Breastfeeding Halves Arthritis Risk

Breastfeeding has unplanned benefits like protecting nursing mothers from rheumatoid arthritis, according to a new study.

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The study found that women who had breastfed for 13 months or more were half as likely to get rheumatoid arthritis as those who had never breastfed. Those who had breastfed for one to 12 months were 25 per cent less likely to get the disease.

The study compared 136 women suffering from rheumatoid arthritis with 544 women of a similar age who were healthy.

The proportion of women breast-feeding for more than six months has increased dramatically over the past 30 years.

The study concluded that it was difficult to say whether there was a connection between higher rates of breast feeding and a corresponding fall in the number of women affected by rheumatoid arthritis, but that the results of the study provided yet another reason why women should continue breast feeding.

Interestingly, the study found that oral contraceptives, suspected of protecting against rheumatoid arthritis because they contain hormones raised during pregnancy, did not have the same effect as breastfeeding.

Also, having children and not breastfeeding also did not seem to work.

Findings of the study have appeared online ahead of the print version in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases.

You may also click to see: Breast Feeding Protects From Rheumatoid Arthritis:-

Sources: The Times Of India

The Vulnerable Lobes

Medical students have always been fascinated by the story of Phineas Gage, a normal, hard working 26-year-old labourer. He became famous in 1848, when an iron rod pierced his skull and brain and exited on the opposite side. He survived this extensive trauma and was physically normal. His life aroused scientific curiosity as physicians suddenly realised that, contrary to popular opinion at that time, all parts of the brain where not essential for life.

The brain controls the physical functions of the body, determines our intelligence, memory, personality and ability to respond to change. It has four paired lobes. Of these, the parietal, temporal and occipital lobes have well elucidated mapped areas for functions like sight, speech, hearing and movement. The frontal lobes (through which the rod pierced Gage), situated just behind the forehead, are responsible for subtle psychological functions like mental maturity, recognition of social norms of behaviour, emotional development and appropriate responses to society.

English: Four brain lobes frontal lobe(red) pa...

English: Four brain lobes frontal lobe(red) parietal lobe(orange) temporal lobe(green) occipital lobe(yellow) and insula(purple) is also shown. others are Brain stem(black) Cerebellum(sky blue). Polygon data are from BodyParts3D maintained by Database Center for Life Science(DBCLS). ???: ????? ???(??) ???(?????) ???(??) ???(??) ??? ?????? ? ??(??) ??(??) ????????Database Center for Life Science(DBCLS)???????BodyParts3D??? (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The frontal area of the brain is protected to some extent by the skull bones. However, damage to the frontal lobes can occur as a result of accidents. Surgery may be performed on the frontal lobes to remove cysts or tumours, to treat intractable epilepsy, or very rarely for psychiatric disorders. The effects of injury to the frontal lobes are often subtle and difficult to pinpoint as the IQ (intelligence quotient) may remain normal. There may be weakness without actual paralysis, inability to perform sequential movement (like dressing for work), lack of flexibility and spontaneity, poor attention and difficulty in expressing thoughts lucidly despite increased talking. Sexual habits may change with promiscuity or disinterest or socially inappropriate behaviour. The entire personality of the individual may change, making him or her unpleasant, obnoxious and intolerable.

The brain fibres in the frontal lobes mature as we grow older and develop fully around the age of 25. Genetic defects or injury in the uterus, during birth or within this time frame, can result in faulty connections, inadequate development and poor release of brain chemicals like dopamine. This can cause learning disabilities, antisocial personalities and sometimes even major psychiatric illnesses like schizophrenia. Also the size of our brain, particularly of the frontal lobes, shrinks over time. This affects important human abilities such as planning, reasoning and problem solving.

Not all brains age or deteriorate at the same rate. Part of this process is genetic and the degeneration sets in at a certain chronological age triggered by an in-built biological alarm. This apparently inevitable mental decline is further influenced by environmental factors, which can be modified favourably.

The concept of retraining ageing brain circuits has been gaining popularity. There are DVDs and books available on brain exercises. The numbers game Sudoku is in almost every newspaper. Retraining the frontal lobes can also be done quite simply by memorising passages or poetry from books. Repetition of a task makes performance rapid and more efficient with less room for error, as the cascading chemical reactions in the brain then occur on accustomed pathways. Older adults who regularly participate in cognitive activity improve their memory, speed of thought and attention span. This helps them to efficiently manage their day-to-day activities and their finances. The benefits of brain training can be enhanced by regular physical activity.

Look after your brain as it is the only one you have.

* Protect it from injury by wearing seat belts and using helmets.

* Do not hit anyone on the head (this particularly includes corporal punishment).

* If anyone has had an accident or brain surgery, tolerate their idiosyncrasies, changes in personality, unreasonable anger and emotional outbursts.

Sources: The Telegraph (Kolkata, India)

Stop Bad-Mouthing Yourself

Stop Bad-Mouthing Yourself
Neglect daily care of your mouth and you put yourself at risk for real oral health issues.

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Your regular brushing, flossing, and rinsing routine is a good foundation for a healthy mouth, but some areas need more love than others. Target these top problem spots to safeguard your smile — and your life.

Cavities

Problem Spot: Between your back teeth (top and bottom)

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Reason: It’s where you do most of your chewing.

Quick Fix: Instead of a straight up-and-down flossing motion, wrap the floss around each tooth, slide it just under the gum, and then floss like you would shine a shoe, says Craig Valentine, D.M.D., of the Academy of General Dentistry.

Canker sores

Problem Spot: The inside of your bottom lip

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Reason:
Nervous lip biting may trigger canker sores, but the cause is usually viral.

Quick Fix: Use Colgate’s Orabase with benzocaine, which was voted the best treatment by members of the American Pharmacists Association.

Receding Gums

Problem Spot: The gum that surrounds both your top left canine tooth and the premolar behind it…click & see

Reason:
The top canines are your most prominent teeth, so they take extra abuse from brushing. (Righties will do more harm to the left tooth.)

Quick Fix:
Brush gently and in only one direction — from the gum down to the bottom of the tooth.

Oral Cancer


Problem Spot:
Your tongue

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Reason: Its location makes it more susceptible to toxins such as cigarette smoke.

Quick Fix: Ban smoke from your body and eat more avocados. Ohio State University researchers found that chemical compounds in avocados may reduce the risk of oral cancer.

Plaque

Problem Spot: The two bottom teeth in the front and center.

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Reason:
They’re closest to your salivary glands, and a protein in saliva has been shown to promote plaque buildup.

Quick Fix:
Snack on raisins; they contain phytochemicals that block plaque from latching onto your teeth, say researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Do more for your mouth:
Researchers from Case Western University found that regular exercise and a healthful diet may cut your risk of gum disease by up to 29 percent.

Sources:MSN’S HEALTH

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Advances in Treatments for Enlarged Prostates

Drugs, including those such as Viagra and Botox, have become the new focus in the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia.

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Growing older has its perks — heftier income, respect of one’s peers — and its drawbacks such as, for men, a steady enlargement of the prostate gland.

Soon, men with this problem may have a broader set of therapeutic options.

A 2003 study already has revolutionized the standard of care men get for this common condition. And new ideas about treating the symptoms of prostate gland enlargement now have doctors treating men with drugs better known for their effects on erectile dysfunction and wrinkled skin.

Viagra and Botox are just two of several drugs being studied for treating problems with urination and benign prostatic hyperplasia, the term for overgrown but noncancerous prostates that occur in most men as they age.

The oft-reported numbers are startling: At least 2 of 3 sixtysomething men have symptoms of an enlarged prostate gland, the organ that produces semen. Symptoms can be merely bothersome — the need to urinate often, poor urine flow and incomplete emptying of the bladder. Or they can be serious enough to require treatment: bladder and kidney dysfunction; stones or infection in the bladder; and urinary retention — inability to urinate at all.

Drug use is fairly recent

Using drugs to treat enlarged prostates is fairly new. “Twenty years ago, we never used medications,” says Dr. Steven Kaplan, a urologist at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York. Instead, when the condition became advanced, surgeons would cut away excess tissue.

Then a five-year study of 3,047 men published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2003 caused a shift in medical practice. It found that a combination of two drugs helped relieve symptoms and halted the progression of the condition. “Now medications are the standard of care,” says Kaplan, a coauthor of that research. Surgery is now reserved for men with very large prostates or intractable symptoms.

One of the drugs tested in that study is doxazosin (Cardura), which relaxes muscle in the prostate and bladder. This helps men maintain a steady urine stream and empty their bladders more completely.

The other drug, finasteride (Proscar), blocks the synthesis of a hormone thought to spur prostate growth and can reduce prostate size.

Study coauthor Dr. Claus Roehrborn, a urologist at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, says that interim results from a second long-term study of 4,800 men have corroborated the superiority of combination therapy, although with different drugs — the alpha blocker dutasteride (Avodart), a drug in the same class as doxazosin, and tamsulosin (Flomax), which, like finasteride, is in a class of drugs called 5-alpha-reductase inhibitors.

Doctors agree that alpha blockers are primarily responsible for ameliorating symptoms. But preventing the big risks, urinary retention and surgery, requires the combination.

And new approaches are under study. “What used to be a two-horse race has just exploded,” Kaplan says.

Prostate health is by definition a man’s issue. Yet one of the most promising new treatment drugs is borrowed from women’s troubles with urinary urgency, termed “overactive bladder” by doctors. Doctors avoided the drugs in the past, fearing that supressing bladder activity would increase the risk of urinary retention in men. That fear has not been borne out in several studies, including a 2006 trial of more than 800 men published in the Journal of the American Medical Assn. In it, tolterodine (Detrol LA), used to treat urinary incontinence, decreased urinary symptoms associated with an enlarged prostate. Side effects were minimal, and rates of urinary retention were low and unaffected by drug treatment.

No study has shown that drugs for overactive bladder are better than combination therapy, but they may be helpful in men whose symptoms are due to a bladder issue rather than the effect of the prostate leaning on the bladder, researchers say.

Another new drug development comes from anecdotal reports that men taking drugs for erectile dysfunction were urinating better. In response, drug companies, including Pfizer (which markets Viagra) and GlaxoSmithKline (which markets Levitra) and Eli Lilly & Co. (which markets Cialis) are studying their erectile dysfunction drugs in men with benign prostatic hyperplasia.

One of these studies, of vardenafil (GlaxoSmithKline’s Levitra), was published earlier this year in European Urology. In it, 222 German men were given either vardenafil or a placebo for eight weeks. Those receiving the drug reported improved urination equivalent to that obtained with Flomax, as well as improved erectile function and quality of life.

And Roehrborn this month will present results from an Eli Lilly-funded clinical trial at an American Urologist Assn. meeting showing that tadalafil (Cialis) was as effective or better than the alpha blocker drugs in improving enlarged prostate symptoms.

Roehrborn says prescribing these drugs for benign prostatic hyperplasia may help remove the stigma of erectile dysfunction. “Think about the psychology. Men take it for a medical condition, a legitimate reason. But because they take it daily, their sexual function is adequate 24/7.”

Botox possibilities

Another development in the works: Botulinum toxin (Botox), which causes muscle paralysis and is used cosmetically to treat wrinkles. A small 2006 study of 41 men, published in the journal BJU International, found improvement in lower urinary tract symptoms and quality of life when Botox was injected into the prostate. Prostate size decreased by an average of 15%, but even in subjects whose prostates did not shrink, urinary function was normalized. Additional Botox studies are underway, including one sponsored by the National Institutes of Health and led by Dr. Kevin McVary, a urologist at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago.

For now, McVary says, standard treatment means that a patient with many symptoms who desires treatment should be offered an alpha blocker. If the gland is large, he should also be offered a 5-alpha-reductase inhibitor to avoid long-term consequences. Developing an enlarged prostate is the first time many men confront the likelihood of taking drugs every day for the rest of their lives. “People still have this notion that they can ‘make the disease go away,’ ” Roehrborn says. They cannot, he adds. “You stop the medication, the prostate actually physically grows back,” he says.

But future medications will be applied with more precision, Kaplan predicts. “You have to tailor the therapy to the size of the prostate, as well as the type of symptoms,” he says. “Some prostates do better by shrinking them; some prostates do better by relaxing the muscle. . . . I think the challenge is to figure out which drugs work for which patients.”

You may also click to see:->

* Diet and exercise looked at as risk factors for enlarged prostates
* Conflicting studies on saw palmetto’s effect on prostate
* Surgery options for enlarged prostate

Sources: The Los Angles Time

Exercise Can Ease Fibromyalgia Pain

Studies show that chronic pain sufferers can reduce the severity of symptoms by adding a moderate workout regimen to their treatment.

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For people living with chronic pain, exercise is often the last thing they want to do. But physical activity could be a key component of some treatment plans, new studies suggest, especially with conditions such as fibromyalgia and arthritis.

“The pain doesn’t go away completely. It’s not a cure. But it’s a way to improve how you feel and your ability to function in daily life,” says Daniel S. Rooks, an assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and a researcher for Novartis Pharmaceutical in Cambridge, Mass. He was the lead author of a study, published in the Nov. 12 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, suggesting that regular, moderately intense exercise can benefit many fibromyalgia sufferers.

The study of 135 women found that those participants who did a combination of walking, strength training and stretching three times a week for four months reported a significant easing of symptoms. (The workouts started at 30 minutes and gradually increased to 60 minutes per session.) In one group measurement, the degree of bodily pain was reduced by 45% after 16 weeks of exercise.

In fibromyalgia, the brain incorrectly processes sensations, resulting in widespread pain throughout the body. Other earmarks of the condition include depression and problems with sleep and concentration.

“This is a disorder that has good days and bad days. The bad days are really bad,” says Dr. Stuart Silverman, a UCLA clinical professor and medical director of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center‘s Fibromyalgia Rehabilitation Program.


FDA validation

The Food and Drug Administration recently approved pregabalin (brand name Lyrica) as the first drug to treat fibromyalgia. For many patients, the Pfizer drug is validation that they have a real medical condition, an acknowledgment they’ve long fought to obtain. But Lyrica can cause side effects — dizziness, drowsiness, weight gain and swelling — and experts do not consider it to be a panacea.

About 30% of people taking Lyrica will see a 50% reduction in pain, Silverman says. He cautions: “Even if you take Lyrica, you still need to combine it with non-pharmaceutical approaches, like exercise.”

But when even getting out of bed sometimes is a challenge, the thought of exercising can seem daunting.

“You must listen to the symptoms,” says Jessie Jones, director of the Fibromyalgia Research and Education Center at Cal State Fullerton.

Jones, who has had fibromyalgia for 10 years, describes herself as “drug-sensitive” and therefore does not take any medication; instead, she relies on a daily workout of dance movements, yoga, meditation and walking.

“My symptoms are under control, but I really, really work at it with a complete program,” says Jones, who is designing a Web-based guide for healthcare providers to help them diagnose and treat fibromyalgia.

Slow, steady progress

One goal of the online instruction, Jones says, is to show “there are more treatment options than just medication.” Some sufferers have found relief from bio-feedback training, nutrition strategies and stress management.

For many, exercise is the way to go.

A study published in the November-December Journal of Clinical and Experimental Rheumatology found that exercise therapy done three times a week for 16 weeks in a warm-water pool significantly reduced the severity of fibromyalgia pain, while also improving cognitive function. Experts in fibromyalgia and arthritis agree that anyone with a chronic pain condition should seek out exercise programs designed to meet their needs, such as ones offered by the Arthritis Foundation ([800] 954-2873) or some branches of the YMCA ([800] 872-9622). Gentle yoga, stretching, flexibility training and walking may be good choices. High-impact activities like jumping and running generally are not recommended.

“You have to start slowly and progress,” says Geri B. Neuberger, professor at the University of Kansas School of Nursing. She led a 12-week study that found low-impact aerobic exercise lessened pain, fatigue and depression among 220 men and women with rheumatoid arthritis, an auto-immune disease characterized by chronic inflammation, pain and joint deformity.

Similar results were found in research led by Leigh F. Callahan, an associate professor of medicine at the University of North Carolina‘s Thurston Arthritis Research Center in Chapel Hill. In this study, published Jan. 15 in Arthritis Care & Research, 346 older adults with different types of arthritis and fibromyalgia participated in an eight-week exercise program developed by the Arthritis Foundation.

The twice-weekly, one-hour classes consisted of low-impact, moderate exercise, which could be done either sitting or standing. The participants (analyzed as a group) experienced a 23% decrease in pain, a 28% decrease in fatigue and a 19% decrease in stiffness. There was also improvement in upper and lower extremity strength.

One mystery not unlocked by researchers is why exercise helps those with chronic pain conditions. Experts theorize that chemical changes in the brain play a key role.

Sources: The Los Angle Times

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A Matter of Trust

You may be surprised but your three-year-old toddler can sort the grain from chaff when it comes to learning.

Ben and Jenny, the hand puppets
Three and four-year-olds develop the ability to distinguish between a good and a bad teacher very early. Canadian psychologist Susan Birch and others have found that a child of three tracks an individual’s history of being accurate or inaccurate, and then applies this to subsequent learning.

The researchers from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver used two lovable hand puppets that many children are familiar with — a child-like girl Jenny and the boy-like Ben. The study appears in the May issue of the journal Cognition.

In the first phase of their experiment, Jenny gave correct labels for objects that children are familiar with, like “horse” or “ball”, while Ben provided wrong labels or functions, calling a spoon a “cup” or a car a “shoe”.

In the second phase, the puppets introduced words and actions that were unfamiliar to the children. The children tended to believe Jenny, who had earlier provided correct answers.

“It shows that even at such a young age children are sensitive to others’ mistakes and, quite impressively, not only use a person’s prior accuracy to decide who to learn from but do so spontaneously,” say the researchers.

“Most of our interactions with other people are based on trust — we have to trust that the food we buy from them is not going to make us sick, that the bank is really going to give us our money back when we ask for it and so on,” says Vikram Jaswal, director of Child Language & Learning Laboratory, University of Virginia in the US.

In a similar work, published in 2006, Jaswal and others had shown pre-school children a videotape with an adult actor and a child actor describing novel things. The two actors provided different names for an object unfamiliar to the participants. One called it a “blicket” and the other a “wug”. When asked what they thought it was called, the children tended to use the name that the adult had given.

What is really interesting, though, is that if before the experiment began the adult actor made several mistakes (like calling an airplane a “shoe”), the children favoured the new word that the child actor had given!

This shows that even though children seem to recognise that adults are normally good sources of information, a particular adult’s credibility could be undermined if he or she had made a few mistakes earlier, Jaswal remarks.

Sources: The Telegraph (Kolkata, India)

Belching

Definition:Belching is the act of bringing up air from the stomach with a typical sound.A normal process to relieve distention from the air that accumulates in the stomach. The upper abdominal discomfort associated with excessive swallowed air may extend into the lower chest, producing symptoms suggesting heart or lung disease.

Burps or belches are simply the sound of gas leaving your body. When you scarf down food or even nibble on it, you also swallow air. You’d be amazed at how much air you’re really sucking down your throat. If you’re drinking pop with your meal, you’re also swallowing another gas – carbon dioxide which is full of bubbles. Those bubbles in your body don’t just float around. They need to go somewhere.

Extra gas escapes from the stomach, travels up the esophagus and comes out the mouth. It doesn’t usually leave slowly. Gas can quickly escape which is why we can’t always cover our mouth in time. Burps have little to do with farts. Farts are the sounds and smells of gas that get out through the anus. Farts may only take 30 to 45 minutes to travel through your body, but burps travel even faster. During the day you probably burp or fart at least 10 to 15 times. Stinky!

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Alternative Names :Burping; Eructation; Gas – belching

Causes:

The ability to belch is almost universal. Belching, also known as burping, is the act of expelling gas from the stomach out through the mouth.

The usual cause of belching is a distended (inflated) stomach caused by swallowed air. The distention of the stomach causes abdominal discomfort, and the belching expels the air and relieves the discomfort.

The common reasons for swallowing large amounts of air (aerophagia) are gulping food or drink too rapidly, anxiety, and carbonated beverages. People are often unaware that they are swallowing air.

“Burping” infants during bottle or breast feeding is important in order to expel air in the stomach that has been swallowed with the formula or milk.

Excessive air in the stomach is not the only cause of belching. For some people, belching becomes a habit and does not reflect the amount of air in their stomachs. For others, belching is a response to any type of abdominal discomfort and not just to discomfort due to increased gas.

Everyone knows that when they have mild abdominal discomfort, belching often relieves the problem. This is because excessive air in the stomach is often the cause of mild abdominal discomfort. As a result, people belch whenever mild abdominal discomfort is felt-whatever the cause.

Belching is not the simple act that many people think it is. Belching requires the coordination of several activities. The larynx must be closed-off so that any liquid or food that might return with the air from the stomach won’t get into the lungs.

This is accomplished by voluntarily raising the larynx as is done when swallowing. Raising the larynx also relaxes the upper esophageal sphincter so that air can pass more easily from the esophagus into the throat. The lower esophageal sphincter must open so that air can pass from the stomach into the esophagus.

While all this is occurring, the diaphragm descends just as it does when a breath is taken. This increases abdominal pressure and decreases pressure in the chest. The changes in pressure promote the flow of air from the stomach in the abdomen to the esophagus in the chest.

One unusual type of belching has been described in aerophagic individuals who swallow air. It has been demonstrated that during some of their belches room air enters the esophagus and is immediately expelled, giving rise to a belch. This in and out flow of air also is likely to be the explanation for the ability of many people to belch at will, even when there is little or no air in the stomach.

If the problem causing the discomfort is not excessive air in the stomach, then belching does not provide relief. When belching does not ease the discomfort, the belching should be taken as a sign that something may be wrong within the abdomen and the cause of the discomfort should be sought.

Belching by itself, however, does not help the physician determine what may be wrong because belching can occur in virtually any abdominal disease or condition that causes discomfort.

In discussing bloating, it is important to distinguish between bloating and distention.

Bloating is the subjective sensation (feeling) that the abdomen is larger than normal. Thus, bloating is a symptom akin to the symptom of discomfort.

In contrast, distention is the objective determination (physical finding) that the abdomen is actually larger than normal. Distention can be determined by such observations as the inability to fit into clothes or looking down at the stomach and noting that it is clearly larger than normal.

In some instances, bloating may represent a mild form of distention since the abdomen does not become physically (visibly or measurably) enlarged until its volume increases by one quart.

Nevertheless, bloating should never be assumed to be the same as distention.

There are three ways in which abdominal distention can arise. The causes are an increase in air, fluid, or tissue within the abdomen.

The diseases or conditions that cause an increase of any of these three factors are very different from one anther. Therefore, it is important to determine which of them is distending the abdomen.

There are two types of distention; continuous and intermittent.

*Continuous distention may be caused by the enlargement of an intra-abdominal (within the abdomen) organ, an intra-abdominal tumor, a collection of fluid around the intra-abdominal organs (ascites), or just plain obesity.
*Intermittent distention is usually due to the occasional accumulation of gas and/or fluid within the stomach, small intestine, or colon.

Causes flatulence:

Flatulence, also known as farting, is the act of passing intestinal gas from the anus.

Gas in the gastrointestinal tract has only two sources. It is either swallowed air or it is produced by bacteria that normally inhabit the intestines, primarily the colon.

Swallowed air is rarely the cause of excessive flatulence. The usual source is the production of excessive gas by intestinal bacteria. The bacteria produce the gas (hydrogen and/or methane) when they digest foods, primarily sugars and polysaccharides (e.g., starch, cellulose), that have not been digested during passage through the small intestine.

Sugars that are commonly poorly digested (maldigested) and malabsorbed are lactose, sorbitol, and fructose.

Lactose is the sugar in milk. The absence of the enzyme lactase in the lining of the intestines, which is a genetic trait, causes the maldigestion. Lactase is important because it breaks apart the lactose so that it can be absorbed.

Sorbitol is a commonly used sweetener in low calorie foods. Fructose is a commonly used sweetener in all types of candies and drinks.

Starches are another common source of intestinal gas. Starches are polysaccharides that are produced by plants and are composed of long chains of sugars.

Common sources of different types of starch include wheat, oats, potatoes, corn, and rice.

Rice is the most easily digested starch and little undigested rice starch reaches the colon and the colonic bacteria. Accordingly, the consumption of rice produces little gas.

In contrast, the starches in wheat, oats, potatoes, and, to a lesser extent, corn, all reach the colon and the bacteria in substantial amounts. These starches, therefore, result in the production of appreciable amounts of gas.

The starch in whole grains produces more gas than the starch in refined (purified) grains. Thus, more gas is formed after eating foods made with whole wheat flour than with refined wheat flour.

This difference in gas production probably occurs because the fiber present in the whole grain flour slows the digestion of starch as it travels through the small intestine. Much of this fiber is removed during the processing of whole grains into refined flour.

Finally, certain fruits and vegetables, for example, cabbage, also contain poorly digested starches that reach the colon and result in the formation of gas.

Most vegetables and fruits contain cellulose, another type of polysaccharide that is not digested at all as it passes through the small intestine.

However, unlike sugars and other starches, cellulose is used only very slowly by colonic bacteria. Therefore, the production of gas after the consumption of fruits and vegetables usually is not great unless the fruits and vegetables also contain sugars or polysaccharides other than cellulose.

Small amounts of air are continuously being swallowed and bacteria are constantly producing gas.

Contractions of the intestinal muscles normally propel the gas through the intestines and cause the gas to be expelled. Flatulence (passing intestinal gas) prevents gas from accumulating in the intestines.

However, there are two other ways in which gas can escape the intestine.

First, it can be absorbed across the lining of the intestine into the blood. The gas then travels in the blood and ultimately is excreted in the breath.

Second, gas can be removed and used by certain types of bacteria within the intestine. In fact, most of the gas that is formed by bacteria in the intestines is removed by other bacteria in the intestines.

Causes of intermittent abdominal bloating/distention :
Excessive production of gas:

Excessive production of gas by bacteria is a common cause of intermittent abdominal bloating/distention. Bacteria can produce too much gas in three ways.

* First, the amount of gas that bacteria produce varies from individual to individual. In other words, some individuals may have bacteria that produce more gas, either because there are more of the bacteria or because their particular bacteria are better at producing gas.
*Second, there may be poor digestion and absorption of foods in the small intestine, allowing more undigested food to reach the bacteria in the colon. The more undigested food the bacteria have, the more gas they produce. Examples of diseases of that involve poor digestion and absorption include lactose intolerance, pancreatic insufficiency, and celiac disease.
* Third, bacterial overgrowth can occur in the small intestine. Under normal conditions, the bacteria that produce gas are limited to the colon. In some medical conditions, these bacteria spread into the small intestine. When this bacterial spread occurs, food reaches the bacteria before it can be fully digested and absorbed by the small intestine. Therefore, the bacteria in the small intestine have a lot of undigested food from which to form gas. This condition in which the gas-producing bacteria move into the small intestine is called bacterial overgrowth of the small intestine (bowel).

Excessive production of gas by bacteria is usually accompanied by more flatulence. Increased flatulence may not always occur, however, since gas potentially can be eliminated in other ways-absorption into the body, utilization by other bacteria, or possibly, by elimination at night without the knowledge of the gas-passer.

Physical obstruction:

An obstruction (blockage) can occur virtually anywhere from the stomach to the rectum. When the blockage is temporary or partial, it can cause intermittent abdominal bloating/distention.

For example, scarring of the pylorus (pyloric stenosis) can obstruct the opening from the stomach into the intestines, thereby blocking the complete emptying of the stomach.

After meals, the stomach is normally filled with food and swallowed air. Then, during the next hour or two, the stomach secretes acid and fluid, which mix with the food and assist in digestion.

As a result, the stomach distends further. When the obstruction is incomplete, the food, air, and fluid eventually pass into the intestines and the bloating/distention resolves.

An obstruction in the small bowel, which is most commonly due to adhesions from a previous surgery, is another cause of intermittent abdominal distention.

To make matters worse, the distention that is caused by the physical obstruction stimulates both the stomach and intestines to secrete fluid, which adds to the distention.

Finally, severe constipation or fecal impaction (hardened stool in the rectum) can also obstruct the flow of the intestinal contents and result in distention.

In this case, however, the bloating/distention is usually constant and progressive and is relieved by bowel movements or removal of the impacted stool.

Functional obstruction:

A functional obstruction is not caused by an actual physical blockage, but rather by the poor functioning of the muscles of the stomach or intestines that propel the intestinal contents.

When these muscles are not working normally, the intestinal contents will accumulate and distend the abdomen.

Examples of functional obstruction include:

*gastroparesis (paralysis of the stomach) of diabetes;
*chronic intestinal pseudo-obstruction, an unusual condition in which the muscles of the small intestine do not work normally; and
*Hirschprung’s disease, in which a small stretch of colonic muscle does not contract normally due to missing nerves.

There is accumulating scientific evidence that some patients with abdominal bloating and distention due to gas may have a functional abnormality of the intestinal muscles that prevents gas from being normally transported through the intestine and expelled.

Instead, their gas accumulates in the intestine. Among patients with irritable bowel syndrome(IBS) with bloating as an important symptom, the gas accumulates in the small intestine and not the colon. The gas accumulates during the day and is greatest in the evening.

Fats in food have an effect on the intestine that mimics a functional obstruction. Dietary fat reaching the small intestine causes transport of digesting food, gas, and liquid within the intestines to slow. This can promote the accumulation of food, gas, and liquid and lead to bloating and/or distention.

Intestinal hypersensitivity:

Some people appear to be very sensitive (hypersensitive) to distention of their intestines, and they may feel bloated even with normal amounts of digesting food, gas, and fluid in the intestine after a meal. The bloating may be aggravated or even progress to distention if the meal contains substantial amounts of fat.

How are belching, bloating/distention, and flatulence evaluated?

A patient’s medical history is important because it directs the evaluation. If the bloating/distention is continuous rather than intermittent, then enlargement of abdominal organs, abdominal fluid, tumors, or obesity are probable causes.

If the bloating/distention is associated with increased flatulence, then bacteria and excessive gas production are likely factors. If a diet history reveals the consumption of large amounts of milk or dairy products (lactose), sorbitol or fructose, then the maldigestion and malabsorption of these sugars may be the cause of the distention.

When individuals complain of flatulence, it may be useful for them to count the number of times they pass gas for several days. This count can confirm the presence of excessive flatulence since the number of times gas is passed correlates well with the total amount (volume) of passed gas.

As you might imagine, it is not easy to measure the amount of passed gas. It is normal to pass gas up to 20 times a day. (The average volume of gas passed daily is estimated to be about ¾ of a quart.)

If an individual complains of excessive gas but passes gas fewer than 20 times per day, the problem is likely to be something other than too much gas.

For example, the problem may be the foul odor of the gas (usually due to sulfur-containing foods), the lack of ability to control (hold back) the passing of gas, or the soiling of underwear with small amounts of stool when passing gas.

All of these problems, like excessive gas, are socially embarrassing and may prompt individuals to consult a physician. These problems, however, are not due to excessive gas production, and their treatment is different.

Simple abdominal X-rays: Simple X-rays of the abdomen, particularly if they are taken during an episode of bloating or distention, can often confirm air as the cause of the distention since large amounts of air can be seen easily within the stomach and intestine.

Moreover, the cause of the problem may be suggested by noting where the gas has accumulated. For example, if the air is in the stomach, emptying of the stomach is likely to be the problem.

Small intestinal X-rays: X-rays of the small intestine, in which barium is used to fill and outline the small intestine, are particularly useful for determining if there is an obstruction of the small intestine.

Gastric emptying studies: These studies measure the ability of the stomach to empty its contents.

For gastric emptying studies, a test meal that is labeled with a radioactive substance is eaten and a Geiger counter-like device is placed over the abdomen to measure how rapidly the test meal empties from the stomach. A delay in emptying of the radioactivity from the stomach can be caused by any condition that reduces emptying of the stomach (e.g., pyloric stenosis, gastroparesis).

Ultrasound, CT scan, and MRI: Imaging studies, including ultrasound examination, computerized tomography (CT), and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), are particularly useful in defining the cause of distention that is due to enlargement of the abdominal organs, abdominal fluid, and tumor.

Maldigestion and malabsorption tests: Two types of tests are used to diagnose maldigestion and malabsorption; general tests and specific tests. The best general test is a 72 hour collection of stool that measures fat in the stool. If maldigestion and/or malabsorption exist because of pancreatic insufficiency or diseases of the lining of the small intestine (e.g., celiac disease), the amount of fat in the stool will increase.

Specific tests can be done for maldigestion of individual sugars that are commonly maldigested, including lactose (the sugar in milk) and sorbitol (a sweetener in low calorie foods).

The specific tests require ingestion of the sugars followed by hydrogen/methane breath testing.

The sugar fructose, a commonly used sweetener, like lactose and sorbitol, also may cause abdominal bloating/distention and flatulence.

However, the problem that can occur with fructose is different from that with lactose or sorbitol. Thus, as already discussed, lactose and sorbitol may be poorly digested by the pancreas and small intestine.

On the other hand, fructose may be digested normally but may pass so rapidly through the small intestine that there is not enough time for digestion and absorption to take place.

Hydrogen/methane breath tests: The most convenient way to test for bacterial overgrowth of the small intestine is hydrogen/methane breath testing. Normally, the gas produced by the bacteria of the colon is composed of hydrogen and/or methane.

For hydrogen/methane breath testing, a non-digestible sugar, lactulose, is consumed. At regular intervals following ingestion, samples of breath are taken for analysis.

When the lactulose reaches the colon, the bacteria form hydrogen and/or methane. Some of the hydrogen or methane is absorbed into the blood and eliminated in the breath where it can be measured in the samples of breath.

In normal individuals, there is one peak of hydrogen or methane when the lactulose enters the colon.

In individuals who have bacterial overgrowth, there are two peaks of hydrogen or methane. The first occurs when the lactulose passes and is exposed to the bacteria in the small intestine. The second occurs when the lactulose enters the colon and is exposed to the colonic bacteria.

Hydrogen breath testing for overgrowth also may be done utilizing glucose as the test sugar.

Treatment:
The treatment of excessive intestinal gas depends on the cause. If there is maldigestion of specific sugars-lactose, sorbitol, or fructose–the offending sugars can be eliminated from the diet. In the case of lactose in milk, an alternative treatment is available. Enzymes that are similar to intestinal lactase can be added to the milk in order to break down the lactose prior to its ingestion so that it can be absorbed normally

Some people find that yogurt, in which the lactose has been broken down partially by bacteria, produces less gas than milk.

There also are certain types of vegetables and fruits that contain types of starches that are poorly digested by people but well digested by bacteria.

These include beans, lentils, cabbage, brussel sprouts, onions, carrots, bananas, apricots, and prunes.

Reducing the intake of these vegetables and fruits, as well as foods made from whole grains, should reduce gas and flatulence. However, the list of gas-producing foods is rather long, and it may be difficult to eliminate them all without severely restricting the diet.

When maldigestion is due to pancreatic insufficiency, then supplemental pancreatic enzymes can be ingested with meals to replace the missing enzymes.

If maldigestion and/or malabsorption is caused by disease of the intestinal lining, the specific disease must be identified, most commonly through a small bowel biopsy. Then, treatment can be targeted for that condition.

For example, if celiac disease is found on the biopsy, a gluten-free diet can be started.

An interesting form of treatment for excessive gas is alpha-D-galactosidase, an enzyme that is produced by a mold. This enzyme, commercially available as Beano, is consumed as either a liquid or tablet with meals.

This enzyme is able to break down some of the difficult-to-digest polysaccharides in vegetables so that they may be absorbed. This prevents them from reaching the colonic bacteria and causing unnecessary production of gas. Beano has been shown to be effective in decreasing the incidence of intestinal gas.

Two other types of treatment have been promoted for the treatment of gas;

*simethicone and
*activated charcoal.

It is unclear if simethicone has an effect on gas in the stomach. However, it has no effect on the formation of gas in the colon.

Moreover, in the stomach, simethicone would be expected only to affect swallowed air, which, as previously mentioned, is an uncommon cause of excessive intestinal gas.

Nevertheless, some individuals are convinced that simethicone helps them. Activated charcoal has been shown to reduce the formation of gas in the colon, though the way in which it does so is unknown.

If there is a physical obstruction to the emptying of the stomach or passage of food, liquid, and gas through the small intestine, then surgical correction of the obstruction is required.

If the obstruction is functional, medications that promote activity of the muscles of the stomach and small intestine are given. Examples of these medicines are erythromycin or metoclopramide (Reglan).

Bacterial overgrowth of the small bowel is usually treated with antibiotics. However, this treatment is frequently only temporarily effective or not effective at all.

When antibiotics provide only a temporary benefit, it may be necessary to treat patients intermittently or even continuously with antibiotics. If antibiotics are not effective, probiotics (e.g., lactobacillus) can be tried although their use in bacterial overgrowth has not been studied. This condition may be difficult to treat.

Click to see Natural Home Remedies.………...(1).…….(2)

.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.healthline.com/
http://www.kidzworld.com/article/756-the-ins-and-outs-of-burping
http://www.elderlynursing.com/bloating_detail.htm

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Sitting Straight ‘Bad for Backs’

Sitting up straight is not the best position for office workers, a study has suggested.

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Scottish and Canadian researchers used a new form of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to show it places an unnecessary strain on your back

They told the Radiological Society of North America that the best position in which to sit at your desk is leaning slightly back, at about 135 degrees.

Experts said sitting was known to contribute to lower back pain.

Data from the British Chiropractic Association says 32% of the population spends more than 10 hours a day seated

Half do not leave their desks, even to have lunch.

Two thirds of people also sit down at home when they get home from work.

Spinal angles

The research was carried out at Woodend Hospital in Aberdeen, Scotland.

Twenty two volunteers with healthy backs were scanned using a positional MRI machine, which allows patients the freedom to move – so they can sit or stand – during the test.

“Our bodies are not designed to be so sedentary” says Rishi Loatey, British Chiropractic Association

Traditional scanners mean patients have to lie flat, which may mask causes of pain that stem from different movements or postures.

In this study, the patients assumed three different sitting positions: a slouching position, in which the body is hunched forward as if they were leaning over a desk or a video game console, an upright 90-degree sitting position; and a “relaxed” position where they leaned back at 135 degrees while their feet remained on the floor.

The researchers then took measurements of spinal angles and spinal disk height and movement across the different positions.

Spinal disk movement occurs when weight-bearing strain is placed on the spine, causing the disk to move out of place.

Disk movement was found to be most pronounced with a 90-degree upright sitting posture.

It was least pronounced with the 135-degree posture, suggesting less strain is placed on the spinal disks and associated muscles and tendons in a more relaxed sitting position.

The “slouch” position revealed a reduction in spinal disk height, signifying a high rate of wear and tear on the lowest two spinal levels.

When they looked at all test results, the researchers said the 135-degree position was the best for backs, and say this is how people should sit.

‘Tendency to slide’

Dr Waseem Bashir of the Department of Radiology and Diagnostic Imaging at the University of Alberta Hospital, Canada, who led the study, said: “Sitting in a sound anatomic position is essential, since the strain put on the spine and its associated ligaments over time can lead to pain, deformity and chronic illness.”

Rishi Loatey of the British Chiropractic Association said: “One in three people suffer from lower back pain and to sit for long periods of time certainly contributes to this, as our bodies are not designed to be so sedentary.”

Levent Caglar from the charity BackCare, added: “In general, opening up the angle between the trunk and the thighs in a seated posture is a good idea and it will improve the shape of the spine, making it more like the natural S-shape in a standing posture.

“As to what is the best angle between thigh and torso when seated, reclining at 135 degrees can make sitting more difficult as there is a tendency to slide off the seat: 120 degrees or less may be better.”

You may click to see also:->Why back pain is hard to beat

Research finds knack to bad backs

Bed back pain theory thrown out

Office workers risk back strain
School books – a pain in the back

Women ‘putting up with back pain’

Back Car

Sources: BBC NEWS:

Hiccup

Definition:

A hiccup or hiccough (normally pronounced “HICK-up,) is a spasmodic contraction of the diaphragm that typically repeats several times per minute. In humans, the abrupt rush of air into the lungs causes the epiglottis to close, creating the “hic” listen (help·info) noise. In medicine, it is known as synchronous diaphramatic flutter (SDF), or singultus. The term “hiccup” is also used to describe a small and unrepeated aberration in an otherwise consistent pattern.

A bout of hiccups generally resolves itself without intervention, although many home remedies claim to shorten the duration, and medication is occasionally necessary.

Causes
While many cases develop spontaneously, hiccups are known to be triggered by specific events, such as eating too quickly, being hungry for long, taking a cold drink while eating a hot meal, belching, eating very hot or spicy food, laughing vigorously or coughing, drinking alcoholic beverages in excess, crying out loud (sobbing causes air to enter the stomach), some smoking situations where abnormal inhalation can occur (in tobacco or other smoke like cannabis, perhaps triggered by precursors to coughing), electrolyte imbalance, talking too long, clearing the throat, or from lack of vitamins. Hiccups may be caused by pressure to the phrenic nerve by other anatomical structures, or having the sensation that there is food in the esophagus, rarely by tumors and certain kidney disease. The American Cancer Society reports that 30% of chemotherapy patients suffer singultus as a side effect of treatment.

People have been pondering the precise cause of hiccups for thousands of years. Ancient Greek physician Galen, for example, hypothesized that hiccups were simply violent emotions that began in the stomach and erupted out the mouth. This hypothesis has not exactly been disproved, but since then, we have come up with many more.

We know what happens during a hiccup. During normal breathing, we take in air from the mouth and nose, and it flows through the pharynx, past the glottis and into the larynx and trachea, ending in the lungs. The diaphragm, a large muscle between the chest and abdomen, aids this airflow. It moves down when we inhale, and then up when we exhale. The phrenic nerves control the movement and sensation of the diaphragm. Any irritation to these nerves induces a spasm of the diaphragm. This spasm causes a person to take a short, quick breath that is then interrupted by the closing of the epiglottis (a flap that protects the glottis, the space between the vocal cords). The sudden closing creates the sound we all know as a hiccup.

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So, hiccups are the result of diaphragm spasms. But what causes the irritation that leads to the spasm? There are only a few culprits for common hiccups, which usually disappear within a few minutes. One of the main irritants is a full stomach — a result of swallowing too much food or air. A distended stomach pushes against the phrenic nerves of the diaphragm, increasing the possibility of irritation and, therefore, hiccups. A full stomach of spicy food can do double damage — hot foods can be especially irritating to those nerves. As any smoker on a bender can tell you, excess smoking and drinking alcohol can also cause hiccups. A rapid temperature change outside or inside your stomach, from a cold night or a hot beverage, can be irritating enough to induce hiccups. Finally, emotions — shock, excitement and stress — can also trigger a hiccup fit.
Persistent and intractable hiccups can have more serious causes. There are hundreds, from hysteria to heart attacks, but most fit into one of five categories: central nervous system problems, metabolic problems, nerve irritation, anesthesia or surgery, and mental health issues. Because these causes are so varied and potentially serious, anyone suffering from hiccups for more than 48 hours should head straight to a doctor.

You may click to see also:->Why we hiccup

What Causes hiccups that just won’t go away?

anesthesia – asthma – cancer – fear – fever – foreign body in the ear glaucoma – heart attack – hernia – hysteria – infection – kidney failure meningitis – multiple sclerosis – personality disorders – pharyngitis sedatives – shock – stroke – trauma

The Hiccup Hall of Fame..(Long-term cases)
Persistent or intractable hiccups are more common in men than in women and tend to occur during adulthood. Charles Osborne, who hiccuped for 68 years (1922-1990), earned the Guinness Book of World Records title for Longest Hiccup Attack. A Florida teenager named Jennifer Mee hiccuped for five long weeks in 2007 only to have them return a few weeks later (she is hiccup-free as of this posting). Another Florida resident, Jaime Molisee, hiccuped for more than eight months. David Willis of Northern Ireland has undergone two unsuccessful surgeries in an effort to end his five-year hiccup ordeal.

Phylogenetic hypothesis:
Christian Straus and co-workers at the Respiratory Research Group, University of Calgary, Canada, propose that the hiccup is an evolutionary remnant of earlier amphibian respiration; amphibians such as frogs gulp air and water via a rather simple motor reflex akin to mammalian hiccuping. In support of this idea, they observe that the motor pathways that enable hiccuping form early during fetal development, before the motor pathways that enable normal lung ventilation form; thus according to recapitulation theory the hiccup is evolutionarily antecedent to advanced lung respiration. Additionally, they point out that hiccups and amphibian gulping are inhibited by elevated CO2 and can be completely stopped by the drug Baclofen (a GABAB receptor agonist), illustrating a shared physiology and evolutionary heritage. These proposals would explain why premature infants spend 2.5% of their time hiccuping, indeed they are gulping just like amphibians, as their lungs are not yet fully formed.

Amniotic/atmospheric hypothesis:
Ultrasound scans have also shown that babies in-utero experience hiccups. The amniotic/atmospheric hypothesis suggests that hiccups are a muscle exercise for the respiratory system prior to birth, or that they prevent amniotic fluid from entering the lungs. The amniotic/atmospheric hypothesis holds that there are two distinct systems in the brain for controlling respiration: one that is used when the fetus is respiring amniotic fluid during its time in the womb, and another that only comes into use following birth, used for breathing air. Since amniotic fluid is much more viscous than air, a much greater effort is required from the diaphragm to inhale it. If this amniotic breathing system becomes dominant for any reason during life outside the womb, the result will be a momentary, very forceful effort at inhalation. The body senses that things are not correct, and since so much force is actually dangerous to the lungs and other organs, the system is immediately preempted and switched back to the atmospheric system. However, this preemptive control gradually relaxes, making the phenomenon cyclic as long as there is underlying activation of the amniotic respiration system: as the preemptive control falls below the threshold, the amniotic routine resumes control, only to be preempted again, and this cycle continues until the underlying conditions leading to the amniotic breathing activation revert to their normal state – at which point the hiccups stop. This theory is supported by the finding that hiccups are more common in premature newborns, as in these cases the atmospheric respiration system is less prepared to take precedence over the amniotic respiration system.

Signs and symptoms:
The characteristic sound of a hiccup, sometimes preceded by a small tightening sensation in your chest, abdomen or throat, are the only signs and symptoms associated with hiccups. People may have as few as four hiccups a minute or, rarely, as many as 60 hiccups a minute.
How long your hiccup episode lasts determines the type of hiccups you have:

  • Transient or acute hiccups. This is the most common form of hiccups. Transient hiccups include hiccup episodes that last less than 48 hours. Most bouts of transient hiccups last only a few minutes.
  • Persistent hiccups. These hiccups last longer than 48 hours, but less than a month.
  • Intractable hiccups. Hiccups fall into this category when they last more than two months.

Medical treatment:
Ordinary hiccups are cured easily without medical intervention; in most cases they can be stopped simply by forgetting about them. However, there are a number of anecdotally prescribed treatments for casual cases of hiccups. These include being startled, drinking water while upside down, eating something very sweet, or tart (particularly lemon juice), or both , and anything that interrupts one’s breathing. Another method is to exhale air into a small paper bag and to immediately re-inhale that air from it.

Hiccups are treated medically only in severe and persistent (termed “intractable”) cases, such as in the case of a 15 year old girl who in 2007 hiccuped continuously for five weeks. Haloperidol (Haldol, an anti-psychotic and sedative), metoclopramide (Reglan, a gastrointestinal stimulant), and chlorpromazine (Thorazine, an anti-psychotic with strong sedative effects) are used in cases of intractable hiccups. In severe or resistant cases, baclofen, an anti-spasmodic, is sometimes required to suppress hiccups. Effective treatment with sedatives often requires a dose that renders the person either unconscious or highly lethargic. Hence, medicating singultus is done short-term, as the affected individual cannot continue with normal life activities while taking the medication.

Persistent and intractable hiccups due to electrolyte imbalance (hypokalemia, hyponatremia) may benefit from drinking a carbonated beverage containing salt to normalize the potassium-sodium balance in the nervous system. The carbonation promotes quicker absorption.

The administration of intranasal vinegar is thought to be safe and handy method to stimulate dorsal wall of nasopharynx, where the pharyngeal branch of the glossopharyngeal nerve (afferent of the hiccup reflex arc) is distributed.

Dr. Bryan R. Payne, a neurosurgeon at the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in New Orleans, has had some success with an experimental new procedure in which a vagus nerve stimulator is implanted in the upper chest of patients with an intractable case of hiccups. “It sends rhythmic bursts of electricity to the brain by way of the vagus nerve, which passes through the neck. The Food and Drug Administration approved the vagus nerve stimulator in 1997 as a way to control seizures in some patients with epilepsy. In 2005, the agency endorsed the use of the stimulator as a treatment of last resort for people with severe depression.”

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Op cures year-long hiccups bout

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Home Remedies:

The following are some commonly suggested home remedies. While numerous remedies are offered, they mostly fall into a few broad categories. These categories include purely psychosomatic cures centered around relaxation and distraction, cures involving swallowing and eating (with the rationale generally that this would remove irritants or reset mechanisms in the affected region), and cures involving controlled/altered breathing.

The first two categories may prove effective for many short lived and minor cases of hiccups. For instance, with an assistant applying pressure to one’s ears, drinking any quantity of liquid whilst holding one’s nose is a common home remedy for hiccups. However, those suffering from an intractable case may become desperate sorting through various ineffective home remedies. Many of the cures centered around controlled breathing (i.e. holding breath) are often ineffective for prolonged hiccups crises, but do have a significant efficacy for the most casual, short lasting cases. For these scenarios, the underlying rationale could be the displacement of an irritated nerve through prolonged diaphragmatic expansion.

However, one respiratory remedy has a fairly sound rationale underlying it. Breathing into a bag or small enclosed container (ensuring that it is completely sealed around the mouth and nose) induces a state that is termed respiratory acidosis . The effect is caused by increasing the amount of inspired carbon dioxide, which then increases the level of carbon dioxide in the serum. These increased levels of CO2 lower the pH in the blood, hence creating a state of acidosis. This state of acidosis produces vasodilation and depression of the central nervous system. The effect allows for increased blood flow to the affected muscles, and suppression of the aberrant nervous impulses. Inducing a state of acidemia through hypoventilation is particularly effective in curing hiccups because the diaphragm rests directly against the pulmonary vasculature that is then flowing with especially low pH blood. This is a potentially dangerous action; and should only be done with another person present. As the serum CO2 level rises abruptly, the person will begin to feel lightheaded and within a few minutes will pass out. If done without a spotter, the person might either injure him or herself as he or she passes out, or pass out in such a way that the bag or container continues to prevent oxygen intake (see also asphyxia ).

Additionally, another respiratory remedy appears to be one of the most effective in treating persistent hiccups. One breathes out all the air that he is able to in one long exhalation then breathes in all the air he feels he possibly can in one continuous inhalation. The person then attempts to breathe in even more air in a series of short powerful puffs, until his lungs cannot hold any more. The person remains in this state for as long as he feels a small gas bubble coming at the very base of the throat, ready to be burped. Although the success rate is not 100%, many people find this method consistently works. One scientific explanation for this method is that, by breathing an extreme load of air, the lungs tend to take more space in the chest, applying pressure on the surrounding content. The so-called gas bubble, which was located in an abnormal location potentially disturbing a nerve and causing the spasm, is then released.

Psychosomatic

  • Distraction from one’s hiccup (e.g. being startled, asked a perplexing question, or counting in reverse from 100 down or reciting the alphabet in reverse.)
  • Concentration on one’s hiccups – using sheer will to stop them
  • While standing and concentrating on relaxation, extend the right arm and point with the index finger at a point to your right, and exhale. While inhaling, bring the tip of the index finger to the nose, and hold the breath for a moment – then exhale, dropping the finger away from the nose.

Respiratory

  • Cutting air off from the esophagus. This is done by tipping one’s head forward and downward as far as possible. It usually takes a minute. This usually does not work the first time.
  • Similar to above, tip your head forward and downward as far as comfortably possible and then drink from the opposite side of a cup. (You will be pouring the liquid AWAY from your body and towards your head).
  • “Isometric Breathing”. IE: Breathing slowly and deeply in while thinking ‘breathing out’ and breathing slowly and fully out while thinking ‘breathing in’
  • Holding one’s breath while optionally squeezing one’s stomach
  • Breathing deeply through the nose, then exhaling slowly through the mouth. This is also a Lamage technique.
  • Exhaling all the air from one’s lungs and holding one’s breath while swallowing water or saliva
  • Blowing up a balloon
  • Inducing sneezing
  • Insert fingers in ears and hold breath for as long as possible
  • Take a gulp of water or liquid, hold in mouth, insert fingers in ears and swallow while fingers are still in ears. Repeat a few times.
  • Attempting to burp
  • Take a deep breath and hold it for until you feel the first pain wave, which means that your body has gotten over its hiccup, then wait for second pain wave which indicated you’ve ran out of oxygen, and breathe out
  • Exhaling all the air of one’s lung and holding it until one can (theoretically stops the spasm on the diaphragm).
  • Take a deep breath, hold it for 30 seconds then exhale as slowly as possible while making a growling sound.

Other

  • Make out with someone. The sucking action during deep kisses stops the hiccups.
  • In babies, hiccups are usually immediately stopped by the sucking reflux , either by breastfeeding or simply by insertion of a finger, bottle teat or dummy into the baby’s mouth.
  • Pinch your ear lobe and breathe normally. Can turn into second-nature (psychosmatic).
  • Close your eyes and look up as far as possible.
  • Drinking a good amount of water
  • Take 10 sips of water
  • Chew a spoonful of peanut butter slowly, or put sugar on the tongue.
  • Slowly swallow a spoonful of sugar.
  • Mix sugar into a cup of water and drink slowly
  • Eat a pickle.
  • Press tongue hard against roof of mouth.
  • Digital rectal massage.
  • Plug your ears with your thumbs, and use your pinkies to plug both nostrils and hold your breath until cessation of hiccups.
  • Stick your tongue out for 5 seconds and then exhale and inhale and then suck on your thumb.

Click to see :->How to Get Rid of Hiccups

.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://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hiccup
http://health.howstuffworks.com/hiccup.htm/printable
http://www.revolutionhealth.com/articles/hiccups/7F6DD57E-E7FF-0DBD-1ABC5BABB890BFAC?section=section_01

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Eat Spinach for Better Health.

If you want bulging biceps like Popeye the sailor, then all you have to do is eat his favourite food – spinach.

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And, saying this are scientists from Rutgers University who have found that the green vegetable really does boost strength. The secret behind this, they reveal, is that spinach contains phytoecdysteroids, a type of steroid that increases the development of muscles.

As a part of their study the researchers used extracts of phytoecdysteriods on lab samples of human muscle, and found that it speeded up muscle growth by 20%. According to the New Scientist, on conducting trials on rats, the researchers found that spinach extracts made the rodents stronger within a month, the Daily Express reported on Thursday.

Researchers state that eating spinach is not only a good idea if you want strong muscles, but also if you want to keep eye disease, teeth, gum problems and anaemia at bay. But it does suggest the US creators of the famous nautical hero were ahead of their time.

It is said they toyed with the idea of making garlic Popeye’s strength enhancer when they devised the original comic strip in 1919 – but by 1932 he was eating spinach to give him almost superhuman powers.

Spinach was chosen because it was known to be extremely healthy. It was used as a cure for scurvy because it was rich in iron, although it actually contains less iron than many other vegetables. But since then more and more health-giving properties of spinach have been discovered.

Apart from this, it has also been found to have heart benefits. Research has shown that the vegetable can strengthen hearts, reduce the risk of a heart attack and boost survival rates by a third for attack victims.

However, getting biceps like Popeye will not be an easy task for the researchers also stated that to do so, you would need to eat at least a kilo of spinach a day.

Spinach became one of trendiest foods in Britain and sales soared by 30% in 2006 after TV chefs and health gurus backed it as something essential for health.

“Spinach is the broom of the stomach.” French Proverb

You may click to see also:->

Spinach Recipe

Spinach Can Reduce Ovarian Cancer Risks

Can Spinach save your eyesight?

Sources: The Times Of India

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