The Real Killer in H1N1 Swine Flu – Secondary Infections

Meet the real killer in swine flu, H1N1, secondary infections. Many of the people who have contracted swine flu and then came up with a secondary infection, i.e. pneumonia, have not survived. Therefore, it is imperative that you take all the necessary precautions and guard yourself against getting another infection if you should contract the swine flu.

That’s right, the real killer isn’t necessarily the H1N1 Swine flu-rather secondary infections. You want to protect yourself at all costs against a secondary infection. Since you are already congested with the virus, it becomes so much easier to develop pneumonia.

One of the best ways to protect yourself from these complications is to prepare you immune system well in advance of the cold and flu season. There are several natural ways to build your immune system. Eating healthy is one way. A good balanced diet of 30% protein, 30% fat (no trans fats) and 30% carbohydrates works wonders at keeping you healthy. Avoid eating processed foods of any kind. Keep sugar and saturated fats out of your diet. You can use barley malt, date sugar, or raw honey to sweeten your foods. These and other sweeteners can be obtained online.

You would do well to keep potatoes completely out of your diet. Although they contain carbohydrates, the carbohydrates in potatoes are not good ones. Bread is another item you don’t need. If you must have bread, eat rye. It is the best choice.

Your diet becomes so important as does building your immune system with probiotics and elderberry extract. If you feel cold or flu symptoms coming on, begin taking Echinacea and goldenseal right away. Diffuse essential oils in your living quarters to keep others from becoming sick, and keep yourself hydrated. Drink coconut water and eat chicken soup for electrolytes. Eat only when you are hungry, and get plenty of rest.

Avoid secondary infections because they are the real killer in H1N1 Swine flu. Therefore, you must take care of yourself whenever you feel flu symptoms coming on. Stay home so you don’t give your virus to everyone else. Although there are a few methods to protect yourself from secondary infections here, there are so many more ways that you need to know. Begin checking out the ways to avoid the flu or secondary infections, now. As always, eat healthy my friends.

When to Use Hot and Cold Compresses For Healing

You could use hot and cold compresses for many things. You should know when and how to use these very simple home treatments.

The purpose of hot compresses is to increase blood flow into blood vessels to facilitate healing, while the purpose of cold compresses is to constrict blood vessels to reduce swelling and pain.

Before using hot and cold compresses, you should classify if they are treatable by using these criteria:

1. There are no open or invasive wounds.

2. There is no nausea or vomiting.

3. Patients with debilitating or lifetime illnesses like diabetes, heart ailments, should consult first their doctors before commencing treatment.

4. The swelling or bump is not caused by other internal conditions like hepatomegaly, uremia and the like.

5. Bring to the hospital immediately persons with second degree and 3rd degree injuries. This is when the epidermis is already involved. It is in the epidermis that blood vessels, capillaries and venules are present.

So when do you use the cold compress?

Cold compress is used when there are swelling/inflammations caused by bumps. You apply the cold compress after every 15 for 5-7 minutes for 30-minute duration at least 3 times a day. Do not apply the ice directly into the skin as it may cause injury to bare skin because it has the tendency to cling to the ice. Wrap the ice in a clean cloth or placed it in an ice water bag. You could buy and ice water bag so you could use this whenever necessary. Shorten the time of application, if severe pain is experienced.

When do you use the hot compress?

You use the hot compress in the same manner that you use the cold compress. This is to hasten healing. It can be used an hour after the cold application, in the same time duration and interval. Avoid scalding by using a hot bag. Be sure the bag is closed properly and a use a clean cloth between the bag and the skin of the person. The person should tolerate the heat too or you will be causing more harm than benefit. It should be hot enough to warm the area but not burn it.

Remember the criteria above before initiating the use of these compresses. If uncertain, consult a licenses physician. You should approach certain conditions best on a case-to-case basis. When you know simple remedies for simple bumps, then it would benefit you in the future

Get Top Bronchitis Treatment For Old People

Bronchitis is a respiratory disease manifested by inflammation of the mucous membranes of the bronchial passages in the lungs. Because of this inflammation, a person with bronchitis will experience coughing that produces phlegm.

There are two types of bronchitis: acute and chronic. Acute bronchitis exists for a short time only. Its common symptoms are coughing with yellow or green phlegm, wheezing, sore throat, fatigue, and fever. On the other hand, chronic bronchitis is a recurring type of bronchitis. Symptoms of chronic bronchitis include chronic coughing with phlegm, wheezing, bluish lips, shortness of breath, and swelling of ankles, legs, and feet.

Bronchitis can be caused by viruses, bacteria, and exposure to pollution. Cigarette smoking also causes bronchitis. In fact, prolonged cigarette smoking causes chronic bronchitis. For diagnosis, doctors may order blood tests and culture of the sputum and perform a physical examination. Chest x-ray and lung function test may also be ordered if the doctor wants to rule out pneumonia or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Young and old people may have bronchitis. And for older people, the usual type of bronchitis that is present is chronic bronchitis most especially among smokers. Bronchitis treatment for old people usually follows the treatment program for chronic bronchitis. And sometimes, bronchitis treatment for old people can be a bit challenging because old people have lower immunity and other diseases that must be taken into account.

The usual drugs prescribed for bronchitis treatment for old people are bronchodilators and corticosteroids. Bronchodilators, as the name implies, dilate or open the air passages. These drugs will help increase airflow and make breathing easier in old people with bronchitis.

On the other hand, corticosteroids reduce the inflammation of mucous membranes. Once inflammation of the mucous membranes is managed, the symptoms of bronchitis in old people will disappear. Corticosteroids can be inhaled or taken by mouth.

Part of the bronchitis treatment for old people is preventive care. And the best way to prevent bronchitis from recurring is through smoking cessation. If you do not smoke, you must steer clear of the pollutants that can cause it like cigarette smoke, chemical fumes, dust, and others.

A dietary supplement, N-acetylecysteine, is also part of the bronchitis treatment for old people. This amino acid functions as an antioxidant. Some studies have shown that N-acetylecysteine can reduce the recurrence of chronic bronchitis.

Herbs can also be part of the bronchitis treatment for old people. Examples of herbs that are effective against chronic bronchitis are essential oil monoterpenes, lobelia, mullein, and peppermint. Just remember that herbs can interact with anti-bronchitis drugs. If these were not prescribed by your doctor, always consult him or her first before using herbs.

Prevention is the key in bronchitis treatment for old people. Once you have established what causes your bronchitis attack, avoiding exposure to the cause will help you a lot in reducing the number of attacks.

Knee Problems Associated With Locking, Grinding, and Popping

Lock, Pop, grind and no it’s not a dance move

Knee problems associated with locking, grinding, and popping

Since u are not a firecracker or a soda can you can be forgiven to think that popping sounds in the knee is an indication that something is wrong. The truth though is that popping sounds occurs naturally when movement occurs in the joints. A slight misalignment in the knee cap (Patella) or the movement of different ligaments across the joint can give a popping sound. If it is a case however where this sounds is accompanied by pain then one has reason for concern. Grinding and locking are better indicators of a physiological disorder in the knee, but the pain factor is also very important in these cases.

Popping

As stated earlier unless accompanied by pain then a popping sound is perfectly normal, however if there is pain then it is often an indication that the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) has been torn. ACL maybe torn in two pieces or there might just be a partial rip, the extent of damage will determine treatment implemented. If ACL is ripped apart then surgery followed by rehab will be necessary, however for partial tears one just need to stay away from physical activities for awhile as the injury will self heal. A popping sound in conjunction with pain may also be an indication of another condition known as Discoid Lateral Meniscus or “popping-knee syndrome”. This occurs when there is an abnormal shaped meniscus in the knee joint. This can usually be treated by conservative methods such as stretching, however if pain persist arthroscopic surgery though optional might be required.

Grinding

When cartilage degeneration occur the bones of the knee joint tends to grind together causing immense pain and producing a grinding sound. This is usually caused by rheumatoid arthritis which rarely occurs in individuals under 50. The degeneration caused by rheumatoid arthritis is irreversible. Patella tendonitis (runner’s knee) can also cause degeneration of cartilage and thus the pain and grinding sound. Runner’s knee is the most likely cause of the grinding sound in the knees of young individuals particularly athletes. Fortunately in this case the degeneration is reversible, as resting the knee and doing exercises that strengthen the quadriceps muscles will see the knee return to normal over time.

Locking

You may find yourself playing a game of basketball and suddenly being unable to flex a leg or you may be kneeling then find that you are unable to straighten your leg to get up; when this happens you are experiencing a phenomenon known as locking which can be quite painful. There are generally two type of locking, pseudo-locking and true locking. Pseudo locking is a reaction to pain and functions like a kill switch where the knee locks into position when tension in the area becomes excessive. True locking results from physiological problems in the knee, causing the knee become rigid, unable to bend or extend. True locking usually occurs when torn cartilage or bone fragment (resulting from a bone disorder known as Osteochondritis Dissecans) becomes jammed between joints surfaces restricting movement of the knee joint. When a muscle on the inside of the thigh becomes weak and fragile or the outer muscles tighten they can throw off alignment of the knee cap, which also lead to locking.

Locking can easily be corrected by resting as movement will eventually return to joints. In the case of true locking the problem can only be completely nullified by orthopaedic surgery to remove loose bone or cartilage.

Herniated Disc – Recovery

It would not be out of place to guide the people afflicted with herniated discs to some of the efficacious remedies to cure the back pain as incidence of the cases is on the rise now-a-days. Causes are not unknown. Incidents of falling down while boarding and getting off buses and other means of the public transport system, sustaining injuries in road accidents and attacks by miscreants, in sport activities/competitions/ matches such as foot ball, cricket, tennis, badminton, baseball, basketball — athletics i.e., boxing, wrestling, weight lifting, long jump, high jump, car racing, and also — on the cultural front, the most strenuous, arduous and toilsome demonstrations in the multifarious forms of art; for example — stormy dance contests and other gimmicks, acrobatics and juggleries in the name of art and cultural activities/programs in T.V. reality shows — are, in different degrees, responsible for the ever- growing incidence of the disc rupturing/slipping cases.

What is a herniated disc?

A herniated disc, commonly called a “slipped disc” or a “ruptured disc” or a “broken disc”–is most often a consequence of an accident resulting in a rupture, lifting any thing too heavy or in a wrong way, causing an injury or trauma in the spine. In other words, it involves a disc slipping/rupturing/breaking.

A person with the back pain, leg pain or weakness of the extremely lower muscles is diagnosed as a “patient suffering from a herniated disc.” A herniated disc is caused by a sudden fall or an accident or may occur gradually with repetitive straining of nerves. Most often the people, who experience a herniated disc, already have “spinal stonosis”-a problem that causes narrowing of the spinal cord and spinal nerves. When a herniated disc occurs, the space for the nerves is further diminished, and irritation of the nerve results.

What is a bulging disc?

Although associated with a herniated disc, a bulging disc is something different, exclusively related to the lumber (lower spine of the back), and a totally old age problem.

The “nucleus pulposus” (the jelly-like substance in the middle of the spinal disc) of the “herniated disc” bulges out through the “annulus” (surrounding wall) and presses on the nerve root next to it. This nerve root becomes inflamed and causes serious pain. The problem may also be caused by degenerative disc disease (spondylosis). The disc consists of about 80 per cent of water. When one grows older, the disc starts to dry out and shrink, causing small tears in the “annulus” and inflammation of the nerve root.

In a case of herniated disc, the decompression takes place quite quickly and causes the disc to slip out, whereas in a case of bulging disc, the decompression takes place very slowly and causes the disc to bulge out.

What happens is that the spinal disc — a soft cushion that sits between each vertebra of the spine — becomes more rigid with age. In a young individual, the disc is soft and elastic, but like so many other structures in the body, the disc gradually loses its elasticity and is more vulnerable to injury. In fact, even in individuals as young as 30, MRIs show evidence of disc deterioration in about 30 per cent of people.

What is Sciatica?

Sciatica is also associated with the herniated disc. Sciatica patients experience a severe pain that shoots from the buttocks and hips, and runs down to the legs and feet. This condition is mostly accompanied by back pain felt in the legs. This is why it is also called the “leg pain.” Since it involves the sciatic nerve – the body’s biggest nerve – hence it has been given the medical name “sciatica.” When this nerve gets irritated or disturbed by some pressure, possibly by a herniated disc, the patient feels a burning pain which is medically termed the “sciatic pain.” So, sciatica, essentially, is a by-product of the herniated disc condition.

How does a herniated disc occur?

A person afflicted with a herniated disc, suffers from an unbearable pain and swelling. When the disc (muscular cushion) is displaced from its original position because of an injury or rupture, resulting in an extra growth, the bundle of spinal nerves is pinched from the abnormal growth. The injury to the nerves and the attached muscles produces “prostaglandins” which cause a severe pain in the back, neck, waist, shoulders and sometimes in the arms and legs as well.

When the spinal disc becomes less elastic, it ruptures. When so happens, a portion of the spinal disc pushes outside its normal boundary – this is what’s medically termed a “herniated disc.” When a herniated disc bulges out from between the vertebrae, the spinal nerves and the spinal cord, it gets pinched. There is normally a little extra space around the spinal cord and spinal nerves, but if enough of the herniated disc is pushed out of place, then these structures may be compressed.

Symptoms of herniated disc

The compression of the spinal cord or the spinal nerves turns them out of order. This means that abnormal signals may be passed from the compressed nerves, or signals may not be passed at all.

Electric shock-like abnormal sensations caused by any pressure on the nerve, and the pain going down to the arms and then to the legs, feeling of the abnormal sensations of tingling, numbness, or pins and needles in the same region as painful electric shock sensations, and weakness of the muscles because of the nerve irritation – are some of the symptoms a herniated disc patient experiences.

Remedies and therapeutic Options

In the treatment of herniated disc cases, there are two types of remedies and therapeutic options; the first being the surgical and the second one the non- surgical.

Surgical option:

It is only allopathic system of medicine that adopts the surgical option as the last resort when the use of all other artificial remedies– the counter-pain medication and pain-killers such as “ibuprofen” prove ineffective in the treatment of a case of back pain striking either from a herniated disc or a strained/pulled muscle. In more serious cases wherein all the non-surgical remedies and therapeutic techniques fail to give a quick relief, the patients writhing in pain are promptly rushed to an allopath who, with the consent of the patient’s relatives, go ahead for the surgery without any delay, if he is a surgeon himself; otherwise he refers the case to a surgeon or any government hospital. This kind of surgery conducted on a herniated disc patient is medically termed “disc fusion” and “discectomy” in which dislocated disc is replaced in its original position, extra growth caused by the dislocation removed and finally the bundle of spinal nerves that was strained due to the abnormal overgrowth normalized.

However, there is a little difference between a disc fusion and a discectomy. Disc fusion – also called “spinal fusion” – involves replacement of an artificial disc in the lumbar spine. It is considered the best treatment particularly for the “degenerative disc disease.”

Discectomy – also known as” spondylodesis” or “spondyloryndesis” – is a surgical technique usually used to combine the two or more vertebrae. This procedure is used primarily to alleviate the pain caused by abnormal motion of the vertebrae by immobilizing the vertebrae themselves.

Supplementary bone tissue is used in conjunction with body’s natural “osteblastic” processes. Thus the central portion of an intervertebral disc, the nucleus pulposus, which causes the pain by straining the pain by stressing the spinal cord or radiating nerves, is

removed.

Then, the disc material pressing on the spinal nerve or spinal cord is completely removed. The intervertebral foramen — the bone channel, through which the spinal nerve runs — is then enlarged with a drill giving the nerve more room to exist the spinal canal.

To open the vertebrae from collapsing and to increase their stability, the open space is often filled with bone graft, taken from the pelvis or cadaveric bone. The slow process of the bone graft joining the vertebrae together is called “fusion.” Sometimes, a titanium plate is screwed on the vertebrae to increase stability, especially when there is more than one disc involved.

The surgery requires a short stay of one to three days in the clinic and a gradual recovery takes 4 to 6 weeks.

Non-surgical Options

Non-surgical methods of treatment may be adopted and used from various medical systems of curing diseases such as allopathic, homeopathic,natural/physical, Unani/Ayurvedic, and the last but not the least, Yoga.

Although universally popular, allopathic system of medicine (a method of treating disease with remedies that produces effects different from or opposite to those caused by the disease itself) has never and nowhere found to be as efficacious as other alternative medical systems of treatment, natural/physical remedies (physiotherapy), homeopathy and, of course — conventional but still more efficacious systems of medicine — Unani/Ayurvedic and Yoga — that have been ceaselessly improved upon over the years by means of further study, research, development and new experiments from time to time. Allopathic system gives a quick but temporary relief whereas other systems give a slow but lasting relief.

Allopathic principle of medicine cures the effect of disease leaving its cause untouched. This resurfaces in any other form of the disease in future, while homeopathic system of treatment (a system of medicine that attempts to cure patients with heavily diluted preparations/drugs which cause effects similar to the symptoms produced by the disease…quite opposite to allopathic) gets to the bottom of the problem and eradicates the very cause of disease by its root. If diagnosed with the exact symptoms of the disease and administered an accurate medicine to the patient, the disorder disappears in a trice.

Physiotherapy is another option by which natural elements/agents such as solar energy, the water, the air, electricity, ice, etc., is resorted to, and has also been proved quite effective in the treatment of diseases. As mentioned earlier, despite amazing efficacy and utility of the homeopathic and natural remedies, allopathic system is still in vague all over the world, and there is nothing wrong with resorting to this option. However, the natural methods of curing diseases including homeopathy being a permanent solution to the whole problem, are by all manner of means, more deserve to be discussed and explained in detail in such a way as to attract more and more people, especially those afflicted with a herniated disc.

The natural method of treatment comprises a schedule of specifically prescribed exercises plus therapeutic techniques and a well-programmed bed rest. These remedies will definitely bring a quick relief from the pain and steadily accelerate the pace towards a complete recovery, regardless of the cause for the pain. Following are some suggestions with regard to the use and application of the natural therapeutic techniques to the herniated disc patients on the way leading to a durable relief and successful recovery from the back pain.

Natural Remedies-Non-surgical options

The first and foremost among these remedies are some medically prescribed techniques that follow:

Ice Pack: Ice, in fact, is the best solution, especially to the problem of strained nerves. While watching a competition of boxing, you may have definitely noticed a boxer receiving an injury in his face from the rival. The first thing his coach does is to apply an ice pack to the injured area in his face. Applying a bag of frozen peas wrapped in a towel to the site of injury also serves the purpose, if ice packs are not available in the nick of time.

Ice Massage: In most of the cases ice massage has been experienced to be quite effective and useful. Take a cube of ice and rub it around the affected area in a circular motion.

Hot packs: Hot/warm packs have been found an effective solution only to the problem of pulls/strains. These should be used only after trying the ice packs.

Body Massage: In using the massage technique, there is no need for any masseur or massage specialist to massage the patient’s body. Any of the ordinary persons/relatives can do the job very easily and comfortably. The only requirement is-oil. If you don’t have the special massage oil, take a little quantity of olive, mineral, or any ordinary oil that is within your reach. You may mix a little bit of “vanilla extract” to give it a nice scent. Pour a handful of oil on the affected area of the back and rub it gently. A back rub does not require a massage therapist. You can do it yourself without any difficulty. Just do what feels good to you and massage gently.

Bed Rest

For the cases of herniated disc, the first step towards recovery is bed rest. Though it is not possible to lie in bed all the time, the patient is best advised to do so as much as possible.

First Stage: Lay the patient on a strong and firm mattress to ensure that the back is placed as straight as possible. Moreover, the pillows should also be firm to ensure straightness and alignment of the bed. Taking rest in this way will help the body repair any damage done as a result of the disc rupture.

Second Stage: Elevating legs has been experienced to have provided higher degree of comfort in the recovery process. Place a small to medium size pillow underneath the patient’s knees. It will lessen some of the pressure that may have been put on the back of the patient while being laid down on the bed. Elevating thighs slightly may also be helpful.

Third Stage: Place a pillow or any other soft object between his legs. It will help him remove any pressure that may have been applied to the affected portion of the back. While getting out of bed, the patient is well advised to take special care not to move suddenly, rather push self into a sitting position by using a side of the body instead of the back. However, lying on the stomach is not advisable in this condition.

Fourth Stage: For a patient who is on bed rest to recover from a back complication, it is essential to consume a raw food with a plenty of fluids. Bed rest most often results in the intestinal tract getting slow and it may cause constipation. To avoid this, ingesting uncooked food high in nutrition and drinking fluids as much possible is the best precautionary measure.

Fifth Stage: Applying heat and cold to the aching parts of the body alternatively has also been experienced to have alleviated the pain associated with herniated discs.

These are some of the natural remedies that have been traditionally used for centuries by virtue of their effectiveness in curing herniated discs and they have also proved quite helpful in healing the wounds associated with herniated disc.

Recovery Time:

These remedies combined with the “pain-killers” prescribed by the physicians can and will definitely ease the pain. Recovery takes normally two weeks in non-surgical cases, and an average of three to six weeks in surgical ones, depending on the severity of the injury. By adopting a medically prescribed program of specific exercises and body movements, desirable results can be achieved.

Prevention:

There is a saying; – “prevention is better than cure.” Following the old adage, some precautionary measures must be taken to prevent the troubles. Among these are the back exercises and abdominal workouts that may prove helpful in strengthening muscles. Daily exercise, walk, jogging, running and also swimming if possible, are some of the best precautionary measures that may help you keep away from major back problems.

Ow Ming! Yao Ming’s Career May Be Over Due to Non-Healing Navicular Fracture

Ow Ming!

Houston Rocket’s Yao Ming’s career may be over due to a non-healing foot fracture. He was sidelined during the playoffs on May 8th with a hairline fracture of his navicular. As of today, this has not healed properly. The nature of his non-union and his prognosis is being kept quiet by the team physicians, but it is evident that there is a problem. Most stress fractures heal completely in 6 to 8 weeks. This is not the 7 foot 6 inch center’s first fracture. He has been out portions of the last three seasons with stress fractures in his leg and foot. Perhaps his lanky frame just can’ handle the stress of the NBA? Why is it that some fractures don’t heal?

Looking at his present injury, stress fractures of the navicular (the cornerstone of your arch) are often slow to heal due to three factors, blood supply to the bone itself, underestimating the extent of the initial fracture so delaying aggressive treatment and too much abnormal stress on the healing bone. Other medical issues can delay bone healing like lack of Vitamin D, poor calcium uptake and many other systemic problems like diabetes, hypothyroidism and peripheral vascular disease. Many of these fractures are actually missed due to lack of specific x-ray findings. Many fractures are actually misdiagnosed for months. Plain film x-rays are often read as normal so the fracture is missed until symptoms increase. Early symptoms can be diffuse and non-specific so the index of suspicion is also low. A bone scan, MRI or CT scan can identify the specific fracture. CT scan is often the most helpful in identifying the extent of the fracture and guiding treatment. For a non-displaced stress fracture, cast immobilization is the first line therapy. Studies have shown that non-weight bearing immobilization in a cast for at least 6 weeks is usually around 80-86% successful. For those that do not heal this way, surgical fixation of the fracture can be helpful and a bone graft may be needed for long standing non-unions.

Follow up care fro a navicular fracture often includes physical therapy and custom foot orthotics. Abnormal biomechanics of the foot often are one of the causes of these fractures, so biomechanical control is crucial to distribute the abnormal stress so an athlete can return to sports and have a lower risk of recurrence.

Yao Ming has had multiple stress fractures during his career increasing the likelihood of traumatic arthritis from avascular necrosis (not enough blood supply to heal so the bone crumbles) in his foot causing him to retire. The next few months will tell the tale for this multi-million dollar All Star. Can he heal his fracture and return to sport? The Rocket’s fans are praying for divine intervention to cure their dominant center.

Joint Pain During Menopause Requires Your Attention

Many women experience menopausal joint pain symptoms. Medical experts have researched the connection between hormonal changes and this kind of pain.

Some women experience joint and muscle pain, mouth discomfort, headaches and some even report heart palpitations. Interestingly, women who suffer tension headaches, abdominal, or facial pain found their symptoms lessened after menopause. Scientists today feel there may indeed be a link between estrogen, hormone levels including their fluctuations and this phenomenon

Menopause and Joint Pain: Symptoms of Menopause

Menopause occurs when a women stops ovulating and her period ceases. Most women reach menopause between 45 and 55 years, with an average age of about 50. However, about 1% reaches it before the age of 40, known as premature menopause or premature ovarian failure.

The most apparent changes recorded are in connection with menstrual cycle changes, changes in the bleeding pattern, hot flashes, sweating and urinary problems, such as, incontinence or increased frequency of urination. Dry vagina, mood changes, muscular weakness, joint pains and weight changes are all symptoms of menopause and can cause a great deal of pain as well as general feelings of discomfort in different parts of the body.

Menopause and Irritability: The Risks

Menopause is a very important time in a woman’s life and all women who live past 40 must withstand the worst of this condition. A woman’s body goes through many changes that can affect her social life, her feelings about herself and her functioning at work. In the past, many misconceptions and myths surrounded menopause but this perception has changed. Now, menopause is accepted as a natural step in the process of aging.

Contrary to the old-fashioned view that life is all downhill after menopause, many women today realize that the years after menopause offer new discoveries and fresh challenges. Modern medical advances have resulted in a wide range of health care choices, especially for joint pain and bone deficiency problems.

These can enhance quality of life during menopause and the decades that follow. It is vital for women to know that menopause itself carries no serious health risks. However, the chance for heart disease and osteoporosis (thinning of the bone due to the inability of the body to produce bone tissue) rises after menopause. Understanding menopause and the range of treatment options can help women make better health decisions.

Menopause and Irritability: Causes and Symptoms

Research has shown that a quarter of women have no problems while going through menopause, while half of the number will have some problems and the remaining quarter of them will have considerable problems including joint pain.

These are usually associated with osteoporosis and arthritis, which results in weakening of the bones and the degeneration of the cartilage between the joints that can fracture easily following a fall.

Fluctuating estrogen levels and poor estrogen clearance, can affect how your joints feel. It stands to reason that some women would also have joint pains in response to the hormone fluctuations so common in perimenopause. It’s important to have yourself checked by your primary care physician for either osteoporosis or arthritis.

Menopause and Irritability: Treatment

There are also medications and exercises you can get that will overcome the severest of joint pains related to menopause. Some of these treatments include the use of steroids so it is critical to make this kind of decision in conjunction with your own doctor.

It’s also prudent to check for the possibility of side effects from using these drugs and get a second opinion before embarking on a long-term treatment.

Ceana Has CP – A Delightful Children’s Book Dealing With Cerebral Palsy

Follow Ceana through a typical day of reading to her baby dolls. Does your child like to read to dolls? Ceana reads lots of books to them and they always listen. Watch Ceana work through her daily exercises of stretching. Sometimes Ceana gets a special treat from her dad with a ride on his big orange tractor. This book is playfully written and is a must read for any child irrespective of ability. The illustrations in the book will delight young and old. Ceana is a girl with a big smile who loves to play and hang out with her Grandma just like anyone else. Your child or students will love this fun, easy to understand story. Though written for ages 3 – 8, Ceana Has CP is a book all children will love. Ceana Has CP will teach your children about disabilities of all kinds in a fun, easy and child-like way. I would highly recommend it.

C. Fran Card has spent her adult life working with children and especially loves those with special needs.

In addition to raising seven sons, she has also been a school counselor, teacher, foster parent and founder of Christian Cradle, Inc. An adoption agency in Lansing, Michigan.

Ceana Has CP is beautifully illustrated by Violet Freeland who has treated others through her art. Violet has also gained recognition as one of those rare artists who touch the human heart with a charming and distinctive style. Violet studied under renowned Italian oil painter, Mina Greco Hall.

3 Steps to Canine Massage – Natural Pain Relief For Dogs With Hip Dysplasia

Here are 3 steps to Canine Massage that will offer natural pain relief for dogs with hip dysplasia. If you cannot afford the costly procedure of a canine hip replacement, rest assured that there are alternative methods to relieving the discomfort of your four-legged friend’s pain.

Massage relaxes muscular tension, releases endorphins, increases circulation, and allows pet owner and pet to connect in a loving way. For dogs with hip dysplasia, massage can be an excellent way to reduce the pain and stress that is experienced.

Follow these steps for a quick and effective canine massage that will leave your loyal companion feeling loved, pampered, and most importantly…better!

Massage Technique #1 From Front to Back

Glide down your dog’s back, starting at the top of the head and ending at the base of the tail, while applying light pressure. Repeat a few times. Kindly grip the tail at the base and gently squeeze, then release. Continue this alternating pattern for the length of the tail.

Starting behind the ears, gently massage the neck. Work your way down to the shoulder of your pet. Finish by gently yet firmly picking up the fur on the nape of the neck. This releases specific endorphins that will completely relax your dog.

Finish by rubbing your pup’s cheeks, ears, forehead, and snout.

Massage Technique #2 From Top to Bottom

Once you are finished working the head, slide down the front of the neck with gentle pressure and continue through to the underside of the chest. Place both hands in the center of the chest and fan outwards towards the side. If your pup likes their belly rubbed, this would be a good place to do so.

Come back to the top of the shoulder, gently apply pressure and work around the shoulder blade area using circular hand motions. Next, apply the gentle squeeze and release combo down the leg. Finish by picking up the paw and applying a tender squeeze. Repeat this series of motions for each leg, taking special care on the hip or hips that are in distress.

If your dog is too sensitive in the hip area, try doing these motions without any pressure. If that is still too uncomfortable for your pet, try doing the motions just above their hips and legs. Even though you may not be touching your animal, they will still benefit from the energetic exchange and intention.

Massage Technique #3 From Side to Side

This is a great way to end the massage session. Place one hand on one side of the neck at the point where the head and neck connect, and place your other hand on the other side. While applying gentle pressure begin to run your hands back and forth from one side to the other, creating a wringing motion. Continue this down the back, being sure to run your hands all the way down the sides of your dog each time, taking special care in any areas of pain. When you come to the base of the tail, finish by applying the squeeze and release combo one more time.

Top it off with an all over scratch and rub and you will have one happy, relaxed, thankful pooch!

10 Most Useful Essential Oils

These 10 essential oils are a must have for anyone that enjoys using essential oils for a natural way to help many different conditions. While there are other useful essential oils, these ten essential oils are very common and many different uses. Each essential oil has its scientific name, safety information for external use and general uses listed but if you have any health conditions research the essential oil to make sure there will not be any problems with using the essential oil.

Tea Tree – Eucalyptus globulus

Safety Information -non-toxic, non-irritant, non-sensitizing, do not use with homeopathic treatments, safe to use directly on the skin.

General Uses – asthma, blisters, bronchitis, burns, chickenpox, colds, coughs, cuts, flu, headaches, insect bites, insect repellent, lice, measles, neuralgia, rheumatoid arthritis, muscle aches and pains, sinusitis, skin infections, sprains, throat infections, wounds.

Lavender – Lavendula angustifolia

Safety Information – non-toxic, non-irritant, non-sensitizing, safe to use directly on the skin.

General Uses – abdominal cramps, abscesses, acne, allergies, asthma, athlete’s foot, boils, bronchitis, bruises, burns, colic, dandruff, depression, dermatitis, dyspepsia, earache, eczema, flatulence, flu, headache, hypertension, inflammation, insect bites and stings, insect repellant, insomnia, laryngitis, lice, migraine, muscular aches and pains, nausea, nervous tension, psoriasis, ringworm, sciatica, shock, sores, sprains, stress-related conditions, sunburn, throat infections, whooping cough, wounds.

Rosemary – Rosmarinus officinalis

Safety Information – non-toxic, non-irritant, non-sensitizing, avoid use during pregnancy, do not use with high blood pressure or epilepsy.

General Uses – acne, arteriosclerosis, asthma, bronchitis, colds, colitis, dandruff, dermatitis, dyspepsia, eczema, flatulence, flu, fluid retention, gout, greasy hair, headaches, hepatic disorders, hypotension, infections, insect repellent, lice, mental fatigue, muscular pain, nervous exhaustion, neuralgia, poor circulation, rheumatism, stimulates scalp, stress-related disorders, varicose veins, whooping cough.

Peppermint – Mentha piperita

Safety Information – non-toxic, non-irritant, possible sensitization, use in moderation, do not use with homeopathic treatments.

General Uses – acne, asthma, bronchitis, colds, colic, cramp, dermatitis, dyspepsia, fainting, flatulence, flu, fevers, headache, mental fatigue, migraine, muscular pain, nausea, neuralgia, palpitations, ringworm, sinusitis, spasmodic cough, toothache.

Chamomile – Anthemis nobilis

Safety Information – non-toxic, non-irritant, may cause dermatitis in some cases.

General Uses – acne, allergies, arthritis, boils, burns, colic, cuts, dermatitis, dyspepsia, earache, eczema, headache, indigestion, inflamed joints, inflammations, insect bites, insomnia, migraine, muscular pain, nausea, nervous tension, neuralgia, rashes, rheumatism, sensitive skin, sprains, stress-related complaints, teething pain, toothache, wounds.

Geranium – Pelargonium graveolens

Safety Information – non-toxic, non-irritant, non-sensitizing.

General Uses – acne, bruises, burns, cellulite, cuts, dermatitis, eczema, edema, lice, mosquito repellent, nervous tension, neuralgia, oily complexion, poor circulation, ringworm, sore throat, stress-related conditions, tonsillitis, wounds.

Eucalyptus – Eucalyptus globulus

Safety Information – non-toxic, non-irritant, non-sensitizing, do not use with homeopathic treatments.

General Uses – asthma, blisters, bronchitis, burns, chicken pox, colds, coughs, cuts, insect bites, insect repellent, flu, headache, lice, muscular aches and pains, neuralgia, poor circulation, rheumatoid arthritis, sinusitis, skin infections, sprains, throat infections, wounds.

Lemon – Citrus lemon

Safety Information – non-toxic, phototoxic (do not use on skin exposed to direct sunlight).

General Uses – acne, anemia, arthritis, asthma, boils, bronchitis, cellulite, corns, colds, cuts, fever, flu, greasy skin, high blood pressure, infections, insect bites, poor circulation, rheumatism, throat infections, varicose veins, warts.

Clove – Syzygium aromaticum

Safety Information – can cause skin irritation, use in moderation and well diluted.

General Uses – acne, arthritis, asthma, athlete’s foot, bronchitis, bruises, burns, colds, colic, cuts, flu, minor infections, mosquito repentant, nausea, rheumatism, sprains, toothache, wounds.

Thyme – Thymus vulgaris

Safety Information – do not use with high blood pressure or during pregnancy, can cause skin irritation, use in moderation.

General Uses – acne, arthritis, asthma, bronchitis, bruises, burns, cellulite, colds, coughs, cuts, dermatitis, eczema, edema, flu, gout, gum infections, headaches, infectious diseases, insect bites, insomnia, laryngitis, lice, muscular aches and pain, oily skin, poor circulation, rheumatism, sinusitis, sore throat, sprains, sports injuries, stress-related complaints, tonsillitis.

Sciatic Nerve Pain Cures – 10 Tips For Sciatica Treatment

Sciatic nerve pain can be caused by many things including a slipped disc, narrowing of the spinal cord from age, degenerative disc disease, pinched nerves, or even improper posture. The sciatic nerve runs from your back down behind your thighs, to the lower leg and foot area. When compressed, the pain can be excruciating. There are several methods of sciatica treatment which help to eliminate sciatic nerve pain including back pain exercises and therapy. Below you will find a few of these holistic type treatments that many people have found effective.

1. Heat/Ice – A cold pack can reduce any type of inflammation and numbness associated with sciatic nerve pain or sore muscle tissues, alleviating some of the pain associated with it, and should only be used when the pain is intense. Heat helps to increase the flow of oxygen and nutrients to this specific area, and is usually only used when the intense pain decreases. Alternating both gives the best results.

2. Triggerpoint Therapy – Another sciatica treatment which some people find effective is to apply some pressure for approximately 2 minutes with a ball, or hard object, to the triggerpoint area.

3. Pillow – This sciatica treatment is commonly used and helpful in also relieving common back pain. Taking a pillow and placing it under your knees when you lie down, helps to relieve the pressure that the disc is putting on your sciatic nerve, thus, reducing the pain.

4. Warm Bath or Hydrotherapy – Taking a warm bath relieves sore muscles and relaxes the body. Soaking for approximately 20 minutes to 2 hours, helps reduce the pain caused from sciatic pain. If sitting is too painful, a hot shower for about 20 minutes will do the same trick, but let the water rise in the tub if possible to cover your feet. This warms up the venous blood that returns from your feet through your body.

5. Acupuncture – This age old Chinese method of pain treatment has gained popularity with people suffering from sciatica, and is very effective. It is believed that acupuncture spreads out what is called the external pathegen, activating Qi energy, which help to stop pain. This needs to be done professionally.

6. Reflexology – This can be done by yourself with a reflexology tool or your thumb. There are 2 reflex points on your feet, and when pressure is applied there for a minute or two, it relieves the pain from the sciatic nerve.

7. Back Pain Exercises – Most back pain exercises will include stretching and strengthening, helping to train the muscles to hold the spine in a correct manner. The most effective back pain exercises for sciatica nerve pain include neck and shoulder stretches, back stretches, hip and buttock stretches, and hamstring stretches. These are always done slowly and should only be held for approximately 20 seconds so you do not hurt yourself.

8. Massage Therapy – This is very beneficial to most people with back pain and sciatic nerve pain. The Oriental and Western techniques are the most popular one’s used today, but caution must be taken as to what type of sciatic pain you have. You should get advice from an expert in this field to determine which would be the proper treatment for you.

9. Diet – Keeping yourself healthy today with proper nutrition, including vitamins and minerals, is always the right decision. People overweight or obese should think about losing some weight in order to take the pressure off their spines. Eating a well balanced diet will improve your chances of beating sciatica. Lack of magnesium can cause tense, tight feeling muscles along with muscle spasms, and in turn, create sciatic nerve pain.

10. Herbs – Herbs have been used throughout the centuries as a very holistic approach to relieve the pain of certain disorders such as sciatica, arthritis, inflammation, muscles, injuries and wounds. Most of the conventional medicines today were at some time taken from a herb that was used many years ago but have since become commercialized.

Sciatic nerve pain can be controlled and sometimes cured completely with proper nutrition, natural remedies, and exercise. This will insure you to have a healthy, happy, enjoyable life.

How Brain Injuries Can Affect You Years Later

Brain injuries can be among the most traumatic and consequential of all injuries, and unfortunately, not all of the symptoms of a brain injury show up immediately. In some cases, it may be years before the full ramifications of a blow to the head become apparent.

Many times, traumatic brain injuries can lead to problems with movement, including tremors, ataxia (an inability to coordinate movements properly), and a lack of movement control or a limited range of movement. With a more traumatic injury, there is a risk of developing seizures years after. If the basal ganglia, a group of nuclei in the forebrain involved in movement impulses, has been damaged, Parkinson’s disease has a risk of developing long after the initial injury. These symptoms appear as a group, and can include tremors, muscle rigidity or stiffness, slowed movements, an inability to move altogether, a stooped or hunched posture, and a shuffling walk. This disease has no cure as of yet, and becomes progressively worse over time, unlike some other long-term symptoms. Additionally, some people may experience a loss of, or changes to, their senses of vision, smell, or hearing.

In about 10 to 15 percent of people with a brain injury, the trauma can damage the pituitary gland, leading to a case of hypopituitarism. This in turn leads to disturbances stemming from a lack of hormone production, leading to symptoms as varied as diabetes, vision loss, enlargement of the hands or feet, anemia, a loss of sexual interest and function, weight loss, and hair loss.

There are many cognitive deficits that can occur for periods spanning years after an injury, including changes in personality, lack of proper judgment, and problems with planning or problem-solving, among other problems with abstract reasoning and thought. These often occur with other sets of symptoms that include depression, difficulty concentrating, dizziness, and headaches. Years after multiple brain concussions can lead to the development of dementia years later, as well as memory difficulties and Parkinsonian tremors.

Because of the emotional problems that can follow a brain injury, such as depression, mania, anger, and apathy, many psychiatric disorders can develop years after the initial injury has occurred. This variety of disorders includes schizophrenia, major depressive disorder, alcohol and substance abuse disorders, obsessive compulsive disorder, dysthymia, panic attacks, and phobias. Even without a clinical disorder, a person may still develop a lack of control over anger, impulsive behavior, a lack of initiative, and even an inability to control sexual urges. Sometimes, the consequences of these behavioral and emotional changes can be so severe as to create a risk of suicide; there is a two to three times’ increase in the suicide rate.

A brain injury can often lead to post-concussive syndrome up to years after the event. Post-concussive syndrome is a medical condition that is characterized by headaches, dizziness, a sensitivity to bright lights and loud noises, blurred or double vision, and ringing in the ears, also known as tinnitus. Anxiety, irritability, depression, and other emotional symptoms may occur, including a total lack of emotion. People often have problems with memory and attention with this disorder, and these are among the longest-lasting and most persistent symptoms. There may be other cognitive difficulties as well, including a slowed reaction to external stimuli, problems with abstract thinking, and an inability to engage in problem-solving activities. Fatigue or difficulty sleeping may also result.

While many symptoms arise immediately after a brain injury, it is important to remember that some effects do not manifest until years after the injury has happened. If a person with a history begins to manifest groups of symptoms years later, a previous injury must not be ruled out as the cause.

Yeast Infection of Throat – Causes and Symptoms

Yes, you can get a yeast infection of the throat through through oral sex. More often than not, this is how male yeast infections will occur. It can be passed to your throat from your partner and sometimes even back again. That’s why you should strive to stop all sexual relations until a yeast infection clears up.

It’s important to understand that it is better to refrain from sexual activity so that a throat yeast infection is not passed along to you or your partner. This could possibly end up having a ping-pong effect, where the yeast infection passes back and forth between partners. However, although they can be transmitted through oral sex, yeast infections aren’t considered a sexually transmitted disease.

Thrush is a likely symptom of a yeast infection of throat. This takes the form of a burning or itches in the throat and mouth, and a white, pasty film coating. But, contracting a yeast infection in your threat is actually somewhat rare. For something like that to happen, you really already have to have a compromised immune system.

Weakened Immune System

A weakened immune system due to any number of reasons, like use of steroids, can lead to your contracting yeast infections. Weakened immune systems can also occur as a result of other health problems, such as lack of sleep, and stress.

Recurring yeast infections, which are most often the result of a weakened immune system, are symptoms of something else. Your body could be trying to tell you in no uncertain terms there’s something wrong.

At such times, it’s always best to listen to your body and not to just shrug it off as another yeast infection. You might have a far more serious condition upon you, a condition which will weaken your immune system and which will pave the way for yeast bacteria to grow and thrive.

One such example is if you have HIV/AIDS. Many people who suffer from this problem will be subjected to recurrent attacks of thrush (yeast infections of the throat and mouth), and candidiasis (vaginal yeast infections).

If this is the case, consult your doctor to discover what exactly you can do about curing your yeast infections. That’s why if you do get recurring yeast infections, you should consult your doctor to make certain that it isn’t caused by something far more serious.

From Sexually Transmitted Infections

Although not considered a sexually transmitted infection in and of itself, yeast infections can be transferred to you because of the havoc that some sexually transmitted diseases will put you through.

Curing Tonsil Stones – Home Remedies

Tonsil stones can be found on the tonsils and manifest themselves as white spots. They are very irritating in the throat and you may feel as though you have something stuck in your throat. However, you can often shake the tonsils stones lose by clearing your throat or by gently squeezing your throat.

There are other home remedies that might prove useful. Gargling with warm salt water or a combination of powdered pepper and turmeric are great ways to help loosen the tonsil stones. You also may find that a cotton swab may dislodge them. However, there are other concerns with your tonsils as well.

Tonsillitis is an infection on the tonsil. Sometimes, a doctor will suggest a tonsillectomy, but more often than not, you can also help relieve the symptoms at home. Drink a mixture of lime juice, salt, and boiled water. This will help to ease some of the pain in your throat. Over the counter medications will also help with the fever, as well as the sore throat.

No matter which condition you suffer from, you may benefit from home remedies. Surgery is also an option, but should be used only as a last resort. There are always risks associated with surgery for tonsillitis, which is called a tonsillectomy. You will also find that you will miss work or school while you recuperate. The expense can also be very high. But the risks of surgery should be your leading concern. However, if you have a large case of tonsil stones, surgery may be your savior. It all depends on your physician’s suggestions.

The History of Obesity

The ever-increasing crisis of child and adult obesity in the United States has spiraled into such alarming proportions. It is considered to be one of the easiest medical conditions to identify but the most difficult to cure. Excessive weight gain brought about by very poor diet and lack of physical exercise is primarily responsible to over 300,000 deaths of Americans every year. The annual cost of obesity have shoot up to an estimated $ 100 billion. This is simply quite too much for us to just ignore.

Overweight children have a greater probability of turning into overweight adults unless some interventions are made. The causes of obesity are quite complex and include a number of factors that include genetic, behavioral, cultural and biological. A person is at greater risk of obesity if he/she has a history of obesity in the family. Although heredity does not predetermine a person to be overweight, it has a great influence in the amount of body fat and its distribution. A person’s genes make him/her more prone to gaining weight. With a family history of obesity, the likelihood of a person of becoming obese can shoot up by about 25 to 30 percent. Although there is no known way of altering the genetic makeup of a person, weight reduction efforts will still pay off even if a person has a family history of obesity.

Aside from having a history of obesity, another contributing factor of obesity is the person’s eating attitude and lifestyle. Poor eating habits, excessive food intake and sedentary lifestyle are sure-fire ingredients to acquiring obesity.

Culture is also a big factor in developing obesity since the ethnic background of a person largely influences food choices. There are some family traditions and rituals that often encourage large servings of food. In a typical American diet, many of the foods have very high calories.

In some rare cases, obesity can be triggered by some medical ailments. However, there are less than 2 percent of all cases of obesity that can be attributed to a metabolic disorder, such as hormonal imbalance and low thyroid function.

Considering all the contributing factors of obesity, it is still a highly curable disease. It is essentially up to the person to take full responsibility of his/her health. It mainly boils down to a person’s attitude with regards to his/her health and lifestyle. Adapting a healthier diet, proper exercise and sticking to an effective weight loss program can considerably add years to a person’s life. Proper understanding and knowledge are the primary factors towards a longer and healthier life.