Category Archives: medicine

Patient Advocate – An Important Role For All Caregivers

The job of caregiver, though usually unpaid, is one of the most complex and challenging robes anyone will undertake. There is no how-to manual that can adequately coach people on what it takes to keep a loved one safe and well once he or she has serious medical problems.

Whether you have a loved one living with you full-time or you manage his / her care from 3,000 miles away, chances are you will be called at some point to act as that person's advocate. So, along with the responsibilities that many of the more than 35 million caregivers in this country face on a daily basis, such as feeding, cooking, bathing or exceeding hiring help, you will also need to have a voice for that person if he / She is not able to ask serious questions or find important information.

Physically or mentally impaired older people need advocacy in many areas. Some examples include dealing with housing or transportation offices, the Social Security Administration, and sorting through Medicare and Medicaid. Many seniors are entitled to benefits that they are unaware of and need someone to help them find information on vital programs. Some elders are eligible for reduced or frozen rent rates, reduction of transportation costs and / or specialized transportation to help them remain independent. Find your local area agencies on aging at eldercare.gov for more information on what your loved one may qualify for.

Perhaps the most important area for advocacy is the health care system. From prescribed medications to medical testing and hospitals, studies show that older Americans must be proactive in understanding the health care they receive to protect themselves from errors and injuries. Those who can not do so need someone to speak up on their behalf.

Older people need a good advocate within the health care system. There is no doubt that being hospitalized puts older patients at risk for a whole host of problems, including infections, falls, confusion, weakness and bedsores. In addition, a 2006 report by the Institute of Medicine revealed that hospitalized medical care patients experienced an estimated 400,000 preventable injuries each year from adverse drug reactions. Another 800,000 adverse events were found in nursing homes, plus 530,000 more in outpatient settings.

One of the major recommendations that came from this study was that "patients and their surrogates should in turn take a more active role in the process … to keep careful records of all medicines." Patients and caregivers can cut down on the likelihood of injury by creating a simple medical record that is brought to all doctor's appointments and hospital admissions.

In addition to harm done by medications, what about all of the interventions that are offered to older patients or those with serious illness? We've all heard stories about someone who has had the wrong leg amputated or the wrong kidney removed, and are horrific that such things can still happen since the high level of care available in this country. These are obvious cases …

Acupuncture – How Many Treatments Do You Need?

You may be wondering how many treatments it takes before you recognize the positive effects of acupuncture. Many people are actually worried about the procedure's use of several needles. Is it really effective and does it hurt? Finding out more about the application and methods will help you know what to expect so you can relax more.

Treatment Frequency

During your first visit, you will be assessed about your current condition via traditional or modern methods. Modern methods will rely on laboratory and clinical diagnostic results, physical assessment and medical background history while traditional methods will rely on unique procedures such as pulse and tongue diagnosis. Traditional acupuncturists will also want to know about your medical history to confirm diagnosis.

The number, frequency and length of acupuncture treatments actually vary among patients depending on the symptoms presented, conditions being treated, tolerance to treatment, age and response to treatment. Some patients may start noticing results after 1 to 3 sessions while others need to let their body adapt to the stimulation gradually making the process last for months. Acute problems are faster and easier to treat that require minimum time and frequency. For example, mild sprains may be treated through a couple of sessions while chronic fatigue may require a dozen or more sessions.

You may be treated immediately after assessment or diagnosis although most patients are asked to prepare then come back the next day or within the week. In most cases, acupuncture treatments are only done 1 to 3 times every week for a total of 12 sessions. Each session lasts anywhere between 20 to 60 minutes. Modern approaches have a scientific basis but are also considered as dry needing by traditional practicers since they can take as fast as 5 to 10 minutes. As patients improve, acupuncture treatment will be needed less and less.

How Fast to Notice Results

Most patients report positive results anywhere between the 1st and 4th treatment. Women who are being treated for infertility or menstrual problems may take more time so wait until after 3 menstrual cycles. Appointments will be scheduled farther and farther apart as patients start responding to treatment.

In other cases, acupuncture may not prove to be effective if patients do not feel anything after 3 to 5 treatments. Other options for acupuncture treatment, different forms of acupuncture or alternative medicine may be provided instead. Acute problems improve faster while chronic ones take time. …

Women Health Tips

DECLINING NUTRITIONAL VALUE IN FRUITS AND VEGETABLES MAY BE A CONCERN.

For years the debate has raged on about the benefits and drawbacks of modern farming techniques. Industrial agriculture or "hyper-farming" has been resolved in giant strides in crop yield, but many claim nutrient content – and so that their total nutritional value to humans – has been suffering.
The average yield in terms of bushels per acre for major crops in the US has sky rocketed since the 1950's. Corn is up 342%! Wheat is up 290% while both soy beans and Alfalfa are up about 170%. Similar sections of yield gains have occurred in Europe, Australia, Japan and other regions of the world as well.

Data presented by researchers from the Department of Soil Sciences at the University of Wisconsin Madison shows that while these great advances in crop yield have occurred in the last 50 years nutrient content has been under siege and declination. Similarly, a review of data published by the USDA's ARC Nutrient Data Laboratory shows "a sharp decline in the minerals, vitamins and other nutrients in foods since the last comprehensive survey", about 20 years ago.

NEW EVIDENCE ON NUTRIENT DEPLETION

Recent data published by Dr. David Thomas, a primary healthcare practitioner and independent researcher, looked at the difference between UK governments published tables for nutrient content published in 1940 and again in 2002. The comparison was eye-opening. It showed that the iron content of 15 different varieties of meat had decreased 47%. Dairy products had shown similar falls; A 60% drop in iron and up to a 90% drop in copper.

GREATER AVAILABILITY VERSUS LESS VALUE.

It is true that in the modern world of the industrial nations, fruits and vegetables availability is at an all time high. If we want it, it's there. On the other hand specifically this increased availability, fruit and vegetable consumption has not increased in the population. Indeed in many population sub-groups it has declined. When this knowledge is coupled to the reported declines in nutrient levels in foods, it has many healthcare providers, scientists, researchers and government officials looking for answers as to how we can hope to sustain the nutritional value and balance of our foods while needing to produce More and more from the same soils to feed an ever-growing population. So far the path ahead is uncertain at best.

NEW STUDIES SHOW PROTECTION CONNECTION BETWEEN TEA, FRUIT AND VEGETABLE CONSUMPTION AND WOMEN'S HEALTH.

Tea and Ovarian Cancer Risk: researchers at the karolinska Institute Division of Nutritional Epidemiology in Stockholm, Sweden conducted a 15 year follow-up study of more than 61,000 women aged 40 to 76. Their evidence, published in the archives of Internal Medicine (2005; 165 (22): 2683-2686) showed that those women who consumed tea on a regular basis had a dramatically lower risk for ovarian cancer. Tea drinkers who averaged less than one cup per day equaled an 18% risk reduction. One or more cups per day provided a 24% risk reduction and …

What Exactly Is Sports Medicine?

Preventive care and therapeutic remedies form the mainstay of the specialized field of sports medicine. This is basically an interdisciplinary sub specialty of medicine, providing curative options to players from the amateur as well as professional groups.

The field of sports is fast gaining a competitive tone at an astounding pace. In fact, this is the main reason that the branch has assumed mammoth significance in the recent years. This holds especially true in the light of the fact that a major focus of this practice lies on the rapid recovery of patients, to mitigate minimum loss of performance and efficiency.

The core working principle of it lies in the modalities in training techniques, equipment, sports venues and rules, decisions for which generally emerge out of substantive and meaningful research and studies.

Scope of Function

Sports medicine covers a wide range of disorders and disabilities, both preventive and curative, caused due to various factors.

The scope of this field of medicine covers a vast span of specialists' branches, including the following:

* Cardiology

* Pulmonology

* Orthopedic surgery

* Exercise physiology

* Biomechanics

* Traumatology

In addition to the above, there are certain special categories of athletes that demand attention from the experts in the field of sports medicine.

These include:

* Female athletes, with eating disorders, menstrual disturbances and bone density issues

* Aging athletes

* Athletes with dermatological and endocrinology diseases

Special Concerns

Apart from the above, there are certain specific and occasional situations that require an active role from the sports medicine specialists.

Here we've listed some of the most crucial ones among these issues:

* Issues emerging from international sporting events, such as travel and acclimatization

* Use of pharmacologic supplements

* Substance abuse

* Gender verification

The Profession

An increasing number of medical professionals are now opting for specialization in the field of sports medicine.

Professionals who aspire to gain specialization first need to begin with a primary residency program in one of the following areas:

* Family practice

* Internal medicine

* Emergency medicine

* Pediatrics

* Physical medicine

* Rehabilitation

The above is then required to be followed by one or two years of additional training, through accredited fellowship programs. Depending upon the basic eligibility criteria, some professionals are then allowed to appear for a sub specialty qualification examination in the field.

The Future Scenario

There have been a vast series of studies and estimates being contracted to gauge the future of sports medicine as a means to enhance performance and reduce ailments.

The majority of such analysis points towards the possibility that this is likely to play a highly critical and effective role in prevention of sports-related injury. The most prominent aspect of research that looks into the application of this branch of this medicine in prevention is the study of the body's neuromuscular adaptations.

Overall, further developments in sports medicine are likely to ensure safe physical activity, while augmenting the performance levels to a reasonable extent. …

Aloe Vera in Skin Care Products

Aloe Vera has been used in skin care products for thousands of years, being mentioned not only in the New Testament of the Bible, but also in ancient Egyptian and Chinese medicine. Most ancient applications appear to be connected with skin care and the treatment of burns, although it is also recorded as having found applications in the easing of constipation and the treatment of conditions connected with the immune system and the cardiovascular system.

However, it is for its use in skin care products that we are concerned with aloe vera here, and among its many properties it is a powerful antioxidant that destroys the free radicals that cause a great deal of damage to skin cells, effectively destroying them. It also aids in the healing of skin damage by supporting the growth of new skin tissue, and finds application on the treatment of such conditions as eczema and psoriasis.

Extensive research and analysis has been carried out on aloe vera in an attempt to establish the nature of the active ingredients, and it is evident that there is no single substance responsible for its wide range of skin care properties.  In fact, over 150 different active substances have been found in the extract, including the antioxidant anthraquinones, also possessing antibacterial and antiviral properties, plant sterols that reduce the inflammation of acne and other inflammatory skin conditions, most of the B vitamins, salicylic acid, saponins and a number of other phytochemicals that not only help to maintain the health of your skin, but also of your entire body.

In common with several other components of aloe vera, Vitamins A, E and C are strong antioxidants that help to keep your skin looking young in spite of the pollution to which modern living exposes it.  It’s not only the UV light in sunlight that generates the free radicals that destroys your skin cells, but also pollution from tobacco smoke, traffic and industrial emissions and modern pesticides used to keep your fruit and vegetables blemish free – but not your skin!

Antioxidants destroy these free radicals as soon as they are generated and so prevent the damage that can make your skin look tough and leathery well before its time. In order to protect your skin effectively in this way you have to use a lot of aloe vera, so skin care preparations containing small amounts will have little effect.  The extract also contains the antioxidant minerals zinc and selenium, and others such as polysaccharides and flavanoids, all working together in different ways to maintain a healthy, smooth and youthful looking skin.

This natural chemical broth protects you even under the hottest sun, although you should still use sun blocker to prevent other damaging effects of the UV radiation that hot sun contains. Of all the natural skin care products available today, aloe vera is likely the best known and is certainly one of the most powerful.  If you want to stay looking younger for longer then use nature’s own antioxidants, …

Plastic Surgeons – How to Find One With the Right Qualifications

When you decide to have a cosmetic procedure, you research it do not you? But, what do you know about the person performing the procedure? Sure, you checked to see if he was board certified, but have you thought about how he got there? The truth is that his path was long and arduous and he never really stops traveling. Here is the typical journey of a plastic surgeon:

Obviously, he has to go to college. He studies pre-med as an undergraduate. After four years, he successfully obtains a Bachelor's Degree in one of the common pre-med major like biology or chemistry. Then, he has to apply to medical school. The one he goes to must be accredited or all of his work will have been for naught. For the next four years, he studies general medicine.

After eight years of school, he's still not finished. For the next five or six years, he continues his training as a resident in an actual hospital or medical facility. For the last couple of years of his training, he concentrates on the intricacies of plastic surgery. Once he completes his residency, he can apply to the American Board of Plastic Surgery for his certification. To achieve this, he must pass the Board's rigorous practical and written exams.

After officially becoming a plastic surgeon, he can choose to specialize even further. Whether he specializes or not, the ABPS requires that he continues his education and holds up on the most recent advances in order to renew his certification. Once he has achieved this step, membership in a prestigious organization like the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Members like this further his education, research and networking with other doctors.

So, as you can see, it took your surgeon a long time to get where he is today. But, that he makes this journey is very important. Just because a physician is a surgeon, it does not mean that he can be a plastic surgeon. When you are looking for one, make sure he has these credentials. Diplomas from his accredited schools as well as his ABPS board certification should be displayed in his office. If you do not see them, ask him or if you do not feel comfortable doing that, research on-line for his credentials.

While your plastic surgeon may have all the credentials and training and he may even be a specialist in your procedure, it still does not make him a great surgeon for you. Do you feel comfortable talking to him about whatever it is you do not like about yourself? Seeking out cosmetic surgery can be embarrassing and is often a sensitive subject. A good plastic surgeon knows this and will be able to set your mind at ease with a gentle and informative manner.

Some things can not be taught in school and a good bed-side manner is one of them. Because the issue is that you want to make a fundamental change to your appearance, you want …

Nuclear Medicine Technologist Job Description

A nuclear medicine technologist assists in the diagnosis and treatment of specific diseases that have a diagnostic process associated with instrumentation and use of nuclear technology and machinery that employ its principle. They are responsible for administering radiopharmaceutical intervention in the form of radioactive drugs to patients, and perform the monitoring and clinical mapping of the concentration of drugs in the patient's body. Technologists work in supervision of a licensed medical doctor. A technologist job description will outline the skills and educational requirements necessary to qualify for the position.

Nuclear MedTechs are responsible for performing several clinical duties. One of their primary tasks is to provide answers to patients who may be undergoing radiopharmaceutical therapy, by explaining the diagnostic procedures, the mechanism of action for drugs and its contraindications. A technologist has to be properly trained in the preparation of radiopharmaceutical drugs, with the approved clinical standards for safety and nuclear matter management.

Necessary knowledge in the operation and manipulation of Nuclear Medicine apparatus and instruments such as gamma scintillation camera, scanner and computers are necessary for this field. Nuclear Medicine Technologists keep records of all film scans, toxicity reports, and clinical progress information pertaining to a patient receiving radiopharmaceutical therapy and provide diagnostic support for physicians for a patient's diagnosis or prognosis.

A two year certification program, provided by several hospitals and technical colleges and a two year associate degree from a community college is required to as a minimum educational qualification to work as a Nuclear Medicine Technologist. Persons who have a relative degree in medical science or computing such as Computer Science, Nursing, Occupational or Physical Therapy, Medical Technology are required to complete a one year certification, specializing in nuclear medicine to qualify. A licens exam is necessary for specific states, and is ideal if you wish to apply in more than one region. …

Natural Health – Foods to Eat to Stay Healthy

Over the years, people have become more and more conscious about which food to eat to stay healthy. Over the years too, several recommendations have been advised. To this end, books were written, keep fit programs were sold and advices followed. The average lifespan though stayed the same, seventy years, much the same as centuries ago.

What are the foods to eat to stay healthy? Everything but in moderation

Doesn’t it sound very much like what the Hebrew book says?” Lifespan of seventy years”, “all food have been cleansed”, “avoid gluttony?” Through all these years, this has never been challenged. This fact remained sure and true. If ever, several adverts have already claimed superior benefits of their weight reducing, health-inducing product. What the adverts succeeded at was over-selling and over- highlighting their claims but never challenged this fact. But that is always true with commercialism. In this age where cents and dimes are often the rule of the day, there is no compunction to oversell a product to the point of using scare tactics for the targeted consumer to get their attention and possibly draw out their wallets and part with their money.

Do not fall for fad foods. If they were true, some of them should have stayed on in the market and have grown in market share as far as food choices are concerned. Nothing has and nothing will, because the price paid is too high for the benefit received and people eventually could see through that.

Instead eat food that tastes good. Eat all foods that are recommended in the good old food chart. The body needs sodium, it helps cleanse the body and prevent diseases. The body needs fat. Fat insulates us from the elements and helps keep our body lubricated as machines are lubricated. Fat also keeps our skin supple and feeling younger. Have protein in the diet, you cannot do with less of it especially when in the healing and during the growing up years. Calories are needed to maintain energy levels so is sugar. But then everything has to be taken in the right amounts and quantities. Everything in moderation

The problem is not the food; the problem is the attitude towards food. It is the preference of one food group over the other that keeps the system unbalanced and wanting of nutrients that weakens the body. It is the lifestyle that prevents us or allows excuses not to eat right but have fast food as the usual recourse.

Aside from the food groups that have been classified by science, there are only two types of food in nature that are provided to us. One is food for nutrition, the other are food for medicine and healing. Examples of these are garlic, turmeric and other herbs too many to mention. Every food has its own function and counter action. Spinach has oxalic acid and oranges have counter effects bad for certain blood types, eating raw exposes us to certain microorganisms etc. Nonsense, every …

How Gold is Used in Medicine?

All of us know that gold is widely used for jewellery. It is widely consumed for adornments and in other ornaments. Even if we look into history, we would come to know that gold has been used in jewellery and also as money. Gold coins were used as money.

But, is this all that the gold is used for? Is this just a stone for embellishment and ornament, or does it have other properties as well?

Most of us are not aware that gold is widely used in medicine as well. Its use in medicine is not new. It has been used in medicine since the ancient times. For many centuries, gold has been used in medicine for the treatment of various diseases in many culture and countries.

Many diseases such as smallpox, measles and skin ulcers were treated in ancient china with the medicine that had gold in it. In the south, even today, it is widely used in medicines for various treatments.

In India, it has been in use for many centuries in their ayurvedic medicines. Ayurvedic is an ancient form of medicine in India, used for many treatments. Believe it or not, a large quantity of gold is used in these ayurvedic medicines every year.

Cancer is a disease that has become very common, and every day, more discoveries in the disease itself and its treatment are being made. As the researchers are finding more ways to cure cancer, they have found out that gold is also very beneficial in the treatment of cancer. They are now researching to make treatment medicines that have gold in them. They are researching to develop gold-based treatments for cancer. It has said to be used in chemotherapy and also in the treatment of prostate cancer.

Another way that gold has been in use in medicine is the pregnancy testing. A rapid test is a test for pregnancy that contains colloidal gold in it. It is a very inexpensive test kit and is very convenient.

Gold has been in use for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis for quite some time. It has been very effective in reducing stiffness as well as the pain.

Many people, who need artificial implants, cannot have them because they develop infections from the materials used. Their bodies often do not accept a foreign element and the bacteria can cause infections in it. So, they are forced to remove the implant and live the life of a handicap. But now, researches have proved that gold has the quality that it is resistant to bacteria. Therefore, there are very less chances of getting any infections. So, for those people who require implants, this is great news.

Not only this, researchers are still looking into the properties of gold as a protection to the immune system against HIV. Modern medicine has started taking benefits from the ancient methods and ways of treatments. It is known that ancient Chinese used gold sprinkles in their drinks because of its healing and …

Urgent Care – Know When to Go

At some point you might come down with an illness that does not require a trip to the emergency room at a hospital, but desires faster attention than you would get from your doctor. In this case, it does not make sense to rush to the emergency room or wait days or even weeks for an appointment. Instead, consider going to urgent care to get your issue resolved. Find out what a provider near you can do.

Most locations specialize in treating injuries and illnesses that are not life-threatening. You can still expect to wait a bit for treatment like you would in the ER, but it is typically not as crowded since each city usually has several centers. Rather than setting up camp for several hours in the waiting room, you can probably expect to wait anywhere from minutes to a few hours, which definitely beats more emergency rooms and doctor's offices.

The amenities you will find at an urgent care center are similar to what you would find when you visit a hospital or a doctor. They can typically offer x-rays, blood tests, and other diagnostic methods. They usually also have machines, such as an EKG, to make sure you are doing well internally. In this way, you can have an illness diagnosed, treatment prescribed, and have any questions answered during your visit.

If you suddenly have the flu, allergies, or just feel generally ill, you should head to the urgent care instead of waiting for a doctor's appointment. This way, you can get the medicine you need as soon as possible so that you can take less time off work or school. If you have a broken or sprained bone, bug bite, or infection, you can also expect to get treatment at your local urgent care. Anything that does not require a specialist can usually be treated at such a clinic.

You can also go to most urgent care centers for vaccinations, screenings, and prescriptions. In general, anything your normal practitioner can do can also be performed by this type of location. Check to make sure your insurance provider covers the particular location you are interested in before you go, because you should know that most providers do in fact cover treatment from a number of them. The next time you are not feeling well or have some emergency that is not life-threatening, consider taking a trip to the center near you in order to get fast treatment. …