Chickenpox

 

Summary:
Chickenpox is highly contagious and most young children will catch it sooner or later. The blisters itch like mad and we have a treatment that will help.
Article Body:
Chickenpox is one of the ‘classic’ childhood diseases. Most children will catch it sooner or later.

Chickenpox is an airborne disease and is very contagious. The symptoms are:

-general mild flu like symptoms (headache, fever, tummy ache, and loss of appetite);
– followed a day or two later by hundreds of itchy, fluid filled blisters.

Once you have had chickenpox the virus is with you for life but kept in check by your immune system. However, the virus can flare up later in life in the form of shingles, especially if you undergo a period of stress.

Most cases occur in children younger than 10 and the disease is usually mild. Older children and adults often develop a more severe case of chickenpox.

Chickenpox can cause serious complications:

– a secondary infection of the blisters may occur if these are scratched and this can cause scarring.

– newborns are at risk of severe infection if the mother is not immune (i.e. she has not previously had the disease).

– other, rare, complications include encephalitis; Reye’s syndrome; and cerebellar ataxia.

Treatment:

As it is a virus, chickenpox can not be treated by antibiotics. In most cases a chickenpox infection can be left to run its course, however, it is advisable to treat the blisters to reduce the likelihood of them being scratched. To this end, it is advisable to trim the nails of young children and place scratch-mitts on babies to minimise scratching and reduce the chance of scarring.

Calamine lotion will help to ease the itching as will baking soda (bicarbonate of soda). When our toddlers caught chickenpox a friend suggested adding a little water to baking powder to make a paste and applying that to the blisters. As our son passed his chickenpox on to me I can verify that the baking soda does work! It was more effective than calamine lotion at reducing the itching.

Antiviral medicines have been developed and can help the fight against chickenpox if the medicine is started within the first 24 hours of the rash developing. For most healthy children antiviral medicine is not required, but teenagers and adults who are likely to experience a more severe dose, may benefit.

Others who could benefit from antiviral medicine are kids with eczema, lung conditions such as asthma, and those who have been prescribed steroids.

 

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Anticipatory Grief and On-going Sadness for Caregivers

Summary:
At one time the diagnosis of cancer, AIDS or COPD was a death sentence. Advances in medicine and treatment now sometimes place patients with these diseases in a chronic rather than acute condition, leaving the caregiver with a sense of on-going sadness, or “anticipatory grief.”

Anticipation in this context refers to the anticipation of an event in the future. Barring a miracle, the caregiver has a sure knowledge that death will occur in our loved one sooner rather than later. In anticipation of eventual death, the caregiver changes her focus from the hopes of a miracle cure to ensuring comfort and quality at life’s end.

Many of the caregivers I have worked with not only mourn the anticipation of death of a loved one, but also the end of their role in life. They are afraid of who they will become when they no longer bear the title of “wife”, daughter” or “caregiver.”

Article Body:
Anticipatory Grief and On-going Sadness for Caregivers
© Judy H. Wright, 2005 http://www.ArtichokePress.com

In 1969, Dr. Elizabeth Kubler-Ross published On Death and Dying and later went on to launch the Hospice movement in America. Even though her studies focused more on those who were dying than the caregivers that were left behind, her work has had enormous influence on the understanding of various stages of death and grief.

She described five distinctive stages of the grief process:
• Denial
• Anger
• Bargaining
• Depression
• Acceptance

Although not everyone progresses through these stages in the same order and not everyone experiences each stage, the feelings and emotions identified seem to be universal.

At one time the diagnosis of cancer, AIDS or COPD was a death sentence. Advances in medicine and treatment now sometimes place patients with these diseases in a chronic rather than acute condition, leaving the caregiver with a sense of on-going sadness, or “anticipatory grief.”

Anticipation in this context refers to the anticipation of an event in the future. Barring a miracle, the caregiver has a sure knowledge that death will occur in our loved one sooner rather than later. In anticipation of eventual death, the caregiver changes her focus from the hopes of a miracle cure to ensuring comfort and quality at life’s end.

Many of the caregivers I have worked with not only mourn the anticipation of death of a loved one, but also the end of their role in life. They are afraid of who they will become when they no longer bear the title of “wife”, daughter” or “caregiver.”

The overwhelming burden of caring, worrying and dedication will end with the death of a loved one. What will fill the void? Have they been strong for so long that when death does occur, they will collapse?

Nature demonstrates that almost everything occurs in cycles. Each individual experiences an endless flow of beginnings and endings. Much of our fear and grief stems from our uncertainty about the new beginning and if we will be able to handle it.

The more we can trust that with every ending is a new beginning, the less likely we are to resist letting go of the old. We play a part in choosing what the new beginning will be. We do not need to rush into anything. We have worked hard and with love, and we deserve to rest and regroup.

Trust yourself and trust nature that you will be guided in your journey. Each one of us goes through the cycles of life in our own way. We can see each ending as a tragedy because we will no longer have daily exposure and experiences with our loved one, or we can see it as a new beginning for everyone concerned.

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This article may be re-printed in it’s entirety as long as full credit is given to the author, Judy H. Wright. For a full listing of books, articles and tele-classes on this and other subjects related to the journey of life, please go to: http://www.ArtichokePress.com or contact Judy H. Wright at 406-549-9813

 

An Introduction To Eating Disorders

Summary:
Eating disorders are one of those groups of illnesses which aren’t always taken too seriously by the uninformed. The truth is that they can be devastating to the sufferer, both physically and mentally. Find out more so that you can recognize a problem before it gets out of hand.

Article Body:
Eating disorders are among those modern conditions which aren’t always taken seriously by the wider population, but which can have very serious effects for its victims. Indeed, far from being a minor problem which sufferers can solve simply by ‘pulling themselves together’, many of the eating disorders commonly seen are recognized psychological conditions which if left untreated can even turn out to be fatal. For this reason it’s very important to spot any early signs of eating disorders in yourself, your family, or friends and colleagues, so that treatment can be started while the problem remains relatively easily coped with.

No one knows for sure how many people are affected by the main disorders, namely anorexia and bulimia, as the official figures inevitably under report the true extent of the problem. One of the features of these conditions, and anorexia in particular, is a lack of awareness in the sufferer that they actually have a problem, and so they naturally don’t seek help. In the case of bulimia (binge eating compulsive eating), there is also often an element of guilt over what the sufferer acknowledges is inappropriate and uncontrolled behavior, again leading to an avoidance of treatment.

Bulimia is far more common than anorexia, with around 10% of women suffering from the former compared to 1% the latter. Among anorexics, around 10% of sufferers will eventually die as a result of the condition, and so should you spot any of the warning signs then medical advice should be urgently sought.

What is for sure is that eating disorders are more common than might be expected, and many consider the problem to be increasing in scope partly because of today’s mass media promotion of attaining perfect body images.

Anorexia Nervosa, or plain anorexia as it’s usually referred to as, is characterized by an unrealistic perception of ones own body. Sufferers will look into the mirror and see an overweight person looking back at them, however slim they may actually be. This constant desire to be thinner can lead to extreme dieting, excessive and obsessive exercise, and a preoccupation with food and avoiding it that can really take over a person’s life. In extreme cases, the self starvation will continue unchecked until it proves fatal, even when the physical evidence that the sufferer is seriously underweight should be overwhelmingly obvious.

The effects of bulimia, on the other hand, may not be visible to outside observers. This disorder is characterized by bouts of hugely excessive eating, followed by purging activities to rid the body of the excess calories. Sufferers will lose control of their eating completely during these periods, gorging themselves way beyond any level of food intake necessary for health. Common methods of purging include self-induced vomiting and overuse of laxatives, and this is usually followed by a sense of self loathing and repulsion at the lack of control shown. The sufferer may also self-starve as both a form of atonement for their behavior and as a self imposed punishment.

While bulimia is not as physically harmful as anorexia, the psychological effects can be devastating, leading to depression and even more serious outcomes including suicide in the worst of cases. The physical signs of bulimia which can be observed tend to be related to the purging methods used, and include regularly bloodshot eyes, swollen glands, and dental erosion. In the long term, the dangers include digestive system problems such as ulcers, weakness and exhaustion, and even heart problems.

 

Alzheimer’s Disease — How To Slash Your Chances Of Getting It

Summary:
Lifestyle changes can help reduce the risk of falling victim to Alzheimer’s disease. Here is what you can do.

Article Body:
Alzheimer’s disease is a form of dementia that causes gradual loss of a person’s mental abilities. It initially affects the cerebral cortex and often starts off as simple forgetfulness.

As the disease progresses, the person’s personality may undergo a complete transformation for the worse. The ability to think and function normally may be almost fully lost.

Is there a way to reduce one’s chances of getting the disease? There are no definite answers, partly because the disease itself is not fully understood yet.

It is thought that maintaining a healthy lifestyle with lots of mental activity may help prevent Alzheimer’s. There are no absolute safeguards against it, though.

Here are some steps you can take to minimize your chances of falling prey to this disease.

* Remain mentally active.
Mental activity stimulates the brain neurons. The more you use your brain, the more it creates new neurological pathways and connections. In this respect, the brain is quite like the rest of the body, because if you use it, it tends to remain healthy. And if you don’t, the brain deteriorates.

Do crossword puzzles and word games. Take up public speaking or debating. Learn to play a musical instrument. Learn about art forms you were not familiar with before and attend cultural and other functions.

Anything that engages your brain and keeps you alert and active may help.

* Get regular physical exercise.
The benefits of moderate physical exercise are well documented. Exercise results in increased oxygen flow to the brain and releases chemicals that make you feel good.

Plus, of course, exercise boosts your physical stamina and fitness levels. It helps reduce your weight, lowers your blood pressure and many other positive effects.

Go with any exercise that suits you, after taking your doctor’s advice. Choices include aerobics, gym workouts, tai chi, stretch exercises, yoga and more.

* Eat healthy food.
Your chances of getting Alzheimer’s disease are lower if you cut down on cholesterol and fat in your diet. That means, avoid junk food and eat lots of fruits and vegetables. The latter helps build up your brain cells. Besides, fruits and vegetables are rich in antioxidants which are supposed to be good for the whole body.

Foods like leafy vegetables, fish and nuts may be excellent. Consult a doctor or nutritionist and come up with a diet that suits you.

* Cultivate excellent family and social relationships
Having great relationships dramatically improves your experience of life. And there are many studies that show that longevity is linked to having good social relationships.

Involve yourself in hobby groups. Join a neighborhood walking club or canasta group. Go to block parties. Get active in community organizations. Go on weekend trips with friends. There are many ways to stay involved socially.

In the end, leading a well-balanced, healthy lifestyle will contribute immensely to your quality of life. And it can help slow or perhaps even halt the progress of Alzheimer’s disease in people who are predisposed to it.

 

Alcoholism Signs – Ten Warning Signs Of Alcoholism You Should Know

Summary:
Alcoholism signs – are there ten warning signs of alcoholism? Yes! Understanding alcoholism signs can help you determine whether there is alcohol abuse or dependency. Consuming a drink or two per day for healthy men and a drink a day for healthy non-pregnant women is generally considered acceptable consumption without health risks. However, as the amount of drinking per occasion or per week increases, one or more of the ten warning signs of alcoholism can develop as a result….

Article Body:
Alcoholism signs – are there ten warning signs of alcoholism? Yes! Understanding alcoholism signs can help you determine whether there is alcohol abuse or dependency. Consuming a drink or two per day for healthy men and a drink a day for healthy non-pregnant women is generally considered acceptable consumption without health risks. However, as the amount of drinking per occasion or per week increases, one or more of the ten warning signs of alcoholism can develop as a result.

Alcohol dependency is the most severe alcohol disorder. Two alcoholism signs associated with dependency are tolerance and withdrawal. Tolerance is the need for increasing amounts of alcohol consumption to become intoxicated. Withdrawal symptoms occur when alcohol intake is reduced or discontinued. Alcohol abusers are drinkers that may drink heavily at various times. Alcoholism signs for alcohol abusers can be related problems such as drinking and driving, violent episodes, or missing work or school.

In the USA alone, as many as 14 million adults are chronic heavy drinkers that abuse alcohol or are alcoholics. What is considered ‘heavy drinking’? According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, drinking more than the amounts shown below would be considered heavy drinking:

• For healthy men under age 65, consuming no more than four drinks a day nor more than fourteen drinks a week.

• For healthy women under age 65 or healthy men over age 65, consuming no more than three drinks a day nor more than twelve drinks a week.

What are ten warning signs of alcoholism? Here are alcoholism signs listed (in no particular order):

1. Drinking Alone
2. Making Excuses, Finding Excuses to Drink
3. Daily or Frequent Drinking Needed to Function
4. Inability to Reduce or Stop Alcohol Intake
5. Violent Episodes Associated with Drinking
6. Drinking Secretly
7. Becoming Angry When Confronted About Drinking
8. Poorer Eating Habits
9. Failure to Care for Physical Appearance
10. Trembling in the Morning

Alcoholism signs can also include the inability to remember portions of the events of the previous evening or feeling anxious in a social situation where alcohol is not available. As you may know, it can be called ‘problem drinking’ when it becomes ‘drinking that causes problems’.

Does heavy chronic drinking have health consequences? You bet it does. Chronic heavy drinking can result in serious damage to the liver, heart, brain and other vital organs. Such severe physical damage may irreversable and result in serious illnesses or even early death.

If the above ten warning signs of alcoholism help create interest in exploring possible alcohol addiction and finding help, the good news is that help is available. Consider contacting your physician, counselor or other qualified professional. Another time-tested source of help would be Alcoholics Anonymous. AA has local groups that meet regularly throughout the USA and other countries around the world. No matter how many alcoholism signs may exist, it is never too late to begin recovery from alcohol addiction. Obviously, the sooner recovery begins, the better.

Copyright 2006 InfoSearch Publishing

 

Cancer – Fifteen Warning Signs

Summary:
Losing weight at a rapid rate (among people not being on a diet), gasses, discomfort, digestive disorders, anorexia, recurring diarrhoea, constipation and other symptoms occurring most frequently in case of lung, stomach, kidney and large intestine cancers. If accompanied by a feeling of weakness, it can be a sign of blood loss or lack of proper elements building it. Know more warning symptomps of cancers.

Article Body:
Copyright 2006 Radoslaw Pilarski

1. Losing weight at a rapid rate (among people not being on a diet), gasses, discomfort, digestive disorders, anorexia, recurring diarrhoea, constipation – are the symptoms occurring most frequently in case of lung, stomach, kidney and large intestine cancer. If accompanied by a feeling of weakness, it can be a sign of blood loss or lack of proper elements building it.

2. Pain of unknown cause – long-lasting stomach-ache can be the symptom of large intestine cancer, lumbalgia can be the sign of kidney cancer, pain in the chest can result from lung cancer. Bone aches can be caused by metastasis.

3. Haemoptysis, long-lasting hoarseness (over 3 weeks), persistent cough or change of its character – can be caused by lung or larynx cancer.

4. Change in colour of moles and warts, ulceration and itching, ulceration of open wounds, burns and scalds can be the signs of skin cancer.

5. Excessive production of urine, backlog of urine, painful urinating, slow, time-consuming flow of urine, lumbago as well as backache can be the signs of prostate cancer.

6. Pain, vertigo, nausea, sight distortions (oversensitized sight, astigmatism), hearing impediment, upset balance and mental disorders can result from brain cancer.

7. Swallowing difficulties – can be a symptom of throat, larynx, oesophagus and stomach cancer.

8. Feeling of fullness in epigastrium, aches and digestive disorders – may be due to stomach cancer and other kinds of alimentary canal cancer, sometimes ovary cancer.

9. Blood in faeces, black faeces, alternating diarrhoea and constipation, mucus in faeces, narrow (pencil-like) faeces – are the symptoms of alimentary canal cancer, especially of large intestine and rectum.

10. Blood in urine (without the symptoms of urinary tracks inflammation), dysuria (compulsive urination, difficulties in urination) – can accompany the urinary tracks cancer.

11. Improper bleeding from the genital tracks, pink or dark-red vaginal discharges, hypogastrium and lower limbs ache can be the signs of vagina, uterine cervix and uterus cancer.

12. Marks on skin and mucosus membrane (lips, oral cavity, genitals): not healing ulceration, change in mark’s appearance, occurrence of new skin marks of some specific features (irregular distribution of pigment, vague line between the mark and healthy skin, quick growth of the marks, bleeding, dripping).

13. Breast tumour (by approximately 15% – 25% can be impalpable), ulceration, the retraction of nipple, asymmetrical nipples, change of size or the shape of a nipple, its swelling and the marks around it, enlargement of lymphatic glands in the armpit, extension of veins in the breast skin, ulceration of breast skin, shoulder swelling, flat efflorescene in case of the so called advanced inflammation nipple cancer – are often the symptoms of breast cancer.

14. Fever, tiredness, bones and joints ache, inclination to temporary anaemia and bleeding, impalpable tumour of abdominal cavity, as a result of spleen enlargement, that can be detected in gastro-bowel test.

15. Pain and pressure in the upper right part of stomach, tiredness, anorexia and at a further stage of rhe disease a palpable tumour in the upper right part of stomach, inclination to jaundice and bleeding can be the signs of liver cancer.

 

Cancer- The Real Facts

Summary:
Cancer has a fearsome reputation. Not without reason either. It is a disease that has not yet fully yielded to the skills and intelligence of medical scientists and doctors. And, as if the pain from the disease is not enough, the treatment for cancer, too, inflicts heavy suffering on the body.

Cancer is a disease characterized by uncontrolled and abnormal cell division. Cancer spreads in the body and destroys tissues when the cancer cells travel through the blood stream o…

Article Body:
Cancer has a fearsome reputation. Not without reason either. It is a disease that has not yet fully yielded to the skills and intelligence of medical scientists and doctors. And, as if the pain from the disease is not enough, the treatment for cancer, too, inflicts heavy suffering on the body.

Cancer is a disease characterized by uncontrolled and abnormal cell division. Cancer spreads in the body and destroys tissues when the cancer cells travel through the blood stream or the lymphatic system. The runaway growth of cells is caused by mutations to the DNA in the cells that makes the cells unable to control cell division. This mutation can either be inherited or acquired. The mortality rate in cancer depends on the type of cancer and where it develops.

Among cancers, lung cancer is the biggest killer, causing up to 3 million deaths every year worldwide. It affects the above-50 age group population most and is one of the most common types of cancers that occur in the Western countries. The main risk factor for lung cancer is smoking. Cigarette smoke, especially, contains several carcinogens. It is estimated that 80 per cent of all lung cancers are caused by smoking. The role of passive smoking in causing lung cancer is also being recognized by studies.

Another carcinogen that causes lung cancer is asbestos. This substance, which is widely used because of its fire-resistant qualities, causes a rare type of cancer called mesothelioma cancer. In mesothelioma asbestos lung cancer or asbestos cancer, malignant cells develop in the pleura, the outer lining of the lungs and the chest cavity.

The problem with asbestos cancer is that diagnosis is difficult. For one, the symptoms of mesothelioma cancer occur only 30-50 years after the exposure to asbestos. Second, the symptoms of asbestos lung cancer, such as shortness of breath and chest pain, are similar to those of many other medical conditions.

The incidence of mesothelioma asbestos lung cancer has increased in the last two decades. Still it is considered a relatively rare form of lung cancer, because the incidence rate is only 1 per 1,000,000 people. This could be as high as 7-40 per 1,000,000 in the industrialized nations. By contrast, the incidence of lung cancer is 1,000 per 1,000,000.

The common lung cancer treatments include surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy. However, the conventional treatment methods have not been very successful in the case of asbestos cancer, yielding only a median survival rate of 6-12 months after the presentation.

Again, surgery does not have much effect on small-cell lung cancer. A treatment method for lung cancer that has become increasingly popular in recent years is radiofrequency ablation. This technique is especially effective in destroying the cancerous cells inside the tumors. These cells are ‘cooked’ by inserting a small heat probe into the tumor. This technique is also non-toxic and causes very little pain for the patient.

However, there is hope for the cancer-affected. Scientists are developing new techniques of treatment, such as molecular targeted therapies, for lung cancer. Better and more effective therapies can be expected as scientists and researchers coax out more secrets from the human cells.