All drugs are dangerous. Before a person suffering with a migraine headache takes an over-the-counter medication they should be asking the question “Is the possible benefit worth the risk of taking that drug?” William Osler, M.D. once said “The person who takes medicine must recover twice; once from the disease and once from the medicine.” Sadly, this can be all too true.
Dr. William Bennett, head of nephrology at Oregon Health Sciences University, estimates that over-the-counter painkillers are responsible for as many as 20% of the 125,000 cases of end-stage kidney disease in the United States.
Some medications have side effects that can be more serious than the painful migraine headaches themselves. Aspirin can cause internal hemorrhaging, or bleeding in the stomach. According to the Dec. 1996 issue of Health News and Views taking Tylenol once every 4 days increases the chance of liver damage by more than 400%.
The main pain-relief ingredient in Tylenol is acetaminophen which has been shown to cause liver disease. “Tylenol,” as reported in the January 1998 issue of Forbes magazine, “can be very dangerous in doses not much greater” than the recommended dose. In 1989, Lacy Keele, a 5-year-old, took four extra strength tablets in one day, or twice what a child should receive. The overdose destroyed Lacy’s liver. Within a week, she was dead. A jury found Tylenol to be a cause in her death.
There have been hundreds of fatalities and serious liver injuries attributed to acetaminophen, Tylenol’s active ingredient, since Lacy’s death. The biggest reason for these deaths is because people “tend to use Tylenol in a casual fashion.” Think about it: You have a migraine headache so you take a few pills. The migraine doesn’t go away so you take a few more. The difference between a proper dose and an overdose is so small that dangerous amounts can easily be ingested accidentally. “No other over-the-counter drug has a narrower range between therapy and toxicity than acetaminophen,” says Dr. William Lee, a professor of internal medicine at the University of Texas’ Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas.
L.F. Kebler, M.D. once said “Why should a patient swallow a poison because he is ill, or take that which would make a well man sick?” And O.W. Holmes, M.D., Professor of Medicine at Harvard University said “If all the medicine in the world were thrown into the sea, it would be bad for the fish and good for humanity.”
In the September 29, 1996 issue of the Los Angeles Times Magazine it makes it known that Ibuprofen kills thousands every year. Ibuprofen, the active ingredient in many pain relievers, including Advil, Motrin IB, and Nuprin, is known as a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). People that take NSAIDs like ibuprofen regularly to ease their chronic migraine headaches are prone to gastric (stomach) disorders. Dr. James F. Fries, a leading arthritis expert and professor of medicine at Stanford University School of Medicine, says “there’s an epidemic of adverse drug reactions to NSAIDs. The FDA believes anywhere from 10,000 to 20,000 deaths each year are the result of severe bleeding caused by NSAIDs. It’s a big problem.”
When taking medication to relieve migraine headaches it’s always a good idea to read the label carefully. If you decide to take pain-killing medications for your migraine headaches be sure to follow the directions. Using common sense can reduce your chances of experiencing adverse reactions.
Our center offers an innovative treatment which has been very successful with hundreds of patients. Ask our doctors about our Headache and Migraine Program.
Have you ever wanted to go for a massage therapy session but didn’t know what type of massage to get? Massage therapy is a very diverse field of work and there are many types of massage to choose from that range from full-body stress relief to highly targeted methods that relieve muscular pain and dysfunction. Five of the most popular types of massage are Swedish massage, Deep Tissue Massage, Hot Stone Massage, Sports Massage, and Neuromuscular Therapy.
All of the massage techniques described here can help you receive the health benefits of massage. Of course, there are many more massage therapy techniques available that are relaxing, stress reducing, and that relieve chronic tension and pain. You actually don’t have to know what type of massage to ask for, you just need to know what you want to achieve. Do you just want to relax? Reduce muscle soreness? Relieve pain? Improve posture? Ask your massage therapist what they recommend for your particular health needs and get massaged today.
Our center offers an innovative treatment which has been very successful with hundreds of patients. Ask our doctors about our Massage Therapy Program.
When considering back pain, we must concern ourselves with its variants. For instance, back pain can start with slip disks, which in medical terms is called “Herniated nucleus pulposa.” (HNP) Doctors define slip disks as ruptures of the “intervertebral disk.” The intervertebral rests between the vertebrae (Spinal Column) of the backbone.
The interruption has variants, including the “Lumbrosacral,” (L4 and L5) as well as cervical C5-7. The cervical is at the neck and belongs to other parts of the back and neck as well. When doctors consider slip disks they often look through etiology, which includes neck and back strains, trauma, congenital/inborn bone malformation, heavy lifting, degenerated disks, and/or weakness of ligaments.
After carefully considering, etiology doctors consider Pathophysiology, which includes protrusions of the “nucleus pulposus.” The center connects to the column or spinal canal and perhaps compressing the spinal cord or the nerve core, or roots, which causes back pain. If the spinal cord is compressed restraining the roots and cord often back pain, numbness, and the motor functions may fail.
The assessments in medical terms are based on Lumbrosacral, which may include acute or chronic pain at the lower back. The pain may spread out to the buttocks and move toward the legs. The person may feel weakness, as well as numbness. In addition, such pain can cause tingling around the legs and foot. The final assessment may include ambulation, which emerges from pain.
The cervical is considered. The symptoms experts look for is neck rigidity, deadness, weakness, and “tingling of the” hands. If the neck pain spreads the pain down to the arms and continue to the hands, experts will consider slip disks. Yet other symptoms may occur, such as weakness that affects the farthest points, or the higher boundaries of the body. The lumbar curves is at the lower back region and is situated in the loins or the smaller area of the back, which doctors consider also, especially if the patient has difficult straightening this area with the curvature of the spine (scoliosis) and away from the area influenced.
When doctors consider back pain, they will review the diagnostics after conducting a series of tests. Tendon reflexes are tested, which the doctors use tests to look deep into the depressed region, or the absent upper boundary reflexes, or in medical lingo the Achilles’ reactions or reflex. Myelograms assist the expert in seeing if the spinal cord is compressed when indicated. The tests start if the Laséque signs show positive results behind etiology findings, Pathophysiology, assessments, and so on.
How doctors manage slip disks:
Doctors prescribe management in medical schemes to isolate or relieve back pain. The management schemes may include diet whereas the calories are set according to the patient’s metabolic demands. The doctor may increase fiber intake, as well as force fluids.
Additional treatment or management may include hot pads, moisture, etc, as well as hot compressions.
Orthopedic mechanisms are also prescribed to reduce back pain, which include cervical collars and back braces.
Our center offers an innovative treatment which has been very successful with hundreds of patients. Ask our doctors about our Back Pain Program.
A lot of us live our lives like penned animals. Built to move, too often we put ourselves in a cage. We have bodies designed for racing across the savannas, but we live a lifestyle designed for migrating from the bed to the breakfast table; to the car seat; to the office chair; to the restaurant booth; to the living room couch and back to the bed.
It was not always this way. Not long ago in the United States, a man who worked on a farm did the equivalent of 15 miles of jogging every day; and his wife did the equivalent of 7 miles of jogging.
Today, our daily obligations of work and home keep us tied to our chairs, and if we want exercise, we have to seek it out.
In fact, health experts insist that obesity problem is probably caused at least as much by lack of physical activity as by eating too much. Hence, it is important that people need to move around.
However, that does not mean that a lap or two around the old high school track will offset a daily dose of donuts. Exercise alone is not very efficient, experts say. They contend that if you just exercise and do not change your diet, you may be able to prevent weight gain or even lose a few pounds for a while.
Nevertheless, it is not something that you are likely to sustain unless exercise is part of an overall program. The more regularly you exercise, the easier it is to maintain your weight. Here is what to do every day to make sure that you get the exercise you need.
Make sure that you get adequate sleep. Good sleep habits are conducive to exercise, experts point out. If you feel worn out during the day, you are less likely to get much physical activity during the day.
In addition, there is evidence that people who are tired tend to eat more, using food as a substance for the rest they need.
It is probably the easiest exercise program of all. In fact, it may be all you ever have to do, according to some professional advice’s of some health experts.
Gradually build up to at least 30 minutes of brisk walking five times a week. Brisk walks themselves have health and psychological benefits that are well worth the while.
When the weather is bad, you might not feel like going outdoors. But if you have a treadmill in the television room, you can catch up on your favorite shows while you are doing your daily good turn for your weight-maintenance plan.
Most of us watch television anyway, and indoor exercise equipment enables anyone to turn a sedentary activity into a healthy walk.
Excuses aside, lack of time is certainly a limiting factor in most lifestyles. That is why health experts suggest a basic guideline for incorporating exercise into your schedule.
Get as much exercise as you can that feels good without letting it interfere with your work or family life. If you need to, remind yourself that you are preventing many health problems when you prevent weight gain; and keeping your health is a gift to your family as well as yourself.
Our center offers an innovative treatment which has been very successful with hundreds of patients. Ask our doctors about our Weight Loss Program.
The number of people around the world suffering from diabetes has skyrocketed in the last two decades, from 30 million to 230 million, claiming millions of lives and severely taxing the ability of health care systems to deal with the epidemic, according to data released Saturday by the International Diabetes Federation.
What is diabetes?
Diabetes is a disease in which your body cannot properly store and use fuel for energy. The fuel that your body needs is called glucose, a form of sugar. Glucose comes from foods such as breads, cereals, pasta, rice, potatoes, fruits and some vegetables. To use glucose, your body needs insulin. Insulin is made by a gland in your body called the pancreas. There are three types of diabetes: type 1, type 2 and gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes only occurs during pregnancy.
Types of Diabetes Mellitus
Diabetes mellitus is a heterogeneous clinical disorder with numerous causes. Two main classifications of diabetes mellitus exist, idiopathic and secondary.
Idiopathic diabetes is divided into two main types; insulin dependent and non-insulin-dependent. Insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus, IDDM (Type 1) is defined by the development of ketoacidosis in the absence of insulin therapy. Type 1 diabetes most often manifests in childhood (hence also called juvenile onset diabetes) and is the result of an autoimmune destruction of the b-cells of the pancreas. Non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus, NIDDM (Type 2) is characterized by persistent hyperglycemia but rarely leads to ketoacidosis. Type 2 diabetes generally manifests after age 40 and therefore has the obsolete name of adult onset-type diabetes. Type 2 diabetes can result from genetic defects that cause both insulin resistance and insulin deficiency. There are two main forms of type 2 diabetes:
Sample meal plan
Choose foods you like and which satisfy you, and include carbohydrate foods in each meal or snack to help manage blood glucose levels. You can eat your main meal at lunch or dinner.
Get help immediately if Diabetes symptoms occur
Occasionally, the onset of diabetes – particularly Type 1 – can be abrupt. It can lead to a condition called ‘keto acidosis’, which is a medical emergency. The symptoms of this condition are loss of appetite, weight loss, vomiting, excessive passing of urine, altered consciousness and, finally, coma. Seek medical help immediately if these symptoms occur.
This is how staggering the rise of obesity has become: according to the Surgeon General’s office, the number of obese or overweight adults in this country is 50% higher than it was just a decade ago. Recent studies have projected that 1/3 of the children born in 2000 will develop Type 2 Diabetes, which was once commonly referred to as adult-onset diabetes and is primarily driven by excessive weight. And perhaps most unsettling of all: over the last ten years the number of deaths directly related to obesity-inspired diseased has increased by 33%.
Obesity contributes to diabetes, heart disease, and strokes. Diabetes leads to an increased risk of heart disease, blindness, limb amputation, and kidney problems. The close relationship between excessive weight and diabetes is undeniable. Which is why it’s so important for those who are either pre-diabetes or have been diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes to monitor their body mass index.
What is your body mass index (BMI)? It’s an easily calculated number which tells you the percentage of your body weight that consists of fat. Although this number is not 100% on-the-money perfect, especially when the calculation is based solely on height and weight, it’s a good ball park figure. Certainly, good enough to use as a guide if you’re trying to lose weight. Other factors that are normally taken into consideration are sex and age.
The most accurate way to determine your body mass index is by working with your doctor. Not only can he offer you some additional insights into the meaning of the number, he can advise you on how best to start losing weight.
However, if you’d like to get a quick peek at where you fall in the BMI scale, there are a number of online calculators you can use. The quickest path to a calculator is by doing a search for the term “BMI” or “body mass index.” Either will do.
After you’ve determined your BMI number, you’ll want to know what it means. As a rough guideline for adults a BMI of less than 20 implies underweight, over 25 is overweight, and over 30 is obese. For a more specific idea of where you fall in the index, the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute provides a complete Body Mass Index Table for your convenience. You can find it here: <a href=”http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/guidelines/obesity/bmi_tbl.htm“>http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/guidelines/obesity/bmi_tbl.htm</a>
The bottom line: if you’re overweight, you’re in danger of developing diabetes. This dreadful disease is nearly silent, yet it can cause kidney failure, heart damage, strokes, even the loss of limbs to amputation. This is why it’s so important to keep a close eye on your weight and particularly your body mass index.
What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
There are 8 bones in our wrists called carpals. They form a tunnel like structure. That is how carpal tunnel got its name. Finger movements are controlled by flexor tendons, which are found within this tunnel. The median nerve reaches sensory cells in the hand, through this pathway of tunnel.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a painful and progressive condition that occurs in the wrist. It is caused by the compression of the median nerve in the wrist. The median nerve runs into the hand starting from the forearm. When it becomes, squeezed or pressed at the wrist, its message carrying and receiving ability from the brain gets inhibited. It is not necessary that the whole median nerve be pressed to cause carpal tunnel syndrome. The syndrome is caused when a point on the nerve is pressed. As a result of this compression the nerve does not function properly and causes carpal tunnel syndrome.
1 out of every 100 people is affected by carpal tunnel syndrome at some point in their life. It is commonly caused in the women of the age group of 30-50 years. Carpal tunnel syndrome is also known as Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI). Carpal tunnel syndrome is inclusive of the (RSI) related soft tissue injuries.
What Causes Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Though there are various possibilities behind the cause of carpal tunnel syndrome, the basic cause is the compression of tunnel walls. As the tunnel walls compress, they put pressure on the median nerve. As the median nerve gets stressed, it causes carpal tunnel syndrome.
Congenital predisposition is also a cause of carpal tunnel disorder. In a majority of cases the carpal tunnel is smaller than the normal, which causes the median nerve to stress.
The syndrome can develop quickly, if the wrist has been fractured or injured. Rheumatoid Arthritis is also a cause of carpal tunnel syndrome.
In some cases, repetitive stress induced carpal tunnel strain causes this syndrome. If a person’s occupation involves, gripping, typing or digging, the hand gets strained and it directly strains the median nerve.
Repetitive wrist and hand action results in the injury and swelling of the subcutaneous tissues. These tissues include muscle, ligament, fascia, sheaths, tendon, blood vessels and peripheral and retinaculum nerve. Due to the small and restricted passage of the tunnel, these swollen tissues can compress together and create concentrated pressure.
Carpal tunnel syndrome can also be caused due to some trauma based incidents. These causes include fracture or injury of the wrist or one of the arm bones. Internal hemorrhaging in the wrist leads to formation of hematoma which causes the syndrome. If any one of the carpal bones of the wrist gets dislocated, it leads to carpal syndrome. Obesity is another common cause of carpal tunnel syndrome. Women who take contraceptive pills can also go on to develop this condition.
Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
The early symptoms include tingling, numbness and burning in the thumb and the index and middle fingers. People suffering from this syndrome, find it hard to grip things, or make a fist. The symptom grows to a severe pain in the hand and restricts the movement of the hand at all. A person gradually loses his ability to squeeze things. They may even find it very hard to tie their shoe laces and picking things up becomes a challenge.
In the worst cases of carpal tunnel syndrome, the patients are unable to differentiate between hot and cold things by touch.
Who is at Risk?
People who are involved in assembly line work are at the maximum risk of developing carpal tunnel syndrome. However, it can also develop in the people who are constantly related to any of the following activities or professions:
Computer keyboard typing or typewriter typing
Driving a vehicle
Surgeons and Dentists
People involved in exhaustive activity of hands like drilling, digging.
Avoiding repetitive and exhaustive activities related to hand movement, is the first instruction for someone suffering with carpal tunnel syndrome. The patient must abstain from such activities to give relief to their hand and free the median nerve of pressure.
Stretching exercises also helps in treating the syndrome as exercising helps in maintaining blood flow normal in the nerves. Modalities including manipulation therapy has been extremely beneficial in many cases.
Medicines like corticosteroid and prescription based NSAID’s can help in relieving the syndrome. If the condition gets worse, there is the option of surgery.
You should consult your doctor immediately if you feel you may be suffering with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
Now that we’re in the information technology age, everything we need is within reach. And this is all thanks to the Internet. Work is mostly done through the Internet, facing the computer for long stretches of hours. Even kids’ homework is done and submitted using a computer connected to the Internet. Gone are the days when people would have to go and manually search for files in big folders stacked in shelves full of records. Gone are the days when researching meant going to the library to research using gargantuan encyclopedias. People just aren’t as active as they used to be. And it’s because of this inactivity, and the long hours of slaving away in front of computers, that a lot of people have been complaining of certain chronic pain on their wrists.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) has been present even before computers were created, contrary to popular belief that CTS was brought about by the increasing use of technology.
The carpal tunnel is a hollow tunnel formed by the carpal bones and the surrounding tissues of the wrist. This tunnel protects the median nerve that makes your thumb, index, middle and ring fingers its feelings. And it is said that carpal tunnel syndrome starts when the median nerve gets compressed, this causes pain, a tingling sensation, and/or weakness in the forearm and hand.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is said to be caused by a lot of factors: work, health conditions, trauma, and idiopathic reasons.
Of course, consulting a physician should always be the first step to take when dealing with any kind of pain in the body. They need to find out if the CTS is caused by any underlying physical condition that needs to be addressed right away.
Some people with mild symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome are able to relieve themselves of the pain by simply taking frequent breaks to rest their hands and arms. Some people apply cold packs to reduce occasional swelling of the wrists. If these quick fixes do not work, you might need to consider wrist splinting, medications and/or surgery.
It is understandable that now that we’re in the computer age where everything is accessible through the internet, we don’t need to move much. But even if technology offers us the convenience of just typing everything into the computer, we need to understand that it will affect our wrists sooner or later. So stand up, stretch, and give your hands a rest.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is by far the most common and widely known of the “pinched nerve” conditions. This article addresses: What is it? Who is at risk for this condition? How is it diagnosed? What kinds of treatments work best?
Carpal tunnel syndrome refers to symptoms caused by entrapment of the median nerve in the carpal tunnel. “Carpal” itself means “wrist,” so a carpal tunnel is nothing more than a wrist tunnel. This particular tunnel can be a crowded place, as it contains not just the median nerve, but nine tendons as well. The “syndrome” consists of some combination of pain, numbness and weakness.
Pain, numbness, or both, are the usual earliest symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome. Pain can affect the fingers, hand, wrist and forearm, but not usually the upper arm or shoulder. Numbness affects the palm side of the thumb and fingers, but usually spares the little finger because it’s connected to a different nerve.
When weakness is present, it usually indicates that the condition is already severe, and when muscles atrophy (wither) it means the condition is even worse. The affected muscles are those downstream from where the nerve is pinched, and can include those controlling any of three motions of the thumb. In addition, bending of the first knuckles of the index and middle fingers can be affected, as can straightening of the second knuckles of the same fingers. When muscle atrophy is present, it is most evident in the muscular ball at the base of the thumb.
Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs more frequently in women than in men. People who work with their hands a lot – for example to sew, operate hand-tools or perform assembly-line work – are at increased risk for developing this condition. Various medical conditions can also increase the risk of carpal tunnel syndrome, including injuries, arthritis, diabetes, low levels of thyroid hormone and pregnancy. In the case of pregnancy, carpal tunnel syndrome often appears in the third trimester and resolves after the woman delivers.
Optimum diagnosis of this condition combines the time-honored methods of a doctor’s history-taking and physical examination with tests of nerve function called nerve conduction studies. Nerve conduction studies are exquisitely sensitive in detecting impairment of the median nerve at the wrist, particularly when the median nerve is compared with a nearby healthy nerve in the same patient.
In nerve conduction studies, the nerve on one side of the carpal tunnel is activated by a small shock to the skin. An oscilloscope measures how long it takes for the resulting nerve-impulse to arrive on the other side of the carpal tunnel. When the median nerve is pinched, the nerve-impulse is delayed or blocked. Nerve conduction studies are so sensitive that sometimes they show problems that aren’t even causing symptoms. That’s why nerve conduction studies don’t stand alone in diagnosing carpal tunnel syndrome. The examining physician needs to decide if the results make sense for the particular patient in question.
Nerve conduction studies not only show whether or not the median nerve is impaired at the wrist, but also provide precise data concerning how bad the impairment is. In addition, these studies survey the function of other nerves in the arm and hand. Occasionally, a nerve in an adjacent tunnel (the ulnar nerve in Guyon’s canal) can also be pinched. In other cases, nerve conduction studies show that the problem is not one of single nerve-pinches, but rather a more diffuse pattern of nerve-impairment called polyneuropathy. Of course, sometimes the studies are completely normal and suggest that the symptoms are due to something else.
To treat carpal tunnel syndrome, starting with “conservative” treatment makes sense in most cases, especially when the symptoms are still in the mild-to-moderate range. Conservative treatment usually includes a wrist-splint that holds the wrist in a neutral position, as well as therapy. Manipulation has also been found to be very helpful and many cases.
Thyroid weight gain is basically the effect of the thyroid gland not working properly. It is through this gland that the thyroid hormone is being produced. This hormone acts as the body’s counterpart to a car’s cruise control. It is the cruise control that allows the car to maintain a constant speed. And just like a car, it is the thyroid gland that keeps the rest of the body working at constant speed.
Normal levels of the thyroid hormone make it possible for the various functions of the body to maintain its normal activity. A decrease in the production of the thyroid hormone and the body’s level of activity also decreases. Cells in the body seem to work slower. In so doing, the cells need less energy. But when the amount of energy provided in the body remains at the same level, some of this excess energy is being stored by the body for future use. The body does this by turning the excess energy in calories into fat. This in turn becomes additional weight in the body.
When the thyroid gland produces less of the thyroid hormone, many other things happen to the body. With the cells using lesser energy due to decreased activity, less heat is produced. With less heat, the sweat glands no longer need to keep the skin moist as the body also becomes colder. In this situation, the brain also goes through decreased activity which makes it want to sleep all the time. The same goes with the heart as less activity also allows it to beat slower. With decreased hormone levels in the thyroid gland, everything just slows up.
The opposite is true when the thyroid gland begins to produce the right amount of hormones that the body needs. When the levels of the thyroid hormones increase, the cells in the body also undergo an increase in activity. As a result of this, the body requires more energy and so makes use of the fat and protein stores and convert them to energy. As fat and protein cell stores decrease when being used, the body undergoes weight changes.
But an overactive thyroid gland also is not good. Aside from the above effects, an overactive thyroid also enables the body to produce more heat as a by-product of the increased activity. The body then begins to sweat in an effort to cool things down. The brain then begins to work overtime which can result in irritability and often difficulty in sleeping. The heart also begins to beat faster as everything in the body tries to speed up in activity.
In the body, it is the pituitary gland that sets the level of activity in the thyroid gland. Located at the base of the brain right between the temples, the pituitary gland sets the level in which the thyroid gland functions and, in so doing, regulates how much of the thyroid hormone is released into the blood stream.
If there the pituitary gland detects decreased levels of the thyroid hormone in the bloodstream, it sends out more of the Thyroid Stimulating Hormone or TSH into the thyroid gland by way of the bloodstream to stimulate it to produce more thyroid hormone. Thyroid weight gain happens if the body has an under active thyroid.
A decrease in thyroid function leads to less energy consumption in the body. This makes the body to store up excess calories in the body as fat which results in weight gain.