Lower Back Pain

One of the most common problems of the elderly is that of lower back pain. This does not mean, however, that lower back pain or lumbago is not common in other age groups as well. Fortunately, it often subsides within a short time with little or no treatment.

Because the lumbar region of the back (the small of the back) undergoes considerable stress when a person twists or lifts, it can become sprained quite easily. The pain produced by lumbago or lower back pain makes movement painful and sufferers are generally unable to work during these episodes. The majority of sufferers recover in a week or two and require little or no medical treatment. Often, rest is all that is needed.

Causes

Although lower back pain is usually caused by a back condition, it can also be caused through other medical conditions.

A very common cause of lower back pain is that of muscle injury. This is usually brought about by stress which is normally the result of bending incorrectly or lifting while carrying excess weight. This type of back sprain is characterized by pain and stiffness that is evident within a few hours of the injury. It generally subsides within a day or two although more severe strains may last longer.

Some recurrent backaches are caused by inflammatory conditions such as osteoporosis. This condition is caused by the degeneration of the joint in the backbone through wear and tear and is often more painful in the morning. Another painful and persistent inflammatory condition that causes persistent lower back pain is called ankylosing spondylitis. A slipped or prolapsed disk can also be to blame for the discomfort of back pain.

Severe lower back pain can also be caused by a crush fracture which can result from a fall or other injury. A crush fracture happens when a vertebra collapses. Other medical causes are mestastases or secondary deposits of cancer and also spinal bone tumours.

Osteoporosis, a common condition of the elderly, weakens the bones and makes the pain of arthritis even more unbearable. It is caused by a reduction in the calcium content of the bones. Because the backbone is weakened, compression fractures become more likely and, as a result, there is severe lower back pain.

Another cause of lower back pain can be due to the uterus becoming tipped during childbirth. Kidney infections can also be a cause.

Symptoms

Pain and tenderness on movement usually begins within 2-24 hours of an injury or muscle tear. This can include any sprain or strain of the muscles or ligaments and is usually noticed after lifting heavy objects.

The abovementioned symptoms are similar in the event that a lumbar disk slips or is ruptured. However, in this instance the pain is more severe. The bck muscles go into painful spasms and the simple act of coughing or sneezing also creates pain in the back. Sciatica is different again in that the pain spreads from the back, down the buttock and down the leg.

Osteoporosis and other conditions caused by degenerative joint conditions come on gradually and is long term. The pain is generally mild to moderate but is recurrent over a period of several years

In some conditions such as fibroids which are harmless tumors in the uterus, as well as in the case of large abdominal tumor or pregnancy, the presence of lower back pain is only one of a number of symptoms.

Dangers

It is rare for lower back pain to be considered as dangerous although some untreated symptoms may become dangerous. One such symptom is an untreated disk which may be pressing on the spinal cord. This, if left untreated, could lead to paralysis. Also, lower back pain caused by infection in the spinal vertebrae may be dangerous as could secondary cancer though these conditions in the spinal region are very rare.

Treatment

Most strains and sprains of the back are easily treated and respond well to minimal treatment. Basically, the main treatment is rest by lying flat on a firm surface. Sometimes the use of an infrared lamp or a heat pack can be beneficial as it relaxes the muscles. Also, a gentle but firm massage and the application of liniment on the affected area, will normally give substantial relief. A painkiller such as acetaminophen should be taken. Lifting and carrying of heavy objects should be avoided during the recovery period.

Where there are serious medical causes, such as prolapsed disk, abdominal tumors, or an infection, the treatment is changed according to the condition. Often, in more chronic cases, it may be advisable to wear surgical belts or surgical corsets during the day.

Using proper lifting and carrying techniques can often prevent lower back pain as can the use of swimming and other exercises that strengthen the back muscles. In the elderly, persistent attacks of lower back pain may be a natural part of the aging process and therefore, something that must be accepted.

Most people who suffer from an attack of lower back pain make a total recovery within a week or two and do so with little or no treatment. In the case of a protruding disk, recovery may take several weeks but there is normally no need for surgery.

How to prevent lower back pain

DO

1. Bend the knees and keep the spine straight when lifting or carrying heavy objects

2. Wear sensible and well fitting shoes

3. Whether at home or at work, find a comfortable position from which to work

4. Be careful of twisting and bending when getting in and out of motor vehicles

5. If advised, wear a support brace or corset to support your back

DON’T

1. Lift or carry anything heavy when recovering from lower back pain

2. Overexert your back. Always ask for help if necessary

3. Sleep on a soft bed. A firm mattress is better for your back

4. Twist and stoop to get into motor vehicles

5. Ignore the need for medical help if lower back pain persists

TMJ Exercise Information

TMJ is short for Temporomandibular Joint. This is the joint that connects the jawbone and the skull together. The cause of the disorder in TMJ is unfortunately not very well researched and understood. It happens basically because of the displacement of a disc. It hurts very badly and when one opens or closes one’s mouth, a popping sound is heard. Pain can be experienced not in one but many places like the ear, back, and neck. At times, the whole body may hurt. TMJ disorders are known to get very serious if left unattended to. Hence, it is important to treat it as soon as possible. There are chances that it might lead to arthritis too. Thankfully, there are a few TMJ exercises that can help to get rid of it. Stress is the major cause behind TMJ so relaxing TMJ exercises will be very helpful.

There are many TMJ exercises that one could perform and get rid of TMJ. One of these exercises is to place one hand under your chin – you could simply cup your chin or make a fist and place it below you chin. Keeping your palm steady, try opening your mouth. Let there be a little pressure exerted on your chin as you open your mouth. Do it for ten seconds. Take a ten second break and repeat. Stop doing it if the popping sound becomes obvious. Try again after a while.

Another one of the effective TMJ exercises is to place two fingers on your lower teeth and then open the mouth. The fingers should be pressing down the lower teeth. Make sure you do this really slowly and carefully. You must repeat this ten times.

There’s another easy exercise where you just need to close your mouth and rest your tongue against the palate or the roof of the mouth. Once you make sure that the tip of your tongue is rested there, open your mouth slowly making sure the tongue is in the same position.

These TMJ exercises are all very simple and easy to carry out. There are many other exercises too that are quite difficult and must only be done after consulting the doctor. These exercises are for those who suffer from very severe conditions of TMJ. Hence, it is always advisable and safe to consult the concerned doctor and take his advice before going for any exercises or even medication for that matter.

TMJ exercises not only help to get rid of the pain, they also help in relaxing the muscles of the face. A little care and a proper routine including all the exercises advised can help you curb TMJ effectively.

What is Trigeminal Neuralgia?

Imagine waking up and having constant facial pain in your eyes, lips and jaw. You go to the dentist because it feels like a toothache. After tooth extractions the pain is still there and it is becoming unbearable. You finally go toe the doctor and he diagnoses it as Trigeminal Neuralgia. This article will examine this condition and look at the various symptoms and treatment associated with it.

Trigeminal neuralgia or Tic Douloureux is a condition of the nerve that is responsible for causing extreme pain to various parts of the face such as eyes, nose, lips, head and scalp. The pain is a sharp quick burst and can be very unbearable. The pain is often concentrated in one side of the face and can become too much for some people to bear. Before a proper diagnosis was found, the disease would often be called the suicide disease. This is because people would take their own life to get away from the pain associated with the condition.

With the first onset of Trigeminal Neuralgia the individual might feel very quick and short pain jabs. Over time as the condition progresses, then the pain that the person feels can become more frequent and more painful. There is no set onset of the condition and it can be triggered by things such as shaving, putting on makeup or even brushing your teeth. It is estimated that over 15,000 people suffer from the condition. Other circles have this number being much higher as it is often misdiagnosed. The condition usually affect people who are in their 40’s and 50’s but it is has also been noted in young children.

Trigeminal neuralgia usually occurs when there is contact between a normal artery or vein and the trigeminal nerve. This nerve is located at the base of your brain. When they touch this will put pressure on one of the nerve and this will eventually start it misfiring. There have been other indicators that nerve damage and even stress could be one of the first triggers. Once the trigeminal nerve leaves your brain and travels through your skull it will become divided into three smaller branches. These three branches are in charge of controlling the sensations that you feel in your face. Each branch is controls something different, such as the eyes, upper eyelids and forehead in branch 1. Branch two has the sensation in your lower eyelid, cheek, nostril, upper lip and upper gum. Finally the last branch is one that is responsible for your jaw, lower gum, lower lip and some of the muscles you use for chewing.

In closing, Trigeminal Neuralgia can be a very debilitating condition. It is often very painful and can have individuals in extreme levels of pain. It affects a small percentage of the population but it many more might be affected because of misdiagnosis. It is caused by out of line nerves which are responsible for the different branches in the face.

5 Symptoms of Damaged Penis Nerves

Damaged penile nerves are a major cause of sexual problems in men around the world. Nerves send messages of touch, heat, pain and pleasure to the brain so when the nerves in the penis become damaged, a condition called neuropathy, sensitivity may be lost and sexual function and satisfaction seriously reduced. Poor nutrition, chronic disease and infections can all cause serious nerve problems in the penis. Typically, there are 5 symptoms which are linked to penis nerve issues and any one of them can possibly mean nerve damage. Always consult a healthcare practitioner if you think you may have penile nerve dysfunction.

Typically, there are 5 symptoms which can appear and one of which can possibly mean nerve damage. If in doubt always consult a medical practitioner without delay.

Symptoms

Although the symptoms of penis nerve damage and neuropathy may differ from man to man, some symptoms are typical, and appear most often where peripheral nerves have been damaged. The 5 most common symptoms experienced by men include:

  • Pain
  • Burning
  • Tingling
  • Numbness
  • Loss of sensitivity

When the penis becomes affected by symptoms of tingling, numbness, pain, burning or loss of sensitivity, men should seek out medical attention at once. While in some cases these symptoms may be caused by physical damage to the penis, more often there is something else going on. In certain cases neuropathy is the first sign of a chronic health condition.

According to a study funded by the University of Ferrara, Italy nerve damage can become resolved without treatment in 10% of cases. However, it was also discovered that without treatment the condition worsened significantly in 30% of cases.

Should symptoms persist, speak to your doctor immediately.

Causes

Nerve fibers in any part of the body can become damaged in various ways. Poor circulation, resulting in loss of oxygen to the nerve fibers, is the primary cause of nerve damage in men. Diabetes, cardiovascular disease and obesity can also lead to insufficient peripheral circulation for nerve health. Physical damage or trauma to the nerves is the next most common cause. Accidents, injury and infection may also cause significant damage to the nerves, as can surgery.

Surgical procedures for prostate cancer in particular can cause damage to the penile nerves, resulting in male dysfunction and impotence. According to a study by Hungarian researchers, male dysfunction is the most common side effect of prostate surgery, with 59% of men able to have arousal spontaneously following the procedure

Treatment

The treatment to repair damaged penis nerves depends largely on the cause of damage. When obesity, cardiovascular disease and diabetes are under control, peripheral nerve damage should improve significantly. For more severe cases, improving circulation, antioxidant protection and nutrition of nerves is important.

Omega-3 and 6 are required for healthy nerve function. Omega-3 oils concentrate in the brain, in the form of DHA, while omega-6 is required to form the myelin sheath that protects nerve fibers in the peripheries of the body. These essential fatty acids are also capable of thinning the blood, enhancing the easy flow of blood and oxygen to the nerves throughout the system, and reducing cholesterol. Bilberry, ginkgo and garlic may also support blood flow to the male organ nerves. Alpha lipoic acid, a vitamin-like antioxidant, has shown in studies to reduce the damage to nerves caused by prostate surgery, effectively treat symptoms of damaged penile nerves, and enhance the regeneration of nerve fibers.

Penis Health Crèmes

Penis health crèmes deliver nutrients and oils directly to the penile nerves, supporting the healing process of neuropathy with male organ-specific nutrition, as well as bioactive compounds to treat the symptoms of neuropathy. Specialist formulas (most professionals recommend Man1Man Oil) contains alpha lipoic acid for healing damaged nerves and the soothing of numbness, tingling and burning which often accompanies this condition. Other ingredients, such as vitamin C, E, D, A and L-arginine support healthy circulation to the tissues of the penis and protect nerves from free radical damage.

Acupressure – How Does It Work?

Acupressure is a form of treatment that involves the pressing of specific points on the body with either fingers, knuckles or palms of the hand and sometimes by using the elbows or feet to relieve pain, reduce stress and generally promote a persons good health. Also developed in China some 5,000 years ago, acupressure is part of the holistic system of traditional Chinese medicine that also includes acupuncture, but the use of acupressure predates the use of acupuncture by about 2,500 years.

Certainly in the USA you will find that acupressure is predominantly used to relieve pain, reduce stress and improve and persons overall well being. Whilst in China you will find that it is more likely used as a form of first aid. In fact most Chinese people with practice this form of treatment on themselves or on their own family to treat many every day illnesses such as colds, headaches, sore muscles and even hangovers. However, they will consult a specialist for any more complicated problems or ailments.

Although many people prefer to visit a trained therapist to get their acupressure treatments, the techniques once learnt can be performed on not only yourself by your friends and family as well.

Acupressure works by helping to release the blocked energy in a person’s body by stimulation of specific points (acupoints) along the body’s 14 primary meridians (energy channels). By pressing firmly and steadily on the correct acupoints can help to promote energy flow to a particular part of the body that is experiencing disease or discomfort and helping it to heal it self more easily. As previously stated acupressure typically uses only a acupressurists hands (sometimes feet or elbows) to restore the bodies balance (or gi/chi).

Even though Western science has not been able to find any evidence that the meridians (energy channels) do really exist in the body, a number of studies suggest that by pressing on acupoints releases endorphins (body’s natural painkillers).

When a treatment is carried out, which can usually last from 15 minutes to about 1 hour all depending on the severity of the patient’s problem an acupuncturist will either arrange for them to sit or lie down on a massage table. You may find that your acupuncturist will carry out the treatment through your clothing, whilst another may ask you to undress, but they will cover you with a towel whilst carrying out the treatment.

Once you are settled the acupuncturist will locate and then work on the specific acupoints that specifically relate to your condition, by either pressing a point behind your knee which can help deal with lower back pain or by pressing a point at the top of the foot, which helps to ease the pain caused by migraines.

A acupuncturist will usually press on each point for about 3 to 10 seconds, or in some cases longer and they may press and release these points repeatedly. However if you find that the problem has not responded to the treatment after about 20 to 30 minutes, then it may be because the acupressure has not been effective or that particular day or is not effective for the particular problem you have.

However, after being treated you will probably find that you feel more relaxed and looser and although you may experience some aches you should not feel any pain. Usually within 3 to 8 visits to the acupuncturist you should know if the treatment is working for you.

What Is The Best Size For A Baby Blanket?

Were you given a beautiful velour crib sized baby blanket at your shower? Did you try wrapping that tiny baby in the blanket, only to find you were cuddling lots of blanket and very little baby? Here are some tips to help you decide a good size blanket for the age of your baby.

Usually, a crib blanket is about 36″ x 52″, and will cover a standard crib mattress. While this blanket is wonderful for covering baby’s crib, it’s not quite as wonderful covering for baby. A crib blanket is just too big for swaddling a newborn. And we all know that a swaddled baby is a happier, more content baby.

Many lightweight, cotton receiving blankets are about 30″ square. They’re inexpensive, and can found in almost any department store. While that size is great to place under baby on the changing table to prevent any mishaps, it’s not great for swaddling a newborn–it’s just too small.

A baby blanket that’s about 34″-36″ long in both directions, and is made of a light-to medium weight hypoallergenic fabric, like cotton or baby-weight fleece, is probably the best choice. It’s large enough to swaddle a newborn, and small enough for an older child to sleep with at night. An additional plus is that, if the fabric is lightweight enough, you can roll up the blanket and stow it in a diaper bag without too much trouble.

If your looking for a gift for that next baby shower, or want to give your sister a keepsake for her new baby, consider a personalized baby blanket, about 34″ – 36″, made out of a light or medium weight, hypoallergenic fabric. If you want to find a baby blanket for an older baby or young child, consider buying a larger, crib size blanket. If you or someone you know is a new mother for the first time, a package (or more) of cotton receiving blankets is always a great choice.

White Bumps in Throat – What Exactly Are They?

White bumps in throat are a common occurrence in millions of Americans on a daily basis. The causes of these bumps can range from a mild sore throat to a yeast infection of the mouth to strep throat. However, despite the myriad of possible reasons an individual develops visible white spots on their tongue or the back of their throat, the most common cause is the presence of tonsil stones.

These tonsil rocks are small, white-colored accumulations of a calcareous matter that lodge in the pockets of the tonsils or on the sides of the mouth. Although they are not physically harmful to someone who has them, they can cause a variety of problems, including sore throat, earaches, headaches, excess phlegm, coughing, foul-smelling breath, and difficulty swallowing.

White bumps in throat are usually visible to the naked eye once a person starts to notice the symptoms. Even though are they harmless, many people with tonsil balls find them to be a nuisance, often feeling as though there is an object protruding into their throat or mouth. In addition to causing irritation, the rocks can be painful and removing them is recommended.

There are a variety of ways in which white bumps in throat can be removed in the comfort of your home. Lightly scraping or brushing them away with a toothbrush, popping them gently with a Q-tip, or washing them out of the tonsil pockets with pulsating jets of water are all home remedies that have been successful at removing tonsil lumps from the throat or mouth.

However, although these rocks can usually be removed on your own, sometimes the accumulations build up in hard-to-reach areas or places it’s risky to pop them or wash them away in. In these cases, a physician can remove the stones for you. Occasionally, the tonsils become enlarged and cause fevers, aches, and difficulty breathing or swallowing, which means the tonsils themselves need to be removed completely in what is known as a “tonsillectomy.”

In this relatively routine procedure, a physician numbs the throat and mouth with a local anesthetic and removes the tonsils and any tonsil balls to allow the patient to continue daily functions without the irritation or pain of white bumps in throat.

How a Chiropractor Can Help Your Child Overcome Tonsillitis NATURALLY!

Jonny is 5 years old and has suffered with tonsillitis since he was 3. During the first year he suffered with 3 bouts of tonsillitis. Last year he suffered from five episodes of this uncomfortable ailment. And this year he would experience it every month. On every occasion his mother would take him to the GP who would prescribe him with antibiotics every time. At first the antibiotics seemed to help him but over the past 12 months they didn’t seem to make much of a difference.

Instead, Jonny was suffering from tonsillitis more frequently and the pain would become very intense. On his last visit to the GP, he had advised Jonny’s mother that surgery would be the only solution. His mother became quite distressed as she was tired of giving him antibiotics, and she didn’t want to go down the path of surgery. A friend of Jonny’s mother had recommended that she take Jonny to her Chiropractor who had helped her daughter with the same condition.

Within only 4 visits Jonny noticed a difference with his tonsillitis. He was only suffering from it every 3 months and was able to overcome it within a day or 2 – without antibiotics. After a few more adjustments, Jonny has yet to experience another episode of this distressing ailment. It has been 2 years since Jonny’s first Chiropractic adjustment, and he has not had any pain or inflammation.

Although Jonny is not a real person, there are many children out there just like him. Children who experience painful tonsils every month and don’t seem to get relief from antibiotics anymore. Children who miss out on a significant amount of schooling because of their sore throat. And parents who appear quite concerned as they do not know how to help their child.

Thanks to regular Chiropractic adjustments, your child may no longer need to go through the pain and suffering associated with tonsillitis. Chiropractic care offers a natural and effective solution to this uncomfortable ailment. It focuses on eliminating the cause of the inflammation as opposed to masking the symptoms only.

Now I know what you are thinking. “What does my child’s tonsils have to do with their spine?”

The tonsils are connected to the spinal cord via spinal nerves in your child’s neck. In order for the tonsils to function as best as they possibly can, they must receive information from the brain and spinal cord without interference. Misalignments in the spine (subluxations) can cause pressure on the spinal nerves which go to the tonsils and can contribute to tonsillitis. Chiropractors are the only health professionals trained to identify and remove these subluxations. By doing so, your child’s tonsils are better able to perform their function – prevent bacteria from entering into the chest.

Looking at how the spine is connected to the tonsils you can now appreciate that taking your child to see a Chiropractor just makes sense! Why mask the pain (with antibiotic treatment) when the cause of the problem (subluxations) can be corrected.

Parents can sometime become a little apprehensive about taking their child to see a Chiropractor because they think that the adjustments hurt, or that they will get their “bones cracked”. I would like to put your mind at ease here and inform you that Chiropractic care for children is very safe and effective, not to mention, non-invasive. Chiropractors do not “crack bones”. Instead, they perform spinal adjustments, which are very gentle and sometimes quite ticklish.

Chiropractors have helped thousands of children overcome painful tonsillitis. Many of these children were able to get off their medication and even avoid surgery.

If you tired of seeing your child suffer from painful tonsils and would like to avoid giving them antibiotics or having their tonsils removed, try Chiropractic care. It is a natural and non-invasive solution to their tonsillitis. And best of all… IT WORKS!

Metabolic Acidosis in Diabetes Mellitus

Diabetes mellitus is a common disorder characterized by an insufficient secretion of insulin or insulin-resistance by the major target tissues (skeletal muscle, liver, and adipocytes). A severe metabolic acidosis may develop in uncontrolled diabetes mellitus.

Acidosis occurs because insulin deficiency leads to decreased glucose utilization, a diversion of metabolism toward the utilization of fatty acids, and an overproduction of ketone body acids (acetoacetic acid and _-hydroxybutyric acids). Ketone body acids are fairly strong acids (pKa 4 to 5); they are neutralized in the body by HCO3_ and other buffers. Increased production of these acids leads to a fall n plasma [HCO3 _], an increase in plasma anion gap, and a fall in blood pH (acidemia).

Severe acidemia, whatever its cause, has many adverse effects on the body. It impairs myocardial contractility, resulting in a decrease in cardiac output. It causes arteriolar dilation, which leads to a fall in arterial blood pressure. Hepatic and renal blood flows are decreased. Reentrant arrhythmias and a decreased threshold for ventricular fibrillation can occur. The respiratory muscles show decreased strength and fatigue easily. Metabolic demands are increased due, in part, to activation of the sympathetic nervous system, but at the same time anaerobic glycolysis and ATP synthesis are reduced by acidemia. Hyperkalemia is favored and protein catabolism is enhanced. Severe academia causes impaired brain metabolism and cell volume regulation, leading to progressive obtundation and coma.

An increased acidity of the blood stimulates pulmonary ventilation, resulting in a compensatory lowering of alveolar and arterial blood PCO2. The consequent reduction in blood [H2CO3] acts to move the blood pH back toward normal. The labored, deep breathing that accompanies severe uncontrolled diabetes is called Kussmaul’s respiration. The kidneys compensate for metabolic acidosis by reabsorbing all the filtered HCO3 _. They also increase the excretion of titratable acid, part of which is comprised of ketone body acids. But these acids can only be partially titrated to their acid form in the urine because the urine pH cannot go below 4.5. Therefore, ketone body acids are excreted mostly in their anionic form; because of the requirement of electroneutrality in solutions, increased urinary excretion of Na_ and K_ results.

An important compensation for the acidosis is increased renal synthesis and excretion of ammonia. This adaptive response takes several days to fully develop, but it allows the kidneys to dispose of large amounts of H_ in the form NH4.The NH4_ in the urine can replace Na_ and K_ ions, resulting in conservation of these valuable cations.

The severe acidemia, electrolyte disturbances, and volume depletion that accompany uncontrolled diabetes mellitus may be fatal. Addressing the underlying cause, rather than just treating the symptoms best achieves correction of the acid-base disturbance. Therefore, the administration of a suitable dose of insulin is usually the key element of therapy. In some patients with marked acidemia (pH 7.10), NaHCO3 solutions may be infused intravenously to speed recovery, but this does not correct the underlying metabolic problem. Losses of Na_, K_, and water should be replaced.

Type 2 Diabetes – Diabetes And Celiac Disease

Many people diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes develop additional medical complications as a result of their condition. One such condition is celiac disease, which affects approximately 1 in every 250 Type 2 diabetics, with odds being increased when there is a family history of the disease. Even though it may not be considered a highly dangerous disease, for those who have it there is still a reason to be concerned.

Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease, meaning the body mistakenly identifies something as “foreign matter” and therefore treats it in an abnormal fashion. This disorder attacks the small intestine, causing the tiny finger like villi that line the inner wall of the small intestine to shrink and flatten. You must have a genetic predisposition to celiac disease and it starts when a person becomes intolerant to gluten.

Gluten sensitivity or celiac disease is associated with digestive problems closely resembling irritable bowel syndrome. Digestive symptoms include:

  • recurrent abdominal bloating,
  • pain,
  • nausea,
  • gas,
  • mouth sores,
  • skin rash,
  • joint pain,
  • diarrhea. or constipation

Gluten, is a type of protein that is commonly found in most grains from wheat, and rye, to oats and barley. When a person with celiac disease eats something containing gluten, their digestive system mounts an immune reaction, which in turn damages the lining of the small intestines. Instead of the lining of the small intestine absorbing food as it is intended, the damaged lining is not able to do so. The inability to absorb food quickly leads to malnutrition.

Celiac disease is dangerous for diabetics since it dramatically affects their blood sugar levels. The disease can cause erratic swings in blood sugar which are typically unpredictable. While this is difficult for a non-diabetic to deal with, it can be especially troubling for a diabetic, with episodes of both hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia occurring. Typically, unless celiac has been previously diagnosed, these episodes won’t be directly connected to celiac disease.

The presence of the disease can often go unnoticed for years. Since symptoms resemble other conditions, it is often misdiagnosed. If the individual does not have a tendency to experience gastrointestinal problems then it makes diagnosis even more unlikely.

The treatment for celiac disease or gluten sensitivity is to adapt a gluten-free diet. But this can be very difficult, especially for a diabetic who is already closely monitoring their food choices. Now that celiac has been introduced, there are even more foods that are off-limits.

Even though certain foods are supposed to be avoided by people with Type 2 diabetes, they are often eaten anyway. But with celiac disease, there is a whole new reason to avoid them.

The important thing is to have your doctor verify if in fact you do have gluten sensitivity. This is accomplished with a simple blood test. Knowing this will help you to plan meals around it and eliminate any unnecessary complications that come with consuming gluten. With a gluten-free diet antibody levels come down, fewer antibodies will mean less inflammation and less pain and misery.

The History of Obesity

Obesity is simply fatness in a degree higher than being overweight. The energy intake coming from food is stored as fat because the body does not use it. Obesity has quite an impact in one’s physical health that many degenerative diseases are directly and indirectly linked to obesity as observed in the history of obesity. It may even have a much worse impact on a person’s mental health. Throughout the history of obesity, its reputation varies from appreciation and the opposite among cultures and in time.

Take a look in the history of obesity and we’ll learn that this is truly an age-old health condition. Ancient Egyptians are said to consider obesity as a disease, having been drawn in a wall of depicted illnesses. Perhaps the most famous and earliest evidence of obesity is the Venus figurines, statuettes of an obese female torso that probably had a major role in rituals. Ancient China have also been aware of obesity and the dangers that come with it. They have always been a believer of prevention as a key to longevity. The Aztecs believed that obesity was supernatural, an affliction of the gods. Hippocrates, the father of medicine, was aware of sudden deaths being more common among obese men than lean ones as stated in his writings. In certain cultures and areas where food is scarce and poverty is prevalent obesity is viewed as a symbol of wealth and social status. To date, an African tribe purposely plumps up a bride to prepare her for child bearing. Before a wedding can be set, a slim bride is pampered to gain weight until she reaches the suitable weight.

Throughout the history of obesity, the public’s view and status of obesity changed considerably in the 1900’s. It was regarded as unfashionable by the French designer, Paul Poiret who designed skin-revealing clothes for women. About the same time, the incidence of obesity began to increase and become widespread. Later in the 1940’s, Metropolitan Life Insurance published a chart of ideal weights for various heights. They also advocated that weight gain parallel to age is not ok. The government and the medical society became more hands-on with obesity by initiating a campaign against it. This was preceded by a study of risk factors of cardiovascular diseases revealing obesity among the high ranks. Since then various diet and exercise programs have emerged. In 1996, the Body Mass Index (BMI) was published. This statistical calculation and index determined if a person is obese or not. At this time, obesity incidence have soared, led by children and adolescent obesity, tripling in just a few short years, greater than any number in the history of obesity.

Perhaps the most controversial is the independent film, Super Size Me. Released in 2004, Super Size Me was written, produced and directed by American independent filmmaker, Martin Spurlock in an exploration of the prevalence of obesity in the USA. He documented 30 days of his life in an experiment of eating only McDonald’s food with completely no exercise. He began the project as healthy and lean but ended up overweight. It was later followed by several other documentaries and a few changes in the McDonald’s menu. The history of obesity should be well studied so precautions can be practiced and thus prevent obesity from spreading.

Over the years and in the history of obesity, it seems to worsen despite growing awareness and combating techniques that it has been called an epidemic.

Heat Rash – Prevention Tips for Heat Rash

During the early months of World War II, American troops battling for the islands of the South Pacific were also doing battle with an annoying rash known to doctors as miliaria and to the rest of us as ‘heat rash’ or ‘prickly heat’. The intense burning and itching sensation of prickly heat is caused by a blockage of the sweat ducts. Strained by intense heat and humidity, the body’s evaporative cooling system breaks down, and instead of being exuded through the pores, sweat becomes trapped beneath the skin, resulting in a rash that feels like its name.

Dr Robert L. Stem, writing in the Journal of the American Medical Association not long after the war, reported his attempts to alleviate the disorder among the Pacific troops with ‘all the available lotions and medicaments of possible aid, changes of clothes and soaps,’ multiple vitamins, and vitamins A and D, all of which had ‘no noticeable effects’. But when he tried vitamin C, in doses of from 300 to 500 mg daily, it gave ‘dramatic relief to most patients. The itching cleared and the rash subsided, usually within half an hour, the effects lasting 6 to 24 hours.’

The power of vitamin C against the pain of prickly heat was demonstrated in a more controlled study carried out in Singapore by dermatologist T. C. Hindson, of the British Military Hospital there. It began with one of those happy accidents that the history of science is so full of. An Australian Air Force officer, troubled by a rash in his groin that had resisted all medication for a year, told the doctor that it suddenly cleared up in the course of a week when he caught a cold and started taking 1 g of vitamin C a day.

Intrigued by this and the results of other exploratory tests, Dr Hindson set up a study using 30 children who had been plagued by prickly heat for at least eight continuous weeks prior to the test. Half the youngsters were given a placebo and the other half vitamin C. In order to ensure that he wouldn’t bias the results, Dr Hindson himself did not know who was getting which. Only the hospital pharmacist knew.

After two weeks, the rash had disappeared completely on ten of the 15 children receiving vitamin C. Four others showed improvement and one remained unchanged. By contrast, nine youngsters in the placebo group showed no change and two had got worse. The rash had either cleared up or improved in the other four.

The 11 children in the placebo group whose prickly heat had either shown no improvement or had actually worsened were then given vitamin C and checked after two more weeks. The rash had cleared completely in six children and improved in the other five.

Admitting that the exact mechanism at work remained unclear, Dr Hindson concluded the ‘ascorbic acid [vitamin C], when given in high doses, is effective in the treatment and prevention of prickly heat.’ He also noted one of the vitamin’s greatest advantages: ‘No unwanted side-effects have been recorded from such doses to date’ (Lancet).

Air-conditioned offices an work areas in muggy climates have made heat rash almost obsolete, but for those who still suffer from this condition, beauty writer Virginia Castleton recommends tea made from raspberry leaves, which can soothe and have a calming effect when used as a light wash. Elder flowers are also soothing for heat rash. Like raspberry lotion, they produce the best effects when applied immediately after towelling dry following a cool shower. You might find additional relief by applying a dusting of cornstarch or powdered white clay following the lotion.

Prevention:

Avoid overdressing.

Allow Skin to breathe

Avoid heavy moisturizers. Tender newborn skin tends to be dry and in need of moisturizing. But heavy, oil-based creams can be a problem. ‘Moisturize with a light, water-based lotion instead.

Dry Penis Skin – How to Treat It How to Prevent It

One of the most common penis problems men experience is dry penis skin, which can include itchiness and, when penis is erect, an uncomfortable sense of stretching or cracking of dry skin even a slight sense of pain. There are a number of factors that can cause this problem but fortunately there are a variety of options to treat dry penile skin and steps to prevent penile skin from becoming dry. Aside from visiting a health professional which can be costly and prolonged, the least time consuming and least expensive method is probably to use a penis health creme on a regular basis to avoid the chances of developing dry penis skin in the first place.

What is dry penis skin?

As the name suggests, dry penis skin is skin on or around the tip of the penis that feels dry when touched. It can be particularly noticeable when the penis is erect, and is generally characterized as skin that is not supple, feels “dry” and occasionally is uncomfortably sensitive, even painful.

What causes dry penis skin?

There are a number of factors that can lead to penis skin becoming dry:

• Friction – an excessive rubbing of the penis can cause the skin on the tip of penis to become dry and sore. In its simplest form this can be caused by overly tight or rough clothing but excessive masturbation or prolonged periods of sexual activity can also cause this problem.

• Allergies – certain chemicals that the penis can be exposed to can lead to the skin becoming dry and irritated. These may include spermicides in condoms, products in soap and detergents or perfumes. Checking your allergies with a doctor can help cut down on these problems.

• Psoriasis – Occasionally, men can experience psoriasis around the genitals which may not only affect the penis but also the inner thigh, buttocks and groin. Again, a doctor will be able to prescribe a cure for any genital psoriasis.

• Washing with soap – although many men think they are being hygienic by washing with soap, some chemicals found in the products can remove a protective oil, known as sebum, from the penis, leading it to become dry.

What problems can dry penis skin cause?

Although it may only sound like a relatively minor issue, dry penis skin can lead to sexual and genital health problems:

• Loss of penis sensation – over time, excessively dry skin on the penis can lead men to experience a loss of penile sensation, making it hard to get or maintain an erection and possibly leading to an unfulfilling sex life.

• Penis skin cracking – dry skin on the penis can result in microscopic cracks over time, which can allow bacteria and other microscopic organisms to infiltrate the penis, enter the blood stream and may lead, eventually, to infections which can occur anywhere in the body

• Soreness / Itching – No amount of pain is pleasant, but in a sensitive area like the penis it can really become an issue, affecting sex life and leading to a lowered sense of self confidence and potential damage to the penis over time.

How to treat dry penis skin

A doctor may be able to prescribe medication for specific allergies, although to prevent dry penis skin altogether a penis emollient that contains penis specific ingredients (health professionals recommend Man1 Man Oil) the combination of which ensures dry skin on the penis is dealt with quickly and efficiently. A penis health creme can also be used to help prevent other problems related to dry penis skin, such as loss of penis sensation and red, irritated penile skin.

Aloe Vera and Psoriasis

Psoriasis is a skin disorder than can occur at any age in both men and women. There are five types, each with unique signs and symptoms. Plaque psoriasis is the most common type of psoriasis. About 80% of people who develop psoriasis have plaque psoriasis, which appears as patches of raised, reddish skin covered by silvery-white scale. These patches, or plaques, frequently form on the elbows, knees, lower back, and scalp. However, the plaques can occur anywhere on the body. Regardless of type, psoriasis usually causes discomfort. The skin often itches, and it may crack and bleed. In severe cases, the itching and discomfort may keep a person awake at night, and the pain can make everyday tasks difficult. People often experience flares and remissions throughout their life. Controlling the signs and symptoms typically requires lifelong therapy. People with psoriasis commonly go through periods of embarrassment, frustration, and depression about their condition. Because psoriasis affects exposed skin, it is a highly visible disease.

Psoriasis is a chronic skin disorder, which means it can last a long time and can come back frequently. It is most common in people in their 20s, 30s, and 40s. Psoriasis is rare under age 3. Most people who develop it do so before age 30. In the United States, about two or three out of every 100 people have psoriasis. Contrary to popular belief, psoriasis is not an infection and it is not contagious. Touching the affected skin and then touching someone else will not transmit psoriasis.

While scientists still do not fully know what causes psoriasis, research has significantly advanced our understanding. Researchers now believe that psoriasis is an immune-mediated condition. This means the condition is caused by faulty signals in the body’s immune system. It is believed that psoriasis develops when the immune system tells the body to over-react and accelerate the growth of skin cells. Normally, skin cells mature and are shed from the skin’s surface every 28 to 30 days. When psoriasis develops, the skin cells mature in 3 to 6 days and move to the skin surface. Instead of being shed, the skin cells pile up, causing the visible lesions. Psoriasis can be inherited. Researchers have identified genes that cause psoriasis. These genes determine how a person’s immune system reacts. These genes can cause psoriasis. Research indicates that a “trigger” is needed. Stress, skin injuries, a strep infection, certain medications, and sunburn are some of the known potential triggers. Medications that can trigger psoriasis are anti-malarial drugs, beta-blockers (medication used to treat high blood pressure and heart conditions), and lithium. Dermatologists have seen psoriasis suddenly appear after a person takes one of these medications, gets a strep infection, or experiences another trigger.

Treatment for psoriasis varies depending on the type of psoriasis, the extent and severity of the disease and the age, sex, and lifestyle of the affected person. Unfortunately, none of the available treatments for psoriasis is a cure. Treatment can often control the disease for long periods, but the disease can come back when treatment stops. The various treatment methods include topical therapy, phototherapy and systemic therapy.

An important part in the treatment of psoriasis is moisturizing the skin. The market, alternative and medical, is full of moisturizing products that give varying degrees of beneficial results. Of course, because psoriasis is an autoimmune dysfunction, no amount of external treatment will “cure” the problem. However there is one tried and proven topical treatment from the natural therapy field that has shown very good results. Aloe vera was shown in one study to be effective in treating psoriasis externally. Many sufferers report that taking a dietary supplement containing adequate and proper quantities of pure aloe vera extract, enhances significantly the topical treatment of applying aloe vera to the affected areas.

According to a double-blind study that enrolled 60 men and women with mild to moderate symptoms of psoriasis, it was found that aloe vera cream may have been helpful for this chronic skin condition. Participants were treated with either topical aloe vera extract (0.5%) or a placebo cream, applied 3 times daily for 4 weeks. Aloe treatment produced significantly better results than the placebo, and these results were said to endure for almost a year after treatment was stopped while some patients did not see a return of the psoriasis. A recent study conducted at the Malmo University Hospital in Sweden confirmed this by coming out with findings in same line.

These are not surprising as aloe vera is known for its skin friendly properties from ages. Aloe vera is used in many skin care products like creams, lotions, lip balm, soap and aloe gel for sunburn because of its beneficial healing and regenenerative properties. Particularly, the soap has become a craze among people. Aloe vera as a soap content works wonders on skin especially people affected with psoriasis. It is claimed by researchers that this soap is more effective than over the counter creams and it has no known toxic side effects. The use of aloe vera soap in the treatment of mild to moderate psoriasis is considered a safe alternative treatment for psoriasis patients. There are so many testimonials stating that psoriasis has really cleared up in all affected places after using aloe vera soap, gel, cream and shampoo. Some say that anything they had got from the chemist hadn’t worked as fast or as effectively as these products did. All these confirm the usefulness of aloe vera soap in the treatment of psoriasis.

Antifungal Nail Lacquer Effective For Treating Fungal Toenails

Onychomycosis is a nail infection caused by fungus. About 8% of the U.S. population is affected by nail fungus and the prevalence increases with age. The fungus causes the nail to thicken and discolor. Yellow-brown discoloration or white splotches can be common appearance. More severe infections cause the nail to change shape, curving in at the sides and distorting. The nail can become rough and crumbly. The fungus does not cause pain, but the thickness and shape can cause excess pressure and discomfort and at times lead to ingrown nails and bacterial infection. In diabetics, fungal toenails can lead to ulceration under the nail.

The most common pathogen causing onychomycosis is called a dermatophyte. Dermatophytes are fungus which live on the skin, hair and nails. “Derm” = skin and “phyte” = pathological growth. The toenails are affected more than fingernails because toenails grow more slowly, are enclosed in shoes, are frequently exposed to microtrauma and damp, moist environments. Fungus grow well in enclosed, damp environments which means that individuals with excess perspiration (hyperhidrosis) of their feet and athletes who must be in athletic shoes for long periods of time are more susceptible to developing foot and toenail fungus. Gyms, showers and public pools are common areas for fungus.

A combination of factors contribute to the development of a fungal infection in the nails. Simply coming into contact with fungus will not cause an infection. When the skin is moist, it causes loosening of the bonds and increases the chances of infection. Prolonged exposure to the fungus will also increase the chances of infection. Individuals who are in closed shoes which lack breathability for long periods and perspire due to exercise or warm weather are more likely to develop a foot or toenail fungus. Fungus are more likely to invade through small breaks in the skin around the nail. Runners who experience repetitive microtrauma at the toes from shoe pressure, or individuals wearing tight, narrow shoes or boots are at higher risk of infection. Dry or cracked skin around the nail or the existence of an ingrown nail, even if it’s mild, will increase the chances of a fungal infection. Once the nail is infected it becomes extremely difficult to treat.

There are many treatments for nail fungus and they range from natural therapies to prescription oral medications. Most topical treatments have not proven to be very effective in the past and many of the oral medications are too costly or associated with side effects. A new study in the Journal of Foot and Ankle surgery evaluated ciclopirox and debridements in patients with onychomycosis and found the combination to be effective (JFAS Volume 48, Issue 3, Pages 294-308 May 2009).

The researchers evaluated 55 patients with 289 toenails with onychomycosis. The patients were randomly divided into two treatment groups, debridement only or debridement with daily ciclopirox (Penlac® ) application. The follow-up average about 10.5 months and results showed that the group treated with both ciclopirox and debridement had a 76% mycological cure rate, which was a statistically significant improvement over those in the debridement only group. Patients with hyperhidrosis (sweaty feet), lunula involvement, positive yeast culture or who smoked cigarettes had a lower rate of mycological cure.

This study was funded by Dermik Laboratories, manufacturers of Penlac® Nail Lacquer.