New Mothers – 10 Health Tips for Women After Delivery

December 29, 2011 by  
Filed under VIDEO

I just found this health related video on YouTube … and thought you might enjoy it!

This video features 10 health tips for new mothers. These recommendations are based on expert clinical guidelines published in UpToDate online version 19.3, and the American Academy of Family Physicians. This video was produced by Nicholas Cohen, MD in 2011.

Tell us what you think about this video in the comments below, or in the Battling For Health Community Forum!

ALA Omega 3 – PMS and Hormonal Imbalance – Women s Health

November 28, 2011 by  
Filed under VIDEO

I just found this health related video on YouTube … and thought you might enjoy it!

Watch PMS and Hormonal Imbalance – ALA Omega 3 – Women s Health in HD.This episode covers the importance of ALA Omega 3 in curing the complications of the periodical cycle of a woman hormonal imbalance and curing the problems of life style habits in women.Subscribe to get daily updates on useful tips and tricks at

Tell us what you think about this video in the comments below, or in the Battling For Health Community Forum!

Food Factor – Healthy Eating for Women

September 29, 2011 by  
Filed under VIDEO

I just found this health related video on YouTube … and thought you might enjoy it!

Food Factor is a programme that gives you an expert advice on how you can lead a healthy lifestyle by just following simple moderations in your daily life. Different topics relating to health are covered in each episode. The tips given are really simple and easy to follow. One can incorporate these tips given by our experts in their daily life and assure a healthy family life. Subscribe NOW to get daily updates on many such useful videos and At-Home Tips

Tell us what you think about this video in the comments below, or in the Battling For Health Community Forum!

Bladder & Pelvic Floor Health Tips for Incontinence, Overactive Bladder, UTI

July 16, 2011 by  
Filed under VIDEO

I just found this health related video on YouTube … and thought you might enjoy it!

Bladder & Pelvic Floor Health Tips for Incontinence, Overactive Bladder, UTI Ali Bennatt, PT specializes in the treatment of pelvic floor dysfunction in men and women at the Relate Center in Austin, Texas. In this video she discusses bladder health and how to determine if you have a healthy bladder pattern. She addresses what is normal and how to assess the health of your urinary tract and normalize your cycle. Ali uses her specialized training in pelvic floor and gynecological physical therapy to assist clients in overcoming the musculoskeletal issues that contribute to sexual difficulties. She is a licensed physical therapist and has been in private practice, treating pelvic floor related disorders in both men and women, since 2000. Visit Ali’s website: Read Ali’s article “Simple Strategies for a Healthy Pelvic Floor” http This video was produced by Psychetruth © Copyright 2011 Target Public Media LLC. All Rights Reserved. overactive bladder “overactive bladder” healthy urinary tract infection UTI stress incontinence weak lose control pelvic floor urge need to pee pants often urinate overflow bathroom problems health fitness beauty bedwetting leak leakage amazing tips frequency how body works kidney psychetruth

Tell us what you think about this video in the comments below, or in the Battling For Health Community Forum!

Do contact lenses cause eye ulcers?

August 30, 2010 by  
Filed under VISION

I used to wear contact lenses but when I had my kids, it became too tedious to care for the lenses. I used to eyeglasses instead. They may not make me look great or fashionable but I find eyeglasses more practical. Little did I know that the decision to switch from contacts to eyeglasses may have some additional benefits.

The incidence of corneal ulcers may be more than previously thought – up to twice the previous estimates, according to a recent study. Cornea is the transparent white layer covering the front of the eye. Ulcers of the cornea can develop by viral or bacterial infections. It can start as a minor injury such as a small scratch on the cornea that can develop into open infected painful sores. In severe cases, the ulcers can lead to permanent eye damage and vision loss. The researchers attribute the increase in corneal ulcers to increased use of contact lenses.

According to researcher Dr. David Gritz of Montefiore Medical Center in New York:

“As new contact lens innovations become available, and people hear that they can wear these contact lenses for weeks or a month without taking them off, they do just that. They don’t realize the dramatic increase in risk it causes them. Our eyes do need breaks from contact lens wear.”

The research study looked at 1,093,210 patients treated in the Northern California Kaiser Permanente Health Care Program. Data on corneal ulcers, contact lens use, eye trauma or disease, and HIV status were collected. About 0.03% of these patients developed ulcers of the cornea during a 1-year period and more than half of these were contact lens users. The likelihood for corneal ulcers among those who use contact lenses is 9 times higher than those of non-users. Those who are HIV-positive have also a similar elevated risk. Young women seem to be especially susceptible to corneal ulcer – with double the risk compared to their male counterparts of similar age. The reason might be due to common use of cosmetic contact lenses by these women.

The fact that contact lenses are available over-the-counter or on the internet exacerbates the problem according to the researchers.

“People need to get properly fitted for contact lenses, and seek follow-up care by an eye care professional. Contact lenses can even act as a bandage over eye irritation, covering up symptoms. So people need to listen to what their eyes are telling them, and always have a good pair of glasses available as an alternative.”

Chorioamnionitis, preterm birth, and asthma

February 22, 2010 by  
Filed under ASTHMA

Is asthma predetermined in the womb? The results of a recent study point to this. Chorioamnionitis is an infection of the uterine cavity caused by bacteria. When chorioamnionitis occurs together with premature delivery, which is very likely, the risk for asthma in the infant increases dramatically. And the risk increases even more among in children of certain ethnic groups. African American babies for example, have double the risk than other ethnicities, according to a report in the LA Times.

Let us take a look at some statistics from the report:

  • About 8% of pregnancies are affected by chorioamnionitis.
  • About 14% of American children are afflicted with asthma.
  • About 50% of asthma cases are hereditary.
  • African Americans have 25% higher incidence of asthma compared to other ethnic groups.

The study used data from the Kaiser Permanente Southern California (KPSC) Matched Perinatal records of 510,216 singleton infants born between 1991 and 2007. The aim of the study was to examine the association between chorioamnionitis and childhood asthma based on gestational age at birth and race/ethnicity.

The results indicate that the combination of premature birth and chorioamnionitis greatly determines asthma development as children grow older. African American children have 98% higher risk of developing asthma before age 8 years. In Latin American children, the risk is 70% higher, and it is 66% higher among whites. No increased risk was found in Asian or Pacific Islander children. No increased risk was also found among kids who were born at full term.

About chorioamnionitis:

Maternal chorioamnionitis or simply chorioamnionitis is characterized by inflammation of the chorion and the amnion, the membranes that surround the fetus. Chorioamnionitis usually is associated with a bacterial infection. This may be due to bacteria ascending from the mother’s genital tract into the uterus to infect the membranes and the amniotic fluid (source

There is indication that a large proportion of preterm births is directly or indirectly linked to some form of infection, including chorioamnionitis. Signs of placental inflammation have been observed in 42% of infants with extremely low birth weight infants.

The incidence of chorioamnionitis is difficult to determine but it is known to be higher in underdeveloped countries than in developed countries. Its occurrence declines as pregnancy advances toward term gestation. It is also estimated that 40 to 60% of all preterm births are associated with some kind of infection, including chorioamnionitis. The risk of chorioamnionitis depends on health conditions and behaviours but also on gestational age and socioeconomic factors such as economic status, and ethnicity.

Red eye: what you should know

February 9, 2010 by  
Filed under VISION

Red, puffy eyes are not only due to crying or a sleepless night. Red eye may be due to a lot of causes, including irritation, inflammation and infections. What are the symptoms of red eye or conjunctivitis? Aside from the abnormally red color of the eye and undersurface of the lids, red eye also manifests in (source: Medscape)

  • Itchiness
  • Profuse eye discharge
  • Pain
  • Visual changes
  • Sensitivity to light

What causes red eye?

The most likely culprit for red eye is viral and bacterial infections. Other causes are:

  • Presence of foreign body in the eye
  • Corneal abrasion
  • Subconjunctival hemorrhage
  • Keratitis
  • Irritation due to chemicals
  • Allergies

According to a review by researchers from the Ohio State University College of Medicine in Columbus:

“Red eye is the cardinal sign of ocular inflammation. The condition is usually benign and can be managed by primary care physicians. Conjunctivitis is the most common cause of red eye.”

How is red eye diagnosed?

The Medscape feature recommends that doctors should check the following:

  • Thorough eye examination that would include the eyelids, corneal, pupil’s reaction to light, visual acuity, and the lacrimal sac (tear gland).
  • Patient medical history that would include allergies, use of contract lenses, and other illnesses that may or may not be seemingly related to the eye problem.

There are no specific tests that can be performed to distinguish between bacterial and viral infections of the eye but the symptoms may slightly differ.

Viral conjunctivitis usually does not present in visual problems or sensitivity to light. Pain is usually mild or absent. Lymphoid follicles under the surface of the eyelid are usually present. Eye discharge is watery.

Bacterial conjunctivitis, on the other hand manifests in pain and edema of the eyelid. Eye discharge is sticky, making the eyelids glues together upon awakening.

The authors continued:

“Red eye is one of the most common ophthalmologic conditions in the primary care setting. Inflammation of almost any part of the eye, including the lacrimal glands and eyelids, or faulty tear film can lead to red eye. Primary care physicians often effectively manage red eye, although knowing when to refer patients to an ophthalmologist is crucial.”

How is red eye treated?

Although uncomfortable and irritating, red eye is rarely serious and usually goes away by itself. In most cases, eye drops containing broad-spectrum antibiotics (ophthalmic antibiotics) are prescribed. Anti-histamines, anti-inflammatory agents and topical steroids may also be

In addition, patients should be advised to take precautionary measures as red eye due to infection is highly contagious.

The authors concluded:

“To prevent the spread of viral conjunctivitis, patients should be counseled to practice strict hand washing and avoid sharing personal items; food handlers and health care workers should not work until eye discharge ceases; and physicians should clean instruments after every use.”

Photo credit: stock.xchng

Know your heart conditions: endocarditis

December 2, 2008 by  

Resource post for December

In this day and age when stroke and heart attacks are the most common forms of cardiovascular diseases reported about, we sometimes need to be reminded that there are other heart disorders out there, albeit less common, that we have to be aware of. That’s why I am tackling endocarditis (IE) in this month’s resource post.

What is endocarditis?

According to the Medline Medical Encyclopedia,

endocarditis is an inflammation of your heart’s inner lining. The most common type, bacterial endocarditis, occurs when germs enter your heart. These germs come through your bloodstream from another part of your body, often your mouth. Bacterial endocarditis can damage your heart valves. If untreated, it can be life-threatening. It is rare in healthy hearts.

What are the risk factors for IE?

The risk factors for IE are as follows:

  • Heart valves which are abnormal or damaged
  • Prolapse of the mitral valve (the valve that separates the left atrium and the left ventricle to prevent the back flow of the blood)
  • An artifical heart valve
  • Other heart defects, such as congenital heart defects

Recently, the factor of age and other underlying conditions also came up in connection with IE. Studies observed that elderly patients have four times the risk of having IE and double the risk of dying from it compared to younger patients.

It seems that the incidence of IE is increasing across all age group among the elderly in particular and is associated with other aging-related conditions. The data was taken from the study International Collaboration on Endocarditis which looked at 2759 IE patients aged 18 to 64 years old from 2000 to 2005.

The researchers found a number of medical conditions that seem to be associated with elderly IE, primarily diabetes mellitus and abdominal cancers…They also discovered a changing microbiological profile of the causative agent of IE. The prevalence of Staphylococcus aureus decreases with age, they found, although the opposite trend was observed for methicillin-resistant S aureus. And enterococci and Streptococcus bovis are emerging as major players of spontaneous IE in the elderly, possibly in relation to higher rates of genitourinary or gastrointestinal-tract disorders.

What causes IE?

The most common cause of this heart infection is bacteria entering the blood stream which then attach to heart valves and tissues. However, other microbes such as fungi can also cause IE. Now, how could microbes enter the bloodstream? You’d be surprised how easy it is. In a previous post, I’ve written about how poor oral hygiene can increase your risk for a heart infection. Normal daily activities such as eating and brushing your teeth can actually allow bacteria in especially if you have unhealthy teeth and gums. Other bodily infections, however, can spread to the heart as well.

In addition, medical procedures that are supposed to be done under aseptic conditions can also cause IE. This can happen when needles, catheters, and dental instruments which are supposedly sterile are actually contaminated.

However, in general, our immune system is strong enough to withstand microbes entering our body. It is those people with weakened hearts which are highly at risk.

How is IE prevented?

IE is an infection and is therefore treated as such – with antibiotics. For this reason, those with high risk receive prophylaxis treatment with antibiotics prior to any medical procedure that can potentially cause IE, including dental treatments.

Recently, however, questions have arisen whether the use of antibiotics under these conditions is justified. In a report  at heartwire, three schools of thought about IE prophylaxis, namely:

  • The traditionalists are the extra-careful doctors who insist on the necessity of prophylaxis for all patients.
  • The anti-prophylaxis practitioners claim that there is no medical evidence that antibiotics provide protection against IE.
  • The middle ground practitioners believe that risk assessment should be done first to determine whether prophylactic treatment is justified.

According to IE expert Dr Bernard Prendergast of the John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, UK,

“the scientific evidence for the use of antibiotics to prevent endocarditis is weak and that new guidelines indicating that no one needs antibiotics any longer make things much simpler. However, he admits to still having some reservations about omitting prophylaxis in patients at higher risk of endocarditis.”

Professional medical groups seem to agree with him. Here is what they have to say:

Researchers involved in International Collaboration on IE believe that the high rate of IE among the elderly is associated with healthcare procedures.

The data show that healthcare procedures are currently placing the increasing population of frail, elderly, disabled people at high risk of IE. In this setting, appropriate antibiotic prophylaxis and higher adherence to aseptic technique should be strongly pursued.” However, the group, too does not recommend prophylactic treatment for all elderly patients but only those with high risk profiles.

To read more about IE, check out:

Photo credit: stock.xchng

CVD News Watch for the Weekend 8 August

August 8, 2008 by  

Enjoying your summer? Here’s some new items to read over the weekend.

CVD nutrition watch

Eating fish may prevent memory loss and stroke in old age

This study which looked at 3,660 people age 65 and above, reports that eating fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids lowers the risk for stroke and cognitive decline in the elderly.

The study found that people who ate broiled or baked tuna and other fish high in omega-3 fatty acids (called DHA and EPA) three times or more per week had a nearly 26 percent lower risk of having the silent brain lesions that can cause dementia and stroke compared to people who did not eat fish regularly. Eating just one serving of this type of fish per week led to a 13 percent lower risk. The study also found people who regularly ate these types of fish had fewer changes in the white matter in their brains. (Source: American Academy of Neurology)

CVD BP watch

Blood Pressure Is So Much More than Brachial

Check out this video at Medscape to know more about other types of blood pressure (other than the usual measurements on the cuff and arm), what they tell us and why are they important.

CVD infection watch

HIV infection increases risk for aortic stiffness and CAC

This study reports a link between cardiovascular health and HIV infection. The researchers specifically looked at “aortic stiffness and coronary artery calcification, two subclinical markers of atherosclerosis.”

CVD healthcare watch

Average ER waiting time nears 1 hour, CDC says

The average time you have to reckon with when waiting in an ER in the US is almost 60 minutes – up from 38 minutes of previous years. This is because the number of ER cases is up but the number of ERs is down, thus creating a bottleneck, Physorg reports.

CDC reports:

At least 10% of emergent cases (those in which patients should be seen in less than 15 minutes) and 20% of urgent cases (should be seen in 15–60 minutes) had to wait longer than 1 hour to see a physician. Blacks and Hispanics were more likely to wait for more than 1 hour in all cases other than emergent.

CVD weight loss watch

Adults who eat eggs for breakfast lose 65 percent more weight

How about eggs for breakfast? You can add a bagel on top and won’t be hungry again for hours. This new, low-calorie, high protein diet may be the next diet craze. Check out the reviews about it here.

Leukocytes and Neutropenia

July 1, 2008 by  
Filed under CANCER

Next to cancer itself, defending an immune system compromised by chemotherapeutic agents is one of the most significant battles a cancer patient faces.

White Blood Cell Basics:

Leukocyte is the term that covers all six types of white blood cells:

  • Basophils circulate in the blood and signal the inflammatory response.
  • Eosinophils kill parasites and produce allergic reactions.
  • Lymphocytes produce antibodies and regulate immune responses.
  • Mast cells are fixed in tissues to signal the inflammatory response.
  • Monocytes capture, identify and ingest infecting organisms, and remove damaged or dying cells and cell debris. A monocyte that become fixed in tissue, is called a macrophage.
  • Neutrophils identify and kill infecting organisms, and remove dead tissue.
  • The life span of a leukocyte is approximately 1 to 3 days. White cells are more sensitive to chemo than red blood cells and platelets, possibly due to their rapid turnover.

    Chemotherapy destroys not only cancer cells but red cells, white blood cells and platelets. When the level of leukocytes drops the risk for infection increases. Chemotherapy may be delayed and/or a lower dosage may have to be given.

    One out of every three chemo patients will develop neutropenia.

    What is neutropenia?

    Neutropenia is measured by the Absolute Neutropenia Count or ANC, which is measured in cells per microliter of blood.

    Mild Neutropenia: between 2,000 and 1,000

    Moderate Neutropenia: between 1,000 and 500

    Severe Neutropenia: less than 500

    While each patient is evaluated on an individual basis, often chemo therapy will not be stopped until a patient reaches severe levels of neutropenia.

    The lowest point that a patient’s blood count drops after chemotherapy is called the nadir. The nadir usually occurs about seven to ten days after treatment. At this point a patient is the most susceptible to infection.

    Other Signs and Symptoms of Neutropenia:

    • fever
    • sore throat
    • mouth sores
    • signs of infection
    • diarrhea
    • burning with urination
    • shortness of breath


    If you are neutropenic your health care team will do everything possible to protect your compromised immune system including prescribing antibiotics, and granulocyte colony stimulating factor.

    What is G-CSF?

    White blood cells are not given via transfusion since these cells only live for twenty-four to forty-eight hours. The risk of reaction is highly likely.

    Instead G-CSF is given. This injectable agent increases the production of neutrophils.

    Types of G-CSF:

    • Filgrastim (Neupogen): daily injections
    • Lenograstim (Granocyte) daily injections
    • Pegylated filgrastim (Neulasta) long lasting

    A summary of G-CSF by the National Cancer Institute:

    “Granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) is a hormone produced by the body that stimulates the bone marrow to produce more white blood cells. G-CSF is also made as a drug. Studies have found that G-CSF injections reduce the severity and duration of neutropenia in patients with some types of cancer. It’s been unclear, however, whether G-CSF is helpful only in certain circumstances or whether many patients with cancer might benefit from it. Treatment with a G-CSF drug is a form of biological therapy.”

    Personal Care:

    • Good hand washing
    • Keep the skin intact
    • Avoid others who have infections

    The American Cancer Society provides an excellent down loadable pdf document on cancer and neutropenia. Read it before you begin treatment.

    Diabetes and OTC Medications

    March 5, 2008 by  
    Filed under DIABETES

    I picked up some sort of bug from the children and it made me think of a few months back when my mother was very sick. With five children in the home, three of which attend three different schools, we come in contact with many, many different germs. When a bug infiltrates, it is not long before all of us are in varying stages of illness. My mom was the last to be ‘hit’ with what I refer to as the ‘Fletcher Plague of 2007’.

    She had the worst cough and we ran out of her regular cough medication. My mother in law picked up some Dayquil and my mother tried it out. We knew her sugar may spike, so we took precautions with her meals and had insulin at the ready. Luckily, she had no ill effects from the medication during the day and later on, we tried a dose of Nyquil early in the evening to avoid any late night episodes.

    After her dose, it was several hours before she went to sleep, but at 3 A.M., the alarm to our upstairs floor began screeching. Someone had popped the mechanism to wake us. My husband rushed down to find my father in law at our door, sweaty, disoriented, and about to pass out. It seems he had taken the same medication in a larger dose than my mother and had began wandering! He is a diabetic as well, but does not pay attention to over the counter medication warnings. I spent the next few hours watching him and checking his sugar levels. We had him drink several cups of pure water, which did help to lower the glucose levels.

    Since then, he has been much more careful in choosing over the counter cold/flu/sinus medications. We have all taken a second look at what is in our medicine cabinet, taking careful stock of what the diabetics in our household can use safely. Sugar free medications or medications that are labeled ‘Diabetic’ are generally safe for use in diabetics or those with sensitivity to sugar.

    You still need to speak with your doctor because over the counter medications mask the symptoms of an ailment. You may assume you are suffering from a common cold, but truly have a sinus infection, the flu, or even pneumonia. Any infection in someone with diabetes is potentially very serious. Ask your doctor about including Vitamin C and Zinc in your morning supplements. Both of these supplements have a track record of assisting the body while it fights off illness.

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    NOTE: The contents in this blog are for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as medical advice, diagnosis, treatment or a substitute for professional care. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health professional before making changes to any existing treatment or program. Some of the information presented in this blog may already be out of date.