The Dangers of Eating Undercooked Chicken

You hear a lot of scary stories about people contracting illnesses which have been linked to undercooked chicken and unfortunately the results of eating n undercooked one can be severe and even fatal.

The problem is often that if you cook a chicken after defrosting, it may require a longer cooking time. Cooking in a microwave can be tricky as often I have found, the chicken is still raw close to the bone. You should avoid eating chicken meat which looks bloody. However smoked chicken may remain pink even hen thoroughly cooked, so checking only the colour is not recommended.

Chicken can often contain the bacteria Staphylococcus aurea, and this can cause food poisoning. The problem with this strain of bacteria is that it has become resistant to certain antibiotics including penicillin.

Salmonella food poisoning outbreaks are also associated with chicken, and the meat can be infected by human handlers. This can cause a variety of symptoms and cause osteomylitis, where bones are infected, pericarditis which occurs when the bacteria attack the sac surrounding the heart, meningitis when the brain or spinal cord are infected, and hepatitis which is a liver disease, and pneumonia, a lung problem. Salmonella typhi bacteria can be the cause of typhoid fever too. However the symptoms of salmonella poisoning are usually milder with vomiting, nausea and diarrhoea, stomach cramps and these usually only last for one or two days.

Another bacterium which can be present in undercooked chicken is campylobacter which can lad to Guillain-Barre syndrome, which is a temporary paralysis which begins in the feet (you experience a tingling sensation) and moves upwards. This can cause complete paralysis, although this is usually temporary but may result in some weakness which will remain.

Chicken nuggets have recently caused outbreaks of food poisoning, perhaps because people eat them raw or do not realize that they are undercooked because they are coated in breadcrumbs and bite-sized – by the time you realize they are not properly cooked, it is probably too late.

The bacteria mentioned here are killed by cooking chicken at 350 ° Fahrenheit or 180° Celsius, Gas mark 5. For a fan oven a whole chicken should be roasted at this temperature, while for a conventional oven the temperatures should be 190°Celsius or 375° Fahrenheit. The formula for cooking a chicken is generally recognized to be 20 minutes per pound plus and extra 20 minutes. (454 grams equals one pound weight.)

If you buy chicken products, then read the cooking instructions carefully and follow them to the letter to avoid any illnesses related to undercooked chicken. It’ so easy to get it right that you shouldn’t be alarmed by the food poisoning stories you hear. Chicken is safe to eat as long as you cook it thoroughly.

Surgery for Acid Reflux – Permanent Relief for Heart Burn

Do you suffer from heartburn more often than you should? You might be having serious problems with your digestion. Heart burn is common among 85% of the population. It is said to normally result when you bend over or lift a heavy object. It can also occur after eating a heavy meal, when burping, or even when under stress and medication. However, it is considered serious when you experience heartburn twice or thrice a week. When this happens, you must consult a doctor ASAP.

Acid reflux can be managed in a lot of ways. Unfortunately, people experiencing heartburn ignore this symptom. Normally, when a person is stressed, he or she experiences hyperacidity, which can result to heartburn. It is the digestive system’s way of telling you that the acid build-up in your stomach is too much for it to handle. There is actually a muscle between the esophagus and the stomach called the pyloric sphincter. This small piece of muscle is the one responsible for controlling the contents of the stomach. It prevents the stomach contents to go back to the esophagus because the acid in the stomach is damaging. Consequently, when the pyloric sphincter fails in its function thereby releasing acidic content from the stomach, it loses its strength. This frequent heartburn episode can result to GERD or Gastrointestinal Esophageal Reflux Disease. This is the condition when the pyloric sphincter fully loses control of the stomach contents. So, every now and then, you will experience acid reflux which gets worse over time. This is also the time when simple management of the condition is no longer applicable. The best solution, therefore, to control it is through surgery for acid reflux. This is the type of surgery you may need to help alleviate the pain caused by the return of acidic stomach content into your esophagus. There are actually different types of acid reflux surgery. The most common is Laparoscopic Anti Reflux surgery and Fundoplication. Either surgery is necessary when medications can no longer manage the reflux or when medication becomes the source of high acid production within the stomach.

Little may be known about the ways to prevent acid reflux, but it doesn’t mean that people have to be ignorant about the dangers of the condition. Through learning more about this disease you can help yourself and your loved ones to prevent its occurrence. It’s never too late to share information with your loved ones, most especially when it concerns their health. surgery for acid reflux is just one solution. In  fact, it is a radical solution which can also be prevented through less invasive ways.

Surgery for Acid Reflux – Permanent Relief for Heart Burn

Do you suffer from heartburn more often than you should? You might be having serious problems with your digestion. Heart burn is common among 85% of the population. It is said to normally result when you bend over or lift a heavy object. It can also occur after eating a heavy meal, when burping, or even when under stress and medication. However, it is considered serious when you experience heartburn twice or thrice a week. When this happens, you must consult a doctor ASAP.

Acid reflux can be managed in a lot of ways. Unfortunately, people experiencing heartburn ignore this symptom. Normally, when a person is stressed, he or she experiences hyperacidity, which can result to heartburn. It is the digestive system’s way of telling you that the acid build-up in your stomach is too much for it to handle. There is actually a muscle between the esophagus and the stomach called the pyloric sphincter. This small piece of muscle is the one responsible for controlling the contents of the stomach. It prevents the stomach contents to go back to the esophagus because the acid in the stomach is damaging. Consequently, when the pyloric sphincter fails in its function thereby releasing acidic content from the stomach, it loses its strength. This frequent heartburn episode can result to GERD or Gastrointestinal Esophageal Reflux Disease. This is the condition when the pyloric sphincter fully loses control of the stomach contents. So, every now and then, you will experience acid reflux which gets worse over time. This is also the time when simple management of the condition is no longer applicable. The best solution, therefore, to control it is through surgery for acid reflux. This is the type of surgery you may need to help alleviate the pain caused by the return of acidic stomach content into your esophagus. There are actually different types of acid reflux surgery. The most common is Laparoscopic Anti Reflux surgery and Fundoplication. Either surgery is necessary when medications can no longer manage the reflux or when medication becomes the source of high acid production within the stomach.

Little may be known about the ways to prevent acid reflux, but it doesn’t mean that people have to be ignorant about the dangers of the condition. Through learning more about this disease you can help yourself and your loved ones to prevent its occurrence. It’s never too late to share information with your loved ones, most especially when it concerns their health. surgery for acid reflux is just one solution. In  fact, it is a radical solution which can also be prevented through less invasive ways.

Morphea Scleroderma – Is There a Cure?

Morphea scleroderma is a medical term for localized scleroderma. This type of scleroderma affects only the skin, and not the internal organs, which makes it less harmful, but with a lot more visible external symptoms. This type of scleroderma can be treated naturally, and can be cured. Read on to learn more.

Morphea scleroderma is an autoimmune disease, and the cause is usually genetic. If left untreated, the disease progresses, and the average life expectancy is about 30 years from the date of diagnose. The current medical approach to treating morphea is by suppressing the immune system, so that the progression of the disease is slowed down. This is a classical case of treating just the symptom, and not the root cause, not to mention the side effects involved. As your immune system becomes weaker, bacteria starts growing in the tissues, and this can cause a lot more damage, than the disease itself. Still, many clinics, and medical professionals suggest that people go this route, and suppress their immune system.

Is there a cure?

Morphea scleroderma affects less than one percentile of the population, and if you have this condition you may be asking yourself “Why me?” or “Why do I have a disease no one else has even heard of?”. Although the disease is rare, there is a natural cure, which anyone can apply to get rid of the disease. The drugs that suppress the immune system of the patient are seemingly effective, as the symptoms quickly subside after taking them. But in the long run – they do more harm than good. That’s why, if you have morphea scleroderma, it is important that you start looking for better ways of treatment, and remember – modern medicine does not always offer the best solution, especially when it comes to a rare autoimmune disease like this. Countless people have been hurt in the process of believing what their doctor told them. Of course, you should listen to your doctor, but you should also think for yourself, and make your own research when it comes to your health!

Histoplasmosis -Definition, Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Histoplasmosis , also called as Darling’s disease , is a disease caused when airborne spores of the fungus Histoplasma capsulatum are inhaled into the lungs.This infectious disease primarily affects the lungs & sometimes can spread to other parts of the body. This kind of the disease is known as disseminated histoplasmosis, and it can be critical if untreated.

Histoplasma capsulatum is a microscopic dimorhous fungus that grow stronger in moderate temperatures and moist environments and appears as yeast at body temperature in mammals. Histoplasma capsulatum is commonly found throughout the world in river valleys and soil where chickens, pigeons, starlings, blackbirds, and bat droppings accumulate, is released into the air when soil is disturbed by plowing fields, sweeping chicken coops, or digging holes.

The soil in indigenous region gives an acidic damp environment with high organic content that is good for mycelial production. Highly contaminated soil is found near areas inherent by bats and birds. Birds cannot be infected by the fungus because of their high body temperatures, but they do carry it on their feathers.But bats can become infected because they have a lower body temperature than birds, and they spread the fungus through droppings.

Causes

Histoplasmosis is produced by a microscopic dimorhous fungus Histoplasma capsulatum . The fungus produces spores that can be inhaled when they get into the air. Spores are hardy forms of the fungus that can live in the environment for a long time. The spores are extremely light and can be float into the air when dirt or other polluted material is disturbed .There are large number of cases appears in farmers, landscapers, construction workers & the people who are living near construction sites and spelunkers.

Histoplasmosis is generally not harmful in primary stages & so mild that it produces no apparent sign & symptoms. Any sign that might appear are generally just like to those from a common cold.If any individual had histoplasmosis symptoms, he /she might dismiss them as those from a flu or cold , since the body’s immune system generally overcomes the infection in some days without treatment.

Symptoms

The symptoms histoplasmosis appears within 3 to 17 days after exposure ,the calculated average is 10 days. Most infected persons have no symptoms in there primary stage. When symptoms occur, they vary widely, depending on the condition of the disease. The condition of the disease depends on the number of fungus spores inhaled, reactions may range from a brief period of discomfort feeling to serious illness.

Histoplasmosis can affect generally any region of the body such as eyes, liver, bone marrow, skin, adrenal glands & intestinal tract.The condition of the disease show which organs are affected. Individuals with this kind of the disease may have anemia, pneumonia, pericarditis, meningitis, adrenal insufficiency, mouth ulcers, tongue or intestinal tract.Histoplasmosis, in even mild conditions can later produce a critical eye disease known as ocular histoplasmosis syndrome (OHS), a leading cause of vision loss.

Symptoms of histoplasmosis may include:

  • Discomfort feeling.
  • Bloody spitting.
  • Weakness.
  • Headache.
  • Muscles pain.
  • Joint pain.
  • Fever .
  • Chills
  • Inflammation of the sac around the heart.
  • Gastrointestinal tract.
  • Chest pain.
  • Dry or nonproductive cough.
  • Breathing uneasiness.
  • Weight loss.
  • Mouth sores.
  • Bulging of liver and spleen.
  • Skin rashes.
  • Vision loss.
  • Tuberculosis.

Treatments

Treatment of histoplasmosis depends on the complexity of the disease. Anti fungal treatments are taken to cure the complex cases of acute histoplasmosis and all cases of chronic and disseminated disorders. Mild disease generally cure without treatment & may require only symptomatic measures.

Efficacious treatments are available in the market for even the most complex forms of histoplasmosis. Amphotericin B or itraconazole may be used to treat the disease histoplasmosis. Patients with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) may need treatment with an anti fungal medication for there long life to prevent further attacks of histoplasmosis.

Heads Up! The Way You Are Sleeping May Be Killing You!

Every one of us has a mysterious double life.

For about two thirds of the time we are conscious beings, thinking about the world within and without, and negotiating our ways through the obstacles of life. For the other one third of the time we are nearly lifeless lumps of flesh, unconscious to everything but our own fantasies, as we lie flat in bed asleep. We all know that sleep is important for health. But for an activity that consumes about 8 hours of everyday of life, surprisingly little is thought about the act of sleeping, or the way our culture teaches us to sleep. Sleep behavior, like all human activities, is defined by our culture.

Sometimes, the practices taught by our culture can impact on the way our bodies function. As medical anthropologists, we research ways our cultural practices may be affecting our health. And we have found that the way we have been trained to sleep may be one of the most important causes of various diseases plaguing our society.

Of course, when you consider the culture of sleeping, it includes such isues as the length of time to sleep, and time of day for sleep. Do you take frequent naps or do you sleep 8 hours straight? Do you sleep at night or during the day?

Other issues concern sleepwear. Do you sleep nude, or with pajamas or lingerie? Do you sleep in your underwear? Should the sheets be natural fabrics, such as cotton or silk, or is polyester okay? What about the detergent and fabric softeners used in the sheets, pillow case, and pj’s?

Should you eat before you sleep? What is the impact of watching television before sleep? Should you take sleeping pills to help you sleep?

These are some of the culturally defined issues that help determine how we sleep, all of which may have some potential impact on health. However, there is one cultural issue that tops the list of importance, and which may greatly determine your health status. It has to do with your sleep position. Are you sleeping on a firm, flat bed, face down, with your nose and eye compressed against the bed and pillow? Or are you on your back with your head slightly elevated, as is the case for many native cultures that use hammocks or other non-flat surfaces for sleep?

The reason we ask this last question is because the circulation to the head and brain is completely related to your body position when sleeping.

We all have had a time of experiencing dizziness or lightheadedness when getting out of bed too quickly. This effect is called orthostatic hypotension, and results from the fact that blood pressure falls when you lie down, and sudden raising of the head may temporarily deprive the brain of sufficient blood pressure, resulting in the dizziness or lightheadedness. The blood pressure soon rises, increasing the blood supply to the brain, as you feel normal again.

This phenomenon shows that the body’s position, relative to gravity, influences head and brain circulation. You can also demonstrate this by doing a head stand, which many yoga practitioners do daily. Intracranial pressure rises dramatically, as blood rushes to the head, which becomes beet red, and the neck veins swell out, as blood pools in the venous system.

But apart from these examples, very little, if anything, is mentioned in medical physiology textbooks about gravity and its impact on circulation. Yet, you cannot fully understand brain circulation without considering gravity.

The effect of gravity on brain circulation is purely mechanical, and relates to the position of the head relative to the pumping heart. When we are standing up, the head is above the heart, so blood must pump against the force of gravity — from the heart to the brain — lowering the effective pressure with which the arterial blood is delivered to the brain. Meanwhile, drainage of blood from the brain to the heart is facilitated by the pull of gravity.

In contrast, when we lie down and are horizontal, the heart and head are now on the same plane. This eliminates the effects of gravity on brain circulation. Blood from the heart pumps powerfully into the head without gravity’s resistance, increasing intracranial pressure. And blood returning from the brain to the heart must do so without gravity’s assistance, causing a back-up of blood in the brain.

Essentially, intracranial pressure increases, and overall brain circulation diminishes, when you are lying flat compared to standing up.

Of course, the body is intelligent and has mechanisms for controlling brain pressure under different gravity situations. When the brain gets pressurized from lying down, there are various pressure receptors in the head and neck designed to lower blood pressure, thereby preventing too much brain pressure and the possibility of blowing a blood vessel or creating a cerebral aneurysm. This is why blood pressure is lower when we are sleeping, and horizontal.

But these brain mechanisms for adjusting pressure have their limits. As we go through the day in a vertical position, gravity relentlessly pulls our body’s fluids downwards, which is why many people have swollen feet and ankles by day’s end. Once we lie down, the gravity effect is lost, as fluid leaves the legs and returns to the head. So despite our brains normal defense mechanisms, throughout the night intracranial pressure increases and is highest in the morning, after hours of lying flat, and lowest at the end of the day, after hours of being vertical.

What happens when intracranial pressure is high from long periods of lying flat? The increased arterial pressure causes extra cerebral spinal fluid to form in the brain’s ventricles, increasing intracranial fluid pressure. The ventricles swell and the cells of the brain become bathed in excess fluid, essentially causing brain edema. This edema would lower the available oxygen and sugar for brain cells. The lack of gravity assisted drainage from the brain would cause a back-up of blood in the venous system and collecting sinuses in the brain. The brain’s circulation would become relatively stagnant, as the only force moving blood through would be the pushing force of the arterial pressure (which is greatly reduced after going through the cerebral circulation) and the sucking force of the heart’s right atrium. And in addition to the brain swelling under the pressure, the eyes, ears, face, sinuses, gums — the entire head — will become pressurized and the tissues congested with fluid!

There is one field of medicine that avidly studies this effect of gravity on physiology. That sub-specialty is Space Medicine. Astronauts in space are in a zero-gravity field, and it is known that this causes blood to shift to the head and brain, causing increased brain pressure and accompanying migraines, glaucoma, Meniere’s disease, and other problems associated with a pressurized, congested brain. To study the negative effects of zero-gravity here on Earth, these space scientists have people lie down flat! However, since medicine is so wide a field, with sub-specialists learning more and more about less and less, there is little exchange of ideas between space medicine and Earth-bound medicine. Otherwise, someone would have realized that lying flat is what we do when we sleep. If it causes problems for astronauts, then couldn’t it cause problems for everyone else?

We found out about this Space research while we performed our own research into sleep positions as a possible cause of migraines. We hypothesized that sleeping too flat for too long each night could lead to brain pressure and fluid accumulation (edema) within the brain tissue, with associated hypoxia and hypoglycemia. The brain cannot function well without proper amounts of oxygen or sugar, and this condition would be at its worst in the morning, which is when most migraines occur.

While migraines have been thought of as a pathological phenomenon, it is also possible that the migraine is the brain’s defense mechanism to receive new blood along with sugar and oxygen. After all, the only way the brain can get what it needs is from the bloodstream, and during a migraine arteries to the head open up and send blood with force throughout the brain. Perhaps, we reasoned, the migraine is a type of emergency “brain flush”, replacing old blood with new. If so, could we prevent migraines by having migraine sufferers sleep with their heads slightly elevated?

We tested our theory by having about 100 volunteer migraineurs sleep with the heads of their beds elevated, from 10-30 degrees. Head elevation, we theorized, would improve the brain circulation by providing some gravity assistance to drainage. Interestingly, we found that Space Medicine researchers discovered that brain circulation (and heart pumping) is optimal at a 30-degree head of bed elevation.

To our amazement, we found that the majority of the migraineurs in our study experienced relief by this simple sleep position change! Many had no new migraines, after being migraine sufferers for 30 or more years! The results were very fast, within a few days. And there were very interesting side effects, too. Our volunteers woke up more alert. Morning sinus congestion was significantly reduced for most people. Some reported that they no longer had certain allergies. Could we have discovered the real purpose and cause of migraines?

The implications of these findings were, frankly, astounding to us. So many diseases are related to increased brain pressure of “unknown” cause. Sleep position was never studied as the cause of this increased pressure. The implications go far beyond the prevention and treatment of migraines. Any condition that is related to brain pressure, and that is usually worse in the morning after a night of horizontal time, can be potentially related to this gravity and sleep position issue.

Keep in mind that the brain is the central nervous system controlling and modifying all bodily functions. If certain centers of the brain are congested and pressurized daily by sleeping too flat for long hours, those centers can malfunction. Depending on the way a person sleeps, the idiosyncrasies of their brain circulation, and other variables, different people might experience this brain pressure differently. For some, the respiratory centers of the hypothalamus might be particularly congested, resulting in Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (which has been associated with head and body position while sleeping), sleep apnea, or even asthma. Sleep apnea has been shown to be treatable with changes in sleep position.

Strokes are clearly associated with brain pressure, and usually occur at night or in the early morning, while sleeping. This is when brain pressure is highest.

Glaucoma is clearly caused by this mechanism. It is already known that eye pressure increases when the head is down, and decreases when the head is up. It is essential to note the head position when taking eye pressure readings because of this sensitive relationship between intraocular pressure and head position. Eye pressure is also highest in the early morning. Elevating the head while sleeping should be routine for glaucoma treatment and prevention.

Baggy eyes and sinus congestion seem to be related to head pressure. Just as the brain gets extra pressure when lying down, the head and face are pressurized, too. People with these problems usually find immediate relief by sleeping elevated 10-30 degrees.

Alzheimer’s disease, we believe, might be the end disease caused by chronic brain congestion and pressure from flat sleeping. The cerebral ventricles of the Alzheimer’s brain are expanded, suggesting a history of ventricular pressure, and generalized lesions along the ventricles may indicate areas of brain tissue that have deteriorated from this chronic pressure. Other research has already shown Alzheimer’s is associated with increased brain pressure, but the cause has been considered unknown, as is the case with almost all brain pressure problems.

It should be noted that the blood-brain barrier cannot function properly when pressurized. Excessive intracranial pressure can cause leaks in this barrier by expanding the basement membrane, allowing heavy metals, e.g., aluminum and mercury, as well as viruses and bacteria, to enter the brain that would have otherwise been excluded. This may be why heavy metals have been associated with certain brain problems, such as Alzheimer’s.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is also known to be associated with congestion of the “impulse center” within the brain that helps control behavior. We found several children with ADHD experience profound improvement of self control by elevating their heads while sleeping.

In addition to head position relative to gravity, we also have found side or belly sleeping can create problems. For example, we found several cases of carpel tunnel syndrome related to sleeping on the hands or wrists, and shoulder pain from sleeping on the side. And keep in mind that head pressure increases, and drainage diminishes, when the head is rotated to the side. Sleeping on the back avoids compression of limbs and internal organs.

It is also interesting to note that patients with asymmetrical problems will typically be worse on the side they sleep on. For example, eye pathology will be worse in the eye on the side of the face that is slept on most. Ear infections will be worse on the “down” ear. You can also tell the side a person sleeps on by observing the shape of the nose. Apart from injuries, the nose should be symmetrical, but becomes curved away from the pillow because of sleeping on the side of the face and pressing on the nose for hours each night. The nose will point away from the side that is most slept on.

Men should be told that side sleeping may result in testicular compression and possible dysfunction. And women who sleep on their sides or stomachs subject their breasts to compression and impaired circulation. Side sleepers may have more breast trouble on the side they sleep on.

We should forewarn the practitioner, however, that, while the effect of elevating the head while sleeping will be dramatic and transformative for many patients and should be considered essential to disease prevention strategies, the fact is that many people resist changing their sleep behaviors. They have been conditioned to sleep a certain way since birth. And even when they want to change their sleep position, it’s difficult to ensure compliance when the subject is unconscious! It takes tremendous will power to alter sleep behavior. But it is well worth the trouble, as people usually see within a week of sleeping elevated.

We found the best methods for head elevation include using more pillows, using a foam wedge, placing blocks under the legs of the bed frame at the head of the bed, or using an adjustable bed. While the ideal position is with the head from 10-30 degrees elevated, 10 degrees elevation is fine to start with. The legs should be slightly elevated, too, and the person should try to stay on his or her back as much as possible. The ideal position is one you would be in if leaning back in a recliner chair. (Recliners would be fine to use, too, but they usually give poor lower back support.) Also, be aware that some people will find one degree of elevation more comfortable than another. People with low blood pressure may need their heads lower than those with higher blood pressure. Others may have some neck and shoulder discomfort from the new position. However, by experimenting with pillows under the arms, underneath the buttocks (which prevents sliding down the bed), and under the feet and legs, the patient should find a comfortable solution.

Also, when taking in to effect patient history, realize that neck injuries and tight neck muscles can impair venous drainage of the brain by compression of the jugular veins by the tight muscles. Neck massage and spinal adjustments may help improve overall brain circulation. We have had a few case histories where there was little or no improvement from head elevation, but the subjects had a history of neck injuries.

Of course, there will be times when people feel lightheaded and need to lie down to get more blood to the head. It might also be better for people to sleep less at night and to make up for lost sleep with a nap, or a siesta, during the day. That would avoid extremes of high and low brain pressure. But our culture makes it necessary for most people to do all their sleeping at once. Sleeping, after all, is a cultural issue. The point is to be aware of how you feel, and realize that your body position relative to gravity may be a key factor affecting health and disease.

We are continuing to research this effect of gravity and sleep position on health, and encourage practitioners to communicate their patients’ experiences with us. We also highly encourage you to read our book, Get It Up! Revealing the Simple Surprising Lifestyle that Causes Migraines, Alzheimer’s, Stroke, Glaucoma, Sleep Apnea, Impotence, and More! (ISCD Press, 2001), where we discuss the profound implications of this theory, including a lengthy list of references about brain pressure and various diseases and the effect of gravity on brain circulation. After you see the evidence, you will probably be as amazed as we are that sleep research has been ignoring this critical aspect of sleep.

Sleeping too flat each day may be the greatest lifestyle mistake people are making in our culture. Some of the worst diseases of our time may be all in our bed!

Rheumatic Heart Disease

100 years ago Rheumatic fever was the leading cause of death in people aged 5-20 years in the United States. Entire hospitals were dedicated to the treatment of rheumatic fever in children. Today Rheumatic heart disease is rarely seen industrialized countries do to the proper diagnosis and treatment of strep throat.

Rheumatic fever occurs when an untreated strep throat infection migrates to the the rest of the body. Rheumatic fever affects the joints and heart, causing fever, muscle aches, and possible permanent heart valve damage (Rheumatic heart disease). Rheumatic fever gets its name because one of its main symptoms is actually pain in the joints rather than the heart. Rheumatic fever primarily affects children between ages 6 and 15 years and occurs approximately 20 days after an onset of a strep throat infection.

It is believed that rheumatic heart disease is responsible for 79% of some type of heart valve disease in adults in the United States with the balance believed to be the result of the recreational use of Amphetamines, Cocaine, Methamphetamine, Ecstasy and other drugs along with other heart related diseases such as atherosclerosis and birth defects.

Rheumatic heart disease is the most serious complication of rheumatic fever and chronic rheumatic heart disease is estimated to exist in 5-30 million children and young adults in the poorer countries of the world. The best defense against rheumatic heart disease is to prevent rheumatic fever from ever occurring with the proper use of anti-inflammatory medications such as aspirin or corticosteroids.

If rheumatic fever has been diagnosed then long term use of low dose antibiotics (such as penicillin, sulfadiazine, or erythromycin) will be need to prevent recurrence. There is no cure for the disease and patients may need to maintain an active treatment for the rest of the patient’s life.

The National Institute of Health estimate that rheumatic heart disease develops in about 3% of untreated strep throat infections in the United States. A doctor will need to perform lab tests to diagnose rheumatic fever if any of the following symptoms develop after the onset of a strep throat infections. Fever, irregular heart beat, nodes under the skin, and physical pain usually in the joints.

Today Australia and New Zealand have reported an unexplained jump in the number of cases among some populations with little or no access to health care. Switzerland calls rheumatic fever a disease born of poverty. Rheumatic heart disease is easily prevented by a good strep throat treatment, many young people of the world do not have access to the health care that would keep their heart valves healthy and extend their lives. Patients simply suffer through fever attacks, and fall victim to heart valve failure later in life.

Rheumatic fever can be managed with the proper antibiotics and with the use of common Vitamins and over the counter product to reduce further damage to the heart muscle, a long and healthy life can be maintained. Common products include Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Sytrinol, Pantothenic Acid, Niacin, Policosanol and Antioxidants.

Vitamin C has show to lower high blood pressure.

Vitamin E improves circulation and promotes normal blood clotting and is known to help the red blood cells to live longer.

Sytrinol are known to be useful in helping maintain a healthy cholesterol level in the body by reducing triglycerides and low-density lipoprotein levels.

Pantothenic Acid is another form of nontoxic B vitamins and is critical in the metabolism and synthesis of carbohydrates, fats and proteins.

Niacin is the closest thing available to a perfect treatment that corrects most causes of coronary heart disease. Niacin blocks the release of fatty acids from fat cells. Niacin plays a critical role in energy production, gene expression, and hormone synthesis. You cannot live without it. Niacin also tends to shift LDL particle distribution to larger particle size and improve HDL functioning.

Policosanol is a natural supplement derived from sugar cane and it promotes healthy platelet function and helps to maintain normal cholesterol levels in the human body.

Natural antioxidants are abundant in fruits and vegetables such as, apples, blueberries, broccoli, cherries, cranberries, grapes, and spinach.

Lifestyle changes can also lower the risk of medical emergencies. If you smoke quit, eat healthy foods, maintain proper weight and get regular exercise.

This report is nutritional in nature and not to be construed as medical advice.

Always consult your doctor before using this information.

2 Main Causes of Heart Attack

Heart attack is associated with the supply or drainage of blood from the heart. Causes of heart attack are attributed to the arteries that supply blood to the muscle tissue of the heart, or the veins that take blood away from the heart.

Causes of heart attack are discussed below:

1) Lack of exercise: This has a lot to do with the circulatory system of the body which plays a role in the causes of heart attack. Exercises lead to a large number of red blood cells and determine the percentage of hemoglobin in the blood. People who live active lives have higher red corpuscle count than those who live sedentary lives that’s people that don’t exercise. Exercises act as massages to the circulatory system. They aid lymphatic circulation as well as the flow of blood in the vein. Regular exercises tend to reduce the height to which the arterial pressure rises during strenuous exercise. Also, the time during which pressure remains below normal after severe exercise is lessened. This is why the efficiency of a heart is measured by its ability to rapidly come back to its normal rate after strenuous exercise.

2) Strains in the heart and blood vessels as a result of alcohol, toxic food stuff and harmful drugs. The intake of alcohol results in diminished appetite with nausea and vomiting. This to some extent is responsible for the vitamin B deficiency and cirrhosis of the liver. Fever, anorexia and insomnia are often present in alcoholics and if left untreated, can result in heart failure.

Other causes of heart attack are overweight, anxiety, worry etc.

Vitamins Supplements and Heart Disease – The Homocysteine Connection

Vitamin supplements and heart disease are not often mentioned in the same breath but perhaps they should be. This is particularly true if you believe homocysteines are a contributing factor for heart and artery disease. Right about now you may be wondering why you haven’t heard of homocysteines, or for that matter about the advantages of vitamin supplements for heart disease. So before we can gain a full understanding of vitamin supplements for heart disease first we must gain a basic understanding of homocysteines.

You probably have heard of amino acids, and know they are the building blocks of proteins. Most amino acids are friendly to your body and they have been used for years by physical fitness enthusiasts to both maintain and build strong muscles. But when it comes to amino acids there seems to be a fly in the ointment and that fly is a hostile amino acid known as a homocysteine. Homocysteines are released when protein rich foods are digested.

The idea that this particular amino acid could be linked to heart and artery disease is starting to gain traction with 15 studies in recent years linking homocysteine levels to the increased risk of heart disease. As of today the research has yet to reveal the exact cause but it is thought that these amino acids damage the interior lining of the arteries and blood vessels, triggering blood clots, and facilitating the development of arterial plaque (cholesterol, dead cells, and calcium) deposits.

Vitamin supplements and heart disease – Managing homocysteines

Believe it or homocysteine levels can be managed effectively through diet and/or vitamin supplementation. Let’s look at what the American Medical Association has to say about these three vitamins which seem to be the most effective.

*Folic acid: A water soluble B vitamin essential to growth and cell repair. Adequate folic acid is essential for a healthy pregnancy, DNA and RNA synthesis, and building red blood cells. A combination of folic acid and vitamin B6 and B12 can reduce the blood level of homocysteine, an amino acid that is associated with an increased risk of diseases related to heart and blood vessels. Foods high in folic acid include leafy green vegetables, mushrooms, oatmeal, peanut butter, soybean, and wheat germ.

*Vitamin B6: B6 assists the body in the use of protein. It is essential for the formation of hemoglobin, promotes a healthy heart and blood vessels, helps regulate the nervous system, maintains healthy skin, and is important to a healthy pregnancy. Foods high in B6 include fish, whole grain breads, peas, beans, and low fat dairy products.

*B12: B12 is necessary for the healthy development of red blood cells. This vitamin is important to a healthy pregnancy, cardiovascular health, normal function of the nervous system, memory and brain health, and supplying energy to the body. Foods high in B12 include fish, legumes, dairy products, red meat, and poultry.

As you can see vitamin supplements for heart disease makes a lot of sense, especially when combined with a heart healthy diet, daily exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, and avoiding cigarette smoke.

Additionally, many people how found that by adding a natural cholesterol reduction supplement they have been able to achieve even better results in their fight against this potentially deadly foe.

How to Increase Hair Growth – 6 Natural Ways to Increase Hair Growth

When you’re battling hair loss, a really good way to fight it is to increase the speed of your hair growth. But instead of heading over to your favorite drug store, we’re going to go over a few simple ways to help speed up your hair growth without having to spend so much money.

Here are 6 Natural Ways To Increase Hair Growth

1. Do Scalp Shifting

Using the pads on your fingers, firmly place them all over your scalp and move your skin in a circular way, do this for about 5 minutes.

2. Put Red Bell Pepper On Your Head

The spiciness of this fresh herb will speed hair growth by over 50%. Put a few slices in boiling water for about 10 minutes, then let cool for 15 minutes. Then apply it on your scalp for 30 minutes, then rinse away.

3. Eat More Protein

Hair is made out of protein, therefore, by taking in more protein you are promoting rapid hair growth. Foods such as fish, chicken, cottage cheese, whey, peanut butter, and steak are high in protein.

4. Take A Biotin Supplement

Biotin works great for your skin, nails, and especially for your hair. There are currently no toxicity levels known for Biotin so it’s best to take the high potency supplement of 5,000 mcg per day.

5. Take A Magnesium Supplement

Just like Biotin, Magnesium is hair food. This helps with nerve stimulation and also relaxes your muscles.

6. Drink 6-8 Glasses of Water Daily

Did you know that your body takes in new impurities every day? A good way to flush your system of these impurities to take in a sufficient amount of water every day. Water is the element which gives life, and it also keeps your body pure. Sometimes your body will hold on to substances that harm your hair’s natural balance, so it’s best to clean out your system every night, simply drink 1-2 glasses of water before bed should be enough.

Schwannoma Explained – Symptoms & Treatment For Schwannoma Tumors

Many individuals suffer from a tumor that is identified as a schwannoma. This type of tumor is typically found covering the nerves. This area of the brain is referred to as the nerve sheath. A special type of cell causes this type of tumor to develop. The cells are identified as a Schwann cell. In most instances, these tumors are not considered malignant – which means that they are not cancerous.

When a tumor is not cancerous, it is identified as being benign. Many patients that suffer from this type of tumor often suffer through the unfortunate experience of losing their hearing. This is due to the fact that when the tumor is identified in imaging and diagnostic testing, it is found growing on the nerve that is identified as the “8th Cranial Nerve”. This nerve is responsible for hearing.

Symptoms

There are many symptoms associated with the schwannoma tumor. Most of the symptoms that are experienced with this type of tumor are directly related to the hearing. As mentioned previously, these tumors typically grow on the nerve that is directly responsible for each person’s ability to hear.

Symptoms such as mild to severe ringing in the ears, feeling as if the ears are obstructed in a way and even hearing loss are the most common symptoms exhibited by those with this type of tumor. Many individuals will attempt to get their hearing checked, and may even attempt to engage in first aid solutions for earaches and similar complications with no avail. It often takes several doctor visits, imaging scans, and other types of neurological exams to establish the fact that this tumor is present in the body.

Treatment

There are many forms of treatments available for individuals that have this type of tumor. It is exceptionally rare to experience this type of tumor, but the treatments that are issued for it depend on the exact location and the overall size of the tumor.

The typical treatment is surgery. By relieving the pressure from the nerve that controls the hearing, the individual experiencing symptoms will experience relief. Many individuals will benefit from treatments such as radiation therapy and even chemotherapy. If you find that you suffer from this type of tumor, it is important to work with your doctor to determine the best course of action.

It is important to understand that this is a rare condition. It may be quite challenging to find a doctor with expertise on the tumor, but it is possible. Remember, treatments may be challenging but in many cases, it is completely possible to eliminate this tumor from the body.

Kinds of Pneumonia – Hypostatic and Broncho (Acute Lobar Pneumonia)

Hypostatic Pneumonia

This is seen in elderly debilitated persons who are bed-ridden. It is a form of aspiration pneumonia. Inadequate cough reflex, excessive respiratory secretions and pulmonary congestion favor the development of hypostatic pneumonia. Microbial flora is derived from the upper respiratory secretions. The lesion is a bronchopneumonia. Hypostatic Pneumonia acts as a pre-terminal event in many elderly debilitated individuals. Avoidance of prolonged recumbency, frequent change of posture (Once in 2 hours) in comatose and debilitated subjects and regular breathing exercises help in preventing this condition.

Bronchopneumonia (Acute lobular Pneumonia)

Inflammation of the bronchial wall and the pulmonary parenchyma is the essential lesion in bronchopneumonia. This leads to patchy consolidation of the lung. The disease is more common during infancy and old age.

Causes

Bronchopneumonia may occur as a complication of several diseases such as whooping cough, measles and other viral infections in children. Chronic bronchitis, emphysema and viral infections of the respiratory tract may be complicated by bronchopneumonia. Rarely bronchopneumonia may occur as the primary lesion.

Pathology

The common organisms are staphylococci, streptococci, pneumococci and H. influenzae. Rarely rickettsiae, viruses and fungi may cause bronchopneumonia. The inflammatory lesions are widespread and patchy over both lungs, more in the lower lobes. The terminal bronchioles are affected initially and the alveoli are involved secondarily. There is collapse and consolidation in the affected lobule. Confluence of lesions may give rise to larger areas of consolidation. The exudates show neutrophils and fibrin. Interstitial edema develops. There is compensatory emphysema around the collapsed alveoli.

Clinical feature

The extent of pulmonary involvement and the virulence of the infective agent determine the clinical picture. Generally the onset is insidious. In the majority of cases bronchopneumonia follows the primary illness after a period of apparent improvement. The temperature goes up and tachypnea and cough may develop. The child may be cyanosed. Unlike as in lobar pneumonia, pleural involvement and herpes labialis are rare. Physical examination of the chest reveals widespread rales. Signs of extensive consolidation are rare. X-ray shows bilateral irregular and patchy shadows, more in the lower zones.

Rarely bronchopneumonia may lead to bronchiectasis, pulmonary fibrosis, lung abscess or emphysema. Morality is higher in patients with chronic respiratory or cardiovascular disease.

Treatment

Prompt use of the appropriate antibiotic brings down the fever and helps in resolution of the lesions. In children suffering from measles and other viral infections, occurrence of bronchopneumonia should be anticipated and early therapy started.

Chest and Upper Back Pain – Which Muscle is to Blame?

When you have chest and upper back pain, it can be hard to figure out where it’s coming from. However, when you take the time to check out all of your symptoms and determine what they are coming from, you will be much better able to understand what is going on. Sometimes, it’s hard to discern this particular type of pain from other issues just because it is so similar. However, there are many cases when people will tend to minimize this pain and try to blame it solely on their backs instead of actually addressing other problems. Anyone who experiences chest and upper back pain has two choices: either they have pulled or strained a muscle in their upper back, or they have some other condition or ailment that needs to be tended to by a medical professional.

Sometimes it’s hard to determine when to see a doctor and when to just wait it out. Here’s a good rule of thumb, though. If you aren’t having any other symptoms except for chest and upper back pain, they you will probably be able to wait it out because it’s just a pulled muscle. However, if you have any other symptoms or ailments along with the back pain and/or chest pain, you will want to get yourself to a doctor quickly to ensure that you’re not having a heart attack or another serious issue that could cause permanent injury or death. Ultimately, the goal is to attempt to remain calm and determine how the situation looks before overreacting, but at the same time being safe and getting professional help when you need it because you can never be too careful.

Chest and upper back pain are common among people who pull muscles in their back and shoulders. This type of pain generally stems from twisting, lifting, bending, or moving the wrong way, which in turn agitates or strains the muscles of the back when they’re not used to being moved a certain way. If you have done some sort of strenuous activity that you can blame the back pain on directly, you can give it a little time to figure out if it is going to subside. However, if you have no reason to have pain in your upper back and chest that you are aware of, or if the pain gets worse, you want to get medical attention as soon as you can.

There are many different treatments for chest and upper back pain, but since it usually results from pulled or strained muscles, there isn’t much that does better than rest and time. You can use heat to relax the muscles and ice to reduce any swelling, and just rest for a day or two until the pain subsides. If necessary, you can use over the counter medications to help relieve the pain when it is mild to moderate. If you have severe, chronic, or continuing pain, you definitely need to see a doctor or consider physical therapy or prescription pain medication to alleviate your pain. Usually, when the pain is in the upper back and chest, you can relieve it without serious therapy, medication, or surgery. Lower back pain is the one that generally presents with more serious complications or more intensive treatments, while upper back and chest pain is generally less serious and goes away often on its own with time.

Chest and upper back pain generally go hand in hand for most people who experience a muscle problem or ache in their upper back. This pain can often be accompanied by muscle spasms and shooting pains, so you should be aware of everything that is going on. Generally, there is a strained or pulled muscle in the upper back or a shoulder that is causing this particular pain. If you do choose to seek medical attention, you need to let your doctor know about all the symptoms that you are experiencing so that you can receive the proper treatment. In many cases, you’ll be able to get away with rest and OTC pain medication, but you should never minimize the pain that you experience just because you don’t want to go to the doctor. Keep these things in mind, and you should be better able to handle upper back and chest pain.

Chest And Upper Back Pain Causes – Reasons You Must See A Doctor

For many people, the sudden onset of chest and upper back pain is an extremely frightening experience. Most people will think that they are experiencing a heart attack right off, having never felt pain in their chest before. It can begin as a dull pain and rapidly grow to feel like something is sticking through your chest. But the most common cause of chest and upper back pain is simply poor posture, both while sitting and while standing. When the muscle groups connecting your shoulder blades to your upper back get stressed, overstretched, or cramped, they cause chest and upper back pain. If the pain becomes sharper or worse when you breathe deeply, then the pain is most likely posture related.

In order to understand why this occurs, it is helpful to have a basic understanding of the muscular structure of the chest and upper back. There are three main muscle groups in your chest and upper back that are responsible for this pain you feel. They are the trapezius, the pectoralis major, and the latissimus dorsi. The latissimus are the pair of large, flat muscle groups running vertically down either side of your back. They connect the upper arm to the lower back, allowing you to rotate your arm. The pectoralis major, or pecs, are the large muscles that connect your arms to your breastbone. The trapezius muscles are two large, triangular muscle that connect your shoulder blades to your upper back. They help to move your shoulders and arms.

An exercise that can help relieve this type of chest and upper back pain is the shoulder raise. Standing upright and straight, raise your shoulders as far as you can with your arms hanging at your sides. Do not lower you shoulders, and begin rotating them towards your back. Do this ten times, then allow your shoulders to return to a relaxed position. Do this exercise twice a day to help relieve your chest and upper back pain. Having someone perform focused massage on these three muscle groups can also help with your chest and upper back pain. Swimming or some water aerobics can be beneficial as well, exercising your arms and chest without putting excessive of a strain on them.

But remember, any cheat pain can be heart related. It is better to be safe than sorry, so go talk to a doctor if you experience any kind of chest pains. If it is not heart-related, the doctor should be the one to make that determination.

TMJ – Answers to Your Headaches Jaw and Facial Pain

What is TMJ?

The Temporomandibular Joint connects the lower jaw to the skull and is responsible for the opening and closing of the mouth. The way your teeth fit together can affect the health of the TMJ (jaw joint). If the TMJ is dislocated, this can lead to many unpleasant symptoms as listed below.

Symptoms

Patients visit many health care providers in search of answers to their problems since the following symptoms of TM dysfunction (TMD) masquerade as many other conditions..The pain is often described as dull aching pain in the jaw joint and nearby areas.

Do You Have:

* Headaches, neck or back pain

* Earaches, congestion or ringing in the ears

* Clicking, popping or grating sounds when opening and closing the mouth

* Tired jaw or pain when chewing

* Locking of the jaw when opening

* Limited jaw opening

* Dizziness and fainting

* Facial pain or pain behind the eyes

* Numbness in the hands

* Swelling on the side of the face

If you have any of these symptoms, you could have a problem with your jaw (TMJ). When left untreated, these symptoms may lead to increasing muscle pain, and trigger points (knotted muscles) that can send pain to different areas including your neck, eyes, ears, shoulders and lower back. Early treatment is essential as conditions that are left untreated can worsen over time.

Causes of TMD

TMD frequently occurs when the lower jaw is not in the proper relationship to the upper jaw. This often results in dislocation of the protective disc (anteriorly displaced) as the lower jaw assumes a position further back in the socket and compresses the nerves and blood vessels. Some of the most common causes are:

* Clenching or grinding habits

* Lower jaw too far back causing anterior displacement of the disc

* Deep dental overbite

* Missing teeth

* Automobile accident causing whiplash injury

* Trauma to the head or neck

* Bad posture

* Intubation procedures in the hospital

* Extraction of wisdom teeth

Treatment

To help evaluate the health of the TMJ (jaw joint), a complete medical and dental history must be taken, including the recording of any trauma such as car accidents, whiplash injuries or general anesthetics. The Joint Vibration Analysis (JVA) is a simple, three-minute test to determine the degree of jaw joint dysfunction. Further diagnostic testing includes complete head, neck and posture evaluation with state-of-the art tomographic x-ray equipment to assist with the visualization of the jaw joints and other related structures. Measurement of the dysfunctional muscle activity and abnormal jaw movements will be achieved using the latest in computerized diagnostic modalites including EMG.

Phase One Treatment Objectives

The objective of phase one treatment is to stabilize the lower jaw in its correct position to reduce the patient’s symptoms, improve the jaw movements and reduce the muscle spasms which cause headaches. Sometimes a second phase of treatment will be necessary following the successful completion of Phase I jaw stabilization. Phase two options may include orthodontics, crown and bridge dental work, or fabrication of a permanent dental device.

Conservative Treatment

Patients benefit from conservative, non-surgical treatment provided. Dr. Slabach analyzes the TMJ records, including the x-rays, and then presents recommendations at a final consultation appointment to which spouses are encouraged to attend. If the jaw is out of alignment, the patient will be asked to wear a comfortable dental orthotic (splint) which covers the lower back teeth and makes it easier for the patient to speak.

Patients who clench or grind their teeth will be asked to wear a different, night time splint to reduce painful muscle spasms, headaches and other symptoms.

Both of these splints are made to a specific jaw position unlike a standard bite plane or nightguard.

The Team Approach

Frequently the team approach involving medical doctors, neurologists, ear, nose and throat specialists, chiropractors, massage therapists and physical therapists is necessary to diagnose and treat patients with jaw joint, head and neck problems.