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Monday, July 25, 2011 17:40
Posted in category Weight Loss
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ANYONE can suffer from hypertension, regardless of age, sex or race. In more than 90 per cent of hypertensives, an underlying cause cannot be identified; they are said to be suffering from ‘primary’ or ‘essential’ hypertension. Genetic as well as environmental factors are involved. The genetic factors are still unknown. But some of the environmental culprits have been identified. Thus we know, for instance, that in societies that consume little or no salt the incidence of hypertension is extremely low.The following factors, among others, can put you at higher risk for hypertension:A family history of hypertension. High blood pressure tends to run in families.Age. High blood pressure is more common among older people, partly because arteries tend to harden with age, making them less resilient to the force of the heart’s contractions.High blood pressure is uncommon but not unheard of in children and adolescents. In young adulthood and early middle age, high blood pressure occurs more frequently in men than in women; thereafter, the reverse is true.(Some women get temporary high blood pressure during pregnancy. It’s vital to treat this for the health of both, mother and baby).Smoking. The nicotine in cigarettes is rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream and is known to cause blood vessels to constrict and the heart rate to go up by as many as 33 beats a minute, placing added stress on the heart.Excessive alcohol intake. Research has linked a rise in high blood pressure to a daily intake exceeding two drinks (approximately two beers, two glasses of wine or two mixed drinks).Stress. Although this is a difficult risk factor to measure,there is a growing body of evidence that stress contributes to highblood pressure. One well-known study compared the b.p. levels of pilots with those of the more highly stressed air traffic controllers and found that, among the latter, pressure was significantly higher on average.Though blood pressure goes up in all people during periods of stress, avoiding stress will not prevent high blood pressure if you are at risk. You can have high blood pressure even if you are usually a calm, relaxed person.Dietary deficits such as inadequate potassium, which promotes salt retention.Conditions of ill-health such as kidney disease, diabetes or gout or the use of birth control pills, which bring on what is known as secondary hypertension. Once the primary medical condition is brought under control, the pressure usually lowers.*58\332\2*


Friday, July 15, 2011 17:33
Posted in category Skin Care
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Cosmetics can make us feel better and look better, especially if they are used to highlight our best features. They are as important as other grooming aids such as hairdressing and clothing. Where cosmetics have become contentious, however, is when it is claimed that they can remedy or even prevent the signs of ageing. These skin care products are very expensive and achieve very little. In the past, manufacturers were able to claim that their products had anti-ageing qualities because they were not governed by strict laws. The 1980s was an era when creams containing collagen, elastin, liposomes and the like were aggressively marketed, yet such products are no more than elegant moisturizers.The anti-ageing creams of the 1990s will no doubt all contain sunscreens and possibly Retin-A derivatives. So long as youth is a valued asset in our society, we will try to maintain it as long as possible. Cosmetics, therefore, will continue to be important to us. Although those who make them are now required to tell us what their products contain, we may actually be none the wiser as to their therapeutic effects.


Saturday, July 2, 2011 17:10
Posted in category HIV
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lowed mental processes, including forgetfulness, loss of recent memory (that is, the person can remember childhood experiences, but not the morning’s events), and difficulty concentrating, can be symptoms of AIDS dementia complex (ADC). ADC is a mental deterioration that accompanies HIV infection and has no other apparent causes. Other symptoms are irritability, social withdrawal, and apathy. Occasional symptoms are weakness in the legs or arms, tremor, poor coordination, and loss of balance. The onset of these symptoms can be either gradual or abrupt. ADC is found in 30 to 50 percent of people in the late stages of HIV infection; it occurs earlier in the course of HIV infection only rarely.     The cause of ADC is unknown. Evidence suggests the cause might be HIV in the brain: the cerebrospinal fluid that bathes the brain often shows evidence of HIV early in the course of the infection before the person shows any symptoms. The symptoms of ADC can also be caused by an opportunistic infection or tumor, and by depression.     People with HIV infection and these symptoms should see a physician, who will often consult a neurologist. Tests to diagnose ADC include tests of intellectual functioning; neurologic tests for coordination, strength, and reflexes; and MRI or CAT scans of the brain.     Treatment of ADC is usually a drug like AZT that inhibits HIV. In addition, stimulants like dextroamphetamine or methylphenidate (Ritalin) can counter apathy and lethargy.*134\191\2*


Wednesday, June 29, 2011 16:23
Posted in category Cancer
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Cancer is a disease of civilization. It is the end result of health-destroying living and eating habits, which result in a biochemical imbalance and physical and chemical irritation of the tissues. In addition to an abundance of carcinogens in today’s food, – water, air and environment, carcinogenic substances are also produced within the body as a result of deranged metabolism. Many biological and naturopathic doctors, both those who are active presently, as well as many great pioneers of the past, notably Drs. Bircher-Benner, Duncan Bulkley, A. Vogel, Max Gerson, Kristine Nolfi, Ragnar Berg, Are Waerland, Werner Zabel, J. H. Tilden, Alice Chase, to name a few, believed that faulty diet can be a basic cause of cancer. Based on their own extensive practice and by studying the eating habits of cancer-free natives and peoples around the world, their conclusions emphatically pointed to the fact that in addition to well-known environmental carcinogens, such as smoking, chemical poisons in foods and environment, etc., the cancer incidence is in direct proportion to the amount of animal proteins, particularly meat, in the diet. Racial groups and nations whose diet contains less meat, show less cancer incidence than groups consuming high-meat diets. Hospital records show that Seventh Day Adventists, Mormons and Navajo Indians, who eat little or no meat, suffer far less from cancer than the average meat-eating Americans. Recently, a link between excessive meat-eating and cancer has been explained by Dr. Willard J. Visek, research scientist at Cornell University. Dr. Visek says that the high-protein diet of Americans is linked to the high incidence of cancer in the U.S. The villain, according to Dr. Visek, is ammonia, the carcinogenic by-product of meat digestion.Our actual daily protein requirement is only between 20 and 30 grams, as shown by numerous studies around the world. Protein eaten in excess of the actual need cannot be properly digested or utilized and acts in the body as a poison and carcinogen. In addition, over consumption of Protein taxes the pancreas and causes chronic deficiency of pancreatic enzymes, which are required for proper protein metabolism.


Wednesday, June 15, 2011 11:36
Posted in category Asthma
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That is the question put by Dr Rogers, and the title of her book, which I recommend everyone should read. She may as well have asked: Are you an asthmatic or just toxic?The Body Detoxification SystemThe body possesses a unique detoxification system that, until recently, had been neglected. In fact, most medical textbooks of the 70s and 80s do not even mention it in terms of environmental illness.Yet a detoxification system exists in every cell of the body, although the one we are most concerned with is the one in the liver: the so-called cytochrome P-450. Its study received a great impetus when space medicine found it had to resolve problems arising from chemical contamination from outgassing materials in space capsules. Other scientists studied how the body protects itself against the onslaught of an ever-increasing number of chemicals, or xenobiotics, which permeate our environment. Our body has to process, metabolise or change practically everything that enters it. Most xenobiotics are changed into safer or less toxic substances so they can be excreted without poisoning the body further. As we have seen, however, the detoxification system can be inefficient, overloaded, damaged and, on occasions, swamped so that it almost comes to a standstill.The two phases of the detoxification processDETOXIFICATIONInhaled, ingested, or absorbed xenobiotics (foreign chemicals)Any of these pathways can be blocked or damaged by:Vitamin deficiencyMineral deficiencyAmino acid deficiencyFatty acid deficiencyEndo-toxin micro-organismsForeign chemicals for which the body has no mechanism for detoxifyingNewly formed metabolites (breakdown products) of xenobioticsDetox enzymes poisoned by heavy metals (mercury, aluminium, cadmium)Detox pathways overloaded from everyday chemicals in the environmentPoor genetics (lack of specific detox enzymes)Phase 1 occurs primarily in the liver and involves reactions like oxidation, reduction, hydrolysis and so on. All these fancy names mean is that the composition of the chemical is changed in specific ways (removing or adding electrons or hydrogen atoms, for example).The process of changing these chemicals in readiness for excretion cannot proceed efficiently without producing a cascade of ‘free radicals’, highly reactive particles that can cause unseen damage to delicate portions of living cells. Even when the poison eventually starts to exit from your body, it may do some damage to the kidneys, for example, on its way out.The back-up detoxification system which tries to take care of such eventualities is the second detoxification phase. This process is known as ‘conjugation’, from the Latin for attach, and it is a rather complex procedure by which the body attaches a protein or amino acid to the changed chemical, now called a metabolite, making it bigger and giving it an electric charge. This makes it easily excretable via the bile or stools, thus keeping the more delicate kidneys out of it. Amino acids play a major role in this process and one of the most important is a combination of three different amino acids (glutamic acid, cysteine and glycine) called glutathione ](GSH). Unfortunately, GSH is also involved in many other processes, such as the making of hormones, genetic materials, and enzymes. If the body is overloaded with chemicals which need GSH, less may be available for these other important functions.Cysteine appears to be the key to successful GSH synthesis and ability. The most efficient form is called ‘N-acetyl-cysteine’.Unfortunately all this is not as simple and foolproof as we would like. The process of detoxification (scientists prefer to use the term biotransformation) is a very complex one and the body has to choose between many possible metabolites into which to change the chemical. Sometimes it chooses the wrong one and the body ends up with a metabolite that is more toxic than the chemical we started with.Then there is another problem. The body has to choose, from so many available pathways, the most suitable at the time. Because detoxification involves enzymes and because there are innumerable enzymes, each highly specialised and specific for one reaction only, when the body is overloaded with one particular chemical it may not have enough reserves of one of the special enzymes needed at the time. Because no other enzyme will do, the xenobiotic continues on its own path of destruction. Many, if not all, the enzymes involved in detoxification need a particular vitamin or mineral in order to work. They are practically paralysed if there is a deficiency. Now you understand why most environmental doctors will give you what seems a mountain of vitamin pills to take. It’s a little bit like having lots of policemen lining the route of a demonstration, just in case something happens, because if trouble does start, any place where there are no police is likely to see havoc. The fact that there may be lots of priests or Salvation Army personnel around will not make a bit of difference because neither is specialised to arrest or fight rioters. The detox police are, in this case, the antioxidants.It’s quite possible to be affected by xenobiotics simply because you are, unknowingly, deficient in a key mineral or because your body has unusual requirements for that one nutrient. In that case it is called a ‘dependency’ rather than a deficiency. When, for whatever reason, there are more chemicals in the body than the detox system can handle, damage can occur, often to the mitochondria — the so-called powerhouse of the cell. By the time the detox system catches up with any backlog, some damage may already have occurred. This is why you do not always feel better as soon as you take all the supplements prescribed. They may just stop further damage from occurring.A blockage or slow-down of detox activity can cause other problems. The chemical that can’t get through may damage you, but so will all the chemicals which follow. They may cause further damage to the detox system, starting a chain reaction that can lead to all sorts of health problems, including cancer. The pathway your body chooses to get rid of a chemical depends on what enzymes are available, the level of nutrients (vitamins, minerals, amino acids etc..) on hand, the total load at the time and the degree of damage to detox pathways that may have been caused by other chemicals.The detoxification pathway bottle-necksIn phase one, some xenobiotics are first changed into alcohols which then must be metabolised to aldehydes. Only from the aldehyde stage can the chemical be safely excreted as an acid, via the urine. Alcohol dehydrogenase is the enzyme that changes an alcohol into an aldehyde.Two important factsFemales tend to have fewer alcohol dehydrogenase enzymes than males. That is one of the reasons they are more easily affected by lower doses of alcohol.Compared with Europeans, Australians have a disproportionate number of asthmatics. They also drink more alcohol, or they drink more without eating at the same time, than most Europeans.Phase two bottle-necks occur whenever there are not enough antioxidants.What are some of the clues that you have become sensitive or overloaded chemically?You will be aware of strong-smelling chemicals, perfumes, cleaning materials and so on. They may make you feel uneasy.You are not able to tolerate a lot of alcohol.If you think of it, from time to time you seem to feel vaguely unwell, or some symptoms seem to be worse when you go into a shopping mall, a department store or a new hotel.There are some medicines that simply don’t do you much good and you can’t tolerate.The same applies to some nutritional supplements, herbs, vitamins or minerals, which sometimes make you sick.Here Today, Gone TomorrowOne of the most frustrating experiences for an environmental doctor is to be faced by a patient who is clearly bombed out by chemicals but says: ‘Impossible! If chemical X was a problem, how come nothing happened when I was exposed to it on some days, while at other times I felt unwell? It so happens that the days I am unwell (at the office, home or wherever…) are always the days when I have a lot of stress. Also I know it’s not the chemical, because when I am unstressed and happy, many of the symptoms disappear, even though I am working/living in the same place. And anyway, I have been exposed to X for twenty years and it’s never worried me before.’ What these patients say is such common sense! Alas, common sense sometimes needs to be replaced by lateral thinking.The body is not trying to get rid of exactly the same number or types of chemicals all the time or every day. Say your body is working flat out to rid itself of the trichloroethylene you were exposed to all night long because you had a batch of freshly dry-cleaned clothes in your wardrobe. It may also be busy trying to get rid of an accumulation of formaldehyde out-gassing from your new lounge-room carpet, which you inhaled while watching television. As an analogy, let’s say that by the time you wake up the camel’s back has a high pile of ‘straws’ on it. You enter the office, someone turns on the photocopier and ten minutes later, bingo! You feel unwell. The last straw broke the camel’s back. But only because you slept in a room with a wardrobe full of freshly dry-cleaned clothes and spent several hours in the same room as a new carpet. So although the photocopier is the last straw, it is no more responsible for your trouble than the dry-cleaning or the carpet. Remove any one of them and you may not have become sick. Anyway, you get better later on and by the time you get home many of the xenobiotics have outgassed from the dry-cleaning and you don’t watch television as much that night.The next day when the photocopier starts up, there is still a little room on your camel’s back, so you don’t feel a thing.Naturally, the same thing happens if your stress levels are high enough to lower your resistance, place demands upon your body, use up energy, and so on.Let’s go back for a moment to detox Phase 1 and its bottlenecks. When the detox process is halted at this point, some of the alcohols and aldehydes may be metabolised to epoxides. These are dangerous and highly reactive chemicals, suspected of playing a major role in the predisposition to cancer (mutation), allergies, immune suppression and cellular ageing.Nutritionally, the best protection against such blockages is an ample supply of zinc, GSH, selenium, magnesium, vitamins C and E, beta carotene and amino acids containing sulphur (apart from meat and fish, sulphur can be found in eggs, cruciferous vegetables, onions and garlic).When detoxification pathways don’t work well, chemicals get shuffled around by the body, searching for a way out. In doing this they can interfere with the detoxification of other chemicals so that any one xenobiotic which, until then, was being cleared merrily on its way, all of a sudden starts to pile up. What can happen to your body as a result of all this?Judy, who until that day was unaffected by the toluene outgassing from her carpet, feels unwell at home. If she tells anyone, chances are they will shout ‘neurotic’ unless, of course, they are familiar with the biochemistry of detoxification. When considering environmental illness, it is well worth keeping in mind a few simple principles:Health is not just the absence of disease.Many illnesses do not have a single, easily identifiable cause.Everyone is biochemically unique.In a group of sick people each individual may have his or her particular trigger or allergen that is responsible for much the same symptoms.The opposite is also possible. The same trigger, allergy, chemical or whatever may provoke different symptoms, even different illnesses in some individuals. An asthmatic may suffer more breathing difficulties but someone with chronic fatigue may just become more tired.Any material which outgasses (emits particles called ‘osmols’) can be breathed, will enter the bloodstream and may affect any organ, including the brain, even if you can’t smell it.Once you become sensitised or overloaded, chances are you will become more and more sensitive to more and more factors, be they foods, chemicals or inhalants.Once exposed, there sometimes occurs a resetting phenomenon whereby one becomes affected more easily by lower doses or shorter exposure times. The symptoms may become more severe with repeated exposure.The brain is a common target of xenobiotics.The environment is not constant. It changes all the time.For that reason, among others, reactions or symptoms are not always the same, as they depend on both the state of the environment at the time and the individual’s capacity to detox.Therefore, reducing the total load must be the most basic step.In practice, this means that even apparently minor, superficial factors which are not known to provoke noticeable symptoms or reactions must be eliminated if possible. Such factors as allergies, moulds sensitivities, Candida, dust mites, hypoglycaemia, hormonal problems, pre-menstrual syndromes, nutritional deficiencies, imbalances or dependencies — even excesses.So remember: detox, avoid, protect and educate yourself and others.There is a general set of rules for environmentally ill people:Understand, and get your doctor to learn, that xenobiotics can take up residence within macrophages and produce no symptoms or illness until further stimulation by an antigen (allergen, virus, bacteria) causes them to begin a flood of interlukins, thus altering dramatically that individual’s immune response capabilities, sometimes without measurably altering the actual numbers of immune components. It is in this way that one becomes an asthmatic and starts to react allergically to all sorts of things only after a severe viral illness.The effects of exposure to xenobiotics (in the following example, solvents) have been shown to be time-synergistic. This means that damage by a single solvent may take about twelve years to occur. If someone is exposed to two solvents simultaneously, the mean time before damage occurs is reduced to about seven years. Exposure to three solvents can shorten this to around four years. There is a good possibility that the same or a greater degree of exponentiality occurs with many xenobiotics.Remember that moulds can be toxic and cause allergies. Fungi can produce powerful mycotoxins.If your home has been treated with pest-control chemicals, do not vacuum too often as it redistributes dried-up chemicals into the air. Have the carpet thoroughly cleaned first, without using more chemicals.Never sleep in a freshly painted or wall-papered room.Switch electric blankets off at the main plug site before getting into bed.Do not leave clock radios on near the bedhead.Do not have a bedroom over your garage.If you are allergic, and especially if you are asthmatic, avoid barbecues and charcoal-cooked foods.Avoid permanent-press clothes and do not sleep on a synthetic mattress or polyester sheets.Use natural, non-toxic paints and do not use wood oils and oil paints in the bedroom.If you want to nurture your liver, sleep between 8 and 11 p.m. is the most important recuperative time for that organ.Avoid jogging or riding a bicycle in a metropolitan area and never do it where there is vehicle traffic.If chemicals are a problem and if you are asthmatic you will have to detox your diet, your body, your home (especially your bedroom) and your mind.DietEat as naturally as possible. Choose organic products whenever possible. Even organic lamb and beef are available these days. Check food allergies and intolerances and make sure the diet is optimal for you.BodyAvoid drugs whenever possible, including alcohol. Use as few chemicals on your body as possible. Use hypoallergenic natural products whenever possible.Home, Especially the BedroomClean up dust, mould, outgassing sources, and so on, and use plants to ‘soak up’ chemicals.Always get advice from experts on equipment and systems such as water filters, air conditioning, dehumidifiers and anti-mould and anti-dust mite procedures, but be careful. There are firms which advertise such services that will take your money and not do a suitable job. As a safeguard, ring one of the environmental groups to find out who they recommend.MindRemember that angry, negative thinking is stressful. Love and laughter are the best medicines.*25\145\2*


Saturday, June 4, 2011 11:33
Posted in category Epilepsy
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A child who is having a seizure should be placed on her side and protected from sharp objects. Tight clothing should be loosened.• Do not try to put anything in your child’s mouth—she will not swallow her tongue.• Do not restrain your child’s movements.Most of these seizures will stop on their own in a few minutes. If one seizure lasts more than ten to fifteen minutes, or if the seizure is repeated two or more times, call an ambulance or take your child to the emergency room yourself or to your doctor’s office. If the child is still having a seizure, the physician will want to give medication to be sure that the seizure stops promptly.The child does not necessarily have to stay in a hospital, just because she has a fever and has had a seizure. The decision about hospitalization is a judgment to be left to you and your physician.Most children with febrile seizures will recover from the seizure very quickly (within an hour) and can usually return home. Children with meningitis or encephalitis may have a varying course—from a mild illness to one that is severe or even fatal—and probably will need to stay in the hospital for a period of time.*32\208\8*


Friday, May 20, 2011 11:30
Posted in category Diabetes
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1922After 3,000 years with no effective treatment, diabetes is no longer a quick death sentence. Canadian researchers extract insulin from a dog, inject it into a 14-year-old diabetic boy, and extend his life.
1935Researchers advance the theory that diabetes is not a single disease and divide it into two categories: insulin sensitive (what we call Type I) and insulin insensitive (Type II).
1956The first anti-diabetes pill, an “oral hypoglycemic agent” called Orinase, is introduced in the United States, making it possible for some diabetics to control their blood sugar without insulin injections.
1966The first successful pancreas transplant is performed by Dr. Richard Lillehei at the University of Minnesota. The body rejects the organ, but doctors have new hope—and much work still to do.
1970Dr. Paul Lacy of Washington University in St. Louis proves that transplanted insulin-producing cells can survive and control blood sugar in rats. Is this an alternative to pancreas transplants?
1975Dr. Gian F. Bottazzo, of Middlesex Hospital in London, develops the Islet Cell Antibody Test. This test determines the presence of antibodies in the blood that attack and destroy the insulin-producing cells in Type I diabetics several years before the onset of the disease. This indicates that diabetes may be caused by the body’s own immune system.
1977The Hemoglobin А! с Test, the “report card” of blood tests, gives diabetics a more complete picture of their condition by indicating blood sugar control over the previous 90 days.
1978Improvements in the form and features of the insulin pump make the use of these “mechanical syringes” more common and desirable. Today, about 8,000 diabetics nationwide wear pumps round-the-clock. . . . The first successful long-term pancreas transplant is performed by Dr. David Sutherland at the University of Minnesota.   The   woman   patient   seems healthy and free from diabetes.
1980Human insulin is produced in the lab through genetic engineering. For the first time, diabetics can be treated with insulin identical to that made in the body, instead of from cows and pigs.
1981Dr. David Jenkins and his colleagues at the University of Toronto discover that different forms of starches raise blood sugar at different rates. Time-honored diabetic diets must be reevaluated.
1984Dr. Daniel Mintz and colleagues at the University of Miami transplant islet cells into diabetic dogs and “cure” them. Hopes are rekindled that such transplants will soon be possible in humans. . . . Doctors at the University of Western Ontario “cure” newly diagnosed diabetics with cyclosporin. This advances the theory that diabetes may one day be wiped out by treating the patient’s immune system.
1991Results of a nationwide study reveal that diabetics who take tight control of their blood sugar levels suffer fewer complications of the disease, such as heart attacks, vision difficulties, and kidney problems.*2/266/5*


Sunday, May 15, 2011 11:26
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For instance, Rachel, the single computer-software sales manager, fell prey to negative self-talk whenever she found herself in a social situation that might lead to a sexual one. As soon as she spotted a man whom she found attractive or one who seemed to be attracted to her, her mind clicked into high gear. “Great-looking guy, intelligent, funny,” she would think. “I bet he’s married or gay or a jerk once you really get to know him. The ones I meet usually are. Why can’t I attract guys who aren’t losers? Why can’t I let the guys who aren’t losers know I’m attracted to them? Because they’ll think I’m desperate or needy or sleep around for the hell of it. That’s a laugh. The first time you have sex with someone, it isn’t even any good. Who needs it?” By the time her self-doubts and negative self-talk reached their final deafening crescendo, Rachel’s interest in sex would be long gone. She had literally—and consciously—talked herself out of sexual desire.On the other hand, many of our patients are not aware of their desire-inhibiting thoughts until sex therapy techniques. This happened to Ed after he attempted a sex therapy “homework assignment” we had given him and his wife, Pat.”Look, I tried what you said, but it didn’t help,” Ed declared, informing us that an exercise involving sensual but not sexual touching had been a total wash-out. “I tried to keep my mind on what I was feeling, but these thoughts just kept coming out of nowhere and they wouldn’t go away, or at least not for long.” The thoughts that Ed was referring to revolved around his perception that Pat was “no longer attractive and looked old.” He even fantasized about how Pat would look when she was really old—with silver hair and sagging breasts and wrinkles all over her body.”She was all dried up and brittle.” He shuddered. “I felt nauseated, disgusted.” Although Ed did indeed try to banish these thoughts from his mind, he could not. In fact, without telling Pat why, he became so uncomfortable that he refused to complete the exercise.Intrusive thoughts, once you recognize what they are, provide valuable clues about what is going on in your subconscious mind before and during sexual encounters. Like Ed, you may not be aware of the thoughts and images that interfere with your sexual feelings. But chances are that they have long been doing a number on your subconscious mind, switching off sexual desire before you even realize it has been switched on. *1\261\8*


Wednesday, May 4, 2011 11:19
Posted in category Women's Health
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There are so many symptoms associated with PMS  that diagnosing the condition is not always easy. Some medical textbooks list up to 150 symptoms that have been associated with the condition and many of the symptoms of PMS are also found in other illnesses.
Headache, insomnia, feeling ‘low’, irritability, and sugar cravings are not only felt by women with PMS. Men, children and women without PMS may all experience these symptoms.
The key definition of PMS, now accepted by most doctors, is that symptoms occur only in the two weeks before a period and that there are absolutely no symptoms for at least seven days after a period has started.
Symptoms tend to fall into two categories: physical and psychological. Given the huge number and range of symptoms associated with PMS, it is not surprising that it is sometimes confused with other conditions. Indeed some conditions, such as depression, may be masked because a woman also has PMS or mistakes her symptoms of diary. No good practitioner would diagnose PMS until a monthly pattern to the symptoms has been established.
Doctors are also reluctant to treat PMS unless the symptoms are severe enough to significantly alter a woman’s lifestyle. Many women who experience irritability, or fatigue, or who gain weight before a period will not be diagnosed as having PMS because these symptoms are regarded as normal.
However, that does not mean you have to stand by and do nothing. There is plenty you can do to ease these problems .


Tuesday, April 26, 2011 11:16
Posted in category Epilepsy
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Psychological symptoms may cause intentional or subconscious episodic alterations in function or in consciousness that are mistaken for seizures but are not, in fact, of electrical origin and hence are not seizures. Although they may closely imitate seizures, such nonelectrical episodes are “pseudo-seizures.”
“I’m glad we finally got an appointment with you. Leslie’s schoolwork is deteriorating, and the medications do not seem to be helping her seizures. Ever since our divorce she has had seizures, and her doctors have tried every combination of medication. Nothing has helped. Every time she spends a weekend at her father’s house she has a seizure. She falls to the ground, flails her legs and arms, and doesn’t respond when we shout at her. I know that her EEG is abnormal. Isn’t there something you can do to help? Is she a candidate for surgery?”
Does Leslie really have seizures? It’s hard to be sure. Her doctor might ask for a more precise description of the “flailing.” He would want to check to see what abnormalities, if any, appear on the EEG. He would be suspicious that the episodes occurred only at her father’s house and began after the divorce.
As with seizures, pseudo-seizures require therapy, but therapy that is quite different from that used for “true” seizures. Our first approach would be to take a much more careful history of the events that occurred and the circumstances under which they occurred. We would also take a separate history from Leslie. “Were you taking your medicine at your father’s house? Do special things cause these episodes, for example an argument or a fight?” Depending on our sense of this story, we would try to decide whether these were real or pseudo-seizures.
Since Leslie is having problems in school, and since the medications for presumed seizures have been ineffective, we would probably decrease her medication slowly. We would also inquire about symptoms of depression that might be affecting her schoolwork and causing pseudo-seizures. If the episodes continue despite counseling, we would need to observe an episode and the simultaneous electroencephalogram to see if the episode in question is accompanied by electrical discharge from the brain. Video-EEG monitoring (see Chapter 7) can, at times, be crucial in separating true seizures from pseudo-seizures. An EEG taken during a seizure will virtually always reveal an abnormality. EEG abnormalities found between episodes do not mean that the episodes in question were seizures.
It is important to remember that a child may have true seizures and pseudo-seizures. It is vital to know which is which so that medication can be adjusted to control any true seizures and psychological counseling initiated to eliminate the pseudo-seizures.