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PREMENSTRUAL SYNDROME: HOW TO HELP YOURSELF

Recognizing that you have PMS is half the battle in getting to grips with the problem. If you have filled in a symptom chart for at least two months and you feel that your symptoms are due to PMS then there are several things you can do to help yourself before asking your doctor or a natural therapist for help.
The first thing is to take a hard, honest, look at your lifestyle. Do you eat a truly healthy diet? Do you take enough exercise? Do you get enough sleep? For most of us the answer to these questions is ‘no’, ‘no’ and ‘no’.
Modem living demands a lot of our bodies. We rush out of the house without breakfast to catch a train or sit in a traffic jam to get to work. We spend all morning on the go with endless cups of coffee or tea to keep us going. Lunch might be a rushed snack before more hours sitting behind a desk.
Then it’s back home for an evening spent putting children to bed, helping with homework, cooking the evening meal, catching up on the chores or slumping in front of the television before a restless night spent counting sheep or worrying about all the things you haven’t done.
You will have to change your lifestyle. But in the long term you will reap the benefits in terms of better health, fitness and relief from PMS.
There are three steps you can take on the path back to full health:
• eat a healthy diet
• take more exercise
• reduce your stress (this is so important that it deserves a chapter to itself)
Most of us know, deep down, that good health depends on a healthy diet and plenty of exercise. But the message bears repeating because it really does work. Thousands of PMS sufferers are reaping the benefits of a change of lifestyle. Not only is their general health better but they have cast off the shackles of the monthly PMS misery.
If you want to help yourself, these are safe, non-medical, actions that you can take to benefit your general health and your PMS.
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Posted in Women's Health.


THE KINDS OF SEIZURE: SIMPLE PARTIAL SEIZURES – WITH PSYCHIC SYMPTOMS

Seizures coming from certain parts of the brain can either trigger or stimulate emotions or stimulate the recall of prior experiences. Fear is one emotion frequently experienced alone or as the aura of a seizure, as in William’s case. The emotion is often described in vague language: “I just felt scared.” “I can’t describe it—it’s a weird feeling.” “I know something’s going to happen, I know it’s coming.” A child may not be able to describe “it” at all, but his face has a frightened look and he comes running to his parent and holds on tightly. But, occasionally, feelings expressed are more specific. A scene experienced in the past will recur to the brain spontaneously; voices will be heard, though often they cannot be understood. (These feelings must be carefully differentiated from the hallucination of drugs or psychiatric illness.) Occasionally a person will have the sensation of deja vu, that he has experienced something before (even if it has not previously occurred) or that he has seen someone before, or an experience of jamais vu (never seen), when something or someone very familiar seems to be unknown.
Similar experiences may have occurred to each of us on occasion. But when they recur, when they are frequent, or when they are associated with other episodic changes in function or behavior, they may be simple partial seizures.
Olga comes running to her mother. “I’ve got that feeling in my hand again. I think I’m going to have another seizure.” In a few moments she develops jerking of the arm and then of the whole side of her body. What kind of a seizure is this? Where did it start in the brain? Would it have been a different kind of seizure if it began with jerking in the hand or foot, or with autonomic or psychic symptoms?
All such events are simple partial seizures starting in different areas of the brain. They may or may not spread to involve other brain areas.
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Posted in Epilepsy.


RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS: BE WILLING TO REASSESS

RA is unpredictable and often appears to follow a random and uncertain course. The frustration of this uncertainty can in itself be a significant impediment to effective coping. Why? Because you cannot predict when you will have a bad day. Nor can you predict when you will have a good day. This makes planning ahead difficult, and it means there will be times when plans made will become plans changed.
People with RA often feel as if they are on an emotional roller coaster: Just when things appear to be under control, a flare-up of arthritis occurs and changes everything. A life that is full of “ups and downs” is difficult to deal with, but flexibility -learning to make adjustments to changes – can help you avoid becoming discouraged. You will need to remain flexible, and you will need to adjust your expectations and plans regularly.
The key to flexibility is expecting and accepting unpredictability. If you accept the unpredictable nature of RA, you won’t feel quite so disappointed when your arthritis acts up. Ask yourself, “Am I better prepared to deal with this flare-up than I was a month ago?” Most likely you are. You will learn how to deal with each flare-up without allowing it to knock you down. Many people adjust to the unpredictability by backing up their scheduled plans with contingency arrangements. Many people use coping strategies to solve new problems as they occur. These people don’t passively let life happen to them; they take steps to prepare themselves for what life brings their way. Learning and perfecting strategies for coping with change is the successful antidote for the unpredictability of RA.
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Posted in Arthritis.


ON THE HOMEFRONT: DERMATOLOGIST’S OPINION

As a dermatologist, I have a lot of toots at my disposal to help the skin look its best but, contrary to popular opinion. I’m not a magician. Rather, I like to think of myself as my patients’ partner, educating and guiding them towards an effective skin care routine that will maintain their skin as healthy and radiant as possible. We’ve come a long way with developing doctor’s office techniques that can easily and dramatically rejuvenate the skin, but that’s only half of the beautifying equation. What a patient puts on her skin day in and day out is key – so much so that I can easily differentiate between my patients who are faithful to their cleansers, moisturisers, eye creams and the rest who disregard my advice, usually on the assumption that I can easily fix everything. But honestly, what’s the point of those pricey visits to the dermatologist and to your beloved beauty therapist it you aren’t maintaining all of their hard work at home I like to compare it to maintenance of the teeth: you continue to bi ush and floss long after a visit to the dentist, right? The same commitment should be devoted to your complexion.
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Posted in Skin Care.


MENOPAUSE: SYMPTOMS

Although about 80 percent of women experience symptoms due to their changing hormone levels, only a minority of menopausal women seek treatment for symptom relief. This is probably because the majority of symptoms are of a relatively minor nature and tend to disappear with time. The most common symptom in the menopause is the hot flash, which affects 75 to 80 percent of menopausal women. Typically, the hot flash appears suddenly as a feeling of warmth over the upper part of the body (very much like a generalized blushing) and is accompanied by reddening, sweating, and, occasionally, dizziness. In some women, hot flashes are infrequent (once a week or less) but others have them every few hours. Hot flashes may last just a few seconds and be quite mild, or they may last for 15 minutes or more in the most severe cases (experienced by less than 10 percent of women). One particularly disturbing feature of the hot flash is that it occurs more often during sleep than in the daytime, in which case it is liable to awaken the woman abruptly and contribute to insomnia.
Current evidence suggests that hot flashes are due to a mal-function of temperature control mechanisms in the hypothalamus. Although estrogen deficiency seems to be a necessary condition for hot flashes to occur, and estrogen therapy effectively combats this symptom, hot flashes generally disappear spontaneously within a few years after the menopause even without treatment. In approximately 20 percent of affected women hot flashes persist for at least five years beyond the onset of this time. Since this symptom is sometimes severe enough to interfere with everyday functioning and there is no test that can predict when hot flashes will disappear spontaneously, deciding whether to obtain treatment or not is very much a subjective -decision for the woman.
Other changes also reflect prolonged estrogen deficiency. Lowered levels of circulating estrogen predispose women to shrinking and thinning of the vagina, a loss of tissue elasticity, and lessened vaginal lubrication during sexual arousal, all of which may sometimes lead to painful intercourse. Other physical changes that may occur in the postmenopausal years include thinning of the breasts and the vulva and loss of mineral content in bones, resulting in a more brittle structure (a condition that is called osteoporosis).
Although there has been considerable controversy in the past about the risks and benefits of estrogen replacement therapy (E.R.T.) in the menopause and postmenopausal years, strong scientific evidence shows that the symptoms we have discussed can be significantly alleviated by its use. In fact, E.R.T. plays a preventive role in slowing the occurrence of osteoporosis, rather than just alleviating symptoms once they occur. Because there is also considerable evidence that E.R.T. increases the risk of cancer of the uterus, and an unsubstantiated but realistic concern that it may increase the risk of breast cancer, caution is certainly in order. The consensus of medical opinion seems to favor E.R.T. for several different reasons:
Adding a progestin to the latter part of the estrogen cycle materially reduces the increased risk of cancer of the uterus that arises from estrogen use.
Osteoporosis has now been recognized as a disorder of great seriousness, since it often leads to hip fractures in elderly women, and in 20 to 30 percent of cases, these women die due to the fracture or its complications;
E.R.T. may provide protection against certain forms of heart disease.
Most authorities caution that E.R.T. should not be used indiscriminately and that it should be employed in the smallest effective dose for the shortest period of time compatible with the therapeutic need. However, since the need for prevention of osteoporosis is lifelong, some experts (ourselves included) prefer to use E.R.T. on a long-term basis as long as there are no specific contraindications to its use or adverse effects in the individual taking it.
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Posted in Men's Health-Erectile Dysfunction.


ISD AND THE MIND: FAMILY ISSUES – MAGGIE’S CASE HISTORY

At thirty-six, Maggie is exactly the opposite, keeping a tight rein on her feelings at all times. She rarely cries or loses her temper or does anything that might look silly, irresponsible, or out of control. We have seen her smile only a few times. Even then she hesitated, thinking about whether she was expected to smile rather than doing so spontaneously. Indeed, the only emotions Maggie seems to feel on a regular basis are anxiety and depression. She shuts down even those feelings by withdrawing from the person or situation that seems to provoke them. Unfortunately, the people who cause her the most anxiety are the ones with whom she is most intimately involved, including her second husband.
As we explained previously, how you act in social and sexual situations, as well as your feelings about yourself, can be traced back to what you learned from your family. Indeed, the inner picture of the world and yourself that you formed during childhood provided you with the framework for perceiving reality as an adult.
“I know now that my family definitely was not normal,” Maggie continues, sharing the insights she gained in a support group for ACOAs after accepting that her first husband, like her father, was also an alcoholic. “It was dysfunctional, chaotic, a very crazy situation to grow up in. My dad was all over the place emotionally. And my mom’s feelings sort of stewed inside her until they boiled over and spilled out incoherently, often onto me and my sisters. She’d literally go crazy and have to “be hospitalized.”
Since her father, who let his feelings show, made family life frightening and unpredictable, and her mother, who was more passive, had nervous breakdowns, Maggie saw only one safe avenue available to her. “I guess I figured that my best bet was not to feel at all,” she explains, citing a conclusion often reached by children living in alcoholic or otherwise dysfunctional homes. As adults, they may even realize they are doing this. They may even know why they began to do it. But, more often than not, they are as confused as Maggie is about why they are still doing it and how extensively it affects the quality and character of their lives and relationships.
“My mother died five years ago,” she says. “My father’s been sober almost that long. I haven’t lived at home for more than a few months at a time in almost twenty years. I’m not even married to an alcoholic anymore. So why do I still feel like I did when I was eight years old?”
The simplest, most straightforward answer to Maggie’s question is that old reflexes are hard to shake—for Maggie and everyone else. A dysfunctional family—whether one turned upside down by alcoholism and mental illness or one in which abuse, infidelities, divorce, or other traumatic events occurred—teaches children countless lessons that later have an adverse effect on adult relationships. And the lessons families fail to teach—about healthy communication, expressing affection, and resolving differences, to name a few—do plenty of damage too.
For instance, if your family life was unstable and especially if one of your parents was clearly identified as the “bad guy,” you probably did not learn to tolerate ambivalence, to recognize and accept that there is good and bad in everyone—including you. As a result, everything is black or white to you. You simply cannot see the shades of gray. When people think or act in ways other than as you think they should, you instantly label them crazy, evil, completely unreliable, or thoroughly despicable. Rarely can you separate the person from the problem, and when the person is your partner, your all-or-nothing approach turns every disagreement into a full-fledged confrontation, a battle between good and bad, right and wrong, riddling your relationship with intense, often unresolved conflicts and setting up barriers to intimacy, sexual satisfaction, and desire.
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Posted in Men's Health-Erectile Dysfunction.


PREVENTION OF IMPOTENCY IN MIDDLE AGE

A little time and effort spent on prevention is more rewarding than undergoing the humiliation of impotence and getting it treated. Nothing stimulates the human engine and charges it with vim and vitality as normal intercourse. It makes the man tick. It refreshes his mind and body and gives him a new lease of life. In fact, normal healthy intercourse is only possible for a man with a ‘healthy mind in a healthy body’.
Having outlined the causes of impotence in the middle-aged and the normal physiological and anatomical changes that take place in the sexual cycle, the necessary precautions for prevention of impotence are: (1) faith in potency; (2) practising variations in sex; (3) keeping fit; (4) avoiding overeating and maintaining ideal weight; (5) avoiding excessive alcohol and smoking; and (6) coping with stress.
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Posted in Men's Health-Erectile Dysfunction.


TYPE 2 DIABETES: COMPLICATIONS OF NEUROPATHY – FOOT ULCERATION

Peripheral sensory neuropathy and peripheral vascular disease are predictors of foot ulceration in people with diabetes. A history of previous ulceration markedly increases the risk of subsequent foot ulceration. Elevated plantar foot pressures are present in patients who develop ulceration and are usually associated with plantar callus. Callus, in turn, is a risk factor for foot ulceration. Minor trauma had occurred in 77% of all patients with foot ulcers in one study, making it an important risk marker. Thus, a number of risk factors or markers increase the probability of foot ulceration. They can be determined by simple examination. Identification of patients at high risk for foot ulceration should lead to preventive measures, which have been shown to be effective in prevention of the serious complication of amputation.
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Posted in Diabetes.


PHYSICAL ACTIVITY FOR CORONARY HEART DISEASE: YOGA, EXERCISE AND MEDITATION

Yoga and exercise
Physical activity increases energy expenditure, physical fitness and sensitivity to the action of insulin, all of which are valuable effects for obese people.
Aerobic exercises like walking, jogging, swimming or cycling can be carried out before meals or as advised by the physician.
Energy cost of activities:
Calories/kg/hour
Walking rapidly (4 miles/hour)            3.4
Walking at faster speed (5.3 miles/hour)        8.3
Bicycling (moderate speed)                6.7
Light games                        4.4
Yoga                            2.0
Running                        2.5
Household work                    1.4

Yoga and meditation
The remedies for stress management of heart disease through yogic practice have gained widespread acceptance in medical field. Yogic relaxation practices are effective in reducing anxiety and in release of repressed emotions, an individual can be less reactive of repressed emotions, an individual can be less reactive to situations, thus improving mental health and physical well being.
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Posted in Cardio & Blood- Сholesterol.


CAN EXERCISE INDUCE ASTHMA: RELIEVING EIA

The two important medicines in relieving and preventing EIA, are the aerosolised cromolyn and beta-agonists. Cromolyn given fifteen to thirty minutes before exercise, blocks or minimises EIA. A beta-agonist taken ten to fifteen minutes before exercise prevents or reduces bronchospasm for up to two hours. When either drug by itself is not effective, the two can be used in combination, taking cromolyn first, followed by the beta-agonist. Other medications such as the oral beta-agonists and theophylline, while not nearly as effective in treating EIA, may be beneficial for some patients. In young children for whom inhalers are difficult to use, liquid beta-agonist drugs are preferable.
Exercise-induced asthma is not a special form of asthma but one form of airway hyperresponsiveness. EIA often indicates that the patient’s asthma has not been properly controlled; therefore, appropriate antiinflammatory therapy generally results in the reduction of exercise-related symptoms. For those children who continue to experience EIA despite appropriate therapy and for those in whom EIA is the only manifestation of asthma, the inhalation of short-acting beta-agonist before exercise is the most effective treatment for preventing asthma exacerbations. Training and sufficient warming up also reduce incidence and severity of EIA.
As the treatment of EIA is very effective, there is no need for children to avoid physical activity. Instead, the goal of asthma management should be to enable children to participate in any activity they choose without experiencing symptoms. In addition, physical activity should be part of the therapeutic regimen of subjects with EIA.
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Posted in Asthma.