Seroquel – Treating Schizophrenia, Bipolar

Seroquel is used to treat the symptoms of several different psychotic conditions. Schizophrenia, manic depression, and bipolar disorder can be treated with this medication in adults and in children who are at least 10 years old.

Warning Before Taking Seroquel

Seroquel is not to be used in psychotic conditions that are related to dementia. Sudden death, pneumonia, or heart failure can occur in older adults with dementia-related conditions, if they take this medication.

Other conditions to discuss with a physician before taking Seroquel include liver or kidney disease, a history of heart attack or stroke, seizures or epilepsy, liver or kidney disease, thyroid disorders, a history of low white blood cell counts, high cholesterol or triglycerides, trouble swallowing, or a personal or family history of diabetes.

Administration of Seroquel

Always take this medicine exactly as it is prescribed. A patient's doctor will increase or decrease the dosage to ensure that the patient sees the best results from Seroquel.

It's recommended that Seroquel be taken with a full glass of water. For patients who are prescribed the extended-release tablet, it's important to avoid chewing, crushing, or breaking the tablet.

Side Effects of Seroquel

Seek emergency treatment if any signs of an allergic reaction are observed after taking Seroquel. For a patient who experiences an allergic reaction, symptoms can include difficulty breathing, hives, or swelling of the face, lips, throat, or tongue.

Common side effects associated with Seroquel can include dry mouth, runny nose, sore throat, dizziness, drowsiness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, constipation, blurred vision, headache, anxiety, agitation, breast swelling or discharge, weight gain, or missed menstrual periods.

Patients should inform a physician immediately if one experiences worsening or new symptoms such as a panic attacks, trouble sleeping, mood or behavior changes, or anxiety. Patients should notify a doctor if they start to feel impulsive, hostile, aggressive, restless, irritable, agitated, hyperactive, more depressed, or if patients have any thoughts regarding suicide or of hurting themselves.

Considerations About Seroquel

During the first 12 weeks of treatment, the patient's family or caregivers should be alert to any mood changes in the individual who is taking Seroquel.

When first taking an antidepressant, suicidal thoughts can occur, especially in patients who are younger than 24 years old. Patients should tell a doctor immediately if these thoughts are experienced or if depression gets worse instead of better.

Seroquel is classified as a FDA category C medication for pregnant patients. It is unknown if it is harmful to an unborn baby. Patients should talk to a physician if they are pregnant or planning to become pregnant during the course of treatment. Breastfeeding mothers should also consult a doctor before taking Seroquel.

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Stem Cell Tourism – A Scam or Frontier Science?

stem cell

This paints a picture of a scam being propagated using the desperation and hope of people who are willing to try anything to help themselves or their loved ones. “One thing you can be guaranteed is that these places will tell you exactly what you want to hear” says Dr. Andrew Fergusson of the Christian Medical Fellowship, an international union of doctors and academics committed to ethical medical treatment that abides by Christian values. “Clinics like these are using patients as Human Guinea Pigs to test and assess their treatments…they all want to break into the US market but their treatments are not recognised, yet anyway.”

Dr. J, who does not want to be named and runs such a clinic, said that the only reason he operates in Central America is because the regulation in the USA prevents him from getting any funding. “My research has shown real progress and has definite human applications for diabetes and cirrhosis of the liver, but I have been denied funding because I have not done enough clinical trials…its stifling medical progress and costing lives”.

Views of People Who Have Been To a Clinic

It’s not all doom and gloom, however. Paul is a 35-year old who suffers from multiple sclerosis, a condition that involves the break-down of the myelin sheaths on neurons in the brain, slowing nerve impulse conduction. He went to a clinic in China for treatment and he stands by it. “I went there wanting to die and left feeling hopeful for the future...I didn’t see an immediate effect but soon I could walk more easily and felt like myself again.” Although Paul’s story is heart-warming and raises hope about the potential of these clinics, his is just one side of the story.

Anya took her four-year old daughter to a clinic in Central America for treatment for cerebral palsy, a condition that can be massively debilitating. She paid almost an hundred thousand dollars for treatment over the course of six months and was told that there was a 95% chance of success. Four months after returning to Europe, her daughter’s condition worsened and made her quality of life even poorer. She tried to claim a refund but the clinic refused, saying that there is always an element of doubt with those sorts of procedures. “They took my money so easily but when I truly needed their help they turned a blind eye…I felt that I had been tricked.”

Stem cell treatment is still in its infancy and some clinics are trying to push the boundaries of science to find a cure. Whether this is for financial gain or an act of philanthropy is yet to be seen. But the best advice is given by Professor Anthony Hollander, who was involved with the world’s first successful transplant using a stem cell-derived organ. “If you feel you need to go to these clinics then please consider all the alternatives and research all available treatments and what they involve, only that way you can be sure that you have all the answers to make the best decision.”

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Anaemia and Neurological Symptoms of Vitamin B12 Deficiency

vitamin b12

With its central role in cell growth and energy production, vitamin B12 (also known as cobalamin) is vital to the functioning of every cell in the body. The importance of this vitamin means that B12 deficiencies can have wide-ranging and serious effects.

What Causes Vitamin B12 Deficiencies?

Vitamin B12 is an “essential” nutrient; this is, it must be obtained from food because it cannot be produced within the body. In the standard human diet, the major sources of vitamin B12 are animal products such as meat, milk and eggs.
Vitamin B12 deficiency can occur in the following situations.
  • when there is too little B12 in the diet. This is most commonly the case in vegans, who do not eat any animal products.
  • when B12 is absorbed poorly from the food in the digestive system. This has many possible causes, including lack of a substance called intrinsic factor, which aids B12 absorption; surgical removal of part of the intestine (e.g. to treat Crohn’s disease); and the side-effects of certain medications.
Some vitamin B12 is stored in the liver, but this supply is enough to last only three to five years. If the store is not replenished, B12 deficiency symptoms will develop.

B12 Deficiency Anaemia

Red blood cells are produced at a rate of millions every minute and are therefore rapidly affected by vitamin B12 deficiency. Reduced numbers of red blood cells leads to anaemia, with symptoms of fatigue, shortness of breath and poor concentration.

Another type of anaemia may occur in people with B12 deficiency due to a lack of intrinsic factor; this is termed pernicious anaemia. Symptoms of pernicious anaemia affect many parts of the body and include those listed above, in addition to:
  • a reddened, swollen, sore tongue (glossitis)
  • pale skin
  • weight loss
  • gastrointestinal problems, including diarrhoea
  • heart problems, including murmurs and an irregular heartbeat
  • neurological problems
  • frequent infections.
In pernicious anaemia, symptoms develop slowly over several years and so the diagnosis is often delayed.

Psychological and Neurological Symptoms of B12 Deficiency

A vitamin B12 deficiency that has persisted over a long period of time can begin to affect the nervous system. Psychological and neurological B12 deficiency symptoms include:
  • “pins and needles” sensations, tingling or numbness in the fingers and toes
  • clumsiness and unsteadiness when walking
  • memory problems
  • depression and personality changes.
People who have had severe pernicious anaemia for several years may develop a condition called subacute combined degeneration of the spinal cord. Those affected suffer progressively worsening weakness and loss of feeling in their legs, arms and body, along with impaired vision and loss of muscle control. The effects of subacute combined degeneration of the spinal cord may become permanent if the B12 deficiency is not corrected.

Treating and Preventing B12 Deficiencies

The symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency may be severe, but deficiencies can be treated by a doctor with a course of B12 injections, oral B12 doses, or sublingual vitamin B12 tablets, which are placed under the tongue to dissolve. Vegans who may be at risk of B12 deficiency should take a dietary supplement to avoid any possible problems.


The information contained in this article is for educational purposes only and should not be used for diagnosis or to guide treatment without the opinion of a health professional. Any reader who is concerned about his or her health should contact a doctor for advice.

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Human Eyes - Strange Facts and Health Related Problems

human eyes

As well as conveying emotion, eyes can reveal a surprising amount about a person’s health and age. Doctors always check eyes during a physical examination as they can reflect disease and other problems. In their book, Body Signs, Joan Liebmann-Smith and Jacqueline Nardi Egan discuss some interesting facts about eyes.

The Skin around the Eyes

The skin below the eye is thinner than in other parts of the body and for this reason it often appears dark as the blood is closer to the surface. If the dark circles are more pronounced than usual, this could be due to aging, medications such as aspirin, eczema, hormonal issues, allergies and excess time in the sun.

Bags and swelling under the eyes can be caused by crying, hormonal changes during menstruation and pregnancy, alcohol and certain medicines. A more serious cause is an underactive thyroid.

Occasionally small growths appear on the eyelids. These may be yellowish in color and are caused by fatty deposits under the skin.

Trauma to the nose can affect the skin around the eyes causing swelling, bruising and discoloring.

Problems with the Eyeballs

Many diseases and conditions can be identified by looking into someone’s eyes. Here are some of the problems to be aware of:
  • Bulging eyes can be a harmless family trait or a sign of an overactive thyroid. The excess hormones produced by the thyroid cause the flesh and tissues in and around the eye to swell, making it bulge out of the socket
  • Bloodshot eyes occur when the blood vessels in the eye dilate or become inflamed. This can be caused by crying, air-conditioning, alcohol, anticoagulant medication and ocular rosacea
  • Jaundice causes the whites of the eyes to turn yellow. Other conditions such as pancreatic cancer, sickle cell anemia and yellow fever can produce the same effect
  • A yellowish white arc around the iris is often seen in older people. These are formed from cholesterol deposits and don’t affect vision
  • Wilson’s disease which is caused by an excess of copper in the body is signified by the appearance of gold, rust or greenish gold rings in the cornea
  • Runny eyes can be caused by allergies and Grave’s disease. Dry eyes may be the result of a dry windy climate and reactions to medication such as antihistamines, antidepressants and antihypertensives
Doctors always check a patient’s eyes as they can reveal subtle signs of illness and disease. The skin around the eye can also indicate health problems and should be examined as well. While many eye problems are minor, others are a sign of a serious illness. For this reason, it is important to monitor any changes in the eyes and the surrounding skin.

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Super Immunity Foods to Improve Glandular Conditions

super immunity foods

The role of the glandular or lymphatic system of the body is primarily to help get rid of toxins and cleanse the body of debris, while lymph nodes carry cells used to fight infection. Other organs identified as being part of the lymphatic system, include the tonsils, spleen and thymus.

Understanding Glandular (Lymphatic) Conditions

There are a range of different health conditions which are associated as linked with problems in the glandular centre or lymphatic system, such as some forms of cancer. In Super Immunity Foods, Goulart (2009) highlights glandular conditions, to include the following:
  • hypothyroid disorder
  • hyperthyroid disorder
  • adrenal disorders
  • obesity
  • breast cancer
  • prostate cancer
  • osteoporosis
  • infertility
  • diabetes
  • bacterial infections
  • viral infection
Health conditions relating to the glandular or lymphatic system, which are particularly relevant today, include obesity and diabetes. Both diabetes type 2 and obesity are recognised as being linked, with many obese patients recognised as suffering from the former. Osteoporosis and infertility may also go hand in hand, in chronic, enduring cases of the eating disorder, anorexia nervosa.

Super Immunity Foods to Improve Glandular Conditions

In addition to mainstream approaches to treating various forms of glandular-related health conditions, there are a range of "super immunity foods" available. Goulart (2009) recommends super immunity foods which may be used to help improve those affected by glandular conditions, as follows:
  • carrots – liver-cleansing, detoxifying
  • citrus fruits – contain cancer-fighting lycopene
  • green foods – cleanse the body
  • sea vegetables – detoxify body and fight cancer
  • nuts and seeds – help fight cancer, boost immunity
  • apples – helps rejuvenate intestinal tract, fight cancer
Further ways to help improve glandular conditions, such as thyroid problems, identified by Brewer (2010) in The Essential Guide to Vitamins, Minerals and Herbal Supplements, include:
  • valerian (calming herb)
  • Siberian/Korean ginseng
  • kelp
  • zinc
  • selenium
  • vitamin B12
  • multivitamin and mineral supplement
However, it is important to always seek medical advice when suffering from symptoms associated with glandular or lymphatic system disorders. The family doctor will also be able to provide a referral to a specialised nutritionist who can offer advice on super immunity foods and benefits (as well as side-effects) of taking nutritional or herbal supplements.

As highlighted above, common health conditions affecting the glandular or lymphatic system, include osteoporosis, obesity, thyroid problems, diabetes and infertility. Super immunity foods helpful in terms of treating and/or preventing these conditions, involve eating plenty of carrots, citrus fruits, green foods, nuts and seeds, while health supplements, include vitamin B12, valerian, ginseng and multivitamins.

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Celiac Artery Compression Syndrome - Symptoms

celiac artery compression syndrome

Celiac artery compression syndrome is a rare abdominal disorder that goes by many names, including celiac axis syndrome, median arcuate ligament syndrome and Dunbar syndrome. The celiac artery runs from the stomach along the border of the small intestine, providing blood flow to these areas. It can become compressed by the median arcuate ligament that is attached to the diaphragm. When this happens, blood flow to the abdomen may be decreased when patients breathe out.

Unexplained weight loss and abdominal pain

Two symptoms are most commonly associated with CACS:
  • abdominal pain after meals
  • weight loss
The most common symptom associated with CACS is abdominal pain after eating. Many patients experience severe pain in the upper abdomen after a large meal, though small meals may also cause problems. Some people report that the pain worsens when they breathe out. Patients experiencing severe pain after eating often begin avoiding meals or cutting back on food to prevent this problem. According to Dr. Sherry Scovell in, this often results in significant weight loss, sometimes more than 20 pounds for some people. Some CACS patients also report nausea and vomiting after a meal that may contribute to weight loss.

One sign of CACS found when the patient is examined by a health care provider is a turbulent blood vessel in the abdomen known as a bruit. This can be found by listening to the abdomen with a stethoscope.

Treatment of CACS

According to Okkes Kirahan in an article on CACS, surgery is the first-line treatment. The median arcuate ligament is divided to release pressure on the celiac artery. Dr. Scovell reports about 81% of patients are cured of their abdominal pain and 67% are able to regain lost weight after surgery. However, surgery does not always fix the problem. People most likely to respond to surgery are:
  • between 40 and 60 years old
  • have abdominal pain after eating
  • have lost more than 20 pounds due to CACS

Although diagnosis of CACS may be difficult, patients should discuss any unusual symptoms with their healthcare provider. Anyone experiencing unexplained weight loss or abdominal pain should schedule an appointment for evaluation.

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