Sunday, December 28, 2008

Goodbye to painful prostate

Goodbye to painful prostate

Treating prostatic-related lower urinary tract symptoms is no longer a pipe dream
by Joseph Masilamany

agony of a prostatic condition such as the pain of an enlarged prostate or benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), which is also known to cause hesitant urination or urination that comes in drips, is only understood by sufferers of BPH.

(from left) Roehrborn and Rohan say there’s
hope for sufferers of BPH.

Its symptoms vary from obstruction of the urethra to the gradual loss of bladder function, which results in incomplete emptying of the bladder.

The most common of these involve changes or problems with urination, such as a hesitant, interrupted, weak stream; urgency and leaking or dribbling; and more frequent urination, especially at night.

The hope for a more permanent and stable regulation of these urinary tract symptoms is no longer a pipe dream. A leading research-based pharmaceutical and healthcare company announced findings from a large study recently which offers new hope to men afflicted with BPH.

The study revealed that a combined treatment – with a 5-alpha-reductase inhibitor (5-ARI), which shrinks enlarged prostates, and another common oral medication (alpha-blocker), which relieves symptoms only – offers a significant improvement than treatment with just either one of these drugs.

The study has also established that combination management eases symptoms including acute urinary retention (AUR) to a large and positive extent.

The analyses from the study (CombAT) were presented to the local media recently by Dr Claus G. Roehrborn, professor and chairman of the Department of Urology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Centre.

Roehrborn said in the post-study period, it was discovered that 5-ARI showed a pattern of "decreasing" enlarged prostate symptom over a 24-month period.

"The study included 4,800 men with moderate to severe BPH symptoms. All study participants received placebo for four weeks and then were randomised to receive a 5-ARI and alpha-blocker combination as well as single therapy with either one of the two drugs.

"The results suggested that physicians should consider combining both these medications in the early treatment stages of BPH to achieve improved symptom relief for men with enlarged prostate.

"This study also provides important new data to guide medical therapy for men with symptomatic BPH. The discomfort and anxiety suffered by men living with BPH should not be underestimated.

"The daily distress of coping with frequent and urgent urination, getting up throughout the night, as well as the underlying fear of potential future complications and possible need for surgery significantly undermine a patient’s quality of life," Roehrborn added.

He went on to explained that the study has shown we can now make a difference to the lives of men with moderate to severe BPH by bringing together the key benefits of each medicine so that they can experience rapid, effective and long-lasting improvement of urinary symptoms.

Roehrborn also said the findings are on-going and researchers will issue a final report at the end of four years regarding the efficacy of the combination-therapy in reducing symptoms, disease progression, the discomfort of AUR and even the possibility of eliminating prostate surgery (prostatectomy).

According to Selayang Hospital’s head of Urology Department Dr Rohan Malek, the incidence of BPH in the country is of concern especially when recent population studies in neighbouring countries have revealed that BPH cases are significantly on the rise.

He also said that despite the apparently low incidence of BPH complications in general, the absolute number of patients who present irksome symptoms of BPH especially in government hospitals is worrying.


Monday, October 27, 2008


YourHealth: Soothing the soles
By : Rajen M. 

It is believed that nerve endings of all major organs are at the soles of the feet. These nerve endings can be stimulated by massage.
It is believed that nerve endings of all major organs are at the soles of the feet. These nerve endings can be stimulated by massage.

REFLEXOLOGY is sometimes called "zone therapy". It is an ancient practice of massaging, squeezing or pushing on the sole of the feet. Sometimes it involves the hands and even the ears.

The goal is to encourage a beneficial effect on other parts of the body and even to improve general health.

How it actually works is still very much debated. One theory is that nerve endings of all major organs are at the soles of the feet. These nerve endings can be stimulated by massaging the end points on the soles.

Reflexologists contend that the body contains an energy field, invisible life force, or Qi. When this is blocked, healing is prevented. Massaging the soles actually enhances the life force. 

Other proposed effects of reflexology include the release of endorphins (natural pain killers found in the body), the promotion of lymphatic flow in the body, or the dissolving of uric acid crystals. That is why you are asked to drink lots of water after each session. 
The origins of reflexology date back to ancient Egypt as evidenced by inscriptions found in a physician's tomb at Saqqara. 

We cannot determine the exact relationship between the ancient art as practised by the early Egyptians and reflexology as we know it today. Different forms of working the feet to effect health have been used in the ancient world.

There seems to be an active phase of its development in China and Japan that parallels the development of acupuncture. Similar techniques are advocated as "mamar therapy" as a part of Ayurveda. 

In the West, the concept of reflexology began to emerge in the 19th century, based on research into the nervous system and reflex.

The precursor of modern reflexology was introduced to the United States in 1913 by William H. Fitzgerald, M.D. (1872-1942), an ear, nose and throat specialist, and Dr Edwin Bowers. 

Fitzgerald claimed that applying pressure had an anesthetic effect on other areas of the body.

Reflexology was further developed in the 1930s and 1940s by Eunice D. Ingham (1899-1974), a nurse and physiotherapist. 

Ingham claimed that the feet and hands were especially sensitive, and mapped the entire body into "reflexes" on the feet. It was at this time that "zone therapy" was renamed reflexology. 

Modern reflexologists in the United States and Britain often learn Ingham's method first, although there are more recent developed methods.

The basis of the science is that the body is reflected on the feet or hands. Left foot or hand reflects the left side of the body and the right foot or hand the right side. 

The spine reflex area runs down the insides of the foot and hand with reflex areas for the arm and shoulder reflected toward the outside of the foot or hand.

The toes and fingers reflect head and neck reflex areas as well as those of the internal parts of the body they enclose. 

The ball of the foot mirrors the chest and upper back in addition to the heart and lungs. 

The waistline of the body is represented at the base of the long bones of the feet and hands. Portions of the body above the waistline is mirrored above this line toward the toes or fingers and those below the waistline toward the heels of the foot or hand. 

In general terms the benefits of reflexology have to do with the reduction of stress. Because the feet and hands help set the tension level for the rest of the body they are an easy way to interrupt the stress signal and reset homeostasis, the body's equilibrium.

Reflexology is a complement to standard medical care and should not be construed as medical advice.

There are no ill effects of this technique except for the pain and soreness that you might feel after the session. 


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Ban on China dairy products

Monday September 22, 2008 MYT 8:53:03 PM

Ban on China dairy products to include confectionary

PETALING JAYA: The Government has widened its ban on dairy products imported from China to include confectionary that contain milk, chocolate, chocolate milk, white chocolate and other foods that contain milk.

The decision was based on the latest information received from Singapore’s Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) which found melamine in the “White Rabbit Creamy Candy”, the Health Ministry said in a statement on Monday.

The ministry’s food quality and safety department director Noraini Mohd Othman said the widened ban would therefore include the “White Rabbit Creamy Candy” and flour-based confections like biscuits.

“The ministry will also seize such products in the local market,” she said.

Noraini said Malaysia already had an existing ban on any milk or milk powder from China, adding that although the country had imported dairy products from China, the milk was sourced from Australia and New Zealand.

“As a preventive measure, the ministry also imposed a Level 6 or automatic rejection on all imported baby milk powder, milk and dairy products via the Food Safety Information System.”

Noraini advised consumers to be aware of the types of items that have been banned and to dispose of any existing items that they may already have.

“Retailers are also advised to report to their nearest state health departments or offices if such products are in their premises,” she said, adding that importers and agents have to stop distributing such products and immediately contact her department.

Noraini said the ministry would also take samples from food all over the country to analyse it for the presence of melamine, adding that if it was detected, those involved in the distribution chain could be fined up to RM100,000 or jailed a maximum 10 years or both.

Consumers can contact the ministry at 03-8883-3503 for more information.


Thursday, September 11, 2008


Food, Disease, and You

by Sandy Powers

The scenario for fighting diseases and building healthier immune systems with certain foods exists in all cultures. This is not to say we cast aside the marvelous strides in medicines that have been made over the last fifty years, but your best first defense against disease is nutrition. Healthy nutrition is quite simply back to basics. Wise food choices help fight those beginning cancer cells and prevent that build up of cholesterol in the arteries while making you feel a whole lot healthier. To begin that path to health, start with Vitamin C.

Vitamin C

Scurvy was the first disease recognized as being caused by a dietary deficiency. Scurvy, caused by a Vitamin C deficiency, with symptoms of bleeding gums, bruising, weakness, aches and pains that often lead to death, was common among sailors during the 15th and 16th centuries. It was not unusual on long sea voyages for a ship to loose half of its crew to scurvy. In 1747, scurvy-ridden sailors were being treated with lemons and limes through the efforts of the Scottish naval surgeon James Lind. By 1795, the British Navy added lime juice to the rations of sailors, which was successful in preventing scurvy. Born was the nickname "Limeys" for British sailors.

While today scurvy is not a familiar disease because of the efforts of fortified food, Vitamin C deficiency is still rather common. In the United States, one third of all adults receive less Vitamin C in their diets than is recommended by the National Academy of Sciences. One out of every six adults get less than one half of the recommended amount. Frequent colds and infections, bleeding gums, poor healing, and lung related problems are all symptoms of Vitamin C deficiency.

Vitamin C is the most important antioxidant of all the antioxidants because it defends the interior part of our cells against free radicals that provoke diseases like cancer and heart while fighting stress in our bodies. The human body cannot manufacture Vitamin C, nor can it store it. Vitamin C should be taken through food sources daily, not through a multiple vitamin supplement. Oranges, bell peppers, broccoli, and parsley are excellent sources of Vitamin C.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D deficiency that is associated with weak bones now has been associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, according to a study recently published in the Journal of the American Heart Association. "The higher risk associated with Vitamin D deficiency was particularly evident among individuals with high blood pressure," researchers concluded. The study continued, "Low levels of Vitamin D are highly prevalent in the United States.....Twenty to 30 percent of the population...has moderate to severe Vitamin D deficiency." The research further provided evidence that people who tested low in Vitamin D are 45 percent more likely to have high triglycerides.

Since few foods are rich in Vitamin D, we must depend upon sunlight as our best source. Sunlight creates Vitamin D on the skin where it is absorbed into the body. The overuse of sunscreens is the main reason for Vitamin D deficiency. To get your needed dose of Vitamin D, go out daily into sunlight for about 15 minutes without sunscreen. Don't cover your arms. Your skin will convert the sunlight into Vitamin D where it will be stored in your liver for use. The daily 15 minutes in the sun without sunscreen will not increase your risk of skin cancer.


Who isn't trying to lower the numbers? According to the Mayo Clinic, there are 4 great foods to help you do just that.

1. Fiber---The fiber in oatmeal, apples, pears, and kidney beans are excellent choices for lowing cholesterol. 2. Walnuts---When 20 percent of your calories come from walnuts, your "bad" cholesterol can be reduced by as much as 12 percent. Eat a handful of walnuts everyday. 3. Omega-3---Helps the heart by reducing blood pressure and the risk of blood clots. If you already had a heart attack, a good level of omega-3 in your body significantly reduces the risk of sudden death. Eat two servings of fish weekly. Good sources of omega-3 are lake trout, salmon, herring, sardines, and anchovies. Be alert for mercury contamination. Try to buy fish from the wild. 4. Olive Oil---Not canola oil, not flaxseed oil but Extra-Virgin Olive Oil. Buy Extra-Virgin Olive Oil's first cold press to receive more heart healthy antioxidants. Olive Oil is the only cooking oil that can be used as is: freshly pressed from the olive. Studies corroborate Olive Oil's protection against heart disease by its ability to control "bad" cholesterol while raising "good" cholesterol. Two tablespoons of Olive Oil are recommended daily. Use Olive Oil to sauté vegetables or mix with vinegar for a salad dressing.

Back to basics. Back to nutrition. Back to health. You're on you way.


Tuesday, September 2, 2008


Easy Ways To A Healthy Heart

by Robert Orr

Easy Ways To A Healthy Heart

Smoking if you do give it up if you don`t then don`t start. If you want to have a healthy heart then no amount of smoking is safe. So called low tar or mild cigarettes also are dangerous, as is breathing in other peoples smoke.

Cigarette smoke contains thousands of different chemicals. Many of these can damage your heart and blood vessels, making you more likely to have hardening or narrowing of the arteries. Narrowing of the arteries can ultimately lead to a heart attack. Also nicotine in cigarette smoke puts stress on your heart forcing it to work harder by constricting blood vessels and pushing up your heart rate and raising your blood pressure.

Carbon monoxide in cigarette smoke is very toxic and replaces some of the oxygen in your blood. This pushes up your blood pressure by forcing your heart to work harder to supply enough oxygen. Even occasional smoking while at a bar or restaurant with friends is dangerous and increases the risk of heart disease.

Women who smoke and take the pill are at greater risk of having a heart attack or stroke than are those who don't. Worse, this risk increases with age, especially for those over 35.Also worth noting pregnant women who smoke are taking serious risks with the health of their unborn child. The good news, though, is that when you quit smoking, your risk of heart disease drops significantly within just one year.

And no matter how long or how much you smoked, you'll feeling better and be recovering as soon as you quit There are many groups and programmes to help you quit smoking you could ask your doctor for details of health service programmes. Regular exercise and reasonably energetic physical activity can reduce your risk of heart disease by almost a quarter. And when you combine physical activity with a healthy lifestyle, such as looking after your weight,and keeping to a healthy and balanced diet.

Regular physical activity helps prevent heart disease by increasing blood flow to your heart and strengthening your heart and lungs so that your heart pumps more blood with less effort. Physical activity also helps you maintain your weight and can reduce your chances of developing other conditions, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes. It also reduces stress, which may also be a factor in heart disease.

So make the effort a thirty minute brisk walk every day can have very beneficial effect on your heart and blood pressure,remember even small changes can reap big benefits. A healthy balanced diet is essential in maintaining a healthy heart, fruits vegetables and wholegrains are amongst the elements that should be consumed regularly.

Omega-3 fatty acids, a type of polyunsaturated fat, may lower your risk of heart attack, and lower blood pressure. Some fish are a good natural source of omega-3s. Omega-3s are present in smaller amounts in flaxseed oil, walnut oil, soybean oil , and they can also be taken in supplements. Keeping a healthy lifestyle also means drinking alcohol only in moderation no more than two drinks a day for men, one a day for women.

At that moderate level, alcohol can have a protective effect on your heart. Above that, it becomes a health hazard. Remember before making any major lifestyle or dietary changes make an appointment and discuss your changes with your doctor.


Friday, August 29, 2008


BMI Index - What Is Your BMI ?

Autor: sayush

Your BMI will be a number that is calculated based on your height, weight and sex. The aim of this calculation is to take all of these important factors into account before giving you an assessment.

While BMI is one good measure of determining your ideal weight, you will have to see a professional medical advisor if you are concerned for more thorough evaluation. The good news is that it is possible to measure your body mass index in the comfort of your home since all you need to know is your weight and height and the relevant calculation.

It does not require expensive or sophisticated equipment or a visit to a gym or clinic.

How to calculate BMI

To calculate your own BMI you use a different calculation depending on whether you are going to be using your height in meters or inches and your weight in pounds or kilograms. For this example, let's assume that your weight will be weight in kilograms divided by your height in metres squared.

So, if your weight is 65 kilos and your height 1.5 metres, then you divide your weight, 65, by 1.25 (which is 1.5 squared). For using pounds and inches you take your weight in pounds and divide by your height squared and then multiply the answer by 703. Both of these methods of calculating BMI will give you exactly the same result.

If you are mathematically challenged as I am, there are several calculators available online that will crunch the numbers for you.

How to interpret your Body Mass Index value

Once you get the final number, you have to see where you fit in the range of values on a chart. The chart values will indicate that a certain figure is under weight, in the normal range, in the overweight range or the worst case scenario - in the obese range.

Body Mass Index is commonly used as an indicator of obesity. However, it is far from perfect and there are important factors that should also be taken into account. These factors are sex, race, age and body type. Different BMI values are healthy depending on your age, race, sex and body type. Therefore, you should take these into account also. If you are looking for one quick measure (besides your weight), then the BMI index will give you just that.
Source: Free Articles

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


Effective Herbal Weight Loss Methods

Autor: Lesley Lyon

Herbal products are prepared from the leaves, stems, roots, bark, buds and flowers of plants. They are taken in their natural form or refined into tablets. When compared with other weight loss products, herbal products are more effective and less in calories. Herbal products are rich in taste. Herbal products help in losing weight in a very short span of time without any risk and there are no restrictions in diet.

Some of herbal medicines manufactured for weight loss are:

This is a stimulant, which suppresses the appetite. Small amounts can be taken but it is not recommended for diabetic or heart patients.

PPA (PHENYL PROPANOL AMINE HYDROCHLORIDE): Researchers say that it improves weight loss when taken with a low calorie diet. FDA has approved it with a warning on their labels.

Herbal teas: The ingredients, which promote weight loss, are locus plant, ginseng, buchu leaves and papaya. Herbal teas are growing in popularity.

Amino acids (CARNITINE): This enhances the burning of fat. Since it has calories, it increases the calorie intake also.

Fucus vesiculosis: This is a sea vegetable having iodine, potassium, iron, magnesium and calcium. Since it contains iodine, it helps in thyroid hormone production to maintain metabolism in our body.

Gallium Aperine: This is a diuretic and lymphatic cleanser. It is used to clear the body of toxins.

Garcinia Cambogia is a natural appetite suppressant and boosts metabolism.

Taraxacum Officinalis has a rich source of vitamins like A, D, C and B and minerals, iron, magnesium, Zinc and manganese.

Glycolrrhiza Glabra is a tonic stimulant for the digestive system.

Erythrea Centauriumis is an excellent purifier of blood and a general tonic

Pauline Cupani boosts energy levels

Curcuma Longa was used three thousand years ago as a treatment for obesity

Zingiber Officinalis stimulates energy production and improves digestion

Herbals are most popular dietary supplements. Weight loss can be achieved through correct diet plan, regular exercise and brisk walk. Herbal products not only help in weight loss but are also good in taste. Herbal life products are les expensive compared to other weight loss pills. Herbal weight loss program is easy to follow and can fit into any schedule. Exercise is not a must to lose weight with the herbal weight loss program.

Source: Free Articles

Friday, August 15, 2008


Fruit, veggies lower men's cancer risk: Japan study

Men who eat more fruit and vegetables have less risk of developing a type of cancer of the esophagus, a study by a Japanese medical team said Thursday.
The study divided men into three groups and found that those who ate the most fruit and vegetables had nearly half the risk of developing esophageal SCC compared with the group with the least vegetable-based diet.

"An increase in consumption of total fruit and vegetables by 100 grams (3.5 ounces) per day was associated with an 11 percent decrease in the incidence of esophageal SCC," the researchers said in a statement.

The study concluded that vegetables, especially the so-called cruciferous family of vegetables that includes radishes and cabbages, may help prevent esophageal SCC.

A diet rich in fruit and vegetables would lower the risk of developing this type of cancer to nearly one-third, even among men who smoke and drink, it said.

But the study warned that fruits and veggies were no substitute for the health benefits of quitting smoking or drinking.

A scientific study at Britain's Institute of Food Research showed last month that men who ate more broccoli, one of the cruciferous vegetables, reduced their risk of prostate cancer and other chronic diseases.


Thursday, August 14, 2008


Top Tips To Treat Pain After Exercise

Autor: raymondlee12

We all get stiffer after unusual exertion, and as we grow older we get stiffer more easily. Often the stiffness will be maximum on the second to fifth day after exercise. This creates a paradox. In order to stay in good physical shape we need regular exercise, which results in substantial amounts of pain and stiffness from time to time. To relieve this discomfort, we have to increase our exercise, which inevitably triggers at least a few episodes of increased pain.

This pain is not a message to eliminate the exercise program. Rather, it is a suggestion from your body to proceed more carefully with a gentle exercise progression. So don’t be discouraged by pain after exercise. Listen to the pain message and work with it.

On the other hand, people with osteoarthritis have pain during exercise that usually is relieved by rest. If you have significant arthritis, the pain after exercise may be localized to the joints and not the muscles. If the pain lasts more than two hours after you have stopped exercising, you may need to rethink your exercise program.

You don’t need the doctor unless signs of severe injury or nerve damage are present or unless the problem continues to bother you quite a bit for quite a while. This problem is a signal to review your home exercise program.

Almost always, pain after exercise indicates that you have disregarded one of the principles of a sound exercise program. Let’s review them. Exercise should not make you hurt very much. Don’t try to exercise through pain. If you hurt after exercise, that exercise is a bit too much for you right now. Exercise programs should be daily.

The weekend gardener is not going to become fit or able, may have reinjury, and will experience increased pain and stiffness on the days after gardening. Exercise programs should be gently graded. No day’s activities should be more than a 10% increase over the typical day’s activity. Slow and steady progression is essential to success.

Exercise programs should emphasize smooth actions, as with swimming, walking, or bicycling, until good conditioning is achieved. Jerky exercises with incompletely trained muscles are likely to result in reinjury.

Exercise programs should emphasize suppleness and muscle tone, not absolute strength. The stress of lifting heavy objects, squeezing balls, and so forth is likely to damage an already injured joint. Swimming easily is an excellent exercise.

Exercise should be preceded by a warm-up period in which the joints, ligaments, and muscles are stretched gently. The parts to be used should be physically warm, on a cold day, wear warm clothing. Exercise programs are in addition, not instead of, prescribed medications. Exercise programs always have setbacks in which there are periods of increased pain. This does not mean that the idea is wrong.

Back off just a little bit and begin again more gently. Older people are likely to think that serious exercise programs are for the young. This is absolutely not so. The principles of conditioning apply to all ages. You won’t get as well as you might unless you persevere in your exercise program.

Source: Free Articles

Monday, August 11, 2008


Medicinal Values of Green Tea

Green tea is believed to be in use as a medicine for at least 4000 years in china. It is also believed that green tea lowers the cholesterol levels by increasing the good cholesterol and decreasing the bad cholesterol. Green tea is rich in antioxidant called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) .

It destroys cancer cells and also inhibits the growth of cancer cells. Even though the French people consume diet rich in fat, they are less prone to heart attack than the Americans. Similarly, even though 75 percent of the Japanese are smokers, they are less affected. This is because EGCG is more in green tea used by them. It acts as a protective agent against premature death from heart attack and cancer.Green tea also destroys bacteria thus preventing tooth decay.

Researchers have also found that green tea even helps dieters. The leaves of green tea can also be used for cooking. The leftover leaves can be used as manure for garden plants to grow better. The ingredient present in green tea is polyphenol.

It is the most effective antioxidant. It is present in higher amount in green tea than in black tea.The basic difference between green tea and other teas like oolong and black tea is that while the latter come from the leaves of camellia simens plant, green tea is processed in a different way. Green tea leaves are steamed which prevents the EGCG, a power antioxidant, from being oxidized.

In contrast, black and oolong leaves are made from fermented leaves and so EGCG is converted into other compounds, which are effective in preventing and fighting various diseases.Clinical trials indicate that green tea raises metabolic rates and speeds up fat oxidation. Green tea also raises thermo genesis (the rate at which calories are burnt) and hence increases energy expenditure. Green tea also increases endurance in exercise.

Drinking green tea has a whole lot of benefits like fighting against cancer, stabilizing diabetes, helping in weight loss, slowing the ageing process and helping digestion. Green tea also enhances immunity in our body. About four cups of green tea each day provides 300 to 400 mg of polyphenols, which help in antioxidant activity. These antioxidants help in slowing diseases. A research Institute in Tokyo found that drinking green tea is the best method to prevent cancer at present.

All types of cancer like stomach, lungs, breast, liver, colon and rectal can be prevented by green tea.Green tea prevents cholesterol from being absorbed by the digestive tract. This in effect means that even if the fat is taken, the body does not absorb it. Green tea also helps in preventing unhealthy clotting. Rinsing the mouth with green tea after meals helps in fighting bacteria and thus prevents cavities.

One cup of tea with each meal acts as a metabolic stimulant. This helps in weight loss. The caffeine in the tea burns extra calories in the body and fat is digested by polyphenols. A recent study stated that EGCG found in green tea could help to boost one’s immune system thereby helping to prevent HIV.And to top it all, green tea probably is the only substance in the world with so many medicinal values and without a single side effect!

Source: Free Articles

Thursday, August 7, 2008


Quality Use of Medicine


Quality use of medicine (QUM) involves:
- Selection of management options wisely (treatment with or without medicine) either by healthcare practitioner or individual (consumer).
- If a medicine (includes prescription, non prescription and complementary medicine) is necessary, a suitable medicine should be chosen.
- To get the best possible results, the medicine should be used safely and effectively.


To make the best possible use of medicines so as to improve health outcomes.

As a consumer/patient, you are responsible to:

Ask for and use information, resources and services.
Be aware of the risks and benefits of medicines, non drug options and healthy lifestyle.
Develop skills and seek help to solve problems related to the use of medicines.
Be aware of the place of the medicines in your health
Tell your doctor/pharmacist all medicines taken and your current health condition (including pregnancy, plan to become pregnant and nursing status).
In achieving QUM, you should be able to ask these questions and get satisfactory answers.

1) Is it necessary for me to take the medicine?

There must be an appropriate reason for you to take any medicines. This is because there may be better ways than medicine to manage many disorders. Medicines should be used to cure or arrest disease, relieve symptoms, ease pain, correct deficiency diseases and provide other benefits.

Other management options (treatment with or without medicine) should be discussed with your doctor or pharmacist.

2) How do I take the medicine?

Follow the instruction that has been written on the label or as instructed by your doctor/pharmacist.

3) Where can I get the medicine?

You can get your medicines from the hospital, pharmacy, health centre and clinic. Do not get your medicine from unauthorized personnel.

You need to be cautious when buying medicines and supplements online or from non-pharmacy sources as it put you at risk of getting the wrong, contaminated and counterfeit product.

4) What should I know about the medicine?
The name of the medicine
Active ingredients
The purpose of the medicine
How much, how often and how long to take it
How the medicine should be used or taken
Possible side effects and what to do if you have them
Special warnings or instructions about the medicine (take before bedtime or with meals, etc)
Expiry date

Storage conditions

5) How to store the medicine?

Proper storage is important to assure the quality and therapeutic properties of the medicines are maintained. Here are some guides on how to store your medicines:
Store all of your medications in a designated location in your house.
Do not mix different medicines together in one container.
Medicines should be stored in a cool, dry area.

Medicines stored in refrigerator should be separated from other items in the refrigerator and label as medicines.
Oral medicines should be kept separate from other items that are for external use only.
Expired medicines and any medicine that your doctor has discontinued should be discarded.
Never share or give your medicines to another person.

Make sure your medicines are stored out of children's reach.
If a drug is not stored in its original container, make sure that it is labeled properly i.e. for whom, drug name, dosage, frequency and expiry date.

Do not leave your medicine in an automobile for long period of time.

6) Can I stop taking the medication when I feel healthy?

No, you have to discuss this matter with your doctor/pharmacist. Compliance towards your medication is very important in order to get full benefit from it. Noncompliance may result in treatment failure.

7) What if I missed my medications?

Many people forget to take their medications. Whether to take a missed dose depends on the medicine. In some cases, it may be appropriate to take the missed dose as soon as you remember. In other cases, it may be too close to the time you need to take your next dose. If you are not sure what to do, get advice from your doctor/pharmacist.

Memory aids such as pillbox and marking on a daily calendar can help you to remember when to take the medicines.

8) What if I feel uncomfortable after taking the medicines?

Consult with your doctor/pharmacist. You may experience side effects or you are allergic to the medicines. Drug interaction may also contribute to this condition.

9) Where can I get more information about my medicines?

Consult with your doctor/pharmacist. You can get a lot of information from various websites on the internet but you must verify the information with your doctor/pharmacist.

10) If I have trouble to swallow, is there any alternatives to take the medicines?

You should tell your doctor/pharmacist of your problem. Dosage forms of medicine can be changed if available (eg. tablet to liquid formulation, gel, suppository or patch).

There are various types of dosage forms of medicines. The difference between each dosage form depend on where it works in our body, how fast it acts, for whom it is designed (eg. children may need liquid formulation or chewable tablets), how frequent it should be taken and specific disease states.

11) Is there a possibility that I may be taking the same medicine from different clinics / hospital?

Yes. Medicines may be prescribed by its brand or generic name. That is why it is very important for you to know the active ingredient in that medicine. This will be referred to as the generic name by healthcare providers. It also helps to know the dose of medicine to be taken, as to avoid overdosing or toxicity.

You can ask your doctor/pharmacist the generic name of your medicine when in doubt.

12) Is it safe to take other herbal medicines and other dietary supplements together with the prescribed medicines?

Many herbals and dietary supplements are made from natural ingredient, and many people think that they are safer than medicines. However, not many of these supplements have been tested when taken together with other prescribed medicines. Therefore, any side effects or drug interaction may not be documented and safety data cannot be established.

There are two myths that need to be addressed. First, once the natural or herbal ingredient has been made into tablets or capsules, it is no longer natural because other ingredients such as lactose or starch are added to make the final product. Second, herbs may contain very potent substance such as opium, curare and ephedrine. And they can kill!

Consult with your doctor/pharmacist before taking any herbals and supplementary medicines.

13) How should I take my medicines during fasting month (Ramadhan)?

In some cases, the new dosage regimen to be used during Ramadhan needs to be established beforehand. Dosage regimen of medicine can be changed to suite your need (eg. once daily dose is more suitable than three times daily dose as it can be taken anytime).

Discuss with your doctor/pharmacist your medicines regimen during Ramadhan as they can advice you when to take your medicines (before, during or after food intake).

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Video game helps young cancer patients take medication

NEW YORK (Aug 6, 2008) : Playing a specially designed video game can help adolescents and young adult cancer patients adhere more closely to their prescribed treatment, according to a report in the journal Pediatrics.

"Targeted video games can help improve the lives of young people with cancer, most importantly improve their adherence to their treatment," Dr. Pamela M. Kato of the University Medical Center Utrecht in the Netherlands, the study's lead author, told Reuters Health.

Adherence is a major problem in this age group, Kato and her colleagues point out in their report. While dramatic improvements in survival have been seen in pediatric cancer patients, they add, death rates among teens and young adult patients have not followed this trend. "They're kind of a tough group that gets a little bit lost in the system," Kato said.

To investigate whether playing a video game might help, the researchers randomly assigned 375 male and female patients 13 to 29 years old being treated at centers in the US, Canada and Australia to play "Re-Mission" or "Indiana Jones and the Emperor's Tomb," a standard video game not focused on cancer care.

In Re-Mission (, developed by HopeLab, a Redwood City, California-based non-profit company, players control a tiny robot called Roxxi who moves around in a 3-D environment representing the inside of the body of a young cancer patient. Players can use Roxxi to blast cancer cells and control side effects, and winning the game requires taking chemotherapy drugs and antibiotics, using relaxation techniques, eating food, and keeping up with other types of self-care.

Patients in both groups were asked to play their assigned game for at least an hour a week, and 22 percent of those in the comparison group and 33 percent of those in the Re-Mission group actually did so over the course of the 3-month study.

Electronic pill monitoring showed a 16 percent rise in antibiotic adherence in the Re-Mission group, who took 62.3 percent of their total prescribed antibiotic medications, compared to 52.5 percent for the Indiana Jones group. Adherence to a standard chemotherapy drug was also higher in the Re-Mission group.

Playing Re-Mission was tied to improvements in cancer-related knowledge as well, the authors note.

According to Kato, the game worked because it gave the patients a new way of looking at their illness; for example, thinking of chemo as a way to combat cancer, rather than as an annoyance that makes their hair fall out. "To me it was kind of changing their reward system for taking chemo and giving them a different insight," she explained.

The game can be downloaded free from the Web site by patients and medical professionals. - Reuters


12 million HIV infections could be avoided: UNAIDS

Twelve million HIV infections could be prevented by 2015 by using a combination of prevention methods including condoms, circumcision and other measures, UNAIDS officials said at a conference here Wednesday.

HIV prevention often takes a back seat in the war against AIDS, behind advances in antiretroviral drugs which keep millions alive.

But combined prevention -- including condoms, circumcision, needle exchange, and changes in sexual behavior -- has gained ground in discussions at the Mexico meeting, which ends Friday.

"Governments, communities and scientists must fully implement combination HIV prevention, and the international community must mobilize all the support necessary for this effort," said UNAIDS officials.

They said that the most important HIV prevention programs in the field lacked money and did not target the most needy.

"International institutions, national governments, and community activists must work together to build demand for HIV prevention," the statement said, adding that "none of the successes in HIV prevention over the past quarter of a century have been easily won."

UNAIDS officials also urged the pursuit of an HIV vaccine, despite recent setbacks, and called for investment in research for potential HIV-prevention technologies.

Last year, 2.7 million people became infected with HIV, bringing the global total to 33 million.


Wednesday, August 6, 2008


More circumcision needed to control AIDS in Africa

MEXICO CITY: Governments and health communities need to ramp up male circumcision to prevent HIV infection, particularly in vulnerable countries in eastern and southern Africa, researchers and advocates said on Monday.

Three studies were cut short in 2006 after they showed strong evidence that male circumcision could prevent HIV infection, but very little effort has been made to push for more men to go under the knife, they told a conference on AIDS in Mexico City.

"This is a call to action... to call for male circumcision. It's been two years and still there is not enough money, focus to scale up effort and more needs to be done," said Dvora Joseph, head of the HIV department at Population Services International, a US-based nonprofit organisation.

While people were beginning to accept this intervention measure, Joseph said stigma surrounding it was still strong.

"There is no national male circumcision campaign to promote it ... more education is needed," Joseph said.

The researchers said two studies in Africa showed the procedure did not reduce sexual pleasure and function, and did not result in any increase in risk-taking behaviour among newly circumcised men.

These two concerns have always surrounded male circumcision, which some studies indicate could be 70% effective in protecting men against HIV infection during vaginal sex.

"We found that there was no difference between the circumcised men and uncircumcised men -- that there is no increase in sexual dysfunction in circumcised men. And in fact, circumcised men did report greater penile sensitivity after circumcision," said Robert Bailey, an epidemiologist at the University of Illinois.

The study involved 2,784 men in Kisumu, Kenya, and the group who were circumcised reported no sexual dysfunction such as premature ejaculation, pain during intercourse or erectile dysfunction. More details of this study will be disclosed on Tuesday at the conference.

Bailey was also involved in another study published recently in the Public Library of Science journal PLoS ONE, which showed that circumcision did not result in any increase in risky sex behavior.

"In the trial, we are providing HIV testing and counseling every six months, so there's opportunity to follow up, especially counseling the circumcised men that they are not fully protected, that they still have to practice safe sex and use condoms," Bailey said. - Reuters

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Tuesday, August 5, 2008


Smoking isn't a good habit anymore. In fact, they give more problems to our society rather than that macho looking habit and releasing the tense during the job. Here are some facts on smoking:

  • In the coming 10 years, China, India and United Kingdom will loss estimated around USD558 billions, USD237 billions and USD33 billions respectively because of death by heart disease primarily caused by smoking.
  • 49 percents adult male are smokers while 5 percents are women.
  • Most women smokers are professionals.
  • From 2004 to 2007, around 93,306 Malaysian death were caused by disease which is the result of their smoking habit.
  • Research estimates that 36 billion world population will die at young age resulting from chronic diseases into year 2015.
  • Parent that smoke give wide range of adverse effects to their children, including exacerbation of asthma, increased frequency of colds and ear infections, and sudden infant death syndrome. It is called secondhand smoking, which the smoke comes from the cigarette being inhaled by others around, which has causes an estimated 150,000 to 300,000 cases of lower respiratory tract infections in children less than 18 months of age, resulting in 7,500 to 15,000 annual hospitalizations.
  • Young people were beginning their lifelong addiction to smoking and it is an important result of tobacco advertising. They usually are not old enough to fully understand its long-term health risk. Approximately 90 percent of smokers begin smoking before the age of 21.
  • Cigarette smoke contains over 4,800 chemicals, 69 of which are known to cause cancer. Smoking is directly responsible for approximately 90 percent of lung cancer deaths and approximately 80-90 percent of COPD (emphysema and chronic bronchitis) deaths.
  • Nicotine inhaled in cigarette smoke reaches the brain faster than drugs that enter the body intravenously. It is is an addictive drug. By linking smoking with many social activities, smokers not only become physically addicted to nicotine, they are social habit thus making smoking a difficult habit to break.

There are lots more, but I just list some of them. So, why smoke? Stop now. Think about the people around us, their future and your's. Bye... :)


Thursday, July 31, 2008


Say ‘yes’ to salmon


Taking fish oil helps reduce cardiovascular disease.
Taking fish oil helps reduce cardiovascular disease.

Oily fish benefit health in many ways, writes YAM CHER SENG.

FISH has fed millions of people for thousands of years.

Oily fish, such as mackerel, salmon and herring in particular, are good sources of the biologically active omega-3 fatty acids; Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) that have been proven to benefit health in so many ways.

Studies have shown that people who eat oily fish or take fish oil supplements score 13 per cent higher in IQ test and are less likely to show early signs of Alzheimer’s disease. Moreover, the researcher found that the mental speed in the brains of fish oil users seemed to be faster and younger than the non-users.

Intervention studies using fish oil concentrates that provide EPA and DHA at intakes of up to 2 to 4g/day over a few weeks have also shown that these fatty acids can favourably attenuate various risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

The effects include an anti-thrombotic effect, lipid lowering and improvements in membrane cell function. Omega-3 fatty acids accumulate in various sites including circulating blood platelets, the heart and serum phospholipids. The accumulation of EPA and DHA in platelets is associated with decreased platelets adhesiveness and aggregation and an overall reduction in thrombogenicity. Anti-atherogenic effects of omega-3 fatty acids have also been shown in animal studies.

Evidence from prospective secondary prevention studies suggests that a combination of DHA and EPA supplementation ranging from 0.5 to 1.8 g/d (either as fatty fish or supplements) significantly reduces subsequent cardiac and all-cause mortality.

Anti-inflammatory effects in humans are further suggested by trials demonstrating benefits of omega-3 fatty acids in rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, asthma, and inflammatory bowel disorders.

American Heart Association Dietary Guidelines recommend at least two servings of fish per week (particularly fatty fish). However, fish can also contain mercury, which can cause severe neurological damage to the foetus. Now it seems that mercury poses yet another risk, premature birth!

Technology used to concentrate and purify fish oil minimises impurities by removing heavy metals (for example, mercury and lead), environmental pollutants (for example, dioxins) and oxidative impurities to ensure highest quality products. It selectively concentrates EPA and DHA to provide a high potency source of biologically active omega-3 fatty acids.

Higher concentration using 330mg of EPA and 220mg DHA in the form of capsules has the benefit of convenience, a bonus for those who dislike eating fish.



Broccoli to the defence

British scientists have found a chemical in the cruciferous vegetable that can protect men from prostate cancer
Michael Kahn

a few more portions of broccoli each week may protect men from prostate cancer, British researchers reported.

The researchers believe a chemical in the food sparks hundreds of genetic changes, activating some genes that fight cancer and switching off others that fuel tumours, said Richard Mithen, a biologist at Britain’s Institute of Food Research.

There is plenty of evidence linking a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables to reduce cancer risk. But the study published in the Public Library of Science journal, PLoS One, is the first human trial investigating the potential biological mechanism at work, Mithen added in a telephone interview.

"Everybody says eat your vegetables but nobody can tell us why," said Mithen, who led the study. "Our study shows why vegetables are good."

Prostate is the second leading cancer killer of men after lung cancer. Each year, some 680,000 men worldwide are diagnosed with the disease and about 220,000 will die from it.

Mithen and colleagues split into two groups 24 men with pre-cancerous lesions that increase prostate cancer risk and had them eat four extra servings of either broccoli or peas each week for a year.

The researchers also took tissue samples over the course of the study and found that men who ate broccoli showed hundreds of changes in genes known to play a role in fighting cancer.

The benefit would likely be the same in other cruciferous vegetables that contain a compound called isothiocyanate, including brussel sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage, rocket or arugula, watercress and horse radish, they added.

Broccoli, however, has a particularly powerful type of the compound called sulforaphane, which the researchers think gives the green vegetable an extra cancer-fighting kick, Mithen said.

"When people get cancer, some genes are switched off and some are switched on," he said. "What broccoli seems to be doing is switching on genes which prevent cancer developing and switching off other ones that help it spread."

The broccoli eaters showed about 400 to 500 of the positive genetic changes with men carrying a gene called GSTM1 enjoying the most benefit. About half the population have the gene, Mithen said.

The researchers did not track the men long enough to see who got cancer but said the findings bolster the idea that just a few more vegetable portions each week can make a big difference.

It is also likely that these vegetables work the same way in other parts of the body and probably protect people against a whole range of cancers, Mithen added.

"You don’t need a huge change in your diet," he said. "Just a few more portions makes a big difference." – Reuters


Wednesday, July 30, 2008


Top 10 Reasons Why you should NOT "go" on a Diet

by: Holly Rigsby

The only thing growing faster than the $65 billion diet industry is the American waistline. If one of your New Years resolutions was to Go on a Diet, the only place I guarantee you will up in weight. It's a Fact - Diets will only make you fatter.

When it comes to the latest in Diet fads, we are quite gullible and easily tempted by a Diet's empty promised. Reason being....the diet industry KNOWS we are in search of the "quick fix" and will only play with our emotions - our desperation for the quickest way to relieve looking and feeling fat.

Diets are nothing more than Temporary Solutions with many lingering, negative side effects. Here are the Top 10 Reasons Why you should NOT "go" on a Diet

1. Diets do NOT work. Diets have a 99% Failure Rate.

Have you noticed a pattern yet? Lose weight....quickly regain it? Over time, studies show if you diet you are more likely to be overweight than people who eat normally and make small gradual changes to their lifestyle. No, the Law of Averages does not apply to this faulty system.

2. Dieting can be Dangerous. Any time you severely restrict the amount or types of foods you eat you put your health and life at risk. Dieting has been related to injuries and sudden deaths from electrolyte imbalance, malnutrition, and heart arrhythmia's. Weight cycling, or yo-yo-ing weight, is associated with higher death rates - especially if some type of pills are being used. At no point should you ever place weight loss above your health.

3. Dieting Destroys your Metabolism. Diets will cause your weight to quickly cycle up and down. Sure, you may lose weight quickly because you are simply not eating enough. In the initial stages, the first seven to nine pounds lost are water, presenting a real danger of dehydration and mineral deficiencies. Even more terrifying ins the break down of lean muscle due to inefficient nutrients and calories. If you are losing more than 3-4 pounds a week, you can be sure this is what is happening - very little fat is lost this state. Now, any muscle loss will cause your metabolism slow to a crawl. The cumulative effect takes place for you cannot survive very long on very low calories (1200 or less) and you will eventually eat more - on top of a slower metabolism. All those excess calories will be stored as fat - causing rapid weight gain.

4. Dieting is Exhausting. Diets are just reduced calorie Fads disguised by a clever gimmick. "Lose weight while you sleep" "Eat all you want and still lose weight" Not eating enough or cutting out certain food groups means your body may not be getting the energy it needs, or may lack certain nutrients. You will feel exhausted, light headed and experience some not-so-fun mood swings.

5. Dieting is Disruptive. Dieting negatively affects your normal eating patterns. Diets can lead to binge eating, overeating and chaotic eating. When you diet, it is common to override your internal signals telling you to eat. You end up trying to use willpower or resist hunger signals and may even go as far as taking appetite suppressants. This results in being unable to know when you really are hungry or wore....when you're full.

6. Dieting can lead to eating disorders. Experts state that the high rates of eating disorders in the U.S. are due in part to people dieting, losing weight, rebounding, and becoming chronic dieters.

7. Dieting Causes Food Obsessions. If you spend a large amount of time and energy depriving yourself of food or certain types of food - you will spend more time thinking about food and become obsessed attempts to control your weight by what you choose to eat or not eat. How long do you want to live like this?

8. Dieting Diminishes Women. There is way too much attention focused on our appearance and an arbitrary number on the scale. In the midst of this focus - we end up avoiding what really matters to us - our dreams and ambitions. Even worse, it erodes our confidence and self-respect.

9. Dieting Intensifies Negativity. If you diet, you are more judgmental and critical of yourself and others. Once again, wasted time and energy.

10. Diets Put Your Life on Hold. Does this sound familiar...."I'll be happy when I weigh "x pounds." Guess what, the issues in your life are not related to your weight. Take responsibility and take back control of your life. Decide to be happy now and do what it takes to live a lifestyle that reflects your priorities. So this year resolve to NOT go on a Diet. Set Yourself Free from this miserable, guaranteed to fail weight loss cycle. Do NOT let the diet industry make money by taking advantage of you. It is time to stand up for yourself and take control.

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Tuesday, July 29, 2008


General Knowledge of Plastic Surgery

by Naisarasri Sri

Back in the old times, they were not open to anything superficial such as plastic surgery. They believe that if one should grow old, one must do so naturally. Moreso, there were less surgeons who specialized in this field of medicine, and there was little marketing to fuel it. Except from a few plastic surgeries done to fix faces or body parts from mishaps of accidents, there was not much support for it.

But times have changed and looking at its popularity nowadays, plastic surgery seems to be the next normal resort to wrinkles, excess fat, unsightly blemishes, dissatisfied complexions, misaligned noses or sagging skin. Almost anything physical can be done by plastic surgery now, making it a service that is in demand. Plastic surgery fees are outrageous but still, this holds no barrier from being patronized.

There are two kinds of plastic surgery: Reconstructive Plastic Surgery and Cosmetic Surgery. These two cater to different purposes, although both of them are as expensive and critical. Reconstructive Surgery reshapes body parts that have been deformed or misaligned by accidents, injuries, deformities and physical afflictions like cleft lips or palate.

This is usually done to women, men and children who wish to achieve a normal state of appearance after certain traumas. These procedures are performed by qualified plastic surgeons to those with congenital abnormalities (those that have been born naturally with) and those with developmental deformities (injuries that have been induced by eventualities.)

On the other hand, Cosmetic Surgery seeks to correct whatever feature that someone is dissatisfied with, a physical abnormality or a much wanted enhancement. In this category, examples include surgeries that are done to enhance breast size, align or shaping of nose, fat elimination or liposuction, facelift, eyelid creases, birthmarks, etc. From the two, the latter is much more popular and marketed.

Many people may think of considering plastic surgery once in their lives since there may be a feature or two that we are dissatisfied with or wish to enhance. But despite the fact that it can be costly, there are things that should be considered when thinking about going under the knife. Plastic surgery may not hold the perfect realization to its promise and we must take note of these certain things:

1.Think it first before deciding to pursue it. Thinking about the pros and the cons will get you ready for the possibilities of whatever that may ensue as a result of the operation. Your physical appearance may not be the same, and you might be quite surprised about the changes.

2. Find a good doctor. Not all plastic surgeons are certified or good. You must always be sure that you are not jumping into the impulse of doing with someone who offers a cheaper price or simply don't do it with a doctor you barely know. Check on his clients, get plenty of referrals and see his certificate for real. Legitimate organizations may have lists of all qualified plastic surgeons that you may choose from.

3. Research about your desired procedure. This will help you decide about whether to do it or not. Being knowledgeable with the procedures to be done will enlighten you.

Plastic surgery is not a simple matter to decide on. Those who have undergone it will attest to that. So be inquisitive, do your research and listen to referrals.

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Friday, July 25, 2008


7 Foods To Make Your Diet An Anti Aging Diet

by Marcus Ryan

Nobody ever left planet Earth younger than when he or she arrived, and you won either. Aging is simply the natural consequence of being alive, and while you can do nothing to stop it, you can do plenty of things to keep the physical signs of aging at bay.

One of the most important weapons you have in the struggle to remain youthful is you diet. By committing yourself to following a diet which contains the following seven items, you will not only look younger than your chronological years; you feel much younger as well.


The monounsaturated fats in avocado oil will boost your cardiovascular function by lowering your cholesterol, but even better, they will hydrate and smooth your skin so that wrinkles are minimized. Any fats which can keep your skin supple are the right fats to be eating.

Avocados make great additions to salads and sandwiches, and who doesn't love fresh guacamole? You should, however, limit yourself to half an avocado each day because of their calories.


Salmon, especially wild salmon, is loaded with both lean protein and Omega-3 fatty acids, which like the fats in avocados, will work wonders on your skin. Eating salmon three times each week will get you all of its heart and skin rejuvenating benefits.

Salmon is delicious grilled, roasted, or baked, served hot or added to salad, with a simple sauce of lemon juice and fresh dill. But even canned salmon will get you the Omega-3 fatty acids you need.


In spite of what you may have heard about eggs being bad for you cholesterol levels, that only applies if you eat them to excess. Eggs are high in protein, cheap, and can be easily prepared in all sorts of dishes.


Probiotics are all the rage in healthy eating circles, and yogurt is simply bursting with probiotics. It also contains plenty of the lean proteins which will slow the rate at which your body metabolizes carbohydrates, keeping your blood sugar stable and helping you burn fat more efficiently.

Yogurt's probiotics not only help you digest your food more completely; they will rid your intestinal tract of the unfriendly organisms which can wreak havoc on your intestines. You get the most benefits from all-natural or plain vanilla yogurt, free of the additives which simply take up space that could be given to the probiotics and protein.

Tofu and tempeh

Both tofu and tempeh are rich in both bad cholesterol-bashing flavonoids, and in lean protein. Tofu is exceptionally versatile as a protein source because it will assume the flavor of the foods with which it is cooked. Tofu has even been used as the base for delicious ice cream-like desserts, which except for t heir much lower fat content are amazingly close to the real thing!


The humble blueberry has not found tremendous respect as a source of free-radical destroying antioxidants, and blueberries make delicious additions t breakfast cereals, pancakes, and yogurt.

Spinach, broccoli, and Chinese broccoli

These leafy green vegetables are, like blueberries, high in antioxidants so they can minimize the free radical damage which plays such a significant role in the rate at which you will age. They will also regulate your body's insulin levels, so that you can lose weight more easily and age more slowly.

By eating a large serving of leafy green vegetables with your protein meals, you will also counteract the protein acidifying affects on your body normal pH with the alkalizing effects of the vegetables. Keeping your body pH its natural alkaline state is one of the best ways to avoid degenerative diseases.

As you can see, simply adding these seven foods to your diet will go a very long way to keeping you young and healthy. But eating these foods is also going to add some real enjoyment to your meals, so you really have no reason not to eat them, do you?

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Sunday, July 20, 2008


Food Poisoning Symptoms

Symptoms of food poisoning depend on the type of contaminant and the amount eaten. The symptoms can develop rapidly, within 30 minutes, or slowly, worsening over days to weeks. Most of the common contaminants cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal cramping. Usually food poisoning is not serious, and the illness runs its course in 24-48 hours.

  • Viruses account for most food poisoning cases where a specific contaminant is found.

    • Noroviruses are a group of viruses that cause a mild illness (often termed "stomach flu") with nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, headache, and low-grade fever. These symptoms usually resolve in two to three days. It is the most common viral cause of adult food poisoning and is transmitted from water, shellfish, and vegetables contaminated by feces, as well as from person to person. Outbreaks are more common in densely populated areas such as nursing homes, schools and cruise ships (hence why the virus is also known as the "Cruise Ship Illness"). The term norovirus has been approved as the official name for this group of viruses. Several other names have been used for noroviruses, including Norwalk-like viruses, caliciviruses (because they belong to the virus family Caliciviridae), and small round structured viruses.

    • Rotavirus: Causes moderate to severe illness with vomiting followed by watery diarrhea and fever. It is the most common cause of food poisoning in infants and children and is transmitted from person to person by fecal contamination of food and shared play areas.

    • Hepatitis A: Causes mild illness with sudden onset of fever, loss of appetite, and feeling of tiredness followed by jaundice, which is a yellowing of the eyes and skin. It is transmitted from person to person by fecal contamination of food.

  • Bacteria can cause food poisoning in two different ways. Some bacteria infect the intestines, causing inflammation and difficulty absorbing nutrients and water, leading to diarrhea. Other bacteria produce chemicals in foods (known as toxins) that are poisonous to the human digestive system. When eaten, these chemicals can lead to nausea and vomiting, kidney failure, and even death.

    • Salmonellae: Salmonellae are bacteria that may cause food poisoning; the illness itself is often referred to as Salmonella or Salmonella infection. Salmonellae cause a moderate illness with nausea, vomiting, crampy diarrhea, and headache, which may come back a few weeks later as arthritis (joint pains). In people with impaired immune systems (such as people with kidney disease or HIV/AIDS or those receiving chemotherapy for cancer), Salmonellae can cause a life-threatening illness. The illness is transmitted by undercooked foods such as eggs, poultry, dairy products, and seafood.

    • Campylobacter: Causes mild illness with fever, watery diarrhea, headache, and muscle aches. Campylobacter is the most commonly identified food-borne bacterial infection encountered in the world. It is transmitted by raw poultry, raw milk, and water contaminated by animal feces.

    • Staphylococcus aureus: Causes moderate to severe illness with rapid onset of nausea, severe vomiting, dizziness, and abdominal cramping. These bacteria produce a toxin in foods such as cream-filled cakes and pies, salads (most at risk are potato, macaroni, egg, and tuna salads, for example) and dairy products. Contaminated salads at picnics are common if the food is not chilled properly.

    • Bacillus cereus: Causes mild illness with rapid onset of vomiting, with or without diarrhea and abdominal cramping. It is associated with rice (mainly fried rice) and other starchy foods such as pasta or potatoes. It has been speculated that this bacteria may also be used as a potential terrorist weapon.

    • Escherichia coli (E coli): Causes moderate to severe illness that begins as large amounts of watery diarrhea, which then turns into bloody diarrhea. There are many different types of this bacteria. The worst strain can cause kidney failure and death (about 3%-5% of all cases). It is transmitted by eating raw or undercooked hamburger, unpasteurized milk or juices, or contaminated well water. Outbreaks of food poisoning due to E. coli have also occurred following ingestion of contaminated produce.

    • Shigella (traveler’s diarrhea): Causes moderate to severe illness with fever, diarrhea containing blood or mucus or both, and the constant urge to have bowel movements. It is transmitted in water polluted with human wastes.

    • Clostridium botulinum (botulism): Causes severe illness affecting the nervous system. Symptoms start as blurred vision. The person then develops problems talking and overall weakness. Symptoms then progress to breathing difficulty and the inability to move arms or legs. Infants and young children are particularly at risk. It is transmitted in foods such as home-packed canned goods, honey, sausages, and seafood.
    • Because botulism can be released in the air, it is considered a potential biological weapon for terrorists.

    • Vibrio cholerae: Causes mild to moderate illness with crampy diarrhea, headache, nausea, vomiting, and fever with chills. It strikes mostly in the warmer months of the year and is transmitted by infected, undercooked, or raw seafood.

  • Parasites rarely cause food poisoning. When they do, they are usually swallowed in contaminated or untreated water and cause long-lasting but mild symptoms.

    • Giardia (beaver fever): Causes mild illness with watery diarrhea often lasting one to two weeks. It is transmitted by drinking contaminated water, often from lakes or streams in cooler mountainous climates.
    • The infection can also be spread from person to person by food or other items contaminated with feces from an infected person.

    • Cryptosporidium: Causes moderate illness with large amounts of watery diarrhea lasting two to four days. May become a long-lasting problem in people with poor immune systems (such as people with kidney disease or HIV/AIDS or those on chemotherapy for cancer). It is transmitted by contaminated drinking water.

  • Toxic agents are the least common cause of food poisoning. Illness is often an isolated episode caused by poor food preparation or selection (such as picking wild mushrooms).

    • Mushroom toxins: Illness can range from mild to deadly depending on the type of mushroom eaten. Often there is nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Some types of mushrooms produce a nerve toxin, which causes sweating, shaking, hallucinations, and coma.

    • Ciguatera poisoning: Caused by eating fish that contains toxins produced by a marine algae called Gambierdiscus toxicus. It can cause moderate to severe illness with numbness of the area around the mouth and lips that can spread to the arms and legs, nausea, vomiting, muscle pain and weakness, headache, dizziness, and rapid heartbeat. The toxin may cause sensory problems in which hot things feel cold and cold things feel hot. It is transmitted by eating certain large game fish from tropical waters—most specifically barracuda, grouper, snapper, and jacks. According to the CDC, ciguatera has no cure. Symptoms may disappear in days or weeks, but may persist for years.

    • Scombroid: Causes mild to moderate illness with facial flushing, burning around the mouth and lips, peppery-taste sensations, a red rash on the upper body, dizziness, headache, and itchy skin. Severe symptoms may include blurry vision, respiratory distress, and swelling of the tongue and mouth. Symptoms typically last from four to six hours, and rarely more than one or two days. It is transmitted in seafood, mostly mahi-mahi and tuna, but can also be in Swiss cheese.

    • Pesticides: Cause mild to severe illness with weakness, blurred vision, headache, cramps, diarrhea, increased production of saliva, and shaking of the arms and legs. Toxins are transmitted by eating unwashed fruits or vegetables contaminated with pesticides.


Wednesday, July 16, 2008


Why We Are So Stressed

by Philip S Donahoe

Stress, much as we all hate it, we all have it in our lives. We're living in very trying and difficult times and things don't seem to be getting any easier. Sometimes life can seem terribly painful and unfair, yet somehow we manage to struggle on, day after day, hoping and praying that things will soon get better.

But day by day the world is becoming a crazier and more uncertain place to live in, not to mention stressful. Nothing seems safe anymore. Millions of people are in record levels of debt. Many are losing their jobs, their homes, their health and sometimes even their sanity. Worry, depression and anxiety seem to have become a way of life for way too many people.

We seem to have entered the Age of Anxiety. In fact, in 2002, the cover of Time magazine proclaimed this loud and clear on one of their covers as the featured story in that issue. The constant stress and uncertainties of living in the 21st century have certainly taken their toll, and as a result many of us seem to live a life of constant fear and worry.

When the terrorist attacks happened on September 11, this constant stress and worry seemed to just be magnified. In fact, many people even now four years later report they are still scared that something of that magnitude could happen again - perhaps closer to them.

Turn on the news or open up a newspaper and we are bombarded with disturbing images and stories. We begin to wonder if we are safe anywhere. In this, the information age, never before have we had so much access to so much data.

The economy is another stressor. Our country is in debt and so are many Americans. Soaring gas prices, outrageous housing costs, even the cost of food has sent many Americans to work in jobs that are unsatisfying and tedious. They work these jobs because they need a paycheck. Today, it's more important to bring home the bacon rather than work in a dream career.

Having more women in the workplace adds to the stress. So many women feel the need to be everything to everyone and that includes a paycheck earner, house keeper, mom, wife, daughter, and sibling. The only problem with that is some women just don't make any time for themselves thus contributing to their stress levels being at an all-time high.

Even children can feel the pressure of stress and anxiety. Teenagers who want to go to college find themselves pushing themselves during their studies to try and obtain scholarships so they can attend schools that have ever increasing tuition costs.

They find themselves having to hold down part-time jobs on top of all that to earn money for extras that their parents can no longer afford. Add peer pressure into the mix and you have a veritable pressure cooker!

Cell phones, internet, palm pilots, blackberries, i-pods- we are always on the go and always reachable. We don't make time to relax and enjoy life any more. Why not? We certainly should!
We feel pressure to do these things because we think we HAVE to, not because we WANT to. All too often, it's difficult for people to just say 'No'. Not saying that one little word piles up un-needed expectations and obligations that make us feel anxious.

All of us will experience situations that may cause us to become stressed or feel anxious. The reasons are too many to note but can include, buying a property, having guests stay over (in-laws!), being bullied, exams, looking after children, managing finances, relationship issues, traveling etc.

Stress is a 'normal' function of everyday life. Only when it appears to take over our lives does it then become a problem.
Everyone will have different reasons why a situation causes them pressure. As a rule it's usually when we don't feel in control of a situation, then we feel its grip tightening around us causing us to feel worried or 'stressed'.

If stress is caused by us not feeling in control of a situation, the answer is to try and reverse this, and regain that control. The good news is: YOU CAN!

You have everything inside you that you need to overcome your stress and the accompanying anxiety. The problem is, often we don't realize that we are in control because we feel so out of control at time. But the tools are there, you just have to use them so do not give up hope.

You can get rid of your stress. Luckily once you have identified what may be the cause of your stress there are plenty of resources available online that can help you relieve your stress.

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