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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