Venous Ultrasound of Upper & Lower Extremity Arterial Doppler Studies

Introduction:
The Arterial Doppler ultrasound uses sound waves at a frequency that is higher than humans are able to hear to produce images on a monitor for the purpose of evaluating the arterial blood flow to the upper extremities (arms) and lower extremities (legs).

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This type of ultrasound shows if there is a blockage in arm or  leg vein. Such blockages are usually caused by blood clots, which can be dangerous and even lifethreatening if they break loose and travel through the blood to the lungs. If you have pain or swelling in one leg, your doctor may order an ultrasound to determine whether your symptoms are caused by a blockage.

It is used to evaluate:
*Numbness and tingling sensations in the hands, arms, feet and legs
*Sensation of fatigue and heaviness in the arms and legs
*To investigate the possibility of thoracic outlet syndrome.

Procedure:

For the Arterial Doppler exam a blood pressure cuff is applied to each of the arms and legs and a pressure is recorded for each extremity cuff. The pulse is also taken and recorded for each of the extremities. The patient may then be exercised and blood pressure recordings repeated or an ultrasound may be performed to assess the arteries for the location and the amount of narrowing.

When evaluating for thoracic outlet syndrome of the upper extremities, the patient will be asked to perform a series of arm movements while recordings are documented.

The Arterial Doppler studies take approximately 60-90 minutes.

After squirting some clear jelly onto the inside of one of your arms or thighs to help the ultrasound sensor slide around easily, a technician or doctor places the sensor against your skin. Once it’s in place, an image appears on a video screen, and the technician or doctor moves the sensor up and down along your leg – from the groin to the calf – to view the veins from different angles. The examiner presses the sensor into your skin firmly every few inches to see if the veins change shape under pressure. He or she then checks your other leg in the same way. As the machine measures the blood flowing through a vein, it makes a swishing noise in time with the rhythm of your heartbeat. This test usually takes 15-30 minutes.Most people don’t feel any discomfort, but if your leg was swollen and sensitive to the touch before the test, the pressure of the sensor might cause some tenderness.

How do You prepare for the test? No preparation is necessary.

Risk Factors: There are no risks
How long is it before the result of the test is known?
A radiologist reviews a videotape of your ultrasound and checks for signs of blockages in the veins.Your doctor should receive a report within a few hours to a day.

Resources:

https://www.health.harvard.edu/fhg/diagnostics/venous-ultrasound-of-the-legs.shtml

http://www.advanceddiagnosticimagingpc.com/vascular/extremity.htm

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Laser Guns to Kill Mosquitoes

American scientists are making a ray gun to kill mosquitoes. Using technology developed under the Star Wars anti- missile programme, the zapper is  being built in Seattle where astrophysicists have created a laser that locks onto airborne insects.

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The laser — dubbed a weapon of mosquito destruction — has been designed with the help of Lowell Wood, one of the astrophysicists who worked on the original Star Wars plan to shield America from nuclear attack.

The WMD laser works by detecting the audio frequency created by the beating of mosquito wings. A computer triggers the laser beam, the mosquito’s wings are burnt off and its smoking carcass falls to the ground. The research is backed by Bill Gates, the Microsoft billionaire. It is speculated that lasers could shield villages or be fired at swarming insects from patrolling drone aircraft. “You could kill billions of mosquitoes a night,” said one expert.

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*GM mosquito could help defeat malaria
*New ‘selfish’ gene aids plan for safe mosquito

Sources: The Times Of India

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Some Health Quaries & Answers

Do antacids help?………

Q: Whenever I take any antibiotics or painkillers I develop severe gastric irritation, with belching, burning and pain. Can I take antacids to prevent this?

A: Painkillers usually belong to the “aspirin” family, or are paracetamol or are NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents). All of them can cause gastric irritation to varying degrees. The same is true of some antibiotics also. Using an antacid decreases the availability of the medication as many of them interact with the antacid in the stomach. Instead, you can add omeprazole, pantoprazole or ranitidine to the prescription. You can speak to your physician for specific advice and dosage schedules.

Try smiling :-

Q: At 50 years of age I find I have a sad and depressed look as I have bags on the cheek and my whole face sags. It affects my mood when I look in the mirror.

A: Sagging of the skin (jowls) occurs owing to the loss of subcutaneous elastic tissue with age. The skin is not held taut. Gravity then causes the cheeks to sag. You have to be very conscious of this.

Instead of developing a grumpy expression, try smiling. This will pull up your cheek muscles and the skin overlying them.

You can also apply oil every morning and massage your cheeks upwards. This will give you slow improvement. If nothing works, and you are really mentally affected by this, several plastic surgery techniques are available. Alternatively, you can always try Botox.

Grandma’s bladder :-

Q: My 82-year-old grandmother suffers from recurrent urinary tract infections. Cultures of the urine repeatedly grow significant numbers of bacteria. The doctors advised an ultrasound (USG) and it indicated significant residual urine — around 190cc. What can we do?

A: Residual urine means that her bladder is not emptying properly. Urine is left behind in significant amounts after she has passed urine. This occurs because of a weakness of the pelvic muscles as a result of previous childbirth, age and the loss of protective female hormones after menopause. Urine is a good culture medium for bacteria to gain a foothold and thrive. As long as this problem persists and urine remains in the bladder, infections will recur. You also need to check if she has any additional risk factors like diabetes.

Appropriate antibiotic treatment has to be given in the correct dosage for the recommended schedule for the infection to clear. Sometimes a small night dose of antibiotic has to be continued prophylactically for a few months. Ask your grandmother to lean backwards instead of forwards while passing urine. That will help to empty the bladder more. In addition, yoga or Keegle’s exercises can be done to strengthen the pelvic muscles.

Exercise, please:-

Q: I have been a naturopath and yoga teacher for 30 years. Many diseases, infirmities, injuries and the effects of ageing can be delayed or prevented by practising this scientific ancient exercise form. Recovery from illness is also faster. I find most of my patients very resistant to the idea of exercise. They have a thousand irrelevant excuses to put off to “tomorrow” a schedule to start being physically active. Needless to say, tomorrow never comes!

A: People are looking for a “quick fix ”, an instant solution or a miracle drug that’ll cure all their ailments with the least effort. Unfortunately the body has to be maintained and nurtured like any other piece of functioning ageing machinery.

Studies show that 60 minutes of aerobic activity and 10 minutes of stretching will go a long way in maintaining health. For those who cannot spare that amount of time at one stretch, it can be split into 10 or 20 minute segments. The eventual benefits are immeasurable.

On the pill for 15 years :-

Q: I am 45 years old and have been on an oral contraceptive pill (OCP) for 15 years. How will I know if I have reached menopause? After all, the pill produces withdrawal bleeding every month.

A: When you actually reach menopause there will be no withdrawal bleeding after the tablets are stopped. If this occurs for three months you have probably reached menopause. It is safer to continue the pills for a year more. If you stop the pill you should use some other form of contraception like condoms for a year.

Excruciating pain :-

Q: I was pregnant a year ago. On scan the baby was found to have Down’s syndrome. I underwent a termination of the pregnancy. Now I have lower abdominal pain all the time. Sometimes it is so severe that I have to double up. What can I do?

A: Since this pain has appeared after the abortion, you could take an ultrasound of the pelvis and do a urine examination. This will help to determine if there is an infection or any other reason for the pain. Armed with these reports you could go to a gynaecologist for specific advice and treatment.

Sources: The Telegraph (Kolkata, India)

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Holter Monitor

Alternative Names : Ambulatory electrocardiography; Electrocardiography – ambulatory

Definition
A Holter monitor is a machine that continuously records the heart’s rhythms. The monitor is usually worn for 24 – 48 hours during normal activity.It is a portable EKG device that records your heart rhythm over time, outside the hospital or doctor’s office.Whereas a regular EKG examines your heart’s electrical activity for a few minutes, the Holter monitor examines changes over a sustained period of time-usually a 24- to 48-hour period-while you go about your daily activities and even while you sleep. Doctors use it to evaluate symptoms that come and go and that might be related to heart-rhythm changes.

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How the Test is Performed ?
Electrodes (small conducting patches) are stuck onto your chest and attached to a small recording monitor. You carry the Holter monitor in a pocket or small pouch worn around your neck or waist. The monitor is battery operated.

While you wear the monitor, it records your heart’s electrical activity. You should keep a diary of what activities you do while wearing the monitor. After 24 – 48 hours, you return the monitor to your doctor’s office. The doctor will look at the records and see if there have been any irregular heart rhythms.

It is very important that you accurately record your symptoms and activities so that the doctor can match them with your Holter monitor findings.
Why the Test is Performed ?
Holter monitoring is used to determine how the heart responds to normal activity. The monitor may also be used:

*After a heart attack
*To diagnose heart rhythm problems
*When starting a new heart medicine

It may be used to diagnose:
*Atrial fibrillation/flutter
*Multifocal atrial tachycardia
*Palpitations
*Paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia
*Reasons for fainting
*Slow heart rate (bradycardia)
*Ventricular tachycardia

What happens when the test is performed?
A technician in your doctor’s office or a diagnostic lab fits you with a Holter monitor and explains how to use it. Five stickers are attached to your chest.Wires snap onto each of these stickers and connect them to the monitor. The wires detect your heart’s electrical pattern throughout the day, while the monitor records and stores the data for doctors to interpret later. You can fit the monitor into a purse or jacket pocket or wear it over your shoulder by its strap.

You can go about your normal activities with two exceptions. First, you can’t take a shower or bath during the period that you’re wearing the monitor. Second, you are given a small diary in which to note any worrisome symptoms you feel and record the time when they occur. The doctor will later review both your diary and the data about your heart’s activity from the monitor, to see if any symptoms you experienced were caused by some underlying heart problem. There are no side effects from the testing.
How to Prepare for the Test ?
There is no special preparation for the test. Your doctor will start the monitor. You’ll be told how to replace the electrodes should they fall off or become loose.

Tell your doctor if you are allergic to any tape or other adhesives. Make sure you shower or bathe before you start the test. You will not be able to do so while you are wearing a Holter monitor

Men with a lot of hair on their chest will probably have to shave it.

How the Test Will Feel?
This is a painless test. However, some people may need to have their chest shaved so the electrodes can stick.

You must keep the monitor close to your body. This may make sleeping difficult for some people.

You should continue your normal activities while wearing the monitor.

Risk Factors:
There are no risks.However, you should be sure not to let the monitor get wet.

Must  you do anything special after the test is over?
You need only return the Holter monitor.

Normal Results:-
Normal variations in heart rate occur with activities. A normal result is no significant changes in heart rhythms or pattern.

What Abnormal Results Mean?
Abnormal results may include various arrhythmias. Changes may mean that the heart is not getting enough oxygen.

The monitor may also detect conduction block, a condition in which the atrial electrical activity is either delayed or does not continue into the ventricles of the heart.

How long is it before the result of the test is known?
It usually takes a few days for your recording to be printed out and examined.

Considerations :-
Electrodes must be firmly attached to the chest so the machine gets an accurate recording of the heart’s activity.

While wearing the device, avoid:
*Electric blankets
*High-voltage areas
*Magnets
*Metal detectors

It is very important for you to keep a diary of symptoms. The diary should include the date, time of day, type, and duration of symptoms.

Resources:

https://www.health.harvard.edu/fhg/diagnostics/holter-monitor.shtml

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/MEDLINEPLUS/ency/imagepages/8810.htm

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/MEDLINEPLUS/ency/article/003877.htm

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Aegle Marmelos (Bilva or Bel)

Bael Aegle marmelos at Narendrapur near Kolkat...
Image via Wikipedia

Botanical Name : Aegle marmelos
Family Name: Rutaceae
Subfamily: Aurantioideae
vernacular Name:
: Sans: Bilva; Hind: Bel;; Eng- Bael tree.
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Sapindales
Tribe: Clauseneae
Genus: Aegle

Habitat:The Bilva tree grows in almost all parts of India, southern Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Thailand.

Description:Tall and austere, with a stern aspect, gnarled trunk and sharp thorns, the Bilva is undoubtedly Lord Shiva’s tree.The fruit shell is heard, when ripen the shell becomes heard like wood so, it’s other name is also wood apple. The tree is 15 to 20 feet tall and bears lot of fruits. The tree is more or less evergreen  in all the seasons.In most of Hindu festive the leaves are used  and considered  sacred.

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As per Ayurveda, it is madhura, palatable, kashaya; pacifies deranged pitta; guru; be deranged kapha, fever, diarrhoea, appetizing and gastric stimulant. used for the restoration of normal functions of deranged tridosha: laghu, efficacious in rheumatism.

click to see the pictures.……….....(1)..…...(2).…….(3)
Fruit (unripe) is snigdha, guru, astrgastric stimulant. Ripe fruit is madhura, palatable, guru, katu-tikta ushna, astringent and used in the treatment of deranged tridosha.

Parts Used: Fruits, seeds, leaves, bark and root.

Therapeutic Uses:

Fruits: (ripe) alterative, cooling, laxative and nutritive; useful in habitual constipation, chronic dysentery and dyspepsia; tonic; (unripe) antidiarrhoeal, astringent, demulcent, digestive and stomachic;

Seeds: laxative;

Flowers: antidiarrhoeal and antiemetic; leaves: expectorant, febrifuge; fresh ones used in dropsy; efficacious in bronchial asthma;

Bark (stem and root): beneficial in intermittent fever, melancholia and palpitation of heart; root: one of the ingredients of Dashamula, a common Ayurvedic formulation, particularly useful in loss of appetite and puerperal diseases

The root is sweet; cures fevers due to “tridosha “, pain in the abdomen, palpitations of the heart, urinary troubles, hypochondriasis, melancholia; removes” vata “, “pitta “, and” kapha”.

The leaves are astringent, digestive; laxative and febrifuge when fresh; remove vata ” and” kapha “; useful in ophthalmia, deafness, and inflammations.-

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The flowers allay thirst and vomiting; useful in dysentery.

The unripe fruit is oily, bitter, acrid, sour; tasty, but difficult to digest ;appetiser, binding; cures dysentery; removes pain.-

The oil is hot and cures” vata “.-

The ripe fruit is acrid, bitter, sweet; appetiser, binding, tonic, febrifuge; causes biliousness. and “tridosha”; removes” vata ” and” kapha”; good for the heart .

The ripe fruit is hot and dry; tonic, restorative, astringent, laxa.tive; good for the heart and the brain; bad for the liver and the chest

The ‘unripe fruit is cut up and sun-dried, and in this form is sold in the markets  in dried whole or broken slices.It is regarded as astringent, digestive and stomachic, and is prescribed in diarrhoea and dysentery, often proving effectual in chronic cases, after all other medicines have failed. It seems especially usefull in chronic diarrhoea; ‘a simple change of the hours of meals and an. alteration in the ordinary diet, combined “,with bael fruit, will almost universally succeed.

The small unripe fruit is given with funnel seeds and ginger, in decoction, for piles.

The ripe fruit is sweet, aromatic and cooling; and, made into a morning sherbet, cooled with ice, is pleasantly laxative and a good simple cure for dyspepsia.

The dried ripe pulp is astringent and used in dysentery.

The root bark is sometimes made into a decoction and used in the cure of intermittent fever. It .constitutes an ingredient. in the dasamol of ten roots. used in hypochondriasis, melancholia, and palpitation of the heart.”

The leaves are made into poultice, used in the treatment of ophthalmia, and the fresh juice diluted is praised in catarrhs and feverishness.

The fresh juice of the leaves is given, with the addition of b1ack pepper, in anasarca, with costiveness and jaundice. In external inflammations, the juice of the leaves is given internally to remove the supposed derangement of humours.

The expressed juice of the leaves is used in ophthalmia and other eye affections. decoction of the leaves is valued in asthmatic complaints. A hot poultice to the head is used in delirium of fevers.
A water, distilled from the flowers, is said to be aledipharmic.
A decoction of the root of Aegle Marmelos is given with sugar and fried rice for checking diarrhrea and gastric irritability in infants.

Medicinal uses:
It is astringent, cooling, carminative, laxative, restorative, febrifuge and stomachic and is used in colitis, dysentery, diarrhoea, flatulence, difficulty in micturition, fever, vomiting and colic. The tender fruit is bitter, astringent, antilaxative, digestive and promotes digestion and strength, overcomes vata, colics and diarrhea.

Home remedies:
*Juice of mature fruit of Bilva, is so effective in the bowel disturbances like recurrent constipation.
*Pulp of unripe fruit of Bilva is so effective in the diarrhea, dysentery, and sprue.
*Powder of dry pulp of this unripe fruit is also effective in loose motions.
*In chronic dysenteric conditions, accompanied by loose stools alternating with occasional constipation, the ripe fruit is *widely used in different formulations

Click to learn more about Bilva ….(1) ….. (2) …..(3)

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.chakrapaniayurveda.com/bilva.html

http://www.ayurvedakalamandiram.com/herbs.htm#bhallataka

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

New CyberKnife Technology to Treat Cancer

Introduction:
Breakthroughs in imaging and robotics technology have been combined in the revolutionary new Cyberknife radiosurgery system.CyberKnife technology involves no cuts or incisions whatsoever. It destroys diseased tissue by precisely focusing multiple beams of high-energy radiation on the tumor site. It is specifically designed for treating the most complex and difficult tumors – cancers of the lung, spine, pancreas or brain.

Sub-millimeter accuracy:
The sub-millimeter accuracy of the CyberKnife system is unmatched. Combining advanced robotic technology and an innovative image guidance system, the CyberKnife can treat tumors in or near sensitive structures such as the spine, brain and lungs.

It is the only radiosurgery system in the world with real-time tumor tracking. The CyberKnife moves and adapts to patient movement, including breathing. Because the CyberKnife doesn’t require an external frame, it can be used outside the cranial area.

How does it work?
The CyberKnife radiosurgery system uses a linear accelerator (linac) to produce and deliver focused beams of radiation to the tumor site. Using image guidance cameras, the exact shape and position of the tumor is identified. The linac, which is attached to a robotic arm, delivers multiple beams of radiation that converge at the tumor site. The tumor receives a concentrated dose of radiation while minimizing exposure to surrounding normal tissue.

The CyberKnife system is the first device to enable full-body dynamic radiosurgery and makes possible effective new treatments in clinical areas such as spine, lung and pancreas.

CyberKnife Machine

Key benefits:-
Treatment planning
The CyberKnife system provides multiple planning and delivery options. It is the only radiosurgery system with the capability to provide non-isocentric treatment planning.

No immobilization
Unlike conventional radiosurgery systems, the CyberKnife system does not require the use of a head or body frame to immobilize the patient. CyberKnife’s intelligent robotics detect and correct for any patient movement and/or respiration.

Localization:
With robotic image guidance technology, the CyberKnife system is the only radiosurgery system that tracks patient and lesion positions during the entire treatment process. This portion of CyberKnife’s intelligent robotics system continuously scans and detects any patient or lesion movement and makes any necessary corrections. The CyberKnife’s Synchrony™ technology tracks respiratory motion and adjusts for patient breathing.

Treatment delivery
The CyberKnife system’s robotic arm provides multiple targeting nodes and adjusts to compensate for any patient movement detected by the robotic guidance technology. This ensures sub-millimeter accuracy with each procedure.

For more information or to request a second opinion please click here or call the St. Luke’s second opinion program at 888-649-6892.

What to expect:-
Initial visit
At your convenience, an outpatient planning session will be conducted. During the visit, a custom mask or body mold designed to inhibit movement during CyberKnife treatment will be created. The molding process is simple and painless.

A CT scan and possibly an MRI are performed to confirm the exact size, shape and location of your tumor, along with surrounding vital structures. All are used for treatment planning purposes.

Patients undergoing extracranial (non-head) treatment also require the implant of small metal markers (fiducials) prior to the initial set-up. This procedure is also done on an outpatient basis.

Treatment visits
On the day of your treatment, you will be asked to wear comfortable clothing and no jewelry. Because CyberKnife treatment is painless, no anesthesia is required. You will lie on a treatment table and will be fitted with the mask or body mold created earlier.

During your treatment, you will be asked to lie still. You will be awake throughout the entire procedure, which typically lasts 30 to 90 minutes. The image guidance system periodically takes x-ray images and compares them to data from the CT scan to ensure that the treatment is accurately targeted.

Treatment sessions are performed on an outpatient basis. In most cases, you can resume normal activities immediately upon leaving the hospital.

Follow-up visits
As with any radiosurgery or radiation therapy procedure, follow-up imaging and physician consultation are required to monitor your progress.

For more information or to request a 2nd opinion please click here or call the St. Luke’s 2nd opinion program at 888-649-6892.

Click to Learn more about the CyberKnife procedure

Click to see:->

Treat cancer with Cyberknife
Emerging Treatments for Cancer Using CyberKnife Technology

CyberKnife: Technology to Transform Lives

Now, CyberKnife technology to treat cancer in India

Sources:
http://www.aurorahealthcare.org/services/cancer/treatments/radiationoncology/cyberknife/index.asp

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Vitamin C Intake May Lower Risk of Gout in Men

: Men with a higher intake of vitamin C appear less likely to develop gout, a painful type of arthritis, according to a study.
……………….

“Gout is the most common type of inflammatory arthritis in men… The identification of risk factors for gout… is an important first step in the prevention and management of this common and excruciatingly painful condition,” wrote the study’s authors.

Hyon K Choi, then of University of British Columbia, Vancouver, and now of Boston University School of Medicine, and colleagues examined the relationship between vitamin C intake and gout in 46,994 men between 1986 and 2006.

Every four years, the men completed a dietary questionnaire, and their vitamin C intake through food and supplements was computed. Every two years, participants reported whether they had been diagnosed with or developed symptoms of gout.

During 20-year follow-up, 1,317 men developed gout. Compared with men who had a vitamin C intake of less than 250mg per day, the relative risk of gout was 17% lower for those with a daily intake of 500 to 999 mg, 34% lower for those with an intake of 1,000 to 1,499mg per day and 45% lower for those with an intake of 1,500mg per day or higher.

Vitamin C may affect re-absorption of uric acid by the kidneys, increase the speed at which the kidneys work or protect against inflammation, all of which may reduce gout risk, a Boston University statement quoted the authors as saying.

Sources:These findings were published in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

Bhallataka (Semecarpus anacardium)

Botanical Name : Semecarpus anacardium
Family Name:Anacardiaceae
vernacular Name: Sans- Bhallataka, Hind- Bhela. It was called “marking nuts” by Europeans because it was used by washermen to mark the cloths before washing, as it imparted water insoluble mark to the cloth. It’s also known as “Ker” in Kannada.

Habitat :Semecarpus Anacardium (the Oriental Anacardium) is a native of India and is closely related to the cashew.Available throughout india, in semi-green and moist deciduous forests.

Description:It is a deciduous tree, found in the outer Himalayas. The nut is about 2.5 cm long, ovoid and smooth lustrous black. In Ayurveda, the fruit is considered a rasayana for longevity and rejuvenation,and is processed before use, as it is toxic in nature.

 

Properties:
Bhallataka is sweet and astringent in taste, sweet in the post digestive effect and has hot potency. It alleviates kapha and vata dosas and possesses light, unctuous sharp (tiksna) and hot (usna) attributes. It is extremely heat generating, appetizer, digestant, rejuvenative, aphrodisiac herb and alleviates the skin and rheumatic disorders. (Bhavaprakasa Nighantu)

Classical Ayurvedic Preparations:

*Bhallatakasava
*Bhallataka taila
*Bhallataka ksirapaka and ksara
*Tiladi modaka
*Bhallataka modaka
*Amrtabhallatakavaleha
*Sanjivani guti etc.

Bhallataka is used both, internally as well as externally. The fruits, their oil and the seeds have great medicinal value, and are used to treat the wide range of diseases. Externally, the oil, mixed with coconut or sesame oil, is applied on wounds and sores to prevent the pus formation. It soothens and heals the cracked feet, when mixed with fala (Shorea robusta). For better healing of wounds, it works well, when medicated with garlic, onion and ajavayana in sesame oil. The topical application of its oil and swollen joints and traumatic wounds effectively controls the pain. In glandular swellings and filariasis, the application of its oil facilitates to drain out the discharges of pus and fluids and eases the conditions.

Since bhallataka is extremely hot and sharp in its attributes, it should be used with caution. Individuals showing allergic reactions to it, should stop and avoid the usage of bhallataka. It should not be used in small children, very old persons, pregnant women and individuals of predominant pitta constitution. The use of the same should be restricted in summer season. For its allergic reactions like rash, itching and swelling, the antidotes used externally are coconut oil, rala ointment, ghee, coriander leaves pulp or butter mixed with musta (Cyperus rotundus).

Internally, bhallataka is widely used in a vast range of diseases because of its multifarious properties. As it augments the agni, it is extremely beneficial in the diseases like piles, colitis, diarrhea, dyspepsia, ascites, tumours and worms which are caused mainly due to weakened agni. For this, one fruit of bhallataka is hold with tong over a flame and heated slightly. On gentle pressing, the oil starts dripping gradually. This oil is collected on the beatle leaf with small amount of sugar on its surface or in a cup of milk. Approximately 10 drops in children and 15-20 drops in adults are sufficient. It augements the appetite, cleanses the bowels, dispels the trapped gases and eliminates the worms. This is how the bhallataka is used as a household remedy.

Bhallataka is highly praised to treat the piles (haemorrhoids) of vata and kapha types, meaning in non – bleeding conditions. It is an effective adjuvant in the treatment of ascites and tumours. In bronchial asthma and cough, it is one of the best medicament for which, its preparation bhallatakasava is commonly used. It reduces the bronchospasms and their frequency too. Cardiac debility, associated with odema can be treated with great benefit. The milk medicated with bhallataka or bhallataka modaka mitigates the skin diseases like scabies, eczema, ringworm infestations. As a nervine tonic, it is beneficial in the diseases due to vata, like sciatica, paralysis, facial palsy, epilepsy, rheumatic conditions and also asa brain tonic. The combination, bhallataka, haritaki, tila (sesame seeds) powders with jaggery, awards excellent results in chronic rheumatic disorders. Bhallataka is said to augment the memory, as it boosts the sadhaka pitta and nourishes the nervine tissue. It also works well as aphrodisiac by its stimulant action and enhances the seminal fluids. In dysmenorrheal (painful menstruation) and oligomenorrhea (scanty menstruation), the medicated milk or its oil is salubrious. It reduces the urinary output, hence beneficial in diabetes of kapha type,

Bhallataka is the best rejuvenative (rasayana) for skin ailments, vata disorders and as a preventive measure to increase the body resistance. It augments the appetile, improves digestion, eliminates ama and clears up srotasas – the micro channels of all the systems, hence facilitates the nourishment of all the tissues (dhatus). It does not work as an anabokic rejuvenative like bala (Sida cordifolia), satavari (Asparagus racemosus), milk or ghee. Winter is the best season for its usage. One should adopt a bland and cooling diet consisting of rice, milk, butter, ghee. The salt and spices should be strictly restricted and during bhallataka treatment, it is recommended to avoid exposure to sun, heat and excessive sex. The toxic symptoms of its internal use are skin rashes, burning, itching, and excessive thirst and sweating, reductin in urine output with sloky coloured urine, sometimes blood in the urine (heamaturia) may appear. The fresh juice of the leaves of amlika (Tamarindus indica) internally, is one of the antidotes for such symptoms.

click to see the pictures….>...(1).…....(2)....(3)..……..….(4)..…..……

According to Ayurveda :-
It is katu ,tikta, kashaya, ushna, anthelmintic, helpful in deranged kapha, vata, intestinal infections, epistasis, polyuria and piles

Parts Used: Fruits and bark.

Therapeutic Uses:

Fruits: in asthma, ascites, epilepsy, neuralgia, psoriasis and rheumatism; as abortifacient and vermifuge; decoction mixed with milk and butter-fat efficacious in asthma, gout, hemiplegia, neuritis, piles, rheumatism, sciatica, and syphilitic complaintskernel is anthelmintic, cardiotonic, carminative and digestive;
The fruits are acrid, bitter, astringent, digestive, carminative, purgative, liver tonic, expectorant, stomachic, laxative, tonic and oleaginous. The fruit is useful in leucoderma, scaly skin, allergic, dermatitis, poisonous bites, leprosy, cough, asthma, and dyspepsia.
Also act as insecticides, antiseptic, termite repellents and herbicide. It is extremely beneficial in the diseases like piles, colitis, diarrhea, dyspepsia, ascites, tumours and worms. The topical application of its oil on swollen joints and traumatic wounds effectively controls the pain.

The fruit is acrid, hot, sweetish; digestible, aphrodisiac, anthelmintic; stays. looseness of bowels; removes” vata “,” kapha “, ascites, skin diseases, piles, dysentery, tumours, fevers, loss of appetite, urinary discharges; heals ulcers; strengthens the teeth; useful in insanity, asthma.

The rind of the fruit is sweet, oleagenous, digestible, acrid, sharp; stomachic, anthelmintic, laxative; cures ” vata “, bronchitis, leprosy, ulcers, ascites, piles, dysentery, tumours, inflammations, fevers; causes ulceration

The sweet fruit is carminative, tonic, aphrodisiac; lessens inflammation, stomatitis, piles, fever, weakness and paralysis; expels bad humours from the body.

The pulp is tonic; good for piles.

The smoke from the burning pericarp is good for tumours.

The oil is hot and dry, anthelmintic, aphrodisiac, tonic; makes hair black; good for leucoderma, coryza, epilepsy and other nervous diseases; lessens inflammation; useful in paralysis and superficial pain;

oil used externally in gout, leprosy and leucoderma; bark: brownish gum exudate found useful in nervous disorders.

A brown gum exudes from the bark which regard as a valuable medicine in scrofulous, venereal and leprous affections .

The nut is used internally in asthm, after having been steeped in butter-milk, and is also given as vermifuge., debility and in leprous, scrofulous and venereal affections.

Medicinal uses:
Recent studies have shown the fruit to be a good anti-inflammatory agent and effective in various types of cancers.

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/Semecarpus_anacardium

http://www.ayurvedakalamandiram.com/herbs.htm#bhallataka

http://www.herbalcureindia.com/herbs/bhallataka.htm

http://www.motherherbs.com/semecarpus-anacardium.html

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Simple Test to Spot Heart Risks


The use of common and readily available screening test called the ankle brachial index (ABI) could spot people with otherwise  unsuspected heart risks, a new research has shown.

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Information was analyzed from the 1999-2004 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey—a cross-sectional survey of 6,292 American men and women ages 40 and older without known history of heart disease, stroke, diabetes or atherosclerotic vascular disease. Researchers found prevalence of peripheral arterial disease (PAD) in a large population of women and men who were not considered at high risk for cardiovascular disease.

“If novel risk factors are shown to improve risk prediction, they could be very valuable because the prevalence of abnormal values is high in populations not known to have high risk,” said Timothy P Murphy, an interventional radiologist

Sources: The Times Of India

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Exercise Stress Test Or Treadmill Test(TMT)

Definition:
The exercise stress test, also known as the treadmill test or exercise tolerance test, indicates whether your heart gets enough blood flow and oxygen when it’s working its hardest, such as during exercise. Often, stress tests are given to people with chest pain or other symptoms who appear to have coronary artery disease, based on a medical exam and EKG. In addition, these tests are sometimes used for other purposes, from assessing the effectiveness of heart disease treatment to gauging the safety of a proposed exercise program.
……….click to see the picture
Stress tests are among the best tools for diagnosing heart disease, and some research suggests that they may also be useful in estimating disease risk in people who don’t have symptoms but have risk factors such as high cholesterol. If you are over age 40 and are at risk for coronary artery disease because you smoke or have high blood pressure or other risk factors, ask your doctor if you should have this test.

Preparing for the Regular Stress Test:
The following recommendations are “generic” for all types of cardiac stress tests:

*Do not eat or drink for three hours prior to the procedure. This reduces the likelihood of nausea that may accompany strenuous exercise after a heavy meal. Diabetics, particularly those who use insulin, will need special instructions from the physician’s office.

*Specific heart medicines may need to be stopped one or two days prior to the test. Such instructions are generally provided when the test is scheduled.

*Wear comfortable clothing and shoes that are suitable for exercise.

*An explanation of the test is provided and the patient is asked to sign a consent form.

*Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing and athletic shoes. Let the doctor performing the test know if you think that you won’t be able to walk on a treadmill for any health reason, such as arthritis. Also let the doctor know if you have diabetes; since exercise can lower blood sugar, he or she may want to check your blood sugar level before the test begins, to be sure it is not too low (see “Diabetes alert,” below). It’s also important to tell the doctor or other health professional in the testing room if you’ve had any chest pain or pressure on the day of the test. Try to avoid eating a large meal right before the test, which could make exercising uncomfortable.

Total timing is  approximately one hour for the entire test, including the preparation.

What happens when the test is performed?
First you have an EKG both while lying down and standing up. Your blood pressure is taken. Several plasticcoated wires, or leads, are taped to your arms and one leg so that your heart’s electrical pattern can be detected while you exercise.Your blood pressure and heart rate also are monitored during the test. You are asked to walk on a treadmill for about 10 minutes. The speed and steepness of the treadmill will increase several times while you exercise. Let the person who is monitoring you know immediately if you feel chest pain or heaviness, shortness of breath, leg pain or weakness, or other unusual symptoms, or if you think you can’t continue exercising.After the exercise period is completed, your blood pressure will be checked again.

A variation of this test uses a radionuclide to visualize parts of the heart that are not getting enough blood. This test is called either an exercise-thallium test or exercise-MIBI test (depending on the radionuclides used). If you have this test, you will probably need to repeat it on a day when you have not been exercising hard, for the sake of comparison.

An exercise stress test strongly suggests coronary artery disease if walking on the treadmill produces symptoms such as chest discomfort, shortness of breath, or dizziness, and these symptoms are accompanied by EKG changes that indicate inadequate blood flow to parts of the heart. A test is considered normal if you can perform a normal amount of exercise without symptoms or EKG changes. Many people have chest discomfort but no EKG changes, or vice versa. In these cases, the exercise test is of less help, and the result will be interpreted as consistent with coronary artery disease, but not conclusive. Further testing may then be required.

Must you do anything special after the test is over?
If your blood pressure becomes unusually high, or if it suddenly drops during exercise, a nurse will recheck your blood pressure a few minutes after the test and may continue to monitor your EKG. If you develop chest pain, you might be given some nitroglycerin tablets to relieve the pain and lower the demand on your heart by dilating your blood vessels.

What is the reliability of a Regular Stress Test?

If a patient is able to achieve the target heart rate, a regular treadmill stress test is capable of diagnosing important disease in approximately 67% or 2/3 rd of patients with coronary artery disease. The accuracy is lower (about 50%) when patients have narrowing in a single coronary artery or higher (greater than 80%) when all three major arteries are involved. Approximately 10% of patients may have a “false-positive” test (when the result is falsely abnormal in a patient without coronary artery disease).

How quickly will you may get the results and what will it mean?

The physician conducting the test will be able to give you the preliminary results before you leave the exercise laboratory. However, the official result may take a few days to complete. The results of the test may help confirm or rule out a diagnosis of heart disease. In patients with known coronary artery disease (prior heart attack, known coronary blockages, previous treatment with angioplasty, stents or bypass surgery, etc.), the study will help confirm that the patient is in a stable state, or that a new blockage is developing. The results may influence your physician’s decision to change your treatment or recommend additional testing such as cardiac catheterization, Echo Stress test, or a nuclear stress test.

Risk Factors:
The risk of the stress portion of the test is very small and similar to what you would expect from any strenuous form of exercise (jogging in your neighborhood, running up a flight of stairs, etc.). As noted earlier, experienced medical staff is in attendance to manage the rare complications like sustained irregular heart beats, unrelieved chest pain or even a heart attack.

If you have cardiac disease, you might develop chest pain during the test. Because this is a sign that your heart isn’t getting enough oxygen and could be in danger of damage, it’s important that you alert the medical staff immediately so that the test can be stopped. While many people worry that an exercise stress test could be dangerous to someone with heart disease, it is extremely safe if doctors examine patients beforehand to make sure that they are healthy enough for it.

How long is it before the result of the test is known?
It usually takes several days for the doctor to completely evaluate the printout of your heart’s electrical pattern.

Resources:

http://www.heartsite.com/html/regular_stress.html

https://www.health.harvard.edu/fhg/diagnostics/exercise-stress-test.shtml

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