Aortic Dissection: Are You At Risk?

By , January 30, 2018 2:34 pm

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Because aortic dissections are frequently mistaken for other, less serious cardiac conditions, even in hospital emergency departments, it is crucial that people know if they are at risk and how to prevent a tragedy.

Aortic Dissection: Are You At Risk?

Not all chest pain is alike. It may be mild and attributed to noncardiac problems, including heartburn or stress. Or it may be much more severe and life threatening, such as when it is due to an aortic dissection (tear in the large artery near the heart).

Because aortic dissections are frequently mistaken for other, less serious conditions, even in hospital emergency departments, it is crucial that people know if they are at risk and how to prevent a tragedy.

Aortic dissection is uncommon but not rare, with approximately 5,000 to 10,000 reported occurrences each year. Although the main symptom is usually severe, tearing or “ripping” pain in the chest or lower back, other symptoms include rapid pulse, sweating, nausea, weak or absent pulse and decreased sensation in the limbs. Aortic dissections require immediate medical attention, as they can result in massive internal bleeding and death.

People with hypertension, Turner syndrome (a chromosome disorder) and a family history of aortic disease are at high risk for aortic dissection. Additionally, people with Marfan syndrome are at up to 250 times increased risk because of the fragile connective tissue in their aorta. Many people who have Marfan syndrome, however, are not diagnosed and do not know they may suffer an early sudden death due to aortic dissection.

The National Marfan Foundation (NMF) urges those who display outward signs of the disorder-including a tall stature with disproportionately long arms and legs, indented or protruding chest bone, flat feet, long fingers and toes and eye problems-to be evaluated. Medications, surgery and lifestyle adaptations can help prevent a deadly dissection.

Diane Sixsmith, M.D., chair, Emergency Medicine Department, New York Hospital, Queens, advises people who are prone to aortic dissection to take extra precautions. “Early diagnosis and treatment are key to survival for those who are predisposed to aortic dissection,” she says. “If you are in a high-risk group, and especially if you have Marfan syndrome, don’t wait for a tragedy to find you. Patients who have regular echocardiograms and who take medicine to slow the heart rate and the pulse do very well, and preventive surgery (before the aorta dissects) has a greater than 98 percent success rate.”

Controlling Blood Sugar In Type 2 Diabetes Without The Use Of Drugs

By , January 25, 2018 5:03 pm

801

I was told in rapid succession that I was suffering from intermittent claudication (that’s blocked arteries in the legs), high blood pressure, Diabetes Type 2. and that I was overweight.

Not a lot of pleasure there! The intermittent claudication made it increasingly difficult to do much, so that in effect I had become a prisoner to my house and garden. Exercise was out of the question, my legs simply couldn’t cope, but it was hoped that angioplasty to each leg would cure t…

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I was told in rapid succession that I was suffering from intermittent claudication (that’s blocked arteries in the legs), high blood pressure, Diabetes Type 2. and that I was overweight.

Not a lot of pleasure there! The intermittent claudication made it increasingly difficult to do much, so that in effect I had become a prisoner to my house and garden. Exercise was out of the question, my legs simply couldn’t cope, but it was hoped that angioplasty to each leg would cure the problem. It didn’t.

My high blood pressure, I was assured, could be treated by a cocktail of drugs and by weight loss. The cocktail of four different drugs worked, but I could not seem to lose weight.

So I was given a choice: the blood sugar levels could be controlled either by drugs or by diet. Since I was already taking four different drugs for blood pressure, I thought it best to try diet control. I was also hopeful that this might help me to lose weight. But where to start? My diabetic nurse provided me with a blood sugar monitor and said I should aim to stay under 9 as my reading. My Doctor said to stay under 7. Now she has reduced this to under 5. My current long-term reading is 5.3. A big drop from the high readings I used to produce.

So what did I do? At first I was taking blood samples three times a day and was truly astonished at how my blood sugar jumped about. Plain porridge and water, which I absolutely loved, would produce a reading of 16 and yet, being a slow release multigrain, I had always assumed it would be good for my health. A single apple, showed a reading of 12! Tea with milk but no sugar, 10. Obviously there was more to this than met the eye.

The first learning point was that the body needs water and lots of it. Out went sugared fizzy drinks and in came plain boiled water. The Swedes call it Silver Tea, I’m told, and it is very refreshing. Now a cup starts every day and two or three more follow. Low calorie tonic water is also useful (the quinine helps prevent cramps), mineral water (I especially like carbonated forms), low calorie Ginger Beer and cold filtered tap water.

The next, crucial, learning point: control your carbohydrate intake, in my case to under 40gms a day. Eliminate bread, cakes, sweets, pasta, rice, cereals, biscuits, sugars, fruit juice, potatoes, honey, jam, marmalade, baked beans. Reading the food labels is a real eye opener!

Instead, increase your intake of vegetables and low carbohydrate foods & fruits. All of the following are particularly good: Broccoli, cabbage, spinach, runner beans, brussels sprouts cauliflower, broccoli, peppers, tomatoes, courgettes, aubergines, swede, squashes, celeriac, green salads. Fruit can be very high in sugars, so use in moderation. Choose rhubarb, grapefruit, raspberries, loganberries, strawberries, blueberries, all of which are O.K. Do not add sugar, of course, so sweeten with cinnamon instead. Avocadoes are low in carbohydrates, but high in fat, so eat no more than half a fruit a day. Add nuts and seeds to your diet, again in small amounts.

As far as alcohol is concerned, all beers are out. One or two glasses of red wine a day are acceptable.

Avoid processed foods as much as possible and certainly do NOT eat hydrogenated fats of any kind. They are to my mind a food industry con. and of no use to any one other than manufacturers of processed food.

Buy only genuine, non-reconstituted lean meat, poultry, game and fish. Reduce your saturated fat intake by cooking on a griddle and cutting off any excess fat. Cook with olive and nut oils, as these unsaturated fats are good for you. Never use lard. Add game to your repertoire of ingredients, along with plenty of oily and white fish such as salmon, haddock, tuna, swordfish, mackerel & kipper.

I have never once felt hungry with this change in my eating habits to simple whole foods. I still find I miss eating plain yoghurt, vanilla ice cream and various cheeses. But then I occasionally do give myself a small treat – provided I stay within my allowance.

The results are good for my health:

My good cholesterol is high
My bad cholesterol is low
My type II diabetes blood sugar is well controlled by diet alone
I have lost 10 lbs in weight.

My next task is to lose another 30 lbs. I know now that this is achievable. The more weight I lose, the more able I am to increase my activity levels – and the more incentive I have to control my calorie intake. At last I feel that I am taking back control of my body and discovering that you really are what you eat!

Alzheimer’s Toxin May Be Key To Slowing Disease

By , January 20, 2018 8:10 pm

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Australian scientists say they have identified a toxin which plays a key role in the onset of Alzheimer’s, raising hope that a drug targeting the toxin could be developed to slow the degenerative brain disease.

The toxin, called quinolinic acid, kills nerve cells in the brain, leading to dysfunction and death, the scientists said.

“Quinolinic acid may not be the cause of Alzheimer’s disease, but it plays a key role in its progression,” Alzheimer’s researcher Dr Karen …

alzheimer

Australian scientists say they have identified a toxin which plays a key role in the onset of Alzheimer’s, raising hope that a drug targeting the toxin could be developed to slow the degenerative brain disease.

The toxin, called quinolinic acid, kills nerve cells in the brain, leading to dysfunction and death, the scientists said.

“Quinolinic acid may not be the cause of Alzheimer’s disease, but it plays a key role in its progression,” Alzheimer’s researcher Dr Karen Cullen from the University of Sydney said in a statement. “It’s the smoking gun, if you like.”

“While we won’t be able to prevent people from getting Alzheimer’s disease, we may eventually, with the use of drugs, be able to slow down the progression.”

Alzheimer’s is a brain-destroying disease that affects millions of people around the world. As the population gets steadily older, experts estimate numbers will balloon to as many as 16 million in the United States alone by 2015.

More than 200,000 people have Alzheimer’s disease in Australia and the number is expected to rise to 730,000 by 2050.

Outward symptoms start with memory loss, which progresses to complete helplessness as brain cells are destroyed. In the brain, neurons die as messy plaques and tangles of protein form.

The Alzheimer’s research team from Sydney’s St Vincent’s Hospital, the University of Sydney and Japan’s Hokkaido University found quinolinic acid neurotoxicity in the brains of dementia patients.

Quinolinic acid is part of a biochemical pathway called the kynurenine pathway which is also found in other brain disorders, including Huntington’s disease and schizophrenia.

The scientists said there were several drugs in an advanced stage of development for other conditions which targeted this pathway and that these drugs, which still need to be tested, could be used to complement other treatments for Alzheimer’s.

Swimmers ear – Otitis externa

By , January 15, 2018 11:25 pm

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The medical name for swimmers ear is Otitis externa. Otitis externa is also what we would call a common ear ache. It is an inflammation, infection or otherwise an irritation of the outer ear and inner ear canal.

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The medical name for swimmers ear is Otitis externa. Otitis externa is also what we would call a common ear ache. It is an inflammation, infection or otherwise an irritation of the outer ear and inner ear canal.

Symptoms of Otitis externa include:

  • Decreasage in hearing or total hearing loss
  • Ear pain which may worsen when pulling on the outer of the ear
  • Drainage that comes from the ear
  • Itching of the inner ear or ear canal

This infection very common, especially among young adults and teenagers. One easy way to contract swimmer’s ear is by swimming in polluted water. Also though, it is possible to contract the infection by swimming in a pool that is well maintained. Swimming in water isn’t the only way to contract Otitis externa; Even simply water trapped in the ear canal after a shower can cause the infection. This is especially true of showering in a humid climate. The condition can also be caused by scratching the ear or having debree caught in it. Thus making water not the only cause.

Often times skin is damaged or irrated when trying to clean wax from the ear canal. This is especially true when using cotton swabs or small objects. Sometimes it is associated with middle ear infection or upper respiratory infections such as colds. Middle ear infections can occur after the ear drum is perforated by a fungal growth from the outer ear.

Physician are able to detect an ear infection by looking into the ear. An infected ear will in most cases look red and swollen on the outside and on inside of the ear canal. To treat an ear infection the ear canal should be cleaned completely of drainage. Cleaning the ear canal allows topical medications to work more effectively. If the infection is severe, it may be necessary for a doctor to aspirate the ear as twice a week for the first few weeks of treatment.

Acid Reflux – Treating It With Medication

By , January 11, 2018 2:20 am

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Of course, as with any medical condition, there are numerous ways of treating acid reflux, or to give it its full title, gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Here, we will look at medication.

acid reflux

Antacids and Alignates

Antacids are generally available without a doctor’s prescription and relieve the symptoms of acid indigestion and heartburn (dyspepsia).

The usual ingredients of antacids are magnesium or aluminium and they work by neutralising the acid produced in the stomach which is the cause of indigestion and acid reflux. This group often contain sodium alginate which forms a protective coating over the lining of the gullet and the stomach.

Proton Pump Inhibitors

Proton pump Inhibitors are drugs which shut down the system in the stomach called the proton pump. It is this system which produces acid in the stomach, the leaking of which into the oesophagus causes acid reflux.

These drugs are taken in the form of tablets or capsules, as a powder to be diluted in water or as injections and are used to treat stomach ulcers and a rather rare condition called Zollinger-Ellison syndrome as well as acid reflux.

Omeprazole and Lansoprazole are well known varieties of this particular type of drug although there are several others.

Side effects are rare although they can include diarrhoea or constipation, stomach pains, wind, drowsiness, dizziness and headaches. In unusual cases, a severe allergic reaction can result. My personal experience with Omeprazole was seriously raised blood pressure and severe head pain. However, replacing Omeprazole with Ranitidine and taking blood pressure reduction medication for a couple of weeks sorted out that problem.

H2-Receptor Antagonists

This group of drugs works by attaching to and blocking the H2 receptor area on stomach cells which, when stimulated by the naturally produced chemical, histamine, generates acid.

Ranitidine is the best known of this drug group, others being Nizatidine, Famotidine and Cimetidine.

Side effects are few but can display as diarrhoea, headaches, dizziness and tiredness. Loss of hair has been reported by takers of Cimetidine and with nizatidine, sweating.

Both proton pump inhibitors and H2 receptor antagonists are used together with antibiotics to get rid of Helicobacter pylori infection which can cause stomach ulcers and duodenitis.

Warning: If symptoms of heartburn persist, consult your doctor. They could be indicative of something much more serious than indigestion. Never embark on a course of medication without consulting a doctor. Never take medicines prescribed for somebody else.

A Short Tutorial About Various Diabetic Supplies

By , January 6, 2018 5:25 am

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Diabetes is a chronic disease with no cure but the good news is that proper care and treatment a person can live a log and healthy life. Nearly 2,000 people are diagnosed with diabetes everyday.

It is estimated that there are 17 million people with diabetes in the U.S and another 16 million have pre-diabetes or higher blood-sugar levels that are higher than normal but not yet high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes.

Buying diabetes supplies online can save time and mone…

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Diabetes is a chronic disease with no cure but the good news is that proper care and treatment a person can live a log and healthy life. Nearly 2,000 people are diagnosed with diabetes everyday.

It is estimated that there are 17 million people with diabetes in the U.S and another 16 million have pre-diabetes or higher blood-sugar levels that are higher than normal but not yet high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes.

Buying diabetes supplies online can save time and money. In this article you will find the most used supplies and tools to achieve a good diabetes control and aid in everyday self-care.

For those who have been diagnosed with a diabetic condition, diabetes supplies are a fact of life. In order to maintain good health, diabetics must rely on various tools to help them monitor their conditions. Still, diabetes patients need to exercise caution when buying diabetes supplies.

The company that you buy your diabetes supplies from should have a phone number in case you need to contact the business because of a problem with the order. In fact, it’s best if the company has a toll-free hotline number that you can reach 24 hours a day. It is much better to register a complaint by phone than by e-mail.

Also, the company should have a pharmacist available to answer your questions. Having a pharmacist on staff indicates that the company is legitimate and is determined to provide excellent service to its customers. When ordering diabetes supplies, you’ll want to pay close attention to shipping charges so that you don’t experience sticker shock when you receive your final bill.

Typically, a diabetic pays a substantial sum each month for diabetes supplies, including pills, insulin, syringes, alcohol pads, lancets, ointments, salves, and special foods. Because competition for business is so great, the prices of items such as testing strips and glucose monitors are often competitive.

This competition can help to keep the diabetes patient’s expenses in check. However, there is no question that a diabetic must devote a portion of his or her income or insurance costs to diabetes supplies. In order to control glucose, blood sugar levels must be monitored closely-at least once a day.

Insulin Cases: Environmental factors such as excessive heat and freezing will have major affect on type of insulin. So, there is a need to keep insulin safe by using special cases while traveling and going out.

Blood Glucose Monitors: It is used to examine blood glucose level. Blood glucose levels below 120 mg/dL before meals, and below 180 mg/dL after meals, is the goal to stay healthy and prevent or delay the development of diabetes complications.

Blood Pressure Monitors: It helps to check blood pressure level of a person. High blood pressure affects 20-60% of people with diabetes and results in causing eye disease, kidney disease and heart disease.

Diabetes Software: This software can be used in your computer to help you to share the information with your Health Care Team to make the best choices in your treatment. Diabetes software includes OneTouch diabetes management software, OneTouch diabetes management software kit.

Glucose Tablets: Hypoglycemia or low blood sugar levels can occur very quickly and is a sharp complication of diabetes, especially if you use insulin. People with diabetes must always carry glucose tablets.

Glucose Gels: Glucose gel is absorbed more rapidly than tablets. In case of severe hypoglycemia 15 g of glucose in the form of glucose gel must be administered immediately orally.

Experts recommend that you deal only with those Internet companies that offer a return address rather than a post office box. If you want to make sure that you are buying diabetes supplies from reputable businesses that have their own offices, rather than an individual who is simply buying diabetes supplies from an Internet auction site and re-selling them to new customers.

A DNA Link between Diabetes and Obesity

By , January 1, 2018 8:07 am

299

There is no known reason for what causes diabetes. There are certainly risk factors that
make the likelihood of you being diagnosed with the disease higher. One of the only risk
factors that you have control over is your weight. If you are obese, the single best thing
you can do for your health and the prevention of diabetes is to lose weight. Even in small
increments, when you shed pounds you are increasing your health benefits.

These may be easier said than done. There are…

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There is no known reason for what causes diabetes. There are certainly risk factors that
make the likelihood of you being diagnosed with the disease higher. One of the only risk
factors that you have control over is your weight. If you are obese, the single best thing
you can do for your health and the prevention of diabetes is to lose weight. Even in small
increments, when you shed pounds you are increasing your health benefits.

These may be easier said than done. There are new studies that are now showing that
there is a genetic factor or mutation for people who are obese and have diabetes. This
genetic malfunction affects how the bodies use energy and insulin ?two key elements in
the functioning of your body and the cause of diabetes and obesity.

The studies also state that this is not a cause and effect case. If you carry this defective
gene you are not guaranteed to be obese or have diabetes. But the link is there and it can
be prevented. You may have to work harder at it than others to maintain a healthy body
weight and put off diabetes but it can be done. Discuss with your doctor options and
ways to prevent or put-off the onset of diabetes.

The gene that researchers have discovered as a precursor to diabetes has been found in
young children. It is scary to know that children in their preschool years are being
diagnosed with obesity and type 2 diabetes due to genetics. But parents can reduce or
prevent these things from happening by giving their children healthy lifestyle choices.
Now that a DNA link has been found, the research can focus on finding a way to fix or
prevent this from happening at some point in the future.

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