Categories
Herbs & Plants

Cinnamodendron corticosum

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 Botanical Name : Cinnamodendron corticosum
Family: Canellaceae
Genus: Cinnamodendron
Species: C. corticosum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Canellales

Synonyms: Red Canella. Mountain Cinnamon.

Part Used: Dried bark. 

Habitat: Cinnamodendron corticosum is native to Jamaica.

Description:
Cinnamodendron corticosum is a species of flowering plant.The bark is pungent like Winter’s Bark, but a much paler brown colour, resembling canella bark, but without its chalky white inner surface. It has a ferruginous grey-brown colour, darker externally, with scars of the nearly circular subereous warts smooth and finely striated on the inner surface. Like canella bark in odour and pungent taste but is not bitter.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES :

Constituents & Medicinal Uses :
Volatile oil and tannic acid, it may be distinguished from canella bark by its decoction becoming blackened by a persalt of iron, can be used for the same diseases as Winter’s Bark. In South America it is much used for diarrhoea, etc.
Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.
Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cinnamodendron_corticosum
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/w/winfal26.html

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Categories
Ailmemts & Remedies Pediatric

Torticollis

Alternative Names : Wry neck; Loxia

DEFINITION:
Torticollis is a twisted neck in which the head is tipped to one side, while the chin is turned to the other.It is a stiff neck associated with muscle spasm, classically causing lateral flexion contracture of the cervical spine musculature. The muscles affected are principally those supplied by the spinal accessory nerve.

CLICK  &  SEE THE PICTURES

Symptoms:
•Limited range of motion of the head
•Headache
•Head tremor
•Neck pain
•Shoulder is higher on one side of the body
•Stiffness of neck muscles
•Swelling of the neck muscles (possibly present at birth)

Types of Torticollis:

Temporary Torticollis: This type of wry neck usually disappears after one or two days. It can be caused by:

*swollen lymph nodes
*an ear infection
*a cold
*an injury to the head and neck that causes swelling

Fixed Torticollis:  Fixed torticollis is also called acute torticollis or permanent torticollis. It is usually due to a problem with muscle or bone structure.

Muscular Torticollis:
This is the most common type of fixed torticollis. It is caused by scarring or tight muscles on one side of the neck

Klippel-Feil Syndrome:
This is a congenital form of wry neck. It occurs when the bones in an infant’s neck have formed incorrectly. Children born with this condition may have difficulty with hearing and vision.

Cervical Dystonia:
This rare disorder is sometimes referred to as spasmodic torticollis. It causes neck muscles to contract in spasms. If you have cervical dystonia, your head twists or turns painfully to one side. It may also tilt forward or backward. Cervical dystonia sometimes goes away without treatment. However, there is a risk of recurrence.

This type of wry neck  or Torticollis can happen to anyone. However, it is most commonly diagnosed in middle age. It affects more women than men.

CAUSES:
Torticollis  can be inherited. It can also develop in the womb. This may happen if the fetus’ head is in the wrong position. It can also be caused by damage to the muscles or blood supply to the neck.

Anyone can develop wry neck after a muscle or nervous system injury. However, most of the time, the cause of wry neck is not known. This is called idiopathic torticollis.

DIAGNOSIS:
Evaluation of a child with torticollis begins with history taking to determine circumstances surrounding birth and any possibility of trauma or associated symptoms. Physical examination reveals decreased rotation and bending to the side opposite from the affected muscle. Some say that congenital cases more often involve the right side, but there is not complete agreement about this in published studies. Evaluation should include a thorough neurologic examination, and the possibility of associated conditions such as developmental dysplasia of the hip and clubfoot should be examined. Radiographs of the cervical spine should be obtained to rule out obvious bony abnormality, and MRI should be considered if there is concern about structural problems or other conditions.

Evaluation by an ophthalmologist should be considered in children to ensure that the torticollis is not caused by vision problems (IV cranial nerve palsy, nystagmus-associated “null position,” etc.). Most cases in infants respond well to physical therapy. Other causes should be treated as noted above.

TREATMENT:
Common treatments  might involve a multi-phase process:

1.Low-impact exercise to increase strong form neck stability
2.Manipulation of the neck by a chiropractor, physical therapist, or D.O.†
3.Extended heat application.
4.Repetitive shiatsu massage.

†An Osteopathic Physician (D.O.) may choose to use Cranial techniques to properly position the occipital condyles – thereby relieving compression of cranial nerve XI in children with Torticollis. This is an example of Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment.

Acquired torticollis:
Acquired torticollis occurs because of another problem and usually presents in previously normal children and adults…..

*A self-limiting spontaneously occurring form of torticollis with one or more painful neck muscles is by far the most common (‘stiff neck’) and will pass spontaneously in 1–4 weeks. Usually the sternocleidomastoid muscle or the trapezius muscle is involved. Sometimes draughts, colds or unusual postures are implicated; however in many cases no clear cause is found. These episodes are rarely seen by doctors other than a family physician.

*Trauma to the neck can cause atlantoaxial rotatory subluxation, in which the two vertebrae closest to the skull slide with respect to each other, tearing stabilizing ligaments; this condition is treated with traction to reduce the subluxation, followed by bracing or casting until the ligamentous injury heals.

*Tumors of the skull base (posterior fossa tumors) can compress the nerve supply to the neck and cause torticollis, and these problems must be treated surgically.

*Infections in the posterior pharynx can irritate the nerves supplying the neck muscles and cause torticollis, and these infections may be treated with antibiotics if they are not too severe, but could require surgical debridement in intractable cases.

*Ear infections and surgical removal of the adenoids can cause an entity known as Grisel’s syndrome, a subluxation of the upper cervical joints, mostly the atlantoaxial joint, due to inflammatory laxity of the ligaments caused by an infection. This bridge must either be broken through manipulation of the neck, or surgically resected.

*The use of certain drugs, such as antipsychotics, can cause torticollis.

*Antiemetics – Neuroleptic Class – Phenothiazines

There are many other rare causes of torticollis.

Spasmodic torticollis:
Torticollis with recurrent but transient contraction of the muscles of the neck and esp. of the sternocleidomastoid. “intermittent torticollis . “cervical dystonia”

TREATMENT: Botulinum toxin has been used to inhibit the spastic contractions of the affected muscles.

In animals:.CLICK & SEE
The condition can also occur in animals, usually as a result of an inner ear infection but sometimes as a result of an injury. It is seen largely in domestic rodents and rabbits, but may also appear in dogs and other different animals.

Possible ComplicationsComplications may include:

•Muscle swelling due to constant tension
•Neurological symptoms due to compressed nerve roots

Prognosis:
The condition may be easier to correct in infants and children. If the condition becomes chronic, numbness and tingling may develop as nerve roots become compressed in the neck.

The muscle itself may become large (hypertrophic) due to constant stimulation and exercise.

Botulinum toxin injections often provide substantial relief.

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/Torticollis
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000749.htm
http://www.umm.edu/imagepages/19090.htm

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Sternocleidomastoideus.png

http://www.healthline.com/health/torticollis#Causes2

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Categories
Ailmemts & Remedies

Burns

Definition:
A burn is a type of injury to flesh caused by heat, electricity, chemicals, light, radiation or friction. Most burns only affect the skin (epidermal tissue and dermis). Rarely, deeper tissues, such as muscle, bone, and blood vessels can also be injured. Burns may be treated with first aid, in an out-of-hospital setting, or may require more specialised treatment such as those available at specialised burn centers.

click to see the picture
Managing burns is important because they are common, painful and can result in disfiguring and disabling scarring, amputation of affected parts or death in severe cases. Complications such as shock, infection, multiple organ dysfunction syndrome, electrolyte imbalance and respiratory distress may occur. The treatment of burns may include the removal of dead tissue (debridement), applying dressings to the wound, administering large volumes of intravenous fluids, administering antibiotics and skin grafting.

While large burns can be fatal, modern treatments developed in the last 60 years have significantly improved the prognosis of such burns, especially in children and young adults.  In the United States, approximately 4 out of every 100 people with injuries from burns will succumb to their injuries. The majority of these fatalities occur either at the scene or enroute to hospital.

According to the American Burn Association, an estimated 500,000 burn injuries receive medical treatment yearly in the United States.

Classification:
Burns can be classified by mechanism of injury, depth, extent and associated injuries and comorbidities.

By depth

Currently, burns are described according to the depth of injury to the dermis and are loosely classified into first, second, third and fourth degrees. This system was devised by the French barber-surgeon Ambroise Pare and remains in use today.

Note that an alternative form of reference to burns may describe burns according to the depth of injury to the dermis.

It is often difficult to accurately determine the depth of a burn. This is especially so in the case of second degree burns, which can continue to evolve over time. As such, a second-degree partial-thickness burn can progress to a third-degree burn over time even after initial treatment. Distinguishing between the superficial-thickness burn and the partial-thickness burn is important, as the former may heal spontaneously, whereas the latter often requires surgical excision and skin grafting.

First degree burn:..
A first degree burn is superficial and causes local inflammation of the skin. Sunburns often are categorized as first degree burns. The inflammation is characterized by pain, redness, and a mild amount of swelling.

click to see the picture

The skin may be very tender to touch.It takes about a week’s time to heal & there is no complecation.

Second degree (superficial partial thickness):
Second degree burns are deeper and in addition to the pain, redness and inflammation, there is also blistering of the skin. Healing time is appx.2to 3 weeks.Complecation is  Local infection/cellulities.
click to see the picture
Third Degree:
Third degree burns are deeper still, involving all layers of the skin, in effect killing that area of skin. Because the nerves and blood vessels are damaged, third degree burns appear white and leathery and tend to be relatively painless. It needs  excision. It is scarring, contractures (may require excision and skin grafting)

click to see the pictures….....(1)...……………………………………

Fourth Degree:….CLICK & SEE
It extends through skin, subcutaneous tissue and into underlying muscle and bone.Needs excision.Complecated may need  amputation, significant functional impairment.

By severity:
In order to determine the need for referral to a specialised burn unit, the American Burn Association devised a classification system to aid in the decision-making process. Under this system, burns can be classified as major, moderate and minor. This is assessed based on a number of factors, including total body surface area (TBSA) burnt, the involvement of specific anatomical zones, age of the person and associated injuries.

MajorMajor burns are defined as:
*Age 10-50yrs: Partial thickness burns >25% TBSA
*Age <10 or >50: Partial thickness burns >20% TBSA
*Full thickness burns >10%
*Burns involving the hands, face, feet or perineum
*Burns that cross major joints
*Circumferential burns to any extremity
*Any burn associated with inhalational injury
*Electrical burns
*Burns associated with fractures or other trauma
*Burns in infants and the elderly
*Burns in persons at high-risk of developing complications

These burns typically require referral to a specialised burn treatment center.

Moderate:

Moderate burns are defined as:
*Age 10-50yrs: Partial thickness burns involving 15-25% TBSA
*Age <10 or >50: Partial thickness burns involving 10-20% TBSA
*Full thickness burns involving 2-10% TBSA

Persons suffering these burns often need to be hospitalised for burn care.

Minor:
Minor burns are:
*Age 10-50yrs: Partial-thickness burns <15% TBSA
*Age <10 or >50: Partial thickness burns involving <10% TBSA
*Full thickness burns <2% TBSA without associated injuries.

These burns usually do not require hospitalisation.

By surface area:
Burns can also be assessed in terms of total body surface area (TBSA), which is the percentage affected by partial thickness or full thickness burns. First degree (erythema only, no blisters) burns are not included in this estimation. The rule of nines is used as a quick and useful way to estimate the affected TBSA. More accurate estimation can be made using Lund & Browder charts which take into account the different proportions of body parts in adults and children.The size of a person’s hand print (palm and fingers) is approximately 1% of their TBSA. The actual mean surface area is 0.8% so using 1% will slightly over estimate the size.Burns of 10% in children or 15% in adults (or greater) are potentially life threatening injuries (because of the risk of hypovolaemic shock) and should have formal fluid resuscitation and monitoring in a burns unit.

 

Symptoms:
There may be obvious and immediate damage to the skin, which can be very painful.

With partial thickness burns, the skin may be pink, red or mottled. Blistering may also be seen.

With full thickness burns, the top layer of skin is destroyed and may look white or black, and charred. Full thickness burns are painless, as the nerves carrying pain signals have been destroyed.
Causes:
Burns are caused by a wide variety of substances and external sources such as exposure to chemicals, friction, electricity, radiation, and heat.

Chemical:
Most chemicals that cause chemical burns are strong acids or bases.[11] Chemical burns can be caused by caustic chemical compounds such as sodium hydroxide or silver nitrate, and acids such as sulfuric acid.Hydrofluoric acid can cause damage down to the bone and its burns are sometimes not immediately evident.

Electrical
Electrical burns are caused by either an electric shock or an uncontrolled short circuit. (A burn from a hot, electrified heating element is not considered an electrical burn.) Common occurrences of electrical burns include workplace injuries, or being defibrillated or cardioverted without a conductive gel. Lightning is also a rare cause of electrical burns.

Since normal physiology involves a vast number of applications of electrical forces, ranging from neuromuscular signaling to coordination of wound healing, biological systems are very vulnerable to application of supraphysiologic electric fields. Some electrocutions produce no external burns at all, as very little current is required to cause fibrillation of the heart muscle. Therefore, even when the injury does not involve any visible tissue damage, electrical shock survivors may experience significant internal injury. The internal injuries sustained may be disproportionate to the size of the burns seen (if any), and the extent of the damage is not always obvious. Such injuries may lead to cardiac arrhythmias, cardiac arrest, and unexpected falls with resultant fractures or dislocations.

The true incidence of electrical burn injury is unknown. In one study of 220 deaths due to electrical injury, 40% of those associated with low-voltage (<1000 AC volts) injury demonstrated no skin burns or marks whatsoever. Most household electrical burns occur at 110 AC volts. This is sufficient to cause cardiac arrest and ventricular fibrillation but generates relatively low heat energy deposit into skin, thus producing few or no burn marks at all.

Radiation:
Radiation burns are caused by protracted exposure to UV light (as from the sun), tanning booths, radiation therapy (in people undergoing cancer therapy), sunlamps, radioactive fallout, and X-rays. By far the most common burn associated with radiation is sun exposure, specifically two wavelengths of light UVA, and UVB, the latter being more dangerous. Tanning booths also emit these wavelengths and may cause similar damage to the skin such as irritation, redness, swelling, and inflammation. More severe cases of sun burn result in what is known as sun poisoning or “heatstroke”. Microwave burns are caused by the thermal effects of microwave radiation.

Scalding :.…CLICK & SEE

Two-day-old scald caused by boiling radiator fluid.Scalding (from the Latin word calidus, meaning hot  is caused by hot liquids (water or oil) or gases (steam), most commonly occurring from exposure to high temperature tap water in baths or showers or spilled hot drinks. A so called immersion scald is created when an extremity is held under the surface of hot water, and is a common form of burn seen in child abuse.[19] A blister is a “bubble” in the skin filled with serous fluid as part of the body’s reaction to the heat and the subsequent inflammatory reaction. The blister “roof” is dead and the blister fluid contains toxic inflammatory mediators. Scald burns are more common in children, especially “spill scalds” from hot drinks and bath water scalds.

Treatment:
Cool small burns immediately under cold running water for at least ten minutes. Rinse chemical burns for 20 minutes.

Briefly rinse larger burns, avoiding excessive cooling.

Remove clothes in the area of the burn where possible, without causing further damage to the skin. Then either wrap the burned area in a clean clear plastic bag or place a clean smooth material, such as cling film, over the burn to prevent infection.

Minor burns can be treated at home with painkillers and sterile dressings (don’t pop blisters). Deep or extensive burns, or burns to the face, hands or across joints, need to be assessed and treated in hospital.

The extent of burns can be estimated using special charts. More than ten per cent burns need hospital treatment (including intravenous fluids). Burns to more than 50 per cent of the body’s surface carry a poor chance of survival.

Severe burns need specialised long-term management, which may include skin grafts or treatments to prevent contractures, as well as psychological support to deal with scarring.

Pathophysiology:
Following a major burn injury, heart rate and peripheral vascular resistance increase. This is due to the release of catecholamines from injured tissues, and the relative hypovolemia that occurs from fluid volume shifts. Initially cardiac output decreases. At approximately 24 hours after burn injuries, cardiac output returns to normal if adequate fluid resuscitation has been given. Following this, cardiac output increases to meet the hypermetabolic needs of the body.

Management:
The resuscitation and stabilisation phase begins with the reassessment of the injured person’s airway, breathing and circulatory state. Appropriate interventions should be initiated to stabilise these. This may involve aggressive fluid resuscitation and, if inhalation injury is suspected, intubation. Once the injured person is stabilised, attention is turned to the care of the burn wound itself. Until then, it is advisable to cover the burn wound with a clean and dry sheet or dressing.

Early cooling reduces burn depth and pain, but care must be taken as uncontrolled cooling can result in hypothermia.

Intravenous fluids:
Children with TBSA >10% and adults with TBSA > 15% need formal fluid resuscitation and monitoring (blood pressure, pulse rate, temperature and urine output).Once the burning process has been stopped, the injured person should be volume resuscitated according to the Parkland formula . This formula calculates the amount of Ringer’s lactate required to be administered over the first 24hrs post-burn.

Parkland formula: 4mls x percentage total body surface area sustaining non-superficial burns x person’s weight in kgs.

Half of this total volume should be administered over the first 8hrs, with the remainder given over the following 16hrs. It is important to note that this time frame is calculated from the time at which the burn is sustained, and not the time at which fluid resuscitation is begun. Children also require the addition of maintenance fluid volume. Such injuries can disturb a person’s osmotic balance.  Inhalation injuries in conjunction with thermal burns initially require up to 40–50% more fluid.

The formula is a guide only and infusions must be tailored to the urine output and central venous pressure. Inadequate fluid resuscitation may cause renal failure and death but over-resuscitation also causes morbidity.

Wound care
Debridement cleaning and then dressings are important aspects of wound care. The wound should then be regularly re-evaluated until it is healed. In the management of first and second degree burns little quality evidence exists to determine which type of dressing should be used. Silver sulfadiazine (Flamazine) is not recommended as it potentially prolongs healing time  while biosynthetic dressings may speed healing.

Antibiotics:
Intravenous antibiotics may improve survival in those with large severe burns however due to the poor quality of the evidence routine use is not currently recommended.

Analgesics:
A number of different options are used for pain management. These include simple analgesics ( such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen ) and narcotics. A local anesthetic may help in managing pain of minor first-degree and second-degree burns.

Surgery:
Wounds requiring surgical closure with skin grafts or flaps should be dealt with as early as possible. Circumferential burns of digits, limbs or the chest may need urgent surgical release of the burnt skin (escharotomy) to prevent problems with distal circulation or ventilation.

Alternative treatments:
Hyperbaric oxygenation has not been shown to be a useful adjunct to traditional treatments. Honey has been used since ancient times to aid wound healing and may be beneficial in first and second degree burns, but may cause infection.

Home Remedy:..
One of them that is pretty popular but equally dangerous is the old, “butter on burns” procedure. Many people around the world apply butter (or margarine) to the skin to treat minor burns;
Complications:
Infection is a major complication of burns. Infection is linked to impaired resistance from disruption of the skin’s mechanical integrity and generalized immune suppression. The skin barrier is replaced by eschar. This moist, protein rich avascular environment encourages microbial growth. Migration of immune cells is hampered, and there is a release of intermediaries that impede the immune response. Eschar also restricts distribution of systemically administered antibiotics because of its avascularity.

Risk factors of burn wound infection include:

*Burn > 30% TBS
*Full-thickness burn
*Extremes in age (very young, very old)
*Preexisting disease e.g. diabetes
*Virulence and antibiotic resistance of colonizing organism
*Failed skin graft
*Improper initial burn wound care
*Prolonged open burn wound

Burn wounds are prone to tetanus. A tetanus booster shot is required if individual has not been immunized within the last 5 years.

Circumferential burns of extremities may compromise circulation. Elevation of limb may help to prevent dependent edema. An Escharotomy may be required.

Acute Tubular Necrosis of the kidneys can be caused by myoglobin and hemoglobin released from damaged muscles and red blood cells. This is common in electrical burns or crush injuries where adequate fluid resuscitation has not been achieved.

Prognosis:
The outcome of any injury or disease depends on three things: the nature of the injury, the nature of the injured or ill person and the treatment available. In terms of injury factors in burns the prognosis depends primarily on the burn surface area (% TBSA) and the age of the person. The presence of smoke inhalation injury, other significant injuries such as long bone fractures and serious co-morbidities (heart disease, diabetes, psychiatric illness, suicidal intent etc.) will also adversely influence prognosis. Advances in resuscitation, surgical management, control of infection, control of the hyper-metabolic response and rehabilitation have resulted in dramatic improvements in burn mortality and morbidity in the last 60 years.

You may Click to see :List of Burn Centers in  US

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.umm.edu/imagepages/1078.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burn
http://www.bbc.co.uk/health/physical_health/conditions/burns2.shtml
http://www.doctorsatyourhome.com/blog/?p=77

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News on Health & Science

In The Throes Of Despair

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A combination of nature and nurture leads to post-traumatic stress disorder, say scientist .Both genetic and environmental factors affect people’s risk of developing post-traumatic stress, says new research that illustrates how nature and nurture combine to shape health and behaviour.

click & see

A particular genetic variant makes people much more susceptible to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after harrowing experiences, but only if they have also had an abusive childhood, US scientists have discovered. The findings add to a growing consensus that the debate about whether mental health, personality and behaviour are driven by nature or nurture is founded on a misconception. They indicate strongly that genes and the environment are not mutually exclusive forces, but rather work together to influence human development.

PTSD is a serious anxiety disorder that develops among people who experience unpleasant events, such as war, murders, terrorist attacks or natural disasters. It leads to nightmares, insomnia, flashbacks, mood swings and depression, and can severely impair the ability to live a normal life.

Not everybody who experiences severe trauma develops PTSD, and the risk is known to be influenced by genetics. Studies of twins who served in Vietnam showed that identical pairs, who share all their genes, are more likely both to suffer than are fraternal sets.

Genes, however, do not explain all the variability in people’s risk, and the precise genes and environmental factors that are involved have remained obscure.

A study led by Kerry Ressler, of Emory University in Atlanta, examined the effects of a gene called FKBP5, which is involved in the way the body responds to stress. The DNA code of this gene varies at four points, which allowed the scientists to investigate whether any particular genetic profiles would either raise the risk of PTSD or protect against it.

As PTSD develops only when people have lived through traumatic events, Dr Ressler studied a group of 900 adults who lived in deprived urban communities and were likely to have had violent experiences of the sort that can provoke the disorder.

The participants were also asked to complete a questionnaire that recorded whether they had suffered physical or sexual abuse at a young age. When variations in the FKBP5 gene were examined on their own, the researchers found no effect on PTSD risk. A history of child abuse also made no difference in isolation.

When the two factors were considered together, however, they were found to interact to raise or reduce risk. People with certain variants of FKBP5 were much more likely to develop PTSD after trauma if they had also been abused as children.

“These results are early and will need to be replicated, but they support the hypothesis that combinations of genes and environmental factors affect the risk for stress-related disorders like PTSD,” Dr Ressler said.

“Understanding how gene-environment interactions affect mental health can help us to understand the neuro- biology of these illnesses.”

The results, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, follow other studies that have shown how genetic variants interact with environmental factors to affect behaviour or mental health.

A team led by Avshalom Caspi and Terrie Moffitt, of the Institute of Psychiatry, London, has found that a variant of a gene called MAOA predisposes to antisocial behaviour when accompanied by child abuse. Dr Caspi said: “It is part of an emerging body of research that documents not so much that genes cause disease, but rather that genetic differences shape how people respond differently to the same events.”

Sources:THE TIMES, LONDON

Categories
Ailmemts & Remedies

Anxiety and Panic

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Everyone feels anxious from time to time, but some people are uneasy so often — or have scary episodes called panic attacks — that anxiety interferes with their normal life. Taking B vitamins, certain minerals, and calming herbs .
Symptoms

Acute anxiety.
Extreme fear.
Rapid heartbeat and breathing.
Excessive perspiration, chills, or hot flashes.
Dry mouth.
Dizziness.


Chronic anxiety.
Muscle tension, headaches, and back pain.
Insomnia.
Depression.
Low sex drive.
Inability to relax

When to Call Your Doctor

Do not replace prescription anti-anxiety medications, such as alprazolam, lorazepam, or diazepam, with herbs or supplements without talking to your doctor. Cutting back suddenly can be dangerous.
Anxiety symptoms can mimic those of a serious illness, or may be caused by certain medical conditions or drugs. See your doctor to rule out these as possibilities.


Reminder: If you have a medical or psychiatric condition, talk to your doctor before taking supplements.

What It Is

When faced with a potentially dangerous situation — a large barking dog, for example — anxiety is a healthy response. Your brain, sensing the danger, signals for the release of hormones to prepare your body to defend itself. Muscles tense, heartbeat and breathing rate increase, and the blood even becomes more likely to clot (in the event of injury). In some individuals, this response is set in motion even when there is no obvious threat. Such a reaction can be bad for your health, causing exhaustion, poor concentration, a sense of detachment from yourself or your surroundings, headaches, stomach problems, and an increase in blood pressure.
Anxiety disorders come in two basic forms. Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is a chronic condition that involves a recurring sense of foreboding and worry accompanied by mild physical symptoms. A panic attack, on the other hand, comes on suddenly and unexpectedly, with symptoms so violent that the episodes are often mistaken for a heart attack or another life-threatening condition.

Panic attacks are surprisingly common: About 15% of Americans will suffer at least one in their lifetime. And as many as 3% of adults have these attacks frequently.

What Causes It

Some scientists think that the central nervous systems of people with anxiety disorders may overreact to stress and take a longer time than most to return to a calmer state. Anxiety may begin with an upsetting event — an accident, divorce, or death — or it may have no identifiable root.
There may also be a biochemical basis for anxiety. Studies have shown that people who are prone to panic attacks have higher blood levels of lactic acid, a chemical produced when muscles metabolize sugar without enough oxygen. Other research suggests that anxiety may be the result of an overproduction of stress hormones by the brain and adrenal glands.

How Supplements Can Help

In many cases, herbal and nutritional remedies for anxiety can be used in place of prescription drugs, which may be addictive and have other unpleasant side effects. Several studies have shown that the herb kava is very useful for anxiety-perhaps as effective as prescription drugs; it reduces symptoms such as nervousness, dizziness, and heart palpitations. In addition, people with anxiety should add calcium, magnesium, and a vitamin B complex supplement, plus extra thiamin. These nutrients are important for the healthy functioning of the nervous system, especially for the production of the key chemical messengers in the brain called neurotransmitters.
Valerian, known as a sleep aid, can be used at low doses throughout the day for a calming effect. Try this herb if kava doesn’t work for you. Even if you’re taking kava during the day, you can have a nighttime dose (250 to 500 mg) of valerian if you have trouble falling asleep. St. John’s wort can be added to kava or valerian if you are depressed as well as anxious. At least a month is needed before the full effect of St. John’s wort will be felt; the other supplements begin working immediately.

What Else You Can Do

Cut out caffeine, alcohol, and excess sugar, which may trigger anxiety.
Do aerobic exercises regularly. They burn lactic acid, produce natural feel-good chemicals (endorphins), and enhance your use of oxygen.
See a therapist to develop more positive ways of coping.
Chamomile makes a pleasant floral tea that will relax you without making you sleepy. It contains apigenin, which animal tests show affects the same brain receptors as anti-anxiety drugs, yet it’s nonaddictive. Chamomile can be used with kava or other botanicals.
Breathing techniques can often help you manage a panic attack. Inhale slowly, to a count of four; wait, to a count of four; exhale slowly, to a count of four; and wait, to a count of four. Repeat until the attack subsides.
Individuals with anxiety symptoms may be uniquely sensitive to caffeine, several studies indicate. Try reducing your caffeine intake — do it slowly to minimize withdrawal symptoms such as headaches — and see if it eases your anxiety.

Yoga and Meditation under the supervision of an expert helps a lot.

Herbal Remedies for Anxiety
Supplement Recommendations

Kava
Calcium/Magnesium
Vitamin B Complex
Valerian
St. John’s Wort

Kava
Dosage: 250 mg 2 or 3 times a day as needed.
Comments: Look for standardized extracts in pill or tincture form that contain at least 30% kavalactones.

Calcium/Magnesium
Dosage: 600 mg of each a day.
Comments: Take with food; sometimes sold in a single supplement.

Vitamin B Complex
Dosage: 1 pill, plus extra 100 mg thiamin, each morning with food.
Comments: Look for a B-50 complex with 50 mcg vitamin B12 and biotin; 400 mcg folic acid; and 50 mg all other B vitamins.

Valerian
Dosage: 250 mg twice a day.
Comments: Should be standardized to contain 0.8% valerenic acid. May cause drowsiness; take at bedtime for insomnia.

St. John’s Wort

Dosage: 300 mg 3 times a day.
Comments: Should be standardized to contain 0.3% hypericin.

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.

Source: Your Guide to Vitamins, Minerals, and Herbs (Reader’s Digest)