• Ideally, your doctor is your equal partner and advocate for your health. But sometimes, even a doctor you generally respect prefers different approaches than you do. That can be intimidating, but remember no one knows more about your body than you do. An insurance company or HMO policy can also complicate matters. You have to take the best advice and information from your health care providers, and work within the insurance system as best you can, but then make your own decisions according to what feels right to you. That’s just what Lynn did when she found herself facing a gynecologist who was a great believer in prescription hormones for almost every woman, and an insurance company that wouldn’t pay for the bone density testing that could help her make crucial decisions about what, if any, drug therapy her bones needed.
    Lynn was already a decade into menopause, and had long ago decided against hormone replacement therapy, when she began to get worried about her bone density. She’d never been bothered by any other menopausal symptoms, but now it seemed like she was reading more and more about the dangers of low bone density every day, and it was a topic of much discussion among her friends. Each time she went to the gynecologist, he urged her to reconsider taking estrogen, reeling off its benefits to bones and the heart. Then, at her last annual exam, the doctor told her she’d be a good candidate for the newest drug for low bone density, Evista, which had estrogenlike protective effects on the bone, without the increased risk in breast cancer that makes HKT unacceptable to many women.
    Lynn’s insurance plan wouldn’t cover a bone density scan. Her doctor was satisfied with a standard x-ray from an old knee injury from when she was perimenopausal that showed she had “good bones” (in a general sense). He just assumed she’d been steadily losing density since, given her age and her refusal of HRT. He sent her home with an Evista sample and a prescription slip.
    Instead, she had a bone density screening at a health fair at her neighborhood community center, where it cost only $35 for a DEXA scan of her wrist. She never even broke the seal on that Evista sample because the scan showed only a tiny loss in density compared to average. And who knew if a —.01 standard deviation even meant any loss at all in her particular case? She knew she was past the years when bone loss is usually most rapid, so she decided that she’d keep on with what she’d been doing for her health for years, with no pharmacological intervention. After all, it appeared to be working!
    Lynn has been a competitive synchronized swimmer for over twelve years, and counted her bone density as a bit of proof that swimming can help develop your bones, just as traditional weight-bearing exercises can. She knew the party line was that in the water you don’t have the same gravity pulling against your bones, and that without it, your bones wouldn’t be building in the same way. While she did believe that water workouts were much easier on the joints, she agreed with the articles in her swimming magazines about how anything that worked muscle against bone would build both muscle and bone. She knew for sure that it took a lot of strength and hard, hard work to make graceful water ballets look effortless.
    She began lifting weights twice a week years ago to build her strength for the lifts required in her sport. She is on the treadmill three or four times a week—any day she doesn’t swim—for half an hour. She swims at least three times a week, for an hour to an hour and a half each time, which would include 3/4 mile of laps just for warm-up. This combination keeps her limber, strong, and aerobically fit so she can keep up with the much younger swimmers on her team without batting an eye.
    To control high cholesterol levels, Lynn started eating a largely vegetarian diet, with chicken or fish once or twice a week, and meat a handful of times over the course of a year, and she believes that plays a large role in keeping her bones healthy as well. She’s careful to get three major sources of calcium in her diet every day, usually milk on her morning cereal, a yogurt or cottage cheese with lunch, and something dark green and leafy with dinner. She takes 500 mg of calcium in a supplement to get up to the 1,500 mg total recommended for menopausal women not taking HRT, along with vitamin E (for her heart) and a multivitamin with trace minerals to cover all the bases.
    After such an encouraging bone scan, the only change Lynn made was to add even more soy to her diet to reap the benefits—to both her bones and her cholesterol level—of phytoestrogens. She’s long been a fan of tofu—in fact, goes out of her way to get to a particular store where they sell excellent fresh tofu—but now is using a soy protein powder regularly, sprinkled on her cereal and in her yogurt-fruit smoothies. The only other major thing she’s done as a result is to encourage her friends to get their bone density tested and to talk to her swimming buddies about how much the sport has done to keep her healthy.
  • Epilepsy 12.07.2011 Comments Off
    Judy told us that seizures had ruined her life. She felt she no longer had friends. She had given up field hockey because she was afraid that a seizure might happen on the field. She now hated school. Even though her seizures had come under control, she was an unhappy young lady. We finally got her to begin to accept her epilepsy by encouraging her to tell the field hockey coach that she had seizures and that they were controlled. Getting her to go back out for the team was the first step in rebuilding her life. Since she could play with the team, she began to realize that she wasn’t different from her teammates. As she felt better about herself, her school work improved and her attitude shifted. When she was able to tell classmates about the seizures and what it was like to feel different, Judy began to realize that the rest of the kids never really felt she was different. She realized that her isolation was self-imposed because she was worried that they might feel that she was different. The problem was within her and not them. Judy had regained her self-esteem.
  • Maintaining steady blood flow to all of the organs of your body is essential, and it requires constant adjustments by your cardiovascular system. When you’re walking or running, for example, more blood than usual is required in your legs, so your heart rate and cardiac output go up. The arteries leading to the legs dilate and their capillary beds open, delivering more blood to the working muscles. When you eat, the arteries leading to the stomach and intestines dilate in a similar manner, providing additional blood needed for digestion and nutrient absorption. Likewise, when you jump out of bed in the morning, the heart must work harder and blood pressure must increase to deliver blood and oxygen to the brain. Throughout the day and night, your arteries continuously guide the rivers of blood to where they’re needed most. And constant automatic adjustments in your blood pressure, which require the coordination of your nervous system, endocrine system, and kidneys, are made all the while.
  • Herbal 30.06.2011 Comments Off
    In one case a person had sore throat which did not respond to medical treatment for some days. An aged “well wisher” cautioned to take care as in a similar case Mrs. so & so ended up in throat cancer. If the patient ignored the above caution and carried on with normal treatment, no damage is done. But if the patient has taken that statement seriously, then his throat can be set right only when the fear of cancer is wiped out of his mind either by medicine or by psycological treatment. According to Dr.Bach if you can remove the fear of cancer from the mind of the patient, no further medicine would be necessary to remove soreness of the throat. A lady came to see me at 8 p. m on a certain day and said, “uncle I have such excruciating pain in my molar tooth that I want to pull it away and throw it”.
    A dose of Crab. Apple was put in her mouth and another dose given to be taken after an hour.
    The patient met me after a few days and complimented me for the magical effect of that medicine, as the first dose had removed the entire pain before she had so much as crossed the street outside my house, and the pain had not recurred.
  • Each knee contains two menisci made of fibrous cartilage, which are basically shock absorbers. The Steinmann test is one of the tests used to diagnose meniscal injuries. In this test, your physician will have you sit up on a table with your legs hanging over the side. Your physician will then twist each leg, moving it in and out. If you feel pain in the meniscal area, it may indicate a meniscal problem.
    The Apley and McMurray tests can also be helpful in diagnosing a meniscal tear. In the Apley test, you are prone, knee bent 90 degrees, and the foot rotated inward and outward. This compressive and rotational force will often signal a medial or lateral meniscal tear. In the McMurray test, you are supine, the knee bent fully (approximately 130 to 140 degrees) and slowly extended while externally rotated. A loud pop might signify a torn medial meniscus. Unfortunately, however, there are often lots of noises in a knee that are harmless, and such an event while performing a McMurray test might be misleading to the inexperienced physician.
    Your physician will move your leg in various ways to check the range of motion, the ability to straighten and bend the knee. A healthy knee should be able to bend and flex with ease. Pain or restricted movement could suggest several possible problems. For example, perhaps the patella is not aligned correctly. Or if there is pain upon compressing the joint (when you flex or bend your foot toward your back), it means that there are articular cartilage problems. If the leg gets “locked” upon extension or straightening, it might suggest a displaced meniscal tear or a subluxed (offtrack) patella.
  • Cancer 01.06.2011 Comments Off
    The question the reader will ask at this point is ‘Given all this epidemiological study, do we know the causes of cancer?’ Broadly the answer is ‘yes’ in many circumstances and for many cancers, and the opportunities for prevention that this understanding generates are there to be taken. We do not always know how the factors that have been identified by the epidemiological studies discussed in this chapter link up to what is being learned in the laboratories of the molecular biologists. This connection is being made rapidly and will be increasingly clear by the end of the century. Epidemiology has been very successful in discovering or confirming which features of our lives in the Western world can be now identified as causes of cancer.
    A few hormones can certainly cause cancer. When large quantities of the female hormone oestrogen were given for medical reasons during pregnancy, rare kinds of cancer were liter found in the daughters of these women. Large quantities of oestrogens which were formerly given to women for menopausal symptoms undoubtedly caused cancer in the uterus although newer preparations do not. Oral contraceptives represent a complicated case, perhaps involving a real increased risk of breast cancer, particularly in young people. On the other hand, the Pill is capable of reducing the risk of ovarian cancer and cancer of the body of the uterus. Both risks and benefits can therefore be claimed for the Pill and controversy about its use is likely to continue.
    At a more subtle level, it is possible that some of the effects of child-bearing may include a reduction in some cancer risks, probably generated by changing hormone levels. This is particularly apparent in cancer of the ovary, where having been pregnant appears to be protective.
  • Reasons for Failure
    Lack of information heads this list; if people know what to expect and are reassured that the feelings will not last forever, they stand a much better chance of succeeding. Also if they prepare their bodies for the trauma – and make no mistake, it can take its toll physically- the chances of success are further improved.
    Some ‘Stop Smoking’ Books Are Not Worth Reading
    Many people are discouraged when they read books which don’t even begin to describe what they are going through, and because some of the more severe effects are not mentioned they begin to think there is something else wrong with them. Don’t read books that pat you on the head and tell you to go for a walk, take a glass of water, or reach for your macrame every time you crave a fag; realize it is going to be difficult and accept it. You will be rewarded. You may never forget the pleasure of a cigarette, but the relief of being a non-smoker will dull that memory. You will feel healthier (eventually), cleaner, smell nicer, and enjoy your food much more – eating will no longer be just the thing you do before having coffee and a cigarette. Life also becomes much more leisurely, nicotine craving does not dictate where you sit when you travel or when you take a break from work; when you stop smoking you are in charge.
  • Women's Health 19.05.2011 Comments Off
    Evening primrose oil is widely available through health-food shops, pharmacists and, in the UK, can be obtained on prescription for the treatment of breast pain (mastalgia). It is not available on prescription for the treatment of PMS but if you have cyclical breast pain your doctor may consider prescribing it.
    Although it is effective at treating breast pain, the evidence for its effect on other PMS symptoms is not so clear. A recent article in the British Medical Journal said that, while questions remain about how evening primrose oil should be used, it was an ‘interesting substance’ and ‘showed promise’ in the treatment of PMS. So if s worth trying.
    The recommended level for treatment of breast pain is three to four ‘prescription dose’ capsules, taken twice a day. The prescription dose is 40mg of gamma-linolenic-acid (GLA), the main active ingredient in evening primrose oil. But don’t expect instant results. It can take up to three months to see any improvement The usual course of treatment is six to twelve months, although some women find it helpful to carry on.
    If you are buying evening primrose oil for self-treatment it is important to buy capsules with the right dose for your needs. Capsules sold in the shops usually contain 250mg or 500mg of evening primrose oil but only the 500mg preparation contains 40mg of OLA so make sure you check the label.
    You will need to take two or three 500mg capsules twice daily after food. It Is usually recommended that you start taking the capsules from three days before the expected start of your symptoms until your period is fully under way. But if you have erratic cycles, or have had a hysterectomy, or your symptoms are very severe, then you may be advised to take the capsules right through the month.
  • Women's Health 08.05.2011 Comments Off
    It is well established that psychological influences play a tremendous part in preventing normal pregnancy. Have you ever noticed a situation like the story of Pita which we are about to relate?
    Pita and John had been married for nearly three years. Like Nola, Pita had not yet managed to conceive, despite trying everything, undergoing tests, and what not finally the couple decided to adopt. It took some time for all the formalities and clerical work to be completed, and even longer before they knew that a baby had been chosen for them.
    Then, would you believe it, about three weeks before the baby assigned to them arrived, Pita came to my surgery. ‘I think I’m pregnant,’ she announced, with breathless excitement. ‘I can’t believe it and the other baby is due next month”
    Sure enough. Pita was pregnant! Removal of her mental stresses, I am certain, had released the anxiety factor, permitted everything inside her to operate normally. She wasn’t infertile at all.
    Just to conclude the story. She and John adopted the baby assigned to them. And she reproduced her own. What’s more, in the succeeding few years, she produced another two babies. Now she has a delightful family of four. Pita and John are deliriously happy, all the children are treated as equals. It is a happy, united family circle.
    ‘Just think,’ she said one day. ‘I believed I was sterile a few years ago. Hardly likely now.’
  • Weight Loss 29.04.2011 Comments Off
    In 1982, nutritional researchers William Bennett and Joel Gurin presented a highly controversial theory concerning the difficulty some people have in losing weight. Their theory, known as the setpoint theory, states that a person’s body has a setpoint of weight at which it is programmed to be comfortable. If your setpoint is around 160 pounds, you will gain and lose weight fairly easily within a given range of that point. For example, if you gain 5 to 10 pounds on vacation, it will be fairly easy to lose that weight and remain around the 160-pound mark for a long period of time. Through a process of adaptive thermogenosis, the body actually tries to maintain what it thinks its best weight might be. Some people have equated this point with the plateau that is sometimes reached after a person on a diet loses a certain amount of weight. The setpoint theory proposes that after losing a predetermined amount of weight, the body will actually sabotage additional weight loss by slowing down metabolism. In extreme cases, the metabolic rate will decrease to a point at which the body will maintain its weight on as little as 1,000 calories per day:
    Can a person change this predetermined setpoint? Proponents of this theory argue that it is possible to raise one’s setpoint over time by continually gaining weight and failing to exercise. Conversely, reducing caloric intake and exercising over a long period of time can slowly decrease one’s setpoint. Exercise may be the most critical factor in readjusting set-point, although diet may also be important.
    This theory, too, remains controversial. Perhaps its greatest impact was the sense of relief it provided for people who have lost weight, plateaued, and regained weight time and time again. It told them that their failure was not due to a lack of willpower alone. The setpoint theory also prompted nutritional experts to look more carefully at popular methods of weight loss. If the setpoint theory is correct, a low-calorie or starvation diet, besides being dangerous, may cause the body to protect the dieter from “starvation” by slowing down metabolism and making weight loss more difficult.