Cold Sore Scabs – A Few Helpful Tips

It’s never fun having a cold sore, and some people suffer from outbreak after outbreak. As if the sore wasn’t bad enough in itself, and just when you start thinking you’re on the mend, an ugly yellow crust, or scab, forms. On most of your body, a scab means that the pain goes away. However, with a cold sore, there’s no such luck. Every time you move facial muscles or your lips, the scab can crack painfully. So what’s the best way to deal with cold sore scabs, and are there any tricks to try to make them feel better?

You want the scab to form, because that means new, fresh skin is forming under it. Of course, that also means that it’s going to start itching badly. Although the virus is retreating back to where it will lie dormant until next time, the area will still be painful and irritated. Some people give into the temptation of picking at the scab trying to get it to go away and leave them healed; however, it won’t go away naturally on it’s own until the time is right, and anything you do to try to remove it prematurely is going to do more harm than good. You can rip the sore open again and start it to bleeding which will make it take just that much longer to heal.

Picking at a scab can also cause more permanent scarring. Even when you leave the scab on until it falls off naturally, it can leave a temporary scab. The best thing you can do to help the scab heal and leave less scarring is to apply Neosporin or other antibiotic ointment three or four times a day until everything is healed up. Neosporin will help keep a scab from cracking as well as keep a cracked scab from becoming infected.

The scab itself is not contagious. Chances are very slim that if you kiss someone you’ll be able to pass the cold sore along to them once the area has completely scabbed over. However, if you don’t want to take any unnecessary chances, the only 100% positive way to keep it from spreading is probably to avoid kissing until the entire sore is gone.

Scalp Psoriasis

Scalp psoriasis is a serious issue to sufferers of psoriasis.

Scalp psoriasis can be found in up to half of all psoriasis sufferers. The condition can range anywhere from a fine dandruff-like flaking of the skin on the scalp to severe plaques the cover much of the scalp and extend into the areas of the face, ears and neck.

The constant flaking and peeling of the skin on the scalp makes wearing dark clothing very difficult as the flakes rain on the shoulders and give an unsightly appearance akin to dandruff.

A common concern among patients is that either the scalp psoriasis itself or the effects of constant scratching will precipitate hair loss.

This is an understandable but unfounded concern; hair loss is not an outcome of this disease.

This condition is typically diagnosed by visual inspection from a physician or dermatologist.

In some instances where the visual evidence for psoriasis is scant, a skin biopsy may be performed.

Treating this condition is fundamentally similar to body-wide psoriasis treatment. However, given the distinct location of scalp psoriasis, a few special treatment options exist.

There are several medicated shampoos, oils, foams and liquids to help treat scalp psoriasis. A common ingredient found in shampoos for this application is salicylic acid. This common over-the-counter medication is often used to treat acne. It is thought to encourage skin sloughing and thus may help to reduce plaque severity and smooth out the skin. Some common side effects include reddening, itchiness and skin irritation.

Another treatment option for scalp psoriasis is coal tar. This is perhaps the oldest treatment for this condition. Coal tar stains things easily and smells quite profoundly. As such, its use is typically short-term.

Phototherapy (light therapy) is also available to sufferers of this disease. However, some dermatologists find this treatment too cumbersome as it requires the use of special comb-like attachments and a subsequent need to continually inspect the scalp for cancerous formations, which, owing to the hair, is time-consuming and difficult.

Interestingly, an off-label application of the anti-fungal drug ketoconazole is to take it during acute flare-ups of this condition. Apparently it is quite effective! It is important to experiment with as many different treatment options as possible, starting with the least invasive and least toxic.

Other therapies include everything from intense systemic treatments to modulation of psoriasis diet factors, exercise and stress management. Since scalp psoriasis is fundamentally still psoriasis, it is important to adopt lifestyle changes that augment the body’s ability to heal itself.

Toe Nail Fungus – 4 Places to Get Cheap Toe Nail Fungus Treatments!

Toe nail fungus is a pretty common problem with most adults that generally goes undetected. Lack of awareness make people ignore this otherwise pressing health need because once the situation aggravates, it could cause serious troubles for the sufferer. Acknowledging even the minutest visible symptoms then and getting the condition diagnosed is the best you could do to save yourself from the horror of falling prey to it. But again, toe nail fungus is a chronic condition and one must therefore be prepared for long term healing process. Considering all of that, choosing the most economical and pocket-friendly treatment could be the best one could do when the situation grips him/her. Here are 4 places revealed for you then, which would help you to get the most economical deals to cure toe nail fungus:

1. Your Trusted Physician’s Clinic

Prescription drugs could help you to sail through those toe nail fungus infections pretty easily and that too without stressing your finances much. The situation is going to be even better if your medical insurance policy covers the prescribed medication and consultancy charges. Be careful of not avoiding the doctor’s consultancy though because incorrect medication combinations could carry risks of side-effects such as stomach pain, head aches or even liver or kidney damages.

2. Medical Stores

If you are really short of even insured funds however, you could buy some safe-to-use medicated foot cream r from your local medical store to cure the infection. Sprays or creams meant for topical application usually do work for most cases. Medicated foot powders to assist and absorb excess moisture too help.

3. Alternative Medicine

Grapefruit seed extract is looked upon as an alternative medical therapy to treat toe nail fungus. It is a natural antimicrobial compound and can be relied upon to treat the condition without actually having to pay a dime.

4. Your Own Kitchen Pantry

Home remedies like soaking your feet in Listerine mouthwash or vinegar too are considered to be great ways to kill fungi. But you would need to repeat these several times a day and be careful of using clean, sterilized equipments. Australian tea-tree oil, thyme oil massages too are known to counter the fungal growth that causes toe-nail infections. The oils are pretty cheaply available and in most probability could be found in your kitchen pantry. Using corn starch is another option. Go use them to make huge savings then.

Other ways like surgeries and laser treatments too are available to cure severe stints with the condition but they are better avoided unless of course if your condition absolutely demands these or you have lots of money to spare. The best treatment which has worked for millions worldwide is a herbal anti-fungal cream. Even I used it and it helped cure my fungal infection permanently.

Dust Mite Allergy: Best Over the Counter Allergy Medicine

Typically, minor dust mite allergy symptoms begin with inflammation of the nasal passage. Often any minor agitation like this can be stopped immediately by leaving the area or going outside. If you do feel symptoms worsening such as itchy and watery eyes, runny nose, sneezing and/or coughing it is best to take action so symptoms do not progress to something more serious. Taking the best over the counter allergy medicine available is often the best treatment method as the antihistamine/decongestant will eliminate the symptoms allowing you to breathe and feel normal once again. If symptoms do progress they may lead to an increase in pressure causing facial pain or even eczema (a skin irritation causing dryness, redness and often pain and sensitivity).

More serious symptoms can cause health problems or trigger a pre existing issue such as asthma. Dust mite allergy symptoms in this case may cause difficulty breathing, heavy coughing, and tightness in the chest. In a situation like this it is once again recommended to use the best over the counter allergy medicine available. Medical treatment is usually not required to eliminate the conditions but be sure to use a treatment such as antihistamine or decongestant in order to keep the symptoms under control.

When it comes to dust mite allergy symptoms there are two specific types of treatments that can be considered the treatment sources. As many of us know the most basic dust mite allergy symptoms cause our nose to itch and swell as well as release a clear, runny mucous. These effects take place due to our bodies releasing a chemical called histamine, therefore the first medication to focus on is antihistamines. In short, antihistamines block histamines from interacting with our nasal tissue. This relieves allergy symptoms and is not dangerous in any way to our bodies. It is in fact preventing our body’s from attacking themselves, otherwise known as allergic reactions.

Best Over the Counter Allergy Medicine: Antihistamines

When using this treatment keep in mind that most antihistamines only need to be taken once per day to have a full effect (especially when dealing with dust mite allergies) on the body. Depending on what you are looking for the treatments are grouped into two categories; drowsy and non drowsy. Drowsy medications meaning the side effects will cause a sedative or tiring effect and non drowsy meaning there is no tiring effect on the body. The main side effects of antihistamines are often very mild and generally include as mentioned before, a sedative effect as well as dry mouth although it is barely noticeable. The treatment will also contain warning labels as to when it is best to use the medication but also who shouldn’t be taking it. Every brand has different labels but generally it is best not to mix the medication with alcohol. If you do suffer from asthma as well then antihistamines are a must for keeping your allergies under control. The best over the counter allergy medicine for you will be one that works to free your breathing, which can be done by avoiding the dust mites as best as possible and by taking antihistamines regularly.

Best Over the Counter Allergy Medicine: Decongestants

The best allergy medicine when experiencing symptoms of difficulty breathing or catching your breathe is by far decongestants. Decongestants come in the form of drops and nose sprays and can relieve any form of stuffy nose or difficulty breathing immediately. While decongestants are a very useful product they should be used with moderation. It is best to take decongestants only on your worst days for allergy symptoms. They work as the treatment method specifically for dust mites because of how much dust mite allergy symptoms can vary, some days are worse than others. Decongestants when taken for more than 3 days can cause your body to rely upon them and you may feel your nose clogged or stuffy when getting off of the medication.

Decongestants work by narrowing the blood vessels within the lining of the nose. By narrowing the blood vessels the tissue within the nose decreases in swelling and allows more air to pass through, allowing you to breathe easy. Even though they are widely considered one of the most effective medications there are a few mild side effects. These side effects include nervousness and dizziness but once again are rare. In extremely rare instances they may cause the heart to race. Always remember to read the label of the medication you are taking.

For further information and guides on over the counter allergy medicines or dust mite allergies in general be sure to visit the dust mite allergy site.

Dealing With Your Clinical Depression Issues

It is inevitable that everyone will experience some degree of depression at some time in their life. There is, however, a tremendous difference in, circumstantial depression and clinical depression. It is normal for a person who experiences a sudden tragic event or loss to feel the temporary sting of depression.

Depression is one of your body’s coping mechanisms when stress suddenly falls upon you. You should begin to feel better in a reasonable period of time. If you do not, you may be suffering from clinical depression. While this type of depression often surfaces early in life, the symptoms are often not recognized until an individual is older.

A diagnosis of clinical depression requires some type of treatment. There are a number of different treatments available for depression. Many treatments work in conjunction with each other. The differences in the two main treatments for depression are professional help and self help.

Seeking professional help for depression put under the care of health care professionals. Either a psychiatrist or your general doctor is likely to prescribe antidepressants. Antidepressants work to re-establish a chemical balance in the brain.

Low levels of serotonin are often the suspected culprit when there are symptoms of depression. Serotonin is an important neurotransmitter in the brain which is known to affect moods. Antidepressants work by aiming to lift serotonin levels, thus ameliorating the symptoms of depression.

Far from the field of antidepressants and professional help lie alternative treatments and natural cures. The most common natural cure for depression is the use of the herb St. John’s Wort. St. John’s Wort can be purchased at your local pharmacy for less than $10.00. That’s a far cry from the hundreds of dollars that prescription antidepressants cost.

Self help methods are mostly about healthy lifestyle changes and healthy attitude changes. Strong support mechanism of those suffering from depression can be found in self help groups. Group members also suffer from depression. A non-judgmental, the helpful group will allow you to express your feelings about depression, find out they’re not alone, and learned new coping skills from other members. Experts agree that regardless of your treatment method a strong support group is essential to overcoming any type of depression.

Food Phobias and Fussy Eating: How to Break Out of the Restrictions and Fear of Eating Certain Foods

Those suffering from food phobias have restricted diets varying in extreme from avoiding meat to only eating a handful of items. However, some food phobics and fussy eaters have a list of food so limited, it seriously affects their health and many have issues adding variety to their main diet.

We all have foods we can’t tolerate. Sometimes the taste, texture, origin or look of a food simply puts us off. Yet someone with extreme food phobia feels this way over a large variety of foods leaving precious little to nourish them.

Luckily, this type of eating disorder can be successfully treated. NLP and hypnosis treatments can help sufferers to add more variety and content to the limited range of what they deem, acceptable food.

Nutrition Studies and the Body’s Resilience

A controversial study with very interesting findings on diet and nourishment was carried out by Professor Werner Kollath at the University of Rostock. He fed animals a junk-food type diet of processed foodstuffs devoid of virtually all minerals apart from zinc, potassium phosphate and a little thiamine. Up until their thirties they managed on this nutritiously low diet and grew normally. However, a rapid deterioration followed after that.

He also discovered that if the animals were then fed healthy, mainly raw foods, their previous junk-food diet did not have a negative impact on their long-term health, even though nutritionally bereft. The power of a living being to heal and repair itself is immense and beyond comprehension.

Why and How do People Get Food Phobias – Client Case Studies

Many NLP and hypnotherapy practitioner’s typical clients are male, sometimes in their late teens, who realise they cannot go out with their friends for meals. Other’s are men in their late twenties or early thirties who suddenly become worried about the health implications of not eating well. Often, practitioners wonder if a client’s unconscious mind prompts them to do something at this age. Perhaps they realise they must change or, suffer the future implications if they do not eat a balanced diet.

Each food phobic or restricted eater has different reasons for their eating disorder. However, commonly, their problems start in childhood.

Many sufferers have childhood memories involving the decision to shun certain foods for varying reasons such as the taste, texture, smell or look of the food.

Another factor is power. The decision can be a means to exert their will and have a degree of control in their world. Many children will decide on a whim they no longer like tomatoes or peas this week and bananas and pears the next.

Emotional Challenges

One client refused to eat his mother’s food to punish her for barring his father from their home. He was angry that Dad was no longer welcome in the house. Their separation was disturbing for him and this was his way of expressing his emotions. By default, his actions bought him attention, quickly learning he could manipulate situations. Looking back, he realised his mother was living in guilt and would compensate through giving him treats.

Forced to Eat Certain Foods

One food phobic’s problems started in childhood, as many do. She now won’t eat meat because she was forced to as a child. Steak, kidney and liver were the worst. To this day, the sight and smell makes her heave, as does boiling pork. So at six years of age she became a vegetarian. Some of her family owned farms so her decision wasn’t well received. However, for her, this helped her decision because she’d made friends with many of the animals so eating them didn’t seem right.

Of course, the particular phobic reasons for her vegetarianism pose no problem nutritionally or socially.

Another client would only eat white foods. Chicken, potatoes (no skin!), pasta only or with ‘mushroom soup sauce’ with the mushrooms strained out, white bread and chips. Any type of crisps were allowed as was chocolate. However, he became addicted consuming around ten bars a day. He had no recollection of when, why or how long he’d been this way.

Treatments

Luckily, in order for those with this type of eating disorder to heal, it is not necessary to know details of how they became this way. The special techniques of NLP and hypnotherapy can help remedy food phobias, often in two to three sessions. Also there are hypnosis recordings which can help overcome the issue in the privacy and comfort of your own home.

Anxiety Attacks Symptoms – How to Cure Them Without Any Medication in 3 Weeks!

Anxiety attack symptoms are scary sensations. The fact that each and everyone of us is designed to be biologically different, every individual experience these sensations differently based on their lifestyle, diet, health. These anxiety attacks symptoms can come in the form of chest pains, rapid heartbeats, irritated bowel syndrome, sweating, dizziness, body tension, shortness of breath, body aches, trembling, nausea as well as weakness – Just to name a few.

These sensations can come knocking onto your door without any warning and the fact that the cause of these symptoms are unknown, it can instill a lot of fear when you experience it for the first time. However, it is important to note that anxiety is NOT an illness.

Anxiety is nothing more than a behavioral condition that is set being set to an extreme level. This happens when the brain had been exposed to long term stress or trauma. These long term exposure to stress cause the signals of your body to “malfunction”, causing your body to “prepare for action” at the wrong time.

Anxiety is being experience to “protect” you from harm. Your body prepares itself for action against any incoming threats:

Your muscles tenses up, you feel overwhelm by fear, you started to take in more oxygen and your body starts to pump more blood to areas that are urgently needed. However, because the logical you knows that there is no real ‘danger’ present, you cannot explain what is wrong with your body. In short, chest pains and shortage of breath or even dizziness is experienced when your body starts to take in more oxygen, your heartbeat becomes more rapid because of the sensational fear against danger, Shaking and aches are caused by your muscles tensing up etc.

Anxiety attack symptoms are similar to your fear sensations. The fact that these sensations are experienced even though there is NO true fear present is all due to a malfunction of an appropriate response by your body.

Breathing techniques works. However, breathing techniques is invented to work by easing and calming your body down during these attacks. It does not cure or prevent these anxiety attacks symptoms from coming back again. If you do not know how to cope with these attacks and let fear overwhelm you, these sensations would come back scarier and increases your chance of developing an anxiety disorder.

In order to cure and start moving yourself away from these attacks, you need to start facing these anxiety attacks symptoms upfront. You need to know that these symptoms are not illnesses nor are they dangerous enough to harm you in any way. When you start to see them in a different light, you are taking control of these attacks and not by doing so, enables you to cope better with them.

Taking medication is okay but medication does not cure your underlying problems. More often than not, these anxiety attacks symptoms starts coming back when you stop taking these medication altogether. Another disadvantage of taking medication is that being over reliant on them can cause a scary vast of side effects like drowsiness, low moods, clumsiness, cognitive deficits and depression when taken over a long period of time..

Changing your diet to build a better healthier you can serve as an alternative. Try to include more minerals such as the B vitamins and magnesium can help in strengthening your brain nerves and body control, thus reducing the chances your body “malfunction”. Avoid stimulating drinks like alcohol or coffee that robs your body of magnesium and makes you feel nervous.

Again, anxiety is not an illness. It is nothing more than a malfunction of response. By understanding and establishing control over these attacks, you will be bringing back confidence and light back again into your life.

A good source to learn how to cure anxiety attacks symptoms and anxiety disorder is a book by Dr Joe Barry. This is By Far, the best non-prescription Self-Help techniques On Curing and Coping With Anxiety Attacks:

Check It Out

[http://www.cure-for-anxiety.com]

Insomnia Help – How Alcohol Causes Insomnia

Many people like to drink wine, beer or other alcoholic beverages after work or in the evening, and because of the muscle (and mind) relaxation that occurs, may believe that alcohol helps them sleep.

Ironically, while a few drinks may bring on a sleepy state, they will disrupt the normal sleep cycle and create very restless sleep. The reason for this is that once asleep, the body starts to metabolise the alcohol and this affects brain activity. Alcohol in the blood stream actually disrupts the normal sleep cycle which involves cycling four or five times a night through deep, restful sleep and more active periods of dreaming and high brain activity. Alcohol disturbs the sleep pattern and makes it erratic.

Studies have found that alcohol consumed six hours before bedtime disrupts the second half of the sleep period. Active  alcoholics experience specific sleep disturbances such as needing increased time to fall asleep, frequent awakenings and poorer sleep quality as well as daytime fatigue. Further, these people undergo a vicious cycle when they try to stop drinking since an abrupt reduction or end to drinking usually triggers alcohol-withdrawal difficulties as well as pronounced insomnia and sleep disturbance.

Beyond withdrawal, sleep patterns may never return to normal in people with alcoholism. After years of abstinence, alcoholics tend to sleep poorly, with increased nighttime wakefulness contributing to daytime fatigue.

In addition to the effects of alcohol on the brain, drinking high quantities of any beverage before bed is going to increase the need for urination during the night, creating a further sleep disruption.

The occasional evening of drinks is not a problem, but a pattern of heavy drinking can set up insomnia problems. It can also lead to sleep apnea where the throat’s soft tissues can relax to the point of obstructing breathing during sleep.

Cutting back on alcohol consumption, or stopping it entirely is advisable for people keen to restore restful sleep.

Metatarsalgia/Pain In The Ball Of The Foot

A very common cause of metatarsalgia is Morton’s neuroma, which is a growth on a nerve. T his growth usually occurs at the 3rd plantar interdigital nerve that innervates the toes. It can however affect other nerves. Morton’s neuroma occurs most often unilaterally rather than bilaterally (one foot), and is more common in women than men. Morton’s neuroma can be a result of a malformation of the bones of the foot beginning in our early years of development. A flattening of the arch or the foot turning in or out (pronation) can be a causative factor.

A phenomenon often found in individuals with Morton’s neuroma is when the toes are flexed (curled under), it will be found that the 2nd toe is quite a bit longer than the others and somewhat shorter than the normal 1st metatarsal.

Pain in the metatarsal area (ball of foot) can also be caused by stress fractures. A stress fracture is a minute (micro-fracture) that occurs in a bone due to repetitive impact or of a pounding nature to that particular area or bone, such as a runner would encounter. These stress fractures most often affect the leg, ankle and foot. Bones usually affected in the lower extremity are the tibia and fibula. In the foot, the most common are the 2nd, 3rd and 4th metatarsal. Other bones of the foot affected are the calcaneous, navicular and cuboid.

Generally the pain will start as a vague ache that will become a localized pain. The pain usually worsens when stretching the foot or applying a pressure over the metatarsal area (ball of the foot). Other movements of the foot will not cause pain. Any pain in the foot, whatever the causative factor, may in all probability have an impact on the biomechanical integrity of the foot. This will in turn set up a mechanism of instability that will affect the ankle and leg. This instability in turn will often cause related symptoms, such as, leg, back and spinal pain.

Biomechanical factors are often created in individuals who are involved in activities such as running as previously stated, and sports that are of high impact to the feet such as aerobics, basketball, football and long distance power walking. These are the types of activities that are instrumental in causing stress fractures, and generally are the precursor of future problems in the feet.

In treating any foot condition, the individual should have a definitive diagnosis. To accomplish this they should see their Chiropractor or Podiatrist for an examination and evaluation. This evaluation will consist of a case history, an examination that will include orthopedic tests and probably x-rays of the feet. Although the pain may affect one foot, x-rays may be taken of both feet for comparison purposes. Once a definitive diagnosis is arrived at, the condition will be treated to alleviate the pain and recommendations made to prevent a return of symptoms.

Treating any such foot problems will be the responsibility of the patient in the long run. They must of course follow the recommendations made by their healthcare provider, after-which they should take an active role in achieving the desired goal of being pain-free, and remaining so in the future. In a condition such as Morton’s neuroma, the goal is to treat with conservative measures. However, in many instances, surgical intervention may be necessary.

The individuals’ primary objective is to see to their shoes. They must see that the fit of their shoes will not cause further problems. The shoes of course must be of good quality with a proper ergonomically designed fit. The quality is of the utmost importance so as to prevent premature breakdown. A breakdown of the insole will cause the feet to pronate, either inwardly or outwardly. There is a simple check that you can perform to check how your shoes fit in a proper fashion. While standing on a sheet of paper, have someone trace an outline of your feet. Then place your shoes over this drawn outline and trace the outline of your shoes. If the foot outline is not well within the shoe outline will signify a cramping of the feet by the shoes.

Cramping of the feet, caused by shoes that are to small give rise to other conditions. One such condition is Bunions (hallus valgus). The bunion is caused when the toes are squeezed together over a long period of time. There callus formation and overgrowth of bone in the joint of where the big toe and the metatarsal joint meet. In some women there can be a genetic disposition to bunions.

Hammer Toes is another condition that can directly be attributed to poorly fitted shoes. The 5th toe is the toe that is most often affected. When the toes are cramped in the shoe, the toes have a tendency to turn under because there is not room enough for them to stay in a normal extended fashion, when standing or walking. The rubbing action will cause calluses, and here too, the bone will start to overgrow causing a hammer toe.

A great percentage of women have been found to be wearing shoes that are too small for their feet, and it is in this percentile that women have complaints of foot pain. High heels are another significant cause of foot pain in women by placing increased pressure on the metatarsal area of the feet. When there is a high arch in the feet, a supplemental arch support will probably be of value to prevent strain of the arch. The shoe must allow the toes to spread and not cause a cramping of the toes, especially when stepping off in walking.

Basically a man should be aware of the same requirements for a proper fit as stated above. T he shoe should always be fitted for comfort and not for the size you think you wear. When fitting a shoe, late afternoon is the best time because your feet may be slightly larger. T hey should also be fitted in a standing position to make sure that the weight bearing is accommodated in the size of the shoe. Some individuals will find that an orthotic support will be of value. However, you must be certain that the orthotic will fit in the shoe properly without undue cramping of the feet. For the individual who is in pain, they of course must try to alleviate the pain. Warm foot soaks with Epsom salts in warm water can be very soothing. Follow the soak by massaging with a good analgesic balm. Use the foot soak and massage, 3 to 4 times daily as needed. There is also another type of shoe insert that may be of value. A magnetic insole will aid in circulation to the feet through its’ magnetic therapy,

To sum up, the individual must take control to ease their pain and to further prevent the return of the condition that is causing the pain. Making sure that they are wearing properly fitted shoes will prevent the return of the initial causative condition and can also prevent other conditions from arising. Easing the pain that is initially present, by self-care is a

Priority. Following the procedures as outlined above will make for a happier and healthier lifestyle.

Indigestion, Acid Reflux, Heartburn – The Endoscopy Test

An endoscope is an instrument that allows a doctor to look inside your body. There are endoscopes to examine the lungs and the windpipe, the lower bowel, the bladder and joints such as the knee, as well as the oesophagus, the stomach and thee duodenum.

This article is concerned with endoscopes used to look inside the oesophagus, the stomach and the duodenum. The early endoscopes used lenses and mirrors, but 30 years ago these were replaced by fibreoptic instruments that gave the operator a clear, direct view of the inside of the stomach.

Modern endoscopes are very advanced bits of technology (and thus extraordinarily expensive), consisting of a flexible piece of tubing, the tip of which can be controlled by the operator. Older all endoscopes have optical fibres along their length, but modern instruments actually have a small video camera in the tip and images are carried electronically direct to a video screen. The instrument also has other channels for suctioning stomach juice, blowing air to inflate the stomach and passing specialised forceps to take tiny biopsy specimens.

An endoscopy test (often called gastroscopy or simply the telescope test) is now the most accurate and most useful way of investigating the different causes of indigestion. It is the best way of diagnosing peptic ulcers and stomach cancers, and it can also be useful in diagnosing Helicobacter pylori infection. As well as giving the operator a clear view of any abnormalities, it also allows him or her to take tissue samples (biopsies) if necessary and can be used for treating other complications such as narrowing of the oesophagus.

Is Your Liver Detox Pointless?

If you rely on the Internet for information about health and graceful aging, you’ve undoubtedly heard it a thousand times by now: You need to detox your liver to achieve vitality and longevity.

And that’s true, to a degree… except… you’re most likely putting the cart before the horse.

OK, before I explain what’s really going on with your liver, let’s be honest here: The reason so many “gurus” are so hell-bent on selling you that liver detox is because they typically private label these kits then charge upwards of $300 for them. “The best cleanse in the world,” the guru exclaims, the slickster grin strewn from ear to ear.

Well, even the best liver cleanse on the planet won’t fix your issues if… you have small intestine mucosal barrier permeability.

What?

Mucosal barrier permeability. Or, to use another term for the same condition, “leaky gut.”

You see, your liver gets congested for a reason. And the reason given by the all-knowing guru at the anti-aging conference, that “you’re exposed to so many xenoestrogens in the environment that your liver can’t help but get clogged,” is rather absurd.

The real reason your liver gets congested is because of small intestine mucosal barrier permeability — otherwise known as “leaky gut.”

So, what is the mucosal barrier?

It’s a thin layer of finger-shaped structures that line your small intestine. These structures are called villi. Upon those finger-like structures is a layer of cells tightly bound together. This layer is called the epithelium layer. Upon that layer are tiny hair-like structures called microvilli.

When the microvilli become blunted (worn down), or the villi become shunted — when they look as if they’ve been sawed off at the first knuckle — or when the tight bonds between the epithelium cells become porous (leaky gut), we end up with both absorption and uptake issues.

What does this have to do with liver congestion and subsequent detoxification needs???

Here’s how it works. When you eat, your stomach passes mostly digested food onto the small intestine. There, in a healthy gut, the food is broken down further, and nutrients are sent to the liver as an “upload” or “uptake.” In the liver, those nutrients are then filtered into the blood, where they thus scurry about your body, nourishing everything in sight.

HOWEVER, if you’re suffering from intestinal permeability, or “leaky gut” — and some estimates claim as much as 75% of the North American population suffers from some degree of mucosal barrier dysfunction — your food is not being broken down completely, and what is sent as “uptake” to the liver includes various antigens; these are everything from food particles to parasite poop to certain strains of bacteria. And if the blood is supposed to be purified of these elements… and the liver is responsible for the purification of the blood… and, well, you get the idea.

The liver gets overloaded and thus congested. And the tricky thing about this scenario is that leaky gut doesn’t heal itself; if you don’t actively and consciously treat it, the situation typically gets worse and worse, meaning no matter how noble your liver detox intentions might be, it’s all rather pointless until you address the underlying cause: intestinal permeability itself.

What are some of the symptoms of leaky gut? How about bloating, arthritis (including RA), muscle pain (including fibromyalgia), other autoimmune disorders (including MS), headaches (including migraines), fatigue, constipation/diarrhea, adult acne, skin rashes (including eczema and psoriasis), food sensitivities, sleep disturbances, weight gain/weight loss, hormone imbalances, sinus congestion, allergies, asthma, colitis/Crohn’s disease, foggy brain, mood swings, and a slew of other issues.

It should be noted that with intestinal permeability also comes a host of other gut issues, like dysbiosis (microbial imbalance), SIBO (small intestine bacteria overgrowth), candida (yeast overgrowth), parasite infestation, and malnutrition.

Now, what causes leaky gut? A number of things, including poor diet, exposure to toxins, prescription drugs, alcohol abuse, unrecognized gluten sensitivity, external stress, internal trauma, and genetic predisposition, to name a few.

So, how do you know if you have a compromised mucosal barrier (or “leaky gut”)?

Well, you certainly don’t guess. You test! Find yourself a qualified functional nutritionist, and get yourself an intestinal permeability test as soon as possible.

It’s as simple as that.

Understanding the Menstrual Cycle and Ovulation Cycle With An Ovulation Calendar

Ovulation is a part of the menstrual cycle. It occurs when the ovary discharges a mature egg into the fallopian tube for fertilization to take place. If you are trying to conceive, one of the most important things to understand is the menstrual and ovulation cycle. This can help you predict when you are most fertile in order to fall pregnant. So many people are unaware of the importance in knowing when you are ovulating in order to conceive. Creating an ovulation calendar would be a proficient tool to ascertain your days of ovulation. An ovulation calendar is used to calculate the days which are favourable for conception to take place. An ovulation kit is a great method to double check this period of high fertility on your behalf. In this write-up, we are going to learn how an ovulation calendar works and how it may even help you determine the gender of your baby.

#Ovulation Calendar

It is important in understanding a menstrual cycle first and foremost. The menstrual cycle consists of three phases namely; the follicular phase, ovulation phase and luteal phase. Ovulation is the most fertile period and occurs approximately ten to twelve hours after the LH surge. Therefore, having the knowledge of when you are ovulating will help you assess the best time to fall pregnant. An ovulation calendar helps you to calculate the probability of conceiving as its methodology is based on an ovulation period and other factors like the lifespan of the egg as well as that of the sperm.

This tool is more accurate when you are aware of how long your menstrual cycle is. You can determine this by tracking the number of days of your cycle consists of for about three to four months. A menstrual cycle starts on the first day of your period and ends on the day before your next menstrual cycle begins. Most women have regular cycles that last for 28 days while for others it fluctuates between 29 to 32 days.

Ovulation itself generally occurs between day 10 and day 20 of the full menstrual cycle, in other words 12 to 16 days before your next period is due. So for example if you have a regular 28 day cycle, ovulation should occur on day 14 before your next one. Sounds confusing doesn’t it, but there is no need to worry. Using an ovulation kit to confirm your ovulating days within your menstrual cycle are one of the easiest and most accurate things to do. An ovulation kit can be purchased from all pharmacies. It consists of testing sticks plus a holder with a window in it. Urinating on the stick, much like taking a pregnancy test will confirm when an LH surge has occurred. You even have the choice of digital ovulation kits which may be easier to read. The kits contain the necessary guidelines and instruction on when to start testing etc.

#Ovulation Calendar and the Gender of the Baby.

The prediction of the ovulation date, accompanied with great accuracy by using an ovulation kit may also help you predetermine your baby’s gender. The male sperm has an advantage because they are faster but die out quickly, so if you are trying to get pregnant during the ovulation period, they will swim faster and pass the egg first thus increases the chances of conceiving a boy.

On the other hand, because the male sperm dies out quickly than the female sperm, if you have intercourse a few days earlier than the ovulation day, then there are high chances that you will conceive a girl. This theory can be a great help as it will help you to plan more effectively. Note that a sperm lasts in the woman’s body for 4 days but the egg only lives for about 12- 24 hours after ovulation.

The afore-mentioned information clearly depicts the importance of an ovulation calendar. Spend a little time in understanding your menstrual cycle and you will be able to ascertain your days of ovulation more accurately. Most couples take about a year of trying naturally before they can conceive, but by taking advantage of understanding how the menstrual cycle, and ovulation calendar works you will be able to increase your chances of falling pregnant. Be smart, plan for your baby and reduce the pressure from friends and family.

Your Treatment Options For Colon Issues

I never set out to be as knowledgeable as I have recently become about colon surgery. But if you want to know the real lowdown on a procedure, ask someone who has gone through it.

First a few basics: The colonoscopy is the gold standard for detecting colon issues. If you wait until you have symptoms in the case of colon cancer, it is usually too late. Fecal occult blood test would not have found my polyp (it wasn’t bleeding). Sigmoidoscopy — i.e. looking up the descending (left) colon as far as the first bend, is a numbers game. It will discover a lot of abnormalities, but it wouldn’t have found mine: mine was in the transverse colon on the right (far) side. Women especially should insist on a full colonoscopy: statistically women tend to experience more issues higher up in the colon whereas men tend to have polyps and cancers closer to the rectum. Virtual colonoscopy is less annoying to prepare for, but the results aren’t as good. Don’t settle for anything less than a full colonoscopy. If you are going to test, get the best test.

Second: So-called colon cleansing products have no effect on colon cancer, and it’s highly dubious if they prevent it. They make a lot of money for those who sell them, but the colon is designed to clean itself, and will do so happily if provided with high quality nutrition. High colonics and enemas are not good for you when done regularly. Mixtures such as psyllium/bentonite will certainly pull a lot of water from your body and give you a temporary light feeling, but psyllium is an irritant to some. Likewise, chronic laxative use is bad and can set up a dependency. The best prevention is to maintain proper weight, eat little or no red meat, sugar, transfats and refined carbs and lots of fresh fruit and vegetables and exercise regularly and drink lots of water.

You are probably reading this because you or someone you love has been diagnosed with some sort of colon abnormality and you are looking at surgery. Your abnormality may already been diagnosed as cancer, or you may have been told, as I was, that a polyp that size (between pingpong ball and baseball sized) is almost sure to contain cancer. So naturally you want it out of there post haste.

Unfortunately, surgery is pretty much your only option, but be educated about the finer details and you will have dramatically better results.

Too big to do through the endoscope? The endoscope is the flexible tube with cameras and instruments that is inserted in your anus during a colonoscopy. A normal endoscopist is trained to snip small polyps, especially the common kind that grow on a stalk, with a tool called an endoscopic snare. It’s basically just an adjustable loop of fine wire that they poke out the tool head of the flexible tube containing the scope. They make it big enough to go around the polyp, then they tighten it up until it cuts off the polyp. They retrieve the polyp and biopsy it but the assumption is that the majority of small polyps are benign. It’s only the ones that get left in a long time and grow big that are more likely to contain cancer. If the endoscopist determines that the polyp is small enough, he/she just snips it automatically. If you are looking at surgery like I was, it is because your polyp is large, and/or sessile (that means it has a very broad base and is well anchored on the inside of the colon.) Mine was both.

Bowel Resection: The current standard procedure for a large polyp if the rest of the colon is otherwise healthy is what I had: a bowel resection: meaning they basically remove the segment of bowel containing the polyp and then reattach the ends of what is left. There are numerous ways to do this, depending on the skill of the surgeon, the location of the polyp and the condition of the patient.

Open abdominal surgery: Prior to the mid 90’s bowel resections were usually done as open abdominal surgery. This means they cut a large incision in your abdomen to access the colon and they work through it. Your body cavity is open for the duration of the surgery and when it’s done you have a large incision that is slow to heal because it was open for so long.

Modified laproscopic procedure: In the mid 90’s they started doing this procedure laproscopically, i.e. they insert three small tubes under your skin and muscle layer and operate through the tubes. When they have dislodged the bad bit and bagged it and sutured the ends of the colon they then create an incision to remove the bad bit. Because the incision is smaller and open only for a few minutes, it heals much faster and better, necessitating a much shorter hospital stay. This procedure is contraindicated for an obese patient or in someone who has already had multiple previous surgeries. Apparently the laproscopes don’t work very well with a lot of stuff on top of them. This is what I had done.

Experimental combo lapro/endo: This is what I wish I could have had done. I wondered why they couldn’t just roto-root, scrape out the polyp like a D&C and remove it in chunks through the anus. There are three reasons why they don’t: one, risk of perforating the colon, two, if it is cancer they need to be careful not to let any cancer cells escape to start a new colony, and three if it is cancer you would want to take the surrounding tissue anyway. It turned out my polyp, although huge, was benign, but there was no way to know that until it was all out. There is a technique now where they do this but I’m guessing they will do it only if the risk of cancer is low. My risk of cancer was considered to be very high. I of a case where the patient had a polyp too large for a standard endoscopic snare and they went in through the rectum with an endoscope with some souped up tools and basically roto-rooted the polyp, while another doctor made laproscopic incisions and watched the outside of the colon with a laproscope to make sure it didn’t get perforated. If they perforated the colon they had a plan B, which was to go ahead and do a laproscopic bowel resection. And if anything they scraped out of that patient had cancer in it, they were prepared to go back in and give him a bowel resection anyway. Lucky for that patient, they didn’t perforate him, and his polyp turned out to be benign and he walked out that day with only a couple band-aids on his abdomen. This procedure is regarded as experimental and is not widely used, but I predict it will be within the next five years. I heard that it was invented at UCLA Med center so if you live near there you might wish to investigate further.

Colon suture options: All the illustrations I found on the net show the ends of bowel reattached end-to-end so eventually it just looks like a somewhat shortened but continuous tube. A lot of times, however, they bring up the two bowel ends even, suture across the top, and then make a new hole for the fecal matter to travel through. This seems kludgey, bumpy and ugly to me but that is what they did. According to two surgeons I consulted both ways work equally well. One of them said the ugly way is less likely to rupture and the other said they were about the same. When I get to be a constipated old lady I will update and let you know if my modified colon is giving me any problems, but so far it’s working just fine.

Your exit scar: Unless you are fortunate enough to have the latest minimally invasive surgery you will either end up with a big scar, or a smaller scar and three laproscopic incisions. The small incisions heal quickly. You will want to do everything you can, including acupuncture and self massage, to soften up that scar as soon as it heals. You will also not be able to use your core abdominal muscles for a little while or lift anything. Do not push this because you do NOT want your incision to get a hernia!

Finally, find other people your surgeon has operated on and Google your surgeon! Laproscopic bowel resection is regarded as a difficult procedure and it takes a long time for a surgeon to get good at it. You will have to live with the results of his/her work for the rest of your life.

Fibroid Tumor Symptoms – What Are They?

At times, fibroid tumor symptoms go unnoticed in women, and for some, they affect everyday life dramatically. They often grow in groups, and can be little as a pea, or as big as a grapefruit. They most often occur before menopause, and effect 80% of the female population. Main fibroid tumor symptoms are:

1. Pain in the lower abdomen or bladder irritation. It comes and goes for some, and stays almost constant for others. If they grow near the vagina, pain during sex is common.

2. Pressure in the lower abdomen or bladder- This can make you have to urinate often, and feel as if you might urinate on yourself.

3. One of the most common fibroid tumor symptoms is having periods that are heavy. They may even bleed in between periods or bleed for 8 days or more. This can also result in anemia due to blood loss.

4. Fibroid symptoms also include a growing waistline and altered shape of the abdomen. While there is no real weight gain, your clothes will fit tighter around your stomach.

5. Infertility- If there are fibroids in the uterus, an egg will not be able to implant itself, leading to infertility or miscarriages. If the growth is near the fallopian tube, then the egg cannot be released, and the sperm cannot get to the egg. When this happens, pregnancy cannot. Just about any growth like this will compromise the ability to become or stay pregnant.

There are many fibroid tumor symptoms that can severely affect a woman’s life, and send her searching for natural cures for fibroids.

Complex Ovarian Cysts – 3 Common Types

A complex ovarian cyst can be quite a painful and annoying medical problem and affects millions of women around the world. Although many women go undiagnosed with this problem, many women also seek treatment due to the suffering that they go through.

An ovarian cyst is a fluid filled sac that is most often attached to one of a woman’s ovaries. The cyst is created because every month when a woman menstruates, a small sac called a follicle naturally forms. This sac releases estrogen and other hormones which signal the boy to release a mature egg from the ovary to be impregnated. Then the follicle naturally dissolves and eliminates itself from the body as you are menstruating.

In women that have problems with cysts though, the follicle doesn’t leave the body, and continues to grow attached to the ovary.

There are two types of functional ovarian cysts. The first is a follicular cyst, and the second is called a complex ovarian cyst. 

A complex ovarian cyst occurs much less frequently, but is unfortunately much more dangerous than the follicular cyst because they have both solid and liquid within them. There are three types of complex cysts. They are:

1. Endometrioma- Endometrioma typically only occurs in women who suffer from endometriosis, where the lining of the uterine cells growing outside of the uterus.  This allows uterine tissue to often attach itself to the ovaries, causing a cyst.

2. Dermoid Cysts- Dermoid cysts on the other hand, come from the cells that create the eggs which are called Ova. Dermoid cysts have the ability to become any kind of human tissue, and sometimes can include teeth, hair, and skin. These cysts can be quite painful and become larger than regular cysts.

3. Cystadenomas- Cystadenomas develop from ovarian tissue and can be the most painful, as they can grow to be up to a foot long and are filled with a watery mucus type substance.

Complex Ovarian cysts are typically the most painful and troublesome cysts. It is very important to consult with a physician and to be under constant care if you are someone who suffers with a complex ovarian cyst.