He Blows Hot and Cold But I Love Him

If you are in love with a man that blows hot and cold, girl I feel for you. We have all been there. You have this chemistry with a man, it feels returned. Some days are just amazing. Others you don’t even know if he will call or not. Worse, you wonder if you don’t call him, would you even hear from him or not? It’s a emotional roller coaster that is for sure.

Why do men blow hot and cold? Is he moody? Is it that he loves you but he just hasn’t realized it yet. This is what I see a lot. Women staying with this up and down man hoping he will realize that one day he loves her and begins to stop the nonsense back and forth stuff. Many women even attempt to talk to their man about it. Oh this is only going to make it worse, don’t talk about it. Men respond to distance, not words.

If you find yourself saying “but it was so great last time we were together, how can he just shut me out like that” you have one of those men that go from cold to hot. If you find yourself saying “but I love him”, you have even bigger troubles. A man that changes temperatures is not a man in love. A man in love would not dream of putting you through that emotional push pull.

He could be a commitment phobic, he could be emotionally unavailable, but the fact remains, he is what he is, not present in your life like you wished he would be. It’s the hot times that keep you holding on. You think if he could just be like this all the time. If he could just see how much I love him, if this, if that.

The fact of the matter is being in love with a man like this is emotionally exhausting. You hold onto how it was in the beginning and ignore how it is now. Fairy dust will not just sprinkle from the sky and transform the hot and cold man into a great partner. Nothing will transform these men into great partners. You are in love with his potential and focused on what could or should be and not what is.

If he was going to become a great partner, he would have already done so. Men don’t just wake up one day more interested in you or all of a sudden in love. Men to fall in love have to think about you. A hot and cold man doesn’t spend a lot of time thinking about you. Here is a hard truth about these men. His attraction for you is not that strong.

More times than not, men that blow hot and cold may not see you as his dream girl. A man would never blow hot and cold to his dream girl. He might lose her. If he blows hot and cold, you could be just an option for now until someone else comes along. A man who is a good partner would not do this to a woman he truly cares about.

Post Nasal Drip: First Cause of Unexplained Chronic Cough

Long-term, troublesome cough is one of the most frequent reasons why people visit a physician. 10-38% of patients, contacting a doctor, suffer from chronic cough of unexplained etiology. Post nasal drip, alone or in combination with other diseases, is the most widespread cause of chronic cough. It’s diagnosed in 54% of cases. Let’s throw more light on this condition.

The term of upper airway cough syndrome is referred to the inflammatory processes in the upper respiratory tract (nasal cavity and sinuses) which lead to the condition when nasal secretion drips down the back wall of the pharynx into the bronchial tree where it triggers the cough reflex mechanically. The most frequent underlying conditions, evoking post nasal drip, are chronic rhinitis (mainly the allergic one) and chronic sinusitis. Nasal septum distortion may also cause the syndrome.

Post Nasal Drip: Symptoms and Diagnostics

  • Symptoms are similar to those, occurring along with common cold:
  • Stuffy nose
  • Accumulation of mucus in the back of the nasal cavity and its drip
  • Repeated coughing
  • Cough with phlegm
  • Impaired breathing through the nose
  • Wheeze
  • Headache and painful sinuses (additionally)

The symptoms of upper airway cough syndrome usually reveal differently at different times of the day and night. During night sleep the body stays in the horizontal position, and mucus drips into human pharynx, irritates the reflex zones and causes cough. During the day, when you are in the vertical position, the mechanism is the same, however, the dripped mucus is swallowed and almost doesn’t get on the epiglottis or vocal cords, where the cough reflex originates.

Doctors often take post nasal drip for chronic bronchitis since its symptoms aren’t specific. That’s why the condition requires thorough diagnostics which is a combination of:

  • The medical or case history (the history of the disease)
  • Characteristic complaints (sensation of the secretion, dripping down the back of the pharynx)
  • Medical examination
  • X-ray or computer tomography results

Post Nasal Drip: Treatment

To get rid of upper airway cough syndrome, an underlying condition must be treated first of all.

  • In patients with allergic rhinitis, nasal corticosteroids are applied. However, it’s not always possible to achieve a steady effect with these medications. That’s why this method is recommended to be used periodically, in courses, during the periods, when the drip symptoms reveal at their fullest.
  • In case of antihistamines and anti-inflammatory treatments are used.
  • Sometimes long-term antibiotic therapy is prescribed or surgery is recommended (in patients with the distorted nasal septum).

If constant cough of unexplained nature clouds your life, don’t delay your visit to a doctor. Professional diagnostics will exclude the possibility of severe lung conditions. In case of upper airway cough syndrome, timely treatment will relieve the tormenting symptoms and improve the way you feel generally.

Ambulatory Spinal Unloading – A New Treatment For Low Back Pain

“Ambulatory spinal unloading” is the “new kid on the block” when it comes to treatment of acute and chronic low back pain. It is so new that many care givers are not yet fully aware of it.

Anecdotally we know that relieving pressure on the discs via traction, non-surgical spinal decompression or inversion tables etc relieves the pain, we also know that continued activity opposed to inactivity is beneficial and everyone knows that stabilizing the spine and allowing strained muscles to relax and heal are critical to the healing process.

But until ambulatory spinal unloading came along there was no way to offer a low back pain suffer the full treatment. This new treatment modality for low back pain allows sufferers the ability to regain mobility, flexibility and activity in a pain free or pain reduced environment, allowing discs to rehabilitate, muscles to realign and mend and damaged nerves to heal.

Ambulatory spinal unloading dramatically reduces the degenerative cycle and dramatically increases the rejuvenative cycle of the spine and is without a doubt one of the most beneficial and cost effective, non-invasive treatment modalities for acute and chronic low back pain available today.

Ambulatory spinal unloading can be used to extend the benefits offered by stationary treatments as well as chiropractic and physiotherapy treatments or can be used as a pre surgery bridge or a post surgery protection/prevention tool.

Typical indications for this new treatment modality are most forms of low back pain that have been caused by; degenerative disc decease, herniated or bulging disc, nerve impingement, stenosis, facet syndrome, spondylolisthesis, lumbar vertebrae compression fracture, sciatica, lordosis etc and for many “undiagnosable” causes of low back pain.

Understanding CPR and How to Use an Automated External Defibrillator

Introduction to Health Care Professional CPR / AED

The leading cause of death in the US according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC.gov) is cardiovascular disease. Risk factors for cardiovascular disease are: smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, lack of exercise, stress and obesity. Factors which are unavoidable are: age, sex, hereditary and diabetes. It’s important to note that death is most likely to occur after 10 minutes of a loss of oxygen to the brain. From 6 to 10 minutes brain damage is expected. From 4 to 6 minutes brain damage is very possible and from 0 to 4 minutes brain damage is virtually non-existent. However, CPR should still be performed.

It’s important to note that the latest 2010 AHA guidelines recommends un-confident performers should at least perform chest compressions upon the patient since studies show chest compressions can be as effective as the combination of CPR.

CPR for 2 Rescue Workers

Roles are to be switched every 5 cycles (2 mins) at a ratio of 30:2 Compressions to Breaths.

When to stop CPR

If the patient regains a pulse, if the area becomes unsafe, if cardiac arrest last longer than 30 minutes, if the rescuer(s) is too exhausted or ordered to stop.

Or, if these complications arise:

Fractures, punctures, lung ruptures or collapses, rib separation, bruises of the heart and/or lungs.

Bloodborne Pathogens to be aware of: Hepatitis B and C (HBV / HCV), Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) as well as Tuberculosis (TB).

The Good Samaritan

Any persons who assist those who are injured, ill or in peril are protected by the Good Samaritan Law. As long as they’re acting voluntary, without expectation of reimbursement or compensation while performing such aid, on site-they’ll have legal protection. Remember, when performing CPR every second counts so, unless required otherwise, don’t hesitate to call 911, perform CPR or external chest compressions immediately.

Adult CPR

C is for Circulation – Adult Compressions

Chest compressions Circulate the blood within the patient. It’s important to place your hands correctly upon the patient’s chest when performing compressions. To do so, find the point where the patient’s ribs meet (just below both halves) and interlock your fingers with both hands. Make sure you’re kneeling beside the patient’s shoulders. Once in position, lock your elbows and use your body’s weight to compress 2 inches upon the patient’s chest. Make sure to let the patient’s chest rise after each compression.

Remember, CPR should be administered until help arrives.

A is for Airway. Clear the Airway

Check for any obstructions, such as: tongue, foreign objects, vomit, swelling or food blocking the patient’s throat or windpipe (finger-swipe, if necessary).

Make sure the patient is on a solid/firm surface (on his/her backside). Next, kneel beside the patient’s neck/shoulders. Open the patient’s Airway by tilting the head back with the palm of 1 hand as the other hand gently lifts the chin. For no longer than 10 seconds, check for life: listen for any sounds, put your cheek beside the patient’s mouth to feel for breathing and look for any motions. If, for whatever reason, you’re unable to perform the tilt-head chin-lift maneuver, perform the jaw-thrust maneuver: kneel above the patient’s head, rest your elbows on the surface, place 1 hand on both sides of the patient’s jaw, stabilize the patient’s head with your forearms, use your index finger to lower the patient’s jaw as you use your thumb to retract the patient’s lower lip. If the patient is assumed lifeless, perform mouth-to-mouth.

Chest compressions should be performed on patient’s who are obese or pregnant.

B is for Breathing. Mouth-to-Mouth

Rescue Breathing is widely known to be performed mouth-to-mouth-it can also be performed mouth-to-nose, mouth-to-mask and mouth-to-stoma, but in rare cases. Breathing tasks: Adults – 1 breath 3-5 seconds (10-12 per min), Children – 1 breath 3-5 seconds (12-20 per min). While still performing the Airway technique pinch the patient’s nose shut. With a complete seal over the patient’s mouth, with your mouth, breathe into the patient until you see the chest inflate. If the chest does not inflate repeat the Airway technique. Once the chest inflates take a second breath. When performing the breathing technique make sure to give 1 breath for 1 second.

Once the breathing technique is applied you will continue the C-A-B’s.

Child CPR

Child CPR ages 1-8

Perform all the same tasks mentioned for an Adult: check for safety and consciousness and ask the child, “Are you okay?” Several times or, until the child’s alert. If there’s no response administer CPR. In a child’s case you must administer 5 reps of CPR before, calling 911. Unless you can have someone else to call. Check the child’s pulse by placing 2 fingers on the carotid artery (against the throat/windpipe). If there isn’t a pulse begin compressions.

C is for Circulation – Child Compressions

Make sure the child is resting upon a solid/firm surface. Before you begin compressions determine if 1 hand could be used instead of 2 depending on the size of the child. It’s important to note that when performing chest compressions on a child do NOT exceed 1/2 the depth of the child’s circumference. It should be between 1/3 and 1/2. Make sure your hands are placed correctly upon the child’s chest (in the middle of the chest, just below the ribs). Follow the same steps when performing CPR on an adult. 30 compressions and 2 breaths equaling 5 reps. Do NOT forget to call 911. Repeat process.

Check again for pulse.

A is for Airway – Clear the Airway

Kneel beside the child’s shoulders/neck. Perform the 3 steps as you would with an adult-Tilt-chin and open mouth while listening and feeling for any sounds/breathing, for 10 seconds. Make sure nothing is blocking the airway. If the child isn’t showing any signs of life proceed to the Breathing technique.

B is for Breathing – Mouth-to-Mouth

Make sure to perform the same Breathing task upon the child as you would upon the adult. Children’s lungs are much smaller than adults so make sure to give a lesser breath when performing this task upon a child. After tilting the head and chin, squeeze the nose shut. Seal your mouth over the child’s mouth and perform the Breathing task.

Remember, give one breath into the child’s lungs while making sure the child’s chest inflates. If the child’s chest doesn’t inflate repeat the airway technique. Once, the chest inflates, perform the next step.

Infant CPR

Infant CPR ages 12 months or younger

Before attempting CPR on an infant make sure to check for safety and consciousness. For infants make sure to administer CPR before, calling 911. Never leave the infant alone. Perform 5 reps of CPR with the same ratio of 30:2 Compressions over Breathing.

C is for Circulation – Infant Compressions

Before attempting any chest compressions check the infants pulse. You can find the pulse just under the upper arm. If no pulse is felt begin chest compressions. When performing compressions upon an infant use EXTREME caution. Just below the infants nipples, in the center of the chest, just below the middle horizontal line, place 2 fingers for compression.

Remember, 100 compressions per minute – 30:2 Compressions over Breathing.

Perform 5 reps of Compressions over Breathing or about 2 minutes and then, call 911. Continue CPR until help arrives or until the infant begins to breathe again. Compressions will be pressed at about 1 and 1/2 inches of circumference.

A is for Airway – Clear the Airway

As you would with an adult or child, make sure to lay the infant on a solid/firm surface on its back. Make sure to kneel beside the infant’s shoulders while placing 1 hand on the infant’s forehead as the other hand gently lifts the chin.

Once again, check for any signs of life.

Look, listen and feel for any breathing for 10 seconds. Remember to place your cheek just in front of the infant’s mouth while checking for a pulse under the upper arm. If the infant isn’t showing any signs of life begin the Breathing technique.

B is for Breathing – Mouth-to-Mouth

Breathing into an infant is different than breathing into an adult or child.

Place your entire mouth over the infant’s mouth and nose when you breathe into the infant. Make sure to perform this task with less breath than you would with a child. If the chest rises complete the second breath, each for 1 second. If the chest doesn’t rise make sure to check for anything blocking the Airway of the infant and repeat the process.

Make sure to feel for a pulse and if there isn’t one continue performing CPR.

Choking

Choking is caused by an object blocking the throat or windpipe. Adults often choke by a large piece of food but children often swallow small toys or other objects.

Remember, the universal sign for choking is mimicking choking yourself. Make sure to ask the patient if he/she is choking because, many times, the person is merely coughing. If the patient is unconscious make sure to call 911.

Infants 12 months or younger: rest the patient on your forearm, while also resting your forearm, on your thigh. Perform 5 thumps with the heel of your hand upon the infants back. If the patient is still choking turn the infant over, face-up, and with 2 fingers upon the breastplate perform 5 chest compressions. Repeat the process until the object is lodged.

Children and adults: when performing the Heimlich maneuver make sure to stand behind the person. Lean the person slightly forward and wrap your arms around his/her waist. Next, press hard with a closed fist into the abdomen than grab your fist with your other hand. Perform 5 quick thrusts. If the object still hasn’t cleared the patient’s throat/windpipe, repeat the cycle.

Unconscious person: when performing the Heimlich maneuver on an unconscious person lay the patient on his/her back. Make sure to clear the patient’s airway, if needed, finger swipe the patient’s mouth to pick out any foreign objects. If you can’t see or can’t take the object out of the patient’s mouth, make sure to perform CPR. Chest compressions will most likely clear the patient’s airway.

If you’re still unable to clear the patient’s airway and/or if the patient still isn’t showing signs of life, make sure to call 911 and continue performing chest compressions.

Fibrillation

Ventricular Tachycardia is a rapid heartbeat that begins at the bottom chambers of the heart, named Ventricles. Ventricles are the main heart’s main chambers which pump. Ventricular Tachycardia can be very life-threatening because it can lead to Ventricular Fibrillation.

Ventricular Fibrillation is when the cardiac muscles quiver rather than contract. Ventricular Fibrillation requires immediate medical response. If the patient receives no attention he/she will fall degenerate with no blood circulation. After 4 minutes serious brain damage can occur and after 8 minutes brain damage is likely to be severe and can result in death.

Automated External Defibrillator (AED) Guidelines

When should an AED be used?

CPR is a very important action when saving a patient’s life. However, an AED is crucial towards regaining the natural rhythm of the heartbeat as well as restarting the patient’s heart. CPR should be performed if the patient is non-responsive and not breathing and an AED should be applied after performing CPR. If the AED does not bring the patient back to consciousness CPR should be re-administered. It’s crucial to call 911 or any Emergency Medical Service (EMS) before performing CPR or applying an AED.

How to use an AED

Turn on the AED – Usually there will be an “On” button but in some cases there might be a lever. Remove all clothing from the patient’s arms, chest and abdomen-whether male or female. Attach pads to bare skin on the chest. Make sure to use the appropriate system for the child or adult (an AED should not be used on an infant). Place the left pad under the left armpit-to the left of the nipple and right pad under the collarbone on the right side of the chest. Make sure to place the pads at least one inch away from any implanted devices. Next, connect the wiring. Analyze the patient’s heart rhythm. Make sure you DO NOT touch the patient during the defibrillator process. If the AED does not begin analyzing automatically make sure to press the analyze button. If a shock is advised then push the shock button.

Make sure your patient is cleared of any debris such as: metal, large amounts of water, etc…

Newer AED’s only shock once; however, some models do shock up to 3 times. If the patient is shocked but doesn’t regain a pulse immediately perform CPR for 2 minutes. If a shock is not advised continue CPR. Make sure to stay clear of any large amounts of water or any metals. Make sure to shave the patient, if needed, when using an AED. Make sure to place the pads at least one inch away from any implanted devices or Transdermal medication patches (or remove patch).

Note: Before using an AED physical training is recommended.

Resuscitation (special circumstances)

Drowning

Make sure to remove the patient’s wet clothing and replace it with something warm and dry. Make sure to perform rescue breaths if the patient is unconscious. If rescue breaths aren’t accessible make sure to perform chest compressions.

Trauma

Make sure to use the jaw-thrust maneuver when performing the airway task. Make sure to check for any injuries, such as: head, spinal and neck, to maintain patient’s protection.

Hypothermia

Hypothermia is considered to be when the patient’s body temperature is below 95 F. Make sure to remove patient from any damp areas. Make sure to remove any wet materials the patient might be wearing and replace them with something warm and dry. If the patient is unconscious make sure to NOT raise the patient’s body parts above the heart. Make sure to check for a pulse for 35-45 seconds.

Electroshock

Make sure to check for safety before attempting any performance on the patient. Make sure the patient isn’t near any electrical currents or fuse boxes. CPR is priority 1 for Cardiac arrest patient’s, burns, scrapes and other bodily harms aren’t considered priority 1. If the patient is unresponsive or pulse less, perform CPR.

Rescuers should be physically & mentally fit as well as skillfully prepared and readied for emergency responses. Rescuers should be knowledgeable of all equipment necessary for usage, beforehand.

Now let’s review

Infant – Review

AHA guidelines for infants are under the age of 12 months. The same C-A-B process is performed with the infant as with children and adults, besides a few important differences.

Make sure to perform 5 reps before calling 911, unless someone else can. Make sure to place 2 fingers just under the nipples and below the middle of the chest. Unlike children and adults you’ll place your mouth over the infant’s mouth and nose. The same ration of C-A-B’s are used 30:2 at 100 compressions a minute with 1 second breaths.

Child Review

AHA guidelines for children are from ages 1-8. The same process is performed with the child as you would with an adult besides a few differences.

Make sure to perform CPR before calling 911. The ratio of chest compressions to breathing is 30:2. Look, Listen and feel for breathing. Make sure nothing is blocking the airway. Squeeze the nose shut and perform the Breathing task.

Adult Review

Check to see if the patient is conscious by shouting “Are you okay?” several times. If the patient doesn’t respond, immediately call 911. Then perform the C-A-B’s. Circulation – use 2 hands for chest compressions at a ratio of 100 per minute-30 compressions then mouth-to-mouth. Airway – tilt the head back and listen for breathing and then look for any response. Breathing – mouth-to-mouth – pinch nose shut sealing the patient’s mouth with yours and breathe once checking for the patient’s chest to inflate. If not, perform the airway technique until chest inflates. 2 breaths every 30 chest compressions-each breath, 1 second.

Remember the order of the tasks being: Circulation, Airway, Breathing (C-A-B).

Choking Review

Choking is caused by an object blocking the throat or windpipe. The universal sign for choking is placing both hands around your neck.

Treatment for infants: Apply 5 thumps to infant’s back and 2-finger compression upon the chest and repeat until the object is lodged. Treatment for children and adults: perform the Heimlich maneuver (5 quick thrusts). Treatment for an unconscious person: lay the person on their back on the ground and perform CPR-not forgetting to clear the airway and to call 911.

When using an AED

Make sure to remove the patient’s clothing from intended placement of the pads. Place the pads on bare skin. Place the pads away from any implanted devices/medicated patches. Connect the wires and check the patient’s heart rhythm. Shock the patient if advised too. If not, perform CPR for an additional 2 minutes and recheck the patient’s hearth rhythm.

If you’re interested in learning more of if you’re interested in becoming Certified please visit us at: http://www.nationalcprfoundation.com/

We also offer certifications for First-Aid, Bloodborne Pathogens and Basic Life Support for Healthcare Professionals, Workplace Employees and the Community!

-National CPR Foundation

The Cardinal Signs of Parkinson’s Disease – From a Patient’s Perspective

Let’s begin with a caveat. No two cases of Parkinson’s disease will follow the exact same course. We are like snowflakes… similar to each other in so many areas, but ever-so-slightly different with the details.

That being said, there are four so-called ” Cardinal Signs” of PD. They are…

1. Resting Tremor

2. Rigidity

3. Bradykinesia

4. Postural Instability

Think of it as a great Big Brain Buffet, where you can help yourself to a little of some, a lot of the other, very little of one and none of the fourth one. I’m not going to spend a great deal of time on the signs I don’t have. Why not? Because I don’t have them. I’ll tell you what they are, what you should watch out for, but I will not be able to offer any real practical advice on things I don’t experience on a daily basis.

Let me put it this way. When I went to the Big Brain Buffet in late 1999, I decided I’d help myself to several serving spoons full of Rigidity and Bradykinesia, just a little bit of Resting Tremor, and I decided to pass on the Postural Instability.

Now that I approach the 12th anniversary of my first visit to the Buffet, I’ve found that I heap my plate FULL of the Postural Instability and Bradykinesia. The Deep Brain Stimulation I had in 2007 keeps my appetite for the Rigidity to a minimum and I’ve never really had all that much of a taste for the Tremor in the first place, so I leave that alone.

But to get a diagnosis of PD, you have to display at least three of the cardinal signs, and you can’t join our exclusive little club unless those signs have a positive response to Parkinson’s medications.

So, let’s get started with…

A. Resting Tremor

It is exactly what it says it is. A back and forth rhythmic tremor that happens when the affected extremity is at rest. If you have tremor when you move or use your hands, you probably have something other than PD.

Here’s what my friends at the National Parkinson Foundation say about tremor.

Tremor (shaking) is a rhythmical movement that can’t be controlled, often starting in one hand.

As the Parkinson’s tremor usually appears when a person’s muscles are relaxed, it is called a ‘resting tremor’.

This means that the affected body part trembles when it is not doing work, and it normally improves when a person begins an action. Anxiety can also make tremor worse.

It is estimated that tremor occurs in about 70% of people with Parkinson’s, so not everyone with the condition has this symptom.

So, lucky me, I’m one of the 30% who doesn’t really show much in the way of tremor. If I get stressed, my right hand will shake a little. But mostly, all the tremor you’re going to get out of me is a little back and forth in my right forefinger and thumb.

Therefore, if you want to know more about tremor, you’ll have to ask someone else. I recommend the National Parkinson Foundation’s very helpful website, chock full of information for newly diagnosed folks, veterans like me, and our caregivers.

So… moving on.

B. Rigdity.

When my medication is working and my DBS devices are turned on and tuned in, rigidity is not a problem for me. But I can tell you what it feels like.

When I was going through the screening for the Deep Brain Stimulation in Early Parkinson’s Disease Clinical Trial at Vanderbilt University in 2007, I had to go through something I lovingly referred to as “Droolfest.” This was an eight-day period where I had to stay as an inpatient in the Clinical Research Center at the Medical Center in Nashville with no Parkinson’s medications. After I had the surgery, there were four more Droolfests where I had to turn off the devices and stop taking the meds for eight days.

It’s pretty self-explanatory, actually. Imagine your muscles. Right now they move pretty smoothly, don’t they. Now, imagine them being made of pliable plastic. They can move, but only with difficulty. When you walk, your leg muscles protest. They get sore. Hell, they get PISSED. They don’t LIKE the fact that your brain isn’t sending them the correct messages. They send pain signals back to the brain, hoping your brain will get the idea and start sending the correct messages.

But your brain isn’t getting enough (or any, for that matter) of that critical neurotransmitter called “dopamine.” That’s why you have Parkinson’s. Your brain tries to tell your leg muscles that it’s doing the best it can. But your leg muscles just don’t care. They get sore. The soreness makes them even MORE stiff. They decide you’d be much better off with your butt in a recliner and a bowl of chips on your lap. And they’re right.

But it’s not just your legs. Your arms are wondering just what the hell is going on, too! And now that you’re sitting down, you want your arms to move, to reach into that bowl and tell your hands to open and close around a CHIP? Nothing doing, bub, until you shoot down the correct messages. Otherwise, your forearm and upper arm muscles are going to get sore and irritated and even more stiff. And don’t bother with the Ben Gay. Parkinson’s disease LAUGHS at Ben Gay. It makes FUN of Ben Gay. It MOCKS Ben Gay.

And did I mention your neck? Your neck muscles are wondering why after a long day of holding your big, heavy head up where it belongs, the brain isn’t sending the normal signals so they can move more freely and be elastic like they used to be. So your neck muscles hurt and…

CRAMP!

And as soon as you convince your sore and tired hand that feels like it’s been squeezing tennis balls all day to rub the cramp out of that muscle, the other side of your neck says, “Oh yeah?”

CRAMP!

Then your hand cramps because it’s terribly unfair of your brain to expect your hand to rub cramps out of other muscles when the muscles in your hand aren’t getting the correct signals either and on and on it goes until you go to bed.

Then you lie there, unable to unclench. You notice your head is not sinking into your pillow. You have to force yourself to relax. You start with your neck, work your way down to your shoulders, then your back, now your abdomen. Your pelvic muscles get the idea, then your thighs, finally your calves then your feet. And you’re fine.

Until you need to roll over.

CRAMP!

That, my friend, is Rigidity. Your doctor can determine just how rigid you are by telling you to relax so he or she can move your limb around. If they feel a racheting motion, that is referred to as “cogwheel rigidity.”

But, as I said earlier, the meds help and so does the DBS. So, let’s continue our little stroll through the cardinal signs of PD with…

C. Bradykinesia

(Sing along to the theme from “The Brady Bunch “

Here’s the story of a working body

And it used to move so swiftly and so well.

You could run a mile or more with little bother.

But all that’s gone to Hell!

It’s the story of a guy named Parky.

Who way long ago in 1817

He first noticed guys moved slow and really shaky

And that just wasn’t keen.

Until one day when the doctor wrote an essay

And he knew then it was much more than a hunch

When he wrote An Essay on the Shaking Palsy

And that’s the day we all became the Parky Bunch.

OK, now that we have the Brady references out of the way…

Bradykinesia simply means ” slowness of movement.”

Try this.

Scratch your nose.

Notice how your hand lifted from your lap as your shoulder raised your arm and your forearm rotated your hand into position and the correct fingers for scratching extended themselves and automatically found their way to that itchy spot on your nose and then the fingers moved back and forth until the itch was gone and then your shoulder rotated your upper arm back to its resting position and your forearm turned your hand back to where it was in the first place and it went back down to your lap.

When you have bradykinesia, the same thing happens.

Very.

Very.

Slowly.

If you’re not also fighting rigidity, the motions are fluid but slow.

This is generally referred to as the most disabling symptom of PD. And it’s frustrating, especially in the early stages, because one moment you’re gliding right along and then you’re the pokey little puppy! And no one really knows why.

And that’s why, especially early in the disease, some folks think you’re faking it.

“BUT YOU LOOK FINE!” they insist.

“I feel fine, right now.”

“ARE YOU SURE IT’S PARKINSON’S?”

“My doctor said so, and I trust his judgment.”

“I THINK IT’S NONSENSE. GET A SECOND OPINION! I GET LITTLE TWITCHES SOMETIMES, TOO. I THINK IT’S JUST THAT THE DOCTORS WANT YOUR MONEY.”

“Gee, you really think so,” I say as I reach for the baseball bat.

“OH, YEAH. IT’S ALL A BIG…”

WHAP!

It’s that kind of insensitivity that drove me nuts…

Hang on a sec. He’s still moving.

WHAP!

WHAP!

WHAP!

OK, where were we?

Oh, yes. It’s that kind of insensitivity early in the course of the disease that actually causes one to question whether or not he HAS the disease. And I was no different. For awhile I denied it. I stopped taking the meds. I looked for other reasons for the signs and symptoms. But finally, in early 2007, a kind and thoughtful neurologist told me that not only did I have Parkinson’s, but it was a fairly classical case thereof.

I still have the bradykinesia. Not so much in my hands, because I can still type fairly quickly. The meds and DBS help. But my arms, my legs, my face, my neck they tend to move pretty slowly.

I walk slowly. When I’m on the treadmill, I can generally get the speed up to 2.5 mph without difficulty. Over that speed, things get goofy. And a lot of that, I think, has to do with our NEXT cardinal sign…

D. Postural Instability

This is a tricky one. It’s something they start testing for right away when you’re diagnosed. Every time you see a neurologist, they get behind you, give you a little tug, and see how many steps – if any – it takes for you to keep from falling.

Up until early 2008, I could generally catch myself with one or two steps. Now, I keep stepping backwards until I either hit something, someone catches me, or I fall.

I am confused on the reasons for postural instability. And I don’t really care. I just know I have it. I walk with a hunched over, forward lean (unless I have my walker and really, really think about it, then I stand up straight and tall until I forget again and find myself hunched over). My gait is severely hampered. If I’m on the treadmill or holding on to my walker, I can take longer, more striding steps than I can if I’m not holding on to anything. Then, it’s little tiny, flatfooted steps.

I am clear on SOME of the reasons for this, but to explain it will cause us to wander off into the sciency weeds a bit.

Here’s an example of what I’m talking about.

My wife gets up this morning. Coffee’s already brewing, so I know there will be no beating for me. At least not yet. She approaches, I extend my arms for a hug and, out of force of habit, close my eyes for our good morning kiss.

I feel myself starting to tip backwards. I take several little backwards steps as I open my eyes. My wife grabs my by each shoulder to steady me. THEN we kiss.

This is the result “proprioception.” Put as simply as possible, it’s one of those $20 words that means the ability to sense the position of your body and the strength and effort being employed in movement.

Jeez. Even the SIMPLE explanation is whonky!

Let’s do a practical demonstration.

Stand up. Don’t argue with me, just do it.

Put your feet side by side. Stand there for a minute. Are you weaving from side to side? Probably. A little anyway. Why aren’t you falling?

Proprioception, gentle reader. Your brain and your eyes and your nerves and your muscles are all working in concert to keep you balanced.

Close your eyes now. See how long you can stand there without feeling the need to open your eyes and catch yourself.

See? Your eyes are an important part of your ability to retain your balance. If you can stand there all day with your feet together and your eyes open, you’re normal. If you can do it for a minute or more with your eyes closed, you’re normal.

I can stand with my eyes open. When I close them, I start to sway like a tall building in an Earthquake.

It is the rare day when I don’t ALMOST fall. But the house I’m living in is small enough to where there’s almost always something close by in grabbing distance to steady myself. But I do fall.

Sometimes it has nothing to do with vision. Not long ago, I was getting off the throne in the bathroom and turned to flush. I turned incorrectly. See, in my current condition, one must turn by moving one’s feet, not by pivoting one’s body. If I twist my upper body and leave my feet planted, I will fall.

As I did in this instance.

I took several stutter steps backwards until the backs of my calves touched the rim of the bathtub. Then I fell into the tub.

I had fallen and couldn’t get up.

Luckily Gail heard the crash and rushed into the bathroom. There she saw me, my feet protruding from the tub, my underwear bunched around my ankles. She helped me. She always helps me.

And there, we have touched on the four cardinal signs of Parkinson’s disease. Now, we’re going to delve a little deeper and I will show you what it’s like to freeze when you walk, what it’s like to choke on your food, what it’s like to walk towards something and suddenly find yourself walking backwards, what it’s like to be walking more or less normally and suddenly find you are taking faster, quicker steps to keep from falling.

Like I said earlier, we’ll try to keep from getting too sciency here. Unless you WANT to read about how Parkinson’s is primarily a malfunction of the corpus striatum, composed of the caudate and putamen, is the largest nuclear complex of the basal ganglia. The striatum receives excitatory input from several areas of the cerebral cortex as well as inhibitory and excitatory input from the dopaminergic cells of the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNc). These cortical and nigral inputs are received by the spiny projection neurons, which are of 2 types: those that project directly to the internal segment of the globus pallidus ( GPi ), the major output site of the basal ganglia, and those that project to the external segment of globus pallidus ( GPe ), establishing an indirect pathway to GPi via the subthalamic nucleus ( STN ).

Otherwise, we’ll try to keep things simple.

Brando’s The Men – Hollywood’s First Look at Paraplegia

Sixty years ago a relatively unknown actor named Marlon Brando helped Hollywood introduce to the general public a relatively unknown segment of society–paraplegics. The unveiling of Hollywood newcomer, Brando, and these newest members of society took place on the Big Screen in the 1950 hit movie, The Men.

The Men served to launch Brando’s film career but, more importantly, introduced movie-goers to the men–the earliest survivors of a catastrophic injury that most people had never heard of–spinal cord injury (SCI). Indeed, fellow actor and co-star, Richard Erdman (Leo in The Men) admits to asking a leading doctor of SCI at the time, Dr. Ernest Bors, why Erdman had never heard of a paraplegic–the very role he was about to play. The answer: there were none. At least until the war when doctors like Bors, with the discovery of antibiotics, helped keep spinal cord injured World War II veterans as well as civilian paraplegics alive longer than their pre-war life expectancy of eighteen months.

There are countless movie reviews of The Men on the Internet and elsewhere; copies of the movie are also available there.

The movie itself takes place at the Birmingham VA Hospital in Van Nuys, CA. Interestingly, approximately forty-five actual paraplegic patients take part in the movie–mostly as extras but a number with speaking/acting parts. Speaking of ‘firsts’, the movie-going public is also introduced to a newly-formed veterans’ organization–The Paralyzed Veterans Association (PVA). In 1946, paralyzed veterans were organizing what would eventually evolved into one national organization–known today as the Paralyzed Veterans of America, with chapters in SCI centers in the Birminham VA, the Bronx VA, East Halloran General Hospital (Staten Island, NY), Saint Albans Naval Hospital (Long Island, NY), Hines VA Hospital (Chicago area), McGuire VA Hospital (Richmond, Virginia), Kennedy (Memphis, TN) and Cushing (Framington, MA).

In February 1947, delegates from seven of the existing chapters (Cushing couldn’t finance the trip) met at the Hines VA Hospital Vaughan Unit for the first convention of the Paralyzed Veterans Association of America. PVA pioneer Gilford S. Moss (Vaughan Chapter) who sent out a letter calling for the formation of a national organization became the group’s first president. Also present among PVA’s ‘Founding Delegates’ were Robert Moss (no relation to Gilford, who would follow as PVA’s second president), Donald P. Coleman, Joseph Gusmeroli, George Holmann, Fred Smead, Walter Suchanof, Alex Mihalchyk, Harold Peterson, William Day Jr., Marcus Orr, Kenneth Seaquist, Eldred Beebe, Joseph Gillette, Alfred Gore, and Harold Sharper.

The birth of PVA, along with connecting paraplegics from across the country, also served to bring them together through the organization’s national magazine, the Paraplegia News. Every PVA member from New England to Southern California received this monthly periodical with information on everything from new medical breakthroughs to legislation concerning benefits for these newest battlefield survivors to news from other chapters of PVA.

The four principal paraplegic parts in The Men were played by able-bodied actors Brando, Erdman, Jack Webb (of TV’s Dragnet fame) and paraplegic Arthur Jurado. Interestingly, The Men, using paraplegics to play the part of paraplegics would be a novel idea–if it took place today. Sadly, some segments of society still have to wait in ‘the back of the bus’.

Besides Jurado, hospital patients who had speaking/acting rolls in the firm included Pat Grissom (himself), Randall Updyke III (Baker), Tom Gillick (Fine), Carlo Lewis (Gunderson), Ray Mitchell (Thompson), Pete Simon (Mullin), Paul Peltz (Hopkins), Marshall Ball (Romano), William Lea Jr. (Walter), Obie Parker (The Lookout) and Sam Gilman (uncredited). Bud Woziak (who, according to Turner Movie Classics, was used as the model for Brando’s character) joined Ted Anderson, Pat Grissom, Pete Simon and Herbert Wolf as the film’s technical advisors.

For those who haven’t seen The Men: boy (Lieutenant Ken ‘Bud’ Wilozek played by Marlon Brando) meets girl (Ellen played by Teresa Wright), boy goes off to war–but not before proposing to girl, boy takes a bullet in the back while on patrol, boy finds himself paralyzed, boy shows up in Birmingham VA SCI unit still unable to deal with his paralysis one year later, girl who is still waiting for boy to ‘recover’ asks to see him, boy and girl resume dating ritual, boy marries girl and they move into their own home, boy and girl have marital issues and boy returns to hospital to live, boy lashes out and fellow patients–PVA Board members –vote to kick his butt out, boy and girl reconcile and live happily ever after…maybe.

The film enlightened movie-goers in 1950 and still has unique educational value today. Many of the situations dealt with in the movie still apply: adjusting to a catastrophic injury, rehabilitation, relationships–or lack thereof, camaraderie and veteran helping fellow veteran, and the sometimes difficult reality of rejoining a society that only recently appears ready to accept its differently-abled citizens. Unless you are a paraplegic or quadriplegic, have a family member or friend with SCI, or work in the rehab field, chances are you’ll gain a substantial amount of understanding from viewing The Men.

Aside from dealing with most issues that newly injured paraplegics (and quadriplegics–no distinction in the movie) are faced with today, what would become of the men? Although Brando’s character makes his way out of the safe confines of the Birmingham VA Hospital and starts a new life in a world not yet ready to receive him, what would become of the others? We know that Angel (Arthur Jurado’s character), the super para who was preparing for discharge to rejoin his family, tragically takes ill and dies. What of the others? In 1950, no one knew. Many assumed a cure would certainly be found.

Those who viewed The Men may have gotten the impression that all the paraplegics would finish rehab–except for those who died from their injuries or an isolated illness–and be discharged into the world that Brando’s character showed was not prepared to accept them.

The film shows how difficult it was for the first paraplegics to rejoin society. Leaving the hospital and going out into the ‘real’ world was, with no blueprint or path to follow, an unimaginable challenge–even for the good shape paraplegic. What about the quadriplegics, paralyzed from the chest down, sometimes with limited or no use of their hands and arms? Wilozek, at least, was a low-level para able to function independently–almost–with a few physical hurdles (steps) to overcome and a loving wife to support him. What about those paraplegics and quadriplegics who lived in the Northeast or Midwest? How many barriers besides steps and cold weather did they have to overcome? These were the true pioneers–the men who would take charge in uncharted waters and lead the way.

The earliest battlefield survivors of paraplegia were being treated and given therapy in the infancy of this new and challenging area of medicine by, in most cases, doctors, nurses, and therapists with relatively no prior experience in the field of SCI. Paraplegia was as new to the hospital staff as it was to their newest patients.

Despite the best efforts of the newly-formed veterans service organization, including securing automobile and housing grants for its members, slow progress was being made in crucial areas. A cure for SCI proved elusive. Although some paras and quads were fortunate to live in warmer regions of the country that were also more accessible than those where stairs and cold, oftentimes snowy weather, made getting out and about extremely difficult. Sitting in a wheelchair looking out the window at a foot of snow along with freezing temperature for months can be quite depressing. Not to mention the fact that, for so many young men who rehabbed successfully, once the snow cleared and the weather warmed, there where few places to go that didn’t have steps. Architectural barriers remained in place for years. Attitudinal barriers even longer! The uncomfortable stares from strangers that Brando’s character experienced in the restaurant scene were commonplace back then. Human nature? Societal change and ‘acceptance’ came slowly for most disabled citizens. But for wheelchair users, the most obviously disabled, it took longer.

It’s no wonder that so many paralyzed veterans–especially the more dependent quadriplegics–rarely left the hospital and never went home. Who would care for them? What about those whose families lived on the second floor of a multi-family tenement?

Options for a life after SCI for many were limited. For every independent paraplegic Bud Wilocek type who lived in Southern California there was a caregiver dependent Christopher Reeve type quadriplegic stuck in a Hines VA hospital in the Windy City looking out the window wondering about the future.

Twenty years after the release of The Men, there were still “homesteaders”, as some discharged paras and quads referred to them, living in VA hospital SCI centers–many patients who never went home or ever intended to!

As the PVA continued to evolve, chapters were being formed from Puerto Rico–as far from PVA’s birthplace of Chicago’s Hines VA Hospital as could be imagined, to serve the many veterans who sacrificed so much in Uncle Sam’s Army–to Guadalajara, Mexico for the many spinal cord injured veterans who were wiling to ‘roll the dice’ and leave behind snow, cold weather and staring out the window, wondering.

While many injured veterans lived out their final years wasting away in VA hospitals afraid to face the outside world, a number of the men decided to explore the exotic notion of checking out this place in Mexico that a number of their hospital buddies spoke so highly of. By the mid-1950’s, there were reports of and by paraplegic veterans exploring and visiting places in Mexico. Although most of these initial stories appeared in articles in PVA’s Paraplegia News, word of mouth spread in VA hospitals and civilian care centers from New England to New York to Chicago and on to Southern California where a steady pipeline of wheelchair users–both veteran and non-veteran men and a few women–continued to swell the ranks of those desperate and/or adventurous enough to gamble their future happiness–or lack thereof–on this intriguing ‘South of the Border’ option.

By 1964, there were so many paraplegic and quadriplegic veterans now living in and around the city of Guadalajara that they petitioned national PVA for a chapter in Mexico. The Mexico Chapter would go on to serve veterans, non-vets and the local community for the next twenty years.

Thanks to the ground work laid, and selfless sacrifice of so many paralyzed veterans over the last sixty-five years, the Paralyzed Veterans of America is today a first class veterans service organization with thirty-four chapters operating throughout the United States and Puerto Rico.

For anyone interested in an entertaining and educational film about the earliest survivors of a catastrophic injury whose cure has eluded the world’s top medical researchers for decades, you just might want to take another look at The Men.

Polypropylene – The Non-Woven Fabric

Polypropylene is a great eco friendly fabric that is being used today to replace other disposable plastic materials. For example, polypropylene has taken a great share of the disposable plastic bags used in grocery stores. There is still much work to be done to minimize the disposable plastic bags, but the polypropylene bags are working great.

What exactly is polypropylene? It is a plastic that is manufactured through a high heat source. It’s molecular formula is (C3 H6)x. There are a few different names such as Polypropene, Polipropene 25, Propylene polymers, and more.

Properties

It is rough and resistant to other chemicals. Polypropylene is also tough, but also flexible. This makes the material to be used easily for chemical and plastic engineering experiments because it is so tough and flexible.

It is also economical because it can be reused. The fabric that is made is tough and durable so that it can be reused in different forms after being manufactured. Polypropylene fabric can be translucent, but because it does not fade very easily, most people use polypropylene as a colored fabric. So, the fabric can be dyed and will not fade easily.

Industry

Polypropylene’s melting point is approximately 320 degrees Fahrenheit. Once the chemicals have been bonded, they are melted and pressed through tight rollers that will make a thin fabric. This process is called extrusion and molding. As opposed to cotton or other natural fibers, which are woven, polypropylene is not woven. Many people in the fabric industry refer to these types of materials as “non-wovens.” Cotton’s fibers are typically spun into threads and woven together, but polypropylene is pressed into a fabric.

There are other finishes that can be applied to the finished fabric. Different types of finishes will produce different results. Some finishes are applied that will help the fabric accept ink better, which is better for imprinting. Some finishes will help repel other chemicals and solutions.

Uses

The polypropylene is used in a number of different fabric styles. These non-woven fabrics can be used to produce non-woven bags. Shirts are also manufactured using the non-woven material, such as Under Armor. The polypropylene properties keep sweat off of the body. It can also be used in ropes and other packaging materials. Surgeons are even using the fabric in hernia operations. After fixing the hernia, the doctor places the fabric over the area to prevent future blow-outs.

Most importantly, the non-woven fabric can be recycled, which is great for the environment. The resin identification code is number 5, and most recycling centers will accept these bags to be recycled.

Sinus Infection Symptoms – Can Your Toothache Be A Sinus Infection Instead? Nurse’s Secret

If you have a toothache in your upper jaw it’s possible that you don’t have a dental issue or an infected tooth at all but instead it may be sinusitis or a maxillary sinus infection instead. And the reverse can be true also. One may think they have a sinus infection but actually have a toothache. This is a much more common occurrence than one might think. In fact dentists have actually extracted teeth or done root canals on teeth that didn’t need it. You may have other symptoms that indicate that you have a sinus infection or a sinus inflammation starting up.

The maxillary sinuses lie close to the jaw where your upper teeth are located. The maxillary sinuses are only one of four sets of sinuses we have. If you have an infection in the root of a tooth it can cause pain that radiates to the cheek and mimics sinusitis or a sinus problem. As a side note you can also get pain from your jaw joint by your ear- the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), and make you think you have sinusitis or a sinus problem also.

On occasion over the years when dental patients have had a tooth pulled in the upper jaw it has caused a sinus infection because the infected roots are so close to the sinuses. You want to make sure you understand where the source of your pain or discomfort is coming from so that you don’t pull teeth or get a root canal or visit your arthritis doctor for your temporomandibular joint when it’s not the source of your pain and suffering.

Make sure to review possible sinus infection symptoms first. You don’t have to have all the symptoms to determine whether you have an infection or not. You may be in the early stages also with irritated sinuses and in both cases you want to use natural treatment at home to get rid of it. These symptoms include slight sore throat, coughing, sneezing, lump in your throat, yellow or green mucus, but especially yellow mucus, which can almost always indicate a sinus infection, loss of smell, loss of taste, bad breath, ear fullness, sometimes fever and fatigue. Many people don’t connect their fatigue or just plain tired feeling with their sinuses. Sinus infections are systemic, which means they affect your whole body.

So finally you want to determine whether you have a simple toothache, a TMJ problem or a sinus infection. Checking this out first can save you a lot of agony, time and money. You don’t want to assume it’s a toothache when it’s actually your TMJ or your sinuses bothering you.

The Unsolved Mystery of the Foreskin and Penis Temperature

A Heat Sink (or heatsink) is a device used to absorb and dissipate heat from whatever it is attached to. They are common on computer circuitry boards to help keep the board and chips cooler. What does this have to do with the foreskin?

A scientific study at McGill University was carried out on penis sensations and ability in circumcised and uncircumcised men. The results were later published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine.

The findings show that in a flaccid and pre-arousal state, that the temperature of an uncircumcised penis was lower than that of men who had been circumcised. So, basically, the resting temperature for an uncircumcised penis is lower than that of the circumcised penis. A significant difference, too.

However, upon becoming erect through arousal, both the circumcised and uncircumcised penis rose to the same temperature levels.

What this means is that uncircumcised men have a greater increase in penile temperature compared to the circumcised man upon arousal.

No one is really sure why this is so. It could be that the foreskin is some form of temperature sensor that helps regulate penis temperature. By removing the foreskin, the penis may lose this sensor and temperature regulator, so that penis temperature is more based on regular circulation. Having no feedback from the foreskin (think of it like a thermostat that controls penis temperature {blood flow}) perhaps it isn’t able to regulate temperature correctly?

It also may mean that a foreskin acts as a sort of heat sink to dissipate from the penis to keep it at a cooler temperature. It is certainly a mystery. Though it is apparent that the foreskin is somehow related to penile temperatures.

It would seem that since the uncircumcised penis had a lower resting state of temperature, that because there is a greater increase in heat with arousal, that this may be more pleasurable for men who are circumcised. It seems logical, as the uncircumcised penis would go through a greater change that is directly associated to pleasure.

We know that the foreskin has the richest nerve endings in the penis. Especially light tactile sensation. So if the foreskin is so nerve rich and definitely has something with modulating penis temperature, what does this say about when vaginal entry is performed? The first thing a man notices upon entering the vagina is the intense feeling of heat. Does the foreskin somehow act as a thermometer during the sexual act? If its presence means a man has a colder penis during flaccidity, then perhaps it reverses its role when inside the vagina, and acts as a heat conductor to the penis during sex? This would, perhaps, aid in a man’s perception of heat and/or pleasure during intercourse.

Whatever the reason is, it’s clear that the male foreskin has roles greater than just tactile/pressure/pleasure sensations, lubricating the head of the penis, and helping stimulate the penis during intercourse.

Then we have to question, how a resting temperature that is lower during non-arousal might affect men. I can see where a colder and flaccid penis would respond more to oral sex. That is if the penis was introduced into the mouth while it was still flaccid. Clearly the uncircumcised man will feel the affects of the heat of the mouth more than a circumcised man upon flaccid entry into the mouth. This, I assume, would be more pleasurable for the uncircumcised man.

As penis temperature rises upon erection, then there is also a connection between arousal states and penis temperature. We understand that the penis creates an erection through an increase in blood flow which will increase the penile temperature. So if the uncircumcised penis is hotter than a circumcised penis in the resting state, does this mean that circumcised men may have more sexual thoughts and urges than the uncircumcised man? It’s possible, as his penis is hotter (more often) than the uncircumcised man. And penile heat is related to arousal.

Clearly it seems a shame to remove the foreskin from the penis. But what else is new? Not too long ago tonsils were being removed, left and right, by physicians, as they felt they were some useless vestigial organ. So to stop kids from getting tonsillitis, they’d cut them out. Then they discovered that tonsils are the most important first stop of the immune system for throat and lung infections. They are basically lymphatic tissue and are very important for immunity from disease.

Perhaps one day we will discover why the foreskin seems to be related to penis heat.

Understanding your sexual system is the first step upon improving upon it. That’s what this article is designed to do. It is designed to share information about a man’s sexual function. For men interested in creating an Iron Man Penis, read the book of the same title.

Sincerely, Georg von Neumann

Gluten Intolerance, Elevated Liver Enzymes and Liver Damage

You may not know you have gluten intolerance – but you should be highly suspect if you have elevated liver enzymes.

Gluten intolerance, largely a genetic disorder can cause many health challenges. People who suffer with bloating, constipation and/or diarrhea, fatigue, weight gain, bone or joint pain, dental enamel defects, depression, infertility, anemia, alopecia areata (hair loss), migraines, multiple sclerosis (MS), psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, or any of the dozens of other symptoms should suspect their malady to be connected to gluten intolerance.

Elevated liver enzymes may indicate inflammation or damage to cells in the liver. Inflamed or injured liver cells leak higher than normal amounts of certain chemicals, including the enzymes made in the liver, into the bloodstream, which can result in elevated liver enzymes on blood tests. Two common liver enzymes regularly tested in most blood chemistries include AST (aspartate transaminase) and ALT (Alanine transaminase).

AST (aspartate aminotransferase), which was previously called SGOT, can also be elevated in heart and muscle diseases and is not liver specific. The normal range of AST is 0 to 45 U/L

ALT (alanine aminotransferase), which previously was called SGPT, is more specific for liver damage. The normal range of ALT is 0 to 45 U/L

Besides these two enzymes, the liver produces other enzymes, which are special protein based molecules that help necessary chemical reactions to take place. Liver enzymes trigger activity in the body’s cells, speeding up and facilitating naturally occurring biochemical reactions, and maintaining various metabolic processes within the liver.

I regularly see patients who have high liver enzymes of “unknown etiology”, which simply means the cause has not been discovered. One common sign of gluten intolerance is elevation in liver enzymes. Elevated liver related enzymes can lead to additional damage to other parts of the body outside the liver if the cause of the elevated enzymes is not discovered.

I challenged a patient of mine who has had elevated liver enzymes as long as she can remember to get properly tested for gluten intolerance. You probably guessed right – she was gluten intolerant. This patient agreed she should eat gluten free the rest of her life. In one month on a proprietary specialized dietary healing plan, her liver enzymes came down into the normal range, the first time since her liver enzymes have been tested many, many years ago!

Unfortunately most doctors still use tests that are outdated and inaccurate for gluten sensitivity testing. At Johnson Chiropractic Neurology and Nutrition we use the most advanced, state-of-the-art testing gluten intolerance. The tests we use include testing for genes that predispose one to celiac sprue and gluten intolerance (I found I have one of each), as well as a special test that measures ones sensitivity to several components (epitopes) of wheat. Until very recently (January, 2011) testing for Gluten Sensitivity has only been against one component of wheat; alpha gliadin. Through extensive research Cyrex Labs, pinpointed the twelve components of wheat that most often provoke an immune response. You will want to learn more about this specialized testing, especially if you have unexplained elevated liver enzymes.

Use Herbal Remedies for Diabetes to Lower Blood Sugar Level

How many are diabetics patients, do you have think! May be answer will be no. If you don’t know, don’t be worries, I will tell you the figure. Now in world 6 out of 10 are diabetic patients. Most of them generally used Insulin vaccine to reduce the sugar level, but it is not the right solution for the long time. In many research it has been proved that Herbal medicine and supplements are superior to modern medicines. Indian Ayurveda believes in traditional herbal remedies for the diseases and has various types of plants and herbs that will provide long term benefits over diabetes.

In Ayurveda some of the well known household’s plants are mentioned like: Jamun (Blackberry), Nilabadari (Blueberries), Tulsi (Basil leaves), Aloe Vera, Karela (Bitter melon) to help diabetic’s patients. Blackberry and Blueberries will improved the blood circulation and reduce the blood sugar level. All these herbs enhance the body immunity and providing the easy insulin secretion, glucose oxidation process that helps to fight with the diabetes.

If we say about “Dadi maa ke Nuskhe” (Grand Mother’s advice) consumptions of garlic and onion in sufficient quantity reduce the LDL cholesterol and increase the HDL cholesterol and prevent heart disease, which is the major impact of diabetes.

A strict diet plan is needed to balance healthy blood sugar level. Limit intake of sugar in your diet. Avoid foods like sweets, candies, pastries, ice-creams and cakes as they contain very high amount of sugar. If you take tea or coffee 2 to 3 times a day, try to add sugar to as low as possible or better if you can avoid using sugar in your drinks.

Bitter melon, drumsticks and other bitter taste vegetables are considered good for diabetic patients. A half cup juice of bitter melon daily in the morning will help to check excess sugar in your blood.

There are many products and supplements available in the market promising to lower blood glucose level. The safest and the most effective way to lower and maintain healthy blood sugar is to take herbal supplements. These supplements are mainly made of herbs and natural ingredients having anti-diabetic properties.

One of the widely used and most trusted herbal supplements for diabetic patients is Diabkil capsule. Taking 1 to 2 capsules of Diabkil twice daily for 3 to 4 months will help to maintain your sugar level and prevent long term and short term complications of diabetes.

Disclaimer: This article is not meant to provide health advice and is for general information only. Always seek the insights of a qualified health professional before embarking on any health program.

Does Being Fat Or Overweight Cause Acne?

Acne is definitely something that happens to thousands of Americans across the nation. It’s something that scars both on the outside and on the inside.

However, I think there’s something even more widespread than acne, and it’s the fact that being overweight is something that’s being more and more common in the United States.

And if you have both, if you’re both overweight and have acne well… you’ve found the right guy to help you. I’ll tell you more about how I can change your life both physically and… well… physically in a moment. =) But to make it short and sweet, to answer the question: No. It doesn’t.

Plain and simple, being overweight does not CAUSE Acne.

But.

BUT.

BUT!!! =)

It CAN definitely affect acne… if you already have acne.

I’m about to tell you secrets about being overweight and acne that NO ONE has ever told you before.

Chances are, if you’re reading this, you may be overweight and have acne. Why else would you be reading an article titled, “Does Being Fat or Overweight Cause Acne?” Maybe your’e just curious or maybe you know someone who is overweight, either way, you’re here so let me tell you a little bit about how weight and acne are related.

What does being fat do?

Being overweight ultimately affects the body by increasing the probability of heart disease. But we’re not here to talk about the how obesity is an epidemic and is plaguing the nation at an alarming rate are we? None the less, here are some interesting facts from obesity.org

Among 2007 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) respondents:

  • 6% were obese.
  • 4% of men and 24.8% of women were obese.
  • The obesity prevalence ranged from 19.1% for men and women aged 18–29 years to 31.7% and 30.2%, respectively, for men and women aged 50–59 years.
  • By race/ethnicity and sex the obesity prevalence was highest for non-Hispanic black women (39.0%) followed by non-Hispanic black men (32.1%).
  • The obesity prevalence was higher in the South (27.3%) and Midwest (26.5%) and lower in the Northeast (24.4%) and West (23.1%).

But can being overweight cause acne?

IS THIS YOUR FIRST TIME TO HOW TO CLEAR YOUR ACNE?

Having suffered from acne for more than 10 years and performed many years of research on myself to the point of finally permanently curing my acne, I’ll tell you a bit about what I’ve learned. My name is Ray Wang and I’ve helped hundreds of people cure their acne. You can read more about me HERE. BEING OVERWEIGHT DOES NOT CAUSE ACNE BUT…!

Here’s the thing, if you don’t have acne you’re not going to suddenly have acne just because you’re overweight. There are plenty of people out in the world that are overweight but don’t have acne. However, that being said, if you DO HAVE ACNE already, then being overweight is definitely contributing to further aggravating that condition.

How am I so sure?

It’s common sense really, and in a minute, you’ll feel exactly the same way as I do.

Allow me to explain…

OVERWEIGHT PEOPLE ALL HAVE SOMETHING IN COMMON WITH EACH OTHER…

Chances are, if you or someone you know is overweight, they probably are not eating the healthiest of foods. They probably are not exercising. And they probably are not taking very good care of their bodies. That’s why their overweight and out of condition in the first place.

It’s usually highly unlikely that someone is overweight but extremely healthy in all other parts of their lives when it comes to health. It’s a lot more likely that if you were to random pick someone who is overweight, they probably don’t take very good care of their bodies (e.g. exercise, eating right, health conscious, etc…). Hence, that’s how they got to being overweight in the first place.

And I’m not saying that these people deserve to be in this situation, I’m not saying that people don’t care about their health, and I’m not saying that overweight people are slacking. Maybe there’s just not enough hours in the day for a working mother with 2 children to exercise, maybe it’s the financial budget that these people are working with when it comes to food so they have no choice, whatever the reason, they’ve gotten themselves to this point of being overweight and their health is at stake.

So let’s stop talking about how these people got here and start talking about what we’re going to do about it?

More importantly, let’s get to how being fat can affect your acne.

Fundamentally, what I’m saying is that overweight people most likely are eating foods that they’re not supposed to be eating and more than likely are NOT getting the proper nutrition in their daily diets.

THE RIGHT DIET = PROPER NUTRITION = CLEAR SKIN

Notice I didn’t say “healthy” diet. Because you can eat healthy foods all day but if you’re not giving your body the right combination of vitamins and nutrients, it can’t do it’s job and balance hormonal levels and regulate excess toxins. Within the right balance of elements, your body cannot heal itself or deal with acne and inflammation.

So what you need is the RIGHT diet, and the right diet is something that gives you all the right nutrition for clear skin.

Most people that are overweight are not getting the right combination of nutrition and therefore, if they’re not suffering from acne, you can BET that they’re going to be or already suffering from something AS WE SPEAK.

Scary thought huh?

What’s scarier is the fact that certain diets can elevate levels of triglycerides and give you high blood pressure or… what we sometimes call “the silent killer.” You feel fine, you look fine, then suddenly one day you drop dead. But that’s another story, you’re here for acne. Anyway… =)

SO WHAT ARE YOU SAYING? DOES BEING FAT CAUSE ACNE? IS IT YES OR NO?

What I’m saying is that for someone who is overweight, they are most likely not getting the proper nutrition. And if they’re not getting the proper nutrition and have acne, they are probably worsening the condition of their acne. Therefore, being overweight is indirectly related to not having clear skin.

If you’re…

OVERWEIGHT + ACNE = YES, BEING FAT DOES AFFECT YOUR ACNE

Because the result of being overweight most likely happened through the negligence of properly caring for one’s body. And through negligence, all sorts of disease and problems may arise INCLUDING acne.

If you’re…

NOT OVERWEIGHT = ACNE CAUSED BY DIET

So either way, the point here is that acne is caused by what kind of foods you eat and what kind of nutrition you’re getting. It’s just more likely that if you’re overweight or, dare I say fat, that you’re not eating properly for an acne free diet.

SO WHAT SHOULD I DO TO HELP ACNE AND BEING OVERWEIGHT?

Well you should start with understanding what foods are good for you and what foods aren’t. But what’s even better is that all the foods and the diet that I suggest, not only combat acne, but also promote health and fitness too. You’ll naturally lose weight if you follow my advice by getting the right amount of essential fatty acids, clean proteins, fresh vegetables, and the list goes on!

A Dermatologist Rates the Top 10 Poison Oak and Poison Ivy Treatments

Type in “poison oak or poison ivy treatment” on Google and you are overwhelmed with choices. What product works best? When you are scratching your skin down to the bone and losing sleep, people will reach for anything. The sensation of itch is called “pruritis” in medical terms. People say it is often worse than physical pain. The mind has a much more difficult time blocking out the itch sensation than it does painful stimuli. Because these plant rashes manifest differently across a spectrum of people, there is no “one size fits all” cure. The internet is full of drastic suggestions from pouring diesel fuel on it to scrubbing with pure bleach. I caution against this advice as I see permanent scarring and unacceptable pigmentary alterations long after the rash has faded. Since poison oak and ivy rashes resolve on their own in a few days to a few weeks without treatment, it is difficult to make any concrete causal relationships regarding what remedies work best. The following list is my professional opinion as a dermatologist. This list may be biased by the fact I see the most challenging cases; in that I see the folks that most over-the-counter (OTC) did not work for.

1. “Sasquatch Itch Cream”: Ideally, you would not need this treatment, but the world is not perfect. If you have to reach for it, it probably means an itchy eruption is forming on your skin. I call this the “fire extinguisher of poison ivy” because it is formulated to sooth on contact and snuff out the smoldering rash. Once the resin binds to your skin cells, the outer membrane of the cell is permanently altered. The immune system no longer recognizes the skin cell as belonging to you and unleashes an attack against it. This is where Sasquatch Itch Cream works; it stomps out this attack. This product is not for the pure naturalist however, as it contains powerful synthetic anti-itch compounds and some cortisone. Sasquatch Itch Cream was designed for the military, specifically as a means to ensure the soldiers could complete their missions and not linger about the medic tent. Now it is used primarily by survivalists and hiking enthusiasts to make their adventures less irritating. Landscape professionals and telephone line climbers are also gravitating to this product en mass. In short, this product is designed with your misery in mind. It works. It works well. It works fast. One also has to love a product that “Sasquatch Endorses” (per the website). Retail: $24.99 Not available in store but a quick Google search will find it.

2. Rubbing Alcohol (isopropyl alcohol): As boring as this product sounds, nothing beats the price. Alcohol towelettes can purchased for pennies on the dollar compared to other washes and solvents. While, the resin of poison oak and poison ivy is not soluble in water, a few wipes of the alcohol towelette will do the trick. They travel well in almost any circumstances and environment. Most pharmacies carry them alongside their diabetic supplies, so don’t be afraid to ask if you cannot find them in the aisles. Mineral spirits available at all hardware and art supply stores is another alternative. Retail: $3-$7 per 100 towelettes.

3. Benadryl (diphenhydramine): One of the substances released by your skin that causes itching is histamine. Diphenhydramine has been around since the second World War and is a potent blocker of the histamine receptor on skin cells. The mast cell lingers about within your skin just loaded with histamine granules. Under a microscope, it resembles a balloon filled with little marbles just waiting to pop. The release of these histamine granules is the primary conjuror of both the rash and the itch. The oral formulation can cause sedation and is the active ingredient in many night time sleep aids. Therefore, caution is advised if you are not sure how sensitive you are to it. This virtually ubiquitous cream is available at any grocery store, gas station, or pharmacy. Retail: $2-5 per 1-2 ounces. Non-sedating oral histamines include claritin, zyrtec, and allegra to name a few. None of these are currently available in topical formulation.

4. Calamine Lotion: This old standby will not go away-and for good reason. It is cheap and it offers a small degree of immediate relief. Zinc oxide and iron are the two major components but its anti-itch properties are attributed to the phenol inside. It is sold in many different formulations but my favorite is Caladryl (which contains generic benadryl as well). Everyone probably has a childhood summer memory of their bubble gum pink extremities compliments of grandma for that sunburn or poison oak rash. However it was not until several years ago that the U.S Food and Drug Administration came around to officially recommending its application for poison oak and poison ivy. Calamine works better if kept refrigerated in my experience. Retail $5-10

5. Technu: Short for “New Technology” this product serves mainly as a wash for the poison oak resin. This product is extremely popular and its parent company has been a marketing geniuses in its promotion. The main ingredient is deordorized mineral spirits and some alcohol compounds (See #2). While it does work for many people, a study in the International Journal of Dermatology concluded that it offered no cost benefit when compared to washing with Dial soap. Whatever method of washing off the resin one chooses, it needs to be done within 15 minutes of exposure. Once the resin has fused with your skin cells, the immune system will go ballistic and spawn that nasty rash. Of interest, Technu was first formulated to wash off radioactive dust in the 1960’s. Retail: Technu $15-39.99.

6. Ivy Block: This is my favorite preventative product for poison oak and poison ivy. The idea of slathering impure clay on your skin to absorb plant resin sounds reasonable to any Neanderthal. But thank the good folks at Ivy Block for creating an elegant and safe formulation acceptable to modern man. The use of medicinal clay is well recorded in ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt and likely dates back much longer. A patented form of bentonite clay blocks the resin from encountering your skin’s immune system. It should be applied 15-20 minutes before one anticipates exposure. I like this product because it is safe for children, effective, and with a little imagination connects us to our ancient medicinal roots. It is such a good absorber of oil that bentonite can be used to treat acne and excessive oiliness of the skin (Clearasil is a such a product). Retail $8.99-25.99.

7. Gold Bond Itch Cream: Gold Bond, originally made by Tennesseans and later sold to the French, combines topical zinc with the soothing calm of menthol and pramoxine. All the major pharmacy chains carry their own generic version for a few dollars less. Retail: $4-5 per 1-2oz tube.

8. Hydrocortisone: Perhaps nothing evokes as much fear in my patients as hydrocortisone. People automatically recall images of a bloated relative that had been taking “cortisone pills” for years. It is hard to get in trouble with over-the-counter strength topical hydrocortisone if used for a week or two. Like Sasquatch Itch Cream, it shuts down the inflammation on a cellular level. However, it does not provide any immediate or intermediate relief. A good slathering of hydrocortisone can take up to 48 hours to start taking effect. Technically it can purchased OTC in 2.5% but it is hard to find, as the 1% seems to be the manufactures’ preference. Retail: $3-7 1-2 ounces (usually more if mixed with aloe).

9. Ivarest: Billed as a “Dual Relief” cream, Ivarest Poison Ivy Itch Cream is a reasonably sound product at a good price. It contains generic benadryl (see 3) and calamine (see 4). There is also some benzyl alcohol that soothes on contact. What I like about Ivarest is the tone-neutral calamine it contains. Other than the smell and mild residue it leaves behind, one cannot tell you have it on. It is an elegant formulation at the right price for mild poison oak & ivy discomfort. Retails: $4-8 bottle. Ivarest also is sold as a wash in a liquid-to-foam technology. I am not aware of any credible studies on this wash compared to Technu or just plain soap. I have a feeling it would not compare any more favorably to soap or rubbing alcohol than Technu did however.

10. Triamcinolone Injection: Yes this is not available over-the-counter and perhaps does not belong on this list. But it is my workhorse in the office. If the above treatments fail you, a good intramuscular slug of triamcinolone will get you back to your old self. It is readily available in nearly every ER and doctor’s office. Cost: $30-100 (plus office visit)

Of course the best treatment is prevention. Learn what noxious plants in your area look like and how to identify them. To learn more about poison oak & ivy, you may wish to read the article “A Dermatologist Ponders Poison Oak”.

Cold Sore Treatment – Potent Ways to Get Rid of Cold Sores

Cold sore treatment is necessary for millions of people every day. That is why you will find many cold sore treatment remedies at the store. The demand for relief is great.

But, do not expect the drug store cold sore treatment products to speed the healing of your cold sores, oral herpes or fever blisters. They just simply have not been shown to do so.

Here are five cold sore treatment options that are cheap, easy and quite powerful. Watch your cold sores and oral herpes lesions just melt away.

1. ACIDOPHILUS. Friendly bacteria that can help resolve cold sores and oral herpes quickly.

Raw yogurt is rich in acidophilus but commercial pasteurizing kills it. You can purchase live acidophilus in capsules in the refrigerated section of a vitamin or health food store.

Acidophilus works best when taken with milk or other dairy product. You can put live acidophilus back into yogurt by dumping the contents of three or four capsules into a container of yogurt and stirring well.

Leave sit in the fridge for a day and you have a powerful cold sore remedy. You can eat it, and dab it on your cold sores. This one-two punch is quite powerful as a cold sore treatment.

2. GARLIC OIL. Garlic is powerful first aid for any virus, bacterial infection or fungus. As a cold sore treatment, the oil of garlic is very concentrated and an excellent topical remedy for cold sores.

The herpes simplex virus that causes cold sores (oral herpes) will flee from garlic oil. And, it helps keep the scab soft. This avoids painful cracking of the crust and the resulting delay in healing.

Bottled garlic oil works fine. You can find it at health food stores or better vitamin stores. But, fresh oil from crushed garlic is best – and most recommended. You can even cut a clove and rub it on the sores.

Also, eating fresh garlic will help immensely. Even the odorless garlic capsules will help. The combination of internal and external garlic cold sore treatment will give you the best results.

3. B VITAMINS. Also known as the stress vitamins, B vitamins (and vitamin C) are essential for your body to cope with daily stress.

Stress is the number one trigger for cold sores and oral herpes outbreaks. Continued stress also makes it difficult to heal these sores quickly.

You can purchase a stress formula or take a good daily vitamin that contains 50 milligrams or better of B vitamins, and 500 milligrams or more of vitamin C. Some take up to 2000 milligrams of vitamin C during an event.

Taking a daily dose of B and C vitamins has dramatically reduced the quantity and duration of cold sores for many sufferers. And you will enjoy better over-all health to boot.

4. MINT. Herbal mint seems to perform as an excellent cold sore treatment. Some nutrients in mint have a very strong anti-viral action.

Many herbal teas contain mint. Drinking mint tea during an outbreak will help greatly. Applying the tea directly to the sore with a tissue will help also.

Many people also apply the warm mint tea bag to the sore with excellent results. You can expect to reduce the duration of cold sores and oral herpes by 50% or more with this remedy.

5. HYDROGEN PEROXIDE. Keeping cold sores clean is essential for fast recovery. Hydrogen peroxide is the best choice as a cold sore treatment for this purpose.

Hydrogen peroxide kills germs as well or better than alcohol. In addition, it contains additional oxygen molecules that it leaves behind. This can speed healing a lot.

Also, peroxide raises the pH level at the site. Cold sores do best in a low pH (acid) environment. By raising the pH level to an alkaline state, you discourage the herpes virus (that causes cold sores and oral herpes) from further activity.

Hopefully you will find the above cold sore treatment methods useful. These are some of my favorites, but there are many more. Keep searching and testing. They don’t all work the same for everybody.

Most folks find ultimate success by combining two or more of these remedies to create their own personalized cold sore treatment plan.

Safe Treatment for Atopic Dermatitis Or Ezcema – What Drug Companies and Doctors Would Not Tell You

Would you believe I had Atopic Dermatitis well into the teenage years? Would you believe that doctors then and NOW do not believe there is a strong connection between foods, the environment and skin diseases like Atopic Dermatitis and Psoriasis. As a result, doctors would continue to harm patients with steroids drugs (oral, injections, and topical) and a continuous supply of pharmaceutical designer poisons.

My diet changed in specific ways when I was in medical school because back then I wanted to eat healthier. I Consumed a lot fruits and drank a lot of fresh juices every morning till noon. My meals were mostly vegetarian. Red meat were eliminated. All dairy products were eliminated (milk and cheese and any food/drink with either or both). I am Not saying all these are related to the cause or aggravation of eczema but they helped me markedly. The doctors wanted me to live on Topisolon (steroid cream) and Piriton (an anti-histamine, anti-itch). These were my teenage years; not yet a doctor or a medical student.

All medical therapies have severe side-effects!!!!

What Can You Do To Stop The Itch?

Salt water and warm compress. Add salt to warm water, stir; keep repeatedly adding salt and stirring until the salt starts to settle at the bottom. Soak a cloth and put it over the affected area. If it does not work with table salt, then try a more quality salt (sea salt, for example).

Hydrate Your Skin From The INSIDE Out.

Do NOT rely on creams and lotions. Proper hydration through a lot of fresh Alkaline juices and vegetables and fruits. Juices and fruits must be consumed on an empty stomach; do not combine with other foods.

Supplement with omega-3 whole food supplements (for example, krill or fish oil).

Whatever dries your skin (soaps, excessive bathing, chemicals) and you can avoid, DO SO!!! Patients would expose their skin to harsh chemicals and demand medications to treat a symptom; when the cause, avoidance, is well within their capability.

Your Diet and Your Skin

Remember what I wrote above? I changed my diet and my eczema was cured. I got a divorce and my Psoriasis was instantly cured!!!! This is NOT anecdotal. The skin is intimately related to your diet and stress level.

Avoid wheat. Avoid gluten. Avoid soy. Avoid Artificial drinks. Avoid All Dairy. Avoid eggs. Avoid Red Meat.

Consider taking a probiotic to aid digestion. And, last: Sunshine! Sunshine! Sunshine! Sunshine! I am Not endorsing taking vitamin D supplements. Gentle exposure to plenty of sunshine helps dramatically.

So there you have it. These simple measures, implemented over time, will control or cure your atopic dermatitis.