Archive for July, 2011

Cholesterol Levels – What You Should Know

There are different things that you should know about cholesterol levels. There are basically two types of these levels in blood. One is known as HDL while the other one is known as low blood cholesterol level. You must know that the LDL is not dangerous for health because in this case there is no blockage in arteries and veins of heart or any other part of body. However, if you have got a HDL then you should be alarmed. This is the time when you should start thinking about your daily life routine and your diet as well. First of all, you should stop eating anything that contains oil. Although almost everything that we eat is made in oil but at least, you can try to avoid the oily food.

There is one thing that you must keep in your mind that if you will not take care of your cholesterol level then one day you will be suffering with heart disease. Remember, HDL affects heart directly. If you are eating such diet that contains a lot of oil then this oil will block the arteries of your heart one day. You should get yourself examine every year so that you can know about your physical health. However, you need to control your cholesterol. Most of the people in the world are never able to control their cholesterol lever just because they can’t help themselves when food is in front of them. You should bring a modesty in yourself and before you pick up something to eat, you must think twice if it will leave any side effects on your health or not? It is better for you can talk to your doctor and ask him to prepare a diet chart for you.

If you are not a cholesterol patient then you are the lucky one. There are many people in the world who are cholesterol patient but they don’t know about it. There are many side effects that HDL can leave on your body. For example; a person suffering with HDL is at a high risk to become a high blood pressure patient. There is a great possibility for such person to become a heart patient as well. Cholesterol level has its affects directly on the heart. So, if you want to keep your hearth healthy then you should keep your cholesterol level as low as possible.

There are some tips for you to keep your cholesterol levels under control. You should do exercise properly. Many people think that if you are suffering with HDL then you should go for exercise but if you are not suffering from HDL and you want to be away from this thing then you should start doing exercise from today. There are many benefits that you can get from exercise but the biggest benefit is that you can keep your cholesterol level under control.

Malignant Ascites – Symptoms And Treatment

Ascites is a medical condition which results when there is an imbalance between the plasma flow and the lymphatic drainage. Ascites is the buildup of fluid in the abdominal cavity which is beyond the normal fluid level present in the cavity. If you know what ascites is, then you already have an idea of malignant ascites. This condition is the accumulation of fluid in the abdominal cavity where the fluid in the cavity has cancerous cells in them and this is usually due to metastasis from a primary source of tumor in the body.

The most likely source of tumor that causes malignant ascites is tumors of the ovaries, uterus, pulmonary system, cervix, and gastrointestinal tract. Sometimes the tumors which cause malignant ascites are tumors of unknown primary origin. Patients who have this medical condition are usually patients in the last stage of metastasis (terminal stage of cancer).

The causes of this condition are numerous, it is often caused as a result of liver disease especially in patients who consume excess alcohol, or people that are drug abusers, using such drug intravenously, patients with hepatitis C, patients suffering from jaundice, people who have had blood transfusion or tattooing of their body.

Diagnosis of malignant ascites is usually done by patient’s complaints which include abdominal pain, bloated abdomen, Nausea and vomiting, feeling of fullness and lack of appetite. The physical examination also reveals a good ground for diagnosis because of the changes doctors find during palpation, percussion and auscultation of the abdomen. There are also different laboratory tests that are carried out; cell count which reveals increased number of white blood cells showing inflammation.

SAAG test which is used for diagnosis of portal hypertension. Neutrophil count is used to determine body action to fight against infection of bacterial origin and this is confirmed when it is elevated. Cytological smear is another means of diagnosis of malignant ascites although its accuracy is about 60-75 percent. The most reliable and effective diagnostic method for the diagnosis of malignant ascites is ultrasound.

When this condition is diagnosed treatment is carried out, although the treatment of malignant ascites is palliative, the aim of the doctor in the treatment is to make the patient feel better and eliminate the symptoms as much as possible.

Different treatments are available and one of such treatment is diuretic therapy, which is commonly used for ascites management. Patients who are best treated with this therapy are patients with hyponatremia (patients with reduced quantity of blood sodium.

Surgery is also used in the management of malignant ascites by draining the peritoneal fluid directly into the internal jugular vein. This method is results increased renal flow, increase in cardiac activity and increase in urine volume, promoting glomerular filteration, and decrease aldosterone level in plasma.
Also special diet is given to patients with malignant ascites, containing reduced quantity of sodium intake especially when sodium level is below 120mmol/L.

Malignant ascites is managed to relieve patient of the symptoms but cure of the condition is not yet possible because it results from a primary tumor in the body.

Fibromyalgia and Stress

If you have read anything about Fibromyalgia, then you will be aware that it is a disorder that affects the muscles and joints in the body. It causes pain, fatigue, and a whole host of other symptoms including sleep disorders, irritable bowel syndrome and depression.

Some studies show that Fibromyalgia is caused by a bacterial process, but this is not yet proved conclusive. Since the real cause is not yet properly known, doctors primarily treat the symptoms of fibromyalgia, as a cure is not yet known.

One of the main things that exacerbate fibromyalgia symptoms is stress. Many people know that stress is a killer in that it raises blood pressure and can be linked to heart attacks. Stress is also responsible for the worsening of many conditions, including fibromyalgia.

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Stress causes muscles to tense up. When we are stressed we may clench our teeth together, bunch up the muscles in our foreheads, but much of the stress we suffer is gathered in our shoulders. Unfortunately most fibromyalgia patients have many tender spots in their shoulder region and this is made worse by stress.

Interestingly, stress can be sectioned into positive stress and negative stress. Positive stress can be linked to something a person is excited about, like a wedding, or a holiday. Even if a person is looking forward to an event which they will enjoy, this is likely to cause positive stress. And even positive stress can have an impact on fibromyalgia.

When a patient has started to manage their fibromyalgia then these celebrations or positive stress high points in life can be planned and carefully managed. Reducing all other stress is a good way to make sure that a patients stress levels do not reach too high. Getting help to make sure all tasks are done is another way to make sure stress is not too high a level, because it is very easy to be stressed when one feels there are many things to get done. Relatives and friends of fibromyalgia sufferers can be a great help when it comes to the big occasions. Although we all like to feel independant of others, letting people help us can make them feel good too. So give out some chores or jobs to people who would like to help. That way both the helper and the fibromyalgia sufferer can feel positive.

If positive stress can be managed, this is an excellent outcome. It will not only help the patient to be more confident in their management of the disorder, but will also boost the patients self-esteem. The long lasting effects of high self-esteem are well documented but include a boost to the mental health of the patient which again will have a positive affect on fibromyalgia.

Natural Methods to End Candida Overgrowth

If you are suffering from Candida overgrowth, then you may very well be experiencing all kinds of symptoms, all throughout your body’s various systems. You might have trouble breathing, and you might have a sore throat. Maybe you wake up each morning with brown, built up mucous in your sinuses.
Perhaps your skin crawls, and maybe it is even painful to the touch.

Maybe you’ve got an intolerance to alcohol, gluten, casein, or other substances. You might have acid reflux, and perhaps you suffer from painful gas and bloating, constipation, or chronic diarrhea. You may have headaches, or have trouble concentrating, and you may even be experiencing some psychological Candida overgrowth symptoms, such as mild depression, irritability, or even panic attacks.

Whatever your symptoms are, they are causing problems. Your quality of life has been affected, and you can’t remember when you last felt really good. The good news is there are many effective, natural treatments for some types of Candida overgrowth. Yes, you may need to visit your doctor and take a course of prescribed antibiotics to help make natural candida remedies more effective, and if you have any chronic problems you should do what you can to get them diagnosed.
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In the meantime, remember that the natural remedies we’re about to discuss are not medical treatments, but they can help you to feel better more quickly than you might imagine, and in many cases, they can help you to end Candida overgrowth naturally.

Natural Remedies for Candida Overgrowth

As candida is an overgrowth of yeast (a type of fungus that occurs on and inside our bodies, naturally), and yeast needs sugar to thrive, one of the fastest ways to halt its progress is to stop feeding it. That means, if you eat a lot of sugary foods, drink soda with sugar in it, or treat yourself to frequent high glycemic index foods, then you’ll need to end those habits. Sugar hides in a lot of places – such as salad dressings, ketchup, and commercially prepared meals – so be sure that you provide yourself with a good understanding of which foods to eat, and which to avoid.

This particular remedy helps you kill the two proverbial birds with that singular, proverbial stone – first, you’re helping to easy your symptoms, and second, you are ending your relationship with sugar and possibly even curing a sugar addiction. The first few days can be difficult, but after that, it becomes a lot easier. You’ll probably notice that your metabolism improves, too.

A second natural remedy for Candida overgrowth is probiotics. In order for your digestive system to function properly, your body relies on beneficial bacteria. If your supply is low, then you could be suffering from constipation or diarrhea, or even painful, embarrassing gas and bloating.

Third, there are a lot of natural supplements for Candida overgrowth relief, which are used in different ways. There are garlic, oregano oil, and colloidal silver. There is plain yogurt, with nothing added to it. Some of these remedies can be found in a health food store or ordered online, and others, like plain yogurt, can be found in the grocery store.

By paying careful attention to your diet, and taking steps to improve your digestive health, you can begin to get rid of Candida overgrowth once and for all – and enjoy your life to its fullest.

Hospitals Are Not Places Of Healing!

I trust that the headline caught your attention. And that you will pay close attention to what I am about to share with you.


As a physician, I work as a hospitalist. This is a physician who specializes in treating patients when they get admitted into the hospital. A typical shift as a hospitalist lasts about 12 hours.

I typically work 14 days out of the month for 7 days at a stretch. It gives me an incentive to make sure that I tend to my health and wellbeing.

There are certain criteria that must be satisfied by most insurance companies before an admission to the hospital is deemed appropriate.

Put in laymen’s terms you have to be so sick that it would be a risk to treat you outside of the hospital.

So why is this information so important in order to live powerfully with type 2 diabetes? Because by the time you have to be admitted into the hospital, you probably have developed complications associated with type 2 diabetes.

These complications will most likely begin to affect the quality of your life. This is because they usually affect the vital organs of the body.

Here are some important facts to know about diabetes complications:

  • Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure.
  • Diabetes is the leading cause of blindness in people age 20-74 years
  • 2 out of 3 people with type 2 diabetes also have hypertension and will also need to take medications to treat this.
  • Adults with diabetes are two to four times more likely to develop heart disease.
  • A significant number of people have problems with their nervous system that can throw off the body’s natural rhythm.
  • Diabetes causes gum disease that could lead to tooth loss. Dental disease has also been found to increase the risk of heart disease.
  • 60% of amputations of the lower limbs are due to diabetes.

This just a small snap shot of the potential complications related to diabetes occurs.

Naturally it’s easy to predict this can become a slippery slope of repeated admissions to the hospital.

Hospitals are not designed as place where healing takes place. A typical day as a patient admitted in the hospital is spent getting tests to diagnose whatever appears to be the problem. In between the patient gets seen by at least one doctor- the admitting physician who is usually a hospitalist such as myself.

Think of yourself in a hospital gown being poked and prodded by different people, examined and questioned over and over again. Next you may be hooked up to an IV and be given powerful medicines to run through your veins designed to make you feel better. At times you may even suffer the side effects, which at times are worse than the medicine itself!

Hospitals are hubs of at times endless activity and so these routines go on around the clock. The day shift signs out to the night shift.

At night expect your sleep to be disrupted by blood pressure, pulse and breathing counts at least every four hours.

And then the routine picks up again the next day. More blood tests, more prodding questioning….

You get the picture.

Life becomes monotonous.

This is the side of living with diabetes that a lot of people become aware of either by watching a spouse, lover, a friend, a neighbor, a relative go through this.

I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be that way!

I am passionate about empowering people to choose differently, because at the end of the day life is all about the choices that we make.

So let’s say that you have just been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes or been diagnosed some time back. And let’s say that just because you are visiting this blog I can state with confidence that you don’t what to be a part of those statistics I listed above.

Then starting today you can choose differently!

Choose to learn all you can about what it takes to live a powerful life with diabetes.

Choose to focus on adapting the right mindset and that rather than feeling a victim of this condition that you become empowered.

Choose to make healthy lifestyle choices such as checking your blood sugars regularly, eating right, and exercising frequently.

Choose to make sure that you schedule regular appointments with your primary care doctor. And that if you are referred to a specialist that you also see that doctor.

Choose to take your medications as advised and that if you develop a side effect from the medication that you contact your primary care provider.

Choose to ask questions when you are not certain. If one health care provider does not answer them to your satisfaction, keep searching till you find one who is willing to partner with you in your care.

Choose to focus on prevention rather than cure.

I have treated countless patients with diabetes. I can speak to my observation that those patients who were actively engaged in treating their type 2 diabetes.

My patients who were focused on what they needed to do to stay healthy rarely got admitted to the hospital for complications related to diabetes.

Those who played a somewhat more passive role and even approached their care with a sense of resignation inevitably ended up with long-term complications.

It is sad to say that after close to 25 years of being a physician and treating chronic illness, I can almost predict who will and who will not do well- just from studying their mindset.

Mindset is one of the first things I work with a patient or a client on.

Have you ever seen someone just released from the hospital? They look worn out; sometimes even older than when they went in. Chronic illness takes a toll on the body. It causes emotional stress. It takes a long time to heal. And so even though a person may be discharged from after being in the hospital, they are far from healed.

True healing involves the body mind and the spirit.

Hospitals do not heal the body mind and spirit. Even though I work as a hospitalist, I am transparent enough to recognize my limitations within it’s walls.

It is my hope that you will start today to make more powerful choices. That you do whatever it takes to reduce your risk of complications from diabetes.

A Vitamin That Lowers Cholesterol: Niacin

Niacin is a vitamin that can lower cholesterol naturally. Niacin is a B vitamin to be exact, and it can be found in some animals and even some plants. Also, it can be found in a variety of different nutritional supplements.

Most commonly, it is used to help individuals lower their cholesterol. However, it can also be used to lower the risk of heart attacks in people who do have high cholesterol. In a few cases, it has been a treatment option for atherosclerosis.

Before taking this medication, a doctor will go over some important information about it with the individual. First, there will have to be a medical history report done to make sure the individual is not allergic to nicotinic acid. Also, people who have stomach ulcers or some type of liver problem should not take this medication. While on the medication, the doctor will advise you not to drink any alcoholic beverages or any hot drinks. The doctor will also make sure the individual knows some side effects may be experienced as a result of taking the medication.

Some of the side effects that this drug may cause include redness, itchiness, and a warm feeling to your skin. Also, if an individual stands up too fast, they may experience some dizziness temporarily. There can also be some drug interactions with some prescription medications, but a doctor will give the individual a list of these medicines so they can be aware of them.

Niacin is only one of the treatments a doctor will tell an individual to take to lower their cholesterol. In addition to taking this drug, an individual will also have to get on a diet and make sure their weight stays at a certain level. It is very important for the patient to follow the rules that the doctor puts in place for them in order for their treatment to work successfully.

Even though an individual may want to hurry and get their condition under control, it is important they let the doctor know if they have any other medical conditions. This is because some medical conditions do not mix well with this drug. If it turns out that the patient cannot use this option as a treatment, then the doctor will put something else in place.

It is especially important for pregnant women to not take this medicine. The reasoning behind this is because the drug may hurt her unborn fetus. Also, if the woman is planning to get pregnant anytime soon, the doctor should be notified so he does not prescribe this drug to her.

To conclude, the above article provides a high-level summary about using the vitamin niacin to naturally lower cholesterol. It is by no means a complete guide to using vitamins for this purpose. There is much more information available on this subject. If you or a loved one has high cholesterol, I encourage you to read everything that you can on the topic of naturally lowering your cholesterol to improve you overall heart health.

Guidelines For Lowering Your Cholesterol By Diet

There are two ways of looking at the word ‘diet’.

  1. One is to think of it simply as the food we eat.
  2. The other is to think of it as ‘a diet’, a regime of cutting out certain foods for a specific reason, generally to lose weight.

Both have a role in helping to achieve lower cholesterol levels or to maintain normal levels. A simple change in diet, combined with a few other easy but effective lifestyle changes can make a significant impact on lowering your blood cholesterol.

Choose ‘healthier’ fats

  • A healthy diet includes food from all the different food groups: carbohydrates; proteins; fats; fruit and vegetables. To normalize cholesterol levels it’s important to cut down or avoid saturated fats. For a healthy heart, around 25% of your daily calories should come from fat, however, not more than 7% of these should be from saturated fats.
  • Trans fats should also be avoided. They are found in processed goods, especially cakes, biscuits and pastries, and some margarines. They are listed on the ingredients as hydrogenated vegetable oils. Trans fats not only raise your levels of LDL (‘bad’) cholesterol but they also damage your blood vessels.
  • Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, such as those found in olive oil, on the other hand, can help to raise lower total levels of blood cholesterol. Extra virgin olive oil has particularly effective cholesterol lowering qualities as it is less processed and is very high in beneficial anti-oxidants.

  • Similarly, if you avoid fatty meats – especially red meat and offal – which are high in saturated fats, you could replace these with nuts which are rich in polyunsaturated oils. Walnuts in particular also help to keep blood vessels healthy. Fish and other foods containing omega-3 fatty acids are also ideal in helping to reduce high blood cholesterol and promote good heart health.

Of course, all fatty and oily foods are higher in calories and to maintain a balanced diet they should be eaten in moderation. For example, a handful of nuts a day is sufficient.

Other cholesterol busting food

Fruit, vegetables, whole grains, beans and pulses also play an important role in a low fat diet as substitutes for foods high in saturated fats. Oatmeal, barley, kidney beans, apples, pears, bananas and prunes, for example, also contain high amounts of soluble fibre which helps to reduce ‘bad’ (LDL) cholesterol. It’s worth noting, though, that a high carb/low fat diet can result in higher blood cholesterol as the liver starts to produce increased levels of cholesterol to cope with the large amounts of carbohydrate. Therefore, you should maintain your carbohydrate intake below the recommended maximum of 60% of total diet. Other lifestyle changes Lack of exercise or physical activity can increase you LDL (‘bad’) cholesterol levels. This is particularly true for those who are overweight. 30 minutes of brisk exercise, 5 days a week can be enough to raise your HDL (‘good’) cholesterol by as much as 5%. Brisk exercise is simply anything that increases your heart rate. If 30 minutes is too much, break it down into two 15 minute segments or 3 ten minute sessions. Swimming, cycling and aerobics are all great, but a good session of house cleaning or tidying up the garden can work just as well for those short of time! Regularly drinking excessive alcohol impacts adversely on your levels of both cholesterol and triglycerides. If you stop smoking, you could raise your ‘good’ cholesterol by up to 10%

Colonoscopy Procedure – The Risks Involved

The colon is the posterior part of the digestive canal which is involved in absorption of liquids and nutrients from the solid wastes before excretion. It is hence, and important part of the digestive system. The colonoscopy procedure is carried out when this distal part of the alimentary canal needs to be examined for signs of cancers, ulcers, fistulas or any other such anomalies. Often, patients have the misconception that the examination is carried out only for ‘Colon cancer’; but this is not true.

In most cases, the colonoscopy procedure is safe and complications are seldom seen. The colonoscopy instrument – called the colonoscope – is entered into the anus and monitored technically. The device records images of the colon as well as helps in clearing blockages and polyps or to take a biopsy of tissues for studying. The process is relatively painless and but sometimes complications may arise.

The minor complications that can be experienced are mainly nausea and subsequent, vomiting; allergies on the skin around the anus and dehydration. Dehydration is common because the colon passage has to be free from solids to allow proper examination. Due to this,
During the process, the abdomen is filled up with air so that the health care expert can view the internal regions of the alimentary canal clearly on the computer screen.
As a side effect of the procedure, cramps in the stomach may be experience. This may be accompanied by abdominal swelling. However, these symptoms generally do not last for a very long duration.

When a biopsy is carried out, a small amount of tissue is collected from the body. Hence, the bowel may contain small amounts of blood. The patient may suffer a slight loss of blood for a few days.

Further, during the test, the patient is administered certain specific medications to which the body can develop an allergic reaction. The risk involved here, is the same as any other medical procedure. Further, there is a uncommon possibility that the intestinal wall is scraped or damaged slightly causing a perforation or infection.

Lower Your Cholesterol Levels Without Taking Drugs

Lowering Cholesterol With Drugs

There is a growing trend these days to treat patients who have high cholesterol levels with medication and drugs from the outset of their diagnosis. What should be looked at first though is how to lower cholesterol without drugs!

Statin drugs are an easy answer for the medical profession as they undoubtedly work. However, such pharmaceutical answers to the problem are becoming increasingly controversial as there are often a number of (sometimes serious) side effects caused by the drugs that should not be ignored. Statin drugs work by reducing the amount of cholesterol that is produced by the liver and at the same time reduces absorption of cholesterol into the bloodstream. But, these drugs also have wide ranging harmful effects on the body such as muscular breakdown, liver damage, reduction of CoQ10 enzyme necessary for keeping the heart in a healthy condition, as well as other medical complications. This is surely not what you wish to achieve when attempting to lower cholesterol levels to reduce your likelihood of heart disease.

Lowering cholesterol naturally, without medication, eliminated the above side effects and has the added benefits of; targeting the “Bad” LDL cholesterol, raising the levels of “Good” HDL cholesterol, reducing triglyceride fats and providing an overall wide reaching healthier approach to diet and lifestyle.

Lowering Cholesterol Without Drugs

The place to start is with diet and exercise:

1. Avoiding as many kinds of fats as possible.

2. Substituting low cholesterol foods for those normally in your diet.

3. Boost your efforts with the addition of natural supplements.

  • Omega3 fatty acids – from fish such as mackerel and salmon or fish oil capsules.
  • Ginger – Good for reducing LDL, improving blood flow and lowering blood pressure.
  • Turmeric – Lowers cholesterol and can improve blood flow.
  • Policosanol – sourced from sugar cane extracts, good at lowering LDL cholesterol and increasing HDL (good) cholesterol.
  • Polyniconate – effective in reducing fat build up and LDL.
  • B3 Vitamin (Niacin) – a good remedy.

4. Exercise sensibly and regularly in order to burn off the fats and cholesterol.Bear in mind that some eighty percent of your cholesterol is internally produced through your liver, while your food intake accounts for roughly 20 percent.

If you have been diagnosed with higher than normal cholesterol but no other specific allied problems or high levels of heart disease you can probably embark upon lowering your cholesterol without drugs using the methods above. If however you have progressed heart disease or other acute cholesterol related problems it may be the case that you can reduce the amount of your prescribed medication.

As a matter of safety always consult a doctor or medical practitioner before stopping or reducing any medications that have been prescribed for you by your doctor.