Monday, July 20, 2009

Health Benefits of Marine Phtyoplanktons

at 10:35 AM 0 comments
What is Marine Phytoplankton?


Plankton is a Greek word which means wanderer or drifter and it is used to describe the class of marine plants and animals which have limited ability or no ability to to move or swim.Thus they simply drift in the ocean currents and occupy most of the surface area of the earth's oceans.Marine means "of the ocean", so marine plankton are organisms which can live and grow in salt water. Some marine plankton, like the microscopic animal organisms called zooplankton,do have limited movement,as do a few species of the microscopic plant organisms called phytoplankton.

Marine Phytoplankton,also known as marine micro algae,are microscopic single-cell plants that are the most abundant "vegetation" in the ocean.They are capable of turning water and light energy from the sun (phyto means light) into nutrients and oxygen,through a process called photosynthesis. According to NASA, marine algae are responsible for producing up to 90% of the Earth's oxygen supply!

The Amazon rain forest may be an important producer of oxygen, but the marine phytoplankton in the oceans that cover 80% of the Earth's surface are by far the greatest producers of the oxygen which sustains human life.Marine phytoplankton produce far more oxygen than all other plant life combined. They are vital in maintaining the earth’s atmosphere and the oxygen we need to survive.

Phytoplankton are also the plant organisms most likely to be affected by global warming and climate change.So do not think that "global warming" will not affect you personally, for if it limits the phytoplankton growth then you will have much less oxygen to breathe!

With the ability to convert sunlight, warmth, water, and minerals into proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins and amino acids, marine phytoplanktons are considered to be the basis of all other life forms on earth. And they are the basic food source which directly or indirectly supports all life in the oceans of the world - from microscopic shrimp to gigantic whales.

    While marine phytoplankton is at the very bottom of the sea's Food Chain, it should be at the very top of your shopping list of life-sustaining, nutritious foods!



Why? The elements and electrolytes in marine phytoplankton are ideal for the human body.

When the human body has the nutrients it needs, it is able to maintain all its complex systems in balance - a state which is called "homeostasis". But when critical components are missing or deficient, the body becomes unbalanced - a state we often refer to as "disease" (dis-ease)

.

    Most degenerative diseases are the consequence of deficient nutrition - yet it is a sad fact that in the years-long training of medical doctors in North America, less than a day is devoted to teaching anything about nutrition and its importance in disease prevention. Medical students learn all about using man-made drugs to treat disease after it occurs, but little about promoting healthy nutrition as a means of disease prevention. Drugs can be effective in treating the symptoms of a disease, but many fail to deal with the disease which is causing the symptoms.

    Doesn't it make more sense to find out how NOT to have arthritis or heartburn or a headache, than to just keep taking a drug that only stops the pain for a while?


Health and Nutrition

Healthy nutrition is the basis for good health and longevity, but we seem to be on our own when it comes to getting good nutrition and staying healthy. Even the "Recommended Daily Allowance" (RDA) which the FDA requires manufacturers of vitamin and mineral products to cite on their labels is really nothing but the minimum nutrition needed to keep a person alive, not necessarily healthy and free of disease. Many people take vitamin supplements which are pressed into hard tablets and pills that are only 10 to 20 percent absorbed by our bodies, and are of little help in ensuring healthy nutrition. Liquid vitamin and mineral supplements can be up to 90% absorbed by our bodies, and when they are of the whole food type they also contain all the natural enzymes necessary for the proper digestion and assimilation of the nutrients they contain. Nutrients which cannot be absorbed into your cells cannot help you be healthy.

So it makes sense that consuming the entire body of tiny single-celled plants like phytoplankton means you will ingest ALL of the nutritious substances which the living organism contains and uses to sustain its own life. This is what makes Marine Phytoplankton such a potent source of nutrition that can feed us at the cellular level.

Supplying the missing substances allows the body to regain its optimal state of health and well-being.



Add Diatoms to Your Diet


Marine micro algae consist of hundreds of species of single-celled plant organisms. The temperate waters off the coast of Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada, are home to a variety of more than 200 micro algae species, including the primary producers called diatoms.

    Under the right conditions of light, nutrients, and mixing, these diatoms grow very rapidly. Each year at springtime in the Northern Hemisphere when conditions are optimal, the growth of diatoms in the ocean waters is at a peak - an event known as "spring bloom" - which dramatically changes the colors of the ocean in the photos taken by orbiting satellites.

    These rapid growth conditions are now being reproduced at a 30 million dollar Sea Farm on ocean-front property in a special controlled environment in large million-liter tanks near Vancouver BC on the Pacific coast of Canada. In a patent-pending process, the fast-growing marine phytoplankton is cultivated and harvested - from 25 to 45 metric tons per day! There is no farm on earth which can come close to producing that amount of nutritious food so quickly and on so little land - and without putting phosphates and pesticides into the ground.


Diatoms reproduce by cell division, and under optimal conditions like those created at the Sea Farm, a diatom can divide up to three times per day! That means the original diatom cell creates one more new cell three times per day, so at the end of the day there are four diatoms instead of one. But each of those new cells also divide into two more cells, which each divide into two more cells, and so on. As all the new diatom cells keep feeding and reproducing three times per day, the number of diatoms grows at an astounding rate!

A plant which can grow this fast is a powerful food for gigantic whales - so why not for humans too?,

With this patent-pending technology, spring bloom conditions are reproduced in a controlled environment, both indoors and outdoors, so the amazing natural rate of growth can be duplicated or even exceeded. The plankton harvested from the growing tanks of the Sea Farm is not contaminated by the many kinds of tiny animal life found within the open ocean plankton, or by any toxic chemicals dumped into the open ocean waters.


Taking vitamin and mineral pills is fine, but with a "whole food" product containing marine phytoplankton supplements, you are consuming the entire body of a vital and nutritious plant and the whole range of nutrients each of these rapidly-growing plants contains.

The exclusive extraction process allows the Sea Farm to combine the benefits of phytonutrients with a natural and balanced composition of sea minerals. Phytonutrients are natural plant-based chemicals that promote proper metabolic functions in the cells of the human body.



Why Would Whale Food Be Good for You ?


Plankton is the source of nutrition for the majority of marine animals, from the smallest fish and crustacean hatchlings which compose the masses of tiny animal life called "krill", to the largest fish and mammals that live in the sea.

The largest marine mammals (blue whales, which grow 80 to 95 feet in length) and the largest fish (whale sharks) eat only krill and marine phytoplankton. An average-sized blue whale will eat 2,000 to 9,000 pounds (900 to 4100 kg) of marine plankton each day during the summer feeding season in cold, arctic waters. They tend to live from 80 to 150 years or more, and are sexually active well into "old age".

That tells us something about the incredible potential of marine phytoplankton as an ultra-healthy food source for land mammals like us!

Maybe we should be eating some of this plankton "whale food" if we want to remain as healthy and active as those long-living blue whales and whale sharks?

    We live in a society which has come to accept the ever-growing incidence of disease as almost "normal", and relies on man-made drugs to simply treat symptoms while ignoring the root cause. It is important to understand that "disease" is NOT normal, and proper nutrition enables our natural immune system to deal with almost any of the organisms that cause disease.

    Many ailments and degenerative diseases are actually caused by a lack of specific vitamins or minerals that are necessary for certain important chemical processes to take place in the body. So it becomes quite obvious that getting certain nutrients may prevent the diseases which may be caused by a lack of those same nutrients.

    Yet the medical doctors who diagnose the diseases and prescribe the drugs seldom try to determine whether the patient is getting healthy nutrition or not. According to Linus Pauling, winner of two Nobel Prizes, a human body which is receiving proper nutrition is quite capable of dealing with almost any disease - from degenerative diseases to the diseases caused by bacteria and virus infections.


Did you know that the human body is constructed to work well for over 100 years? We could have a long and active life if we would only put as much effort into maintaining our bodies as we put into maintaining our short-lived automobiles! Some people do remain in a healthy and active state well into their nineties; while others are diseased and decrepit (or dead from a disease) before they even turn seventy.

You do NOT have to accept the common belief that degenerative diseases are just a "normal" part of getting older. The truly "normal" state of health for senior citizens is "healthy" and "drug-free" - not "diseased" and "drugged"!

Think about this... after retirement at age 65 you could live for another THIRTY YEARS - if you take care of your health and nutrition. Would you want to be healthy and active and enjoying life throughout many years of hard-earned retirement - or be sitting and suffering in a wheelchair in some nursing home, taking five different drugs for five different disease conditions?

The way to optimal health and longevity is through optimal nutrition. We need to supplement our diet with healthy whole foods that provide all the nutrients missing from our regular diet of factory-farmed and over-processed foods.

For many of us, a food supplement with marine phytoplankton is the best solution to getting the wholesome and healthy nutrition which we have been seeking.




Phytonutrients from Marine Phytoplankton offer potentially promising effects in human physiology:


  • immune system enhancement

  • general nutrition - provide ultra-potent lipids to enhance brain function

  • energy - increases energy and vitality

  • promotes better sleep - more restful and restorative

  • antioxidant protection from cancers and degenerative diseases

  • cardiovascular health - supports a healthy heart

  • blood pressure control

  • cholesterol reduction

  • liver health - supports a healthy liver

  • neurological support - mental alertness, ADHD, Parkinsons, and general dementia

  • alkalizing - the balancing of body pH away from unhealthy excess acidicity

  • anti-inflammatory effects on membranes - promotes relief from joint pain

  • cell wall improvement through increased permeability and flexibility

  • detoxification and cleansing - supports removal of toxins from cells and organs

  • skin care - such as acne, psoriasis, dermatitis

  • better vision - more effective than Lutein

  • blood sugars - stabilizes blood sugar levels (aids those who are diabetic or hyperglycemic)

  • supports weight loss


Now you can consume this super whole food and get a healthy dose of phytonutrients each day.







Recommendation»



References»

  • APHA"

  • Nutrition 500
  • Monday, July 13, 2009

    Signs and Symptoms of Autism

    at 9:31 AM 0 comments
    Autism is a pervasive developmental disorder (PDD), a group of illnesses that involves delays in the development of many basic skills, most notably the ability to socialize or form relationships with others as well as the ability to communicate and to use imagination (including fantasy play).Children with autism and related disorders often are confused in their thinking and generally have problems understanding the world around them.In addition to problems with social interaction, imagination, and communication, children with autism also have a limited range of interests. Many children with autism (nearly 75%) also have mental retardation. In many cases, children with autism are unable to emotionally bond with their parents or other family members.
    The forms of autism are thought to overlap considerably. But the fact that there is wide variation in symptoms among children with autism led to the concept of autism spectrum disorder.
    Autism seems to be on the rise, and autism spectrum disorders affect between two and six children out of every 1,000 in the U.S.That's because detection leads to treatment.

    Symptoms typically appear before a child is 3 years old and last throughout life. Children with autism can display a wide range of symptoms, which can vary in severity from mild to disabling. General symptoms that may be present to some degree in a child with autism include:

    Difficulty with verbal communication, including problems using and understanding language.
    Inability to participate in a conversation, even when the child has the ability to speak.
    Difficulty with non-verbal communication, such as gestures and facial expressions.
    Difficulty with social interaction, including relating to people and to his or her surroundings.
    Inability to make friends and preferring to play alone.
    Unusual ways of playing with toys and other objects, such as only lining them up a certain way.

    Lack of imagination.
    Difficulty adjusting to changes in routine or familiar surroundings, or an unreasonable insistence on following routines in detail.
    Repetitive body movements, or patterns of behavior, such as hand flapping, spinning and head banging.

    Preoccupation with unusual objects or parts of objects.
    People with a form of autism, called savantism, have exceptional skills in specific areas such as music, art, and numbers. People with savantism are able to perform these skills without lessons or practice.

    Babies develop at their own pace, some more quickly than others. However, you should consider an evaluation for autism if any of the following apply:
    Your child does not babble or coo by 12 months of age.

    Your child does not gesture, such as point or wave, by 12 months of age.
    Your child does not say single words by 16 months.
    Your child does not say two-word phrases on his or her own (rather than just repeating what someone else says) by 24 months.
    Your child has lost any language or social skills (at any age).


    What Causes The exact cause of autismis not known, but research has pointed to several possible factors, including genetics (heredity), certain types of infections, and problems occurring at birth.Recent studies strongly suggest that some people have a genetic predisposition to autism, meaning that a susceptibility to develop the condition may be passed on from parents to children. Researchers are looking for clues about which genes contribute to this increased vulnerability. In some children, environmental factors may also play a role. Studies of people with autism have found abnormalities in several regions of the brain, which suggest that autism results from a disruption of early brain development while still in utero.

    Other theories suggest:
    The body's immune system may inappropriately produce antibodies that attack the brains of children causing autism.
    Abnormalities in brain structures cause autistic behavior.
    Children with autism have abnormal timing of the growth of their brains. Early in childhood, the brains of autistic children grow faster and larger than those of normal children. Later, when normal children's brains get bigger and better organized, autistic kids' brains grow more slowly.Treatment for autism may include a combination of the following:
    Special education:Education is structured to meet the child's unique educational needs.
    Behavior modification:This includes strategies for supporting positive behavior and decreasing problem behavior by the child.
    Speech, physical, or occupational therapy:These therapies are designed to increase the child's functional abilities.

    Medication:There are no medications currently approved to treat autism, but medications may be used to treat specific symptoms, such as anxiety(nervousness), hyperactivity, and behavior that may result in injury. A recent study found that a drug often used to treat schizophrenia in adults, called Risperdal, might benefit children with autism.

    In Conclusion;It's very important that all children see a pediatrician regularly so that any signs of autism can be detected early in order to help to maximize risk of speaking and Learning Disability.

    Recommdation »

    Reference »

  • Autism Society Of America
  • National Institute of Mental Health
  • JAMA
  • Tuesday, July 7, 2009

    How to improve Health with meditation and exercises.

    at 2:01 PM 0 comments
    Meditation is a technique millions of people use to help focus and calm the mind.The techniques used are designed to help a person gain insight and to manage life's processes,which may include physiological, mental or emotional issues.
    The American Heart Association recommends that heart patients spend 15-20 minutes daily on quiet reflection, deep breathing and visualization of a peaceful scene.The National Institutes of Health also recommends reducing risk factors for heart disease by trying stress management techniques such as meditation or yoga.Meditation exercises have been shown to be beneficial for people with various other conditions,such as chronic pain,irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

    Workaholics or for people with busy lifestyles, meditation exercises help to reduce stress and re-focus themselves in the midst of a tight schedule,concerns and worries.Meditation exercises are better done with relaxation exercises or a breathing exercises.


    There are numerous basic meditation exercises that people can do to lower stress levels and improve health.A more structured form of meditation called transcendental meditation-which involves sitting and repeating a word or a phrase called a mantra -has also shown heart health benefits.People interested in learning this form of meditation are encouraged to find a class,instruction book or videotape on the subject.It's important that patients consult their physician(s) before starting a meditation program.A certified physician will be able to suggest ways in which meditation can be used in conjunction with standard treatment methods.A meditation exercise can be helpful in starting the day in a healthy, strong, enthusiastic frame of mind. The steps for this exercise are as follows-Close your eyes,take a few deep breaths in through the nose and out through the mouth.With each breath,imagine the body getting stronger and healthier,until it is radiating with energy.Imagine speaking in a deep,clear and powerful voice while stating the intentions for the day despite any obstacles.Then take a moment to feel the effect of those words,reflect on them and then act on it.And you had be surprised at the way you stress level reduces.

    Video Presentation by Christopher Lee May.

    Recommendation »

    References»

  • American Heart Association
  • National Institute of Health
  • Wednesday, July 1, 2009

    Signs and Symptoms of Insomnia

    at 6:40 AM 0 comments
    Insomnia is defined as difficulty initiating or maintaining sleep, or both, despite adequate opportunity and time to sleep, leading to impaired daytime functioning. Insomnia may be due to poor quality or quantity of sleep.

    Insomnia is very common and occurs in 30% to 50% of the general population. Approximately 10% of the population may suffer from chronic (long-standing) insomnia.

    Insomnia affects people of all ages including children, although it is more common in adults and its frequency increases with age. In general, women are affected more frequently than men.

    Insomnia may be divided into three classes based on the duration of symptoms.

      ♦Insomnia lasting one week or less may be termed transient insomnia;

      ♦short-term insomnia lasts more than one week but resolves in less than three weeks; and

      ♦long-term or chronic insomnia lasts more than three weeks.


    Insomnia can also be classified based on the underlying reasons for insomnia such as sleep hygiene, medical conditions, sleep disorders, stress factors, and so on.

    It is important to make a distinction between insomnia and other similar terminology; short duration sleep and sleep deprivation.

      ♦Short duration sleep may be normal in some individuals who may require less time for sleep without feeling daytime impairment, the central symptom in the definition of insomnia.

      ♦In insomnia, adequate time and opportunity for sleep is available,whereas in sleep deprivation, lack of sleep is due to lack of opportunity or time to sleep because of voluntary or intentional avoidance of sleep.


    What causes insomnia?

    Insomnia may have many causes and, as described earlier, it can be classified based upon the underlying cause.

    Situational and stress factors leading to insomnia may include:

      ♦jet lag,

      ♦physical discomfort (hot, cold, lighting, noise, unfamiliar surroundings),

      ♦working different shifts,

      ♦stressful life situations (divorce or separation, death of a loved one, losing a job, preparing for an examination),

      ♦illicit drug use,

      ♦cigarette smoking,

      ♦caffeine intake prior to going to bed,

      ♦alcohol intoxication or withdrawal, or

      ♦certain medications.


    Most of these factors may be short-term and transient, and therefore insomnia may resolve when the underlying factor is removed or corrected.

    Sleep hygiene

    Sleep hygiene can play an important role in insomnia. Poor sleep hygiene includes physical factors such as:

      ♦using the bedroom for things other than sleeping,
      ♦eating or exercising prior to sleep,

      ♦going to bed hungry,

      ♦sleeping in a room with too much noise or lighting, or

      ♦doing work in bed.


    Medical and psychiatric conditions

    Medical and psychiatric conditions may also contribute to insomnia.

    Some of these common medical conditions may include:

      ♦breathing problems from chronic heart or lung disease (asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD),

      ♦congestive heart failure,

      ♦obstructive sleep apnea),

      ♦obesity,

      acid reflux

      hyperthyroidism,

      ♦urinary problems (frequent urination, urinary incontinence),

      ♦chronic pain,

      fibromyalgia,

      ♦Parkinson's disease, or

      ♦dementia.


    Common psychiatric problems can be responsible for insomnia including:

      ♦depression,

      ♦psychosis,

      ♦mania,

      ♦anxiety, or

      ♦post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).


    Some common physiologic conditions can lead to insomnia such as:

      ♦menopause,

      ♦menstrual cycle,

      ♦pregnancy,

      ♦fever, or

      ♦pain.


    Other causes of insomnia may be related to sleep disorders including:

      ♦sleep walking,

      ♦sleep apnea,

      ♦restless leg syndrome (creeping sensations in the leg during sleep, relieved by leg movement),

      ♦periodic limb movement disorder (involuntary repeated leg movement during sleep), or

      ♦circadian sleep disturbance (unusual sleep time due to disturbed biological clock).


    Besides the conditions listed previously, there are other types of insomnia that are not necessarily linked to an underlying condition. Some of the common types of insomnia are listed in this section.

    Psychophysiological insomnia

    Psychophysiological insomnia or primary insomnia is a type of insomnia in which learned behaviors prevent sleep. Individuals with this condition are unable to relax their minds (racing thoughts) and have an increased mental function when they try to fall sleep. This may become a long-term issue, and going to bed becomes associated with an increased level of anxiety and mental arousal, leading to chronic insomnia. This condition may be present in about 15% of people who undergo formal sleep studies for evaluation of chronic insomnia.

    Idiopathic insomnia

    Idiopathic insomnia (without an obvious cause) (childhood onset insomnia or life-long insomnia) is a less common condition (1% of young adults or adolescents) that starts in childhood and may continue into adulthood. These individuals have difficulty initiating and maintaining sleep and have chronic daytime fatigue. Other more common conditions need to be evaluated and ruled out before this diagnosis is made. This condition may run in families.

    Paradoxical insomnia

    Paradoxical insomnia is also called subjective insomnia or sleep state misconception. In this condition, individuals may report and complain of insomnia;, however, they would have a normal pattern of sleep if they were to have a formal overnight sleep study done.

    What are the risk factors for insomnia?

    There are no specific risk factors for insomnia because of the variety of underlying causes that may lead to insomnia. The medical and psychiatric conditions listed earlier may be considered risk factors for insomnia if untreated or difficult to treat. Some of the emotional and environmental situations that were also mentioned above may act as risk factor for insomnia.

    Impairment of daytime functioning is the defining and the most common symptom of insomnia.

    Other common symptoms include:

      daytime fatigue,

      ♦daytime sleepiness,

      ♦mood changes,

      ♦poor attention and concentration,

      ♦lack of energy,

      ♦anxiety,

      ♦poor social function,

      ♦headaches, and

      ♦increased errors and mistakes.


    When should I call the doctor about insomnia?

    In general, insomnia related to transient situational factors resolves spontaneously when the provoking factor is removed or corrected. However, medical evaluation by a doctor may be necessary if the insomnia persists or it is thought to be related to a medical or a psychiatric condition.

    There are also specialized doctors who evaluate and treat insomnia and other sleep disorders. Sleep apnea may be evaluated and treated by pulmonologists (lung doctors) who have specialized in sleep disorders. Other doctors who evaluate and treat sleep disorders are neurologists with a specialty in sleep disorders.

    How is insomnia diagnosed?

    Evaluation and diagnosis of insomnia may start with a thorough medical and psychiatric patient history taken by the physician. As mentioned above, many medical and psychiatric conditions can be responsible for insomnia.

    A general physical examination to assess for any abnormal findings is also important, including assessment of mental status and neurological function; heart, lung and abdominal exam; ear, nose and throat exam; and measurement of the neck circumference and waist size. Assessment of routine medications and use of any illegal drugs, alcohol, tobacco, or caffeine is also an important part of the medical history. Any laboratory or blood work pertinent to these conditions can also be a part of the assessment.

    The patient's family members and bed partners also need to be interviewed to ask about the patient's sleep patterns, snoring, or movements during sleep.

    Specific questions regarding sleep habits and patterns are also a vital part of the assessment. A sleep history focuses on:

      ♦duration of sleep,

      ♦time of sleep,

      ♦time to fall sleep,

      ♦number and duration of awakenings,

      ♦time of final awakening in the morning, and

      ♦time and length of any daytime naps.


    Sleep logs or diaries may be used for this purpose to record these parameters on a daily basis for more accurate assessment of sleep patterns.

    Sleep history also typically includes questions about possible symptoms associated with insomnia. The physician may ask about daytime functioning, fatigue, concentration and attention problems, naps, and other common symptoms of insomnia.

    Other diagnostic tests may be done as part of the evaluation for insomnia, although they may not be necessary in all patients with insomnia.

    Polysomnography is a test that is done in sleep centers if conditions such as sleep apnea are suspected. In this test, the person will be required to spend a full night at the sleep center while being monitored for heart rate, brain waves, respirations, movements, oxygen levels, and other parameters while they are sleeping. The data is then analyzed by a specially trained physician to diagnose or rule out sleep apnea.

    Actigraphy is another more objective test that may be performed in certain situations but is not routinely a part of the evaluation for insomnia. An actigraph is a motion detector that senses the person's movements during sleep and wakefulness. It is worn similar to a wrist watch for days to weeks, and the movement data are recorded and analyzed to determine sleep patterns and movements. This test may be useful in cases of primary insomnia disorder, circadian rhythm disorder, or sleep state misconception.

    How is insomnia treated?

    The treatment of insomnia depends largely on the cause of the problem. In cases where an obvious situational factor is responsible for the insomnia, correcting or removing the cause generally cures the insomnia. For example, if insomnia is related to a transient stressful situation, such as jet lag or an upcoming examination, then insomnia will be cured when the situation resolves.

    Generally speaking, the treatment of insomnia can be divided into non-medical or behavioral approaches and medical therapy. Both approaches are necessary to successfully treat insomnia, and combinations of these approaches may be more effective than either approach alone.

    When insomnia is related to a known medical or psychiatric condition, then appropriate treatment of that condition is in the forefront of therapy for insomnia in addition to the specific therapy for insomnia itself. Without adequately addressing the underlying cause, insomnia will likely go on despite taking aggressive measures to treat it with both medical and non-medical therapies.

    What are non-medical treatments for insomnia?

    There are several recommended techniques used in treating people with insomnia. These are non-medical strategies and are generally advised to be practiced at home in combination with other remedies for insomnia, such as medical treatments for insomnia and treatment for any underlying medical or psychiatric disorders.

    Some of the most important of these behavioral techniques are sleep hygiene, stimulus control, relaxation techniques, and sleep restriction.

    What is sleep hygiene?

    Sleep hygiene is one of the components of non-medical treatments for insomnia and includes simple steps that may improve initiation and maintenance of sleep. Sleep hygiene consists of the following strategies:

      ♦Sleep as much as possible to feel rested, then get out of bed (do not over-sleep).

      ♦Maintain a regular sleep schedule.

      ♦Do not force yourself to sleep.

      ♦Do not drink caffeinated beverages in the afternoon or evening.

      ♦Do not drink alcohol prior to going to bed.

      ♦Do not smoke, especially in the evening.

      ♦Adjust the bedroom environment to induce sleep.

      ♦Do not go to bed hungry.

      ♦Resolve stress and anxiety before going to bed.

      ♦Exercise regularly,but not 4-5 hours prior to bed time.


    How can stimulus control help with insomnia?

    Stimulus control refers to techniques used to help with initiating sleep. These techniques are used to induce an environment in the bedroom that promotes sleep. Some simple steps include:

      ♦Use the bed only for having sex and sleeping, not working, reading, watching TV, eating, or other mentally stimulating activities.

      ♦Go to bed only when you feel ready to sleep.

      ♦Turn off the lights and all the noise in and around the bedroom.

      ♦Get up at the same time every morning to avoid over-sleeping.

      ♦If you do not fall asleep longer than 20 minutes after going to bed, get up and try some relaxation techniques until you are ready to sleep again.


    Relaxation techniques, which are also a part of non-medical therapy for insomnia, involve sitting or lying comfortably and relaxing muscles of the body in one area at time. This may be combined with deep, relaxed breathing to promote further body relaxation.

    What is the outlook for insomnia?

    Insomnia overall has a favorable outlook. Many cases of insomnia are related to transient situational stresses and are easily reversed when the situation is resolved. In cases of long-standing (chronic) insomnia, any medical or psychiatric cause needs to be assessed and treated. Medical and non-medical home remedies are available for treating insomnia and are generally successful.

    Insomnia At A Glance

      ♦Insomnia is a condition characterized by poor quality or quantity of sleep, despite adequate opportunity to sleep, which could lead to daytime functional impairment.

      ♦Many medical and psychiatric conditions may be responsible for causing insomnia.

      ♦Insomnia may, at times, be unrelated to any underlying condition.

      ♦There are several useful non-medical behavioral techniques available for treating insomnia.

      ♦Medications are widely used to treat insomnia in conjunction with non-medical strategies.

      ♦Sleep specialists are medical doctors who can play an important role in evaluating and treating long-standing (chronic) insomnia.


    Credits»
    Reviewed By Melissa Conrad Stoppler,MD

    Author:Daniel Emojevwe

    References »

    American Insomnia Association



    Recommendations »

    Saturday, June 27, 2009

    Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: What Is ADHD

    at 4:31 AM 0 comments
    Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is also known as hyperactivity or attention deficit disorder ADD. ADHD is a common condition that affects both children and adults.

    The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) estimates that 3% to 5% of children have ADHD. Some experts, though, says ADHD may occurs in 8% to 10% of school age children. Experts also question whether kids really outgrow ADHD. What that means is that this disorder may be more common in adults than previously thought.

    Children with ADHD generally have problems paying attention or concentrating. They can't seem to follow directions and are easily bored or frustrated with tasks. They also tend to move constantly and are impulsive, not stopping to think before they act. These behaviors are generally common in children. But they occur more often than usual and are more severe in a child with ADHD.

    The behaviors that are common with ADHD interfere with a child's ability to function at school and at home.

    Adults with ADHD may have difficulty with time management, organizational skills, goal setting, and employment. They may also have problems with relationships, self-esteem, and addictions.
    What are ADHD symptoms in children?

    Symptoms of ADHD in children are generally grouped into three categories: inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsiveness.

    Inattention -- A child with ADHD:

  • is easily distracted

  • does not follow directions or finish tasks

  • does not appear to be listening when someone is speaking

  • does not pay attention and makes careless mistakes

  • is forgetful about daily activities

  • has problems organizing daily tasks

  • avoids or dislikes activities that require sitting still or a sustained effort

  • often loses things, including personal items

  • has a tendency to daydream


  • Hyperactivity -- A child with ADHD:

  • often squirms, fidgets, or bounces when sitting

  • does not stay seated as expected

  • has difficulty playing quietly

  • is always moving, such as running or climbing on things (In teens and adults, this is more commonly described as a sense of restlessness)

  • talks excessively


  • Impulsivity -- A child with ADHD:

  • has difficulty waiting for his or her turn

  • blurts out answers before the question has been completed

  • often interrupts others


  • For in depth information, see WebMD's ADHD in Children.
    What are ADHD symptoms in adults?

    Adult ADHD symptoms may be different than the symptoms in children. In addition, they may stem directly from ADHD or may be the result of behavioral issues. Symptoms include:
  • chronic lateness and forgetfulness

  • anxiety

  • low self-esteem

  • employment problems

  • difficulty controlling anger

  • impulsiveness

  • substance abuse or addiction

  • poor organization skills

  • procrastination

  • low frustration tolerance

  • chronic boredom

  • difficulty concentrating when reading

  • mood swings

  • depression

  • relationship problems


  • The exact cause of ADHD is not known, although researchers continue to study the brain for clues. They suspect that there are several factors that may contribute to the condition, including:

  • Heredity: The fact that ADHD tends to run in families suggests that children may inherit a tendency to develop ADHD from their parents.

  • Chemical imbalance: Experts believe an imbalance of brain chemicals (neurotransmitters) that transmit nerve impulses may be a factor in the development of ADHD symptoms.

  • Brain changes: Areas of the brain that control attention are less active in children with ADHD than in children without ADHD.

  • Head injury:There are reports of children with head injuries, particularly with concussions, developing behavioral problems that may mimic ADHD.


  • The following are other factors that may contribute to the development of ADHD or that may trigger symptoms:

  • Poor nutrition, infections, and substance abuse (including cigarette and alcohol use) during pregnancy may be contributing factors. That's because they can affect the development of the baby's brain.

  • Exposure to toxins, such as lead or PCBs, in early childhood can also affect brain development.

  • Injury to the brain or a brain disorder may play a part in the development of ADHD.


  • Eating too much sugar does not cause a child to develop ADHD. A proper diet is essential, though, for normal development in children. ADHD is also not caused by watching too much TV, a poor home life, poor schools, or food allergies.
    How common is ADHD?

    ADHD is the most commonly diagnosed mental disorder of children and is more common in boys than in girls. It most often is discovered during the early school years, when a child begins to have problems paying attention. ADHD can continue into the teen years and on into adulthood.
    How is ADHD diagnosed?

    If symptoms are present, the doctor will begin an evaluation by taking a complete medical history and doing a physical examination. There are no laboratory tests for ADHD. The doctor, though, may use various tests -- such as X-rays and blood tests -- to determine if there is a physical disorder or other problem causing the symptoms.

    Certain mental illnesses, such as depression and anxiety disorders, have some symptoms that are similar to those of ADHD. For that reason, a complete psychiatric assessment is needed to accurately diagnosis ADHD.

    If no physical disorder is found, the child may be referred to a specialist in childhood development disorders. That may be a child and adolescent psychiatrist or psychologist, a pediatric neurologist, a developmental pediatrician, or another health professional. It should be someone specially trained to diagnose and treat ADHD. The doctor bases his or her diagnosis on the child's symptoms and behavior. The doctor may ask for input from the child's parents, teachers, and other adults who are familiar with the child's symptoms.

    Researchers all agree that ADHD is not an adult-onset disorder. To be ADHD, it must be verified as being present from childhood. Adults who are thought to have ADHD will be asked questions about their childhood. In particular, they will be asked about such things as:

  • behavior

  • development

  • relationships

  • achievement

  • grades


  • The answers will help the doctor make an accurate ADHD diagnosis.
    ADHD cannot be cured. But many of the symptoms that interfere with functioning and cause distress can be controlled. Treatment for ADHD often includes a combination of medication and various psychosocial therapies.

    Psychosocial therapies: These are treatment approaches that focus on the behavioral, psychological, social, and work/school problems associated with the illness. Psychosocial therapies that may be used for ADHD include:

  • Special education: Special education is a type of education that is structured to meet a child's unique educational needs. Children with ADHD generally benefit most from a highly structured environment and use of routines.

  • Behavior modification: Behavior modification includes strategies for supporting good behavior and decreasing a child's problem behavior

  • Psychotherapy (counseling): Psychotherapy can help a child or adult with ADHD learn better ways to handle their emotions and frustration. It can also help improve their self-esteem. Counseling may help family members better understand the child or adult with ADHD.

  • Social skills training: Social skills training can help a child learn new behaviors, such as taking turns and sharing. This will enable the child to better function in social situations.

  • Support groups: Support groups are generally made up of people with similar problems and needs. This can help with acceptance and support. Groups also can provide a forum for learning more about a disorder and the latest approaches to treatment. These groups are helpful for adults with ADHD or parents of children with ADHD.


  • It is very important for children and adults with symptoms of ADHD to seek professional care. Without treatment, ADHD can interfere with a child's performance in school as well as the child's ability to make and keep friends. This can have a negative impact on the child's self-esteem.

    In addition, children with ADHD are at risk for developing conduct disorder, depression, or an anxiety disorder. They are also more likely to have a learning disorder. Teens with ADHD are at greater risk for car accidents, early pregnancy, and tobacco and alcohol use. Adults with ADHD have difficulty with time management, employment, and relationships.

    But, when treated, most people with ADHD -- between 70% and 80% -- experience at least some relief of symptoms. Many of the symptoms of ADHD diminish by early adulthood. However, up to 50% of people with ADHD as children continue to have problems as adults.

    ADHD cannot be prevented or cured. However, early identification and diagnosis, as well as a carefully designed treatment and education plan, can help a child or adult with ADHD adjust to the disorder. Many people with ADHD learn to focus their attention, develop their personal strengths, minimize disruptive behavior, and become productive and successful.


    Article By Dr. Amal Chakraburtty, MD And Contributions from Daniel Emojevwe

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    Friday, June 19, 2009

    What Is Bipolar Disorder

    at 1:45 PM 0 comments
    Bipolar disorders are one of several medical conditions called depressive disorders.Depressive disorders affect the way a person's brain functions.
    Depressive disorders are widespread. In the United States alone,it's estimated that more than 17.4 million adults have a depressive disorder each year.That works out to about 1 out of every 7 people,so there's a good chance that you or someone you know is dealing with a depressive disorder.Bipolar disorder goes by many names: manic depression,manic-depressive disorder manic-depressive illness,bipolar mood disorder, and bipolar affective disorder are medical terms for the same condition.

    Bipolar disorder is classified into four different types: Bipolar I, Bipolar II, Cyclothymic Disorder,or Bipolar Disorder Not Otherwise Specified.Mental health experts separate the condition into these four types because the symptoms of bipolar disorder show up differently in different people.When doctors know what type someone has, they can tailor treatment to that person's specific needs.

    How Does It Affect People?

    Bipolar disorder affects both men and women.For many people,the first symptoms show up in their early twenties. However, research has shown that the first episode of bipolar disorder is occurring earlier: It often shows up in adolescence,and even children can have the disorder.Recent research suggests that kids and teens with bipolar disorder don't always have the same behavioral patterns that adults with bipolar disorder do.For example, kids who have bipolar disorder may experience particularly rapid mood changes and may have some of the other mood-related symptoms listed below, such as irritability and high level s of anxiety.But they may not show other symptoms that are more commonly seen in adults.Because brain function is involved, the ways people with bipolar disorder think, act, and feel are all affected. This can make it especially difficult for other people to understand their condition. It can be incredibly frustrating if other people act as though someone with bipolar disorder should just "snap out of it,"as if a person who is sick can become well simply by wanting to. Bipolar disorder isn't a sign of weakness or a character flaw; it's a serious medical condition that requires treatment, just like any other condition.

    What Are the Signs and Symptoms?



    A person with bipolar disorder will go through episodes of mania (highs) and at other times experience episodes of depression (lows).These aren't the normal periods of happiness and sadness that everyone experiences from time to time. Instead, the episodes are intense or severe mood swings, like a pendulum that keeps arcing higher and higher.

    Symptoms of mania include:

  • racing speech and thoughts

  • increased energy

  • decreased need for sleep

  • elevated mood and exaggerated optimism

  • increased physical and mental activity

  • excessive irritability, aggressive behavior,

  • and impatience

  • poor judgment

  • reckless behavior, like excessive spending, making rash decisions, and erratic driving

  • difficulty concentrating

  • inflated sense of self-importance


  • Symptoms of depression include:

  • loss of interest in usual activities

  • prolonged sad or irritable mood

  • loss of energy or fatigue

  • feelings of guilt or worthlessness

  • sleeping too much or inability to sleep

  • drop in grades and inability to concentrate

  • inability to experience pleasure

  • appetite loss or overeating
    anger, worry, and anxiety

  • thoughts of death or suicide


  • Sometimes episodes have a seasonal pattern.Mania in the spring,for example may be followed by depression in the winter.Between episodes,a person with bipolar disorder usually returns to normal (or near-normal) functioning.For some people, though,there is little or no "break period" between their cycles.These mood swing cycles can change slowly or rapidly,with rapid cycling between mania and depression being much more common in women, children,and adolescents.
    Some people with bipolar disorder turn to alcohol and drugs because they feel temporarily better when they're high. But using alcohol and drugs can have disastrous results for people with bipolar disorder.Substance abuse can actually make the symptoms worse,as well as making the condition hard for doctors to diagnose.

    What Causes Bipolar Disorder?

    Doctors and scientists don't know the exact cause of bipolar disorder,but they think that biochemical,genetic,and environmental factors may all be involved.It's believed this condition is caused by imbalances in certain brain chemicals called neurotransmitters.If the neurotransmitters aren't in balance, the brain's mood-regulating system won't work the way it should.
    Genes also play a role.If a close relative has bipolar disorder,a person's risk of developing the condition is higher. This doesn't mean,though,that if you have a relative with bipolar disorder you will automatically develop it! Even in studies involving identical twins raised in the same home,one twin sometimes had bipolar disorder whereas the other did not.

    Researchers are now working on identifying the gene or genes involved in bipolar disorder.
    Environmental factors may play a role in bipolar disorder.For some teens, stresses such as a death in the family,their parents' divorce,or other traumatic events could trigger a first episode of mania or depression.Sometimes,going through the changes of puberty can set off an episode. In girls, symptoms can be tied to their monthly menstrual cycle.



    How Is Bipolar Disorder Diagnosed?



    Most people with bipolar disorder can be helped -but a psychiatrist or psychologist must first diagnose the disorder.Sadly, many people with the condition are never diagnosed or are not diagnosed properly.Without proper diagnosis and treatment,the disorder can become worse. Some teens with undiagnosed bipolar disorder can end up in a psychiatric hospital or residential treatment center, in the juvenile justice system,abusing drugs, or committing suicide.
    Because children and teens with bipolar disorder do not usually show the same patterns of behavior as adults who have the condition, a mental health professional will observe a teen's behavior carefully before making a diagnosis.This includes getting a complete history of a person's past and present experiences. Family members and friends can also provide helpful insights into the person's behavior.The doctor may also want a teen to have a medical exam to rule out other conditions.
    Diagnosing bipolar disorder can be difficult.As yet, there aren't any laboratory tests like a brain scan or blood test that will diagnose it. In teens,bipolar disorder can sometimes be mistaken for illnesses like schizophrenia and post traumatic stress disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and other depressive disorders.

    That's why a complete, detailed history is so important.How Do Doctors Treat It?

    Although there's no cure for bipolar disorder, treatment can help stabilize a person's moods and help the person manage and control symptoms. Like other teens with long-lasting medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, or epilepsy),teens with bipolar disorder need to work closely with their doctors and other medical professionals to treat it.
    This team of medical professionals, together with the teen and family, develop what is called a treatment plan.Teens with bipolar disorder will probably receive medication, such as a mood stabilizer, from a psychiatrist or other medical doctor.A psychologist or other type of counselor will provide counseling or psychotherapy for the teen and his or her family. Doctors will watch the symptoms closely and offer additional treatment advice if necessary.

    Article by David V Sheslow PhD

    References:NIMH




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    Tuesday, June 16, 2009

    Symptoms and Treatment of Compulsive Behavior and Obsessive Thoughts

    at 11:35 AM 0 comments
    It's normal, on occasion, to go back and double-check that the iron is unplugged or your car is locked. But in obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviors become so excessive that they interfere with daily life. And no matter what you do, you can't seem to shake them.
    If you or someone you love has OCD,you may feel isolated and helpless,but there is help available. Many treatments and self-help strategies can reduce the symptoms of OCD.

    OCD is an anxiety disorder characterized by uncontrollable, unwanted thoughts and repetitive, ritualized behaviors you feel compelled to perform.If you have ,you probably recognize that your obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviors are irrational - but even so,you feel unable to resist them and break free.


    Like a needle getting stuck on an old record, obsessive-compulsive disorder OCD causes the brain to get stuck on a particular thought or urge.

    For example, you may check the stove twenty times to make sure it's really turned off, you're your hands until they're scrubbed raw, or drive around for hours to make sure that the bump you heard while driving wasn't a person you ran over.
    Understanding obsessions and compulsions
    Obsessions are involuntary, seemingly uncontrollable thoughts, images, or impulses that occur over and over again in your mind. You don't want to have these ideas -in fact, you know that they don't make any sense. But you can't stop them. Unfortunately, these obsessive thoughts are usually disturbing and distracting.
    Compulsions are behaviors or rituals that you feel driven to act out again and again.

    Usually, compulsions are performed in an attempt to make obsessions go away. For example, if you're afraid of contamination, you might develop elaborate cleaning rituals. However, the relief never lasts. In fact, the obsessive thoughts usually come back stronger. And the compulsive behaviors often end up causing anxiety themselves as they become more demanding and time-consuming.
    Most people with obsessive-compulsive disorder fall into one of the following categories:
    Washers are afraid of contamination. They usually have cleaning or hand-washing compulsions.
    Checkers repeatedly check things (oven turned off, door locked, etc.) that they associate with harm or danger.
    Doubters and sinners are afraid that if everything isn't perfect or done just right something terrible will happen or they will be punished.
    Counters and arrangers are obsessed with order and symmetry. They may have superstitions about certain numbers, colors, or arrangements.
    Hoarders fear that something bad will happen if they throw anything away. They compulsively hoard things that they don't need or use.

    Just because you have obsessive thoughts or perform compulsive behaviors does NOT mean that you have obsessive-compulsive disorder. Many people have mild obsessions or compulsions that are strange or irrational, but they're still able to lead their lives without much disruption. But with obsessive-compulsive disorder, these thoughts and behaviors cause tremendous distress, take up a lot of time, and interfere with your daily routine, job, or relationships.Signs and symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD):
    Most people with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) have both obsessions and compulsions, but some people experience just one or the other. The symptoms of OCD may wax and wane over time. Often, the symptoms get worse in times of stress.

    Common obsessive thoughts in OCD

    Fear of being contaminated by germs or dirt or contaminating others
    Fear of causing harm to yourself or others
    Intrusive sexually explicit or violent thoughts and images
    Excessive focus on religious or moral ideas
    Fear of losing or not having things you might need
    Order and symmetry: the idea that everything must line up "just right."
    Superstitions; excessive attention to something considered lucky or unlucky

    Common compulsive behaviors in OCD include:

    Excessive double-checking of things, such as locks, appliances, and switches.
    Repeatedly checking in on loved ones to make sure they're safe.
    Counting, tapping, repeating certain words, or doing other senseless things to reduce anxiety.
    Spending a lot of time washing or cleaning.
    Ordering, evening out, or arranging things "just so."
    Praying excessively or engaging in rituals triggered by religious fear.
    Accumulating "junk" such as old newspapers,magazines,and empty food containers, or other things you don't have a use for.



    Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) symptoms in children

    While the onset of obsessive-compulsive disorder usually occurs during adolescence or young adulthood, younger children sometimes have symptoms that look like OCD. However, the symptoms of other disorders, such as ADD, autism, and Tourette’s syndrome can also look like obsessive-compulsive disorder, so a thorough medical and psychological exam is essential before any diagnosis is made. It’s also important to note that OCD is an anxiety disorder, and in children, the symptoms of anxiety usually change over time. So a child with OCD symptoms will not necessarily have OCD as an adult. What’s most important is to make environmental and behavioral changes to reduce your child’s anxiety.
    Therapy for obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)

    There are many effective treatments for obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), ranging from therapy to self-help and medication. However, the treatment for OCD with the most research supporting its effectiveness is cognitive-behavioral therapy.

    Cognitive-behavioral therapy for obsessive-compulsive disorder involves two components:

  • Exposure and response prevention

  • Cognitive therapy


  • Exposure and response prevention for OCD

    Exposure and response prevention involves repeated exposure to the source of your obsession. Then you are asked to refrain from the compulsive behavior you’d usually perform to reduce your anxiety.

    For example, if you are a compulsive hand washer, you might be asked to touch the door handle in a public restroom and then be prevented from washing up. As you sit with the anxiety, the urge to wash your hands will gradually begin to go away on its own. In this way, you learn that you don’t need the ritual to get rid of your anxiety – that you have some control over your obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviors.

    Studies show that exposure and response prevention can actually “retrain” the brain, permanently reducing the occurrence of obsessive-compulsive disorder symptoms. This type of OCD therapy can even extinguish compulsive behaviors entirely.
    Cognitive therapy for OCD

    The cognitive therapy component for obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) focuses on the catastrophic thoughts and exaggerated sense of responsibility you feel. A big part of cognitive therapy for OCD is teaching you healthy and effective ways of responding to obsessive thoughts, without resorting to compulsive behavior.


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    Article by Daniel Emojevwe

    Thursday, June 11, 2009

    How to Get Rid of Acne

    at 10:26 PM 0 comments
    Acne vulgaris (commonly called acne) is a skin disease caused by changes in the pilosebaceous units.So that's the scientific definition of acne. But we all know what acne is and how embarrassing it is. There is nothing worse than waking up in the morning to find a big zit on your face.
    This condition can strike at any age.Here's how to treat existing acne so that it disappears.
    STOP popping the spots, also known as pimples and zits. This may make the pimple look worse due to inflammation and irritation. Popping a zit can spread infection under the skin and produce even more pimples than before. If you do pop a spot then immediately clean it with soap and water or rubbing alcohol in order to prevent infection. If a pimple erupts in a particularly bothersome place, learn how to target a single pimple. And if you're determined to pop, learn how to pop a pimple safely and properly. If you do pop a pimple and you want to avoid anything resembling Western medicine, one thing to try is put a mixture of honey and ground cinnamon on the spot. Put a band-aid on it also. You may also want to stay away from stress.
    Remove any make-up you have on.Wearing make-up can clog pores, making them dirty and causing pimples.Use a mild soap for sensitive skin but it doesn't matter exactly what type of soap you use.It can be designed for acne-prone skin or not, but you will want to treat your skin gently.Harsh antibacterial soap may actually make your acne worse by irritating skin.
    Remove dead skin cellsregularly by exfoliating. Use a gentle scrub with natural defoliants like ground walnut shells, or use an over-the-counter chemical defoliant like salicylic acid or glycolic acid. Adding ground walnut shell to a thick moisturizer like cocoa butter can be effective too.Take caution, because over-exfoliating can actuallyincrease the likelihood of acne by irritating the skin.Pat dry, rather than rubbing,since rubbing can cause irritation to the fresh skin you've just revealed.Use a good toner.Spray onto face or wipe on with a cotton ball and wipe off with a clean, dry cotton ball. This gets rid of excess cleanser and tightens pores. Good, inexpensive choices include plain witch hazel for normal to dry skin, lemon juice, or 3% hydrogen peroxide for oily skin. 70% ethyl rubbing alcohol can also be used for severe oiliness,but it can really dry out your skin and irritate it more.Some toners are medicated, and this stage is the best for using a medicated product if you're only going to use one medication.
    Bacteria in pores is one cause of spots.Reduce the amount of bacteria by using toners containing anti-bacterial agents like alcohol, peroxide and benzalkonium chloride,and by using creams that contain benzoyl peroxide (ask your doctor about benzaclin,with moisturizer if you have dry skin as it works better than just plain benzoyl because benzoyl takes up to 8 weeks before improvement is seen) which kill bacteria as well as cause the skin to regenerate faster.
    Maintain a routine. Most acne treatments take time to work. It usually takes between two and eight weeks before you see any significant improvement, so you are going to have to be patient. Once you've gotten your acne cleared up, it's important to continue with the treatment that's working so it does not return.

    Article by Daniel Emojevwe

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    Lose the Love Handles

    at 7:46 PM 0 comments
    I have been working on a routine that incorporates exercises that will help you work your love handles (the oblique region of the torso) over time and effort. Personally, I like to work my "obliques" on days I work my legs, so I created the Legs and Love Handles workout seen below.
    As with any abdominal fat loss goal, you need to concentrate on three areas to help firm your mid-section.
    Here are the three areas of concentration:
    1) Healthy Diet (to build energy and burn fat);
    2) Cardio-vascular and resistance training (to burn fat and build muscle), and;
    3) Targeted Abdominal exercises (to help firm the muscles under the fatty area)
    *Note-You cannot target fat loss. Fat will be used as energy for your workouts and will be reduced after time performing cardio, resistance training, and eating healthy.
    The number one item if you will notice is food intake. As with any fitness and health goal - nutrition and exercise are always the main ingredients to success. Neither can be missing or you will not have the energy to exercise or you will be part of the yo-yo diet crowd, buying a new diet book every year. Here is how I would break it down to get rid of those "love handles":
    1) Healthy Diet
    The most important factor in acquiring washboard abs is eating a healthy diet. Here is a list of recommended healthy ways to help you lose a few inches:
    - Drink at least three liters of water per day (100 oz)
    - Eat five servings of vegetables and fruits per day
    - LIMIT fried foods and cheese
    - LIMIT processed sugar (for example: sodas, cookies, candy)
    - Eliminate fatty red meat -only lean red meats (1-2 times weekly)
    Diets like the Atkins and other high protein diets may help at first if you are over 50 lbs. overweight or more, but to get rid of that last 10-15 pounds, it is recommended to follow a more realistic eating plan that does not ELIMINATE any vital nutrients (such as carbs) from your diet. I do not like to endorse certain diet plans because if you eat healthy, drink plenty of water and exercise, the fat will come off too AND you will be healthier and not lose lean muscle than just dieting alone.
    2) Cardio-Vascular Exercise
    Losing love handles (stored fat) and increasing the metabolism so you can lose weight more effectively are all tied into a consistent cardiovascular / resistance training program. The stored fat around your mid-section (for men) is typically the last to leave your body even after months or years of an exercise plan.It is difficult to lose those last few pounds. For women, the last few pounds of fat is is typically stored in the hips / buttocks / thigh region.
    Whether you are a man or woman, you should do 20-45 minutes of activities like walking, running, biking, or swimming daily 4-5 times per week, but also mix in 2-3 times a week of basic calisthenics like pushups, bench dips, squats and lunges. It takes a few weeks before you start to see the physical benefits or your diet and exercise program. You will see almost immediate results in your energy level, overall mental alertness when exercising daily. The sample routine below will help you better organize exercise into your week:
    Monday & Thursday
    - Upperbody Program
    - Warmup 5:00 / stretch
    Repeat 5-10 times
    - Pushups - 10-20
    - Regular Crunches - 20
    - Bench dips - 10-20
    - Reverse Crunches - 20
    - Pullups - max reps or pull-downs - 10
    - Hanging Knee up
    - Stretch abs/lowerback
    Cardio option 20-30:00
    Run, bike, walk, swim etc
    Tuesday & Friday
    - Legs and Love Handles
    Repeat 4-5 times
    - Walk, bike or jog 5:00- Stretch legs
    - Squats - 20
    - Lunges 10 / leg
    - L - Left crunches - 25
    - Right crunches - 25
    - Hip rollers - 10/side
    - Stretch abs / lowerback
    Cooldown walk or bike
    5:00 / stretch
    Wednesday
    LONG Cardio Day
    - 45-60 minutes of walking, running or combination of the two
    - Or biking, swimming, elliptical gliding machines
    The workout above is just a basic guide to getting started with a calisthenics or resistance training plan or adding cardio to your workout.
    Below are some abdominal exercises taken from every eBook sold online. Sample exercises to help build muscles of the core (stomach and lower back) are the following:
    Hanging Knee-ups
    Bring your knees as high as you can as shown.
    Advanced Crunch -(Legs up)
    Lie on your back with your feet straight in the air . Keep your legs straight up in the air for the advanced crunches.Cross your hands over your chest and bring your elbows to your knees by flexing your stomach. (Do not do if you have previous lower back injury - place feet on the floor.) Check out "Achieve Washboard Abs" for more information.
    Reverse Crunch
    In the same position as the regular crunch, lift your knees and butt toward your elbows. Leave your head and upper body flat on the ground. Only move your legs and butt. (Do not do if you have previous lower back injury).

    Article by Stew Smith

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    Get Bikini-Ready Abs

    at 7:07 PM 0 comments
    Read this first: six ab mistakes that may be holding you back.
    Bikini season is right around the corner. Have you seen your abs? If not, you still have time to make a noticeable difference in the way you look on the beach or at the pool through diet and exercise. Before you start, read these six exercise myths from Marie Claire and learn why when it comes to ab workouts quality, not quantity, is the name of the game.
    1. Myth: To get rock-hard, you have to work your abs every day.
    Why: Abs need rest and recovery: It's only during rest that your muscles build. "Three to five days a week of consistent, dedicated abdominal training should get you strong, sleek abs," says Kathy Kaehler, trainer and author of Kathy Kaehler's Celebrity Workouts.
    2. Myth: A good ab workout takes half an hour.
    Why: "If it takes you that long to feel them working, you're doing something wrong," says Kaehler. "I trained Jennifer Aniston about three days a week, and we did no more than five minutes of abs each time." Check your form, don't use momentum and focus on quality rather than quantity.
    3. Myth: Super-slow crunches make you stronger.
    Why: Taking as much as a minute per crunch doesn't make you stronger than regular crunches do. In fact, ultra-slow ab work is less effective. Ideally, your workout should help you do everything better, from kickboxing to picking up a suitcase - neither of which you do in slo-mo.
    4. Myth: The best time to train your abs is at the end of your workout.
    Why: "It makes no physiological difference when you train abs, it only matters that you do it consistently," says abs researcher and physical therapist Gilbert Willett, M.S., associate professor at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. So the best time to work them is simply whenever you're most likely to do it. " "But if you do abs at the beginning of your workout, make sure you warm up first. Getting blood moving prevents many types of injuries during a workout."
    5. Myth: You can't get a six-pack by doing Pilates.
    Why: "Pilates exercises your core, so if you practice it regularly and combine it with diet and cardio, it can give you a six-pack," says Kimberly Lyons, a personal trainer in L.A. But Pilates isn't a six-pack guarantee. "How your abs look has a lot to do with your genes, how lean you are, how long your torso is and how tall you are."
    6. Myth: You won't get firm without a weight machine.
    Why: You don't need weights to build sleek and sexy abs, although some competitive athletes do use them to build extra strength. "Many weighted ab machines aren't designed for women," says Lyons. "If you don't fit into the machine properly, you might stress your body in the wrong spot." Her advice: Stick to the floor -it's cheap, effective and available everywhere.

    Article by LimeLife

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    Wednesday, June 10, 2009

    What is Bulimia?

    at 8:57 AM 0 comments
    Bulimia, also called bulimia nervosa, is a psychological eating disorder. Bulimia is characterized by episodes of binge-eating followed by inappropriate methods of weight control (purging). Inappropriate methods of weight control include vomiting, fasting, enemas, excessive use of laxatives and diuretics, or compulsive exercising. Excessive shape and weight concerns are also characteristics of bulimia. A binge is an episode where an individual eats a much larger amount of food than most people would in a similar situation. Binge eating is not a response to intense hunger. It is usually a response to depression, stress, or self esteem issues. During the binge episode, the individual experiences a loss of control. However, the sense of a loss of control is also followed by a short-lived calmness. The calmness is often followed by self-loathing. The cycle of overeating and purging usually becomes an obsession and is repeated often.
    Bulimia was only diagnosed as its own eating disorder in the 1980s.
    People with bulimia can look perfectly normal. Most of them are of normal weight, and some may be overweight. Women with bulimia tend to be high achievers.
    It is often difficult to determine whether a person is suffering from Bulimia. This occurs because bingeing and purging is often done in secret. Also, individuals suffering from Bulimia often deny their condition.Sufferers consume huge quantities of food. Sometimes up to 20,000 calories at a time. The foods on which they binge tend to be foods labeled as "comfort foods" -- sweet foods, high in calories, or smooth, soft foods like ice cream, cake, and pastry. An individual may binge anywhere from twice a day to several times daily.

    A Family Member has an Eating Disorder
    If you have a family member that with an Eating Disorder, your family member needs a lot of support. Suggest that your family member see an eating disorder expert. Be prepared for denial, resistance, and even anger. A doctor and/or a counselor can help them battle their eating disorder.
    What Causes Bulimia?
    There is currently no definite known cause of bulimia. Researchers believe it begins with dissatisfaction of the person's body and extreme concern with body size and shape. Usually individuals suffering from bulimia have low self-esteem, feelings of helplessness and a fear of becoming fat
    Medical complications from bulimia Some of the most common complications of bulimia are:
    Erosion of tooth enamel because of repeated exposure to acidic gastric contents.
    Dental cavities, sensitivity to hot or cold food.
    Swelling and soreness in the salivary glands (from repeated vomiting).
    Stomach Ulcers.
    Ruptures of the stomachand esophagus.
    Abnormal buildup of fluid in the intestines.
    Disruption in the normal bowel release function.
    Electrolyte imbalance.
    Dehydration
    Irregular heartbeat and in severe cases heart attack
    A greater risk for suicidal behavior
    Decrease in libido
    Symptoms of Bulimia
    Some of the most common symptoms of bulimia are:
    Eating uncontrollably
    Purging
    Strict dieting
    Fasting
    Vigorous exercise
    Vomiting or abusing laxatives or diuretics in an attempt to lose weight.
    Vomiting blood
    Using the bathroom frequently after meals.
    Preoccupation with body weight
    Depression or mood swings. Feeling out of control.
    Swollen glands in neck and face
    Heartburn,
    Bloating,
    Indigestion,
    Constipation
    Irregular
    Indigestion,
    Constipation
    Irregular periods
    Dental problems
    sore throat Weakness
    Exhaustion
    Bloodshot eyes
    Risk Factors of Bulimia
    There are certain professions where eating orders are more prevalent. Thinness is usually emphasized in these professions. The professions are: modeling, dancing, gymnastics, wrestling, and long-distance running.
    Good news about Bulimia
    Bulimia can be overcome.
    Bulimia Statistics
    Bulimia affects about 10% of college age women in the United States.
    About 10% of individuals diagnosed with bulimia are men.
    10% of individuals suffering from bulimia will die from either starvation, cardiac arrest, other medical complications, or suicide.
    Bulimia in the News
    In a new study, Dr. Walter Kaye, a University of Pittsburgh psychiatry professor, has found evidence that bulimic women have altered brain chemistry, possibly from birth, which puts them at higher risk for eating disorders-even long after they've recovered from bulimia.
    A new study adds to evidence that the eating disorder bulimia springs at least in part from a chemical not merely from excessive desire to remain thin ,researchers say.

    Articles by Jenna Segal PhD

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    What is Multiple Personality Disorder?

    at 6:03 AM 0 comments
    Multiple personality disorder is now more usually termed dissociated identity disorder. It is one of the more misunderstood types of mental illness, frequently capturing the interest of writers and filmmakers, who tend to portray it in its most exaggerated form. What is most important to understand is the multiple personality disorder is not schizophrenia. The two are often confused. However, in very rare cases, a personality, or alter, as it is sometimes termed, suffers from schizophrenia.
    Multiple personality disorder is almost always caused by persistent trauma, or past trauma such as early childhood sexual or physical abuse. When trauma occurs over a long period of time, the affected person may begin to cope by completely disassociating from the events that cause the trauma. This can lead to "alters," separate personalities within the same person who either are aware of, or are unaware of the abuse. Alters can be childlike, strong, male, or female, and often emerge as a coping device.
    Psychiatrists make the distinction between a person having several personalities, and believing they have several personalities. In general, multiple personality disorder is the belief on the part of the patient that several personalities seem to exist within the self.
    One of the main characteristics of multiple personality disorder is that people seem to "lose" time. They seem unaware that time has passed; yet someone observing them may see them acting in many different ways. The afflicted however, tends to have no idea what has occurred. This generally central personality seems most likely to dissociate if the person is exposed to situations which can evoke earlier traumas, or if the person is still enmeshed in a traumatic situation.
    Other symptoms of multiple personality disorder include depression, confusion, suicidal thoughts, phobias, differing levels of ability to function "normally," anxiety, and self-medication, such as alcoholism or drug abuse.Additionally, those with multiple personality disorder may hurt themselves such as in cutting the skin, may have a high degree of panic or panic attacks, may have eating disorders or be prone to headaches.
    As portrayed in films, multiple personality disorder seems to consist of a number of very distinct personalities, which is usually not the case in reality. Rather, those with multiple personality disorder may pass from greater awareness to less, without putting on a different accent or assuming a completely separate identity. Multiple personality disorder that results in crimes, as presented in several television series and with great effect in the Richard Gere film Primal Fear rarely exists.
    The primary treatment for multiple personality disorder is therapy, which may include play therapy, hypnosis, art therapy, and/or talk therapy. Medication is usually not preferred because of the likelihood of overdose, and because the dissociative state is not chemically induced. The goal is to get alters in communicaation with each other, so that the person does not continue to dissociate from reality. A secondary goal is to be sure the person is removed from any ongoing traumatic situations, such as removing a child from an abusive home.
    When the person has reintegrated different personalities, there may still be need for treatment, possibly drug therapy to treat underlying psychological conditions like chronic depression or schizophrenia. However, while the person is still "losing time," drug treatment may be completely ineffective because the person may not remember to take the medication or may accidentally overdose.
    Therapy is usually a long process, particularly when one has suffered repeated trauma. It can take several years for the patient to begin to feel fully conscious at all times of his/her actions and thoughts. However, clinical research suggests that therapy for multiple personality disorder is effective, if the therapy is continuously pursued.


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    Friday, June 5, 2009

    What are the symptoms and signs of antisocial personality disorder (ASPD)?

    at 9:43 AM 0 comments
    To understand antisocial personality disorder (ASPD),its necessary to learn what having any personality disorder involves.

    As defined by Diagnostic and statistical manual for Mental Disorders (DSM-IV-TR,2000),a personality disorder (PD) is a persistent pattern of thoughts,feelings and behaviors that is significantly different from what is considered normal within the person's own culture.

    Professionals group personality disorders is based on a commonality of symptoms.

    Cluster A personality disorders are those that include symptoms of social isolation,and/or odd eccentric behavior.These disorders include

    *Paranoid personality disorder.

    *Schizotypal personality disorder.

    *Schizoid personality disorder.

    Cluster B Personality disorders are those that include symptoms dramatic or erratic behaviors (counter social behaviors).These personality disorders include:

    *Antisocial.

    *Borderline.

    *Histronic.

    *Narcissistic.

    Cluster C personality disorders are dominated by difficulties with anxiety and inhibited behavior.These disorders are referred to as and include

    *Avoidant Personality disorder.

    *Dependent Personality Disorder.

    *Obsessive Compulsive Personality disorder (OCD).

    Antisocial personality disorder is specifically pervasive pattern of disregarding and violating the rights of others.This pattern must include at least three of the following specific signs and symptoms:

    *Lack of confirming to laws,as evidenced by repeatedly committing crimes.

    *Repeated deceitfulness in a relationships with others such as lying,using false names,or conning others for profit or pleasure .

    *Failure to think or plan ahead (impulsivity).

    *Tendency to irritability,anger,and aggression shown by repeatedly assaulting others or getting into frequent physical fights.

    *Persistent lack of taking responsibility,such as failing to establish a pattern of good work habits or keeping financial obligations.

    *A lack of feeling guilty about wrong doing.

    Other important characteristics of this disorder include that it is not diagnosed in children(individuals younger than 18 years of age),but the person must shown symptoms of this diagnosis at least since the age of 15 years.

    Additionally,it cannot be diagnosed if the person only shows symptoms of antisocial personality disorder at the same time they are suffering from schizophrenia or when having a manic episode.The disorder tends to occur in about 1% of women and 3% of men in united states.

    Definitions>>
    *Borderline:Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a serious mental illness characterized by pervasive instability in moods,interpersonal relationships,self-image and behavior.

    *Narcissistic:Narcissistic personality disorder is one of a group of conditions called dramatic personality disorders.People with these disorders have intense,unstable emotions and a distorted self image.

    *Anxiety:Generalized anxiety disorder or GAD is characterized by excessive,exaggerated anxiety and worry about everyday life events.

    *Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD):Is an anxiety disorder that is characterized by the sufferer experiencing repeated obsessions and/or compulsions that interferes with the person's ability to function socially,occupationally or educationally either as a result of the amount of the time that is consumed by the symptoms or the marked fear or other distress suffered by the person.

    *Schrizophrenia:Schrizonphrenia is a chronic,severe,and disabling brain disorder that has been recognized throughout recorded history.

    Reference>>

    Medical Author:Roxanne Dryden Edwards-http://www.medicinenet.com


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