Identifying Strep Throat Symptoms

Strep throat symptoms are usually easy to spot. Strep throat is a local bacterial infection with group A streptococcus bacteria. Strep throat needs specific medical treatment that consists of antibiotics and analgesics. Unlike the symptoms of sore throat, strep throat symptoms are more intense and often include fever, headaches, inflammation of the tonsils and swelling of the lymph nodes. Sore throat is caused by viral infections and in most cases doesn’t need special medical care. On the other hand, strep throat is considered to be a serious illness that can lead to complications. (sinusitis, tonsillitis) and therefore needs appropriate treatment and special medical care.

The bacteria responsible for causing strep throat are very contagious and they can be contracted by sneezing, coughing or physical contact. A person infected with group A streptococcus bacteria can easily contaminate other persons simply by breathing close to them. The bacteria responsible for strep throat are airborne and even an impeccable personal hygiene can’t prevent the infection from occurring.

Anyone can get strep throat, especially accompanied by a cold or flu. Although strep throat mostly occurs in children and teenagers, adults can get strep throat just as well. The first strep throat symptoms resemble those of sore throat: throat pain and discomfort, inflammation of the tonsils, nausea, fatigue and poor appetite. However, strep throat symptoms are more intense and in many cases include: high fever, throat swelling and inflammation, difficulties in swallowing, swelling and inflammation of the tonsils (sometimes the tonsils may be covered in pus), swelling and tenderness of lymph nodes (the glands in the upper region of the neck), the presence of white patches in the throat, rash, abdominal pain and discomfort, vomiting and diarrhea. Most strep throat symptoms aren’t very serious and if an appropriate treatment is prescribed in time, they ameliorate within the first days of treatment.

Strep throat symptoms that are considered to be medical emergencies are: high fever, severe dehydration, pronounced difficulty in swallowing, difficulty in breathing, pronounced swelling of the neck, throat bleeding. It is very important to quickly seek medical help when you reveal the presence of these strep throat symptoms. Even if the strep throat symptoms aren’t very serious, it is advised to maintain permanent connection with your physician and inform him about the progression of the illness. With appropriate antibiotic treatment, strep throat symptoms should be considerably diminished after the first 3-4 days. If the illness persists and strep throat symptoms don’t seem to ameliorate, the doctor might consider changing the treatment.

Pay careful attention to strep throat symptoms and make sure you follow the doctor’s exact indications. Also, don’t interrupt the treatment unless your physician tells you to do so. Strep throat needs at least ten days of continuous treatment with antibiotics in order to heal properly.

How To Get Rid Of Tonsil Stones

Tonsils are often thought to protect against illness, however it appears evident that some tonsils grow to be optimal places for infections and tonsillitis. Tonsils are compact flaps of skin positioned on both sides of your throat, just past the back of your tongue. The tonsils could get deep in-folds that allow the holding of the debris and development of these very small pearls, otherwise known as tonsil stones. Your tonsils are an important piece of the human immunity process. They possess a great deal of pockets where bacteria, dead cells and mucous might be allowed to hide. Your tonsils are formed as a natural support system that begins since something is out of balance.

Unpleasant breath problems can typically be related to Tonsil stones and it is the two of these combinations that stress most who tolerate this condition. Terrible breath is typically linked with tonsilliths but doesn’t necessarily indicate this is constantly the case. Poor breath is, however, generally the primary characteristic of a tonsil stone. Among those with very poor breath, 75% of the subjects had stones while only 6 percent of people with regular halitometry values (regular breath) had them. From the fear of having lousy breath to the frightful feeling of ones throat being sealed off, they can have a unpleasant affect your public and personal life.

Water can reduce the development of bacteria that may cause this issue. Liquids also actively works on reducing these gross, little, yellow globs of mucus as it helps wash away any particles from the food that you might have eaten that has built up. This makes it a valuable, straightforward, and low-cost solution. Sodium water gargle not only helps in purging out the tonsil stones if any are present in the tonsils but in addition, soothes sore throat symptoms with the sufferers. A lot of water should be taken since this keeps your mouth wet and that brings down risk of bacteria formation.

Individuals that do not have tonsil stones don’t truly know what it is like, and it could be tough to clarify it to them. Long-term sufferers of this illness can get the yellowish stones almost daily and they can be incredibly hard to remove. Actually, I have usually caused far more irritation and redness in my throat by attempting to take out a stone that would just not give at all. These things are foul and tend to get stuck quite effortlessly within the crevices of tonsils. Folks taking zero glucose and Prolonged fasts have still produced tonsil stones. Men and women were even known to get their tonsils taken out simply because of the regular occurrence of tonsil stones as a preventative approach. This was before men and women understood them a little better.

Many men and women have tiny tonsilliths that develop in their tonsils, and it really is very rare to have a huge and hardened tonsil stone. Many folks remove their tonsil rocks by poking at them and scraping them out with a fingernail or other longer object that will reach to the back of the throat. Most individuals believe (and properly, I have to say) that having your tonsils removed will leave you exposed to possible future diseases. Numerous individuals who have to suffer with tonsil stones will find a white film that accumulates on their tongue.

How Does Sleep Affect Our Metabolism?

There are two aspects of how sleep affects our metabolism. The first is the affect it has during sleep. The second is how the metabolism is affected after a degree of sleep deprivation. This is pertinent in this day and age, as people want to burn the candle a both ends so to speak. There is increasing pressure to work long hours and then get the most out of the free time available to us. This often means that sleep suffers and people try to get by on 4 hours of sleep a night. This article will cover both of these cases.

It is believed that the metabolic rate decreases by around 15% during sleep. This means that less calories are burned. This may be obvious but shouldn’t we conserve more energy when sleeping than 15% ? After all, we a physically inactive. This is not the case, as the basal metabolic rate utilizes around 80% of the calories that we need each day. The basal metabolic rate is necessary to keep all the processes within the body functioning and accounts for most of the energy that we need.

In terms of sleep deprivation, most people will agree that going without sleep for any length of time impacts our ability to function during the day. This can lead to stress that can impact how the body functions on many levels, one of which is the metabolic function. The delicate balance on hormone secretion that occurs in metabolism can be disrupted and lead to eating disorders or over eating.

Most research suggests that a lack of sleep is likely to have the following affects :

Increase the level of cortisol that is released. This hormone increases a persons hunger.

Increase blood sugar levels and interfere with the body’s ability to metabolize carbohydrates. This leads to higher insulin levels and more fat storage.

Lowers the levels of Leptin released. Leptin is a hormone released by fat cells in the body to indicate if the body is starving or not. The body responds to low levels of leptin by increasing the craving for carbohydrates.

It is suggested that a minimum of eight hours of sleep per night is needed for the metabolism to work normally. Research into obesity and weight problems suggest that getting adequate sleep is as important as eating right and taking exercise. Sleep is a vital part of the body’s recovery and rejuvenation function and can affect all aspects of the body’s health.

Diabetes – Facts and General Information

Diabetes is referred to a medical condition in which blood glucose concentration remains persistently higher than normal. Under normal conditions, the hormone Insulin, produced in pancreas, helps absorption of glucose into the cells. It also promotes the storage of excess blood sugar in the liver and muscles. Glucagon, another of the pancreatic hormone, is responsible for controlling the release of glucose into the bloodstream from its various reservoirs.

This normal chain of events sometimes gets disrupted, resulting in unusual blood glucose levels. One of the causes can be that the Insulin production may be hampered; another can be Insulin’s inefficiency in eliciting a response from the necessary cells. As a result, sugar unbalance occurs, and blood glucose fails to be converted into useful energy at optimum efficiency.

A host of other ailments are associated with Diabetes, including some heart diseases, stroke, damage to kidneys, eyes and damage to vital systems like blood circulation and nervous tissues.

Diabetes may be caused by several causes, and factors such as inheritance, life style and age. Some of the symptoms include an unvarying fatigue, constant feeling of thirst, weight loss, muscle cramps, and vision defects. If you feel some combination of the above mentioned symptoms, then you may consider being tested for Diabetes.

Diabetes Testing:

Blood sugar test is used for diagnoses of diabetes. However, the procedures may vary.

The test may require you to abstain from eating or drinking anything for about fourteen hours. Or else, blood samples can be randomly taken at various times during a day, and matched for aberrance in sugar level. Blood may also be analyzed at intervals for two hours after the patient has a glucose-rich drink.

Even though the procedure is simple, there is a chance of developing some complications. Patients have reported experiencing fatigue and nausea after being tested, due to reactions with the hypodermic syringes, or the mere sight of blood. Sometimes, testing can require multiple injections, which can be a problem. Infection may also occur, though the chances are rare. In case any complication arises, refer to your doctor with regards to it.

Blood sugar test is done by checking the sugar level of the blood, and so the results may get affected due to factors like diet prior to test; medications, specially oral contraceptives, some diuretics and certain steroids; recent medical history, such as a recent injury or surgery. Such factors are taken into account while preparing a report.

Treatment for Diabetes:

The treatment procedures differ for the two types of Diabetes: Gestational Diabetes or Diabetes Mellitus. The aim is the same however: to maintain blood sugar at about normal levels.

Gestational Diabetes is a temporary sickness, and commonly occurs in pregnant women. Routine tests are carried out for Gestational Diabetes during pregnancy. After birth, the symptoms usually recess, but during pregnancy they need to be constantly monitored.

Diabetes Mellitus is a more serious and long-term form of diabetes. It has two forms: Type 1 and Type 2. Type 1 is a result of body’s inability to synthesize Insulin, while Type 2 Diabetes is a condition in which the efficiency of Insulin action is reduced. Diabetes Mellitus is incurable in its entirety. However, it can be curtailed using a combination of medications, special diet and exercise. Patients can lead a normal life; however, in case of Type 1 Diabetes, frequent Insulin injections are required. Diabetes treatment includes:

o Special low-fat, low-salt, and high carbohydrate diet

o Avoiding sugary food and sweets

o Regular exercise

o Medications, like Insulin injections

o Constant blood glucose monitoring

Obesity and Current Health Events

According to current health events children suffering from obesity can easily develop cardiovascular diseases. Reports mention that even if you are not prone to heart diseases, due to obesity, children can be putting themselves at risk of having early symptoms and heart problems and other blood abnormalities.

In a current health event conducted by the Endocrine Society of Florida, it was made very clear that the obesity rate in children is growing at a very rapid speed and this is something of great concern as the side effects of obesity can be very catastrophic.

The current health events include obesity as a very hot topic among people all over the world and trying to find ways to combat this problem in the appropriate manner is a very important matter. The research done in children up to the ages of 10 years has been shocking and it has been found that the child is actually at the same risk of having serious cardiovascular diseases very early in life in comparison to other adults having obesity problems.

However, the most disturbing news maybe that till 2008, most parents did not worry too much about the obesity problems of their children and they did not know that this could have any bad effects on their health, now or later on in life.

Current health events also have come up with research and statistics of children suffering from high blood pressure, unhealthy cholesterol levels and metabolic syndrome. All these symptoms are related to early onset of heart and blood vessel related diseases. These conditions were only seen in adults and now, this discovery is extremely disturbing for all.

Current health events have taken a very strong stand on the aspects of children obesity and health professionals are busy trying to make parents understand the importance of good healthy habits in the whole family in general. It is very easy to preach to have a healthy lifestyle and a fitness regime or to try to be physically active; however, it is very difficult to set an example for your children to follow at the same time.

Another important factor that current health events are emphasizing is to take the help of your doctor in finding out whether your child is overweight or not and what other precautions should you take to try and help your child regain its balance to avoid further complications. The more you allow your child to be obese, the more you are putting him at risk of developing other problems which will become difficult to reverse.

Current health events have given a lot of emphasis on the development of a healthy lifestyle in your home. You as a parent will need to take full responsibility for what you put in your child’s plate and on how balanced is the nutrition and exercise program that your family follows on a regular basis. This will be the best preventive method of avoiding very painful situation later on in life.

Fish Oil and Psoriasis – Can Fish Oil Help With Stubborn Psoriasis

Omega 3 oil from fish and psoriasis seem like the odd couple whose names should never be mentioned in the same sentence. Psoriasis of course is a common chronic, non contagious skin disorder seen on the scalp, knees, elbows, and lower back. It is characterized by scaling skin and appears when cells form too rapidly and pile up on the surface of the skin. Psoriasis is sometimes seen on the toenails and fingernails, though it is not as common on these extremities. But what about fish oil and psoriasis?

The link between omega 3 supplements and psoriasis lies in the relationship between how it works to reduce inflammation. No one really knows what causes psoriasis but most dermatologists believe it is likely genetic in cause but triggered by a number of factors that signal the immune system to cause inflammation in the skin. This in turn causes the skin to shed too rapidly. Common triggers include systemic infections such as strep throat, emotional stress, injuries to the skin, as well as certain medications.

The link between omega 3 oils from fish and psoriasis revolves around the idea that the omega 3 fatty acids contained in cold water fatty fish (DHA/EPA) such as salmon, mackerel, cod, tuna, and hoki reduce inflammation in the area affected by the psoriasis. Fish-oil high in these two beneficial omega 3 fatty acids also reduces inflammation in other parts of the body which may have an indirect positive impact on chronic psoriasis. The question does come to mind as to whether or not there is any evidence to support this theory. Let’s take a look.

There is very little research on fish omega 3 fatty acids and psoriasis, and as far as that goes very little on treating skin disorders with omega 3 fish supplements. Nevertheless, there are a couple of small studies worth noting. One study involving 50 people using conventional medications to treat their psoriasis were given 700 mg of DHA/EPA fish oil daily for 2 months showed significant improvement in over 8 out of 10 instances. In a second small study involving photo dermatitis and omega 3 fatty acid fish supplements it was determined that those taking the DHA/EPA supplement were far less sensitive to UV rays. Don’t go and throw your sunscreen in the trash quite yet! The study also found that convention sunscreens protect the skin from damaging rays much more effectively than omega 3 fish supplements.

In conclusion, it appears that fish oil and psoriasis may be linked through the common theme of inflammation, and indeed it appears that omega 3 rich supplements can help. Affordability, availability, and safety all make pure DHA fish oil a natural option for psoriasis worth considering.

Skin Fungus Infections – Causes and Symptoms

Dermatophyte, a type of fungus causes fungal skin infections which can be of various types like athlete’s foot, ringworm and cutaneous candidiasis. Deep fungal infections can spread to the internal organs or blood also by invading through layers of the skin.

Risk Factors for Fungal Infections

There are various risk factors for skin fungal infections some of which are listed below:

* Antibiotic Use: While antibiotics can help treat various infections they also decrease the number of helpful bacteria living inside the body. This gives an opportunity for fungi to colonize.

* Use of Corticosteroids: Corticosteroids are generally used to mitigate skin inflammation and a number of skin disorders. However these types of drugs reduce our immune response and may create favorable conditions for fungal growth.

* Medical Conditions: Diabetics some those suffering from some types of cancer, e.g., leukemia are more prone to fungal infections.

* Compromised Immune System: Chemotherapy (for cancer treatment) and AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) may weaken the immune system giving an opportunity for fungi to grow.

* Environmental Factors: Fungal infections more commonly affect the moist areas of body including vagina and mouth. Even sweaty socks and shoes increase possibility of fungal infections.

* Heredity: Some people are genetically predisposed towards fungal infections. When exposed to an infectious surrounding they are more likely to have fungal infections.

Symptoms of Fungal Skin Infections

Fungal skin infections generally start appearing as a rash. Ring-shaped, red itchy patches with a clear center are the symptoms of a ringworm infection. Athlete’s foot appears as itchy rash in between the toes. This may be accompanied by mild irritation or cracking of the skin. In some cases skin becomes sore and susceptible to bacterial infection. Nail ringworm affects toenails and scalp ringworm affects scalp and is contagious in children. Candida infection affects warm areas like skin folds and diaper areas. Fungal infection sometimes occurs on one body part and can cause rash on another body part. This signifies allergic reaction to fungus.

Diagnosis of Skin Fungal Infections

There are two methods by which the type of skin fungus can be determined. They are potassium hydroxide (KOH) preparation, and fungal culture method.

Treatment for Skin Fungal Infections

Depressed immune system, diabetes and use of antibiotics or corticosteroids are predisposing factors for fungal infections. If you start treating the weakened immune system, half the problem gets resolved. You can also use anti fungal creams and medications. You should keep the infected area dry and clean and scratching should be avoided. Use of mild hydrocortisone cream is useful to get relief from itching. Before you opt for any kind of treatment option, it is better and advisable to seek your doctor’s advice.

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are for informational purposes only. We aim to be as accurate as possible, but there may be some unintentional omission of information. The content is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your doctor or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding your medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on within this article.

Allergies in Graves’ Disease

Graves’ disease is one type of an autoimmune disease which affects the thyroid and makes it grow. There may also be symptoms such as weight loss, sleep disturbance and irritability. Most of the times Graves’ disease is found after childbirth and it can also be hereditary which means if one identical twin has this disease, then in most of the cases the other twin will also have this disease.

It is found that there are many allergies that trigger off this disease. These may include seasonal allergy as well as allergy to foodstuff, which trigger the autoimmune response. These allergies sometimes also cause relapse in the patients. These allergies may be caused due to foodstuff such as diary products, wheat, corn, eggs etc. If a food allergy is suspected, it is advisable to make a list of the suspected food stuff. If such suspected food stuff is eliminated from the diet, they can help in actually pin pointing those allergens.

Another trigger for this disease may be excess use of iodine hence it is better to limit the intake of iodine. The other causes of allergy can be seasonal things such as ragweed and pollen. In case of triggers due to seasonal allergy, it may occur at a particular time of the year.

When the autoimmune response is triggered, one can get a blood test done to check if the allergens are the triggers. If the eosinophil levels are high, then this is a sign of allergic reaction, apart from this the patients may have symptoms such as running nose, sneezing, headaches and nasal stuffiness.

Treating Depression

Types Of Depression

Depression refers to a deeply felt sense of sadness or despair that tends to overwhelm a person. It may have started out as a dark feeling but has progressed to an illness that affects every aspect of the person’s life.

Clinical depression is different from having “the blues” in that it is all consuming and requires treatment. Depressive illness or clinical depression impacts on everything: sleeping, eating, and energy level, ability to work effectively, mood, cognitions (thoughts), judgment, and more. It can be viewed as both a psychological and physical condition.

There are several types of depression. In this article I describe 4 of the most well known types. Distinctions between the different forms of depression are important to understand because they help us to choose the best possible treatment.

Major Depression

Major depression is also known as major depressive disorder (MDD). A person who has this illness has been feeling deeply sad persistently for about 2 or more weeks. He is unable to enjoy himself even when doing things that previously gave him pleasure. He has lost interest in most everything and seems listless and flat. When interviewed, people with MDD will likely report feeling hopeless and unable to get motivated. They often feel as if they are sinking deeper and deeper and are unable to control the descent into oblivion.

People of any age can become victims of MDD. However, it will often strike those between the ages of 25-45. In addition MDD can frequently run its course in 6-9 months. This type of depression can be a one time event but once it strikes there is a good possibility that it will happen again, perhaps several times in a person’s life.

Dysthymia

Another form of depression is known as dysthymia. This type of depression often begins early in a person’s life, frequently in childhood, and continues throughout adulthood. It is a milder form of depression and is diagnosed when someone has been feeling sad, unhappy, irritable, generally withdrawn and disinterested in life for 2 or more years.

People with this type of depression often have a hard time remembering if they have ever felt “happy”. They are frequently critical of themselves and seem never to have any fun. Since this condition is chronic the person’s low mood can go unnoticed, appearing “normal” for him.

It is usually when the individual becomes more severely dysthymic that he seeks treatment. Sometimes his mood is so disturbing to a spouse, friend or family member, they insist he get help. Other times he may get so disgusted with a fruitless, unhappy life that he becomes self motivated to seek it out.

Dysthymia seems to affect twice as many women as men. Depression in general has more female than male victims.

Bipolar Disorder

This type of depression is also known as manic-depressive disorder. It is characterized by significant mood swings that that interfere with a person’s ability to function. Shifts in mood are often so severe that the person’s entire life is affected by them.

Bipolar Disorder is different from other depressions in that the person has experienced at least one or more manic episodes. When a person is having a manic episode he can seem to go on non stop. He needs little or no sleep, his speech may be rapid and his ideas change very quickly, he can become grandiose or belligerent and might even cause himself or others physical harm. Since these symptoms are episodic and may appear years apart, the person may go untreated for a long time.

This condition will often appear early in one’s life and is likely to be chronic. Manic episodes are frequently followed by a drop into the black hole of a major depression. These cycles can occur many times causing enormous disruption and wreaking havoc on the individual and his family.

Postpartum Depression

This is a type of major depression that can strike a woman after childbirth. It is thought that the dramatic hormonal changes that take place both before and immediately after a baby is born may trigger a depression. Postpartum depression affects about 10% of new mothers, but is more common in mothers who have had some prior depression.

This depression is made more tragic because a new mother’s emotional world is turned upside down and her dreams of enjoying the joys and wonders of motherhood completely destroyed. As a result of the many changes that take place in a woman’s life once a baby is born, there are many factors that can contribute to this kind of depression.

New mothers routinely experience lack of sleep, feelings of being overwhelmed, high degrees of stress, loss of identity and feeling less attractive or desirable. A mother may resent her new child, feel irrationally angry towards it and, at the same time, feel horribly guilty for having these feelings in the first place. If these feelings persist they can weaken her defenses and create more potential for postpartum depression to occur.

Treatment

Treating depression early and effectively can prevent it from becoming more severe and lasting longer. The type of depression a person is suffering with will determine the best choice for treatment.

Major Depression and Dysthymia can be treated with both psychotherapy and medication. Most people respond well to these in combination. Psychotherapy should focus on learning coping strategies, problem solving skills, challenging negative mindsets and changing critical as well as pessimistic thought patterns. Improvement comes when a person begins to feel empowered and more in control of his life (and emotions).

Supportive therapy should also be used to help address painful feelings of hopelessness and despair. However this type of therapy should be a part of the treatment and not the only method.

Medication is an option with major depression. Antidepressant medication can often help to relieve the painful impact of symptoms such as the inability to concentrate or sleep, inability to work, control emotions or make decisions necessary to effectively conduct everyday life.

Antidepressants work by increasing the availability and level of certain neurotransmitters in the brain. Neurotransmitters carry information to the different parts of the brain. These chemicals and their levels of availability affect the range of moods we experience.

In severe cases of depression where other forms of treatment have not helped, electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) may be recommended. In this type of therapy electric current is passed through the brain of the patient while under anesthesia causing convulsive seizures to occur for about 15 seconds each. ECT has been shown to be effective, especially as a treatment of last resort, but its side effects can include some memory loss and disorientation.

The treatment of Bipolar Disorder will most likely include medication. As explained in the previous article, this is a very serious and disabling mental illness. It is chronic and manic episodes followed by depressive episodes are likely to recur if treatment is not ongoing.

Lithium and anti-convulsive medications such as Depakote, Lamictil and Neurontin are often used in combination to achieve mood stabilization. Getting the patient on the best combination of medication is both science and art and can be trying for the patient and his family.

People with bipolar disorder are sometimes discouraged by the difficult task of keeping their moods in check over long periods of time. The patient sometimes complains that the edge or “high” he used to enjoy feeling has been replaced by a different mood, one he may interpret as being flat and boring.

When this occurs he may stop taking the medication and go back to “cycling” through his moods again. That is why long-term counseling that includes the monitoring of the patient’s medication, moods, sleep patterns and general health is often critical in maintaining control over bipolar disorder.

Postpartum Depression has similar symptoms to major depression. If left untreated the consequences of postpartum depression can be sever. The attachment bond that is so important for a child’s healthy development will likely not occur if mother is not getting the help she needs.

Treatment here should be multifaceted and involve the entire immediate family. Counseling should educate the family members and enlist them to help more around the home. Individual therapy is necessary to help the mother learn and implement the coping skills that are so important for her new role.

The option for medication needs to be weighed against the severity of the depression. If a mother is breast feeding for example, taking medication can be dangerous to the health of the baby. The same problem exists when hormone replacement therapy is recommended.

With proper treatment postpartum depression will often lift in a matter of months.

Self Help

In addition to getting professional help there are several things a person can do to improve his mood.

Exercise: Any activity, however mild it might be, can lift the spirit. Studies have shown that regular, vigorous exercise can be as effective in lifting a depression as medication.

Friends & Family: Having one or more close friends or family members to confide in and spend time with helps to prevent isolation. Force yourself to do things with friends.

Reduce stressors: Limit your responsibilities and only do tasks that won’t overwhelm you.

Postpone making big decisions: Your objectivity and judgment are most likely to be affected by your depression. Refrain from making important decisions until you feel better.

Eat well: Don’t overindulge in junk foods. Too much sugar can send you into a downturn. Force yourself to eat fruits, vegetables, “good” carbohydrates and protein.

The Most Unusual Phobias

Phobias are the fear of something. Usually the fear is quite common – most of us know someone who is afraid of heights or spiders or public speaking. But it’s possible to be afraid of lots of other things. Here are some of the most unusual phobias I’ve come across:

Chionophobia

This is the fear of snow. Which if you’re a winter sports fan sounds pretty unusual but it often centers around a fear of snow flakes, making it an awkward phobia to have in certain climates.

Sesquipedalophobia

A not very appropriate name for the fear of long words. This isn’t a phobia I suffer from but its name is certainly offputting. Some people are afraid of long words because they are afraid they will mess up their pronunciation or otherwise make themself appear stupid.

Fear of gravity reversing itself

I haven’t been able to find an official name for this (although Barophobia covers the fear of gravity itself) but the thought of one of the laws of nature turning itself literally upside down isn’t one I’d personally like to dwell on.

Asymmetriphobia

This one is the fear of asymmetrical things. At first it doesn’t appear too worrying until you remember that lots of things in the world are asymmetrical – whether it’s an odd number of leaves on a plant or slight differences between the left and right side of our bodies.

Somniphobia

The fear of sleep is fortunately quite rare as we all need sleep (some more or less than others). It’s a fear that we normally grow out of – children are more prone to this phobia, especially if they’ve suffered from nightmares recently.

Gephyrophobia

Another awkward worry to have: the fear of crossing bridges. If you’re unfortunate enough to suffer from this then your journeys could get a lot longer. Modern architecture helps prevent disasters like the Tacoma Narrows Bridge that collapsed spectacularly in 1940, just a few months after it was first opened to the public.

Melanophobia

Or the fear of black – so not a phobia that’s popular amongst Goths. Black is regularly found in the world so this phobia is one that you’d want to get cured or at least reduced if at all possible.

Paraskavedekatriaphobia

Whilst a lot of us suffer from this fear it’s usually only as a result of superstition – this is the fear of Friday the 13th. A few poor people do suffer from this rather more strongly and, as such, are badly affected between one and three times every year.

Fear of cracks in the pavement

Another one I couldn’t find an official name for. This is the phobia of stepping on cracks in the pavement and is normally coupled with the worry that the cracks will open up and maybe swallow you up or – in one of the more extreme examples I found – suck you into another dimension entirely.

Caligynephobia

This one is a fear of beautiful women – hard as that may be for most men to believe. It’s thought to be related to the rather more common social phobia where people are afraid of social situations.

Ways to Treat Your Black Toenail Fungus

Some people are suffering from black toenail fungus problem and searching for treatments to get rid of it. Here I found few sure ways to treatment. Many had tried over the medical treatment and eventually give up since medical treatments are not quite effective way to control and treat the toe-nail fungus problem. Few who undergone medical treatment reported about kidney and liver damage. So in order to avoid all this complications please follow the following simple ways to treat this problem.

Ways to treat your Black Toenail fungus

  • Prepare a home made solution using listerine mouthwash and hot water, soak your feet with this solutions for few hours.
  • Preparing a mixture of natural oils such as olive,jojoba and eucalyptus oil in equal proportion and applying it over the toe area will cure fungus infection
  • To reduce pain over the fungal affected toe area, applying vinegar or vicks vaproub will give immediate pain relief.
  • Avoid delaying to treatment is one of the best remedy for treating toenail fungus
  • Wearing improper sized shoes or slipper will increase the black toenail and thus it is very vital to avoid tight shoes and sandals.
  • Keep your toenails as fresh as you can.
  • Wash you feet with warm water and pinch of salt & lime to control the fungal growth twice a day.

Following the above said ways you can treat the fungus problem by yourself naturally without working about the side effect observed in case of medical treatment. Also it is better to treat black toenail fungus the natural way since most of us are prone to medical allergy.

The Causes of Paper Thin Skin, and What You Can Do to Make Skin Thicker and More Flexible

The causes of paper thin skin are well known. Researchers have understood for many years what causes the problem. However, they aren’t quick to offer solutions. Sometimes they seem to be saying it’s a necessary part of aging and you just have to live with it.

Not true!

Here is a guide to what works when your skin is paper thin.

Thin skin problems can be severe

You may consider thin skin a minor issue. You might feel that you simply cut and bruise too easily, and take longer than most people to heal. But thin skin can be treated, and should be. Especially if you feel that your skin is really “paper thin.”

Here is why. You know your own body. If feel your skin is “paper thin,” that is probably close to the truth. And that can be a very bad thing.

You may be easily wounded and exposing yourself to bigger health issues. It may take weeks for your body to heal a minor bruise or cut that disappears in a couple of days for most people. A severe bruise, or scraping your skin badly from a fall, for example, might very well put you in the hospital.

The causes of thin skin

If you have a history of long-term illness, you may have taken steroid medications like Predisone. These anti-inflammatory drugs can be life savers. But they have terrible side effects — especially if they are used over a long period. A weak immune system, cataracts, weakened bones — and yes, thin, fragile skin — are some of them.

For most people, the problem is not so much illness and over-use of prescription drugs, but lack of skin nutrition. Your skin loses collagen, elastin, and hyaluronic acid — and you need an abundance of all of these to build youthful, healthy skin. As skin ages, it loses strength and elasticity, begins to sag and wrinkle, and gets much thinner.

The answer to the problem

You can reverse all the most important causes of skin aging and thinning. A couple of strategies will help, and I’ll tell you the specific ingredients to look for in a skin care product.

1. Your diet matters. If you’re more likely to grab a cookie and a bottle of soda pop than a meal when you get hungry, that’s bad news for your skin. Sugar has many nasty habits, and one of them is to cause something called glycation. The process of glycation underlies the destruction of collagen and other proteins in the skin. The answer is to cut back hard on added sugar in your food and drinks.

2. Supplements can help, too. Take one containing at least 50 mg a day of Carnosine, which both prevents glycation and stops it once it has begun.

3. Skin care products can actually help your skin rebuild itself — if they contain the right ingredients. You need plenty of collagen to thicken and strengthen your skin. You can’t rub it in — collagen is too big a molecule to be absorbed through the skin.

But you can stimulate the skin to boost its own production of collagen and elastin, and to grow new cells faster. An ingredient called Cynergy TK has shown in clinical trials that it does all of these things.

The problem with hyaluronic acid (or hyaluronan) is that it gets used up fast. You have to replace a third of it every day. You can give your skin a break by using an extract of seaweed called Phytessence Wakame. It blocks the action of a skin enzyme that destroys hyaluronic acid. Phytessence Wakame blocked the enzyme’s action by 52 percent in trials. This allows the skin to rebuild its hyaluronic acid levels.

See my website for more on the causes and treatment of paper thin skin.

Iliotibial Band Syndrome – Exercises and Treatment

Iliotibial Band (IT Band) Syndrome is a frustrating source of knee and hip pain for athletes, and is one of the most common causes of lateral knee pain in runners. Most cases of iliotibial band syndrome occur as the result of “too much, too soon” or poor biomechanics and can be prevented with these simple tips and listening to your body.

Anatomy of the Iliotibial Band

The iliotibial band is a thick layer of tissue along the outer part of the leg that runs from the hip to the knee. Irritation can occur either in the hip or the outside part of the knee as the iliotibial band rubs across the greater trochanter and the lateral epicondyle of the femur.

Iliotibial Band Syndrome Symptoms

Symptoms of iliotibial band syndrome include pain at the outside part of the knee that is worse when bending or extending the knee, such as during running or cycling Other symptoms include pain on the outside part of the hip over the greater trochanter.

Causes of Iliotibial Band Syndrome

Tightness in the iliotibial band is a common cause. Weakness in the muscles around the hip and buttocks (gluteus muscles) can cause excessive hip and leg rotation, resulting in increased stress on the iliotibial band. Other factors that can lead to IT band syndrome include running on a sloped surface such as the beach or road and excessive pronation or rolling in of the foot.

Iliotibial Band Syndrome Prevention

Iliotibial band syndrome can be prevented by avoiding overtraining, allowing for adequate recovery and rest, following a regular stretching and strengthening program and selecting proper running shoes for your running style.

Treatment of Iliotibial Band Syndrome

Ice massage to the painful area for 10 to 15 minutes after workouts can decrease the pain. For acute injuries (less than 2 weeks) anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen (Motrin or Advil) or naproxen (Aleve or Naprosyn) can help with pain and irritation. In chronic injuries there is less inflammation of the tissue, therefor acetaminophen (Tylenol) may be more appropriate.

Iliotibial Band Stretches

Stretching of the iliotibial band is an important component of proper rehabilitation if the band is tight. One simple stretch is to stand and cross your injured leg behind your uninjured leg and bend over to touch your toes. A more advanced version of this exercise is to then extend the arms overhead and slowly reach to the opposite side (for the right IT band, extend the arms to the left) and then continue the stretch as the arms reach for the floor. As you perform this exercise, you should feel the stretch in the side and back on the hip. If you experience pain or muscle spasm then reduce the motion during the stretch.

The seated IT band stretch is performed while sitting on the floor with the legs out straight. Bending at the hip and knee, take the injured leg and cross it over the uninjured leg. Twist the upper body towards the injured side to continue the stretch. An alternative method is to slowly extend the knee and leg of the tight IT band to increase the stretch.

Seated Iliotibial Band Stretch

The”Figure-4′ stretch is an exercise that can be done while seated at a desk. While seated, cross the ankle of the injured leg on top of the opposite knee. The stretch can be extended by either lightly pushing the flexed knee down towards the floor or by leaning forward at the waist and allowing your body weight to increase the stretch. Hold the stretch for 5 to 10 seconds and then slowly relax.

Foam Roller Stretch

A foam roller is a great tool to break up scar tissue and help with myofascial release of the iliotibial band. The stretch is performed by rolling the injured leg back and forth across the foam roller. Focus on the hip and outside part of the thigh. The exercise can be done daily for several minutes. Try the rolling with the knee straight and the knee flexed. Gradually increase the amount of time each week.

Strength Exercises for Iliotibal Band Syndrome

Strengthening the gluteus muscles is also important in iliotibial band syndrome. Step lunges and leg squats can help increase gluteal muscle strength and are prevent excessive hip internal rotation and added stress across the knee and iliotibial band. For athletes that are trying to rehab from IT band syndrome, a gradual approach to strength training of the gluteal muscles is recommended.

Side Leg Lifts

Side leg lifts focus on strengthening the lateral gluteal muscles as well as teaching the athlete the correct muscles to focus on. Side leg lifts are performed lying on the side, with the injured leg on top. Keeping the hip and knee straight, slowly lift the top foot twelve to twenty-four inches directly above the bottom foot.

Hold the position for 5 to 10 seconds and slowly return the leg to the starting position. Focus on using the gluteal muscles and not the lateral thigh muscles to lift the leg. Repeat this exercise 5 to 10 times in sets of 2 or 3.

Hip Hitches (Pelvic Drop) Exercises

Hip hitches or pelvic drop exercises are another method of improving gluteal muscle strength. Stand on a step or elevated platform with the injured leg. The unaffected side should hang off the edge of the step. Slowly relax your hips and the pelvis should tilt down towards the unaffected leg as the foot lowers. Concentrate on contracting the gluteal (buttock) muscles on the standing leg and bring the hips back to a straight position.

Wallbangers

Wallbangers help provide another method of improving gluteal muscle strength. Stand perpendicular and one to two feet away from the wall with the injured hip towards the wall. With arms extended out in front, slowly drop and twist away from the wall until the hip lightly contacts the wall. Don’t hold this position – return to the starting position. As you perform this exercise, you should feel the gluteal muscles in the hip closest to the wall contract as you return to the upright position.

Frontal Plane Lunges

Frontal plane lunges are another simple exercise that increase gluteal muscle strength. Standing with the feet shoulder-width apart, slowly step to the right and lower the body into a squat position. Shift the body weight from the left to the right leg and rise from the squat position as you bring the left leg back underneath your body. Repeat the exercise in the opposite direction by stepping to the left and repeating the above steps.

Sample Exercise Program

Week 1

  • Every day – Stretching exercises – Once daily for total of 5 to 10 minutes in each session. Ice as needed after stretching.
  • Days 1, 3 and 5 – Strength exercises – start with 8 to 10 repetitions and one or two sets. Focus upon proper form.

Week 2

  • Everyday – Stretching exercises – Twice daily for total of 5 to 10 minutes in each session. Ice as needed after stretching.
  • Days 1, 2,4 and 5 – Strength exercises – start with 10 to 12 repetitions and two to three sets. Continue to focus upon proper form.

Key Points to Remember for Iliotibial Band Syndrome

There are several key points to remember with iliotibial band syndrome. The focus should be on stretching of the iliotibial band and strengthening the muscles around the hip since weakness in these muscles often is the primary cause of the injury. Limiting increases in running mileage to approximately 10% weekly can help prevent injuries from “too much, too soon”. Proper stretching after warming up and before cooling down can help prevent re-injury.Sometimes, worn running shoes with poor arch support can lead to excessive pronation of the foot and increased stress on the iliotibal band. Remember that most running shoes last for 300 to 400 miles and need to be replaced. Having an expert at a running shoe store can help in selecting the proper shoe for your foot and running style.

Don’t forget the importance of recovery and moderation in an exercise program. While a little soreness is a sign that your body is adapting to the increased training, pain is your body’s signal to slow down.

Return to Running and Activity

The often-asked question of most runners and endurance athletes is when they can return to running with iliotibial band problems. A gradual return to running can begin once an athlete can perform the exercises without pain. While individual results may vary, most iliotibial band syndrome cases resolve with 4 to 6 weeks of rehabilitation.

A return to running program should focus on proper biomechanics and avoid triggering factors (sloped or uneven surfaces). Studies have shown that faster paced running has less irritation of the iliotibial band due to the flexed position of the knee at foot strike versus slow paced jogging.

We recommend easy and short fast-paced running on alternating days on flat ground for the first week with a gradual return to longer, slower paced runs over the next 2 weeks. Additionally, avoiding downhill running or on sloped surfaces (side of the road) can help prevent re-injury.

About The Malfunction Of The Gallbladder

The gallbladder is situated in the upper right side of the abdomen, under the liver and above the duodenum. Its function is to transport the bile produced by the liver into the small intestine when needed. Bile is requested after eating because it is used in the process of digestion. Until then, the bile remains stocked inside the gallbladder.

Sometimes stones can form inside the gallbladder and if they block the bile passage pain, fever and jaundice will install as a sign that something is wrong in the body.

If the doctor thinks that the patient needs to be operated he will tell you that there can be made a keyhole or an open surgery. The keyhole surgery is quite frequently used but is not recommended for those who have scars from other interventions, those who are pregnant and those who have a severe inflammation. The keyhole surgery is performed with the help of the laparoscope. The surgeon will make three or four small incisions inside the abdomen and through those incisions will introduce the laparoscope’s instruments needed for surgery. One of the laparoscope’s instruments has attached an optic video camera which allows the medical team to see what it is inside your abdomen. After that the surgeon will find the gallbladder and will remove it with the help of the other laparoscopic instruments. This operation is known as cholecystectomy. The wounds will be closed afterwards and the patient will be able to leave the hospital after two days.

The open surgery is usually made if the laparoscopic method is not suitable for the patient. The surgeon will make a cut inside the abdomen right under the right ribs in order to perform an open cholecystectomy. Then the gallbladder and the gallstones will be taken out and the surgeon will use X-rays to see if there are any possible gallstones inside the bile ducts and will remove those too. After that the incision will be closed and the patient will remain hospitalized for at least 4 days.

Sometimes people want to think before taking a surgery. This is a good thing because if you are 70 years old this operation could endanger your life. Also you can try other methods of treatment before going to the surgeon. Sometimes the gallstones can be pulled out without removing the gallbladder with the help of a flexible telescope the patient will swallow.

If you must have the surgery done you should get prepared first. You must give up smoking and lose some weight if you are overweight. Also, go to the family doctor and ask for a check up of your other affections. Inside the hospital other special tests might be performed but this depends from hospital to hospital. Take your current medication with you at the hospital but be careful to let the doctor know what pills you are taking before the surgery. Also, if you have no relatives talk to a friend to come with you at the hospital and to stay with you a few days after the surgery.

After the surgery if you had a laparoscopic procedure done, you might feel a little pain where the incisions have been made so be free to ask for some tablets in order to reduce the pain. If you had an open surgery they your pain might be worse and the nurses will give you injections and after a few days they will give you tablets. Due to the anesthetic you might be feeling confused, clumsy and forgetful during the first day after surgery. Try not to make any important decisions in this day.

The nurses will also take care to change daily the wound dressings and at a point the doctor will remove the drain tubes attached to your abdomen. The wounds are free to being washed with soap and water as soon as the dressings have been removed. Feel free to ask for advices from the nurses if you have questions regarding cleaning the wounds. Also, when leaving the hospital do not forget to ask for the sick notes and any additional certificates.

After going home you might be feeling tired and will want to sleep for 2-3 times a day. This is quite normal and you will be able to return to your usual level of activity only after one week in the case of a keyhole surgery or after two months if you have an open surgery. The wound has stitches and you have to go to the hospital to remove them after a few days had passes since the surgery.

Regarding complications they occur quite rarely. If the wound has got infected this problem will be solved with antibiotic drugs in a few weeks. Sometimes there are numb patches around the wounded area but they will clear up in a month or so.

All you need is patience because you can not expect to be as good as new only after a few days had passes since surgery was done.

What is ‘Leaky Gut’ and How Can You Tell If You Have It?

Your bowel is really just a long muscular tube, lined on the inside and criss crossed with blood vessels and nerve endings. The bowel wall is both a barrier and a filter; a barrier to all the substances in your gut that you don’t want in your bloodstream; and a filter to let in valuable food and water molecules only.

The inside of your bowel looks rather like a shag-pile carpet covered with a thick layer of protective mucus. The technical name for the shag-pile carpet is villi. It greatly increases the amount of surface area available for absorption. The mucus is there to help the contents slide along, and also to protect the sensitive villi.

Although your stomach does the best it can to ensure that what enters your bowel is just food, sometimes nasties get through, like undigested protein molecules, bugs or parasites.

When you are under stress, production of this protective layer of mucus slows or stops, leaving your villi bare and unprotected. The front line cells are the epithelial cells that make up the outer layer of the villi. Although they are completely replaced every few days, they are sensitive.

Cells making up the villi are normally held together by special junctions. In your bowel these are tight junctions, reflecting the need to maintain an integral barrier. Selected food molecules are passed through the epithelial cells and everything else should remain within the bowel tube.

If something irritates or damages the epithelial cells, they become inflamed. Imagine for a moment when you last grazed your knee. The area became red and swollen almost immediately. This happened because blood vessels and other cells deliberately moved apart to allow healing materials from your bloodstream into the wound area. When the inflammation and debris was cleared, the cells moved back into place again and the blood vessels sealed up.

A similar thing happens when your bowel wall is inflamed. The cells swell and move apart. Alas, by doing this, they are going to allow non food particles into your bloodstream, and set up a new immune reaction in your bloodstream. This is why its called leaky gut.

Your body may show signs of this in its own individual fashion; for some people its skin rashes, for others mood swings, or just feeling blah. Some people find their bowel motions are affected, some not.

You can now test whether you have a leaky gut by asking your naturopath for an intestinal permeability functional pathology test. This will tell you scientifically whether you really do have a leaky gut, and if so, how serious it is.

To seal a leaky gut, you need to replenish that protective mucosal layer inside your bowel wall, and give the epithelial cells on the villi a chance to heal. The methods for achieving this depend on your symptoms, but treatment always includes stress management, and excludes any foods that you might be intolerant of. A treatment plan is always based on your individual symptoms.