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Living With Chronic Low Back Pain

(category: Medicine, Word count: 296)
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They tell me my diagnosis is pretty common, that millions of Americans suffer with low back pain. I've also heard that next to the common cold, missing work from low back pain is the biggest reason. With these two major known facts, I then wondered why getting the correct treatment for low back pain is so difficult.

After being diagnosed with a herniated disc and bone disc degenerative disease, I was immediately scheduled to see a surgeon. The surgeon suggested I have back surgery. To make a long story short, after a lot of prayer, a lot of thought, and after talking to many people who already have had surgery with my same diagnosis, I chose against surgery.

After deciding against surgery, I found I was immediately cast in a different light, by my doctor, and the medical community in general. I found my pain was then not taken seriously. I felt disbelieved about how much I hurt. I actually felt like a drug addict when asking for something for the pain. It appeared my physician felt back surgery was the end all cure all to my back & leg pain.

To the contrary studies have shown, back surgery may actually cause more pain, complications, and even damage that requires more follow up surgery. Knowing physicians and surgeons are already aware of this, it really makes you wonder why they would put you at such risk. I wish some of these healthcare professionals would just once switch places with me for one day living with chronic low back pain.

As a chronic pain sufferer, I'm dedicated to helping other chronic pain sufferers who suffer from pain in any manner. For more information go to:

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Home Remedies For Puffy Eyes

(category: Medicine, Word count: 600)
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Eyes that are bright and sparkling attract attention. Puffy or red eyes are lack luster and make you look tired and ill. Puffy eyes are one of the most common beauty problems. Puffiness is often caused by the accumulation of fluids around the eye. Besides sleeping on your face, crying or lack of sleep, if you're menstruating or pregnant, retaining food, eating salty food or drinking water less than two hours before bed, you're likely to wake up with puffy eyes.

Rubbing aggravates irritation and tends to make your eyes puffier. For immediate relief, do not rub your eyes when you see them puffy.

Nature's best ingredients for removing puffy eyes are cucumber and potato. Take a small raw potato or cucumber, slice it into small pieces and blend to a fine consistency. Strain the excess juice and reserve the pulp. Make a cup of basil tea and mix it well with the pulp. Pour the mixture into ice tray and freeze it. Whenever you have puffy or red eyes, dab the ice cube on your closed eyes for some time. Rinse your eyelids gently and pat dry.

Use your middle finger and gently press along the eyebrow and around the eye socket. This will stimulate the lymphatic system and help drain excess fluid. The swelling will reduce.

Take a rounded metal spoon and place it in your fridge for few minutes. When it gets cold, take it out and hold the rounded portion against your eye for few minutes. This helps in reducing the puffiness.

To make your red or sore eyes look healthy and sparkling, mix 2 tbsp water to a glass of mineral water. Bathe your eyes in this solution 3-4 times a day.

Apply a cold compress on your eyes such as cloth dipped in cold water or ice cubes in a wash cloth. When the cloth feels warm, dip it in cold water again or add more ice. Repeat this at least 4-5 times or till you feel the puffs under your eyes drained out.

Applying cold tea bag wrapped in tissue on closed eyes makes the skin taut and reduces puffiness. The natural astringent in tea - tannin works wonders.

Strips of grated potato or cucumber placed under the eyes helps to reduce the swelling.

Soak cotton wool pad either in iced water or ice cold milk. Lie down with dampened pads over your closed eyes. Replace the pads when warm. Continue to till puffiness reduces. This also brightens the whites of your eyes.

By drinking enough water, your body will stay hydrated and will reduce the puffiness around your eyes.

Make sure you get enough sleep with regular timings. Inadequate sleep shows on the eyes more than on any other part of the body. Sleep soothes the eyes and relieves fatigue.

Dip cotton wool pads in ice-cold rose water. Use them as eye pads over closed eyes.

Stiffly beat few egg whites. Add a drop or two of witch hazel. Apply to the face and under the eyes with a brush. This will make the skin feel tighter and look less puffy.

If you keep your head in an elevated position while you sleep, it discourages fluids from settling around your eyes.

Avoid eating salty foods like chips, pickles, drinking alcohol that retains fluids that settles in the eye area.

The reader of this article should exercise all precautions while following instructions on the recipes from this article. Avoid using if you are allergic to something. The responsibility lies with the reader, not the site, and the writer.

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Niacin For Heart Health And Cholesterol

(category: Medicine, Word count: 63)
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My friend Joe is one of those clever people. He works hard, has a lot of hobbies, a beautiful family, is resourceful and has a positive attitude. Joe had high cholesterol but brought his cholesterol down from 240 to 180.

His secret? Here is his "recipe" for bringing his cholesterol down:

Cholesterol Lowering Program (courtesy of Joe)

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Massage Oil For Massage Therapy

(category: Medicine, Word count: 447)
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Massage oil is a great addition to any massage experience. It enhances not only the relaxing nature of the massage therapy session, but also adds to the healing benefits of the massage.

The use of massage oil is not a new idea. Homer, Plato, Socrates - all of these men referenced the use of massage oil as an aid for pain relief in their writings. Today, pain relief is one reason for using massage oil. Others include the facilitation of more gliding massage, skin nourishment, and the promotion of good health in general.

How do you choose a massage oil for massage therapy? First, choose an oil that is cold-pressed or expeller-pressed. Both of these have had the least amount of processing and will last longest. Prevent them from spoiling by keeping them in a cool place and adding 300 IUs of vitamin E per pint of oil monthly. In addition, essential oils, or oils that are distilled from various plants, roots, or seeds) can be added. Seek the aid of a professional to advise on a good combination.

Some oils to choose from for massage therapy include:

* Sweet almond oil - Anti-inflammatory, light, and good for most skin types, especially dry skin.

* Apricot kernel oil - Reduces stress, provides balance, and good for all skin types, especially prematurely aging skin.

* Avocado oil - This is a heavy oil best diluted at a rate of 10% in a lighter oil.

* Borage oil - Good for eczema and psoriasis, it penetrates, regenerates, and stimulates.

* Castor oil - A thick sticky oil good for drawing out toxins and for use on scar tissue. Best used in a poultice.

* Coconut oil - A thick, heavy oil that should be warmed before use. Good for cracked skin.

* Emu oil - Anti-inflammatory and used for arthritis, sore muscles, bruising, and eczema. May block pores.

* Grapeseed oil - Non-allergenic and good for all types of skin.

* Jojoba oil - A penetrating, anti-bacterial oil for eczema and acne.

* Kukui nut oil - Anti-bacterial, anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory that is light and has a slight warming effect.

* Olive oil - Has a warming effect and relieves stiffness.

Different skin types will fare better with different types of oil. As such, it will be a good idea to experiment with different kinds for massage therapy. If one doesn't work, try another. Also, some may personally prefer the smell or the effects of one massage oil to another. The selection of massage oils is pretty wide; so there is bound to be a preferred one for just about anybody.

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Dealing With Tuberculosis Tb

(category: Medicine, Word count: 402)
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Tuberculosis (TB) is an illness related to the respiratory system. It is a disease caused by a germ mainly found in your lungs. It is a contagious disease which means you have to take extra precaution for the safety of other people. By the continuous sneezing, talking and coughing these air-borne germs can spread to other people. It can turn into a dangerous disease if proper care is not taken. Due to lack of symptoms, doctors have distinguished it into TB infection and Active TB. TB infection provides no symptoms and is not contagious. On the other hand Active TB can make you sick and is very contagious. Even though we may think TB is no longer a threat it has still taken many lives. Millions have died even though we have proper medicines to prevent it. The need for proper care becomes very crucial for the survival of the patient. The symptoms remain dormant which makes the situation even worse.

As this is an air-borne disease, anyone can be infected. Once infected you may be in one of the two stages TB infection or Active TB (explained earlier). You can determine if you have TB when you have been tested for TB skin test (PDD test) and an X-ray of your chest. In the skin test the doctor injects you with a liquid, if it results in a bump; it is due to the TB infection. If the X-ray shows spots or shadow you may be suffering from this condition. If your immune system is very weak due to aging, HIV, malnutrition and other reason, this bacteria may just wake up to become active TB. In the earlier stages of TB, the immune system gives a good fight to kill the infection. The treatment for this infection can go on for years. TB can attack any part of your body including your joints, bones, urinary tract, central nervous system, muscles, bone marrow and lymphatic system. Therefore the signs and symptoms may vary depending which organ has been infected. There are some common signs and symptoms of TB which can help you deal with this problem. The early symptoms of active TB are loss of appetite, weight loss, fever and night sweats. Many a times these symptoms just do not make an impact causing chronic symptoms like coughing, chest pain and bloody sputum.

- Home Remedies for Tuberculosis

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What Is The Future Of Prosthetics

(category: Medicine, Word count: 446)
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The emergence of inventive new materials, engineering breakthroughs, and advances in microtechnology has served as the catalyst for innovation in modern prosthetics development. As a result of these advances, modern prostheses are more lightweight, more responsive, and more comfortable than models developed even just a few years ago. Wearers of prostheses have more options than ever before, allowing amputees to participate in life activities never before thought possible.

A number of new technologies are just beginning to become a reality for prosthetic wearers. Neuroelectronics is one of the industry's newest fields. Scientists studying cognitive control signals report that "eavesdropping" on neurons in the brain allow them to predict how the body will respond. The signals can be directed to a prosthetic brain, or electrical processing center, which interprets the signals and moves the prosthetic limb. For example, consider the individual who goes to reach for a book. As he decides to reach, he sends an invisible electrical signal to the brain that tells the body it needs to prepare to move. The brain receives the signal and decodes it, sending a signal to the right arm to extend and move towards the book. Scientists propose using these same mechanics to develop smart prosthetic devices. This entails tapping into neural signal pathways and using them to direct prosthetic limbs just as the brain directs natural limbs.

Sensor sockets are another new innovation in the field of prosthetic development. Sensor sockets are monitoring devices designed to serve as an interface between the limb and the prosthesis. The socket is comprised of a net of sensors that can detect information from the limb and transmit it directly to a medical facility for evaluation. The hope is that the information received from the socket sensor will allow rehabilitation doctors to evaluate the individual's condition and the performance of the limb. With time, doctors hope that the use of sensor sockets will be used as a means to maximize the effectiveness and comfort of the limb. The sensors could potentially allow for real-time adjustments in the performance of the prosthetic, thereby improving a patient's quality of life and enhancing patient treatment.

In addition to these two exciting new emerging technologies, progress continues to be made in the comfort and construction of current prosthetic devices. Incremental improvements in the flexibility, cushioning, and rotational ability of modern artificial limbs increase a prosthetic's comfort and functionality, allowing prosthetic wearers to come closer to feeling like they are wearing a natural limb. And as the quality of prosthetics increases, prosthetic wearers are more able to resume activities previously made difficult by their lack of a natural limb.

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Cutting Prescription Drug Costs

(category: Medicine, Word count: 445)
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There are a number of ways to cut prescription drug costs-without sacrificing safety or effectiveness. Try these tips:

(*) What's In A Name?-Finding generic versions of name-brand drugs can cut costs by a significant percentage. For instance, people who take one of the more popular cholesterol-lowering drugs could save about $175 per prescription if they stuck to the generic versions.

(*) Finding Generics-Your pharmacist or doctor can tell you if the generic version of a drug is readily available in the U.S. You can also check with groups such as 1-800-USAVERX. The company gets drugs from FDA and World Health Organization (WHO)-approved facilities overseas. These markets do not have the same pricing regulations and patent laws as those found in the U.S. As a result, the company can offer generic versions of name-brand drugs-even if those generic versions are not available in U.S. pharmacies-at lower prices. Additionally, it offers name-brand drugs at significant discounts (about 60 percent) compared to U.S. prices.

For instance, Nexium is sold in the U.S. at a price of about $420 per 100 pills. The company offers the same pills for about $320. The generic version of the drug sells for about $200. Similarly, those taking a name-brand arthritis drug that sells for about $260 in the U.S. could get the same drug for about $180 from the company. The generic version would cost about $105. In addition, people can visit the site for discounts on Lipitor, Plavix and Fosamax.

The site also carries lower-priced versions of brand-name HIV/AIDS drugs as well as generic versions of the drugs that are not available in the U.S. The site gets its HIV/AIDS drugs from the same companies that sell the drugs to the Clinton Foundation's AIDS project.

All the drugs offered on the site are priced lower than they are on the Medicare prescription drug plan and it offers the most popular medications for your pets as well.

(*) Safe Alternatives-The company deals only with drug facilities that are approved by the FDA and the WHO, meaning the safety and efficacy of its drugs are strictly regulated. Additionally, the brand names it offers are identical to the brand names available in the U.S. Also, the company only deals with people who have prescriptions from doctors.

(*) An Ounce Of Prevention-Taking steps to control your health may also help control your drug costs. Talk to your doctor about ways to manage your condition or to prevent health problems from happening in the first place. Simple things, such as exercising regularly and eating a balanced, lower-fat diet, could help keep you and your wallet in shape.

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How Food Allergy Can Kill Or Save You

(category: Medicine, Word count: 596)
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Allergies may seem quite a nuisance but few know that it is actually an attempt by our body to save our life! Allergies are our immune systems response to food allergens that can harm the body. People can be allergic to a whole lot of things, a wide range of things in fact, from pollens to cheese, to dust. Reactions are also wide range. Some only exhibit skin reactions such as rashes and itchiness while others report on physiological reactions such as nausea and breathing difficulties.

Allergic reactions are actually caused by our bodies attempt to neutralize the foreign substance through antibodies. This process releases a substance called histamine, which in turn causes the allergic reactions.

One of the most common types of allergy is food allergy. There are, in fact, millions of people who suffer from this ailment. In addition to being largely inconvenient, food allergy can be life-threatening. Unfortunately, finding out what food you are allergic to can only be done through the process of hits and misses. There is no clear cut procedure or diagnostic test that can tell you outright to what food you are allergic to. And like the diagnostic process, there is also no clear-cut procedure on how to treat food allergens. Although there are medicines that will help ease the symptoms and physiological reactions brought on by the allergens, there are no drugs that can completely get rid of the allergy.

Often, food allergens only cause mild symptoms such as itchiness, appearance of rashes that spread all over the body, itchy eyes and runny nose, bouts of sneezing and coughing, vomiting, diarrhea and earaches. While these symptoms can cause you a day's work at the office, they are not exactly dangerous to your health. There are allergic reactions though that are so severe that it will impede your breathing. This occurs when the mouth, throat and the bronchial tubes swell so much that your breathing area gets blocked. This condition can be accompanied by rashes in the body and a really swollen face.

What is really difficult about dealing with food allergy is that you do not know just how much can you take and how your body will react when it ingests a certain amount. In addition to taking care not to ingest the type of food that you are allergic with, it is also good to determine early on if too much of the food allergen can cause your death.

Here are some of the common food allergens. Take a look and see if the food you are allergic on threatens your life...

Peanuts is perhaps the most dangerous of the lot, not because of the bodily reactions that it can cause but because peanuts are often used as hidden ingredients in a lot of food mixtures. Because of this, people who are allergic to it are often caught unaware.

Another food used as hidden ingredients in so many food mixtures is soy. People should be really careful in eating foods that they are not familiar with especially if they know that their reactions to these foods are severe.

Fish and shellfish can cause severe reactions in some people including difficulty in breathing and nausea.

Milk allergies are also quite common. It involves an allergic reaction to casein, lactalbumin and lactoglobulins, which are all proteins found in milk. Allergic reactions to milk can range from something as mild as rashes to severe cases such as wheezing, asthma, rhinitis, pneumonia and anaphylaxis.

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Is Your Employer Giving You Asbestos Cancer

(category: Medicine, Word count: 382)
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There is some evidence that family members of workers heavily exposed to asbestos face an increased risk of developing mesothelioma. This risk is thought to result from exposure to asbestos fibers brought into the home on the shoes, clothing, skin, and hair of workers.

How High is the Risk for Cancer?

Not all workers exposed to asbestos will develop diseases related to their exposure. The risk of developing asbestos-related diseases varies with the type of industry in which the exposure occurred and with the extent of the exposure. Asbestos that is bonded into finished products such as walls and tiles poses no risk to health as long as it is not damaged or disturbed in such a way as to release fibers into the air. When asbestos fibers are set free and inhaled, however, exposed individuals are at risk of developing an asbestos-related disease.

How does smoking affect risk?

Many studies have shown that the combination of smoking and asbestos exposure is particularly hazardous. Smokers who are also exposed to asbestos have a greatly increased risk of lung cancer. However, smoking combined with asbestos exposure does not appear to increase the risk of mesothelioma.

Asbestos diseases are said to follow the trail of exposure. That means that wherever people have received asbestos exposure, regardless of their trade, age, sex or race, they are at risk of cancer and other diseases.

Unfortunately, the effects of asbestos on the human body were known to be deadly for years by the companies who employed the 'greatest generation' and made hundreds of millions, if not billions, of dollars off of their backs. But instead of taking simple steps to alleviate the problem and save the lives of thousands of their workers, they choose to do nothing and continue to make a "healthy" profit with a "deadly" product.

A life-threatening illness is terribly emotional. It has a broad impact and affects many people - family, friends and co-workers.

Many employers even went so far as to hide the truth from their workers and their families. And because the normal latency period for Mesothelioma is 20 to 30 years, many got away with this for years.

We urge you to find out more about Asbestos, and know your legal rights today!

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