Posted by admin on Apr 19

There are two general tests that detect HIV infection. Because HIV lives in blood cells, both are tests conducted on human blood, although tests using saliva and urine are expected soon. One blood test detects evidence of the virus itself; the other detects the antibody to the virus.     Tests for HIV-Three tests for HIV infection detect either the virus itself or parts of the virus in the blood. These tests are called (1) cultures for the virus, (2) P24 antigen tests, and (3) polymerase chain reaction (PCR).     Tests for HIV are more expensive, less well standardized, and less readily available than tests for the antibody to HIV. At present, the major uses of such tests are for the rare person whose test results for the antibodies to HIV are ambiguous, and for research studies.     Tests for Antibodies to HIV-The most common method for detecting HIV infection is the test to detect antibodies to the virus. Antibodies are proteins the body makes to kill any microbe that invades human tissues. If antibodies are present, the microbe also is, or has been, present. Testing has been done to identify antibodies to many microbes for several decades; it is a common method for finding the microbes that cause a multitude of infectious diseases.     Laboratories use two standard tests for detecting antibodies to HIV: an initial screening test called the ELISA, followed by a confirming test called the Western blot. The results of the tests are positive (meaning that the antibody is present), negative (meaning the antibody is not present), or indeterminant (meaning that the test results are inconclusive).     Indeterminant, false negative, and false positive results. The antibody test, on rare occasions, produces indeterminant or false results. Indeterminant results mean that the laboratory cannot determine definitely whether the results are positive or negative (see below, “Indeterminant Test Results”). People with indeterminant results are usually told to repeat the test in three months.     False results mean that the test results are inaccurate: they can be either falsely negative or falsely positive. A false negative result usually occurs because the test was taken too early during the course of the infection. After infection by most microbes, the body begins manufacturing antibodies within about two or three weeks. After infection with HIV, however, different people’s bodies produce antibodies over widely varying amounts of time: about half the people infected will produce antibodies and have positive blood tests within six weeks, most will have positive tests within three months, and some people do not produce antibodies after an even longer period, perhaps up to three years.     During this early period in the infection—after infection but before antibodies are manufactured—tests can be falsely negative, meaning that the person actually has HIV infection but the antibody test is negative.     The likelihood that a negative result is false is different for different people. A negative result is more likely to be false in people who are actively participating in high-risk behavior. A negative result is not likely to be false in people with low-risk behavior. For blood donors in general, the frequency of false negatives is vanishingly small: the standard antibody test will miss only 1 in 40,000 to 200,000 blood donors.     The results of the tests can also be falsely positive. The results can be falsely positive because the laboratory made an error or mixed up blood samples, or because the person has antibodies to miscellaneous proteins that incidentally resemble HIV. If the laboratory is reliable, and if both the ELISA and Western blot are done, the frequency with which the tests are falsely positive is also vanishingly small. In a study done purposefully to magnify the number of false positive results, the frequency with which tests were falsely positive was 1 in 135,000 tests.     The figures quoted above make the test for antibody to HIV one of the most accurate tests in medicine. Like other tests, it is subject to both human error and technological error. If there is reason seriously to question the results of the test, it is best simply to have it repeated. In the rare circumstance where repeat tests also leave questions, it is sometimes wise to take the test to detect the virus or parts of the virus.*253\191\2*

Posted by admin on Apr 5

If convinced that a spiritual dimension may be touched by both alcoholism and recovery, what do you as a counselor do? First, we recommend cultivating some members of the clergy in your area. It seems that many communities have at least one member of the clergy who has stumbled into the alcohol field— and we do mean stumbled. It was not a deliberate, intellectual decision. It may have occurred through a troubled parishioner who has gotten well, or one whom the clergy member couldn’t tolerate watching drink himself to death any longer and so blundered through an intervention. The pastor may have aided some alcoholics and finds more and more showing up on his doorstep for help. This is the one you want. If you cannot find him, find one with whom you are comfortable talking about spiritual or religious issues. That means one with whom you don’t feel silly or awkward and, equally important, who doesn’t squirm in his seat either at talk of spiritual issues. (Mention of God and religion can make people, including some clergy, as uncomfortable as talk of drinking can!)Once you find a resource person, it is an easy matter to provide your client with an opportunity to talk with that person. One way to make the contact is simply to suggest that the client sit down and talk with Joe Smith, who happens to be a Catholic priest, or a Jewish rabbi, or something else. It may also be worth pointing out to the client that the topic of concern is important and that the individual mentioned may be helpful in sorting it out. Set up the appointment and let the clergy member take it from there. Some residential programs include a clergy member as a resource person. This person may simply be available to counsel with clients or may take part in the formal program, for example, by providing a lecture in the educational series. What is important is that the presence and availability of this person gives the message to clients that matters of the spirit are indeed important and not silly.How do you recognize the person for whom spiritual counseling may be useful? First, let us assume you have found a clergy member who doesn’t wag a finger, deliver hellfire and brimstone lectures, or pass out religious tracts at the drop of a hat. Rather, you have found a warm, caring, accepting, and supportive individual. A chat with someone like that isn’t going to hurt anyone. So don’t worry about inappropriate referrals. Nonetheless, for some clients the contact may be particularly meaningful. Among these are individuals who have a spiritual or religious background and are not experiencing it as a source of support, but rather as a condemnation. Others may, in their course of sobriety, be conscientiously attempting to work the AA program, but have some problem that is hanging them up. Another group who may experience difficulty are Jewish alcoholics. “Everyone knows Jews don’t become alcoholics.” This presents a problem for those who do. It has been said that there is double the amount of denial and consequent guilt for them. Because the Jewish religion is practiced within the context of a community, there may also be a doubled sense of estrangement. A contact with a rabbi may be very important. It is worth pointing out that someone can be culturally or ethnically Jewish, but not have been religiously Jewish. The intrusion of an alcohol problem may well provide the push to the Jewish alcoholic to explore his spiritual heritage. The alcohol counselor is advised to be sensitive to this as well as supportive.The counselor, as an individual, may or may not consider spiritual issues personally important. What the caregiver needs is an awareness of the possibility (even probability) of this dimension’s importance to a client, as well as a willingness to provide the client with a referral to an appropriate individual.*139\331\2*



Posted by admin on Mar 27

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.

Posted by admin on Mar 20

In its natural habitat, the evening primrose is an unassuming little plant with pretty yellow flowers which likes to grow wild along waysides. It’s happiest in sand dunes, along railway sidings, waste sites, and country roadsides. And although you can still easily spot the evening primrose in its natural state, there are now whole fields of it being grown by farmers as a cash crop. For it is from this crop that the millions of tiny seeds which make the precious oil are harvested.
Strictly speaking, the evening primrose is not a primrose at all. It is related to the rose bay willow herb family, and to the popular garden flowers clarkia and godetia.
It acquired its name because its bright yellow flowers look like the colour of real primroses, and because its flowers open in the evening. It has the curious habit of blooming between 6 and 7 o’clock in the evening, when eight or ten of the largest fragrant flowers can burst open every minute. The flower usually lasts for the whole of the next day, particularly in dull weather, but in bright sunlight the flowers fade quite quickly. In England, the plant flowers from the end of June to mid August.
Experts who classify plants (taxonomists) will tell you that the evening primrose belongs to the order Myrtiflorae, family Onagraceae, genus Oenotherae. The generic name comes from the Greek oinos (wine) and thera (hunt). According to herbals, this described a plant – probably a willow herb – which gave one a relish for wine if the roots were eaten. Another interpretation is that the plant dispelled the ill effects of wine, and this fits in better with modern research. Herbals describe the evening primrose as being astringent and sedative, and the oil helpful in treating gastro-intestinal disorders, asthma, whooping cough, female complaints, and wound healing.


Posted by admin on Mar 13

The basic function of cartilage is to absorb shock and protect the bones. There are two types of cartilage in the knee joint: articular cartilage and the menisci.
The articular cartilage, also known as hyaline cartilage, is a white elastic material that lines the three bones that form the knee joint: the patella, femur and tibia. It is anywhere from 1/8 to 1/2 inch in thickness. Articular cartilage allows the knee (and other joints) to move in a fluid motion. Articular cartilage is composed primarily of water, collagen, and substances called proteoglycans, which are made up of large proteins and sugars. The wearing away of the articular cartilage, either through a traumatic injury or overuse, can result in arthritis. Softening or wearing away of the articular cartilage is called chondromalacia. Severe arthritis becomes evident when the hyaline cartilage is completely worn exposing raw bone (the subchondral bone).
Each knee has two menisci: the medial mensicus and lateral meniscus. (Medial refers to a part that is closest to the other leg, lateral refers to a part that is further away from the other leg.) The menisci are made of fibrous cartilage, a thick rubbery-type substance. Located on top of the tibial plateau, both menisci are basically shock absorbers, helping the knee withstand the enormous shear (side) forces that are placed on it daily. Meniscal injuries are fairly common, especially among athletes and are often a result of excessive force. Wear and tear due to age can also cause damage to the menisci.

Posted by admin on Feb 25

Using the Breath
If possible lie on the floor with your knees up and your feet flat on the floor; if this is not possible sit in a straight-backed chair and drop your shoulders. Breathe in and push your abdomen out; breathe out and pull your abdomen in and upwards towards the ribs. Continue for ten minutes. It would be surprising if this did not ease the spasm and allow you to get rid of some of the wind.
Pressure Points for Wind
Many alternative therapies share the belief (although they may have different names for it) that the body runs on a subtle form of electrical energy which runs in channels through the body. When the flow is interrupted in these channels – often by tension -discomfort or disease can result. Although there are many ways of correcting the energy flow, acupressure is one of the simplest. Here are some points to try.
1 Let your arms hang by your sides and poke around on the outer edge of the thigh where your middle finger ends until you find a tender area; sometimes it feels as if you are pressing on grains of sand. Press or massage until you feel rumblings in your gut.
2 Hold out your arm and stick up your thumb as though you are hitching a lift. With the other hand feel around in the little depression right on the tip of the shoulder. Repeat for the other side. There can be some marked differences in these two points; if one side is very sore note what you do with that shoulder, are you holding it somewhere up around your ear? Tense shoulders play havoc with the digestive system.

Posted by admin on Feb 20

The threshold is the level of excitement at which a neuron will fire. As we have indicated, a cell’s threshold is determined by the excitatory and inhibitory influences upon it. The seizure threshold is the level at which
the brain will have a seizure, at which multiple cells will fire simultaneously.
Chemical factors, lack of oxygen, low calcium can lower the threshold as can fever, excitement, lack of sleep. In general, the brain has a large margin of safety to protect it from misfiring. The size of this margin of safety is determined genetically. As a consequence, some people are closer to the threshold than others. In individuals with a previously low genetic threshold, fever may cause an event known as a “febrile,” or fever-induced, seizure. Seizures can be produced in anyone if the temperature becomes sufficiently high (107° to io8°F) and if the brain becomes sufficiently excited. In those with a lower genetic resistance or threshold, a febrile seizure may occur at a temperature of 1o3°or 104°. If the threshold of an individual is quite low, a seizure may occur with only slightly increased excitement, at 1010 or 102°. Similarly, mild head trauma may cause a seizure in a child with a low genetic threshold, whereas it would take far more severe head trauma to cause a seizure in a child with a higher threshold.
The threshold for a seizure is dependent also on age. Young children have lower seizure thresholds than adults. That is why young children are more likely to have a seizure when they get a fever and why most epilepsy begins in childhood. The increase in threshold with age may be the reason why most epilepsy that has begun in childhood is outgrown.
Emotional factors and other physical factors also influence a child’s margin of safety. Excitement in response to a birthday party or a trip, or agitation caused by an argument or punishment, or anxiety during an exam may lower the individual’s margin of safety and cause a seizure. So may lack of sleep in an individual whose threshold is already low. Such interactions of genetic threshold and environmental influences may explain many single, presumably “spontaneous,” seizures.
Chemical changes in the blood, such as low blood sugar or low calcium levels, make neurons more susceptible to firing but are usually insufficient of themselves to produce seizures except in a “low-threshold, seizure-prone” child.

Posted by admin on Feb 13

Cancer is defined by the American Cancer Society as a “disorderly growth of the body’s tissue cells.” Malignant tumor and neoplasm axe other terms for cancer. Tumor cells can break away from the original site, enter the circulation, and become attached to another tissue and grow; this is known as metastasis.

Cancer is a major health problem in the United States. About 1000 people die daily from cancer, and one of every four persons will develop cancer some time during his lifetime. With early detection the American Cancer Society estimates that more than 100,000 lives could be saved each year.
Lung cancer ranks first as a cause of death from cancer in American males, and breast cancer first in females. Cancer of the colon and rectum is the second leading cause of death from cancer in both males and females. For some reason not yet clearly understood the incidence of stomach cancer in the United States has been declining.

Cancer signals
It behooves all persons to be familiar with the seven signals listed by the American Cancer Society that could indicate the presence of cancer.
1.       Unusual bleeding or discharge
2.       Lump or thickening in the breast or elsewhere
3.      A sore that does not heal
4.      Change in bowel or bladder habits
5.       Hoarseness or cough
6.       Indigestion or difficulty in swallowing
7.      Change in size or color of a wart or mole.
The Society urges that a physician be consulted if any of these signs persist for more than two weeks, and immediately if there is unusual bleeding.

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.

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