Herbal Health

July 29, 2011

VITAMINS THAT FIGHT CANCER: VITAMIN A

Beta-Carotene, an orange pigment and a precursor of vitamin A has been linked with preventing cancer. It improves the functioning of the immune system and helps eliminate oxygen-type free radicals. It has been noted that cancer patients often have low blood levels of beta-carotene. In a study, beta-carotene levels in the blood of lung cancer patients was found to be one-third lower than that in healthy individuals. Similarly, according to a recent British study, it was found that men with the most beta-carotene in their blood were 60 per cent as likely to develop cancer, especially lung cancer, as those with the lowest blood beta-carotene.According to several studies, vitamin A exerts an inhibiting effect on carcinogenesis. It is one of the most important aids in the body’s defense system to fight and prevent cancer. Dr. Leonida Santamaria and his colleagues at the University of Pavis in Italy, have uncovered preliminary evidence suggesting that beta-carotene may actually inhibit skin cancer by helping the body thwart the cancer-causing process, known as oxidation. This vitamin can be taken in large doses up to 1,50,000 units a day in the treatment of cancer.The main food sources of Beta Carotene are dark orange and dark green leafy vegetables – sweet potatoes, carrots, dried apricots, lady’s finger, spinach and pumpkin. Other good sources of this vitamin are grapefruit, mangoes, lettuce and broccoli. The darker orange or green the fruit or vegetable, the more beta carotene it contains.*44/355/5*

July 17, 2011

ARE ADULTS WITH ADHD (ATTENTION DEFICIT HYPERACTIVITY DISORDER) ALWAYS FIRST DIAGNOSED IN CHILDHOOD?

No. In fact, a sizable percentage of adult ADHD patients manage to get through elementary school, high school, and even college without having their condition diagnosed by a physician or specialist.Many times, a diagnosis of ADHD is made only after an adult sees a doctor for a seemingly unrelated medical or psychological reason, such as mood swings or insomnia. Others are diagnosed after bringing their child to a specialist because of disruptive behavior; in my practice I’ve often heard a mother say, “His father has the same problem!” And, sadly, many ADHD sufferers don’t receive the help they need until their condition has caused them to hit rock bottom socially or professionally.One of the biggest problems in diagnosing ADHD in adults is that few physicians are aware of its existence outside of childhood. They don’t consider ADHD to be an adult disorder and thus often overlook the obvious when making a diagnosis. That’s why people who suspect they or a loved one may have ADHD should see a psychiatrist.*29\173\2*

July 7, 2011

ALCOHOLISM AND ELDERLY: PRACTICAL TREATMENT SUGGESTIONS

If the elderly have some symptoms of psychological problems or physical problems, including a problem with alcohol, provide the same treatment you would for someone younger. Too often, problems of the elderly are dismissed under the assumption that the elderly are just complainers, “senile,” unlikely to benefit, will die soon anyway, or are incapable of appreciating help.In making an evaluation of an older person, do a comprehensive assessment rather than just a symptom-oriented search. Pay attention to the social, financial, emotional, medical, cognitive, and self-care status. The latter is often overlooked. Is the person able to do the daily activities required for well-being, such as preparing meals, getting groceries, taking medications as prescribed?Recent literature suggests that signs of alcohol abuse in the elderly may be less obvious. For example, DWI is an unlikely occurrence if the elderly no longer drive. Instead of accepting self-neglect, confusion, or repeated falls as the vicissitudes of aging, they should prompt questions about alcohol use, just as they would in a younger person.Because many elderly persons are reluctant to seek or receive professional help, a family member is often the person to make the first contact. This will initially be your best source of information about the person. Be sure to find out the family’s views of the situation, their ideas, and fears. Whatever the problem, the chances are good that something can be done to improve the picture. Let the family know about this optimism. It often comes as a surprise to them that their elderly relative may get better.Sometimes the family will appear to you as unhelpful, unsympathetic, or uncaring. This may be infuriating and annoy you. Even if this happens, do not alienate the family. Whatever problems there may be with the family, it is possibly the only support system the client has.In dealing with the elderly, remind yourself that you are working with survivors. The fact that they have made it even this far means they have some strengths. These people have stuck their necks out in the past and taken risks. Find out how they have done it, and see if you can help them replicate that. Also, raise their expectations that indeed they can “make it” again, just as they have before.Use all the possible resources at your disposal. In many instances the elderly need to become reinvolved in the world around them. Meaningful contacts can come from a variety of people, not just from professional helpers. The janitor in the client’s apartment building, a neighbor, or a crossing guard at the street corner may all be potential allies. If the person was once active in a church group, civic organization, or other community group, but has lost contact, get in touch with the organization. There is often a member who will visit or be able to assist in other ways. Many communities have senior citizen centers. They offer a wide range of resources: everything from a social program, to Meals-on-Wheels, to counseling on Social Security and Medicare, to transportation. If there is a single agency to cultivate, this is the one.In your interviews with the elderly, the importance of reaching out, showing interest, and having physical contact has already been mentioned. Also be active. Do not merely sit there and grunt from time to time. Your quietness may too easily be interpreted by them as distance and dislike. Another very important thing to do is to provide cues to orient the elderly. Mention dates, day of the week, current events. For anyone who has had any cognitive slippage, good cues from the environment are very helpful. In conversation with the elderly, don’t stick with neutral topics like the weather all the time. Try to engage them in some topics of common interest to you both (such as gardening or baseball), as well as some controversial topic, something with some zip. This stimulates their egos, because it implies that you not only want their opinions, but you want them to listen to yours.If you give specific information to the client, also write it down for him in legible handwriting. This makes it much easier for the client to comply. If family members are present, tell them the directions, too. In thinking about compliance and what can be done to assist the elderly in participating in treatment, take some time to think about how your agency functions. What does it mean for an elderly client coming to see you? Are there long waits at several different offices on several different floors? Does it require navigating difficult stairs, elevators, and hallways in the process? Are there times of day that make the use of public transportation easier? Consider such factors, and make adjustments to make it much easier for your elderly clients. In specific terms, make every effort to do things in as uncomplicated, convenient, nonembarrassing, and economical a fashion as possible.Separate sympathy and empathy. Sympathy is feeling sorry for someone. The elderly don’t want that; it makes them feel like children. Empathy means you understand, or want to understand. This is what they would like.Be aware that you may be thought of and responded to as any number of important people in your client’s long life. Also, you may alternately represent grandchild, child, parent, peer, and authority figure to them at various points in treatment, even in the same interview, and at the same time.Display integrity with the elderly. Do not try to mislead them or he to them. They are too experienced with all the con games in life. If they ask you questions, give them straight answers. This, however, does not mean being brutal in the name of “honesty.” For example, in speaking with a client you might well say, “Many other people I talk with have concerns about death, do you?” The client responds, “No, I have pretty much come to terms with the idea of dying.” You don’t blurt out, “Well, you better think about it, you only have 6 months to live.” That is not integrity.In working with elderly clients, set specific goals. Make sure that the initial ones are easily attainable. This means they can have some surefire positive experiences. With that under their belts, they are more likely to take some risks and attempt other things.Make home visits. Home visits are the key to working with this group. It may be the only thing that will break down their resistance and help them get treatment. Very few will seek help on their own initiative. So, if someone is not willing to come to your office, give him a call. Ask if you can make an appointment to see him at home. If the response you get is, “I don’t want you to come,” don’t quit. Your next line is, “Well, if I’m ever in the area, I’d like to stop by.” And try to do that. Bring some small token gift, such as notepaper or flowers. After your visit, you may well find the resistance has disappeared.The home visit can be vital in making an adequate assessment. Seeing the person in his own home, where security is at its peak, provides a much better picture of how the person is getting along, as well as the plusses and minuses of the environment. It also allows the client to be spontaneous in emotions and behavior.If you regularly make home visits, beware of making the person “stay in trouble” in order to see you. Don’t just visit in a crisis. Instead, stop in to hear about successes. Your visits may be a real high point for the person, who may not like to think of losing this contact. Make a visit the day after the client’s first day on a new volunteer job, for example.Beware of arranging things for the elderly that will be seen as something trivial to occupy their time. If there is a crafts class, the point ought to be to teach them a skill, an art, not to keep them busy. Many of the elderly also have something they can teach others. The carpenter who is no longer steady enough to swing a hammer and drive a nail will be able to provide consultation to do-it-yourselfers who want to remodel their homes. The elderly have a richness of life experiences and much to contribute.Thoroughly evaluate symptoms of memory loss, disorientation, and behavioral changes to uncover potentially treatable causes of organic brain syndrome. Have clients show you all their medicines, including over-the-counter types. Coordinate medical care to avoid duplication of prescriptions.In closing, the task in working with the elderly is to assist them in rediscovering strengths, getting involved with people, and discovering life is worth living, at whatever age.*160\331\2*

June 23, 2011

TYPES OF HEART DISEASE: HEART FAILURE DUE TO CARDIOMYOPATHY – DILATED CARDIOMYOPATHY

Dilated cardiomyopathy refers to overall enlargement (dilatation) of the heart chambers, especially the ventricles. Although this enlargement is a key part of dilated cardiomyopathy, it is not the initial problem but rather the heart’s own response to a weakness of heart muscle and poor pumping ability. The weakness of the heart muscle in this condition is generalized (“global”); all parts of the myocardium are affected about equally. Enlargement of the heart is the heart’s way of trying to compensate for the weakness of its muscle. This is called a compensatory mechanism.If the heart muscle is weak, it is unable to pump out the same portion of blood that it could at normal strength. But our bodies have an impressive capability of adjusting to changes. Rather than simply “accepting” the limitations of decreased pumping ability, the heart and other organs of the body undergo compensatory changes to try to maximize their efforts.Think of the heart chambers expanding and contracting like a soft plastic bottle being squeezed while being held underwater. It your grip has become weakened you cannot squeeze very much of the water out. Let’s say that at normal strength you could squeeze out60 percent of the water that flowed into the bottle when you let it exp under water. Similarly, a heart may pump out 60 percent of the blood it contained at the end of diastole.*87\252\8*

June 14, 2011

CANCER RISKS BY AGE AND RISKS

Clearly, age and race appear to have a significant influence on ‘ whether or not a person gets cancer and what the eventual prognosis may be. As already noted, many possible explanations exist for racial and cultural disparities in incidence and survival of cancer, not the least of which are access to health care and socioeconomic status. Consider the following statistics:
Among Women• The incidence rate for female breast cancer is highest among white women (113 per 100,000) and lowest among American Indian women (33.9 per 100,000). • Black women have the highest incidence rates of colon and rectal cancer (44.9 per 100,000) and lung and bronchus cancer (46.2 per 100,000), followed by whites, Asian/Pacific Islanders, Hispanic Americans, and American Indians. • Black women are more likely to die of breast cancer (31.4 per 100,000) and colon/rectum cancer (20 per 100,000) than are women of any other racial and ethnic group. White and black women have the highest mortality rates of lung and bronchus cancer, followed by American Indian, Asian/Pacific Islander, and Hispanic women.
Among Men• Black men have the highest incidence rates of prostate cancer (223 per 100,000), colon and rectum cancer (58 per 100,000), and lung and bronchus cancer (112 per 100,000).• Black men are at least 50 percent MORE LIKELY to develop prostate cancer than are men of any other racial or ethnic group. Like American Indian women, American Indian men have consistently lower rates of cancer incidence than men of other racial and ethnic groups.• Black men have the highest mortality rates from colon and rectum cancer (28 per 100,000), lung and bronchus cancer (101 per 100,000), and prostate cancer (55 per 100,000). Black men are twice as likely to die of prostate cancer than men of other racial and ethnic groups.*4/277/5*

June 5, 2011

YOUR BODY’S PROTECTION AGAINST PATHOGENS: PHYSICAL AND CHEMICAL DEFENSES

Perhaps our single most critical early defense system is the skin. Layered to provide an intricate web of barriers, the skin allows few pathogens to enter. Enzymes, complex proteins manufactured by the body that appear in body secretions such as sweat, provide additional protection, destroying microorganisms on skin surfaces by producing inhospitable pH levels. Normal body pH is 7.0, but enzymatic or biochemical changes may cause the body chemistry to become more acidic (pH of less than 7.0), or more alkaline (pH of more than 7.0). In either case, microorganisms that flourish at a selected pH will be weakened or destroyed as these changes occur. A third protection is our frequent slight elevations in body temperature, which create an inhospitable environment for many pathogens. Only when cracks or breaks occur in the skin can pathogens gain easy access to the body.The linings of the body provide yet another protection against pathogens. Mucous membranes in the respiratory tract and other linings of the body trap and engulf invading organisms. Cilia, hair-like projections in the lungs and respiratory tract, sweep unwanted invaders toward body openings, where they are expelled. Tears, nasal secretions, ear wax, and other secretions found at body entrances contain enzymes designed to destroy or neutralize invading pathogens. Finally, any invading organism that manages to breach these initial lines of defense faces a formidable specialized network of defenses thrown up by the immune system.*18/277/5*

May 25, 2011

BIOLOGICAL FILLERS: HUMAN COLLAGEN

Cosmoderm and Cosmoplast (not yet available in the UK) These two materials, also produced by McGhan Medical, are perfect examples of the innovation that exists in the area of filler materials. Comprising collagen that is derived from infant foreskin cells, Cosmoderm and Cosmoplast are considered to be the ideal form of human collagen. Ideal because it poses no risk of an allergic reaction and therefore eliminates the need for skin testing prior to treatment a great bonus for those people who are too impatient to wait four weeks for test results before being treated. Also, its source assures it has a purity that is comparable to nothing else.It’s difficult to state with any degree of accuracy just how long the results with this filler last. Cosmetic treatments that use human collagen have not been widely used and therefore few statistics are available. However, considering that the human collagen inCosmoderm and Cosmoplast shares the same composition as bovine collagen, it might be safe to say that the duration should be similar to that of Zyderm and Zyplast. And, like with bovine collagen injections, the syringe comes pre-mixed with lidocaine for minimal discomfort. The applications of Cosmoderm Iand II are similar to those of Zyder I and II, while Cosmoplast equals Zyplast and can be used in a similar fashion.At the time of writing this book, this material was not yet available anywhere; most likely it will be available in late 2002 or early in 2003.*65\82\8*

May 16, 2011

DIET IN DIABETES: FOR VEGETARIAN

Sfollowings things are rich source of W3 fatty acid.Fenugreek, seedsMustardGreen vegetableBlack gramWheatMicro nutrients (vitamins & minerals): When the dietary intake conforms to overall nutritional content in terms of maintenance of caloric needs, there is no need of additional supplimentation.Deficiency in trace element like Cr, Zn, Mg are implicated in diabetes. VitaminE is supplemented for antioxidants benefits.Sodium content: Dietary intake of 1000mg/l 000 kcal, should not exceed 3000 mg per day.Artificial sweetening agents : Caloric (frutose, sorbitol, manitol, xylitol, hydrogeneted, starch hydroplysates) should be avoided and non caloric saccharine, aspartame, play a dominant role.Spices and condiments : To add spices and condiments in traditional Indian diet is very important to provide taste of foodFenugreek seed: Provides souble fibre, W3 FA (Omega3 fatty acid), effective in controlling Blood Glucose, Triglyceride and Cholestrol.Clove (long) & Turmeric (Haldi): Antioxidant activity controlling freeOnion : 20 – 30 gms per day, decrease platelate aggregation and decreasing blood sugar and lipid.Antioxidant: Recent evidence suggests that food rich in antioxidant are likely to have beneficial effect in diabetes.Food: Green vegetable, fresh fruits, cereals, pulses are rich sources of antioxidants, Betacarotenes, Selinium, Vitamin C, Vitamie E. Alcohol should be avoided because —Additional source of calories (each ml. providing 7 calories)Alcohol and hypoglycaemia is well knownAlcohol may exacerbate neuropathy, dyslipidaemia, obesity and makes diabetic control difficult.*32\329\8*

May 7, 2011

THE PROCESS PARADIGM IN PSYCHIATRY: ON TERMS – SECONDARY PROCESSES

Secondary processes refer to all other processes which an individual does not experience as belonging to him, and which he speaks about as if they happened to him from the outside, or as caused by another agent. For example, ‘My leg is killing me,’ ‘The police are after me,’ The world is against me,’ or ‘This other person helps me,’ etc. are statements which express that the leg, the police, the world and a helper are the names of secondary processes. These processes are further from awareness; they are projected and experienced outside of the individual who expresses them. Both primary and secondary processes are only partially conscious.The individual identity is connected to the primary process. Consciousness is a term which I use only for those moments in which the individual is aware of primary and secondary processes. Consciousness refers to a reflective awareness, to the existence of a metacommunicator, someone who is able to talk about his experiences and perceptions.I use the term double signals to refer to expressions coming from a person which are part of his secondary processes, information with which he is not able to identify himself in a given moment. The reader interested in the background to these terms is referred to the first chapter of River’s Way.*24\227\8*

April 23, 2011

BACH FLOWER REMEDIES: POSITIVE AGRIMONY STATE

Positive Agrimony state is aptly compared to children’s temperament—carefree, quickly forgetting harsh moments of life and able to resume their normal cheerful outlook. Those who can maintain their evenness of temper under all circumstance; who have peace inside and outside, who have genuine inner joyfulness. A person with the above temperament would also invite Agrimony as a constitutional medicine.Case No.l : A nine year old boy, who had asthma from birth was given ‘Agrimony’ by Dr. Krishnamoorty on the symptom that he was a happy cheerful child who made no fuss during attacks and made the best of his disability. The child was cured of asthma. This was a case of positive Agrimony state.Case No.2 : When Raj Kumar lost his wife in a road accident, he took this bereavement to heart but did not show his grief outwardly. He went about his normal business as before, laughed and joked amongst friends and looked calm from outside. Common people said that he had not much grieved over the death of his wife.But his close friends who had intimate knowledge of his domestic life and more than anybody else, his servant Ramu could swear that his master was being fast consumed by silent grief under the facade of external calm. He could notice the following changes in his life style. (1) He showed much anxiety and restlessness when alone. (2) Sleeplessness at night caused him to walk about in the outside lawn. (3) He had started drinking wine at night, when alone. (4) He used to weep & sob under the pillow of his bed at night.Due to mental tension he developed severe pain in the chest. Agrimony Remedy given thrice a day gave much relief to his chest pain. A dose of lgnatia CM brought much relief in his mental agony. Agrimony was continued for 4 weeks to remove his negative Agrimony state. lgnatia in Homoeopathy correspondes to AGRIMONY in Flower Remedies for SILENT GRIEF.*50\308\8*

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