Tag Archives: Migraine

Compound In Chili Peppers Protects Heart

The main component found in chili peppers has been shown to prevent and reduce heart damage during a heart attack, according to a new study.

The study published in the journal Circulation, finds that applying capsaicin, which is the main component in chili peppers and the active ingredient in some common pain creams, to specific skin areas on mice caused sensory nerves in the skin to trigger signals in the nervous system.

These signals activate cellular “pro-survival” pathways in the heart which protect the muscle, the article further explains.

“If proven effective in humans, this therapy has the potential to reduce injury or death in the event of a coronary blockage, thereby reducing the extent and consequences of heart attack,” says Keith Jones, a researcher at the University of Cincinnati where the study was performed.

Capsaicin, which is used topically to treat pain, produces a hot feeling on the skin. It is approved for use by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
The research further supports the value of chili peppers as a natural health resource.

Chili peppers, which are high in vitamin C, have already been shown to help fight migraine headaches, relieve sinus congestion and aid digestion.

Source: Better Health Research. Dec. 17th.2009

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Natural Stress Relieve Remedies

Everyone has some sort of stress in their lives. In today’s world many of us try to juggle a job, family life and much more. Juggling all these things can lead to stress and stress can be horrible to  deal with because it affects every part of your daily life. These natural remedies will help you deal with your stress and make each day just a little bit easier.

Natural Remedy for Stress Relief:-

1.: Laugh!.
Did you know that laughing actually releases a chemical in your body that will help lighten your moods? By being able to laugh about your problems you will be able to get a clear perspective on the issue at hand. Not only that but more than likely you will be laughing with someone else and taking out your problem with a friend will also help relieve your stress. What is the best part about laughing other than it being a stress reliever? It’s also free!

2.: Work-Out..
Working out is a great way to relieve stress. It allows you to get out the tension that is building up in your body and also gives you time to think about the issue more clearly. If you have an over load of stress in your life head over to the gym, out for a run or a walk to clear your head.

3: Snacks in your Refrigerator..
If you have stress you are likely going to want to snack since this happens to many people. Don’t reach for the chocolate candy bars, instead head over to your refrigerator. Celery, cherries and lettuce all contain chemicals in the that will help ease your stress so snack on them anyway you like to help chase that stress away.

4: Baking Soda and Ginger..
Everyone knows that a warm bath can help relieve stress. Take it just a step further and add a ½ cup of both baking soda and ginger. This will help make your bath soothing both in the water texture and the aroma given off by the ginger.

5: Hot Tea
.
A warm drink always has a way of calming and soothing us. Choose a peppermint tea to gain a relaxing feeling that will help relieve your stress. If you don’t have peppermint tea you can always add a peppermint candy to any cup of tea. Sucking on a peppermint candy can also help relieve
stress on the go.

Stress is a natural thing in life. Being able to manage it is important and by using these natural home remedies to relieve stress you will feel better soon!

Source: Mail Online. July 19. 2009.

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Urinalysis

Definition :
Urinalysis is the physical, chemical, and microscopic examination of urine. It involves a number of tests to detect and measure various compounds that pass through the urine.

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It is a routine examination of the urine for cells, tiny structures, bacteria, and chemicals that suggest various illnesses. A urine culture attempts to grow large numbers of bacteria from a urine sample to diagnose a bacterial urine infection.


How the Test is Performed

A urine sample is needed. Your health care provider will tell you what type of urine sample is needed. For information on how to collect a urine sample, see:

*24-hour urine collection
*Clean catch urine specimen

There are three basic steps to a complete urinalysis:

1. Physical color and appearance:

*What does the urine look like to the naked eye?
*Is it clear or cloudy?
*Is it pale or dark yellow or another color?

The urine specific gravity test reveals how concentrated or dilute the urine is.

2.Microscopic appearance:

The urine sample is examined under a microscope. This is done to look at cells, urine crystals, mucus, and other substances, and to identify any bacteria or other microorganisms that might be present.

3,Chemical appearance:

A special stick (“dipstick”) tests for various substances in the urine. The stick contains little pads of chemicals that change color when they come in contact with the substances of interest.

Click to See : Urine chemistry

How to Prepare for the Test:
For a regular urinalysis, you are asked to urinate briefly into a plastic cup. When urine is collected for a urine culture, you must provide a “clean catch” sample – one that is not contaminated by skin cells and skin bacteria. This is so the doctor can obtain a sample of urine from inside your bladder, where normally there should be no bacteria. In contrast, there are many bacteria on the skin of a penis or in a vagina. The trick (harder for a woman than a man) is to pee directly into a sterile container without having the stream of urine first touch your skin or the nonsterile tissues of the vagina.

To collect a clean catch sample, you are given a sterile plastic container and asked to wipe off the area around your urethra (where urine exits) with an antiseptic cloth. For women, it’s also helpful to hold the two labia (outer walls) of the vagina apart with one hand when you urinate, so that the stream of urine passes directly into the sterile container. Since the first flow of urine is most likely to be contaminated by bacteria from around the opening of the urethra, first urinate for a moment into the toilet and then use the cup to collect the “middle” portion of your urine stream.

Certain medicines change the color of urine, but this is not a sign of disease. Your doctor may tell you to stop taking any medicines that can affect test results.

Medicines that can change your urine color include:

*Chloroquine
*Iron supplements
*Levodopa
*Nitrofurantoin
*Phenazopyridine
*Phenothiazines
*Phenytoin
*Riboflavin
*Triamterene

Why the Test is Performed :-

A urinalysis may be done:

As part of a routine medical exam to screen for early signs of disease
If you have signs of diabetes or kidney disease, or to monitor you if you are being treated for these conditions
To check for blood in the urine
To diagnose a urinary tract infection
Additional conditions under which the test may be performed:

*Acute bilateral obstructive uropathy
*Acute nephritic syndrome
*Acute tubular necrosis
*Acute unilateral obstructive uropathy
*Alkalosis
*Alport syndrome
*Analgesic nephropathy
*Anorexia nervosa
*Atheroembolic renal disease
*Atrial myxoma
*Bladder stones
*Chronic bilateral obstructive uropathy
*Chronic glomerulonephritis
*Chronic or recurrent urinary tract infection
*Chronic renal failure
*Chronic unilateral obstructive uropathy
*Chronic urethritis
*Complicated UTI (pyelonephritis)
*Congenital nephrotic syndrome
*Cystinuria
*Delirium
*Dementia
*Dementia due to metabolic causes
*Diabetes insipidus — central
*Diabetic nephropathy/sclerosis
*Enuresis
*Epididymitis
*Failure to thrive
*Focal segmental glomerulosclerosis
*Goodpasture’s syndrome
*Heart failure
*Hemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS)
*Henoch-Schonlein purpura
*Insulin-dependent diabetes (IDD)
*IgA nephropathy (Berger’s disease)
*Injury of the kidney and ureter
*Interstitial nephritis
*Irritable bladder
*Left-sided heart failure
*Lupus nephritis
*Malignant hypertension (arteriolar nephrosclerosis)
*Medullary cystic kidney disease
*Membranoproliferative GN I
*Membranoproliferative GN II
*Membranous nephropathy
*Myelomeningocele (children)
*Necrotizing vasculitis
*Nephrotic syndrome
*Noninsulin-dependent diabetes (NIDD)
*Orchitis
*Ovarian cancer
*Paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH)
*Polycystic kidney disease
*Post-streptococcal GN
*Prerenal azotemia
*Primary amyloid
*Prostate cancer
*Prostatitis, acute
*Prostatitis, chronic
*Prostatitis, non-bacterial
*Pyelonephritis; acute
*Rapidly progressive (crescentic) glomerulonephritis
*Reflux nephropathy
*Renal papillary necrosis
*Renal tubular acidosis; distal
*Renal tubular acidosis; proximal
*Renal vein thrombosis
*Retrograde ejaculation
*Rhabdomyolysis
*Right-sided heart failure
*Secondary systemic amyloid
*Stress incontinence
*Systemic lupus erythematosus
*Systemic sclerosis (scleroderma)
*Thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura
*Traumatic injury of the bladder and urethra
*Ureterocele
*Urethral stricture
*Urethritis
*Wegener’s granulomatosis
*Wilms’ tumor

RESULTS:

Normal Results
Normal urine may vary in color from almost colorless to dark yellow. Some foods (like beets and blackberries) may turn the urine a red color.

Usually, glucose, ketones, protein, bilirubin, are not detectable in urine. The following are not normally found in urine:

*Hemoglobin
*Nitrites
*Red blood cells
*White blood cells
Normal value ranges may vary slightly among different laboratories. Talk to your doctor about the meaning of your specific test results.

What Abnormal Results Mean
For specific results, see the individual test article:

*Bilirubin – urine
*Glucose – urine
*Protein – urine
*Red blood cells in urine test
*Urine ketones
*Urine pH
*Urine protein
*Urine specific gravity

How long is it before the result of the test is known?
Your doctor might be able to do a urinalysis in his or her office and can give you the results within 10-15 minutes. If the urine is sent to a separate laboratory, it usually takes several hours to get results, so you may not hear from your doctor until the next day. A urine culture takes 24 to 72 hours to complete, so you may not hear results for several days.

Resources:
https://www.health.harvard.edu/fhg/diagnostics/urinalysis.shtml
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003579.htm

http://www.hallvet.com.au/services/urinalysis.html

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Bone Marrow Biopsy

Introduction: Bone marrow is the spongy material found in the center of most large bones in the body. The different cells that make up blood are made in the bone marrow. Bone marrow produces red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. Along with a biopsy (the sampling of mostly solid tissue or bone), an aspiration (the sampling of mostly liquid) is often done at the same time.

…………….....CLICK & SEE

Doctors can diagnose many problems that cause anemia, some infections, and some kinds of leukemia or lymphoma cancers by examining a sample of your bone marrow (the tissue where blood cells are made). A bone marrow biopsy is the procedure to collect such a sample. It is done using a large needle inserted through the outside surface of a bone and into the middle of the bone, where the marrow is.

Why the procedure is performed: A bone marrow aspiration and biopsy procedure is done for many reasons.

*The test allows the doctor to evaluate your bone marrow function. It may aid in the diagnosis of low numbers of red blood cells (anemia), low numbers of white blood cells (leukopenia), or low numbers of platelets (thrombocytopenia), or a high number of these types of blood cells.

*The doctor can also determine the cause of some infections, diagnose tumors, determine how far a disease, such as lymphoma, has progressed, and evaluate the effectiveness of chemotherapy or other bone marrow active drugs.

*Where the procedure is performed: Bone marrow aspirations and biopsies can be performed in doctor’s offices, outpatient clinics, and hospitals. The procedure itself takes 10-20 minutes.

Preperation for the test:
You will need to sign a consent form giving your doctor permission to perform this test. Because you will probably receive some pain medicines or anti-anxiety medications that can make you drowsy, you will need to arrange a ride home.

Tell your doctor if you have ever had an allergic reaction to lidocaine or the numbing medicine used at the dentist’s office. Also talk with your doctor before the test if you are taking insulin, or if you take aspirin, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or other medicines that affect blood clotting. It may be necessary to stop or adjust the dose of these medicines before your test. Most people need to have a blood test done some time before the procedure to make sure they are not at high risk for bleeding complications.

*You may receive instructions about not eating food or drinking liquids before the procedure.

*Be sure to tell your doctor about any prescription medications, over-the-counter medications, as well as herbal supplements you are taking.

*Notify your doctor about all allergies, previous reactions to medications, if you have had any bleeding problems in the past, or if you are pregnant.

*Before the procedure, you will be asked to change into a patient gown.

*Your vital signs-blood pressure, heart rate, respiratory rate, and temperature-will be measured.

*Depending on your doctor, you may have an IV placed or your blood drawn.

*You may be given some medicine to help you relax.

*You may be asked to position yourself on your stomach or your side depending on the site the doctor chooses to use.

Risk Factors:
You will be asked to sign a consent form before the procedure. You will be notified of the alternatives as well as the potential risks and complications of this procedure.

Risks are minimal.

Possible risks include these:

*Persistent bleeding and infection

*Pain after the procedure

*A reaction to the local anesthetic or sedative

Having a sample taken is not harmful for your bone or bone marrow. Injury of nearby tissue from the biopsy is very uncommon. You might have some buttock soreness for a few days, and you may have some bruising at the biopsy site. A few individuals have an allergy or a side effect from the pain medicine or anti-anxiety medicine.

What happens when the test is performed?
Most patients have this test done by a hematologist in a clinic procedure area. You wear a hospital gown during the procedure. A sedative may be injected at this time. (If you are prescribed a sedative in pill form, you will be instructed to take it ahead of time.)

*Most patients have bone marrow sampled from the pelvis. You lie on your stomach and the doctor feels the bones at the top of your buttock. An area on your buttock is cleaned with soap. A local anesthetic is injected to numb the skin and the tissue underneath the skin in the sampling area. This causes some very brief stinging.

*The doctor will choose a place to withdraw bone marrow. Often this is the hip (pelvic bone), but it also can be done from the breastbone (sternum), lower leg bone (tibia), or backbone (vertebra).

*The chosen site will be cleaned with a special soap (iodine solution) or alcohol. After the skin is clean, sterile towels will be placed around the area. It is important that you do not touch this area once it has become sterile.

*Local anesthetic, usually lidocaine, will be injected with a tiny needle at the site. Initially, there may be a little sting followed by a burning sensation. After a few minutes, the site will become numb. A needle is then placed through the skin and into the bone. You may feel a pressure sensation.

*For the bone marrow aspiration, a small amount of bone marrow is then pulled into a syringe.

*A bone marrow biopsy is then usually performed. A somewhat larger needle is then put in the same place and a small sample of bone and marrow is taken up into the needle.

*After taking the liquid sample, the doctor carefully moves the needle a little bit further into the bone marrow to collect a second sample of marrow called a core biopsy. This core biopsy is a small solid piece of bone marrow, with not just the liquid and cells but also the fat and bone fibers that hold them together. After the needle is pulled out, this solid sample can be pushed out of the needle with a wire so that it can be examined under a microscope. Pressure is applied to your buttock at the biopsy location for a few minutes, until you are not at risk of bleeding. A bandage is placed on your buttock.
Must you do anything special after the test is over?
You will feel sleepy from the medicines used to reduce pain and anxiety.
After the local anesthetic wears off over the next few hours, you may have some discomfort at the biopsy site. Your doctor will advise you about pain medication.Once these medicines have worn off (a few hours after the test), you can return to normal activities, but you should not drive or drink alcohol for the rest of the day.

You should keep the bandage on for 48 hours, and then it should be removed.

After the test:
The samples taken from your bone marrow will be sent to a laboratory and the pathologist for analysis. Several tests are done including looking at the bone marrow under a microscope. The results of these tests will usually be available in a few days. Your doctor will give you instructions for follow-up.

When to Seek Medical Care:
Call your doctor if you notice signs of spreading redness, continued bleeding, fever, worsening pain, or if you have other concerns after this procedure.

Go to a hospital’s emergency department if these conditions develop:

*If your bleeding will not stop with direct pressure
*If you see thick discharge from the wound
*If you have a persistent fever
*If you feel lightheaded

How long is it before the result of the test is known?
Some parts of your bone marrow biopsy report may be available within a day, but some tests require special stains or tests that can take longer, in some cases up to one week.

Resources:
https://www.health.harvard.edu/fhg/diagnostics/bone-marrow-biopsy.shtml
http://www.emedicinehealth.com/bone_marrow_biopsy/article_em.htm

Feverfew

Botanical Name:Tanacetum parthenium
Family: Asteraceae
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Asterales
Genus: Tanacetum
Species: T. parthenium
Other Names: Altamisa, Amargosa, Bachelor’s Button, Feverfew, Flirtwort, Manzanilla, Featherfew, Featherfoil, Wild Chamomile

synonyms: Chrysanthemum parthenium (L.) Bernh. and Pyrethrum parthenium (L.) Sm.

Parts Used: Leaves and flowers in extract, infusion, and dried in capsules.
Habitat: Native to southwest Europe and was brought to America originally as an ornamental. It is commercially cultivated in Japan, Africa and Europe. Greek and European herbalists traditionally used it to reduce fevers.

Description:    Feverfew is a hearty perennial that will produce an abundant supply of blossoms. It prefers full sun or partial shade and well-drained average soil.Feverfew is a traditional medicinal herb which is found in many old gardens, and is also occasionally grown for ornament. The plant grows into a small bush up to around 18 inches high, with citrus-scented leaves and is covered by flowers reminiscent of daisies. It spreads rapidly, and they will cover a wide area after a few years.

You may click to see  pictures of Feverfew

The leaves have a refreshing aromatic aroma. Growing to 2 1/2 feet the stem is upright, erect, hairy, finely furrowed and branching. Strongly aromatic leaves are alternate, hairless, toothed, light green about 4 inches long, and divided into broad, lobed segments. The lower leaves are bipinnate with oval shaped leaflets. Many daisy-like flower heads (composite) bloom June-August, with white ray flowers surrounding nearly flat yellow centers, growing to about 1 inch across. Gather entire plant in bloom, dry for later use.

Cultivation: A very easily grown plant, it succeeds in an ordinary garden soil, plants can even be grown in walls.

Medicinal Uses:   Feverfew is edible and medicinal. has a good reputation as alternative medicine and extensive research has proved it to be of special benefit in the treatment of certain types of migraine headaches and rheumatism or arthritis. The plant is rich in sesquiterpene lactones, the principal one being parthenolide. Parthenolide helps prevent excessive clumping of platelets and inhibits the release of certain chemicals, including serotonin and some inflammatory mediators. Constituents of Feverfew are Volatile oils, containing pinene and several pinene derivatives, bornylacetate and angelate, costic acid, b-farnesine and spiroketalenol ethers. Other constituents include essential oils, flavonoid glycosides, pinene derivatives and costic acid. Feverfew should be taken regularly to receive maximum benefit and protection from migraines. The leaves and flowering heads are antiinflammatory, antispasmodic, aperient, bitter, carminative, emmenagogue, sedative, stimulant, stomachic, vasodilator and vermifuge. An infusion made from the whole plant is used in the treatment of arthritis, colds, fevers, as a sedative and to regulate menses. Also used as a foot bath for swollen feet. Applied externally as a tincture, the plant is used in the treatment of bruises. Chewing several leaves a day has proven to be effective in preventing some migraine headaches. Feverfew’s sedative properties make it useful in hysterical complaints, nervousness, low spirits, and is a general tonic. Also said to be good as a syrup for coughs, wheezing and breathing difficulties. The dried flower buds are said to have the same properties as pyrethrum, and used as an insecticide. An essential oil from the plant is used in perfumery.

Parthenion is the Greek word for girl. Feverfew is Elizabethan English and comes from febrifuge, an old medical term for a medicine that reduces fever. Feverfew is an effective remedy for migraine. Parthenolide appears to inhibit the release of the hormone serotonin that triggers migraine. It has also been shown to reduce fever, hence the name Feverfew.

Feverfew has been used for reducing fever, for treating headaches, arthritis and digestive problems. It is hypothesized that by inhibiting the release of serotonin and prostaglandins, both of which are believed to aid the onset of migraines, feverfew limits the inflammation of blood vessels in the head. This would, in theory, stop the blood vessel spasm which is believed to contribute to headaches. The active ingredients in feverfew include parthenolide and tanetin. Capsules or tablets of feverfew generally contain at least 205 mcg. parthenolide; however, it might take four to six weeks before they become effective, and feverfew is not a remedy for acute migraine attacks. Parthenolide has also been found recently in 2005 to induce cell death in leukemia cancer stem cells.

Recently, feverfew has been used by Aveeno skincare brand to calm red and irritated skin.

The herb has a long history of use in traditional and folk medicine as a treatment for disorders often controlled by aspirin, such as fever, headaches and some of the accompanying symptoms such as nausea and depression.

Recently feverfew has been gaining fame as a effective treatment for migraine headaches. It may also help ease diseases caused by chronic inflammation such as arthritis. It is an aromatic plant with a strong and lasting odor, it has been used externally as an insect repellent and for treating insect bites.

It is the combination of ingredients in the feverfew plant that brings such effective relief. It works to inhibit the release of two inflammatory substances, serotonin and prostaglandins, both believed to contribute to the onset of migraines. By inhibiting these amines as well as the production of the chemical histamine, the herb controls inflammation that constricts the blood vessels in the head, and prevents blood vessel spasms which may contribute to headaches.

The plant is rich in sesquiterpene lactones, the principal one being parthenolide. Other constituents include essential oils, flavonoid glycosides, pinene derivatives and costic acid. Feverfew should be taken regularly to receive maximum benefit and protection from migraines.

The tea, drunk cold, may also relieve skin perspiration associated with migraines, and has been used to stimulate appetite, and improve digestion and kidney function.

Clinical tests have shown the use of feverfew may reduce of frequency and severity of headaches. It may be more effective than other nonsteroidal antiinflammatories (NSAIDS), like aspirin. Additional benefits include lower blood pressure, less stomach irritation and a renewed sense of well-being.

It may also relieve dizziness, tinnitus, and painful or sluggish menstruation. Its extracts have been claimed to relieve asthma, coughs, dermatitis and worms.

Common Use: The herb has historically been used as remedy for headache, inflammation and as a general substitute for ailments treated with aspirin. Its most popular use is for the prevention of migraine headaches and associated symptoms. Pregnant women should not use the herb, and some people have developed mouth ulcers or experienced loss of taste from eating the fresh leaves.

The herb has been used since Roman times to induce menstruation. It is given in difficult births to aid expulsion of the placenta. It has not been shown to cause uterine contractions, but because of its history in promoting menstruation pregnant women should probably not use it.

In South America where feverfew is naturalized, it has been effective for colic, stomachahe, morning sickness and kidney pains. In Costa Rica, it has also been employed as a digestive aid and emmenagogue. Mexicans have used it as a sitz bath to regulate menstruation as well as an antispasmodic and tonic.

Feverfew is useful for cats as an alternative to aspirin, which is toxic to felines. Use a glycerin-based tincture or a cooled tea with a dose of 12-20 drops of the tincture or ? tsp of a strong tea for each 20 pounds of the animal?s weight, twice daily. Pets can be bathed in a cooled tea as a flea rinse.

CAUTION:Adverse effects include: gastrointestinal distress, mouth ulcers, and antiplatelet actions. Feverfew should not be used during pregnancy because of the stimulant action on the womb. The fresh leaves may cause mouth ulcers in sensitive people.

Recipe
Infusion: TO 1 oz. of dry herb add a pint of boiling water, allowed to cool, take in half cup doses 3 times a day.
The dried flowers and plant are used as a flavoring in cooking to give food a deliciously aromatic bitter taste.

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.kcweb.com/herb/feverfew.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feverfew
http://www.herbalextractsplus.com/feverfew.cfm

http://www.piam.com/mms_garden/plants.html

http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Tanacetum+parthenium