After a Stroke

There are changes after a stroke which are not only physical – your personality often changes too. These alterations have an impact on your family, who are not prepared for this. They cannot see these variations to your persona, only the physical changes are apparent. You can become short tempered, irrational and uncooperative, in fact quite unlike your old self. It often takes a long time for your family and colleagues to appreciate these changes to your personality.

The stroke can decrease your “Executive Function”. This means your ability to make responsible and rational decisions as these thought processes become impaired and your concentration becomes limited. You may want to hide these changes and worry about them alone hoping matters will improve, and, of course, this is possible. However by far the best approach is to share these worries of loss of memory etc. with your loved ones. They are not at all concerned at, say, memory loss of times gone by, people’s names or birthdays. The family is just delighted to have you with them again, to share in future exploits, however limited.

Another often undiagnosed outcome for you is depression – it is sometimes overlooked even by the medical profession. Your spouse may become affected too and also other members of your family. Speak to your doctor about these experiences and he will offer advice, perhaps medication and maybe even suggest you join a Rehabilitation Clinic where you will meet other similar stroke victims.

The greatest success seems to come for stroke survivors who fight to regain their losses. Yes, you are alone to some extent but it comes down to the information in the ‘Serenity Prayer’: Having the courage to change what you can, the humility to accept what you can’t and the wisdom to know the difference!

Always remember to ENJOY LIFE, however limited. Always remember your loved ones want you and, yes, need you, and that the journey is not over until someone else calls “Time”.

Helping Aids – Perhaps you could use a computer to find out if second hand items are available to aid your mobility, i.e. electric ride-on vehicles, walking frames or chairs which can be operated to help you get up more easily. You could collate all of this information onto a “news Sheet” and give it to hospitals, clinics and various other outlets. Not everyone has a computer or knows hot to operate one. This information could prove to be invaluable to fellow sufferers and will make you feel you’ve made a very worthwhile contribution to Society. It could also mean you make a new circle of friends. The ramifications are enormous – Good Luck!

Cure For the Flu

The majority of people make a full recovery from flu without needing treatment, by just letting it run its course with the help of an analgesic such as Aspirin (children should not be given Aspirin as it can cause damage to the brain) or Ibuprofen if it is felt necessary. But there are exceptions. Flu can cause serious complications in infants and in people with pre-existing medical conditions, such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), kidney disease, heart and liver disease, and a weakened immune system, and those over 65 years of age .

DO ANTIVIRAL DRUGS CURE FLU

No. Antiviral drugs can stop the virus from spreading, and less the risk of complications setting in, and help the patient recover sooner. Antibiotics will have zero effect on a cure for flu, and they will not normally be medically prescribed as they have no effect on a virus infection.

WHAT TREATMENTS WORK FOR SWINE FLU

Tamiflu:

This is the brand name of (Oseltamivir) and is manufactured by the Swiss firm Roche Laboratories is effective against influenza type A and type B. Type A (H1N1) is the current version of swine flu. Tamiflu needs to be taken within 48 hours of getting the first symptoms of flu, which usually starts with a fever, aching muscles, chills, sore throat and possibly a cough. If you have any of these symptoms it is important to drink plenty of fluids, as the increased body temperature will cause fluid loss due to dehydration.

Research has shown that Tamiflu is not a cure for flu but is likely to reduce flu symptoms by a few days and can also be prescribed by Doctors to people who have recently traveled to countries which have a high incidence of the virus. Patients who take the drug are less likely to suffer from bronchitis and pneumonia.

Tamiflu is prescribed in capsule or liquid form to be taken over a 5 day period, and as a preventive for a longer period, usually over 10 days, and is not given to children under 12 months old. Researchers looked out adults who had been in contact or nursing a person with fl, those taking Tamiflu were up to 90% less likely to catch flu themselves.

Relenza:

This is the brand name for (Zanamivir) and is manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline, an antiviral drug and is taken orally as a spray in powder form using a Diskhaler. It is usually taken twice a day for 5 days to treat flu. As with Tamiflu it should be taken within 2 days of the sunset of the same symptoms as above. If you are nursing or living with someone with flu then it can be taken once a day for 28 days as a preventative measure.

Relenza is not recommended for patients with lung problems such as asthma or COPD or emphysema, or children under 12.

Children and adolescents taking Relenza have experienced some side effects, such as anxiety, hallucinations, seizures, and depression and even suicidal tendencies. Doctors have warned patients of the possible side effects and unusual behavior and to seek medical advice should this occur.

This content is for information purposes only and should not be a substitute for a consultation with a qualified medical practitioner.

Facts About Stroke Recovery and Rehabilitation

Recovering from a stroke can take months or years for some and a few weeks for others. The amount of time stroke recovery takes is determined mostly by the amount of damaged caused from the stroke. There are many devices and products that aid in stroke recovery. There are only a few real stroke recovery options that are effective at aid in optimal recovery for strike victims. You should know the facts about stroke and the prevention and risk factors involved when dealing with strokes.

The biggest risk factors of stroke are smoking, improper diet, lack of exercise, genetics and various health conditions. The first recommendation of almost any doctor is to stop smoking. If you are overweight, you will need to lose weight and if you have any kind of serious health condition, make sure to monitor it closely. Stroke treatment should start with prevention and education. Once you understand the risk factors involved in strokes, you will want to find out the preventive measures you can take to avoid a stroke.

Keeping your heart healthy by eating right, getting an adequate amount of exercise (you do not have to overdo), making sure to get restful sleep and addressing any health issues that might lead to a stroke. Remember to see your doctor before you begin any diet or exercise program. Even too much diet and exercise can be detrimental to your heart and brain.

What are some of the after effects of a stroke? One of the most common after effects involves the mouth and throat area. Many times after a stroke, the sufferer may have difficulty swallowing. This disorder is called dysphagia and the levels can vary depending on the strength of the stroke. Dysphagia requires treatment and rehab just like any other after affect such as the loss of the use of an arm or hand.

Besides the more common after effects of stroke, other complications, though less common, can occur. Some related diseases that can occur after a stroke include paralysis of movement (this can be from a hand to a whole side or region), loss of memory and cognitive ability, dementia, emotional disorders and deep vein thrombosis. In some cases of stroke, the victim continues to have mini strokes called TIA's caused by the brain damage of a more severe stroke. Special Stroke recovery techniques are used to help the victim overcome the debilitating after effects of a stroke. If you are at risk, or you have already suffered a stroke, get the information you need for prevention and treatments.

Caring For Someone After a Stroke

The very first step in stroke recovery would be to do the best you can to keep one from happening and then act fast if it does. The signs to look for are numbness or weakness in the face, arms or legs, confusion with trouble understanding or speaking, severe headache, dizziness and trouble seeing. Once these symptoms present themselves, contact emergency services immediately. The faster treatment is administrated, the less damage there may be.

When it comes to stroke recovery, the primary caregiver to the patient is extremely important. As the caregiver, you are the patients' link to health and well being. Being a caregiver is much more than the physical aspect of taking care of someone who has had a stroke. You serve as teacher, comforter, friend, confidant – and the list goes on. Therefore, it's very important for you the caregiver, to stay healthy and take care of yourself as well.

Stroke recovery is not an easy thing. Of course, the severity of the stroke would be the most important factor in determining just how much the patient needs, but even the smallest amount of care care and rehabilitation can be daunting to the stroke victim. Experiencing any loss of mobility, speech, memory or vision – all common results of a stroke – can be cause for anxiety, depression and low self esteem for the patient. The caregiver not only has to deal with the physical aspects of the "job" but also has to deal with a patient who may be anxious, depressed and in extreme cases, suicidal. Should the patient exhibit these types of behaviors, do not be afraid to speak to his or her medical professional as you may not be qualified to properly exceed that aspect of recovery.

So therefore, it is very important that caregivers learn to take care of themselves. Your responsibility is to yourself first, others afterwards. As a caregiver you have the right to refuse to do anything that makes you uncomfortable. You should strive to maintain facets of your own life as much as possible. Doing so allows you to have stress relief that is well deserved. Do not be afraid to ask for help. Being a caregiver on the road to stroke recovery is not easy. Become familiar with organizations that assist caregivers. Be assertive, honest and patient with your charge as you've got a long road ahead of you on the way to complete stroke recovery.

Fibromyalgia Not Real

Fibromyalgia Is not a Real Disease

Says Fibromyalgia Research Doctor

From THE FRONT PAGE of The New York Times Article

Dr. Frederick Wolfe, the director of the National Databank for Rheumatic Diseases and the lead author of the 1990 paper that first defined the diagnostic guidelines for fibromyalgia, says he has become cynical and discouraged about the diagnosis. He now considers the condition a physical response to stress, depression, and economic and social anxiety. "

Dr. Wolfe goes on to say, "Some of us in those days thought that we had actually identified a disease, which this is clearly not."

"… other doctors – including (Dr. Wolfe) the one who wrote the 1990 paper that defined fibromyalgia but who has since changed his mind – say that the disease does not exist and that Lyrica and the other drugs will be taken by millions of people who do not need them. "

Just when I was optimistic that the traditional medical community was finally getting the message that fibromyalgia is a very real and very serious illness, this kind of short-sighted, arrogant, and simple-minded myth raises its ugly head once again. This bit of news, by a prominent rheumatologist, is not a huge surprise. When was the last time you visited your rheumatologist (after waiting months to be seen) and felt like they understood your fibromyalgia? And if they did believe you had fibromyalgia, were they helpful?

Probably not, since their answer is to recommend more and more drugs, year end and year out. The side effects of these drugs begin to add up and pretty soon you realize your fibromyalgia symptoms are not much better, and worse, you've got additional symptoms from all those meds.

I've repeatedly been asked to give my opinion on the over-hyped new drug for fibromyalgia, Lyrica. I've kept quiet for two reasons. One, I wanted to give Lyrica the benefit of the doubt. Unfortunately Lyrica has proven to be ineffective for the majority of my patients, as well as the fibromyalgia sufferers I'm in contact with around the world. Secondly, I thought at least Pfizer's multi-million dollar drug campaign would help the public understand the pain fibromyalgia patients experience day in and day out. Surely the TV and print ads would help others realize that yes there is such a thing as fibromyalgia, here are the symptoms, and this is why aunt Jane feels so miserable each day.

According to the New York Times, worldwide sales of Lyrica reached $ 1.8 billion in 2007, up 50 percent from 2006. Analysts predict sales will rise an additional 30 percent this year, helped by consumer advertising. During the first nine months of 2007, Pfizer spent $ 46 million on Lyrica ads.

Sadly, The New York Times and other print media have elected to take a different slant. Instead of helping dispel the myth that those with fibromyalgia are crazy, lazy, or depressed, they've elected to focus on the minimum of doctors who think fibromyalgia is not real.

As I lecture and interact with doctors throughout North America, I routinely encounter doctors who do not believe fibromyalgia exists, but the number has steadily declined. But now this article comes out and what will the public think?

More on Lyrica

Lyrica is the first prescription medication approved to treat fibromyalgia. Pfizer's Lyrica, commonly known as pregabalin, binds to receptors in the brain and spinal cord and seems to reduce activity in the central nervous system. But, no one knows exactly how Lyrica works.

Some say that Lyrica does not work well enough to have warranted its FDA approval. In 2004, the FDA as a remedy for diabetic nerve pain, reviewed Lyrica. The reviewers recommended against approving the drug, citing its side effects. But the FDA ignored the advice of Lyrica reviewers, and approved it anyway. Then Pfizer asked the FDA to expand the approved uses of Lyrica to include the treatment of fibromyalgia, and the agency did so in June.

According to in clinical trials, patients taking Lyrica reported that their pain fell on average about 2 points on a 10-point scale, compared with 1 point for patients taking a placebo. Not a big deal to say the least.

About 30 percent of patients said their pain fell by at least half, compared with 15 percent taking placebos.

The study involved 75 participants took Lyrica and 75 took a sugar pill or placebo. So 38 of those taking Lyrica had at least a 50% in pain. But 23 participants taking a placebo had at least a 50% reduction in pain. Lyrica was helpful for 15 more participants than a sugar pill. But, at what cost?

Lyrica causes gain gain and edema, or swelling, as well as dizziness and sleepiness. According to the New York Times, in 12-week trials, 9 percent of patients saw their weight rise more than 7 percent, and the weight gain appeared to continue over-time. The following outlines some of the "common" side effects of Lyrica:

Experiencing Weight Gain

Blurred Vision

Body Tremors

Possible Insomnia

Gastrointestinal Difficulties, such as Diarrhea and Constipation

Mild to Severe Headaches

Nausea

Swelling in Hands

Dry Mouth

Swelling in Ankles

Dizziness

Drowsiness

Possible Fainting

Many individuals who have been prescribed Lyrica, and then quit taking it without their doctors consent have discovered that they suffer from many uncomfortable symptoms. This is a direct result of withdrawal from this prescription drug. Many individuals who start Lyrica to soothe the symptoms associated with fibromyalgia do not realize that this medication can become addictive. If you wish to stop Lyrica treatment, you must discuss it with a medical professional. The doctor will then set lower and lower dosages until you are able to stop treatment with no dangerous side-effects. Obviously I'm not a big fan of Lyrica. I believe there are safer and more effective ways to reverse the symptoms of fibromyalgia.

Read the entire New York Times article at the link- http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/14/health/14pain.html

Swine Flu H1N1 – Do not Get it This Flu Season

The swine flu virus has now been found in more than half of the world, s countries. The first cases which occurred in Mexico actually originated as an infection from pigs. This triggered a slaughter of pigs in some countries which was absolutely unnecessary since the virus while it may have originated from infected pigs is mainly spread by person to person contact. Anyone who is carrying the swine flu virus is a potential threat of infection to all others he comes in close contact with.

A vital question on everyone's mind is how do you protect yourself and your family from being infected with swine flu. With cases of rising especially in Asia and with an expected upsurge of infections in the Northern Hemisphere this flu season, it is imperative that people know how to properly protect themselves. However there is no foolproof way of protection but there are a number of things you can do which will minimize the risk of getting swine flu.

Firstly as we are told repeatedly by the media it is very important to wash your hands frequently. At any time when you have handled items which have been handled by other people you should wash your hands as soon as possible. Better still carry a small bottle of alcohol based hand sanitizer with you and use it whenever you can, t wash your hands. The obvious points where infection may be encountered are door handles, stairway and escalator hand rails, public transit door handles and support rails, counters and tables in fast food establishments and so on. Just a little thought about what you are handling and who may have handled it before you is a good idea.

As far as possible avoid putting your hands to your eyes, nose or mouth after handling anything and don, t handle food with hands that have not been washed or sanitized. Public places where large numbers of people are present are a prime source of airborne infection. When someone who is carrying the H1N1 swine flu virus coughs or sneezes tiny droplets of moisture laden with the virus drift in the air and if inhaled will infect you. Weaving a surgical type mask can help to avoid this if there are a lot of infections in your area. However a surgical mask is only partial protection at best since the virus can pass through it or around it and into your breathing passages.

It is a very good idea to avoid large crowds of people as much as possible. Shop early in the morning when supermarkets and stores have few people in them.Travel on public transit when it is least busy as much as you can. Again just a little thought about how you can best avoid exposure to the virus will go a long way to help in avoiding swine flu infection.

Avoid anyone who is coughing or sneezing in any public place. If someone at your workplace is showing any signs of infection they must be sent home immediately. Knowing them to spread swine flu to fellow employees will only result in more people having to stay home and may actually result in a shortage of manpower in some businesses. This will be minimized by ascertaining that anyone with the slightest sign of infection is immediately removed from the workplace.

Pituitary tumor Treatment Through Surgery

Disorders of the anterior pituitary gland and the posterior pituitary gland are usually associated with excess or deficient hormone synthesis and secretion. Tumors of the anterior pituitary gland are mutually common contracting a small percentage of all brain tumors. In autopsies done, when the cause of death is not limited to any group of diagnoses, almost one third of those examined have small pituitary tumors.

Predisposing factors are uncommon. Persons with untreated hypofunction of end organs such as the gonads, adrenals or thyroid may be at risk. They may develop hyperplasia initially and then autonomously functioning tissue that secretes the stimulating hormone for the hypofunctional gland. Long term malnutrition, particularly if it is severe, can cause excess growth hormone secretion. These events are logical exit of the negative feedback system, in which the pituitary gland attempts in vain to restore homeostasis by ever-increasing hormone production.

Malignant tumor symptoms include neurological findings like headache caused by pressure on the dura. These nonspecific headings are inconsistent in regard to location and degree of relief from analgesics. The pain is usually dull, unaffected by position, and not accompanied by nausea and visual changes. Sudden relief may accompan Rupture of the dura. With significant escalation, pressure may be applied to the optic chiasm causing bitemporal hemianopsia or loss of vision from the outer or lateral half of each eye. Papilledema may also be a finding. If the tumor becomes large enough to cause pressure on the hypothalamus, unstable body temperature, excessive appetite and psychiatric disorders may develop.

Most patients with pituitary tumors will undergo tumor treatment like surgery, radiation therapy or both. A transsphenoidal hypophysectomy is the removal of a portion or the entire anterior pituitary gland using a route through the sphenoid sinus. It is preferred approach for most anterior pituitary tumors because it eliminates manipulation of the brain substance that occurs with previously used frontal craniotomy approach and there is no visible scar.

The incision is made at the base of the upper lip where it joins the gum. After the floor of the sella tursica is exposed, the dura mater over the pituitary gland is opened and the tumor is removed. A small piece of fascia and muscle obtained from the thigh of the patient is used to secure a tight seal at the floor of the sella tursica and prevent cerebrospinal fluid.

The sphenoid sinus is not packed. The nostrils are packed with vaseline gauze to facilitate proper reapproximation of the nasal mucosa. Nasopharyngeal airways may be placed prior to packing to allow the patient to breathe through the nose during the immediate postoperative period. The nasal packing is usually removed 2 days after surgery.

Alterations in pituitary function after pituitary surgery will vary according to the preoperative hormone dysfunctions of the patient, amount of pituitary tissue damaged or removed, and extent of postoperative edema in the region of the hypothalamus and the pituitary. Cortisol may need to be replaced at levels associated with major stressors during surgery. Surgery is an effective pituitary tumor treatment. It is one of the methods that patients and the medical team decide to do.

The Glossopharyngeal Nerve and Vagus Nerve (Cranial Nerves IX and X) and Their Disorders

Since these two cranial nerves are intimately connected, they are described here together. The glossopharyngeal nerve has a sensory and motor component. The motor fibers arise from the nucleus ambiguous located in the lateral part of the medulla. Along with the vagus and accessory nerves, they leave the skull through the jugular foramen. They supply the stylopharyngeus muscle function function is to elevate the pharynx. Autonomic afferent fibers of the glossopharyngeal nerve arise from the inferior salivatory nucleus. The preganglionic fibers pass to the otic ganglion through the less superior petrosal nerve. and postganglionic fibers pass through the auriculotemporal branch of the fifth nerve to reach to reach the Parotid gland. The nuclei of the sensory fibers of the glossopharyngeal nerve are located in the petrous ganglion which lies within the petrous bone below the jugular foramen and also the superior ganglion, which is small. The exteroceptive fibers supply the faucial tonsils, posterior wall of the pharynx, part of the soft palate and taste sensations from the posterior third of the tongue.

The vagus : This is the longest among all the cranial nerves. The motor fibers arise from the nucleu ambiguus and supply all the muscles of the pharynx, soft palate and larynx, with the exception of tensor veli palati and stylopharyngeus. The parasympathetic fibers arise from the dorsal efferent nucleus and leave the medulla as preganglionic fibers of the craniosacral portion of the autonomous nervous system. These fibers terminate on ganglia close to the viscera which they supply by post-ganglionic fibers. The are parasympatahetic in function. Thus vagal stimulation products bradycardia, bronchial constriction, secretion of gastric and pancreatic juice and increased peristalsis. The sensory portion of the vagus has its nuclei in the jugular in ganglion and ganglion nodosum. The vagus carries sensations from the posterior aspect of the external auditory meat and adjective pinna and pain sensation from the duramater lining the posterior cranial fossa.

Testing : It is better to test the 9th and 10th nerve functions together as they are affected usually together. Inquire for symptoms like dysphagia, dysarthria, nasal regurgitation of fluids and hoarseness of voice. The motor part is tested by examining the uvula when the patient is made to open his mouth. The Uvula is usually in the midline. In unilateral vagal paralysis, the palatal arch is flattened and lowered ipsilaterally. On phonation, the uvula is deviated to the normal side.

The gag reflex or the pharyngeal reflex is elicited by applying a stimulus, such as a tongue balde or cotton to the psoterior pharyngeal wall or tonsillar region. If the reflex is present, there will be elevation and contraction of the pharyngeal musculature accompanied by retraction of the tongue. The afferent arch of this reflex is reserved by the glossopharyngeal while the efferent is through the vagus. This reflex is lost in either 9th or 10th nerve lesions. Test for general sensations over the posterior pharyngeal wall, soft palate and faucial tonsils, and taste over the posterior third of the tongue. These are impaired in glossopharyngeal paralysis.

Disorders of ninth and tenth nerve functions
Isolated involvement of either nerve is rare and usually they are involved together, often the eleventh and twelve nerves may also be affected. Glossopharyngeal neuralgia resembles trigeminal neuralgia, but it is much less common. It occurs as paroxysmal intense pain originating in the throat from the tonsillar fossa. It may be associated with bradycardia and in such cases it is called vegoglossopharyngeal neuralgia. A trial of phenytoin or carbamazepine is usually effective in relieving pain. Brain stem lesions like motor neuron disease, vascular lesions such as lateral medullary infarction or bulbar poliomyelitis can affect these nerves together resulting in bulbar palsy. Posterior fossa tumors and basal meningitis may involve these nerves outside the brain stem. Complete bilateral vagal paralysis is incompatible with life. Involvement of the recurrent laryngeal nerves, especially the left, occurs in thoracic lesions and this produces only hoarseness of voice without dysphagia.

What Are Compression Socks

Compression socks and compression stockings are hosiery items specifically designed to help with blood circulation. Through the day, the bodies blood supply will tend to pool in the lower extremitudes, the feet and legs. If left unattended this may cause certain circulatory problems such as edema, phlebitis, and thrombosis. All three of these conditions are painful and can result in damage to the legs and feet. Elevation of the feet and legs will help to counteract the pooling by allowing gravity to work to bring the blood supply back to the core but this only offers temporary relief.

Compression socks and stockings can be worn during the day, when it is necessary to be on your feet, in order to help stop pooling and assist in circulation. This is accomplished by having a graduated pressure application built into the socks. These socks are generally constructed of elastic type material such as lycra, spandex, or rubber. The compression is built in tighter at the foot and then is less near the top of the sock. This design helps the body to pump the pooling blood back out of the foot, up the leg, and back to the heart and lungs so the body waste can be removed and the blood flow can be re-oxygenated.

People who are forced to stand for long periods of time at their occupation often times find relief from leg cramps and foot pain by using these socks whenever they work. If a person has poor blood circulation it is very important to assist the heart in removing the excess blood from the feet and legs in order to combat the possibility of blood clotting in the arteries and veins. Blood clots can cause serious damage to the body and even death if they break loose and travel to a major organ such as the heart or brain.

Athletes will also use compression hosiery at times for added support while running, jumping, and quick movements. But the majority of people use them for support due to circulatory problems.

Causes of Toenail Fungus and Fingernail Fungus

Nail fungus is unsightly, difficult to treat and difficult to prevent.

This frustrates many people and leads them to taking the toxic drug Lamisil.

Learn what causes nail fungus:

* Trauma: when a nail is hit against something, the nail lifts from the nail bed allowing fungus to creep under the nail and set in. If the nail is protected immediately after, fungus may be prevented. Ask your doctor how to prevent bacteria and fungi from getting under your nail bed. Salt water soaks, hydrogen peroxide, betadine, gentian violet all may help. However, be careful as these can be contraindicated with certain types of trauma – especially severa trauma. Ask your doctor.

* Environment: when a nail is exposed to wet areas, high humidity, warm temperatures, or alkaline environment [high pH], this sets up the opportune spot for fungus to set in. Create a dry, breathable and acidic environment. Vegetarians are more prone to fungus as their diet is highly alkaline. Soap is alkaline forming but it is also anti-bacterial so what to do there? Skin is supposedly to be slightly acidic so use moisturizers that promote that. Moor mud moisturizers provide an acidic pH. Use all cotton or all wool socks as these breathe well. Avoid synthetic socks which do not wick water away from your feet.

* Weak immune function: if the immune system is not functioning strongly, it can not fight local infections such as fungus. Support the immune system with proper diet, rest, exercise and supplements.

* Poor blood circulation: without proper blood flow to an area, the immune system can not get there. Then fungus can set it. Also poor blood flow leads to poor nail nutrition allowing the nail bed to be traumatized more easily – trauma may lead to nail fungus. Exercise, dress appropriately and consider contrast showers. They warm you up and increase circulation.

These are some of the major causes of nail fungus. Read our other articles explaining how to treat nail fungus naturally.

Absence Epilepsy – Symptoms, Causes and Treatment

Absence Epilepsy is characterized by the occurrence of absence seizures which are also known as petit mal seizures. This type of epilepsy is most commonly seen in children as compared to adults. In this form of epilepsy, the child may suffer from recurrent absence seizures during which they have a sudden and brief lapses of consciousness.

It appears as though the child is staring into space for a few seconds, he or she looks lost and then suddenly regains consciousness and continues to do the work that they were doing. Some children develop several such attacks during the entire day, and each attack may last for a few seconds, rarely for a few minutes. Most children outgrow absence seizures by the time they enter their teenage years. In few others however this form of epilepsy may continue through teenage and early adolescent years and rarely all through life.

Symptoms of absence epilepsy:

During each seizure the child may show some of the following signs:

  • Child may have a vacant stare; just stare into space without knowledge of the events occurring around them.
  • Children do not have falls with any seizure episode, but appear completely motionless during an attack.
  • Some children develop lip smacking, chewing motions and movements of their hands.
  • Some develop fluttering of their eyelid and some movements of both their arms.

These marks last for a few seconds, following which the child regains consciousness and has recovered completely. The child does not develop any form of confusion. They do not have any memory of the incident. Here if a parent or a teacher inquires about the incident, the child is not able to explain any abnormal phenomenon. In fact if nobody notices the signs during the attack, absence epilepsy goes completely unnoticed.

If a child experiences several such attacks during a day, his or her academic performance may be at stake. Such children are unable to concentrate and pay attention in class and as a result of this there can a consider declination in the child's performance in school.

Causes of Absence Epilepsy:

So far, no cause has been found for absence seizures. However it may run in families. Seizures are caused due to abnormal activity of the brain cells. Any abnormality in the production, discharge or provision of nerve impulses in the brain causes seizures. However the cause for abnormal production of electrical signals in the brain of a child suffering from absence epilepsy is unknown.

Treatment of Absence Epilepsy:

If you have noticed any of the symptoms of absence epilepsy in your child, you must consult your doctor at the earliest. To begin with your doctor may advice your child certain tests like blood tests, EEG or MRI of the brain. These tests are essential to rule out any organic problem as a cause for seizures.

There are several medications available for decreasing the frequency and controlling the absence seizures like Ethosuximide, Valproic acid and Lamotrigine. The doctor may start your child on one of these medications. You must remember to administer these medications regularly to your child, as it is essential to maintain adequate drug levels in the blood.

Please consult your doctor for the proper diagnosis and treatment of absence epilepsy.

Health is Wealth – Do You Agree?

I agree whole-heartedly with the saying “Health Is Wealth”. If a person is not healthy then he or she will find it very difficult or even impossible to enjoy life, even though he or she may be very rich.

If I am asked to choose one from two of the following things, which will I prefer: health without wealth, or, wealth without health? Without hesitation I will choose the former. There is no doubt.

Wealth is generally associated with how much money a person has, that is, how rich he is. An uncle of mine is very rich. He has just about everything anyone can hope for, and some things no one dares to hope for. That is how rich he is. He lives in a huge mansion guarded by huge dobermans and sophisticated burglar alarms. He has expensive cars, furniture, paintings and other rich man’s toys. Well, he has everything except good health.

Everywhere he goes he carries with him a bag of medicine. He has to take pills everyday for his weak heart, diabetes and hypertension. He is about sixty years old and has spent his life accumulating wealth. Without doubt he has succeeded in becoming very rich. However he has also succeeded in becoming very unhealthy too. He laments about his lack of health and says that how he wished that he was young and healthy again. Unfortunately, he cannot regain his health again.

This example of wealth without health is not what I want to follow. It is ridiculous to have so much material wealth but being unable to enjoy it. What is the use of money when one has to take so much medicine everyday just to stay alive? How can one enjoy life when one’s body is weakened by disease and pain? No wonder my uncle laments so.

Health without wealth is far better. That is what I have now. I do not have to worry even a bit about what I can eat or do. I eat and do what I like because my body is healthy. Of course I do not abuse it by taking drugs or overexerting myself. I take good care of my body. In that way I stay healthy.

With health I can go about my work with joy. If I become rich, then that is fine. Then again, I may lose my riches, but that is all right too. I can always do the things I enjoy whether I am rich or not. I can play games, swim in the sea, climb hills, eat delicious fruits and appreciate the things of this beautiful Earth. This is indeed wealth – to be healthy and joyous.

15 Essential Oils That Can Help You Heal Post Surgery

Below you'll find a list of common essential oils that can be used post surgery and the affect each oil has on the mind and body. Typically, essentials oils have both a physical as well as mental applications. Along with the list of their names is an explanation of how each oil is used for both physical and mental ailments.

Your doctor may prescribe a medication, post surgery that could negatively interact with herbal remedies. Therefore, it is extremely important to consult with your doctor before incorporating herbal remedies into your healing routine.

1. Bay
Physical Effects: Settles digestive system and eases general aches and pains.
Mental / Emotional Effects: Triggers inspiration.

2. Chamomile
Physical Effects: Relieves migraines and headaches, insomnia, and bowel disorders.
Mental / Emotional Effects: Relaxes the mind.

3. Eucalyptus
Physical Effects: Eases respiratory problems and arthritis and injuries fatigue.
Mental / Emotional Effects: Encourage mental concentration and focus.

4. Fennell
Physical Effects: Stimulates appetite and trees bloated stomach, constipation, and other digestive problems.
Mental / Emotional Effects: Boasts courage.

5. Ginger
Physical Effects: Relieves nausea, indigestion, morning sickness and improvements poor circulation.
Mental / Emotional Effects: Alleviates feelings of loneliness and low libido.

6. Jasmine
Physical Effects: Heals dry skin, stretch marks, and scars.
Mental / Emotional Effects: Eases nervousness and tension.

7. Juniper
Physical Effects: Heals swollen joints and muscle fatigue.
Mental / Emotional Effects: Alleviates tension and stimulates the nervous system.

8. Lavender
Physical Effects: Treats insomnia and acts as an antiseptic.
Mental / Emotional Effects: Soothes irritability, depression, and stress.

9. Lemongrass
Physical Effects: Treats pain associated with nerve conditions and rheumatism.
Mental / Emotional Effects: Increases energy.

10. Patchouli
Effects on the Body: Prevents fluid retention and speeds healthy skin cell regeneration.
Mental / Emotional Effects: Fights anxiety and depression.

11. Peppermint
Effects on the Body: Reduces skin redness and itchiness and prevents flatulence.
Mental / Emotional Effects: Stimulates creativity.

12. Rose
Effects on the Body: Repairs broken capillaries and stimulates the liver and gall bladder.
Mental / Emotional Effects: Helps with grief and anger.

13. Sandalwood
Effects on the Body: Clears asthma, cough, bronchitis, and other chest infections.
Mental / Emotional Effects: Relaxes nervous tension and stress, and it's an aphrodisiac.

14. Tea Tree
Effects on the Body: Treats gum infections and mouth ulcers, skin and scalp irritations.
Mental / Emotional Effects: Restores balance and clarity.

15. Ylang-ylang
Effects on the Body: Balances overly-dry and / or overly-oily skin.
Mental / Emotional Effects: Relieves fear, panic, shock and the associated rapid heartbeat and breathing.

Because of their concentrated nature, essential oils generally should not be directly applied to the skin in their undiluted form. Some oils can cause severe irritation and even provoke an allergic reaction. To prevent this, always blend essential oils with vegetable-based "carrier" oil before applying to your skin. Some common carrier or base oils include olive, almond, hazelnut and grapeseed.

The above list of essential oils and their uses is certainly not exhaustive and the ones mentioned here have healing properties not listed. Also, there are many, many more essential oils available that aid in healing. This is a basic list commonly used and easily found at many local health stores.

While essential oils can be a beneficial aid in post surgery healing ~ as mentioned in the beginning of this article, always speak with your doctor before adding any type of herbal remedies to your healing regimen.

Nobel Peace Prize Winner Makes the Kind of Difference All of Us Can Be Part Of

Peace Prize winner

The surprise choice of this year's Nobel Peace Prize, Bangladesh Professor Muhammad Yunus and his Grameen Bank, applied a simple idea and are making a huge difference in the world. By offering small loans to poverty-stricken entrepreneurs in third-world countries, Professor Yunus is providing the means for free enterprise to begin to transform communities and historically nations. In particular, women are benefitting from the availability of micro-credit. Now banks and other institutions elsewhere in the world are starting similar programs modeled on Grameen Bank's initiatives.

In an interview just after learning he won, Professor Yunus said this:
… [P] overty in the world is an artificial creation. It does not belong to human civilization, and we can change that, we can make people come out of poverty and have the real state of affairs. So the only thing we have to do is to redesign our institutions and policies, and there will be no people who will be suffering from poverty …. People come out of poverty every day. So it's right in front of us what happens and it can be done globally, it can be done more forcefully, we can organize more things to go with it, so this is something not theoretical issue, it's a very real issue …. We did not do anything special; lend money to the people so – but they never lent it to the poor people – all we did was lent it to the poor people, and that makes the trick. That makes the change.

(You can get the interview in text or audio at the Nobel website.)

The amazing difference between this strategy and all the failures of the past is that here is someone taking a proactive approach to the seemingly intractable problems surrounding him. His motives are not alt altistic; His bank is actually turning a profit.

Why can not the rest of the world take a lesson from Professor Yunus and either adopt or adapt his strategy? When we do, an amazing societal metamorphosis is possible.

The Proactive Messiah

The Lord Jesus Christ took a similar approach when He "went around doing good" (Acts 10:38). He invested in people, communicating to them that they had value and tremendous potential. He convinced them that He believed in them and that He was willing to sacrifice for their benefit.

As His Follower, Accept His Challenge!

Jesus challenges His followers to do the same in their world. "Give to the one who asks something of you, and do not turn away from the one who would borrow from you. … That you may be sons of your Father in heaven. good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous "(Matthew 5:42, 45).

Your investment need not be money. The person you meet may only need a moment's attention, eye contact, an open smile, a friendly conversation, a ride of a few blocks, or directions in an unfamiliar part of town. You have the opportunity to communicate that you care, that you think he or she has worth as a human being, that you do not view them as an "untouchable."

As they respond to your kindness, warm up to your proffered friendship, it's time to confess Christ. In simple ways that are not abrasive, you can let them know that you follow Jesus, and that makes all the difference in your life. It's because of Him that you see hope – hope for our world and hope for them. Because He has invested in you, you are willing to invest in them.

Be proactive – make a change for the better in the world around you.

Want to go deeper?

Palestine of the first century was filled with beggars. These needy people were constantly asking for money and seeking other assistance. Jesus certainly had the power to wave His hand and heal them all in an instant. Why did not He? Because He had a higher purpose.

He was not content to cure paralysis of the limbs and blindness of the eyes. His intention was to reach down into the soul and bringing healing to a paralysis of the will and blindness of the heart. He did not have to touch people to heal them; He proved that on occasion. His touch was therapeutic on a degree level more than just eradicating disease and deformity. It communicated love, acceptance, and esteem in an awesome, life-changing way.

Do you own study of these passes: cleansing a leper – Mark 4: 40-45; healing a deaf mute – Mark 7: 31-37; blessing the children – Matthew 19: 13-15; and healing two blind men – Matthew 20: 29-34.

Look also at the times when He bought and / or accepted help from someone. What did this communicate? Are we merely patronizing people, or do we see them as our companions in life's journey?

Take a look at these accidents: asking for a drink – John 4: 4-42; asking for a place to stay in a strange town – Luke 19: 1-10; accepting a gift of gratitude from a friend – John 12: 1-8. Read also Paul's command in Romans 12: 14-20, and ask yourself, "What would the world be like if we made this our lifestyle?"

Otitis Media Treatment – Discover the Secrets to the Most Successful

Typical otitis media treatment is with antibiotics. This may resolve the whole issue in many children. But an increasing number of children are becoming resistant to them. You can see this by the number of times the condition returns.

It's worth knowing that antibiotics lowers the immune system. Many parents are now becoming concerned, and rightly so, about using antibiotics on their children.

It's far better to allow a child's immune system to try to cure their ailments unaided. By allowing for this possibility, you are ensuring your child will grow up with a healthy immune system, one that will stand them in good stead all their lives.

However, there are times when you need to give them some help. And you can do that so elegantly by using homeopathic medicines.

One of the best homeopathic medicines for otitis media treatment is Chamomilla. This diverse medicine can resolve some ugly symptoms so easily.

But you need to be able to match the symptom picture of your child's condition to that of the medicine. So let's see what the strong keynote symptoms of Chamomilla are:

  • any ear condition, where the child seems to be over sensitive to the pain
  • any condition of your child, where you feel at the end of your patience
  • the pain is worse for touch and worse if wind blows on the affected part
  • the child may be irritable and / or capricious – demands something then throws it away
  • maybe worse at around 9 am or 9 pm
  • the child demands to be transported

The best otitis media treatment, the most successful, is with the use of homeopathic medicines, which work by boosting the immune system. You can not get better than that.