Swine Flu – Enough's Enough

Are you one of the scared or one of the tired of hearing about it? It seems most people now fall into one of these categories when the topic of the swine flu comes up.

I am not one of the scared.

It was after reading a newsletter from Dr. Julian Whitaker, MD, that I decided to follow his footsteps and put in my two cents (and common sense) as well by writing this article.

As the global pandemic alert levels continue to climb, media jumps to find the most shocking pieces to report and government protect itself by taking strong action. Despite the fact that there has only been one reported death in the United States, a toddler brought in from Mexico, Governments around the world are declaring states of public emergency. Countries are cutting flights to Mexico. President Obama is requesting billions of dollars to be spent on monitoring the disease, stocking up on medicines, and to help other countries. Countries are baking pork products. Stores are running out of surgical masks. The World Health Organization is warning countries not to lower their guard.

Some perspective:

  • "Nearly all infections outside of Mexico have been mild and only a handful of patients have needed hospital treatment."
  • According to research conducted at the World Influenza Center in the UK, "Preliminary analysis of the swine flu virus suggests it is a fairly mild strain, scientists say."
  • "Common seasonal flu kills 250,000 to 500,000 people every year worldwide, far more than the current outbreak of swine flu."

Some Traditional Chinese Medicine solutions:

I can not predict the future. I do know, however, that the best way to not get the swine flu is to not get sick. 🙂 So, how do you avoid getting sick? Or, at least, how do you not get too sick? You support your whole body, including your immune system.

Written 2000 years ago, the book Su Wen ("Plain Questions"), a TCM classic, states that "If 'zheng Qi' [the functioning of the body] remains strong, 'xie Qi' [viruses, bacteria, parasites, etc .] can not invade the body. 'Zheng Qi' must be weak for the invasion of 'xie Qi' to take place.

Part of that is certainly to strengthen your immune system, which TCM referes to as 'wei Qi' or defensive Qi. Herbs such as huang qi (astralagus), ling zhi (reishi mushroom), and dong chong xia cao (cordyceps) are powerful immune stimulants. Herbs that help kill a virus or bacteria include ban lan gen (isatis root), lian qiao (forsythia fruit), and jie geng (balloon flower rhizome). One challenge is that because each virus and bacteria can have very different properties, and because each herb affects the body differently, you are best to talk with a qualified TCM herbalist or TCM doctor to determine what will work for you if you come down with a flu.

In addition, because all your body's systems are interconnected, you will want to make sure that your digestive system, cardiovascular system, reproductive system, respiratory system, and nervous system are also addressed. Injured? Take care of that so that your body can focus on other health issues. And, I did not even mention your emotional wellness-feeling down can make you more susceptible to illness.

Acupuncture can also be used to build your defenses and balance to your whole body, not to mention the major reason why people come to see me-to relieve stress.

Stuff You Can Do:

  • Get enough sleep
  • Wash your hands (just use regular soap; let's not keep creating more superbugs with all the chemical antibacterial products out there; wash your hands while singing "Happy Birthday" in your head so that you know that you've washed long enough)
  • De-stress (meditate, breathe, find a hobby)
  • Eat healthy (more veggies, less sugar; more whole foods, less processed foods)
  • Listen to your body. If you feel the beginning of a cold or flu, slow down, take some immune boosting supplements listed below, get more sleep, and try to avoid infecting others (stay home and maybe do as the Japanese do and wear a mask when you're sick so that all others do not have to)
  • Take vitamin C, essential fatty acids (fish oils, flax oil, hemp oil, etc.), probiotics (good bacteria have been shown to stimulate the immune system)
  • If you start to succumb, find a good herbal immune product. I have my favorites-FluStop, manuka honey, oregano oil, and customized TCM herbal formulas.
  • And, above all, do not panic. Panic and stress stimulate your adrenal glands to pump out adrenaline which will send you into a state of fight or flight. That brings blood away from "non-vital" systems for your immediate survival-immune system included-and to your heart to pump more blood and your muscles to get ready to move! Continued stress causes your body to release cortisol which further weakens your immune system.

Top Reasons to Consider Acupuncture for Glaucoma Treatment

Millions of people in America and around the world are affected by glaucoma, a cluster of eye disorders that can result in optical nerve damage, peripheral vision loss and eventually blindness. This disorder usually progresses gradually and alternative therapies such as acupuncture for glaucoma can be effective in preserving the health of the optic nerve and vision, especially if the condition is diagnosed at an early stage.

What Causes Glaucoma?

There are different types of glaucoma and researchers are still in the process of understanding how each type of glaucoma causes damage to the optic nerve. For chronic open-angle glaucoma, it is understood that intraocular pressure gradually increases due to improper fluid drainage from canals in the eye. This leads to an accumulation of fluid that gradually damages the optic nerve and retina. Lack of blood flow to the optic nerve and retina is also observed in many types of glaucoma which gradually leads to retinal nerve cell damage and loss of peripheral vision even though the eye pressure does not go up. Acupuncture for glaucoma is a non-surgical method that can deliver positive results in the form of decreased intraocular pressure and improved fluid and blood circulation, especially when the eye drop caused so much irritation to the eyes and still cannot bring down the eye pressure.

Who is at Risk?

Anyone can develop glaucoma but some groups are at a higher risk than others. If you’re over sixty, an African-American over the age of forty, if you have near-sightedness, diabetes or a family history of glaucoma, you could fall in the high-risk category. Because glaucoma tends to progress gradually, it often remains undiagnosed and untreated before damage is already done. If you’re at a higher risk, it’s important to get your eyes examined by a qualified ophthalmologist every year to rule out the disorder or catch it at an early stage.

Treatment Options for Glaucoma

There are a wide variety of treatments for glaucoma including eye drops, laser surgery and conventional surgery to name a few. Acupuncture for glaucoma can be considered as a complimentary therapy to preserve and improve optic nerve health, vision and reduce the dry eyes. A combination of early detection, diet, acupuncture, Chinese medicines and medical treatment is the ideal plan to slow down the process of glaucoma and maintain the optic nerve function.

Positive Effects of Acupuncture

You might be wondering why acupuncture can be used to treat glaucoma and if it’s really worthwhile to try. Depending on patient’s condition and severity of glaucoma, an acupuncturist will develop an individual plan for each patient. A series of treatments (24 to 36) involving the use of very fine acupuncture needs at various points of the body may be recommended. Further treatment depends on how well your body responds. When done by a qualified and trained acupuncturist, acupuncture for glaucoma has many positive effects including decreasing intraocular pressure, improving fluid and blood circulation in the eye and improving peripheral vision. Considering all these benefits, acupuncture is a therapy worth considering for glaucoma relief and nerve regeneration.

If you’re ready to try this treatment, make an appointment with an experienced acupuncturist trained in Chinese medicine!

Why Fertility Doctors Now Recommend Acupuncture

Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) includes acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine. It has successfully treated infertility, gynecological, male factor, and many other illnesses and health problems facing couples for 5,000 years. Western medicine as we know it is just over 200 years old. TCM protocols differ from the procedures used in Western medicine-but their use offers hope for many for whom Western medicine is trying to or who has not yet helped. Several studies prove that your chances of conception, pregnancy and take home baby rates are increased when using acupuncture wherever you are trying naturally or in conjunction with IUI or IVF. Some reports indicate a 40-60% improvement rate when used concurrently. Unexplained infertility is increasing rapidly for both men and women. The benefits of acupuncture in treating infertility have proven to be significant and many couples may be helped sooner on this journey by exploring TCM.

So how does it work?

TCM treats holistically, balancing, nourishing and supporting your blood and organ systems. A balanced body system is necessary for a male to have an adequate sperm count, motility and morphology and for a woman to make good follicles, good eggs, sufficient uterine lining and to help prevent miscarriage. Our body becomes "out of sync" with chronic stress, overwork, poor nutrition, long term use of medicines, exposure to toxins and chemicals, smoking, alcohol use, etc. Your body is like a "circuit board connecting with your brain". Life is busy and stressful for most of us … so it is easy for our bodies to "shut down" and be unbalanced. It is like some of the switches on our "circuit board" have been turned off creating blockages causing physical or emotional imbalances. TCM restores balance and blood flow and opens up our "circuit boards" so that the body better functions without stress or duress. The body and endocrine system feel safe and in better working order to conceive, carry and deliver!

TCM allows your body to function more efficiently and optimally and can:

• Improve and support your immune system.
• Reduce stress, anxiety, insomnia, fatigue and worry.
• Create calmness and a more "grounded" feeling.
• Reduce toxic effects of medicines.
• Regulate the menstrual cycle.
• Help normalize reproductive hormones.
• Promote blood blow to the uterus and ovaries.
• Improve ovarian function which includes substance and egg quantity and quality.
• Reduce uterine contractions after IVF assisting implantation.
• Reduce miscarriage and recurrent pregnancy loss (RPL).
• Assist in thickening the uterine lining.
• Improve sperm count, motility and morphology.

Does it hurt?
No, acupuncture is a very gentle and relaxing protocol! The needles are very thin -hairline. You may feel a tiny pinch or nothing. It is safe with little or no side effects. In fact, TCM practitioners treat children. Women can be treated all the way through pregnancy in high risk cases, or to counter the effects of morning sickness, fatigue, headaches, edema, back pain, etc.

What can I expect at my first visit?

The acupuncturist will go through your medical history and discuss your signs and symptoms. They look at your tongue and check your pulse and explain how they can best help you based on your symptoms and your fertility goals. Nutrition, diet and lifestyle are also important part of becoming pregnant and are discussed. She will explain an appropriate treatment plan for you. TCM practitioners work closely with fertility specialists and are an important part of an IUI or IVF cycle.

If you have unexplained infertility, male factor issues, are trying naturally or have had a poor response to IVF do not be discouraged – conception, pregnancy and delivery is a journey and TCM is here to help each and everyone of you succeed.

"He, who has health, has hope, and he who has hope, has everything." –Chinese Proverb

Issues With Being Overweight During Pregnancy

Overweight is described as having a body mass index or BMI of 25 or more. Though a person requires a certain amount of body fat, an excess of it could alter the normal functioning of the body systems and therefore put you at risk of having health problems. During pregnancy, there are many changes that occur in the body and being overweight increases the risk of having complications. Some of the issues with being overweight during pregnancy include gestational diabetes, high blood pressure, difficulties during prenatal examinations, delivery problems, and birth defects.

Gestational diabetes is a condition in which there is increased blood glucose level during pregnancy due to hormonal changes taking place in the body. The ability to properly utilize insulin during pregnancy diminishes resulting in insulin resistance, which leads to high blood glucose levels. This condition usually exhibits mild symptoms and may not be life threatening as the glucose level often goes back to normal after delivery.

Another issue is high blood pressure. Blood pressure usually increases during pregnancy but is well compensated in healthy pregnant women. However, overweight women have higher risks of developing gestational hypertension, a condition in which the blood pressure runs very high during pregnancy. This usually resolves after childbirth. However, it can lead to pre-eclampsia which is a severe condition of having high blood pressure, presence of protein in the urine as well as edema (swollen body parts). This does not only affect the mother, but it can also endanger the life of the baby. Very high blood pressure prevents the baby from acquiring adequate blood and oxygen, and this may lead to stillbirth.

Obese pregnant women are difficult-to-examine patients. The extra body fat limits the visualization of the fetus during ultrasound. The doctor may have a difficulty locating the fetal heart tones, and may miss out potential problems such as breech presentation, abnormal fetal growth, or reduced amniotic fluid.

Being overweight during pregnancy also raises the chance of the pregnant women having a cesarean delivery due to the multiple issues associated with it. Cesarean section is a major surgery, and it involves induction of anesthesia, which is difficult to perform in obese women. The reaction to the anesthesia itself could also threaten the life of the mother as it could drop the blood pressure rapidly. The risks and complications of cesarean section also include infection, increased blood loss, abnormal bowel or bladder function, adjacent organ injuries, or even death. Cesarean delivery also puts the newborns at risk of being born prematurely for having an inaccurate calculation, breathing difficulties, low Apgar scores, fetal injury, or other problems requiring prolonged intensive care.

In addition, being overweight during pregnancy also raises the issue among the newborns potentially becoming obese in their childhood and having birth defects such spinal cord, brain and heart defects.

With all these issues with being overweight during pregnancy, it is important for pregnant women to have prenatal checkups so that their doctors can monitor them and their babies properly, and so that they will be given appropriate instructions regarding proper diet and exercise. They must also be compliant with their doctors’ recommendations to make sure they have a healthy baby and to help them stay fit not only during pregnancy but also after delivery.

Does Oregano Oil Really Work?

People who are not familiar with the healing benefits of pure oregano oil are often in disbelief when told about this all natural healing product. That fact is pure oil of oregano has countless healing properties we can’t even begin to imagine. Take for example my good friend Leo, which by the way is not his real name but indeed a real person with all assurance being true. Leo was able to treat his tetanus infection with oregano overnight.

The story starts with Leo working one weekend at his cousin’s carpet installing company. He often worked with his cousin on weekends to earn extra cash. One weekend in particular Leo had been with his cousin in the basement of an old friend, pulling the old carpet to install new flooring.

Unfortunately the carpeting was so old and moldy that the nails holding the carpet strips were rusty and filled with mold as well. As the story goes, Leo, unaware that a piece of nail strip was still attached to the carpet, pulled the carpet and punctured his hand with the rusty nail. Later that night, Leo recanted that he started to feel numbness in his arm and could see his skin turning purple. Surely there was something wrong, he thought to himself. So Leo, not having any insurance and fully aware of the healing properties of oregano, commenced to treat himself by applying a few drops of oil directly on his wound.

As he explains, it was like a shot of fire running through his veins. He later explains that he was able to see his arm turning red with a burning sensation rushing up his arm. It burned like heck, but for sure the oregano oil was at work. The following day Leo’s arm was totally back to normal with the two small punctures being the only sign of a once infected arm.

Leo is indeed an extremist when it comes to his use of herbal products. I don’t recommend trying what he did. However the fact is it worked great for him under extreme circumstance. If you plan on using pure oregano oil, be sure to consider the following very important facts:

  • Know the level of purity and potency of the oil. There are several brands available on the market. You should know that the level of potency is not the same for each. Ask your merchant if the oil contains any binders or fillers.
  • Have a full understanding of the proper dosage to take for your particular ailment, and how to apply or consume each dosage.
  • Understand the specific healing benefits.

Individuals unfamiliar with the healing powers of pure oregano oil often listen to Leo’s story with disbelief, however, the story is true and his experience may help you treat yourself with the powerful healing properties of oil of oregano.

Your Baby's Vaccinations – DTaP

One of the worst times in a young mother's life is the first time that she has to take her baby to be vaccinated. It probably others her more than it does the infant. Looking at her baby's vaccination schedule, the new mother can tell which shot that her baby is receiving, but she may have no idea about what it is for. Understanding what disease that a vaccine is used against can help a young mother understand the need for them.

One of the most common vaccines on a vaccination schedule is DTaP or just DPT, which stands for diphtheria, tetanus, and petussis. Diphtheria is a respiratory disease caused by bacteria. It is spread by coughing and sneezing and usually begins as a sore throat and a low-grade fever. This disease can cause the airway to become obstructed. Without treatment, this obstruction can lead to a coma and even death.

Tetanus (also called Lockjaw) is a disease that is caused by bacteria and affects the nervous system. It usually enters through a break in the skin (most people associate it with stepping on a rusty nail), and causes lockjaw, stiffness in the neck and abdomen, and difficulty swallowing in the first stages. Later symptoms can include severe muscle spasms, severe autonomic nervous disorders, and generalized tonic seizure-like activity. This disease results in death in about 10% to 20% of patients.

Pertussis Disease is another respiratory disease that is caused by bacteria. It is also spread by coughing and sneezing. This disease's symptoms resemble those of a common cold. These include a runny nose, sneezing, a low-grade fever, and a cough. After a couple of weeks, the victim may experience bursts of numerous rapid coughs. Recovery could take months. This disease can have serious complications including bacterial pneumonia and rib fractures. In infections it can lead to apnea (breathing stops), seizures, encephalopathy, and death.

The DTaP vaccination protects a child from all three of these diseases. Beginning at the age of two months, infections are given five different doses of this vaccine up until they are eighteen months old. The second dose should be given at the age of four months. The third should follow at the age of six months. The fourth dose should be administrated at the age of eighteen months. A fifth vaccination should be given to a child between four and six years of age.

Along with the DTaP vaccine, there are other vaccines available to prevent diphtheria, tetanus, and pertissus. DT can be used as a substitution vaccine for children who can not take the pertissus vaccine. Td is a tetanus-diphtheria vaccine that is the tetanus shot that is familiar to most people. These are booster shots that are given to adolescents and adults every ten years, except an injury occurs. TdaP is the same as Td except that this shot contains the pertissus vaccine and is recommended for children eleven to twelve years of age.

The fact that adults receive booster shots of the tetanus vaccine can be used as proof of how dangerous these diseases are. Anyone with an infant should make sure that their child gets his vaccinations done. The consequences of not doing so could be deadly.

Treatment for Nearsightedness – Simple Fix for Myopia

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

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

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

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

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

Eye glasses and contact lenses

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

Eye Surgery

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

Using Natural Methods

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

The Proven Health Benefits of Riding an ATV or Off-Road Motorcycle

Good news! The “first ever comprehensive probe of the fitness and health benefits of all-terrain vehicle (ATV) and off-road motorcycle (ORM) recreational riding” proves riding is as good as it feels.

The study

Conducted over several years by the York University Faculty of Health, co-supported by the Government of Nova Scotia and 3 riding associations, the study began with a meticulous countrywide survey to determine the ‘typical’ rider.

That was the entire first phase of this huge experiment.

Then researchers observed 128 riders, divided into 6 groups: 3 age classifications, male and female. After modifying these riders’ equipment, they could measure physical effects: heart rate; oxygen consumption; muscle fatigue and exertion, etc.

The findings

Riding an off-road vehicle requires genuine and serious physical effort. According to Canadian government fitness standards, it should positively affect your health.

While riding, riders’ use of oxygen increased by 3.5 to 6 times their level at rest. That’s 600% more! And according to standards set by the American College of Sports Medicine, that constitutes moderately intense physical activity.

That same moderate intensity taxes the heart and fatigues the muscles. How much? About the same amount as those other individual sports you take at your own pace, like skiing, golf or climbing.

A typical ATV ride was 2-3 hours; ORM was 1-2 hours. The amount of work required in the upper body and arms, if practiced regularly, was enough to increase muscle and skeletal fitness. And how regularly did they need to ride to begin realizing that increase? Just once or twice a week!

The biggie

Researchers also noticed the emotional high that fit people always talk about: “enhanced quality of life and stress reduction”. This surprised no riders.

The Risk of a Stroke During Plastic Surgery

An Unspoken Concern

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

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

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

Who is at Risk?

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

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

Understanding the Potential Danger

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

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

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

Risk Factors For Patients

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

Reducing the Risk Factors for Safer Surgery

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

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

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

Causes of Seizures

Epilepsy is a group of disorders in which there are recurrent episodes of altered cerebral function associated with a seizure. The clinical manifestation of these seizures varies in effect from brief lapses of awareness to prolonged bouts of unconsciousness, lim jerking and incontinence.

There is no clear cause of seizures in many cases. However, in up to 40% of people with epilepsy there is a family history of epilepsy in a close relative. Genetic factors are there before a strong feature in the cause of seizures.

Lesions and seizures

Lesions (caused by either disease or injury) which involve the cerebral cortex are also likely to cause seizures. Partial seizures have the highest incidence of a detectable cortical lesion. This is particularly the case when the lesion is in the temporal lobe. Lesions can be caused by disease, brain damage at any age, meningitis, encephalitis and brain abscess, cerebrovascular disorders (such as stroke), cerebral tumors and degenerative diseases of the brain. However, it is also true that around three-quarters of patients with epilepsy have no evidence of an underlying lesion.

What can precipitate seizures?

A number of precipitating factors may provoke a fit in susceptible people or exacerbate established epilepsy. For example, causes can include sleep deprivation, hyperventilation, hypoglycemia and antidepressant drugs. Other factors which are also proven to provoke fits include alcohol and drug ingestion or withdrawal, high fever, anoxia, physical and mental exhaustion, a flickering light, visual patterns, and even procurement to television screens. Uncommon triggers for a seizure include loud noise, hot baths, music or reading.

Single seizures

Sometimes there can be a single seizure associated with some of these factors, such as a spike in temperature, alcohol use or drug withdrawal. These people would not be given a diagnosis of epilepsy my a medical professional, since epilepsy is by definition a chronic brain disorder characterized by recurrent seizures which occurs intermittently over an extended period of time.

Both children and adults with epilepsy have a higher than expected rate of psychiatric disorder. In children this increase can not simply be attributed as a reaction to the stress of coping with a chronic illness. It has been found that children with epilepsy were five times more likely to have psychiatric disorder than children with chronic handicaps not affecting the brain.

Incredible Bible Characters And Their Stories! – Gehazi

Great and lasting consequences!

Remember Pinocchio … the children's story of the little wooden puppet who nose great when he lied? Well I am reminded of Pinocchio whenever I think of Gehazi – one of the incredible bible characters and the consequences he suffered for lying. Gehazi was the servant of Elisha, a prophet in Israel, who was himself the successor to the great prophet, Elijah. Naaman was an important man in Syria. He was the captain of the host of the King but he suffered a great sickness; he was a leper. He had heard of the prophet Elisha from his wife's little maidservant [a girl of the captivity who had informed her mistress of the power that attended the prophet] and had traveled with the king's blessing and a letter of introduction to the King of Israel seek his recovery from his leprosy. He had come in grand style with horses and chariot and standing at Elisha's door seeking an audience. But Elisha did not receive Naaman personally and instead dispatched Gehazi, his servant to give some simple instructions to Naaman regarding his condition. Now Naaman was a mighty man in valor, highly valued by his master and honorable. He felt that owed to his stature he was due a much grander reception that he received; that at least he would have seen a performance of some ritual on the prophet's part. Disappointed, Naaman being wroth at the impersonal treatment he received from Elisha, the prophet, went away from him enraged thinking he had been slighted. But his own servants impressed upon him the folly of his response and he turned again and submitted to Elisha's instructions.

After he was healed he returned again to the prophet professing there is no God in all the earth but in Israel and urging him to accept compensation at his hand. But Elisha refused to accept anything from him.

Can not you just hear the wheels turning in Gehazi's head?

Observing this exchange Gehazi thought he would take advantage of the situation and followed after the Syrian to take of him that which he had offered Elisha thereby entertaining his deception. What followed were four lies. Three made to Naaman and finally one told to his master, Elisha.

Lie # 1: "My master hath sent me …

Lie # 2: there came to me from mount Ephraim two young prophets …

Lie # 3: give them a talent of silver and two changes of garments "…

Naaman not only granted his request butave him two talents of silver and two changes of garments and also an escort of two servants that bore the gifts before Gehazi. When the servants departed and he had hidden the "loot" in the house, Elisha asked him "… from where are you coming ?"

Lie # 4: "Thy servant went nowhere." to which Elisha replied, " Is it a time to receive money and garments, etc …?" then he cursed Gehazi with the leprosy of Naaman.

What's the lesson here?

We know that in Pinocchio's story he became a real boy but Gehazi and his seed after him had to live with the leprosy that clung to his body. [2Kings 5: 22-27]

It is unfortunate when we fall victim in areas that we should overcome. The stories of these bible characters are complete with examples for our learning and lest we heed we too will suffer needless consequences.

Till next time. God willing!

Karen

© 2014 Karen Hodge

Low Back Pain – Time to See a Chiropractor?

The lower back carries a great deal of responsibility. It is the center of our skeletal system and can bear a great deal of the body's weight, even when lifting is not executed properly. This is why there are many people in the world who frequently experience lower back pain, or "Lumbago."

Lower back pain can be caused by many different things including poor posture, strenuous exercise, lifting excess amounts of weight and general strain. Your age can also play a role in the health of your lower back.

Most people who experience frequent lower back pain get rid of it after a few weeks of general self-care. For those with frequent sever lower lower back pain or pain that does not go away after a few weeks it is time to seek medical care.

Some symptoms of lower back pain may be burning sensations, pains felt in a single area or overall, pain that comes on suddenly or gradually, stiffness and muscle spasms.

If you have a frequent lower back pain that will not ease up and you visit your chiropractor, he or she may do many different things. If your chiropractor believes your pain may be caused by a slipped disc, or other skeletal / bone issues, he or she may do an x-ray. After they evaluate your x-rays they will conclude as to what the best treatment may be.

For those that do not have very serous injuries to the back, Chiropractic care would be the ideal treatment. Chiropractic care is one of the safest methods of treatment. One of the most popular treatments that chiropractors use is called manipulation. Manipulation consistants of the chiropractor applying force to a joint. This force pushes it beyond its regular range of motion.

The theory behind manipulation is that when there is no movement of the spell it causes pain and reduced function. Manipulation adjusts the spine to where it needs to be. Some other treatments of lower back pain that chiropractors may use are massage therapy, ultrasound, electrical muscle stimulation or range of motion exercises.

Setting Up Your Display Case

One of the best ways to display photographs, memorabilia and other prized possession is by using a display case. When properly done, a display case can showcase your collectables for all to see in an elegant manner. Man has used display cases since the dawn of time to show off private possessions. Fortunately today there are hundreds of different styles to choose from.

Your first step towards creating a display masterpiece? Deciding the right display case. To do this you simply need to sit down and think about not only your collectibles, but also the space you have to display them in. Below you'll find some extra tips for selecting and setting up your ideal display case.

Display Case Tidbits

Whether you plan to display one treasured item or multiple items, it is important you set up your display case correctly. Doing so will ensure that visitors see your collectibles in the best light possible. You will also look on your display fondly for years to come when you take the time to set it up correctly. Here are some tips for setting up your display case correctly:

  • Select the best style display case for your items. Remember there are many different kinds of display cases. Some examples include flag display cases, football jersey display cases, sword display cases, die cast car display cases and more.
  • Select from the many different cases available including wooden display cases and metal ones.
  • Select what items you want to display. If you have many different items, you may consider more than one display case.
  • Group similar collectibles together. Plan to display like items with like.
  • Make note of the size and width of all items you plant to display. Plan to place smaller objects in front of larger ones.
  • Place all collectors of the same theme together in your display case.
  • Avoid placing too many items together as this will make your display seem overcrowded.
  • Use a mirror to reflect images in your display.
  • Clean items and display regularly to prevent dust build up.

Remember that less is more when it comes to a display. Often a single object looks wonderful when on display all by itself. Keep in mind if you are setting up a commercial display, like a commercial pet display case, you may use a different tactic for setting up your valuables. In this case you want to load your display with as much information about any items you are selling. You also want to make sure that your display case is kept need and regularly at all times. The better your display looks, the more customers you are likely to attract.

Keeping Your Display Case In Top Shape Year After Year

Many people mistakenly believe they can set up their display case once and then leave it. As with anything however, your display case will need monthly and annual upkeep. The most important thing you can do to protect your valuables is keep you display clean and free from debris. Remember dust loves to collect on anything that sits for a long period of time. Be sure to clean not just the surface of your display and outer corners, but also the inner nooks and crannies.

If you plan to display antiques or other prized collectibles, you may have to take great care to ensure you do not damage any items while cleaning. Check with a seasoned professional about cleaning any antiques before doing so. You want your display to look good, but you definitely also want your collectibles in top shape.

Be weary of fingerprints. More likely than not most of the time you will be cleaning fingerprints off your display case. This is especially the case if you own a commercial display case.

Last but not least, consider rotating the items in your display case every now and again. If you have several items you want to display you can always change them out, keeping your display looking fresh. Alternately you can add some accent items every now and again to help keep your display fresh. These may include silk or real flowers or other items of décor.

Erectile Dysfunction: Prelude to Heart Attack and Men’s Worst Fear

Erectile dysfunction is a prelude to a heart attack. The unspoken fear of millions of men all around the globe, ED as how others coin it, is a sign of an upcoming heart failure. With this, it is but wise to confer sexual wellbeing with your doctor. He probably is the only authority to prescribe the right medication to better your overall sexual health and the main man who can save you from a possible heart attack. Let me walk you through should you be one among the millions in hiding with erection failure.

What Is Erectile Dysfunction?

Erectile dysfunction is the failure to have penile erection and a burden to 1/3 of all mature men ages 40 to 70. Trigger factors include anxiety, depression, disorders of the nervous and circulatory system, poor testosterone production, and side effects of prolonged and indiscriminate drug use. And with the above triggers, it is poor circulatory system that cause a great damage with Atherosclerosis at the top of the list.

Atherosclerosis Explained

Atherosclerosis first affects men initially in the penis then to his heart and goes on to damage the arteries in his brain. Limbs usually end up affected last. Since its primary symptom is erectile dysfunction, one then should take it as an early warning of a stroke or cardiac arrest bound to happen in the next couple of years upon first noticing symptoms of erectile dysfunction. People with atherosclerosis have their blood vessels dilate ineffectively, hence the term endothelial dysfunction. Cholesterol in the bloodstream becomes plaque and constricts the walls of the blood vessels thereby narrowing down the passage of fresh oxygenated blood and high blood pressure sets in. Bad thing is, if the buildup of cholesterol plaque becomes massive, it can downright stop the passage of blood, thus the unfortunate event of a heart attack.

Measures To Take Upon Experiencing Erectile Dysfunction

Schedule a visit to your doctor. Don’t hold out on your concern. Getting embarrassed will do you no good. It may even be possible that if your doctor is a lot older than you are, he might as well be having ED himself. The usual procedure when getting some expert medical advice is, after telling him how frequent is your dysfunction, he will do a series of tests like taking your blood pressure and reading on your blood chemistry results. From here, he can pinpoint all risk factors causing the dysfunction.

Preventing Heart Attack

Generally, doctors recommendation are strict diet, regular exercise, and if necessary hand out medications. The first two is basic to having perfect heart health and Plan A to preventing atherosclerosis. Low salt, low saturated fat diet, cholesterol watch, optimum calorie intake goes a long way in keeping you away from a heart attack. More highly advanced medical procedures are available presently; but why wait for invasive procedures when we can start preventing the risk of atherosclerosis with a mere 5 minute walk each day? One other way to keep health perfect is to stop smoking. Cigarettes worsen people with diabetes and ED, and not a single health benefit does it bring.

Treatment for Erectile Dysfunction

Your doctor upon keeping your heart health stable will let you begin ED treatment. A common medication program includes a synthetic pill that works to inhibit PDE5. However, in as much as the positive results, other patients experience a handful of untoward side effects with the use of this type of medication with untimely deaths included on the list. It is for this reason that many, with many it means millions of men worldwide resorted to using herbal and natural male enhancers convinced with the fact that herbal alternative medicines carries no or lesser side effects. Among these ‘herbal viagra’ supplements as what many satisfied users fondly call it are Horny Goat Weed, Licorice Root, Gorgon Fruit Lily and Chinese Wolfberry.

In conclusion, a man suffers erectile dysfunction especially as he grows older. However, our main concern is preventing atherosclerosis whose primary indicator is erectile dysfunction. At the onset of sexual dysfunction, expect a heart attack or a failure in 4 to 5 years. But don’t be overly confident on this as some patients reported to having experience it as early as 2 years. Fix your sex life and you’re on the way to preventing a heart attack.

Respiratory Infection

Measles is a respiratory infection that is caused by a virus called paramyxovirus. This disease is spread by respiration or contact with fluids from an infected person. This is through droplet transmission from the nose mouth, or throat by sneezing or coughing. Person infected with this disease is said to be highly contagious for four days. The virus stays airborne for up to 2 hours after the infected person has left the room. The immunity of the person infected with this disease is said to be lifetime. It is a rare condition in which an infected person will be infected twice by rubeola.

Rubeola or measles often attack children which are less than a year old or those who have not completed their vaccination. For pregnant women, acquiring this disease may cause stillbirth, miscarriage or preterm delivery. Typically, measles starts with red eyes, cough, runny nose and fever. After two to three days, red spots called koplik's spot appears within the mouth. Symptoms are usually evident after10-12 days after exposing itself to the virus. Rashes show between five to seven days after the initial symptoms. Rashes start at the hairline that gradually spreads to the body including the feet and the hands. There is fine flaking or desquamation on the skin when rashes start to fade on the infected body.

There are several complications that can be associated with measures. These are pneumonia, ear infections and diarrhea. It can also include encephalitis which can cause mental retardation, convulsion and death, persistent brain inflammation and blindness. Blindness is said to be due to measures and poor nutrition at the same time. Encephalitis as a complication to measles is said to be dangerous that may result to death. Encephalitis usually starts six days after rashes appears and includes fever, drowsiness, headache, seizures, and vomiting.

Clinical method is often used to diagnose measles. Appearance and history of the patients concludes the diagnosis of the patient. The appearance of koplik's spot often helps in diagnosing the said condition. Blood test is also recommended to confirm measles because it can be misdiagnosed as rubella, Kawasaki disease, roseola, mountain spotted fever, drug rash or dengue. It is important to ask help from medical practitioner for correct diagnosis.

Treatment For measles focuses on the relief of the symptoms it has. It is best to isolate the infected person to prevent spread of the disease. Bed rest is also recommended until fever is gone and patient should be hydrated. Sometimes vitamin A supplementation is also advised. The best way to prevent measles is through measles immunization. It is a vaccine that includes immunization for mumps, measles, rubella and varicella and is given to kid not older that 12 years of age.

There are also people who are not to receive measles vaccine. These are people who have allergic reaction to measles vaccines and its components, pregnant women, HIV patients and cancer patients. Re vaccination is also required to people who are vaccinated for the first time at the age of 1yr or less. People vaccinated with KMV should also be vaccinated again.

When there are sign and symptoms of measles, it is best to consult a doctor to properly diagnose the disease and to prevent it from spreading and affecting other people.