Monthly Archives: February 2007

As We Ebb And Flow Through Life

Changing Roles in different stages.
As we bob and weave with the ebb and flow of life our roles change, but our true self remains constant. As spiritual beings having a human experience, we go through many aspects of humanity in one lifetime. Living in the material world of opposites, labels, and classifications, we often identify ourselves by the roles we play, forgetting that these aspects shift and change throughout our lives. But when we anchor ourselves in the truth of our being, that core of spirit within us, we can choose to embrace the new roles as they come, knowing that they give us fresh perspective on life and a greater understanding of the lives of others.

As children, we anticipated role changes eagerly in our rush to grow up. Though fairy tales led us to believe that “happily ever after” was a final destination, the truth is that life is a series of destinations, mere stops on a long journey filled with differing terrain. We may need to move through a feeling of resistance as we shift from spouse to parent, leader to subordinate, caregiver to receiver, or even local to newcomer. It can be helpful to bid a fond farewell to the role that we are leaving before we welcome the new. This is the purpose of ceremonies in cultures throughout the world and across time. We can choose from any in existence or create our own to help us celebrate our life shifts and embrace our new adventures.

Like actors on the stage of the world, our different roles are just costumes that we inhabit and then shed. Each role we play gives us another perspective through which to understand ourselves and the nature of the universe. When we take a moment to see that each change can be an adventure, a celebration, and a chance to play a new part, we may even be able to recapture the joyful anticipation of our youth as we transition from one role to the next.

Source:Daily Om

Dandruff (Scaliness of the scalp)

Dandruff is a mysterious ailment. Mysterious, in that there is no commonly agreed upon theory about what actually causes the condition. It is estimated that as much as 97% of the population of the United States will at some point in their lives have a form of dandruff, but there is still a lack of total agreement about this condition.
Dandruff can happen at any age but is most commonly found in people between the ages of 12 and 80. (A form of dandruff known as cradle cap occurs in newborns and infants).

Dandruff is an itchy, annoying and persistent skin disorder of the scalp. A dark shirt and dandruff just simply don’t go together! There is nothing more embarrassing than to have someone brush white flakes off your new black sweater or denim jacket. In the past ten years dandruff problems in the United States have become more serious and more frequent.

What Is Dandruff?
First you should know that a person’s entire body surface continuously sheds dead skin cells. The skin itself sheds every twenty-four days. Dandruff is the result of the normal growing process of the skin cells of the scalp. Shedding of dead skin cells from the scalp at an excessive rate, is the result of the normal growing process of the skin cells of the scalp.

In a normal scalp, the process of sloughing off old cells and manufacturing of their replacements is very orderly and complete. In the dandruff scalp, there is mass disorder and often the departing cells are not dead before leaving the scalp.

The term dandruff generally refers to the condition of the skin where in shiny, silvery scales separate from the scalp and collect amidst the hair. The condition can become troublesome when the skin gets infected.

Symptoms:
When the hair is combed or brushed, or when the scalp is scratched, the scales from the scalp fall like snowflakes and settle on the eyebrows, shoulders and clothes. These scales sometimes appear as lumps or crusts on the scalp. Often there is itching as well and the scalp may become red from scratching.

Root causes:
The main causes of dandruff are impairment of general health, development of a toxic condition mainly due to taking of wrong foods, constipation, and a low vitality due to infectious diseases. Other factors contributing to this disorder are emotional tension, harsh shampoos, and exposure to cold, and general exhaustion.

HEALING OPTIONS:

————————
Home Remedies :Apply listerine mixed with baby oil on your hair. Within 2 to 3 days you will get rid of dandruff. Fenugreek seeds, Lime , Green Gram Powder and Snake gourd are also used as home remedy.

Other Remedies:
Dandruff can be removed by massaging the hair for half an hour with curd which has been kept in the open for three days or with a few drops of lime juice mixed with alma juice every night before going to bed. Another measure, which helps to counteract dandruff, is to dilute cider vinegar with an equal quantity of water and dab this on the hair with cotton wool in between shampooing. Cider vinegar added to the final rinsing water after shampooing also helps to disperse dandruff.

Ayurvedic Suppliments :
Amlaki Rasayan, Guducgyadi Taila (Oil) Buy in internet.

Diet: People should avoid spicy and greasy food because it helps dandruff to increase and spread. People should add more vegetables and fruits on the diet. It is very essential to take fresh foods avoid taking tinned and canned foods add more green vegetables and fruits.
Strong tea and coffee, processed foods should be avoided for the dandruff.

Lifestyle: The foremost consideration in the treatment of this disorder is to keep the hair and scalp clean so as to minimise the accumulation of dead cells. The hair should be brushed daily to improve the circulation and remove any flakiness. The most effective way to brush the hair is to bend forward from the waist with the head down towards the ground and brush from the nape of the neck towards the top of the head. The scalp should also be thoroughly massaged everyday, using one-finger tips and working systematically over the head. This should be done just before or after brushing the hair. Like brushing, this stimulates the circulation, dislodges dirt and dandruff and encourages hair growth. Exposure of the head to the rays of the sun is also a useful measure in the treatment of dandruff. Use any herbal shampoo for clean the hair. Also a herbal hair pack can be prepared and used by mixing henna powder, curd, ritha power together and apply on the head keep it for ½ an hour and wash with water, after this you wash your head with a herbal lime based shampoo for dandruff. Lime is good for dandruff as well as conditioner.

Yoga Remedy : Cobra (Bhujanga Asana) and Vajrasana

How to do Cobra (Bhujanga Asana) cobra.jpg
1. Lie down with your legs together and your hands palms down under your shoulders. Rest your forehead on the floor.
2.Inhaling, bring your head up, brushing first your nose, then your chin against the floor Now lift’up your hands and use your back muscles to raise your chest as high as possible. Hold for a few deep breaths then, exhaling; slowly return to position 1, keeping your chin up until last.
3.Inhaling, come up as before, but this time use your hands to push the trunk up. Continue up until you are bending from the middle of the spine. Hold for two or three deep breaths, then exhale and come slowly down.
4.Inhaling, raise the trunk as before, but this time continue up and back until you can feel your back bending all the way down from the neck to the base of the spine. Breathe normally.
5.To complete the asana., walk your hands in toward your body, straighten the arms, and lift the pelvis slightly. Separate the legs, bend the knees and, pushing out the chest, drop the head back and touch the feet to the head. Breathe normally, then slowly come down, as before.

How to do Vajrasana vajrasana1.jpg

1. Sit on your knees keeping them together.

2. Draw both toes together, and with heels apart, sit on them.
Keep your hands straight on the respective knees.

3. Breathe normally with your spine straight. Relax your hands
and release the legs

4. Now lie on your back or stretch your legs in front with hands
at the back and relax.

5. Take rest for 10 counts and repeat.

6. Do this two times.
Help taken from:Allayurveda.com

Garlic delight

click to see the picture
Researchers from Annamalai University in Tamil Nadu have discovered that a chemical found in garlic can help fight adverse health effects caused by cadmium. The metal is a food contaminant and a major component of cigarette smoke. The studies, to be published in the April 2007 issue of International Journal of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, showed that diallyl tetrasulphide from garlic protected mitochondrial cells and reduced oxidative stress. Oxidative stress, an imbalance in production of reactive oxygen such as free radicals implicated in ageing and a biological system’s ability to remove them effectively, can permanently damage most components of the cell, including proteins, lipids and DNA. Cadmium is known to cause an increase in the production of reactive oxygen.

Good old garlic

A simple home remedy awaits millions of people in West Bengal and neighbouring Bangladesh who are affected by dangerously high levels of arsenic in drinking water. A team of researchers from Calcutta’s Indian Institute of Chemical Biology has found that garlic — Allium sativum, commonly used as a spice in several dishes — could help reduce arsenic levels in the body. The study by Keya Chaudhuri and her colleagues appears in a latest issue of the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology. The scientists found that rats — which were fed garlic extracts — had 40 per cent less arsenic in their blood and liver as the animals passed more than 45 per cent of the toxic material in their urine. They think that sulphur-containing substances in garlic do the trick as they scavenge arsenic from tissues and blood. People who eat one to three cloves of garlic daily can substantially reduce the health risk posed by arsenic, says Chaudhuri.

Source:The Telegraph(Kolkata,India)

Enhanced by Zemanta

Alleviating and treating ailments Through recommend supplements

Many practitioners of complementary medicine recommend supplements for a wide range of health problems affecting virtually every body system. For most of these conditions, conventional physicians would be more likely to prescribe drugs, though they might treat some disorders with supplements. For example, iron may be prescribed for some types of anemia, vitamin A (in the drug isotretinoin, or Accutane) for severe acne, and high doses of the B vitamin niacin for reducing high cholesterol levels.

In this tool, certain vitamins and minerals are suggested for the treatment of specific ailments. However, the use of nutritional supplements as remedies, especially for serious conditions, is controversial. Most doctors practicing conventional medicine are skeptical of their efficacy and believe it is sometimes dangerous to rely on them. But based on published data and their clinical observations, nutritionally oriented physicians and practitioners think the use of these supplements is justified — and that to wait years for unequivocal proof to appear would be wasting valuable time. Until there is clearer, more consistent evidence available, you should be careful about depending on nutritional supplements alone to treat an ailment or injury.

For thousands of years, however, various cultures have employed herbs for soothing, relieving, or even curing many common health problems, a fact not ignored by medical science. The pharmaceutical industry, after all, arose as a consequence of people using herbs as medicine. Recent studies suggest that a number of the claims made for herbs have validity, and the pharmacological actions of the herbs covered in this book are often well documented by clinical studies as well as historical practice. In Europe, a number of herbal remedies, including

St. John’s wort, ginkgo biloba, and saw palmetto, now are accepted and prescribed as medications for treating disorders such as allergies, depression, impotence, and even heart disease. Of course, even herbs and other supplements with proven therapeutic effects should be used judiciously for treating an ailment.

What supplements won’t do
Despite the many promising benefits that supplements offer, it’s important to note their limits — and to question some of the extravagant claims currently being made for them.

As the word itself suggests, supplements are not meant to replace the nutrients available from foods. Supplements will never make up for a poor diet: They can’t counteract a high intake of saturated fat (which is linked to an increased risk of heart disease and cancer), and they can’t replace every nutrient found in food groups that you ignore. Also, although scientists have isolated and extracted a number of disease-fighting phytochemical compounds from fruits, vegetables, and other foods, there may be many others that are undiscovered — and ones you can get only from foods. In addition, some of the known compounds may work only in combination with others in various foods, rather than as single isolated ingredients in supplement form.

Supplements won’t compensate for habits known to contribute to ill health, such as smoking or a lack of exercise. Optimal health requires a wholesome lifestyle — particularly if, as people get older, they are intent on aging well.

Although some of the benefits ascribed to supplements are unproved but plausible, other claims are far-fetched. Weight-loss preparations are the leading example. Though they’re extremely popular, it’s questionable whether any of them can help you shed pounds without the right food choices and regular exercise. Products that claim to “burn fat” won’t burn enough on their own for significant weight loss.

Similarly, claims of boosting performance, whether physical or mental, are difficult to prove — and any “enhancement” will be a limited one at best in a healthy person. Though a supplement may improve mental functioning in someone experiencing mild to severe episodes of memory loss, it may have a negligible effect on the memory or concentration of most adults. Likewise, a supplement shown to combat fatigue isn’t going to turn the average jogger into an endurance athlete. Nor is it clear that “aphrodisiac” supplements are effective for enhancing sexual performance if you aren’t suffering from some form of sexual dysfunction.

No supplements have been found to cure any serious diseases — including cancer, heart disease, diabetes, or AIDS. The right supplement, however, may help improve a chronic condition and relieve symptoms such as pain or inflammation. But first you need to consult a health professional for treatment.

Source:Your Guide to
Vitamins, Minerals, and Herbs

Hand In Hand With Nature

Healing Gardens
Time spent in nature’s embrace is a soothing reminder of the fact that we also are products of the natural world’s ingenuity. We feel at home in a quiet forest and are comforted by the pounding surf of the seaside. In both the sunny meadow and the shaded waterfall’s grotto, stress and tension we have long retained melts away. Finding opportunities to reconnect with nature to enjoy its healing benefits can be difficult, however. Planting and tending a garden allows us to spend time with Mother Nature in a very personal and hands-on way. We work in tandem with nature while gardening-honoring the seasons, participating in the life cycle of various organisms, experiencing the unique biorhythms of our environments, and transcending all that divides us from the natural world. As we interact with the soil, we are free to be ourselves and reflect upon meditative topics. Fresh air invigorates us, while our visceral connection to the earth grounds us.

Though you may plant a garden to grow food or herbs, or for the pleasure of seeing fresh flowers in bloom, you will likely discover that the time you spend working in your plot feels somehow more significant than many of the seemingly more important tasks you perform each day. Whether your garden can be measured in feet or is a collection of plants in pots, tending it can be a highly spiritual experience. You, by necessity, develop a closer relationship with the soil, seeds, water, and sunlight. Nurturing just a single plant means cultivating a deeper understanding of the mechanisms that permit it to thrive. A true healing garden is simply one where you feel comfortable plunging your hands into the earth, lingering over seedlings and plants to observe their growth. And yes, even caressing and talking to plants. Creating beauty through the creative use of space, and giving yourself over to awe when you realize that you have worked hand in hand with nature to give birth to som! ething, is truly wonderful.

The partnership that is formed when you collaborate with Mother Nature through gardening is wonderful in that it provides you with so many opportunities to be outdoors. You will be reminded of not only your connection to the earth but also of your unique gifts that allow you to give back to the earth.

Source:Daily Om

Why is the heart pear-shaped?

T.V. Jayan explains, with the help of a new study:It’s often been said that there is no engineer quite like Mother Nature. A living organism — with all its parts that fit in so smoothly — is after all an engineering marvel. But this near-perfect “manufacturing” skill of Nature has often fanned the debate on whether life was created, or evolved.

h.jpg

If the advocates of creationism are ready to swallow, however grudgingly, the theory that life originated from the amoeba eons ago, science has not been able to give convincing answers to a number of sub-questions. How does, for instance, a tiny, fragile fertilised egg grow into a body of full-blown organs without any “external” guidance? Why are the shapes of organs in a human being as they are? Why are our legs longer than our arms?

Ardent proponents of evolutionary biology, however, may no longer have to fumble for answers to many such questions. A team of scientists from the Skirball Institute of Biomolecular Medicine, affiliated to the New York University School of Medicine, recently proved that logic could explain some of these difficult questions. Led by Deborah Yelon, the scientists unravelled the factors governing the complex process of the formation of the heart, which is a simple tube in early development, growing into a four-chambered, intricate organ with a characteristic pear shape. The researchers published their study in the February 20 issue of PLoS (Public Library of Science) Biology.

The heart, like many other organs, undergoes dramatic changes in its three-dimensional form as the embryo develops and functional demands intensify. Before it becomes a multi-chambered organ, it exists as a simple tube made up of myocardium (muscle) lined by endocardium (endothelium). As this thin-walled tube bulges outward, the chambers emerge and eventually acquire the characteristic dimensions of curvature and thickness.

In an article in Current Biology (September 2005), Sheffield University scientist David Strutt wrote that in order to control the shape and size of an organ, it is necessary that the dimensions be measured as the organ grows, and growth stops in each axis at the appropriate time.

But how this is achieved largely remains a mystery.

Developing organs acquire a specific three-dimensional form that ensures their normal functioning. The unique shape of the heart in higher-order animals, too, is critical for proper functioning. It is composed of a series of chambers that rhythmically drive blood circulation. Each of the chambers is designed for its optimal functional capacity. The organ, which commences beating from approximately 21 days of conception, is responsible for pumping blood via blood vessels through repeated, rhythmic contractions. In the process, it picks up carbon dioxide from the blood and drops it off in the lungs in exchange for oxygen which is in turn circulated through the blood.

Organs acquire their characteristic shapes not simply as a consequence of the accumulation of cells that profusely divide and multiply. “Shape is also a physical process during which tissues are pressed, pulled and moved,” the scientists said.

In the experiments using transgenic (containing genes transferred from another species) zebra fish in which individual cardiac cells can be watched, Deborah Yelon, her student Heidi Auman and others demonstrated that cells change size and shape, enlarging and elongating to form bulges in the heart tube and eventually the chambers. The big question was whether the function of the heart — that is, blood flow — too influences cell shape.

Their studies using zebra fish — genetically modified so that each fish has a functional defect — helped them to find out that both blood flow and contraction of the cardiac tissues play a role in shaping cardiac cells. The unique tools the researchers used helped to clearly show that blood flow affects form. Further, they could define this at the cellular level.

The contribution of individual cell morphology to the overall shape was not previously shown, particularly in relation to the impact on chamber morphogenesis (formation and shape), said Deepak Srivastava, director of the Gladstone Institute of Cardiovascular Disease, University of California, San Francisco.

“This is an important advance as although it has long been thought that blood flow does affect morphogenesis, the two have been difficult to isolate in a cause-and-effect manner,” Srivastava told KnowHow.

Moreover, the work is more rigorous and detailed than previous such exercises, he said.

However, Larry Taber, professor of biomedical engineering at Washington University, feels that the researchers are missing some key points. For example, he says, they talk about curvature (of the heart chambers) but never explicitly discuss looping, which causes the greatest changes during heart development. Looping, it may be mentioned, involves the bending and twisting of the heart tube to create asymmetry of the chambers as is required for optimal functioning.

“There are a lot of misconceptions about looping among developmental biologists, including some propagated in this paper,” Taber, who has been studying heart formation in chicks for a couple of decades, told KnowHow.

He, however, said that the Skirball team’s conclusion that contraction and blood flow are important for chamber expansion seems plausible. He also said that cell shape changes can cause curvature changes as well. What he disagrees with is their implication that contraction and blood flow regulate looping.

The use of zebra fish with minor induced genetic defects helped the Skirball Institute scientists to show that slight abnormalities in cell morphology may lead to substantial changes in the shape and functioning of the cardiac chambers. This could probably explain aberrations observed in some types of heart disease.

Source:The Telegraph (Kolkata,India)

Top 10 Facts Your Dentist Wants You to Know

A lot of people have anxiety about going to the dentist. These dental facts can help put you on the right path to good dental health and avoid having dental problems in the future.
1) Dental Check Ups Include Oral Cancer Screenings:
When you go for your regular dental check up, your dentist and hygienist are also screening you for any signs of oral cancer. Every hour of every day, someone dies of oral cancer in the United States. This serious dental disease which pertains to the mouth, lips or throat is often highly curable if diagnosed and treated in the early stages. Visiting your dentist for regular check ups and avoiding tobacco are the key factors in preventing oral cancer.

2) Gum (Periodontal) Disease Affects Your Overall Health
Gum disease is one of the main causes of tooth loss in adults and has also been linked to heart disease and strokes. If diagnosed in the early stage, gingivitis, can be treated and reversed. If treatment is not received, a more serious and advanced stage of gum disease, called Periodontitis, which includes bone loss may follow. Brushing twice a day, flossing daily, regular dental check ups and cleanings are the best prevention against gum disease.

3) Dental Cleanings and Check Ups are Extremely Important
Going to the dentist for regular check ups & cleanings is one of the most important factors in maintaining good oral health.

Regular check ups can prevent cavities, root canals, gum disease, oral cancer, and other dental conditions. Don’t wait until you have a problem before you see your dentist, help prevent problems before they happen.

4) Brushing Twice a Day Helps to Keep the Cavities Away
When you brush your teeth,properly, at least twice a day, you are removing the plaque that causes cavities. Plaque is the soft and sticky substance that accumulates on the teeth from food debris and bacteria. Flossing daily will remove the plaque from in between the teeth that the toothbrush cannot reach. Removing plaque from your teeth also helps to prevent gum disease.

5) Bad Breath Could be the Result of a Dental Problem
About 85% of people with persistent bad breath have a dental condition that is to blame. If bad breath is the cause of a dental condition, mouthwash will only mask the odor and not cure it. Don’t be embarrassed to talk to your dentist, they are there to help you. Flossing daily and brushing your teeth & tongue twice a day can greatly reduce and possibly eliminate bad breath.

6) Proper Nutrition is Important for Good Dental Health
The sugars from soft drinks and non-nutritional foods combine with the bacteria in our mouths which produces acids that attack tooth enamel. This can lead to cavities and gum disease. Limiting the amount of beverages and foods that are high in sugar can greatly help to maintain good dental health.

7) Dental Problems Do Not Get Better or Go Away Without Treatment
If your dentist gives you a treatment plan for dental work that you need to have done, you should focus on getting your teeth fixed as soon as possible. Even cavities continue to get bigger. If they get big enough to reach the nerve in your tooth, your only options would be to have a root canal or have the tooth extracted.

8) A Root Canal is Usually Not Painful
I can’t tell you how many times I have heard a patient say, “Just pull the tooth, I’ve heard root canals are horrible.” With today’s technology, root canals are nothing like most people think. I have had root canals and I was pleasantly surprised every time. In my opinion, a root canal is as painless as having a filling.

9) You Should Change Your Toothbrush Every 3 Months
Manual toothbrushes become worn out after about 3 months and are not as effective as they once were. If you have gum disease, you should change your toothbrush every 4 – 6 weeks because bacteria can harbor in the bristles. You should always rinse your toothbrush out with hot water after every use and change it after you have been sick.

10) Maintaining Good Dental Health is Easy
Some people think that having good dental health takes too much effort. Seeing your dentist for regular dental check ups and cleanings, brushing twice a day, flossing daily and eating a nutritional diet are the key factors in having healthy teeth and gums. Now, what’s so hard about that?

Source:dentistry.about.com

Enhancing your diet

Conventional wisdom has long held that as long as people who are healthy eat well enough to avoid specific nutritional deficiencies, they don’t need to supplement their diet. The only thing they have to do is consume a diet that meets the RDAs -- Recommended Dietary Allowances — and other guidelines for vitamin and mineral intakes developed by health agencies of the federal government.

But even if one accepts the government’s standards for vitamin and mineral intakes as adequate for good health, the evidence is overwhelming that most people don’t come close to meeting those nutritional requirements. Surveys show that only 9% of Americans eat five daily servings of fresh fruits and vegetables — the amount recommended for obtaining the minimum level of nutrients believed necessary to prevent illness.

Average calcium consumption in the United States and Canada is estimated to be about 60% of the current suggested level of 1,000 mg for younger adults — and far below the 1,200 mg recommended for men and women ages 50 to 70.

According to a review of national data by experts at the University of California, Berkeley, people often make food choices that are nutritionally poor: For example, they are more likely to select french fries than broccoli as a vegetable serving, and will opt for a soft drink rather than a glass of skim milk as a beverage. Not only may these and other foods contribute too much fat and sugar to your diet, but they can also result in less-than-optimal intakes of vitamins, minerals, and disease-fighting phytochemicals. Many American diets, these experts point out, contain half the recommended amounts of magnesium and folic acid. Vitamins A, C, and B6, as well as iron and zinc, are other nutrients that surveys show are at notably low levels in the American diet.

Even with the best nutritional planning, it is difficult to maintain a diet that meets the RDAs for all nutrients. For example, vegetarians, who as a group are healthier than meat eaters (and who tend to avoid junk foods lacking in vitamins and minerals), still may be deficient in some nutrients, such as iron, calcium, and vitamin B12. And most people who want to maintain a healthy low-fat diet will have a problem obtaining the recommended amounts of vitamin E from their food alone, because so many of the food sources for vitamin E are high in fat. Another complication is that a balanced diet may not contain the more specialized substances — fish oils, soy isoflavones, or alpha-lipoic acid — that researchers think may promote health. For generally healthy people who cannot always eat a well-balanced diet every day, a supplement can fill in these nutritional gaps or boost the nutrients they consume from adequate to optimal.

There are various other reasons why people who maintain good eating habits might benefit from a daily supplement. Some experts now believe that exposure to environmental pollutants — from car emissions to industrial chemicals and wastes — can cause damage in myriad ways inside the body at the cellular level, destroying tissues and depleting the body of nutrients. Many supplements, particularly those that act as antioxidants, can help control the cell and tissue damage that follows toxic exposure . Recent evidence also indicates that certain medications, excess alcohol, smoking, and persistent stress may interfere with the absorption of certain key nutrients. And even an excellent diet would be unable to make up for such a shortfall.

Source:Your Guide to
Vitamins, Minerals, and Herbs

Understanding Oneness

Level Of Consciousness
Sometimes we look at the actions of others and find it difficult to understand what motivates them. But we are all doing the best we can with the information we currently have. We have all been taught how to see the world from the examples of those around us and by our experiences. Keeping this in mind, we can accept the choices made by others while seeking ways to increase the world’s level of consciousness as a whole.

Our different levels of consciousness are like the developmental stages of children, whose understanding varies according to their age and experience. For example, the behavior of a two-year-old who doesn’t want to share can be understood as a phase of his social education, whereas a 16-year-old who behaves in the same manner would be thought to be acting childish. It is important to remember that we are each on our own unique path. We may have chosen certain lessons or made an agreement to play certain roles in the unfolding of the world’s understanding before we incarnated in this lifetime. So our job is not to judge others but to shift the balance of understanding in the world by increasing our own.

Every thought we have and action we take becomes part of the collective energy of the planet. When we use our energy to bring light into the world, it combines with the light brought by others to dispel the darkness. Though we live in a world of duality, which helps us to experience the material plane, we don’t need to experience extremes to understand them. We can share our experiences and understanding with others not from a place of condescension but of connection. When the entire family of humanity understands that each of our thoughts, choices, and actions affect us all, we will share an incredible level of consciousness-one that puts our oneness above all else and helps us evolve into higher expressions of our spiritual selves. Remember the next time you witness an action of another that they are of the same earth as you but simply on a different conscious level at this point in their life. Find compassion, bless them, and move along your day in grace.

Source:Daily Om

Kidney Stones

What is a kidney stone?
A kidney stone is a hard mass developed from crystals that separate from the urine and build up on the inner surfaces of the kidney. Normally, urine contains chemicals that prevent or inhibit the crystals from forming. These inhibitors do not seem to work for everyone, however, so some people form stones. If the crystals remain tiny enough, they will travel through the urinary tract and pass out of the body in the urine without being noticed.

Kidney stones may contain various combinations of chemicals. The most common type of stone contains calcium in combination with either oxalate or phosphate. These chemicals are part of a person’s normal diet and make up important parts of the body, such as bones and muscles.

A less common type of stone is caused by infection in the urinary tract. This type of stone is called a struvite or infection stone. A bit less common is the uric acid stone. Cystine stones are rare.

Kidney stones in kidney, ureter, and bladder
Urolithiasis is the medical term used to describe stones occurring in the urinary tract. Other frequently used terms are urinary tract stone disease and nephrolithiasis. Doctors also use terms that describe the location of the stone in the urinary tract. For example, a ureteral stone (or ureterolithiasis) is a kidney stone found in the ureter. To keep things simple, however, the term “kidney stones” is used throughout this fact sheet.

Gallstones and kidney stones are not related. They form in different areas of the body. If you have a gallstone, you are not necessarily more likely to develop kidney stones.

Who gets kidney stones?
For unknown reasons, the number of people in the United States with kidney stones has been increasing over the past 30 years. The prevalence of stone-forming disease rose from 3.8 percent in the late 1970s to 5.2 percent in the late 1980s and early 1990s. White Americans are more prone to develop kidney stones than African Americans. Stones occur more frequently in men. The prevalence of kidney stones rises dramatically as men enter their 40s and continues to rise into their 70s. For women, the prevalence of kidney stones peaks in their 50s. Once a person gets more than one stone, others are likely to develop

What causes kidney stones?
Doctors do not always know what causes a stone to form. While certain foods may promote stone formation in people who are susceptible, scientists do not believe that eating any specific food causes stones to form in people who are not susceptible.

A person with a family history of kidney stones may be more likely to develop stones. Urinary tract infections, kidney disorders such as cystic kidney diseases, and certain metabolic disorders such as hyperparathyroidism are also linked to stone formation.

In addition, more than 70 percent of people with a rare hereditary disease called renal tubular acidosis develop kidney stones.

What are the symptoms?
Kidney stones often do not cause any symptoms. Usually, the first symptom of a kidney stone is extreme pain, which occurs when a stone acutely blocks the flow of urine. The pain often begins suddenly when a stone moves in the urinary tract, causing irritation or blockage. Typically, a person feels a sharp, cramping pain in the back and side in the area of the kidney or in the lower abdomen. Sometimes nausea and vomiting occur. Later, pain may spread to the groin.

If the stone is too large to pass easily, pain continues as the muscles in the wall of the tiny ureter try to squeeze the stone along into the bladder. As a stone grows or moves, blood may appear in the urine. As the stone moves down the ureter closer to the bladder, you may feel the need to urinate more often or feel a burning sensation during urination.

If fever and chills accompany any of these symptoms, an infection may be present. In this case, you should contact a doctor immediately.

How are kidney stones diagnosed?
Sometimes “silent” stones—those that do not cause symptoms—are found on x rays taken during a general health exam. If they are small, these stones would likely pass out of the body unnoticed.

More often, kidney stones are found on an x ray or sonogram taken on someone who complains of blood in the urine or sudden pain. These diagnostic images give the doctor valuable information about the stone’s size and location. Blood and urine tests help detect any abnormal substance that might promote stone formation.

The doctor may decide to scan the urinary system using a special test called a CT (computed tomography) scan or an IVP (intravenous pyelogram). The results of all these tests help determine the proper treatment.

How are kidney stones treated?
Fortunately, surgery is not usually necessary. Most kidney stones can pass through the urinary system with plenty of water (2 to 3 quarts a day) to help move the stone along. Often, you can stay home during this process, drinking fluids and taking pain medication as needed. The doctor usually asks you to save the passed stone(s) for testing. (You can catch it in a cup or tea strainer used only for this purpose.)

The First Step: Prevention
If you’ve had more than one kidney stone, you are likely to form another; so prevention is very important. To prevent stones from forming, your doctor must determine their cause. He or she will order laboratory tests, including urine and blood tests. Your doctor will also ask about your medical history, occupation, and eating habits. If a stone has been removed, or if you’ve passed a stone and saved it, the laboratory should analyze it because its composition helps in planning treatment.

You may be asked to collect your urine for 24 hours after a stone has passed or been removed. The sample is used to measure urine volume and levels of acidity, calcium, sodium, uric acid, oxalate, citrate, and creatinine (a product of muscle metabolism). Your doctor will use this information to determine the cause of the stone. A second 24-hour urine collection may be needed to determine whether the prescribed treatment is working.

Lifestyle Changes
A simple and most important lifestyle change to prevent stones is to drink more liquids—water is best. If you tend to form stones, you should try to drink enough liquids throughout the day to produce at least 2 quarts of urine in every 24-hour period.

People who form calcium stones used to be told to avoid dairy products and other foods with high calcium content. But recent studies have shown that foods high in calcium, including dairy products, may help prevent calcium stones. Taking calcium in pill form, however, may increase the risk of developing stones.

You may be told to avoid food with added vitamin D and certain types of antacids that have a calcium base. If you have very acidic urine, you may need to eat less meat, fish, and poultry. These foods increase the amount of acid in the urine.

To prevent cystine stones, you should drink enough water each day to dilute the concentration of cystine that escapes into the urine, which may be difficult. More than a gallon of water may be needed every 24 hours, and a third of that must be drunk during the night.

Foods and Drinks Containing Oxalate
People prone to forming calcium oxalate stones may be asked by their doctor to cut back on certain foods if their urine contains an excess of oxalate:

beets
chocolate
coffee
cola
nuts
rhubarb
spinach
strawberries
tea
wheat bran
People should not give up or avoid eating these foods without talking to their doctor first. In most cases, these foods can be eaten in limited amounts.

Surgical Treatment
Surgery should be reserved as an option for cases where other approaches have failed. Surgery may be needed to remove a kidney stone if it does not pass after a reasonable period of time and causes constant pain. It is too large to pass on its own or is caught in a difficult place blocks the flow of urine causes ongoing urinary tract infection, damages kidney tissue or causes constant bleeding has grown larger (as seen on followup x ray studies).
Until 20 years ago, surgery was necessary to remove a stone. It was very painful and required a recovery time of 4 to 6 weeks. Today, treatment for these stones is greatly improved, and many options do not require major surgery.

And they are :Extracorporeal Shockwave Lithotripsy, Percutaneous Nephrolithotomy and Ureteroscopic Stone Removal

Hope Through Research
The Division of Kidney, Urologic, and Hematologic Diseases of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) funds research on the causes, treatments, and prevention of kidney stones. NIDDK is part of the Federal Government’s National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland.

New drugs and the growing field of lithotripsy have greatly improved the treatment of kidney stones. Still, NIDDK researchers and grantees seek to answer questions such as

Why do some people continue to have painful stones?

How can doctors predict, or screen, those at risk for getting stones?

What are the long-term effects of lithotripsy?

Do genes play a role in stone formation?

What is the natural substance(s) found in urine that blocks stone formation?
Researchers are also working on new drugs with fewer side effects.

PREVENTION POINTS TO REMEMBER

If you have a family history of stones or have had more than one stone, you are likely to develop more stones.

A good first step to prevent the formation of any type of stone is to drink plenty of liquids—water is best.

If you are at risk for developing stones, your doctor may perform certain blood and urine tests to determine which factors can best be altered to reduce that risk.

Some people will need medicines to prevent stones from forming.

People with chronic urinary tract infections and stones will often need the stone removed if the doctor determines that the infection results from the stone’s presence. Patients must receive careful followup to be sure that the infection has cleared.

Natural Remedies For Kidny Stones:

Help taken from:www.kidney.niddk.nih.gov