Reflexology and Edema

What is edema (also spelled oedema), anyway?

Well, it’s an observable swelling that comes from a fluid accumulation in body tissues.

And, edema most commonly occurs in the feet and legs, where it’s referred to as peripheral edema.

The swelling is the result of the accumulation of excess fluid under the skin in the spaces within the tissues. We already have fluid there, the interstitial fluid, but this is more than usual.

Other parts of the body, such as the face and hands, can also be affected.

As many of us know after a long day of shopping (or walking around an art museum, or just standing on our feet) – swelling or edema around the ankles etc., can happen. And, it can happen to anyone.

At night, the fluid tends to drain from the legs so that foot/ankle edema is usually less obvious when you get up in the morning.

But, is it serious?

Well, depending on how extreme it is and how long it’s been there… it could be!

Types of Edema



Most of us will have experienced edema in our everyday life.

We’ll notice that our rings don’t fit or our ankles are a little puffy. And if you’ve had a little too much alcohol, you’ll see it in the morning – right before your eyes – in that puffy face of yours.

It comes and it goes but if it stays – well that could mean something different..,

There are 2 main types of edema:

  • In non-pitting edema, which usually affects the legs or arms, pressure that is applied to the skin does not result in a persistent indentation.

Pitting edema which can be demonstrated by applying pressure to the swollen area by depressing the skin with a finger, and a persistent indentation occurs. That means that the skin does not spring back but rather the indentation from your finger pressure remains, which indicates something more serious.

Edema has been described as the result of venous ulceration, which is often caused by an increase in tissue pressure (increased fluid within the tissue) because of increased capillary permeability.

Some Causes of Edema

Certainly, there can be many causes for edema. Some are fleeting as I mentioned above, while others are much more serious.

If you have edema (or any swelling) and don’t know the cause, it’s important that you see your doctor. You’ll feel better to know that nothing is wrong… or, if there is, you’ll want to know that too.

Edema of the ankles and lower legs can be mild and passing or, it can accompany other conditions, including obesity, diseased leg veins, kidney disease, cirrhosis of the liver, anemia, and severe malnutrition. It might also be a characteristic of congestive heart failure.

And, there could be other factors that might contribute to its onset, including:

  • Eating a poor diet that’s high in salt and carbohydrates
  • Taking birth control or hormone replacement therapy pills
  • Pregnancy and PMS
  • Sodium retention
  • Varicose veins and history of phlebitis
  • Allergic reactions
  • Neuromuscular disorders
  • Trauma
  • Abusing drugs

Symptoms:

One symptom is when, initially, the feet and legs will appear swollen as the day progresses, but after a period of time, the swelling will set in first thing in the morning and continue to worsen throughout the day.

There’s probably a certain amount of edema that we can live with when it’s found to not be a problem.

But, it can become serious – particularly if the edema is advanced and has been around for a while – it might cause pitting (as mentioned above, when you press on the swollen area for a few seconds, you will notice an indentation in that area that continues long after the finger-pressure is removed). Continued swelling can cause skin ulcerations.

Over time, other symptoms could develop as a result of the fluid retention and the pressure on the tissue and the body:

  • High blood pressure
  • Headaches
  • pressure on the skin
  • Increased urination
  • Palpitations
  • Swollen hands and/or wrists
  • puffiness of the face around the eyes , in the feet, ankles, and legs
  • weight gain

Salt Intake and Edema

Okay, we know that food tastes better with salt and that’s why so many products and restaurants load their food up with it.

It’s usually in vast quantities in processed foods. Even ‘health foods’ can have lots and lots of salt (it’s a pity that salt, sugar and fat are things that make food taste better and are overused in our culture).

Almost anything can be okay in moderation – but we’re way over the top with these foods.

The body’s balance of salt is usually well-regulated. A normal person can consume relatively small or large quantities of salt in the diet (although extremes are best avoided) without concern for developing salt depletion or retention.

The amount of salt excreted by the kidneys is regulated by hormonal and physical factors that signal whether retention or removal of salt by the kidneys is necessary.

If someone has a kidney disease that impairs the function of the kidneys – the ability to excrete salt in the urine is limited.

In some conditions, the amount of salt in the body increases, and this may cause a person to retain water and develop edema.

Common Treatments

Over the counter diuretics containing ammonium chloride and caffeine (think Aqua-Ban®) are sold with the promise to relieve symptoms related to edema. More severe edematous conditions require medical attention.

Treatment of edema with prescription medications is limited to the use of diuretics, commonly referred to as “water pills.”

Commonly, treatment consists of managing the underlying condition, which may include: inadequate nutrition; liver, heart, and kidney disease; or obstruction of blood or lymph flow. In some cases, a salt-restricted diet may be recommended.

If the edema is localized and due to a strain or trauma, people report have gotten good results from homeopathic products like ‘Traumeel’ & ‘Topricene’. I keep both of them at hand.

What Might Help?

  • Diet is always key – watch your salt intake and eat lots of vegetables
  • It’s always a good idea to watch your salt intake.
  • If your legs or ankles are puffy, it’s suggested that you elevate your legs above your heart while lying down.
  • Exercise your legs. This could help pump fluid from your legs back to your heart.
  • Some people find that wearing support stockings (sold at most drug and medical supply stores) help.
  • Reflexology could be a great healthy support – OR NOT – read on…

What Can Reflexology Do?

The fluid that builds up to become edema is normally brought back to the heart via the lymphatic system.

Unlike the circulatory system which has a pump (the heart), the lymphatic system relies on movements of the body to help drain it’s fluids.

Since there are no little pumps at the ends of our fingers and toes, the gentle movements of our reflexology techniques (thumb and finger-walking) at the extremities, supports the natural processes of the whole body.

Once again, I’ll remind you that reflexologists don’t treat, diagnose or prescribe.

And, I’m not even interested specifically in the movement of local fluids. My focus is on the whole body, the organs and organ systems.

But another “fringe benefit” of my reflexology work is the potential to help the fluid tides as well.

However beware, there might be some edemic conditions that don’t need this or are too weak to benefit.

Yes – that’s right, if the condition is not diagnosed – or even if it is diagnosed – and it’s advanced edema (pitted edema is advanced) – you must always check first with the doctor before working.

Why?

Because, unless you are a doctor, you don’t know if it will help or will be too much fluid movement for an obviously compromised system to handle.

No guessing here – remember, someone who is sick will have a medical team. It’s in everyone’s best interest to check with the medical team. They won’t mind or be shocked – it’s what they all do.

Now my guess is almost always that reflexology will help.

But, if someone is very ill, it’s the MD on the team that must know and approve any work before you can be sure about proceeding. They know the whole story about their patient’s health and they’ll base their recommendations on the big picture.

You and even the person with the edema may not understand or even know all the implications of their condition.

So it’s easier than you thought – and there’s no guess work – just make the call to inform the team and get the okay for proceeding with reflexology.

Easy as pie (is that a prairie expression?).

A little puffiness is a pretty common sight. In a healthy individual it doesn’t represent a problem unless it’s gone on for too long, has impeded movement or is of concern.

And, yes – there are reflexes to the immune system.

Don’t forget the spleen (the largest lymphoid in the body and thymus reflexes too – both are important).

Mitral Valve Prolapse Syndrome – Being Different

When I was twelve, our stern, small-town physician diagnosed me with mitral valve prolapse (MVP), though he never explained the disorder. During my teens I had strange symptoms other girls didn’t experience: fainting, fatigue, and eyes burning as though wind blew constantly into them. My mother noticed and trotted me off to that detestable, cursing physician.

In his office he scolded me in his nasal voice, “There’s not a damn thing wrong with you. God Almighty, don’t give your poor mother something more to worry about. Think about her instead of being selfish. What you need is a psychiatrist.” I can see his face redden with anger.

Didn’t he remember? Earlier, after his MVP diagnosis, he had curtailed any sports with the use of my arms, which is not the way MVP is handled now. According to him, in two years I would be fine. Actually I had felt better before the sports restriction. Without sports for two years I had lost muscle strength and tone.

MITRAL VALVE PROLAPSE

MVP is the most commonly inherited heart problem in the United States. Yet it is listed with the National Organization of Rare Disorders (NORD) because the disorder is not completely understood or acknowledged by most physicians. While the statistics vary with sources, the estimated percentage who have this problem includes as many as thirty percent in this country. According to a survey in the late 80s, three times more women have MVP than men.

The heart has four valves inside it to pump the blood in and out: the aortic, the mitral, the pulmonary, and the tricuspid. The mitral valve acts like a door between the left atrium and the left ventricle in the heart. When the lower part of a normal heart contracts, the mitral valve closes and prevents any blood leakage into the upper chamber. With MVP, the valve balloons out of shape. A physician hears this through a stethoscope as a click. If the valve shifts enough, it can allow some blood to flow back into the upper chamber, and the physician hears a murmur.

Have you heard your own heart through a stethoscope? Have you heard the click or the murmur? Ask your physician to allow you to do this. It’s important you know what sound your heart makes. Of course, some murmurs and clicks are difficult even for a cardiologist to detect. But give it a try. If you squat, the hardest position on the heart, you will hear it. One woman chose her physician based on whether the physician could hear her murmur.

However, this structural defect is not what usually causes the myriad of symptoms. Most MVP people have healthy hearts.

MITRAL VALVE PROLAPSE SYNDROME WITH DYSAUTONOMIA

A syndrome is a collection of symptoms which has more than one cause, whereas a disease has a single cause. MVPS/D has a recognizable pattern of symptoms and signs. As the physicians and researchers understand, the symptoms reflect a failure of control mechanisms, specifically in the nervous system. The more they learn about the disorder, the more likely they will be able to find a single cause and convert MVPS/D to a disease status.

The nervous system is divided into two parts: voluntary and involuntary. The involuntary nervous system, also known as the autonomic nervous system (ANS), is more complex and controls most bodily functions such as body temperature, sweating, blood pressure, heart rate, salivation, pupil dilation and contraction, sleep-wakefulness balance, intestinal functions, digestion, and many others. This system has two major divisions: sympathetic, which speeds up the system, and the parasympathetic, which slows the system.

The physicians connect some MVP symptoms to the ANS, an imbalance known as dysautonomia or an autonomic (which means automatic) nervous system dysfunction. Therefore, when the MVP patient experiences symptoms that involve the ANS, the physicians refer to the disorder as mitral valve prolapse syndrome with dysautonomia, the most common type of dysautonomia.

The central problem of MVPS/D is the body’s excessive response to adrenaline and adrenaline-like hormones. (Hormones and nerves serve as control systems in the body.) Most MVPS/D patients have a bit too much noradrenaline, a related hormone. Most of the symptoms come from various organs’ over-responsiveness to even normal amounts of adrenaline-like hormones.

Thus, you can see it would be best for MVPS/D patients to minimize the release of adrenaline into their blood streams. Of course stimulants of any kind-caffeine, sugar, alcohol, chocolate, aspartame, NutraSweet, Splenda, monosodium glutamate, and some over-the-counter medications, those containing caffeine, epinephrine, ephedrine, and pseudoephedrine-should be eliminated from your diet. Stimulants can include people and activities. Movies, at times, can over-stimulate my system, even talking.

Check with your physician before a therapist uses electricity, which can trigger symptoms. Patients should allow only moderate sun and heat exposure and gradually progress to condition their bodies to exercise. These cautions will sustain a high blood volume. A higher blood volume means an adrenaline increase is less likely. Patients also need to control their responses to stressful emotional situations. Yeah, right! That’s a trick in itself.

Debbie Petersen, who has yet to get her symptoms under control, calls the dysautonomia part an everyday hell to live with. “Right now it’s just trial and error every day.”

‘I was so happy to know there was a name for what is partly wrong with me: dysautonomia,” wrote Rita McNeil. “Most people have never heard of it, let alone know what it means.”

“The disorder takes a significant toll on lifestyle and work capacity,” commented Linda Smith of the National Dysautonomia Research Foundation (NDRF).

Dr. David H. P. Streeten, a research pioneer for orthostatic intolerance (OI), sums the impact of dysautonomia on a person’s life: “While we are not constantly aware of the activity of the autonomic nervous system as we are of unusual sensory and motor events, the normal functioning of the autonomic nervous system day and night, from heart-beat to heart-beat, plays a largely unconscious but vital role in our livelihood. It is not surprising, therefore, that autonomic abnormalities, though they are usually more difficult to recognize than a severe pain, a sensory loss, or paralysis of a limb, may be even more important in impairing the quality and even jeopardizing the continuation of life.”

SPACE SHUTTLE COLUMBIA

The astronauts experience similar problems when they take off from Earth and land from outer space. Dr. Andrew Gaffney, cardiologist and astronaut, served as Payload Specialist on Spacelab Sciences 1 as part of a Space Shuttle Columbia mission in the early 90s to study the astronauts’ problems.

Understanding how our MVPS/D problems work helped him understand why the astronauts experience their symptoms such as dizziness and faintness when they stand. During the early part of the space flight, Dr. Gaffney flew with a catheter inserted into his arm vein to record the blood pressure around his heart. Within a few hours after lift-off, his blood pressure and blood volume dropped remarkably, according to Popular Science Magazine, March, 1993.

“As we sort out that data,” Dr. Gaffney said, “we are learning a lot more about where the blood goes, where it is stored-in terms of the venous system, and the relationship between the adrenalin levels and the blood volume.”

Dr. Gaffney, chief of clinical cardiology at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Memphis, TN, describes what he knows MVPS/D to be: “There is a primary abnormality of autonomic tone so that these people tend to be vascularly constricted.” That constriction leads to shrinkage of blood volume. The lower volume feeds back and causes more constriction and that becomes a vicious cycle.

That cycle contributes to the symptoms such as fatigue. “We all know patients who are anemic have fatigue, and everybody understands that,” Dr. Gaffney said. “Well, it is perhaps a little more difficult to understand (with MVPS/D). You can have the right amount of blood volume but if you don’t have enough red cells in it, then you get tired because you don’t deliver the oxygen. That’s anemia. You can have the right concentration of red blood cells, so you are not anemic, but if you don’t have enough blood, then it is the same problem. Absolute number of red blood cells that carry the oxygen is what determines whether you can exercise more.”

BLOOD VOLUME

“Blood volume is critical to prevent symptoms from starting,” said Susan Elliott, who taught physics before MVPS/D symptoms changed her lifestyle. “When blood volume gets low, it tends to trigger a chain of reactive events that cause things like tachycardia, feeling too hot or too cold.”

Even a slight imbalance in the ANS can cause low blood volume in MVP patients. Up to twenty-five percent lower. The thirst signal fails to turn on, keeping the blood volume low.

It is very important for people with MVPS/D to drink at least 70 ounces of fluids daily, more if the temperature is higher. A good way to remember the amount is if the temperature is higher than 70, drink the equal number of ounces to the degrees in temperature. Such as if it is 86 degrees, drink 86 ounces of fluids. An easy way to achieve this is to keep a water bottle with you and try to drink eight ounces every hour. And to make it really fun, sing the tune to “Pump Up the Volume,” by M/A/R/R/S.

Susan also found the more water, the less her MVPS symptoms such as twisting leg muscles. Also included in her regimen were potassium, zinc, and magnesium, minerals helpful to heart and muscular function and energy metabolism.

Fluids “fake out your body,” Susan says, making it seem to have higher blood volume. She drinks a gallon of water a day, always remembering to salt the water or eat something salty with it. The salt helps retain water and valuable nutrients such as potassium. Another thought is to intake fluids with salt present like sports drinks or soups. However, patients with hypertension (high blood pressure) need to consult their physician first.

VERTICAL VS HORIZONTAL

When a MVPS/D person lies down, she can immediately experience symptoms such as tachycardia or heart pounding. “If you lie flat, that can produce too much blood to your head and heart too fast,” Susan said.

While we are vertical, the blood circulates the entire body with less volume than people without MVP. When our bodies become horizontal, the blood floods the head and the heart chambers, causing the symptoms, until the pumping adjusts.

To offset this, some people sleep on a slight incline such as in a recliner. To create her slant, Susan puts a board beneath her headboard. Pat Conrad sleeps on two pillows. Then her palpitations are “not so extreme.” When the heart pain continues, she elevates her feet. My husband and I use two thick encyclopedia volumes that help me and his gastrointestinal reflux disorder (GERD).

ORTHOSTATIC INTOLERANCE (OI)

People take their ability to stand for granted. OI patients do not. Daily they struggle with the symptoms brought on by the vertical position. Upon standing, a person with orthostatic hypotension, another word for OI, might experience lightheadedness, dizziness, palpitations (throbbing or heavy beats), tremulousness, visual changes, a stuffed head feeling, ears ringing or buzzing, fainting, and poor concentration because her blood pressure has suddenly fallen. About a half million Americans have OI, according to the National Dysautonomia Research Foundation.

Being upright produces blood pooling in the lower abdomen and limbs, blood which is no longer available to the upper body. With an effective ANS, the body quickly compensates by increasing the heart rate and other cardiac output.

When the OI person stands, her blood volume lowers, her blood vessels lose an excessive amount of plasma, and her kidneys pour out salt.

Some patients experience fatigue, tachycardia (abnormally rapid heartbeats), and shortness of breath, which is termed sympathontonic or hyperadrenergic orthostatic hypotension because the sympathetic part of the ANS increases.

Not every patient has all these abnormalities. Most OI patients have a mild case which can improve over weeks or months. Most will eventually be free of their symptoms.

However, in patients with severe symptoms or with a sudden ANS alteration such as actor-director Christopher Reeves experienced with his fall, the recovery may never come.

A few other names used for OI are as follows:

orthostatic tachycardia syndrome

postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS)

hyperadrenergic postural hypotension

partial dysautonomia

sympathotonic orthostatic hypotension

hyperadrenergic orthostatic hypotension

mitral valve prolapse syndrome

SUPPLEMENTAL HELP

CALCIUM

Calcium, the body’s most abundant mineral, is located mostly in the bones and teeth because its function is to build and maintain bones and teeth. It also is essential for healthy blood, regular heart beats, and proper nerve transmission. Calcium is beneficial for cardiovascular disorders. Cases of calcium deficiency have provoked heart palpitations, slow pulse rates, and excessive irritability of nerves and muscles.

The best supplemental source lies in calcium lactate or gluconate because these are natural derivatives and easier to absorb. Foods rich in calcium are milk products, green leafy vegetables, shellfish, and molasses.

MAGNESIUM

This necessary mineral lives within the body cells to activate enzymes for the metabolism of carbohydrates and amino acids. It helps to regulate the acid-alkaline balance and to promote absorption and metabolism of other minerals and vitamins. With nearly 70 percent of it located in the bones, magnesium aids during bone growth, is vital for proper nerve, muscle, and heart functions, helps regulate body temperature and blood sugar convert to energy. Magnesium is alkaline, so it should not be taken after meals but can be used in place of antacids.

This mineral can help prevent heart attacks and depression. It is beneficial for neuromuscular disorders, nervousness, and sensitivity to noise. Contrary to the old sayings, magnesium helps form the hard tooth enamel that resists decay, not calcium.

Large amounts of magnesium can be toxic if the calcium is low and phosphorus is high. Magnesium loss increases with the use of diuretics and alcohol. Foods rich in this mineral are seafood, whole grains, dark-green vegetables, molasses, and nuts.

POTASSIUM

Elaine Hansen had spells of irregular heartbeats that would last up to twelve hours, often during the night. She felt very tired afterwards. Her family physician said the cause was low potassium.

This essential mineral works with sodium to help normalize the heartbeat. If you’re prone to palpitations, you might feel them when you are in the low-to-normal range for serum potassium. When they come on, try drinking orange juice to help the palpitations go away.

Together, potassium and sodium regulate the body’s water balance, i.e. they distribute the fluids on the cells’ walls. They equalize the acid-alkali factor, help in muscle contraction and expansion and in nerve stimulation. With phosphorus, potassium sends oxygen to the brain and with calcium regulates neuromuscular activity. This is a handy little mineral for our bodies.

However, potassium and sodium must be in balance or excessive salt will deplete potassium. Alcohol and excessive sugar can deplete both potassium and magnesium. Potassium is excreted through urination and perspiration. Foods with potassium are lean meats, whole grains, vegetables, dried fruits, legumes, and sunflower seeds. A high potassium level can be life-threatening and can occur in renal failure.

SODIUM

Half of our body’s sodium is found in the extra-cellular fluids such as the blood vessels, arteries, veins, and capillaries. As I wrote in the last section, sodium works in conjunction with potassium. It keeps other blood minerals soluble so they won’t become deposits in the bloodstream. Foods naturally rich in sodium are seafood, celery, milk products, table salt, and baking powder.

WATER

In elementary school we learned water is two-thirds of our body weight, so we know it’s our body’s most important nutrient. It makes up about 70 percent of our weight. We can live longer without food than we can without water. Water is needed for everything from maintaining body temperature to carrying away our waste. For MVPS/D, water is essential to maintain a level high blood volume.

My young neighbor Ryan had a problem with constipation. His parents used all the usual remedies. Still, Ryan might wait as long as five days without a bowel movement.

Finally his doctor asked how much water he drank daily. When his mother answered, the doctor said that was sufficient for some; however, some people’s colons absorb water at different rates. The faster the absorbency, the firmer the stools. Presumably then (assuming no other variants), the more water one drinks, the softer the stools.

I never considered water as an answer to my irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). I had assured myself I drank enough water. Besides, my stools usually change when I’ve overworked and my other symptoms, such as migraine and fatigue, come out of hiding.

When I began drinking my gallon (and that takes discipline!), my stools softened to normal consistency without my other MVPS/D appearing. Since I’ve been on the gallon regimen, my stools have been firm or softened, never irritably hard.

Of course, other elements can be involved such as the foods we eat and much more. Chocolate and red meats harden stools. I discovered . . . for me . . . that water helped my IBS.

Someone commented about drinking too much water. In the May, 2000, issue of Town and Country magazine, Diane Quagliani, a registered dietitian and spokesman for the American Dietetic Association, was quoted, “Everyone loses about ten cups of water daily, so it’s important to drink about eight eight-ounce cups of fluid-the rest is made up by water in foods and the water the body makes in metabolism. The bigger, more active, and more overheated you are, the more fluids you should take in. Taking in too much (water) is not very likely, unless it is gallons a day, and the main danger would be flushing out too many electrolytes. Healthy kidneys can keep up with most consumption.”

Others complained they would have to run to the potty more often. In hot humid weather, the average person should eliminate urine every two hours if the person drinks sufficient water to cover sweating, according to my family physician.

When I tried the gallon experiment, some days I hit the toilet plunger more than the norm. But another day I wouldn’t. What is normal anyway? The question should be “What is best for your body?”

The Town and Country article writer, Ila Stranger, wrote that it “makes sense that drinking enough water is bound to help us avoid dehydration-which can happen as easily in the overheated rooms of midwinter as in the summer sun-and make us look and feel alive and well.”

Each day I grab a gallon jug of spring water or fill a gallon pitcher and set it on the counter to remind me to strive to drink more water. Not only for my IBS but for my blood volume, blood pressure, and the many other tasks my body constantly performs. I’ve found in the winter lukewarm water is swallowed easier. Ice water is a shock to the throat, sometimes even in hot weather.

Some people prefer to drink mineral water rather than tap water. Others use well water. Neither should be relied upon for a person’s source of minerals. Distilled means the water has been boiled water with all harmful or beneficial minerals eliminated. Fruits and vegetables are good dietary sources for chemically pure water, which is 100 percent pure hydrogen and oxygen. The use of these are an individual choice.

The Environmental Protection Agency’s hot line is 1-800-426-4791; its website is http://www.epa.gov/safewater. The Natural Resources Defense Council website (www.nrdc.org) contains in its archives the results of a recent four-year study on bottled waters. The author of the summary results is Dr. Andrew Weil on the website http://www.pathfinder.com/drweil.

ANTIBIOTICS

Before any invasive procedures, MVPS/D patients with valve leakage should take antibiotics to prevent bacterial infection from forming on their valve. Such as dental work, body piercing, tattoo, and surgery. A few years ago the physicians recommended antibiotics for all MVP patients. Now only those with definite regurgitation (leakage) are urged to do this, and the dosage has been cutback to only before the procedure.

For other surgeries and procedures you can consult with your physician or the MVP clinics.

RESEARCH IN MVPS/D

Dr. Al Davies, associate professor of medicine at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, has led the MVPS/D research of chemical reactions between adrenaline and several important proteins.

The proteins are located near the lining membrane of a cell of a body organ. Three proteins of greatest importance are: the receptor on the cell’s surface, a G-protein located inward, and an enzyme called adenylyl cyclase on the inside cell membrane’s surface.

Normally, adrenaline attaches to the receptor protein, which combines with the G-protein. (Full name is stimulatory guanine nucleotide regulatory protein.) Once these are activated, they turn on the enzyme which causes internal actions such as rising blood pressure or increased heart rate.

Dr. Davies and his colleagues have shown that the MVPS/D patient’s abnormally increased sensitivity to adrenaline is due to an overly active, abnormal G-protein.

The possibilities to the question “Why?” are numerous. And there are many steps before a full answer and treatment are developed. The researchers thought this might be due to an abnormal gene since the illness is hereditary. However, their studies show the gene is normal.

To the MVPS/D patient, that finding carries hope because the cause is not something as simple as a bad gene passed down from our grandfather. Something happens to the protein after the gene makes it and before the adrenaline activates it.

Editor of the November, 1998, special American Journal of Medical Sciences supplement on OI, Dr. David Robertson entitled the issue “Epidemic of Orthostatic Tachycardia and Orthostatic Intolerance.” Dr. Robinson writes that many centers actively pursue OI research and expect rapid improvements in diagnosis and therapy. The director of the Clinical Research Center at Vanderbilt University, Nashville, he adds, “A healthy appearing 20-year-old woman with dizziness, palpitations, and fatigue is certainly no longer passed over as having a psychosomatic illness!” Well, maybe not in Nashville. Generally the tilt table test is used to diagnose a dysautonomia.

MANY PHYSICIANS’ ATTITUDES

My former country physician may sound old-fashioned and something of the past; however, we with MVPS/D know his attitude remains with most of the physicians we meet today. One of the tough barriers we have to get around is finding a knowledgeable, caring physician.

For most people who have diabetes, cancer, or even strange diseases, they can contact a physician, and within a few visits they have their illnesses diagnosed. They are believed from the time they enter the physician’s office.

We with MVPS/D are not believed. We must research our own disorder, be abreast of the latest drug regimens, carry literature about our illness to give to the physician, and then know the physician probably will not consider our illness legitimate or treat us. It’s just crazy when you think about it! How much proof does a physician need? Why can’t they keep informed about MVPS/D when a fifth of the nation has MVP and might possibly become symptomatic?

Education and research are keys to solving the MVPS/D puzzle in our bodies. With these always lies hope. Miles and miles of hope!

What Is a Myocardial Infarction: Symptoms, Treatment and Prevention

The first question that needs to be asked is what is a myocardial infarction. Basically, when it occurs, you’ll be facing with the death of a part of heart muscle. This is caused by the lack of oxygen to it, which causes it to die.

The injury that occurs will, in the immediate effect, cause chest pain or a feeling of pressure in the chest (often described as tightness in chest).

When the blood flow isn’t restored in a timely manner (you only have 20 to 40 minutes) the heart muscle will start to die in an irreversible process.

What is a Myocardial Infarction: The Symptoms

While they vary (sometimes to a good extent), there are some heart attack symptoms that occur quite commonly. These include:

· Chest pain or tightness in chest;

· Headache, toothache or jaw pain (sometimes these happen combined);

· Feeling nauseated, wanting to vomit or simply starting to feel very uncomfortable;

· A sudden sweat, with no apparent reason for it to happen;

· Indigestion and heartburn are also some other very common symptoms;

· Feeling pain in the arm, shoulders and upper back;

· Starting to feel ill and weak;

· Unfortunately, on about a full quarter of all cases of myocardial infarction, there are absolutely no signs of it happening. These are called silent heart attacks, and are more common on people who suffer from diabetes mellitus.

The main issue with these attacks is that there aren’t very defined symptoms and clear signs of them happening and that makes them quite vague. People tend to lay off these symptoms and tend to believe that they are some smaller conditions and will simply ignore them.

If you feel that by any chance you may be having a heart attack, you should seek immediate medical attention. It’s those 20 to 40 minutes that are key and the ones where action leads to a full or almost full recovery.

What is a Myocardial Infarction: Prevention and Treatment

The main issue with a heart attack is there isn’t a completely guaranteed to work treatment. After the damage to the heart has been done it’s more about reducing the chance of any further problems.

It’s one of those cases where preventing is the best possible treatment you can get. And the prevention process isn’t hard: it’s simply a case of the best treatment being preventing it from happening in the first place.

The heart is a very valuable organ, so it makes sense for us to take really good care of it. And in order to do so, we just really need to change some very simple things. Get a better, healthier diet and exercise more often. These two factors alone will help your heart get in a much better condition and be able to improve you life expectancy for many years. Heart attacks are the number one cause of death in the US, and you don’t want to be a part of those statistics.

If you subscribe on the form above, you’ll be able to check some foods you can introduce in your diet that will certainly make a difference in the health of your heart. Now that we’ve cleared up on what is a myocardial infarction, it’s up to you to make the change.

Heart Attack – How to Cure One

It is easy to find information on the Internet about the symptoms of heart attack. You can find lists of heart attack signs for men and women both. You may have witnessed or experienced attacks before, and know what to do in case of heart attack.

But do you know how to cure a heart attack?

It may seem strange to ask how to cure a heart attack. A heart attack is an event. Like any event, it happens and it ends. Why ask how to cure a heart attack? It will end with the death of a part of the heart muscle – or it will end with the death of the entire muscle. Every heart attack ends one way or the other, doesn’t it?

How to Cure a Heart Attack with Folk Medicine

Some think they know how to cure a heart attack with folk medicine. They mix this or that together, or take capsules of some supplement. These samples of folk medicine that is thought to cure a heart attack are offered merely for educational purposes.

1. Mix 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, 1 crushed clove garlic, and 1-2 Tablespoons of honey in 1-1.5 cups of boiling water and drink. Repeat once daily after a heart attack.

2. The best cure after a heart attack is to get oxygen to body cells so they can repair the damage. Mix 1 teaspoon dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO) with 1 full glass of water and drink. Repeat every couple of hours.

3. Take magnesium daily to rebuild the heart. When magnesium is depleted, it makes muscles twitch – and can do the same to the heart.

4. Take aged garlic extract capsules daily.

5. Hawthorn, used regularly, strengthens the heart muscle. Studies show that hawthorn speeds recovery after heart attack. It strengthens the heart and forestalls any onset of coronary disease. No other herb provides the nourishing regeneration of hawthorn after heart attack.

Those ideas may or may not work. Studies in Great Britain are giving credence to the use of aged garlic extract. Other studies show that the claims may be close for hawthorn. For the most part, however, the medical community scoffs at any use of folk medicine. They have more modern ideas about how to cure a heart attack.

How to Cure a Heart Attack with Modern Medicine

Ask how to cure a heart attack with modern medicine, and physicians will detail several treatments. Some involve medications, while others require invasive procedures.

Medications are used immediately in a heart attack. The first goal is to break up or prevent blood clots. Additional goals are to stabilize plaque, and keep blood platelets from congregating and sticking to plaque. Of course, it is hoped that the medications will prevent additional trouble. In order to reduce damage to the heart, physicians must administer these medications within 30 minutes from the time the heart attack symptoms began. Medications given may include any combination of aspirin, heparin, so-called clot busters, and other anti-platelet drugs.

Once these medications are given, modern medicine serves up additional drugs to lessen your heart’s work and reduce your pain.

Procedures may begin before the heart attack has ended. The cardiologist may order catheterization to determine the heart attack’s cause and assess damage. He may use balloon angioplasty to open a blocked artery, and place a stent to keep it open.

In severe cases of blockage, the cardiologist may perform emergency coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery.

In recent years, studies have shown that much of this is unnecessary and should not be done. A “wait-and-see” approach has been proven more satisfactory after initial medication.

How to REALLY Cure a Heart Attack with VERY Modern Medicine

In 2004, an Israeli team created what they termed a biological “scaffold” to implant in pigs. They found that the scaffold allowed healthy, injectable heart muscle cells to replace cells that died as a result of a heart attack. The process is known as tissue engineering.

As of 2007, this technique is still in the testing stage, but if successful in humans, it could revolutionize treatment of heart attacks. It could give physicians the ability to REALLY cure heart attack victims. It would help heart attack victims live longer, and improve their quality of life.

Disclaimer: The author is not a physician, and shares this research for educational purposes only. Please ask your physician about how to cure a heart attack – or at least for the best treatment following a heart attack.

5 Leading Causes of Heart Disease That You Need to Avoid

There are many factors that can cause heart disease and this article gives top five leading causes of it. It is very important for you to know so you can avoid them and reduce the risk of suffering from heart disease.

#1 High cholesterol

High cholesterol can be extremely dangerous, and particularly it can cause atherosclerosis, or a hardening of the arteries, which sequentially can lead to blocked coronary arteries, marked by chest pain, or a heart attack. Other severe problems such as blocked arteries to the brain, for example, can result in a stroke, while blocked arteries in the legs can create pain, limping and even disability.

Cholesterol is a fatty and wax-like material that is naturally present in the human body, and your body makes use of this cholesterol to create many different hormones, such as Vitamin D and the bile acids that assist to digest fat. Even though a certain amount of cholesterol is usual, if you have too much in your bloodstream then the surplus may be dumped in the arteries of the heart, which in turn can lead to heart disease.

#2 Diabetes

Some people believe that they need to have been born with diabetes for it to be a factor; but in fact, a person can get type two diabetes. Type two diabetes usually comes about when a person is very much overweight, particularly because of their diet. Too many people have a fondness for junk food, and junk food has a hefty amount of sugar in it. Eating too much sugar not only makes considerable weight increase, it also increases the level of sugar in the blood, which results in type two diabetes.

For people that have type two diabetes owing to years of eating junk food, this is the next thing that typically happens. The fat from this food is absorbed into the blood flow, and over time the fatty substances build up in the arteries. Some people end up with arteries that are so blocked that they need bypass surgery.

So, how can you keep away from getting diabetes and heart disease? First of all, the thing that you should do is ensure you eat the right food, food that is low in sugar and cholesterol. Also, be sure that you keep active, even if it is just taking a walk. Really, it is all about self-control, so if you choose to eat healthy now, you can have a healthier future.

#3 Hypertension or high blood pressure

Hypertensive heart disease is on the whole a more serious and dangerous form of heart disease and it is normally caused by uncontrolled and extended elevation of blood pressure, as this can lead to various changes in the myocardial structure, coronary vasculature, and conduction system of the heart.

Heart failure is a common complication of hypertensive heart disease, and it is often unrecognized, partly because of how at the time that heart failure develops, the dysfunction heart is unable to create the high blood pressure, which results in obscuring the etiology of the heart failure.

#4 Smoking

The carcinogens found in cigarettes are part of the relationship between smoking and heart disease. These substances that are in the cigarette are absorbed into the blood stream. As a result, the blood becomes contaminated. As this blood is pumped through the heart, the nicotine from the cigarettes also develops in the blood stream. As an outcome, the blood becomes thick, which can create clotting. Also, the nicotine will develop in the valves leading to the heart, which increases the risk of heart attack.

There are many ways that you can do to quit smoking and thus prevent heart disease. Consult with your doctor for these treatment methods. You are certain to discover a method that works for you, a method that could save your life as well as your health.

#5 Stress

There are two types of stress: physical stress and emotional stress. The physical stress places quantifiable and reproducible demands on the heart, and it is this physical stress which is usually accredited as being good and in fact, the lack of physical stress is what considered as being a major risk factor for heart disease.

Then there is the relationship between emotional stress and heart disease, and this is considered as being the more monumental relationship, as emotional stress is normally the type of stress that people are chatting about when they are referring to stress causing heart disease. If emotional stress is severe enough it can be extremely harmful, not only in regards to this but to other diseases and illnesses as well.

The main factor that stress is so likely to cause heart disease is because the rush in adrenaline that is caused by severe emotional stress results in causing the blood to thicken more readily, thus significantly increasing the risk of heart attacks and other coronary problems.

How Can You Know if You Have TB?

Tuberculosis is an infectious disease caused by the Koch bacillus, a germ that belongs to the Mycobacterium family. It primarily affects the lungs and it is contagious. Besides the lungs, TB can also affect lymph nodes, intestinal tract, kidneys, bones, and brain.

If you have a strong immune system you could not get ill of TB even if you come in contact with infected subjects. You could also inactivate the virus and keep it locked in your lungs by creating with the help of macrophages a scar tissue all around the infected area, but in the moment you get a weaker immune system (like those people who have HIV) the bacillus could reactivate and manifest and even infect other organs.

Symptoms of TB infection are: cough that lasts longer than three weeks, fever, breathing problems, night sweats, fatigability, chest pains, and loss of weight and appetite.

TB is transmittable from mother to fetus and symptoms of the infection appear during the first year of life: fever, poor feeding, breathing problems, failure to thrive and even swollen liver and spleen.

Healthy persons receive the infection if living or working in the same place with the infected person. By coughing, shouting or sneezing, the infected person spreads the germs into the air, and others inhale them. Shaking hands or touching clothes does not infect others.

Another form of tuberculosis is transmitted by drinking unpasteurized milk. The responsible bacterium for this form of TB infection is called Mycobacterium bovis. Years before, this bacterium was a major cause of TB in children, but now since most milk is pasteurized (a heating process that kills the bacteria) it does not cause TB any more.

There are some tests doctors do to find out if one is infected. First of all, they perform a skin test, meaning that they inject into your skin a purified protein derived for the TB germ. After more then 48 hours the injected skin area will present a bump. If the bump is large, the test is considered to be positive, meaning that the TB infection has occurred.

If this test does not convince doctors about your condition, they will ask you to do a thoracic X-ray which shows where in the lungs the infection could be localized and how greatly it is expanded.

If the suspected person coughs, doctors take the sputum and with the help of the microscope they search for the TB germs in the sputum. This is quite an accurate method of diagnosing TB.

The HIV patients are at high risk of developing TB, due to their weakened immune system. Some of them are infected with TB and the virus is not active, but at any moment the virus can wake up and manifest. In the world, there are about 38 million people living with AIDS and about one-third of them also have TB. Very often tuberculosis affects the HIV patients long before other problems correlated with HIV develop.

Tuberculosis seems to appear more frequent in crowded, non-hygienic places like: prisons, juvenile detention centers, and homeless shelters.

General preventing methods of spreading the TB is hospitalizing the infected person, and practically isolating it from those who are healthy. Treatment must be followed at least 6 months constantly because interrupting the treatment could lead to spreading the disease in other organs, like: kidneys, intestinal tract, and lymph nodes, and even leading to the death of the infected person.

For the treatment to be effective, patients must take their prescribed dugs during all the period of time they were advised by the doctor, otherwise the bacillus could get multiple drug resistant and this would only lead to a crisis of effective drugs against tuberculosis, and to a possible epidemic.

How to Stimulate New Hair Growth Naturally

When traditional products just don’t seem to work, you can always learn how to stimulate new hair growth naturally and do those techniques instead. Many have started using all-organic ways to stimulate hair growth simply because it very low in price to do so, and in most cases they work far better than traditional products available.

To stimulate new hair growth naturally you will need an empty and usable plastic pump bottle. Pour and fill it 75% with purified water. Then take jojoba oil and put in about 20 drops of it in the bottle. Add about 7 drops of each of these essential oils: rosemary, thyme, cedarwood, lavender, tea extract, and peppermint. Shake the bottle until the solution mixes well.

To apply this oil solution on your hair, make sure your hair is clean and lighly damp, then spray on of the solution to your hair and scalp, make sure it touches the surface of your scalp, this is most important. The oils help stimulate hair growth by reducing DHT in your hair follicles and increasing blood flow. How it does that is the oils attach themselves to your hair strands and helps attract blood.

DHT does the opposite, so it’s better to have natural oils there to help with aiding in your hair’s health. To improve the efficiency of this and how to stimulate new hair growth naturally without harming your hair be sure to keep this bottle in the refrigerator, the cooler it is, the more blood flow it will stimulate.

It’s recommended to use this spray twice daily, once in the morning and once in the evening. Your hair will begin to grow thicker and shinier, you may even notice new fuzzy hairs sprouting here and there, just try to spray this daily, it makes a world of difference in the health of your hair.

Uterine Fibroids and Cancer – Some Basic Facts

Uterine fibroids are benign tumors which are rarely life threatening. The probability of these tumors turning malignant is remote in majority of women. In this article I am going to share information on uterine fibroids and malignant uterine fibroids.

Fibroids are growths which develop in the muscular wall of the uterus. Sometimes these growths are also referred to as uterine myomas, fibromyomas or leiomyomas. Normally it starts with the growth of a single tumor which often multiples into clusters. Basically there are three main types of uterine tumors. These are:

a) Intramural fibroids which grow inside the wall of the uterus.

b) Submucosal fibroids which grow inward starting from the uterine wall to the endometrial cavity

c) Subserosal fibroids that grow outward from the outer layer of the uterus to the abdominal cavity.

Another type of fibroids which get attached to the uterus by means of a stalk is referred to as pedunculated fibroids.

The exact cause of growth of fibroids still remains a mystery. Research has indicated estrogen dominance to be the single most common cause of development of fibroids. Statistically one out of every four women over the age of 35 suffers from fibroids. However fibroid symptoms remain undiagnosed in most women for a very long time. Only when the uterine tumors grow in size and numbers the symptoms start showing up.

Is fibroids a type of Cancer?

There is a misconception that fibroids in the uterus are cancerous simply because they are referred to as fibroid tumors. Normally fibroids are benign tumors which rarely turn cancerous.

Can uterine fibroids become cancerous?

Statistically research has indicated that one out of every 1,000 women who undergo fibroid surgery suffer from leiomyosarcoma, which is a very rare form of malignant tumor of the uterine muscle.

What are some of the symptoms of malignant fibroids?

Women suffering from malignant uterine tumors will experience

a) Rapid growth of the fibroids or the uterus and

b) Post-menopausal vaginal bleeding.

What can be done to lower the risk of growth of malignant uterine fibroids?

The exact cause of growth of uterine tumors can never be pin pointed with certainty. Its cause may vary from person to person. However you can do certain things to lower the risk of developing fibroids. These are:

•Keeping a close check on your body weight by exercising regularly.

•Consuming 3-4 servings of fresh fruits and vegetables each day

•Reducing your intake or completely avoiding the consumption of red meat. 

Bacterial Pneumonia: Symptoms And Treatment

Bacterial Pneumonia is a common disease which starts as an infection of the lungs. This disease can have serious complications and becomes life threatening if not treated in the earlier stages. This infection of the lungs can be caused by bacteria, virus, fungus, or other micro-organisms. If the patient’s immune system is weak, they are likelier to get affected and this disease can cause great damage to the system.

Bacterial Pneumonia is a contagious disease. It spreads through touching contaminated objects and even by inhaling air that contains bacteria in droplets. Whenever a foreign body reaches the lungs, it fights the infection. But due to a weak immune system, the bacteria win the battle and infect the lungs. If a person is affected with cold and flu, this bacterium has a greater chance to multiply. The complications caused by this infection, if untreated, may lead to hospitalization and even death.

One of the complications of bacterial Pneumonia is blood bacterium. That is, if the infection spreads to the blood, it can spread to all the other organs and damage them. Another complication is fluid built-up in the lungs. The fluid gets infected and needs removal from the lungs.

Symptoms of Bacterial Pneumonia

There are two kinds of Pneumonia as specified by the doctors: typical and atypical pneumonia.

Bacterial Pneumonia Symptoms of typical pneumonia include high fever and shaking chills. The sputum turns yellow and brown sputum when coughing and there is chest pain as well as shortness of breath.

A typical Pneumonia has a gradual onset. The fever is lower, shaking chills are less, and there may be headaches, body aches, and joint pain. Coughing may be dry and abdominal pain may be present.

If the patient has high fever and is coughing up yellow green or brown sputum, a visit to the doctor is vital. If the patient is experiencing chest pain and shortness of breath, emergency care is required. Shortness of breath means you are not able to take in enough air to meet the body’s requirements. That is a serious situation. If you are confused due to chest pain and its cause, it is advisable to seek emergency medication. A person is at a higher risk of getting bacterial pneumonia if he has a weaker immune system, chronic health problems such as diabetes, is very young or very old, and has diseased or damaged lungs due to asthma or emphysema.

Treatment of Pneumonia: Antibiotic Medicines

Bacterial Pneumonia treatment is done through antibiotic medicines such as penicillin. Anti-fever medicines are also given. The patient is advised non-alcoholic drinks to keep the body hydrated. The patient must avoid smoking or other tobacco smoke because those damage the lungs even more. If treated in early stages, taking the medicines on the tight time and being under the doctor’s supervision is enough. The patients must follow the directions given by their doctor; this will fight off the infection and make their body stronger to fight off further infections.

A smart way to keep self and the family healthy is to get regular yearly check-ups. If you or someone in your family ever shows even the slightest of symptoms of bacterial Pneumonia, make a trip to your doctor.

How to Cure Pleurisy With Natural Home Remedies

Pleura is a vital membrane that envelopes lungs and lines the inside part of the chest. If this membrane is inflamed it leads to pleurisy. Pleurisy can be limited to only one side of our chest or it can cover the both sides.

Small epidemics can lead to pleurisy as well as an effect of a wrong treatment of pneumonia. Pleurisy is marked by a stabbing and sharp pain felt over the diaphragm or in chest. Whenever the suffering person takes a deep breath or coughs he feels and acute pain.

The disease generally starts with chill, congestion and then fever. The severity of the disease depends on the fever degree. Common cold followed by the pleural membrane swelling and congestion, a wrong treated pneumonia, uremia and rheumatic fever are the common causes that lead to pleurisy.

Fortunately there are many different home remedies that can be successfully used in treating pleurisy. They must not replace the drug therapy but to complete it so that the patient could recover more quickly.

Because celery has antispasmodic properties it and its seeds can be very beneficial in treating this disease. Hog weed as it is also called is a powerful enemy against pleurisy. The root of this plant can be also successfully used. Grind the hog weed root until you obtain a fine powder. You can take small quantities from this powder three times every day.

Another well known treatment for its beneficial effects in treating pleurisy is a loose poultice of linseed seeds. Poultice has a counter irritant effect that can be easy enhanced if you dust mustard powder.

Sun baths, dry friction baths and air baths are recommended, too. Water has a great importance in treating pleurisy. Persons that are suffering from this disease must drink at least 5 glasses of water daily.

Hot chest packs are very useful because they are able to reduce pain. Apply them gently on the chest several times a day. Cotton heating pads reduce the pains provoked by pleurisy. Heat the chest 3-5 times a day for about half an hour.

Holy basil leaves have the property to dry out the pleura fluid. 20 gm of holy bail leaves taken before breakfast every morning will help a lot.

The persons who are suffering from pleurisy should consume much milk daily. The quantity of milk drunk must be increase gradually till 4 litters at most.

Capsules of black seed oil have the property to increase the immunity system and consequently they are of a great help in treating pleurisy. Capsules of olive leaf extract can be taken daily to accelerate the cure.

A humidifier is very helpful because it maintain the air moist and the patient’s sputum thin.

Eucalyptus or rosemary can be of a great help. It is well known that eucalyptus has the property to evacuate infection and rosemary to relieve pain.

Chicken soup is also recommended due to its nutritive power.

Ionic minerals are a mixture of numerous trace elements, salts and minerals. Consequently bathes in salt lakes or breathing the air from a salt mine are very beneficial.

How to Make an Onion Poultice For Congestion and Cold and Flu Symptoms

Did you know that onion poultices have always been used to relieve chest congestion? Onions have a long history for their healing benefits. A poultice is simply the mashed herb secured in some fabric and placed over the area of congestion on the body. The skin absorbs the medicinal properties quickly and more easily than through digestion.

Onion poultices are time tested herbal remedies and treatments for chest congestion and other symptoms of colds and flu. A poultice is simple and easy to make. The onion poultice is a powerful home remedy you can use for your whole family. And, onions are readily available and affordable!

How to Make an Onion Poultice:

Chop an onion into small bits. Let it set for a few minutes to draw out the powerful medicinal properties. The onion can be used raw or it can be sautéed gently. Put the chopped onion in the center of a square of fabric. You can use flannel, an old t-shirt or a pillowcase. Fold the fabric over and roll or fold the edges to make a ‘hem’. Secure the edges with safety pins to keep the onion bits from falling out.

Place the poultice on the patient’s chest or soles of the feet. The sole of the foot quickly absorbs herbal treatments, in fact, some people rub ointments like Vick’s on the feet when they are sick. You can also place the poultice on sore joints and behind the ear for an ear infection. Check your patient every 15-30 minutes to make sure that there’s not any skin irritation.

©2009 Shanna Ohmes

Viral And Bacterial Bronchitis – Revealing The Differences

Diseases affect the lives of people in an adverse way. Therefore, it is necessary to develop healthy habits in order to prevent the occurrence of these diseases. Diseases are caused by both virus and bacteria; however, in certain cases, environmental conditions also play a major role in causing certain ailments. For instance, bronchitis, an ailment of the respiratory system, is both viral and bacterial bronchitis. Not many people can tell the difference between viral and bacterial bronchitis. Only a medical practitioner will be able to point out the differences between viral and bacterial bronchitis after a careful examination of the patient and the results of laboratory tests.

Commonly, viruses cause bronchitis. People with viral bronchitis suffer from difficulties in breathing, headache, pain, wheezing, and other symptoms, such as low-grade fever. Patients will have a persistent, nonproductive cough and will not feel that ill. Bacterial bronchitis, on the other hand, is a more dangerous condition. You will suffer from a high fever and a persistent, productive cough with dark, discolored, and thick mucus.

If, along with bronchitis, you have disorders such as cystic fibrosis, asthma, or COPD, home remedies will not suffice. Consult your doctor; he will draw up the perfect treatment plan for you. Doctors can do so by performing the required physical examination and studying your medical history. If your symptoms are mild, a stethoscope examination will suffice; however, if your symptoms are prolonged and severe, you need many more tests, such as chest x-rays.

Just as there is a difference between viral and bacterial bronchitis, there is also a difference between the treatment of these conditions. Viral bronchitis does not really require any treatment. Home remedies can successfully heal a person from this condition. However, it cannot and should not be neglected.

Care should be taken during the healing process. You need to take a lot of rest and increase your fluid intake. Taking more liquids such as fruit juices, water, and soup helps liquefy the phlegm and makes it easier for the body to expel it. In case of muscle pains, take acetaminophen. If the symptoms cause a great deal of distress, take cough suppressants or expectorants in order to liquefy the mucus. Taking a warm shower or a hot bath also facilitates the expulsion of mucus.

In case of bacterial bronchitis, your doctor will usually prescribe antibiotics such as tetracycline, amoxicillin, and erythromycin. The antibiotic to be taken depends on the strain of the bacteria infecting your bronchial tubes. When you are on antibiotic therapy, you may have side effects characterized by abdominal pain, diarrhea, and nausea. Some bacteria are drug resistant, and recently, the FDA approved the use of a drug called gemiflaoxacin mesylate for such bacteria. It comes in the form of a oral tablet that has to be taken daily for five days. The side effects of this drug are diarrhea, skin rashes, and nausea.

It is not possible to treat a viral infection with antibiotics; attempts to do so will worsen your condition. Before using any drug, consult your doctor and find out if it is safe for you to use that drug. Cardio respiratory exercises help to regain normal lung function and to expel any excess mucus after the completion of the healing process.

Develop hygienic habits to keep viral and bacterial bronchitis at bay. Get yourself vaccinated for flu because it lessens the risk of contracting viral and bacterial bronchitis. Avoid cigarettes, chemical fumes, smoke, and other pollutants because these are also the major causes of bronchitis.

Normally, people fall sick once in a while. But if you live in polluted conditions and have unhealthy habits such as alcohol consumption and cigarette smoking, you will fall ill many times. Make a serious effort toward good health, and while you are healthy, keep some money aside so that you can handle medical costs easily in case you fall ill.

What Parts Of The Body Can Be Dislocated?

The skeletal system is one of the most important systems in the body. Without bones, your body will not have any structure. You will not appear as a human being if you do not have a framework. Your vital organs such as your heart, lungs and brain will not be protected if you do not have your ribs and skull. More importantly, you will not be able to move if you do not have your bones.

However, bones alone will not guarantee movement. Joints are necessary in order to for movement to be possible. You should be very careful with your joints though. There are many parts of your body which can be dislocated. This may happen because of overusing these parts. In some cases, such problem happens because of trauma or sudden impact. Below are some of the most common areas in your body which can suffer from dislocation.

Shoulders – According to studies, most patients who suffer from joint dislocations are patients who have dislocated shoulders. The reason for this is probably because the shoulders are frequently used. When you are walking, your shoulder joints move when your hands swing back and forth. You also use these joints when you are holding things. The upper body makes various movements so this part of the body often experiences dislocations.

Knees – Many athletes suffer from knee dislocation because their lower bodies are most at work. This is especially true for people who are running on marathons or playing sports such as basketball, tennis and volleyball. Other activities such as jumping and sprinting can also injure your knees. Experts advise that before you do any physical activity, you should undergo proper warm-up first.

Elbows – Conditions such as nursemaid’s elbow and tennis elbow are brought about by joint problems and dislocations. This is very true for people who play racquet games excessively such as badminton and tennis. It may also happen to children if their elbows are suddenly pulled hard by adults. Certain accidents such as car accidents and falls may also result to the dislocation of this part of the body.

Fingers – Finger dislocations are not very common but they are possible to happen. The most common cause is excessive use of the fingers and the joints thereof. For instance, people who love typing may experience this problem especially if they do their work non-stop. In whatever you are doing, it is best if you rest certain parts of your body in order to avoid aggravating any pain and joint problems.

The recovery period for joint dislocations usually depends on the part that has been affected. In many cases, injuries on major joints such as knees and shoulders may take longer time to recover than the dislocations on the fingers. Proper care and assistance are very important for every person who has this condition. As soon as you notice swelling and bruising, as well extreme pain, you should immediately have yourself treated by a professional. This way, the injury will worsen and the recovery will be faster.

Patella Dislocations

Patella dislocation occurs when the Patella is forced out of this groove, usually laterally, causing pain, swelling and temporary deformity of the knee joint. Quite often the Patella relocates spontaneously when the patient moves the leg but if this does not happen then it must be relocated by a suitably qualified medical professional.

What is a Patella Dislocation?

Patella (kneecap) dislocations are quite common and can be very disconcerting to the sufferer. The Patella sits in a groove (Trochlea) in the Femur and usually glides up and down in this Femoral Trochlea during movement. Dislocation occurs when the Patella is forced out of this groove, usually laterally, causing pain, swelling and temporary deformity of the knee joint. Quite often the Patella relocates spontaneously when the patient moves the leg but if this does not happen then it must be relocated by a suitably qualified medical professional.

Perhaps even more common is a Patella Subluxation, a partial dislocation that relocates before the point of full dislocation. There is still pain and swelling because of the bone on bone friction and in either a subluxation or dislocation the patient will suffer apprehension and instability.

What causes Patella Dislocations?

There are a number of predisposing factors that may lead to Patella Dislocation. The shape of the Trochlea, the size and shape of the Patella, inherent joint laxity either ligamentous or muscular, stage of maturation, muscle imbalance and poor proprioception.

Patella dislocations occur more often in younger athletes due perhaps to some of the aforementioned factors but also perhaps because of the vigorous activities undertaken. Dislocations occur either extrinsically (direct contact with an external force) or intrinsically (from forces generated within) usually when landing with a twist or from a twist such as in gymnastics, rugby or football.

What are the signs and symptoms?

A Patella dislocation that does not relocate spontaneously is obvious. The Patella sits to one side of the knee; usually the lateral side, and the patient will be unable to move the knee at first. There will be pain and swelling follows fairly quickly afterwards. The sufferer will have felt a “giving way” of the knee at the point of impact or landing and apprehension will limit movement. Usually Patella dislocations incur other injuries such as Patella Ligament damage; bone-on-bone friction, which can cause fragments of bone to break off; Capsular tears and other soft tissue damage.

Patella subluxations have similar symptoms as dislocations except that the Patella relocates prior to full dislocation. Apart therefore from the deformity of a dislocation the symptoms are pretty much the same.

What else could it be?

There are other conditions that can mimic a subluxation such as a Meniscus tear; Jumpers knee; Patello-Femoral Pain Syndrome; bone lesions and a host of other conditions. The deformity of a Patella Dislocation however is pretty obvious.

What can be done about it?

In the case of a Patella Dislocation it is important to go to an Accident and Emergency clinic so that the Patella can be safely relocated but also to check for other injuries such as bone damage. Quite often the dislocation hides the fact that other injuries have occurred.

If the Patella has spontaneously relocated then it may still be wise to have the knee checked at an Accident and Emergency clinic for similar reasons as above. Quite often however the sufferer has not fully realised what has happened and often goes home to nurse an increasingly swollen knee.

As with most injuries control of swelling is important in order to begin the rehabilitation process as soon as possible. Therefore the PRICE regime (Protect, Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) should be followed. Be careful with the application of ice regime as too long an application of ice can increase swelling! Similarly, always place a barrier between the ice and the patients skin and try to use melting ice (not straight from the freezer) to prevent ice burns.

Static quadriceps exercises should be performed as soon as the patient feels able to as this will help remove swelling and begin restoring muscle function. Movement and strength will gradually be restored over time.

Giving a time frame for these processes is difficult due to the vastly differing severity of this condition.

In order to rehabilitate faster and to minimise the chances of re-injury it is advisable to seek the services of a Graduate Sports Therapist or a Physiotherapist who has undergone extensive training in sports injury management.

The Authors View

Patella dislocations can be very traumatic as they almost totally debilitate the athlete for a period of time. The pain and swelling take time to subside but perhaps the most debilitating aspect is the apprehension at the thought of it going again. Careful rehabilitation with graded return to activity is vital not only for the injury to repair but to ultimately nurse the athlete back to competition level from a psychological perspective. A Graduate Sports Therapist or Physiotherapist with appropriate sports specific qualifications will be able to help in this rehabilitation process.

Ankle Fractures – Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Anatomy

The ankle consists of three bones that come together: the tibia (shin bone), the fibula (small lower leg bone), and the talus (a foot bone). The medial malleolus is the inner portion of the tibia. The posterior malleolus is the back portion of the tibia. The lateral malleolus is the end of the fibula. The syndesmosis is the joint between the fibula and tibia, which connects together with ligaments.

Cause

Broken ankles occur in all age groups. They come about when there is twisting or rotating of the ankle during a fall or impact of a car accident. Many refer to this type of injury as a “rolled” ankle.

Symptoms

A severe ankle sprain feels the same as a broken ankle. Common complaints include immediate, severe pain, bruising, tenderness to the touch, swelling, inability to bear weight, and a deformity of the ankle. For severe ankle fractures, the bone may protrude through the skin.

Diagnosis

Because it is difficult to tell a sprain from a fracture, our orthopedic specialists recommend an evaluation by x-ray. Depending upon the type of fracture the surgeon finds, he may order a “stress x-ray” for further evaluation. In some cases, the surgeon orders a computed tomography (CAT scan) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for further evaluation.

Lateral Malleolus Fracture Treatment

A lateral malleolus fracture is a fracture of the fibula bone. Since there are different levels at which the fibula can be injured, the treatment depends on the severity.

Nonsurgical Treatment – When lateral malleolus fractures are not out of place, the surgeon will treat these without surgery. The surgeon places you in a short leg cast or other device for protection. Depending on the injury, you will not be able to put weight on the affected leg for 4 to 6 weeks, meaning you will have to use crutches.

Surgical Treatment – For lateral malleolus fractures that are out of place, the orthopedic specialist will perform surgery on the injury. To make the ankle stable, he uses a plate and screws or screws and a rod. These attach to the bone fragments to realign the fibula so it can heal properly.

Medial Malleolus Fracture Treatment

A medial malleolus fracture can also involve injury to the fibula, the posterior malleolus, and the ankle ligaments. Just like the lateral types, the orthopedic specialist treats medial malleolus fractures according to their severity.

Nonsurgical Treatment – If the fracture is in alignment, it can be treated without surgery. The doctor put you in a removable brace or short leg cast to be worn for 4 to 6 weeks. The doctor recommends crutches also for a period of time.

Surgical Treatment – The surgeon will perform a procedure if the medial malleolus fracture is unstable and out of alignment. If the injury includes impaction of the ankle joint (damage to the cartilage surfaces), the surgeon will sometimes apply bone graft to repair it and decrease later risk of arthritis development. Many different techniques are used for this type of surgery.

Posterior Malleolus Fracture Treatment

A posterior malleolus fracture is a break in the back of the shinbone near the ankle joint. These types of fractures often include ligament damage. Many times with a posterior malleolus fracture, a lateral malleolus injury occurs.

Nonsurgical Treatment – Like other ankle fractures, fractures that are in alignment can often be treated conservatively without surgery. The orthopedic specialist will place you in a short leg cast or other device and recommend crutches for 4 to 6 weeks.

Surgical Treatment – Surgery is necessary when the bones are not in proper position, and the break is serious. The surgeon can use screws and plates along the back area of the shinbone to hold the bones in place while they heal.

Bimalleolar Fracture Treatment

“Bi” simply means two. When fractures are bimalleolar, this means that two or more parts of the malleoli of the ankle are involved. These injuries typically involve the lateral malleolus and the media malleolus. Bimalleolar fractures are not stable, as they are also often associated with ligament damage. Many times, there is a break of the fibula along with other structure damage.

Nonsurgical Treatment – Bimalleolar fractures require surgery. However, if you have significant health problems, the surgeon will not operate and recommend conservative treatment. The doctor uses a splint or short leg cast to stabilize and protect the injury. Also, you will not be able to bear weight on the ankle for 4 to 6 weeks.

Surgical Treatment – Because of the complexity of these types of fractures, the orthopedic specialist may combine surgical techniques in order to repair the various structures. Often times, a plate and screws are used to align bone fragments. Also, it may be necessary for the surgeon to use bone graft in bimalleolar fractures.

Trimalleolar Fracture Treatment

“Tri” means three. Trimalleolar injuries involve all three malleoli of the ankle. These types of fractures are unstable injuries and dislocation is common.

Nonsurgical Treatment – Unless you are in considerable poor health, the orthopedic specialist will recommend surgery for trimalleolar fractures. However, if you cannot undergo surgery, the surgeon will place your lower leg in a cast or removable device for stabilization and place you on crutches.

Surgical Treatment – These types of fractures are complex and require a combination of surgical efforts for repair. The surgeon will often use plates and screws, bone grafting, and other techniques during the procedure. Because dislocation is common, the doctor will have to properly align the bone and ligaments.