Archive for February, 2010

Arthritic Knee Treatment

Sunday, February 28th, 2010 No Commented
Under: Arthritis

NSAIDs are commonly prescribed anti-inflammatory medications. They are very powerful, may provide temporary relief, but also come with many potential adverse side effects. They only treat symptoms,(pain) but do nothing to help your condition and can actually make it worse.

Most common side effects of NSAIDs are vomiting, nausea, constipation, diarrhea, drowsiness and headache.

The most serious are kidney and liver failure, ulcers, internal bleeding, shortness of breath, perforation of the intestines or stomach, raising of blood pressure and increased risk of a fatal heart attack or stroke. Drug interactions with medications you may be taking are possible and seniors are more likely to suffer the worst effects of NSAID drugs.

If you are considering using one of the NSAID drugs, take another look at the serious downside and start to look for better options. Ask your doctor about the effect of exercise, possible diet changes, losing a few pounds if you are carrying some extra ones, and trying a good, natural joint relief supplement.

More than likely, your doctor may not be able to give you a complete, knowledgeable answer on this. Why? Because modern medical training offers very little in the way of natural treatments or nutrition. So your doctor treats, the way he or she is trained.

However, your doctor should be able to tell you if moderate exercise is appropriate for you condition. In some cases of arthritis, it isn’t. If your doctor gives the okay, start out slowly. There is no need to overdo it. A great advantage of exercise, is that it helps to strengthen the muscles surrounding the joint, which gives it more support. Start slowly and increase as you can.

Your doctor should also know what foods may have a negative impact on your condition. For instance, tomatoes and potatoes can be foods you might want to avoid.

Your weight is very important too. If you’re like many of us, you might be carrying some extra pounds. For a weight-bearing joint, like the knee, an additional pound of weight equals three or more pounds of additional stress. Even a few pounds lost, can make a big difference for you.

Exercise, proper diet and weight control naturally translate into positive benefits for your overall health as well. Small changes can equal a big difference.

Why not also try a good, 100% natural joint relief supplement too? Taking the right one can stop the pain, and actually start to rebuild your thinning cartilage. So, you can forget the pain while you’re correcting the problem and there’s no need to worry about those weird side effects of NSAID drugs.
There are over 100 different types of arthritis and they all hurt. Millions of people in America suffer from arthritis, but unfortunately, the most common treatments you are offered do nothing to actually heal your condition. NSAIDs are often prescribed, but they only help mask the pain, so your condition keeps getting worse instead of better. Is that what you want?

Common Arthritis Symptoms

Friday, February 26th, 2010 No Commented
Under: Arthritis

Did you know there are over 100 different types of arthritis? Shocking, isn’t it? Today, we’re going to take a look at the four most common types of arthritis and their symptoms. If your type of arthritis isn’t covered, conduct research via the Internet. Just type in “arthritis symptoms” at your favorite search engine and you’ll be well on your way to finding more answers.

Osteoarthritis falls into the category of Degenerative Arthritis. Also referred to as Degenerative Joint Disease (DJD); osteoarthritis occurs when the cartilage (cushion) in a joint breaks down. When the cushion becomes too thin, it causes friction and inflammation in the tissue surrounding the joint. Osteoarthritis commonly affects the feet, knees, hips, and fingers.

As with any disease, symptoms vary from person to person. Osteoporosis is a progressive disease and symptoms oftentimes go unnoticed until the disease is fairly advanced. The primary symptom is pain in the joints. Other symptoms include stiffness and swelling in the joints; a “snapping” or “clicking” noise of the joints; and bony growths at the joints.

Rheumatoid arthritis falls into the category of Autoimmune Disease, or Autoimmunity. Autoimmune disease is believed to be caused by an over-production of cytokines – a communication device devised for cells to talk to each other. Rheumatoid arthritis can cause severe joint damage. It frequently causes fingers and toes to become deformed and can be excruciatingly painful. Rheumatoid arthritis affects the entire body. Symptoms include chronic inflammation and pain in the joints or entire body, chronic fatigue, weight loss and anemia.

Juvenile arthritis affects children before the age of 16. It is a chronic condition that causes inflammation in one or more joints. There are three types of Juvenile arthritis; each with their own set of symptoms:

  • Systemic onset type – Begins with high fevers and frequently accompanied by a skin rash.
  • Pauciarticular onset disease – Swelling, inflammation or pain affecting fewer than five joints. This type of arthritis affects about 50 percent of all children with arthritis.
  • Polyarticular disease – Swelling, inflammation or pain affecting five or more joints.

Cervical arthritis affects the upper spine and cervical vertebrae. Either through age, injury, or disease; the cervical vertebrae begin to degenerate. Additionally, the shock-absorbing disks that float between each vertebra begin to degenerate. Over the course of time, the nerves that connect the spinal cord to the neck become compressed. The compression causes the nerves to become inflamed, which produces neck pain that may radiate through the arms and to the fingers.
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The most common symptoms of cervical arthritis include: chronic neck pain; muscle weakness; numbness in the neck, arms and hands; limited range-of-motion; headaches; and loss of balance.

Flu Prevention Tips

Friday, February 26th, 2010 No Commented
Under: Diseases

Nearly everyone has experienced a bout with the flu. The best way to ward off the flu is to protect yourself from becoming infected in the first place. Taking the right precautions can spare you from having to spend time in bed feeling terrible. The good news in all this is that it’s not hard to avoid this virus.

Of course, frequent hand washing is a must. Make sure your hands are clean before you eat. Keep your fingers out of your mouth, eyes, and nose, especially if you have touched railings, elevator buttons, public computers, or any other objects that others touch. Keep your distance from infected people.

Drink plenty of fluids and maintain a healthy diet. This will help keep your immune system functioning at its best. Take vitamin supplements daily. This will also help your body ward off infections. Zinc and vitamin C are especially effective in boosting the immune system. They will give your body the necessary boost to prevent viral infections.

Research suggests that elderberry extract can also help with prevention efforts. This herb has a history that goes back hundreds of years as a natural medicine. It was first used for making wine, syrups, marmalades, and other desserts. It is also a popular treatment for vision and respiratory ailments.

Scientists attending the 15th Annual Conference on Antiviral Research analyzed the ability of elderberry extract in the prevention of influenza. The results were published in The Journal of Alternative Complimentary Medicine. According to the results, this herb prevents influenza infections by preventing the virus from connecting to host cells.

Eat fresh fruits and vegetables but first thoroughly wash them. However, avoid eating fruits and vegetables at restaurants during flu season.

You can also take steps to physically protect yourself from infection. You can protect your body from exposure by wearing goggles, disposable gloves, or surgical masks. These items were previously used to prevent in schools and other places where there are large numbers of people, to prevent outbreaks of the H1N1 virus.

The flu is spread through contact with an infected person through air particles and contaminated surfaces. If you are going to be in a place where there are a lot of people such as at work, you can avoid getting infected by disinfecting your work area regularly. This can be done through the use of disinfectants and detergents.

Colitis Gastrointestinal Disorders

Thursday, February 25th, 2010 No Commented
Under: Disorders

Colitis is one of many circumstances that can affect the digestive system. Many of these conditions are somewhat related and are sometimes confused. Colitis symptoms are frequently confused with Crohns Disease signs and symptoms. This article will take a look at some of these symptoms and give you helpful information on how to tell the difference.

Basically, colitis is a state that is characterized by inflammation of the colon, or large intestines. When this area of the body becomes inflamed, it sometimes leads to ulcers that bleed and produce a mucus or pus. Other colitis symptoms include loss of appetite, weight loss, cramping, abdominal pain, fever, and others. This is very similar to the list of symptoms for Crohns Disease.

There are many theories as to what causes this condition. There has been much research done with no definite answers. Most are convinced that some type of infection or virus is responsible for it since the result is inflammation. Currently there are no cures for colitis symptoms, but there are several effective treatment options. This condition usually shows up in the form of flare ups. This means that colitis symptoms will go into remission and then return.

The most common treatments include things such as dietary changes and prescription drugs. When all else fails, it may require surgery to alleviate colitis symptoms. This would consist of removing the affected part of the colon. This is usually used only as a last resort.

It’s important to seek treatment as soon as it becomes apparent that the condition is present. If colitis symptoms are left untreated, many other problems could arise. Diarrhea causes the body to lose fluids faster than normal. Dehydration and malnutrition can result from this. The body may be unable to process certain foods. This will prevent the body from getting the nutrition that it needs. Supplements are often necessary to ensure the body is getting all of the vitamins and minerals it requires.
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Another factor to consider when dealing with colitis is the way it affects a person’s everyday life. This can also be a very embarrassing condition to deal with due to the part of the body that is affected. When treating colitis, it’s important to deal with the psychological affects as well as the physical. Dealing with this disease can often lead to major lifestyle changes and can drastically affect the quality of a person’s life. For this reason, support groups are becoming more common as a way of dealing with this.

In a diet for crohn’s disease, there are certain foods to eat which can help cure the suffering intestinal walls. A balanced nutritional intake of protein and carbohydrate is very essential. However, you have to lessen your fat intake to a minimum as fat is a known trigger factor to Crohn’s disease. You are also advised to eat foods which are healthy and which are enriched with all the essential food supplements.

Fruits and vegetables can cover well to the supplements needed by the body. However, you need to be careful with them especially if the person is in the flare up stage of the disease. Fruits and vegetables can turn into culprits if taken during the attack phase.

Lower Back Spasms

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010 No Commented
Under: Pain Management

Many people will at some stage in their lives experience the pain and discomfort of a lower back spasm. It often occurs when you least expect it and leaves you wondering what on earth has caused such a debilitating pain in your lower back.

Furthermore back spasms are not always selective which means that active as well as sedentary people can experience this excruciating back pain.

5 Causes of Back Spasms:

  • A back spasm usually affects the lower back muscles rather than the middle to upper back muscles of the torso and are often the result of an injury or inflammation of the spinal area or the spine itself.It is also thought that the spasm is the body’s response to protect and immobilize the spine from further aggravation.
  • Weak abdominal muscles often cause more strain and stress to be placed on the spine which can cause injury and subsequently a spasm to isolate the spine from further stress or injury. So over exertion with weak abdominal will likely result in a back spasm to prevent further damage.
  • Sportsmen may be prone to this type of condition through repetitive motion injuries or chronic overuse injuries. For instance the repetitive motion of a golfer’s swing could eventually cause spinal inflammation and injury or damage to the vertebrae or spinal discs & ligaments which will trigger a spasm as a protective measure.
  • People with weak back muscles will also be prone to this injury as extra strain will be placed on the spine for instance when lifting something heavy or perform any type of movements that could place stress on the spine.
  • Poor posture is another cause of lower back pain as it can cause the back muscles to be over strained in trying to maintain spinal stability.

In conclusion it should be noted that usually people who are not overweight, lead a reasonably active lifestyle and are in good physical condition are less prone to suffer from muscle strains and therefore less likely to experience lower back spasms.

Breast Cancer Symptoms in Men

Friday, February 19th, 2010 No Commented
Under: Cancer, Men's Health

There is a common misconception that men cannot have breast cancer. Men often ignore the symptoms of cancer or mistake them for other illnesses. Factors such as social stigma and embarrassment contribute to the increasing denial among men of the possibility of getting cancer of the breast The development of male cancer ( of the breast) is largely similar to what women encounter. Males around the ages of sixty and seventy are more prone to the incidence of this type of cancer than any other age group.

Cancer Statistics

The latest American Cancer Society estimates for male breast cancer shows that in 2009 about 1,910 cases will be diagnosed with about 440 fatalities. Approximately one percent of the cancer cases, cancer of the breast cases, affect men. The lifetime risk for developing this type of cancer is at about one in a thousand. Recent studies also shows that the prognosis for this type of cancer for both men and women remains the same and the outlook is still hinged on what stage the cancer was diagnosed.

As in any other cancer, early detection and treatment is vital to an individual’s survival. Thus, men are encouraged to be more aware of the cancer’s signs and symptoms. Educating males in combating the social stigma brought about by cancer also assist in helping men against this type of cancer.

Detecting breast cancer in men

Knowledge and awareness on the signs and symptoms of cancer are very valuable in delivering the earliest possible detection and treatment for men with this cancer of the breast. Here are some of the symptoms associated with cancer of the breast.

  • Painless development of lump or thickening of the breast
  • Scaling and redness of the nipple and surrounding area
  • Indentation or retraction in the nipple area
  • Bloody or clear nipple discharge

Risk Factors

There are several factors that increase the risk of men getting cancer of the breast. Some of which like genetics and age are uncontrollable. However, some risk factors such as poor diet, alcohol consumption and smoking can be controlled, so it best to learn what we need to avoid. Below is a list of breast cancer risk factors in men.

  • The average age of male breast cancer diagnosis is sixty-seven and breast cancer commonly occurs in men between the ages of sixty and seventy.
  • One in five men with breast cancer had a female relative who had breast cancer too.
  • Those who have undergone prior radiation treatment on the chest area have a greater likelihood for breast cancer.
  • About five to ten percent of male breast cancers are inherited. Genetic defects on the CHEK-2, p53 tumor suppressor, BRCA2 and BRCA1 genes increases a person’s cancer risk. These genes usually help prevent cancer by keeping cells from growing abnormally.
  • Those who had a history of Klinefelter syndrome, a congenital abnormality wherein males had an extra X chromosome resulting to lower levels of male hormones and increased female hormones.
  • Those who had taken estrogen-related drugs have a higher risk for breast cancer. Breast cancer cells are known to have estrogen receptors which improve the cancer’s ability to progress.
  • Those who had liver diseases are also at risk as the body’s estrogen activity increases while the androgen activity reduces when a person is experiencing liver diseases, such as cirrhosis of the liver.
  • Those who are obese may also be at risk for male breast cancer due to increased number of fat cells. Fat cells produce estrogen from androgen, thus increasing the estrogen concentration in the body.
  • Excessive alcohol drinking also promotes breast cancer in men mainly due to the fact that alcohol consumption increases liver diseases and fat accumulation.

Treatment options for cancer of the breast in men

There are a number of treatment methods available for men with cancer of the breast. These methods do not differ from those done for women. Cancer staging is done to determine the best breast cancer treatment option a patient needs. Here are some of the treatment options available.

Surgery – There are several surgical options used to remove breast cancer in men these include simple mastectomy, modified radical mastectomy and sentinel lymph node biopsy. Simple mastectomy involves removal of all breast tissue including lobules, ducts, fatty tissue and skin including the nipple and areola.

In a modified radical mastectomy, the surgeon removes the entire breast and a portion of the underarm lymph nodes. The surgeon may also remove chest wall muscle if the cancer has spread to that area. The lymph nodes will be examined to check if the cancer has spread and additional treatment is necessary.

Sentinel lymph node biopsy is a procedure developed to locate sentinel nodes, lymph nodes receiving drainage from a breast tumor. Sentinel nodes are removed for biopsy to check for cancer development to the other lymph nodes. This procedure decreases the risk of complications as removal of a single node is necessary for examination.

Radiation Therapy – High energy x-rays are used to kill cancer cells during a radiation therapy. Administered by a radiation oncologist, the therapy is commonly done before surgery to shrink the tumor or after surgery to eliminate remaining cancer cells. Radiation therapy is often painless but may result in tiredness in men who had undergone therapy and tenderness of the breast.

Hormone Therapy
Biological Therapy

Chemotherapy involves the use of drugs to kill cancer cells that have spread to other parts of the body after breast cancer surgery. The treatment is usually scheduled every two to three weeks after surgery for about three to six months.

Chemotherapy may be administered intravenously or in pill form. Most patients choose oral chemotherapy as this reduces the need to visit the clinic and can be done at home.

Some chemotherapies target the cancer itself reducing damage to healthy cells. Still, side affects like hair loss, fatigue, vomiting and loss of cognitive abilities may occur.

Estrogen receptor positive breast cancers rely on estrogen to induce the development of breast cancer cells. Hormone therapy is administered in order to prevent estrogen from bonding to sites in the body where cancer cells may have spread. The male hormone, androgen also helps in the growth of cancer cells. Thus, limiting both estrogen and androgen levels are essential in abating the spread of cancer cells.

In biological therapy, a biological response modifier is used to stimulate the body’s immune system to combat cancer. This helps in enhancing the body’s natural defense against specific diseases such as cancer. However, biological therapy is still in clinic trials.

You do not want any type of cancer to reach these stages. This is why Thit is extremely essential that you go and see a doctor as soon as possible, the moment you see any of these possible cancer symptoms given above manifesting themselves. Listen to your body “talk”, and follow the signs.

Muscle Strains

Monday, February 15th, 2010 No Commented
Under: Pain Management

Normally a muscle strain is a slight twist or possibly a tear of a muscle or tendon. Tendons are tissues that connect our bones to our muscles; think of a tendon as a very strong version of an elastic band. These types of strains are associated with sportsmen and women, and are commonly found in areas such as the upper and lower back, upper thigh, abdomen (core section), and arms. They usually occur by over training, lifting too heavy, overstretching or over-tightening of a muscle. A lack of rest and recovery, older age, working muscles far too hard, and previous injury could put you at a higher risk of a muscle strain. There are various types of muscle strain: mild, moderate and severe. Treatment may depend on which of the three types you have.

Signs of a strained muscle include swelling and bruising, pain when moving the area and most likely some loss of strength. To determine the severity of the injury you may need a CT (computed tomography) scan, ultrasound, MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scan or an x-ray.

I believe like most others that rest is vital to give the muscle time to recover from the injury. Anti-inflammatory solutions can also be used to decrease the swelling and pain. Doctors may suggest you have an injection into the muscle, physical therapy or in the worst case, surgery. With the correct treatment you may be able to go back into training relatively promptly. Sufficient rest and recovery as well as making sure you warm up and cool down properly will help prevent another muscle strain or worse.

Treating muscle strains

The most commonly used treatment for muscle strains is RICE, which means Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. When you apply this method you will reduce the risk of swelling and bruising, which will help to stop the bleeding of the damaged area and decrease the pain.

Rest: Rest your muscle to allow your injury to heal. I would rest for at least 3 to 7 days immediately after the injury occurs. For a severe muscle strain, rest should be for 10 to 14 days. When the pain decreases, begin normal, slow movements. If your muscle strain is in your legs or lower body, you may need to use crutches to walk.
Ice: Put a towel around an ice pack (or bag of frozen vegetables) and hold on the injured area. Do not put the ice pack directly on your skin.
Compression: Wrap an elastic bandage around the area to decrease swelling. It should be tight enough for you to feel support, but not so tight as to affect circulation.
Elevation: Keep the injured muscle raised above your heart if possible. For example if you have a strain of your lower leg muscle, lie down and prop your leg up on pillows. This helps decrease pain and swelling.
Warming up
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10 minutes of low to moderate effort on a bike or cross-trainer or walking on a treadmill with a slight incline.

Cooling down

10 to 20 minutes on any piece of cardiovascular equipment, normally the recumbent bike. Do this at a low pace as we’re only cooling down now. The other benefit of this 20 minute slow cardio process after a workout is that it helps you to burn off some unwanted body fat.