Mitral Valve Prolapse: Get The Facts Before Treating – It Could Be Dysautonomia

Many people are diagnosed each year with mitral valve prolapse, which indicates that one or both of the mitral valves aren’t opening and shutting correctly as blood is pumped from the top part of the heart to the bottom part where it then goes out to the rest of the body. This diagnosis infers that the valve is prolapsed due to a structural problem with the valve itself, requiring surgical correction or replacement to correct the problem.

People usually go to the doctor with symptoms like lightheadedness or fainting (syncope), racing heart when standing (tachycardia), gastrointestinal issues, general fatigue, low blood pressure, numbness, brain fog, etc., and when tests indicate that blood flow through the heart isn’t right, or it looks like the valves aren’t opening and shutting right, then the diagnosis is often mitral valve prolapse. Then for some reason, this diagnosis infers that there is something structurally wrong with the valve. What’s important to keep in mind about this diagnosis is that the dysfunction of the valve may not be a structural defect that requires surgery–it may actually be a dysfunction of the autonomic nervous system or dysautonomia that is actually behind the valve not operating properly.

As you might guess, mitral valve prolapse often has symptoms similar to dysautonomia symptoms. And when they can’t put their finger on exactly what is causing the valve dysfunction or the group of symptoms, they call it MVP syndrome–which is actually dysautonomia when you get down to the details. Fortunately, many forms of dysautonomia can be treated and effectively with a variety of natural treatment options including nutritional supplementation, exercise, maintaining proper water and electrolyte balance, and other things that don’t require surgery.

Granted, in some cases there is a structural defect or problem with the valve that does require surgery to correct. But if there’s any doubt at all about that, it can be more than worth your while to seek the opinion of an autonomic disorder specialist or dysautonomia doctor and at least let them run a few tests, and certainly before undergoing surgery. And the best places to do that is to Google something like dysautonomia doctor or dysautonomia treatment center. Even if there isn’t one locally where you are, it can be worth it to travel to a top-rated clinic and get some definitive answers before you start other treatment protocols. It is far better to be as clear as possible about what is going on and then begin treatment than to start treatments when you’re not sure.

Common Causes of Heart Attack

Causes of heart attack have made people dumbfounded as heart attack is the chief cause of sudden deaths in the universe today. Heart attacks are responsible for most sudden deaths around the world today. It manifests commonly as sudden collapse and eventual death during strenuous exercise in a healthy looking man or woman. Heart attack is no respecter of persons, colour or gender. There have been cases of heart diseases in the world today.

Causes of heart attack have remained mysterious to some people. The instances of sudden deaths of international athletes such as Florence Griffith Joyner, the fastest woman sprinter of all time died suddenly at the age of 38 of heart disease. It was a shocking news to Americans on September 21, 1998 as the sprinter was in sound health. Similar cases of heart disease have been recorded in the world history. In 2002, a Cameroonian player died suddenly during the confederation cup semi finals in France. Heart attack killed him.

What is the definition of heart disease one may ask. Firstly, think of the heart as a pumping machine that pushes blood through a series of pipes called the blood vessels in order to provide oxygen to various tissues, including the heart muscle itself. The arteries that supply blood to the heart itself are called coronary arteries. If there is damage to the heart arteries over a period of time, it is called coronary artery disease or simply heart disease. On the other hand, if there is sudden blockage of the heart artery, the oxygen supply to the affected part of the heart muscle may be partly or completely cut off. The latter which may lead to sudden death is called heart disease.

Heart Attack Statistics

Heart attacks are a common form of ischemic heart disease. The World Health Organization estimated in the year 2002 that over twelve percent of all worldwide deaths arose as a result of ischemic heart disease. In developed countries, it is the leading cause of death. In developing countries, however it comes third behind AIDS and lower respiratory infections.

Heart attacks, known by their medical name of acute myocardial infarction, is a state of disease that involves the interruption of the bloody supply to part of the heart. The result is a shortage of oxygen that can damage the heart tissue and potentially kill. Heart attacks are the leading cause of death all over the world. Major heart attack risk factors include a history of angina or vascular disease, a previous stroke or heart attack, old age, excessive alcohol, the abuse of illegal drugs, smoking, episodes of abnormal heart beat, obesity, high levels of stress, high or low cholesterol, high triglyceride levels, high blood pressure, and diabetes.

Heart disease forms the leading cause of death in the United States – it is even more common than cancer. An estimated one fifth of all deaths in America come as a result of coronary heart disease. Over thirteen million individuals across the nation suffer from coronary heart disease. Every year, over a million people suffer from coronary heart attacks; four out of every ten individuals die from their attacks.

Symptoms of heart attacks include anxiety, a feeling of impending doom, chest pain, sweating, shortness of breath, palpitations, nausea, and vomiting. Oftentimes, heart attack patients will feel sick very suddenly. The symptoms for heart attacks in men are often different from the symptoms in women. Women most often experience fatigue, shortness of breath, and a feeling of weakness. About one third of all heart attacks are silent and do not consist of any chest pain or associated symptoms.

Below, you will find some recent statistics for heart attacks in the United States.

452,327: the number of deaths due to heart attacks in the United States in the year 2004.

20: the percentage of all deaths due to heart attacks in the United States in the year 2004.

1.2 million: the average number of heart attacks that occur each year.

38: the percentage of all those who die from a coronary heart attack.

15.8 million: the number of heart attack patients who survive.

8.9 million: the estimated amount of angina patients in the United States.

400,000: the number of new angina cases each year in the United States.

233,000: the number of women who died from cardiovascular disease each year.

14 million: the number of Americans afflicted with some form of heart disease or angina.

50: the percentage of deaths that occur one hour after a heart attack when not treated.

60 billion: the amount of dollars spent on heart attack treatment and prevention each year.

20: every 20 seconds, a new heart attack occurs somewhere in America.

60: every minute, another heart attack death occurs.

How Do You Get Heart Disease?

Heart disease is not exactly a single disease, but many possible diseases related to the heart. The most common disease is coronary artery disease, which is the leading cause of death in Americans.

There are quite a few risk factors that can cause heart disease. Diseases related to the heart can come in many different forms. The most common are coronary artery disease, high blood pressure, and stroke. It is close to the leading cause of death in all adults. This has caused lots of research on the disease and researchers have come up with many risk factors that can cause heart disease. The more risk factors you have, the more likely you are to develop a cardiovascular disease.

Major risk factors include:

  • High Blood Pressure
  • High Cholesterol
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Smoking
  • Physical Inactivity
  • Gender
  • Heredity
  • Age

Minor risk factors include:

  • Stress
  • Sex Hormones
  • Birth Control Pills
  • Excess Alcohol

Symptoms of Heart Disease

Every heart disease has different symptoms, but many of them have similar symptoms. In most cases, it depends on the severity of your heart’s condition as to whether you can identify any symptoms. The most common symptom is angina, which is a strong, burning pressure in the chest that is very uncomfortable. Other possible symptoms are:

  • Sweating
  • Nausea
  • Weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Fast Heartbeat
  • Irregular Heartbeats
  • Shortness of Breath

Heart Disease and Exercise

Physical activity is very important because it is a major prevention method for heart disease. Besides, physical inactivity can cause many other risk factors like obesity, high blood pressure, and diabetes. Regular aerobic exercise will significantly increase the chances of preventing heart disease and help promote overall health.

Heart Disease Medication

In more serious cases when lifestyle choices are not enough to help with heart disease, medications can be used to help correct heart issues. Many of the most common medications used are aspirin, ACE inhibitors, beta blockers, nitrates, diuretics and statins. You should always consult with your doctor about medications, how to take them, and if you are having any negative side effects from them.

Massage Contraindications – Why Some People Cannot Receive a Massage

Massage therapy is a wonderful and beneficial form of holistic health care. Massage can provide stress relief, muscle tension relief, improve circulation, and the list goes on. But massage can be detrimental to your health if you have certain physical conditions, illnesses, or disease. You can also put your therapist at risk of contracting certain illness or disease if you are in a contagious state of health.

The term “massage contraindication” means you are not able to receive massage, or the massage may be limited to certain areas of your body. When you are contraindicated for a massage it is for your health and safety as well as the massage therapists. Not all contraindications mean that you will never be able to have a massage. There are two types of contraindications: local contraindications and absolute contraindications.

Local Contraindications

Local contraindications are conditions involving a pathology related illness/disease or an acute injury. These conditions mean caution must be exercised and the massage must be adapted to the condition. This is to ensure the safety of both the client and the therapist. For the client, the massage must be adjusted as to ensure it will not spread the condition, or further injure the client. For the therapist, it is to ensure the therapist does not contract the disease.

If you have what is determined to be a local contraindication your therapist may require a doctor’s release before he will agree to provide you with a massage. While some local contraindications only require that you and your therapist discuss the condition and tailor the massage accordingly. In either case, it is the therapist that will make the final decision as to whether or not you will be able to receive the massage. This is done to protect your health and safety as well as the massage therapist.

A massage may be adjusted for a local contraindication in several ways. It can mean an area is to be avoided, such a the lower leg of a recently sprained ankle. It can require that the pressure be adjusted during the massage. The position in which the client is lying the massage table is adjusted, such as using a side lying position for pregnant women. It can also mean the time allowed for the massage be adjusted.

Some of the more common local contraindications include, but are not limited to: Abnormal lumps, Ance Vulgaris, athlete’s foot, blisters, bruises, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Colitis, Crohn’s Disease, Cystitis (Baker’s and sebaceous), Decubitus Ulcers, Gouty Arthritis, Graves’ Disease, hernia, Hyper and Hypothyroidism, infectious diseases, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, local inflammation, open wounds, Phlebitis, poison ivy – oak – sumac, Shingles, swollen lymph glands, ulcers, unhealed burns (sunburn if not widespread), Varicose Veins, and warts.

The following conditions will require a medical doctors clearance: Acromegaly, Aneurysm, Atherosclerosis, Burns, Cancer, Cerebrovascular accident, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, Congestive Heart Failure, Coronary Artery Disease, Hemophelia, Hodgkin’s Disease, Kidney Stones, Leukemia, Myasthenia Gravis, Nephrosis, Peritonitis, Polycystic Kidney Disease, and Uremia.

Absolute Contraindications

Absolute contraindications are conditions where you cannot receive a massage. Giving a massage to someone who has an absolute contraindication can result in serious health risks for the client and/or the therapist. Some absolute contraindications can even cause death to the client.

Not all absolute contraindications are permanent; meaning you may have a condition that, once it clears, you can receive a massage. These conditions are typically an illness such as a viral infection. Some conditions are permanent and unfortunately if you have one, you will not be able to receive massage. In either case, as long as the condition is in an acute stage, you will be denied massage therapy.

The following is a list of common, but temporary, absolute contraindications for massage: Chickenpox, Contact Dermatitis (if wide spread), diarrhea (if due to infection), fever, German Measles, Gout (during acute phase), Hepatitis, Hives, High Blood Pressure (unless controlled by medication, diet or exercise) Influenza (the flu), lice, Lupus (during a flare up), measles, Mononucleosis (mono), Mumps, Pneumonia, Ringworm, recent injuries or surgeries, Scabies, and Tonsillitis. This list is not definitive, but a list of the more common conditions that are absolute contraindications. These are all temporary conditions that once they have run their course, you can receive a massage.

The following conditions are a permanent condition that will prevent you from receiving a massage. These are serious conditions and if you receive a massage it can cause further health related problems or even death. Your massage therapist must be informed of these conditions. This is one of the reasons you are required fill out a health history form when you enter a professional massage therapists office.

Some common absolute permanent contraindications (this is not a definitive list): Blood Clots, Cirrhosis of the liver, Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT), Embolism, Hypertension (unless controlled by medication, diet or exercise), Intestinal obstruction, Kidney failure, Lymphangitis, Myocarditis, Pericarditis, Pulmonary Embolism, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), Syncope (fainting), and Tuberculosis.

While massage has many benefits certain conditions warrant caution. If you have a condition that has not been listed here, or you are unclear about whether you can receive massage, talk to your massage therapist and you family doctor. They will both be happy to discuss this with you. Remember, if you are turned down for a massage because of a condition you have, it is because the massage therapist has your best health at interest.

How to Grow Grape Vines

Before you start growing grape vines, it is imperative to build a trellis system to support your vines.

Constructing a trellis

The trellis should be constructed with heavy treated posts. Light-weight trellises will give you nothing but trouble later on, so spend the time and money to build it the right way the first time.

End posts should be solid because they will carry the bulk of the weight. Treaded wooden posts, measuring 6 to 8 inches in diameter or a heavy gauge 4-inch metal pipe will work. Brace the end posts using a deadman, screw anchor, or H-end post brace.

A 9-foot end post should be set 3 feet into the ground with 6 feet sticking up to support the wires. Intermediate posts are set every 50 to 80 feet along the row to give extra support. Treated landscape timbers work well as intermediate posts. A 2 x 2 treated stake or metal T-post is placed at the location of each grape vine (every 8 feet).

High tension galvanized wire, size 9 to 13 gauge, is usually recommended. You will need 2 wires to support the grape vines and an optional wire to support the drip irrigation line. The irrigation wire should be hung at a height of 18 to 24 inches. The other two wires are hung at 4 feet and 6 feet. Once you have completed this step you may plant your vines. A similar structure can be built for muscadines, but the grapes should be planted 20 to 22 feet apart.

Training and Pruning

Vines should be purchased and planted during the dormant season (December through February). It is best to have the vineyard trellis already constructed and ready to go before planting the vines. Trim off any dead wood and damaged or diseased roots. Plant the vines in existing soil in a location with good drainage.

After planting, trim the vine back to 2 good, healthy buds and tie it to the stake. As the vines grow, the strongest shoot can be trained up the stake to become the main trunk.

At this point you must decide which training system you plan to use. There are two main systems in use today: the cordon system and the cane system.

Cordon System

As soon as the main trunk reaches the wire located at 4 feet above the ground, the tip should be pinched out to encourage branching. Remove any suckers that develop along the trunk and select two lateral shoots to train down the wire. These lateral shoots will become the permanent scaffolds for the life of the vine.

By the end of the fruit growing season, the main framework should be fairly developed. The lateral branches should be attached to the wire and trimmed back until they are 4 feet long. Any branches that may have developed on the laterals should be removed at this time.

During the second growing season, select only upright cordons, allow them to grow until the new growth can be attached to the top wire of the trellis. Any fruit that develops during the second season should be removed.

By the end of the second season, you should have completed the basic structure of the cordon system. Grapes produce their fruiting canes (cordons) from the healthy buds on last year’s wood. Each cane will produce about two clusters of grapes and an average healthy vine will only support 60 to 90 bunches. This means that each year, only 30 to 45 healthy buds should remain after pruning.

With the cordon system, you should prune the vines each year, usually in December. Select 15 to 22 upright cordons and prune them back to 2 buds. The grape spurs should be spaced 4 to 6 inches apart along the lateral branches. These grape spurs will support the next season’s fruiting canes. When you have finished pruning the vine, all that will remain in the main trunk, two 4-foot-long lateral branches, and 15 to 22 grape spurs with 2 buds each. Now the number of spurs will vary from year to year, based on the rate of growth. A very vigorous vine producing more than 4 feet of new growth can have a few more buds, while a vine producing less than 2 feet of growth should have less buds remaining after pruning. This same pruning system will be used throughout the life of the vine.

Cane System

The cordon system is the most common training system in use today, but some varieties produce better using the cane system. Begin the same way with the cane system as you would with the cordon system. When the vine reaches the bottom wire, it should be tipped to encourage branching. Select two lateral branches and train them down the wires. Attach the vines to the trellis with vineyard ties every foot or so. Tie a third upright shoot to the stake and train it toward the top wire. If it gets to the top wire, it too should be tipped and the 2 laterals should be trained down the top wire.

By the end of the first growing season, you will ideally have a main trunk to the top wire and 2 to 4 lateral branches. Everything else should be removed. The lateral branches can be cut back, leaving 12- to 18-inch stubs. Remember do not let the vines produce the second season.

The second year, allow the vines to grow but not to bear. In December, once the vine is dormant, select 4 strong arms or laterals and attach them to the wires. Near the main trunk, find a renewal cane and prune it back to 2 buds. These spurs will develop into replacement cane for the next season’s crop. The 4 laterals should be pruned back, leaving a total of 30 to 45 buds.

Once you have finished pruning the grapes, all that will remain is a main trunk, 4 renewal spurs, and 4 lateral canes with a total of 30 to 45 buds. As with the cordon system, the rate of growth determines how many buds remain after pruning. Each year, you should remove all but 4 of the new canes and 4 renewal spurs.

Benign Tumors

Tumors come in two varieties: benign and malignant. Of the two types, benign tumors are the type a person should chose if given the option. Benign tumors do not come back once removed and don’t spread to other parts of the body. 

Tumors in general are masses of tissue that have no actual useful purpose. They are known for stripping healthy tissues of nutrients and other vital resources. Benign tumors are slow growing creatures that are much less likely to cause significant health problems requiring chemotherapy or radiation therapy. Just because they do not result in serious forms of cancer does not mean that a benign tumor can be ignored. Many tumors start out as benign and then become malignant.

Cancer tumors have three general properties. Benign tumors lack all of these properties and so are not really cancerous. The properties of any cancerous tumor are that it:

1. Grows at an unlimited pace in an aggressive manner

2. Invades surrounding tissues

3. Metastasizes

Moles and uterine fibroids are common examples of benign tumors. A word of caution with moles though as they frequently are present on individuals that are more at risk for skin cancer.

Giving a tumor the label “benign” implies that the tumor is a mild and non-progressive disease. Many types of benign tumors are really harmless to health. Some neoplasms, however, that are called “benign tumors” because they lack the invasiveness of a truly cancerous tumor can still produce negative health effects. Just because a tumor is benign doesn’t mean that it will have zero health effects. One of the most common effects of a benign tumor is a “mass effect” in which vital organs like blood vessels can be compressed.

Benign tumors are usually confined to a specific area. This inhibits their ability to become malignant or even act in a malignant manner. While this is generally true, benign tumors should be taken seriously as many types have the potential to become malignant.

When the benign tumor undergoes additional genetic changes, it can become malignant. When a tumor changes, the cells themselves show specific abnormalities in their cell maturation process and in their  appearance. This is generally called dysplasia. 

If a benign tumor is of a type that is not likely to become malignant, it might not need treatment at all. When it is in a location where there is a history of benign tumors becoming malignant, most doctors will remove them. Surgery is the most common way of removing benign tumors. This type typically doesn’t respond to chemotherapy or radiation.  

For more information on cancer and its causes, please visit

Bronchopneumonia – Treatment and Causes

Bronchopneumonia can be explained as a respiratory condition, which is connected with the lung. It commonly refers to people who firstly have pneumonia and whose situation wasn`t so bad and they have been treated at home. However, in the progress of the illness, bronchopneumonia should be treated in hospital. It affects millions of people every year all over the world and more especially in the Third World.

Bronchopneumonia can be caused by bacteria, viruses and fungi. The bacteria Streptococcus pneumonia is mostly common seen in adults. If you have a broken immune system, you might get attacked by the Legionella pneumophila bacteria. In the most criticizes organisms Tuberculosis is the most frequent cause of bronchopneumonia. In the past Tuberculosis had lead to dead.

There are a lot of risks, which may drive you to bronchopneumonia. Smokers and the people who had been suffering long time from diseases related to heart, have liver cirrhosis or are diabetics, are in the most risky group. Also, if you have already been operated or you have a lung disease, there is an about 70% more chance to catch bronchopneumonia. The best vaccinen is to have a healthy lifestyle, without any cigarettes, alcohol and a regular sport activity.

The difficulties in breathing are the first signs that you have pneumonia. As above mentioned, the pneumonia is the first stage of bronchopneumonia. The crackles in your chest are the first symptom of Bronchopneumonia. In some cases and only after a decision of your doctor, you may be obligated to make some more tests, including CBC- checking of your white blood cell counts, also checking your arterials to see if there is enough oxygen, getting into the blood via the lungs and etc.

The treatment of bronchopneumonia is quite individually. After a consultation with a doctor, there is even a possibility of going into a hospital. Of course, despite of the diagnosis, there are some factors, which cannot be neglect. If you are over 65 years or a small kid, your doctor will be obligated to send you to a hospital. Furthermore, if you have other serious illness or there is no effect from the treatment at home, you will have to go to a hospital, because of your situation.

The regular treatment is about 2 weeks. If there are some complications, there is a possibility to protract the stay in the hospital. In most cases these are people, who have problems with heart or are diabetics.

Dirty hands, smoking cigarettes and the bad lifestyle at all are one of the biggest agents of the illness.

Get Best Home Remedies for Pleurisy

Pleurisy is the state in which the pleural cavity of the lungs gets inflated. This state of the pleura occurs mainly due to infections in the lungs. When the pleura get inflated the two layers of pleura rub against each other every time during inhaling and exhaling air due to which chronic chest pain occurs during breathing.

There are many reasons behind the occurrence of pleurisy such as viral infection, lung cancer, pneumonia, chest injury, blood clot in lung etc. The pain in chest in the condition of pleurisy mainly occurs during deep breathing, physical work and coughing. The state of pleurisy makes breathing very painful.

The condition of pleurisy may also occur due to pleural effusion in which fluid get accumulated between the lining of pleura and results in swelling of pleura. Pleural effusion occurs in case of mesothelioma or lung cancer. If pleural effusion is there in case of pleurisy then there is no pain as the fluid acts as lubricant but when the fluid gets deposited in the pleura in large amount, it exerts pressure on the pleura due to which there is improper functioning of the lungs which results in shortening of breadth and other symptoms.

There are certain home remedies for pleurisy which have proven to be effective. They are as follows:

1. When the first symptom of pleurisy occurs, the patient should go on complete fasting and should have only few glasses of water in a day and should increase slowly the amount of water intake day by day.

2. Every day the hot chest pack should be applied gently for 2 to 3 times which will help in relieving the pain and swelling.

3. Milk is very beneficial for the treatment of pleurisy. The intake of milk should is in large amount and should be increased every day but it should not exceed 4 liters.

4. Air bath and sun bath are very helpful methods in curing or decreasing the pain which occurs in pleurisy.

5. The patient should take proper rest and should inhale clean air. So it is advised that the patient should be kept away from the pollution prone areas.

6. Water bath should be taken from the water having temperature exactly 100 degree Fahrenheit for at least one hour. This method help in relieving the pain of chest and it also helps in reduction of the swelling of the pleura of lungs.

7. Patient should sleep in the side in which the pain is less this will help in reducing pain and swelling.

8. Using herbs like hog weed (punarnava) is helpful in reducing pain and swelling. It also heals the symptoms occurring in the lungs due to pleurisy. The powder of the root of hog weed should be taken two to three times a day and it is very in the treatment of pleurisy.

9. Linseed (alsi) can be applied in form of loose paste and it shows excellent results in the treatment.

10. Celery (Ajwain-ka-patta) is also a useful herb in the treatment of pleurisy. Seeds of celery are also useful in treating other types of infections.

Cold and Flu Treatment – 7 Secrets to Speed Up Recovery

Just about anyone who has undergone cold and flu treatment will tell you how annoying and irritating both these conditions can be, and the toll it takes on your daily routine and more importantly, your health.

From my earliest recollection of having the cold or the flu, it involved a lot of coughing and sneezing and just snapping at almost everyone who dared to come near the sniffling, sneezing monster.

And it wasn’t funny at all with numerous visits to the bathroom or not finding a tissue when you need one and most of all, the quarantine period.

Both these illnesses are due to viruses, with the common cold and the flu spread through one’s saliva or nasal secretions. Of course, when you take the necessary precautions, you wouldn’t need to worry, but in the case that you do contract either of these irritants, you’ll be happy to know that we will explore how the common cold and the flu are best treated.

Now, both share many of the same symptoms: chest discomfort, cough, stuffy nose, sneezing and a sore throat. But before you think that both these ailments are one and the same, think again. If we draw a comparison, the flu is the nastier of the two by a long shot.

So, here are some additional symptoms more associated with the flu: High fever, chills, headache, intense muscle pains, exhaustion, and a loss of appetite which could last for almost a week, and if not treated could lead to pneumonia. The common cold, however, is not that debilitating, yet is annoying in is own way with the symptoms lasting for three to fours days at the most.

Now if you have caught a cold, you’d use antibiotics… right? Wrong. Yes, you heard me. Antibiotics are not effective with viral attacks, and the common cold is the work of a virus, nor is there any recommended antiviral drug for colds. So, what then?

Colds are not necessarily treated with a course of medicine as they hardly last that long but only in the case of patients or old people who have a long history of medication are serious countermeasures taken. However, in order to combat the symptoms of the common cold, the use of decongestants and anti-histamines can be helpful.

Decongestants help you breathe easy whereas antihistamines are very effective when it comes to dealing with a running nose and bouts of sneezing. Now in the case of cough-related illnesses, anti-tussives and expectorants are used widely to suppress the urge to cough and of course, ease the patient’s respiratory tract by dissolving the mucus that has thickened.

Another recent development is the use of Zinc supplements to shorten the duration of the common cold.

In the case of the flu, the most common method of treatment is through the use of antiviral drugs that are commonly prescribed by your physician. They target and eliminate the viruses responsible for the attack on your body’s system. Amantadine, rimantadine, zanamivir and oseltamivir are antiviral-drugs that are used in this form of treatment.

Another method involves providing relief from the symptoms of the flu, while allowing the body’s immune system to destroy the viral infection itself.

I forget the exact quote or author, but it’s a great one: “Modern medicine is used to distract the patient, while the body heals itself.”

Cold and Flu Treatment – 7 Secrets to Speed Up Recovery

  1. Stay at home
  2. Get plenty of rest
  3. Drink a lot of liquids
  4. Avoid alcohol use and tobacco smoke
  5. Consider over-the-counter medications to relieve flu symptoms
  6. Consult a doctor early on for best possible treatment
  7. Remain alert for emergency warning signs

Obvious? Maybe. Regularly practiced? Definitely not.

Bronchitis and Its Effects

Bronchitis is a very common respiratory disease. It can accompany flu or cold and it occurs in people of all ages. Smokers and people with weak immune system are very exposed to developing chronic bronchitis and in some cases asthmatic bronchitis. Smoking is considered to be a serious factor of risk in the development of bronchitis and it can lead to complications such as pneumonia.

Bronchitis is mostly caused by viruses, in which case the illness clears on itself within days, without medical treatment. However, if the illness is caused by bacteria, medical treatment with antibiotics is required for overcoming bronchitis completely. Bronchitis can be either acute or chronic. The acute form of the illness generates intense symptoms, but if it caused by viruses, it usually clears up quickly. Acute bronchitis is very common in people of all ages and rarely requires medical treatment. Chronic bronchitis generates milder symptoms, which can aggravate in time. This form of illness is persistent and has a recidivating character. Chronic bronchitis needs continuous treatment until the illness is completely overcome, otherwise the symptoms will quickly reoccur. This form of bronchitis involves bacterial infection and needs specific, long-term medical treatment with antibiotics. Chronic bronchitis has a very high incidence in smokers and people with weak immune system.

Bronchitis generates symptoms such as cough, excess production of mucus, shortness of breath, chest pain, soreness and discomfort, wheezing, headache and fever. The presence of fever can point to bacterial infections and possible complications. Bronchitis is difficult to diagnose, considering the fact that its symptoms are also common to many other respiratory conditions (asthma, sinusitis). However, careful physical examinations and laboratory analyses can reveal the presence of bronchitis in most patients. Bronchitis is one of the most common respiratory illnesses among chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases (COPD). Despite its high incidence in people with respiratory conditions, bronchitis is often misdiagnosed. A clinical examination of patients with bronchitis is sometimes insufficient in revealing the actual cause of illness. Bronchitis is often misdiagnosed and confused with asthma, sinusitis or allergies.

If bronchitis isn’t caused by bacterial infections, the aim of medical treatments is to unblock the obstructed airways of the respiratory tract. Bronchitis causes inflammation of the mucous membrane, bronchial tubes and other organs and tissues involved in the process of breathing. When these fragile respiratory organs become inflamed and irritated, they produce excess mucus, in an attempt to protect themselves from external agents (dust particles, irritants). This excess of mucus clogs the airways and obstructs the access of air to the lungs, causing difficulty breathing, wheezing and cough. Medical treatments often include inhaled medicines which help unblock the airways of the respiratory tract. Such medicines are called bronchodilators and are mostly used in chronic bronchitis and asthmatic bronchitis.

Bronchitis needs appropriate treatment in order to be fully overcome. If you experience difficulty breathing or persistent cough, it is advised to seek medical help. Left untreated, bronchitis can aggravate and lead to serious complications.

Dislocated Fingers – Prehospital Treatment

I see them all the time in the ER, and they can cause a whole lot of pain. That’s not to mention the horror of seeing your finger take a left turn from your other ones. When an injury occurs during sports or out in the backwoods, you often can’t just drop what your doing and go to the ER. Many coaches or trainers will attempt to relocate the finger, sometimes fixing it, sometimes not! Here’s a basic guide to show you when, and how to attempt a finger relocation:

  1. Just keep in mind that you’ll eventually have to have a doctor look at it.
  2. If the dislocation is absolutely unbearably painful, or if the victim will not let you attempt a relocation, then simply splint it in it’s present position, so you can to minimize the discomfort from the affected area bouncing around, and go to the ER.
  3. If you decide to continue….
    1. Gently squeeze the middle of the bones, NOT THE JOINT, in an attempt to see if the bone is broken. If you hear any crunching, stop, splint, go to ER.
    2. Then feel the joint gently. Try to ascertain whether the tip of the distal (farther) bone is dislocated above or below the tip of the proximal (closer) bone.
    3. If you’re sure that the bones aren’t broken, the grab the first bone with one hand (the side before the dislocated joint), then grab the distal bone (the bone after the dislocated joint) and pull firmly.
    4. Many times you’ll have to apply direct pressure to the joint, with your thumb and forefinger, while pulling. In other words, you’ll take the joint between your thumb and index finger and pull the distal bone, while making a squeezing snapping motion.
    5. This maneuver isn’t for the queasy. It hurts like hell, but it feels better immediately after it’s back in. With that in mind, do it FAST AND DELIBERATELY. Don’t be wimpy and try not to hurt your buddy, just get it in the first time. If you feel any crunching like broken glass, STOP!
    6. You’ll feel it literally flop or pop back into place if you are successful.
    7. Check for full range of motion, or a remaining deformity, then go see a doctor.
    8. Have a beer, you deserve it!

Hip Dislocations – Anterior and Posterior Types – The Use of a Brace To Promote Healing

Have you ever dislocated your hip?

Or, do you know someone that has dislocated their hip?

1.) Introduction

Hip dislocations can be generally classified into one of two types, either congenital or traumatic in nature (anterior and posterior dislocation to be discussed later on).

A.) Congenital: The incidence of congenital hip dislocations is approximately 2-4 cases per every 1000 births. 80-85% of congenital cases will affect females. Hip dislocations that are congenital in nature are commonly the result of a femoral head or acetabular dysplasia.

B.) Traumatic Hip Dislocations: Traumatic, high energy dislocations that are caused by blunt force also happen in the adult community. In addition to natural hip joints, prosthetic hip joints may dislocate with far less force. When a dislocation of the hip joint occurs, it is considered to be an orthopedic emergency. Timely treatment may reduce the negative side effects of a hip dislocation of this kind.

2.) The Hip Joint

The hip is a joint is considered to be a ball-socket joint. The femoral head (top of the thigh bone) is normally situated deep within the acetabular socket. This is enhanced by the cartilaginous labrum that is present as well.

3.) Causes of Hip Dislocations

A.) MVC (Motor vehicle crashes) account for approximately two thirds of traumatic hip dislocations.

B.) Falls and sports injuries are also common reasons why people suffer from a hip dislocation.

4.) Anterior Dislocation

When an anterior disclocation occurs, the femoral head is located anterior (in front of) the acetabulum. The femoral head in these cases dislocates because of a hyperextension force (like bending your body back behind your legs) and an abducted leg (abduction is when the leg is away from midline).

5.) Posterior Dislocation

Posterior dislocations of the hip account for approximately 80-90% of hip dislocations that are associated with motor vehicle crashes. During a MVC, a force can strike a flexed knee that hits the dashboard. This will then send a force up the femur to the hip. If however, the leg is straight and the knee is locked, the force can travel up the leg to the hip joint, as the force comes through the floorboard of the vehicle.

6.) Hip Abduction Braces

Orthoses (braces) for the hip can help to secure an injured or unstable hip. These braces are best provided by a local, licensed orthotist and help to control excessive movements in the wrong direction during the healing process. The braces can help provide security to the hip when it is unstable after an injury has occurred.

*Note: This is health information. Medical advice on bracing should be provided to you by your local, licensed orthotist.

Operative Treatment of Ankle Fractures With Orthopedic Surgery

An ankle fracture is one of most common broken bones people sustain. It typically occurs from a rotating or a twisting injury as a result of either a car accident or a sporting injury. Typically patients sustain a ligament sprain or strain first and then if the twisting is bad enough the ankle goes on to sustain a break.

It can be difficult after twisting an ankle to tell whether or not there’s actually a fracture or not. If there is a gross deformity apparent with the ankle where the bone comes through the skin, then it is not so subtle. If a person cannot bear weight on the ankle, or the pain remains intolerable despite over-the-counter pain medications, or numbness is present, then it will be a good idea to go to an emergency room or see your family doctor.

In the emergency room or at the doctors office, an exam will consist of checking to see if pulses are present and to make sure the patient can move the toes and that sensation is intact. In unusual circumstances, there may be issues with nerves or vessels being compressed from the broken bones. It may be necessary to expedite a reduction of the fracture (putting it back into place by manipulating it) quickly if this is what’s happening. X-rays can help tell whether not a fracture is present. If there is concern about whether or not the fracture goes into the ankle joint, a CAT scan may be necessary to see how bad the displacement is with joint involvement.

The most common place for an ankle fracture to occur is on the outside bone which is known as the fibula. This is called a lateral malleolus fracture and there are three different levels where the fracture may occur (above, below, or at the level of the joint). If the fracture is not out of place or barely displaced and the ankle is stable, surgery may be unnecessary. Some doctors will allow patients with this injury to bear weight right away, whereas others will have them on crutches with minimal or no weight for a few weeks.

If the fracture is displaced and the ankle shows instability on either physical examination or x-rays, surgery may be necessary. Patients are placed under general anesthesia for the procedure, and typically a temporary tourniquet is placed to minimize blood loss during the procedure.

Once the fracture area is reached during the operation, typically it is cleaned up and the bones are put back together to make it stable and a plate and screws are placed for stability purposes.

Treatment of a typical ankle fracture usually lasts between 30 minutes and an hour and a half. There are exceptions to this number however, so some of it depends on the experience of the surgeon and if there are any difficulties encountered during surgery.

If a fracture to the ankle occurs on the inside bones of the ankle, that is in the bone called the tibia. And that fracture is called a medial malleolus fracture. As with an ankle fracture on the outside bone, if it is non-displaced or it is a fracture below the level of the ankle joint and the pieces are small then surgery may not be necessary. If there is displacement and instability, surgery with a plate and screws or a wiring technique may help and be necessary.

In this area of the ankle, surgery may be considered even if there is no displacement of the fracture. There is a higher risk of the bones not healing in this area and if surgery is performed that healing potential increases and one can start moving the ankle earlier. Fractures on the inside of the ankle if they are impacted significantly may require bone grafting to lower the later risk of developing post traumatic arthritis.

Broken ankles that involve both the inside bone and the outside bone are called bimalleolar fractures. Along with the bony breaks, there are also ligament injuries and the ankle is inherently unstable when two bones are broken.

With a fracture of both sides (bimalleolar), these are considered unstable and operations are typically recommended. A splint may be placed if there is considerable swelling in order to let it go down prior to the procedure. Usually patients are not allowed to bear weight after surgery for approximately 6 weeks at which point the patients are allowed to start putting more more weight on the foot.

For the inside of the ankle, surgical techniques include either a plate and screws, screws by themselves, or potentially a wiring technique as well. There is a third area where fractures are sometime seen and this is the back part of the ankle called the posterior malleolus. This area is important to check on carefully because the piece of bone is covered by a lot of cartilage. If the broken piece on this area is larger than 25% of the ankle and is out of place by more than a couple millimeters, then surgery is typically indicated because otherwise there is a high chance it will not heal properly.

There are multiple options available for surgically treating a posterior malleolus fracture. One option is to place a screw from the front ankle to the back and another option is to go from the back of the ankle to the front, or a plate and a screw can be placed along the back of the bone which is called the tibia.

Along with a break of the ankle bone, the patient may have damage to the ligament that attaches the tibia bone to the fibula bone. This ligament is called the syndesmosis and injury to this by itself is known as a high ankle sprain. If it is associated with a broken ankle, then it may require an extra screw or two placed across the syndesmosis for extra stabilization.

Once the ankle fracture is operated on, healing in a normal situation takes around six weeks. If an individual is a smoker, or is older, or has diabetes or takes certain types of medications it may delay the healing considerably.

Complications that can occur after surgical treatment can include infection, bleeding, a blood clot in that leg, damage to tendons, nerves, or blood vessels, and a lot of pain. Additionally, the bones may have difficulty healing or post traumatic arthritis may set in. There also may be hardware related pain from the screws and rods used to fix the fracture. These can be removed months to years after the surgery once the bone has successfully healed. Once the bone is healed, the hardware is no longer really necessary. But most people don’t need it taken out.

Most surgeries for a broken ankle are fairly routine, however if the surgery involves significant trauma with high energy and the joint is involved, it can be a difficult surgery and there may be significant issues with swelling which may make it necessary to delay doing the surgery.

How Much is My Broken Bone Injury Worth? A Compensation Claim Guide

Making an injury compensation claim for a broken bone

When talking about injuries, saying you have a broken a bone in an accident doesn’t give any real indication of how serious your injury might have been. A broken bone could mean anything from a fairly uncomplicated fracture that may only take 2 months or so to heal, through to a compound fracture, of the type often caused by crushing injuries that might take much longer. In the most serious cases, a broken bone might affect your ability to return to work, or might permanently restrict your mobility, leading to big changes in your lifestyle.

To say that there are many different types of fracture that you could suffer in an accident would is a bit of an understatement. There are literally dozens of different ways that bones can break and be broken. Some of these types of fracture are specific to certain bones; others can happen to just about any bone in the body. Fractures can vary greatly in their severity, and also in terms of how difficult they are to treat. A simple fracture, where the bone has broken in only one pace and the skin around the break has not been broken can be much easier to treat than a compound fracture, which is where one or both ends of the bone break through the skin.

The treatment of a fracture that has been sustained in an accident obviously depends on the type of fracture, whether there are multiple fractures to the same bone and the location of that bone in the body. Common treatments for more straightforward fractures range from using a splint (commonly used for fractured fingers and toes) to some form of plaster cast or removable support designed to protect the bone and take the strain off it whilst it heals. For more serious fractures, such as those where a small part of the bone has detached from the rest (known as an avulsion fracture), treatment might take the form of an operation to either manually set the bones in the correct position so that they will heal by themselves, or metal or composite pins will be inserted to physically tie the pieces of bone together.