Incredible Health Benefits of Hog Weed
Origin, Distribution and Composition
Hog weed is indigenous to India. It grows wild all over the country as a common creeping weed and is specially abundant during the rains.
The plant contains a crystalline acid known as boerhavic acid, potassium nitrate and a brown mass consisting of tannins, phlobaphenes and reducing sugars. The active principle of hog weed is the alkaloid punarnavine. The drug contains large quantities of potassium salts, which accounts for its diuretic properties.
Tea made from fenugreek seeds is equal in value to quinine in reducing fevers. It is particularly valuable as a cleansing and soothing drink. Fenugreek seeds, when moistened with water become slightly mucilaginous, and hence the tea made from with them has the power to dissolve sticky substance like mucus.
Healing Power and Curative Properties
The herb has been used in indigenous medicine from time immemorial. It is laxative and produces a cooling sensation. In large doses it induces vomiting. Medicinally, the most important part of the herb is die root. It has a bitter and nauseous taste. It is beneficial in the treatment of several common ailments.
Hog weed increases the secretion and discharge of urine. It is effective in the treatment of dropsy, a disease marked by an excessive collection of a watery fluid in the tissues and cavities or natural hollows of the body. The fresh boiled herb should be given in the treatment of this disease. A liquid extract of the fresh or dry plant can also be given in doses of 4 to 16 grams.
The herb is useful in the treatment of ascites, a disease characterized by accumulation of fluid inside the peritoneal cavity of the abdomen. Much more powerful effect on certain types of ascites— that is, those caused due to the cirrhosis of the liver and chronic peritonitis than some of the other important diuretics known. The herb can be administered in the same manner as for dropsy.
The drug is useful in strengthening the stomach and promoting its action. It is beneficial in the treatment of several stomach disorders, particularly intestinal colic. A powder of the root is given in doses of 5 grams thrice a day. It is also useful in killing or expelling intestinal worms.
Hog weed promotes the removal of catarrhal matter and phlegm from the bronchial tubes. It is, therefore, beneficial in the treatment of asthma. A powder of the root can be taken in small doses three times a day.
Hog weed is beneficial in the treatment of fevers. It brings down temperature by inducing copious perspiration.
The root of the plant is useful in the treatment of several diseases particularly of the kidney and heart as well as gonorrhoea. It is also valuable in oedema, anemia, cough, pleurisy, nervous weakness, constipation and paralysis.
The root of the plant is an effective remedy for several skin diseases. A paste of the root can be applied beneficially as a dressing for edematous swellings. A hot poultice of the root can be applied with gratifying results to ulcers, abscesses and similar skin diseases. It is also used for extracting guinea-worms. Charaka, the great physician of ancient India, used it in the form of ointment in leprosy and other skin diseases.
Too Much Sugar Can Cause Heart Failure
Researchers at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth), have revealed that consuming too much sugar can greatly increase the risk of heart failure.
In fact, a previous study conducted by researchers at Emory University School of Medicine and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), found that people who consume high levels of added sugar, such as in processed foods and beverages, are much more likely to have higher heart disease risk factors.
The study, which was published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, says that just one molecule of glucose metabolite glucose 6-phosphate (G6P) can lead to improper function of the heart.
G6P builds up when people consume too much sugar and starch and causes severe stress to the heart.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than 5 million people suffer from heart failure in the U.S. each year. Approximately half of people diagnosed with the condition die within a year of diagnosis and there are over half a million new cases of heart failure in the country every year.
Researchers reported at the American Heart Association's 50th Annual Conference on Cardiovascular Disease Epidemiology and Prevention, that the increase in sugar consumption has led to more diabetes and heart disease over the past decade.
Heinrich Taegtmeyer, M.D., D.Phil., principal investigator and professor of cardiology at the UTHealth Medical School, said:
"Treatment is difficult. Physicians can give diuretics to control the fluid, and beta-blockers and ACE inhibitors to lower the stress on the heart and allow it to pump more economically. But we still have these terrible statistics and no new treatment for the past 20 years."
The research team, led by Taegtmeyer, first conducted preclinical trials in animals and then moved on to test tissue taken from patients who had a piece of their heart muscle removed so that they could place a a left ventricle assist device.
Results of the trials revealed that G6P can cause significant damage to the heart.
Taegtmeyer said that when people have high blood pressure, or other diseases, the heart is already stressed, so when it takes in excess glucose its condition only worsens and it can become severely injured.
There are drugs, such as rapamycin (an immunosuppressant) and metformin (a diabetes medication) that can block the signaling of G6P and improve cardiac power.
A study published in Aging Cell showed that mice suffering from age-related heart disease experienced a significant improvement in cardiac function following a three-month treatment with the FDA-approved drug rapamycin.
Taegtmeyer added: "These drugs have a potential for treatment and this has now cleared a path to future studies with patients."
Diseases, conditions that cause knee pains
Diseases and conditions that can cause knee pain
Arthritis is inflammation within a joint. The causes of knee joint inflammation range from non-inflammatory types of arthritis such as osteoarthritis, which is a degeneration of the cartilage of the knee, to the inflammatory types such as rheumatoid arthritis or gout. Treatment of arthritis is directed according to the nature of the specific type of arthritis. Many people suffer from arthritis; and the pain and discomfort can be so limiting that some may require a total knee joint replacement.
Swelling of the knee joint from arthritis can lead to a localised collection of fluid accumulating in a cyst behind the knee. This is referred to as a Baker cyst, and is a frequent cause of pain at the back of the knee.
Infections of the bone or joint are rarely a serious cause of knee pain. Symptoms include fever, extreme heat, warmth of the joint, chills of the body, and may be associated with puncture wounds in the area around the knee.
Tumours involving the joint are extremely rare (for example, synovial sarcomas, and giant cell tumours). They can cause ambulatory problems with local pain. Treatment usually involves surgery; a few individuals may require amputation of the knee and lower leg. Treatments and surgery depend on the tumour type.
Chondromalacia refers to a softening of the cartilage under the kneecap. It is a common cause of deep knee pain, and stiffness after prolonged sitting and climbing stairs or hills. While treatment with anti-inflammatory medications, ice packs, and rest can help, long-term relief is best achieved by strengthening exercises.
Degenerative cartilage (loss of cartilage) also presents problems as you have friction from bone rubbing on bone, leading to extreme pains and discomfort.
Bursitis of the knee generally occurs on the inside of it, and at the front of the kneecap. Usually treated with ice packs, immobilisation, and anti-inflammatory medications, sometimes corticosteroid injections (steroids) are administered, along with exercise therapy, to develop the musculature of the front of the thigh.
Overall risk factors for knee pain include aging, athletic, and trauma injuries.
• Obesity- Is a risk factor for osteoarthritis of the knee; losing weight reduces the force placed on the knee during everyday walking.
• Biomechanical problems - Certain structural abnormalities such as having one leg shorter than the other (leg length discrepancies), body misalignment and flat feet can make you more prone.
• Lack of muscle flexibility or strength - Is a lead cause. Tight or weak muscles offer less support for your knee, because they don’t absorb enough of the stress exerted on the joint.
Complications of knee pain
The major complication of knee pain is inadequate mobility and ability to walk. Long term knee pain that is caused by diseases of the joint can lead to permanent damage and loss of function.
In some cases, your doctor might suggest tests such as:
• X-ray - Your doctor may first recommend having an X-ray, to help detect bone fractures and degenerative joint disease.
• CT Scan - Helps diagnose bone problems and detect loose bodies.
• Ultrasound - This produces images of the soft tissue structures within and around your knee and how they are working.
• MRI Scan - Creates 3-D images of the inside of your knee. It is particularly useful in revealing injuries to soft tissues such as ligaments, tendons, cartilage and muscles.
Your doctor may prescribe medications to help relieve pain and to treat underlying conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis or gout. Supplements like glucosamine and chondroitin help the joints.
In some cases, your doctor may suggest injecting medications directly into your joint. Examples include:
• Corticosteroids - A steroid to help reduce the symptoms of an arthritis flare and ease pain.
• Supplemental lubrication - A thick fluid, similar to the fluid (synovial) that naturally lubricates joints, to improve mobility and ease pain. This is geared towards persons with degenerative cartilage issues.
If you have chronic pain, consider swimming or aqua therapy. In water, the force of buoyancy supports some of our weight so our knees do not have to. Physical, massage, and electrical therapies, and/or acupuncture, can improve the pains and discomfort significantly.
Strengthening the muscles around your knee will make it more stable too. Training is likely to focus on the muscles on the front of your thigh (quadriceps), and those in the back of your thigh (hamstrings). Exercises to improve your balance are also important.
Arch supports and/or different types of braces may be used too for stabilisation of the body, and to protect and support the knee joint.
If you have an injury, disease and or condition that may require surgery, it’s sometimes not necessary to have the operation immediately. Before making any decision, consider the pros and cons of both non-surgical rehabilitation, and surgical reconstruction in relation to what’s most important to you. If you choose to have surgery, your options may include:
• Arthroscopic surgery - Done to remove loose bodies from your knee joint, remove or repair damaged cartilage, and reconstruct torn ligaments.
• Partial knee replacement surgery - Only the most damaged portion of your knee is replaced.
• Total knee replacement - Damaged bone and cartilage from your thighbone, shinbone and kneecap are cut away, and replaced with an artificial joint.
Your feet mirror your general health . . . cherish them!
Leana Huntley is an English trained foot health practitioner attached to ALMAWI Limited – The Holistic Clinic.
How Statins Might Damage Your Heart
But over 900 studies prove that statin drugs – HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors blocking liver enzymes from making cholesterol – actually cause muscle problems and even increased cancer risk. Worse, while millions take statins to “protect their heart health,” these drugs are clinically proven to be detrimental.
A 2012 study in the journal Atherosclerosis linked statin use with a 52 percent increase in calcified coronary plaque incidence – the hallmark of death via heart disease!
Statins Can Undo the Benefits of Exercise
New research by the Journal of the American College of Cardiology reveals that while exercise is one of the best things you can do to maintain healthy cholesterol levels, statin drugs negate most of the benefits, making people even less fit than before.
The New York Times reported:
“(Statin) drugs routinely are prescribed for those with high cholesterol and other risk factors for heart disease … those who are sedentary, overweight, middle-aged… are also the people most likely to be put on statins, possibly undoing some of the good of their workouts.”
Trial participants included 37 overweight, sedentary individuals with metabolic problems, divided into two groups: One group was given daily 40-mg doses of simvastatin (Zocor); the other group received no medication. After a supervised 12-week exercise program:
Unmedicated volunteers improved their aerobic fitness by more than 10 percent. Mitochondrial content activity increased by 13 percent.
Volunteers taking the statins improved their fitness by an average of 1.5 percent, although some had reduced aerobic capacity. Mitochondrial content activity decreased by 4.5 percent.
Senior study author John P. Thyfault, professor of nutrition and exercise physiology at the University of Missouri, noted:
“Low aerobic fitness is one of the best predictors of premature death. And if statins prevent people from raising their fitness through exercise, then that is a concern.”
How Statins Might Damage Your Heart
The key to understanding this phenomenon lies in understanding what statins do to your mitochondria — the energy chamber of your cells, responsible for all metabolic functions. The primary fuel for your mitochondria, Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), is one of the primary mechanisms of harm from statins, related to CoQ10 depletion.
A 2011 review published in Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism observed that exercise induces mitochondrial enzyme changes, which can increase cellular energy production and decrease chronic disease risk.
“Increasing evidence now suggests that exercise can induce mitochondrial biogenesis in a wide range of tissues not normally associated with the metabolic demands of exercise. Perturbations [changes] in mitochondrial content and (or) function have been linked to a wide variety of diseases, in multiple tissues, and exercise may serve as a potent approach by which to prevent and (or) treat these pathologies.”
Increasing mitochondrial activity is crucial, because free radicals from toxic exposures to chemicals, pollutants, etc., can overwhelm your body’s defenses, leading to:
Oxidative cell and tissue damage
Destroyed cellular proteins, lipids and DNA
Lowered threshold for physical exercise
Impaired ability to utilize carbohydrates and fat for energy
Excessive weight gain
If You’re on a Statin Drug, You MUST Take CoQ10…
A recent study in the European Journal of Pharmacology showed ubiquinol effectively rescued cells from damage caused by the statin drug simvastatin, thereby protecting muscle cells from myopathies.
If you take a statin drug without CoQ10 supplementation — or ideally, the far more effective reduced form, Ubiquinol — your health is at serious risk. CoQ10 is used by every cell in your body, but especially your heart cells. Cardiac muscle cells have up to 200 times more mitochondria and therefore 200 times more CoQ10 requirements.
Premature aging, another side effect of statin drugs and too little CoQ10, accelerates DNA damage, leads to fatigue, muscle weakness, soreness and, ultimately, heart failure.
A recent study found that, compared to those given a placebo, patients with statin-associated myopathy who took CoQ10 and selenium supplementation experienced significantly less pain, fatigue and muscle weakness.
Beware the Hazards of Statin Drugs!
If you’re a woman, listen up: Statins are classified as a “pregnancy Category X medication,” meaning, it causes serious birth defects, and should NEVER be used if you’re pregnant or planning a pregnancy.
Last year, the FDA announced it’s considering additional warning labels for statin drugs because of all the potential health risks associated with them. In all, statin drugs have been directly linked to over 300 side effects, including:
An increase in cancer risk
Immune system suppression
Muscle problems, polyneuropathy (nerve damage in the hands and feet), and rhabdomyolysis, a serious degenerative muscle tissue condition, Hepatic dysfunction (Due to the potential increase in liver enzymes, patients must be monitored for normal liver function)
How to Optimize Your Cholesterol Levels Naturally
Too little cholesterol increases your risk for cancer, memory loss, Parkinson’s disease, hormonal imbalances, stroke, depression, suicide, and violent behavior.
The most effective way to optimize your cholesterol profile and prevent heart disease is natural – via diet and exercise. My primary recommendations for cholesterol regulation include:
Eliminating grains and fructose from your diet. Use my Nutrition Plan to help determine your ideal diet and eat more of your food raw.
Start intermittent fasting to radically improve your ability to burn fat as your primary fuel while improving your insulin and leptin signaling.
Get plenty of high-quality, animal-based omega-3 fats, such as krill oil, and reduce your consumption of trans fats and vegetable oils.
Include heart-healthy foods in your diet: olive oil, coconut and coconut oil, organic raw dairy products and eggs, avocados, raw nuts and seeds, and organic grass-fed meats.
If you’re currently taking a statin drug and are worried about the side effects, please consult with a knowledgeable health care practitioner who can help you to optimize your heart health naturally, without the use of these dangerous drugs.
Healthy Lifestyle Linked To Memory Boost
A new poll has found that a healthy diet and lifestyle can boost memory across all adult age groups.
Past studies have shown various benefits that healthy eating and lifestyle habits have on a person's health. A new poll now shows that a healthy lifestyle can also be very beneficial for a person's memory.
The poll, which was conducted by UCLA researchers and the Gallup organization on 18,552 U.S. adults aged 18 and above, found that eating healthy, not smoking and regular exercises,increases a person's memory.
Researchers also found that people who indulged in even one healthy habit from the list mentioned above had a 21 percent boost in their memory compared to people who did not follow even one healthy lifestyle choice.
Researchers were also surprised to find that 14 percent of the youngest adult group (aged 18 to 39) complained about memory problems. As expected, 22 percent of the middle-aged adult group (aged 40 to 59) and 26 percent of older adults (60 and above) complained about memory issues.
"Memory issues were to be expected in the middle-aged and older groups, but not in younger people," said the study's lead author, Gary Small, director of the UCLA Longevity Center.
According to Small, there is a difference in the memory problems suffered by young adults and older adults. While age is the cause of older adults' memory problems, factors like stress and unhealthy lifestyle cause younger adults to have memory issues.
"Along with the other healthy behaviors, it's likely that healthy eating is helping keep the heart and blood vessels healthy," says Mary Ann Johnson, national spokeswoman for the not-for-profit American Society for Nutrition. "The brain needs a healthy blood supply to function. We think of losing one's memory as late in life, but it is a very long process that has been playing out over decades."
Neil Levin, spokesman for the not-for-profit American Nutrition Association, says, "The earlier signs of people's memory starting to decline in younger years are not necessarily associated with Alzheimer's. A lot of young people tend to feel either they are invulnerable or they are not going to live a long time so they might engage in riskier behaviors in terms of diet, smoking and lack of exercise that would affect them long-term."
The findings are published in the June issue of the journal International Psychogeriatrics.
Eye health: Top tips for good vision
Today more and more people are turning to a victim of vision impairment due to erratic lifestyles.
Stuck to their computers, LCDs every body is busy ruining their eye sight for the sake of entertainment or work. Ophthalmologist Dr. Vijay Bhatt, gives simple tips for your eyes and improve vision.
Tip for Good Vision # 1: Load up with fish
Adding fish to your diet at least once to twice a week, is the best way to avoid dry-eye syndrome, as fishes are loaded with Omega 3 fatty acids.
Tip for Good Vision # 2: Get a regular check-up
Even if you have good vision and have no trouble in reading, go for a vision check at least once a year. This is very good way to detect various eye related ailments and prevent it with proper treatment.
Tip for Good Vision # 3: Keep blinking
Constantly blinking your eyes is a very simple way to keep your eyes fresh and avoid eyestrain. Computer users tend to blink their eyes very less, thus it is recommended that they should follow the exercise of blinking their eyes every three-four seconds.
Tip for Good Vision # 4: Do relaxation exercise
Performing relaxation exercises like placing your hands together, palm to palm and rubbing them to create some heat and placing them on your eyes is a great method to avoid eyestrain. Another great way to relax your eyes is by shutting your eyes and imagining something you like it can be a place, clothes or your wonderland.
Tip for Good Vision # 5: Focus on distance
Since we spent most of the time starring at close objects, adopt a habit of looking at distant things. Try looking at distant objects in your surrounding while walking or sitting.
Tip for Good Vision # 6: Go get some sunshine
Sunshine is the best free treatment for your eyes. Getting some morning or late evening sunshine will help to improve the eyes and pupils, by loosening the tight nerve muscles.
Tip for Good Vision # 7: Treat blurry vision with a glass of water
Water is the best remedy for all your problems. Keep sipping lots of water at regular intervals, because a less frequent blurry vision can be due to dehydration.
Tip for Good Vision # 8: Avoid dry air
Never let the air-conditioned air from your car or your office suck all the moisture from your eyes. Always vent down your A/C panel downwards or away from your face. Air conditioner air can cause serious dryness, which can further cause blindness or any other cornea disorder.
Tip for Good Vision # 9: Wear safety goggles
Eye injuries can also impair your vision in a great way, in order to avoid it always remember to wear safety goggles or eyewear, while working with chemicals, playing sports, bursting crackers or while swimming.
Tip for Good Vision # 10: Lower the brightness level
If you use computer for a longer duration, make sure to lower down the brightness level in order to help your eyes to relax. Don't lower it too much, keep it in moderation.
Non-alcoholic drinks also benefit heart health
Research shows that non-alcoholic beer seems to have the same benefits on the stickiness of blood as does regular beer.
We already know that moderate consumption of alcohol reduces the tendency of blood platelets to clump together and so makes the blood less likely to clot. This helps reduce the risk of heart disease. The benefits have been put down to alcohol itself and to compounds in drinks like red wine, including resveratrol.
In a study, a team in Germany has found that some of the same advantages are associated with non-alcoholic beer. They gave a group of 12 young healthy male volunteers three liters of either non-alcoholic beer, regular beer, or alcohol and water mixture of the same strength. Blood samples were taken for analysis before and at 1.5, 3.5 and 24 hours after consumption. All the three fluids reduced platelet activation. The non-alcoholic beer had an additional benefit – it reduces thrombin generation. Thrombin is a protein which is key to the formation of a clot. Again, this would reduce the risk of blood clotting and heart disease. It’s not known why non-alcoholic beer has this effect. However, it may be a good option for those who want to get the heart benefits of alcohol but avoid the risks of alcohol abuse.
How to Stay Beautiful with Proper Makeup
When you look good, your self-confidence automatically gets high. This is truer for women. It is therefore necessary for women to look for good beauty tips that they can follow and apply on themselves. Following the tips properly will enable a woman to attain a beautiful and attractive look. Women of every age, she can be a matured woman or an adolescent girl, always desires to look very beautiful. Getting a beautiful look does not imply that one has to spend in excess. Women always want to look really fresh. Middle aged women also try to make themselves look younger than what they actually are. It is important that as a woman, you follow some basic guidelines. First of all, you need to have a check on the type of food you eat on a daily basis. This article shares some beauty and makeup tips with you so that you do not have to spend a lot of money in the parlor in order to attain a beautiful look.
It is always advisable to keep the look as much natural as you can. Therefore, it is always wise to use very little makeup. Your rosy cheeks can be highlighted more with some gentle brushing. The makeup should b done in a limited manner. Especially, too much makeup on the cheeks can make you look bad. Your purpose should be to make the cheeks appear vibrant and healthy. Too much of makeup can disturb the balance of the look.
When it comes to makeup for eyes, it is good to apply dark coloured eyeliner. It will be very effective in making the eyes look lively. It will really help you to get a stunning look. Brown and black shades are the ones that fashionable women choose most commonly. The makeup for the eye must always be kept light and very balanced. If you use light shades. It can make you look older than what you are.
Makeup for the Lips
Lip gloss is a good option that you can choose when you want to make your lips look smooth and tender. A good lip gloss will be effective in keeping the lips dry. It will also protect the lips from the wind or the heat. Lip gloss with UV protection is very much useful in keeping the lips protected from extreme heat. You can also highlight the lips with the lip gloss.
It is important for you to highlight those parts of your face that are most attractive. It is vital that you know your face well so that you can apply the right makeup. It is also necessary for you to know the tricks of hiding the blemishes in your face with the makeup.
Discussed above are some very useful tips on makeup and beauty. You need to follow them well in order to get the beautiful look that you crave for. Along with that, as said before, it is also important to follow a proper diet.
When Doctors Make Mistakes
Seeking any kind of medical treatment is a stressful process in its’ own right. In the first place, it goes without saying that you’re ill, which means that you’re experiencing pain and discomfort, and then there’s the fact that the treatment you’re receiving for your illness may well, in the short term at least, add to the difficulty. Many medical procedures are uncomfortable and painful in their own right and whilst the fact that they’re treating your illness may be what helps you to get through them, actually coping with the physical and psychological ramifications can be difficult.
The good news is that, most of the time, the treatment you receive, whether you attend an NHS facility or a private clinic, is delivered to the highest possible standards - http://www.nice.org.uk/newsroom/news/NICELaunchesQualityStandards.jsp. Doctors, nurses, surgeons, anaesthetists and pharmacists generally do their best to ensure that any procedures you undergo will be performed to the highest possible standards, through a combination of professionalism and vocation. Sometimes, however, things can go wrong, and if we feel that the problems arising have come about as a result of a doctor behaving in a negligent manner then the effect can be devastating. The simple fact is that medical practitioners are only human and this means that mistakes can sometimes happen, and if the treatment you receive falls below the standard which you might reasonably expect then you may well be in a position to make a claim for compensation.
Medical negligence can cover a huge range of circumstances. Amongst the most common causes for complaint are the following:
The failure to spot an illness
Birth injuries to either mother or baby
A mistake being made during surgery
Incorrect diagnosis of a condition
A doctor failing to warn a patient of the risks of a course of treatment
No matter what the circumstances of an individual case, medical negligence claims are amongst the most complex it is possible to pursue. The nature of the evidence involved means that an individual patient will frequently be pitting themselves against the expert witnesses put forward by a clinic, hospital or organization such as the NHS, and the evidence will frequently be highly technical. That’s why it’s vital, if you feel that you’ve been let down by medical practitioners, that you engage the services of a specialist personal injuries lawyer with experience in the field. Many people feel somewhat guilty about the concept of making a claim against a hospital, clinic or similar body, but the principle is very simple – you expected a certain standard of treatment and you were let down and, as a result, you’ve suffered an injury. Any compensation you receive will be calculated to take account of the type and severity of your injury and to ensure that you do not suffer in financial terms thanks to the negligence of another party. Depending upon the severity of your injury, the money may have to take account of medical bills, lost wages, transport charges and even the cost of rebuilding a house to make allowances for any reduction in mobility.
There are few situations in life which involve a deeper bond of trust than that which is involved when you visit any kind of medical practitioner. The knowledge that this bond has been broken with an approach that is negligent can be deeply upsetting in its own terms, over and above any further physical or psychological ramifications, so seeking compensation is little more than the very least you could expect.
Eye cancer treatment hit by lack of awareness
HYDERABAD: When Mohammed Sharif spotted redness in his two-year-old son's eyes, he brushed it aside as an allergy. However, when it persisted for many days, he decided to consult a paediatrician, who in turn, referred him to a radiologist who finally diagnosed the child with retinoblastoma.
Commonly known as cancer of the eye, retinoblastoma comprises three per cent of all cancers affecting children aged between up to four years. Around 2,200 new cases of eye cancer are reported every year in India. However, like Sharif, many people are still unaware of the existence of such a condition and hence recognize it too late.
"While on one hand, the levels of awareness have increased in the past decade, there still remains a large chunk of people who are unaware of retinoblastoma. In some cases, because of the lack of awareness, cases are reported in the advanced stages of the disease," said Dr Swati Kaliki, consultant, Orbit and Ocular Oncology Services, at the L V Prasad Eye Institute.
"Timely treatment can save 95 per cent of the children suffering from the disease. In 75 per cent of the cases, the child's vision can be saved. Hence, awareness, early detection and treatment are extremely crucial," she added. This cancer can be easily identified by physical examination due to the presence of an unusual glint in the eye or a white reflex in almost 60 per cent of the cases.
The institute observes around 240-270 cases of retinoblastoma every year. Over 1,800 children have received treatment for the condition at the institute in the past decade.
"Children are much more tolerant and responsive towards anti-cancer drugs as compared to adults. Hence their chances of recovery are also much better, provided that they are treated on time," said Dr Vijay Anand Reddy, director of Apollo Cancer Hospital. He, however, stressed on the importance of liaison between paediatricians and oncologists "It is essential that a paediatrician is aware of the symptoms. Only then will he/she diagnosis the condition, leading to timely treatment," he said.
This week (May 12-May 18) is being observed as World Retinoblastoma Awareness Week across the globe.
Contact Lens: Key tips to prevent eye trouble
Contact lens problems
The most common causes of contact lens problems are lenses that fit badly, poor lens hygiene, sensitivity to cleaning solutions, and dusty, windy environments. If you wear lenses for too long, or get a piece of grit or dirt trapped under the lens, your eyes may become irritated, red, and watery. Sometimes a lens slips under the eyelid and needs to be retrieved and repositioned.
Seek immediate medical help if;
* You have pain, blurred or reduced vision, or extreme sensitivity to light
* Your eye is very red
Eye drops containing sodium chloride lubricate the eye and make it easier to insert and remove lenses. Don’t use other types of eye drops without seeking advice from your pharmacist because some may damage your lenses.
If a lens has slipped under your eyelid, the following steps will help you retrieve it.
* First, squeeze 1-2 lubricating eye drops into your eye. If your eye is dry, using drops may be enough to help the lens float back into its correct position.
* If this doesn’t work, close your eye, then guide the lens back into position by pressing lightly on your eyelid with one finger. This should encourage the lens to slide back down over the front of your eye.
Seek medical advice
See your doctor or optometrist promptly if:
* Eye irritation continues or there is a discharge
* You develop any new eye problems
What you can do yourself
The following steps will help to reduce the risk of eye problems when you use contact lenses.
* If your eyes are irritated, take your contact lenses out for an hour or two to see if the symptoms ease. If they recur when you put the lenses back in, consult your optometrist or doctor.
* Try using lubricating eye drops formulated for contact lens wearers.
* Unless you use continuous-wear lenses, don’t wear your lenses for longer than the period of time advised by your optometrist. If this is unavoidable, take them out from time to time to give your eyes a rest. Always remove lenses before going to bed, having a nap, or swimming, bathing, or showering.
* Before handling lenses, wash your hands using an antibacterial or unperfumed soap and rinse them thoroughly. Clean and rinse reusable lenses every time you remove them using approved cleaners and storage solutions. Clean the lens case and air dry it too. Never lick your lenses or use water to wet them.
* Ask your optometrist about using disposable contact lenses, which are worn for just one day and discarded. They don’t need to be cleaned and sterilized and may be less likely to irritate your eyes.
* Take care with make-up. Apply it after you put your lenses in, and don’t use powder eye shadow or loose powder. Keep hairspray away from your eyes.
* Contact lenses can’t really get “lost” in the eye, but sometimes a lens slips under the eyelid. Try this technique to get the lens back into position
Great Tips for Beating Dental Anxiety
Dental anxiety is a serious issue; several studies say that people who are suffering from dental anxiety have bad oral health. Here are five most effective tips for preventing and beating dental anxiety in children.
1. Don’t Wait to Visit the Dentist until the Pain Increases
Do not wait until you experience extreme pain and then visit the dentist. It is the worst thing that you can do. Once the pain worsens, you might require an extraction or root canal treatment. Extractions and root canals are very much unpleasant and they can be quite excruciating as well. You need to visit the dentist once in every six months, when you experience signs of dental discomfort.
2. Finding the Right Dentist
Not all the dentists are great in dealing with anxious patients. It is very much important to find a caring dentist who can take care of your oral health. You can also ask your family members and friends and seek recommendations to spot a good dentist. You need to book for a consultation before your start treatment with the dentist; ensure that the dentist is caring enough before you agree for the treatment. If you are not feeling comfortable at the time of consultation, then you need to continue searching until you find the right dentist for you.
3. Discuss Dental Anxiety Openly With Your Dentist
Discuss your dental anxietyopen and explain him why you are scared about the treatment; a good dentist will help you overcome your fear, and recommend you the best measures to counter your anxiety.
4. Consider General Anaesthesia and Medications
If you have severe dental anxiety, then you can discuss premedication options with drugs like valiumand usage of nitrous oxide. Anxiolytics like valium can effectually help uneasy patients to manage with the dental anxiety. Dental practices with nitrous oxide can help patients to feel at ease throughout the procedure.
Dentists perform dental procedures with the help of general anaesthesia, which involved very little risk.
5. Good Oral Hygiene
You need to start brushing your teeth two times a day with fluoride toothpaste. Having healthy gums and teeth is the best possible way for avoiding a dentist’s drill, and boosting your self-confidence as well as reducing anxiety.
6. Preventing Children’s Dental Anxiety
If you are a parent, who’s afraid of dentist, it is pretty important not to let the fear pass on to children. Children are impressionable and perceptive; if they see that parents are afraid of dentist, then obviously children will also have the same fear.
Here are few tips to make sure that your children don’t develop any dental anxiety. Talk about the dental visits in a very positive way. It is never too young to get your child to the dentists for a general check-up.
Children below 3 years should consistently experience the dental care. From age 3, children should start attending proper check-ups and from 4, they need to get cleans.
Of course, upholding better oral health lessens the necessity to seek help from dental professional. It also makes it much easier for finding a dentist for patients suffering from dental anxiety.
These tips will certainly help in lessening dental anxiety.
How having pets helps heart disease
Pet ownership is increasingly being recognized as an important component of a heart healthy lifestyle, according to a recently released statement from the American Heart Association (AHA) published in the journal, Circulation, May 9.
A group of cardiologists recruited by the AHA recently reviewed literature linking cardiovascular health and outcomes with owning a pet and concluded that owning a pet is “probably associated” with a reduced risk of heart disease for people with no pre-existing history of cardiac disease, along with improved survival rates among those patients with coronary artery disease.
Dr. Glenn Levine, a professor at Baylor College of Medicine, along with his colleagues recommend that people have a dog or cat as a way to lower the risk of heart disease. This occurs by people becoming more physically active, which ultimately can lower blood pressure, cholesterol, as well as lead to lower levels of stress.
Studies in the past have demonstrated that the close relationship along with a pet’s companionship can reduce levels of stress hormones (cortisol, epinephrine, and growth hormone), while enabling people to deal with emotional, as well as stressful situations.
Some employers have recognized the fact that some people actually perform better at their jobs in the presence of their pets, which may ultimately be linked to reduction of stress along with blood pressure. When feasible, some employers have allowed their workers to bring their dogs into the work setting to help alleviate anxiety.
Furthermore, a number of patients who are on blood pressure medication have seen their dose requirements reduced as a result of the calming and positive emotional effects a pet may have on them.
One study in particular found that those people who adopted dogs reduced their blood pressure significantly, while another study found that dog owners were more likely to achieve recommended levels of exercise and maintain an active healthy lifestyle compared with non dog owners. Other studies have also discovered that people who didn’t actually own dogs themselves, but walked them frequently, were less likely to be obese.
However, according data from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) people who own pets are just as likely to be overweight as people without pets. While owning a pet cannot prevent heart disease, caring for them generally entails owners getting more frequent exercise, which may reduce blood pressure, cholesterol, weight as well as stress in general and lead to better heart health.
However, adopting a pet, while continuing to lead a sedentary life style, eating junk food and smoking is certainly not a way to reduce your risk for cardiac disease. While the AHA is optimistic about the benefits of pet ownership, it is not advising people to simply go out and get a pet and expect to reduce their cardiovascular risk. But if you already own a pet, especially a dog, the panel states you can reduce your risk of heart disease compared to those who do not have a pet.
In fact, while its interesting that people with heart disease did demonstrate a modest survival benefit if they had a pet, more in depth investigation is necessary to understand if the additional longevity was a result of reduced stress, increased exercise or a benefit of both combined.
Levine also explains that we need to understand whether adopting a pet can lead to a reduction in cardiovascular risk in those with pre-existing disease. He believes that more research and higher quality studies are necessary. Overall, the studies do not prove that owning a pet directly leads to a reduction in heart disease risk.
As Levine states, “it may be simply that the healthier people are the ones that have pets, not that having a pet actually leads to or causes a reduction in cardiovascular risk”.
Top 5 big lifestyle changes for heart health
Today’s problem for the health-conscious person is information overload; new health studies pour out daily from newspapers, radio stations, and television networks. Just how true are the studies? How compelling are the facts they claim? After reading countless scientific articles, listening to hundreds of international experts, and keeping an ear open when patients tell me about their experiences, I’ve identified the only five lifestyle changes with compelling evidence behind them. Taken together, these steps provide about 80% protection from heart attacks, as well as stroke and cancer, and this message comes from three major studies organized by the Harvard Medical School and published in highly rated journals.
(1) Unfortunately, the image of smoking as ‘sexy’, which was promoted for years in the USA and elsewhere, still lingers; young women remain the group least likely to give up smoking. But giving up smoking (or not starting in the first place) it essential. It confers just over one-third of the lifestyle benefits associated with healthy living.
(2) “Exercise is the elixir of life,” says Richard Verrier, from the Harvard School of Public Health. You need at least thirty minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise daily — ideally every day, but five days per week will do. How much effort should you put into it? A simple criterion: you should be sweating by the end of it.
(3) We know that the Western diet (with its high intake of fat, sugars, and calories) damages the arterial endothelium and promotes obesity, diabetes, and heart attacks. There are several validated, health promoting diets which counteract this, including the Prudent diet (which emphasises a high intake of vegetables, fruit, legumes, whole grains, fish and poultry), the DASH BP-reducing diet (similar, but with the addition of salt restriction; ideal for the many people with hypertension) and the Healthy Eating diet (again similar, but using a numerical index to score components). The Mediterranean diet may be the best of all of these, being immortalised by the declaration that it now belongs to the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Europe. Furthermore, in April 2013 in probably the largest and longest diet study ever undertaken, five years of the Mediterranean diet with high olive oil and nuts reduced heart attacks, strokes and (of note) total mortality in 7447 persons , all versus a standard low fat diet.
(4) Consistent studies show that fat around the middle — abdominal fat — is closely linked to increased heart disease and diabetes. Therefore a health body weight, indicated by a body mass index (BMI) of 25 or below, is vital for keeping the heart healthy. Fat tissue is not only cosmetically undesirable, but produces a variety of hormones, each of which is capable of adverse effects. For example, release of these hormones from fat tissue into the blood can trigger a series of chemical changes that eventually produce more fat. In brief, fat produces fat.
(5) Moderate alcohol, the fifth protective factor (and part of the Mediterranean diet) is a two-faced friend. A little helps, but more than that harms substantially. The ‘red wine’ hypothesis, which states that the beverage has benefits extending beyond its alcohol content, may also have some truth in it; deep red grape juice has the same effect of inhibiting blood clots, but only in higher doses. A fine Pinot Noir — the author’s favourite — may therefore be safely considered as one of the ‘big five’, but only in small doses.
Neurodegenerative Disease Symptoms May Be Linked to NOS1AP Protein
A protein called NOS1AP may be a missing link between over-stimulation of brain cells and the neuron death that leads to neurodegenerative disease symptoms in conditions like stroke and Alzheimer’s disease.
A new study reveals a possible "missing link" between over-stimulated neurons and neurodegenerative symptoms in conditions like stroke and Alzheimer's disease— a protein called NOS1AP.
Neurodegenerative diseases can result when brain cells become so hyperactive over time that toxic substances build up, causing the cells to self-destruct.
Though scientists may eventually develop drugs that reverse the process that leads from excitotoxicity to neuron death, the mechanism is still incompletely defined. Researchers knew that over-stimulated neurons produce small quantities of nitric oxide, which is a signal for cell death, but were skeptical that those amounts could be strong enough to lead to brain damage.
A new study, led by researchers at the University of Eastern Finland and published in the Journal of Neuroscience, finds that the NOS1AP protein amplifies the nitric oxide signal and activates a cell destruction initiator molecule called MKK3.
The resulting cascade of cell events shifts the neuron from over-stimulation mode to full-on cell death, or apoptosis.
The Finnish researchers tested a peptide chemical that interfered with NOS1AP in rat neurons, reducing the cell death signal by keeping the protein from seeking out nitric oxide.
The chemical was successful in limiting cell death in a rat model of a type of stroke called hypoxia-ischemia, and the rat brain cells treated with the chemical in the experiment had less damage than those without it.
With more research, the scientists write that the NOS1AP pathway could lead to a future "generation of neuroprotectants with high specificity." The drugs may be able to target the neurodegeneration pathway to prevent brain disorders like stroke, epilepsy, Alzheimer's disease.
NOS1AP is also implicated in conditions as varied schizophrenia, diabetes, and heart attack, raising the possibility that future drugs that act on the protein could also lead to treatments for those diseases as well.