Archive for April 16th, 2012

Alcoholism Signs – Ten Warning Signs Of Alcoholism You Should Know

Monday, April 16th, 2012

Alcoholism signs – are there ten warning signs of alcoholism? Yes! Understanding alcoholism signs can help you determine whether there is alcohol abuse or dependency. Consuming a drink or two per day for healthy men and a drink a day for healthy non-pregnant women is generally considered acceptable consumption without health risks. However, as the amount of drinking per occasion or per week increases, one or more of the ten warning signs of alcoholism can develop as a result. Alcohol dependency is the most severe alcohol disorder. Two alcoholism signs associated with dependency are tolerance and withdrawal. Tolerance is the need for increasing amounts of alcohol consumption to become intoxicated. Withdrawal symptoms occur when alcohol intake is reduced or discontinued. Alcohol abusers are drinkers that may drink heavily at various times. Alcoholism signs for alcohol abusers can be related problems such as drinking and driving, violent episodes, or missing work or school. In the USA alone, as many as 14 million adults are chronic heavy drinkers that abuse alcohol or are alcoholics. What is considered ‘heavy drinking’? According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, drinking more than the amounts shown below would be considered heavy drinking: • For healthy men under age 65, consuming no more than four drinks a day nor more than fourteen drinks a week. • For healthy women under age 65 or healthy men over age 65, consuming no more than three drinks a day nor more than twelve drinks a week. What are ten warning signs of alcoholism? Here are alcoholism signs listed (in no particular order): 1. Drinking Alone 2. Making Excuses, Finding Excuses to Drink 3. Daily or Frequent Drinking Needed to Function 4. Inability to Reduce or Stop Alcohol Intake 5. Violent Episodes Associated with Drinking 6. Drinking Secretly 7. Becoming Angry When Confronted About Drinking 8. Poorer Eating Habits 9. Failure to Care for Physical Appearance 10. Trembling in the Morning Alcoholism signs can also include the inability to remember portions of the events of the previous evening or feeling anxious in a social situation where alcohol is not available. As you may know, it can be called ‘problem drinking’ when it becomes ‘drinking that causes problems’. Does heavy chronic drinking have health consequences? You bet it does. Chronic heavy drinking can result in serious damage to the liver, heart, brain and other vital organs. Such severe physical damage may irreversable and result in serious illnesses or even early death. If the above ten warning signs of alcoholism help create interest in exploring possible alcohol addiction and finding help, the good news is that help is available. Consider contacting your physician, counselor or other qualified professional. Another time-tested source of help would be Alcoholics Anonymous. AA has local groups that meet regularly throughout the USA and other countries around the world. No matter how many alcoholism signs may exist, it is never too late to begin recovery from alcohol addiction. Obviously, the sooner recovery begins, the better.

What Are The Stages Of Alzheimer’s Disease?

Monday, April 16th, 2012

An estimated 23,000 people die each year in the United States from Alzheimer’s disease. It is the leading cause of dementia in the elderly, making it the eighth leading cause of death among that age demographic. Alzheimer’s cannot currently be cured, but understanding the seven stages of the disease can help researchers, care-giving family members and those afflicted. Alzheimer’s disease most often affects those over 65. It is extremely rare for the conditioner to occur earlier. Alzheimer’s affects the cortical tissues of the brain, causing them to atrophy. On autopsy tangled webs of brain tissue filaments (neurofibrillary tangles) and patches of degenerative nerve endings, called senile plaques are found. It is believed that these abnormalities cause a disruption of the electrical impulses in the brain. It is a devastating disease, robbing the individual of their memories and ability to recognize their loved ones or care even to complete simple tasks for themselves, but there are treatments available to help slow the course of Alzheimer’s disease and researchers are working hard to find a cure. Understanding the stages of the disease is the key to both. There have been a number of attempts to describe the disease using a medical model but for caregivers and the rest of us it is easier to use the seven step functional stages to understand the changes brought on by the progression of the disease. Stage 1 is described as a normally functioning adult without noticeable symptoms and no changes in memory. Stage 2 is often mistaken as part of the normal aging process. The individual notices their declining memory issues and some functional loss as well. They may have trouble remembering the names of familiar people and places. Stage 3 is defined as early Alzheimer’s disease. There is progressive difficulty with involved tasks in demanding situations and often growing anxiety and denial. Memory and recall difficulties become apparent, concentration becomes effected and there is generally a loss of productivity. Stage 4 or mild Alzheimer’s, disease is characterized by a flattening of mood and continued denial of the disorder. Familiar faces, following directions to frequently visited places and orientation of persona and place are still intact, but assistance with complicated tasks becomes necessary. Stage 5 Alzheimer’s disease is considered moderate and the person in this stage can no longer get along in daily life without the assistance of others. They can remember major information about them selves and others but recall of newer information is difficult. An individual at stage 5 needs assistance picking proper attire and making most decisions. Stage 6 is considered moderately severe and people begin to forget large amounts of information about themselves and others including the names of their spouses and children. They will need help with all the activities of daily living and disturbed sleep patterns becomes problematic and delusional or obsessive behavior, acute anxiety and violent behavior can arise. Stage 7 is the last stage of the disease, and in severe Alzheimer’s disease speech is reduced to only a few words and is mostly unintelligible. Individuals lose their ability to sit up or walk. They cannot smile and even lose their ability to hold up their heads. The brain seems unable to direct the movement of the body. Alzheimer’s disease isn’t curable but there are treatments that can slow its progress and promising research that may one day lead to a cure. Understanding the stages of the disease and its progression can help those who are afflicted, their loved ones and researchers ensure the best treatment now and promote hope for the future.

Who Gets Parkinson’s Disease?

Monday, April 16th, 2012

Parkinson’s Disease affects generally elder adults, among about 90% of the known cases are diagnosed in people over the age of 60. Within that population, there is a small amount of variance, with the danger increasing from age 60 through age 75, and then going down sharply. Currently, Parkinson’s Disease is known to affect about 3% of the population over the age of 65. With present statistics and the probable aging of the population, authorities think that that percentage will double in the next 40 years. When those with mild symptoms of Parkinsons (symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease that may be caused by other things, or could develop into Parkinson’s Disease), those numbers increase dramatically. 15% of those between the ages of 60 and 74 have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. Between the ages of 75 and 84, that percentage rises to almost 30%. However, when you look at it in terms of inception of symptoms, the picture changes. Fewer than 10% of new cases of Parkinson’s disease are diagnosed in younger adults – under age 40. The majority of new diagnoses of Parkinson’s disease are made between the ages of 60 and 75. After age 85, the danger of developing Parkinson’s Disease then seems to fall off dramatically. What are the factors that effect diagnoses? Gender Men appear to be at greater risk of developing Parkinson’s Disease than women. Men have to deal with about double the risk of developing Parkinson’s Disease as women in any age group. Scientists think that estrogens may play a function in protecting the body from the chemical changes that occur in Parkinson’s Disease. This is further borne out by two facts – women who’ve had hysterectomies have a somewhat higher rate of Parkinson’s Disease, and women who’ve had estrogen replacement therapy have a lower rate of Parkinson’s Disease than other women their age. Parkinson’s Disease seems to growth more quickly in men than women according to one study, and another found a difference in the way that symptoms present. Men are more prone to rigidity and tremor, and women more at danger from gait disturbance and shuffling. Ethnicity Caucasians have a higher danger of developing Parkinson’s Disease than either African Americans or Asian Americans. People of European descent appear most prone to usual Parkinson’s Disease, but some studies hint at that non-Caucasians may be more at risk for a particular type of non-typical Parkinsonis that causes a disturbance in judgment. Heredity In a small percentage of cases, family history may play a part in the inception of Parkinson’s Disease. People who have parents or brothers and sisters who had young-onset Parkinson’s Disease, in which symptoms develop before the age of 40, are more probable to develop Parkinson’s Disease than others their age. When Parkinson’s Disease was diagnosed at older ages, family history looks like it’s to play no part. Cigarette Smokers Oddly, cigarette smokers appear to have a diminished incidence of Parkinson’s Disease, which has led researchers to explore the probability that nicotine may give some protection from the fluctuations caused by Parkinson’s Disease. They are quick to point out that the other health problems associated with cigarette smoking are far too significant to think cigarette smoking as a way to avoid getting Parkinson’s Disease. Coffee Drinkers Caffeine also seems to have a protective result against Parkinson’s Disease. A study of Japanese-American men suggested that those who commonly drank coffee ran a lesser risk of developing Parkinson’s Disease than other men their age. The more coffee they consumed, the lower the risk. Roger Overanout

Prevention Early Detection Of Stomach Cancer

Monday, April 16th, 2012

At one time, stomach cancer was the most common type of cancer known in the United States. As the years progressed, the disease became less common among patients. While there are no definitive answers as to why, it’s thought to be related to the decline in salted or smoked food intake. Even with the decline in cases, this disease still presents a serious problem throughout the nation and the rest of the world. While studies are unclear, some experts recommend a balanced diet to fighting against cancer development. In addition, researchers believe that damaged DNA in the stomach cells may lead to cancer. A large majority of individuals are infected by a bacteria known as H. pylori, which resides in the stomach. It is unknown how this bacteria is transmitted, but it is believed to be spread from individuals or through drinking water. H. pylori causes ulcers and may also be a leading cause of stomach cancer. Foods, which include nitrates, are also of concern among cancer researchers. Foods such as hot dogs, certain deli meats, bacon and ham contain substances known to cause stomach cancer, as does red meat, and smoked or salted foods. Certain foods are believed to protect against stomach cancer, including fruits or vegetables. Items such as tomatoes, sweet potatoes and carrots are especially helpful in the prevention of this disease. Perhaps one of the most troubling facts about the disease is that stomach cancer is difficult to diagnose. A cancerous tumor may be quite large by the time that it is diagnosed due to the lack of symptoms associated with stomach cancer. When present, the most common signs include upper abdominal pain, especially after eating. Other symptoms include bleeding, weight loss and general weakness. Patients who experience early fullness when eating should also be on alert as this may be a symptom of the stomach’s inability to expand due to the presence of a tumor. If left untreated, the cancer cells can spread quickly to other parts of the body and cause even further damage. Part of the problem is that, like many other illnesses, the symptoms sound very similar to those of other ailments. The presence of one or more of these does not necessarily confirm the presence of cancer, but it should cause the individual to be alert to the possibility. Studies show that men are twice as likely to develop stomach cancer and is most common in individuals from age 40 to 80. This disease is rarely present in individuals 40 years of ago or younger. In addition, the use of tobacco and alcohol are perhaps the most obvious cancer causing agents. Studies have shown that both men and woman are more likely to develop stomach cancer if they smoke. Other factors, including family history and obesity, can encourage the development of stomach cancer. This article should not be construed as professional medical advice. If you, or someone that you know, is concerned about the possibility of cancer, you should seek medical attention immediately. A medical doctor can discuss various options, prevention and treatment possibilities should the presence of cancer be detected. A series of tests may be conducted in order to confirm, or rule out, any such diagnosis and can only be done by a medical doctor.

Bone Breaking Disease – Osteoporosis

Monday, April 16th, 2012

It is normal for the bones to erode as we age. But for some people, the bones become so fragile that they break down under the body’s own weight. This causes hip, spine and forearm fractures. This disease is known as osteoporosis. This disease is more common amongst women then men. This is due to the fact that the women have lighter bones and after menopause, they experience rapid bone loss due to decrease in estrogen. Also women opt for heavy dieting in order to lose weight, where they skip highly nutritious food items. This results in weaker bones in the body. Men too can suffer from this disease if they smoke, drink or take steroids. But there is no need to worry. It is possible for you to slow, stop or reverse this bone loss. Though women have used ERT or Estrogen Replacement Therapy to overcome this problem, you can follow the tips below to overcome or prevent this problem. • Build up your bones: It is highly recommended that you do aerobic exercises for about 20 minutes a day at least three days a week. Exercise has been shown to stimulate bones to lay down new tissues. It is advisable to do the exercise that you can continue doing over long periods of time. Walking is the best form of exercise but you can also choose biking, swimming or aerobics. • Walk in water: If you have suffered from fracture, walking in water is the best form of exercise. You can do this exercise three times a week for up to 30 minutes a day. The water will support body weight and ease the stress off the bones and joints. • Use a chair and the floor for exercise: Complement water walking by doing some muscle strengthening exercises like abdominal curls, shoulder blade squeezes and back extensions. You can do these exercises on a chair or on the floor. • Eat calcium: Doctors recommend that you get about 1000 milligrams of calcium a day, even though you have not yet reached menopause. If you are not getting an ERT treatment, increase your calcium intake by another 200 to 500 milligrams a day. This means that you can drink a quart of skim milk a day or have two cups of low-fat yogurt or four cups of low-fat cottage cheese to get 1000 milligrams. You can take the remaining requirements from supplements. • Go for maximum absorption: Spread out your calcium supplements throughout the day rather than take all at one go. Food supplements should be taken with a meal. Doctors recommend you to take calcium carbonate which is relatively inexpensive and is easily absorbed when taken in divided dosages at mealtimes. • Increase your Vitamin D: Get the maximum protection by consuming 400 international units of Vitamin D each day, especially if you do not get enough sunlight. Milk contains about 100 international units of Vitamin D, hence it is recommended that you take four cups a day. But other dairy products like cheese, yogurt etc cannot be taken into account since they are not fortified with Vitamin D. But do not exceed the recommended dosage of 400 international units since this vitamin is highly toxic in excess. • Eat different types of food products: Bones do not contain calcium alone but contain an amalgam of boron, zinc and copper along with other minerals. You can get these trace elements by eating variety of fruits, vegetables, nuts and other unprocessed foods. • Stop smoking: Smoking has been shown to accelerate bone loss. It accelerates the rate at which the body metabolizes estrogen and thus canceling the benefits of ERT. It has been shown to cause bone loss in men and postmenopausal women too. • Control your medicines: Some drugs have been shown to hasten bone loss. The most common types of drugs are corticosteroids taken for variety of conditions like rheumatic, allergic and respiratory disorders, L-thyroxine a thyroid medicine and furosemide which is a diuretic used against fluid retention associated with high blood pressure and kidney problems. • Avoid fizzy drinks: Cola and other carbonated soft drinks contain phosphoric acid, which contains phosphorus which is a mineral, when taken in excess, causes your body to excrete calcium. • Ease salt intake: Excess intake of salt throws the calcium out of the body. Hence do not include salt more than necessary. Avoid processed and junk foods.

Bird Flu: Human Infection

Monday, April 16th, 2012

Bird flu is a disease caused by a specific type of avian (bird) influenza virus, the so-called H5N1 virus. This virus was first discovered in birds in China in 1997, and since then has infected 125 people in Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, and Indonesia, killing 64 of them. It is spread by infected migratory birds (including wild ducks and geese) to domestic poultry (primarily chickens, ducks, and turkeys), and then to humans. Some infected people have developed abnormal clotting profiles resulting in excessive bleeding—which was a frequent clinical symptom in the deadly so-called Spanish influenza of 1918-19, which killed more than 100 million people worldwide. Indeed, bird flu shares a number of disturbing characteristics with the 1918-19 influenza virus. These two viruses have, in fact, recently been shown to be similar genetically. And in a recent laboratory experiment with mice, the 1918-19 virus was found to produce 39,000 times more viruses four days after infection than the regular seasonal human flu strain. The 1918-19 virus killed 100 percent of the mice that were infected with it, compared to none of the mice infected with the regular flu strain. With a current “case fatality rate,” or death rate of approximately 50 percent in humans, bird flu is obviously also a very deadly disease. There are only a few reports in the medical literature describing the clinical features of bird flu in humans. The clinical spectrum of H5N1 infection ranges from asymptomatic infection—where the person doesn’t even know he or she is infected—to fatal pneumonia and multiple organ failure. Some infected individuals develop liver or kidney dysfunction, and there were two children who died from the virus that came to medical attention because of diarrhea and seizures related to encephalitis (infection of the brain). However, the most common presentation is one of fever, cough, and trouble breathing. Approximately 70 percent of patients also have diarrhea, and a few patients have had only gastrointestinal symptoms (such as stomach ache, vomiting, and diarrhea) and no breathing problems. Deaths have generally been in normally healthy people. The first report in the medical literature of deaths from bird flu was on 12 patients living in Hong Kong. Their median age was nine years, with a range of one to 60 years. All presented with fever, and eight had symptoms or signs of upper-respiratory infections (five had clinical and X-ray evidence of pneumonia when first diagnosed). Gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms, including stomach pain, vomiting, and diarrhea, were present in eight patients. There were a total of five deaths (one died with Reye’s syndrome, which is associated with taking aspirin in children). In a study of 10 patients in Vietnam with laboratory-confirmed avian influenza (H5N1), the mean age of the patients was 13.7 years. For eight of the patients, there was a clear history of either direct handling of poultry (chickens or ducks) or exposure to sick poultry in the week before the onset of illness. All presented in January 2004 with cough, shortness of breath, and fever, and seven had diarrhea; none had myalgia (muscle aches)—which is often found in the regular seasonal flu. Notably, oseltamivir (Tamiflu) was administered to five patients, four of whom died (treatment was probably started too late for the medication to be effective—it must be given within 48 hours after onset of symptoms to be effective). In total, eight of the patients died, for an 80 percent case fatality rate or death rate. As is apparent from the descriptions above, the presenting symptoms of individuals with bird flu are very similar to the symptoms of the normal seasonal flu. Infections caused by either the bird-flu virus (H5N1) or the seasonal influenza virus can be completely asymptomatic—that is, cause no symptoms at all. Fever, cough, malaise (feeling ill), and gastrointestinal symptoms are common to both infections. Excessive bleeding occurs only with bird flu, but currently this symptom doesn’t appear to be common. Difficulty breathing is more common with severe cases of bird flu, not seasonal flu. Runny nose and sneezing are found only with colds (or allergies). The cough in either type of infection is what is referred to in medicine as “nonproductive”—meaning there is no sputum brought up when coughing, or if any sputum is brought up, it is white in color. This type of cough is characteristic of upper respiratory viral infections. As either type of infection progresses or worsens, tissues may be damaged, disrupting the normal structure and function of the infected cells. This in turn may allow bacteria to grow and also cause damage. When this happens following a viral infection, it is referred to as a “secondary” bacterial infection. When this occurs, the color of the sputum characteristically turns yellow or green. If this happens, antibiotics are indicated to treat the bacterial infection. (Antibiotics are not indicated in the treatment of viral infections, because they don’t work.) It is safe to assume that during a bird-flu pandemic, most individuals who become infected with the bird-flu virus will either be asymptomatic—having no symptoms—or their illness will not be severe enough to require hospitalization. The small percentage who do become seriously ill will have to be hospitalized, and treated with either of the two antiviral agents available, oseltamivir (Tamiflu) or zanamivir (Relenza). A smaller subset of that group will develop life-threatening complications such as acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), which requires treatment with a mechanical ventilator, a respirator. Some individuals may develop other serious complications such as liver failure, kidney failure, neurological problems—such as seizures, paralysis, psychiatric problems such as delirium or psychosis, or bleeding problems. However, it is reasonable to predict that most people infected with the virus will not die and will not have significant residual symptoms, although a small percentage will. Bradford Frank, M.D., M.P.H., M.B.A. The Frank Group P.O. Box 138 Lakewood, NY 14750 www.AvoidBirdFlu.com

Chronic Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease

Monday, April 16th, 2012

Defined as chronic symptoms made by the abnormal reflux of the gastric contents into the esophagus, Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, is a disease that is not pleasant to have. Commonly due to changes in the barrier that lays between the esophagus and the somatch, Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, can also be due to the lack of knowledge by the LES, or associated with a hital hernia. Gastric regurgitation is a by product of this process that results in retrograde flow into the mouth or pharynx. The acid that will become present in the esophagus is what causes the burning discomfort inside our chest, which we know as heart burn. Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease can be spotted by: – chronic chest pain – difficulty swallowing – inflammatory changes in the esophageal lining In many cases of Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease patients may only be affected by one of the above symptoms but will still be affected with the disease. There are several general symptoms which can also lead to the finding of the disease: – changes of the voice – cough – sinusitis – hoarseness – chronic ear ache The most common of all the symptoms is heartburn, which is something that we see widespread in the media, with advertising for various products that are meant to control heartburn. Heartburn is a discomforting pain, as it is a burning sensation inside the chest that comes upward towards the mouth as a result of acidic contents from the stomacch moving into the esophagus.

What To Do If Someone You Know Is Diagnosed With Bird Flu

Monday, April 16th, 2012

Bird flu is a scary and devastating disease. It has been decades since an influenza virus has had such misfortunate potential. With the virus sweeping through most of Asia, Europe, and the Middle East, it is just a matter of time before it reaches every corner of the world. If the virus mutates, an even more deadly issue will be at hand. With such negative predictions, it is almost impossible not to imagine yourself or a love one at the hands of the disease. What would you do if this virus hit home? The important thing to understand is the infection of bird flu is not necessarily a death sentence. Although a large number of deaths have occurred, almost half of those infected survived the disease. Therefore, with advanced medicine and proper care, a person may be able to live after bird flu. What you do if someone you know is diagnosed will greatly depend on how well you know the person. Is it a friend? Acquaintance? Family member? Obviously, if it is a close friend or family member, you will want to be as supportive as possible. This will be a difficult time for them and any assistance you can provide will probably be greatly appreciated. On the other hand, if you are only dealing with an acquaintance, you may feel relieved and fortunate to have not suffered the same fate. While you may feel guilt at this thought, you can consider it a wake up call to bring the risk to your attention. You may also use this time to lend a helping hand, although you do not feel emotionally obligated to do so. When someone you know becomes infected, you should also consider the source of the infection and the severity of the threat present. If a family member becomes ill while working on a family farm, you may ascertain infected agricultural animals are to blame and the threat must be alleviated. On the other hand, if no apparent cause is known, human to human contact may be a consideration. This is not only essential information for you to know, but also health professionals in your area. Currently human contact is not a transmission means; therefore, the onset of such would be of great concern. The important thing to remember is to be there for your loved ones and feel blessed that you are available to help them as opposed to sharing their fate. You will, of course, want to be careful not to become infected during this time, if it can be avoided.

What Is Lung Cancer And Who Can Get It?

Monday, April 16th, 2012

Abnormal cell growth in either one or both of the lungs is the simple answer to the question, “What is lung cancer?” In healthy individuals, the cells within the lungs go about their business duplicating at a normal rate and turning into more and more lung tissues. The lungs continue to function properly and all is well. But in damaged lungs, this rate of cell duplication becomes uncharacteristically fast yet new lung tissue fails to develop. These damaged (cancerous) cells begin to clump together and ultimately turn into cancerous tumors. Eventually, the tumors begin to interfere with the impacted lung’s ability to function normally and that is when the full impact of the disease known as lung cancer begins to be noticed. Interestingly, although it usually takes many years for lung cancer to develop, the cells begin to take on abnormal characteristics almost immediately upon being exposed to cigarette smoke or the other environmental contaminants that can cause trouble in the lungs such as radon, asbestos, coal, air pollution, and even second-hand smoke. Lung cancer can strike anyone regardless of gender, age or race. Even though it is more likely to strike those who are or who have been a smoker, lung cancer can develop in those who have never taken up this habit. Lung cancer in non-smokers is very rare, occurring in only about 10% of the cases, meaning that in almost 90% of the lung cancer cases, cigarette smoking is the instigator. Why is that so? The primary purpose of the lungs is to breathe in air. The lungs remove the oxygen from this air and push it out into the blood where it can travel around the body as needed. Because the air we breathe is not always pure – it’s filled with dust, dirt, and other types of pollutants – the upper part of the lung system was designed to clean it before allowing it to enter deeper into the lungs. In the case of smokers, the carcinogens in cigarette smoke can break down the lung’s cleansing capabilities and as a result, dirty air and the contaminants within cigarette smoke continue to freely enter into the lungs. It is the absence of this cleansing capability that ultimately causes the cells inside the lungs to function abnormally. Besides being the #1 cause of cancer death in the United States, lung cancer is unfortunately so far a disease that has no cure. In fact, by the time lung cancer is discovered, few people will survive the first year after diagnosis. Small cell lung cancer and non-small cell lung cancer are the two types of lung cancer that can develop. Eighty percent of the lung cancer cases are the slower-moving non-small cell type. The problem with this type of lung cancer is that it often spreads to other parts of the body. Sophisticated lung scans are generally the way most tumors are detected, but unfortunately, such scans are not part of routine medical care. That’s probably why most lung cancer goes undiagnosed for so long.

The Next Killer Flu — Can We Stop It?

Monday, April 16th, 2012

Flu season is just around the corner once again. But this time, it may be coming disguised as a serial killer. There is deep concern that a new killer flu, nicknamed «Bird Flu,» may mix with ordinary flu and kill millions of people. This is how Robert Webster of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis characterizes this killer flu — and take note that Dr. Webster has been studying influenza for the past 40 years: «This virus right from scratch is probably the worst influenza virus, in terms of being highly pathogenic, that I’ve ever seen or worked with.» Public health experts, including those at the World Health Organization, fear a catastrophe. In preparation, the United States has ordered 2.3 million doses of an antiviral called «Tamiflu.» 2.3 million for a country of 300 million. However, the U.S. has decided to place all of its chips on an experimental vaccine, a vaccine that is based on an early seed of bird flu, which most experts agree has already mutated into something quite different, and that means when bird flu gets here, it may not respond to any vaccine. The most astonishing fact about this new bird flu virus is how much science doesn’t know about it. The mystery remains of how people get infected. Is it by breathing the air near feces? By eating duck meat? By touching? Nobody really knows. Meanwhile, health authorities continue to slaughter infected fowl, experiment with genetic variations, and run computer simulations on panic control. It’s clear that hospitals and first responders will be completely overwhelmed, as will mortuaries. If you aren’t afraid at this point, then take a moment to read the cover essay of the October 2005 issue of National Geographic. Study those photos. Analyze those tables and charts. Then ask yourself, what are the odds that a killer virus will hit my home town, my family this flu season? Right now, WHO says the odds are 10% the killer will pick you.

Symptoms Of Adult Diabetes – How To Know A Symptom Or Sign For Diabetes

Monday, April 16th, 2012

The symptoms of adult diabetes are symptoms that should be recognized. Recognizing a symptom or sign for diabetes is important because diabetes is a condition that can be life-threatening. Diabetes is a disease where high levels of sugar in the blood exist, creating a symptom or sign for diabetes. Diabetes can be caused by too little insulin in the body, by the inability to use insulin or both of these. Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas to regulate blood sugar levels. About 17 million persons in the USA suffer from symptoms of adult diabetes. Diabetes consist of three main types:  Type 1 Diabetes – is usually diagnosed in childhood. The body makes very little or no insulin, and daily injections of insulin are required to keep the person alive.  Type 2 Diabetes – accounts for about 90% of all cases of diabetes and usually occurs in adults. The pancreas do not make enough insulin to keep blood glucose levels normal, frequently because the body does not use the insulin produced very well. Symptoms of adult diabetes and Type 2 diabetes is becoming more common with the increasing number of elderly Americans, with the failure to exercise and increasing obesity rates.  Gestational Diabetes – is high blood glucose that develops during pregnancy in a woman who does not have diabetes. Here are the most common Type 2 symptoms of adult diabetes: 1. Blurred Vision 2. Fatigue 3. Impotence In Men 4. Increased Appetite 5. Increased Thirst 6. Infections That Heal Slowly 7. More Frequent Urination How does one know if symptoms of adult diabetes that are being experienced are actually indicating diabetes? The best way is to do a blood test called the fasting blood glucose level test. Diabetes is diagnosed if this test shows blood glucose is higher than 126 mg/dL on two different tests. If levels are between 100 and 126 mg/dL, this condition will be referred to as impaired fasting glucose or prediabetes and should be considered a risk factor for Type 2 diabetes. What does one attempt to do for stabilizing blood sugar levels and diabetes? While there is no cure for diabetes, the immediate objectives are to stabilize blood sugar and eliminate any symptom or sign for diabetes and high blood sugar. Long-term, the goals of treatment are to prolong ones life, to relieve symptoms of adult diabetes and prevent long-term complications that may result such as heart disease and kidney failure. A person with symptoms of adult diabetes should work closely with their physician to keep blood sugar levels within acceptable ranges. In addition, the more you understand a symptom or sign for diabetes and how to treat it, the more proactive you can become in making lifestyle changes that will improve your health. Besides oral medications, the good news is that Type 2 diabetes may respond to treatment with exercise, diet improvements and weight management.   InfoSearch Publishing

Coeliac Disease

Monday, April 16th, 2012

Coeliac Disease is something which affects many people but which is not widely understood or discussed. It is a medical condition which affects the gut and digestive system of the sufferer and which people can be genetically pre-disposed to. The disease often runs in families, due to the genetic predisposition of the condition. However, it can be brought on through environmental factors at any point in one’s life. Coeliac Disease is most prevalent in British people, with 1 in 100 diagnosed. Italy is the next country with a high prevalence rate of 1 in 250 people. Those living in other countries but of British or Italian descent can find themselves more likely to develop it due to the genetic link. The condition is very rare in those of African, Chinese or Japanese descent. When an individual who is pre-disposed to Coeliac Disease eats a product containing gluten, damage is done to the lining of their small intestine. The body sees gluten as harmful and so attacks it and the villi, or lining of the intestine, which are shaped like small fingers, become flattened and this results in scar tissue being formed. This scar tissue is then not able to absorb nutrients and goodness from food, such as vital vitamins and minerals. The disturbance to the digestive system can also result in bowel problems, such as diarrhoea in addition to malnutrition. Gluten is a protein and a common ingredient in such food stuffs as wheat, barley, rye and oats. Unfortunately for sufferers there is no medicine available to relieve their symptoms. The only way to reduce, and possibly eliminate, the symptoms is to ensure that they follow a strict gluten-free diet for the rest of their life. For the majority of patients a gluten-free diet will prevent further damage to the intestines and give them the opportunity to heal to an extent, if not wholly, dependent on the length of time they have been eating a normal diet before switching to gluten-free. Other patients may not be as lucky, and may find that the damage is irreversible or aggravated by other ingredients such as eggs or dairy produce. These sufferers are certainly in the minority. A gluten-free diet can be difficult to follow as it is present in all manner of food stuffs. The diagnosis of the disease in most people is during childhood, particularly if other members of the family are already diagnosed. This can be hard for a teenager to deal with, particularly when eating out or at the home of a friend. However, it is important for sufferers to accept that they will not be able to get over the disease but can manage it better if they stick to the special diet. As awareness of the disease grows, so does the availability of gluten-free food. It is now possible to buy gluten-free pasta, bread, muffins and bagels, which are all normally of the menu for a sufferer of Coeliac Disease. When eating out it is important to remember that seemingly innocuous foods such as soup may have a wheat based thickener in them, thus ruling them out of a gluten-free diet. Some restaurants now offer a gluten-free menu, but if you don’t have that option the safest choice is to head to an Asian inspired restaurant such as Thai, Japanese or Indian as there are more gluten-free options available on their menus as standard.

Myasthenia Gravis

Monday, April 16th, 2012

Myasthenia Gravis – «is a neuromuscular disease leading to fluctuating weakness and fatiguability.» Myasthenia Gravis is a latin term meaning «grave muscle weekness». This disease is famous as an autoimmune disorder. Being so widely known, doctors have researched and found out many of the disease mechanisms and symptoms. In almost all cases, the diagnosed will suffer from massive muscle fatigue when participating in any sort of physical activity. When at rest, however, this symptom will not be evident. Myasthenia Gravis does not favour any particular muscle to fatigue. In fact it has been known to happen to muscles that chew, control eyelid and eye movement, talk, control facial expressions, swallowing, and even sometimes the muscles that control limb and neck movement, as well as breathing. Most people at least suffer from muscle fatigue when swallowing, making facial expressions, and moving their eyes and eyelids. This particular disease is somewhat difficult to diagnose. The symptoms of Myasthenia Gravis are alike many other nuerological disorders, and even normal occurences. If all symptoms of Myasthenia are present then it is clear, but if not, even testing can be very inaccurate. Testing for this disorder is restricted to the eye muscles, and is only 50% accurate, at best. Luckily, if the symptoms are minor, and the disease is not able to be diagnosed, it really isnt to bad. Muscle fatigue is something that people have to live with if they are simply regular gym-goers. If the symptoms are fierce, and the disease is diagnosed, then treatment can begin immediatly.

What Is The Avian Flu – Also Known As The Bird Flu?

Monday, April 16th, 2012

The Avian flu is a virus carried by birds and spread through their feces and other secretions. Those most at risk are people who come into contact with infected birds. Of the people who have been infected, many are from families that keep chickens around the home. There have been no signs of the Bird Flu in the United States as yet, and the virus is not easily transmitted from birds to humans. However, once confined to Asia, the Bird Flu has now been identified in other countries. Those that have been diagnosed with the Bird Flu have been in close contact with the infected poultry. A trial vaccine is being developed for the Bird Flu, however since the virus is constantly changing there will have to be a vaccine created to the specific strain that is spreading. Bird flu in poultry does not pose any food safety risk because it is unlikely a sick chicken would be slaughtered for consumption, and thoroughly cooking meat and eggs would kill the virus. Dr Judith Hilton, the head of microbiological safety at Britain’s Food Standards Agency, said salmonella poses more of a risk to consumers than bird flu. She added that people generally get flu through the respiratory system, not from what they eat. Dr. Hilton advises thorough cooking of poultry meat and eggs. If you cook your poultry and your eggs thoroughly, you would get rid of any viruses present. The symptoms of the Bird flu are common flu like symptoms: Fever Aches Pains Chills Sore throat Diarrhea Respiratory disease Pneumonia Precautions that should be taken are avoiding contact with live poultry. Do not keep live poultry at your residence. If you do come in contact with live poultry wash your hands very thoroughly. If you suspect you have come in contact with poultry and have flu like symptoms see your doctor immediately.

Tuberculosis and 2 Billion People

Monday, April 16th, 2012

Tuberculosis, a bacterial infection, most commonly affects the lungs. Tuberculosis can also affect the central nervous system, lymphatic system, circulatory system, genitourinary system, bones and joints. Often Called TB for short, tuberculosis is the most common major infectious disease today. With that title the virus is infecting two billion people which is approximately one-third of the world’s population. Nine million new cases of active disease annually, resulting in two million deaths. Most of these cases and deaths are in developing countries. Ninenty percent of those that are infected have asymptomatic latent TB infection (LTBI). This is alot of numbers: There is a ten percent chance that in the lifetime of LTBI that it will progress to active TB disease. This active disease if left untreated, will kill more than fifty percent of its victims. All of these numbers maketuberculosisone of the top three infectious killing diseases in the world. HIV/AIDS kills 3 million people each year, TB kills 2 million, and malaria kills 1 million. Tuberculosis is caused by a slow-growing aerobic bacterium that divides every 16 to 20 hours. This division is extremely slow when compared to other bacteria, which tend to have division times that are measured in minutes. In many patients the infection of Tuberculosis waxes and wanes. Treatment with appropriate antibiotics kills bacteria and allows healing to take place. Areas where Tuberculosis has affected will eventually be replaced by scar tissue. A complete medical evaluation for Tuberculosis includes a medical history, a physical examination, a tuberculin skin test, a serological test, a chest X-ray, and microbiologic smears and cultures. This is quite an extensive procedure as you can see, but if you look at the numbers above it is a necessary process.