What is Thrush? A Terrible Illness Or Just a Fact of Life?

What is thrush? This is something that affects thousands of women every single day and it even affects men, children and animals too. Thrush is often thought of as a dirty illness and this is just not the case. It's actually a really common problem that will affect more than 75% of women through their life and out of that amount, more than half of them will have reoccurring bouts of thrush.

So what is thrush? Thrush is a simple bacterium known as yeast, it's present in women's bodies by nature and works to help keep you healthy. When the bacterial medically known as candidas grows and multiplies it can cause you problems – this is what brings on an outbreak of thrush or a yeast infection.

When these infections strike they can be really uncomfortable for the sufferer. The itching alone is enough to drive you mad and this itching when you have thrush is what can cause further problems. The good thing is, thrush is easily treatable and is normally nothing to be worried about. When you have a yeast infection you need to know the signs, know what to look for and take action as soon as you see or feel it coming.

Thrush shows so many different signs that it would be near impossible to list them all here. The itching and a whitish discharge that is the most common signs are a good indication that you are suffering from thrush. As I already mentioned, thrush is easily treatable most of the time and can be caused by a whole host of reasons. You should remember though, thrush does need to be treated as it can cause other problems if it's not.

Hepatitis Part I – What Causes Hepatitis

Hepatitis is characterized by the destruction of a number of liver cells and the presence of inflammatory cells in the liver tissue caused by excessive alcohol drinking, disorders of the gall bladder or pancreas, including medication side effects, and infections. There are many other infectious agents that can cause inflammation of the liver, or hepatitis. However, the term is unfortunately commonly used to refer to a particular group of viruses such as Hepatitis A, B, and C.

A person can develop hepatitis if they contract one of the viruses that can cause liver infection, or as a result of exposure to substances that can cause hepatitis. There are two ways that can lead to hepatitis: it can either occur as a result of infections or from autoimmune processes.

Hepatitis can be divided into two subgroups:

1. Acute hepatitis
Acute hepatitis caused by the below in result of inflammation that causes damage to the liver's normal function and lasting less than six months. People having a weakened immune system and weaker liver, making them more susceptible to being infected by hepatitis.

a) Infectious viral hepatitis such as hepatitis A, B, C, D, E.
b) Inflammation of liver caused by Epstein-Barr virus and cytomegalovirus.
c) Inflammation of liver caused by other bacteria.
d) Medication overdose causing damage to liver tissues and cells such as tranquilizers, chemotherapeutic agents, antibiotics and anesthetics.
e) Excessive alcohol drinking.

2. Chronic hepatitis:
Chronic hepatitis measures active, ongoing inflammation of the liver persisting for more than six months. Chronic hepatitis, although much less common than acute hepatitis, can persist for years, even decades. In most people, it is quite mild and does not cause significant liver damage. It may be caused by hepatitis B and C viruses, drugs and excess alcohol drinking. It can also result in cirrhosis, with an enlarged spleen and fluid accumulation in the abdominal cavity. In some people, continued inflammation slowly damages the liver, eventually resulting in severe scarring of the liver, liver failure and sometimes liver cancer.

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Cirrhosis of the Liver – What is This Condition?

Cirrhosis of the liver comes as a consequence of chronic liver disease in a patient. Certain issues characterize the disease, including medical problems such as the following: liver tissue replacement via fibrosis, scar tissue, nodules that regenerate, and progressive loss of liver function. This topic reviewers various issues related to the disease, with basic details. However, it is not professional medical advice and is not to be used as a substitute for this. If this condition is suspected, or has been confirmed, talk with a doctor or medical professional rather than trying to diagnose or treat it by any methods that may be stated on this page.

Symptoms of cirrhosis of the liver can vary in different cases of the condition. One potential issue is ascites, which is a problem where fluid accumulates in the peritoneal cavity. Additionally, jaundice can occur. This is a yellowish discoloration that can affect the skin, membranes in the eyes, and other mucous membranes. A general feeling of fatigue is also possible.

The disease can be caused by certain underlying medical conditions. Chronic hepatitis is one of these. Both the B and C forms, in their chronic state, have the potential to lead to this. Autoimmune hepatitis can also cause cirrhosis of the liver.

Use of a liver biopsy in order to make a diagnosis is the common route. Different treatment methods for this condition may be applicable in various cases. Additionally, the underlying causes should be considered, and may also require their own courses of treatment.

Kidney Stones Cause And Treatment

Kidney stones, also called renal calculi, are solid concretions or aggregation of crystals of dissolved minerals in the urine. The most common type of kidney stone is composed of calcium oxalate crystals. Other types of renal calculi are composed of struvite (magnesium, ammonium and phosphate); uric acid; calcium phosphate; and cystine. Kidney stones are one of the most painful disorders, and one of the most common disorders of the urinary tract. They produce a sudden, intense pain capable of bringing even the most strong murdered to their knees.

Although anyone can develop kidney stones there are some common risk factors. If any of your parents or anyone from previous generations have had kidney stones then you are more likely to develop kidney stones. If you are a Caucasian then you are more at risk. Women are far less afflicted with kidney stones than men. While 15% of the men can develop kidney stones in the case of women it is only 5%. Although kidney stones can strike at any age the most common time is between 20 and 40 years of age.

Most small kidney stones can be safely treated by allowing them to pass naturally through the body rather than resorting to surgery. American Urological Association discourages surgical extraction of smaller stones which is many times practiced. This can damage the tubes leading from the kidney to the bladder

Nearly 1 million surgical interventions are done each year to remove kidney stones in United States Alone. The following treatments are used to remove kidney stones.

  • Shock waves or extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL) – use of a machine to send shock waves directly to the kidney stone to break a large stone into smaller stones that will pass through the urinary system. There are two types of shock wave machines: with one machine, the patient sets in a tub of water, with the other, the patient lies on a table.
  • Ureteroscope – a long wire with a camera attached to it is inserted it into the patient's urethra and passed up through the bladder to the urethra where the stone is located. A cage is used to obtain the stone and remove it.
  • Tunnel surgery (Also called percutaneous nephrolithotomy.) – a small cut is made in the patient's back and a narrow tunnel is made through the skin to the stone inside the kidney. The physician can remove the stone through this tunnel.


Dog Labor Symptoms – What You Need to Know

Well, it's almost time is not it. You get a sense that her behavior and actions are telling you that after close to three months of being pregnant, it's almost time.

During the pregnancy you might have seen her rearranging her most comfortable spot. The spot where she will most likely have her pups. Maybe she took her little stuffed animal toys in there and simulated guarding and nurturing them like she will be doing in a few days or sometimes a few hours when the little ones arrive. It's time now to start looking for dog labor symptoms.

Well if you're a dog breeder, you probably have a thermometer for your dog to take your dogs temperature. If you do and you notice a drastic decline in your dogs body temperature, that's the first sign of dog labor symptoms.

After that watch her for a while! If she starts vomiting to empty her stomach, that's the second sign of dog labor symptoms. This may happen anywhere between two days and a couple of hours before she starts to go into labor.

If you notice signs of erratic behavior, digging up the blankets in her favorite spot, turning everything in her den upside down, looking like she's trying to do everything to make herself comfortable but it just does not seem to be working, these are signs of dog labor symptoms.

She'll be nice and quit one moment, then the next she's following you around the house consistently, trying to be close to you, maybe sleeping under your bed for long periods of time then staying up half the night pacing around with the feeling she just can not get comfortable.

She's definitely going to stay close to her favorite spot during this period of time, and do not be alarmed if she gets very protective of her den and maybe even a little aggressive of anyone in the house that she's not familiar with.

Noticing these signs of dog labor symptoms will allow you to be prepared and ready, and you will also be able to show your dog with compassion and confident actions that you know she's ready and this in turn will give her the comfort she needs to begin.

So remember, check her body temperature, if there's a drop in body temperature, keep a close eye on her. If she empties her stomach around this time the labor will start anywhere between a couple of hours and a few days.

Amaranth: Soak It For Maximum Nutrition

Amaranth is nutritious and high in zinc, iron, and calcium. Amaranth has a nutty flavor and serves as a good complement to many bean dishes but it also makes a good main dish when combined with tasty vegetables as does the grain bulghur when turned into tabouli. The catch is that to get the most mineral value out of this food, we recommend soaking it overnight (or for eight to twelve hours) to reduce the mineral inhibitors native to the amaranth. All grains have these same inhibitors and so too benefit from this extensive soaking.

Amaranth is high in phytic acid, or phytates, a well-known mineral inhibitor. The phytic acid binds to minerals such as iron, magnesium, zinc, and calcium and inhibits your absoprtion of them. Although amaranth appears rich in minerals, the fact of the matter is that you cannot absorb all of them because of the phytic acid. The trick is to soak the amaranth to reduce the phytic acid. As a bonus, you will reduce your cooking time.

Rinse your amaranth and plan to soak it for eight to twelve hours. An overnight soak works well. Use two parts water for one part amaranth or the amount of water called for in your recipe. Soak the amaranth in warm water — above body temperature — and leave it in a warm spot. Cover the amaranth with a towel as it soaks. Some people add yogurt or a tablespoon or two of lemon juice to the mixture to improve the pH of the soaking water. Feel free to give that a try, but if the flavor seems off to you, a regular warm water soak works well too.

After soaking, transfer the amaranth to a pan and follow the cooking directions. The only exception is that the amaranth is likely to cook twice as fast, so sample it along the way to check if it is done. It is good practice to stir it regularly while it is cooking. You might try soaking the amaranth in a stainless steel pot you plan to cook it in. After soaking, simply pop it on the stove and cook it. Prepare amaranth as a breakfast cereal with honey, as a side dish (drizzled with olive oil and seasoned with salt and pepper), or as the center of your meal. Amaranth is nutty, versatile, and nutritious. Plan to soak it to reduce the phytic acid content and you will benefit more from its rich mineral content.

The Cause of a Stomach Ulcer – The Mystery Solved

Gnawing, burning, aching … oh the pain of a stomach ulcer! The pain of a stomach ulcer is generally felt in the upper middle abdomen and is often mistaken as just your basic garden variety heartburn. But make no mistake, even though heartburn can certainly turn out to be quite serious, a stomach ulcer can lead to complications as well. A serious complication of stomach ulcers is bleeding. This occurs when the raw and open area of ​​the ulcer in the stomach lining begins to bleed. A bleeding ulcer requires medical intervention.

So what causes a stomach ulcer? There are several different theories but the most reliable theories include one thing. The basic cause of a stomach ulcer is the destruction of the protective lining of the stomach leading to the development of a raw open or ulcerated area. The lining of the stomach is a protective one, meaning if there is a break in that lining then that area of ​​the stomach is left unprotected and suspectible to ulcers.

Again, remember the basics, it really is quite simple … a stomach ulcer occurs when there is a breakdown in the protective lining. This breakdown occurs when the intestinal or gastric mucosal lining of the stomach is destroyed by hydrochloric acid, an acid which is normally present in the digestive juices of the stomach.

The lining of the stomach has a protective layer of mucus that keeps the stomach from damage resulting from the presence of gastric juices and stomach acids. However, when this protective layer sustains damage, then an ulcer may occur. When the stomach's natural acids and the protective defenses of the stomach's lining get out of balance then it is more likely that stomach ulcers are will occur.

A stomach ulcer may also occur as a result of a bacterium called Helicobacter pylori or H. pylori. The presence of this infectious bacterium is one of the most common causes of stomach ulcers and is thought to be a key player in the development of both gastric and duodenal ulcers. Transmission of this bacterium occurs person to person through contaminated food and water.

Other contributive causes of duodenal ulcers include excessive secretion of hydrochloric acid, genetic or familial predisposition, and psychological stress. These same factors can also cause duodenal ulcers to worsen. Excessive use of anti-inflammatory medications or aspirin, smoking, obesity, and simply aging can also be contributing factors in the development of stomach ulcers.

Causes of stomach ulcers are varied but many can be controlled by basic lifestyle changes. Working closely with your family physician is the best resource to learning to heal and control your stomach ulcer.

Detox – Beneficial or Barbaric?

It has been stated that detox diets and products – do neither harm, nor good!

What is Detox? It is supposedly the cleansing of the kidneys, liver, bowel and stomach. It usually combines an eating and exercise program with herbal supplements … to purify and purge your body of all 'toxins'. To cleanse the colon inner walls allowing larger amounts of waste matter to pass through the bowel. Detox – claims to prevent and cure diseases – giving you more energy – but … with no scientific proof!

These are short term diets – not aimed at weight loss – but rather to cleanse the system. They are not recommended for diabetics, those with low blood pressure, eating disorders or teenagers – as they do not provide sufficient fuel to support sports and physical activities. They can become addictive!

Why detox? Because the liver can become overloaded – especially when our lifestyles become unhealthy. The liver cleanses almost three liters of blood every minute – under 'normal' circumstances it can clear 99% of bacteria and other toxins from the blood before it re-enters the bloodstream. Symptoms of overloading the liver may include fatigue, low grade infections, flatulence, nausea, migraines, constipation, bags under the eyes, skin irritations, etc.

Some examples of detox plans include:

– 'lemonade diet' – where you have nothing much more than a concoction of lemon juice, cayenne pepper and maple syrup – for a minimum of 10 days

– a 15 day 'quick cleanse' program – includes 24 natural herbs and 7 additional ingredients

– 'dual action cleanse' – a natural herbal formula – to act as a total body purifier and to unclog your colon

And many more … what they mainly have in common is that they usually include several days of liquid diet followed by eating organic raw fruit and vegetables – then gradually re-introducing other foods, but excluding red meat, wheat, sugar, eggs and packaged foods.

To ramp up these detox effects the diets also include laxatives, salt water drinks, digestive aids and tonics – to induce bowel movements. This is intended to regain vitality and lose weight.

Nowadays you just have to purchase a detox kit from the chemist, healthfood store, or supermarket shelf – swallow some supplements, follow the diet and wow – you are cleaned!

However …. consider …

Fasting causes the body's metabolism to slow down

Weight loss due to fasting is likely to be muscle tissue and water

You may feel tired, weak, nauseous, hungry – or experience headaches

Fasting can become addictive and may lead to eating disorders

Malnutrition may occur – if continued over extended periods

But – can years of drinking alcohol, over eating, eating the wrong foods, taking drugs – be magically reversed by a brief detox program?
Is fasting … purging … eliminating a lot of food groups … good for you?
If you're looking for a quick fix solution – then it's fine for short term.
But – how quickly we revert to our old habits.

The alternative …

Eat lots of fresh vegetables, vitamin C enriched foods – citrus fruit, strawberries, dark green vegetables

Eat Omega 3 foods – salmon, mackerel, sardines

Nuts and seeds

Herbs – milk thistle, tumeric, lecithin, dandelion, and globe artichoke – can all produce a protective and curative effect on liver damage

Stop smoking

Avoid drugs and medicines, exposure to chemicals

Drink 8 glasses of water

Do deep breathing

Or..perhaps something as simple as drinking freshly squeezed fruit juices – first thing in the morning on an empty stomach can be the healthy alternative – fruit acids are effective detoxifiers!

Acidity – Herbs and Ayurvedic Remedies, Acidity Symptom and Other Treatments

What is Acidity?

The human stomach contains gastric glands which are responsible for the proper digestion of food in it. Gastric glands achieve the digestion by secreting various acids, the chief of which is the hydrochloric acid. These pains are aided by various enzymes of the stomach in bringing about digestion. The level of acids in the human stomach is generally controlled; but for some reason if the level of difficulties increases beyond the
normal levels, then the condition is known as acidity.

Here, acidity is the condition in which there is an excess secret of acid within the stomach. Other names for acidity are hyperacidity or acid dyspepsia.

Why is Acidity caused?

The stomach is equipped with these acids in order to be able to digest the food. The acids are released when foods enter the stomach. However some foods are difficult to digest than the others. For such foods, the stomach needs to secret more acids. Continuous secretions of such hardships could lead to acidity in the stomach.

This excess production of acids could be made higher due to various factors. Ulcers in the stomach are one of the commonest causes in increasing acid production.

People with stomach cancers will also have acidity problems as one of the symptoms. For this reason, acidity should not be ignored if it lasts for a long period of time, or if the person is older.

There is a condition known as the acid-reflux complex, due to which the stomach acids are refluxed back to the food pipe. When this happens, a prominent sour taste is felt in the mouth, and a belch might occur.

What are the Symptoms of Acidity?

When a person has acidity in the stomach, there can be a vast difference in the kinds of symptoms observed. For some people it may be a simple bellyache, but for others, it could lead to days of restlessness with continuous cramps in the stomach.

In fact restlessness is the most common symptom of acidity, followed by nausea and vomiting. There is a sour taste felt in the mouth, which is due to the excess deposition of the acids. Sometimes there are sour belches and passing off wind. Other substantive problems like constipation and indigestion will also occur. In some cases, stiffness is felt in the stomach.

How can Acidity be avoided?

A proper diet pattern is the best thing in order to avoid acidity. The following tips must be followed: –

  • Avoid foods that are rich in oils and fats. These foods are difficult to digest, so they may make the stomach release more acids.
  • The diet should contain a proper blend of all the tastes. Spicy foods must be just one dish rather than the whole meal.
  • Fibers are necessary in the diet as they help in the digestion.
  • Red meats must be eat only only occasionally, if at all.
  • After a meal, the body must be given some sort of exercise. This could be as simple as going for a stroll.
  • Too much addiction to strong foods such as tea and coffee may cause acidity. This is also true for other addictions such as smoking and alcohol.
  • Do not consume sour foods as they already have acidic contents. Acidic foods to avoid are pickles, curds, tamarinds, vinegar, etc.
  • How can Acidity be controlled with Simple Home Remedies?

    There are several simple household tips to keep acidity under control. The following are some of them: –

  • Eat two plantains early in the morning and down them with a glass of milk.
  • Taking two tablespoonfuls of Isabgol (psyllium seed husks) in milk after every meal is beneficial for elimination of acidity.
  • Squeeze the juice of a whole orange and mix it with roasted cumin seeds. Add some rock salt to flavor it. This solution gives immediate relief from acidity.
  • Eat equal portions of ginger and coriander. This pacifies the digestive fire.
  • Mix equal amounts of ginger extract and mint extract. Having this two to four times a day provides relief.
  • Alternately, the extract of a ginger can be mixed with equal amount of honey. This is to be put on the tongue every dawn and dusk.
  • Two teaspoonfuls of powder of amla (Indian gooseberry) taken twice a day is also helpful.
  • If the acid lasts for a long time, then try adhering to a milk diet. Milk may initially be troublesome to the digestive system, but the indigestible curds it would form in the body would generally be vomited out.
  • Mixing two teaspoonfuls of ghee in a glassful of milk and taking this once a day acts as a laxative, which would flush out the excess toxins from the body.
  • Coconut water is good for reducing acidity in the stomach.
  • If using rice, make sure it is at least two years old. Wheat flour can also be beneficially used to reduce acidity.
  • Gastritis Diet – Keep Your Gastritis in Check With Your Diet

    Does a gastritis diet help in controlling or treating gastritis? Let's find out more!

    Gastritis is a condition where the lining of the stomach gets irritated and inflamed. It is not a disease but a condition which may be caused due to various medical conditions too. Excessive drinking of alcohol or continuous use of anti inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen or aspirin can also be responsible for this condition.

    Other reasons to cause this condition include traumatic injury, severe infections, major surgery or even burns. Some disease like anemia, chronic reflux and auto immune disorders have also caused this condition.

    Since this condition is related chiefly to the stomach, it is but natural that what we eat can play a major role in aggravating or soothing this condition. There are people who believe that a gastritis diet may actually help treat it.

    Let us start with a few basic tips that may help you ease your discomfort:

    • Stick to your regular meals. Eating too often or between meals can aggravate acidity
    • Limit your dairy intake and even then switch to low fat or no fat products
    • Pepper and chilies of all kinds and all states should be avoided along with alcohol
    • Limit your caffeine in intake. If possible avoid it all together. This means steer clear of coffee, tea, chocolates, colas and cocoa
    • Tomatoes, citrus juices and fatty foods irritate the lining and can cause heartburn
    • Avoid garlic, onions cinnamon and cloves if they cause irritation
    • High fiber food like whole grains beans, fruits and vegetables is good for the stomach
    • It would be easy on your stomach if you could avoid foods causing gas, like cage, milk peas etc.

    With trial and error you will know which foods suit you better and which cause pain or irritation.

    Some other things that you can take care about are:

    • Eat slowly and chew your food completely. This will help in digestion and will prevent irritation.
    • Always eat a little less that you want to. This will help keep the stomach easy
    • Smaller meals are easy on the stomach. So eat small meals every few hours
    • Avoid spicy food; This includes peppers, chilies and pungent spices
    • Avoid fatty food, deep fried stuff, pickled, salty and salted foods
    • Vinegar and caffeine wines are also best not taken

    Have a look at foods to avoid and foods to take:

    Include: wheat bran, fresh fruits and vegetables, salads, leafy vegetables, coconut water, banana, carrot juice, molasses, almonds, raw apples and tomatoes, papaya etc.

    Exclude: alcohol, coffee, whole milk, meat, cream, pork, soda, citrus juices, spicy food, broccoli beans etc.

    When the stomach is having a bad time:

    • Try some plain low fat yogurt
    • Combine spinach and carrot juice and drink to calm it

    Consult your doctor if you are taking medicines like ibuprofen and aspirin. Take care of your diet and help relieve the pain and suffering caused by this condition. A proper gastritis diet combined with stress management should give you good results.

    Respiratory System Disorders – Diseases of the Diaphragm

    Diaphragmatic paralysis
    The diaphragm is supplied by the phrenic nerve which has a long intra-thoracic course. Involvement of this nerve anywhere in its course is a common cause of paralysis of the diaphragm. The paralysed dome is pushed up by the intra-abdominal pressure. It moves paradoxically with respiration ie, during inspiration, it is drawn up and vice versa. Diaphragmatic paralysis may be unilateral or bilateral.

    Causes of unilateral paralysis
    Birth injuries, viral infections such as Herpes Zoster, Carcinomatous infiltration by bronchogenic carcinoma, diphtheric paralysis, and injury to the nerve due to trauma or surgical avulsion are the common causes. The condition may be asymptomatic, detected during physical examination or by radiology. Sometimes left-sided paralysis may produce gaseous dyspepsia.

    Causes of bilateral paralysis
    This may result from poliomyelitis, cervical cord lesions, motor neuron disease, muscular dystrophies, myasthemia gravis and Gulliam-Barre 'syndrome. Rarely rheumatic fever, typhoid, penumonia, mediastinitis, pericarditis, and encephalitis lethargical may lead to diaphragmatic paralysis.

    Clinical features
    In bilateral diaphragmatic paralysis dyspnea may occur because of ventilatory insufficiency. During inspiration, the lower part of the Chest moves horizontally, the subcostal angle widens, and the epigastrium and hypochondria recede. Absence of the normal peeling movements of the diaphragm visible on the thoracic cage is known as "Littens sign". Abdomen is drawn in during inspiration.
    Radiologically, the dome of the diaphragm is seen to be elevated. Other conditions such as pulmonary fibrosis, atelectasis and eventration of the diaphragm also cause elevation of the dome. In diaphragmatic paralysis, the movement is paradoxical. whereas in pulmonary fibrosis and atlectasis, the movement of the elevated diaphragm is considered restricted.

    Eventration of the diaphragm
    It is a condition in which the diaphragm is unusually elevated and atrophic. This may be a congenital or acquired condition. In eventration also, the movement is paradoxical. The absence of any undering cause and persistence over several years should suggest the possibility of eventration.

    Treatment : Respiratory anxiety caused by acute diaphragmatic paralysis may have to be treated by intensive respiratory care and ventilatory support.

    Diaphragmatic Hernia
    The diaphragm acts as a musculotendinous partition between the thoracic and abdominal cavities. The peritoneum and pleura on either side strengthen it further. Infeior vena cave, esophagus, and aorta pass through the diaphragm. The apertures through which they pass are covered and sealed by the serous membranes. When the aperture becomes lax or other defects develop, abdominal contents herniate into the thoracic cavity.

    Herniation may be spontaneous without any known cause or it may be traumatic. traumatic hernia is more common on the left side. Although any part may be ruptured, the common site is between the central tendon and ninth rib laterally. Non-traumatic hernias may occur congenitally or may be acquired. Mal-development of the diaphragm or laxity of the apertures occurs in congenital hernias. Four common sites although which herniation occur are:

    1. Esophagu hiatus
    2. foramen of Morgagni (between the sternal and costal slips of Origin of the diaphragm)
    3. foramen of Bochdalek the (Pleuro-peritoneal hiatus), and
    4. through areas of partial absence of the diaphragm.

    Among these, in more than 75% cases herniation occurs through the esphagus histus. Herniation of abdominal viscera into the thorax can be clearly delineated by a barium meal follow through examination which will show the presence of stomach and / or intestines above the diaphragm.

    Hiccough (Hiccup)
    This is a common reflex phenomenon resulting from sudden spasmodic invluntary contracting of the diaphragm with the glottis remaining closed. The reflex arc is made up of the vagus and t sensory fibers of the phrenic nerve as the afferent limb and the efferent lim made-up by the motor part of the phrenic nerve. The reflex center is located in the upper cervical cord. In most cases, the onset and termination of hiccup may be spontaneous and abrupt. Hasty ingestion of food and fluids may trigger off an attack. At times persistent hiccough may be the manifestation of irritation of the phrenic nerve occurring in pericarditis, mediastinitis, and compression by tumors, or during surgery of the thorax and upper abdomen. In most cases, the cause is obscured. Cerebrovascular accidents, encephalitis, brain tumors, renal failure, hepatic failure, diabetic ketoacidosis, respiratory failure and electrolyte disturbances may be accompanied by hiccup. Local irritation of the diaphragm due to gaseous distension of the stomach or intestines, subphrenic abscess, peritonitis and acute myocardial infarction may cause hiccup. Persistent hiccup may be psychogenic. In a gravely ill patient, the muscular effort and discomfort caused by hiccup may hasten death. In hiccup, due to central causes both sides of the diaphragm contract. In conditions caused by local irritation, only one side may contract.

    Management : Although many cases stop spontaneously, in resistant cases treatment is unsatisfactory. Simple physical measures such as drinking cold water, pressure over the eye-ball, Valsalva maneuver, pull on the tongue, stimulation of the phrenic nerve by pressure in the neck or rebreathing into a paper bag may stop the hiccup in many cases. Inhalation of 5 to 10% Carbondioxide is effective. Unilateral hiccup can be arrested by local infiltration of the phrenic nerve with procaine. In cases with abdominal distension, aspiration of gastric contents through a nasogastric tube may provide prompt relief. Drug therapy consists of the administration of chlorpromazine 25-50 mg orally or intramuscularly.

    Diaphragmatic flutter
    Sometimes, the diaphragm manifests paroxysmal wave-like rhythmic movements at rates going up to 100 / min or more. The exact mechanism or cause is not clear. When the condition persists, ventilation may be jeopardized. The term 'diaphragmatic tic' is given to flutter occurring at a lower rate. Diaphragmatic flutter is seen more frequently in patients recovering from cerebrovascular accidents or encephalitis.

    Treatment : The condition responds to anti-convulsant drugs such as dilantin sodium or carbamazepine. In intractable cases temporary phrenic paralysis may have to be induced by crushing the nerve.

    Causes of Water Retention – 10 Common Reasons For Swelling of the Body

    Water retention is a common health problem that greatly affects the day to day activities of the sufferers. Water retention – medically referred to as edema – is the accumulation of excess fluid that leaks into the body tissues. The leakage will lead to swelling in all over the body (generalized swelling) or more localized swelling, such as swelling in legs, feet and ankles or fluid retention in abdominal, the face, hands, arms, and around the lungs.

    Although there are many different conditions and diseases associated with the term water retention or edema, there are several more prominent causes of water retention. And here is some of them:

    1. Arthritis

    Arthritis, which means “joint inflammation”, is described as an inflammation of one or more joints that involves the mechanical failure of cartilage resulting in joint pain, swelling, and limited movement. It can affect any joints in the body from hip, heel, spine, shoulder, knee to the big toe.

    There are more than 100 different types of arthritis but the three most common types are: osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and gout. Different types of arthritis show different symptoms. Common symptoms of arthritis include: persistent joint pain, fever, tenderness, joint swelling, stiffness, redness, joint malformation, inflexibility of joint and unexplained weight loss.

    2. Kidney disorders

    Certain form of kidney disorders such as kidney failure and glomerular disease will lead to swelling throughout the body as well as localized swelling in the abdominal, ankle, feet and leg swelling. This occurs because the kidneys have lost its normal functions including to efficiently removing salt and water out of the body. This will in turn cause the body to retain fluid and over time, get accumulated in the body tissues.

    3. Chronic lung disease

    Chronic lung disease is a general term of persistent lung disorders that damage the function of the lungs. Severe chronic lung disease will cause water retention in the body include fluid retention in lungs (pulmonary edema), ascites, neck, face, ankle and feet swelling. Chronic lung disease such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), smoke inhalation injury, acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), lung cancer, mesothelioma, etc. may lead to pulmonary edema, abdominal edema / ascites, fluid retention in the neck and face, swelling in the ankles and feet.

    4. Cirrhosis of the liver

    Cirrhosis of the liver usually causes abdominal fluid retention. It also causes low protein albumin synthesis by the liver and results in legs and abdominal fluid retention.

    5. Congestive heart failure, cardiomyopathy disease and heart valve disease

    Congestive heart failure obstructs the normal circulation of the blood and often leads to water retention. Two most common causes of water retention in congestive heart failure patient are: (1) the blood flow to the heart backups and leaks into the lung and vein; (2) the kidney retain fluid due to the insufficient amount of blood flow. Both cardiomyopathy and heart valve disease are a variety of heart disease and lead to heart failure.

    6. Excess sodium intake

    In people who are more sensitive to sodium, excess sodium intake will raise the blood pressure and lead to water retention especially in the lower extremities such as swelling in the ankles and feet.

    7. Gravity

    Standing or sitting too long in one position because of occupation necessity or after long trips may cause fluid retention in legs. This is usually worsened in high temperatures.

    8. Pregnancy

    In some cases, the developing uterus in pregnant women may press the vena cava leading to fluid retention in the legs. Hormone imbalances and increased amount of blood flow also responsible for water retention during pregnancy. The most affected areas of swelling during pregnancy are in the lower extremities especially the ankles and feet.

    9. Side effects of certain medication

    Certain medication such as anabolic steroid, calcium channel blockers, levitra, methadone, etc. may affect the normal functions of the body and lead to swelling particularly in the legs, feet and ankles.

    10. Venous Insufficiency

    Venous insufficiency is a disturbance of the blood flow in the leg veins because of the damage of the veins itself or the valves causing the fluid to backup and leak into the surrounding tissues. This disorder is one of the most common causes of water retention in legs.

    Look over the list of water retention causes and decide if you are indeed experiencing one or more. Remember, many diseases take years to appear after the symptom does. Thus, you should speak to your doctor if you have any questions regarding water retention in any parts of your body. Your doctor is the one who can tell you just what exactly the cause of your swelling and what treatment options will work best for you.

    Surgery For Aortic Stenosis

    Such is the case for patients diagnosed with aortic stenosis, a life-threatening disease in which a heart valve narrows due to calcification, wear or infection. Ultimately, aortic valve stenosis can lead to thickening of the cardiac muscle and heart failure.

    To treat aortic stenosis, highly skilled cardiothoracic surgeons perform open heart surgery in which the sternum is split, the heart is stopped and the aortic valve is either repaired or replaced. It is estimated that over 40,000 surgeries are performed in the United States each year due to aortic stenosis.

    Given the current size of this market and the expected surge in heart surgery, due to the 76 million baby boomers, several medical centers and corporations are developing new procedures to minimize the trauma and decrease the mortality rates of corrective operations for aortic stenosis.

    Minimally invasive procedures appear to be the centerpiece of the new approaches to treating aortic valve stenosis. Using non-invasive techniques the trauma to the chest plate is reduced and the challenging recovery time is greatly reduced.

    One such form of minimally invasive aortic valve surgery is a mini-sternotomy. According to Dr. Eric Roselli, heart surgeon at The Cleveland Clinic, "Almost all isolated first time aortic valves get a mini-sternotomy in my practice and All believe that's true for collections as well."

    The other, more revolutionary form of heart surgery used to treat aortic stenosis uses a percutaneous approach that uses catheters to position tissue heart valve replacements directly into the heat without breaking the patient's sternum. Edwards Life sciences, based in Irvine, California, currently has its transcatheter, Sapien aortic valve replacement technology in trials.

    Pseudotumor Cerebri

    Pseudotumor Cerebri, also called benign intracranial hypertension or idiopathic intracranial hypertension, is a condition in which the pressure inside the skull increases without any obvious reason. Most commonly, it affects obese women of childbearing age.

    Most of the symptoms are related to:

    1. Increased intracranial pressure.

    2. Papilledema: a swelling around the optic disc (the site of entry of the optic nerve to the eyeball). It occurs due to increase in the intracranial pressure.

    Symptoms of pseudotumor cerebri include:

    * Symptoms due to increased intracranial pressure:

    1. Headache, ranging from moderate to severe, that originates deep to the eye and that worsen with eye movements.

    2. Pulsatile tinnitus: ringing sound in the ears which are synchronous with the pulse.

    3. Double vision.

    4. Nausea and vomiting.

    * Symptoms due to papilledema:

    1. Dimming or black-out of vision in either eyes or both that lasts for seconds (visual obscurations).

    2. Blurring of vision.

    3. Having a difficulty to look to the sides.

    How is pseudotumor cerebri diagnosed?
    – Fundus examination: a doctor will examine the patient's eye to confirm the presence of papilledema.

    – Imaging studies as CT scan and MRI to visualize any other pathology causing similar symptoms.

    – A lumbar puncture can be done to measure the intracranial pressure.

    What is the treatment of Pseudotumor Cerebri?
    Untreated cases can be complicated by secondary optical atrophy and permanent blindness.

    Medical treatment options:
    It aims for decreasing the intracranial pressure. Acetazolamide (Diamox) is used in cases without visual loss. Corticosteroids (prednisone) can be used if there are severe symptoms or visual loss. Obese women must reduce their weight.

    If medical treatment is not successful in controlling the symptoms or there is progressive visual loss, surgery is done.

    Surgical options:
    Either i.) CSF shunting procedure: using a lumboperitoneal shunt is commonly used. It will allow excess CSF to pass directly into the peritoneum. So the intracranial pressure is maintained at a normal level. Disadvantages of the use of a shunt include infections and low pressure headaches.

    Or ii.) Optic nerve sheath fenestration:

    The aim of this surgery is to relieve the pressure from around the optic nerve and so preserves vision. This will allow CSF to pass to the orbital fat and then to the venous circulation where it will be absorbed.

    Should the patient change his / her diet?
    Yes. It is a must that all patients should be put on a weight-reduction diet. Beside, exercising is important in helping reducing one's weight.

    Treatment For Pneumonia – Natural Vs Pharmacological

    People would most likely opt for a pharmacological medication as a treatment for pneumonia. But what really works as well as these medications?

    Pneumonia is the medical term used to refer to the infection that occurs in the lungs. This is caused by microorganisms which include fungi, viruses and bacteria.

    This condition usually starts in the upper respiratory tract. The symptoms usually are usually something that involves pain and discomfort in the throat or the nose. After about two to three days, the symptoms of this illness will then manifest.

    The signs and symptoms of this condition usually vary depending on the age of the person affected and its cause. In general, here are the symptoms that occur:

    – fever
    – cough
    – rapid and shallow breathing
    – wheezing quality of breathing
    – pain in the chest area
    – abdominal cramps or pain
    – vomiting
    – fatigue
    – lack of appetite
    – graying pallor of skin, lips and nails

    Sometimes a person manifests only one or two of these symptoms. When this is caused by bacterial infection, the sickness is quicker to manifest and the fever may alarmingly high. If it is caused by virus, the symptoms are slower to manifest and they are less severe compared to the symptoms detected by bacterial infection.

    This illness can persist for a period of one to two weeks. If it is caused by viral infection, the duration may last even longer. This illness is also very contagious.

    This can spread easily if the affected person coughs or sneezes and the fluid from the body of the person affected spews out. This can also be spread by sharing utensils or personal belongings with the person affected.

    There are actually vaccines that can help eliminate the likelihood of acquitting this illness. If the child is diagnosed with heart ailment, lung complications and asthma, it is recommended to have them vaccinated to prevent further complications.

    If you or your children already have this condition, antibiotics can be prescribed by your doctor to be administrated at home. The antibiotic prescribed depends on the cause of the illness.

    A child may hospitalized if the symptoms are severe and the fever is high. Those who suffer from asthma, heart and lung diseases also need more medical attention.

    Pharmacologic treatment for pneumonia is effective but there are more to the treatment than this. Parents can also use natural remedies that are also as effective, if not even better.

    Fruits and Veggies
    Fruits and veggies rich in Vitamin C can help improve this condition. You can get your daily dose of this nutrient from broccoli, red pepper and citrus fruits.

    The essential oil of Tulsi is effective in achieving this condition. This herbal remedy has been deemed one of the most effective natural treatments for pneumonia. Try rubbing the essential oil on your chest and you can experience immediate relief.

    The leaf is also beneficial. You can make tea out of the leaves and drink the mixture. You can add black pepper in this drink for better results.

    This is also another great remedy. It can make the person affected sweat more to help lower down his / her body temperature. This can be taken in tea form.