Posted by: wortix | November 8, 2010

8 Foods You Should Eat Daily for Optimum Health

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1. Spinach - It may be green and leafy, but spinach is also the ultimate man food. This noted biceps builder is a rich source of plant-based omega-3s and folate, which help reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, and osteoporosis. Bonus: Folate also increases blood flow to the penis. And spinach is packed with lutein, a compound that fights age-related macular degeneration. Aim for 1 cup fresh spinach or ½ cup cooked per day. SUBSTITUTES: Kale, bok choy, romaine lettuce FIT IT IN: Make your salads with spinach; add spinach to scrambled eggs; drape it over pizza; mix it with marinara sauce and then microwave for an instant dip. PINCH HITTER: Sesame Stir-Braised Kale Heat 4 cloves minced garlic, 1 Tbsp. minced fresh ginger, and 1 tsp. sesame oil in a skillet. Add 2 Tbsp. water and 1 bunch kale (stemmed and chopped). Cover and cook for 3 minutes. Drain. Add 1 tsp. soy sauce and 1 Tbsp. sesame seeds.

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2. Yogurt - Various cultures claim yogurt as their own creation, but the 2,000-year-old food’s health benefits are not disputed: Fermentation spawns hundreds of millions of probiotic organisms that serve as reinforcements to the battalions of beneficial bacteria in your body, which boost the immune system and provide protection against cancer. Not all yogurts are probiotic though, so make sure the label says “live and active cultures.” Aim for 1 cup of the calcium- and protein-rich goop a day. SUBSTITUTES: Kefir, soy yogurt FIT IT IN: Yogurt topped with blueberries, walnuts, flaxseed, and honey is the ultimate breakfast—or dessert. Plain low-fat yogurt is also a perfect base for creamy salad dressings and dips. HOME RUN: Power Smoothie Blend 1 cup low-fat yogurt, 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries, 1 cup carrot juice, and 1 cup fresh baby spinach for a nutrient-rich blast.

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3. Tomatoes - There are two things you need to know about tomatoes: Red are the best, because they’re packed with more of the antioxidant lycopene, and processed tomatoes are just as potent as fresh ones, because it’s easier for the body to absorb the lycopene. Studies show that a diet rich in lycopene can decrease your risk of bladder, lung, prostate, skin, and stomach cancers, as well as reduce the risk of coronary artery disease. Aim for 22 mg of lycopene a day, which is about eight red cherry tomatoes or a glass of tomato juice. SUBSTITUTES: Red watermelon, pink grapefruit, Japanese persimmon, papaya, guava FIT IT IN: Pile on the ketchup and Ragú; guzzle low-sodium V8 and gazpacho; double the amount of tomato paste called for in a recipe. PINCH HITTER: Red and Pink Fruit Bowl Chop 1 small watermelon, 2 grapefruits, 3 persimmons, 1 papaya, and 4 guavas. Garnish with mint.

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4. Carrots - Most red, yellow, or orange vegetables and fruits are spiked with carotenoids—fat-soluble compounds that are associated with a reduction in a wide range of cancers, as well as reduced risk and severity of inflammatory conditions such as asthma and rheumatoid arthritis—but none are as easy to prepare, or have as low a caloric density, as carrots. Aim for ½ cup a day. SUBSTITUTES: Sweet potato, pumpkin, butternut squash, yellow bell pepper, mango FIT IT IN: Raw baby carrots, sliced raw yellow pepper, butternut squash soup, baked sweet potato, pumpkin pie, mango sorbet, carrot cake PINCH HITTER: Baked Sweet Potato Fries Scrub and dry 2 sweet potatoes. Cut each into 8 slices, and then toss with olive oil and paprika. Spread on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes at 350°F. Turn and bake for 10 minutes more.

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5. Blueberries – Host to more antioxidants than any other popular fruit, blueberries help prevent cancer, diabetes, and age-related memory changes (hence the nickname “brain berry”). Studies show that blueberries, which are rich in fiber and vitamins A and C, boost cardiovascular health. Aim for 1 cup fresh blueberries a day, or ½ cup frozen or dried. SUBSTITUTES: Açai berries, purple grapes, prunes, raisins, strawberries FIT IT IN: Blueberries maintain most of their power in dried, frozen, or jam form. PINCH HITTER: Açai, an Amazonian berry, has even more antioxidants than the blueberry. Mix 2 Tbsp. of açai powder into OJ or add 2 Tbsp. of açai pulp to cereal, yogurt, or a smoothie.

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6. Black Beans - All beans are good for your heart, but none can boost your brain power like black beans. That’s because they’re full of anthocyanins, antioxidant compounds that have been shown to improve brain function. A daily ½-cup serving provides 8 grams of protein and 7.5 grams of fiber, and is low in calories and free of saturated fat. SUBSTITUTES: Peas, lentils, and pinto, kidney, fava, and lima beans FIT IT IN: Wrap black beans in a breakfast burrito; use both black beans and kidney beans in your chili; puree 1 cup black beans with ¼ cup olive oil and roasted garlic for a healthy dip; add favas, limas, or peas to pasta dishes. HOME RUN: Black Bean and Tomato Salsa Dice 4 tomatoes, 1 onion, 3 cloves garlic, 2 jalapeños, 1 yellow bell pepper, and 1 mango. Mix in a can of black beans and garnish with ½ cup chopped cilantro and the juice of 2 limes.

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7. Walnuts - Richer in heart-healthy omega-3s than salmon, loaded with more anti-inflammatory polyphenols than red wine, and packing half as much muscle-building protein as chicken, the walnut sounds like a Frankenfood, but it grows on trees. Other nuts combine only one or two of these features, not all three. A serving of walnuts—about 1 ounce, or seven nuts—is good anytime, but especially as a postworkout recovery snack. SUBSTITUTES: Almonds, peanuts, pistachios, macadamia nuts, hazelnuts FIT IT IN: Sprinkle on top of salads; dice and add to pancake batter; spoon peanut butter into curries; grind and mix with olive oil to make a marinade for grilled fish or chicken. HOME RUN: Mix 1 cup walnuts with ½ cup dried blueberries and ¼ cup dark chocolate chunks.

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8. Oats - The éminence grise of health food, oats garnered the FDA’s first seal of approval. They are packed with soluble fiber, which lowers the risk of heart disease. Yes, oats are loaded with carbs, but the release of those sugars is slowed by the fiber, and because oats also have 10 grams of protein per ½-cup serving, they deliver steady muscle-building energy. SUBSTITUTES: Quinoa, flaxseed, wild rice FIT IT IN: Eat granolas and cereals that have a fiber content of at least 5 grams per serving. Sprinkle 2 Tbsp. ground flaxseed on cereals, salads, and yogurt. PINCH HITTER: Quinoa Salad Quinoa has twice the protein of most cereals, and fewer carbs. Boil 1 cup quinoa in a mixture of 1 cup pear juice and 1 cup water. Let cool. In a large bowl, toss 2 diced apples, 1 cup fresh blueberries, ½ cup chopped walnuts, and 1 cup plain fat-free yogurt.

Photos and article source: BestLifeOnline

Posted by: wortix | November 23, 2010

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Posted by: wortix | November 8, 2010

10 tips to have a better sleep

Are you getting enough sleep?

If you feel that you’re normally tired or anxious, it may be that you’re not getting enough sleep every night. It’s really important to get all your hours of sleep if what you want is to be alert and fully productive.

Check out our 10 tips to get a better sleep:

  1. Go to bed and get up at about the same time every day, even on the weekends. Sticking to a schedule helps reinforce your body’s sleep-wake cycle and can help you fall asleep more easily at night.
  2. Don’t eat or drink large amounts before bedtime. Eat a light dinner at least two hours before sleeping. If you’re prone to heartburn, avoid spicy or fatty foods, which can make your heartburn flare and prevent a restful sleep. Also, limit how much you drink before bed. Too much liquid can cause you to wake up repeatedly during the night for trips to the toilet.
  3. Avoid nicotine, caffeine and alcohol in the evening. These are stimulants that can keep you awake. Smokers often experience withdrawal symptoms at night, and smoking in bed is dangerous. Avoid caffeine for eight hours before your planned bedtime. Your body doesn’t store caffeine, but it takes many hours to eliminate the stimulant and its effects. And although often believed to be a sedative, alcohol actually disrupts sleep.
  4. Exercise regularly. Regular physical activity, especially aerobic exercise, can help you fall asleep faster and make your sleep more restful. However, for some people, exercising right before bed may make getting to sleep more difficult.
  5. Make your bedroom cool, dark, quiet and comfortable. Create a room that’s ideal for sleeping. Adjust the lighting, temperature, humidity and noise level to your preferences. Use blackout curtains, eye covers, earplugs, extra blankets, a fan or white-noise generator, a humidifier or other devices to create an environment that suits your needs.
  6. Sleep primarily at night. Daytime naps may steal hours from nighttime slumber. Limit daytime sleep to about a half-hour and make it during midafternoon. If you work nights, keep your window coverings closed so that sunlight, which adjusts the body’s internal clock, doesn’t interrupt your sleep. If you have a day job and sleep at night, but still have trouble waking up, leave the window coverings open and let the sunlight help awaken you.
  7. Choose a comfortable mattress and pillow. Features of a good bed are subjective and differ for each person. But make sure you have a bed that’s comfortable. If you share your bed, make sure there’s enough room for two. Children and pets are often disruptive, so you may need to set limits on how often they sleep in bed with you.
  8. Start a relaxing bedtime routine. Do the same things each night to tell your body it’s time to wind down. This may include taking a warm bath or shower, reading a book, or listening to soothing music. Relaxing activities done with lowered lights can help ease the transition between wakefulness and sleepiness.
  9. Go to bed when you’re tired and turn out the lights. If you don’t fall asleep within 15 to 20 minutes, get up and do something else. Go back to bed when you’re tired. Don’t agonize over falling asleep. The stress will only prevent sleep.
  10. Use sleeping pills only as a last resort. Check with your doctor before taking any sleep medications. He or she can make sure the pills won’t interact with your other medications or with an existing medical condition. Your doctor can also help you determine the best dosage. If you do take a sleep medication, reduce the dosage gradually when you want to quit, and never mix alcohol and sleeping pills. If you feel sleepy or dizzy during the day, talk to your doctor about changing the dosage or discontinuing the pills.

Via @ http://www.mayoclinic.com

Posted by: wortix | October 12, 2009

Cat and Dog Bites

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How should I take care of a bite from a cat or a dog?

Here are some things you should do to take care of a wound caused by a cat or dog bite:
  • If necessary, call your doctor (see the shaded box below).
  • Wash the wound gently with soap and water.
  • Apply pressure with a clean towel to the injured area to stop any bleeding.
  • Apply a sterile bandage to the wound.
  • Keep the injury elevated above the level of the heart to slow swelling and prevent infection.
  • Report the incident to the proper authority in your community (for example, the animal control office or the police).
  • Apply antibiotic ointment to the area 2 times every day until it heals.

Call your doctor in any of these situations:

  • You have a cat bite. Cat bites often cause infection. You don’t need to call your doctor for a cat scratch, unless you think the wound is infected.
  • You have a dog bite on your hand, foot or head, or you have a bite that is deep or gaping.
  • You have diabetes, liver or lung disease, cancer, acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) or another condition that could weaken your ability to fight infection.
  • You have any signs of infection, such as redness, swelling, warmth, increased tenderness, oozing of pus from the wound or a fever.
  • You have bleeding that doesn’t stop after 15 minutes of pressure or you think you may have a broken bone, nerve damage or another serious injury.
  • Your last tetanus shot (vaccine) was more than 5 years ago. (If so, you may need a booster shot.)
  • You were bitten by a wild animal or a domestic animal (such as a pet) of unknown immunization status.

What will my doctor do?

Here are some things your doctor may do to treat a cat or dog bite:
  • Examine the wound for possible nerve damage, tendon damage or bone injury. He or she will also check for signs of infection.
  • Clean the wound with a special solution and remove any damaged tissue.
  • May use stitches to close a bite wound, but often the wound is left open to heal, so the risk of infection is lowered.
  • May prescribe an antibiotic to prevent infection.
  • May give you a tetanus shot if you had your last shot more than 5 years ago.
  • May ask you to schedule an office visit to check your wound again in 1 to 2 days.
  • If your injury is severe, or if the infection has not gotten better even though you’re taking antibiotics, your doctor may suggest that you see a specialist and/or go to the hospital, where you can get special medicine given directly in your veins (intravenous antibiotics) and further treatment if necessary.

Will I need a rabies shot?

Probably not. Rabies is uncommon in dogs and cats in the United States. If a dog or cat that bit you appeared to be healthy at the time of the bite, it’s unlikely that the animal had rabies. However, it’s a good idea to take some precautions if you’re bitten by a dog or cat.

If you know the owner of the dog or cat that bit you, ask for the pet’s vaccination record (record of shots). An animal that appears healthy and has been vaccinated should still be quarantined (kept away from people and other animals) for 10 days to make sure it doesn’t start showing signs of rabies. If the animal gets sick during the 10-day period, a veterinarian will test it for rabies. If the animal does have rabies, you will need to get a series of rabies shots (see below).

If the animal is a stray or you can’t find the owner of the dog or cat that bit you, call the animal control agency or health department in your area. They will try to find the animal so it can be tested for rabies.

If the animal control agency or health department can’t find the animal that bit you, if the animal shows signs of rabies after the bite or if a test shows that the animal has rabies, your doctor will probably want you to get a series of rabies shots (also called post-exposure prophylaxis). You need to get the first shot as soon as possible after the bite occurs. After you receive the first shot, your doctor will give you 5 more shots over a 28-day period.

How can I prevent cat and dog bites?

Here are some things you can do to prevent bites:
  • Never leave a young child alone with a pet.
  • Do not try to separate fighting animals.
  • Avoid sick animals and animals that you don’t know.
  • Leave animals alone while they are eating.
  • Keep pets on a leash when in public.
  • Select your family pet carefully and be sure to keep your pet’s vaccinations (shots) up-to-date.

Source

Written by familydoctor.org editorial staff.

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American Academy of Family Physicians

Article from http://familydoctor.org/online/famdocen/home/healthy/firstaid/bites/203.printerview.html

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Posted by: wortix | October 2, 2009

Understanding Sleep Problems – Symptoms

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What Are the Symptoms of Sleep Disorders?

Insomnia

Insomnia is itself often a symptom of other problems. Typical patterns of insomnia include the inability to fall asleep or stay asleep at night, waking up earlier than usual, and daytime fatigue. Most people with insomnia don’t fall asleep in inappropriate situations, like driving. If this does occur, it may signal that a medical disorder (such as sleep apnea) is the cause of insomnia.

Sleep Apnea

Excessive daytime sleepiness is the primary symptom. Some people will deny sleepiness but feel fatigued. Other symptoms are snoring, snorting, and gasping sounds when you sleep — often first noticed by a sleeping partner. Restless or unrefreshing sleep is also typical, as are headaches in the morning.

Narcolepsy

Excessive sleepiness during the day, alleviated by naps, is a symptom of narcolepsy. Dreaming during naps and experiencing dream-like hallucinations as you fall asleep are also warning signs. Loss of muscle control (called cataplexy) that occurs with emotion, such as laughing or anger, and the inability to move as you’re going to sleep or waking up (called sleep paralysis) are also symptoms.

Restless Leg Syndrome

The primary warning sign is the irresistible urge to move your legs shortly after you get into bed, in the middle of the night after awakening, or even when wide awake during the day. It usually feels better if you get up to walk around or rub your leg. “Creepy-crawly” or twitching feeling in your calves, feet, thighs, or arms are symptoms of restless leg syndrome — the sensations of discomfort can be quite varied. Kicking or twitching leg movements during sleep, and sometimes while awake, may be warning signs.

Call Your Doctor If:

  • Your sleep does not improve with self-help techniques, such as establishing good sleep hygiene, cutting down on caffeine, exercising, and using relaxation techniques.
  • You think your sleep problems may be related to an underlying condition, such as depression or heart failure.
  • You snore loudly or make snorting or gasping noises while you sleep — or your partner observes these things while you’re asleep.
  • You fall asleep doing normal activities, such as talking or driving.
  • You regularly feel unrefreshed on awakening and are constantly fatigued. Sleep disorders are among the many possible causes for fatigue.
  • You suspect your medication is causing your sleep problems.

Article from: http://www.webmd.com/

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Posted by: wortix | September 30, 2009

High Cholesterol: Cholesterol Basics

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High Cholesterol: Cholesterol Basics

Have you been diagnosed with high cholesterol? Is lowering your cholesterol a goal? The first step is to find out: what is cholesterol?

Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance made in the liver and found in certain foods, such as food from animals, like dairy products (whole milk), eggs and meat.

The body needs some cholesterol in order to function properly. Its cell walls, or membranes, need cholesterol in order to produce hormones, vitamin D and the bile acids that help to digest fat. But, the body needs only a small amount of cholesterol to meet its needs. When too much is present health problems such as coronary heart disease may develop.

What Is Coronary Heart Disease?

When too much cholesterol is present, plaque (a thick, hard deposit) may form in the body’s arteries narrowing the space for blood to flow to the heart. Over time, this buildup causes atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) which can lead to heart disease.

When not enough oxygen-carrying blood reaches the heart chest pain — called angina — can result. If the blood supply to a portion of the heart is completely cut off by total blockage of a coronary artery, the result is a heart attack. This is usually due to a sudden closure from a blood clot forming on top of a previous narrowing.

Types of Cholesterol

Cholesterol travels through the blood attached to a protein — this cholesterol-protein package is called a lipoprotein. Lipoproteins are classified as high density, low density, or very low density, depending on how much protein there is in relation to fat.

  • Low density lipoproteins (LDL): LDL, also called “bad” cholesterol, can cause buildup of plaque on the walls of arteries. The more LDL there is in the blood, the greater the risk of heart disease.
  • High density lipoproteins (HDL): HDL, also called “good” cholesterol, helps the body get rid of bad cholesterol in the blood. The higher the level of HDL cholesterol, the better. If your levels of HDL are low, your risk of heart disease increases.
  • Very low density lipoproteins (VLDL): VLDL is similar to LDL cholesterol in that it contains mostly fat and not much protein.
  • Triglycerides: Triglycerides are another type of fat that is carried in the blood by very low density lipoproteins. Excess calories, alcohol or sugar in the body are converted into triglycerides and stored in fat cells throughout the body.

What Factors Affect Cholesterol Levels?

A variety of factors can affect your cholesterol levels. They include:

  • Diet. Saturated fat and cholesterol in the food you eat increase cholesterol levels. Try to reduce the amount of saturated fat and cholesterol in your diet.
  • Weight. In addition to being a risk factor for heart disease, being overweight can also increase your cholesterol. Losing weight can help lower your LDL and total cholesterol levels, as well as increase HDL cholesterol.
  • Exercise. Regular exercise can lower LDL cholesterol and raise HDL cholesterol. You should try to be physically active for 30 minutes on most days.
  • Age and Gender. As we get older, cholesterol levels rise. Before menopause, women tend to have lower total cholesterol levels than men of the same age. After menopause, however, women’s LDL levels tend to rise.
  • Diabetes.  Poorly controlled diabetes increases cholesterol levels.  With impovements in control, cholesterol levels can fall.
  • Heredity. Your genes partly determine how much cholesterol your body makes. High blood cholesterol can run in families.
  • Other causes. Certain medications and medical conditions can cause high cholesterol.

How Much Cholesterol Is Too Much?

Everyone over the age of 20 should get their cholesterol levels measured at least once every 5 years.

When being tested, your doctor may recommend a non-fasting cholesterol test or a fasting cholesterol test. A non-fasting cholesterol test will show your total cholesterol and HDL cholesterol. A fasting cholesterol test, called a lipid profile or a lipoprotein analysis, will measure your LDL, HDL, and total cholesterol. It will also measure triglycerides.

Your doctor may start with a non-fasting cholesterol test and then recommend a lipid profile, based on your results.

Doctors recommend your cholesterol stay below 200. Here is the breakdown:

Total Cholesterol Category
Less than 200 Desirable
200 – 239 Borderline High
240 and above High

Your LDL, HDL and triglyceride levels are important as well.

How Can I Lower My Cholesterol and Reduce My Risk of Heart Disease?

A few simple changes can help lower your cholesterol:

  • Eat low cholesterol foods. The American Heart Association recommends that you limit your average daily cholesterol intake to less than 300 milligrams. If you have heart disease, limit your daily intake to less than 200 milligrams. People can significantly lower their dietary cholesterol intake by keeping their dietary intake of saturated fats low and by avoiding foods that are high in saturated fat and that contain substantial amounts of dietary cholesterol.
  • Quit smoking. Smoking lowers HDL (“good”) cholesterol levels. This trend can be reversed if you quit smoking.
  • Exercise. Exercise increases HDL cholesterol in some people. Even moderate-intensity activities, if done daily, can help control weight, diabetes, and high blood pressure — all risk factors for heart disease.
  • Take medication as prescribed by your doctor. Sometimes making changes to your diet and increasing exercise is not enough to bring your cholesterol down. You may also need to take a cholesterol lowering drug.

How Is High Cholesterol Treated?

The main goal in lowering cholesterol is to lower your LDL and raise your HDL. There are two key ways to lower cholesterol: eat a heart-healthy diet and take cholesterol-lowering medications.

Doctors determine your “goals” for lowering LDL based on the number of risk factors you have for heart disease.

  • If you have 0-1 risk factor for heart disease, you are at low-to-moderate risk. Lifestyle changes are recommended to keep the cholesterol in check.
  • If you have 2 or more risk factors, you are at moderate risk or next-highest risk, depending on what heart disease risk factors you have. Sometimes your doctor will try lifestyle changes, but most of these people require cholesterol-lowering drugs.
  • If you have known heart disease, diabetes or multiple risk factors, you are at high, or very high, risk. These people require a combination of cholesterol-lowering drugs and lifestyle changes to control their cholesterol levels.

What Drugs Are Used to Treat High Cholesterol?

Cholesterol-lowering drugs include:

  • Statins
  • Niacin
  • Bile-acid resins
  • Fibric acid derivatives

Cholesterol-lowering medicine is most effective when combined with a low-cholesterol diet.

Reviewed by the doctors in the Department of Preventive Cardiology and Rehabilitation at The Cleveland Clinic Heart Center.

Article from: http://www.webmd.com/

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Posted by: wortix | September 23, 2009

Acne in Teens: Ways to Control It

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What causes acne?

Acne commonly starts in the early teen years, when the oil glands in the body start making more sebum (oil). In people who have acne, dead skin cells mix with the extra oil and plug up hair follicles in the skin. Bacteria that grows in the hair follicles causes more skin irritation.

A “whitehead” occurs when the hair follicle is plugged with oil and skin cells. If the follicle is plugged near the surface of the skin and the air touches it, it turns black and is called a “blackhead.” A blackhead isn’t caused by dirt.

If the wall of a plugged follicle breaks, the area swells and turns into a red bump. If the follicle wall breaks near the skin surface, the bump usually becomes a pimple. If the wall breaks deep in the skin, acne nodules or cysts can form. This is called “cystic acne.”

Things that often make acne worse

  • Oil-based makeup, suntan oil and hair products
  • Stress
  • Hormonal changes, especially during menstruation
  • Squeezing or picking at blemishes
  • Hard scrubbing of the skin

Things that don’t cause acne

  • Dirt
  • Chocolate or french fries
  • Sexual activity
  • Masturbation

Who gets acne?

Both boys and girls get acne. But it may be worse in boys because they have more skin oils.

Heredity also plays a role. If your mother and father had bad acne, you may too.

Your immune system plays a role too. Some people are extra sensitive to the bacteria that get trapped in their hair follicles.

For many people, acne fades by the age of 25, but it can continue well into the adult years.

How can acne be treated?

Many treatments are available for acne, including over-the-counter creams and prescription medications. Talk with your doctor about which options are right for you.

Can an over-the-counter acne product help?

Yes. Benzoyl peroxide, resorcinol, salicylic acid and sulfur are the most common over-the-counter medications used to treat acne. These medications are available in many forms, such as gels, lotions, creams, soaps or pads.

In some people, over-the-counter acne medications may cause side effects such as skin irritation, burning or redness. Tell your doctor if you have side effects that are severe or that don’t go away over time.

Keep in mind that it can take up to eight 8 weeks before you notice an improvement in your skin. If an over-the-counter acne product doesn’t seem to help after 2 months, get advice from your doctor.

What can my doctor prescribe?

Your doctor may recommend antibiotics, which can be very effective for treating acne. They can be taken by mouth or used on the skin in a lotion, cream or gel.

Retinoids, such as tretinoin (brand names: Retin-A, Avita, Altinac cream) and adapalene (brand name: Differin), are usually rubbed onto the skin once a day. Be sure not to get them near your eyes, mouth and the area under your nose.

If you use a retinoid, you must avoid the sun or use a strong sunscreen because this medicine increases your risk of getting a very bad sunburn. Women who are pregnant or may become pregnant should not use a retinoid called tazarotene (brand name: Tazorac) because it can cause birth defects.

How is severe cystic acne treated?

Isotretinoin (brand name: Accutane) may be used to treat severe cystic acne that doesn’t get better with other treatments. It’s a pill that is taken once a day by mouth for 15 to 20 weeks.

Isotretinoin should never be taken during pregnancy. It can cause serious side effects such as birth defects and miscarriages. Women on isotretinoin must use 2 types of birth control or not have sex starting 1 month before she begins taking the medication and lasting 1 month after she stops taking it.

There is a possibility that other serious side effects may occur, so people taking isotretinoin should be closely monitored by their doctor.

Does acne cause scars?

Acne, especially cystic acne, can cause scars in some people. You can help reduce scarring by not squeezing or picking at blemishes. Also, avoid scrubbing your skin. If you do get scars, treatments are available.

Article from: http://familydoctor.org/

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Who gets acne?
Both boys and girls get acne. But it may be worse in boys because they have more skin oils.
Heredity also plays a role. If your mother and father had bad acne, you may too.
Your immune system plays a role too. Some people are extra sensitive to the bacteria that get trapped in their hair follicles.
For many people, acne fades by the age of 25, but it can continue well into the adult years.
Return to top
How can acne be treated?
Many treatments are available for acne, including over-the-counter creams and prescription medications. Talk with your doctor about which options are right for you.
Return to top
Can an over-the-counter acne product help?
Yes. Benzoyl peroxide, resorcinol, salicylic acid and sulfur are the most common over-the-counter medications used to treat acne. These medications are available in many forms, such as gels, lotions, creams, soaps or pads.
In some people, over-the-counter acne medications may cause side effects such as skin irritation, burning or redness. Tell your doctor if you have side effects that are severe or that don’t go away over time.
Keep in mind that it can take up to eight 8 weeks before you notice an improvement in your skin. If an over-the-counter acne product doesn’t seem to help after 2 months, get advice from your doctor.
Return to top
What can my doctor prescribe?
Your doctor may recommend antibiotics, which can be very effective for treating acne. They can be taken by mouth or used on the skin in a lotion, cream or gel.
Retinoids, such as tretinoin (brand names: Retin-A, Avita, Altinac cream) and adapalene (brand name: Differin), are usually rubbed onto the skin once a day. Be sure not to get them near your eyes, mouth and the area under your nose.
If you use a retinoid, you must avoid the sun or use a strong sunscreen because this medicine increases your risk of getting a very bad sunburn. Women who are pregnant or may become pregnant should not use a retinoid called tazarotene (brand name: Tazorac) because it can cause birth defects.
Return to top
How is severe cystic acne treated?
Isotretinoin (brand name: Accutane) may be used to treat severe cystic acne that doesn’t get better with other treatments. It’s a pill that is taken once a day by mouth for 15 to 20 weeks.
Isotretinoin should never be taken during pregnancy. It can cause serious side effects such as birth defects and miscarriages. Women on isotretinoin must use 2 types of birth control or not have sex starting 1 month before she begins taking the medication and lasting 1 month after she stops taking it.
There is a possibility that other serious side effects may occur, so people taking isotretinoin should be closely monitored by their doctor.
Return to top
Does acne cause scars?
Acne, especially cystic acne, can cause scars in some people. You can help reduce scarring by not squeezing or picking at blemishes. Also, avoid scrubbing your skin. If you do get scars, treatments are available.

Posted by: wortix | September 16, 2009

Dental Health: Abscessed Tooth

Dental Health: Abscessed Tooth
An abscessed tooth is a painful infection at the root of a tooth or between the gum and a tooth. It’s most commonly caused by severe tooth decay. Other causes of tooth abscess are trauma to the tooth, such as when it is broken or chipped, and gingivitis or gum disease.
These problems can cause openings in the tooth enamel, which allows bacteria to infect the center of the tooth (called the pulp). The infection may also spread from the root of the tooth to the bones supporting the tooth.
What Are the Symptoms of an Abscessed Tooth?
A toothache that is severe and continuous and results in gnawing or throbbing pain or sharp or shooting pain are common symptoms of an abscessed tooth. Other symptoms may include:
Fever
Pain when chewing
Sensitivity of the teeth to hot or cold
Bitter taste in the mouth
Foul smell to the breath
Swollen neck glands
General discomfort, uneasiness, or ill feeling
Redness and swelling of the gums
Swollen area of the upper or lower jaw
An open, draining sore on the side of the gum
If the root of the tooth dies as a result of infection, the toothache may stop. However, this doesn’t mean the infection has healed; the infection remains active and continues to spread and destroy tissue. Therefore, if you experience any of the above listed symptoms, it is important to see a dentist even if the pain subsides.
How Is an Abscessed Tooth Diagnosed?
Your dentist will probe your teeth with a dental instrument. If you have an abscessed tooth, you will feel pain when the tooth is tapped by your dentist’s probe. Your dentist will also ask you if your pain increases when you bite down or when you close your mouth tightly. In addition, your dentist may suspect an abscessed tooth because your gums may be swollen and red.
Your dentist may also take X-rays to look for erosion of the bone around the abscess.
How Is an Abscessed Tooth Treated?
Strategies to eliminate the infection, preserve the tooth, and prevent complications are the goals of treatment.
To eliminate infection, the abscess may need to be drained. Achieving drainage may be done through the tooth by a procedure known as a root canal. Root canal surgery may also be recommended to remove any diseased root tissue after the infection has subsided. Then, a crown may be placed over the tooth.
The tooth may also be extracted, allowing drainage through the socket.
Finally, a third way to drain the abscess would be by incision into the swollen gum tissue.
Antibiotics are prescribed to help fight the infection. To relieve the pain and discomfort associated with an abscessed tooth, warm salt-water rinses and over-the-counter pain-reducing medication like ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin) can be used.
The inflammation and pain of abscesses can be relieved with a low-level laser, making the patient more comfortable to receive the injection in a more painless way.
Can an Abscessed Tooth Be Prevented?
Following good oral hygiene practices can reduce the risk of developing a tooth abscess. Also, if your teeth experience trauma (for example, become loosened or chipped), seek prompt dental attention.

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An abscessed tooth is a painful infection at the root of a tooth or between the gum and a tooth. It’s most commonly caused by severe tooth decay. Other causes of tooth abscess are trauma to the tooth, such as when it is broken or chipped, and gingivitis or gum disease.

These problems can cause openings in the tooth enamel, which allows bacteria to infect the center of the tooth (called the pulp). The infection may also spread from the root of the tooth to the bones supporting the tooth.

What Are the Symptoms of an Abscessed Tooth?

A toothache that is severe and continuous and results in gnawing or throbbing pain or sharp or shooting pain are common symptoms of an abscessed tooth. Other symptoms may include:

Fever

Pain when chewing

Sensitivity of the teeth to hot or cold

Bitter taste in the mouth

Foul smell to the breath

Swollen neck glands

General discomfort, uneasiness, or ill feeling

Redness and swelling of the gums

Swollen area of the upper or lower jaw

An open, draining sore on the side of the gum

If the root of the tooth dies as a result of infection, the toothache may stop. However, this doesn’t mean the infection has healed; the infection remains active and continues to spread and destroy tissue. Therefore, if you experience any of the above listed symptoms, it is important to see a dentist even if the pain subsides.

How Is an Abscessed Tooth Diagnosed?

Your dentist will probe your teeth with a dental instrument. If you have an abscessed tooth, you will feel pain when the tooth is tapped by your dentist’s probe. Your dentist will also ask you if your pain increases when you bite down or when you close your mouth tightly. In addition, your dentist may suspect an abscessed tooth because your gums may be swollen and red.

Your dentist may also take X-rays to look for erosion of the bone around the abscess.

How Is an Abscessed Tooth Treated?

Strategies to eliminate the infection, preserve the tooth, and prevent complications are the goals of treatment.

To eliminate infection, the abscess may need to be drained. Achieving drainage may be done through the tooth by a procedure known as a root canal. Root canal surgery may also be recommended to remove any diseased root tissue after the infection has subsided. Then, a crown may be placed over the tooth.

The tooth may also be extracted, allowing drainage through the socket.

Finally, a third way to drain the abscess would be by incision into the swollen gum tissue.

Antibiotics are prescribed to help fight the infection. To relieve the pain and discomfort associated with an abscessed tooth, warm salt-water rinses and over-the-counter pain-reducing medication like ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin) can be used.

The inflammation and pain of abscesses can be relieved with a low-level laser, making the patient more comfortable to receive the injection in a more painless way.

Can an Abscessed Tooth Be Prevented?

Following good oral hygiene practices can reduce the risk of developing a tooth abscess. Also, if your teeth experience trauma (for example, become loosened or chipped), seek prompt dental attention.

Article from: http://www.webmd.com/

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Posted by: wortix | September 9, 2009

Poor Vision in a Child

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How to know if my child has poor vision?

Normally a child should be able to recognize mother and have a social smile by 6-8 weeks of age. If the child has poor vision in both the eyes, then he/she may not recognize the mother or may not respond to the visual stimuli. Once the child starts walking, he/she may frequently bump into objects.

If the child has poor vision in only one eye then it may be difficult to notice it. The eye with poor vision may not be aligned properly with the other eye, thus causing squint (strabismus). The child may also have rhythmic jiggling movements of the eyes (nystagmus).

Sometimes the cause of poor vision may be visible as a whiteness of the cornea or whiteness behind the pupil. In some cases the eyes of child with glaucoma may be watering and very sensitive to light.

The poor vision may also be noticed incidentally when the child is being examined by a doctor or during vision screening in the school.

What are the causes of poor vision in a child?

These causes are:

  • Refractive error
  • Cataract
  • Glaucoma
  • Squint (strabismus)
  • Injury to the eye (sometimes the child may not tell about the injury to parents)
  • Diseases of cornea
  • Diseases of retina and optic nerve
  • Inherited disorders
  • Tumor (Retinoblastoma)
  • Other eye abnormalities

What to do if I suspect that my child does not see properly?

As we see, there can be many causes for poor vision in a child. Some of these are very simple and treated easily, while others may be very difficult to manage and sometimes may even be life threatening. Therefore it is prudent to contact an ophthalmologist at the earliest if you suspect poor vision in your child. He or she will confirm poor vision and then look for the cause of the same. A timely treatment is very crucial in saving the sight and sometimes the life of the child.

How can one determine the vision in a small child who will not cooperate for vision testing?

There are many special tests available which help the doctor in determining the visual acuity of children in all age groups. The ophthalmologist will decide which tests to use and will get an idea of the visual loss and the chances of getting good vision after treatment.

Why is it important to detect poor vision in child?

If the poor vision in child is not treated early enough, the eye may not develop properly and develop a condition called amblyopia (lazy eye). Therefore, if the eye is treated at a later stage, the eye may not get good vision. It is very important to treat the cause of poor vision, e.g., refractive error, cataract, glaucoma, diseases of cornea etc. as early as possible to prevent amblyopia. 6611
Early detection is also very important in case of tumor (retinoblastoma), which if detected early, may be treated easily without having to remove the eye. If it is not detected, then it may even lead to loss of life.

I have a child with poor vision. Can my other children also have some eye problem?

The chances of other children getting affected depend upon the cause of poor vision. Many of these conditions may be hereditary and may require examination of other siblings of the child. Also in hereditary diseases, a genetic counseling may be done to the parents if they plan to have another baby in future.

Article from: http://health.indiamart.com/

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Posted by: wortix | September 2, 2009

Memory Loss With Aging: What’s Normal, What’s Not

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How does the brain store information?

Information is stored in different parts of your memory. Information stored in the short-term memory may include the name of a person you met moments ago. Information stored in the recent memory may include what you ate for breakfast. Information stored in the remote memory includes things that you stored in your memory years ago, such as memories of childhood.

How does aging change the brain?

When you’re in your 20s, you begin to lose brain cells a few at a time. Your body also starts to make less of the chemicals your brain cells need to work. The older you are, the more these changes can affect your memory.

Aging may affect memory by changing the way the brain stores information and by making it harder to recall stored information.

Your short-term and remote memories aren’t usually affected by aging. But your recent memory may be affected. For example, you may forget names of people you’ve met recently. These are normal changes.

Things to help you remember

  • Keep lists.
  • Follow a routine.
  • Make associations (connect things in your mind), such as using landmarks to help you find places.
  • Keep a detailed calendar.
  • Put important items, such as your keys, in the same place every time.
  • Repeat names when you meet new people.
  • Do things that keep your mind and body busy.
  • Run through the ABC’s in your head to help you think of words you’re having trouble remembering. “Hearing” the first letter of a word may jog your memory.

What about when I know a word but can’t recall it?

This is usually just a glitch in your memory. You’ll almost always remember the word with time. This may become more common as you age. It can be very frustrating, but it’s not usually serious.

What are some other causes of memory problems?

Many things other than aging can cause memory problems. These include depression, dementia (severe problems with memory and thinking, such as Alzheimer’s disease), side effects of drugs, strokes, head injury and alcoholism.

How does Alzheimer’s disease change memory?

Alzheimer’s disease starts by changing the recent memory. At first, a person with Alzheimer’s disease will remember even small details of his or her distant past but not be able to remember recent events or conversations. Over time, the disease affects all parts of the memory.

How can I tell if my memory problems are serious?

A memory problem is serious when it affects your daily living. If you sometimes forget names, you’re probably okay. But you may have a more serious problem if you have trouble remembering how to do things you’ve done many times before, getting to a place you’ve been to often, or doing things that use steps, like following a recipe.

Another difference between normal memory problems and dementia is that normal memory loss doesn’t get much worse over time. Dementia gets much worse over several months to several years.

It may be hard to figure out on your own if you have a serious problem. Talk to your family doctor about any concerns you have. Your doctor may be able to help you if your memory problems are caused by a medicine you’re taking or by depression.

Memory problems that aren’t part of normal aging

  • Forgetting things much more often than you used to
  • Forgetting how to do things you’ve done many times before
  • Trouble learning new things
  • Repeating phrases or stories in the same conversation
  • Trouble making choices or handling money
  • Not being able to keep track of what happens each day

Article from: http://familydoctor.org/

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