High-Dose Vitamin D and the Decreased Incidence of Chronic Disease

It is well known that vitamin D deficiency is associated with osteoporosis, bone fracture, increased falls, muscle weakness, increased risk of certain cancers (particularly breast and colon, and possibly prostate), autoimmune diseases, obesity, insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes, schizophrenia, depression, asthma, lung dysfunction, influenza, kidney disease, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular disease. Even complications of pregnancy, preeclampsia (pregnancy-induced hypertension) and gestational diabetes, are associated with vitamin D deficiency. In infants, the vitamin’s insufficiency has also been linked to low birth weight (caused by low levels from the mother during pregancy) neonatal hypocalcemia (low blood calcium), poor postnatal growth, bone fragility, and increased incidence of autoimmune diseases and childhood asthma.

Prevention of Osteoporosis

The standard recommended dose of 400 IU/day of vitamin D was in general to help maintain “good health,” and to help reduce the risk of osteoporosis, falls, and hip fractures. Over the last 5 years, there has been an explosion of studies expanding our knowledge and indicating that higher doses have much more of an effect on overall health and on the prevention of various chronic diseases than just bone development and the prevention of osteoporosis. This was standard while I was practicing medicine to recommend calcium, magnesium, and vitamin D to women of menopausal age. However, I now recommend doses much higher than 400 IU/day.

Insulin Resistance

A common problem I saw in my medical practice, associated with aging and increased weight was insulin resistance, which often led to metabolic syndrome or full-blow Type 2 diabetes. To help reduce the risk of diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and insulin resistance I would encourage my patients to maintain a low-glycemic diet, exercise at least 4 times a week, and be on a broad spectrum nutritional supplementation program. Often this made the difference for people who took it seriously and made significant changes.

Insulin resistance begins with oxidation of insulin receptors. Anything that cause more oxidation, and therefore more inflammation, can lead to insulin resistance, and ultimatley Type 2 diabetes. Continued consumption of high-glycemic food (simple sugars and starches) will damage insulin receptors via inflammation/oxidation. With continued oxidation and inflammation of insulin receptors full-blown Type 2 diabetes develops. Lately, it has been discovered that vitamin D deficiency is a contributing cause to insulin resistance, giving further support to my recommending higher doses.

Although not all studies have been consistent and demonstrating a reversal of insulin resistance with vitamin D supplementation, the studies that have shown benefits in reversign insulin resistance have been the studies demonstrating blood serum 25-hydroxvitamin D (or 25-OH-D) concentrations that were at least in the range of 35 – 42 ng/ml. This may suggest that high doses may be needed to see a benefit in the prevention, and possible reversal of insulin resistance.

Decreased Risk of Breast and Colon Cancer Associated with Supplementation

As a former practicing board-certified Ob/Gyn, I had many patients who had a history of breast cancer, or a family history of breast cancer. Colon cancer was also a concern, as its incidence is second to breast cancer. A decreased risk of breast and colon cancer (and possibly prostate cancer) has been associated when blood serum levels of 25-hydroxvitamin D (25-OH-D) are 40 ng/ml or above. For most women, this would require a dailly dose near 4000 IU/day.

I had many patients using tamoxifen to treat or suppress the recurrence of breast cancer. However, tamoxifen has its own concerns (among them possible endometrial cancer). Interestingly, much like drugs that are used to treat breast cancer, such as tamoxifen, vitamin D enters breast cancer cells and triggers apoptosis; whicself-destruction, or “cellular death,” of cancer cells. Actually, several various antioxidants; e.g., turmeric extract, polyphenolic compounds; such as grape seed extract, cruciferous extract, resveratrol, green tea extract, and olive extract) all cause apoptosis, or cellular self-destruction. The benefit of apoptosis compared to chemotherapy drugs and radiation therapy is that it causes cancer cell dealth without toxicity or destruction to normal cells.

Although the knowledge and use of antioxidants to kill cancer cells is as of yet limited, and thefore too early to be used to replace current toxic therapies for cancer, there is much promise for vitamins and other antioxidants in the near future. According to the research, I am a believer that antioxidants, and like substancs may help to prevent to the initiation of cancer, and therefore, along with a proper diet and lifestyle, everyone should be taking quaility supplements.

Specifc to this article, as I have searched to find out what dose of vitamin D women “should be” taking for preventative measures against breast, ovarian, and colon cancer, I have discovered that the studies have shown an association between women whose serum 25-OH-D levels of at least 52 ng/ml or higher and a 50% decreased incidence of breast cancer. Ovarian and colon cancers are similar in that there is a significant decreased incidence when 25-OH-D levels are above 50 ng/ml; and particular when they reach 80 ng/ml.

As I speak on the “Power of Nutritional Supplementation,” both in lectures and on my audio CD, I suggest that among other nutrients, when one considers there are so many potential health benefits to be obtained from nutritional supplementation of specific vitamins, let alone a full-range of quality supplements, with virtually no toxic effects, I have to ask why would anyone wait to supplement?

Reduced Risk of Heart Disease Associated with Vitamin D

Vitamin D deficiency increases the risk of both ischemic and non-ischemic heart disease. Supplementation also helps control blood pressure, it influences parathyroid hormone levels, influences the function of heart muscle, and plays a role in reduction of inflammation and calcification of blood vessels, thus helping to reduce atherosclerosis.

The risk for heart disease is particularly high when 25-OH-D blood levels are below 15 ng/ml. With 25-OH-D levels above 30 ng/ml cardiac benefits may possibly be significant. Obviously, more studies are needed to draw conclusions about this vitamin’s role in maintaining and/or reducing cardiovascular disease, but once again, I can only say that there is now enough evidence when taken as a whole, for everyone to consider supplementing with adequate doses of this all-important vitamin for any or “all” of the potential health benefits.

Reduced Risk of Influenza with Vitamin D

It is well established that vitamin D reduces the incidence of respiratory infections. Children who have been found to have the lowest 25-hydroxyvitamin D blood levels are 11 times more likely to develop respiratory infections. I have been asked about the safety and effectiveness of children supplementing with this vitamin. One can only look to clinical information. Children with recurrent respiratory infections have been given as high a dose as 60,000 IU of vitamin D3 (the active form) each week (for six weeks), and found to have not one such infection for the following 6 months!

Many people suffer and die from influenza, or the “flu.” They don’t die of the viral infection per se, as much as they die from the body’s over-reaction. The influenza virus causes an uncontrolled over-production of inflammatory cytokines. Interestingly, vitamin D turns down this process by “down regulating” the expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines, such as tumor necrosis factor-alpha.

Actually, the pro-inflammatory cytokine process is the same inflammatory process that occurs in chronic disease, such as inflammation of arteries in atherosclerosis, inflammation in arthritis, damage to neurons, and inflammation and damage caused by cancer cells and by the aging process itself.

Think about the possibilities of reducing inflammation, by down regulating cytokines (tumor necrosis factor alpha, etc.) and thus reducing the incidence and progression of many chronic degenerative diseases, including heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, arthritis, diabetes, respiratory infections, liver and kidney disease, and the aging process itself!

Regarding vitamin D (really a hormone) and the protection of respiratory infections and influenza, in addition to the down regulation of inflammatory cytokines, this unique hormone also up-regulates the expression of anti-microbial peptides in immune cells. Anti-microbial peptides damage the outer lipid membranes of influenza viruses, bacteria, and fungi allowing the white blood cells (macrophages) from the immune system to eliminate them from the body.

I suggest that adults and children supplement with much higher doses than what was has been traditionally recommended to reduce the incidence of respiratory infections and help support the immune system, particularly during winter months when exposure to sunlight is decreased.

Vitmain D May Help Reduce the Risk of Complications of Pregnancy

Maintaining health during pregnancy is a chief concern of mine because it is critical that women get proper cellular nutrition throughout their pregnancies. Optimal supplementation should take place before a woman even knows she’s pregnant. This is one reason why I recommend all women of child-bearing age be on a full-spectrum of quality nutritional supplements. Now, with recent information about the benefits of vitamin D during pregnancy, the amount of vitamin D in prenatal vitamins is quite inadequate,…at least in my opinion.

Vitamin D plays a key role for calcium metabolism during pregnancy and development in order to prevent infantile rickets and adult osteomalacia. During pregnancy, calcium demands rapidly increase, particularly in the third trimester. Because of this, vitamin D, which is required for calcium incorporation into the bones becomes crucial for proper skeletal growth and optimal maternal and fetal outcomes. Despite widespread use of prenatal vitamins containing what is thought to be “adequate” doses of vitamin D, there is still a vitamin D deficiency epidemic among pregnant and lactating women.

It is even more important that a pregnant woman have optimal vitamin D blood levels than a non-pregnant woman, as her baby’s health depends on it,…not only during fetal life, but during the next two decades of that baby’s life!

Low vitamin D levels during pregnancy and infancy are associated with maternal preeclampsia and pregnancy-induced hypertension, neonatal low birth weight and hypocalcemia, poor postnatal growth, bone fragility, and increased incidence of autoimmune diseases and asthma of the child.

During pregnancy a minimum blood level of vitamin D (25-hydroxyVitamin D) should be at least 32 ng/ml or greater; and optimally closer to 50 ng/ml. In order to achieve and maintain 25-hydroxvitamin D serum levels at 32 – 50 ng/ml, I suggest that pregnant and lactating women would possibly need to supplement with a dose between 2000 and 4000 IU/day of vitamin D3 per day, which is both safe and effective. Of course, this is beyond the level found in all prenatal vitamins.

Childhood Asthma Linked to Vitamin D Deficiency

The asthma epidemic may be explained in part by the vitamin D deficiency epidemic. There is a direct correlation between low serum vitamin D levels and higher risks for asthma exacerbations. Vitamin D plays a role in fetal lung growth and development. Epidemiologic evidence suggests that higher prenatal vitamin D intake has a protective role against wheezing illnesses in children. Vitamin D may protect against wheezing illnesses through its multiple immune effects as discussed above. In addition, vitamin D may play a therapeutic role among asthmatics from becoming steroid resistant.

Above I indicated that vitamin D plays an important role in reducing the risk of respiratory infections. In children, and adults for that matter, with asthma, supplementation with high dose vitamin D is of even more importance, as a respiratory infection can trigger attack.

Measuring Your Vitamin D Status

The question on most people’s mind is, “How much vitamin D is the right dose?” The best way to know one’s “correct” dose is to know your 25-hydroxyVitamin D blood level. This is the metabolically-active form of vitamin D, and is also known as calcidiol. It is abbreviated as 25-OH-D. In the past, “adequate” blood levels were set to prevent rickets and then osteoporosis. The myriad benefits and safety of vitamin D is coming to light.

Most laboratories have a normal reference range for 25-OH-D of 32 – 100 ng/ml. After studying what many of the experts in the field of vitamin D deficiency treatment have recommended, it varying widely, I am in line with suggesting that one’s “optimal” serum 25-OH-D level should be between 50 – 80 ng/ml.

What Dose of Vitamin D is Optimal?

The vitamin D dose required to attain a serum level range of 50 – 80 ng/ml will vary from person to person, mostly based upon body mass (weight) and sun exposure. Although this will vary considerably, a 150 lb person who supplements with 2000 IU of vitamin D per day may attain blood level range of 25-OH-D between 30 and 45 ng/ml, depending upon sun exposure. In my experience, it seems that this same person may need to take 4000 IU/day, or more, to attain optimal blood levels between 50 and 80 ng/ml.

Again, from my experience, and it this will vary widely. A person who weighs 225 lbs. may require a dose of 10,000 IU/day to maintain 25-hydroxyVitamin D blood serum levels between 50 and 80 ng/ml. A person’s true dose can only be determined by blood tests and titration (adjustments based upon the blood tests).

My suggestion would be to start with vitamin D at either 4000 to 6000 IU/day, depending upon your weight; or you may safely opt to take 10,000 IU/day, and then have your 25-OH-D blood level tested about 6 to 8 weeks later. Your optimal blood level target range for optimal health is 50 – 80 ng/ml. Therefore, once you know your blood level, you may adjust your daily vitamin D intake accordingly.

Are High Doses of Vitamin D Safe?

Is long-term “high dose” of vitamin D3 safe? There may be concern that high doses of vitamin D may elevate serum calcium levels and cause kidney stones in those at risk. There was a study in which vitamin D deficient patients received either a single oral, or a single intramuscular injection of 300,000 IU of vitamin D and followed for 12 weeks. During the 12 weeks not one person had elevated levels of serum calcium (or hypercalcemia).

This doesn’t mean that chronic super high doses of vitamin D will not raise blood calcium levels; however, there are no credible reports of vitamin D toxicity with chronic daily vitamin D3 supplementation up to 10,000 IU/day, including elevation of blood calcium. In fact, many vitamin D expert clinicians are routinely recommending doses well above 10,000 IU/day. Hypercalcemia (an elevated serum calcium level) is only observed with synthetic vitamin D analogues, such as calcitriol.

Since it is safe for most people to supplement with vitamin D with doses as high as 10,000 IU/day (and possibly higher) without concern, my recommendation of a starting dose between 4000 – 6000 IU/day is quite conservative.

Are there Contraindications for High-Dose Vitamin D?

Primary hyperparathyroidism is the main contraindication. Also, high dose vitamin D3 supplementation may cause elevation of serum calcium levels in patients with sarcoidosis, tuberculosis, or lymphoma. Therefore, in such cases, patients dosing with levels above 2000 IU per day should do so only with caution AND under the care and direction of a physician.

One Last Word: Maintain Proper Ratios and Balance of Vitamins

Vitamin D3 is obviously safe. It has been underestimated as an important vitamin for many decades for maintaining optimal health at least, and possibly for reducing the risk of many chronic diseases if boosted to optimal blood levels. However, as will all vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, essential fatty acids, or any other nutrient, vitamin D should be taken in balance! All nutrients should be used to supplement a healthy diet, and used in conjunction with exercise and a healthy lifestyle.

Balance and proper ratios of nutrients are critical, as in the case of vitamin D with vitamin A. Vitamin A can neutralize the beneficial effects of vitamin D. In addition, many people are aware that high doses of vitamin A can be toxic to the liver and cause birth defects. However, most are not aware that vitamin A and vitamin D compete for each other’s function in the body. Supplementing with excess amounts of vitamin A can suppress the important cancer-fighting effects of vitamin D.

Most multivitamin preparations contain vit A. Vitamin A (or pre-formed vitamin A) is different from pro-vitamin A, or beta-carotene. Beta-carotene does not interfere with vitamin D. Nor is beta-carotene associated with birth defects or liver problems.

Therefore, in choosing a quality, broad spectrum supplement brand, it is my suggestion to choose one that provides beta-carotene (a.k.a. “pro-vitamin A”), not vitamin A. This is just one of many criteria in choosing a quality supplement brand. As it relates to this article, choose a supplement that provides a daily dose of vitamin D3 of at least 2000 IU/day,…and consider taking at least 4000 IU/day and having your blood tested to achieve the target range of 50 – 80 ng/ml.

We should never rely on one vitamin, juice, or magic potion to cure all our problems. However, we should not ignore the ever-emerging evidence and promise that science is uncovering of the benefits nature has to offer in helping us to maintain optimal health.

I am a major proponent of using a broad spectrum of high quality vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and essential fatty acids at proper doses and balance, along with healthy eating and proper lifestyle. I do not claim that all the answers are found in one vitamin or antioxidant, but many of the answers to optimal health are found in the synergistic action of the blend and balance of the fullest range of supplementation we are willing to incorporate into our lives.

Rheumatism and Arthritis – What’s the Difference?

Rheumatism and arthritis are two bone and muscle diseases that people refer to almost interchangeably. Generally speaking, most people do not really see the difference. After all, both diseases manifest the same symptoms of recurring pain in joints and muscles. While both conditions can sometimes be unbearably painful and afflict older men and women, they are in fact different.

Rheumatism does not refer to a single disease or condition, but to over a 100 conditions based on the location and characteristics of the symptoms. For many years, rheumatism was the generic term used to describe various painful medical conditions related to bones, muscles, joints and tendons, until doctors began to use the term arthritis to describe joint-related ailments.

By definition, arthritis is a disease of the bone joints, where two or more bones come together and connect. When joints begin to show signs of redness, tenderness, and sensitivity to pain, then you are likely to be experiencing arthritis. Rheumatism, on the other hand, affects not just joints, but also bones, ligaments and other vital organs of the body, including heart, lungs, kidneys, and liver. In this context, all arthritis types are forms of rheumatism, while rheumatism is not always arthritis.

The cure and treatment for different types of arthritis or rheumatism depends on certain conditions. Doctors underscore the need for specific treatment for specific cases of arthritis and rheumatism. After all, the different types of arthritis and rheumatism are triggered by many factors, including food, allergens, genetics, and obesity. Among the most common types of rheumatic diseases are ankylosing spondylitis, fibromyalgia, lupus, scleroderma, polymyositis, dermatomyositis, polymyalgia rheumatica, bursitis, tendinitis, vasculitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, and complex regional pain syndrome.

On the other hand, the most common cases of arthritis, an ailment characterized by joint related pain, stiffness, inflammation and damage, are rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, juvenile arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, reactive arthritis, infectious arthritis, gout and pseudogout. Just like rheumatism, each type of arthritis requires a separate and distinct treatment. Despite these distinctions, people continue to use the terms interchangeably. Such a lack of knowledge has potentially painful, if not dangerous, consequences for arthritic and rheumatic sufferers, whose best chances to stop the progression of both diseases are when they are just starting to manifest the painful symptoms.

Arthritis and rheumatism inflict the most pain on people who fail to recognize the cause of their affliction and, therefore, are unable to immediately follow the doctor’s advice to control both diseases through a balanced, low-uric acid and high-fiber diet, regular exercise, and medication.

Put Your Best Face Forward

We live in an era where almost everything is described in terms of “super”, or “extreme”. There are television shows showing the most wild and wacky sports. Fast food restaurants encourage us to forget to count calories and super size our meal choices. There is no such thing as a normal sale, it’s got to be a super sale. So when it comes to our physical appearance and the desire to look good, we go for the extreme makeover.

The quest for the perfect face, hair, and body is not for the faint of heart. Wading through the promises of products, potions and procedures takes time and persistence. But after mapping out a plan of attack, and clutching a fistful of dollars, the plan can go forward.

For most folks it’s our face that concerns us the most. It’s out there like a business card for everyone to see, and we want to present the best impression for as long as possible. So every forehead furrow, neck jiggle, and eye droop becomes a potential battleground in the fight for the fountain of youth.

Thank goodness there are options available that don’t involve surgery. Most of us would agree that surgery is too drastic and requires a long period of healing. We’d rather opt for gentle and quick. This is where botox treatments enter the picture.

Botox is a trade name for botulinum toxin A. It may surprise you that botox is related to botulism, a form of food poisoning which can cause paralysis, sometimes leading to death. When botulinum toxins latch onto nerve endings, the neurotransmitter called acetylcholine which causes muscles to contract, cannot be released, and paralysis occurs.

Ironically, it is this botulism toxin, which often causes a food poisoning victim’s respiratory muscles to fail, that has completely revolutionized the business of looking good.

Botox has been touted as a remedy used to eliminate wrinkles for many years, but it was only in April of 2002 that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved it for cosmetic use. It has also been approved to treat some medical conditions since 1989.

Frown lines, that many adults develop between their eyebrows, respond especially well to botox treatments. Injections into the muscles surrounding the brows, paralyze the area, and the wrinkles smooth out. It takes a few hours to a couple of days for the toxin to do its magic, and the treatment can last from three to eight months. The hated crows feet that many women despise, will simply disappear, with botox intervention.

In spite of the treatments being temporary, botox has become extremely popular. It affords the client the flexibility of knowing that the effect will wear off in time, but that a tune-up appointment can easily be booked. The before and after contrast will, at all times, be gradual. Many people have commented that their friends and family never knew that they had something done. It simply appeared that they’d been away on vacation and had come back looking happy and well rested.

So, in this era of extremes, it a relief that the fountain of youth can be achieved, not by extreme measures, but quickly and gently.

GERD and Menopause

Hot flashes, cold rushes, bouts of rapid heartbeat, irritability, mood swings, crashing fatigue, depression and a host of other changes ? welcome to menopause when for a while you seem to feel that life as you knew it is coming to a ?pause?.

Add to this the gastrointestinal distress, indigestion, flatulence, bloating and nausea associated with GERD and you are ready to fly off the handle. Many menopausal women tend to develop acid reflux, for some it can be an uncomfortable sensation of severe burning in the throat or a feeling of being bloated.

GERD or Gastroesophageal reflux disease is a result of the backing up of the stomach of stomach contents, including acid, into the esophagus causing heartburn, regurgitation and a sour taste in the back of the throat.

Research into the reasons for the occurrence for GERD has found that the valve or sphincter that separates the lower esophagus from the stomach tends to relax sometimes, permitting the stomach acid to back up into the esophagus which causes heartburn in its mild form and if ignored can lead to inflammation of the esophagus, Barett?s esophagus and cancer.

The relaxation of the sphincter occurs randomly but certain factors can affect reflux such as a diet high in fatty foods or certain food groups and medications such as calcium-channel blockers usually prescribed to treat high blood pressure and certain painkillers such as meperidine and morphine and sedatives such as diazepam.

Hormones generally found in the body can also affect the functioning of the sphincter, leading to increased reflux. It has been found that progesterone lowers the pressure in the esophageal sphincter. In some cases estrogen replacement therapy can also aggravate GERD symptoms but nothing has been conclusively determined as yet and research is still underway.

However it has been found that acid reflux and heartburn is a pretty common scenario during perimenopause and menopause and it is best to treat GERD as you normally would irrespective of the onset of menopause.

Questions and Answers on Pain Management Medical Treatment After A Car Accident

I was in an auto accident recently and I am having pain. What should I do?

In the United States each year there are over 6 million car accidents resulting in 3 million injured people. Whiplash and back pain are tops on the list for suffering.

The first thing is if the accident just happened and you are having immense pain, the emergency room is where you should be. They can rule out fractures and immediate serious concerns that need attention. Any significant pain should be checked out, especially when considering that as soon as the adrenaline wears off the pain will intensify.

If however it’s been a few days to a few weeks and you have lingering pain, then it is a good idea to seek treatment from a medical provider such as a pain management physician, chiropractor, or potentially to start with, your primary care doctor.

Should I seek an attorney to help me after a car accident?

With regards to your own auto insurance company, you may have a great warm and fuzzy relationship. They may insure your auto, life, company, and you may know them personally. Get into an auto accident, however, and you probably will not enjoy the warm fuzzies with the insurance company of the person who hit you. You will be asking them for money, and their bottom line depends on keeping it. They may push you into trying to settle prematurely prior to completion of treatment. Don’t fall for this.

Seeking an attorney sooner rather than later ensures your best chance of being treated fairly. The Yellow Pages isn’t always the greatest way to find a Personal Injury attorney, and bigger law firms aren’t always better. The medical practice providing pain management treatment may be able to recommend a seasoned attorney. They probably have considerable experience knowing which attorneys are helpful, fair, and results oriented for their client, which is you!

Should I use my health insurance for treatment if I was a victim in a car accident?

Typically the answer is yes. Using your health insurance for medical treatment in a personal injury case can mean a larger settlement at the end of the case for you. If you have no medical insurance there are pain management centers that will treat you under a personal injury lien with no out of pocket expenses. It just means all of the medical treatments go under that lien and when settlement time comes less monies for you. If your health insurance has covered a significant portion of the treatment, there will end up being more money in your pocket.

What kind of medical treatments have been shown to help for neck and back pain after a car accident?

Considering that 10% of whiplash pain and low back pain become chronic and cause considerable disability, it is in one’s best interest to receive pain treatment as soon as possible. Quicker treatment may mean quicker recovery.

For acute neck and low back pain, chiropractic treatment has been shown in numerous studies to alleviate pain and improve patient function. Patients get back to work quicker, and may avoid the problem of chronic pain.

One of the main issues after a whiplash or low back injury is damage to the small joints of the spine called the facet joints. Chiropractic treatment and physical therapy may help diminish the pain, but facet related pain may persist. Pain doctors can perform facet injections into the painful joints, which may relieve pain for many months.

If necessary, the pain doctor may then perform a technologically advanced outpatient procedure called Radiofrequency Ablation, which heats up the painful joints and can relieve pain for one to two years.

There are very effective treatment options if you have been in a car accident. Seeking medical care sooner rather than later may end up preventing the onset of chronic pain, so don’t wait!

Amazing Car With Set of Features

Maruti Suzuki India (MSIL) is counted as one of the leading automobile manufacture companies in India. It is a subsidiary of Suzuki Japan. Till today, 13 models have been launched with over 150 variants. The first model of Maruti was introduced in 1983 named as Maruti 800. A-Star, Baleno, EECO, Grand Vitara, Omni, Ritz, Swift, Swift Dzire, SX4, Versa, Wagon R, Duo and Zen are some of the best models offered by this car manufacturing company.

The upcoming model offered by Maruti Udyog is Maruti Cervo. This model is supposed to be scheduled for January 2011. The cost of the car will lay somewhere Rs. 1, 50,000/ only, which is the ex-showroom price. However, this model is packed with an amazing set of features and benefits that one car owner wants. It is small family cars and will definitely meet the requirements of the middle class people. Now, one can easily buy brand new car at really pocket friendly rates.

Have a look on the key features of Maruti Cervo:

1. 115km/h top speed

2. 20-24 mileage

3. 4 gear

4. 4 side open door

5. 5 setters

6. 660cc engine   displacement 

7. Central locking system

8. Child safety lock

9. Front disk brakes

10. Full AC

11. Petrol engine

12. Power Steering

13. Rear drum brakes

Maruti Suzuki has launched the Cervo model with a petrol engine. It has 660cc engine  displacement  and 115km/h top speed. You can enjoy 20-24 mileage with power steering, rear drum brakes and front disk brakes.

Cold Sore Lip Treatment – Cold Sores on the Mouth

A lot of people do not know how to treat a cold sore (fever blister) outbreak. There are several key methods that are extremely effective in the healing process of an outbreak. At the first sign of a cold sore you must put ice on it until it completely melts, this will prevent swelling and reduce redness. Preventing swelling drastically reduces the time it take for the sore to heal.

The next thing to do is to pop the vesicles with a pin and squeeze the virus out, make sure it is sterilized and that you wash your hands frequently, at this time the fever blister is extremely contagious. Once all the virus is out, dab hydrogen peroxide on the sore several times every half hour, this will dry out the sore and promote the cold sore to heal. If done correctly, the fever blister should appear at most as a little red dot or scab, if not repeat these steps. If a red dot or a scab appears at this time you can put a warm tea bag on it. The herbal properties in tea are anti oxidants which support the immune system and helps the skin to heal, it also reduces redness and makes the fever blister pretty much unnoticeable. For best results repeat his step several times.

There are many ways for cold sores to heal, it is evident that the most efficient and safest treatments are natural. They are inexpensive, work very well and cause no negative side effects. Holistic treatments are best for healing a fever blister as they cure the body as a whole, allowing the immune system to defeat the virus and prevent further outbreaks.

Watch That Sore Throat

For people on the go, it pays to know that sudden changes in weather conditions and body temperature can lead to illnesses like  sore   throat .  Sore   throat  is defined as a disease that leaves the tissues  sore , affecting the area around the tonsils. It is caused by viruses, bacteria or irritation. The illness, also known as pharyngitis or tonsillitis, results in throat pains and difficulty in swallowing.

Prone to  sore   throats  are those who are subject to abrupt changes in temperature (e.g., people who stay in fully air-conditioned rooms then walk under the sizzling heat of the sun, employees whose job requires field work and dealing with people, children playing in an open field). After being exposed to the sun’s heat, taking several glasses of cold water or a shower will most likely cause this illness.

Other Causes and Complications

Smoking is another common cause of tonsillitis. If you smoke, or are always with smokers, your throat can easily get irritated. To prevent yourself from getting  sore   throat , it is best to keep yourself at a safe distance from smokers and take supplements to strengthen your body’s resistance against diseases.

“Some people may not know it but  sore   throat  can be contagious, especially if it is caused by viruses or bacteria. It can be spread through coughing, sneezing, touching, or sharing food and drinks. You can catch it anywhere-in school, at work, in a public transport, even at home,” one expert says. “Although it’s an ailment in itself,” she continues, “ sore   throat  can also be a symptom of other illnesses such as the common cold, cough, flu and allergy.”

Research says serious  sore   throat , also called strep throat, is often caused by Streptococcus pyogenes bacteria. Recurring  sore  or strep  throat  may lead to other serious diseases such as rheumatic heart fever and other heart ailments, arthritis, nephritis and scarlet fever.

Treatment

To avoid recurrence and pending complications of  sore   throat , try the following first-aid measures before consulting your doctor.

o Drink plenty of liquid. Taking lots of liquid like water and juice not only helps soothe the throat, it also helps cleanse the system of impurities that cause illnesses.

o Gargle with lukewarm salt water. The salt helps heal the soreness while the gargling action aids in alleviating the inflammation.

o Avoid dry and dusty places. The air has microscopic substances that can irritate your throat.

o Stop smoking. If you can’t quit, at least stop smoking until your throat’s condition gets better.

o Take aspirin. If the pain becomes too much to handle, take aspirin for quick relief.

o Keep silent. Use this opportunity to give your throat and vocal chords their much-needed rest. Speaking aggravates  sore   throat , so help your throat heal itself by refraining from talking.

o Practice good hygiene. Wash your hands thoroughly, avoid sharing eating utensils, and disinfect the objects handled by a patient suffering from this disease.

o Take lozenges. Lozenges are a quick way to soothe and relieve  sore   throat . Take them especially when the pain becomes acute, but avoid non-medicated candies.

Do You Have a Tonsil Stone?

Tonsil stone is a little white ball of calcareous matter that can be found in the back of your throat. It is caused by the accumulation of bacteria that produce sulfur and other debris that form in the tonsils. This debris usually consists of mucous from post nasal drip and collects small pockets called tonsil crypts which appear on the surface of the tonsils. When the debris and the volatile Sulfur compounds produced by anaerobic bacteria beneath the surface of your tongue combine, they create a stubborn bad breath and a horrible taste. You will not experience tonsil stone if you do not have tonsils. However this does not indicate that you should have your tonsils removed. Tonsil Stone may also be called tonsillar debris, sneeze nugget, calculus of the tonsil or tonsillolith.

A tonsil stone is barely noticeable. It is small and the tonsil crypt is shallow so the stone just falls out on itself through coughing. It may cause irritation to some people as it gives a feeling that there is a foreign object lodged in the back of your throat. It also brings bad breath, chronic tonsillitis, sometimes ear pain and sore throat if not removed early enough.

A tonsil stone is seen at the bottom rear of your mouth. It is the result from debris that gets stuck in your mouth. This must be eliminated by scraping it out or by poking it using your fingernail, or using a wet cotton bud to squeeze your tonsil until the stone is removed. Bottomline is it has to be removed quickly before it causes you to have undesirable bad breath, frequent sore throat or tonsillitis.

Diabetic Diet Food List – The Best Nutrition Plan for People With Diabetes

Do you want to know the most effective Diabetic diet food list?

Having diabetes would definitely require you to choose your foods wisely. Being smart on your food choices will help you avoid the condition or reverse it when you are already diagnosed with the illness.

If you are a diabetic, the foods that you need to eat are basically the foods that most nutritionists recommend even for the people with good health. They are simply foods that you normally ignore when you are still not stricken with diabetes. It was just a matter of time, ignoring your diabetic for too long has led you to develop the metabolic disorder.

This article will be a crash course to having the appropriate Diabetic diet. This will involve supplements and foods. Some of them are surprising and counter-intuitive but nevertheless effective if consumed appropriately.

The Diabetic Supplement and Food List

Chromium – Diabetics have impaired glucose utilization capabilities. Chromium can help improve this impairment, not to mention, overall cardiovascular health. Foods that are rich in chromium are:

  • Green Beans
  • Whole Grains
  • Broccoli
  • Ready-to-eat Bran Cereals

Magnesium – People with diabetes are magnesium-deficient due to urination and uncontrollable sugar levels. This supplement is highly recommended for aging diabetics. A good 400 milligrams a day of magnesium is adequate for improving glucose tolerance.

Fish Oil – Everybody knows that fish oil is rich in omega-3 fatty acids particularly, EPA and DHA. The risk of dying from heart disease is decreased by taking fish oil as a daily dietary supplement. Diabetics would of course need all the help they can get regarding cardiovascular health.

Biotin – Insulin-dependent (Type 1) diabetics have low levels of biotin. Biotin is an essential supplement in decreasing blood sugar levels especially in people with Type 1 diabetes. Foods that are rich in Biotin are:

  • Wheat Bran
  • Cooked Eggs
  • Raw Cauliflower
  • Active Yeast
  • Cooked Liver
  • Avocadoes

Dietary Fiber – If you lack fiber in your diet, you increase the chances of developing Type 2 diabetes. There are already plenty of research and studies that suggests that an increased consumption of dietary fiber reduce risks of having metabolic disorders like diabetes.

Nuts – In general, nuts are super health foods. They are full of good fats and proteins but with surprisingly low levels of starch and sugars. There is a study that showed a significant decrease of developing Type 2 diabetes mellitus when subjects ate a quantity of nuts five times or more in a week. People with allergies should beware though.

Bitter Melon – Also known as Bitter Gourd is regarded as some kind of miracle food for diabetics especially in asian countries. This food’s ability to lower blood glucose levels is outstanding. It is also rich in other essential vitamins and minerals.

Beans – Legumes, lentils, and peas are pancreas-friendly type of foods because they have low glycemic indices-a food quality that diabetics should always find.

When you are diabetic, you need to manage your diet and should know what kinds of food to avoid. Also, it is not only a matter of what to eat; frequency, timing, and portions should also be considered. This diabetic diet food list should start your path towards diabetes reversal.

Diabetes in Senior Citizens

Your body obtains glucose from the food you take in, the liver and muscles also supply your body with glucose. Blood transports the glucose to cells throughout the body. Insulin, a chemical hormone, helps the body’s cells to take in the glucose. Insulin is made by the beta cells of the pancreas and then released into the bloodstream.

If the body does not make enough insulin or the insulin does not work the way it should glucose is not able to enter the body’s cells. Instead the glucose must remain in the blood causing an increase in blood glucose level. This high blood glucose level causes pre-diabetes or diabetes.

Pre-diabetes means that blood glucose level is higher than average but not high enough for a diabetes diagnosis. Having pre-diabetic glucose levels increases risk for developing type 2 diabetes as well as heart disease and stroke. Still, if you have pre-diabetes there are many ways to reduce your risk of getting type 2 diabetes. Moderate physical activity and a healthy diet accompanied by modest weight loss can prevent type 2 diabetes and help a person with pre-diabetes to return to normal blood glucose levels.

Symptoms of diabetes include excessive thirst, frequent urination, being very hungry, feeling tired, weight loss without trying, the appearance of sores that slowly heal, having dry and itchy skin, loss of feeling or tingling in feet, and blurry eyesight. Still, some people with diabetes do not experience any of these symptoms.

Diabetes can be developed at any age. There are three main types of diabetes: type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes.

Type 1 diabetes is also referred to as juvenile diabetes or insulin-dependent diabetes. It is usually diagnosed in children, teens, or young adults. In this type of diabetes, the beta cells of the pancreas are no longer able to produce insulin because they have been destroyed by the body’s immune system.

Type 2 diabetes is also referred to as adult-onset diabetes or non insulin-dependent diabetes. It may be developed at any age, including childhood. In this type of diabetes is the result of insulin resistance, a condition in which the body’s cells do not interact properly with insulin. At first, the pancreas is able to produce more insulin to keep up with the increased demand for insulin. However, it loses the ability to make up for the body’s cells inability to interact properly with insulin with time. The insulin is unable to help the cells take in glucose, this results in high blood glucose levels. Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes. An unhealthy weight contributed by a high calorie diet and lack of physical activity increases the risk for developing this form of diabetes.

African Americans, Hispanic Americans, American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Asian and Pacific Islanders are at especially high risk for developin Type 2 diabetes.

Gestational diabetes refers to the development of diabetes in the late stages of pregnancy. It is caused by hormones associated with pregnancy and a shortage of insulin. This form of diabetes goes away after the baby is born, but puts both the mother and child at a greater risk for developing type 2 diabetes in later life.

Diabetes is a serious disease and when it is not well controlled, it damages the eyes, kidneys, nerves, heart, gums, and teeth. Having diabetes makes one more than twice as likely as someone without diabetes to have heart disease or stroke.

It is important to keep blood glucose, blood pressure, and cholesterol under control to avoid the serious complications associated with diabetes. Taking steps to control diabetes can make a large impact in the one’s health.

Risk Factors and Prevention

Diabetes is a serious disease with no cure. Controlling blood glucose levels, blood pressure, and cholesterol can help prevent or delay complications associated with diabetes such as heart disease and stroke. Much research is being done to find ways to treat diabetes.

Risk Factors

Type 1 diabetes is classified as an autoimmune disease. An autoimmune disease is the result of the body’s own immune system, which fights infections, turning against part of the body.

Currently, it is unclear what exactly causes the body’s immune system to turn on itself attacking and destroying the insulin producing cells of the pancreas. There are genetic and environmental factors, such as viruses, involved in the development of type 1 diabetes. Researchers are working to identify these factors and prevent type 1 diabetes in those at risk.

Type 2 diabetes is associated with being overweight, high blood presure, and abnormal cholestorol levels. Being overweight can contribute to one’s body using insulin correctly.

Other risk factors include:

  • Having a family history of diabetes, perhaps in a parent, brother, or sister.
  • Being of African American, American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian American or Pacific Islander, or Hispanic American/Latino descent.
  • Having a history of heart disease.
  • Having a history of gestational diabetes.
  • An inactive lifestyle

Prevention

Modest changes in lifestyle can help prevent the development of type 2 diabetes in those at risk. Here are some helpful tips.

  • Maintain a healthy body weight. Being overweight has many negative effects on one’s health and can prevent the body from properly using insulin. It also can contribute to high blood pressure. Research shows that even a modest amount of weight loss can reduce one’s risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
  • Make healthy food choices. What we put into our bodies has big consequences in our health and how our body functions. Eating healthy helps control body weight, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels.
  • Be active. Find a physical activity you enjoy and that gets your heart pumping, perhaps walking briskly, dancing, or yard work. Try to be physically active for at least 30 minutes a day 5 days a week – research shows that this helps to reduce the risk for type 2 diabetes.

Symptoms and Diagnosis

Diabetes is sometimes referred to as a “silent” disease because people may not show any signs or symptoms. Symptoms of diabetes include: excessive thirst frequent urination, being very hungry, feeling tired, weight loss without trying, the appearance of sores that slowly heal, having dry and itchy skin, loss of feeling or tingling in feet, and blurry eyesight. Still, some people with diabetes do not experience any of these symptoms.

Symptoms for type 2 diabetes develop gradually, while type 1 diabetes develops more quickly.

Doctors use different tests to diagnose diabetes. Tests to diagnose diabetes and pre-diabetes include the fasting plasma glucose (FPG) test and the oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT). A random plasma glucose test allows doctors to diagnose only diabetes.

If any of these tests show that you might have diabetes, your doctor will need to repeat the fasting plasma glucose test or the oral glucose tolerance test on a different day to confirm the diagnosis.

Because type 2 diabetes is more common in older people, especially in people who are overweight, doctors recommend that anyone 45 years of age or older be tested for diabetes. If you are 45 or older and overweight, getting tested is strongly recommended.

Older adults are at higher risk for developing Type 2 diabetes, particularly if they are overweight. Doctors recommend that those over 45 years of age be tested for diabetes especially if they are overweight.

Diabetes is a serious disease that can lead to pain, disability, and death. Sometimes people have symptoms but do not suspect diabetes. They delay scheduling a checkup because they do not feel sick.

Despite the risk of diabetes due to age and weight status, people often delay having a checkup because they do not feel any symptoms. Sometimes, people experience symptoms do not realize that it may be diabetes. Still, diabetes is a serious disease which, if left untreated, may lead to hazardous complications and even death.

Often times, people are not diagnosed with diabetes until they experience one of its complications, such as heart trouble or difficulty seeing. Early detection can prevent or delay such complications, making checkups all the more important.

Treatment

There is no cure for diabetes, but with careful control of blood glucose level, as well as cholesterol levels and blood pressure, it can be managed.

People with type 1 diabetes use insulin injections, by shots or an insulin pump, to control their blood glucose levels. People with type 2 diabetes use oral medications, insulin, or both to control their blood glucose levels. In some cases of type 2 diabetes, a person can use diet and exercise alone to maintain appropriate blood glucose levels.

Managing your blood glucose includes several lifestyle changes. These include:

  • Follow a meal plan that makes sense for you and how your body responds to the different foods that you eat.
  • Incorporate physical activity into your daily life.
  • Take the appropriate diabetes medicine and check your blood glucose levels in a manner that is consistent with your doctors recommendations is also key.

Treatment and Research – Diet and Exercise

Follow a Meal Plan

To keep your blood glucose level in the correct range, it is very important to make healthy choices when it comes to what foods you eat. People with diabetes should have their own meal plan that makes sense with how their body responds to the different type so of food that they eat. If you ask, doctors can give you the contact information of a dietitian or diabetes educator who can help you to construct an appropriate meal plan.

When you develop your meal plan, several things should be considered such as your weight, daily physical activity, blood glucose levels, and medications. A meal plan will help you to achieve a healthy weight for those who are overweight in addition to helping control blood glucose levels. A dietitian can help clarify misconceptions about healthy eating as well as ease you and your family into a plan that fits your goals and lifestyle.

It is not necessary for people with diabetes to only eat particular foods, rather food that are good for everyone are also good for diabetics. Such food includes those that are low in fat, salt, and sugar. Foods that are high in fiber, such as whole grains, beans, fruits, and vegetables are also great choices. Making healthy choices in your diet will help you to achieve and maintain a healthy weight, control your blood glucose levels, and prevent heart disease.

Get Regular Physical Activity

Staying active is very important for people diagnosed with diabetes. Research has shown better blood glucose levels in older adults and senior citizens who take part in a regular fitness program. Exercise offers many health benefits that are especially important for people with diabetes. It helps you to reach and maintain a healthy weight, promotes insulin functioning to lower blood glucose, strengthens the heart and lungs, and increases energy.

If exercise is new to you, talk with your doctor before you begin. Some exercises, for example weightlifting, may not be safe for people with eye problems or high blood pressure. Ask your doctor to check your heart and feet to make sure you do not have any special problems associated with diabetes. Moreover, ask you doctor to help you find exercises that are safe for you.

Make physical activity a part of your daily life. Go on walks, ride a bike, or garden. Try dancing or swimming, or simply stay active by doing work around the house. Try different activities and look for ways to increase physical activity in your everyday life. Try to get some sort of exercise every day for at least 30 minutes. If you are new to exercising, start slowly and gradually increase the amount and intensity of your exercise.

Medication

Insulin

People with type 1 diabetes and some people with type 2 diabetes use Insulin to lower blood glucose levels. People must take insulin when their body does not take enough of it. Insulin is a liquid hormone that must be injected with shots or an insulin pump.

Diabetes Pills

In many cases of type 2 diabetes, the body makes enough insulin but is not properly used by the body. Diabetes pills are used to correct this problem. Some are taken once daily while others must be taken more often. It is important to ask your doctor or pharmacist how to take your pills. Also, be sure to talk with your doctor if you are experiencing side effects or your pills make you sick. Finally, remember that diabetes pills should be used in addition to a healthy diet and exercise.

Other cases of type 2 diabetes do not require insulin or diabetes pills, rather a healthy diet and regular physical activity will treat their diabetes.

Self-Monitoring

It is important to keep track of your blood glucose levels regularly by using a blood glucose monitor. Logging these levels in a diary may also be helpful to get a better idea of how your treatment is going. Some people must check their blood glucose levels several times a day while others check it once daily. Ask your doctor how often you should test your blood.

Monitoring your glucose levels will help you detect “highs” and “lows.” A condition referred to as hypoglycemia results when glucose levels fall too low. When this happens a person may become shaky and confused. If blood glucose levels decrease too much, a person may faint. Following the treatment plan recommended by your doctor as well as monitoring your blood glucose levels can help you avoid “lows.” If you check your glucose level and it is too low, you can increase it by taking in sugary foods or drinks like fruit juice.

A condition referred to as hyperglycemia results when glucose levels are too high. If blood glucose is too high, it can cause a person to go into a coma. If you experience persistent “highs,” talk with your doctor, you may need to adjust your treatment plan.

ABCs of Monitoring Diabetes

People with diabetes are at especially high risk for developing heart disease and stroke. Because of this, it is very important to monitor your diabetes using your “ABCs.”

A. A1C or average blood glucose

B. Blood pressure

C. Cholesterol

The A1C (A-one-C) test is a good measure of what your blood glucose level is most of the time. A test result lower than 7 is positive sign that your diabetes is under control. A test result that is greater than 7 means that blood glucose levels are too high. If your A1C is too high, take action. Talk with your doctor about changing your treatment plan and lifestyle to reach your goal. Lowering your A1C to a healthy level, will help you avoid the complications associated with diabetes such as heart disease and kidney damage.

High blood pressure can lead to stroke, kidney disease, and other complications. Generally people with diabetes want to keep their blood pressure less than 130/80. Have your blood pressure checked at every doctor visit. If it is too high, talk with your doctor about how you can lower it.

Cholesterol, particularly LDL cholesterol, is a fat like substance that builds up in your arteries. If your cholesterol levels are too high it causes your arteries narrow. This can lead to heart disease or a heart attack. People with diabetes should try to keep their cholesterol less than 100. Have your doctor check your cholesterol, and if it is too high talk with him or her about how to reach your cholesterol goal.

Foot and Skin Care

High glucose levels and decreased blood supply to the limbs can cause severe nerve damage and loss of feeling. Unnoticed injuries can contribute to ulcers, which may lead to amputation. Because of this, foot care is very important for people with diabetes. Check your feet every day for cuts, ret spots, sores, infected toenails, and swelling. Report any issues to your doctor, and be sure to have your feet checked at every doctor visit. People with diabetes are more likely to experience skin injuries and infections; for this reason, taking care of your skin is also important.

Obesity Statistics – The Facts Presented by Modern Research on Obesity

Modern research on obesity presents us with obesity statistics that are simply mind-blowing. Obesity in America is at epidemic levels and it is far past time to begin addressing this life-threatening issue.

The causes of obesity are almost always the same:

  • Overconsumption and other improper eating habits;
  • Eating foods that offer no nutrition;
  • Failing to remain physically active;

All other factors for obesity and being overweight really are negligible when compared to the core causes of obesity listed above. Along with the outrageous obesity statistics, the levels of obesity diseases are also at all time highs.

Obesity diseases account for almost every known disease including:

  • Diabetes;
  • Coronary heart disease;
  • Myocardial infarctions;
  • Strokes;
  • Kidney failure;
  • Liver disease;
  • Cancer;
  • Arthritis;
  • Atherosclerosis;
  • Hypertension;
  • And so many more…

Here are some of the shocking obesity statistics that we must begin to reverse through proper eating habits, healthy food intake choices and daily physical exercise:

  • Over 58 million Americans are overweight;
  • Over 40 million Americans are obese;
  • Over 3 million Americans are morbidly obese;
  • More than 80% of Americans do not engage in adequate physical activity;
  • More than one quarter of all Americans are considered to be “completely sedentary”;
  • In adults between 30 and 40 years old, there has been greater than 78% increase in Type II diabetes cases since 1990;

More obesity statistics to consider:

  • More than 85 percent of all diabetes cases are due to obesity and being overweight;
  • More than 70% of all heart-related disease is heavily correlated with being overweight and/or obese;
  • Almost 45% of all breast and colon cancer cases are heavily related to obesity and/or being overweight;
  • More than 30% of all gall bladder operations are caused by obesity and/or being overweight;
  • More than one quarter of all obese people have hypertension (high blood pressure);

Childhood obesity statistics:

  • Only 4 percent of children were considered obese in 1982. Now, more than 30% are.
  • More than one quarter of all obese children are showing symptoms of the development of Type 2 diabetes mellitus;
  • Of those children developing Type II diabetes, more than 60 percent of them are also showing one or more signs of cardiovascular disease;
  • Our children are taught how and what to eat by us – their parents and advisors;

These obesity statistics are developed by professional health organizations and research universities. They are not to be taken lightly. These are epidemic numbers. Our children are dying. We are dying. Almost all of these health issues and diseases can be effectively reversed through the initiation of permanent lifestyle changes concerning what we eat, how much we eat, the manners in which we eat, the reasons we eat and our exercise levels. Obesity help is readily available from a number of professional sources. There is no great mystery involved. Protect your health and the health of your family starting today.

Tips to Prevent Heat Rash

Heat  rash  is a red or pink  rash  usually found on body areas covered by clothing. It can develop when the sweat ducts become blocked and swell and often leads to discomfort and itching. Heat  rash  is most common in babies, but may affect adults in hot, humid climates.

Heat  Rash  also can appear as large, reddened areas of skin. Babies and children are also more likely to be affected than adults because of their underdeveloped sweat glands, in which case the  rash  is commonly found in the nappy area and in the skin folds or on the neck. Heat  Rash  can also occur in cooler climates when sweating is a problem.

Heat  rash  can usually be identified by its appearance and does not usually require medical attention. However, if doesn’t go away after 3 or 4 days, or if it appears to be getting worse, or if your child develops a fever, contact your health professional right away.

It usually occurs on clothed parts of the body, such as the back, abdomen, neck, upper chest, groin, or armpits and goes away on its own within a few days. In severe forms, however, heat  rash  can interfere with the body’s heat-regulating mechanism and cause fever, heat exhaustion, and even death.

When working in the heat, monitor the condition of your co-workers and have someone do the same for you. Heat-induced illness can cause a person to become confused or lose consciousness. If you are 65 years of age or older, have a friend or relative call to check on you twice a day during a heat wave. If you know someone in this age group, check on them at least twice a day.

Aanti-histamine creams or medications will relieve the itch. Antibiotics and topical antiseptics are used to prevent bacterial blooms. Keep the skin cool and dry. Keep the sleeping area cool.

The best treatment for heat  rash  is to provide a cooler, less humid environment. Keep the affected area dry. Dusting powder may be used to increase comfort, but avoid using ointments or creams-they keep the skin warm and moist and may make the condition worse.

Apply hydrocortisone cream. For older children and adults, 1% hydrocortisone cream can kick the itch. A thin layer, applied to the  rash  two or three times a day, may help the bumps heal faster, too. Be sure to follow the package directions, and never use these creams on babies.

The power of vitamin C against the pain of prickly heat was demonstrated in a more controlled study carried out in Singapore by dermatologist T. C. Hindson, of the British Military Hospital there. It began with one of those happy accidents that the history of science is so full of. An Australian Air Force officer, troubled by a  rash  in his groin that had resisted all medication for a year, told the doctor that it suddenly cleared up in the course of a week when he caught a cold and started taking 1 g of vitamin C a day.

Summer is a time for fun and play but it can also be a time of discomfort when you can’t beat the heat so take every precaution you can to have a healthy, happy summer. By playing it cool, you can beat the summer heat and the discomfort of heat  rash .

What is Insomnia?

The Insomnia sleep disorder is also known as Wakefulness or Dysomnia and is an inability to sleep, or to sleep for long enough to get a proper night’s rest. The main effect of insomnia is that you feel constantly tired, irritable, and may have poor concentration and coordination. Sleep is necessary to repair the body and provide mental and physical rest – to recharge your batteries.

The amount of sleep needed by people varies: Babies need about 17 hours sleep a day, a child nine to ten hours per night, and an adult seven to eight hours each night, though that typically decreases as you get older. If you don’t need much sleep, get up early to do things – don’t spend too long in bed as this can help trigger insomnia. A typical sleep cycle has five stages: drowsiness, light sleep, two deep sleep stages followed by REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep, where most dreams occur. This first five stage cycle usually lasts about 90 minutes. The REM stage for subsequent cycles may be longer. You may have five of these cycles in a typical night’s sleep.

Child Insomnia

Chronic insomnia in children can have even more serious effects than with adults. Getting enough sleep is much more important for young children than for fully grown adults, as a childhood growth demands a healthy sleep cycle. You should not send a child to bed as a punishment as this may lead to insomnia due to a fear of being sent to bed. You should consider using a bedroom only for sleep, instead of also for play.

Infants typically wake frequently during sleep periods until about six months old when they will probably start to sleep through the night, though they will also sleep two or three hours during the day. Babies may have some other causes than adults for insomnia, such as wanting to be noticed or comforted, being hungry, having colic or pain from growing teeth. Constant attention when a baby cries on waking can be counter-productive, it may be better to let the baby stop crying on its own. Holding a child in your arms to get them to sleep, or reading stories at bed time can mean that without these triggers they will have difficulty sleeping – so weaning them off these habits should be considered at some point.

Do not give a child sleeping medicines unless advised to do so by a doctor.

Facts About Insomnia

Primary Insomnia – where there is no underlying medical cause for the difficulty in sleeping.

  • Secondary Insomnia – where there is an underlying medical cause disturbing sleep.
  • Secondary Insomnia has an underlying medical cause whereas Primary Insomnia does not.

Secondary insomnia can be caused by any condition causing pain or discomfort, or directly causing anxiety or other mental disturbance, or specific conditions such as Sleep Apnea or Seasonal Affective Disorder. If you suspect an underlying medical or mental condition you should seek medical advice as soon as possible.

Statistics about insomnia: Insomnia causes

  • Psychological …………………………. 50%
  • Behavioural: sleep environment ……. 30%
  • Behavioural: stimulants or medication 10%
  • Physical ……………………………….. 10%

There is a graph on insomnia showing the approximate percentages for general causes of insomnia on my blog (see end of article) if you prefer a visual representation of the figures.

  • 30-40% of people report insomnia each year
  • 10-15% of people reporting insomnia say they have chronic insomnia

Duration of a period of insomnia can vary from transient (a few nights) to short term (up to 3 weeks) to chronic, long term insomnia (over 3 weeks)

By duration:

  • transient ——-> short term ————-> long term (chronic)
  • few nights —–> up to 3 weeks ——–> more than 3 weeks

Short term or Transient insomnia can be caused by

  • traumatic events such as acute illness, injury or surgery, bereavement, job loss
  • less serious events such as trouble at work, an exam, traveling (including jet lag), extreme weather change

Although psychological causes of insomnia may need to be addressed by a professional psychologist or psychiatrist, behavioral causes can be addressed by yourself, and in either case encouraging sleep should help with the symptoms of insomnia.

Big Toe Toenail Problems

Big toe toenail problems are not uncommon, and they are caused by a variety of different things. Perhaps because the biggest toe is so much larger than the rest, it seems to take the brunt of the punishment. This article will discuss a few of the things that occur with the biggest toe nail.

One of the more common big toe toenail problems is what is called an   ingrown  toe  nail . An  ingrown   nail  occurs when the nail is too wide for the space it is growing in and the nail at the edges starts to cut into the tender flesh there. An  ingrown  toe  nail  can be very painful, and it will frequently cause swelling and inflammation at the site. Of course, when there is injury of this kind, the area is more susceptible to infections of various kinds. Surgery is often required to remove extra nail at the sides. Many people recommend that you always cut your toenails straight across to avoid  ingrown   nails .

One of the most common infections that causes big toe toenail problems is fungal infection of the nail. This can occur with or without injury or inflammation of the toe, and once a fungus gets established in the nail, it is quite difficult to get rid of. It can also spread to the skin around the nail and to other nails. A fungal toe nail is usually yellowish or black, flaky or crumbly, and very thick. If you suspect you have a fungal nail infection, see your doctor for confirmation. Fungal infections can be treated with prescription drugs or over the counter remedies. There are many widely used home remedies as well.

Another thing that can turn your toenails black and cause big toe toenail problems is strenuous exercise in shoes that don’t provide enough room for your feet. When the nails are subjected to repeated and prolonged physical stress, tiny blood vessels under the nail can break, causing what is essentially a bruise under the nail. If enough blood builds up to cause pressure, it can be quite uncomfortable. Your body will clear up the bruise over time, but you should purchase a good pair of shoes that won’t cause a repeat of this injury.

Because big toe toenail problems are quite common, and can be caused by various different things, it’s important that you get a proper diagnosis from a qualified physician. Diabetics, in particular, should seek professional care as soon a problem is noticed, because these people are more susceptible to infection in the feet.