Friday, 19 December 2014
The US FDA has released a statement based on finding from the Texas Department of State Health Services on December 23, 2009:
The Texas Department of State Health Services is warning consumers, especially pregnant or breastfeeding women, to avoid consuming a traditional product called “Nzu” because of the potential health risks from high levels of lead and arsenic.
Nzu, which is consumed as a traditional remedy for morning sickness, has been found by DSHS food inspectors at two African specialty stores – one in the Dallas area and one in Houston. It was also found at a distributor in Houston. The product generally resembles balls of clay or mud and also is called Calabash clay, Calabar stone, Mabele, Argile and La Craie.
Laboratory analysis by DSHS found high levels of lead and arsenic in this product.
Exposure to lead can result in a number of harmful effects, and a developing child is particularly at risk of effects on the brain and nervous system. Arsenic is a carcinogen, and excessive long-term exposure to it has been associated with a range of adverse health effects, including cancers of the urinary bladder, lung and skin.
The Nzu may be covered in a brown or white “dust” and is usually sold in small plastic bags with a handwritten label identifying it as “Nzu” or “Salted Nzu.”
Anyone who has been ingesting the product should contact their health care provider.
The source of the product in Texas is not yet known. Inspectors with DSHS are continuing to investigate.
Ingesting soil, particularly mineral-rich clay, is a practice called geophagy. Various kinds of earth have been a folk remedy common to many cultures, primarily for gastrointestinal complaints.
In fact, that is where the name “Terra Sigillata” is derived.
Terra Sigillata was a fatty clay harvested from the Greek isle of Lemnos and contained at least one component found in today’s Kaopectate diarrhea remedy. A special ceremony would be held to harvest the clay where it would be cut into planchets, embossed with an official seal, then dried and sold. Terra Sigillata stands in pharmacy history as the first trademarked medicine.
Geophagy is also why South Carolinians are sometimes called “sandlappers” and why this Nigerian remedy is often called “Calabash Clay” or “Calabash Chalk.” (Calabash is a coastal town right at the border between North and South Carolina. A style of spiced seafood, usually shrimp, is also known as Calabash.)
Furthermore, Public Health England (PHE) are warning pregnant women against the use of a potentially poisonous chalk product as a nutritional supplement or morning sickness ‘antidote’. The warning follows reports of use of ‘Calabash chalk’ by pregnant women in Asian and African communities in London.
The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has issued advice that these products should not be eaten, especially by pregnant and nursing mothers, due to the possibility of these products being toxic.
Diane Benford, from the FSA, said:
Tests of Calabash Chalk previously taken by the FSA have shown high levels of lead. For pregnant women, eating this product may result in harmful effects to their unborn baby, which is particularly at risk of effects on the nervous system.
The FSA has issued hazard warnings to request that local authorities visit food businesses and remove Calabash Chalk from sale. It is also working with the Department of Health, health professionals and consumer groups to communicate this information to pregnant and nursing mothers, particularly in the communities who are likely to eat Calabash Chalk or similar products.
Dr Yvonne Doyle, regional director for PHE London, said:
It is of great concern to us that pregnant women may be taking these chalk products as a nutritional supplement during pregnancy. Exposure to heavy metals, like lead, should be kept as low as practically possible under all circumstances, but particularly during pregnancy when the risk of adverse effects is large.
If you are suffering from severe morning sickness during pregnancy you should speak to your GP or midwife who will be able to advise you on safe treatment. We strongly advise against taking any medicinal or ‘remedy’ product while pregnant without talking to your GP or health visitor about the health risk.
Wednesday, 17 December 2014
Well here's a shocker, Tiger Nuts are actually NOT nuts, they are a tuber that grows below the ground's surface. They have all of the nutrients and energy benefits of nuts and then some, but without the stuff that can adversely affect allergies.
In fact our "Original Tiger Nuts" have so much good stuff in them that you might say it's “unbelievable”, but it's a fact! They are packed with fiber, vitamins and nutrients and deliver a serious wallop of energy. They are perfect for health minded people just like you.
And because they have so much fiber, they make you feel full, which of course helps curb your appetite.
Tiger nuts are very healthy, they can help to prevent heart attacks, thrombosis and activate blood circulation. Due to the high contents of soluble glucose they can also help prevent cancer and lately some investigators discovered that they can help reduce the risk of suffering colon cancer. The very high fiber content combined with a delicious taste, make them ideal for healthy eating.
10 REASONS WHY TIGERNUTS ARE A SUPERFOOD:
1. Tigernuts’ high content in fiber keeps your whole body healthy
2. Tigernut milk (also known as Horchata de Chufas) is a great substitute for cow’s milk
3. Tigernuts are a solid source of magnesium
4. Tigernuts can help control your blood pressure
5. Tigernuts may help protect you from cancer and cardiovascular disease
6. Tigernuts give you a potassium boost
7. Tigernuts are a good non-meat source of protein
8. Tigernut milk can help control diabetes
9. Tigernut rivals olive oil for “heart healthy” oils
10. Tiger nuts Can Help Fight Malnutrition in Under-developed Nations
Other names for Tiger Nuts
Aki Awusa in Igbo
Aya in Hausa
Isip Isong in Efik/Ibibio
Ofio in Yoruba
Hausa Groundnut in Pidgin
Keegun in Okun
Chufas in Spanish
How to make Kunun Aya (Tiger Nuts Milk)
Ingredients for making Tiger Nuts Milk
600g soaked Tiger Nuts (475g dry Tiger Nuts)
1.5 litres cold water
Other ingredients you can add to it
To blend it, you'll need a kitchen blender to blend the soaked nuts.
To strain it you'll need a chiffon cloth or ladies stocking/tights (pantyhose without the panty).
Directions for making Tiger Nut Milk
1. Soak the very dry nuts in a generous quantity of cold water for 2 days. Keep it in the fridge for the duration of the soaking so that the nuts do not ferment. Most tiger nuts sold in Nigeria are fresh and well hydrated so you'll only need to soak those ones for a few hours or overnight.
2. After the soaking, wash the nuts very well and sort out the bad ones.
3.Put them in your kitchen blender and pour just enough water to help the blades move. We need to make this milk as concentrated and tasty as possible, you can add more water later if you wish.
4. At this time you can add other ingredients: coconut, sugar, ginger and other flavours of your choice and blend them together. I prefer anything I eat/drink as natural as possible so I do not add any other ingredient to this drink. The natural taste of Tiger Nut Milk is so great, you do not want to alter it at all.
5.After blending, use a chiffon cloth or ladies stocking (pantyhose) to separate the chaff from the drink. Of course, the pantyhose should be brand new, thoroughly washed with dish washing liquid.
6.Press the stocking to make sure you squeeze out all the milk from the chaff.
7. Put the dry chaff back in the blender, add more water and blend again. Then strain with the chiffon cloth.
8.Repeat the process till all the milk has been extracted. I found that the milk I got the third time was too watery. So 2 times should be enough and keep an eye on the quantity of water. As a guide, I got 1.5 litres of tiger nut milk from 600g of soaked tiger nuts. Yours may vary.
9. Pour the extracted milk into bottles and store in the fridge for up to 3 days. It should last longer in the freezer. In my home, this milk usually disappears within 2 days of making it, so I can't tell you how long it can stay in the freezer without losing its taste! lol
Serve Tiger Nuts Milk with any snack of your choice.
Where to buy Tiger Nuts
There are 2 varieties of tiger nuts: brown and black. Both are readily available in Nigeria
but I think the brown ones are more common outside Nigeria. Both taste the same to me.In Nigeria, Tiger Nuts are sold by Hausa Mallams on the streets and in all major markets in Nigeria. In Spain, look for them in any Frutos Secos shop i.e. shops that sell dry fruits. Ask for chufas.
In the UK you can buy them on Amazon UK website. In the US, it is sold by La Tienda. The vendor for tiger nuts on Amazon US website is La Tienda.
Sunday, 14 December 2014
Ambashthaki, Bissap, Gongura, Groseille de Guinée, Guinea Sorrel, Hibisco, Hibiscus Calyx, Hibiscus sabdariffa, Jamaica Sorrel, Karkade, Karkadé, Oseille de Guinée, Oseille Rouge, Pulicha Keerai, Red Sorrel, Red Tea, Rosa de Jamaica, Roselle, Sour Tea, Sudanese Tea, Thé Rose d’Abyssinie, Thé Rouge, Zobo, Zobo Tea.
Hibiscus is a bushy annual plant. Parts of the flower are used to make a popular drink in Egypt called Karkade, Zobo in Nigeria, Sorrel in Jamaica. Various parts of the plant are also used to make jams, spices, soups, and sauces. The flowers are used to make medicine.
Hibiscus is used for treating loss of appetite, colds, heart and nerve diseases, upper respiratory tract pain and swelling (inflammation), fluid retention, stomach irritation, and disorders of circulation; for dissolving phlegm; as a gentle laxative; and as a diuretic to increase urine output.
In foods and beverages, hibiscus is used as a flavoring. It is also used to improve the odor, flavor, or appearance of tea mixtures.
How does it work?
The fruit acids in hibiscus may work like a laxative. Some researchers think that other chemicals in hibiscus might be able to lower blood pressure; decrease spasms in the stomach, intestines, and uterus; and work like antibiotics to kill bacteria and worms.
Zobo/Sorrel was a must have during family gatherings. As children, we loved drinking it, not only because of how nice it tasted, but also because it coloured our lips and tongues red. Zobo (Nigerian) or Sorrel (Jamaican) is a red coloured drink made from a flower called Hibiscus sabdariffa.
The sorrel plant contains a wide range of vitamins and minerals including vitamin C, calcium, niacin, riboflavin and a group of compounds called flavonoids. Flavanoids not only gives the sorrel plant its deep red colour, but, are also rich in antioxidants which rids the body of toxins. The sorrel plant also contains nutraceleuticals, which are said to be helpful to the health. Nutraceleuticals can help prevent and treat several diseases including diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, and cancer.
Here is a quick recipe on how to prepare a drink from the plant. This can be served at occasions, or for your personal daily enjoyment.
*6 handfuls of sorrel/zobo plant
*3 ginger roots (optional)
*Granulated sugar (optional)
*5 fresh limes (optional)
*Rinse off the zobo plant to get off the sand.
*Rinse off the ginger roots and chop them into smaller pieces.
*Pour 5-8 litres of water into a cooking pot. Put the water to boil.
*At boiling point, put in your zobo leaves and the chopped ginger roots into the pot. Leave for about 5-10 minutes, then switch off the gas.
You can begin the next steps once the mix has cooled, or you could leave the mix overnight for more concentration, or if prepared in the morning, you could let it sit until evening.
Using a sieve, filter the liquid from the leaves. Be sure to use a sieve with tiny holes as there is usually a lot of sand in the mix. Squeeze the plant with your hands to get out all the liquid.
Add sugar as desired. The zobo plant is quite bitter so it would take a lot of sugar to sweeten your mix.
Squeeze your limes into the mix, using the sieve to filter the fibre and seeds.
Stir the mix thoroughly with a spoon. Pour out into jug(s) and refrigerate.
Once cool, pour into a glass and enjoy.
Note: The above are guidelines, you could substitute any of the ingredients, you could also add more or less of any of the ingredients. It all depends on the taste desired by you. If you are Diabetic, better avoid sugars and use natural honey.
Sunday, 30 November 2014
Ironically, Sex dolls are taking over the world: Factory boasts HUGE collection of blow-up ladies. even in a world where the ratio of man to woman is 1:6 A CHINESE sex doll factory is boasting the largest the collection of blow-up ladies in the country. The inflatable doll factory in Ningbo, China, set up shop just five years ago but punters from across the globe are ringing them up every day to get their hands on one of them. Now officials are hoping to take over the world with their vast collection. Factory worker Lili Hsing said: "It’s taken our breath away, and not because we have to blow up the dolls.
"The speed this industry has developed is truly exceptional When I first started here, we had one type of doll on offer, and only limited local interest. "Now we have 10 dolls, including our premium high end brand, and calls from all over the world." There are so many of the £30 dolls that they litter the floors of the factory – and workers sometimes feel a bit creeped out by the display. Shu Mai said: "Sometimes it’s a bit eerie having all these body parts lying around, a bit like a giant morgue. "Of course I know they aren’t real. "I assume the men who buy them know that too, although on our online sales we do give them names and the men request the doll by name. "I think one of the reasons we have become so successful is the quality of the dolls we produce. "They look good, are easily inflatable and don’t deflate too quickly. "Our customers like that." Satisfaction in more ways than one...
Copyright © Lilian Ngozi Blog
Saturday, 29 November 2014
A new study recently compared patient-physician relationships and relief of symptoms between complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) and conventional primary care (COM). The study was part of a Swiss evaluation of complementary and alternative medicine.
Researchers looked at more than 6,000 patients. The study included patients of 77 non-certified CAM physicians and of 71 conventional physicians.
The patients completed a questionnaire which asked questions about symptom relief, patient satisfaction, and quality of patient-physician interaction.
According to Biomed Central:
"CAM physicians treated significantly more patients with chronic conditions than COM physicians.
CAM Patients had significant higher healing expectations than COM patients.
General patient satisfaction was significantly higher in CAM patients, although patient-reported symptom relief was significantly poorer, The quality of patient-physician communication was rated significantly better in CAM patients."
The study concluded that more effective communication patterns by complementary and alternative medicine could play an important role in allowing patients to maintain more positive outcome expectations.
Dr. Mercola's Comments:
Patient-physician communication is an integral part of clinical practice, but this skill has slowly but surely eroded over the years, with insurance companies and financial incentives significantly dictating doctors' behaviors.
Most conventional physicians get paid for the number of patients they see and the number of procedures they perform – not for how much time they spend on these tasks. As a result, there's a real incentive for them to spend as little time as possible with each patient.
Lack of quality face-time with their doctor is a major complaint by most patients, and naturally, it can lead to everything from misdiagnosis, or missed diagnosis, to incorrect treatment or being improperly medicated…
So, it's no wonder most CAM patients rate their satisfaction as greater than those seeing a conventional medical doctor. CAM doctors typically operate under a different set of incentives, such as obtaining results in order to build a good reputation to build their (non-insurance-based) business, for example.
What is CAM?
Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) refers to a wide-ranging collection of medical and health care practices and products that do not fall outside the realm of "conventional medicine."
CAM practices include, but are not limited to:
Herbalism, homeopathy, and nutritional-based therapies
Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and acupuncture
Meditation and hypnosis
The Moral Crux for Modern Medicine
Aside from the detrimental financial incentives mentioned above, another moral crux for modern medicine is that if too many people actually improve their health, many in the medical industry would lose their jobs.
This fact cannot be ignored, and this is probably a major reason why modern medicine drags its feet when it comes to implementing preventive practices and/or recommending the use of CAM.
Quite simply, the current medical paradigm focuses on treating disease, not promoting health, and the government is complicit it spurring and promoting disease as well.
For example, government drives the obesity/diabetes epidemic by subsidizing the production of non-nutrient-dense foods and high-fructose corn syrup. And statin anti-cholesterol drugs are approved by the FDA even though they don't reduce mortality rates...
Modern medicine is an industry that wants more, not less, disease to treat.
This is why you can't get common-sense disease prevention advice from your doctor, and this is why conventional medicine has such an abysmal success rate when it comes to chronic disease (as opposed to emergency medicine, where conventional medicine truly shines).
This is also why conventional medicine is so quick to dismiss preventive therapies as "unproven."
But guess what…
More than HALF of All Conventional Medical Therapies have "UNKNOWN" Effectiveness!
Conventional medicine prides itself on being science-based, and shuns alternative medicine for being "unproven," but did you know that more than half of all conventional therapies have UNKNOWN effectiveness?
Worse yet, only a paltry 11 percent of all conventional treatments are actually estimated to be beneficial!
These remarkable statistics can be found in the journal Clinical Evidence.
The article states that "the figures suggest that the research community has a large task ahead and that most decisions about treatments still rest on the individual judgments of clinicians and patients."
If you get run over by a bus, the modern emergency room is a blessing. But when it comes to promoting health and treating most all chronic diseases, conventional medicine still has a long way to go, and, more often than not, will send your health into a downward spiral.
More People Opt for CAM as Drug Paradigm Shows Its True Colors
As of 2008, an estimated 38 percent of U.S. adults, along with 12 percent of children, use some type of complementary and alternative medicine.
This is not just because alternative medicine typically offers a more positive treatment experience and typically produces better results, but Americans are also increasingly distrustful of prescription medicines, and rightfully so!
Prescription drug use causes an estimated 700,000 emergency room visits a year in the US alone, and according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), adverse drug reactions from drugs that are properly prescribed and properly administered cause about 106,000 deaths per year, making prescription drugs the fourth-leading cause of death in the U.S.
Furthermore, in 2003, Johns Hopkins Medical School discovered that if you add medical errors and prescription drugs together, the conventional medical system may actually be the LEADING cause of death in the US!
It's a remarkable testament to the power of denial that a system with a track record like that can still considered the primary, and officially promoted as the best, form of "health" care…
Interestingly, the study above, published in Biomed Central, found that CAM patients had significantly higher healing expectations than those using conventional medicine. And this may be a major part of the equation –how invested you are in taking control of your health...
Taking Control of Your Health
It is important to understand that additional government involvement doesn't hold the answer to the health care crisis in the US. What is needed is more personal involvement -- your personal involvement -- in the form of a commitment to your own health.
If you carefully follow some basic health principles -- simple things like exercising, eating whole foods, sleeping enough, getting sun exposure, reducing stress in your life, and nurturing personal relationships -- you will drastically reduce your need for conventional medical care, which in and of itself will reduce your chances of suffering ill side effects.
As drug sales are now dwindling due to a depressed economy, you and your children are likely to be bombarded with increasingly aggressive pharmaceutical direct-to-consumer advertising, and lobbying for more forced drugging and mandatory vaccinations.
Don't fall for the scare tactics and disease mongering!
And don't believe the fairy tale that taking a pill with a laundry list of side effects will somehow improve your health...
The more you take responsibility for your own health -- in the form of nurturing your body to prevent disease -- the less you need to rely on the "disease care" that passes for health care in the United States in the first place.
Take if from a man who knows what he's talking about… 109-year old Bernardo LaPallo offers this sage advice:
"Your health should be your first priority, and in order to do that, you [have to] eat properly."
Indeed, promoting health and preventing disease is not nearly as complex or difficult as conventional medicine would like you to believe.
Source: Dr. Mercola
Wednesday, 26 November 2014
Avocado pear is a popular fruit eaten world wide. We all know that avocado pear has many health benefits, but what a lot of people don’t know is that the leaf of an avocado tree also has a whole lot of medicinal value. Avocado pear leaf is boiled in water; the water is extracted and used as tea.
Some health benefits of the tea extracted from avocado pear;
- Treatment Of Insomnia: Avocado pear has been found to be very potent in the treatment of insomnia. Insomnia is a sleeping disorder and can be treated by taking avocado pear tea which is said to help soothe the nerves.
- Lowers Cholesterol: For People that have issued with their cholesterol level, the avocado pear tea can be used to lower the cholesterol level.
- Relief From Ulcer: Ulcer occurs when there is a wound in the stomach walls. There are different causes of ulcer, but the good news is that the avocado pear tea has been tasted to be a big relief for ulcer.
- Constipation relief: For people that have issues with their digestive system that results to constipation, avocado pear used is said to aid bowel movement which is a relief for constipation.
- Weight Loss: Avocado leaf tea contains a high natural fat content, which makes you feel full quickly thereby helping you reduce your food intake. It is ideal for anybody trying to loose weight, and reduce the temptation for sweet and unhealthy food intake.
Tuesday, 25 November 2014
Few things in life are more delightful than discovering the goodness in something (or someone!) that the general population discards without a second thought.
Right now, in my part of the world, sweet corn season has reached its peak. If you’ve ever shucked a lot of corn, you’ll recall how pesky it is trying to get the silk off of the cob. You’ve probably even muttered some not-so-nice things about it, in the process. (I know I have!)
Well, today, we’re going to talk about a few of the wonderful benefits that corn silk has and why we should view it more as a blessing than a curse.
Corn Silk can be used to help alleviate symptoms that go along with the following conditions: bedwetting, cystitis, prostatitis, urinary tract infections, kidney stones, gout and hyperglycemia. It’s also a natural source of vitamin K and potassium.
More so, Corn silk, or maize tassel, is the glossy, thread-like material that serves as a cushion between an ear of corn and its outer husk. While most people discard corn silk when preparing corn-on-the-cob, the silky string was considered a valuable raw material to Native Americans, as well as to the indigenous peoples of Central and South America. Traditionally, corn silk is prepared as a tea, but it can also be used topically to address minor skin irritations.
Aside from a refreshing, mild flavor, corn silk offers a healthy dose of potassium and vitamins C and K. The herb is also a good source of dietary polyphenols, plant-based compounds with antioxidant activity.
To harvest your corn silk: Simply pull the golden-green strands off of the ears, when shucking your corn, and spread them out on a plate or paper towel to dry. Corn silk is best used fresh, or as a second best option – freshly dried.
Make sure you use homegrown or organic corn. The silk on conventional corn from the supermarket is likely loaded with pesticides that would be counterintuitive to our goal of increased health.
possible therapeutic uses
When you think of corn, you're probably imagining the most generic vegetable around. But it wasn't that long ago that corn was the center of life in North America. Even today, American Indians revere the corn plant for all that it can provide. And while you're probably aware of all the things you can cook and make with corn, you may not know that even the silk around the corn has value.
The major nutrient in cornsilk is potassium. It is this potassium that is responsible for all of the benefits that come from this part of the corn plant. It is believed to act as a powerful diuretic and that probably accounts for the help that cornsilk can provide for the urinary system.
If you're having problems with urinary tract infections, it's been found that the potassium in cornsilk can help with the pain you're feeling and restore you back to health. One of the ways it does this is by soothing the inflamed tissues that are causing the problem.
When you have a urinary tract infection, you often feel like you need to urinate frequently, but the actual process of urinating is difficult. Cornsilk may help to relieve your difficulty and it decrease the frequency that you need to go to the bathroom.
If you're suffering from kidney stones, you may also find this herb helpful. Cornsilk may help to relieve the pain and symptoms associated with them.
Cornsilk may also improve your blood pressure, thin your blood, and it may even support your liver to function better when it comes to producing bile.
You can use cornsilk in the form of a decoction, tincture, or you can take cornsilk capsules to bring relief.
More details on corn silk uses below
To make a tea: Use about 1 tablespoon of chopped corn silk per cup of almost boiling water. Cover and let this steep for fifteen to twenty minutes or until cool enough to drink. Strain. Sweeten with raw honey to taste, if you wish. You can store leftovers in the refrigerator for two to three days. Doses vary depending on your body weight and condition, but a general recommendation for adults is up to 1 cup of tea, two to three times during the day – avoiding the hours right before bedtime. Reduce doses for children accordingly.
To make an alcohol tincture: Fill a small jar about 1/4 full of fresh, chopped corn silk. Fill the rest of the jar with a high proof alcohol such as vodka. Cap and let this infuse in a cool, dark place for four to six weeks, shaking occasionally. Strain and dose around 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon, several times a day; reduce amount for smaller children. (Mix with a spoonful of raw honey for higher patient compliance & tastiness!) Shelf life of this is well over a year.
To make a glycerine tincture/glycerite: Another way to preserve your fresh corn silk, is to use vegetable glycerine to make a tincture, instead of vodka. Glycerites are more suitable for children, pets and those who wish to avoid alcohol. Using roughly two to three times the amount of glycerine than fresh corn silk, blend the two in a mini-food processor until thoroughly macerated. Pour into a jar, cap and store in a cool dark place, shaking daily. After two weeks, remove and strain your glycerite through a fine mesh sieve and/or several layers of cheesecloth. A suggested starting dose is 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon, several times a day. (Reduce for smaller children.) Shelf life is about a year.
Corn Silk & Pets: Corn Silk can be used to treat many pets. (Yes, even cats) The tea made with fresh silk works best, especially if you are targeting the urinary tract, but a glycerite can be helpful too. (Suggested tea dose: about 1/4 cup of tea per 20 lbs of body weight, twice per day. Glycerite dose: 1/4 teaspoon per 20 lbs, twice per day.) Not recommended for pregnant animals. Check with a qualified vet for further guidance on your pet’s particular situation.
If you have an allergy to corn or are taking a prescription diuretic, don’t take corn silk. If you have other medical conditions, are pregnant or nursing, have severe pollen or other allergies, or any general concerns, it’s a good idea to check with a qualified professional before use.
Corn Silk for Bedwetting:
Corn Silk is a safe and gentle herb to use in the treatment of bedwetting. Use the tea or tincture during the day (up until about 4 or 5 hours before bed) to help strengthen a weak urinary system. You may want to combine it with plantain or yarrow for more effect.
Remember, there are many causes of bedwetting, including allergies, poor diet, deeper medical issues and stress. As a former “accident-prone” sufferer, I implore you to keep exploring options & examine every aspect of your child’s life, if the corn silk doesn’t seem to help after several weeks. In my case, I had a horrid elementary school teacher that made me a nervous wreck. It’s a very long story and I even ended up seeing a kidney specialist because of the severity of my problem… but, for the sake of brevity, I’ll jump to the solution: once I transferred schools, I never had an accident again.
Corn Silk for Cystitis, Prostatitis and Urinary Tract Infection:
Corn silk is anti-inflammatory and protects and soothes the urinary tract and kidneys. It acts as a diuretic and increases the output of urine, without adding further irritation to an already inflamed system.
For urinary tract infections, try combining with uva ursi or Oregon grape.
Saw Palmetto combines well with corn silk, to help reduce prostate inflammation and help with pain while urinating.
For cystitis, investigate yarrow as an accompaniment to your corn silk.
(These conditions can be serious. Be sure to work with a qualified professional who is aware of your medical history and inform them of any home remedies you are taking. Be especially sure to promptly inform your doctor or nurse if you develop blood in your urine or lower back pain. Avoid corn silk if you’re already on a prescription diuretic.)
Corn Silk and Kidney Stones:
Along with marshmallow root, corn silk may be helpful in easing the passage of a kidney stone. Some people are able to take corn silk for longer periods of time, as a tonic herb. This may help reduce incidents of flare ups while you work on underlying diet and stone triggering issues.
Corn Silk and Gout:
Many people report relief from gout after drinking corn silk tea. It could be that the diuretic action helps flush out excess toxins & waste. (Based on that premise, dandelion tea or tincture may help as well.) More studies need to be done on this connection, but it’s well worth a try. (Avoid this home remedy, if you are on prescription diuretics.)
Corn Silk and Hyperglycemia:
Corn silk has been shown to lower blood sugar levels.
Sunday, 23 November 2014
Female genital mutilation (FGM), also known as female circumcision or female genital cutting, is defined by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as "all procedures involving partial or total removal of the external female genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons".
It is estimated that approximately 100-140 million African women have undergone FGM worldwide and each year, a further 3 million girls are estimated to be at risk of the practice in Africa alone. Most of them live in African countries, a few in the Middle East and Asian countries, and increasingly in Europe, Australia, New Zealand, the United States of America and Canada.
The procedure is traditionally carried out by an older woman with no medical training. Anaesthetics and antiseptic treatment are not generally used and the practice is usually carried out using basic tools such as knives, scissors, scalpels, pieces of glass and razor blades. Often iodine or a mixture of herbs is placed on the wound to tighten the vagina and stop the bleeding.
The age at which the practice is carried out varies, from shortly after birth to the labour of the first child, depending on the community or individual family. The most common age is between four and ten, although it appears to be falling. This suggests that circumcision is becoming less strongly linked to puberty rites and initiation into adulthood.
"Mama tied a blindfold over my eyes. The next thing I felt my flesh was being cut away. I heard the blade sawing back and forth through my skin. The pain between my legs was so intense I wished I would die."
Waris Dirie, UNFPA Goodwill Ambassador and spokesperson on FGM
Where is FGM Practised?
As a result of immigration and refugee movements, FGM is now being practiced by ethnic minority populations in other parts of the world, such as USA, Canada, Europe, Australia and New Zealand. FORWARD estimates that as many as 6,500 girls are at risk of FGM within the UK every year.
EFFECTS OF FGM
Immediate consequences of FGM include severe pain and bleeding, shock, difficulty in passing urine, infections, injury to nearby genital tissue and sometimes death. The procedure can result in death through severe bleeding leading to haemorrhagic shock, neurogenic shock as a result of pain and trauma, and overwhelming infection and septicaemia, according to Manfred Nowak, UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.
Almost all women who have undergone FGM experience pain and bleeding as a consequence of the procedure. The event itself is traumatic as girls are held down during the procedure. Risk and complications increase with the type of FGM and are more severe and prevalent with infibulations.
“The pain inflicted by FGM does not stop with the initial procedure, but often continues as ongoing torture throughout a woman’s life”, says Manfred Nowak, UN Special Rapporteur on Torture.
In addition to the severe pain during and in the weeks following the cutting, women who have undergone FGM experience various long-term effects - physical, sexual and psychological.
Women may experience chronic pain, chronic pelvic infections, development of cysts, abscesses and genital ulcers, excessive scar tissue formation, infection of the reproductive system, decreased sexual enjoyment and psychological consequences, such as post-traumatic stress disorder.
Additional risks for complications from infibulations include urinary and menstrual problems, infertility, later surgery (defibulation and reinfibulation) and painful sexual intercourse. Sexual intercourse can only take place after opening the infibulation, through surgery or penetrative sexual intercourse. Consequently, sexual intercourse is frequently painful during the first weeks after sexual initiation and the male partner can also experience pain and complications.
When giving birth, the scar tissue might tear, or the opening needs to be cut to allow the baby to come out. After childbirth, women from some ethnic communities are often sown up again to make them “tight” for their husband (reinfibulation). Such cutting and restitching of a woman’s genitalia results in painful scar tissue.
A multi-country study by WHO in six African countries, showed that women who had undergone FGM, had significantly increased risks for adverse events during childbirth, and that genital mutilation in mothers has negative effects on their newborn babies. According to the study, an additional one to two babies per 100 deliveries die as a result of FGM.
Justifications of FGM
The roots of FGM are complex and numerous; indeed, it has not been exactly possible to determine when or where the tradition of FGM originated.
The justifications given for the practise are multiple and reflect the ideological and historical situation of the societies in which it has developed. Reasons cited generally relate to tradition, power inequalities and the ensuing compliance of women to the dictates of their communities
custom and tradition
religion; in the mistaken belief that it is a religious requirement
preservation of virginity/chastity
social acceptance, especially for marriage
hygiene and cleanliness
increasing sexual pleasure for the male
a sense of belonging to the group and conversely the fear of social exclusion
Many women believe that FGM is necessary to ensure acceptance by their community; they are unaware that FGM is not practised in most of the world.
Types of Female Genital Mutilation
The World Health (WHO) classifies FGM into four types:
involves the excision of the prepuce with or without excision of part or all of the clitoris.
excision of the prepuce and clitoris together with partial or total excision of the labia minora.
excision of part or all of the external genitalia and stitching or narrowing of the vaginal opening, also known as infibulation. This is the most extreme form and constitutes 15 per cent of all cases. It involves the use of thorns, silk or catgut to stitch the two sides of the vulva. A bridge of scar tissue then forms over the vagina, which leaves only a small opening (from the size of a matchstick head) for the passage of urine and menstrual blood.
includes pricking, piercing or incision of the clitoris and/or the labia; stretching of the clitoris and or the labia; cauterisation or burning of the clitoris and surrounding tissues, scraping of the vaginal orifice or cutting (Gishiri cuts) of the vagina and introduction of corrosive substances or herbs into the vagina.
Terms for FGM: why 'Female Genital Mutilation' and not 'female circumcision'?
There are a number of different terms used to refer to the practice of Female Genital Mutilation, the most common ones being:
female circumcision, and
female genital cutting (FGC).
FORWARD chooses to use the term 'Female Genital Mutilation' as we believe it most accurately depicts what women affected by FGM have undergone, emphasising the gravity of this abuse of women's human rights. For these reasons, worldwide and especially amongst anti-FGM activists, there is an increasing tendency to use the term FGM.
FORWARD is particularly opposed to use of the term female circumcision, which implies that it is the female equivalent of male circumcision. Whilst FORWARD is opposed to genital mutilation or circumcision of any kind, FORWARD rejects the term female circumcision as it does not depict the true nature of FGM and implies that the practice and the consequences of FGM are far less severe than is the case.
Traditional and local terms for FGM
Country Term used for FGM Language Meaning
EGYPT Thara Arabic Deriving from the Arabic word 'tahar' meaning to clean / purify
Khitan Arabic Circumcision - used for both FGM and male circumcision
Khifad Arabic Deriving from the Arabic word 'khafad' meaning to lower (rarely used in everyday language)
ETHIOPIA Megrez Amharic Circumcision / cutting
Absum Harrari Name giving ritual
ERITREA Mekhnishab Tigregna Circumcision / cutting
KENYA Kutairi Swahili Circumcision - used for both FGM and male circumcision
Kutairi was ichana Swahili Circumcision of girls
NIGERIA Ibi / Ugwu Igbo The act of cutting - used for both FGM and male circumcision
Sunna Mandingo Religious tradition / obligation - for Muslims
SIERRA LEONE Sunna Soussou Religious tradition/ obligation - for Muslims
Bondo Temenee Integral part of an initiation rite into adulthood - for non Muslims
Bondo / Sonde Mendee Integral part of an initiation rite into adulthood - for non Muslims
Bondo Mandingo Integral part of an initiation rite into adulthood - for non Muslims
Bondo Limba Integral part of an initiation rite into adulthood - for non Muslims
SOMALIA Gudiniin Somali Circumcision used for both FGM and male circumcision
Halalays Somali Deriving from the Arabic word 'halal' ie. 'sanctioned' - implies purity. Used by Northern & Arabic speaking Somalis.
Qodiin Somali Stitching / tightening / sewing refers to infibulation
SUDAN Khifad Arabic Deriving from the Arabic word 'khafad' meaning to lower (rarely used in everyday language)
Tahoor Arabic Deriving from the Arabic word 'tahar' meaning to purify
CHAD - the Ngama Bagne Used by the Sara Madjingaye
Sara subgroup Gadja dapted from 'ganza' used in the Central African Republic
GUINEA-BISSAU Fanadu di Mindjer Kriolu 'Circumcision of girls'
Fanadu di Omi Kriolu 'Circumcision of boys'
GAMBIA Niaka Mandinka Literally to 'cut /weed clean'
Kuyango Mandinka Meaning 'the affair' but also the name for the shed built for initiates
Musolula Karoola Mandinka Meaning 'the women's side' / 'that which concerns women'
Other FGM-related terms and definitions
A form of FGM type 4 that involves the scraping of tissue around the vaginal opening.
Refers to excision of the clitoris.
(sometimes known as or referred to as deinfibulation or defibulation or FGM reversal): The surgical procedure to open up the closed vagina of FGM type 3.
Refers to removal of the clitoral hood, with or without removal of part or all of the clitoris.
Infibulation or Pharaonic circumcision:
Refers to FGM type 3 (see above), the most extensive form of FGM.
(sometimes known as or referred to as reinfibulation or re-suturing): The re-stitching of FGM type 3 to re-close the vagina again after childbirth (illegal in the UK as it constitutes FGM).
the traditional name for a form of FGM that involves the removal of the prepuce of the clitoris only. The word 'sunna' refers to the 'ways or customs' of the prophet Muhammad considered (wrongly in the case of FGM) to be religious obligations. Studies show however, that the term 'sunna' is often used in FGM practicing communities to refer to all forms of FGM, not just FGM that involves only the removal of the hood of the clitoris.
1. Amnesty international
2. FORWARD, 2006.
Friday, 14 November 2014
Chlamydia is one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases in the U.S. This infection is easily spread because it often causes no symptoms and may be unknowingly passed to sexual partners. In fact, about 75% of infections in women and 50% in men are without symptoms.
How Do I Know if I Have Chlamydia?
It is not easy to tell if you are infected with chlamydia since symptoms are not always apparent. But when they do occur, they are usually noticeable within one to three weeks of contact and can include the following:
Chlamydia symptoms in women
Abnormal vaginal discharge that may have an odor
Bleeding between periods
Abdominal pain with fever
Pain when having sex
Itching or burning in or around the vagina
Pain when urinating
Chlamydia symptoms in men
Small amounts of clear or cloudy discharge from the tip of the penis
Burning and itching around the opening of the penis
Pain and swelling around the testicles
How Is Chlamydia Diagnosed?
There are a few different tests your doctor can use to diagnose chlamydia. He or she will probably use a swab to take a sample from the urethra in men or from the cervix in women and then send the specimen to a laboratory to be analyzed. There are also other tests which check a urine sample for the presence of the bacteria.
How Is Chlamydia Treated?
If you have chlamydia, your doctor will prescribe oral antibiotics, usually azithromycin (Zithromax) or doxycycline. Your doctor will also recommend your partner(s) be treated to prevent reinfection and further spread of the disease.
With treatment, the infection should clear up in about a week or two. It is important to finish all of your antibiotics even if you feel better.
Women with severe chlamydia infection may require hospitalization, intravenous antibiotics (medicine given through a vein), and pain medicine.
After taking antibiotics, people should be re-tested to be sure the infection is cured. This is particularly important if you are unsure that your partner(s) obtained treatment. Do not have sex until you are sure both you and your partner no longer have the disease.
What Happens If I Don't Get My Chalmydia Treated?
If you do not get treated for chlamydia, you run the risk of several health problems.
For women. If left untreated, chlamydia infection can cause pelvic inflammatory disease, which can lead to damage of the fallopian tubes (the tubes connecting the ovaries to the uterus) or even cause infertility (the inability to have children). Untreated chlamydia infection could also increase the risk of ectopic pregnancy (when the fertilized egg implants and develops outside the uterus.) Furthermore, chlamydia may cause premature births (giving birth too early) and the infection can be passed along from the mother to her child during childbirth, causing an eye infection, blindness, or pneumonia in the newborn.
For men. Chlamydia can cause a condition called nongonococcal urethritis (NGU) -- an infection of the urethra (the tube by which men and women pass urine), epididymitis -- an infection of the epididymis (the tube that carries sperm away from the testes), or proctitis -- an inflammation of the rectum.
How Can I Prevent a Chlamydia Infection?
To reduce your risk of a chlamydia infection:
Use condoms correctly every time you have sex.
Limit the number of sex partners, and do not go back and forth between partners.
Practice sexual abstinence, or limit sexual contact to one uninfected partner.
If you think you are infected, avoid sexual contact and see a doctor.
Any genital symptoms such as discharge or burning during urination or an unusual sore or rash should be a signal to stop having sex and to consult a doctor immediately. If you are told you have chlamydia or any other sexually transmitted disease and receive treatment, you should notify all of your recent sex partners so that they can see a doctor and be treated.
Because chlamydia often occurs without symptoms, people who are infected may unknowingly infect their sex partners. Many doctors recommend that all persons who have more than one sex partner should be tested for chlamydia regularly, even in the absence of symptoms.
Thursday, 13 November 2014
Anovulation means lack of ovulation, or absent ovulation. Ovulation, which is the release of an egg from the ovary, must happen in order to achieve pregnancy. If ovulation is irregular, but not completely absent, this is called oligovulation. Both anovulation and oligovulation are kinds of ovulatory dysfunction.
Ovulatory dysfunction is a common cause of female infertility, occurring in up to 40% of infertile women.
What are the Symptoms of Anovulation or Ovulatory Dysfunction?
Usually, women with anovulation will have irregular periods. Or, in the worst case, they may not get their cycles at all. If your cycles are shorter than 21 days, or longer than 36 days, you may have ovulatory dysfunction.
Also, if your cycles fall within the normal range of 21 to 36 days, but the length of your cycles varies widely from month to month, that may also be a sign of ovulatory dysfunction. (For example, one month your period is 22 days, the next it's 35.)
It is possible to get your cycles on an almost normal schedule and not ovulate, though this isn't common. A menstrual cycle where ovulation doesn't occur is called an anovulatory cycle.
How Does Anovulation and Ovulatory Dysfunction Cause Infertility?
For a couple without infertility, the chances of conception are about 25% each month. So even when ovulation happens, a couple isn't guaranteed to conceive.
When a woman is anovulatory, she can't get pregnant because there is no egg to be fertilized. If a woman has irregular ovulation, she has fewer chances to conceive, since she ovulates less frequently. Plus, it seems that late ovulation doesn't produce the best quality eggs, which may also make fertilization less likely.
Also, it's important to remember that irregular ovulation means the hormones in the woman's body aren't quite right. These hormonal irregularities can sometimes lead to other issues, like lack of fertile cervical mucus, thinner or over thickening of the endometrium (where the fertilized egg needs to implant), abnormally low levels of progesterone, and a shorter luteal phase.
What Causes Anovulation?
Anovulation and ovulatory dysfunction can be caused by a number of factors. The most common cause of ovulatory dysfunction is polycystic ovarian syndrome, PCOS.
Other potential causes of irregular or absent ovulation:
Too low body weight
Premature ovarian failure
Perimenopause, or low ovarian reserves
Thyroid dysfunction (either hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism)
Extremely high levels of stress
How is Anovulation Diagnosed?
Your doctor will ask you about your menstrual cycles, and if you report irregular or absent cycles, ovulatory dysfunction will be suspected. Your doctor might also ask you to track your basal body temperature at home for a few months.
How To Detect Ovulation With Basal Body Temperature Charting
Next, your doctor will order blood work to check hormone levels. One of those tests might include a day 21 progesterone blood test. After ovulation, progesterone levels rise. If your progesterone levels do not rise, you are probably not ovulating.
Your doctor may also order a ultrasound. The ultrasound will check out the shape and size of uterus and ovaries, and also look to see if your ovaries are polycystic, a symptom of PCOS.
Ultrasound can also be used to track follicle development and ovulation, though this isn't commonly done. In this case, you might have several ultrasounds over a one- to two-week period.
What are the Potential Treatments for Anovulation?
Treatment will depend on the cause of the anovulation. Some cases of anovulation can be treated by lifestyle change or diet. If low body weight or extreme exercise is the cause of anovulation, gaining weight or lessening your exercise routine may be enough to restart ovulation.
The same goes for obesity. If you are overweight, losing even 10% of your current weight may be enough to restart ovulation.
The most common treatment for anovulation is fertility drugs. Usually, Clomid is the first fertility drug tried. Clomid can trigger ovulation in 80% of anovulatory women, and help about 45% get pregnant within six months of treatment. If Clomid doesn't work, there are many other drugs worth trying. (inbox us for some herbal remedies)
For women with PCOS, insulin sensitizing drugs like Metformin may help a woman start ovulating again. Usually, six months of treatment is required before you'll know if the Metformin will work. If Metformin alone doesn't help, using fertility drugs in combination has been shown to increase the chance of success in women who didn't ovulate on fertility drugs alone.
If the cause of anovulation is premature ovarian failure, or low ovarian reserves, then fertility drugs are less likely to work. Because of the low success rate, some (but not all) doctors will refuse to treat women with fertility drugs if they have a diagnosis of low ovarian reserves. In that case, your doctor may suggest using an egg donor, or an alternative family building option like adoption.
Source: Rachel Gurevich
Monday, 10 November 2014
What are Aphrodisiacs?
Drugs & Other Therapies for Enhancing Male & Female intimacy
What are Aphrodisiacs?
At some point in our lives we may experience low libido and an extra boost is required to keep the passion alive. For centuries people have made use of aphrodisiacs as libido enhancers to achieve greater sexual health and functioning.
An aphrodisiac is a substance such as food, drink, drug, scent or device that can arouse or induce feelings of sexual desire. Aphrodisiacs are named after Aphrodite, the ancient Greek goddess of sexual love and beauty. Aphrodisiacs have a powerful impact on the mind as they are thought to trigger the release of chemicals in the brain which then stimulate certain organs.
Most aphrodisiacs enhance aspects of the sensory experience such as sight, touch, smell, taste and hearing - which in turn increases sexual drive or libido, improves performance and results in greater sexual satisfaction. Some foods are thought to have aphrodisiac properties.
These include oysters, chocolate, chili, or alcohol. There are also a variety of plants and herbs which have been used for centuries in traditional medicine around the world in order to restore or enhance sexual pleasure.
Even certain situations may play a part in sexual arousal. For instance, a candlelight dinner for two with romantic music and champagne is seen as an aphrodisiac and libido enhancer because it has all the stimulants necessary to promote sexual desire.
Other aphrodisiacs include massage and foot massage. Full-body massages promote sexual desire by allowing full body contact, between two partners. Also, although it may seem like the last thing to stimulate the sexual senses, a foot massage actually enhances desires as well. The part of the brain that registers the sensations a foot massage gives, is the same part that arouses sexual organs.
Intensifying sexual desire can also be done by using bath oils. Before enjoying a massage, try taking a hot bath with bath oils preferably using jasmine scent, which can be very sedating. Lastly, an underestimated aphrodisiac is fear. Though it may seem a bit strange, fear can spark sexual desire. Watching a scary movie or going to a haunted house is among a handful of fearful dates that can arouse both partners.
Aphrodisiacs have even been hailed as being of great help in treating sexual dysfunction and increasing female and male libido. While aphrodisiacs may be considered by some as folklore and mythology, many claims have been made about their potential libido enhancing powers.
A number of prescription drugs may enhance libido, sexual performance and organ sensation. These drugs include Viagra, Arginine and Prostaglandins. Androgens (male hormones) can be prescribed for men with low libido or poor performance.
Women with low hormone levels, particularly during menopause, can try hormone replacement therapy (HRT) to improve libido. While these medications may increase sexual pleasure and performance, there are some negative side effects such as tremors, blurred vision, headaches and irregular heartbeats.
Drugs & Other Therapies for Enhancing Male & Female Intimacy
A number of prescription drugs may enhance libido, sexual performance and organ sensation. These drugs include Viagra, Arginine and Prostaglandins. Androgens (male hormones) can be prescribed for men with low libido or poor performance.
Women with low hormone levels, particularly during menopause, can try hormone replacement therapy (HRT) to improve libido. While these medications may increase sexual pleasure and performance, there are some negative side effects such as tremors, blurred vision, headaches and irregular heartbeats.
Source: Native health US
Thursday, 6 November 2014
Gotta go all the time? The technical name for your problem is frequent urination. In most people the bladder is able to store urine until it is convenient to go to the toilet, typically four to eight times a day. Needing to go more than eight times a day or waking up in the night to go to the bathroom could mean you're drinking too much and/or too close to bedtime. Or it could signal a health problem.
Causes of Frequent Urination
Frequent urination can be a symptom of many different problems. When frequent urination is accompanied by fever, an urgent need to urinate, and pain or discomfort in the abdomen, you may have a urinary tract infection. Other possible causes of frequent urination include:
Diabetes . Frequent urination is often an early symptom of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes as the body tries to rid itself of unused glucose through the urine.
Pregnancy . From the early weeks of pregnancy the growing uterus places pressure on the bladder, causing frequent urination.
Prostate problems. An enlarged prostate can press against the urethra (the tube that carries urine out the body) and block the flow of urine. This causes the bladder wall to become irritable. The bladder begins to contract even when it contains small amounts of urine, causing more frequent urination.
Interstitial cystitis . This condition of unknown cause is characterized by pain in the bladder and pelvic region. Often, symptoms include an urgent and/or frequent need to urinate.
Diuretic use. These medications that are used to treat high blood pressure or fluid buildup work in the kidney and flush excess fluid from the body, causing frequent urination.
Stroke or other neurological diseases. Damage to nerves that supply the bladder can lead to problems with bladder function, including frequent and sudden urges to urinate.
Less common causes include bladder cancer, bladder dysfunction, and radiation therapy.
Often, frequent urination is not a symptom of a problem, but is the problem. In people with overactive bladder syndrome, involuntary bladder contractions lead to frequent and often urgent urination, meaning you have to get to a bathroom right now -- even if your bladder is not full. It may also lead you to wake up once or more during the night to use the bathroom.
Diagnosing the Cause of Frequent Urination
If urinary frequency interferes with your lifestyle or is accompanied by other symptoms such as fever, back or side pain, vomiting, chills, increased appetite or thirst, fatigue, bloody or cloudy urine, or a discharge from the penis or vagina, it's important to see your doctor.
To diagnose the cause of frequent urination, your doctor will perform a physical exam and take a medical history, asking questions such as the following:
* Are you taking any medications?
* Are you experiencing other symptoms?
* Do you have the problem only during the day or also at night?
* Are you drinking more than usual?
* Is your urine darker or lighter than usual?
* Do you drink alcohol or caffeinated beverages?
Diagnosing the Cause of Frequent Urination
Depending on the findings of the physical exam and medical history, your doctor may order tests, including:
Urinalysis. The microscopic examination of urine that also involves a number of tests to detect and measure various compounds that pass through the urine
Cystometry. A test that measures the pressure inside of the bladder to see how well the bladder is working; cystometry is done to determine if a muscle or nerve problem may be causing problems with how well the bladder holds or releases urine.
Cystoscopy. A test that allows your doctor to look at the inside of the bladder and urethra using a thin, lighted instrument called a cystoscope
Neurological Tests. Diagnostic tests and procedures that help the doctor confirm or rule out the presence of a nerve disorder
Ultrasonography. A diagnostic imaging test used to visualize an internal body structure
Treatment for Frequent Urination
Treatment for frequent urination will address the underlying problem that is causing it. For example, if diabetes is the cause, treatment will involve keeping blood sugar levels under control.
The treatment for overactive bladder should begin with behavioral therapies, such as:
Bladder retraining. This involves increasing the intervals between using the bathroom over the course of about 12 weeks. This helps retrain your bladder to hold urine longer and to urinate less frequently.
Diet modification. You should avoid any food that appears to irritate your bladder or acts as a diuretic. These may include caffeine, alcohol, carbonated drinks, tomato-based products, chocolate, artificial sweeteners, and spicy foods. It's also important to eat high-fiber foods, because constipation may worsen the symptoms of overactive bladder syndrome.
Monitoring fluid intake. You should drink enough to prevent constipation and over-concentration of urine, but you should avoid drinking just before bedtime, which can lead to nighttime urination.
Kegel exercises. These exercises help strengthen the muscles around the bladder and urethra to improve bladder control and reduce urinary urgency and frequency. Exercising pelvic muscles for five minutes three times a day can make a difference in bladder control.
Treatment may also include drugs such as Detrol LA, Ditropan, Enablex, Oxytrol, Myrbetriq, Sanctura XR, Tofranil, and Vesicare. Oxytrol for women is the only drug available over the counter.
There are other options for those that do not respond to lifestyle changes and medication. The drug Botox can be injected into the bladder muscle causing the bladder to relax, increasing its storage capacity, and reducing episodes of leakage.
Several types of surgery are also available. The least invasive involve implanting small nerve stimulators just beneath the skin. The nerves they stimulate control the pelvic floor and the devices can manipulate contractions in the organs and muscles within the pelvic floor.
Wednesday, 5 November 2014
What is Intestinal Gas?
During the process of digestion, food is broken down into molecules that the body can use to fuel itself. However, sometimes food does not break down completely and food remnants make its way into the large intestine in a semi-digestive state where it then ferments.
Billions of hungry bacteria (the natural "intestinal fauna") that we all have in our large intestine then produce a variety of gases such as methane, hydrogen and hydrogen sulfide as by-products of this fermentation process. These vapors are known as intestinal gasses, and can cause stomach bloating until they leave the body as flatulence through the anus.
Symptoms of Intestinal Gas
Symptoms of intestinal gas may include:
Abdominal, intestinal or stomach pain & cramping
Shortness of breath
What Causes Intestinal Gas?
The causes of intestinal gas vary, and may include:
Carbonated beverages (e.g. beer and soda)
High fiber foods
Intestinal Gas in Children
Children can be very sensitive to their environments, which can lead to distress if overstimulation occurs, leading to intestinal disturbances, bloating and gas. Try to minimize your baby or child’s activity levels and see if the problem is alleviated – for example, limit visitors, taking your child along on errands, and eliminate background noise like a T.V. or radio, which can disrupt comfort levels.
Foods for Intestinal Gas Relief
As intestinal gas may result from the breakdown of certain foods, it is helpful to know which are likely to produce more sensitivity and limit consumption. In addition, eating or drinking any food too rapidly can lead to swallowing excessive air, which can lead to gas.
Lactose, a natural sugar found in dairy products, is a very common cause of intestinal gas. Limit intake of milk, cheese, dressings, ice cream, and other dairy to see if the condition improves. Many packaged foods may also contain lactose, so check ingredient labels on breads and cereals.
Raffinose is a complex sugar that is known to produce gas, with beans containing a very high amount. Other foods with raffinose include cabbage, brussels sprouts, broccoli, asparagus, and whole grains.
Fructose, a simple sugar, is also a common contributor to gas, so limit onions, artichokes, pears, and wheat.
Avoid artificial sweeteners like sorbitol, found in dietetic foods, sugar free soda and gum. Sorbitol is also naturally present in certain fruits like apples, peaches and prunes.
Many carbohydrates and starches, such as potatoes, noodles, and breads contribute to gas when they are digested.
Foods high in soluble fiber may also cause gas, such as oat bran, beans, barley, nuts, seeds, lentils.
Tips on How to Clear Intestinal Gas
Limit Fizz. Soda drinks can be your worst enemy, as they can augment your intestinal gas. Also avoid beer. If you do drink a beverage like beer, pour it in a glass first to let some of the fizz out.
Drink different kinds of herbal teas. Try a cup of tea from ginger, mint, cinnamon, or chamomile tea, and add a little sugar, or honey.
Hydrate. Drink plenty of water and clear soups (broths without cabbage or beans).
Try not to swallow air - you can do this by eating slowly and chewing properly. Avoiding chewing gum and hard candy - and quit smoking in a natural manner.
Foods or Foe? Foods that cause problems are usually those high in fiber or carbohydrates, which are hard to digest. Some of the culprits include: beans, peas, whole grains, cabbage, grapes, plums, raisins, corn, onions, soft drinks, red wine, beer and foods containing milk or wheat (for people who are intolerant to them).
To help promote digestion, soothe gastric upset, and even stimulate bowel movements, try abdominal massage, which, can help all of the above conditions affected by intestinal gas.
Source: Native R.
Epilepsy- Information on controlling epileptic pain and seizures and help with relieving all types of epilepsy
What is Epilepsy?
Epilepsy is a relatively common neurological disorder that causes people to have recurrent seizures. Seizures occur when there is abnormal electrical activity within the brain, triggered by nerve cells or neurons in the brain sending out the wrong signals. Many people are not clear on the difference between seizures and epilepsy.
Seizures (also known as fits or convulsions) are a symptom of epilepsy where as Epilepsy is a neurological disorder in which the brain is predisposed to sudden alterations in electrical activity, triggering a seizure. The occurrence of one seizure does not necessarily mean you have epilepsy.
If the seizure was the result of a once off head injury for example then it may never occur again and the person will not be diagnosed as having epilepsy. However all first time seizures require a thorough medical evaluation to determine the cause and the probability of it developing into epilepsy or not.
How do you recognize a Seizure?
As mentioned a seizure happens when there is brief surge of electrical activity in a part or all of the brain. They can last anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes and can have many different symptoms ranging from an obvious convulsion and loss of consciousness to minor twitching movements of a small part of the body or even just blank staring.
Depending on the area of the brain involved and the symptoms displayed seizures are divided into a number of different classes.
The first major classification depends on whether the abnormal activity in the brain is in one area only, causing partial or focal seizures, or whether it involves the whole brain causing a generalized seizure.
These are the main types of seizures and how you can recognize them:
Simple partial seizures – you may experience alterations in emotions or the way things look, feel, taste or smell without any loss of consciousness
Complex partial seizures – your level of consciousness or awareness is altered, together with staring and abnormal non-purposeful movements such as lip smacking, hand rubbing or repetitive swallowing.
Absence seizures – commonly known as petit mal seizures they are characterized by brief lapses of awareness, staring and sometimes subtle body movements.
Myoclonic seizures – sudden, forceful jerks of the arms and legs
Atonic seizures – cause you to suddenly fall down or collapse and are commonly known as drop attacks.
Tonic-clonic seizure – this type of seizure is the most intense and is also known as a grand mal seizure. These seizures cause what most people recognize as a convulsion: loss of consciousness, body stiffening, shaking or jerking, sometimes accompanied by tongue biting or loss of bladder control.
A localized abnormal electrical impulse in the brain, causing a partial seizure, can spread to the rest of brain converting the partial seizure into a generalized seizure, a process known as secondary generalization.
If a person has two or more seizures they are usually considered to be epileptic. While seizures vary enormously between different people and even in the individual most epileptics tend to have the same type of seizure each time.
What Causes Epilepsy?
In about half of all affected people epilepsy has no identifiable cause. Although there is a small genetic component to epilepsy allowing epilepsy to sometimes ‘run’ in families’ genetic inheritance places a very small role in this condition.
In the rest of people Epilepsy can often be traced back to an incident that involved some form of brain trauma or deprivation of oxygen to the brain. This could be due factors such as the following:
* Brain injury or trauma in an accident or fall
* Deprivation of oxygen such as a difficult birth or a near drowning
* Illness or disease such as a stroke causing a lack of oxygen to the brain
* Brain damage due to an infective process, swelling or in rare cases due to a tumor.
There are however certain risk factors that can increase your chances of developing epilepsy:
* Because brain injuries are so commonly a cause of epilepsy not wearing your seatbelt in the car or partaking in dangerous activities or sports without a helmet can all place you at increased risk.
* Strokes another important factor and being overweight smoking, having high cholesterol, drinking alcohol in excess etc can all increase your risk.
* Brain infections such as meningitis or encephalitis also increase your risk of developing epilepsy.
* Prolonged febrile convulsions (seizures due to a high fever) during childhood may increase your risk
* You may be at increased risk of developing epilepsy if you have a family history of it.
Your doctor will take a detailed history of your seizures, and may perform certain tests, to try and determine if your seizure was the result of a once off incident or if it may be epilepsy.
In order to be diagnosed with epilepsy you have to have suffered from recurrent, unprovoked seizures and, in conjunction with your medical history, your doctor may perform the following tests to confirm the diagnosis:
* EEG – Electroencephalogram. This measures electrical activity in the brain and abnormal ‘electrical spikes’ can indicate epilepsy
* Brain MRI or CT scan – can be useful when looking for a cause within the brain such as a stroke, tumor or abnormal brain anatomy
Because epilepsy, although a condition itself, can also be a symptom of or occur in association with many other medical conditions your doctor may also perform other tests as part of the medical evaluation if he suspects an underlying condition.
Help for Epilepsy
The aim of treatment in epilepsy is to keep the patient seizure free and side effect free; however this is not always an easy goal to achieve. There are many different anti-epileptic drugs that work in different ways and have different side effects. In addition different prescription medications will work better for certain conditions and what works for one person may not work for another.
This usually results in a rather ‘hit and miss’ technique of trying to find a medication that works for each person and may involve a number of different dosages, drugs or combinations of drugs being tried. Unfortunately this can still leave you experiencing not only your seizures but also a variety of different side effects.
It is very important that you speak to your doctor and find out all that you can about your condition and the medication prescribed – remember there is no such thing as a stupid question! If your doctor is finding it difficult to find a treatment regime that controls your seizures you may be referred to a specialist, either a neurologist or an epileptologist, who would suggest further alternatives.
There are a number of other treatment modalities that are sometimes used in unusual cases and these include surgical procedures, neural stimulation and special diets.
More Information on Epilepsy
What must you do if you witness someone having a Seizure?
Most people feel thoroughly ill-equipped when faced with a person experiencing a seizure. Here are some simple, common sense tips that will help you to deal with the situation:
First and foremost – stay calm!
One of the primary goals is to prevent the person having the seizure from hurting him or herself so remove any objects nearby that may cause harm such as tables with sharp corners. You can also place something soft under the head.
Move the patient into the recovery position by laying them on their left side.
Pay attention to the length of the seizure and the symptoms displayed.
Don’t restrain the person and try to hold them down
Don’t put anything in the patient’s mouth – not only are you in danger of being bitten but, contrary to popular folklore, you cannot swallow your tongue during a seizure!
Do not give the patient any water, food or oral medication until he or she is fully alert.
If the seizure lasts longer than 5 minutes or there are repeat seizures contact your emergency medical service
Be sensitive to the person’s dignity and try to keep onlookers away
Source: Native R
Monday, 20 October 2014
The breast self-exam is a way that you can check your breasts for changes (such as lumps or thickenings). It includes looking at and feeling your breast. Any unusual changes should be reported to your doctor. When breast cancer is detected in its early stages, your chances of surviving the disease are greatly improved.
1. It is helpful to have your hands slippery with soap and water.
2. Check for any lumps or thickening in your underarm area.
3. Place your left hand on your hip and reach with your right hand to feel in the left armpit. Repeat on the other side.
4. Check both sides for lumps or thickenings above and below your collarbone.
5. With hands soapy, raise one arm behind your head to spread out the breast tissue.
6. Use the flat part of your fingers from the other hand to press gently into the breast.
7. Follow an up-and-down pattern along the breast, moving from bra line to collarbone. you can also apply the circular or wedge pattern.
8. Continue the pattern until you have covered the entire breast. Repeat on the other side.
Get Health Smart! Have a nice day.
Friday, 15 August 2014
#1: They have problem with the production of eggs.
For your information, ladies produce eggs--like birds! This is called ovulation, and it occurs normally every month at about the 14th day after the commencement of menstruation. It is tightly regulated by special hormones and body chemicals. It is this egg, produced and released, that joins with sperm cells from the male to form babies. Some women menstruate without ovulating, and without the egg (ovum), there can't be pregnant. Others produce eggs but have problems with the release of the egg to meet the sperm. Hormonal problems can affect these and many complex processes involved in ovulation--eggs production and release. Fortunately, there are tests to show if a lady ovulates or not, and drugs to assist ovulation.
And, ladies, please, have babies as early as possible! After the age of 30, the number and quality of eggs you produce reduces (by about 5% each year, after 30 years of age). This reduces the likelihood of getting pregnant, and having normal delivery, with time. Worse of all, some ladies, these days, have sudden unexplained early menopause--no menses, no eggs, no pregnancy!
#2: They have damaged or blocked tubes.
If the eggs are produced, they are released and pass through a tiny tube (called fallopian tubes) to get to the womb. You see, if one or both of these tubes are damaged or blocked, the chances of the sperms reaching the eggs and going through the tiny tube to the womb to form babies are slim, or not possible! Some ladies are born with abnormal or blocked tubes. Also, the tubes are blocked commonly after gonorrhea, genital infections, abortions, ectopic pregnancy, and so on. Some surgeries in the abdomen can cause some scar tissues and adhesions that might block the tubes. There are ways to check if the tubes are blocked, especially by a procedure called hysterosalpingography (HSG), and even though delicate, expensive microsurgery can be done to repair damaged tubes, the outcome is usually poor with few success stories. IVF--in vitro fertilisation--is a good solution to blocked tubes.
#3: They have problems with their wombs.
The womb is where the baby forms. It must be conducive and accommodating for a successful and healthy pregnancy. Several things can go wrong here. Some ladies are born with abnormal and malformed wombs and cervix. Some ladies, after having abortions, especially D and C, develop all manners of bizzare complications; for example, the walls of the womb can get glued and attached in ugly ways during the healing process, thereby closing every space where they baby could develop and grow. Also, ladies who don't have babies early enough in their reproductive life might develop fibroids--the womb hates being empty for long: if you don't put babies in there, it will grow fibroids! Fibroids and polyps make pregnancy very difficult or even impossible for many ladies, and cause repeated miscarriages. Fortunately, we, the doctors, know what to do, most of the time.
#4: The problem is from their male partner
For every case of infertility, on the average, about 40% of the time, the problem is from the male, (and also 40% from the female). Morals: Don't be quick to point at the lady for every case of infertility--the male also has an equal chance to be the cause of the infertility! He might have failure to produce or transport sperm cells properly; the sperm cells might be weak in activity, or very few in number thereby reducing the possibility of pregnancy; he might have damaged testes from diseases like mumps or gonorrhea; excessive cigarette smoking and consumption of alcohol might be the case; and so on. Flash the light on the man, and about 40% of the time, he would be the culprit! - See more at:
#5: The problem might be unknown, vague, or funny!
Ideally, medically, adequate sexual intercourse is sex on at least 3 days in every week of the month! Stop calling my phone complaining of infertility when you "meet" your husband only once in a month--it might just always be during your "safe periods"! Some ladies are, unknown to them, under the effects of contraception, maybe, injection or implant, and might find it difficult conceiving for some time. Interestingly, some virgins are complaining of infertility! We have ignorant, naive couples who think they have been having sex [I wonder what on Earth they were doing], yet on examination you find her hymen intact (and she's still a virgin) after months of marriage! Go and learn! Also, some times, breastfeeding is a powerful way of contraception. A couple came complaining of inability to conceive for months; and the problem was simple: when she weaned her baby, her husband took over!
All said and done, about 20% of the time, no-one is sure why a lady can't conceive and have a baby. All might be okay with the guy and the lady, yet with regular, 3-days-in-a-week, unprotected sex, for over a period of one year, she still can't get pregnant! Pray hard--and adoption of a child is a great, commendable alternative.
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Source: Dr. 'Malik Haruna King