Diseases of the veins are different from those of the arteries because of the structural differences. Blockages can occur in the veins, but these are usually caused by blood clots (thrombi) and not by atherosclerosis. When a thrombus forms in a vein, blood is prevented from traveling back toward the heart. The collection of blood results in increased pressure and often leads to swelling and tenderness. For example, a blood clot in the deep vein of the calf will cause the calf and foot to become swollen and tender. This condition is referred to as deep venous thrombosis.seepage of fluid into the surrounding tissues (edema) can be uncomfortable. Clotting of blood in the veins tends to occur whenever the blood flow in the vein is slow or becomes stagnant. Typically this occurs in the legs when you are still, as in a long ride in a car c plane, when you are constantly in bed because of illness or surgery, or after an injury to the leg.The main risk of blood clots forming and causing deep venous thrombosis is that the blood clot can enlarge and extend up the vein. If a piece breaks off, it can travel upstream and lodge in the heart or lungs. Just as in the arterial circulation, this disorder is called thromboembolism. A thrombus that dislodges from a vein in the leg will travel through larger and larger veins until it reaches the right side of the heart. From there it will enter the pulmonary artery and lodge in a branch, at which point it blocks blood flow to part of the lung. A clot in the lung circulation is a pulmonary embolus.Treatment with anticoagulants (“blood thinners”) in the early stages of deep venous thrombosis can prevent enlargement of the clot and lessen the likelihood of pulmonary embolism.*205\252\8*
Hormones also contribute to regulation of the amount of blood that your heart pumps. Norepinephrine is one of several hormones that affect blood pressure by varying the quantity of blood your heart pumps. Because your heart is composed mostly of muscle that is affected by hormones, hormones can cause it to contract more vigorously with each beat. More vigorous contractions mean that more blood is pumped with each beat.Hormones also can change the total quantity of your blood. When the quantity increases, your heart pumps more blood and your blood pressure increases. Your kidney makes a hormone called renin, which increases blood volume because it causes your body to retain salt, which in turn causes retention of water. Some of this extra water joins your bloodstream and adds to the volume of blood in your body. Renin also causes formation of another hormone, angiotensin, which acts to constrict or squeeze the muscle cells of the arterioles.Your arterioles and heart are also regulated by your nervous system, specifically your autonomic nervous system, over which you have no conscious control. In the presence of any type of stress, including excitement or exercise, your body increases the quantity of blood that is pumped by your heart, and blood pressure goes up. Your autonomic nervous system also is responsible for releasing the hormone norepinephrine, which causes veins to contract and blood to return to your heart more rapidly. This also increases the amount of blood pumped by your heart.
Over the years there has been growing evidence that tamoxifen induces tumor growth in the lining of the uterus (or endometrium). In a recent study many of the women who developed irregular vaginal bleeding due to tamoxifen therapy were found also to have small noncancerous growths or polyps of the uterine lining. A number of them went on to develop tumors of the endometrium.Although many physicians consider the incidence of tamoxifen-induced uterine tumors to be small, there is still a significant risk. In one clinical study evaluating 46 nonhysterectomized postmenopausal women receiving tamoxifen for 6 to 36 months, 13 patients developed noncancerous growths or polyps, 8 had thickening of the uterine lining, and 2 developed cancer of the endometrium.The incidence of uterine tumors appears to increase with higher doses of tamoxifen. With the usual dose of 10 mg twice daily, an incidence of 0.17 percent was reported, while patients receiving 20 mg of tamoxifen twice daily had an incidence nearly ten times higher (1.2 percent).Although surgical hysterectomy can be performed once a tumor develops in the uterus, new evidence suggests that the types of tumors that develop while a woman is taking tamoxifen are extremely aggressive. Women who develop uterine cancers induced by tamoxifen therapy may be more likely to die from uterine cancer than those who spontaneously develop this form of cancer.*35\320\2*
There are muscles in the body that are both voluntarily and involuntarily controlled. Here are some examples:The diaphragm can be made to ‘contract’ voluntarily by the conscious brain, although most of the time it moves involuntarily. That is why we are not normally aware of our breathing, it is just an automatic process. Those who practise ‘pranayama’ or yogic breathing voluntarily guide the diaphragm to breathe correctly. It is expected that normally a person should breathe like a child, who blows the belly out while breathing in and takes the belly in while exhaling. That is the correct way of breathing. Most people, unconsciously, do the reverse. They take the abdomen in while inhaling and blow it out when exhaling. With regular practice and training one can switch over to the correct breathing pattern which then becoAdd Newmes automatic or subconsciously controlled.The anal sphincter is involuntarily controlled. Just before defecation the sphincter opens on its own and the stool masses are pushed out. However, with the help of the muscles on the pelvic floor, the anal stricture can be achieved. The anal muscles can be made to constrict and close the passageway. In fact, this voluntarily exercise (pelvic floor exercise) is recommended to people with prostate, bladder and haemorrhoids to improve these conditions. This exercise also helps pelvic flow. Those who have uncontrolled bowel movements and are prone to accidents, especially with the mucus or diarrhoea-type of Irritable Bowel Syndrome, can also be helped with these involuntary exercises.*48\330\8*
Dr Katharina Dalton has studied the three-hourly starch diet extensively at her London clinic. In one study she surveyed 84 women waiting for an appointment at the clink and found that the average interval between eating carbohydrate during the day was seven hours, and overnight the average was 13.5 hours.The women were asked to try the diet before their first appointment As many as 70 per cent of the women reported an improvement in their symptoms after adhering to the three-hourly starch diet The encouraging thing was that 23 per cent of the women with severe PMS managed to control their symptoms by adhering to the diet alone and without any further medical intervention.Don’t expect overnight results from changing your diet and taking more exercise. If you’ve spent a lifetime eating junk and sitting around all day it’s going to take several months to undo the damage.You should start seeing an improvement after two months. But don’t be tempted to slink back to your old habits. After all those old habits are what got you into this mess in the first place so stick at it!*32\120\4*
Three types of blood cells circulate in the bloodstream: erythrocytes (red blood cells) white blood cells, and platelets. When all three types of cells are checked through one test, that test is called a complete blood count or CBC. When specific information is required about the number and percentage of different white blood cell types present, a CBC with differential is requested. This test is often used to screen for specific drug side effects and to search for evidence of infection.Red blood cells help carry oxygen to tissues. When the number of red blood cells decreases, anemia results. Anemia can cause a decrease in the delivery of oxygen to tissues because there are fewer red blood cells avail: to carry oxygen. This decrease in oxygen can result in premature muscle fatigue, decreased stamina, and generalized fatigue and weakness.Anemia frequently accompanies RA, and it may contribute to the fatigue which many people with RA experience. Anemia is most often a consequence of the systemic effects of inflammation on blood, and it often improves as arthritis is treated. However, some medications (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, NSAIDs) can cause inflammation of the stomach lining and mild blood loss. In this situation, the anemia represents a side effect of medication which requires further evaluation. The tests used to diagnose and monitor anemia are the hematocrit and the hemoglobin. Occasionally, a separate test called the reticulocyte count is indicated; this test reflects the rate at which new red blood cells (called reticulocytes) are being produced.The several types of white blood cells include lymphocytes, polymorphonuclear leukocytes (“polys” or neutrophils), monocytes, basophils, and eosinophils. An important function of white cells is fighting infection; that is, in response to an infection, the body usually produces white blood cells, and a blood test would reveal a higher than normal number of them. A low white blood cell count may interfere with the body’s ability to fight infection. Thus, one side effect of any medication that causes a decrease in the number of white blood cells can be infection.Platelets perform the clotting function in blood. The platelet count is often either high or low in RA. If the platelet count is too low (thrombocytopenia), the risk of excessive or spontaneous bleeding is increased. Some medications lower the platelet count, and again, this requires investigation. High platelet counts (thrombocytosis) can occur with chronic inflammation; they generally create no particular problems.*23/209/5*
What does symmetry mean?This refers to the fact that the corresponding joints on each side of the body are affected. The presence of symmetry helps the diagnostician confirm a case of rheumatoid arthritis.
Morning stiffness associated with RA.Morning stiffness is a critical sign. The joints are very difficult to move upon arising in the morning and for at least an hour thereafter. As the day gets longer, the stiffness goes away, although it may not clear entirely. This symptom often helps the physician differentiate RA from other types of arthritis, since in osteoarthritis the patient generally gets stiffer as the day goes on.
How long might the stiffness last?In the worst case, you can be stiff all day. Most patients complain of being stiff in the morning for over an hour. Stiffness degree and duration can vary among patients.
How many joints are usually affected by rheumatoid arthritis?This is a very important question. Generally, when only one joint is swollen or painful, it is not RA. Isolated inflammation is usually the result of infection or a type of arthritis caused by crystal formations like gout, but not RA. There should be at least three or more joint areas involved to make the diagnosis of RA. These three areas should also have swelling (from fluid) and even perhaps be warm to the touch (from inflammation).*23/141/5*
These substances are vital for the health of the skin, immune and nervous systems. The modern diet is often deficient in them. The main sources are fatty fish, seeds: sunflower, sesame, pumpkin, linseed and starflower (borage), and oils from these seeds. Olive oil and Evening Primrose oils are also good sources. Signs of deficiency can be dry skin, inflammation in the digestive or urinary tract (sometimes a cause of microscopic blood in the urine – although this must never be taken as such and must be investigated by a doctor), and tingling in the limbs.To be healthy a combination of Omega fatty acids 3, 6 and 9 are needed. Linseed (flax) taken with starflower should give all three. The linseed can be ground or soaked in water for better absorption (a jelly will form around the seeds). Flax oil is available from most health food stores and all nutritionists.People often worry that taking oils will increase their weight. In fact the reverse of this can be true. Flax oil helps to rid the body of unwanted fluid. Evening Primrose oil can also help with excess weight by balancing hormone levels.A supplement which contains all three oils is Essential Balance, available from New Nutrition and Higher Nature.*27\326\8*
Much of the literature available on stress symptoms today seems to be concerned with managing the anxiety from a too-busy lifestyle, and often contains advice about relaxation techniques, physical exercise and biofeedback techniques to deal with muscle tension.While I am in full agreement with people who point out how generally unfit and unhealthy we sedentary, city dwellers are, and how in need we are of more physical exercise, I do not agree with the notion that physical exercise, relaxation or biofeedback are of use in themselves as an answer to stage one stress breakdown.Take biofeedback, for example. It has been shown that human beings, given appropriate feedback or information on the state of a body function normally controlled automatically, can work out ways of voluntarily controlling that function. Patients, for example, are wired up to an instrument which will make a sound or switch on a light if muscle tension is high. The patient works out some way of visualizing some peaceful scene, or emotionally letting go, and learns the subjective feel of how to voluntarily lower the muscle tension.I believe that this technique is useful for those people who have become so used to feelings of muscle tension that they cannot operate at any lower level of activity. Such people, in my opinion, have basic problems with nervous system function and sometimes have what might be called minimal brain dysfunction.In these biofeedback experiments, the subject is learning how to control certain body reactions by using the reticular activating system’s capacity for inhibiting the activity of cortical brain cells. The imagery required in biofeedback, therefore, requires a normally functioning reticular activating system and a normal capacity for the cortical cells to respond. Therefore, in order for biofeedback to be of use, the person cannot be suffering from third stage stress symptoms.Thus biofeedback and relaxation techniques (particularly those using techniques of self-hypnosis) can only be of use for stage one symptoms. However, I feel that it is not of much use overloading the nervous system, and then working out methods of reducing the discomfort from the alarm system activated by that overload.I recognize that relaxation techniques are useful in treating the anxiety of stage one stress breakdown. But the relaxation techniques which to me appear to be useful for stage one stress symptoms seem to work because they force people under stress to take time out to stop doing what they were doing and concentrate on something totally different. The something totally different might be to spend time concentrating not on the report you are trying to write, but on certain aspects of your own body function.I really think that almost any relaxation technique will work so long as it imposes a forced rest. Likewise, the physical exercise that takes the executive away from the desk or the telephone will be effective because it does that, not necessarily because of the exercise aspect.
House dust is everywhere. It is impossible to eradicate, but it can be reduced. Carpets, cushions, furniture, pillows, mattresses, blankets, quilts, doonas and the tops of wardrobes are all living and breeding areas for dust mites. Research shows that about 80 percent of asthmatics with allergic tendencies are allergic to dust mites.If you are allergic to dust mites, you should take particular care if you are renovating an old house. When disturbed, old dust releases years of dust mite allergens into the air. It is not uncommon for previously unsusceptible people to become asthmatic at the time of such an event. Some allergy susceptible people are unable to live in old houses, and are much healthier in modern houses where there are fewer architectural features collecting dust and no accumulated dust from the past. Modern houses are generally easier to clean and have better ventilation, less damp and more direct sunlight than old houses.Living in a typical Victorian terrace house can be devastating to an asthmatic, as Barbara, a 47-year-old asthmatic in Sydney, notes:I lived in a Paddington terrace for five years and my asthma became more frequent and severe. I was sure I could smell mould when I opened cupboards, but I never saw any signs. I think it was a very poorly ventilated house. It was a fairly typical Victorian terrace with smallish windows and not much light — some rooms never received direct sunlight. After we moved to a modern, airy apartment in the same area, I was a new woman. There was a marked improvement in my asthma. I realized that I did not need my Ventolin nearly as much as before. I still wheeze at times, but my overall health has improved dramatically. I could never say I felt terrific while I lived in the terrace.*32\148\2*