Anxiety and Its Treatment in a Nutshell

If you have found this page then you probably are interested in knowing more about  anxiety , social  anxiety  or shyness, stress, worry, and related problems or disorders, what they are and how to get over them. You are in the right place! I am a Santa Rosa based psychologist and psychotherapist who was formally the head of the  Anxiety  Disorder Best Practices for all of Northern California Kaiser-Permanente Psychiatry. I have some very important information to share with you!

Fact:  Anxiety  Disorders are the most common mental health problem in the US!

Over the course of a lifetime,  Anxiety  Disorders will affect 25 to 30% of the entire US population! There are 6 primary  anxiety  disorders: Simple phobia, Panic Disorder, Generalized  Anxiety  Disorder, Social  Anxiety  Disorder, Post-traumatic Stress Disorder and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). There are also Adjustment Disorders with Anxious Features (also very common).

 Anxiety  is an out of control fear response

 Anxiety  is related to fear, a basic emotion which we all share. If humans had no fear, humankind would not survive! In this sense, fear is adaptive and has many forms: panic, worry, apprehension, nervousness, and even feeling stressed out. Fear is supposed to serve a useful purpose and is nature’s way of getting your mind and body prepared to face some type of actual or genuine threat. A common fear response causes your attention to narrow onto what you are afraid of and also causes your body to become charged with adrenaline to “flee or fight”.  Anxiety , on the other hand, is maladaptive and causes a reaction similar or identical to a fear response but… there is little or nothing to really be afraid of!  Anxiety  causes you to overreact to situations, people, sensations, and even memories!  Anxiety  is an easily triggered and misplaced reaction.

What causes  anxiety ? Can  anxiety  lead to depression?

 Anxiety  is primarily caused by a combination of predisposing factors that interact with your environment. Predisposing factors include past histories of trauma or abuse, problems in your early emotional connection with caregivers, modeling of anxious behaviors by caregivers, domestic violence, being bullied or picked on, ongoing work related stress, history of accidents or medical illnesses, genes and temperament, and other factors. With these predispositions in place you are more vulnerable to developing problematic  anxiety  or even  anxiety  disorders in reaction to your environment like during periods of stress or adversity, life transitions (both negative and positive), losses, major life events, etc. Once  anxiety  has started you may experience a very strong urge to avoid situations, people, sensations, and/or memories associated with the  anxiety . Unfortunately avoidance only works in the short term-you may feel relief when you avoid, but you keep the whole cycle going by not learning to confront the sources of the fear directly. Every time you avoid due to  anxiety , your world shrinks a little. Over time this avoidance can lead to other problems including social isolation and depression!

How do I get over  anxiety ?

The best way to overcome  anxiety  is to learn to confront your fears and examine the factors that lead up to the  anxiety . If you have had abuse or trauma this needs to be addressed as well.  Anxiety  recovery means learning to face things and to stop avoiding. Drugs can sometimes be used temporarily, but long term use can cause side effects and reinforce the tendency to avoid, thereby never really addressing the true causes of your  anxiety . If you need help, you should get it sooner rather than later! For more information on  anxiety , social  anxiety  or shyness, phobias, PTSD or trauma, OCD, and other issues related to  anxiety  and its treatment go to http://docericryan.com/cognitive-behavioral-therapy/

Curing Insomnia With Bath Salts

Bath salts, especially Epsom salt baths, have been curing insomnia for centuries. When salts are combined with aromatherapy and a glass of hot milk or a Valerian supplement you have a sure shot at curing your insomnia.

Here are some recipes for making relaxing baths that are known for curing insomnia.

Lavender Salt Bath

This is a very classic recipe for curing insomnia.

· 1 cup Epsom salts

· A Jar with a lid

· A handful of dried lavender petals

· A handful of dried chamomile buds (do not add these if you are allergic to ragweed)

· Six drops essential lavender oil.

First put the salts in a jar and then add the lavender petals and (optional) chamomile buds. Add the six drops of essential lavender oil. Shake the contents and let sit. In a few hours the lavender will infuse the relaxing Epsom salts with the oils.

Marjoram Bath

· 1 ounce dried marjoram leaves

· Ten drops of oil of eucalyptus

· Three drops of oil of lavender

· Three drops of oil of cinnamon

· 1 small drawstring bag (made of cotton or linen)

Mix up the marjoram and essential oils in a bowl and then (while wearing gloves to protect your skin) put them in the drawstring bag. Close the bag tight and when it is time to take a bath, run the bag under very hot water.

Sedative Bath Bag

This is a bath bag recipe that requires a cheesecloth or cotton drawstring bed. The marjoram acts as a sedative and hypnotic which can be helpful in curing insomnia. You will need:

· ½ cup lime flowers

· ½ cup hop flowers

· 2 tablespoons marjoram

· 1 cup oatmeal

Mix up these ingredients in a bowl and add them to the cotton bag. If you tie a ribbon around the bag you can hang it from the faucet as the tub runs water. Immerse yourself in the tub when the water is lukewarm.

Sea Salt Physical Relaxing Bath

This particular bath has an actual physical effect on most people and serves to remove chemicals from your body. It is also a very simple bath to which you can add any type of aromatherapy oil.

To a running hot bath add –

· 1 pound baking soda

· 1 cup sea salt

Climb in bath but if you start to feel a bit dizzy, get out, dry off and go to bed as this means that you are detoxifying and becoming relaxed enough to go immediately to bed!

You can also buy all kinds of commercial preparations that induce sleep. Most of them are herbal in nature and consist of such ingredients as hops, Melissa, passion flower, orange, rose, eucalyptus, juniper, pine, camphor, skullcap, lavender, chamomile and other oils that can put you to sleep.

Like Epsom salts, dead sea salts are also very relaxing and well known for their healing and relaxing properties. They also relieve aches and pains and relax the muscles which further facilitates curing insomnia.

Keep in mind that before you do any type of insomnia bath you should run the recipe by your doctor, especially if you have any type of skin condition.

What is the Difference Between Herpes Simplex I & II?

The history of the herpes virus is well documented in the writings of Hippocrates, some 2,500 years ago. The Greek scholar described the spreading of herpes as “the creep and crawl disease.” Scientific research has identified more than 5,000 different strains of the Herpes Virus. Eight of these strains cause disease in humans:

1. Herpes Simplex Virus I: Cold Sores

2. Herpes Simplex Virus II: Genital Herpes

3. Varicella Zoster Virus: Chicken Pox and Shingles

4. Human Herpes Virus 6: Roseola

5. Human Herpes Virus 8: Kaposi’s Sarcoma

6. Epstein-Barr Virus

7. Cytomegalovirus

8. Human B-Lymphotropic Virus

There are two types of HSV. Type 1 manifests itself in the common cold sore and Type 2 usually manifests as genital lesions (although in some cases, Type 2 has shown itself in the form of a cold sore with many of the same properties). Since the lesions commonly affect the lips or areas bordering the lips, the condition is also known as recurrent herpes labialis.

The herpes virus takes up permanent residence in the body once it becomes introduced. The peak incidence of HSV Type 1 primary infection is at two to three years of age, but new cases appear in all age groups due to the highly contagious nature of the virus. Only an estimated 15% of the population experience the primary infection as an adult. The disease is thought to be transmitted by direct contact. Virus excretion persists in the body secretions for 15 to 42 days after the onset of the primary herpes infection.

After an initial infection, some people develop effective immunity; however, 20% to 45% have recurrent lesions. In North America, an estimated seven per cent of the general population has two or more bouts of herpes labialis annually. In these cases the virus goes into hiding, escaping the host’s immune system by remaining latent in a specific group of cells, causing no apparent harm to the host during quiescent periods. The exact cell in which they remain latent varies from one virus to the next. In cells harboring the latent virus, the viral genomes take the form of closed molecules and only a small subset of virus genes are expressed.

The incubation period for HSV ranges from two to twelve days. After an infection, the virus goes into hiding by entering nerve endings and traveling to ganglia (clusters of nerve cells). The recurrence of the viral infection varies but certain factors are known to trigger recurrence in humans: fever, emotional stress, physical trauma, systemic infections, ultraviolet light and menses. People whose resistance is compromised (less than normal) may experience more severe lesions with slower healing. An infection recurs when the virus is activated in the ganglia and travels down the nerve to the surface of the skin where it replicates. The recurrence takes place in phases:

a. Prodrome: Tingling and itching prior to visual outbreak; warning symptoms that last for less than six hours.

b. Inflammation: Swelling and redness at the site before outbreak; an indication that the virus and antibodies have arrived.

c. Vesicular: Blisters that appear within 1-2 days after prodrome from one or several vesicles, or tiny red bumps commonly found at the vermilion border of the lip.

d. Ulcers: Actual sores that form within 3 days after prodrome, often accompanied by pain; blisters leak fluid.

e. Crusts: Sores dry and form scabs within 4 days to indicate healing; virus diminishes and wound heals over within two to three days.

f. Healing: Complete within 8-10 days; new-skin forms; virus replication is complete. The virus retreats to the host ganglia where it remains protected from the host’s immunological attack.

Evidenced by common recurrence, even the best medical treatments have failed to rid human-kind of the herpes virus. It has been proposed that anti-viral treatments may lead to resistant and perhaps more perilous strains of the virus. As you can see, this virus represents a serious challenge to the medical community and a health concern to the public at large.

Fortunately, when it comes to breakouts, Medavir, a pharmaceutical grade over-the-counter product, is meeting that challenge. Medavir was developed by scientists and tested by a team of physicians and scientists from America’s top pharmaceutical companies. Medavir is not an herbal or dietary supplement often found on the internet falsely claiming to cure the herpes virus.

Best Single Remedy For Nail Fungus

Vinegar is probably the most important natural cure for nail fungus. It has been used for the treatment of fungal infections for thousands of years and with great success. Still you can find a huge number of toenail fungus cases, that fail to respond to medical treatments and finally recovered with vinegar. One of the benefits of vinegar is that it also treats athlete foot, hence for persons suffering from toenail fungus and athlete foot, this is the collective remedy. Other benefits are that it is cheap, free from side effects and easily available. For this purpose any type of vinegar can be used but apple cider vinegar and white vinegar are usually recommended.

How to Use Vinegar ALONE:

Vinegar itself is a strong remedy against toenail fungus. It can be used in following ways:

  • As a 50/50 solution with water to soak the fungal nail for 15 to 30 minutes twice a day. Whole foot can be soaked, this method is especially good for people with athlete’s foot because that will also be cured.
  • Sometimes undiluted vinegar is also used as a soak, this depends upon the severity of condition.
  • In spite of soaking the whole nail into the basin, cotton balls or bandages soaked in the acid are also used to keep the fungal nail covered for required time.
  • Two to three drops of undiluted ACV or white vinegars can be poured directly on the nails as well as on the under surface, again twice a day.
  • Some people recommend white vinegar for topical applications combined with two table spoons of ACV twice daily to enhance the effect.

Vinegar in combination remedies

Vinegar can be mixed with a number of other natural ingredients that have proven anti fungal properties to speed up the procedure.

  • Coconut oil: Surely, coconut oil has antifungal effects either taken orally or applied topically. You can massage coconut oil around the nail and also pour under the nail with a dropper after completing vinegar treatment and drying the nail or alternatively oral intake of VCO along with topical application of vinegar will also work.
  • Olive Oil: Olive oil also has a place in the home remedies for nail fungus and is used with white vinegar in the same way as coconut oil.
  • Hydrogen Peroxide: Some hydrogen peroxide is added to 50/50 solution of vinegar/water but be careful it may damage the skin.
  • Essential Oils: Oils like that of lavender, tea tree, rosemary or oregano are also effective against treating fungus in nails, hence these can be either poured on the matrix with a dropper or massaged on the surrounding skin and nails after vinegar soaks.
  • Another way is to make a mixture of vinegar with one or more of these oils and put it in a dropper. Pour a couple of these drops on the base of fungal nails and also under them. Again applications are required twice a day for a long period.

No matter which method you prefer, the important is to apply it thoroughly and consistently. You will see the results as early as two weeks when the yellowness of the nail will start decreasing. However it is not until six weeks that you can see a thin clear nail growth at the base. After about six months whole new nail will have replaced the old yellow one. Once the nail grows out, the treatment is continued for about three more months. It can take from nine months to two years for complete cure. Besides its effectiveness, vinegar is probably the cheapest of all remedies, totally safe and a complete cure for nail fungus.

How To Treat a Sprained Thumb

The thumb is one of those areas of the body that is used continuously in everyday life. The thumb is used for gripping, grasping, picking things up and holding items. When the thumb is injured, your ability to perform any task with your hand is virtually impossible.

When a strain occurs in the thumb, a ligament is typically torn. This means that when the thumb is strained it is the ulnar collateral ligament that is strained, which causes a significant weakness in one’s ability to pinch or grasp.

Causes and Symptoms of a Sprained Thumb

Causes

The most common causes of a sprained thumb are due to falling injuries. A person may fall while their arm and hand are extended in order to reduce the impact of the fall, but in the attempt to absorb impact, actually do more damage.

Another common thumb injury occurs while skiing and is known as ‘skier’s thumb.’ This occurs when a fall takes place while the ski pole is embedded inside the hand, near the base and alongside the thumb region. This type of injury typically results in a torn ligament in the thumb.

Symptoms

Symptoms vary depending on the nature and severity of the sprain, although general weakness in the ability to grasp and hold items between the thumb and index finger.

There may also be pain and swelling around the base of the thumb when it is sprained. Bruising and tenderness to touch are also common.

Non-Surgical Treatment of a Sprained Thumb

When the ligament in the thumb is only partially torn, non-surgical treatment is possible to repair the injury. The doctor may immobilize the thumb to keep it stable and prevent the ligament from moving. This may be done using a cast, split or thick bandage that supports the thumb. To relieve pain and swelling, anti-inflammatory medication may be prescribed, along with daily cycles of ice application.

Surgical Treatment of a Sprained Thumb

When the ligament is completely torn, surgery is the only option to repair the tear and provide the ability to move the thumb again. Surgery involves the reconnection of the ligament to the bone so that normal movement can be regained once the area is healed. Following surgery a cast or splint may be put on, along with short arm cast for six to eight weeks to prevent the thumb from moving. Immobility is critical for the healing process.

While many people ignore a sprained thumb and believe it will heal on its own, in some cases if left alone the thumb can become deformed and the individual may never regain proper function and mobility.

Effects of Lyme Disease Rash

Borrelia burdorferi is the bacteria carried by ticks from mice and deer which are then transmitted to the victim through bites which cause rashes. Lyme disease is not only possible for humans but to domestic pets as well commonly the dogs and the cats. Common habitats for ticks are shrubs and grass. They will attach to the host animal when it passes. They are very tiny that it you can’t almost see it with your naked eye.

The coastal areas in the pacific have the most cases of this disease throughout United States. Other areas include the upper Midwest and Northeast. Deer ticks are very common in these places though this disease is also present all over the country. However, there are reported cases of people experiencing this disease in other regions like Europe, Asia and Canada.

The skin is affected since Lyme disease rash is one of the signs of the disease but it can also affect joins, the nervous system as well as the different organs of the body. The severity varies from one person to another. There are three stages but it can also change among affected people. There are different reactions caused by this disease. The very first symptom is usually Lyme disease rash. Its characteristics are circular with a clear center spot with a red margin. It is warm to touch and commonly not itchy nor painful. For people with dark skin pigments, the rash will also appear darker mimicking the appearance of a bruise. The rash normally disappears in a month.

There are instances when affected people does not have Lyme disease rash and for cases like this, the disease will progress to the second stage. Some have rash but will also experience fatigue, fever, headache and painful muscle which is collectively mistaken for flu.

If ignored, it may disappear through time but it is possible that the infection may spread to the rest of the body. It will take three weeks from the day the person got the tick bite with rashes or none. There are cases where the classic characteristics of Lyme disease rash will not show. It does not matter if you got the rash or not. What is important is that you have to see your doctor if you feel that you have flu for days just to be sure that it is not Lyme disease because in the event that you have it, you can be treated immediately.

Secrets of the World’s Healthiest People

Who knows the secret of the fountain of youth? After all, it always makes good sense to take advice from those who know what they’re talking about – especially if they have proven results.

As far as we know, Okinawa has the healthiest people on earth. How do we know this? Well, to begin with, they have a higher number of centurions (100 years or older) per capita than any other country in the world – more than three times those in America. Plus, compared with the high U.S. incidence of heart disease, Okinawans have just a minimal risk. They also have 80% less breast and prostate cancer, 50% less colon and ovarian cancer and 40% fewer hip fractures.

What are their secrets to better health and longevity? It’s very simple and relatively easy to follow.

Secret #1 is maintain a positive, optimistic attitude. Okinawans believe that everything in life works itself out in the long run. With this attitude, there’s no need to worry. They intentionally live a calm, peaceful life with little stress. When they work, it’s at their own pace, rather than putting pressure on themselves to get things done in a hurry. Experts believe this relaxed way of being is definitely good for health and longevity.

Secret #2 is cultivate strong relationships. Okinawans often get together with friends, family and in groups to just hang out, chat and laugh or to offer support to one another. Endless studies have shown that people are healthier when they have good relationships and an active, positive social life. They live longer and have less tendency to get sick.

Secret #3 is eat a very healthy diet. It’s considered to be especially important that the traditional Okinawa diet is both simple and wholesome. It consists mainly of fish that’s rich in protein and omega-3 oils and plant food that’s high in vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. Plus, they eat less food – between 500 and 1,000 fewer calories per day than the average American or people from other “modern” countries. Eating a healthy, low calorie diet greatly reduces their risk of health problems related to overweight and increases their chance of longevity.

Secret # 4 is lead an active life. Most of Okinawans get plenty of exercise. They walk a lot, work in their gardens and practice traditional martial arts like tai chi.

Secret # 5 is refrain from bad habits. There are very few older Okinawans who smoke cigarettes or drink alcohol.

However, sadly enough, good health and longevity is more than likely not in the future of the next Okinawa generation. Because of outside influences, most of the young people eat a much more “modern” commercial diet. This group already has the highest rate of obesity in Japan. Plus, many of the younger set have changed other essential health habits – for example, 60% of younger Okinawan men smoke.

It makes better sense to follow the example of the elders who have positive attitudes, strong relationships, good social lives, eat wholesome and light, exercise regularly, work at a relaxed pace and refrain from smoking and drinking. Simple as it is, those are the Okinawa health secrets to living a long, happy, healthy life.

Nutritional Therapy (Useful Tips)

Nutritional therapy is the science and philosophy of utilizing the healing power of nature and using it in a positive way, not only to cure illness but also to prevent it altogether. Nutritional therapy supports the self-healing process and avoids the use of chemical medicines wherever possible, although in some case technical intervention is needed and conventional medicine still saves lives. Nutritional therapy uses dietary methods, vitamins, minerals and herbal remedies, for the treatment to prevent ill health.

Through history many eminent figures embraced the nutritional medicine movement. Irwin Stone, Frederick Klenner, Linus Pauling and Carl Pfeiffer, each of these respected doctors and scientists fully supported the use of nutrition as a treatment for disease. Adam Hoffer, an eminent psychiatrist, believed that large doses of nutrients could have a beneficial effect on conditions like schizophrenia, many skeptics frowned at this, but he experienced a lot of success, and research of his methods and practices continues today.

Nutritional therapists recognize that even a minor deficiency can become a chronic or even an acute condition. A healthy immune system can destroy an isolated cancer cell, however if the immune system is weakened by nutritional deficiency the cancer-causing agent can mutate and develop into full blown non-curable cancer. Nutritional therapists, unlike orthodox nutritionists and doctors, believe that nutritional deficiency are extremely common we cannot assume that a modern diet is capable of building and maintaining a healthy body and mind.

THE DIGESTIVE SYSTEM

The first stage of digestion is in the mouth our food is mixed with saliva and must be well chewed. Saliva contains the enzyme called ‘salivary amylase’ which starts of the process of starch digestion.

The second stage is when the food leaves the stomach and enters the duodenum the acidity stimulates the liver and pancreas to release bicarbonate. This makes the food more alkaline.

In the third stage the alkaline created in the second stage is needed for the liver and gall bladder to release bile salts. Bile salts help to emulsify and reduce fat droplets. The alkaline also triggers the pancreas into action, which releases its own digestive enzymes.

Amylase for starch digestion

Protease for protein digestion

Lipase for fat or lipid digestion

In stage four components are, in a healthy person, then absorbed through the wall of the duodenum and small intestine into the bloodstream in the case of sugars and amino acids or into the lymphatic system in the case of fats. Blood then carries the nutrients to the tissues where assimilation can begin and the nutrients can be used for their various purposes in the maintenances of the body system.

Vitamins are absorbed from food in a similar way. The fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K are absorbed along with the fats in the lower part of the intestines. The water-soluble vitamins are absorbed from the upper part of the intestine, the jejunum, with the exception of Vitamin B12, which must be combined with a protein called ‘intrinsic factor’ secreted by the stomach. In the case of minerals, some forms of minerals require an acid environment for absorption. Absorption rates can vary from nutrient to nutrient, and individual to individual.

THE IMMUNE SYSTEM

Nutritional therapists agree that a diet consisting of fresh food, which is unrefined, minimally processes an lightly cooked to preserve the maximum nutrients is the best for health. In order to protect itself from disease the body has its own built in security system, the immune system.

The immune system is a complex network of on lymphocytes these are white blood cells formed in the lymph tissue, macrophages which are large scavenger white blood cells, antibodies that are proteins that can react with specific germs and tiny neutrophils, basophiles andeosinophils.

The immune system is an amazing system that when working properly has the ability to kill off invading cells a good diet is vital for the systems health and performance. If the immune system does not receive a wide variety of vitamins and minerals it is unable to perform all its tasks properly.

Apart from a shortage all the vitamins and minerals there are other factors which can damage the immune system these include processed foods (white flour, sugar oils and margarine) these can block immune system functions. Studies have shown that just one teaspoon of sugar in an infection will reduce neutrophil phagocytosis by 50% within half an hour and the effects last up to five hours. Fats and cholesterol levels are raised and antibody response is slow and phagocytosis inhibited. Fasting has been shown to increase phagocytosis by up to 50%.

THE THYMUS GLAND

The thymus gland responsibility is to make sure that T-cells form and perform correctly. Thymus hormones keep the lymph nodes on their toes by reminding them of their function are to fight bacteria and reject foreign cells.

Nutrients that stimulate thymus function are:

Arginine an amino acid

Vitamins A, C, E, and B6

Selenium

Zinc

Magnesium.

BETA CAROTENE

Beta Carotene is an extremely powerful antioxidant, which protects the thymus against damage and shrinkage. Beta Carotene strengthens immune barriers, the skin and mucous membranes, and increases killer T-cell activity. Although beta-carotene is a form of vitamin A, the safety margin for its supplementation is much higher as it is relatively non-toxic. Studies have shown that gross excess of this nutriment may lead to a lower level of vitamin E status. Vitamin A is found in foods of animal origin but its precursor beta-carotene is present in fruit and vegetables

Deficiency symptoms, spinal infections, respiratory infections, scaly skin and scalp, poor hair and sight, pain in the eyeballs and dry eyes, eye ulceration, burning and itching eyes.

VITAMIN C

Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin is known as L-ascorbic acid, anti-scorbutic acid and ascorbyl palmitate.

This vitamin improves the rate of all immune cell production. Vitamin C completely protects blood fats against free radicals. It is an anti-oxidant, promotes iron absorption from food, maintains healthy collagen, provides resistance to infection, controls blood cholesterol levels, makes folic acid active and produces anti-stress hormones.

Deficiency symptoms include weakness and lassitude, muscle and joint pains, irritability, bleeding gums and gingivitis, loosening of the teeth.

Best sources of vitamin C are Brussels sprouts, citrus fruits, watercress, cabbage, mustard tops, all other fruit and vegetables.

VITAMIN D

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin it occurs naturally as cholecalciferol D3 found only in foods of animal origin. It is also known as the sunshine vitamin as substantial amounts are produced in the skin by the action of the sun. Vitamin D promotes absorption of calcium and phosphate from the food.

Deficiency symptoms include rickets, Osteomalacia, tetany, osteoporosis, celiac disease, allergies, depression and anxiety, panic attacks, insomnia and over-activity. Vitamin D is a detoxifying agent in lead, mercury, aluminium and cadmium poisoning. Cold and flu.

Best sources of vitamin D are cod liver oil, kippers, mackerel, canned salmon, tuna, eggs and milk.

VITAMIN E

Known as tocopherol it is a fat-soluble vitamin it functions as an antioxidant, reduces oxygen needs of muscles. It is an anti-blood clotting agent, blood vessel dilator and maintains healthy blood vessels.

Deficiency symptoms in children: Irritability, water retention hemolytic anemia. In adults: Lack of vitality, lethargy and apathy, lack of concentration, irritability and muscle weakness and decreased sexual interest.

Best sauces of vitamin E are cod liver oil, roasted peanuts, olive oil, green leaf vegetables, pulses, tomatoes, meats, fruits and root vegetables.

VITAMIN B1

Water-soluble vitamin. It is a member of the Vitamin B complex. B1 is also known as thiamine. It acts as coenzyme in converting glucose into energy in muscles and nerves.

Deficiency symptoms include easily fatigued, muscle weakness, loss of appetite and nausea. Digestive upsets and constipation, impaired memory and lack of concentration, tender calves, tingling and burning in the toes and soles.

Best sauces of vitamin B1 are brown rice, wheat germ, nuts, wheat bran, Soya flour, oat flour, wholegrain and whole meal bread.

VITAMIN B2

Water-soluble vitamin has a strong yellow color, enough to cause high-colored urine but is harmless. Vitamin B2 acts as a coenzymes flavin mononucleotide and flavin dinucleotide in converting protein, fats and sugars into energy. It is needed to repair and maintain body tissues and mucous membranes. Acts in conversion of tryptyphane to nicotinic acid along with vitamin B6.

Deficiency symptoms are bloodshot eyes and feeling grit under eyelids, tired eyes, sensitive to light, cracks and sores in the corners of the mouth, inflamed tongue and lips, scaling of the skin around the face, hair loss, trembling, dizziness, insomnia and slow learning.

Best sauces of vitamin B2 are cheese, eggs, wheat bran, meats, Soya flour, yogurt, milk, green vegetables and pulses.

VITAMIN B6

B6 is a water-soluble vitamin, member of the vitamin B complex, known as pyridoxine

Vitamin B6 is needed for formation of nerve impulses, blood formation, energy production, anti-depressant and anti-allergy.

Deficiency symptoms include splitting of the lips and inflamed tongue, scaly skin on the face, inflamed nerve endings, migraine, mild depression and irritability. Breast discomfort and swollen abdomen. Puffy finger and ankles.

Best sauces of vitamin B6 are wheatgerm, wheat bran, oatflakes, Soya flour, bananas, wholewheat, nuts, meats, fatty fish, brown rice, potatoes, vegetables and eggs.

VITAMIN B12

Contains cobalt this is why it is known as cobalamin. Water-soluble vitamin. It is a member of the vitamin B complex. Known as anti-pernicious anemia vitamin. Needs unique mechanism involving specific protein in the stomach called Intrinsic Factor and Calcium.

Deficiency symptoms include smooth, sore tongue. Nerve degeneration causing tremors. Psychosis and mental deterioration. Hand pigmentation in colored people. Typical symptoms of anemia.

Best sauces of vitamin B12 are beef, lamb, white fish, eggs and cheese.

VITAMIN K

Fat-soluble vitamin, derived from coagulation (Danish) Occurs naturally in foods as vitamin 1, also as anti-hemorrhagic vitamin. Intestinal bacteria produce it as vitamin K2. Synthetic vitamin is K3,

Deficiency causes in babies poor transfer of vitamin across placenta in pregnancy, low levels in human milk. Sterile intestines. In adults, malabsorption of fats, lack of bile salts. Celiac disease, antibiotic therapy and live disease of all kinds

Best food sources: Cauliflower, brussels sprouts, broccoli, lettuce, spinach, cabbage, tomatoes, string beans, meat, potatoes and pulses (beans).

CALCIUM

Calcium is a very important mineral it is present in the skeleton and teeth, in the nerves, muscles and blood. Calcium in the blood is essential in the process of blood clotting. In the nerves, muscles, including the heart, it is necessary for nerve impulse transmission and good muscle function. Assists in the process of blood clotting, controls blood cholesterol levels and assists in the absorption of vitamin B12

Deficiency symptoms are in children rickets, excessive sweating of the head, and poor ability to sleep, constant head movements, bowlegs, knock-knees and pigeon breast. In adults Osteomalacia, bone pain, muscle weakness, delayed healing of fractures, which is also a symptom of vitamin D deficiency.

Best food sauces are hard cheese, soft cheese, canned fish, nuts, pulses, root vegetables, cereals, fruits, whole-meal flour, fresh fish, and human milk.

MAGNESIUM

The name is derived from the Greek city of Magnesia where there are large deposits of magnesium carbonate. The functions of magnesium are for growth, cofactor in hormones, and cofactor in many body processes including cell replication and energy production. Co factor in vitamins B1 and B6.

Deficiency symptoms are weakness, vertigo, tiredness, convulsions and nervousness, muscle cramps. Tongue jerks, hyperactivity in children, irregular heartbeat, palpitations and low blood sugar.

Best food sauces are Soya beans, nuts, whole-wheat flour, brown rice, whole-meal bread, rye bread, dried fruits, vegetables, meats bananas and green leaf vegetables.

MANGANESE

Manganese is an essential trace element its functions are growth, maintaining healthy nervous system. It is a co factor in energy production, female sex hormones and for vitamin B, C and E. It is important for development and maintenance of healthy bones.

Deficiency symptoms: diabetes, heart disease, schizophrenia, muscle wasting and weakness and rheumatoid arthritis.

Best food sauces are cereals, whole-meal bread, nuts, pulses, fruit, green leaf vegetables, root vegetables, meat and fish.

SELENIUM

The name is derived from the moon goddess Selene it is an essential trace mineral needed for the preservation of normal liver function, protects against toxic minerals, promotes male sexual reproductive capacity in production of prostaglandin’s, maintains healthy eyes and sight, healthy hair and skin. Maintains healthy heart. May protect against cancer. Protects the body as an anti-oxidant. Works with vitamin E in the production of ubiquinone.

Deficiency symptoms are Keshan Disease and White Muscle Disease.

Best food sauces. Fish and muscle meat whole-grains and cereals, dairy products, fruit and vegetables.

Food Lectins in Health and Disease: An Introduction

In recent years it appears there is a rising epidemic of people suffering from chronic digestive and autoimmune conditions. Food intolerance or sensitivities may lie at the root of the problem. Most people, including doctors, have little clue how foods they eat may be contributing to their chronic illness, fatigue and digestive symptoms.

There are, however, a lot of clues in the medical literature and the lay public’s experience about how foods are causing and/or contributing to the current epidemic of chronic illness and autoimmune disease. There are several diets being used by many people with varying success to improve their health despite a general lack of iron clad scientific proof for their effectiveness. One of the clues to the cause and relief of food induced illness may lie in proteins known as lectins that are present in all foods.

Animal and plant sources of food both contain complex proteins known as lectins. These proteins typically have the ability to attach to sugars or carbohydrates on the surface of human cells. Some of these proteins can cause clumping of human red blood cells, a process that is called agglutination. The process of agglutination occurs when someone receives the wrong blood type during a blood transfusion. In fact, red blood cell agglutination specific to each person or groups of people is the basis for testing for blood types. There is some data that blood types may influence how people respond to certain foods though a blood type specific diet appears to have been disproven. The attachment or binding of certain food lectins can initiate a variety of cell specific effects. These reactions may mimic hormones or cause changes in cells. This is termed molecular mimicry.

Most plants contain lectins, some of which are toxic, inflammatory, or both. Many of these plant and dairy lectin are resistant to cooking and digestive enzymes. Grain lectins, for example, are quite resistant to human digestion but well suited for ruminants like cattle who have multi-chambered stomachs. Therefore, lectins are present in our food and are often resistant to our digestion and some have been scientifically shown to have significant GI toxicity in humans. Others have been shown to be beneficial and maybe even cancer protecting. Either way plant and animal proteins are foreign proteins to the body and are dealt with by digestion and our immune system in a positive or negative manner.

The human digestive system was created to handle a variety of plant and animal proteins through the process of digestion and elimination. Some plant and animal proteins or lectins are severely toxic to humans and cannot be eaten without causing death like those in Castor beans and some mushrooms. Other foods must be prepared before they are safe to be eaten. Preparations may include pealing, prolonged soaking and cooking like kidney beans. Other foods may be poorly tolerated because of a genetic predisposition or underlying pre-existing food allergy or intolerance. Others are tolerated to some degree or quantity but not in large amounts or on a frequent basis. People who are intolerant to the milk sugar lactose, because of inherited or acquired deficiency in lactase enzyme, may tolerate small amounts but may have severe bloating, gas, abdominal pain and cramps with explosive diarrhea when a large amount of lactose containing foods are eaten. Foods can become intolerable to some people after their immune system changes or gut is injured from another cause.

Of the food lectins, grain/cereal lectins; dairy lectins; and legume lectins (especially peanut lectin and soybean lectin) are the most common ones associated with reports of aggravation of inflammatory and digestive diseases in the body and improvement of those diseases and/or symptoms when avoided. Recent research by Loren Cordain PhD., has suggested that these lectins may effectively serve as a “Trojan horse” allowing intact or nearly intact foreign proteins to invade our natural gut defenses and enter behind the lines to cause damage well beyond the gut, commonly in joints, brain, and skin of affected individuals. Once damage occurs to the gut and the defense system is breached the result is what some refer to as a “leaky gut”. Moreover, many people who develop a “leaky gut” not only have gut symptoms such as bloating, gas, diarrhea, and abdominal pain but also other symptoms beyond the gut, or extra-intestinal symptoms. Commonly affected areas are the brain or peripheral nerves, skin, joints, and various body glands. With continued exposure of the gut by these toxic food lectins a persistent stimulation of the body’s defense mechanism in a dysfunctional manner, occurs, i.e. autoimmune disease.

Wrong types or levels of good and bad bacteria in the gut, or intestinal   dysbiosis , may contribute to this process of abnormal stimulation of the immune system. Research supports the strong possibility that such stimulation may be accentuated by interaction of the bacteria with food lectins. It is believed by some that this may further worsen gut injury and autoimmune disease. This latter concept is gaining acceptance and recognition by doctors in one form as the hygiene theory. It is speculated that our gut bacteria have become altered by increased hygiene and over use of antibiotics and that this phenomenon may be playing a significant role in the rising incidence of autoimmune diseases such as diabetes, arthritis, and chronic intestinal diseases like Crohn’s disease and irritable bowel syndrome.

Lectins as a cause however are largely being ignored in the U.S. though the field of lectinology and lectins role in disease is more accepted internationally. Avoidance of certain food lectins may be helpful in achieving health and healing of chronic gut injury. Healing of a “leaky gut” and avoidance of ongoing abnormal stimulation of the immune system by toxic food lectins and bacteria in the gut is the basis for ongoing research and probable success of several popular diets such as the paleo diet, carbohydrate specific diet and gluten-free/casein-free diet. More research is needed in this exciting but often neglected area. The Food Doc, LLC features a website http://www.thefooddoc.com that will provide physician authored information on food intolerance, sensitivity and allergy such as lectin, gluten, casein, and lactose intolerance with dietary guidance that will feature in the near future an online symptom assessment and diet-diary.

Copyright 2006, The Food Doc, LLC. All rights reserved. http://www.thefooddoc.com

Do You Know Your Fertility Cycle?

While it is important for women to know about their fertility cycle, many simply do not mind it. Such cases, generally, face the risk of unplanned pregnancies or the anxiety of not being able to have babies. If you are a female that has an irregular menstruation, the task of keeping track of the schedule may be more difficult than others who have a regular cycle. Nevertheless, even those who are unlucky enough to have an irregular cycle must still understand the physiological process that their bodies undergo. Again, this is for the reason of avoiding becoming pregnant without an intention or of bearing a child when it is desired.

The fertility cycle is the timeframe for the woman to be fertile. Of course, this is within the   menstrual   cycle . The exact number of days of the cycle is not uniform for all women. There are some who can have a shorter timeframe than most. However, the regular cycles are usually in 26 to 32 days. Ovulation normally happens 14 to 16 days before the start of another  menstrual   cycle . Within the  menstrual   cycle , there are 8 to 19 consecutive days that a woman is fertile.

If you have long desired for a child but you have not made any yet with your partner, it would be advantageous that you study your fertility cycle. You should be able to determine the exact dates of your next  menstrual  period. Therefore, you will find out when are those particular series of days that you are fertile. This will tell you the specific time frame wherein you should make sure that a sexual intercourse occurs between you and your partner. When you are highly fertile, the chances of conception are more likely. If its still does not work, then it may be time for you to see a doctor.

Women who have irregular menstruation normally have a harder time in determining their ovulation period. They do have a fertility cycle too but it is generally unpredictable. That is why they run the highest risks of unwanted pregnancies. There have been no definite solutions to this issue. If you happen to be one these women, you may only have to learn more about the obvious physiological changes in your body in order to determine if you are fertile or not. These may include fluid discharges from the vagina and breast tenderness.

Nasal Polyps

What are nasal polyps?

It is an abnormal growth of tissue which is projected from a mucous membrane. There are two types of polyps. If it is attaches to the surface by a narrow elongated stalk, it is called as pendunculated and if no stalk is present it is called as sessile.

Polyps can be found commonly inside colon, stomach, nose, sinus, urinary bladder and uterus.

What causes polyps?

Most polyps results due to genetic (DNA) mutation in one of the colon lining cells. You should know that at least five genetic mutations are needed in the same cell before cancer can occur and most polyps are only one mutated gene fortunately. The mutated gene causes chronic inflammation of the mucous membranes lining the nose cavity.

What are the symptoms of the nasal polyps?

Some of the common symptoms for the nasal polyps are:

1. Runny nose

2. Persistent stuffiness

3. Post nasal drip

4. Decreased or no sense of smell

5. Loss of sense of taste

6. Facial pain or headache.

7. Snoring

8. Itching around the eyes.

How is it developed?

When the nasal passages and the sinus mucous membrane is chronically inflamed with the signs and the symptoms lasting for 12 weeks, then it is sure for you to understand that you are suffering from the nasal polyps. Nasal polyps can develop in groups or as single throughout the nasal passages or sinus, but they appear most often near the openings to your sinuses.

What are the risk factors?

The risk factors for the nasal polyps are:

• Asthma: – disease that cause inflammation and constriction of airways.

• Aspirin: anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen, and naproxen

• Allergic fungal sinusitis: – allergy to airborne fungi.

• Cystic fibrosis: – genetic disorder resulting in secretion of abnormal fluids, including mucus from nasal and sinus membranes.

• Age: – common in adults.

• Family history: – inheritance of gene that may make more likely to develop nasal polyps.

What are the prevention methods for the nasal polyps?

Some of the most important prevention methods for the growth of the nasal polyps are:

1. Manage allergies and asthma.

2. Humidify your home.

3. Avoid irritants.

4. Practice good hygiene.

5. Use salt water to rinse your nasal passages.

What are treatment and drugs?

The doctor may prescribe you the following medicine for you to decrease the size of the polyps or eliminate polyps. The drugs treatments are as follows:

1. Nasal corticosteroids (nasal spray to reduce inflammation)

2. Antihistamine: to treat allergies

3. Antibiotics: to treat chronic or recurring infection.

4. Antifungal: to treat symptoms of fungal allergies.

Two types of surgeries are performed for the severe and chronic patients. They are as follows:

1. Polypectomy: uses a small mechanical suction devices or a microdebride (an instrument that cuts and extracts soft tissues)

2. Endoscopic sinus surgery: – inserts endoscope and guides into your sinus cavities or uses tiny instrument to remove polyps.

Thank you all for reading my article and if you have any queries regarding on this, feel free to ask question via my email mailto:tsheringonbussiness@yahoo.com.

What Are The Risks of Uterine Fibroids and Pregnancy?

One of the most important things you should know about fibroids and pregnancy is that if you are suffering from myoma now, it may not be wise to conceive. However, if you have realized you have fibroids when you are already pregnant, and you are wondering about the problems that may arise as you get towards the last month of your pregnancy; we are here to offer you all the necessary information that you may need regarding your health. This vital information will help you make an informed decision concerning your condition.

Fibroids are unusual growths that tend to occur inside and outside your uterine walls. There are those rare occasions when a fibroid fixes itself on another organ that’s nearby (this is known as parasitic fibroid). Myomas are simply muscle tissue and some compact connective tissues. This is the problem though: these growths keep enlarging and they can even multiply in your body. Often, fibroids are quite small and they do not pose any significant risks, especially if the patient is not pregnant during the time she is diagnosed with myoma.

Nevertheless, when a woman suffering from fibroids conceives, she should be closely monitored by a doctor since they can lead to a host of other problems during pregnancy. Some of the most common problems may include:

Conception

Large tumors in the uterus can prevent a woman from getting pregnant. From the above, fibroids are not really good for women who would like to get pregnant and give birth in future since they affect the same place where an unborn baby stays for nine months.

During Pregnancy

Fibroids have been known to result to abrupt miscarriages. Women who are expecting should really limit their stress levels and circumstances that may result to excessive physical strain especially if they are suffering from fibroids since they are at higher risks of suffering from miscarriages.

Not every woman who is pregnant and dealing with fibroids ends up losing their pregnancy. However, one should bear in mind that if they do not miscarry, the expectant woman can still suffer from premature labor. Early labor occurs when the membranes found inside the uterus suddenly rupture. Any form of rupturing in the uterus can result to early labor.

Postpartum

In some known cases, myomas have also been known to cause problems even after a woman has already given birth. The placenta may fail to come out posing danger to the mother especially if she has big fibroids in the uterus.

These are just some of the worst cases of uterine fibroids and pregnancy. If you are a fibroids patient, it’s important to be aware of what may happen to you if you get pregnant before you get a fibroids cure. There are different forms of fibroids cures that women can choose from.

It’s usually a great idea to remove your fibroids before you conceive so that you can decrease any problems that may occur. You wouldn’t like to gamble with life by getting pregnant when you know you already are suffering from large fibroids.

Discuss with your doctor about a myomectomy or any other similar forms of treatments so that only the abnormal tumors in your uterus are eliminated. After you have gotten a perfect fibroids cure, you can go ahead and get pregnant without worrying about the dangers of uterine fibroids and pregnancy.

My Cyst on My Ovaries Burst – What Happened and What Do I Do About It?

Ovarian cysts can be frightening, but they rarely cause problems. In fact, most will dissolve on their own without a woman even being aware that they exist. The main risk from ovarian cysts is rupture. So what happens when cyst on ovaries burst, and what should you do about it?

Causes of a Ruptured Cyst

The most common cause of a ruptured cyst is size. When a cyst grows too large, the wall around it becomes thin and stretched out. It will eventually break, spilling the fluid inside. This then irritates the surrounding area, causing the burning pain felt by many women.

The second, and debatable, cause of a cyst on ovaries burst is excessive pressure applied to the ovary. This can happen during exercise or even intercourse. The stomach muscles put pressure on the cyst, which can cause it to explode, especially if it already has a weakened wall.

Symptoms of a Cyst Bursting

There are a number of symptoms that occur when a cyst on your ovaries burst. You need to be aware of these symptoms, as if they occur, you should seek immediate medical attention.

  1. Pain – this is the most common symptom of a burst cyst. You generally will feel a sharp intense pain, followed by a burning sensation as the fluid from inside the ovaries irritates the surrounding tissue. Usually, if you have a sudden increase in ovarian pain, it’s a good idea to call your doctor.
  2. Bleeding – this is the second most common symptom of a burst cyst. Some cysts are endometrial, which means they contain blood. After a cyst on ovaries bursts, the blood inside may make its way out of your body, like a light period.
  3. Symptoms of Shock – If you suddenly feel cold, clammy, lightheaded, or listless, call your doctor. These could be symptoms of shock developing after a cyst on ovaries burst.

There are a few other symptoms that may indicate a burst cyst, but also may just occur with a normal cyst.

  1. Excessive urination – as a cyst gets larger, it may put pressure on the bladder. This then feels like you need to go to the bathroom all the time.
  2. Irregular periods – a cyst may interfere with normal ovulation.
  3. Vomiting and Nausea – this is the most suspicious symptom. If you suddenly develop vomiting or nausea along with abdominal pain, you should see your doctor. In your stomach, there is a large cluster of nerves known as the Vagus nerve. When something happens anywhere in your abdomen, this nerve can get stimulated, which can cause nausea, vomiting, and lightheadedness. Call your doctor to make sure there’s not a problem.

How a Ruptured Cyst is Treated

Once a burst ovarian cyst is diagnosed, you will immediately be started on antibiotics to prevent an infection, as that’s the most common complication when a cyst on ovaries burst. You’ll also be monitored to make sure that you don’t have internal bleeding. You may need to stay in the hospital for a day or two, but most women are treated and released quickly.

How to Get Rid of Thrush

There seems to be a lot of information on how to get rid of  thrush  on the internet, and this topic seems to be quite a hot topic of conversation for many women, especially those who have been experiencing vaginal  thrush  symptoms for what can add up to be many months of their lives.

 Thrush  can be very disruptive to a woman’s life and quite a touchy subject too, after all, when it comes to vaginal  thrush , questions of sexually transmitted diseases and a women’s personal hygiene have been known to be asked. So what is  thrush , and how do you get rid of  thrush ?

What is  thrush ?

Well the first thing to know is that  thrush  is not a sexually transmitted disease, although it can be passed onto your partner during sexual intercourse, and is not normally associated with a woman’s personal hygiene either.

 Thrush  is a fungal yeast infection, and is most commonly caused by the over growth of a fungus called Candida Albicans, which is a naturally occurring fungus (a form of yeast) that is mainly found in the gut and vagina.

It is worth noting that 1 in 5 women are known to have Candida Albicans present in their vaginas, without experiencing any symptoms of vaginal  thrush  whatsoever.

Symptoms of Vaginal  Thrush 

The presence of too much Candida Albicans in the vagina has been known to irritate the delicate skin tissue of the vulva, and vagina, causing the skin to become swollen, sore and itchy. Other common vaginal  thrush  symptoms can include a swollen vulva, a burning sensation whilst passing urine, pain or burning whilst having intercourse, and vaginal discharge, which can appear thick and white in colour, and look a little like cottage cheese. This vaginal discharge should be odourless and not smell offensive.

How to know if you have  thrush ?

There are various natural  thrush  remedies that can be purchased either online, or over the counter at your local pharmacy, so it’s important for women to know whether the symptoms that they are experiencing are actually  thrush  symptoms, especially if this is the first time that you have had  thrush .

In most cases, especially if you have not experienced vaginal  thrush  before, the best way on how to know if you have vaginal  thrush  for sure, is to consult your local doctor or visit a g.u.m clinic if you have recently had sexual intercourse with a new partner. This way at least you will have peace of mind that you do have  thrush , and not some other contributing factor, or a sexually transmitted disease.

Causes Of  Thrush ?

There could be a number of reasons why women can experience vaginal  thrush . One of the main causes of  thrush  is after a course of antibiotics. This is because the antibiotics also kill off the good bacteria (probiotics) in your system that can help to keep Candida Albicans, and  thrush  at bay.

Other causes of  thrush  have been attributed to a change in pH levels within a women’s vagina. This change in pH levels can be sparked off by anything from soaps, scented bubble baths, vaginal deodorants and scented sanitary wear.

Candida Albicans and fungal yeast infections love warm moist places where they can grow and live, so wearing clothing that is too tight or manmade that doesn’t allow your body and skin to breath properly can be something that is causing  thrush  too.

How to get rid of  Thrush ?

Luckily there are lots of effective ways of getting rid of  thrush  these days. Vaginal  thrush  remedies can range from oral tablets, a pessary (this is inserted into the vaginal) or creams.

A cream is great for soothing and relieving the itching and burning sensation, whilst an oral tablet can be great from tackling the problem from the root cause of the Candida Albicans overgrowth within the gut and body.

Sometimes a probiotic supplement is also beneficial especially for women who suffer from reoccurring  thrush .

Reoccurring  Thrush 

Reoccurring  Thrush  can be very frustrating and annoying, as reoccurring  thrush  can affect your lifestyle, sex, and relationships.

If you suffer from reoccurring  thrush , you may benefit from taking a very effective natural  thrush  treatment that contains a quality combination of anti yeast ingredients such as Cyprylate Acid, Garlic, and Probiotics that are popular and easy to buy online. These products will go to work from the inside out, eradicating the root cause of  Thrush  by killing off the Candida Albicans fungus.

 Thrush  Tips

To avoid  thrush , and stop reoccurring  thrush , here are a few helpful  thrush  tips:

  • Let your skin breathe and wear cotton underwear.
  • Avoid strong perfumed soaps and bubble baths that could upset your vaginal ph balance.
  • Take a good probiotic health supplement to keep your friendly bacteria levels high in your gut and body.
  • Avoid scented sanitary wear and change tampons and pads regularly.
  • Avoid washing or drying your vagina too vigorously as this can irritate the skin.
  • Increase your prebiotic dietary fibre such as Garlic, Bananas, Leeks, Artichokes and Onions. Prebiotics are the foods that your probiotics (good bacteria) feed on.

For more helpful information on the correct Natural  Thrush  Treatment and Probiotic Supplements, please feel free to get in touch.

Hepatitis C Symptoms And Signs

Hepatitis C symptoms appear in approximately 1 of every 5 individuals who have been infected with the hepatitis C virus. That means 80 percent of those who have hepatitis C are probably unaware of it. When hepatitis C symptoms do appear, they range in severity. They may be mild and barely noticeable, or they may be severe and debilitating.

Fatigue is the most frequently cited symptom of hepatitis C. But there are certainly others, which often appear in combinations.

* pain in the abdomen

* you’ll notice that bowel movements look different, usually lighter or clay colored

* urine is likely to become darker, looking more like a coffee color

* generalized itching

* unusually frequent headaches are likely to occur

* jaundice, a liver problem that makes the skin and eyes turn a shade of yellow

* many people who have hepatitis C experience a loss of appetite

* aching muscles are typical

* nausea

* hepatitis C often causes vomiting in those who have been infected.

The hepatitis C virus is the cause of hepatitis C. This virus is also commonly known by the abbreviation HCV. Most of the time, an exchange of blood is needed to transmit the virus from one person to another. It is not usually transmitted through sexual contact. The most common means of transmitting the hepatitis C virus in the United States is through the exchange of unclean hypodermic needles by intravenous drug users.

Chronic hepatitis C, which is a serious liver disease, develops in 2 of every 3 people who have an acute hepatitis C infection.

According to recent studies, as many as one person in every thirty worldwide has been infected with the hepatitis C virus. That amounts to approximately 170 million individuals. There’s evidence that 15 percent of the population in some parts of Asia and Africa are infected with hepatitis C. Egypt is believed to have the highest infection rate in the world, exceeding 15 percent.

If you want to make sure you don’t get hepatitis C, all you need to do is follow some common sense guidelines. Hepatitis C is a blood-borne virus, so hepatitis C prevention means avoiding contact with human blood. If you inject illegal drugs, never share a needle with another addict. Do not share toothbrushes, razors or other items that might have blood from a person infected with hepatitis C on them.

If you decide to have any type of body piercing done, make sure all instruments being used are sterilized. The same goes for tattoos. The person performing these procedures should also wear latex gloves and take pains to keep the area disinfected and sanitized.

If you have acupuncture done, make sure the needles are properly sterilized.

Speaking in general terms, anyone who travels abroad usually needn’t worry about hepatitis C. The major danger occurs if you are injured or hospitalized and need a blood transfusion, since blood screening standards in some countries may not meet minimum standards. It bears repeating that anyone traveling overseas who wishes to get a tattoo (as is often done by military personnel) or have body parts pierced, should do so with the greatest regard for sterile practices.

No vaccine currently exists that can prevent a hepatitis C infection once the virus has been transmitted to you. Many people have heard that there’s a hepatitis vaccine, and in fact immune globulin will help protect you against a hepatitis A infection. But it is not effective for hepatitis C.

Every year in the United States, more liver transplants take place because of chronic hepatitis C than for any other cause.

You can have hepatitis C testing done if you think you may have been exposed to the virus. Hepatitis C testing is a good idea even if no hepatitis C symptoms have appeared.