Sunday, December 19, 2010


What is Autism?

You may have seen an autistic child or adult and never knew that the person had a diagnosis. Your ignorance about the disorder is not uncommon because most people who are not experienced with the disorder look at autistic people as those who are mentally retarded or have some learning disability. This is not true. Autism is a very complicated disorder that affects children typically from the age of three to conception.
The disorder is neurological in nature and primarily affects the areas of the brain where communication and social interaction is developed. To the unsuspecting person, the autistic child or adult would be considered mentally unstable or retarded.
The unique thing about autism and the reason it is sometimes hard to detect is that the disorder affects different sufferers in different levels of complexity. A mildly affected child may be able to communicate their wants and needs, but there communication is often stifled and they do not understand the subtleties of the English language. Sometimes humor, irony, and other nuances of the language will present a difficult or impassible barrier to the child’s communication process. Another autistic sufferer may have severe autism where the child or the adult cannot communicate at all. The sad thing is that the autistic person can think about the what they want to say and how to communicate it, but the words do not come out and their silence on appears on the outside.
Autistic children act differently to normal situations than other kids. Loud noises, a deviation from a familiar route, or a change in time schedule can set an autistic child off with sometimes violent consequences. The acts of an autistic child could be misinterpreted as a behavior disorder or an emotional disorder. Simple communication is not there. If a autistic child is hot, it has been reported that some will strip naked in public and run around. The communication is there. They are hot. It is cooler when I am naked. Therefore I will be naked and be cool. Again, the communication is there, but the socially accepted communication in which we communicate is not.

Factors that contribute to Autism

Autism is a mystery for most health care professionals. They have found no one clear cause for autism though there are several autism factors that are common throughout the research. The most common is that autistic sufferers have abnormalities in their brain. When compared to non-autistic people, autistic brains are shaped differently and function differently. There are many theories concerning the factors that contribute to autism in which genetics, heredity, and environmental aspects are suspected. The genetic theory is supported that in some families there are patterns of disabilities and mental illness that are frequent and autism is considered apart of this pattern.
What causes the mutations or the passing of the autistic gene is uncertain. Some researchers believe that a group of unstable genes interfere with the development of the brain during the early years of life and these genes rearrange themselves to hinder the proper realignment of brain tissue. If this is truly a factor for the contribution to autism then it cannot be stopped with today’s medical knowledge. If the genes are isolated, genetic screening before pregnancy can determine if the parents have a predisposition to give birth to an autistic child.
Environmental factors have been another theory that researchers have come up with. The research for this idea is very sketchy and according to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry there has been no link between autism and an outside source such as chemicals or other toxins in the environment. Remember that this may be a link and the research is just not showing the connection yet. With all the pollution that is in our air and water and all the contaminants we consume in our food, there is all likelihood that environmental factors are indeed a piece in the puzzle.
Physical medical condition has shown a possibly of being a contributing factor.
Conditions such as tuberous sclerosis and congenital rubella syndrome has yielded results that there is a high percentage of autistic manifestations after diagnosis. Also phenylketonuria also known as PKU and fragile X syndrome has been known to contribute a high number of cases that also link themselves to autism. The jury is still out to whether these conditions have percentages high enough to officially correlate evidence that leads to autism, but at this point the suspicion is there.
The contributing factors are sketchy at best, but there are factors that you can rule out. For some reason autistic kids have a predisposition to the autistic condition.
You can’t blame the parents for the parents have no control over their DNA. If a family does have a high occurrence of disabilities, they should still have right and the ability to procreate and to have happiness as a family. Environmental conditions are also not completely to blame unless a parent on purpose puts toxins into their bodies before or during pregnancy. Some say that drugs and alcohol consumption by the parent is a contributing factor. So far there is no link to drugs, alcohol, or alcohol fetal syndrome and autism. For now we have to accept autism for what it is. The child, parents, or genetics are not to be blamed until there is more research done and more evidence that point to one contributing factor. For now until that research is done we must do everything we can to let the silent voices be heard and help those already inflicted with this terrible disorder.

Symptoms of Autism

Right now, genetics seem the only real connection for a cause and effect in regards to autism. Genetic research is being done right now and the call for research from the National Autistic Society is desperate. They are willing to look at any research in the realm of genetics and autism and will help correlate future research with what they have in their archives now. There are some promising breakthroughs but there is not enough evidence to support a grounded theory. The only general theme that has been found is that there is a genetic link between close relatives and the sufferers of autism.
The search for the specific gene that causes this link is not under study. The Collaborative Autism Project and the International Genetic Study have been studying chromosomes that might have an influence on whether a child is autistic or not. This sounds difficult, but researchers are not even sure that it is just one gene that causes autism. If more than one gene affects autism outcomes, then even though the chance of finding one of those genes is statistically greater, the excitement and following research may ignore the others. Both research facilities have come to one conclusion but it is a weak one at best. They believe that the gene might be found in chromosome 7 of our genetic makeup. This means they have found a possible haystack and now they have to look for the needle.
Dr. Michael Dougherty of the American Institute of Biological Sciences argues the pure genetic cause theory. He thinks that there is a combination between both genetics and environmental factors. This could be true because outside environmental changes affect both phenotypical and genotypical characteristics of an organism. He believes that chromosome 12 is the main culprit to the genetic side of autism. If a child receives two mutated copies of this chromosome the amino acids that are a part of food proteins cannot be broken down. This would lead to a mutation in the development of the brain and particularly the part of the brain that controls communication and social skills. He adds that the presence of phenylketonuria may call another malfunction of the brain that produces behavior that will be diagnosed as autism. Since the PKU can be detected at birth and when detected, a special diet thwarts the negative side effects; both PKU and genetics have duel roles in the creation of autism.
The collaboration to find data and share research on autism is still in its infancy.
The collaboration process between researchers only began in 1996. This means only a decade has been dedicated to finding the source of the disorder. The gene mapping projects that have fascinated researchers for years have yielded results to the cause and some cures of many diseases since it has begun. This give hopes to people who have autistic children and also hope to prospective parents who think that might be predisposed to the gene. Remember though, if the gene is found it is only a step to the cure. The gene’s discovery will only allow the medical community to let parents know they have a predisposition before pregnancy and once pregnant the disorder has a good chance of occurring. Only time and patience will be needed to find both the cause and the cure of this disturbing disorder. All the parents can do for their child that has the disorder is to love them and give them the quality of life that they deserve. As with all diseases, autism will someday be a thing of the past.
The symptoms of autism are hard to define because each autistic child is unique in their own way. Not only are the symptoms individualized but the severity of the disorder also differs from child to child. One child might have mild autism and be able to function normally at home or in the classroom. The only difference you might see is minor social awkwardness when interacting with other or a certain preference of where there food is positioned on a plate. On the severe side you might see a child that has no communication skills. They are impulsive and their behavior, though no fault of theirs, borders on one that is socially unacceptable. Some autistic children have no fear of social norms.
One of the symptoms of autism is a delayed or unusual speech pattern. When young severe autistic children will grunt, stutter, or talk slowly with long breaks between each word or syllable. Mild autistic children have been known to memorize entire books or scripts from a television show. There was a case in Maine where a teenage autistic boy could not tell you what he had for breakfast or what his mother’s name was but he could tell you, by cabin, the entire passenger manifest of the Titanic. Other cases have included numbers in their speech pattern. A autistic child in Texas had the unusual talent of counting the number of letters of each word as you spoke them. The count was accurate and immediate, but again, simple knowledge was almost impossible to communicate.
Subtle nuances in language are also a symptom of autism. For example, the autistic child would not understand humor or would find humor in something that was not funny. The emotional reaction to irony or sarcasm would seem out of place and unusual in normal conversation. Physical comedy may be understood by the autistic
child, but there actions in both body language and spoken word would seem inappropriate to the situation. When talking to an autistic child, the lack of eye contact is normally seen. They may be listening to you, but their body and eyes are concentrated on something else. You may have their full attention, but you would think that the child was totally consumed by another person or an object that has little significance to you.
The autistic child sometime does not have the ability to imagine anything outside of self. If you asked an autistic child if they would like to do what their friend is doing or how would you feel if that happened to you, they could not put the concept together to compare themselves to the other person or situation. Putting themselves in another’s shoes is not a concept they can grasp or communicate. When they do communicate it may seem awkward and inappropriate. They may speak with a very high voice that seems out of place or with a very flat voice that is sometimes inaudible or hard to understand. The conversation, if they are capable will be void of any slang words or words associated in the vocabulary of a person that age.
All these nuances and symptoms of the disorder can be viewed, especially by peers, as being socially unacceptable and divergent of societal norms. Even when playing with others, the other children will have a hard time interacting with the autistic child. This could lead to isolation and further social development unless the interaction is facilitated by an understanding adult. Share Health|Fitness
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Monday, November 22, 2010

High Blood Pressure

Your heart is the hardest working muscle in your body. No bigger than a fist, this powerful pump circulates blood throughout your entire body, providing the oxygen and nutrients you need to live. Unlike most pumps, however, this pump never stops as long as you’re alive. In fact, the average human heart works at a rate of 100,000 beats a day, or an incredible 2.5 billion beats over a lifetime of 70 years! Every time your heart beats, it pumps blood through arteries, exerting pressure (or force) on the inside of your blood vessels. This is called blood pressure.
To understand this, think of a water pump and hose. When you turn the pump on, it pushes water into the hose, creating pressure against the inner walls of the hose and causing the water to flow. Now, if you interrupt the flow of water—for example, by putting a bend in the hose—you create a blockage that stops up the water. The water will build up behind the blockage, exerting more pressure and pushing out the walls of the hose. If you keep the hose bent, eventually either the hose will burst or the pump will shut down. If you get rid of the blockage, water will once again flow smoothly through the hose.
You can think of high blood pressure, or hypertension, in the same way. It is a condition in which the pressure of the blood inside the arteries is too high. If the condition is left untreated, it will cause damage to the arteries and put strain on the heart. You can develop serious complications of high blood pressure, including stroke, heart attacks, heart failure, kidney failure, and eyesight problems or even blindness. Developing these and other related illnesses can lead to a life of considerable suffering or premature death.
Sadly, millions of Americans are walking around with high blood pressure and don’t even know it. It seems that most people find out they have the disorder only when their doctors bring it to their attention during an office visit. This is due to the fact that there are no clear-cut symptoms of high blood pressure—which is part of the reason it has become known as “the silent killer.”
One basic marker that people can use to keep tabs on their blood pressure is their age. As people grow older, their chance of developing the condition becomes greater. Health experts have determined that roughly 54% of people over 60 have high blood pressure and that two out of three Americans will have it by the age of 70. For this simple fact alone, it is important for people to become more aware of their blood pressure, have it measured periodically, and learn healthy ways to prevent or control this potentially deadly condition.
High blood pressure does not affect all people in the same way. African Americans and older people are particularly hard hit by the disorder. Those with lower incomes and lower educational backgrounds also tend to be at greater risk for developing high blood pressure.
In addition, research studies have shown that people living in the southeastern United States have average blood pressure levels that are higher than Americans living in other parts of the country. The exact reasons for this still remain unclear. What is clear is that people can take many actions to reduce their chances of developing high blood pressure. This involves having blood pressure checked regularly, since high blood pressure is simple to detect, and making changes in lifestyle, such as increasing physical activity, reducing the amount of salt consumed, and committing to a lifetime of healthier eating.
For those suffering from high blood pressure, medical science and modern research since the 1940s and 1950s have come a long way in understanding and treating this silent condition. Many medications have been developed and proven effective in helping to get blood pressure levels under control, to limit or avoid further complications, and to prolong life. Share Health|Fitness
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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Fibromuscular Dysplasia

On a hot day at the end of July, 37-year-old Pam Mace woke up with a left-sided headache that intensified as the day progressed. When she noticed that her pupils were unequal and her headache was so severe that she could not pick up her head, she went to the emergency room (ER). It wasn't until two more trips to the ER that she was told that she had a transient ischemic attack (TIA) or mini-stroke. For many months Pam suffered with an array of symptoms: severe headaches, a “swishing noise” in her ears, dizziness, and a feeling that she was about to faint. She also had trouble regulating her blood pressure, and her pupils were unequal in size. Months later doctors were able to diagnose the cause of her TIA as fibromuscular dysplasia (FMD). FMD is an unusual blood vessel disease that leads to abnormal cell development in the artery wall that causes narrowing which decreases blood flow through the artery. FMD is most commonly found in the arteries that supply blood to the kidneys (renal arteries), followed by the carotid arteries of the neck that supply blood to the brain. Fibromuscular dysplasia can also affect the arteries in the abdomen (supplying blood to the liver, spleen and intestines) and extremities (arms and legs). In Pam's case, the arteries in the back of her neck were affected first and she experienced a dissection (a tear or rip) in one of her vertebral arteries, then she had another dissection in her left carotid artery in the front of her neck.
“I had such a bad headache that nothing relieved the pain,” said Pam. “I spent over 11 days in the hospital and no one could seem to figure out what was wrong with me. I was very afraid that I was going to have a massive stroke.”
Many people with FMD do not have symptoms that can be detected during a general physical exam. The signs or symptoms that a person exhibits depend on which arteries are affected, and the degree of narrowing within them. Some patients with FMD have no symptoms at all. Fibromuscular dysplasia can be diagnosed through a number of methods including CT scan, MRI, ultrasound and angiogram. In the most common forms of FMD, a characteristic “string of beads” appearance is seen in images of the renal arteries that supply blood to the kidneys. This is caused by changes in the cellular tissue of the artery wall that causes the arteries to alternatively become narrow and dilate, or expand. In more aggressive forms of Fibromuscular dysplasia, the vessel will narrow without the “string of beads” appearing.
It was the “string of beads” that led to Pam's diagnosis of FMD. After a series of tests and many trips to the ER, she still had headaches that were so painful she couldn't work. In a follow-up MRI, a radiologist noticed that she had a carotid aneurysm.
After a second opinion, it was determined that Pam had suffered two aneurysms and had three arterial dissections or tears in the arteries of her neck. Renal FMD was also discovered.
“As an ER nurse, I knew something was wrong, but it was so frustrating that the doctors couldn't figure out what was causing my symptoms,” Pam said. “When the doctor saw the classic “string of beads” in my renal arteries during my angiogram,
he indicated that I had FMD. I finally started to feel like I knew what was causing all of my problems.”
There is no cure for FMD nor is there a set protocol for treating it. Depending which arteries are affected will determine the kind of treatment used. A procedure called angioplasty is the treatment most commonly used for severe narrowing due to FMD. Angioplasty is often performed at the same time as an arteriogram during which the radiologist, vascular surgeon, or cardiologist inserts a wire into or near the affected artery and injects contrast material or dye that can be detected by X-ray. If an angioplasty is performed, a catheter is extended into the affected artery and a small balloon is inflated that “stretches” open the artery. A metal stent is typically not required to keep the vessel open for patients with Fibromuscular dysplasia. “Right now, there is a great need for more research on FMD to determine which patients are at risk and the optimal treatment. The care of patients with FMD focuses on determining which blood vessels are involved and whether or not a procedure needs to be done to treat severe symptoms due to this disorder,” said Dr. Heather Gornik, a specialist in FMD at the Cleveland Clinic. “I also treat patients with carotid FMD with antiplatelet therapy, usually aspirin, and I work on controlling all other risk factors for vascular disease, such as smoking, cholesterol, body weight, and exercise. There is a great need to learn more about FMD, and the FMDSA will soon be sponsoring a national research study to learn more about this disorder.”
In Pam's case, she had two experimental stents placed in her arteries within a two-year period, which helped to minimize the swishing noise in her ears and her headaches. She currently takes several medications, including a diuretic, blood pressure medication, and aspirin.
Today, Pam continues to work as an ER nurse and remains active. She also watches her diet and does what her doctors tell her. She currently serves as executive director of the Fibromuscular Dysplasia Society of America, Inc. (FMDSA) and has made it her mission to help others afflicted with FMD. “My biggest frustration when I went through all of this was that I felt so alone and like no one was listening to me,” she said. “It was also difficult that it took so long to find the FMD, but I'm glad at least now I know what I'm dealing with and am grateful that I have an opportunity to help others affected by FMD.” Share Health|Fitness
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Monday, September 27, 2010

What is Psoriasis

What is psoriasis
Psoriasis is an inflammatory skin condition which is not contagious. There are five different types of psoriasis, of which by far the most common is plaque psoriasis which is a form that is suffered by approximately 80% of psoriasis sufferers. This particular form of psoriasis (also known as ‘psoriasis vulgaris’, with the latter word meaning common) usually appears as reddish patches of raised skin which are often covered in a silvery-white scale. These skin patches, otherwise known as plaques (hence the condition name) or lesions are most commonly found on the elbows and knees, the scalp or sometimes in the lower back area of the sufferer.
Having said this, they are not restricted to these particular areas of the body and can appear anywhere on the head, torso or limbs.
The other less common types of psoriasis are:
Guttate psoriasis which is characterized by small red spots on the skin. This particular form of psoriasis most commonly develops in children or teenagers who have a history of streptococcal infections;
Erythrodermic psoriasis where the patient suffers widespread redness, severe itching and often pain. This is the least common type of psoriasis which is suffered by only 1% to 2% of people who have psoriasis, which is fortunate, because this particular type of psoriasis can in the most extreme cases be life-threatening. This is because in the most severe cases, large sections of skin are shed, meaning that there are areas of exposed, unprotected flesh which could be prone to infections (it is often compared to those who have suffered very bad burns);
Inverse psoriasis is where the sufferer is likely to find small, smooth red lesions forming in bodily skin folds where warm, moist conditions (such as in the armpits, genital area etc) encourage smooth, non-scaly but nevertheless painful to the touch plaques and
Pustular psoriasis which is characterized by patches of red skin at the centre of which there are likely to be white pustules. This type of psoriasis occurs in less than 5% of sufferers, and is usually seen only in adults. Irrespective of the particular type of psoriasis that an individual is suffering from, it usually causes at least a degree discomfort which in some cases can become mild to severe pain. For psoriasis sufferers, it is a fact of their life that their skin is almost always itchy, and that it can often crack and bleed as well. In the most severe cases, the pain suffered by someone who has psoriasis can be significant enough to prevent them handling every day tasks whilst also making settled sleep extremely difficult as well. In medical terms, the treatment that medical professionals and other doctors would recommend for psoriasis will to a very large extent depend upon the severity of the condition being suffered by the individual seeking advice. Some dermatologists would classify psoriasis in three different categories, being mild, moderate and severe with the definition of each of these categories depending on the percentage of the patient’s body that is covered with psoriasis lesions. By these standards, anyone who has lesions cover between 5% and 10% of their body would fall into the mild category, 10% to 20% would be moderate and anyone who has more than 20% of their body covered in psoriasis lesions would fall into the severe category. It has already been suggested that up to 20% of the population of the USA (and by extension of the rest of the Western world) may suffer psoriasis, with the vast majority falling into the mild or even very mild category. For many of these people, their condition is nothing more than a mild annoyance with moderate skin lesions and minor itching, often on a temporary basis. At the other end of the scale, there are some unfortunates whose condition is so severe that they develop lesions all over their body and have to be hospitalized so that the condition can be treated. For these people, their psoriasis is likely to be extremely painful and in addition, it can also be disfiguring and even potentially disabling. And unfortunately, because psoriasis is a chronic condition, meaning that it is one that is a lifelong thing, there can be no total relief for any sufferer. Psoriasis is a condition that can apparently clear up and then return (often with a vengeance) many times throughout life, and because there is no recognized cure for the condition, this is a fact that every psoriasis sufferer has to get used to and live with.

Psoriasis Causes
As with a surprising number of medical conditions, the exact causes of psoriasis have not as yet been established beyond all doubt. But, whilst the traditional view of psoriasis was that it is a condition of the epidermis, the uppermost layer of the skin, research over the past few years has begun to indicate otherwise. This research has indicated that far from being a condition that is only related to the epidermis, the causes of psoriasis go much deeper than this. In fact, this research indicates that psoriasis is a condition that is caused by malfunctions in the sufferer’s immune system when certain immune cells are activated and subsequently become overactive. In any individual who has a perfectly normally functioning immune system, white blood cells or T-cells produce antibodies that are designed to repel bacteria and viruses. However, it is now believed that in the case of a psoriasis sufferer, these cells begin to fight an imaginary infection or try to heal a wound that doesn’t exist by creating a surfeit of new skin cells to repel the imaginary invader or to repair the nonexistent damage. This in turn causes the plaques or skin lesions that are endemic to plaque psoriasis to appear. Under normal circumstances, the life cycle of the average skin cell for someone who is totally healthy is around about 28 days, but it is believed that in psoriasis sufferers, their immune system is creating far too many cells. Moreover, because these cells are being produced so quickly, they mature in as little as three to six days before moving to the surface of the skin. Consequently, because these cells are not dying quickly enough, they build up on the surface of the skin, layer upon layer, and thus the psoriatic plaques are formed. Because of this research, we now have what is believed to be a reasonably accurate idea of what causes psoriasis. What we do not know however is exactly why some individuals suffer from psoriasis whereas others do not. There are on the other hand some generally accepted factors that make some individuals more likely to suffer psoriasis than others.

How you get psoriasis
Research indicates that some 30% of people who develop psoriasis have a family history of the condition, but it is also true that many parents who suffer from psoriasis will have the children who have no problems of their own. On the other hand, there will be people who develop psoriasis who have no family history of the condition, so to suggest that psoriasis is hereditary could be a little misleading.
It is however true that researchers have established that there are certain genetic combinations and/or mutations that seem to make anyone who has them predisposed to suffering from psoriasis. At the present time, researchers believe that there are nine different genetic mutations that might play a part in making certain people predisposed to suffering from psoriasis. However, there is one particular mutation of chromosome-6 known as PSORS-1 (for psoriasis susceptibility 1) which appears likely to be the particular mutation that plays the biggest role in deciding who is likely to become a psoriasis sufferer, and who is not. According to a study published in the American Journal of Human Genetics in 2006, research has established that the role of this particular genetic mutation was seen in more than 2700 psoriasis sufferers drawn from nearly 680 families in which one or both parents were psoriasis sufferers. It is now generally agreed within the research and scientific community that this particular mutation causes the T-cells to behave differently, hence the connection with psoriasis. But it is also the fact that this particular genetic mutation does not necessarily mean that an individual is certain to become a psoriasis sufferer. Indeed, the same research study which was carried out by James T. Elder, MD, PhD suggests that for every individual with the PSORS-1 gene that develops psoriasis, there will be 10 other individuals carrying exactly the same gene who do not develop the condition. Moreover, it should also be noted that many of the same mutations that are believed to make an individual predisposed to psoriasis can also have a connection with other immune mediated conditions such as type 1 diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis as well. It therefore follows that whilst some people who have a particular genetic mutation might be more prone to psoriasis, it is possible that instead of psoriasis, they may suffer from diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis. In fact, whilst the risk of developing psoriasis is increased if one or both parents are also suffererlets, the risks of developing other immune mediated conditions especially Crohn’s disease or diabetes are both increased in the same situation. From all this, it might be natural to assume that having some family history of psoriasis is likely to mean that you will develop psoriasis yourself, but in many cases, this simply does not happen. Share Health|Fitness
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Adult Dyslexia

Adult Dyslexia has been described as a difficulty in processing information which may be linked to deficiencies in short-term memory and visual coordination. It is an inherent weakness in short-term memory, that is either auditory or visual, which can make it extremely difficult for that person to learn and understand the relation between symbols and spoken sounds. This difficulty allows the person to be unable to correctly speak the correct flow of auditory sounds needed to make a word or sentence sound proper. The range and severity of the problem of adult dyslexia varies widely between dyslexic people. The main areas of difficulty that occur most often are reading, writing, spelling, numeric, personal organization and time-keeping. However, the degree to which individuals may be affected ranges from mild spelling difficulties to severe organizational problems or complete illiteracy. In all reality there really is no such thing as a typical case of dyslexia. In some cases people with dyslexia are unaware that they suffer from such a problem whereas others haven't had a confirmed diagnosis until adulthood. Adult dyslexia is difficult to recognize and identify as it's a problem that many people either don't realize they have or they try to hide it. Simple tasks that a person with dyslexia may try to perform may become increasingly more difficult, such as taking down a message, which can lead to frustration and anxiety.

Causes of Dyslexia

Most research has concentrated on seeking to explain the causes of dyslexia, however this has proved to be somewhat unfruitful. Neurological research suggests that there may be some abnormality in the function of the left side of the brain which controls the speech system, whereas cognitive research in recent years has increasingly focused on problems of phonological awareness (the awareness of the speech sounds within words) and there has been speculation that these problems may be associated with a specific area of the abnormality in the brain that prevents a person from correctly recognizing the right speech pattern. Many people that aren't dyslexic can also have moments where they switch sounds out of their correct pattern which suggests to researches that perhaps it's something that can be corrected in everyone. Whatever the cause may be, there is absolutely no doubt that dyslexia leads to many literacy problems within individuals and an insensitivity to sounds within a word, which in time will lead to problems with reading and reading comprehension. We also know that the causes of dyslexia can greatly vary from person to person which can make treatment a bit more difficult. Estimates of the inclusion of dyslexia vary immensely – from 4-10% of the population. It is believed to be four times more prevalent in males than females. Statistics in this area have been difficult to gather with great accuracy due to people not willing to admit to having a dyslexic problem.

Symptoms Of Dyslexia
Dyslexia can present itself in many,many ways and it's more than likely that all the following symptoms will not present themselves within one individual. However use this to see what ones may apply.
- A difference between academic achievement and real-life performance in practical problem-solving and verbal skills.
- Taking an inordinate amount of time to reading a book and finishing it.
- Missing endings of words in reading and spelling.
- Poor presentation of written work, such as poor spelling and punctuation.
- Not being able to think what to write.
- Reluctance to write things down, such as messages.
- Confusing telephone messages.
- Difficulty with note-taking.
- Difficulty in following what others are saying.
- Difficulty with sequences or verbal patterns.
- Reversing figures or letters or leaving words out.
- Problems with time management.
- Trouble with remembering tables.
- Difficulty with mental math.
Again all of these symptoms will not present themselves typically within one individual. However after looking over these symptoms and if you saw that a number of them applied to you then please think about speaking with your doctor on getting a possible diagnosis. Share Health|Fitness
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Saturday, September 25, 2010

Gestational diabetes

Gestational diabetes is linked to serotonin - a chemical produced by the body - and influenced by the amount of protein in the mother’s diet early in pregnancy, a new study has revealed. A team at the California University has found that the cause of diabetes during pregnancy is directly controlled by serotonin, known as a neurotransmitter, and is influenced by the amount of protein in the mother’s diet early in pregnancy
According to scientists, the discovery could lead to simple dietary solutions and possible therapeutics for the disorder known as gestational diabetes, which if untreated, has serious implications for both mother and child. Many have puzzled for decades over the fact that the onset of pregnancy causes a woman to double the number of insulin – producing islet cells in her pancreas.
While that increase enables the mother to control the flow of nutrients to the fetus during its final growth spurt in the trimester, the islet cell production occurs long before those nutrients are actually needed. Until now, no one has known what caused that change.
Clearly, it is not stimulated by the need for nutrients at the time it occurs, so something else had to be causing it. Using a genomic analysis of both pregnant and non pregnant mice, the scientists a broad scan of all of the genes that were turned either on or off in the islet cells during pregnancy.
At the top of the list, was tryptophan hydroxylase, the enzyme that produces serotonin from the amino acid tryptophan. In the newly pregnant mice , that enzyme rose exponentially. Share Health|Fitness
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Friday, September 17, 2010

Super Enzymes

Super Enzymes are chemical substances produced in the living organism. They are marvellous organic catalysts which are essential to life as they control all the chemical reactions that take place in a living system. Enzymes are part of all living cells, including those of plants and animals. The term enzyme, which literally means in yeast’, was coined following the demonstration of catalytic properties of yeast and yeast juices. Although enzymes are produced in the living cell, they are not dependent upon the vital processes of the cell and work outside the cell. Certain enzymes of yeast, for instance, when expressed from the yeast cells are capable of exerting their usual effect, that is, the conversion of sugar to alcohol. A striking feature of enzymes is that while they enter into chemical reaction, they remain intact in the process. They however, act with maximum efficiency at a certain temperature. Lowering the temperature below or raising it above this level slows the reaction. A high degree of heat, that is above 60 o C, permanently destroys their action. It has been estimated that there are over 20,000 enzymes in the human body. This estimate is based on the number of bodily processes that seem to require action. However, so far only about 1,000 enzymes have been identified. But their great role in nutrition and other living processes has been firmly established. They are protein molecules made up of chains of amino acids. They play a vital role and work more efficiently than any reagent concocted by chemists. Thus for instance, a chemist can separate proteins into their component amino acids by boiling them at 166 o C for over 18 hours in a strong solution of hydrochloric acid, but the enzymes of the small intestines can do so in less than three hours at body temperature in a neutral medium. A feature which distinguishes enzymes from inorganic catalysts is that they are absolutely specific in their actions. This means that a particular enzyme can cause reactions involving only a particular type of substance or a group of closely related substances. The substance on which the enzyme acts is known as "substrate". The specificity of an enzyme is, however, related to the formation of the enzyme-substrate complex which requires that the appropriate groupings of both substrate and enzyme should be in correct relative position. The substrate must fit the enzyme like a key fits its lock. Enzymes which are used in the cells which make them are called intracellular enzymes. Enzymes which are produced in cells which secrete them to other parts of the body are known as extracellular enzymes. Digestive juices are an example of the latter type.
There are few enzymes whose names have been established by long usage such as ptyalin, pepsin, trypsin and erepsin. Apart from these, enzymes are usually named by adding the suffixes to the main part of the name of the substrate upon which they act. Thus amylases act upon starch (amylum), lac- tase acts upon lactose, lipases act upon lipids, maltase acts upon maltose and proteases act upon lipids, maltase acts upon maltose and proteases act upon proteins. There are, however, several enzymes which act upon many substances in different ways. These enzymes are named by their functions rather than substrates. Thus, an enzyme which causes deaminations is called a deaminase and oxidising enzyme an oxidase. Some enzymes work efficiently only if some other specific substance is present in addition to substrate. This other substance is known as an "activator" or a "conenzyme" . "Acti- vators" are usually inorganic ions. They increase the activity of a complete enzyme and may take part in the formation of the enzyme-substrate complex. Many of the conenzymes are related to vitamins. This explains why vitamin deficiencies profoundly alter metabolism. Thus, for instance, thiamine, as thiamine pyrophosphate, functions as a conenzyme in at least 14 enzymes systems. Conenzymes, like enzymes, are being continuously regenerated in the cells. Enzymes play a decisive role in the digestion of food as they are responsible for the chemical changes which the food undergoes during digestion. The chemical changes comprise the breaking up of the large molecules of carbohydrates, fats and proteins into smaller ones or conversion of complex substances into simple ones which can be absorbed by the intestines. They also control the numerous reactions by which these simple substances are utilized in the body for building up new tissues and producing energy. The enzymes themselves are not broken down or changed in the process. They remain as powerful at the end of a reaction as they were at the beginning. Moreover, very small amounts can convert large amounts of material. They are thus true catalysts. The process of digestion begins in the mouth. The saliva in the moth, besides helping to masticate the food, carries an enzyme called ptyalin which begins the chemical action of digestion. It initiates the catabolism (breakdown) of carbohydrates by converting starches into simple sugars. This explains the need for thorough mastication of starchy food in the mouth. If this is not done the ptyalin cannot carry out its functions as it is active in an alkaline, neutral or slightly acid medium and is inactivated by the highly acid gastric juices in the stomach. Although enzymatic action starts while food is being chewed, digestion moves into high gear only when the chewed food has passed the esophagus and reached the stomach. While the physical action of peristalsis churns and kneads solid food into a semi-solid amorphous mixture called chyme, this mixture undergoes chemical changes initiated by gastric juices secreted by the walls of the stomach. These juices include mucus for lubricating the stomach, hydrochloric acid and gastric juice. The enzyme or active principle of the gastric juice is pepsin. This enzyme in combination with hydrochloric acid starts the breakdown of proteins into absorbable amino acids called polypeptides. An additional enzyme, rennin, plays an important role in the stomach of the infant. It curdles milk and allows the pepsin to work upon it. The gastric juice has no effect upon starches or fats. When the chyme leaves the stomach and enters the small intestine through the pylorus - the lower escape valve, it still contains much food which is in the form of raw material not yet ready for absorption in the body. Digestion is completed inside the small intestine by several juices. From liver comes a liquid called bile which converts fat globules into a smooth emulsion. The pancreas contributes various enzymes which continue the breakdown of proteins, help to divide starch into sugars and work with bile in digesting fats. The small intestine itself secretes enzymes from its inner wall to complete the reactions. When all the enzymes have done their work, the food is digested and rendered fit for absorption by the system.
Super Enzymes form part of the food we eat. Raw foods contain enzymes in abundance ; cooking,pasteurising, pickling, smoking and other processings denature enzymes. It is, therefore, essential to include in our diet, substantial amount of raw foods in the form of fruits, raw salads and sprouts. Studies have revealed that the body without sufficient raw materials from raw foods, may tire and produce fewer enzymes year after year. This may lead to wearing out of body processes and consequent worn-out looks. Share Health|Fitness
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Friday, August 20, 2010

Optimium Nutrition

Diet plays a vital role in the maintenance of good health,Nutrition, Vigour, Vitality and in the prevention and cure of disease. In the words of Sir Robert McCarrison, one of the best known nutritionists, ‘The right kind of food is the most important single factor in the promotion of health ; and the wrong kind of food is the most important single factor in the promotion of disease. "The human body builds up and maintains healthy cells, tissues, glands and organs only with the help of various nutrients. The body cannot perform any of its functions, be they metabolic, hormonal, mental, physical or chemical, without specific nutrients. The food which provides these nutrients is thus one of the most essential factors in building and maintaining health. Nutrition, which depends on food, is also of utmost importance in the cure of disease. The primary cause of disease is a weakened organism or lowered resistance in the body, arising from the adoption of a faulty nutritional pattern. There is an elaborate healing mechanism within the body but it can perform its function only if it is abundantly supplied with all the essential nutritional factors. It is believed that at least 45 chemical components and elements are needed by human cells. Each of these 45 substances, called essential nutrients, must be present in adequate diets. The list of these nutrients, include oxygen and water. The other 43 essential nutrients are classified into five main groups, namely carbohydrates, fats, proteins, minerals and vitamins. All 45 of these nutrients are vitally important and they work together. Therefore, the absence of any of them will result in disease and eventually in death. Research has shown that almost all varieties of disease can be produced by an under-supply of various nutrients. These nutritional deficiencies occur on account of various factors, including the intense processsing and refining of foods, the time lag between the harvesting and consumption of vegetables and fruits, the chemicals used in bleaching, flavouring, colouring and preserving foods and the chemical fertilisers, fungicides insecticides and sprays used for treating the soil. Therefore, as a first principle of nutrition, one should insist upon whole meal flour and whole meal bread and avoid the white stuff. Research has also shown that diseases produced by combinations of deficiencies can be corrected when all the nutrients are supplied, provided irreparable damage has not been done. A well-balanced and correct diet is thus of utmost importance for the maintenance of good health and the healing of diseases. Such a diet, obviously should be made up of foods, which in combination would supply all the essential nutrients. It has been found that a diet which contains liberal quantities of (I) seeds, nuts, and grains , (ii) vegetables and (iii) fruits, would provide adequate amounts of all the essential nutrients. These foods have, therefore, been aptly called basic food groups and the diet contains these food groups as optimum diet for vigour and vitality. It is described, in brief, below :
(I) Seeds , nuts and grains :
These are the most important and the most potent of all foods and contain all the important nutrients needed for human growth. They contain the germ, the reproductive power which is of vital importance for the lives of human beings and their health. Millet, wheat, oats, barley, brown rice, beans and peas are all highly valuable in building health. Wheat, mung beans, alfalfa seeds and soya beans make excellent sprouts. Sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, almonds, peanuts and soya beans contain complete proteins of high biological value. Seeds, nuts and grains are also excellent natural sources of essential unsaturated fatty acids necessary for health. They are also good sources of lecithin and most of the B vitamins.They are the best natural sources of vitamin C, which is perhaps the most important vitamin for the preservation of health and prevention of premature ageing. Besides, they are rich sources of minerals and supply necessary bulk in the diet. They also contain auxones, the natural substance that play an important role in the rejuvenation of cells and prevention of premature ageing.
(ii) Vegetables :
They are extremely rich source of minerals, enzymes and vitamins. Faulty cooking and prolonged careless storage, however, destroy these valuable nutrients. Most of the vegetables are, therefore, best consumed in their natural raw state in the form of salads. There are different kinds of vegetables. They may be edible roots, stems, leaves, fruits and seeds. Each group contributes to the diet in its own way. Fleshy roots have energy value and good sources of vitamin B . Seeds are relatively high in carbohydrates and proteins and yellow ones are rich in vitamin A. Leaves, stems and fruits are excellent sources of minerals, vitamins, water and roughage. To prevent loss of nutrients in vegetables, it would be advisable to steam or boil vegetables in their juices on a slow fire and the water or cooking liquid should not be drained off. No vegetable should be peeled unless it is so old that the peel is tough and unpalatable. In most root vegetables, the largest amount of mineral is directly under the skin and these are lost if vegetables are peeled. Soaking of vegetables should also be avoided if taste and nutritive value are to be preserved.
(iii) Fruits :
Like vegetables, fruits are an excellent source of minerals, vitamins and enzymes. They are easily digested and exercise a cleansing effect on the blood and digestive tract. They contain high alkaline properties, a high percentage of water and a low percentage of proteins and fats. Their organic acid and high sugar content have immediate refreshing effects. Apart from seasonable fresh fruits, dry fruits, such as raisins, prunes and figs are also beneficial. Fruits are at their best when eaten in the raw and ripe states. In cooking, the loose portions of the nutrient salts and carbohydrates. They are most beneficial when taken as a separate meal by themselves, preferably for breakfast in the morning. If it becomes necessary to take fruits with regular food, they should form a larger proportion of the meals. Fruits, however, make better combination with milk than with meals. It is also desirable to take one kind of fruit at a time. For the maintenance of good health, atleast one pound of uncooked fruits should form part of the daily diet. In case of sickness, it will be advisable to take fruits in the form of juices. The three basic health-building foods mentioned above should be supplemented with certain special foods such as milk, vegetable oils and honey. Milk is an excellent food. It is considered as " Nature’s most nearly perfect food." The best way to take milk is in its soured form - that is, yogurt and cottage cheese. Soured milk is superior to sweet milk as it is in a predigested form and more easily assimilated. Milk helps maintain a healthy intestinal flora and prevents intestinal putrefaction and constipation. High quality unrefined oils should be added to the diet. They are rich in unsaturated fatty acids, vitamin C and F and lecithin. The average daily amount should not exceed two tablespoons . Honey too is an ideal food. It helps increase calcium retention in the system, prevents nutritional anaemia besides being beneficial in kidney and liver disorders, colds, poor circulation and complexion problems. It is one of the nature’s finest energy-giving food. A diet of the three basic food groups, supplemented with the special foods, mentioned above, will ensure a complete and adequate supply of all the vital nutrients needed for health, vitality and prevention of diseases. It is not necessary to include animal protein like egg, fish or meat in this basic diet, as animal protein, especially meat, always has a detrimental effect on the healing process. A high animal protein is harmful to health and may cause many of our common ailments.
Daily Menu
Based on what has been stated above, the daily menu of a health-building and vitalising diet should be on the following lines :
Upon arising :- A glass of lukewarm water mixed with the juice of a half a lemon and a teaspoon of honey, or a glass of freshly squeezed juice of any available seasonable fruit such as apple, pineapple, orange, sweet lime and grapes.
Breakfast :- Fresh fruits such as apple, orange, banana, grapes, or any available seasonal fruits, a cup of butter-milk or unpasteurised milk and a handful of raw nuts or a couple of tablespoons of sunflower and pumpkin seeds.
Mid-morning snack : One apple or a banana or any other fruit.
Lunch : A bowl of freshly prepared steamed vegetables using salt, vegetable oil and butter for seasoning, one or two slices of whole grain bread or chappatis and a glass of butter-milk.
Mid-afternoon : A glass of fresh fruit or vegetable juice or any available fruit.
Dinner : A large bowl of fresh salad made up of green vegetables, such as tomatoes, carrot, cabbage, cucumber, red beet and onion with lime juice dressing, any available sprouts such as alfalfa seeds, and mung beans , a warm vegetable course, if desired, one tablespoon of fresh butter, cottage cheese or a glass of butter-milk. The above menu is a general outline around which an individual diet can be built. It can be modified and changed to adopt to specific requirements and conditions. The menu for lunch and dinner is interchangeable.Do not drink liquids with meals. The water should be taken half an hour before meals or an hour after meals. Milk, buttermilk, and vegetable soups are foods and can be taken with meals. Share Health|Fitness
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Saturday, July 10, 2010

Therapeutic Baths

Water has been used as a valuable therapeutic agent since time immemorial. In all major ancient civilizations, bathing was considered an important measure for the maintenance of health and prevention of disease. It was also valued for its remedial properties. The ancient Vedic literature in India contains numerous references to the efficacy of water in the treatment of disease. In modern times, the therapeutic value of water was popularised by Vincent Priessnitz, Father Sebastian Kneipp, Louis Kuhne and other European water-cure pioneers. They raised water cure to an institutional level and employed it successfully for the treatment of almost every
known disease. There are numerous spas and "Bads" in most European countries where therapeutic baths are used as a major healing agent. Water exerts beneficial effects on the human system. It equalises circulation, boosts muscular tone and aids digestion and nutrition. It also tones up the activity of perspiratory gland and in the process eliminates the damaged cells and toxic matter from the system. The common water temperature chart is : cold 100C to 180C, neutral 320C to 360C and hot 400C to 450C. Above 450C, water loses its therapeutic value and is destructive. The main methods of water treatment which can be employed in the healing of various in a do-it-yourself manner are described below.
Also known as rectal irrigation, an enema involves the injection of fluid into the rectum. In nature cure treatment, only lukewarm water is used for cleaning the bowels. The patient is made to lie on his left side extending his left leg and bending the right leg slightly. The enema nozzle, lubricated with oil or vaseline, is inserted in the rectum. The enema can containing the lukewarm water is then slowly raised and water is allowed to enter into the rectum. Generally, one to two litres of water is injected. The patient may either lie down on his back or walk a little while retaining the water. After five to 10 minutes, the water can be ejected along with the accumulated morbid matter. A warm water enema helps to clean the rectum of accumulated faecal matter. This is not only the safest system for cleaning the bowels, but also improves the peristaltic movement of the bowels and thereby relieves constipation. A cold water enema is helpful in inflammatory conditions of the colon, especially in cases of dysentery, diarrhoea, ulcerative colitis, haemorrhoids and fever. A hot water enema is beneficial in relieving irritation due to inflammation of the rectum and painfull haemorrhoids. It also benefits women in haemorrhoids.
This is a local application using a cloth which has been wrung out in cold water. The cloth should be folded into a broad strip and dipped in cold water or ice water. The compress is generally applied to the head,neck, chest, abdomen and back. The cold compress is an effective means of controlling inflammatory conditions of the liver, spleen, stomach, kidneys, intestines, lungs, brain, pelvic organs and so on. It is also advantageous in cases of fever and heart disease. The cold compress soothes dermities and inflammations of external portions of the eye. When the
eyeball is affected, the cold compress should follow a short fermentation.
This is a cold compress covered in such a manner as to bring warmth. A heating compress consists of three or four folds of linen cloth wrung out in cold water which is then covered completely with dry flannel or blanket to prevent the circulation of air and help accumulation of body heat. It is sometimes applied for several hours. The duration of the application is determined by the extent and location of the surface involved, the nature and thickness of the coverings and the water temperature. After removing the compress , the area should be rubbed with a wet cloth and then dried with a towel. A heating compress can be applied to the throat, chest, abdomen, and joints. A throat compress relieves sore throat, hoarseness, tonsillitis, pharyngitis and laryngitis. An abdominal compress helps those suffering from gastritis, hyperacidity, indigestion, jaundice, constipation, diarrhoea, dysentery and other ailments relating to the abdominal organs. The chest compress also known as chest pack, relieves cold, bronchitis, pleurisy,
pneumonia, fever, cough and so on, while the joints compress is helpful for inflamed joints, rheumatism, rheumatic fever and sprains.
The hip bath is one of the most useful forms of hydrotherapy. As the name suggests, this mode of treatment involves only the hips and the abdominal region below the navel. A special type of tub is used for the purpose. The tub is filled with water in such a way that it covers the hips and reaches upto the navel when the patient sits in it. Generally, four to six gallons of water are required. If the special tub is not available, a common tub may be used. A support may be placed under one edge to elevate it by two or three inches. Hip bath is given in cold, hot, neutral or alternate temperatures.
The water temperature should be 100C to 180C. The duration of the bath is usually 10 minutes , but in specific conditions it may vary from one minute to 30 minutes. If the patient feels cold or is very weak, a hot foot immersion should be given with the cold hip bath. The patient should rub the abdomen briskly from the navel downwards and across the body with a moderately coarse wet cloth. The legs, feet and upper part of the body should remain completely dry during and after the bath. The patient should undertake moderate exercise like yogasanas, after the cold hip bath, to warm the body. A cold hip bath is a routine treatment in most diseases. It relieves constipation, indigestion, obesity and helps the eliminative organs to function properly. It is also helpful in uterine problems like irregular menstruation, chronic uterine infections, pelvic inflammation, piles, hepatic congestion, chronic congestion of the prostate gland, seminal weakness, impotency,
sterility, uterine and ovarian displacements, dilation of the stomach and colon, diarrhoea, dysentery, hemorrhage of the bladder and so on. The cold hip bath should not be employed in acute inflammations of the pelvic and abdominal organs, ovaries and in painful contractions of the bladder, rectum or vagina.
This bath is generally taken for eight to 10 minutes at a water temperature of 400C to 450C. The bath should start at 400C. The temperature should be gradually increased to 450C. NO friction should be applied to the abdomen. Before entering the tub,the patient should drink one glass of cold water. A cold compress should be placed on the head. A hot hip bath helps to relieve painful menstruation, pain in the pelvic organs, painful urination, inflamed rectum or bladder and painful piles. It also benefits enlarged prostatic gland, painful contractions or spasm of the
bladder, sciatica, neuralgia of the ovaries and bladder. A cold shower bath should be taken immediately after the hot hip bath. Care should be taken to prevent the patient from catching a chill after the bath. The bath should be terminated if the patient feels giddy or complains of excessive pain.
The temperature of the water should be 320C to 360C. Here too, friction to the abdomen should be avoided. This bath is generally taken for 20 minutes to an hour. The neutral hip bath helps to relieve all acute and sub-acute inflammatory conditions such as acute catarrh of the bladder and urethra and subacute inflammations in the uterus, ovaries and tubes. It also relieves neuralgia of the fallopian tubes or testicles, painful spasms of the vagina and prorates of the anus and vulva. Besides, it is a sedative treatment for erotomanis in both sexes.
This is also known as revulsive hip bath. The temperature in the hot tub should be 400C to 450C and in the cold tub 100C to 180C. The patient should alternately sit in the hot tub for five minutes and then in the cold tub for three minutes. The duration of the bath is generally 10 to 20 minutes. The head and neck should be kept cold with a cold compress. The treatment should end with a dash of cold water to the hips. This bath relieves chronic inflammatory conditions of the pelvic viscera such as salpingitis, ovaritis, cellulitis and various neuralgias of the genito-urinary organs, sciatica and lumbago.
The spinal bath is another important form of hydrotherapic treatment. This bath provides a soothing effect to the spinal column and thereby influences the central nervous system. It is given in a specially designed tub with its back raised so as to provide proper support to the head. The bath can be administered at cold, neutral and hot temperatures. The water level in the tub should be an inch and a half to two inches and the patient should lie in it for three to 10 minutes. The cold spinal bath relieves irritation, fatigue, hypertension and excitement. It is beneficial in almost all nervous disorders such as hysteria, fits, mental disorders, loss of memory and tension. The neutral spinal bath is a soothing and sedative treatment, especially for the highly strung and irritable patient. It is the ideal treatment for insomnia and also relieves tension of the vertebral column. The duration of this bath is 20 to 30 minutes. The hot spinal bath, on the other hand, helps to stimulate the nervous, especially when they are in a depressed state. It also relieves vertebral pain in spondylitis and muscular backache. It relieves sciatic pain and gastrointestinal disturbances of gastric origin.
This is a procedure in which the whole body is wrapped in a wet sheet, which in turn is wrapped in a dry blanket for regulating evaporation. The blanket should be spread on the bed with its edges hanging over the edge of the bed. The upper end should be about eight inches from the head of the bed. Then spread a linen sheet wrung out in cold water over the blanket so that its end is slightly below the upper end of the blanket. The patient should lie on the bedsheet with his shoulders about three inches below the upper age. The wet sheet should be weekly wrapped round the body of the patient, drawn in, tightly tucked between the legs and also between the body and the arms. The sheet should be folded over the shoulders and across the neck. Now
the blanket should be drawn tightly around the body and tucked in along the side in a similar manner, pulling it tightly. The ends should be doubled up at the feet. A turkish towel should be placed below the chin to protect the face and neck from coming into contact with the blanket and to exclude outside air more effectively. The head should be covered with a wet cloth so that the sculp remains cold. The feet should be kept warm during the entire treatment. If the patient’s feet are cold, place hot water bottles near them to hasten reaction. The pack is administered for half an hour to one hour till the patient begins to perspire profusely. He may be given cold or hot water to drink. This pack is useful in cases of fever especially in typhoid and continued fevers, and benefits those suffering from insomnia, epilepsy and infantile convulsions. It is useful in relieving chronic cold and bronchitis and helps in the treatment of rheumatism and obesity.
In this method, the patient should keep his or her legs in a tub or bucket filled with hot water at a temperature of 400C to 450C. Before taking this bath, a glass of water should be taken and the body should be covered with a blanket so that no heat or vapour escapes from the foot bath. The head should be protected with a cold compress. The duration of the bath is generally from 5 to 20 minutes. The patient should take a cold shower immediately after the bath. The hot foot bath stimulates the involuntary muscles of the uterus, intestines, bladder and other pelvic and abdominal organs. It also relieves sprains and ankle joint pains, headaches caused
by cerebral congestion and colds. In women, it helps restore menstruation , if suspended, by increasing supply of blood especially to the uterus and ovaries.
Three to four inches of cold water at a temperature of 7.20C to 12.70C should be placed in a small tub or bucket. The feet should be completely immersed in the water for one to five minutes. Friction should be continuously applied to the feet during the bath, either by an attendant or by the patient by rubbing one foot against the other. A cold foot bath, taken for one or two minutes,relieves cerebral congestion and uterine hemorrhage. It also helps in the treatment of sprains, strains and inflamed bunions when taken for longer periods. It should not be taken in cases of inflammatory conditions of the genito-urinary organs, liver and kidneys.
Steam bath is one of the most important time-tested water treatments which induces perspiration in a most natural way. The patient, clad in minimum loin cloth or underwear, is made to sit on a stool inside a specially designed cabinet. Before entering the cabinet, the patient should drink one or two glasses of cold water and protect the head with a cold towel. The duration of the steam bath is generally 10 to 20 minutes or until perspiration takes place. A cold shower should be taken immediately after the bath. Very weak patients, pregnant women, cardiac patients and those suffering from high blood pressure should avoid this bath. If the patient feels giddy or uneasy during the steam bath, he or she should be immediately taken out and given a glasss of cold water and the face washed with cold water. The steam bath helps to eliminate morbid matter from the surface of the skin. It also improves circulation of the blood and tissue activity. It relieves rheumatism, gout, uric acid problems, and obesity. The steam bath is helpful in all forms of chronic toxemias. It also relieves neuralgias, chronic nephritis, infections, tetanus and migraine.
This is also known as full bath. It is administered in a bath tub which should be properly fitted with hot and cold water connections. The bath can be taken at cold, neutral, hot, graduated and alternate temperatures.
This may be taken for four seconds to 20 minutes at a temperature ranging from 100C to 23.80C. Before entering the bath, cold water should be poured on the patient’s head, chest and neck and the head should be protected with a cold moist towel. During the bath, the patient should vigorously rub his or her body. After the bath the body should be quickly dried and wrapped up in a blanket. If the climate is favourable, moderate exercise should be undertaken. This bath helps to bring down fever. It also improves the skin when taken for five to 15 seconds after a prolonged hot bath, by exhilarating circulation and stimulating the nervous system. This bath should not be given to young children or very elderly persons, nor be taken in cases of acute inflammation of some internal organs such as acute peritonitis, gastritis, enteritis and inflammatory conditions of uterus and ovaries.
The patient should enter the bath at a temperature of 310C. The water temperature should be lowered gradually at the rate of 10C per minute until it reaches 250C. The bath should continue until the patient starts shivering. The graduated bath is intended to avoid nervous shock by sudden plunge into the cold water. This bath is often administered every three hours in cases of fever. It effectively brings down the temperature except in malarial fever. Besides, it also produces a general tonic effect, increases vital resistances and energises the heart.
This bath can be given from 15 to 60 minutes at a temperature ranging from 260C to 280C. It can be given for long duration, without any ill-effects, as the water temperature is akin to the body temperature. The neutral bath diminishes the pulse rate without modifying respiration. This treatment is the best sedative. Since the neutral bath excites activity of both the skin and the kidneys, it is recommended in cases relating to these organs. It is also beneficial for cases of organic diseases of the brain and spinal cord, including chronic inflammatory conditions such as
meningitis, rheumatism and arthritis. A neutral immersion bath taken for 30 to 60 minutes is highly beneficial in general dropsy, due to cardiac or renal diseases. It also helps those suffering from multiple neuritis, alcoholism and other narcotic habits, chronic diarrhoea, peritonitis and chronic affections of the abdomen. In
such cases the bath may be given daily for 15 to 30 minutes. This bath is also useful in the toxemic conditions caused by dyspepsia and pruritus. The neutral bath should not be prescribed in certain cases of eczema and other forms of skin diseases where water aggravates the symptoms, nor in cases of extreme cardiac weakness.
This bath can be taken from two to 15 minutes at a temperature from 36.60C to 400C. Generally this bath is started at 370C and the temperature is then gradually raised to the required level by adding hot water. Before entering the bath, the patient should drink cold water and also wet the head, neck and shoulders with cold water. A cold compress should be applied throughout the treatment. This bath can be advantageously employed in dropsy when there is excessive loss of tone of the heart and blood. This bath also relieves capillary bronchitis and bronchial pneumonia
in children. It relieves congestation of the lungs and activates the blood vessels of the skin muscles. The bath should be terminated as soon as the skin becomes red.
In pneumonia and suppressed menstruation, the bath should be administered at 37.70C to 400C for about 30 to 45 minutes. This bath should be given when the menstruation is due and may be repeated for two to three days in succession. In dysmenorrhoea, this bath should be given at 380C to 44.40C for 15 minutes. In chronic bronchitis a very hot bath taken for 5 to 7 minutes should be accompanied with rubbing and friction. This relieves congestion of the mucous membrane and provides immediate
relief After the bath, oil should be applied to the skin if necessary. The hot bath is a valuable treatment in chronic rheumatism and obesity. It gives immediate relief
when there is pain due to stones in the gall bladder and the kidneys. The hot bath should not be taken in cases of organic diseases of the brain or spinal cord, nor in cases of cardiac weakness and cardiac hypertrophy.
The immersion bath tub should be filled with about 135 litres of hot water at 400C. One to 1 1/2 kg. of Epsom salt should be dissolved in this water. The patient should drink a glass of cold water, cover the head with a cold towel and then lie down in the tub, completely immersing the trunk, thighs and legs for 15 to 20 minutes. The best time to take this bath is just before retiring to bed. This is useful in cases of sciatica, lumbago, rheumatism, diabetes, neuritis, cold and catarrh, kidney disorders and other uric acid and skin affections.
Certain precautions are necessary while taking these therapeutic baths. Full baths should be avoided within three hours after a meal and one hour before it. Local baths like the hip bath and foot bath may, however, be taken two hours after a meal. Clean and pure water must be used for baths and water once used should not be used again. While taking baths, temperature and duration should be strictly observed to obtain the desired effects. A thermometer should always be used to measure the temperature of the body. Women should not take any of the baths during menstruation. They can take only hip baths during pregnancy till the completion of the third month. Share Health|Fitness
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Treating Pneumonia

Pneumonia refers to the acute inflammation of the lungs. It is one of the most serious infectious disease. There are basically two types of penumonia, called lobar pneumonia and bronchopneumonia They, however, run into each other and are treated in the same way. The disease becomes more serious if both the lungs are affected. It is called double pneumonia in common parlance.
Pneumonia Symptoms
Most cases of pneumonia begin with a cold in the head or throat. The patient generally feels chill, shivering, difficulty in breathing and sharp pain in the chest. This may be followed by a cough with pinkish sputum which may later become brownish. The patient usually suffers from fever and headache. In more serious cases of pneumonia, the sputum may be of rusty colour. In your children, the disease may cause delirum and convulsions. Most patients feel very miserable and sweat profusely. The temperature may rise to 105 o F and pulse may go upto 150 beats per minutes. A common complication of all kinds of pneumonia is pleurisy.
Pneumonia Causes
Pneumonia is caused by various types of germs such as streptococus, staphyloccus and pneunococcus variety. At times, certain viruses are also responsible for the disease. Other causes of diseases are fungal infection, irritation by worms, inhaling foreign matter, irritant dust or noxious gases and vapours such as ammonia, nitrogen dioxide or cadmium. The real cause of pneumonia , however, is the toxic condition of the body, especially of the lungs and air passages, resulting from wrong feeding and faulty life style. Persons with healthy tissues and strong vital force are unlikely to catch pneumonia. It is only when the system is clogged with the toxic matter and the vitality is low that the germs of pneumonia invade a person.
Treat Pneumonia
To begin with, the patient should be kept on a diet of raw juices for five to ten days, depending on the severity of the disease. In this regimen he should take a glass of fruit or vegetable juice diluted with warm water every two or three hours. Fruits such as orange, mosambi, apple, pineapple and grapes and vegetables like carrots, tomatoes may be used for juices. After a diet of raw juices, when the fever subsides, the patient should three or four further days on an exclusive fresh fruit diet, taking three meals a day of juicy fruits such as apple, grapes, pineapple, mangoes, orange, lemon and papaya. Thereafter, he may gradually adopt a ell-balanced diet of natural foods consisting of foods , seeds, and grains, vegetables and fruits with emphasis on fresh fruits and raw vegetables. The patients should be given warm enema daily to cleanse the bowel during the period of raw juice therapy and all fruit diet and thereafter, when necessary. The patient should avoid strong tea, coffee , refined foods, fried foods, white sugar, white flour and all products made from them, condiments and pickles. He should also avoid all meats as well as alcoholic beverages and smoking. To reduce temperature naturally, during the course of the fever, the procedure outlined in the chapter on malaria may be followed. Sipping of cold water has also been found beneficial in the treatment of pneumonia. The patient should sip cold water at short intervals so long as the fever continues. The cold water is cooling to the feverish blood.
Home Remedies
Certain home remedies have been found beneficial in the treatment of pneumonia. During the early acute stage of this disease, a herbal tea made from fenugreek seeds will help the body to produce perspiration, dispel toxicity and shorten the period of fever. In can be taken upto four cups daily. The quantity should be reduced as condition improves. To improve flavour, a few drops of lemon juice can be used. During this treatment, no other food or nourishment should be taken as fasting and fenugreek will allow the body to correct these respiratory problems in a few days.
According to Dr. F.W. Crosman, an eminent physician, garlic is a marvellous remedy for pneumonia, if given in sufficient quantities. This physician used garlic for many years in pneumonia, and said that in no instance did it fail to bring down the temperature as well as the pulse and respiration within 48 hours. Garlic juice can also be applied externally to the chest with beneficial results as it is an irritant and rubefacient. Sesame seeds ( til ) are valuable in pneumonia . An infusion of the seeds, mixed with a tablespoon of linseed,a pinch of common salt and a desert spoon of honey, should be given in the treatment of this disease. This will help remove catarrhal matter and phelgm from the bronchial-tubes. The pain of pneumonia can be relieved by rubbing oil of turpentine over the rib cage and wrapping warmed cotton wool over it. Share Health|Fitness
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Eczema Home Remedy

The term ‘eczema’ is derived from a Greek word meaning ‘to boil.’ It refers to an inflammation of the skin which results in the formation of vesicls or pulstules. It is the most common and most troublesome of all skin diseases. Eczema is essentially a constitutional disease, resulting from a toxic condition of the system. The disease covers a wide variety of forms, the majority of them being of a chronic variety.
Eczema SymptomsEczema in its acute form is indicated by redness and swelling of the skin, the formation of minute vesicles and severe heat. If the vesicles rupture, a raw, moist surface is formed. From this, a colourless discharge oozes, which forms skin crusts when it accumulates. The disease is usually worst at night when the heat of the body is retained by the bed-clothes. The skin itches at all stages. In the wet stage, it may become infected with bacteria. The healing of the condition is affected by scratching in response to the irritation. Scratching not only spreads infection but also lengthens the stage of dryness and scaling.
Allergies play an important part in causing eczema. Some women get eczema on their hands due to an allergy to soap or detergents used to wash clothes or dishes. Some persons develop it around the fingers when they wear rings because of allergy to metals. Researchers at the University of Texas Health Science Centre at San Antonio, in a recent study of children with atropic eczema, found that 75 per cent were allergic to a number of foods. The most common triggers for sensitive persons are eggs, peanuts, chocolate, wheat, cow’s milk, chicken and potato. The real cause of eczema however is the failure of the human system to excrete the poisons from the various orifices of the body. Waste matter is excreted from the rectum through stools, from the bladder through urine, from the lungs through breath and from the pores of the skin through sweat. Sometime the pores of the skin are overworked as waste matter is not properly eliminated from the other orifices. If the pores are not given the chance to perform their function, the sweat will be full of morbid matter and this gives rise to skin diseases like eczema, acne, boils and other eruptions. Other causes include faulty metabolism, constipation, nutritional deficiencies and stress brought about by nagging spouses, jealousy, frustration and a host of other emotions. Suppressive drug treatment of the formal disease is also a most potent subsidiary causative factor in many cases.
Eczema TreatmentsSkin applications to cure eczema may give temporary relief. If the exudation is suppressed, some other more serious disease may develop. The best way to deal with eczema is to cleanse the blood stream and the body. The treatment should start with a fast on orange juice and water from five to days, depending on the severity and duration of the trouble. Juice fasting will help eliminate toxic waste from the body and lead to substantial improvement. In some cases, the condition may worsen in the beginning of the fast due to the increased elimination of waste matter through the skin. But as fasting continues, improvement will manifest itself. Fruits, salt free, raw or steamed vegetables with whole meal bread or chappatis may be taken after the juice fast. Carrot and musk melon are particularly beneficial. Coconut oil may be used instead of ghee. After a few days, curd and milk may be added to the diet. The patients may thereafter gradually embark upon a well-balanced diet of three basic food groups, namely (i) seeds, nutsand grains (ii) vegetables and (iii) fruits. The large proportion of the diet should consist of raw foods. Seeds and beans such as alfalfa, mung and soyabeans can be sprouted. This diet may be supplemented with cold-pressed vegetable oils, honey and yeast. Juice fasting may be repeated at intervals of two months or so, depending on the progress being made, in chronic and more difficult cases of eczema, patient should fast atleast once a week till he is cured. The patient should avoid tea, coffee, alcoholic beverages and all condiments and highly flavoured dishes. He should also avoid sugar, white flour products, denatured cereals like polished rice, and pearled barley and tinned or bottled foods. He should eat only pure and wholesome foods. Raw vegetable juices, especially carrot juice in combination with spinach juice, have proved highly beneficial in the treatment of eczema. The formula proportions considered helpful in this combination are carrot 300 ml. and spinach 200 ml. to make 500 ml. or half a litre of juice. The patient should get as much fresh air as possible. Restrictive clothing should not be worn. Two or three litres of water should be taken daily and the patient must bath twice or thrice a day. The skin, with the exception of the parts affected with eczema, should be vigorously rubbed with the palms of the hands before taking the bath. Coconut oil may be applied to the portions with eczema. It will help the skin to stay soft. Walking or jogging should be resorted to in order to inactivate the bowels. Sun bathing is also beneficial as it kills the harmful bacteria and should be resorted to early in the morning, in the first light of dawn. A light mudpack should be applied over the sites of the eczema is also helpful. The pack should be applied for an hour at a time and should be repeated twice or thrice a day .
Water Treatment
In cases of acute eczema, cold compress or cold wet fomentations are beneficial. The affected part should be wrapped with a thick soft cloth. The cloth should be moistened with cold water (55 o - 60 o F) every 15 to 30 minutes for two hours at a time. The bandage should be left intact, keeping the cloth cold. There may be intensification of itching or pain initially but this will soon subside. A cold compress may be applied twice daily for a week or so. Share Health|Fitness
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Bleeding Piles

Piles or haemorrhoids are among the most common ailments today, especially in the Western world. They are a varicose and often inflammed condition of the veins inside or just outside the rectum. In external piles there is a lot of pain, but not much bleeding. In case of internal piles there is discharge of dark blood. In some cases the veins burst and this results in what is known as bleeding piles.
Symptoms of Piles
Pain at passing stools, slight bleeding in the case of internal trouble and a feeling of soreness and irritation after passing a stool are the usual symptoms of piles. The patient cannot sit comfortably due to itching, discomfort and pain in the rectal region.
Piles Cause
The primary cause of piles is chronic constipation and other bowel disorders. The pressure applied to pass a stool to evacuate constipated bowls and the congestion caused by constipation ultimately lead to piles. The use of purgatives to relieve constipation, by their irritating and weakening effect on the lining of the rectum, also result in enlargement and inflammation of veins and bleeding of the mucus lining. Piles are more common during pregnancy and in conditions affecting the liver and upper bowel. Prolonged periods of standing or sitting, strenuous work, obesity and general weakness of the tissues of the body are the other contributory causes of piles. Mental tension is also one of the main causes of harmorrioids. Persons who are always in a hurry often strain while passing stools. They rush through defecation instead of making it a relaxed affair. The pressure thus exerted by the anal muscles affect the surrounding tissues. The extra rectal pressure and the resultant congestion of veins ultimately leads to haemorrhoids. There is probably a hereditary factor also involved in the development of piles.
Treatment of Piles
The treatment of the basic cause, namely, chronic constipation, is the only way to get rid of the trouble. To begin with, the whole digestive tract must be given a complete rest for a few days and the intestines thoroughly cleansed. For this purpose the patient should adopt an all-fruit diet for at least seven days. After the all-fruit diet, the patient may adopt a diet of natural foods aimed at securing soft stools. The most important food remedy for piles is dry figs. Three or four figs should be soaked overnight in water after cleansing them thoroughly in hot water. They should be taken the first thing in the morning along with water in which they were soaked. They should also be taken in the evening in a similar manner. This treatment should be continued for three or four weeks. The tiny seeds of the fruit possess an excellent quality of stimulating peristalic movements of intestines. This facilitates easy evacuation of faeces and keeps the alimentary canal clean. The pressure on the anus having thus been relieved, the haemorrhoids also get contracted.
Mango seeds are regarded as an effective remedy for bleeding piles. The seeds should be collected during the mango season, dried in the shade and powdered and kept stored for use as medicine. It should be given in doses of about one and a half gram to two grams with or without honey. The jambul fruit is another effective food remedy for bleeding piles. The fruit should be taken with salt every morning for two or three months in its season. The use of the fruit in this manner in every season will effect a radical cure and save the user from bleeding piles during his / her
entire life. White radish is considered highly valuable in the treatment of piles. Grated radish mixed with honey may be taken in this condition. This vegetable can also be taken in the form of juice mixed with a pinch of salt. It should be given in doses of 60 to 90 ml. in the morning and evening. White radish well ground into a paste in milk can also be beneficial applied over inflammed pile masses to relieve pain and swelling. The patient should drink atleast six to eight glasses of water a day. He should avoid straining to pass a stool. Cold water treatment helps the veins to shrink and tones up their walls. The treatment is done by sitting in a tub filled with cold water for two minutes with knees drawn up to your chin. The water level should cover the hips. This should be done twice a day. Other water treatments beneficial in curing piles include cold perennial douche and cold compress applied to
the rectal area for an hour before bed time. A patient with piles must make an all out effort to tone up the entire system. Exercise plays an important corrective role in this condition. Movements which exercise the abdominal muscles will improve circulation in the rectal region and relieve congestion. Outdoor exercises such as
walking and swimming are excellent methods of building up general health. Yogic kriyas like jalneti and vamandhouti and asanas such as sarvangasana,viparit karani, halasana, gomukhasana are also useful. Sarvangasana is especially beneficial as it drains stagnant blood from the anus. Share Health|Fitness
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Treat Cystitis

The term ‘Cystitis’ refers to ‘inflammation of the bladder’. It is a most common complaint in women. Escherichia coli infections are considered the primary culprit in cystitis. The female anatomy makes it more convenient for e.coli bacteria, which normally inhabit the colon., to travel from the rectum to the vagina, up the urethra and into the bladder. This condition is rarely dangerous but it is generally a forerunner to more serious troubles. The reoccurrence of cystitis may in some cases be associated with kidney troubles. The kidney and bladder are the principal strikers in the urinary system. The kidneys are situated on the back of the abdomen, one on each side of the spine at about the level of the lowest rib. The bladder is situated in the lower abdomen, in the pelvis. The body is relieved of the greater
part of the waste matter, resulting from the complex working of the whole body’s vital processes by means of these two organs.
Symptoms of Cystitis
Cystitis is characterised by symptoms which may cause great discomfort. The patient complains of frequency and burning on urination as well as an almost continual urge to void. There may be a feeling of pain in the pelvis and lower abdomen. The urine may become thick, dark and stingy. It may have an unpleasant smell and may contain blood or pus. The ‘scalding’ sensation on passing urine indicates that the inflammation has spread to the urethra. Some pain in the lower back may also be felt in certain cases. In an acute stage there may be a rise in body temperature. In the chronic form of cystitis, the symptoms are similar but generally less several and without the rise in temperature. The persistence of the chronic form of the disease indicates a process of deterioration, almost invariably due to wrong treatment of the acute form by suppressive drugs.
Cystitis Causes
Cystitis may result from infections in other parts adjacent to the bladder such as the kidneys, the urethra, and the vagina. Local irritation and inflammation of the bladder may be caused if urine is retained there for an unduly long time. It may also result from severe constipation. Continual draining of pus and germs from an infected kidney may injure the epithelial lining of the bladder. Trouble may also arise from the presence of a stone in either bladder or kidney. Childbirth injuries and major surgical procedures within the pelvis may also lower the resistance of the bladder-wall and predispose to the development of the cystitis. There is also the problem of new brides who sometimes suffer from so-called honeymoon cystitis. The bladder wall may become swollen and ulcerated so that the bladder cannot hold the normal amount of urine. Germs may then find their way into the bladder and bring about chemical changes in the urine. Calcium or lime may thus be deposited in the walls of the bladder, increasing the patient’s discomfort.
Cystitis Treatments
At the onset of acute cystitis, it is essential to withhold all solid food immediately. If there is fever, the patient should fast either on water or tender coconut water for three or four days. If there is no fever, raw vegetable juices, especially carrot juice diluted with water, should be taken every two or three hours. By so doing the biochemical energy needed for digestion and metabolism of
food is diverted to the process of eliminating toxins and promoting healing and repair. It is advisable to rest and keep warm at this time. Pain can be relieved by immersing the pelvis in hot water or alternatively by applying heat to the abdomen, using a towel wrung out in hot water, covering it with dry towel to retain warmth. Care should be taken to avoid scalding. A little vegetable oil gently rubbed into the skin , will avoid too much reddening. This treatment may be continued for three or four days, by which time the inflammation should have subsided and the temperature returned to normal. For the next two or three days, only ripe sub-acid fruits may be taken three or four times daily. These fruits may include grapes, pears, peaches,apples, and melon, as available. While the hot compresses are intended to relieve pain, the use of cold water compresses to the abdomen is most valuable, if correctly applied, in relieving pelvic congestion and increasing the
activity of the skin. Care should, however, be taken to ensure that compresses do not cause chilling. After the all-fruit diet, the patient may gradually embark upon a well-balanced diet, consisting of seeds, nuts and grains, vegetables and fruits. The patient should avoid refined carbohydrates and salt, both at table and in cooking. Salt disturbs the balance of electrolytes and tends to raise blood pressure, which is frequently already raised in kidney troubles. The prescribed dietary should exclude meat, fish and poultry. They produce uric acid. Most cases of food poisoning and infections, which may lead to gastritis and colitis, are also caused by the flesh foods. In case of chronic cystitis, the patient should commence the treatment of strict adherence to the dietary programme, designed to cleanse the blood and other tissues and at the same time provide a rich source of natural vitamins and minerals in balanced proportions. The patient may adopt the following restricted diet for seven to ten days.
Upon arising : A glass of unsweetened apple juice or carrot juice
Breakfast : Fresh fruits, selected mainly from apple, pear, grapes, melon, peach and pineapple and a glass of buttermilk, sweetened with a little honey.
Mid-morning : Tender coconut water.
Lunch : A salad of raw vegetables such as carrot, beetroot and cabbage, mixed with curd and a tablespoon of honey. This may be followed by a ripe apple.
Mid-afternoon : One cup of unsweetened grape juice.
Dinner : A salad of green leafy vegetables and a fresh fruit, preferably a portion of melon sweetened with a teaspoon of honey.
Before retiring : One glass of mixed raw carrot and beetroot juice.
After the restricted diet, the patient should gradually embark on a well-balanced diet , consisting of seed, nuts and grains, vegetables and fruits. Even after the recovery from the chronic condition, it will be advisable for the individual to live exclusively on vegetables or on tender coconut water or raw vegetable juices for a day or two, every month. The water treatment and other health building methods should , however, be continued to the greatest extent possible, so that the patient may stay cured. Share Health|Fitness
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