumatism feels better – Silica can stop the pain and even restore the body’s self repair process. It can help speed up the healing process and reduce the scaring on the site of fractures. With enough silica in the body, silica can be turned into calcium when needed by the body itself.

Healthy younger skin at any age – silica supports the formation of collagen which is the glue that holds our joint together and responsible for healthy youthful skin. Silica helps with skin problems and injuries including Itching, rashes, abscesses, boils, acne, callouses, warts, eczemas, burns, frostbite, benign skin sores, insect bites, and bed sores.

Weight loss the natural way! Taken first thing in the morning, one hour before breakfast, has helped curb appetites through the day. Lots of people have reported weight loss!

Not only healthier hair but also hair growth! Yes, I’ve heard numerous reports that people are growing healthy hair on their bald heads! This really shouldn’t be a surprise as silica is the major component of hair at 90 micrograms per gram of silica compared to silica content of healthy bones at 100 micrograms per gram of silica.

Healthier teeth and gums – silica helps with the hardening of enamel, prevents cavities. Can help fight ulceration, decay of bones, and lessen inflammation.

Nails become strong and healthy also.

Age spots disappearing.

Higher energy levels are reported.

Sleeping better. Waking up refreshed with less sleep.

Silica reduces inflammation in bronchitis. Silica protects from pollution by maintaining and restoring the elasticity of the lung tissue.

“I just feel better” is a common remark from people after a few days of taking Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth.

In her book, “Going Green Using Diatomaceous Earth How-to Tips”, Tui Rose, a concerned mother and registered nurse, does an excellent job in providing fact based data and resources for DE. It is an easy guide book for using a safer alternative, natural mineral, food grade insecticide with over 101 uses

Pankration Facts

When the Olympic games were revived in 1896, many ancient sports were brought again to life, except for one glaring omission. That sport was called pankration. In English, it meant all-power. It was the ancient Greek version of Mixed Martial Arts.

It was introduced in 648 BC and it became the most well documented western martial art. It was one of the most violent sports ever. The rules were also brutally simple. No biting. No eye gouging. Anything goes. And anything went on a rampage.

To mitigate the harshness of the rules, pankration was never fought to the death. In fact, if you killed your opponent, you lost. The goal was not the opponent’s death. It was his submission. If you killed a person that meant he never submitted at all. His spirit lies undefeated and that meant your spirit must be the one that lost.

Pankration can last indefinitely. If it takes the whole day to make your opponent scream uncle then you definitely must take your time. There are no breaks. You can use any barehanded means at your disposal. It doesn’t matter how deadly it is. Kicking anywhere, punching everywhere and various death grips are all part of this brutal sport. Fighters were divided by age and not by weight divisions. The Greek poet Xenophanes called it “a terrible contest… of all holds.”

Because this was ancient Greece, no protection was ever used in the boats. At most the fighters had himantes. These were strips of leather that were wrapped around the hands. They did not really protect anything. This was the only covering in this ancient Greek sport.

The sport was gleefully adopted by the Romans. However, they wanted more blood. Combatants were forced to fight with spiked gloves. When such barbarity was finally disallowed by the Christian Byzantine Emperor Theodosius, pankration died out too.

There were many examples of incredible feats by great Greek pankration fighters. One of the most amazing stories involved Arrachion. He won the Olympic pankration three consecutive times. During the third time he won, he faced a particularly fearsome opponent. In order to get away from a stranglehold, he unleashed a kick that dislocated his opponent’s ankle. The injury caused his opponent to submit and Arrachion was declared the winner. However, he was already dead. Kicking while in a stranglehold also caused his neck to snap.

While the Olympics were reborn anew, pankration did not revive along with it. However, many still called for it to be brought again. The Olympic committee still refuses but until it is welcomed again to its old home, pankration fans can watch MMA.

Cracked Tooth Syndrome

When a cusp of a tooth cracks and begins flexing upon biting, it can cause sharp pain. This is called cracked tooth syndrome. Sometimes the sharp pain will only occur occasionally when the cusp is bitten at just the right angle. Often cold, hot or sweets will also cause the sharp pain by seeping into the crack. Cracked tooth syndrome is corrected by putting a crown over and around the tooth to hold the tooth together. If left untreated, the cusp will eventually fracture, causing the possible need for root canal therapy or even extraction.

Often times the cracks are very fine and cannot be seen. So to determine cracked tooth syndrome, I have the patient bite on a dental bite stick on each cusp in a particular area until the cracked cusp is identified. As long as the tooth pain goes way immediately on release, it can be treated with a crown. However if the tooth pain lingers with a dull ache, then the nerve is dying and the tooth needs root canal therapy.

A cracked tooth cannot heal itself. At first a crack may be small and unobtrusive. But if it is left untreated, the crack may progress further across the tooth or deeper into the tooth. Therefore, the sooner the crack can be treated, the more likely the tooth can be saved.

TYPES OF CRACKS

A craze is a surface crack that shows as a line on the tooth enamel. Although it may not look very attractive, a craze usually does not need treatment. If there are cosmetic reasons the tooth with the crazed enamel can be treated with a veneer or bonding.

A fracture is a crack, usually through the cusp of a tooth,that causes part of the tooth to grow weaker and even break off. A fractured cusp usually can be restored with a crown. However if the fracture extends into the nerve or the jawbone, then a root canal or extraction will be necessary.

A split is a vertical crack that extends so deeply into the tooth that it can separate into pieces. Depending on the location and severity of the split, the tooth may be saved or need removal. Last month, I had a 45-year-old male patient that split his upper bicuspid in half. The two halves were removed and a dental implant placed under sedation dentistry. The patient never had any discomfort and could not tell he ever had a missing tooth.

A root fracture is a crack that begins in the root of the tooth and slowly extends upward. This type of crack may not be noticed until the surrounding gum and bone show signs of infection. In this situation, the tooth usually needs removal.

Symptoms of A Cracked Tooth

  • Pain when you bite down
  • Sensitivity to hot or cold foods and beverages
  • Discomfort when the tooth is exposed to air
  • Toothache for no apparent reason

Sometimes there are no symptoms at all, only visual evidence of a crack. Other times a crack may be more difficult to identify, even with examinations or x-rays. Also, the pain or sensitivity may be intermittent, usually a sign of cracked tooth syndrome.

Cracked Tooth Prevention

  • Do not chew on hard items (ice, unpopped popcorn kernels, pens, pipes, etc.).
  • Do not use your teeth for gripping or tearing, like opening bottles or tearing bags.
  • Do not clench or grind your teeth.
  • Use a bite splint or night guard to help alleviate clenching and grinding.
  • Use a mouth guard to protect your mouth when participating in sports.

A number of years ago, I saw an electrician who was continual stripping wire with his teeth. On numerous occasions, I repaired fractures of the edges of his upper front teeth with cosmetic bonding. He would confess the fractures occurred from stripping wire with his teeth. He knew that he should use wire strippers, but was always in a rush and could not easily find the tool. I recommended he have many wire stripping tools everywhere; it would be much better and cheaper. After his fifth time, I jokingly offered to drill different gauge grooves in his teeth to help him easily strip different sized wire. He laughed and began using the wire stripping tools more often.

By following these prevention tips and having regular dental checkups to monitor any emerging cracks, you can help preserve your teeth in good health.

Treating Diplopia, Double Vision, Or Blurred Vision With Homeopathy

Diplopia is a condition of double vision. This can occur for a variety of reasons. It can be a chronic condition, or an acute, temporary condition. Maybe it started because your eyes were over strained, and a good night’s sleep will resolve everything. Straining your eyes is easy these days, with so much computer work. But sometimes, this condition can accompany an acute condition, such as the flu, or a headache.

Even though it may be very worrying, look upon it in combination of your other symptoms, major and minor, that came on with it. If you can make a list of all these symptoms, and then match it to the strong keynotes of a homeopathic medicine, then it will most likely disappear, along with the other symptoms. The homeopathic medicine Gelsemium has diplopia as one of it’s strong keynote symptoms. And blurred vision. Especially if it occurs with a headache.

Let’s look at some of the other strong keynote symptoms of the medicine:

  • headache which starts at your neck or back of your head, then radiates to your forehead
  • heaviness of your head and/or your eyelids, head is too heavy to lift
  • blurred vision or double vision
  • numbness or heavy tongue
  • numbness or paralysis

If your complete, acute symptom picture matches some of those listed, then your diplopia is likely to be resolved as quickly as the other symptoms, with Gelsemium. Try to get a ‘feel’ for the symptom picture, rather than look for individual symptoms. If you can’t do that, match three of the symptoms.

Understanding Fibromyalgia Numbness

A person who suffers from Fibromyalgia can experience many symptoms. Common symptoms include chronic widespread pain in different parts of the body, sleep disorders, and fatigue. One of the more worrying and frustrating symptoms is fibromyalgia numbness that can strike anywhere on the body and can come and go.

This numbness is a neurological symptom that effects around a quarter of fibromyalgia sufferers and is usually accompanied by tingling and pins and needles like sensations. Common places for the numbness to strike are the arms and legs, including the hands and feet. The numbness can also spread to the face. The medical term for this is parestheia.

Numbness in your extremities can prove to be a problem. When numbness strikes your arms, hands and fingers it can be hugely frustrating and greatly inhibit how you live your life, stopping you from performing the smallest everyday tasks like buttoning up your coat and seriously interfere with your ability to work.

The reason behind numbness associated with fibromyalgia isn’t clear. One theory is that it may be caused by muscle spasms pressing on nerves and causing the numbness. A bit like sleeping on your arm can make it go ‘dead’. This may explain why the numbness comes and goes, as when the spasm stops and the nerve is released the feeling comes back.

It is important to note that numbness is a symptom of many other conditions other than fibromyalgia, so if this is a new experience you should make an appointment with your doctor. Other possible causes of numbness are carpal tunnel syndrome, diabetes, hypoglycemia or multiple sclerosis and it is important to rule out these conditions as causes.

Unfortunately, there is no known treatment for numbness associated with fibromyalgia so it is important to take note of possible triggers for your numbness and see if they can be removed.

Perhaps your work may be impacting on your numbness. Even typing all day can cause great stress on one who suffers Fibromyalgia. This is why if it can’t be avoided, always exercise the proper procedures when using your hands and arms. For instance, use an ergonomic keyboard and make sure that the height and length of the table on which you put your arms down to type is ideal and comfortable. Most importantly, don’t over exert yourself and overdo the typing or any other work that may exacerbate the numbness.

After discussion with your employer, you may be able to create a suitable and healthy working environment for you to be able to cope with the problems you have to deal with that come with Fibromyalgia.

People who suffer from this syndrome have been known to undergo prolonged lengths of remission after altering one’s lifestyle and learning to cope with FMS through a mix of medical and alternative treatments. To learn about natural methods to tackle fibromyalgia symptoms sign up for the free newsletter below.

Even with all the support and allowances given to you at work, it still may be difficult to cope with Fibromyalgia numbness and getting your job done. This may mean that you have to change the nature of your work to something that is less taxing on your hands and arms.

Sinus Infections – The Dangers of Not Taking Them Seriously

There are two types of sinus infections (also known as sinusitis), acute and chronic. Bacteria in the upper respiratory tract are normally the cause of an acute sinus infection. Two percent of adults and twenty percent of children will suffer a sinus infection during a bout with the common cold. Fortunately, this form of infection reacts very well to treatment and usually goes away within two to three weeks.

Chronic sinus infections however, are very common. According to statistics, over thirty-seven million Americans suffer from chronic sinusitis, which could last for over three months. Unfortunately, hence the name “chronic”, it usually returns.

Acute and chronic sinus infections both have similar symptoms, which include dental pain, cough, bad breath, stuffy nose, erythema, fatigue, difficulty breathing, fever, nausea, pain around the eyes, cheeks, nose or forehead, and sore throat.

People suffering with chronic or acute sinusitis should consult a doctor, because if left untreated, severe medical problems and sometimes death could come about.

Here are some complications that could arise from an untreated and undiagnosed sinus infection.

We all know that fevers and runny noses are synonymous with sinus infections. However, many people do not know that soft tissue inflammation above the frontal sinus may be an indication of an infection of the frontal bone, also known as Osteomyelitis.

Another complication called Ethmoid sinusitis may infect the eye socket, which could lead to severe swelling or the eye appearing droopy. This condition could lead to lasting blindness. In addition, a blood clot could form around the front and top of the face in which the pupils become fixed and dilated and could occur in both the right and left eyes.

Sinus infections are also capable of altering someone’s personality or their consciousness. Unfortunately, if this occurs, the infection may have already spread to the brain, which will result in a coma or death.

This is why seeing a doctor is so important. People with strong immune systems can fight off the infection without seeing a physician; however, children and the elderly are at a greater risk for these complications to occur. Taking action immediately and seeking help will allow the doctor plenty of time to diagnose the problem and recommend the right treatment for the illness.

Doctor’s can usually tell a sinus infection by lightly touching the face for tenderness in the skin, however, CT scans, MRI’s , and X-rays are also used to determine the problem.

Over-the-counter drugs like Tylenol are among the most widely used treatments for sinusitis that doctors recommend. If the patient shows no improvement within a week, then it is most likely a bacterial infection. The doctor will then run a series of tests to determine the origin of the bacterium, and then he or she will prescribe the right type of antibiotic to remedy the situation.

Recovery time depends on the person. Some people start feeling better after two days on antibiotics, while some can still feel under the weather for days and weeks. Antibiotic treatment for a sinus infection usually lasts for two weeks, but it could be extended seven more days in the case of a chronic infection.

There are plenty of home remedies out there for sinus infections. Some of these remedies work very well; however, do not hesitate to go see a doctor if you feel no improvement in your condition after a couple days. Children and the elderly should go straight to the doctor if a sinus infection is suspected.