Chiropractic And Reflux

Mum sits in the chiropractor's waiting room with a towel over each shoulder and both of them usually smell badly. If you wait long enough, usually not very long, baby will vomit onto one of those towels – again! This is the typical picture of the child with gastro-oesophageal reflex, or just plain reflux as most parents refer to it as.

What is reflux?

Reflux is a condition which involves repetitive vomiting by a baby whose sphincter muscle at the stomach end of the oesophagus has not fully matured. This makes the movement of food somewhat uncoordinated. The sphincter is a clever little muscle that opens to let food through to the stomach, and then closes to keep it from regurgitating. In some babies, this sphincter sometimes inappropriately opens and lets food and stomach acid back up into the oesophagus. This usually results in forceful vomiting, hence the mum with towels over both shoulders. Reflux is very common in the first 3 months of life as the sphincter develops, but after that this condition could have a different cause.

What are the symptoms of reflux?

Although some babies with reflux are very distressed and miserable, by far the majority seems untroubled by their condition – they just vomit endlessly and seemingly without effort. Of those babies who continue to vomit beyond the third month of life, at least half will be symptom free by their first birthday or before. In others, there is the possibility of complications. The more common complications are oesophagitis, a condition in which the oesophagus becomes inflamed due to the action of the stomach acid, and aspiration, a condition where the child inhales small amounts of vomit and ends up with respiratory troubles and Failure-to-Thrive.

What causes my baby to vomit?

As stated above, immaturity of the sphincter between the oesophagus and stomach leads to vomiting in babies. This is facilitated by the fact that the length of the oesophagus is very short in the baby and offers little resistance to vomiting. A smaller than usual stomach size accompanied by rapid feeding will also lead to vomiting. One of the most important reasons why babies regurgitate however relates to poor peristaltic function. Peristalsis is the wave like motion in the intestine which moves food forward. This function is under control of the nervous system.

How can a chiropractor help?

When there is a chiropractic type problem in the baby's nervous system, often related to the birth process, it may affect peristalsis and cause excessive vomiting. A simple, very gentle chiropractic adjustment can relieve this neurological problem and get the baby's peristalsis working at the right level. Many babies with excessive vomiting benefit from chiropractic care. Do you have a baby that suffers from reflux – why not see your chiropractor today and see if there is a problem?

Where else can I find help?

Your chiropractor will be able to advise you of groups and organizations in your local area, or if you need to see your family doctor or pediatrician in extreme or persistent cases. In most countries there are also some organizations that specialize in helping mothers with babies who are experiencing symptoms such as colic and reflux.

Dog Poisoning Symptoms

As a proud dog owner, you owe it to yourself to know the Dog Poisoning Symptoms in case your curious dog explores dangerous territories. But did you know that YOU, the owner of that precious canine, could be slowly poisoning him / her a little every day?

Check For Dog Poisoning Symptoms

First of all, let's identify some of the Dog Poisoning Symptoms. Does your dog suffer from a mouth irritation, skin rash, lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea, no appetite, excess drooling, staggering, hallucinations, breathing difficulty, bleeding disorders, muscle tremor, sight loss, seizure, heart failure, kidney or liver problems? These are all Dog Poisoning Symptoms.

Now we all know that your dog can get poisoned by some chemical products, and if you witness this, then you must react fast! Remove your dog from the poisoning source, identify the poison as quick as possible, and if need be, call the poison control center for more information and direction.

Are You Poisoning Yor Dog?

But how is it possible that you could be poisoning your dog without knowing it, without your dog even ingesting a visible chemical product? Through extensive research, it has been discovered that dog food contains at least 6 deadly chemicals that have already been banned from human foods. They could be poisoning your family dog! I know it's the I hard to believe, but Commercial Dog Food Could Be Killing Your Dog Because of the Preservatives it the contains.

Now that you know some of the Dog Poisoning Symptoms, you may want to analyze your dogs behavior a little closer. Do not think just because you're not seeing it on the label, that it is not there. Because these preservatives are often added at the rendering plant and not by the manufacturer, and the manufacturer is not required to include it on the label, if they did not actually add it to the dog food. Ethoxyquin (EQ) is used to preserve most dry pet food. And EQ is the most powerful of all preservatives … and may be the most toxic. The use of EQ is permitted in pet food.

The Dog Poisoning Symptoms found through dog food intake has been revealed through several studies on the topic of Dog Food Investigation. You may become very upset as I did, when reading what the dog food manufactures are allowing us to feed our dog!

Peptic Ulcer – 10 Ways To Manage It

Different types of drugs are employed in the management of peptic ulcer. The different groups of drugs each play a specific role in the healing of the ulcer or in helping to reduce the secretion of gastric juices. Diet control and surgery can also be involved depending on the type and stage of the ulcer. Some of the drugs for the management of peptic ulcer include:

1. Anbiotics: With recent knowledge that peptic ulcer is caused by a bacterium, antibiotics treatment is now being employed to get rid of the offending organism. In most cases there is the use of a combination of two different antibiotics which ensure the organism is completely destroyed.

2. Antacids: Antacids are used for the symptomatic relief of peptic ulcer pains. They help to neutralize the gastric acid and also inactivate pepsin. When given for a fairly long period they aid healing. One basic problem they have is that they may interfere with the absorption of other drugs employed in the treatment of the ulcer. It is therefore advisable to take antacids about 1hr before taking other medications or 2hrs after. Examples of antacids include: Magnesium hydroxide (Philip’s milk of magnesia); Magnesium hydroxide and Aluminium hydroxide (Gestid, Maalox and Mylanta); Aluminium hydroxide (Amphogel and Alternagel); Sodium bicarbonate and Calcium carbonate (Rolaids, Titralac, etc)

3. Histamine H2-receptor antagonists: They block histamine receptor thereby minimizing gastric secretions. Examples of these drugs are Cimetidine (Tagament), Ranitidine (Zantac), Nizatidine (Axid), Famotidine (Pepcid) etc

4. Proton-pump inhibitors: helps to decrease gastric acid production and as such limit the damage done by the gastric acid on the gastric mucosal lining. Examples of this drug include Omeprazole (Prilosec), Rabeprazole (Aciphex), Esomeprazole (Nexium), Pantoprazole (Protonix) and Lansoprazole (Prevacid).

5. Sedatives: May help to reduce stress and tension which are known to increase gastric secretion. These drugs include Diazepam and Phenobarbitone. They may be given in large doses at bed time.

6. Anticholinergics: They inhibit the action of acetylcholine thereby helping to reduce gastric acid secretion and also reduce pain. They may produce nasty side effects such as decreased visual acuity, difficulty in urinating and dryness of the mouth. Example of such drug is Pro-Banthine.

7. Sucralfate (Carafate): This drug helps to make a protective coating over the crater created by the ulcer thereby preventing further damage to the affected area.

8. Surgery: Surgery may be advocated if the use of drugs fail to control the acid secretion. Surgery could also be carried out when there is severe bleeding or perforation. Some of the surgical treatments include Vagotomy and Gastric resection (subtotal gastrectomy). Gastrectomy involves removal of the ulcer bearing part of the stomach, while vagotomy is to select the branches of the vagus nerve supplying the stomach and resect it to reduce gastric secretion and decrease gastric motility.

9. Patient education: Patient should be properly educated as to the cause of the disease, complications and their prevention; the need to adhere to the diet and drug therapy and the need to report signs of complication to the doctor. Patient should also be told to avoid NSAIDS, corticosteroids, alcohol, cigarette, caffeine, etc

10. Other methods of management may include the use of herbs, homeopathy and chiropractic.

Heartburn – Is There Any Relief?

What Is It?

Despite its name, heartburn actually is not associated with the heart. Heartburn is related to a digestive disorder which occurs when the lining of the oesophagus has been in contact with stomach acids, thus causing an irritation.

At the entrance of the stomach is a muscle that prevents acids from reaching the oesophagus by closing off after food is swallowed. Heartburn occurs when the oesophagus doesn’t fully contract and the muscle is unable to tighten up completely, thus allowing acids to back up.

Our digestive system is quite large, bigger than what we would actually imagine. If you were to unwind it completely it would measure out to be about 30 feet. So that means that anything that is passed through our mouths has to make the whole way through the 30 foot long digestive track. It’s important to note that each part of our digestive system has a vital role to play, like our stomach for example; it breaks down food by mixing it with acids and enzymes. The small intestine provides good bacteria, most of us know about good bacteria. They help digest food and absorb it for delivery into the bloodstream. The large intestine takes the salts and waters out of your food. It also needs good bacteria to break down any undigested material that may be left over.

So even if, one part of your digestive system is not functioning perfectly, you will end up knowing about it through some form of digestive disorder, most commonly heartburn.

What Can Help?

“The use of aloe vera will be the most important single step forward in the treatment of diseases in the history of mankind.”

Dr. McDaniel, M.D., Chief of Pathology, Dallas-Fort Worth Medical Centre

Aloe vera can be just as effective on the inside as it is on the outside of our bodies. For many years people have been drinking aloe vera and reaping the health benefits from it, including relief from heartburn. Others have found it may be very beneficial for detoxifying the body, cleansing the colon, improving digestion and circulation, helping heal ulcers and purifying the blood stream. It is also said that aloe vera juice may be beneficial for a person suffering with intestinal or stomach problems. Aloe Vera may also aid the digestive tract to operate smoothly. The miraculous Aloe leaf has 200 compounds, including 20 minerals, 18 amino acids & 12 vitamins. Aloe vera gel juice is favoured by those looking to maintain a healthy digestive system and gain a natural boost in energy.

Protease, Lipase and Amylase are just some of the good quality ingredients found in them that are needed for our digestive system.

Serrapeptase is another important ingredient that works on preventing and removing away any dead tissues and unhealthy inflammations. Heartburn over a long period of time can cause inflammation and scarring in the oesophagus; serrapeptase aids in calming down the inflammation and starts the healing process on any scar tissues.

Tension Headache – Ayurvedic Herbal Treatment

A tension headache is the most commonly prevalent headache. It generally produces a diffuse, usually mild to moderate pain over the head. Many people liken the feeling to having a tight band around the head. A tension headache may also cause pain in the back of the neck at the base of the skull. Common symptoms include a headache; tenderness in the scalp, neck and shoulder muscles; insomnia; fatigue; irritability; loss of appetite; and difficulty in concentration. Tension headache is not usually associated with visual or other general disturbances and is not aggravated by activity. The exact cause of tension headache is not known; previously it was considered to be related to muscular tension, and currently, it is believed to be related to changes in the brain neurotransmitters. Tension headache can be either episodic or chronic, and is potentially triggered by stress, depression, anxiety, lack of sleep, skipped meals, certain medications and hormonal changes, especially in women.

The Ayurvedic treatment of tension headache is aimed at controlling the symptoms, treating the cause, if known, and preventing recurrence. Medicines like Triphala-Guggulu, Yograj-Guggulu, Kaishor-Guggulu, Trayodashang-Guggulu, Maha-Vat-Vidhwans-Ras, Vat-Gajankush-Ras, Dashmoolarishta, Vish-Tinduk-Vati, Nirgundi (Vitex negundo) and Sarpagandha (Rauwolfia serpentina) are used to control the headache. If the headache is usually associated with recurrent sneezing or chronic sinusitis, medicines like Tribhuvan-Kirti, Sitopaladi-Churna, Talisadi-Churna and Yashtimadhuk (Glycerrhiza glabra) are used. If the headache is associated with symptoms of hyper-acidity and peptic ulcer, medicines like Laghu-Sutshekhar, Sutshekhar-Ras, Praval-Bhasma, Shankh-Bhasma, Bhunimbadi-Qadha and Praval-Panchamrut are used. An unpredictable type of headache with irregular periodicity is believed to be due to ‘Vat’ and is treated using medicines like Maha-Vat-Vidhwans-Ras, Vat-Gajankush-Ras, Sameer-Pannag-Ras and Bhruhat-Vat-Chintamani-Ras.

Godanti-Bhasma (Purified gypsum) and Sarpagandha form the main stay of treatment for tension headache. Pathyadi-Qadha is a herbal combination which is used on a long term basis to control tension headache and prevent recurrence. In order to treat stress-related factors, medicines like Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri), Jatamansi (Nardostachys jatamansi), Mandukparni (Centella asiatica), Shankhpushpi (Convolvulus pluricaulis) and Vacha (Acorus calamus) are used.

Local applications, usually on the forehead, are also used to treat tension headaches. For the ‘Vataj’ and ‘Kaphaj’ types of headaches, a paste of Sunthi (Zinziber officinalis) is applied, while for the ‘Pittaj’ type, a paste containing Chandan (Santalum album), Yashtimadhuk, Saariva (Hemidesmus indicus) and Usheer (Vetiveria zizanioidis) is used. For intractable headaches, application of leeches on the forehead brings about a dramatic relief from pain.

It is important to rule out serious causes of headache before making the diagnosis of tension headache. Adequate lifestyle modifications need to be made in order to avoid or minimize the known precipitating factors for this condition. Regular physical activity like aerobic exercises, yogic asanas and relaxation techniques like pranayam are very important in controlling and preventing tension headaches.

How To Use Cayenne To Cure Bad Breath

Bad breath or halitosis is a common cause for worry and embarrassment for many people especially when the condition becomes chronic, meaning the person suffers from it all the time. It makes them very conscious of their surroundings and it may hinder the social life of the person. Those people may want to begin eating more cayenne pepper, as it has been proven to be a simple solution to many bad breath problems. While it will probably not work as a permanent remedy, cayenne pepper has been noted as a possible substance for treating mild cases of halitosis.

Bad breath may have its origin associated with oral problems (teeth and gum problems), systemic problems (those arising from the respiratory tract, lungs, stomach and digestive tracts) or from illness such as cold, infections in the throat, tonsillitis, etc. It may also be caused due to drying of the mouth (xerostomia) and due to poor oral hygiene.

If the condition is caused due to systemic problems, it can be reduced by removing or treating the systemic cause. Bad breath due to problems from the stomach is associated with conditions such as gastritis, reflux, heart burn, ulcers, etc.

Treating such systemic conditions is done with the help of drugs that are prescribed by a physician. In addition to this, there are some herbal cures and some homemade remedies that help alleviate the problem to certain extent. One such option to cure systemic conditions arising from the stomach is Cayenne Pepper. Cayenne and bad breath are polar opposites. The chemicals in this food attack and can break down many of the internal gastrointestinal chemicals which cause bad breath. Again, while it may not work for all people, this is a fast and easy way to prevent bad breath problems from arising in the first place.

Cayenne, whose scientific names are Capsicum frutescens or Capsicum annuum, is a hot pepper that is derived from capsicum and has an active ingredient called capsaicin. It is regularly used to treat a variety of conditions such as sinusitis, headaches, asthma, diabetes, pneumonia, arthritis, psoriasis, etc. It is helpful in improvement of blood circulation and the removal of toxins from the body. It is also helpful in treating a variety of gastrointestinal problems and aids in improving the digestion.

This substance is used to combat bad breath both directly and indirectly. The peppers are used directly when the source for bad breath is a dry mouth and indirectly when the cause is an underlying gastrointestinal problem.

Capsaicin in the pepper is helpful in combating bad breath by improving the flow of saliva and stimulating stomach secretions. In cases of dry mouth, chewing on some peppers of cayenne improves flow of saliva and thus reduces bad breath.

Cayenne has been recommended in treatment of gastritis, ulcers and in dyspepsia (difficulties in digestion). It is also used to stimulate hunger by taking it in the capsular form before food. It helps in improvement in peristaltic action in the digestive tracts and in repair of the tissues of the stomach. It also helps the body in stimulating the release of hydrochloric acid that is necessary for digestion.

Combating these gastrointestinal problems helps in indirectly reducing bad breath as these problems are a cause for halitosis. In addition to helping you get more saliva in your mouth, this substance is also helpful in improving the clearance of waste from the system thus reducing intestinal gases that may cause bad breath.

Cayenne, though a hot pepper, is a helpful ingredient in reducing gastrointestinal problems and is frequently used by many people suffering such problems and associated problems such as bad breath.

5 Symptoms of Poor Blood Circulation

Below, we will outline the most common symptoms of poor blood circulation that doctors see when dealing with patients. Impaired circulation of blood to the legs is almost always what is being discussed when a doctor mentions circulation problems, so it is important to keep that in mind throughout the rest of this article. When patients are developing poor leg circulation, the symptoms below are the ones that they most often report to the doctor.

Before any of the other symptoms of impaired circulation that are in our list, this is the first one that causes patients to become concerned. One of the first things that takes a person to the doctor, and this is especially the case with diabetics, is a lingering cramping or numbness in the feet.

The swelling of the lower legs is another of the primary symptoms of circulation problems. This swelling is usually referred to by doctors as edema. There is an easy way to check for edema on your own; just press firmly against the skin of your lower leg for fifteen seconds or so. The presence of an indentation where you were pressing against your leg several seconds after you pull your finger away tells you that edema is present. This excess fluid will eventually result in color changes as the skin breaks down, first to a red color and then to a brown.

The next symptom is tired, achy legs. Sitting or standing for a long time also tends to make it worse.

Libido can also be affected if you are suffering from circulation problems. The presence of good blood circulation is one of the most necessary aspects to successful intimacy, and the presence of impaired circulation can certainly make things much more difficult.

An important sign to watch for, again especially if you are diabetic, is a scratch or wound on the leg that isn’t healing properly. The loss of circulation can be very worrisome because of the amount of blood flow that is necessary in order for healing to happen.

Circulation issues often occur with the exhibition of a number of different symptoms. The aching or numbness of the legs may be the first thing that you notice, but it especially important to begin treatment if you start seeing discoloration or if you start to develop open wounds on your legs. Most doctors will usually recommend compression socks as part of the treatment for circulation issues, and there are many different manufacturers, such as Jobst medical legwear.

Bacteria, the Foundation of Life

Bacteria are often maligned as the causes of human and animal disease. However that is true only for some bacteria. In fact bacteria are the basis for life. Without them no life at all would have been possible on our planet. Bacteria is a plural word. The singular for this word is “bacterium. They have one chromosome of double-stranded DNA in a ring and most are friendly. Only a few cause disease. But then what life form is there including plants and animals, a few of whom do not cause problems. Bacteria are life because they can multiply by duplication. However, they do not multiply by mating as higher life forms do. In the process, occasionally there are genetic mutations that are preserved creating new genes. Most chance mutations are eliminated by matching between male and female genes during multiplications in higher life forms.

Thus, bacteria are at the foundation of creation of life forms. The genes of more advanced creatures including humans are identical to bacterial genes and that is the source from which they have been derived. Bacteria can transfer their genes to other life forms through a variety of processes. Bacterial genes are enclosed in a cell wall but within that wall they do not have a protective nucleus to protect the genes further thus making the modification of bacterial genes much easier than the genes in the cells of higher life forms. A type of bacteria called cynobacteria, the basic cell type of plants is responsible for producing oxygen. Without them oxygen breathing life forms would not have been possible.

Although bacteria do not carry out sexual multiplication they do appear to enjoy sex of a different kind. They have appendages called pilli. This hollow, hair like structures made of protein allow bacteria to attach to other cells. A specialized pilus, the sex pilus, allows the transfer of plasmid DNA from one bacterial cell to another. That is how they transfer antibiotic immunity from one bacteria to another. Bacteria can acquire new genes by taking up DNA molecules (e.g., a plasmid) from their surroundings or from other bacteria.

Bacteria respond to variations in their environment by altering their gene expression pattern; thus, they express different enzymes depending on the carbon sources and other nutrients available to them as well as toxins in the environment that can damage them. Bacterial gene regulation is extremely efficient and the bacterial genome is highly organized. Bacteria appear to be adapt perfectly to a variety of environments, and they are ready to respond to whatever environmental changes they encounter by employing elegant and complex regulatory mechanisms. A modern theory of creation called Panspermia postulates that life has arrived on earth by a transfer of bacteria from outer space.

Coronary Artery Calcium Scans Detect Early Stages of CAD

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in men and women in the United States. Approximately 50% of acute myocardial infarction’s occur in people without any history of coronary artery disease. Sudden cardiac death is often the first sign of coronary heart disease. Coronary atherosclerosis is a slow progressive disease that oftentimes goes unrecognized until the person develops symptoms. By the time symptoms start to occur coronary artery disease is usually in a relatively advanced stage requiring either percutaneous or surgical revascularization. The opportunity for disease prevention or aggressive risk factor modification is missed. What is needed is a way to identify asymptomatic people who are at high risk for cardiovascular events early in their disease process. Traditional cardiovascular risk factors are well established (elevated lipid levels, hypertension, smoking, obesity, lack of exercise, diabetes, family history heart disease) and helpful to predict future cardiovascular disease. Many people however suffer cardiovascular events in the absence of these established coronary artery disease risk factors.

Myocardial infarctions usually occur in patients who have a mild of moderate coronary artery stenosis that develops plaque rupture and leads to an acute thrombosis. These mild to moderate coronary lesions may not cause symptoms and/or may not cause enough ischemia to be picked up during a routine stress test.

During the early stages of coronary atherosclerosis calcium starts to accumulate within the plaque. As the atherosclerotic process progresses the amount of calcification increases. During the advanced stages of atherosclerosis a large amount of coronary calcification may be present.

Women have been reported to have less coronary artery calcification than men and the mean prevalence of calcification in women occurs about one decade later than in men, as does the incidence of cardiovascular events. The prevalence of calcium in adults 30 to 39 years of age is 21% for men and 11% for women, while in adults 40 to 49 years of age the prevalence is 44% in men and 23% in women. A recent study found coronary calcium scores were similar in African American and Caucasian women even though African American women had more risk factors. Diabetes mellitus and not exercising regularly was associated with increased Coronary Artery Calcium Scores in white women but not African American women. The overall prevalence of calcium in women is about half that of men until age sixty. Another study in asymptomatic women found that smoking, elevated total cholesterol levels, and hypertension were all associated with higher Coronary Artery Calcium Scores. Calcium deposits have also been found to increase with age irrespective of gender. Patients with diabetes and patients with end stage renal disease requiring hemodialysis have a higher prevalence of calcium. The more cardiovascular risk factors a person has the higher the prevalence of calcium.

Atherosclerosis is the only disease process known to cause calcium to deposit in coronary artery walls. Calcification is not a degenerative disease, it is not a part of the “normal” aging process. Calcium is not found in normal coronary arteries.

Since calcium deposits start to develop during the early stages of atherosclerosis and if we are able to identify the presence of calcium we are able to identify preclinical coronary artery disease during the asymptomatic stage. This can allow for the implementation of early aggressive risk factor reduction.

The calcium score screening heart scan is a non-invasive test that detects calcium deposits in the coronary artery walls. The test is performed with an electron beam cat scanner (EBCT) that permits very rapid scanning. The images are triggered with the assistance of ECG monitoring during diastole and a several second breath hold to eliminate motion artifact. The actual scan only takes about thirty seconds and computer software then quantifies the calcium area and density.

The EBCT detects the presence, location and extent of calcium deposits in the coronary system. Separate calcium scores may be obtained for the left main artery, left anterior descending artery, left circumflex, and right coronary artery but the total calcium score is most important. The EBCT can detect minuscule calcium deposits which is what is usually present with early coronary artery disease. The presence of any coronary calcification signifies coronary artery disease. People with low total calcium scores are at a lower cardiovascular risk than high scores.

Calcium scores range from zero (no plaque) to several thousand (extensive plaque) and is a unitless measurement calculated for the entire coronary system. A calcium score of zero indicates the absence of any calcium and an extremely low likelihood of obstructive coronary artery disease. A calcium score greater than 400 signifies extensive calcification and a high likelihood of significant coronary artery disease. (See Average Calcium Score Chart) These people should undergo further evaluation with exercise stress test or nuclear stress test for myocardial ischemia. The higher the total score the greater the overall plaque burden. Asymptomatic people with an intermediate calcium score require a thorough risk assessment and individualized risk factor modification. A person’s age and gender also need to be considered when evaluating the calcium score results. A calcium score of 175 may be average for a 65 year old male but grossly abnormal for a 55 year old female.

The calcium scoring scan is not able to identify the location of a significant coronary artery lesion nor identify the percent stenosis. The quantity of coronary artery calcium predicts the total atherosclerotic plaque mass and likelihood of developing future cardiovascular events. Coronary calcium has been reported to be an independent predictor of stable angina, myocardial infarction, cardiovascular death, and need for coronary revascularization. A study in asymptomatic adults 20 to 69 years old found that at 18 month follow-up the myocardial infarction and cardiovascular death rate was 6.6% in people who had any calcium present on scan versus 0.9% in people without any calcium. There is a direct relationship between increasing calcium scores and the occurrence of adverse events. Asymptomatic people with very high calcium scores (> 1,000) have been found to have an approximately 25% risk per year of developing a myocardial infarction of cardiovascular death. A recent study of asymptomatic adults over 45 years of age with at least one cardiovascular risk factor found a fourfold increase in cardiovascular risk in patients with coronary artery calcium scores greater than 300. A study performed on symptomatic patients found that a coronary artery calcium score greater than 170 was associated with an increased likelihood of obstructive coronary artery disease regardless of the number of risk factors present.

A recent meta-analysis reported a 92.3% sensitivity and 51.2% specificity for the accuracy of the EBCT to diagnose obstructive coronary artery disease. This makes the overall predictive accuracy approximately 70%. One advantage of the scan is there are no “false positive” scans, calcium deposits are only found in the presence of plaque. Interscan reliability of calcium scores has been questioned and has been reported to vary more with lower score. One study reported a calcium score variability of 28% in women and 43% in men when repeat scans were performed on the same individual. This really needs to be evaluated further and may be dependent on the facility, equipment of physician interpreting the results.

Non-calcified, soft plaques will not be detected by EBCT. Younger patients who are heavy smokers may not have calcium deposits present but are still at high cardiovascular risk and prone to spasm and thrombus formation. There has been some research to suggest that patients with unstable angina are prone to have fewer calcified plaques than patients with stable angina. Younger patients may develop a significant stenosis in the absence of calcification. This may falsely reassure people who are at high risk. There is not enough data to support using the coronary calcium scans in symptomatic patients of patients already know to be at high risk.

The coronary calcium scan (EBCT) is most useful in asymptomatic patients with intermediate risk, to help determine the need for aggressive risk factor management. (See Coronary Artery Calcium Scans chart below)

Traditional non-invasive tests to evaluate coronary artery disease (exercise stress test, nuclear scans, stress echocardiography) only detect coronary lesions that are severe enough to limit blood flow and cause myocardial ischemia. People with very mild coronary artery disease or early atherosclerosis will not be identified. Coronary calcium screening is able to identify non-obstructive mild coronary artery lesions before symptoms develop. Asymptomatic people with high calcium scores are also more likely to have abnormal nuclear stress tests indicative of silent ischemia. In one study 46% of patients with coronary artery calcium scores greater than 400 had an abnormal nuclear scan while 0% of patients with coronary artery calcium scores less than 10 had an abnormal nuclear scan.

EBCT scans may proved to be more beneficial for screening women. Many times women present with atypical symptoms and are more likely to have false positive exercise stress tests and/or nuclear scans. Calcium scoring scans have been reported to have a higher predictive value for significant coronary artery disease in women and less false positives than men. The negative predictive value in one study of symptomatic patients was 96% in women and 89% in men. Women with normal lipid levels are also more likely to experience angina/myocardial infarction than men. The standard lipid profile does not always adequately reflect a woman’s cardiovascular risk. A study of asymptomatic women over 55 years of age with normal lipid levels found elevated coronary artery calcium score. This is an area that needs to be evaluated further but suggests that coronary artery calcium scores may prove to be very beneficial in assessing cardiovascular risk profiles in women.

Indications for Coronary Artery Calcium Scans:

1. Family history heart disease (especially premature heart disease)

2. History of smoking

3. Hypertension

4. Obesity

5. Elevated lipid levels

6. Diabetes

7. Men over 40 years old or postmenopausal women

8. Young people with atypical symptoms

Contraindications for Coronary Artery Calcium Scans:

1. Known coronary artery disease

2. People over 70 years old (little clinical benefit)

3. Pregnant women

4. Arrhythmias (Chronic atrial fibrillation, resting tachycardia – heart rate greater than 90 bpm) will

compromise image quality

Average Calcium Scores:

Men

74 years old 521

Women

74 years old 149

You Can not Always Count on These Heart Attack Symptoms

I was the unfortunate recipient of a heart attack on Halloween night this year. I've been overweight and out-of-shape for years, but I never expected it to happen the way that it did – nor at the early age of forty-one. My action plan consisted of feeling a pain in my chest or down my arm, calling 911 and waiting by the open front door until the ambulance arrived. Well, that did not happen in my case. I was hosting a Monty Python and the Holy Grail scavenger hunt, sword fighting our guests disguised as the Black Knight. I fought somewhere between 12 and 15 people when I started getting tired. A quick thrust and parry forward and I kept falling. That was it. I had a massive heart attack, unconscious, and on the brink of death had it not been for some fast acting people who knew CPR – including my wife. None of the signs of a heart attack were present. While my case may be different, here are the five typical signs of a heart attack:

Discomfort in your chest.

Most heart attacks involve a discomfort – which is Doctor-talk for "pain" – in your chest. The term discomfort is synonymous with "slight pinch". This will typically last for longer than a few minutes. Note: I had none of this. I never felt any tightness or discomfort in my chest. When I had my heart attack – it just happened.

Discomfort in your arms, back, neck , jaw, etc …

Another symptom of a heart attack is a pain in your upper body. This could occur anywhere above your waist and is similar to the tightness in your chest. The night I had my heart attack, I was tired, but had no other pains. I had just had a break from the fighting and prepared to take on several more people. Other than a bit of sweat, I felt fine.

Shortness of breath.

Once again, with the other symptoms listed, this did not happen to me. I was tired, but it was a normal feeling that I had expected. The people I was fighting were often in better shape and younger than me so I was already prepared to be tired. The shortness of breath can be the result of a lack of oxygen going into the body. I had no feeling of being short of breath.

Breaking out in a cold sweat.

I was sweating. There is no doubt in this, but it was from the physical activity. I did not have the cold, clammy feeling associated with having a heart attack. If anything, I was overheated. While this may occur with many people, it is good to note that it is not a sure sign of heart failure.

Nausea and lightheadedness.

Of all the symptoms, this was the closest I had to the standard list, though I did not recognize it at the time. I had no symptoms of nausea, but I started getting dizzy right before I fell over. The dizziness was so sudden and I was going around in circles, so I thought it was just me. Also, I thought it was not anything to worry about, but then it was too late.

Each of these symptoms is located on most major medical web sites. They claim these are the warning signs of a heart attack, but, as you can see, I did not experience any of these. A heart attack can happen at any time and it is best to remember that you can not always count on the typical warning signs. Hopefully, if you do experience a heart attack, someone will be around you that will recognize what is happening.

Various Tests For Diagnosing Heart Disease!

People suffering from heart diseases are being treated with various heart surgery techniques. When treatments by medicines, changing lifestyle and various medical procedures fail to work, then heart surgery is the last option. Heart surgery involves treatment of coronary artery disease and cardiovascular attacks. It is also used to replace damaged heart with the healthy one as well as to fix the heart valves for the proper regulation of your heart-beat.

Whether you need heart surgery or not is decided by a doctor or a cardiologist or a cardiothoracic surgeon. As they have specialization in treating cardiovascular problems, they will advise you whether you need to go for heart surgery or not. Since there are a lot of tests that help to determine heart problems, they come in handy for diagnosing the heart disease you are suffering from. The doctor will also determine whether you do need surgery at all or not and what type of surgery you need and at what time.

There are a variety of diagnosing tests that are given below:

Diagnosing tests:

EKG (Electrocardiogram):

It is the easiest and painless test that accounts the electrical activity of your heart. This test helps in determining the source and exact position of the heart problems. The test is performed by attaching sticky patches known as electrodes to the legs, arms and the skin of your chest. Then these electrodes in turn attached to the wires of a machine that accounts the electrical signals from your heart.

The test determines whether your heart is beating properly and your pulse rate is steady or uneven. It also shows from where the electrical activity starts in your heart and will it travel in a normal way through your heart.

Stress test:

You can easily diagnose some of the heart diseases, if your pulse rate is faster and your heart, is working hard at normal times. At the time of stress testing, you are supposed to work hard so as to increase your heart beat. You can do this by exercise or if you are not able to exercise, then some medicines are given to you.

During stress testing, your EKG as well as your blood pressure is checked.

Echocardiography:

It is very simple and painless test. In this type of test, no instrument or equipments are used to perform this test. It is also known as "NON-invasive" test as no surgical tool is inserted in the body. In this test, sound waves are used which create a moving picture of your heart. It gives the information about the shape and size of the heart. It also provides the information related to the proper functioning of the heart chambers.

The test determines the areas where the less blood flow is towards your heart. It also detects the heart muscles that are not contracting properly and the damage to your heart muscle caused by poor blood flow. These are the general tests that are used to determine heart disease.

So, with the help of these tests, you can successfully diagnose your various heart problems.

The Mystery of Ed Leedskalnin

The Coral Castle in Homestead Florida is one of the most mysterious structures of modern times. Constructed by one man, Edward Leedskalnin, this 1100 structure made of huge coral blocks were single-handedly carved, moved, positioned by this 100 pound Latvian immigrant less than a hundred years ago. Although the Coral Castle itself is a great mystery, seemingly even more mysterious is the man who created it.

Ed Leedskalnin was born in Latvia in 1887 and he died in Miami, Florida in 1951. He was 64 years old. The story goes that Ed was 26 years old when he was engaged to be married to his sweetheart Agnes scuffs. Agnes was 10 years younger than Ed and he purportedly always referred to her as his Sweet Sixteen. On the day before the wedding, Agnes told Ed that she did not want to marry him for one of a variety of reasons. It could have been that he was too old for her. The other possibility for her rejection of him was that he did not have any money. It is said that Ed also thought that his fourth-grade education could have played a role in why she did not want to be with him the rest of her life. But there may have been another reason altogether more sinister than these. Edward thought that Agnes may have actually loved someone else.

Yet despite all of the possible reasons that she did not want him, and considering the severity of the rejection itself, Ed still referred to her as his Sweet Sixteen. This nickname is usually attributed to the 10-year difference between them and also the age that she was when she rejected him. There may however be another reason behind this cryptic nickname.

Devastated by his rejection, Ed decided to leave Latvia in search of something better. He wondered for several years and eventually made his way to Canada and later down into California and finally to Texas. He is supposed to have worked at a variety of places including lumber camps and was involved in at least one cattle drive which led him to the state of Texas.

Although these jobs would seemingly reflex a very healthy and stout type of person, somehow he developed a case of tuberculosis. At some point, he was told that the climate in southern Florida would be good for his condition. Despite what we know today regarding humid air and it’s potentially devastating effects for tuberculosis victims, Ed found his way to southern Florida and settled at a place called Florida City.

The acre of land that Ed bought for twelve dollars was located about 10 miles south of the current location of the Coral Castle in Homestead Florida. It is at this point that many stories arise regarding how Ed began moving and carving the enormous blocks of coral. It is said that he created his first coral piece in the shape of a circle couch with three pillows for his head all made of coral. What was more amazing was that Ed could move this several ton piece of coral with his foot while laying on it so that he could keep himself oriented with the sun as he recovered from his tuberculosis.

Most of his early coral creations were said to have been created and moved with only primitive tools. Only later at the Homestead site do we see any indication that large scale tools were used in the famous pictures which purportedly showed Ed working, despite the claims that no one has ever seen him at work.

The mystery that is most fascinating about all of this is where did Edward Leedskalnin learned to move, carve, and the balance these massive coral pieces without the aid of either modern equipment or the help of another human being? Due to the fact that this 1100 structure does exist, we know that Ed truly did do something that modern equipment and technology would find almost impossible to replicate, if replication is possible at all, and yet he had none of this at his disposal over 70 years ago.

In my opinion, Edward Leedskalnin tapped into an energy that few people have tapped into over the course of history. Ed said that he knew the secrets of the pyramid builders which indicates that Ed may have known a secret technology which may have been levitation of stones through the negation of gravity.

Another possibility that I stumbled upon is that Ed may have tapped into zero point energy and evidence of this can be seen in the symbology created at the original site of the Coral Castle. By tapping into this energy, it allowed him to do what we would call the miraculous.

The person that actually discovers how Ed was able to maneuver these enormous blocks of coral will not only, in my opinion, finally understand the true nature of gravity, but by default will upset the balance of our current world structure regarding energy by allowing all of us to tap into what many call free energy and finally end our dependency upon our current energy supplies.

Who was Ed Leedskalnin? Why did he really come to south Florida? Where did he learn how to carve, move, and balance megalithic coral blocks? We may never know his secret, but he did leave many clues behind, clues that lead us toward not only the secret of the Coral Castle, but also the secret of Edward Leedskalnin.

FUT Hair Transplant Timeline – What to Expect From Start to Finish

OK – You’ve made the decision. You’ve done your homework and due-diligence. You’ve researched your options, talked to friends who have had similar hair transplant procedures, conferred with a number of local doctors, and chose one.

You went in for a consultation, discussed your current health status, your expectations for hair restoration surgery, your financial options and taken a few days off from work.

You made a commitment to yourself to enhance your appearance and well-being and are ready for the hair restoration procedure known as follicular unit transplantation, or FUT.

Find a surgeon who will dedicate his time to you. If a doctor is managing more than a few surgeries at the same time, this is a red flag. Not only are you possibly being neglected, but your hair follicle tissues (which are time-sensitive) are being neglected as well.

Prior to the day of surgery, get a good night’s sleep and abstain from alcohol, aspirin and Vitamin E. Wear an old, button-down shirt that you can remove without pulling it over your head.

Days 1 – 10

The day has arrived. The procedure, which usually takes 4-5 hours to complete, is typically done in the physician’s office with the surgeon and a team of assistants.

You arrive early for your appointment in order to relax, check in and feel confident that the decision and realistic goals you have set in conjunction with your physician, will mitigate any disappointments and frustrations that may arise due to unrealistic expectations.

Discuss and understand your options and outcomes with your surgeon to gain an appreciation of what to expect over the coming 12 months.

The physician and his team will do everything they can to ensure your comfort during the procedure.

Once the effects of the local anesthesia have diminished, you may have pain and minor discomfort. Your doctor will prescribe analgesics to relieve this pain.

Go home and rest for 10 days. You may experience short-term numbness in the affected areas of the scalp which will soon wear off.

Sleep with your head elevated or sit up in a recliner chair to minimize swelling.

At day three, there may be mild swelling in the forehead area that will dissipate over the next three days. You may also develop small blood clots at the incision sites. These are normal and will usually flake off in 5-7 days.

You may start washing your hair gently on the 3rd day and regularly after the first week.

Ten – 14 Days Post-Op

Ten – 14 days after surgery, go back to the doctor’s office to have your staples or sutures removed.

At the 3-week mark, the transplanted hairs may shed. This is part of the lifecycle of the grafted hairs.

At this point, your scalp should be healing well, although it may still look unsightly. People heal at different rates, depending on a variety of factors including health. Smokers, diabetics and the elderly may heal more slowly than other patients.

One – 3 Months Post-Op

One – 3 months after the hair transplant surgery, most patients will have approximately 25% of new hair growth in the affected areas. The new hair may not grow in evenly, but over time it will all grow in and thicken.

Don’t panic if your head looks like it has developed acne – these are new hairs pushing up through the scalp and should be cause for cheer.

Five – 6 Months Post-Op

By the 5th or 6th month post-procedure, up to 50% of new hair growth will be visible. The new hair will be approximately 2-3 inches in length and the hair shaft will begin to thicken.

As a precaution to protect new growth hair, minimize sun exposure and avoid strong chemicals such as hair dyes or perms.

Eight – 10 Months Post-Op

At the 8 and 10-month milestones, you will see the most impressive difference since the initial surgery. Hair growth should be at 80%. The hair will be longer, thicker and more dense.

These are approximate rates and the rate of each individual’s hair growth is unique to that individual. Smoking, age and health status may affect the rate of growth.

One Year Post-Op

At your one-year anniversary, you should have the head of hair you paid for, or 90-100% of expected hair growth.

New growth may continue well past the one year mark.

Some patients may request additional density to achieve their desired results. Consult with your doctor whether additional surgeries are advisable.

Your new hair is yours for the rest of your life and can be cut, styled and washed according to preference. No special regimen is required.

Book an appointment with a high-concept stylist and enjoy your new head of hair.

The Difference Between Benign and Malignant Lung Cancer

Whether a patient’s lung cancer is diagnosed as being benign or malignant; can have a large bearing on the prognosis (life expectancy) and treatment options for that person. Although both conditions can be potentially life-threatening to a lung cancer sufferer – both are medical terms that must be fully understood (for the consequences involved) by any diagnosed cancer patient.

What is a benign lung cancer tumor?

Usually benign (a medical word used to describe a medical condition) is used to describe lung cancer tumors that are not specifically dangerous (not usually resulting in death). It is where a mass (lump) or tumor is found to be of a nuisance (an annoying problem), although not likely to cause the fatality of the patient in which it has been found (benign tumors do not have the ability to spread to other regions of the body [no metastasis – spread is present]).

What is a malignant lung cancer tumor?

When the word malignant is used (often synonymously with the word “dangerous”) for lung cancer, it usually refers to a tumor being cancerous. That is to say – the tumor has the ability to metastasize to other regions of the body (either locally, via the bloodstream, or through the lymphatic system). Although, both malignant and benign tumors do have certain similarities. For example:

(a) Both have the ability to grow large in size (size alone has no actual bearing on whether the tumor is malignant or benign).

(b) Both can be dangerous (malignant because it is cancerous, and benign because it has the ability to grow to a size that may affect the functional ability of other organs).

(c) Both have the ability to recur locally (usually after an operation has not successfully removed the tumor completely [contaminated cells are left behind]).

As with their similarities, they also have certain differences, for example:

(a) Usually benign tumors grow more slowly than those diagnosed malignant (exceptions do exist [certain benign tumors may grow more quickly than malignant tumors, and visa-versa]).

(b) Benign tumors do not metastasize to distant regions of the body as do malignant ones (malignant tumors metastasize to other regions of the body destroying important organs on their way).

(c) Malignant tumors often recur in distant regions of the body (those other than the site of origin).

So what allows malignant tumors to spread and benign ones not to?

When a benign tumor forms, the cells within manufacture chemicals (adhesion molecules) that cause them to stick together, whereas malignant tumor cells do not produce the same chemical (because of the lack of adhesion molecules [stickiness] the cells easily break away from the main tumor and float to other regions in the body).

Other differences include the following: tissue invasion (malignant), under microscopic investigation there is little likeness, benign tumors can often be removed with surgery alone, less likelihood of recurrence (benign), systemic effects such as fatigue and weight-loss are more common with malignant tumors, and benign tumors have a lower mortality rate.

Identifying Pneumonia Symptoms in Cats

Pneumonia is a condition where the lungs are affected either due to inflammation or infection. Cats are also prone to pneumonia like humans and when not identified and treated at the right time it can end in death too. This is why it is very importance to identify the symptoms of pneumonia in cats at the early stages of the disease itself. Timely and appropriate help from the veterinarian will provide the much needed relief for the pet.

Pneumonia is a disease of the lungs that is caused by bacterial, virus, parasitic or fungal infection. Rarely, pneumonia may also be triggered by inhalation of foreign objects into the lungs. Pneumonia can also occur as a secondary condition in the case of immunity compromised cases. The virus infection is usually due to parainfluenza and calci virus strains.

Here are some symptoms which you can identify easily that will help you to get timely medical treatment for your pet.

Irregular and rapid breathing is one of the early signs which indicate that the cat has got some problem with his lungs. The cat breathes in pants and the breathing is strenuous. This is due to the insufficient oxygen supply to the lungs.

The improper functioning of the lungs also affects the pulse rate. You can feel a rapid pulse which is caused by the added efforts of the heart to balance the deficient functioning of the lungs. There is also added strain and fear on the cat due to the irregular breathing which in turn affects the pulse rate and makes it to soar.

Cough is another symptom that is commonly seen in cats with pneumonia. The cough is of hacking type and may vary in intensity depending on the extent of the disease progression.

When the infection occurs it is usually accompanied by fever. Fever is as a result of the body’s efforts to ward off the infection. The cat will be warm to touch and you should consult the cat’s veterinarian before trying to give medications yourself.

Splinting is the term used to denote the tense muscles and is caused due to the incessant coughing. There might be muscle spasms that you can feel if you touch the cat.

Presence of bluish mucus membranes indicate that the cat is getting insufficient amount of oxygen supply which is caused by the improper functioning of the lungs. This happens when the disease has progressed considerably and you should get immediate veterinary help to treat the cat.

In addition to the symptoms that are mentioned here there is also a general fatigue and lethargy seen in the cat which is brought on by the disease. The disease drains off whatever energy the cat has leaving him weak and stressed.

Since pneumonia is a disease that can cause serious injury or even death to your cat you should be aware of the various symptoms that will be found if the disease occurs. This will enable you to get the necessary help from the veterinarian and treat the cat immediately with antibiotics so that the infection will be controlled and the cat will be restored to its normal health.