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.