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

Diseases Caused by Helminths

Diseases caused by Helminths are simply referred to as Heminthiasis and are common in the society today. It is estimated that more than 3 billion people live with helminths across the world. Heminthiasis refer to infections caused by parasites such as pin worms and wound worms. Normally, these worms target the intestinal tract, although an increase in number may force some of the worms to invade organs such as lungs and the heart.

The severity of the diseases caused by Helminths depends on the type of worm, as well as the affected body part. While in the intestinal tract, helminthes may cause abdominal pains, which may characterize stomach discomfort, cramps and stomach tenderness. Diarrhea is also a common symptom of helminthes. Other people may experience fever and fatigue, especially when one is suffering from bouts of diarrhea. If one does not take sufficient water during such times, they can easily suffer dehydration.

Apart from the digestive tract, the liver is the next common target for helminthes. When such occurs, one may suffer an enlarged liver, which is often because of localized swelling. More often than not, an enlarged liver go hand-in-hand with a swollen spleen. These two need urgent medical attention. Helminths may also attack the lung, and when such is the case, coughing is usually observed as a symptom.

Apart from allergies, helminths are the next leading cause of eosinophilia in humans. Eosinophilia is a condition where the blood registers abnormal amounts of eosinophils. Although these sub-groups of lymphocells play an important role in maximizing the immune system potent, they do not kill pathogens released by the helminthes, and without support from other immune cells, they are actually considered useless against other kinds of infections in the body.

Other diseases caused by helminths include chest pains, skin symptoms, bloody diarrhea, dehydration, anemia, bowel obstruction and mal-absorption. Since they suck nutrients from consumed foods, humans rarely get to enjoy the nutritious benefits of the foods they eat. In very severe cases, weight loss is observed. In children, helminths make the abdomen distended, which can easily be confused with malnutrition symptoms. In humans who the helminths have gained access to the nervous system, neurological problems may be observed.

Eye symptoms, such as itching, red and teary eyes may also indicate the presence of worms, while other people may present with malaise. Headaches, itchy skin, itchy anus and irritability are also some of the problems.

Some of the other diseases caused by helminth infections include elephantiasis, lymphatic filariasis, trichuriasis, ascariasis among others. Unless the parasitic worms are treated in good time, they continue reproducing in the human body thus increasing in numbers. The most common way of infection is through ingesting the larvae or eggs of the worms. One can also get infections through the skin, nose, anus, mouth or through sexual intercourse.

How to Stop Stammering – 5 Fast Facts

If you have a stammering condition, and want to know how to stop stammering, it's best to consider first a few facts:

1. Stammering can affect almost anyone – In America alone, there are over 3 million people who stutter. But it does not matter where in the world you live, how safe your environment is, or what kind of family background you have. Stammering affects a great deal of people from all walks of life. However, it is often common in young children who are still learning to speak. And usually, these children are able to stop stuttering as they grow older. Only a small percentage of adults stutter (around 1%).

2. Stammering affects a larger proportion of males than females – approximately three to four times more. The reason for this is uncertain, but research is getting closer to finding out probable causes why this disability often hits men.

3. There is a progressive progress in preventing stammering in children – this is due to the fact that the fields of genetics, child development, neurophysiology, and even family dynamics have come up with new research on the possible causes of stammering and how to stop it.

4. There is no instant cure for stammering – you're well likely to encounter a number of people who would offer a miracle cure for stammering, but quite frankly, the "cure" there are usually consists of methods that require ongoing practice. And by definition, that is not a "cure", but … it definitely helps you manage your stuttering, even to a point where it is hardly noticeable at all.

5. There are many famous people who stammer but have achieved success and significance – Winston Churchill, Bill Walton, Marilyn Monroe, Bob Love, King George VI are just some of the big time persona who had to deal with stammering. You as an individual should not let stammering affect you, or determine the election and life that you will live. There are many individuals who have made a difference with their lives and have impacted society in a great way, even though they found it hard to stop their stuttering.

Health and Its Dimensions

The most common theme of most cultures is fitness but there are different concepts of health as a part of their culture. Earlier health was considered as “absence of disease” which is not true. Health is not only the absence of disease it has various aspects. According to the latest definition wellbeing is a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing and not merely an absence of disease or infirmity.

Healthiness is a process of continuous adjustment to the changing demands of living and of the changing meanings we give to the life. It helps people live well, work well and enjoy themselves.

New philosophy of health regard health as a fundamental right, it is an essence of productive life, it is an integral part of development and it is the central to the concept of quality of life and is a world wide social goal.

There are various dimensions of fitness it is not only physical factor corresponding to strength other factor included are mental, social, spiritual, emotional and vocational.

Physical dimensions imply the notion of perfect functioning of body. Good complexion a clean skin, bright eyes, lustrous hair, firm body, sweet breath, good appetite, sound sleep, regular activity of bowels and bladder, smooth, easy and well coordinating bodily movements.

Mental dimension does not only include absence of mental illness. Good mental health is the ability to respond to various aspects of life of varying experiences with flexibility and a good sense of well understanding.

Social well-being implies harmony and a good relation of an individual with the family members and the society. The interpersonal ties of a person and the involvement with the society are known as social well-being.

Spiritual dimension includes the search of an individual to find himself and to find the ultimate faith. Once a person has attained that ultimate faith it gives him a sense of fulfillment and satisfaction.

Emotional dimension includes the feelings and emotions and if a person is emotionally strong and satisfied he is safe from stress, depression and the person can perform all the roles of his life well.

Vocational dimension includes the work. It is believed that working is good for physical condition and work is sometimes fruitful in maintain both mental and physical condition of a human.

Sensorineural Hearing Loss – How to Treat This Specific Type of Hearing Loss

Sensorineural hearing loss or Nerve deafness is one type of hearing loss that affects the inner ear or the acoustic or vestibulococlear nerve or both. This happens when the hair cells which transmit sound to the brain is damaged and could not function properly.

Most of the time the sufferer may not be aware of his / her condition. It is friends and family members that notice the symptoms of sensorineural hearing loss. The symptoms include unable to hear high tones, the need to ask to repeat certain words, loud TV and radio volume and because of the hearing loss physical and social activities can also be affected which could irritability, moodiness and depression.

To diagnose sensorinural hearing you need to consult the doctor and tests will include CT scan, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and EEG that evaluate activity in the brain.

The usual cause of sensorineural loss includes head or ear injury caused by physical trauma, medication side effects specifically from ototoxic drugs, ear infection, Presbycusis or the gradual loss of hearing due to old age, tumors, and hereditary. Other less known cause is anemia, heart problems and lupus or any condition that reduces the supply of oxygen to the brain.

For sensorineural treatment hearing aids and cochlear implants are frequently use. Hearing aid is a small electronic device that is put behind the ear. Hearing aid components include tiny microphones, which gather sound and convert it to electrical impulses, amplifier that increases the strength of these impulses and battery for energy supply. Another treatment available is cochlear implant this small electronic complex device implanted behind the ear, this device directly direct the auditory nerves. This type of treatment requires the patient to have surgical procedure and therapy.

There are natural remedies for sensorineural hearing loss Most of these natural treatments are mostly preventative measures. One way to prevent or delay hearing loss is proper diet or nutritional therapy. One reason or cause of sensorineural hearing loss is recording viral or bacterial infections. This could be caused by weak immune system and bad hygiene. To strengthen the immune system take vitamin c, zinc is used to cure ear infections. Another way to prevent ear problem is to eat healthy so better to avoid junk and processed food and take nutritional supplements like vitamin B-complex, iron and calcium, these supplements reduce the risk ear infection. There are also studies that show that food rich in Vitamin A and folic acid also delivers hearing loss.

Popular Herbs such as Echinacea, which can strengthen the immune system and goldenseal or yellow root, which stimulates the secretion and flow of bile, it is also used against variety of bacteria, yeast, and fungi, such as E. Coli and Candida which can cause ear infections. Chinese herbal therapy is also generally accepted in treating ear infections. Another widely used is garlic juice, which is a powerful and natural antiseptic herb.

There are many natural alternatives to treat and delay causes of hearing loss. They are safe and even good for the general health.

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.

Epilepsy – Living With Intractable Refractory Diagnosis and What That Means

Intractable Refractory Epilepsy (IRE) is a diagnosis, made only after all available treatments have been tried and all have failed – the person continues to suffer from seizure activity. The amount and frequency of seizures will differ from one person to another.

In any case though, life is drastically different for people with this diagnosis than the average person realizes. While it is hard to wrap one's mind around the effects of intractable refractory epilepsy, it is even more difficult to comprehend the full impact this diagnosis has on daily life.

The person with intractable refractory epilepsy will never:

  • Be able to drive a motor vehicle. Most states require a person be seizure free a minimum of six month. This is verified by written report from the person's doctor for obvious reasons. Motorcycles are strictly off limits. Even a go-cart can be deadly for someone with IRE.
  • Be able to seek or maintain gainful employment in most industries that require – the operation of any machinery, sharp utensils, handling of glass, hot liquids, precision of touch, abstract thinking, climbing. Or involve strong odors, flashing lights, sharp or sudden noise, extreme temperatures, the list looks to be endless. Even specifically jobs developed and aimed towards the handicapped will most often preclude any opportunities for those with a diagnosis of this type epilepsy.

Imagine never being able to take a bath, unless someone is right next to you. Nor can you take a shower in privacy. Never going on a walk, unless accompanied by a companion. Even visiting amusement parks can be a seizure trigger. No rides that have sudden movements or move too fast, too high, too loud or flashing lights. Snow or water skiing are big no-nos without having someone in tandem. Riding a bike is even dangerous for people with intractable refractory epilepsy.

Cooking is dangerous for obvious and not so obvious reasons: danger of hot oils or food, heat and fires, blenders and mixers, knives, glassware and more. Whether dropping these items, falling upon these items, or flinging these items during a seizure; all possess the potential for deadly consequences – or at the least, disfiguring and maiming consequences.

Even in the privacy of their own rooms, there is no privacy. Someone is either watching or at the least, listening at all times. Sporting events, watching movies, even walking can be a life threatening danger for people with this diagnosis.

For women diagnosed with this condition, the possibility or potential for giving birth is next to none. Many are on volatile medications, some of which cause birth defects. Even removing or barring those risks, there remains high risk and low probability for carrying to full term due to hormonal fluctuations. Changes in hormone levels often trigger seizure onslaughts.

Sexual relationships are even a 'stretch of the imagination' for women and men with this diagnosis. Stimulation and arousal, changes in blood pressure and endorphins which trigger emotional reactions cause chemical changes in the body, thus causing changes in brain activity. All of which can trigger seizure activity.

Imagine for a moment … being dependent on another person for almost every need you might have. While they are not alone in their circumstances, their special needs tend to be overlooked and under funded. Accommodations must be made for the immobile person which requires wheelchairs, walkers and so forth. But, for these individuals, the gaps and gaping cracks in services, considerations, awareness and legal recourse are the equivalent of trying to cross oceans without a boat or so much as a life preserver.

To fully grasp the reality of this diagnosis is impossible for anyone who has not deal with it personally. But, to get a better idea of what these people face I suggest the following :

Spend just one day trying to function under the shadow of a companion. Whether it's your morning shower or simply eating breakfast. What about getting out of the house and going somewhere? Did you remember to carry your medical information with you? How about some extra clothes? And odor sealing bag for soiled clothes, if necessary. Yes, this is also a reality for people with this diagnosis.

Now, imagine again – you are in the store shopping one moment, then the next thing you know, you are lying on the floor [most likely with soiled clothes] and people are standing over you. You hear them speaking, but the words make no sense. You try to speak back, but only garbled syllables come out of your mouth. At first, you are trying to figure out where you are or what you were doing. Slowly it dawns on you what must have just happened – you had a seizure. If this is not disturbing enough, you must now make your way to the public restroom and clean yourself up. Aware of all the onlookers and 'calls' for 'cleanup' might also be heard over the PA system. Making a quiet or discrete exit is impossible.

People with IRE will not even have the benefit of leaving under the cover of medical assistance [ambulance]. You see, with this diagnosis, more often than not, it is up to the caregiver accompanying them to attend their medical needs. Calling an ambulance every time they have a seizure is not only impractical, but is most often not considered a 'covered' medical emergency.

Unlike all other seizure disorders, regular seizures are anticipated and considered 'normal' for the person with this diagnosis. Although there are trials going on that hold some promise, the person with IRE can only live each day to the utmost until a cure is found.

I hope this glimmer of insight has given you some idea of ​​what a person with intractable refractory epilepsy deals with on a day to day basis, and over their life times.

Copyright 2009

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.

Symptoms and Treatment for the Thunderclap Headache

A thunderclap headache is a severe and sudden headache with enough force to literally knock a person over. It feels like the worst headache of your life. The sudden impact of the headache can come out of nowhere. The pain can peak within 60-seconds, with the pain often starting to fade and clear after 60-minutes. A very severe thunderclap headache is still noticed after a period of 7 days or longer. The pain is noticed anywhere in the region of the neck or head.

A thunderclap headache is rare. But can be an early indication of a life-threatening condition. They could be giving a warning related to a subarachnoid hemorrhage (bleeding in the brain), a brain aneurysm (swelling blood vessels), or a blood clot in the brain. Other issues may relate to pituitary apoplexy (a burst pituitary gland), a stroke, or meningitis. Since some of these conditions can result in death within hours, it is crucial to seek medical attention as soon as possible.

Symptoms

Thunderclap headaches are dramatic and don’t come with any early warning signs. The feeling of experiencing the headache is much like a sudden kick to the head which results in crippling pain. Beside the crippling head pain, other symptoms associated with this condition include vision problems, vomiting and nausea. In the most serious cases, such as those related to bleeding in the brain, the patient is certain to fall unconscious with a short period. The pain can last for 60 minutes to seven to 10 days. The most noticeable pain starts to recede within minutes, but this can often give a false belief that the thunderclap headache is improving on its own.

Treatment

Treatment given for the thunderclap headache depends on the results of the doctors check-up. The areas of greatest concern like swollen or burst blood vessels in the brain or thyroid glands are checked as a matter of urgency. It is also crucial to check for blood clots in the brain. A patient receives a MRI or CAT scan to help diagnosis the condition. If the imaging equipment detects one of the serious conditions, the patient is certain to receive immediate surgery to treat the bleeding.

If a scan is inconclusive, the patient is likely to receive a lumbar puncture or spinal tap to look at the spinal fluid. The cerebrospinal fluid can give more information on internal bleeding or reveal signs of the infection. Pain medication is given to help relieve the pain of the more persistent headache. When other symptoms are noticed like strange red marks, a stiff neck or high fever, this is often related to an outbreak of meningitis.

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.