Archive for October, 2010

Celiac Disease and Auto Immune Thyroid Disease

An Autoimmune disease is when the body mistakenly attacks its own tissue, mistaking it for a foreign substance. The body produces an oversupply of auto-antibodies normally reserved for invading viruses, bacteria or parasites, to attack its own healthy organs or tissues. Someone with an autoimmune disease therefore produces antibodies to its own organs for example antibodies to the thyroid or to the pancreas in Type 1 Diabetes, or to red blood cells in Pernicious Anemia to the joints in Rheumatoid Arthritis.

Celiac Disease is also an auto immune disease. There is an abnormal immune reaction where the body mistakenly sees the proteins found in ingested gluten as a foreign invader. The area of the body that is attacked is the viili or finger like protrusions that make up the small intestine. In celiac disease, the body produces antibody- containing mucous that cause these villi to atrophy and prevent absorption of vital nutrients.

No one knows why there is this aberrant reaction to gluten, but cutting gluten completely out of the diet prevents release of these antibodies and allows the gut to heal. In fact it is one of the only autoimmune diseases that actually has a non- pharmaceutical and completely successful cure, as long as one remains gluten-free.

It is still unclear what the trigger is for this unusual phenomenon of autoimmune disease, but it seems to be more and more common and more and more prevalent. One of the possible culprits could be gluten. Latest research on the subject reveals that gluten might be the trigger that sets off the process in genetically susceptible individuals. Even though a virus or infection may lead to its development, gluten may have originally predisposed the individual to a possible autoimmune condition. This is very important if we are to understand the causes for all of these illnesses. It’s also interesting how many people have a low tolerance to gluten even if they do not have Celiac Disease.

Interestingly people with Celiac are diagnosed up to four times more often with Thyroid Disease than non Celiacs. It appears to be that left untreated Celiac Disease appears to be a part of the process involved in triggering other auto immune conditions. It is very important for patients with Autoimmune Thyroiditis to be screened for Celiac. This may help prevent other autoimmune disorders from developing. Also research has shown that those patients produce no antibodies to the thyroid three to six months after remaining on a gluten free diet.

When the body attacks the thyroid gland causing it to be underactive, this is called Hashitmoto’s Disease.The treatment for this is synthetic thyroid replacement tablets. Anyone with undiagnosed Celiac Disease may have a problem with absorption of these tablets, leading to no improvement of thyroid function. Even though it is not clearly understood there is a definite link between the two auto immune conditions of Thyroid Disease and Celiac Disease and gluten seems to be the common denominator.

Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s Disease – Self Healing Tips

For managing ulcerative colitis and crohn’s disease over an extended period of time, it is important to look at self healing remedies that will help keep these diseases under control.

Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s disease are both disorders that fall under the irritable bowel syndrome. Both these diseases are caused due to an inflammation in the colon and this can cause a lot of suffering to the patient. While allopathic medicines help in treating the inflammation, for a long-term management of these diseases, an individual needs to make lifestyle and dietary changes that will help in the healing process. Here is a look at a few remedies that can promote self healing of these disorders.

HomeopathySince long-term treatment with steroids for ulcerative colitis is not a practical solution for an individual’s health, the use of homeopathy is a popular choice as it helps in tapering off the steroids. Several patients have experienced remission up to 75% after using homeopathic medicines for treating irritable bowel syndrome.

Herbal remediesSeveral herbs have been found to be successful in the treatment and management of colitis and crohn’s disease. Boswellia, which is part of a bark of a tree that is found in India, has an active ingredient in its resin that reduces inflammation. Other natural remedies include flaxseed, calendula, green tea, fenugreek, slippery elm and aloe Vera.

NaturopathyThis system of alternative medicine helps in the management of irritable bowel syndrome by promoting self healing through the use of several techniques including diet, lifestyle changes, homeopathy, acupuncture, yoga and meditation techniques. The focus is not so much on treating the disease but helping to manage it in the long run.

DietCertain foods in the diet could aggravate the inflammation of the colon in persons suffering from irritable bowel syndrome. This may vary from person to person ranging from milk products to sugars or fats. It is advisable to keep a diary and make a note of foods that aggravate the condition and slowly eliminate them from the diet by replacing them with fresh fruits and vegetables or foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids. An individual can also get a diet plan prescribed by his physician or a nutritionist.

How To Deal With Genital Herpes Infection

Various infections and diseases that are classified under the contagious taxonomy are becoming more common at present. Genital herpes infection is one of them. It is a type of skin disorder caused by a certain type of virus referred to as herpes simplex virus. A person can be infected by the herpes virus by means of sexual intercourse, from which his or her sexual partner is the carrier. Approximately one in four American adults can be infected with herpes in different forms – oral or genital. While this is a common issue to many adults, many of them are not conscious of its occurrence. However, the appearance of common symptoms like blisters or cold sores is an apparent indication that the person is possibly infected with the genital herpes.

General Overview

There are two main classifications of herpes namely, the type 1 and the type 2 herpes.

  • type 1 is also known as HSV-1
  • type 2 as HSV-2 accordingly.

Based on relevant studies, the latter type or HSV-2 appears to be more extensive than the type 1. The majority of cases are manifested by the male to female transmission. This implies the fact that this genital infection is commonly occurring in women than men and that women are at higher risk of accumulating genital herpes.

Sufferers usually would experience blister symptoms or outbreaks appearing in the genitalia or beneath the tongue. The blisters may vary in sizes. The appearing symptoms may also differ from person to person. Typically, the lymph nodes appearing in the groin area of the male sufferers and the infected females will experience some unusual discharge from the urethra. Some people will experience outbreaks, painful urination and flu-like symptoms like fever, which is associated with headache.

Treatment Options

The presence of genital herpes in a person can be frustrating and embarrassing. In order to help sufferers overcome the feeling of discomforts, different treatment options are now offered. Some of them can be acquired from over-the-counters and some are doctor-prescribed. Contemporary forms of medication designed to deal with genital herpes infection are also made accessible in both the real and virtual markets. Many of these treatments are made up of natural ingredients to ensure safety and efficiency of usage. But regardless of the composition and component variations, these alternative remedies are specifically designed to suppress the pain brought by the occurring symptoms of genital herpes.

Preventive Measures

Genital herpes can be very harmful, especially to those who are pregnant and breastfeeding mothers. It is because of the huge possibility that the child can also become infected. Thus, a doctor’s advice is always necessary in this case. Considering the fact that genital herpes is a highly contagious infection and is sexually transmitted, practicing safe sex is always necessary. This can help prevent the spread of the herpes virus. Those who are infected and are already aware of it are also required to inform their partners.

Rabies Symptoms in Humans

Feeling irritable? Have a headache? Fever?

You might have rabies.

These common symptoms, most often associated with a run-of-the-mill cold or even influenza, rarely bring to mind the word “rabies” in developed nations. These days, the worst-case scenario among Americans who have a headache or feel feverish is usually swine flu. But doctors in developing nations know that rabies is still a possible diagnosis for patients who report what seem to be harmless symptoms. “Human rabies is rare in the United States, but still frequently occurs in many developing nations,” reports the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, citing the state’s most recent case of human rabies in 2004.

Unlike the warning signs for H1N1 or a cold, rabies symptoms in humans are not a call to administer medicine. By the time rabies symptoms appear, it is too late for treatment. Most often the result of a bite from a rabid animal, rabies can also be transmitted to humans via a rabid-animal scratch or from its saliva coming into contact with broken skin.

While most people are aware of contact with a rabid animal, even those in developed nations can be exposed to rabies and remain unaware. Cases of young children being bitten or scratched by a bat have been reported. Also at risk are mentally incapacitated adults and sleeping adults who may be in the same room as a bat and have no idea they’ve been bitten or scratched. Rabies symptoms – the irritability, headaches, fever, itching at the wound site – are initially innocuous. But they progress to throat spasms. The central nervous system eventually shuts down; convulsions are followed by paralysis and death.

Adding to the difficulty of diagnosing rabies is the fact that after the initial exposure, there can be an incubation period of more than one year. That child or mentally incapacitated adult, or even the sleeping adult, who seeks medical treatment once the rabies symptoms appear will likely not lead medical professionals to immediately think “rabies.” Rare in the United States, it does occur.

Little discussed in America, rabies is still enough of a concern it merits its own “Kid’s Page” on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website. Accompanied by cartoons of dogs and bats, the child-oriented text is straightforward: “If someone is bitten, it can take many months to show signs of rabies, but by then it’s almost always fatal.” The site focuses primarily on rabies symptoms in animals so that children can recognize the warning signs. Special emphasis is placed on alerting young readers to the danger of bats: “In the United States…it is bites from bats that cause the most rabies in people.” The CDC goes on to alert children, “If you discover a bat in your house, especially in the room where you’re sleeping, you should act as if you were bitten and tell an adult as soon as you can.”

So, feeling irritable? Have a headache? A fever? It’s not so far-fetched, even today and even in America, that these could be rabies symptoms.

What Procedures Are Performed at a Vein Clinic?

Where to begin? Depending on the vein clinic that you choose, a host of possible procedures may be available at facilities around the country. The specific treatment that is recommended to you may depend on the venous condition from which you’re suffering. If you are experiencing varicose veins, you may be encouraged to explore certain treatments, while those with spider veins may be encouraged to explore other treatments. To determine which are right for you a consultation with a specialist is likely a worthwhile endeavor.

Sclerotherapy is one of the more commonly used treatments at vein clinics around the country. Through sclerotherapy, patients have successfully overcome spider veins and small varicose veins. This treatment involves the injection of a chemical sclerant that irritates the vessel lining, causing the vein to shrink and collapse so that blood may no longer flow through it. This will cause them to fade away so they are no longer noticeable.

Laser and light therapy is another procedure that may be found at facilities specializing in the treatment of venous conditions. Large varicose veins may be treated using endovenous laser ablation in which a laser fiber is inserted into a problem vein and is used to deliver laser energy to the vein to close it. Radiofrequency ablation procedures may also be used to treat larger varicose veins. These procedures have been successful in providing relief from this condition without the invasive surgery involved in certain stripping or ligation procedures.

There are several other treatment options awaiting individuals seeking relief from venous conditions such as varicose veins and spider veins. Compression stockings may be recommended to patients as a first line treatment before other options are used. With varicose veins, blood becomes pooled in the legs. Compression stockings work by ‘milking’ blood back up the leg towards the heart. There are various styles of compression stockings available and modern designs have made wearing them in public less of a concern.

When you’re choosing a vein clinic, choose one that offers more than one treatment. This way, depending on your diagnosis, the specialist has several treatments from which to choose to recommend to you. Also be sure to ask questions about the procedure that you’re interested in choosing as treatment so that you understand it in detail before treatment is begun. It may also be helpful to inquire about other treatments that may not be available at the clinic.

Fibromyalgia: Is It Real and What Can You Do About It?

Fibromyalgia is a term that is thrown around often in medical circles, usually for patients with chronic pain but no diagnostic reasoning as to why they have the pain. Fibromyalgia is usually characterized with chronic, and in some cases disabling pain in the muscles, ligaments and tendons. They frequently have trouble sleeping, have been diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome, have bouts of anxiety and depression, and can also suffer from tension headaches, dizziness and TMJ as well. For some patients, these symptoms are not crippling, but greatly affect their lives. But, what is fibromyalgia and what can be done for it? How do you know if you have it? The truth is there are several theories as to why it happens to people, but the treatments are more lifestyle changes, and more independently constructed by a doctor who is intimately knowledgeable about fibromyalgia and the patterns associated with the disorder.

Patients with fibromyalgia usually after several months of suffering and negative diagnostic tests get labeled with this term. Criteria for diagnosing fibromyalgia patients have included tender trigger points, or “knots” in 11 out of 18 designated spots in the body, subjective aching or pain for more than 3 months, normal blood work, specifically sedimentation rate and muscle enzyme levels and normal x-ray findings. Subjectively, or what the patient feels usually includes chronic pain, but can include headaches due to tension in the neck postural muscles, TMJ, and sleep disturbances and fatigue. Recent studies at the Mayo Clinic report that fibromyalgia patients have what is called, Alpha Wave Interrupted Sleep Pattern. This essentially means that deep sleep is being interrupted by increased brain activity, as if the patient is awake. This non-restorative sleep pattern generally affects the mood of the patient and depression has been a secondary by product, because the patient wakens unrefreshed and complaining of pain and exhaustion. It creates a self perpetuating vicious cycle of sleep deprivation, pain and fatigue which further increases the muscular tension in pain that is already present. In addition to these symptoms, it has been reported that approximately 50% of patients with fibromyalgia also suffer from irritable bowel syndrome, according to Dr. Campbell, Clark and Tindall in their article, Clinical characteristics of Fibrositis, published in 1983.

On physical exam, the patient usually is quite normal. The nerves are doing their job, muscle strength is normal, X-rays and lab work are negative, but direct pressure on the trigger points do elicit pain. So what is causing this?? While there is no consensus theory, some known causes include simple triggers like mechanical stress (working at a computer for several hours), deconditioning, abnormal brain reception of pain signals, poor diet and emotional stress. One recent study by Dr. Barb Loevinger of the University of Wisconsin’s Center for Women’s Health and Research found influence with what is called metabolic syndrome. Patients that were overweight, had high cholesterol, increased blood pressure and diabetes couldn’t maintain their sugar levels. Consequently, the sugar was getting converted to fat. Fat interferes with the muscle’s ability to draw sugar in, which makes it harder to exercise. The result of the study revealed lower energy to muscles, and increased pain with exercise. Independent of the study, a general lack of conditioning and exercise exacerbates the condition. Caffeine and other stimulants have also been found to have a detrimental effect on fibromyalgia, and more importantly our emotions are a big factor in our health as well. The psychogenic factor, or stress management is imperative to pain relief. In fibromyalgia, it has been found that the brain receptors to pain signals overreact to different stimuli. During stressful times, our body generates hormones that lower our pain tolerance. Coupled with the already increased sensitivity, stress usually leads to increased discomfort.

The good news is that the management of fibromyalgia has been successful, but is more of an art than a science. Patients need to be encouraged to help themselves, and that their lifestyle changes are going to play a big part in their recovery. Without patient cooperation, treatment of fibromyalgia can become frustrating and prolonged. The important issue beyond patient cooperation is making sure that all facets of care are followed through with. First, it is important to stay away from sugars and stimulants such as caffeine. In addition, MSM, a popular supplement has been found to be effective with pain management. Second, exercise must be a priority. Contraction based exercises such as weightlifting are not beneficial and will actually make the person feel worse most of the time. Eccentric exercises are needed which elongate the muscle. Yoga, swimming, stretches and massage therapy are extremely beneficial along with a general cardiovascular program. Stress management is also crucial. Exercise is an optimum way to manage stress, as is cognitive therapy. A good attitude is vital. Chiropractic manipulation is to be performed when necessary. If evidence exists to adjust a patient, then it has been effective, but some patients have joint looseness and manipulation, therefore would not be the treatment of choice. In summary, if you have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia or have symptoms similar to those described, consult a physician who has experience with this condition, and rest assure, that there is hope for the management of this disorder.

What Are the Symptoms of Skin Lupus?

Skin Lupus is also known as cutaneous disease, it is a skin disorder that is characterized by rashes and lesions that can be found on various parts of the body. It is an autoimmune disease that causes chronic inflammation of the tissues in the body. Autoimmune disorder is a disease that occurs when tissues are being attacked by the immune system. There are still no verifiable causes of this skin disorder, however, it is commonly believed to be hereditary.

The severity of this disorder varies from person and from it’s cause. There are different types of skin lupus, all depending on it’s symptoms. According to University of Maryland Medical Center, there are three main types of skin lupus: systemic, discoid and drug-induced. Below are the definition and symptoms of skin lupus types:

1. Systemic – Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) is a type of disorder wherein there is a problem with patient’s immune system. The immune system cannot distinguish the harmful substances from the healthy ones. It is common among women and it can be severe enough to cause death. The most common symptoms of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus is joint pain and swelling, However, patients may also experience the following symptoms like chest pains, fatigue, unknown cause for fever, hair loss, malaise, skin rash, and swollen lymph nodes. There other symptoms patients may experience depending on which body part or body system is affected. When the nervous system is affected, some of the common symptoms would be mild cognitive impairment, headache, numbing-sensation and seizure. Personality Change and Psychosis can also be a symptom, especially for the most severe type.

There are different diagnostic exams that patients can undergo to determine the state of the disease. It can be done with antibody tests, CBC, Kidney Biopsy and Urinalysis, this tests and methods can determine abnormalities of the body. There is no cure for SLE, it can only maintained and controlled through therapy and medication.

2. Discoid – Discoid Lupus Erythematosus is a chronic disorder that is characterized by inflammation and sores particularly on the facial area. This sores or inflammation can develop as an inflamed patch with red and crusty appearance. This type of skin lupus can result to scarring and hair loss especially when it is present on the scalp, the lesion is usually mild and only rare occurrence of it affecting internal organs. The red rash is the identifying symptom of discoid lupus but patients can also experience joint stiffness or muscle ache.

3. Drug-Induced Lupus – This type of skin lupus disorder is very similar to Systemic Lupus. This is caused by chronic use of certain drugs, that result for the body to attack their own cell and tissue. The symptoms for this condition includes joint pain, fatigue, inflammation of the heart and the lungs. These symptoms are experienced on a long term basis, it is usually a mild case unless left untreated.

It is always best to consult the doctor especially if skin lupus symptoms are present, this is to prevent it from becoming a severe case that may lead to complications.

With Asthma What Are Your Options

When you have been properly diagnosed by a doctor who tells you that you have “Asthma” you will be given many different options. Realize that the doctor will give you options that are in your best interest but understand that there are many options that he will not share with you. Take for example a hard working doctor. He has only so many options to give you given his guide lines that he must abide by. These options that this doctor has have everything to do with prescription drugs that come with a long list of side effects. He will prescribe one that he thinks is right for your condition, the type of condition he has found when he tested you, whether it is severe or moderate.

You can choose to have a doctor that practices holistic medicine. He has a lot of options as well, but what he may recommend to you may be completely different from the other doctor because he will invite you to look at natural options. These options most of the time, come with zero side effects and can have a far more desired outcome. That outcome can be a full remission of your asthma. I do believe that prescription drugs help control your symptoms but you are wise to find something that can eliminate your symptoms all together. Being in the health and wellness industry, I have learned that using all natural products has a much greater chance of overcoming your asthma, rather than taking prescription drugs which only treat the symptoms.

Since asthma cases are on the rise and there seems to be no stopping it, let’s take a good look at how you can prevent asthma or eliminate it once you do have it. The number of children suffering from asthma is growing every year and that uptrend might not stop. There was an increase from 1982 to 1994 that showed asthma had risen 60%! That’s a staggering number. What that number shows is that asthma increases every year no matter what we try to do to prevent it. There are many “guesses” on what causes asthma but some people seem to agree that as our world becomes more polluted, our bodies become more polluted as well. Pollution plays a huge role in our health today. I believe that if we were able to remove the pollution and toxins from our bodies, we will have a fighting chance of overcoming diseases like asthma.

Here is an option I think is in your best interest, at least think about it. Remove the toxins from your body and give your body an all natural option with zero side effects. If your body doesn’t have to battle the toxins, your body can concentrate on the real problems like fixing itself. There is but only one cure for a thing that adversely affect the body in this world and that is your body itself. It was designed to heal itself and overcome many things. If your toxic burden becomes too much, your body can’t fight off disease and illness. Illness can only survive in an acidic body. If your body is alkaline, in that state disease and other types of disease can’t flourish, they need an acidic atmosphere to grow and spread.

We live in a toxic world full of pollution and widespread diseases. It will not be going away anytime soon. Our best line of defense is to defend our bodies against the onslaught of toxic pollution and chemicals that can be absorbed into our skin and overtime will be stored were they can cause problems. Find a natural way to help your body take care of itself. You have only one body, so do your best to make sure you live a long life free of the diseases. So what are your options? Get on prescription drugs that only mask the symptoms but don’t really get to the root of the cause, only to leave you with a greater toxic burden. Find a holistic doctor and have them help you with natural products that don’t burden you with side effects. You can find a way to remove the toxins from your body and give it a greater chance to overcome all that comes its way.

Stunted Growth and Celiac Disease

My wife and I are on the smaller side so we didn’t worry too much when the doctor said that my son was very small for his age. He was always in the 5% or lower range for height and weight. That was OK as long as he was growing.

Then around 12 months the doctor was a little concerned. My son was falling off of the growth chart, meaning he wasn’t growing at a normal rate. We were referred to a specialist but had to wait a few months before we could get an appointment. In the mean time, we noticed that my son’s hair seemed to stop growing and his teeth were coming in slowly.
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We did finally get to see a specialist and he rattled off a list of reasons for why my son wasn’t growing normally. They did blood work and took X-rays. One thing that stuck with my wife and I was when the doctor suggested Celiac Disease. We had never heard of it before but it got us thinking.

After a lot of research we changed his diet to a Gluten Free one. After a couple of weeks we started to notice some changes. His Eczema was not as severe. His stools started looking normal. He seemed to have an appetite.

When we got the blood work test results back, they showed he was lacking in nutrients. This just seemed to lead us more to think that Celiac Disease was the reason.

My sons teeth started coming in fast and his hair seemed to grow faster too. Then we noticed he was getting a little chunk on him. My wife and I didn’t realize that he actually used to look sickly but looking back at pictures, it is evident.

We saw the doctor again 3 months later and he was really surprised by the way my son looked. He gained 5 pounds. Although we didn’t get any official Celiac test done, the doc was convinced that Celiac is what caused the stunted growth in my son.

Celiac Disease can be an inconvenience but we were relieved that he didn’t have a more serious issue. If you think your child has some of these symptoms or isn’t growing normally, it doesn’t hurt to try a Gluten Free diet. You won’t see immediate changes so stick with it for awhile.
My wife and I have 2 small children. My youngest has Celiac Disease. We have changed his diet and he is a much happier toddler.
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Not long ago I never knew what Gluten was and never heard of Celiac Disease. We had seen a growth specialist because my son had fallen off of the growth chart at about 12 months old. When the doctor suggested Celiac as a possible reason, we started researching the disease.

Effects of Lyme Disease Rash

Borrelia burdorferi is the bacteria carried by ticks from mice and deer which are then transmitted to the victim through bites which cause rashes. Lyme disease is not only possible for humans but to domestic pets as well commonly the dogs and the cats. Common habitats for ticks are shrubs and grass. They will attach to the host animal when it passes. They are very tiny that it you can’t almost see it with your naked eye.

The coastal areas in the pacific have the most cases of this disease throughout United States. Other areas include the upper Midwest and Northeast. Deer ticks are very common in these places though this disease is also present all over the country. However, there are reported cases of people experiencing this disease in other regions like Europe, Asia and Canada.

The skin is affected since Lyme disease rash is one of the signs of the disease but it can also affect joins, the nervous system as well as the different organs of the body. The severity varies from one person to another. There are three stages but it can also change among affected people. There are different reactions caused by this disease. The very first symptom is usually Lyme disease rash. Its characteristics are circular with a clear center spot with a red margin. It is warm to touch and commonly not itchy nor painful. For people with dark skin pigments, the rash will also appear darker mimicking the appearance of a bruise. The rash normally disappears in a month.
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There are instances when affected people does not have Lyme disease rash and for cases like this, the disease will progress to the second stage. Some have rash but will also experience fatigue, fever, headache and painful muscle which is collectively mistaken for flu.

If ignored, it may disappear through time but it is possible that the infection may spread to the rest of the body. It will take three weeks from the day the person got the tick bite with rashes or none. There are cases where the classic characteristics of Lyme disease rash will not show. It does not matter if you got the rash or not. What is important is that you have to see your doctor if you feel that you have flu for days just to be sure that it is not Lyme disease because in the event that you have it, you can be treated immediately.

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