Problems With Acid Reflux Heartburn Medications

Many acid reflux heartburn suffers make it through life on one antacid pill after another assuming that heartburn and ant-acid medications are safe to use indefinitely. Sadly this may not be the case. Lifestyle changes probably are the most effective means of curing most acid reflux heartburn disorders. However we live in the take a pill and forget it society that does not consider the consequences of long-term ant-acid heartburn medication.

Almost all antacid medications consist of either aluminum hydroxide, magnesium hydroxide, sodium bicarbonate or some combination of these chemical compounds to neutralize the acid in your stomach. The downside of neutralizing stomach acid is that your stomach can no longer efficiently digest your food. It also causes problems for the good bacteria that live in your digestive track. When your stomach senses that acid levels are being reduced it automatically makes more hydrochloric acid. This of course causes acid reflux heartburn symptoms to increase. This cycling is hard on your digestive system and makes your life miserable.

Anytime you take any kind of medication you leave yourself open to side effects. This can be minor or in some extreme cases life threatening. Many people do not know that some antacid leave you more vulnerable to food poisoning. The use of antacids affects the levels of good bacteria that normally protect the body from bacterial invasions. Certain enzyme secretions necessary for proper digestion are also affected by the use of antacids. They can also interfere with the absorption of vitamins, micronutrients and calcium compounds.

A very serious consideration that is largely overlooked by antacid users is the adverse reaction with other medicine that the acid reflux heartburn suffer is also taking. These include blood thinners, corticosteroids, diabetic medications, antibiotics, heart medicine, anti-anxiety medications and simple anti-inflammatories. Since you can buy most antacids over the counter most people never bother to consult their physician before taking them. This practice can lead to tragic consequences.

The most commonly prescribed acid reflux heartburn medicines including Nexium, Prilosec and Prevacid are only intended to be used for short periods. However, most people are using them for months at a time. The drug manufactures never conduct tests to determine the long-term side affects of these drugs. It is well known within the medical community that taking these medications increases your risk of contracting pneumonia. It is understood that taking these medications reduces stomach acid and beneficial bacteria that kill the harmful bacteria.

The new H2-recptor blockers like Tagamet greatly reduce the production of hydrochloric acid. Side affects include the poor absorption of key vitamins and enzymes. Long-term effects of this new class of drugs in largely unknown. Proton pump inhibitors or (PPI’s) also work by shutting down the production of hydrochloric acid. They are very powerful with the ability to completely turn off all stomach acid production. As with the H2-receptor blockers no long-term studies have been conducted to fully understand the long-term use of these drugs.

Ingesting any drug into your body causes a reaction to occur. Many of the reactions are mild but some are of a serious nature. The alternative to using medications to reduce your acid reflux heartburn symptoms is basic and safe. Unless you have a serious digestive problem like GERD or cancer, in which you should be under the care of a physician, the most effective way of solving your heartburn problems is through a change in lifestyle. By that we mean reducing your food intake, stopping smoking, cutting back on alcohol use. Eating smaller meals several times a day, avoiding spicy foods or foods with high acid content like citrus and beginning a regular routine of exercise.

Once you have made the decision to change your lifestyle, the hardest part is taking the first steps. If you need help then enlist family members and friends to keep you focused. It just takes one small step at a time but you can do it if you keep focused on the goal to be acid reflux heartburn free.

Goji Berries Help Keep Your Digestive Tract Healthy

Over 70 million Americans suffer from digestive diseases. Digestive disorders can be very painful, and if left untreated can lead into more serious problems. Eating a natural healthy diet will prevent most of these disorders. Tibet Authentic Goji berries have the nutrients and antioxidants to fight the toxins that cause digestive diseases.

Disorders of the Digestive Tract and How Goji Berries Help

  • Gastroenteritis is when the digestive tract becomes inflamed and irritated. This will cause abdominal pain, vomiting and diarrhea. The cause is usually toxins such as bacteria, allergens in foods, parasites or drugs. Eating Goji berries will help fight off these toxins and will help prevent this disorder.
  • Gastritis is inflammation of your stomach lining. Just like the gastroenteritis, you will experience abdominal pain. Your diet plays a big part in this disease.

With the antioxidants, Goji berries have helped in the treatment of gastritis.

  • Ulcers can develop in the stomach, esophagus or small intestines. The cause can be bacterial or by certain pain medications. Ulcers cause a lot of pain and possible bleeding. Stress can aggravate the problem. A special diet and certain medications are usually prescribed. Goji berries have the specific anti-inflammatory SOD enzyme that reduces the inflammation caused by ulcers.
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome is when the muscles in the intestines do not work properly. This can cause abdominal pain, constipation or diarrhea. Stress can also bring on irritable bowel syndrome. A high fiber, low fat diet is usually prescribed. Goji berries help relieve stress, which can help in the prevention of the irritable bowel.
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) is caused by stomach acid backflow into the esophagus. A weakness in the muscle that acts as a valve between the stomach and the esophagus. This causes what is known as heartburn. The acid can cause major damage to the esophagus if left untreated. Usually people that are overweight suffer from GERD. Goji berries help with weight loss, and along with exercise will help prevent the acid reflux.

Cause of Swollen Ankles

Many people suffer from swollen ankles – a painful condition that can make it hard to do many activities that require movement, such as walking, shopping, exercising, driving around, and even standing. In some cases, sufferers are sometimes even unable to wear shoes or socks thanks to how distended their feet and ankles can get. So sufferers need to find out the cause of swollen ankles to help them avoid getting them in the first place.

There are several potential causes of swollen ankles. They include the following:

Firstly, injuries like sprains, strains or broken bones can cause ankles to swell. Many of these injuries can be evident enough to be dealt with immediately, but some of them may be less obvious. Sufferers and their doctors alike should always consider the possibility of swelling caused by these injuries, particularly if the sufferer is into sports or is on his or her feet frequently.

Next, gout can also be a major cause of swollen ankles. Gout happens when uric acid crystals form within the fluid surrounding an ankle or ankles. This acid occurs normally within our bodies when we digest food and is used to help eliminate waste. However, gout sufferers accumulate it in the joints instead of expelling it properly, causing swelling and pain.

Arthritis can also bring about ankle swelling. It can result as the consequence of a pre-existing rheumatoid arthritic condition or also as the result of an injury to the area.

Ankle swelling can also result from blood flow problems or circulatory problems if the problems occur around the ankle. A blood clot is usually the most common cause of this problem.

Lastly, an edema may be at the root of ankle swelling. Edemas happen when there is an excess of water or fluid within the body or the specific area. Excess water or fluid is usually drained from the body via the lymphatic system. In an edema, this drainage does not take place and the fluid or water leaks into the blood from the tissues. As a result, the body itself (generalized edema) or certain parts (localized edema), such as the ankles, end up swelling. An edema in the area can happen when pressure is placed on the leg veins. Or it can also result due to pregnancy or other conditions.

Sufferers’ doctors and health professionals have to keep these possibilities in mind when they try to determine the cause of swollen ankles and work to remedy sufferers’ specific problems. They can diagnose sufferers’ conditions through conducting thorough physical examinations and a range of other such examinations such as X-rays, kidney function tests, ECGs or electrocardiograms, urine tests, blood tests, and so on and so forth.

Depending on their findings as to the cause of swollen ankles, the cure for this condition may be quick and painless or slow and exacting. If the swelling is caused by a broken bone, then it may simply need to be set and the sufferer may only need to rest it and act accordingly. If however the cause is more serious, then a lifestyle change may be in order.

Potatoes Are Good For Heart Health

At last, potatoes get their due. While we all know fries and chips aren’t healthy forms of this veggie and are likely candidates for all the added weight we’re all carrying, it might surprise you to learn that research has found that when cooked properly, potatoes are good for the heart… not to mention the taste buds.

There’s a small study that has found that eating two servings of spuds a day can reduce blood pressure by as much as the tried and true oatmeal route, and without causing you to gain weight.

The American Heart Association estimates that one in three American adults is impacted by high blood pressure. That’s about 73 million of us.

What’s even more surprising is that this condition, once associated with aging and older people, now also affects about 2 million teens and kids in America.

The work on blood pressure and potatoes was done by analyzing 18 subjects who ate 6 to 8 small purple potatoes at two meals each day for a month.

Their systolic (top) and diastolic (bottom) blood pressure numbers dropped by 3.5% and a statistically significant 4.3% respectively.

What’s even more impressive is that most of the subjects were overweight or obese, along with a high percentage taking prescription medications for hypertension during the research.

Even though participants in the research were taking medications for blood pressure, the team still saw a drop in readings. And none of the subjects gained any weight.

Research using larger numbers of subjects is needed, though the findings of this work do give some evidence that potatoes might be helpful for blood pressure, just as coffee has been shown to be. The two foods do share a polyphenol known to lower blood pressure in mice.

Researchers reminds us that potatoes are a perfectly healthy food when not fried in oil or loaded down with high fat toppings like sour cream, butter, bacon bits or melted cheese.

Microwaving, as the participants did in the study, is a neutral way to cook these veggies, without removing any of the powerful nutrients or adding calories and fat.

Potatoes are a fantastic source of potassium, known to help manage blood pressure. They’re low in fat, don’t have excessive calories and are full of nutrients, especially in the skin.

The skin of the purple potatoes is likely an even richer source of antioxidants than other varieties. Though less popular than white or red, purple potatoes have higher levels of polyphenol antioxidants. This variety is more available than they’ve been in the past, and you’re likely to see them in your supermarket, specialty food stores or even local farmer’s markets.

High blood pressure (also known as hypertension) left untreated increases your risk of developing heart disease, kidney disease, hardening of the arteries, damage to your eyes and stroke. The aim of your doctor is to detect and treat high blood pressure before these complications have a chance to take hold. So, as potatoes are good for your heart, adding these to your diet can only be a good thing.

Cerebrovascular Diseases – Cerebral Embolism

The embolus is usually derived from the heart or sometimes from atheromatous plaques in the carotid or vertebrobasilar systems. Emboli commonly consist of thrombi, atheromatous plaques, Cardiac vegetations and calcareous particles, but rarely fat, air and tumor tissue may be seen. The clinical setting in which embolism occurs often provides the clue to the nature of the embolus. When an embolus lodges in an artery, it leads to distal thrombosis along the ramifying vessels or it may fragment and get impacted in smaller vessels. Infarcts caused by emboli are often hemorrhagic since the blood flowing into damaged vessels escapes into ischemic or necrotic brain tissue. The middle cerebral artery territory is most frequently involved in embolism. The commonest cause is chronic artrial fibrillation occurring in either rheumatic or atherosclerotic heart disease. The other causes include mural thrombi from myocardial infarction, vegetations on prosthetic valves, bacterial endocarditis and mitral valve prolapses in rare cases. Iatrogenic causes include complications during arteriography or surgery of the neck and thorax.

The clinical picture depends on the artery involved. Usually the embolus lodges in one of the branches rather than the mainstem of an artery. Thus it is more common to produce a focal disorder like monoplegia or motor aphasia rather than a complete hemiplegia. Often the deficit is transitory since the embolus passes distally into smaller vessels.

Diagnosis: This is confirmed by a CT Scan. Examination of the CSF may exclude a hemorrhagic lesion. In septic embolus CSF may show pleocytosis.

Management: Prevention of cerebral embolism is more important than its treatment. Restoring atrial fibrillation to normal sinus rhythm and long-term anticoagulant therapy in patients with myocardial infarction and cardiac valve prosthesis prevent embolic complications. However, once the embolism is complete, it is necessary to exclude a hemorrhagic infarct before anticoagulant therapy is started. In cerebral embolism complicating bacterial endocarditis, it is advisable to withhold anticoagulants because of the danger of intracranial bleeding.

Severe Heartburn or a Heart Attack?

Severe heartburn caused by acid reflux and GERD (gastroesphageal reflux disease) is suffered by millions of people across the globe. Heartburn feels as though one’s heart is on fire. However, this feeling is simply caused by stomach acid being pushed back up into the esophagus, which tends to result in a burning sensation behind the breast bone. Thus, the effects of heartburn are not actually causing the heart any damage.

Unfortunately, it is easy to mistaken an attack of severe heartburn for a heart attack or vice versa. In fact, it is estimated that every year over five million Americans with chest pain, who fear a heart attack, are admitted to emergency. Of these five million cases of chest pain, more than half are noncardiac chest pain cases (NCCP), and as many as 60% of these NCCP cases are GERD related.

How can you distinguish heartburn from a heart attack? Although symptoms may be similar, the following are the symptoms associated with each condition to help you determine your personal diagnosis:

Typical heartburn Symptoms – Discomfort and/or burning pain located directly behind the breastbone, which is often accompanied by burping, bloating or gas. Sometimes an acidic taste can be felt in the back of the throat or mouth. Symptoms are generally worse after eating, especially after large meals. They may also worse after ingesting alcohol, caffeine and after using tobacco.

Heartburn usually feels worse when lying down to rest. Heartburn symptoms may subside after taking an over-the-counter (OTC) antacid. However, in severe heartburn cases, prescribed medication may be the only treatment to provide relief.

Typical Heart Pain – A tight feeling in the middle of the chest that may also feel like squeezing, weight or pressure in the chest. Pain may spread into the shoulders, neck and/or jaw. Sweating and shortness of breath may also accompany symptoms. Heart pain usually occurs after being physically active or exertion.

Heart pain will not subside after taking an antacid but can subside when lying down or from general rest.

When should you seek immediate medical attention? Although the above symptoms are typical for each condition, they may not be the same for everyone. Therefore, it is in your best interest to pay close attention to the symptoms you experience. If you have GERD or are prone to acid reflux, write down the symptoms you feel and refer to these each time you experience heartburn to be sure that is what you are experiencing. If for any reason you experience a symptom you’ve never felt before, or are worried that your condition could be more serious than severe heartburn, Seek Medical Attention Immediately. It’s better to be safe than sorry!

If it turns out that you are suffering a heart attack, the first few hours of your symptoms are critical for effectively saving your heart muscle.

In addition, make sure you see your doctor for regular physical checkups to help ensure that you heart is strong and healthy. Furthermore, if you have not been diagnosed with GERD, but experience frequent chest pains, be sure to bring any symptoms to your doctor’s attention to receive a proper diagnosis.

Finally, if you are suffering from severe heartburn, medication is the only effective treatment to provide quick relief. The following are three types of medications that may provide you quick relief:

– OTC Antacids – Tums, Rolaids, Maalox, and Gelusil.

– OTC or prescription H-2 receptor blockers – OTC Pepcid AC, and Zantac 75 – while prescription meds may be Axid, Tagamet, Pepcid and Zantac

– OTC or prescription Proton pump inhibitors – OTC Prilosec – Prescription Nexium, Prevacid, Aciphex, and Protonix

Keep in mind that taking medication all the time to treat your heartburn isn’t the best way to treat your body, so be sure to discuss alternative treatment with your doctor. Try to avoid severe heartburn in the first place by watching your diet and eating smaller meals at a slower pace.

The Role of Nutrition – Diet and Heart Disease

Nutrition: Diet and heart diseases go hand in hand. Nutritious food plays a very important role in maintaining good health. Poor eating habits can lead to several diseases. Here, we shall discuss about the common heart ailments and the role of nutritious food in preventing heart related disorders.

Types Of Heart Diseases

There are almost eight types of diseases and not all conditions can be controlled with a healthy food. Though nutritious food is important for the overall well being, but nutrition, diet, and heart ailments may not have a direct link with each other. Some of the heart malfunctions may require surgery. For instance, valvular heart disease can be cured only with surgery. Even a balanced food cannot help in treating this condition. Listed here are the different types of heart ailments.

• Coronary Heart Disease – CHD as it is commonly known is caused by the narrowing of arteries that carry blood. This reduces the flow of blood in the heart. This condition may require medication or surgery.

• Cardiomyopathy – This type of disease is commonly known as heart attack. It is caused due to blockage in the arteries. The blockage may occur due to various reasons. One of the most common reasons is high levels of fat in the blood that thickens the blood and disrupts its flow. Nutrition, diet, and disease is linked in this kind of condition. A balanced diet with low cholesterol and fat content can make a lot of difference. A good diet will maintain the optimal level of thickness in blood and avoid blockages.

• Cardiovascular disease – This type of disease may affect the blood vessels or the heart itself.

• Ischemic heart malfunctions – This kind of heart disorder reduces the blood supply to your organ.

• Heart failure – It is also known as congestive cardiac failure and is caused due to structural or functional disorder.

• Valvular Heart Disease – This disease affects the valves of the heart. They fail to perform their function and may result into severe heart problem.

• Inflammatory heart malfunction – It causes the inflammation of heart muscles or its tissue.

• Hypertensive heart malfunctions – High blood pressure is the common cause of this type of disease. Here, nutrition, diet, and heart ailment can be linked since controlling blood pressure through diet can prevent a heart disorder.

A healthy food will not only keep a check on your heart, it can also prevent several other ailments. Nutritious food is good for your internal as well as external well being. A balance food will improve the quality of your skin and hair improves drastically. Remember the adage – what goes in, comes out. It is applicable here as well; a good diet will keep diseases at bay.

Top 5 Superfoods For Hair Growth

Hair growth is dependent on the quality of our nutrition. Our bloodstream nourishes hair follicles, so the quality of the nutrients in our blood affects the quality of our hair. What are the best foods to create healthy, luscious hair?

1. Salmon and fatty fish-Think of the fish oils and omegas in these guys as an internal conditioner. Not only is it excellent for your brain and your blood vessels, it produces stunning results for your skin and hair. Eat salmon or fatty fish at least twice a week in order to reap the benefits.

2. Lean beef-As much as beef gets a bad reputation as an artery clogger and fat distributor, your body needs protein in order to produce quality hair. Lean beef is a great way to give your body the protein it needs. Indulge your inner carnivore once or twice a week.

3. Dried beans-Dried beans are one of nature’s miracles, believe it or not! Not only do they count as a vegetable AND a protein, they fill you up with fiber and are packed full of minerals. In my opinion, eat as many beans as possible and you will lose weight, look incredible, and feel fantastic. Beans can be added to salads, casseroles, and side dishes or made into patties and used in place of hamburgers. Beans can also be pureed into dips and spreads. This low-fat, low-calorie source of vegetarian protein is also an excellent source of iron, which is necessary in preventing hair loss. As an added enticement, they’re ridiculously cheap-awesome for any budget.

4. Eggs-“The incredible edible egg” as the ads say. Once again, this is a source of protein, but eggs are also rich in B vitamins, which promote healthy skin and muscles. Cell growth is also dependent on B vitamins.

5. Nuts and unprocessed grains-These are another excellent way to add fiber (great for weight loss, digestion, and peak immune system function) and increase your general health. Specifically for hair growth, nuts provide protein, vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats that we need to look our best.

I’m often amazed and dismayed at the amount of money spent on products that are meant to improve our hair from the outside. How many of them work? Hair care is a billion dollar industry, and you won’t know you’ve lost your money on a hair treatment until it’s too late. Improving your body from the inside is the best possible method for improving the appearance of your hair, and it’s likely that hair won’t be the only part of your body that improves!

What Happens to a Person Who Is Dying From Glioblastoma Multiform

If you’ve recently found out that you, a family member, or a friend has been diagnosed with a glioblastoma mediforme (gbm), you’re most likely wondering, “What is going to happen?” Of course, this is only one of many thoughts that will race through your mind. How do I know this? Because I was with my brother when he was diagnosed.

He did not survive, but he was able to get treatment that allowed him 6 years with his family before succumbing to gbm.

We discovered the tumor after he suffered a grand mal seizure in 1994. He was home alone with his three children – 6, 2½, and 1 – when it happened. His 6-year-old ran to a neighbor and told them something was wrong with her father. Testing at the hospital revealed that he had a tumor – that’s all we understood. The doctor said we needed to have a “hatch” put into my brother’s skull so that they could excise the tumor – but be able to repeat the procedure often. Why would they repeat the procedure? Because excising a tumor means taking out small portion of the tumor at a time; then as it returns, the doctors would invade my brother’s brain again and take a little more of the tumor.

Not Satisfied with That!

Doing what I do best, I researched everything I could find out – I reached out to medical contacts to find the names of the best doctors near us. My brother and I traveled to NYC to consult with a Neurologist on Park Avenue. He was, apparently, well renowned for his understanding of brain tumors. At the end of the visit, he recommended that my brother get his affairs in order, because he only had a matter of months to survive. He told us that the tumor was cancerous and surgery would not solve the problem.

A friend of my mother had a nephew who was a neurologist in Boston. We sent my brother’s MRIs, x-rays, and test results to him. He immediately called and said that the Neurosurgeon in Boston could help my brother. We made an appointment and met the doctor. What a difference!

This doctor explained everything so clearly. He offered hope, but no promise of a perfect life.

So What Happened Next?

Kim, my brother, was scheduled for surgery; but first he had to go through a series of MRIs (fast MRIs) that provided information for the doctor to create a 3D image of my brother’s brain so that he could prepare for surgery. During surgery, Kim had to stay awake so that the doctor could ask questions. Kim had to identify pictures and words and answer questions throughout the surgery so that the doctor could determine if he was resecting (removing) tissue too close to functional areas of his brain.

He ended up shaving his whole head, because the little amount of hair remaining just looked out of place. The rest of his head had scars that his 2½-year-old daughter described as looking like a baseball. (I’m sure she was referring to the stitching on the ball – Kim’s skull had similar stitching.) The risks of this operation included:

  • Infection: The patient could get an infection in the wound or a deeper infection from exposure in the hospital
  • Bleeding: This could be superficial bruising or a deeper collection of blood
  • Loss of smell or cerebrospinal fluid leaking through the nose if the doctor uses a frontal approach to remove the tumor
  • Damage to the cranial nerves resulting in facial numbness, loss of vision, or double vision
  • The need for a blood transfusion during or after the procedure
  • Weakness, numbness, speech disturbance or paralysis (stroke like symptoms)
  • Epilepsy, which may require medication (this happened to my brother)
  • The surgery may not cure this condition and further treatment may be needed
  • Coma or death

This was just the beginning – but that surgery allowed Kim another six years with his children. In the meantime, he underwent aggressive radiation twice a week and chemotherapy through a combination of IV and pills. He was incredibly sick from the treatment (vomiting, nausea, exhaustion), but he continued to work. It wasn’t easy work either; he was a floor sander, lifting 300-pound machines up several flights of stairs. It was during one of these climbs approximately three years after the resection that he got an incredible headache – the worst he’d ever experienced.

The local emergency room disclosed that he’d suffered a brain aneurysm – this is when a weak area in an artery that supplies blood to the brain bulges. However, when one of these aneurysms ruptures, it causes a hemorrhage that leads to further brain damage or even death. The doctor explained that the only reason my brother didn’t die from this hemorrhage was because the tumor resection had left a cavity or hole in his brain that allowed the blood to pool. He further explained that a possible reason the artery was weakened was from the radiation.

It took him several months to heal from this. But when he healed, he went right back to work and raising his three children alone. This is when things began to really go downhill for him. The doctors had him on high doses of steroids to reduce swelling and on Depakote to prevent epileptic seizures.

These were some of the side effects he endured:

  • Insomnia
  • Increased appetite and the potential for weight gain
  • Personality changes (ranging from moodiness to psychosis)
  • Muscle loss (particularly in the thighs, which bear the patient’s weight when rising, sitting, and walking)
  • Bloated appearance (distended abdomen, cushingoid swelling of the face, and sometimes a hump in the neck)
  • Pooling of fluid in the extremities
  • Potential for steroid-induced diabetes

Unfortunately my brother did develop diabetes and received insulin shots and blood sugar testing several times a day – that was one of my jobs. He had been an extremely athletic and active person (for example, he would get up at 4:00 am to pull lobster pots (200 pots) as a hobby before work; then he sanded and refinished floors all day; after work he would ride either his touring or mountain bike for 20 to 30 miles; and finally, he would clean the house and care for his three children). He really struggled at becoming sedentary and gaining almost 100 pounds.

He functioned okay – but he was slower, less coordinated, and his speech was garbled. He had MRIs every three months for two years and then every six months for the next four years. In the Fall of 2000, just a few months after a regularly scheduled MRI that was clear, Kim’s speech got worse and he started getting headaches again. We went to the hospital and what they told us broke us.

The tumor was not only back, but it was the worst kind of tumor – the fastest growing and inoperable. The tumor had suddenly grown like fingers dispersed throughout his brain.

Kim rapidly lost his ability to walk, talk, feed himself, or use the bathroom. He lost all dignity at this point. He had to be fed, wear diapers, and was bed-ridden. He survived like this for about six months. He did not want to give up his independence and he would try to walk, but fall on the floor. He had been 6’2″ and 160 pounds before the cancer; after all the medication, treatment, and sedentary lifestyle, he was still 6’2″, but he was 260 pounds. Trying to pick him up was difficult – in fact, impossible. My parents were in their 70s and they would try to pick him up – it took the three of us to get him back into bed many nights. It was exhausting, but absolutely heartbreaking.

Kim stayed in my home until he died. I’ll never forget the volunteers who came to my home just to sit with my brother – read, talk, or tell stories – anything to allow the family to have a small break from the constant care. Their willingness to serve kept us from feeling alone and allowed us opportunities to go to the store without worrying.

Hospice came in toward the end and monitored him. He had difficulty communicating. His breathing was so labored, he was rarely lucid, and he was in pain. The Hospice workers gave him morphine to relieve the pain and he stopped fighting to live just a day later, March 16, 2001. He was 49 years old.

I hope this information helps even one person to understand what families dealing with a gbm diagnosis may be experiencing.

Pneumonia In Children – Learn About Symptoms And Treatment Plans

Pneumonia is a lung infection, either in one lung or in both. When both lungs are infected, it is called double pneumonia. If the infection is mild, the visit to your doctor may be avoided and your kid can continue his day-to-day activities normally, it is called walking pneumonia.

Lungs play an important role in the respiratory system of our body. The air that we breathe in, has oxygen which is filtrated in the lungs. This filtered oxygen is then circulated around the body by blood that is passed by the alveoli from breathing tubes. Minute blood vessels or Capillaries are circumvented by little air sacs called alveoli. Generally, there are over 600 million alveoli in our human body. The air which is absorbed is added to the alveoli and the extracted oxygen is dissolved in our blood. It is the responsibility of the RBCs to circulate the oxygen to every part of the body. Oxygen is essential in the efficient working of the system and inadequate supply of oxygen may harm the organs and at times, it can be critical. This operation gets affected when the lungs are attacked by pneumonia.

Pneumonia affects the proper working of the lungs, since the infection creates fluid which blocks the alveoli. Successively the oxygen doesn’t go deep into the lungs and very less oxygen is given to the blood. Respiration is affected and the shape worsens when both lungs are infected by pneumonia.

Persons of every age group, from kids to old may be affected by pneumonia. A common myth among the people is that the person might catch pneumonia if they get wet often. But in reality, bacteria or virus infects the person. When a human infected with cold or flu faces worsening in their condition, then he may be affected by pneumonia. This occurs since the irritation induced by the cold or flu aids the pneumonia microbes to enter the lungs and spread the infection.

The bacteria or virus which induces pneumonia may cause harms, and the severity depends upon the general health of the kid. If bacteria causes the infection, then the kid may fall ill very soon and will get fever with very high temperature along with chills. Pneumonia that is induced by virus grows very slowly and also takes a long time to cure. The kid may also suffer headache, chest pain, muscle pain, and or cough. The kid may suffer breathing difficulty, so he will breath faster, which might make him spit out floppy mucus. The kid might have to totally refrain from eating.

While given the appropriate treatment, the child may regain fully. The physician will first analyze the breathing and heartbeat using the stethoscope. And the stethoscope also aids in examining the lungs,and the noise produced by the lungs serve in checking if it carries some fluids. Sounds characterized by bubbling or crackling indicate the attack of pneumonia. A chest X-ray might be taken too. The White uneven area indicates fluid buildup. By viewing the X-ray, the physician can determine whether the infection was stimulated by virus or bacteria. If it is stimulated by bacteria, then antibiotics might be prescribed. And whenever it is hard for the kid to accept the medicine or retain it inside, the kid will be shot with IV fluid. Whenever virus is the reason for the infection, antibiotic medicines will not work. Cough medicine along with fever reducers, may be supplied in such cases. The medications will be useless, if the kid does not take sufficient rest and excess liquids.

Injections may be taken to prevent the attack of pneumonia. The series of injections are called pneumococcal. Normal flu injections may also be useful, especially for children who have bronchial asthma or any other forms of lung infection. Sleep and rest also tones up the immune system. Regularly cleaning the hands can help in keeping harmful germs away.

A Cure for Mesothelioma?

Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma is a most lethal cancer. It has unusual characteristics. The more I look at it the more I am convinced it does not behave like a true solid tissue cancer.

o Serosal membranes very rarely become malignant except with Mesothelioma.

o It is not asbestos fiber dose dependent.

o It is not cigarette smoking dose related.

o Probably occurs only in cases where there was prior evidence of a pleurisy (benign) usually with evidence of pleural thickening.

o Latency is different (usually longer) than any other known malignancy.

o 275 day median survival is more in keeping with an uncontrollable infection (all be it a malignant one) than a solid tumor growth pattern.

o Simian 40 virus DNA parts have been found in mesothelioma specimens.

o Rarely if ever found as a distant metastasis (e.g. brain or liver spread).

I believe it is a viral infection gone malignant e.g. HIV type malignant behavior so that it looks more like asbestos fiber activation of a common virus infection in turn causing a variety of clinical conditions. Many of these clinical conditions can be quite innocuous. In benign pleural effusions we don’t find a pleural cavity full of asbestos needles – It would appear we haven’t been culturing for the right agent.

If Mesothelioma is a rogue viral infection – then there is the possibility of developing a vaccine and offering vaccination to asbestos exposed people who are at heightened risk of developing future asbestos related malignancies.

Q: Is asbestos a co-carcinogen to a viral infection?

A: Needs to be studied…

Chest Infection Symptoms

Just last week, the Swine flu infection statistics A (H1N1) virus have increased remarkably. The Laboratories have confirmed the worldwide cases to the World Heath Organisation (WHO-193 member states) have increased from 19,273 to 36,038 as of the 6-17-2009. Worst cases confirmed as follows:

o USA 17855

o Mexico 6241

o Canada 2978

o Australia 1823

o Chile 1694

o UK 1582 Countries infected now 80….up sixteen Deaths now 167 up…. fifty

Patients with a compromised immune system, such as the elderly or very young or those that smoke can more readily have chest infection symptoms, usually starting with a sore throat, a cold and a cough which produces mucus, which can be green or yellow.

In view of the worldwide pandemic and particularly if you have recently visited an infected country such as Mexico and have chest infection symptoms, it is advisable and strongly recommended to be checked out at your local Hospital where a swab will be taken to check for the flu virus, H1N1.

Chest Infection Symptoms

Headache A persistent chesty dry cough Loss of appetite Breathlessness (Not associated with exercise) Coughing up phlegm which is either green or yellow in color or both Appetite loss A fever indicated by a high temperature above 38 c (100F) Aching muscles A body chill (feeling cold)

If you have any of these symptoms it is important to drink plenty of fluids, as the body temperature will cause a fluid loss due to dehydration as a result of the chest infection.

Treatment for Chest Infection Symptoms

Some conditions such as influenza which is highly infectious as is the case of the current Swine Flu or Mexican flu has to be treated with antiviral drugs (Tamiflu), as antibiotics do not respond to a viral infection. It is essential that the antiviral drug be administered in the early stages of the chest infection symptoms, ideally within the first two days to combat chest infection.

The Tamiflu drug which is the first to be used against the Swine flu A strain influenza pandemic, seems to becoming resistant to this particular strain. “It is not the case of Tamiflu becoming ineffective but there are natural mutational shifts and drifts, says Dr. Len Horovitz a pulmonary specialist with Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. Just because it’s becoming more resistant does not mean that it is a more deadly virus.”

The alternative to Tamiflu is Relenza which is being used to combat Swine flu, but researchers have warned that widespread use of these antivirals would risk creating a resistance to swine flu and would make it harder to stem its spread, and they should only be given to patients with a compromised immune system, the very sick, and those with chest infection symptoms.

The fact that these drugs are available online is worrying the medical profession, Relenza in particular as it is administered by inhalation and therefore not recommended for patients with a chronic respiratory disease or COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease).

What You Need to Know About Childhood Bronchitis

Bronchitis is a respiratory disorder or infection in the upper respiratory tract which commonly occurs in adults as their airways become inflamed and blocked with sputum. Bronchitis can be very mild and it can also be very severe. I am yet to see one that feels comfortable at all with the disease because it really makes one to be restless.

One of the bad things about bronchitis is that it affects pregnant women, adults and children. It affects everybody. But the people who are most vulnerable to the disease are the pregnant women and the young people. I am not trying to make you afraid but to give you a clear picture of the disease and offer advice that will help to avoid any long-lasting problems of bronchitis.

Every woman’s body faces many changes during pregnancy. The oxygen and nutrients she once consumed only for herself, and her well-being, now must be processed for herself and her unborn baby. Doctors treating a pregnant woman with any sort of respiratory difficulty face a real big problem as the woman’s health condition becomes a challenge for her doctors. The doctors have a series of balancing acts to carry out in treating the pregnant woman and caring for her baby.

Doctors have got to consider the physiological and anatomical modifications that the woman goes through during a pregnancy. They must strike a balance between the woman’s needs and the needs of the fetus. They must also realize that there is a greater vulnerability to disease for a pregnant woman. The doctor’s management of a pregnant woman with bronchitis is made more complex with the unborn child and that individual’s needs not to receive some of the medication designed for the mother only.

If you are, for the first time, a pregnant woman you have to understand that you are preparing for a momentous event. You are going to be bringing a new life into the world. This will be the start of your family. The change from being a wife to being a mother is a big change and all sorts of things need to be prepared. Prepare your home. Get rid of all those after effects of smoking. If you and your partner haven’t already quit permanently, then do it now. The risks to the baby and you are too high to go on. Get rid of pollution.

If you live near a factory that is bringing out pollutants then move away from it. If your home is dusty, in a mess and full of cobwebs get a cleaner to clean it for you or start today getting rid of anything that will irritate your lungs and affect the child, both before and after birth. Go through your bathroom regularly with a germ-killing disinfectant so you can be rest assured that all the surfaces you come into contact with are clean and continue that way.

The version of bronchitis that affects a child at the infant stage of life is called bronchiolitis. Bronchiolitis occurs in infants when the airways between the chest and the lungs become inflamed. To understand this is quite simple as the bronchioles of adults are far larger than those of children and so it is easier for a child’s to get blocked and trap viruses. No one living in a home especially the parent can get a good night’s sleep if the baby is persistently coughing or is having difficulty breathing. At first it may seem to be a cold or cough but is it something else. You may want to check if your baby is suffering from bronchiolitis.

If a child has a cold then it can spread through the tubes of the lungs and develop bronchitis. Normally the infant will cough. The infant may be short of breath and as the infant breathes there will be noises to accompany the breathing. If you discover the signs then get a doctor either to come to you or go to them. Bronchitis, as earlier stated, is an infection in the upper respiratory tract. It often comes to light as a dry, hacking, persistent cough that can last for 2 or 3 days and a light fever. Chest pain and coughing can increase at night.

Bronchitis is a horrible disease. You cough and bring up sputum and sooner or later it goes. The shortness of breath and the lack of freedom that go with it are terrible. So for your child’s sake stop smoking now. If you are smoking when you are reading this then finish your cigarette, cigar or pipe full of tobacco and let that be the last one ever for the sake of your child and their long term health. If you find that the air quality in and around your home is bad then move away from the cause of the pollution and give your child the opportunity of being free from pollution.

The major problem with bronchitis is the fear that it brings to those around the child. When someone has known a friend or family member who has suffered with chronic bronchitis for years and has probably suffered the sleepless nights with them, the thought of someone young having bronchitis will cause worry and concern. A child even a baby can sense that concern and will react to it. So let’s take things gently and boldly forward. Let’s remember that there are now less people smoking. There is less pollution and there is less necessity for infants and children to suffer from this. The reason that bronchitis frightens people is those who have had it for years and it doesn’t go away as it is an inflammation of the person’s lungs. For the huge majority of children this is not a chronic illness. They will get over it.

Acute bronchitis needs to be managed and dealt with and must not get the chance to become chronic or develop into pneumonia. I hope this article has been helpful to you so that you can treat your child at home when necessary and take them to the doctor if the bronchitis is starting to take hold. Get your child to eat healthily, Wash hands regularly and avoid smoky places.

Knee Pain and Skiing

Be sure to notify your orthopedic specialist if you have knee pain accompanied with swelling, cannot fully extend of flex your knee, notice a deformity, have a fever, or if the knee “gives out”.

Knee Injuries from Skiing

Because of the mechanics of the sport, knee injuries are quite common for skiers. These injuries can range from simple to complex, with 25% of all ski injuries affecting the knee.

MCL Injury – The most commonly injured knee structure is the medial collateral ligament (MCL). This is because of the type of stance and turn skiers use that places serious stress on the inside of the knee.

ACL Injury – The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is injured in more advanced skiers or from those who have a specific type of fall. ACL injuries are associated with sudden direction change with a twisting injury accentuated by the long lever arm of the ski.

Torn Meniscus – Another common skiing injury is a torn meniscus. The meniscus is a rubbery tough cartilage that acts a shock absorber for the joint. It is torn when you suddenly twist your knee with weight on it or from a direct contact blow during a fall.

Knee Bursitis – Certain knee injuries lead to inflammation of the bursae, the small sacs of fluid that cushion the knee joint. This condition is painful, especially with bending of the knee, and swelling is common.

Patellar Tendinitis – When one or more tendons are irritated and inflamed, patellar tendinitis develops. The tendons are the thick fibrous cords that attach bone to muscle. Skiers are prone to inflammation of this tendon that connects the quadriceps muscle on the front of the thigh to the tibia (shinbone).

Knee Dislocation – Pain from dislocation of the knee joint is rare and is a true emergency. The displacement of the leg stretches and tears the knee ligaments and may involve injuries to the arteries and/or nerves. This painful condition often produces an obvious knee deformity and requires immediate medical attention.

Kneecap (Patella) Dislocation – Dislocation of the patella is caused from direct trauma or forceful twisting of the knee. Obvious patella deformity occurs with this condition, and you should seek medical care immediately.

Runner’s Knee (Patellofemoral Pain)

Skiers put heavy stress on their knees that causes a condition called runner’s knee. This knee pain syndrome causes pain around the front aspect of the knee. The pain occurs with walking up or going down stairs, squatting, kneeling, or sitting. Patellofemoral pain is caused by malalignment of the knee, partial dislocation, injury, flat feet, or tightness and weakness of the thigh muscles. Runner’s knee can be the result of soft tissue irritation in the front of the knee.

Treatment for Knee Pain

Treatment of your knee pain will depend on the particular problem that is causing the pain.

Basic First Aid for Knee Pain

Stop skiing and use the RICE formula:

Rest – Avoid putting weight on the painful knee.

Ice – Apply cold packs or ice wrapped in a towel for short intervals of time frequently.

Compression – Use an elastic bandage, like a simple knee sleeve with the kneecap cut out that fits snugly.

Elevation – Keep the knee raised up higher than your heart.

Nonsurgical Treatment

If you have knee pain, you should see an orthopedic specialist. The doctor may recommend physical therapy for you to learn reconditioning to regain full range of motion, power, strength, speed, and endurance. These exercises help the front thigh muscles (quads) and the back thigh muscles (hamstrings).

Another thing the doctor may recommend is a special brace to help protect and support the knee. Certain knee pain syndromes respond to injections of corticosteroids to reduce inflammation. The doctor may recommend a hyaluronic acid injection for joints that need extra lubrication.

Surgical Treatment

There are several surgical knee procedures for knee pain.

Arthroscopy – This is done when there is significant damage to the cartilage or meniscus. The orthopedic specialist uses a pencil-sized instrument (called an arthroscope) to look inside the knee joint to diagnose and repair your condition.

Realignment – This is done to reduce the pressure on the cartilage and supporting structures of the front aspect of the knee.

Partial Knee Replacement Surgery – This procedure is done when there is serious damage to the knee. The orthopedic specialist replaces the damaged portion with parts made of metal and plastic.

Total Knee Replacement – This surgery is done when the doctor must remove significant damaged bone and cartilage and replace it with an artificial joint.

Knee Pain Prevention

Keep weight normal – Maintaining a healthy weight is the best thing you can do to prevent knee pain and injury.

Get strong and stay limber – Weak muscles lead to knee injuries, so keep your quads and hamstrings strong. Balance and stability training allows the muscles of the knees to function properly. Also, avoid injury by stretching to increase flexibility.

Stay in shape – Prevent knee pain and injury by keeping yourself well-conditioned.

Use proper gear – Make sure your skiing shoes are good shock absorbers and of quality construction. Also, be sure your shoes fit properly.

Lisfranc Fractures and Dislocations – Sourcing Useful Information About Lisfranc Injuries

This is a foot injury, which though extremely rare, is most often suffered by horse riders and other Extreme Sport types e.g. mountain bikers, skiers, surfers, skateboarders, kite and wind surfers etc…

In recent years there have also been several high-profile instances of Lisfranc injuries amongst National Football League (American Football) players.

The injury is most commonly caused by the foot being trapped whilst a solid object (strap, fixings or stirrup) continues to rotate, causing the middle of the foot to shear and some or all of the five bones within the foot to dislocate and/or fracture.

The treatment of the injury has evolved significantly in recent years and the prognosis has improved hugely as a result. However the injury is virtually unique with regard to the length of time it takes to treat and recover from – around 9 to 12 months is a fairly normal timescale for a healthy, fit individual who is correctly diagnosed, and who is (fairly LOL!) sensible in following the advice of their medical team.

This long recovery period – including long stretches of both immobility and very restricted mobility – combined with the typical profile of someone who has suffered a Lisfranc, i.e.:-

  • an active, physically fit individual
  • who is used to taking risks
  • and accustomed to ‘beating the odds’ when working through ‘normal’ injuries and pain

can lead to immense frustration and personal challenges in addition to the medical issues…

It is currently very difficult to find the right sort of information regarding the injury, such as what level of recovery can be expected and in what timescales, not least because of its rarity. The most commonly used estimates are that:-

  • only 1 in more than 50,000 fractures
  • and approximately 1 in 200 of those foot fractures which merit medical treatment

are Lisfranc injuries.

In addition, the medical consultants’ view of acceptable foot functionality will generally be based on ‘normal’ activities e.g. ability to once again walk on a pavement (sidewalk), or jog round a well-maintained park, rather than:-

  • flying moguls at speed
  • performing mid-air ‘tricks’
  • or persuading half a tonne of argumentative equine to accompany you across a rutted, muddy field!!

Research amongst Lisfranc sufferers has confirmed that many express a need to share:-

  • information
  • experiences
  • and,above all, HOPE

with others who are either:-

  • currently undergoing this ‘journey’
  • and/or those who have walked (ouch!!) this path before them.