Sunday, March 25, 2012

March is Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Month

Many students don’t think about Multiple Sclerosis when they are attending college. Many see themselves as invincible others see their vulnerabilities. But the truth of the matter is that MS can hit at any age but is most commonly diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 40. It affects women more often than men.

MS is when the sheath covering the nerve is damaged. This can cause signals to slow down or stop. This damage is caused by inflammation which is when the body’s immune system attacks the nervous system. This can occur anywhere along the nervous system. From the brain to the spinal cord right down to the nerve endings themselves.

MS can affect anyone but those most commonly affected are people who live further from the equator. Those who live north of the 37th parallel get less sunlight than those who live south of this line. This line is along the North Carolina northern border that goes straight across the U.S.

A study done on a patient by Dr. David Brownstein showed that increasing a patients Vitamin D3 intake, a patient was able to reduce her dependence on a wheelchair, her pain from the symptoms of MS were greatly decreased and she was able to go back to work full time.

Episodes of MS attacks can last for hours, days, weeks or even months. The severity of these attacks can vary as long as the attacks vary. These attacks can alternate with periods of no symptoms.

Things like fever, stress and hot baths can trigger symptoms. Even when a person has no symptoms, their disease can continue to get worse.

Since MS attacks the nervous symptoms, it affects different parts of the body differently. The way MS attacks the muscular system is loss of balance, loss of coordination, tremors in the legs, numbness/tingling in the legs, problems with walking.

The excretatory system is affected with urine and stool leakage. The eyes are affected with double vision, loss of vision and rapid eye movements.

The brain and nervous system is affected with decreased attention span, depression, problems with dizziness and balance, problems with reasoning and solving problems, problems with memory loss and judgement. There is hearing loss associated with MS as well.

Since MS can look like other nervous system disease, these by can be ruled out by tests that are ordered by your doctor. Your doctor may suspect MS if you have two separate areas of your nervous system that are affected at the same time. This may included reflexes that are abnormal, loss of sensation in more than one part of your body or your ability to move one part of your body is decreased.

In your eyes, your vision field is decreased, the pupils have abnormal reflexes, you have a problem with the inside part of your eye or when your eye moves it triggers rapid eye movements.

Some other tests that are used to diagnose MS are a spinal tap and an MRI.

There no known cures for MS at this time. There are treatments to slow the progression of the disease and to relive the symptoms. These include certain drugs, physical therapy, good exercise and a healthy diet.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Guest Blog Entry - Accupuncture

Greetings everyone,

This time we will hear from a guest that contacted me regarding doing guest blog entries for me.

I've looked her article over & I think it looks pretty good. Please leave a comment with your thoughts as well.


People who suffer from chronic illness, such as Mesothelioma cancer or other forms of disease often choose to undergo extensive medical treatments to cure the disease; those whose disease was caught early enough are given a second chance at life. However, treatment for chronic illness is often difficult on the body, mind and emotions and is known to cause pain at times. There are ways that patients suffering from chronic illness can manage their pain; sometimes even make it go away completely. 

One way to manage pain from chronic illness is with the ancient remedy of acupuncture. Acupuncture is something that commonly makes patients a little nervous; the idea of placing so many needles into their body is terrifying for some, especially those with fear of needles. However, the art of acupuncture is not painful. In fact, few who have tried it were dissatisfied with the experience, according to “The Spirit Gate.” It is actually quite relaxing and rejuvenating, which is one way that it helps with pain from chronic illness. The National Institute of Health recognizes acupuncture as a complementary way to treat pain from chronic illness and even from chemotherapy. 

Acupuncture is proven to help with the management of conditions such as alcoholism, the nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy for cancer patients, sinusitis, asthma, bronchitis, irritable bowel syndrome and even stroke rehabilitation. One of the benefits of acupuncture is that it can be used by patients who are taking medication to treat disease and those that are undergoing other medical treatments. However, it is imperative your doctor knows you are receiving acupuncture. 

While it is not known exactly how and why acupuncture works, scientists suspect that the working of acupuncture is due to the needling. Tiny, solid needles are placed at points in the skin while the patient lies still. For those suffering a chronic illness or pain that is isolated to one spot, needles are placed in locations that coordinate with that location and the needles send signals to the brain and spinal cord. The brain then transmits signals that alleviate pain by increasing a person’s pain threshold, which doctors and scientists believe is the reason acupuncture works for people suffering chronic pain. In addition, it also increases blood flow and body temperature and reduces cholesterol levels, which promote overall health for any person’s body. 

Anyone suffering from chronic pain can alleviate that pain with acupuncture; anyone considering acupuncture should speak with their doctor to discuss treatment options and how to proceed in managing pain. 

Thursday, March 8, 2012

March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

Greetings everyone,

March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. This is a topic that most people don't want to talk about as some find it a bit embarrassing because of the part of anatomy we are talking about and what is done to find the cancer.

The average age of a person when its first discovered is 65. Its recommended that a person starts screening for colon cancer when they turn the age of 50 unless there is a family history, then you start sooner. When the cancer is discovered, usually in the later stages of like stage 3 or 4, the disease is much harder to treat or may be even incurable.

There are 3 main types of testing to check for colon cancer.

The first one is a digital rectal exam. This is when a doctor inserts a lubricated, gloved finger into the lower part of the rectum to feel for lumps or anything else that seems unusual. In women, the vagina may also be examined. (I know many of you are cringing right now).

The 2nd type of test is Proctoscopy: This is exam of the rectum using a proctoscope, inserted into the rectum. It is a thin, tube-like instrument with a light and a lens for viewing. It may also have a tool to remove tissue to be checked under a microscope for signs of disease.

Another test is Colonoscopy: This is a procedure to look inside the rectum and colon for polyps (small pieces of bulging tissue), abnormal areas, or cancer. The colonoscope is a thin, tube-like instrument with a light and a lens for viewing. It may also have a tool to remove polyps or tissue samples, which are checked under a microscope for signs of cancer.

The difference between a proctoscope and a colonoscopy is that a proctoscope is an office procedure that doesn't require sedation and you can return to normal activities that day. A colonoscopy requires sedation, 2-3 hours recovery time and then a driver to take you home. The proctoscope only looks at 20-30 percent of your colon where as the colonoscopy examines the entire colon.

If any polyps are removed, they will examined under a microscope for disease.

Are there ways to avoid colon cancer? There are no 100% ways but there are ways to reduce your risk of getting it.

1. Get your screenings regularly. If the polyps are removed early, this can help them turning into cancer and the cancer being discovered at a later stage when it will be harder to treat or cured.

2. Cut down on red meat. It is high in fat content. Instead concentrate on foods that are high in fiber to keep things "moving along."

3. Cut down on the hard stuff. People who drank more than 8 hard liquor drinks per week had a 2.5 times more of a chance to get colon cancer than the non-drinker. But wine is a different story, those who drank wine were 46% less likely to get cancer. Why? One word - antioxidants.

4. Take Vit. D3, the sunshine vitamin. The higher your Vit. D3 level in your body, the less likely you are to get some types of cancer. 10,000 IU daily is a good number to start with. Another bonus - you are less likely to get sick when you are taking Vit. D3.

5. Get moving! Obesity not only increases your risk of colon cancer but other types of cancer. Cut back on your caloric intake and take a brisk 30 minute walk after dinner. Grab your favorite four legged friend to go with you, I'm sure he/she will enjoy the walk as much as you do.

Have a good week!


My sources -

Saturday, March 3, 2012

As said by the FDA......


Just doing a bit of surfing tonight & came across this article. If we didn't need a good reason to avoid vaccines before we do now.

Please pass along to your friends, families & anyone else.

Investigating Viruses in Cells Used to Make Vaccines; and Evaluating the Potential Threat Posed by Transmission of Viruses to Humans

Working on an article, hope to have it posted by Friday.