Congestive Heart Disease

Congestive  heart   disease  is a condition wherein the  heart  fails to pump enough blood to supply for the other body organs. This heart condition may be a result from different activities that might have happened in the heart. This can happen due to narrowed arteries which supply blood and oxygen to the heart muscles. This may also be because of past heart attacks and high blood pressure. Another reason can be due to  heart  valve  diseases  caused by past rheumatic fever or primary  disease  of the  heart  muscle.

The heart failing might also be because of heart defects that had been present since birth or it may be because the heart valves or the hear muscles have been infected. During this illness, the failing heart is still working but not as efficient as it did before. The process involved in heart failing is because of the flowing of blood from the heart becomes slow and the blood transported to the heart through the veins backs up resulting to tissue congestion.

Who might be at risk of having congestive  heart   disease ? Almost five million people in the United States are suffering from this condition in the heart and most of them are older people or adults. And the number of people with this illness is expected to continue rising as years go by because people are becoming busier. Nowadays, people have the capacity to live longer making them more prone to this  heart   disease . They’ve been surviving  heart  attacks and other medical conditions that increase the risk of congestive  heart   disease .

How is congestive  heart   disease  diagnosed and treated? This failing heart condition needs a treatment program. This requires enough rest, proper diet and modified daily physical activities. Taking medications can also help and some of the safe drugs that can be taken are ACE (angiotensin-converting enzyme) inhibitors, vasodilators, digitalis, beta blockers and diuretics. Most people experience mild and moderate congestive  heart   diseases  and these can still be treated. And those people who are currently in this condition need proper medical supervision to prevent them from getting worse.

Congestive  heart   disease  symptoms begin to occur when the  heart  cannot pump the amount of blood that the rest of body need. At the beginning of this heart condition, the person somehow easily gets tired, shortness of breath, palpitations, weakness and dizziness. As this sickness gets worse, some parts of the body will start building up some fluids. During this time, the person can experience shortness of breath even when he is resting. Edema can also occur especially on the legs, feet and ankles.

Gaining weight, coughing when lying down, urinating more during the night and feeling bloated are also some symptoms that must be watched over. Once a specific cause of congestive  heart   disease  start to occur, it must be treated, prevented or corrected to avoid the illness from getting worse. But if the heart is also damaged that any remedy cannot work for it, an option of having a heart transplant can be the only way.

Ashwagandha – Medicinal Uses, Interactions, Side Effects, Dosage

Ashwagandha, a traditional Indian (Ayurvedic) medical herb,is thought of as “Indian ginseng.” It is often marketed simply as “Withania” and is also called winter cherry or Dunal. The berries, fruits, and roots have been used traditionally. In Western herbal medicine, most preparations are made from the root of the shrub.

Uses and Benefits: As is the case with ginseng, ashwagandha has been employed for numerous conditions in traditional Asian therapies, and lor additional disorders in contemporary herbal practice. A major traditional use of the herb is in “balancing life forces,” which may be regarded as an adaptogenic or anti-stress tonic effect. rhus, ashwagandha is considered to be a general promoter of health, or a “rasayana” that promotes rejuvenation according to traditional Ayurvedic practice.

Purported anti-inflammatory benefits have led to use in   tuberculosis , liver disease, rheumatic disorders, and skin problems. The herb’s “panacea” reputation has expanded its repertoire to include therapy for weakness, stress, sexual debility, aging symptoms, and anemia, among many other conditions. It is claimed to he effective in infections, particularly those caused by fungi. The Latin species name is a tribute to its supposed effectiveness in promoting somnolence and improving sleep. Recently, AIDS and cancer have been added to the list of its proposed immunostimulant uses, although clinical evidence is lacking.

Pharmacology: Much of the pharmacologic literature on ashwagandha is in foreign journals or consists of older reports or studies carried out on rodents; or employs techniques that are difficult to evaluate. Over 35 active chemicals have been identified in the herb, including steroidallactones (such as withanolides and withaferins), alkaloids (such as somniferine, scopoletin, withanine,and anaferine), saponins, and glycosides. Additional chemicals of possible importance include choline, beta-sitosterol, flavonoids, tannins, an essential oil called ipuranol, a crystalline alcohol called withaniol, and several acylsterylglucosides or sitoindosides.

Several specific withanolides and withaferins have been shown to have antineoplastic effects in animals.Withaferins have shown anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antimicrobial actions. Withanolide-D and withaferin-A appear to contribute immunoactive effects. Somniferine is a hypnotic, while scopoletin is a smooth muscle relaxant in guinea pigs. The adaptogenic properties of the characteristic glycosides (sitoindosides VII and VIII) and other derivatives of Withania are sometimes explained as resulting from a state of “nonspecific increase in resistance,” resulting in enhancement of survival when under stress ; however, this concept fails to convey any insights into its action.

Clinical Trials: There are few controlled clinical trials that con­firm the multiple claims that are made for ashwagandha. Many of the published studies only evaluate multiple-herb preparations. In one double-blinded, cross-over clinical trial of osteoarthritis, 42 patients were randomized to 3 months on uncertain doses of ash­wagandha combined with other herbs or to a placebo. The herbal combination was reported to significantly reduce pain (p Adverse Effects: Based on a long history of traditional use, .ashwagandha appears to be well tolerated without significant adverse effects. There is little data from clinical studies. It is claimed anecdotally that large doses of ashwagandha products or the berries may cause gastrointestinal irritation.

Side Effects and Interactions: As a potential sedative-hypnotic, it may theoretically potentiate other sedatives; this has not been reported or studied, and such effects are unlikely to be significant.

Cautions: The herb has not been studied in nursing or pregnant women, but it has been anecdotally reported to have abortifacient properties. Like echinacea, its potential immunostimulant effect may be contraindicated in patients with autoimmune disorders; this has not been reported or studied, and significant effects are unlikely.

Preparations & Dosage: A typical daily dose is 3-6 g of powdered root, but up to 30 g/day of the herb has been advocated by commercial herbalists. Pill extracts are also available, as are tinctures and numerous herbal mixtures.

Summary Evaluation Ashwagandha is promoted for many different uses. It is taken to improve immune function and as a rejuvenator, aphrodisiac, and Ionic for general health. It is inappropriately promoted by some marketers as a treatment for serious diseases such as multiple sclerosis, cancers, and AIDS. It is often employed as a sedative and antiarthritic for self-therapy. However, its value has not been adequately established for any of the numerous clinical conditions to which it has been applied.

Emotional Growth and Parental Guidance for Teenagers

What Do Teenagers and Parents Go Through?

When children grow into their teens they encounter additional pressures that they had been insulated from in their previous years. This can come about as a result of additional social activities, additional school responsibilities or even as a result of their wanting to take their own decisions without the help of parents or guardians. This can cause them a fair amount of distress which at the same time can also help their emotional growth. They need to learn to deal with stress and unfamiliar situations while coping with anxiety and probable helplessness.

Parents of teenagers in such situations are sometimes quite hard pressed into wanting to do something to alleviate the teenager’s problems. Any interference in this natural process of development is fraught with danger. Parents can only offer advice when it is solicited and would do well to keep away from interfering unless threatening situations are noticed. They should constantly strive to encourage the self esteem of the teenager in order to enable them to have the confidence to deal with the unfamiliar situations they find themselves in. In such situations, peer pressure and interaction with people of their own age is more than likely to be of help. This is especially helpful if their peers have faced similar situations and have learnt lessons from it. These shared experiences are great ways for bonding and friendships which result form these are likely to be long lasting and useful to the teenager.

Handling Teenage Guidance Intelligently

Parents need to be emotionally intelligent to have any influence on teens which will allow them to become socially conscious while remaining stable and flexible in their emotions.

When a parent interacts with a child, especially a teenager, certain stress levels are brought in. The parent needs to keep this stress under control as this can be easily perceived by the teenager. This stress could lead to the child finding interaction constantly irksome and could cause the child to avoid the situation.

Accept the fact that as a parent you are also a human and have your own needs of time and space. Let the teenager know this firmly enough and it is almost sure that the teen will accept the fact and live with it. Be consistent in all your dealings with their problems and even if they find your decisions irksome, they will still respect it for the constancy that you show.

Let not any feeling of guilt come into any dealings with your teenager. Children are always quick to spot such feelings and more than likely to take advantage of it. If you are feeling guilty in any way, better to correct the situation that has caused this guilt.

Show your teenager the respect that his fledgling and developing personality has come to expect. Listen to their problems and the suggestions that they have and never lay down the law. Explain your situation in an adult manner. Teenagers will respond when you put the onus of understanding on them.

Cancer – 3 Purposes of a Tumor

Usually associated with cancer are tumors. Tumors are: an abnormal growth of tissue resulting from uncontrolled, progressive multiplication of cells and serving no physiological function; a neoplasm. This is from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language.

A tumor can be either benign, like a wart, or malignant, in which case it is a cancer. Benign tumors are generally easy to remove completely. In contrast, cancers pose some of the most difficult problems in all of surgery. 40% of all cancers are treated with surgery and 60% are surgery combined with other treatments such as radiation therapy or chemotherapy.

Surgery is the only way to determine how far cancer has spread from the tumor. In the medical profession there are a few standard methods of comparing one cancer to another. The outcome will determine what treatments to take and the prognosis. These methods are called “staging” and the most universal is “TNM”.

  1. T – stands for the size of the tumor
  2. N – represents the speed at which the cancer cells are traveling within the lymph nodes.Since cancer cells generally spread within the lymph system this is a useful measurement of which to determine their ability to disperse.
  3. M – refers to the metastases, how far they are from the original cancer and how often they have multiplied.

Curative cancer surgery demands special considerations. There is a danger of spreading or seeding the cancer during the process of removing it. Cancer cells can grow almost anywhere in the body and the surgeon must not “spill” cells into the operating field or “knock them loose” into the blood stream. A techniques called “block resection” and “no touch” are used. Block resection means taking the entire specimen out as a single piece. “No touch” means that only the normal tissue removed with the specimen is handled; the cancer itself is never touched. This prevents “squeezing” cancer cells out into circulation. Clamping off the blood supply first, prevents cells from leaving by that route later in the surgery.

So as you can see the tumor plays an important role in determining what and how to treat your cancer.

Walking Pneumonia

Walking Pneumonia, also known as Atypical Pneumonia is a variant of pneumonia not caused by one of the more traditional pathogens. It is also characterized by a clinical presentation that is inconsistent with typical pneumonia. It can be caused by a variety of microorganisms. The term Walking Pneumonia was originally coined in the 1930’s. Any differentiations or distinction between Atypical and Typical pneumonia is often considered to be medically insufficient; for the treatment of pneumonia it is important to know the exact causal organism.

Primary atypical pneumonia is called so to indicate that it developed independently, not subsequent to another disease. Atypical pneumonia, on the other hand is atypical because it is caused by atypical organisms besides Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae and Moraxella catarrhalis. Atypical organisms that cause to include special bacteria, viruses, fungi and protozoa. Besides its causes, Walking Pneumonia is a form of pneumonia that is atypical in its presentation; it has only moderate amounts of sputum, only small increases in white cell counts and no alveolar exudates.

Walking Pneumonia often has atypical symptoms. There will be no response from common antibiotics such as Penicillin, coughing up of bloody mucus, shortness of breath, chest pains, high or mild headache, loss of appetite, low energy, fatigue, sweaty and clammy skin. Some less common symptoms to look for include diarrhea, eye pain, rashes or throat soars. Generally speaking, the patient looks healthier than any of the symptoms would suggest. To properly treat this disease, make sure to take Aspirin to control your fever or high temperature, drink plenty of fluids to loosen up secretions and bring up phlegm, and most importantly make sure to get plenty of rest. You can use antibiotics at home to treat your Walking Pneumonia, unless your condition is severe, which means you will most likely be admitted to a hospital and given stronger antibiotics such a Azithromycin, Clarithromycin, Erythromycin and Tetracyclines. If you adhere to these steps, you should see improvement within about a week’s time. Prevention can sometimes be better than the cure, so make sure to wash your hands often, get your yearly flu shot and keep an open channel with your physician; knowing if you need a Pneumonia vaccine can help you a lot.

Walking Pneumonia is a serious illness that must be treated accordingly. Seeing that it has a clinical presentation that is inconsistent with typical pneumonia and can be caused by a variety of microorganisms, it may be a bit harder to fight, although differences between Atypical and Typical pneumonia are often considered to be medically insufficient in their treatment.

Cold Prevention at 35,000 Feet

To start out, I’m a pilot. I’ve been both a flight instructor and an airline pilot. And when you walk through airports, among thousands of coughing, sneezing, nose-wiping people and then sit in a cockpit that’s been used by literally hundreds of pilots in the past month, you get a pretty good idea of what keeps you from catching colds.

When I was a flight instructor, I remember one particularly horrible cold experience, one that REALLY made me wish there was a common cold cure. It was early in the season and I’d caught a little old common cold. One student needed to do a lot of high altitude maneuvering. My cold wasn’t really a bad one, just your common cold that makes you sniff like crazy unless you’re smart enough to carry around tissues. I didn’t, so for a straight week, as my nasal congestion got worse, I flew with this student up 5,000 feet in an unpressurized aircraft to do air work. By day 4 I had INCREDIBLY painful pressure building up in my ears and actually cancelled our flight on day 5. I went and saw a doctor for a COMMON COLD because I just couldn’t deal with the pain anymore.

Once I got to the airlines, I was a little smarter. I knew how painful a cold could be at that elevation, so I was prepared. Here are some of the things I did.

First, I started taking a good multi-vitamin, one with a LOT of vitamin C, and I took it faithfully every day. I also tried to eat healthy, including lots of fruits, vegetables, and especially certain kinds of food, like broccoli, yogurt, garlic (NOT in excess, cockpits are small places), and other immune-boosting foods. Second, I got plenty of exercise because it came with the territory. Ever walked from end to end in a big international airport? Try doing it at least 5 times a day. Third, I got serious about cleanliness. Pilots tend to be kind of germophobes, and while I’m not, I DID start using sanitizing wipes on equipment in the cockpit. After all that, I got as much rest as possible, a full 8 hours almost every night, which contributes greatly to overall immune system health.

I’m not saying doing all this will cure a cold, but it will sure help in cold prevention. And I’ll tell you from my experience as a pilot, preventing an emergency is a lot better than dealing with one!

Tips to Keep the Food Cold and Fresh Inside an Ice Chest

Ice chests are staples for a weekend getaway, camp or picnic. You might be contended by the thoughts that you have enough cooler boxes to store your beverages, snacks and other food items for the entire duration. However, if you do not pack them properly or prepare the cooler to retain its properties, there are high chances of the food getting spoilt after a couple of days. Before heading for a picnic or a camping trip, you need to prepare your eskies to retain the freshness of the food and beverages.

Preparing the Food for Storage

It needs a lot of preparation to store your food, even if you are heading out on a one day trip. For longer stays, it is best if you keep separate cooler boxes to store drinks in one and food in another. Chances are, you will have to take out drinks quite frequently which means every time the ice box is opened the temperature inside will drop. This is why it’s better to have food stored in a separate esky because the food esky will be opened less frequently than the drinks esky. Before packing the food, wash fruit, vegetables and other perishable foods thoroughly in clean water. Pat them dry with a clean cloth and pack them inside plastic air tight bags. Well sealed plastic containers will also do the job however; they might take up some extra space that can be better utilized with the use of plastic zipper bags. Pack fruit and vegetables in separate bags. Do not cut the fruit or break them to easily fit them in as they will start rotting faster. Do not take the perishable foods out until the time you are planning to use them.

Preparing Warm Foods

To store hot foods and to retain the warmth of your ice cooler ice boxes, you can use warm packs. The food must be wrapped in aluminium foil and must be surrounded by many warm packs. You can wrap the entire contents in a large tea towel and this can be placed inside the ice chest. Always make sure you leave no empty space for the heat to escape out of the towel. Fill empty spaces with tea towels and warm packs.

Cleaning and Care

Dry gel Ice packs can be used to fill up the cooler. You can store them in between bottles of drink or food containers. Doing so will ensure that they remain properly chilled in all your ice boxes. As an additional tip, you can store a container with salt in it. The clean container should be kept inside the freezer a day or two before your journey. Now, place the container at the bottom of the chest, and place meat, fish and other such items on top of it. Also make sure, you clean the chest with a solution of water and vinegar taken in equal proportions. Spray the solution inside and wipe it off. Let it dry by leaving it opens. If the chest has a removable liner, take off the liner and wash it in warm water.

What’s Really Happening With Bronchitis

Bronchitis is an inflammation of the bronchi, the large airways that branch off from the trachea. It is usually caused by an infection, but sometimes it is caused by an irritation from a gas or particle. In bronchitis, areas of the bronchial wall become inflamed and swollen and the production of mucus increases. As a result, the air passageway becomes narrowed and bacteria and viruses are usually present.

Most individuals who experience some type of respiratory condition are usually diagnosed with bronchitis. Bronchitis is one of the most common of all respiratory illnesses and it can affect anyone, as age does not matter. Bronchitis does tend to have a higher incidence in people who smoke, people with some type of respiratory insufficiency and people that have weak immune systems. The usual symptoms of bronchitis are also similar to many of the other respiratory illnesses and because of this, it can be difficult for the doctor to make the correct diagnosis.

Bronchitis is categorized as either acute or chronic. Acute bronchitis can last from a few days to a few weeks. Symptoms that last for up to 90 days are usually classified as acute bronchitis and symptoms that last for months or even years are classified as chronic bronchitis. It often presents itself as flu like symptoms. Once the person becomes ill, they may not feel productive. Chronic bronchitis, on the other hand, can last for months or years and the symptoms are not as pronounced or debilitating.

Acute bronchitis can be caused by infection or exposure to irritants. Infectious bronchitis occurs most often during the winter months and is caused by viruses or bacteria. Irritative bronchitis may be caused from exposure to various mineral and vegetable dusts, but may also be caused by exposure to fumes from strong acids, ammonia, organic solvents, chlorine, hydrogen sulfide, sulfur dioxide and bromine.

Even if the doctor makes the correct diagnosis, the best type of treatment can be a challenge. Although antibiotics are usually part of the treatments, if it is determined  that the bronchitis is viral, then the treatment with antibiotics is not effective. With some of the viral forms of acute bronchitis, medical treatment may not be necessary at all and the illness will clear up on it’s own in a few weeks.

The acute form of bronchitis typically has flu like symptoms that include: A Feeling of Tightness in the Chest, Sore Throat, Congestion, Wheezing and/or Difficulty Breathing and A Low Grade Fever. Since the flu is usually viral in nature and contagious, some instances of acute bronchitis are bacterial and therefore not contagious. Laboratory tests are required to accurately determine if the person who is ill is also contagious. If you follow the information below, you can lower your exposure risk to viruses that can make you ill.

1. Thoroughly Wash your hands. 

2. Use disinfectant wipes to clean your equipment.

3. Open doors with a paper towel.

4. Wash your hands after using the restroom.

5. Consider getting a flu shot since  the influenza virus can cause acute bronchitis.

6. Limit your exposure to sick people, especially in public areas like a break room, kitchen or cafeteria.

7. Try to avoid being around people who are coughing, since most do not cover their mouths when they cough.

9. There are many chemicals, especially the fumes and dust particles that can cause irritation to the bronchial passages. Avoid smoking and smokers whenever possible.

Be aware that none of the above tips are foolproof and that you just need to use good old common sense, but the tips can help to limit your exposure to the viruses that can cause the flu or bronchitis.

The treatments for bronchitis can include bronchodilators, which are aerosol sprays that are inhaled. They help to eliminate the excess production of mucus that obstructs the respiratory tract and help dilate the bronchiole tubes to minimize shortness of breath. Steroids can also be used to strengthen the body’s defense mechanism against both bacteria and viruses.

Patients that are under-going treatment for bronchitis need to avoid exposure to any type of irritants and pollutants, specifically: smoke and dust, chemical fumes, astringent substances, vapors from alcohol and gasoline. You must avoid trying to self-medicate yourself, because the use of inappropriate medicines may cause the condition to become more aggravated. Do not take any antibiotics unless your doctor prescribes them. Do not give small children aspirin, unless ordered by the doctor. Before taking aspirin or acetaminophen to temporarily relieve the symptoms, it is very important to see a doctor if the symptoms get worse.

If you have a viral form of acute bronchitis, get plenty of rest, drink fluids and setup a vaporizer or humidifier in the room you are in. The dry air can irritate your throat, causing soreness and even difficulty breathing. Do not use cough suppressants, unless prescribed as they can inhibit the elimination of excess mucus and can sometimes cause serious complications. A hot shower or bath can help to decongest your airways that are clogged with mucus.

If your symptoms persist or get worse after 2 days, it is imperative that you see your doctor. The doctor will give you a physical examination and order laboratory tests to determine the nature of your illness. The doctor will prescribe a specific treatment, once it is determined if the infection is caused by bacteria or something else.

Causes of Joint and Muscle Pains

Almost every one of us had suffered from joint and muscle pains due to some reason. Joint and muscle pains cause a lot of discomfort. The pain is the symptom of the disease or conditions causing it. You can experience dull or very severe pain, for short or longer time at one place or at the whole body depending upon the disease or injury causing it. It is very important to know the underlying cause in order to treat the joint and muscle pains.

The two bones meet at a point or area known as joint. In joint pain, you can feel sensation of stiffness, tenderness, soreness, swelling, inflammation and great discomfort. Joint pain can affect more than one joint of your body at the same time.

There are many causes of joint pains making you restless and bothersome. Joint pain is not the disease itself but the symptom of mild to serious disease. Fever can be the cause of generalized joint pains. It can be caused due to sprain or ligament injury, cartilage tearing, dislocations and sports injuries such as tennis elbow and swimmers shoulder in the case of injuries with swelling and redness around the injured part.

Sometimes, it can be accompanying symptom in terminal conditions like blood cancer, carcinoma of bone and rheumatoid arthritis. Severe and sudden joint pain can be experienced in joint dislocations like shoulder dislocation. In conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, and osteoarthritis, the pain can be ongoing for a long period of time. Osteoarthritis is very common type that can cause joint pains and can leave you with deformation if not treated properly.

Certain infectious disease can be present with joint pains. These include septic arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), Lyme’s disease, hepatitis, mumps and chicken pox. In SLE, inflammation with nodules and soreness can be present which must be treated early or else can left you with more complications. There can be many other causes but the most important thing is the early diagnosis and treatment of the joint pain or underlying condition. You should consult your doctor. He can ask your symptoms, medical history with physical examination. You have to undergo certain pathological and imaging tests such as blood test, RA factor test, urine test, X-ray, bone density test, CT scan and MRI to assess the disease.

Similarly, muscle pains are very common and can involve any one. Muscle pain can be caused by overuse of the muscles in cases like over exercise or stretching, by injury to muscle due to any physical challenged work or any tension in muscles. The conditions or disease can affect your single or group of muscles. Muscle pains due to exercise starts immediately after over work and can be dealt by doing some rest.

Sometimes whole muscle of the body can be affected by conditions like flu or systemic lupus erythmatosus affecting the connective tissues of the body. Fibromyalgia is a very common condition and causes pain in soft tissues and muscles even on touch, fatigue and sleeping disorders with heaviness in head. Other causes of muscle pain include injury to muscle, thyroid disease, arthritis, polymyositis (cramps in muscles), muscle metabolism disorders, diabetes, circulatory disorders, septic conditions and many other underlying conditions.

If your muscle pain stays for more than 4 day with swelling around the painful muscles or any rash then you need to take medical care. Joint and muscles pains should not be overlooked and taken care as early as possible.

What Causes Our Fingers To Swell?

Mild swelling of your fingers is not something you need to worry about. However, if you notice that the swelling is severe and it happens often, it is time for you to take the necessary action. You need to deal with it immediately to avoid further problems with your fingers. First, you will have to know the different reasons why fingers swell.

Dislocation – Dislocation happens when the joints of your fingers are moved unintentionally. It could be because of an accident or mishap. When the joints are not in their proper places, this can result to swelling. In some cases, your fingers may also look different and deformed. This condition can be very painful therefore it is better to let your fingers rest and keep it immobile for a few hours.

Lymphedema – This is a condition wherein the tissues start to retain fluid. Because of the extra fluid, the fingers swell and become bigger. There are many causes associated with this disease. There are also many symptoms that you may experience. Some of the symptoms include difficulty in moving the fingers, wrist pain, tightness and swelling of your fingers. This can happen because of physical anomaly or physical trauma. Surgeries related to lymph nodes may also trigger the problem.

Preeclampsia – This condition only happens to pregnant women who are usually in their 20th week. High blood pressure and increased protein amount are experienced by mothers-to-be. Swelling is also a symptom of this condition particularly swelling in the legs, feet and fingers. If you have these symptoms, you may also suffer from weight gain, persistent headache and eye problems. This condition should be treated immediately because it does not only affect you but also the child you are carrying. Proper prenatal care should always be observed.

Edema – Fluid buildup is also the main cause of swelling for people who have Edema. If you have this condition, it is probably because you have too much sodium content in your body. Salt retains fluid and makes the tissues swell. Other reasons for Edema include heart and kidney failure. It may also be because of certain medications that you are taking. It is better to consult your doctor about the side effects. At present, there are still no cures for Edema. However, diuretics will help you reduce the swelling.

Infection – Infection is one of the most common causes of finger swelling. You can know if there is an infection by observing the skin. You need to monitor the temperature of the skin. If you skin is hotter than the usual, it may be infected and it may become really painful. It is better to go to your doctor immediately to avoid the situation from getting out of hand. Your doctor will most likely give you antibiotics and creams to lessen the swelling and to treat the infection.

These are just some of the things that cause finger swelling. Knowing them is very important especially in determining the cause and treatment for the condition. In every situation, it is best to consult with your physician to get a proper advice.

Understanding Fracture Filled Diamonds

Diamonds come into contact with a number of elements during their formation in the ground and these contribute towards their impurities or imperfections. Trapped air is one such element. Even if a diamond is cut and polished to perfection, the trapped air bubble would still be visible to the naked eye by the way light is refracted by this pocket of air. The pockets of air resemble cracks or fissures inside the diamond. These imperfections can greatly reduce the appeal of the rock and hence the price.

The process of fracture filling was invented by an Israeli scientist in the 70’s. This process involves the use of a clear glass like substance which is forced into the diamond through the fissures. This glass like material refracts and reflects light just like a diamond would and hence the diamond would look somewhat perfect. This process makes the pockets of air disappear and the diamond would seem perfect to the naked eye and sometimes even under a microscope.

The filler does not alter a diamonds weight. The diamond still retains all its qualities in terms of color, shape and carat weight but the clarity improves by one or two grades. The highest attainable grade for a fracture filled diamond is VS2 and the diamond appears better and hence the value increases.

Normal wear and tear will not remove the filler from a fracture filled diamond. This however is still a temporary treatment and certain circumstances can remove the filler and cause the diamond to retain it original look. A jeweler’s torch or acid can cause the filler to evaporate. However most treatment lab will guarantee their work and in these rare cases they will refill the diamond at no extra cost.

A professional jeweler is able to tell if a diamond has undergone fracture filling. There is a flash effect that can be seen when light goes through the filler material. These flashes are brilliant colors that are apparent on rotating the diamond. These flashes are not apparent when the diamond is viewed form the face up position. They are apparent when the diamond is viewed from the bottom.

Fracture filled diamonds caused a huge controversy when they were introduced into the US since some jeweler were fleecing customers by selling them at the price of flawless diamonds without revealing that they had undergone any enhancement.

Today, these types of diamonds are readily sold and accepted by buyers as long as the jeweler discloses that they are enhanced diamonds.

Osteoporosis – A Largely Preventable Condition

What is Osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis is a loss of bone mineral density often associated with old age, leading to bone fragility and fracture. Because the bones are weakened, such fractures can result from relatively minor traumas such as carrying grocery bags or even a sneeze! Fractures to the hip can be due to a fall and can significantly compromise quality of life and ability to walk. Statistics show that 1 in 4 American women and 1 in 8 American men over 50 have osteoporosis. This is a very disheartening statistic considering that osteoporosis is a largely preventable condition. Osteoporosis is also usually clinically silent until a fracture occurs, so it can go unnoticed for years. This is why bone density scans (DEXA scans) are often recommended to postmenopausal women.

Risk Factors:

There are both modifiable and non-modifiable risk factors for osteoporosis. Well known non-modifiable risk factors include age, female gender, family history of osteoporosis, being fair-skinned and having European descent. Women who have had hysterectomies are also at a higher risk because hormones such as estrogen have a protective effect on bone density. Certain metabolic diseases and medications can also affect the body’s chemistry and bone mass. What we are most interested in, however, are modifiable risk factors. Modifiable risk factors are lifestyle choices. Some such risk factors include: smoking, having a sedentary lifestyle, low body mass and certain dietary factors.

Prevention:

Prevention of osteoporosis starts now! Peak bone density occurs between the ages of 25 and 35, gradually reduces with age and then at menopause the downward slope becomes steeper. Here are some great tips…

1) Exercise:

Exercise is the most important preventative strategy for osteoporosis. Weight-bearing aerobic activities help to maintain and even increase bone mass. Weight-bearing exercises are any exercise done on ones feet such as jogging, hiking, stair-climbing, step aerobics, dancing and weight lifting. The body adapts to the stresses placed on it by building stronger muscle and bone. Wolff’s law pertains to bone – bone remodels over time to become stronger when loaded. The converse is also true – when bone is not regularly loaded, it becomes weaker.

2) Maintain a healthy body weight:

Being underweight is a risk factor for osteoporosis, thus maintaining a healthy body weight is important.

3) Stop smoking:

Those who smoker have 10% lower bone density than an average person of the same age. Fractures also heal more slowly in smokers and overall healing is compromised.

4) Modify your diet:

Excessive alcohol consumption inhibits calcium absorption and is associated with osteoporosis. Diets high in protein (animal meat), caffeine and soft drinks (containing phosphoric acid) area also problematic, resulting in calcium loss. High consumption of fiber, oxalates and high zinc foods decrease calcium absorption from diet. Conversely, alkaline forming foods (such as fruits and vegetables) appear to be beneficial. Legumes containing phytoestrogens (such as soy, chickpeas and lentils) also appear to have protective effects on bone mass. Nutrition has a very important role in bone health so it is essential to ensure a healthy, balanced diet with adequate intake of the necessary vitamins and minerals.

5) Improve your digestion:

Poor absorption leads to deficiency. Consider low allergenic diet and probiotics.

6) Consider supplementation:

Supplementation is not a replacement for a healthy, balanced and nutritious diet. A healthy, balanced diet is a must! However, it may become necessary when deficiencies arise. There are also some vitamin and mineral supplements that are specially formulated to address low bone density. The following seem to have protective effects on bone density: calcium citrate, vitamin D, vitamin K, magnesium, boron, isoflavones and omega-3 fatty acids.

Managing Osteoporosis and Low Bone Density:

Much of the same advice for prevention of osteoporosis and low bone density is also used for the management. It is also important to eliminate fall risks so as to prevent fracture. Your family doctor may recommend a medication. Unfortunately, many medications have unwanted side effects. Be sure to ask a lot of questions regarding benefits as well as risks for some of the options such that you may make an informed decision regarding your health.

Can I Still See a Chiropractor if I Have Low Bone Density or Osteoporosis?

Many chiropractors offer gentle techniques for individuals who have low bone density or osteoporosis. Be sure to tell your chiropractor if you are aware that you have this problem.

Cerebral Palsy Claims

Cerebral palsy claims are successful if it can be proven that a child’s cerebral palsy, which can be of many different types and have many different causes, was actually caused by hypoxia or oxygen deprivation when it was a foetus, and this arose from a hospital doctor’s or nurse’s negligence, for example in not carrying out a caesarean section earlier despite signs of foetal distress, such as bradycardia or low foetal heart rate as measured on a cardiotocograph (CTG).

Children injured through medical negligence are currently entitled to Legal Aid funding for their cerebral palsy claims as their claims will deemed meritorious and the child will usually be financially eligible, based on an assessment of their own resources rather than their parent’s resources.

The starting point of any claim, and of any application for public funding, is a statement from the child’s mother dealing with her full obstetric and gynaecological history, and in particular with the events surrounding this particular child’s birth.

Once legal aid is obtained a medical report is obtained from an obstetrician on whether negligent mistakes were made. If the mother’s care was midwife led it will often then be necessary to obtain a report from a midwife.

The legal test for clinical negligence is such that if the defendant hospital’s obstetrician or midwife can produce another leading obstetrician or midwife to support the treatment that was given, or can refer to a leading textbook, the hospital may be able to successfully defend the claim.Furthermore, to win, the claimant must also prove causation of cerebral palsy by asphyxia on a balance of probabilities, which is frequently difficult.

On receipt of each expert’s report it is likely that conferences with the expert/s, the client and a barrister will be arranged by the solicitors to understand and test the expert evidence.

If the report from the obstetrician and /or the midwife is positive on breach of duty, a report from a paediatric neurologist is obtained on whether that mistake caused the cerebral palsy, rather than some other cause.

Additionally if this report is positive, then a report from a neuroradiologist on a child’s MRI brain scan can help to establish causation.

Deprivation of oxygen to the brain (asphyxia) or head trauma sustained during labor and/or delivery can cause cerebral palsy. Severe asphyxia for a lengthy period can produce brain damage called hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy, which causes many infant deaths.

Asphyxia refers in general terms to the end result of reduced oxygen and nutrient supply to the fetal brain. During labour it is assessed by fetal heart rate monitoring on a cardiotocograph (CTG), the results of fetal scalp blood sampling, and the passage of meconium.

After a child’s birth, hypoxic-ischaemic encephalopathy is a sign that the infant has suffered enough asphyxia to cause some brain injury. Its severity is a far more reliable predictor than a low Apgar score or acidosis.

The infant who develops hypoxic-ischaemic encephalopathy may require resuscitation at birth. After an interval that may vary from minutes to many hours the infant shows changes in tone, activity, and patterns of primitive reflexes. This may be hyperalertness or declining consciousness. Fits and abnormal movements develop, and there are abnormalities of sucking, feeding, and eye movements. The infant may deteriorate and die, recover completely, or progress slowly and continue to show abnormal neurological signs.

However, it must be stressed that the vast majority of congenital cerebral palsy is not caused by birth asphyxia. Often unknown events during pregnancy, labour, and delivery damage motor centers in the developing brain and cause cerebral palsy. Infections during pregnancy, such as German measles (rubella), cytomegalovirus and toxoplasmosis, can damage the fetus’s developing nervous system.

Brain hemorrhage, or bleeding, can occur in the fetus during pregnancy or in newborns around the time of birth, damaging fetal brain tissue and causing neurological problems, including congenital CP. These hemorrhages are a type of stroke that may be caused by broken, abnormal, or clogged blood vessels in or leading to the brain, or by respiratory distress, a common breathing disorder in premature infants.

Assuming, however, that positive reports on breach of duty and causation are obtained and it can be proven that a child’s cerebral palsy was actually caused by hypoxia, the next stage in the claim is for a formal detailed letter of claim, usually drafted by counsel, to be sent out to the hospital trust or their solicitors. Realistically it will take them at least six months to reply to this letter substantively in a formal response letter,as they will have to commission their own expert evidence, and on receipt consider and test it.

Normally liability will be disputed and court proceedings will have to be commenced. In order to save costs it is likely that the court will then order a split trial, with quantum only being dealt with if the claimant wins a trial on liability. Before trial various stages are passed through to try to reduce the issues between the opposing medical experts but ultimately it may be necessary for them to give oral evidence at a trial and for a judge to apply the aforementioned tests of medical negligence and causation, and decide whether or not the claimant has proved his or her case.

If so, then the quantum of their successful cerebral palsy claim can run into many millions. During the course of the subsequent proceedings reports are obtained from many quantum experts including speech, physio and occupational therapists, nursing and housing experts. Increasingly such experts are instructed jointly by both parties to save costs.

Based on such quantum reports the Claimant will produce and serve a Schedule of Loss and the Defendant a Counter schedule. If a reasonable quantum settlement cannot be reached and approved by the court, which is in order to protect the claimant, a trial on quantum will have to take place. Once damages are awarded they will be administered by the Court of Protection on the Claimant’s behalf.

The Complications Of Osteoporosis Are Severe

Osteoporosis is a global health problem. Over the age of 50 years, 1 in 2 women and one in every 5 men sustains an osteoporotic fracture during life. If you add up all cases of cancer of the uterus, cervix and ovaries, it still doesn’t add up to the deaths relating to the aftereffects of osteoporotic fractures.

There are two critical times in life that have been shown apply to the formation of osteoporosis. One is failing to achieve adequate bone mass during adolescence. The other is when a high rate of bone loss occurs during menopause or advancing age. Along with the uncontrollable factor of age is the lifestyle choices such as smoking, nutrition, exercise, and medications such as steroids which can result in bone density losses.

The definition of osteoporosis was established back in 1994 by the World Health Organization. Bone mineral density measurements are compared to what is known as “young normals” in the female population. If a person’s bone mineral density falls within 1 to 2 standard deviations of these “young normal” the condition is referred to as osteopenia. If it is over 2.5 standard deviations below the norm, it is referred to as osteoporosis.

Based on the 2000 Census, over 50 million American men and women suffer from either osteopenia or osteoporosis. Over 1.5 million fractures from osteoporosis occur in the US each year. Half of those occur in the spine, twenty percent at the hip, and 30% at the wrist. There is a decade differential with regards to the types of fractures seen. People in their 50’s most commonly sustain wrist fractures. Once individuals reach their 60’s, the spine is the most common location, and in the 70’s the hip becomes the most common site. Amazingly, the death rate after a hip fracture is 20% in the first year afterwards. Over half of male patients with hip fractures do not regain their walking status within one year after sustaining a hip fracture, and unfortunately less than half ever recover their pre-fracture ability to perform activities of daily living such as eating, grooming, dressing, or bathing.

In vertebral fractures, repeated occurrence may produce an unnatural spinal curvature along with height loss. The rib cage tends to move downward and may rest against the iliac crest. Organs may become compressed, and an protuberance may be evident in the abdomen. Height loss, inhibited breathing, back pain, and abdominal fullness may be seen. The spinal fractures may result in a patient having decreased appetite due to this compression with subsequent weight loss. The forward resulting kyphosis may lead to shallow respiration’s, which can affect future anesthesia. Chronic lung disease may result.

With the complications from hip and spine fractures being so significant, the best method of treatment is actually to try and prevent them from occurring in the first place.

Cold Sore Remedies – How to Relieve a Cold Sore

You wake up one morning with tingling sensation on your lips and when you look at the mirror, it’s confirmed, another cold  sore  outbreak to irritate you for a few days or worst few weeks. This means that you will try your best to be out of the circulation or avoid socializing for a few weeks due to this cold  sore  outbreak, unless you know a quick and easy way to relieve a cold  sore .

Cold  sores  are blisters that commonly appear on the external edges of the mouth, on the lips and nose caused by the Herpes Simplex Virus Type 1 (HSV-1). These are painful blisters that may last a few days or weeks and highly contagious. If the cold  sore  is not bothersome, some people let the virus takes its course and leave the cold  sore  alone to heal on its own. Unfortunately, most of the time cold  sore  is annoying due to its ugly appearance, pains and discomforts. These are the reasons why sufferers tend to find ways to relieve a cold  sore .

Here are some ways to relieve a cold  sore :

  • Aloe vera plant helps relieve a cold  sore . Known for its healing properties on skin diseases, aloe vera plant is an alternative remedy for herpes simplex viruses or commonly known as cold  sore . It helps in wound healing. Application of aloe vera balm 3x a day on the affected area will help relieve a cold  sore .
  • Vitamin supplements. Taking Vitamin C at first sign of outbreak helps relieve a cold  sore . Direct application of Vitamin E on the  sore  area relieves a cold  sore  pain.
  • Eat a well balanced and healthy diet. Avoid processed foods, sugar, alcohol and caffeine. Eat foods with high lysine levels like vegetables, fish and chicken.
  • OTC or over the counter medicines and creams. Although there are side effects, over the counter medicines can help ease the pains and temporarily relieve a cold  sore .
  • Some find it effective to use a warm tea bag on the affected area to help relieve a cold  sore . Put the warm tea bag on your cold  sore  for 30 minutes, tannic acid of the tea has antivirus properties to help relieve a cold  sore .

Although you can relieve a cold  sore , it is best to find the best permanent treatment for cold  sore . Cold  sore  is not only contagious but it also has high tendencies to come back or recur on the same spot. It is important to stop cold  sore  at the root of the problem, instead of just masking the symptoms.