Understanding Walking Pneumonia Symptoms

Walking pneumonia, or mycoplasmal pneumoniae, is an illness that everyone can get, because it spreads through the air very easy if a person infected with the bacteria that causes it sneezes or coughs.

Walking pneumonia is a mild form of the disease that used to kill thousands before the discovery of antibiotics and the pneumonia vaccine, but it can be tricky because most of the people that have it confuse it with influenza, and they use the wrong treatment for it , so allowing it to advance.

Children under the age of 15 are at a higher risk to get this illness, but everyone can have it. It is known that it quickly spreads in schools or army bars, because in the institutions mentioned above people stay close together and the microorganisms that cause it enter the bodies of many.

Its first symptom is a mild sore throat that gets worse as days pass. Then a dry cough shows up. As its name suggests, walking pneumonia does not make the people that have it stay in bed, its effects are not so so the patient can tend to his / her normal activities, but this is not recommended if he / she works in an environment with many people. Also, one infected with walking pneumonia will feel a general state of fatigue all the time.

The main problem is that its symptoms are the same with the cold or influenza symptoms. After the coughing a mild fever may also appear, accompanied by a running nose, exactly the same when you have a cold. The first clue that you do not have a simple cold is that the coughing can not be cured with the regular medication, because the bacteria that cause pneumonia can only be treated with antibiotics. Furthermore, although you took your regular cough medicine, it gets worse and worse until you take antibiotics.

This can make walking pneumonia a tricky, miserable disease, but once it is discovered it can very easily be cured with just a few antibiotics. In a few days it will be gone, but the hard part is to realize that you have pneumonia and not just a cold.
Remembering the symptoms and facts mentioned above can spare you the trouble of confusing walking pneumonia with influenza, but the best thing to do if you suspect that you have this illness is to consult your doctor as soon as you see that your cough gets worse though you are taking cough medicine.

It's False! 4 Common Myths About Birds

Remember when you were a kid how your mom told you, "Do not pick up the baby bird that fall out of the tree to put it back in the nest or it's mom will abandon it. That's not true. Most birds do not have a very good sense of smell and could not detect human scent. Although, before handling the baby bird it would be best to determine if the bird is a nestling or a fledgling. Nestlings are featherless and fuzzy, and putting them back in the nest would indeed be helpful, because they are too young to be out of the nest. Fledglings have feathers and are old enough to leave the nest, and fledglings often spend several days on the ground as they learn to fly. It is best you do not carry them off to your house to care for them, because its parents are often nearby even if you do not see them. And they can take much better care of their offspring than you can.

You probably have also heard it said that, "you should not feed the birds because your bird feeder should run out of food, the birds will come to depend on you could starve." That is about as true as you starving if the local McDonald's leaves your town. Although, if you are going out of town in extreme cold weather, a sudden disappearance of food, could have a hardship to them. May not be a bad idea to have someone fill your bird feeder while you are away if you leave town during icy and snowy weather.

Which leads to the concern "if I leave out my hummingbird feeder too long in the fall will I prevent the hummers from migrating like they should for the cold weather?" No need to worry. Hummingbirds know when to migrate due to hormonal changes in their body. These hormonal changes are triggered by the shortening length of daylight. The days getting shorter causes the hummingbirds to migrate. Leaving your bird feeders out too long in the fall will not cause the birds to miss their opportunity to migrate because they accidentally hung around too long.

We have often been cautioned not to throw rice at a newly married couples because a bird may swoop down and eat it. And as rice expands in water the bird will blow up. This is not at all true. Mary Jo Cheeseman, a rice expert at the USA Rice Federation says many birds such as migrating ducks and geese depend on rice fields each year to fatten up to have enough strength to migrate to their nesting grounds. "It's a myth. There is no reason why birds, including small song birds, can not eat rice," said Ned Johnson, a professor of biology at Berkeley. Johnson often gives lectures on feeding of birds.

What Causes Our Fingers To Swell?

Mild boiling of your fingers is not something you need to worry about. However, if you notice that the swing is severe and it happens often, it is time for you to take the necessary action. You need to deal with it immediately to avoid further problems with your fingers. First, you will have to know the different reasons why fingers swell.

Dislocation – Dislocation happens when the joints of your fingers are moved unintentionally. It could be because of an accident or mishap. When the joints are not in their proper places, this can result in swelling. In some cases, your fingers may also look different and deformed. This condition can be very painful there before it is better to let your fingers rest and keep it immobile for a few hours.

Lymphedema – This is a condition wherein the tissues start to retain fluid. Because of the extra fluid, the fingers swell and become bigger. There are many causes associated with this disease. There are also many symptoms that you may experience. Some of the symptoms include difficulty in moving the fingers, wrist pain, tightness and swelling of your fingers. This can happen because of physical anomaly or physical trauma. Surgeries related to lymph nodes may also trigger the problem.

Preeclampsia – This condition only happens to pregnant women who are usually in their 20th week. High blood pressure and increased protein amount are experienced by mothers-to-be. Swelling is also a symptom of this condition particularly in the legs, feet and fingers. If you have these symptoms, you may also suffer from weight gain, persistent headache and eye problems. This condition should be treated immediately because it does not only affect you but also the child you are carrying. Proper prenatal care should always be observed.

Edema – Fluid buildup is also the main cause of swelling for people who have Edema. If you have this condition, it is probably because you have too much sodium content in your body. Salt retains fluid and makes the tissues swell. Other reasons for Edema include heart and kidney failure. It may also be because of certain medicines that you are taking. It is better to consult your doctor about the side effects. At present, there are still no cures for Edema. However, diuretics will help you reduce the swelling.

Infection – Infection is one of the most common causes of finger swelling. You can know if there is an infection by observing the skin. You need to monitor the temperature of the skin. If you skin is hotter than the usual, it may be infected and it may become really painful. It is better to go to your doctor immediately to avoid the situation from getting out of hand. Your doctor will most likely give you antibiotics and creams to less the swelling and to treat the infection.

These are just some of the things that cause finger swelling. Knowing them is very important especially in determining the cause and treatment for the condition. In every situation, it is best to consult with your physician to get a proper advice.

Plastic Cone Collars Vs Soft E Collars

Often after surgery our pets may require a device to stop them from gaining access to their surgical area. Or on occasion, our pets may need something to deter them from licking, biting or scratching at a chronic sore spot. One such product that is widely used today by veterinarians is the "E-Collar" or Elizabethan Collar.

Where did the name Elizabethan or E-Collar come from? The term Elizabethan Collar comes from an article of clothing called "the ruffs", which was worn around the neck of women in England during the Elizabethan times (1558-1603). The "ruffs" were very elegant but very stiff, which preverted these women from full neck movement. Our current day pet manufactures must have thought if an elegant article of clothing could prevent a woman from moving her head freely, because not modify the design to be used on animals.

Many of today's E-Collars are made of very hard plastic. You can be certain your pet will not be able to reach his stitches or hot spot, when he is wearing this cumbersome device. For that matter, he will not be able to do much of anything else. The archaic design of the plastic cone collar impedes your pet's vision, it causes them to bump into things, they may trip while trying to go up stairs, it will also deter them from eating or drinking and they will not be able to lie down comfortably . Not only will your pets get stressed out wearing one of these products, often we hear that pet parents are equally stressed out by seeing their pets struggle during their recovery period.

Some pet manufactures have come up with an ingenious method of doing away with the hard plastic cone collars. They have figured out a way to offer an alternative which is soft, flexible, comfortable and effective. The advent of the Soft E Collar has revolutionized the way veterinarian's care for their pet patients. While many veterinarians are taking advantage of these relatively new designs, many remain steadfast with offering the old plastic cone collar. Perhaps, some of these veterinarians do not realize there are alternatives or just maybe they are set in their ways.

If your pet is scheduled for surgery, ask your vet in advance if they carry the soft e collar. If they do not tell them there are many alternatives to the old plastic cone collar. You or your veterinarian can purchase a soft e collar from a manufacture, a pet retail store or an online pet supply store. They would be more than happy to provide you with advice as well as their alternative surgical collar. Keep in mind, any device that is placed around an animal's neck is foreign to them and they will try to find a way to remove it or get at their stitches or hot spot. Surgical collars are only meant as a temporary solution to your pet's situation.

Ultimately, you and your veterinarian will know what is best for your pet. But we strongly suggest trying the more humane soft e collar first. Your pets will Thank You.

Hyperbaric Oxygen Chambers Deliver Positive Results For Cerebral Palsy Patients

Cerebral palsy is an unfortunate neurological condition affecting more and more people that can cause developmental disabilities. It usually occurs in children while in the womb, up to age three. Like many other conditions, such as autism, cerebral palsy is usually very stagnant, not getting better or worse on its own over time. This makes it very frustrating to deal with, and very discouraging when one is trying to find a cure. But luckily, some people have found the magic in hyperbaric oxygen chambers.

Hyperbaric oxygen chamber treatment (HBOT) can assist many diseases and disorders, as well as helping those who may just want to be a little healthier. In a hyperbaric chamber, pure oxygen is pressurized higher than normal atmospheric pressure, so oxygen enters the bloodstream and bodily tissues more easily. The connection between cerebral palsy and hyperbaric chambers is in the way the concentrated oxygen depletes excess fluid and swelling in the brain.

The area of ​​the brain affected by palsy is the cerebrum, which controls physical movement, so people with cerebral palsy often have very limited motor skills. Experts believe that the use of hyperbaric chambers for cerebral palsy is beneficial because the oxygen treatment can restore cells to the brain, possibly helping patients regain the ability to function normally.

In studies conducted on the effectiveness of hyperbaric chambers on cerebral palsy, the HBOT lasted longer and were more successful in restoring motor function skills. Two trials were conducted around 2001 that found that the two groups of children with cerebral palsy who were studied were more positively affected by the hyperbaric chambers. Although some view the reports as controversial, the children did seem to be helped much more with HBOT than with other methods of therapy that were tried.

This success has not just been for patients of cerebral palsy; athletes, patients with autism, some who had had a stroke, and others who suffer from various wounds have been helped by hyperbaric chambers. And not only are the results universal, but these chambers can be accessible to almost anyone. While some chambers are made for more than one person and are very heavy, others are completely portable and can be used in your own home. It's also possible to rent the units for a period of time, instead of having to buy one or use one intermittently. This will give better results as well, since the treatments will be more consistent.

As with any type of treatment for an illness, whether used at home or a professional atmosphere, please consult your doctor before you or a loved one with cerebral palsy begins HBOT. He will be able to give you a schedule with the hyperbaric chamber that is best for you and your condition. And, who knows-maybe he will make an example out of your success story!

Sleep Paralysis/Old Hag Syndrome

This is probably the most frightening and mysterious sleep disorder and I can speak from personal experience having suffered with this for many years.

Many sufferers are reluctant to talk about the condition as certain aspects of it can appear to be at first glance – of a supernatural nature. Sufferers experience many things during an ‘episode’ of sleep paralysis which can often be very unpleasant.

Basically, Sleep Paralysis is when you awaken usually during the night (although it can occur at any time) to find that your whole body is paralyzed. Other symptoms can include:

Increased heart rate

Whooshing sound in the ears

A feeling that you are not alone in the room

A presence usually malevolent, sitting on your chest or touching parts of your body sometimes in an inappropriate or invasive manner. The presence can often take the form of a haggard old woman and the condition is sometimes referred to as ‘Old Hag Syndrome’

Struggling to breathe

Voices or whispering in your ear

A feeling of floating or being ‘out of your body’

These are just some of the symptoms sufferers experience and it is no wonder that they are reluctant to talk about them. Sufferers have often been dismissed by such ignorant comments as: “You’re just dreaming” or “You’ve had a nightmare and just thought you were awake”.

This is clearly not the case and if anyone is reading this that suffers from sleep paralysis and doesn’t recognize what it is or if you think you are alone or having some kind of mental breakdown then I can assure you THERE IS NOTHING TO FEAR.

Sleep Paralysis is more common than people think and although there is no final explanation of what it actually is, it is widely recognized among the medical profession and we are closer to understanding the causes of it. Although the subject is far too complex to go into in this article there are many and various publications, websites on the subject.

FACT: The singer Sheryl Crowe is a long time sufferer of Sleep Paralysis.

Trigeminal Neuralgia? Learn Why Trigeminal Neuralgia Can Be A Pain In The Face

If you suffer from bouts of sharp pain or spasm on one side of the face, most likely you have Trigeminal Neuralgia.

Also known as 'Tic Douloureux', a French nickname meaning 'painful twitch', Trigeminal Neuralgia is a disorder of the nerve in the face called Trigeminal Nerve or 5th Cranial Nerve. The Trigeminal Nerve controls much of the facial movements such as chewing, producing saliva and tears, and sending facial signals to the brain.

This unfortunate disorder of the nerve is considered one of the most painful experience. Trigeminal Neuralgia induces episodes of spasm or electric shocks that last 2 minutes or less.

The pattern of attacks are irregular, and relief from the pain is short-lived, from a few seconds to a few minutes before another facial throbbing pain.

As a consequence of the bouts of attack, sufferers find it too difficult to carry on their daily activities and routine. Due to the effects of Trigeminal Neuralgia, sufferers will often win or twitch their face.

In some people, the attacks can occur as much as 100 times a day!

Unfortunately with time, Trigeminal Neuralgia occurs more frequently, and becomes more painful. In fact, Trigeminal Neuralgia affects women three times more frequently than men.

Trigeminal Neuralgia is very sensitive to pressure, simple touching of the face, talking, drinking hot or cold beverages, and eating can trigger bouts of attacks. The spasms starts from the jaw area of ​​the face, and is most severe at the ends of the nerve near the nostrils, lip, chin or teeth.

Although the origin of Trigeminal Neuralgia is not known, doctors believe it is caused by the degeneration or irritation of the Trigeminal Nerve. But it is now known how the nerve is damaged.

Trigeminal Neuralgia is a painful twitch in the face.

Do You Have a Tonsil Stone?

Tonsil stone is a little white ball of calcareous matter that can be found in the back of your throat. It is caused by the accumulation of bacteria that produce sulfur and other debris that form in the tonsils. This debris usually consist of mucous from post nasal drip and collections small pockets called tonsil crypts which appear on the surface of the tonsils. When the debris and the volatile Sulfur compounds produced by anaerobic bacteria benefit the surface of your tongue combine, they create a stubborn bad breath and a horrible taste. You will not experience tonsil stone if you do not have tonsils. However this does not indicate that you should have your tonsils removed. Tonsil Stone may also be called tonsillar debris, sneeze nugget, calculus of the tonsil or tonsillolith.

A tonsil stone is barely noticeable. It is small and the tonsil crypt is shallow so the stone just falls out on itself through coughing. It may cause irritation to some people as it gives a feeling that there is a foreign object lodged in the back of your throat. It also brings bad breath, chronic tonsillitis, sometimes ear pain and sore throat if not removed early enough.

A tonsil stone is seen at the bottom rear of your mouth. It is the result from debris that gets stuck in your mouth. This must be eliminated by scraping it out or by poking it using your fingernail, or using a wet cotton bud to squeeze your tonsil until the stone is removed. Bottomline is it has to be removed quickly before it causes you to have undesirable bad breath, frequent sore throat or tonsillitis.

What Is The Best Diabetes Testing Device?

If you have been diagnosed with diabetes then you should be aware of the importance of diabetes testing. Keeping your blood sugar under control is critical in preventing organ damage and other complications. Read on to discover more about the many different products on the market used in testing your diabetes.

Ideally, if you are insulin dependent, you should test your blood sugar four times a day. Monitoring your blood sugar before meals can help you maintain a healthy blood sugar level. So what is the best way to monitor your blood sugar levels?

The traditional home diabetes test results pricking your finger with a small needle-like device called a lancet. A small drop of blood is then applied to a test strip that is inserted into a small meter that will read the result. These meters come in different sizes and features. Some will have larger displays or will haveoken instructions for the visually impaired.

There are meters that come with special software to upload to your computer and it will allow you to retrieve information from the meter to graph your blood glucose results over time. This can be very helpful when you visit your doctor. It can easily be determined if your diabetes medications need to be altered in any way.

There are newer meters on the market that allow you to draw blood from alternative sites. Any diabetic can tell you how sore their fingertips become from the frequent diabetes testing. These newer meters allow you to test from places such as the forearm, base of the thumb and the upper thigh. But a word of warning; blood glucose results from these alternative sites may be different than the results you receive from the fingertip site.

The reason is that blood glucose levels show changes more quickly than any other site on the body. So keep in mind that if you are experiencing any symptoms that may be related to low blood sugar or high blood sugar, you should conduct a traditional fingertip diabetes test to get an accurate result.

Two other new diabetes testing devices to hit the market recently are a laser that draws blood and a GlucoWatch. The laser produces a beam of light that will penetrate the skin of the finger. The purpose of this is to reduce the discomfort of a traditional needle prick.

The GlucoWatch will draw tiny amounts of fluid by emitting small electric currents. This watch has the ability to measure your blood glucose level three times an hour for up to 12 hours. Although it has been approved by the FDA, it should not be used to replace the traditional finger tip diabetes testing.

These are the basic diabetes testing products on the market today. Talk with your doctor to get his recommendation and take good care of yourself by maintaining a healthy blood sugar level.

Obesity In Kids

A generation or two ago, obese kids were the exception rather than the norm. These days, kids are getting heavier and unhealthier than ever. Modern diet consisting of fat-laden, sugar loaded junk food and drinks are a major cause of the problem. The lack of exercise is the other reason why so many kids today are so fat.

Kids may be able to get away with eating to their hearts' content as long as they burn off the exercise through exercise. That was the case in the pre-video-game era. Now, computers, video games and the internet provide much of kids entertainment. These have become far more popular than the old games children used to play, games like like tag, hopscotch, skipping, soccer and basketball which would burn loads of calories for kids in the past, kids these days are mostly couch potatoes.

If you can get kids to regain an interest in the games we played before video games, the problem of childhood obesity would be greatly reduced. For starters, get them to play games like badminton [http://www.toyskidslove.com/badminton-sets.htm], or soccer. These are sports that still hold the interest of kids today. For starters, lure them away from the video games by promoting them a treat after playing badminton. Gather a group of kids to play real soccer (not the virtual reality version) or basketball. Playing with friends in real life might hopefully win the child over from video games other sedentary activities.

Read weight loss for kids [http://www.home-weight-loss-programs.com/weight-loss-for-kids.htm] for more weight loss ideas for kids.

Toe Nail Fungus

Toe nail fungus is a phrase often used to refer to a common type of fungal infection – an infection where a fungus has somehow gotten into a tonail and begun to grow there, causing discoloration, disintegration of the nail and, frequently, noticeable discomfort. Although there are many species of fungi in the world, only a small number of them are capable of living and growing on human nails. Most of them belong to a group collectively known as dermatophytes: these fungi typically live on hair, skin, and nails and spread from person to person. A few others belong to the saprophytes, fungi that live on decaying organic substances in nature and sometimes infect nails more or less accidentally.

Invading fungus in nail and skin is fairly common – more than ten percent of the North American population sufferers from such an infection, with the risk increasing with age. While fungal invasion of a fingernail does occur, toe nail fungus is much more common, probably because have more contact with dust earth and floors, are washed less frequently, and spend more time in enclosed, humid coverings such as shoes and boots. Fungal nail infections tend to start in a toe nail and then spread to other toe nails, skin, and finger nails secondarily.

Risk factors for acquiring a toe nail fungus include injury to the nail or the skin around the nail. Cuts and scrapes, hangnails, ingrown toenails, dry cracked skin and damp conditions all provide a route of entry into the skin and nails, as will toenails that are damaged or deformed due to recent or prior injury. Nails that have lifted away from the nail bed are particularly susceptible. Public swimming and wading pools, public showers, and shared footwear are all likely places to come in contact with a dermatophyte. Saprophytes are more likely to come from soil, decaying leaves or other organic material in the environment. In salons, fungus in nail clippings and filings or on manicure or pedicure equipment is a documented source of infection in people who use these services.

Once established, a toe nail fungus is generally quite difficult to get rid of. The invader grows within the nail itself, deriving nutrients from keratin, a protein found in nails, hair and skin cells. Nails are meant to be a tough shield to protect the tips of our fingers and toes, and they are quite good at blocking medications and treatments applied to nails. In order to kill the fungus, you need to find something that can penetrate the nail or get underneath it like the fungus did. Most prescription medications are taken internally and act on the infection systemically, while natural and home remedies are applied topically. The key to any treatment for fungus in nail infections is patience: nails grow slowly and it typically takes months before the nail looks normal again.

Any suspected toe nail fungus infection should be seen and diagnosed by a doctor because other types of nail infection and nail abnormality can mimic a fungal infection. If the problem is fungal, spores of the fungus in nail clippings will grow in the laboratory and the fungal species can be identified. Once you know for sure that the problem is fungal, treatment can be started.

HIV-AIDS Phobia – What Is It And Can It Be Treated?

AIDS and HIV are words that can still provoke feelings of fear and anxiety in many people today — and this in spite of the fact that this viral infection is no longer the killer it once was. With the advent of sophisticated drugs used in combination therapy, HIV has become a largely manageable condition, something that can be successfully lived with.

Where HIV was once shrouded in mystery, and even called ‘God’s vengeance’, today we know that HIV is a viral infection that may be acquired through a few well-established routes.

We know that HIV transmission can occur through sexual contact, blood-to-blood contact, such as sharing hypodermic needles, and passed from mother to baby during pregnancy, the birthing process or through infected breast milk.

HIV simply cannot be transmitted through activities such as hugging or most kissing, nor can it be acquired from toilet seats, shared eating utensils, glasses, cups or plates etc. because of this there is no real need to be anxious about these particular areas. In fact, HIV is such a fragile virus – or, to be exact, a ‘retrovirus’ – that the virus can survive for only a brief period of time when outside of the body.

Though HIV infection has been with us for more than 30 years, many people still remain uninformed about it and how it may be acquired. Because of this, HIV-AIDS continues to cause much irrational fear and anxiety — and prejudice. This kind of irrational fear can often be quite easily cleared through education, a basic understanding of the means by which HIV is transmitted, and knowledge of how it can be prevented.

Prejudice, though, in any shape or form, can be more difficult to counter. Only when we are aware of the reason for our prejudices and are prepared to see prejudice for what it really is can it be vanquished.

But apart from the fear and anxiousness that can come from basic ignorance and blind prejudice, there is also another form of fear that can develop regarding HIV-AIDS and this is what has come to be known as ‘AIDS Phobia’.

People who have this disorder – and there is an overlooked and sizable demographic – remain extremely worried and often paranoid about contracting the infection despite being educated about HIV, being reassured by doctors and health advisors, and even having taken blood tests which prove that they are not infected and so have no reason to be fearful or remain anxious. Such people are what has been referred to as ‘the worried well’. For these individuals, HIV-AIDS phobia is an extreme form of anxiety disorder.

Over the past several years, working both in private practice and as a consultant psychotherapist for one of the largest HIV and sexual health organizations in Europe, I have worked with a number of different people who were experiencing this particular problem and have seen how truly incapacitating it can be. It is an anxiety disorder that completely side-steps rationality and logic, so that no matter how often the person is assured and re-assured that they have not contracted HIV-AIDS, and so have no reason to worry, they persist in their belief that they may indeed be infected.

Based on experience, I believe the word ‘phobia’ is, in fact, inappropriate here, because it sounds like something that can be quite easily treated with simplistic measures such as a couple of NLP or EFT techniques, simple desensitization, or a few counseling sessions. ‘Phobia’ suggests that it is nothing more serious than a fear of spiders or elevators or having to stand up and talk in front of other people. This in no way minimizes the real difficulties experienced by people who have these common phobias, but these things are true phobias and so can very often be cleared in just a couple of brief sessions using the right kind of therapeutic techniques.

Though AIDS Phobia can be successfully treated, it appears to be very different in nature to ordinary phobias, and so usually resists such treatment.

In my experience, AIDS Phobia is less of a simple phobia than it is a mental health issue closely aligned to obsessive-compulsive disorder, or OCD.

Because of this, I prefer to call AIDS phobia ‘HIV Anxiety Disorder’, or HIV AD.

People experiencing HIV AD share many of the same symptoms as those diagnosed with OCD. These include fear about safety and security, thinking or feeling that objects are dirty or contaminated, worrying about health and hygiene, and intrusive, disturbing thoughts about aggression or sex.

Underlying issues connected with sex, sexual orientation, the fear of illness, abandonment, or of death very often pre-exist the appearance of HIV Anxiety Disorder.

Often the person presenting with HIV AD has experienced a strict upbringing in which sex was very much a taboo subject, or in which certain forms of sexual expression were frowned upon, or have undergone premature sexualization experiences, and so powerful feelings of guilt have been subconsciously associated with the sexual urge and these have then become internalized.

For others, sickness, death of a significant other, or the sense of being abandoned or rejected at some stage in their development, has left them with an underlying sense of real fear. Very often fear and guilt combine, and when these powerful emotions come together the ground is fertile for HIV Anxiety Disorder.

Treatment involves going to the cause of the fear and resolving both this and any guilt that may be driving the disorder. This means uncovering those earlier, initial sensitizing events that laid the groundwork and in all probability preceded the actual HIV AD symptoms, and then re-processing the subconscious mind’s interpretation of such events so that it can clear the anxiety. This is most effectively accomplished through the use of hypnosis and hypnotherapy strategies, which allows direct access to the subconscious mind. When this is achieved, then the person can be taught cognitive strategies that enable him or her to examine irrational thoughts and better process them in the future, thereby better managing or lessening the anxiety.

Like OCD, HIV Anxiety Disorder or AIDS Phobia can take longer to treat than other simple phobias, and progress is not necessarily linear, but the good news is that it can be successfully treated.

If you or someone you care about is experiencing excessive anxiety or an irrational fear of HIV-AIDS then do not despair, help is available. Contact a competent and well-trained hypno-psychotherapist who has experience in this area and free yourself from this unnecessary anxiety.

DISCLAIMER: This article is provided for general information purposes only, and should not be treated as a substitute for the medical or psychological advice of your own doctor or health care professional.

Diamond Inclusions

A diamond responds to incident light in three different ways. It allows a portion of light to pass through itself; it reflects another portion and refracts yet another portion of the incident light within itself. This dispersion and refraction of light is what makes the diamond sparkle.

When the path or wavelength of incident light is obstructed or diverted, the play of light does not occur. Depending on the size and type of the obstruction, this can impart a dull and lifeless look to the diamond.

Such obstructions are caused by flaws of the diamond that may either be internal or external or both. External flaws occurring on the surface of the diamonds are called blemishes while internal faults occurring within the crystalline surface of the diamond are known as inclusions.

Inclusions are acquired naturally by diamonds during their formative years deep within the womb of mother earth and are akin to birthmarks. These flaws are created due to irregular crystallization of diamond during its formation process.

Blemishes can be man-inflicted during mining, cutting & polishing or they may also have been acquired naturally.

One must understand clearly that diamonds are formed deep within the earth in the crudest of environments under unimaginable conditions of temperatures and pressures. These conditions are far removed from those of a sterile laboratory.

As a result, it is normal for diamonds to have inclusions. Inclusions are present in diamonds as a rule rather than as exceptions.

Nevertheless, inclusions need not be looked upon with distaste, if they are small and have a negligible effect on the brilliance and clarity of a diamond. In fact, the inclusions present in individual diamonds are as unique as the human fingerprint and are recorded in detail in the diamond’s gradation report.

Most inclusions do not affect the beauty of a diamond and are considered to be identifying characteristics. They allow you to properly identify your own diamond in case it happens to get lost or stolen or mixed up with other diamonds when given for cleaning or appraisal.

However, if the inclusions are too dense or widespread, they can affect the properties of the diamond in many ways:

Diamond Brilliance:

An inclusion affects the diamond’s ability to scatter and transmit light as it obstructs the light passing through diamond. Consequently, it reduces the brilliance of diamond.

Durability:

Inclusions can reduce the diamond’s resistance to fracture significantly.

Beauty:

Sizeable inclusions or colored inclusions mar the beauty of the diamond.

Price:

Value of the diamond decreases with increase in size and number of inclusions.

Some examples of internal flaws or Inclusions found in diamonds are as under:

Feathers:

‘Feather’ is a general term for fissures that might exist in a diamond. They are hairline cracks within the stone that resemble (as the name suggests) feathers. Small feathers do not usually threaten the diamond’s structure unless they rise to the surface on the top of the stone, where they are particularly prone to accidental blows.

Depending on the direction from which they are viewed, a feather may look shiny and white, glossy, or transparent. Some feathers capture the incident light and blink from transparent to bright when the stone is moved to and fro.

Compared to any other inclusion, feathers present a greater durability threat to the diamond because a hard knock can enlarge them at any time. Ultrasonic cleaning can further pry open and expand the feathers.

Included crystals or minerals:

Diamonds can get permeated with tiny crystals and minerals because of the extreme conditions they have to undergo during the course of their formative years. Very often these crystals are smaller diamond particles inside a larger diamond. These foreign particles obstruct the play of incident light and thus detract from the clarity, grade and value of the diamond.

But, there are times when the naturally implanted crystal can have a positive impact and add character to a diamond. For example, a diamond with a small garnet embedded in it would be a great personal choice for someone whose birthstone is a garnet.

Knots:

Sometimes, an included diamond crystal sitting near the surface of the diamond reaches and opens to the surface during cutting and polishing and it is called a knot. It can give the diamond cutter lot of trouble while fashioning the diamond.

The knot is visible like a raised area on a facet. The boundary between the host diamond and the knot can be viewed under high magnification and proper lighting. You may also see the tell-tale trailing lines alongside the knot where tiny rubble of diamond had been inadvertently dragged across the surface by the polishing wheel.

Since the knot is an entirely different diamond crystal in itself, its growth pattern differs from that of the host diamond. Most of the times it is not feasible for the diamond cutter to polish the knot away.

Knots can greatly reduce the clarity and thus the value of a diamond.

Cavities:

Cavities are just what their name suggests. They are holes on the surface of the diamond. Cavities can be caused because of two reasons.

When a surface reaching crystal is forced out during polishing or if it simply drops out, it leaves behind a gaping hole called the cavity. Also, when a part of a feathering close to the diamond surface breaks off leaving behind a deep cleft-like opening, it is called a cavity. The tell-tale drag lines alongside the cavity where tiny rubble of diamond had been inadvertently dragged across the surface by the polishing wheel differentiate a cavity from a chip.

Cavities can crop up anywhere on a diamond, including the crown, pavilion or girdle. It can affect clarity just like an inclusion inside the diamond. But, a cavity has a more negative impact on the value of the stone since the cavity can turn dark with accumulated grime of everyday wear.

Twinning Wisps or Intergrowth:

The term Twinning Wisps or Intergrowth does not refer to a single inclusion but rather to a group of inclusions that have intertwined together in a twinning plane. This motley group consists of a mixture of inclusions such as pinpoint size diamond crystals, feathers, fractures, crystals, and clouds.

These are formed during the formative years of the stone when the diamond crystal is forming and growing. Typically, they are ribbon like bands stemming at the center of the diamond and look like white striping within the diamond similar to stretch marks on the belly skin of a pregnant woman.

Twinning wisps are more prevalent in fancy shape diamonds like heart shapes, pear shapes and triangles which are usually created from twinned crystals. Then again, twinning wisps can also be found in other diamond shapes too, based upon the quality of the rough diamond used to fashion out the stone.

Cleavage:

Cleavage is a straight crack in a diamond (with no feathering) in its cleavage plane. The cleavage plane is a weak crystal direction along one or more of the diamond’s four octahedral planes.

A cleavage can make the diamond more brittle as it has the potential to crack the stone into two pieces. However the minute unnoticeable cracks do not affect the diamond’s build directly and tiny cracks that are invisible in a table-up (face up) position do not seriously affect clarity ratings of the diamond.

Bearding or Bearded Girdle or Girdle Fringes:

As evident from the name, Bearded Girdle or Girdle Fringes are beard-like hair streaks that appear around the girdle of the diamond.

This type of inclusion consists of minute feathers stretching from the girdle surface into the stone and is a result of hastiness in the bruting process when giving the diamond its initial shape in the cutting process.

A thinly bearded girdle has very few and very fine feathers sprinkled around the diamond’s border and might not devaluate the diamond quality.

A thickly bearded girdle has a multitude of feathers that together create a fuzzy gray fringe all the way around the stone. It should be removed or refined away by cutting the diamond again.

Chip:

A chip is a shallow opening located on the surface of the diamond caused due to the chipping off or gouging out of a small piece of the diamond. The opening typically has a rounded outline and occurs on the edges of the girdle, culet or facet. (It should not be confused with the term “Diamond Chip” which refers to very small diamonds).

Since the chip is the result of damage that occurs subsequent to cutting and polishing, it will not be flanked by trailing drag lines

Usually, most chips are too tiny to be of any significance and can be eliminated from the diamond surface, by re-cutting or polishing the gem with negligible loss in carat weight. On the other hand, bigger chips may perhaps require re-cutting of the entire diamond causing substantial loss of diamond weight.

Dark Spot:

This is a thin, flat inclusion or a small crystal inclusion that reflects light like a mirror. The inclusion could also appear like a metallic silvery reflector.

Pinpoints:

Are tiny crystals that appear like whitish dots (occasionally they can also be dark in color) inside a diamond and are difficult to see. They look like tiny dots at 10X magnification.

At times, the minute pinpoints can bunch together in clusters giving a hazy look to that area called a cloud. A cloud can negatively impact a diamond’s clarity.

Clouds:

As stated above, clusters of minute pinpoints causing blurry cloud like areas in the diamond are called ‘Clouds’. They create an ugly spot in the diamond and depreciate its clarity rating and value.

Individually, the pinpoints may perhaps be too small to be distinguished at 10X magnification, but crowded together they seem like wispy white or gray patches. Some clouds look like a light haze, while others are dense and almost opaque.

Laser Lines

Unlike most other diamond inclusions laser lines are man-made rather than natural. When a laser beam is used to eliminate dark inclusions present in a diamond, the beams leave behind vapor like trails called the laser lines.

The marks look like filaments stretching inward from the diamond’s table and stopping at the point where the inclusion was removed.

Laser Drill Hole:

Laser treatment is frequently used nowadays to make the inclusions in a diamond less visible as also to improve the aesthetics of the stone.

The laser drill-hole is a tiny tunnel produced by a laser beam. The tunnel extends from the surface to a dark included crystal (or to the spot from where such a crystal has been removed). After drilling, Sulfuric acid is introduced into the drill hole by immersing the diamond in the acid to dissolve or bleach the inclusion and make it less visible.

The fine bore holes are easily detectable under microscopic examination. They are whitish and straight, but may also change direction slightly. They are often described as having a ‘wrinkled’ appearance. In reflected light, the surface reaching holes can be spotted as dark circles opening through the diamond’s facets.

The Gemological Institute of America grades laser drilled diamonds since the holes are permanent features and the drilling aspect is noted under the comments section.

Growth or Grain Lines:

It is common knowledge that the metamorphosis of carbon into diamonds occurs in conditions that are far from ideal or sterile. Grain lines are created by irregular crystallization that takes place when a diamond is forming.

These can only be observed while slowly rotating the diamond under examination. They appear and disappear instantaneously and usually appear as groups.

Colorless grain lines do not usually affect diamond clarity unless they are present in large masses and can be seen from the crown side of the diamond.

Internal Graining

Internal graining is also caused by uneven crystal growth and can appear like lines, angles, or curves. It can be colored, whitish, or reflective. Internal graining can give part or all of the stone a hazy texture.

Fracture Filled

Surface reaching feathers and Laser drill holes are sometimes filled with substances like molten glass in a treatment called fracture filling. The filler makes the flaw less evident.

It can be difficult to detect, but the treatment leaves a telltale sign called the flash effect. It refers to the bright flashes of color seen when a fracture-filled diamond is rotated. The colors of these flashes range from electric blue or purple to orange or yellow, depending on lighting conditions. The flashes are best seen with the field of vision just about parallel to the plane of the filled fracture.

The Gemological Institute of America does not grade fracture filled diamonds because the treatment is not permanent.

Bruise

A bruise is a tiny area of impact (minor chip or concussion on the stone) surrounded by small root-like feathers visible at 10X magnification. When viewed through an opposing facet, a bruise appears cottony in texture as it radiates into the diamond.

A bruise is sometimes called a percussion mark and is caused by a hard blow.

The presence of a tiny bruise can make the difference between an IF and a VVS1 grade.

Commonly Known and Lesser Known Hypothyroid Symptoms

When hypothyroidism begins, several things happen, usually gradually. The first is lack of energy and ambition. You just seem to lose desire for activities you’ve enjoyed in the past. You feel unusually tired and apathetic, but can’t figure out why. You begin to crave carbs and begin to snack regularly. This is your body’s way of trying to stay awake. You’ll try not to give into it, and when you can’t fight the cravings, you set yourself up for horrible eating habits and weight gain that are difficult to reverse. You might already be taking some thyroid supplements, but they’re obviously not enough. Warning: if you are taking prescribed thyroid medication for underactive thyroid, do not add kelp as it will raise your blood pressure to frightening and dangerous levels. I learned this the hard way.

I have been a hypothyroid sufferer for 30 years. I was originally diagnosed by an old-fashioned European doctor. He was a gem. Then I had to switch to a modern, young South African doctor with a large and fragile ego, who knew nothing about thyroid glands but based everything on blood tests, which he didn’t really understand. As a person with hypothyroidism, it is hard to get any respect from the medical community. General practitioners and endocrinologists alike seem to know and care little about people suffering from hypothyroidism. Their “gold standard” is the TSH test, and most of them use the old standards of readings between .6 and 6 instead of the new readings of .3 and 3 that the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists adopted in 2003. These new readings allow more people (it’s mostly women, particularly those who are middle-aged, who suffer from hypothyroidism) to be diagnosed and treated. Too bad the professionals that we trust to look after our health don’t seem to know or care that the standards have changed. Endocrinologists, by and large, specialize in diabetes. This is where their primary interest seems to lie. The first endocrinologist I was referred to told me that she doubted I’d ever been hypothyroid and that my thyroid gland was habituated to being overstimulated. She was so wrong! Then I was referred to another endocrinologist who misdiagnosed my thyroid virus for Grave’s Disease (overactive thyroid.) The medication she prescribed raised my TSH to about 22. When I stopped taking that medication, my TSH dropped to 4.7. She told me my 4.7 TSH reading was now normal. It clearly wasn’t normal for me because I still had hypothyroid symptoms. Consider that normal or average clothing sizes could be between 6 and 14, and that you fall into this category. How many of these sizes will fit? If a size 10 fits you, why would you wear a size 14? TSH is much like that. You have to find the number that fits YOU. When you have been told for the nth time that your TSH is in the normal range, read these symptoms, most of which are commonly known, but some of which aren’t.

1. Fatigue. This is not the same as tired. This refers to falling asleep at work, during conversations, as soon as you get into a vehicle. You can’t stay awake. You need at least 10 hours sleep at night, but within a couple of hours of waking up, you begin to battle to stay awake. You nod off during conversations, which you can’t focus on anyway. You avoid socializing in the evening because you can’t stay awake.

2. Sluggishness. You move slowly physically, but even your brain is slow. Your thought processes don’t work properly.

3. Increased sensitivity to cold. Summer’s not too bad, but in the winter, there is no way to get warm or stay warm. You wear extra layers and surround yourself with space heaters. It helps, but you’re still cold.

4. Constipation. You drink lots of water and eat next to nothing, but your body processes everything slowly. Constipation follows.

5. Pale, dry skin. Skin color is pasty-looking, and skin is always dry, no matter what kind of lotion you use. My heels were so rough that every day they chewed through my socks even though I filed the roughness away daily and used foot balm.

6. A puffy face.

7. Hoarse voice. Your voice takes on a gravel-like quality at times.

8. Elevated cholesterol level.

9. Weight gain that makes no sense. You’re too tired to eat, but gain weight anyway.

10. Muscle aches, tenderness and stiffness. Flexibility and mobility are gone. You move like a lead weight. If you crouch or kneel, you can hardly get up again, and it hurts to crouch or kneel anyway. Even bending down is difficult and painful, for instance, trying to reach for something you dropped under a desk.

11. Pain, stiffness or swelling in your joints. Or all of them. Any sprain you’ve had begins to hurt again. Hips, fingers, ankles ache and don’t bend properly and contribute to your moving like a lead weight.

12. Muscle weakness. You can barely walk. Walking is slow and tiring. When I brushed my teeth, I had to put my arm down and rest at least 2 to 3 times to finish brushing my teeth. You fall into chairs as opposed to sitting down, and it’s a struggle to get back into a standing position from sitting. Getting out of a car is difficult, and getting into a pickup truck a little higher off the ground is equally difficult.

13. Heavier than normal menstrual periods. By now I don’t have those any more, but when I did, I all but hemorrhaged for at least four days out of the seven or eight that my period lasted. I had to put plastic on my mattress because I would wake up during the night having bled through and past the tampon, and leave a blood trail down the hall to the bathroom. Wasn’t fun.

14. Brittle fingernails and hair. Hair is dry, brittle and unhealthy looking. Nails can’t be grown long without breaking.

15. Depression. No need to elaborate.

16. Muscle cramps. You develop cramps in muscles from head to foot. Fingers, forearms, back, abdomen, legs. These cramps happen numerous times during the day and for no logical reason. My arms, hands and fingers cramped up when I cut up meat to eat.

17. Hair loss. It’s not just the hair on your head, although that thins out a lot. It also affects pubic hair and underarm hair. That can all but vanish. Eyebrows also fall out, particularly the outside corners.

18. Sinus infections. You have recurring sinus infections even though you have never had a history of sinus problems.

19. Snoring. You begin to snore even though you’ve never had a snoring problem in the past.

20. Craving for carbohydrates. You begin to crave chips, chocolate, candy, baked goods and anything with sugar. Your body is trying to stay awake and carbohydrates provide quick energy. Doesn’t help with keeping the weight down either.

21. Irritability. Little things set you off and enrage you. Everything becomes personal and you get angry enough to want to physically harm the offender.

22. Edema. You retain water. You look puffy and blubbery, particularly in the abdominal area. Makes you short of breath when you exert yourself – even going for a walk can leave you breathless.

23. Forgetfulness. You become sharp as a bowling ball. You try to commit something to memory, but your brain is a sieve.

24. Slow heart rate. Your resting pulse can drop below 60 beats per minute.

25. Low body temperature. My temperature was consistently between 35.8 to 36.2 C, which also explains why you feel cold.

26. Painful intercourse. Having sex hurts, and add to that, you wind up with muscle cramps from the waist down.

27. Light sensitivity. Your eyes can become unusually sensitive to sunlight.

My advice? Shop around for a doctor who is willing to learn together with you about thyroid problems. General Practitioners are generally more reasonable to deal with because they have no learned bias where thyroid is concerned. My GP told me the 4.7 was too high and told me to take 50 mcg of thyroid supplement. I took 100 mcg. My TSH dropped to 1.9. She was happy with that but I wasn’t. I still didn’t feel right, and remember that only YOU know how you should feel. Remember what I said about the clothing sizes? I took another 25 mcg and the TSH dropped to .5. She used the standard of .4 to 4, so she was still happy and I was too. I finally felt normal again. Don’t let doctors bully you into believing that diet, exercise and/or antidepressants will cure what ails you when you know that isn’t the problem. Shop around for a doctor who will listen to you and work with you. Google “Mary Shomon”. She is a great source of good and useful information and advice on thyroid issues. There is hope and there is help. It’s just a matter of finding them.

Yeast Infections, Candidiasis and Thrush – What's the Difference?

Probably the most common form of yeast infection is thrush, where the infection is in the vagina. But men can suffer from penile yeast infection too, although much rarer than thrush in women. Yeast infections are caused by a fungi called Candida, much of it by a particular strain called Candida albicans, although other species can also cause yeast infection. Candida albicans exists naturally in the human body quite peacefully along with other flora without any problems, because it is kept in check by the body's friendly or beneficial bacteria.

It just loves to live in the warm, dark, moist areas of your body, which is why it is most often found to be present in the vagina, mouth, blood, gut, etc. But it can also be discovered on your skin, especially under the skin folds, armpits, crotch, etc., which can be more moist.

Another name for yeast infection is Candidiasis, and sometimes just Candida. So what causes yeast infection? Well, the conditions have to be just right for the Candida albicans to multiply and grow out of control. And basically, this means that your body's good bacteria are insufficient in number to keep the Candida flora in check.

This can happen due to a compromised immune system, diabetes, overuse of antibiotics and / or steroids, poor nutrition, body pH changes, being under stress, some medications, and so on.

Generally speaking, the presence of 'overgrowing' Candida fungi is signaled by severe itching, burning sensation, tingling, redness, etc. In terms of vaginal thrush this could have been accompanied by a cottage cheese-like discharge, painful or impossible intercourse, and pain when urinating.

In terms of oral yeast infection, you may notice white / creamy raised patches over the tongue and mucous membranes. When these are scraped away you'll usually find bleeding underneath. Penile infection will exhibit blister-like sores on the head and / or foreskin.

Other surprising symptoms include pain or swelling in the joints, muscle aches, drowsiness, fatigue, dizziness, lack of coordination, fluid retention, poor concentration, poor memory, depression, irritability, mood swings, and cravings for alcohol, sugars, and carbohydrates.

Typical treatments are over-the-counter or prescribed drug-based medications using creams, suppositories, lotions, sprays, lozenges, liquid suspensions (swish and swallow), etc., depending on the locality of the Candidiasis.

The problem with mainstream treatment is that it really only addresses the symptoms and not the underlying causes of the Candida overgrowth. Plus, being drugs, the Candida can build-up a resistance to them, which means that the infection just keeps on coming back. Which is why more and more yeast infection sufferers are turning to natural cures for their condition.