Archive for April, 2010
Though diverticulitis can be a challenge, there are numerous natural and medical options available to the sufferer. And suffer is the keyword, as this disorder can erupt rather suddenly, showing up as an infection or inflammation. If left untreated, diverticulitis can lead to serious complications including abscess formation, obstruction and bleeding.
Abscesses may form locally at the site of the diverticulum. If the diverticular abscess is not treated, it may spread to other organs, particularly the liver. Symptoms usually involve some kind of acute abdominal pain, nausea, fever and a change in bowel habits. An elevated white blood cell count is usually present. The symptoms may mimic appendicitis, except that the pain is on the left rather than the lower right side.
An abdominal CT scan is helpful to determine whether a diverticular abscess is present. Most cases of diverticulitis are mild and respond well to antibiotic treatment and “bowel rest” during which intake of food is limited to clear liquids. It is frequently treated in the hospital with intravenous antibiotics and intravenous fluids. After the infection has stabilized, patients are advised to increase the bulk in the diet with high-fibre foods and over-the-counter preparations containing bulk additives.
Recurring attacks of diverticulitis, the presence of an intestinal perforation, or an abscess may require surgery with removal and-or drainage of the involved portion of the colon.
Since diverticulosis occurs so frequently in countries where a low-fibre diet is common, many physicians recommend diet modification to include whole-grain breads, cereals, fibrous fresh fruits and lots of vegetables, while avoiding low-fiber and refined foods, such as white flour, white rice and other processed grains.
Think diverticulitis if a patient presents with left lower quadrant abdominal pain, but be sure to rule out other possible diagnoses, Dr. Randy Crim advised at the annual meeting of the Texas Academy of Family Physicians.
Such pain usually results from appendicitis. Cancer should be ruled out in patients over age 50. Kidney stones, endometriosis, and pelvic inflammatory disease also should be considered.
Once other possibilities have been ruled out, differentiating diverticulitis from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is probably the biggest diagnostic challenge. Diverticulitis often can be distinguished from IBS based on how sick the patient seems. Patients with IBS don’t look very sick, but those with diverticulitis may have fever and white blood cell counts above 15,000-20,000.
Urinalysis can identify infection and aid in diagnosis. An abdominal x-ray is needed in very ill patients to look for bowel perforation. In patients with chronic diverticulitis-type problems, a barium enema is the best diagnostic tool because it helps in evaluating strictures. ACT scan can reveal pericolonic inflammation, wall thickening, the presence of an abscess, and air in the bladder that is diagnostic of a colovesical fistula.
Colonoscopy can help rule out cancer and assess stricture after the acute phase of diverticulitis. In acute illness, however, the pressure that colonoscopy puts on the colon may cause perforation.
Patients with uncomplicated diverticulitis generally can be treated as outpatients with antibiotics and a high-fiber diet. Bran cereals or supplements, such as Metamucil and Citrucel, have been shown to re duce recurrence rates by up to 30%.
Health is wealth. But we are not responsible enough for preserving it rather we tend to waste our wealth by damaging health unnecessarily and no innocence is there, we do it intentionally by cigarette smoking. Every time we smoke we lose our wealth bit by bit. There is no shortfall of excuses like we smoke when we are stressed because of work pressure, examination tension etc, if we don’t smoke digestion doesn’t happen properly, we don’t get sleep properly. We give excuses but without any logic. Did we start smoking when we were infants? Then how it became a part of our general body processes like digestion, sleep, tension? There is no answer. Smoking is all bad. There is no logic, no science that can prove that smoking helps us in any way.
So why are we still smoking? Just as a habit!! Can we imagine how dangerous a habit can be? It may demand our life one day. Let’s throw this bad habit out of our life right away. Once we are determined, there are several natural ways to quit smoking.
Let’s take a look.
Deep Breathing is a simple thing, but powerful in controlling the smoking habit. Whenever you feel like smoking, take deep breath rather the deepest breath you can take and exhale slowly, keeping eyes closed. You will literally feel that all your stress, tensions, and all craving feelings are leaving your body and soul and obviously you will feel relaxed. Repeat this for 3 times in a row.
Try a fluid diet. The day you decide that you will quit smoking start drinking lots of water and juices and depend on more fluid diet. It will flush all nicotine, other unnecessary and harmful substances out of your body. Try to say no to coffee, sugar, or alcohol. Coffee and alcohol are the best friends of cigarette and when you are quitting smoking don’t depend on these. These things accelerate the cravings for smoking and don’t let you stay strong on your decision. So, avoid them completely. High calorie food with more sugar content also works against quitting smoking. So for these days your diet chart should comprise of food with low fat, high protein and high fiber.
Substitute with healthy food. Till today cigarette was part of your life. Once you stop this you will feel a gap somewhere, like something is missing. You can choose to depend on some oral substitutes like chewing gum, mint tea or mouth sweetener etc at the times of the day when you usually used to smoke. This is not compulsory, but you can try.
Try to exercise. While quitting smoking there is a need for change in normal daily routine. You can start brisk walking or light jogging in the greenery. If that is not possible, go to gym, get a nice massage at spa, take steam bath and you will feel positive.
Next, try to relax. Feel positive and motivate yourself and inspire other smokers to lead a healthy life. Start nurturing an old hobby. You will feel like smoking was never a part of your life.
Ask for mental support if you need it. If you are not able to cope up with the craving feeling for smoking alone, try to get help from friends, family members. They can help you and retain you from feeling annoyed, engage you in some activity. Be practical and do no fool yourself. Be honest to your decision. Accept that you were a smoker and because it was not helping you in any way rather it was only harmful you are quitting it.
With the profession of pharmacy constantly changing, there are so many things that health care providers have to learn and know about prescription medications. Drugs are continuously being added to or removed from the market. It’s a little bit of a challenge for some of us health care providers to stay abreast, so I know it can be quite mind boggling to the consumer! That’s why I’m here to help!
So here’s the thing, Plavix (clopidogrel bisulfate) is a anti-platelet medication also referred to as a blood thinner. It is typically used in people with acute coronary syndrome (ACS) or those who have suffered a recent heart attack or stroke or who has established peripheral arterial disease…the build up of plaque in the pelvic area and/or the legs. The mechanism of action of Plavix is to inhibit blood clotting. The inhibition of blood clotting leads to the decreased likelihood that someone prescribed the medication will experience any additional heart attacks or strokes. Pretty significant activity right!
Recently the FDA mandated that the makers of Plavix update its package insert with some very important information….a BLACK BOX WARNING! A very significant warning might I add. The warning goes a little something like this:
WARNING: DIMINISHED EFFECTIVENESS IN POOR METABOLIZERS
The effectiveness of Plavix is dependent on its activation to an active metabolite by the cytochrome P450 system (the liver enzyme system). Plavix at recommended doses forms less of the metabolite and has a smaller effect on platelet function in patients who are CYP219 (a type of liver enzyme) poor metabolizers. What this means for you…the consumer is if you fall into the category of having liver problems or being a poor metabolizer then the drug may not be as effective in you. This means that the very thing you’re taking the drug to prevent has the potential to occur.
1. Be proactive in your medical history
2. Bring this information to the attention of your doctor
3. Ask questions
4. Find out if it affects you
The take home point is this…drugs are wonderful when they do what they are intended to do with little to no harm. However, there are always kinks to be worked out when pharmaceutical companies manufacture a drug, and this is one of them. I encourage you to do all that you can to minimize the chances of you becoming an avid prescription drug user. Understand that drugs are not benign i.e. without flaws. Anything that the body does not produce has the potential to cause harm, as does many of things that the body does produce! Adopt a healthy lifestyle! TO YOUR HEALTH!
Dr. LaKeidra S. Capers is the CEO of Destiny Fulfilled Enterprises. She is a clinical pharmacist; wellness and wealth coach that is dedicated to helping individuals understand that first wealth is health! She is passionate about teaching people what they can do to dodge the bullet of prescription medications! Dr. LaKeidra is on a laser focused mission to fulfill destinies and EMPOWER lives through health, wellness and wealth!
It is normal for people to think that stress is purely mental. But most of the times, this notion is wrong because physical symptoms of anxiety exist. Because of this, it is imperative for people to know the signs and symptoms to watch out for them to battle against the trouble the soonest possible time.
During stress, our body is allowed to go into the ‘fight or flight’ response. This response takes place in order to be of help during hazardous situations in life – it will allow us to either stay or fight. No matter what our choice will be, it should be something for the best.
Below are some of the physical symptoms of anxiety:
1. Palpitation- this is the regular or the irregular beating of the heart which is a very bothersome awareness of one’s heartbeat. Palpitations are felt in the throat, chest, or neck. Palpitations may further come with various emotions like the feelings of excitement or fright. It is normal for people to experience palpitations at one point in life especially when they are tired after a strenuous activity, but in case it is something caused by stress then be wary about your case.
2. Sweating- another on the list of the physical symptoms of anxiety is sweating. Of course, it is customary for people to experience sweating specially during hot days but sweating becomes abnormal when it is caused by factors that are not natural. Like for example, you might start to sweat when you realized that you are going to speak in front of thousands of people because for an environmental concern rally.
3. Shortness of breath- this is a difficulty in breathing, or the feeling of as if you are not getting enough air. Once the brain or the body did not get the necessary supply of oxygen, breathlessness takes place. There are times when emotional distress like anxiety can lead to a trouble in breathing.
4. Abdominal pain- this is a nonspecific physical symptom of anxiety which is associated with various conditions. There are times when this does not happen within the abdomen but still offer abdominal discomfort.
5. Dizziness- this is a feeling of faintness which allows someone to find it hard to maintain balance when standing or during sitting. When there is a constant feeling of light-headed without other kinds of symptoms, this means anxiety, instead of brain tumor or other diseases.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned in the past several years about concierge medicine and researching this emerging health care market, it’s that people really don’t understand it’s not about price. I like to think of those pioneering doctors of the past who carry around a medical bag with a stethoscope inside and who come to the aid of my family and our bedside as visionary physicians who wanted to “normalize” their practice and get back to practicing medicine before 1950.
So, here are the top six (6) items every patient should truly understand about concierge medicine:
1) AVAILABILITY – Yes! It really is possible for a doctor to provide 24/7 access to his/her patients… and no — this is not just some marketing tactic that seeks to over promise and under deliver. There’s now evidence that when a doctor reduces his/her practice from its original size of 2,000 – 5,000 patients down to 300 – 600, he or she is choosing to “normalize” their practice and provide more availability and access to each patient. Inturn, that patient gets to really know the doctor and there is a bond and friendship that is formed.
2) COST – It doesn’t cost a lot… it actually costs less than my cell phone bill. Over 50% of current concierge medicine fees cost an average or $1,500 per year or less than $135 per month. (Source 1) The USANetwork’s breakout hit Royal Pains is entertaining — the overwhelming majority is that most concierge medicine or private medical plans cater to those who can’t afford the high health insurance premiums their used to paying with large health plan carriers.
3) CELL PHONE ACCESS – YES! They actually do pick up the phone and it’s not a nurse or staff person. If you are enrolled in a concierge medical practice, then you are paying an annual or monthly fee for “enhanced access” and a close relationship with your physician. That’s right, the unthinkable has become a true reality. Doctors are now giving their cell phone numbers to their patients and they are the ones picking up the calls.
4) SAME DAY APPOINTMENTS – Included in most membership medicine fees is same day appointments and enhanced access to you doctor. In fact, a recent poll conducted by the Collective found that 100% of concierge physicians promise and actually deliver “same day” appointments.
5) WHAT I REALLY NEED WILL BE INCLUDED – It’s a well known fact that approximately 88% of the average persons health care can be handled by their primary care or family physician. Thus, concierge medicine services typically offered inside these plans usually include: physical exams, blood work, unlimited office visits and other services. These annual or monthly fees typically cover basic services that include preventive care, routine physicals, longer appointments, next-day appointments, 24-hour-a-day phone access and e-mail, house calls, coordination of care when you travel, and an interactive medical ID bracelet in case of an emergency.
6) IS IT COMPATIBLE WITH MY INSURANCE? A recent study was conducted (Source 2) with this question in mind. The result of the study found that most concierge medicine physicians (nearly 80%) practice inside a business model called a “Hybrid” practice. Hybrid meaning these doctors accept most insurance plans along with offering the delivery or 24/7 cell phone access to your doctor, no wait appointments, call-in prescriptions and more via a monthly or annual retainer.
Getting a good night’s sleep is no joke. When you are sleep deprived you will have a higher risk of weight gain, mood swings and the development of various ailments. That is why it is vital for everyone to get at least 7-8 hours of peaceful slumber each night. In this article I will reveal how you can improve your sleep.
1. Create a relaxing environment. Your bedroom should evoke a feeling of relaxation and rest. Make sure that your bedroom is not a distraction.
2. Aim to go to bed at the same hour each night. When you go to bed at the same time each night, your body gets used to that routine and you will start to fall asleep with more ease.
3. Avoid common food distractions at least 6 hours before bed. Alcohol, sugar, caffeine and spicy foods should be avoided at least 6 hours before bed.
4. Spend time on physical activity. Being physically active on a regular basis has its rewards; one of these rewards is a good night’s sleep. You will fall asleep with a lot more ease.
5. Be prepared for various distractions. If you get woken up each night by the same noise, perhaps you should start sleeping with ear plugs. Being prepared for these distractions can help you avoid awakenings.
6. Learn how to relax before going to bed. Some of us are a little to tense in the evening to fall right to sleep. That’s why it is wise to learn about various relaxing techniques, such as yoga.
There are many other sleep aids out there which can help you get a good night’s rest. A lot of these herbal remedies are all natural which is great! Furthermore, getting a good night’s sleep can also help you lose weight.
There are several different ways that men can increase sperm motility without having to spend lots of money on expensive treatment options. The methods that are going to be given to you below are very simple to apply.
Here are just a few quick fixes you can do to help increase sperm motility:
Take Care of Your Package
A lot men never think of this as being a problem. Did you know that constant hot heat to your genitals can affect your sperm? That’s right. From now on, you’ll want to try not to take really hot baths or stay in Jacuzzis for long periods of time. The goal is to keep your genitals as cool as possible. Also, try not to wear confining clothes around your genitals. For example, if you wear regular underwear, try to switch to boxers. Just doing these two steps alone can help increase sperm motility.
Watch What You Drink
If you’re a caffeine freak or you love going to the bar and having some drinks with your friends, this is going to have to stop. Now, not forever, but just while you’re trying to increase sperm motility. Caffeine and alcohol can actually reduce your chances by 50%. So, if having a baby is important, try to give up these addictions for just a while. As an alternative, try drinking more water. Not just because it’s healthier, but because it’s proven to help increase semen volume, which also can help increase sperm motility.
Love to Eat Healthy
This sounds extremely boring, but it’s very effective in helping to increase sperm motility. Stop eating junk food and start eating foods that are proven to help with your sperm. For example, start trying to eat raw foods like nuts, vegetables, fruits, seeds and etc. Try not to cook any of these vegetables because you lose a lot of your nutrients when you cook them. Find at least a few good ones that you can enjoy eating raw.
Learn To Take Advantage of Shortcuts
Lots of men don’t even know this trick is even available to them. Look into taking semen volume enhancing pills. These pills are designed to help increase the volume of semen your body produces. By producing more semen, you will actually help increase sperm motility. Plus, these pills come with other benefits like harder erections, longer lasting sessions, more intense orgasms, huge increase in semen volume, improved fertility and more.