Diabetic Foot Ulcers And Essential Oils

Often and unfortunately, ulcers on the feet become a common result of diabetes. Once an open wound is present on the foot, it also becomes prone to complications that may rise from infection.

Prevention of infection may be achieved through the use of anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral essential oils like Tea Tree oil. Tea Tree oil is also a commonly recommended essential oil that has historically assisted with the recovery of foot ulcers for several reasons.

First, Tea Tree oil has an unusually high concentration of terpinen-4-ol, an alcohol, which constitutes up to 35% of the finest quality Tea Tree oils. Research indicates the Terpinen-4-ol, successfully helps the body achieve normal inflammation levels, as indicated in a November, 2003, Australian study. Inflammation naturally occurs any time the body responds to trauma within the body. Inflammation results in redness, swelling, increased body temperature and pain. Thus, reducing inflammation may result in a reduction of the discomforts associated with the ulcer. Additionally, Tea Tree oil is used on foot ulcers is, because Tea Tree oil contains a unique blend of constituents that cannot be found in this combination anywhere else in nature. In 1978, G. Swords and G. L. K. Hunter authored an article titled: ‘Composition of Australian Tea-Tree Oil (Melaleuca alternifolia)’ in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry (vol. 26, 1978, pp. 734-9). This article pointed out that Tea Tree contains viridiflorene, present at I %, B- terpineol (0.24%) 1-terpineol (trace amounts) and allyl hexanoate (trace amounts).

Second, Tea Tree oil has been reported to have strong antiseptic properties. An antiseptic is defined as an anti-microbial substance that is applied to living tissue or skin to reduce the possibility of infection, sepsis (defined below), or putrefaction (defined below).

Sepsis is defined as a serious medical issue, resulting from the immune response to a severe infection, where by harmful bacteria enters the bloodstream. Once in the bloodstream the entire body may be under attack. In severe cases organ failure and death may result. According to sepsis.com, “early diagnosis and appropriate treatment can greatly improve survival rates.” Unfortunately, “since November 21, 2001, it is estimated that 4,804,000 people have developed severe sepsis, and 1,377,000 are estimated to have died.”

A completely different issue that many people with foot ulcers sometimes face, is the strong, piercing, foul odor that can be produced by foot ulcers. Putrefaction describes this and is defined as the decomposition of animal proteins, speed up by bacteria that feeds on that protein, allowing flesh to rot or decompose, sometimes resulting in a putrid odor.

A small list of additional essential oils has also been noted to assist with ulcers:

Frankincense (Boswell carteri),

Rose (Rosa dmascena),

Clary Sage (Salvia Sclarea),

Lemon (Citrus limonum) and Bergamot (Citrus bergamia)

Two processes are suggested for the application of essential oils to an open wound. First, you may choose to put one or two drops of the essential oil directly onto a cotton ball or a cotton swab. Then simply dab the ulcer with the cotton ball. Second, you may choose to make a compress. A compress can either be hot or cold. Typically, a cold compress is used in the presence of a fever, acute pain or swelling. You may choose to alternate between a hot and cold compress until you are able to determine which one produces the best results. You may even find that a combination of a hot and cold compress used at alternating times, is the best option.

To make a compress, place 6 drops of essential oil into a small bowl of water. Then soak a piece of absorbent material in the mixture. The material can literally be anything the holds the liquid, such as a towel or washcloth. Do not remove the piece of material until it cannot hold one more drop of the liquid mixture. Then remove the material and twist it until the excess liquid is drained out of the material. This is done simply to prevent excessive spillage. After draining the extra liquid, the cloth may be applied to the open wound. The compress should remain on the wound for at least 2 hours. However, leaving the compress on the wound overnight, may be even more beneficial.

In summary, Tea Tree oil is a noted antiseptic and may work extremely well to reduce the microbial invaders that try to attack the body through the open soar of a foot ulcer. Tea Tree oil may establish a barrier so strong that it is able to keep bacterial and viral invaders out of the blood stream. This anti-microbial function of Tea Tree oil may also be the necessary component that results in a reduction or total elimination of the distracting odor that diabetic foot ulcers sometimes produce. In addition to these benefits, Tea Tree oil is also believed to possess qualities that may be able to assist the body with inflammation created by the body in reaction to the trauma of the ulcer. This benefits the body as the pain and the swelling associated with the inflammation is normalized or reduced.

Homeopathic Remedies For Stomach Ailments

Many people have various stomach ailments. Some of these ailments include hyperacidity, food poisoning, heartburn, overeating and stomach flu. These stomach ailments can happen for several reasons.

Hyperacidity is the condition that is caused by too much acid in the stomach. This can be caused by too much alcohol consumption, overeating, and generally unhealthy meal. Various types of acidity foods may also cause hyperacidity. These type of foods include tomatoes, oranges, lemons, hot peppers and grape fruit. Eat these foods in moderation if they upset your stomach. The homeopathic remedy to take for hyperacidity is Natrum_Phosphoricum 6X. Take every 10 to 15 minutes until the condition subsides.

Food Poisoning is caused by eating something that does not agree with your stomach. Harmful bacteria or viruses may have been eaten. You may also feel dehydrated, accompanied by diarrhea and vomiting. Eating tainted food or drinking water may cause food poisoning. Throw out all food products that have been in the fridge to long or have passed their expiration date. Please be extra cautious in third world countries where water quality standards are not that high. Buy named brand bottle water such as Aquafina or Evian. Drinking too much alcohol may also cause these conditions. The remedy to take would be Arsenicum Album 6C every hour up to 10 hours. Make sure to drink plenty of water to keep yourself hydrated. In the case of severe food poisoning, please go to the nearest emergency room.

Heartburn generally happens 30 minutes after eating. This condition is typically caused by alcohol, fatty foods or spicy foods. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs include aspirin, ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil, Nuprin) and naproxen (Aleve) may also lead to heartburn. Take Nux Vomica 6C every 10-15 minutes until the condition subsides. Chronic Heartburn may lead to Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease. If your condition becomes chronic, please see a physician.

Over eating generally happens in the evening approximately 2 hours after eating. This may be accompanied by nausea or vomiting. This indigestion is typically caused by eating rich or fatty foods. Drink plenty of water and eat fiber such as brown rice and whole wheat bread to prevent overeating. Fiber and water help fill up the stomach so there will be less of a tendency to eat too much. Take Pulsatilla 6C every 10-15 minutes until the condition subsides.

Stomach Flu with severe cramps are caused by viral stomach infection with possible diarrhea. The stomach flu can be passed through the air. Many infants pass the stomach flu on to their parents. The good news is that most stomach flus typically go away in a few days. Take Colocynthis 6C every hour up to 10 doses. See a physician if your stomach flu does not go away in two to three days.

Can Stress and Anxiety Cause Hemorrhoids?

Stress and anxiety can be a root cause of hemorrhoids developing. Natural home remedy cures, over the counter products, and surgery are effective ways to treat, cure, and remove a hemorrhoid. To prevent piles from returning it is important to understand how to stop stress and anxiety from causing inflammation in the anal region. Internal and external hemorrhoids are often caused by high stress levels and anxiety.

It is frustrating after having treatment done to have hemorrhoids return giving the sufferer discomfort, itching, pain, and in some cases bleeding. There is a way to avoid this by taking steps to reduce stress and anxiety.

Stress and anxiety are not the only contributing causes to hemorrhoid symptoms. However, they are near the top of the list of leading causes. When the body is under stress and anxiety tension it constricts making bowel movements very difficult. This causes blood vessels in the anus to become inflamed until a painful pile develops.

Hemorrhoid medication and treatments are great for instant relief from anal itching, pain, and bleeding. It is still very important to manage stress and anxiety to prevent piles from returning. After medication, natural treatments, or surgery it is time to take action to reduce stress and anxiety. Here are a few proven methods that will help remove tension from your body.

Meditation is a wonderful solution to gently reduce stress and help control anxiety that can lead to painful hemorrhoids. There are many methods available from guided imagery audios to calming music. It can be done in your home or office in as little as 15 minutes. Controlled breathing is a very relaxing part of meditation.

Yoga has many amazing benefits for the body and is very low impact. Stretching in yoga is a proven way to help natural body functions, like bowel movements, flow much better. Straining when having bowel movements often leads to internal and external hemorrhoids returning. Yoga is fantastic for improved blood circulation and stress reduction.

Living hemorrhoid free does not have to be only dream. It can become a reality by taking steps to reduce stress and anxiety in your life. After your piles are treated and healed, reducing tension will prevent them from returning. Explore meditation and yoga techniques to prevent hemorrhoids.

Ignoring a hemorrhoid will not cure it. You have to be proactive when it comes to finding relief and eliminating them. The only way to regain your life is by reducing stress and anxiety that can cause piles to reappear, even after having extensive treatment done. When you are able to get to the root cause, you can prevent future piles from developing.

Bile Reflux Vs Acid Reflux: The Real Truth Revealed

You probably know this scenario all too well…

You have been having some symptoms of heartburn fairly regularly and go to see your doctor. Your doctor may simply prescribe an antacid and tell you to alter your eating habits. This, however, may not be the end of the problem for you.

Very often, people with similar circumstances are diagnosed with a problem of acid reflux. However, this may be masking a larger problem which actually can be much more difficult to find known as bile reflux.

Determining the difference between bile reflux and acid reflux is important in receiving the proper treatment and receiving the relief you may need.

Acid reflux seems to be something that is diagnosed fairly often nowadays. Gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, is something that many people today are told they have. The symptoms seem fairly common, with frequent heartburn being the foremost. The physiology of acid reflux can help explain what is happening to cause the problem.

When food is taken in as part of the digestive process, it will normally pass from the mouth to the throat, and then into the esophagus in order to pass to the stomach before it moves on to the intestines. At the opening that lies between the stomach and the esophagus is a small ring known as the lower esophageal sphincter, or LES. The LES functions to close off to prevent stomach acid from rising up. When it fails to operate properly, acid reflux is the result.

There can be many causes for this to happen to someone. A hiatal hernia can often be the cause. The hernia develops when the LES and the upper part of the stomach moves above the muscle that separates the chest and stomach, known as the diaphragm. The diaphragm is designed to help keep acid out of your stomach, but in this position, it can help cause the acid to move up into your esophagus.

Other causes may involve certain eating and drinking patterns that a person may have. Being overweight, eating big meals, lying down right after a meal, eating too close to bedtime or eating or drinking certain foods such as spicy foods, tomato, chocolate citrus, alcohol or carbonated drinks can all help lead to a problem. Smoking and taking aspirin have also been linked to causing this issue.

Heartburn and burping are the most common symptoms that seem to develop. A person can also experience nausea, a sour taste backing up into your throat, hiccups that do not stop easily, a chronic dry or sore throat or a dry cough. You may also experience a sensation of food being stuck in your throat due to a narrowing of the esophagus.

The common causes of acid reflux can often mask what actually may be bile reflux symptoms. Bile reflux occurs in a very similar way, with the exception that it may occur between the stomach and small intestine instead of the stomach and esophagus. The ring separating the stomach and small intestines may fail to properly close, causing bile to leak into the stomach. If the LES is also malfunctioning at the same time, this can cause the bile to reach the esophagus, irritating the lining.

Unlike a problem with acid, bile is actually an alkaline fluid produced by the liver. It is normally stored within the gallbladder and only released when fat needs to be digested. Unlike difficulties with acid, trouble with bile is rarer. It often occurs in people who have had either gallbladder surgery or have had their gallbladder removed. It can also happen in people who have had any kind of stomach surgery, such as a gastric bypass used to treat obesity.

Symptoms of a dilemma with bile can include heartburn, like acid, but often it includes some different difficulties. Nausea and vomiting are not uncommon, and the vomiting that occurs often includes blood or a substance that may look similar to coffee grounds. Severe stomach pain, not just pain in the upper part of the stomach or chest, is also common. Significant weight loss may happen as a result of the severe pain as people often lose their appetite along the way and stop eating unintentionally.

While both maladies may be diagnosed in a similar manner through an upper endoscopy, the treatment for each is very different.

A person who has acid reflux may be prescribed antacids, proton pump inhibitors or H2 blockers to help assist in the reduction of acid. Also, lifestyle changes are also often encouraged, such as exercising more, stopping smoking and eating smaller meals throughout the entire day instead of large meals. Many also suggest raising your head while sleeping to help prevent the reflux.

Unfortunately, as difficult as bile gastritis can be to diagnose, it is also difficult to treat. Many of the medications used for acid reflux do not work here because an acid is not being dealt with in this situation. When often misdiagnosed, an acid reflux treatment is prescribed and fails to work. If properly diagnosed, the only type of medication that may offer some relief is a sucralfate. This type of medication will provide a coating for the stomach to help it heal. If the medication does not seem to work, the only other recourse is surgery. The operation most often performed is called a Roux-en-Y surgery. In this, a new connection between the liver and small intestine is created further down to make it harder for bile to go into the stomach.

It is important to understand the differences of bile reflux vs. acid reflux. Bile reflux, often referred to as bile gastritis, and the bile gastritis symptoms that accompany it can seem like typically heartburn problems early on. If allowed to progress, it can lead to much worse conditions such as Barrett’s esophagus, which is a known pre-cancer cursor.

Making sure that your doctor is completely aware of all your symptoms, conditions and current medications may be vital in determining a proper course of action. Being aware of the two situations and what they are like can help you and your doctor both in the long run.

Lymphatic Drainage Massage Minimizes Facial Bruising and Facial Swelling Post Surgery

Lymphatic drainage therapy protocols, techniques and procedures can easily, quickly and painlessly minimizes facial bruising, facial swelling and minimizes scarring and reduces the redness of scars from 1,2,5,10, 15+ years post surgery

What is Lymphatic Drainage?

Lymph Therapy alleviates numerous conditions related to swelling, water retention, edema, lymphedema and physical traumas. It also addresses pregnancy, including engorgement, sore nipples (transient, chronic), plugged ducts, wounds, fissures, ulcerations, bruises and dermatitis (eczema).

Lymphatic drainage therapy also can provide relief from chronic inflammation and pre- and post-surgical applications, and can be used for cosmetic applications, such as mastoptosis, scars and traumas.

A therapist uses is a specialized lymphatic drainage therapy tool, called the Lymph-star pro which uses a light frequency/sound therapy to not only stimulate the flow of your lymphatic system but it also helps break up protein clusters that can cause blockages and clog up the Lymphatic System.

Whilst working on the Lymph, the treatment also stimulates the blood flow and helps prevent the blood cells from sticking together. Oxygen and nutrients can therefore be delivered to the body tissues more effectively.

For individuals recovering from cosmetic surgery on the face – enhanced circulation and oxygen flow speeds recovery. It’s effect is similar to hyperbaric therapies which speed wound healing through the enhancement of oxygen to the cells of the body.

What are the benefits of Lymphatic Drainage Therapy for post surgery recovery?

Science now shows that Lymphatic Therapy, or electro lymphatic drainage therapy as this therapy is often called, helps the body responds to certain frequencies in a way that allows a natural health professional like Melissa to:

Clear lymph congestion

Reduces swelling and fluid retention from trauma, surgery or lymphedema

Speeds wound healing

Oxygenates the cells

Detoxifies the skin cells minimizing scar tissue build up

Reduce fibrocystic conditions

Promote collagen fiber production

Reduces fine lines, minimizes wrinkles

Reduces the appearance of cellulite

Promote overall wellness

How does Lymphatic Massage reduce facial bruising and facial swelling after a surgery?

Lymphatic Massage moves congested or stagnant lymphatic fluid that builds around surgery and incision sites. By moving this congested fluid, lymphatic massage helps to enhance the circulation and flow of congested cellular matter – often excess blood from surgeries.

Clients will see a significant difference in the swelling and puffiness of their face, chin or neck after just one treatment. Facial bruising disappears after 3-4 treatments depending on the extent of capillary trauma.

We can work with and around ports and drains and the therapy is pain-free.

How many lymphatic massage treatments will reduce my facial bruising and facial swelling post surgery?

Receiving treatment 2-3 days for a series of treatments post surgery is most helpful. Treatments can begin just a day after their face lifts, nose surgeries and liposuction surgeries.

Lymphatic therapist will work with and around ports and drains and the therapy is pain-free.

Each individual body chemistry and the extent of trauma from surgery varies. After an initial treatment, a therapist wil be able to recommend a specific healing program to meet your needs.

The Impact of Chronic Illness

Chronic illness involves more than physical symptoms. There are the psychological and emotional symptoms as well. These, along with the physical, demand immediate attention, can disrupt the family, and include losses. With MVPS/D there is also the fact that many physicians won’t or cannot help the patient. As one woman put it, “I’d have gotten more medical attention if I had had a heart attack.”

IT’S NATURAL

A phrase you will read often in this book is it is natural. All the odd feelings are natural when your life has been hit with a chronic illness. It’s natural to worry about your health, family, and job. You are facing the unknown. It’s as though you’ve been dropped off in a foreign country to be tortured. Friends make no contact when you cannot attend social activities. You feel completely alone when even physicians will not take you seriously. Because they react that way, you feel guilty and inadequate. Anger threatens to overwhelm you. You squirm over thoughts relating your heart to illness. You’re scared for the lack of control. The longer the illness goes undiagnosed, the lower your self-esteem gets. Usually with a crisis, you physically work off tension, but with an undiagnosed chronic illness, you live in another world almost unable to cope. If you must take medications, there are the side effects to deal with. You feel as though you are in a salt timer, your life turned upside down. These are natural feelings and concerns.

“Part of us does die when we can no longer live as we did in the past,” said the Rev. David W. Carlisle, DeKalb, IL former district superintendent of United Methodist Churches, in one of his sermons.

FEAR

When I first experienced valve pain, I knew it was an attack of some kind. However, my mind wouldn’t allow me to consider it a heart attack.

I stood, looking out the front door, with my nose against one of the small panes, and thought what a terrible situation I was in. While my gynecologist did his best to refer me to various specialists, I couldn’t be assured this new physician-an internist-could help me. At least he had listened and hadn’t sent me away without help. After the treadmill test, I could barely move from the fatigue. Each day the tiredness grew. I felt so defeated and sad.

Suddenly a crushing pain smashed my chest with such force, I couldn’t breathe. My mouth stretched open like an opera singer’s as I gasped for air. At the same time I stepped backward in a feeble but instinctive attempt to get away from the pain. After four giant steps, a sharp, sword-like pain rammed through me near my breast bone, doubling me over. Then all pain was gone. And I stood in wonder that so much had happened so fast.

I immediately phoned my new physician, who told me to get to the local emergency hospital to check if it had been a heart attack. After a cardiogram, we knew it wasn’t, but what could cause such severe pain? A prolapsed mitral valve.

The pain was like a slap in the face. I couldn’t live gasping and doubled over in pain. And I never wanted to feel it again!

Fear grasped me by my neck. What if this new physician couldn’t help me? Or wouldn’t. He seemed sincere, but what if he passed this attack off as nothing since it wasn’t a heart attack?

One evening my two older children cornered me to ask if I was dying. I laughed but quickly realized how serious these young ones thought. Was their mother going to be with them at Christmas? What was this strange sickness that eluded the physicians? Yet they wanted to be let in on any health secrets. Fear breathed in their emotions like oxygen in their bodies.

Later, before a judge at my disability hearing, my husband revealed he had the same fears. “When I come home, I never know if I’ll find her dead or alive.”

ANGER

This illness had arrived at a time when I was headed out into the world to do my thing. I’d raised our children, though the last one was only two when this illness started. And now it was my turn-my rightful turn-to start my journalism career, to help with the family finances, and to move beyond home work to business work. I was angry at the illness for coming now and at God for allowing it. Later as I learned how to live with my symptoms, I had to sort through this anger and realize that my identity could not hinge on what I do.

My youngest child reached in anger toward me and indirectly toward my illness. She needed attention, both disciplinary and loving, but I couldn’t give it to her in the way she wanted.

I slept most of the time then. Just fell back on the bed and I would be out. I refer to it as my two-month sleepathon. I’d wake to get the older ones off to school and feed my youngest, then awake again to feed her at noon, and again to make dinner (sometimes my husband did this), and finally to put the children to bed. Then I slept all night.

Something had to be done for my youngest child, even if I couldn’t give it. A neighbor with two small children about my daughter’s age joyfully took her two mornings a week in an attempt to get some discipline into her life. Always, in my deepest anguish, it was this daughter and her need for a mother that pulled me up and out of my self to find the answers.

My husband’s anger was directed toward the physicians. “They only practice medicine,” he’d say in a rough tone. The entire family agreed in theory. Why could the physicians fix others, and not me, so they could go about life, even if the illness was cancer? Why did they disbelieve me about my symptoms? Why were our prayers-years old-unanswered?

One thing I knew, if I had enough energy to be angry, that was good. It takes energy to form anger. And I would not waste my energy on anger; I would channel it to find what was wrong while I cared for my family.

FRUSTRATION

Out of anger rose frustration. Frustration toward anything. Everything seemed to go wrong. As I learned, it’s how one views situations. If you’re joyful and happy, even the toughest frustration is seen in light. When one has been continually frustrated, denied, and rejected, pretty soon you become like Pavlov’s dog, conditioned to expect things to go wrong. All doom and gloom. For years it felt as though our family lived in muddy waters because of my illness.

DEPRESSION

Need I explain the why of depression? How can one not be depressed when she knows she’s ill and every physician who examines her says she’s fine or there’s nothing he can do for her? The topper was when a physician told me I’d have to live with the pain. Pain is an indication something is wrong with a body. It might be as simple as tension, but a headache will alert you to that.

At Mayo Clinic a physician told me I could not have as many kinds of head pain as I described. What did that mean? My immediate remark was, “Then you take some.” But the physician saw no humor.

I tried to alleviate my depression by throwing my problem away, to God or whoever out there. I tried my hardest to make peace with life, thinking that would help with the depression, but it didn’t.

Depression is a natural reaction to long-term or chronic illness, especially when it has not been named. I found trying to suppress the feelings only made me worse so that often I cried and blurted out unkind words to my husband, afterwards apologizing to him. He always forgave me.

One time when a woman expressed her concern about me, saying she often thought of me, I answered with my anger. “But not enough to phone or come over.” Our eyes met, and I saw her hurt. I wanted to take back the bitter words, to undo the situation, not pass on my resentment. Later I told her I was sorry, but mending our relationship took time. She finally told me she realized how hurt I was because she had never heard me speak that way to anyone. Yet my anger from depression could have murdered our friendship.

There is a time, a place, and a good way to release emotions, and there are wrong times and ways. I should have received the woman’s words with gratitude and in the manner with which she gave it. I learned the hard way.

HELPLESSNESS

When I left the hospital, I felt extreme helplessness. I’d been admitted to the cardiac unit by my good physician for a week. While there, many of my symptoms came to light for him to observe.

Then he said I could go home. What? Leave my life-support system? This was the only place I felt safe, the only place I had received medical attention. If my body went out of control, I simply pushed a small black button, and a nurse appeared by my bed like an angel.

If left not faced or untreated, this fear can grow into agoraphobia, a term for fear of open, public places.

Again this is natural not to want to leave a secure environment. We have to learn to manage our environment and reduce our fears. We have to rebuild our confidence and relearn how to balance our lives. And this includes the family.

LONELINESS

Other people don’t know how to handle chronic illness any better than we do. They have their lives to live, and they can’t stop point blank and sit at our bedside. That’s not what we actually want. A phone call, a visit, a letter or note, some form of communication that tells us of their continued involvement in our lives.

Most people wanted to give answers. Perhaps I had allergies or chronic fatigue syndrome. Perhaps I should go to a headache clinic. And when their answers ran out, their presence went with them. I knew they only wanted to help, but what I needed was their support, their faith in me, and their nearness. That disappeared when I could not socialize. I felt ignored and rejected by even more people. I felt abandoned by the physicians. How could they simply ignore my pain? What about their Hippocratic oath?

I also felt lost, in limbo, during this time. Again, it’s natural to feel this way. I doubted I could ever return to my life prior to surgery. But what about the future? I couldn’t live like I was-which was where? I could feel myself failing physically. Could I ever be that journalist, that editor I had trained to be what seemed so long ago? Yes, I came to be a successful online book editor and writer. Yet at that point in time I doubted that, also.

RELATIONSHIPS

Sickness can wreck havoc on any relationship, especially long-term ones such as marriage. When a friend’s husband left her because he couldn’t handle her chronic illness, muscular dystrophy, she had a nervous breakdown. How could she support three children when she couldn’t work outside the home? “I just went crazy,” she said. “I couldn’t handle that kind of responsibility, knowing what the answers were.”

For my friend, disability didn’t apply because she had worked only in her home. She solicited a sensible, reliable attorney who won her child support and alimony. With counseling and financial support, she got her life together, and she and her children are doing well.

Your children, depending on their age, need to know what is happening in your life for it does affect them. My youngest daughter, only two at the onset of my symptoms, has never had the mother my other two children had. I could not play baseball and other sports with her. I could not attend many of her band concerts. I could not be a room mother or accompany her at music competitions or go as a chaperone on field trips. And I had to explain this to her at her level of understanding.

Your parents, your sisters and brothers, aunts and uncles, all those close to you are affected by your illness. They might want to help you, they might out rightly disbelieve you, and all the in between. Your illness affects everyone in your life.

NATURAL REACTIONS

All these emotions and related feelings are natural for our situation. That phrase, it’s natural, should put a small part of you at rest. It should give you hope that you are responding naturally to a life-changing illness.

“You are not crazy,” Kristine Scordo, PhD. and director of the Cincinnati MVP Clinic, assures us. She is also author of the book, Taking Control: Living with Mitral Valve Prolapse Syndrome.

You are sane and have good inner responses you can listen to, even if physicians, nurses, friends, and relatives don’t believe you. Never consider yourself crazy or inferior because of your illness. You need not feel inadequate because of being ill. You are as special with chronic illness as you were before it.

Various Enzymes and Their Clinical Significance

Enzymes are substances that catalyze biochemical reactions. Although they actively participate in the reaction, they are not changed in the process. They are almost always found in cells so any increase in their blood levels would indicate cellular destruction. These are important clinical enzymes which are measured in clinical chemistry to determine the presence or absence of a pathologic conditions.

1. Acid phosphatase (ACP) is primarily present in red blood cells (RBC), breast milk, and semen. It is tested to determine the occurrence of prostate cancer, breast cancer and some red blood cell pathologic conditions.

It is also used as a diagnostic tool in cases of rape. Since ACP is present in the semen, testing the vaginal fluid for the presence of ACP will indicate that the act has been committed.

2. Alkaline phosphatase (ALP) is found in bones, kidneys, liver, placenta, intestines and platelets. Elevated ALP levels would indicate bone and liver diseases like osteomalacia, liver cirrhosis, and the like.

3. Creatine phosphokinase (CPK) is found in the brain, heart, and muscles. It has three isoenzymes: CKBB (CK1), which is present in the brain, the CKMB (CK2), which is present in the heart, and CKMM (CK3), which is present in muscles. The significance of elevated results therefore are diseases related to the heart, brain and muscles.

4. Lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) is nicknamed the “ubiquitous enzyme” because it is almost present in all cells in the body. It is found in red blood cells, cardiac muscles, liver, lungs, spleen and kidneys. There are five isoenzymes: LDHHHH (LD1), LDHHHM (LD2), LDHHMM (LD3), LDHMMM (LD4), and LDMMMM (LD5). It is elevated in liver diseases and heart conditions like myocardial infarction (MI).

5. Gamma Glutamyl Transferase (GGT) is an alcoholic marker. Its elevation indicates liver disease and chronic alcoholism. It is only elevated after prolonged usage of alcohol.

6. Alanine amino transferase (ALT) is a liver enzyme. It is markedly elevated in liver disease.

7. Aspartate amino transferase (AST) is a cardiac enzyme. It is significantly elevated in myocardial infarction, and slightly elevated in liver disease. CK, LDH, and AST are the three cardiac enzymes.

These enzymes are important diagnostic markers of diseases. Do not disregard normal results. Serial measurements should be made on another sample, from the same person to ensure consistent results.

Before conclusive diagnosis is made, all data, like patient’s history, physical symptoms and other laboratory results should be integrated.

Side Effects After Open Heart Surgery

Open heart surgery is required to repair a number of common heart ailments, including blocked arteries and related heart problems. The procedure is conducted with the aid of a heart-lung machine which carries out important bodily functions while the heart is being operated upon.

While open heart surgery is a very serious type of surgery, it is also one of the most commonly-performed operations in advanced countries and has a very high overall survival rate. Here are some considerations and side effects if you are to undergo surgery:

At The Hospital:

You should not eat or drink within eight hours of the scheduled surgery time. Patients are usually admitted on the morning of the surgery.

After surgery, you will be monitored in the cardiac intensive care unit (ICU) and later on the general floor of the hospital. Hospital stays after surgery are usually 3 to 4 days.

Recovery Times:

Recovery times for full open heart surgery may be 6 to 12 weeks or more. However, recovery for off-pump surgery and minimally-invasive heart surgery may take much less time.

Side Effects After Open Heart Surgery:

People who have undergone or are about to undergo heart surgery are often concerned about the side effects after open heart surgery. Here are some of the most common side-effects, all of which are normal and NOT a cause for alarm in most cases:

* muscle pain

* chest pain

* swelling (especially if you have an incision in your leg from coronary artery bypass grafting, or CABG

* loss of appetite: it can take several weeks for your appetite to return * diminished sense of taste: your sense of taste will return in time

* nausea upon smelling food: many patients get nauseous upon smelling food; this is common and will dissipate

* difficulty sleeping: you may have trouble falling asleep, or you may wake up regularly in the middle of the night; this will get better over time

* constipation: take a laxative and add fruits, fiber and juice to your diet

* mood swings: mild depression is normal during this period

* swelling, especially when there has been an incision in your leg

* lump at top of incision: again, this will go away with time

* clicking noise or feeling in your chest: this, too, will go away on its own; if it gets worse, contact your surgeon

While all of these side effects are normal and should go away with time, do not hesitate to contact your doctor if you are concerned or are facing an emergency.

Medicine Side Effects:

There are also a number of possible side effects after surgery related to the medicines you take for surgery. If you experience any of the following side-effects, you SHOULD contact your physician right away:

* excessive nausea, diarrhea, constipation, or stomach pain

* vomiting

* dizziness or light-headedness when standing up

* confusion

* very fast or very slow pulse

* skin rash

* unusual burning or bleeding

Self-Care, Including Diet:

It is important to strictly follow your doctor’s instructions after surgery concerning your self-care, especially during the first 6-12 weeks after surgery.

One of the most important elements to consider after open heart surgery – both during the recovery period and for the rest of your life – is how you eat. It is important to eat heart-healthy foods, such as those rich in fiber and low in fats.

Most side-effects after heart surgery are completely normal. If you experience any side effects of particular concern that are not outlined here it is essential that you contact your doctor right away.

Heart Diseases in the United States

Heart disease in the United States is a very serious issue. In 2007, it was the number one cause of death, not only in the United States, but in England, Canada, and Wales as well. Statistics indicate that one person dies every 34 seconds from a cardiovascular problem. Heart disease is a blanket term and includes coronary disease, cardiomyopathy, cardiovascular maladies, organ failure, and inflammatory problems, among other types.

In the United States, statistics estimate 451,000 people die of coronary heart disease. This illness refers to the failure of coronary circulation, resulting in inadequate circulation and blood flow to the heart and surrounding muscles. Cardiomyopathy references the deterioration of the muscle in cardiac region. Patients who suffer from cardiomyopathy are at increased risk for an arrhythmia and sudden death from heart failure. Cardiovascular diseases include problems such as atherosclerosis, which affects the blood vessels through the accumulation of plaques and fat deposits. Congestive heart failure is another serious problem, where the organ fails to adequately pump a sufficient amount of blood in the body. Finally, inflammatory diseases involve swelling of the tissue within and surrounding the cardiac muscle.

According to the American Heart Association, unchangeable risk factors for the development of heart disease include increasing age (over the age of 65), male sex, and heredity factors, including race. Children of parents with problems are more likely to develop some form of illness, as well as African Americans, Mexican Americans, American Indians, native Hawaiians, and some Asian Americans. Some risk factors are controllable and therefore avoidable by choosing a certain lifestyle. Tobacco smoke, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, physical inactivity, obesity, and diabetes mellitus can all contribute to the development of heart disease. Other possible issues include stress response and alcohol intake. Finally, the use of certain diet drugs, such as Fen-phen or Redux, can trigger primary pulmonary hypertension, an illness which causes cardiac valve damage.

Symptoms of heart disease include shortness of breath, palpitations, weakness, dizziness, sweating, and chest pain. Heart attacks, or myocardial infarctions, have symptoms such as a choking feeling, heartburn, extreme weakness or anxiety, sweating, nausea, discomfort in the back of the arm, jaw, back, or throat, and discomfort, pain, or heaviness in the heart.

8 Powerful Ways to Grow Scalp Hair Faster

If you want to grow scalp hair faster there are some things you need to take care of. You have to make sure your hair is healthy or else it will not grow very quickly nor very long. To make sure you have healthy, vibrant tresses try these tricks below to help you out.

1. Look for split ends, if you find you have some trim them off. You do not have to trim a lot just enough to take off the damaged and frayed ends. It will not only make scalp hair grow faster, but it will make your tresses look neat.

2. Examine the condition of your tresses very well; make sure it looks healthy, shiny and strong. If it looks damaged it could be from coloring or damaged from heat styling or even the sun. If your hair is damaged it is not a good idea to grow it out it will not look healthy but scraggly.

3. One thing that can make scalp hair grow faster is a healthy diet. If you find your tresses grows slowly you might need to change how you eat. Hair consists of keratin protein so make sure you are getting enough by eating foods like nuts, poultry, vegetables, fruits, grains and even eggs. Make sure you eat foods from all food groups to keep your body healthy.

4. Hair will react to your physical body and health, this includes diet and exercise. Are you getting enough exercise and sleeping enough? Are you eating the right foods including vegetables and fruits? Remember stress can also affect your body as well as your hair, so try to relax more. If you lack in any of these areas, try to see what you can do to repair that. You will notice faster scalp hair growth when your body is healthy.

5. Stimulating blood flow to the scalp is important too and there are a couple ways to make this happen. First, cardio exercise is a great way to get the blood flowing; it not only helps to keep you fit and healthy as well as making your skin glow, it’s great for your scalp too – making your hair grow longer faster. Another way to stimulate blood flow to the scalp is to massage it all over for at least 5 minutes at a time.

6. When brushing your tresses make sure you do not over brush it – as well as do not use a bristled brush because it will tear and damage your hair. However boar bristle brushes are actually good for your hair because they help to maintain good hair condition by keeping it clean. They also stimulate the scalp and distribute the oils for a glossy and healthy look.

7. If you want to grow scalp hair faster never brush your hair when it’s wet. Always use a wide tooth comb. In fact de-tangle your hair with your fingers first before combing it to avoid breakage.

8. Using Mira hair oil a deep oil treatment to condition your hair is great for scalp hair growth. It has a combination of natural oils and herbs perfect for stimulating the blood flow to your scalp and hair follicles.

Follow these 8 steps and you will grow scalp hair fast. The way to make sure you succeed is to be consistent and patient

Dog Bladder Tumor – Canine Health

In dogs bladder tumors are a rare occurrence. Bladder tumors are of two different forms, one is potentially fatal while the other is benign. To ensure your dog remains healthy and free from such tumors continue reading this article.

The symptoms of bladder tumors in dogs are as follows:

1. The dog may go to the toilet a lot more than usual

2. There will be a slight amount of blood in the urine produced.

3. They dog may struggle to produce any urine.

As mentioned above there are two different forms of bladder tumors one being malignant which can be potentially life threatening while the other being benign. The benign or non progressive type of bladder tumors usually leaves the tissue which surrounds the growth relatively unharmed and does not spread to other parts of the body.

Squamous cell carcinomas and transitional cell carcinomas are the two most common types of bladder tumors . Both of these are highly malignant which means that they may spread to other parts of the body. Polyps are very rare but unlike the two mentioned above they are benign and do not spread to other parts of the body.

To make sure that the dog remains healthy any such growth will be need to removed. Complications arise depending on where the tumors is located inside the body. If it is close to an organ or a vital body part then the risks of surgery increase.

Treatment is not really effective when it comes to dealing with cancer and tumors in a dog’s bladder and this can prove to be a very costly option. Most people try and keep their dog on antibiotics and painkillers to try to relieve the pain as much as possible as the dog begins to suffer and then on a later stage the dog is put down as humanely as possible.

Your vet may conduct a number of tests such as ultrasound scans, x-rays and even passing a camera through the bladder of the dog. Only after all these tests will the vet know for sure whether the dog has been affected by a tumors or not. To determine the type of tumors the dog has the vet will have to conduct a biopsy.

If it is a polyp tumors then it will require surgery to be removed. Potential complications arise depending on the location of the tumors . If it is located at the bladder neck skilled surgery or complicated reconstruction would be required to keep the connection between the bladder and the urethra intact and even if the surgery goes as planned there are always chances that the dog may become incontinent for a short while after the surgery.

If the tumors is either squamous cell carcinomas or transitional cell carcinomas the vet will have to conduct further x-rays of the abdomen and the chest in order to determine how far the tumors cells have spread.

If the vet has determined that the tumors hasn’t spread then they may try and remove the malignant cell. Of course there are many difficulties and risks in doing this. A Lot of healthy tissue may need to be removed in order to remove a cancerous tumors from the dog’s body and to be certain that all the effected cells have been removed. This results in the vet having a lot less room to work with as compared to the polyp tumors . It is also likely that vital body parts and organs will cause hindrance.

Most vets will still try to remove the tumors first and then use chemotherapy and radiation to remove the remaining cancerous cells. A histopathologist will decide the type of therapy depending on the samples given to them

Pneumonia Control With Oregano Oil

If there is an inflammation or infection of the air sacs (alveoli) of the lungs, pneumonia will result. It is a serious condition wherein fluid or pus enters the alveoli usually blocking the passage and preventing oxygen from entering the blood. When this happens, you will be gasping for breath and your organs will not function well because they are not supplied with oxygen they need. Symptoms like chills, fever, chest pain and fatigue will manifest if the inflammation is extensive.

Doctors have estimated that there are at least 30 different causes of this condition. Most of them however are caused by mycoplasma, viruses, fungus, bacteria, inhaling chemicals and dusts and accidentally breathing in food into the lungs. People also get pneumonia after an injury, surgery or remaining immobile for a length of time.

Those who smoke, drink too much alcohol, have HIV/AIDS, asthma and other respiratory problems are the ones at risk of contracting this disease. Other categories of people who are prone to pneumonia are children under 1 years old, adults over 65 years old and those who have a compromised immune system.

The usual treatment for this disease will depend on what caused it. If it is the result of bacterial infection, the patient will be given antibiotics. When viruses are found to be the cause, antiviral medications are given. Fungal treatments are given to those infected by fungi. Serious cases are brought to the hospital for medical intervention.

All of these modes of treatments always carry the risk of side effects since they are made of synthetic chemicals. Fortunately, there is an all natural product that can be used effectively to fight pneumonia. This is oregano oil, made of 100% organic substances and filled with powerful antimicrobial substances. It is sourced from the wild oregano plant which has been used for centuries for treating common sicknesses like colds, cough, fever, indigestion, skin diseases, etc.

Oregano oil contains phytochemicals, phenols and flavonoids which function as germ killers. Its two most active agents are carvacrol and thymol. These active agents have been confirmed by many scientific studies and experiments to be capable of killing bacteria, fungi, viruses and parasites. Therefore, no matter what causes a particular type of pneumonia, oregano oil can be used to stop it.

There are two ways you can use this oil to treat pneumonia – internally and by inhaling its essence. You can place two drops of oregano oil under your tongue allowing it to be thoroughly mixed with your saliva before swallowing. This is done three times a day.

Putting one or two drops of this oil in a cotton ball and placing the cotton ball beside your pillow when you go to sleep will allow you to inhale its essence. This will help in unblocking your nasal passage and help you breath normally.

Malignant Ascites – Symptoms And Treatment

Ascites is a medical condition which results when there is an imbalance between the plasma flow and the lymphatic drainage. Ascites is the buildup of fluid in the abdominal cavity which is beyond the normal fluid level present in the cavity. If you know what ascites is, then you already have an idea of malignant ascites. This condition is the accumulation of fluid in the abdominal cavity where the fluid in the cavity has cancerous cells in them and this is usually due to metastasis from a primary source of tumor in the body.

The most likely source of tumor that causes malignant ascites is tumors of the ovaries, uterus, pulmonary system, cervix, and gastrointestinal tract. Sometimes the tumors which cause malignant ascites are tumors of unknown primary origin. Patients who have this medical condition are usually patients in the last stage of metastasis (terminal stage of cancer).

The causes of this condition are numerous, it is often caused as a result of liver disease especially in patients who consume excess alcohol, or people that are drug abusers, using such drug intravenously, patients with hepatitis C, patients suffering from jaundice, people who have had blood transfusion or tattooing of their body.

Diagnosis of malignant ascites is usually done by patient’s complaints which include abdominal pain, bloated abdomen, Nausea and vomiting, feeling of fullness and lack of appetite. The physical examination also reveals a good ground for diagnosis because of the changes doctors find during palpation, percussion and auscultation of the abdomen. There are also different laboratory tests that are carried out; cell count which reveals increased number of white blood cells showing inflammation.

SAAG test which is used for diagnosis of portal hypertension. Neutrophil count is used to determine body action to fight against infection of bacterial origin and this is confirmed when it is elevated. Cytological smear is another means of diagnosis of malignant ascites although its accuracy is about 60-75 percent. The most reliable and effective diagnostic method for the diagnosis of malignant ascites is ultrasound.

When this condition is diagnosed treatment is carried out, although the treatment of malignant ascites is palliative, the aim of the doctor in the treatment is to make the patient feel better and eliminate the symptoms as much as possible.

Different treatments are available and one of such treatment is diuretic therapy, which is commonly used for ascites management. Patients who are best treated with this therapy are patients with hyponatremia (patients with reduced quantity of blood sodium.

Surgery is also used in the management of malignant ascites by draining the peritoneal fluid directly into the internal jugular vein. This method is results increased renal flow, increase in cardiac activity and increase in urine volume, promoting glomerular filteration, and decrease aldosterone level in plasma.

Also special diet is given to patients with malignant ascites, containing reduced quantity of sodium intake especially when sodium level is below 120mmol/L.

Malignant ascites is managed to relieve patient of the symptoms but cure of the condition is not yet possible because it results from a primary tumor in the body.

Causes of Constant Coughing – Bronchitis

Bronchitis is another disease in which constant coughing is one of the primary symptoms. This disease is primarily caused by an inflammation of the mucus membrane in the bronchial tubes of the lungs. Because the bronchial tubes are inflamed, excess quantities of mucus are produced in the form of phlegm. The phlegm is then expelled from the body by constant coughing. In most cases, phlegm tends to be semi fluid in its composition and somewhat sticky.

 Bronchitis primarily tends to develop in adults who smoke or use other forms of tobacco products. However, a person’s living environment, their use of other prescription drugs, and hereditary factors can also lower the resistance of one’s bronchial tubes, allowing them to become infected more easily. Sudden changes in the weather of one’s region can also encourage a quick onset of the disease.

The first and foremost course of treatment for bronchitis, whether it is chronic or otherwise, is for an individual to quit smoking. Then, there are several different home remedies that a person can follow to encourage their body to heal from the effects of the disease. One form of natural bronchitis treatment is the use of turmeric. Half a teaspoon of the powder should be mixed with half a glass of milk and consumed two or three times a day. It acts most effectively when a person’s stomach is empty. Although it might sound unusual, spinach has been shown to have some healing properties when it comes to bronchitis. Fifty grams of fresh spinach leaves should be mixed with a small amount of ammonium chloride, a teaspoon of honey, and 250 milligrams of water. The mixture acts as a powerful expectorant.

Similarly, poultices have been used for centuries to treat those with respiratory ailments. A hot poultice of linseed oil can be applied to an individual’s chest and back once a day to reduce the frequency of their constant coughing. The poultice is created from equal mixtures of linseed oil and hot water. The mushy mass is then applied directly to the skin. Turpentine may also be added if a person so wishes. Before engaging in any of these home treatments for constant coughing and bronchitis, he or she should consult their primary care physician. The constant coughing that is caused by chronic bronchitis can have harmful long term effects on a person’s lungs over time, and it should be treated promptly and correctly.

The Most Common Cause of Pain at the Base of the Thumb

Does your thumb hurt? Pain at the base of the thumb – where it joins up with the wrist, is usually caused by a very common condition, especially over age 50. It’s more common in women, and it’s not carpal tunnel syndrome!

The answer?

Arthritis at the base of the thumb.

What is it?

The word arthritis means joint (arth-) inflammation (-itis). The most common form of arthritis is osteoarthritis, or OA. Another name for it is degenerative joint disease, or DJD. The ends of bones normally move smoothly against each other. Smooth cartilage in joints makes this possible. The disease process of arthritis causes this cartilage to wear out and the joint no longer works as it was designed to.

In the worst, most advanced cases, bone literally grinds on bone inside the arthritic joint!

The base of the thumb is where the thumb joins up with the wrist. The main joint involved in arthritis at the base of the thumb is the trapeziometacarpal joint (also known as the carpometacarpal joint – CMC joint of the thumb).

This joint is formed by a long bone in the thumb called the metacarpal and a bone in the wrist called the trapezium. This joint provides the majority of the useful motion in your hand – gripping, pinching, twisting, opening jars, and writing all require this joint to have pain-free function. Arthritis may cause pain with all these activities.

This type of arthritis is more common in women than men, and usually doesn’t happen before age 40. Fractures and other trauma to the thumb joint may put you at risk for developing arthritis in the future.

What are the Signs and Symptoms?

Some patients with arthritis at the base of the thumb never have symptoms. Others have crippling and severe pain at an early age.

The earliest symptom of thumb arthritis is pain at the base of the thumb (the heel of the palm) with pinching, opening jars, or after long periods of writing. Turning keys or opening door knobs may also be painful.

Weather changes (such as before it rains) may create pain in the thumb. Heavy repetitive use may also cause deep aching in the thumb. As the arthritis gets worse, the strength of pinching gets weaker and heavy activity is no longer required to make the thumb painful.

Patients with advanced arthritis may feel a grinding/crunching sensation with even small movements of the thumb, and the thumb joint may start to look enlarged, swollen, or “out of place”. The joint at the base of the thumb becomes very stiff at this point.

Other joints further out towards the tip of the thumb may become looser and more deformed to compensate for the stiffness at the thumb base.

How is the diagnosis made?

Arthritis at the base of the thumb is diagnosed by history (the story of how symptoms develop) and physical examination.

The base joint (CMC joint) is tender to touch and you can often feel crunching or grinding as the joint is moved in a circular pattern. Swelling is usually present around the joint.

Other conditions in the same area may cause a similar appearance, such as tendonitis and arthritis in other joints of the wrist and thumb.

X-rays are useful for confirming the specific joint involved with arthritis, though the appearance of the joint on x-ray may not match how the patient feels.

There are several x-ray views ordered by your hand surgeon that show the arthritis more clearly than those ordered by your family doctor. These additional views are especially helpful in mild cases, where the diagnosis isn’t obvious on regular x-rays of the hand or wrist.

The swelling, tenderness, or abnormal motion of other joints nearby may also reinforce the diagnosis of arthritis at the base of the thumb.

How is it treated?

Arthritis at the base of the thumb is treated like arthritis elsewhere in the body:

  • limited motion or use
  • splinting
  • anti-inflammatory medicine (pills or creams)
  • heat therapy (warm/hot water soaks)

Cortisone (steroid) injections in the joint may give some significant relief for several months. This can be done along with the above methods or after they have failed to provide pain relief.

After non-surgical treatments fail to provide adequate pain relief, surgery should be considered.