Menopause: Cessation of Menstrual Cycle

The anatomy as well as physiology of the female reproductive system is quite complex when compared with the male reproductive system. Menopause is a very prominent stage in the life cycle of all females. It can be simply defined as the absence of the menstrual cycle for at least 12 months. The transition of the menopause starts with varying menstrual cycle length and finally terminates into menstrual period. The menopausal transitional period is often referred to as perimenopause phase although it is not a medical term but is often used while dealing a layman. Postmenopuase period is known to commence after the last menstrual period. Menopause can also be described as a phase of the female’s life when the function of ovaries terminates. Ovaries are the female reproductive organs, located in the pelvis, one of each side of the uterus. Each ovary resembles an almond in its shape and size. They are known to produce ova as well as the female hormone estrogen.

A single egg or ovum is produced from either the right or the left ovary during each menstrual cycle. The egg then enters the Fallopian tube and finally reaches the uterus. The female hormones secreted by the ovaries participate in the development of secondary sexual characters in the female like development of breasts, body shape and body hair. These hormones also participate in the regulation of menstruation and pregnancy. Estrogens are also known to provide protection to the bones and osteoporosis develops in a female if ovaries fail to produce adequate amount of estrogen. Perimenopause is different for each woman and researchers are still under dilemma about the factors governing this phase, so study is under execution.

Commencement of menopause

In general menopause is known to enter a female’s life at the age of 51 but no one can predict that when a female is going to enter menopause. The age at which menstrual cycle starts in the life of a female is also not correlated with the onset of menopause. Majority of the females are known to enter menopause between the ages of 45-55 but menopause can also occur at the age of 30, 40 or 60 years. Perimenopause is characterized by irregularities in the menstrual cycle followed by typical symptoms of early menopause and can commence 10 years prior to last menstrual period.

Conditions affecting menopause

Certain surgical as well as medical conditions are known to cast their spell on the timing of menopause. These conditions will be dealt one by one.

1. Surgical removal of ovaries

Surgical removal of ovaries from an ovulating female is known as oophorectomy and it results in immediate menopause and the condition is sometimes also designated as surgical or induced menopause. In this condition there is no perimenopause and the female automatically experiences the signs and symptoms of menopause. The ovaries can often be removed along with the uterus and this procedure is known as hysterectomy. If uterus is removed without removal of ovaries then they function normally and produce female hormones but such a female is not able to menstruate. In this situation symptoms of menopause occur naturally. The woman can experience other symptoms of menopause like hot flashes and mood swings. These symptoms cannot be correlated with the cessation of menstruation. Such a female is liable to get affected with premature ovarian failure before commencement of menopause within 1-2 years after hysterectomy. If this condition arises then the female will not experience the symptoms of menopause.

2. Cancer chemotherapy and radiation therapy

Cancer is also known to affect ovarian function. Chemotherapy and radiation therapy are given to a female depending upon the type and location of cancer. If these treatments are given to an ovulating woman then they result in cessation of menstruation and symptoms of menopause come into play. The symptoms may arise during or after treatment.

3. Premature ovarian failure

This condition can be defined by the appearance of menopause before the age of 40. This condition is common among 1% woman population. The exact reason behind premature ovarian failure is although unknown but it is believed that autoimmune diseases and genetic factors are associated with it.

Symptoms associated with menopause

Each woman experiences a different set of symptoms. Some women experience few or no symptoms of menopause while some experience a wide variety of physical as well as physiological symptoms. The major symptoms are:

1. Irregular vaginal bleeding

Vaginal bleeding may become irregular at the onset of menopause. Some females have little problems with abnormal bleeding during perimenopause while others have excessive bleeding. Menstrual periods may occur very frequently within short intervals or may get farther and farther apart before terminating completely. There is no usual pattern of bleeding during perimenopause but it may vary from individual to individual. If a female is experiencing irregular menses then she must consult the doctor as whether the problem is due to perimenopause or some other clinical condition is associated. The abnormalities associated with the menstrual cycle during the perimenopause are also responsible for the declination of the female fertility as egg production in the ovaries also becomes irregular. However, a female under the perimenopausal state can become pregnant and should take contraceptives if she is not interested to become pregnant.

2. Hot flashes and night sweats

Hot flashes are very frequent in the females undergoing menopause. A hot flash may be defined as a feeling of warmth spreading throughout the body but is more intense on the head and chest region of the body. It is sometimes associated with flushing as well as perspiration. They may last from 30 seconds to few minutes. The exact cause of hot flash is although not known but it is believed that is the result of a combined action of hormonal and biochemical fluctuations brought about by the declining estrogen levels. One cannot predict when hot flashes will arise and for how long they will appear. Hot flashes are known to occur in 40% of females under the age group of 40 having normal menstrual cycles. So hot flashes can appear even before menopause. Hot flashes end up within 5 years in 80% of the females entering menopause and sometimes they can run for about 10 years. Sometimes hot flashes are coupled with night sweats resulting in awakening, difficulty in falling asleep again resulting in daytime tiredness.

3. Urinary symptoms

Urethral lining also undergoes changes just like the tissues of the vagina and becomes drier, thinner, loses elasticity due to declination of the estrogen levels. These changes increase the risk of urinary tract infections as well as urinary leakage. Urination may also occur suddenly with coughing, laughing and lifting of heavy objects.

4. Vaginal symptoms

The vaginal tissues also become thinner, drier and lose elasticity as the estrogen levels fall. The symptoms include vaginal dryness, itching or pain during intercourse. The vaginal changes also increase the risk of vaginal infections.

5. Emotional and cognitive symptoms

Women entering perimenopause experience a variety of emotional symptoms like fatigue, irritability, memory problems and rapid mood changes. It is difficult to explain which behavioral symptom is directly associated with the hormonal changes. Emotional and cognitive symptoms are very common among women so sometimes it becomes difficult to determine whether these changes are due to menopause or not. Night sweats during menopause can also result in fatigue and irritation.

6. Other physical changes

Weight gain is very common among women during menopause. The distribution of fat may also undergo change and may get deposited more in the waist and abdominal areas rather than the hips and thighs. Wrinkles may also appear on the skin. As the body continues to produce small levels of male hormone, testosterone, some females may develop some hairs on the chin, upper lip, chest or abdomen.

Complications associated with menopause

1. Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is very common among the females undergoing menopause. Osteoporosis is the deterioration of quality and quantity of bone resulting in increased risk of fracture. However, the density of bone tends to decline normally in the females during the fourth decade of life but it declines rapidly during the menopause. Age and hormonal changes during menopause act together resulting in osteoporosis. The process can occur slowly for many years. Women may remain unaware of these changes unless and until she encounters a painful fracture. The treatment of osteoporosis includes slowing down the rate of bone loss as well increasing bone density and strength. The treatment includes lifestyle changes like cessation of smoking and drinking alcohol, regular exercise with adequate intake of balanced diet rich in calcium and vitamin D. calcium and vitamin D supplements are prescribed for those females who do not take a diet rich in these nutrients. Medications responsible for preventing bone loss include alendronate, risedronate, ibandronate and teriparatide.

2. Cardiovascular disease

Females before menopause are at decreased risk of cardiovascular diseases when compared with men but the frequency generally increases as they approach menopause. The incidence of heart diseases is very high both among men and women in the United States. Coronary heart diseases are two-three times higher in the women reaching menopause. This may be due to the declining levels of estrogen and the women in post menopausal stage are advised not to undergo hormone therapy in order to avoid the risk of heart attacks.

Treatments available for menopause

Menopause is a normal part of life that cannot be combined with a disease. However, the treatment of related symptoms is possible so can be taken into consideration.

1. Hormone therapy (Estrogen and progesterone therapy)

Hormone Therapy (HT) or Hormone Replacement Therapy (HPT) or Postmenopausal Hormone Therapy (PHT) is a treatment that administers doses of both estrogens and progesterone. It is administered in order to prevent the symptoms associated with declination of estrogen levels like hot flashes and vaginal dryness and is still the most effective treatment available but studies have indicated that the women receiving HT have increased risk of breast cancer, heart attacks. Women receiving only estrogen therapy also have higher risk of endometrial cancer. Hormone therapy is available in the form of oral pills and transdermal forms. Transdermal hormone products are already in the active form so they don’t have to get converted into activated form in the liver. As these products have no effect on the liver they are prescribed for majority of the females. There has been an emerging interest among the researchers for the use of a bio-identical hormone for the perimenopausal women. These hormones have same chemical compositions like those produced naturally inside the body. These products are prepared in the laboratory from the naturally derived plant products and are approved by the U.S.FDA so are in market. They are also used transdermal in the form of creams or gels. The use of hormone therapy is based on the decision of both the patient and the doctor.

2. Oral contraceptive pills

Oral contraceptive pills are other form of hormone therapy that is prescribed to the females undergoing perimenopause in order to treat irregular vaginal bleeding. Before prescribing these pills the doctor must check that whether the irregular vaginal bleeding is due to perimenopause or some other factors are associated with it. These do not provide relief from hot flashes but prevent a female from becoming pregnant.

3. Local hormone and non-hormone treatments

Vaginal estrogen deficiency is also treated with the local hormonal treatments. These include vaginal estrogen ring, vaginal estrogen cream or vaginal estrogen tablets. Local and oral estrogen treatments are sometimes combined. Vaginal moisturizing creams or gels or use of lubricating agents during intercourse are non-hormonal agents used to prevent vaginal dryness. Application of Betadine topically on the outer vaginal area or soaking in a bathtub or warm water may also relive the symptoms of vaginal pain or burning sensation after sexual intercourse.

4. Antidepressant medications

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are a class of drugs most frequently used to control the symptoms of hot flashes and have given positive results in 60% of the women. The common examples of these drugs include venlafaxine, citalopram, fluoxetine, paroxetine and sertraline. However, antidepressants are associated with some side effects like sexual dysfunction.

5. Plant estrogens or phytoestrogens or isoflavones

Isoflavones are chemical compounds present in soy and are plant derived estrogens. The structure of these plant estrogens is exactly similar to those produced in the body but their effectiveness is somewhat lower in comparison to the body estrogens. Their estrogen potency is estimated to be about 1/1,000 to 1/100,000 of that of natural estrogen. Two types of isoflavones namely, genistein and daidzein have been derived from soybeans, chickpeas and lentils that are considered to be the most potent phytoestrogens. Some studies have shown that these compounds help in relieving hot flashes and other symptoms of menopause. Women suffering from breast cancer are also prescribed these phytoestrogens if they do not want to undergo hormone therapy (HT) during menopause transition. Some researchers have however shown that excessive intake of these plant derived estrogens result in over-growth of the tissues lining the uterus which can result in the development of cancer.

6. Vitamin E

Some women have reported that intake of vitamin E supplements can also help in relieving hot flashes but this fact lacks scientific support. Taking a dosage of greater than 400 IU of vitamin E is not safe as it increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases.

7. Black Cohosh

Black cohosh is an herbal preparation popular in Europe often prescribed against hot flashes. The North American Menopause Society does not support the short term usage of this herbal preparation

8. Non-pharmaceutical therapies

Survivors of breast cancer or females not interested to take oral or vaginal estrogens are prescribed vaginal lubricants however, they are not very effective.

So it can be concluded that menopause is a natural state of body and the symptoms can be controlled by the medications mentioned above.

How to Treat Sinus Polyps Effectively

Nasal polyps are known to cause a number of ailments in humans. They are fleshy growths or swellings that are found in the inner lining of the nasal passage and sinuses. Though these growths are benign, they can still cause quite a bit of bother to the person affected by them. Polyps come in a variety of size and appearance, varying from pink to yellowish brown in color. There are no fixed patterns in the growth of polyps and these are known to grow separately or even in clusters. They can be found in both nostrils at times or even in a single nostril.

The abundance of nasal polyps in an individual can lead to various problems, including breathing difficulties, reduced capability of smell and respiratory illnesses as well. Sinusitis is known to be caused due to the presence of nasal polyps growing in the para nasal sinuses. It is good to know that there are a number of treatment options available for polyps, though the following aspects will have to be kept in mind while looking at treatment options –

* When deciding on a treatment option, it is important to gauge the effect that it will have on your finances. With different options available at different prices, careful consideration must be done.

* Keeping in mind the treatment process is also vital. It is important to have a procedure that will be effective and least risky. Having a good background check on the professional who will perform the procedure will be a good way to be safe.

* The health of the individual will also play an important role. Any treatment option that is not viable for your health condition will not help you in the long run. So, be sure that the treatment you go for will not deteriorate the situation any further.

The three most common methods for treatment of polyps are –

* Home remedies can be used for treating mild cases of polyps. This can be achieved by learning all the facts that you can about this condition. In most cases it can be cured without a trip to the doctor.

* Corticosteroids are also used as methods of treatment in slightly severe cases. These can be available in the form of tablets, drops or sprays. However, these offer temporary results, as they shrink the size of the polyps for a certain amount of time.

* In case of constantly recurring polyps, problems can be cured with surgical intervention. However this should be treated as a last resort when all other options have been exhausted.

There are various sinus home remedies that can be used to provide relief from nasal polyps-related sinusitis. These remedies are highly efficient and do not cause any harmful side effects.

Cyst on Ovary – Should This Be a Concern?

Have you been diagnosed with a “cyst on ovary”? This may seem like a terrifying diagnosis, but it happens to many women.

What Are Ovaries?
The ovaries are two organs that are a key part of the female reproductive system. They are on each side of the uterus located in the pelvis. Each ovary is about the size of an almond. The ovaries main function is to produce eggs (ova) and female hormones. Hormones are chemicals that carry message from glands to cells to maintain proper organ function. During the first half of a woman’s menstrual cycle, the ovaries produce estrogen and during the second half of the cycle another hormone Progesterone, starts being produced.

What Is A Cyst On Ovary?
It is important to get a firm diagnosis of what the type and the size of the cyst you have before considering different treatment possibilities.

A cyst on your ovary is a sac containing fluids and sometimes a solid mass. Cyst on ovary is a result of the small shift in the otherwise normal functioning ovary. The most common ovarian cysts are functional cysts.

There Are Two Kinds of Functional Cysts:functional and abnormal. These are then further broken down, depending on the size, characteristic, and cause. Functional cysts are the most common type of cyst and are usually caused by a small alteration in the otherwise normal function of the ovary. They are follicular cysts and luteal cysts. Follicular cysts form during the first half of the menstrual cycle and luteal cysts form during the second half of the menstrual cycle.

Follicular: The follicle is the sac that holds the egg. A follicular cyst forms when the follicle grows larger than normal during ovulation and then fails to release the egg.

Luteal: This cyst forms during the second part of your menstrual cycle after the egg has been released. When the egg is released, the ruptured follicle then develops into the corpus luteum which produces progesterone in the expectation of a pregnancy. If or when the egg is not fertilized, the corpus luteum dissolves and dies, and progesterone levels fall. That is when you begin your period. A luteal cyst is formed when the corpus luteum fails to dissolve and fills up with blood.

Abnormal Cysts Abnormal cysts are cysts that form as a result of abnormal cell growth. This does not mean however, that they are cancerous. Most of these are simply benign ovarian cysts and growths. Experts are not quite sure what causes abnormal cell growth, but these cysts can remain, without causing any problems.

Symptoms of Cyst on Ovary: These can include lower pelvic pain, irregular and painful periods, painful intercourse as well as nausea and vomiting.

How To Remove Ovarian Cyst: It is important to get a firm diagnosis before treatment. If you have a functional cyst, it may remain without any symptoms or complications. With time and proper nutrition, it may go away on its own. With abnormal cysts, It is also important to make sure your immune system is working properly so that abnormal cells can be destroyed.

There are natural treatments available to help your body achieve optimum health so that your body can rid itself of the pain and suffering caused by ovarian cysts.

Oral Thrush Caused by Yeast Overgrowth

When you get a yeast infection in the mouth, it is called Thrush, characterized by redness and white bumps and can be painful. Newborns, infants, and older adults are most susceptible, but it can occur in anyone at any age. In babies that are healthy yeast infection is not usually a serious issue and can be easily treated and cured naturally.

With a mild case of thrush the only things you may need to do is clean/sterilize baby bottle nipples and pacifiers on a regular basis and give the inside of the mouth a gentle massage with a clean moist cloth.

If breast-feeding, you need to also treat your nipples so that you don’t transfer the yeast infection back and forth between you and your child. There are antifungal medicines available out there, but then your baby gets to eat those chemicals as well, so we prefer the natural approach. You can also apply lanolin to help relieve nipple soreness.

If you wear dentures and develop thrush it is very important to clean your dentures every night and treat your mouth as well, here are the steps you should take:

-Take out the dentures before going to bed.

-Use a clean toothbrush and water to scrub them well.

-Soak them overnight in Chlorhexidine Gluconate, which you can get from a pharmacist. You can also use a denture cleaner (such as Polident or Efferdent) that is sold in most drug or grocery stores.

-If you use the Chlorhexidine Gluconate to clean your dentures, you need to rinse them very well in the morning. Do not use a fluoridated tooth paste for at least 30 minutes as Fluoride has a weakening effect on Chlorhexidine Gluconate.

There is a dye called Gentian Violet (1%). This dye will kill off bacteria and fungi. The draw back is it should only be used one time. If you do not get all the fungus you need to try another remedy. It is available without a prescription, but should only be used on adults. Here are some preventative tips that may help:

-You need to have good oral hygiene habits, like brushing twice a day, flossing once a day and using an antiseptic mouthwash. If this is your second go round with thrush you need to replace your toothbrush.

-Practice good hand washing.

-If you need to take a liquid antibiotic, you need to rinse your mouth within a few minutes of taking it.

-If you have health challenges such as diabetes, HIV, or cancers, you are at increased risk for thrush.

-You need to rinse your mouth with mouthwash after inhaling corticosteroids

-If you are afflicted with AIDS, Listerine may be particularly helpful in preventing thrush.

Here is how to help reduce the risks of spreading thrush to babies:

-During the last 3 months of pregnancy treat vaginal yeast infections. This lessens the chance baby will get thrush during delivery. Treating vaginal yeast also helps prevent thrush spreading during oral sex.

-Wash all nipples and pacifiers daily, if you prepare bottles and nipples ahead of time keep them in the refrigerator to reduce the likelihood of yeast growth.

– Yeast can start to grow on a nipple after an hour, so if baby has drunk from it you should not continue to let baby drink from it.

-Any objects baby puts in her mouth should be run through the dishwasher or boiled for 20 min.

-As soon as your baby has wet his diaper needs to be changed. Warm moist areas are the perfect environment for yeast that causes thrush to grow.

-If possible, breast-feeding your baby is the best thing you can do for your baby’s health. There are antibodies contained in breast milk that will aid your baby’s immune system so that they can resist infections on their own.

-If you are breast-feeding and you developed sore and red nipples or have pain while nursing it is possible that your baby has passed a thrush infection to you.

If your baby has an infection somewhere else and needs antibiotics after each dose you need to rinse their mouth out with water. Taking oral antibiotics can cause disruption of the balance of bacteria in the mouth which can allow yeast overgrowth that causes thrush. Simple water rinse can go a long way to help prevent oral antibiotics from disrupting the mouth environment.

If you have to give baby medicine by dropper, try to avoid putting the dropper in his mouth. You can put the medicine onto a cotton swab and then on the affected area. Then throw out the swab.

Do not put anything back in the bottle of medicine to avoid cross contamination with yeast.

There are things you can do to reduce discomfort such as drinking cold drinks (avoid really sugary drinks), try water or iced teas.

Also flavored ice treats or frozen juice as well as gelatin, ice cream and custard that are easy to swallow. If it causes pain to swallow, try gently sucking through a straw. A warm salt water rinse several times a day can also make you feel better. (1 tsp-5ml, of salt in 8 oz- 240 ml. of warm water).

If you want the best information for how to deal with Oral Thrush that will help get that gross white film off your tongue check out cures for yeast infection.

Information About Hepatitis C

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT Hepatitis C

Hepatitis C is a blood borne infection caused by a hepatotrophic virus called Hepatitis C virus (HCV).

Hepatitis C is a liver disease. Hepatitis * means inflammation of the liver. Inflammation is the painful, red swelling that results when tissues of the body become injured or infected. Inflammation can cause organs to not work properly.

This infection is the worst type of hepatitis that one can have and it causes liver inflammation.

Hepatitis C is mainly spread through blood contaminated with the hepatitis virus, thus infection can be got through the sharing of needles or contact with sharp objects that have recently drawn blood from an infected Hepatitis C sufferer.

Transfusion of unscreened blood is another means of getting the infection. It can also be transmitted from mother to child during the process of delivery.

One scary thing about the disease is that most people with the virus exhibit no symptoms. This happens in about 2/3 of Hepatitis C patients.

Some may show symptoms as decreased appetite, fatigue, abdominal pains, jaundice e.t.c

The virus is detected in the blood 1-3 weeks of infection.

The disease can be treated with antiviral drugs, but is more difficult treating alcoholic patients that have the disorder.

Anyone can get Hepatitis C, but some people are at higher risk, including:

• People who were born to a mother with Hepatitis C

• People who have had more than one sex partner in the last 6 months or have a history of sexually transmitted disease

• People who had a blood transfusion or organ transplant before July 1992

• People with hemophilia who received blood products before 1987

• People who have used illegal injection drugs

How to Cure Gallstones Naturally

The Natural Gallstone Cure

Gallstones, sometimes referred to as “gallbladder attacks”, are more than a painful nuisance. Untreated, gallstones can cause jaundice or pancreatitis, and can even require surgery with complete removal of the gallbladder. Don’t wait for what might otherwise be inevitable. Cure gallstones with natural and simple adjustments.

Your Gallbladder and You

The gallbladder stores bile produced by the liver. It releases bile, which is needed to break down fats, chemicals, and toxins, so that they can be flushed out of the body. If the liver becomes overworked with extra fats and poisons, the bile can crystallize and form gallstones.

Risk factors for gallstones include…

    o    body weight

    o    elevated cholesterol level

    o    high-fat/low-fiber/starchy diet or fewer, larger meals

    o    rapid weight loss

    o    some medications, hormone therapy, pregnancy

Symptoms of Gallstones

Gallstones can be asymptomatic until they reach a certain size. Then the condition is characterized by severe abdominal pain (described as similar to kidney stones), nausea, vomiting, fever, abdominal bloating and indigestion. Attacks are most common after large, fatty meals, especially in the evening before bed.

Medical Treatment

Gallstones are sometimes treated with an orally-administered acid, but recurrence is common when treatment is stopped. Surgery is a more common option.

Complete removal of the gallbladder, or “open” surgery, requires a week’s hospital stay and an additional month of recuperation. Nearly 40% of patients experience persistent pain and gastrointestinal distress, and 20% develop chronic diarrhea. Risks of serious complications include vascular injury and bowel perforation.

The second surgical option is laparoscopic, or non-invasive. This requires a week of bed rest and another month of light activity. Many patients report residual pain and a decreased energy level up to a few months following the procedure.

It seems a bleak prognosis, doesn’t it? It doesn’t have to be.

Cure Gallstones Naturally

Cure and prevention of gallstones is quite simple. If you’re having a gallbladder attack now, drink a full glass of water, followed with magnesium. This may help regulate bile flow. Similarly, drink a “gallbladder flush” – apple juice mixed with raw garlic and raw ginger root.

To prevent gallstones naturally…

    o    Take a high quality organic herbal supplement. (see below)

    o    Change your diet to high-fiber/low-fat, with lots of raw, fresh vegetables, fresh fruit, whole grains. Eliminate saturated fats, starches, and fried foods.

    o    Limit dairy and cholesterol intake (milk, eggs, butter, meat)

    o    Increase your intake of Vitamin C, folate, calcium, and magnesium, all of which are indicated in liver and gallbladder health.

    o    Eat frequent light meals throughout the day.

    o    Avoid eating before bedtime.

What kind of herbal supplement should I take?

Therapeutic Action: You want a powerful, stimulating formula that is cleansing, healing, and strengthening to the both the liver and gallbladder. The organic herbs in the formula should work synergistically to help heal and detoxify these vital organs. The formula should work by stimulating the liver to produce more bile through the gallbladder and bile ducts. The increased bile flow allows the liver and gallbladder to flush out thousands of toxins, chemicals, antibiotics, pollutants, drugs, and cholesterol safely from the body. The formula should also dramatically reduces inflammation, pain, and even removes gallstones safely from the body.

Kidney Stone Diet – 9 Simple Ways to Manage Kidney Stones

When you have renal stones, the best suggestion I can give you is well, the kidney stone diet. As the name suggests, this diet tackles all the guidelines you must have to manage your kidney stone. In the first place, kidney stones happen because there is a calcification in your urinary system. They form primarily on the kidneys but they can migrate to the lower urinary system. Hence, they are typically asymptomatic until they pass into the lower urinary system.

Up to 4% of the population in the United Stares has kidney stones. About 12% of males have renal stone by the age of 70. More than 200,000 americans require hospitalization for treatment of stones each year. It is so recurrent to the point that half of the patients affected will develop another bout of renal calculi in the next 10 years. Most common calculi are composed of calcium oxylate (70-80%), uric acid (10%), struvite (9-17%), or cystine (less than 1%). The most common signs and symptoms include low urine output, high urine pH (making it alkaline), excessive urinary excretion of calcium, oxalate, uric acid, or combination of these substances.

Type and cause of stone formation provide details on how to manage kidney stones. A comprehensive dietary history taking might also be needed to be able to point out the portion of the patient’s diet that triggered the formation of kidney stones. Generally, treatment options include restrictive diet and modifications. Here are some guidelines on the kidney stone diet:

-Tailor diet to specific metabolic disturbances and individual dietary habits to ensure compliance

-Calcium restriction should be avoided

-Calcium and oxalate must be in balance

-Limit intake of spinach, rhubarb, beets, nuts, chocolate, team wheat bran, and strawberries

-Do not exceed recommended daily allowance for vitamin C as it increases urinary oxalate excretion

-Animal protein should be regulated to 1 g/kg body weight

-Salt intake should be restricted to less than 100 mEq/dl

-Potassium intake should be encouraged (five or more servings of fruits and vegetables each day

-Include high fluid intake to produce at least 2 liters of urine/day (2-3 L of water intake/day is recommended)

From my experience as a nurse, it is always better to try less invasive procedures until all options become exhausted. Which is why following a proper diet and drinking plenty of fluids should be your first and primary thing to do.

Fortunately, most clients pass the stone naturally from the ureter and bladder. If the stone does not move, if it causes obstruction, or if X-ray suggests that the stone is too large to pass safely into the urethra, more invasive treatment is necessary.

The kidney stone diet is not rigid. In fact, it helps you work around your usual diet in order for you not to feel as though you are in a strict regimen.

How to Treat a Vomiting Baby

Babies may spit up if they take in too much air when they feed and regurgitate milk along with the gas. Bottle-fed babies who bring up a lot of milk after every feeding may be intolerant of the formula, and you may need to change to another formula after consultation your baby’s doctor.

 Vomiting , when the contents of the stomach are brought up forcefully, is usually triggered by toxins caused by an infection such as gastroenteritis. But it can also be a symptom of ear and throat infections as well as more serious illnesses including pneumonia, and meningitis.

 Vomiting  isn’t usually serious and passes within a few hours, though it may be followed by diarrhea. Dehydration-loss of body fluids-is the biggest worry and in the most severe cases can cause death. If your baby is  vomiting  persistently, it is essential to see a doctor to find the cause. Medical conditions that may be responsible include pyloric stenosis, hiatus hernia, and celiac disease.

Another possible cause of  vomiting  in older babies is accidental poisoning from medicines, household chemicals, or plants. If you suspect your baby has swallowed something toxic, you should seek urgent medical attention. Call the Poison Control Center for immediate advice, especially if the nearest hospital is more than 15 minutes away.

What you can do

 Vomiting  is unpleasant and frightening for a baby, so he’ll need lots of tender loving care.  Vomiting  can be exhausting, so let him lie down and rest afterward.

• If you are breast-feeding, continue to feed him if he wants to eat, but don’t give him formula milk. Cow’s milk is likely to make him  vomit  again. If you are bottle-feeding, offer your baby clear fluids for 24 hours (see oral rehydration). Contact the doctor if the child can’t keep it down.

• Offer cooled, boiled water, a little at a time-try a few teaspoonfuls every 10 to 1 5 minutes. Keep offering it to prevent your baby from becoming dehydrated. Get help if there are signs of dehydration.

• You can also give him an oral rehydration remedy available from the drugstore. This comes in two forms: (1) a powder that dissolves in water and (2) a premixed liquid. Each form replaces the correct balance of salts and sugars lost by  vomiting  and helps prevent dehydration. Offer either form frequently in small amounts from a teaspoon. For older babies, freeze the solution in popsicle molds that can be sucked.

• Don’t give him solid food or formula until the  vomiting  has subsided for 24 hours, and then only bland, pureed food.

A natural remedy

Ginger is an effective remedy. Give one teaspoon of fresh root ginger in one cup of boiled water. Strain, cool and add pasteurized honey or small amount of sugar.

Food Safety Bacterial Growth Requirements

As food safety bacteria are very similar to us they need similar conditions in order to grow. The main conditions are food, moisture, warmth and time.

Food and Moisture.

There are four main food types:

· high risk foods

· raw foods

· low risk foods

· ready to eat raw foods.

High risk foods are common in food poisoning outbreaks. They are usually composed of protein, are ready to eat, stored under refrigeration and no further processing such as cooking is required. Examples include pates, sandwiches, filled rolls, fresh cream and artificial cream cakes, pies and cold cooked meats.

Raw foods are a major source of food poisoning organisms. High risk foods must be kept away from raw foods at all times or cross contamination will result, compromising food safety and food poisoning will occur.

Low risk foods do not pose a food safety hazard mainly because they lack one or more of the requirements for bacterial growth. They could be acid foods with a pH of less than 4.5, they may have a high sugar, salt or fat content which are good natural preservatives. They may be dried products or preserved foods not requiring refrigeration. They may be foods that require ambient storage.

The last category of food is ready to eat raw foods. These include fruit and salad vegetables and they must be thoroughly washed before consumption to minimise the risk from low-dose pathogens.

High risk food contains sufficient moisture for bacterial growth.

Warmth.

The next thing to consider is warmth. If we control warmth then bacterial growth will not occur.

The maximum recommended temperature for freezers is -18°C. At this temperature there is no bacterial growth, bacteria remain dormant. Although some bacteria are killed during the freezing process, many remain alive.

Fridge temperatures should be between 1 and 4°C. Although the maximum legal fridge temperature in the UK is 8°C. At fridge temperatures some bacteria will grow very slowly including Listeria and C botulinum.

The next range of temperatures is the temperature danger zone. This is between 5 and 63°C. Once food is being prepared it must be kept out of the temperature danger zone. If food is left in the temperature danger zone bacterial growth will occur, affecting food safety and food poisoning will result. As bacteria enter the temperature danger zone at 5°C they start to grow slowly. As the temperature increases the bacteria will grow more profusely. Bacteria grow best at 37°C, which is body temperature. As temperatures increase from 37°C bacterial growth slows down. Most bacteria are killed by 52°C. The UK recognised safety cooking temperature is 75°C, although foods can be cooked at a low temperature over a longer period of time.

The hot holding temperature is 63°C, which is the top of the temperature danger zone. If food is to be served hot, for example in a carvery situation it must be retained above 63°C. If the food is above this temperature, there is no time limit to how long the food can be served for and there is no food safety hazard.

If cold food is refrigerated, it must be retained at 1 and 4°C. The time limit would depend on the food product. The food could not be retained without time limit as eventually there would be mould growth (mould can grow at very low temperatures).

The two hour hot rule allows foods that had been prepared and are meant to be served hot, to be served at ambient temperature for no more than two hours. For example if food is being retained at 63° C and suddenly the heating equipment breaks down then that food which is losing temperature can be sold for a further two hours. After two hours the food is allowed to be chilled and reused at a later occasion after refrigeration.

The four hour cold rule allows foods that are normally sold at refrigeration temperature to be served at ambient temperature for no more than four hours. For example if sandwiches are prepared and refrigerated, and the refrigerator breaks down, the temperature will rise. The sandwiches must be sold within four hours. After four hours any remaining sandwiches must be disposed of.

In order to check temperatures of freezers, fridges, cooking temperatures and delivery of foods, a temperature probe must be used. It must be a thermocouple temperature probe which is able to be calibrated. You can calibrate with boiling water, when the probe should indicate a temperature of 100°C. The bottom range of temperatures can be checked with mixture of ice and water. The probe should indicate a temperature of 0°C. Probes must be cleaned and disinfected between use. This can be achieved by using alcohol wet wipes or simply boiling water. The temperature probe must be inserted into the thickest part of the food which is known as the core temperature.

For further information and details of food hygiene training courses go to: Food Safety Training.

Symptoms And Details Of Peptic Ulcer Disease

Stress is the body’s most acquainted friend in today’s hectic fast paced world. For the last fifty or so years the workplace has become the greatest cause of our favorite condition and there are more and more people complaining of stress and stress related illness. One of these illnesses is the peptic ulcer. Just to show how common peptic ulcers has become, a 1978 issue of the Spiderman comic portrayed Spiderman developing a peptic ulcer! While the peptic ulcer is a common phenomenon these days, the treatments and cures are not. Far too many people believe a peptic ulcer can be eliminated easily when that can not always be the case.

The antacid tablet is by far the most common thing that people will go for when they feel the symptoms of a peptic ulcer. It is true, they do help reduce the inflammation that causes a lot of the discomfort, but they will not touch the ulcer itself.

Peptic ulcer disease will only get worse with the over reliance of antacids. The antacid only deals with the symptoms of a peptic ulcer, and not the ulcer itself.

Probably the best course of action to take would be to have a doctor prescribe an antibiotic or other such prescription drug that could help eliminate the peptic ulcer disease. This offers a more permanent solution that simply using over the counter (OTC) antacids exclusively.

Lifestyle changes are always recommended to help reduce the chances of peptic ulcer disease from re-occurring. Stopping smoking, eliminating fatty foods or fried foods and cutting down on caffeine intake are all highly advised. These three things are all massive contributors to getting peptic ulcer disease.

What Are The Benefits Of Triphala Churna?

Ayurvedic Medicine

Ayurveda is considered as an alternative and complementary medicine in most of the western countries. But then, in India it has been in use for more than several thousand years. It is, at present used extensively. It is a natural method by which one’s health can be improved. Ayurveda is used to maintain the balance of the body apart from promoting well-being by eliminating sickness. Ayurveda medicine makes use of numerous natural methods to meet these goals. Some of the techniques employed by Ayurveda doctors are:

  • Herbal remedies like pain balm
  • Dietary modifications
  • Body messages
  • Breathing exercises

One can cure severe skin disorders such as acne and eczema by applying natural items like herbal beauty products.

What is Triphala Churna?

Triphala Churna is an herbal mixture which is very popular in the field of Ayurveda. Ayurveda is a medical system which has its origin in India and has been in practice since the time of the vedas. Triphala Churna is lauded by its users as it provides a number of benefits. The two most important benefits that it provides are:

  • Ease of digestion
  • Balance of humors

What Are The Components Of Triphala Churna?

The main components found in Triphala Churna are derived from 3 Indian fruits, namely amla, harada and baheda. The term “Triphala” signifies “Three fruits”, which connotes that the herbal mixture is composed of 3 ingredients and each comes from different Indian fruits.

  • Amla – It is rich in Vitamin C. It helps in increasing gastric emptying and decreasing hemorrhaging. It also cures chronic disorders such as anemia and hyperacidity.
  • Harada – It is a general herb which can be used to heal the heart and brain and promote a longer life.
  • Baheda – It contains high content of vitamin A and is often used to take care of eye problems, coughs and intestinal difficulties.

Blend of Three

As Triphala Churna is a blend of 3 useful ingredients, it is considered immensely beneficial. It is hyped as “Tridoshic Rasayan”, a supplement that balances 3 aspects of life. The three aspects are:

  • Vata – monitors the nervous system
  • Kapha – controls the structure of the body
  • Pitta – helps in maintaining a stable metabolism

Key Benefit

Triphala Churna is mainly used to improve the digestive health of a person. Firstly, it acts as a laxative and cleans wastes from the body. Thereafter, it helps in balancing the digestive system of the body which prevents indigestion, bowel irregularity, constipation and other digestive problems.

Other Benefits

This Churna is used to cure other physical problems. Bettering weak blood circulation, high blood pressure, severe stress and harmed liver function are to name a few. Apart from these, it can be consumed regularly as it is rich in useful antioxidants, phospholopids and linoleics. It can be viably used to combat viruses, allergies, mutagens and numerous other harmful bacteria’s. Due to the plethora of benefits that it offers, Triphala Churna is one of the most popular herbal mixtures that Ayurvada has produced till date.

Other than Triphala Churna, there are many other Ayurveda products that you can utilize for better living. Pain balm and herbal beauty products are two of them.

Defining – What is Lymphedema?

In simple terms, lymphedema may be described as swelling caused on account of the pooling of the lymph fluids. The lymphatic system is a network of lymph vessels and nodes and is responsible for transporting the body fluids to the blood stream for filtration and elimination of harmful elements. Lymphedema develops in case there is an obstruction to this function due to a trauma or injury to the lymph system. If the lymph vessels are surgically removed or are deformed or missing, it affects the smooth functioning of the system, leading to lymphedema.

The two types of lymphedema commonly seen are primary lymphedema and secondary lymphedema. Also known as hereditary lymphedema, primary lymphedema is caused due to genetic factors which may result in the individual having undeveloped or missing lymph vessels. This condition may be seen at birth; it may become apparent in the teenage years or at adulthood. Secondary lymphedema is more common. It is acquired due to surgery on account of cancer treatment. In case of women, lymphedema can be a side-effect of breast cancer therapy. Typically, treatment of ovarian or uterine cancer can cause lymphedema. Secondary lymphedema in men can be the result of treatment for colon, prostrate or testicular cancer.

Secondary lymphedema is widely prevalent in the tropical regions of the world. Filariasis is generally the reason for this condition; it is a parasitic infection caused due to mosquito bites. Lymphatic filariasis or elephantiasis as it is also known is caused by mosquitoes transmitting parasitic worms to humans. Malformation of the lymphatic network on account of its irregular development may be a cause for lymphedema. There are also some diseases that hinder the proper functioning of the lymphatic system.

Diagnosing lymphedema can sometimes be very difficult. The symptoms show up very gradually and may be attributed to other diseases. Initially there may be heaviness in the leg or the hand, a general observation that may go unnoticed because fluid retention is not apparent. This is the mild phase of the edema which is fully reversible if diagnosed correctly. However, as the ailment progresses, the entire limb will retain fluid and swell out of proportion.

Cysts or corns may be formed on the skin; the skin itself will be discolored. The doctor usually compares the circumference of the affected limb with the non-affected one to arrive at a definite prognosis. Fibrosis or the hardening of tissues is seen in the advanced stage of lymphedema.

Treating lymphedema involves a combination of various therapies. It also depends on the severity of the ailment and the amount of fibrosis present. Massage, compression bandages, manual lymph drainage and utilization of compression garments may be some ways to treat it. An exercise program to keep the limbs flexible and to promote circulation of the fluids is also followed. Skin care is equally important to keep infections at bay. Bandaging and wearing compression garments daily helps to maintain the reduction achieved through massage therapy.

Lymphedema patients may use pneumatic pumps or undergo manual lymph drainage therapy as a part of their treatment schedules. In some cases, surgery may be performed to treat lymphedema.

Two Forms of Fat Within the Body

The typical arterial wall is made up of three basic layers. There are also two forms of fat within the body which can be classified into low density protein and high density protein. The first one is considered a fat molecule, which can penetrate the arterial wall and venture deep into the arterial layers.

There are multiple functions that happen within our body which we are not aware of and atherosclerosis is one such function. It begins with the buildup of fat which is accumulated within the arterial wall which is dependent on the general condition of the arterial wall as well as concentration of the increased quantity of fat levels present in the body. This fat penetrates through the arterial wall and undergoes a mechanism called oxidation which converts the fat molecules into substance which is dangerous to the body and triggers the inflammation process. At this stage, white blood cells called monocytes move from the bloodstream into the arterial wall and start the inflammatory response. This result in cells referred to as macrophages which swallow the oxidized fat molecules, and once this is done, these cells turn into what is referred to as foam cells.

The problem is that often, these foam cells can burst releasing the contents of the cell onto the arterial wall. When this happens regularly, the foam cell will form fibrous material which helps increase the frequency of arteries plaque growth which results from the protein in the arterial wall and can impact the membranes as well.

In the initial phase, this growth allows the walls of the artery to hold only a certain amount blood thereby maintaining a noteworthy but reduced blood flow. This being the case, the tests will reveal only those artery plaques which bulge into the center of the arterial lumen and are not just building up. This happens as the plaque is located deep within the layers. Therefore the results of medical tests cannot be considered as conclusive while determining the growth of plaque and the advent of atherosclerosis in the body.

When the plaque continues to grow, the arterial wall ends up being unable to cope with the growth and forces the atherosclerosis deposit to push into the center of the vessel. Normally, this is found when the plaque growth reaches around 40%. However, the concern at this point would be bursting or dislodging of plaque which could result from swelling of plaque.

It is normally found that unstable plaques burst, particularly those that contain a large amount of lipids covered by weak fibrous layers. Often, these plaques cannot be identified as they are located within the arterial walls and have not pushed into the arterial lumen.

If the plaque bursts, the lipid content is brought into contact with blood, which can result in the growth of blood clots. If the vessel is completely blocked for at least two hours, this can cause a serious condition called myocardial infarction, more commonly known as a heart attack.

How Smoking Affects The Arteries

If your patient is a smoker, chances are she has been smoking for a long time and may not be willing to give it up just because you tell her she has to. So you’ll need to explain how cigarette smoking puts her at high risk for developing serious, life­threatening complications, including coronary artery disease (CAD) and myocardial   infarction  (MI) .

Affects on Arteries

The chemicals in cigarette smoke cause damage to the coronary artery endothelium, which has already been damaged by diabetes. These chemicals also increase total cholesterol and triglyceride levels and reduce high-density lipoprotein levels. All of these changes lead to coronary artery occlusion and myocardial ischemia or MI. Nicotine, a powerful vasoconstrictor, causes vasospasm and increases blood pressure, blood viscosity, and clotting factor concentrations, further reducing coronary artery blood flow.

Nursing Interventions

If your patient doesn’t smoke but lives with someone who does, explain the dangers of passive smoke, which can be as harmful as smoking itself. Encourage the family member to quit smoking. If he can’t quit, instruct him not to smoke around the patient. If your patient does smoke, find out how much she smokes and how motivated she is to quit. If your patient has tried to quit but hasn’t been successful, encourage her to try again. Ask which methods she has tried and ask her why she thinks they didn’t work.

Address her concerns about quitting. For instance, your patient may be afraid that she’ll gain weight. If so, encourage her to seek support from her family and an appropriate weight ­control support group.

Discuss with the patient’s physician the possibility of using a transdermal nicotine delivery system or nicotine chewing gum. However, remember that these nicotine products, just like cigarettes, may be contraindicated in patients who have CAD or arrhythmias because nicotine causes vasoconstriction, tachycardia, and increased blood pressure. In patients with diabetes, nicotine causes the release of catecholamines from the adrenal medulla, which can cause arrhythmias and other cardiovascular complications.

Refer your patient to a support group or smoking cessation program. Even if the physician prescribes a nicotine product to offset withdrawal, she may need additional support to help change her behavior.

Avoiding That Heart Attack

High blood pressure and  heart   attacks  were common in my family as I was growing up. I expected to have my first  heart   attack  around the age of 40-45. I expected to have high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

But before that age, at a mere 25 years old, I caught a virus that affected the chest, along with my friends at university, got misdiagnosed, was given the wrong medication, got no real help in coming off my 40-a-day smoking habit, and so my chest condition became chronic. Several years later, I met a bunch of lovely people at the only job I managed to keep (attendance at work was a huge challenge). These people pushed me towards natural health care, and eventually, after much resistance, I was happily on the path of natural holistic health care. As a result, I was finally starting to get better.

It is because of my early wake-up call and going the natural way that I think I now have not had that first  heart   attack . I once was eating really rubbish food whilst working in a remote area with little other than sausages, sweets and hydrogenated vegetable fat pastries to eat. My cholesterol was high, and the doctor said he was going to put me on medication if I had the same results at my next visit. Luckily for me, I knew that my diet was to blame, and I started making sandwiches to take to work with me instead of eating that rubbish. The doctor was surprised to find everything back to normal on the next visit. I was delighted that my strategy worked. Then there was the time when my blood pressure was slightly high. No problem, I looked at my diet, exercise, and stress levels, adjusted all three, and hey presto! Normal blood pressure.

I make a choice to be healthy. I de-stress with EFT and self-heal with Reiki every single day. I detox with acupressure and cold laser whenever needed. I avoid canned drinks, the news, smoky places, unnecessary vaccines, amalgam fillings, over-manufactured food, and mobile phones without protection. I usually cook from scratch. I exercise regularly, for example, I do running, spinning, Yoga, Pilates, weights, boxing exercise classes, swimming, and core muscle classes. Fit and Fifty is my reality, and I look forward to the 100. I am not going the route of close family members, who had everything they needed genetically to be healthy but not the right information. As soon as you get a warning sign of impending diabetes or heart trouble, the way to deal with it is not to carry on abusing your body and take medications to mask the effect. You need to look at your diet, exercise, toxins, and stress levels. A warning sign is just the body’s way of telling you it needs you to change what you are doing. Heed that sign, and your body can soon reward you with a return to health.

Finally, this is not about living a severely restricted life but about making informed choices. And I may not always get it right, but if I can get it nearly right, I am happy with that.