Flu Threat: Lessons from Past Pandemics (Part I)

Flu and the Immune System

Influenza ("flu") strikes every year and afflicts millions. Under normal circumstances, flu is not considered a general public health risk. Of course, any disease must be taken seriously for two reasons.

First of all, any disease, including flu, can become dangerous through complications.

But, let's also understand the far more important issue with regard to flu (and not just avian flu) … but disease in general. Every flu is a problem primarily because our immune system gets compromised through life's stresses. Put bluntly, flu is "caught" by people because their immune system is not functioning well.

Immune system dysfunction and weakening events from constant stress, constant threat of danger, constant deprivation of nutritional needs, and constant exposure to vicissitudes of life. Flu … even deadlier strains such as avian flu, can be the result.

Specifically, flu impacts us due to an under active immune system. This is true of many diseases such as cancer, Hepatitis B and C, TB, strep, shingles as well as flu. Other disease conditions are the result of an over active immune system.

What makes this an issue of late is the fact that only recently has science begun to understand the immune system, its complications, its sheer power to fend off disease conditions and its power to aid in the healing process.

Remember that as we introduce the potential of avian flu.

Avian Flu and Pandemics of the Past

To understand the avian flu threat, we need to understand flu pandemics of the past. Flu epidemics have been explosive and unusually deadly. In past centuries, flu probably spread so fast due to humans and animals living in close proximacy.

As you probably know, avian flu is a complex disease mutated from flu that kills birds. But, avian flu has mutated successfully to strike human life. Close proximate of animal and human life allows for such mutations to develop and spread.

Flu can spread like wildfire. The pandemic flu of 1580 began in Asia, spreading over all continents in less than a year. The flu engulfed all of Europe in less than six months.

That's the problem with flu breakouts. Flu pandemics hit like the proverbial flash flood. A highly contagious flu virus can hit populations that have little or no specific antibody immunizations to the disease, infect a quarter of the population, outstrip societal response capability, disrupting societal health and economy.

The fear today is that avian flu will strike suddenly and will spread globally in a matter of mere months.

There were three flu pandemics of the 20th century. They are well documented as to origin, spread, and impact. Those flu pandemics occurred in 1918-19, 1957-58, and 1968-69.

The flu pandemic of 1918-19 killed upwards of 40 million people. No doubt, society did not have the tools nor understanding to stop the plague. However, if ever there was an argument for immune debilitation, it's war weariness.

Almost every author who writes about this flu pandemic notes the fact the world was at war. But, that was not a mere footnote. It was a major contributor to society's incapacity to restrain, much less stop the flu plague.

War brings unique circumstances, to say the least. War brings a strain to everything including the immunity capacity of the survivors. If flu occurs in compromised immune systems, war guarantees the stress and deprivation which is often the prelude to plague:

"soldiers live in horrid conditions and return to a disrupted life but the effect on their immune system follows them into peace time … and plague,

"loss of loved ones brings its stresses to the emotions which affects the immune system,

"constant anxiety for soldiers and loved ones even though they return safely, brings its emotional traumas and immune system depletion,

"loss of hygienic conditions weakens resistance and breeds viral and bacterial conditions,

"depression economy partnerships poverty and its consequences to human quality of life,

"uncertainty of safe living conditions (bombing, terrorism, battle, mob actions)

during war takes its own toll on the body

"disrupted economies, making recovery long, difficult and uncertain,

"work hours longer and work conditions harsher, pay less,

"crime, destruction, barbarism frightening or actual,

"whole economics perish, trade and commerce uncertain,

"political uncertainties,

"peace often brings more severe dislocation and hardship (this was especially the case after World War I)

"all populations suffer nutritional deprivation, with few exceptions

When flu strikes after such conditions, scientists often misjudge the fact that the victims, deemed "healthy", really were compromised through the war and peace time consequences. The generation, which was victimized by the "Spanish flu" of 1918-1919, was in the age range of 15 – 35 … the very age which includes:

"Soldiers,

"single parents,

"factory workers,

"teens called upon to assume unusual responsibilities on the home front

"workers in their prime, needed on all fronts …

"medical and other service personnel exposed to a constant need for their services,

Their "after the war" physical let down is almost reminiscent of what happens to people after particularly long periods of stress … They fall prey to flu, colds, and infection.

Why the flu? To answer that question, consider the physical impact upon athletes from their workouts.

It is now known that after a heavy workout, whatever other benefits accrue to the body, there is one clear draw back. The oxidized radicals that formed take the body several days to get over … leaving the body open to radical damage and some internal harm. (See my article: "Antioxidants, Free Radicals, and Sports Nutrition"

New research suggests glyconutritional supplement taken before, during, and especially after workouts helps the body get over the radical burden in a matter of hours, not days.

Now, if recent research shows that athletic stress takes days to get over, often leaving damage to organs and tissues in its wake (especially if it is a habitual practice), why are we surprised at the massive flu fall after the First World War – a war which was worldwide in its scope, as was the flu pandemic which followed it?

Perhaps, before we consider avian flu in the second article, we should realize there is a strong scientific test that recognizes glyconutrition is a way to prepare and deal with the sunset of deadly flu … and potentially other pandemic possibilities.

Read the following testimony before Congress when doing further research on flu, avian or otherwise.

"In instances of abnormal, epidemic, or virulent infectious agent exposure, glyconutrient supplementation has been found effective for enhancing general immune functions and defense. much higher level that is effective against infectious agents. "

-Dr. H. Reginald McDaniel, "Comprehensive Medical Care for Bioterrorism Exposure"
Congressional Hearing, November 14, 2001
(emphasis ours)

Causes and Solutions For Sciatic Nerve Pain

Sciatic Nerve Treatment and Chiropractic Manipulations

Sciatica pain originates in the lower back and radiates down one or both legs. The pain may be intense, moderate, or minimal, and occasional, frequent, or constant.

Physicians term sciatica as a radiating or referred pain, or as neuralgia. This pain is often dull, achy, sharp, or even similar to an electric shock.

Causes of Sciatica Pain

Sciatica pain is not a disorder, but a symptom of compression of the sciatic nerve. The most common causes are spinal disorders due to:

– partial dislocation of a vertebra in lumbar spine
– herniated or bulging discs
– postural problems
– sitting on one's back pocket wallet

Sciatica pain may sometimes be due to certain non-spinal conditions such as diabetes and chronic constipation and pregnancy, childbirth, infections or tumors.

Piriformis syndrome also causes pain similar to sciatica. The Piriformis muscle in the lower spinal region and connects to the thigh. It is crucial for the rotation of the hips. When this muscle shortens or spasms due to an injury, hip arthritis, or difference in leg length, it pinches the sciatic nerve. The pinched nerve causes pain, numbness and tingling in the buttocks and along the path of the sciatic nerve.

Treatment of Sciatica Pain

Conventional sciatic nerve treatment involves symptomatic pain relief through non-steroidal anti inflammatory drugs and / or muscle relaxants. The problem is that the pain is caused due to the pinched nerve, and medications can not correct that. Surgery may lead to irreversible changes in the disc or bones. Another problem is presented by the fact that sciatica pain gets worse with bed rest.

Chiropractic manipulations play an important role in alternative treatment modalities. Even in conventional treatments of sciatica pain, the initial step is stretching exercises, massage and avoidance of activities that add to the pain.

Chiropractic Treatment of Sciatica Pain

Chiropractic treatment of the pinched sciatic nerve is based on the scientific principle that the cause of the pain is the restricted spinal movement due to reduced functionality and performance. Chiropractic care is drug-free and non-invasive, which means that there is no risk of side effects.

A chiropractor employs various methods for treating sciatica pain. The most common and effective among them is a comprehensive manipulation of the dislocations that have occurred in the patient's body. This involves application of gentle and minimal pressure, or fast high velocity tensions to restore the position of the misaligned vertebrae in the column column.

In addition, a chiropractor may employ cold therapy and / or heat from ultrasound. Cold therapy is an effective way of reducing inflammation and pain relief. Heat produced from gentle sound waves from an ultrasound increases circulation and reduces muscle spasms.

It is important that you get chiropractic care from a qualified chiropractor. Chiropractic practitioners undergo training in colleges where techniques of treating partial dislocation of joints or organs are taught.

Like all alternative therapies, chiropractic care is also based on the self-healing capacity of the body. Chiropractic care does not seek to cure, but instead helps to restore the spine to its original position so that the herniated disc does not compress the sciatic nerve.

A qualified chiropractor will refer you to another sciatic nerve treatment if the condition is not within the scope of chiropractic care.
Sciatic Nerve Treatment and Chiropractic Manipulations

Sciatica pain originates in the lower back and radiates down one or both legs. The pain may be intense, moderate, or minimal, and occasional, frequent, or constant.

Physicians term sciatica as a radiating or referred pain, or as neuralgia. This pain is often dull, achy, sharp, or even similar to an electric shock.

Causes of Sciatica Pain

Sciatica pain is not a disorder, but a symptom of compression of the sciatic nerve. The most common causes are spinal disorders due to:

– partial dislocation of a vertebra in lumbar spine
– herniated or bulging discs
– postural problems
– sitting on one's back pocket wallet

Sciatica pain may sometimes be due to certain non-spinal conditions such as diabetes and chronic constipation and pregnancy, childbirth, infections or tumors.

Piriformis syndrome also causes pain similar to sciatica. The Piriformis muscle in the lower spinal region and connects to the thigh. It is crucial for the rotation of the hips. When this muscle shortens or spasms due to an injury, hip arthritis, or difference in leg length, it pinches the sciatic nerve. The pinched nerve causes pain, numbness and tingling in the buttocks and along the path of the sciatic nerve.

Treatment of Sciatica Pain

Conventional sciatic nerve treatment involves symptomatic pain relief through non-steroidal anti inflammatory drugs and / or muscle relaxants. The problem is that the pain is caused due to the pinched nerve, and medications can not correct that. Surgery may lead to irreversible changes in the disc or bones. Another problem is presented by the fact that sciatica pain gets worse with bed rest.

Chiropractic manipulations play an important role in alternative treatment modalities. Even in conventional treatments of sciatica pain, the initial step is stretching exercises, massage and avoidance of activities that add to the pain.

Chiropractic Treatment of Sciatica Pain

Chiropractic treatment of the pinched sciatic nerve is based on the scientific principle that the cause of the pain is the restricted spinal movement due to reduced functionality and performance. Chiropractic care is drug-free and non-invasive, which means that there is no risk of side effects.

A chiropractor employs various methods for treating sciatica pain. The most common and effective among them is a comprehensive manipulation of the dislocations that have occurred in the patient's body. This involves application of gentle and minimal pressure, or fast high velocity tensions to restore the position of the misaligned vertebrae in the column column.

In addition, a chiropractor may employ cold therapy and / or heat from ultrasound. Cold therapy is an effective way of reducing inflammation and pain relief. Heat produced from gentle sound waves from an ultrasound increases circulation and reduces muscle spasms.

It is important that you get chiropractic care from a qualified chiropractor. Chiropractic practitioners undergo training in colleges where techniques of treating partial dislocation of joints or organs are taught.

Like all alternative therapies, chiropractic care is also based on the self-healing capacity of the body. Chiropractic care does not seek to cure, but instead helps to restore the spine to its original position so that the herniated disc does not compress the sciatic nerve.

A qualified chiropractor will refer you to another sciatic nerve treatment if the condition is not within the scope of chiropractic care.

The Wound That Never Heals

I'm nursing an almost fatal wound. In fact, I'm surprised that I'm still here, still nursing it and feeling it slowly scab over, only to have it ripped open and the healing process begin again.

The wound is over 6 years old now and by my reckoning (and many others') it should have been well healed with no visible scars by now. It is not natural for a wound to take so long to heal. I've been told in cases of people suffering from diabetic ulcers or even from cancer, that wounds from those illnesses can, and quite often do, take a long time before they're healed.

But this wound is different. This wound cuts deep into our emotional and physical well-being. This wound is, in fact, far deeper than any ulcer and longer lasting than any other wound. This wound is non-healing. I know this now.

The scabs that form, I've come to learn, are just temporary. I know that at any moment they can be yanked off of me, ripped away with all the strength of a Kodiak bear's jaws. The pain is intense and long-lasting.

I can be engaged in conversation with you and some innocent remark on your part can set the ripping process in motion. And you will not even know it. You will be looking at me, completely unaware that the scab has either just been yanked away or is slowly peeling away, revealing inner and deer layers of hurt and pain, until finally I am absent, with no strength to carry on. I must escape to some place, any place where I can scream from the pain, cry and vent without you or anyone else knowing how I'm feeling – because you would not understand.

Without you have suffered the same deep, penetrating wound, you would be clueless as to the depth of this pain. And I would not have it any other way. As has been said many times in many circumstances, "I would not wish this on my worst enemy."

My wound occurred in the wee early hours of the morning on December 2nd, 2002, when two police detectives arrived at my front door with their cutting, slashing words, stabbing me so deep in my heart that I almost fell to the ground.

"He passed away at 10:30." My son, my baby. Dead at the age of 31 years, 4 months, and 3 days … and not just dead, but dead from a drug overdose! The double whammy!

My son, the Paramedic and RN who was caring, compassionate, kind and loving. Now gone from my life forever. But the scab is not gone. It stays here on my heart waiting for a word, an event, some trigger to rip it off again. Even writing this account of his death is causing the scab to begin peeling away, with the pain intensifying and I am brought to my knees again by it.

I am compelled to continue writing about it though. Addiction was my son's disease, it was not the essence of his life. We must keep writing and talking about addiction because its effects are far reaching. Everyone knows someone who has addiction in their family or circle of friends or acquaints. There is no escaping it today.

Until we eradicate the stigma of a drug-related death and as long as we keep their addiction in the closet, many addicted people will fear speaking up and admitting they are struggling with addiction. We can not let this continue to happen. As much as it hurts, and as painful as it is to have that scab continuously ripped away, we have to keep on speaking out. We have to advocate for our kids. For every parent who has suffered this almost fatal wound, there are many more parents who sadly will join our ranks, who will hear those fateful words – your child passed away!

Full Cranial Prosthesis Aka Full Lace Wigs – A Solution to Alopecia!

Full Cranial Prosthesis aka Full Lace wigs are the latest development in hair replacement units, and are designed to meet the specific needs of any women suffering from long term, or permanent hair loss to medical conditions. Androgenic alopecia and traumatic alopecia are one of the most common medical cause of hair loss in women.

– Androgenic alopecia is an hereditary hair thinning, and occurs in both men and women.

However, it is the most common form of alopecia in women. It can begin as early as in the 20s. By age 40, 40% of these women have noticeable hair thinning due to this condition. By age 50, 60% of them have severe signs of hair loss. When this type of hair loss occurs, women usually do not develop true baldness in the patterns that occur in men, as the areas affected are in the difficulties and the crown of the head, while the front hairline is usually preserved.

– Traumatic alopecia is a form of hair loss due to scarring of the scalp area. This form of hair loss frequently occurs in African-American women.

Traumatic alopecia is divided into three categories: traction, chemical and follicular alopecia.

Traction alopecia:

Hair loss associated with persistent use of tight braids, hair rollers, weaves, twist, locks, or cornrows. The first sign of traction alopecia is thinning above the ears and the forehead. This hair loss is often seen in young girls. Partial or complete regrowth of hair can follow, but permanent loss of hair can occur when the roots of the hairs are severely damaged.

Chemical alopecia:

Damage to the scalp and hair shaft caused by commercial chemical products, like relaxers. It resemble hair thinning resulting from hereditary causes, but also include scarring of the scalp, which can irreversibly damage the hair follicles.

Follicular alopecia:

Gradual destruction of hair follicles by the excessive use of pomades with a hot comb or iron. Thinning usually begins at the crown and then spreads evenly through the head. It is an irreversible condition.

Full Cranial Prosthesis aka Full Lace Wigs are an excellent solution to restore self confidence in women suffering from any type of Alopecia, as they are designed and constructed to be the closest thing to one own real hair.

It is the most beautiful, natural hair replacement system imaginable. They are actually undetectable because they are constructed with a gauze-like lace material which makes it comfortable for extended wear. The hairline is secured with skin liquid adhesive or / and tape. When the lace is bonded to one own hairline, it creates an invisible hairline, making it look as though the hair is growing out of one own scalp. The hair of those unit are usually made of a 100% human hair, tied one strand at a time into that lace base. The gauze-like lace fabric used for the cap construction of that hair system is very sheer, so that it takes on, the approximate color of the wearer own natural scalp, provides proper ventilation while worn, and eliminates heat and moisture build-up.

Full Cranial Prosthesis aka Full Lace Wigs, are lightweight, ultra comfortable and undetectable! They look so natural, that even from a few inches away, it seems that the hair is growing out of one own scalp. This new and revolutionary hair replacement system can be worn for days or even weeks at a time. the hair can be colored, permed, washed, blown-dry, curled with a curling iron and style any way one like. They are so versatile, that they can be parted anywhere on the head, worn in a high ponytail, braided in cornrows, worn in an up do or any style chosen.

What is a Hypertensive Crisis?

A dangerous spike in blood pressure is known as a hypertensive crisis that can lead to a stroke. Extreme high pressure of (top number) 180 systolic and (bottom number)120 diastolic or higher will damage arteries and capillaries. They will become inflamed and leak fluid and/or blood, rendering the heart unable to effectively pump blood under this condition.

There are two types of hypertensive crisis. One is urgent and the other is an emergency. An urgent hypertensive crisis is when your blood pressure becomes dangerously high and your doctor doesn’t suspect any damage to your organs. Symptoms and signs of an urgent hypertensive crisis may include, but not be limited to, shortness of breath, severe anxiety, severe headache, nose bleed and elevated blood pressure.

An emergency hypertensive crisis occurs when pressure becomes dangerously elevated and causes damage to your organs. Life threatening complications as a result of an emergency hypertensive crisis such as pulmonary edema (fluid in the lungs), heart attack, brain bleeding or swelling, stroke, aortic dissection (a tear in the heart’s main artery) and eclampsia (high blood pressure with seizures if you are pregnant can occur. If you experience a severe increase in blood pressure, seek immediate medical treatment immediately. Treatment may include hospitalization with oral or intravenous (IV) medications.

To diagnose a hypertensive emergency the health care provider might ask you several questions to understand your medical history. They will also ask you what medications you are taking including prescription, nonprescription medications, recreational drugs and herbal or dietary supplements; a history of other co-morbid conditions and prior cardiovascular or renal disease. Tests will also be conducted to monitor blood pressure and assess organ damage including blood pressure monitoring, blood and urine test and pressure monitoring. Early emergency room triage is top priority to identify those patients who may require more aggressive care in the emergency room. Once a hypertensive emergency has been established the first order of business is to bring the pressure down with intravenous blood pressure medication to prevent further organ damage. Any organ damage that has already occurred will be treated with the appropriate medication and therapies.

Most hypertensive urgencies and emergencies are preventable. They are often the result of inadequately treated or untreated stage I or II hypertension or non adherence to hypertensive therapy. Hypertension affects roughly 50 million people in the United States each year. Hypertensive crisis affects close to 500,000 Americans each year. Approximately 30% of adults are unaware of their hypertension and 40% of the people with hypertension are not receiving treatment. Of those treated up to 67% do not have their blood pressure controlled to less than 140/90.

Hypertension develops at an early age and is more common and severs in African Americans compared to age matched non Hispanic whites. Hypertensive crisis is more common in African Americans compared with other races. The lifetime hypertension risk is 86 to 90% in females and 81 to 83% in men.

The best way to avoid hypertension and hypertensive crisis is to manage your blood pressure through exercise, healthy eating and proper medications when prescribed.

Seizures: Have You Been Victim Of People's Ignorance

I have suffered from different types of seizures over the years. It does not matter what type of seizure disorder is affecting your life, people's reactions often hurt you more than they think. They often do not realize the importance of their reactions as they are primarily the reflection of their fears and ignorance on the subject.

As a toddler, I started suffering seizures that were later on diagnosed as Epilepsy. This was caused by a brain trauma that happened at birth. I had to take medications that were too strong for me resulting in not remembering years of my life. During this period which lasted for ten years as I was later told that I outgrew Epilepsy because of my body's changes during my teenage years I had to face people's reactions. I may not remember much of this decade but I vividly remember the pain related to the cruel comments, being excluded and especially, the ignorance of some members of my extended family.

You see, in these days, the terms Epilepsy and seizures cave life to uncontrollable fears in people. Some excluded me because they though I was mentally challenge, others thought that if they played with me, they would catch it. Others, like my own grandmother were convinced that I had to pray every night as she thought that I was possessed by an evil spirit as a punishment for my parents' sins. I was also picked on and laughed at by kids because of my lack of coordination and focus. It did not matter, who said nor did what, hurt and these painful memories still break my heart today.

As I later grew out of Epilepsy when I became a teenager, I started to suffer from seizures related to Hyperventilation. I was told that several people that had Epilepsy in the past were affected by this disorder as a result of extreme stress. Well, even my own mother thought that I had Hyperventilation episodes because I was looking for people's attention. Little did she know about the abuse that I enduring at the time.

Then during the first seven years of teaching, I experienced pseudo seizures which are also related to high level of stress and the fact that I was on heavy medications due to a wrong diagnosis of Epilepsy. Later on, I was told by a former principal that if I would look for a teaching position in her school, she would have to turn me down, not because of my teaching skills which she liked but for the fact that people with Epilepsy need to take more sick days than others according to her, which would be costly to the school division. Is not it a great example of discrimination or what?

Finally, since the birth of my youngest child, I have been experiencing some seizures related to my hypoglycemia. As a result, my husband has asked of me not to drive anymore as he is concerned for my safety, my children's and others should I have a seizure while driving. Others seem to think that I am not capable of handling stressful situations very well and tend to underestimate my potential and abilities which can make you feel inadequate at times.

What do I suggest as a solution to this problem? The answer is simple. Let's educate people and provide them with adequate information about any seizure disorder that you may be affected by right now. Ignorance is nobody's friend. It only creates heartache despites people's good intentions. Let's help them avoid hurting your feelings.

Chicken Pox: An Overview

Chicken Pox is a common childhood infection caused by virus called varicella zoster. It is common in children less than 12 years of age, but can affect individuals of age without prior immunity. It usually causes a mild infection in children, but tends to run a more severe course in adults and adolescents.

It most commonly presents with a reddish rash over the body, sparing the palms and soles. It usually starts from the forehead and gradually spreads downwards. The characteristic feature of this rash is that it undergoes many stages such that on examination one will find rashes in different stages of development. Initially these rashes appear as reddish raised patches which become fluid filled in the next 2-3 days. The fluid in these rashes is like serum. These fluid filled rashes may become infected when they are called as pustules. Finally these rashes form scabs and fall off from the body.

2-3 days prior to the rash the child may exhibit runny nose and cough. The child may also develop low grade fever associated with lethargy and poor feeding. The child is infectious from 2-3 days prior to the rashes and is infectious toill the rashes form scabs. The rashes of chicken pox can also be seen inside the mouth.

Chicken pox usually follows a mild course in children. Children generally recover by 7-10 days. However in adults and older children, chicken pox may be much severe. In some people Chicken Pox may be associated with pneumonia or meningitis.

Treatment for chicken pox is supportive and antiviral are also used. The commonest antiviral used in chicken pox is Acyclovir. It is usually administrated orally 5 times a day. Fever can be controlled with drugs like paracetamol or brufen. Aspirin should be strictly avoided in children for fear of causing a serious brain disorder called Reye's syndrome. Itching and burning can be relieved to some extent by calamine. Calamine should not be used on the face, especially around the eyes. Also ensure to bathe the child every day. It is also advisable to give cold, bland food to the child as the rashes inside the mouth may cause difficulty swallowing.

Since chicken pox is highly contagious, the only method to prevent it lies in immunizing all people is susceptible to this disease. So all children should be vaccinated against chicken pox, but it is not covered under the universal immunisation schedule as this disease is a very mild disease in childhood.

Chicken pox in pregnancy is associated with many problems. Infection early in pregnancy within the first 3 months of pregnancy results in congenital anomalies and birth defects. It can also cause premature delivery and abortions. Herein lies another important reason to immunize all children.

The vaccine should be administered to children at 12-15 months of age with a further booster at 6 years.

The virus can remain latent in the nerve cells of the body and during periods of reduced immunity, may lead to shingles-a painful eruption over any part of the body.

Chicken pox is usually a mild disease that will resolve spontaneously. However the child will need to be observed closely. It is also important to immunize all children by 3 years of age so that they remain protected against this disease.

Stroke (Brain Attack) Part IX – How to Prevent and Treat Stroke With Chinese Acupuncture and Herbs

As we mentioned in previous articles, stroke is caused by uncontrolled diet that is high in saturated and trans fats resulting in cholesterol building up in the blood vessel in the brain that blocks the circulation of blood to the body, including cells in the brain. If not enough oxygen is delivered to the brain cells, some cells die off and can not reproduce, the you may have a stroke. Other strokes happen when a blood vessel in the brain ruptures causing the cells in your brain to be depleted of oxygen, so they die and never come back. In this article, we will discuss Chinese herbs and acupuncture that help to prevent stroke.

1. Acupuncture
Acupuncture is the most popular treatment modality for stroke patients in China, used effectively on 85% of the stroke patients there. The recent acceptance of acupuncture by western medical practitioners allows one more effective method in curing diseases especially stroke. Study shows that acupunctures helps to facilitate nerve regeneration, decrease blood viscosity, as well as helping survival nerve cells find new pathways, effectively bypassing damaged parts of the brain resulting in reduced risk of stroke.

2. Ginkgo biloba (bai guo yee).
Ginkgo biloba improves mental functioning as well as preventing blood cells from forming blood clots in the brain. Study shows that ginkgo improves blood circulation and lowers plasma cholesterol concentrations that help to lower the risk of stroke.

3. Gastrodia
Gastrodia was listed in the ancient Shennong Bencao Jing (ca. 100 AD) and was later reclassified by Tao Hong as a superior herb, meaning that it could be taken for a long time to protect health and prolong life, as well as for treating illnesses . Gastrodia is used by Chinese herbalist in treating stroke and chronic weaknesses of Qi that historically blocks the flow of blood to the brain.

4. Cinnamon bark
True Cinnamon is one form of the common spice. As we discussed before, cinnamon helps to lower blood sugar by mimicking insulin, activating insulin receptors and working with insulin in the cells to reduce blood sugar by up to 20%. Also cinnamon has some antioxidant benefits that helps to find new pathways for survival nerve cells after stroke.

5. Angelica
Angelica can help to warm up the chest-yang to remove obstruction of blood flow in the heart vessels as well as brain vessels.

6. Dragon's Blood
Dragon's Blood is used for increased power, purification, protection, consecration, and the development of strong ritual energy. It also helps to relieve pain in the heart due to blood stagnation and stimulate blood circulation to the brain resulting in reduced risk of stroke.

There are many other Chinese herbs that can help to prevent and treat strokes such as ginger root, mantis egg case, and tortoise plastron. Please consult with your doctor before taking any Chinese herb because some of these herbs may have side effects.

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Bodybuilding Guide – Hypertrophy vs Atrophy

In the business world, you're always growing or dying. There is no sitting still. Your firm is always either grabbing a larger market share or growing consumer value, or it is losing market share to competitors and losing customer value. However small the increments, there is always either a loss or gain cycle occurring – there is no standing still.

Likewise, when it comes to bodybuilding, the same motto holds true. You are always either getting better, or worse. Improving or regressing, Growing or shrinking, Bodybuilding requires separate classifications for measuring progress or lack thereof. Here are some categories and rubrics, which can be used to measure the level of hypertrophy vs. atrophy occurring at any given time for a bodybuilder.

Muscle mass

Are you winning or losing muscle mass? If you are steadily increasing lean body mass (LBM) and your muscles are growing, then you are improving. If your LBM has lowered, or your muscles have lost some size, they are being regressing. Change your training or diet protocol immediately to put yourself back on the right track.

Bodyfat levels

Have your body fat% measured once per month using a reliable machine. If you find that it is rising, then take immediate action to curb it. Add cardio or reduce total calories by lower carb and fat intake. If your body fat level is remaining constant while you are adding muscle, then that can be considered positive. You should remain at a constant level. And if your body fat is going down slowly, this is very positive news. You should "hold course" and keep things constant until LBM suffers – then reconsider what you are doing.

Overall health and function

This aspect of bodybuilding health is harder to measure, but more important than the other two aspects combined. Are you remaining healthy as you train, eat, and work to make improvements? Have blood work done regularly to ensure you are keeping healthy while reaching your bodybuilding goals. A finding of no long-term diseases or injuries is definitely a positive, and considered the ultimate goal of life, much less bodybuilding!

Insulin Pens – The Basics of This Easy Injection System

Instead of fumbling around with syringes and bottles of insulin, you can fumble around with an insulin pen. Just kidding. An insulin pen – sometimes called a pen syringe, injection pen or simply, pen – can be a more accurate and convenient delivery system of insulin into your bloodstream.

Pens are quite popular among diabetics. An insulin pen looks remarkably like a writing pen, only larger. It consist of a cartridge, a teensy-tiny needle and a dosage dial. The insulin cartridge may need to be replaced from time to time, while the pen needles are entirely disposable.

Types of Insulin Pens

You have a variety of options from the several manufacturers of insulin pens. Pre-filled pens are usually recommended for type 2 diabetics. They are disposable and need to be replaced once the insulin cartridge is empty. The drawback is that this type does not readily accommodate adjustments to exercise and diet.

The other main type of pen is the durable pen. It uses replaceable insulin cartridges that are discarded once the insulin is fully used. With a new cartridge in place the pen is ready for use again.

A relatively new addition is the insulin pen with a built-in memory. It keeps track of the time and date as well as the dose. Nice.

How to Use

Insulin pens are very easy to use. As well as their accuracy and obvious portability, pens may be even easier than using a bottle and syringe. Once you get this simple routine down, you'll see how easy it is.

First, find a good injection site. There are several candidates including the abdominal area, thighs, buttocks, the area of ​​the back just above your waist, your leg or upper arm. Try to stay at least an inch away from the previous spot and two inches away from your navel or any scars. Also be careful not to use areas that are swollen, bruised or tender.

Some people first clean the injection site with an alcohol pad or a cotton ball dabbed with alcohol. I do not do this. The alcohol tends to make the injection sting. I have not developed any infections from this omission, but this is up to you – with your doctor's knowledge, of course.

Now remove the cover from the pen. Make sure there's enough insulin for the dose. Also make sure the insulin is not cloudy or otherwise unusable. Insert a disposable needle into its place (see the individual instructions for your pen). Once the needle is properly set, clear out any air bubbles in the pen. Hold the pen up and press the end of the pen until a drop of insulin comes out. You may need to repeat this a couple of times until you see a drop of insulin at the tip of the needle.

Set the dose of insulin you want to inject. Pinch and hold the site where you will inject the insulin. Insert the needle all the way and continue pinching your skin while you deliver the dose. Once you're done, put the insulin pen cover back in its place.

Nice and quick and easy.

To learn more about treating diabetes and controlling your blood sugar click on the link below.

Swine Flu Prevention

With all the news about swine flu, few people are talking about prevention, other than taking the controversial flu shot.

Is it real prevention? Have dozens of people really become sick or died from the shot? Is is more of a danger than a precaution? There are more questions than answers.

Each of us needs to make our own decision about taking the shot, but whether we do or do not, we should be taking some basic precautions to prevent this, or any other flu.

The first step, of course, is to keep our hands clean. Wash often with anti-bacterial soap, and use hand wipes or gel when soap and water are not available. This is especially important when visiting public places, where we may touch items that have been touched by sick people.

Think of the grocery store as a prime example. Those shopping cart handles feel hundreds of hands up them every day. Some stores offer wipes at the entry door, so use them. But do be careful using them on your own hands if you have any chemical allergies. I gave myself a pounding head one day by being too diligent cleaning my hands with one of them.

Next, also of course, is to try to keep your hands away from your mouth and nose. This is probably the most difficult – most of us are constantly touching our own faces.

Possibly even more important than these preclusions is what we should do when we get home after being out in public.

According to one doctor's column I read, the "Swine flu bug" lives in the throat and nasal passes for a couple of days before it begins to do its dirty work. So we need to take steps to kill it before it gets a chance to make us sick.

That doctor recommended gargling nightly with salt water. Then, either using a netti pot to clean our noses, or doing a swab with a q-tip soaked in salt water.

One last precaution works by washing the bugs into your digestive tract, where they can do no harm. It's also the easiest to do: drink hot liquids. Choose coffee, tea, hot chocolate, or even hot water with a bit of lemon and honey.

Such simple solutions to carry such strong prevention.

What about kids?

Children can learn to gargle – but it may take a few tries before they "get it." I recommend teaching them with plain water.

Anterior Hip Replacement – What is it All About?

As a Fellowship Trained Joint Replacement Surgeon, I am often asked about the latest developments in arthritis surgery. With the advent of minimally invasive techniques in orthopedic surgery there has been a renewed interest in performing hip replacement through the front (anterior) of the hip as opposed to the more traditional posterior, or backside approach.

The logic behind anterior hip replacement is to try to minimize muscle damage by separating muscles to gain access to the front of the hip as opposed to releasing and repairing the muscles to gain access to the hip joint form behind. In short, there is no perfect way to deliver implants to the hip joint. If there were, we would all be performing that approach only for hip replacement surgery. Having given you this background, these are the most frequently asked questions encountered in my office:

Is anterior hip replacement a new technique?

No. The anterior hip approach was first described by Smith-Petersen in 1917. It was used by the French surgeon, Robert Judet, in 1947 to perform an isolated femoral head replacement. This later evolved into other French surgeons performing complete hip joint changes through anterior exposure in the 1960's.

If this technique has been in existence since 1960, why all the interest now?

Early surgeers found that the visualization of the hip socket was excellent through the front of the hip; although it was very difficult to insert a long straight metal stem down the femur through an anterior approach. If complications occurred during surgery it was very difficult to change or extend the anterior approach to overcome difficult surgeries and provide for better visualization. Therefore, most surgeons opted to perform hip replacement through posterior, or posterior and lateral exposures. The posterior approach has become the standard of care since that time. By using specialized instrumentation, new generation hip implants, a custom operating table, and real time intraoperative x-ray equipment, anterior hip replacement has made a resurgence. These additions have allowed the anterior approach to become easier and more reliable to perform than before.

What are the drawbacks to anterior hip replacement?

Performing an anterior total hip replacement requires positioning on a special operating table with the legs attached directly to the table. By manipulating the table, the leg is positioned to insert the hip stem. Since it is difficult to judge how much force is applied to the leg, fractures in the leg bones have occurred on the operating table. The implants are placed using real time x-ray equipment; if that equipment is malpositioned the implants can be misplaced leading to potential increased wear or dislocation and a painful joint.

Is it true that hips done through an anterior approach will not dislocate?

No. All hip replacements can dislocate. Historically, the incidence of dislocation from an anterior approach is less than through a posterior approach. However with a new generation of hip replacements, the use of larger femoral head replacements has reduced the incidence of hip dislocations for all approaches.

What hip approach do you recommend?

I recommend finding a surgeon who is versed in anterior, posterior, and anterolateral hip replacement. Since every hip exposure has specific pros and cons, it is the job of the surgeon to match each individual patient's need to the specific approach. Patients and surgeons want to minimize pain and speed recovery, yet the main objective of hip replacement is to provide patients with a well done operation, with good component position, and the expectation that it will last for the next 20-30 years.

Hearing Loss Detection

The detection of hearing injury and deafness should be done since someone is still a baby. The detection can be done by parent in a simple way. This can be done by making a simple experiment toward the baby.

In checking the hearing ability of a baby, parent can do it by making a sound around him and see whether there is a response from him or not. When there is a response, then the baby has a normal hearing ability. Typically, not all cases of hearing loss at birth are known. This is because not all parents check their baby's hearing ability. So, they do not know whether the baby has this hearing disorder or not.

There are some indications that parents need to know to detect hearing loss in infants. For example, the baby sleeps nicely although there is loud sound around him or if a six-month-old baby can babble but he can not respond when there is sound. Those are two examples that sign a baby has hearing loss.

The detection of hearing injury and deafness has to be started before the baby out of the hospital or at the age of two days. Or, the hearing loss should be detected at the latest at the age of 1 month if the baby born outside the hospital. In this matter, the diagnosis of deafness should have ascertained before the age of 3 months so that the installation of hearing aids can be initiated since the age of 6 months.

Further, there are some things that make an infant has high-risk hearing loss and deafness. The things are a baby with a birth weight less than 1500 grams, a pregnant woman who uses drugs such as tuberculosis drugs and antibiotics, and a pregnant woman who received chemotherapy. Instead of those things, other things that make infant has high risk hearing loss are bacterial meningitis, cholestasis and the use of ventilator for more than five days.

When a baby has three of those things then it is likely he will experience deafness fifty to sixty times more than non-risk infant. Additionally, infants that are treated in Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) have ten times the risk of hearing loss compared to those who are not treated in the NICU.

Since hearing loss detection is an important thing to do, parent should pay attention to this matter very carefully. In this matter, they should do the detection in order to make sure that their baby does not have this hearing disorder.

Health Coach Salary: How Much Does a Health and Wellness Coach Make a Year?

Health and Wellness Coach salons can vary quite a lot. The US Dept. of Labor Bureau statistics reported that in 2010 that the salary for Health and Wellness Coaches ranged from $ 23,443 – $ 61,928 a year. Of course, a lot will depend on the particular career path you choose to take after having received your training.

There are wide-ranging opportunities available, from owning your own business, to working for a corporate wellness program, to joining a physician's practice. The salary potential is quite variable. Indeed.com states that the median salary for a Health and Wellness Coach is $ 72,000 annually. However, many job listings you'll find in this field omit adding a salary figure in their career ads, so it may be difficult to tell as a job applicant what you can expect to make. The interview will be key. Also, keep in mind that the more education and experience you have, the higher your pay scale will be as an employee.

If you choose to go the route of an Independent or Personal Health and Wellness Coach, as a small business owner, many factors that affect your salary are controlled by the parameters you choose to set.

For instance, take a look at these questions you need to address in your business:

Do I want to work from home or meet my client in an outside establishment? If so, you eliminate office space costs.

Do I want to work part-time, and have just a few clients a week, or would I rather work with as much business as I can reasonably keep up with, such as 70+ hours a week?

Do I want to offer extra features and services to boost my income, such as online courses or printed materials?

Will I be spending time and money advertising my services in order to to generate business?

Those questions and more are just some of the things to consider when starting your own Health and Wellness Coaching business. They determine your overall yearly income.

Given these wide-ranging options, the monthly salary could be anywhere from $ 200 – $ 300 a month to even earning $ 1,000's + of dollars a month. Personal health coaches often have fees between $ 100 – $ 150 an hour. Some coaches do offer packages of multiple sessions at a lower per hour rate.

Another financial bonus, is that when you own your own small business, numerous expenses are tax deductible, giving you quite an advantage in terms of annual earnings.

If you choose a different career path, and prefer to become an employee as a Health and Wellness Coach, you may find that as with any occupation, the larger the role and responsibility, the higher your pay.

For example, if you work for a corporation as an Employee Health and Wellness Administrator (around $ 50,000 annually), your job will involve less responsibility than if you were a Wellness Program Manager (around $ 75,000 annually).

Checking with local job listings will yield varying results depending on how large and established the company or practice is, as well as how broad the job responsibilities are.

For other examples, Health and Wellness Coordinators at corporations typically make around $ 50,000 a year, where as Consultants make approximately $ 44,000.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics does see an uprising career trend in Health and Wellness coaching. They also foresee that about half of all employers will have some kind of Corporate Wellness program active for their employees in the future. With predictions like these, a career in Health and Wellness does look to have a very promising future. You may find that a Health and Wellness Coach earns a salary you could be very comfortable with. Job opportunities in this area are certain to grow.

What Are the Causes of Stroke – Major Factors That Cause Stokes

The largest cause of stroke is hypertension, or high blood pressure. It is characterized by readings of 140/90 and above. Hypertension causes damage to the major organs, such as the kidneys, heart, and eyes. It can also cause weakened areas in the blood vessels to burst, leading to the leakage of blood into the brain. This results in hemorrhagic stroke.

When vessels narrow and shut off blood supply, this is an Ischemic stroke. It is caused by plaque build up in the treaties or a blood clot that grows to indeed block the artery preventing blood flow to the rest of the brain. These blood clots can come from another part of the body or form in the artery itself.

A clot that breaks off and travels to another part of the body is called an embolism. Atrial fibrillation is a risk factor for these types of clots, due to the rapid contractions, or fluttering of the atria, resulting in formation of blood clots.

Blood clots that form in the artery (thrombus) are usually found on plaque deposits. Cracks develop in the plaque causing cells to adhere to it forming a blood clot. The clot then grows in size as more cells accumulate, leading to blocking off the artery to blood flow. This causes tissue on the other side of the blockage to be depleted of oxygen rich blood and nutrients, leading to cell death and ischemia. The result is a stroke. This is the same mechanism that exists in heart attack, only it involves the heart.

Types of Stroke:

Hemorrhagic: Bleeding into the brain caused by a Ruptured blood vessel.
Ischemic: Caused by narrowed or enclosed treaties due plaque deposits.

Causes:

Hypertension
Diabetes
Heart disease
Atrial fibrillation

Some risks for stroke include:

Family history
Hypertension
Heart disease
Diabetes
High serum cholesterol levels
Ethnicity
Age
Prior stroke

Fractures can put people at risk as well, and is of concern especially with the elderly. Fractures are common in elderly due to falls. Tissue from a fractured bone can enter the blood stream and cause a fat embolism to occur, which can travel to the lungs causing respiratory failure, to the brain to cause a stroke, or to the heart resulting in a heart attack.

Reducing risk factors and prevention work in unision to avoid what can be a life altering disability.

Prevention:

Maintain blood pressure in the normal range
Lower high cholesterol and triglyceride levels
Manage blood sugar levels

Eating a healthy diet: Consisting of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grain cuts, cereals, nuts, and pastas. Serve lean meats and fish, as well as foods that are high in fiber and low in fats and cholesterol. Reduce red meat consumption to once per month. Knowing the causes of stroke will help you to reduce your risk, and possibly prevent its occurrence.