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.

Understand the Safety Terms – Lost Time Injury

Lost Time Injury (LTI) is a work-related injury or illness that results an individual is unable to work on a subsequent scheduled work day or shift.

Example: An employee is injured on the job on Wednesday. He was scheduled to work on Thursday and Friday on regular time and Saturday on overtime. He was instructed to stay off work until Monday, and did so. This is a lost time injury. The employee missed three scheduled days of work (Thursday, Friday, and Saturday) and all three days are counted as lost workdays for this case.

Restricted work case (RWC) is a work-related injury or illness that results in limitations on work activity that prevent an individual from doing any task of his/her normal job of from doing all of the job for any part of the day.

Example: An employee’s normal job requires repetitive lifting and other manual labor duties. He is injured and is restricted to lifting no more than 5 kilogram. Many items normally lifted in his job exceed this limit. The employee is temporarily assigned to another department because work in this area does not involve lifting. Another employee is assigned to do the injured employee’s job. This is a restricted work case because the employee was transferred to another job.

Medical treatment case (MTC) is a work-related injury or illness that calls for medication, treatment, or medical check that is normally administered by a health-care professional and that goes beyond first aid case. Medical treatment case does not result in lost time from work beyond the date of the injury.

Example: An employee has a lacerated arm after coming in contact with sharp edge. The plant nurse applies steri-strips to the wound. This case is recordable because application of steri-strips as a wound closure is considered medical treatment by definition.

First Aid Case (FAC) is a minor work-related injury or illness that calls for only simple treatment and does not call for follow-up treatment by a health-care professional. First aid case does not result in lost time from work or work restrictions.

First aid. Any one-time treatment and subsequent observation of minor scratches, cuts, burns, splinters, and so forth, which do not ordinarily require medical care. Such treatment and observation are considered first aid even though provided by a health-care professional.

Cure Your Stuttering – Kill Your Stutter Today

Although it is not normally (generally speaking) a problem that affects everyone – having a stammer is a unfortunate problem for young children, teens and grown ups nowdays. A stammer can cause people to intentally avoid conversations with friends as well as interactions with other people they know due to a fear of being beaten. In short, having a stammer can really ruin any one's life.

While it's true that having a stutter really is a horrible problem and very often a hugely deeply psychological affliction, the good news is, it's easily possible to get rid of a stutter. Truth is, it is completely possible to totally stop stuttering and wave bye bye to being cursed with a stutter for the rest of your life.

You may be thinking that this sound sounds too good to be true. Actually the whole truth (and nothing but the truth) is, a stuttering problem is a completely psychological issue and an ailment that can very easily be removed once the root of the stammering is laid bare.

Although it might seem like it, you are not alone with your stammering problem. The reality is about one percent of the population (of Western countries) has a stutter but the sad truth is but a tiny of this percentage of sufferers will really attempt to kill their stammering afflication.

While that little minority of sufferers who who actually make the active choice to cure their stammering problem will go forward to live happy, fulfills lives, the majority of those who do not kill their stammering affliction will drop further into the shadows of everyday norms , deflecting as much social enjoyment as is possible.

How long does stuttering therapy take before results are visible?

Trying to get rid of a stutter could take anything from only a few minutes (often less than an hour) to several months and sometimes even longer. Even though it's a opposed to a medical affliction, productive fix is ​​based on your power to project the reasons for stammering.

Being afflicted with a stutter is also fixed in a lack of self confidence so often a cure for having a stammer is held up up until the stutter sufferer becomes confident in who they are once again.

Penis Shrinking – Causes Of Penile Shrinkage And Why It Needs Help

If a man is worried about his penis shrinking, it’s generally quite a cause for concern. When a man is young and virile, his penis is living its best years. Sex is more fun, your penis seems to be as big and hard as it can get and you can go for longer in bed.

It’s only later on, in a man’s late 30s, 40s or afterwards that the penis shrinking kicks in, causing much confusion, despair and even panic.

The Causes Of Penis Shrinking

Penile shrinkage is when you lose some girth and length from the original size of your erect penis. Men also can lose size and weight from their penis in its flaccid state. The potential causes are quite simple to understand and you can find a remedy if you apply some natural techniques.

Weaker erections

Quite simply, most cases of a penis shrinking are related to erections becoming less hard as time goes on. Harder erections maximize the potential of your penis and increase the size of your erect member. When your erections are hard and powerful, your penis will seem bigger. This is because it is bigger!

As a man ages, levels of the main sex hormone, testosterone, decline and he may experience weaker erections and weight gain. This is what makes the penis smaller than before. Fortunately, this process can be reversed.

Poor blood circulation

As the years pass, a man eats more, drinks more and sometimes smokes. The penis depends on adequate blood circulation for strong erections. Fats can build up in the blood vessels and prevent blood from reaching the penis. Smoking can restrict blood flow and affect libido negatively. A lack of erections can cause blood circulation to become weak in the penile area over time.

Low testosterone

The male hormone, testosterone, declines in men after the age of 30 and can reach unacceptably low levels in men with a number of negative symptoms including the penis shrinking.

Steroids

Anabolic steroids can cause the testicles to effectively shut down as the body starts to depend on steroids instead of natural testosterone. To some extent, penile shrinkage can also be a consequence of steroids.

Testosterone treatment

Men have reported that testosterone injections can cause their testicles to shut down and shrink, in the same way that steroids do. The penis and erection quality can also be affected to some extent.

Solutions For The Penis Shrinking

Now you know about the causes of penile shrinkage, we get to the interesting part, the solutions. You’ll be pleased to find out that you can reverse penis shrinking and although it may take a few weeks or a couple of months, it is absolutely possible.

Boost testosterone

Taking a supplement for boosting testosterone naturally in your body is the first step towards growing your penis back to a healthy normal size again. Choosing a high quality supplement is a great place to start your energy back on the road to recovery and harder erections.

You can also exercise. Train your muscles 3 times a week and do some cardio exercise at least 3 times per week and get out in the sunshine more often. Eat more cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower for best results.

Penile Massage

You may have heard of penile massage for improving blood circulation in the penile area. This is quite easy for you to do in an erect or a flaccid state. You’ll need to massage especially around your perineum and the base of your penis, paying careful attention to increase blood flow in the penile chambers.

Penile massage is great for improving blood circulation and increasing erection quality. The way you perform penile massage is very important to your penile shrinkage problem. Doing it the right way could save you weeks of penis panic. It’s really worth paying some attention to following the methods correctly to get optimal results.

Improving Lifestyle

Your lifestyle can be dramatically improved by tweaking a few aspects of it and increasing vitality and health levels. This will help to boost your erections, make your penis seem bigger and help you to feel confident again. Eat more organic food and avoid packaged food that has come into contact with plastic. Some plastics actually leech chemicals which can have a dampening effect on male testosterone levels.

Reduce your intake of white carbs and eat more vegetables, lean white meats, eggs and fish. Get into shape and detox your body in whatever way possible.

The causes of your penis shrinking are probably more to do with male hormones rather than any disease or problem you think you may have. Address the root cause of the problem by following the above advice and you’ll reverse your penile shrinkage in just a few weeks.

What You Need to Know About Heart Diseases and Stroke

Introduction.

Heart disease is a name given to a variety of conditions that affect the performance of the heart. There are certain disturbances in the action of the heart without any disease in the organ. Most common of these is palpitation. This may be due to emotional states, such as fear, anger, joy, grief, or anxiety; or to certain drugs or poisons such as may be found in tea, coffee, tobacco, or alcoholic drinks.

As heart failure approaches, the real symptoms of the heart disease appear. Shortness of breath on slight exertion is one of the first symptoms. Distress and fullness after eating are very common. Other early symptoms are weakness and lack of endurance, in the legs particularly; palpitation of the heart with fullness in the chest and a dry cough; dull pain and soreness in the region of the liver and also over the heart. Swelling of the ankles may be one of the first symptoms noticed. It is usually worse in the evening and disappears during sleep. Weakness increases until the patient finds himself utterly exhausted on the slightest exertion. He is restless and sleepless.

Every person with acute heart disease of any variety should be under the daily care of a physician and everyone with chronic heart disease should be seen frequently by a physician. A common misconception about the heart is that once it is affected, there is the permanent difficulty, with chronic invalidism and early death. Nothing is further from the truth. The rugged heart often makes an excellent recovery in the course of time. Rest, both physical and mental, is a valuable remedy. The patient must choose food that will not cause gas and indigestion, and guard against emotional outbursts, especially anger.

1. Types of Heart Diseases.

Important examples of heart disease include:

i. Angina, in which there is poor blood circulation to the heart.

ii. Heart Attack, in which there is the death of part of the heart muscle.

iii. Arrhythmia, in which the rate or rhythm of the heartbeat is abnormal.

iv. Atherosclerosis, in which the arteries harden. It is a build-up of cholesterol and other fat substances within the walls of the arteries. Atherosclerosis is a progressive disease and can develop in any artery in the body. It is a common disorder of the arteries.

v. Rheumatic, this was formerly one of the most serious forms of heart disease of childhood and adolescence. This disease involves damage to the entire heart and its membranes. It is a complication of rheumatic fever and usually occurs after attacks of rheumatic fever. The incidence of this condition has been greatly reduced by widespread use of antibiotics effective against the streptococcal bacterium that causes rheumatic fever.

vi. Myocarditis, it’s the inflammation or degeneration of the heart muscle. This can be due to a complication during or after various viral, bacterial or parasitic infectious diseases, such as polio, influenza, rubella, or rheumatic fever. This can be caused by several diseases such as syphilis, goitre, endocarditis, or hypertension. It may be associated with dilation (enlargement due to the weakness of the heart muscle) or with hypertrophy (overgrowth of the muscle tissue).

2. Know the signs of a heart attack.

During a heart attack, men often have these symptoms:

i. Pain or discomfort in the Centre of the chest.

ii. Pain or discomfort in other areas of the upper body, including the arms, back, neck, jaw, or stomach.

iii. Other symptoms, such as shortness of breath breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea, or light-headedness.

3. The basics of stroke.

Stroke is the third leading cause of death for men. The stroke occurs when part of the brain does not get the blood it needs. Then, brain cells die.

There are two types of stroke.

i. An ischemic (iss-kee-mik) stroke. This happens when blood is blocked from getting to the brain.

ii. A hemorrhagic (heh-muh-ra-jik) stroke. This happens when a blood vessel in the brain bursts and blood bleeds into the brain.

A person might also have a “mini-stroke.” This happens when, for a short time, less blood than normal gets to the brain. You may have some signs of a full stroke, or you may not notice any signs at all. But it only lasts a few minutes up to 24 hours. Then you’re back to normal. Many people don’t even know they’ve had it. However, a “mini-stroke” is a sign of a full stroke to come, so it’s important to know the signs of a stroke.

4. Know the signs of Stroke.

The signs of a stroke happen suddenly and are different from the signs of a heart attack. Look for these signs:

i. Weakness or numbness on one side of your body.

ii. Dizziness

iii. loss of balance

iv. Confusion

v. Trouble talking or understanding speech

vi. A headache

vii. Nausea

viii. Trouble walking or seeing.

Remember: Even if you have a “mini-stroke” you may have some of these signs.

5. 12 Steps to a healthy heart;

i. Do not smoke: It is no surprise that smoking hurts your heart. So if you smoke, try to quit.

ii. Get your cholesterol tested: If it is high (above 200), talk to your doctor or nurse about losing weight (if you are overweight) and getting more active. Ask if there is the medicine that may help.

iii. Know your blood pressure: Your heart moves blood through your body. If it is hard for your heart to do this, your heart works harder and your blood pressure will rise. Have it checked to make sure you’re on track! It is high (systolic above 139 and diastolic above 89), talk to your doctor or nurse about how to lower it.

iv. Get tested for diabetes: Diabetes can raise your chances of getting heart disease. If you have diabetes, keep your blood sugar levels in check! This is the best way for you to take care of yourself and your heart.

v. Eat heart-healthy foods: Whole grain foods, vegetables, and fruits. Choose lean meats and low-fat cheese and dairy products. Limit foods that have lots of saturated fat, like butter, whole milk, baked goods, ice cream, fatty meats and cheese.

vi. Keep a healthy weight: Being overweight or obese raises your risk for heart disease.

vii. Eat less salt: Choose foods salt. Use spices, herbs, lemon, and lime instead of salt. This is really important if you have high blood pressure.

viii. Do not drink too much of alcohol: Too much alcohol raises blood pressure and can raise your risk of stroke and other problems.

ix. Get moving: Get at least 30 minutes of physical activity on most days, if not all days of the week.

x. Take your medicine: If your doctor has prescribed medicine to lower your blood pressure or cholesterol, take it exactly as you have been told to take it.

xi. Take steps to treat your sleep problems: If you snore loudly, have been told you stop breathing at times when you sleep and are very sleepy during the day, you may have sleep apnea. If you don’t treat it, it raises your chances of having a heart attack or stroke. Talk with your doctor or nurse about treating this problem.

xii. Find healthy ways to cope with stress: Sometimes, people cope with stress by eating, drinking too much alcohol, or smoking-these are all ways that could hurt your heart. Lower your stress: talk to friends, be physically active, or meditate.

Aquatic Physical Therapy As an Add-On to Stroke Recovery

Water is life and can restore life. It has many therapeutic properties, which includes reviving the use of bodily functions lost due to a stroke. Commonly known as hydrotherapy, water has been used as far back as ancient Egyptian civilization to relieve pain and treat diseases by improving circulation.

Water therapy is known to treat stress, rheumatism, arthritis, burns, hemorrhoids, spasticity, musculoskeletal disorders, and stroke patients with paralysis. Rehabilitation of stroke patients through hydrotherapy will also help improve not only their tissue’s health but also their joint health and movement, increase strength in weakened muscles, stretch spastic muscles, and uplift overall quality of life.

It is so effective that many hospitals and rehabilitation facilities have acquired machines for physical therapy that apply the use of water therapy.

Nowadays, you can go to spas that offer different forms of hydrotherapy to clients. Spas have specially-designed showers that implore massage techniques that focus on different muscle parts through the use of pressurized hot or cold water. There are some spas that have aromatherapy pools just like the ones used by the royalty of ancient times where special oils like lavender are added to aid in the treatment.

If you love swimming or simply being in the water, a trip to a hydrotherapy spa in your area would really be a fun way for you to spend time while you relieve yourself from pain and recover from your disability due to stroke. It would also be a great time to bond with your family and relax from all the stress you’ve been through.

Now, if you’re looking for a more structured approach that you can use as part of your rehabilitation program, there are facilities that offer aquatic exercises specially meant for stroke patients. Aquatic exercise is another form of water therapy used for treatment of stroke patients and injured athletes, among others.

Aquatic exercises are actually a lot easier for stroke patients to do because the water’s buoyancy allows them to move freely. Unlike exercising on land, activities like walking, balancing, stretching, aerobics, coordination, and strengthening can be done by stroke patients without fear and difficulty as the water supports them.

The book “Aquatic Exercise for Rehabilitation & Training” by Lori Brody and Paula Geigle, which also comes in DVD and VCD, is a great reference to aquatic exercises. It prescribes the right aquatic exercise programs stroke patients can use for their recovery. The book also thoroughly explains everything stroke patients and their therapists need to efficiently carry out a rehabilitation program that meets the stroke patient’s abilities and limitations.

Hydrotherapy and aquatic physical exercises are great add ons to stroke treatment. It is an enjoyable way to recover from stroke, regain confidence, cultivate social skills, and invigorate family ties.

A Case For Whole Food Supplements

The Standard American Diet (SAD) is lacking in many vital nutritional components. Being largely composed of prepackaged, convenience foods with few naturally grown food products; this diet has contributed to an epidemic of not only obesity but also extreme nutritional deficiency. While many commercially available vitamin and mineral supplements exist, they are manufactured in an artificial way that reduces bioavailability and promotes chemical contamination. As Americans are not likely to return to eating home grown food directly from their garden, the solution to the nutritional deficiency of America can be found in Whole Food Supplements which are vitamin, mineral and phytonutrient rich products made from actual food concentrates.

The Problem with the Standard American Diet

In the first part of the 1900’s most Americans ate a healthy, whole food diet because they had no choice. All food was grown either by the family or obtained from immediately local sources. America in the 1900’s was a largely agrarian society with most people living in rural areas and able to grow their own food. During the last century, a massive migration to urban areas has occurred. This has meant that even if one has the desire, most people no longer have the ability to produce self grown food. Either because there is no land or because many do not know how, very few people have a garden and even fewer produce protein in the form of dairy products and animal husbandry.

In spite of this developing migration, during World War II, families were encouraged to have a “victory garden”. This was not to ensure that Americans had a great diet but actually to ensure that American families could feed themselves at all, while allowing most of commercial food production to be sent to the troops overseas. That was the last period in history that America got most of their nutrition from locally grown food.

Beginning around the 1950’s, Americans did begin to recognize the value of vitamins and minerals within their diet. This was discovered because more and more pre-prepared, highly processed food products became available and nutritional deficiencies began to emerge.

After the end of World War II, many families became two-income families. In addition, many more single parents are now raising children by themselves. This means that in most homes, all of the adults present in any one household are likely employed outside of the home full-time leaving little time for food preparation alone much less any time for food production. America has become a convenience food nation consuming much of the diet from unnatural food sources.

Prepackaged and easy to prepare food products are just that, food “products”. Though they may contain carbohydrates, proteins, fats and some “essential” nutrients, they are not real food. The entire food supply chain is rife with contamination and chemical processing and many Americans are unaware of how little nutritional value the food that they consume every day contains. So much publicity and education has focused on the so called food pyramid. The governmental and educational agencies that have devised the perfect American diet have never truly addressed the lack of nutrients, other than the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of basic vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin A, Vitamin D and Calcium.

While these RDA levels of vitamin and mineral consumption may be an absolute bottom line essential to avoid obvious diseases of deficiency such as scurvy or rickets, they are hardly adequate and do not reflect but a small portion of the nutrients contained in whole food, necessary for promotion of health and prevention of disease.

A Crisis in America: Obesity and Other Diseases in the Face of Malnutrition

The main focus of the American diet in recent years has become reducing fat and increasing carbohydrates in the diet. This stream of thought was intended to reduce the growing epidemic of obesity but over the past 20 years, obesity has risen into numbers that appear to be a crisis for Americans. In fact, over the past 20 years the number of adult Americans who are obese has risen by 60% to an unprecedented level of almost 35% of American adults being considered obese. A much worse situation is that a similar number of approximately 32% of American children qualify as overweight or obese. For the first time in American history, the life expectancy of these children may be lower than that of their parents or grandparents.

This has led to an epidemic of heart disease, diabetes and other weight related problems occurring in record numbers not only in adults but seen in children as young as 18 months of age. Additional diseases that may be related to a lack of appropriate nutrients other than simple vitamins in American diets may include a wide variety of conditions ranging from immune disorders implicated in conditions such as Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lupus and Cancer to psychiatric and neurological conditions such as ADHD, Autism and Depression.

Most people believe that obesity occurs simply because people eat too much. While that is true in part, obesity also results from continuously consuming the wrong types of food. In the 1900s when Americans were consuming a largely natural, whole food diet directly from farm to table, obesity was an extremely rare occurrence.

As our diet has changed from an agrarian society’s nutrient rich food supply to the urbanized highly processed, artificial foods, our total food consumption has risen. This is in part because, though the body gets more calories from more food, it is still starved of nutrition causing one to eat even more. In addition, in our sedentary lifestyle our bodies actually need less food than when we lived and worked each day on the farm, yet we still eat more because of lack of proper nutrients, abundance of easily obtained processed food and other psychological conditions such as stress eating. In the end, America has become a nation of people who are obese but still malnourished and disease ridden.

An Attempt to Fix the Problem

The ideal diet truly would be that of returning to whole food “farm to table” eating where families either grow their own food and prepare it within minutes of harvesting or at a minimum obtain locally grown food from the market and prepare it within a day or so of harvesting. In today’s society this is no longer possible. Even when fresh vegetables and fruits are consumed as a large portion of the diet, our nation’s food supply is contaminated by the use of pesticides, herbicides and hormones and much of the nutrient value is lost by transportation of the food crop from thousands of miles away. Food is harvested before it is truly ripe, irradiated, stored cold and transported across states, nations and even oceans before it arrives in our grocery stores as tasteless, substandard, nutrient poor produce.

Many people are attempting to eat only organic, locally grown produce for this reason. While this may be an improvement over the nutritional value of the standard American diet, it is nearly always much more expensive and therefore unaffordable for many and unavailable for others as most markets do not focus on obtaining such products. So this effort, while valiant is still not enough.

The good news about the American nutritional situation is that it is quite easy to fix. Given appropriate nutrition, the human body has an amazing ability to heal itself. Many diseases and conditions caused by overconsumption and malnourishment can be easily corrected by supplementation with whole food nutritional products.

As Americans cannot rely on the food supply to provide adequate nutrition and also cannot count on the source, quality and purity of most commercially available nutritional supplements, the only answer appears to lie in whole food supplementation.

What is a Whole Food Supplement?

Whole food supplements are defined as nutritional supplements derived entirely from food. This is a much more natural and beneficial method of obtaining nutrition from food and herbal supplements alike.

Unfortunately, most commercially available nutritional supplements including vitamins, minerals and herbal products are made completely of single ingredient extracts or worse, artificially synthesized in a lab using chemical processes. While synthesized supplements may in fact provide basic vitamins and minerals known to be vital, artificially prepared products are missing many of the alkaloids, antioxidants and phytochemicals that are thought to play a major role in complete nutrition and disease prevention.

The same is true for herbal supplements and treatments as most commercially available herbal products do provide an extract or synthesized form of the primarily active chemical within the herb, they are still missing many of the synergistic ingredients thought to provide additional benefits of herbal and nutraceutical treatment.

Simply Taking Vitamins isn’t Enough

Vitamins and Minerals are absolutely necessary for life but the RDA is generally both inadequate in its estimate and unattainable through the average American diet.

While many commercially available nutritional supplements are available at every corner, through necessity, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does little to regulate the manufacturing of food supplements such as vitamins, minerals and herbal products. The FDA cannot apparently manage even its’ main tasks of regulation of the pharmaceutical industry and assurance of the safety of the American food supply.

In the last several years, many counterfeit pharmaceutical products have been discovered such as flu medication being sold online, manufactured outside of the United States was found to be gelatin capsules filled with sheetrock particles. In addition Americans have seen case after case of E. Coli and Salmonella contamination of both American and foreign farm crops such as lettuce, tomatoes, onions and peppers enter our grocery stores. Some of these products were even the so called “organic” products, purported to be safer than traditional crops.

Why a Whole Food Supplement

As there is inadequate supervision of the pharmaceutical and food production industries, there is even less of the nutritional supplement market. The average vitamin or nutritional supplement is manufactured using chemical synthesis and heat processing which destroys the nutritional value of the product within. In addition, many commercially available products are manufactured with fillers, additives, preservatives and other dubious chemicals. Whole food supplements are not.

Within the last several years, significant shortcomings have come to light in terms of foreign made food and health products. Many products have proven to be contaminated with not only the known chemicals that are present in the American food supply but also with much more dangerous unknown chemicals that should never enter the manufacturing process. The only way to ensure that this does not happen is to purchase high quality products from a company with a well established reputation for maintaining high standards of manufacturing and purity. As whole food supplements are natural products, it would be optimal if the manufacturer employed practices of sustainability and green policy.

The ideal food supplement manufacturer recognizes that vitamins do not exist in isolation. The nutritional value of whole food is due to the interweaving of the entire spectrum of nutrients with vitamins and minerals acting in a synergistic fashion with hundreds of other plant alkaloids, phytochemicals and enzymes. The cofactors and bioflavonoids such as terpenes and isoflavones present in whole foods and whole food supplements are integral in the process to restore biochemical balance to the body.

This is quite easy to identify when examining the label of a nutritional supplement, vitamin or herbal product. Though the FDA doesn’t do an adequate job of monitoring the food supply or pharmaceutical industry, they have established standards of labeling which include appropriate identification of all ingredients contained in a supplement. Close examination of most regular supplements when compared to whole food supplements will show that most products contain synthetic vitamins, chemicals and filler products while whole food supplements contain natural vitamins and minerals obtained from concentrated food sources such as fruits and vegetables.

Supplements manufactured from whole food sources will contain not only the natural form of vitamins and minerals but also all of the important phytochemicals and phytonutrients important to restoration of nutritional health and prevention of disease derived from whole food concentrates.

Choosing a Quality Supplement

Whole food supplements are nutritional products which have been manufactured directly from food. Food grown in natural conditions is concentrated using carefully designed and conducted cold processing techniques. These methods allow the concentration of the entire spectrum of nutritional value without removing the phytochemicals, alkaloids and other valuable natural substances that ensure adequate nutritional support and help to prevent disease.

When choosing a whole food supplement one should ensure that the product is from a manufacturing company known to have a long standing reputation for quality and experience in whole food processing. The products should be constituted entirely of whole food products which have been refined using cold processing without the nutrient reducing effects of extreme heat, pasteurization and irradiation. They should also be free of artificial filler products and preservative chemicals. The manufacturer should have a process of testing for purity and guarantee of quality and ideally should offer a money back guarantee if one is not satisfied with the product. For the American consumer, optimally an American product will be purchased an in an effort to aid the environment, a company with “green” policies should be chosen to promote sustainability of the food supply.

Specific Nutrient Needs

Vitamin A

Vitamin A and the carotenoids are highly present in many vibrantly colored fruits and vegetables along with fish and animal livers and are essential for:

o proper functioning of the eye and skin including the gastrointestinal tract

o acts as an antioxidant, protecting against cancer and diseases of aging

o important in support of the immune system for protection against viruses and infections of the organ linings of bladder, kidneys, lungs and mucous membranes

o essential for protein utilization

Vitamin A deficiency causes dry hair, skin, eye disorders, fatigue, reproductive difficulties, frequent colds and infections, and skin disorders.

Traditional vitamin supplements will typically contain synthetic Vitamin A Palmitate and/or beta carotene isolate. Whole Food Supplements will contain Vitamin A1, Vitamin A2, retinal, retinoic acid and a number of more the 500 carotenes all of which are precursors to Vitamin A along with essential fatty acid, natural sugars, minerals and other phytonutrients found only in whole food.

Vitamin B Complex

Vitamin B is actually a number of similarly related compounds found in yellow and green fruits and vegetables particularly leafy green and cruciferous vegetables along with nuts, grains, eggs, dairy products and meats and are known to be essential for:

o maintenance of skin, eyes, hair, liver and mouth

o healthy gastrointestinal tract and brain functioning

o coenzymes involved in energy production

o proper functioning of nervous system particularly in the elderly

Specific Vitamin B Deficiencies:

B-1 Thiamine deficiency – Beriberi, canker sores, mental disorders such as dementia, depression and dizziness, fatigue, indigestion, diarrhea, numbness and muscle atropy

B-2 Riboflavin deficiency -mouth sores, cataracts, dermatitis, hair loss, neurological symptoms on skin, light sensitivity, seizures

B-3 Niacin deficiency – pellagra, bad breath, skin and mouth disorders, memory impairment, confusion, depression, muscle weakness

B-5 Pantothenic Acid deficiency – abdominal pains, skin disorders, hair loss, muscle spasms and poor coordination, immune impairment, low blood pressure

B-6 Pyridoxine deficiency – eye, skin and mouth inflammation, mucous membrane disorders, lack of wound healing

B-12 Cyanocobalamin deficiency – pernicious anemia, unsteady gate, dizziness, drowsiness, depression, hallucination headaches, memory loss, tinnitus, spinal cord degeneration

Folic Acid deficiency – certain types of anemia, fatigue, mental disorders, insomnia, diarrhea, spina bifida in developing infant

Traditional Vitamin B supplements will generally contain only the synthetic form of one or more of the B vitamin group, while whole food supplements will contain all of the Vitamin B family along with the added benefits of phytonutrients such as inositols, PABA, biotin and choline derived from concentration of whole foods.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid) is found in citrus fruits, berries and green vegetables and is essential for:

o tissue growth and repair

o adrenal gland function

o healthy gums

o production of anti stress hormones and interferon

o absorption of iron in the gastrointestinal system

o metabolism of amino acids and vitamins

o activity as an antioxidant and support of the immune system

Vitamin C deficiency causes Scurvy, poor wound healing, gum disease, edema, weakness, frequent infections, fatigue, and joint pains.

Traditional Vitamin C supplements will have only Ascorbic Acid or Ascorbate, while Whole Food Supplement vitamin C will contain phytonutrients such as rutin, bioflavonoids, tyrosinase, ascorbinogen, vitamin C factors such as J, K and P along with mineral co-factors necessary for vitamin C activity all derived appropriately from whole food.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is present largely in dairy food products but also in fish and fish oils, green leafy vegetables, vegetable oils, egg yolks and sweet potatoes and is necessary for:

o bone and teeth growth and development in children

o muscle performance including skeletal and cardiac muscle

o prevention of bone and tooth loss in elderly

o thyroid and immune system functioning

o normal blood clotting

Vitamin D deficiency includes rickets, osteomalacea, loss of appetite, burning of mouth and throat, diarrhea, insomnia, and visual difficulties.

Most commercial Vitamin D products including prescription formulas will contain only Vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol) which is less absorbable and more difficult to use but has a longer shelf life than it’s cousin Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) while whole food supplements will contain significant amounts of Vitamin D3 along with many other beneficial phytonutrients in the form of whole food concentrates.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is found in cold pressed vegetable oils, dark green leafy vegetables, beans, nuts and grains and is essential for:

o antioxidant activity important for the prevention of cancer and cardiovascular disease

o circulation and tissue repair

o blood clotting and healing

o skin and hair health

Vitamin E deficiency may result in damage to red blood cells, nerve destruction, infertility, menstrual problems, and neuromuscular disorders.

Traditional vitamin E supplements will generally include only one of the 8 active components of the vitamin E family, alpha-tocopherol. Whole food supplements will contain not only alpha-tocopherol but also the 7 other alpha, beta, gamma and delta forms of both tocopherol and tocotrienol derived from concentrated food.

Calcium

Calcium is vital for the formation of bones and teeth and the maintenance of gums. It is essential for the functioning of all muscular tissue, particularly the heart and participates in cellular functioning in virtually every area of the body. Calcium is highly present in dairy products, meaty and oily fish and green leafy vegetables.

Calcium deficiency can lead to brittle bones, teeth and nails, skin disorders, cardiac disorders such as high blood pressure and heart palpitations, cognitive impairment, hyperactivity and seizure disorders.

Calcium contained in most traditional supplements will contain only calcium carbonate or calcium citrate with the possible addition of Vitamin D or may contain D1-calcium-phosphate which is completely insoluble and cannot be absorbed. Whole Food Supplement calcium products will contain additional nutrients such as amino acids and vitamin C which are necessary for calcium absorption and utilization.

Iron

Iron is essential for the production of hemoglobin which is vital to the supply of oxygen throughout the body. Iron is also important for production of many important enzymes within the body. It can be found in meats, fish, eggs, green leafy vegetables, nuts and grains in large amounts as well as a number of herbs such as alfalfa and milk thistle.

Deficiency of Iron includes symptoms of anemia, weakness and fatigue, hair loss, mouth inflammation, fingernail malformation and mental impairment.

Most commercially available iron supplements will contain iron sulfate or iron gluconate as a singular product or in combination with other vitamins and minerals. Iron is best absorbed in the presence of vitamin C and when consumed as a constituent of a food source. Whole food supplement iron will result in better absorption and less stomach upset as it is derived from whole food.

Magnesium

Magnesium is vital as an enzyme catalyst especially with regard to energy production. It also aids in cellular calcium and potassium uptake which makes it essential for the transmission of muscle and nerve impulses. It can be readily found in many foods especially animal products such as dairy, meat and seafood but also in many fruits and vegetables such as apples, apricots, bananas, whole grains and soy products.

Deficiency of magnesium will cause muscular irritability, mental disorders, chronic fatigue, chronic pain syndromes, depression and pulmonary disorders along with being a factor in hypertension and sudden cardiac death.

Traditionally prepared magnesium supplements will contain only magnesium usually in the form of magnesium chloride or magnesium sulfate while whole food supplements will contain other minerals such as calcium and potassium along with vitamin c and other nutrients from whole food concentrates necessary for the proper absorption and utilization of magnesium.

Zinc

Zinc is important in the growth and function of reproductive organs and may help regulate oil gland activity and prevent acne. It is essential for protein and collagen synthesis and vital to the functioning of a healthy immune system and has been shown to have potent antiviral activity. It plays a major role in wound healing and the sensation of taste and smell. It is also a constituent of many physiological chemicals such as insulin and various enzymes. Zinc is highly present in eggs, fish, beans, meats, mushrooms and many seed such as pumpkin and sunflower seeds.

Deficiency of zinc may result in a loss of taste and smell and may cause the fingernails to become weak and thin. Other signs may include delayed sexual maturation, growth impairment, disorders of sexual organs of both males and females, fatigue, hair loss, slow wound healing and recurrent infections.

Many commercially available supplements will contain either zinc gluconate as a singular product or in combination with other minerals without regard as to the appropriate ratios for optimal absorption and utilization within the body. As whole food supplements are derived from actual food, the appropriate ratios necessary for maximum benefit are already present established by nature.

Unique Benefits of Whole Food Supplements

According to the U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), over 70% of Americans do not consume enough whole food products to provide even the RDA of vitamins. While vitamins are necessary for life, ordinary vitamin supplements will not entirely fill the gap. Unlike most commercial dietary supplements which are stand alone chemicals, whole food supplements contain any number of several thousand known and unknown phytonutrients such as:

o Carotenoids

o Polyphenols (Flavonoids)

o Phenols

o Indoles

o Lignans (Phytoestrogens)

o Phytates (Inositols)

o Saponins

o Sulfides and Thiols

o Terpenes

Research has proven these nutrients to be protective against many diseases. Some types of phytonutrients are known to provide such benefits as enhanced immunity, cancer prevention, detoxification and DNA repair.

Carotenoids

The phytonutrient category of carotenoids has been shown to protect against certain types of cancer, optical failure from diseases such as macular degeneration and assist in the prevention of cardiac disease. Carotenoids are partially responsible for the vibrant colors of many fruits and vegetables.

Carotenoids can help prevent vitamin A deficiency by acting as precursors to Vitamin A which assists the body in manufacturing Vitamin A. In addition several carotenoids are known to be anti-oxidants and may protect against diseases of aging and exposure to environmental toxins. Carotenoids may also be a factor in the prevention and treatment of other diseases such as:

o Cancer – including cervical, throat, lung, prostate and skin cancers

o Heart disease – including angina pectoris and congestive heart failure

o Infections – including AIDS, Chlamydia, Candidiasis and pneumonia

o Immune system mediated disorders – including rheumatoid arthritis, and photosensitivity

o Other conditions – such as asthma and osteoarthritis

A balanced formula of carotenoids such as found in whole foods and whole food supplements will be better absorbed than individual supplements as too much of any one carotenoids may inhibit the absorption of others. This is one of the many reasons why whole food supplements are more beneficial than simple vitamin supplementation.

Carotenoids known to be present and beneficial can be found in the following fruits or vegetables:

o alpha carotene – carrots

o beta carotene – green cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, and Brussels sprouts, yellow/orange vegetables such as sweet potatoes, pumpkin and carrots

o beta cryptoxanthin – orange fruits such as mangos, peaches and apricots

o lutein – leafy green vegetables such as turnip greens, collard greens and spinach

o lycopene – red fruits such as watermelon, guava, tomatoes and red grapefruit

o zeaxanthin – green vegetables such as green beans and broccoli, yellow food such as eggs mangos and citrus fruits

Polyphenols

Polyphenols (Flavonoids) are known to be active antioxidants and are thought to be important in preventing diseases caused by oxidative stress such as some cancers and some forms of cardiac disease and some inflammatory processes which cause diseases such as arthritis and other diseases of aging. Some examples of polyphenols found in food products include:

o anthocyanins – red foods such as berries, red cabbage, red grapes

o flavones – celery and parsley

o ellagic acid – berries such as strawberries, blueberries and raspberries

o catechins – tea, wine and chocolate along with other tart foods such as berries and apples

o flavanones – found in citrus fruits

o coumarins – found in grains and grasses such as wheat grass

Phenols

Phenols encompass a number of anti oxidant nutrients such as Resveratrol and are known to be powerful antioxidants. Phenols have proven to be effective in the prevention of age related disorders and many diseases caused in part by oxidative stress such as arthritis, cardiovascular disease and cancer. Phenols are present in purple fruits such as grapes and blueberries along with wine and tea.

Indoles

Indoles are known to aid in hormone production and maintenance of balance. Indoles are also thought to provide cellular protection against cancers such as colon cancer and endometrial cancer along with others. They are largely present in cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts and cabbages.

Lignans

Lignans (Phytoestrogens) have weak estrogen like activity which is important in the prevention and possible treatment of hormone mediated cancers such as breast, testicular and prostate cancer. They also may block inflammatory processes which may aid in the treatment of diseases such as arthritis and platelet aggregation leading to stroke. Lignans highly present in flax seed and soy products but are also found in other grains such as wheat, barley and oats along with beans and vegetables such as garlic and broccoli.

Inositols

Phytates (Inositols) may help lower blood cholesterol and aid in prevention of mental disorders such as bipolar disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and depression. Inositols and Phytates are present in large amounts in grains, nuts and melon family members such as cantaloupe, squash and cucumbers.

Saponins

Saponins are known to lower cholesterol and may act as an immune booster protecting the body against infections from viruses, bacteria and fungi. They may also provide some protection against heart disease and have proven to be effective in the treatment of cancer. Several anti cancer drugs are based on the saponin molecular structure. Saponins can be found in foods such as asparagus, red onions, alfalfa sprouts, and soybeans.

Thiols

Sulfides and Thiols are vital to the functioning of the cardiovascular system including the smooth muscles of the arteries and arterioles and the linings of both veins and arteries. Thiols have proven instrumental in the development of plaques contributing to atherosclerosis, arteriosclerosis, myocardial infarction and stroke. Sulfides and thiols are highly present in members of the odiferous Lilly family such as garlic, onion, chives and leeks

Terpenes

Terpenes are thought to protect against cancer and free radical damage which may contribute to diseases of aging such as stroke and alzheimers disease. Terpenes are highly present in foods such as green foods, grain and soy products and also in many herbs such as Gingko biloba.

These phytonutrients are just a few examples of natural molecules known to aid in promotion of health and make the case for the use of Whole Food Supplements. There are thousands more, yet to be identified that are present and beneficial and cannot be synthesized in a lab. Supplementation with isolated vitamins and minerals alone will not solve a nutritional deficiency.

As Americans are unlikely to return to the farm, consumption of a whole food supplement appears to be the only way to actually bridge the nutritional canyon that the American diet has created due to a lifestyle of convenient packaged food that is easy to prepare but sorely deficient in nutritional quality.

The Reasons for Women to Get Tired Easily

It is easier for women to get tired than men. Many women are puzzled by such a kind of phenomenon. The reasons which cause the phenomenon are various. Generally speaking, seven reasons can force women to become tired easily.

The first reason is anemia. Anemia can decrease the hemoglobin which can send the oxygen absorbed by the lung from the outside to various parts of the human body. The adhesive oxygen supply for the body tissues can easily make people feel tired. During the menstruation or the delivery, it is easy for women to get anemia because of excessive blood loss. In addition, the lack of iron, vitamin B12 and folic acid can also cause anemia. If women are bothered by anemia, they should increase the intake of spinach and red meat. The complete treatment of anemia can significantly alleviate the symptoms of fatigue.

The second reason is unhealthy heart. If women always feel tired after they clean the house or some other kinds of work. Such a kind of symptom can remind women of the heart condition. The heart disease is also one of the main reasons of causing death. Women should go to hospital for health check regularly so as to find out and treat the disease in time.

The third reason is the infection of the urinary system. The infection of the urinary system can cause various symptoms of fatigue. In most cases, the infection is caused by the bacteria in the urinary tract. Women can take the medicine to deal with the infection and alleviate the fatigue effectively.

The fourth reason is the decreasing functions of the thyroid gland. The depression can seriously affect the functions of the thyroid gland. According to the research, various symptoms of fatigue are caused by the disorders of the thyroid gland. In order to resolve this problem, women can supplement relevant hormones to improve the functions of the thyroid gland and treat the fatigue.

The fifth reason is the excessive intake of caffeine . The excessive intake of caffeine causes cause fatigue. If women get tired, they must reduce the intake of coffee, tea and chocolate.

The sixth reason is the food hypersensitivity. Food can provide energy for the human body, but the food hypersensitivity can make people always get tired. Fatigue is the early symptom of food hypersensitivity. Women should decrease the intake of the food which they feel allergic.

The seventh reason is snoring. Snoring can disturb the sleep cycle and force people to feel weary. Women who always snore at night should moderately lose weight and stop smoking, or the risk of getting apoplexy can be increased.

The seven reasons mentioned above can easily make women become tired. In order to alleviate the symptoms of fatigue and keep healthy, women should form good life habits in everyday life.

Life and Death Symptoms of Cortisol Hormone Imbalance

When cortisol, a hormone produced in the adrenal glands is not produced properly, there could be different effects on the individual. Hypercortisolism or hypocortisolism can progress and become life-threatening so immediate detection and treatment is important. Find out more about the symptoms of cortisol hormone imbalance to know the right methods of approach.

Hypocortisolism

Hypocortisolism is a disorder wherein the adrenal glands which are located above the kidneys cannot produce enough cortisol and aldosterone. The adrenal glands may fail slowly due to poor circulation or immediately such as in the case of trauma or hemorrhage. The rate of symptom manifestation will depend on the pace of adrenal gland failure.

The condition is also known as Addison’s disease, chronic adrenocortical insufficiency, primary adrenal insufficiency or adrenocortical hypofunction. The cortex of the adrenal glands produces 3 kinds of hormones. Cortisol is included in the glucocorticoid hormone type which helps maintain proper glucose levels, suppress the immune response and help the body respond to stress.

Three main symptoms of cortisol hormone imbalance include loss of appetite, fatigue and muscle weakness that slowly get worse over time and profound weight loss. Other symptoms are darkening of the skin or hyperpigmentation of skin folds, lips, nose, lining in the mouth, creases of the palms, nipples and areola and joints like elbows, knees and knuckles, development of scars, lightheadedness, orthostatic hypotension or fainting when suddenly getting up from a lying or sitting position, craving for salty foods, trembling or shakiness due to low blood sugar, nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain, difficulty concentrating, depression and irritability.

Hypercortisolism

Hypercortisolism a disease that occurs when the body produces excessive cortisol. Most commonly, the problems results from taking anti-inflammatory steroid medications for disorders like rheumatoid arthritis and asthma. Cushing’s disease is the second most common cause wherein the pituitary gland produces excessive ACTH hormone which is responsible for the adrenal glands to produce cortisol. Other causes of symptoms of cortisol hormone imbalance include adrenal gland or pituitary gland tumor or the presence of other tumors in the body.

The problem is also known as Cushing’s syndrome causing symptoms such as central obesity, acne and skin infection, backache, headache, buffalo hump or fat accumulation between the shoulders, abnormal facial hair growth, impotence in males, ceasing of the menstrual cycle in women, mental changes, weakness, unintentional weight gain, moon face described as being red, round and full, purple marks on the abdomen, breasts and thighs and thin skin that is easily bruised. More symptoms of the disease include fatigue, high blood pressure, red spots on the skin, skin flushing, muscle atrophy and bone pain or tenderness.

When It Becomes Life-Threatening

Symptoms that develop slowly may not be noticed immediately until Addisonian crisis or adrenal crisis occurs. This condition occurs from a stressful event like trauma, surgery, dehydration or severe infection wherein the body cannot produce enough cortisol to combat stress. Addisonian crisis is considered to be a life-threatening situation requiring fast treatment.

A person can die from shock due to extremely low blood pressure. Symptoms of the complication include severe vomiting and diarrhea leading to dehydration, confusion, restlessness, fearfulness, severe weakness, light-headedness, feeling of fainting, sudden pain in the stomach, legs and lower back, high fever, total loss of consciousness and pale face and lips. Hormone levels need to return to normal via surgery, hormone replace therapy and other dire measures.

Magnesium Chloride Vs Magnesium Sulfate – The Facts

Serious health consequences await people who are magnesium deficient. Many people feel that the benefits of magnesium is nothing short of miraculous. Some of the symptoms of magnesium deficiency include vomiting, nausea, low blood pressure, insomnia, seizures, muscle spasm, and restless leg syndrome. The question that people also ask themselves which which is better, Magnesium Chloride Vs Magnesium Sulfate.

More than ninety percent of people show improvement in their health when the levels of magnesium are restored to the body. Sea water is known to have great mineral properties and many people actually pour it into their bath water when taking a bath. Miracles are known to happen when the cellular levels of magnesium are increased.

The bones, teeth function better and the immune system is strengthened in no small way with this incredible mineral. It is reported that a french doctor was able to cure a few patients who had diptheria within a matter days by administering magnesium chloride. Furthermore, the same doctor reported that he cured fifteen cases of poliomyelitis and in cases where paralysis had already set in, the symptoms had been significantly reduced. Magnesium chloride was found to be helpful to people who have a variety of conditions such as mumps, rubella, gastro-enteritis, boils, measles, influenza, whooping cough, chronic fatigue syndrome and many more diseases. In the argument about Magnesium Chloride Vs Magnesium Sulfate it was found that magnesium chloride was much more beneficial. The ancient Chinese believed that magnesium was a beautiful metal that thought about beauty in people's lives. From a more practical view, magnesium chloride does for the body what very little else is available to do for the body.

Other doctors are also confirming these results. They have gone as far as to add other diseases to the list such as asthma, herpes, allergies and conjunctivitis. Again it was magnesium chloride that came through as the miracle mineral of choice. Books have been written on the topic to confirm these findings. Many women and small children have soft skin and bones and they have high magnesium and low calcium levels. Age causes bodies to become less flexible. Arteries will harden and this causes arteriosclerosis. Many other negative occurrences take place in the body due to the lack of adequate supplementation. Magnesium works in conjunction with hydrogen to keep our body structure pliable. It is believed that ovaries are one of the first body parts to calcify and this causes premenstrual tension.

The gynecologist who made this discovery found that the premenstrual tension disappeared once the patients were placed on high doses of magnesium. Patients also found that they began to look and feel much better. They found that their drive for sex increased, they lost weight and their energy levels increased significantly. Men have been found to have better prostate health in particular to enlarged prostates. Magnesium is important in that it activates the enzymes that are needed to metabolize carbohydrates. Nerve and muscle function is also dependent on this mineral. It also has a role to play with the regulation of calcium in the body.

The heart depends on magnesium as well. It is found that many people who have died from heart attacks have been found to have low levels of magnesium. Heart patients who have been treated with magnesium have been found to live better quality lives. One reason for this is that the arteries are dilated and fat levels and cholesterol are reduced due to magnesium. The results are irrefutable that magnesium is needed for good health in all people.

But I Can See Just Fine – Things No One Told Me About Diabetic Eye Disease

Living with diabetes, I’ve been told many times that I need a retinal eye exam every year. I’m told this by my health insurance, by my doctors, by every diabetes awareness council out there. Now, I’m spreading the message, but with a difference.

None of these sources ever told me WHY I needed a retinal eye exam. I found them to be quite an ordeal and never kept up with them. Now I am paying the price.

Things I’ve learned about 2 1/2 years ago:

  • I was legally blind.*
  • There is such a thing as an eyeball injection.
  • No matter what Ophthalmologist tells you, eyeball injections feel exactly the way you imagine they feel.
  • By the time you notice symptoms of diabetic eye problems, you’re already at the point where you probably need said injection and maybe even surgery (and not the laser kind… the scalpel kind).

*”Was” is the operative word there. Fortunately, in my case, much of the damage was still reversible.

About ten years or so ago, I was having some vision problems and figured it was time to go in and get a new pair of glasses. I had been prescribed lenses in the past for my astigmatism, but they were not very strong and I almost never wore them. I figured that the years had worsened the problem and maybe it was time to give in and get a new pair. I had excellent vision benefits at my job, so there was no reason to put it off any longer.

Through the refractive examination (that’s where they put different lenses in front of you and you tell them which is better) we reached a point where there was improvement, but they couldn’t get me to 20/20. That’s when they gave me my first retinal exam, and problems were found.

I was diagnosed with Diabetic Retinopathy. This occurs when blood vessels in the retina are damaged as a result of diabetes. These damaged blood vessels are no long able to adequately nourish the retina, so your body responds by growing new blood vessels. However, it doesn’t do a very good job of it, and these new blood vessels are prone to leakage.

I was treated with a laser to seal off those blood vessels and was warned that I needed to keep my blood sugar and blood pressure under control to avoid further complications. My vision at this point did suffer some permanent damage. There were small areas in my field of vision that just didn’t work anymore. I didn’t notice until I began looking for it that my brain was filling in these gaps subconsciously. I found that if I looked at printed text with one eye closed, it became more apparent. I could see places where the text would warp to fill in one of the holes.

The exam itself was unpleasant, but the treatment was a nightmare. The exam involved shining a bright light in my eye to illuminate my retina while the doctor looked into my dilated pupils while the doctor used a magnifying lens to look examine the retinal surface. The treatment involved a device to hold my eye open, while a lens was pressed against my eye to flatten the cornea while lasers were shot at the blood vessels. Those appeared as even more super bright lights, and I could feel a burning sensation inside my eye. I was glad when that was finally over.

The following year, the memory of my last visit still very fresh in my mind, I was hesitant to go back for another checkup. I ended up not going. After all, my vision hadn’t changed any, so I didn’t think there was any need to go back.

The following year, I found a similar excuse. The year after that, well, I just didn’t bother. Nor did I bother the following year, nor the one after that… This was a mistake.

Fast forward a bit. At least, that’s what it feels like. The years go by so quickly now. I found myself noticing what I thought was shoddy workmanship on the bathroom tile. The grout was all crooked and it made the tiles look like the edges were indented. After a few weeks, I realized it wasn’t the tile at all. It was my eyes. I didn’t have any medical insurance by then, so rather than make an appointment, I put it on my list of things to get checked out once I had insurance again. Another mistake.

Months pass. I got new insurance through my new job. I began noticing my vision is noticeably worse than it had been in the past. However, it was November, I had just moved, the holiday season was beginning, there was surely no time to be making doctor appointments. I’m just making all kinds of mistakes here.

About a month into the new year, 2013, I found an ophthalmologist that accepted my insurance and scheduled an appointment. I had my appointment on a Friday afternoon. After a few standard tests, the ophthalmologist took pictures of my retina. After looking them over he told me I needed to see a retina specialist right away. And he meant RIGHT AWAY. He didn’t want me to wait until Monday. He made some calls and found someone who could see me that day.

I was immediately sent to a retinal specialist. The news was bad. I had more issues with Diabetic Retinopathy, and also Diabetic Macular Edema. The macula is a small indentation in the back of the eye, in the middle of the retina, near the optic nerve. This area was severely swollen, due to fluid leakage from all of those haphazardly formed blood vessels, leading to further warping of my vision, and also it gives things kind of a washed out look, like if you have your TV set too bright and the contrast too high. It makes it hard to see detail. It had gotten to a point where I could barely read my computer monitor anymore, and driving had become dangerous.

These issues would have been detected with regular eye exams, and they could have been solved before causing damage to my vision. At the time of the diagnosis, my vision was 20/400 in my left eye, and 20/200 in my right (legally blind).

I’ve been undergoing treatment for about two and a half years. Those treatments have included several more lasers, monthly injections of medicine into each eye (which those have come to an end about 3 months ago), and one surgery on my left eye. I may still need surgery on my right eye in the near future.

All in all, the treatments have been an ordeal, but, combined with keeping my blood sugar under better control than ever, they are working. My uncorrected vision right now is 20/50 and 20/40.

I wish I knew ten years ago what I do now. I certainly would have opted to take the inconvenience of an annual exam. Many diabetic eye conditions don’t affect your vision until they are fairly advanced. A retinal eye exam can reveal issues before you become symptomatic.

For more information about Diabetic Eye diseases, their causes, diagnoses and treatment, please contact your eye care specialist. Don’t put it off.

Baby Nasal Aspirator – Proper Use and Types

Physicians generally recommend that nasal mucus be removed when possible in order to avoid infection that can spread to the ears – as well as to reduce your child's discomfort. Infant and newborn nasal congestion is due to the blockage of the nasal passes typically due build-up of mucus or the membranes lining the nose becoming swollen from inflated blood vessels.

It is also known as nasal blockage, nasal obstruction, blocked nose, runny nose, stuffy nose, or stuffed up nose. Nasal congestion can range from a mild annoyance to a life-threatening condition. Newborns can only breathe through the nose (newborns are "distinguish nose breathers"). Infant congestion can interfere with breastfeeding and cause life-threatening respiratory distress. Mucus that remains in the nose for long periods of time can cause sinus infections that can spread to the ears.

The question then is, what is the best method and tool to accomplish this?

Baby nasal aspirators to remove nasal mucus are generally of three types: 1) Bulb syringe 2) Battery-powered and 3) Self-suctioning. The last type is generally considered as the most effective because, by using your own suction, the operator can effectively generate greater and more consistent suction. Self-suctioning type aspirators are designed so that mucus is captured in a receptacle or a filter so that the operator (most often a parent) is not exposed to mucus and germs.

Hospitals send new parents home with traditional bulb-type nasal aspirators, however, they are not necessarily the best tool for the job. The main drawback of the bulb syringe aspirator is that because the bulb is of limited size, it can only generate limited suction. This requires that the bulb be inserted into the nostril of the child repeatedly in order to remove mucus. This is difficult with a child that will inevitably be squirming and can cause damage to the delicate nasal membranes.

We have tested all available battery-operated nasal aspirators on the market today and generally find them to be ineffective for the reason that they do not generate sufficient suction. A battery-powered vacuum pump is not generally strong enough to remove mucus that is deeper inside the sinus cavity, and this is the mucus that is most important to remove.

Baby nasal aspirators that employ self-suctioning have the advantage that the amount of suction that can be generated is limited only by the lung capacity of the operator. Here we would like to address some of the typical concerns that parents have regarding self-suctioning baby nasal aspirators:

Concern: I will catch my child's cold using a self-suctioning aspirator.
Response: Virus and bacteria are water-borne, they can only be spread if they are contained in droplets of water or mucus. Properly designed self-suctioning aspirators are designed specifically to prevent the passage of droplets through the suction tube. In addition, self-suctioning aspirators generally employ filters to catch liquid droplets.

Concern: I will generate too much suction and injure my child
Response: We only need consider the relatively large pressures generated by sneezing, which can exceed velocities of 100 miles per hour. Compared to this the pressure generated by a parent suction is relatively low, on the order of 1 / 10th the velocity and therefore pressure. In other words, the body is designed to withstand and indeed generate significantly more sinus pressure than is created in the nasal suctioning process.

Glaucoma Treatment – How to Manage Glaucoma

High intraocular pressure not only increases the risk of developing glaucoma, but also makes the progress of glaucoma and visual field defects. The cornerstone of the glaucoma treatment is to reduce intraocular pressure, or with drops or surgery. The progress of visual field defects may be suspended if near the eye pressure is reduced below 12 mm Hg, even patients with a type of glaucoma which are visual field defects and progress, despite pressure from the eye to the normal range (normal voltage glaucoma) , IOP declined by 30% is associated with a lower loss of vision.

Other strategies for independent eye pressure in glaucoma treatment are under study. These include increased blood flow to the optic nerve and offers a number of forms of neuroprotection. Maybe in the future are also other ways of intraocular pressure in glaucoma management to reduce. Until then, the reduction of intraocular pressure is the only way to reduce the risk of glaucoma visual field loss and remains the primary goal of treatment.

There are two important mechanisms for intra-ocular pressure: a) Reduce the amount of aqueous in the eye of reducing the production of aqueous, and 2) Increase the amount of the aqueous humor of eye, rarely the omission of the largest Part of the aqueous humor. Some drugs reduce the production of aqueous humor, while others raise the outflow. The aqueous humor leaves the eye by two routes: one that is sensitive to the pressure of the eye (trabecular way) and that operates independently of the pressure in the eye (the way uveoscleral).

Of all the options available, a reasonable first approximation would have been a drop in the eye causing intraocular pressure as low as possible to secure every patient to choose. The choice of the first agent is guided by patient characteristics and medical conditions. The driver is to avoid known problems with side effects while maintaining the convenience of a once-daily reducing to maximize compliance. The first drop in the eye may be Timoptic, Xalatan or Alphagan. Each patient must be checked regularly to ensure that the IOP was maintained at a level low enough to prevent the progress of glaucoma. If the intraocular pressure, a further reduction is needed, it is better to add a drop in the eye with a different mechanism of action as the original drug. For example, if the original eye drop Xalatan is used for work by increasing uveoscloral production, then the second bottle of Trusopt Timoptic drops at work by reducing production of aqueous humor. We discuss the key points to consider medication. We have used, because the brand is well known by names, but several drugs are available at the same efficiency and cost-effective generic form.

Tonsilloliths 101 – Who Else Wants a Cure For Tonsilloliths

Tonsilloliths, or also called tonsil stones, tonsillar debris, or calculi of the tonsils, are clusters of calcareous matters that build up in the tonsillar crypts of the palatin tonsils. They are white or yellowish and irregularly shaped bumps caused by the collection of food particles, mucous, dead white blood cells, sulfur producing bacteria, post nasal drip and other debris in the mouth. They are not dangerous, but can be an annoying nuisance. People having this problem feel an irritation in the back of their throat.

Tonsilloliths are usually confused with tonsillitis. Tonsillitis is an infection of the tonsils that cause severe sore throat, swollen glands, pain, headache, ear pain and sometimes fever. They can be either a bacterial infection or a viral infection. An antibiotic can be taken to cure a tonsillitis caused by a bacterial infection. A viral infection, however, will take time to go away and will not receive any treatment.

Tonsilloliths irritate the throat and cause horrible bad breath. They are not a serious heath problem and can be treated in the comfort of your own home. But first, you must change your daily oral routine. Brush your teeth at least two times a day followed by scraping of your tongue. You can try to remove these nasty foul smelling chunks by using clean syringes or cotton swabs to force the bumps out. Also, gargle with salt and water solution. Another home remedy you can use is the Waterpik which is a curved tip syringe. You just need to be extra careful not to blast the stones so as not to damage the sensitive areas near your throat. Once the bumps are out, make sure you practice a good oral hygiene to prevent them from coming back.

What to Do With Other People's Stuff

We all have those leftover things that we just can not seem to throw away, from a child's first art project to a strange gift from a favorite weird aunt. There are hand-me-downs, 'the good furniture' from deceased relatives, household items from those who moved, freebies sent through the mail, impulse purchases; the list goes on and on. The problem is when we have such a problem getting rid of such things that the home is overwhelmed by 'stuff'. Here is a new diagnosis for the pack-rat syndrome: Hoarding.

The cases presented on the television series "Buried Alive" are so extreme and the people so obviously mentally ill, that the rest of us pack-rats breathe a sigh of relief as we tell ourselves "well, I thought I was bad, but those people have a problem ". As if that excuses our own hoarding tendencies, we go about our lives feeling better about ourselves.

Check yourself with these questions:

Do you find yourself talking about the lack of space?

Are you tripping over things in the bedroom or other rooms?

Do you have multiples beyond three of items that last a long time?

Are you keeping paperwork from thirty years ago?

Is it impossible to keep your home looking neat?

Have you been renting storage more than six months?

If you have answered yes to any or all of these questions, you are a pack-rat and in danger of becoming overwhelmed with stuff. Either that, or you are on the road working and have no idea when you will be settling down again-and do not want to get rid of your favorite things. You would still likely be a pack-rat, without before putting things in storage you really examined everything and got rid of whatever is not irreplaceable or something you absolutely love.

Spring is a great time for passing the old stuff on to other pack-rats, as evidenced by the popularity of garage sales. Redecorating is another great time to get rid of the old and bringing in the new. The good news is, there is always someone who can use your old stuff and probably someone, somewhere, is looking for exactly what you have. eBay is full of things people need to get rid of and there are now people who will take your stuff and put it on eBay for you. Those entrepreneurs are making a good living out of helping others pass their items on to those who want them.

Most people just do not have fascinating enough lives to have all the stuff they have collected. By fascinating I mean having a lot of different talents and abilities that require a stock of raw materials to create with. Many people just work and go home to watch TV, maybe read or use the computer, and go out to movies and social functions. None of that requires a whole lot of 'stuff'. I am still amazed at one woman who had the neatest house I have ever stayed in. Whatever she was not using at the present time was discarded. There were a few items from her grandkids but other than that, not much other than furniture. Even her kitchen was sparse by my standards. My gourmet cook side had apoplexy from trying to work in her kitchen.

For those who shivered at the mere idea of ​​living in sparse surroundings, consider the art of feng shui, which preaches the more Zen model of décor, to allow the chi (energy) to flow smoothly through a home, bringing health, peace and happiness . For those of us who are so fascinating that it has a strangle-hold on us, I have the perfect solution … closets, lots of well-organized closets. It works and it also allows for the more Zen-like decorating that I prefer. You do not have to go through life without what you really love. Just figure out that that is and dump the rest.

© 2010 Dr.Valerie Olmsted All Rights Reserved