Archive for May, 2010
Allergies, colds, and the flu are common problems that we experience each year. It will cause us to feel rundown. Too frequently though the symptoms we feel will disguise themselves and what we believe is a cold turns out to be a sinus infection.
There are medicines that you will be able to take – but for many of us this will make us feel worse or it will take forever for us to get better. That is why we believe it is better to begin utilizing natural treatments to assuage the symptoms.
The first thing you want to try to do is to utilize steam to assuage the pressure in the sinuses and to clear out the nasal passages. Boil water and blend four drops of eucalyptus oil and around two drops of peppermint oil. The steam will loose the mucus that are lying around the nasal passages and keep it from draining and the oils will help to open them up. Lean your head over the hot steam and place a towel over your head to keep the steam inside. Breath it in for ten minutes or for as long as you are able to handle it.
The next best thing to do is to take herbal supplements. Echinacea will promote the immune system and make it easier to fight the infection. Garlic and goldenseal have the exact same property and each of them can be purchased at any grocery store. Do not take more than what is on the directions.
Tea And Soup
Grandma was right when she told you that chicken soup is good for someone. It is also good for the throat and to care for sinus infections. Drink hot tea and consume hot soup to keep out the mucus in the nasal passages peppermint tea is one of the most effective for this. The soup must have a good amount of onions and garlic because of the antibiotics they carry
Heart rate when a person is at rest has long been known to be a predictor of heart attacks. In 2005 Professor Xavier Jouven of George Pompidou Hospital in Paris found that the risk of heart attack was four times greater than average in men whose hearts beat faster than 75 times per minute at rest. In 2009 almost identical results were found for over 129,000 women whose medical records were analyzed by Dr. Judith Hsia, a professor at George Washington University School of Medicine. Women with pulse rates of 76 or greater when at rest, had a much higher risk of heart attacks than those with pulse rates of 62 beats per minutes or less.
Type 2 diabetes is also associated with an increased risk of heart disease. According to the American Diabetes Association, adults with diabetes have 2 to 4 times the risk of death from heart disease than people without diabetes. Elevated blood sugar levels damage the blood vessels and alters the blood lipid levels. High triglyceride levels are really common in type 2 diabetics, as are low levels of the protective HDL. As well, hypertension affects almost 60 per cent of individuals with type 2. People who have diabetes are two to four times more likely to develop heart disease or have a stroke than non-diabetics, and three quarters of all diabetics ultimately die from heart disease.
Researchers at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville, TN, USA and the Department of Epidemiology of the Shanghai Cancer Institute in China, looked at resting pulse rates and diabetes. Over 47,000 Chinese women were included in the study. Women with heart rates of 68 beats per minute or less were much less likely to acquire type 2 diabetes in the next 5 years, than were those with heart rates of over 80 beats per minute. Those with intermediate pulse rates had intermediate chances of acquiring type 2. Body mass index (BMI), hip to waist ratio, and blood pressure were also predictors of heart disease. The odds of getting type 2 were highest in women with the highest heart rates combined with highest body mass index, highest waist to hip ratio, or highest blood pressures.
To lower your heart rate, the best thing is aerobic exercise. By this, it is meant activities that make your heartbeat and breathing get faster during exercise. Walking briskly, swimming, and bicycle riding are all good aerobic exercises. Discuss with your doctor the right activities, and level of activity… even type 2 diabetics with very severe heart disease can benefit from some form of regular exercise, modified for their special needs.
Nobody knows when a person gets addicted to painkillers. Everybody takes them to ease the pain related to diseases, fatigue after strenuous work or to overcome post surgery trauma. Still, for some people while they may have started using these medicines for valid reasons, the risk of addiction is always there.
This addiction, once it enters your life will overpower your other desires and ruin it forever. Since this addiction comes most silently, many people realize its bad consequences only when it is too late for them. These painkillers work on the principle of depressing the central nervous system and thus suppressing pain, so they become the first choice in managing pain.
Many painkillers use opium as a main ingredient, which when taken as a pill ceases any painful sensation in human body. In fact opium works on certain regions of the human brain that control the feeling of pleasure. This sometimes works as a great high for people in pain and thus makes them addicted to painkillers.
On experiencing the ill effects of painkillers when people desperately try to search for non-drug alternatives for pain relief, they usually face a much harder time in gaining access to them. So in desperation they turn towards painkillers which are easily available which fuels their addiction.
If any of your near and dear ones are prescribed with painkillers, then you should be very particular that the doses are to be taken only as prescribed. If disease treatment requires long term administration of painkillers then in consultation with physician, drug rotation needs to be done to avoid addiction to a particular drug. Similarly painkillers dosage must never be increased or decreased without doctor’s advice. As with any medicine, treatment with painkillers must never be abruptly discontinued on your own and the doctor’s advice must always prevail in such situations.
Due to prescription by a doctor, if a painkiller has been advised for certain duration, then that duration must strictly be adhered to. Exceeding that duration and taking that painkiller for a longer period could lead to addiction. Painkillers should be taken in tablet/ capsule form as they are available in market and should never be crushed. Crushing a large dose could be released in the human body leading to severely toxic effect. These drugs are manufactured in a certain way which ensures that they are to be released slowly in our system.
Precautions must always be taken to use a painkiller which has not been prescribed to you by a doctor. Painkillers purchased over the counter may turn out to be counterproductive as their effect varies from person to person according to his or her tolerance level and also due to the other drugs he or she may be using.
Over five million Americans are estimated to be living with chronic viral hepatitis. Up to 1.4 million have hepatitis B and over 3 million are infected with hepatitis C. With the observance of May as Hepatitis Awareness Month, I’m reminded of my own screening experience six months ago.
I walked past the tabletop plastic Christmas tree with blinking white lights and sporadic tinsel. Winter decorations always seemed a little out of place to me in sunny southern California. I waited a few minutes at the lobby desk, and eventually I was directed to a woman who spoke English. I asked her where the screening event was.
“It is testing for hepatitis B.”
“Yes, I know. Is it here?”
“You want testing for hepatitis B?”
“Yes. Is this the Herald Community Center?”
She nodded, and with a sigh of resignation, explained that I needed to go out and in the next building. “Hepatitis B!” she called after me, in a last ditch attempt to explain the situation.
I work on the Los Angeles Hepatitis Intervention Project (LA HIP), a project of the Asian Pacific Liver Center (APLC) of St. Vincent Medical Center, so actually, I didn’t need an explanation. I was in San Gabriel, CA, a predominantly Chinese suburb of Los Angeles, attending one of the APLC’s free screening events. I think the woman thought that I didn’t need to be screened, since I’m not Asian. The hepatitis B virus (HBV) disproportionately affects Asians and Pacific Islanders (API) in the U.S. — approximately one in ten has HBV and doesn’t know it. It is a particularly big problem in immigrant populations since many countries do not test for hepatitis B or vaccinate against it. Mothers with chronic HBV unknowingly pass the infection on to their babies whose immune systems are not strong enough to fight it off. The disease often shows no symptoms until middle age when severe liver damage has already set in. If caught early, the infection can be controlled with medication, and those who test negative can be vaccinated to prevent contracting it in the future. The APLC’s senior nurse practitioner, Mimi Chang, MSN, NP, recommends that all Asians and Pacific Islanders who have not built up antibodies to hepatitis B, either through vaccination or previous exposure to the disease, be immunized.
Asians and Pacific Islanders are not the only ethnic groups affected; any immigrant or child of immigrants from a country with a greater than 2% prevalence of HBV should be screened, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). In addition to all of the API countries except Japan, this includes countries from Africa, the Middle East, the former Soviet Union, and Europe, among others. A complete list is included at the end of this article. It is also important to screen and vaccinate babies adopted from any of those countries, even if the adoption organization in the foreign country claims all tests and immunizations are up to date.
The virus is transmitted through blood contact, so household members and sexual partners of those with chronic HBV should be screened and vaccinated, as well as pregnant women, health care workers, homosexual men, intravenous drug users, and anyone traveling to a country with a high prevalence of hepatitis B. I didn’t know about viral hepatitis back in 1992 before I left to work in Russia. Luckily, I didn’t have a problem, but I wish my doctor had recommended that I get vaccinated. Unfortunately, because family doctors in the U.S. are lacking basic knowledge about the disease, testing and vaccination are not recommended as often as they should be for those at risk.
I have very little opportunity now to be exposed to HBV, and as a healthy adult, if I were to contract it, I would probably clear the disease on my own, but I wanted to understand the screening process that is part of our project. I went in to the other building and made my way to the registration table. Everyone was speaking Chinese. I grabbed a survey form and asked one woman where the screening was being set up. She didn’t understand. I asked her if she knew where Mimi or Jason were, two members of the APLC staff. She pointed me to another woman at the end of the table. I asked that woman, and she stared at me silently for a few minutes, shaking her head sideways. “Hepatitis B screening!” she barked at me. I guess she thought I was in the wrong place too.
A third woman approached the second woman and chatted with her loudly in Chinese. People reached around me from behind to grab survey forms, looking askance at me as they left. The new woman asked me what I wanted, and I asked again about Mimi, Jason, or any of the APLC staff setting up to screen. Her face lighted up. “Yes, yes!” she said excitedly. “You go see lady down there.”
I followed the direction of her outstretched arm to a tall blonde woman I had never seen before – the only other white woman in the room. Disheartened, I approached her. It turned out that she was the representative for Gilead, the pharmaceutical company sponsoring the event. While she didn’t know Mimi or Jason and had never heard of the LA HIP project, she did know that the screening would be upstairs, so I headed that way. I needed a familiar face.
I found Jason and the APLC volunteers setting up to screen. On one table there were a few laptop computers for entering basic registration data and preparing a test tube label for each patient. I hadn’t realized that staff was inputting this info twice — once on site and then again into the new data base LA HIP programmers had designed for them. It was good that I learned this; now our programmers are creating a way for the staff to easily upload this registration excel sheet into the data base directly, eliminating the data entry duplication. Other tables were set up with test tubes, rubber gloves, and disposable needles for drawing blood. The screening room was very organized, with signs in English and Chinese.
After taking some photos for the LA HIP Facebook page, I went back downstairs to sit in on the lecture by Tse-Ling Fong, MD, a liver specialist at the APLC. I was very excited to attend his talk; I had read a lot about hepatitis B and was eager to fill in any gaps in my knowledge. Additionally, I was curious to see what kinds of questions the audience members would have. Dr. Fong approached the front of the room and stood under a bright red slide with a large white “B” — part of Gilead’s “B Here” campaign to raise awareness of hepatitis B in the Asian American community. Except for that massive B shining brightly above Dr. Fong, the rest of the slide was in Chinese. Then he began speaking in Chinese. He spoke in the same voice, with his usual calm, measured tone, and sounded so like himself that I had to strain to be sure that it wasn’t English. No, he was definitely speaking Chinese.
The experience was a little surreal, like watching a ventriloquist dummy. I was sure that he would switch to English in a few minutes. He didn’t. I turned to the man next to me. “Do you think he is going to do the entire lecture in Chinese?”
“Yes,” he answered. I groaned. “Do you need me to translate for you?” he offered. I smiled, happy to finally feel welcome, but declined. The man pointed to the survey form in my hand. “You know this is a test for hepatitis B?” I explained that I worked on a project doing outreach and designing a data base for Dr. Fong’s group, so yes, I did know. It felt good to finally give an explanation. I reminded him that Asians were not the only ones infected with hepatitis B, but he didn’t seem convinced.
I left my seat and moved up closer, crouching in the aisle to take pictures. When I was done with that, I filled out my survey form, and then I listened to Dr. Fong, trying to pick out Chinese phrases to identify. It was useless. The red slide with the white B stayed up the whole time, taunting me. Many of the audience questions seemed to deal with specific results of previous screenings, which I deduced from the lab reports being waved about as each question was posed. There were probably 70 people or so at the lecture, and on a Thursday afternoon at that, so people were definitely interested in the topic. This presentation had been advertised in Chinese language newspapers and was held at a community center in a predominantly Chinese area; other screenings were often held at local health fairs or churches in API communities.
When the lecture was over, a man with thick glasses made an announcement in Chinese. My neighbor explained the system — a range of numbers would be called out and when the number on my survey form fell into that range, I could go upstairs for the screening. He told me how to say 37 in Chinese so that I could recognize it when it was called. Right. I think it had seven syllables. Luckily Mimi spotted me and brought me upstairs herself. The staff entered my registration data, made a test tube label for my blood, and asked me to verify the information they had printed out.
As Mimi tied the tourniquet on my arm and felt for my vein with her finger, I looked away, slightly light-headed. “You’re not going to faint on me, are you?” Mimi asked loudly. “I’ve never had anyone faint on me.” A number of elderly patients smiled at me and chuckled. My lecture neighbor appeared at the table across from me and rolled up his sleeve for the nurse. “You’ll be fine, won’t you?” I nodded and breathed in deeply, focusing my gaze intently away from my arm. I imagined the hubbub that would ensue if I did pass out. “What was she doing here?” they would cluck at each other. “Didn’t she know this was a hepatitis B screening?”
The blood was drawn without any fainting spells and I gathered my things to leave. A young man offered me a bottle of water on my way out of the screening room, and then downstairs a pair of women handed out bright pink boxes from a local bakery. A present! A completely wonderful, unexpected present! I walked out into the bright sunlight, dumbfounded. An old Chinese man stood by the door with his box, apparently as surprised as I was. We looked at each other and smiled.
“It is nice, yes?” he pointed towards his box.
“It’s great!” I agreed. “I’m starving.”
Excited like a little kid, I tore open the pink box as soon as I reached my car. There was a little custard cup with fruit on top (I ate that right away) and two triangles of a sandwich with the crust cut off. I bit into one and the three layers slid out in succession like a set of stairs. It was white, pink, and gold, the ham all slippery from the mayonnaise and strange, foamy cheese. I ate all of it and loved it. If I’d also had a cup of tea, I think I would have fallen asleep right there, completely content.
Wednesday, May 19, was World Hepatitis Day, and the entire month of May is dedicated to hepatitis awareness. Currently 800,000 to 1.4 million Americans are chronically infected with HBV, a real tragedy since a vaccine does exist. The APLC’s Mimi Chang, MSN, NP, explains that the majority of those infected are foreign-born or the children of recent immigrants who just don’t know that they are at risk. “Hepatitis B is a silent disease. Patients don’t have symptoms until the liver is seriously damaged.” She adds that a bigger problem for the APLC is that many patients who test positive either have no insurance or are underinsured and can’t afford the treatment. “Patients who have HIV automatically get Medi-Cal, but there is no system for that with hepatitis B. They are similar diseases, but one is covered, and one is not. The CDC fund for HIV is much bigger than the one for viral hepatitis.” Patients who avoid treatment until they need liver surgery or a transplant create a much heavier financial burden on the health care system than they would have if their condition had been monitored and controlled.
The U.S. health care system needs to welcome all of its citizens, sick or healthy, recent immigrant or fourth generation American. My neighbor’s offer to translate, Mimi’s joking to relax me, and the pretty boxed lunch went a long way towards making me feel comfortable and, well, wanted. Shouldn’t we do at least that for our fellow citizens — particularly when the financial stability of our country and, even more importantly, lives are at stake? Solid policies to spread awareness and distribute timely treatment instill the warm acceptance that all Americans need to feel good about our country again.
Thankfully, my test came back negative for the hepatitis B antigen and negative for antibodies, which means I have no immunity to the disease and should be vaccinated. It is a series of 3 shots, $17 each at a reduced rate at the APLC. Next time I’ll try to catch the APLC’s other liver specialist, Dr. Ho Bae, when he gives a talk in Korean. I have no doubt that it will go as well as the first time.
CDC recommends that people born in these countries or born of parents from these countries be tested for hepatitis B.
APPENDIX: LIST OF COUNTRIES WITH ‡2% HBSAG PREVALENCE
Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Angola, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Benin, Bhutan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brunei, Bulgaria, Burkina, Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, China, Comoros, Congo, Croatia, Cyprus, Czechoslovakia (including Czech Republic and Slovakia), Democratic Republic of Congo (Zaire), Djibouti, East Timor, Ecuador, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Europa Island, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Glorioso Islands, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ivory Coast, Jamaica, Japan, Juan de Nova Island, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Korea, Kuwait, Laos, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Lithuania, Macedonia, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mayotte, Moldova, Montenegro, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar (Burma), Namibia, Nepal, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Philippines, Poland, Qatar, Reunion, Romania, Russia, Rwanda, Sao Tome & Principe, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovenia, Somalia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, St. Helena, Sudan, Swaziland, Syria, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Thailand, Togo, Tomelin Island, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Vietnam, Western Sahara, Yemen, Yugoslavia, Zambia, Zimbabwe.
Journal of Viral Hepatitis, Vol. 17, p.28-33. Info can also be found on CDC website, MMWR Report for Sept. 19, 2008, figure 3 and table 3.
Information on advocacy efforts to increase funding for viral hepatitis and link to download copy of the IOM report “Hepatitis and Liver Cancer: A National Strategy for Prevention and Control of Hepatitis B and C” http://www.nvhr.org
Asian Pacific Liver Center http://www.asianpacificlivercenter.org
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Marianne_Ruane
When our heart does not get enough blood containing oxygen, a temporary chest discomfort may occur and it is most commonly known as angina chest pain or angina pectoris. How will you determine that you really are experiencing angina chest pain? Well, if you experience pain or pressure in the middle of your chest, going to your neck, back and left shoulder or left arm then don’t ever drive yourself to the emergency room. Instead, call an immediate ambulance that will rush you to the hospital.
Angina pectoris happens when a person has coronary heart disease where there coronary blood vessels are narrowed or blocked and insufficient blood containing oxygen is supplied to the heart muscle. The pain is often felt when a person gets stressed physically, mentally and emotionally. Extreme temperatures may also trigger attack of angina chest pain. Initial intervention when having this chest pain is to take a rest to be relieved of the pain and use of nitroglycerin for faster relief. This type of angina is actually predictable and it is known to be a stable angina. If you are experiencing such a discomfort, it is best to seek your doctor’s assistance for further evaluation. An ECG or electrocardiogram and X-ray will most likely to be used as the diagnostic test.
There are also cases when even if you are at a complete rest, a sudden attack of angina chest pain occurs. This is known to be the unstable angina where the attack of chest pain will not be easily predicted. The pain felt is more severe and prolonged. Patients experiencing such discomfort should seek medical attention immediately as unstable angina should be treated as an emergency and patient should be monitored carefully at the chest pain unit. Patients with Unstable angina have an increased risk for heart attack or cardiac arrest that may lead to sudden death.
If you are think you already experiencing a heart attack, then it is best that you call for an ambulance that will take you to the hospital. Driving yourself to the hospital alone can be very dangerous. If you’re not allergic to aspirin, chew a regular tablet of aspirin to ease the pain.
A generic version of a drug is a variation of a brand-name drug that has the exact same effectiveness, quality, safety, and strength, but at a much lower price. Under a different name, generic drugs can provide you and your family the medicines they need a a cheaper cost. Generics exist for many different types of medicine and are available at your regular pharmacy.
There are two main differences between a generic drug and a name-brand drug. First, the biggest difference and the best benefit lies in the drastic price difference. Second, your generic drugs may look a little different than its brand-name counterpart. Cheaper prescription drugs are a huge convenience to families who have been struggling with prescription medication costs, as well as for those who have been struggling with a chronic disease. A generic recently came out for the medicine I take, and being able to get it for a small fraction of the formerly high price is a huge relief. However, not every brand-name has a generic form. Generic forms are created when the patent for the brand-name drug has run out of time, so if your medication is generally pretty new, a generic may not be coming out for a while.
Many attribute the lower price of generics to a lower quality. This couldn’t be more wrong. Besides the cost, generics have minimal differences that very rarely affect the taker. The only differences reside in shape and color, which may minimally alter the release time and taste of your medicine, but they do not alter the effectiveness or strength of your medication. The only reason generic drugs are cheaper is because the research and advertising costs have already been paid for by the name-brand, allowing the generic to not have to spend money on advertising or marketing. Generic drugs are required by law to have the same chemical formula and the same active ingredients, but if you have side effects that you attribute to the generic form of your medication, be sure to talk to your doctor about it.
Surprisingly, if you have insurance that covers your prescription costs, buying the name-brand may actually be cheaper than the generic. Insurance companies talk to the manufacturers of medicines and negotiate for better prices for their customers and create a list of preferable medicines. Talk to your doctor and see if the generic version of your medicine is an option, and then call up your insurance company and ask which is a better value for you.
Many have been struggling under the weight of prescription drug prices, and the creation of generic drugs has been a huge relief. More and more generic drugs enter the market every year, so keep up to date on which medication you may be able to buy $4 generic. Check online or ask you doctor to see when a generic drug may be coming out for you. Generics provide a great alternative for more expensive brand-name drugs, making prescriptions more accessible for you and your family.
When there is an overload of the uric acid in the body, it results into a disease called gout. Due to overload of uric acid in the body there forms tiny crystals of urate which deposits in the tissues of the body especially the joints are affected. Chronic gout is more harmful. It leads to deposits of uric acid in the form of hard lumps around the joints which may result into the destruction of the joint, kidney stones and also the decreased function of the kidney. When the formation of the crystal affects the joint then there is recurrence of the attacks of the inflammation of the joint. It is the severe form of the arthritis which is very painful.
Commonly the acute gout is attacked at the base of the big toe in the small joint. It is the most common site. Medically this site of attack of the gout is termed as podagra. Other places which are attacked by the gout are the joints of ankles, wrists, knees, elbows and fingers. We can characterize the attack of acute gout by observing the rapid onset of pain, reddish discoloration, swelling and also warmth in the affected area. It is also marked with tenderness which is so severe that even if the skin is touched by blanket, the pain is unbearable. With the acute attacks of the gout the patient may develop fever. With the help of medicines or even without medicines the pain of the affected area subsides within few hours or a day. It may last for weeks also in rare case. Over the years the patients with gout experiences the repeated attack of the arthritis.
Some of the natural remedies for gout -
It has been found that vitamin C is very effective and helpful in the treatment of gout. It helps in reducing the level of uric acid. So it is advisable to increase the intake of vitamin C in any form. But don’t take it more than 2000/day as it may result into gas, diarrhea and also the digestive upset. Cherries are also very popular as a natural treatment for gout. It is recommended to take one pound of cherries a day. They may be either eaten or may be diluted with water to make juice. Diet is very important for the treatment of gout. Milk and yoghurt contributes a lot in lowering the uric acid so it must be taken in plenty. Meat and seafood increases the risk of gout so they must be avoided.