Monthly Archives: April 2011

Balsamorhiza sagittata

Botanical Name :Balsamorhiza sagittata
Family: Asteraceae
Tribe: Heliantheae
Genus: Balsamorhiza
Species: B. sagittata
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales
Common Name:Balsamorhiza sagittata,Arrowleaf balsamroot

Habitat:Balsamorhiza sagittata is native to much of western North America from British Columbia to California to the Dakotas, where it grows in many types of habitat from mountain forests to grassland to desert scrub.

Description:
Balsamorhiza sagittata is a taprooted perennial herb growing a hairy, glandular stem 20 to 60 centimeters tall. The branching, barky root may extend over two meters deep into the soil. The basal leaves are generally triangular in shape and are large, approaching 50 centimeters in maximum length. Leaves farther up the stem are linear to narrowly oval in shape and smaller. The leaves have untoothed edges and are coated in fine to rough hairs, especially on the undersides.

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The inflorescence bears one or more flower heads. Each head has a center of long yellowish tubular disc florets and a fringe of bright yellow ray florets, each up to 4 centimeters long. The fruit is a hairless achene about 8 millimeters long. Grazing animals find the plant palatable, especially the flowers and developing seed heads

It is a species of flowering plant in the sunflower tribe of the plant family Asteraceae known by the common name arrowleaf balsamroot.  It is drought tolerant.

Edible & Medicinal Uses:
Many Native American groups, including the Nez Perce, Kootenai, Cheyenne, and Salish, utilized the plant as a food and medicine.

Under the name Okanagan Sunflower, it is the official flower emblem of the city of Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada.

The root of the plant is sometimes used as an expectorant and mild immunostimulant.  Native Americans used the sticky sap as a topical antiseptic for minor wounds.  Medicinally, the Indians used the large coarse Balsamroot leaves as a poultice for burns. The roots were boiled and the solution was applied as a poultice for wounds, cuts and bruises. Indians also drank a tea from the roots for tuberculosis and whooping cough.  As an antibacterial the tincture may be applied to infections and hard to heal wounds. The tincture of the root and bark may be used internally or externally for bacterial problems. Perhaps the most common use for arrowleaf balsamroot is as an immune system enhancer. Use the tincture as you would Echinacea, taking 1 tsp. twice daily to strengthen the immune system.

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:

http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_AB.htm

http://www.agf.gov.bc.ca/range/RangeID/Plants/BalsSagi.html

http://www.swcoloradowildflowers.com/yellow%20enlarged%20photo%20pages/balsamorhiza.htm

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Febrile convulsions

Alternative Names:Fever fit,Febrile seizure,Seizure – fever induced

Definition:
Febrile convulsions are seizures associated with a significant rise in body temperature that occur in a child with a high fever of over 39°C (102.2°F).  They most commonly occur in children between the ages of 6 months and 6 years and are twice as common in boys as in girls (Lissauer, Tom-Illustrated Book of Paediatrics 3rd Ed.).

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

These most typically occur during the early stages of a viral infection such as a respiratory infection, while the temperature is rising rapidly.

Febrile convulsions can be frightening but they’re rarely serious,  as   these convulsions occur without any brain or spinal cord infection or other nervous system (neurologic) cause.

Three per cent of children have at least one febrile convulsion. There may be a genetic predisposition – up to 20 per cent of relatives will have a seizure disorder including febrile convulsions.

Types:-
There are two types of febrile seizures.

*A simple febrile convulsion is one in which the seizure lasts less than 15 minutes (usually much less than this), does not recur in 24 hours, and involves the entire body (classically a generalized tonic-clonic seizure).

*A complex febrile convulsion is characterized by longer duration, recurrence, or focus on only part of the body.

The simpleconvulsion  represents the majority of cases and is considered to be less of a cause for concern than the complex.

Symptoms:-
Febrile convulsions may be as mild as the child’s eyes rolling or limbs stiffening. Often a fever triggers a full-blown convulsion that involves the whole body.

Febrile convulsions may begin with the sudden contraction of muscles on both sides of a child’s body — usually the muscles of the face, trunk, arms, and legs. The child may cry or moan from the force of the muscle contraction. The contraction continues for several seconds, or tens of seconds. The child will fall, if standing, and may pass urine.

The child may vomit or bite the tongue. Sometimes children do not breathe, and may begin to turn blue.

Finally, the contraction is broken by brief moments of relaxation. The child’s body begins to jerk rhythmically. The child does not respond to the parent’s voice.

The seizures are brief, usually lasting only a minute or two and never more than five minutes.  It is usually followed by a brief period of drowsiness or confusion. A complex febrile convulsion lasts longer than 15 minutes, is in just one part of the body, or occurs again during the same illness.

The child loses consciousness, becomes stiff, stops breathing for up to 30 seconds and loses control of their bladder or bowel, wetting or soiling themselves.

Febrile convulsions are different than tremors or disorientation that can also occur with fevers. The movements are the same as in a grand mal seizure.

This stops after a few minutes and the child regains consciousness. Following the seizure they fall into a deep sleep and are often confused or irritable when they finally wake.

Causes:-
The convulsions occur because the electrical systems in the brain have not yet matured sufficiently to cope with the stress of a high temperature.

About 3 – 5% of otherwise healthy children between ages 9 months and 5 years will have a seizure caused by a fever. Toddlers are most commonly affected. Febrile seizures often run in families.

Most febrile seizures occur in the first 24 hours of an illness, and not necessarily when the fever is highest. The seizure is often the first sign of a fever or illness

Febrile seizures are usually triggered by fevers from:

•Ear infections
•Roseola infantum (a condition with fever and rash caused by several different viruses)
•Upper respiratory infections caused by a virus
Meningitis causes less than 0.1% of febrile seizures but should always be considered, especially in children less than 1 year old, or those who still look ill when the fever comes down.

A child is likely to have more than one febrile seizure if:

•There is a family history of febrile seizures
•The first seizure happened before age 12 months
•The seizure occurred with a fever below 102 degrees Fahrenheit

Complications:
In about 15 per cent of cases, the child will have another febrile convulsion during the same illness. They also have a one in three risk of a convulsion during a subsequent illness.

Onset before the age of one and a family history increase the risk of recurrent problems.

Most children grow out of febrile convulsions without coming to any harm. However, about one per cent of children do subsequently develop epilepsy (this is more likely if the child has a longer than normal convulsion, or recurrent seizures in the same illness). Talk to your doctor if you’re worried.

Diagnosis:-
The health care provider may diagnose febrile seizure if the child has a grand mal seizure but does not have a history of seizure disorders (epilepsy). In infants and young children, it is important to rule out other causes of a first-time seizure, especially meningitis.

In a typical febrile seizure, the examination usually shows no abnormalities other than the illness causing the fever. Typically, the child will not need a full seizure workup, which includes an EEG, head CT, and lumbar puncture (spinal tap).

To avoid having to undergo a seizure workup:

•The child must be developmentally normal.
•The child must have had a generalized seizure, meaning that the seizure was in more than one part of the child’s body, and not confined to one part of the body.
•The seizure must not have lasted longer than 15 minutes.
•The child must not have had more than one febrile seizure in 24 hours.
•The child must have a normal neurologic exam performed by a health care provider.

Treatment:-
During the seizure, leave your child on the floor.

•You may want to slide a blanket under the child if the floor is hard.
•Move him only if he is in a dangerous location.
•Remove objects that may injure him.
•Loosen any tight clothing, especially around the neck. If possible, open or remove clothes from the waist up.
•If he vomits, or if saliva and mucus build up in the mouth, turn him on his side or stomach. This is also important if it looks like the tongue is getting in the way of breathing.
Do NOT try to force anything into his mouth to prevent him from biting the tongue, as this increases the risk of injury. Do NOT try to restrain your child or try to stop the seizure movements.

Focus your attention on bringing the fever down:

•Insert an acetaminophen suppository (if you have some) into the child’s rectum.
•Do NOT try to give anything by mouth.
•Apply cool washcloths to the forehead and neck. Sponge the rest of the body with lukewarm (not cold) water. Cold water or alcohol may make the fever worse.
•After the seizure is over and your child is awake, give the normal dose of ibuprofen or acetaminophen.
After the seizure, the most important step is to identify the cause of the fever.

Prognosis:-
The first febrile seizure is a frightening moment for parents. Most parents are afraid that their child will die or have brain damage. However, simple febrile seizures are harmless. There is no evidence that they cause death, brain damage, epilepsy, mental retardation, a decrease in IQ, or learning difficulties.

A small number of children who have had a febrile seizure do go on to develop epilepsy, but not because of the febrile seizures. Children who would develop epilepsy anyway will sometimes have their first seizures during fevers. These are usually prolonged, complex seizures.

Nervous system (neurologic) problems and a family history of epilepsy make it more likely that the child will develop epilepsy. The number of febrile seizures is not related to future epilepsy.

About a third of children who have had a febrile seizure will have another one with a fever. Of those who do have a second seizure, about half will have a third seizure. Few children have more than three febrile seizures in their lifetime.

Most children outgrow febrile convulsions by age 5.

Prevention:-
Because  febrile convulsion  can be the first sign of illness, it is often not possible to prevent them. A febrile  convulsion does not mean that your child is not getting the proper care.

Occasionally, a health care provider will prescribe diazepam to prevent or treat febrile convulsions that occur more than once. However, no medication is completely effective in preventing febrile convulsions.

You may click to see:
MoonDragon’s Health & Wellness FEVER …

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose.

Resources:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/health/physical_health/conditions/febrileconvulsions2.shtml

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000980.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Febrile_seizure

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/imagepages/19076.htm

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Tetralogy of Fallot

Definition:
Tetralogy of Fallot (TOF) is an abnormality of the heart and major blood vessels, which may be found in babies.

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It’s one of the most complex heart problems, as there are four different abnormalities (hence the term ‘tetralogy’):

•A large ventricular septal defect – one of the more serious types of hole in the heart, in which there is a connection between the two main pumping chambers of the heart (ventricles)

•Narrowing of the pulmonary valve (pulmonary stenosis) – this means the heart has to work harder to pump blood into the lungs to collect oxygen

•Right ventricular hypertrophy – thickening of the muscle wall of the right ventricle

•A displaced aorta – the major blood vessel that takes blood out of the heart and directs it around the body

Although these are the main problems, every child is different and there may be all sorts of other abnormalities.

Tetralogy of Fallot occurs in approximately 400 per million live births.

It was described in 1672 by Niels Stensen, in 1773 by Edward Sandifort, and in 1888 by the French physician Étienne-Louis Arthur Fallot, for whom it is named.

 

Symptoms:
Tetralogy of Fallot symptoms vary, depending on the extent of obstruction of blood flow out of the right ventricle and into the lungs. Signs and symptoms may include:

click to see the pictures

You may click to see different pictures of  Tetralogy of Fallot

*A bluish coloration of the skin caused by blood low in oxygen (cyanosis)

*Shortness of breath and rapid breathing, especially during feeding

*Loss of consciousness (fainting)

*Clubbing of fingers and toes — an abnormal, rounded shape of the nail bed

*Poor weight gain

*Tiring easily during play

*Irritability

*Prolonged crying

*A heart murmur

Tet spells
Sometimes, babies with tetralogy of Fallot will suddenly develop deep blue skin, nails and lips after crying, feeding, having a bowel movement, or kicking his or her legs upon awakening. These episodes are called “Tet spells” and are caused by a rapid drop in the amount of oxygen in the blood. Toddlers or older children may instinctively squat when they are short of breath. Squatting increases blood flow to the lungs. Tet spells are more common in young infants, around 2 to 4 months old.

Seek medical help if you notice that your baby has the following symptoms:

*Difficulty breathing

*Bluish discoloration of the skin

*Passing out or seizures

*Weakness

*Unusual irritability

If your baby becomes blue (cyanotic), immediately place your child on his or her side and pull the knees up to the chest. This helps increase blood flow to the lungs.

Causes:-
The cause of TOF isn’t fully understood. While a baby is in the womb, something interferes with the development of the heart and major blood vessels.

Its cause is thought to be due to environmental or genetic factors or a combination. It is associated with chromosome 22 deletions and DiGeorge syndrome.

Specific genetic associations include:

JAG1[4]
NKX2-5[5]
ZFPM2[6]
VEGF[7]
It occurs slightly more often in males than in females.

Embryology studies show that it is a result of anterior malalignment of the aorticopulmonary septum, resulting in the clinical combination of a VSD, pulmonary stenosis, and an overriding aorta. Right ventricular hypertrophy results from this combination, which causes resistance to blood flow from the right ventricle.

Although no specific single genetic abnormality has yet been found to explain every case, genetics often do play a part in these types of malformations (known as conotruncal abnormalities). In some children, a particular genetic problem can be identified, such as DiGeorge syndrome, where a small piece of chromosome 22 is lost or deleted.

Some researchers have suggested that TOF is caused by an autosomal recessive gene that has yet to be identified and which has variable penetrance (that is, it doesn’t always cause disease).

However, this is far from proven and TOF has also been linked to environmental factors such as certain medications or alcohol taken by the mother while pregnant.

Whatever the cause, in those families who have a child with TOF, the risk of a second child being born with the condition is only increased very slightly.

Risk factors:-
While the exact cause of tetralogy of Fallot is unknown, several factors may increase the risk of a baby being born with this condition. These include:

*A viral illness in the mother, such as rubella (German measles), during pregnancy

*Maternal alcoholism

*Poor nutrition

*A mother older than 40

*A parent with tetralogy of Fallot

*Babies who are also born with Down syndrome or DiGeorge syndrome

Diagnosis:-
The abnormal “coeur-en-sabot” (boot-like) appearance of a heart with tetralogy of Fallot is easily visible via chest x-ray, and before more sophisticated techniques became available, this was the definitive method of diagnosis. Congenital heart defects are now diagnosed with echocardiography, which is quick, involves no radiation, is very specific, and can be done prenatally.

Treatment:-
Emergency management of tet spells:

Prior to corrective surgery, children with tetralogy of Fallot may be prone to consequential acute hypoxia (tet spells), characterized by sudden cyanosis and syncope. These may be treated with beta-blockers such as propranolol, but acute episodes may require rapid intervention with morphine to reduce ventilatory drive and a vasopressor such as epinephrine, phenylephrine, or norepinephrine to increase blood pressure. Oxygen is effective in treating spells because it is a potent pulmonary vasodilator and systemic vasoconstrictor. This allows more blood flow to the lungs. There are also simple procedures such as squatting and the knee chest position which increases aortic wave reflection, increasing pressure on the left side of the heart, decreasing the right to left shunt thus decreasing the amount of deoxygenated blood entering the systemic circulation.

Palliative surgery:
The condition was initially thought untreatable until surgeon Alfred Blalock, cardiologist Helen B. Taussig, and lab assistant Vivien Thomas at Johns Hopkins University developed a palliative surgical procedure, which involved forming an anastomosis between the subclavian artery and the pulmonary artery (See movie “Something the Lord Made”).  It was actually Helen Taussig who convinced Alfred Blalock that the shunt was going to work. This redirected a large portion of the partially oxygenated blood leaving the heart for the body into the lungs, increasing flow through the pulmonary circuit, and greatly relieving symptoms in patients. The first Blalock-Thomas-Taussig shunt surgery was performed on 15-month old Eileen Saxon on November 29, 1944 with dramatic results.

The Potts shunt  and the Waterston-Cooley shunt  are other shunt procedures which were developed for the same purpose. These are no longer used.

Currently, Blalock-Thomas-Taussig shunts are not normally performed on infants with TOF except for severe variants such as TOF with pulmonary atresia (pseudotruncus arteriosus).

Total surgical repair:
The Blalock-Thomas-Taussig procedure, initially the only surgical treatment available for Tetralogy of Fallot, was palliative but not curative. The first total repair of Tetralogy of Fallot was done by a team led by C. Walton Lillehei at the University of Minnesota in 1954 on a 11-year-old boy. Total repair on infants has had success from 1981, with research indicating that it has a comparatively low mortality rate.

Total repair of Tetralogy of Fallot initially carried a high mortality risk. This risk has gone down steadily over the years. Surgery is now often carried out in infants one year of age or younger with less than 5% perioperative mortality. The open-heart surgery is designed (1) to relieve the right ventricular outflow tract stenosis by careful resection of muscle and (2) to repair the VSD with a Gore-Tex patch or a homograft. Additional reparative or reconstructive surgery may be done on patients as required by their particular cardiac anatomy

Prognosis:-
Untreated, Tetralogy of Fallot rapidly results in progressive right ventricular hypertrophy due to the increased resistance on the right ventricle. This progresses to heart failure (dilated cardiomyopathy) which begins in the right heart and often leads to left heart failure. Actuarial survival for untreated Tetralogy of Fallot is approximately 75% after the first year of life, 60% by four years, 30% by ten years, and 5% by forty years.

Patients who have undergone total surgical repair of Tetralogy of Fallot have improved hemodynamics and often have good to excellent cardiac function after the operation with some to no exercise intolerance (New York Heart Association Class I-II). Surgical success and long-term outcome greatly depends on the particular anatomy of the patient and the surgeon’s skill and experience with this type of repair.

Ninety percent of patients with total repair as infants develop a progressively leaky pulmonary valve as the heart grows to its adult size but the valve does not. Patients also may have damage to the electrical system of the heart from surgical incisions if the middle cardiac nerve is accidentally tapped during surgery. If the nerve is touched, it will cause abnormalities as detected by EKG and/or arrhythmias.

Long-term follow up studies show that patients with total repair of TOF are at risk for sudden cardiac death and for heart failure. Therefore, lifetime follow-up care by an adult congenital cardiologist is recommended to monitor these risks and to recommend treatment, such as interventional procedures or re-operation, if it becomes necessary.

The use of antibiotics is no longer required by cardiologists and varies from case to case.

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose.

Resources:-

http://www.bbc.co.uk/health/physical_health/conditions/fallotstetralogy.shtml

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tetralogy_of_Fallot

http://www.drattawarsandeep.com/tetralogy_of_fallot.php

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/tetralogy-of-fallot/DS00615/DSECTION

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Viola japonica

Botanical Name :Viola japonica Langsdorff ex Gingius
Family: Violaceae
Subfamily: Violoideae
Genus: Viola
Species: Viola japonica
Order: Malpighiales
Tribe: Violeae.

Synonyms : Viola concordifolia C. J. Wang var. hirtipedicellata Ching J. Wang; Viola crassicalcarata Ching J. Wang; Viola japonica Langsdorff ex Gingius forma variegata (Hatusima) F. Maekawa ex H. Hara; Viola japonica Langsdorff ex Gingius var. stenopetala Franchet ex H. Boissieu; Viola japonica Langsdorff ex Gingius var. variegata Hatusima; Viola metajaponica Nakai; Viola philippica Cavanilles subsp. malesica W. Becker

Common Name: (Japanese common name) ko-sumire [tiny viola]

Habitat :   Eastern Asia: JapanHokkaido [s.w.], Honshu, Kyushu, Shikoku; Korea, South; Taiwan

Description:Viola japonica is a Perennial plant.It’s leaves are about 2-8 cm long. Flowers are pale blue purple petals 1-1.5cm, spurs 6-8mm, flowering in March to May.
click & see the pictures

Cultivation:Wet grassy places in lowlands and hills all over Japan.

Propogation :
Seed – best sown in the autumn in a cold frame. Sow stored seed in early spring in a cold frame. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and plant them out in the summer. Division in the autumn or just after flowering. Larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions, though we have found that it is best to pot up smaller divisions and grow them on in light shade in a greenhouse or cold frame until they are growing away well. Plant them out in the summer or the following spring.

Edible Uses: Young leaves and flower buds – raw or cooked. A sweetish flavour. When added to soup they thicken it in much the same way as okra. A tea can be made from the leaves.

Medicinal Uses:
Helps reduce inflammation and detoxifies, cools the blood and alleviates pain.  The conditions that can be treated with this plant are boils, ulcers, abscesses, acute conjunctivitis, laryngitis, acute jaundice and hepatitis and various kinds of poisonings such as by Tripterygium wilfordii. This special preparation of the whole plant can be administer to treat lung and chest troubles as an expectorant and specifically for the treatment of chronic catarrhal accumulations.

The leaves are crushed and applied to cuts, swellings, ulcers and wounds.

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:

http://www.naturalmedicinalherbs.net/herbs/v/viola-verecunda.php

http://www7a.biglobe.ne.jp/~flower_world/Violaceae/Viola%20japonica.htm

http://species.wikimedia.org/wiki/Viola_japonica

http://www.ars-grin.gov/cgi-bin/npgs/html/taxon.pl?429806#common

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Philonotis fontana

Botanical Name :Philonotis fontana
Family :Bartramiaceae
Genus :Philonotis Brid.
Species:Philonotis fontana (Hedw.) Brid.
Kingdom : Plantae
Division : Bryophyta
Subdivision : Musci
Class :Bryopsida
Subclass: Bryidae
Order:Bryales

Common Name :Aquatic  Apple Mosses

Habitat :Grows  Much of North America south to northern Mexico.On soil or rock along the banks of ditches, brooks, or in springy areas, often in the open.

Description:
Philonotis fontana is a common moss of wet areas. It has an acute tip and a serrate edge, but the most distinguishing characteristic of this moss is a round papilla on the stem end of the leaf cells when viewed with a microscope. The capsules are also a useful identifying character. They are short and globose.
Please click on an image for a large.

CLICK TO SEE THE PICTURES

Stems reddish, 3-10 cm tall, forming dense tufts. Leaves bright green or yellowing, erect to erect-spreading or falcate secund, 1-2 mm long, ovate-lanceolate, usually abruptly acuminate from a more or less broad base; margins doubly serrate, revolute on the lower half or more; upper leaf cells prorulose on both ends; costa short to long excurrent. Dioicous; perigonia discoid. Setae 2-3 cm long; capsules 2-3 mm long, spherical when moist, slender when dry. Spores 24-30 ?m.

Medicinal Uses:
Used by Gasuite Indians of Utah to alleviate pain of burns; crushed into paste and applied as poultice; covering for bruises and wounds or as padding under splints in setting broken bones.  Indians in the Himalayas use burned ash of mosses mixed with fat and honey and prepared in ointment for cuts, burns, and wounds.  This mixture provides both healing and soothing.

 

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Philonotis_fontana

http://www.thismia.com/P/Philonotis_fontana.html

http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=PHFO6

http://www.wnmu.edu/academic/nspages/gilaflora/philonotis_fontana.html

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Fabry disease

Alternative Name: Fabry’s disease, Anderson-Fabry disease, angiokeratoma corporis diffusum and alpha-galactosidase A deficiency

Definition:
Fabry disease results from abnormal deposits of a particular fatty substance (called globotriaosylcera-mide) in blood vessel walls throughout the body. The primary defect which allows this to occur is the inherited deficiency of the enzyme, alpha galactosidase A, which is normally responsible for the breakdown of globotriaosylceramide.

Metabolic Defect:
The body continuously performs metabolic processes which produce, recycle and remove vital compounds. In patients with Fabry disease one such common compound formed of three sugars and a fatty substance (globotriaosylceramide) does not get broken down due to the missing or non-functioning enzyme alpha galactosidase A. Since this fatty compound (lipid) is not being broken down and removed, it begins to accumulate. Thus, Fabry disease is often referred to as a “storage disorder” due to this abnormal accumulation. In patients with Fabry disease, this accumulation occurs primarily in the blood and in the walls of blood vessels. As the abnormal storage of this fatty compound increases with time, the channels of these vessels become narrowed, leading to decreased blood flow and decreased nourishment of the tissues normally supplied by these vessels. This abnormal process occurs in blood vessels throughout the body, particularly affecting vessels in the skin, kidneys, heart, brain and nervous system.

 

Disease Inheritance:
Fabry disease is an inherited disorder. The defective gene is on the X-chromosome, which is one of the two chromosomes that determine an individual’s sex. Females have two X chromosomes, one inherited from each of their parents. Males have one X chromosome inherited from their mother and one Y chromosome inherited from their father. A female with Fabry receive one X chromosome with a defective gene and one X chromosome with the normal gene, and thus often has some protection from the major manifestations of the disease. This is not always the case though as there is a high degree of variability in females. Males with Fabry disease receive only one abnormal X chromosome that contains the abnormal gene and thus express the disease.

CLICK TO SEE THE PICTURES

All male and female children of an affected female have a 50% chance of inheriting the defective gene from their mother. If the father is the one carrying the Fabry gene all female children will inherit the defective gene and all male children will not. The inheritance pattern of Fabry disease is called X-linked inheritance. Fabry disease occurs in all ethnic groups. It is estimated that one person in 40,000 has Fabry disease.

Symptoms:-
Symptoms are typically first experienced in early childhood and can be very difficult to understand; the rarity of Fabry disease to many clinicians sometimes leads to misdiagnoses. Manifestations of the disease usually increase in number and severity as an individual ages.

Pain
Full body or localized pain to the extremities (known as acroparesthesia) or GI tract is common in patients with Fabry disease. Acroparesthesia in Fabry disease is believed to be related to the damage of peripheral nerve fibers that transmit pain. GI tract pain is likely caused by accumulation of lipids in the small vasculature of the GI tract which obstructs blood flow and causes pain.

Renal involvement
Kidney complications are a common and serious effect of the disease; renal insufficiency and renal failure may worsen throughout life. Proteinuria (which causes foamy urine) is often the first sign of kidney involvement. End stage renal failure in males can typically occur in the third decade of life, and is a common cause of death due to the disease.

You may click to see different pictures of  Fabry disease

Cardiac manifestations
Cardiac complications occur when glycolipids build up in different heart cells; heart related effects worsen with age and may lead to increased risk of heart disease. Hypertension (high blood pressure) and cardiomyopathy are commonly observed.

Dermatological manifestations
Angiokeratomas (tiny, painless papules that can appear on any region of the body, but are predominant on the thighs, around the belly-button, buttocks, lower abdomen, and groin) are a common symptom.

Anhidrosis (lack of sweating) is a common symptom, and less commonly hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating).

Additionally, patients can exhibit Raynaud’s disease-like symptoms with neuropathy (in particular, burning extremity pain).

Ocular manifestations
Cosmetic ocular involvement may be present showing cornea verticillata (also known as vortex keratopathy), i.e. clouding of the corneas. Keratopathy may be the presenting feature in asymptomatic carriers, and must be differentiated from other causes of vortex keratopathy (e.g. drug deposition in the cornea). This clouding does not affect vision.

Other ocular findings that can be seen include conjunctival aneurysms, posterior spoke-like cataracts, papilloedema, macular edema, optic atrophy and retinal vascular dilation.

Other manifestations;
Fatigue, neuropathy (in particular, burning extremity pain), cerebrovascular effects leading to an increased risk of stroke, tinnitus (ringing in the ears), vertigo, nausea, inability to gain weight, chemical inbalances, and diarrhea are other common symptoms.

Causes:
Fabry disease is a type of lipid storage disease caused by a defect in the gene that controls an enzyme called alpha-galactosidase A (also known as ceramide trihexosidase). This enzyme is involved in the breakdown of certain lipids (fats).

The deficiency in this enzyme causes certain lipid molecules, called glycosphingolipids, to accumulate in the body’s tissues, particularly the heart, kidneys, eyes and nerve tissue.

The gene that’s altered is on the X chromosome, making its transmission X-linked. So boys have a 50 per cent chance of inheriting the disorder, while girls have a 50 per cent chance of becoming a carrier. The gene responsible can be detected.

Diagnosis:-
Fabry disease is indicated when associated symptoms are present, and can be diagnosed by a blood test to measure the level of alpha-galactosidase activity, however this may be misleading in female carriers due to the random nature of X-inactivation. Chromosomal analysis of the GLA gene is the most accurate method of diagnosis, and many mutations which cause the disease have been noted. Kidney biopsy may also be suggestive of Fabry Disease if excessive lipid buildup is noted.

 

You may click to see :Final Diagnosis — Fabry’s Disease

Naturally, alpha-galactosidase A (a-GAL A) is likely to be present only at very low levels in the blood, particularly in males. In females, owing to X-inactivation patterns, levels are commonly normal even if the patient is not asymptomatic. The Sifap (stroke in young Fabry patients) project will investigate the relation between stroke and Fabry’s disease.

Misdiagnosis of Fabry Disease:  Pediatricians as well as internists commonly misdiagnose Fabry disease

Treatment:-
There’s no cure for Fabry disease, although it may be treated by enzyme replacement.

Until the 2000s, treatment of Fabry disease targeted the symptomatic effects.

In 2001, three Enzyme Replacement Therapies (ERTs) were released: Agalsidase alpha (Replagal, manufactured by Shire) and Agalsidase beta (Fabrazyme, manufactured by Genzyme). These attempt to replace the deficient enzyme by means of infusion, most commonly, every two weeks. The cost of these drugs is problematic (approximately $250,000 US a year/patient) and remains a barrier to many patients in some countries. The infusion may be performed by the patient themselves, in the patient’s home by a registered nurse, or at a medical facility. Enzyme replacement therapy is not a cure, but can allow normal metabolism and both prevent disease progression as well as potentially reverse symptoms.

Pain in Fabry disease responds to ERT, but pain management regimens may also include analgesics, anticonvulsants, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

Prognosis:
Patients with Fabry disease often survive into adulthood but are at increase risk of strokes, heart attack and heart disease, and kidney failure.

Research:
The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), a component of the National Institutes of Health, conducts and supports research to find ways to treat and prevent lipid storage diseases such as Fabry disease. This research includes clinical studies by the NINDS Developmental and Metabolic Neurology Branch:http://www.ninds.nih.gov/find_people/labs/61.htm.

For more information:

Fabry Support & Information Group
108 NE 2nd Street, Ste. C
P.O. Box 510 Concordia, MO 64020-0510
info@fabry.org

http://www.fabry.org

Tel: 660-463-1355
Fax: 660-463-1356

National Tay-Sachs and Allied Diseases Association
2001 Beacon Street Suite 204
Brighton, MA 02135
info@ntsad.org

http://www.ntsad.org

Tel: 617-277-4463 800-90-NTSAD (906-8723)
Fax: 617-277-0134

National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD)
P.O. Box 1968 (55 Kenosia Avenue)
Danbury, CT 06813-1968
orphan@rarediseases.org

http://www.rarediseases.org

Tel: 203-744-0100
Voice Mail 800-999-NORD (6673)
Fax: 203-798-2291

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose.

Resources:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/health/physical_health/conditions/fabrysdisease1.shtml

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fabry_disease

http://www.medicinenet.com/fabrys_disease/page2.htm

http://www.fabry.org/FSIG.nsf/Pages/Fabry

http://www.fabrazyme.com/patient/disease/fz_us_pt_ds_genetics.asp

http://geneticpeople.com/?p=290

http://medschool.ucsf.edu/lysosomal/fabry/inheritance.aspx

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Eye Allergies

Definition:
Eye allergies, called allergic conjunctivitis, are a common condition that occurs when the eyes react to something that irritates them (called an allergen). The eyes produce a substance called histamine to fight off the allergen. As a result, the eyelids and conjunctiva — the thin, filmy membrane that covers the inside of your eyelids and the white part of your eye (sclera) — become red, swollen and itchy, with tearing and burning. Unlike bacterial or viral conjunctivitis, allergic conjunctivitis is not spread from person to person.
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People who suffer from eye allergies usually (though not always) have nasal allergies as well, with an itchy, stuffy nose and sneezing. It is usually a temporary (acute) condition associated with seasonal allergies. However, in other cases, eye allergies can develop from exposure to other environmental triggers, such as pet dander, dust, smoke, perfumes, or even foods. If the exposure is ongoing, the allergies can be more severe, with significant burning and itching and even sensitivity to light.

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Seasonal allergic conjunctivitis is the eye equivalent of hay fever and affects up to 25 per cent of the general population. The eyes become itchy, watery and red in the summer pollen season, usually from exposure to grass and tree pollen.

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Vernal conjunctivitis is a more severe form of this disease seen in children. The eyes are sticky with a stringy discharge, and it’s painful, especially when opening the eyes on waking.

The inner membranes of the eyelid swell and the conjunctiva develops a cobblestone appearance. Corneal damage may occur if the condition is left untreated.

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Perennial allergic conjunctivitis tends to occur all year round, with house dust mite and cat allergies. The symptoms are usually milder than those in seasonal allergic conjunctivitis.

Eczema eyes:
Although rare, atopic keratoconjunctivitis is the most severe manifestation of allergic eye disease. It occurs predominantly in adult males and is the eye equivalent of severe eczema.
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This persistent condition results in constant itching, dry eyes and blurred vision. It’s associated with corneal swelling and scarring. Eyelid eczema and infection are common, and lens cataracts may develop over time.

Contact lens allergy:
Contact lens wearers may develop giant papillary conjunctivitis, triggered by constant local irritation by the contact lenses on the conjunctival surfaces. The lining of the upper eyelid is usually most affected. Disposable contact lenses may help settle symptoms, but occasionally wearing contact lens has to be suspended.
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Never use steroid eye drops unless under the direct supervision of a doctor. Although they’re effective for treating eye allergies, they can lead to unwanted side-effects such as glaucoma and cataract formation.

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They may also encourage infections of the eye, with resultant corneal scarring.

Symptoms:-
Symptoms of eye allergies, or allergic conjunctivitis, include watery, itchy, red, sore, swollen and stinging of the eyes. Itching of the eyes is the most important symptom of allergic conjunctivitis. Without itching, it is much less likely that a person is suffering from allergies of the eyes. Both eyes are usually affected, although one eye may be more symptomatic than the other.

Seasonal allergic conjunctivitis (SAC) is the most common form of eye allergy, with grass and ragweed pollens being the most important seasonal triggers. Perennial allergic conjunctivitis (PAC) is also very common, with animal dander, feathers and dust mites being the most important triggers.

Other symptoms :-
People with SAC usually note the onset of symptoms during the spring and fall, and frequently note symptoms of allergic rhinitis. Symptoms include itchy eyes, burning of the eyes and eye watering. In some cases, people notice sensitivity to the light and blurred vision. The eyes are usually red, and the eyelids may become swollen. When the inside of the eyelid (the conjunctiva) is also swollen, the eyes may have a watery, gelatinous-like appearance – this finding is called “chemosis”.

PAC typically occurs year-round, although many people notice some seasonal flares to their symptoms. The severity of PAC is less than that of SAC, and PAC is much more likely to be associated with perennial allergic rhinitis.

Diagnosis:
The diagnosis of allergic conjunctivitis is made with a history of symptoms suggestive of eye allergies, an examination by a healthcare professional with findings consistent with conjunctivitis, and allergy testing showing seasonal or perennial allergies. A response to typical medications is helpful in the ultimate diagnosis of allergic eye disease, and failure to respond to medications may lead to a search for a different diagnosis.

Treatment:

Regular use of anti-allergy eye drops such as sodium chromoglycate, nedocromil, olopatidine and lodoxamide can help to treat mild seasonal disease.If avoidance of allergic triggers fails to prevent symptoms of allergic conjunctivitis, some people notice mild benefit from cold compresses on the eyes, and eyewashes with tear substitutes. However, medications may be necessary to treat the symptoms. Medications for allergic conjunctivitis include oral anti-histamines and eye drops.

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Oral anti-histamines. Many people with allergic eye disease will receive benefit from oral anti-histamines, such as over-the-counter loratadine (Claritin®/Alavert®, generic forms), and prescription cetirizine (Zyrtec®), fexofenadine (Allegra® and generic forms) and desloratadine (Clarinex®). Older, first-generation anti-histamines (such as Benadryl®) are also helpful, but are generally considered too sedating for routine use.

Over-the-counter eye drops. Medicated eye drops are available in over-the-counter and prescription forms. Over-the-counter eye drops for allergic conjunctivitis are currently only available in decongestant (Visine®, Naphcon®, generic forms of naphazoline), and decongestant/anti-histamine combinations (Visine-A®, Naphcon-A®, generic forms of naphazoline/pheniramine).

Decongestant eye drops (with or without anti-histamines) should only be used for short periods of time, as overuse can lead to conjunctivitis medicamentosa (characterized as rebound eye redness/congestion and dependence on the eye drops). These eye drops should not be used by people with glaucoma, and used with caution by people with heart or blood pressure problems.

Ketotifen works by a dual action mechanism, with anti-histamine activity and prevention of the release of chemicals from mast cells. Unlike decongestant eye drops, ketotifen would not be expected to result in conjunctivitis medicamentosa with long-term use.

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose.

Resources:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/health/physical_health/conditions/in_depth/allergies/allergicconditions_eye.shtml

http://allergies.about.com/od/eyeallergies/a/conjunc.htm

http://www.thirdeyehealth.com/eye-allergies.html

http://www.medinik.com/allergy/contact-lens-allergy

http://www.clivir.com/lessons/show/eyelid-eczema-swelling-pictures-causes-and-natural-treatment.html

 

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Exercise and Arthritis

Introduction:
Arthritis is becoming more and more common — and not just among the very old. That’s the bad news. The good news is that a program of moderate exercise can reduce pain and improve mobility for many of the over 40 million individuals with this degenerative disease.

Now What is Arthritis?
Arthritis means inflammation of a joint. Osteoarthritis, the most common form of arthritis, is characterized by a progressive loss of cartilage. This degenerative disease is usually limited to a specific area, such as the knees, hips or spine. Common symptoms include joint pain, limited range of motion, and swelling. Rheumatoid arthritis, which is far less common, causes the inner linings of the joints to become inflamed.

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How Can Exercise Help?
For many years, doctors have recommended that patients with arthritis engage in flexibility training to help improve range of motion and reduce some of the stiffness in their afflicted joints. In recent years, doctors have also begun to recognize the benefits of cardiovascular exercise and strength training. Not only does a wellrounded exercise program preserve joint range of motion and flexibility but it also reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease, increases joint stability, and lessens the physical and psychological pain that often accompanies a diagnosis of arthritis.

Exercise and rest:-
People with arthritis often have to balance carefully how and when to exercise and when to rest.

In adults, if the joints are particularly inflamed or swollen it may be necessary to rest more than usual. But generally, people with arthritis should exercise every day to prevent joints becoming stiff and painful, and to keep muscles strong.

For children with arthritis, it’s particularly important to exercise even when the disease is very active, because contractures and deformities can develop very quickly.

People with arthritis need three forms of exercise:-

 

1.General exercise for health
Any exercise that leaves you feeling a little breathless and your muscles slightly tired is good for you. As well as keeping you mobile it can help you relax, make you feel better about yourself and give you more energy.

When exercising, it’s best to use as much of the body as possible – swimming, walking and cycling are all good options. Swimming has the added advantage that the water supports the weight of your body rather than your joints. Some strokes may not suit you, though, so try to get professional advice.

If you go to exercise classes, check they’re run by a qualified teacher and that the teacher knows about your condition.

2.Mobilising exercises
People with arthritis need to keep their joints moving. Bending and straightening exercises, gentle pedalling or swimming can help a lot. Your physiotherapist may recommend hydrotherapy at your local hospital: many people find they move more freely in water and the warmth of the water loosens their joints.

3.Special exercises to strengthen muscles
If your muscles are strong and healthy, they protect your joints better and you may feel less pain. Your physiotherapist will be able to give you a series of muscle-strengthening exercises to perform at home. Swimming and hydrotherapy are also effective ways of strengthening as well as mobilising.

Exercise checklist for People with arthritis:-

Do the following:
•Choose exercises suitable to your level – if you’re a beginner, work up gradually
•Do gentle warm-up stretches before and after the exercise
•Wear good footwear and appropriate clothing
•Enjoy yourself

Don’t do the following:
•Binge on exercise – little and often is better
•Continue with an activity if it makes your pain worse
•Do fitness or aerobic exercises on a stone or concrete floor
•Exercise if you feel ill

You may click to see :-
Some Basic Movements In Yoga Exercise:
Top Three Types of Exercises for Artherities:

Living with Arthritis

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose.

Resources:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/health/physical_health/conditions/in_depth/arthritis/treatmentarthritis_exercise.shtml

http://www.acefitness.org/fitfacts/fitfacts_display.aspx?itemid=22

http://www.afarewellrescue.com/exercise-and-arthritis/

A public demonstration of aerobic exercises

A public demonstration of aerobic exercises (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

http://www.healthyexerciseworld.com/exercise-for-arthritis.html

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Fallugia paradoxa

Botanical Name :Fallugia paradoxa
Family: Rosaceae
Genus: Fallugia
Species: F. paradoxa
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Rosales

Common Name:Apache plume and ponil.

Habitat : Fallugia paradoxa is native to the southwestern United States and northern Mexico, where it is found in arid habitats such as desert woodlands and scrub.

Description:
Fallugia paradoxa, the Apache plume, is an erect shrub not exceeding two meters in height. It has light gray or whitish peeling bark on its many thin branches. The leaves are each about a centimeter long and deeply lobed with the edges rolled under. The upper surface of the leaf is green and hairy and the underside is duller in color and scaly.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

The flower of the shrub is roselike when new, with rounded white petals and a center filled with many thready stamens and pistils. The ovary of the flower remains after the white petals fall away, leaving many plumelike lavender styles, each 3 to 5 centimeters long. The plant may be covered with these dark pinkish clusters of curling, feathery styles after flowering. Each style is attached to a developing fruit, which is a small achene. The fruit is dispersed when the wind catches the styles and blows them away.

Medicinal Uses:
The roots dug in the fall are boiled in water for coughs, drunk morning and evening, and the tea used as a hair rinse after shampooing.  Reports are that the root and bark tea are a good growth stimulant and tonic for the hair.  The powdered root (with tobacco) or the flowers (with Horehound and flour) are used for painful joints or soft tissue swellings, applied locally as a poultice or fomentation.  The spring twigs bay be boiled and drunk for indigestion and “spring” fevers.

Other Uses:
Thie Fallugia paradoxa plant is considered valuable for erosion control in desert areas where it grows.

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fallugia

http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_AB.htm

http://www.highcountrygardens.com/catalog/product/51450/

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Excess Wind or Stomach Gas

Definition:-
Wind is a natural product of the action of the digestive system in the bowel, as enzymes and bacteria break down carbohydrates and proteins in the diet.

Many people think wind passes right through the gastrointestinal system. However, gas produced in the top end of the gut (in the stomach, mostly) travels upwards as burps or belches. Wind generated in the intestines or bowel (commonly known by the slang term ‘fart’) passes down and out through the rectum and anus, or back passage.

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You may click to see

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Digestive system

Our gut is a muscular tube stretching from the gullet (oesophagus) to the back passage (rectum) and is about 40 feet long when stretched out. It usually contains about 200ml of gas and every day we pass 400–2000ml of this gas out through the back passage as wind (or flatus, as it is technically known).

Over 90% of flatus is made up of 5 gases – nitrogen, oxygen, carbon dioxide, hydrogen and methane: the remaining 10% contains small amounts of other gases.

The nitrogen and oxygen come from air which is swallowed; the carbon dioxide is produced by stomach acid mixing with bicarbonate in bile and pancreatic juices. These gases get into the small intestine where most of the oxygen and carbon dioxide are absorbed into the blood stream; the nitrogen is passed down the large bowel (colon).

The small intestine is the place where the food we eat is digested and absorbed; the residues, such as dietary fibre and some carbohydrates, pass on to the large bowel. The colon contains different kinds of bacteria which are essential to good health and which ferment material from the small intestine, producing large volumes of hydrogen, methane, carbon dioxide and other gases. Most of these gases are absorbed into the blood stream and eventually excreted in the breath: the rest is passed as flatus.
You may click to see :Digestive Health & Digestion

Symptoms:-
One symptom of a bloated stomach or wind is tight fitting cloths even if you have not gained weight. Another symptom is passing excessive amounts of gas. You could also be experiencing a noticeably bloated abdomen and having abdominal craps. Your stomach will feel very full even though you have not eaten recently. It could also be due to water retention.

Belching or burping (air eructation) :
Every time we swallow we take some air into the stomach. A belch is an involuntary expulsion of wind (gas) by the stomach when it becomes distended from an excess of swallowed air. Eating rapidly or gulping food and drink, drinking a lot of liquid with meals, chewing gum, smoking or wearing loose dentures promote air swallowing. Some people swallow saliva to relieve heartburn and swallow air at the same time. Other people swallow air without noticing it, especially when they are tense. Fizzy drinks including beer cause belching because they release gas (carbon dioxide) into the stomach.

Chronic or repetitive burping (aerophagy) :
In this case air is not swallowed into the stomach but sucked into the gullet and rapidly expelled. Repetitive belching like this can last for minutes at a time and is very embarrassing. There is no medical treatment and the cure lies in realising the cause. Air cannot be sucked in when the jaws are separated, so repetitive belching can be temporarily controlled by firmly clenching something like a pencil between the teeth. Some people develop aerophagy because of discomfort in the chest. If you develop belching associated with chest discomfort – especially discomfort associated with exertion – or if you have difficulties in swallowing – you should seek medical advice.

Bloating :
Abdominal bloating is a common complaint that is often blamed on excess gas in the bowel. In people with irritable bowel syndrome, in which the gut is more sensitive to distension, that is not the case and the normal amount of gas causes discomfort. Because the muscular contractions of the gut are not co-ordinated, its contents do not pass along in an orderly fashion and this causes additional discomfort. Research has shown that when small amounts of gas are passed into the intestine, people with irritable bowel syndrome experience bloating and pain, whereas other people tolerate the same or even larger amounts of gas without any discomfort. Bloating may also be caused by rich, fatty meals which delay stomach emptying.
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Bloating is often associated with abdominal distension so that clothing has to be loosened. This is usually due to relaxation of the abdominal muscles in an unconscious attempt to relieve discomfort. The distension usually disappears on lying flat or on contracting the abdominal muscles.

Bloating is difficult to treat. A high fibre diet can cause bloating in some people, but in  others may relieve bloating, because fibre absorbs water in the gut and gently distends it, helping to prevent the uncoordinated contractions that are partly responsible for bloating. Irritable bowel syndrome may be made worse by stress or anxiety so that stress may also be responsible for your bloating. Some people find that activated charcoal or defoaming agents (containing simethicone) are helpful. Avoiding gassy drinks may help. If the bloating is severe your doctor may prescribe drugs that help to coordinate the contractions of the gut or prevent spasms.

Bloating due to a build up of gas also occurs in some intestinal diseases such as Crohn’s disease or bowel tumour. These conditions cause other symptoms such as weight loss, abdominal pain or diarrhoea and require prompt medical investigation.

Rumblings/grumblings or noisy guts (borborygmi):
Bowel noises or borborygmi are produced when the liquid and gas contents of the intestine are shuffled backwards and forwards by vigorous movements of the gut. They may be produced by hunger, or by anxiety, or a fright: they are very common in irritable bowel syndrome.

Loud borborygmi or rumblings result from contractions of the intestines caused by diseases like Crohn’s disease or bowel obstruction. These conditions are associated with other symptoms such as severe abdominal pain and should be reported to your doctor.

Flatus :
The complaint of excessive flatus is made when a person believes he/she passes wind more often than their friends or more often than in the past. Often this is because an embarrassing incident like a loud or smelly break of wind in public has led to the belief that something is wrong.

A normal individual passes wind through the rectum an average of 15 times per day (ranging between 3 and 40 times), depending on diet. A high fibre diet produces more wind than a low fibre diet or a low carbohydrate diet. So if you think you have excessive flatus, count every time you break wind – even the little silent ones – for a day or so. If you break wind fewer than 40 times a day then you are normal.

But whatever your count you may wish to reduce it. Most flatus is generated by the normal bacterial fermentation of food residues in the colon. On the principle ‘no bugs – no gas’ you might think that antibiotics would work. But they don’t. Although the bacteria are killed off by the antibiotics, they quickly re-establish themselves. Besides, antibiotics produce more flatus in most people.

A high fiber diet has mixed blessings. It produces a satisfying stool, protects against colon cancer, may protect against stroke and heart disease, may help people to lose weight and improves symptoms in irritable bowel syndrome. The downside is that a high fibre diet produces a lot of flatus. However, it is possible to reduce flatus production even on a high fibre diet by avoiding the big gas producers. Beans are notorious gas producers – “beans are good for the heart: the more you eat the more you break wind”. They contain certain carbohydrates called oligosaccharides which cannot be digested in the small intestine but are like food to bacteria in the colon. Cabbage, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, turnips, onions, garlic, leeks and some seeds such as fennel, sunflower and poppy all produce a lot of gas in the colon. Reducing the amount of these foods in the diet will reduce flatus. Sometimes activated charcoal seems to reduce the amount (and smell) of flatus.

Some otherwise healthy people lack the enzyme necessary to digest lactose, the sugar in cow’s milk. As a result the lactose is fermented by the colon bacteria with the production of large amounts of carbon dioxide and hydrogen. The condition is called lactose intolerance and besides gas production may cause abdominal cramps. It occurs most commonly in people born in the Mediterranean area, but can occur anywhere. The ‘cure’ is to reduce milk intake to a level at which symptoms are controlled. Your doctor may carry out special tests to confirm the diagnosis. CORE produces a separate factsheet on lactose intolerance , available on our website.

Sorbitol, a sweetener used in diabetic diets and present in jams, sweets and sugarless chewing gum, is also not digested in the small intestine and can give rise to flatus for the same reason as lactose.

Certain medical conditions such as Crohn’s disease, coeliac disease and other disorders which interfere with small bowel absorption of nutrients cause excess flatus because of impaired digestion. These conditions are usually associated with symptoms such as abdominal pains, weight loss, anaemia and/or persistent diarrhoea with pale, smelly stools that tend to float in the toilet pan. These symptoms require medical investigation. CORE produces separate leaflets on both Crohn’s disease ,Coeliac disease and irritable bowel syndrome.

Loud wind
Loud wind is produced by powerful contractions of the bowel wall forcing gas out through a narrow anus – the muscle at the bottom of the rectum that keeps the intestinal contents in their place. There is not much you can do about this except grin and bear it, but measures to reduce flatus production may help.

Smelly wind
This is not your fault! It is caused by smelly substances like indoles, skatoles and hydrogen sulphide that are produced by bacterial fermentation in the colon. Garlic and onions, many spices and some herbs of the fennel family, particularly asafoetida which are used in Indian cooking, produce smelly gases. Beer, white wine and fruit juices give rise to smelly hydrogen sulphide in some people. Worse still, some of these smelly gases are absorbed into the blood stream and excreted in the breath as well, so that you may smell at both ends: be warned. Eating a lot of fatty food can cause smelly wind, and it is worth cutting down on fat if this is a problem.

Causes &  Risk  Factors:-
Part of the reason why some people seem windier than others is simply a matter of habit and personal preference.

Some people are super-sensitive to gas in the stomach and get used to relieving the symptoms by belching or burping.

Others dislike the sensation of bloating lower in the gut and prefer to expel this as flatulence.

Studies have shown we all release gas from the back passage more than a hundred times a day. It’s just that most of us do it quietly or in such small amounts that we don’t even notice.

Excess wind may be a symptom of several conditions, including:

•Swallowing air – we all swallow air, especially as we eat, but some problems can increase the amount. These include anxiety and hyperventilation, chronic nasal stuffiness and mouth or dental problems.
•Stomach ulcers.
•Constipation.
•Irritable bowel syndrome.
•Inflammatory bowel disease, such as Crohn’s.
•Food intolerances, such as lactose intolerance.
Anything that stops food being broken down and absorbed in the small bowel causes the food to travel into the lower bowel before it’s properly digested, where it’s more likely to make wind.

In lactose intolerance, for example, the gut lacks the enzyme needed to break down the sugar in milk called lactose, so it passes into the colon. Here it is fermented by the large number of friendly bacteria, leading to gas production and painful cramps.

Dietary factors:-
Some foods can increase the amount of gas produced or make it smell so it’s more noticeable. These include:

•Pulses, such as peas, beans and lentils – these contain complex carbohydrates that aren’t broken down or digested high in the bowel but are left to the action of bacteria lower in the gut.
•Spicy foods.
•Brussels sprouts, cabbage and artichokes – these are from the brassica family and produce particularly unpleasant smells when digested.
•Fizzy drinks.
•Sudden increases in the amount of high-fibre foods, such as bran.

Treatment & Recovery:
The following may help to aid digestion and reduce wind:

•Eat slowly with small mouthfuls, avoid heavy meals and try not to gulp liquids.
•Cut down on fizzy drinks.
•Add herbs and spices to meals, especially fennel seeds, thyme, sage and caraway.
•If you must have dried pulses, ensure they’ve been soaked overnight and cooked in fresh water to cut down the difficult-to-digest sugars.
•Eat live yoghurt every day to help provide adequate supplies of the bacteria that aid digestion.
•Drink herbal teas, such as fennel and mint. Peppermint tea also relaxes the muscles of the bowel and stops the discomfort that makes many people feel the need to pass wind.

Anxiety can play a part in wind. For some people, the more they burp, the more they feel the need to burp. Try to relax about it as much as you can, and you may find the problem fades away.

One remedy for bloated stomach is proper diet and exercise. You should get the recommended minimum of 30 minutes of exercise at least 5 days a week.
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This will keep your body running the way it should. A diet rich in lean protein, whole grains and plenty of fruits and vegetables will keep your digestive system running like a well tuned auto mobile.

Your digestive track really is a like a car in that you have to put in the right type of fuel or you will have problems. The fibre in the whole grains, vegetables and fruits will keep you regular and decrease bloating. You should avoid processed and packaged foods whenever possible. Make easy switches in your diet such as a baked potato for French fries. There are many herbs that can be used to treat a bloated stomach. Peppermint is a good remedy because of its ability to sooth the digestive track.

Lemon balm is another member of the mint family that has soothing properties. It is often combined with other soothing herbs such as chamomile. Evening primrose has an essential fatty acid that aids digestion. Astragalus has anti-inflammatory properties and can help the body fight of physical stresses as well as treat digestive discomfort.

Fennel Seeds (a natural remedy to stop excessive burping)->

 

 

 

 

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose.

Resources:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/health/physical_health/conditions/excesswind.shtml

http://zenulife.com/blog/bloated-stomach-trapped-wind-causes-symptoms-remedies

http://www.corecharity.org.uk/Windy-symptoms-Flatulence-belching-bloating-and-breaking-wind.html

http://www.mydigestivehealth.com/

http://zenulife.com/blog/bloated-stomach-trapped-wind-causes-symptoms-remedies

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