Archive for January, 2011

posted by admin on Jan 30

As a last resort, many arthritics will seek an overnight cure by drinking excessive amounts of lemon juice. It seems that centuries ago lemon juice was found to be beneficial for scurvy.
Simultaneously, it supposedly aided a number of persons with arthritic symptoms. The idea flourished and it was carried on as a rumour for nearly 300 years.
Starting in the 16th century, people tried to cure scurvy by taking about two teaspoonfuls of lime juice once a week. This was added to some solid part of the diet. When lime juice was not available, a fresh vegetable—like turnip or some greens—was tried as a substitute.
After this lime legend became widespread, it was suddenly changed to lemon juice. Instead of two teaspoonfuls a week, it grew to taking a glass of lemon juice per day. Then, four or five glasses of lemon juice were advocated—and not to fight scurvy but to “cure” arthritis. It didn’t work, not for arthritics certainly.
Speaking of scurvy, the ancient Romans believed that parsley alleviated the disease. The Dutch became convinced that sauerkraut would help them. The Moors also tried to overcome scurvy with lemon juice. The herb doctors in England attempted to cure it with watercress. North American Indians used a tea made from pine needles with “magic success.”
Hundreds of years have passed since scurvy was reported in the 16th century. Now, as recently as August 10, 1951, the Rochester (N.Y.) Democrat and Chronicle reported scurvy cropping up in Tallahassee, Florida—in the heart of the citrus industry.
In Florida, people who had all the citrus juice they wanted—growing in their own backyards— found themselves with the marks of scurvy. They had loosening of teeth, loss of appetite, pain in the arms and legs.
Is this the penalty for drinking citrus juice rather than eating the fruit in moderation? Does this mean that if your gums bleed, they will bleed even more from too much citric juice? Ironically enough, the answer to both questions is yes. And I’ll explain why in more detail as you read on. . . .
The myth which led to the use of lemon juice for arthritis has gained in popularity. Today, many crippled and maimed arthritics use it in frightening quantities, all to no avail. To those who think this juice does help, look at the way your skin and body are drying out. Evaluate the damage you have done yourself. Look at the colour of your hair. Is it becoming grey prematurely?

posted by admin on Jan 25

Researchers, physicians, and patients all know that the degree of pain experienced from RA is not always proportional to the amount of inflammation present. From this fact we must infer that some people perceive pain more intensely than others. How intensely you experience pain is linked in part to your emotions and to your understanding of what the pain signifies.
Residual pain that follows war injuries is a well-documented example of how a person’s perception of pain can be affected by the meaning that person attaches to it. In these instances, people who are severely wounded in battle often report feeling little or no pain after the injury. Perhaps this is because the injury signifies their freedom to return home. Or maybe their pain reminds them of the courage they displayed while fighting for a cause. On the other hand, a senseless and arbitrary automobile accident with a similar degree of injury will usually cause great emotional and physical pain.
Because the pain of RA has different personal significance for each individual, it only follows that the pain will be experienced by each person differently. The person for whom each twinge of pain symbolizes loss of function and control will probably vigilantly monitor and focus on his pain . . . and may end up feeling that pain more intensely than someone who learns to view pain as a message that allows him to modify his actions and prevent joint damage. Sometimes a positive attitude really can improve your condition.
Emotions and attitudes also play a remarkable role in the perception of pain. Does that mean that the pain is all in your head? Certainly not! It is in your joints and muscles. But your emotions can intensify or lessen the perception of that painful stimulus from the joints and muscles. People who feel confident, organized, and in control often experience less pain. Those who are fearful or depressed suffer much higher levels of pain.
Emotions can also increase pain directly. To illustrate this phenomenon, consider one of the most common sources of pain in RA: muscle spasm. Muscles that are continuously tight and do not relax adequately can be very painful. Joint pain can often promote reflex muscle spasm, or tension. When the muscle contracts and squeezes around painful joints, they become even more painful. In addition to joint pain, here are some other notorious sources of muscle tension:
•     fear
•     depression
•     fatigue
•     isolation
•     stress / anxiety
•     poor sleep patterns
Do any of these conditions sound familiar? The truth is we all encounter these conditions in our day-to-day lives. Many of them are unavoidable. Depression, fear, and other emotional reactions to life events (and to life in general) can provoke muscle tension, as can poor sleep patterns. In RA as in other conditions, these factors often trigger a vicious cycle of pain which is difficult to break.

posted by admin on Jan 15

The history of ADHD’s “evolution” is both fascinating and lengthy. It’s not a new ailment, but it’s taken doctors and researchers quite a long time to understand what it is and how to effectively treat it.
The first description of ADHD in the medical literature was made in 1902 by an English doctor named George Still, who described a group of young patients stricken with extreme hyperactivity, inattention, and impulsivity. Not surprisingly, the group consisted of three boys for every girl, and in each case the problems manifested themselves before age eight. From his report, it’s apparent that Still was dealing with almost textbook examples of ADHD. Based on the fact that most of the children in his study came from good, loving homes, Still theorized that their condition was biological rather than environmental and might even have a genetic component.
It’s interesting to note that during that period, disruptive children were generally viewed as simply poorly disciplined, and much of the responsibility for their behavior was placed on their parents’ shoulders. Parenting books and even many medical texts advocated spanking and other forms of corporal punishment as the answer to hyperactivity and inattention. Now, of course, we know that corporal punishment does nothing to eliminate the symptoms of ADHD, and can, in fact, make them worse.
A 1917 encephalitis outbreak in the United States stimulated still more interest in attention deficit syndromes because many children stricken with the disease developed problems strikingly similar to ADHD, including hyperactivity and attention deficit. Doctors reasoned that the virus responsible for encephalitis damaged the same parts of the brain suspected to be immature in ADHD children. By the 1940s, the term minimal brain damage was used to describe this disorder. However, once it was determined that these children often had no evidence of brain damage, the term was changed to minimal brain dysfunction.
Hyperactivity became the focus of study in the 1950s, when doctors started referring to the condition as “hyperkinetic impulse disorder.” It was during this period that Ritalin and other stimulants became the treatment of choice for children with ADHD, though the number of prescriptions then was dramatically lower than what we’re seeing today.
During the latter part of the 1960s, doctors and researchers began to realize with greater certainty that the symptoms that make up ADHD are biological and possibly genetic in origin— not the result of poor parenting, environment, or children just being “bad.” The use of stimulants, particularly Ritalin, became increasingly common as parents looked desperately for an effective treatment.
The 1970s saw greater research into both the causes and effects of ADHD, with strong emphasis on impulsivity and distractibility. Scientists became increasingly convinced of a biological and probably genetic cause, although they couldn’t prove it. As studies attempted to understand the underlying deficient cognitive operations that result in the syndrome, the name given to the disorder changed. Thus the term attention deficit disorder reflected the conviction, largely following the work of Virginia Douglas in the 1970s and 1980s, that a deficit in attention was the primary underlying disorder. In DSM TV, hyperactivity was added to the nomenclature, so that now the syndrome is referred to as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.