Saturday, 9 August 2008

Anxiety Attacks

Anxiety Attacks

Anxiety or panic attacks are sudden periods of intense anxiety, fear and discomfort. While these attacks might seem to happen for no reason, they're actually the body's response to what it perceives as the need for "fight or flight."

The attacks usually last about ten minutes, but can be as short as one minute. In severe cases, these attacks can happen in cycles. These cycles may last for extended periods. These cycles can cause anticipation anxiety between episodes.

Physical symptoms of anxiety attacks generally include shortness of breath, heart palpitations and sweating. Tingling and numbness in the extremities, dizziness, lightheadedness, headaches and nausea are also commonly experienced. These may appear to be random, but they're actually the result of the body's preparations for protection.

The anxiety attack is brought on by a sudden onset of fear. In response, the body releases adrenaline followed by increases in the heart and breathing rate and production of sweat (to regulate body temperature). These actions prepare the body for the physical activities of fighting or escaping. Because the anticipated strenuous activity rarely follows the panic attack, these reactions result in physical discomfort.

The increased heart rate is felt as heart palpitations. Rapid breathing (hyperventilation) results in a drop in carbon dioxide levels in the lungs and blood. This leads to the tingling, numbness, dizziness and lightheadedness. The adrenaline causes a narrowing of the blood vessels which results in less blood flow to the head. This also contributes to the lightheadedness and headaches.

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Sunday, 3 August 2008

To Go or Not to Go Herbal, that is the Question…

To Go or Not to Go Herbal, that is the Question…

Many people nowadays are turning to “organics” and “naturals” otherwise known as herbals. The rising popularity of herbal supplements has created a new fad if not a new health lifestyle. But before you join the bandwagon, here are some things you need to know about this mean, “green” dietary supplementing machine.

What is the difference between a drug and a dietary supplement?

According to the definition set by food and drug administrations in different countries, drugs are chemicals that can prevent, prolong the life, treat other effects of a health condition, improve the quality of life, and/or cure ailments and diseases, or alter the function of any part or chemicals inside the body. These drugs have approved therapeutic claims. For example, paracetamol is a drug given to bring down the body temperature in fever. Ascorbic acid is indicated for the treatment of scurvy. Iron supplements are given to treat mild cases of anemia.

Herbal supplements are not classified as drugs but as dietary supplements. The main difference is that they do not have approved therapeutic claims unlike in the case of drugs. Moreover, dietary supplements could either contain vitamins, minerals, herbals, or amino acids, all aimed to add to or supplement the diet of an individual. They are not intended to be taken alone as a substitute to any food or medicine.

Most of the manufactured medicines we now have once came from animals and plants. Through the years, chemists isolated the life-saving or life-curing components and separated them from the harmful ones. This lead to the further drug research and drug development that lead to the production of a different variety of drugs for many ailments and conditions from synthetic sources. But still we have semi-synthetic drugs, as well as drug that more or less approximate more natural composition. Since herbal supplements are made from a mixture of crude herbs reduced into powder or gel form, and later on packaged as tablets and capsules, there is a possibility that life-threatening or at least body chemistry-altering components are still present, thus the expression of concern from the medical community.

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Saturday, 5 July 2008

Describing a Bipolar Disorder: Learning Its Episodes and Symptoms

Describing a Bipolar Disorder: Learning Its Episodes and Symptoms

Emotions have its ups and downs. It is normal for everyone to feel. But for a person affected by a bipolar disorder, these highs and lows can become very extreme and hinder daily activities. There are times that the situation also became dangerous. A person cannot work because of feeling so depressed. Then the next day, this person feels great, filled with creativity and endless energy. However, some people can misinterpret such actions as being reckless and uncontrollable.

A bipolar disorder can be unpredictable and confusing. This medical condition is also chronic. Never feel embarrassed if you are affected with this type of disorder. Learning all about it is helpful to manage such medical illness successfully.

A bipolar disorder affects the ability of a person to feel various moods in a normal range. Manic depression is another term for bipolar disorder. Bipolar is used to describe two extremes or poles. People affected by this serious medical condition have mood alterations ranging from an extremely low (depression) to an extremely high (mania).

The best picture to describe such condition is the globe. The globe is divided into the North and South Pole. The mania would be the North Pole and the depression would be the South Pole. If a person experiences the symptoms of either pole for a definite duration of time, then he or she is experiencing an episode. These episodes must be thoroughly discussed with a healthcare provider.

There are four kinds of episodes associated with bipolar disorder according to APA (American Psychiatric Association).

1. Depression. Sometimes, a person can feel extremely sad for a prolong period of time. It is very impossible for him or her to eat or leave his or her bed. The things which he or she enjoys to do seem very difficult.

2. Mania. This is the other pole of a bipolar disorder. It may begin with a high or good feeling. But after sometimes a person can feel very angry and irritable. Doing risky things is not impossible.

3. Hypomania. Compared to mania, this type of episode is only mild. A person might feel very good thinking that more things are getting done. But after a while, his or her mood changes to a full-blown depression or mania.

4. Mixed mood or mixed episode. The feelings of depression and mania can affect a person many times during the day.

These episodes can put a person at risk for committing suicide. Experiencing mania or depression for more than four episodes within a year is known as rapid-cycling. There are different symptoms for both poles of a bipolar disorder.

The mania symptoms include increased levels of energy, reduce needs for sleep, easily distracted, mind jumps, racing thoughts, more talkative, more confident, focus on doing things but accomplishes only little, and more risky even if it means things are going to be bad.

The depression symptoms include feeling blue or sad, feeling down, losing interests on the things which a person is enjoying including sex, feeling guilty, feeling hopeless, feeling worthless, sleep too much or too little, changes in appetite or weight, feeling tired, feeling too little energy, feeling restless, concentration problems, decision-making problems, and thoughts of suicide or death.

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Wednesday, 28 May 2008

Your 5 minutes daily program to Stress management

"Relaxing with a Mental PDA"
Your 5 minutes daily program to Stress management

We all have this favorite expression when it comes to being stressed out, and I wouldn't bother naming all of them since it may also vary in different languages. But when it comes down to it, I think that it is how we work or even relax, for that matter that triggers stress. Ever been stressed even when you're well relaxed and bored? I know I have.

Since Error! Hyperlink reference not valid. is unavoidable in life, it is important to find ways to decrease and prevent stressful incidents and decrease negative reactions to stress. Here are some of the things that can be done by just remembering it, since life is basically a routine to follow like brushing your teeth or eating breakfast. You can do a few of them in a longer span of time, but as they say-- every minute counts.

Managing time

Time management skills can allow you more time with your family and friends and possibly increase your performance and productivity. This will help reduce your stress.

To improve your time management:

· Save time by focusing and concentrating, delegating, and scheduling time for yourself.
· Keep a record of how you spend your time, including work, family, and leisure time.
· Prioritize your time by rating tasks by importance and urgency. Redirect your time to those activities that are important and meaningful to you.
· Manage your commitments by not over- or undercommitting. Don't commit to what is not important to you.
· Deal with procrastination by using a day planner, breaking large projects into smaller ones, and setting short-term deadlines.
· Examine your beliefs to reduce conflict between what you believe and what your life is like.
Build healthy coping strategies

It is important that you identify your coping strategies. One way to do this is by recording the stressful event, your reaction, and how you cope in a stress journal. With this information, you can work to change unhealthy coping strategies into healthy ones-those that help you focus on the positive and what you can change or control in your life.


Some behaviors and lifestyle choices affect your stress level. They may not cause stress directly, but they can interfere with the ways your body seeks relief from stress. Try to:

· Balance personal, work, and family needs and obligations.
· Have a sense of purpose in life.
· Get enough sleep, since your body recovers from the stresses of the day while you are sleeping.
· Eat a balanced diet for a nutritional defense against stress.
· Get moderate exercise throughout the week.
· Limit your consumption of alcohol.
· Don't smoke.

Social support

Social support is a major factor in how we experience stress. Social support is the positive support you receive from family, friends, and the community. It is the knowledge that you are cared for, loved, esteemed, and valued. More and more research indicates a strong relationship between social support and better mental and physical health.

Changing thinking

When an event triggers negative thoughts, you may experience fear, insecurity, anxiety, depression, rage, guilt, and a sense of worthlessness or powerlessness. These emotions trigger the body's stress, just as an actual threat does. Dealing with your negative thoughts and how you see things can help reduce stress.

· Thought-stopping helps you stop a negative thought to help eliminate stress.
· Disproving irrational thoughts helps you to avoid exaggerating the negative thought, anticipating the worst, and interpreting an event incorrectly.
· Problem solving helps you identify all aspects of a stressful event and find ways to deal with it.
· Changing your communication style helps you communicate in a way that makes your views known without making others feel put down, hostile, or intimidated. This reduces the stress that comes from poor communication. Use the assertiveness ladder to improve your communication style.

Even writers like me can get stressed even though we're just using our hands to do the talking, but having to sit for 7 or 8 hours is already stressful enough and have our own way to relieve stress. Whether you're the mail guy, the CEO, or probably the average working parent, stress is one unwanted visitor you would love to boot out of your homes, especially your life.
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Sunday, 11 May 2008

So What Has Woody Allen Got To Say!

So What Has Woody Allen Got To Say!
or 10 inspirational quotes that
can improve yourself

It might take a little coffee or probably a few rounds of beer or any other booze you could get your hands on when it comes to relaxing after a hard day's work. Well, yeah I'm guilty about that one as well, unless I'm caught dead wearing a lampshade over my head after a few rounds of vodka… half-naked! Okay, bad example and I apologize to everyone reading this after getting nightmares about me in that state of drunken stupor.

Just don't ask how it happened, please.

But what's really interesting is that how do people go through the usual part of life when faced with vein-popping stress? I mean, the new age thing like Zen or yoga is one of the good things and it actually works. Is there room for the intellectual side of people who can actually smell the roses-in-a-can while on the move? It kind of had me thinking that there really must be something in this 'mind-over-matter' thing.

Humor is indeed the best medicine there is whenever you are. I mean anyone can pay good money to listen to a comedian just to make you wet your pants after laughing so hard. Despite of what's been happening, and to those who has gone though the ordeal, it's better to just laugh while facing the troubles with a clear mind than anger with a clouded vision. One of my favorite celebrities of all time may have to be Woody Allen. Now this is one guy who gives you the in-your-face bluntness that he pulls out with gusto, even without even trying. You can talk just about anything with a man, and he's bound to mock the subject and you'll end up laughing rather than being upset about it.

Woody Allen has this to say:

1. "Money is better than poverty, if only for financial reasons." It sounds good to me, I mean the practicality of all things does involve money but it doesn't have to take an arm and a leg to get it.

2. "I believe there is something out there watching us. Unfortunately, it's the government." 'Nuff said.

3. "There are worse things in life than death. Have you ever spent an evening with an insurance salesman?" This happens to be one of the classic ones. I mean the issue about life's little problems isn't all that bad, until 'he' shows up.

Sure, relationships can get complicated, or does have its complications that probably any author about relationships is bound to discover it soon. We follow what our heart desires, unless you're talking about the heart as in the heart that pump blood throughout your body.

4. "Love is the answer, but while you're waiting for the answer, sex raises some pretty interesting questions." And if you want more, just keep on asking!

5. "A fast word about oral contraception. I asked a girl to go to bed with me, she said 'no'." It sounds, 'practical', I think.

And when it comes to everyday life, he really knows how to make the best out of every possible scenario, and it doesn't involve a lawsuit if he strikes a nerve.

6. "Basically my wife was immature. I'd be at home in the bath and she'd come in and sink my boats." I never had a boat in my bathtub before. Just staring at it while soaking in hot water makes me seasick already.

7. "I am not afraid of death, I just don't want to be there when it happens." If it rains, it pours.

8. "I am thankful for laughter, except when milk comes out of my nose." It could get worse when you're guzzling on beer… or mouthwash, and it happened to me once!

9. "If you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans." At least he doesn't smite us with lightning, and I'm thankful for that.

And despite of what may happen to all of us in the next ten, twenty, or even thirty years, I guess we all have to see things in a different kind of light and not just perspective. I can't seem to imagine life without any piece of wisdom that could guide us. Whether we're religious or not, it takes more courage to accept your fears and learn how to deal with them is all that matters when it comes to even just getting along.

And to sum things up, here is the last nugget of wisdom to go by… however, whenever, and wherever we may be.

10. "The talent for being happy is appreciating and liking what you have, instead of what you don't have."

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Saturday, 29 March 2008

Fat Men, Never Think That Weight Has Something to Do With Fitness

Fat Men, Never Think That Weight
Has Something to Do With Fitness

Men are considered voracious eaters, besides acquiring some bad habits such as drinking and smoking. They are not aware of their body's health, until one day, they have realized that fats have already invaded their stamina dramatically diminishing them.

However, there is always a misconception that weight is directly associated with fitness. So, the tendency is to look for different methods on how to burn fats. It is a fact that weight has some effects on your fitness especially if you are overweight.

The only thing that will affect your fitness is related on how you do your exercises. You can start to improve your body and stay in shape if you exercise. In return, you can slim down your body.

If your goal is losing weight and maintain it, then you should be thinking about working on your entire physical fitness than simply reducing some portion of your normal diet. This is the wrong way of losing weight. Your fitness plan must start with doing your exercises.

Following a certain diet without daily exercise can be effective in losing weight. But it will just burn your muscle tissues. Later on, you will lose your bodily strength as well as your fitness. It is useless. If you exercise more, you can build and tone your muscles. Your body is burning fat in the right way, losing weight effectively and getting a fitter body. Doing this simultaneously can change your figure, from a fat man to a fit man.

Whichever cases, regular exercise can improve your fitness compared with someone who never performs any exercise regardless of weights. Take note, combining your diet plan with regular exercise is a very efficient and effective way of attaining a fit and healthy body. Improve your fitness by doing more than one simple exercise. You should explore different types of exercise to burn more calories, like doing cardiovascular exercises and basic strength training.

Cardiovascular exercises can increase the rate of your heart by significant amounts. This will help you build your stamina especially if done on a regular basis. As your exercise progresses, constantly increase both the frequency and time of your exercises.

Strength training exercises are also significant. It does not only increase your actual fitness but also tones your body. Muscular strength can be achieved giving you more confidence. You can feel young and beautiful too.

It does not necessarily mean becoming a weightlifter. You don't need bulging muscles through your exercise. Small amounts of strength training are enough. There are many options besides lifting weights. You can choose from a lot of strength training workouts that suits your needs. Some can even be done at home without any equipment.

As a result, a more fit body is achieved. Weight does not matter, what it takes is your determination. You don't need to stay and be satisfied with your present look. There is always a room for change and it begins from you. Never think of your weight, just do your exercises.

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Saturday, 15 March 2008

Being Fit is the Way to a Woman’s Health

The Fit Way to a Woman’s Health

Fitness, muscle-building and gym work-outs have gone beyond the traditional all-male club. With the hype over fitness and health and a healthy lifestyle, women have joined the club as well. However, men and women have different fitness needs.

Women’s fitness and exercise needs are focused on the muscles of the upper back. Most of their exercise work-outs are also designed for the stomach muscles, especially those who have just given birth. At the same time, exercises for women are usually designed for weight loss. And while men tend to focus on muscle building whereas women work on toning their muscles, strength training is important for both.

Here are a few things to make you women out there go out and start building up your muscle strength.

Make the performance of your usual tasks easier with a physically strong body. Chores will be easier, lifting your kids, the grocery or the laundry will be a piece of cake. Consequently, it will reduce possible strain on the muscles and injury. Training can increase a woman’s strength by 30 to 50 percent.

Lose fat at the same time. A strength training done 2 to 3 times a week for a span of two months can result to two pounds of muscles and would mean a reduction of 3.5 pounds of fat. The more muscles and less fat, the faster is the metabolism, which ultimately means your body burns calories faster than normal.

Fight osteoporosis. Weight training increases spinal bone mineral density which means lesser chances of the risk of osteoporosis.

Fight heart disease and diabetes. Weight improvement improves cardiovascular health by lowering the bad cholesterol and blood pressure. It also improves glucose use in the body by 23 percent which reduces the risk of diabetes.

The road to a healthier you. Not only does it promote a healthier body, but it also develops a healthier attitude and a healthier heart. Women who engage in regular strength training are more confident, with a more positive outlook in life.

So how do you get started?

For those who lead very busy lifestyles, hitting the gym and starting on a regular fitness plan may seem the perfect way to keep fit. But for most, starting out on a regular walking exercise is the way to go. Start at a manageable rate. A 10 to 15 minute walk is a good way to start. Prior to a workout, make sure to stretch your major muscles. Work your muscles on the front of your thighs. Stretch your shoulder muscles by standing straight and rolling the shoulders backward in a circular motion. And of course, don’t forget to observe proper nutrition. Load up on water to prevent dehydration. Consume carbohydrates before starting on your work-out.

For those with joint and bone diseases, swimming may prove to be a less stressful activity for your muscles.

But the most important is, make time for your exercise. If you can’t hit the gym or start on a regular work-out plan, make sure that your day is filled with enough physical activity that keeps you going and always on the go. Women’s fitness is the key to your beauty!

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Sunday, 9 March 2008

The Real Benefits of Cardio Interval Training

The Real Benefits of Cardio Interval Training

In a long-term study of the health of the people of in the United States, the U.S. Public Health Service documented the chances of developing heart disease among various groups in the population. Long before the any symptoms appeared, epidemiological research could identify high-risk groups.

Among the highest risk factors are male sex, age over 35, cigarette smoking, high blood pressure, high levels of certain blood fats, and a family history of cardiovascular disorders.

Other researchers have added to this list another risk factor: the compulsive, hard-driving, highly anxious personality. The greater the number of severity, the greater the person’s overall risk.

These threats to the heart can be divided into two main categories: those beyond individual control, such as age, sex, and heredity, and those that can be controlled, avoided, or even eliminated. Among those in the second category are what cardiologists call “the triple threat.” These are the high blood pressure, cigarette smoking, and high cholesterol levels in the blood.

If you smoke a pack of cigarettes a day, your risk of having a heart attack is twice that of a nonsmoker. If you smoke, have hypertension, and eat a diet high in fats without any exercise at all, your risk is five times greater than normal.

The Healthy Heart

If these risk factors endanger the heart’s health, what enhances its well-being and improves its odds of working long and well?

Obviously, quitting cigarettes and eating a low-fat diet will help. The next best thing you can do for your heart’s sake is to give it what it needs: regular exercise or a complete cardio interval training.

The heart is a muscle, or, more accurately, a group or “package” of muscles, similar in many ways to the muscles of the arms and legs. And just as exercise strengthens and improves limb muscles, it enhances the health of the heart muscles as well.

Since World War II, several large-scale statistical studies have evaluated the relationship between physical activity and cardiovascular disease. One well-known survey compared 31,000 drivers and conductors of some bus companies. The more sedentary drivers had a significantly higher rate of heart disease than the conductors, who walked around the buses and climbed stairs to the upper level.

The why and how behind these statistics were bet explained by classic experiments with dogs whose coronary arteries were surgically narrowed to resemble those of humans with arteriosclerosis. Dogs who were exercised were had much better blood flow than those kept inactive.

The exercise seemed to stimulate the development of new connections between the impaired and the nearly normal blood vessels, so exercised dogs had a better blood supply to all the muscle tissue of the heart. The human heart reacts in the same way to provide blood to the portion that was damaged by the heart attack.

To enable the damaged heart muscle to heal, the heart relies on new small blood vessels for what is called collateral circulation. These new branches on the arterial tress can develop long before a heart attack — and can prevent a heart attack if the new network takes on enough of the function of the narrowed vessels.

With all these facts, it is now boiled down to a single question: What should be done in order to prevent such dilemmas?

Some studies showed that moderate exercise several times a week is more effective in building up these auxiliary pathways than extremely vigorous exercise done twice often.

The general rule is that exercise helps reduce the risk of harm to the heart. Some researches further attested the link between exercise and healthy heart based from the findings that the non-exercisers had a 49% greater risk of heart attack than the other people included in the study. The study attributed a third of that risk to sedentary lifestyle alone.

Hence, with employing the cardio interval training, you can absolutely expect positive results not only on areas that concerns your cardiovascular system but on the overall status of your health as well.

This particular activity that is definitely good for the heart is a cycle of “repeated segments” that is of intense nature. In this process, there is an interchange periods of recuperation. It can both be comprehensive activity and moderate motion.

Consequently, the benefits of merely engaging into this kind of activity can bring you more results that you have ever expected. These are:

1. The threats of heart attack are lessened, if not eliminated

2. Enhanced heart task

3. Increase metabolism, increase the chance of burning calories, therefore, assist you in losing weight

4. Improves lung capacity
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Sunday, 2 March 2008

Treatments for Bipolar Disorder:

Treatments for Bipolar Disorder:

Getting Rid of that Monkey on your Back

It is a very common occurrence that bipolar disorder is undiagnosed in a sufferer on average for eight years. Individuals afflicted with the disorder do not seek out professional help for at least a decade after the first manifestation of symptoms. Though the disorder can be controlled with proper treatment, there are a lot of people who suffer from the disorder because they are left untreated or are treated inappropriately.

There is a huge population of sufferers that have multiple incidences and it is quite uncommon for them to have a sole episode of depression or hypomania in bipolar disorder in a lifespan. The duration of the symptom-free periods increase with the advancement of age. The existence of major symptoms may well forecast long-term psychosocial dysfunction. The danger of a relapse is high in patients with mood-incongruent psychotic symptoms.

The disorder, being untreated, can cause a variation of damage in the life of the sufferer. Therefore, it is imperative that the disorder be diagnosed as early as possible and treatment plans be started at an early stage as well.

There are varieties of treatments for Bipolar disorder. Some may fail but some are successful in controlling the disorder. Oftentimes the patients easily give up on their medication thinking that the drugs have failed them when in fact there are drugs that need a certain amount of time before it works. Compliance is also a major factor in the success of a treatment. Any lapse in the medication intake can easily allow a relapse of the disorder.

There are two stages of treatment: the acute and the preventive or maintenance stage. Acute stage treatment is intended to end the present depressive, hypomanic, manic, or mixed mood swing episodes. Preventive or maintenance treatment is for the continuation of the healing process to avoid or control future episodes.

Treatment is composed of medication, psychotherapy, and education. Medication is important for almost all patients throughout the acute and preventive stages. Psychotherapy aids both patients and their families in dealing with the more than the usual bipolar behavior of the patients. Education is also very helpful to patients and their families as they become more aware of the complexities of the disorder as well as how to manage it.

In any case, all treatments aim to decrease the incidence of episodes, prevent cycling from one mood stage to another, decrease and treat the intensity of acute mood episodes of depression or mania, and aid the patient as much as possible in between mood episodes.

Before any treatment is prescribed, the physician will first identify what had caused the episode and will assess the patient for any other emotional or medical predicaments that could get in the way of the treatment.

The following are medications and other treatments used to help individuals suffering from bipolar disorder:

? Mood stabilizers are the core medication treatment for bipolar disorder. These medications are efficient for short-term or acute episodes of depression and psychotic mania. It is also used for maintenance treatment. Lithium and valproate are mood stabilizers that are commonly prescribed. These two drugs act to stimulate the liberation of glutamate (a neurotransmitter).

? Atypical Antipsychotic drugs are prescribed treat schizophrenia. This drug also has mood stabilizing characteristics which is helpful in the treatment of bipolar disorder. Olanzapine, risperidone, quetiapine, ziprasidone, and ariprazol are the five standard medications for the bipolar mania and mixed episodes. Quetiapine is only utilized for the treatment of mixed episodes. These drugs may be used single-handedly or can be combined with mood stabilizers such as lithium or valproate. Furthermore, a blend fluoxetine and olanzapine is also accepted for bipolar depression treatment.

? Antiseizure medications are also utilized for the treatment of patients suffering from rapid-cycling and mixed episodes, mania, and for those who have suffered the consequences of substance abuse. Carbamazepine, lamotrigine, oxcarbazepine are the antiseizure medications usually used in helping patients suffering bipolar II disorder and rapid cycling.

? Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) is also an efficient treatment. This is ordered for patients suffering acute emotional stages or may also be utilized for maintenance.

? Sleep Management and Psychotherapy in combination with bipolar medications are also highly helpful in the treatment plan for bipolar disorder.

Consequences of medications may include increase occurrence of diabetes, high cholesterol, and weight gain. To diminish such risks, the patient is instructed to have a dietary intake that will include whole grains, foods that are low in saturated fats, foods low in sugar, fruits, and vegetables. These can help decrease the incidence of gaining weight, high cholesterol, and diabetes.

With vigilance and discipline in addition to a strong support of family and friends the individual who is suffering from bipolar disorder may well sail through without much difficulty during troubled times.

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Monday, 25 February 2008

Knowing the Difference between, Bronchitis and Pneumonia

Knowing the Difference between

Bronchitis and Pneumonia

Bronchitis and pneumonia is not synonymous. However, both are diseases affecting the lower respiratory system. Typically, it affects the airways going to the lungs, so it is imperative that a person should learn the major differences of the diseases to have a better understanding.

A severe lung infection is called pneumonia. The alveoli are filled with other liquid and pus. Thus the normal flow of oxygen is blocked. The blood is then getting less amounts of oxygen. In the absence of oxygen in your body, the cells fail to work properly. Proper treatment should be given, because less supply of oxygen and widespread infection can lead to death.

There are several factors which cause pneumonia, but the major cause of pneumonia is bacteria. The symptoms may include a headache, severe fatigue, loss of appetite, excessive sweating, skin is clammy when touched, and some degree of confusion.

- Streptococcus pneumoniae is a bacterium affecting twenty to sixty percent of adults and thirteen to thirty percent of children. This type of pneumonia is considered as community-acquired. Streptococcus classified as Group A or streptococcus pyogenes also causes pneumonia.

- Staphylococcus aureus is responsible for acquired pneumonias in hospitals affecting ten to fifteen percent of people. This is often linked with patients having a weak immune system and viral influenza.

- Another bacteria present in cases of community-acquired pneumonias, people having chronic lung diseases, and children having cystic fibrosis is the gram-negative bacteria.

- Viral causes include RSV (respiratory syncytial virus), HPV (human parainfluenza virus), SARS (severe acute respiratory distress syndrome), herpesviruses, influenza, and adenoviruses.

There are several types of pneumonia which you should also learn.

- Bacterial organisms cause atypical pneumonias including the walking pneumonia. A mild symptom like dry cough is apparent. However, hospital care is not needed.

- Aspiration pneumonia is a condition wherein the bacteria are present in the mouth. It is harmless if it stays there. But if gag reflex weakens, bacteria can penetrate your lungs causing the infection.

- Opportunistic pneumonia is harmless as long as the immune system is healthy. It can be harmful for people with vulnerable immune systems especially to illness and infection.

- Regional and occupational pneumonias are caused by exposure to chemicals. People who are exposed to cattle are at high risk of getting pneumonia due to anthrax.

Bronchitis is a disease affecting the bronchi. It is responsible for carrying the air from your trachea into your lungs. Inflammation due to irritation and infection can damage the cells on the bronchi areas. Normally, these cells contain cilia which remove and trap foreign particles that you breathe every day.

Blockage of the cilia causes obstruction on the airways increasing the irritation since the debris cannot easily flow. Mucus is then produced resembling to that of a cough. It makes the airways more vulnerable to infection and damages the tissue if irritation continues. Bronchitis has two types.

- Acute bronchitis can last for ten days. This is often accompanied by a severe flu or cold. Take note, bronchitis can start without any infection.

- Chronic bronchitis can last for three months or above. The symptoms are recurrent. So it must be always checked because it can threaten your life. This condition may also occur from a series attacks of acute bronchitis. It may also gradually develop because of inhaling dirty air or heavy smoking.

Viruses affect approximately ninety percent of people with acute bronchitis. Other cases are caused by repetitive exposures to irritants including smoke. This may develop chronic bronchitis. Using antibiotic is not effective because it cannot eradicate irritants or viral illnesses. It can only be effective with bacterial diseases. Moreover, you should never be confused of an asthma which produces significant amounts of cough and little wheezing. Often it is misdiagnosed as acute bronchitis.

The therapies that are most effective in treating bronchitis is being patient, avoid irritants, and maintain good nutrition. Some cases of viral bronchitis can last from eight to twelve weeks. Chronic bronchitis which is considered severe causes bronchi dilation. This makes the condition more susceptible to bacterial and severe infections caused by drugs.

It is very important to determine the differences between pneumonia and bronchitis. Health is very important thus proper diagnosis is essential for acquiring proper treatment.

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Saturday, 16 February 2008

Salt Therapy, a Natural Cure for Bronchitis

Salt Therapy, a
Natural Cure for Bronchitis

Many illnesses annoy millions of people around the globe. Getting sick is very costly especially nowadays. Medicines are expensive, especially those that are used for treatment regimens. And it's very sad to note that not all individuals are capable of paying their medical bills. In fact, many people die from different illnesses because they don’t have enough money to pay for consultation fees or even buy medicine.

Usually, the government offers health programs for the needy. You can search your locality for institutions or organizations that offer free medical services to less fortunate people.

Sometimes, taking a lot of medications can be harmful to the body. And that is probably why many people resort to going back to natural cures. Bronchitis, together with other respiratory diseases can be cured using the natural way.

Have you heard of Halotherapy? This is also called salt therapy or speleotherapy. In Europe, this therapy is highly documented. In the early part of the 19th century, speleotherapy was practiced in salt mines. And today, specialists are trying to replicate speleotherapy by using dry aerosol salt particles and minerals. These things are utilized to treat various types of respiratory diseases.

People who worked in salt mines don’t get lung diseases, and this was noticed by Felix Botchkowski. He was a health official who wrote a book about salt dust during the 18th century. He had a successor named M. Poljakowski who founded his own Salt Spa near Krakow. In World War II, salt mines were used as shelters; and it was noted that people suffering from asthma felt better there. As of today, salt sanatoriums can be found in Hungary, Austria, Romania, Poland, Russia, and European countries.

Salt therapy is a non-invasive and non-drug treatment of respiratory diseases including bronchitis. Drug therapy has its own advantages as well as disadvantages, and for people who want to stick with the natural means can make use of salt therapy. Medical researchers from Soviet Union are developing physical therapies to cut down on medicine costs and avoid side effects. Presently, Russia leads the development of physical therapies. A lot of clinical trials focused on salt therapy to treat chronic bronchitis and asthma. It is even proven clinically that salt therapy is very effective in treating all respiratory tract disorders.

The major cause of mortality and morbidity worldwide are respiratory diseases. Drug therapies usually have palliative effects; and drugs with steroids or corticoids have considerable side effects. And so there is a great need for a natural cure like salt therapy.

Here is a list of countries that acknowledge the use and effectiveness of salt therapy:

- Romania
- Poland
- Germany
- Austria
- Armenia
- Bulgaria
- Hungary
- Belarus
- Russia
- Ukraine
- Slovenia

These countries believe that salt therapy is a very important treatment fro chronic bronchitis and other respiratory diseases. It works well if you're taking a medication or not and there are no side effects. Asthmatic patients and pregnant women can use the therapy. In European countries, salt therapy is usually covered by public medical systems, making it easier for the less fortunate to avail of the therapy at a minimal or no cost at all.

The salinity differs from one sanatorium to another. There are also salt lakes with different salinity ranging from 9g per 1 to 320g to 1.

Now, it is possible to have the natural cure even in your own homes. An inventor from Romania developed a certain device that can reproduce salt therapy in a home environment. This device is very convenient and affordable. People having bronchitis and other respiratory diseases can hope for a better and natural way of treating their condition at home. The device is called air salinizer that uses natural salt.

Using salt therapy does not entail any risk and can be adapted to your living space. But remember, natural cures are not substitutes for any medical treatment. Consult your doctor first. Natural cures like salt therapy can greatly improve the life of a patient having bronchitis. With it, you can reduce antibiotics, steroids or corticoids, and decrease hospitalizations.

This is an alternative that you might want to try yourself. If your medications are not enough to address bronchitis and other respiratory diseases, then you can try the natural cure.

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Saturday, 9 February 2008

What Causes Drug Addiction

What Causes Drug Addiction

Why do some people choose to use drugs when they’re so bad for you? The causes of drug addiction are as varied as the amount of drugs that are available for use – both legally and illegally. There is no one cause for drug addiction just like there is no consistent profile of a drug user.

People who have a history of drug use or abuse in their families are at risk for drug addiction problems. It has been proven that children of alcoholics will exhibit addictive tendencies. Children of alcoholics or drug users generally have low self-esteem and see their parents escaping from problems using drugs. When they see this, their minds say that this is the way to act and they themselves become users.

There is also a biological basis for causing drug addiction. Drugs alter the brain’s chemicals and the way the brain functions. Drug addiction creates dependence in the brain by changing the brain’s reward functions – the part that reinforces certain behaviors.

Prescription drug addiction is caused by the person’s inability to function without the drug in their system. People become addicted to prescription drugs because they usually are taking them to overcome some type of pain. They begin to feel that if they are not taking their pills, the pain will return.

Some people are more prone to addiction than others. People who have low self-esteem, are often depressed, and who feel they have no control over their lives will often turn to drugs as a way to cope. They often feel they can’t please the people around them so they have to change themselves in order to fit in. The change is made easier by using drugs because the drugs transform them into someone and something that they are not.

Stress is often attributed as a cause of drug addiction. Life can be very stressful no matter who you are. Some of us are better able to cope with stress than others. Others still just look for an easy way to forget their stress – and that easy way is through drugs. Once the drug use starts, it’s often difficult to get away from it because the stresses will still be there once the high is gone, so the user feels he or she needs more drugs to cope. That type of cycle leads to addiction.

Finally, drugs are easily accessible. They are available in many places if you just ask around for them. Because of that easy access, it’s more likely that a person will begin using eventually becoming addicted.

The causes of drug addiction are wide and varied. The key to stopping drug addiction is to get rid of those causes before they become a problem.

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Saturday, 2 February 2008

Bipolar and Schizophrenia: Are Both Disorders the Same?

Bipolar and Schizophrenia:
Are Both Disorders the Same?

For years, psychiatrists and medical professionals have said that bipolar disorder and schizophrenia are two very distinct mental illnesses. This idea came from a world-renowned German psychiatrist named Emil Kraepelin. Eric Kraepelin has said that bipolar disease and schizophrenia are two very different mental disorders. Up until today, the separation of bipolar disorder and schizophrenia is still being practiced by psychiatrists.

However, you have to consider that bipolar disorder and schizophrenia is very difficult to distinguish from each other. Both have the same signs and symptoms and psychiatrist often makes mistakes when diagnosing a patient with one of the disorders.

Today, there are certain methods developed to clearly distinguish both diseases. Psychiatrists and brain specialists all over the world have determined that bipolar disorder and schizophrenia have distinct signs and symptoms where they can base their diagnosis from.

The first thing you have to consider is that patients with bipolar disorder can experience a schizophrenia-like delusions and hallucinations. However, bipolar disorder has a chronic form of the illness. However, it is still very difficult to distinguish both diseases from one another.

Schizophrenia disorder has been found that it also contains signs and symptoms of bipolar disorder, which includes depressive episodes and sometimes manic episodes. As you can see, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia is very hard to distinguish from one another. In fact, there have been several cases where psychiatrists and specialists have made a mistake in diagnosing their patients. There are some cases where severe schizophrenia disorders have the same signs and symptoms of bipolar disorders and even the same frequency of manic and depressive episodes.

Further studies and research have found that schizophrenia and bipolar disorder is a form of genetic illness. So, this means that finding out about the genetics of the person, psychiatrists and brain specialists can find a significant distinction of both disorders. Today, there are now available treatments for both disorders that can effectively help you in managing schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. The treatment for both disorders can be in a form of psychotherapy and is usually combined with medications that can change the brain's biochemistry.

The medications combined with the psychotherapy sessions can help in stabilizing the brain functions and lessen the effect of the signs and symptoms in your life. It is important to remember that bipolar disorder and schizophrenia is often misdiagnosed. This will also mean that the patient can be given the wrong medication for their illness. You have to consider the fact that there are different medications for bipolar disorder and in schizophrenia.

Today, one of the most popular medications given to schizophrenic is called Clorazil. This medication is specially made for schizophrenics in order for them to control their brain functions. On the other hand, people suffering from bipolar illness are usually prescribed with a medication called Lithium. Lithium is a very effective medicine that can prevent manic episodes from recurring. For fast cycling bipolar illness, the medicine usually prescribed by specialists is called Valproic acid. This is also a great medication for regular cycling bipolar illness.

It is often very hard to distinguish bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. This is why it is very important for you to choose a doctor, a psychiatrist or a specialist that is reputable in the field of mental diseases. By choosing the right doctor, you can be sure that you will be treated with the right treatment and medications with your illness. It is very important that both bipolar disorder and schizophrenia should be detected as early as possible in order for the treatment to be more effective.

You have to consider that both illnesses can mentally cripple you and make you an unproductive member of the society. By letting the mental illness develop without getting it treated, it will worsen in time and can significantly affect your way of life.

So, if you or a member of your family is showing early signs of manic or depressive symptoms, you should immediately consult your doctor about it. They will be able to refer you to a reputable specialist in brain disorders. The specialists will be able to determine if it is either schizophrenia or bipolar disorder and administer the proper treatment for the disorder.

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Sunday, 27 January 2008

Recognizing Drug Addiction

Drug addiction has many faces. Recognizing the signs of drug addiction is the first part of getting on the road to recovery. How do you know what to look for in trying to recognize drug addiction? The signs can be pretty obvious when you are looking for them.

A person with a drug addiction generally acts in an erratic manner and does things they normally wouldn’t do. Their moods can be quite unpredictable alternating between bouts of exhilaration or agitation and then exhaustion and lethargy. They may have trouble sleeping or will “crash” and sleep for long periods of time.

Drug addiction is often accompanied by depression, so look for a loss of interest in activities they used to find enjoyable and an abrupt drop in weight. They may hesitate to participate in gatherings or family events and begin distancing themselves from people they used to be close to.

Eyes that are bloodshot or that have a dazed or expressionless look can be a sign of drug use and addiction. They may appear to be daydreaming and may have to be spoken to several times before they answer you.

Drug addiction can also have some outward physical signs such as excessive sweating, flushed skin, or an unexplained rash. Inflamed nostrils or an excessively runny nose can indicate an addiction to an opiate such as cocaine. People who use methamphetamine – or meth – will have a sudden and dramatic loss of weight. They may lose their teeth and will most likely have open sores on their bodies.

Recognizing drug addiction in yourself is a much harder process. Because most people don’t want to admit that they have a problem, it’s much more difficult to come to terms with an addiction problem.

You may find that you have an intense, uncontrollable craving for a drug and feel like you can’t function without it. You always make sure that you have an ample supply of your drug of choice and become frantic when your supply starts running low. You might find yourself doing things you wouldn’t normally do when using the drug such as stealing or being promiscuous.

Your drug addiction begins to take hold of your life and you see it spinning out of control with no way to stop. You try to stop using the drug but repeatedly fail causing you to use even more to combat the feelings of hopelessness.

Recognizing drug addiction is important in so many ways. When addiction is present in your or someone you love’s life, it can affect your relationship sometimes so badly it can never be recovered. That’s why it’s essential that the healing start once you begin to recognize how the addiction has taken hold. Once you see the signs, you can get help and become drug free!

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