Autoimmune Disorders – How to Treat

An autoimmune disorder is a state when the immune system of the body gets overly active and destroys the healthy body tissues, causing extreme complications in the body that includes excessive muscular pain, severe illness, etc. Today there are many medical remedies to prevent this disorder, but presently many people prefer alternative medicine option as a conventional medicine, which at times may bring certain side effects as well.

Eating a healthy diet that includes food that is rich with antioxidant contents is good for this purpose. So, it is advisable to include lots of fruits and vegetables in your daily diet. Low fat dairy products, lean meats and healthy grains can also be taken. Adding to this, you can also get into yoga rather than hitting out the gym. This will keep you away from straining your body while improving the overall fitness. Along with yoga, make sure you also practice meditation. It will soothe your mind and body, which may further give you better relief from the autoimmune disorder.

Apart from all these, you can even try out a Tai Chi course. Tai Chi helps in increasing the power of the immune system and therefore you can attain faster results. Several health information guides have mentioned the effectiveness of Tai Chi for healing autoimmune disorders.

Going the herbal way can be also be very effective in this regard. Herbs like sarsaparilla and yarrow detoxifies the bloodstream and supplies anti-inflammation ingredients to the muscles and joints. For reducing stiffness and pain in the muscles, yucca can be used as well. Those who have autoimmune disorders of the skin, they can use yucca and mix it with shampoo and use it to get results.

Faith Ascends Love’s Stairway, Enabled on Kingdom’s Hope

“Faith goes up the stairs that love has built and looks out the windows which hope has opened.”

– Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834-1892)

1. Love – Firmest of Foundations

Without love all is lost, and where there is the absence of love all is vanity.

But thankfully, in the Kingdom of God love abounds, is everywhere to be seen, and is the basis of our very being.

The whole creation was intelligently designed and constructed on the firmament of love.

Love is the firmest of foundations because she is found home first in truth. Love and truth are synonymous. Love is utterly faithful, reliable, trustworthy. Love’s integrity is secure, all ways. Truth is all these things, too. And the truth is faith needs the foundation of love with which to get moving. (Hope keeps faith moving.)

Love’s opposite is fear, as is faith’s. Hate is no opposite of love, because hate is fuelled by fear. When faith ascends heaven’s stairway, she does so because she is perfectly fearless, because she is so full of love. Love has nothing whatsoever to lose, for where there’s loss there’s always thankfulness for the depth of meaning in the grief experienced.

Faith is only a dream without love; but with love, faith is able to make true a dear reality.

So, if love is a stairway, faith has safe assurance as it ascends on those sturdiest of steps; a staircase that love has hewn out of the densest stone.

2. Faith – Willingness to Climb the Way

Love may have gone before faith in building a most reliable of staircases, but faith must still do what only faith can do: climb.

Faith is movement. It takes us from paralysis to mobilisation through sheer will of belief: I can, so I shall!

Faith looks up from the bottom of that tremulous stairway, harrowing as it is to look at the journey before it, and it ponders; it commits to the way, even if it seems impossible. It trusts the integrity of the stairway, but it cannot help wilt in doubt; yet it continues to ascend, one hope-filled lunge at a time.

Nothing is so inspiring as the faith that steps intrepidly. Though love has gone before it, faith must still make its own volitional steps.

3. Hope – Enabler for Vision of the Kingdom

Hope enables vision; clear out of the window, faith envisions blue skies. With hope, faith swells, and doubts are crushed.

Hope allows faith’s vision to be brought into being through bringing to fruition the wider vistas of love’s reality. And love’s reality is the Kingdom.

***

Faith is underpinned by love and it is elevated by hope to a vision of the Kingdom.

Love opens the way forward for faith, but without hope faith would be inconsolably frustrated.

Faith is necessary for the spiritual way, yet it’s encumbered by crippling incapacities if it’s short on love or hope.

So – when it comes to others and to ourselves – let us allow love to flourish and hope to shine; they both sustain our faith.

Love is the foundation and hope is the enabler and the sustainer for our faith.

Overall, faith may be perfect because love is perfect. Love, being the firm foundation of faith, ensures faith has every good thing.

Love is the beginning and burgeoning of faith, and hope sees it through to the very end.

© 2016 S. J. Wickham.

Hip Dysplasia In Shih Tzus

Shih Tzus are known as energetic, playful and has lively personality. Once you notice something strange with your Shih Tzu’s behavior, you can be sure that he is feeling something different. Is he not as active as he is used to be?

Check out because he might be suffering from hip dysplasia. Hip dysplasia is a joint disease in animals, commonly found in dogs than in cats. Some says dysplasia is a genetic disease; some describes it as a developmental disease. Whether a genetic or a developmental disease, the fact remains that it is a disease thus something must be done to treat it.

But before taking steps in treating this disease, it is important to fully understand what hip dysplasia is. Hip dysplasia is a condition wherein there is abnormality in the hip joint of a dog. It could affect left, right or both legs. In a dysplastic hip, the ball and the socket do not fit together resulting to damaging and painful friction. Most dogs with dysplasia are born with normal hips but because of genetics and other factors, the soft tissues that surround the joint start to grow along with the puppy.

So how will you know that a dog has dysplasia? Some puppies, as young as five months old will may experience symptoms such as difficulty in rising, lameness in the back legs soreness after lying down and after heavy exercise and reluctance to jump or stand on hind limbs. The usual active and energetic Shih Tzu may now have less energy and movement. They oftentimes avoid activities that involve much movement and energy. This disease if left untreated can lead to arthritis. And as time goes by, the dog may even need assistance in getting up or worst, may cripple the dog for life.

It has been said that dysplasia is an inherited disease. Yes, dysplasia is passed on through genes and develops over time. It may not be evident at once but it can be triggered by obesity, improper nutrition and other factors as well. Not all dogs with hip dysplasia show no signs of disease. The risk is that, these dogs may be included in a breeding program thus prevention of the disease can be impossible.

This disease, as much as it can be prevented can also be treated in many ways. These treatments include pain medications, weight loss programs especially for obese dogs, controlled exercise, good nutrition and physical therapy. But if the prior mentioned treatments are found ineffective especially in worst cases, another option is surgical treatment.

Dysplasia is a disease of large breed of dogs however, medium and small sized dogs such as Shih Tzus, is not exempted from being affected with this disease of the joint. It can be passed on through genes so it is important take extra care in breeding programs.

Bulging Disc – A Glimpse Into Disc Herniation

At times known as bulging disc, spinal disc herniation is a health-related condition linked to the spinal discs, wherein the soft jelly-like center called the nucleus pulposus bulges or leaks out of a disc through the ruptured outer covering known as the annulus fibrosus. The fourth and fifth lumbar vertebrae are often where a herniated disc develops, seeing that most of the body’s weight is supported here. This area of the spine bears all the impact, whether you stand, sit or move about all day long, twisting, bending, and flexing, and as a result, this area is prone to wearing out quicker than others.

Essentially, the spine comprises of bony building blocks referred to as the vertebra. Soft tissues referred to as ligaments then encircles the whole spine to link them together. The spine is grouped into three vertebral categories, namely the cervical or neck, thoracic or upper back, and the lumbar or lower back, which are made of seven, twelve, and five vertebrae, respectively. The spine then extends down from the lumbar region down to the buttocks with the sacrum and coccyx.

The spine helps keep the body upright and while it safeguards the spinal cord, it also acts as a flexible carry structure. Each vertebra has spines that safeguard the nerve tissues of the spinal cord and the front part of each vertebra has a sturdy bony body that allows it to support the weight of the body. Between each vertebra are soft spinal discs that help reduce impact and rubbing. The nucleus pulposus within the disc is soft and when it bulges and leaks out of the disc, a herniated disc develops, inducing localized pain in the damaged area.

So, how can a herniated disc in back develop during our everyday routine? A herniated disc can develop due to several reasons, though the most common one is with age. The bones in the body typically becomes brittle as we get older, making it susceptible to fractures, cracks, and ruptures. As the vertebrae compress on another, the annulus fibrosus is likely to break permitting the nucleus pulposus to leak out during instances of a sudden and high-impact movement.

Another prevalent reason for a herniated disc is degenerative disc disease, which can also cause back pain, especially lower back pain. Supporting a massive amount of weight can also bring about disc herniation, like in the case of weight-lifting, obesity, or pregnancy.

Depending on where the bulging disc develops, symptoms of herniated disc can be different for different scenarios. Symptoms may not even be felt in some cases, especially when no nerve impingements are found. Herniated disc symptoms may include shooting pain on one side of the body if the herniation is large enough to impinge on surrounding nerves. The afflicted areas may also have a burning or tingling sensation, and also weakness, which can be reduced by lying down.

The Caude Equina Syndrome may manifest with disc herniation if it is extremely large that it compresses on both sides of the spinal cord. The Caude Equina Syndrome is generally indicated by intense pain and weakness, loss of bowel and bladder control, lack of sexual functions, and even paralysis.

2002 Ferrari Enzo Overview

The Ferrari Enzo is the fifth Ferrari Supercar to be produced. The Ferrari brand is often misunderstood as producing only supercars, which is not entirely true. Ferrari produces a number of Grand Touring (GT) and Luxury sports cars. Cars that most would call exotics and some would call supercars although the two classifications shouldn’t be used interchangeably. In Ferrari’s case, the five supercars that they’ve made since the 1960s are: the 250 LM, 288 GTO, F40, F50 and the Enzo. All most commonly known supercars, the F40 and F50 dominated the supercar scene in the late 80s and throughout the 90s, while the Enzo is known for being Ferrari’s supercar of the 2000s.

Unlike the F40 though, the Enzo was only produced for two years, from 2002 to 2004, yielding only 400 units. The F40 was produced for five years, yielding 1,315 units, is still one of the rarest and most sought after Ferrari’s today. The F50 wasn’t produced for as long as the F40 and like the Enzo, under 400 units were made. The F50 was produced from 1995 to 1997 and exactly 349 units were produced.

There was no supercar development by Ferrari for nearly five years, until 2002, when Ferrari announced the Enzo at the Paris Motor Show. The new supercar was named the Enzo after the founder of Ferrari and in celebration of Ferrari’s first Formula 1 title of the new millennium. The car was designed by Ken Okuyama, former Pininfarina head designer and looks just as timeless as the F40 and F50. The design is aggressively presented and extremely menacing with sharper than usual edges and panels unlike the smoother styles of the 360 and 575 Maranello.

Like the F40 and F50, a very limited number of Enzos would be produced. The original production amount was set at 349 units and was offered first to current Ferrari owners at a mild price tag of $659,330. All 349 were sold before production on the Enzo even began and after additional requests, Ferrari decided to build an additional 50 Enzos, bringing the total production count to 399. There are also a few cars that were created as a variant or based off of the Enzo: The Ferrari FXX, P4/5, and Maserati MC12.

The Ferrari Enzo has a 6.0 liter V12 engine that sits in the mid-rear of the Enzo’s Formula 1-based carbon-fiber body. The engine was redesigned by Ferrari for the Enzo and is based off of a similar engine design found in the Maserati Quattroporte’s V8. This new engine architecture replaces the Dine designed engines of the past with new Ferrari V8 and V12 designs. It sits at an unconventional 60 degrees unlike the normally designed 90 degree engines. The F430 in 2005 would be the second Ferrari to receive the new engine design. The naturally aspirated V12 displaces 5998 cc and produces 651 horsepower at 7800 rpm and 485 lb-ft of torque at 5500 rpm, with a redline of 8000 rpm. The outgoing F50 model featured a 4.7 liter Dino designed V12 that displaced 4698 cc and produced 513 horsepower at 8000 rpm and 347 lb-ft of torque at 6500 rpm. That gives the Enzo a 27% horsepower and 40% torque improvement over the F50 with only a 27% increase in engine displacement. As a result of the high performance figures, the Enzo can do 0 to 60 mph in 3.1 seconds, the quarter mile in 11.0 seconds at 136 mph and reach a top speed of 220 mph.

Since the design was influenced by Formula 1, the downforce on the Enzo is incredible. The Enzo also features active aerodynamics that cause the rear wing to adjust automatically depending on the car’s speed and downforce requirements. The Enzo features one of the early F1 gearboxes that allows the driver to shift via a semi-automatic transmission without a clutch. A similar gearbox was first introduced in the Ferrari 360 and later improved in the F430. The Enzo transmission is known to shift as quickly as 150 milliseconds, 4 times faster than the eye can blink but due to its new design has been known to shift abruptly. Stopping the Enzo is no problem; it features 15 inch Brembo Carbon Fiber Silicon Carbide disc brakes wrapped around 19-inch wheels.

The Ferrari Enzo is truly an icon of Ferrari’s ability to transform Formula 1 performance into a street car. With a beautifully tuned 6.0 V12 Engine that can get to 60 mph in sub-zero times and light-weight carbon fiber chassis technology, there’s no doubt that this will continue to be one of the best Ferrari supercars built. That is, until Ferrari announces the Enzo’s replacement in 2012. Until then, you can look to find a used Enzo for at least $1 million USD. Good luck.

Fever Blisters Cold Sores – How to Prevent Outbreaks and Spreading

“8 out of 10 people are effected by the Cold Sore Virus…if you’re not careful you can spread this curse like wildfire to your friends and loved ones!”

Fever Blisters – Cold Sores whatever you call them they’re both bad news. There’s no pretty way to put it, these blisters are nasty and when it effects you they can be down right demoralizing. What’s interesting is that this condition affects 8 out of 10 people! That’s a lot of people walking around with cold sores! It goes to show you how contagious this condition really is. As most cold sore suffers know fever blisters are caused by the Herpes Simplex 1 Virus which is highly contagious and if you’re not careful you can spread this curse like wildfire to your friends and loved ones. There is nothing worse then knowing you are responsible for someone Else’s pain & suffering.

So how do you keep from spreading the cold sore virus?

By Preventing Fever Blister Outbreaks: Knowing what triggers an outbreak can help you get in tune to your body and identify the early signs of an occurrence. You may have noticed that when you are stressed that is usually the time a cold sore will pop up. Many things can cause stress: colds and infections, being out in the sun for long amounts of time, menstrual periods, emotional stress, digestive problems, injury to lips (chapped lips) etc. When your body is stressed your immunities have a tendency to weaken and that’s when the Herpes Virus takes advantage of the situation and rears its ugly head. So whenever you’re in a stressful situation keep in mind you may be prone to a cold sore. Take care of yourself by drinking lots of water, eating healthy, keeping your lips moist and getting your sleep.

Reduce the Length and Time of a Cold Sore: The herpes virus is the most contagious when it manifests itself as a blister. Unknown to many virus carriers a fever blister can actually still be contagious well beyond it’s weeping stage (after the blister bursts) so you can still spread the virus several days after when you are scabbing. So obviously the faster you can get rid of a cold sore – the less chances you’ll have to spread it.

Now usually a cold sore will take up to 12 days to fully heal. That’s a lot of time and a lot of damage could be done if you’re not careful to others. So what can one do to get rid of a cold sore fast? The first thing and most importantly is to catch it as soon as you feel that tingling and or itching near the lips. It’s not uncommon to have outbreaks near or at the same location of a previous outbreak so by all means if you get that tingling sensation act quick.

Apple Cider Vinegar, Aloe Vera Juice, & Coconut Oil are some home remedies that can help get rid of a cold sore fast but the quickest way to get rid of a cold sore can be found here:

Treat Cold Sores, Sore Throats, and Warts Naturally

Tired of costly medications, prescriptions and time lost for doctor’s appointments, I found myself on a constant search for alternative, affordable health solutions to heal such common painful infections as  sore   throats , cold  sores  and warts. Everyone has had at least one of these in their lifetime. The quick methods below will remove warts, clear painful  sore   throats  and heal unsightly cold  sores . A benefit of these treatments is that they can be started immediately. No waiting for appointments, waiting for your prescription from the drug store or lengthy suffering before starting the healing process.

Over the years I have personally used these remedies for all members of my family with repeated success. A recent research venture (by who?) uncovered that many others have successfully used these remedies as well. What’s even better is you start healing faster and in the case of warts you can avoid painful removal treatments.

The following scenarios are my own therefore I know the remedies work first hand. They are not intended to be a substitute for medical care. If you have a medical problem you should consult your doctor.

 Sore   throats 

Apple cider vinegar is a natural antiseptic – it kills germs on contact. Think about this – by the time you go to the doctor and have your throat swabbed you can be gargling every 2 hours and have the infection cleared. If your throat feels worse by the end of the day – see your doctor. The Ohio State University Hospital prescribes apple cider vinegar for ear infections.

The Treatment:

As soon as you know your throat is infected, gargle every 2 hours with apple cider vinegar. Make sure you allow a small amount of it to go down your throat (yes, swallow it). Have a glass of water ready to rinse your mouth immediately to avoid the uncomfortable sourness from the vinegar.

Cold  Sores 

A three day cure – believe it! A cold  sore  arrived three days before I was to be the maid of honor for my friend. My normal ten day cure wasn’t going to be good enough. I frantically did my research and found this remedy in the Prevention Magazine.

Yogurt was the answer. Yogurt is made from the living culture lactobacillus acidophilus and is the active ingredient that will heal your cold  sore . The awkward part of this is you will have a white blob on your face, but I think it’s worse to have an unsightly cold  sore .

The Treatment:

Repeatedly cover the cold  sore  with plain yogurt- every time it feels dry.

Take five yogurt tablets (1,000mg) 3 times a day, with each meal

This sounds like a lot, but it’s only concentrated yogurt.

The more you stick to this plan the higher the likelihood the cold  sore  will be gone in three days

It’s imperative to purchase the yogurt and yogurt capsules that contain living bacteria (kept refrigerated). More readily found at health food stores.

Warts

Desperate to avoid having my ten year old daughter’s large plantar warts burned or frozen off I had nothing to lose trying this solution. My second daughter, in her early teens, also developed plantar warts. She didn’t have the patience to work with me using this method. After a while the warts spread across the balls of both her feet, an area covering 1″ x 3″ on each foot, making it difficult for her to walk. She wanted a quick fix and decided to try the burn off method. After 4 sessions it was too painful for her, thank goodness, because it was too painful for me to watch. She agreed to work with me on the Vitamin method. Over a 2 week course the roots blackened and painlessly could be removed as her foot slowly healed back to normal. Today you would never know her feet were so badly deformed with warts – they never reoccurred.

The Treatment:

Vitamin E

1. Every morning and every night soak the wart with vitamin E (the highest I.U. you can buy)

2. Cover it with bandaids so the wart stays saturated

3. Take one capsule of vitamin E a day (it didn’t work for us if we skipped this part)

4. Continue this for 1-2 weeks, as the wart loosens and turns fibrous you can safely remove the particles.

5. The vitamin E will also aid in the healing of the skin.

Alternative Treatment:

Garlic has been reported as another highly effective solution to removing warts

I haven’t personally tried this, but because of the amazing healing properties of garlic I would definitely try it.

1. Rub crushed garlic on the wart

2. Cover with bandaids

3. A blister will form and the wart begins to fall off

4. Continue with vitamin E until the skin heals.

These types of treatments have been used for centuries and too often we are accustomed to thinking the drug store has all the answers. What have you got to lose using products you already absorb or consume through foods?

Tonsil Stones Removal

Tonsil stones, also known as tonsilloliths, affect approximately 8,000 people a year and can be a source of pain, irritation, and severe bad breath. These “stones” are actually calcium carbonate deposits that form hard lumps in the tonsillar crypts. These stones are typically milky white in color and are also known as “calculus of the tonsils”. These stones are often irregular in shape and can be coughed out – small cream-colored objects between the size of a grain of sand and a pea. Many times, a person will not realize they have one and may only discover the existence after noticeably bad breath. For tonsil stones removal, many people use a throat spray or light water pressure.

Some of the most common symptoms are pain in the back of the neck or a burning sensation in the throat as the stones rub against the throat’s back wall. You may also experience difficulty swallowing, as well as inflammation in the back of the throat and sporadic coughing. Bad breath is also a very common problem that comes along with tonsil stones, thanks to the growth of anaerobic bacteria, which produce a sulfurous compound that leads to bad breath. Ear pain is also a symptom you may experience as a result of a deposit.

One of the most common causes is tonsillitis, which is an inflammation of the tonsils. It is also possible for bacteria to become trapped in tonsil clefts and multiply, leading to the formation of stones. Stones are rarely large, but will present as a cluster of small, white nodes. It is usually possible to see them with the naked eye, but they can also be confirmed through an X-Ray or CT scan.

Tonsil stone removal can often be accomplished simply through good oral hygiene and time – they will typically disappear on their own. Cotton swabs can be used to help remove tonsil stones, as can a salt-water gargle, which will loosen the stones and may remove them over time. If your they persist, you may want to talk to your doctor, who can prescribe antibiotics to help destroy stones already formed. If the stones have become infected, surgical tonsil stone removal may be necessary. Another option is the total removal of the tonsils, or a tonsillectomy, and this will remove the possibility of new tonsil stones forming. Although tonsil stones can be irritating, it is possible to completely remove them and stop the bad breath they cause.

Muscle Diseases

Muscle is better known for its ability to flex and give shape to a body. Like any other part of the body, muscles too are prone to diseases. Muscle Diseases, like any other kind of disease and infection, can affect anybody. It can even make a person physically disabled. The Muscle Diseases often make the person weak. The person suffering from Muscle Diseases is under constant pain and feels weakness in the muscles. He or she finds it difficult to walk, sit and get up, climb, run, lift or carry, or move the limbs. In most cases, progressive muscle wasting followed by contraction of muscles takes place.

Muscle Diseases vary in their conditions and require different types of treatment. While some treatments respond to medicine, the others have ‘only’ a chance of improvement. Muscle Diseases may be caused due to various reasons. Some Muscle Diseases are genetic. These are caused due to defective genes in the body. Such diseases are genetic disorders that can make the individual permanently disabled, physically.

Genetic Muscle Diseases often need not be inherited from a parent with a family history of genetic disorder. This can happen spontaneously, due to gene abnormality. These diseases may affect the eyes, cause muscle wasting and even paralysis. The most well-known disease of the muscle occurring genetically is Muscular Dystrophy, or muscle-wasting disease. This is caused by the error in the gene and can affect anybody at any age. It is also known to affect the heart in some cases.

Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD), a muscle-wasting disease, affects only boys, unlike muscular dystrophy. There are other diseases that are non-genetic Muscle Diseases. These are acquired gradually and not caused genetically. These diseases may be caused by body’s own immune system, some kind of hormonal imbalance or even a disorder caused by the intake of medicines.

One such acquired disease is the inflammatory Muscle Disease, where the immune system of the body injures its own muscles. There are the metabolic Muscle Diseases, which may not be as common as the other Muscle Diseases. But once affected it has very little chance of recovery. These are caused by deficiencies in the enzymes. The symptoms begin with weakness of the muscles, until the condition of the ailing person deteriorates. For instance, the Carbohydrate-Processing Disorders is a type of metabolic disease where the breakdown of glycogen or glucose is affected.

Canine Diabetes

 Diabetes  mellitus is one of the most common hormonal disorders in dogs. Statistics show that one in 400 dogs develop  diabetes . So you and your diabetic dog are not alone – many other pet owners are helping their dogs stay healthy and live normal lives with this disease.

Types of  Diabetes 

Most diabetic dogs have  diabetes  mellitus (pronounced MEL-uh-tus). In  diabetes  mellitus, the pancreatic islet cells that produce insulin are destroyed during episodes of pancreatitis or when the immune system attacks them (a form of autoimmunity). Dogs with  diabetes  mellitus usually require shots of insulin to help their bodies use the energy from the food they eat.

 Diabetes  insipidus means that either the body is not making enough of the antidiuretic hormone (ADH) that controls water regulation in the kidneys, or that the kidneys cannot respond to ADH.  Diabetes  insipidus is very rare in dogs; this article addresses only  diabetes  mellitus in dogs.

What is  Diabetes  Mellitus?

 Diabetes  mellitus is the inability of the body to properly use the energy from food. The disease is caused by a deficiency of insulin, a hormone that regulates how the cells absorb and use blood sugar. Insulin is produced by the pancreas, a gland in the endocrine system.

The pancreas serves two functions: one if the production of digestive enzymes; the other is the regulation of blood sugar. The pancreas produces and releases enzymes into the small intestine to break down food into nutrients. It also releases hormones into the bloodstream to help the body use sugar (glucose). One of these hormones, insulin, controls the uptake of glucose into cells. The cells use the glucose as fuel for energy production. When the body does not have enough insulin, the dog may show symptoms of high blood glucose, such as excessive hunger and thirst, increased urination, and weakness in the limbs.

A lack of sufficient insulin causes glucose to accumulate in the blood until the kidneys must use water to flush excess glucose into the urine, causing dehydration. Severe dehydration can causelow blood pressure and possibly shock, so it is important to start  diabetes  mellitus treatment as soon as possible.

Causes of  Diabetes  Mellitus

Scientists are not sure about the cause of  diabetes ; it may be caused by various factors, including a genetic predisposition, diet, or even exposure to certain viruses. But they can point to risk factors such as obesity, a sedentary life style, and genetic history.

Risk Factors

The following are risk factors for  diabetes  in dogs:

  • Age – Dogs are generally over seven years of age, but are occasionally diagnosed at a much younger age. On average, dogs are diagnosed between the ages of 8 and 12.
  • Gender – Female dogs have  diabetes  at almost twice the rate of males.
  • Breed – Although any breed of dog may get  diabetes , several studies indicate that some breeds tend to be diagnosed with  diabetes  more often, which may point to a genetic predisposition to the disease.

    The breeds that are at higher risk include:

    • Keeshond
    • Cairn Terrier
    • Schnauzer (miniature and standard)
    • Poodle
    • Dachshunds
    • Beagles

Symptoms

Some of the symptoms that can indicate  diabetes  are:

  • Low energy, lethargy
  • Losing weight
  • Eating excessively, not eating, or other changes in interest in food
  • Drinking large amounts of water
  • Urinating frequently, which may cause waking up at odd times to urinate

By the time you notice that your dog’s eating habits have changed, that he’s drinking excessive water, or even vomiting, your pet may be losing weight and getting lethargic. Because  diabetes  can be controlled more easily with an early diagnosis, it is important to go to a veterinarian as soon as you notice these symptoms.

The longer symptoms persist without a diagnosis, the more the blood glucose level increases and damage can occur in the bladder, kidneys, liver, and eyes. Dogs with  diabetes  can also have a decreased resistance to bacterial infections.

Diagnosis

Tell your veterinarian all the symptoms you have observed in your dog, including the physical symptoms and any changes in mood, behavior, and energy. Your veterinarian may suspect  diabetes  right away and take a quick blood glucose test like the ones that human diabetics use. This kind of test can give an immediate reading of current blood glucose, but is not a definitive diagnosis since elevated blood glucose readings can be caused by problems other than  diabetes .

Your veterinarian will know about many other health problems that cause similar symptoms, such as Cushing’s Disease, and may order a blood test for blood glucose levels along with other tests of kidney and liver function, etc.

It may take several days to get the blood test back from the lab. Your veterinarian will want to meet with you to discuss the findings and the care you need to give your pet.

Treatment

Treatment for most dogs includes insulin therapy, weight control, dietary therapy and exercise.

Insulin

Most diabetic dogs need insulin, given in daily injections. Depending on the type of insulin your veterinarian suggests, your dog will need one or two injections per day.

Your veterinarian will show you how to handle insulin and administer shots to your dog. The veterinarian may have you practice giving the shot in the office, to make sure you know how to do it and to answer any questions.

Insulin shots are given under the skin, so you won’t have to find a vein. Some veterinarians suggest you give shots in the buttocks area, others suggest the loose skin around the neck. Ask which area your veterinarian recommends for your pet.

Too Much Insulin

The greatest threat to your dog’s health related to insulin is getting too much insulin. This causes blood glucose levels that are too low (hypoglycemia), which can make the dog very sick and can result in death. Just as human diabetics carry a candy bar or orange juice to treat their low blood glucose, you should carry corn syrup or sugar pills with you for your diabetic dog.

Symptoms of low blood glucose include:

  • Dizziness or unsteady gait
  • Lethargy
  • Shaking
  • Falling
  • Seizures

Every dog shows a different combination of these symptoms. React immediately to the symptoms by giving your dog corn syrup or sugar pills. It’s important to make sure your dog ingests glucose in one of these forms as soon as possible. You can dilute the corn syrup in water and let your dog drink it. If the dog does not willingly drink it, administer it orally using a turkey baster. Corn syrup absorbs into the blood stream through the tissues of the mouth, so it is immediately effective.

You should quickly see a change in the dog’s symptoms and behavior since this treatment increases the blood glucose right away. Keep in mind that elevated blood glucose for a short time is much less dangerous than low blood glucose. To prevent low blood glucose, it’s generally better to err on the side of too little insulin rather than too much.

Weight Control

A healthy weight for your dog will help you control the  diabetes  and keep your dog active. A diet that is low-fat, moderate complex carbohydrate, and high-protein is recommended. Your veterinarian can suggest changes in diet or a prescription food for your dog.

Make sure to feed your dog at specific times each day and stick to these prescribed times. Resist the temptation to feed extra food, such as table scraps, and ask others in your household not to give treats that may alter blood sugar or increase weight. Consult your veterinarian about acceptable treats.

Other Medications

Check with your veterinarian about other medications your dog is taking. Some medications should be avoided in diabetic dogs.

Consequences of  Diabetes 

 Diabetes  can cause many other health problems when not properly regulated. Some of the complications include:

  • Eyes –  diabetes  can cause or worsen cataracts
  • Kidney disease
  • Liver disease
  • Limbs – high blood glucose can cause weakness and instability in the legs
  • Increased susceptibility to infections

Prognosis

Most dogs are diagnosed with  diabetes  when they are between 8 and 12 years old. Some are much younger, but with the consistent care, you can expect your pet to live a normal life and be active and healthy.

This article is approved by Ellen Miller, DVM, MS, Diplomate ACVIM of Flatiron Veterinary Specialists

Please consult your veterinarian for diagnosis and before beginning any treatment program.

Statistics on Obesity

The environment in the US today promotes too much eating of unhealthy foods, and reduced physical activity. These fast foods are tasty and in come cases almost addictive. These factors have contributed to a society that is, in the majority, overweight. Simple changes in the kind of food we eat plus normal healthy physical activity such as walking can turn this tendency around quickly. The obesity statistics prove this point and are shocking.

Overweight and obesity both refer to a body weight that is greater than what is considered healthy for a certain height. They also mean a weight that may cause diseases or increase the possibility of certain diseased developing. Obesity statistics along with statistics on certain health problems bear this out. It is important to have the correct body mass index (BMI) for your height and age. It co-relates with the amount of body fat not necessarily the correct weight. There are formulas that will calculate this for you instantly.

The latest obesity statistics are:

  • Eight out of ten people in the US over 25 years old are overweight,
  • 58 million people are overweight,
  • 40 million are obese and 3 million are morbidly obese,
  • 78% of all the people in the US do not get the basic activity level recommendations,
  • 25% are completely sedentary.

Obesity statistics also show increase in certain diseases among overweight and obese people:

  • There has been a 76% increase in Type II diabetes, the type associated with obesity, in adults 30-40 years old since 1990,
  • Heart disease is 70% related to obesity,
  • Colon as well as breast cancer is found in 42% of obese people,
  • 30% of surgery for gall bladder is related to obesity and 26% of people with high blood pressure.

Children obesity statistics is even scarier. In 1982 only 4% of children were overweight; in 2001 it is 25% of white children and 33% of African American and Hispanic children. The hospital costs solely related to childhood obesity went from $35 million in 1979 to $127 million in 1999. Also, there has been an enormous surge in type II diabetes associated with obesity in children. These statistics come from Wellness International Network Ltd.

These obesity statistics clearly show that most people in the US need to modify their diets and get more exercise in order to be healthier and have a longer life. There are many factors in the cause of obesity including genetics and environmental issues but a slow steady weight loss program would reduce the weight in the best way for keeping it off permanently. Two pounds a week is the maximum you should aim to lose, but it will be well worth it. You will enjoy gradually getting thinner until your clothes no longer fit and you get to go shopping for new ones. And that’s just the beginning, when you add exercise, you body will tone and you will simply look great!

Natural Ways to Treat Diaper Rash

Diaper rash is a common problem for infants. Urine and feces trapped against your baby’s skin can cause irritation and the skin to break down. This can result in redness or bumps on your baby’s bottom. Keeping baby dry is the best way to prevent diaper rash, but unfortunately even when you change your little one frequently, he can still get a diaper rash.;

While diaper rash is often caused by skin irritation from sitting in a diaper too long, some babies are sensitive to other things like scented wipes, lotions or laundry detergents. If your baby is using cloth diapers you may need to use a special detergent designed for cloth diapers or one made just for babies. Diaper rash can also be caused by yeast infections, food allergies, or sensitivity to certain types of infant formula.

You can help prevent rashes by keeping your baby’s bottom dry. Change his diaper frequently, as soon as you notice he is wet. Also after you have changed his diaper, this may be a good time to let him get a little fresh air. Allowing him a few minutes to air out his bottom may help to keep him dry and rash free. Diaper creams and ointments may be necessary to clear up redness and prevent rashes.

If you are looking for some natural remedies for treating diaper rash here are a few that might help.

Petroleum jelly – Petroleum jelly creates a barrier that keeps moisture away from baby’s bottom. This may help clear up your baby’s bottom.

Olive oil – Good old fashioned olive oil is a natural and inexpensive lubricant. It may soothe baby’s skin and may help to keep moisture from getting close to baby’s skin.

Lotrimin and Mylanta – This is a recipe some moms swear by and even doctors will sometimes recommend this. Take an antacid like Mylanta or Maalox. Mix it together with an antifungal cream like Lotrimin to create a paste. Put this on baby’s bottom and it may help to clear up a persistent rash. The antacid properties in Mylanta may also be comforting to baby’s bottom.

About Depression

I have recently created a blog about depression, called Depression Hurts. Feel free to visit my blog frequently. I will be updating it frequently with new information about depression, treatments, articles, etc.

For years I have suffered from depression, at different levels, some of them being major episodes and some more on a dysthymic (low-grade chronic) level.

What is depression?

There is a tendency to use the word depression to describe periods or episodes of sadness that each of us experience from time to time. And for many of us, during these periods it is not always easy to discern where normal sorrow ends and clinical depression begins. Yet, anyone who has ever experienced an episode of major depression knows – at least after the depression has lifted – that what they feel is more than just ongoing or persistent sadness.

Clinical depression is an illness characterized by a cluster of feelings, thoughts and behaviors that are remarkably distinct from a person’s normal range of feelings and functioning. Caused by a complex interaction of biologic, psychological and social factors, a major depressive disorder can make a person extremely sensitive to life circumstances, the least of which can throw him/her into total loss of hope.

During a major depression, someone can become surrounded by feelings of sadness, hopelessness, helplessness, and emptiness, and these feelings can distort every thought and experience, making life seem hopeless and unworthy. Feelings of being deeply and continually deprived, unworthy, insignificant, and guilt-ridden build on feelings of sadness. At the same time, a person may feel chronically irritable, often exploding into anger and frustration.

While a major depression may be triggered by some life event or circumstance, a person’s mood reaction may seem greatly exaggerated. However, depression has less to do with life’s events than with an individual’s existing vulnerability to the condition.

In some cases, someone may experience a major depression as a single episode, but in most cases, clinical depression tends to recur periodically, reactively or cyclically. A major depressive episode could possibly last up to 2 or more years.

When someone experiences milder depressive episodes, this is called dysthymia. For someone suffering from dysthymia, certain life circumstances, such as loss of a job, divorce, or relocating to a new environment, may provoke a much deeper depression.

For some individuals, there is a seasonal component to their depression called Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). This is a form of reactive depression that is more prevalent in northern parts of the country where climatic extreme changes are greater. SAD usually affects people in the fall or winter and is characterized by fatigue, carbohydrate cravings, overeating, lack of energy or motivation to do activities normally enjoyed, and oversleeping. While the exact etiology or cause of SAD is not certain, it is possible that it may be related to the way in which the light responsive pineal gland in the brain functions.

Defining Depression:

The difficulty with many mental disorders, it is hard to tell when you need more than just a positive attitude to manage your feelings. Depression is a common problem that many people simply think they need to live with, something they need to ‘tough out’ in order to come out better for it. But this is not necessarily the best treatment plan for this mental illness. Here’s what you should know.

What’s difficult about dealing with depression is that it can manifest itself in a number of different ways. For some people, depression is merely a short bout of sadness that resolves on its own. But for others, it’s a long running presence that makes them feel ineffective, as well as hopeless. Some of the more common symptoms of depression include:

o Feeling sad

o Feeling hopeless

o Becoming irritated for no reason

o Anger and frustration

o Loss of interest in favorite activities

o Change in eating habits

o Change in sleeping habits

o Thoughts about suicide

Diagnosing depression is tricky because it requires that you have these symptoms for extended periods of time – normally for at least two weeks continuously. And while some people can easily identify their down times, others might not recognize symptoms like anger as being consistent with depression.

When you have depression, what can you do?

During the time that you feel despondent, seek the emotional support from family and friends. For milder episodes of depression of short duration, the support of loved ones may be able to help you work through it. But in most cases, you will not be able to fight depression on you own, and you should not try to. Like diabetes or asthma, depression is an illness and requires medical attention so it can be managed effectively and appropriately. If you are suffering from depression, it is imperative that you seek professional help.

If you suffer from SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder), you may very well respond to spending at least an hour a day outdoors, even during the wintertime. Increasing the amount of natural light in your house may also help. Some psychiatrists even recommend obtaining a special light to put in your room that kind of resembles sunlight. Whenever possible, take trips in winter to warmer and sunnier climates.

When to seek treatment for depression:

If you are in a major bout of depression, you may feel like you are beyond help. However, depression can be treated and managed. If you state of gloom persists more than two weeks, you feel that you cannot get out of bed, you are increasingly isolated from family and friends, and you have lost any sense of enjoyment or interest in your usual activities, call your doctor right away. Also, if you find yourself ruminating about death and the meaningless of life and you are considering suicide, SEEK HELP IMMEDIATELY.

Treatment of Depression:

Mild depression can be treated effectively through psychotherapy. Even short-term therapy can help you understand your natural inclination towards more negative and low moods. Also, you can learn to cope better with life’s disappointments and triumphs. When depression is triggered by a seasonal change, light therapy, which extends exposure to bright light for measurable periods of time, may work to relieve symptoms.

In cases of more severe depression, medication will provide the main avenue for treatment. At the same time, psychotherapy is usually an important complement to medication. By restoring chemical balances within the brain, psychotropic medications will help lift the “veil of sorrow.” The most commonly used anti-depressant medications are SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors), which include fluoxetine, sertraline, paroxetine and fluvoxamine, and TCAs (tricyclic anti-depressants), which include imipramine, nortriptyline, amitriptyline, and desipramine. Although general practitioners can usually prescribe these types of medications, it is usually best to consult with a psychiatrist or psychopharmacologist, who is specially trained to evaluate and monitor the need for and use of anti-depressant medicines.

For lots of different reasons, treatment with anti-depressants takes time to work. Because every person and his depression differ, finding the most effective medication is often a process of trial and error. While the process may be frustrating, you and your doctor will eventually find the right treatment.

During a severe episode of depression, there may be severe paranoid persecutory delusions or even hallucinations. There may even be suicidal behavior. When these occur, hospitalization, antipsychotic medication or electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) may be necessary. After the acute phase has subsided, psychopharmacologic treatment should be continued to decrease the likelihood of relapse or future recurrence.

Unlike medications for physical illness, psychotropic medicines do not work to cure the depressive illness; rather, they work to relieve acute episodes and prevent recurrences. For many people, medications work most effective in conjunction with psychotherapy. Insight-oriented therapy can allow you to consider how such contributing factors as early experiences of loss and cumulative negative life circumstances and disappointments have colored your disposition. Cognitive techniques can also provide significant relief insofar as they address the negative and distorted thinking that typically characterizes depression.

Prognosis for Depression:

Prognosis is good. Recent progress in the development of new medicines that act directly on specific parts of the brain make the treatment of depression even more positive. SAD responds well to light therapy.

In some instances, one course of treatment is sufficient to manage or remedy major depressive illness. However, for many others, depression is a chronic lifelong condition that requires continued or episodic intervention. Ever after a successful round of treatment, it is important that you remain sensitive to stresses that are likely to trigger a depression. If you are able to recognize early signs, you will be able to contact your physician or clinician before you find yourself deep into another depressive episode. Learning to manage depression through therapy, medications and lifestyle will lessen the likelihood that it will take over your life.

Again, please visit my blog as I will be updating frequently with interesting news, treatments, recommended books and much more.

How The Fast Phobia Cure Works

A phobia is a fear or worry about a certain occurrence. The occurrence can either be a situation or a living thing e.g some people fear climbing very high up either with a ladder or stairs and this is called acrophobia while at the same time other fear certain insects e.g spiders and this is called arachnophobia. One realizes that all these scientific terms referring to different types of worries end up with the word phobia which simply shows that they are fears. One of the funny things about having a phobia is that sometimes, the individual may really believe in their fears resulting in injury or health threatening situations that could otherwise have been avoided.

One of the best examples about such an occurrence is the belief that darkness will kill somebody by suffocating them to death. This form of phobia is called nyctophobia and it may result in heart attacks or irrational behavior when it’s night time. On the other hand, some phobias bring about unhealthy living conditions e.g aquaphobia. A person having aquaphobia fears coming close to water and this becomes a problem when it’s time to take a shower. Some of these people end up being dirty or smelly most of the time unless forced to take a shower every now and then. But whichever the case, a treatment for the different types of phobias is necessary and which better way to do so than by the use of fast phobia cure.

Fast phobia cure does what the name implies, helping people suffering from different types of phobia to overcome them, whether they are genetically passed or from their past experience. It is also known as a ten minute phobia cure because it takes effect an estimated ten minutes.

Steps Taken In The Fast Phobia Cure

The whole structure behind fast phobia cure is a sort of a rewinding experience. This rewinding experience entails the individual having a phobia being made to imagine that particular phobia that makes the hair on their skin stand and cold chill run down their spine then rewind the entire experience.

A good example would be acrophobia which is the fear of height. The individual is made to visualize the phobia in their brain in this case being on a very tall building. They are taught to visualize it in a sort of a cinema setting where there is a tall building on the cinema screen and they are watching it from the seats. They are made to visualize themselves on top of the building in a manner that they are watching themselves from the very same seats being on top of the building and this is where the pulse rate starts to increase as well as sweating.

They are made to look down so as to see how high up there are then just when they are about to react, they are made to rewind and see it as something very small and harmless. This is partly how fast phobia cure works. It’s carried out several times but in the end, the person comes out freed.

CBT For Anxiety

All of us feel anxious from time to time and in certain situations. It is a normal and natural emotion and can be useful as a stimulus to action. Unfortunately some of us feel excessively anxious in inappropriate situations, and this is not only unpleasant but can be a serious handicap in our lives.

Anxiety is part of the “Fight or Flight” response to perceived danger, a physiological reflex seen in a huge number of animals. This response physically prepares the animal to fight or run away from danger – it is a survival mechanism, and a very effective and successful one at that.

The basic physical mechanism underlying the response is a sudden release of the hormone adrenalin from the adrenal glands (situated on top of the kidneys). This hormone then rushes through the blood and around the body, acting on various organs and muscles to create the all too familiar physical sensations of anxiety – racing heart, breathlessness, dry mouth, flushed skin, dizziness, butterflies in the stomach, nausea, weak legs, trembling limbs etc. These sensations, which most people (but interestingly, not all!) find unpleasant and frightening, are actually side-effects of the body gearing up for fighting or running away. The racing heart pumps more blood to allow the muscles to work better, the fast breathing brings in more oxygen etc.

All of this is fine and good if your anxiety is based on a real physical threat – if you’ve got a lion taking a close interest in you, for example. Fortunately for most human beings, this would be an unusual event! Our “dangers” are rarely physical these days – they’re more likely to be the “danger” of failing an exam, or the “danger” of embarrassing yourself in front of others. Indeed, many of our “dangers” don’t even exist at all – they are purely in our heads. The “danger of perhaps, maybe, or what-if the lift breaks down and I’m stuck” or the “danger of my anxiety causing me to have a heart attack or pass out”.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) views anxiety (and all emotions) as the interaction of three areas of human experience – cognition (our thoughts and mental imagery), physical sensations (what we feel in or with our bodily senses such as feeling hot or short of breath), and behaviour (what we actually do with our bodies such as move in certain ways and interact with others and our environment).

These three areas – thoughts, sensations, behaviours – act together to make up an emotion. For example, when we feel anxious we will typically have certain anxious thoughts (“I’m going to collapse”, “I can’t stand it”), anxious sensations (nausea, wobbly legs) and anxious behaviours (we rush out of the room, we grab on to someone).

These three areas are linked to one-another in feed-back loops. This means that if our physical sensations of anxiety increase, then typically we will experience more frequent and pressing anxious thoughts, and the desire (indeed desperation) to engage in anxious behaviours will increase. This increase in anxious thoughts and behaviours then “loops” or “feeds-back” to increase our anxious physical sensations which then…well, you get the picture. A vicious cycle is set up where we simply get more and more anxious until (usually) we run away from whatever triggered the anxiety in the first place.

This sounds a problem, but actually this is great news! The fact that the three components of anxiety interact and affect one another allow us to “access” the system and change it for the better!

How do we do this? By targeting those areas of the system over which we have (at least some!) conscious control – our thoughts and our behaviours. We can, to a greater or lesser extent, control or decide what to think. And we can, to an even greater extent, control or decide how to behave. Contrast this with trying to control your heart rate or your blood pressure – much trickier (though I wouldn’t say impossible…)

The theory of CBT for anxiety is that by controlling and reducing my anxious thoughts and behaviours I can provide “negative (or inhibitory) feedback” to the system, causing my physical sensations of anxiety to reduce. A reduction in anxious physical sensations will decrease my anxious thoughts and behaviours, which will then, in turn, decrease my anxious physical sensations, and so on. We’ve set up the opposite of a “vicious cycle” (a “virtuous cycle”?) and our anxiety fades away.

So much for the theory – what about the actual techniques and work involved? As you may have guessed, we can approach the problem of anxiety from two angles – we can tackle anxious thoughts and we can tackle anxious behaviours. In fact CBT therapists will usually tackle both simultaneously, though the emphasis may be more on thoughts than behaviour, or vice verse. In my experience, it is helpful to focus more on anxious thoughts when the anxiety is a result of thinking about a future event such as exams or an interview. On the other hand, tackling anxious behaviours is the priority in anxiety related to social situations, enclosed spaces or heights etc – situations that are easily replicated by the client and therapist.

Taking anxious thoughts first. People who experience severe and frequent bouts of anxiety often exhibit what CBT therapists call “Thinking Errors”. That is, their thoughts (and indeed their “ways of thinking”) are unrealistic and unhelpful, making their anxiety worse, and even being the initial cause of the anxiety in the first place.

Examples of common Thinking Errors in anxiety are “Fortune Telling” (thinking that you know what is going to happen in the future) and “Catastrophising” (assuming the worst possible scenario will come to pass): “I will fail the interview and never get a good job” or “I will pass out and my colleagues will laugh”. Thoughts like these will obviously increase a persons anxiety.

We tackle these thoughts by challenging them, questioning them, and asking them to back themselves up with evidence. It’s a Court of Law for these thoughts and they’re charged with Irrationality! How can you see into the future? How do you know that you will fail the interview? Have you always failed every interview you’ve ever done? or How do you know you will pass out? Have you passed out every other time you’ve been in that situation?

Or we can take a slightly different tack and question their assumptions of what will happen if things do in fact go poorly. What if you do happen to fail the interview? What will happen? Does everyone who fails an interview end up on the scrap heap? Is that what you’d tell a friend who’d failed an interview? or What if you do pass out? What will happen? Will your colleagues really laugh? Or will they be concerned for you?

By questioning our anxious thoughts we can stop simply assuming they’re right and begin to look for alternative ways of thinking about the situation. For example, you might remember that in fact you’ve always done pretty well in interviews in the past, or that a friend failed an interview for one job only to land an even better one a while later. So you might think instead that “Actually I’ve got a fair chance of doing OK in this interview, and even if I don’t get this job it’s not the end of the world”. This thought is not only more balanced and realistic, it will also diminish your anxiety.

Anxious behaviours are the behaviours that we consciously choose to do (or not to do!) as a result of our anxiety – they are NOT the physical sensations of anxiety (these aren’t under our immediate control). We engage in these behaviours in an attempt to reduce and alleviate our anxiety. There are two overlapping classes of anxiety-related behaviours. There are so-called “Safety Behaviours”, such as sitting down or grabbing hold of something when you feel anxious and dizzy. And there are “Avoidance Behaviours”, such as excluding yourself from social gatherings.

These behaviours seem to work in the short term – you’re fear of passing out diminishes, and you completely avoid the anxiety of the works do. But you’re storing up problems in the longer term. You’ll start to believe that you HAVE to sit down when you feel anxious or you WILL DEFINITELY pass-out, and the next time you’re invited to a social gathering you will be even more anxious.

Safety Behaviours prevent you from learning to cope with your anxious sensations, and Avoidance Behaviours prevent you from challenging your anxious thoughts.

There’s no denying that the physical sensations of anxiety can be unpleasant, but they are temporary and are not life-threatening. A racing heart, weak legs, nausea and light-headedness aren’t fatal. But they can feel certainly feel like it, so the way to prove to yourself that you won’t die or pass out or throw up or whatever it is you’re worried about, is to go out and get yourself some anxiety!

Deliberately putting yourself in your anxiety-provoking situations (crowded shop, tall building, whatever) is the first step to recovery. You can do this in a “graded” way (i.e. start with less busy shops or less tall buildings) before moving on to bigger challenges. Or you can “go in at the deep end” and expose yourself to your worst nightmare. And you just stay there – in the shop or observation deck – and you refuse to do any Safety Behaviours. If you feel dizzy then you feel dizzy, but you refuse to hold on to anything. If you feel nauseous, you just let yourself feel nauseous. Remember: these sensations are side effects of adrenalin and will not harm you. Many people even find them pleasurable – hence roller-coasters and bungee-jumping!

And then you just stay there some more. And some more. And then a bit more. Your anxiety will probably be huge to start with. You’ll get the whole lot – feeling sick, feeling faint, feeling that your chest will explode, your mind is mind racing, ” I’ve got to get out of here!”, your legs seeming about to take you away anyway etc. But if you just stick with it – not fighting it but just “experiencing it” – you’ll find things start to change. It can take anything from a few minutes to even an hour, but eventually your anxiety will wane. It’s almost as if you get bored with being anxious! Here you are, all het-up and ready to go, and nothings happening. Indeed, in a way, your body does get bored. After all there’s only so much adrenalin that your body can produce at any one time, and if it’s not really needed (i.e. your not running from a lion) then it’ll stop making it. And less adrenalin means less anxious physical sensations.

By staying in your anxiety-provoking situation you give yourself a chance to “habituate” to it – you have become used to it. This is an incredibly powerful thing to do. Not only have you faced up to your fears but you have proven to yourself that anxiety is bearable. Unpleasant, yes, but temporary and non-fatal. Your anxious thoughts about dying or passing out are shown to be wrong.

So what do you do now? Well, as you may have guessed, you go out and do it again. And again. And again. The more you enter into – AND STAY – in your anxiety-provoking situations, the better you’ll become at coping with your anxiety. You (and your body) will stop fearing these situations and, eventually, they will fail to produce any anxiety in you.