Archive for category Health Care

Pain Triggers

The following was copied from: http://www.rxlist.com/script/main/hp.asp

Pain Trigger: Cheese

Cheese lovers, take note – your favorite food may be the reason for all those headaches. Aged cheese, such as blue cheese, brie, cheddar, feta, mozzarella, parmesan and Swiss, contain a substance called tyramine. This notorious headache trigger is also found in some processed meats and beverages.

Solution: Keep a food diary to help spot links between foods and headaches, so you’ll know what to avoid.

Pain Trigger: Your Hairdo

A tight ponytail may trigger a headache, especially if you’re prone to migraines. Some migraine sufferers are more sensitive to sensations that wouldn’t bother others, such as a tight hat, headband, bun, or braids.

Solution: Wear your hair down and skip the hat.

Pain Trigger: Strong Smells

Doctors aren’t sure why, but strong smells are another common migraine trigger. This can include obnoxious odors, such as paint and smoke. But pleasant scents, including perfume and fresh flowers, can also be a problem.

Solution: Identify which smells spark your headaches and try to avoid them.

Pain Trigger: Skipping Meals

Skipping meals causes your blood sugar to dip. In some people, this can trigger a massive headache before you even realize you’re hungry.

Solution: Eat nutritious foods regularly throughout the day. Opt for snacks that combine protein and whole grains, such as peanut butter on whole-wheat crackers.

Pain Trigger: Your Workstation

If you spend many hours a day at your desk or workstation, give some thought to the setup. A poorly positioned chair can cause you to slouch forward, straining the back and neck. A monitor that’s too low or too high will also strain the neck.

Solution: Place your monitor with the top of the screen at eye level. Position your chair so that you are sitting straight with your feet on the floor. Use a cushion to support the lower back if needed.

Pain Trigger: Stress

Stress contributes to a vast array of aches and pains. Many people tighten the back muscles when anxious, leading to chronic back pain. Most tension headaches stem from stress. And stress may play a role in teeth grinding, leading to jaw pain.

Solution: Practice relaxation techniques, such as meditation or yoga.

When to See the Doctor About Pain

Seek immediate medical attention if you have:

  • Chest pain
  • A severe headache and/or stiff neck
  • Pain related to an injury
  • Pain accompanied by weakness or numbness

Any chronic pain should also be evaluated by a doctor, especially if it interferes with work, hobbies or sleep.

Yahoo Article on Heart Attack Symptoms

Article is from Health.Yahoo.com   

 Don’t let that happen to you. Here, 10 heart symptoms you’re likely to ignore — and shouldn’t. 1. Indigestion or nausea   

One of the most oft-overlooked signs of a heart attack is nausea and stomach pain. Symptoms can range from mild indigestion to severe nausea, cramping, and vomiting. Others experience a cramping-style ache in the upper belly. Women and adults over age 60 are more likely to experience this symptom and not recognize it as tied to cardiac health.   

Most cases of stomach ache and nausea aren’t caused by a heart attack, of course. But watch out for this sign by becoming familiar with your own digestive habits; pay attention when anything seems out of the ordinary, particularly if it comes on suddenly and you haven’t been exposed to stomach flu and haven’t eaten anything out of the ordinary. 2. Jaw, ear, neck, or shoulder pain   

A sharp pain and numbness in the chest, shoulder, and arm is an indicator of heart attack, but many people don’t experience heart attack pain this way at all. Instead, they may feel pain in the neck or shoulder area, or it may feel like it’s running along the jaw and up by the ear. Some women specifically report feeling the pain between their shoulder blades.   

A telltale sign: The pain comes and goes, rather than persisting unrelieved, as a pulled muscle would. This can make the pain both easy to overlook and difficult to pinpoint. You may notice pain in your neck one day, none the next day, then after that it might have moved to your ear and jaw. If you notice pain that seems to move or radiate upwards and out, this is important to bring to your doctor’s attention. 3. Sexual dysfunction   

Having trouble achieving or keeping erections is common in men with coronary artery disease, but they may not make the connection. Just as arteries around the heart can narrow and harden, so can those that supply the penis — and because those arteries are smaller, they may show damage sooner. One survey of European men being treated for cardiovascular disease found that two out of three had suffered from erectile dysfunction before they were ever diagnosed with heart trouble. 4. Exhaustion or fatigue   

A sense of crushing fatigue that lasts for several days is another sign of heart trouble that’s all too often overlooked or explained away. Women, in particular, often look back after a heart attack and mention this symptom. More than 70 percent of women in last year’s NIH study, for example, reported extreme fatigue in the weeks or months prior to their heart attack.   

The key here is that the fatigue is unusually strong — not the kind of tiredness you can power through but the kind that lays you flat out in bed. If you’re normally a fairly energetic person and suddenly feel sidelined by fatigue, a call to your doctor is in order. 5. Breathlessness and dizziness   

When your heart isn’t getting enough blood, it also isn’t getting enough oxygen. And when there’s not enough oxygen circulating in your blood, the result is feeling unable to draw a deep, satisfying breath — the same feeling you get when you’re at high elevation. Additional symptoms can be light-headedness and dizziness. But sadly, people don’t attribute this symptom to heart disease, because they associate breathing with the lungs, not the heart.   

In last year’s NIH study, more than 40 percent of women heart attack victims remembered experiencing this symptom. A common description of the feeling: “I couldn’t catch my breath while walking up the driveway.” 6. Leg swelling or pain   

When the heart muscle isn’t functioning properly, waste products aren’t carried away from tissues by the blood, and the result can be edema, or swelling caused by fluid retention. Edema usually starts in the feet, ankles, and legs because they’re furthest from the heart, where circulation is poorer. In addition, when tissues don’t get enough blood, it can lead to a painful condition called ischemia. Bring swelling and pain to the attention of your doctor. 7. Sleeplessness, insomnia, and anxiety   

This is an odd one doctors can’t yet explain. Those who’ve had heart attacks often remember experiencing a sudden, unexplained inability to fall asleep or stay asleep during the month or weeks before their heart attack. (Note: If you already experience insomnia regularly, this symptom can be hard to distinguish.)   

Patients often report the feeling as one of being “keyed up” and wound tight; they remember lying in bed with racing thoughts and sometimes a racing heart. In the NIH report, many of the women surveyed reported feeling a sense of “impending doom,” as if a disaster were about to occur. If you don’t normally have trouble sleeping and begin to experience acute insomnia and anxiety for unexplained reasons, speak with your doctor. 8. Flu-like symptoms   

Clammy, sweaty skin, along with feeling light-headed, fatigued, and weak, leads some people to believe they’re coming down with the flu when, in fact, they’re having a heart attack. Even the feeling of heaviness or pressure in the chest — typical of some people’s experience in a heart attack — may be confused with having a chest cold or the flu.   

If you experience severe flu-like symptoms that don’t quite add up to the flu (no high temperature, for example), call your doctor or advice nurse to talk it over. Watch out also for persistent wheezing or chronic coughing that doesn’t resolve itself; that can be a sign of heart disease, experts say. Patients sometimes attribute these symptoms to a cold or flu, asthma, or lung disease when what’s happening is that poor circulation is causing fluid to accumulate in the lungs. 9. Rapid-fire pulse or heart rate   

One little-known symptom that sometimes predates a heart attack is known as ventricular tachycardia, more commonly described as rapid and irregular pulse and heart rate. During these episodes, which come on suddenly, you feel as if your heart is beating very fast and hard, like you just ran up a hill — except you didn’t. “I’d look down and I could actually see my heart pounding,” one person recalled. It can last just a few seconds or longer; if longer, you may also notice dizziness and weakness.   

Some patients confuse these episodes with panic attacks. Rapid pulse and heartbeat that aren’t brought on by exertion always signal an issue to bring to your doctor’s attention. 10. You just don’t feel like yourself   

Heart attacks in older adults (especially those in their 80s and beyond, or in those who have dementia or multiple health conditions), can mimic many other conditions. But an overall theme heard from those whose loved ones suffered heart attacks is that in the days leading up to and after a cardiac event, they “just didn’t seem like themselves.”   

A good rule of thumb, experts say, is to watch for clusters of symptoms that come on all at once and aren’t typical of your normal experience. For example, a normally alert, energetic person suddenly begins to have muddled thinking, memory loss, deep fatigue, and a sense of being “out of it.” The underlying cause could be something as simple as a urinary tract infection, but it could also be a heart attack. If your body is doing unusual things and you just don’t feel “right,” don’t wait. See a doctor and ask for a thorough work-up.   

And if you have any risk factors for cardiac disease, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking, or family history of heart disease, make sure the doctor knows about those issues, too.   

How to Tell if Someone Is Having a Heart AttackHeart attacks don’t always strike out of the blue — there are many symptoms we can watch for in the days and weeks leading up to an attack. But the symptoms may not be the ones we expect. And they can be different in men and women, and different still in older adults. Last year, for example, a landmark study by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) published in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Institute found that 95 percent of women who’d had heart attacks reported experiencing symptoms in the weeks and months before the attack — but the symptoms weren’t the expected chest pain, so they went unrecognized.   

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

One defense against bed bugs

Below is the text of an email I received recently on the subject of preventing an infestation of bed bugs. Seems worthy of reproducing here.  …John

 

Subject: Bed Bug Epidemic

Hi All:  A bit of information that you might like to know about.  We have friends here in our community and one of their sons is an entomologist (insect expert), and has been telling them that there is an epidemic of bed bugs now occurring in America .  Recently I have heard on the news that several sotres in NYC have had to close due to bed bug problems, as well as a complete mall in New Jersey .    He says that since much of our clothing, sheets, towels, etc. now comes from companies outside  of America, (sad but true), even the most expensive stores sell foreign clothing from China, Indonesia, etc.  The bed bugs are coming in on the clothing as these countries do not consider them a problem.  He recommends that if you buy any new clothing, even underware and socks, sheets, towels, etc. that you bring them into the house and put them in your clothes dryer for at least 20 minutes.  The heat will kill them and their eggs.  DO NOT PURCHASE CLOTHES AND HANG THEM IN THE CLOSET FIRST.  It does not matter what the price range is of the clothing, or if the outfit comes from the most expensive store known in the U.S.   They still get shipments from these countries and the bugs can come in a box of scarves or anything else for that matter.  That is the reason why so many stores, many of them clothing stores have had to shut down in NYC and other places.   All you need is to bring one item into the house that has bugs or eggs and you will go to hell and back trying to get rid of them.  He travels all over the country as an advisor to many of these stores, as prevention and after they have the problem.   Send this information on to those on your e-mail list so that this good prevention information gets around quickly.

Political Correctness 1

  • In line with the climate of political correctness now widespread in America, those of us from the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas and Missouri will no longer be referred to as HILLBILLIES because we find that term derogatory, degrading and discriminatory. We ask that you now refer to us as OZARK-AMERICANS.
    Thank you for complying. (It may save you an ass kicking by some yokel dressed in denim overalls calling himself Bubba)

Ten Worst Sandwiches in America

Would you believe that one of these sandwiches has nearly 2,000 calories. The article linked below tells the whole story.

http://health.yahoo.com/experts/eatthis/43781/10-worst-sandwiches-in-america

Healthcare for Seniors

Here is an excerpt from a recent speech by Senator Murray of Washington State:

“There’s a lot of concern out there. And there’s a lot of bad information going around. The latest outrageous claim about reform is that it would hurt America’s seniors.

“And, Mr. President, I am here today to tell our seniors and their families – that claim is false.

“Let me make this perfectly clear. We are not proposing to cut Medicare benefits or do anything to negatively affect the health of those receiving Medicare.

“Mr. President, when you hear rumors about how reform will affect seniors, consider the source.

“Just listen to some of these inflammatory quotes. A Republican member of the House of Representatives said, “Let me tell you here and now it is socialized medicine.”

“Another Republican congressman said, “we cannot stand idly by now, as the Nation is urged to embark on an ill-conceived adventure in government medicine, the end of which no one can see, and from which the patient is certain to be the ultimate sufferer.”

“Well, Mr. President, these aren’t quotes about the current health insurance reform effort.

“These statements were made in 1965 – when Republicans were opposing the establishment of Medicare. And their position hasn’t changed. Republicans have voted against Medicare almost 60 times in the last 10 years. And now, all of a sudden, Republicans are claiming that Democrats support cutting Medicare benefits?

“This is why, last Sunday, the New York Times said that Republicans are `obscuring and twisting the facts and spreading unwarranted fear.’ And scoring cheap political points doesn’t do anything to help all Americans get affordable, quality health insurance.

“Our families – and especially our seniors – deserve better.”

How American Health Care Killed My Father

Policy  September 2009 Atlantic Magazine

“After the needless death of his father, the author, a business executive, began a personal exploration of a health-care industry that for years has delivered poor service and irregular quality at astonishingly high cost. It is a system, he argues, that is not worth preserving in anything like its current form. And the health-care reform now being contemplated will not fix it. Here’s a radical solution to an agonizing problem.” by David Goldhill.

http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/print/200909/health-care

This article is lengthy but uncovers some fundamental issues on the health care issue now before Congress.

The “death panels” are already here!

“The “death panels” are already here”
Sorry, Sarah Palin — rationing of care? Private companies are already doing it, with sometimes fatal results

By Mike Madden

http://www.salon. com/news/ feature/2009/ 08/11/denial_ of_care/index. html

Health Care Cost in Korea

Considering the furious debate in Congress and guerilla tactics being used publically in attacks on Democratic members of Congress, I’m reposting this on today’s date as it may be of interest as a bit of information on health care in Korea.

 

Korean Health Care Costs

Tue May 13, 2008 8:26 pm (PDT) (Note: The following is the text of an email sent by the son of a friend of mine. The son is a U.S. citizen teaching in Korea)

I thought you might find this interesting.I went to the Sokcho hospital for my health check-up today.It consisted of:1) Blood test for HIV/AIDS2) Urine test for drugs3) Full chest x-ray for pneumonia/TB4) Height/weight/vision/blood pressure checksIt cost a whopping $50.00…and I don’t have insurance yet. How much would that run in the states?Take care, Matthew”

PS: Another teacher just called me — he won’t be at work today as he has pneumonia. Doctor visit — $3.00,  Antibiotics and a huge bottle of codeine — $7.60.                       I love Korea…we so get hosed in the states, Matthew”

Why I Haven’t Posted in the Last Few Weeks

July 17, 2009. Why Haven’t I Posted in the Last Few Weeks?

A common everyday bacteria that we all have in our intestinal tract got into my chest cavity causing a large abscess to form on my liver. Two trips to the ER didn’t identify the problem. A new primary physician did diagnose it correctly and had me admitted to the hospital. A medical procedure to drain the abscesses went awry, an artery was punctured causing another procedure to clamp off and cauterize the artery. Released from the hospital on day six with a drain from the chest cavity and a medical fanny pack pump that injected antibiotics one hour each day and required recharging every three days. After a slow recovery I’m back to near normal.