Monthly Archives: August 2018

Asthma Medications – Other Anti-inflammatory Agents

Gold Salts

Gold salts have been adminitered to asthmatic patients based on the benefit of this drug in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Small numbers of patients have been treated with gold injections or an oral gold compound called auranofin, and individual patients have been reported to reduce their symptoms and steroid requirements. Studies of large numbers of patients are lacking and this approach is not without adverse effects, since gold may also cause pulmonary fibrosis. For these reasons, the use of gold salts in the treatment of asthma must be regarded as investigational.

Troleandomycin

Troleandomycin (TAO) , an antibiotic, has been administered to asthmatic patients who have been steroid dependent. It appears to simply slow the excretion of one of the oral corticosteroids, methylprednisolone. Selected patients receiving methylprednisolone who are given troleandomycin have been able to reduce their steroid dosage. A similar effect of TAO has been noted on theophylline breakdown. For this reason, blood levels of theophylline are required of patients maintained on this medication during TAO administration. TAO has no anti-inflammatory effect of its own and may cause liver damage. It must be concluded that TAO has little place in the routine treatment of bronchial asthma.

Antihistamines

Antihistamines have long been regarded as contraindicated in asthmatics. This prohibition has stemmed from the drying effect antihistamines have on lung secretions and the greater potential for “plugging”of the bronchial tubes in asthmatic attacks. This adverse effect has clearly been documented in many patients. On the other hand, studies of large dosages of antihistamines in asthmatic patients have occasionally demonstrated a beneficial effect. This is not surprising, since histamine is one of the irritating substances involved in provoking an asthmatic attack.

Azelastine

Azelastine is an antihistamine that has undergone trials in Japan and other countries in patients with bronchial asthma. Despite early positive results no significant benefit has been proven in large numbers of patients. One adverse effect is drowsiness. This drug is not available in the United States.

Ketotifen

Another antihistamine, Ketotifen, has been available for use in Europe for bronchial asthma. Tb date, studies do not demonstrate a significant beneficial effect. This agent may also cause drowsiness. Until further studies of additional agents are made available there can be no basis for the routine use of antihistamines for treatment of bronchial asthma. Antihistamines may be carefully administered for nasal or sinus disease if the patient is closely monitored by a physician.

Sexual Dysfunction

Sexual dysfunction is the inability to achieve an orgasm as the culmination of sexual activity with one’s partner. Such achievement depends on an unbroken chain of events, involving both the body and the mind. Beginning with desire and an expectation of pleasure, this mental state proceeds to physical arousal, during which the man has an erection and the woman’s vagina becomes lubricated to ease penetration. Intercourse can then take place, ideally continuing to orgasm for both partners. In a woman, orgasm takes the form of pleasurable contractions of muscles within the vaginal walls; in the male, orgasm is immediately followed by the ejaculation of semen. After orgasm, both partners experience a feeling of total relaxation and well being. Sexual dysfunction exists if emotional and physical responses at any point in this continuum prevent a satisfying out come for both partners. It is only in recent decades that the medical profession has gained a better understanding of the many reasons for sexual dysfunction and how to deal with them. The 1966 publication of Human Sexual Response, a landmark study by Dr. William H. Masters and Virginia E. Johnson, is viewed as a major turning point. Following this study, medical schools began offering courses in human sexuality, and sex therapy clinics were established in leading medical centers. Ongoing research into the physiology, not just the psychology, of sex has helped health professionals to identify the source of a problem and offer effective treatment. One factor in sexual dysfunction of women may be painful intercourse . In men, the most common problems are impotence (the inability to have or maintain an erection sufficient for sexual intercourse) and premature ejaculation . Two additional difficulties are common to both sexes: deficiency or absence of sexual fantasies and desire, and sexual aversion disorder, which takes the form of avoiding any genital contact with a sexual partner. Psychological factors, such as guilt, anxiety, anger, and fear, may playa role in sexual dysfunction, but doctors are increasingly aware that many cases have an organic origin. For example, diabetes is a relatively common cause of male impotence. Certain medications, especially those used to treat high blood pressure, produce sexual dysfunction in both men and women. Long term alcohol abuse can cause male impotence, and may also lower sexual desire in women. Many women who have had a hysterectomy report diminished sexual response, but the reasons for this are not entirely clear.

 sexual dysfunction

Diagnostic Studies And Procedures

Correct diagnosis of a particular aspect of sexual dysfunction begins with a doctor who asks the right questions, takes the time to listen, and understands the relationship between various health problems, medications, and lifestyle on the one hand, and sexual fulfilment on the other. Information gathered from the physical examination and laboratory tests is then evaluated against this background. When there is no obvious cause for the dysfunction, specific tests may be ordered. In a man, this may include nocturnal penile tumescence testing. During the rapid eye movement (REM) phase of sleep, men have as many as five erections of varying duration. If a snap gauge device attached to the penis is open in the morning, it is assumed that at least one erection occurred, indicating that impotence while awake is probably due to psychological rather than physical causes. Other procedures include testing nerve reflexes and evaluating circulatory problems that might reduce blood flow to the penis. Identifying the cause of sexual dysfunction in a woman can be more difficult. If she is able to achieve orgasm through self stimulation but not during intercourse, a doctor might assume that the problem is psychological. However, a gynecological examination may reveal an infection, a tumor, or other abnormality that inhibits orgasm during sexual intercourse.

Medical Treatments

When a situation calls for it, a primary care doctor will refer patients to other specialists: a man to a urologist or an endocrinologist, a woman to a gynecologist. Either might need the expertise of a sex therapist or psychiatrist. Because an estimated 25 percent of all cases of sexual dysfunction are related to the use of various medications, the first aspect of treatment may be to review all drugs being taken for other conditions. Otherwise, treatment is determined by the person’s gender and the nature of the problem.

Male Impotence

Increasingly, male impotence is treated with pills like  tryvexan or devices that help achieve or maintain an erection. One strategy, developed in France in the 1980s and now the most popular impotence treatment worldwide, involves injecting medication into the side of the penis a few minutes before intercourse to increase blood flow and achieve an erection. Another regimen entails taking two drugs, papaverine, an artificial opium alkaloid, and phentolamine (Regitine), a drug normally used to treat high blood pressure. The drugs work by relaxing the smooth muscles in the walls of the blood vessels, allowing them to open wider and let more blood flow into the penis. Sometimes a synthetic form of prostaglandin E1 is taken to achieve a similar effect. In yet another approach, a medicated patch containing nitroglycerin is placed directly on the penis. The medication, which is more often used to treat angina, promotes a rush of blood to the penis and results in an erection. Still in the testing stage are several creams that dilate blood vessels: one is a topical form of minoxidil, the antihy pertensive drug that is also marketed as a treatment for baldness; another is a drug that is massaged into the penis to induce erection and heighten arousal in the female by increasing blood flow to the vagina; a third type is inserted into the tip of the penis with a plunger. A number of mechanical implements are also used to treat male impotence. One is a vacuum apparatus that applies a negative pressure to achieve an erection, which is then maintained by a tight rubber ring placed at the base of the penis. Another, made of semirigid material, is placed over the penis like a condom. A vacuum device then draws out the penis to fill the covering, which is left in place during intercourse. Surgical penile implants are now considered the treatment of last resort because of their inherent risk of infection and tissue damage. The simplest are those that hold the penis in a semirigid position all the time; the more complex have devices that allow a man to make the penis rigid during intercourse and relax it at other times.

Measles

Measles

Measles is a highly contagious disease caused by a paramyxovirus. Medically known as rubeola, in the past it was referred to as nine day measles to distinguish it from the milder, three day German measles, or rubella. Measles was once exceedingly common during childhood, occurring often in local epidemics. Today, it is rare in most industrialized countries, thanks to wide spread immunization during infancy. From 10 to 14 days after exposure to the virus, flu like symptoms develop, including fever, runny nose, red watery eyes, and a dry cough. Some children also have diarrhea. The disease is at its most contagious during this phase. Within one to two days, tiny white dots appear on the lining of the mouth. A day or two later, the characteristic skin rash of measles appears. It starts behind and below the ears and, within another day or two, spreads to cover the entire head and body. The rash begins as tiny, slightly raised red spots that gradually increase in size and often join together to form large splotches. Any itching is usually mild. From three to five days after the appearance of the rash, all of the symptoms start to disappear. Although measles itself is generally mild, it carries a high risk of complications, such as pneumonia, ear infections, and encephalitis.

Diagnostic Studies And Procedures

A doctor can usually diagnose measles simply by observing the characteristic rash and other symptoms. If there is any doubt, laboratory evaluation of the nasal discharge can sometimes identify the virus. Or blood tests can be done to look for antibodies to the virus.

Medical Treatments

When an unimmunized child or immunocompromised person has been exposed to the measles virus, an injection of measles immune globulin or immune serum globulin might be administered. These shots will bolster immunity, and thus may prevent the disease or reduce its severity. Antibiotics, although ineffective against the virus, may be prescribed to prevent or treat a secondary infection. Otherwise treatment is aimed at making the child more comfortable . You should watch for signs of complications and call a doctor immediately if any arise. These would include complaints of eye pain from bright light, unusual sleepiness or stupor, severe headache, and convulsions. At particular risk for complications are infants, persons who are taking steroids or immunosuppressive drugs, and children who have diabetes, asthma, or other chronic diseases.

Alternative Therapies

Herbal Medicine

Herbalists frequently recommend drinking saffron tea to promote perspiration and help lower the fever that accompanies measles.

Nutrition Therapy

One study showed that vitamin A supplements reduced complications and the death rate among malnourished third world children with measles. However, high doses of vitamin A are not generally recommended for children because of the danger of toxicity from them.

Self Treatment

No one should ever have to suffer from measles, because a vaccination is available to prevent it. A child should be immunized shortly after his first birth day and again during the school years. The age for the second shot varies because some areas require the immunization before the child starts school . Children who do contract the disease should be kept at home to prevent spreading the infection and to allow for adequate rest to aid in recuperation. Although total bed rest is not necessary, only quiet activities should be allowed. Contrary to past advice, it is not necessary to keep a child in a dark room to protect his eyes. You may give a child acetaminophen to ease the fever, headache, and other discomforts, but not aspirin, which is associated with an increased risk of Reye’s syndrome, a severe brain and liver disorder . Be sure to offer the patient plenty of liquids, but do not force him to eat, especially when fever or diarrhea is present. If itching is a problem, applications of calamine lotion to rashy areas may ease it. Taking a bath in lukewarm water to which cornstarch or colloidal oatmeal has been added also alleviates itching.

Other Causes of Rashes And Fever

Symptoms similar to those of measles may be caused by other viral infections that produce a splotchy rash, such as chickenpox, rubella, and scarlet fever.

Anti Stress Diet

Periods of pressure and stress, short or long, are part of everybody’s life, whether caused by disturbing events (death in the family), unusual challenges (a new job) or even happy changes (promotion). You may not be aware of it but stress affects your body’s ability to handle various kinds of foods.

One thing that happens when you are under stress is a sudden constriction of your blood vessels. This raises your blood pressure and also reduces the amount of blood going to your stomach and intestines. The flow of enzymes (digestive aids) is slowed as well. Much of the food you eat, particularly if it has a high fat content, is therefore poorly digested. Instead of being broken down properly, it ferments in the intestine, causing gas and distension.

Another thing that happens right away in any stress reaction is a hormonal alert that your blood needs more glucose-in other words, you feel more hungry. This may prompt you to eat a lot of carbohydrates, either sugar or starch. The reaction is an appropriate one if you are facing strenuous physical exertion, but it gives you only surplus calories (increase in weight) if the stress is psychological.

Here are some helpful pointers you can follow for an anti-stress diet:

  • Cut down on table salt and other sources of sodium because of their link with high blood pressure. Remember that preservatives may also contain sodium.
  • Drink only moderate amounts of coffee and tea and remember that caffeine is present in both. Caffeine, nicotine and alcohol are stimulants.
  • You should have eight big glasses of fluids in a day. It can be in the form of any drink, but make sure you drink at least two glasses of plain water daily. This helps to flush waste products out of the body.
  • Eat foods that are rich in potassium, like oranges and bananas. Potassium is essential for the right balance of the minerals within body fluids and plays a key role in muscle contraction.
  • Be sure you are getting enough calcium, as you tend to lose more than usual when you are in a stressful situation. You should try to have at least two glasses of skimmed/toned (reduced fat content) milk in a day.
  • Vitamin C is important, as it keeps the walls of the capillaries flexible. The blood vessels constrict at the first sign of stress, and this results in the depletion of vitamin C in the body. Sources of vitamin C are the citrus fruits (orange, lime, lemon, grapefruit) and fresh vegetables eaten raw as salad.
  • The vitamin B complex serves as a catalyst in the production of energy, and in the metabolism of protein and fats. It is also necessary for the working of the central nervouS system. In conditions of stress (especially physical), supplements are advisable. Increase the intake of green leafy vegetables, eggs, milk, whole grains, sprouts and yeast (khameer).
  • Nitrogen, the base of the body’s protein, is excreted under stress. So the protein intake should be increased by 10% during a stress period.
  • Five small meals are lighter than three large ones on the digestive system. The additional small meals can take the form of afternoon or evening snacks.
  • Relax before a meal. Sit down at the table for every meal, putting your worries aside.
  • Try and include apples (with the skin), apricots, bananas, French beans, cabbage, cauliflower, cherries, corn, grapefruit, lemon, lettuce, melons, mushrooms, ladies’ fingers, oranges, peaches, pears, peas, pineapple, plums, potatoes, rice and tomatoes in your diet. They are high potassium and low sodium foods.

Relief in Hot Flashes

Not all women want to take hormone replacement therapy, although it’s known to make menopausal life better – especially the hot flashes. Instead, the diet can be modified to eradicate the flashes.

Soybean has been found to give hot-flash relief. Eating or drinking two servings of soya day in the forms of soybean dal, nuggets, soymilk or tofu, takes 4 to 6 weeks to show the effect.

Avoiding certain foods can also give relief in hot flashes. Hot and spicy foods and hot drinks (tea, coffee) should be avoided. Also, avoid large meals as they increase the body temperature, especially meals that are high in fat.

Weight Loss Questions Answered

Do drugs and fat burners work?

There are a lot of weight-loss drugs available, both prescription and over-the-counter. There used to be more, but they were banned because of the serious health problems they caused.

Amphetamines and caffeine (far in excess of the dose in your morning cup of coffee) have also been used and discarded as unsafe. Not only do their appetite-suppressing effects eventually wear off over time, but they are harmful to the body. Years ago there was even a diet pill that contained live tapeworm segments that latched onto the gut and helped themselves to the nutrients before the body could absorb them. Yuck!

Over-the-counter formulas

As per https://www.getphenq.com, nonprescription diet pills sold as “dietary supplements” are not subject to FDA approval as long as they do not claim to treat a disease. Their safety and effectiveness have not been tested. The chance is great that some terrible side effect will surface in the future. Over the years enough “miracle pills” have turned out to be nightmares that it hardly seems worth the risk.

The latest example is a Chinese herb called Aristolochia fangchi, which was given to patients at a Belgian weight-loss clinic. Within three years, more than 100 patients had kidney damage. Many of them needed dialysis or kidney transplants. Now, nearly 10 years after taking the herb, these patients are developing urinary tract cancers. The lesson to be learned from this horrifying story is that it often takes a long time for these kinds of problems to surface when a medicinal product is not subject to clinical trial before it is approved for use. And that is exactly the case with nonprescription dietary supplements.

There are too many such products to list, let alone discuss in detail. My advice is to simply avoid them all.

Are there fat-burning foods?

No. You may be able to burn fat in a frying pan if you leave it too long on high heat, but the only way to “burn” fat in your body is to expend more energy than is available as glucose in your blood.

Carbohydrates are converted to glucose, and that is what is used to provide energy. Excess is stored in your liver and muscles as glycogen, which can be converted back to glucose when needed. When the glycogen storage cells are full, the rest is stored as fatty acid in fat cells. Fat is also stored as fatty acid in fat cells and so is any excess from the protein you eat that is not needed for cell building.

Your body uses the easiest and most available source of energy first. That’s glucose. Next it draws on the glycogen and fat storehouses. It uses these two at the same time and in about equal proportions as a way of ensuring that glycogen is not fully depleted.

Any physical activity that requires energy in excess of available glucose will burn fat. The longer and the more intensely you exercise, the more fat you will burn. The scientific principle at work here is nothing more nor less than “calories in, calories out.” There are no specific foods, or exercises for that matter, that burn fat more effectively or efficiently than others.

“Fat catalysts”

One diet claims to “burn” extra calories because of some magic “catalytic” property found in grapefruit. Now, grapefruit is a wonderful food. It has lots of vitamin C, a decent amount of fiber, and half of a medium fruit has only 50 calories. It is refreshing and delicious and makes a good low-cal snack, dessert, or appetizer, especially if you don’t sprinkle it with sugar. But it has no magic properties.

The U.S. Postal Service has targeted mail order sales of “grapefruit diet pills prime example of mail fraud. These pills actually contain one or more questionable ingredients that have nothing to do with grapefruit: a diuretic cause remove water from your body; glucomannan, a food thickener that can intestinal obstruction; and an appetite suppressant that can cause jitteriness and an irregular heartbeat.

Just say “no” to grapefruit diet pills; the do more harm than good.

Can you spot-reduce?

Years ago gyms and health clubs were equipped with “exercise” machines that consisted of a motor and a wide canvas strap that you put around your buttocks, stomach, hips, or wherever you felt chubby. The idea was that the vibrating strap was “burning” fat off those specific areas. Guess what? It didn’t work.

Neither do exercises that concentrate on a specific area of the body. That’s simply not the way fat cell usage works.

Lifting weights with your arms will strengthen the specific arm muscles you are using, but they will not reduce pockets of fat around or near those muscles.

Where a person loses fat is highly individual. When I lose a few pounds, for example, it first begins to show on my face. Unfortunately, I already have a thin face to offset my ample thighs. But that’s the way it is.

There is no question that the trimmer, tighter look you get from strength training an other exercise comes from increased muscle tone. A flabby stomach will look flatter when abdominal muscles are strengthened, for example. A tight gluteus maximus will lift even the flabbiest buttocks. But If you are heavy in the hips and you lose 10 pounds, there is no promise that all or even most of the fat will come off your hips.

Stomach surgery

These are extreme treatments for life-threatening obesity for which nothing else has worked. People who are morbidly obese who have tried medically supervised diet and exercise, and even prescription diet drugs, but are still unable to lose enough weight may be candidates for gastric surgery.

There are surgical procedures that reduce the size of the stomach. Called gastric restriction or gastric bypass, these either dose off all but a small pocket of the stomach or provide a direct passage for food from the esophagus to the intestines, bypassing the stomach.

Surgical procedures are not without risks or expense. Sometimes people develop hernias or gallstones. Anemia and other problems related to nutritional deficiencies are also common. And sometimes the surgical “staples” come out of place. Even when everything works, the procedure requires hospitalization, general anesthesia, and a lengthy period of recovery. Furthermore, people who have had this surgery must still watch their caloric intake and should add exercise to their daily routine. They also require lifelong medical monitoring.

So if you’re looking for an easy surgical solution to your munchies problem, this isn’t it.

5 Interior Design Tips To Help You Have a Healthier Home

A healthy home is a happy home. If your home has a stress-free atmosphere, it will help you maintain good physical, emotional, and mental health. Having areas designed to help you sustain and improve your wellness such as an exercise and meditation room can contribute greatly to your health and happiness.

Professional residential interior design tips and ideas can also help you achieve a home designed with your health and wellbeing in mind. Below are some of the highly recommended ones guaranteed to help you in your quest to be and stay in tip-top shape:

1.   Incorporate the right colors

The colors in your home play an important role in triggering the right emotions you are supposed to feel in a particular room.

For the right color applications, remember the following:

  • Since you need to get plenty of rest and sleep in the bedroom, it needs to be painted with a calming color. Blue and green have been proven to be soothing hues and, as such, will work well for any bedroom.
  • If you want your bathroom to be a tranquil and relaxing space for lingering baths, you can use blue or green or a combination of both for this room, too.
  • For your living room, consider using warm earth tones to create a welcoming and comfortable space where everyone will want to spend time in.
  • To ensure everyone has a good appetite and eats well in the dining room or kitchen, have it painted in red or incorporate this color in this area. Red is said to be effective in stimulating people’s appetite.

When a room is designed using the appropriate colors, it will stimulate desirable positive emotions which are, of course, essential for happiness and health.

2.   Let natural light in

Lighting can make a person feel happy and energized, or moody and anxious. A dark or dimly-lit room can make you feel lazy and sad. These are emotions that won’t do any good for your mental and physical well-being especially when you want to be active and creative.

If you want to give all rooms a more cheerful and positive vibe, let natural light flood your home space. As much as possible, use light curtains to cover windows. If you only have heavy draperies or blinds, open them during the day to let the sunlight in.

3.   Allow more fresh air into your home

Aside from opening your curtains or blinds, open your windows and even some doors during the day to allow natural air to enter the rooms. Avoid using paints and flooring products that have volatile organic compounds or VOCs since they contain harsh chemicals that contribute to indoor pollution.

By taking note of these things, you can improve indoor air quality and help reduce pollutants in your home.

With better air quality in your home, you reduce the risk of acquiring certain respiratory diseases such as asthma, rhinitis, allergies, and pharyngitis.

4.   Add more plants

Aside from adding color and natural beauty your home, houseplants are effective for cleaning the air circulating indoors and improving air quality. They also help boost the mood and reduce the stress and anxiety levels of people who look at and take care of them.

Some of the plants you should have in your home include:

  • English ivy
  • Aloe
  • Dracaena
  • Gerber daisy
  • Golden pothos
  • Peace lily
  • Philodendron

While you’re cultivating potted or container plants indoors, consider growing plants outside your windows, too. These plants will effortlessly enhance the look of your home exterior as well.

5.   Invest in the right furniture

Finally, furniture and other home accessories and features are elements that make a home feel like a real home.

Make sure you have a comfortable sofa with throw pillows in a living room to encourage socializing and fun conversations in this space.

Additionally, to really have “health-oriented” rooms, choose your furniture pieces carefully. Many mass-produced padded pieces of furniture are likely packed with polyurethane foam and artificial fibers, and doused with flame-retardant chemicals. They may even contain VOCs as well.

Certain wooden furniture also contains substantial amounts of industrial glue. They can introduce large quantities of carcinogens which you can breathe in your home.

When shopping for furniture, choose ones that are non-toxic and eco-friendly. Opt for sustainable ones made of wood or grass pieces that are polished with natural oils like tung oil or linseed oil. For upholstered pieces, select ones with natural padding and organic cotton or linen fabric exteriors.

With the right interior design tips and tricks, you can have a healthy and happy home – one that will not just benefit you and your family but even your guests as well.