Is Chocolate Pudding Healthy?

Chocolate is made from the fruit of the cacao tree. The beans of the tree undergo a considerable amount of processing before chocolate is produced but end up with lots of antioxidants. Chocolate is believed to boost serotonin and endorphin levels in the brain, which have an uplifting effect. It also contains stimulants which increases alertness. The feel-good factor, provided by chocolate and recipes with chocolate, gives an instant lift when the energy levels are low. In addition, there are some people who find eating chocolate cake or pudding soothing because they associate it with comfort or reward from their childhood.

Chocolate pudding contains some of the same disease-fighting antioxidants as fruits and vegetables. Antioxidants have been proven to decrease free radicals in the blood that can cause cancers. Healthy eating is more fun when you add small indulgences such as chocolate pudding desserts and pudding pies. A recent study shows the people who regularly eat pudding or recipes containing chocolate as their main ingredient, live up to a year longer than those who avoid it altogether.

Ready to use puddings are high in quality and are ideal as a wholesome snack by themselves. Not only do they have antioxidants, but calcium as well for strong bones. They are used as recipe enhancers in cakes, cookies, pies, ice creams, and other desserts in restaurants, bakeries and foodservice establishments. The jello chocolate pudding is as good as, if not even better, than regular home-made pudding. For people who don’t have the time to prepare tasty pudding desserts from scratch, the handy and ready to eat puddings are the best option.

Instant puddings are well packed and sealed for better taste and longer shelf life these days and are perfect for daycares and preschool snacks. The portions of each cup of chocolate pudding are sufficient to be used as perfect healthy snacks for children and adults. Foodservice companies can also buy big bulk cans for serving many people at banquets and receptions. Apart from being delicious, chocolate puddings are nutritionally balanced. For people who are particular about their diet, there are puddings made of non-fat milk, which contain way less calories than the regular puddings, yet you still get the great antioxidants and calcium.

Cancer – When Medical Treatments Did Not Cure Anything

Cancer is a serious illness. It is also a “misrepresented and misunderstood” illness. Patients go to their doctors hoping to be cured of their cancers. Often, they failed to find that elusive cure. My experience showed me that those patients who have cancer for the first time and who have no relatives or friends with cancer before, have the misconceived notion that medical science can cure cancer. They would say: “What is the problem, with my money and the best doctors, the best hospitals and the best chemo-drugs, the problem can be easily fixed.”

For more than twelve years now, I have been involved with terminally ill cancer patients who come to seek my help after medical science have failed them. It is very frustrating to know that patients are just naïve. They went to their doctors with total belief and expectation that their cancer can be cured. They do not seem to understand that the responsibility to get well and to maintain their own health is with them, not the doctors. They prefer to leave everything to the so-called “experts.” The story below is one example of what I often encounter.

In March 2007, I received a phone call from a long-lost friend. He wanted me to help his wife, Betty (not real name) who had just been diagnosed with brain cancer. As I went through his wife’s medical history, it turned out to be more than a “sudden” diagnosis of brain cancer.

In 2001, when Betty was forty-five years old, she underwent a total hysterectomy due to a 20 x 22 cm left ovarian tumour. The surgeon did not recommend any follow up treatment after the surgery. The impression Betty had was that: “Everything is taken out and it is all clean.”

Everything seemed to be alright for Betty after this surgery. She did not go further than that and like most people, she was satisfied that she was well taken of. The surgery was the “proven” answer to her problem.

In early 2004, Betty had difficulty moving her bowels. A big tumour was found in her colon and she underwent a surgery to remove it. The histopathology report dated 27 April 2004 indicated that her colon was distended up to the terminal ileum. The splenic flexure showed a tight stricture resulting in a blind loop gut. Betty was eventually diagnosed with a moderately differentiated adenocarcinoma of the colon, stage B. Since no lymph nodes were involved, the surgeon did not see any need to give her any follow up treatment. Betty was again given the impression that everything was well taken of.

Three years later, in March 2007, Betty had headaches and lost her balance when walking. She also vomited. MRI of Betty’s brain on 26 March 2007, showed the presence of “an irregular 3.2 x 3.0 x 1.8 cm loculated enhancing lesion in the left cerebellum. There was associated surrounding edema with compression of the midline structures.” Doctors advised immediate surgery. The surgeon impressed upon the husband that without immediate surgery Betty’s cancer would spread like wild fire.

Betty’s husband came to seek my advice. I cautioned that resection of the tumour from the brain might not solve her problem. It could worsen the situation. Most probably the tumour would recur and often very soon too. In addition, a CT scan showed that there was a 3 x 3.8 cm mass at the base of Betty’s right lung. There was also a 5 mm hypodense nodule in segment 4 of her liver. Betty also had gallstone. So to say that the cancer can spread fast is ill founded – for the cancer had already spread to her lung and liver.

Based on the “fear” expounded by the doctors, Betty underwent surgery. Histopathology report dated 2 April 2007 confirmed “tubulovillous adenocarcinoma metastatic to the brain, consistent with primary in the colon.”

After surgery, Betty was asked to undergo chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Betty was told that if she did not go for chemotherapy she would have only six months to live. With chemotherapy and radiotherapy Betty could expect to live for another two to three years. She would need six to eight cycles of chemotherapy, at about RM 2,000 per cycle. Since Betty was told that her cancer could not be cured, she declined further medical treatment.

Betty was started on herbs on 8 April 2007. After the surgery, she appeared normal and was able to eat well. However, her husband noticed the change of mood in her. She had bad temper, often had mood swings and did not want to socialize. She seemed to have memory loss. In short, Betty after surgery was not like the Betty before the surgery.

Barely two months later, Betty felt dizzy and nauseaous again – the very symptoms she had before being diagnosed with brain tumour. She would vomit even with the slightest smell of herbs. MRI of the brain on 11 June 2007, showed the presence of a “large irregular 3 x 4 cm mass in the left cerebellum. A similar 1.5 x 1.5 cm area was seen in the left temporal lobe. Surrounding edema was noted. The 4th ventricle was slightly compressed.” The radiologist concluded: “Left temporal and cerebellar metastasis.”

Betty remained at home under hospice care. She vomited everything that was put into her mouth. She felt dizzy with the slightest of movement and she was not able to move her bowels. Unfortunately, there was nothing much that could be done.

Ophiasis – What is Ophiasis?

If there are patches on the head or the body which are completely devoid of hair, it could be Ophiasis, a type of Alopecia Areata. Ophiasis is Greek for "snake" as it is recognized by a serpent like design on the temporal or occipital area of ​​the scalp.

The bald patch will be very smooth and may increase in size. It leaves no scar and is inflammatory. It could affect anyone, young and old, man or woman. It is not a dangerous disease but it affects the psychology of the patient as it may lead to total loss of hair and may make the patient a recluse in society.

There are three steps in the growth of follicles of hair. Anagen implications activity in the hair follicle. Hair grows in this stage. Catagen implies growth retardation. Telogen is the time for the follicle to rest. Hair falls at this stage. The cycle is complete and anagen starts again.

In the anagen stage follicles may get inflamed. This is Ophiasis. They enter the telogen phase instead of catagen. If this keeps happening weak strands of hair are produced from the follicles.

Some researchers believe that the follicles quickly proceed from the first stage to the last one. Some believe that the follicles get captured in the last stage. In the early stages of the disease the cycle gets disrupted. This leads to a large number of hair follicles in each stage.

Clumps of hair of the last stage fall from all parts of the body. If the roots are visible they are telogen follicles. At the borders of the bald patch are broken hair which look like exclamation marks.

This is how Ophiasis occurs.

How Needles Help A Stroke Patient To Recover

Traditional Chinese Medicines (TCM) is usually regarded as an alternative treatment. Patients will seek help from TCM doctors only when they can not be treated by western medicine.

Lately, a growing number of western doctors have started to learn and use TCM to complement their western medical knowledge to treat their patients.

Acupuncture is a major component of TCM to fight pain and illness. It has been practiced in China since 2500 BC. It involves inserting thin, metallic disposable needles into certain points of the body. These needles are then turned by hand or stimulated by machine. The aim is to balance of qi or "life force" in Chinese. TCM believes that qi flows in the body to keep us going, and it must be kept in good balance.

Acupuncture can have any one of the six effects:

– Relieve pain through raising the level of endorphins, a painkiller released by the body;

– Give a feeling of sedation;

– Adjust the body's homeostasis or the balance opposing systems such as a respiration rate and body temperature;

– Enhance immune system;

– Provide an anti-inflammatory result;

– Furnish an anti-allergy effect.

Acupuncture is beneficial in treating muscular pains, joint pains, nerve pains, migraines, insomnia and anxiety. The World Health Organization (WHO) lists several conditions which can be evaluated by acupuncture, including rhinitis, headaches and facial palsy.

However, there are skeptics, too.

For instance, a German study in 2005 suggested that putting needles into the body causes pain relief, regardless of where they are placed because of the place effect – the patients believed they would be get better. This is of course not true from the perspective of TCM because the position of placing the needles is very important in treating illness.

Success stories do exist as well.

Here is a case study of a stroke patient, aged 71, who was treated with acupuncture while taking the western medicine.

A stroke left the right side of Steve's body paralyzed. He could not turn over in bed. When he started acupuncture treatment with a TCM physician, he could not even lift his legs.

After 8 sessions, he could turn over in bed. And after 20 sessions, he was able to walk with the aid of a stick. Now, he can walk slowly for a whole hour.

His speech has become clear, too and he can swallow now. He can eat harder foods including apples.

He is taking anti-coagulants as well as drugs to manage his high cholesterol levels and hypertension. Both of these are risk factors for heart disease. He is also doing 2 sessions of physiotherapy a week.

Even a few sessions before the 40 sessions prescribed for stroke patients, he has already begun to return to normal life.

Glaucoma and Eye Symptoms Caused by Prescriptions For Depression – When to Call Your Optometrist

Serotonin re uptake inhibitors are as common as aspirin today (and probably much safer). There category as selective serotonin re uptake inhibitors is a long winded way of saying it makes the molecule serotonin stay around longer and act on you brain instead of being recycled. This allows a prolonged action of serotonin, one of the feel good molecules used to treat depression and a variety of other conditions. The eye has numerous receptor sites where serotonin acts, though they are not well understood at this time. A number of other prescription drugs also fall in this category.

One thing they share in common is a tendency to mildly dilate the pupils. This is rarely a problem, but if you have been told you have "Narrow Angles" or are susceptible to angle closure glaucoma it can be a concern. Farsighted patients have smaller drainage angles for the fluid inside the eye to escape back into the general circulation. With age, the lens inside the eye grows and moves forward, further restricting the drainage channels. When you enter into a dark room or movie theater the pupil naturally dilates also. When diluted, the colored tissue known as the iris bunches up it's outside edges. This thickens right at the location where the fluid is supposed to drain out. In a normal eye there is plenty of extra space to compensate for this but eyes with narrow angles start to be blocked by the bunched up iris tissue. Occasionally, the drain can be completely blocked and since fluid is being produced in the eye the pressure skyrockets up.

Usually these results in an acute attack of a very painful, blurry red eye with nausea and headaches. Drugs like Prozac in a rare handy cases have been known to push this process over the edge and precipitate angle closure glaucoma attacks. While very illegally, if you have narrow angles you should be aware of this, since this form of glaucoma is curable with early treatment.

The other possibility from this category of drugs is a transient rise in eye pressure for several weeks (although some cases report drops in pressure). If you have just started Prozac or a similar drug and your eye pressure readings are a little high, discuss this with your optometrist and have the pressures retested in 2-3 weeks. There is usually a return to normal if it is a mild medication induced increase. A retest in a few weeks could save you money on unnecessary treatment and testing.

One of the anti convulse-ant drugs used to treat epilepsy, migraines and depression has also been documented to cause angle closure glaucoma in a small number of patients. This tend to occur in the first few months and there are not necessarily predisposing factors. If you start having eye symptoms shortly after starting one of these medications notify your doctors immediately. Finally, be happy that we have treatments that have such better safety profiles than the prior generation.

Dog Bite Treatment – An Overview

Dog bite treatment should be required knowledge for anyone that lives around dogs. Many people believe that most dog bites occur away from home, by a dog not familiar to the person bitten. This is just not the case. Most experts agree that about half of all dog bites are from a dog that the person bitten is familiar with – sometimes the family dog ​​or a dog that belongs to the next-door neighbor.

An interesting report called "Fatal Dog Attacks, 1989-1994" states that only about 22% of "dog bite fatalities" involved an unrestrained dog off the owner's property. This flies in the face of popular beliefs.

The first step in proper dog bite treatment is to assess the situation. You must ask yourself, is this a minor incident or not? A serious dog biting attack should be deal with differently than a minor bite.

If the wound is slightly bleeding, clean the wound first then try to stop the bleeding. But if the wound is bleeding profusely, you must stop the bleeding first. Of course, in the case of a serious wound, always call 911 immediately.

If the wound is boring, you should stop that bleeding by putting pressure on the wound and then after the bleeding is stopped or greatly slowed, extensive cleaning is necessary. If bleeding resumes, reapply pressure on the wound. If you are unable to stop the bleeding get the patient to the doctor as soon as possible.

The doctor will assess the risk of infection, tetanus and rabies. Most likely 3 to 5 days of antibiotic, like Augmentin, will be prescribed to keep an infection from developing. In some cases a tetanus shot is given.

The tetanus shot will most likely be required if a child dog bite victim has not previously had 3 or more tetanus shots. However, if they have a serious bite that is not considered clean, and the patient has not had a tetanus shot in the last five years, the doctor will probably give one just to be on the safe side. Also, even if the wound is judged to be clean, and the patient has not had a boost shot in the last 10 years, the doctor will most likely give one.

These days, contracting rabies from a dog bite is rare because of the legal requirements for regular rabies vaccinations for all dogs. Rabies is more often seen in wild animals: raccoons, skunks, bats, etc … However there is still a "rabies risk" with a dog bite, and not one that you should take lightly. Better safe than sorry.

Do not be surprised if the doctor does not stitch up the wound. If there is the fear of infection, due to the length of time until the wound was cleaned, etc., she will not suture the wound. Wounds that are known to be clean or that are on the face may be sutured.

Although not necessary, it is always wise to document the bite injury with photos and diagrams. It is helpful in assessing the progress of the wound in recovery, and it is especially useful in litigation situations.

Some pre-existing medical conditions increase the risk of infection and beg special attention to insure patient safety. A few of these are: chronic disease, chronic edema of the extremity, diabetes, immuno-suppression, liver dysfunction, previous mastectomy, prosthetic valve or joint, splenectomy, systemic lupus, and many more. Be ready to tell your doctor of any such pre-existing condition

I think it would be safe to say that everyone will get at least one dog bite in their lifetime. Knowing how to execute proper dog bite treatment is knowledge that all families should possess. Just a little bit of knowledge on this topic can save a lot of pain and grief.

Treatment for Nearsightedness – Simple Fix for Myopia

Nearsightedness or myopia occurs when a person can not see clearly at an object from a long distance. This condition appears if the eyeball is slightly longer than normal, causing the light focus in the front of the retina instead directly on its surface.

Instead of seeking natural treatment for nearsightedness, people usually are given eye glasses or contact lenses to correct their vision. That's because not all people are aware that nearsightedness is in fact can be improved with natural treatment.

You might ask how this method can help you to see clearly without glasses. You will find the answer soon, but first you must learn what causes nearsightedness.

In normal condition, the form of the lens fit in the shape of the eyeball. If eye muscles are too rigid they can flatten the eyeball causing the shape of the lens steeper than it has to be. To overcome this problem one should train the eye muscles by changing focus from looking on close distant objects to long distant objects. So you can now understand that best treatment for nearsightedness must include exercises that can relax and reducing the tension of the eye muscles.

There are many conventional methods to help myopic persons. All of them obviously can help to correct the vision, but let us see one by one so that you can choose the right treatment for nearsightedness.

Eye glasses and contact lenses

Eye glasses can correct your vision so that you can see distant object clearly. But they can not overcome the eye problem. Wearing them constantly will make your eye muscles in a stressful situation and make the vision in worse condition.

Eye Surgery

Eye surgery will no doubt require a lot of money and has it own risks. It does not always guarantee you perfect result.

Using Natural Methods

Usually myopia occurs at early age or in other words when young people start to face strenuous condition in their life. Mental stress can result tense eye muscles. And since nearsightedness is basically caused by tense muscles, it is easily understood that the best myopia treatment is to restore the mind and body in holistic ways. Every person can fix myopia with eye yoga exercises, healthy diet and healthy habits. Choose the right treatment for nearsightedness and incorporate it daily in your life; better eyesight will be yours for the rest of your life.

One Man Was Not Only Healed But Made Whole – It Was As If He Had Never Contracted This Disease

Walking into a village one day, Jesus Christ is met by ten lepers.

These men would be sorry sights. Their bodies were riddled with this horrible disease. They came as near as they might dare. Men with leprosy had to keep away from others, one hundred paces at least.

Crying out, they ask Jesus for mercy. This was no beautiful quiet whispered prayer. That does not happen when you are desperate.

Leprosy, like sin, is contagious.

It is loathsome, spreads easily, and separates people from people. Jesus saw these deformed limbs and diseased bodies, and had compassion on them. How could Jesus do anything else? Was this not why he had come into the world? This was certainly one of the main reasons.

Jesus cave these lepers very specific instructions. He commanded them with that authority which only the Son of God could exercise. They were cleared of their leprosy, immediately. Read the account of what actually happened as it was written by a medical doctor. Turn to the detail of this scenario in Luke Chapter 17.

One of the ten, a Samaritan, saw that he was healed. The pain disappeared. The sores vanished.

He came back to the place where Jesus was, and worshiped God with a loud voice, falling down at Jesus feet, giving Him thanks.

When you have been so touched by the living God, being 'dignified' becomes comparatively unimportant.

Jesus asked, "Were there not ten of you? Where are the other nine?

Looking at this one man who returned to express gratitude, Jesus Christ says, "Rise and go. Your faith has made you whole."

He was not just healed. He was made whole. It was as if he had never had leprosy. On his body there would be no remaining marks, scars, or any other painful reminders.

Jesus does not just want to deal with a specific problem or trouble. His desire is to make men whole. What more does a man require?

Sandy Shaw

The Risk of a Stroke During Plastic Surgery

An Unspoken Concern

While most plastic surgeons will outline the risks of having an elective surgical procedure performed, very few tend to speak directly to the issues regarding safety and post operative complications. Often, a surgeon will make a general statement regarding the risks of surgery, such as, “All surgery carries risks which includes, bleeding, infection, difficulty breathing, swelling, clotting, and other illnesses in a small percentage of patients,” and then move directly into talking about the benefits of the procedure. Patients need to inform themselves of the actual risks associated with cosmetic surgical procedures, especially the risk of a stroke or cerebral vascular accident (CVA). As a physician, I understand that there is no value in frightening our patients without cause. Yet I still firmly believe that patients should never be too quick to decide on an elective surgical procedure without fully realizing the potential for devastating complications.

Patients and physicians alike need to recognize that most patients who are receiving some sort of cosmetic care are generally considered to be healthy individuals. Thus, neither patient nor physician is necessarily ready for the onset of a complication. This fact alone can make a complication much more serious than if the very same complication arose during a medically necessary procedure. For instance, even during a routine knee surgery, physicians do not see their patients as completely healthy, and are more guarded against the onset of blood clots or other risk factors for stroke.

While the approximated one to two percent of cosmetic surgery patients who will experience a stroke seems like a very limited number of patients, the effects of these strokes can be devastating

Who is at Risk?

Few patients really consider themselves at risk for a possible stroke because they associate the condition as an event that occurs to people over the age of 55. While in some cases age does bear a factor, it is far from the determining factor of a stroke. In fact, a healthy 65-year-old woman can be less likely to have a stroke than a 35-year-old woman who is undergoing invasive cosmetic surgery. Patients should understand the causes of a stroke in a post operative environment in order to assess more realistically their level of risk. However, as a physician I can testify to the fact that sometimes there simply is no way to ascertain why a stroke occurred for one individual and not for another with the same health history, the same risk factors, and the same surgical procedure.

Most post operative strokes occur when a blood clot dislodges, which typically occurs in the lower section of the body. This blood clot then travels through the body and may lodge itself in the brain or more commonly the lungs. This action of a blood clot traveling through the body post surgically is commonly referred to as an embolism and usually arises from a larger blood clot that usually forms in the lower body known as a deep venous thrombosis or “DVT”. DVT is a prime concern for surgeons, and can be considered a precursor to a stroke.

Understanding the Potential Danger

Blood clots generally become trapped in either the lung or the brain when they break free from other parts of the body. When the blood clot becomes caught in a blood vessel in the brain, it results in a CVA or stroke. When it becomes trapped in a blood vessel in the lung it is known as a pulmonary embolism or PE. Either condition is life threatening and can carry serious consequences.

While blood clots and strokes are a significant risk for all patients having any type of invasive surgery, plastic surgeons run into a unique scenario that generally makes it a little more difficult for our patients to get treatment and help in a short amount of time. Incidents of blood clots and stroke can happen anywhere between several hours post operatively up to about ten days after surgery. Thus, these incidents rarely occur within a medical environment and usually happen at home. Patients who remain in the hospital or a medical center after a medically necessary procedure are more likely to have these incidents in the hospital.

Patients, who are going to experience a cosmetic procedure, or any type of surgery for that matter, should familiarize themselves with the general symptoms of post surgical pulmonary embolism or stroke. Symptoms that include shortness of breath, chest pain, disorientation, and sometimes even a sense of altered mental status are likely either to be related to a pulmonary embolism or a stroke. Patients and physicians alike should also understand the basic risk factors for these complications and prior to a surgical procedure. While there are still studies being conducted, which will help determine a patient’s risk level in the future, there are some pretty basic factors, which point to a likely candidate.

Risk Factors For Patients

Women are more likely to experience these types of complications than men, as are smokers. There are numerous medications, which place patients at a higher risk for postoperative blood clots, including but not limited to hormone replacements and birth control pills. Weight plays a significant factor as does the level of activity the patient generally participates in. Patients who generally lead a sedentary lifestyle are at a higher risk. Obese patients are at an even higher risk. Increased age and a previous history of deep venous thrombosis are more obvious risk factors. Patients who have a current diagnosis of cancer are at a particularly high risk.

Reducing the Risk Factors for Safer Surgery

Whenever a patient is booked for surgery in my practice, I always insist that they have a medical clearance by an internist to help determine their general risk level for elective surgery and the possibility of medical complications, which includes the risk of abnormal blood clotting. I also take into consideration the type of surgery that I am performing on the patient. In general, surgical procedures that have a longer operative time and involve body contouring carry a higher risk than those that are minimally invasive and are performed on the head and neck. The internist will review a list of current and recent medications, as I do myself, and will verify that the patient is physically fit to tolerate the procedure that is desired. There are still no guarantees, but knowing a patient’s medical history, their obvious risk factors, and having a second pair of eyes look over the same information that I am presented with, ensures that I am taking all possible precautions.

I also use something known as pneumatic compression boots for every patient undergoing any surgical procedure and I urge other physicians to do so as well. These boots are able to keep the muscles of the lower extremities moving in a fashion similar to walking, which can help prevent blood clots. I insist that my patients carry on an active lifestyle, to help prevent DVT formation and to directly assist with both preoperative and postoperative care. Proper positioning in the operating room allows for additional prevention of blood clot formation as well.

Physicians and patients need to understand that the potential for serious complications related to cosmetic surgery can be devastating. Knowledge is power and education can help reduce the number of blood clots and such rare but devastating complications as strokes that occur after surgery. With current research and education practices, we should be able to reduce the number of post operative strokes and blood clots over the coming years.

Shingles Rash – Symptoms and Treatment

Shingles rash is a skin infection caused by varicella-zoster virus, the same virus that causes chickenpox. Once an individual has had chickenpox, traces of the virus remain dormant in the nervous system and are never completely cleared from the body. Later on, certain conditions such as emotional stress, immune deficiency from AIDS or chemotherapy, or cancer may reactivate the virus and cause shingle. Adults over the age of 60 are more susceptible to shingle rash.

Symptoms of Shingles Rash

It is estimated that up to a million cases of shingles occur every year in the US Before the rash becomes visible, the patient may experience several days of burning pain and sensitive skin. At this point, determining the cause of the pain may be difficult. Symptoms of shingle rash depend on the type of nerve affected by the virus. Although it is caused by chickenpox virus, the rash is different from chickenpox rash. Chickenpox affects most areas of the body, while shingle rash affects a specific area of ​​the skin, usually occurring as a band on one side of the body. The rash usually forms on the chest, back and face.

A rash from shingles appears as small blisters on a red base over a period of three to five days. Clusters of fluid-filled blisters form progressively. After a few days, the blisters pop and ooze fluid. They often dry out, form a crust, and start to heal. It usually takes about 30 days from start to finish for the blisters to heal, leaving behind scars and skin discoloration.

Patients may also suffer from headaches, chills, abdominal pain and increased fatigue. In rare cases, a fever may accompany the rash. Also, the pain may continue even after the rash disappears.

Treatment of Shingles Rash

Antiviral drugs and steroids can help manage the pain, severity and duration of the symptoms if they are started early, within 72 hours of the first appearance of the rash. Effective treatments for shingle rash include the antiviral drugs famciclovir (Famvir), acyclovir (Zovirax), and valacyclovir (Valtrex). Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and narcotic pain control medication may also be administered for pain management.

People over the age of 60 can have themselves vaccinated to reduce the occurrence and severity of shingles.

The primary goal in the treatment of shingle rash is to shorten the duration of the rash, speed up the healing process, manage the pain, and reduce the risk of complications. The affected area must be kept clean and dry, and bathing is permitted. Cool compresses and calamine lotion may also be used to control the itch.

Swine Flu Virus

A Swine Flu virus has health officials around the world working to contain the growing outbreak. One out of every five residents of Mexico's most populous city wore masks to protect them against the virus as Mexico City appeared to be the epicenter of the outbreak. As many as 103 deaths have been attributed to the swine flu so far with many more feared to be on the horizon. The health department of Mexico said an additional 1,614 reported cases have been documented.

So far, however, only 18 of the deaths in Mexico have been confirmed by laboratory tests to be from swine flu virus and reported to the World Health Organization as such.

In the US preparations have been upgraded for a possible swine flu virus outbreak after 20 cases were reported, also the first cases of the virus was reported in Canada on Sunday – six mild cases.

Swine flu or Swine Influenza is a contagious respiratory sickness that is normally only found in pigs. It is caused by a type-A influenza virus. Outbreaks in pigs occur year-round. The current strain is a new variation of an H1N1 virus, which is a mix of human and animal versions.

Normaly the swine flu virus only spreads from animal to person containing the spread but when the flu spreads person-to-person, it can continue to mutate, making it harder to combat because people have no natural immunity.

The symptoms are similar to the common flu. They include fever, lethargy, lack of appetite, coughing, runny nose, sore throat, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Learn more about swine flu and how to treat it in the link below.

The swine flu virus spreads when an infected person coughs or sneezes around another person. People can become infected by touching something with the flu virus on it and then touching their mouth, nose or eyes.

Calling it a "public health emergency of international concern" the World Health Organization (WHO) is very concerned. The WHO also says a public health emergency is an occurrence or imminent threat of illness or health conditions caused by bioterrorism, epidemic or pandemic disease, or highly fatal infectious agents or toxins that pose serious risk to a significant number of people.

Swine Flu Virus Protection?

Advice of health experts is to follow common-sense instructions: Wash your hands, stay home if you're sick and listen to your local health authorities. Advice from the CDC about the situation is, "Very frequent hand-washing is something that we talk about time and time again and that is an effective way to reduce transmission of disease,". They also advise, "If you're sick, it's very important that people stay at home. you should not get on an airplane or another public transport to travel. Those things are part of personal responsibility in trying to reduce the impact. "

Swine Flu Symptoms

It is also noted that swine flu symptoms are relatively general and nonspecific. "So many different things can cause these symptoms." It is a dilemma, "says one doctor interviewed by CNN. "It is a challenge that we are wrestling with. There is not a perfect test right now to let a doctor know that a person has the Swine Flu." It has been noted that most individuals with Swine Flu had an early on set of fever. Also it was common to see dizziness, body aches and vomiting in addition to the common sneezing, headache and other cold symptoms.

If you become sick and notice early sunset of body aches, vomiting and dizziness you should consult with your doctor immediately. Although it is very unlucky that you have the Swine Flu virus, you should get medical confirmation just to be safe.

This Swine Flu virus outbreak could have been very dangerous epidemic or just another bump in the road. Health professionals are still trying to figure out where exactly the virus originated, how transmissible it is and why it is mild in some cases and deadlier in others. In the mean time. Wash your hands, use common sense and be on a heightened alert to signs and symptoms of the Swine Flu virus. See you doctor if any unusual flu like symptoms occurrence.

Alopecia Areata Treatment Options

Alopecia Areata is a highly unpredictable, autoimmune skin disease that may lead to the loss of hair on the scalp and elsewhere on the body. This disease affects males and females of all ages and races, but it often begins in childhood. This disease affects approximately 2 percent of the population, or about 4.5 million people in the United States alone.

The exact cause of Alopecia Areata is unknown. It is thought that a combination of genes predisposes certain people to this disease, and some trigger-or possibly the confluence of several things-sets the disease off. The immune system then mistakenly attacks hair follicles, which shrink in size, arresting visible hair production.

Those that have been diagnosed and are looking for Alopecia Areata treatment options are often very emotional about their situation. They may become depressed and have trouble interacting with others out of fear of rejection. It is very important that they get the support that they need to make it through this very tough disease.

Current Alopecia Areata treatment options often include the use of topical sensitizers such as diphencyprone or squaric acid dibutyl ester, and topical medications like minoxidil or anthralin. Corticosteroids may also be applied topically or taken in pill form or injected. And some physicians utilize ultraviolet light and alternative therapies.

Currently there is no Alopecia Areata treatment that ensures a successful exit. Although some of the treatments listed above have been proven to hinder the spread of alopecia areata, the search for a cure is ongoing.

There are alternatives available.

How Well Does Medical Marijuana Work For Glaucoma?

Glaucoma affects more than 60 million people worldwide and the second leading cause of blindness behind cataracts. Both marijuana and THC have been shown to lower intra-ocular pressure, which is a key contributor to glaucoma. One of the most well known uses for medical marijuana is

The most common form of glaucoma is called primary open angle glaucoma and represents a slowly progressive disorder that destroys cells in the retina and also degrades the optic nerve. A person’s visual field gets constricted and eventually disappears. The patient goes blind.

Three factors have been identified which create risk factors for glaucoma. The first two are out of a person’s control = Age and Race. The third, increased intra-ocular pressure, is the one that’s potentially controllable.

Intra-ocular pressure normally results from the eye shape being maintained by fluid in the eye called aqueous humor. The fluid flows between the front of the eye and the back of the cornea. If a person has increased intraocular pressure, the flow of fluid from the front of the eye is restricted, and the pressure rises. It is this fluid that is suspected to provide nutrients to the optic nerve.

Reducing intra-ocular pressure to normal does not guarantee glaucoma prevention, but since it’s the only controllable risk factor, it is the one that is worked on with medications.

The two ways that medications work on reducing intraocular pressure are as follows:

1) Reducing the production of aqueous fluid 2) Making it easier for the fluid to flow out of the front eye

There are also a few surgical options which attempt to achieve the same objective.

Several studies have shown the effects of marijuana and THC on reducing intraocular pressure. Whether the THC is smoked, inhaled, or eaten, intraocular pressure is reduced. Applying cannabinoids directly to the eye did not work however.

Research has not shown us exactly how cannabinoids reduce IOP. They work at reducing IOP for about 4 hours. That means having to take it 4 to 8 times per day, whereas, there are other medications only necessary twice per day.

The side effects of marijuana intake, such as the psychoactive effects, may be difficult for the elderly to tolerate. Marijuana may cause the heart to “race” and make patients anxious. The IOP in patients with glaucoma needs to be controlled continuously since it’s a progressive disease.

With the onset of the latest medications that are effective for controlling the IOP in glaucoma, marijuana is no longer a first line treatment for controlling it. It is less effective and potentially more problematic than the latest medications. If, however, a patient needs a second or third line choice, marijuana may fit the need nicely.

CLA and Weight Loss

CLA, otherwise known as conjugated linoleic acid may be a supplement you want to consider for help in your weight loss efforts. CLA has become popular because of its reported benefits of fat loss, cancer fighting, improving cholesterol, immune system improvement, and possible prevention of atherosclerosis.

Researching CLA may leave you wanting to take it whether or not fat loss is your goal.

CLA is a fatty acid that is found in small amounts in meat and dairy products. However do not plan on getting the benefits of CLA from eating these foods. There is just not enough CLA present. Supplement companies have found a way to convert the linoleic acid from safflower oil into conjugated linoleic acid. This allows you an affordable way to get the benefits of CLA.

Studies that have shown promise were done using dosages of 3 to 4 grams of CLA per day. Most supplement companies sell CLA in dosages from 500 milligrams to 1 gram per pill – This means you may have to take several pills per day to get the optimum results. CLA is different from many weight loss supplements as it does not contain stimulants and you probably will not "feel" any immediate effect from taking CLA. You will want to stay on CLA from 4-6 weeks before expecting to see any results.

If you decide to do further research on CLA you will unduly find it listed on many bodybuilding sites. The reason for this is that CLA has also shown promise in helping to maintain lean muscle tissue. Do not let this deter you from trying it because this will help you improve your fat to muscle ratio. In other words – you will look better

The opinion of many health and fitness professionals is that CLA may be something you want to consider adding to your daily health regimen. I recommend purchasing your CLA online in order to save money. Tonalin is a brand name that you will see on many different companies form of CLA. Tonalin is the most researched, highest quality CLA that you will find. Purchase from a reputable company and give CLA time to show some effects.

Mercury and Aluminum Present in Flu Shots?

Many people, including some health care practitioners are concerned about mercury and aluminum present in flu shots. This is not a new concern for those who are against flu shots, but it is relevant as the flu season approaches.

The major concern about mercury and aluminum present in flu shots arises from concerns about Alzheimer’s and autism. Even among those people who are not against flu shots, some are against mercury and aluminum present in flu shots. Recently, New York State passed a law banning the preservative thimerosal from flu shots and other vaccines meant for children and pregnant women. Thimerosal is mercury based and is known to cause allergic reactions in many people. On top of that, mercury is a known neurotoxin, meaning that it damages nerve cells, and has been linked to autism.

New York State is not against flu shots. In recent years, New York City and other areas of New York have had problems obtaining enough flu vaccine for high risk citizens. The ban came after several studies linked an increase in cases of autism (a condition which is first noted in childhood and is characterized by deficits in communication and social interaction as well as language and learning impairments) to vaccines and flu shots containing thimerosal. Some health care professionals still maintain that the risk of complications from the flu are greater than the risks that may be associated with mercury and aluminum present in flu shots.

Some people are against flu shots, in general, because they or someone close to them had a reaction to the flu shot. Sometimes it is a mild reaction, such as a mild case of the flu. Sometimes it is a more serious condition that may be due to mercury and aluminum present in flu shots. Several people blame the onset of their Chronic Fatigue Syndrome on mercury and aluminum present in flu shots.

It is important to note that these cases are rare. While complications arising form the flu, particularly pneumonia, caused over 60,000 deaths in 2003 in the United States, there were only a few reported cases of complications arising from the flu shot and none of those were life threatening. People who are against flu shots in general focus on the rare, but severe reactions to the vaccine and on the mercury and aluminum present in flu shots. People who are not against flu shots focus on the number of deaths each year that are caused by the flu virus.