Overcome Female Infertility – What is a Progesterone Test?

As we mentioned in previous articles, infertility is defined as inability of a couple to conceive after 12 months of unprotected sexual intercourse or can not carry the pregnancy to term. It effects over 5 millions couple alone in the U. S. and many times more in the world. Because of unawareness of treatments, only 10% seeks help from professional specialist. In this article, we will discuss what is female infertility progesterone test ??

I. Definition
Progesterone test is the test to measure the levels of progesterone which are vital for softening the uterine lining and helping with implantation after an egg is released from your ovaries as the remaining follicle becomes the corpus luteum.

II. Procedure
Blood test is done at the 4 -9 days after predicted ovulation for women with 28 days cycle.
The of levels progesterone is different in each stage of menstrual cycle, it surges just before ovulation.

III. Diagnosis
The progesterone test is used for a wide variety of different purposes. It helps to determine
1. If ovulation has occurred
Before the ovulation, progesterone starts to surge to support the ovulation for extruding the mature eggs to the fallopian tube.
2. When ovulation occurred
If the ovulation is occurred, progesterone is in it’s maximum stage state, it helps to soften the uterine inning for implantation of the fertilized egg.
3. Placenta and fetal health
It is important test for women with low levels of progesterone, because it may cause miscarriage and ecpotic pregnancy.
4.Adrenal gland dysfunction and luteal ovarian cysts
These types of abnomality cause high levels of progesterone which interfere with the menstrual cycle and estrogen function in aiding eggs production from the ovaries.

Since progesterone is produced with high amount right after the eggs has emerged to stimulate ovulation because abnormal levels of progesterone interferes with the ovulation of women menstrual cycle, causing infertility. If the test result indicates that you have abnormally high levels of progesterone, it may indicate a false pregnancy or adrenal gland dysfunction, otherwise you may be suffering from ovulation problems or miscarriage.

Nasal Polyposis

What is nasal polyposis?

It is the growth of a soft painless and noncancerous mass lining the nasal cavity and paranasal sinuses. They result from chronic inflammation caused by conditions such as allergies, asthma, recurrent infectious, hypersensitivity to certain drugs and or certain immunologic diseases.

Before continuing, a little history…

Nasal polyposis was first reported by the Egyptians over 4000 years ago. They are considered the pioneers in the diagnosis and treatment of this condition as they were thoroughly familiar with the nasal anatomy and due to the mummification approach take took place in that time. Samuel of Egypt, was first described as a patient. It is said that he had a polyp so great that it hung down the back of his nasopharynx and “strangled” the patient!

However, it was Hippocrates who coined the term polyp considering that it resembled a “marine polyp” (has a flat base, are soft and the body is shaped like a tube). Hippocrates was even the first to describe the surgical procedure for resection of the polyps or the “polypectomy”

What are the symptoms of nasal polyposis?

They come in different sizes. When they are small they may not cause any symptoms. However, when they are large or even giant, they can give very severe symptoms such as difficulty in breathing, changes in smell and taste, nasal congestion, nasal voice or permanent, postnasal discharge, presence of abundant hyaline mucus, pain in the upper dental arch, tightness in the forehead and malar region (also known as the cheek), snoring and recurrent infections.

When should you visit the otolaryngologist (physician in charge of looking at diseases of the Ears, Nose and Throat (ENT))?

You must go to your doctor if symptoms persist for more than 10 days. Symptoms of chronic sinusitis and nasal polyposis are very similar to those of many other conditions or diseases, including the common cold. It is advisable that you go to see your doctor if you feel that you have one or more of the above symptoms.

Who is affected by polyps?

Polyps can occur at any age but are by far more common in people over 40 years and tend to be more common in men than in women. In rare causes they are also know to affect children under the age of 10 years. They can form anywhere in the nose but typically occur first in the ethmoid cedillas but are most common in the area where the sinuses are “drained”, this place is better known as osteomeatal complex.

What are the risk factors?

The risk factors for developing polyps in the nose could be from any situation that involves the chronic inflammation of the nasal mucosa, such as allergy.

The diseases associated with nasal polyposis frequently are: Asthma, Allergy to aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid) or nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs, better known as NSAIDs (ibuprofen, naproxen), allergic fungal sinusitis, cystic fibrosis (a genetic disorder resulting from the production and secretion of abnormally thick, sticky mucus) and Churg-Strauss syndrome (a disease that causes inflammation of blood vessels). There are also hereditary genetic diseases that can make us more likely to develop nasal polyposis.

However, in many cases, nasal polyposis is of an unknown cause but cases are known of nasal polyp formation preceding the development of asthma or sinusitis.

What are the potential complications?

They are varied and can range from sinusitis to obstructive sleep apnea, to asthma exacerbations, dissemination of the infectious process to the eye or even to the development of meningitis.

How are they diagnosed?

The nasofibroendoscopa is a very useful tool to the otolaryngologists that is easy and painlessly and allows direct and detailed visualization of the nose and sinuses with a camera.

Similarly, the CT scan of the nose and paranasal sinuses may help assess more accurately the location and extent of the polyps in deeper areas of the sinuses and allowing the extent of mucosal inflammation to be assessed. Also it allows us to know if there is obstruction of either side within the nasal cavity and thus it is best option to decide and plan treatment for the patient.

There may also be other diagnoses studies that can be used such as allergy tests, and if polyps are found in the nasalesen of a child then a specific diagnostic test for cystic fibrosis should be carried out. It is important that treatment is multidisciplinary, i.e. several specialists should be consulted with in order to offer the best treatment and the gain best result for the patient.

Normally, depending on the size of polyps, our first approach is to treat the polyps with medication. Corticosteroids (nasal sprays) are the first line treatment because they help us to reduce inflammation. This treatment can reduce the size of polyps and sometimes even eliminate them altogether. Other times, we can accompany oral and injectable corticosteroids if they do not get the desired effect with the nasal spray. Also, occasionally we have to prescribe antihistamines to control the allergic process as well as antibiotics to treat chronic or recurrent infections.

Surgical treatment for nasal polyposis

The surgery is performed when despite medical treatment, polyps do not get smaller or disappear. The type of surgery depends on the size, the number and location of polyps.

There are 2 surgeries that can be performed. The first of them is the polypectomy (Hippocrates, the father of Rhinology, was the first to do it), which is used in small or isolated polyps that can be completely removed with a suction device or a microdebrider. The second is endoscopic sinus surgery (which uses a camera that magnifies the nasal structures). It is reserved to remove large polyps and to correct sinus problems that promote inflammation and the development thereof of polyps.

Although surgery is associated with a significant improvement in most patients it may be less effective in those with a combination of polyps and asthma or those with polyps, asthma and hypersensitivity to aspirin ( Triad Sampter described this in 1969 in Sampter and Beer).

Reoccurrence

Unfortunately, nasal polyps tend to recur if the underlying cause is not treated or controlled. Therefore, both the otolaryngologist and allergist and sometimes even the inmunologist must maintain tight control of the patient because they must address the factors mentioned above in order to offer the patient a better quality of life.

Who Can Benefit From Myomassology?

Myomassology is a manual manipulation therapy that is designed to treat various physical problems with the use of many of the different massage disciplines that are popularly used for their health benefits and magnificent results when used to address specific health issues.

In general, Myomassology is a massage therapy that is done in accordance to the needs of the client more than to its standard procedure as it uses more than one technique as treatment. Hands-on methods such as acupressure, shiatsu, reflexology, and Swedish massage are few of the most utilized techniques in a Myomassology therapy session.

The seniors, a group of people who are after a relaxing and energizing treatment finds Swedish massage techniques as one of the most suitable treatment due to the gentle approach and calming effect of the massage therapy. The medical care are done in such a way that it will not do harm to the fragile physical body of the old-aged client who are prone to receiving negative effects when performed in the wrong way.

Pregnancy is always a delicate condition where a woman is bearing a child and needs to be extra careful even when wanting to have a natural medical care due to the contraindications included with each technique. In Myomassology however there are techniques that can be used even when in this fragile condition. Delicate and light touch techniques are used to satisfy and address the medical needs of expectant mothers.

Athletes are also people who can gain from the use of various treatment techniques as they can receive deep tissue massage therapy and other methods for relieving pain and optimizing the body’s performance level. Overstressing the joints, muscle tissues, and other essential parts of the human body are the common problems of an active person regardless of being an athlete or plain active.

Anyone who wishes to test or add the therapy into their regular medical care are greatly welcomed with open arms as they can choose which one will fit their needs and have less risks on their medical condition. Even those who have no problems at all can also enjoy the therapy as a relaxing and luxurious method without the use of drugs and medical equipments.

If you are into a complete therapy where you can combine and get the best out of each treatment, then this type of therapy is the perfect one for you. However, I would suggest that you check out and consult with your doctor before setting out in a natural treatment session to make sure that what you’re into is the real deal and does not compromise your health.

How to Identify Ovarian Cyst Burst Symptoms

Ovarian cysts are experienced by most women at a few point in their life and most clear up naturally on their own. Some, though, can become large and impact a woman’s health. Cysts are fluid-filled sacs that can develop either inside or on the outside of the ovaries. Most cysts are harmless; these cysts are around the size of a pea or even smaller and heal on their own. But some cysts can grow as large as an apple if not detected in time. Sadly, some ovarian cysts can grow even larger in size, causing a woman a lot of discomfort and threatening her health.

There are lots of distinctive ovarian cyst burst symptoms. These most of these symptoms can be grouped into three different categories, though there are a few “wild card” symptoms that will not fit nicely into these groupings. Abdominal pains, menstrual abnormalities and nausea are the main symptoms experienced by women with ovarian cysts.

The vaguest of symptoms is also the most common: pelvic pain. This pain is what causes most women to go the doctor but unless you have had a large cyst before, few women suspect that an ovarian cyst is the reason for the pain. The pain might be more concentrated during sexual intercourse, your periods, and during bowel movements or while urinating. A common sensation is the feeling of additional pressure on your colon or bladder that creates the sensation that you need to go when you know you do not have to. The pain can become lower back pain, vaginal pain or inner thigh pain. Pain from an ovarian cyst may be consistent or it may vary from a dull ache to sharp pains throughout its existence.

Menstrual abnormalities are periods that are painful, irregular flows, and a alterations in the appearance and makeup of the menstrual blood itself. Abnormalities generally also suggest that your period is lasting longer or shorter, the flow volume has changed or your period is even arriving at different times of the month than usual. And increase in cramps right before or after your period and spotting when not menstruating are also normal symptoms.

Nausea similar to that experienced when a woman who is pregnant is a typical long-term ovarian cyst symptom, and it is a symptom that frequently causes women to think they are not suffering from a problem of the ovaries. Stomach nausea can be your body trying to clear itself of a unknown object or, more likely, is your hormones being out of balance and causing morning sickness-like symptoms. Other symptoms that are more difficult to associate are weight gain, feeling full quickly, bloat and abdominal heaviness, and losing one’s appetite.

A few more symptoms of ovarian cysts do exist, though these are more rare. Some women report that their hair, (on their heads, body and face) is growing quicker. Peculiar pains in the ribs may be felt which feel like muscle soreness. It is also possible to feel tight nodules under your skin that feel like bruises. Another symptom that some women report is an increase in headaches.

While a cyst is actually bursting you could experience intense pain localized to one side of your pelvis and extreme cramps. Many women say the words “rupture” and “burst” very accurately describe the pain sensation. The pain right before a cyst bursts is intense while the aftermath usually involves very little pain.

Ovarian cysts most commonly happen to women of child bearing age. There are many factors that can lead to an ovarian cyst. By far, the biggest factor in your chance of developing a cyst is if it runs in your family. You chances are greatly increased for developing cysts if other in your family have had them, (remember that family members grow up in the same environments and live the same lifestyles, so having something run in the family isn’t entirely related to genetics). Some other variables known to contribute to ovarian cyst formation are a unhealthy diet and a weak immune system. Insulin resistance causes high insulin levels that boost male sex hormone creation that can damage your menstrual cycle or above average unsuccessful ovulation (when the ovary does not release its monthly egg) increase the likelihood of an ovarian cyst forming.

For the most part, a cyst is just a natural consequence of ovulation, (the part of your menstruation cycle where an egg gets released). Functional cysts get created when a follicle (sac) that holds the egg during ovulation doesn’t properly release the egg or it does not fully dissolve after the egg is released. This is not uncommon occurrences and your reproductive system is developed to eliminate these, if they happen, during the menstruation cycle.

The cysts that can cause you to experience ovarian cyst burst symptoms happen when a follicle closes up after releasing an egg and fluid fills the sac. These cysts tend to heal themselves and disappear without your knowledge. Yet some are not properly removed by your immune system, causing them to grow around or right on the ovary and cutting off the blood supply to the ovary. If the cyst fills with blood, it can burst open, causing the painful symptoms described earlier.

Other events in the body can cause cysts in addition to the functional type of cyst. When a partially formed embryo dies in the fallopian tube, the excess cells may form a dermoid cyst. Endometriomas are cysts caused by the condition endometriosis where uterine cells grow outside of the uterus. These cells being introduced into the fallopian tubes can lead to ovarian cysts.

If you are diagnosed with an ovarian cyst and it is minor, your doctor will most likely tell you to wait for it to heal on it own. One method employed to prevent ovarian cysts in women who have lots of them is to regulate sex hormones by taking birth control medication. Surgery is used when a cyst grows too large. The latest uses laparoscopy, where a small incision is made in the belly button and the cysts are removed from there. This is usually a same day, out-patient surgery. Unfortunately, this method only works when cysts are diagnosed when they are small. More serious surgery is needed if the cysts have grown in size. In rare situations a cyst will have grown on top of an organ so much so that it can not be separated and oophorectomy (removal of an ovary) or a hysterectomy could be necessary.

You shouldn’t be too worried because most ovarian cysts are not dangerous, even the larger painful ones. Still, you should never ignore ovarian cyst burst symptoms. Some ovarian cysts do cause cancer and or infertility. Generally, if you have pelvic pain and are worried that something isn’t right, it is a good strategy to obtain medical attention. As always, preventing medical problems before they even happen because though most cysts can be treated, simply having one increases your chance of getting cancer of being unable to reproduce.

Bacterial Food Poisoning

The feeling of a rumbling stomach followed by nausea, vomiting, cramping and diarrhea hours after a scrumptious meal is unfortunately an all too common one. This type of sickness is brought on by  food  and is referred to as  food   poisoning . While this is a common condition and usually a fairly mild one,  food   poisoning  can, in some cases, lead to serious illness and even death.

Types of Bacteria Found On Food

 Poisoning  occurs when consumed  food  was not properly stored, prepared or cooked. There is no fool-proof way of detecting if bacteria is on food, so extreme vigilance should be taken in regards to its preparation.   Poisoning  can happen when  food  is cooked at home or by friends and family or it can occur at any restaurant. Even fine dining establishments that charge large amount of money for each dish can end up serving food with bacteria on it.

There are various forms of bacteria that cause  poisoning  from  food . Some of the biggest bacterial offenders are:

o E-Coli-this bacteria is possibly the most common source of  poisoning . E-Coli naturally resides in the lower intestines of healthy humans and animals but can cause illness when transferred to meat or vegetables and ingested. Washing and cooking food thoroughly will kill this bacteria.

o Botulism-this disease is caused after a bacteria called Clostridium botulinum produces the toxin Botulin. Botulism is often found in canned foods and It can only be destroyed at high temperatures. If a can ever appears to bulging with air, it might contain Botulin. Cooking food at high temperatures is very important to keep Botulism at bay is very important.

o Salmonella-this bacteria is generally found in meat, eggs and egg containing products and seafood. As with the other previously mentioned causes of  poisoning , Salmonella can only be killed at high temperatures. Thus eating raw foods such as sushi or cookie dough can increase the likely hood of acquiring Salmonella. Unlike the other bacteria mentioned, Salmonella can have long term effects. In some cases, Salmonella never fully disappears from the body.

o Campylobacter-this bacteria is found in undercooked or raw meat and poultry, unpasteurized milk and untreated water.

 Food   poisoning  usually occurs due to the neglect of the person preparing the  food . It is not hard to avoid poisonous bacteria if all foods are properly cooked. If a restaurant serves undercooked  food  that results in  poisoning  and did not properly warn their guests about the risks associated with raw  food  prior to ordering, they might be held liable for damages.

To find out more about bacterial  food   poisoning , visit Des Moines area lawyers.

Something You Should To Know About Peptic Ulcer

Many people are suffering from peptic  ulcer .It is generally known that  ulcer  appears to men,but nowadays women also suffer from peptic  ulcer .The peptic  ulcer  deals with the digestive process.For example the  ulcer  in the lining of the stomach is calling the gastric  ulcer  and the  ulcer  in the upper part of small intestine, or duodenum, is called a duodenal  ulcer .

The lining of the stomach contains special cells, chemicals and mucous that prevent the stomach from being damaged by its own acids and digestive enzymes.The  ulcer  can be small or deep.The major cause of the  ulcer  is the bacterium H. pylori.This infection can harm only 20% of people infected.In some people, H. pylori infection somehow upsets the delicate balance between the damaging effects of gastric acids and the body’s natural protection.A second common cause of  ulcers  can be the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)such as aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin and others) and naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn).Several factors can increase the risk of developing a peptic  ulcer .These damaging factors are:cigarettes, alcohol, stress and spicy food.

The effect produced by the  ulcer  is the burning or gnawing pain in the upper abdomen. This typically occurs when the stomach is empty, and may be worse at night or upon waking.Other symptoms are: nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, bloating, burping and weight loss.In more severe cases,  ulcer  may bleed or extend deep into the wall of the stomach or intestine.

For diagnosis are recommended the following tests:

1) a blood antibody test for evidence of H. pylori infection.If the test is positive a treatmentmay be given without more invasive tests.In some cases the test may remain positive even aftera given treatment. Unfortunately this test cannot tell if the  ulcer  is produced by the H. pylori.

2) an esophagogastroduodenoscopy is made with the lighted tube with a tiny camera on the end, which is passed through the stomach and intestines.Other way of examining  ulcer  is the biopsy(a small piece of the lining of the stomach), which is a close examination of the tissue in a laboratory.

3) an upper-gastrointestinal(GI)series is a test which involves X-ray taken after the person drinks a chalky liquid. With this method the existence of an  ulcer  can be observed.

 Ulcers  caused by medication should stop after the person stop taking drugs and the  ulcer  caused by H. pylori may heal or may not.Gastric  ulcer  heals more slowly than duodenal  ulcer . But the worse is the fact that H. pylori can return and cause another  ulcer ,if the first infection is not eliminated completely.

Acid Reflux Diet Plan – How to Prevent Heartburn Through Diet

There are countless persons out there who are living a life of misery while suffering from various diseases like obesity, heart burns and acid reflux. They would be seeking some kind of help. The good thing is that there is a simple and easy to do follow cure for all of these diseases.

That is nothing else but following a simple diet plan. This will completely uproot all three of them.

All you would need to do is to make a strategy, as per the consultation provided to you by your physician if you are on some medication, and stick to that plan.

An acid reflux diet plan does not merely comprises of adding quality food to your diet but it also means that you will have to blacklist some of your favorite stuff.

Avoid consumption of foods that are high on fats such as milk and milk products, meat; and those which have a high acid content such as some specific soft drinks.

The best part about this is the fact that while you are eating some good nutritious food, you are also helping yourselves against obesity and at the same time against acid reflux disease as well.

However, it is very important that you strictly follow the routine that you set for yourselves. You would have to keep self control and stick to your plan.

If you stop following the proper diet plan then you will go back to the point from where you initially began, and all of your problems will come back.

So What Are The Recommendations for The Ideal Diet Plan?

The food that you eat should be good for your overall health. The cuisines should be in accordance with the basic principals of an acid reflux diet, that is to say, they should be low on fats and carbohydrates; and high on roughage.

It should be light on your digestive system. Try not to eat too much for dinner. Avoid dining late at night.

Do not drink milk before sleeping as it stimulates the secretion of gastric acid. If you are also suffering from obesity, then you will have to take special care of your diet.

A sound strategy for a dietary plan to counter the acid reflux disease can really help change your life. The unhealthy meals that we usually have in our diet, badly affects our health and is really very harmful in a long run.

The most important thing, however, as I would like to tell you, is to stick to the plan, and you should never falter from it under any circumstances.

The Facts About Herpes Simplex 1

Herpes Simplex 1 is a type that is commonly referred to as cold sores. They appear on the face, especially around the lips. Don’t let the location of it fool you though as Herpes Simplex 1 on the face is just the same as what you find on the genitals with Herpes Simplex 2.

In fact, many medical professionals are reporting signs of Herpes Simplex 1 on the genitals. This is believed to be due to the amount of oral sex that takes place. Many people don’t realize that a cold sore is really herpes or that it can be spread to the rest of the body. If you have Herpes Simplex 1 on your lips you shouldn’t kiss anyone else until the sores are completely gone.

It is important to realize that Herpes Simplex 1 is very contagious and that it can be spread to other people. It isn’t just restricted to the face or the genital though. It can be spread to various parts of the body including the mucus membranes, the nose, ears, eyes, and anus. A person can easily spread Herpes Simplex 1 to other areas of their own body as well if they touch them without washing their hands.

Not everyone knows they have Herpes Simplex 1 though because the symptoms are very different for everyone. This is due to the fact that it is a virus, and a virus affects people based on their genes and their immune system. As a result many people continue to spread Herpes Simplex 1 to others because they don’t realize they have it.

There is no cure for Herpes in any form yet but there are some positive results to various types of medications. Some herbal remedies are said to completely destroy Herpes Simplex 1 and 2 but there is no medical data to substantiate such claims. Most people have to be happy with eliminating the pain and dealing with the various symptoms.

Of course the best course of action is to avoid spreading it to other regions of your body or to someone else. Each person needs to be responsible and understand how easily it can be transmitted. If you are going to have sex with someone you owe it to them to tell them that you have herpes. Keep in mind that they may not know it so protect yourself as if they do.

Polymyositis: Part III

PM may cause pain and tenderness over the muscles hence may be confused with Polymyalgia Rheumatica and Fibromyalgia.

Polymyositis is a systemic disease and hence has a range of physical symptoms. Some of the important symptoms associated with PM are:-

· Morning Stiffness

· Fatigue

· Anorexia

· Fever

· Weight loss

Apart from these systems PM also tends to affect the pulmonary, GI, cardiac and systems and tends to co-present with certain malignancies and connective tissue disorder, in which case, it is referred to as overlap syndromes.

Pulmonary Manifestations

Pulmonary problems afflict approx 5-30% of patients suffering from PM (Especially associated with anti synthetase antibodies). The common manifestations of lung disease in PM are:-

· Intestial Lung Disease: It affects about 5-30% of patients suffering from PM and is strongly associated with the presence of anti Jo-1 antibodies. Patients present with dry cough, exertional Dyspnoea, and fever. Physical examination may reveal presence of Velcro crackles. At the base of the lung. Pulmonary Function Testing along with CO diffusion studies in conjunction with HRCT is the preferred modality for diagnosis.

· Patients may also develop exertional dyspnoea due to weakness of the thoracic muscles and diaphragm due to the myopathy. This is usually a poor prognostic sign.

· Involvement of the oropharyngeal muscles leads to repeated aspiration and aspiration pneumonia.

· Apart from these diseases bronchiolitis obliterans organizing pneumonia (BOOP), pulmonary capillaritis and Intestial pneumonitis have also been described as complications or associations of Polymyositis.

Cardiac Manifestation

Cardiac manifestations are once again an adverse prognostic factor in PM. The common manifestations of cardiac muscle involvement include arrhythmias, cardiac failure, pulmonary hypertension, Myocarditis and   pericarditis 

GI Manifestation

Since PM affects the oropharyngeal musculature in about one third cases, GI symptoms are frequent and common cause of morbidity. The common GI symptoms include:-

· Swallowing difficulties

· Repeated aspiration

· Dysphagia

· Dysphonia

· Odynophagia

· Nasal regurgitation

· Abdominal Bloating

· Constipation

· Reflux oesophagitis (in overlap syndromes when associated with Scleroderma)

Rheumatologic Manifestations

Polymyositis being an immune mediated disorder is associated with a myriad of rheumatic and connective tissue disorder. This has spawned the term Overlap Syndromes. Overlap syndromes refers to a distinct subset of disorders where PM is associated with other connective tissue disorders, namely, Systemic Lupus, Scleroderma, Mixed Connective tissue disease, and Sjogren Syndrome.

The association between scleroderma and Pm is particularly striking as up to 25% of Scleroderma patients have Myositis and these patients are usually positive for anti PM-Scl (Anti PM-1) antibody. Japanese patients have an association with anti-Ku antibody.

Mortgage Rates

So my 12 year old daughter asks, “Why is it that any time there is good news about the economy they also say that there is pressure on mortgage rates to rise? Why does the good news also mean bad news?”

A fair question in my opinion. Scan the headlines – “Jobless Numbers Down – Pressure on Mortgage Rates”, “Promised Tax Cuts may see increase in Mortgage Rates”, “Third Successive Quarterly Economic Growth figures see Mortgage Rates set to Rise”. Then, of course, there are other factors totally out of our control which can also affect mortgage rates such as the recent global liquidity and credit crisis emanating from the US economy.

Mortgage rates are influenced by the official interest rate or Target Cash Rate as set by the Reserve Bank. When the Reserve Bank changes the official rate and in turn, mortgage rates, it is attempting to influence expenditure in the economy. When expenditure exceeds production, inflation results. Therefore mortgage rates are used as a tool to control inflation as a part of monetary policy.

Higher mortgage rates affect borrowers’ cash flows and reduce the amount of money that consumers are able to spend on goods. Lower mortgage rates have the opposite effect. And because lower mortgage rates mean that people have more to spend it puts pressure on prices due to increased demand it puts further inflationary pressures on the economy.

In the dizzy days of the late 1980s inflation was rampant and mortgage rates peaked at 17% per annum. The high mortgage rates severely limited housing affordability. Since those days governments and the Reserve Bank have tended to micro manage the economy to avoid major peaks and troughs. Small increases in mortgage rates, although politically unpopular, are an effective means of stabilising the economy. A little research into the history of mortgage rates in this country will reveal that, at current levels, they are still relatively low.

It should be noted, however, that when we talk about mortgage rates we are generally referring to “nominal” mortgage rates (as nominated in loan contracts, advertising etc). Economists, on the other hand, talk in terms of “real” mortgage rates. So what is the difference between nominal and real mortgage rates? Real mortgage rates take into account the effect of inflation so that Real Mortgage Rates = Nominal Mortgage Rates minus Inflation Rate.

In 1989 when the nominal mortgage rate was 17%, inflation was running at approximately 8% per annum. Therefore the real mortgage rate would have been 9% per annum. Today nominal mortgage rates are approximately 8% per annum and inflation is running at around 2% per annum so that the real mortgage rates are 6% per annum.

In fact if we research real mortgage rates in Australia over the last 25 – 30 years we find that they have hovered within 2% per annum and 10% per annum, compared to nominal mortgage rates which have been between 6% per annum and 17% per annum over the same period. Obviously it is much sexier for politicians to spruik about massive reductions in nominal interest rates.

So in summary, to answer my daughter, an occasional little pain with mortgage rates may lead to a huge gain in the overall scheme of things.

Overweight and Heart Disease

In discussing overweight and heart disease, let us look at some statistics. More than 64 percent of Americans are overweight, of which 27% are obese. An overweight person is one having a BMI of over 25, and in an obese person, a BMI of over 30. Overweight has long been identified by medical professionals as causes for serious health problems. In fact, the more overweight we are, the worse the effects are likely to be. Among the diseases associated with overweight are Type 2 diabetes , thyroid problems, asthma, high blood pressure and heart disease. This article will examine the issue of overweight and heart disease.

No discussion on overweight and heart disease can be complete without a brief mention of the most important organ in our body, the heart. This organ is not much larger than your fist. Heart disease collectively refers to the disease or condition that affects both the heart and the blood vessels. The heart, lungs, and some 100,000 miles of blood-filled vessels together make up the circulatory system by which oxygen and other vital elements are sent to nourish the live cells in all parts of the body. It is the heart that keeps all these going by acting as the central pumping system. The heart has 4 chambers with valves in them. It is located to the left side of our chest, just off the center. The heart is a very important organ to keep life going. Can you appreciate the workload the heart has to carry 24/7?

Common heart diseases are coronary artery disease, heart failure and arrhythmia (an abnormal rate of muscle contractions in the heart). Blockage or narrowing of coronary arteries is one of the major reasons of heart attack.

According to statistics, heart disease is one of the major causes of death in the developed and developing countries. In America it is the number one killer; most of the victims are women. Women, particularly those who are inactive and overweight are more likely to be affected by diseases like high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes.

Overweight and heart disease are closely associated because overweight is the one of the major factors which causes heart disease.

There is yet another factor to consider in discussing overweight and heart disease. How the fat is deposited in your body also affects the heart. When you are overweight and have most of the fat accumulated in your abdominal area, it is considered more risky. The pear-shaped body, with fat worn mostly around the hips, buttocks and thighs, is not as bad for the heart as the apple-shaped body with fat accumulated around the tummy. The latter has higher chance of other health risks like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, stroke etc. which directly affect your heart. For men with 40 inches of waist line you are more prone to heart disease. For women, it is 35 inches.

Regular exercise, an active life style and the proper diet can lower the risks of heart disease. You should avoid smoking. Monitor your blood pressure and cholesterol level regularly.

Overweight and heart disease , the number one killer disease in America.

Types of Brain Injuries

Brain injuries are devastating injuries that occur every 15 seconds in the United States. Brain injuries are the leading cause of death in persons under the age of 45. There are approximately 5 to 6 million people living in the U.S. with brain injuries. Leading causes of brain injuries are motor vehicle accidents, falls, violence and sports injuries.

The brain can be damaged in multiple ways. In order to understand head injuries, it is useful to understand the different types of brain injuries that can occur:

Concussions – A concussion can be defined as a sudden alteration of the conscious state induced by trauma. The person affected may lose consciousness briefly and may be confused following. The brain can recover from a concussion but in certain circumstances, there may be residual damage. Concussions often occur in sports-related injuries.

Contusions – When the head strikes a hard, immovable object the brain may be bruised. Contusions are essentially bruises that result in damage to, or destruction of, brain tissue. They often occur in the frontal and temporal lobes. These are the lobes where behavior and memory centers are located, so damage to these areas can cause changes in behavior, changes in vision (including loss of vision), impairment of memory and occasional weakness or loss of coordination.

Diffuse axonal brain injuries (DAI) – In this type of injury, a shearing force damages nerve fibers or stretches blood vessels in the brain. The result may be hemorrhage (bleeding) and can also cause a cascade of chemicals that are toxic to the brain to be released. The temporal and frontal lobes are often affected. Symptoms of DAI include inattentiveness, problems with memory and disorganization.

Hypoxic-Ischemic brain injuries (HII) – Stroke is a common cause of this type of injury, in which the amount of oxygen is reduced to the brain (for example, from a blood clot). The injury causes brain swelling that restricts oxygen, glucose and other necessary nutrients from reaching the brain. A poor prognosis is associated with both HII and DAI in terms of cognitive function and memory impairment, if the patient survives the initial injury.

Hemorrhage – A cerebral or intracranial bleed occurs when blood vessels within the brain bleed as a result of trauma or inherent weakness of a blood vessel (e.g. aneurysm). Hemorrhages may be tiny or large and symptoms correspond to the severity and location of the bleed. Hemorrhage does not always occur immediately after an injury, but may be delayed for hours or even days.

Infarction– “Infarction” is the medical term for stroke. Strokes occur when an artery supplying the brain is blocked, cutting off oxygen and nutrients to the brain. Speech, language and visual problems often occur after a stroke.

Hematomas – Hematomas develop outside the brain. Subdural hematomas occur over the surface of the parietal or frontal lobes. A subdural hematoma is slow bleeding outside the brain caused by a vessel carrying venous (unoxygenated) blood. Epidural hematomas are usually caused by damaged arteries, which carry blood under pressure, which can cause severe pressure which must be released immediately or death will occur. Subarachnoid hemorrhages occur when bleeding spreads slowly over the brain surface. Subarachnoid hemorrhages rarely cause death and may even be symptomatic.

There are numerous types of injuries which may be caused by trauma or physical conditions. Understanding the type of injury sustained can provide clues as to what to expect in terms of symptoms and outcome. Any time a brain injury is suspected, medical attention must be sought. Brain injuries can cause permanent and severe damage when not treated. With proper treatment, many patients recover.

Prevent Heart Attacks

A condition where the oxygen and the blood supply is restricted to the heart, if left untreated results in heart attacks. It may also ultimately lead to death. You can also prevent the recovery of a heart attack by:

Taking your medications regularly.

These medicines are prescribed to prevent blood clots and lower the levels of cholesterol. Change your lifestyle to some extent like you need to quit smoking immediately as it has high risks of heart attacks. Eat a low fat and low cholesterol diet that will reduce the amount of fat in your blood. Control the levels of your blood pressure and diabetes by having a healthy diet, exercising regularly, medicines, and controlling the amount of salt and sugar in your diet. High blood pressure damages the lining of the arteries and leads to heart complications.

Control your stress and anger by learning many different skills like time management, yoga, or relaxation to lower your stress. Use these skills effectively at times to control you stress or anger that may otherwise lead to heart attack. You can also enroll yourself and participate in the cardiac rehabilitation programs, wherein you can learn the different techniques to avoid or control your stress and anger and what to do in case of emergencies. Avoid sex for the first 2 weeks as you are at a greater risk of heart related problems during sex. This risk becomes less after 6 weeks. There are exercises that help to prevent the heart attacks by reducing stress, high blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and excess weight. It is recommended to exercise at least half an hour a day. This should include jogging, cycling, walking, swimming, etc. you can even go for exercise machines like simulated skiers, stair climbers or elliptical cross trainers. Even yoga exercises are found very helpful to prevent the evidence of heart attacks. Exercises make your heart stronger, but make sure that you do not over exercise. Weight lifting in particular can trigger a heart attack. It is always better to consult your doctor before you start you exercise program. Once you face a heart attack, you need to try hard to try to prevent it from occurring the next time. For this, you need to keep your heart healthy and minimize the risks to prevent future damages to the heart.

You need to take proper care so that it does occur again the next time. Use this article as a guideline to help you in the process. Number of people surviving a heart attack have recovered completely and are leading productive lives.

Heart Disease Risks: Myths Busted

Even though the heart is one of the most important organs in the body, most of us make assumptions about heart disease risks, sometimes founded on only a morsel of truth, that are dangerous to that oh-so-vital organ. As with anything that concerns your health, knowledge is power… getting to the bottom of those popular myths, and understanding the truth, is a key to keeping your heart healthy, or recognizing signs of danger, before it’s too late.

Here are six well-worn myths along with the facts to set you straight.

MYTH #1: You’d “know” if you were suffering with hypertension or high cholesterol. Because, after all, you do have supernatural powers, right?

Truth is, unless you get a blood pressure reading or a cholesterol test you won’t know where you stand. Risks for heart disease are usually silent and symptomless… they don’t call hypertension the “silent” killer for nothing. It is silent, and deadly. And even those who are thin and in shape can (and do) have high cholesterol numbers… quietly damaging the body you think is in optimum health.

MYTH #2: Heart disease is the same for men and women. We all have hearts, after all, don’t we? Unfortunately heart disease affects men and women very differently; women are more likely to have less traditional heart attack symptoms than men.

A 2003 study looked at symptoms reported by 515 women prior to having a heart attack. The study found that at least a month before the attack, the women felt unusual fatigue (70%), weakness, sleep disturbances or shortness of breath (50%), and a surprising percentage (43% to be exact) had no chest pain during the heart attack itself.

This doesn’t mean you need to worry over unusual symptoms, but if you meet the criteria for heart trouble risk factors, you need to pay close attention and anything new needs to be brought to your doctor’s attention.

MYTH #3: Young women aren’t at risk for heart disease. Women may think they’re not susceptible to heart problems, believing this is a problem for older people… those in their middle years also think they’re safe. Yet heart disease is the number one cause of death for U.S. women, and not all of those patients are elderly.

What’s more, risk factors like obesity, type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure becoming more common in younger females, and heart disease might well follow suit. Men are likely to suffer from a heart attack in their 50s, while women are more prone to heart attack in their 60s.

MYTH #4: It’s too late to make changes once diagnosed with heart disease. So not true. You can make changes today that have been shown in studies to repair the damage.

It’s your lifestyle, choices you make every day, that’s a critical part of turning things around. Exercising, eating right (healthy, balanced meals with lots of fruits/veggies) and not smoking are all things you can do, today, to restore your heart and keep it healthy.

MYTH #5: Exercise is a risky activity for people with heart disease. Nice try, but this is generally not the case.

Within 2 weeks of a heart attack, patients are usually encouraged to get into rehab and start exercising; very few patients have significant restrictions. And we know exercise can stop the progression of heart disease, making it less likely these patients will have another heart attack. Start with 10 minutes a day and work up from there, by 10 minutes a week until you’re achieving around 30 minutes of moderately intense exercise on most days.

MYTH #6: Aspirin and fatty acids do nothing but good. Generally speaking this is true, however there are some important caveats to the heart healthy benefits. For example, aspirin can irritate the stomach and some are even allergic. In some cases the risks outweigh the potential benefit.

The American Heart Association does recommend eating fatty fish at least two times a week, or supplementing with omega-3 fatty acids to reduce heart disease risks. However, it’s important to note that higher doses are not better, and can cause problems, so don’t over do it.

Thailand Retirement Visa

First off, the visa is actually called a non-immigrant O-A visa.

To qualify you must be at least 50 years old, in good physical health and be financially able to support yourself while you are retired in Thailand.

The first thing you should do is contact the nearest Royal Thai Consulate and get the latest information from them. Rules and regulations change periodically and official web sites may not be up to date.

You will most likely be directed to a Thai Consulate or Thai Embassy web site to download the required forms. There is an application form, a medical clearance form, personal data form, and a police records check.

You will need a passport/visa size photo along with the application. The medical check will verify that you do not have tuberculosis, elephantiasis, drug addiction, third stage of syphilis, or leprosy. Allow a week or so to have the doctor run the necessary tests. I was only tested for tuberculosis and drugs.

The police record check is supposed to be an international check but most consulates will accept a local police check. Just go to your neighborhood police station and ask them to run a background check on you. You may have to wait one or two weeks for this depending on how busy your police are.

Once you have all of the above forms completed, you will need to show you have the necessary finances to support yourself. I supplied a copy of my latest pay statement, previous tax return, and a copy of my retirement account statement. I also drafted up a simple letter explaining how much money I currently had and an estimate of how much I would be receiving for my pension.

You will also need to provide a copy of your passport photo page.

I kept in contact with the Royal Thai Consulate in Hawaii and double checked to ensure I had everything that was required. The consulate near you may have different requirements for number of photos or number of document copies.

I dropped off my passport and paperwork on a Friday morning and my one year, multiple entry, non-immigrant O-A visa was ready the following Monday. Single entry visas are also available but multiple entry allows ease of travel. One thing to remember is that you must have at least 12 months remaining on your passport.

Once you retire in Thailand you will be required to check in with the local Thai Immigration office every 90 days and after one year apply for a one year extension. You will be required to have at least 800,000 baht in the bank or an equivalent pension or a combination of both. Ensure that the money in the bank is there for at least two months.

Acquiring the retirement visa is very straight forward and easy to do. Just ensure that you allow enough time prior to your departure.

You are now ready to enjoy your retirement in the Land of Smiles.