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FACTORS BRINGING ON A MIGRAINE ATTACK: ‘THE PILL’

July 22nd, 2011
Progesterone, given in the first half of the cycle, prevents ovulation and is the basis for oral contraceptives.
Headaches often come on soon after starting the first course of the contraceptive pill. Rarely they can be very severe and accompanied by signs of malfunction of the nervous system such as the temporary loss of use of a limb or transient blindness, presumably due to a drop in blood flow to the appropriate part of the brain. These symptoms must always be taken seriously.
Some women taking the pill become severely depressed; this is of interest in the light of the relationship of migraine and depression.
Analysis of sufferers attending Migraine Clinics suggest that taking oral contraceptives is a major factor among those who come during an acute attack of migraine; this finding supports the hypothesis that oral contraceptives alter the threshold to migraine making people taking them more susceptible to attacks. On the other hand in some women, migraine attacks cease soon after they start to take the pill.
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EXTERNAL FEMALE ANATOMY: THE HYMEN, OR MAIDENHEAD

July 15th, 2011
The hymen, or maidenhead, or, as commonly known, cherry, is a membrane which covers the entrance to the vagina. It usually has a small opening in it for vaginal and menstrual discharge. In some cases, a woman’s hymen has no opening. The imperforate hymen, as this is called, can be opened by a fairly simple surgical procedure. The hymen has a dubious mythical status, in which it is commonly believed that an intact hymen is a positive sign of virginity. Some cultures, for example, in the Middle East, have employed the ritual of exhibiting the bloodstained sheets on the morning after a marriage ceremony, testifying that the bride has come to the groom in an unsullied state. Some cultures meted out heavy punishment, including death, to the woman whose hymen was not appropriately present. Other cultures have practiced ritual “deflowering” of the bride-to-be by religious figures or older women of the tribe; during feudal times in Europe, this proceeding was the prerogative of the lord of the manor. This practice was known as droit du seigneur in French, or jus primae noctis (“right of the first night”) in Latin.
The relationship between an intact hymen and virginity, however, is not all that simple. In some cases the hymen is highly elastic, and gentle insertion of the penis might not cause it to rupture. In general, the tearing of the hymen may cause bleeding and possibly some pain but is usually not physically traumatic. Conversely, a torn hymen is not necessarily a sign that the woman has had sexual intercourse, since various activities, such as athletics, bicycle riding, and horseback riding, can similarly cause this tissue to tear. Even after the hymen has been stretched and broken, small folds of this tissue, known as hymenal tags, will remain.
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HIV: OPTIONS FOR MEDICAL CARE-HOSPITAL CARE: CHOOSING A HOSPITAL

July 5th, 2011
For many people with HIV infection, choice of a hospital is limited. Participants in HMOs are required to use specific hospitals. People from small cities or from rural areas often have only one hospital near enough to choose. In medical emergencies, a public ambulance is required to take the patient to the nearest hospital, leaving the family and the patient little say in the matter, unless they hire a private ambulance.
In most instances, the physician responsible for the care of the person with HIV infection will make a recommendation depending on which hospital has the resources necessary for that person, and in which hospital the physician has admitting privileges (meaning the physician is
allowed to admit and treat patients).
A large teaching hospital might best be chosen by a person who has unusual complications that require specialized services. If you have a strong wish to go to a certain hospital, you should tell your physician. In the event that your physician is not on the admitting staff of that hospital, he or she can often transfer your medical care to another physician.
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BACH FLOWER REMEDIES: VINE REMEDY

June 25th, 2011
Ambitious, dominator, Ruthless, Dictator. Vine relates to the soul quality of authority. In the positive state the person is very capable, sure of himself, able to carry conviction, has all the qualities of a good leader – a very strong willpower and an unfailing presence of mind in any ticklish situation. He is ambitious and wants to get to the top and to hold the reins. But with all these qualities of head, the positive Vervain type person remains humane at heart. He remains the wise, loving leader of the people, who understands their problems and guides them to solve them. He uses his position and his leadership qualities in the service of the people and in return gets their cooperation automatically.
But in the negative VINE state the person is obsessed with only one idea – to dominate others. In his quest for power, he throws to winds all ideas of fairness and foulness, ” Everything is fair in love and war’ becomes his motto. In the pursuit of his ambition, he proceeds ruthlessly removing any obstructions in the way. He rides roughshod over the feelings of others. He wants power to dominate others, and to secure this power he will use any means. When he tastes power, he wants to have more and still more power. He cannot stand any opposition, and would crush it by any means. He is like a dictator or a tyrant who wants to subjugate others by force, into obedience. Persuasion or reasoning has no meaning for him. He is over-confident of his righteousness. It hurts his ego, if somebody dares to express a different opinion. With such a closed mind and an intensely selfish approach to life which is totally cut-off from his higher self, the power that he holds makes him cruel and insensate to the aspirations or feelings of others. Such a person is always surrounded by power-brokers, yes-men and flatterers and seldom can claim a true friend who could give him sincere advice in time of need.
Whether it is a parent who rules his children with an iron rod or a school master who is over-strict to maintain discipline in School or a dictator who over-runs other countries in his mad rush for power, they have one thing in common – rigidity and inflexibility of mind and will, and ruthless approach to opposition bordering on cruelty,
A direct reflection of this mental state on the physical side is painful rigidity and stiffness of the muscles and joints, high blood-pressure and a score of other tensions and disabilities.
*194\308\8*

BACH FLOWER REMEDIES: SCLERANTHUS

June 17th, 2011
Indecision, double mindedness, uncertainly, postponing. Scleranthus relates to the soul quality of stability and balance.
In the positive Scleranthus state, the person has poise and a balance of mind which is not disturbed under any circumstances. He takes his own decisions and sticks to them and is not influenced by others’ opinions.   People respect him as a reliable person. In the negative Scleranthus state the person does not know his own mind which is always vacillating between two options. He cannot make a decision, he takes long to come to a decision, goes on postponing it till the last, and when ultimately he speaks of his decision, nobody believes that he would stick to that decision. In his inner most heart he himself is not sure of the finality of his decision—he may still change it at the last moment. He has what they call’ a grasshopper mind’. The worst part is that he does not take anybody’s help to arrive at a decision. He is incapable of taking a quick decision.   So he goes on postponing it, thereby wasting much useful time. Sometimes he may come to grief and suffer irretrievable loss because of his indecisiveness. He may fail to make a quick decision whether an emergent case should be shifted to a nursing home, which is expensive but reliable, or a doctor should be called in to attend to the patient.
The patient may die due to delay in giving treatment, while crossing a busy road, he may find himself stranded in the middle of the road undecided whether to put a step forward or backward, and may be over-run by a fast moving vehicle. According to an anecdote S. Pratap Singh Kairon, the late Chief-Minister of Punjab, witnessed a squirrel being crushed under the wheel of his car, inspite of the best efforts of his driver to save it. Mr. Kairon asked the other 2 gentlemen sitting on his side in the car, why the squirrel died. One said it was its fate to die as she did. The other man replied, perhaps the driver was not adept in making a save in such emergencies.
“No” replied Mr. Kairon very firmly. “The squirrel lost its life because of its indecisiveness. It could not decide whether to go to the right or go to the left’. Similar is the fate of the people who have a vacillating mind”.
*174\308\8*

QUESTIONS ABOUT PREGNANCY

June 7th, 2011
Do you know of any natural treatments to ease childbirth?
According to several medical studies and quite a few mothers I’ve met, red raspberry leaf tea eases and speeds up labour.
Squeeze the juice of an orange into a cup of strong, red raspberry leaf tea (one ounce of dried leaves steeped in 20 ounces of boiling water will make more than a day’s supply). Drink one to three cups or about a pint daily, during the last month of pregnancy.
I’m a vegetarian and planning to nurse my baby. Some of my friends say that I wont be giving the baby proper nutrition. Is this true?
Not at all, as long as you get enough nutrients from vegetarian sources. In fact, it’s been shown that vegetarian mothers have considerably less pollutant chemicals in their breast milk than their meat-eating sisters. This has been attributed to the fact that many chemicals enter the body as a contaminant of animal fat and are then stored in human fat.
What I’d advise is making sure that your daily intake of protein, calcium, vitamins B2, В12, D, iron, and zinc is sufficient. Your best sources would be:
For protein:               Pulses combined with grains, nuts, or seeds; or a combination of any plant food with dairy products or eggs
For calcium:               Aside from dairy products, you can get a good supply from fortified soy milk, pulses, dark-green leafy vegetables, as well as nuts and seeds.
For vitamins:               Whole grains, brewer’s yeast, dark-green leafy vegetables, dairy products, and supplements (A balanced В complex with at least 3 meg. of vitamin В12, taken 1-3 times daily is recommended.)
For vitamin D:           Fortified soy or regular milk, and a good multivitamin (which your doctor has probably advised) will fill the bill.
For iron:                     Dark-green leafy vegetables, torula yeast, whole grains, dried fruits Combining  citrus   fruits  with   iron-rich foods will help you get the most of your iron.
For zinc:                     Wheat germ, whole grains, eggs, cheese, pulses, and nuts
My friend, who’s pregnant, has been using lecithin to control her weight gain. Is this safe?
I would not advise taking it during pregnancy. Though lecithin is a natural fat emulsifier, found in eggs, nuts, soybeans, and liver – among other natural foods – and has been used safely with kelp, vinegar, and vitamin Вб as a diet aid for years, recent studies at Duke University Medical Centre in Durham, North Carolina, have shown that lecithin when given to pregnant females can cause birth defects.
Altering eating habits, and not using diet aids, is the only safe way to control weight during pregnancy! Keep in mind that if a mother is inadequately nourished, it can affect fetal growth, which is why doctors no longer restrict weight gain to twenty pounds, but are more in favour of a twenty-eight to thirty pound gain.
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SCHOOL–CHILDREN AND DIABETES: DAY OF THE REVIEW, TRIPS AND PLANNING

May 24th, 2011
The day of the review
On the day of the review it is essential that there is no risk of hypoglycemia and also that your blood glucose is not very high. Make sure that the examiner is told in advance that you may need to check your blood glucose level before, during or after the review and that you must have food and drink available during the examination. It is sensible to run your blood glucose around 7 or 8 mmol/1 (126 or 144 mg/dl) rather than 4 mmol/1 (72 mg/dl). You should take your blood testing kit, cans or containers of fruit juice, biscuits or crackers, glucose tablets or candies and tissues into the assessment with you. Make sure that you check your blood glucose before you go into the examination, and eat something if it is low. If yоu do, wipe your fingers – a sticky paper could lose you marks! Do not panic if your blood glucose level is higher than you would like – it is not a disaster and you will not fail because of it! Just think afterwards what you could have done to achieve better glucose control so that you can learn for the next time.
School trips
In the old days pupils with diabetes were sometimes left behind when the rest of the class went off on a school trip because the teachers were afraid that they would not be able to cope if something went wrong. This made the diabetic pupils feel very left out. Nowadays they should be able to share in all class activities. There is no problem if you can measure your blood glucose level and adjust your own insulin and food, and if the supervisors are all told how to recognize and treat a hypoglycemic episode.
For younger pupils or inexperienced diabetic teenagers, the teachers need to be given more information about coping with the diabetes. If parents are asked to help with the trip, your mother or father could come along. Supervisors may feel happier if they have a telephone number to call in an emergency, although few will have to use it.
Planning
The first thing to do on hearing of a school trip is to find out exactly what is planned and for how long you will be away. Then work out how much food you will need and add some extra snacks for extra energy and an extra meal in case of delays. Take your insulin and blood testing kit and some money. Of course, you will be carrying glucose tablets and some form of identity card, locket or bracelet.
*44/102/5*

PROBLEMS DURING PREGNANCY: MISCARRIAGE AND MORNING SICKNESS

May 17th, 2011
Miscarriage
When the fetus is developing in the early stages, there is always the possibility of miscarriage or abortion. Sometimes this is not noticed by the mother-to-be as the developing fetus may miscarry at the time of the next period which may be just a little heavier than normal.
Vitamin E may prevent miscarriage. There is reasonable evidence that vitamin E may prevent habitual or recurring miscarriages. Vitamin E given to expectant mothers who had a history of miscarriages has been shown to reduce the incidence of miscarriage. Do not eat potatoes if they have any green spots as they may contain solanine. This is a poisonous narcotic alkaloid that can cause miscarriage.
Morning sickness
There is some evidence that vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) may help relieve the symptoms of morning sickness. The symptoms of morning sickness can include nausea and vomiting. Usually the amount of vitamin B6 contained in a good multi vitamin and mineral formula is sufficient to help relieve these symptoms. However, high doses of this vitamin should be avoided late in pregnancy as studies have shown that high doses of vitamin B6 may shut off breast milk. It must therefore be reduced before delivery in mothers who plan to breastfeed their new babies.
I have found that peppermint tea is helpful in relieving the symptoms of morning sickness. Drink one cup of peppermint tea and eat a piece of toast before getting out of bed in the morning and two more cups during the day. This will need the help of the father-to-be in the morning and he should remember that his duty to the unborn child started with conception. Another herb that I have found relieves morning sickness symptoms is ginger. Travel Calm Ginger is recommended. Take one tablet every 4 hours.
*12/199/5*

HIV: PROBLEMS OF THE DIGESTIVE SYSTEM-NAUSEA AND VOMITING

May 6th, 2011
Nausea and vomiting have a number of causes, the most common being the drugs taken for complications of HIV infection. Drugs whose side effects include nausea and vomiting are: trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (Bactrim, Septra), pyrimethamine (Daraprim), ketoconazole (Nizoral), amphotericin B, pentamidine (Pentam), acyclovir (Zovirax), ganciclovir (DHPG), dapsone, and trimethoprim.
Usually the nausea and vomiting are dose-related, meaning that reducing the dose of the drug will reduce the nausea and vomiting. Or the drug can be taken at times that will not interfere with meals. Or, for many conditions, alternative drugs can be prescribed. Consultation with a physician will usually reveal which drug is likely to be the cause, which is expendable, which can be safely reduced in dose, and which can be safely substituted.
Some of the opportunistic infections—particularly infections that affect the head or the digestive system—can also cause nausea and vomiting. People who have nausea and vomiting, who are taking no medication, and who have additional symptoms such as fever or diarrhea should see their physicians.
In general, the person who has nausea or vomiting should eat small, frequent meals, and eat slowly. Avoid greasy, high-fat, and spicy foods. When symptoms are not severe, follow a soft and bland diet that is low in fat: rice, noodles, pasta, mashed potatoes, clear soups, jello, clear fruit juice, ginger ale, crackers, pretzels, tea, dry toast, oatmeal, boiled eggs. For breakfast, eat crackers, dry cereal, or dry toast. Cold meals that have little odor are often easier to eat than hot meals. When symptoms are severe, it is important to replace the liquids and electrolytes lost: try saltines, pretzels, clear fruit juices, ginger ale or colas, caffeine-free Gatorade, clear soups. All liquids should be clear—that is, they should not be thick liquids like vegetable juices, citrus juices, some fruit juices, or milk. Drink them between meals rather than during meals.
Many drugs reduce nausea and vomiting. Some can be given by suppository in the event that nothing is retained when taken by mouth. Such drugs should be timed to meals; take them as directed, but try taking the drug after eating meals. Some useful drugs do not require a prescription; these include Dramamine and Pepto-Bismol. Other drugs require a prescription: antihistamines (such as Phenergan, Haldol, or Vistaril) or phenothiazines (such as Compazine), which are drugs that also reduce anxiety. Most of these drugs cause drowsiness.
*127\191\2*

SKIN CARE: ANTI-AGEING CREAMS

April 28th, 2011
Most of the so-called anti-ageing creams available have no proven scientific benefit and are merely expensive variations on standard moisturizing creams. There are only two types of products available which have true anti-ageing qualities, namely sunscreens and Retin-A. Tighter government regulations have meant that cosmetic companies are no longer able to claim that their products are ‘anti-ageing’ unless they can prove this. In order to comply with these restrictions, some cosmetic companies are now incorporating sunscreens into all their products, even night creams. These sunscreens may cause severe contact dermatitis. Consumers are now being asked to spend 50 100 dollars or more for an elegantly packaged sunscreen. Furthermore, the sunscreens added to cosmetic creams are generally ultraviolet B-blocking agents such as cinnamate, which are in fact inferior to the regular broad spectrum SPF 15 sunscreens, especially those containing titanium dioxide.
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