Sunday, June 5, 2011

Causes And Risk Factors Of Migraines

Causes & Risk Factors:
A lot of people get migraines -- about 11 out of 100. The headaches tend to first appear between the ages of 10 and 46. Occasionally, migraines may occur later in life in a person with no history of such headaches. Migraines occur more often in women than men, and may run in families. Women may have fewer migraines when they are pregnant. Most women with such headaches have fewer attacks during the last two trimesters of pregnancy.

A migraine is caused by abnormal brain activity, which is triggered by stress, certain foods, environmental factors, or something else. However, the exact chain of events remains unclear.

Scientists used to believe that migraines were due to changes in blood vessels within the brain. Today, most medical experts believe the attack actually begins in the brain itself, where it involves various nerve pathways and chemicals. The changes affect blood flow in the brain and surrounding tissues.

Migraine attacks may be triggered by:
    * Alcohol
    * Allergic reactions
    * Bright lights
    * Certain odors or perfumes
    * Changes in hormone levels (which can occur during a woman's menstrual cycle or with the use of birth control pills)
    * Changes in sleep patterns
    * Exercise
    * Loud noises
    * Missed meals
    * Physical or emotional stress
    * Smoking or exposure to smoke

Certain foods and preservatives in foods may trigger migraines in some people. Food-related triggers may include:
    * Any processed, fermented, pickled, or marinated foods
    * Baked goods
    * Chocolate
    * Dairy products
    * Foods containing monosodium glutamate (MSG)
    * Foods containing tyramine, which includes red wine, aged cheese, smoked fish, chicken livers, figs, and certain beans
    * Fruits (avocado, banana, citrus fruit)
    * Meats containing nitrates (bacon, hot dogs, salami, cured meats)
    * Nuts
    * Onions
    * Peanut butter

This list may not be all-inclusive.True migraine headaches are not a result of a brain tumor or other serious medical problem. However, only an experienced health care provider can determine whether your symptoms are due to a migraine or another condition.

Symptoms Of Migraine

 A migraine is a common type of headache that may occur with symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, or sensitivity to light. In many people, a throbbing pain is felt only on one side of the head.

Vision disturbances, or aura, are considered a "warning sign" that a migraine is coming. The aura occurs in both eyes and may involve any or all of the following:

    * A temporary blind spot
    * Blurred vision
    * Eye pain
    * Seeing stars or zigzag lines
    * Tunnel vision

Not every person with migraines has an aura. Those who do usually develop one about 10 - 15 minutes before the headache. However, it may occur just a few minutes to 24 hours beforehand.

Migraine headaches can be dull or severe. The pain may be felt behind the eye or in the back of the head and neck. For many patients, the headaches start on the same side each time. The headaches usually:

    * Feel throbbing, pounding, or pulsating
    * Are worse on one side of the head
    * Start as a dull ache and get worse within minutes to hours
    * Last 6 to 48 hours

Other symptoms that may occur with the headache include:
    * Chills
    * Increased urination
    * Fatigue
    * Loss of appetite
    * Nausea and vomiting
    * Numbness, tingling, or weakness
    * Problems concentrating, trouble finding words
    * Sensitivity to light or sound
    * Sweating

Symptoms that may linger even after the migraine has gone away include:
    * Feeling mentally dull, like your thinking is not clear or sharp
    * Increased need for sleep
    * Neck pain

How To Prevent Asthma?

Asthma symptoms can be substantially reduced by avoiding known triggers and substances that irritate the airways.

Bedding can be covered with "allergy proof" casings to reduce exposure to dust mites. Removing carpets from bedrooms and vacuuming regularly is also helpful. Detergents and cleaning materials in the home should be unscented.

Keeping humidity levels low and fixing leaks can reduce growth of organisms such as mold. Keep the house clean and keep food in containers and out of bedrooms -- this helps reduce the possibility of cockroaches, which can trigger asthma attacks in some people.

If a person is allergic to an animal that cannot be removed from the home, the animal should be kept out of the patient's bedroom. Filtering material can be placed over the heating outlets to trap animal dander.

Eliminating tobacco smoke from the home is the single most important thing a family can do to help a child with asthma. Smoking outside the house is not enough. Family members and visitors who smoke outside carry smoke residue inside on their clothes and hair -- this can trigger asthma symptoms.

Persons with asthma should also avoid air pollution, industrial dusts, and other irritating fumes, as much as possible.

Treatment For Asthma

The goal of treatment is to avoid the substances that trigger your symptoms and to control airway inflammation. You and your doctor should work together as a team to develop and carry out a plan for eliminating asthma triggers and monitoring symptoms.

There are two basic kinds of medication for the treatment of asthma:

    * Long-acting medications to prevent attacks
    * Quick-relief medications for use during attacks

Long-term control medications are used on a regular basis to prevent attacks, not to treat them. Such medicines include:

    * Inhaled corticosteroids (such as Azmacort, Vanceril, AeroBid, Flovent) prevent inflammation
    * Leukotriene inhibitors (such as Singulair and Accolate)
    * Long-acting bronchodilators (such as Serevent) help open airways
    * Omilizumab (Xolair), which blocks a pathway that the immune system uses to trigger asthma symptoms
    * Cromolyn sodium (Intal) or nedocromil sodium (Tilade)
    * Aminophylline or theophylline (not used as frequently as in the past)
    * Sometimes a single medication that combines steroids and bronchodilators are used (Advair, Symbicort)

Quick relief, or rescue, medications are used to relieve symptoms during an attack. These include:

    * Short-acting bronchodilators (inhalers), such as Proventil, Ventolin, Xopenex, and others
    * Corticosteroids, such as methylprednisolone, may be given directly into a vein (intravenously), during a severe attack, along with other inhaled medications

People with mild asthma (infrequent attacks) may use quick relief medication as needed. Those with persistent asthma should take control medications on a regular basis to prevent symptoms. A severe asthma attack requires a check up by a doctor and, possibly, a hospital stay, oxygen, and medications through a vein (IV).

A peak flow meter is a simple device to measure how quickly you can move air out of your lungs. It can help you see if an attack is coming, sometimes even before any symptoms appear. Peak flow measurements can help show when medication is needed, or other action needs to be taken. Peak flow values of 50-80% of a specific person's best results are a sign of a moderate asthma attack, while values below 50% are a sign of a severe attack.

Causes & Risk Factors Of Asthma

Causes & Risk Factors:
Asthma is caused by inflammation in the airways. When an asthma attack occurs, the muscles surrounding the airways become tight and the lining of the air passages swell. This reduces the amount of air that can pass by, and can lead to wheezing sounds.

Most people with asthma have wheezing attacks separated by symptom-free periods. Some patients have long-term shortness of breath with episodes of increased shortness of breath. In others, a cough may be the main symptom. Asthma attacks can last minutes to days and can become dangerous if the airflow becomes severely restricted.

In sensitive individuals, asthma symptoms can be triggered by breathing in allergy-causing substances (called allergens or triggers).

Common asthma triggers include:

    * Animals (pet hair or dander)
    * Dust
    * Changes in weather (most often cold weather)
    * Chemicals in the air or in food
    * Exercise
    * Mold
    * Pollen
    * Respiratory infections, such as the common cold
    * Strong emotions (stress)
    * Tobacco smoke

Aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) provoke asthma in some patients.

Many people with asthma have an individual or family history of allergies, such as hay fever (allergic rhinitis) or eczema. Others have no history of allergies.

Treatment For Arthritis

Treatment of arthritis depends on the particular cause, which joints are affected, severity, and how the condition affects your daily activities. Your age and occupation will also be taken into consideration when your doctor works with you to create a treatment plan.

If possible, treatment will focus on eliminating the underlying cause of the arthritis. However, the cause is NOT necessarily curable, as with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Treatment, therefore, aims at reducing your pain and discomfort and preventing further disability.

It is possible to greatly improve your symptoms from osteoarthritis and other long-term types of arthritis without medications. In fact, making lifestyle changes without medications is preferable for osteoarthritis and other forms of joint inflammation. If needed, medications should be used in addition to lifestyle changes.

Exercise for arthritis is necessary to maintain healthy joints, relieve stiffness, reduce pain and fatigue, and improve muscle and bone strength. Your exercise program should be tailored to you as an individual. Work with a physical therapist to design an individualized program, which should include:
* Low-impact aerobic activity (also called endurance exercise)
* Range of motion exercises for flexibility
* Strength training for muscle tone

A physical therapist can apply heat and cold treatments as needed and fit you for splints or orthotic (straightening) devices to support and align joints. This may be particularly necessary for rheumatoid arthritis. Your physical therapist may also consider water therapy, ice massage, or transcutaneous nerve stimulation (TENS).

Rest is just as important as exercise. Sleeping 8 to 10 hours per night and taking naps during the day can help you recover from a flare-up more quickly and may even help prevent exacerbations. You should also:
* Avoid holding one position for too long.
* Avoid positions or movements that place extra stress on your affected joints.
* Modify your home to make activities easier. For example, have grab bars in the shower, the tub, and near the toilet.
* Reduce stress, which can aggravate your symptoms. Try meditation or guided imagery. And talk to your physical therapist about yoga or tai chi.

Other measures to try include:

* Apply capsaicin cream (derived from hot chili peppers) to the skin over your painful joints. You may feel improvement after applying the cream for 3-7 days.
* Eat a diet rich in vitamins and minerals, especially antioxidants like vitamin E. These are found in fruits and vegetables. Get selenium from Brewer's yeast, wheat germ, garlic, whole grains, sunflower seeds, and Brazil nuts. Get omega-3 fatty acids from cold water fish (like salmon, mackerel, and herring), flaxseed, rapeseed (canola) oil, soybeans, soybean oil, pumpkin seeds, and walnuts.
* Taking glucosamine and chondroitin -- these form the building blocks of cartilage, the substance that lines joints. These supplements are available at health food stores or supermarkets. While some studies show such supplements may reduce osteoarthritis symptoms, others show no benefit. However, since these products are regarded as safe, they are reasonable to try and many patients find their symptoms improve.

How To Avoid Snoring?

As kids, many would have watched their elders breathing in and out like a grizzly bear. Kids no more, many of them become victims of a similar fate. Snoring is a common disorder among men. While it can leave your wife/partner exasperated

and your kids giggling, it’s unwise to ignore the practice of doing a full-throttle Harley-Davidson.

Generally, mild snoring does not pose a health risk. However, if the problem gets aggravated, it’s time to ring the alarm bells. Do not hesitate from seeking sound medical advice. It is not embarrassing at all. Snoring is like any other disorder of human body and is curable.

From our side, we have compiled a few easy-to-follow tips for you to silence the monster of snoring:

Quit Puffing that Cigarette:
If you’re grappling with the problem of snoring you’ve got yet another reason to quit smoking. Cigarette smoke greatly irritates the tissues of nasal passages and upper airway, causing them to inflate and hinder airflow.

Eat Light:
Don’t eat a large meal just before retiring to the bed. Try and avoid midnight snacks. The process of digestion causes the muscles of all parts of the body – including throat – to relax.

Avoiding Alcohol:
Try not to consume alcohol for four hours prior to hitting the bed. Muscles in the airway get over-relaxed after drinking of alcoholic beverages. Same goes for tranquilisers and sedating medications.

Shed Some Pounds:
Snoring is three times more prevalent in obese men.

Get Rid of the Nasal Congestion:
Stuffed nose can obviously obstruct the flow of air. Use a nasal spray to clear that clogged nose. It helps you breathe better and avoid snoring.

Get off Your Back:
Sleeping on your side may stop your tongue and the fleshy lobe that hangs from the
roof of your mouth from falling back into your airway, suggest doctors.

How To Avoid Bad Breathe?

“Halitosis” is the medical term used for bad breath that comes out of your mouth and nose.It is a fairly common problem and once you realize that you have bad breath; it can lead to embarrassment, social anxiety, or even isolation in worst case scenarios.

It’s hard to identify if you are suffering from bad breath or not all by yourself. Usually it’s your friends, family members, or colleagues who notice it at the first place. Generally people remain ignorant of the fact that they have bad breath until a person who means a lot points it out. Once they know, you can start expecting weird or conscious behavior from them including checking their breath continuously, staying too far away while speaking, etc.

What causes bad breath?
Poor oral hygiene tops the list of the causes of bad breath. The bacteria in your mouth break down proteins in food which releases sulphur compounds and it’s these compounds that cause the smell.

In many cases it’s caused by illness, especially ones related to throat and tonsils.

• Many believe that it can be caused due to indigestion.

• Eating a lot of food containing garlic, onions and spices can cause temporary bad breath, which is often referred as morning breath.

• Excessive drinking and smoking can cause persistent bad breath.

• The ones afflicted by gum diseases and dental decay are on a higher risk of having bad breath.

• If you have healthy teeth and gums then it’s the collection of bacteria at the back of your tongue that is causing bad breath.

• Those who have chronic sinus infection or post-nasal drip are at a higher risk of having bad breath.

• Too much stress or lack of exercise and not drinking sufficient amount of water during the day also contributes to bad breath.

What can you do to stop it?  
What you can do is try and refrain from eating smelly, sugary, and spicy food too often. Moreover, you should stop smoking, drink less alcohol and caffeine. Drinking at least 2 litres of water per day has proven to be beneficial in stopping bad breath problems. Along with all that, do the following to improve your overall oral hygiene:

• Go to your dentist for regular dental check-ups.

• Brush and floss your teeth at least twice a day.

• Always use a non-alcoholic based mouthwash.

• Use a tongue scraper to remove the collection of bacteria from the back of the tongue.

• Try and identify the area that’s causing the bad breath. For instance, is it your throat, tonsils, sinuses, etc? You need to identify and take adequate measures to solve the issue.

• If it is not possible for you to clean your teeth after every meal then chewing sugar-free gum can solve the problem, but it only works for a short span of time.

• You can keep a mouth-freshener spray with you all the time to temporarily mask the problem.

However, if the bad breath persists even after trying all the above measures then you must consult a dentist for further treatment. A dentist usually does the following:

• He would firstly discuss your eating habits, health history, special circumstances, and other preliminary information.

• He may test concentration of sulfides in the breath using a clinical device called the halimeter.

• Assess your specific area of problem.

• The dentist will possibly test with bad breath detective kit.

• He would than train you in using the oxygenating formulas that are to be applied on your particular area of problem.

• At last he would re-test with the halimiter or bad breath detective, which will show you the reduction in your VSC levels.

Cure For Common Cold

The common cold is a viral infectious disease of the upper respiratory system. While it gives you ailments like cough, sore throat, runny nose, and fever, it can also lead breathing problems as there are good chances of the nasal passage getting congested.

We understand what a horrible experience it is to have a stuffed nose and keep gasping for breath every other minute.

You can easily pick up cold by inhaling somebody else's germs or touching someone who has a virus and then touching your eyes and nose, thereby allowing the germs to enter your body. Once the virus has invaded, it opens its account in your throat and starts producing baby viruses by hundreds. These viruses then traverse all around your body and trigger those hateful symptoms like: a stuffy/drippy nose, sore throat, aches, breathing problems and cough.

The common cold is the most infectious disease in humans. An average adult is most likely to catch cold at least three times in a year. There are no medicines available as such which can cure cold. It is said time is the sure cure for cold. The principle of “prevention being better that cure” is totally apt here. The best way to stay away from cold is maintaining a distance from the people who are infected, and the places where they have been. Regular hand washing is also helpful in getting rid of the virus.

Try these to deal with the symptoms of cold:

Nurture your Throat: Suck the over-the-counter lozenges (Vicks, Honitus, Strepsils etc.) to soothe that wounded throat. You can also go for a medicated spray.

More and More Zinc:
Studies in the US have indicated that zinc tablets can cut the duration of a cold by 42 percent. Zinc may also inhibit virus replication and reduce inflammation. But seek medical advice before taking any sorts of zinc supplements.

Steam your Nose:
Sip soups or take a steamy shower. This will help dilate the mucus in your nose and upper throat to help make breathing easier. You can also use over-the-counter decongestant sprays and inhalers.

Apart from this try drinking a good quantity of water and take adequate rest. Vitamin C may help but only to an extent. Don't expect it to do magic.

Healthy Foods To Eat At Work Station

We've all heard it times and again that sitting all day long at the desk isn't really good for the health. Sadly, there aren't any feasible alternatives to this mode of working. While you can't just leave your job, you can surely do something which is beneficial for your health. Eating the right kind of fruits can help you overcome the negative effects of sitting like a robot all day.

Here are five power foods you can enjoy while sitting at your desk. They can work wonders for your heart, blood pressure, and can even improve your memory and concentration.


Some new researches have pointed out that walnuts have more (and better quality) antioxidants than almonds, peanuts, pistachios and many other nuts. All nuts have been found to improve lipids and can reduce the risk of heart diseases. Walnuts have also been found to enhance cognitive and motor function in animals with Alzheimer's. Experts recommend seven walnuts a day.

Cup of Green Tea:
Polyphenols, one of the major ingredients of green tea, is known to help repair the damaged DNA and stimulate the immune system. Besides, research shows that green tea also helps in reducing the risk of cancers, including skin cancer and prostate cancer.


If there ever was a list of healthy snacks, this is definitely going to be on the list. In fact, many say that popcorn is the healthiest snack available. It is 100 percent whole grain and is big on fiber and antioxidants. If you can air-pop your popcorn and add a minimal quantity of salt, you'd have the best popcorn, say experts. If your office has a microwave, just make sure you bring a pack of low sodium popcorn to work.

Dark Chocolate:
This, too, contains those powerful antioxidants called Polyphenols which combat the risk factors (like oxidation of LDL cholesterol) for heart diseases and also inhibit clotting. Studies have also indicated that consuming a small bar of dark chocolate daily can reduce blood pressure in people with mild hypertension. Caffeine, another active ingredient of dark chocolate, can give you that much-required kick and a boost in concentration levels.


Not only they help you conquer that “false hunger”, they are also brimming with nutrients which are needed to keep you going all day. You can choose between apples, bananas, mangoes, oranges, papayas etc. but make sure you carry some fruits to the office on a daily basis.

Five Healthy Fruits For Good Health

These are time of scorching heat. Sun is ruthless and the heat wave unsparing. But these are also the time when exotic fruits bloom in plenty.

And these fruits can have an immensely chilling effect on us. But the problem comes when an entire generation falls for Coke and Pepsi and gets estranged with the bounties of nature. People are quite oblivious about the health properties of these fruits. And even if they know, few care about procuring them.

MensXP recommends these five summer fruits to beat the heat this summer:

Black Plum or Jambul:

The fruit is useful in spleen enlargement. The seed of the fruit is well-known diabetes. It reduces the quantity of sugar in the urine and quenches the maddening thirst. The fruit is also a good source of antioxidants.


The luscious litchi/lychee or Chinese Hazelnut is a very delicious fruit. People eagerly wait for its arrival during the summers. May-June is the best season for the fruit. This sub-tropical fruit has very good cooling, demulcent and aphrodisiac properties. It is also a good thirst-quencher.


It's not for nothing that Mango is called the 'King of Fruits' in India. The vastly delicious fruit is a storehouse of vitamins A and C. The ripe mango tones the heart, improves complexion, stimulates hunger, improves vision and is greatly helpful in liver disorders, loss of weight and physical abnormalities. The popular mango powder (amchur) made from green/unripe mango is very beneficial in scurvy and pyorrhea.

Muskmelon is a popular tropical fruit which is readily available during the summers. The fruit contains Vitamin A, B, C and minerals like magnesium, sodium and potassium. It has zero cholesterol and is safe for blood cholesterol patients. When consumed with jaggery, it helps in the curing of skin diseases. It greatly reduces the body heat when consumed regularly.


The succulent, scarlet-red watermelon is a delicious and health-building fruit. It contains large quantities of easily assimilable sugar. Being an alkaline fruit, it can be easily enjoyed by persons with acidosis. Its juice quench the thirst like anything. Rich in vitamin A,B, and C, products based on its juice can serve as wonderful cooling drinks. The fruit is also beneficial for combating hypertension.

Healthy Food To Lose Weight

A filling pre-meal salad can help you cut down on what you eat for your main course. To avoid that 'I'm just eating leaves' feeling (if you're a carbohydrates person, you'll know what I'm talking about), throw in olive oil, pulses, or even some hummus to add that filling-feeling to your food. Eat this slowly with water.
The Sweet Dish:
No one said the sweet dish must be an exercises in swallowing sugar and unhealthy goop. Replace your 2 servings of gulag jamun with some homemade fruit yogurt (add fruits to yogurt, obviously). Or low-fat Gelato ice cream.
Or even some 'kawa' herbal tea in the winter - it'll fill you up, help you digest your food faster, and is tasty.
Replace eating the hard-earned bread with cereal in the morning. However, avoid your standard sweetened pops (Choco-puffs, and other manner of crystallised fruit and sugar recipes). Get simple cereal, add milk and fruits, and no more than 2 spoons of sugar for tasting.

Often what you perceive as hunger is simply thirst.
Further, before instinctively reaching for that juice or wine, have a glass of water - your cravings for something liquid might be for water.Have a glass of water before eating - it'll trick your stomach into feeling fuller.
Barbecue your Meat, fish and poultry instead of frying it - if you're eating out, this is even more important as food is often re-fried - insist on the barbecued meat.

Secondly, barbecuing causes meat's fat to drip off, offering you a healthier, yet more flavorful meal.
Low Fat Milk:
It's a stupid Indian myth that full cream milk is "real milk". Low fat milk is made by removing the fat content (less saturated fat, cholesterol and less calories), without affecting any of the nutritional content that milk offers you.

Rusk with Tea:
That hour before lunch when you're thinking about lunch - get some tea with a rusk. Your cup of tea contains caffeine, a hunger- suppressant. The rusk or two act as a a low-calorie filling snack.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

What are the different types of diabetes?

There are three main types of diabetes.
In type 1 diabetes, the cells in the pancreas that make insulin are destroyed. If you have type 1 diabetes, you need to get insulin from shots or a pump everyday. Most teens can learn to adjust the amount of insulin they take according to their physical activity and eating patterns. This makes it easier to manage your diabetes when you have a busy schedule. Type 1 used to be called “insulin dependent” or “juvenile” diabetes.

In type 2 diabetes, the pancreas still makes some insulin but cells cannot use it very well. If you have type 2 diabetes, you may need to take insulin or pills to help your body’s supply of insulin work better. Type 2 used to be called “adult onset diabetes.” Now more teens are getting type 2, especially if they are overweight.

Gestational (jes-TAY-shon-al) diabetes is a type of diabetes that occurs when women are pregnant. Having it raises their risk for getting  diabetes, mostly type 2, for the rest of their lives. It also raises their child’s risk for being overweight and for getting type 2 diabetes.

What do I need to do to take care of my diabetes?

The key to taking care of your diabetes is to keep your blood glucose as close to normal as possible.
The best way to do this is to:
• make healthy food choices
• eat the right amounts of food
• be active everyday
• stay at a healthy weight
• take your medicines and check your blood glucose as planned with your health care team

Your doctor will tell you what blood glucose level is right for you. Your goal is to keep your blood glucose as close to this level as you can. Your doctor or diabetes educator will teach you how to check your blood glucose with a glucose meter.

It helps to know what affects your blood glucose level. Food, illness, and stress raise your blood glucose. Insulin or pills and being physically active lower your blood glucose. Talk with your doctor or diabetes educator about how these things change your blood glucose levels and how you can make changes in your diabetes plan.

Carbohydrates (CAR-boh-HY-drates), or carbs for short, are a good source of energy for our bodies. But if you eat too many carbs at one time, your blood glucose can get too high. Many foods contain carbs. Great carb choices include whole grain foods, nonfat or low-fat milk, and fresh fruits and vegetables. Eat more of them rather than white bread, whole milk, sweetened fruit drinks, regular soda, potato chips, sweets, and desserts.

What is Autoimmune Diabetes Mellitus?

This form of diabetes, previously encompassed by the terms insulin–dependent diabetes, Type 1 diabetes, or juvenile– onset diabetes, results from autoimmune mediated destruction of the beta cells of the pancreas. The rate of destruction is quite variable, being rapid in some individuals and slow in others. The rapidly progressive form is commonly observed in children, but also may occur in adults. The slowly progressive form generally occurs in adults and is sometimes referred to as latent autoimmune diabetes in adults (LADA). Some patients, particularly children and adolescents, may present with ketoacidosis as the first manifestation of the disease. Others have modest fasting hyperglycaemia that can rapidly change to severe hyperglycaemia and/or ketoacidosis in the presence of infection or other stress. Still others, particularly adults, may retain residual beta–cell function, sufficient to prevent ketoacidosis, for many years. Individuals with this form of Type 1 diabetes often become dependent on insulin for survival eventually and are at risk for ketoacidosis. At this stage of the disease, there is little or no insulin secretion as manifested by low or undetectable levels of plasma C–peptide.

Markers of immune destruction, including islet cell autoantibodies, and/or autoantibodies to insulin, and autoantibodies to glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD) are present in 85–90 % of individuals with Type 1 diabetes mellitus when fasting diabetic hyperglycaemia is initially detected. The peak incidence of this form of Type 1 diabetes occurs in childhood and adolescence, but the onset may occur at any age, ranging from childhood to the ninth decade of life. There is a genetic predisposition to autoimmune destruction of beta cells, and it is also related to environmental factors that are still poorly defined. Although patients are usually not obese when they present with this type of diabetes, the presence of obesity is not incompatible with the diagnosis. These patients may also have other autoimmune disorders such as Graves’ disease,
Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, and Addison’s disease.

How To Reduce High Blood Fat Levels

Blood fats, or lipids, include cholesterol and triglycerides. The body needs a certain amount of cholesterol, but when there are too many fats in the blood (hyperlipidaemia), fatty deposits build up in the arteries, increasing the risk of heart attacks and strokes.

“Good” and “bad” cholesterol:
Cholesterol cannot dissolve in blood, so it needs “carrier” proteins to transport it around the body. The carrier proteins are called lipoproteins.

There are two main kinds:
High density lipoprotein (HDL): When cholesterol is carried by HDL, it is called HDL cholesterol. This is “good” cholesterol, and reduces the risk of heart disease and strokes.

Low density lipoprotein (LDL): When cholesterol is carried by LDL, it is called LDL cholesterol. This is “bad” cholesterol, and increases the risks of heart attacks and strokes.

What causes high blood fat levels?
High cholesterol levels may run in some families. But most often, high blood fat levels are caused by an unhealthy diet and lack of physical activity. High blood fat levels rarely produce symptoms or warning signs. When cholesterol levels are very high, some people develop skin growths called xanthomas. To check your blood fat levels, ask your doctor for a simple blood test.

In some cases, a high blood fat level may be associated with an undiagnosed medical condition, like diabetes.

What should I do if I have a high blood fat level?
• Eat a healthy diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables, and low in animal fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol .
• Maintain a healthy body weight.
• Stay active.

If these things do not lower your blood fat levels enough, your doctor can prescribe medicines. You must take these regularly, even if you cannot feel their effects, and you must keep following a healthy lifestyle.

How To Reduce High Blood Sugar

People with high blood sugar levels, or diabetes, have a higher risk of heart attacks and strokes. At least half of the people who have diabetes do not know they have it.

Diabetes speeds up the development of atherosclerosis – the narrowing and hardening of the arteries that causes heart attacks and strokes. Untreated diabetes can also lead to blindness, kidney failure, nerve damage, leg ulcers and coma. Pregnancy is much more diffi cult for diabetic women and their babies are more likely to have birth defects.

What causes diabetes?

Diabetes occurs when the body fails to produce enough insulin, or cannot use it properly. Sugar then builds up in the blood. There are two main types of diabetes:

Type I Diabetes develops most often in children and young adults. Patients need to have daily injections of insulin to survive.
Type II Diabetes is the most common form -- almost 95 % of people with diabetes have this type. Patients with type II diabetes cannot produce enough insulin or cannot use insulin properly. It occurs mostly in middle-aged people, but children and young adults can also develop it, particularly if they are obese, have an unhealthy diet, and are physically inactive. The number of children and young adults with type II diabetes is increasing. This type of diabetes can usually be treated through lifestyle changes and oral medicines.

The causes of diabetes include hereditary factors, obesity, an unhealthy diet and lack of physical activity. If you keep an ideal body weight, regularly take physical activity, and consume a healthy diet, you reduce your risk of getting diabetes.

How do I know if I have diabetes?
Some people have few or no symptoms at all until they start having serious problems. The early signs of diabetes include:
• tiredness and weakness;
• frequent need to urinate (pass water);
• unusual thirst;
• weight loss or gain;
• blurred vision;
• frequent infections;
• wounds that heal slowly.

A doctor can diagnose diabetes by measuring the blood sugar level using a simple blood test. If necessary, you may be asked to take a special drink with glucose (sugar) so that your blood sugar level can be measured afterwards.

How can I control my diabetes?
If diabetes is well controlled, the risk of developing heart attack, stroke, or heart failure will decrease. Lifestyle changes can often help to control blood sugar levels. These changes include:

• eating a healthy diet;
• avoiding foods that are high in sugars, fats, and calories;
• maintaining a healthy body weight;
• drinking less alcohol;
• staying active.

If lifestyle changes do not reduce your blood sugar levels enough, you will need to take medicine. Many people with type II diabetes can be treated with oral medicine alone. Some may need insulin injections, or sometimes both.

At the time of diagnosis, the doctor will do tests to detect any complications from the diabetes and will advise on treatment. If you have diabetes, you should have regular check-ups. You should also follow carefully instructions for making lifestyle changes and taking medicine. Be sure to ask questions if there is anything you do not understand.

You may have to measure the sugar levels in your blood or urine in between check-ups. Your doctor will show you how to do this if it is necessary.

Medicines used to treat diabetes:
Many people with type II diabetes can be treated with oral medicines (medicine taken by mouth). You can read more about them in the Annex.

If lifestyle changes and oral medicines are not enough to control the diabetes, the doctor will prescribe insulin. This is injected, using a syringe or a “pen-type” injector.

Patients with type I diabetes need insulin injections; they cannot be treated with oral medicine.

Watching your blood sugar levels
When you have diabetes, you have to watch your blood sugar level, because if it is too low or too high you could get very sick. When the blood sugar level drops, you could become nervous, shaky, and confused. You may be advised to carry sugar cubes or drops to take when you feel these symptoms. If level drops very low, it can lead to fainting, coma, and even death. If the blood sugar level is too high, it can also lead to a diabetic coma.
Here are some tips for keeping your blood sugar level correct:
• Never miss doses of your medicine.
• Do not stop taking your medicines without asking your doctor.
• Do not miss meals.
• Be careful about taking your medicine when you are sick and not eating as much as you usually do (e.g. When you have a cold and your appetite is less than usual and cannot eat as much as you usually do). Seek your doctor’s advice on this.

How To Reduce Blood Pressure?

What is high blood pressure?
Blood pressure is measured in millimeters of mercury (mmHg), and it has two numbers. The fi rst is the systolic blood pressure, and is the pressure when the heart is contracting. The second is the diastolic blood pressure, and is the pressure when the heart is resting. A person has high blood pressure, or hypertension, when the fi rst pressure is above 140 mmHg or the second is above 90 mmHg.

What causes high blood pressure?
Some people have high blood pressure because it runs in the family. Blood pressure also tends to increase with age. But lifestyle factors can also cause high blood pressure or make it worse.

These factors include:
• being overweight or obese;
• eating too much salt in the diet;
• drinking too much alcohol.

High blood pressure can also be linked to some illnesses, such as kidney disease. Some medicines, such as birth control pills, can increase blood pressure.

Why is high blood pressure dangerous?
High blood pressure makes the heart work harder than it should, causing it to get weaker over time. The higher your blood pressure, the greater your risk of heart attack and stroke.

How do I know if I have high blood pressure?
You cannot tell if you have high blood pressure unless you have it measured. You should have it measured once a year. The measurement is quick and painless.

What should I do if I have high blood pressure?
• Maintain a healthy body weight.
• Stay active.
• Eat a healthy diet that is low in salt and fat and high in fruit and vegetables.
• Do not smoke.
• Do not drink too much alcohol.
• Have your blood pressure taken regularly.

If you are doing these things and your blood pressure is still high, your doctor can prescribe medicines. These do not cure high blood pressure, but they control it. You must take them as directed, probably for the rest of your life. You should have your blood pressure checked regularly.

Causes And Symptoms Of Rheumatic heart disease

Rheumatic fever is a disease that causes inflammation of the joints and the heart. If untreated, it can lead to rheumatic heart disease, heart failure, severe disability and even death. Rheumatic fever begins with a sore throat, caused by bacteria called streptococci (“strep sore throat”). This is often seen in school-age children and is easily passed from child to child. A child with strep sore throat has a sudden sore throat and a high fever (over 38 °C or 100 °F). The back of the child’s mouth and tonsils become very red and swollen. Painful and tender nodes or lumps develop under the skin of the neck, which can be felt by touching.

If strep sore throat is not treated, it can develop into rheumatic fever. Rheumatic fever causes swelling and pain (arthritis) in large joints, such as the knees and elbows. It also causes swelling and pain in the heart muscle and close properly. The abnormal heart function or heart failure that this damage causes is called rheumatic heart disease.

Who is at risk of rheumatic heart disease?
Acute rheumatic fever usually occurs in children aged 5 to 15 years, after one or more attacks of strep sore throat. Rheumatic fever is more frequent in children whose close family members have had rheumatic fever. Anyone who has had one or more attacks of rheumatic fever is very prone to develop rheumatic heart disease. With each repeat attack, the heart valves become more damaged.

What should I do to prevent rheumatic fever from developing?

The best defence against rheumatic heart disease is to prevent rheumatic fever. If you think that you, your child, or another family member has strep sore throat, go to the doctor as soon as you can. Treating strep sore throat with penicillin or other antibiotics can usually prevent acute rheumatic fever from developing. It also stops the infection spreading to others at home or at school.

Note: If the patient is allergic to penicillin, be sure to tell the doctor right away so that he or she can prescribe a different antibiotic.

What are the signs of rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease?

There are signs of fever – high temperature, tiredness, weakness, and lack of appetite. There may also be pain and swelling in the joints and shortness of breath – a sign that the heart is not working normally. A doctor may be able to detect an abnormal heart ‘murmur’ when listening to the heart.

Treating rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease:
Diagnosing rheumatic fever or heart disease involves taking a history of the person’s past health, a physical examination, and blood and other tests, such as an electrocardiogram, chest X-ray, and echocardiogram. Then, the doctor will give short-term treatment to slow or stop the disease and relieve symptoms. Children who have had rheumatic fever need long-term treatment and care, including the following:

• Treatment to prevent repeat fever. A return of the fever will do more harm to the heart. Penicillin or other drugs can be used to prevent this. The drugs are given once a month as injections or daily, as tablets. Children who have had rheumatic fever need to keep taking penicillin for 5 to 10 years, or even longer, depending on the advice of the doctor.
• Treatment for rheumatic heart disease. If rheumatic heart disease has developed, the doctor will prescribe medicine. The doctor may also recommend surgery to repair damaged heart valves. After surgery there is an increased danger of blood clots forming in the heart, so anticoagulant medicines to thin the blood are given to prevent this.
• Treatment for irregular heartbeat. Some patients with rheumatic heart disease also have irregular heartbeat, called atrial fi brillation. This can increase the risk of blood clots forming, so the patient must take anticoagulant medicines.
• Treatment for infection. Patients with rheumatic heart disease have a greater chance of getting infections of the inside walls of the heart, called infective endocarditis. These infections can occur as a result of surgery or dental procedures. Patients must check with their doctor before having any such procedure.

Causes And Symptoms Of Congenital heart disease

In congenital heart disease, a person is born with some abnormal structure or function of the heart (a heart defect). The most common heart defect is a hole in the wall that separates the right and left sides of the heart. The larger and more complex the defect, the more serious the heart disease.

Who is at risk of congenital heart disease?

If your family has a history of congenital heart disease, then your risk may be higher. Children whose parents are blood relatives, such as cousins, are more prone to heart defects. The defect can also develop during the early months of pregnancy, if the mother:

• has an infection, such as German measles (rubella);
• drinks alcohol;
• takes certain medicines;
• has X-rays.

What are the signs of congenital heart disease?
If the defect is small, it may not cause any symptoms. If the defect is more serious, the doctor will probably detect symptoms right after birth or within a few weeks. These may include:
• blue skin (cyanosis);
• diffi culty breathing;
• poor weight gain;
• feeding problems.
If your baby has these symptoms or any features that you think are abnormal, tell your doctor as soon as you can. A baby with congenital heart disease may need surgery, sometimes right after birth.

How can you lower the risk of heart defects for your baby?

• Avoid cousin (blood relative) marriages.
• Be vaccinated against rubella (German measles).
• If you are pregnant, avoid alcohol, X-rays, and any medicine that your doctor has not prescribed or approved for you.

Can a baby with congenital heart disease live a normal life?

Yes. Babies born with a mild heart defect can grow up to live a fairly normal life. Some may not be able to exercise as much as others. They will also have a greater chance of getting infections of the inside walls of the heart, called infective endocarditis. These infections can occur as a result of surgery or dental procedures. They must check with their doctor before having any such procedures.

If a baby has severe and complex heart defects, his or her life will become much more limited. Some children will not grow as well as they should.

Causes And Symptoms Of Heart Failure

Heart failure occurs when the heart cannot fi ll up with enough blood or pump the blood through the body with enough force. Because of the decreased blood fl ow, the body cannot function normally. Water builds up in the body because of the weak pumping function of the heart.

The most common cause of heart failure is damage to the muscles of the heart, as a result of previous heart attacks.

Who is at risk of heart failure?
The people at greatest risk are those who have had one or more heart attacks. The risk increases in people over the age of 65. People at risk may also have:

• high blood pressure;
• abnormal heart valves;
• rheumatic heart disease;
• congenital heart disease; or
• diabetes.

Less common causes are:
• heart muscle disease or infl ammation;
• severe lung disease; and
• thyroid disease.

What are the signs of heart failure?

In its early stages, the signs of heart failure often appear after physical activity. As the disease gets more severe, the symptoms last longer. They include:

• shortness of breath, or diffi culty breathing;
• tiredness and weakness;
• swelling of the ankles, feet, legs, or abdomen;
• weight gain from water build-up;
• coughing, especially at night or when lying down, including bloody, frothy sputum (spit).

What should I do if I think I am having heart failure?

Contact your doctor as soon as possible. Do not wait to see if the symptoms go away. Even if they pass quickly, they could be warning signs of serious illness. Sometimes heart failure starts suddenly, with severe shortness of breath. This is the result of water build-up in the lungs and needs to be treated right away.

Treating heart failure
The care you receive will depend on how severe your heart failure is. It will probably include:
• Diagnosis: This includes taking a history of your past health, a physical examination, and tests to fi nd the cause of the heart failure and the extent of the damage done to the heart.
• Short-term treatment: If you are acutely or severely ill, treatment will probably be given in hospital to relieve the symptoms and slow down or stop the cause of the heart failure.
• Long-term treatment: Heart failure can happen again and can get worse. To manage it, you will need regular follow-up with doctors, medicines, and changes in your lifestyle.

What you can do to help your treatment succeed?
• Take any medicine prescribed for you as instructed.
• Follow your doctor’s advice about lifestyle changes. This includes stopping smoking, eating a healthy diet, and taking exercise that your heart can handle.
• Do not drink alcohol. Alcohol reduces the power of your heart to pump blood. Sometimes, alcohol itself can be a cause of heart failure.
• Avoid crowds and people who have colds or fl u. An infection such as infl uenza or pneumonia would be an added burden to your heart.
• Watch your body weight. If you put on weight, it may mean that water is building up in your body because of weak heart function. Tell your doctor about any sudden increase in your body weight.

Medicines used to treat heart failure
Medicines used to treat heart failure include:
• diuretics (to get rid of excess water);
• angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors (to relax blood vessels and reduce the burden on the heart) and cardiac glycosides, such as digoxin (to increase the strength of heart muscles and help the heart pump blood);
• medicines to relax the blood vessels;
• beta-blockers (to slow the heart rate and make the heart beat with less force).

What are the signs of stroke and what should you do?

Major stroke:
The most common symptom of a stroke is sudden weakness of the face, arm or leg, most often on one side of the body. Other symptoms include sudden onset of:

• numbness of the face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of the body;
• confusion, diffi culty speaking or understanding speech;
• diffi culty seeing with one or both eyes;
• diffi culty walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination;
• severe headache with no known cause;
• fainting or unconsciousness.

The effects of a stroke depend on which part of the brain is injured and how severely it is affected. A stroke may affect just one part of the body, such as the face, an arm or a leg. It can also completely paralyse one side of the body. A very severe stroke can cause sudden death.

Minor stroke:
A minor stroke is also called a transient ischaemic attack or TIA. The features of minor strokes may be similar to those of major strokes, but they are milder and last only a short time, usually less than an hour. Often, the person recovers without treatment. These “mini-strokes” are warning signs; most people who have had one or more minor strokes will later have a major stroke.

What to do in the case of a stroke?
If you see someone showing signs of a stroke, call a doctor or ambulance right away, or take the person to the emergency room of the nearest hospital. Do this even if the symptoms are not very severe, because a stroke can progress. You should also do this in the case of a minor stroke. If there is no hospital or health centre near you, call a doctor immediately.

Treating stroke
The level of medical care you will receive can vary from place to place. The amount of care you will need depends on how severe the stroke was.

If you arrive at a hospital within 3 hours after the fi rst sign of a stroke, the doctor there may give you a thrombolytic medicine right away, to dissolve any blood clots in your arteries. However the choice of treatment will depend on the exact cause of the stroke.

To diagnose what type of stroke you have had, doctors will take your medical history, examine you, and perform tests such as computerized tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). These tests will show whether you have had an ischaemic stroke (caused by a blockage) or an intracerebral haemorrhage (caused by a burst blood vessel in the brain).

The doctor will probably prescribe medicines to help relieve your symptoms and prevent future strokes, and give you advice on changing your lifestyle to lower your risk. If you take this advice, you will get the best possible results. Listen carefully to your doctor’s instructions and ask questions if you need to.

For some patients, special surgical procedures to open up the blockage of neck arteries, such as carotid endarterectomy or stenting, can help prevent future strokes.

Rehabilitation and long-term care
Patients who become paralysed following a stroke need special care in hospital to help them recover and to avoid complications and long-term disability. Most patients who have a stroke are left with some physical disability and may need long-term care at home. A large part of stroke rehabilitation involves teaching patients how to exercise safely. It also includes:

• helping to improve walking, eating, dressing, bathing, cooking, reading, writing and going to the toilet;
• speech therapy;
• checking to make sure that patients can live safely at home;
• helping to organize medical and rehabilitative care and schedules;
• counselling patients and families, including advice about managing money, legal, and business affairs;
• occupational therapy to help patients stay active and involved;
• physiotherapy to help get back movement.

Medicines used to treat and manage stroke patients
Medicines often used to treat stroke include:
• antiplatelet agents, such as aspirin;
• anticoagulants or blood thinners, such as warfarin;
• medicines to control blood pressure, such as calcium-channel blockers, and angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors;
• medicines to lower blood fats.
These medicines must be used under a doctor’s supervision. You can read more about stroke medicines and their side effects in Annex.

Treatment of intracerebral haemorrhage
About 10–15% of all strokes are caused by bleeding into the brain due to rupture of a blood vessel. In many cases this is associated with high blood pressure. When strokes due to intracerebral haemorrhage occur, the diagnosis is usually made on a CT or MRI scan. The management is then usually as
described above, including stroke rehabilitation, except that blood-thinning medicines, such as anticoagulants and antiplatelet agents, are not given. Blood pressure control is very important for this type of stroke and management in a stroke unit is also desirable as for other forms of strokes. Occasionally, surgical procedure may be required depending on the patient’s condition.

Can a person recover from a stroke?

Yes, but the amount of long-term disability depends on how much lasting brain damage the stroke caused. Many stroke survivors are left with mental and physical disabilities. They need support from family members and friends to help them cope.

How can I avoid having another stroke?

It is important to maintain a healthy lifestyle and to follow carefully your medical treatment, such as taking aspirin and medicine to lower your blood pressure. People who have had one stroke are more likely to have another. If you have an irregular heart beat (atrial fi brillation), it is also important to recognize it and seek medical care to prevent future strokes. Consult your doctor about this. You can avoid a repeat stroke by
adopting a healthy life style and taking medications.

What are the signs of a heart attack and what should you do?

Most heart attacks are sudden and intense. But sometimes a heart attack starts slowly, with mild pain or discomfort. People often aren’t sure what is wrong, and wait too long before getting help. A severe heart attack can stop the heart, causing sudden death.

Major heart attack:
A major heart attack is called a myocardial infarction. It usually starts with pain or discomfort in the centre of the chest, which lasts for more than a few minutes or keeps coming back. The discomfort can feel like pressure, squeezing, or fullness. Pain or discomfort may also be felt in the arms, the left shoulder, elbows, jaw, or back. Other symptoms include:

• diffi culty breathing or shortness of breath;
• feeling sick or vomiting;
• feeling light-headed or faint;
• breaking into a cold sweat;
• becoming pale.

Women are more likely to have shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting, and back or jaw pain. People who have had diabetes for a long time may not feel the chest pain as much, because diabetes can damage the nerves.

What to do if you are having a heart attack
Many patients who have a heart attack die before reaching hospital. So act fast. Every second counts.
There are treatments that can dissolve the blood clot and restore blood fl ow to the heart. The treatment works best if it is given within an hour of the attack. If treatment is started quickly, there will be less damage to the heart muscle.

If there is a hospital nearby, have someone call an ambulance or take you to the emergency room right away. If there is no hospital or health care centre nearby, call a doctor immediately.

If the heart blood vessels are blocked only partially and the blood fl ow to the heart is decreased but not stopped, it can cause chest pain called angina or angina pectoris. The person may have pain or discomfort in the centre of the chest that lasts for a few minutes. Often it is triggered by physical activity and relieved by rest. It may also be brought on by strong emotions, stress, or extreme heat or cold. The pain may spread to the arms, back, jaw, neck and stomach. People who have angina are at high risk of having a major heart attack. People with angina should monitor their chest pain. The angina may be getting worse if the chest pain:
• occurs more often;
• lasts longer than usual;
• is combined with shortness of breath or a fast or irregular heart beat;
• occurs with smaller amounts of exercise or stress.

What to do if you are having an angina attack?
Stop what you are doing and rest until the pain has passed. Your doctor may have prescribed a tablet for you to keep under your tongue or a spray that helps relieve the discomfort. Follow your doctor’s instructions. If these things do not help, call an ambulance to take you to the emergency room of the nearest hospital. If there is no hospital or health care centre nearby, call your doctor immediately.

Treating a heart attack:
The level of medical care you will receive can vary from place to place. The amount of care you will need depends on how severe the attack was.

If you go to the emergency department of your nearest hospital, the doctor there may give you a thrombolytic medicine right away, to dissolve any blood clots in your arteries.

You will probably have a number of tests, such as blood tests, an electrocardiogram, and a coronary arteriogram.

The doctor will probably prescribe medicines to help you manage your heart condition, and give you advice on changing your lifestyle to lower your risk of having another heart attack. If you take this advice, you will get the best possible results. Listen carefully to your doctor’s instructions and ask questions
if you need to.

There are special procedures that can improve the blood supply to the heart, such as angioplasty or coronary artery bypass surgery. Those procedures will be applied to patients depending on the individual condition.

After you go home:
Many patients will be offered cardiac rehabilitation. This is a medically supervised programme for patients who have suffered heart attacks and angina. It helps you adapt to daily life, and helps prevent repeat attacks. The programme usually includes:

• physical activity prescribed by doctors;
• help with taking medicines and going through medical treatment;
• support for lifestyle changes, like quitting smoking;
• health education and counselling tailored to your needs and risk factors;
• help with regaining strength and independence and improving your quality
of life;
• support for going back to work.

Medicines used to treat heart attack and angina
Medicines often used to treat heart attacks and angina include:
• antiplatelet agents, such as aspirin;
• nitrates and other medicines to relax blood vessels;
• medicines to control blood pressure, such as calcium-channel blockers, and angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors;
• diuretics to help get rid of excess water;
• medicines to lower blood-fats.
These medicines must be used under a doctor’s supervision. You can read more about heart medicines and their side effects in Annex.

Vitamins and heart attacks:
There is no evidence that taking extra vitamin supplements, such as vitamins A, C, and E, prevents heart attacks. The important thing is to eat a healthy, balanced diet.

Can the heart recover from a heart attack?
Yes, but the degree of recovery depends on how much damage was done to the heart muscle. You should get treatment as soon as you feel the symptoms of a heart attack. The sooner you get treatment, the more muscle doctors may be able to save. That’s why they say, “Time is muscle.”

How can I avoid having another heart attack?
Someone who has had a heart attack has a high risk of having another one that could be even more serious and of having complications like acute heart failure. In order to decrease the chance of a future attack, you must:

• follow your doctor’s advice and adopt a healthy lifestyle;
• work hard at the rehabilitation programme prescribed by your doctor;
• take your medicines regularly and according to the instructions. Most patients need to continue taking medicines on a long-term basis.

Causes And Risk Factors Of Heart Attack

Tobacco use:
Tobacco smoke is full of substances that damage your lungs, blood vessels and heart. They take the place of the oxygen in the blood that your heart and brain need to work properly. Tobacco use greatly increases your chance of having a heart attack or stroke. Tobacco also causes cancer and lung disease, and harms babies during pregnancy. Inhaling the tobacco smoke of other smokers is as harmful as smoking yourself.

Unhealthy diet
An unhealthy diet is one with:
• too much food (too many calories);
• too much fat, sugar or salt;
• not enough fruit and vegetables.
If you eat a lot of food and you are not active enough to burn it off, you will put on weight. You could slowly become overweight or even obese. Being overweight can lead to diabetes, high blood pressure, and high blood fat levels. All of these physical problems increase the risk of heart attacks and strokes. Obese people are at especially high risk if they have a lot of fat around the waist and stomach area. An unhealthy diet often contains too much “fast food”, which is high in fat and sugar, and sugar-loaded soft drinks. Fast food is also very high in salt, which increases blood pressure.

Lack of physical activity
When people do not stay active, their risk of heart attack and stroke increases greatly. Physical activity lowers your risk of heart attacks and strokes by:
• helping your body burn sugars and fats and assisting in keeping a good
• lowering your blood pressure;
• increasing oxygen levels in your body;
• reducing stress;
• strengthening your heart muscle and bones;
• improving blood circulation and muscle tone.

Staying active also reduces the risk of other illnesses, such as cancer. Active people usually feel better and happier. They are likely to sleep better and to have more energy, self-confi dence, and concentration. You do not have to be in training for the Olympics to get these benefi ts! Walking, gardening, or doing housework for at least 30 minutes on most days can help you prevent heart attacks and strokes.

High blood pressure (hypertension):
Blood pressure is the force with which the blood pushes against the walls of arteries. If blood pressure is high, the heart is working harder than it should;over time, this will cause it to weaken. High blood pressure is one of the major risk factors for heart attacks. It is the biggest risk factor for strokes.

To avoid high blood pressure, you need to stay active, maintain a healthy body weight, and eat a healthy diet. A healthy diet includes lots of fruits and vegetables. Limit the amount of salt in your diet, and do not drink too much alcohol. If you make all of these changes to your lifestyle, but you still cannot lower your blood pressure, there are medicines that can help.

High blood sugar (diabetes)
The body produces a hormone called insulin, which helps body cells to use sugar from the blood to produce energy. When the body does not produce enough insulin, or cannot use it properly, as in diabetes, sugar builds up in the blood. The high blood sugar levels speed up the development of atherosclerosis
– the narrowing and hardening of the arteries. This greatly increases the risk of heart attacks and strokes.

Treating diabetes involves changing your diet and lifestyle. Sometimes, medicines that lower blood sugar are needed.

High blood fats (hyperlipidaemia)
Blood fats include substances such as cholesterol and triglycerides. When there are too many of these fats in the blood, they cause fatty deposits to build up in arteries leading to atherosclerosis (the narrowing and hardening of the arteries). This greatly increases the risk of heart attacks and strokes.

If you have high cholesterol or triglyceride levels in your blood, you need to eat less fat, stay active, and control your body weight. If these measures are not enough, you may also need medicine to lower your blood fats.

Combined risk factors:
If a person has two or more of the three risk factors – high blood pressure, high blood sugar, and high blood fats – the risk of heart attacks and strokes is greatly increased. The more risk factors, the higher the risk.

Other important risk factors
Metabolic syndrome:
When a person has central obesity (too much weight around the waist), abnormal blood fat levels (e.g. high triglyceride level or low HDL cholesterol;high blood pressure and high blood sugar at the same time,
this is known as metabolic syndrome. People with metabolic syndrome are at high risk of developing diabetes or having a heart attack or stroke, and require careful medical attention.

Chronic stress
Feeling lonely, isolated, or anxious for a long time can combine with other risk factors to make a person more likely to have a heart attack or stroke.

Certain medicines
Some oral contraceptives and hormone treatments can increase the risk of heart attacks. Check with your doctor for details.

Irregular heartbeat (atrial fi brillation):
With irregular heartbeat, or atrial fi brillation, the heart does not contract as strongly as it should. This can cause blood to pool in the heart and form clots. When the blood clots dislodge, they may move to the brain, where they can become trapped in a narrow brain artery, blocking the blood fl ow and causing a stroke. Up to 20% of strokes may be caused by atrial fi brillation.

Many people are unaware that their heartbeat is irregular. If you are concerned about this, your doctor can easily check by listening to your heartbeat. If necessary your doctor may arrange for an electrocardiogram. If your heartbeat is irregular, medicines (like warfarin or in some cases aspirin) can signifi cantly reduce the risk of strokes. Sometimes, an irregular heartbeat can be returned to normal with medicines or special medical procedures.

How To Prevent Heart Attack And Strokes?

 The Risk Factors Of Heart Attack:
Nearly two-thirds of people who have a heart attack die before they can reach medical care. Even when stroke patients have access to modern, advanced treatment, 60% die or become disabled. So it is important to know the warning signs and to act fast.

But it is even better to prevent a heart attack or stroke from ever happening. Prevention is always better than treatment, and most heart attacks and strokes can be prevented.

Research shows that a number of things make us more likely to have a heart attack or stroke. These are called risk factors. Some risk factors are linked to choices we make in the way we live. The three most important lifestyle factors are:

• smoking and other tobacco use;
• unhealthy diet; and
• lack of physical activity.

Poor lifestyle choices can lead to three serious physical problems:
• high blood pressure (hypertension);
• high blood sugar (diabetes);
• high blood fats (hyperlipidaemia).

These are the most important risk factors for heart attacks and strokes. Throughout large parts of the world, tobacco use is on the rise. People are also becoming overweight in many countries as a result of being less active and eating more food that is high in fat and sugar. More and more young people and children are getting diabetes because they are overweight. We owe it to our children to change these lifestyle choices.

Friday, April 15, 2011

How are Gallstones Diagnosed?

What are the gallbladder and gallstones?
The gallbladder is a small sac found just under the liver. It stores bile made by the liver. Bile helps you digest fats. Bile moves from the gallbladder to the small intestine through tubes called the cystic duct and common bile duct.

GallstonesClick here to see an illustration. are made from cholesterol and other things found in the bile. They can be smaller than a grain of sand or as large as a golf ball.

Most gallstones do not cause problems. But if they block a duct, they usually need treatment.

What causes gallstones?
Gallstones form when cholesterol and other things found in bile make stones. They can also form if the gallbladder does not empty as it should. People who are overweight or who are trying to lose weight quickly are more likely to get gallstones.

What are the symptoms?
Most people who have gallstones do not have symptoms.
If you have symptoms, you most likely will have mild pain in the pit of your stomach or in the upper right part of your belly. Pain may spread to your right upper back or shoulder blade area. Sometimes the pain is more severe. It may be steady, or it may come and go. Or it may get worse when you eat.

See a picture of where pain may occur in the bellyClick here to see an illustration..

When gallstones keep blocking a bile ductClick here to see an illustration., you may have pain with fever and chills. Or your skin or the whites of your eyes may turn yellow. Call your doctor right away. Having stones in your bile duct increases your chance of having a swollen pancreasClick here to see an illustration. (pancreatitis). These symptoms may also be a sign of an infected gallbladder.

Call your doctor right away if you have sudden or bad pain in your belly or chest and you are not sure what is causing it. Symptoms of gallstones may feel like chest pain caused by a heart attack and other serious problems.

How are gallstones diagnosed?
You may decide to go to the doctor because of pain in your belly. In this case, your doctor will ask you questions about when the pain started, where it is, and if it comes and goes or is always there. Your doctor may order imaging tests. These take pictures of the inside of your body. An ultrasound of the belly is the best test to find gallstones. This test does not hurt.

Your ultrasound may not show gallstones. But if your doctor still thinks you have a problem with your gallbladder, he or she may order a gallbladder scan. In this test, a doctor injects dye into a vein in your arm. Then a machine takes X-rays as the dye moves through your liver, bile duct, gallbladder, and intestine.

Most people have gallstones but do not know it because they do not have symptoms. Gallstones may be found by accident when you have tests for other health problems or when a woman has an ultrasound during pregnancy.

How are they treated?
If you do not have symptoms, you probably do not need treatment.

If your first gallstone attack causes mild pain, your doctor may tell you to take pain medicine and wait to see if the pain goes away. You may never have another attack. Waiting to see what happens usually will not cause problems.

If you have a bad attack, or if you have a second attack, you may want to have your gallbladder removed. A second attack means you are more likely to have future attacks.

Many people have their gallbladders removed, and the surgery usually goes well. Doctors most often use laparoscopic surgery. For this, your surgeon will make small cuts in your belly and remove your gallbladder. You will probably be able to go back to work or your normal routine in a week or two, but it may take longer for some people. Sometimes the surgeon will have to make a larger cut to remove the gallbladder. It will take longer for you to recover from this type of surgery.

Do I need my gallbladder?
Your body will work fine without a gallbladder. Bile will flow straight from the liver to the intestine. There may be small changes in how you digest food, but you probably will not notice them.


Some Facts of Prostate Cancer

Prostate Disorders:
Three types of disorders can occur in the prostate gland: inflammation or infection (prostatitis), enlargement (benign prostatic hyperplasia - BPH), and cancer.

Normal Inflamed Enlarged:
1) Prostatitis is a clinical term used to describe a wide spectrum of disorders ranging from bacterial infection to chronic pain syndromes. It is not contagious (generally not spread through sexual contact):

Acute Bacterial Prostatitis is the least common but easiest to diagnose and treat. It is caused by bacteria and comes suddenly with chills and fever, pain in the lower back and genital area, and burning or painful urination. Additional indications are excessive white blood cells and bacteria in the urine.
Chronic (Nonbacterial) Prostatitis (chronic pelvic pain syndrome) is the most common, but least understood, form of prostatitis. Found in men of any age from the late teens on, the symptoms go away and then return without warning, and may be inflammatory or non-inflammatory. In the inflammatory form, urine, semen, and other fluids from the prostate show no evidence of a known infecting organism, but do contain the kinds of cells the body usually produces to fight infection. In the non-inflammatory form, no evidence of inflammation, including infection-fighting cells, is present.
Asymptomatic Inflammatory Prostatitis is the diagnosis when there are no symptoms, but the patient has infection-fighting cells in the semen. It is often found when a doctor is looking for causes of infertility or is testing for prostate cancer.

2) BPH, or benign prostatic hyperplasia, is the second common problem that can occur in the prostate. "Benign" means "not cancerous" and "hyperplasia" means "too much growth." As men age, the prostate gland slowly enlarges. The gland tends to expand in an area that doesn't expand with it, causing pressure on the urethra, which can lead to urinary problems. The urge to urinate frequently, a weak urine flow, breaks in urine stream, and dribbling are all symptoms of an enlarged prostate. At its worst, BPH can lead to a weak bladder, bladder or kidney infections, complete blockage in the flow of urine, and kidney failure.

Since the prostate has propensity to grow once manhood is reached, BPH is the most common prostate problem for men older than 50. The American Urological Association assesses that by age 60, more than half of American men will have BPH. By age 70, almost all men have some prostate enlargement. By age 85, about 90 percent of men have BPH but only 30 percent will exhibit symptoms!

3) Prostate Cancer is one of the most common cancers in American men. There are no warning signs of symptoms of early prostate cancer. Once a malignant tumor causes the prostate gland to swell significantly, or once cancer spreads beyond the prostate, the following symptoms may be present:

A frequent need to urinate, especially at night
Difficulty starting or stopping the urinary stream
A weak or interrupted urinary stream
A painful or burning sensation during urination or ejaculation
Blood in urine or semen
Symptoms of advanced prostate cancer include:

Dull, incessant deep pain or stiffness in the pelvis, lower back, ribs or upper thighs; arthritic pain in the bones of those areas
Loss of weight and appetite

There are 4 stages of Prostate Cancer:
T1 - Tumor is microscopic and confined to prostate but is undetectable by a digital rectal exam (DRE) or by ultrasound. Usually discovered by PSA tests or biopsies.
T2 - Tumor is confined to prostate and can be detected by DRE or ultrasound.
T3 / T4 - In stage T3, the cancer has spread to tissue adjacent to the prostate or to the seminal vesicles. In stage T4, tumors have spread to organs near the prostate, such as the bladder.
N+ / M+ - Cancer has spread to pelvic lymph nodes (N+) or to lymph nodes, organs, or bones distant from the prostate (M+).
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer, other than skin cancers, in American men. It is the second leading cause of cancer death in American men, behind only lung cancer, and accounts for 9% of cancer-related deaths in men. The American Cancer Society estimates that during 2008, about 186,000 new cases of prostate cancer will be diagnosed in the United States. 30% of prostate cancers occur in men under age 65. About 1 man in 6 will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime, but only 1 man in 35 will die of it. More than 2 million men in the United States who have been diagnosed with prostate cancer at some point are still alive today.

Prostate Disorder Symptoms:
Different prostate problems sometimes have similar symptoms. For example, one man with prostatitis and another with BPH may both have a frequent, urgent need to urinate. A man with BPH may have trouble beginning a stream of urine; another may have to urinate frequently at night. Or, a man in the early stages of prostate cancer may have no symptoms at all.

Common symptoms of prostate disorders are:

Sensation of not emptying your bladder completely after you have finished urinating.
Frequent urination (consistently in intervals of less than 2 hours and / or multiple times during the night).
Interrupted urination (you have to stop and start several times during urination).
Difficulty in postponing urination.
Weak or limited urinary stream.
Pushing and straining required to begin urination.
A burning pain during urination.
Pain in lower back, in the area between the testicles and anus, in the lower belly or upper thighs, or above the pubic area. Pain may be worse during bowel movement.
Reduced ability to gain and hold erections, weak ejaculation, and dissatisfaction with sexual performance.
Some pain during or after ejaculation.
Pain in the tip of your penis.
Fever and chills.
Loss of appetite.
One prostate problem does not lead to another. For example, having prostatitis or an enlarged prostate does not increase the chance for prostate cancer. It is true that some men with prostate cancer also have BPH, but the two conditions are not automatically linked. Most men with BPH do not develop prostate cancer. But because the early symptoms for both conditions could be the same, a doctor would need to evaluate them. It is also possible to have more than one condition at a time. This confusing array of potential scenarios makes a case for all men, especially after age 45, to have a thorough medical exam that includes the PSA test and DRE every year.


Arthritis and Ayurveda Treatment

Arthritis is a medical condition in which an individual suffers from joints pain and stiffness in his body. Arthritis mostly occurs in aged people and can strike members of both the sex.

Arthritis is the result of compression of the nerve roots at the cervical region as a result of spondylotic changes and muscular spasm. There are different forms of arthritis, of which the most common one is osteoarthritis (also known as degenerative joint disease).

According to Ayurveda, arthritis is caused due to the accumulation of ama (toxins) in the human body resulting in the aggravation of vata (air) dosha. This ama circulates in the whole body and deposits or gets collected at the sites which are weaker. When it deposits in the joints and at the same time there is aggravation of vata, it results in a disease called Arthritis. Weak digestion, constipation, overeating and very little physical activity are the symptoms that can develop in a patient of arthritis.

Symptoms of Arthritis:
* Pain and stiffness in the joints
* Pain or numbness in the neck, shoulder, elbow, fore arms and hands
* Inflammation of muscles, ligaments and cartilage
* Difficulty in turning the head,
* Headache at the back of the head
* Loss of memory
* Fatigue or lack of energy
* Weight loss
* Constipation
* Insomnia,
* Giddiness
* Blotchy rash on the arms and legs
* Extreme pain especially in cold, windy and damp weather etc

Causes of Arthritis:
* Vitiation of vata dosha due to accumulation of toxins
* Obesity
* Ageing
* Hereditary factors
* Physical injuries
* Standing for long periods without much movement
* Over exertion
* Lifting heavy weight

Ayurvedic Treatments for Arthritis:
Ayurveda treatments of arthritis will consist of eliminating the accumulated toxins from the human system and reduction of vata. Panchakarma treatments will be prescribed for treating arthritis as panchakarma treatments are an elimination therapy to purify the human system off all toxins. After the panchakarma treatments, the patient will be given rasayana treatments and other oral medicines for curing arthritis. Along with that, efforts are undertaken to reduce the pain as well as the inflammation of joints.
Ayurvedic Remedies for Arthritis

* Avoid eating hot, spicy and fried foods, sweets
* Avoid taking too much tea, coffee, yogurt, chocolate and cocoa.
* Avoid alcohol and smoking
* Include vegetables and soups in your diet.
* Avoid stress and strain.
* Avoid over exposure to cold and windy climate.
* Take regular physical exercise
* Avoid sleeping during the day
* Avoid staying up late at night


Thursday, April 14, 2011

Benefits of vitamin E

There are many benefits of vitamin e :-

Vitamin e for Skin:
In terms of skin health and skin care, vitamin e benefits are numerous. In fact, skin care products that contain vitamin e have become an essential part of healthy skin care.

Vitamin e added to lotions, creams, and other skin care products, as well as taken orally, plays a role in the anti-aging of skin. It helps skin look younger by reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Also, free radicals are believed to play an important role in skin aging and therefore the antioxidant activity is quite valuable for this skin problem.

Sun Protection and Sun Burn Treatment:
Vitamin e lotions provide some benefit in preventing and treating sunburns. These lotions protect the epidermis layer of the skin from early stages of ultra violet light damage. Vitamin e preparations also increase the effectiveness of sunscreens. Such lotions do not work immediately. They must be applied about 20 minutes before sun exposure in order to allow the vitamin e to be absorbed deep into the epidermis layer.

Treatment of Skin Diseases:
Vitamin e can aid in the treatment of various skin diseases or skin conditions. Topical applications such as those used to treat psoriasis is one of the benefits of vitamin e. Orally ingested vitamin e can help treat erythema (a skin inflammation that results in reddish, painful, and tender lumps).

Treatment of Scars
One of the most important benefits of vitamin e is the prevention of skin cancer. This occurs because of its sun protection quality and of course its powerful antioxidant properties, which help reduce or prevent sun damage.

Overall for skin care, more benefit is obtained from topical application of vitamin e through creams or lotions rather than taking vitamin e orally. Skin is able to absorb natural vitamin e effectively. However, taking vitamin e orally is important for the good health of other areas of the body.

The recommended skin lotions and creams by many experts are those that contain the alcohol form of vitamin e (alpha-tocopherol) instead of the acetate form (alpha-tocopherol acetate). The acetate form does not penetrate the skin’s surface well and provides less of the benefits of vitamin e such as antioxidant activity for the skin.

Benefits of vitamin e also include helping the body increase and regulate the levels of vitamin a in the body and as a general immune system booster, especially in older adults. Topical vitamin e might also promote good blood circulation and prevent the formation of blood clots, especially in people with diabetes.


Diet Rich In Protein

Your body actually is similar to a chimps, it needs greens lots of them, this may sound odd but its true!Your body needs the ammino acids from dark leafy greens and the chlorophyl acts as a super protein.

Stay away from all the animal protein your body doesn't need any of it infact, when meat is cooked it becomes acidic which makes your Ph imbalanced, and your more supsceptible to dieseases. Your body DOESN'T NEED ANY ANIMAL PROTEIN, remember that people weren't eating meat until after the flood, it says so in the bible.

The only way to eat meat, eggs is to cook it, when you cook it your get rid of vital and essential things in the food such as enzymes and nutrients almost half of this cooked away when you destroy it at high temperatures.

If you eat cooked foods it is bad, this may be hard to believe but its true, since its cooked and there are no enzymes it makes your body work so hard to digest all these foods!
Why do you think you get so serious and your hair gets so greasy after eating alot of meat, THATS WHY!!

So please if you really really want to gain your hair back create healthy Ph levels AND detox your body AND have a clearer mind.All you have to do is eat Fruits and Vegtables and Nuts, and I GARANTEE you, you will see whatever problem of defiency your body has will gain it back and become even stronger!!!

All you really need is fruits veggies and nuts. As I said thats all they ate in bible times and look how healthy they were, noah lived soo long before the flood.

Tips To Healthy Eating

It is very important to know what you are bringing to your mouth since there are many things in the market which are very harmful to the body calorically speaking. You should train yourself to take a look the nutrition facts of every product you are going to buy before you even do try to also teach your family about this so that everyone can grow to be healthier people. Taking care of the food you are ingesting is very important since there should be a balance in your body and not a big extra amount of fat instead. 
Take care of yourself because if you do not do it no one else is.You can start with comparing the amount of calories with the serving size since people might only look at the calories amount when the total means the amount of calories for 1 serving and some products have more than one serving, be careful on that.

Have healthy foods: 3 balanced meals including vegetables, fruits, protein and fats, dairy and make sure to avoid carbohydrates as much as you can. Have two snacks, healthy ones and that are where I can recommend you to have fruits.Avoid serving seconds: Have a meal with the right portions and make sure not to repeat a meal or a dessert just because it is delicious, stay satisfied and not full.

Eat at the table: sometimes it is easier to consume more food while being entertained watching TV than to concentrate on your eating.Avoid fast food: Since it makes you ingest a bigger amount of calories than the ones you are supposed to eat a day.