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Showing posts from April, 2017

Treating Stomach Acid and Heartburn

When food is eaten, digestion actually begins in the mouth where the process of chewing, along with the production of selected enzymes, readies the food for swallowing and processing in the gastrointestinal tract. In order to perform its job, the stomach produces hydrochloric acid and some digestive enzymes to aid in the breakdown of the food that was just eaten. In order to activate the digestive enzymes that it produces, the stomach must produce acid. This takes place in the parietal cells. The stomach lining normally has special secretions which protect it from the corrosive effects of this acid. Unfortunately, the lining of the esophagus does not. Sometimes excess acid production, or mishandling of the acid that is there, leads to some of it reaching the bottom of the esophagus causing heartburn. There are numerous ways to deal with this “burning issue” . Regular Antacids Common over-the-counter antacids have been around for many years. Consisting of compounds such as calcium c

Travel Health Advice

Suffering from traveller's tummy is a fear many people have when visiting a foreign place, especially a developing county. Research shows that one in three people may be genetically susceptible to traveler’s diarrhea, caused by an E coli bacteria. “In the future, we might be able to do a quick test to determine if someone is susceptible and if so, the logical thing would be to give them antibiotics before they travel, to prevent them from getting sick,” says Dr. Herbert DuPont, co-author of the University of Texas study. In the meantime, the ‘boil it, peel it, cook it or forget it’ rule is sensible for visits to developing countries. To further guard against poor restaurant hygiene, Dr. David Shlim, medical director of Jackson Hole Travel and Tropical Medicine in Wyoming suggests ordering only freshly cooked dishes (like meat), avoiding reheated items such as lasagna or quiche and carrying a quick-acting antibiotic such as ciprofloxacin. Heart Smart Travel If you sit in a cra

Ultram, Side Effects and Addiction

Ultram is indicated for treatment of moderate to severe pain. It is an opiate agonist and works by changing the way the body senses pain. Patients who are in chronic pain and need around-the-clock pain can be prescribed the extended-release version of Ultram. Usage and Dosage of Ultram (tramadol) Ultram is prescribed either as a regular tablet or an extended-release tablet. The regular form of Ultram is generally taken every four to six hours as needed for pain control. The extended-release form should be taken once a day, at the same time each day. The physician will generally prescribe a low dose of Ultram and increase the dosage of regular Ultram approximately every three days if needed, the increase for extended-release is done, if necessary, every five days. Never take more than 300 milligrams of Ultram in one 24-hour period. This medication can be taken with or without food. Do take the medication with a full glass of water. Never crush, chew, break, or open an extended rel

Prevent West Nile Virus

The West Nile virus season has arrived. The season begins in spring and runs through the late fall. However, in the warmer states, West Nile virus is a year-round threat. The West Nile virus was first discovered in the 1930s in the West Nile district of Uganda. Now, the US has been plagued with this deadly disease too. This is the time of year to worry about mosquito bites. The West Nile virus is an infectious disease, which is spread to humans by mosquitoes. This virus can cause serious problems. Symptoms can be as mild as a slight headache or as severe as respiratory failure. Discover how to prevent virus-carrying mosquitoes from breeding and biting. Become educated about the signs and symptoms of this potentially fatal disease. Knowing this information could be a matter of life and death. Birds are the Culprits and Mosquitoes are the Carriers The West Nile virus actually infects birds, not mosquitoes. The mosquito is merely the vehicle that carries the virus from an infected bird

Sunburn Can Lead to Sunstroke

Summer can be a killer. Every year people die from too much sun or heat. A simple sunburn can escalate into heatstroke in a matter of hours. Heatstroke can be fatal. Keep summer fun by avoiding too much sun. Sunburn can turn deadly in less than 24 hours. Detecting and treating sunburn, sun poisoning, and heat cramps is important. However, recognizing heat exhaustion and heatstroke is critically important. Early detection and prompt intervention can save a life. Sunburn is a First Degree Burn Sunburn is a first-degree burn that causes redness, swelling, and pain. Fair-skinned people can burn in less than 15 minutes. Sun damage can cause wrinkles, premature aging, and darkening of age spots. Sunburn can cause cell damage that later leads to skin cancer. Usually, sunburn is more of a pain than a true medical problem. When sunburn sizzles, no treatment seems fast enough or effective enough. However, moist and cool compresses, topical treatments, and NSAIDs such as Motrin® are still c

Seven Alternative Hemorrhoid Treatments

Millions of people have hemorrhoids. In fact, according to the Mayo Clinic, about half of all adults by age 50 are affected. Because of the embarrassing nature of the topic, many suffer in silence, dealing with the itching, discomfort and bleeding that often accompany a flare-up. Hemorrhoid Symptoms and Causes According to the Mayo Clinic, “hemorrhoids, also called piles, are swollen and inflamed veins in your anus and lower rectum.” They form when the lower rectum is under increased pressure, causing the veins to stretch, bulge or swell. Hemorrhoid symptoms include painless bleeding during bowel movements, itching in the anal region, pain, discomfort, protrusions from the anus, swelling or lumps around the anal area, and leakage of feces. Hemorrhoids can be caused by the following factors: straining during bowel movements sitting for long periods of time on the toilet chronic diarrhea or constipation being over weight pregnancy, especially pushing during labor and delivery an

Screening for Severe Combined Immunodeficiency

Severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) is a genetic condition that is characterized by the absence of T lymphocytes; T lymphocytes are specialized white blood cells that develop in an infant’s thymus gland and then move into the bloodstream where they support the work of other immune cells. Even if other immune cells are present in normal numbers – which is the case in some forms of SCID – they cannot function properly without the assistance of T cells. For example, B cells cannot effectively produce antibodies without receiving appropriate signals from helper T cells. SCID occurs in one in 100,000 to one in 40,000 live births, but among certain populations it is much more common (among Navajo children, for example, the incidence of SCID approaches one in 2,500). SCID manifests in different forms – all of them caused by mutations in at least 10 different genes that produce at least four variations of the disease – but in all cases there is a paucity of T cells with a resultant los

Scoliosis, or Spine Curvature, is Much More Than Back Pain

Scoliosis is a curving of the spine which bends sideways or away from the middle. While it may sometimes be caused by conditions such as cerebral palsy or muscular dystrophy, the cause of the most common form of scoliosis is still unknown. Most cases are mild, but severe cases can be disabling. Scoliosis is believed to have many causes, but the principal ones can be arranged into these three groups: Congenital (present at birth) scoliosis is due to a problem with the formation of the spine bones (vertebrae) or fused ribs during development in the womb or in early life. Neuromuscular scoliosis is caused by problems such as poor muscle control or muscle weakness, or paralysis due to diseases such as cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, spinal bifida or polio. Idiopathic scoliosis has no known cause and is by far the most common form of scoliosis. Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis (AIS), which develops in young adults around the onset of puberty, represents approximately 80% of idiopat