Sinus Versus Allergies – Are All Colds Allergies Or Sinus Infection?

Many a times the person suffering from a cold and running nose need not be suffering from sinus infection but it could also be due to allergies. At times, it can be very hard to detect if sinusitis is due to allergy or an infection.

In allergies there is a clear nasal discharge accompanied with sneezing. There will itchy sensation on the nose, dry cough, and watery eyes. Rubbing the itchy nose many a times with hand leaves a mark known as the “allergic salute”. Sometimes dark circles under the eye are also common symptoms that point to the fact that it is an allergy. If the cold come around the same time every year then it is more likely an allergy. Many a time the status of the cold changes with a change in environment, it can become better or worse, like moving in from out, change of place, home or work place etc. It has been seen that chronic infection does not cause fever but an inflammation from allergy can cause fever. If one or more courses of antibiotics do not treat the predicament, then allergy is much more likely. Coexisting with people, having asthma or eczema, one will likely get the allergy. As long as the trigger is present in the environment, the allergic reaction will continue. People with allergies have hypersensitive mast cells that sound the alert in response to relatively harmless particles such as pollen and dust.

The inflammation, or swelling, of the tissue lining the sinuses is called Sinusitis. Generally, sinuses are packed with air, but when sinuses are blocked and crammed with fluid; germs like bacteria, viruses, and fungi can breed and result in an infection. A sinus infection always begins with a cold and last for more than 10 to 14 days. Sometimes the person can suffer from fever, facial pain, or facial swellings. In sinus infection, the mucus discharge is much thicker and darker in color. Sinus can be due the common cold, allergic rhinitis, nasal polyps, or a deviated septum, which is actually a change in the nasal cavity.

Long Term Effects of Concussions

A concussion is a traumatic head injury that can occur due to a mild or severe blow to the head. Often times, a head injury can appear mild. However, research indicates that there are serious, long-term effects of concussions. In addition, cumulative concussions from repeated head injuries have long-term consequences.

A recent study done on the effects of concussions in high school athletes discovered that even the less severe concussions can have long lasting effects, especially if the athlete goes back to playing too soon, or has a history of head injuries.

What Happens When A Concussion Occurs?

Under normal circumstances, the brain floats in a protective pool of spinal fluid within the skull. However, certain events like a car accident or hard tackle can cause the brain to slam into the interior walls of the skull. Depending on the intensity of the injury and the brains ability to realign, the damage can be mild to severe. Most people will recover from a mild concussion within just a few hours, yet a more severe injury may cause symptoms for a number of weeks.

For the first few minute following a head injury, the affected party may experience a loss of consciousness, dizziness, uneven dilation of the pupils or weakness to one side of the body. In some cases, the injured individual may feel nauseated or break out in convulsions.

When Symptoms Remain

When the concussion is mild to moderate, the symptoms will dissipate within a few hours with rest. The person may still have problems with orientation or vision, but over time, the brain will recover.

However, when the sustained concussion is severe, the individual may experience an extended loss of consciousness, depression, mood swings or even bleeding in the brain. A CT Scan or MRI as soon as possible following the injury will be able to determine the severity of the concussion. Bruising and bleeding of the brain is not always considered life threatening, but undiagnosed conditions can be triggered in the event of a concussion.

Post-Concussion Syndrome

About fifteen percent of individuals who suffer a concussion experience post-concussion syndrome, with symptoms that may last for weeks after the injury is healed. In some cases, the effects of a concussion can last for a year or longer.

The reasons for post-concussion syndrome are not clear to doctors and medical researchers. No correlations between the severity of the injury and the development of post-concussion syndrome have been found. In fact, a number of researchers believe that post-concussion syndrome is entirely psychological. However, others argue that there is definitely a medical cause for the condition, even though such a cause remains unidentified.

Post-concussion syndrome tends to be somewhat more prevalent among older individuals, making age an identifiable factor for the condition. In addition, women also seem to be more at risk for being affected by the syndrome than men are.

Essentially, the symptoms of post-concussion syndrome are the same as the symptoms of a concussion that last beyond the first couple of weeks following a head injury. Post-concussion syndrome symptoms include:

• Changes in mood, such as an increase in irritability

• Changes in memory

• Difficulty sleeping

• Dizziness

• Headache

• Fatigue

• Sensitivity to noise or light

Treating post-concussion syndrome begins with the treatment of the initial concussion. If you lose consciousness following a head injury, you are likely to have a concussion. If the symptoms of the concussion have not passed within a few weeks, your doctor may decide to do a follow-up MRI test to determine why the injury has not healed completely.

Often times, the severity of a head injury is underestimated. Therefore, it makes good sense to pay a visit to your doctor if you sustain a head injury that leads to the symptoms of a mild to severe concussion.

Depression: Hiding Behind the Facade

When suffering with severe clinical depression throughout my youth I became accustomed to hiding my feelings, my sadness and ultimately myself from the world. I built up a façade to protect myself from being hurt anymore, and at the time, I had no idea that I was not doing myself any favours by reacting this way.

The facade (or face) that I hid behind was one which to any onlooker made me look as though I was actually high on life. Anyone trying to understand me would have presumed I was a normal everyday person. I laughed, I smiled, I joked and I generally made it appear that I was OK. Fact was this was far from the reality of the situation.

If I sat and questioned now, as a recovered patient why I did this I would honestly answer that my reason for doing so was because it was the only way I knew how to survive. Pretending everything was OK in my family was something that I was expected to do by my parents. In turn, this promoted other detrimental behavioural issues, my façade being one of them.

As humans, we naturally have a built in mechanism whereby our response is that of one where we respond with flight or fight. My mechanism for coping was one which meant I was on edge constantly, waiting for someone to pounce; in turn this made me defensive and aggressive, especially towards anyone who may have criticised me and this was because I didn’t want them to tell me something I didn’t know about myself.

I didn’t want anyone guessing what was wrong, telling me what was wrong or acting superior in knowledge towards me. I figured only I knew me therefore I knew best and as such I would deal with my issues in my own time and my own way. All the time adding layers to the façade I was hiding behind.

Eventually, when I went thought counselling and therapy and then hospitalisation and I was faced with the question, who am I? I wasn’t able to answer it. I had built up a pretend person and was living a pretend life in pretend circumstances with pretend outcomes.

Finding out who I really was became a massive part of the healing process that I underwent to become depression free. As such, I would suggest to anyone suffering with depression – patient to patient, stop with the façade, it is OK to get help, advice and support, you do not have to pretend to be OK if you really are not, there are people who understand and who are there to help. Without these people, I know I wouldn’t be who I am today.

Combating Commitment Phobia

Commitment phobia is rooted in fear — fear of lost options or fear of making poor decisions. Most especially, commitment phobia is the fear and avoidance of having to commit to anything, but especially relationships. And like the proverb, it’s a double edged sword: on the one hand you avoid obligations, ties, and commitments yet at the same time the commitment phobic may secretly crave the lives of those who committed and the growth that those roots produced.

Commitment phobics are the women who say, “All men are jerks,” or the men who claim, “Women are only out to get my money” – rationalisations to justify avoiding a committed relationship.

Men are generally considered more commitment-phobic than women, but recent research suggests that this might be a case of stereotyping, and that it is not necessarily a gender-specific thing.


However, most commitment phobic men and women truly yearn for a deep and intimate relationship leading toward marriage, but fright causes them to butcher every dating opportunity they may get. Sex outside of marriage, or promiscuous behaviour fosters a false sense of intimacy, which feels really good at the time, but is only a fabrication based on how we think we should feel when we are having sex. It is the substitution of “instant gratification” at the expense of deep, lasting satisfying soul-love.


In romantic relationships, the paradox is that the commitment phobic craves what he/she fears most: love and connection. When we speak of commitment phobia among singles, we are referring to folks who avoid committing to long term relationships such as marriage. Previous abusive relationships, intimacy issues or traumatic childhood experiences could be causes for this kind of commitment avoidance. Another possibility is that the child might have witnessed, or been a victim of, poor role models, or even abusive relationships during those formative years. Not surprisingly, this can (consciously or unconsciously) colour the way they feel and take part in relationships as an adult, too.

Statistics show that we are happier and more well-adjusted when we are in committed relationships. According to psychologists, the commitment phobes behave like this because they suffer from certain beliefs about relationships. Rather than being harmful, commitment-phobia is a healthy fear that will prevent you from jumping into new relationships before you are ready. At this point you may form temporary friendships and love relationships in order to “get your feet wet” again.

Rather than being harmful, commitment phobia may be seen as a healthy fear that will prevent you from jumping into new relationships before you are ready. Struggling against the fear of commitment often pays off because being able to share your life with someone you really care for can be wonderful.

Meanwhile, think on this: “Commitment phobia has its roots in the belief that when we love someone, we are responsible for their feelings rather than for our own.”

Whilst there are many therapies and even medications out there that may or may not be helpful, ultimately the answers lie, as always, in yourself. Knowing which buttons to press is not always obvious, however. To that end, you may like to look at my self help book “How To Love Again When Your Heart’s Been Broken.” See the resource box for details.

What Is Anxiety?

Those who are constantly feeling nervous may be wondering if they are suffering from anxiety. What is anxiety, and what are some of the anxiety symptoms that may surface when someone is feeling nervous? Anxiety symptoms can vary from person to person, and they can range from really severe to surprisingly mild. Anxiety is a common mental health problem and affects nearly 20% of the population. More women than men are affected, and anxiety symptoms come in several different forms, which make diagnosing them problematic.

People who are experiencing anxiety symptoms may have a variety of different feelings. They may have trouble getting to sleep, waking up in the middle of the night, a racing heart, hot flashes, nausea, faintness, cold flashes, weight loss, weight gain and more. Looking at this list, it may seem that no matter what someone does or feels, they are bound to be experiencing one anxiety symptom or another.

Anxiety is the body’s response to a situation where there may be danger. Despite what is commonly thought, these anxiety symptoms can actually be helpful, because they get a person’s heart racing and give them an extra burst of energy.

When we feel that we are in danger, our body’s nervous system kicks into overdrive and tries to protect us. The sympathetic nervous system puts us into ‘red alert’ mode and we experience typical anxiety symptoms. In fact, the only job of the sympathetic nervous system is to alert us in danger and get our body ready. Going into the ‘red alert’ mode is often called the ‘fight or flight’ response.

Our brains also have a role to play in causing anxiety symptoms. When danger messages are sent to the hypothalamus, it tells the body to secrete adrenaline. We have all heard of adrenaline helping people to accomplish amazing things, like lifting a car that someone is trapped under. Most people, however, have not heard that adrenaline is also a cause of anxiety and nervousness. Adrenaline is why we often keep feeling anxiety symptoms long after the danger is gone.

The nervous system detects danger at different levels. With a small level of danger, you might not even realize that your nervous system and brain are working together, but the more danger that is detected, the more likely it is that you will experience anxiety symptoms.

How do you get your body to relax? That is the job of the parasympathetic nervous system. The parasympathetic nervous system has the job of regulating the sympathetic nervous system. You don’t want your nervous system to send your brain alarm bells every time someone around you sneezes. The parasympathetic nervous system will help to prevent anxiety symptoms from coming about.

The cause of anxiety may be difficult to understand, because it involves both a person’s brain and their nervous system. Even today, scientists and doctors are still trying to understand how they can help to relieve anxiety symptoms.

Insomnia and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Post-traumatic Stress Disorder-PTSD has claimed the minds of thousands and has increased since the attack on Americans on September 11. When a person suffers post-traumatic stress disorder, the mind is often in chaos and sleeplessness is ongoing. The person will experience night sweats, nightmares, headaches, anxiety, panic attacks, fear, overwhelming stress, nervous conditions, including insomnia and more when PTSD takes over.

When the mind is unable to find a resting place it overtime causes a person to suffer ongoing disturbances throughout the day hours and night hours. Insomnia alone brings forth symptoms of anxiety, panic attacks, frustration, anger, grogginess, and so on. Thus, when a person has a mental disorder causing the insomnia it triples the problems in the person’s life and help is needed in order to help the person cope.

Fighting insomnia for Post-traumatic Stress Disorder patients requires ongoing therapy and proper medications. When a person has Post-traumatic Stress, a qualified counselor must help the person learn to deal with the trauma that caused the stress and work through each trauma by enforcing acceptance. The person over time must learn that it is not his or her fault that the trauma occurred and learn to accept that the person could do nothing to change the event. One of the best tactics for this type of insomnia-based disorder is to bring forth visual transmissions. In other words, allow the person to find a safe haven and then ask the person to step out of the mind for a short time and visualize his or her self in the scene of trauma. The person is to look at the trauma event through a second or third eye, and avoid visualizing his or her self in the scene enduring the trauma. Once the person grasps the event in time, he or she will see that they had no control of the situation and this will gradually ease the mind. During the course of treatment and with time the person should learn to recognize, accept and move forward, thus resting peacefully during night hours.

Other steps can be taking to help a person cope with stress and work toward sleeping peacefully during night hours. Certain medications may help those suffering Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, since the disorder is triggering chemicals in the brain and affecting the central nervous system. Chiropractic treatment, coupled with sedatives that will calm the mind can do wonders for a person and help the person sleep peacefully during night hours.

XANAX is one of the best medicines, coupled with CYPROHEPTADINE, providing a nervous condition that is affecting the skin is involved can do wonders for the mind suffering insomnia as a result of Post-traumatic Stress Disorders. TRAZADONE is also prescribed to patients suffering insomnia from Post-traumatic Stress Disorders. TRAZADONE helps to reduce pain while allowing the person to sleep during night hours. Doctors qualified in treating this particular diagnose that causes chronic insomnia will know which medications benefit the patient most, since each of us differ in our own way.

Again, ongoing therapy is needed for this diagnose that causes ongoing insomnia. Medical doctors can help, but for the most part mental health expertise is required in the treatment of these patients. At one time Post-traumatic Stress Disorder-PTSD was considered to exist on in war survivors, but recently millions are affected by the diagnose every day. Thus, the diagnose once known as “war shock” is claiming minds daily, since any traumatic action, or picture can trigger the mind into shock. In other words, a person can see another person shot and kill an individual and may suffer mild shock as a result, thus this occurrence will bring forth mild symptoms, including insomnia.

If you are suffering chronic or acute insomnia due to symptoms of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder-PTSD, it is time to get help now. Since the level of stress is higher in these patients the patients are at a higher risk of heart failure, diabetes, high-blood pressure, strokes, and so forth. Getting help is essential; since you are worth the miles, you will walk to rest peacefully and relax the mind.

Quick Ways to Relieve Ingrown Toenail Pain

Your feet take a pounding every day. With every step you take, they bear the weight of your whole body. Yet people are often shy about problems they have with their feet and toes. I see it all the time in my practice. For whatever reason, people think they should be embarrassed by their feet. In some cases, this might cause you to delay getting help with a problem you’re having with your feet.

For example, many people silently suffer through ingrown toenail pain, unsure what they can do about it and reluctant to ask for help. If you find yourself living with an ingrown toenail, or if you get recurrent ingrown nails, there are things you can do that will help your feet.

Imagine being able to slip your feet into your shoes without wincing. Imagine being able to go on a long walk with your spouse without that throbbing ache in your toe when you’re done. You can put an end to to the pain. But first, let’s look at what causes them to start with.

Understanding Why Ingrown Toenails Happen

Ingrown toenails happen when the sharp edge of your toenail begins to grow into the skin. It almost always occurs on the big toe, although any toe can be affected. The nail curls into the skin that is alongside it and continues to grow. The result is pain and swelling.

If you don’t take care of an this early on, it can eventually cause extra skin to grow in the area. You might also notice a yellowish fluid that drains from the area, and you might even develop an infection that requires a doctor’s care.

Pressure on the toe is the primary reason that a nail will become ingrown. Usually, it’s because of shoes that don’t fit quite right. Tight shoes can cause your toes to squish together and the process of your toe growing inwards. If you play a sport that involves a lot of kicking, like soccer, that can also lead to ingrown nails.

Nails that are more rounded tend to become ingrown more often. It’s less common, but a nail fungus that causes a thickening of the nail can increase how often you have an ingrown toenail.

Fortunately, in most cases these are easy to prevent.

Stop an Ingrown Toenail Before it Starts

The most important step to preventing ingrown toenails is to get shoes that fit you properly. This is true for all of your shoes, but it’s especially important for any shoes that you’ll be more active in. Walking shoes, hiking boots, and sports shoes must fit your feet or you risk ingrown nails.

The best way to find a shoe that fits is to go to a good shoe store, one where a salesperson will take the time to measure your feet and find a good fit. What to look for specifically is a shoe with enough room in the toe box. There should be a half-inch between your longest toe and the front of the shoe. You can determine this by pushing your toes up while the shoe is on to see where they are in relation to the front of the shoe. There should also be plenty of room to wiggle your toes while the shoe is on your foot.

It’s a good idea to shop for shoes in the late afternoon when you’ve already been on your feet for a while. Your feet tend to swell a little bit during the day. By shopping when they are at their largest, you’ll avoid buying shoes that will be too tight.

Another important step in preventing ingrown toenails is to clip your toenails properly. You should clip your nails straight across rather than rounding them at the edges. A straight-across cut helps prevent the corners of your nails from growing into the skin. You also want to avoid cutting your nails too short.

Home Remedies for Ingrown Nails

If you do develop an ingrown toenail, you can usually treat it at home. Soak your foot in warm water three or four times a day for ten or fifteen minutes. After each soak, gently try to lift the nail away from the skin where it is growing in. This can be a little bit uncomfortable, but it really helps.

A remedy that I’ve seen also effective is to clip a small “V” shape wedge into the middle of your big toe. Please clip no more than a one eighth of an inch or you’ll just compound the problem.

Make sure you wash the area with soap and water at least twice a day. This helps to prevent infection. Between soakings, keep your feet dry and wear roomy shoes.

If you notice that you have a nail that frequently becomes ingrown and that is growing thicker than usual or darker than usual, you may have a fungus. In that case, you should visit your doctor for help treating the fungus. Also, check in with your doctor if an ingrown toenail causes the toe to become red, unusually swollen, or if you notice an unusual odor. These can be signs of infection.

Ingrown toenails can make you miserable, but with a little extra care in choosing your shoes and trimming your nails, you can keep your nails healthy and your toes pain free.

Differentiating Between the Types of Toenail Fungus

The most prevalent variety of toenail fungal infection is the distal subungual onychomycosis. In layman’s terms, this is merely the fungal infection that starts from the skin underneath the nail. Early signs of these types of toenail fungus infections include the abnormal staining of the nail into a milky white or pale yellow shade, as well as the gradual splitting and crumbling of the outermost layer of the toenail.

Usually, distal subungual onychomycosis involves a considerable amount of pain if not treated immediately. If you are suffering from these types of toenail fungus, it will be very uncomfortable to wear closed shoes. In fact, it will be difficult to walk at all especially if the infection is in the more advanced stages.

By this time, the nail will have started to separate from the skin and may have even completely fallen off. In some cases, it can even emit a nasty odor because of the pus that has collected in the area. This is the most contagious variety and needs to be treated immediately to avoid contaminating the people around you.

The second most common toenail fungus is the white superficial onychomycosis. It affects roughly 10% of all people suffering from toenail fungal infections. The early manifestations of these types of toenail fungus include the random appearance of white spots or streaks on the outermost layer of the nail. This condition affects the fingernails as well.

If not attended to immediately, these types of toenail fungus can cause the nail to gradually disintegrate and turn into soft white powdery substances. However, unlike the first type, this toenail fungus will not cause the nail to fall off or separate from the skin. White superficial onychomycosis is also much simpler to cure than any other toenail contamination.

The remaining two types of toenail fungus are very rare and are found in less than 1 percent of all people suffering from toenail fungal infections. The first of these unusual types of toenail fungus is the Candida onychomycosis.

The fungus responsible for this infection is the same fungus that causes yeast infection in the mouth and the female reproductive organ. This infection is indicated by the swelling of the skin adjacent to the toenail. The toenail itself is changed into unnatural colors such as white, green or orange.

Candida onychomycosis occurs more frequently on the fingernails rather than the toenails, possibly because of the constant use of nail polish. In more severe cases, the infection can grow in more than one fingernail at a time.

Finally, the last kind of toenail fungal infection is the proximal subungual onychomycosis. This typically occurs in people afflicted with HIV. With this infection, the flesh around the nail thickens, pushing out the toenail and forcing it to separate from the skin.

In order to cure your particular condition, you first have to go to a podiatrist to determine which kind of infection you have. Each type of toenail fungus has a corresponding treatment and your doctor will be able to recommend the best kind of remedy for you.

How Long Does It Take to Recover From Sprains?

Sprain rehabilitation time is a huge issue concerning nearly all pro athletes nowadays, specifically those who take up sporting activities that need extension of a certain joint (for instance baseball with constant use of the arms). The healing time usually differs from one individual to another, this is why it frightens people to accidentally sprain something.

As a rule, however, the three grades of sprains can be used as a guide. A grade one sprain (the least serious) will normally heal in several days. A grade two sprain needs a few weeks to recuperate. A grade three sprain will require months. A number of elements affect these recovery times, especially the level of quality of care both right after injury and during the process of recovery.

So what is a sprain? A joint sprain occurs when anybody inadvertently stretches or extends a limb or a joint beyond what it is able to deal with, as a result compromising and stretching the ligaments. Ligaments’ function is to join a joint to a bone, or a bone to a bone, and keeps everything in position. The most common site of the body to be injured is the ankle.

Medical practitioners, typically sports medicine experts, do the diagnosis of sprain injuries. By using a health history, and also by means of bodily examination, they’re able to evaluate if you truly have a sprained joint. To be more definitive, doctors employ X-rays to identify the injury more accurately and verify or eliminate the possibility of fractures or broken bones that could be a whole lot worse.

There are plenty variables to be considered in identifying the injury recovery time. One of the most important selective variables how fast the healing might take place is the severity of the symptoms. We must always bear in mind that the more serious the symptoms, the more takes to be able to heal.

Some familiar signs or symptoms that you need to watch for are:

– Tenderness or pain in the damaged joint

– Reduced mobility or inability to move the joint

– Slight bruising

– Tingling and coldness within the extremities of the injured arm or leg

– Inability to walk or place force on the injury

The degree of the signs or symptoms does not only provide a clue on how quick you are able to recover from the injury, but also it would also inform you how seriously the ligament on that certain part of your body was pulled or ruptured. The basic principle is that the more serious the signs or symptoms are, the more serious shape the ligaments will be in.

Medical professionals also have long been interested in joint sprain rehabilitation time. For many years, they have been looking to formulate medications and solutions that might accelerate the process of healing. It’s unfortunate to notice however, that researchers have not yet developed the mechanism or the medication that would decrease the time of recuperation.

Even so, doctors created the RICE method. The RICE method is the most effective intervention so far to deal with sprains. It’s common and very very easy to use. Though you could seek medical attention – and it’s a good idea – it is possible to take care of yourself by using the RICE method. Also, using the procedure, you won’t need overpriced gear as the things you would require in this method can be found within your home. More affordable, less painful, faster sprain recovery time. Don’t forget, however, that it should applied under direction of your physician.

Help For Easy Bruising

Are you the kind of person who can bump a corner of the coffee table and know that you’ll have a whopper of a bruise tomorrow? Are you afraid of your neighbor’s dog jumping on you because you’ll have to marks to show for it? Do you frequently sport some big bruises and don’t know where they came from? If you can answer yes to any of these questions, then you’re an easy bruiser.

Bruising at the drop of a hat is the result of fragile blood vessels, and can come from a number of underlying causes. In Chinese medicine, easy bruising is a sign that your body’s holding function is weak. 

Your Chinese Spleen is responsible for digesting the food you eat and converting it into energy, blood, and nutrients. A secondary function of your Spleen is to hold things in place, including holding blood in the vessels. Other signs that your body isn’t holding things well are chronic diarrhea, frequent miscarriages, heavy menstrual periods and prolapsed (falling) organs, like your uterus or bladder. From a Chinese perspective, strengthening your Spleen can be accomplished through acupuncture, herbal formulas, and dietary modifications.

From a more Western viewpoint, easy bruising may be due to a vitamin or mineral deficiency. The most common deficiencies involved in weak or fragile blood vessels are Vitamin C, Vitamin K, and copper. 

One of the functions of Vitamin C is to help build collagen, which is important in holding body structures together, including connective tissue, tendons, and ligaments. If you are deficient in Vitamin C, the ability of collagen to hold the connective tissue around your blood vessels may be impaired, allowing them to rupture and bruise more easily. Good food sources of Vitamin C include most dark vegetables such as broccoli, kale, collard or turnip greens, and red or green peppers.

Another nutrient that plays a role in the synthesis of collagen is the copper. Copper is a trace mineral found in oysters, most nuts and legumes (peas and beans). A deficiency in copper can also be an underlying cause of easy bruising. 

Vitamin K can also be a player if you’re a bruiser, however it’s role is different than that of copper or Vitamin C. Vitamin K is important in making clotting factors, which are components necessary to stop bleeding and facilitate clotting. Like Vitamin C, Vitamin K is found abundantly in dark leafy vegetables. One word of caution, however, Vitamin K can alter the affects of Coumadin or Warfarin, so if you’re taking either of those anti clotting medications, steer clear of supplementing Vitamin K or taking any herbal formulas.

Many over the counter pain relievers, such as Ibuprofen (Advil), Naproxen (Alleve), and aspirin (but not Tylenol), can also have an affect on bleeding. These medications make your platelets (necessary in clotting, too) less sticky and therefore less prone to clotting. This is a good thing if you are at risk for cardiovascular disease or stroke, but taking these pain relievers for a period of time can make you more likely to bruise.  

Whiplash and Back Pain – Why Your Back and Neck Hurt After a Car Accident

When I broadsided a car going 50 miles per hour, I was elated that there was no blood, and we all walked away. A teenager pulled out in front of me, and I was so glad he was OK. But the next day, and the following two years, I was not OK. I suffered severe whiplash, and fell into years of chronic back pain.

The impact of the crash was taken by my arms, which whipped my neck forward and back, the event known as whiplash. Following whiplash, here is what happens.

First, the muscles and ligaments of the neck are torn and traumatized. They become inflamed, and the neck stiffens.

The normal curve in the neck disappears, and the neck bones stack up in a straight line. If the whiplash is severe enough it damages the discs in the neck and the nerves from the spinal cord. Even blood vessels and the bones themselves can be injured. Injury happens to both the back or the front of the neck, depending on whether the neck is thrown forward or back with the most force.

You might walk away from a car accident like I did, but neck pain and neck stiffness increases over the next 24 hours, until it may be impossible to move the neck. Ancillary shoulder pain and mid and lower back pain are common. The arms and hands may tingle and become weak and even numb. After a whiplash injury you may also get headaches, dizziness, facial tingling, hearing problems and throat pain.

After whiplash, my neck was so stiff I could not even look from side to side. And worse, my lower back went into complete spasm, resulting in severe, long-term lower back pain that interfered with living a normal life. Every day was measured by how bad the pain was. I was told I should take pain killers and was a candidate for surgery. Back surgery carries a lot of risk, and pain killers are addictive and a terrible way to live. So instead, I dedicated many years to learning what can be done to recover after an injury. There are, in fact, many ways to reduce or eliminate back pain.

The good news is that much back and neck pain is caused by the soft tissues around the spine, the muscles and ligaments, and those are very treatable. I am able now to manage my spinal pain by attending to 5 things that improve my overall health too: Inflammation, Posture, Muscles, Stress, and Sleep. You can learn what you can do, and what back pain specialists can do to help you. Pain is just a signal that something needs attention.

So, if you could make some adjustments that would reduce or eliminate your back pain, would you do it? Really, think about it. It is possible. There are specific ways to:

  • Reduce inflammation
  • Improve posture
  • Stretch, strengthen and move the muscles
  • Reduce stress
  • Improve sleep

Small things that you do on a daily basis make a big difference. That is my fundamental statement. In addition, I appreciate and use back pain specialists when I need help. I say specialists, because there are many different areas of expertise. Your part is to be committed to healing and taking care of your back. Then you can discover the way to approach your recovery from your car accident or injury.

Interesting Facts About Peptic Ulcers

The peptic ulcer damages the lining of either the stomach or the duodenum.The symptoms of indigestion caused by peptic ulcers may harm a person by a severe pain.They can be treated with medicines, but without treatment serious complications may appear.There are two kinds of peptic ulcers: one is gastric and the other one is duodenal ulcer.The diameter of peptic ulcers is between 1-2cm,which seems with a mouth ulcers.

One to ten people at some point in their lives are affected by the duodenal ulcers, especially younger men.Stomach ulcers are more common. The peptic ulcer may be acute or chronic.One of acute ulcers may heal without any long term consequences. On the other hand chronic ulcers are deeper and they causes symptoms leaving a scar even they heal.The stomach contains acid which helps to protect the body from infection.The stomach and duodenum has its lining covered in mucus which protects it from acid.When the stomach produces excess acid an ulcer may appear.

There are some factors which leads to the apearance of the peptic ulcer like: infection with bacteria called Helicobacter Pylori; certain medicines like aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen, naproxen and diclofenac;smoking and alcohol.In many cases the majority of people have abdominal pain, below the chest bone,but there are also people without symptoms.In the case of gastric ulcer a sharp pain may occur soon after eating, and the pain caused by the duodenal ulcer is relieved by eating or by drinking milk. Other unpleasant symptoms of the peptic ulcer are belching, general discomfort in the stomach,loss of appetite,nausea, vomiting, loss of weight.

Nowadays there are many tests that deals with the detection if there is any infection with H. pylori, needed in the diagnosis of the gastric or duodenal ulcers or even for stomach cancer.Through several methods we may see if a person has or has not peptic ulcer. One of these methods can be realized by breath or by blood test to observe the presence of H. pylori. Another method is the one with a given substance to swallow called barium, which appears white on X-rays.The X-rays may show the presence of an ulcer.The gastroscopy is another method which uses a tube called endoscop with a fibre-optic cable; the last one being passed through the mouth and into the stomach.

If any person accuse such kind of pains should immediately consult a doctor.

Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) – Causes of PMS

As we mentioned in previous article, Premenstrual syndrome effects over 70% to 90% of women before menopause in the US and less for women in Southeast Asia because of their difference in living style and social structure. The occurrence of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) have more than doubled over the past 50 years due to the acceptance of it as a medical condition that is caused by unhealthy diet with high in saturated food. Premenstrual syndrome is defined as faulty function of the ovaries related to the women’s menstrual cycle, it effects a women’s physical and emotional state, and sometimes interferes with daily activities as a result of hormone fluctuation. The syndrome occurs one to two weeks before menstruation and then declines when the period starts. In this article we will discuss the causes of PMS.

1. Unhealthy diet

Over consumption of saturated fat, trans fat, artificial, caffeine, etc and under consumption of fiber, vital vitamins and minerals are typical diet in our country resulting in over production of bad estrogen leading to weakened the liver function in carbohydrate synthesis and fat and protein metabolism causing PMS.

2. Digestive system

Strong digestive system is important to provide vital nutrients for our body in regulating its normal function. Unfortunately, it is unknown that women with PMS are found to have digestive disorder before menstruation resulting in symptoms of PMS.

3. Vitamins and Minerals deficiency

Vitamins and minerals are important for regulating the hormone production in our body, especially for women during menstrual cycle. Deficiency of vitamins and minerals causes nervous disorder, liver malfunction and hormone imbalance resulting in symptoms of PMS.

4. Sluggish liver

For what ever reason, women with PMS are found to have a sluggish liver before menstruation. Since liver is vital in regulating the levels of estrogen through production of cholesterol and fat and protein metabolism, sluggish liver causes nervous tension and hormone imbalance.

5. Hormonal imbalance

Over production or under production of certain hormones before menstruation as resulting of thyroid malfunction, pituitary gland abnormality function, liver inability in metabolism, abnormal function of adrenal gland etc. cause hormonal imbalance resulting in symptoms of PMS such as depression, stress, insomnia, fatigue, tiredness, menstrual cramps, etc.

Getting Insurance To Pay For Preventive Health Under The ACA

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) mandates that health insurance companies pay for preventive health visits. However, that term is somewhat deceptive, as consumers may feel they can visit the doctor for just a general checkup, talk about anything, and the visit will be paid 100% with no copay. In fact, some, and perhaps most, health insurance companies only cover the A and B recommendations of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. These recommendations cover such topics as providing counseling on smoking cessation, alcohol abuse, obesity, and tests for blood pressure, cholesterol, and diabetes (for at risk patients), and some cancer screening physical exams. BUT if a patient mentions casually that he or she is feeling generally fatigued, the doctor could write down a diagnosis related to that fatigue and effectively transform the “wellness visit” into a “sick visit.” The same is true if the patient mentions occasional sleeplessness, upset stomach, stress, headaches, or any other medical condition. In order to get the “free preventive health” visit paid for 100%, the visit needs to be confined to a very narrow group of topics that most people will find vert constrained.

Similarly, the ACA calls for insurance companies to pay for preventive colonoscopy screenings for colon cancer. However, once again there is a catch. If the doctor finds any kind of problem during the colonoscopy and writes down a diagnosis code other than “routine preventive health screening,” the insurance company may not, and probably will not, pay for the colonoscopy directly. Instead, the costs would be applied to the annual deductible, which means most patients would get stuck paying for the cost of the screening.

This latter possibility frustrates the intention of the ACA. The law was written to encourage everyone – those at risk as well as those facing no known risk – to get checked. But if people go into the procedure expecting insurance to pay the cost, and then a week later receive a surprise letter indicating they are responsible for the $2,000 – $2,500 cost, it will give people a strong financial disincentive to getting tested.

As an attorney, I wonder how the law could get twisted around to this extent. The purpose of a colonoscopy is determined at the moment an appointment is made, not ex post facto during or after the colonoscopy. If the patient has no symptoms and is simply getting a colonoscopy to screen for colon cancer because the patient has reached age 45 or 50 or 55, then that purpose or intent cannot be negated by subsequent findings of any condition. What if the doctor finds a minor noncancerous infection and notes that on the claim form? Will that diagnosis void the 100% payment for preventive service? If so, it gives patients a strong incentive to tell their GI doctors that they are only to note on the claim form “yes or no” in response to colon cancer and nothing else. Normally, we would want to encourage doctors to share all information with patients, and the patients would want that as well. But securing payment for preventive services requires the doctor code up the entire procedure as routine preventive screening.

The question is how do consumers inform the government of the need for a special coding or otherwise provide guidance on preventive screening based on intent at time of service, not on subsequent findings? I could write my local congressman, but he is a newly elected conservative Republican who opposes health care and everything else proposed by Obama. If I wrote him on the need for clarification of preventive health visits, he would interpret that as a letter advising him to vote against health care reform at every opportunity. I doubt my two conservative Republican senators would be any different. They have stand pat reply letters on health care reform that they send to all constituents who write in regarding health care matters.

To my knowledge, there is no way to make effective suggestions to the Obama administration. Perhaps the only solution is to publicize the problem in articles and raise these issues in discussion forums

There is a clear and absolute need for government to get involved in the health care sector. You seem to forget how upset people were with the non-government, pure private sector-based health care system that left 49 million Americans uninsured. When those facts are mentioned to people abroad, they think of America as having a Third World type health care system. Few Japanese, Canadians, or Europeans would trade their existing health care coverage for what they perceive as the gross inequities in the US Health Care System.

The Affordable Care Act, I agree, completely fails to address the fundamental cost driver of health care. For example, it perpetuates and even exacerbates the tendency of consumers to purchase health services without any regard to price. Efficiency in private markets requires cost-conscious consumers; we don’t have that in health care.

I am glad the ACA was passed. It is a step in the right direction. As noted, there are problems with the ACA including the “preventive health visits” to the doctor, which are supposed to be covered 100% by insurance but may not be if any diagnostic code is entered on the claim form.

Congress is so polarized on health care that the only way to get changes is with a groundswell of popular support. I don’t think a letter writing campaign is the correct way to reform payment for the “preventive health visits.” If enough consumers advise their doctors that this particular visit is to be treated solely as a preventive health visit, and they will not pay for any service in the event the doctor’s office miscodes the visit with anything else, then the medical establishment will take notice and use its lobbying arm to make Congress aware of the problem.

COMMENT: Should there not be an agreement up front between both parties on what actions that will be taken if said item is found or said event should be seen or occur? Should their be a box on the pre-surgical form giving the patient the right to denying the doctor to take proper action (deemed by whom?) if they see a need to? Checking this box would save the patient the cost of the procedure, and give them time for a consult. If there is not a box to check, why isn’t there one?

There are two separate questions posed by the checkbox election for procedures. First, does a patient have a legal right to check such a box or instruct a physician/surgeon orally or in writing that he does not give consent for that procedure to be performed? The answer to that question is yes.

The second question is does it serve the economic interest of the patient to check that box? For the colonoscopy, in theory the patient would get his or her free preventive screening, but then be told the patient needs to schedule a second colonoscopy for removal of a suspicious polyp. In that case, the patient would eventually have to pay for a colonoscopy out of pocket (unless he had already met his yearly deductible), so there is no clear economic rationale for denying the physician the right to remove the polyp during the screening colonoscopy.

But we are using the much less common colonoscopy example. Instead, let’s return to preventive care with a primary care doctor. Should a patient have the right to check a box and say “I want this visit to cover routine preventive care and nothing more”? Certainly. There is way too much discretion afforded physicians to code up whatever they want on claim forms such that two physicians seeing the exact same patient might code up different procedures and diagnostics for the exact same preventive health screening visit.

When I expect to receive a “zero cost to me” preventive screening, I do not imply that I am willing to accept a “bait and switch” change of procedure and payment due to the doctor from me. The “zero cost to me” induces consumers to go to the office visit; it is actually paid for out of the profits earned by the health insurance firms to whom consumers pay monthly premiums. Consumers need to hold doctors financially accountable for their claim billing practices. If you are quoted a “zero price” for a visit, the doctor’s office better honor that price, or it amounts to fraud.

It is all too easy to find any little old thing to justify billing a patient for a sick visit instead of a wellness visit. However, it is up to the patient to prevent that kind of profiteering at his or her expense.

It would be wonderful if HHS would give carriers the proper code or specify that other diagnostic codes cannot negate the preventive screening code used for a wellness visit. That is not happening now. DHS has been bombarded with so many questions and suggestions for health care reform that the department has a fortress like mentality. So realistically, consumers cannot expect DHS to address the coding issue for preventive health screenings any time soon. That leaves the full burden to fall on each consumer to ensure the doctor’s billing practices match the patient’s expectations for a free preventive health office visit.

I investigated the web site and discovered some inconsistencies. For example, the site purports to list the services covered under the “preventive health” coverage benefit, yet it omits the annual physical exam. Also, the site states that colorectal cancer screening are provided for people age 50 or older. However, I have been advised in writing that United Healthcare will cover preventive screening colonoscopies for people under age 50. In essence, that government web page is a good start to learn about preventive health care benefits, but a better source would be each consumer’s own health insurance carrier. For those with temporary insurance or who are without any insurance coverage, unfortunately, the preventive health benefit of the ACA will not have any practical consequence.

Where will the money come from for the preventive health screening visit to a primary care doctor as well as the screening colonoscopy? We have to look at different scenarios. If the patient indeed has preventive health screenings with no other medical diagnoses, then the patient will be charged $0 for these services, and they will be paid for by the insurance carrier. The insurance carrier will pay these costs out of its operating income or profits. There is simply no other source for payment. The government has not offered to pay the insurance companies for these services.

If the patient is hit with various medical diagnostic codes during these preventive health screenings, then he or she will pay his customary charge for the primary care doctor’s office visit and the contract-negotiated price for the diagnostic colonoscopy. In that scenario, the consumer will be paying most of these costs, although the visit to the primary doc may be limited up to any applicable copay amount.

It is not a big shock or surprise to say preventive health care is going to be borne by health insurance carriers. The extent to which these carriers can pass along costs to consumers through higher rates depends on the degree of competition in their markets. advises me that for the vast majority of states, the insurance carriers have NOT been able to shift these costs onto consumers through higher rates. That may change in 2013 or 2014. However, the trend is clearly moving in the direction of more power for consumers, more options and carriers available to supply health insurance in their states, which means greater competition and lower prices.

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Intramural Fibroid – Stop the Discomfort of an Intramural Fibroid

If you have an intramural fibroid, chances are you suffer from pain, bloating, and heavy bleeding. In addition, you may have problems trying to become pregnant as well. Instead of having surgery to remove these growths, many people hunt for natural ways to get of an intramural fibroid, and take their life back. Some techniques that help ease the pain of these growths are:

1. Often, weight is a factor when you have an intramural fibroid. Losing some weight can often reduce the chances that more will grow, since estrogen is balanced more correctly.

2. Soy is full of is flavones, and this can aid in the reduction of symptoms. It takes about 80 mg each day for this to work, and it helps to stop estrogen from stimulating the uterine tissue.

3. Herbal therapies- There are many different herbal therapies that help women who have an intramural fibroid, like blending red clover and chaparral, which shrinks these growths. These herbs allow the body to fight off the growth of a fibroid.

4. If you suffer from heavy bleeding, the use of natural iron supplements is wise, like yellow dock, red raspberry, and an herbal iron formula to fight off anemia.

5. A high fiber diet that is low in fat is also useful to slow the production of estrogen, which is what these growths live on. Adding Vitamin E to the diet is helpful since it lowers bad cholesterol. Adding fiber is also good for lowering cholesterol and reducing fibroid growths.

Women having to live with an intramural fibroid often have many questions, and want a way to cure them without having to go through surgery. There is now a way to completely rid your body of the symptoms of fibroids in just 12 hours, and in two months, they will be gone for good!