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!

You Can Prevent Stroke

If you've ever witnessed someone suffer a stroke, you understand the humbling nature of this disease. It can reduce the mighty human being to an immobile, helpless creature. Impairment of critical functions like speech, walking, and control of bowel and bladder can wrench control from the body in a moment.

Even perpetually youthful TV personality Dick Clark was stuck down by stroke at age 75, despite the outward appearance of perfect health. Clark's stroke resolved in a six-week hospital stay and, judging from fragmented reports, significant disability. Stroke can be like a devastating fire that strikes without warning, leaving only smoldering rubble. Stroke can so ravage basic bodily functions that often all you can hope for is to regain a portion through rehabilitation.

The disease process that underlies stroke requires decades – 30 or 40 years – to develop. With that much lead time, why are not we better able to detect or stop this crippling disease?

The truth is that we are able to predict many, if not most, strokes. Advances in imaging technology allow detection of atherosclerotic plaque that cause stroke years before it becomes a threat. Progress in deciphering the causes of stroke has also leapt forward.

Unfortunately, your neighborhood physician still focuses on diagnosing the crisis rather than anticipating it. Physicians prefer to deal with catastrophes and are just not that interested in prevention. Most doctors ask: "Is it time to operate or not?" The medical community obsesses over procedures like carotid endarterectomy (surgical removal of plaque) or carotid stents. Even when a person is afforded the warnings of a "mini-stroke", or transient ischemic attack (TIA), little more is done once it's determined that surgery is not necessary – even though this person has high risk for future stroke (50) % over 10 years).

Let's flip-flop this approach to stroke. Procedures represent a failure of prevention!

Where do strokes come from?

Stroke develops when some portion of the brain is deprived of blood. This usually results from a tiny bit of debris that dislodges from an atherosclerotic plaque along the walls of an artery (the same sort that accumulates in coronaries causing heart attack). The sources of debris have been a subject of controversy, but new imaging technologies have settled the question. Any blood vessel that leads from the heart to the brain can be a source. The two carotid arteries on both sides of your neck are a frequent source, as these arteries are pre to develop plaque. (Our discussion will be defined to what are called thromboembolic, or ischemic, strokes, ie, strokes that occurs from plaque that fragments, sending debris to the brain, and will not include the far less common hemorrhagic strokes due to rupture of small vessels in the brain, nor will we discuss atrial fibrillation and other heart causes of stroke.

Over the last 10 years, the aorta has been recognized as another important source of stroke. The aorta is the main artery of the body which branches go to the head, arms, and legs.

Atherosclerotic plaque is a live tissue that, through poor diet ,activity, high cholesterol, overweight, etc., grows and becomes progressively more unstable. At some point, plaque fragments. Little bits break away, traveling to the brain. Fractured plaque also poses its detrimental structures to flowing blood, triggering blood clot formation, which in turn can also fragment and go to the brain. Atherosclerotic plaque is a prerequisite for the most common causes of stroke.

If the majority of strokes originate from plaque, why not measure plaque to determine if you're at risk for stroke? How can we easily, safely, and accurately measure plaque in the carotid arteries and aorta? And if plaque can be measured, can it be shrunk or inactivated to reduce or eliminate risk for stroke?

How can plaque be measured?

Just 20 years ago, the only practical method of identifying plaque in the carotids or aorta was through angiography, requiring catheters inserted into the body to inject x-ray dye. Angiography was impractical as a screening measure.

CT scanning and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) are emerging as exciting methods of imaging both carotids and aorta. Unfortunately, most centers and physicians are much more focused on the diagnostic uses of these technologies for people who have already suffered stroke or other catastrophe, and application of these devices for preventive uses is still evolving. One exception is when aortic calcification or aortic enlargement is incidentally noted on the increasingly popular CT heart scans; This is an important finding that can signal presence of aortic plaque.

The one test that is broadly available and can be performed in just about any center is carotid ultrasound. It's simple, painless, and precise. Two basic observations can be made:

1. Plaque detection – Atherosclerotic plaque can be clearly visualized. If plaque blocks more than 70% of the diameter of the vessel, or if there are "soft" (unstable) elements in plaque, then stroke risk may be high enough to justify surgery or stents. However, if there are plaques that are less severe, substantial risk for stroke may still be present that can be reduced with preventive measures.
2. Carotid intimal-medial thickness – This is a measure of the thickness of the lining of the carotid artery in areas not involved by plaque, but often precedes the development of mature plaque. Carotid intimal-medial thickness also provides an index of body-wide potential for atherosclerotic plaque that can place you at risk for stroke. The aorta, for instance, can not be well imagined by surface ultrasound but can still be a source for stroke. Increased carotid intimal-medial thickness and carotid plaque are closely associated with likelihood of aortic plaque. The Rotterdam Study of 4000 participants demonstrated that if carotid intimal-medial thickness is greater than normal (1.0 mm), then you can be at risk for stroke (and heart attack), even if no carotid plaques are detected.

Carotid ultrasound is the one test you should consider that provides the most information with least effort. Ultrasound is harmless, painless, and can be obtained just about anywhere. Even if your doctor disagrees with your request for a carotid ultrasound, an increasing number of mobile services are popping up nationwide that make this test available for around $ 100. One important point: many scanners and interpreters will only report whether plaque is present or not. While this is important information, you should request that the carotid-intimal medial thickness be made as well. Not all centers can make this simple measure (because of software requirements), but it does not hurt to try. Any amount of carotid plaque is reason to follow a preventive program, even if the plaque is insufficient to justify surgery.

Can plaque be reduced?

Can we shrink plaque in carotid arteries and aorta and thenby reduce, possibly eliminate, these sources of stroke? That question is gaining momentum as effective therapies become available that pack real punch for reducing plaque.

Study after study has now documented that plaque can be reduced and, with it, risk for stroke. Reduction in plaque of 10-20% is possible within a year or two. Let's consider the most potent effects on carotid and aortic plaque growth that need to be considered in a plaque-reducing program. (I assume that you are a non-smoker – if you are a smoker, you first need to concentrate on quitting.)

Hypertension

Considerable experience documents the power of blood pressure-lowering for prevention of stroke. The most recently updated guidelines, the JNC-VII, recommends a blood pressure of Diabetes, Metabolic Syndrome, and Hyperinsulinemia

Just being overweight increases the risk of stroke. A Swedish study in 7400 obese men had double the risk of stroke compared to non-obese men. Increased body weight leads to diabetes and its close relationships, metabolic syndrome and hyperinsulinemia (increased insulin levels), which play an overwhelmingly important role in increasing stroke risk. Of people who suffer strokes, a shocking 70% have one of these diagnoses. When diabetes is present, risk for stroke can be as much as six-fold higher.

Metabolic syndrome and insulin resistance, predecessors of diabetes, are far more common than full-blown diabetes. Metabolic syndrome consists of excessive abdominal fat, high blood pressure, low HDL cholesterol, increased triglycerides, and resistance to insulin. Metabolic syndrome is rampant through the US, afflicting one of three adults due to sedentary lifestyles, processed foods, and overweight. High insulin levels and resistance to insulin are powerful drivers of plaque growth, and carotid plaque grows faster. Judging from the rapid escalation of precalence of metabolic syndrome and diabetes in the population, it is likely that an epidemic of stroke is in our country's future.

LipoproteinsSMall LDL, IDL, and Lipoprotein (a)

More than high cholesterol, various lipoprotein abnormalities carry greater risk for carotid and aortic plaque growth and stroke. Lipoproteins are fat-carrying proteins in blood that cause plaque growth. Patterns which are instigators of plaque growth and stroke include:
o Small LDL particlesSMall LDL particles cause carotid plaque growth more than large LDL particles. This abnormality also triples heart attack risk.
o Intermediate-density lipoproteins (IDL) These triglyceride-rich lipoproteins (present even when triglycerides are low) are a measure of how effectively you clear fat from blood after a meal. IDL is a potent driver of carotid plaque growth. Increased IDL also creates fat-rich plaque that makes it more prone to fragment.
o Lipoprotein (a) This underappreciated lipoprotein is associated with heightened risk of stroke and heart attack by promoting blood clotting, constricting arteries, and increasing dangers of cholesterol. Carotid ultrasound studies have shown that lipoprotein (a) causes accelerated plaque growth.

Fibrinogen

This blood clotting protein not only causes carotid plaque growth, but also contributes to formation of unstable plaques, ones that have more inflammatory cells and a thinner tissue covering, making plaque more rupture-prone. An Oxford University analysis of 5000 participants confirmed the role of fibrinogen in increasing stroke risk. Fibrinogen levels> 407 mg / dl heightens stroke risk six-fold.

C-reactive protein (CRP)

This measure of pollution is proving to be a useful marker for identifying people at risk for stroke, with increased risk beginning at a level of 0.5 mg / l. High CRP also precedes more rapidly growing carotid plaque.

Homocysteine

Homocysteine ​​is an important marker of increased likelihood of both carotid and aortic plaque, as well as stroke. In 1997, the European Concected Action Project reported more than a doubling of stroke when homocysteine ​​levels exceeded 12 mol / l. As homocysteine ​​increases to 20 μmol / l, risk for stroke and heart attack increases an amazing 10-fold over that at a level of 9 μmol / l.

Asymmetric dimethylarginine (ADMA)

ADMA is recently discovered amino acid which blood levels can skyrocket up to 10-fold in the presence of hypertensive, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, high cholesterol and triglycerides, obesity, and high homocysteine ​​levels. ADMA blocks the action of the amino acid, l-arginine. This mimicry reduces the availability of nitric oxide, a powerful dilator and protector of arteries. ADMA levels in the top 10% predict a six-fold heightened risk for future stroke, and ADMA levels in people with strokes are double that in other people. A carotid ultrasound study in 116 subjects showed that higher blood levels of ADMA are associated with more severe carotid plaque. Because of ADMA's shared role across a variety of abnormal conditions, correction or blocking the action of the ADMA has been proposed as a unique therapeutic tool to reduce stroke risk.

Cholesterol

Data suggest that lowering cholesterol with statin cholesterol-lowering drugs slows carotid plaque growth and reduce stroke risk approximately 22%. An interesting study from the Cardiovascular Institute at Mt. Sinai School of Medicine in New York using the precursor measuring ability of MRI of the carotids and thoracic aorta shown an impressive 20% regression of plaque area with simvastatin (Zocor®) taken for two years.

Although guidelines for cholesterol treatment recommend reduction of LDL cholesterol to 100 mg / dl in high-risk persons, a report from the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, DC, showed that carotid plaque was more effectively reduced when LDL cholesterol of 70 mg / dl or lower was achieved with statin cholesterol drugs. Lower LDL cholesterol may, therefore, be better.

Treatment Strategies to Reduce Carotid and Aortic Plaque

The essential question: How do we reduce carotid and aortic plaque? If we make this the focus of our efforts, many pieces begin to fall into place. If you've had any measure of carotid or aortic plaque such as a carotid ultrasound or aortic calcification on a CT heart scan, you know that you're at increased risk for stroke. You also have a baseline for future comparison to gauge whether your program is working or not.

Because most people have not one but multiple causes of carotid and aortic plaque, there is no one single treatment that effectively eliminates risk for stroke. Instead, most people require a comprehensive program of healthy diet, exercise, supplements, and medication when indicated. Here, we focus on the nutritional supplements that can be critical components of your plaque-reduction program.

Fish oil

Fish oil is a cornerstone of your stroke prevention program. Epidemiological observations suggest a strong relationship of fish intake and reduction of stroke risk. Carotid ultrasound studies demonstrate less carotid plaque with greater intakes of fish.

A cleverly designed University of Southampton study made the fascinating observation that fish oil transforms the structure of carotid plaque. 150 people with severe carotid plaque scheduled for carotid endarterectomy (surgical removal of the plaque) were given fish oil, sunflower oil, or no treatment over several months while waiting for their procedure. (Delays in the British health system permitted this unique design.) Plaque was removed at surgery and examined. Participants taking fish oil had reduced inflammation in plaque and thicker tissue covering the fatty core, marks of more stable plaque. Those taking sunflower oil or no treatment had unstable plaques with greater pollution and thinner, less sturdy covering tissue. This suggests that fish oil stabilizes carotid plaque, making it less likely to rupture and fragment.

A standard capsule of fish oil (containing 300 mg of EPA + DHA) contains the same amount of omega-3s as a 3 oz serving of cod or halibut; three capsules (900 mg DHA + EPA) contain the equivalent of a serving of farm-raised salmon. The dose that sees to provide greatest protection from stroke, lowers triglycerides (that form abnormal lipoproteins; see above), and reduces fibrinogen, is four capsules per day (1200 mg EPA + DHA).

Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10)

Although there are no data specifically addressing whether CoQ10 reduces plaque, it is a marvelously effective way to reduce blood pressure, one of the critical factors causing carotid and aortic plaque growth. A pooled analysis of eight studies showed that, on average, CoQ10 in daily doses of 50-200 mg reduced systolic blood pressure by 16 mm Hg, diastolic pressure by 10 mm Hg. Data suggest that CoQ10 can reverse abnormal heart muscle thickening (hypertrophy), another manifestation of high blood pressure, strongly suggesting that CoQ10 has benefits beyond just reducing pressure.

Supplements to correct the metabolic syndrome

Weight loss is, without question, the most immediate and direct path to correction of this dangerous pre-diabetic condition. A drop of even 10-20 lbs yields improvements across the board: increased susceptibility to insulin, increased HDL, and reductions in triglycerides, CRP, fibrinogen, small LDL particles, and blood pressure. Diet and exercise are fundamental components of an effort to lose weight; low carbohydrate or reduced glycemic index diets (eg, South Beach or Mediterranean) rich in fibers are clearly effective. Several supplements can amplify weight-reduction efforts and be useful adjustments to your lifestyle program. Among them:

White bean extract
White bean extract blocks intestinal absorption of carbohydrates by 66%. 1500 mg twice a day with meals yields, on average, 3-7 lbs of weight loss in the first month of use. The only side-effect is excess gas, due to unabsorbed starches.

Glucomannan
This unique fiber taken prior to meals absorbs many times its weight in water and thebyfill fills your stomach. You inevitably take in less food. Most people lose around four lbs per month using 1500 mg prior to each meal. Interestingly, glucomannan also blunts the rise in blood sugar after meals, an effect that, by itself, may lead to weight loss. Be sure to take with plenty of water.

DHEA
This adrenal hormone is key to maintaining physical stamina, mood, muscle mass in men, and libido in women. A recent randomized, placebo-controlled study at Washington University in 56 subjects showed a 13% decline in abdominal fat (fat that drives resistance to insulin) measured by MRI with 50 mg of DHEA per day at bedtime, along with improved sugar control and lower insulin levels.

Pectin, beta-glucan
Pectin is the soluble fiber in citrus rinds, green vegetables, and apples, also available as a supplement. Beta-glucan is the soluble fiber of oats and is also available as a supplement. Both are wonderful fibers that provide feelings of fullness, lower cholesterol, slow release of sugars, and can yield modest weight reduction. A USC study in 573 subjects using carotid ultrasound shown that greater intake of healthy fibers like pectin and beta-glucan is associated with less carotid plaque growth.

Folic acid, vitamins B6 and B12
Dr. Daniel Hackam at the Stroke Prevention and Atherosclerosis Research Center in Ontario conducted a study using carotid ultrasound in 101 participants treated with folic acid 2.5 mg, vitamin B6 25 mg, and B12 250 mcg per day. Treatment resulated in plaque reduction, especially when homocysteine ​​levels exceeded 14μmol / l at the start, compared to untreated participants who experienced substantive plaque growth.

An attempt to clarify the role of homocysteine ​​treatment was made through a National Institute of Health-sponsored study of stroke prevention. 3680 participants with a prior history of stroke were controlled and given either a "low-dose" (20 mcg folic acid, 0.2 mg B6, 6 mcg B12) or a "high-dose" (2.5 mg folic acid, 25 mg B6, 400 mcg B12) regimen. Although starting homocysteine ​​levels shown a graduated association with stroke risk (higher homocysteine ​​levels predicted greater stroke risk), the treatment groups experienced, on average, only a 2 μmol drop in homocysteine ​​levels and no reduction in stroke risk over two years. The study investigators as well as critics have suggested that the study failed due to an inadequate treatment period and that the doses were too low. (The doses we use in our plaque reduction program are folic acid 2.5-5.0 mg, B6 50-100 mg, B12 1000-2500 mcg.)

L-arginine
L-arginine can be used to overpower the adverse effects of ADMA. L-arginine is emerging as an important carotid plaque-reversing tool. Early reports in animals showed that l-arginine completely halved growth of aortic plaque, and did so more effectively than lovastatin (a cholesterol-lowering drug).

In humans, L-arginine reduces blood pressure, abnormal constriction of carotid and coronary arteries, blocks entry of inflammatory cells into plaque, increases sensitivity to insulin, and heightens exercise capacity. Following coronary angioplasty or stent placement, l-arginine results in up to 36% reduction in plaque growth.

The average American takes in 5400 mg of l-arginine through food every day. Supplementing with doses of 3000-12,000 mg per day has proven useful to correct many of these phenomena. (We use a dose of 6000 mg of l-arginine powder, twice a day on an empty stomach, dissolved in water, for our plaque regression program.) Does this result in a reduction of stroke risk? The emerging data suggest that l-arginine is likely to exert a powerful plaque-reducing and stroke-preventing benefit, but we await more clinical trial data.

Conclusion

Reducing stroke risk by reversing carotid and aortic plaque is becoming an everyday reality, with better tools becoming available. To know whether you're at risk, the best and most available imaging tool is carotid ultrasound, aiming to identify intimal-medial thickness> 1.0 mm, or carotid plaque. Any degree of calcification of the aorta, such as on a CT heart scan, is another useful measure of risk.

Treatment to reduce risk is multi-faceted but is based on examining all your sources of risk, including metabolic syndrome, small LDL, lipoprotein (a), and C-reactive protein. Fish oil is the one absolutely critical ingredient in any stroke prevention program. Other supplements can be used in a targeted fashion, depending on the causes identified for your carotid or aortic plaque. Ideally, repeat scanning of your carotids should be done once after your program has begun to assess whether you've successfully achieved reversal of plaque growth.

Female Baldness

Female pattern baldness (or female pattern alopecia), although not as common as its male counterpart, is obviously of greater cosmetic and aesthetic concern. It is a source of great emotional distress since women place great stock in a full head of hair. When it does occur, it usually causes a gradual loss of hair from the crown of the scalp, causing a broadened midline parting. It may also recede from the forehead, resulting in the classic 'widow's peak'. Complete baldness in women is a rare occurrence.

Most instances of baldness in females are diagnosed as the result of a deficiency in endocrine hormones. This is why women may find a gradual or dramatic thinning of hair at or after the onset of menopause. Genetic predisposition (androgenetic alopecia) is the cause of almost 90% of female baldness. The use of oral contraceptives is also a known cause for it since birth control pills manipulate a woman's hormonal balance.

Other reasons are the natural aging process, the use of unsuitable hair products, drastic hair styling habits, and grossly improper nutrition. Certain skin disorders like alopecia areata can also cause hair loss in females, which usually occurs in small patches rather than progressively expanding areas.

In quite rare instances, trichotillomania is a factor – this is an obsessive-compulsive disorder that causes the willful arousing of hair and is usually noted in pre-teenaged or teened females. Stress – the bane of modern civilization and often thought to be responsible for hair loss in both males and females – is definitely not a causative factor.

Almost 20% of all women suffer from pattern baldness to some degree or another. The good news is that dormant, non-productive hair follicles can be rejuvenated medically. In certain cases, the metabolism itself sends the necessary signals and hair growth may resume automatically.

Neck and Shoulder Pain Relief From Specialist Chiropractors

There are many ways in which we deal with pain, but when people suffer from neck and shoulder problems there are ways in which the discomfort can be controlled.

Some specialist chiropractors within the Warwickshire area provide effective pain relief that is also proven to cure neck and shoulder problems. This can make people live a fulfilling life without restrictions for both themselves and their family.

Regardless of how your injury has come about, whether you were involved in a car accident or fallen awkwardly, there is help available. Pain relief comes in a variety of forms from specialist chiropractors including physiotherapy and cold laser therapy.

These two methods of pain relief are most effective when done so by professionals. They understand how to really help you managing your pain relief and there before you get on the road to recovery.

Chiropractors understand the workings of how to effectively control and treat those suffering from any neck and shoulder pain in the Warwickshire area from whiplash to dislocation. They will be able to advise on the best course of treatment through thorough consultations and properly diagnose you based on your symptoms.

Whether you suffer from upper back pain, neck pain or shoulder pain, there are things that can be done to help ease it. By seeing a professional chiropractor, you will be in the safest hands, with effective treatments that in return will help you return to a normal life.

People do not understand the severity of neck and shoulder pain and should always seek professional help. Leaving a condition can, in time, increase the damage and cause other problems such as headaches. If you stay in the Warwickshire and West Midlands, look out for the chiropractors that offer alternative pain relief.

Kill Your Stutter – Stop Stammering Today

Although it isn’t usually an issue that affects every body – stuttering is a horrible problem for school children, teenagers and grown ups today. A stammer can cause even the most confident person to avoid conversations with colleagues and family as well as interactions with other people they know due to a fear of being mocked. Whether you like it or not, a stammer can truly wreck any person’s whole life.

Although being cursed with a stammer absolutely is a massive problem and a lot of the time a greatly complicated ailment, the good news is, it is easily possible to stop stuttering. Truth is, it is completely possible to entirely quit stammering and say goodbye to stammering for good.

It’s likely that you could be thinking that this really seems too good to even remotely be true. Actually, believe it or not the the whole truth (and nothing but the truth) is, stuttering is a deep-rooted psychological affliction and a psychological problem that can very easily be removed as long as the base of the problem is discovered.

Even though it more than likely does seem like this, you’re not by yourself with the stutter. According to the stats somewhere near 1 percent of the population (of the Western World) has a stutter but the sad truth is but a tiny of this number will genuinely attempt to kill their stammering affliction.

While that tiny minority of stutter sufferers who who really make the decision to end their stutter will go on to live better off, fulfilled lives, the majority of those who don’t kill their stutter will pass further into the shadows, keeping off as much social interaction as possible.

Is the solution stuttering therapy and speech correction classes?

In reality, therapy is the remedy – however this does not mean paid for professional counselling. Stuttering can be fixed in under an hour however as professional counsellors are paid by the hour, this is not by any means cost effective for them. Of course, this is not to state that professional counsellors are actually avoiding trying to cure stutter sufferers in an actual attempt to to put fancier bread on the table but, it must be said, there is an actual element of truth to this idea. More importantly why throw away several thousand for private paid-for therapy when you genuinely can remove your stutter yourself.

The Importance With Early Detection of Hearing Loss in Children

Every parent wishes their child to be healthy and most of all happy. Children with disabilities such as hearing loss can live full and completely happy lives. However, if gone undiagnosed or ignored, a disability such as hearing loss can cause irreplaceable damage. The early years of a child's development are of the utmost importance. It is a time when they learn language, understanding, cognitive skills, and motor skills. If your child shows signs of hearing loss, make sure to have him or her see a specialist, so the issue does not worsen.

Hearing loss is not defined as complete deafness. There are multiple levels of hearing loss, from slight toounding, depending on the frequencies as which they can hear sounds. Issues with hearing can either be environmental, come from infection or disease, or most commonly genetic. No matter what the cause of the problem is, it needs to get tested so the specialist can help you take the right steps to improve your child's development.

Many states require that newborns be tested for hearing issues within the first hours of their birth. This does not mean that problems can not develop later, so it is important that parents will constantly be on the lookout for signs and symptoms related to hearing loss. Early signs can be detected by parents that can alert to some sort of hearing issues. If parents notice any of these symptoms, they should immediately make an appointment to see a specialist.

Signs for children's hearing problems include not being able to recognize a parent's voice, consistent sounds, or even to his or her name. Children begin recognizing a parent's voice from after the first few months of birth and his or her name soon after that. If still a child does not acknowledge frequently heard voices or sounds, it may be a sign of hearing problems.

During development, a child's attentiveness can also become a sign of hearing problems. Children with hearing problems often become easily frustrated, as it is difficult for them to communicate. If they are having trouble understanding you, asking for things repeatedly, or constantly questioning what you are trying to communicate, there might be an under issue.

Speech development is an important step within all children's developmental process. There is of course no strict schedule that all children should adhere to. Even brothers and sisters take different amounts of time to develop cognitive skills. However, if a child's speech development is long delayed, there might be cause for concern. Unclear speech can also be a sign of hearing problems. If you suspect any of these signs occurring in your child, it is better to be safe than sorry. Have your child tested by a hearing aid specialist just to be sure. It can make all the difference in the world with your child's development.

If a child does have hearing impairment, a hearing aid can be of great assistance during development. Many public school systems offer special education to assist with the development and education of hearing impaired children. Hearing aids can afford your child the best opportunity for a normal development for those with hearing problems.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Colds, Flu – Gone Forever

In seeking the cause or the cure for colds and flu, we have to first try and discover why it is that people who live and eat healthfully hardy ever catch a cold and hardly ever come down with the flu? Is this simply a matter of fate? Do germs and viruses have some strange aversion to healthy people? Or is there a more logical explanation?

There was a time when my family and I contacted a cold at the first sign of Winter. We began a better diet and a change in lifestyle and it seemed to help a good deal of the time.
We all have been brought up to understand that it is germs that control the viruses and as a result the colds we would come down with. The truth of the matter is what we believed is not what really is happening.

Germs are probably more potent today than they were twenty years ago but we can still do the same things today that we did years ago. Such as going out with little clothing or leaving the windows open when the cool air would seem to break your resistance down. Even going as far as being with a room full of people who have colds already and are sneezing up a storm.

So, the big question is why would not we be as soon as catching a cold today as years ago? In a sentence. It is not the germs that that primarily responsible for the colds and flu attacks. The biggest cause is when your lifestyle and diet have had a dramatic effect on compromising your immune system. This breaks your system down and as a result, you end up with having to use 10 boxes of tissues and blow your nose around the clock.

When the immune system is healthy and strong, it will not allow anything into it to bring harm to you. Germs and viruses can no longer gain a solid foothold and what germs there are will be destroyed by a strong immune system.

Unfortunately when our system is weak, the body is loaded with the poisonous toxins and will allow the germs to take over and before you can say Jack Robin, you have a full blown cold or worse a flu.

It amazes me why the medical society refuses to acknowledge colds and the flu are not caused by germs when it is the bodies breaking down the immune system which is the real reason. Rather than teaching people to battle germs and viruses that would do us all a favor to teach us how to live better and healthier.

Of course many including myself realize the money the drug companies would lose is astronomical and the sales of cold and flu medicine fuels the many billies that these pharmaceutical companies could lose.

The best advice you could get or give is to improve your diet and lifestyle. You may never get another cold or the flu ever again.

Brain Atrophy and Alcoholism

Along with a great deal of medical information regarding the effects of chemical substances detrimental to the brain we are faced with the recognition that alcohol has occurred the highest proven status in the category along with a growing list of drugs still under investigation.

Evidence of the power of alcohol is before us all in society as we witness the altered changes in behavior towards aggression and not only temporary damage to our youth, but long term and the possibility of considerable irreversible damage to their brains. The destructive influence of alcohol upon personality and behavior has become evident in all alcoholics, but only recently has the extent of damage to the brain itself become clear as scientific medical evidence reveals.

A Report on 'Brain atrophy and intellectual impairment in heavy drinkers' by LA Cala, B. Jones, FL Mastaglia and B. Wiley of Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital Queen Elizabeth II Medical Center, Nedlands, Western Australia indications the following …

"We have found a high frequency of cerebral and cerebellar atrophy and dysfunction in a group of reliably young habitual heavy drinkers. alcoholic and the majority regarded themselves as nothing more than 'heavy social drinkers'. "

It is not too difficult for those of the public who are concerned about this social issue and the resultant personal tragedies that are associated with the habit of drinking alcohol, to refer alcohol consumption to later development of Alzheimer's and other symptoms of senility that share the shrinkage Egypt atrophy of the brain.

We must then relate the desire to remain free of such mental disease as associated with a need to reject alcohol from our lifestyle. Unlike some countries where to consume alcohol constituents a major offense and acts sometimes the death penalty, here in Australia as in many western countries, it is left to the individual. We must undertake our own personal complaints in relation to health matters.

Knowledge is the only way any of us can intelligently choose our actions in life. If we choose to drink alcohol we must know the consequences. And still, we should choose to continue to drink we must be willing to face a future that involves a loss of self control, loss of not only a healthy heart but a healthy brain and the burden of a great deal of suffering given to our loved ones.

Garden Plants – Uncover The Healing Properties Of Them (Part 2)

The article deals with the healing properties of various garden plants.

  1. Horseradish root contains mustard essential oil, various vitamins, carotene, sugars and mineral substances. You can use leaves and root of the plant. The whole plant is rich in phytoncides. Horseradish should be used to treat gout, rheumatism and anemia. It is proven to purify blood, stimulate appetite and facilitate digestion. Mix a bit of horseradish juice with water and drink the solution to deal with upper respiratory tract infection. You can use the juice as a mouth rinse and gargle. Rub the areas affected by radiculitis and myositis (inflammation of the muscle) with it. In addition, the juice can be used for facial masks and compresses to fight freckles and skin pigmentation.
  2. Chives contain essential oil, vitamin C, carotene, vitamin B, vitamin PP and mineral substances. You should use fresh plant. It is proven to stimulate appetite and fight anemia.
  3. Parsley contains essential oil responsible for the specific taste and pleasant smell. You should use leaves, root and seeds of this plant. Parsley leaves are rich in vitamin C, vitamin B, carotene, mineral substances and other biologically active substances. It can be used as a diuretic remedy in case of edema caused by heart failure, renal diseases and diseases of urinary bladder. It is proven to excrete salts out of your body. In addition, parsley improves digestion and fights intestinal colic. Fresh juice has an overall stimulating effect and strengthens the nervous system. The juice is intended for external use, as well, to deal with skin pigmentation, rash, sting, wound and gum inflammation.
  4. Celery contains essential oil, vitamin C, vitamin B, carotene, furocoumarins, mineral substances and other biologically active substances. You can use the whole plant. Celery is recognized as a plant capable to strengthen the nervous system, tone you up, increase the ability to perform intellectual work, activate metabolism, fight inflammation and calm you down. It has diuretic and bile-moving action. You should use the plant when suffering from rheumatism, stomach ulcer, neurosis, nettle-rush and duodenal ulcer. Celery juice or essential oil is proven to stimulate the movement of kidney. A decoction of root or leaves can be used to treat festering wound and sore.
  5. Thyme contains essential oil, bitter substances, tannins, flavonoids and other biologically active substances. You should use thyme tops. You can use the plant to facilitate anticipation in case of bronchitis and bronchial asthma. In addition, it is a great remedy to treat catarrh of the stomach, duodenal ulcer and meteorism. The plant stimulates the secretion of bile. The plant can be used externally, as well, as a mouth rinse and gargle. Moreover, you can add thyme decoction to medicinal bath to deal with rheumatism, gout, paresis, nerve pain and bruise.

Stroke Treatment Using the Feldenkrais Method

Stroke is quite common worldwide, and is currently the third leading cause of death in the US If you or a loved one has had a stroke, there may be permanent loss of function on one or both sides of the body. A stroke occurs when the blood supply to a part of your brain is disturbed or reduced, robbing brain tissue of oxygen and nutrients. A stroke can occur because of a clot or actual bleeding inside the brain. Within minutes, brain cells begin to die. As a result, the affected area of ​​the brain is unable to function, causing symptoms like the inability to move an extremity, laborated speech, and / or a headache. Treatment for a stroke is both immediate and ongoing. Immediate treatment often involves going to the hospital for testing and observation. Immediate treatment may also involve medications, physical therapy, and acute nursing care. Ongoing treatment is usually referred to as stroke rehabilitation. Stroke rehabilitation takes place in the hospital at first. And after a while, you can be transferred to outpatient care when you are functionally better.

Because the effects of a stroke feel permanent, it is hard to imagine that help for a stroke is possible. A Feldenkrais approach to stroke treatment takes the following neuroanatomy into consideration:

  • Areas of the brain responsible for specific functions are vastly underused.
  • The body has a way to communicate right and left (corpus collosum) the functional efforts of the unaffected side. This allows the affected side to have a "model" of function from which to learn.
  • New neural connections around areas of damaged brain can be formed, a process called neuroplasticity.
  • These new connections respond to stimuli in much the same way as the old connections, restoring lost function.

If physical therapy has not worked to your satisfaction, the Feldenkrais Method can be used to treat all problems for which surgery is not necessary. Feldenkrais uses simple, gentle movements to reorganize posture, flexibility, strength and coordination. Based on the neurological processes by which we learn movement skills, it is a novel approach to stroke therapy , harnessing the power of the brain to help the body function more efficiently. More efficient use of self creates environments within which chronic problems can improve. Limbs can move more freely, sitting and breathing improve, and everyday activities becomes possible again. Let Feldenkrais show you how to improve your ability to function after a stroke, and get more out of life.

Six Unkanny Facts About Armadillos

If you have not already guessed, I am from Texas and I am also a huge fan of the state. In this state we see a lot of armadillos. Albeit, most are on the side or middle of the road and not moving too much, they are quite common in Texas.

I have seen many live ones, and they are fun harmless creatures, unless they are digging holes in your yard or teasing up your flower bed. I thought I would share this list of off beat armadillo facts for those lovers of everything Texas, including the wild animals.

1. By a Different Name – In Spanish armadillo means, "little armed one." Germans have a different word for armadillo which means "little pig." I think armadillos would take an oath to that if they only knew. I know I would. In the 1930s Americas called armadillos Hoover Hogs, as a knock on the presiding president. Some less fortunately souls had to end up eating these lovable creatures or they would have starved. They blamed the president at the time for his plan to supply jobs which, in their minds, was not working.

2. Guinea Pigs for Science – Armadillos are very cold blooded, which is not an insult on their personalities, it is just a fact. Due to this, they are used in research for leprosy, which they are granted to contract. There is very little chance of humans getting leprosy from armadillos, but armadillos are used in finding cures and understanding the disease in humans.

3. Baby Soft – Baby armadillos, much like crabs or any other hard shelled creature have soft shells for the first months of life. Similar to a human fingernail, they harden over time through a process of depositing bone under the skin to make a shell.

4. Forget Laser Teeth Whiting – Armadillos do not have enamel to protect their teeth. While humans and other mammals have several different kinds, they only have one type of teeth, peg molars. Armadillos primarily eat insects, so evolutionarily speaking growing many different types of teeth was waste of time and energy.

5. Immaculate Conception – In times of stress, mama armadillos can keep a fertilized egg from implanting, needed to grow in the womb, for up to two years. So if an armadillo is captured, it may be pregnant, but you'll never know. Unless you keep if for two years, or it "makes itself at home." Elephants are the only other mammal that can hold unborn babies that long.

6. Gift fit for a King – In 1728, The King of England, George II, was given an armadillo as a present. He called it an "Indian Monster" and brave it hard boiled eggs to eat, which it happily accepted.

Need more armadillo facts? Go here for Six Odd Facts about Armadillos [http://www.atexasstateofmind.com/wst_page19.php]. Feel free to use this list in research for reports, or just an interesting email forward for your friends and family. All that we ask is a link back to the site for our armadillo drawing and coloring contest for kids.

The Three General Methods of Blood Collection

Blood collection is a vital procedure in blood testing. Proper blood collection is required to ensure the reliability of results. The general methods for blood collection are (note that this is only a reference guide – you should only attempt this if you are a professional):

1. Venipuncture – It is the collection of blood from the veins through the use of a needle and a syringe. In this procedure, the most common site of venipuncture is the antecubital fossa where the cephalic, basilic and mid-cubital veins are found. This procedure is required when large amounts of blood is needed for testing like in glucose, cholesterol, uric acid, creatinine, alkaline phosphatase test, and many blood chemistry determinations.

Materials needed

Gauge 20-22 needle, syringe, tourniquet, wet and dry cotton, 70 % isopropyl alcohol, vacutainer tubes or test tubes.

Precautions:

1.1. Remove the tourniquet first before the needle. Patients who have blood dyscrasia may bleed to death.

1.2. Avoid prolonged application of the tourniquet because it will cause venous stasis which will adversely affect the results.

1.3. Do not jerk the needle out of the vein because this may injure the vein and will cause discomfort in the patient.

1.4. Do not puncture the vein through and through because this will cause hematoma which is a bluish discoloration of the skin.

1.5. Allow the patient to rest for at least 10 minutes to ensure that he does not feel faint or that bleeding has stopped.

1.6. Sterilize before puncturing to ensure that the procedure is aspetic.

2. Capillary puncture – also known as fingerstick or finger puncture, is used when smaller volumes of blood is needed, like when performing Complete Blood Counts (CBC), peripheral blood smears and malarial smears. This method is useful for pediatric, obese and elderly patients where veins are small and cannot be palpated. It may also make use of the earlobe and big toe as puncture sites.

Materials needed

Lancet, capillettes, wet and dry cotton, 70 % isopropyl alcohol

Precautions

2.1. Puncture only the specified area as it may traumatize unintended sites like the bones.

2.2. Discard the first drop as this is made up of tissue fluid.

2.3. Sterilize first before puncturing.

3. Arterial Puncture – is the collection of blood from the arteries. This is oxygenated blood, while venous blood is non-oxygenated blood. This is usually used in Blood Gas Analysis (BGA) where the pH of blood, bicarbonate (HCO3), carbonic acid (H2CO3) and total carbon dioxide (TCO2) are determined

Materials needed

Luer lock syringe, vacutainer tubes, wet and dry cottons, 70% isopropyl alcohol

Precautions

3.1. Press the site of puncture for more than 15-30 minutes because the pressure of blood in the arteries is stronger than that in the veins.

3.2. Sterilize properly before puncturing.

3.3. Observe anaerobic collection as most samples are for blood gas testing.

These are the most common methods of blood collection. Each is utilized according to the needs of the patient.

The Aging Eye – Glaucoma, Macular Degeneration, Cataracts and Diabetic Retinopathy

What is the common thread between glaucoma, macular degeneration, cataracts and diabetic retinopathy? These all have in common the eye, but more importantly, more than any other generation, they all attack senior citizens. In other words, they affect the aging eye.

Aging is the common factor of all four of these conditions. Considered an 'end stage' illness, Glaucoma occurs when other factors are present and when combined. It is characterized by high pressure in the eye, which may cause serious damage to the optic nerve and could result in blindness, if untreated. High intraocular (eye) pressure, family history, race, cupping of the optic nerve, central cornea thickness less than 0.5mm, and aging are all risk factors.

With anyone who has diabetes, Diabetic Retinopathy may occur. The blood vessels that feed the retina are damaged as a result of this condition. Vision may be impaired; ultimately blindness may result if the diabetes is not managed appropriably. Poor control of blood sugar, high blood pressure, race, high cholesterol, pregnancy, smoking and age are all risk factors. Ultimately, the greater is the risk of developing diabetic retinopathy the longer one has diabetes.

As the macula (the central part of the retina that allows us to see fine details) is progressively damaged, Macular Degeneration occurs. Aging, smoking and family history are all included as risk factors. With the elderly, 30% over 75 can expect to suffer from macular degeneration.

Cataracts are defined as cloudiness or opacity in the lens of the eye. Aging, females, sunlight exposure, myopia (near-sightedness) are all included as risk factors. Also included in greater risk of cataracts are smokers and those with brown eyes. The list of greater risk does not end there as steroid users, those with trauma to the eye, and diabetics are at greater risk for developing cataracts.

Nutrition may, as always, play a large role in maintaining eye health. Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Pro-Vitamin A (beta-carotene) Carotenoids (Lutein and Zeaxanthin), have been proven to provide antioxidant protection to the human body and as such, they may provide anti-aging defenses for the eye as well. We seniors are well-advised to gather as much research-based information as possible, especially for those of us at high risk for chronic, age-related eye disease. The combination of traditional medical science and treatment with appropriately prescribed medications, newly-discovered alternative medical resources and effective nutritional supplements may provide the protection from blindness that we all desire.

Keywords to use in your browser search window include all four diseases followed by

  • risk factors
  • diagnosis
  • treatment
  • nutrition

There is a reassuring abundance of information available on the Internet to help us get a handle on these aging eye related diseases.

Vaccine Preventable Diseases – Tetanus

Vaccinations seem to cause some controversies in the United States whenever it is the moral / ethical / political issues surrounding Gardasil or the alleged link between childhood vaccines and autism. Although one thing is clear, vaccinations have made some of the most common and devastating diseases non-existent in this country. In my opinion, vaccinations are the most successful use of immunological principles to human health worldwide.

Vaccinations in simple terms are to introduce various antigenic materials, depending on the vaccine, to produce an immune response or antibodies in human or animals.

One of the great successes in disease prevention is the tetanus toxoid. Because of widespread corruption in the US, there are less than 100 cases of tetanus reported annually.

Tetanus is caused by a very potent toxin produced by the anaerobic bacterium, Clostridium tetani. This spores of this organism is very resistant to environmental factors and are found widely distributed in soil and in the intestines and feces of horses, sheep, cattle, dogs, cats, rats, guinea pigs, and chickens. Manure-treated soil may contain large numbers of spores. In agricultural areas, a significant number of human adults may harbor the organism.

These spores are usually introduced into the body through a puncture wound contaminated with soil, street dust, animal bites or animal or human feces, through lacerations, burns or trivial unnoticed wounds or by injecting contaminated drugs. So many times you hear about concern over stepping on a rusty nail, however the rust has nothing to do with tetanus. At this point the spores germinate into the bacteria which multiply and produce toxin.

A form of tetanus found in newborns called neonatal tetanus occurs in infants born without protective passive immunity, because the mother is not immune. It usually occurs through infection of the unhealed umbilical stump, particularly when the stump is cut with an unsterile instrument. Although rare in this country, it causes about a quarter of a million deaths worldwide.

Depending on the amount of the wound, the incubation of tetanus is around 10-14 days.

Some of the common symptoms of tetanus are lockjaw, followed by stiffness of the neck, difficulty in swallowing, and rigidity of abdominal muscles. Other symptoms include elevated temperature, sweating, elevated blood pressure, and episodic rapid heart rate. Spasms may occur frequently and last for several minutes. Spasms continue for 3-4 weeks. The typical features of a tetanus spasm are the position of opisthotonos and the facial expressions known as "risus sardonicus". The death rate for this disease ranges from 10-80% depending on age and quality of care.

There are really no laboratory finds that are characteristic of tetanus. The diagnosis is entirely clinical and does not depend upon bacteriological confirmation.

This disease in not transmitted from person to person.

The prevention of tetanus is through immunization. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommends 5 doses of diphtheria and tetanus toxoids and acellular pertussis (DTaP) vaccine for infants and children. One dose of DTaP vaccine is recommended at each of the following ages: 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, 15-18 months, and 4-6 years old. DTaP vaccine may be given at the same time as other vaccines. A booster shot of Tdap (an adult formulation) is recommended at ages 11-18 years. And then again boost at least every 10 years.

Even if you had tetanus and recovered, this potent toxin produces no immunity and the primary immunizations are indicated after recovery to prevent a second infection.