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Health

Animal Allergies

By on March 20, 2012 in Diseases, Health, Prevention with 0 Comments

Allergy to Animals

Virtually, all animal fur or feathers can cause allergies in people. However, it is required to share common environments for long periods with these animals for a person with a genetic predisposition to develop allergies true allergic reactions to them. Therefore, the animals most frequently involved in allergies in humans are the dog and the cat for being the most live with him as pets.

Allergy to these animals (cat and dog) occurs in approximately 15% of the population. However, the percentage rises to over 20% for people with asthma. In general, cats are more allergens that dogs (frequency and severity).

Certain animal proteins found in saliva, dandruff (scaling of the skin) or in the urine of an animal may be allergenic for humans. People are not allergic to the hair itself from an animal as many believe. These proteins derive from the skin or are dried and pulverized (in case of urine and saliva) and are carried by the air as very small dust particles, which will eventually contaminate the interior of homes and the dust of those houses, and generally, the more time spent in that house the animal, the greater, proportionally the concentrations of these allergens in the home. These allergens are airborne and can be contacted by the surfaces of the eyes or respiratory tract (nose, bronchi) causing allergic symptoms there or even in locations distant from the site of entry of these particles. The skin may also react directly with allergy (hives or itching) in contact with these allergens, especially those in the saliva of these animals. While there may be delayed reactions (more than 12 hours), symptoms usually occur within minutes after contact with animal allergens (direct contact or by air). For some people, symptoms can develop over several hours and be more severe 12 hours after it has ceased contact with the animal.

The most frequently reported symptoms are rhinitis (sneezing, itchy nose, mucus, liquid, nasal blockage), with or without conjunctivitis (redness, whining, itchy eyes, etc..). However, the reactions may be more severe: asthma (bronchospasm and difficulty breathing, with coughing, phlegm in the chest, etc..) Or may even cause urticaria, angioedema (swelling of various body parts), contact dermatitis , generalized pruritus or anaphylaxis (severe reactions to attack various organs or body parts, with or without low blood pressure or shock).

Treatment

The best treatment for cat and dog allergy is to remove the animal from the home and avoid other types of contact whenever possible. The leave animals outside the home alone is only a partial solution, since studies have shown that pets in the courtyard houses still contaminate the inside slowly and may reach concentrations similar to allergens in homes with animals.

If your child is allergic (to others) and has rhinitis and/or asthma, he/she should not acquire a pet. Pets like rabbits, guinea pigs, mice, hamsters, monkeys and all kinds of birds (chickens, parrots, canaries, doves, pigeons, sparrows, parakeets, etc..). If they insist, try to choose pets without hair or feathers, though not so popular: turtles, crabs, fish, snakes, iguanas, chameleons, etc..

If for any reason, they decide not to dispose of the animal, (although this is not the most desirable), they can still do things to minimize contamination by these allergens in the home.

Preventive Measures

Keep the pet out of its fourth offensive. Since you spend many hours of sleep a day in the room, merely keeping the pet out of this room will reduce exposure significantly. Each time the animal enters, the room stops allergens, so the pet should stay out of the room (at least) all the time.

Keep your pet all the time outside the home. Buy or build them a house to protect them from weather and not have to put them in that cause.

Bathe with soap or shampoo at least once a week. There is recent evidence that bathing the animal weekly will reduce the amount of allergens that are distributed in the environment.

Brushing your pet’s hair on the outside as frequently as possible. You should not do the allergic person. This will help remove loose hair and allergens from your pet, reducing the amount that is deposited on the inside.

Wash or clean the house or pet cage with some frequency, this reduces the allergen especially in the urine of the animal, which is usually the principal source of allergen in small species such as rabbits, hamsters and guinea pigs.

A cat or dog produces a certain amount of allergen per week. This amount varies greatly from one animal to another. Allergens accumulate in areas such as carpets, mattresses, pillows and even on vertical and horizontal surfaces of a room. Since particles of allergens can penetrate fabrics, it is suggested that mattresses and cushions are placed in plastic sleeves with zipper to prevent the release of allergens when compressed.

The use of vacuum does not help much in the allergy problems home particles (dust, mites, fungi, animal dander) and that does not extract the dust from the underside of the carpet, and in fact can make them to stay in the air, unless it has high efficiency filter. Steam cleaning of carpets may be better than dry vacuuming, but this favors fungal growth underneath it, which may also be allergenic. The best solution is to have a tile or wood floor with removable mats can be washed.

A suitable preventive option to reduce aero-allergens in the indoor environment are home air filters because they reduce (not eliminate entirely) the allergenic particles suspended within the houses. These may help eliminate some of the pet dander and other allergens in your home.

Replace bedding and carpets with animal dander. It can take weeks or months for fabrics to eliminate allergens. In some homes, animal allergens may persist for a year or more after the animal has been removed. It is preferable to keep animals out of his room and bedding used and new carpet.

 

5 Tips to Stop Your Digital ‘Addiction’

By on March 20, 2012 in Health, Prevention with 0 Comments

In the bedroom

Life ‘connected’ to the Internet is essential for people who rely on it to keep themselves ahead of the competition.

However, this online ‘addiction’ to devices like your ‘smartphone’ or ‘tablet’, can affect your ‘offline’ lifestyle, believes Daniel Sieberg, product marketing manager for Google’s geolocation.

“There are people who abuse this technology, experience depression, loneliness, anxiety or problems with your partner, being so much time online,” says Sieberg.

Sieberg, author of “The Digital Diet ‘, lists some tips to keep a proper balance between your activity against a screen and your life with your friends and family.

“Do not take your smartphone with you to sleep. Though it has alarm functions, put it as far as possible and thereby avoid the temptation to wake up to see your cell . Take those five minutes to talk to your partner, look to the street, do something different, “says Sieberg, who joined Google a little over a year ago.

 

Measure your time online

During the day, Sieberg recommends that you should take into account how much time you spend looking at a particular site or social network.

“We often think: ‘The day has gone very fast and I have not done anything.’ Well, maybe in that, you’ve spent four hours on several websites, which you have not left anything worthwhile,” explains Sieberg , who visited Mexico City to deliver a speech to employees of the same technology.

 

At a meeting

How many times have you seen phones on the table in a restaurant or a cafe? This situation is not very polite in the digital arena, mentions Sieberg.

“If anything need to have your phone out, either because they are expecting an e-mail or a call, tell the other  person you are. If you do not expect anything, keep your computer in your pocket,” says the manager of Canadian origin.

 

Personal contact

In addition to e-mail, be sure not to lose the personal touch when making a business.

“You can do a whole negotiation by e-mail but I would suggest that those last five yards, which will give you full push towards the touchdown, do it in person. Never forget that a handshake or five minutes with someone can offer more knowledge of a person who two months of e-mail exchange, “Sieberg suggested.

 

Spend a day off

Sieberg recommends that within this ‘diet’ to maintain a healthy lifestyle, you sign out of your email and your phone for 24 hours.

“I suggest you to do it on on Sunday, where things may not have much impact right away or do not require your full attention. You will notice the difference in a short time and have more knowledge of what is happening around you and not only on your screen,” he says.

 

 

Allergic Rhinitis

By on March 19, 2012 in Diseases, Health, Prevention with 0 Comments

Allergic Rhinitis

Allergic rhinitis (AR) or nasal allergy is the most common allergic disease. It is estimated that 10 to 15% of the general population suffers from it, and, yes, it is the most common nasal condition. Depending on its intensity, it may be even disabling, or may reduce the quality of life of the person significantly, although the condition itself is not dangerous.

What is Allergic Rhinitis?

AR is an inflammatory condition of the mucosa (inner membrane) and internal structures of the nose that occurs in people of any age, but has a strong tendency to be genetic (inherited).

The cause of that inflammation is a reaction “learned” of the body, the nasal mucosa contact with protein particles, usually harmless, for most – which stimulates the production of certain antibodies, antibody “IgE,” which are directly responsible for the release of pro-inflammatory factors potent chemicals (histamine, etc.). of mast cells (cells of our defense system). Once produced and released these chemical mediators in the nasal mucosa, cause all the trouble of this condition.

What are your symptoms?

Its symptoms are varied, but predominantly rhinorrhea (runny mucus) forward or behind the nose into the throat, obstruction or nasal congestion, sneezing, usually hits long, and nasal pruritus or itching. Although these are the main symptoms, very often it is accompanied by one or more of the following complaints: itchy eyes, watery eyes, intolerance to light, headache in the fronto-nasal, dry nose, minimal bleeding or frank of the nostrils, crusted mucus, itching ears, feeling of fullness in the ears, itching of the palate and/or throat, “scratchy” sore throat or cough morning.

Most often this is associated with significant discomfort of the eyes, so it is better called Allergic Rhinoconjunctivitis in those cases. Also the vast majority of people who suffer, suffer for the well-defined periods of the year (seasonal), and fewer who suffer continuously (Perennial).

In most cases, it has a history of allergy in general by one or two family branches, i.e. Allergic Rhinitis is an inherited genetic or well defined. Rather, what is inherited is the willingness or ability to create allergies, one or the other. But that’s not all, it takes constant or repeated exposure to inhaled or ingested protein particles with well defined biochemical characteristics, which we call allergens, to start or “wake up” the phenomenon of allergy.

Among the most common allergens are pollens from grasses, certain trees, and weeds, house dust, the epithelium (hair) of animals, dust mites, mold spores, insect particles, or even some foods. Most sufferers are allergic to Allergic Riniti many of these allergens.

Treatment

This depends on the degree or intensity, of whether solely or seasonal perennial, and what and how many allergens are responsible. However, the treatments always include drugs that suppress the major annoyances such as antihistamines, which remove most of the discomfort and for which there is great variety, even often associated with decongestants to improve the effect, especially if predominantly nasal obstruction. Depending on the case, can also be used anti-inflammatory steroids or type of cortisone, either applied directly into the nose or by mouth.

Importantly, we do not recommend the use of cortisone injected high power and long lasting treatment of any allergy, due to the high probability of serious adverse effects in the long term.

In addition to drugs, treatment should include a specific environmental control, ie, should be avoided as far as possible contact with the allergen responsible for allergy, it is necessary if any perfectly identified by means special test.

When allergens responsible are likely to significantly reduced, or eliminated entirely, while reducing the need for frequent or continuous use of drugs, and can avoid the need for immunotherapy. This form of treatment is reserved for those with moderate or severe allergies to allergens little or no avoidable (such as pollen and house dust), and as long as the control of the discomfort is difficult, in spite of adequate treatment, or when the long-term prognosis is bad, as the set of Allergy studies performed.

How Does Immunotherapy Work?

Immunotherapy involves the application within the skin those allergens to which the individual was allergic, in the form of aqueous dilutions, through repetitive injections, with a sustained rate, dose and slowly but progressively larger, and by time ( generally 3 years). There are different schemes (in frequency or rate of increase of dose) apply, as appropriate, this will have to define the specialist. This treatment system able to induce immunological changes (production of antibodies and specialized cells) reached “lock” in the end the allergic reaction was natural that, with greater or lesser degree of effectiveness. In most cases the block is full and sustained for many years or for life, but there are cases where desensitization is incomplete or you tend to lose relatively quickly. In general the higher the intensity of allergy are lower the chances of a cure.

Speaking in percentages, when the rhinitis starts in childhood, about half of cases go into remission (“cure”) before 14 years of age, but more than half again have symptoms in adulthood , more or less severity. When rhinitis starts in adulthood, usually no longer removed (naturally).

Another important aspect to note is that Allergic Rhinitis is only one way to manifest respiratory allergies, and rarely the only manifestation is allergic to them, as is often associated with conjunctivitis, problems of Otitis Media, Sinusitis, Adenoids and Tonsils growth, or bronchial asthma. In fact, all these conditions may actually be complications from nasal allergy initially, which has not been ignored or has not been sufficiently effective treatments.

Most people with the rhinitis is relatively mild in degree and not significantly interfere with their normal activities, however, in many cases, although not as mild, tends to be minimized its importance, or it “learns” to live with the inconvenience, and importance is not given until the first serious complications occur such as ear infections and hearing problems, sinus infections, tonsillitis problems and adenoids or asthma, which require more complicated treatments (often surgical) and more expensive.

About half of those with allergic rhinitis or asthma also suffer few, or many years after the onset of nasal symptoms, so that, to some extent, be prevented the onset of asthma if it can stop the allergic process from the early years.

10 Good Reason for Not Smoking

By on March 17, 2012 in Health with 0 Comments

  • There are no benefits
  • Injures bronchi:  irritated and inflamed, it causes cough and phlegm
  • Damages the lungs: it facilitates the development of cancer.
  • Harms the heart, predisposing heart attack (infarction)
  • Damages arteries: easy to clog and interfere with movement.
  • Injures the throat
  • It not only affects the smoker, but also affects passive smokers. Your children may fall sick by inhaling the smoke
  • If pregnant women inhale smoke during pregnancy (active or passive smoking), it may cause severe harm to the unborn child
  • Your smoke is annoying for most other people
  • It is expensive

Excercise Asthma and Bronchospasm

By on March 17, 2012 in Dieting, Diseases, Health, Prevention with 0 Comments

Asthma and Exercise-Induced Bronchospasm

Up to 85% of asthmatics show symptoms of wheezing during or after exercise. In addition, many patients diagnosed with asthma but with allergies or family history of allergy have bronchospasm or tightness of the airways caused by exercise. Other symptoms include rapid heartbeat, cough, abdominal pain and chest tightness occuring five to ten minutes after exercise. For years, the inability to participate in athletic programs and / or recreational sports has been an obstacle for children and adult asthmatics. It was thought that asthmatics could not and should not take part in team sports and strenuous activities. Today, with proper detection and treatment, those afflicted with asthma and exercise-induced bronchospasm can do almost any kind of exercise, which is beneficial to your physical health as well as emotional well-being.

Why does it happen?

The outdoor exercise in cold and low humidity (dry air) tends to worsen symptoms as it is believed that both factors increase the heat loss from the airways. Nasal obstruction worsens exercise-induced asthma as the inspired air is moistened and warmed by the nose. Environmental pollutants (sulfur dioxide and IV), high concentrations of pollens and viral infections of the respiratory tract increases the likelihood and severity of exercise-induced wheezing.

Activities That Cause Wheezing

In general, exercises or sports that may trigger episodes of bronchospasm are those that require intense physical activity at moderate periods of time and mainly in open environments (such as basketball, tennis, racquetball, racing middle course, cycling races, etc) , however, deliberate and continuous exercise, with progressive increase of physical effort (aerobic), are less likely to cause problems (swimming, hiking, “jogging” low-impact aerobics, long distance running, etc.). .

It is possible, nevertheless, achieve a “tolerance” of the bronchial system to the IEA in most sports, with techniques of “warming” appropriate and adapted to each case, supervised by an experienced trainer.

Examinations

To properly diagnose this problem, the specialist is based on adequate clinical history, detailing the type of symptoms and variables of the exercise, as well as special breathing tests performed with instruments to measure air flow and lung capacity (spirometry) both at rest (without symptoms) and after undergoing various types and times of year. Sometimes asthma can be diagnosed definitively, even without apparent symptoms.

Treatment

Based on the degree of reactivity to exercise should make a careful selection of type of exercise or sport that suits you, and proper planning how. Most patients with asthma or exercise-induced bronchospasm and should benefit treated with appropriate medicines before starting the exercise, to enable them to participate in any activity they choose.

Swimming is often considered the sport of choice for asthmatics and those with a tendency toward broncoesapasmo for exercise because of its many positive factors: a warm, moist, and generally available throughout the year. Apparently, also the horizontal position helps to mobilize mucus from the bottom of the lungs, and helps tone the upper body muscles.

Other activities include sports recommended for asthmatics involving the use of short bursts and not very frequent energy, such as baseball, karate, wrestling, track and field career short distance, golf, and gymnastics.

Cold weather events (such as skiing and ice hockey) or continuous non-stop activities (such as basketball, field hockey or football) are more likely to induce bronchospasm in the airways. However, many asthmatics have found that with proper training and care, can excel as runners or even as basketball players. There is a long list of asthmatics who have achieved excellence in all sports, even making records and Olympic medals.

Drugs that can be used before exercise to prevent bronchospasm include salbutamol, metaproterenol, terbutaline, cromolyn, nedocromil and theophylline. However, it is very important for all patients with exercise-induced asthma that were made ​​at rest breathing tests to rule out the possibility that chronic asthma.

Other Helpful Hints

Warm-up exercises before competitions are very important, because they can induce tolerance to bronchospasm in these types of people. However, avoid or reduce the exercise when they have viral infections, when pollen levels and air pollution are high or when temperatures are very low.

One technique that often helps to reduce clogging of the airways is pursing ( squint) lips breathing during heating and during the exercise itself. For years, we have considered the asthma patient as unable to participate in athletic programs and / or recreational sports, which has been an obstacle for children and adults with asthma. Today, with proper detection and treatment, those affected with asthma and exercise-induced bronchospasm can do virtually any type of exercise, which usually results in better physical and emotional health.

 

Pollen Allergy (hay fever)

By on March 16, 2012 in Diseases, Health, Prevention with 0 Comments

Rain brings with it the right condition for many plants, native to the region such as weeds and wild grasses, to grow and flourish. At the beginning of the season, such plants start flowering and in about a month, release large amount of pollen particles in the air (with which they reproduce). The ‘pollen season’ extends up to three months.

Typically in our area, there are two rainy seasons, winter and of summer. This means there are two pollen seasons more or less coinciding with the spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November).

This high concentration of pollen in the air makes people with a hereditary allergic predisposition to have a greater possibility of sensitization in this time, or if you already have “alergizado” start their ordeal, with eye symptoms (conjunctivitis “spring”), nasal symptoms (rhinitis or sinusitis), or bronchial symptoms (allergic bronchitis or bronchial asthma).

Most people blame their troubles to “climate change”, however, temperature and humidity do not cause allergy by itself, but directly influence the concentration of pollens in the air at any given time.

The symptoms in affected individuals might differ, depending on their degree of allergy. In some cases it could become severe, even meriting prolonged or frequent hospitalization.

It is estimated that approximately 10 to 15% of the entire population in our country suffer from some degree of respiratory allergy, and most of these will be sensitive to pollens of weeds, grasses or trees, regardless of other “allergens.”

Unfortunately, despite the fact that this is a common problem, many people do not know that they have allergy, and is treated as if they have “cold” or respiratory infections, handled many times with antibiotics (often self-prescribed) even with poor or no results. 

So if you or your children often have eye symptoms, frequent nasal or frequent or continuous bronchial-pulmonary with every changing season (and if there is a family history of sinusitis, bronchitis, conjunctivitis or asthma), you are most likely to be suffering from  “hay fever” or pollen-induced respiratory allergies. You must discuss this possibility with your doctor or to a specialist.

Once the doctor confirms your suspicion, after a series of tests, your doctor may rely on a specialist in allergies to find the specific causes in each case,  and decide on the best treatment.

It is now possible to cure many allergic respiratory problems, if treated in an appropriate manner. Treatment need not affect the quality of your life at all

 

Ways to Prevent Allergy

By on March 16, 2012 in Health, Prevention with 0 Comments

Ways of Preventing Allergy

Prevention of allergies has been of interest for decades to allergy specialists and their patients. Since allergies and asthma are presented by families, special efforts must be taken by allergic or asthmatic parents to prevent children from contracting them. Although allergies can not be prevented in a uniform way, recent information suggests that there are steps an allergic family can take to delay or reduce the occurrence of allergies in their infants .

Preventing Food Allergies

The main strategy to prevent food allergies is to delay exposure to potentially allergenic foods, as newborn infants may be more susceptible to food sensitization older infants.Recommended breast feeding at least four to six months. In infants who are not breast-fed, or to supplement breast milk be used protein hydrolyzate formulas such as Nutramigen and Alimentum instead of soy-based formula or milk, as these protein hydrolysates have shown to be less sensitizing.

Solid foods should be delayed until six months old. When infants are six to twelve months of age may enter vegetables, rice, meat and fruit to their diets. Each meal should be introduced one at a time and parents and caretakers of the child can identify and eliminate any foods that cause a reaction. After the child turns one year old, you can add milk, wheat, corn, citrus, and soy every two weeks or every month. Finally after two years of age may be considered eggs, peanuts and fish. This diet has been shown to reduce or delay the food allergy and eczema in infants of allergic parents.

Prevention of Inhalant Allergies

Animal studies suggest that there is great risk of becoming allergic to substances in the air which the animal is exposed shortly after birth. Similarly, the development of mite allergy in children has been linked to the amount of early exposure to dust mites. Furthermore, the development of allergy to cats in children is associated with the presence of a cat at home birth.Although definitive data are lacking, this suggests that certain steps that control in an aggressive manner to the mites can reduce the occurrence of allergy. These include using plastic covers on pillows and mattresses, washing bedding in hot water every seven to ten days, avoid high indoor relative humidity, and, optimally, remove carpets, upholstered furniture, and objects that keep dust the fourth of the infants. In a similar manner, infants from allergic families should not be exposed to pets in the house during the first years of life in an attempt to prevent the subsequent development of allergy products.

Asthma Prevention

Since allergies can develop asthma, it is not surprising that infants exposed to small amounts of dust mites during infancy are less likely to develop allergic asthma. Then, the aggressive control of mites should reduce the occurrence of asthma and allergy of the upper airways.

Also, exposure to pets during infancy may increase the risk of developing asthma. In addition, maternal smoking during pregnancy is associated with increased wheezing in infancy in children of smoking and exposure to passive smoking has been shown toincrease asthma and other chronic respiratory diseases in childhood. It is therefore very important that infants not exposed to second hand smoking prenatally or during childhood.

Finally, the respiratory infection is a common trigger of asthma and may initiate it. Thus, maneuvers that reduce the frequency of respiratory infections in infancy, such as breast feeding and avoiding childcare for very young children may be useful in preventing asthma.

Conclusion

You can not completely prevent allergies in young children with the knowledge we have today, although the cellular and genetic engineering promises hope for the absolute prevention in the future. Meanwhile, parents with allergies or asthma can make environmental changes and use prevention strategies discussed to help at least reduce or delay the occurrence of allergy and asthma in children.

Mechanisms of Cough

By on March 16, 2012 in Diseases, Health, Prevention with 0 Comments

Cough

Coughing is a response to irritation of the nerves known as cough receptors found in the upper and lower airways. The cough receptors are particularly concentrated in the throat and the major branching points of the tracks tract. They are also found in the sinuses, ear canals, ear drums, esophagus, abdomen and wall of the heart and lungs.

Mechanisms of Cough

These cough receptors may become irritated by multiple mechanisms, including mechanical means such as pressure, by the irritation caused by chemical contaminants in the air such as ozone or sulfur dioxide IV, or by the inflammatory response causing agents allergies (called allergens) or infections like a cold or other virus. Upon stimulation of these receptors, it sends a message to the cough center in the brain, which in turn sends messages to the chest muscles, diaphragm and abdominal wall to contract. This process starts coughing. Coughing is a reflex that can also be produced or inhibited voluntarily.

The cough is the “watchdog” of the lungs, protecting them from dangerous intruders or internal enemies. Consequently, coughing serves to protect our airways keeping them open so you can breathe. It has good and bad effects: while a cough helps clear the airways of mucus, foreign matter or toxic substances may also spread infection and be uncomfortable. abnormalities or alterations in cough reflex may lead to ineffective cough. This could be caused by damage to the cough center in the brain, as certain medications can cause it or tumors that press on him. Ineffective cough may also be due to neuromuscular disease or injury caused by surgery of the abdomen or chest.
During a cough, deletes the contents of the respiratory tract by several mechanisms. The high airflow in the airways causes them to breathe out foreign material and mucus. Also, during the forced exhalation reduces the size of the airway, thereby compressing the secretions of the smaller airways and within the larger airways where the air flow can exhale foreign matter. Finally, there is a rattle or hiss that occurs during coughing causing a vibration of the airways, which literally shakes the mucus in the airways.

Evaluation

In most people, the cough usually begins suddenly and lasts briefly. It is commonly caused by viral infections of upper respiratory tract, and resolves on its own within 7 to 14 days. Any cough that lasts more than three or four weeks is considered chronic and should be evaluated by a doctor.

The cause of chronic cough can usually be determined by a physician who performed a thorough history and physical examination, paying particular attention to the following areas: nose, mouth, throat, ears, sinuses, neck, chest and heart. The doctor will ask specific questions on the duration and type of cough, any exposure to environmental smoke or personal history of smoking, environmental and occupational exposure, and any history of allergies, asthma, sinusitis or infections of the upper airways.

Certain information may be particularly helpful to the physician in making a specific diagnosis such as:

  • Features of cough: dry, wet, metal, such as seals, hissing, barking, nausea, choking or horn
  • Triggering events: exercise, sleep, cold air, irritants, laughing, crying
  • Appearance: seasonal, going to sleep, sleep, awakening, begins suddenly after eating, present in childhood
  • and mucus production: quantity, color and consistency.

If the doctor witnesses the coughing can also provide evidence of their cause. If the cough may not be reproduced in the office, you might want to record on tape or video cough so the doctor can hear or see.

Causes and Complications

The most common cause of cough that lasts one to two weeks is the common cold. Common causes of chronic cough are postnasal drip, asthma and sinusitis, all of which can be triggered by allergies. Other causes include gastroesophageal reflux, chronic bronchitis, drug reactions, bronchiectasis (bronchial tubes damaged and enlarged), infections, environmental irritants and psychosomatic causes (due to the conscious or unconscious). Among the less common causes include: cystic fibrosis, foreign body, tumors, pneumonia, birth defects, heart disease or immunodeficiency, among others. It is not unusual to have more than one cause for the cough. If you have a chronic cough, be sure to consult your doctor to determine the cause (s) (s).

Depending on the history and physical examination can be performed several diagnostic tests, especially for patients with chronic cough. These may include a chest radiograph, a breast x-ray or CT scan, tuberculosis tests, examinations of skin allergies, lung function tests or provocation, exercise, esophageal pH probe to measure acid reflux, blood tests, bronchoscopy, barium swallow, electrocardiogram (ECG), sweat test and / or sputum examination.

The cough can be quite uncomfortable, causing irritation of the larynx, trachea and bronchi, and insomnia. The cough involves vigorous muscular activity, which generates high pressure within the chest cavity. This high pressure can lead to complications, including muscle damage, broken ribs, temporary loss of urine, and disruption of surgical wounds. Serious complications rarely occur as a collapsed lung. It is important that your doctor accurately diagnose and treat a chronic cough to prevent these complications.

Treatment

Since cough is a symptom and not a disease, successful therapy depends on the specific therapy of the underlying disorder. For example, cough due to asthma should be treated with anti-asthma. Cough due to sinusitis should be treated with antibiotics and cough due to allergic rhinitis with antihistamines or steroid nasal sprays. Cough caused by gastroesophageal reflux improve with treatment of reflux, and cough induced by drugs (eg, due to ACE inhibitors) is solved by not managing them. Cough due to birth defects may require surgery. Cough due to environmental irritants is best treated by avoiding or eliminating irritants. Sometimes, if no cause can be identified clearly, treat cough with specific drugs can serve as a diagnostic test, if the cough is resolved.

In adults, narcotic cough suppressants are an effective temporary treatment, other prescription medicines for cough can also be effective.

Dextromethorphan, a non-narcotic medication is found in many cough preparations sold without a prescription is also effective. However, suppression of cough in patients with diseases of the airways of the lung may be, however, dangerous because it leaves the airways unprotected. Antihistamines do not suppress the cough, and well-controlled studies found that glycerol expectorant guaiacolato no more effective than a placebo, or sugar water. In children, there are no established guidelines for the use of narcotics, including codeine or dextromethorphan as a cough suppressant.

Most cough preparations sold without prescription are combinations of cough suppressants, expectorants, decongestants and antihistamines. Combinations treat different symptoms, so read labels carefully . The pills without prescription with local anesthetics may help the symptoms of cough. The most important thing is to see your doctor if cough persists for more than two weeks.

Western fast food and the waistline surge in India

By on March 14, 2012 in Health with 0 Comments

Every lunchtime at a McDonald’s on the corner of one of central New Delhi’s biggest streets, queues of hungry young patrons, often four-wide and unruly, snake towards the counters.

The majority of those standing in line are under 30, most are in Western dress, and almost all, in their choice of conversation and style, are identifiably part of the much-fabled booming Indian middle class.

The only exceptions are the cheaply dressed office assistants who arrive bearing orders for McSpicy wraps or McVeggie burgers for their superiors back in the nearby corporate buildings.

“My elders say ‘don’t eat at McDonald’s because it’s not good for your health’ but I don’t listen to them,” said 20-year-old student Salman Khan as he left the store on Janpath with a friend. “It’s cheap and tasty.”

Drawn by a growing and increasingly wealthy population of young people in India, McDonald’s aims to increase the number of its outlets in the country from about 200 to 1,000 in the next five years.

Yum! Restaurants, which owns the KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell brands in the country, will open 100 new outlets this year in India and also aims to have 1,000 restaurants by 2015, most of the them selling fried chicken.

“We are going to grow very quickly on the basis of young, nuclear families stepping in, and more and more people moving away from traditional cooking,” McDonald’s India managing director Vikram Bakshi told AFP earlier this year.

“We are quick, hygienic, clean and are seen as part of global culture.”

Western fast-food in India has never been more popular, with its image as something fresh, young and sophisticated burnished by huge marketing budgets that push localised versions of international best-sellers.

The Big Mac in Hindu-majority India, where eating beef is taboo, has become the chicken Maharaja Mac; in KFC, fried rice dishes are sold alongside Zinger burgers and Popcorn Chicken.

“We are very focused on young people. Our core target is young adults, the under 30s, and that also includes teens,” Dhruv Kaul, director of marketing at KFC India, told AFP in an interview.

“In the last couple of years, our marketing has increased. We have more and more on television and massive spillover.”

The result can be seen on the KFC India Facebook page, he says, where you see “umpteen requests asking ‘when are you coming? when are you opening here?’ There is a lot of latent demand.”

KFC “is very aspirational in smaller towns… the awareness of the brands is there and they’re waiting to join the party.”

As well as its favourable demographics and openess, India has a strong culture of eating on the run at street-side stalls and snacking on greasy deep-fried dishes, such as samosas or pakoras.

Add all this together and it is not hard to see why the country of 1.2 billion people is seen as a sort of Eldorado by the fast-food industry.

“Asia is the hottest area in terms of growth so there are bound are to be more brands coming out here,” Bakshi from McDonald’s said.

“The market is so large and so wide and is growing at such a great pace that I believe today more people coming in only helps the category of food services. It allows us collectively to reach across to the consumers.”

But the increasing consumption of processed food that is high in fat and sugar is causing worries that India is importing the Western disease of obesity, creating a ticking public health bomb that the country can ill-afford.

While undernutrition is rampant — more than 50 percent of children are stunted due to malnutrition, according to a 2008 study in The Lancet medical journal — the over-fed middle class is growing in numbers and in trouser sizes.

A November 2010 study by the National Diabetes, Obesity and Cholesterol Foundation of India found that one in three children in private schools in New Delhi were obese, compared with one in ten in government schools.

The average daily intake of fat per person rose by a third in urban India from 1972-73 to 2004-05, figures from the National Sample Survey Organization show, and is expected to have increased further since then.

“Obesity is emerging in India which has serious implications for metabolic health in the future,” researcher Seema Gulati told AFP.

“Schoolchildren are attracted to the way it (junk food) is advertised,” she said. “They feel it is something that is high status. They want to try it out.”

The warnings about the future impact are multiplying.

A major 2010 study called “The Rise of Asia’s Middle Class” by the Asian Development Bank warned that in the next 20-30 years Asia will be faced with “an increasing number of chronic diseases on a scale previously unseen”.

These include cancer, heart disease and diabetes, which are linked to the adoption of high-fat, high-sugar diets coupled with sedentary lifestyles involving little physical activity.

“Casual empiricism suggests that the urban middle class has become more sedentary as it has come to rely more heavily on motor vehicles, raising levels of obesity,” it stated.

In another study published last month, the International Federation of the Red Cross focused on the “double-edged scandal” of the co-existence of malnutrition and obesity.

Study Shows that 1 in 3 Adults in the U.S. is obese

By on March 14, 2012 in Dieting, Health with 0 Comments

One in three American adults is obese, a national level that has stayed the same in recent years, said a recent study.

About one in six children and teenagers are also obese, according to the Journal of the American Medical Association report which showed that obesity remains a significant problem in US society despite efforts to combat it.

“Obesity prevalence shows little change over the past 12 years, although the data are consistent with the possibility of slight increases,” said the report.

Obesity is defined as a body mass index, or a formula based on height and weight, that is 30 or higher.

Examples would include a six-foot tall man weighing more than 222 pounds (1.82 meters and 100 kilograms) or a five-foot-seven-inch tall woman weighing 192 pounds (1.70 meters and 87 kilograms).

According to the JAMA report, 35.7 percent of US adults are obese and so are 16.9 percent of children and teenagers age two to 19.

When overweight people are added to the adult tally, the prevalence of overweight and obese people jumps to 68.8 percent of the US population.

“The good news from the report is that rate of obesity in US adults from 2003-2008 and 2009-2010 has not increased significantly,” said Nancy Copperman, director of public health at North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System in New York.

“This is a change from previous reports where obesity rates continued to rise. Public health efforts to address obesity may be having a positive effect,” added Copperman, who was not involved in the JAMA study.

However, more needs to be done to target such efforts in minority groups who tend to have higher rates of obesity than whites, she said.

For instance, obesity rates among white men were 36.2 percent in 2009-2010 compared to 38.8 percent among black men.

The obesity prevalence in white women was 32.2 percent compared to 58.5 percent in black women.

The data came from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey which included measured height and weight for about 6,000 adult men and women and 4,000 children and teens in 2009-2010.

Screening for Colorectal Cancer

By on March 11, 2012 in Diseases, Health, Prevention with 0 Comments

Key Points

  • Colorectal cancer is a disease in which cells of the colon or rectum become abnormal, divide without control and form a mass, called a tumor.
  • No one knows the exact causes of colorectal cancer. However, studies show that certain factors increase the chances that a person will develop colorectal cancer.
  • Health care providers may suggest one or more tests as screening for colorectal cancer. Analysis of fecal occult blood test (FOBT), sigmoidoscopy, regular colonoscopy, virtual colonoscopy, barium enema double contrast or digital rectal exam, they are all tests of this type .
  • People should talk with healthcare provider about when to begin having screening for colorectal cancer, what type of tests performed and the benefits and risks of each, and the frequency with which they must make appointments.
  • Are being studied new methods of screening for colorectal cancer, and genetic analyzes of stool samples.

What is colorectal cancer?

Colorectal cancer is a disease in which cells of the colon or rectum become abnormal and divide without control, creating a mass that is what is called tumor. (The colon and rectum are parts of the digestive system to extract nutrients from food and water and stores solid waste until it passes out of the body).

It is possible that colorectal cancer cells also invade and destroy the tissue around them. They can detach from the tumor and spread to form new tumors in other parts of the body.

Apart from skin cancer, colorectal cancer is the third most common types of cancer in men (after prostate and lung) and women (after breast and lung). It is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States after lung cancer. Although the rate of new cases and deaths resulting from this disease is declining in this country each year for the past 5 years, more than 145 000 new cases were diagnosed and more than 49,000 people died from colorectal cancer.

Who is at risk for colorectal cancer?

We don’t know what causes colorectal cancer. Certain factors that are linked to an increased chance of developing colorectal cancer are as follows:

  • Age -It is more likely that colorectal cancer occurs as people get older. Although this disease can occur at any age, most people with colorectal cancer are older than 50 years.
  • Polyps -Polyps are growths that protrude from the inner wall of the colon or rectum. They are relatively common in people over 50 years of age. Most polyps are benign (noncancerous), but experts believe that most colorectal cancers occurring in certain polyps are called adenomas.Therefore, the detection and removal of these tumors may help prevent colorectal cancer. The procedure to remove polyps is called polypectomy.Some people may be genetically predisposed to have polyps. Familial adenomatous polyposis is a rare, inherited condition in which hundreds of polyps present in the colon and rectum. Since people with this condition are extremely likely to develop colorectal cancer, are often treated with surgery to remove the colon and rectum called a colectomy. The rectum sparing surgery may be an option. Also, the Food and Drug Administration (Food and Drug Administration, FDA) has approved an anti-inflammatory drug, celecoxib, for the treatment of familial adenomatous polyposis. Doctors may prescribe this drug in combination with monitoring and surgery to control this condition.
  • Personal History -The person who has already had colorectal cancer have an increased risk of colorectal cancer a second time. In addition, research studies show that some women with a history of ovarian cancer, uterine or breast cancer have a higher than average chance of developing colorectal cancer.
  • Family history -Close relatives (parents, siblings or children) of a person who has had colorectal cancer are more likely to have this type of cancer themselves, especially if the relative had cancer at a young age. If several family members have had colorectal cancer, the chances increase even more.
  • Ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease , ulcerative colitis is a condition that causes inflammation and sores (ulcers) in the lining of the colon. Crohn’s disease (also called Crohn’s colitis) causes chronic inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract, most commonly the small intestine (the part of the digestive tract that lies between the stomach and intestine). People with ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease may be more likely to develop colorectal cancer than those without these conditions.
  • Diet -Some evidence suggests that the formation of colorectal cancer may be related to the consumption of a diet rich in red and processed meat and low in consumption of grains, fruits and vegetables. Researchers are exploring the role of these and other dietary components in the evolution of colorectal cancer.
  • Exercise -Some evidence suggests that a sedentary lifestyle may be associated with an increased risk of developing colorectal cancer. By contrast, people who exercise regularly may have a lower risk of colorectal cancer. 
  • Cigarette -Epidemiological studies show growing evidence suggesting that cigarette smoking, especially for a long time increases the risk of colorectal cancer.What are the screening tests and why are they important?

    The screening tests are tests to identify health problems before they cause symptoms. Screening for colorectal cancer can detect cancer, polyps, polypoid lesions, which have flat or slightly sunken abnormal cell growth, and other conditions. The polypoid lesions occur less frequently than polyps, but may also result in colorectal cancer.

    If the tests detect problems, diagnosis and treatment can be done promptly. Also, finding and removing polyps or abnormal cell growth in other area can be one of the most effective ways to prevent the formation of colorectal cancer. Also, colorectal cancer, in general, is more treatable when found early and before it has had a chance to spread.

    What methods are used as screening for colorectal cancer?

    Health care providers may suggest one or more of the following tests as screening for colorectal cancer:

    • The analysis of FOBT (fecal occult blood test, FOBT): This test detects blood in the stool (feces). Currently, there are  two types of FOBT. The first type, called stool guaiac test in which a chemical used to detect the presence of hemoglobin in stool. The heme portion of the protein part of the blood hemoglobin and contains iron. The other type of FOBT is called fecal immunochemical test, which uses antibodies to detect human hemoglobin protein in the fecesStudies have shown that this test may help reduce the number of deaths from colorectal cancer 15 to 33 percent when performed every year or every two years in people aged between 50 and 80 years.
    • Sigmoidoscopy : During this test, we examine the rectum and lower colon using a lighted instrument called a sigmoidoscope. Sigmoidoscopy can find precancerous or cancerous tumors in the rectum and lower colon which may be extracted or a biopsy can be performed. Studies suggest that carrying out regular examination in screening with sigmoidoscopy after he age of 50 can reduce the number of deaths from colorectal cancerThorough cleansing of the lower colon is necessary for this test.
    • Colonoscopy : During this test, the rectum and the entire colon is examined using a lighted instrument called a colonoscope. Colonoscopy can find precancerous or cancerous growths throughout the colon, even in the top of the colon, which could be missed by sigmoidoscopy. These tumors can be removed or biopsied. However, it is unclear whether colonoscopy can reduce the number of deaths from colorectal cancer. Thorough cleansing of the colon is necessary for this test and almost all patients receive some form of sedative.
    • Virtual colonoscopy (also called CT colonography): During this test, using a special x-ray equipment to produce pictures of the colon and rectum. A computer organizes these photos and create detailed images that can show polyps and other abnormalities. Since this test is less invasive than standard colonoscopy and does not require sedation, virtual colonoscopy may be more comfortable and faster. As with standard colonoscopy, you need a thorough cleansing of the colon before the test. Not yet known whether virtual colonoscopy can reduce the number of deaths from colorectal cancer.
    • Barium enema double contrast : This test consists of a series of radiographs of the entire colon and rectum. The films are taken after giving the person an enema with a barium solution and pumping air into the colon. The barium and air help to outline the colon and rectum on the x-rays. Research has shown that the barium enema double contrast may miss small polyps. It can only detect about 30 to 50 percent of cancers that can be found with a normal colonoscopy.
    • The digital rectal exam (digital rectal exam, DRE): In this test, the health care provider inserts a gloved and lubricated finger into the rectum to check for abnormal areas. The DRE can examine only the lower rectum. It is often included in routine physical examinations.

    Scientists continue to study the methods for screening for colorectal cancer, both individually and in combination, to determine their effectiveness. There are also ongoing studies to clarify the risks and prejudices of each test. See Question 5 where you see a table outlining some of the advantages and disadvantages, including potential harm of the screening of colorectal cancer.

    How can people and their health care providers decide which screening for colorectal cancer using and how often?

    Several large organizations such as the Brigade of the U.S. Preventive Services. States. (U.S. Preventive Services Task Force) (group of experts convened by the Public Health Service of the U.S.. States.), The American Cancer Society and professional associations, have established guidelines for screening for colorectal cancer. Although some details of their recommendations vary with regard to screening to be used and frequency of testing, all of these organizations support screening for colorectal cancer.

    It advises people to consult their health care provider about when will be start screening for colorectal cancer, what tests should be made, the benefits and risks of each test and the frequency with which appointments must be made .

    The decision to have a certain test will take into account several factors, including:

    • Sage, medical history, family history and general health;
    • Accuracy of the examinations;
    • Any damage of the review;
    • Preparation required for the review;
    • Required sedation during the examination;
    • Follow-up care after the test;
    • Convenience of the review;
    • Cost of the test and if covered by insurance.

    Do insurance companies pay for screening for colorectal cancer?

    Insurance coverage varies. It should be verified with the insurance company to determine benefits with respect to screening for colorectal cancer. Because virtual colonoscopy is a fairly new procedure, you may find refund policies are less clear than those of other tests. Medicare covers a number of screening for colorectal cancer to their heirs. Specific information about Medicare benefits is available on the Medicare website http://www.medicare.gov/health/overview.asp.

    What happens if a selective review of colorectal cancer screening shows an abnormality ?

    If a screening finds any problems, the health care provider will perform a physical examination and medical history of the person and his family are checked. Further tests may also be ordered. These may include x-rays of the gastrointestinal tract, sigmoidoscopy or, more often, colonoscopyThe health care provider may also order a blood test called a CEA assay to measure carcinoembryonic antigen, a protein that is found sometimes in greater amounts in patients with colorectal cancer. If an abnormality is found during a sigmoidoscopy, a colonoscopy can be recommended. If an abnormality is found during a standard colonoscopy, a biopsy or polypectomy could be done to determine whether cancer is present. If an abnormality is found during a virtual colonoscopy, patients will be recommended to get a regular colonoscopy the same day.



 

Cholesterol, All you need to know

By on March 9, 2012 in Health with 0 Comments

The constant tension and everyday stress causes a release of catecholamines and therefore increases lipid accumulation in the arteries. This is considered an important risk factor.

Stress is another cause of blood cholesterol levels and hence risk of arteriosclerosis (atherosclerosis). There is no doubt that excessive work or distressing, plays an important role in heart disease, such as circulatory disorders tachycardia or increased blood pressure observed in the anxiety states or job insecurity, are very harmful.

All people have individual characteristics. Some have characteristics of aggressiveness, ambition, competitive spirit, and indecisiveness can easily lead to hypertension, high blood fat and cholesterol and myocardial infarction. The constant work and imbalance due to lack of rest, in a climate of permanent tension and competitiveness requirements, can have devastating effects through biochemical substrates of the human organism. Among the various tests and studies in this field, made ​​with students and through which it was shown that a few days before final exams, their blood cholesterol levels had increased significantly compared to a few weeks before. This means that there are people who, by way of being and certain external characterology are more predisposed to suffer from the problems associated with cholesterol. Although the field of risk factors determined by the individual’s personality and lifestyle, there are many constraints to consider. It is interesting to note a few of them may be higher or lower risk.

HIGHER RISK: 

  • Changing life of a rural environment
  • Competitiveness
  • Financial problems
  • Separation or divorce
  • Death of a loved one
  • People with moonlighting
  • Days over 60 hours
  • Work or personal responsibilities
  • Feelings of dissatisfaction
  • Feeling slighted by someone dear
  • Retirement
  • Obsessions and phobia
  • An excessive desire for constant improvement

LOWER RISK: 

  • Female under 45 years
  • Marriage and family stability
  • Low competitiveness of the diet
  • Sleeping an average of 8 hours per day
  • Healthy lifestyle
  • Doing sport in a controlled manner
  • Work satisfaction
  • Desire to overcome without obsessions or competitiveness
  • Learn self-control
  • Have a full spiritual life
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