Herbs

Jun 29, 2007 at 12:26 o\clock

Thyroid Problems.

The thyroid gland is located on the front part of the neck below the thyroid cartilage (Adam's apple). The gland produces thyroid hormones, which regulate body metabolism. Thyroid hormones are important in regulating body energy, the body's use of other hormones and vitamins, and the growth and maturation of body tissues.

Diseases of the thyroid gland can result in either production of too much (hyperthyroidism) or too little (hypothyroidism) hormone. 

Production of thyroid hormones: The process of hormone synthesis begins in a part of the brain called the hypothalamus. The hypothalamus releases thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH). The TRH travels through the bloodstream to the pituitary gland, also in the brain. In response, the pituitary gland then releases thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) into the blood. The TSH then stimulates the thyroid to produce the two main thyroid hormones, L-thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). The thyroid gland also needs adequate amounts of dietary iodine to be able to produce T4 and T3.

Regulation of thyroid hormone production: To prevent the over- or underproduction of thyroid hormones, the pituitary gland can sense how much hormone is in the blood and adjust the production of hormones accordingly. For example, when there is too much thyroid hormone in the blood, the TRH does not work effectively to stimulate the pituitary gland. In addition, too much thyroid hormone will prevent the release of TSH from the pituitary gland. The sum effect of this is to decrease the amount of TSH released from the pituitary gland, resulting in less production of thyroid hormones in the thyroid gland. This then works to restore the amount of thyroid hormone in the blood to normal. Defects in these regulatory pathways may result in hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism.

 

Causes for Production of thyroid hormones: The process of hormone synthesis begins in a part of the brain called the hypothalamus. The hypothalamus releases thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH). The TRH travels through the bloodstream to the pituitary gland, also in the brain. In response, the pituitary gland then releases thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) into the blood. The TSH then stimulates the thyroid to produce the two main thyroid hormones, L-thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). The thyroid gland also needs adequate amounts of dietary iodine to be able to produce T4 and T3.

 

Regulation of thyroid hormone production: To prevent the over- or underproduction of thyroid hormones, the pituitary gland can sense how much hormone is in the blood and adjust the production of hormones accordingly. For example, when there is too much thyroid hormone in the blood, the TRH does not work effectively to stimulate the pituitary gland. In addition, too much thyroid hormone will prevent the release of TSH from the pituitary gland. The sum effect of this is to decrease the amount of TSH released from the pituitary gland, resulting in less production of thyroid hormones in the thyroid gland. This then works to restore the amount of thyroid hormone in the blood to normal. Defects in these regulatory pathways may result in hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism.

 

The causes for Hypothyroidism are:  1. Antithyroid antibodies: These may be present in people who have diabetes, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, chronic hepatitis, or Sjögren syndrome. These antibodies may cause decreased production of thyroid hormones.  2. Loss of tissue: Treatment of hyperthyroidism by radioactive destruction of thyroid tissue or surgical removal of thyroid tissue can result in hypothyroidism. 3. Congenital: Hypothyroidism can be present from birth. 4. When there are defects resulting in an increased amount of TSH; the increased TSH results in a goiter (enlargement of the thyroid gland itself that can be seen as an obvious swelling in the front of the neck).

 

 The causes for Hyperthyroidism are: 1. Graves disease: This thyroid condition results from abnormal stimulation of the thyroid gland by a material in the blood termed the long-acting thyroid stimulator. 2. Toxic multinodular goiter: This occurs when part of the thyroid gland produces thyroid hormones all by itself, without regard to TSH stimulation. It usually occurs in people with a long-standing goiter—usually in the elderly. 3. Thyroiditis: This is an inflammatory disorder of the thyroid gland. 4. Pituitary adenoma: This tumor of the pituitary gland causes independent TSH production leading to overstimulation of the thyroid gland. and 5. Drug-induced hyperthyroidism as in the case of heart medication called amiodarone. 

There is no known way to prevent hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism. 

Untreated hypothyroidism may have severe effects on the brain as well as cause intestinal obstruction and inability of the heart to beat effectively. An infection, exposure to cold, trauma, and certain medications may often cause a worsening of hypothyroidism.  

Severe hyperthyroidism, called thyrotoxic crisis, may be life-threatening because of the effects it has on the heart and brain. It often occurs in people who are untreated or are receiving inadequate treatment for thyroid problems. A severe infection can also cause a thyrotoxic crisis. 

Seek immediate attention at a hospital's Emergency Department if you have the signs and symptoms associated with thyroid problems.  

 

 

 

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Jun 28, 2007 at 10:22 o\clock

Blood in urine.

The medical term for blood in urine is “hematuria”. The “heme” refers to the hemoglobin in red blood cells and the “uria” means that it is in the urine. Also, when we talk about blood in the urine, we really mean red blood cells in the urine.

Urine is normally a light yellow to dark amber, depending on how concentrated it is. The most common symptom of blood in the urine a change in urine color because it takes very little blood in the urine to turn it pink or red. However, many people have blood in their urine without a change in the color and have no symptoms.

The easiest way to make a diagnosis is to use a urine dipstick because it is very sensitive for hemoglobin. However, a positive dipstick doesn’t always mean there is blood in the urine. To confirm the diagnosis, your doctor needs to find red blood cells in your urine using a microscope.

There are two different types of blood in urine depending on how much blood is in the urine. If there is enough blood that it is obvious to the naked eye, it is called gross hematuria. If you need a microscope to see it, then it is called microscopic hematuria.  Despite the quantity of blood in the urine being different, the types of diagnoses that can cause the problem are the same, and the workup or evaluation that is needed is identical.

Since blood in the urine must come from one of the organs involved in making or transporting the urine, the evaluation of hematuria requires that we consider the entire urinary tract. This organ system includes the kidneys, ureter (the tube that carries the urine from the kidney to the bladder), bladder, prostate, or urethra (tube leading out of the bladder).

There are multiple causes of blood in urine. Some are serious, including cancers, trauma, stones, infections, and obstructions of the urinary tract. Others are less important, and may require no treatment. These may include viral infections, nonspecific inflammations of the kidney, medications which thin the blood's clotting ability, and benign prostate enlargement.

No matter how obvious the reason for hematuria appears to be, a complete evaluation is almost always necessary to rule out a serious underlying disease, such as a cancer. There are usually three diagnostic tests necessary to give us a look at the entire urinary tract, and these include the intravenous pyelogram (IVP), cystoscopy, and a urine cytology.

The intravenous pyelogram, or IVP, is an x-ray evaluation of the urinary tract. In this procedure, a dye is injected into the veins, and this is filtered by the urinary tract. A series of x-rays are then taken over a thirty-minute period, looking for abnormalities. This study is especially useful for evaluating the kidneys and ureter, but not the bladder, prostate, or urethra. Therefore, a second examination called a cystoscopy is necessary. In this procedure, a small viewing tube, or cystoscope, is used to visually inspect the bladder and the urethra. In most instances, this can be done without discomfort by the use of local anesthetic jelly. The cystoscope is passed up the urethra into the bladder, and the inspection is carried out. The entire examination takes less than ten minutes. The final test is a urine cytology, which involves voiding urine into a cup and having that urine examined by a pathologist to look for cancer cells

Management of blood in urine depends upon the underlying cause. Many times a cause cannot be found, which is fortunate, because it generally suggests that there is not a harmful situation present. Remember that the real reason for a hematuria workup is not to prove a specific cause, but to rule out a serious problem. If no cause is found for the hematuria, the urine should be checked on a yearly basis to make certain that no changes are occurring. However, if gross hematuria were to recur, repeat evaluation may be necessary, and a physician should be consulted. A blood test to check kidney function and a blood pressure check should be done as well. Men over fifty should have a yearly PSA, or prostate specific antigen, to screen for prostate cancer.

Further discussion of the treatment for hematuria would depend upon the results of the previously mentioned workup and the exact cause for the hematuria. The urologist who performs this examination would direct any further treatment or workup that would be necessary. 

 

 

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Jun 27, 2007 at 10:31 o\clock

Hernia.

An overblown balloon bursts at its weak point. Likewise, in our body, due to overstretching or weakness, any part can give/tear and simultaneous propulsion of internal parts happens through them. This pop up is called hernia. Hernia is a protrusion of internal organs through an abnormal opening. It can occur in any weak part of the body which allows the part to protrude.

 Though, Hernia may develop in any part of the body; however, it occurs most commonly in the abdominal walls. Any increase in intra-abdominal pressure contributes for hernia formations. The incidences of tear mostly coincide with weakness of abdomen after obesity, pregnancy, multiple deliveries, diseases of the abdomen which makes it bulge or weakens it. Likewise, strain in lifting heavy objects, strenuous coughing, strain while passing stool or urine, standing continuously for a long time, putting on weight can also initiate popping of hernia.

The commonest hernial sites (weak spots) are inguinal region, femoral region, umbilical area, epigastric area and in diaphragm (which splits chest from abdomen).

Hernia can be classified in different ways. Congenital – by birth i.e., development disorders; Infantile – during infant stage due to weakness;  Senile – due to weakness in elderly persons; and  Traumatic – due to injury or strain. Further, it can be classified as Bulging  or  Sliding. It may be reducible – which get back easily to original position or Non-reducible – which will not get reduced due to strangulation or obstruction.

 According to region, hernia are: Inguinal ; Femoral; Umbilical; Epigastric or Hiatus.

Inguinal hernia - is the most common hernia occurring in the groin (the lowest part of abdomen or pot belly near the junction of thigh). Weakness, ageing, strain and pregnancy are the major precursors for this type of hernias. Inguinal hernia can be classified further into Incomplete hernia – hernia which has not reached the scrotum; Complete hernia – hernia that has reached the scrotum; Direct hernia – hernia that comes directly forward. This type is more common in aged people irrespective of sex. Indirect hernia – hernia that passes through inguinal canal are called indirect hernia. It can occur at any age but can be seen only in men.Femoral hernia – Even though it can occur in any sex, fat women above the age of 40, who have given birth to multiple children, are more vulnerable to femoral hernia. This type of hernia lies below the pubic tubercle whereas inguinal hernia lies above it.

Umbilical hernia - is also one of the commonest types of hernia occurring more commonly in infants irrespective of sex. This type of hernia protrudes through umbilicus. It commonly arises due to development defect, premature delivery and in children who cry a lot, who cough a lot, and who strain a lot at stool.

Epigastric hernia – occurs in median line in epigastric region i.e. just in front of stomach and Hiatal hernia – means protrusion of stomach into chest through diaphragm.

Incisional hernia – means hernia occurring at the site of surgical incision. It can be compared with worn out thread in the stitch. It occurs due to strain or improper healing. 

Other than umbilical hernia in infants, no other hernia heals on its own. Hernia management ultimately depends on the nature of site, its intensity, pain, reducible characters and risk factors. Even though hernia can be managed and supported well with truss / hernia belt / padding, they can in no way cure it. For curing, one should opt for surgery.  

According to the place and size, hernias are repaired surgically (i.e. Herniorrhaphy - with or without plastic / nylon mesh). This normally prevents intestinal damage and further complications. Surgical correction also relieves swelling, discomfort, and pain immediately. Surgery always outweighs the risk of strangulation, obstruction and other complications.  

 

 

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Jun 26, 2007 at 12:08 o\clock

Sinus Infection.

Sinus infection, or sinusitis, is an inflammation of the sinuses and nasal passages. A sinus infection can cause a headache or pressure in the eyes, nose, cheek area, or on one side of the head. A person with a sinus infection may also have a cough, a fever, bad breath, and nasal congestion with thick nasal secretions. Sinusitis is categorized as acute (sudden onset) or chronic (long term, the most common type).

The human skull contains four major pairs of hollow air–filled–cavities called sinuses. These are connected to the space between the nostrils and the nasal passage. Sinuses help insulate the skull, reduce its weight, and allow the voice to resonate within it. The four major pairs of sinuses are the: Frontal sinuses (in the forehead) ; Maxillary sinuses (behind the cheek bones)  Ethmoid sinuses (between the eyes) Sphenoid sinuses (behind the eyes)

The sinuses contain defenses against foreign bacteria (germs). If a disruption occurs that affects the normal host defenses inside the sinuses, those defenses may allow bacteria, which are normally present in the nasal passages, to enter any of the sinuses. Once there, the bacteria may stick to the lining cells and cause a sinus infection.

Acute sinusitis usually lasts less than eight weeks or occurs no more than three times per year with each episode lasting no longer than 10 days. Medications are usually effective against acute sinusitis. Successful treatment counteracts damage done to the mucous lining of the sinuses and surrounding bone of the skull.Chronic sinusitis lasts longer than eight weeks or occurs more than four times per year with symptoms usually lasting more than 20 days.

The sinuses are covered with a mucus layer and cells that contain little hairs on their surfaces called cilia. These help trap and propel bacteria and pollutants outward. The ostiomeatal complex (OMC) connects the nasal passage to the paranasal sinuses.

Acute sinusitis usually follows a viral infection in the upper respiratory tract, but allergens (allergy–causing substances), or pollutants may also trigger acute sinusitis. A viral infection causes damage to the cells of the sinus lining, which leads to inflammation. The lining thickens with fluid that obstructs the nasal passage. This passage connects to the sinuses. The obstruction disrupts the process that removes bacteria normally present in the nasal passages, and the bacteria begin to multiply and invade the lining of the sinus. This causes the symptoms of sinus infection. Allergens and pollutants produce a similar effect.

Fungi are also becoming an increasing cause of chronic sinusitis, especially in people with diseases that weaken the immune system, such as AIDS, leukemia, and diabetes.

Signs and symptoms of sinus infections depend upon which sinuses are affected and whether the sinus infection is acute or chronic.

A person should call a doctor when experiencing pain or pressure in the upper face accompanied by nasal congestion or discharge, postnasal drip, or ongoing bad breath that is unrelated to dental problems.

Fever can be a symptom of a sinus infection or a cold. A person experiencing simple congestion with a low–grade fever probably has a cold and may not need special medications or antibiotics. Those also experiencing facial pain or headaches may have a sinus infection.

A doctor often can treat simple sinusitis. If left undiagnosed and untreated, though, complications of sinusitis can occur that may lead to severe medical problems and possibly death.

Home care can help open the sinuses and alleviate their dryness. Drink plenty of water and hydrating beverages. Hot tea is often recommended.

Inhale steam two to four times per day by leaning over a bowl of boiling hot water (not while the water is on the stove) or using a steam vaporizer with a towel over the head and bowl to prevent the escape of the steam. Inhale the steam for about 10 minutes. Taking a hot, steamy shower may also work. Mentholated preparations, such as Vicks Vapo–Rub, can be added to the water or vaporizer to aid in opening the passageways.

Expectorants are drugs that help to expel mucus from the lungs and respiratory passages. They help to thin mucous secretions, enhancing drainage from the sinuses

The main goals in treating a sinus infection or sinusitis involve reducing the swelling or inflammation in the nasal passages and sinuses, eliminating the infection, promoting drainage from the sinuses, and maintaining open sinuses

Some people experience chronic sinusitis despite adequate therapy with antibiotics and drugs for relief of symptoms. Those that have a CT scan indicative of sinus infection as well as those with any complications of sinusitis may benefit from sinus surgery.  

 

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Jun 25, 2007 at 12:32 o\clock

CROUP.

Croup is an infection that often comes after a child experiences an acute viral infection of the upper respiratory tract. The infection may extend from the vocal cords (larynx) to the trachea and bronchi. This infection results in inflammation and increased mucus production. Although croup usually goes away on its own, between 5-10% of children with croup will require admission to the hospital.

Children between the ages of 6 months and 3 years are most likely to get croup. This common viral illness is estimated to occur in 5% of children between the ages of 1-2 years.  Croup is rarely seen in adults because their larger breathing passages (trachea and larynx) can accommodate the inflammation without producing symptoms.

 

 Croup is a viral respiratory infection that is easily passed among children. Common causes include parainfluenza, influenza, adenovirus, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), rhinovirus, and measles.  The infection starts with a cold, cough, and low-grade temperature. Symptoms gradually develop over 2 days. The typical barking cough is usually present by day 3 and is more likely to be worse at night.

 If Your child has a temperature of 102°F or higher; or  the child's cough continues despite cough medication and cool-mist treatments at home; or  the child is breathing faster than normal or has noisy respirations; or the child has signs of dehydration, including increased sleepiness, dry mouth, or decreased urination; call your doctor immediately.If the child starts having loud, high-pitched wheezing while breathing; or the child begins to struggle to breathe or speaks in short sentences because of lack of breath or  the child has difficulty swallowing or  the child is having signs of restlessness or sluggishness either from respiratory distress or dehydration or  the child has signs of respiratory distress including retractions of skin around the ribs from deep breathing, nostril flaring, or rapid breathing or cyanosis, which is a bluish color to the skin, lips, or nail bed, indicates severe lack of oxygen in the body and should be considered an emergency shift the child to the emergency ward of the hospital.Breathing moist air from steamed water, a hot shower, or a cool-mist humidifier is helpful in the majority of cases. Taking the child outside while dressed warmly on a cold day for a few minutes may be helpful as well. The cool moist air that the child breathes on the way to the doctor’s office or Emergency Department often helps resolve the symptoms prior to arrival. Substitute juices for milk products. Frequent sips of clear liquids can loosen mucus and prevent dehydration, which often occurs with croup.  Crying can trigger spasmodic coughing. Attempt to comfort your child to prevent agitation. Some children will benefit from sitting up straight for ease of breathing. An infant car seat can be used for small babies. Avoid exposure to respiratory irritants such as smoke.Humidified oxygen or cool mist is usually given to children coming to the hospital with croup. This treatment helps to moisten secretions and inflamed tissues to open the airway and soothe irritation. Children who are not responding to mist will receive nebulizer treatments to breathe (breathing into a machine with a face mask that generates a medication-enhanced mist). This therapy is believed to decrease the swelling in the respiratory airway. Steroid therapy has been shown to be of benefit in children with moderate to severe croup. It may be given orally, by injection, or by IV. Inhaled steroids appear to have limited value. Antibiotics have not been shown to be beneficial in the treatment of croup. Have the child rest as much as possible. Give him or her plenty of fluids to drink. Continue cool mist from a vaporizer or steam from a hot shower. Do not leave your child alone in the bathroom with hot water. Keep your child calm, because breathing symptoms can worsen with crying and agitation. Make certain your child takes his or her medications for the length of time prescribed, even if the child has improved. If symptoms return or worsen, then notify your doctor or return to the Emergency Department.Croup is a contagious disease. If possible, avoid contact with others who have colds or cough symptoms. Have children wash their hands often to reduce the chance of spreading the infection. Get prompt treatment with symptoms of respiratory infection. Increase the amount of fluids children drink. Avoid exposure to respiratory irritants such as smoke. Croup usually gets better over 5-6 days. Although most children respond to humidified air from a shower or vaporizer, studies have reported that 7% of cases will require admission to the hospital. Of these admitted, only 1-2% will be severe enough to require a breathing tube with mechanical ventilation or pediatric intensive care.  Please visit:  http://www.herbsandcures.com      

Jun 23, 2007 at 11:45 o\clock

Onion - the kitchen herb.

The scientific name of onion is Allium cepa. They belong to the same family of the garlic, the Allium family. Onion is the oldest herb cultivated and used. The Indian, Egyptian, Chinese and Roman used the herbs from the ancient civilization for treating diseases.

The other names of onion are piyaz in Hindi and Bengali, kando in Gujarathi, eerulli in Kannada, gandah in Kashmiri, ulli in Malayalam, kanda in Marathi, piaja in Orriya, ganda in Punjabi, vengayam in Tamil, neerulli in Telungu. 

Onion produces strong odour and pungent taste. It contains essential oils and organic sulphides. The principal chemical constituent in onion is the sulphur containing volatile oil, allyl propyl disulphide. This is the chemical that give onion its taste and pungent odour. This volatile oil is the main culprit in causing eye irritation and tears while preparing onion. If uncooked onion is eaten the volatile oil is excreted through the lungs and saliva, giving a characteristic odour to the breath. This does not happen if cooked onion is eaten since this volatile oil evaporates when exposed to heat.

Onion is known for its nutritional value and for the utility as herbal medicine in our country. It has moderate amounts of protein, fat, fibre and good amounts of calcium, phosphorous and potassium. It has high content of moisture, which is 86.8 percent for 100 gms of the edible portion. The calorie content is comparatively less. 100 gm of onion gives about 50 kcal of energy. Apart from onion as such, even the stalk is edible. The stalk contains good amount of carotene and iron. 

Onions and its stalks have power to prevent and treat certain illness. Onions are stimulant and mild counter irritant. Crushed raw onion can be applied on the forehead to get relief from headaches.

Red small onions can be used as an expectorant. Crushed small onions should be mixed with sugar candy and kept for some time. The juice from the onion sugar candy preparation helps to liquefy phlegm and prevent its recurrence. 3 - 4 tsp. of juice has to be taken in intervals that will relieve the cough and soothens the throat.

Eating raw onion help to reduce cholesterol levels because they increase levels of high-density lipoproteins. It is advisable to include raw onions in the salads daily. It helps in coronary heart disease, thrombosis, and blood pressure. This use of onion is controversial. There are conflicting reports are available about this property. Eating raw onion can also lead to bad breath.

Onions are beneficial in the treatment of urinary disorders. For burning sensation while passing urine, boil 100 gms of onion in 600 ml of water. When the volume reduces to half, it is ready for consumption. If onion and sugar mixture is taken, it gives good relief for retention of urine.

Sulphur compounds present in onion will help to prevent the growth of cancer cells. Onions are also used in the treatment of anaemia, bleeding piles and teeth disorders.

However, one disadvantage of onion is, it can lead to migraine in some people and flatulence.  

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Jun 22, 2007 at 12:47 o\clock

Eczema.

Eczema is an allergic condition that affects the skin. Another name for eczema is dermatitis. Dermatitis is inflammation of the skin.

Eczema is a very common condition, and it affects all races and ages, including young infants. About 1-2 percent of adults have eczema, and as many as 20 percent of children are affected. It usually begins early in life, even before asthma or hay fever. Most affected individuals have their first episode before age 5 years.

For some, the disease will improve with time. For others, however, eczema is a chronic or recurrent disorder. Although it can occur just once, it usually occurs on and off throughout life, or lasts the entire lifetime.

Eczema can be a difficult, frustrating condition. The natural human desire to scratch or rub an itchy rash just makes the condition worse, and treatments can be slow and are not always completely effective.

The exact cause of eczema is not known. Although it is activated by the immune system and is related to allergic reactions, it is not the same as other allergic reactions.

Contact with the external trigger (allergen) causes the skin to become inflamed. The duration of the contact is not important.  Soaps, Detergents, Weather (hot, cold, humid, or dry), Jewelry, Creams, Food handling, Clothing, Sweating and Emotional or mental stress are among those that triggers eczema. Severe forms of eczema are caused by powerful allergic responses to external agents that cannot be eliminated from the environment.

People with severe eczema usually also have hay fever and asthma.  Eczema is probably hereditary and often is found in other family members. But, Eczema is not contagious.

Usually the first symptom of eczema is intense itching. The rash appears later. It is patchy and starts out as flaky or scaly dry skin on top of reddened, inflamed skin. The rash itches or burns. If it is scratched, it may ooze and become crusty, especially in young children. In adults, the patches are more likely to be brownish, scaly, and thickened. Some people develop red bumps or clear fluid-filled bumps that look "bubbly" and, when scratched, add wetness to the overall appearance. Painful cracks can develop over time. The rash can be located anywhere on the body but is most often found on the face and on the arms and legs, particularly in creases and on hands and feet. This pattern makes sense because the face and extremities are in contact with external agents more than any other part of the body. The itching may be so intense that it interferes with sleep.

Removing whatever is causing the allergic reaction is the easiest and most effective treatment. Prevent dry skin by taking warm (not hot) showers rather than baths. Use a mild soap or body cleanser. apply moisturizing skin lotions all over your body. Avoid lotions with fragrances or other irritating substances. Avoid wearing tight-fitting, rough, or scratchy clothing. Avoid scratching the rash. If you can't stop yourself from scratching, cover the area with a dressing. Wear gloves at night to minimize skin damage from scratching. Avoid physical and mental stress. Eating right, light activity, and adequate sleep will help you stay healthy, which can help prevent flares.Once your doctor is sure you have eczema, the mainstays of therapy are anti-inflammatory medication and relief from the itching. Diet restrictions and chemical skin-drying agents may also be offered, but their success is controversial.Eczema is easier to control than cure.   

 

 

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Jun 21, 2007 at 11:55 o\clock

Cholera.

Cholera is a water-borne disease and is caused by the infection of intestine with germs called vibrio cholerae. The first sign of cholera will be mild diarrhea, followed by violent purging, nausea and visiting. The cholera patient will have severe pain in stomach beside becoming restless and thirsty.

cholera is known to be most rapid fatal illness. Within one hour from the onset of the symptoms ofcholera on a healthy person it renders hypotensiveness and if left untreated, may kill him withuin 2to 3 hours.

Thanks to the advanced water and sanitation system, this dreadful disease is easily prevented now a days. Boiling and filgtering of water are effectivse methods of preventing this dissease.

Effective treatment for cholera includes aggressive rehydration and replacement of electrolytes with commercial or hand mixed sugar and salt solution either by oral or intravsenously.Cholera produces dehyderation; hence without effective rehyderation death rate may shoot up and with rehyderation death rate falls as low as one percent.

The foremost among the many home remedies for cholera is the use of lemon. The juice of this fruit can kill cholera bacilli within a very short time. It is also a very effective and reliable preventive against cholera during an epidemic. It can be taken in the form of a sweetened or salted beverage for this purpose. Taking of lemon with food as a daily routine can also prevent cholera.

Among the home remedies for cholera, the juice of lemon
fruit kills cholera bacilli very effectively within a short time. This could be taken as sweet or salt drinks.
Another home remedy is the guava root barks. Thirty grams of powdered barks should be boiled in half liter of water to reduce it by one-third in volume. This decoction, when taken in twice daily will arrest vomiting and the diarroea as well.



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Jun 21, 2007 at 09:12 o\clock

Parkinson Disease.


Parkinson's Disease is a slowly progressive disorder of the central nervous system that affects movement, muscle control and balance. Although the exact cause of Parkinson's Disease is unknown, research has concentrated on genetics, environmental toxins, endogenous toxins and viral infection.

In Parkinson's, cells are destroyed in part of the brain stem - the substantia nigra, which sends out fibers to the corpus stratia, gray and white bands of tissue in both sides of the brain. Cells there release dopamine, one of three major neurotransmitters (chemical messengers) which help the body respond to stress. By the time symptoms develop, patients have lost 80 to 90 percent of their dopamine-producing cells.

Symptoms include tremors, slowed movement and postural instability. Other features include rigidity, flexed posture, freezing phenomenon and loss of postural reflexes. Patients can experience depression, sleep disturbances, dizziness and problems with speech, swallowing and sexual functioning.

Since medications and other conditions can cause Parkinson's-like neurologic symptoms, diagnosis is critical and misdiagnosis is frequent. Medical science lacks an accurate blood or imaging diagnostic test for Parkinson's, though tests can exclude other conditions. Diagnosis is based on an evaluation of symptoms best accomplished by a Parkinson's specialist.

The progression of the disease varies from individual to individual, so treatment is also individualized. Treatment focuses on relieving disabilities while minimizing side effects of medications. While there is no cure, therapies can minimize symptoms and maximize function and quality of life.

The usual treatment is a combination of levodopa and carbidopa (Sinemet). Levodopa, which treats neurochemical abnormality, revolutionized treatment. However, over the years, its effectiveness can decline and its side effects, such as motor complications, can increase. Adjusted dosage can help but additional medications may be required. Because of levodopa's complexities, young people with Parkinson's often start with other treatments, reserving levodopa for later in the disease. Patients have other treatment options, including surgery. Transcranial magnetic stimulation is also being studied.

Parkinson's can impair quality and length of life, so its diagnosis and symptoms can devastate an individual and family, and patients often face depression. However, excellent physical therapies, and educational and support resources are available. Research is steadily improving quality of life and symptom control.
 In recent years, Parkinson's research has advanced to the point that halting the progression of PD, restoring lost function, and even preventing the disease are all considered realistic goals.  While the ultimate goal of preventing PD may take years to achieve, researchers are making great progress in understanding and treating PD.   

 

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Jun 20, 2007 at 10:17 o\clock

Aloe vera.

Aloe is a succulent plant that has been used for medicinal purposes since the time of the Ancient Egyptians. The most common type of aloe is Aloe barbadensis, better known as Aloe vera. The parts of the aloe plant that are used medicinally are the gel that is found inside the leaves and the sap, a bitter, yellow sticky substance (aloe latex) that is found just inside the leaf surface.Aloe is a known anti-inflammatory and may even have antibacterial and antifungal properties. The gel from the aloe plant is often used topically on dry, broken, or burned skin as a soothing agent and a pain reliever. In animals, aloe gel has been shown to reduce inflammation. In one study on the use of aloe in ulcerative colitis, ingested aloe gel was shown to be better in reducing disease activity.Though aloe latex is a powerful laxative, it is not often used as a laxative because it may cause painful abdominal cramps.  Aloe latex will decrease the effectiveness of any medication taken at the same time, as it is a laxative, and will cause any ingested medication to move through the digestive system too quickly to be effective.Aloe latex is not safe during pregnancy or for breast-feeding mothers. Check with your physician about any possible effects aloe might have on an unborn child or an infant Aloe latex, the juice found just inside the leaf of the plant, is a known laxative, which is habit-forming. Aloe latex works as a laxative because it prevents the absorption of water in the bowel, making the contents of the bowel move faster. Continued use of aloe latex could result in the need for higher doses to achieve the same effects and permanent damage to the muscle in the intestine. Large doses have been known to cause bloody diarrhea and kidney damageSome deaths have been reported of cancer patients who were treated with aloe vera intravenously by a physician whose license was subsequently revoked.  Products derived from aloe gel and intended for internal use have not been proven effective against any disease. The effectiveness of aloe skin-care products is uncertain. False advertising claims for aloe are common, especially on the Internet. Some Web pages are making bold claims and using testimonials promoting it for treating the AIDS virus, arthritis, or other chronic and debilitating conditions. These claims have not been substantiated by scientific studies. Please visit:  http://www.herbsandcures.com 

Jun 19, 2007 at 07:49 o\clock

Gum Disease.

 You smile beautifully. You bite and chew your food tastefully. And all for these, your teeth should be healthy. Healthy teeth need healthy gum. Gum is a very important organ that helps to hold your teeth and protects the roots of the teeth. Care should be taken to protect gums from disease.

Gum disease otherwise known as periodontal (pronounced as par-ee-oh-don-tul) is an infection of the tissues and bone that support teeth. Gum disease, if left untreated could become very serious and the teeth, loosinghold, may fall out.

Plaque, an invisible sticky layer of germs that forms naturally on the teeth and gums, is found to be the cause gum disease. Plaque is full of bacteria that produce
toxins, that irritate and damage the gums.

In the mouth, there are hundreds of types of bacteria and hence, keeping plaque under control needs constant endeavors. Hence, every day brushing and flossing ; and regular visits to dentist become very important.
 Gum disease is treated with antibiotics or by surgery. A discussion with the dentist only can decide on the option of treatment.

Teen aged youngsters are more amenable for gum disease. Apart from those who inherit from their parents, a big number of them bite fried or sugared snacks in nearby stalls and leave their mouth without an immediate brushing. Sugar is known well for its bad effects on the teeth. Fried snack produces acids that eat up tooth enamel.

Lousy diet, too little sleep and too much stress makes you vulnerable to infectious diseases including gum diasease. Medical conditions like diabetes and down syndrome and certain medicines too increase the risk of gum disease. Braces make curing the plaque more difficult.

Girls may notice that their gums bleed a bit in the days before their periods. During puberty increase in the female sex hormones makes girls’ gum more sensitive to irritation. Boys do not have such problems; hence Girls have higher degree of risk of gum disease.

More than half of the cases of gum diseases among adults are caused by smoking.
Smokers are four times more likely than non-smokers to have advanced periodontal
Disease.
 

 

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Jun 18, 2007 at 10:27 o\clock

Stretch marks due to pragnancy

More than half of all pregnant women will develop stretch marks during their pregnancy. 

Stretch marks develop on their abdomen during  pregnancy, however it is also common to get stretch marks on the buttocks, hips, breasts and thighs. 

Stretch marks are actually small tears that form in the tissue that supports the skin and helps it stretch. Stretch marks represent the tearing or separation of collagen from the skin when tearing occurs. Stretch marks are not harmful or painful and usually fade over time.

The more weight you gain during pregnancy the more likely you are to have stretch marks. Normally the skin is elastic and capable of stretching quite a bit, however for some women the changes that occur during pregnancy are very drastic. These rapid fluctuations of weight and skin stretching can result in stretch marks.

Women with multiples are more likely to get stretch marks because their bellies usually grow much larger than women with single pregnancies. Other women likely to develop stretch marks include women who gain a lot of weight quickly during their pregnancy and women who carry big babies.

Most women believe that they can prevent stretch marks by using creams and lotions. There are many formulations on the market today that claim to help prevent stretch marks. Some of these may help moisturize your skin and reduce itching. There are no scientific studies that support that they may help reduce stretch marks.

If you developed stretch marks before (like on your breasts during puberty) you are more likely to get stretch marks while pregnant. If you had stretch marks during another pregnancy you will usually get them again. If you are overweight or gain more weight than recommended you are more likely to get stretch marks. The better hydrated and well nourished you are the less likely you are to develop serious stretch marks.

Most women worry about stretch marks after they have their baby. Fortunately most stretch marks do fade with time. Usually after 12 moths postpartum most stretch marks are light and less noticeable. Their texture may remain different from the surrounding skin however. Many women notice their stretch marks fading into whitish lines that are minimally noticeable.

Some women have very severe stretch marks that impact their self esteem after pregnancy. There are many treatments available for women that want to improve the appearance of their stretch marks.

If your stretch marks are particularly bad, you may consult with your doctor or a dermatologist. Some topical treatments such as tretinoin cream can help reduce stretch marks. These creams must be used after pregnancy however, because they can cause defects in your unborn baby.

If you are breastfeeding it is important you consult with your doctor before using any stretch mark treatments. Some treatments may impact your milk supply or pass through the breast milk to your baby.

Most women are able to joyfully overlook stretch marks when they consider the miracle of life they bring into the world. For the most the small annoyance even the worst stretch marks bring are well worth the joys of bringing a newborn baby into the world. Do what you can during pregnancy to maintain an appropriate weight and try not to worry too much about stretch marks. Many women wear them with pride, a ‘war wound’ or “badge of honor” related to their pregnancy.  

 

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Jun 15, 2007 at 12:29 o\clock

AORTIC REGURGITATION.

What is aortic regurgitation?

Before going into this question,  it will be helpful to know a little about the functions of the heart and the valves placed within it.

The heart is a muscular pump divided into two separate but physically joined organs - the right heart and the left heart. The left heart pumps blood via the aorta artery into the systemic arteries, bringing necessary oxygen and nutrients to all parts of the body. The right heart sends blood via the pulmonary artery into the smaller blood vessels of the lungs, allowing the lungs to extract oxygen efficiently and eliminate carbon dioxide.

The right and left hearts each have two chambers. The upper chambers are atria; the lower chambers are ventricles.

 There are four heart valves - doors that keep the blood moving in a single direction through the heart.  The aortic valve is between the heart's left ventricle (lower chamber that pumps blood to the body) and the aorta (the large artery that receives blood from the heart's left ventricle and distributes it to the body).

Regurgitation means the valve doesn't close properly, and blood can leak backward through it. This means the left ventricle must pump more blood than normal, and will gradually get bigger because of the extra workload.

Aortic regurgitation can range from mild to severe. Some people may have no symptoms for years. But as the condition worsens, symptoms will appear.

Fatigue (especially during times of increased activity); shortness of breath ; edema (retention of fluid) in certain parts of the body such as the ankles ; abnormal heartbeats and chest pain or discomfort caused by reduced blood supply to the heart muscle are the symptoms usually noticed.

In aortic regurgitation, the aortic valve fails to close normally and, therefore, leaks. Because blood leaks back into the left ventricle while it is relaxing, it is overfilled, often becoming markedly enlarged. Since the volume of blood in the left ventricle is far greater than normal before ventricular contraction begins, the volume ejected into the aorta also is greater than normal. This volume comprises the normal forward flow plus the blood that leaked backward during the previous heartbeat (and which will leak back in subsequent heartbeats, as well). Consequently, the aorta is overfilled and larger than normal.

Aortic regurgitation can be caused by several things. It may be due to a bicuspid aortic valve. This is a congenital (existing at birth) deformity of the valve. In it, the valve has two cusps (flaps) rather than the normal three cusps. It can also be found in other kinds of congenital heart disease.

Aortic regurgitation can also be caused by infections of the heart, such as rheumatic fever or infective endocarditis. Diseases that can cause the aortic root (the part of the aorta attached to the ventricle) to widen, such as the Marfan syndrome or high blood pressure, are other causes.People with aortic regurgitation are at increased risk for developing an infection of the heart valve or lining of the heart (endocarditis).

Patients with mild aortic regurgitation who have few or no symptoms need to see their physician regularly. As conditions worsen, medications may be used. The drugs can help regulate the heart rhythm, rid the body of fluids to control edema, and/or help the left ventricle pump better.Serious cases may require surgical treatment. This involves replacing the diseased valve with an artificial one.

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Jun 14, 2007 at 12:03 o\clock

Asthma.

Asthma is an allergic condition resulting from the reaction of the body to one or more allergens, and is the most troublesome of respiratory diseases. An asthma patient gets frequent attacks of breathlessness, in between which he may even be completely normal.

Asthma is a chronic disease that affects your airways. Your airways are tubes that carry air in and out of your lungs. If you have asthma, the inside walls of your airways become sore and swollen. That makes them very sensitive, and they may react strongly to things that you are allergic to or find irritating. When your airways react, they get narrower and your lungs get less air. This can cause wheezing, coughing, chest tightness and trouble breathing, especially early in the morning or at night. When your asthma symptoms become worse than usual, it's called an asthma attack. In a severe asthma attack, the airways can close so much that your vital organs do not get enough oxygen. People can die from severe asthma attacks.

Most women with asthma do very well during pregnancy. Studies show that asthma can be controlled during pregnancy with little or no risk to mother or baby.

Asthma is caused by a variety of factors. It may be due to an allergy caused by weather conditions, food, drugs, perfumes, and other irritants. Allergies to dust are the most common.

Honey is one of the most common home remedies for asthma. It is said that if a jug of honey is held under the nose of an asthma patient and he inhales the air that comes into contact with it, he starts breathing easier and deeper.

Lemon is found beneficial in the treatment of asthma. The juice of one lemon, diluted in a glass of water and taken with meals, will bring good results.

Indian gooseberry (amla) has also proved valuable in asthma. Five grams of gooseberry mixed with one tablespoon of honey forms an effective medicinal tonic for the treatment of this disease. It should be taken every morning.

The roots of the bitter gourd plant have been used in folk medicine for asthma since ancient times. A teaspoon of the root paste, mixed with an equal amount of honey or juice of the tulsi leaves, given once every night for a month, acts as an excellent medicine for this disease.

A soup prepared from drumstick leaves, and taken once daily, has been found beneficial in the treatment of asthma. This soup is prepared by adding a handful of leaves to 180ml of water and boiling it for five minutes. After being allowed to cool, a little salt, pepper, and lime juice may be added to this soup.

A teaspoon of fresh ginger juice, mixed with a cup of fenugreek decoction and honey to taste, acts as an excellent expectorant in cases of asthma. The decoction of fenugreek can be made by mixing one tablespoon of fenugreek seeds in a cupful of water. This remedy should be taken once in the morning and once in the evening.

Garlic is another effective home remedy for asthma. Ten garlic cloves, boiled in 30 ml of milk, make an excellent medicine for the early stages of asthma. This mixture should he taken once daily by the patient. Steaming ginger tea with two minced garlic cloves in it, can also help to keep the problem under control, and should be taken in the morning and evening.

Diet for Asthma

The patient should avoid common dietetic errors. Ideally, his diet should contain a limited quantity of carbohydrates, fats and proteins which are 'acid-forming' foods, and a liberal quantity of alkali-forming foods consisting of fresh fruits, green vegetables, sprouted seeds, and grains. The patient should avoid foods which tend to produce phlegm, such as rice, sugar, lentils, and curds. He should also avoid fried and other difficult to-digest foods, strong tea, coffee, alcoholic beverages, condiments pickles, sauces and all refined and processed foods.

The patient should also follow the other laws of nature. Air, sun, and water are great healing agents. Regular fasting once a week, an occasional enema, breathing exercises, fresh air, a dry climate, light exercises, and correct posture go a long way in treating the disease.  

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Jun 13, 2007 at 12:55 o\clock

Sandalwood

The smell of sandal is said to be so intoxicating that snakes are said to wrap themselves around  these trees. Hindus believe that God has scented these trees and consider them sacred.  However the root of the tree spreads so wide that it sucks all the nutrients required for its growth from nearby trees.

Sandalwood tree is a small ever green tree with a moderate height of 12 – 15 Metres.  Matured trees are covered with a dark brown to reddish bark.  The smooth trunk of young trees turns rough with age and exhibits deep vertical cracks.  The small leathery leaves display a range of greenish colors.  The purplish brown flowers are small and unscented.  Though the tree can grow under a variety of environmental conditions, the finest heartwood is formed only in dry, rocky and hilly terrain in Tamil Nadu. ‘ Santulam album’ is the botanical name of sandalwood. 

Sandal wood (Santalum album) is the source of world famous Indian sandal wood oil, which is extensively used in the perfumery industry. Both wood and oil are used in incense, perfumes and in medicine.

Sandalwood being closely grained and amicable to carving, the wood is suitable for making idols and boxes of exquisite beauty.

 Major portion of the sandal wood oil is produced by steam distillation of the pulverized heart wood and root. The yield of oil varies from 1.5-2.0%.  The formation of heartwood is best between 600-900m, with an annual rainfall of 850-1200mm. A comparatively cool climate, moderate rainfall and sunshine are the ideal conditions for the development of the heartwood.

Due to its high value sandalwood is exploited by thieves and smugglers. They have developed many ingenious means for transporting the wood to people willing to illegally traffic in this commodity. Penalties for detection of illicit trading in it are severe and the government is making restrictions on the purchasing of sandalwood ever more stringent. Once a company has purchased it through legal channels, careful records must be kept as to how it is being used so that when officials check the records, the amount purchased and the amount sold match.

The Sandalwood is used in aromatic, religious and medicinal purposes.  The Sandalwood oil is being extracted from ancient times and exported to different countries from India.  In older days, this oil was used for perfume purpose only and the use was limited to Royal families.  Now this wood, powder and oil is being used quite common for different purposes.

The major quantity of the sandalwood oil is used fro the manufacture of perfumes and cosmetics. Also the sandalwood oil is playing a vital roll for the preparation of medicines. Sandal oil is a popular remedy in Gonorrhoea, Chronic foetid bronchitis and Cystitis, gleet, urethral haemorrhage. Oil is valuable in bronchial catarrh. A mixture of oil of sandal of cubeba and copaiba is generally recommended for gonorrhoea.In remittent fevers this oil acts as a diaphoretic. It diminishes the rapidity of heart’s action.  Externally, the oil is an excellent application in scabies in every stage and form.  Sandal oil mixed with its double the quantity of mustard oil is a good application for pimples on nose

The chief use of sandalwood oil in medicine is in the symptomatic treatment of disuria.  It is given in the sub – acute stages of cystitis and gonorrhoea for its action on the urinary passage during excretion.  It is also used in diminishing the frequency of mictorition, which is so marked in the tuber – culosis of the bladder.   Sandal oil is employed as dis–infectants for the urinogential tract and as expectorants in bronchittes. 

 

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Jun 12, 2007 at 09:43 o\clock

Amla or Indian Gooseberry.

Amla has been regarded as a sacred tree in India. The tree was worshipped as Mother Earth and is believed to nurture humankind because the fruits are very nourishing. The leaves, fruit and flowers are used in worship in India. In Himachal Pradesh the tree is worshipped in Kartik as propitious and chaste. During colonial times the British referred to the amla fruit as the "Indian Gooseberry". The bark of Amla is gray in color and peals in irregular patches. Its feathery leaves, which smell like lemon, are of linear oblong shape and size 10 to 12 mm length and 3 to 6 mm width. Its flowers are monoecioius having greenish yellow color   The fruit is highly prized both for its high vitamin C content and for the precious oil which is extracted from its seeds and pulp and used as a treatment for hair and scalp problems. Another common use of this fruit is in medicines and tonics since it is extremely rich in vitamin C. In fact, it is documented that the amla fruit is the world's richest source of vitamin C. Due to its strong, cooling and laxative properties it has been widely used in hemorrhage, diarrhea and dysentery. It also prevents infection due to the antibacterial and astringent attributes present in it. It has been widely used for treatment of leucorrhea and atherosclerosis. In India, consuming gooseberry is considered the best antidote against aging-related disorders.  Amla fruit paste is a major ingredient of Chavyanprash, a popular Ayurvedic tonic. Amla is known as amritphala in Sanskrit, which literally means the fruit of heaven or nectar fruit. It is so called because it is rich in many desirable properties. According to several scholars, the sage Chyawan is reputed to have restored his vitality with this fruit.  Gooseberry juice has great strength to replenish your lost energy source. The presence of antioxidants like vitamin C is one of main factors of sourcing back your energy. This small gooseberry has the same food value as two oranges, which is anti-scorbutic. Gooseberries are very good for those suffering from respiratory problems. It is one of the main ingredients in Ayurveda as it has carminative and stomachic properties. It is also used to cure problems like diabetes, cerebral, gastro & cardiovascular illnesses, low libido and many more.  If you want to increase you weight and that too in a healthy manner you should consume more of gooseberry. It helps in balancing nitrogen levels very well which helps in increasing your weight. It helps in increasing protein levels. It is also known to have anabolic effect. The small gooseberry is also rich in minerals and amino acids.  If 5 gms of gooseberry is mixed with 1 tbsp honey and taken every morning, it proves very useful to treat asthma. If fresh gooseberry or amla is not available you can use gooseberry powder instead. Losing hair? You can either eat amla everyday or apply its paste on your hair roots. First boil six amlas with a cup of milk, till they are soft. Remove the seeds and mash it into a pulp. Apply this paste to your hair roots and leave it for 20 minutes before washing your hair. You can get rid of acne by purifying your blood; and for that consume fresh juice of amla with butter and honey. In the absence of fresh juice you can use 20 gms of amla/gooseberry powder. To improve your appetite, consume a paste of Indian gooseberry (amla) powder, butter and honey before meals. Another way to increase your appetite is by using one part each of cloves, nutmeg and long pepper, 3 parts of Indian gooseberry and 8 parts of ginger. Grind all the ingredients into a fine powder and to make it consumable, add enough sugar. Eat this mixture at least twice or thrice a day to increase your appetite.   Please visit :  http://www.herbsandcures.com

Jun 11, 2007 at 09:05 o\clock

Glaucoma

At the front of the eye is the cornea. The cornea is the clear part of the eye’s protective covering. It allows light to enter the eye. The iris is the colored part of the eye that shrinks and expands so the pupil can let just the right amount of light into the eye. The light is directed by the pupil to the lens. The lens focuses the light onto the retina (inside the lining of the eye). Nerve fibers in the retina carry images to the brain through the optic nerve.

The front part of the eye is filled with a clear fluid called intraocular fluid or aqueous humor, made by the ciliary body. The fluid flows out through the pupil. It is then absorbed into the bloodstream through the eye’s drainage system. This drainage system is a meshwork of of drainage canals around the outer edge of the iris. Proper drainage helps keep eye pressure at a normal level. The production, flow, and drainage of this fluid is an active continuous process that is needed for the health of the eye.

The inner pressure of the eye (intraocular pressure or IOP) depends upon the amount of fluid in the eye. If your eye’s drainage system is working properly than fluid can drain out and prevent a buildup. Likewise, if your eye’s fluid system is working properly, then the right amount of fluid will be produced for a healthy eye. Your IOP can vary at different times of the day, but it normally stays within a range that the eye can handle.

When pressure in your eyes, that is the intraocular pressure (IOP) increases to dangerous levels, it damages the optic nerve. This can result in decreased peripheral vision and, eventually, blindness. Glaucoma is similar to ocular hypertension but with accompanying optic nerve damage and vision loss. and glaucoma ranks as a leading cause of blindness. Even if people with glaucoma do not become blind, vision can be severely impaired.

 There are two major types of glaucoma: chronic or primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG) and acute closed-angle glaucoma. Other variations include congenital glaucoma, pigmentary glaucoma and secondary glaucoma.

Chronic glaucoma (primary open-angle glaucoma or POAG) is often called "the silent thief of sight" because you have no warning sign, no hint that anything is wrong. Glaucoma gradually reduces your peripheral vision, but by the time you notice it, permanent damage has already occurred. If your IOP remains high, the destruction can progress until tunnel vision develops, and you will only be able to see objects that are straight ahead.

 An acute attack of narrow-angle glaucoma, also termed acute angle-closure glaucoma or acute closed-angle glaucoma, produces sudden symptoms such as eye pain, headaches, haloes around lights, dilated pupils, vision loss, red eyes, nausea and vomiting. These signs may last for a few hours, then return again for another round. Each attack takes with it part of your field of vision. Other signs include headaches, blurred vision, difficulty adapting to darkness, or haloes around lights. Chronic glaucoma normally develops after age 35. Acute angle-closure glaucoma is a medical emergency. If the high pressure is not reduced within hours, it can permanently damage vision. Anyone who experiences its symptoms should immediately contact an ophthalmologist or go to a hospital emergency room.

Like POAG, normal-tension glaucoma (also termed normal-pressure glaucoma, low-tension glaucoma or low-pressure glaucoma) is an open-angle type of glaucoma that can cause visual field loss due to optic nerve damage, but in normal-tension glaucoma, the eye's IOP remains in the normal range.

Chronic narrow-angle glaucoma, like open-angle glaucoma, can be symptomless until vision loss occurs.

Pigmentary glaucoma often exhibits no symptoms at all. You may notice some pain and blurry vision after exercise. Pigmentary glaucoma affects mostly white males in their mid-30s to mid-40s.

 Symptoms of chronic glaucoma following an eye injury could indicate secondary glaucoma

An increased IOP reading indicates a problem with the amount of aqueous humor (fluid) in the eye: either the eye is producing too much, or it's not draining properly. The drainage area is the angle formed between the cornea and the iris, which is why you see the word "angle" in the different glaucoma names.

The best way to prevent vision loss from glaucoma is early diagnosis and treatment. See your eye doctor at least every two years for a complete examination, including an IOP check. People at high risk for glaucoma due to high intraocular pressures, family history, ethnic background, age or optic nerve appearance may need more frequent visits to the eye doctor

Glaucoma treatment (for any form) entails decreasing aqueous humor production, increasing fluid drainage or a combination of the two. These treatments will not restore any vision already lost to glaucoma. Generally the first stage of glaucoma treatment is beta-blocker eyedrops, which will lower fluid production in the eye. These may not be used in people with heart conditions, because they can affect heart or lung function. There are other pressure-lowering drops besides beta-blockers that are known as alpha-2 agonists and prostaglandin analogs. 

 

 

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Jun 9, 2007 at 11:53 o\clock

DRY EYES.

Do you belong to the group of hubbies who melt at the sight of tears in the eyes of their wives? Please read on this article to really be benefited.

 Tears bathe the eye, washing out dust and debris and keeping the eye moist. They also contain enzymes that neutralize the microorganisms that colonize the eye. Tears are essential for good eye health. 

Tears are composed of three layers: the outer, oily, lipid layer; the middle, watery, lacrimal layer; and the inner, mucous or mucin layer. Each layer is produced by a different part of the eye (the lacrimal gland produces the lacrimal layer, for example), so a problem with any of those sources can result in dry eyes.

 In dry eye syndrome, the eye doesn't produce enough tears, or the tears have a chemical composition that causes them to evaporate too quickly.

Dry eye syndrome is a chronic lack of sufficient lubrication and moisture in the eye. Its consequences range from subtle but constant irritation to ocular inflammation of the anterior (front) tissues of the eye. Persistent dryness, scratching and burning in your eyes are signs of dry eye syndrome.

 Some people also experience a "foreign body sensation," the feeling that something foreign is in the eye. And it may seem odd, but sometimes watery eyes can result from dry eye syndrome, because the excessive dryness works to overstimulate production of the watery component of your eye's tears. 

Dry eye syndrome occurs as a part of the natural aging process, especially during menopause; as a side effect of many medications, such as antihistamines, antidepressants, certain blood pressure medicines, Parkinson's medications, and birth control pills; or because you live in a dry, dusty or windy climate. If your home or office has air conditioning or a dry heating system, that too can dry out your eyes.

Another cause is insufficient blinking, such as when you're staring at a computer screen all day.

Long-term contact lens wear is another cause; in fact, dry eyes are the most common complaint among contact lens wearers. Incomplete closure of the eyelids, eyelid disease and a deficiency of the tear-producing glands are other causes.

Dry eye syndrome is more common in women, possibly due to hormone fluctuations. Recent research suggests that smoking, too, can increase your risk of dry eye syndrome.

Dry eye syndrome is an ongoing condition that may not be cured (depends on the cause), but the accompanying dryness, scratchiness and burning can be managed. Your eyecare practitioner may prescribe artificial tears, which are lubricating eyedrops that may alleviate the dry, scratching feeling.

Restasis eyedrops (cyclosporine in a castor oil base) go one step further: they help your eyes to increase tear production. Restasis treatment is the first of its kind.

Sometimes people use the eye drops that "get the red out" to treat their dry eyes. This won't work unless the eye drops also contain artificial tears, and the original "get-the-red-out" formulation doesn't. These drops can reduce or eliminate the redness temporarily, but they don't treat the cause of the redness, whether it's dryness, environmental irritation, or some other problem.

If the problem is environmental, you should always wear sunglasses when outdoors, to reduce exposure to sun, wind, and dust.

 Temporary or permanent silicone plugs in the lacrimal (tear) ducts keep tears in your eye from draining away as quickly. Called lacrimal plugs or punctal plugs, they can be inserted painlessly while you're in the eye doctor's office and are normally not felt once inserted.  With some people, however, punctal plugs aren't effective enough.

Doctors sometimes recommend special nutritional supplements for dry eyes. Studies have found that supplements containing certain essential fatty acids (linoleic and gamma-linolenic) can decrease dry eye symptoms. You could also eat more cold-water fish, such as sardines, cod, herring, and salmon, which contain omega-3 fatty acids. Drinking more water can help, too

If medications are the cause of dry eyes, discontinuing the drug generally resolves the problem; but never switch or discontinue your medications without consulting with your doctor first!

Treating any underlying eyelid disease, such as blepharitis, helps as well.One friend who read my weblog on ‘honey’ has written that he is successfully applying a few drops of honey to his dry eyes.

 

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Jun 8, 2007 at 09:42 o\clock

Arthritis.

 Arthritis is a group of conditions where there is damage caused to the joints of the body. There is inflammation of one or more joints, which results in pain, swelling, and limited movement.. Arthritis can occur in men and women of all ages; but is the leading cause of disability in people over the age of 55.

 A joint is an area where two or more bones meet. This area is surrounded by joint fluid called "synovial fluid."   to protect the bones from rubbing against each other. When a joint is cracking, the fluid is pushed out and the "cracking" sound is the result of a high pressure of fluid. Rheumatoid arthritis is what happens when there is a loss of fluid in the joints causing damage to the lining of the joint itself. There is no evidence that cracking your knuckles causes arthritis.

 Arthritis involves the breakdown of cartilage; the substance that lines joints. Cartilage normally protects the joint, allowing for smooth movement. Cartilage also absorbs shock when pressure is placed on the joint, like when you walk. Without the usual amount of cartilage, the bones rub together, causing pain, swelling (inflammation), and stiffness.

 With some injuries and diseases, the inflammation does not go away or destruction results in long-term pain and deformity. When this happens, you have chronic arthritis. Osteoarthritis is the most common type and is more likely to occur as you age. You may feel it in any of your joints, but most commonly in your hips, knees or fingers.

 Treatment of arthritis depends on the particular cause, which joints are affected, severity, and how the condition affects your daily activities. Your age and occupation will also be taken into consideration. 

If possible, treatment will focus on eliminating the underlying cause of the arthritis. However, the cause is NOT necessarily curable, as with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Treatment, therefore, aims at reducing your pain and discomfort and preventing further disability.

 

Exercise for arthritis is necessary to maintain healthy joints, relieve stiffness, reduce pain and fatigue, and improve muscle and bone strength. Your exercise program should be tailored to you as an individual. Work with a physical therapist to design an individualized program.

Rest is just as important as exercise. Sleeping 8 to 10 hours per night and taking naps during the day can help you recover from a flare-up more quickly and may even help prevent exacerbations.

Your doctor will choose from a variety of medications as needed. It is very important to take your medications as directed by your doctor. If you are having difficulty doing so (for example, due to intolerable side effects), you should talk to your doctor.

In some cases, surgery to rebuild the joint (arthroplasty) or to replace the joint (such as a total knee joint replacement) may help maintain a more normal lifestyle. The decision to perform joint replacement surgery is normally made when other alternatives, such as lifestyle changes and medications, are no longer effective.

With arthritis, synovial fluid is not produced in adequate amounts. One other treatment approach is to inject arthritic joints with a manmade version of joint fluid such as hylan G-F 20 (Synvisc) or other hyaluronic acid preparations. This synthetic fluid may postpone the need for surgery at least temporarily and improve the quality of life for arthritis patients. Many studies are evaluating the effectiveness of this type of therapy. 

 

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Jun 6, 2007 at 14:22 o\clock

Goitre.

The swelling of the thyroid gland at the back of the neck is referred to as Goiter. Women are more vulnerable to Goitre as compared to men. Read on further to explore further Goiter information:Causes of Goitre The main cause of Goitre is the deficiency of iodine in the diet. Organic iodine is used by the thyroid gland in its secretion. A diet deficient in organic iodine leads to this disease, especially under physical and emotional disturbances. The people mainly affected by Goitre are those who habitually live on denatured foods and nut and those who eat mainly raw or uncooked food.Goiter Symptoms  Deminished concentration, emotional upset, Depression, irritability and swelling of the thyroid gland are symptoms of this disease. 

Remedies

 One who is inflicted with goitre should consume plenty of the following foods: Old rice, barley, moong dal, patola, drumstick, cucumber, sugarcane, juice, milk and milk products. Also, one should refrain from heavy foods such as meats or breads that are more difficult to swallow, and will cause pain. Also, beverages such as coffee, alcoholic drinks, and sodas should be avoided, as well as foods with excess salt and sugar in them. The reason why sugar and salt is can make a person cough, and coughing while inflicted with goitre can be painful. In addition, caffeinated substances can aggravate a viral infection in the throat.

Besides knowing what to eat, one should also know how to eat. When deciding to eat, one should make sure to eat 4-5 smaller meals in a day rather than 2-3 larger meals in a day. This will help the body digest more foods more thoroughly, so the body will be more likely to absorb necessary nutrients. This should aid in the curing of goitre.
Exercise  : One should do neck stretches and exercises daily to help stretch the muscles attached to the thyroid glands. Also, when possible, a person affected with goitre should partake in a moderate aerobic activity such as walking or jogging for at least 30 minutes a day. Along with exercising regularly, one should be sure to live as balanced life. A balanced life includes making time for all important activities, such as time with friends and family, work, and hobbies. If a person cannot work due to goitre, then at least doing some creative activities or working on logic problems can keep the person's mind off the goitre problem until it is cured. In addition to a balance life, a person who has goitre should get plenty of rest, lying primarily on the back at least twice a day. This will help rebuild the body's ability to fight off future attacks. Please visit:  http://www.herbsandcures.com