Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Reduce Cellulite Through Herbal Remedies

Do you often get scared at the sight of that lumpy, dimpled skin on hips, thighs and buttocks? Have you tried all the cellulite creams and ointments without getting any positive results? Are you thinking of going for cellulite reduction surgery? To all the women who say yes to these questions, my earnest advice is to first try ayurvedic treatment for cellular reduction. Ayurveda may be a very old therapeutic discipline but it is in no way a non-scientific or illogical system of medicine. It establishes the causes for cellulite formation which lies in the imbalance of three “doshas” or substances of the body. When “kapha dosha” aggravates, it results into cellulite formation. Ayurveda prescribes many herbs and even home remedies in form of certain recipes that are beneficial in treating cellulite problem. It also shows some 'yogas' or exercises for getting rid of cellulite.

Read about ayurvedic treatments for Cellulite Reduction

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Ayurveda- Simple Remedies for All Diseases

Ayurveda means “ayu” that is life and “Veda” that is science. Thus, Ayurveda is “the science of life”, which has always taken human body as a composition of five great elements or “Panchatatva”- earth, water, fire, air and space. As the human body is made of natural elements, Ayurveda always advocates its maintenance through natural ways. It advocates a lifestyle that is in sync with nature. It takes help of right diet to keep a person healthy. If, anyhow, there occur diseases, Ayurveda always depends upon herbs and herbal products for their cure. For example, it uses honey for curing simple diseases like cold and cough as well as more serious health problems like asthma and blood pressure. For maintaining strength and immunity, it administers various tonics made of such natural substance as walnuts, almonds, raisins, dates etc.


Ayurveda is not just for internal purification, it also helps one to look beautiful, the natural way. Not only this, it also helps to reduce weight by natural ways and suggests remedies for hair loss and balding. Whether it is about taking care of eyes or about first aid for common health problems like external bleeding, burns, cold, diarrhea etc. Ayurveda is always there to help out. Apart from all its herbal therapies and nutritional guidelines, Ayurveda represents massage as an easy way to stay healthy.

All these examples are meant to show how Ayurveda cleanses the internal system and beautifies the external look of a human body. If you want to know more about how all this is possible, read the Ayurvedic Tips

Menstrual Problems- Causes and Ayurvedic Treatment

Women often experience menstrual problems due to various reasons. These include, stress, unhealthy lifestyle and incorrect food habits. Menstrual pain is sometimes referred to as Dysmenorrhoea /Amenorrhoea. This is again sub categorized into Primary dysmenorrhea and Secondary dysmenorrhea. Primary dysmenorrhea is the result of uterine contractions stimulated by increased production of the hormone prostaglandin. Other causes include anxiety and stress, and displaced uterus. The causes of secondary dysmenorrhea include pelvic inflammatory disease, uterine fibroids, abnormal pregnancy, infection, tumors, or polyps in the pelvic cavity.


Read more about symptoms and treatment of Dysmenorrhoea /Amenorrhoea

Reduce Weight- Organize Your Day Carefully!

Do you feel that you are gradually gaining weight? Or you are already overweight and are trying hard to reduce weight? Does your motivation goes down often because of your not being able to achieve set targets? If your answer is yes then this article is for you. It will tell you how to reduce weight by natural ways. And you need not to worry about setting any targets- short term or long term. You just need to organize your day- your food habits and your work habits- in the correct way. And that's all! Know what is your ideal body weight. Now plan your day and calculate your body weight after 30 days (don't be tempted by the weighing machine every second day). Read the following tips to get an idea about how to plan your day so that your weight gets reduced gradually and permanently.

  • After getting up in the morning, have a glass full of plain water. Increase the number to three glasses gradually ( increase one-fourth or half a glass every day). After having water, don't take anything for half an hour. After half an hour, have some warm water mixed with some lemon juice and honey.
  • Cut your intake of caffeine (tea or coffee). Caffeine increases insulin in your body, which slows down the burning process of your stored fat. Take some alternative like green tea, herbal tea or lemon tea. If you can't have them, switch over to some fruit juice instead (no banana shake or mango juice!)
  • Do some light exercise in the morning- some simple “yoga asanas” or stretching exercises will do. Walking is the best and the simplest exercise to do. Walk for at least 30 minutes. If you don't find time in the morning, walk in the evening and even in the lunch hour- walk any time but do walk!
  • Take spicy foods (not fried food), particularly that which contains black pepper. It increases your metabolism by as much as 40%.
  • Eat lesser amount of food for at least five times a day instead of three big meals. Take fiber rich food so that you don't feel hungry soon.
  • Increase your fruit intake. Take them between breakfast and lunch and between lunch and dinner. This way you will also avoid eating more at meal times. And remember never to skip a meal!
  • Don't go for fried and high calorie snacks and packaged food. If going out for lunch and dinner, go for light menus (something baked or steamed instead of fried). Cut back on sweets- sugar and carbohydrates increase weight alarmingly. Keep some roasted snacks in your office drawer to munch on when you experience those hunger pangs ( don't just run to the canteen and grab that samosa, pastry or patties)
  • Pursue some active hobby in the evening- swimming, playing badminton, cycling, dance classes- anything that will burn your calories.
  • Drink lots of water during the day- at least 8 to 10 glasses.
  • Don't deprive yourself of your favorite food items ( chocolates, sweets etc.) for very long. Take them, in small quantities, after gap of some days (say 15 or 20 days) otherwise your body will not remain used to these foods. Eat less, eat right.
Don't get demoralized when after a month you don't reduce much weight. It takes some time to set the things off and reduction of fat gets faster as days go by. Just don't leave organizing your days in proper way- in healthy way.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Pharmaceutical Finished Formulations- An Overview

Pharmacy deals with all the aspects of turning chemicals into medications that can be safely used by patients. Raw chemicals, although having medicinal properties are of no use to a patient. Thus, the chemical substances are combined to produce a final medicinal product. This process of combining different chemical substances along with the active drug is called pharmaceutical formulation. The final medicinal products are known as pharmaceutical finished formulations. Pharmaceutical finished formulations, simply called drugs or medicines, are prepared in many forms.


Oral Formulations

They are the drugs that are consumed by patients and can be in the form of tablets or capsules.

Tablets: Tablets are made by mixing active substances with excipients. An excipient is an inactive substance which is used as a carrier for the active ingredients of a medication. The mixture is normally in powder form which is pressed or compacted to give solid composition to the tablets. The excipients include binders, glidants (flow aids) and lubricants to ensure effective tableting.

Capsules: When medicines are enclosed in a stable shell, they are known as a capsules. They can be hard-shelled capsules, which are generally used for dry, powdered ingredients, or they can be soft-shelled capsules, which are used for oils and other active ingredients that are dissolved or suspended in oil.

Topical Formulations

These medicines are applied externally to a particular part of the body. They can be in the form of cream, gel, ointment or powder.

Creams: Creams are semi-solid liquid preparation, which are mixtures of oil and water. They can be of two types - oil-in-water (O/W) creams and water-in-oil (W/O) creams. Although Oil-in-water creams are more comfortable and acceptable, most of the drugs are Water-in-oil creams as they can be released more readily in such a form.

Ointments: Ointments are viscous semisolid preparation used locally on many body surfaces. They can be applied on skin and mucus membranes of the eye, vagina, anus, and nose.

Gels: Gels are solid, jelly-like material which can have properties that range from soft and weak to hard and tough. They are also locally applied on various parts of body.

Powders: Powders are also one of the pharmaceutical finished formulations that are applied either internally or externally. They consist of one or many crushed substances.

Injections

Injections, sometimes also called “shots” are medicinal liquids that are infused into the patient's body with the help of a hollow needle and a syringe. Injections are administered through parenteral route, which means that they are administered other than through the digestive tract.

Monday, May 11, 2009

How To Keep a Healthy Heart During Hardships?

Bad time can strike any of us, any time. And when it does come by and continues for months then it can begin to harm are bodies and our heart isn't an exception. The continuing economic recession has been a stressor that's continued for a long time now and pained one and all, however, to prevent letting the circumstances affect our heart, we can thankfully take a number of effective steps.

Quality of food – Eating Healthy has a tremendous impact not only on our general health but heart in particular. The key to healthy heart eating entails avoid salty, fatty food, instead simple fresh foods need to be consumed. Eating healthy is also essential to maintaining a healthy weight, which too keeps our heart healthy.

Cutting Back on Health care isn't healthy – If you suffer from heart disease already, delaying medical consultation to save money when experiencing worsening symptoms will make things only worse. If treatment affordability is a concern, you could ask your doctor about the low cost prescription programs that many pharmaceutical drug companies run.

Engage in Exercise – Exercise is an excellent way to maintain health. Doctors recommend 30 to 60 minutes of daily exercise. Don't worry if you had to part with your gym membership, check out cheaper options such as simply walking in the neighborhood.

Stay away from Smoke – The habit of smoking significantly increases the risk of a heart attack. Consequently, it's best for you to quit smoking and be smokefree. Also, guard yourself from secondhand smoke.

Take measures to reduce stress – Don't let stress overburden you, find your own means such as spending more time with friends and family, try exercise, meditation, etc.

Get Yourself Medically Examined – Regular medical follow-ups can go a long way to tracking your heart's health. Get your cholesterol and blood pressure checked regularly as that will provide you and your doctor with the information to take further measures such as prescription of hypertensive drugs.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Recession and Cosmetic Surgery Trends

This being the worst economic recession in decades hasn't left an industry unscathed. Elective spending in particular has been clearly curtailed, and with much of cosmetic surgery being elective, it has been scarred right in the face by the turbulent economy's clout.

Recent figures from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) unravel the magnitude of damage caused, with the year 2008 registering a drop of 9 percent to $11.8 billion in the number of cosmetic surgery procedures in the U.S.

Mars & Venus Differ

The quest of looking more beautiful or handsome has traditionally been a woman's forte, while men only recently realized that they too have the potential to look good and reap its benefits. However, recession seems to have put men back on the track of regression in terms of cosmetic surgery, while they continue to use skin care products. Statistics uncover that for the past couple of years men had been competing quite well with women in terms of cosmetic surgeries, but in 2008, the male surgery decreased by 2 percent, whereas 29% more women have consulted plastic surgeons. Popular cosmetic procedures during the past year were blepharoplasty, liposuction, breast augmentation, laser hair removal, Botox (R) injections, and injectable fillers.

Survival For The fittest

The changed economic scene with all the job cuts, failing businesses, and uncertainty about the future pretty much seems to have snatched away the coziness of livelihood that we became used to during the good times. Jobs are now hard to find, and only if you are lucky, and are among the best of the lot. Increasingly, cosmetic surgery is being seen to make job seekers and holders more competitive and confident. In a survey 756 women between the ages 18 and 64, about 13 percent said that they would consider a medical cosmetic procedure to make them more competent within the job market.

While plastic surgeons may be reaching out for their surgical boxes somewhat less in the current scenario, the longer term outlook is a lot brighter. It is estimated that in excess of 55 million cosmetic surgery procedures will be conducted in 2015.

Heavyweight Stretchers – Size Does Matter

Today about two-thirds of adults in the U.S. are overweight or obese, and much of the dramatic increase in obesity figures has occurred during the last 20 years. Just as the obesity statistics have changed, so has the capacity of patient transport systems such as stretchers and wheelchairs.

Overweight individuals are perhaps as likely as lean people to find themselves in a situation that requires them to be put on a stretcher, and be transported to a hospital's emergency department. But transporting larger individuals isn't the same as carrying thin individuals, as patient transport systems such as the stretchers generally have a standard capacity of handling humans weighing between 350 and 500.

As a consequence it has raised an issue that's too serious to be ignored. Transporting overweight individual could cause an injury to the patient or the medics or both of them. Undesirable instances could include low capacity equipment simply cracking under pressure, or a large-sized individual falling off a stretcher, or the medics not being able to handle the load and/or injuring themselves.

These and other such concerns have been on the top of the minds of medical equipment manufacturers. And, for some time now, they have been bringing out patient transport systems such as stretchers with thicker aluminum frames, extra spine supports, bulkier connectors, to easily handle loads of upto 650 pounds.

While these extended capacity equipment do solve the problem at hand, they also add to the cost of acquiring these products. Nonetheless, it seems to be safer for an ambulance crew to have these products in their repertoire, than be sorry later. A botched up rescue operation will undoubtedly be a pain for everyone involved.

The society is changing, though undesirable, more people are becoming oversized. And the health care delivery equipment too should change, because size does matter.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Europe Medical Technology Industry Profile

The medical technology and devices market of Europe is wide and varied, it accounted for a total sales of over US$ 84.66432 billion in 2006. The annual growth rate of the medical devices market in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the UK is close to 9 percent. Medical devices within Europe are regulated under three directives.

Read More at: TheMedica

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

How More Cardiac Arrest Sufferers can be Saved?

Not one or two but 325,000 people die each year in the United States due to Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA). However, when CPR - Cardiopulmonary resuscitation, is provided immediately after the attack it can double a sufferers chance of survival.

But administering CPR, unlike a pharma drug, is easier said than done, here's why? When in a study, thirty-eight doctors and nurses of both genders were evaluated for their ability to perform manual CPR, a considerable loss in their ability to provide sufficient compressions over a time period was found. And that men – supposedly endowed with more muscle power – fared no better than their fairer sex counterparts.

So what if there existed a medical device that was so portable that it didn't need to be transported using a hospital trolley, instead, could simply be strapped around a patient to aid immediate CPR, virtually anywhere and in any situation? Well it seems that the the wait could now be over, as scientists may have struck gold already.

A Life Saving Medical Device

Inventors of the device called, LifeBelt(R) CPR, may be on their way to make life safer with this appliance. This device is designed to overcome the limitation of "hands-only" CPR and is able to help the patient by producing chest compressions for about two minutes. Also, with the use of this device half as much force is needed to administer CPR, enabling the emergency response personnel or anyone providing the CPR to do it more effectively, and not lose steam out of fatigue, too soon. No wonder than this appliance also won a “Create the Future Design Contest” sponsored by NASA Tech Briefs magazine.

When Thomas Jefferson said “Where a new invention promises to be useful, it ought to be tried,” I'm positive he didn't refer to life support medical devices!

Monday, May 4, 2009

US Medical Equipment Industry Overview

There were about 8,000 medical device companies in the United States around 2004. While the number of large and mid-sized medical device companies was less, over 80 percent of firms employed no more than 50 people. The world's medical equipment and supplies industry was worth $80 billion in 2005, with the United States being the the largest consumer country of medical and dental equipment.

Read More at: TheMedica

Friday, May 1, 2009

How Weight Loss Surgery Makes Life Better

Being overweight can sometimes affect our self-esteem, however, thanks to advances in medicine that today a number of weight loss techniques available, including weight loss surgery.

Since its invention, weight loss surgery or bariatric surgery has been selectively recommended to those individuals who are morbidly obese, and don't respond to conventional weight loss measures. But recent findings suggest that it may benefit moderately obese individuals as well. Let's face it, that regaining healthy weight is beneficial not only for our health, but can have a positive effect on our appearance and self-esteem too.

Speaking of health benefits, there are several reasons compelling enough, for your to consider weight loss surgery, and allow the surgeon to put you on a hospital table to trim you down.

Type 2 diabetes - Obesity is considered as the the primary risk factor for Type 2 diabetes, and so weight loss surgery can have a role to play in its reversal. But this isn't theory any more, results of a study published in the American Journal of Medicine about 82 percent patients who underwent weight loss surgery experienced diabetes reversal within a two years duration.

Fertility – Obesity can sometimes prevent women from getting pregnant. However, achieving weight loss by bariatric surgery can help improve fertility in obese women. The American Society for Reproductive Medicine suggests that weight loss can improve ovulatory functions in previously obese women.

High Blood Pressure (hypertension) – Hypertension, treated with hypertensive drugs, affects millions of Americans, according to a 2006 survey, 35.7 million visits to office-based physicians resulted in hypertension as primary diagnosis. But the good news is that that weight loss surgery can help reduce or even eliminate hypertension. The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) in 2004 reported that in a study 61.7 percent patients were relieved of hypertension, while the condition of 78.5 percent improved considerably.

In addition, weight loss surgery has also been associated with easing of joint pain because it spares the joints from the stress of extra weight that overweight people carry. In general having a healthy weight can improve your health and longevity.

So while the conventional ways to lose weight may be the ideal way to deal with the problem of excess weight, weight loss surgery definitely stands by as a good alternative.

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Thursday, April 30, 2009

UK Alternative Medicine Market Overview

Complementary and alternative medicine is increasingly becoming popular in many developed countries including the UK. The UK market value estimates for complementary therapies in 1996 stood at $106.4 million, while the sales of herbal remedies totaled $56 million. Homeopathy, chiropractic, acupuncture, medical herbalism, osteopathy, hypnotherapy, aromatherapy are some popular CAM therapies.

Read More at: TheMedica

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Is Robot Assisted Surgery Better?

Slowly and gradually robots seem to be taking over many of the functions that humans perform. Though it may seem like machines rendering man redundant, in perhaps all cases these replacements are for the better, such as in robot assisted surgeries.

Surgical robots have today made remote, minimally invasive, and unmanned surgeries possible. In addition they have enabled better precision with surgical instruments e.g. scissors, miniaturization, smaller incisions, decreased blood loss, less pain, and quicker healing. As a result have led to better patient outcomes.

Aside from these advantages of robot-assisted surgeries, the following examples of their superiority are worth mentioning.

Better for Heavy Women – Uterine cancer is a medical condition with which about a 100 women are diagnosed each day in the USA. Once diagnosed with the disease, many patients are worried about how the treatment, which often includes surgery, would affect their lives and family. However, it seems that robotic surgery may be a better option than laparoscopic surgery for uterine cancer. Recently the journal Gynecologic Oncology showed that patients undergoing robot assisted surgery, lost 2-and-a-half times less blood, were 6 times less likely to need transfusions, and that the time of their stay in hospitals was halved.

Lower risk of a gastric bypass complication - Gastrointestinal leak is a rare but serious complication arising out of gastric by-pass – a weight loss surgical procedure. Scientists at the University of Texas Health Science Center, recently conducted a study comparing the conventional laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass and a robot assisted operation, and found that while none of the robot assisted surgery group suffered a gastrointestinal leak, some patients from the conventional laparoscopy group did.

Additionally, robotic surgery has also been associated with improved survival rates for prostate cancer patients , with effective treatment of urothelial cancer of the kidney, and more.

All in all, robots with surgical instruments in their hands have a lot to offer to the field of surgery, and that robot-assisted surgery is indeed better in many cases.

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Monday, April 27, 2009

Alternative Medicines Industry Profile

Alternative medicines are also known as complementary and alternative Medicine (CAM) or traditional medicines. In some African and Asian nations about 80 percent of the population gets its primary health care via Alternative medicines. About 12 percent children use CAM in the US such as homeopathic medicines, herbs and yoga for addressing a number ailments. However, CAM usage has decreased for head or chest colds from 2002 to 2007 in the US.

Read More at: TheMedica

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Can Adjustable Chairs Diminish Neck Pain?

Sitting in a chair for prolonged periods of time is a sure shot recipe for developing back and neck pain. However, if a chair such as your office chair is adjustable, then it may reduce neck and back pain that you could otherwise suffer from.

Back pain from sitting could result from several reasons. For instance, sitting in a chair or stools e.g. hospital stools, for long periods can lead to a buildup of stress on our shoulders, neck, back, arms, legs, and back muscles. In addition, most people tend to slouch while sitting, and a bad posture may make it more likely for pain to develop.

How adjustable chairs could remedy the situation.

Some time back a study published in the medical publication Spine, concluded that adjustable-height chairs that had ergonomically curved seats, had the potential to significantly reduce neck and shoulder pain in garment workplaces. (Spine, Apr 2007)

Garment workers seem to be an apt group for studying the back pain phenomenon because their work entails being seated in a position for seven to ten hours every single day. And not only do they have to work with cloth requiring fine-motor tasks while sewing, but they also have to lean forward and hold their arms and shoulders up.

Based on the results of the study the participants who were provided with an adjustable chairs had experienced a reduction in pain between 0.14 – 0.34 points on a 0-5 scale every month compared to a control group, over a four-month period.

So if adjustable chairs could work for garment workers, whose jobs are extremely physically demanding, then definitely, customizable chairs should benefit many of us who have to sit in our chairs for long hours.

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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

3 Burning Issues for Hospitals Today

This recession has had quite an impact on hospitals, causing 45% of hospitals to postpone capital projects and 13% to cease any expansion in process, as an American Hospital Association report revealed. But despite the new challenges posed by financial crisis for the medical industry, hospitals have their own health care delivery issues to tackle.

Many hospitals have been purchasing refurbished hospital furniture such as hospital chairs or beds to cut costs. However, in addition, addressing the following issues can lead to long term cost-savings.

1. Hospital Deaths due to Medical Errors

Preventable medical errors caused an average of 195,000 individuals to lose their lives in the USA. This was the finding of a HealthGrades study that assessed 37 million patient records for the years 2000, 2001 and 2002. The associated health care cost of these medical errors is estimated to be over $6 billion per year. Following the study, analysts suggested that just by improving upon four key areas, namely, failure to rescue, bed sores, postoperative sepsis, and postoperative pulmonary embolism. And if their occurrence could be reduced by just 20 percent, 39,000 lives can be saved each year. Whether medical error rates have dropped since the study remains to be seen.

2. Hospitals' Efficiency

The hospitals in the US can significantly improve patient care and also save a minimum of about $4 billion annually, only if they became more efficient. These conclusions follow from an analysis by Thomson Reuters. Key suggestions from the company to save costs include reducing hospital-acquired infections and slashing hospital readmissions. While the minimum savings are to the tune of $4 billion, with some really effective measures in place hospitals could save up to $20 billion over a span of three years. That's about $7 billion a year in savings.

3. Electronic Health Records

The present state of affairs seems pretty dismal as only 1.5 percent of U.S. hospitals have implemented facility-wide comprehensive health care information technology systems. Further, just about 8 – 11 percent hospitals have at least a single unit with installed with basic health care IT systems. (New England Journal of Medicine, NEJM, Mar 2009).

While smaller budgets, maintenance costs, hesitation among health care professional are said to be the primary reasons preventing the widespread use of IT systems, the long-term effects of installing them need to be taken into account. At the same time, it's hardly any use having IT systems in place when their power isn't leveraged via effective use.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Medical Diagnostics Industry Overview

The medical and clinical diagnostic industry comprises businesses and laboratories that offer analytic or diagnostic services including body fluid analysis and diagnostic imaging. The world market for diagnostics was valued at $22.47 billion in 2000 and was expected grew at an annual rate of about 6 percent to $28.63 billion by 2005. The IVD product, point-of-care instrument and the medical diagnostic kit (MDK) markets have emerged as growing segments of the diagnostic laboratory industry.

Read More at: Themedica

Thursday, April 16, 2009

6 Striking Health Effects of Vitamin D

According to Boston University researchers, between 30 to 50% of children and adults in the United States are at high risk for vitamin D deficiency. While this deficiency can lead to rickets in children, in adults, it is associated with cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, hypertension, and immune dysfunction.

Experts believe that sensible exposure to sun, an consumption of vitamin dietary supplements may be the best way to deal with this preventable medical condition.

The following are some newly discovered benefits of vitamin D

1. Reduced risk of Fracture - A study found that oral vitamin D supplements taken at a dose of at least 400 international units daily, were linked to a decreased risk of bone fractures in older adults. (Archives of Internal Medicine, Mar 2009)

2. Protection from Diabetes - If you consume the right quantities of vitamin D, it may protect you from diabetes or even delay its onset. Further, it may reduce complications in those who've already acquired the disease. (The Diabetes Educator, 2009)

3. Prevent Heart Attacks - If you are a man and you have low levels of vitamin D in your system, then you may be at a greater risk of a heart attack or myocardial infarction, suggests a study published in the journal, Archives of Internal Medicine, June 2008 issue. Consequently, ensuring adequate amounts of the sunshine vitamin in your system via supplements may offer protection against against heart attacks.

4. Increased Girl Power! - UK researchers recently found that teenage girls with higher vitamin D levels were able to jump higher and faster than those who didn't, indicating an improved muscle performance. Boys, Watch Out! (Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, JCEM Feb 2009)

5. Prevent Skin Infection - A study by San Diego School of Medicine researchers found that intake of oral Vitamin D supplements helps the body produce cathelicidin - a protective chemical present in the skin. As a result, offering protection from skin infections that result from atopic dermatitis – the commonest type of eczema. (Journal of Allergy & Clinical Immunology, Oct 2008)

6. Protection from Death! - Well, vitamin D won't quite infuse immortality into you, but could make you live longer. Here's why. Following a review of several studies, French researchers concluded that the sunshine vitamin does lower your risk of death from any cause. (Archives of Internal Medicine, Sept 2007)

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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

5 Ways by which Alcohol can Abuse You

According to 2006 data, sixty one percent of American adults reported drinking alcohol during the past year. While moderate drinking is considered safe for many people, heavy drinking may be harmful to almost anyone.

Alcohol is a depressant and affects the brain much like a central nervous system drug would.

The following are some newly discovered harmful effects of alcohol

1. Cancer – Those individuals who experience facial flushing on alcohol consumption are at a greater risk of esophageal cancer. The flushing response includes nausea, facial flushing, and an increased heart rate. (PLoS Medicine, Mar 2009)

Also, alcohol consumption is the biggest risk factor for acetaldehyde-related cancer, the risk may be greater for heavy drinkers. (Addiction, Mar 2009)

Moreover, the risk of getting pancreatic cancer is upped by 22 percent by an intake of two or more alcoholic drinks per day. Advisably, men shouldn't take more than two drinks a day, while women shouldn't drink more than one. (Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention, Mar 2009)

Further, a woman's chance of developing breast cancer or other cancers is increased by a margin of 13 percent, even by moderate consumption of alcoholic beverages. (Journal of the National Cancer Institute, JNCI, Mar 2009)

2. Depression - Depression is generally believed to be the cause, compelling individuals to self-medicate themselves by drinking alcohol. However, a new statistical modeling study suggests just the reverse, that in fact, excessive alcohol consumption may lead to a greater risk of depression. (Archives of General Psychiatry, Mar 2009)

Also, research shows that if you try to stop drinking, even if you're one who drinks only at moderate levels, it may lead to health problems that include depression. (Neuropsychopharmacology, Jul 2008)

3. Brain Volume – According to a new report, the more alcohol you drink lesser is your brain volume likely to be. Though, brain volume naturally decreases at a rate of 1.9 percent every decade, drinking alcohol may pronounce the effect. (Archives of Neurology, Oct 2008)

4. Pregnancy - While you're pregnant not drinking alcohol seems to be the safest option. Alcohol consumption during pregnancy has been linked to greater risks of miscarriage, stillbirth, pre-term birth, low birth-weight, etc. (The Australian and New Zealand Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Jun 2008)

5. Physical Injury – It's well-known that heavy drinking and driving don't mix, but new research shows that even with moderate consumption you could find yourself on a hospital bed. A study showed that much of alcohol linked damage is associated to moderate consumption. (A doctoral thesis, Swedish medical university Karolinska Institutet, Mar 2009).

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Monday, April 13, 2009

5 Cases Where Diet Supplements May Harm

Dietary supplements were being used by 17.7 percent of American adults in 2007. While scientists have found many benefits of dietary supplements e.g. folic acid prevents some birth defects, calcium and vitamin D can prevent and treat bone loss, etc, they have also found some harmful effects of different dietary and herbal supplements.

The following are their 5 harmful effects

1. Increased Risk Of Heart Attack - Calcium supplements could up the chances of a heart attack in healthy postmenopausal women, found a study. Calcium is often prescribed to women after menopause to keep bones healthy, and some doctors even believe that it prevents arteries from blockage, but new research highlights a risk. (British Medical Journal (BMJ), Jan 2008.)

2. Increased Risk of Prostrate Cancer - The risk of prostate cancer for men who consume a daily folic acid supplement of 1 mg may be double, when compared to men who don't. Folic acid or vitamin B9 is naturally found in many vegetables, beans, fruits and whole grains. The study was conducted by the University of Southern California scientists. (Journal of the National Cancer Institute, Mar 2009.)

3. Increased Risk of Lung Cancer – When beta carotene and other carotenoid-containing dietary supplements are consumed over a long period of time they may increase the risk of getting lung cancer. And the links are stronger when the consumers happen to be smokers. (American Journal of Epidemiology AJE, Feb 2009.)

4. Reduced Effect of Anti-Cancer Drugs - If you are on supplements and if it results in high amounts of vitamin C in your cells. Then it may reduce the effect of anti-cancer drugs you consume because the vitamin levels will cause the cancer cells to live longer (Cancer Research, Oct 2008).

5. Increased Risk For Diabetes - A large scale study concluded that people who consumed 200 microgram selenium supplement daily, for about eight years, their chances of developing type 2 diabetes were higher than those who took a placebo. (Annals of Internal Medicine, Aug 2007)

While useful in many cases, intake of supplements can sometimes be damaging.

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Medical Instruments Market Overview

Being used since the seventeenth century, precision medical instruments today are an invaluable component of health care delivery. Used to in monitoring, diagnosis, therapy, treatment or alleviation of diseases, the market for medical instruments is forecast to reach $201.6 billion in 2010. In 2007, the USA accounted for 60% of the industry's world market at $8.3 billion for the minimally invasive medical devices industry.

Read More at: Themedica

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Fast Ricin Detection – Is it Now Possible?

Ricin, a poison found in Castor beans is so potent that even if a small quantity, the size of a grain of salt, gets into your system can kill you. Now, if new research is to be believed, then scientists may have developed a new assay system that detects ricin fast and easy.

Perhaps the most popular incident of ricin poisoning is the 1978 assassination of the Bulgarian dissident Georgi Markov in London. He was reportedly stabbed with an umbrella that lodged a small ricin-coated pellet into his leg that later killed him. With no known antidote available, ricin today, is also feared as a potential bio-terrorism agent.

Till now, scientists had a hard time detecting the toxin. Because it involved multi-step procedures that assessed whether certain compounds were stopping ricin from working or not. But now that may not be necessary.

The New Ricin Detection Assay System

The working of the assay is simple. To check the presence of ricin in suspect samples, they need to be put into a few drops of a mixture of reagents. If the mixture emits light, then ricin is present, else it isn't. Further, the brighter the light emitted or the greater is the luminescence, higher is the concentration of the toxin within the sample. This technique has been developed by researchers at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University (AECOM).

It may appear that ricin being a poison only has nefarious applications, but no, just like nuclear energy, which can be used to generate electricity or A-bombs. Ricin too can either be used to kill humans or potentially save them. Because it has been used an cancer drug to kill and destroy cancer cells, however, this research is still in its early stages.

Nevertheless, the new ricin detection assay system should be able arm scientists with the tools that can detect ricin in a jiffy and save lives.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

7 Foods That Affect Weight Loss

According to NIH statistics about 133.6 million or two-third of Americans were overweight or obese in 2006. Being overweight is linked to several health maladies such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, cancers and high blood pressure to name a few.

Foods, while not the only reason contributing to excess weight gain do have a significant role to play. Other means used achieve weight change include whole food supplements, weight loss pills, physical exercise, dieting etc.

The following is a run-through of how some edibles affect weight loss or weight gain.

1. Calcium – Increasing the intake of calcium can set-off weight loss. This is the conclusion of a study that included a 15-week weight loss program, at the end of which the obese participants who consumed calcium tablets lost about 6 kg, while those who didn't lost just 1 kg. However, this worked only in people whose diets were deficient in calcium (British Journal of Nutrition, April 2009).

2. Chewing Gums – Sorbitol is the main ingredient in many sugar-free chewing gums, and it is also associated with dangerous weight loss. This was discovered after studying two patients who suffered chronic diarrhea, abdominal pain and too much weight loss, which was pinned down to eating too many chewing gums with sorbitol (British Medical Journal 'BMJ', January 2008).

But in another study, chewing gums reduced weight in a seemingly harmless way. Eating a chewing gum before an afternoon snack led to reduced food cravings via promoting fullness, and an overall reduced calorie intake, up to 25 calories. (A research presentation, 2007 Annual Scientific Meeting of The Obesity Society)

3. Grapefruit Diet – Simply supplementing your diet with grapefruit and grapefruit juice can lead to weight loss. The participants in the study who ate just half a grapefruit with a meal lost 3.6 pounds. Further, drinking grapefruit juice had a similar effect, with the participants losing 3.3 pounds ('Grapefruit Diet' study, Nutrition and Metabolic Research Center at Scripps Clinic, 2004).

4. Fructose – A reduced intake of fructose can aid weight loss. Fructose is a kind of sugar that can be quickly turned into body fat. Fruits are a good source of fructose, but so are many processed foods and the sweetener high-fructose corn syrup or HFCS, which is used in many processed foods. (Journal of Nutrition, July 2008).

5. Beverages – There's a stronger link between liquid calorie intake (e.g. beverages) and weight change than is between solid calorie intake (e.g. bread) and weight change. And that a reduction in liquid calorie intake is positively associated with weight loss (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 'AJCN', April, 2009).

6. Dairy Products - Dairy products don't help people lose weight. This was the conclusion of evidence collected from 49 clinical trials from 1966 to 2007 that tested whether milk, and dairy products had an effect on body weight and BMI (Nutrition Reviews, May 2008).

7. Eggs - When two eggs were consumed for breakfast, as part of a reduced-calorie diet, the weight loss in overweight adults more, compared to those who ate a bagel breakfast containing an equal number of calories (International Journal of Obesity, August 2008).

Since, it's well-known that excess body weight is associated with many diseases, it appears profitable to invest time and money in weight loss, at least it's better than spending money on medical drugs used to treat excess weight related disorders.

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Herbal Supplements: 5 Promising Benefits

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Herbal Supplements: 5 Promising Benefits

Results from a national survey in 2007 showed that, 17.7 percent of American adults had used "natural products" in the past 12 months. These natural or herbal supplements didn't include vitamins and minerals.

Of late there have been a slew of discussions, debates, and studies that have questioned the efficacy and safety of herbal supplements, e.g. herbal supplements viz. Echinacea, Glucosamine, Kava, etc. could lead to dangerous side effects during plastic surgery. And an NIH supported study found that the herbal supplement black cohosh used alone or with other herbal dietary supplements, wasn't effective in relieving hot flashes in postmenopausal women.

Nevertheless, the following are 5 promising health benefits of several herbal supplements.

1. Prostate Cancer Prevention - An increased consumption of dietary isoflavones is linked with reduced risk of prostate cancer. One source of the compound is Red clover (Trifolium pretense). However, there's little information about these supplements' safety. These results were reported in Cancer Prevention Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR).

2. Prostate Cancer Treatment - According to a report published in the October 2005 edition of Nutrition and Cancer, Zyflamend - a unique herbal extract preparation, suppresses the growth of prostate cancer cells and causes them to self-destruct.

3. Managing Cocaine Cravings - A study presented at the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology's (ACNP) annual conference 2005, showed that the compound N-acetylcysteine (NAC) could modulate the effects of cocaine addiction. NAC is an herbal supplement known for its antioxidant properties and is sold over-the-counter.

4. Fertility Boost in women - Chasteberry was the herb that showed an improved ovulation and restoration of progesterone balance in women. These results published in the April 2004 issue of the Journal of Reproductive Medicine were an outcome of a small pilot study in by Stanford researchers. Btw, fertility is affected by a bad economy too, see: Does Bad Economy Equal Low Fertility Rate?

5. Combating Liver Cancer – The aqueous leaf extract (ALE) from the plant Acanthus ilicifolius – found across India, increased the survival of cancer ridden animals (mice) to a significant extent. Suggesting that the plant extract may be used to guard against liver cancer. The study appeared in the World Journal of Gastroenterology (volume 13, issue 48).

It's exciting to see that effective cures and treatments could very well lie outside the purview of conventional medicine. And that researches only help separate the wheat from chaff.

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Monday, April 6, 2009

The US Generic Drugs Market Overview

The total US generic pharmaceutical manufacturer sales for the year 2007 was$58.5 billion, whereas the sales of branded pharmaceuticals during the same year amounted to $228 billion. In 2009, a number of blockbuster drugs are losing patent protections, some of them include Prevacid, Imigran, Arimidex, Keppra, Cellcept, Flomox, AmbienCR, Valtrex, and Topamax. According to IMS Health, the generic drugs industry is expanding at a growth rate of 7.8%, which faster than the world's market for pharmaceuticals.

Read More at: Themedica

Friday, April 3, 2009

Top 6 Skin Care Tips

Caring for the skin has a two-fold benefit, one, your skin looks young and beautiful and two, it keeps your skin healthy and protects you from many skin problems.

Even though your busy life may not afford you the luxury to pamper your skin, you can positively take some simple yet effective steps for good skin care.

The following are some general tips to care for you skin

1. Eat well for good skin: While topically applied skin care products provide protection and some supply nutrition, it's only part of the job done. For the overall well-being of your skin eat a balanced diet that's rich in vitamins and antioxidants, because it has the potential to make a real difference in your skin's appearance.

2. Clean your skin with care: The key to cleaning the skin is to do it gently. If you don't, you run the risk of taking away too much oil from the skin leaving it dry. You can be gentle to your skin by using warm water as against hot water, patting your skin dry rather than rubbing it with a towel, not spending too much time bathing, and preferring softer soaps.

3. Hair styling products and procedures may harm: Experts advise that overuse of either hair care products or unnecessarily subjecting hair to treatments such as straightening, coloring, perms, waving, etc can lead to hair damage & breakage, and make them look unhealthy in the longer duration of time.

4. Restoring moisture back to the skin: Moisturizers are skin care products, which work by many means to maintain the correct moisture levels for your skin. Since there are many skin types, many factors to consider, and many types of moisturizers, it makes sense to consult your skin doctor for more information.

5. Guarding the skin from sun: Because overexposure to sunlight can lead to skin damage, wrinkles, dry skin and possibly cancers its important to protect yourself form the sun. You can do that by minimizing staying outdoors between 10 am. to 4 pm, when the sun's at its best. Use clothing with sleeves, using hats, wearing ankle length pants etc. And using sunscreen - your dermatologist can help you choose an apt product.

6. Smoking is bad for skin too: Wrinkles are what cigarettes offer you in return for puffing them. They're pretty effective in ruining your skin and generously aid not only damage to the skin, but also in making you look older than you really are. And besides, by now I believe there's hardly anyone who is ignorant about the dangers of smoking. You may want to seek help in trying to quit smoking, it's tough, but not impossible if you really decide to help yourself.

Sometimes small investments can lead to bigger returns, perhaps simple skin care measures too can lead to a better looking healthy skin for you for a long time.

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Thursday, April 2, 2009

Urinary Tract Infection – 4 Alternative Treatments

According to a National Institute of Health publication, about 14.8 million women and men experienced a UTI in 1995, and with the infections' propensity to recur, especially in women, can some alternative medicine treatments be helpful too?

Urinary tract infections being the second most common type of infections affecting people, accompanies symptoms such as pain/burning while passing water, fever, tiredness/shakiness, urge to use the toilet often, etc. Doctors usually prescribe genitourinary drugs to kill the infection and a relief can be experienced, usually in a day or two.

Following are some natural remedies used on UTI sufferers.

1. Forskolin: This is an extract from the Indian coleus plant. And researchers at the Duke University Medical Center experimenting on mice found that it helps by flushing out hiding colonies of bacteria from the urinary tract. As a result make bacteria susceptible to antibiotic medications. The study appeared in the April 8, 2007 issue of the journal Nature Medicine.

2. Cranberry: According to a study from the Journal of Medicinal Food - a peer-reviewed journal, it's the chemicals present in cranberries rather than the acidity of cranberry juice that prevent infectious bacteria from attaching to urinary tract's cell lining. Further, a National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) article suggests that some studies testing the efficacy of cranberry products in forestalling UTIs have shown promise. At the same time the results can't be considered conclusive.

3. Echinacea Purpurea: Often known as the purple coneflower, this herb has been used on urinary tract infection sufferers, either based on tradition or scientific theories. However, a National Library of Medicine article informs that this use hasn't been thoroughly tested in humans. Also, the safety and effectiveness too hasn't been proven for such use, always.

4. Probiotics: Also known as "friendly bacteria" or "good bacteria," these refer to live microorganisms that don't generally harm people. According to a conference report released in November 2005, an assessment of the use of probiotics to prevent and treat infections of the urinary tract or the female genital tract had turned out promising evidence. The conference was cofunded by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) and convened by the American Society for Microbiology.

With the UTI's burdening the healthcare system with over $2 billion in treatment costs (annual), if alternative medications can complement conventional treatments in fighting it, then they should be more than welcome.

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Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Does Bad Economy Equal Low Fertility Rate?

The National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG), 1995, revealed that the number of women using infertility services in the U.S. was 9.3 million, and today if the forecast of some economists is to be believed, the economic crisis could cause the U.S. birth rate to decline.

Aside from the usual infertility problems treated with fertility drugs, the strained economy has its own way of affecting fertility.

Here are some hows and whys?

  • According to a story in the LA Times, historical data over the past 75 years suggests that the U.S. fertility rate has declined following economic recessions. Not surprisingly, it was the worst after the Great Depression. Though not as bad as the Great Depression, the recession this time is big enough to be compared head on with its grandpa.
  • Further, as a consequence of economic hardships, many couples might decide to either postpone or not have children at all. And it already appears to be happening, as reports from all across the country suggest that the number of men wanting to undergo vasectomy – a medical procedure leading to permanent sterilization, have doubled according to a Web MD article. This seems pretty extreme considering the availability of many other contraceptive methods such as the use of birth control pharma drugs.
  • At the same time, some sociologists opine that recession could even lead to more births than less. The reasoning is that job loss will present women with more time and an opportunity to have children and raise them.
  • A rather different kind of a baby boom also seems to be occurring and that is of many women opting to donate eggs to fertility clinics, to financially support themselves, an MSNBC report suggests that.
While it will take a couple of months before the actual effect on fertility rate can be assessed, it's seems unmistakable that state of the economy can have some significant repercussions on human fertility.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

6 Alternative Medicines For Type 2 Diabetes

With over 200 million people suffering from diabetes worldwide, and counting, it's fast becoming the #1 epidemic of modern times. A major cause of end-stage renal disease, preventable amputations and blindness, the efficacy of many alternative medicine treatments in managing diabetes has been explored.

While conventional medicine has prescriptions of endocrine disorder drugs for diabetes, alternative therapeutic approaches to its management include herbs, plant extracts and more.

The following are some naturals and alternative therapeutics that seem promising to scientists studying their effect on diabetes.

1. Fenugreek: This herb is commonly used for appetite loss, and to stimulate milk production in breastfeeding women. And a handful of studies have discovered that fenugreek may help in bringing down blood sugar levels in diabetes sufferers, that's according to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicines (NCCAM).

Some time back, the Diabetes UK referred to several herbs being studied, including momordica cymbalaria, gymnema sylvestre and swertia chirayita.

2. Momordica Cymbalaria Roots: This a cucumber-like vegetable was assessed by scientists for its effect on Type 2 diabetes control and their tests on diabetic rats showed an improved glucose tolerance.

3. Gymnema Sylvestre Herb: Originating from the Indian tropical forests, this herb when tested for its effects on the body's ability to produce insulin, seemed to have a direct impact on the pancreatic insulin producing cells.

4. Swertia Chirayita Bark: Laboratory studies on the bark have found that some compounds separated from it appear to set off insulin production, in addition to enhancing its action.

5. Berberine: Chemically classified as a salt and found in the roots and barks of many plants, it has been documented in Chinese literature for having glucose lowering properties. According to Research Australia, the compound is indeed able to help lower blood sugar levels in animal models of diabetes.

6. Tai Chi Exercises:
This isn't quite a herb, nonetheless, according to the April 2008 issue of the British Journal of Sports Medicine, Tai Chi exercises can improve the management of type 2 diabetes via improving blood glucose levels.

Despite appearing promising, experts believe that a lot more research is needed to definitively establish some of these alternative medicines' degree of efficacy.

Monday, March 30, 2009

The Links Between Vegetables, Fruits and Cancer

With over a 100 types of cancers able to affect any part of the body, about 13% of all deaths worldwide were caused by the disease in 2004. Generally treated by surgery, radiation therapy and cancer drugs such as antineoplastic agents, a third of all cancers could be cured if they are detected early and treated well. And with about a one-third of all cancer cases being preventable, there's a realization to stress more on this cost-effective way of tackling cancer.

Some foods, such as fruits and vegetable are thought to aid prevention of cancer. And many studies have found such links as follows.

Vegetables, Fruits and Prostate Cancer

A review published in the "Molecular Nutrition and Food Research," Feb 2009 issue supports the claim that an intake of a high vegetable diet can reduce the risk of prostate cancer. The protective mechanism is believed to be include antioxidants that shield the DNA and healthy cell against damage.

In a related study published in the “International Journal of Cancer, March 2004,” those who consumed most fiber particularly from vegetable sources ran a moderately lower risk of being affected by the disease.

Vegetables, Fruits and Colon Cancer

An analysis published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, 2007, suggested that while consumption of fruits and vegetables isn't strongly associated with the overall colon cancer risk, there's a possibility of a lower risk at the distal colon or the left-hand side of the colon.

Vegetables, Fruits and Cervical Cancer

An article appearing in the journal “Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention,2002,” showed that women whose diets were high in vegetables cut their rates of long-lasting HPV infections by half. Thus indirectly decreasing the risk of developing cervical cancer.

Vegetables, fruits and Cancer Drugs

A study released by the Pennsylvania State University (PSU), Mar 2009, found that compounds extracted from green vegetables like broccoli and cabbage could be used to make effective cancer drugs against melanoma – a type of a skin cancer. Trials conducted on mice showed that these compounds targeted tumors more safely and effectively than conventional treatments.

While many studies support the role of fruits and vegetables in preventing cancer, many don't. For instance, no link foun between eating fruits and vegetables and a decreased risk for breast cancer (JAMA, Jan 2005), or a high intake of fruit and vegetables isn't linked to a decreased risk of cancer (Journal of the National Cancer Institute, Nov 2004), and more.

All in all, the link between vegetables, fruits and cancer seems to be and as the American Cancer Society (ACS) suggests, is that eating more vegetables and fruits lowers the risk for some types of cancers.

The UK Diet Supplements Market Overview

A general sentiment to maintain health, protect against illness, tackle specific health problems, up vitality levels and live healthier are driving up the demand for vitamins, minerals and supplements within the United Kingdom. By the year 2006, the UK VMS market was valued at $827 million. The six major players who held a major share (approx. 78 percent) within the vitamins, minerals, and supplements (VMS) market are Holland & Barrett, Bayer, Seven Seas, Boots Healthcare, SuperDrug, and Tesco. By 2011, the UK market for diet supplements is expected to be valued at $868 million.

Read More at: Themedica

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

IBS Treatment - Therapies That Work

Also known as spastic colon, Irritable Bowel Syndrome or IBS is a disorder of the bowel that affects about 30% people sometime during their lives. And about 10% are so much troubled by it that they seek medical help.

Some common IBS symptoms include abdominal pain, stomach cramps, constipation, diarrhea, bloated stomach, dizziness, nausea, and backaches, which cause many people to miss work, and restrict their social lives. While IBS treatments generally include a prescription of gastrointestinal drugs and changes in diet, some therapies other than conventional treatments have shown promise.

4 Treatments that work

1. Fiber, antispasmodics, and peppermint oil

A study published on bmj.com in November 2008, suggests that doctors' recommendations as first-line treatments for ibs should include fiber, antispasmodics, and peppermint oil. Because research found that patients treated with a combination of these there fared better than those who were treated with placebos or weren't treated at all. Also, no serious side effects were found. And treatment with peppermint oil appeared to be the most effective.
2. Probiotics

A set of studies presented at the American College of Gastroenterology's (ACG) 73rd Scientific Meeting indicated that probiotics were safe and effective for the treatment of constipation/diarrhea linked to Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). While probiotics were found to be effective, it couldn't be concluded whether just one probiotic was enough or a combination would work better. Nonetheless, it works.

3. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Hypnotherapy

A study is appearing in the July 2008 issue of the journal Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology observes symptom relief in IBS sufferers following a self-administered, at-home cognitive behavioral program. The efficacy of the at-home program was similar to 10-week in-office program under a trained therapist's guidance. An earlier research published in the Digestive Disease Week 2006, showed cognitive behavioral therapy and hypnotherapy as effective IBS treatments that also helped in other chronic disorders of the gastrointestinal tract.

4. Traditional Chinese, Tibetan And Indian Herbal Medicines

Research appearing in the “The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2006,” suggests that traditional herbal medicines can improve abdominal pain, disturbed bowel movements, and/or bloating and distension associated with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). In the researchers' assessment spanning 75 different randomized trials, they concluded that there was evidence that some of the alternative medicines did help improve the global symptoms of IBS.

The University of Michigan advises on some dietary changes that many patients have found helpful, they include:
  • Avoid or limit the amount of gas-producing foods such as beans, onions, broccoli, cabbage or any other foods that will commonly aggravate IBS symptoms.
  • Try to slow down when you eat and avoid overeating.
  • Avoid carbonated drinks. These can introduce gas into the intestines and cause bloating or abdominal discomfort.
  • Intolerance to milk sugar, or lactose, is seen in up to 40 percent of patients with IBS. Avoiding dairy products may be helpful in reducing symptoms of IBS such as gas, bloating, cramping and diarrhea.
  • Avoid large quantities of other sugars such as fructose or sorbitol which can also worsen IBS symptoms
  • The addition of fiber in the form of psyllium can help with constipation related symptoms in IBS patients.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Industry Overview: US Home Healthcare Services

About 20,000 home healthcare service organizations across the nation deliver healthcare to 8 million individuals with an acute illness, a long-term medical condition, a permanent disability, or a terminal illness. For the top performing companies, the average revenue in 2007 was $17,340,702. In the coming thirty years, the American population over 65 years of age will double to 70 million. Ageing population coupled with several other make the market for home healthcare service promising.

Read More at: Themedica

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

5 Quick Tips to Selecting Cleanroom Wipes

Use of wipes in cleanrooms is so common and natural that often the need to carefully select cleanroom cleaning equipment and supplies may be overlooked. The following are some general guidelines to help you assess and choose the right products matching your needs.

1. Cleanliness: This refers to the extent to which wipes themselves contribute to contamination. Generally, cleanliness is inversely linked to absorbency. So you'd need to consider your priorities before you make the decision.

2. Absorbing power: Wipes differ in their degree of absorbency based on what they're made of. A good way to choose wipes is to consider the type of contamination they would wipe off. The 'like absorbs like' rule seems to work well here, e.g. natural fibers like cellulose perform well with water based contamination, while polyester works well with other petrol derived contaminants such as fuel oils, gasoline, etc.

3. Packing: From cheap and dirty cardboard to double-packaging and static-dissipative, the packing of these products is as varied as they themselves are. Consider your requirements to choose from a plethora of packaging choices. Also assess the process of packaging use, as in order to be worth their salt, wipes should themselves have been processed and assembled in cleanrooms.

4. Usage: Think about where you're going to be using the cleanroom wipers. While wipes for clinical use need to be sterile, those used in schools and the wood works setting generally make use of tackifiers, which cause dust particles to stick on to them. Also, consider whether any material used in making the wipes doesn't react with solvents and chemicals they are used to clean.

5. The Price Tag: Fabric wipes though generally costlier than paper wipes are sturdier and have more absorbing power. But they eventually might turn out to be cheaper, because they can be reused a couple of times. Paper wipes are more suited to electronics and medical applications, where re-contamination is undesirable.