Fitness Tip of the Day

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Ten Most Popular Aromatherapy Oils

The term aromatherapy simply means treatment using scents. Aromatherapy is the holistic treatment of caring for the body with pleasant smelling botanical oils. It is the art and science of utilizing the natural extracts of aromatic essences from plants in order to balance and promote the health of the body, mind and spirit. The best thing about aromatherapy is that it is a natural, non-invasive treatment that is designed to affect the whole person not just a symptom or a particular disease.

Aromatherapy has been used for more than 6000 years. The Greek, Romans and Egyptians all used aromatherapy oils. The modern era of aromatherapy began in 1930. This is when the term ‘aromatherapy’ was coined by the French chemist Rene Maurice Gattefosse.

The ten most popular aromatherapy oils are Eucalyptus, Ylang Ylang, Geranium, Lavender, Lemon, Clary Sage, Tea Tree, Roman Chamomile, Rosemary and Peppermint.

Eucalyptus is helpful in the treatment of respiratory problems such as cough, colds and asthma. It also helps to boost the immune system and to relieve muscle tension.

Ylang Ylang is used for relaxation. It also reduces muscle tension and can be used as an antidepressant.

Geranium is good for relaxation and it is also uplifting. It balances hormones in women. It is also good for balancing the skin and as an antidepressant.

Lavender is used for relaxation. It is also useful in treating wounds, burns and other skin care.

Lemon is uplifting and relaxing. It is helpful in treating wounds and infections. It can also be used for house cleaning and deodorizing.

Clary Sage is a natural pain killer and is helpful in treating muscular aches and pains. It is also relaxing and can help with insomnia. It is also helpful in balancing hormones.

Tea Tree is a natural anti-fungal oil. It is good for treating fungal infections such as vaginal yeast infections, jock itch, athlete’s foot and ringworm. It also boosts the immune system.

Roman Chamomile is relaxing and helps with sleeplessness and anxiety. It is also good for muscle aches and tension and treating wounds and infections.

Rosemary is stimulating and uplifting. It helps mental stimulation and also stimulates the immune system and the digestive system. It is also good for muscle aches and tension.

Peppermint is useful in treating headaches, muscle aches and digestive disorders such as slow digestion, indigestion and flatulence.

Aromatherapy is one of the fastest growing fields in alternative medicine. Scientific research continues to be done that verifies the emotional and physical benefits of aromatherapy.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Types of Diabetes

Diabetes is a disease where the blood glucose levels are abnormal. Diabetes restricts the body’s ability to convert food to energy. There are three types of Diabetes; Type I, Type II and Gestational Diabetes.

TYPE I DIABETES

Type I diabetes use to be called Juvenile Diabetes and Insulin-Dependent Diabetes. This type of Diabetes develops because the beta cells of the pancreas are no longer able to make insulin because the immune system has attacked and destroyed them.

The symptoms of Type I Diabetes are increased thirst, increased urination, weight loss despite increased appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, fatigue and the absence of the menstrual cycle.

TYPE II DIABETES

Type II Diabetes is the most common type of Diabetes. It used to be called Adult-Onset or Non Insulin-Dependent Diabetes. Type II Diabetes is develops when the cells in the muscles, liver and fat do not use insulin properly. This type of Diabetes is a chronic condition, but it is preventable in most cases. Read More...

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Heart Attack Symptoms in Women

I was unaware of how different the heart attack symptoms are for men and women. The symptoms in women can easily be mistaken for many other illnesses. The symptoms for women include indigestion or gas-like pain, dizziness, nausea or vomitting, unexplained weakness and fatigue, shortness of breath, discomfort/pain between the shoulder blades, recurring chest discomfort and anxiety in which you have a sense of impending doom. I recently had a scare, which prompted me to look up all of this. I developed a metal like taste in my mouth and my lips started to burn. My blood pressure went up very high, I had a pain in the center of my chest and I just didn't feel right. Prior to this I had what I thought was heart burn, but I couldn't figure out what could have caused it and I couldn't get rid of it. I kept myself calm because I knew that if I freaked out it would only make it worse. Eventually my blood pressure went down and I felt some better so I decided to stick out and go to the doctor the next morning. My doctor who just happens to be a heart specialist among other things (lucky me)put me on a blood pressure medicine and it's helping a great deal. It scares me to think that I could have had a heart attack and not even realized what was going on. Heart attacks can be a silent killer. It is so important for women to be aware of the symptoms, because we don't always experience the classic symptoms. Heart attacks claim the lives of more women than men each year and are a greater threat to women than all forms of cancer combined.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Sexsomnia: The Causes of Sleep Sex

Sexsomnia or Sleep Sex is sexual behavior that occurs during sleep. It appears to occur predominantly among males, but there are reported cases of women who initiate the sexual behavior while sleeping. The condition can range in severity from disruptive moaning to unwanted, sometimes violent sexual advances. Those who experience sleep sex usually do not remember what happened. Sexual behaviors that can occur during sleep include sexual vocalizations, masturbation, fondling another person, intercourse and even sexual assault.

The exact cause of Sexsomnia is unknown, but is possibly caused by abnormalities in the brain’s arousal mechanisms and is believed to be a variant of sleepwalking. Sexsomnia could also be caused by other sleep disorders that are combined with emotional problems. Those who suffer from Sexsomnia may also suffer from other sleep disorders such as sleepwalking, REM behavior disorders, apnea, bed wetting, seizure disorders and night terrors. Some may also have substance abuse problems and other psychological issues such as undefined emotional problems.

There are at least 11 different sex-related sleep disorders and they are easily treated with medication. If Sexsomnia is not treated there can be very negative consequences such as the person suffering from the disorder may actually rape their spouse or someone else.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Health Risks of Pica, A Behavorial Eating Disorder

Pica is a serious behavioral problem that is characterized by a persistent craving and a compulsive urge to eat items that are not food. It is classified as a feeding and eating disorder of childhood. The disorder affects children, pregnant women, certain cultures and the mentally disabled. Substances that may be ingested include, but are not limited to, chalk, hair, glue, paper, toothpaste, soap, baking soda, cigarette butts, vinyl gloves, light bulbs, needles, string, wire, matches, erasers, fingernails, coal, plastic, feces, pebbles, stones, clay, paint, wool, ashes, dirt, ice and laundry detergent.

RISK FACTORS AND HEALTH RISKS

Risk factors for developing Pica include developmental disabilities, mental retardation, children between ages of 2 and 3, nutritional deficiencies and cultural factors. It has also been associated with Sickle Cell disease. Pica is more common in tropical countries because of cultural practices and diets. It is actually a culturally sanctioned practice in some societies. It is also more common in deprived and neglected children. Symptoms in children are poor weight gain or weight loss, constipation, excessive crying, irritability and apathy.

There are many health risks associated with Pica including poisoning that results in death, abdominal problems, teeth damage and parasitic infections. Pica can also result in lead poisoning and Anemia.

SUBGROUPS OF PICA

There are several subgroups of Pica that define what is ingested: Acuphagia (sharp objects), Amylophagia (starches), Cautopyreiophagia (burnt matches), Geophagia (sand, dirt and clay), Lithophagia (stones), Pagophagia (ice), Trichophagia (hair), Xylophagia (wood), Urophagia (urine), Hyalophagia (glass), Hematophagy (blood), Plumbophagia (lead), Mucophagy(mucous), Emetophagia (dust) and Bibliophagia (pages of a book).

DIAGNOSIS AND TREATMENT

A person must ingest non-food for at least a month before a diagnosis of Pica can be made. There is no single test that can confirm Pica, but blood tests can be done to see if nutrient levels are abnormal and if Anemia is present. Both of these are associated with Pica. Medications may help reduce abnormal eating and other therapies such as Aversion Therapy may also be used to treat Pica. The symptoms of pregnant women with Pica usually go away after the child is born.

CAUSES

The exact cause of Pica is unknown. Possible causes include vitamin, mineral, iron or other dietary deficiency, underlying physical or mental illness or stress.

PROGNOSIS AND PREVENTION

Prognosis depend on the substances ingested and if treatment works. Severe cases of pica can result in death due to complications such as bowel perforation or infection. There is no way to prevent Pica.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Irritable Bowel Syndrome or Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumor


Have you been diagnosed with Irritable bowel Syndrome? Are you still experiencing your symptoms even with treatment? It may not be Irritable Bowel Syndrome, but a tumor in the gastrointestinal tract. Gastrointestinal Stromal tumors are tumors of the

gastrointestinal tract. They are the most common mesenchymal tumors. The gastrointestinal tract consists of the esophagus, stomach, small intestine and the colon.

Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumors begin in special cells that are called interstitial cells of Cajal (ICC’s). They are found in the intestinal tract and are part of the autonomic nervous system, which sends signals to the intestinal tract. Not all of Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumors are cancerous. They stay in one place when they first develop and are referred to as localized tumors. Advanced Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumors can spread to other parts of the body and are then referred to as metastatic tumors. The size of the tumors can range from a few millimeters to over thirty centimeters.

The symptoms of a Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumor may mimic those of Irritable Bowel Syndrome, but the symptoms do not respond to the IBS treatment. There is also a possibility of there being no symptoms at all. Symptoms include vague abdominal pain, early feeling of fullness, vomiting, abdominal bleeding (blood in stool or vomit), fatigue due to anemia, anorexia, nausea, weight loss, fever, bloating, flatulence and constipation. The bleeding occurs because of an ulcer that forms in the gastric mucosa that is above the tumor. A palpable abdominal mass in the abdomen may be found during an examination if the patient has an exogastric tumor. The symptoms usually depend on the size and location of the tumor.

Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumors are hard to diagnose and treat because the tumor is often hidden in the abdomen and it may not cause any physical symptoms. They often become very large before they are diagnosed and there becomes a risk of them spreading to other organs such as the liver. The tumors are resistant to chemoradiation so surgical removal of the tumor is the only effective treatment.

Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumors where considered to be a rare occurrence at one time, but now there are 4,500 to 6,000 new cases each year in the United States. The tumors most often occur between the ages of 40 and 80, but they can occur at any age. Fifty percent of the tumors occur in the stomach, twenty-five percent occur in the small intestine, ten percent in the colon and fifteen percent occur in other parts of the gastrointestinal tract.

There are no known risk factors for developing a Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumor, but there may be a slight risk if there is a family history of the tumor. With no known risk factors, there is no way to prevent the tumor from occurring.

Large Vestibular Aqueduct Syndrome

Large Vestibular Aqueduct Syndrome (LVAS) is an uncommon disorder described as sudden and progressive sensorineural hearing loss. The vestibular aqueduct is a narrow, bony canal that connects the inner ear and the cranial cavity. It is related to the bony labyrinth of the inner ear. LVAS is also known as Enlarged Vestibular Aqueduct syndrome (EVAS) and Vestibular Aqueduct syndrome (VAS). LVAS received its name in 1978 simply because the large vestibular aqueduct was the only part of the disorder visible on a CT scan.

LVAS develops when the vestibular aqueduct becomes larger than it is suppose to be. It should not be larger than 1.5 millimeters. This is the result of an abnormal or delayed development of the inner ear. LVAS usually begins in infancy, but it also can occur in childhood and more rarely adolescence. In a patient with LVAS progressive hearing loss may be triggered by head trauma or anything else that may cause a sudden fluctuation in the cerebrospinal fluid.

CT Scans are the test of choice to provide the evidence needed to make a diagnosis of LVAS. Other tests that may be used to confirm diagnosis include Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and a Axial CT Scan.

LVAS can be associated with Pendreds syndrome and Mondini’s syndrome, but it can occur by itself. Characteristics of LVAS include large vestibular aqueduct on a CT scan, hearing loss, sudden hearing loss after minor head trauma and vertigo or dizziness.

Symptoms of Fibromyalgia

As many as 12 million Americans suffer from a pain no one else can see. They are called lazy and sometimes crazy because no one understands what they are going through. It’s overwhelming and very lonely. It’s Fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia is a chronic arthritis-related syndrome and while it affects a lot more, only 3.7 million Americans have been diagnosed with the condition. Unlike arthritis, Fibromyalgia affects the muscles and ligaments, not the joints. Fibromyalgia has also been referred to as fibrositis, chronic muscle pain syndrome, psychogenic rheumatism, tension myalgias, fibromyositis and myofacial pain syndrome.

The symptoms of Fibromyalgia are multiple tender points on the neck, shoulders, sternum, lower back, hips, shins, elbows and knees, fatigue, sleep disturbances, body aches, reduced exercise tolerance, chronic facial muscle pain or aching. Other symptoms may include headaches, irritable bowel or bladder, temporomandibular joint disorder, pelvic pain, noise sensitivity, temperature sensitivity, restless leg syndrome, depression, anxiety, numbness or tingling sensations in hands and feet, difficulty concentrating, mood changes, chest pain, dry eyes, skin and mouth, painful menstrual periods, dizziness and anxiety.

It can take up to five years for a Fibromyalgia diagnosis to be made because it is so misunderstood and there are no tests that can diagnose it. There are 18 tender point sites on the body and a diagnosis is based on having at least 11 of these tender points. The tender points are located in the neck, shoulders, chest, rib cage, lower back, thighs, knees, arms/elbows and buttocks. Tests are done to rule out similar conditions such as Ankylosing spondylitis, Lupus, Carpal tunnel Syndrome, Multiple Sclerosis, Polymyalgia rheumatica and Restless Legs syndrome.

Fibromyalgia affects more women than men and usually develops during early to middle adulthood. If you have a family history of Fibromyalgia or if you have a rheumatic disease such as Lupus or Rheumatoid arthritis then there is a higher risk for developing Fibromyalgia. Other possible causes include sleep disturbances, injury, infection, abnormalities of the autonomic nervous system and changes in muscle metabolism. Ninety percent of Fibromyalgia patients have severe fatigue and sleep disorders.