Archive for March, 2010

Joint pain – Treatment

Wednesday, March 31st, 2010

Home Care:
Follow prescribed therapy in treating the underlying cause.

For nonarthritis joint pain, both rest and exercise are important. Warm baths, massage, and stretching exercises should be used as frequently as possible.

Anti-inflammatory medications may help relieve pain and swelling. Consult your health care provider before giving aspirin or NSAIDs such as ibuprofen to children.

Call your health care provider if:

You have fever that is not associated with flu symptoms.
You have lose 10 pounds or more without trying (unintended weight loss).
Your joint pain lasts for more than 3 days.
You have severe, unexplained joint pain, particularly if you have other unexplained symptoms.
What to expect at your health care provider’s office:
Your health care provider will perform a physical exam and ask you about your medical history.

The following questions may help identify the cause of your joint pain:

Which joint hurts? Is the pain on one side or both sides?
How long have you been having this pain? Have you had it before?
Did this pain begin suddenly and severely, or slowly and mildly?
Is the pain constant or does it come and go? Has the pain become more severe?
What started your pain?
Have you injured your joint?
Have you had an illness or fever?
Does resting the joint reduce the pain or make it worse?
Does moving the joint reduce the pain or make it worse?
Are certain positions comfortable? Does keeping the joint elevated help?
Do medications, massage, or applying heat reduce the pain?
What other symptoms do you have?
Is there any numbness?
Can you bend and straighten the joint? Does the joint feel stiff?
Are your joints stiff in the morning? If so, how long does the stiffness last?
What makes the stiffness better?

Ayurvedic Treatment For Influenza

Tuesday, March 30th, 2010

Many people have found Ayurvedic treatments of influenza very helpful. Some home remedies for influenza are as follows:

  • Tea Remedy Combine equal parts of elder, peppermint, and yarrow. Then, steep 1-2 teaspoons of the tea mixture into a cup of hot water. It is best to drink this hot before bedtime. The not liquid induces sweat which helps stop the growth of influenza. Cayenne, cinnamon, and ginger can also be added to help either induce even more sweat, or to stimulate the body’s circulation.
  • Long Pepper is considered to be one of the most effective home remedies of Influenza. It is best to mix ½ teaspoon of powdered long pepper, 2 teaspoons of honey, and ½ teaspoon of ginger. This is to be taken 3 times a day. This remedy is especially helpful within the first stages of influenza, for prevention.
  • Garlic and Ginger both contain anti-viral agents which help slow down the progression of influenza. These can be taken in large doses.
  • Other Home Treatments other home treatments of influenza include the use of goldenseal, onion, and basil. Goldenseal activates white blood cells that destroy various forms of bacteria and viruses Onion and lemon Juice mixed together and drank in a cold liquid form, and the leaves of basil mixed with ginger made into a tea are also effective.

Food Poisoning

Monday, March 29th, 2010

Symptoms of food poisoning depend on the type of contaminant and the amount eaten. The symptoms can develop rapidly, within 30 minutes, or slowly, worsening over days to weeks. Most of the common contaminants cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal cramping. Usually food poisoning is not serious, and the illness runs its course in 24-48 hours.

Viruses account for most food poisoning cases where a specific contaminant is found.
 

Bacteria can cause food poisoning in two different ways. Some bacteria infect the intestines, causing inflammation and difficulty absorbing nutrients and water, leading to diarrhea. Other bacteria produce chemicals in foods (known as toxins) that are poisonous to the human digestive system. When eaten, these chemicals can lead to nausea and vomiting, kidney failure, and even death.

Parasites rarely cause food poisoning. When they do, they are usually swallowed in contaminated or untreated water and cause long-lasting but mild symptoms.

Toxic agents are the least common cause of food poisoning. Illness is often an isolated episode caused by poor food preparation or selection (such as picking wild mushrooms).

Hair Care Tips

Sunday, March 28th, 2010

Cutting down your extra calories in your daily diet and your way of life are two main factors that influence the health of your hair. Poor diet, ill health and shortage of any specific vitamin in your body affect the eminence of hair and problems like dandruff, thinning hair, going hairless, early graying etc, spoil your hair. Here are some Ayurvedic based tips for your healthy hair care…

Ayurvedic Remedies for Dandruff:

 
Mix up a spoon of camphor to half a cup of coconut oil. Instead of coconut you can use neem oil otherwise. Keep this mixture in a air tight container, preferably a glass container and use this oil to massage your scalp before going to bed. Practice this continuously for at least 15 days and feel the difference of your healthy scalp. After 15 days do it for alternate days for the best of result.
Add a spoon of castor oil, mustard oil and little coconut (or neem) oil and massage your scalp every night and have a shampoo the day next.

Ayurvedic Remedies for Hair loss:

Massage the scalp gently with coconut or almond oil daily for 10 to 15 minutes.
Boil neem leaves in water. Cool, strain and rinse hair with it.
Increase green leafy vegetables, salads, milk, fruits and sprouts in the diet. Take more proteins, milk, buttermilk, yeast, wheat germ, Soya beans, whole grains and nuts.

Ayurvedic Remedies for Premature graying of Hair:

Apply a paste made from 2-Tsp. henna powder, 1-tsp. curd, 1-tsp. fenugreek seed powder, 1 tbsp. coffee, 2-tbsp. mint juice and 2-tbsp. basil juice. Apply this paste to the hair for two hours. For a darker color, leave this paste in for 3 to 4 hours. Wash hair with any natural shampoo.
Grate some fresh ginger. Mix with honey and place it in a jar. Eat 1-teaspoon everyday.

Ayurvedic Remedies for Itchy scalp:

Rub the scalp vigorously after washing the hair. It increases the blood circulation, and activates the sebaceous glands.
A mixture of lettuce and spinach juice is good to drink to induce hair growth. The juice of alfalfa mixed with that of carrot, and lettuce juice is also good to take.
Daily application of coconut oil mixed with lime- juice on the hair is also beneficial. Applying juice of green coriander leaves on the head is also good.
Washing the hair with a paste of cooked Uraddal (black beans) and fenugreek (methi) 2-3 times a week.
A paste of licorice made by grinding it in milk can be applied in the bald patches. It induces hair growth. A paste of seeds of lemon and black pepper may also be applied on the bald patches.
Use Amla (embilica officinalis), Shikakai (Acacia concinna) for washing the hair.
Enhance oiling and massaging of scalp.
Use coconut oil or mustard oil at least three times in a week.
Use medicated oils on the scalp and massage gently in the roots of the hair.
The diet should contain more green leafy vegetables, salads, milk, fruits and sprouts. Take more proteins, milk, buttermilk, yeast, wheat germ, soybean and vitamin A.

What treatment is available for swine flu.?

Saturday, March 27th, 2010

The best treatment for influenza infections in humans is prevention by vaccination. Work by several laboratories has recently produced vaccines. The first vaccine released in early October 2009 was a nasal spray vaccine. It is approved for use in healthy individuals ages 2 through 49. This vaccine consists of a live attenuated H1N1 virus and should not be used in anyone who is pregnant or immunocompromised. The injectable vaccine, made from killed H1N1, became available in the second week of October.

This vaccine is approved for use in ages 6 months to the elderly, including pregnant females. Both of these vaccines have been approved by the CDC only after they had conducted clinical trials to prove that the vaccines were safe and effective. However, caregivers should be aware of the vaccine guidelines that come with the vaccines, as occasionally, the guidelines change. Please see the sections below titled “Can novel H1N1 swine flu be prevented with a vaccine?” and the timeline update for the current information on the vaccines.

Two antiviral agents have been reported to help prevent or reduce the effects of swine flu. They are zanamivir (Relenza) and oseltamivir (Tamiflu), both of which are also used to prevent or reduce influenza A and B symptoms. These drugs should not be used indiscriminately, because viral resistance to them can and has occurred. Also, they are not recommended if the flu symptoms already have been present for 48 hours or more, although hospitalized patients may still be treated past the 48-hour guideline.

Severe infections in some patients may require additional supportive measures such as ventilation support and treatment of other infections like pneumonia that can occur in patients with a severe flu infection. The CDC has suggested in their interim guidelines that pregnant females can be treated with the two antiviral agents.

What is a fever?

Wednesday, March 24th, 2010

Fever refers to an elevation in body temperature. Technically, any body temperature above the normal oral measurement of 98.6 F (37 C) or the normal rectal temperature of 99 F (37.2 C) is considered to be elevated. However, these are averages, and your normal temperature may actually be 1 F (0.6 C) or more above or below the average of 98.6 F. Body temperature can also vary up to 1 F (0.6 C) throughout the day.

Thus, fever is not considered medically significant until body temperature is above 100.4 F (38 C). Fever serves as one of the body’s natural defenses against bacteria and viruses which cannot live at a higher temperature. For that reason, low fevers should normally go untreated, unless accompanied by troubling symptoms.

Also, the body’s defense mechanisms seem to work more efficiently at a higher temperature. Fever is just one part of an illness, many times no more important than the presence of other symptoms such as cough, sore throat, etc.

Fevers of 104 F (40 C) or higher demand immediate home treatment and subsequent medical attention, as they can result in delirium and convulsions, particularly in children.

What are the symptoms of the sore throat ?

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010

Symptoms of a sore throat caused by bacteria or a virus may include

  • Painful red throat
  • Swollen tonsils
  • Difficulty in swallowing
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Swollen lymph glande
  • Tendency to hawk, ham and suppressed voice
  • Mlaise.

In case of sore throat pain may spread to the ears.But there are very rare chancesof high fever.If the sore throat is due to the Coxsackie virus, small blisters may develop on the tonsils and in the soft palate.If the sore throat is due to a streptococcal infection, the tonsils often swell and become coated and the throat is sore.

Home Remedies of the sore throat

There are following home remedies for sore throat, they are given below:

  • Rest – Give your throat lots of rest, and try not to speak.
  • Drink Fluids – Drink lots and lots of fluids in the form of juices and water, it will help you keep hydrated.
  • SageSage is another popular alternative medicine used in the treatment of sore throats. Sage is beneficial in treating pharyngitis and other throat pains by reducing inflammation and protecting the mucous membranes of the mouth and throat.
  • Garlic – Garlic, a natural antibiotic, can be helpful in the speeding up of recovery and removal of bacteria, especially if your sore throat is caused by the flu or bacterial infection. Garlic can be taken in pill form by all age groups.
  • Lemon Juice, Honey and Hot Water – Now here is a little drink that will help sooth a sore throat. Add lemon juice (from one lemon) some honey, to a glass of hot water. Now you may drink this drink, it will help to sooth your throat and make your feel better.
  • Throw your Toothbrush – Once you get rid of the sore throat, get rid of your toothbrush as it may give you the sore throat again.
  • Slippery Elm - Slippery Elm (Ulmus rubra) is another good ayurvedic remedy for the treatment of sore throat. It will help you to soothe the throat.

Home Remedies For Loose Motions

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010
  • When the system fails to digest the rich food, the body rejects it as it is in the form of the loose motion. Try the following treatments:
  • Give about 5 gms. of Isabgol with cold water in which about 1 teaspoonful sugar has been added.
  • Peel an apple and shred it. Keep the shredded pieces in a plate for approximately 20 minutes until they turn brown in colour and then eat them.
  • Slice the tender unripe bel fruit. Sundry them. Powder the slices. Take 1 teaspoon along with warm water twice a day.
  • Take every night 3 cloves of garlic chopped and boiled in milk.
  • Make a paste of 1 green chilli along with 2 tablespoon lime juice and ½ teaspoon camphor. Take ¼ teaspoon of this paste.
  • 2 or 3 teaspoons coriander seeds soaked overnight in water and take next morning with 1 cup buttermilk.
  • Boil 1/4 teaspoon powdered cardamom seeds in thin tea water and drink.
  • Mixjuice of 15-20 tender curry leaves with 1 teaspoon honey and drink.
  • Apply ginger juice around the navel.
  • Combine 1 teaspoon each powdered ginger powdered cumin and powdered cinnamon with honey and make into a thick paste. Take 1 teaspoon thrice daily.
  • Boil 1 teaspoon cumin seeds in a glass of water. Add to this 1 teaspoon fresh juice of coriander leave and a pinch of salt. Drink twice daily after meals for 2-3 days.
  • Mash 1 ripe banana along with a pinch of salt and 1 teaspoon tamarind pulp. Take twice a day.
  • Drinking a unsweetened black tea is very effective for stopping diarrhoea.
  • Preventive health care in elderly people needs Rethinking

    Saturday, March 20th, 2010

    Preventive health care aims to delay the onset of illness and disease and to prevent untimely and premature deaths. But the theory and rhetoric of prevention do not deal with the problem of how such health care applies to people who have already exceeded an average lifespan. In recent years, concerns about equity of access to treatments have focused on ageism. As a result, preventive interventions are encouraged regardless of age, and this can be harmful to the patient and expensive for the health service. In rapidly ageing populations, we urgently need to reappraise the complex and uncomfortable relations between age discrimination, distributive justice, quality, and length of life.

    The epidemic of cardiovascular disease

    In the richer countries of the world, improved social conditions combined with immunisations and antibiotics have rapidly reduced the rates of death from infectious diseases. People saved from these epidemics now live long enough to face the new “epidemic” of cardiovascular disease, which is the focus of huge investment and endeavour in health promotion. The national service framework for cardiovascular disease aims to reduce the number of people dying from coronary heart disease by 40% by the year 2010 with advice that standards set out in this framework apply to all people, irrespective of age. But what will be the next most common cause of death—the next epidemic? Our bodies have a finite functional life and age is a fundamental cause of disease.By using preventive treatments to reduce the risk of a particular cause of death in elderly people are we simply changing the cause of death rather than prolonging life?

    Three factors fuel this possibility. Firstly, single disease perspectives lure researchers and guideline groups into assuming that improved outcomes for the index condition mean that everybody with that condition should be treated, irrespective of the overall effect on population mortality and morbidity. Secondly, sensitivity about age discrimination prevents us from looking at things differently when dealing with an elderly population. Finally, drug companies make huge financial gains if effective interventions in relatively small populations become standard care for all people at risk of that condition.

    Research estimates of differences in the absolute risk of an adverse outcome enable us to assess the potential benefits of treatments. The number needed to treat is calculated from the reduction in absolute risk and can help clinicians assess the balance between the burden of treatment and possible benefit. This measure is most useful for younger people in whom a single disease is more likely to have a significant effect on mortality and morbidity. The number needed to treat works best with acute conditions and less well with chronic conditions. In older people, the likelihood of many compounding diseases increases, and the absolute risk of dying is higher because they are nearer the end of their life. This may magnify the apparent effect of a single intervention for a specific condition while overall survival is only minimally affected. The use of statins to prevent cardiovascular disease provides a case study for examining these issues further.

    Evidence for lipid lowering treatments in elderly people

    Currently, we use evidence from younger populations and extrapolate this to elderly ones. Anxiety about age discrimination means that no upper age limit exists for assessing cardiovascular risk. However, evidence for the effects of prevention of heart disease with drugs is scant in elderly people. The largest study in this group is the pravastatin in elderly individuals at risk of vascular disease (PROSPER) trial. In this trial more than 5000 participants, aged 70-82 years, were followed up for an average of 3.2 years.

    Healthcare For Women

    Friday, March 19th, 2010

    The woman’s body is wonderfully complex and delicate. However, multiple roles as the mother, daughter, wife, homemaker, wage earner can be physically and mentally quite taxing. As a woman, you might share some common health risks with men, such as heart disease, but because of your special reproductive role, you are also at risk of some distinctly female disorders.

    With regards to women health care there are many tips that will help ensure you to take proper care of yourself and leave yourself as healthy and happy as possible. One of the best things that you can do is, start to put yourself first, leaving all the priorities at back. And for proper health and wellness you need to look good to feel good.

    It only takes a little more than 10 minutes of physical activity a day to start seeing and feeling the improvements, and to live longer. Any additional activity on top of that is just going to help boost your overall health and maximize your life span.

    Drinking a cup of tea a day is one of the best ways of maximizing your life span and to maintain good health. Green tea as well as black tea contain great amounts of caffeines which are responsible for the risk of cancer as well as many forms of heart diseases.

    Strong legs are important for women’s well-being
    Most women in their 70′s and 80′s tend to decline in their health rapidly because of hip fracture mostly caused when they fall down. Once that happens, the immobilization prevents them from getting their much needed exercise to ensure a healthy lifestyle. This problem can easily be prevented by doing some simple thigh and leg exercises on a daily basis.

    Health impacts of water pollution

    Monday, March 15th, 2010

    It is a well-known fact that clean water is absolutely essential for healthy living. Adequate supply of fresh and clean drinking water is a basic need for all human beings on the earth, yet it has been observed that millions of people worldwide are deprived of this.

    Freshwater resources all over the world are threatened not only by over exploitation and poor management but also by ecological degradation. The main source of freshwater pollution can be attributed to discharge of untreated waste, dumping of industrial effluent, and run-off from agricultural fields. Industrial growth, urbanization and the increasing use of synthetic organic substances have serious and adverse impacts on freshwater bodies. It is a generally accepted fact that the developed countries suffer from problems of chemical discharge into the water sources mainly groundwater, while developing countries face problems of agricultural run-off in water sources. Polluted water like chemicals in drinking water causes problem to health and leads to water-borne diseases which can be prevented by taking measures can be taken even at the household level.

    Groundwater and its contamination
    In the urban areas water gets contaminated in many different ways, some of the most common reasons being leaky water pipe joints in areas where the water pipe and sewage line pass close together. Sometimes the water gets polluted at source due to various reasons and mainly due to inflow of sewage into the source.

    Ground water can be contaminated through various sources and some of these are mentioned below.

    Pesticides. Run-off from farms, backyards, and golf courses contain pesticides such as DDT that in turn contaminate the water. Leechate from landfill sites is another major contaminating source. Its effects on the ecosystems and health are endocrine and reproductive damage in wildlife. Groundwater is susceptible to contamination, as pesticides are mobile in the soil. It is a matter of concern as these chemicals are persistent in the soil and water.

    Sewage. Untreated or inadequately treated municipal sewage is a major source of groundwater and surface water pollution in the developing countries. The organic material that is discharged with municipal waste into the watercourses uses substantial oxygen for biological degradation thereby upsetting the ecological balance of rivers and lakes. Sewage also carries microbial pathogens that are the cause of the spread of disease.

    Nutrients. Domestic waste water, agricultural run-off, and industrial effluents contain phosphorus and nitrogen, fertilizer run-off, manure from livestock operations, which increase the level of nutrients in water bodies and can cause eutrophication in the lakes and rivers and continue on to the coastal areas. The nitrates come mainly from the fertilizer that is added to the fields. Excessive use of fertilizers cause nitrate contamination of groundwater, with the result that nitrate levels in drinking water is far above the safety levels recommended. Good agricultural practices can help in reducing the amount of nitrates in the soil and thereby lower its content in the water.

    Mosquito Diseases

    Wednesday, March 10th, 2010

    ENCEPHALITIS

    Encephalitis in various forms such as St. Louis, Western Equine, La Crosse, Eastern Equine, and West Nile, which was recently discovered in the Northeast is endemic to the United States and increasing in incidence. Although extremely rare, Eastern Equine Encephalitis has a 30% – 60% mortality rate once contracted. Severe damage to the central nervous system occurs in those that survive the illness.

    Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) is maintained in nature through a cycle between the Culiseta melanura mosquito and birds that live in freshwater swamps. Although Culiseta melanura do not bite humans, some mosquitoes will “cross bite”; i.e., bite an infected bird and then bite a human or animal (horse, emu, and other exotic birds), thereby spreading the disease. These mosquitoes are also known as “bridge vectors”. A vector is a species that transmits a disease from one host to another. These bridge vectors may take a meal from a bird and later take another meal from a mammal.

    Symptoms usually occur within two to ten days after being bitten by an infected mosquito. These symptoms include high fever, stiff neck, headache, confusion, and lethargy. Encephalitis, swelling of the brain, is the most dangerous symptom. Rhode Island has confirmed five cases of EEE with two deaths in the last thirteen years.

    WEST NILE FEVER

    West Nile Virus symptoms include fever, headache, nausea, vomiting, and rash, which are mild symptoms to severe symptoms that include neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, tremor, coma, vision loss, and paralysis. These severe symptoms could last weeks or could be permanent. The onset of symptoms usually begins three to 14 days after a mosquito bite. Unlike Eastern Equine Encephalitis, 80% of the people who are infected with WNV will show no symptoms at all. 20% will show mild to serious symptoms. People who are mostly likely to show symptoms if bitten by an infected mosquito are infants, the elderly and people with auto-immune difficiencies.

    MUMPS–Unusual

    Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010

    Mumps is a disease caused by a virus that usually spreads through saliva and can infect many parts of the body, especially the parotid salivary glands. These glands, which produce saliva for the mouth, are found toward the back of each cheek, in the area between the ear and jaw. In cases of mumps, these glands typically swell and become painful.

    The disease has been recognized for several centuries, and medical historians argue over whether the name “mumps” comes from an old word for “lump” or an old word for “mumble.”

    Mumps was common until the mumps vaccine was licensed in 1967. Before the vaccine, more than 200,000 cases occurred each year in the United States. Since then the number of cases has dropped to fewer than 1,000 a year, and epidemics have become fairly rare. As in the pre-vaccine era, most cases of mumps are still in kids ages 5 to 14, but the proportion of young adults who become infected has been rising slowly over the last two decades. Mumps infections are uncommon in kids younger than 1 year old.

    After a case of mumps it is very unusual to have a second bout because one attack of mumps almost always gives lifelong protection against another. However, other infections can also cause swelling in the salivary glands, which might lead a parent to mistakenly think a child has had mumps more than once.

    Diseases of the Respiratory System

    Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010

    The human body cannot survive for more than a very few minutes in an environment that lacks oxygen. Oxygen is required for the normal functioning of all living body cells. This vital gas reaches the body cells via the bloodstream; each red blood cell transports oxygen molecules to the body tissues. The oxygen comes from the atmosphere one breathes, and it enters the bloodstream through the very thin membrane walls of the lung tissue, a fresh supply of oxygen entering the bloodstream each time a person inhales. As the red blood cells circulating through the walls of the lung tissue pick up their fresh supply of oxygen, they release molecules of carbon dioxide given off by the body cells as a waste product of metabolism. When a person exhales, the lungs are squeezed somewhat like a bellows, and the carbon dioxide is expelled from the lungs.