WHAT KINDS OF PATHOGENS CAUSE THE DAMAGING CHRONIC DISEASES

What kinds of pathogens cause the damaging chronic diseases we don’t know about? What should we look for? Persistent infections are more likely to cause chronic diseases than short-lived infections because the more time a pathogen has to gum up the body’s machinery, the more likely it is that it will. Internal pathogens are more likely to cause problems than external ones because internal tissues are more delicate and more central to life processes; moreover, internal pathogens must cope with the immune system both to survive and to get out—and this ups the ante. Their persistence in the host provokes immunological destruction of infected cells and inevitable casualties from friendly fire. The tricks that allow a pathogen to avoid immunological destruction can push our immunological systems to the point of self-destruction.     These criteria fit those pathogens that have been traditionally classified as sexually transmitted. They also fit pathogens that are transmitted by less hard-core sexual contact, such as the Epstein-Barr virus, which causes infectious mononucleosis and is transmitted by intimate kissing. Sexually transmitted diseases make up only a small fraction of human diseases, but they are major players in the known chronic diseases caused by infection. Syphilis, infertility due to Chlamydia and gonorrhea, arthritis and ectopic pregnancy caused by Chlamydia, and cervical cancer are just a few of the mentally or physically debilitating chronic diseases caused by sexually transmitted pathogens. Sexually transmitted pathogens are likely to cause a disproportionately large number of the infectious chronic diseases yet to be discovered. We already know of some suspects. Human parvovirus B19, for example, probably contributes to the crises of sickle-cell anemia and to chronic diseases such as arthritis and multiple sclerosis. Some recent evidence indicates that it may be at least partly a sexually transmitted pathogen. In 1999 researchers in the Italian Red Cross reported a comparison of parvovirus B19 infection rates among patients in an STD clinic with rates among healthy blood donors who were used as controls. Almost 40 percent of the clinic patients were infected with B19, compared with only 10 percent of the blood donors.     The other infectious causes of chronic diseases will probably be an eclectic collection much like those that have already been discovered—a grab bag of pathogens. Some of these pathogens may rely on their persistence for transmission, like H. pylori and the papillomaviruses. Others may just by chance have characteristics that allow them to persist in the body in places unrelated to transmission; this category is illustrated by chronic ear infections that are caused by pathogens of the respiratory tract, such as Haemophilus influenzae and Streptococcus pneumoniae. Still other pathogens may cause chronic disease because of long-term disturbances of the body’s machinery that persist even after the pathogen is gone. Some autoimmune responses might fall into this category, such as chronic heart disease caused by streptococcal infections.*38\225\2*

EXTRA, EXTRA: EYE CREAMS

Surely you’ve been lectured on how the eye area is the most delicate on the face and should be carefully tended to? But, if you’re like many harassed patients that I treat, an eye cream is usually the first part of the routine to go flying out the window. This is a big, big mistake.The eye area suffers from a lot of cosmetic problems. It gets wrinkled easily, might have some crepiness and a proliferation of visible blood vessels that show up as darkness under the eyes. It might also be more sensitive than the rest of the face and become easily irritated. And since it has scant oil glands, it often dries up considerably. For all of these reasons, an eye cream is an absolute essential. Even better would be one with a built-in sunscreen for an extra dose of protection. Look for formulas with the most potent moisturising and wrinkle-fighting ingredients. If you’re truly lacking the time or the inclination, then go ahead and use your moisturiser in this area. Hey, that’s what I do!*35\82\8*

LIVING WITH EPILEPSY/SCHOOL: LEARNING AND BEHAVIOR – PSYCHOLOGICAL AND SOCIAL PROBLEMS

A child’s performance at school is, to a large extent, determined by the child’s feelings about himself. The child who thinks that he is dumb will frequently act and perform as if he is. He is unlikely to perform at his best level. The child who is depressed because of her seizures, because of his family’s reaction to the seizures, or for other reasons is likely to do less well in school. Indeed, a drop in school performance may be one of the early signs of childhood depression.
But a child’s school performance is also affected by what others think of him. Children, and even rats, tend to perform up to the levels of expectation. In a classic psychological experiment, researchers who were given rats to test, and who were told that they were studying “dumb rats,” found that the rats did less well on testing than when they were studying “smart rats.” This was true even when the “smart rats” and the “dumb rats” were brothers and sisters from the same litters with identical intelligence.
This can present a problem for the child with epilepsy and for that child’s parents. If the child’s teacher expects the child with epilepsy to have learning problems, then those problems are more likely to be found, whether they are present or not. On the other hand, a teacher who is aware that your child could have a learning problem is also more likely to identify the problem early and to be more sensitive to it. Therefore, telling the teacher about your child’s epilepsy and about any concerns you may have about your child’s learning could be an advantage to your child.
Make sure that the teacher understands about your child’s type of seizures and that she makes you aware of any concerns she may have about your child and about any changes in your child’s performance. These could be due to changes in medication or in the frequency or type of seizures. Mutual trust between you and your child’s teacher and exchange of information and concerns can serve to benefit your child.
*252\208\8*

FOR HEART PROTECTION

Don’t:
Smoke The risk of heart attack is increased by 70 per cent for smokers. Smoking thickens the blood, increasing the risk of clots, and also raises blood pressure.

Avoid:
Eating saturated fats and trans fatty acids Saturated fats are found in animal foods including red meat, cheese and milk. The trans fatty acids result from the hydrogenation of unsaturated fats into a solid form to make oils into margarine.  Trans fatty acids have been linked to an increased rate of heart attacks. Before you buy that ‘ low fat’ or ‘polyunsaturated’ spread read the labels carefully. The manufacturing process not only destroys nutrients, it produces a food that cannot be properly metabolized by the body. In the US, where the emphasis on marketing and buying ‘low fat’ products has reached neurotic proportions, it is believed that the switch to these hydrogenated oils, encouraged by health scares, may have done more harm than if people had just continued using old-fashioned butter.

Take the following:
Linseed oil capsules – l000mg twice per day
Vitamin С – l000mg twice per day
Vitamin E – 300ius per day
Magnesium – 150mg per day

Most specialists would agree that heart disease is overwhelmingly a lifestyle disease caused by a combination of factors depending on each individual. There are plenty of ways that we can help ourselves reduce the risks. Eating sensibly, taking exercise, controlling stress, stopping smoking – these are common-sense approaches to decreasing the risk of heart disease.

*6/101/5*

COMPLICATIONS OF RHINITIS: DISORDERS THAT MASQUERADE AS SINUSITIS

Not everything that looks and feels like sinusitis will be sinusitis. You should be aware of the common conditions that might seem to be sinusitis, but that are not:

Angioedema (allergic swelling)
This is a localized swelling of the skin and tissues under the skin due to an allergic reaction to something. If it occurs on the face, around the nose or eyes, it could be mistaken for sinusitis.

Temporal Arteritis
This is an inflammation of a major artery running across the temple. It usually involves only one side and is usually painful to the touch.

Cellulitis
This is an infection of the skin and the tissues under the skin. The skin is usually red, warm to the touch, and painful. If this occurs over the cheeks, at the base of the nose, or around the eyes, it could be mistaken for sinusitis.

Headache
Since there is facial pain with acute sinusitis, it is possible that some mild forms of headache, and even migraine, could be mistaken for sinusitis. Most of the time this is not a hard differentiation to make.

Neuralgia of the Trigeminal Nerve
This is a condition in which intense pain shoots across the face along the path commonly followed by the trigeminal nerve. Trigeminal refers to the fact that this nerve branches and follows three courses across the face. The pain felt with this is intense, like that caused by placing ice on a cavity of a tooth. This is very different from the usual sinus pain, which is dull and pressure like.

Toothache
Your upper teeth are very close anatomically to the maxillary sinus cavities. In fact, they can actually push up against the sinuses. Should one of these teeth become infected, that infection can irritate the lining of the sinuses and can cause discomfort similar to sinusitis. This is usually easy to tell as tapping of the teeth, chewing, or ingesting hot beverages do not usually bother sinusitis, but will aggravate an inflamed tooth.

Tumors
Many tumors of the nose cavity do not produce symptoms until they have grown enough to invade the surrounding tissue. At this point, it is common for them to produce pain. Since that pain is usually noted around the nose, the first impression is that one has sinusitis. However, the other more typical symptoms of sinusitis are usually absent.
*61/322/5*

GETTING THE BEST OUT OF YOUR DIABETES TREATMENT: DIET

Nowadays, we all know that a diabetic diet, in common with any diet, should have a high fibre content and not include too many saturated fats. It should also contain the correct number of calories to maintain your body weight at the acceptable average for your height, sex and age, or to achieve this level if you are overweight.
The diabetic diet is fundamental to the treatment of diabetes and should be one of the first lessons learned by all new diabetics, whether it is their only treatment or whether they also need oral hypoglycemic pills or insulin injections. However carefully you manipulate your insulin or oral hypoglycemic treatment, lack of attention to diet can lead to poor glucose balance both immediately and in the long term.
If you have non-insulin-dependent diabetes it is likely that you are overweight. This makes your body resistant to the action of insulin. The most important part of your treatment is to return to the ideal body weight for your height and stay there, by eating healthy high fibre foods and avoiding sugary foods and excessive amounts of saturated fats.
Nowadays, we all know that a diabetic diet, in common with the diet advised for the whole country, should contain lots of starchy carbohydrate with plenty of fibre, very little saturated fat or sugar and some protein. You should eat the amount needed to keep your weight within the acceptable range for your height. This weight should give you a body mass index of about 22. You can calculate this from your weight in kilogrammes and your height in metres. (1 kg = 2.2 lbs. 1 inch = 2.54 cm.) The body mass index (usually abbreviated to BMI) is your weight divided by your height squared. Thus John who weighs 15 stone (95.5 kg) and is 6 foot (1.83 m) tall has a BMI of 95.5/1.83×1.83 = 28.5. He should weigh 73.7 kg.
At least 55 per cent of the total calories should be starchy carbohydrates or pulses, with over 30g fibre a day, fat should account for less than 35 per cent of the total calories (10 per cent saturated, 20 per cent polyunsaturated or monounsaturated), and between 10-15 per cent protein. Sugar should be less than 4 teaspoons of sucrose or the equivalent, added salt less than 3g daily.
Many of you will have been taught to weigh your food and to count exchanges of carbohydrate, and even of fat or protein. If you feel comfortable with this then continue, but nowadays dietitians are moving away from such rigid dietary control. I once met someone who dipped a urine testing strip into everything she drank to see if it was too sugary. She felt she needed an extremely strict diet to manage her diabetes and became very distressed when she was away from home and unable to calculate her exchanges exactly. She had become a prisoner of her diabetic diet.

*11/102/5*

HEADACHES AS SYMPTOMS OF OTHER MEDICAL CONDITIONS: DISEASE OF THE EYES

Pain from disease in or around the eyes may be referred to other regions of the head or face. Conversely, pain from another area of the head may be felt in the eye area. People seeking relief for headaches often first explore the need for glasses or a change in lenses before seeking a more thorough medical evaluation.
Before discussing diseases of the eyes and the headaches that they can cause, the roles of ophthalmologist, optometrist, and optician should be clarified, since people seeking help for problems with their sight or eyes may not understand the differences among these specialties. An ophthalmologist is a physician who has graduated from medical school and has specialized in diseases of the eyes and related structures. An ophthalmologist diagnoses and treats conditions of the eyes, and, when necessary, performs surgery. He/she also evaluates the need for lenses. An optometrist is not a doctor of medicine and is primarily concerned with evaluating and measuring the need for glasses. The optometrist makes lenses and dispenses them. The optometrist can also examine the eyes for certain diseases and then refer the patient to an ophthalmologist for treatment. An optician fills prescriptions for lenses and dispenses and repairs frames. All three professionals play an important and complementary role in the care of the eyes.
We believe that the vast majority of people with chronic head pain around the forehead or eye area have migraine or muscle contraction headaches. But, because a disease of the eyes may be to blame, it is appropriate that a thorough examination of the eye structures be carried out. Although optometrists are well trained for what they do, a thorough evaluation for certain diseases of the eyes is best performed by an ophthalmologist, whose training also includes disorders of the brain, some of which can cause headaches.
Eyestrain can cause headaches. This is particularly common following long periods of reading in poor light. Eyestrain is most common when there is a subtle or more noticeable weakness and imbalance of the eye movement muscles or ability to focus. Glaring and bright light may also produce discomfort. Fluorescent lighting may create an unnoticed flickering in lighting intensity, and headaches can be the result of this.
The pain of eyestrain is usually located around the eyes and forehead, frequently improving after reading is discontinued and the eyes are rested. Improving lighting conditions or obtaining
eyeglasses or a new prescription will often be of some relief.
While poor focusing ability can cause headaches, many more people believe that they need glasses in order to stop their headaches than is actually the case. Many patients report that when the glasses are acquired and used, no improvement in the headaches is noticed.
We believe that it is unlikely that your headaches will benefit from wearing glasses if you have headaches at times other than just when reading and if you do not experience focusing problems. To prevent the needless purchase of expensive eyeglasses, we suggest that you get two independent opinions and ask each doctor to give you the recommended lens prescription after the examination. Compare from one doctor to the next.
Glaucoma is a serious disease of the eyes that is capable of causing headaches as well as blindness. Sometimes the disease remains silent until damage is done. Glaucoma may strike the young as well as the old. The symptoms associated with glaucoma are due to impaired drainage of fluid from the eyes. The reduced drainage causes pressure within the eyes, and it is this increased pressure that leads to damage if the condition is not corrected.
Pain from glaucoma may be severe or mild. It is felt in or around one or both eyes or forehead, and nausea and vomiting may be present. Many individuals suffering from glaucoma see colored halos around lighted objects or experience a mistiness of vision.
A test for glaucoma can be performed simply and painlessly in a doctor’s office by using a device that measures the pressure within the eyes. All adults should have a yearly test for the disease.
Depending upon the severity and type of glaucoma, the condition can be treated with medication or by surgery.
Individuals with certain types of glaucoma must avoid those drugs known to worsen the disorder. Among these are antihistamines, some bowel relaxants, the tricyclic antidepressants, some anti-nauseants, certain tranquilizers, and some drugs used in Parkinson’s disease.
Over-the-counter pain or headache preparations may contain these or similar agents and should be avoided until you consult your doctor. It is particularly important for you to have your eyes checked for glaucoma if you must take one of these drugs for prolonged periods.
Tumors and infections of the eyes may also cause headaches. These and other diseases of the eyes, however, are infrequent causes of recurring head pain. Again, it should be emphasized that anyone experiencing headache of uncertain cause should be evaluated for glaucoma as well as for other serious illnesses of the eyes.

*70\88\2*

PROSTATITIS CLASSIFICATION: CHRONIC BACTERIAL PROSTATITIS

This is a subacute infection with milder symptoms and a more insidious onset than acute prostatitis. The NIH has developed a chronic prostatitis symptom index to measure the symptoms and their impact on daily life. Although produced for research purposes, the scale has been found to be useful in localizing urinary symptoms to the prostate gland. A score of more than 4 on the pain questions (the first four questions), has been found to be indicative of prostatitis. The remainder of the questions can be used to assess the severity of symptoms and gauge response to treatment.
Urine cultures should be performed to rule out UTI. If sexual history warrants, testing for gonorrhea and chlamydia should be performed. The physical examination findings in cases of chronic bacterial prostatitis are generally unremarkable except for the prostate gland, which may be boggy and slightly tender.
First-line treatment of chronic bacterial prostatitis is 4 to 12 weeks of therapy with a fluorquinolone. Alternatives include minocycline, doxycycline, trimethoprim, and co-trimoxazole.
*5/348/5*

BACH FLOWER REMEDIES: ADMINISTRATION OF BACH FLOWER REMEDIES – THE EXAMPLE OF CONSTITUTIONAL REMEDY

To make the above statement clear, we cite the following example :
A lady is suffering from occasional attacks of severe migraine, which have increased in frequency and intensity since her brother was hospitalised after meeting a severe road accident. The lady is known to have a very impatient nature.
She would require, the first instance a combination remedy of (1) Impatiens and (2) Red chestnut + Cherry Plum. After a week she will feel much better, because RED CHESTNUT would relieve her of the anxiety for her brother. Therefore, she can continue with IMPATIENS + CHERRY PLUM till such time that she attains a normal temperament as different from Impatient nature. It is only when she can rid herself from impatience that she would be finally cured of her migraine.
In the above case IMPATIENS is her constitutional medicine and it would have to be given along with any other remedy which may be required for any other symptoms.
Effect of Bach Remedies on different persons is different. It depends on the sensitivity of the patient.
In very sensitive people the effect of the 1st dose is almost instantaneous. Those people who have an open mind and do not have an antagonism to the Bach Flower Remedies quickly respond to the treatment by this system. Patients who are pessimistic by nature and doubt if this new system can be any good would need to be given GENTIAN for a few days before starting treatment with other remedies.
Patients with chronic disease who have lost all hope of ever being well would require GORSE for a few days before being given other remedies.
*4\308\8*

SOME IMMEDIATE CONCERNS FOR PEOPLE WITH SPINAL CORD INJURY: BOWEL AND BLADDER CARE

Some people find the loss of control of basic bodily functions – urination and bowel movements – one of the most difficult and frustrating aspects of their injury. Use of a urinary catheter becomes part of the daily routine for many people with spinal cord injury. The catheter is a rubber tube that is inserted into the bladder through the urethra, the opening through which urine leaves the body. Going to the bathroom is part of daily human life, and a private one at that. It is not usually a planned part of the day. Now you may have to empty your bowel or bladder on a timed schedule to prevent incontinence.
Your level of injury dictates whether you’ll be able to manage the insertion, emptying, and cleaning of the catheter yourself. Many people with paraplegia can care for themselves, but people with damage higher in the spinal cord cannot and they require the help of a family member or attendant. Some patients use a Foley or indwelling catheter, which empties into a drainage bag that can be taped to the leg or hang over the bed rail at night. An external catheter (sometimes called a condom catheter) can be used by some men whose bladder empties spontaneously but unpredictably.
Bowel movements usually require stimulation of the anal sphincter with a suppository or a gloved finger. Stimulation of the bowel on a regular schedule is called a bowel program; this can “train” your bowel to empty on a schedule and help avoid accidents. In some cases, patients may initially need to have stool removed manually by a nurse or aide.

*11/156/5*