Plastic Surgery – An Art As Well As Complex Science

Plastic Surgery is the process of repairing and restoring parts of the human body either for functional or aesthetic approaches. The term is derived from a Greek word which means 'to shape'. Plastic surgery does not refer to the use of plastic as a material in the surgical process.

There are different disciplines that fall under the umbrella of plastic surgery. They are broadly divided into two major parts called Reconstructive Surgery and Cosmetic Surgery.

Reconstructive surgery is more functional in nature and is concerned with making sure the organ is able to function in case of damage or accident. Any distortion to any part of the body can be fixed using reconstructive surgery. It can help to remove tumors, treat burn injuries and scars, correcting the ears and hands so that they can work, remove cleft in lip and other procedures of the like.

Cosmetic Surgery is about altering the appearance to make it more aesthetically pleasing. Various procedures that come under this are facelift, rhinoplasty (commonly known as nose job), breast augmentation and orthognathic surgery (that is to alter bones of the face in order to reshape them).

A number of grafting techniques are used for plastic surgery and with the advent of modern technology; they just continue to get better. Autografts is a kind of grafting where skin from another part of the body of the person is planted to the affected area for the treatment. Allografts are parts of skin or other tissue taken from another person or organism but belonging to the same species. Xenografts on the other hand can use tissue from another organism of a different species as well.

This type of surgery is not just about the technique but the surgeon has to possess dexterity because a huge part of performing such a surgery is to make the affected area look flawless.

15 Benefits of Red Light Therapy for Your Skin

Red light therapy continues to grow in popularity and is a highly thought after treatment by professionals and laymen alike. But, what's the real magic behind this seemingly all too simple technology and what can it do for your skin?

It has been known for centuries that light has immense soothing properties but it was just within the last century that NASA discovered red and infrared LEDs not only offer therapeutic powers but also significantly reduce pain and accelerate healing. These discoveries sparked study after study into further benefits of red light therapy.

Scientific research has proven that LEDs (light emitting diodes) in very specific wavelengths create positive reactions at a deep cellular level. Do to the high content of blood and water within the body, LED wavelengths are readily absorbed into skin and tissue where they increase cellular energy, stimulate collagen and elastin synthesis, boost circulation, accelerating healing, kick start repair processes, drive more oxygen to the treated area, and much more.

So, what do all of these reactions mean to you? If your skin is treated with yellow, red, and / or infrared LEDs your skin will begin to act more youthful, repair past damage, and beautify the skin from the inside out.

As these changes occur overtime your skin will look more radiant, youthful, and healthy. The benefits are many and the list only sees to get longer and longer as more and more studies are performing revealing the power held within LEDs.

Benefits of Red Light Therapy for Skin

1. Reduces lines and wrinkles

2. Diminishes pore size

3. Evens out skin tone

4. Fades age spots

5. Tightens and firms the skin

6. Reduces redness

7. Eases the signs of rosacea

8. Accelerates the healing of blemishes

9. Helps with sunburn redness, pain, and inflammation

10. Smoothing the texture of the skin

11. Stimulates collagen and elastin

12. Reduces swelling

13. Promotes a healthy glow

14. Fades scarring

15. Makes the skin look younger

Red light therapy offers a powerful yet gentle means for drastically improving your skin without risk, pain, or downtime. It's broadly available in spas, salons, dr.'S offices, as well as at home with units designed for personal use.

When looking for a high quality and effective home unit you will want to make sure it has LED wavelengths within proven ranges (for example yellow at 590 nanometers, red between 625-660 nanometers, and infrared at 880 nanometers and above.) Each set of wavelengths penetrate to different depths within the skin and tissue. The higher the nanometer range the deeper the penetration.

There are a great number of home units on the market and that quantity continues to grow as more and more individuals discover the vast number of benefits red light therapy offers. So, how do you know which ones you can actually trust?

First off, this therapy is an investment in your skin, beauty, and confidence. If a unit looks exceptionalally inexpensive it probably will not give you what you are looking for. You will pay more for a unit that uses high quality LEDs in the correct nanometer ranges. There are a few systems on the market that have proven track records, come from reputable companies, and have actual testimonials from real people as to the effectiveness of the device.

You will also have the option of a handheld unit versus a hands free panel system. The main thing to consider here is which style of device are you more likely to remain consistent with? A hands free panel system will treat your entire face and you will need to keep your eyes closed. A handheld unit allows you to keep your eyes open during the treatments but you will need to move the device to different sections of your face.

There is evidence suggesting that the handheld units are more powerful than the panel systems due to the fact that the LEDs are closer together and the wavelengths do not scatter as read because the head of the unit is directly on the skin.

These are exciting times with red light therapy giving you the opportunity to easily improve your complexion with powerful healing LEDs. It's a simple technology to operate, is extremely beneficial for your skin, and the home systems now make it more affordable and convenient.

What You Need to Know About Your High Cholesterol Diet

Cholesterol is a fat that is made by the body and is a direct result of eating a high cholesterol diet. There are many kinds of cholesterol that is measured using the screening routine. Cholesterol comes from food that you eat, and made in the body. When taken in sufficient amounts, it can actually prevent the bad cholesterol from piling up. Note that cholesterol is not all bad. It is used to produce libido in your body and it can affect your hormones. Bad cholesterol is produced by the liver and carried throughout the body. While cholesterol in the body is important for the health, when it is produced in high quantity, it can amass on the blood vessel wall and cause blockage. Studies show that the presence of high cholesterol in a human’s body can lead to heart attack, blood clots, hardening and clogged arteries, and stroke.

Studies show that an average American adult takes about 360 milligrams of cholesterol; this is way above than the recommended amount of 300 milligrams. If you are already have too much cholesterol in your diet such as red meat, cheese, butter, eggs and milk, then it is time for you to be careful in the food choices you make. With the hurried lifestyles that most of us have, we choose to eat fast food because of its convenience. Regrettably, these types of foods are unhealthy as they have been prepared using many fats and oils.

Risks of a High Cholesterol Diet

Studies show that elevated levels of cholesterol are caused by very many things, the top most being one’s lifestyle. However, age and heritage is said to contribute to high levels of cholesterol. If you do not want to have your body bulging with fat, you can choose to live longer and healthier. One mistaken fact is that only fat and old people can have high levels of cholesterol, the truth is that even thin and young people can have high levels of cholesterol.

One of the main sources of elevated levels of cholesterol in the body is having a diet eating foods high in cholesterol. Eating foods that have saturated fat such as animal product can cause cholesterol even if the fats do not have cholesterol. In addition to that, eating food that has high level of cholesterol such as meat and eggs also increase the levels of cholesterol.

Note that, only animal products have cholesterol. Many people confuse this and end up eating these types of food anyway. Many grocery stores have wrongly labeled products to be 100% free of animal products, which is wrong, and it ends up contributing to the customer’s bad diet practices.

The second source of cholesterol is genetics. If your mother has high levels of cholesterol, then chances are that you will also have a high levels. If you are also overweight, you have the risk of having elevated levels of cholesterol. An overweight person is very likely to have a high cholesterol diet, due to the food they eat.

Reduction of a High Cholesterol Diet

High cholesterol can be tested using a blood test. Depending on your medical history and age, the doctor can test your cholesterol. The test entails measuring the cholesterol level, triglycerides, high and low density lipoprotein. If your doctor finds that you have high levels of cholesterol, he will suggest some changes in your life style such as reduction of a high cholesterol diet to reduce the high cholesterol level. If what the doctors suggest does not work, then you may be given medication to reduce the high cholesterol level in your body.

Due to the multiple risks that are as a result of high cholesterol, it is important to make sure that you maintain a healthy lifestyle, with healthy diet plans. You should avoid any trappings of a high cholesterol diet and also exercise regularly. This will result to you having a disease-free life.

The Vital Role of Forensic Nursing

Victims of crime enter the US health care system through emergency rooms, clinics, and hospitals across the nation each and every day. Many health care facilities who receive emergency patients consider any admission a forensic nursing situation until proven otherwise. Although the collection of evidence is important in these situations, it never eclipses the need for maintaining patient safety and providing excellent patient care.

Forensic nursing is a nursing role in which evidence of a potential crime is collected from a patient. This can occur for both potential perpetrators and victims alike. The forensic nursing process involves a detailed amount of physical evidence collection, history taking, and a strict maintenance of the chain of custody.

Evidence collected by nursing teams can prove extremely helpful to a criminal investigation. Potential evidence such as brave patterns or stray hairs can help law enforcement officials identify a weapon or a potential suspect. Since the evidence collected by nursing teams can be used in a court of law, the manner in which it was collected, the nurse collecting it, the way the evidence was stored, and the evidence itself could also be questioned in a court of law. As such, forensic nurses must be trained and familiar with the detailed evidence rules and regulations within their respective state.

A key point to keep in mind is that health care providers are often the first individuals that victims of crime will interact with. As such, it is crucial that forensic nursing teams be trained on how to conduct conduct histories, and interact with victims of crime. This can be especially difficult when interacting with children, the elderly, or special needs patients who have been a victim of a crime. Certain criminal acts may warrant unique processes. In many hospitals, specific nursing teams trained in collecting evidence of a sexual assault may handle all specific sexual assault cases. Several states honor the SANE design – Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner. This is a nursing design that requires additional training on sensitive evidence collection issues associated with Sexual Assault Situations.

Health care providers should have a predetermined evidence collection policy and forensic nursing kit in place prior to the arrival of a forensic patient. Evidence collection kits should be preapproved by both a state law enforcement agency and a facility's internal legal department. Special kits are now available available for less than $ 20 a kit and are easy for a facility to acquire. Each state's attorney general office should be able to provide a detailed list of items that a ready kit should include.

Recognizing the need for additional training, several boards of nursing recently began to require nurses to take a 2.0 contact hour continuing nursing education course on forensic nursing and evidence collection . This knowledge is especially needed in rural areas in which the nearest major hospital is over 200 miles away. As such, it is crucial for each facility who receives emergency patients to be competent in performing a forensic evidence collection process. Forensic nursing knowledge truly has the ability to empower nurses to be patient advocates and to start them on their path to recovering from a traumatic incident.

Social Wellness is Making the Elderly Lead a Healthy, Peaceful and Long Life

Social wellness is one of the eight dimensions of wellness, which also consist of physical, intellectual, emotional, environmental, professional, financial, as well as spiritual. All these dimensions are very important for our overall health as well as welfare; but still social wellness offers diverse benefits, particularly to elders.

Social wellness refers precisely to the relations we have and how we interact with others. It consists of building supportive, healthy as well as fostering relationships and connecting with those around you. It’s vital for people of all ages to stay active on a social basis, as it is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. Maintaining good relations, particularly as you age, will have a substantial impact on all the other dimensions of wellness. As a matter of fact, an elderly who is involved in social interactions might even be able to live longer.

Health Benefits of being Social in the society

· Lessening the possibility of infecting diseases. Socially active elderly have a lesser risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease, osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and even some kind of cancers.

· Lessening signs of depression. Isolation is one of the most important causes of depression in elderly; therefore those who maintain as well as continue to build new relationships are at a low risk of suffering with depression.

· Strengthening the immune system. The immune system is likely to be stronger in senior citizens who are active socially; many studies have shown that isolated seniors had high levels of proteins related to inflammation and poor immune system.

· Improving heart health. Lonely elders are likely to have higher BP, and several studies demonstrate that a lack of social links can result in a higher risk for heart disease.

· More life expectancy. In General, elderly who remain socially active are in good health and live longer than those who are lonely.

Today’s senior citizen homes make social wellness a top priority. The destitute elderly who come to live here are able to find various activities as well as events to keep them busy with others and their minds and bodies active. It’s important to be social to live a stress-free life, as we cannot deny the fact that when we listen to the sufferings of others or when we talk about our pain, we feel light, less stressed and more at peace.

Senior citizens’ homes are run through substantial contributions from individuals like you, as well as corporates. You can make donations and offer help for the elderly and make their life worthwhile.

You are also welcome to celebrate special occasions with the elders residing in these homes spreading happiness and love they so desire. This can be done by getting in touch with the care-taker of the old age home.

Good Alternative For Diet Ingredient Ephedra

Ephedra was originally used in Chinese medicine to treat hay fever and asthma for thousands of years. It was not until the 21st century that ephedra was introduced to the mainstream diet scene in America. Ephedra was widely used as a stimulant and thermogenic. Dozens of dietary supplement manufacturers jumped on the opportunity to add this wonder drug to their product. Ephedra helped many dieters experience dramatic results in weight loss by increasing the heart rate and metabolism.

It seemed that ephedra was on track to becoming the answer to the obesity problem in America. However, over the course of a few years dozens of ephedra related side effects were being reported. These reports would eventually get strong attention by the FDA. The side effects ranged from skin reactions and headaches to heart attack, stroke, and even death. In 2004, the evidence against ephedra was insurmountable and the FDA was forced to ban the sale of ephedra-containing dietary supplements. As predicted, appeals from ephedra supplement manufacturers were attempted but would have quite failed. As of August 2006, the sale of ephedra based diet supplements is still illegal.

So, where did this leave dieters? Even with the negative side effects, and the fact ephedra was illegal, many dieters would still try to get there hands on this diet drug. Since Aug 2006 A viable, safer alternative was being researched. I've spent some time researching alternatives to ephedra and all paths lead to Advantra Z also known as bitter orange. Georgetown University Medical Center and the McGill Nutrition / Food Science Center at Royal Victoria Hospital in Montreal have performed studies on the safety and effectiveness of Advantra Z. It's been documented that Advantra Z has been shown to increase fat-burning and speed up the metabolism.

After digging even further I found two dietary supplements containing Advantra Z as its active ingredient. These supplements are called NuPhedrine and Miracle Burn. The NuPhedrine website claims that clinical trials were performed to measure its safety and effectiveness. However, the product was released in 2007 and is, in my opinion, too young in its usage stage to determine any long term side effects. As with any diet supplements, you should always consult your doctor or physician before usage.

Good Dental Clinics Are a Blessing

Dental clinics are typically places you visit when you have some problems with your teeth. You will find many dental clinics, but ensure that the dental practitioners in these clinics have good experience in handling various types of dental cases.

If you are looking for the best oral care then you should take into consideration the facilities that these places offer. The problem is that there are many places that have excellent facilities but the dental experts there may not really be experienced, while there are other clinics where you have excellent dentists, but the facilities and equipment in the clinic may not be as you would expect.

One significant aspect to look for when searching for a dental clinic is to check for their accreditation, because this will give you an idea whether the clinic is sticking to the rules and regulations regarding how they service their patients.

Teeth implant has become a major process in dentistry these days and there are ever so many people who are opting for teeth implant. And implanting teeth is an extremely expensive procedure these days. So unless you find a clinic that has the reputation for doing this sort of work, you will land yourself in deep trouble.

Before deciding on a clinic, ensure that you visit the clinic which will give you a fair good idea of ​​how they function and whether they have all the necessary equipment. A well run clinic will have no objection to your visiting them, as they may have nothing to hide. The doctor should be able to explain all the details of your problem clearly to you. Usually dental clinics that do dental implants will give you a guarantee on their work for a certain number of years. And if something happens to go wrong in that period of time they will fix it free of cost.

There are also dental care units that offer free services to the people in the lower income group and in such places you will find many private dental practitioners offering their services. So if you do not have the finances to visit one of the more expensive dental care units seat for one that is affordable but offers excellent services.

One of the best ways of finding a good dental clinic would be to ask around among friends and relatives and also look up the internet and the reviews that people give so as to confirm that the place you are visiting is a well established one with clean records of service.

ENT Disorders – Ear Nose and Throat Problems and Treatments

Because these three organs are inter-connected, picking up a problem in one of the three can cause a host of different problems in the other two; this is where the ENT specialist steps in as he is well versed in the treatments of any ENT disorders and the related illnesses that these problems can cause.

Symptoms

There are far too many disorders to list; this article is focused on a few of the common ENT ailments that most of us have had before:

1) Sinusitis – probably the most common, this is the congestion of the nasal passages, accompanied by headaches, sneezing, postnasal drip and a runny nose. Quite unpleasant but easy enough to solve [if there is no underlying serious medical condition].

2) Swimmers ear – if the earlobe is tugged the patient experiences extreme pain and the patient may have pain while chewing accompanied by swollen lymph nodes. Can be solved with over the counter medication.

3) Inner ear infection – there may be a feeling of increased pressure in the ear with a fair amount of pain, this is probably caused by a fungal infection in the inner canal and will need immediate attention.

4) Ear infection – dull pain accompanied by loss of balance, hearing and a fluid discharge are all signs of a problem can be solved by over the counter medication but if no improvement is noted after a day or two, the patient will need to see a doctor.

5) Strep throat – fever, fatigue, difficulty in swallowing, sore throat and enlarged lymph nodes, patient needs medication for this problem and will need to see a doctor for an anti-biotic and a throat analgesic.

6) Tonsillitis – really sore throat, fever, chills, and difficulty in swallowing, this condition definitely needs medical care as it is recurring and may need surgery.

There are other throat, ear and nose infections out there but the ones above are generally the most diagnosed.

Causes

* environmental – generally due to dampness [swimmers ear] an infection could occur if no care is taken in keeping the ear canal dry and clean

* viral – affect more than one part of the body and cannot be cured with a anti-biotic

* bacterial – these infections are generally localized [affect only one side of the throat] and occur when the area is bruised or damaged in some way

* fungal – the monster of the bunch, immediate attention is needed as any delay could compound the problem due to the exponential growth of fungi

Home remedies

1) Garlic oil – has antimicrobial properties and can be used to treat an ear infection
2) Ginger tea – has the same properties as garlic and can be used to soothe a sore throat
3) Eucalyptus oil – used in conjunction with steam can relieve congestion and soothe inflammation in throat or nasal infections
4) Gargle – salt is a mild antiseptic and can be gargled with water to treat a throat infection

Please remember that infants and toddlers need to see the doctor if any of these problems occur, they have a underdeveloped immune system and so need assistance with the curing/healing of any of these problems.

Understanding Hypertension

Hypertension is just another name for high blood pressure and some people, at first, do not understand what all the fuss is about. If you can have hypertension without any symptoms symptoms, what's the big deal? The deal is actually quite big; hypertension is one of the leading causes of heart attacks and strokes and since the fact that there are no symptoms of hypertension, there is much going on within the body which can prove fatal if left unchecked and unmanaged. At this point in time it is estimated that one out of every three Americans has hypertension and many do not know that they have it.

High blood pressure is something that can be managed if the individual makes an effort to control it early on. The implementation of a special diet as well as exercises can help to reduce blood pressure levels significantly. Specific causes for hypertension have yet to be identified. Some indications suggest that dietary habits have a lot to do with hypertension while other indications suggest that stress, environmental factors, and genetics may also play a role. The sunset of high blood pressure may even be a combination of the above factors. Whatever the case may be, the origin does not matter as much as the need to get blood pressure in check and regulated as soon as it is possible to do so.

For those individuals that consume more than 5.8 grams of salt every day, it is clearly time to cut back on salt intake. Too much salt consumption is one of the believed causes for hypertension. Researchers have found that reducing salt intake helps to alleviate a lot of problems with high blood pressure and with great success.

In roughly 30 percent of people involved in one particular study, both race and hereditary factors appeared to suggest an origin for hypertension. Those individuals that have relatives with the disorder are more prone to end up with hypertension later in their lives. In addition, African Americans are apparently more prone to getting high blood pressure than those individuals with other ethnicities.

The use of certain medicines in addition to environmental factors contribute to some of the documented cases of high blood pressure every year as well. There has been a noted increase in high blood pressure in women that use oral birth control pills, for example. Alcohol abuse and cigarette smoking also contribute to the sunset of the disorder.

Some people are prescribed medication, which helps in managing high blood pressure issues. Other individuals prefer to implement all natural remedies when addressing high blood pressure issues. Such measures will include things like salt elimination, weight loss, exercise, smoking cessation, alcohol avoidance, and the increase of potassium and magnesium-containing food intake. Additional natural remedies include the consumption of Garlic, the use of the herb Hawthorn, the consumption of fish oil, and an increase in folic-acid intake as well as other vitamins. Finally, relaxation meditation and yoga exercises are taken up by some individuals with high blood pressure, which prove to offer tremendous success in blood pressure control.

Tips on Owning Small Animal Pets

Small pets such as hamsters, guinea pigs, gerbils, mice, and rats are intelligent, curious and easy for a child to care for when properly taught. With proper care they can provide several years of
companionship for the child. They are lively and fun to watch but remember when handling they can be quick movers and get lost in a moment.

You can find many books and pamphlets with information on how to care for the small animal pet. You will need a cage or proper habitat for confinement and room to play and located away from drafts or dampness. The cage should not be exposed to direct sunlight since small animals do not tolerate high temperatures.

Provide the right material for nesting and burrowing. Shavings that are free of additives, chemicals, preservatives and dust as small animals have sensitive lungs which predisposes them to respiratory infections. Cedar shavings have a natural oil that repels unwanted pests. Clean shavings at least every two days and be sure to remove all soiled shavings and waste products. Clean the cage pan though once a week and throw out all shavings and put in new.

The pet may contaminate it's water by flinging his bedding while burrowing or digging. Using a water bottle attached to side of cage is recommended. Provide fresh water daily. Small animals usually eat the same type of food but have different nutritional needs. Check with your Veterinarian to ensure your pet is getting the needed vitamins and minerals. Small pets tend to hoard their vegetables so be sure to remove unheate veggies which could spoil if left hidden away.

Give your pet time to adjust to you and the new surroundings before handling it. Never pickup a rabbit by the ears or gerbils, hamsters, and mice by the tail. Educate the child on proper ways to handle the small pet and make sure they understand the importance of taking care of their new pet.

Again you can find many books on how to care for your pet or check with your Veterinarian on proper care of the pet.

Some small animals live well in groups while others do better being alone. Check a professional on how your pet should be housed. Do not put males and females together otherwise you will end up with many more pets. Rabbits and guinea pigs can be bathed in a mild baby shampoo. After a shampoo pets should be treated as quickly as possible so it does not get chilled. Soft brushes such as those made for cats can be used on the small animal pet. Be sure to check your pet on a regular basis for fleas, mites, and ticks.

Hemorrhoids (Piles) – Examines the Causes, Prevention and Treatment Options Available

Hemorrhoids, also known as piles, is a common ano-rectal condition typically developing between the ages of 20 and 50. Up to 50% of people above the age of 50 suffer from hemorrhoids to some degree or other.

Hemorrhoids is basically a condition in which the veins around the anus and lower rectum become swollen and inflamed.

Hemorrhoids are classified either as being:

  1. Internal – where the hemorrhoids occur inside the rectum. These are generally painless as there are no pain receptors in this region, and most people are unaware of their presence. They occasionally bleed when the veins rupture due to excessive straining or the passage of hard stools.

  2. External – where they occur below the anal verge (where pain receptors are present). These tend to be visible and a lump may be felt. External hemorrhoids are prone to thrombosis (blot clot forms inside the pile). When this happens, sudden pain is experienced.

Hemorrhoids are also classified according to their degree of prolapse:

  • Grade I – internal hemorrhoids, not prolapsed.

  • Grade II – piles are pushed out (prolapsed) on straining, but spontaneously reduce.

  • Grade III – piles prolapse on straining, and have to be pushed back manually.

  • Grade IV – piles are prolapsed and cannot be manually reduced.

SYMPTOMS:

Bleeding is the earliest symptom. At first, it is minimal fresh bleeding, occurring during defaecation as a “splash in the pan”, or seen on the toilet paper after wiping.

Prolapse is a much later symptom, progressing from Grade II to IV if the underlying cause is not managed. Prolapsed piles can become trapped outside the anal opening if the anal sphincter muscle goes into spasm. Should this happen, blood supply to the hemorrhoid, gets cut off and the pile becomes strangulated.

External hemorrhoids can cause irritation to the skin resulting in itching. As mentioned earlier, external piles can become thrombosed causing significant pain.

CAUSES:

In general, anything that causes frequent, sustained increase in pressure in the ano-rectal region, can cause hemorrhoids to develop. They include:

  • Spending a long time sitting or squatting during defaecation.

  • Excessive straining due to constipation.

  • Pregnancy and childbirth.

  • Obesity

  • Portal Hypertension – causing increased back pressure to the rectal veins.

PREVENTION:

Ensure you drink sufficient fluids, take in more fibre, exercise and establish regular bowel movement habits, all to help prevent constipation. This is especially so during advanced pregnancy. Sometimes, medication may be required to ensure smooth passage of stools.

Do not spend too long sitting at the toilet bowl during defaecation. Be as efficient as possible.

There is some evidence which suggests that squatting commodes are better than the sitting ones in reducing or preventing hemorrhoids.

DIAGNOSIS:

Hemorrhoids can be diagnosed via a thorough physical examination by your doctor. External hemorrhoids may be clearly visible. Internal hemorrhoids require insertion of a proctoscope for visualization, as being soft, internal piles cannot be felt by an examining finger.

It is worth remembering that not all bleeding during defaecation is due to piles. It may be a sign of something more sinister, such as colon cancer, which may co-exist or exist independently of piles. Hence, your doctor may advise for you to have a colonoscope to exclude more serious conditions in your colon, if you have:

  1. Signs and symptoms of a more sinister cause

  2. Risk factors for colon cancer, such a a positive family history

  3. You are above 50 years of age (or younger in high risk groups) presenting with rectal bleeding

TREATMENT:

Home Remedies

  • Increase fluid and fibre intake to prevent constipation

  • Warm Sitz baths, several times a day to soothe painful, inflammed external piles. Sit in a tub filled a few inches of warm water 3 times a day and after each bowel movement for at least 15 minutes. Thoroughly dry the skin after each session.

Medication

  • To treat and prevent constipation

  • Topical creams, ointments and suppositories to reduce inflammation and discomfort

  • Oral medication to shrink the hemorrhoids

  • Oral medication to manage pain and inflammation eg. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs

Surgical Treatment

  • Thrombosed piles can be treated with a simple excision to bring quick relief.

  • Rubber band ligation – tiny rubber bands are placed at the base of the internal pile to cut off its blood supply. The pile withers and falls off after a few days. This procedure is generally not painful (though may be a little uncomfortable) because it is placed in a region devoid of pain receptors.

  • Injection (sclerotherapy) – chemicals are injected into the pile to cause it shrink. Also generally a painless procedure.

  • Hemorrhoidectomy – surgical excision of the pile is recommended for severe hemorrhoids.

  • Stapled hemorrhoidectomy – resection of soft tissue above the dentate line, thus disrupting blood flow to the hemorrhoid. Much less painful than traditional hemorrhoidectomy and has faster recovery time.

  • Transanal Haemorrhoidal Dearterialisation (THD) – a precise, ultrasound-guided ligation of the blood vessels which supply the piles. Much less painful than traditional hemorrhoidectory with shorter downtime.

So, if you think you may have piles, do consult your doctor. Once he has excluded more serious conditions, he will be able to recommend the most appropriate treatment for you, depending on the nature and type of hemorrhoids you have.

The Doncaster Dilemma – Obesity's Contagious

Doncaster used to be famous for coal mining and railway engineering. Today it is famous for having one of the most overweight communities in the United Kingdom. Obesity related health problems cost the local health authority £ 91million ($ 148m) every year, which equates to nearly £ 1400 ($ 2,300) per person. So what is wrong with Doncaster? Why are so many people overweight or obese? Is it just bad eating and lifestyle habits?

Bad eating and lifestyle habits are the root cause of the problem, but there is another element which actually exacerbates the situation. It's the fact that obesity is socially contagious.

What has developed in communities like Doncaster is a fundamental change in social norms. To be overweight or obese in Doncaster is not seen as different or out of the ordinary. In fact it has a very high degree of social acceptability.

A recent study in the US found that you have a more than 60% chance of becoming obese if your friends are obese. It's easy to understand why. A new norm is established. You feel comfortable in the company of other obese people. A bond is created within your social network and you feel safe from criticism.

Families also set their own norms. If bad eating and lifestyle habits are a part of the family 'culture', and being overweight or obese is accepted, or not the subject of comment or criticism, the contagion easily spreads to friends within the family social network.

The television company ITV is doing a six month investigation into obesity, starting in Doncaster. They have certainly chosen a challenging place to start. Highlighting the problems of Doncaster is extremely helpful, but it would be unfair to suggest that they can come up with a solution to the town's problem, and it's illegally that this is their intent, but a solution needs to be found – urgently.

So where might a solution lie? There are two areas which could provide the answer. The first is in influencing individual behavior and the second is in providing example and social support.

As far as the individual is concerned it's not about going on a diet. A diet will help to reduce weight, but diet weight loss is only short-term weight loss, the weight will come back again. It's about changing behavior. Without behavior change there can be no weighting loss. Getting people to change their behavior by learning new eating and lifestyle habits – slim habits, is the only way to achieve permanent weight loss.

Why are habits so important? Because they influence and dictate our behavior. They allow us to carry out routine tasks automatically, without thinking. Every day we set our brains on autopilot and allow our habits to run our lives. We learn our habits, good and bad, through repetition and practice, they become 'hotwired' onto our brain where they stay forever. We can not change them or get rid of them, but we can learn new habits to supersede them. Learning new habits is the simplest and most effective way to change behavior. They are the key to permanent weight loss.

To change the established norm of a community is a huge challenge. It will take time and perseverance, but by establishing a nucleus of people willing to change their behavior and set an example, and by getting them to recruit others to their cause who wants to make change, it is possible to make progress: couple that with a system of social support within the groups, and the likelihood of a new norm being established in Doncaster becomes more than just a possibility.

For Doncaster, doing nothing about this problem is not an option: the financial cost to the community unsustainable and the personal cost to individuals is unacceptable. A slim and healthy future is there for everyone in Doncaster who wants it. The secret lies in making change. In changing behavior and learning new eating and lifestyle habits – slim habits.

Brain Tumor – Types, Symptoms, and Causes

Our brains are the seat of all we are. Every thought and action we perform is an output of our brain. So understandably the thought of an affliction striking the brain can be terrifying.

Brain cancer is a rare but devastating form of cancer accounting for 2% of all cancer cases worldwide. Brain cancer refers to the abnormal growth and division of cells within the brain. Brain tumours can be either benign or cancerous and cancerous brain tumours are further split into primary brain tumours that start in the brain and secondary tumours that start elsewhere in the body and spread (metastasize) to the brain.

Whether benign or a malignant tumour can increase the volume of the brain which creates pressure in the tight skull space. The bony skull is extremely hard and rigid. Any encroachment in this tight space increases intracranial pressure which can lead to brain damage, coma, and even death.

Types Of Brain Tumours

The first major classification of types of brain tumours is benign and malignant tumours. Benign brain tumours are the least aggressive and slowest growing tumours. They do not have cancerous cells and have a good prognosis after treatment.

Malignant or cancerous brain tumours arise from brain cells, supportive cells, and other tissue found in and around the brain. These are high-grade tumours. Grading for tumours involves rating a growth on a scale of 1 to 4 with low-grade scores being 1 and 2, and 3 and 4 are high grade. Benign tumours are low grade which is slow growing, contained, less likely to spread, and unlikely to return after removal. On the other hand, malignant or cancerous tumours are high grade which means they are fast growing, spread to surrounding tissues, and are more likely to return after removal.

Cancerous tumours are further divided into primary and secondary tumours.

Primary cancerous tumours originate within the brain itself while secondary tumours are a result of metastasis from tumours in other organ systems, commonly from the lungs.

Primary tumours are rarer and the most common types of primary brain tumours are gliomas and meningiomas. Gliomas affect the glial cells which are supportive cells in the brain that provide nourishment and structural support to neurons. Gliomas account for 50% of all primary brain tumours.

Symptoms Of Brain Tumours

The brain is a large and complicated organ. Symptoms of brain tumours depend on the size, type, and location of a tumour. Some common signs and symptoms are:

  • Headaches, typically worse in the morning and progressively worsening over time.
  • Persistent nausea
  • Persistent vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Progressive body weakness
  • Fatigue
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Behavioural or mood changes
  • Vision problems
  • Confusion and memory impairment
  • Specific symptoms depend on the size of a tumour and its location. Based on this, some of the signs and symptoms that may be noticed are:
  • Personality changes, less inhibition, poor judgement, etc. in frontal lobe tumours
  • Language difficulties, poor memory, and hearing problems in temporal lobe tumours
  • Sensory disturbances, progressive muscle weakness, etc. In parietal lobe tumours
  • Visual disturbances or loss of vision in occipital lobe tumours.
  • Loss of balance and coordination in cerebellar tumours.
  • Changes in respiration, blood pressure, and heartbeat in brain stem tumours

This is a short summary of tumours in the major regions of the brain. As one goes more in depth a variety of symptoms can be found ranging from loss of language comprehension to hallucinations.

Cause Of Brain Tumours

The underlying cause of brain cancer is not well known.

The two major factors implicated in the development of brain tumours is genetics and exposure to radiation. Gene mutations, sequence deletions, and loss of tumour suppressor genes are thought to contribute to the cause of brain tumours. A family history of tumours also increases the risk of developing the conditions. Certain genetic disorders such as neurofibromatosis, tuberous sclerosis, and Turner’s syndrome are associated with a higher risk of developing brain tumours.

Exposure to ionising radiation has been linked to brain cancer especially in children. Exposure to Vinyl chloride, an industrial chemical used to manufacture PVC, has also been linked to brain cancer.

Other risk factors for brain cancer are:

Age- risk increases with age, except for some forms of brain cancer that are more common in children

Previous cancer diagnosis- a person who has had cancer elsewhere in the body is more at risk of developing brain cancer, especially childhood cancer and blood cancers such as leukaemia and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

HIV/AIDS- people with HIV/AIDS are twice as likely to develop brain cancer than the general population.

Treatment Of Brain Tumours

The plan of treatment for brain cancer depends on the size, grade, and location of a tumour as well as overall patient health. Malignant brain tumours are usually surgically removed. However, surgical resection of an entire tumour may not always be feasible due to location or other factors like ease of access.

Radiation therapy is another treatment option that is commonly used to treat brain tumours. Radiation damages the DNA of cancer cells and stops their division and growth.

Chemotherapy or anti-cancer drugs are not always used since the blood-brain barrier prevents the transport of many of these drugs into the brain from the bloodstream.

A number of experimental therapies are also in development.

Early treatment of tumours can prevent further complications. 15% of people with brain cancer will survive for 5 years or more after diagnosis. Despite this, there is still hope. Prognosis depends on a lot of factors. Knowing your risk and following up on suspicious symptoms can help in early diagnosis. Stay alert to stay healthy.

Pain Relief From Sciatica – The Ultimate Sciatica Pain Relief

Sciatica can happen to anybody – royal-blooded or not, young or old, active or inactive. It goes without saying then that you, too, can suffer from it. It is a common condition affecting hundreds of thousands of people. However, while it may be so, Sciatica can cause severe pain.

Thankfully, there is pain relief from Sciatica. Actually, there are several treatment options around; exercise is one. Yes, doing stretching exercises regularly will help ease the pain. However, it is important that you are guided by a professional when doing these exercises because if you don’t do them correctly, you may only be doing more harm to the pinched Sciatic nerve than good.

Another option to relieve the pain is therapy or yoga. This is highly recommended if the pain that you feel is so excruciating it delimits your movement. Yoga is a great means to calm your nerves, as well.

The last treatment option involves homemade remedies or ancient Chinese medicine. People have long acknowledged the healing power of certain herbs, and for sure there are herbs that specifically deal with sciatic pain.

So, although Sciatica can be very painful, and even debilitating in worse cases, you should be relieved to know that there is pain relief from Sciatica. You don’t even have to go through surgery, unless absolutely necessary, because you can experience pain relief by doing any of these recommended treatment options.

Even doctors themselves wouldn’t recommend surgery as the first option because the sciatic nerve is at a very delicate position. A false move can paralyze the patient, or worse cause the untimely death of the patient. What doctors usually prescribe are anti-inflammatory meds or medications to relieve the pain. However, you can help yourself deal with the pain better by doing yoga or stretching exercises and taking herbal supplements that are specific to Sciatica.

Avocado Benefits for High Blood Pressure

Avocados are notably high in calories but are also highly regarded for their high content of monounsaturated fats and potassium thus making it one of the most beneficial foods for combating high blood pressure.

Blood pressure is the measure of the force of blood pushing against the walls of the arteries. The heart pumps blood into the arteries, which is the transportation highway responsible for distributing blood throughout the body. Blood pressure comprises of two numbers: Systolic, the first and higher of the two reflects pressure in the arteries when the heart beats and they are filled with blood, diastolic, the second number, measures the pressure in the arteries when the heart is at rests between beats. A normal blood pressure reading varies from 90/60 at birth to 120/80 in a healthy adult. For seniors age 6o and older a reading of 150/90 is an indication of high blood pressure (hypertension). It’s important to note that a reading slightly higher than 120/80 in young adults indicates a risk of developing pre-hypertension.

Having untreated high blood pressure makes the heart work harder and contributes to hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis). This in turn can lead to stroke, kidney disease, and to the development of heart disease. “Having high blood pressure puts you at risk of heart disease and stroke, which are leading causes of death in the United States. About 75 million American adults (32%) have high blood pressure-that’s 1 in every 3 adults. About 1 in 3 American adults has prehypertension” 1 A diet low in salt and high in vegetables, fruits and low-fat dairy products can help lower blood pressure. Highly valued for its blood pressure combating properties within the fruit family is the Avocado (aka. alligator pear) a fruit of the avocado tree native to the Western hemisphere.

Avocados are reputed to be high in fats, but since they are a plant food, the fat they contain is therefore considered an oil and not a solid fat. However it’s important to note that the majority of fat (77%) in the fruit is oleic acid, a monounsaturated fatty acid. There is conclusive scientific evidence which points to the fact that diets rich in monounsaturated fats are great for improving your cholesterol and reducing inflammation thereby reducing the risks of heart problems and strokes. In fact “The American Heart Association recommends the consumption of MUFAs (monounsaturated fats) to improve your blood lipid profile.” “(Lipid profile or lipid panel is a panel of blood tests that serves as an initial broad medical screening tool for abnormalities in lipids, such as cholesterol and triglycerides.)” 2

Along with monounsaturated fats avocados are extremely rich in potassium (more so than bananas – Half a medium avocado contains 549 mg potassium, one medium banana provides 451 mg.). A diet rich in potassium helps regulate your heart beat, eases tension in your blood vessel walls, keeps muscles and nerves functioning efficiently, and lowers blood pressure by balancing out the effects of sodium on your system. The more potassium you eat, the more sodium is lost through urination. A high potassium diet can reduce systolic blood pressure 4.4 mm Hg and diastolic pressure 2.5 mm Hg.

To those who are averse to eating the avocado fruit the oil derived from it is a reliable alternative. A study done on lab animals and published by “Journal of Ethnopharmacology.” concluded that “a diet rich in avocado oils, altered levels of essential fatty acids in kidneys, resulting in changes in the way the kidneys respond to hormones that regulate blood pressure.” A tablespoon of avocado oil contains approximately 124 calories and 14 grams of fat (21 percent of the recommended daily fat intake), 9.9 of the 14 grams are monounsaturated healthy fat which lowers LDL ((Low Density Lipoprotein) ) cholesterol, while increasing HDL (High Density Lipoprotein) and 1.9 grams are polyunsaturated fat which lowers LDL and HDL. Avocados contain no cholesterol or trans-fat and are richer in vitamin E than any other fruit. The fats of the avocado are also resistant to heat-induced oxidation thus offering an excellent substitute for vegetable, canola oils and similar saturated or trans-fat products.

While extolling the health benefits of the avocado it is important to keep in mind that the fruit is high in calories (a cup of avocado slices contain approximately 234 calories) so the quantity being consumed must be taken into consideration. Also due to its high potassium content, persons with kidney related problems need to be extra careful in its use. Consult your healthcare professional to know if a diet supplemented with avocado is good for you.

1, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics)

2, Wikipedia.org (wiki/Lipid_profile)