What is a Spinal Injury?

The spinal cord makes up part of the nervous system and runs the length of your neck and back. It cord has two main functions within the body, which are to communicate and co-ordinate. It is the nerves contained in the spinal cord that transmit the messages between your brain and body through nerve impulses. This also acts as a coordinating centre in order to generate simple reflex actions. It is because of these vital factors in our bodies function that a spinal cord injury can be so serious.

Injuries of the spine involve damage or trauma to the spinal cord that results in a loss of or impaired function, causing reduced mobility or feeling. In some cases a loss of movement occurs below the level of injury, which is known as paralysis. Although nearly 50% of all spinal cord injuries tend to be complete, the spinal cord does not have to be severed in order for a loss of functioning to occur. Cellular damage, including bruising and restricted blood flow, can also result in a loss of use.

Incomplete spinal injury is the term used to describe partial damage to the spinal cord. These types of injuries differ depending on the amount of damage caused and the area that has been affected, whether it is the front, centre or back of the spinal cord. The main types of incomplete spinal injury are anterior cord syndrome, central cord syndrome and brown-sequard syndrome. Each of these vary greatly in the symptoms they cause.

Not all injuries to the spine are associated with damage to the spinal cord itself. Some spinal injuries may just require a period of immobilisation or can be repaired with use of a rigid collar, brace or body jacket depending on the location of the fracture.

Many distinctive problems associated with spinal and spinal cord injury vary depending on the type and level of injury, including the disruption of temperature regulation, which causes sweating and shivering. Other processes, which can be affected following a spinal injury, are bowel and bladder management. The communicating nerve impulses that travel along the spine to the brain can be disrupted and can no longer travel normally, which can result in sufferers not being aware that their bladder or bowel is full.

Muscle spasticity can also become affected due to the changes that occur in the nerve cells that control muscle activity. Following a spinal injury, nerves below the injury become disconnected from those above causing muscle spasms to occur. Other common outcomes of spinal injury are blood pressure and respiratory complications. In some cases sufferers require the use of a ventilator to control their breathing pattern.

Injuries such as these require advice from specialist legal teams who are experienced and knowledgeable in the complex nature of the subject. Because of the often long-term nature of spinal injuries, victims need continuous support and extensive rehabilitation. This can often put a great deal of financial pressure on the family, who are already dealing with the trauma of the initial accident. By partnering with solicitors who specialise in serious injuries, that long-term help and care can be catered for and the financial burden reduced considerably.

Best Back Brace For Degenerative Disc Disease – Treatment Options

Do you currently suffer from degeneration problems in your back?

Is this causing you pain on a regular basis and now you are looking for answers?

1.) Introduction

Braces for degenerative back issues can help people. They do not cure you, but they can add needed support to your back and this can help to control pain problems for patients. If a person is going to have surgery, or has had surgery, braces for the back can serve a dual purpose. Not only can they help to reduce pain, but they can also restrict motion that will facilitate the healing process for the individual. Choosing the best brace depends on the condition the patient is in. We will discuss different braces in this article so you are more aware of the best options available to you.

2.) Best Back Braces For Degenerative Issues

If you suffer from back problems that are associated to degenerative issues in your spine, then this section of the article can help you. There are different kinds of braces that range from less restrictive to more restrictive. Remember, just because you get a rigid brace that is more restrictive, does not mean that you are getting a bad support. It all depends on the amount of brace you will need at the time it is issued.

A.) Corsets: These are back supports that are less restrictive in nature. This is a very common medically prescribed brace that can help reduce pain and limit motion. They are considered to be more of a reminder for people not to make the wrong movement and are not considered to be very restrictive. Usually, people receive what is called a lumbosacral corset, which supports the lower back. Although the lumbosacral corset is common, dorsal lumbar corsets exist that are for the entire back. Dorsal lumbar corsets usually have shoulder straps that help to limit flexion of the spine.

B.) Traditional LSOs and TLSOs: These braces are typically made to be more restrictive. They usually use more plastic that provides rigidity in the orthopedic bracing industry. If your spine is less stable, or you just had a serious surgical procedure done, then an LSO or TLSO may be prescribed by your doctor. They usually restrict more motion than a corset does and this is not necessarily bad for patients.

Note: This is health information. Although it is good information, it is best to get medical advice about bracing from your local, licensed orthotist.

SPG Nerve Block – A New Treatment That Gives Instant Relief for Migraines and Headaches

It is very common in people to experience headaches and migraines. The persistent nature of such kind of pain can cause exhaustion and disability. If you experience these for a long time, you may have to undergo steady, long-term treatment. But worry not; there is also a treatment that provides effective relief in an instant.

There is a new revolutionary treatment that offers instant relief for migraines and headaches without using pills or injections. The Sphenopalatine ganglion (SPG) nerve block uses a unique nasal applicator to safely and painlessly eliminate the pain. Other than headaches and migraines, SPG nerve block has been providing successful relief to a variety of conditions such as trigeminal neuralgia and fibromyalgia.

SPG nerve block is a procedure that involves application of a topical anesthetic to the sphenopalatine ganglion (SPG) in the back of the sinus area. The nasal applicator has a plastic delivery tube that is soft and flexible so that it can comfortably extend to the back of the nasal cavity and place the anesthetic liquid right where it should be applied. It has a small flexible tip designed to help reduce irritation to the nasal lining. In the nasal cavity, the anesthetic liquid is sprayed directly onto the group of SPG nerves.

Also known as nasal ganglion, the SPG nerve is an internal part of the head located behind the nose and sinus area and near the throat. It is where neurons in the head are largely collected. SPG is also covered by a thin layer of connective tissues and mucous membrane.

The nasal ganglion plays a role in causing pain associated with acute and cluster headaches, migraines, trigeminal neuralgia, facial pain and more due to such a wide reach that the nerves from SPG expand to.

SPG nerve block is being performed by placing the plastic tube of the nasal applicator through one or both the nostrils to apply the anesthetic. The anesthetic then works on the ganglion area to relieve multiple head and facial pain conditions. This procedure is done as an outpatient.

The SPG nerve block helps in eliminating pain from a variety of head and face conditions such as acute and cluster headaches, migraines, shingles, head and neck cancer pain, reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD), complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), temporomandibular joint (TMJ) pain, Sluder’s neuralgia, vasomotor rhinitis, and atypical facial pain.

Studies show that SPG nerve block is an excellent treatment for acute and chronic facial and head pain. In a 2009 study, SPG radiofrequency treatment had very high satisfactory results for patients with cluster headaches. Other studies showed that the treatment worked excellently for head and neck cancer pain and for chronic vasomotor rhinitis. It provided overwhelming relief and reduced the need for narcotic medication.

Obtaining relief for migraines and headaches is easy and need not to be painful. For someone who wants to easily get rid of chronic headache or severe migraine, SPG nerve block may just be the answer. This quick treatment needs no toxic medications. With SPG nerve block it only takes few moments to resume your normal lifestyle and live pain-free for the rest of your life.

Pinched Nerve Treatment

There are many things that can be done to treat a pinched nerve in your neck or back, but what is best for you will of course depend on what your underlying issue is that caused the pinched nerve in the first place.

Pinched Nerve Treatment:

Back brace or corset

When worn, a brace can help to limit the amount of movement that the back can make and it also helps to keep the spine properly aligned. By doing this you may be able to keep your nerve from being pinched. However wearing a back brace or corset for a long period of time after the back has finished healing will cause the back muscles to weaken.

Medications

Medications such as Ibuprofen can help reduce pain and inflammation temporarily, while Acetaminophen can also be used to reduce pain or muscle soreness temporarily. There are also muscle relaxants that can help to reduce muscle spasms if that is a problem.

Rest

Sometimes a small amount of rest can be helpful by allowing the back to heal, but you will want to make sure that you do not rest to much as this can weaken the back muscles.

Cold therapy

This can be used if there is an acute injury, these are injuries that occur suddenly and not gradually over a period of time. This can be helpful by restricting the amount of blood that flows to the injured area helping to reduce swelling and pain.

Heat Therapy

This would be more useful if you have chronic back pain. Chronic back pain can be described as pain that occurs gradually and is long lasting. Heat therapy can help to relax sore muscles, increase joint mobility, and increase the amount of blood flow to the injured area. This increase of blood to the area can help to promote faster healing. If you have any swelling or inflammation you should not use this treatment as it will only make it worse.

Ultrasound

This can be used to promote tissue healing and is very effective if the pinched nerve is being caused by soft tissue irritation.

Massage therapy

Deep tissue massage can be helpful at reducing pain caused by a pinched nerve. This therapy can help reduce pain, increase blood circulation and increase joint flexibility, it is possible that the area may feel tender or inflamed following the massage, this should be only temporary.

Stretching

Making it a habit to stretch before and after an activity can help reduce the risk of injury by increasing back stability and flexibility. Before attempting any stretching techniques you should consult with your physician.

Exercise

Like stretching it can help to increase stability in the back by strengthening the muscles, improve flexibly and help to keep the body in good condition.

Acupuncture

This ancient Chinese technique can be performed to relieve back pain and promote healing. It is done by inserting needles into the skin and applying heat or electrical stimulation to those needles. This helps to trigger natural pain relieving chemicals from the brain as well as reducing inflammation and relaxing tense or sore muscles.

What is Qigong?

One useful supplement to traditional chiropractic therapy is the practice of qigong. Originated in ancient China as a method of improving circulation, it emphasizes slow, controlled movements and breathing techniques. The word qigong is made up of two component parts. Qi is the Chinese word for air, and gong means discipline; thus, together they refer to “air discipline,” or the discipline of proper breathing.

There are a number of different varieties of qigong practiced in China and elsewhere in the world. One type emphasizes a technique called diaphragmatic breathing; this exercise, also known as “belly breathing,” engages the full strength of the diaphragm rather than just using the chest for breathing. Diaphragmatic breathing is widely practiced in certain yoga styles, and is considered helpful because it helps to fully oxygenate the body. As practitioners of holistic medicine, chiropractic physicians often recommend this technique to help flush impurities from the system; it is also used to treat stammering and stuttering.

Another form of qigong, known as Taoist qigong, puts emphasis on thoracic breathing. This is the practice of inhaling deeply toward the back of the thoracic cavity, or chest region. Thoracic breathing expands the lungs to their fullest, and thus offers many of the same benefits as diaphragmatic breathing, but does not flex and relax the abdominal muscles in the same way. Most chiropractic doctors do not distinguish between these two methods, regarding both as beneficial as part of a holistic health regimen.

The health benefits of qigong are generally accepted by both the Eastern and Western medical establishments, although the spiritual benefits claimed by some proponents of qigong are still in dispute. Qigong is helpful in improving circulation and flexibility; it provides a low-impact way to stretch and tone muscles, while the breathing exercises improve blood flow and consequent oxygen supply to the extremities. As part of your regular exercise regimen, it can strengthen your diaphragm and chest muscles and help to rejuvenate tissues and cells.

Consult your chiropractic physician before beginning a qigong program. Your chiropractor can advise you on the best way to incorporate qigong into a plan for healthful living, and assist you on getting the most from your qigong exercises.

5 Signs Of Autism – Toddlers

For parents, it is crucial to recognize as early as possible the early signs of autism. Toddlers are children that have reached the age of 12 to 18 months or during the period they have started walking. It is during this stage that the signs of autism in toddlers start to appear. Since the signs and symptoms of autism vary in every toddler, it important to be careful in identifying such signs. Up until now, there are still no standardized criteria in diagnosing autism. This is the reason why parents who suspect their child to be autistic should regularly talk to their pediatricians.

Here are some of the signs of autism- toddlers:

Slow Development – Each child develops differently from others and this is just normal. Some child talks or walks earlier than other. But for children with autism, their development is unusually slow. What is more observable is their communication skill. Compared to other children, they produce only limited words, gestures, or sounds that they use in communicating. Their facial expressions and body posture is also different.

Social Gaze – This is one of the most significant signs of autism. Toddlers generally make eye contact to their parents if called or played. But autistic children have an unusual gaze and do not tend to make eye contact. Some experts say that this behavior is due to their lack of interest in the surroundings.

Repetitive Behavior – Some toddlers who have autism are attached to routines. They have specific way of doing things. Some also display flapping, head-banging, or rocking their body constantly even while in their cot.

Obsession – There have been reports that some children who have autism are fixated to 3 to 4 food items. They only eat the same kind of food over and over again. Other children also play only one toy and will reject the others. They become obsessed and will become attached to it for very long time. They also even focus on the detail or a specific part of an object, like the wheel, rather than the toy car as a whole. They also like to arrange objects or their toys in a straight line.

This is the most prevalent of all signs of autism. Toddlers become obsessed over a particular object. The reason behind this obsession is their difficulty to adapt to changes. Autistic children prefer to be doing the same things all the time rather than trying out new things.

Social Interaction – Autistic children tend to have lack of shared interests with their parents and other toddlers. They shy away from making friends with others of the same age. They also do not understand how other feel. This is why autism is often likened to “living in a different world” than others.

Another reason for this lack of interaction might be their hearing impediment. Reports show that autistic children have hearing difficulties. This is one aspect of their development that is usually affected.

The best way to handle this developmental disorder is to detect the signs of autism. Toddlers will start to display these signs and it is up to the parents to recognize them. Early detection is the key to minimizing the negative effects of autism.

Sore Throat Is the First Sign of Cold and Flu Season

During the months of September through February when the temperatures are particularly cold in most parts of the world, colds and the flu run rampant. Although you can catch a cold or flu at any time throughout the year, it is more prevalent when the temperature seems to dip. Unfortunately, there has been no discovery on why this phenomenon is but scientists have some theories. Researches postulate that during the colder seasons people stay indoors more often which allows for closer contact between people, which increases the likelihood of transmission of the cold or flu. Additionally, colder air also means drier air. When the air is dry the mucus membranes in the body also dry, which is the primary means of how the body eliminates virus particles. Also virus and bacteria can harden and live within the respiratory tract much like a spore would when the temperature is cold. Furthermore during winter month’s people are exposed to little if no sun, which helps in our production of vitamin D. With a decreased production of vitamin D our body’s immune system is more susceptible to virus and bacteria that is in the air and on exposed surfaces.

The initial sign of the cold or flu is a sore throat. Again this is highly due to the dry air eliminating hydration from the mucus membranes such as the mouth, and throat. Although, when a sore throat appears most people immediately think that a cold or flu are the culprit, however many other things can cause a sore throat and it may be prudent to eliminate some of these other causes before treating any symptoms. Acid reflux, sinus drainage, breathing through your mouth, allergies, air pollution, tobacco smoke, alcohol, spicy food, muscle strain, yelling, HIV infection and tumors can cause symptoms of a sore throat. If you can reduce the cause of your sore throat down to a cold or flu them you either have a bacteria or viral infection. Predominantly, most sore throats turn out to be a virus. However, its that 1 in 5 chance that it could be a bacterial infection that you need to be cautious of because bacterial infections such as Strep can turn into other more serious conditions such as Rheumatoid Fever.

Determining whether you have a virus or bacterial infection without having to go to the doctor can be quite simple. By looking inside your mouth and at the back of the throat you can determine the specific characteristics that are causing your sore throat. When you look in your mouth if your throat is red and inflamed and you have some phlegm, which can be yellow or green then you have a virus, cold or flu. On the other hand if you look and you also see some red inflammation in addition to white, lumpy spots on the tonsils and throat, this is indicative of a bacterial infection such as Strep.

Some of the most common viral infections include the common cold, flu, Mononucleosis (mono), measles, chickenpox, and croup, If you have a cold virus a sore throat will on be painful for 1-2 days and then should subside. Other symptoms include a runny or stuffy nose, cough and fever. Antibiotics cannot cure or treat a viral infection. Unfortunately there is no way to kill a viral infection; you have to let it run its course.

The most common bacterial infections that cause sore throats are Strep throat (Streptococcus), whooping cough, and Diphtheria. A bacterial infection can cause a sore throat with pain that persists for 3-7 days. The tonsils and lymph nodes in the neck will usually be swollen and aching. A fever higher than 101 degrees is usually caused by inflammation and the body trying to fight off the infection. If you have a bacterial infection you should see a doctor immediately to prescribe antibiotics such as penicillin. A prescription should be taken for 7-10 days to eliminate the bacteria from the body.

In either cause, viral or bacteria, there are ways to ease the symptoms of a sore throat. The best thing to do at the first sign of a sore throat is to gargle with warm salt water. This kills germs that are present in the mouth and reduces any inflammation. If the sore throat persists, you don’t want your throat to remain dry because this will lead to pain and irritation. Using a humidifier will keep moisture in the air, which will continually re-hydrate your throat and mucus membranes. Throat sprays are a great way to keep you throat wet. Look for ingredients such as glycerin, phenol or menthol because they act as a numbing agent, which will reduce, pain that you may be experiencing from a sore throat. Slippery elm and honey are two great natural products that will coat the lining of the throat and soothe your symptoms. Ibuprofen is a better over the counter pain reliever because it reduces pain and swelling. Eating Popsicle and drinking warm tea will keep your throat moist and reduce pain when swallowing.

Tonsillitis and Tonsil Stones – Is There a Link?

Can tonsillitis cause tonsil stone problems? Many people swear that this is a cause of tonsil stones. So is there a link? Let’s see if there is a link between the two.

First let’s look at what tonsillitis is caused by. Tonsillitis is the enlargement and inflammation of the tonsils. During a bout of tonsillitis the back of the throat is covered very often with pus leaving white spots. This often causes people to confuse the white spots with tonsil stones.

Tonsillitis is caused by a virus and sometimes by strep throat. However this can very often be accompanied by other symptoms. Sore throat, fever, ear and throat pain are sometimes symptoms that occur as well. When these symptoms are present it is a sign of something that requires medical attention.

On the other hand, tonsil stones are not a cause for concern. Although they have a horrible smell and leave an awful taste in the mouth they are not a health problem but more of a nuisance that can affect one’s social life due to bad breath.

Tonsil stones or tonsilloliths as they are referred to in medical terms are white or yellow in appearance. Due to their color they are confused for pus even though are solid chunks as opposed to fluid filled objects. Another distinction between the two is tonsilloliths come off and out of the throat while the pus simply does not.

Although tonsilloliths do appear sometimes during a bout of tonsillitis it should be noted that this is not the case most of the time. In fact, tonsilloliths occur at any given time and do not have any symptoms such as fever, sore throat or other ailments.

However, tonsil stones grow in what are known as tonsil crypts, which is scarring left behind once the pus disappears. When oral bacteria, post nasal drip, mucous, food residue, and dead white blood cells come together in these crypts and then harden tonsilloliths then form.

As you can see they are two entirely different things. If you have tonsillitis it is best to seek medical attention.

Mental Retardation – Genetic and Hereditary Causes

In some cases retardation can be directly traced to a chromosomal defect, to heredity, or to another genetic deficiency. Each individual is born with 23 pairs of chromosomes, on which the physical build and appearance of the person is coded. Each parent provides 23 chromosomes. These match up at conception, and the parents’ features are passed on to the children. Sometimes an extra chromosome is accidentally present. Other times dominant or recessive traits are passed on to the child. Sometimes there are disorders in the way the body functions, which develop from unknown genetic involvement but which suggest deficiencies in genetic makeup.

Down’s syndrome occurs when an extra chromosome in the twenty-first pair is found. While there is no known reason why this occurs, and either parent may contribute the extra chromosome, it is known that the chance of giving birth to a Down’s child increases with the age of the mother. Down’s syndrome results in a moderate to severe level of retardation. It is characterized by slanting eyes, a flattened and wide nose, and small ears, tongue, and mouth.

Four other chromosome defects produce recognizable syndromes. The cat-cry syndrome results from a missing part of the fifth chromosome. Due to vocal chord abnormalities the infant gives a characteristic cat cry. Severe retardation and numerous other physical complications are present. Trisomy 13, occurring once in 5,000 births, refers to an extra chromosome in the thirteenth pair. It is characterized by low-set ears, cleft palate, cleft lip, sloping forehead, extra fingers, retardation, and often minor seizures. Of these children only 18% survive the first year; poor growth is evidenced. Trisomy 18, with an extra chromosome in pair 18, occurs about once in 3,000 births. Around 80% are females and only 10% survive the first year. Many die before birth. Low birth weight, incomplete development of skeletal muscle, cardiac defects, severe retardation, and numerous other abnormalities are seen. Trisomy 22 is rare and is characterized by retardation, small head, slanted eyes, slow and delayed growth, and heart defects.

Several syndromes are related to abnormalities in the chromosomes determining the sex of the child. These chromosomes, called X and Y, produce a female when the pair is XX and a male when the pair is XY. If only one X occurs rather than a pair, a girl is born with Turner’s syndrome. She is short of stature, has no sexual organs, and lacks sexual development. While 95 to 98% of the fetuses with Turner’s syndrome fail to survive to birth, some girls may not be diagnosed until adolescence, when the failure to develop sexually is noted. Mild retardation may be present, but more notable is a defect in space-form perception.

Klinefelter’s syndrome is found in males when the sex chromosome consists of XXY. Retardation is not usually characteristic, although 25 to 50% of reported cases had subnormal intelligence. In some cases as many as five X chromosomes have been found with a Y. The male with more than two X chromosomes has a higher risk of significant mental retardation.

The XYY male appears to be prevalent in the population with only slight intellectual retardation noted. At one point it was thought that this chromosome combination is associated with criminality, since reports of numerous XYY men in prisons were published. Later studies failed to verify this, but some lowered language ability was found.

Many syndromes are inherited in simple Mendelian fashion. When one parent passes on a dominant gene to the child, the trait carried by the gene will always occur. Recessive traits require a similar gene from both parents before the trait occurs. While they are rare and isolated, several syndromes resulting in mental retardation have been associated with dominant and recessive genes.

Most dominant gene syndromes that lead to severe retardation produce death before birth. Four syndromes are related to dominant gene transmission.

Tuberous sclerosis is a disease manifested by severe mental retardation, seizures, and a peculiar skin condition characterized by butterfly-shaped reddish-yellow tumors, usually on the cheeks alongside the nose. These tumors are nonmalignant and later may be found in the brain or other organs of the body. They may not be observable, and the disease may not be recognized until the child develops seizures around age 3 or facial skin tumors around age 5.

Neurofibromatosis is a condition characterized by light brown patches on the skin, the color of milky coffee (café-au-lait spots), and by tumors on the nerves and in the skin. The tumors may be tiny or grotesque overgrowths. At least six such spots must be present before a diagnosis is made, since normal people may have one or a few spots. Mental retardation and epilepsy occur in about 10% of cases, possibly due to tumors in the brain.

Sturge-Weber syndrome displays a growth the color of port wine formed by blood vessels on the face, usually in the area of the trigeminal nerve on the cheek or forehead. Similar malformations of the blood vessels within the meninges covering of the brain can give rise to mental retardation and seizures.

Myotonic dystrophy affects the whole body. Cataracts, testicular atrophy, frontal baldness, muscle spasms, and muscle wasting are evident. Considerable behavioral abnormality is seen in adults, and retardation may be present. In most cases the child has received the dominant gene from the mother. This suggests that a combination of an abnormal gene and an abnormal prenatal environment is necessary for very early onset.

There are thousands of recessive genes, many of which are harmless, such as the one producing blue eyes. Others are serious, such as the one producing cystic fibrosis. Many recessive disorders that involve retardation produce specific metabolic deficiencies. Metabolism refers to the ability of the body to break down and use particular foods or release energy for use. Some of the more common metabolic disorders are discussed according to the type of deficiency affected. Several nonmetabolic disorders related to recessive genes will also be covered.

Disorders of protein and amino acid metabolism include the much researched phenylketonuria (PKU). PKU is the inability of the body to oxidize the amino acid phenylalanine to tyrosine. As a result, untreated individuals are severely retarded and often are unable to walk or talk. Besides being bedridden, PKU persons are often restless, jerky, and fearful. They may be shy, restless, and anxious, or destructive with noisy psychotic episodes, irritable, and have uncontrollable temper tantrums. Since the 1930s considerable research has demonstrated that most of the severe symptoms can be prevented with a diet that restricts phenylalanine. Prompt diagnosis is essential, including identifying the parent carrier and screening newborn infants. Dietary control can reverse biochemical abnormalities, but structural defects and brain damage cannot be reversed.

Menkes disease, or the maple syrup disease, refers to the inability to metabolize the amino acid leucine. The disease gets its name from the distinct maple syrup odor of the urine. Dietary control prevents many severe symptoms. If it is untreated, the disease is usually fatal by age 2.

Histidinemia is a block in the metabolism of histidine. Abnormal speech patterns or retardation in language development are seen. Dietary control is used. There is some question in the literature about the relationship of this deficiency to retardation.

Disorders of carbohydrate metabolism, represented chiefly by galactosemia, involve the inability to break down sugars into usable parts. When lactose, the primary sugar in milk, is converted into glucose and galactose, the body must convert galactose into a glucose substance. If the child’s body is unable to do this, life-threatening symptoms develop from a milk diet. Jaundice, vomiting, cataracts, malnutrition, and potentially fatal susceptibility to infection occur. Strict dietary control and prompt identification are necessary to prevent severe damage and death.

When the complex carbohydrate substances are not properly broken down, and the resultant mucopolysaccarides are stored, severe physical and mental retardation occurs. Hurler syndrome children are dwarfed, deaf, have clouded corneas, widely spaced teeth, short neck, a large and bulging head, and several internal problems with liver, spleen, and hernias. These children tend to be friendly and affectionate. Hunter syndrome is less severe but includes gargoyle appearance, stiff joints, dwarfing, and enlarged liver and spleen. These children are characteristically hyperactive and hard to manage.

Several disorders have been identified related to the inability of the body to metabolize complex fats and lipids. The most common of these disorders is Tay-Sachs disease, named after a British ophthalmologist, Warren Tay, and an American neurologist, Bernard Sachs, who described cases of this disease in the 1880s. This recessive trait is frequent among Ashkenazic Jews, of whom 1 in 30 is a carrier. In all other groups 1 in 300 is a carrier. The presence of this disease can be detected with blood tests or amniocentesis. It usually begins insidiously by 6 months, with listlessness, weakness, hypersensitivity to sounds, and visual difficulties developing. Blindness occurs and death is frequent by 3 years. A partial deficiency of the same enzyme has been reported with less severe effects.

A final recessive disorder is microcephaly, or a small head. The skull is unusually tiny. Severe retardation and blindness are prominent.

Type 2 Diabetes – Are Apples Really the Best Fruit For Diabetics?

People with type 2 diabetes always want to know if fruit is OK for diabetics to eat. Unfortunately, newly diagnosed type 2 diabetics need to absorb so much information that this simple question becomes impossible for them to answer. On top of that, there is a lot of information on the internet about fruit and diabetes that’s downright false.

Fortunately, there are quite a few types of fruits that have excellent benefits for people with type 2 diabetes. Among them are citrus fruits, such as oranges and grapefruits, all type of berries… strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, cherries, and apples. Even bananas can fall into the good fruit category, although they tend to have a little more sugar than some fruits.

Apples: The Perfect Fruit For Diabetics?

As long as you monitor your blood sugar levels and don’t overdo it with too many servings of fruit, you can enjoy nutrients, such as vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber in lots of fruits. Let’s take a look at the apple as it might just be the the perfect fruit for diabetics.

Apples are so good for diabetics that research done on people with pre-diabetes found that apples could even keep people from developing diabetes. In the twenty-four hours after “apple consumption”, pre-diabetes symptoms were fewer. It seems that an apple a day can really be as good at keeping the doctor away as the old saying says it is.

Apples Are Loaded With Fiber:

Apples are an excellent source of dietary fiber. Eating one medium-size apple has the same effect as eating a bowl of bran cereal. In fact, just one apple contains 20% of the daily recommendation for fiber. Because an apple has so much fiber, it is good at controlling blood sugars by releasing them more slowly into the blood. This can give you energy over the long-term and not the quick spike of glucose given by a lot of other fruits and juices.

Studies have shown that apples can reduce the risk of some cancers and heart disease, and they can reduce inflammation in those people who have joint diseases. Apples are excellent for digestive health and have a positive effect on your colon. In addition, one of the brightest research findings is that apples are full of antioxidants.

Apples contain antioxidants:

Antioxidants get rid of free radicals… substances which cause cell damage and lead to elevated blood sugar levels. The antioxidants in apples are known as phytochemicals, and include an extra-special flavonoid called quercetin. Quercetin has been shown to prevent cancer and it’s benefits for many other diseases are now being researched. It has promising-looking benefits for Parkinson’s Disease and Alzheimer’s Disease. If you ate one apple (with skin), approximately 100 grams, you would receive equal antioxidant benefits to taking 1500 grams of vitamin C.

Not only do they cut your risk of acquiring type 2 diabetes, apples help get rid of the plaque which builds up in your blood vessels causing blockages and heart disease.

Maybe the expression “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” should be changed to “two apples a day will keep type 2 diabetes away”.

Causes of Obesity – My Expert Opinions

I rarely do this, but I feel that my opinion needs to be heard on the obesity issue. Usually I write for informational purposes and to make a living, but this series of articles will be solely opinion pieces from my own observation of the world. So let’s jump right in to the causes of obesity.

Cause #1 – The first cause of obesity is laziness. If you are a large person and you can honestly say that you get at least a half an hour of aerobic exercise each day, then there is something else that is causing your obesity, but if you are not getting at least that much exercise, then you need to get off your lazy butt and start exercising.

Cause #2 – The second cause of obesity is the lack of balance between your caloric intake and your energy out put. With all the sit down in front of a computer jobs we have to take special time out to exercise more because we are not active with out day to day jobs. This causes us to gain weight and become lazy.

Cause #3 – The third cause for the overweight people is diet soda or pop. Did you know that the artificial sweeteners in diet soda cause you to crave sweets? Plus what good are you doing when you order a diet soda, then you order a meal that has about 2,000 calories per bite. That is the thing about diet soda, it convinces you that you are doing something good when you are not.

Cause #4 – The fourth cause of obesity is eating out and eating fast food. Restaurants make their food taste good with all types of fattening things that are not good for you. Fast food restaurants are greasy and horrible for you. Yet there are some people that eat every meal from a drive through or at a restaurant. This is very bad for your health and you need to cut it out.

Penile Rash Treatment – Quick Tips for Curing Penis Rash

A penis rash can appear as a reddened area of the skin or as small, red bumps that may be accompanied by inflammation, itching and soreness. In some instances, the bumps may rupture, or they may be covered by a scab-like crust. Men who are affected by a penis rash should be aware of the potential causes and risk factors. In addition, a penile rash treatment containing penis-specific vitamins and minerals may help clear up minor skin rashes and prevent further outbreaks.

Common Causes of Penis Rash

Contact dermatitis – The penis skin may react to the chemicals in certain plants, as well as detergents and cleansers, resulting in an itchy, reddened rash on any part of the penis or scrotum. The itching may be mild to severe. However, scratching at the affected area should be avoided, as this can tear the skin and prolong the healing process. Vitamins and minerals that support healing and contain skin-rejuvenating properties are often all that is needed to help clear up this type of rash.

• Allergies and skin sensitivities – Many men have skin allergies or sensitivities that may cause a rash, swelling, soreness and itching of the penile skin. The latex used to make most condoms is a frequent cause of allergic reactions. Spermicides, lubricants and even the bodily fluids of sexual partners may also cause an allergic response in some men. Avoiding these substances is necessary to prevent skin reactions that cause rash and itching. When a rash does occur, healing nutrients such as vitamins A and D can help to clear the problem quickly, while moisturizing agents such as shea butter and vitamin E can soothe the discomfort caused by an allergic reaction.

• Infections – Bacterial and fungal infections of the penis are common, as the warm, moist environment of the genital area allows these microbes to thrive. Natural anti-bacterials such as vitamin A can help to eliminate harmful bacteria, while vitamins D and B5 are indicated for healing minor skin irritation. In addition, keeping the penile skin clean and moisturizing frequently can prevent tiny cracks and fissures from developing on the skin’s surface and allowing harmful environmental agents to penetrate the outer dermal layer.

• Hot weather – Most men are familiar with heat rash, which occurs as a result of sweating and chafing in the area of the penis. While heat rash generally clears up on its own, maintaining healthy skin through nutrient support and proper hydration can promote more rapid healing. In addition, moisturizing treatments such as shea butter and vitamin E can calm itchy, irritated skin and leave it feeling soft and smooth.

• Acne, eczema and psoriasis – Like the rest of the body, the penis can be affected by these common skin issues. Dermatologists often use preparations containing vitamin A, or retinol, to clear up blemishes, soothe irritated skin, and reduce the appearance of redness and peeling.

Tips for clearing up a penile rash

The following tips can help to clear up an unpleasant penis rash and minimize the risk of developing irritated, inflamed penile skin:

1. Wash the area regularly – at least once a day is best – using an all-natural cleanser or soap product.

2. Dry the penis skin and surrounding area thoroughly before putting on clothing.

3. Wear non-restrictive clothing that allows the skin to “breathe.”

4. For men with latex sensitivities, non-latex condoms should be used for protection during sex.

5. Treat the penis skin daily with a penis health cream that contains natural ingredients that are indicated for maintaining healthy penis skin.

Effective penile rash treatment for all skin types

Vitamins such as A, B5, C, and D, as well as certain amino acids and natural moisturizers, are indicated for improving the tone and texture of the skin, reducing the risk of minor skin issues, and boosting the body’s immune response, resulting in more rapid healing.

A specially created penis health formula (most health professionals recommend Man1 Man Oil) containing these essential nutrients may help to soothe irritation and itching, reduce the risk of developing uncomfortable skin conditions, and restore the penis skin to its normal, healthy condition.

Are Swollen Joints and Skin Sores Part of Candida Symptoms?

Not everybody with candida has symptoms like swollen joints and skin sores. When it happens to you, it is completely understood how it can be confusing. Do you have small red patches on your hands? And how do you know if it is candida-related?

One man shares this confusion. For example, he finds that his joints are not sore, but they turn to be very sure whenever he bends his fingers where the skin is raw. He has started doing the diet, and at various times, taken acidophillus, nystatin, diflucan, GSE, olive leaf extract, garlic, pau d’arco, and caprylic acid.

After seeing a kinesiologist recently, he took a paraway for parasites, and is now taking magnesium, GSE, b-complex, garlic, linseed, acidophillus and caprylic acid. He has been feeling very up and down, terrible at times, with days when he feels noticeably better. The oral thrush, which is the worst symptom other than feeling constantly run down and waking up with a cold every morning, is not getting any better and is driving him mad.

It seems that he is taking a lot of things that work strongly, for example: the cleansing and the killing. It would be helpful if he could possibly add things at the same time, as far as they are allowed, that would be builders. Builders help us when we are doing a lot of cleansing and they help to also ‘buffer’ the pain and reactions we experience.

By the way, a very good thing for the stomach, intestinal tract and that would be ‘ok’ for him right now is slippery elm. It is an herb that soothes and helps stomach, GI tract, and also bowel movements, among other wonderful things it does. Some people make pudding out of it. You can try it too but mixing the slippery elm, which comes like a clumpy powder into about two ounces of any ‘allowable’ juice or water, and stir it up until it becomes a good consistency.

Get Rid Of Yeast Infections, Psoriasis And Fungal Infections Forever!

One of the most common causes of yeast infections, psoriasis and fungal infections is the fungus Candida Albicans which is commonly found in the digestive system and bowels of many people.

Fungi are part of the plant world (mushrooms are in the fungi family) and they are often found in many people without causing them any particular problem. When the immune system is compromised, or when our body leans too much towards and acid pH, then the fungi will take over, become more aggressive and the skin, as well as some particularly vulnerable mucous membranes in the mouth and in the vaginal tract, will quickly show the signs of the attack. Once we re-establish the pH of the body to its natural state which is around 7.4 (neutral with a slight tendency to alkaline) the fungal/yeast infection, as well as psoriasis, will quickly reduce and go away. Cancer cells as well respond in much the same way to our body pH, thriving and becoming very aggressive in an acid environment and being quickly wiped off in a neutral to alkaline environment. This is probably one of the reasons why some theories claim that cancer is caused, or it is started, by a fungus.

Therefore the problem has to be approached from both points of view: topically, on the skin where the fungal infection is evident, and internally to get the fungus back to a less aggressive state.

The pH scale goes from 0, being the most acidic, to 14 which is the most alkaline. A pH of 7 is therefore neutral. It is important though to understand that the difference between each number on the pH scale represents a tenfold up or down the next number. For example, a pH of 6 is ten times more acidic than a pH of 7, and a pH of 5 is one hundred times more acidic than 7. Pure water has a pH of around 7, just like our body. Most carbonated soft drinks have a pH of around 3 which is – did you guessed it? – about ten thousand times more acidic than what your body is…

Helping your body to become more alkaline is a very easy process.

Start your day with half glass of water in which you dissolve half a teaspoon of bicarb soda. Take it first thing in the morning with an empty stomach. Follow it by another glass of water (with no bicarb soda this time). The bicarb soda is a very well known alkaliser and it destroys any fungus that it comes in contact with. The second glass of water will help to prepare the digestive system for breakfast and help cleaning up the bowels.

Adjust your diet so that you increase fruit and vegetables that are more alkaline like: alfalfa sprouts, cucumbers, broccoli, green peas, garlic, asparagus and green mustard, nectarines, watermelon, raspberries, pineapple and mangoes.

At the same time try to limit the intake of acid forming foods like meat and chicken, favouring instead fish which is much less acid forming.

As a quick rule of thumb sugar, believe it or not, is acid forming while on the other hand citrus fruits and pure sea salt are alkaline forming. Therefore try to limit your intake of alcohol and stay away from sweet and processed foods like cakes and ice cream.

Another very good ally to us to get rid of a fungus is apple cider vinegar. If your fungal infection is in the form of psoriasis of the scalp you can, after a shampoo and before the final rinse, mix half a cup of apple cider vinegar in a cup of water, pour it over your head and let it be absorbed by the hair and the scalp. Leave it there for up to 30 minutes then rinse with plenty of water. There won’t be any residual smell from the apple cider vinegar and your hair will look shiny and healthy.

You can also use apple cider vinegar on salads. Apple cider vinegar has a much less pungent taste compared to wine vinegar and it is also a healthier choice.

For a topical application the essential oils which are most indicated to treat yeast infections, fungal infections and psoriasis are: tea tree oil, lavender, myrrh, thyme, helichrysum, patchouli, chamomile and lemon. Some people might respond better to a particular blend of oils rather than a different one, so it is important to try different combinations until you find the one that works better for you.

When you prepare a blend of essential oils, always use a carrier such as almond or apricot kernel oil to dilute them (this is especially important if you use thyme essential oil) and use that particular blend for at least a couple of weeks. Then, if there is only little or no improvement at all, try a different combination.

If you are pregnant, or breast feeding, or if you have a heart condition, make sure that you check every essential oil that you would like to use, as some essential oils (like helichrysum, myrrh and thyme for example) cannot be use during pregnancy and breast feeding.

Also, remember that essential oils are used topically to help with the symptoms, but if the body pH is still too acid and is not taken back to 7.4, the fungus will keep on coming back.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for educational purposes only; it should not be used for diagnosis or to guide treatment without the opinion of a health professional. Any reader who is concerned about his/her health should contact a licensed medical professional.

Healing From Within – Healing Allergies

“We are responsible for everything in our lives, including how the chemistry in our bodies works or doesn’t work.” Wayne Dyer’s words hit me like a bolt of lightening as I listened to his taped book, You’ll See It When You Believe It.

Throughout the years, I had suffered tremendously with bouts of allergies and asthma; it wasn’t until that moment that I had a confirmation I could eliminate my allergy problems. The asthma attacks had been under control since leaving the mid west where I was born and raised. This move eliminated contact with cattle hair and grain dust and other pollens indigenous to the area, which I had extreme allergic reactions with.

I often spoke, to anyone who would listen, about how the mind heals the body or allows the body to become ill. This knowledge was based on my thoughts, reading and research. As I spoke about my ‘belief/knowledge’ my bouts with allergies hung heavy in my mind. In all of my reading, nothing clicked as a solution until that moment in September 1989. I was 47 years old. As I had learned while studying transactional analysis, Dr. Dyer, also, held the premise: “We are responsible for everything in our lives.” “OK, Wayne,” I said, “I agree. Now what? How can I take responsibility for the chemistry in my body when my immune system is damaged? My immune system contains chemicals,” I reminded myself. “I am responsible for those chemicals doing their job. What am I doing or not doing that is responsible for the chemicals not doing their job?” I asked myself fervently.

A few days later I began, in earnest, to be a detective. I revisited myself as an infant in the crib. With much satisfaction and pride, my father has told the story that he knew how to quiet a howling infant. With his hand, big and muscular from working as a cattle rancher, he ‘patted my back with three or four hard, quick pats, ‘You,’ he proudly announced, ‘stopped howling. You seemed to like it,’ he concluded, ‘because you always stopped howling.’

My father was physically abused as a child, and he carried the legacy into his parenting. He did not consider the ‘hard quick pats’ on my tiny back as abusive, nor would anyone necessarily consider either of us as abused at the time of our upbringings; some people would not consider it abuse today. In the days of my father’s childhood, and those of my own, this type of behavior with a child was viewed as stringent discipline for a child obviously needing corrective action. However, with certainty, my abuse began when I was an infant in the bassinet. As I revisited my infancy and childhood, no new memories came forth. This was frustrating. I had not found any new clues. “Chemicals. I am responsible for my chemicals. How can I take responsibility for those chemicals?” The answer seemed elusive, but I was determined. “Chemicals? What mechanism triggers the release of my chemicals?”

“Ye gads! The brain. The brain sends messages to all systems in the body. The portion of the brain that controls the chemicals is often called ‘the old brain’: it is the ‘fight-flight’ mechanism that instantaneously (no need for conscious command) sends chemicals so the system can ‘fight or flee.’

“So what has that got to do with allergies?” I asked myself. “Allergies, allergies, allergy attack, allergy attack–am I getting somewhere? I am being attacked by pollen–so? What is the link between allergy attacks and being an abused child? Allergy attack–allergy attack.” Days and weeks passed. I repeatedly mulled the thought, “Allergy attack, child abuse, allergy attack, child abuse: there is a link. I know there is a link. What is the link?”

When the human system is attacked by something, the immune system instantaneously sends chemicals to fight the invasion. “My system is damaged since being frightened as an infant,” I lamented. “What can I do now? I am responsible for the chemicals in my body,” I reminded myself. “How do I make a system work that has been damaged? If my brain controls the chemicals and my thoughts control my brain, I can control those chemicals. Nevertheless,

how can I control the chemicals? The link-where is the link?”

I began thinking about the incidents of physical abuse. I saw my father’s menacing figure coming at me–his face red, hand raised, swearing and shouting. Whack, his large hand hit the side of my head. ATTACK! My father attached me verbally and physically. There is the link! Allergy attack’s verbal/physical attack–the two had emerged in my psyche as the same.

To understand the physiological and psychological construct, one needs to accept the reality that the physical body and psyche are intertwined. One is not separate from the other. To understand the emergence of allergy attacks with verbal or physical attacks in my psyche, we need to discern my experience as an infant in the bassinet. The five senses: hearing, sight, smell, taste, and touch are an infant’s only means of understanding their world and communicating. Three of the five senses are activated by the technique such as my father’s to quiet a howling infant: The infant hears the father’s footsteps and, in the first instance, assumes that someone is coming to comfort her. The father says, ‘Be quiet [shut up];’ in a loud voice; simultaneously the impact of a hard, quick pat is registered (touch). The shock of the loud voice (hearing) and hard pat (touch) is reacted to by a restriction in crying (breathing)–breathing and smell are synonymous.

The shock of the loud voice and physical impact has knocked the breath from the infant. When the infant’s autonomic system reactivates breathing, the infant breathes in the smell of cattle hair and grain odor, which permeates the father’s clothes. In many instances, the mother responds to the crying infant; however, the infant is unable to distinguish when the mother or father will respond. Therefore, the infant soon recognizes the footsteps of the father, but has no way to escape. Her fight and flight mechanism is triggered, and chemicals surge through her body requiring additional oxygen as her heart rate and breathing increase. As she attempts to bring in oxygen, she simultaneously constricts her crying; the two conflict with each other. This causes swelling in the bronchial system, which is how asthma is manifested–restricted bronchial passage.

Not withstanding, humans have evolved with immunities to the elements that are common to the environment. With rare exceptions, the human immune system, as a chemically functioning system, is adequate to protect the organism. In an experience such as mine, the infant’s psyche is being imprinted through three of the five senses. This leaves a powerful impact. As in my case, cattle hair and grain odors are associated with fear and not being able to breathe. Thus, my asthma/allergies became a physical reaction to fear, distress and the sensation associated with any strong smells. I remember experiencing asthma attacks when I was anticipating a stressful situation involving my father or if he verbally attacked me.

Through listening to my past feelings and watching my reactions, I accepted the reality that my immune system had been damaged. The doctors also told me my immune system was ineffective, but they blamed it on a fact of genetics fluke, something I had to accept. I dutifully accepted my fate; after all, doctors know the human body and are healers-they know best. The next step, I began observing my physical reactions whenever I started having allergic reactions. “What did I tell myself-what did I tell my brain?

My brain has the power to send chemicals to my immune system. Why weren’t my chemicals there when I needed them?” I observed and observed. One day I noticed a very subtle body sensation, so subtle that I hardly noticed its presence. The body sensation was so faint and so far away. I barely captured it. “What was the origin of this faint sensation? Listen carefully, listen, observe, listen. Yes, yes, there it is: Shut down, shutdown, do not move, do not think, do not feel, do not react, you cannot do anything, shutdown.'” My heartbeat seemed so still. It was very faint. I took my pulse and had a hard time finding it. “How is that connected to my chemicals? How is that connected to my immune chemicals not being sent?” I continued to listen and observe my body’s reaction to smells.

Ye gads! The thought came into my mind. My fight-flight command was not being activated. Instead, I was telling my fight-flight system to shut down. WHAT? The fight-flight mechanism is fundamental to the survival of the system. I was telling mine to shut down. My mind then wandered back to the incident when my father attempted to chase me with the horse. I realized that was the time I shut my fight-flight system down more than it had ever been shut down. “Do not move, do not move, do not think, do not feel, do not react, you cannot do anything, shut down.” My heart stood still as the horse jolted to a stop in front of me, his hot breath blowing in my face. From that point on, I remember not feeling the pain when my father hit me. I was completely shut down.

As the days passed, I continued to listen to and observe my breathing. As I observed, I became aware that I became passive when a sneeze was an allergic sneeze. The thought was, “There is nothing you can do, the pollen attacks and you are in a lot of pain and feel sick and can hardly function, but it only lasts a short time. Withstand the pain–keep going–it will pass.” As a child, I could not fight or flee. Emotionally, to survive the verbal and physical attacks, I became passive by telling myself, “The best course of action is to do nothing.” This thought process subconsciously blocked the transference of survival chemicals to protect my system from danger. When the chemicals were sent, I could feel the bone-chilling pain before and after the assault. I did not like this chilling pain and, therefore, instructed myself to shut down.

Eureka, the final link! I had trained my brain to stop sending the fundamental fight-flight chemicals used to protect the system. No wonder the doctor gave me adrenaline shots when my natural chemicals did not work. Adrenaline is the major chemical the immune system sends to fight or flee. The next step was to monitor the messages I gave myself when I sneezed. The pattern was consistent-I became very passive, I could feel my senses shut down. All my muscles relaxed, no outward emotion. Nothing! I listened, observed and listened. After many years of telling my brain to shut down, learning to fight back was not easy. It was so natural to shut down. Nevertheless, I listened and every time I felt myself shut down, I gave a command to fight back. I visualized the chemicals rushing into the blood stream and throughout my body. I practiced and practiced. Gradually, I noticed a difference in the severity and the duration of allergy attacks. Spring 1990 arrived (a usually difficult season, as I was allergic to tree and grass pollens): no sneezing, no watery eyes, no coughing. Eureka! I did it. I did it! This was and remains a physical and psychological victory with extensive implications. I wanted to shout from the rooftops. I wanted to tell everyone–Metaphysical healing works!!

With each passing pollen season, I have been increasingly allergy-free. For three years, it was necessary that I consciously made the effort to ‘remind’ myself to fight back. I do not need to have total concentration anymore. In addition, if I have allergic reactions to manufactured elements, I do not hold myself responsible for generating the immune system to fight back. This is due to the fact that the immune system protects the system from natural elements; if I held myself responsible for eliminating all allergic reactions, I could set up unrealistic demands and constitute an unrealistic psychological failure as well.

A note of caution for anyone who may think I have described this process as simple and easy: it was very difficult and required concentration, commitment and dedication. During the beginning stage of recovery, any distractions resulted in reduction in concentration as well as reduction in effectiveness. This was discouraging at times and I heard myself saying, “See you cannot really change this damage, you are not as good as you think you are.” This was an example of all the negating and demoralizing things my father said to me. It occurred to me, I was allowing other people’s words to control what I could or could not accomplish today, and I became even more determined.