Archive for April 10th, 2012

6 Essential Facts You Should Know About Bipolar Disorder

Tuesday, April 10th, 2012

Mental health authorities estimate that more than 2 million adults have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder (also called manic-depression), a chemical imbalance in the brain causing extreme mood swings from manic highs to agonizing lows. Although a diagnosis of bipolar disorder can be frightening and confusing, it is a treatable and manageable condition. If you or someone close to you has been diagnosed with bipolar illness, the first step in relieving fear and uncertainty is education. The more you know about the disorder, the less control it will exert over you and others who may be affected. The National Institute of Mental Health (www.nimh.nih.gov), The National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (www.nami.org), and The National Mental Health Association (www.nmha.org) are just a few of the recognized national organizations providing information, facts and support to anyone who may be directly or indirectly affected by bipolar disorder. Below are some essential facts about bipolar disorder provided by these organizations that may alleviate some of your concerns and questions surrounding a recent diagnosis. Bipolar disorder affects many people: According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), bipolar disorder affects approximately 2.3 million adults, or 1.2 percent of the population, in any given year. Bipolar disorder has many potential causes: There does not appear to be one cause for bipolar disorder. Evidence suggests that many components may come into play, all of which affect the chemical balance of certain parts of the brain. Several studies on the occurrence of bipolar disorder in families demonstrate a genetic disposition toward the illness. Other factors may include extremely traumatic life events, chronic illness, alcoholism, and drug abuse. Bipolar disorder has varied symptoms: The most pronounced symptoms of bipolar disorder are dramatic mood swings consisting of extremely “high” manic episodes to debilitating episodes of depression and then back again with relatively normal moods in between. Behaviors during a manic episode include heightened feelings of euphoria, extreme energy, decreased need for sleep, extreme irritability and distractibility, and increased aggression. Depressive episodes bring about excessive feelings of despair, hopelessness, worthlessness, guilt, and sometimes thoughts of suicide. Bipolar disorder affects both sexes in children to adults: Manic depression is not selective in who it touches. Women and men are equally affected, as are children and adolescents (although a diagnosis in children and teens is more difficult to determine). A majority of those diagnosed with bipolar disorder have a least one family member with the illness. And children of parents with the illness are more likely to develop it themselves. Bipolar disorder has effective treatment modalities: Bipolar disorder is treated with medications, called mood stabilizers, to assist in controlling fluctuation in moods. The important thing to understand about bipolar disorder is that it is a life-long, recurring illness requiring ongoing care. In addition to medication, psychotherapy is also prescribed in the management of the illness. Psychotherapy assists people to understand their illness and to develop coping skills to help deal with life events and stressors that may trigger manic and depressive episodes. Bipolar disorder has no cure: As of today, there is no known cure for bipolar disorder; however, it is a treatable and manageable illness. With a close relationship with a mental health professional, a proper diagnosis, and vigilant adherence to taking medications and sticking to prescribed treatment plans, most individuals with bipolar illness lead very productive and rewarding lives. These are just a few of the facts pertaining to bipolar disorder. It is not a simple illness, yet it is manageable and treatable. If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, do not hesitate to seek information and help. Any one of the above-mentioned organizations can offer you education, guidance, and support. Obtaining knowledge is one of your first steps in alleviating the uncertainty and anxiety of dealing with such a diagnosis.

Plague of the Twentieth Century

Tuesday, April 10th, 2012

We seem to be quite happy and satisfied with everything we have and keep developing and wanting more. We feel safe on one side of a barricade that we’ve built up between us and those poor people who suffer from the most severe malady, the plague of the twenty first century. It is quite obvious that we divide our world on “us” and “them”. While we feel quite happy and live our lives to the fullest, they constantly suffer from prosecution, problems with arranging a life and finding friendly faces in the crowd. Nobody seems to know where the plague came from. The information provided is taken from a sample term paper that gave some additional light onto the problem. Another piece was taken from a custom research paper of those, who are infected. AIDS appeared on African continent as a result of a bad experiment. Peoples of Africa were suffering from a complicated form of malaria and a group of European scientists was sent to help with the vaccination. This group was to find a vaccine from malaria and test it. In the vaccine they used ape tissues and tested. The vaccine mutated and turned into a very serious problem. Now AIDS is a very spread disease. There is no country in the world that doesn’t have this problem. Some say that it is a terrible curse given to people for not living an honorable life. Indeed, humans are guilty in spreading this plague all over the world. As we know AIDS is not spread by slight contact, only through blood transfusion, sexual contact or injection made by an infected syringe. After several cases of infection through using infected tools and transfusion of infected blood now all these things are tested and checked for AIDS. The possibility to get it is minimal. The only way is by sexual contact and using not sterilized syringes to make intravenous injections. That means that Intravenous Drug Addicts and quite vulnerable to AIDS and most of them are the carriers. People who don’t protect themselves before sexual interference can also be victims. Now the carriers of the virus are separated by an invisible wall that limits their freedom of action. On the first of January we celebrate the day of Struggle against AIDS. But it should be better called the day of Struggle against people who have AIDS. They really feel themselves as outsiders and there is still nothing done to improve the situation. It doesn’t necessary mean that people who have AIDS are in the gutter of the society. Some of the virus carriers are quite respectable and stand pretty high on the social ladder. What we lack now is information. One can not be infected by communication, hand shaking, having fun together with a virus carrier. They are also people with various interests and ambitious. Not the malady, but we ourselves prevent them from developing. So let’s treat them as usual members of society and help them to overcome their fears.

Deaf And Blind

Tuesday, April 10th, 2012

Usher syndrome – «a genetic disease causing deaf and blindness.» A simple definition. In essence, this disease slowly blinds you by progressive retinis pigmentosa, as well as ruin your hearing through congenital hearing loss. This particular disease can only be inherited, and is uncommon becuase it is a recessive trait. It can occur in an estimated 1 in 11,000 people. «Usher Syndrome» is not a name which best describes or reflects its signs and symptoms. It was named this becuase of C.H. Usher, a British ophthalmologist. He wrote about the disease when it was unknown, and described cases in which there was a clear link between congenital deafness and retinis pigmentosa. This was long ago, and he was ahead of his time, as the paper was writtin in 1914. This condition has three seperate types; Usher Syndrome I, II and III. I is the most unfair, as the child is born almost completely deaf, and eyesight begins to fail after about age 10. In type II, eyesight does not tend to degrade until later in life, but the child is born hard of hearing. Type III syndrome is the most common, wherein loss of sight and hearing occurs much later in life. The USH3A gene is responsible for creating a protien that is essential in the development and upkeep of the retina and inner ear. Usher syndrome type III is a result of a mutation whithin this gene, however, the full explanation as to the protiens role in vision and hearing loss, is yet to be discovered.

Strep Throat – How To Tell

Tuesday, April 10th, 2012

If you notice a red, sore throat, with swollen neck lymph nodes, a fever, headache, and white spots on your tonsils, then you probably have what is known as strep throat. In childrens cases, it can cause abdominal pain, nausea, and even vomiting. Symptoms such as a stuffy nose, sneezing, and coughing, which are common for colds, are not generally seen in the case of strep throat. If harsh symptoms do not arise, and you are untreated, you could be infecting people in your surroundings for the first 2 to 3 weeks of contraction. After a treatment has begun, however, you are only contageous for the next 24 to 28 hours. Generally, you contract strep throat through a bacterium that is spread by close contact to an infected person. In some cases you can get the virus through contaminated food. How do you know for sure? The doctor of course! Your doctor will swab your throat to test for the bacterium culture, or for a rapid strep test. This process can be done in the doctors office, and only takes 5 to 10 minutes. If the original tests come back negative, then a second «follow – up culture» test may take place. This can take up to 2 days for results. If you are taking medication, and both tests are negative for strep, discontinue use of the antibiotics, as this may suggest that you have a viral infection and need to be treated properly.

Treatment Options For People With Lung Cancer

Tuesday, April 10th, 2012

Several lung cancer treatments are currently available and the determination as to which one is prescribed depends on the lung cancer stage that has been diagnosed, the location of the cancer, and the patient’s health. The most common treatments for lung cancer include Surgery, Radiation, Chemotherapy, and Targeted Therapy. Surgery Surgery involves cutting away a cancerous tumor and a portion of the tissue that has surrounded the tumor. Sometimes the surgical treatment involves removal of the entire affected lung. Surgery is often effective, but recovery time can be long. Because the surgeon will have to cut through the rib cage to get to the lungs, there will be pain and bed rest for one to two months after the procedure. In addition to traditional surgical methods, other types of surgical procedures can be used depending on the location of the tumor and also the patient’s physical condition. A craniotomy, which is basically surgery performed through a hole made to the skull can be prescribed to tumors located in the brain. For small tumors, a procedure whereby a video camera is inserted into a tiny incision helps the surgeon zero in on a tumor. Because the incision is small, pain is generally reduced. Radiation Radiation can either be used by itself or in conjunction with a surgical procedure. Radiation can be beamed directly at the cancerous tumor from the outside of the body using a laser, or radiation can be delivered directly to the tumor via a small pellet. When a patient’s overall state of health is poor, radiation is a better alternative than undergoing a surgical procedure. In cases where surgery has been performed, radiation might also be prescribed as a way to remove the cancerous cells that for whatever reason could not be surgically removed. Radiation to remove brain tumors can result in changing the brain’s functionality later on, but may be the only option. Chemotherapy Chemotherapy is actually a drug that works to remove cancer by way of the bloodstream. Chemotherapy drugs can be taken either orally or administered via an injection into a vein. Because the bloodstream can carry the drug throughout the body, Chemotherapy is often the preferred treatment when lung cancer has spread well beyond the lungs. One problem associated with chemotherapy is that it can also cause damage to healthy cells and the cells that produce blood that reside within the bone marrow. Low blood counts can lead to a number of different problems so Chemotherapy treatment must be closely monitored. Targeted Therapy Targeted Therapy is a relatively new treatment option that does show promise. Instead of focusing on destroying damaged cells (which can also damage healthy cells), these drugs instead are designed to interfere with a cancerous cell’s ability to grow. Right now, Targeted Therapy drugs are given to patients only after other treatment options have been attempted. And unfortunately, Targeted Therapy has not been effective for all patients. Each lung cancer treatment option has benefits, risks and frequently, side effects. Deciding which option is best is something that only a doctor and patient can determine.

An Overview Of Cancer

Tuesday, April 10th, 2012

Cancer is a disease that affects cells of the body. Cells are extremely small units that build together and form all living things, which include human beings. In any given person’s body, you will find billions of cells. Cancer occurs when unusual and abnormal cells grow and spread very quickly. Normal cells in the body divide, grow to a certain size and then stop. Over the course of time, cells will even die. Cancer cells do not follow this normal pattern of division and growth, however. They divide very quickly and just continue to grow. Normally, cancer cells do not die and they clump together in groups to form what are called tumors. The cancer cells in a tumor can damage and destroy surrounding healthy body tissues. When these healthy tissues are damaged and destroyed, the person with the tumor can become very sick. Cancer is capable to spreading to other parts of the body, as well. It is not unusual for part of a tumor to break off and travel to a distant area. Once that piece of the tumor comes to a stop in another area of the body, it will continue to grow and can create a new tumor. When cancer spreads like this, it is called metastasis. When in the body, cancer can cause a person to feel very sick. Since early detection is a big factor in treatment, it is good to be aware of the signs of this disease. Some signs of cancer include: · A lump in the breast or testicles · A change in the skin, a wart or a mole · Persistent sore throat that doesn’t heal · A significant change in bladder and bowel movements · Coughing blood or a persistent cough that won’t stop · Indigestion and trouble swallowing · Unusual bleeding or vaginal discharge · Chronic fatigue Many of these symptoms can be from other illnesses which are not as serious as cancer. However, if you are ever faced with any of the symptoms above, it might be a good idea to see your family physician right away. Although the exact cause of cancer is still somewhat of a mystery, it is known that cancer is not contagious. You cannot catch cancer like you can the common cold. Unhealthy habits like smoking and excess drinking can increase your chances of getting cancer, but doctors aren’t sure why some people get this serious disease and others do not.

Global Spread Of Bird Flu

Tuesday, April 10th, 2012

The H5N1 strain of bird flu virus is what scientists expect to be the next big worldwide pandemic to hit. What are scaring them more are the deadly effects it has had on some of the few human victims it has so far affected. The H5N1 strain has so far hit a handful people in various areas of the world. The affected people were those that came in contact with infected birds. This article shows us the global affect of the H5N1 strain so far. • The H5N1 strain attracted very little attention way back in 1997 at Guang Dong China. This is because it had affected very few geese and poultry at the time. • The first case of infected humans was reported on 1997 at Hong Kong. 6 of the 17 people infected died. • It once reemerged on 2003 at Vietnam infecting three people. All of which died. • The outbreak became more prevalent during January 2004, affecting 10 Asian countries. It started out in Vietnam and Thailand, eventually finding its way to South Korea, Indonesia, Japan and China. Over 40 million domesticated birds were slaughtered to prevent affecting humans. During this time 23 people from Vietnam and Thailand died. • On July 2004 fresh outbreaks once again happened at China and Thailand. • During august 2004, Singapore banned poultry from Malaysia because a place in their country was infected again. The EU also banned all poultry products from Malaysia. • During October 2004, scientist discovered that the H5N1 strain is deadlier than once believed. They found out that the mortality rate of those infected is around 100%. • November 2004 a team was created to further study the effects it could cause on humans. The project was called the Influenza Genome Sequencing Project. • January 2005, nearly 1.2 million poultry were killed at Vietnam because 33 out 64 cities and provinces have been hit by the H5N1 strain. The number of birds that died ranged up to 140 million. • Cambodia is hit with the first human bird flu victim, making surveillance at the country stricter. • There have been isolated cases of human to human transfer on Vietnam and Thailand during the period of March 2005. • Eight more people have been detected infected on April 2005 at Vietnam. • On May 2005, reports were given that 97 people were infected, 53 of whom died at Vietnam, Thailand and Cambodia. Vietnam being the country most hit with 76 infected and 37 deaths. • The first infected victim was reported on Indonesia on July 2005 and 2 more died at Vietnam. • The virus later spread during August 2005 reaching Kazakhstan, Mongolia and western Russia. During this period 38 people died at China from a swine virus. Making officials from WHO worried. This is because pigs are great breeding grounds for bird flu virus as well. • September 2005 David Nabarro informed people that the outbreak of the H5N1 could kill 5 to 150 million people. He also said that the outbreak could start in Africa or the Middle East. As of yesterday, H5N1 has been found on Africa. • As of October and November 2005 the H5N1 strain has been found at Turkey and Kuwait respectively. • China reports its third death from the bird flu on December 2005. The spread of the H5N1 strain as of now may seem slow. But we should really be thankful that this virus is not yet becoming a pandemic. Because in reality the world is not yet ready.

Tinea Ringworm

Tuesday, April 10th, 2012

Ringworm, aka Tinea, is a very contagious fungal infection that occurs in the skin. Ringworm is very common, this especially true among young children. Ringworm can be spread by skin-to-skin contact, just like it can with contact with contaminated items such as a hair comb. Part of the thing that aids in the quick spread of ringworm is that a person can be infected before they even show any of the symptoms, which means that they are unaware, and have no chance of preventing the spread of the bug. Humans often times will contract ringworm from their pet animals, such as cats and dogs. These animals are at greater risk because of their lifestyles and that they are often carriers of ringworm. Just like these animals are at risk it is also known that people that are involved in contact sports such as wrestling, or even hockey, football, and rugby. Basically any instant where there is increased skin contact with a foreign body raises the odds of the ringworm transmission. Often times we overlook the numer of species in this fungi family that cause ringworm. Different fungi will attack different parts of the body. Common one’s that I’m sure we have heard on a day-to-day basis are: jock itch which has it’s affects the groin area, and athlete’s foot which affects the feet. There are several others, but those to are definitely to of the most known. Ringworm, once in full force, is easily to spot as it leaves one, and often times more than one, red itchy patches on the skin that are raised and have defined edges. These patches can often times be lighter in the center, which makes the infection take on the appearance of a ring. A good doctors can usually diagnose ringworm at first sight. If this is not possible they take a skin scraping. Examination of the scraping under a microscope will usually be able to provide a correct diagnosis.

About Cerebral Palsy

Tuesday, April 10th, 2012

Definition of Cerebral Palsy Cerebral palsy is a general term describing a group of chronic non-pregressive neurological symptoms which cause impaired control of movement and which are evident in the first few years of life, usually before age 3. The disorders are induced by damage or faulty development of the motor areas in the brain, disrupting the patient’s ability to control movement and posture. Symptoms of cerebral palsy include difficulty with fine motor tasks such as writing, poor balance and walking, and involuntary movements. The exact combination of symptoms differs from patient to patient and may vary over time. Some patients also have seizures and intellectual disability, however, this is not always the case. Babies with cerebral palsy are frequently slower than average in achieving developmental milestones like learning to roll over, sit, crawl, smile, or walk. Cerebral palsy is usually thought of as congenital or perinatal, however, it can also be acquired after birth. Many of the causes of cerebral palsy that have been identified through research are preventable or even treatable: head injury, Rh incompatibility, jaundice and rubella (German measles). Diagnosis of Cerebral Palsy Doctors diagnose cerebral palsy by tests of motor skills and reflexes and by medical history. Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and Computerized Tomography (CT) scans are typically ordered when the physician suspects cerebral palsy; howerer, they are not definitive. These tests can provide evidence of physical abnormalities such as hydrocephalus (an accumulation of fluid in the cerebral ventricles of the brain), and they can be utilized to exclude other brain disorders. These scans do not prove that the patient has cerebral palsy; nor do they predict how well a specific patient will function in the future. Patients with normal scans may have severe symptoms, and while others whose scans are clearly abnormal have only modest physical signs. However, as a group, patients with cerebral palsy are statistically more likely to have brain scars, cysts, and other changes visible on scans. When physical examination suggests cerebral palsy, an abnormal scan helps confirms the clinical diagnosis. Even though specific symptoms can change as time passes, cerebral palsy by definition isn’t progressive, so if a patient shows increasing impairment, the problem is usually another neurological disorder. Varieties of Cerebral Palsy Cerebral palsy is classified by the type of movement problem (such as spastic or even athetoid cerebral palsy) or by he body parts affected (hemiplegia, diplegia, and quadriplegia). Spasticity refers to the inability of a muscle to relax, while athetosis refers to an inability to control its movement. Babies who are initially hypotonic («floppy») may later develop spasticity. Hemiplegia is cerebral palsy that involves 1 arm and 1 leg on one side of the body, whereas diplegia is the involvement of both legs. Quadriplegia refers to symptoms involving all 4 extremities as well as trunk and neck muscles. Balance and coordination problems are referred to as ataxia. For instance, a patient with spastic diplegia has mostly spastic muscle problems of the legs, while perhaps also displaying a smaller component of athetosis and balance problems. The patient with athetoid quadriplegia, on the more hand, would have lack of control of the muscles of both arms and legs, however such a patient will usually have smaller problems with ataxia and spasticity as well. Normally a child with quadriplegic cerebral palsy will be unable to walk independently. The degree of impairment can vary from patient to patient and range from mild to severe. Cerebral Palsy Therapy There is no standard therapy that benefits all patients. Drugs are useful to control seizures and muscle cramps and braces can compensate for muscle imbalance. Surgery, mechanical aids to help overcome impairments, counseling for emotional and psychological needs, and physical, occupational, speech, and behavioral therapy are all effective. Prognosis for Cerebral Palsy Though cerebral palsy is incurable to date, many patients can enjoy near-normal lives if their neurological symptoms are properly managed. Medical Research There is evidence which suggests that cerebral palsy results from incorrect cell development early in prenatal life. As an example, a group of researchers has recently observed that approximately one-third of cerebral palsy patients also have missing enamel on certain teeth. Bleeding inside the brain, breathing and circulation problems and seizures can all cause cerebral palsy and each has separate causes and treatment. Researchers are currently conducting trials to determine whether certain drugs can help halt neonatal stroke, and more investigators are examining the causes of low birth-weight. More studies are being done to determine how brain trauma (like brain damage from a shortage of oxygen or blood flow, bleeding in the brain, and seizures) can cause the release of brain chemicals which lead to premanent brain damage. Organizations Funding Cerebral Palsy Research Therapy Easter Seals, Epilepsy Foundation, March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation, United Cerebral Palsy, National Disability Sports Alliance, Childrens Neurobiological Solutions Foundation, Childrens Hemiplegia and Stroke Foundation.

Anticipatory Grief and On-going Sadness for Caregivers

Tuesday, April 10th, 2012

Anticipatory Grief and On-going Sadness for Caregivers © Judy H. Wright, 2005 www.ArtichokePress.com In 1969, Dr. Elizabeth Kubler-Ross published On Death and Dying and later went on to launch the Hospice movement in America. Even though her studies focused more on those who were dying than the caregivers that were left behind, her work has had enormous influence on the understanding of various stages of death and grief. She described five distinctive stages of the grief process: • Denial • Anger • Bargaining • Depression • Acceptance Although not everyone progresses through these stages in the same order and not everyone experiences each stage, the feelings and emotions identified seem to be universal. At one time the diagnosis of cancer, AIDS or COPD was a death sentence. Advances in medicine and treatment now sometimes place patients with these diseases in a chronic rather than acute condition, leaving the caregiver with a sense of on-going sadness, or “anticipatory grief.” Anticipation in this context refers to the anticipation of an event in the future. Barring a miracle, the caregiver has a sure knowledge that death will occur in our loved one sooner rather than later. In anticipation of eventual death, the caregiver changes her focus from the hopes of a miracle cure to ensuring comfort and quality at life’s end. Many of the caregivers I have worked with not only mourn the anticipation of death of a loved one, but also the end of their role in life. They are afraid of who they will become when they no longer bear the title of “wife”, daughter” or “caregiver.” The overwhelming burden of caring, worrying and dedication will end with the death of a loved one. What will fill the void? Have they been strong for so long that when death does occur, they will collapse? Nature demonstrates that almost everything occurs in cycles. Each individual experiences an endless flow of beginnings and endings. Much of our fear and grief stems from our uncertainty about the new beginning and if we will be able to handle it. The more we can trust that with every ending is a new beginning, the less likely we are to resist letting go of the old. We play a part in choosing what the new beginning will be. We do not need to rush into anything. We have worked hard and with love, and we deserve to rest and regroup. Trust yourself and trust nature that you will be guided in your journey. Each one of us goes through the cycles of life in our own way. We can see each ending as a tragedy because we will no longer have daily exposure and experiences with our loved one, or we can see it as a new beginning for everyone concerned. ##################################### This article may be re-printed in it’s entirety as long as full credit is given to the author, Judy H. Wright. For a full listing of books, articles and tele-classes on this and other subjects related to the journey of life, please go to: www.ArtichokePress.com or contact Judy H. Wright at 406-549-9813

Signs of an addiction

Tuesday, April 10th, 2012

Addictions come in many forms. It’s important to recognize the signs of addictions in order to seek out help before the problem becomes to large. Some different types of Addictions are:

Caffeine addiction, nicotine addiction, drug addiction, Alcohol addictions, and gambling addictions. Like mentioned above it’s very important to recognize the symptoms of addictions in order to be able to recognize and treat an addiction before it becomes to serious. There are several different symptoms, some vary on type of addiction, and others are age and gender specific. Here is a look at some of the most common symptoms:

·  Uncontrolled Craving and Desires– This symptom can be general to all types of addictions. For example: food/drink cravings, gambling cravings

·  Fatigue– Often times addictions will result in both physical and mental fatigue, as your body will often be working over time, and not resting properly.

·  Obsessive thoughts– Can you not get a thought out of your mind, is it starting to take over and effect the way you think?

·  Change in Behavior– Do you suspect that your behavior has changed? Are you more moody, or easily frightened?

·  Hyperactivity– Do you seem to be excessively active, but not getting a lot done? Do you fidget more then usual? Do you have problem sitting still for any length of time? These are just a few of several signs that can indicate the development or indication of an already existing addiction. If you are experiencing any of these signs, and it is unusual for you, I would recommend seeking out further existence either by a medical or mental professional. Be smart with your health and body. Your only given one chance with it! Feel free to reprint this article as long as you keep the following caption and author biography in tact with all hyperlinks.

On Dis-ease

Tuesday, April 10th, 2012

We are all terminally ill. It is a matter of time before we all die. Aging and death remain almost as mysterious as ever. We feel awed and uncomfortable when we contemplate these twin afflictions. Indeed, the very word denoting illness contains its own best definition: dis-ease. A mental component of lack of well being must exist SUBJECTIVELY. The person must FEEL bad, must experience discomfiture for his condition to qualify as a disease. To this extent, we are justified in classifying all diseases as «spiritual» or «mental». Is there any other way of distinguishing health from sickness – a way that does NOT depend on the report that the patient provides regarding his subjective experience? Some diseases are manifest and others are latent or immanent. Genetic diseases can exist – unmanifested – for generations. This raises the philosophical problem or whether a potential disease IS a disease? Are AIDS and Haemophilia carriers – sick? Should they be treated, ethically speaking? They experience no dis-ease, they report no symptoms, no signs are evident. On what moral grounds can we commit them to treatment? On the grounds of the «greater benefit» is the common response. Carriers threaten others and must be isolated or otherwise neutered. The threat inherent in them must be eradicated. This is a dangerous moral precedent. All kinds of people threaten our well-being: unsettling ideologists, the mentally handicapped, many politicians. Why should we single out our physical well-being as worthy of a privileged moral status? Why is our mental well being, for instance, of less import? Moreover, the distinction between the psychic and the physical is hotly disputed, philosophically. The psychophysical problem is as intractable today as it ever was (if not more so). It is beyond doubt that the physical affects the mental and the other way around. This is what disciplines like psychiatry are all about. The ability to control «autonomous» bodily functions (such as heartbeat) and mental reactions to pathogens of the brain are proof of the artificialness of this distinction. It is a result of the reductionist view of nature as divisible and summable. The sum of the parts, alas, is not always the whole and there is no such thing as an infinite set of the rules of nature, only an asymptotic approximation of it. The distinction between the patient and the outside world is superfluous and wrong. The patient AND his environment are ONE and the same. Disease is a perturbation in the operation and management of the complex ecosystem known as patient-world. Humans absorb their environment and feed it in equal measures. This on-going interaction IS the patient. We cannot exist without the intake of water, air, visual stimuli and food. Our environment is defined by our actions and output, physical and mental. Thus, one must question the classical differentiation between «internal» and «external». Some illnesses are considered «endogenic» (=generated from the inside). Natural, «internal», causes – a heart defect, a biochemical imbalance, a genetic mutation, a metabolic process gone awry – cause disease. Aging and deformities also belong in this category. In contrast, problems of nurturance and environment – early childhood abuse, for instance, or malnutrition – are «external» and so are the «classical» pathogens (germs and viruses) and accidents. But this, again, is a counter-productive approach. Exogenic and Endogenic pathogenesis is inseparable. Mental states increase or decrease the susceptibility to externally induced disease. Talk therapy or abuse (external events) alter the biochemical balance of the brain. The inside constantly interacts with the outside and is so intertwined with it that all distinctions between them are artificial and misleading. The best example is, of course, medication: it is an external agent, it influences internal processes and it has a very strong mental correlate (=its efficacy is influenced by mental factors as in the placebo effect). The very nature of dysfunction and sickness is highly culture-dependent. Societal parameters dictate right and wrong in health (especially mental health). It is all a matter of statistics. Certain diseases are accepted in certain parts of the world as a fact of life or even a sign of distinction (e.g., the paranoid schizophrenic as chosen by the gods). If there is no dis-ease there is no disease. That the physical or mental state of a person CAN be different – does not imply that it MUST be different or even that it is desirable that it should be different. In an over-populated world, sterility might be the desirable thing – or even the occasional epidemic. There is no such thing as ABSOLUTE dysfunction. The body and the mind ALWAYS function. They adapt themselves to their environment and if the latter changes – they change. Personality disorders are the best possible responses to abuse. Cancer may be the best possible response to carcinogens. Aging and death are definitely the best possible response to over-population. Perhaps the point of view of the single patient is incommensurate with the point of view of his species – but this should not serve to obscure the issues and derail rational debate. As a result, it is logical to introduce the notion of «positive aberration». Certain hyper – or hypo – functioning can yield positive results and prove to be adaptive. The difference between positive and negative aberrations can never be «objective». Nature is morally-neutral and embodies no «values» or «preferences». It simply exists. WE, humans, introduce our value systems, prejudices and priorities into our activities, science included. It is better to be healthy, we say, because we feel better when we are healthy. Circularity aside – this is the only criterion that we can reasonably employ. If the patient feels good – it is not a disease, even if we all think it is. If the patient feels bad, ego-dystonic, unable to function – it is a disease, even when we all think it isn’t. Needless to say that I am referring to that mythical creature, the fully informed patient. If someone is sick and knows no better (has never been healthy) – then his decision should be respected only after he is given the chance to experience health. All the attempts to introduce «objective» yardsticks of health are plagued and philosophically contaminated by the insertion of values, preferences and priorities into the formula – or by subjecting the formula to them altogether. One such attempt is to define health as «an increase in order or efficiency of processes» as contrasted with illness which is «a decrease in order (=increase of entropy) and in the efficiency of processes». While being factually disputable, this dyad also suffers from a series of implicit value-judgements. For instance, why should we prefer life over death? Order to entropy? Efficiency to inefficiency? Health and sickness are different states of affairs. Whether one is preferable to the other is a matter of the specific culture and society in which the question is posed. Health (and its lack) is determined by employing three «filters» as it were: Is the body affected? Is the person affected? (dis-ease, the bridge between «physical» and «mental illnesses) Is society affected? In the case of mental health the third question is often formulated as «is it normal» (=is it statistically the norm of this particular society in this particular time)? We must re-humanize disease. By imposing upon issues of health the pretensions of the accurate sciences, we objectified the patient and the healer alike and utterly neglected that which cannot be quantified or measured – the human mind, the human spirit.

Caution And Prevention Of Cholera

Tuesday, April 10th, 2012

Cholera is a disease which affects the small intestine and is caused by bacterium vibrio cholera. It is an acute diarrhea illness which causes lots of problem to your entire system. Sometimes the symptoms are very mild which are not even detected sometimes till the time it gets severe. It is transmitted mainly due to ingesting drinking water which is contaminated due to loss of cleanliness, eating half cooked meals or not properly cooked food like fish. Some of the basic symptoms which can be seen during the attack of cholera are diarrhea, abdominal cramps, nausea, vomiting and dehydration. It may not be that serious disease but death can also occur due to the loss of fluid which causes dehydration and also loss of life. When such kinds of disease are left untreated then there is high rate of death. Sometimes the situation is so bad that death can occur within matter of hours. Your body plays host to this disease for nearly two to five days. Some of the precautions you can adhere to while suffering from this disease is to have boiled water or treat it with chlorine or iodine, other boiled beverages such as coffee and tea are very good too, make sure to have food which are cooked thoroughly, undercooked meals is not good in this kind of condition, avoid having salads which are not cooked and some of the basic precaution which can be taken. Cholera can be treated easily without much of a hassle. If the loss of salts and fluids are replaced immediately then major part of treatment gets over in that time. They can be done by oral rehydration solution and if it is an epidemic it cannot be stopped immediately. Although Cholera can be controlled easily, unless you take proper precautions, this condition could escalate into something serious. Please contact your physician immediately on experiencing any irregular conditions in your body or any of the symptoms mentioned above.

What is Alzheimer’s disease?

Tuesday, April 10th, 2012

Alzheimer’s disease is probably one of the commonest causes of Dementia. It is a degenerative disease of the brain that effectively starts in the cerebral cortex. It is mostly characterised by the gradual and progressive decline in a person’s mental abilities. It affects both sexes generally those who are over the age of 60, yet Alzheimer’s has been known to occur in people as early as age 40. The earliest symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease are simple forgetfulness. This is mostly disregarded especially if the person is elderly, as it is commonly put down to their age, but it steadily progresses to more severe symptoms such as trouble in performing easy or regular tasks such as fastening buttons or tying shoelaces. There is a progressive deterioration in both the person’s mental and bodily state and abilities additionally, also their recall. There is also a difference in the actions and personality of the person with Alzheimer’s, with their ordinary actions becoming a thing of the past. For example someone who has always been gentle and kind may begin to use filthy words and make inappropriate sexual advances or become violent and begin striking and lashing out at people. In the later stages of Alzheimer’s, the person eventually becomes incapable of performing any task at all. They also become doubly incontinent, lose their power of speech, lose the ability to walk properly, suffer paralysis and lose their total memory. If treatment is given early enough, it can slightly slow down the disease, but unfortunately it is incurable at the time of writing. Once Alzheimer’s disease is diagnosed, then the person should be given as much help and aid as feasible, especially in the early stages. Unfortunately many people who are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease are conscious at first that something is wrong with them (although they may go into denial), and being aware you are «losing your mind» can be a truly shocking and frightening experience. Their family ought, also to be given help to come to terms with the diagnosis as it can have a distressing effect on them especially if the person with Alzheimer’s is younger and brings in part of the household income. There are several support groups they can join who will help them to adjust and come to terms with the life altering disease that has befallen their loved one. In the very later stages of Alzheimer’s disease, the person gets so bad that many families have no choice but to place their relation in a nursing home so they can be cared for professionally. This can also be distressing for both them and the person who is ill. The reason for Alzheimer’s disease is not known, yet scientists and doctors have many thoughts about its origins. There have been many theories such as the deposition of aluminium in the brain, to fluoride in the water but nothing has been positively identified as the course of this horrible disease.

How Bird Flu Respirator’s Should Be Used

Tuesday, April 10th, 2012

There are two kinds of bird flu wear protection that a person who will come into contact with infected poultry or just poultry or an infected person. The person should consider wearing either a bird flu respirator or a bird flu mask. A bird flu masks only helps prevent particles or droplets to be discharged in the environment the wearer is in. The mask is not generally used to filter efficiently or to seal the face tightly. A bird flu respirator is what is considered helpful in reducing the wearer’s chances of exposure to airborne particles such as bird flu. A bird flu mask is often confused like a bird flu respirator because both look alike. The bird flu mask or respirator should be used by people who think they will come in contact with persons or birds infected with the H5N1 strain. The people who use this should just consider it to be one way of being hygienic way of prevention. A patient who thinks he or she has been feeling symptoms and knows has been in contact with infected birds should wear a bird flu mask as well. People who often travel a lot, especially to those infected places should also consider bringing a bird flu respirator. If a bird flu respirator is not present, the bird flu mask will have to do. The mask or the respirator should also be fitted in properly to make it work. However, wearing the mask is still not a guaranteed way you won’t contact the viral disease. The only time a person working closely with infected birds or persons or just birds is when they are away from the contaminated or possible contaminated area. Then after removing the equipment, remember to thoroughly wash your hands. Then dispose the equipment immediately after going on a safer area. The effectiveness of the respirator last only for 8 hours. When buying the bird flu mask or respirator, it always has directions or instructions how to properly use it. Always remember when transporting the equipment to protect it from any kind of damage. The bird flu respirator should be sealing the face very tightly. If the breathing becomes difficult, the respirator might have been damaged. If it is, go to a safe place and change the respirator. The right way to wear it to know how effective it is, is to fit it snuggly in the face, the metal strip should be atop and the colored part outside. The mask should be firmly placed by positioning the strings right. The metallic strip should be molded at the nose’s bridge. A bird flu mask or respirator is only a part to help prevent the further damaging of implications of bird flu. It is not a sure fire way to prevent the outbreak, but it is a way to reduce the potential damage.

Avian Influenza – Bird Flu FAQ

Tuesday, April 10th, 2012

As more and more cases of bird flu are reported, the world faces an immediate threat of a deadly pandemic. Pandemics (Global Disease Outbreaks) are known to be like flash floods. They start abruptly, spread fast and cause a lot of damage all over the world. A few facts that everyone should know: What is Avian Influenza? As the name suggests, avian influenza refers to the infection caused by avian (bird) influenza (flu) viruses. These viruses are commonly found in intestines of wild birds and these birds can carry the viruses without getting sick. However the viruses can be pathogenic to domesticated birds like chickens, ducks and turkeys. Domesticated birds become infected through exposure to other birds or through surfaces contaminated by secretions and faeces of the infected birds. These viruses are classified as Low Pathogenicity and High Pathogenicity. Most strains of Avian Influenza come under Low Pathogenicity Avian Influenza (LPAI) Group and produce mild symptoms in the infected birds. Common symptoms are ruffled feathers, decreased food appetite, decreased egg production, sneezing and coughing. Many times LPAI may go undetected. High Pathogenicity Avian Influenza (HPAI) has more severe symptoms which include sudden death, loss of energy and appetite, decreased egg production, respiratory problems, facial oedema (swelling), poorly formed eggs and diarrhoea. HPAI can reach a mortality rate of nearly 100%. What Is H5N1 strain of Bird Flu? All flu viruses are classified as type A, B or C depending on their structural arrangement. Type A is responsible for lethal pandemics and is found in both animals and humans. Type B causes local outbreaks of flu. Type C is the most stable of the three and infected people show only mild symptoms of flu. Type B and C are usually found only in humans. Type B and C are more stable than type A and are not classified according to their subtypes. Influenza viruses of type A are divided into subtypes and the naming is done on the basis of two proteins (antigens) found on their surface – Hemagglutinin (HA) and Neuraminidase (NA). Sixteen types of HA and nine types of NA exist. Thus a total 144 combinations are possible. Thus H5N1 is a type A virus and gets its name from HA 5 protein and NA 1 protein present on its surface. How Do Type A Viruses Cause A Pandemic? Type A viruses are further classified into strains. These strains can continuously evolve into different strains. Their ability to exchange genetic material with other viruses and create new influenza viruses makes them unpredictable and difficult to fight with. Humans have to develop new immunity (antibodies) every time new strains are created. Viruses cannot repair genetic damage, small changes known as «Antigen Drift», are continuously creating new strains of viruses. However when genetic material from Type A viruses from different species – say a bird and a human, comes together and merges, an entirely new strain is created. This is known as «Antigen Shift» Humans have no immunity to such a strain and the strain can spread rapidly causing a Pandemic. How Is The Virus Transmitted To Humans From Birds? Usually Avian Influenza viruses do not infect humans. Migratory birds act as carriers of these viruses and do not get affected by them. These birds then come in contact with domesticated birds such as chickens and turkeys and spread the infection to them. Domesticated birds may get the virus from contact with contaminated surfaces too. Once a virus infects domesticated birds, it can cause severe epidemic among the birds. Humans come in contact with infected birds or contaminated surfaces and pick up the virus. In the human body, this avian flu virus then undergoes an antigenic shift, combines with genetic material of a human strain of influenza virus and creates an entirely new strain of virus against which humans have little or no immunity. These genetic reassortments may also take place is the body of a third species (susceptible to both avian and human viruses) like the pig, where an avian influenza A virus and human influenza virus mix their genetic information and produce a new virus which might be able to infect humans. Why is H5N1 dangerous? The first reported cases of H5N1 infections were detected in geese in 1997 in Southern China. A total of 18 human infections were reported and six of them succumbed to it. The infection spread quickly to poultry in Hong Kong. At that time a million and half chickens were culled in Hong Kong to keep the virus under control. The virus disappeared for a few years, but resurfaced in 2002 in Hong Kong again. Since then it has killed millions of birds in Asia and many cases of human infections have been reported. The persistence of this H5N1 strain of virus is a great concern for humans. Although the virus does not spread from birds to humans easily, the severity of the infection of H5N1 in humans is frightening. The virus has killed every second person infected by it. These cases were reported in perfectly healthy individuals who had no past history of infections. However the greater concern for the world is the POSSIBILITY THAT THE VIRUS MAY MUTATE (UNDERGO ANTIGENIC SHIFT) AND CREATE A FORM THAT MAY SPREAD FROM HUMAN TO HUMAN. Such a strain of virus may result in a pandemic, killing millions of people worldwide. Is Consumption Of Poultry Birds Safe? Yes, it is safe to consume THOROUGHLY COOKED poultry products. The H5N1 virus is sensitive to heat and gets destroyed by normal cooking temperatures of 70- 100 degree Celsius. If meat from poultry birds and eggs are cooked properly, the virus will be destroyed. Just make sure that no part of the meat remains raw or uncooked. How Big Is The Risk Of A Pandemic Breaking Out? The world had to face a Bird Flu Pandemic, thrice in the twentieth century. In 1918-1919, «Spanish Flu» killed anywhere between 20 million to 50 million people (exact figures not known), including half a million in the United States alone. The «Asian flu» in 1957-58 killed 70,000 in the United States and in 1968-1969, the «Hong Kong flu» killed 34,000 in the USA. Currently the risk of H5N1 strain leading to a Pandemic is high. The virus is spreading fast to new areas and the efforts made to curtail it have proved inadequate. Domestic ducks have now become a «reservoir» for the virus. They are acting like a carrier for the virus – their bodies carry the virus without showing signs of any infection. Infected ducks then release large quantities of the virus in pathogenic form in their excretions spreading the virus to other birds or humans. This has made detection of the virus difficult especially in rural areas. According to health experts, the virus has already met the first two prerequisites for starting a pandemic. First it has attained a form, for which humans have no inbuilt immunity; and second, it has proved pathogenic enough to cause serious illness and death in humans. The present risk of a pandemic is very high. The only factor that has prevented a pandemic so far is that the virus has not mutated into a form that would allow it to transmit efficiently from one human to another. Once such a genetic change takes place for the virus, a pandemic will be inevitable. The first signs of such a reassortment will be presence of the clusters of patients with flu symptoms, closely related – both in time and space. This would be a clear indication of virus having the ability to transmit from human-to-human. Currently no vaccine has been developed for fighting H5N1 strain. Simultaneous work is being done in many countries for developing a vaccine, but no success has been achieved. The exact virus that may cause the pandemic cannot be predetermined. Thus mass production of vaccine before the pandemic starts is ruled out. The worldwide manufacturing capacity is inadequate to match the sudden demand surge during a pandemic. The best that scientists can do is to carry out a study and determine the smallest amount of antigen per dose that will provide sufficient protection and thus maximise the number of vaccines produced. What Are The Precautions Necessary To Prevent A P

andemic? The logical first step is to control the disease from spreading among birds, but this seems a difficult task now. Bird Flu has become a bird epidemic in many parts of Asia and is spreading fast. The Next step is to prevent the disease from getting passed on to humans. People who come in close contact with birds (like poultry farmers) are advised to keep a close watch on the health of birds, notify any sort of sickness in birds to the health authorities and avoid direct contact with sick birds in all cases. (Ducks have become a reservoir for the virus and may not exhibit signs of sickness even if they are carrying the virus.) In case the flu becomes a pandemic, most countries of the world will be affected. In such a scenario, the best preventive measures would be personal hygiene, avoiding crowded places and staying away from raw meat and eggs. A flu shot does not prevent bird flu, but it can protect a person from other forms of flu and avoid complications. Persons above 65 years of age, children, health services workers, people with chronic respiratory disorders, travellers to flu affected countries and pregnant women may consult a doctor regarding flu vaccination. What Are The Symptoms In Humans and Treatment Options For Bird Flu? A person infected by bird flu may have all symptoms of common flu like fever, persistent cough, sore throat and body ache. Moreover, there is a high risk of complications such as pneumonia, bronchitis, eye and ear infections and severe breathing problems. Presently four drugs are used to combat influenza. The most effective drugs known for seasonal flu are Oseltamivir (commercial name Tamiflu) and Zanamavir (Commercial name Relenza). Both of these are known to reduce severity and duration of seasonal flu, but they may prove ineffective if the virus is allowed to stay in the body for too long. Health professionals advise that TREATMENT OF FLU WITH THESE DRUGS SHOULD START WITHIN 48 HOURS OF FIRST APPEARANCE FLU SYMPTOMS. Oseltamivir and Zanamavir fall in the Neuraminidase inhibitors class. The surface protein Neuraminidase breaks bonds between new viruses and infected cells. By blocking the activity of Neuraminidase, these two drugs prevent the new viruses from being released. Another class of drugs – the M2 inhibitors is also available, but viruses develop resistance to these drugs quickly and thus these drugs may prove ineffective in controlling pandemics. Amantadine and Rimantadine are two drugs from this class. These drugs inhibit the activity of M2 protein, which forms a channel in membranes of viruses and thereby preventing the viruses from replicating. One should consult a doctor before taking any of these drugs as THESE DRUGS ARE KNOWN TO HAVE SIDE EFFECTS IN SOME CASES. For example, Zanamavir is not recommended to people having chronic respiratory diseases such as asthma. (This article was written on 25th January 2006 and may not contain developments that took place after this date.)

What do you need to know about Epilepsy

Tuesday, April 10th, 2012

Amongst the diseases that have frequently gripped Americans, Epilepsy is also the one. Though epilepsy allows its patients to lead a normal life yet the disease can be fatal due to the unexpected occurrence of seizures. Epilepsy can basically be defined as a disorder of the nervous system that causes a person to become unconscious suddenly, often with violent movements of the body. This attack that affects the individual’s brain is termed as ‘seizure’. Seizures happen due to the large electrical activity in the cranium (the bone structure that forms the head and borders and protects the brain). An epileptic is hit by a seizure suddenly any time and anywhere. Every individual has his own resistance to fight these seizures which is known as the seizure threshold. The minimum the seizure threshold, frequent are the seizure attacks and impacts. Seizures vary from person to person; a person during this attack behaves according to the kind of seizure. Causes of Epilepsy – It is very difficult to trace the exact foundations of this disease. However, there is a threefold division made in this regard – 1. Symptomatic Epilepsy – the case of epilepsy in which the reasons behind the disease can be well known. The causes can be various such as head injuries, meningitis, brain stroke and any other brain infection etc. The knowledge of the causes leads to an adequate and appropriate drug medication which varies from person to person. 2. Idiopathic Epilepsy – is the case when no lucid causes behind epilepsy seizures are revealed. Having a low seizure threshold is often deemed to be the only reason behind it. But, idiopathic epilepsy does respond well to its treatment by drugs. 3. Cryptogenic Epilepsy – it is the most challenging kind of epilepsy for the doctors for no reasons to it are known and medicines too are not much effective. Preventing and Healing Epilepsy – Diet is often given importance in case of epilepsy. This is because many epilepsy patients are found to have less of omega-3 fatty acid DHA in their blood. So, a diet rich in this like the fatty fish, canned tuna are often recommended to make up this deficiency. Since epilepsy is read and administered differently in case of men, women and children, the remedies too differ in each case. For instance, epileptic children are mostly advised a diet which is rich in fats, adequate proteins and low in carbohydrates. Apart form diet prescription; epileptic patients are given anti-epileptic or anti-convulsion drugs. These drugs are mean to control and prevent the seizures. These drugs increase the patient’s seizure threshold and avert the electrical charges in the brain that can cause seizures. Anti – convulsion drugs are found to be quite successful in controlling seizures. For many people stress busters, biofeedback, acupuncture and meditation are cures to epilepsy. Epilepsy Patients and You Epileptic seizures can be quite scary for the rest of the public. Seizures can result in numbness, dizziness, and plucking clothes, smacking lips, swallowing and wandering around. Atonic seizures lead to a fall due to unexpected loss of muscle control; strong jerks to the body and at times even loss of consciousness are involved in myoclonic seizures and the most dreadful Tonic – clonic seizures result in an unconscious and stiffened body and loss of oxygen due to irregular breathing. But if any such seizure happens in public or at home, it is the duty of the rest to help the patient. Don’t start hitting that person, stuff his mouth with something and give him some eatables or drinks. Just try to prevent him from any serious injury. Put some cushions near his head if at home or take the person to a roadside safe place if seizure hits publicly. Call an ambulance as fast as possible or rush to the nearest hospital.

Do We Enjoy Sickness?

Tuesday, April 10th, 2012

Its starting to get cold outside. I have noticed recently that very few people in the last few years have done anything to prevent those little colds that you always come down with at the beginning of the chilly season. Why is that? I remember being a youngster… wanting to go outside and play in the snow even though i had the sniffles. Mom wouldn’t let me. «Your going to get sick!» she would holler. So i wasn’t ever sick! Nowadays, no one is really concerned with PREVENTING sickness. We all believe that there is enough medicine out there to cure whatever it is we come down with. Well, that’s mostly true. In fact, a good friend of mine came down with Winter Vomiting Disease last year. It sounds like a scary illness, and we all feared for him, until we read up on it and realized that it goes away in 24-36 hours. You just vomit alot and have diarrhea. Not so bad. But why do we let things get that far every year? Granted there is usually a cure, but we continue to suffer through the times when we DO have a virus. Is it that we enjoy it? Ya right! I think it’s more like we forget how much it sucks, because it was a year ago. This year, lets all try and stay healthy through the cold season. Keep up on our vegetables and our rest. The problem today is, we all think that we have so much to do. RELAX! Running yourselves down until your are bed ridden is not exactly time efficient. Enjoy the winter and stay cold free!

Complications That Can Arise From Crohn’s Disease

Tuesday, April 10th, 2012

Crohn’s Disease is a painful and arduous disorder in itself; however, when you also take into consideration the complications that may arise as a result, the full effect of Crohn’s may be overwhelming. The most common complication that arises from Crohn’s is, due to excessive inflammation, swelling, and scar tissue, blockages or obstructions that occur throughout the digestive tract. As the walls of the bowel thicken, the intestinal passages become significantly narrower and more easily blocked. Symptoms of obstruction usually include abdominal cramping, bloating, and distending. Vomiting is also common. Inflammation may be controlled by medication, but if swelling is not reduced adequately enough for the blockage to pass, surgery may be required. Also, surgery to remove the affected area of intestine may be necessary if the blockage occurs frequently. Another complication common among Crohn’s sufferers is the formation of ulcers or sores within the intestinal tract. Sometimes deep ulcers may progress into fistulas, which may channel into the surrounding tissue of the vagina, bladder, or skin, or may join different areas of the intestine. Fistulas may lead to further complications if they become infected, such as excessive abdominal pain and fever. If they are relatively small, they may be treated by medication, but larger or more severe fistulas may require surgery. Another issue that arises occasionally is the formation of abscesses, or pockets of pus, from fistulas. These areas of infection typically require drainage through a catheter or surgical drain. Areas of around the rectum are often affected by abscesses. Another complication is the development of fissures, or cracks, around the lining of the anus. As a result of excessive blood loss from ulcers and sores, anemia is also common. From inadequate dietary intake, excessive loss of nutrients through vomiting and diarrhea, and poor absorption of food, nutritional deficiencies and malnutrition are often a complication arising from Crohn’s Disease. Although not typically encountered unless the disorder occurs in extensive durations, these deficiencies may include lack of vitamins, proteins and calories. Luckily, nutritional supplementation is usually effective in the treatment of malnutrition. This may include injections of the missing nutrients or ingesting it in liquid or pill form. Because supplements are usually in concentrated forms, they are more effective and absorbed in higher quantities than available in food intake alone. An often forgotten complication of Crohn’s Disease is the psychological impact it has on its sufferers. Depression, anxiety, and tension are common among patients.

Hepatitis A is preventable

Tuesday, April 10th, 2012

Hepatitis A is an enterovirus that is transmitted by a orofecal route. A root such as contaminated food is an easy way for Hep A to be transmitted. The virus causes an acute form of hepatitis and as a result does not contain a permanent stage. Once a person is infected their bodies immune system will make antibodies against the virus that confer immunity against future Hepatitus A infection. Currently a vaccine is available that can prevent infection from hepatitis A for life. Three out of four people with Hep A will show the symptoms. Below is a list of some of the most common symtoms:

Currently There is no specific treatment forHepatitis A. With that said rest is always recommended during the severe phases of the disease when the symptoms are most at large. Hepatitis A can easily be prevented by keeping good hygiene and sanitation. Like earlier mentioned a vaccination is also available. This vaccination is recommended in areas of the world where the likelyhood of hepatitis A is large. Here is a quick and no-nonsense list of ways to prevent Hepatitus A:

Only Drink water from approved sources Always use a dental dam or sheet of plastic wrap during rimming Always Cook shellfish thoroughly before eating Always Keep bathrooms clean and disinfected after every use Wash hands thoroughly with soap and warm water before preparing or eating food, and after sexual activity.

How do I know if I have genital herpes?

Tuesday, April 10th, 2012

Despite the fact that millions of Americans are living with genital herpes, the disease can be surprisingly difficult to detect in some cases. However, many people with genital herpes have at least some detectable signs. The most obvious sign of genital herpes is the appearance of red bumps in and/or around the genital area, often starting around two weeks after the initial exposure to herpes. The bumps may spread to the anus and/or surrounding skin, and in some cases also develop within the vagina and/or urinary tract. These bumps turn into blisters, which in turn become sores. Often these sores become encrusted and very itchy; after a period of time, however, they will clear up. An outbreak can involve a large number of sores, but can just as easily involve just a single one. Because genital herpes is incurable, these outbreaks will recur over time. Certain medications are available to increase the length of time in-between herpes outbreaks. Other symptoms of genital herpes may or may not accompany an outbreak. These include a reddening and/or sudden extreme dryness of the genital area; a burning, itching, and/or painful sensation in the genital area; vaginal discharge; difficulty urinating; headache; fever; and/or swollen glands. The most difficult aspect of genital herpes, and a large contributor to its spread, is that the herpes virus can remain inactive in many individuals and never cause them to show any signs or symptoms of the condition. However, they are still able to spread genital herpes to others. Many times the symptoms of genital herpes are confused with other conditions, such as yeast infections, urinary tract infections, and even ingrown hairs. While it’s important to know and be able to recognize the symptoms of genital herpes, you should always seek an official diagnosis from a medical professional if you are at all concerned that you may have contracted the disease. Only they will be able to say for certain whether your symptoms are the result of herpes. If you do have genital herpes, they can provide you with medication and important information necessary to handle the condition. If you are currently experiencing an outbreak of genital herpes, a doctor can diagnose your condition visually. A blood test or a viral culture can also check for the herpes simplex virus, although results can be vague and/or inaccurate in many cases. Two different strains of the herpes simplex virus lead to genital herpes: HSV-1 and HSV-2. The former, HSV-1, can indicate any form of herpes, including mouth sores, and does not necessarily translate into a genital herpes diagnosis. However, HSV-2 is almost always linked to genital herpes, and is a more reliable sign of the disease. Disclaimer: This article is for information only and you should seek the advice of a professional regarding your particular situation.