Pemphigus Vulgaris, Type of Bullous Diseases-Skin Disorders

Diagnostic Hallmarks

Distribution: oral mucous membranes and upper trunk

Multiple shallow erosions that heal unusually slowly

Biopsy: acantholytic intraepidermal bulla

Immunofluorescent studies: immunoglobulin G (IgG) deposited in the intracellular space around epidermal cells.

Clinical Presentation

The bullae of pemphigus vulgaris arise from normal-appearing skin, there is essentially no surrounding inflammation. The blisters are also extraordinarily fragile. Consequently, intact bullae are found only during the first day or two of their existence. Thereafter, the blister roof is broken, leaving a bright-red or crusted shadow erosion that requires weeks or months to heal. The initial lesions are usually found on the upper trunk and back, but since new lesions develop faster than old ones heal, there is a gradual extension elsewhere with special predilection for the face, groin, and axillae. The prominence of these crusted erosions often suggests eczematous disease and obscures the fact that the patient has, in fact, a bullous condition.

Oral mucous membranes lesions are practically always present, and they frequently preceded the appearance of the cutaneous lesions by weeks to months. These oral lesions begin as blisters, but they, too, quickly break down to form shallow erosions. These erosions are much larger in diameter than the ones found in patients with oral herpes simplex infection and oral aphthae. Characteristically, the posterior mouth is involved. The accompanying discomfort interferes with eating, and the resultant malnutrition contributes to the extreme debilitation that develops in untreated patients.

A suspected clinical diagnosis must be confirmed by biopsy. Light microscopy reveals a characteristic suprabasilar intraepidermal vesicle with loss of epidermal cell cohesion (acantholysis). Direct immunonuorescent studies carried out on perileional skin demonstrate a pathognomonic pattern of IgG deposition in a network-like pattern surrounding the epidermal cells. Complement components are sometimes present. More than 90% of patients will also have specific circulating autoantibodies. These antibodies can be demonstrated on indirect immunofluorescent study. The titer of these antibodies largely correspond to the severity of the disease. Thus, reduction in the antibody titer can be used as one indication of response to therapy.

Atypical Presentations

Pemphigus joliaceus is a form of pemphigus in which the intraepidermal clefting occurs high in the epidermis rather than just above the basal layer. Patients with pemphigus foliaceus develop erosions that are more beneficial than those found in pemphigus vulgaris. Oral involvement is less often present, and patients do not become as debilitated. Some patients with pemphigus foliaceus have a considerable degree of facial erythema and may also have a variety of lupus-like autoantibodies. The combination of these finds is known as pemphigus erythematosus (Senear-Usher syndrome). A form of pemphigus found in Brazil (fogo selvagem) has epidemiological features that suggest an infectious and etiology. Paraneoplastic pemphigus is a recently described form of pemphigus that occurs concomitantly with lymphoma or other types of malignancy. The histology shows acantholysis similar to that of pemphigus vulgaris, but the clinical features, because of marked marked erythema around the blisters, simulate erythema multiforme bulosum.

Course and Prognosis

Pemphigus begins most commonly in mid to late adult life. It is a chronic, severely debilitating disease that, if left untreated, inevitably leads to death. With vivid, early treatment the mortality rate is approximately 10%. Other autoimmune diseases are found with unexpected frequency in patients with pemphigus, and a rather small, but probably significant, number of patients have thymomas. Pathogenesis

Pemphigus is an autoimmune disease in which specific IgG antibodies and, sometimes, complement components are deposited at the precise site of epidermal cell damage; These same antibodies are regularly found in the circulation. Moreover, the antibodies, when isolated and injected into a suitable substrate, cause an epidermal lesion identical with that found in the original disease. The acantholysis caused by these antibodies appears to develop as a result of the release of proteolytic enzymes. This process does not appear to require, though it may be optimized by, the activation of complement. The 85- and 130-kD antigens responsible for this autoimmune reaction are one or another of several proteins that make up adherent junctions, such as the desmosomes, responsible for the adherence of adjunct epidermal cells. Genetic factors as reflected by the presence of certain HLA antigens and a high presence in certain Jewish populations are probably also important. Perhaps most interesting of all is the observation that some medications, most notably penicillamine and captopril, can induce certain individuals a disease indistinguishable from idiopathic pemphigus.

Therapy

The landmark studies of Lever 35 years ago provided that pemphigus need not inevitably lead to death. He showed that very high doses of orally administrated steroids (prednisone 120-240 mg / day) would almost always bring the disease under control. Unfortunately, the required long-term, high-dose administration of steroids causes its own morbidity and mortality. In fact, the mortality associated with pemphigus today is mostly due to drug toxicity rather than to the disease itself. There are several ways in which this potential toxicity can be minimized. In some patients, once initial response is obtained, it is possible to convert their steroids to an alternate day schedule and for others the steroid dose can be greatly reduced through the addition of steroid-sparing immunosuppressive agents such as methotrexate, azathioprine, or cyclophosphamide. In patients with reliably mild disease it is sometimes possible to obtain remission through long-term administration of gold salts. Other therapies sometimes used include pulsed IV methylprednisolone, plasmaphoresis, and oral cyclosporine.

All About Affordable Health Insurance Plans

While consumers search for affordable health insurance, they have price in their mind as the top priority. A general conception among the consumers is that cheap health plans should not be costly-the cheapest health plan available in the market is their target. However, this approach is not good. Sometimes, paying for a cheap health insurance plan but still not getting the required level of coverage results only in wastage of money.

With the implementation of the affordable care act, the reach of affordable health plans is set to increase. Or at least, this is what is believed to be the objective of healthcare reforms. However, lots of consumers are still in confusion about how things would work. In this article, we will discuss some detailed options that consumers can try while looking to buy affordable health plans.

To get a hand on affordable health insurance plans, consumers need to take of certain things. First among them is about knowing the options in the particular state of the residence. There are lots of state and federal government-run programs that could be suitable for consumers. Knowing the options is pretty important. Next would be to understand the terms and conditions of all the programs and check the eligibility criteria for each one of them. Further, consumers should know their rights after the implementation of healthcare reforms, and something within a few days, they may qualify for a particular program or could be allowed to avail a particular health insurance plan. If consumers take care of these steps, there is no reason why consumers can’t land on an affordable health plan that could cater to the medical care needs.

Let’s discuss some options related to affordable health insurance plans state-wise:

State-run affordable health insurance programs in California

While considering California, there are three affordable health insurance plans that are run by the state government. Consumers can surely get benefitted by these if they are eligible for the benefits.

• Major Risk Medical Insurance Program (MRMIP)

This program is a very handy one offering limited health benefits to California residents. If consumers are unable to purchase health plans due to a preexisting medical condition, they can see if they qualify for this program and get benefits.

• Healthy Families Program

Healthy Families Program offers Californians with low cost health, dental, and vision coverage. This is mainly geared to children whose parents earn too much to qualify for public assistance. This program is administered by MRMIP.

• Access for Infants and Mothers Program (AIM)

Access for Infants and Mothers Program provides prenatal and preventive care for pregnant women having low income in California. It is administered by a five-person board that has established a comprehensive benefits package that includes both inpatient and outpatient care for program enrollees.

Some facts about affordable health insurance in Florida

While talking about affordable health insurance options in Florida, consumers can think about below mentioned options:

• Floridians who lost employer’s group health insurance may qualify for COBRA continuation coverage in Florida. At the same time, Floridians, who lost group health insurance due to involuntary termination of employment occurring between September 1, 2008 and December 31, 2009 may qualify for a federal tax credit. This credit helps in paying COBRA or state continuation coverage premiums for up to nine months.

• Floridians who had been uninsured for 6 months may be eligible to buy a limited health benefit plan through Cover Florida.

• Florida Medicaid program can be tried by Floridians having low or modest household income. Through this program, pregnant women, families with children, medically needy, elderly, and disabled individuals may get help.

• Florida KidCare program can help the Floridian children under the age of 19 years and not eligible for Medicaid and currently uninsured or underinsured.

• A federal tax credit to help pay for new health coverage to Floridians who lost their health coverage but are receiving benefits from the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) Program. This credit is called the Health Coverage Tax Credit (HCTC). At the same time, Floridians who are retirees and are aged 55-65 and are receiving pension benefits from Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation (PBGC), may qualify for the HCTC.

Some facts about affordable health insurance in Virginia

While talking about affordable health insurance options in Virginia, consumers need to consider their rights:

• Virginians who lost their employer’s group health insurance may apply for COBRA or state continuation coverage in Virginia.

• Virginians must note that they have the right to buy individual health plans from either Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield or CareFirst Blue Cross Blue Shield.

• Virginia Medicaid program helps Virginians having low or modest household income may qualify for free or subsidized health coverage. Through this program, pregnant women, families with children, and elderly and disabled individuals are helped.

• Family Access to Medical Insurance Security (FAMIS) helps Virginian children under the age of 18 years having no health insurance.

• In Virginia, the Every Woman’s Life Program offers free breast and cervical cancer screening. Through this program, if women are diagnosed with cancer, they may be eligible for treatment through the Virginia Medicaid Program.

Some facts about affordable health insurance in Texas

While talking about affordable health insurance options in Texas, consumers need to consider their rights:

• Texans who have group insurance in Texas cannot be denied or limited in terms of coverage, nor can be required to pay more, because of the health status. Further, Texans having group health insurance can’t have exclusion of pre-existing conditions.

• In Texas, insurers cannot drop Texans off coverage when they get sick. At the same time, Texans who lost their group health insurance but are HIPAA eligible may apply for COBRA or state continuation coverage in Texas.

• Texas Medicaid program helps Texans having low or modest household income may qualify for free or subsidized health coverage. Through this program, pregnant women, families with children, elderly and disabled individuals are helped. At the same time, if a woman is diagnosed with breast or cervical cancer, she may be eligible for medical care through Medicaid.

• The Texas Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) offers subsidized health coverage for certain uninsured children. Further children in Texas can stay in their parent’s health insurance policy as dependents till the age of 26 years. This clause has been implemented by the healthcare reforms.

• The Texas Breast and Cervical Cancer Control program offers free cancer screening for qualified residents. If a woman is diagnosed with breast or cervical cancer through this program, she may qualify for medical care through Medicaid.

Like this, consumers need to consider state-wise options when they search for affordable health coverage. It goes without saying that shopping around and getting oneself well-equipped with necessary information is pretty much important to make sure consumers have the right kind of health plans.

What Is The Best Acne Treatment?

I'm always asked a lot about the best acne treatment. My answer is, usually, the same – I do not know. The reason why I tell people that is simple: there is no such thing as "the best cure," because the treatment will always be dependent on your skin condition.

If you have acne, then your goal should not be just curing it, but also make sure that you will not have to suffer from it again. This article will reveal you some basic tips that will set the right foundation for getting a clear skin.

1) Spend some time under the sun. Well, technically, we are always under the sun, but what I mean is – go outside, because the sun kills many bacteria, including acne. But be cautious though: if you spend under the sun longer than 20 minutes, this may lead to tightening, drying and clogging of skin pores.

2) Avoid cold weather. Weird, right? Our body is so fragile that we can not spend a lot of time under the sun, and now we can not even enjoy the cold weather. The reason why cold weather is bad is because it also clogs pores.

The ideal temperature is between 20-30 degrees Celsius.

3) Do not scrub your skin and never use abrasives. Dermatologists say that this can cause skin inflammation, which on its hand is leading to the development of acne bacteria.

4) Take good care of yourself. From the way I see it, personal hygiene is one of the less appreciated things in the world. But do not worry, here are some tips that will help out:

a) Always wash your clothes, body towels, and change your linens. These materials provide the perfect environment for acne bacteria to grow. There are several "cleaning materials" that you can use: vinegar, lime oils, tree oils, etc.

b) Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is also something that is important in your battle against acne. Eating fruits and vegetables and exercising will lead to having better health, clearer skin and more energy to tackle everyday problems.

Almost any challenge requires you to readjust, so do not be afraid to make changes in your lifestyle. At one point you will feel that this does not work, and your mind will express the desire to return to your "previous life" – just ignore it!

5) Swimming is also a great way to prevent acne from appearing on your body. Although make sure that you use the ozone purified pool.

Swimming is great for reducing stress – one of the main causes of acne.

Diagnosing Bad Computer Memory

Sometimes when your computer starts acting “funny” it can be a sign the memory is damaged. The good news is memory for computer systems is inexpensive and easy to replace.

Why Does Memory Fail?

When compared to other components, memory for computer systems has a very low failure rate. It has no moving parts, unlike a hard drive, and isn’t subject the heat stresses the processor or video card are. However there are a number of problems that can damage memory.

Static electricity is a common culprit. If you were in there replacing some component and forgot to discharge static from your hand just one time, you might have sent an electric shock too weak to feel but strong enough to damage the delicate microcircuitry. However even if you have never had the case open, there are other possible causes.

A power surge can damage memory for computers. Some people expect a surge will be dramatic, with sparks and smoke, but in fact it can cause subtle damage that may take days to show up. Even if you have a surge protector, you still might have “dirty” power, which is electricity with unsteady voltage. This is especially true in older buildings. Finally, dust can get inside the case and short out memory contacts.

Signs of Bad Memory

Trying to diagnose computer problems can be frustrating since there are so many components that could be the cause. Software, viruses or a faulty Windows installation could be at fault as well. Failure of memory for computer systems has some distinct symptoms that stand out.

The infamous Blue Screen of Death (BSoD) is often a sign of hardware problems. If your computer locks up with a blue screen containing cryptic messages, this is a BSoD. If it happens just once then it may just be a fluke, but if it happens repeatedly that points to serious problems. Spontaneous reboots or system freeze can also indicate hardware problems.

An important question is when it happens. If it happens only when playing certain graphic-intensive computer games, that could be a sign of a memory problem. BSoDs or reboots during other memory intensive operations such as compiling software, video editing or viewing large images also are symptoms of memory problems.

Testing and Fixing The Memory

There are a number of utilities that can confirm the existence of memory errors, such as Microsoft’s Windows Memory Diagnostic. By running a memory test utility, you confirm the error is actually in the memory and not some other component. By removing all memory modules except one and testing each one in turn, you can isolate which module is the problem.

Once you have confirmed the memory problem, replace the damaged module. Reseating the memory module may fix the problem, but this is often temporary. If the module is damaged, it should be replaced. Memory for computer systems in inexpensive, so don’t take the chance a damaged module could corrupt important data.

Medicare Part D: Advice for Those Who Forgot to Enroll, Again

Open Enrollment ended December 7th, this past Saturday, and unless you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period, you can not enroll in Part D until next October. I have received calls from Medicare beneficaries this week who are flabbergasted, no, violent. I have been yelled at, hung up on, and cussed at.

Frankly, this does not faze me, but it did make me want to write a blog to help people understand their options if they have missed out on Part D Enrollment. Below are a few ideas on how to ease the pain of paying for your prescriptions out-of-pocket. Enjoy!

Coupons

Search the keywords "Prescription Coupons" in your search engine and hundreds of pages pop-up offering coupons on every drug imaginable. You can also research your specific drug by typing "' Drug Name' Coupons" into your search engine.

Another approach is to contact the company that sells your drug and ask if they have any coupons that they can mail to you. Most companies have coupons or good deals available on their websites, as well. It may seem too easy, but sometimes it's the easiest solutions that work.

Prescription Assistance Programs

There are a variety of programs like these, some being state specific. These programs are not insurance, but they do help with the costs of prescription drugs.

You have to apply and be eligible to qualify for an assistance program. Once you are in, you will typically receive a membership discount card that you can use to receive discounts at pharmacies.

The one tricky thing concerning these programs is that you may not qualify for Part D after you enroll in an assistance program. These programs are truly for those in desperate need who can not afford their prescription drugs or benefit Part D deductibles or premiums. There are also senior specific programs, as well as programs that only people under 65 can enroll in, so it is important that you check before applying.

One program I found after a mere ten minutes of research is RXassist.

Pharmacy Programs

Big grocery stores such as HEB and Walmart offer pharmacy discount programs (I live in Central Texas, so we have HEB-but I am sure there are competitive grocery stores in other states as well). By enrolling in these programs, you can get some (not all) of the prescription drugs you use at highly discounted prices. There are small, initial fees that you have to pay to enroll in these programs, but you will be able to receive prescription drugs for extremely discounted prices ($ 5 for a 30 day supply at HEB). Walmart also has a competitive program with some drugs listed for $ 4.

As you can see, there are options. Of course my first advice would be to not yell at your agent or hang up before they have a chance to help you. You might not even understand your situation. There is a chance you could qualify for a Special Enrollment Period. Qualifying circumstances are usually things such as moving out of a service area, involuntarily being dropped from your Medicare Advantage Plan, or other extraaneous circumstances that are out of your control.

While I wish I could magically wave my wand and fix the situation, it is what it is. Several analogies are: not filling your voter registration card out in time for an election, applying for a scholarship or grant after the due date, or submitting a work project late. There are reasons for deadlines, and it's pointless to blame yourself, your agent, or the government. Mistakes happen, but luckily there are the above mentioned resources for Medicare beneficiaries to lean on when they forget to enroll in Part D.

Just to be clear, I am not a Part D agent. So, if you want more details on Part D, get in contact with an agent authorized to sell Part D.

Healthy Boundaries

One of the goals of a drug intervention or alcohol intervention is to create change on behalf of the addict. The most fundamental change occurs when the addict makes the decision to accept drug treatment and begin the path to recovery. As important as it is to create a change in the addict’s behavior, equally important are the changes that must occur in the lifestyle of the family and friends of the addict.

One of the changes that must occur in the family is the creation of healthy boundaries. The formulation of a boundary occurs when the family and friends of the addict stop behavior which has facilitated, encouraged, or in any way supported th addiction. It is necessary for boundaries to develop so that if the addict chooses to maintain his addiction, he, and he alone, suffers the consequences that inevitably result from the addiction.

For instance, if an addict finds himself in a pattern of missing work, school, or social obligations, the family and friends have to stop making excuses, or flat out lying, to defend the addict’s absences. In these situations where boundaries are not set up, the family and friends are left to suffer the anguish and consequences while the addict continues his behavior without repercussion.

Another example, albeit extreme, is the “trust fund” addict. In this case the addict has a built-in source of income and is free to live a life of addiction without the typical worry of where money will come from to support his habit. With room, board, and all other expenses paid for, including money for drugs, he has no worries other than where and when he will get his next dose of drugs or alcohol. I’ve worked with many families in this situation. One of the questions I’ve posed to the parents or trustor of the addict (where boundaries are not set and a stream of money is flowing in the direction of the addict) is why don’t you really make life easy for the addict and just buy the drugs and alcohol for him and deliver it to him personally. After all, I explain, what do they think he is using the money for?

The problem is that oftentimes families tend to love the addict to death. They feel some responsibility or obligation to do whatever they can to make things easier for the addict in the hope that the addict will miraculously change their addictive behavior. Typically, that does not occur and the addict sinks deeper and deeper into the disease of addiction.

It is up to the family to draw the line in the sand. Make a pledge to do everything they can in their power to help the addict in his recovery, but do absolutely nothing to support him in his addiction. Clearly, creating these types of boundaries has the potential of being difficult and gut-wrenching in application. After all, the addict has lived months or perhaps years with the comfort of the family either boldly supporting his addiction or hiding their collective heads in the sand and pretending that it does not exist. Change at this point in the relationship seems extreme, but it has to occur. Think of it this way; if the family does nothing and continues their enabling relationship with the addict, the only change destined to occur is the condition of the addict going from bad to worse.

When families and friends do decide to make healthy boundaries it is important that guidance is sought prior to implementation. Families should consult with drug and alcohol treatment centers, therapists, physicians, and/or drug counselors. Consultations will necessarily help with issues relative to the family as they contemplate change in their behavior, as well as concerns for the addict including, but not limited to, self-harm and violence.

How Long Does Acne Last Without Using Medicine?

Some people are wondering if they can get away with acne without any form of medication. The question, probably, must have arisen following reports of chemicals in medicines causing many adverse reactions. Or maybe it is being asked out of pure interest. Regardless of the nature of the question, I would honestly say, yes, it is possible to get rid of acne even if you do not take antibiotics. The body, after all, has the power to heal itself, given the right circumstances, but the question is, how long is it going to happen?

There are not going to be midnight miracles, certainly! And it is not going to be a simple walk in the park. Putting reliance on medicine aside, the acne sufferer has to have a lot more discipline than necessary. To fight acne without any medications, you need to prep your body so that it will be able to heal on its own. You may need to make some lifestyle changes, any one of which takes a great amount of discipline.

Here's how discipline relates to some lifestyle changes that can fight acne:

Discipline and Eating Right. Discipline is required for you to eat the right kinds of foods that can prevent acne flare-ups. Raw vegetables and fruits have plenty of nutrients to fight acne (among others), but how many of us actually enjoy eating vegetables in their raw state? How many of us are tempted to gorge on street foods, deep-fried foods, and junk foods, instead? Avoiding these foods and making wise foods choices are a matter of discipline, are they not?

Discipline and Avoiding Stress . Stress can trigger acne flare-ups, and it takes a great amount of discipline to go through the entire day without rushing into things, worrying, feeling the world is coming to an end, and you have eight hands instead of two and three heads instead of one so you end up doing more work in less time.

Discipline and Exercise . Forcing yourself to exercise on a regular, if not daily, basis, requires discipline. Starting on an exercise program may not really be a problem, but staying on the program long enough to experience results can be if you do not have enough discipline.

That said, discipline does not grow overnight. It can take weeks for the body to adjust to these lifestyle changes, so in reply to the question how long does acne last without using medicine, I will honestly say that you simply ignore on your body's ability to heal (plus a few home remedies). But even though it may take this amount of time to get rid of acne, the best thing is that you may be able to solve your acne problem for good. By living a healthy lifestyle, you are increasing your body's resistance to bacterial invasions and infections such as those thought about by acne, so there can be no recurring acne anymore.

That Brilliant Vitamin: Vitamin B

Perhaps you first read riboflavin at the back of a cereal box. Perhaps you first encountered folic acid from your first grade science teacher. Perhaps you first heard balanced diet from your mom. All that and more compose Vitamin B which is a group of eight individual vitamins, often referred to as B vitamins or B-complex vitamins. Vitamin B promotes normal growth and development, treats anemia and some types of nerve damage, helps mental and nervous conditions, improves resistance to infection and disease, increases appetite and energy, and improves memory. Vitamin B is also essential for the breakdown of carbohydrates into glucose, breakdown of fats and proteins, muscles in the stomach and intestinal tract, skin, hair, eyes, mouth, and liver.

As mentioned earlier, Vitamin B is a group of eight individual vitamins. These vitamins are thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin, pyrodixine (B-6), folic acid (B-9), cyanocobalamin (B-12), panthotenic acid, and biotin.

Vitamin B1 or Thiamine is essential for the conversion of carbohydrates into simple sugars called glucose which produces energy. This Vitamin B is also essential for the proper functioning of the heart, muscles, and nervous system. Thiamine deficiency is rare but often occurs to alcoholics because alcohol oftentimes interferes with the absorption of Vitamin B thiamine through the intestines. There are also several health implications associated with being thiamine deficient. One is beriberi, a disease characterized by anemia, paralysis, muscular atrophy, and spasms in the leg muscles. Other disorders associated with being thiamine deficient is Wernicke’s encephelopathy which causes lack of coordination, Korsakoff’s psychosis which affects short-term memory. Being thiamine deficient can also affect the mouth resulting to increased sensitivity of the teeth, cheeks, and gums as well as cracks in the lips. Vitamin B thiamine can be found in whole-grain cereals, bread, red meat, egg yolks, and green leafy vegetables. High doses of thiamine has been found not to cause adverse health effects and excess of this water-soluble vitamin b can be excreted.

Vitamin B2 Riboflavin is important in the breakdown of carbohydrates, and fats and proteins. It is also significant in the maintenance of the skin and mucous membrane, the cornea of the eye, and nerve sheaths. Riboflavin deficiency can cause skin disorders and inflammation of the soft tissue lining around the mouth and nose. It can also cause the eye to be hypersensitive to light. Like Thiamine, Riboflavin is found in whole grain products, milk, meat, and eggs. This is also excreted because it is a water-soluble vitamin although a little is stored in the kidney and liver.

Vitamin B3 Niacin, also known as nicotinamide, is important in metabolism as well as in the maintenance of healthy skin, nerves, and gastrointestinal tract. Niacin deficiency can result to a disease called pellegra. The symptoms of pellegra are sometimes called “Three Ds” – diarrhea, dermatitis, and dementia. The mouth is also affected by pellegra which causes the inside of the cheeks and tongue to become red and painful. Vitamin B3 can be found in dairy products, poultry, fish, lean meat, nuts, and eggs. Niacin can also be prescribed in higher doses as drugs to help lower cholesterol but this can cause side effects such as flushing of the skin , itching, headaches, cramps, nausea, and skin eruptions.

Vitamin B6 Pyridoxine which is also known as pyridoxal phosphate is used in the production of red blood cells and in the biochemical reactions involved in the metabolism of amino acids. It is also responsible in the synthesis of of antibodies in the immune system and helps maintain normal brain function. Vitamin B6 deficiency is rare except for alcoholics. It causes skin disorders, abnormal nervous system known as neuropathy, confusion, poor coordination, and insomnia. Inflammation of the lips, tongue and the rest of the mouth are oral symptoms of Vitamin B6 deficiency. Vitamin B6 can be found in organ meats, brown rice, fish, whole grains, fortified breads and cereals, and legumes.

Vitamin B9 Folacin is a Vitamin B-complex which interacts with Vitamin B12 for the synthesis of DNA which is important for all cells in the body. Folacin, a combination of Vitamin B12 and Vitamin C, is essential in the breakdown of proteins and production of red blood cells, tissue growth, and cell function. It also stimulates appetite and formation of digestive acids. Folacin deficiency causes anemia, stunted growth, and irritation of the mouth. Alcoholics, the malnourished, the poor, the elderly, and those who have certain illnesses are usually the ones found to be Vitamin B9 deficients.Vitamin B9 is found in legumes, citrus fruits, whole grain cereals, and green vegetables.

Vitamin B12 Cyanocobalamin like all other Vitamin B-complex is essential in the processing of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. Vitamin B12 is also needed for maintenance of our nerve sheaths, activates amino acids during protein formation, and helps in the perpetuation of cells and fomation of new ones. One interesting thing about Vitamin B12 is that it cannot be absorbed by the body unless combined with mucoprotein made in the stomach. Once Vitamin B12 attaches to the mucoprotein, it travels in the small intestine to be absorbed by the body. Vitamin B12 deficiency is recurrently seen in strict vegetarians who do not take vitamin supplements. A deficiency can also cause pernicious anemia which in turn causes weakness, numbness of the extremities, and fever.

Pantothenic acid and biotin are the last two Vitamin B-complexes. Pantothenic acid is used in the breakdown of carbohydrates, lipids, and amino acids while biotin functions as a coenzyme in carboxylation reactions. There is no known disorder associated with pantothenic acid deficiency while deficiency in biotin can cause scaly dermatitis which is a skin disorder. Pantothenic acid is mainly found in meat, legumes, and whole-grain cereals while abundance of biotin is found in beef liver, mushrooms, and egg yolk.

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5 Health Benefits of Grapefruit to Supercharge Your Body

If you’re looking to enhance your health, then go no further than the health benefits of grapefruit. They are powerful, they are many and they are guaranteed to make you feel great. When it comes to health, there is every reason to make the most of it. If you have health, the world is your oyster and you will be able to do all the things you want to do. So eat or drink grapefruit regularly, and you will enjoy the health benefits of grapefruit and (hopefully) live happily ever after.

1. Prevent cancer

Like most fruits and vegetables, one of the health benefits of grapefruit is its ability to prevent and sometimes cure cancer. The red color of grapefruit is due to lycopene, a powerful antioxidant.

Antioxidants are like little warriors inside the body which attack cancer. Put simply, the more antioxidants you have, the stronger the army you have to fight against cancer.

2. Prevent the winter flu.

Grapefruit reduces acidity in the body and thoroughly quenches the thirst, which makes it a powerful preventer of the winter flu. It is also effective at minimizing pneumonia and fevers, as it tends to remove the burning sensation.

3. Lose weight

Another one of the fantastic health benefits of grapefruit is its effectiveness when it comes to weight loss. It’s low in sodium while high in enzymes that like to burn fat, which makes it something of a “weight loss dream”.

It promotes proper digestion and encourages metabolic action. Grapefruit has the power to melt away fat.

4. Boost your energy.

Many people over the last 1000 years (or however long grapefruit has been around) have used grapefruit as a powerful energy boost. It’s been found to relieve fatigue and tiredness at the end of long days.

5. Removes drug poisons.

Of the health benefits of grapefruit, this is probably the most interesting. Drugs (legal or illegal) are generally poisons to the body, which means anything that can remove them is going to contribute to good health.

Grapefruit does this, however the grapefruit/drug interaction can be quite damaging. So if you are taking any medication, consult your doctor before eating or drinking grapefruit.

How To Lower Blood Sugar

You may have experienced high blood sugar levels come out of physical examination results. With this, and having observed symptoms of hyperglycemia – may put you in a panic state to quickly bring back your blood sugar levels to normal. You hurriedly find answers to your statement & action plan you entitled: "how to lower my blood sugar".

Your "How To Lower My Blood Sugar" Action Plan would point out the details on your strategy to bring back or control your blood sugar levels so that it would range around normal. You find yourself researching over the internet for case studies and recent developments on how to go about a condition such as yours. You go over medical books and magazines just so you could include in your action plan the best approaches to improving your condition. And anything you have read that worked for others will be a candidate to be included in your list of options.

Indeed, if you constantly keep yourself reminded and say that "I really need to lower my blood sugar" – you will constantly find yourself evaluating everything to this statement.

Lowering blood sugar levels, while can be addressed medically, can also be approached proactively by taking personal measures of healthier lifestyle changes.

As known, any form of carbohydrates will be historically broken down into sugar or glucose by the body – whether it be fruits, vegetables, bread, rice, pasta, etc … There are carbohydrates though that are considered healthier than others – such are the vegetables.

Not only do they provide necessary nutrients for a healthy body, they contain fibers that will also do the body good. Highly refined carbohydrates as bread, cakes and pasta have high glycemic index – which means they will easily be converted to sugar – that means giving your blood sugar levels a spike much faster than those with lower glycemic index.

So, when you say that, "I want to lower my blood sugar" – you should keep your carbohydrates to a minimum. And when choosing carbohydrates, go for natural and high fiber ones – these mostly have low-glycemic index. An example would be going for brownsugar, brown rice and of course, green-leafy vegetables.

And lastly, when you are really serious in saying that: "I want to lower my blood sugar" – you should take on an exercise regimen in order to live an active lifestyle. Exercise brings a lot of good to your body – not only does it improve your circulation, get that body fat out, but it will also help on maintaining healthy blood sugar levels.

In lowering your blood sugar levels, there is something you can do about it. A healthy diet and an active lifestyle will do your body a lot of good. All it takes is your commitment to stick by your plan of action.

Oxygen Concentrators – A Vital Tool for Oxygen Therapy

People who suffer from COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) often experience a narrowing of air passageways, making it hard to breathe. Chronic bronchitis is a type of COPD, and it gets progressively worse as time goes on. While it has some similar symptoms as asthma, symptoms do not improve over time like they do with asthma. Because of the difficulty breathing, COPD sufferers must go on constant oxygen therapy to assist them with getting their bodies enough oxygen. Oxygen therapy is a type of emergency intervention for those who have an unusually difficult time breathing normally. A portable oxygen concentrator is one of the tools used here.

Normally, air consists of about 21 percent oxygen; but sometimes higher percentages are needed for COPD sufferers. During oxygen therapy, an oxygen concentrator provides the patient with a steady dose of oxygen at a specified percentage. These are typically larger units that are bought or leased from medical supply companies. Their overall output can reach up to 10 liters per minute, but usually produce in the 5 liters per minute range. An increase in the liters of oxygen used per minute by the machine increases the concentration of oxygen in the air being inhaled. In recent years, portable oxygen concentrators have become available.

Portable oxygen concentrators do not have the same type of capacity as their full-sized brethren; after all, they're built to move easily. The relatively small capacity of oxygen (usually less than 2 liters per minute) is engaged only when the user is inhaling, making them demand-only concentrators. Unlike continuous flow concentrators, these are not designed for use when the user is sleeping. These smaller concentrators can run on power derived from a car cigarette lighter or on battery power. This makes them convenient enough for people to take with them while traveling. Portable concentrators are very beneficial for people who can not be without their supplementary supply of oxygen for extended periods of time.

If you have COPD and have trouble breathing, oxygen therapy is the best choice for you. Depending on the severity of your symptoms, a portable oxygen concentrator allows you to continue leading an active lifestyle while getting the therapy you need to function normally. It's important that those with breathing problems or restricted airways use secondary methods of getting air into the lungs before things become more difficult. Home oxygen therapy is a safe and efficient way to treat this disease in comfortable surroundings.

3 Healthy Ways To Lose Weight Without Dieting!

Many people, regardless if they are rich or poor do not see the connection between their habits and their health. They may regard enjoying good health as something over they have little or no control. But that is actually a pretty fatalistic way of viewing things. The reality is that you can take control over you health, there are in fact healthy ways to lose weight without doing any extreme diets.

In fact, it does not matter how your financial situation currently is, you just have to take small basic steps, and the results will come. I can say this from my own personal experience of losing over 50 pounds. Just by making small basic changes that everyone can do to your eating habits you will in fact lose weight.

Author Michael Pollan resumes in few words a time tested health advice:

"Eat food. Not too much.

1) Fresh foods vs. Processed foods:

One of the most healthy ways to lose weight is by choosing your food carefully. Since they started tinkering with food for more than 50 years ago, most of the food we currently eat do not have the necessary nutrients we need, and instead they contain high levels of sugar, salt, fat, and other types of substances that causes addiction, having us craving for more of those types of foods.

2) Eating less:

The World Health Organization reports a dangerous worldwide increase in overweight. What I used to do (and keep doing) to keep myself from overeating is to drink a glass of water or two before each time i eat or before each meal. Another thing that really helps is to eat slower consciously, and since it takes 20 minutes for your brain to record that you are satisfied, this is a god way to prevent yourself from overeating.

3) Eat more plants:

Try adding more vegetables. This is how I eat them:

  • First: The vegetables and the protein first
  • Second: The carbs

If you do it this way, your body will process better what you eat.

A final word of caution:

In an attempt to lose weight, many people do popular diets. But, please, one word of caution, plenty of those diets will only have temporary effects on your body, and the ripple effect is terrible. I know what I'm talking about, I fall pray to the yo-yo diet cycle for years only to gain all my weight back again, and more.

Only when I learned how to eat properly I started to lose weight. My dear friend, there are in fact real and healthy ways to lose weight, it's easier than you think.

Knowing More About School Nurse Certification

We all are familiar that there are great career progresses in health care field. There are 60% of the registered nurses working in the hospitals; most of them have the associate degree and diploma from the hospital and after passing the license they have started working as Registered nurses, now when we are talking about the nurses working in hospitals the registered nurse is the highest rank but this does not stop here . The (BSN) Bachelor of Sciences in nursing degree holder students get more career advancement than the students with (ADN) Associate Degree in Nursing and the students with hospital diplomas. Students who possess BSN degree usually go for consulting, research, and teaching. Those registered nurses who have experience and do do possess the BSN degree can go for school nurse certification administrated by The National Certification Examination for School Nurses.

There are some nurses who prefer to work as school nurse working in a school is less frenzied than to be working in the hospital. Those registered nurses who are working for at least 3 years in the hospital and have the license for the registered nurse, they can apply for school nurse certification. A school nurse plays very important role, they help the students with learning problems and also if you suddenly feel sick in school.

They have to follow a doctor's instructions in the case of emergency like if a student is really badly injured and in likewise situations. The main purpose for this certification is to keep students healthy; This is why the school nurse has to be upgraded with modern technology and also with medical knowledge so they can guide the students accordingly to keep them away from diseases so the student can learn in a healthy environment. The main role of the school nurses is to maintain the student learning by applying their skills such as providing student health counseling and estimate if student needs mental health. They also educates about the disease to the students, parents and the staff.

To become a nursing assistant you need to fulfill the requirements for the National Association of School Nurses, you must possess a bachelor's degree, certification and license for the registered nurse and also nursing experience. There are different universities from where you can take the training classes for this certification. You can also take these classes online through different websites the certification course includes the social science, public health nursing, human growth and development and mental health.

This course will help them to get the proficiency in mental health nursing, pediatrics, public health and human growth and development. For the certification exam of the nurse, one must be currently working as licensed registered nurse. Working experience should be three years and school nurse certification will cost you first time as $ 300. The certification will expire and will not be valid after five years a school nurse has to renew it by sitting in the exams. A nurse can work in high schools, middle school, preschools, private schools, voluntary schools, alternative schools, elementary schools, parochial schools, and colleges or universities.

Good Foods to Help Lower Cholesterol and Prevent Heart Disease

High cholesterol can lead to many serious health risks, the most deadly being heart disease. Statistics have shown that cholesterol is the leading contributor of heart disease, clogged arteries and leads to an increased risk of a stroke. The main culprit is bad cholesterol in the body known as low-density lipoprotein (LDL). In fact, LDL is the main cause of many heart problems. To prevent this from happening, a change in diet may be necessary. Read on to find out what foods you should be eating. And those that you should be avoiding.

We will begin with the foods that you should avoid or cut back on. Try not to consume foods that contain a large amount of saturated fats and trans-fats. These fats are mostly found in fast food and canned foods. You should avoid margarine or baked goods that contain hydrogenated vegetable oil too. Do not eat fatty cuts of poultry and meats, although the lean cuts are fine. And cut back on foods that contain high amount of sugar.

As for healthy foods that can help lower cholesterol, you should add more fresh fruits and vegetables to your diet. Most fruit and vegetables are cholesterol-free, so eating them can actually help to lower your cholesterol levels. Change to whole grain breads and cereals for breakfast, using low fat or skim milk. Yogurt and sour cream are good too. Instead of eating meat, you should eat skinless chicken and fish but avoid frying them. Nuts and garlic are some of the best foods to help drive down your cholesterol, so taking them in reasonable amount is highly recommended.

Make sure you also stock up on high fiber foods as well. They help absorb cholesterol from your bloodstream. Consider eating foods that have a high amount of omega-3 in them as this is one of the best ways to increase your good cholesterol – otherwise known as HDL (high density lipoprotein).

If you want to go a step further, you can consider taking supplements that contain ingredients such as policosanol and lecithin oil. The combination of these beneficial ingredients can help lower your bad LDL without raising your blood sugar levels in the process. They can also help increase the good HDL levels and reduce cholesterol absorption from foods. There you have it – the list of foods that can help to lower your cholesterol so you can enjoy good health longer. For more tips on ways to lower cholesterol, visit my website.

Health Care Professionals

A health care professional is a person who provides proper health care to any individual in need of health care services in a systematic and professional manner. They include Physicians, Nurses, and Dentists, Physician assistants, Pharmacists, Therapists, Psychologists, support staff and other such individuals who are licensed to deliver health care of any kind. Although physicians’ services are the most needed in providing health care, the duties of others cannot be under estimated. To understand the value of each of their services we need to learn about them.

Physicians:

A Physician – also known as Doctor or a Medical Practitioner is a person who practices the Profession of Medicine and hence helps to maintain health. He is the one who makes the diagnosis and treatment for any disease or injury. A Physician needs to be highly competent and possess a detailed knowledge about the science of medicine. The physician is bound to do what is right by himself. Medical practitioners hold a medical degree from the Universities from which they graduate. Mostly they specialize in a particular field. They also need the permission from the government in order to practice.

Nurses:

A Nurse is generally a person who completes nursing education and undertakes training in the diagnosis and treatment of some common and a few complex medical conditions. They are licensed to provide a varied range of services.

Dentists:

The study and practice of diagnosis, prevention and treatment of diseases of the mouth, the face and the maxilla is called Dentistry. Dental health is very important for overall health of a person. Dentist is a person who practices dentistry. It also includes the services of Dental Assistants, Technicians and Therapists.

Physician Assistants:

A Physician Assistant is a Professional who is licensed to provide a broad range of services under the supervision of a licensed physician. He conducts physical examination, orders and interprets tests, assists in surgery and also prescribes medicines.

Health care system can be either managed by governments or by private institutions. It is the responsibility of these organizations to ensure that these providers are giving valuable service and unlicensed practitioners are punished severely. Stress in workplace is quite common among health care professionals. It may be due to long working hours, exposure to diseases, constant exposure to death, inadequate staff etc. Depression and anxiety are the results of such elevated levels of stress.