After a Stroke

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

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

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

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

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

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

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!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Equine Flu – Diagnosis, Treatment and Prevention

Introduction: Equine influenza ('flu') is probably the main respiratory infection affecting horses. It has a worldwide distribution, and can cause a severe illness in some cases. Fortunately, prevention is possible with current vaccinations. This is a very current topic, with a recent outbreak in Australia in August to October 2007. This continent had previously been unaffected by equine flu, and the outbreak appeared to have spread from imported Japanese stallions.

What is Equine Influenza? This is a severe respiratory viral infection, with a short incubation period of 3-4 days, and a rapid worsening of symptoms. It is particularly likely to spread rapidly in overstocked situations.

The virus is spread by inhalation of water droplets via the nose, and then causes damage to tissues lining the respiratory tract. It can cause death of large areas of the lining tissue or mucosa.

Symptoms: These include high temperature, clear nasal discharge, dry cough, and swollen submental lymph nodes (under the jaw). In addition, you may notice that your horse has depression & lethargy, a clear eye discharge, a poor appetite, and a referral to drink There may even be a degree of swelling of the limbs, with a resultant referance to move. Occidentally secondary pneumonia can occur, especially in the very old and the very young; this can lead to death.

Causative Agent: The Equine-1 (H7N7) and equine-2 (H3N8); influenza A is a subtype of the latter. Unlike the human influenza virus, which changes every year, equine flu virus has more stable subtypes. Horse flu viruses were only isolated in 1956.

Occidentally carrier status occurs in equines, when an incomplete immune response to infection has occurred and the virus has not been eliminated. Such horses are shedding virus and infectious despite appearing well.

Current Western Treatments: Affected horses need complete rest for at least 6 weeks. It takes 1 week to recover at best, but 6 weeks for any mucosal damage to be reversed, because the need for a longer period of rest. During recovery, it is important that any stable used must have good ventilation, with minimal dust levels. Mucolytic agents & antibiotics may be necessary if secondary infection occurs.

Complementary Therapies: Supportive care can help, such as reiki, spiritual healing, crystal healing, acupressure, shiatsu, and aromatics. These can help the horse's immune system and ability to heal itself. The aromatics (animal aromatherapy, whereby the animal picks remedies on the basis of scent and taste from a selection offered) may have specific effects on resistance to infection and the release of supportive hormones.

Prevention: Influenza vaccines have been available for many years, and initially only provided protection for a few months. Current improved vaccines protect for 10-15 months. Vaccination is given as a primary course of 2 doses, 3-6 weeks apart, followed by boosters at 6-12 month intervals. Side effects are rare, and may be due to inflammation at the injection site, occasional allergy, or general poor well – being.

Certification of flu vaccination may be needed for horses that travel or compete

Homeopathic nosodes may be helpful in preventing influenza. Nosodes are created from the equine virus by diluting many times in water. The water then holds the memory of the molecule, which may be enough to stimulate an immune response. There tend to be a lower side effect rate with nosodes, but there is limited evidence of their efficiency.

Why Caring For The Nose And Throat Is Important For Healthy Living

Most of the acute infections to which man is heir enter the body through the nose and mouth. Common colds, influenza, tonsillitis, pneumonia, scarlet fever, diphtheria, infantile paralysis, and so on, through a long list of diseases, find their way into the body through this portal. Measures which reduce the ineffective material which gains access to the nose and mouth, such as frequent washing of the hands and keeping them away from the face, the use of individual drinking glasses, and the avoidance of exposure to persons with these diseases, are all Worth while. There is, however, little or nothing of value in the way of local preventive measures to suggest. In fact, the best advice that can be given to most persons concerning the care of the nose and throat is briefly expressed by: "Whatever you do, do not."

The equivalent value of gargles, nasal douches, jellies, sprays, or drops, the so-called "control by nasal hygiene," is based on nothing more than advertising propaganda. Furthermore, the regular use of such preparations without medical advice is pernicious. These preparations usually give temporary relief of nasal stuffiness but they also interfere with the normal protective mechanism of the nasal mucous membrane and in time may cause sufficient irritation to give rise to a chronic catarrhal condition. When this occurs, the medication still gives temporary relief, so the natural inclining is to use it more frequently.

There is a possibility also that over a period of time there way be enough absorption of these substances to be deleterious. Snuffers of cocaine or of snuff soon learn that absorption from the mucous membrane of the nose is prompt and efficient. In like manner, other substances are absorbed and in some cases the effects may well be cumulative and toxic.

Obstruction to Breathing
The most frequent cause of obstruction to breathing is the common cold, a condition of such importance that we have devoted several articles to its consideration. Uncomplicated colds rarely last more than a week or two, but the sinus infections which may complicate them are frequently protracted. The other common causes of chronic nasal obstruction are adenoids in children and allergic conditions, nasal polyps, and abnormalities of the nasal septum in older persons. Lasting relief can be expected only by eliminating the cause of the obstruction, whatever this may be. Self-medication merely aggravates the trouble.

Adenoids
Adenoids is the dull, pinched, stupid expression of the mouth breathing child cries for relief. Susceptibility to colds and ear infections, impaired hearing, and a deformed upper jaw are among the other results of chronic mouth-breathing by children. The usual cause of this is adenoids, an overgrowth of tonsils like tissue located in the upper part of the pharynx behind the nose. Fortunately this can be relieved by a simple surgical procedure.

Abnormalities of the Nasal Septum
The septum is the partition between the two sides of the nose. It is composed in part of cartilage and in part of bone. Theoretically the septum should be straight but it is rarely. In fact, a perfectly straight septum is just as rare as an artistically perfect nose. Although most deformities of the septum are of little or no consequence, they are often of sufficient seriousness to interfere with breathing. This not only is annoying but also predisposes to colds and sinus infection. In such cases an operative procedure to straighten the septum is indicated.

Sinus Infection
The term "sinus infection" is now used almost as loosely as nasal catarrh was in the past; many persons who because of some nasal stuffiness think they have sinus infection do not have it at all. On the other hand, sinus infection is of such frequency and seriousness that it merits careful diagnosis and treatment.

The sinuses are cavities in the bones of the face which are connected by small openings with the nasal easily and are lined with mucous membrane which is (continuous with the mucous membrane of the nose. days without much improvement, the infection has extended to the membranes lining the sinuses, especially to the lower sinuses, which do not drain so easily as the upper group. condition will heal promptly as the individual's resistance increases and the natural forces of repair improve under the general measures advisable in these conditions.

The actual cause of sinus disease is infection from the nose, but predisposing factors are violent blowing of the nose, a hypersensitive allergic nasal mucous membrane, diving, swimming with the nose in the water, possibly damp climates, and the promiscuous use of sprays, oils, and antiseptics in the nose during acute colds.

Acute sinus infections often clear up without treatment or with the application of such simple measures as heat, steam inhalations, rest, and improved nasal drainage. Occidentally, however, the infection is so severe or drain so inadequate that pus accumulates in the sinus. This, also, may clear up promptly or it may develop into a sub acute or chronic condition. In acute sinus infection local symptoms of nasal discharge, pain, and headache, as well as general symptoms of fever, fatigue, general aches, and cough, are the rule. In chronic sinus disease, on the other hand, the local symptoms may be absolutely absent. Occidentally infection from a sinus may be transported by the blood to other parts of the body, such as the joints, kidneys, heart, or brain. It is a condition potentially so serious calls for adequate medical supervision and treatment.

Hay Fever
The sneezing, sniffling, and nose blowing, commonly called "hay fever," occurs with greater or less frequency the year round. In fact, hay fever and related allergic conditions, such as asthma, hives, and certain eczema, headaches, and digestive disturbances, occur whenever the substance to which an individual is sensitive gains access to the body in sufficient quantities

The symptoms considered typical of hay fever may be produced by pollen of plants, grasses, or trees, by the dander or hair of animals, by lint, feathers, foods, and many other substances. The pollen, however, are the only substances of this sort which are definitely seasonal. Most cases of spring hay fever are due to grass pollen, although even before the grasses begin to pollinate there are some cases, usually considered spring colds, which are due to the pollen of trees. The pollen of most of the flowering plants is reliably large and heavy and is transported from one plant to another by bees or other insects; hence, they are rarely responsible for hay fever. On the other hand, the pollen of grasses, trees, and many other plants are wind-borne and spell misery to hundreds of thousands of persons each year. Such pollen grains may be transported severe distances and to great heights by air currents.

The most common causes of spring hay fever, frequently called "spring colds" or "rose colds," are the pollen of trees and grasses, while the pollen of ragweed, Wormwood, Russian thistle, and pig weed are responsible for most of the fall hay fever. Goldenrod, long thought to be the cause of fall hay fever, has been exonerated. It and other flowering plants have been suspected in connection with hay fever because they happen to flower at the time that weeds with inconspicuous flowers are pollinating.

After a physician has determined the cause of one's hay fever, the simplest way to prevent it is to live, at least during the half fever season: in a region in which the pollen to which one it sensitive do not exist. Another way to reduce exposure to pollen is to spend most of the day during the hay fever season in filtered air. This gives relief in many cases.

For the unfortunate hay fever victims who can not move away during the hay fever season and whose homes and places of work are not air-conditioned, there is still considerable hope of obtaining relief, for it is usually possible so to increase one's tolerance that one will be free from symptoms or at least reasonably comfortable even though exposed to high concentrations of pollen. This is accomplished by having a series of injections of the pollen to which one is sensitive. In order to be effective this treatment must be based upon an accurate diagnosis of the causes of the hay fever and the inclusion in the treatment substance of all the pollen which are liable for symptoms. Failure to do these two things has been the reason of many of the unsatisfactory results from this type of preventive treatment of hay fever in the past.

Temporary relief in hay fever and other allergic conditions run frequently are obtained by the use of a reliably new group of drugs called antihistamines.

The Tonsils
With so many tonsils being removed one naturally wonders which the tonsils are for. Actually there is no certain evidence as to their purpose, although it is generally thought that they have some sort of protective function, ineffective though this seems to be in most cases.

In childhood, tonsils and adenoids are naturally large but both decrease in size during later life. There are three conditions which make removal of the tonsils and adenoids advised:
(1) repeated attacks of acute tonsillitis or quinsy;
(2) Enlargement of tonsils and adenoids to the point of causing obstruction to the nose or the Eustachian tube;
(3) Reasonable suspicion that the tonsils are serving as a focus of infection. In the event of a serious disease condition in which other possible focus of infection has been eliminated, it is sometimes advisable to sacrifice the tonsils even though the local condition does not offer adequate proof of tonsil infection.

Miraculous results can not be expected from removal of the tonsils; but when definite indications for tonsillectomy exist, sufficient improvement may be expected to amply justify the Operation. Tonsillectomy is not a dangerous procedure if adequate precautions are taken to safeguard against accident. Undoubtedly many tonsils have been needlessly removed in the past and more will be sacrificed in the future. On the other hand, the indications for the removal of tonsils and adenoids are being more accurately defined and medical opinion on the subject of tonsillectomy is becoming more and more conservative.

Weight Loss – 5 Effective Ways to Lose Weight

Weight-loss is about diet. Losing weight requires two main activities: burning calories through regular exercise and cutting them through the selection of smart food choices and portion control. A one-sided and unbalanced way to create a calorie deficiency is spending hours in the gym, but that would be unrealistic and removing all the fun. And who wants to continuously feed on lettuce leaves? Instead, develop these seven easy everyday habits to burn belly fat effortlessly.

1. Drink 8 glasses of water per day

Drink a glass of water the first thing every morning. The body is more than 60% water and must remain hydrated to function optimally. We suffer a lot of health challenges simply because the cells of the body are dehydrated. For example, many times we can cure a headache by simply drinking some water. Water carries the miracle of life. Getting a better understanding of the health benefits of water will resolve many of the health issues we struggle with in life.

2. Keep most meals less than 400 calories

Many studies have clearly revealed that effective weight-loss comes by having smaller meals on a regular interval through the day works to your body. Spacing your meals like this and keeping them all about the same size is the official recommendation.

Eating smaller meals several times during the day has been linked to more calorie burning after eating, causing a better response to insulin, and lowering the blood cholesterol levels. When you eat regular meals throughout the day, you will have better control of eating correct portions and less likely to become greedy and overeat.

3. Jump on a mini trampoline

Rebounding exercise has been studied by The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and found to be 68% more oxygen efficient than other forms of exercises. What that is saying is this, you can exercise vigorously on the rebounder without feeling breathless, and the benefits received are better than jogging, swimming, cycling and mountain climbing all combined. This is fantastic news for persons who can not go jogging for various reasons. The greatest part of rebounding exercise is, it is fun, and you can be jumping while watching the news or your favorite TV show.

4. Sleep comfortably

Our health is directly linked to the way we sleep. It is commonly said that our quality of life is related to our quality of sleep. It's important to know that good quality sleep can produce longevity and happiness. Studies have shown that improper sleep may cause a lot of problems and even diseases like arthritis, insomnia, osteochondrosis (a defect in the developmental process of normal bone growth), allergy, asthma, radiculitis (pain due to inflammation or other irritation of the nerve) root), blood supply disturbance and others. The best way to sleep comfortably is to get rid of all electronic gadgets out of your bed room. Create a dark, cool and noiseless environment with a firm comfortable mattress. Peace of mind contribute to effective weight-loss.

5. Meditation and reflection

Life is complete without Divine connections. Human beings are more than physical, we are a triune being of body mind and spirit. If we live our life without a spiritual connection, we can become frustrated, miserable, stressed out, confused, and uncertain about the present and the future. A divine connection can put life in perspective and make us face every day with confidence vigour and zest, all of which can create a hormonal balance for our system causing an improved homeostasis.

Our metabolism will then be increased and weight loss will become almost effortless in the process of burning belly fat. Weight-loss around the weight line is most critical because that is one of the worst places to store excess fat.

Babel – A Review

You might expect a film titled "Babel" (referring to the Biblical Tower of Babel) to explore language barriers, miscommunications, and lack of communication. But would you expect a movie about communication to take an uncomfortably long 142 minutes to get the point across?

Paramount Vantage's "Babel" is the latest film from director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, who also served as co-producer with Steve Golin and Jon Kilik. The story begins in a desolate region in the Moroccan desert where two braless boys decide to see how far a new rifle can fire by using a tour bus full of people as target practice. One bullet critically injures an American woman (Cate Blanchett) who along with her husband (Brad Pitt) is recovering from the death of their infant. This new tragedy follows a series of earlier tragedies (including the suicide of a Japanese woman) and begins another series of tragedies (including the deportation of the couple's illegal immigrant nanny, played beautifully by Adriana Barraza).

With the loud, abrasive action jumping back and forth through time, and from place to place (Morocco, Japan, America, and Mexico), and from one story to another, this is an exhausting film to follow. In one story, the two Moroccan boys and their dysfunctional family try to escape justice. In a related, but separate story, the American couple (depicted with great sincerity and passion by Pitt and Blanchett) struggle in a life-or-death situation aided by the incompetent, though sympathetic, locales in a nearby village. Meanwhile in California, the couple of children are being taken care of by a loving Mexican nanny who foolishly takes the children with her nephew (Gael Garcia Bernal) to a wild wedding party across the border. In yet another story, with the most tenuous of thematic threads to link them, a teenaged deaf-mute Japanese girl (Rinko Kikuchi) runs around the city without panties trying to lose her virginity.

Each story reveals characters with communication problems: The American couple can not talk about the baby's death or the husband's earlier desertion; the boys have never told their parents about their sister's incestuous peep shows, the nanny is not only ignorant of the English language, but of American laws; the Japanese girl, who including having difficulty communicating with anyone who's not deaf, has a strange and strained relationship with her father.

It takes a very long time to connect all the stories – at least 20 minutes easily could have been edited out – and the payoff may not be worth the wait for some people. The acting is terrific through the film, although (particularly scenes with the American couple after the shooting, and any scene involving the nanny). This raw, depressing drama earns its R rating by providing in-your-face depictions of violence, nudity, survival, desperation, fear, and isolation.

Herniated Disc Back Pain

Herniated disc back pain is a dreaded occurrence for many dorsopathy sufferers. The actual words "herniated disc" are enough to cause anxiety and worry over possible agony, surgery and disability. In reality, the spinal disc is a much maligned structure, rarely responsible for the plethora of painful conditions typically blamed on it. This is due to the extremely common nature of disc bulges and ruptures, as well as the universality of disc degeneration.

Herniated discs can occur anywhere in the spine, but they are usually found at either end. The cervical spine, also known as the neck, is an area which must bend and flex constantly, as well as hold up the significant weight of the head. The discs in the neck wear out fast from all this movement and degenerative disc disease is often diagnosed in one or more vertebral levels by the age of 30 and sometimes much younger. The lumbar spine, also known as the lower back, is the most common location for degenerative disc disease to occur and these age and activity related changes are usually in effect by the age of 20, especially at L4 / L5 and L5 / S1. Herniated discs are also common in both of these regional regions and can occur from injury, normal degeneration or idiopathic reasons.

Herniated discs are thought to create pain in several possible ways. The most common is called foraminal stenosis, also known as a pinched nerve. This condition exists when a bulging or ruptured disc puts pressure on one of the spinal nerve roots which exit the spinal column at every vertebral level. While this situation can occur, it is very rare, since the disc would have to completely close off the neuroforaminal opening under extreme pressure in order to compress the nerve adequately. Furthermore, even when this rare event does happen, continued compression of the nerve root will result in absolute lack of sensation. This is objective numbness, not the subjective numbness often experienced by many patients. Additionally, there will be no pain or tingling, although real muscular weakness in the area served by the pinched nerve is likely.

The next possible source of herniated disc back pain is due to spinal stenosis. This is diagnosed when the disc applies pressure to the actual spinal cord, narrowing the spinal canal through which the cord passes. Many cases of spinal stenosis are completely asymptomatic, while incidentally, this condition can be a real problem. The most symptomatic measures of spinal stenosis exist when bone spurs (osteophytes) are the source of the narrowed canal and most disc bulges simply do not create any noticeable effect on the cord.

The third way that herniated disc back pain may be explained is from chemical radiculitis. This is when the proteins from the interior of the disc bleed out of the damaged disc structure and irritate surrounding nerve tissue. This is a controversial diagnosis and is not readily accepted in many medical sectors. It seems that if this condition does indeed exist, it only affects some people with particularly sensitive nerve tissue, since many people suffer severe ruptures and experience no pain at all.

The last possible explanation for disc related back pain is the unusual diagnosis of discogenic pain. In this condition, the damaged disc is said to be the actual source of discomfort, which makes little sense, since intervertebral discs do not have nerves or even a dedicated blood supply. Instead, they are nourished through the cartilaginous end plates which attach the disks to the surrounding upper and lower vertebral bones. Some doctors believe it is the tiny nerves in these endplates which are painful, but that seems very unquestionably since most patients report pain which is far too great and widespread to be sourced from such tiny and anatomically limited neurological tissues.

In the end, most patients do not enjoy relief from a wide range of conservative treatments or even surgeries directed at herniated discs and degenerative disc disease. This has nothing at all to do with the talent of the doctor or the method of treatment. Instead, therapy fails since the diagnosis is completely wrong. Statistics show that herniated discs are often completely asymptomatic and even those which do cause trouble usually resolve with or without treatment in 6 to 8 weeks. Disc conditions are almost never the real reason for chronic back pain. Once you understand this simple fact, it is easy to see why the condition has such a treatment-resistant reputation … It is not that the damage to the spine is so great; it is instead that the pain is being blamed on a complete innocent and coincidental spinal scapegoat.

Do MMR Vaccines Cause Autism?

Autism is a neurological disorder; observable symptoms of this disability include disruption of speech, difficulty in social exchanges, and demonstration of consistent behavior. There are lots of arguments on this disorder regarding a possible link between vaccines and autism. The MMR (mumps, measles, and rubella) vaccines are prime suspect for autism. It appears that the number of diagnosed cases of autism increases since the inception and use of MMR vaccine.

Medical Scientists and statistician collected lots of data and information to find the relation between MMR vaccines and autism. Two considerations regarding the debate over vaccines and autism are the claim of increased cases, and the results of studies that evaluated a possible correlation between vaccines and autism.

Do increased Cases of Autism are Conclusive Evidence?

A report on similar study in the State of California suggests a possible correlation between vaccines and autism. The report hints at a marked rise in cases of autism and correlates this increase with an increase in the MMR vaccine being administered. However, the argument can be made that it’s important to take into account other data trends within this time frame.

For example, it’s important to note that even though there was a rise in diagnosed cases of autism there was also a corresponding rise in the population. The argument could be made that an increase in population alone would increase the number of diagnosed cases of autism. In addition, awareness and education initiatives may be factors that led to the early diagnosis of autism in children, which has resulted in an apparent increase in the number of cases.

What’s the conclusion of Medical Society?

A number of studies have been conducted from the mid-1970s to the present time to ascertain any correlation between the administering of vaccines and autism. In addition these studies have been conducted in various countries, researching different variables of the vaccines and autism, as well as by several different research entities.

One study examined the incidences of autism before and after the use of MMR and found no variations. Another study focused on the vaccine itself and found no evidence to substantiate the triggering of autism by MMR. In addition, an additional study looked at autistic children. This study determined that the age of diagnosis was the same whether the MMR vaccine was administered prior to or after 18 months of age.

Studies Suggesting a Correlation – Or Not

There are studies that have been conducted that suggest a relationship between vaccines and autism. These studies imply that the digestive system is affected by a viral infection introduced by the MMR vaccine can lead to autism. Unfortunately, the majority of the studies were suspect when other researchers were unable to reach the same conclusion, showing that the methods of research were flawed. However, one study conducted in 2002 showed a possible link between the MMR vaccine and a developmental disorder. This particular study did go on to say, however, that the reverse could be true in that the developmental disorder caused the viral infection.

Vaccines are doing well to public health by arresting some critical diseases. Till today, no conclusive medical evidence has been proven. This is the most favorable arguments in favor of vaccine safety.

Mercury and Aluminum Present in Flu Shots?

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

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

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

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

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

He Stopped Talking to Me – What Does It Mean? What Really Happened Anyway?

LaTely, have you found yourself in a situation of waiting it out for your man? Do you find yourself getting too paranoid and too stalker-ish already just because he has not been returning your calls? Has your man stopped talking to you and suddenly dropped you like a hot potato? What's going on in his mind anyway? And how come he just stopped talking all of a sudden in the first place?

When a dating scene or a relationship starts to hit the "he stopped talking" level, the natural reaction of women is to obsess over it. "He stopped talking to me – what does it mean" – does it mean that somehow did something that turned him off along the way? He stopped talking to me, therefore, should I do something to get him to talk again?

When he stopped talking, there are so many possibilities why he did so. And here are just one of the billion reasons why your man has gone deaf-mute on you.

Reason # 1: He got busy

Yes! It is not as dramatic as you think it is. When a man becomes too preoccupied, he can block mostly anything from appearing in his thoughts. He must have gotten himself a promotion that his company requires him to work 100 hours a week or so! If this happens, just drop him a quick note saying how much you miss him – say it casually so you would not overwhelm him with your drama.

Reason # 2: You smothered him too much

If you start acting like your man's mother, chances are, he would treat you like one. And yes, ignoring his mom's calls is one of a man's not so endearing qualities. So when you date someone, spare him the baby talk! You must always remember that a man needs to feel like a man. So stop treating him or talking to him like you would to a 2 year old.

Reason # 3: You were getting too high-maintenance

He stopped talking to you and so the reason why he stopped talking is also because of you. Men are less forgiving especially when it comes to hits that turned them off in a big way. And yes, it may take a while for them to get out of that unforgiving state. When you start to cling big time and start asking for more attention from your guy, you are pushing him to his very limits. And the moment he reaches the "I'm done with all your nonsense jealousy" limit, baby, you're in big trouble!

Reason # 4: He just was not so into you!

When a man calls or talks, he is interested to get to know you more but if he stops talking, he probably does not feel the same way as you do. And the more you accept this fact, the easier it will be for you to move on. A man is not so complicated to figure out. If he likes you, he will run after you! Now that he's stopped talking, go figure!

So What's The Best Way To Irrigate My Sinuses?

Sinus irigation is a type of alternative procedure for flushing out mucus along the nasal and sinus passages. Originating in India, it's been employed for centuries to provide relief to people suffering from sinusitis, colds, nasal congestion and allergic rhinitis. According to studies, it can be very effective and involves no side effects when administrated properly.

People who wish to leave out popping the pills commonly prescribed for sinusitis and related problems, can benefit from this procedure. There are no side effects involved, unlike drugs which can cause sleepiness. It's so inexpensive and it can be done on your own at home. Additionally, the ingredients needed to create the saline solution can be found in an average kitchen: clean water and table salt.

Executing this procedure can be done in different ways. There's an approach wherein no special device is needed except for your cupped hand. Although there are some approaches which necessitate the use of special devices. One of these is the bulb syringe that enables you to regulate the flow of the solution that enters the nostril and gush through the passes of the sinuses.

Then there's also the neti pot, which looks just like a little tea pot. A spout is attached to it; This is placed in one of the nostrils to enable the solution to get inside the nasal cavity. The position of the head is adjusted to facilitate the flow of the solution naturally with the help of gravity.

It's possible to purchase a saline solution that's already made. But mixing your own is not that difficult. The ingredients you need are inexpensive. Simply add half a teaspoon of table salt and a pinch of baking soda to a cup of lukewarm water. But do not use tap water for the irritation of your sinuses as it may have impurities that can only aggravate the problem. In addition, the salt that you have to use should not be the iodized kind.

Using this formula in creating the solution is important as it aims to give the same concentration as that of your tears. In performing the procedure, your head should be placed above the sink to prevent drippings from getting to the floor. Fill your cupped hand with the lukewarm solution. Cover one nose and snort the solution with the other one. Blow your nose gently to remove the solution and mucus. Repeat the procedure with your other nostril.

If using a bulb syringe or neti pot, simply place the tip of the instrument in one of your nostrils. Press the bulb or tilt the head and the pot to enable the saline solution to flow into the nasal cavity. Do not cover the other nostril as that's where the solution will exit. Adjust the angle of your head in order to make sure the solution gets to your nasal and sinus passes. Gently blow your nose afterwards, then repeat the procedure with the other nostril.

However, doing the procedure a number of times a day is not recommended. That's because the protective mucus lining of the nasal passes can be washed out as well. Additionally, talk with your doctor if you wish to try this to attain relief from sinusitis, colds, nasal congestion, allergic rhinitis and others. If performed in the right manner, sinus irrigation can be very safe and effective.

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

Poisoning – Its Clinical Manifestation and Management

Acute poisoning accounts for about 4-7% of admissions into major general hospitals in the world. Poisoning may be suicidal, accidental or homicidal. The high incidence of poisoning is attributed to the widespread use and free availability of insecticides, pesticides and other harmful chemicals for use in agriculture and industry. Depending upon the cost and local availability, varied substances are used.

In the order of frequency, the toxic agents include organophosphorus compounds, barbiturates, vegetable poisons, phenothiazines, corrosive acids, and several others. The precipitating factors which drive persons to commit suicide are depressive illness, financial problems, domestic conflicts, and frustration in studies, jobs or incurable illness. Among epileptics and alcoholics, the incidence of suicidal poisoning is high. Accidental poisoning is common in children. Persons engaged in the use of toxic chemicals in agriculture and in industry are liable to suffer if proper safety precautions are not adhered to.

Clinical presentation of acute poisoning: Though poisoning by many chemicals lead to characteristic clinical features, in the majority of cases, symptoms are nonspecific and may be mistaken for other acute illnesses. The common presentations are coma, acute psychosis, convulsions, gastroenteritis, circulatory collapse, or pulmonary edema. Corrosive poisons produce noticeable lesions at the points of maximum contact such as the mouth, esophagus and stomach. other poisons affect specific organs maximally, e.g, Liver damage in paracetamol poisoning, renal damage in copper sulphate poisoning, and Cardiac dysfunction in Cerebral odullum poisoning. Poisons consumed on an empty stomach are absorbed more rapidly than if taken on full stomach. Also, if taken along with alcohol, many poisons are quickly absorbed and their damaging effects are cumulative.

Diagnosis: Diagnosis is rendered easy if proper history or evidence of the material is obtained, but in many cases such help is not available. A high index of suspicion on the part of the physician is absolutely necessary for arriving at an early diagnosis in such cases. Abrupt occurrence of acute illness in a person who is in good health should suggest acute poisoning as a possibility. Smell of alcohol or kerosene, severe respiratory depression, circulatory collapse, convulsions, constricted pupil, Cardiac arrhythmia’s, dystonic postures, and muscle fasciculations add support to this diagnosis. The outcome depends upon factors like:

1. The amount of poison and its mode of administration

2. Presence of food in the stomach at the time of ingestion.

3. delay in starting treatment.

4. Age,

5. General health and concurrent illness, and

6. Availability of specific antidotes.

Patients who are comatose owing to acute poisoning face the twin dangers of the toxic effects of the chemical and the grave consequences of an obstructed airway.

general management of acute poisoning: Acute poisoning is a medical emergency and is best treated in a well-equipped hospital with teams specially trained to handle such cases. Since in many cases the nature of the poison will not be evident at first, the aim of treatment is to keep the patient alive with support of vital functions and eliminate as much of the poison as possible from the body. Specific antidotes are given as soon as the nature of the poison is known.

Supportive management: Most important is to clear the airway and ensure adequate ventilation. If there is respiratory depression, stimulants like nikethemide (500 mg) should be given along with oxygen inhalation. Intermittent positive pressure respiration has to be instituted after tracheostomy or endotracheal intubation, if conservative measures fail. The patient should be turned from side to side at four hourly intervals to prevent aspiration and hypostatic Pneumonia. Frequent bronchial suction helps in preventing atelectasis and aspiration Pneumonia. Shock is managed on the usual lines. Maintenance of fluid and electrolyte balance is of utmost importance in all cases. An intake-output chart should be maintained and a urine output of 1500 ml should be ensured. Replacement of electrolytes and correction of acidosis should be done with proper laboratory monitoring. Maintenance of nutrition is equally important. Diet containing 2000 calories should be given through a nasogastric tube or parenterally. Repeated examination of blood and urine help in monitoring the level of poison in blood and the amount eliminated.

A Complete Guide To Immunization For Babies And Toddlers

The recent outbreaks of measles across parts of the UK have highlighted once again the very real importance of children having immunizations. From around the age of two months children will be given a series of immunizations against a variety of illnesses and diseases, and these should be topped up by boosters when the time is right.

Although parents do have a choice when it comes to immunizations, it is extremely risky to opt out since children are likely to be at a very grave risk for the rest of their childhood at least, and in some cases, for life.

It is too easy to dismiss serious diseases as being illegally and rare, but of course the only reason they are rare is because of the widespread use of vaccines and the regular program of immunizing children.

The recent outbreak of measles in the UK is directly as a result of the scare a few years ago with regard to the MMR vaccine. A few years ago it was (wrongly) claimed that the MMR vaccine could trigger autism in children, and as a result a great many parents opted out of having their children immunized.

The result is that a few years later millions of children are at serious risk, and it should not be overlooked that most of these diseases which children should be vaccinated against can be life threatening.

How Do Vaccines Work?

Vaccines work by introducing a harmless version of the disease the vaccine is intended to protect against. So with measles a very weak, inert form of the measles virus is introduced. This is quite harmless, and can not spread or cause the illness itself to develop.

What it does do is trigger the body's natural immune system into analyzing the virus, and developing antibodies to defend against it. This then gives the child's immune system a permanent record of the disease and a way of fighting it effectively.

What Symptoms Can Occur Following A Vaccine?

Once a vaccine is administrated you may notice a small red bump, possibly some bruising and a slight rash in the area, although this will usually go within a couple of days.

It is normal for children to feel a little under the weather for a day or two, and with the MMR vaccine it is possible that between a week and two weeks after the jab the child develops mild symptoms of any of the three diseases. This may include symptoms such as a rash, spots, swelling or a fever. These symptoms will usually pass quite quickly, and should not be any cause for alarm.

Of course, if you are at all worried about your child following a vaccine then do speak to your doctor, health visitor or call the NHS helpline on 0845 4647.

What Vaccines Should A Young Child Have?

A child's vaccines will begin at the age of 2 months, when he or she will be immunized against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough), polio, Haemophilus influenza type b, and pneumococcal infection.

The next round of immunizations will be a month later at age 3 months. These will include diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough), polio, Haemophilus influenza type b, and meningitis C (meningococcal infection). Some of these seem to be repeated from the previous month, but this is because a series of very mild vaccinations need to be administrated to gradually build up the immunity, otherwise they may have an adverse effect on the young baby.

A month later, at 4 months old they will be ready for diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough), polio, Haemophilus influenza type b, pneumococcal infection and meningitis C. The good news is that once these have been done you and your child can take a break from jabs and needles for about 8 months!

Once your child reaches the age of 1 year they will need to have their Haemophilus influenza type b and meningitis C vaccines, and then a month later, at 13 months old, that is when they have the MMR vaccine, which includes measles, mumps and rubella, as well as a vaccine for pneumococcal infection.

Your child will then be fully immunized, and will not need any additional vaccines or boosters until they near school age, or nursery age. Between the ages of 3-5 years old they will need to have their fourth diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis and polio vaccines, and a second MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine.

If you forget about an appointment, or miss booking your child in, then make sure you speak to your GP as soon as possible as they will still be able to administrator a suitable booster vaccine in most cases.

Never choose against having your child immunized just because of hearsay about risks, or because you think there's no risk, or even because you just do not like doctors, hospitals or needs. Immunisations save lives, and the recent news across the UK is a stark warning as to how true this is.