Glandular Fever – On the Increase!

“It is estimated 80% of Australians carry the virus that causes glandular fever”

Hi there, I’m Paul E Milne. When delivering First Aid training courses, I come across my fair share of the public, and due to the topic being taught (E.g. Senior First Aid, CPR, or even Low voltage Rescue to electricians), I more than often hear stories of personal accidents and health issues. Recently, in one of our ‘one-day’ First Aid courses, I met a person (early twenties) who had just recovered from a bout of glandular fever. This person describes the experience as life changing.

Known as the ‘kissing disease’ it is far from pleasurable. This acute condition, also called infectious mononucleosis, is a viral infection, caused by the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), sometimes mistaken for influenza, but which can also cause a wide range of other symptoms. It particularly affects teenagers and young adults, hence the nick name (kissing disease), although children are also susceptible. It is fairly unusual for older adults to suffer from the disease; however people who have had the disease may have several bouts of the illness before throwing off the infection. Even once clear of the main symptoms, feeling weak, unwell and depress may persist.

How do I know if I have Glandular Fever?

A blood test is the only sure method of diagnosing the disease. As the virus spreads through the body via the bloodstream, symptoms include a sore throat, high temperature, headaches, nausea and swollen (lymph) glands in the neck, similar signs to those of the flu. There may also be swelling of the spleen or liver and it can cause jaundice, giving the skin and the whites of the eyes a yellowish hue. If these later symptoms do not occur, many people convince themselves they are experiencing an attack of the flu and so do not seek medical advice. In this way, the glandular fever often goes undiagnosed. Researchers have discovered it is not the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), that is responsible for the severe symptoms, but the body’s reaction to it. The immune system basically goes into a hyperactive state, known as a cytokine storm; this is what makes people sick.

Once infected, the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) unfortunately stays in the body for life, this is why researches estimate 80% of Australians carry the disease, but not everyone will develop symptoms. Research has also shown when the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection occurs in young adults (Teenagers to early twenties), the chances of glandular fever occurring is somewhere between 35 -50%. No real evidence has shown why some people develop the illness and some don’t.

What can I do to avoid glandular fever?

Research has shown the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), can be passed on to another person (particularly through kissing) even if you don’t have the symptoms, and how long someone carrying the virus is infectious is still a guessing game. Some advice on how to avoid the disease is to avoid coming into contact with the droplets produced when suffers cough or sneeze; this being difficult in reality. Practical advice to reduce you vulnerability to all infections; is to, not become over tired or too stressed, again difficult to achieve with our current life style!

Is glandular fever dangerous, how am I treated?

Glandular fever generally is not dangerous, however it may be weakening or debilitating as it tends to recur over a period, perhaps of a year or more. The illness has also been linked to:

  • chronic fatigue syndrome
  • tonsillitis, during the attack of the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), but this usually subsides as the fever declines
  • Hepatitis, as a complication of glandular fever, your doctor will monitor your liver function.
  • On rare occasions rupture of an enlarged spleen, if this does occur urgent medical treatment is required

Normally, the only treatment for Glandular fever is to take time to let your body fully recover. It is well worth looking into methods for boosting your immune system; this may include eating plenty of fruit, vegetables and good quality proteins. Drinking plenty of water a day and maybe avoid excessive alcohol, sugar dairy and fatty foods. Visiting a naturopath, nutritionist or dietician would certainly go a long way, as they can help you with your diet and eating habits.

The Spread of Herpes – How Contagious is This Disease?

Doctors agree that the best way to avoid the spread of herpes is to be educated on how it is transmitted. Taking the time to learn about herpes and how it is passed from one person to another is the best way to protect yourself and your partner.

When thinking about how is herpes spread, remember that there are two main types of the disease. Type 1, known as HSV-1, is most commonly the cause of the oral version, often called fever blisters or cold sores. Type 2, known as HSV-2 is the main cause of genital herpes. Both oral and genital are spread in similar ways and both are very contagious.

It is important to keep in mind that the spread of herpes happens very easily. Because the virus is transmitted through physical contact, any skin to skin contact can potentially be an opportunity to pass on the virus.

Herpes stays in the body for life, even though the symptoms may come and go. When the symptoms are present, it is called a “herpes outbreak”. Many people make the mistake of assuming they cannot pass the virus on to their partner if they are not experiencing an outbreak. However, this is not the case. The virus is still there even if the person who has it is not exhibiting any symptoms. You are certainly most susceptible to catching the virus if the infected person has active symptoms, but even so, you should always be concerned about the spread of herpes. Always take precautions to protect yourself from getting the virus, or if you already have it then to keep your partner from becoming infected.

So, how is herpes spread? In addition to skin contact, it is passed on through oral sex or through vaginal or anal sex. There is some risk of spreading herpes through kissing, but this is less likely if neither partner has an open sore or lesion.

Moist areas of the body, such as the mouth, throat, eyes and genitals, are most easily infected. If your skin is cut, chaffed or burned then these areas are at higher risk of contracting the virus. Keep in mind also that the spread of herpes is not limited to one part of the body. It can be transmitted to other parts of the body, such as from your genitals to your fingers and then from your fingers to other parts of your body.

While the spread of herpes is common with skin on skin contact, it very unlikely that you would catch herpes from inanimate objects such as swimming pools, bathtubs, damp towels or toilet seats. If you focus on protecting yourself when you are in physical contact with others, then you have a very good chance of avoiding the herpes virus.

Diabetes Control Made Easy – Natural Ways to Manage Diabetes

Were you recently diagnosed with diabetes, just like many other Americans. This condition can be life-threatening and cause different complications to individuals. You should know that you can control diabetes by following the advice you physician or doctor has given you, like losing weight and taking your medication.

They are a couple of ways of controlling diabetes and some people take time to move from their denial stage. Many people refuse to believe they have diabetes although it has become a national epidemic. The two main precursors of diabetes is not being over weight and not eating lots of sweets. Diabetes strikes everyone and some indications states that it can be an inherited disorder. If one of your relatives had first degree diabetes, chances are highly possible that you may get it as well. Don’t forget to tell your physician as well of you once had a relative with diabetes so they can do a blood test to see if you are at risk for diabetes as well.

The first thing to do if you are type II diabetes is getting yourself a blood sugar monitor to keep records of your sugar level. Doctors recommend that you do this several times a day, especially when you’ve finished eating. You will be also given diet suggestions and prescribed to certain medications.

It’s a shame that many people with type II diabetes do not take their medication, eat the wrong foods, and fail to monitor their blood sugar levels.

Monitoring the gylcemic index is one of the main things to do when controlling diabetes. Carbohydrates are not good for type II diabetes and people with this condition should stay away from them since they have a difficult time absorbing, breaking down sugar and starch in their system. A certain number of carbohydrates have high glucose levels which takes too much time in breaking them down. So when monitoring the gylcemic index you should be aware of which carbohydrates tend to rank high in the glycemic index sheet.

You can surely take control of your diabetes by monitoring your sugar levels, becoming aware of carbohydrates that tend to be high in the glycemia index, and taking your prescribed medication.

Fighting Child Obesity

Fitness and nutrition expert, Tracey Redford of Curves International says, “The inactivity among young people can not be blamed solely on the evolution of Internet technology and television in itself. Child obesity has lead to a number of other health related issues such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease from the combination of improper nutrition and lack of exercise.”

Redford went on to say, “We live in a complex society where children of all ages have to contend with social issues such as depression, violence and divorce all having a downward spiraling affect both physically and emotionally. The psychological impact this has on our youth’s triggers an imbalance in eating habits and leads to a lack of motivation creating a domino effect.”

A summer camp experience with weight loss benefits

Last year in Canada alone the government spent over $2 billion on medical procedures surrounding obesity. No matter how many times we read about or see it on the news, children still do not understand the connection between eating, exercise and a healthy body. Rather than pointing fingers and placing blame, we need more resources and programs that can be offered such as summer camp programs specializing in weight loss. These camps are sometimes referred to as “fat camps” for young children and teens to guide them and educate them on making good healthy choices.

Children and parents shouldn’t be turned off by the words, “fat camp” which simply means a place where children of all ages can get fit, learn about nutritional balance and have fun doing so. Getting to participate in sports, crafts, and making make new friends while achieving weight loss in a nurturing environment provides a positive alternative for kids, and can pave the way to combat obesity.

The ultimate goal is sustainable healthy weight loss

When children feel they have no options, they continue on the same path of poor eating habits leading to a state of helplessness. Sending a child to a gym where they feel isolated and eventually lose motivation is not the solution either. Redford explains, “We need far better choices if we want our youth’s to get on track and stay on track. Weight loss camps for pre-teens and teenagers are a viable solution.”

What exactly is a weight loss camp? It’s about building a better self-image and self esteem while promoting health and wellness with individualized programs geared to weight loss that yields long term results. This is the foundation of the whole weight loss summer camp experience. A nutritionist designs an appropriate menu enabling campers to lose the weight and provide the necessary tools to keep the weight off upon returning home from camp. Understanding that the parent’s role is crucial in encouraging proper weight control for their children, the camps provide access to a network of nutritionist across the country.

Written on behalf of www.campshane.com, the original, longest running weight loss camp in the world located in the New York Catskill Mountains.

Natural Remedies for Diaper Rash

Diaper  rash  is usually caused by skin irritation from prolonged contact with the urine and feces. This is due to the fact that diapers create a hot moist environment that traps urine and feces next to the delicate skin of an infant or toddler. The result is skin irritation and can even cause bacterial or fungal infection.

Natural treatments are growing in popularity as problems derived from chemicals are discovered everyday it seems. Some people are concerned with the chemicals and additives in traditional diaper  rash  creams. Some of which can even cause more skin irritation. If you share these concerns you may opt to use homeopathic or natural remedies. These treatments will not have ingredients that will cause concern and are therefore the preferred treatment.

Try one of these Remedies

Oatmeal is one of the popular natural treatment for diaper  rash . This is a commonly used home remedy for many skin problems. You can add oatmeal to your child’s warm bath water. Let your baby soak in this water for 15-20 minutes. Keep the water moving with your hands. Pat dry with soft towel and moisturize.

Vegetable oil is also a great way to cure diaper  rash . Just apply some on your child’s bottom.

You can also mix one teaspoon apple cider vinegar in a cup of water and apply it over the  rash  with a soft cotton ball to soothe the skin.

Here’s a unique one that you may want to try. Roast enough flour in a frying pan that can last a few applications. Heat the flour till it turns light golden brown. Apply a light dusting of this flour on the  rash  at each diaper change.

Try some Baking Soda, add two tablespoons of baking soda to a tub of warm water and give the baby a sitz bath for 10 minutes 3 times a day.

These are just some natural remedies for diaper  rash . Give some of them a try and see which one works for your baby.

Diaper  rash  is certainly not the only condition that natural remedies can help. Natural remedies for many ailments are available today. There are homeopathic remedies for headaches, PMS. Diabetes, cancer prevention, high blood pressure and more. Treatments for healing and protecting your digestive system, eliminate the Flu virus, boost the immune system, and recover faster from colds, look younger, and treat any skin problem. You can make your own natural hair care products and save a bundle in hair treatments. And so much more. Through the wonderful power of the internet these treatments are accessible in e-books which can be downloaded instantly to your computer for quick use. And they are easy to prepare and affordable.

Help for a Sore Penis – Irritated, Thinning Penis Skin May Be to Blame

When tiny skin cells erupt into angry, red rashes, medicated creams containing cortisone can provide almost immediate relief. These medications can interrupt the allergic process, soothing the irritants that stand behind a rash and allowing the skin to heal and the itch to abate. Rashes on the penis are often treated with cortisone creams, and on occasion, men report shiny, thin and easily irritated penis skin when those treatments are complete. Multiple conversations with doctors can ensue, and while men investigate the underlying cause of the problem, penis home care can help compromised skin to heal.

How Cortisone Works

Since the 1940s, medical professionals have used cortisone creams to deal with skin problems such as:

  • Eczema
  • Psoriasis
  • Diaper rash
  • Rashes from poison ivy
  • Irritation from insect bites

Cortisone creams may be powerful, but they’re also not controlled substances, so people can simply walk into their corner pharmacy and buy a product they’d like to slather onto their bodies. Sometimes, men use cortisone formulations that are too strong for penis skin, or they use the medications for a lengthy period of time. Asking a doctor about proper usage could prevent these issues, but even those people who consult doctors could face difficulties, as people who are sensitive to cortisone could experience side effects even when they use low doses of the creams for a short time period.

Visible Differences

Shiny, sore penis skin could be caused by a reaction to cortisone, although it’s not considered a typical reaction to the cream if it’s used properly. Reactive skin can look unusually clear and transparent, and it might seem as though there are fewer layers in place. The changes might move past the visual, as thinner skin can be tender and sore to the touch, so men with thinning penis skin could feel as though they are much less able to enjoy sexual encounters.

It’s important to note that thinning skin can be caused by a variety of other conditions. Even healing skin that’s new and perfectly healthy can look shiny and seem tender. If cortisone works well and the rash abates, the healing skin might be mistaken for an underlying problem. On the flip side, some dermatological conditions don’t respond to low or mild levels of cortisone, and they can also make the skin seem shiny, thin and easily aggravated. Lichen planus, for example, can cause the skin of the penis to become scaly, shiny and/or sore, and high levels of cortisone creams might be needed to make the condition abate.

Returning to Normal

Changes in the condition of the penis can be distressing, and men who notice differences might be tempted to check on their skin’s condition multiple times per day, tugging and pulling as they look for changes. It’s understandable, but it can also be a damaging practice. Healing skin is fragile, and repeat pokes can make the process move much more slowly. Men with concerns can visit their doctors just to make sure that they know why the changes might be taking place. When the firm diagnosis is in place, repeat inspections will no longer be necessary.

Thinner, delicate skin should be handled with care, and the push-pull of sex might not be helpful for this new skin. Abstaining until no sore spots are in place provides the highest level of protection, while using lubricants and/or condoms might allow men to experience some pleasure while they let their issues heal up. A penis health crème (most experts recommend Man 1 Man Oil) can be a valuable part of the healing process. Creams like this can nourish new skin, penetrating deep into the skin and delivering vitamins and minerals where they’re needed most in order to promote the formation of healthy, responsive and resilient new skin cells.

What is Psoriasis?

Psoriasis is a skin condition which affects almost four million Americans each year. It’s thought to be a problem caused by the body’s own immune system, and is not considered curable. The symptoms themselves are treatable though, and sometimes psoriasis can go into remission for many months at a time.

With a healthy human body, new skin is generated about once each month. New skin cells develop deep below the surface of the skin, and slowly rise as they become mature. The skin cells which are already on the surface will die off over that thirty day time frame, and by the time the new skin cells reach the surface, the existing ones will be ready to shed.

With psoriasis however, the body generates skin cells at a much faster rate, and sends them to the surface in just three to five days instead of thirty. Since the surface skin cells are not yet fully died off, the new skin piles up on the surface with existing skin. This creates thick scaley skin patches on the body which have silvery white flakes, which are called psoriasis plaques.

These psoriasis plaques can be quite dry, itchy and red. Sometimes they’ll become so dry they’ll start cracking too. Psoriasis looks horrible and can be terrible to live with, but it’s not contagious. The body is over producing the skin cells because it feels something is wrong somewhere.

Many doctors, researchers and medical specialists feel the body’s own immune system is simply over reacting. There is some evidence that psoriasis is hereditary, and there is evidence which shows certain events in your life can trigger a psoriasis flare up too. Common events which can cause flare ups include periods of heavy stress or trauma, and severe illnesses such as strep throat.

Since there is no known cure for psoriasis, treatment revolves around minimizing or reducing the symptoms of this skin condition. There are topical creams, ointments and salves which can be applied to the psoriasis plaques which can help them become softer and thinner for instance. There are also some which can help the itching and redness of psoriasis as well.

Most of the topical creams and ointments which are available by prescription only work by attempting to slow the skin’s growth rate, or by slowing your body’s immune system.

Other psoriasis treatments can vary according to how severe the problem is. Sometimes psoriasis plaques can be reduced by exposing them to sunlight, because the UV rays from the sun make the skin die off faster. You have to be careful using straight sunlight though, because if you burn an unaffected area of your skin, you could develop new psoriasis plaques in that area.

Medical treatments also use special directed UV sunlight to help reduce the psoriasis plaques too. There are also both oral and injection drugs which are sometimes used for more severe cases of psoriasis. These drugs also often work by trying to suppress your body’s immune system so that new skin growth is slowed down to a more normal rate.

Toenail Fungus Revealed

Toenail fungus (or Onychomycosis in medical terms) results when one of several types of fungus gains entry into a traumatized toe nail. The most common group of toenail fungus are dermatophytes, however molds and yeast can also be responsible for toe fungus.

The Causes of Toe Fungus

Although there are several different types of yeast, molds and fungi that cause the condition known as toe fungus, the environment the disease thrives in typically remains the same. Weaknesses in the nail, which can be caused by common occurrences such as ingrown toenails, bruising, or more commonly today, poorly cleansed pedicure supplies allow the microscopic fungi to gain entry onto and/or inside the nail.

The fungus then uses the warm, damp environment provided by socks and shoes to grow and spread. Symptoms of Toe Fungus The most common symptoms of toe fungus include nails that are:

– dry looking or without luster – brittle, ragged, or chipped in appearance – thicken or distorted in shape – yellow or darkened in color caused by the buildup of fungi beneath the nail

Toe fungus can persist for several years without pain or discomfort in the foot. It may also cause the toenail to separate completely from the nail bed and cause a foul odor.

Although this nail fungus is most commonly found in toes, cases of fingernail fungus have also been reported in persons with poor circulation and in those whose fingernail provide the warm, moist conditions required for the infection to grow.

Toenail Fungus Treatments

Over the counter nail fungal creams and sprays are currently available to treat mild cases of nail fungus. Most toenail fungus treatments are considered ineffective and serve to suppress the fungus deeper into the nail, worsening the problem. The most common oral medications that are prescribed today include Sporanox, Diflucan and Lamasil which help promote strong nail growth after some or all of the infected nail portion has been removed.

Natural Toenail Fungus Cures Natural toenail fungus remedies work to help the body eliminate the fungi from within. The most common natural cure starts with a soak consisting of 3% hydrogen peroxide mixed 50/50 with vinegar. This treatment is then followed by a strong concentrated soak of Clorox bleach (1:4 mixture) allowing the bleach to be absorbed into the nail. After soaking, the nail should be rinsed in water, dried and covered with a 50/50 mix of Vaseline and tea tree oil. Repeated daily use of this remedy (3-4 times daily) has been slated to work effectively in less than 4 days. This success rate is of course assuming that the toe is removed from socks and shoes that may still contain the organisms that would cause reinfection.

Ways to Prevent Toenail Fungus

The most common methods used to prevent toenail fungus relies heavily on proper foot care. These preventive measures include:

– wearing dry socks and drying feet completely before putting on socks and/or shoes. – airing feet regularly during times they are known to perspire heavily. – wearing protective footwear such as sandals in public places such as shower rooms or gyms. – cleansing nail injuries regularly until they heal completely. – bleaching of socks and proper cleaning of shoes will prevent reinfection.

In general, moisture reduction on and around the foot and eliminating the breeding ground the fungi requires in order to survive is the absolute best combination available to prevent the spread of the toenail fungus.

What To Do About – A Food Allergy

Food allergies happen when your immune system messes up. Your immune system is supposed to protect you from disease and germs. If you have a food allergy your immune system makes a mistake and thinks the food is going to harm you.

The response is the same whether it is a food allergy, an allergy to medicine, an allergy to a flower or tree, or an allergy to peanuts. Although the foods themselves are not harmful the reaction the body has can be life threatening.

In recent years we have heard a lot about the peanut food allergy mainly because the reaction is usually very severe leading to anaphylactic shock.

Here’s what can happen if a child or adult for that matter eats a peanut topped brownie which they have a food allergy to – the antibodies in the body over react releasing histamine in the blood.

The histamine released eyes, throat, nose, respiratory, skin, and even the digestive system can be affected by the food allergy. The reaction could be mild or severe and it can happen almost right away or a couple of hours later.

Some of the first signs of a person suffering from a food allergy can be a runny nose, hives, itchy skin, tingling lips or tongue. Other signs can include tightness in the throat, hoarse voice, coughing, wheezing, stomach pain, diarrhea, and nausea or vomiting.

And with a serious food allergy anaphylaxis occurs which is a severe allergic reaction that comes on suddenly and with several serious problems all occurring at once – the heart, digestive system, respiratory all react at the same time and the breathing tube narrows while the tongue swells making breathing difficult if not impossible – this is a medical emergency.

If you have a serious food allergy and not necessarily to peanuts you need to make sure you know exactly what you are eating. If there is any doubt don’t eat it. You might also carry the proper medication with you.

Kids often suffer from milk and eggs but the often will outgrow these. Severe allergies are commonly seen in peanuts, shrimp, and fish and these do not usually disappear with age.

Not sure how to tell if you have a food allergy? Sometimes it’s pretty easy to figure out. Hives may appear or perhaps stomach problems occur. But other times it’s harder to tell. And sometimes even if you know you have a food allergy determining to what can be really difficult.

Many medical professionals believe that allergies are genetic and inherited so if you have a parent that suffers from hay fever you can expect to do so yourself. Food allergies can resolve themselves over time.

It is important that you do not confuse a food allergy with food intolerance such as with lactose intolerance which can cause severe stomach pain and diarrhea. But that doesn’t make it an allergy.

For some food allergies it’s as simple as not eating the food anymore. Other food allergies are harder to diagnose and harder to avoid. You should see a doctor that specializes in allergies. The doctor will ask you a lot of questions to help determine if you have a food allergy.

A liquid extract of the food or foods that are suspect is used to determine the food allergy. A tiny scratch is made on the skin and then a drop of the extract placed on the scratch. The doctor will watch for the development of a red spot which will indicate you have a food allergy to that particular food.

Once a food allergy is determined the doctor will decide on the best course of action and whether treatment is needed. Once you know what your allergy is it becomes much easier to deal with.

How to Manage Stress and Eliminate Anxiety

Anxiety and   irritability  are the result of oversensitivity to outside stressors that results in excessive impatience, stress, and even anger. Almost all people have experienced  irritability  to a moderate extent when tired or overworked.

Incessant anxiety in adults can be a warning of more serious health concerns. It can be an indication for sleep disorders like sleep apnea and insomnia or the result of illnesses such as chronic headaches, migraines, common cold, flu and other infections. If you have diabetes, hormone imbalances, metabolic diseases and some chronic illness you can expect to be affected by this symptom.

It can also indicate a psychological problem such as adjustment problems, depression, schizophrenia or even mental illness and mood disorders.

If you or those around you find the tetchiness condition to be severe and prolonged, then it is time to consult a doctor. The doctor will help you find out the reason, the onset of the symptom and also the extent and severity of it. Little details such as what sets off the condition, at what time of the day one experiences it, how long does one suffer from it and how does one react to problems might be helpful to diagnose your problem.

If your anxiety is the cause of just too much stress in your life, the following ways of eliminating stress may help you relax without resorting to unhealthy behaviors such as smoking and drinking:

  • Go for a leisurely walk
  • Spend time outdoors
  • Call a good friend
  • Sweat out tension with a good workout
  • Write in your journal
  • Take a long bath
  • Get a massage
  • Read a good book
  • Listen to calming music

If you continue to feel stressed out, it is a prudent step to get a professional stress test to determine if there are more serious underlying factors to your irritated moods. A stress test will start out with a physical examination. Then a detailed discussion about your medical history will follow.

It is best to monitor one’s mood constantly, for it is a great early warning sign for other conditions. Relate to your doctor any condition that seems to worsen or trigger  irritability . By managing stress and seeking medical help when needed, you can eliminate chronic  irritability  and live a calm, healthy, and productive life.

Foods That Help Fight Depression

Every person has the blues from time to time. But when they take place on a more frequent basis, you should be worried. You can adjust your diet to help stabilize your mood. It is crucial to eat meals at regular intervals with the purpose of keeping your serotonin levels in check. It is a chemical in the brain that has a calming effect. High-quality nutrition is the best defense for fighting  depression .

Here are some food ideas to help you fight  depression .

Carbohydrates play role in the production of serotonin and lack of carbohydrates can lead to changes in your mood.

Salmon and mackerel are a great choice, because they are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. These acids also help prevent stroke and heart disease and may help in the prevention of some cancers. Salmon also contains selenium, which is an essential antioxidant mineral. You should eat wild salmon, given that it contains more omegas than farmed, or Atlantic, salmon.

Several studies confirmed that people who suffer from  depression  also have lower levels of the vitamin E. Canola oil is rich in vitamin E. It is a healthier alternative for sautéing foods and vegetables.

Dark green vegetables such as spinach and peas are high in folate. It is a substance that has a key role in the production of serotonin. Eat fresh vegetables, because canned versions usually have lower nutritional value. Legumes are also rich in folate.

Chickpeas are rich in iron, vitamin E and fiber. To prepare a simple snack, mix a can of drained and rinsed chickpeas with some minced garlic, fresh lemon juice, and olive or canola oil in your blender. You can add salt, pepper or other spices that you prefer.

Chicken and turkey are both rich in vitamin B6, which also has an important role in serotonin production.

At the end, if you’ve been dealing with the symptoms of  depression  for some time, you need to contact your doctor.

Social Anxiety Disorder & Social Phobia

Social anxiety disorder or social phobia is anxiety about social situations, meeting new people and fear of being watched. In such situations people are exceedingly self conscious and can never relax in public. They always feel that they are being watched, stared and judged. This chronic and persistent fear grows even more intense if the situation is unfamiliar.

This disorder could be a part of the development of social functioning in growing up days and may go unnoticed. The situations people feel anxiety in can differ from people to people.

“In any social situation, I felt fear. I would be anxious before I even left the house, and it would escalate as I got closer to a college class, a party, or whatever. I would feel sick in my stomach-it almost felt like I had the flu. My heart would pound, my palms would get sweaty, and I would get this feeling of being removed from myself and from everybody else.”

“When I would walk into a room full of people, I’d turn red and it would feel like everybody’s eyes were on me. I was embarrassed to stand off in a corner by myself, but I couldn’t think of anything to say to anybody. It was humiliating. I felt so clumsy, I couldn’t wait to get out.”

Psychological Symptoms:

o Worrying for days, weeks, or even months before any social situation.

o Fear of being watched or judged by others.

o Excessive self-consciousness, nervousness and anxiety in social situations.

o Fear that others will notice that you’re nervous.

o Fear of getting embarrassed or humiliated.

Physical Symptoms:

o Pounding heart or tight chest

o Shaky voice and rapid breathing

o Sweating or blushing

o Upset stomach, nausea

o Dry mouth, trembling or shaking

o Muscle tension

o Dizziness, feeling faint

o Clammy hands or twitching

Treatment

Like any kind of mental situation, there is no hard and fast rule of treating anxiety disorder. The first thing to do in this case would be to consult a physician and determine whether the symptoms are due to anxiety disorder or not.

Lifestyle Changes: Even though only bringing changes in lifestyle might not help in overcoming anxiety disorder, it’s a great help in addition to the therapy or medication. Try making these necessary changes while trying to fight anxiety disorder:

o Avoid Coffee, tea, caffeinated soda, energy drinks, and chocolate.

o Alcohol should be taken in moderation.

o Quit Smoking

o Proper sleep

Medication: Though medication helps in relieving the symptoms of anxiety disorder, they should be only taken in addition to the therapy or self help methods. The following three medications are used for the treatment:

o Beta blockers

o Antidepressants

o Benzodiazepines

Therapy:

CBT or cognitive-behavioral therapy is by far the best known treatment for social anxiety. It works on the theory that what you think affects how you feel, and your feelings affect your behavior. It involves

– Trying relaxation and breathing techniques to control the physical symptoms of anxiety.

– Challenging the negative thoughts that fuel social anxiety and replacing them with balanced and positive views.

– Facing the situations in a gradual and systematic manner than avoiding them completely.

For any kind of anxiety disorder treatment, the family plays a very important role. The family should be supportive and try helping the patient under the guidance of his doctor.

Anxiety Attacks Are Not Fun!

Having an anxiety attack can be a very frightening event, particularly when being experienced for the first time. There is a sense of being out of control, with feelings of fear or panic. Sometimes a person having an anxiety attack will feel completely frozen, unable to think or move.

We are all accustomed to the experience of anxiety. Just about everything we do or that happens to us in life has the potential to cause us anxiety. However, from an early age, we learn a great deal about what to expect from our environment, to recognize the conditions that make us feel safe, and the situations that make us feel that we are or could be in danger.

Someone sitting peacefully in their home may suddenly feel anxious at the sound of someone or something knocking on their back door, especially late at night. Anxiety will also be aroused upon hearing that a friend has met with an accident and been taken to the hospital, and the closer your relationship with someone, the more intense will be your anxiety. Anxiety can also occur as a result of fearing that your home will be burgled, for no other reason than that you know homes often are, or fearing that someone might have had an accident and been taken to the hospital, when they are running a few minutes late. Suffering trauma or hearing traumatic news can make you feel anxious too, but experiencing any of these types of anxiety is a not real anxiety attack. However anxious you may feel, about any of the above events, you know the reason for it, and hopefully can remain composed enough to decide on some positive responsive action to it.

The onset of an anxiety attack will come quite out of the blue, with no apparent cause or reason and that alone can be one of the most frightening aspects of an anxiety attack. Once someone has suffered an anxiety attack in a particular set of circumstances, they may then develop a fear of placing themselves in those or similar circumstances ever again.

In general terms, an anxiety attack occurs when a person feels, and for no apparent reason, somewhat threatened by their immediate environment. You may be walking in a park and suddenly feel a need to get back home, or waiting at a checkout and cannot bear to wait in line, in more extreme cases, you may avoid going shopping or even leaving home.

There are two basic mindsets that can provoke an anxiety attack, one is the fear of constriction, a lack of control and envelopment, the other a fear of being alone, abandoned and unsupported in the world. Often people will suffer their first anxiety attack at a time when they feel fragile emotionally about their circumstances in life. The reasons why a person may feel unable to cope with their circumstances in life may date back to early child hood experience or be simply because they are going through a difficult time of self-doubt and are lacking in self esteem.

The physical symptoms of an anxiety attack are extremely uncomfortable but not life threatening and if you do your best to stay calm, the symptoms will soon settle down.

If you are with someone who is suffering from an anxiety attack, you need to stay calm and re-assuring. You may be asked to take the person home, or perhaps just a cup of tea will be sufficient to help them to recover. Reassure the sufferer that their symptoms will soon pass, that they are not about to faint or die, and it may be appropriate to put an arm around their shoulder or perhaps hold their hand, which physical contact is sometimes needed if the person feels isolated and alone.

The Credit Crunch and Insomnia – How to Stop the Economic Downturn Affecting Your Sleep

One of the largest single factors in not being able to fall asleep at night is having worries and concerns on your mind. The credit crunch, and subsequent economic downturn, have left more of us than ever with concerns about job security, housing and money. In turn this has lead to what the American Psychological Association have dubbed as an ‘edpidemic of insomnia’.

This article outlines at 5 tried and tested techniques which help the form of insomnia triggered by concerns about the future. All of the methods listed are 100% drug-free, ensuring that the worries of today do not become the dependencies of tomorrow.

Method #1 – Progressive Muscle Relaxation

Financial stress can leave you tense and agitated, one key technique for ensuring a relaxing nights sleep is to focus on unlocking the tension in your muscles progressively. Starting at the feet you tense and then very slowly relax each muscle group in turn. This method has the advantage of requiring a certain amount of concentration – preventing those credit crunch woes from entering your mind.

Method #2 – The Right Kind Of Bedtime Snacks

Many people find comfort from their worries and concerns in food. While a late-night snack can be relaxing, it is important to ensure that you eat the right kind of food – to prevent insomnia. Avoid protein rich foods such as meat and fish, instead focus on food high in carbohydrates since these contain amino-acids which are known to have a role in making you feel drowsy.

Method #3 – Light, Noise and Temperature

When you have problems on your mind the slightest imbalance in your sleeping environment can cause insomnia symptoms. Now is the time to survey the light levels, temperature (particularly any marked changes during the night or morning periods) and noise. If you are unable to prevent noise, for example living on a busy road or having an active family, then masking may be a good solution. This involves utilising either ‘white noise’ or specially designed sleeping music tracks which mimic the appropriate brain waves.

Method #4 – Mental Distraction And Imagery

Slowing down your busy mind can be achieved using tried and tested techniques of mental distraction. The best known of these is the classic ‘counting sheep’ idea, though any similar method will work. Some people enjoy using mental imagery instead, this uses the imagination to transform you to a peaceful beach or forest – combining distraction of the mind with relaxation can accelerate peaceful sleeping.

Method #5 – Abdominal Breathing Technique

Our final technique combines pro-active relaxation with concentration which distracts the mind, this could easily be combined with the imagery method mentioned above too. The idea is to force progressively deeper and slower breathing, focusing on gradually taking air closer to your abdomen.

With financial and economic worries becoming increasingly prevalent in our society, it is more important than ever to take proactive steps to stop this causing insomnia. Remember, a deep and relaxing sleep will not only have a beneficial effect on you – but  also those close to you.

Common STD Symptoms and Treatment for Chlamydia, Herpes and Hepatitis

Disease like Chlamydia, Herpes and Hepatitis are a growing problem in the United States. High risk behaviors and lack of disease information and resources have had a profound effect on the spread of such diseases. Some of these diseases have little to no symptoms yet can be extremely harmful if not treated and can spread without knowing so. Getting proper education in dealing with such diseases can help you as an individual protect yourself from infection.

Chlamydia – Chlamydia is one of the most common STD’s today. Chlamydia is easily spread through sexual activities hence they are a sexually transmitted disease. Clamidia treatment is usually pretty easy and uncomplicated. Chlamydia can cause sterility in both men and women. At least three million individuals are infected with Chlamydia each year. Common symptoms of clamidia include: discharge from lower regions, painful urination, painful intercourse, abdominal pain, nausea, fever, swelling and bleeding from lower regions (specific symptoms for men or women). Symptoms usually occur with in 21 days of infection. Treatment of Chlamydia is usually taken care of with an antibiotic, usually doxycycline, taken for a week.

Herpes – Herpes is also an extremely common sexually transmitted disease. Most adults have some version of the disease. Many do not know they even have the herpies virus. Herpes is often associated with sores on the mouth (cold sores) and genitals (genital herpes). There is no cure for herpes however herpies symptoms and breakouts can be treated with medication prescribed by your doctor. Someone using these medications can lead break-out free lives. Generally, herpes is usually the most problematic during the first breakout and lessons with age.

Hepatitis – There are many versions of hepatitis. Hepatitus B for example can be prevented with a vaccination, other versions of hepatitis cannot. Hepatitis can be spread via sexual activity or by eating food handled improperly as a Food-Bourne illness. Hepatitis is a serious illness that affects the Liver and may cause jaundice. All symptoms associated with hepatitis should be directed to a medical professional for immediate treatment. Hepatitus can be very serious and it is important to get the facts and resources immediately for treatment. Other symptoms of hepatitis can include : extreme fatigue, headache, fever and hives. Hepatitus may be invisible during its most contagious stages.

Proper knowledge and safe practices can help you extremely reduce the risks of getting infected with a sexually transmitted disease. For more information on sexually transmitted diseases visit your local health department, your primary physician or a pregnancy resource center near you.