Sunday, April 10, 2011 11:13
Posted in category Arthritis
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For many, a diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis brings more answers than questions, as this is a puzzling disease that even the experts do not fully understand.
What is rheumatoid arthritis?
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic inflammatory disorder of the movable joints. It differs from osteoarthritis in that it is not caused by wear and tear. Instead, it appears to be an autoimmune disorder the body’s own immune system produces antibodies against its tissues, causing inflammation and pain. Though it can be controlled, it can be progressive if left untreated. Most important, it is not a terminal illness if diagnosed early and treated appropriately. Generally, a disease such as rheumatoid arthritis affects people in the prime of their lives, striking most around the age of 40. A very important aspect of this disease is the way in which the joints are affected. It is a disorder of symmetry, which means that if your right wrist is affected, your left one will usually be affected as well.
Why the disorder is called rheumatoid arthritis?
Arthritis is inflammation of the joints. Rheumatoid refers to the muscles and bones.
What does “polyarticular” arthritis mean?
“Polyarticular” means that the arthritis affects many joints. As mentioned above, this disease affects many joints in a symmetrical fashion. Doctors often use this fact as a determinant for diagnosis.
Why is it considered to he a chronic illness?
This disease is called a chronic illness because it lasts for the life of the patient.


Friday, April 1, 2011 11:09
Posted in category Skin Care
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Without a doubt, positively and absolutely, there is no product more important in the health and beauty of your skin than sunblock. If I had my way, I’d get rid of the sun altogether-that’s how detrimental it is. But in the real world, a sunblock is the second best choice and it should be considered as essential as your toothpaste and toothbrush. Several studies have been done on identical twins who have followed different lifestyles and in case after case, it’s been proven that the twin who diligently protected her skin had far less damage than her careless sibling.
An easy way to incorporate sun protection into your lifestyle is to use cosmetics with a built-in sun protection factor (SPF). Just take note that a study recently showed that these types of products tend to shift around the face and seep into the follicles in the skin, quickly losing their potency in about two hours. My preferred choice is lo slather a separate sunblock with a minimum SPF 15 every day, prior to heading outside.


Sunday, March 27, 2011 10:29
Posted in category Herbal

The treatment of infants by Bach Flower Remedies appears problematic as the infant is unable to express its mood in as many words. But the infants show their feelings quite openly – a Chicory baby will cry immediately if its ward turns his or her attention to anything else; an Agrimony baby would cry only when there is something seriously wrong, a Clematis baby would sleep most of the time and not show interest in anything else, a baby who appears anxious and irritable all the time would require MIMULUS.
Nursing mothers take the remedies themselves. If the infant shows absolutely no response initially then the state of mind of the parents should be taken into account. If both the parents are fearing the worst then ROCK ROSE should be administered to both the child and its parents.
If the infant cries because it is hungry, the mother knows the cause and puts the child to her breast.
If the infant or the child cries otherwise, then it has either pain some where, or is afraid, or a night-mare etc. In our routine practice we give only a dose of RESCUE Remedy to the crying child and it calms down immediately.


Sunday, March 20, 2011 10:28
Posted in category Gastrointestinal

Usually nausea, or a feeling of sickness, precedes vomiting. Vast amounts of research have been devoted to study of the mechanism of vomiting. We know now that it is intimately connected with the whole nervous system. Any severe pain can bring on these symptoms, such as a sharp blow in the center of the abdomen, or bruising of the male sex glands. Disagreeable sights, odors or tastes, or, in sensitive people, even thinking of disagreeable incidents may set up the reaction. The old novels about delicate young ladies tell of the girl who comes home after a disagreeable social evening and gets quite sick thinking about it. Vomiting can result from the action of drugs. Painful sensations coming from the urinary tract, as by the passing of a stone, can set up this series of reactions.
Sometimes vomiting occurs without any preliminary warning of nausea, particularly when there is increased pressure inside the skull. Vomiting occurs in diabetic acidosis, in congestive heart failure, in cases of insufficient oxygen to the brain, in air sickness and sea sickness or other conditions that disturb the sense of balance or equilibrium.
The doctor has to find out promptly why anyone vomits. He has to rule out the beginning of acute infectious diseases, and then make sure there is no acute surgical emergency like an inflamed appendix or gall bladder or peritonitis or obstruction of the bowel.
Severe indigestion, high blood pressure, pregnancy in women, disorders of the nervous system, drugs and poisons are other possible sources of difficulty in holding down food and water. Severe emotional upsets must be investigated. Finally come such rare and extraordinary problems as cancer, uremia, diabetes, and many more.


Sunday, March 13, 2011 10:28
Posted in category Diabetes

Normally, the pancreas sends out just enough of the right hormone to keep the blood glucose level within the narrow range of “just enough.” But in diabetes something has gone wrong. The blood sugar rises far above the normal limit—perhaps up to 200, 300, or even 1000 mg% or more. This condition (too much sugar in the blood) is called hyperglycemia.
Damage to the beta cells is usually the cause of Type I diabetes. Ironically, scientists believe that islet cells are destroyed by the person’s own body in an autoimmune response. Normally the body’s immune system works to defend it against foreign invaders, such as disease germs. Its weapons include proteins called antibodies, which attack foreign substances. But in Type I diabetes the body produces antibodies that attack and destroy the beta cells in the pancreas. The pancreas can no longer produce enough insulin to keep the blood sugar level in check.


Sunday, February 27, 2011 10:27
Posted in category Diabetes

For many years, physicians who dealt with diabetic patients were often passive in their treatment strategies. There were reasons for this. Many type 1 diabetics were very difficult to manage, alternating between hyper- and hypoglycemia, and progressing with complications of visual impairment, renal insufficiency, and neurologic disabilities. Assessment of results was crude, and action steps were based upon urine glucose levels or on occasional blood glucose determinations done during infrequent office visits. Inaction often was the result.
Concomitantly, the much larger population with type 2 diabetes did not do well. There were limited choices for drug therapy—older insulin preparations which were antigenic and poorly timed for the demands of the disease, and an oral agent formulary which was limited to the sulfonylurea drug class. Huge doses of insulin were needed for glycemic control and some questions had been raised about cardiotoxicity of sulfonylurea drugs. There was little recognition of the input of dyslipidemia, hypertension, or a prothrombotic state to the cardiovascular complications of type 2 diabetes. Further, there was a paucity of effective drugs to address these critical cardiovascular risk factors.
The picture was clouded by a tendency for apathy on the part of the patients. Physicians spoke of “noncompliance,” while patients were not certain what to comply with or how to do it effectively. To many physicians and patients, management of diabetes was a nightmare. Fatalism prevailed.
All of this changed dramatically in the last decade. A proactive climate now prevails. Evidence-based guidelines have emerged, and the tools for effectively dealing with type 1 and type 2 diabetes and preventing progression of complications are now generally available. The key issue now is translation of the findings of this revolution in diabetic care to positive action by physicians and patients.


Tuesday, February 22, 2011 10:26

1. A low level of fitness and physical activity is associated with a higher rate of death from coronary artery disease.
2. Regular aerobic exercise with sufficient duration, intensity and frequency can make a difference.
3. Before any aerobic exercise, get clearance from the doctor.
4. Regular aerobic exercise will lower one’s blood pressure, blood cholesterol, LDL, triglycerides and blood sugar but will increase HDL.
5. Exercise will maintain body weight.
6. It should be part of life long management.
7. Although it is not a proven fact that physical activity will decrease the rate of coronary artery disease but it does control all the factors.
8. Diet schedule of low fat, low cholesterol, high fibre diet must be followed.
A periodic evaluation of cardiovascular risk factors notably blood pressure, blood levels of cholesterol, triglycerides, LDL, HDL and family history will depict if the diet and exercise programme is sufficient or one needs more intensive treatment in terms of drugs or procedures.


Sunday, February 13, 2011 10:25

Stroke and other Peripheral Diseases
Atherosclerosis also occurs in other arteries in cerebral area and femoral arteries, but clinically there are some other associated factors that are also responsible for stroke and peripheral artery disease. These associated factors for strokes are high blood pressure, cigarette smoking and high intake of alcohol. So, for the prevention of stroke one has to once again take all precautions to control hypertension or blood pressure. All lifestyle measures like weight maintenance restricted salt, low saturated fats and exercise schedule has to be adhered to. Lot of studies has shown that consumption of fruits and green vegetables is preventive for hypertension. Similarly, for peripheral disease also smoking is the most important risk factor.

Cardiomyopathy and Cardiac Failure
Cardiomyopathy is a hypertrophy or dilatation of cardiac muscle fibres resulting in disorder of cardiac function (congestive heart failure). Occasionally these conditions occur as a result of certain nutrient deficiencies. The two classical examples are beri-beri resulting from thiamine deficiency and Keshan is due to selenium deficiency, in both these conditions replacing thiamine and selenium helps in prevention and treatment. In few cases alcohol also has a role to play in these deficiencies, when taken in excess amounts. Sometimes, anemia when the hemoglobin goes very low can also result in cardiac failure.

Rheumatic Heart Disease (RHD)
The leading cause of morbidity and mortality in India especially in children of age group 5-15 years comprises disease like pharyngitis and rheumatic fever/rheumatic heart disease. Rheumatic fever occurs due to the streptococcal infections, which can result in rheumatic heart disease. There is inflammation of the pericardium (thin layer covering heart) known as carditis. Carditis can further lead to congestive cardiac failure. Chronic rheumatic heart disease is the major etiological factor for valvular heart disease in India (where the heart valves get affected). The best possible prevention of RHD is to prevent and reduce the occurrence of streptococcal pharyngitis in children.


Sunday, January 30, 2011 10:24
Posted in category Asthma

When discussing both diets and allergies, we need to keep in mind that what may greatly help one individual may not help another and that, occasionally, what is of benefit to one asthmatic may even be harmful to another. The same applies to allergens. One person may only suffer asthma during the high-pollen season, another all year round and another only when it’s very cold. The thing to remember is that, no matter what affects you or how it affects you, chances are that if nothing is done about it you will react to more and more things and at a lower level. The time to do something about it is now.
Nevertheless, there are some general diet rules which apply to the majority of asthmatics. You might be one of the few to which these rules and conditions do not apply, but in that case you will soon find out.
General Rules
While I cannot stress enough the importance of individualising the diet to suit the particular allergies or intolerances of each person, I can tell you that, as a general rule, most asthmatics will benefit from avoiding milk products. Some will be better off on a diet low in salicylates, amines and sulphites, and all asthmatics will benefit from avoiding metabisulphites and monosodium glutamate (MSG).
Aspirin and its related compounds, such as salicylates, can cause severe distress in some asthmatics, as can foods high in histamine and tyramine.
The majority of asthmatics should eat lots of garlic and onions as well as cruciferous green and yellow vegetables, unless they are allergic to salicylates. Caffeine and theophylline (in tea) act as bronchodilators and are almost as efficient as some of the drugs used for that purpose. If you are not allergic to tea or coffee, it can help. Remember, though, that coffee has to be broken down by the liver, so if the liver is already overworked, coffee may cause problems. In fact, we often take the fact that someone is easily affected by caffeine as an indication of the fact that he or she needs to undergo a liver detoxification programme before anything else.


Saturday, January 22, 2011 10:24
Posted in category Arthritis

The joints cause a lot of trouble, for life’s activities often result in a great strain being put upon them. The ligaments which hold the bones together on either side are the toughest material in the body. They are the gristle which you sometimes cannot cut or eat when you are feasting on meat. Nevertheless the leverage which a heavy twisting human body may put upon them will tear them, and produce the familiar swelling with fluid in both the tissues and the joint space.
These acute injuries may be recovered from fairly promptly, but the chronic joint troubles are among life’s greatest bugbears.
Arthritis means inflammation of a joint. However, there is often more than the joint involved, the bone and soft tissues nearby being inflamed or destroyed. Rheumatism is the word often used for this condition and it is a handy one, being inexact and comprehensive and suggesting the patient’s symptoms.
Evidence of this disease is found in all old bones, those of dinosaurs, ape men, old Egyptians, and so on down to your next-door neighbor. They all have had arthritis if they haven’t died very young. This disease does not kill but it cripples, which makes the problem harder. The figures compiled by insurance companies show that it produces twice as much sickness as tuberculosis, three times as much as heart and blood vessel disease, and ten times as much as cancer.
The different types of arthritis can be divided into two groups. In the first the cause is known; in the second it is not. First we have arthritis following an injury, such as baseball finger or sprained ankle. Chronic injury may also cause chronic arthritis. If a person has a badly set fracture of the leg, continual bearing of the weight in the wrong position may ultimately result in arthritis of the knee joint. Also such diseases as tuberculosis or gonorrhea cause arthritis. The outstanding example is gout. This has had great prominence in the past. Every gentleman of social standing in the eighteenth century expected to have his big toe swollen and excruciatingly painful at times. He drank great quantities of port and fermented liquors and ate astonishing quantities of rich foods. This diet had something to do with uric acid in the blood, and often urates formed on the fingers or ears like pieces of chalk which could be picked off.
The second type of arthritis, of unknown cause, comprises rheumatic fever, degenerative or hypertrophic arthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis. Rheumatic fever does not do permanent injury to the joints. Degenerative arthritis on the whole is not so bad, which is fortunate, for sooner or later almost everybody gets it and there is no predicting how soon or late.  It piles up bone around a joint; gnarled fingers are common. If you have reached middle age, X-ray will probably show some in the spine. The inclination of people to fuss about aches and pains largely determines the severity of the disease. Keep your weight down and use heat and massage for comfort.
Last but worst in this group is rheumatoid arthritis. It makes its victims generally sick and can be crippling to the point of helplessness. Proper care of the patient, such as rest, heat, and therapy, may help a great deal. The use of ACTH, cortisone and the like, although not the miracles advertised at first, is yet of much value and offers great hope for the future.