Natural Remedies News

2010-10-30 / Health News / 0 Comments

Relief From Headache In Natural Ways

Headache is a common problem, specially among the working crowd. Headache is caused due to several factors, but we can put it under three broad categories –

1.Tension – This is the most common cause of headache. Tension creates a spasm of the muscles at the back of the neck. The muscle spasm gets the tissues over the surface of the cranium and thus, the pain is felt not only on in the neck but also on the forehead.

2.Migraine – Migraine is the abnormality of the nervous system. This strain on the nervous system is caused due to eye strain, shock, stomach disorders etc. Migraine is a chronic disease which needs medical attention.

3.Cluster Headache – Cluster headaches are repetitive and gets back several times in a month. These are generally caused due to constant pressure on the nerves like alcohol consumption, chain smoking etc.

Headaches are very disturbing and restricts your attention to the pain alone. At this moment pain killer seems to be the only solution to get relief form headache. Pain killers, however, have side effects. Here are few home remedies to get relief from headache –

1.For chronic headache, eat sliced apple with salt everyday in the morning for a week.

2.Crush lemon crust into a fine powder and make it into a paste with the use of water. Apply this on the forehead. This is quick relief form headache caused due to tension.

3.Apply a small amount of Eucalyptus oil on the center of the head and cover it with a towel dipped in warm water. This is one of the most effective ways of curing pain.

4.Put 3 drops of ghee in your nostrils for a week to get rid of headache from cold.

5.Drink a glass of water with a teaspoon of honey every morning to treat chronic headache.

6.Grind watermelon seeds with poppy seeds and consume three grams of it everyday if you are suffering constant pain.

7.Application of sandalwood paste on the forehead is one of the tradition ways of curing headache.

These seven tips will surely give you quick relief from headache and does not have any side effects. They not only get you relief from headache but also treats it, so that you don’t suffer the symptoms again.

Seven natural home remedies to avoid hair loss

Despite the fact that hair loss (baldness) occurs more frequently with men, all of us lose hair every day. Hair loss in women occurs, even if only rarely, after the age of fifty. However, this should not be a reason why one (whether men or women) should slack of when it comes to hair care.

Since, more and more people are looking for natural remedies that will prevent the condition of “hair loss”; here are seven natural tips (home remedies) that will ensure that you have great hair no matter what your age is.

1. Make it a practice to eat yoghurt every day.

2. If you feel that your hair is thinning or you are losing hair, apply almond oil gently to your scalp at least two to three times a day. Another option is to apply a mixture of warm some castor oil and almond oil that you can apply to your scalp at least once a week.

3. Eating white sesame seeds every morning will ensure that large amounts of magnesium present in these seeds will nourish your scalp, and prevent hair loss.

4. Another interesting home remedy is applying a mixture of coconut milk and Aloe Vera gel to your scalp and hair three times a week. Remember to leave this mixture on your scalp and hair for at least half an hour before washing it off with warm water.

5. Another effective remedy is applying a mixture of honey and egg yolk to your scalp and hair which has to left for at least half an hour before washing it off with warm water.

6. Applying a mixture of lime seeds and black pepper (in equal amounts) in water at regular intervals can stop hair loss as well.

7. Apply and massage your hair with two drops of an essential or good vegetable oil ensuring that the oil settles into your hair well. Use a plastic wrap to cover your hair after this is done, and wrap towel around it. Leave it for two to three hours (or overnight) and then wash it off with some shampoo in the morning. Doing this regularly will rejuvenate your hair pores.

Clean Teeth For A Beautiful Smile

Do you think brushing teeth every day would be enough for a good clean teeth? Well, that’s not all. If you would like to bright and clean teeth but cannot afford expensive dental treatments, your goal is not out of reach. A few home remedies and a bit of will power will have your teeth sparkling in no time. If you lust for white, spotless, clean teeth, then you should know these natural home remedies that can give you a smile of a star in just few weeks:

1.Strawberries: Mashed strawberries or sage leaf can be applied and massaged on teeth surface.

2.Mustard oil and salt: Great whitening results can be seen if washing your teeth with a combination of mustard oil and salt.

3.Water: Food particles left in between tooth can be rinsed by gargling water.

4.Baking soda and white vinegar and salt: Cotton soaked in baking soda , vinegar & salt can be wiped to the teeth.

5.Baking soda mixed with hydrogen peroxide: Baking soda and hydrogen peroxide mixture works as a good whitening agent. It not only removes stains but also kills plaque-causing bacteria reducing acids which harm tooth enamel.

Also, some vegetables act as natural abrasives and eating them clean your teeth in a natural and harmless way, resulting in spotless clean teeth. Vegetables like Carrots, Celery and Cucumbers act like Toothbrushes.

Apart from these home remedies, quitting smoking and avoiding drinking tea and coffee will help in a long way. No matter which of these methods you want to try, remember that results can’t become visible over night and that patience is must.

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Mental Health News

2010-10-28 / Mental Health / 0 Comments

Email about Williams’s mental health questioned

The Newfoundland and Labrador government is questioning the judgment of the new communications director of the Opposition Liberal Party.

On Wednesday the government released an email that Craig Westcott wrote to the premier’s office in 2009 asking whether Danny Williams had any illness that was affecting behaviour.

Westcott, a journalist at that time, questioned if Williams was either mentally ill or in the later stages of syphilis.

“A growing number of intelligent and observant people were growing concerned [about the premier’s actions],” wrote Westcott.

The email was written in February 2009 when Westcott was editor of Business Post magazine.

“Please excuse the nature of this question … but it may be germane given the premier’s behaviour,” wrote Westcott. “It has been suggested to me that Mr. Williams is bipolar. Another person has suggested to me that he acts as if he is suffering in the later stages of syphilis.

“Is the premier being treated for a mental illness, or any illness that might influence his behaviour and the handling of his office? I realize that normally this would be a private matter. However, he is the premier of the province, and if his behaviour is the result of an illness, the subject is relevant to the public welfare.”

Westcott became the provincial Liberal Party’s communications director last week.

The premier’s office never responded to the email, but government sources said Wednesday that now that Westcott is in politics, it was fair game to release the email.

In an interview with CBC News Wednesday, the acting leader of the provincial Liberals said the email was meant to be a joke.

“[The government] obviously must feel threatened that we’ve hired someone who doesn’t always agree with the premier,” said Kelvin Parsons. “It was a joke. It was a lark by Mr. Westcott.”

Mental Health Units Providing ‘Poor’ Care

Patients treated in some mental health units are being failed by ‘poor and unacceptable’ practices, according to a new report.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) found many patients who entered units voluntarily were being locked in wards.

It says it also uncovered cases where patients’ human rights were at risk of being breached.

CQC chief executive, Cynthia Bower, said: “More hospitals are keeping psychiatric wards locked at all times, even though they often accommodate voluntary as well as detained patients.

“In some places there are blanket bans on mobile phones and internet access.

“These sorts of measures could compromise patients’ privacy or dignity, hold back their progress and even breach their human rights.”

The CQC’s report, which covers the private sector and NHS services in England, also raises concerns that many severely-ill patients are being sent home or refused re-admission into a ward because of a shortage of beds.

It found 29% of wards visited in 2009/2010 had occupancy rates of over 100%.

Other issues raised by the report included keeping children and adolescents in mixed-sex units, which it said was “putting young people’s dignity and sexual safety at risk”.

Commissioners also found some patients had been recorded as giving consent for certain treatments when in fact they lacked the ability to do so or had refused them.

Report chairwoman Jo Williams said: “Detention must be a justified, therapeutic experience that promotes the recovery of the men, women and children involved.

“Too often, we came across patients whose experience fell short of this.”

The CQC which took over the responsibilities of the former Mental Health Act Commission in April 2009 spoke to more than 5,000 detained patients in 1,700 hospitals about their experiences.

Care services minister, Paul Burstow told Sky News: “This report demonstrates that the Coalition Government has inherited some serious challenges in mental health.

“Anyone with a mental health problem should receive care and treatment that minimises their distress and ensures a faster recovery.”

Mental Health Issues Differ for U.S. Male, Female Vets

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 27 (HealthDay News) –Mental health issues confronted by U.S. veterans returning from the ongoing conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan differ by gender, new research suggests.

Female veterans are more likely to have a diagnosis of depression than are their male counterparts, according to a study of nearly 330,000 veterans who received health care from the Veterans Administration from 2002 to 2008. They are also generally younger than their male counterparts and more likely to be black.

In contrast, male veterans were found to be more prone than their female peers to post-traumatic stress disorder and/or alcohol abuse.

The analysis was led by study author Shira Maguen of the San Francisco VA Medical Center. She and her colleagues reviewed data on more than 329,000 veterans of “Operation Enduring Freedom” and “Operation Iraqi Freedom” obtained from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

“In an era in which a greater proportion of women have served in the U.S. military in a much wider variety of military occupational specialties than ever before, our results contribute to a better understanding of the characteristics of women seeking VA health care,” the study team noted in a news release.

The authors also said it was important to understand how differences between men and women might affect mental health outcomes. “Gender differences are important to consider as the Veterans Affairs and Department of Defense continue to expand and strengthen programs to evaluate and provide care for a new generation of returning veterans,” they added.

Maguen and her colleagues report their observations in the Oct. 21 online issue of the American Journal of Public Health.

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Insomnia Treatment News

2010-10-27 / Health News / 0 Comments

Treatment available for insomnia sufferers

Another sleepless night followed by a day where are you are too tired to get anything done.

This is the characteristic of insomnia, which hinders your ability to fall sleep or to stay asleep, which in turn affects your ability to function the next day.

Raed Hawa is a physician at Toronto Western Hospital who specializes in psychiatry and sleep medicine. He said what’s interesting about insomnia is it’s more a symptom of something else – sleep apnea or anxiety – rather than a standalone diagnosis.

Hawa said 90 per cent of people have this type of insomnia. However, the other 10 per cent of people have the pure form of insomnia called primary insomnia, which Hawa said is a true sleep disorder. Primary insomnia means all the other reasons you could be suffering from insomnia don’t exist.

“For example, if you’re not anxious or you’re not depressed and you don’t have apnea, leg restlessness or you’re not on medication or drugs, but you still have insomnia,” he said.

This means insomnia is bi-directional because it can cause symptoms such as apnea or anxiety or could occur as a result of those symptoms.

While there is no agreed upon definition of what insomnia is, Hawa said he defines it as a problem falling asleep, waking up frequently during the night and not being able to stay asleep (sleep fragmentation), waking up too early in the morning and an inability to fall back asleep or a combination of these symptoms.

“By the time people come to see me, they’ve had one, two or all three of these things throughout their life,” he said.

Besides sleep fragmentation, another consequence of insomnia is fatigue because people don’t get enough sleep or they have disruptive sleep. Hawa said this causes people to feel tired during the day and have low energy, which can be both detrimental and dangerous.

“People are falling asleep while driving, during a meeting or on the TTC. They are tired, feel depressed or sad, more irritable or cranky, anxiety, even physical symptoms like their stomach hurts. All this could be because of insomnia,” Hawa said.

Hawa explained there are three types of doctors who can look into sleep issues: a psychiatrist, to help with those thinking patterns and stressors that keep us awake; a respirologist or lung doctor, who deals with sleep apnea, a disorder that is brought on by breathing disruption; and a neurologist, as some sleep disorders are an indication of undiagnosed neurological issues.

Hawa said he sees people with all types of sleep issues because usually people who have one symptom or disorder also have another.

For example, people who have sleep apnea often also have insomnia and those with insomnia also have daytime sleepiness.

It’s a good idea to get treatment for insomnia, however, people must get the correct diagnosis in order to get the appropriate treatment.

The problem, Hawa said, is people rarely get treatment when they should and this could be because many people think insomnia is not harmful or that it’s just a part of getting older, because the older you get the more likely you are to suffer from insomnia, he said.

However, insomnia is classified in three ways: transient or temporary; short-term; and acute or chronic. If insomnia is chronic or persists more than a month, Hawa said it’s time to see your doctor.

“If there is no precipitant to it, stress, bad news, illness in the family, something happened that is stressful, you may not have a good sleep, but if the stress goes and the insomnia is still there this is a sign you need to get help,” he said.

Treatment options

Everyone’s insomnia is different so that means treatment also varies.

However, there are distinct approaches to treating insomnia – medication or cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). The latter includes altering thoughts, sleep patterns and environments, and often times a combination of the two therapies are used.

When insomnia is due to anxiety or a particularly stressful time, Hawa said the mind has trouble shutting off and is constantly thinking about things that replace sleep.

“Cognitive therapy will help to attack these thoughts and make the person deal with these thoughts and cognitions,” Hawa said, adding CBT for insomnia has three main components:

1. Talking about and dealing with the thoughts that make the patient more aroused and unable to sleep. Hawa suggested having a diary or planner to document what thoughts you have before bed. They are then discussed with the patient to try to change their thinking patterns surrounding sleep or the lack of it.

2. Sleep hygiene means the person does things such as avoid smoking, caffeine, alcohol and bright lights in the hours before bed. Essentially, they are preparing themselves and their surrounding, including make sure a room is neither to warm nor too cold.

3. Stimulus control involves things like having the same wake and go-to-sleep schedule every day and only using the bed for sleeping. This means you should wake up, be still awake in 15 minutes and get up. “You want to train your brain that the bed is equal to sleep,” he said.

Also people should avoid napping and only go to bed when they are sleepy.

Hawa said there is no sleep treatment that shouldn’t involve sleep hygiene.

Many of his patients have suffered from insomnia for years and have tried these methods with no success.

In this case, Hawa suggests trying medicine.

Technically, there is only one type of sleeping pill called zopiclone. So many doctors prescribe things such as antidepressants for the sedative quality, which is particularly good for those also suffering from anxiety and depression as a result of insomnia.

“If it’s (insomnia) so severe and you’re so dysfunctional you might need medication because any behavioural or cognitive methods take months to work (but offer more long-term benefits), whereas a medication can have an immediate effect,” Hawa said.

Hawa said there isn’t one treatment approach that fits everyone and ultimately it’s about curing their insomnia.

Insomnia is one of those things that once someone is prone to it there is the possibility of it reoccurring. There isn’t really a cure, Hawa said, but it is manageable though the right treatment.

How to stop headache pain

More than 50 percent of all people experience some form of headache in their lifetimes, as the head is the only part of the body that can experience frequent and recurrent pain unrelated to tissue pathology, said AUB’s Dr. Samir Atweh, speaking at the meeting of the Lebanese Society for the Study of Pain’s (LSSP) Update on Treatment of Headaches, held at the Rafic Hariri School of Nursing’s (HSON) Hisham Jaroudi Auditorium on October 15, 2010.

All kinds of headaches, from migraines to tension to cluster to short-lasting unilateral headaches were discussed, as well as clinical and surgical treatments for pain. Many common causes can trigger different types of headaches that vary considerably in their clinical presentation and treatment. Most common headache triggers were identified: fatigue, insomnia, anxiety and depression, stress, irregular meals, high intake or withdrawal of caffeine intake, dehydration, and reduced physical exercise.

St. Joseph University’s Dr. Joseph Maarrawi illustrated the latest surgical procedures applied to eliminate severe cases of chronic headaches such as trigeminal and occipital neuralgia.

In his paper, “Tension Type Headaches,” Lebanese University’s Dr. Jose Chidiac pointed out that alternative methods of relieving pain such as acupuncture and yoga can supplement the standard medical treatment of headaches, but he also stressed the importance of the individual patient’s belief system.

According to the World Health Organization, “Health is not only the absence of infirmity and disease, but also a state of physical, mental, and social well-being.”

HSON Director Huda Abu-Saad Huijer, also the president elect of LSSP, said similar discussions on various types of pain will be held every three months.

LSSP, an associate chapter of the International Association for the Study of Pain, plans to launch a website to make the association’s plans and expertise more accessible to the public.

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Autism News

2010-10-26 / Mental Health / 0 Comments

Autism Prevalence Rising Rapidly in Some Schools

In Wisconsin, the number of children with autism is increasing in school districts with low baseline prevalence, while other school districts are seeing a leveling off in their numbers, according to research published online Oct. 25 in Pediatrics.

MONDAY, Oct. 25 (HealthDay News) — In Wisconsin, the number of children with autism is increasing in school districts with low baseline prevalence, while other school districts are seeing a leveling off in their numbers, according to research published online Oct. 25 in Pediatrics.

Matthew J. Maenner, and Maureen S. Durkin, Ph.D., of the University of Wisconsin in Madison, looked at special education enrollment counts in all elementary school districts in Wisconsin from 2002 through 2008 to calculate the prevalence of children with autism. Districts were grouped into eight categories (octiles) according to their baseline prevalence.

The researchers found that, during the study period, the overall prevalence of autism increased from 4.9 to 9.0 cases per 1,000 children. Districts in the lowest octile of autism prevalence in 2002 tended to have rapid increases in prevalence over the study period, while the districts in the highest octile of autism prevalence in 2002 did not see significant increases. The highest octile/lowest octile ratio fell from 24.6 in 2002 to 1.8 in 2008.

“The prevalence of autism is expressed popularly as single point estimates for relatively large regions, such as countries or states. The findings presented here demonstrate that variability of trends within smaller areas offers additional insights into the increasing prevalence of autism in special education, and they reveal heterogeneous trends within a population,” the authors write.

Family of autistic boy searches for stolen van, wheelchair

ST. PAUL, Minn. — A St. Paul mother is hoping someone will return the family van she uses to bring her autistic son to doctors appointments.

On Sunday morning, Sue Klingenberg planned to take her son for a drive to see fall colors.

“One of the joys of his life is riding in the car,” says Sue.

The plan changed when Sue walked outside and noticed the family van was missing. It was stolen, Sue says, from where it was parked right next to the house.

“I went into shock and my main concern was how do I transport Mike. How do I get him anywhere,” says Sue.

Now for most of us, our cars get us from point a to point b.

But for Sue and Michael their 1983 Chevy Vandura was a lifeline.

18-year-old Michael has severe autism and a lot of difficulty getting around. Sue needed the van to get him to doctor’s appointments. But it was also a way to experience the world for a kid who’s had a tough ride.

“There is not a lot that he can do so the few things that he can do we want to keep in place for him,” says Sue.

Police say someone stole the van between 5 a.m. and 10 a.m. Sunday morning from Tatum and Minnehaha in St. Paul’s Midway neighborhood.

“We’re asking the public to pay special attention to be on the lookout for this van. It has some unique features that would stand out,” says Officer John Keating with the St. Paul Police Department.

Michael’s wheelchair was also in the van. It’s gone too, along with several other personal items.

“That car was everything to us. I have done a lot of things to the car to make it perfect for Michael and with autism it’s important to keep things the same.”

“They took something away from a disabled child who already has enough difficulty in his life and we simply would like someone to return the car.”

Sue tells KARE 11 that children with autism often are creatures of habit so it will be very difficult she says for Michael to understand that the van is gone and why.

And his family is also very concerned as winter approaches about how they will get around.

Michael recently started having seizures and has many upcoming doctors’ appointments.

The van is a 1983 Chevy Vandura – Minnesota license plate M-H-U-8-7-6 it’s blue and white.

Anyone with information should call 911.

National Autism Association Applauds Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee’s Formation of Safety Subcommittee

WASHINGTON, Oct. 25 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The National Autism Association (NAA) is applauding the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC) today following the Committee’s decision late Friday to instate a subcommittee dedicated to safety issues within the autism community. Members voted unanimously to establish the subcommittee that will work to address the rising number of fatalities and injuries associated with autism-related wandering. Other safety issues that may be addressed include restraint and seclusion in schools, bullying, victimization and domestic crises.

The Committee’s decision came following a presentation by NAA Board Chair Lori McIlwain and President Wendy Fournier, who provided information to the IACC about a spate of recent fatalities associated with autism-related wandering. Their request for the formation of a safety subcommittee was combined with recommendations outlining the need for medical coding specific to autism-related wandering, data collection, greater access to tracking technology, first-responder training, and federally-backed safety information for families.

The absence of an emergency broadcast alert system for minors with cognitive impairments was also addressed by NAA. Federal guidelines established for AMBER Alert criteria currently do not include at-risk minors prone to wandering as a result of brain injury, disability or other cognitive impairment. States that have adopted the “Silver Alert” Emergency Broadcast Alert System for at-risk seniors with dementia oftentimes do not allow minors with cognitive impairments into its criteria.

The Committee’s vote to form a safety subcommittee had parents and advocates applauding in the background as IACC members spoke about the urgent need for action, preventative measures and emergency response that would work to reduce and prevent fatalities and injuries among those with autism spectrum disorders.

“We are extremely grateful for the IACC’s decision to take immediate action in addressing these critical safety issues within the autism community,” stated Wendy Fournier. “We also extend our thanks to Sheila Medlam, who bravely spoke during the public comment period about the recent loss of her 5-year-old son Mason in a tragic wandering incident.”

NAA was most encouraged by the possibility of getting a medical diagnosis code established for autism-related wandering. According to Board Chair Lori McIlwain, “Children and adults within the autism community need for wandering to be recognized as a medical condition. Diagnostic coding for autism elopement will be useful in prompting critical discussions between physicians and caregivers – it will also raise the seriousness level of the condition among first responders and school administrators, and possibly provide greater caregiver access to tracking technology.”

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Weight Loss Today

2010-10-23 / Weight Loss & Obesity / 0 Comments

Weight-loss tips: Am I hungry?

Dr. Amy Zacharias, of Advocate Medical Group’s Integrative Health for Women, is a mother of four children who also teaches the Am I Hungry? non-diet approach to weight management. Here are some tips from Zacharias for people who want to lose weight:

Am I Hungry?

When you feel like eating, ask yourself, “Am I Hungry?” Consider drinking a glass of water first because you may be dehydrated.

Eat in moderation

If you’re truly hungry, eat something you enjoy but in moderation. Eat slowly and mindfully. Enjoy your food. About halfway through the meal, ask yourself “Am I Hungry?” If you are, eat until you’re full. If you’re no longer hungry, stop eating and get away from the table.

Respond to eating triggers

If you feel like eating but realize you’re not hungry, consider why you want to eat so you can respond to that trigger without food. If you’re upset, try to address the reason for your worry. If you’re stressed, breathe slowly and deeply, get up and walk around, exercise, phone a friend or pray. If you’re bored, get out of the house and do something, or stay home and clean house. If you’re fatigued, go to sleep. If you respond to triggers such as the candy tray on a colleague’s desk, avoid the trigger.

Fit in exercise

Look at your schedule and determine when you can fit exercise into your day. Consider that your health matters because you want to be there for your family for many years. On busy days when you can’t fit in 30 minutes of exercise, move for 10 minutes at a time three times during the day.

Weight loss tips from Weight Watchers ‘role models’

What was your weight loss wake up call?

When Aurora’s Sarah Vonhoff went through a divorce in 2008, she tried to eat and drink her way through the pain and the loss.

She wasn’t that big, she told herself. But her increasingly tight size 16 pants said otherwise.

Vonhoff, who was wary of diets, ultimately joined Weight Watchers on the advice of her mother, a lifetime member.

She dropped 75 pounds and was recently named the Weight Watchers Role Model of the Year for her efforts.

Today Vonhoff, the cover model in this month’s Weight Watchers Magazine, tells others who want to shed pounds to commit to a new way of life, make yourself a priority and then start by implementing small, manageable changes.

“I really took the time to adjust to the program into my lifestyle, so it didn’t feel like a diet,” said Vonhoff, a human resources executive. “Today I’ve been able to find a balance that works for me so I can enjoy things (such as wine and beer) you can’t normally have on a diet.”

For Catherine Parkinson, one of the finalists in the contest, the weight loss wakeup call came while she was watching the 2007 NFL draft on television. Parkinson, 29, realized she weighed more than all but a handful of football players.

“Celebrate the successes every step of the way,” advised Parkinson, who enlisted a team of friends to help her lose weight. “(My friends and I) told ourselves that no matter how long it took to lose the weight, we were going to do it.”

Obesity wake up calls come in many forms. Some women seek help when they realize they may not be able to have children at their current weight. Others are shocked into action by a number on the scale.

But perhaps the most powerful motivator is a picture. “It’s amazing how you really don’t think of yourself as “that big” until you see a picture and barely recognize yourself,” said Vonhoff, 30. “I still keep a few to remind me of how far I’ve come 75 pounds later.”

To kick off its third annual Lose for Good campaign in Chicago, Weight Watchers donated a garden to the Victor Herbert Elementary School in Chicago. The garden will be used for educational and nutritional purposes, though most school produce is forbidden fruit in Chicago Public Schools cafeteria.

Weight Loss Tips Do Not Have To Be Complicated

Weight loss tips that suggest limiting your intake of unhealthy fats, cholesterol and excess carbs can be beneficial for losing weight and maintaining an overall healthy body. A low cholesterol diets , can provide healthy weight loss and natural weight loss .

Weight loss tips for women do not have to be complicated. One of the major reasons why women remain at a heavier weight is because they do not want to starve or to deprive themselves of their coveted foods.

Weight loss tips are designed to help people get started with weight loss, but they are not something you should rely on. The information provided may not always be information that will work with your needs, so do not feel that the tips you receive are your only options for losing weight.

Exercise addiction are characterized by their compulsive exercise behaviors, an overinvolvement in exercise, and the presence of an activity disorder. Exercise addicts may be driven to work out despite exhaustion or injury.

Exercise is probably the most important key to increasing your metabolism and burning off excess fat. Research shows that you burn more stored fat for energy when you do aerobic exercises on an empty stomach than on a full stomach. Exercising, however, builds muscle mass, which is a good thing.

Muscle tissue is more metabolically active than other body tissue, so the more you have, the more calories your body burns at rest.

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Sciatica News and Treatment

2010-10-22 / Other / 0 Comments

Do You Have Suggestions For “Sciatica”?

By Lewis G. Maharam, MD, FACSM


I am registered for the P.F. Chang’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona Half Marathon on Jan. 16 and have had a very challenging bout of sciatica for months. After physical therapy, acupuncture, chiropractic and traditional medicine helps, I remain stifled in training with longer distance efforts at walk, run. I was not a true athlete to start and this is a real disappointment to me. Do you have any suggestions? Recommendations from your knowledge, expertise? I do not really want to pull out, but I am afraid that my performance will be impaired radically.

Thank you for your reply to this appeal.

Roseanne K.

Dear Roseanne:

Your letter was forwarded to me as Medical Director of all the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathons. I’m sorry to hear of your issues.

I hear this same question all the time in my practice of sports medicine in NYC! Runners are the most sophisticated medical consumers I know, but they’re still getting — and buying — one of the big, bogus diagnoses of all time: “sciatica.” It’s bogus because it somehow makes you feel good without actually revealing a thing about what’s wrong. Sciatica is a symptom, not a diagnosis!

Why, then, do some physicians simply stick “sciatica” onto so many athletes like a diagnostic Post-it, give them a couple of generic exercises, and send them away? Because, frankly, a lot of back patients don’t get better. They return repeatedly with the same complaint, and the doctor eventually begins to wonder whether they even want to recover, overlooking the fact that it could be the treatment that’s not hitting the target. A more refined answer takes time and effort, whereas a “sciatica” diagnosis is an easy way of sending the patient away happy. (Plus, “sciatica” is a reimbursable diagnosis code.)

That tingling or painful sensation going down your leg could be caused by any number of things happening to any number of nerves way “upstream.” Degenerative disk disease, which we all get as we age, can let a vertebra settle onto a nerve and irritate or pinch it. A facet joint at the back of a vertebra can get out of alignment. A strained back muscle might go into spasm and painfully squeeze a nearby nerve or nerve sheathe. Even running with a leg-length discrepancy, the most common back pain culprit among my patients, can cause “sciatica”.

The list goes on and on, but fortunately these are not unfathomable mysteries. They can, and will, be found by someone determined to get to the bottom of a patient’s back pain because we now have the diagnostic tools to do that. And each cause has a specific treatment.

If “sciatica” is as far as you can get with your physician, consult someone else. You don’t want a Post-it — you want a probe. I’m sorry I can’t tell you that “you can run” without the real diagnosis. Please write back when you do get that real diagnosis, and let us know how things turned out. Good luck.

Enjoy the ride.

Dr. Lewis G. Maharam is the world’s premier running physician. He is medical director of Competitor Group’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon series and The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training program. He also serves as Chairman of the Board of Governors, International Marathon Medical Directors Association. Dr. Maharam’s column can be followed in Competitor Magazine and on his Facebook page: Running Doc

Any questions you may want answered by Dr. Maharam in future columns should be written in the comments below. Feel free to add your comments about your experience with the above situation as well. Dialogue is great and we look forward to expanding that in the comments section of this blog.

What to do about sciatica pain

Sciatica is an often-used term in the medical field and many of you reading this will have experienced that awful leg pain caused by a ‘pinched’ nerve in the lower back. Sciatica refers to the pain that radiates down the back of your leg along the path of the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the body and originates from the spinal nerves of the lower five vertebrae in the spine.

As you go down each vertebrae of your spine from your neck to your tailbone, there are nerves that branch off the spinal cord and then exit your spine between each vertebrae. There are 31 matching pairs of spinal nerves supplying the left and right side of your body. Irritation of a spinal nerve at any level can have a number of consequences including: numbness, tingling, pins and needles, weakness and pain. When the nerves in the lower back area are irritated, sciatica is often the result.

Nerves are one of the most sensitive tissues in our body and they require a large amount of continuous blood flow to them to maintain health. All of our nerves added together account for only two per cent of our total body mass, however nerves use approximately 20 per cent of our blood flow, a full 10 times the amount you might expect. Because of this high demand for blood if there is any disruption of blood flow to the nerves as they exit the spine, the end result is very often pain.

Compression or inflammation of a spinal nerve is typically caused by either a bulging disc (disc herniation), or by compression from the deep spinal muscles. A disc rupture or herniation occurs when the tough, outer ring of the disc breaks open or cracks, allowing the inner fluid material to push outwards causing the disc to bulge. This bulging causes an inflammatory reaction that often leads to irritation of the nerve, resulting in pain. In the majority of the cases the disc bulge does not actually press on the nerve, however the resulting inflammation causes protective muscle tightening and joint stiffness to occur. Very often it is this resultant tightening of the muscles and spinal joints that prevents blood flow from ‘washing’ out the inflammation around the nerves. If this stiffness can be reversed, the body is in many cases able to heal itself and the sciatica pain goes away.

Although the pain from sciatica often comes on suddenly, the reality is that in most cases it is the result of years of accumulated micro-traumas to the spine. The stress and micro-traumas created by the constant motion of our spine and by poor postures, leads to ‘wear and tear’ on our discs, spinal joints and ligaments. Labour jobs and traumas such as motor vehicle accidents can also create early wearing down of the spine.

Treatment of sciatica focuses on improving the blood flow to the nerves by increasing the flexibility of the spine as well as releasing the deep muscle tension in the low back that often creates extra pressure on the exiting nerves. As soon as the mobility improves in the spine, the next step is often to strengthen the core muscles of the abdomen and lower back in order to prevent recurrence. Most cases of sciatica can be treated and do not require surgery. If you are suffering from sciatica type pain, consult your physiotherapist or medical doctor as it usually can be treated and shouldn’t be something you have to live with.

Check-up: Lumbar epidural steroid injections

With a recent diagnosis of sciatica, my GP referred me on to a specialist. She has recommendedan epidural steroid injection into my back. Can you explain what this is?

Sciatic pain is usually caused by irritation or compression of one or more spinal nerve roots in the lumbar spine. Although this can cause pain in the buttocks and down the leg, the problem is actually in the back.

For sciatic pain, an epidural steroid injection will be injected into the lumbar (lower back) area. A mixture of a dilute local anaesthetic and a long-acting steroid is injected into the epidural space that surrounds the spinal cord and nerve roots.

The aim of the treatment is to help reduce inflammation in that area.

What does the procedure involve?

Before the procedure, a small cannula will be placed in the back of your hand, through which a short-acting sedative will be given. This will make you feel relaxed. You may also be given oxygen during the procedure.

Lying, curled on your side, local anaesthetic will be used to numb the skin at the injection site and to numb the space between the lumbar vertebrae. An epidural needle is then passed through the skin into the epidural space with the aid of an X-ray image.

The anaesthetic and steroid mixture is injected slowly into the epidural space and you may feel a build-up of pressure in your back while this is done.

For a couple of hours after the injection, you will be positioned on your side, with the affected side down, to encourage the epidural medication solution to reach the affected area.

Most people can be discharged – with supervision – after a number of hours, or when all vital signs are stable.

What about side effects?

Soreness and bruising at the injection site, which typically settles after a few days, is common after epidural injection.

Less common side effects can include bleeding and haemorrhage into the epidural space or infection leading to an epidural abscess.

The spinal cord and nerves may be damaged by the needle, while puncture of the dural membrane can occur if the epidural needle is put in too far. Severe allergic reaction can develop due to the injection solution.

Epileptic seizures may occur and, in rare cases, numbness in the whole body can happen due to the local anaesthetic entering the spinal fluid.

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Yeast Infection Treatment News

2010-10-21 / Health News / 0 Comments

Doctors Claim Adam Lambert’s Yeast Infection Was Spread By Word Of Mouth

Word of Adam Lambert’s yeast infection has spread by word of mouth says Dr. Molrat F. Finnegan who examined the Ex-American Idol using a special bio-hazard suit and a 10-foot pole.

“Whenever the human mouth comes in contact with a bacteria like a Candida, it can spread like wildfire. In Mr. Lambert’s case it was a freakin’ hurricane!” Claims Finnegan.
Mexican pharmacy no prescription needed
The publicist for Lambert disclaims the diagnosis as Candida, and added that, ‘Dear Adam’ merely has a sore lip from licking toilet seats as a practical joke for friends…He was just joking around!

Serious accusations popped up when Lambert was spotted wearing a surgical mask as he tried to shoo away a pack of cats that followed him into the popular night spot. Soon after, patrons began to complain of a foul odor and itching lips.

Treatment for recurrent yeast infection

How do you treat recurrent yeast infection? The patient has normal blood sugar and responds to fluconazole (Diflucan), butoconazole (Gynazole), or terconazole (Terazol), but the symptoms return. I would like a standard of care that addresses treatment using longer therapy and maintenance for prevention after symptoms are resolved.—NANCY J. YOUNG, MSN, Greensboro, N.C.

The CDC Web site lists treatment options for recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis. A general vaginal culture should be done to confirm the diagnosis and determine whether an atypical yeast species is responsible. Ensuring that the right species is treated can help alleviate each clinical episode and prevent recurrences. Some experts recommend a longer duration of initial therapy or repeat treatments (e.g., seven to 14 days of topical therapy or three doses of fluconazole every third day rather than single-dose therapy) to ensure full remission. Maintenance regimens are only recommended once expanded therapy has failed. Maintenance regimens, also available on the CDC Web site, include weekly oral fluconazole for six months or topical clotrimazole once or twice per week. Beyond checking blood sugar, history-taking and relevant labs should also be used to rule out other immunosuppressive conditions like HIV. Also check that your patient is not using vaginal products or other agents that can cause or exacerbate candidiasis.—Lisa Stern, APRN (143-4)

Chemistry able to prevent oral yeast infection

While studying unique chemical signaling pathways among microorganisms in the human mouth, a team of OU researchers may have discovered something much greater: a better way of treating infectious diseases, which could help lessen the risk of creating new antibiotic-resistant superbugs.

Professor Robert Cichewicz of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and his collaborator Professor Felicia Qi from OU Health Sciences Center’s College of Dentistry led a team of chemists and microbiologists who discovered that a certain microorganism, Streptococcus mutans, can inhibit the growth of the pathogenic yeast Candida albicans.

The inhibition of pathogenic substances is a relatively new concept. Over the years, the direct killing of pathogenic substances has led to resistant strains of bacteria, also known as superbugs.

“By inhibiting yeast this way, we can potentially inhibit the selection for resistant strains of yeast that could result in even more severe diseases,” Cichewicz said.

Traditional antibiotics could be reserved for more extreme cases.

Candida albicans exists in two stages: a relatively harmless yeast phase in which the microbe does not cause damage to the body and a pathogenic filamentous phase that has the capability of invading human tissue, Cichewicz said.

“We have discovered a molecule that inhibits a yeast cell’s morphological transformation into the latter — the filamentous phase,” Cichewicz said.

Thrush, a disease caused by human pathogenic yeast, occurs during this phase. It often appears as a white film that can be seen in the oral region, and it typically occurs in immunologically compromised individuals.

“Newborns, HIV patients, organ transplant recipients — these are all groups where thrush is likely to present itself,” Cichewicz said.

Postdoctoral fellows Matt Joyner and Trevor Ellis, graduate student Xiaoru Wang and research associate Jarrod King, all from chemistry and biochemistry, played critical roles discovering the molecule and chemically characterizing the new structure.

“Cichewicz and his team are leaders in this field,” Arthur Edison, professor of biochemistry and microbiology at the University of Florida said. “He has discovered entirely new approaches to studying the complex relationship between organisms. It’s difficult isolating and studying just one organism, but to be able to study two or more which are in entirely different kingdoms is amazing.”

This project was in collaboration with OU’s College of Dentistry.

“Dentistry will change as a field because of work like this,” Qi said. “Traditionally, we look at a problem of, say, teeth, and we come up with a mechanical solution – replacement of the teeth, etc. Now, with this work, we can attack the core issues that lead to poor dental health: the microorganisms themselves.”

The treatment is far from clinical trials, but interest is emerging quickly in this area of research.

“This could be an important tool for creating a fundamental shift in how we view the treatment of harmful microorganisms, and it has only been in the literature for a relatively short time,” Cichewicz said. “The National Institutes of Health and other medical research organizations are very interested in promoting research in areas such as this.”

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Cancer News

2010-10-20 / Cancer News / 0 Comments

Hormone Therapy Worsens Breast Cancer, Study Finds

Hormone treatment after menopause, already known to increase the risk of breast cancer, also makes it more likely that the cancer will be advanced and deadly, researchers are reporting.

The treatment studied was the most commonly prescribed hormone replacement pill, Prempro, which contains estrogens from horse urine and a synthetic relative of the hormone progesterone.

In recent years women have been urged to minimize hormone use, and the new findings lend that advice even more weight, according to the first author of an article published this week in The Journal of the American Medical Association.

Many doctors assume that women can safely take hormones for four or five years for menopause symptoms like hot flashes and night sweats, said Dr. Rowan T. Chlebowski, the first author and an oncologist who treats breast cancer patients at the Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in Torrance, Calif.

“I don’t think you can say that now,” he said. “I know some people have to take it because they can’t function, but the message now is that you really should try to stop after a year or two.”

Dr. Chlebowski said it was not known whether there is any length of time for which these hormones can be taken without increasing breast cancer risk.

The new information comes from the continuing follow-up of 12,788 women who were in the Women’s Health Initiative, a major federally financed study that compared women taking hormones with a group taking placebos. The study was halted in 2002, three years ahead of schedule, because researchers found that the hormones were causing small but significant increases in the risk of breast cancer, heart disease, strokes and blood clots in the lungs.

The 2002 study had a huge impact. Before it came out, there was a widespread belief that hormones would reduce women’s risk of heart disease and generally keep them youthful, sexy and healthy. For many doctors and patients, the study shattered that faith.

Six million American women had been taking hormones, but the number quickly fell by about half. The breast cancer rate also began to decrease soon after, and many researchers attribute the decrease to the drop in hormone use.

The new report increases the average follow-up time to 11 years from the original 5.6 years. It is the first report from the Women’s Health Initiative that includes death rates from breast cancer related to hormone use.

The researchers found small but significant increases in several harmful effects in women who took the hormones. As the study previously showed, women taking hormones are more likely to develop invasive breast cancer. Their rate of the disease was 0.42 percent per year, compared with 0.34 percent per year in the placebo group.

Among women with breast cancer, those who took hormones were more likely to have cancerous lymph nodes, a sign of more advanced disease — 23.7 percent, versus 16.2 percent in the placebo group.

More women who took hormones died from breast cancer — 0.03 percent per year, versus 0.01 percent per year in the placebo group. That translates to 2.6 deaths per 10,000 women per year among those taking hormones, twice as many as the 1.3 deaths per 10,000 in the placebo group.

Among women who had breast cancer, those who took hormones also had a higher death rate from other causes — 0.05 percent per year, versus 0.03 percent per year. In other words, there were 5.3 versus 3.4 deaths per 10,000 women per year — 1.9 extra deaths in hormone users.

It is not known for sure why the women taking hormones had more advanced tumors. But previous research has found that hormone treatment can cause delays in diagnosis by increasing breast density, making tumors harder to see on mammograms.

The more advanced state of the tumors in women taking hormones may help explain their increased death rate from breast cancer. Dr. Chlebowski said that in theory, the hormones may also help breast cancer and other cancers to grow and spread — which makes them more deadly — by stimulating the formation of blood vessels that feed tumors. He said that a report last year from the Women’s Health Initiative also found that although hormone treatment did not increase women’s rate of lung cancer, hormone use was linked to a higher death rate among women who had the cancer.

Another author of the new study, Dr. JoAnn E. Manson, a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, said women should not take the hormones at all unless they really need them, for moderate to severe symptoms like hot flashes and night sweats that disrupt sleep and really ruin their quality of life.

“It would be wonderful if there were effective options for women with moderate to severe hot flashes and night sweats that provided quality-of-life benefits without risks,” Dr. Manson said.

At the same time, she said, the new information should not necessarily alarm women who have taken the hormones, because the new report found only 1 to 2 additional breast cancer deaths per 10,000 women per year among those taking hormones.

Dr. Manson said it was the women who took hormones the longest who had the real increase in risk.

“The data suggest it is cumulative long-term use,” Dr. Manson said. “Women should avoid long-term use. I think that’s the bottom line.”

She said that women who want treatment should take the lowest possible dose that eases their symptoms.

Noting that many women are taking other hormone formulations in hope of avoiding Prempro’s risks, Dr. Manson said little was known about the drugs and more research was urgently needed.

“We really need to know what the health effects are,” she said.

She said more research was also needed to find out whether women who took hormones early in menopause had the same risks as women who started the drugs later.

An editorial accompanying the journal article said that the researchers had probably underestimated the increase in deaths from breast cancer due to hormone therapy, and that “with longer follow-up, the deleterious effect will appear larger,” even though the women are no longer taking the drugs.

The editorial writer, Dr. Peter B. Bach, a physician at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York, said that although the increase in cancer in the study might seem small, it becomes large when multiplied out over the population. He also questioned the advice being given to women, to consult their doctors about risks and benefits, and to take the lowest possible doses of the hormones for the shortest possible time. Like Dr. Chlebowski, he said there was no data to determine whether there is any safe interval.

“The fallback is that doctors and patients should be deciding this on a one-to-one basis, weighing risks and benefits,” Dr. Bach said in an interview. “How do you do that when you don’t know what the risks are? It’s a data vacuum. You can’t counsel your way through a clinical decision when you don’t have information.”

He added, “If you care about preventing this disease and keeping women from suffering and dying from it, then it’s hard to look at these drugs and not have serious concerns about them being used, even for what are intended to be relatively short periods of time.”

Stars Make Strides Against Breast Cancer

The Lincoln Stars hockey team and the American Cancer Society are pleased to announce that over $15,000 was raised for the “Making Strides Against Breast Cancer” campaign over the past weekend. The Stars wore specially-designed Breast Cancer-themed jerseys for their game against the Waterloo Blackhawks on Friday, October 15th at the Ice Box. The jerseys were sold in a live auction immediately following the conclusion of the game to benefit the American Cancer Society (ACS).

In addition, “Breast Cancer Awareness” t-shirts were sold at the game to raise additional funds. In total from the jersey auction and t-shirt sales, the Stars raised $15,150 for the American Cancer Society.

“We are so proud to partner with the American Cancer Society for the third season in the ‘Making Strides Against Breast Cancer’ campaign. Through the generosity of our fans, we’re able to raise funds in the fight against cancer and hopefully save lives,” said Jen Morand, Director of Corporate Sales and Marketing for the Lincoln Stars.

The event was sponsored by Art FX Screenprinting & Imaging, 92.9 The Eagle, Texas Roadhouse and FastFrame Lincoln.

Wyeth Wins Latest Trial Over Drugs’ Cancer Risk

A federal jury has sided with Wyeth Pharmaceuticals in the latest lawsuit that accused the drugmaker of not disclosing a link between its hormone replacement therapy and a higher risk of breast cancer.

A Little Rock jury deliberated briefly Tuesday before siding with Wyeth, which argued that it adequately warned doctors and patients of the risks associated with its Prempro and Premarin drugs.

Margaret Wilson and her husband, Billy Wilson, sued the drugmaker after she developed breast cancer after taking Prempro for 4½ years. The suit was one of thousands pending nationwide over the hormone replacement therapy.

Pfizer Inc. bought Wyeth for $68 billion in 2009.

Novak diagnosed with breast cancer

Actress Kim Novak has been diagnosed with breast cancer.

Novak, best known for her starring role in the 1958 classic Vertigo, is undergoing cancer treatment and is expected to make a full recovery, according to her manager, Sue Cameron.

“It was caught early by a routine yearly mammogram and is undergoing treatment,” Cameron told The Hollywood Reporter.

“All her doctors say she is in fantastic physical shape and should recover very well.”

Novak, 77, has also featured in notable films including Picnic, Pal Joey and Bell, Book and Candle.

She last appeared in Liebestraum in 1991, but her scenes were cut following a dispute with director Mike Figgis.

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Astma Today

2010-10-19 / Asthma / 0 Comments

Acetaminophen no asthma trigger after all?

By Frederik Joelving

NEW YORK | Tue Oct 19, 2010 12:28am IST

(Reuters Health) – Doctors have been scratching their heads for years over the higher asthma risk in kids who use acetaminophen, a common painkiller known as Tylenol in the US.

Just last August, researchers studying toddlers in Ethiopia said it was “increasingly likely” that the drug had triggered much of the wheezing that troubled eight percent of those children. And another study hinted it might be fueling a large part of the worldwide increase in asthma (see Reuters Health story of Aug 13).

In a letter to the editor of the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, however, researchers from Germany say there is no cause for alarm.

Using long-term data for more than 3,000 children, they report that the link between asthma and acetaminophen only held when the medication was used to treat airway infections — not stomach flu or urinary tract infections.

“A lot of people associate (acetaminophen) with asthma,” said Dr. Eva Schnabel, of the German Research Center for Environmental Health in Neuherberg, who worked on the new analysis.

“Perhaps they should think it over and read the studies again,” she suggested.

Schnabel, who has no ties to drugmakers, said most earlier studies hadn’t followed children from the get-go and often relied on parents’ recall.

But parents whose kids have frequent airway infections might be more likely to remember using a painkiller to lower the fever. And it’s possible that the infections that led to acetaminophen use, and not the drug per se, could have caused asthma later on or revealed an underlying vulnerability to the disease.

“There have been several studies showing that viral infections are a risk factor for asthma,” Schnabel told Reuters Health.

The letter by Schnabel and her colleagues, which was reviewed by independent experts, is based on published data from kids followed closely up to age six.

Parents were asked to record all cases of fever in their child’s first year of life as well as airway, stomach and urinary tract infections. They also jotted down the medications they used in these cases.

Thirteen percent of the children developed asthma. Although use of acetaminophen — the most common painkiller by far — was more common in those who went on to have asthma, that difference was only found for airway infections.

“This analysis indicates that increased respiratory tract infection morbidity and not (acetaminophen) use during infancy is associated with the later development of asthma,” the researchers write.

“There is no argument anymore that (acetaminophen) shouldn’t be prescribed during infancy,” concludes Schnabel.

The researchers who suggested acetaminophen might trigger asthma could not be reached for comments.

SOURCE: Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, online October 4, 2010.

Giving infants antibiotics triggers asthma?

Canadian medical researchers are conducting a 2.5-million-dollar study to answer whether giving antibiotics to infants in their first year of life triggers asthma and allergies that develop later on in childhood.

More than 50 percent of Canadian infants receive a prescription for antibiotics before they turn one year old, reports Discovery News .

The study aim is two-fold: first, to discern how intestinal bacteria inside newborns changes after taking antibiotics, and second, to study if those changes trigger medical conditions later.

The researchers are intrigued by microbiota. Considered to be ‘good’ intestinal bacteria, microbiota protect against harmful bacteria and help the body absorb nutrients.

Except no one is born with microbiota. It develops during the first year of life. Hence the age of the research subjects.

The study’s proof will be in the dirty diapers. Researchers will analyze the composition of microbiota from fecal samples at three months and again, at one year of age. DNA culled from the baby poop will identify bacteria in the microbiota.

School Bus Contractor Awarded by Asthma Group

Riteway Bus Service of Milwaukee, Wisc., was awarded the Wisconsin Asthma Coalition (WAC) 2010 WAC Taking Action for Asthma Award at a recent meeting.

The award was presented at the WAC meeting on Oct. 15 and highlighted the green efforts made by the school bus contractor. These environmentally friendly practices include idle reduction, fuel conservation programs, emission control technologies, newer, lower emission emitting buses and a plan to introduce hybrid school buses into the fleet sometime next year.

Riteway President Ronald Bast was on hand to accept the award, which was presented by WAC Chair Rhonda Yngsdal-Krenz. This is not a first for Riteway, as the company has received other accolades for its green efforts, including the 2010 Wisconsin Partners for Clean Air Award and the 2010 United Motorcoach Association Green Highway Award.

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Headaches Treatment News

2010-10-16 / Headaches / 0 Comments

Ibuprofen May Help Relieve Acute Migraine Headaches

October 12, 2010 — Ibuprofen is an effective treatment for acute migraine headaches, providing pain relief in about half of patients, but complete relief in only a few, according to the results of a systematic review reported online October 6 in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews.

“Migraine is a common, disabling condition and a burden for the individual, health services and society,” write Roy Rabbie, from the University of Oxford, United Kingdom, and colleagues from the Cochrane Pain, Palliative, and Supportive Care Group. “Many sufferers do not seek professional help, relying instead on over-the-counter analgesics. Co-therapy with an antiemetic should help to reduce symptoms commonly associated with migraine headaches.”

The goal of this review was to assess the effectiveness and tolerability of ibuprofen, given as monotherapy or together with an antiemetic, vs placebo and other active treatment for relief of acute migraine headaches in adults.

The investigators searched Cochrane CENTRAL, MEDLINE, EMBASE, and the Oxford Pain Relief Database to identify studies published through April 22, 2010. Inclusion criteria were randomized, double-blind trials of self-administered ibuprofen vs placebo or active comparators to treat a migraine headache episode, with outcome data for at least 10 participants per treatment group.

Data were extracted, and methodological trial quality was reviewed independently by 2 investigators. Relative risk and number needed to treat (NNT) or harm vs placebo or other active drug were calculated from numbers of participants achieving each outcome.

The investigators identified 9 studies comparing ibuprofen with placebo or other active drugs, in which a total of 4373 participants were studied during a total of 5223 attacks. None of the identified studies used ibuprofen given together with a self-administered antiemetic. Single doses of medication were used to treat attacks in all identified studies.

Comparing ibuprofen 400 mg with placebo, NNTs were 7.2 for 2 hours pain-free (26% vs 12%), 3.2 for 2 hours of headache relief (57% vs 25%), and 4.0 for 24-hour sustained headache relief (45% vs 19%). Comparing ibuprofen 200 mg vs placebo, NNTs were 9.7 for 2 hours pain-free (20% vs 10%) and 6.3 for 2 hours of headache relief (52% vs. 37%).

The 400-mg dose of ibuprofen offered significantly better 2-hour headache relief than the 200-mg dose. Soluble formulations of ibuprofen 400 mg offered better 1-hour, but not 2-hour, headache relief than standard tablets.

For ibuprofen vs placebo, associated symptoms of nausea, vomiting, photophobia, phonophobia, and functional disability were reduced within 2 hours, and fewer participants used rescue medication. Adverse events were mostly mild and transient and occurred in similar numbers of participants across treatment groups. Two-hour headache relief, 24-hour headache relief, and use of rescue medication were similar for ibuprofen 400 mg vs rofecoxib 25 mg.

Limitations of this review include those inherent in the reviewed studies and that small numbers of events were used to calculate some results.

“Ibuprofen is an effective treatment for acute migraine headaches, providing pain relief in about half of sufferers, but complete relief from pain and associated symptoms for only a minority,” the review authors write. “NNTs for all efficacy outcomes were better with 400 mg than 200 mg in comparisons with placebo, and soluble formulations provided more rapid relief. Adverse events were mostly mild and transient, occurring at the same rate as with placebo.”

Oxford Pain Research Funds, UK, supported this study, along with Pain Research Funds, the National Health Service Cochrane Collaboration Programme Grant Scheme, and National Institute for Health Research Biomedical Research Centre Programme. Some of the study authors report various financial relationships with various pharmaceutical companies, charities, government, and industry sources.

Migraine goldmine for Botox maker

The landscape around the west coast of Ireland is breathtaking enough to wipe years off furrowed brows.

But it is not the rugged Irish scenery that has changed the face of the beauty industry. It is a pristine-looking glass-walled factory set in 12 hectares outside the picturesque town of Westport in County Mayo, which produces the entire world’s supply of Botox.

Kylie Minogue has admitted using it, as have Geri Halliwell, Courteney Cox and Jennifer Aniston, but it is no longer just celebrities looking to iron out the wrinkles in their foreheads.

Since it began production in 1990, the factory has pumped out more than 26m phials of the chemical otherwise known as Botulinum toxin a, generating $500m (£310m) a year for the pharmaceutical firm Allergan. In 2009, at the height of the recession, the company reported 8% earnings growth.

What makes investors “rather ecstatic”, says the chief executive, David Pyott, is that Allergan has grown from a company that relied on “purely reimbursed” business from hospitals and clinics to one that includes a booming cash business of private clients who use Botox and other medical aesthetic treatments under the Allergan umbrella, including dermal-fillers, breast implants and gastric bands. The wealthy always want to look beautiful.

“Even in the depths of the recession, the first half of 2009, the world market [for Botox] only declined 9%,” says Pyott. “In the recession what’s happened is men have spread out their treatments [from every three months to four months] and women have fewer things done.”

The Botulinum toxin, which is produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum, works by temporarily paralysing key muscles in the forehead. Pyott, 55, a Scot with a smooth-looking forehead, leads by example and uses it himself.

But it isn’t the beauty treatment that has the company so confident about future growth. It is all its other less sexy applications for Botox – 20 of them in total, including the recently approved application as a preventative medicine for chronic migraine – that opens up another potential goldmine.

There are an estimated 700,000 migraine sufferers in the UK alone reporting chronic head pain – dizziness, nausea and headaches can put someone out of action for up to two days at a time. The chronic form is defined as someone who has 15 headache days a month, of which at least eight are migraine.

Analysts reckon that the migraine breakthrough could generate revenue of between $400m and $1bn by 2015 – almost double the company’s turnover.

Allergan employs 800 staff in Westport but the production of Botox is now so automated that it only requires the direct labour of 80 people. That’s about $625,000 revenue per employee.

“The Botox story is an amazing story and what’s really unusual is that the best may still be to come,” says Pyott, a Glasgow-born lawyer who has been chief executive since 1998.

“Right now our revenues are split 50:50 between cosmetic and therapeutic. But five years from now 70% of our sales may come from therapeutic, and that’s not because the use of Botox will decline.”

Pyott lists off some of the other Botox applications in the pipeline. “It always starts in a severe population,” he says referring to two future therapeutic applications: controlling weak bladders in multiple sclerosis sufferers and crash victims with spinal cord injuries. This is currently in clinical trials as is another weak bladder condition, affecting women over the age of 50.

Many of the discoveries of the use of Botox are by accident. It was discovered that it could erase wrinkles in 1987 after an eye specialist injecting patients to correct crossed eyes reported that a patient’s frown had disappeared.

Another cosmetic application, which was approved in 2008 by the US Food and Drug Administration, was born from an eye-drop product that Allergan makes. Patients reported that one side-effect was longer and fuller eyelashes. Back in the laboratory, Allergan came up with Latisse, which has now been approved in the US and is undergoing clinical trials in Europe.

For Ireland, which is in the throes of one of the worst recessions in the eurozone, the Botox story is important.

One of the reasons that Allergan set up shop in Westport 33 years ago was relocation aid and low corporation tax, which now stands at just 12.5%. Recently the European Union’s European commissioner for economic and financial affairs, Olli Rehn, suggested that this might have to be increased if Ireland was to reduce its gargantuan budget deficit.

But Pyott is unperturbed by the threat of rising taxes: “We have long assumed the rate would go up a couple of points,” he says. Having studied European Union law, he says that Brussels can huff and puff but “at the end of the day, it’s a matter of national sovereignty.”

He is also optimistic about the overall recovery of European markets comparison with those in the US. “Here and there, there are patches of gloom but here in our company we really see no big issues at all,” he says.

“We look at all the statistics very carefully and in fact, looking at the recovery of our markets, particularly those that are cash paid, there is no sign of the infamous ‘double dip’. In fact, I would say most European markets are recovering and growing more quickly than those in the United States.”
The history of Botox

Botox is 21 years old this year, but the bacterium, Clostridium botulinum, from which the product is derived, was discovered as far back as 1895.

By the 1950s scientists discovered the bacteria temporarily relaxed muscles, and so the story of Botox began. Its first medical application was in 1989 to fix crossed eyes and uncontrolled blinking.

The start of its use as a beauty treatment was accidental. An ophthalmologist in Canada treating a woman with crossed eyes noticed that it got rid of the patient’s frowns around the eye area. It was finally unleashed on the market in 2000 and has become a global phenomenon.

But that is only half the story. Botox is also used to alleviate 20 other more serious conditions including foot deformities in children with cerebral palsy; hyper-hydrosis (excessive under-arm sweating) and post-stroke spasticity (twisting of limbs and hands). It is undergoing clinical trials as a treatment for weak bladders in multiple sclerosis sufferers and car-crash victims.

Drug overuse causes headaches

Most people have headaches from time to time. But if you have a long-lasting headache, you may be experiencing a chronic daily headache. Also called “rebound headache,” it is a common disorder related to medication overuse, but it is also the most treatable cause of chronic headaches.

Regardless of the original headache syndrome, overuse of medication is found in approximately one third of patients who develop daily headaches. At general hospitals, 50 to 82 percent of patients suffering chronic daily headaches have experienced drug overuse.

Although the risk could vary depending on the kind of drugs used, any acute headache medication has a potential to lead to rebound headaches. Both prescription and over-the-counter medicines for headaches (such as aspirin and acetaminophen) can cause headaches if you take them too frequently. These medicines should not be consumed on more than two days per week.

Caffeine is an ingredient in some headache medicines. It may relieve your pain for a while but if caffeine or drinks containing it are taken every day, you might suffer headaches more frequently. Even when you stop consuming caffeine, reactive headaches can occur.

It is not clear why rebound headaches occur but scientists suspect that the regular use of medications changes the way in which certain pain pathways and receptors work in the brain. Rebound headaches are not an issue for people who take pain killers on a daily basis for the treatment of other conditions such as arthritis.

Severe rebound headaches occur every day, often waking you up in the early morning. The symptoms can be relieved with analgesics but return as the medication wears off. The location and severity of the headache may change each day. The patients may also have nausea, anxiety, irritability, depression or sleeping problems.

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