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.

Five Man 1 Man Oil Side Effects Men May Not Know About

Side effects… they’re what everyone checks before buying or using a new product. And everyone should practice due diligence! Men using a penis health crème in pursuit of a healthy penis should know what continued use can result in. When specifically using Man 1 Man Oil, one of the top-rated crèmes out there, men should be aware of some of the potential side effects that a number of men experience with regular use. Let’s break down each Man 1 Man Oil Side effect and what causes it.

Side Effect #1: Calm, Clear Skin

Just like the face or back, the penis can get zits too! Acne and folliculitis, which are inflamed hair follicles, often happen in the nether region. While a man should definitely not use medicated acne products in the fun zone, Man 1 Man Oil can safely be used in the area because it contains vitamins A and C. Vitamin A is known for its pimple-pounding and antibacterial properties, while vitamin C is a vital part of collagen which helps with skin tone. These vitamins are delivered in a neutral, all-natural Shea butter base to nourish the skin while calming the aggressors.

Side Effect #2: Regained Sensitivity

Age, overuse, injury, or bad blood flow are all issues that can lead to a desensitized penis. Often times, friction without proper lubrication or too much rubbing can lead to peripheral friction damage which can cause a feeling of numbness in the penis. The amino acid, L-Carnitine, is a blue-ribbon addition to Man 1 Man Oil because it has been shown to protect against nerve damage. Another ingredient in the crème is Alpha-Lipoic Acid, which prevents against premature aging and helps inhibit the thinning of the penile skin. Together, these ingredients help men regain sensitivity in their penis.

Side Effect #3: Stronger Erections

Of course, one of the most celebrated side effects of Man 1 Man Oil is the prevalence of stronger erections. How is this crème helping men get more oomph in the O-Zone? The secret may lie in the vitamin C and L-Arginine in the crème. Vitamin C not only contributes to skin elasticity; it’s also critical for maintaining proper blood flow – the key to strong erections. Add in the L-Arginine: this brings a power vasodilator, something that widens and dilates the blood vessels, to the mix. This increases blood flow to the penis, making it harder and stronger.

Side Effect #4: Itch and Irritation Abolished

The penis is often “indoors,” meaning it is kept in underwear and other constricting garments, in all sorts of fibers, is rubbed against, chafed, and constricted. Then there’s sweat, bacteria, and shedding skin cells are resulting in a funky stew that can sometimes cause itch and irritation. That’s why Man 1 Man Oil side effects include getting rid of these very common results. The vitamin A in the crème has antibacterial properties that combat funk from a man’s junk while preventing bacteria from snuggling into the more dark and moist areas. Shea butter and vitamin E serve as skin soothers. They lock in skin’s natural moisture and create a barrier to keep skin calm and hydrated. Together, men are finding they have less to scratch about and don’t have any red rashes to explain during sexy time.

Side Effect #5: Sexual Confidence

When a man feels good about how his penis looks and knows it’s strong and sensitive, he feels better about using it. He also doesn’t have to sport a Roman toga ala bed sheet after sex. He can strut to the kitchen to make a sandwich in the buff knowing his penis looks inviting and healthy. It may not seem as noteworthy as the other side effects, but it very well may be the most important one there is.

Finally, side effects a man can feel good about! Men can get these when they regularly use a penis health creme (health professionals recommend Man 1 Man Oil, which has been clinically proven safe and mild for skin) This particular crème has been a winner for tons of men. It has every natural ingredient above and a few others for cellular regeneration and skin soothing.

Facts About Stroke

Stroke is a major cause of death in the United States, and senior citizens are especially prone to experiencing a stroke and some of the long-term effects that can result. African Americans tend to also be at higher risk for stroke.

Knowing the signs of stroke and what to do when one occurs is very important. Caregivers of senior citizens or other friends and family should know these signs so that they can act quickly to reduce the serious effects that can occur as a result of a stroke. Someone suffering a stroke should always get to a hospital within an hour after symptoms begin.

A stroke occurs when blood flow to the brain is stopped by a blood clot, which is usually a side effect of damaged blood vessels. When the brain does not receive oxygen from blood flow, there is a rapid rate of cell death that occurs and can manifest into mental or physical disability depending on how long the stroke goes untreated.

Ischemic strokes involve clots that work as a "plug" in blood vessels leading to the brain while hemorrhagic strokes involve clots that cause blood vessels to literally burst and bleed into the brain.

Symptoms

People who are having a stroke can experience:

  • Numbness or weakness in the face or leg, usually on one side of the body
  • Sudden confusion or difficulty producing and understanding speech
  • Sudden inability to see in one or both of the eyes
  • Sudden trouble walking or maintaining balance
  • Sudden severe headache without any other known cause

Because we can not see that someone is having a stroke unless they are showing the symptoms mentioned above, it is important to know how to recognize this sudden onset of symptoms and act quickly by seeking immediate medical attention. If you suspect that you are someone you know is having a stroke, call 911 immediately.

Prevention

Senior Citizens should take active steps to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Caregivers should encourage such activities to prevent disease. The following are suggestions will help prevent strokes.

Because strokes are due to complications with blood vessels, one way to prevent stroke is to keep high blood pressure under control because high blood pressure can lead to increased risk of stroke and heart disease.

  • Avoid smoking.
  • If you have diabetes, learn how to manage it efficiently.
  • Maintain a healthy body weight with a healthy eating plan and safe amount of physical activity.

How to Fight Swine Flu Without Any Doctor

This deadly H1N1 virus has created panic all over. Whole world is confused about Swine Flu. They do not know what to do at the time of Swine Flu. Lot's of people come to know very late about The Deadly Flu and they die. But it's very easy to fight this while staying at home. You do not need to go to doctor and there is no need to take any medicine. Here are very easy steps to fight this deadly Flu while staying at home.

First of all make your immune system strong because your strong immune system plays the major role to fight the Flu. Here are some easy methods to make your immune system strong:

1) Meditation: Regular prayer to God will make you strong inside just pray for your better health and mind.
2) Proteins: Take regular proteins in your diet. Pulses, Nuts, Fruits, Green Vegetables, Eggs are the good source of taking proteins.
3) Vitamin C: Orange, Mango, Guava, Green Salad, Fresh Juice are good in Vitamin C.
4) Cooking Oil: Use cooking oil which are made by mustard and groundnut.
5) Avoid: More use of salt in the food and also avoid: Papad, Pickle and outside food as it's unhygienic.

You must be psychologically fit because strong psychology can make us fight any disease. Keep tensions away because tensions make you psychologically and physically sick and take regular exercise because exercise makes you psychologically and physically fit. Just adopt these methods and keep away the deadly Swine Flu.

Suggestions for Health Sector Reform in Trinidad and Tobago

Health reform refers to the changes in health administration, health planning and, health research that places significant emphasis on local health challenges aimed at improving health administration, health planning and healthcare. They will combine to produce an efficient model of healthcare delivery capable of increasing patient physical, medical and psychological safety. Health reform should be driven by empirical data, best practice and evidence based practice. A variety of health statistics; such as mortality, manpower needs, technology functioning and patient satisfaction; should be analyzed and employed in strengthening health systems.

In Trinidad and Tobago the current system of healthcare is highly centralized. The Ministry of Health maintains operational oversight of five regional health authorities. These are the North West Regional, North Central Regional, Eastern Regional, South West Regional and Tobago Regional. South West, North West and North Central are the largest regions; each catering for the healthcare needs of more than three hundred thousand people.

A significant reform should be the specialization of the Ministry of Health in fewer functions aimed to improve healthcare efficiency. For example, it can concentrate on data compilation and analysis. It should be staffed with expert health researchers tasked with analyzing changes in epidemiology, and trends in morbidity and mortality. Furthermore, the Ministry of Health should have the power to instruct regional authorities to make systemic and resource changes based on the statistics collected and analyzed. Regional bodies should be mandated to provide health based statistics to the Ministry of Health quarterly. The Ministry of Health must maintain general oversight of regional authorities. It should produce annual reports based on self- monitoring and evaluation of the systems, performances and challenges in each region. Financial statements and audits should be submitted annually to the Ministry of Health and factors accounting for variance should be justified. Recommendations should be made for improvements and incidences of white-collar crime prosecuted.

One major reform that should be implemented is granting absolute autonomy to regional health authorities for the delivery of healthcare. They should be able to generate their own funds by charging fees for their services. This would eliminate dependency on the state or Ministry of Finance for funding. Each regional health authority should be able to invest in the stock market or undertake other income generating measures it deems feasible. Its funds should be spent in accordance with the health needs of the population it serves. Regional authorities should be responsible for primary, secondary and tertiary healthcare. In addition, they should be given oversight of private hospitals and health facilities in their geographic regions. Private facilities should be subject to price controls to avoid exorbitant charges and should be required to pay at least ten percent of their annual profit to the regional authority.

In addition, regional authorities should have the power to ensure that all health institutions and providers adhere to national accreditation standards. The Ministry of Health should be charged with responsibility for developing national accreditation standards in all aspects of the operations of health institutions. These should include hospitals, pharmacies, private practice. Also conventional and alternative medicines should be subject to accreditation standards. Everything and every health based institution should be subject to accreditation standards comparable with those of more developed countries such as Canada and the United States.

It is palpable that the boundaries of each regional authority be redefined so that they are of almost equal population size. At this time South West Regional is responsible for slightly over one half million people. Therefore given its limited resources, it cannot be expected to perform with greatest efficiency. Given the fact that the better health facilities are situated in urban centers, this would be a challenge that must be overcome judiciously. To accommodate this reform, regional authorities should induce joint public and private partnerships in the provision of healthcare centers in rural and other districts less accessible to major hospitals and health centers.

To make the health system efficient, a centralized electronic health record system should be developed and implemented. This would ensure that patients could access care in any region. Thus it would make it easy to access health records from any healthcare facility owned and administered within any regional authority. It is expected that the Ministry of Health should take a leading role in this enterprise. Records of patients in private hospitals should be accessible to regional authorities given that they may be moved to a public hospital if the care they require cannot be attained there. Sometimes for financial reasons such as exorbitant cost, patients may be moved to a public hospital.

Employment policies should enable the free movement of skills and expertise across regions. In some instances, highly specialized surgeons and caregivers should be made available to patients in other regions on a needs basis. In other words, one region can pay another for the services of its skilled human or physical resources demanded.

Regional bodies can collaborate in health planning. They can develop their strategic, business and budget plans cooperatively. Afterwards they can tweak their plans to fit their population needs. The main advantages of centralized planning will be greater transparency, accountability and inter-operational functionality. Inter-planning can reduce competition between regions and ensure that scare resources are used efficiently. In effect, the Ministry of Health can compare operational effectiveness and best practice across all regions and provide opportunities to strength operational or institutional efficiency.

The health system should be reformed so that it is able to provide high quality care for patients. Patients should be well-educated to take advantage of a competent, highly organized and skillfully administered healthcare system. Finally reform must involve all stakeholders; government, private practitioners and citizenry. A convergent bottom up and top down model should be adopted so that there is universal buy-in to health reform capable of contributing to economic and social development of the country’s human capital.

Can Glaucoma Be Healed Naturally?

Glaucoma is one of the major causes of blindness. Glaucoma is due to increased eye pressure. In conventional medicine, most eye doctors would recommend surgeries and eye drops to relieve high ocular pressure in the eye.

However, there is one problem: surgeries and eye drops would create a chronic condition, ironically enough, leading to ultimate blindness.

Dr. Leslie Salov, M.D., O.D. Ph.D., in his book “Secrets for Better Vision”, says most glaucoma patients are highly intelligent professionals who lead very stressful, busy lives. This finding led Dr. Salov to believe that to improve vision or eye health, you need to improve the health of your entire person simultaneously because your body is a set of interlocking systems that affect one another. Given that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, your eyes are only a small part of your whole person. Accordingly, to heal the eyes, you must heal the body first. It is just that simple!

To have healthy vision, even as you age, you must employ not only the sciences of physiology, biology, and chemistry, but also the healing powers of philosophy and even spirituality. This is no exception when it comes to treating glaucoma. In other words, to treat glaucoma, you need to examine not just your eyes, but every aspect of your life.

The methods of glaucoma treatment recommended by Dr. Salov include the following:

Visualization is the use of meditative exercise by your mind to control your body in order to heal itself. Specifically, visualization relaxes the muscles in the walls of your canal of Schlemm (circular channel in the eye that collects watery substance between the lens and the cornea). By relaxing these muscles, extra fluid can be excreted to relieve the glaucoma pressure. The use of eye drops serves a similar function, but the only difference is that chronic use of eye drops may have adverse long-term effects. These effects include pieces of iris falling off, causing blockage, and thereby instrumental in increasing eye pressure over the long haul. Without using eye drops with chemicals, visualization can relax eye muscles so that your pupils become small enough to open up the canal of Schlemm to excrete the fluid for eye pressure relief.

So, what exactly is visualization?

Visualization is the use of guided imagery to direct blood, oxygen, and leukocytes (immunity cells) to the eye through a mental image of a healthy eye. Essentially, your conscious mind controls the involuntary processes that occur automatically inside your body. However, it must be pointed out that visualization works only when you use it with dedication and consistency. In other words, you have to practice visualization diligently.

Another therapy recommended by Dr. Salov is meditation, which removes your everyday stresses and worries. When you are under duress and stress, you body produces chemical changes within your body, which decrease blood flow and oxygen level. Practice meditation, which is the art of thinking of nothing.

Deep and slow breathing using your diaphragm, aided by good posture, is deep cleansing for the body and mind. Deep breathing promotes better vision health through relaxation and detoxification.

According to Dr. Salov, your diet may also help you heal your glaucoma. A no-meat diet is strongly recommended because the antibiotics, chemical dyes, and growth hormones in supermarket meat damage not only you immune system but also your eye health. Without strong immunity, your eyes cannot utilize their natural healing elements.

To conclude, your body has its own curative forces, but the problem is how to harness these forces. For better vision health, you must be prepared to change your environment, lifestyle, and living habits. Vision health cannot be accomplished without total health. There is a Chinese saying: “The eye is the window of the soul.” Your vision health mirrors your physical health. If you believe that glaucoma can be healed naturally, then look beyond your eyes.

Surgery is an Efficient Way to Treat Glaucoma

Glaucoma is one of the foremost reasons for blindness in the world today. This does not have to be so, as it can be treated successfully if it is discovered early. There are a few ways to treat glaucoma and the most radical one is by surgery. This treatment is done after the other options have failed.

Glaucoma is a term that doctors have given to four eye diseases. What the four types of it have in common is how they destroy vision. It occurs when the optic nerve becomes destroyed due to pressure or lack of blood supply. Doctors are not sure exactly why this happens in some people and not in others.

The people at highest risk of this disease are black people, people over 40, and anyone with a history of the disease in their family. Doctors will first try to treat glaucoma with medications, but if this does not work then a surgical procedure is the last option. There are two types of operations that can be performed to treat it; traditional and laser.

Both traditional and laser surgery can make a world of difference in treating glaucoma. Doctors will only turn to an operation as a last resort after every other treatment has failed to work. Sometimes a glaucoma operation can cause cataracts, but they are very treatable. Laser trabeculoplasty is an operation used for open angle glaucoma.

This operation is safe and fast and requires almost no recuperation time. The laser is aimed at drainage channels in the eye; a tiny hole will be made to help the fluid drain out. Trabeculectomy is a traditional surgical operation. In this operation a tiny hole is made in the white part of the eye, to help in fluid drainage. Recovery time from this type of operation can be up to eight weeks.

Drain implantation involves putting a microscopic plastic tube inside the eye to improve drainage and pressure. The last type of operation is cyclophotocoagulation. In this procedure a laser is used on the surface of the eye to try to disrupt the part of the eye that produces fluid. This procedure is the most dangerous and can cause a decrease in vision, which is why doctors use it as a last resort.

Having surgery for glaucoma is not something that anyone wants to have to go through. The good news is that if a person takes care of their eye health and gets regular exams, then there is a chance that they may never have to have a glaucoma operation. Taking care of yourself is always the smartest thing to do.

An Herbal Approach to H1N1 Virus (Swine Flu)

Over the last few days, I have watched the media accelerate in alerting us to the possible shortage in the H1N1 Swine Flu vaccinations. We are warned that the H1N1 virus will hit this winter in pandemic proportions. Many of us are quite frankly confused as to the prevenitive / treatment approach for ourselves and family members. As practicing herbalist, I have been asked my opinion on this provocative issue.

Vaccinations are sometimes necessary. The elderly, persons with a compromised immune system and very young children should be protected. Caregivers are needed and are often not enough. Therefore, caregivers and educators should consider getting vaccinated. With that being said, the decision to be vaccinated should be weighed carefully. Are there sensible and easy options to protect you and your family without being vaccinated, while the choice is still ours? Sure there are, and one choice is to use an herbal approach.

Herbalism like prevention, is all about personal responsibility, responsibility to yourself and others. If you are sick, prevent others from being so by self quarantining. Most employers have viewed the H1N1 virus as a serious enough threat to encourage their employees to utilize their sick days when feeling ill. Some have even allowed employees to take days even when you have exhausted your sick time.

Prevention in this case and all other health concerns, is the most worthy consideration. Specifically for this flu season, building your immune system should be your utmost concern.

Herbs that build the immune system and can be taken prior to feeling ill are:

A stragulus (Astragalus Membranaceus) – A potent immune enhancer. Best taken before cold and flu season strikes, it builds the body's resistance.

Siberian Ginseng (Eleutherococcus Senticos) – Has anti-viral properties and boost the immune system.

Codonopsis Root (Codonopis pilosulae) – For immune deficiency and frequent infections

Schizandra Berries (Schizandra chinensis) – Boost the body's immune function

Reishi Mushroom – ( Ganoderma lucidum) – Stimulates the immune system

All of the herbs listed above can be taken as a tea or a tincture during this flu season on a preventive basis.

What to do if you are feeling ill:

Know your body and recognize the symptoms of illness. Everyone begins to feel ill in a different way; fatigue, sore throat, headache, nausea, chills, etc. The first hour of an illness setting in is most important in treating that illness. An herbal approach to treatment of the flu includes all of the following: clearing toxins and excess conditions by increasing sweating, killing germs and reducing fever, pains, stiffness and congestion.

His is accomplished by stimulating a natural immune system response.

At the first signs of the Flu – a diaphoretic remedy such as Osha Root ( Ligusticum porteri) which can be taken, it will encourage sweating and help to eliminate toxins. Osha Root was first used by Native Americans to treat colds, flu and upper respiratory infections. It is a powerful, antimicrobial, anti-flamatory and antiseptic herb. An Osha tea or tincture can be taken in small doses every half hour to an hour.

If your cold symptoms become inflammatory, take an herbal antibiotic or anti-microbial – such as Golden Seal (Hydrastis canadensis) or Echinacea ( Echinacea purpurea ) in tea or tincture of up to 7 days. These are both powerful herbs and should be considered as such.

If you are confused, have a cough or phlegm present – use an expectorant, astringent, and antispasmodic herb. Echinacea can kill germs and dries phlegm. Echinacea can be a drying herb, so you should not take when you have a dry cough. Use an herbal steam of Peppermint (Menta piperita ) and Eucalyptus ( Eucalyptus globules ) to help with the congestion. Other herbs that can help are: Yarrow ( Achillea millefolium ), Mullein ( Verbascum thapsus ) and Wild Cherry ( Prunus serotina ), Elecampane ( Inula helenium ) and Thyme ( Thymus vulagris ).

For a sore throat – use a soothing demulcent (an herb which provides moisture) such as Marshmallow Root ( Althaea officinalis ) and Slippery Elm ( Ulmus rubra ). Osha can also be taken to reduce inflation, it will soother and anesthezie. A gargle can be made with Yarrow, Sage ( Salvia officinales ) and or Echinacea.

For Ear Infections – An ear infection usually begins in the throat and spread to the inner ear via the Eustachian tube. Use an anti-microbial such as – Garlic, Echinacea, Mullein or / and Meadowsweet ( Filipendula ulmaria ) for the pain.

For a Fever use an herb that is febrifuge (brings down a fever) and diaphoretic (promotes sweating), such as – Ginger, Boneset – treat aches and pains, Peppermint, Elder Flowers, Catnip (especially great for young children) and Yarrow .

here is also much to be said about using herbs topically to prevent the spread of infections. According to the story, in Toulouse, France during the time of the plague four thieves were robbing and stealing from the dead, without falling ill from the plague. When they were finally apprehended, and sent to death for their deeds, a judge allowed them their lives if they reveal their secret of how they were able to handle the diseased bodies and remain immune themselves. Their secret was a formula of herbs and essential oils that is antimicrobial, astringent and antiseptic properties!

ou can easily make similar formula to use as a room spray and hand sanitizer to protect yourself and others from getting ill. Use two ounces of distilled water to 1/2 ounce vodka, and add 30-40 drops of any of the following essential oils: Sage, Thyme, Frankincense, Pine, Lavender, Rosemary or Oregano. Shake well and spray on surfaces, in the air and on hands.

Above all use common sense when feeling ill; avoid cold, raw foods, dairy products, dress warmly, and get the rest your body needs. Do eat lots of garlic in your diet, miso soups, and organic vegetable broths. Take care of yourself and each other this flu season!

"The above information is not intended to diagnose or treat the flu, and has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration"

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.

The Importance of Vaccinating Your Puppy

You spend so much time trying to find the right the right breed for you and your family. Now that you have your new puppy, there are some things that you need to take care of before you start on the path to your new life together.

Remember that your puppy needs to be vaccinated very early on in life. These vaccinations will help your puppy's immune system fight off some major diseases, much like the vaccinations that you got when you were a child. Some of the core vaccines that your puppy should receive are the rabies vaccine, the parvovirus vaccine, the canine hepatitis vaccine and the canine distemper vaccine. These injections and the boosters that will come in years following will help to keep your puppy healthy and happy. Here are a few things about these diseases to show you why it can be so important to vaccinate your puppy.

Rabies is a virus that causes the brain to swell. Symptoms tend to include malaise, headache, fever, and later, acute pain, violent movements, an accessibility to swallow water, and finally mania, lethargy and possibly coma. The virus is easily spread, often through open wounds, and if your puppy is not vaccinated against it, the output is generally bleak.

Canine parvovirus 2, or parvo for short, is a very serious disease. Symptoms can include lethargy, excessive vomiting, fever, and bloody diarrhea. The vomiting and diarrhea will dehydrate your puppy, leading to some very nasty complications. These complications almost invariably occur, and lead to the death of the puppy. Unfortunately, parvo is not treatable in and of itself. The veterinarian has to treat the symptoms and hope for the best. This is why vaccination against parvo is so important.

Canine hepatitis affects the liver, much like the human strain. It is spread through feces, urine, blood, saliva, and nasal discharge. Symptoms can include fever, depression, loss of appetite, coughing and tender abdomen. If left untreated, complications such as jaundice, corneal edema, and bleeding disorders may occur.

Canine distemper virus is spread through aerosol droplets, and contact with infected bodily fluids. The infection tends to affect the lymphoid, epithelial, and nervous tissues. This generally leads to problems with lymphoid depletion, interstitial pneumonia, encephalitis, and hyperkeratosis of foot pads. The mortality rate depends on the dogs' immunity. For this reason, vaccination is extremely important.

It is incredibly important to the health of your puppy to get vaccinated. If you would like more information about vaccination, please contact your local Philadelphia Veterinarian Clinic by clicking here .

Health Care Reform and Coordination of Benefits

The current discussion of expanding health care options through federal legislation deals primarily with big issues – like how to pay for the new coverage and how proposed reforms would change the current medical care system. One of the smaller questions not showing up on many radar screens is how health care reform would impact coordination of benefits issues.

The current method of paying for health care in the US is contracted of many different medical coverage "silos". Any given individual- depending on the nature of the disease or injury and how it is arose- may be entitled to have medical treatment paid for by any one of many different plans that provide for payment of medical expenses: group health, workers' compensation, automobile no-fault, homeowner's, liability and a government-sponsored plan like Medicare or Medicaid.

When Uncle Larry was hurt in a motor vehicle collision while making a delivery for his employer, the hospital that treated his broken arm could have conceivably billed Larry or Larry's employers 'workers' compensation insurance carrier or Larry's group health insurer or Larry's auto no-fault insurance carrier or Medicare. Traditionally, those potential payers have operated within separate silos, with little or no sharing of information between them about who had coverage for Larry and about the circumstances of Larry's arm getting broken. Any one of those health coverage plans could have ended up being billed for and paying the hospital charges.

Under the existing Medicare Secondary Payer statute Medicare is not obliged to pay Larry's hospital bill and would only be liable for payment if none of the other coverage was in force. Any workers' compensation, liability, no fault and group health plan or policy in effect for Larry must pay before Medicare is obligatory to pay.

Currently, systems are in place for Medicare to discover what other health care coverages are in effect for its beneficies, to find out what payments other health coverage have made on behalf of its beneficies and to recover reimbursements for Medicare payments made when a primary coverage is in effect. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the federal agency tasked with administering the Medicare program, has a rather robust system in place for enforcing the secondary non-paying rules and minimizing the number of cases in which Medicare pays for treatment that another payer is obliged to pay .

Medicaid, on the other hand, is administrated by state agencies. Due in part to very low-income-eligibility standards, the typical Medicaid beneficiary would not have other, private medical payment coverage in force. Accordingly, there is no single, effective process in place to coordinate benefits between Medicaid and any other medical treatment payers available to a Medicaid beneficiary.

The health care reform proposals now being debated in Congress would-very very terms- expand health care coverage in four ways:

o increasing the number of people who qualify for Medicare (eg decreasing eligibility age from 65 to 55)
o increasing the number of people who would qualify for Medicaid (eg increasing maximum income levels to 150% of the federal poverty level)
o accelerating qualification requirements for existing private insurance policies, and
o creating a new publicly-administered health insurance plan.

Clearly, enactment of legislation expanding the number of people covered by health insurance will increase the incidence of overlapping or duplicative coverage. That will increase opportunities for payment of medical expenses by the wrong payer. That will increase the need for effective information sharing among the non-paying silos and enforcement of payment priorities.

One aspect of the health care reform movement that will be particularly helpful in the coordination of benefits is an expansion of electronic data exchange between the health care payers. If the hospital that treated Uncle Larry's broken arm was able to put Larry's social security number and a few other key data elements into a web-based database accessed and fed by all potential health expenditure payers, it could be a pretty simple process to determine who the bill should be sent to, avoid payment by the wrong payer and find opportunities for reimbursements when payment is made by the wrong party.

Federal law (42 USC 1320d-2) already requires CMS to develop a system for electronic data exchange of health information for the purpose of improving the operation and reducing the costs of the health care system. The principle health care reform bill pending in Congress – HR 3200- covers over 1,000 pages of text. One sentence of that bill deals with coordination of benefits:

"Not later than 1 year after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Health and Human Services shall promulgate a final rule to establish a standard for health claims attachment transaction described in section 1173 (a) (2) (B) of the Social Security Act (42 USC 1320d-2 (a) (2) (B)) and coordination of benefits. "

Bingo.

Get everyone on the same (web) page, and make sure that includes Medicaid (since expanding eligibility for Medicaid will increase opportunities for duplicative coverage and need for coordination.)

Learn to Quit Stuttering – Essential Tips to Lose a Stutter and Talk Better Without Stammering!

Stuttering is definitely not sexy, and can ruin your life if you do not get the help you need. There is a whole world full of opportunities out there, and a stuttering problem can truly keep you from exploring them. His article will focus on helping you understand there is help and the chances of losing your stutter are actually very good. I personally know people who have quit stuttering by taking my advice.

Stop Stuttering – Tip 1: Thinking Before You Speak

One of the biggest causes of stuttering is when ones mouth moves before the brain thinks. In order to help yourself overcome a stuttering problem, you must allow yourself to think before you speak. This sounds simple and obvious, but many people actually found this to help them improve their speech. If you give your brain a second to process, not only will you have a more well thought out answer, you will not have to stammer and stumble over your words to get your point across.

Stop Stuttering – Tip 2: Talk Better By Practicing

If you stutter, reading is a very beneficial and not to mention therapeutic way to cope with stuttering. I know people with stutters that have started reading out loud every day and have completely lost their stutter. I am not saying everyone is going to be this way, but practice does make perfect and it applies to stuttering! Annunciation is the key with stuttering problems, you need to successfully complete the word before your stutter gets the best of you. Reading out loud daily can really help with this.

Stop Stuttering – Tip 3: Step By Step Stuttering Guides – Why They Are So Great!

If you leave here with anything today, understand why having a step by step stop stuttering guide is so beneficial. They are all over the Internet, but only a couple will actually help you quit stuttering and I know which one works! These guides give you the best tips, tricks, exercises and logical explanations for why you stutter and how to overcome the condition. These guides are extremely cheap, but the rewards are priceless.

Epilepsy Facts

More than 2.5 million Americans suffer from some type of epilepsy. Epilepsy is defined as any condition that is characterized by seizures. Seizures come in many forms but all have one thing in common, abnormal electrical brain activity. This abnormal activity causes an involuntary change in body movement or function. There are many different kinds of seizures and they vary in intensity and duration. An estimated $ 15.5 billion annually is spent on medical costs and lost wages associated with epilepsy.

Two main types of seizures

The two main types of seizures are primary generalized seizures and partial seizures. Primary generalized seizures include both sides of the brain. Partial seizures include a localized portion of the brain. People with partial seizures often have seizures that go unnoticed by those around them. They may appear to stare off into space or blink rapidly. In contrast, a person having a primary generalized seizure may cry out, have ridged muscle jerks, fall down or appear to pass out.

Not all people who experience seizures have epilepsy. Seizures can be caused by high fever, low blood sugar, withdrawal from drugs or alcohol and as the result of a concussion. People who suffer a seizure from one of these should be treated for the condition not for epilepsy, especially if there is no indication of prior seizures.

It is known that several conditions and events can increase the risk of developing epilepsy. These include oxygen deprivation during birth, brain infections, stroke, certain neurological diseases, brain tumors and genetic disorders. Although we know these factors can increase the risk, in over two thirds of all cases of epilepsy no underlining cause can be identified.

Treatment options

There are several treatment options for those suffering from epilepsy depending on the type and cause. The primary course of action is antiepileptic drugs. There are many different types of drugs available and a healthcare provider will work with the patient to find the best medication that will control the seizures. Close monitoring after starting a medication is necessary to access the drug's effectiveness and to control side effects. About two thirds of all patients treated with drugs are fully controlled.

Surgery is an option for those who suffer from partial epilepsy. Since the abnormal brain activity is localized, surgery to remove the affected area has been shown to less or wholly stop seizures. This type of surgery is commonly used to treat seizures that are focused on the temporal lobe.

When medications are not affective or surgery is not an option, other methods are often considered. An electrical device implanted into the vagus nerve in the neck has been used. Some people find a ketogenic diet, high in fat and low in carbohydrates and calories to be of assistance. Seeing a physician who specializes in epilepsy can help find the best plan of action that works to control seizures and allows the patient to live a normal life.

Natural Tonsillitis Treatment – Step 2

In treating tonsillitis with natural remedies, one must first clear the 'emunctories' (organs of elimination: skin, liver, kidneys and bowels). Once the toxins are flowing out of the body properly, there is a chance to reduce the inflammatory condition of the tonsils and adenoids. Beyond the use of ice packs to the throat every few hours and the drinking of ice water with lemon or lime juice in it, the next most important step is to stop the pain.

People who have tonsillitis or adenoiditis are really in a lot of pain and may be fearful due to the feeling of not being able to breathe or swallow. The lymphoid tissue that makes up the little organs is roughly about inch inch in diameter but can swell up impressively when infected. The swapping can actually close the airway in several cases.

Natural pain relief measures include things like white willow bark, boswellia or chamomile, which reduce the inflammatory process. Soothing herbals such as marshmallow root and slippery elm bark help with mucous membrane soreness. The more strong and drastic measure would be Tylenol # 3 cough syrup with Codeine, which most naturopathic doctors will reserve as a last-ditch pain relief effort.

There are also homeopathic pain and tonsillitis remedies and acupuncture; these work by increasing the energy flow and helping to push toxins out of the body. Both of these methods of treatment can have quite dramatic and immediate effects on the level of pain and swelling experienced. Both also should be individualized to that particular patient. For instance, while homeopathic belladonna may be recommended commonly for the pain and inflammation of tonsillitis, it may not be the appropriate remedy for that particular person. A homeopathic or naturopathic physician would do a homeopathic interview to determine what would best suite that patient.

The natural methods of treating tonsillitis pain and swelling work far better than conventional medical methods because they do not add to the toxic situation that caused the problem in the first place. Remember, toxin buildup is what affects the tonsils and adenoids; the bacteria and pus come along afterwards. Gargling with salt water, raw apple cider vinegar or other appropriate substances can assist with clearing toxins and reducing swelling also, which automatically reduces pain.

Once the toxin overload, pain and inflammation are handled, step three involves taking care of any opportunistic bacterial, viral or fungal infections. There are natural treatments for all three types of infections and these treatments do not have a negative impact on the gut flora like synthetic antibiotic do. Treating tonsillitis and adenoiditis naturally results in quicker and better healing; hopefully avoiding the necessity of removing the organs in question.

© 2010 Dr.Valerie Olmsted All Rights Reserved

Vaccinations – 5 Vaccinations Everyone Should Have

Any disease that can ravage and kill a population is one that we should do everything we can to prevent. Unfortunately, we often do not do it until after the damage is done … if even then. Here are a few of the diseases you may want to protect yourself against. Many diseases are harder on adults than on children.

1) Measles : There are several risk factors if you contract measles. One you may not have thought of is blindness. This disease can rob you of vision, even if you take the precaution of not using them while you are ill. The best hope for preventing much damage is to stay in a dimly lit room without television, books or any other visual means of amusement, usually for quite some time. The second risk factor is worse … it can kill you.

2) Rubella : This is also called German measles and three day measles, though the two are not related. It is usually a mild disease, a slight rash and a touch of fever being the main symptoms. The problem is catching it during pregnancy. If it is done during pregnancy … especially the first trimester … it can cause miscarriage and serious birth defects. It is also very easily transmitted.

3) Polio : I may be a bit premature in suggesting you update your polio vaccines, but I have good reasons. Several areas, including parts of Eastern Europe and Africa are having serious problems with the disease. Those areas are a long way from the US, but all it takes is one or two people on an airplane under the right circumstances and that problem will be transmitted to us. This is such a devastating disease, getting protection is a small price to pay.

4) Tetanus : This disease has become so rare in the US that many doctors have never seen a case. This makes diagnosis difficult and often too late. While it typically is transmitted by something causing a puncture wound, that wound may not be noticed … once again until it is too late.

5) Whooping Cough : This disease is easier on adults and older children who catch it, but it is by no means a picnic even then. The cough comes from deep in the lungs and can make the muscles in the area very tender.

What's worse is if an infant catches it. They are not strong enough for the intense coughing episodes and die painfully within a short time of catching it. It is considered epidemiological in several states, and protecting our children should be an imperative.

There is good news. You do not have to have five shots to be protected, just two. TDAP will cover tetanus, diphtheria and whooping cough and the MMR will cover measles, mumps and rubella. Talk to your doctor about these immunizations and ask if there are others recommended in your area. It is much better to be safe than sorry.