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Definition of Pneumonia

November 25, 2013   

Pneumonia is a lung condition when one or both lungs are infected by fungi, viruses or bacteria causing inflammation of the air sacs of the lungs.  The lung sacs known as alveoli is filled with pus or fluid resulting in symptoms like cough combined with phlegm, breathing difficulty, chills and fever.

The signs and symptoms of pneumonia can range from mild to severe and certain factors come into play that determines the kind of pneumonia the person has. These factors can include the person’s overall health, age as well as the type of germ causing the infection.

Types of Types of Pneumonia

  • Community-acquired pneumonia – Or CAP for short, this is a type of pneumonia that develops outside health care settings. CAP sufferers can get the germ when they breathe it in, oftentimes during sleep. The germs causing CAP may reside in the throat, nose or mouth. This type is the most common pneumonia found in pneumonia sufferers and often arises during wintertime. Each year about 4 million people suffer from CAP in the United States alone.
  • Hospital-acquired pneumonia – As suggested in the name, hospital-acquired pneumonia or HAP is a type of pneumonia that is caught in hospitals. A lot of people infected with HAP get this disease when they’re on a ventilator. People who get HAP often are already sick and the germs that cause HAP are more resistant to antibiotics than the other types of pneumonia.
  • Health care-associated pneumonia (HCAP) – Health care settings such as outpatient clinics, dialysis centers and nursing homes are where patients and others can get this type of pneumonia.

Some Other Types of Pneumonia

  • Aspiration pneumonia – You can get this type of pneumonia if you accidentally convey materials such as saliva, vomit, drink or food from your mouth into your lungs. This situation often occurs if your gag reflexes dysfunctions due to too much drug abuse or alcohol, swallowing difficulty or brain injury. Aspiration can cause lung abscess since it tends to enable pus to form in a lung cavity.
  • Atypical Pneumonia – This is one form of CAP that may be a combination of one or more types of bacteria. These bacteria may include:  Chlamydophila pneumoniae, mycoplasma pneumonia and legionella pneumophila. Atypical pneumonia is a communicable disease which means it can be passed from one individual to the other.


Daniel Haun is a licensed acupuncture practitioner and the clinical director of Bailey & Haun Acupuncture in Oceanside, CA.

Osteoarthritis Lifestyle and Home Remedies

November 24, 2013   

You can easily manage your osteoarthritis (OA) symptoms by doing regular exercise and losing weight.

Individuals with OA should make it a point to avoid or lessen the stress and impact on the problematic joint. Bearing daily frequent pressure on the degenerating cartilage can only accelerate the damage. OA sufferers should avoid occupations that involve stressful and repetitive movements to help lessen trauma to the joints.

Exercise

This is an activity that is most recommended for people with OA regardless of how fit they are or their age. Exercise should involve routines that tonify the muscles as well as enhance general fitness.

If the joint is inactive for a long time, the joint can stiffen and the surrounding tissue can atrophy or waste away. Moderate exercises like low-impact aerobics and strength and power training provide important benefits for those with arthritis. These benefits include:

  • Less stress and a better sense of well-being that can enable patients to cope much better with pain
  • Enhanced strength that leads to endurance and balance
  • Weight loss
  • Improved flexibility and less stiffness of the knee cartilage

Exercise is very helpful for patients suffering from mild-to-moderate OA in the knee or hip.  Patients who perform resistance or aerobic exercise experience less pain, are more able to live an independent life and are less disabled compared to their fellow OA patients who do not exercise.

For OA sufferers, three kinds of exercises are recommended. These are:

  • Endurance or aerobic exercise
  • Range of motion exercise
  • Strengthening exercise

Aerobic Exercise – This type of workout helps you lose weight and lessens joint inflammation. Low-impact aerobics can also support and stabilize the joint.  Walking and cycling are great as well as water exercise and swimming for people with OA. OA sufferers should avoid high-impact sports like racquetball, tennis, and jogging if doing so causes pain.

Range-of-Motion (ROM) Exercise – ROM exercises improve the degree of movement of your joints.  They practically are stretching exercises by another name. One of the most highly recommended ROM exercises for OA patients are tai chi and yoga since they promote proper breathing, balance and flexibility.

Strengthening Exercises – These are workouts that can include isometric exercises (pulling/pushing against static resistance). Isometric training benefits the person by improving digestion, increasing bone density, building muscle strength and burning fat.  Those with OA in the knees or hips will need strengthening exercises that tonify their upper leg muscles.

Weightlifting exercises can build muscles that have been lost with age. They also keep the bones strong and healthy.

Losing weight

Being obese or overweight only serves to exacerbate your OA symptoms.  Excess weight adds more pressure on the damaged joints making it increasingly hard for the body to repair them. The joints most affected by excess weight are those in the lower limbs. They bear an inordinate amount of your weight especially if you are obese or overweight.

You can lessen your weight by eating a healthier diet and performing more physical activities. You can consult with your physiotherapist or physician to help formulate a workout program for you. They can devise a proper exercise program for you. Your doctor can likewise advise you on the proper and safe way to lose weight.

 

Vickery Health & Wellness
18455 Burbank Blvd #306
Tarzana, CA 91356
(818) 578-6730
http://www.vickeryhealth.com/

Influenza Complications

November 24, 2013   

The flu virus can cause a lot of complications. They can include pericarditis (inflammation of the sac surrounding the heart), myocarditis (heart muscle inflammation), heart attack, central nervous system disease, myositis (inflammation of the muscles) and bacterial or viral pneumonia.

Moreover, sinus infections and ear infections, particularly in children can come about because of the flu as well as the aggravation of chronic medical conditions like diabetes, asthma, or congestive heart failure.

Children in the age range of 6 months old to 4 years old and adults over 50 years old are at highest risk for flu complications. Other influenza risk groups include pregnant women, people with problematic immune systems (including individuals with AIDS/HIV), children and adults with lung or heart disease and residents in nursing homes.

Pneumonia complication brought about by influenza is quite common and can be a very serious complication. This complication can come about due to the influenza virus directly affecting the lung or when a bacterial infection arises during the course of the flu. Regardless if you have bacterial or viral pneumonia, the flu can make you seriously ill that may potentially involve hospitalization.

Pneumonia can cause a number of symptoms such as bluish colored nails or lips due to oxygen deficiency, increased pulse, coughing with bloody or green mucus, sweating, chest pains, fever and chills. Besides these, pneumonia can also cause sharp pains in the chest when one takes a deep breath, and shortness of breath. At times, elderly adults will only have pneumonia symptoms like pain in the stomach. When bacterial infection arises along with the flu, the symptoms may first improve and later on worsen with increased coughing, higher fevers and the production of a greenish tinge in sputum.

If a flu sufferer has persistent fever or cough or if he also suffers from chest pains or shortness of breath, he needs to be seen by his physician. The doctor may recommend tests like a sputum exam and chest X-ray that can assist him into making the correct pneumonia diagnosis. Antibiotics can be potent in treating bacterial pneumonia but it is useless with viral pneumonia.

Pneumonia can affect individuals for a couple of weeks. It can even last longer in individuals with weakened immune systems (like asthma or COPD), elderly adults and young children. When pneumonia strikes healthy people, they feel so weak or tired for months even after the lungs have cleared up.

If a person has difficulty in the breathing and has high fever, he needs to see his doctor immediately. Some other notable severe symptoms can include:

  • Wheezing
  • Chest pains
  • Shortness of breath
  • Rapid breathing
  • Breathing difficulty
  • Coughing producing blood-tinged mucus from the lungs
  • Fever with chills

 

Davis Acupuncture Clinic
2043 Anderson Rd
Davis, CA 95616
(530) 400-1239
http://www.davisacupuncturist.com/

Headaches Complications

November 17, 2013   

Some types of headaches can worsen and lead to other medical complications if improper medical attention is given them.

Complications from chronic daily headaches can include:

  • Sleep disturbances
  • Anxiety
  • Depression

For migraines, complications can entail:

Stomach problems – Medications for your migraines like ibuprofen can cause side effects like ulcers, bleeding and stomach pain. The likelihood of getting these side effects rises if larger doses of ibuprofen are taken and used for an extended period of time.

Rebound headaches – These types of headaches are caused by continuous use of headache medications typically for more than a week a month or in extra strength dosages. The medications instead of removing the headache now are the ones causing or adding to the headache of a person.

Serotonin syndrome – This is a rare condition but can be fatal. Serotonin syndrome can occur when medications known as triptans are combined with SSRIs (serotonin reuptake inhibitors) or SNRIs (serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors) causing symptoms like:

  • Vomiting
  • Rapid blood pressure changes
  • Hyperactive reflexes
  • Nausea
  • Loss of coordination
  • Rapid increase in body temperature
  • Hallucinations
  • Tachycardia
  • High blood pressure
  • Diarrhea

Tension headache complications

This type of headache leads to loss of productivity and a lower quality of life.

 

Nelya de Brun, DAOM
Classical Oriental Medicine, LLC

3459 Woolbright Rd
Boynton Beach, FL 33463
(561) 932-3905
http://www.acu-wellness.com/

 

Influenza – Preparing for Your Appointment

November 17, 2013   

Listed below are certain questions you may ask your nurse or doctor to help you better manage your flu symptoms.

  • How can I distinguish between the symptoms of a cold and the symptoms of the flu?
  • Will I develop a fever? If so, how long will the fever last? Can the fever be dangerous?
  • Will I develop a headache, runny nose, sore throat or other symptoms?
  • Will these symptoms last long? Will I feel body ache or tiredness?
  • How can I determine if I have an ear infection?
  • Will I develop pneumonia?
  • Do I have HIN1 (swine flu) virus or another type of flu?
  • Can I infect other individuals? What can I do to prevent infecting someone?
  • What steps should I take if there is a child in my home?
  • When do you think my condition will get better?
  • What foods and drinks should I eat and drink? How much should I eat and drink?
  • What medications do you recommend for my symptoms?
  • Can I use acetaminophen or Tylenol or ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil) or aspirin?
  • Can I take cold medications?
  • Will you prescribe more potent medications for my symptoms?
  • Are herbs and vitamins good treatment to make my flu or cold symptoms go away? Are these medicines safe to use?
  • Can antibiotics help improve my symptoms?
  • Do you recommend other drugs to help resolve my symptoms faster?
  • What steps do I need to take to prevent flu or cold infections?
  • Do I need to receive a flu vaccine? If so when? Do I need to be vaccinated once or twice a year? What risks does a flu vaccine entail? What risks are there I don’t get one? Will regular flu shots shield me versus the swine flu?
  • Is it dangerous to get a flu vaccine when I am pregnant?
  • Will a flu vaccine immunize me from flu and colds for one whole year?
  • Do you think being exposed to other smokers and my smoking itself can enable me to easily pick up the flu?
  • Am I allowed to use herbs or vitamins to battle or prevent the flu?

When you come in for your doctor’s appointment, the physician will probably utilize a number of techniques to evaluate your symptoms. These techniques usually involve a physical exam and certain diagnostic tests.

Your doctor in turn can query you about certain things regarding your flu while evaluating your symptoms at the same time. Another essential tip is to bring along to the appointment a list of all you health conditions as well as all the medications you are taking including also the medicine’s dosages as well as the names of doctors and other health care providers you have seen.  Some of the questions your doctor may ask may be like these:

  • When did you first start coughing?
  • Did your cough begin with a lung infection or an illness?
  • Do you cough only during and after an activity or all the time?
  • After eating, do you cough?
  • What particular period in the day do you have the worst coughing bouts?
  • Do you expel mucus when you cough? If yes, is the mucus thin and runny or is it viscous and thick? Do you cough up a lot of mucus? What color is the expelled mucus?
  • Do you feel any discomfort in your chest when you cough?
  • Do you wheeze when you cough?
  • Have you recently had fever?
  • Have you recently lost weight?
  • Have you had night sweats?
  • Do you have problems in breathing?
  • Have you had breathing problems (difficulty in breathing, feeling winded, difficulty in taking satisfying and deep breath or feeling short of breath) for a long time?
  • Do you frequently feel out of breath?
  • Does your shortness of breath limit the choices of activities you want to do?
  • Does your shortness of breath come with wheezing?
  • Do you have chest pain?
  • Do you experience any night sweats?
  • Do you feel tightening in your throat or tightening in your lungs?
  • How long have you been wheezing?
  • What seasons in the year do you wheeze the most?
  • What time of day do you often start wheezing?
  • Does your wheezing get worse at certain times?
  • Do you feel in the back of your throat any nasal discharge (post-nasal drip)?

 

Tree of Life Acupuncture
1215 120th Ave NE #206
Bellevue, WA 98005
(425) 732-3201
https://www.treeoflife-acupuncture.com/

Insomnia – Preparing For your Appointment

November 15, 2013   

You need to consult with your doctor if youíre having problems with your sleep. In order to make your appointment productive, help your doctor by coming fully prepared for your insomnia appointment.  Listed below are some tips that can better prepare you for your appointment.

What you can do

* Know beforehand if there are any requests from your doctor you need to fulfill prior to your appointment ñ Your physician may request that you keep a sleep journal or diary wherein you can write down everything related to your sleep (number of hours you have slept, time of sleep or bedtime, the number of times you wake up, the how many times and the hours you wake up in the night and the hour in the morning you usually wake up). Include in the journal your normal daily activities and routines, and your sleep or rest during the day. You may start writing down all these a week or two prior to your appointment.
* Use a journal to list down all your questions to ask your doctor
* Have your sleeping partner accompany you to your appointment ñ Your partner can share valuable information about the way you sleep and about your problems with your doctor. This can help the doctor gain more insight to your problem and eventually formulate a correct diagnosis to your problem.
* List down in the journal the list of all medicines, herbs, supplements and steroids you are currently taking
* Also include in your journal all your medical conditions and information about yourself including recent noteworthy changes in your life, stress factors in your life and recent and current health issues.
* Jot down any symptoms you have even issues that may not be caused by your main complaint.

The questions you can ask your doctor that you should include in your journal can be like these:

* What is causing my sleeplessness?
* Are there other possible factors besides the likeliest factor that may be causing my insomnia?
* What do you think is the best way to address my insomnia?
* What is the best thing for me to do to properly address my other health problems including my insomnia?
* Do I need to go to a sleep clinic? If so, how much will it cost?  Is it covered by my insurance?
* Can I bring home insomnia-related articles and brochures from your office?  Can you recommend a website I can go to research further about my sleeping problem?

The doctor will need to ask you certain questions about yourself and your condition to help him come up with a correct diagnosis. Some of the questions can be like these:

* How long have you experienced your sleep problem?
* What are the symptoms of your sleep problem?
* Does your problem occur from time to time or does it affect you every night?
* What is your normal sleep pattern?
* Has anything occurred in your life that may have started to affect your sleep?
* Have you suffered from past sleeping problems? If yes, how was it addressed?
* Are you suffering from certain symptoms that may have arisen due to your sleeping problem?
* Is there anything that worsens your symptoms?
* Is there anything that makes your symptoms improve?
* Have you used nonprescription or prescription drugs to help you sleep?
* Do you take other types of drugs (prescription or nonprescription) for other health problems?
* Do you take illegal drugs like cocaine or drink alcohol to aid you in sleeping?
* Any home remedies you have tried? If so what are they? Have they been useful?
* Do you always feel very sleepy or sleep during the day especially during driving and work?
* Are your normal daily routines affected by your sleep problem?
* Do you have any family member that has been diagnosed with a sleep problem or with any type of depression?
* Do you have any health risks?
* Do you smoke?
* Do you snore?
* Have you experienced choking for breath while sleeping that forced you to wake up?
* What time do you sleep at night? What time in the morning do you wake up? Are your sleeping and waking times different during weekdays and weekends?
* How often do you wake up at night? If so, is it hard going back to sleep after youíve waken up?
* Does it take a while for you to fall asleep at night?
* How do you feel when you wake up in the morning?
* What part of the house do you sleep?
* Is your sleeping area noisy and/or brightly lit?
* What foods and drink do you eat at night?
* Do you exercise?
* Have you traveled recently?

Linda Lesperance is a licensed acupuncturist and the founder of The Lotus Center of Oriental Medicine in Boca Raton, FL.

Coping with Dandruff

November 10, 2013   

Listed below are some helpful ways to help you deal with your dandruff problem.

Massage – If you want your scalp to be well nourished you need to massage it at least once a week. This will help improve blood circulation in that area of the head.

Allergy – Allergy can also cause side effects such as dandruff. If this happens to you, avoid the product or food that you think is causing you this allergy symptom.  Use an anti-dandruff shampoo to rid yourself of the dandruff caused by your allergy.

Avoid or limit the use of styling chemicals and gels – There are hair-styling products in the market hat aggravate scalp dryness and hair oiliness that can lead to dandruff.  Therefore, it is in your best interest to avoid the use of these products if you want your dandruff problem to stop.

Diet – You can deal with dandruff problem very well if you change to a healthy diet. Attempt to eat nutritious and healthy foods every day that will enable your hair and scalp to be healthy and remain healthy. Foods that are particularly loaded with Vitamin B6 can be beneficial in helping reduce dandruff. You also need to have adequate and sound sleep and avoid stress at all times.

Dandruff control – You are doing right if you are washing your hair regularly using the proper shampoo.  The next step now is to take precautions to prevent your dandruff from spreading and make the problem worse. These precautions can include avoiding the itch as much as you can and to avoid scratching the scalp. In order not to make your dandruff more conspicuous wear white or light colored clothing that can cloak the flakes falling on your clothes.  If your dandruff problem worsens you may want to consult with your doctor or a dermatologist who can recommend some helpful remedies.

Selecting the right shampoo – Choosing the shampoo that best solves your dandruff problem is probably the most important factor in controlling this problem. The best shampoo for you is one that will help you keep dandruff away and make your scalp well nourished and moisturized.  A lot of shampoos available today unfortunately only worsen your dandruff problem by making your scalp even drier or hair oilier. You need to select a good anti-dandruff shampoo that can significantly reduce dandruff and keep your hair and scalp well nourished and moisturized.

Regular shampooing interval – If you shampoo with a regular shampoo and observe that your dandruff problem is only getting worse, you may need to switch to an anti-dandruff shampoo that you can use everyday to rid yourself of dandruff as quickly as possible. If you really have a severe dandruff issue, you may even need to use this type of shampoo twice a day. Depending on the severity and condition of your dandruff, you need to know how frequent you should shampoo your hair. You need to remember also that you need to rinse off the shampoo very well – rinse twice, if possible after shampooing your hair.

 

Manhattan Acupuncture Clinic
900 Broadway, Suite 404
New York, NY 10003
Ph: (917) 968-6456
http://www.manhattanacupunctureclinic.com/

 

Stress Risk Factors

November 3, 2013   

All people experience stress in one degree or another. Some can handle their stress very well while some can be overwhelmed by it and can result in mental or physical health conditions that can be deadly if not managed properly.  There are people prone to stress and it manifests in their health or the quality of life they live.

Listed below are some of the conditions that make a person a high-risk candidate to stress-related health problems.

  • A piling up of often encountered stressful situations, especially situations that are difficult for the person to control.  This can include an unhappy relationship and a highly stressful job.
  • Persistent stress resulting from a severe acute reaction to a traumatic event. An example would be a vehicular accident.
  • Acute stress combined with a serious condition such as heart disease

People react to stress in different ways and in different conditions.  These conditions can include:

  • Early care – Children who have been treated badly may develop long-term dysfunctions in their hypothalamus-pituitary system.  This is the system which controls stress.
  • Personality traits – There are people with certain personality traits who are predisposed to overreact to stressful events.
  • Genetic factors – People with certain genetic factors such as problems in the regulation of their serotonin level can exhibit inordinate reactions to stress.  These reactions can be heightened blood pressure and heart rates. Serotonin is a chemical found in the brain that is responsible to a person’s relaxation or state of well-being
  • Immune regulated illnesses – Some diseases connected to immune problems like eczema or rheumatoid arthritis can make a person vulnerable to stress.
  • The intensity and duration of stress factors – The longer the person is exposed to stressors or stress factors, the more intense these stressors are can obviously affect the person negatively.

Individuals with High Risk for Stress

  • Senior People – The older a person gets the more difficult it becomes for him to respond in a relaxing way to stressful events. Aging may mean the wear and tear of systems that properly respond to stress.  Becoming old may cause these systems to not address stress properly as they used to do before.  Old people also often experience high stress factors like financial problems, changes in living environment, loss of loved ones and medical problems.
  • Women and especially working mothers – Working mothers generally regardless of their civil status are immersed with stress with levels that are higher than those of a typical male.  These kinds of mothers regularly experience high levels of stress which oftentimes affect their health.  They are often burdened with a work load considered heavy for a typical woman.  This is a typical reality experienced by working mothers in Europe and in the United States.  The stress these women acquire in their workplace often spills out to their home affecting their children and spouse.
  • Less educated people
  • Widowed or divorced people – Many studies have indicated that unmarried individuals on the average have a shorter life span that married people.
  • People experiencing long term unemployment, financial problem and those with no health insurance.
  • Lonely or isolated people
  • Individuals who are sexually or racially discriminated
  • People living in urban centers

The Workplace

Work stress in the office or workplace not only leads to low productivity but can even lead to harassment or even violence in the place of work.  Stress cost the economy billions of dollars not only in loss of production but also in medical expenses each year.  Stress is a major issue in all developed countries.  The Japanese even concocted a new term to describe a person who suddenly died due to overwork.  This term is known as “karoushi.”

 

Dale Roach is a licensed acupuncturist and the founder of Dale Roach, MD,L.Ac in Larchmont, NY.

Causes of Sore Throat

November 3, 2013   

Sore throat can come from or more of a number of causes. Some of these causes can include:

  • Strep infection – If your physician suspects that you suffer from a strep throat, he may use a Q-tip to swab the back of your throat to test it for any strep infection.
  • Cold – Cold can be caused by any of more than 200 types of viruses and some of them can cause a sore throat.
  • Throat Cancer – The immune system is severely impaired by cancer and cancer of the throat can easily lead to a sore throat. This type of cancer usually affects people who smoke or drink alcohol. Some studies also indicate that human papillomavirus (HPV) can lead to neck, throat and head cancer. Early detection of cancer can make this disease be easily cured.
  • Allergies/Air pollution – A sore throat is one of the likely side effects of an allergy. Allergies can often occur from things like animal dander, dust, mold, grass and pollen. Allergies are often treated by medications known as antihistamines.
  • GERD – Also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease or simply called acid reflux, this is a condition wherein acid coming from the stomach flows back into the esophagus and occasionally even to the throat causing irritation of the throat and esophagus. This condition usually happens in the morning after you wake up.
  • Mononucleosis – Also known as mono for short. This disease often entails a really bad sore throat and inflamed tonsils. It spreads by saliva and cannot be resolved by antibiotics. Mononucleosis often takes about three months to heal by itself.
  • Post nasal drip/sinusitis – A post nasal drip can is when drainage from a runny nose travels to the back of the throat rather than in the nostrils. This is caused allergy, infections and sinusitis among others.
  • Intubation – Having a tube inserted into the mouth for a certain period of time can cause a sore throat. Certain surgeries like thyroidectomy or tonsillectomy can also cause you to develop sore throat.
  • Respiratory diseases – H7N9, H1N1, influenza
  • Pertussis or whooing cough
  • Herpangina
  • Excessive strain on the voice – The weakening of the voice and throat muscles can make them prone to infection which can lead to sore throat. Singers are prone to this condition

 

Harmony Wellness Center
110 N Orlando Ave
Maitland, FL 32751
(407) 234-6454
http://www.harmonywellnesscenter.com/