Archive for the ‘Health Tips’ Category

Maintain Good Sleep Hygiene for Goodnight’s Sleep

These days of stressful and fast life sleep disturbances and sleep disorders are very common. Most of us faced sleep disturbance like insomnia sometime of other in our life. This type of sleep disturbance is generally known as “transient insomnia”, which is of very short duration and occurs occasionally. Transient insomnia is not very difficult to overcome and manage, but when insomnia lasts for long duration and in some cases for years, it becomes problematic. Transient insomnia generally occurs due to some particular situations and circumstances e.g. when we go away from home, we miss our own bed and this may cause insomnia for few days which generally goes off once we come back to our own familiar sleeping conditions.

Sleep hygiene is the behavioral and environmental factors that immediately precede sleep. For example having a very heavy meal or taking beverages like tea or coffee may interfere with sleep, which can be termed as bad “sleep hygiene” and should be avoided if you have problem in falling asleep or insomnia. Presence of bright light or noise may interfere with sleep, which also constitute bad sleep hygiene.

As a first line measure most of the doctors prescribe some non pharmacological measures for management (in other word treatment) of insomnia and these non pharmacological measures are for improving sleep hygiene. Doctors prescribe sleeping medications only if non pharmacological measures for management of insomnia fail. In many cases of insomnia the non pharmacological measures are sufficient for managing insomnia and do not need drug treatment.

So if you want to have goodnight’s sleep, improve your sleep hygiene and enjoy your sound and goodnight’s sleep and live happy and healthy.


Chillies: The Red Hot Medicine

Chilli is one of the commonest of spices used in cooking specially in tropical countries. One in four humans worldwide consumes chillies daily. Chillies have many properties one of which is antibacterial property. Chillies add taste to the food and are integral part of food in many countries.

Chemical capsaicin is the reason why chillies are hot to taste. It is the main ingredient from chillies that is used in cooking. In one of the study Jennifer Billing, at Cornell University, scanned dozens of cookbooks and compiled a list of more than 4,500 recipes from across the world (36 countries) mainly meat-based cuisines. Then Billing and Paul Sherman, a professor of neurobiology and behavior at Cornell, analyzed temperature and rainfall patterns, anti bacterial properties of 43 spice plants in each of those countries. There was a distinct pattern on the map. The world has a hot zone (India, Thailand and Malaysia) a band on both side of the equator where temperatures are high and the food is spicy hot and non hot zone (Sweden, Finland and Norway) with the least spicy food.

The scientists found that spices were microbe killers. Garlic and onion were the most efficient in wiping out virtually all bacteria, followed by cinnamon, cumin and thyme that kill 80 per cent of bacteria. Capsicum and chillies eliminate about 75 per cent of bacteria. People who enjoy food with anti bacterial spices are healthier, especially in hot climates.

The chilli plants are attacked by a fungus named Fusarium and the plant protects them by producing more of capsaicin. It was found that the more capsaicin in the plant the better is the protection from Fusarium. The studies also showed that a high level of capsaicin is associated with lower seed mortality from fungal attack. The study also suggests that the capsaicin in chillies may have protected early humans from microbial infections.

So if you like chillies in food have lots of chillies and live a longer and healthier life.

Guarana Energy Drink

Energy drink is a soft drink which usually has caffeine in it. As energy drink is a soft drink, it is generally manufactured by soft drink companies. These energy drinks are available in every color and flavor we can imagine. The major ingredient of energy drink is caffeine and the caffeine in energy drink usually comes from guarana, ginseng, creatine, ginko biloba etc. The normal caffeine content of an energy drink usually contains 80 mg per 8 ounce serving size in one form or another. Other than caffeine, an energy drink is supposed to contain vitamins and many other nutritional ingredients and is supposed to improve strength, endurance, and mental function. In many studies it is found that energy drinks increase mental alertness.

The major source of caffeine in energy drinks is guarana. Guarana is a plant which produces berries and these berries are the main source of caffeine that is used in energy drinks. Products containing guarana are being marketed throughout the world as energy drinks.

Guarana contains high concentration of caffeine and due to that it is also a very good diet supplement for reducing weight. Caffeine is a nervous system stimulant and it can increase the body’s metabolism and also act as an appetite suppressant (very much useful in weight reduction programs). Popularity of guarana is mainly due to its weight loss capability in combination with giving mental alertness. But the effects of caffeine are different on different individuals. It may sometimes cause insomnia, which may be more problematic than the main problem itself. Before using guarana energy drinks (for the purpose of energy drink or for weight loss program) you should take into account all these facts.

Exercise for Better Health

The number of people who exercise regularly are fortunately increasing though albeit slowly, but steadily. Numbers of women who exercise regularly are also increasing. But the number of women is still very lees in compared to the number it should be. For maintenance of good health and general well being regular exercise like brisk walking and other aerobic exercises are the best and cheapest (practically no extra cost for brisk walking and other aerobic exercises). But the problem with these aerobic exercises is difficulty to continue for years due to lack of motivation and also it consumes much more time in compare to other type of exercise like indoor exercise.

To solve the problem of motivation of doing regular aerobic exercise, many companies have brought many machines and equipments for making exercise enjoyable and recreational. Stamina reformer is one such machine. It is excellent equipment for exercise and has many features that can keep track of your calorie expenditure during exercise and many more things. The stamina reformer machine makes regular exercise and workout possible at affordable price. The stamina reformer exercise equipment is a versatile and practical which has instructional charts for exercise and also has 2 DVDs.

Stamina aeropilates exercising machine is also like stamina reformer machine and does almost the same function. By using these machines for exercise one can get the motivation, because these machines can track your energy expenditures and so can help you plan your target. By having a target to achieve your exercise becomes a routine procedure and you can continue doing for longer duration than can be continued without having any machine.

What You Should Know about Tramadol

Tramadol is an opioid analgesic (pain killer). Opioid analgesics are used when other commonly used analgesics like NSAIDs (non steroidal anti inflammatory drugs) fail to relieve pain due to any cause. Opioid analgesics act on opioid receptor in the brain or CNS to produce analgesia. Unlike other opioid drugs like morphine tramadol does not produce side effects that are typical to opioid analgesics like respiratory depression. It also has some anti-tussive action and it does not produce dependence or addiction liability like other opioid analgesics.

Tramadol is used in certain medical conditions like severe acute or chronic pain, surgical pain or for some diagnostic procedures. But it may cause interaction with alcohol, other analgesics and psychotropic drugs. Tramadol is also not recommended in children below 16 years of age and in pregnancy. In case of elderly patients tramadol should be used cautiously and in reduced dose.

These days tramadol is easily available online and there are many tramadol online-licensed pharmacies from where you can buy tramadol easily. There are also many sites which sell tramadol online and one such example for tramadol MedlinePlus.

Many sites are there which not only sell tramadol online, but also has very useful information for the patients who are using tramadol. These sites are dedicated for the welfare of the patients besides providing easy availability of tramadol online. Tramadol blue book is a good site that not only delivers tramadol online, but provides useful information as part of dedicated service.

While buying one should be careful from where to buy it. You should always get it from reputed company which is very prompt in their service.

The Acute HIV Syndrome

The clinical manifestation of HIV infection have a spectrum ranging from an acute syndrome associated with primary infection to a prolonged asymptomatic state to advanced disease. In most of the patients active virus replication and progressive immunologic impairment occur throughout the course of HIV infection.

Approximately 50–70% of individuals with HIV infection experience an acute clinical syndrome in about 3–6 weeks after primary infection. This is Acute HIV Syndrome. Clinical manifestations vary from individual to individual to a great extent. It is suggested that symptomatic seroconversion leading to the seeking of medical attention indicates an increased risk for an accelerated course of disease. There is no correlation between the level of the initial burst of viremia in acute HIV infection and the subsequent course of disease.

The clinical manifestations (general) are fever (long duration of more than one month), diarrhea (long duration of more than one month), weight loss (more than 10%). Pharyngitis, anorexia, nausea, vomiting are also some of the clinical manifestations. Lethargy, malaise, arthralgias (joint pain), myalgias (muscle pain), headache, retroorbital pain (pain behind the eyes), lymphadinopathy are also not uncommon symptoms. There are also neurological symptoms like meningitis, peripheral neuropathy (pathology of peripheral nerves), myelopathy (pathology of covering of nerves) and encephalitis. Skin manifestations like cutaneous ulceration of skin, maculopapular rashes are seen. All the above manifestations occur along with the burst of viremia.

It has been reported that many of the symptoms of the acute HIV syndrome (fever, pharyngitis, skin rash, and myalgia) occur less frequently in those infected by injection drug use than those infected by sexual contact. The manifestations are typical of an acute viral infection. Symptoms typically persist for one week to several weeks and gradually subside as immune response to HIV develops and the levels of plasma viremia decrease. Opportunistic infections have been reported during this stage of infection, due to immunodeficiency that results from reduced numbers of CD4+ T cells and also from the dysfunction of CD4+ T cells. The number of total lymphocytes and T cell subsets (CD4+T and CD8+T) are initially reduced and inversion of the CD4+/CD8+ T cells take place during Acute HIV Syndrome due to increase of CD8+T cells.

Lymphadenopathy occurs in approximately 70% of individuals with primary HIV infection. Most of the patients recover spontaneously from this and many are left with only a mildly depressed CD4+ T cell count that remains stable for a variable period of time before beginning its progressive decline.

Approximately 10% of patients manifest a fulminant (severe) course of immunologic and clinical deterioration after primary infection, even after the disappearance of initial symptoms. But in most of the patients, primary infection with or without the acute syndrome is followed by a prolonged period of clinical latency. A small percentage of HIV infected individuals treated with ARV drugs during acute infection may revert to a negative EIA test as long as they remain on therapy. But reseroconversion takes place very rapidly when ARV is withdrawn.

Transmission of HIV: Mother to Child

HIV infection can be transmitted from an infected mother to her fetus during pregnancy, delivery, or by breast-feeding. Where the proportion of infected women to infected men is almost 1:1, it is an extremely important form of transmission of HIV infection in many developing countries. HIV can be transmitted to the fetus as early as the first and second trimester of pregnancy, proved by virologic analysis of aborted fetuses of infected mothers. Transmission to the fetus occurs most commonly in the perinatal period (a month before and a month after birth). Generally mother-to-child transmissions are 23–30% before birth, 50–65% during birth, and 12–20% via breast-feeding.

The probability of transmission of HIV from mother to infant/fetus ranges from 15–25% in developed countries and from 25–35% in developing countries due to absence of prophylactic antiretroviral therapy to the mother during pregnancy, labor, and delivery. These differences may be due to adequacy of prenatal care, general health of the mother during pregnancy and the stage of HIV disease. Higher rates of transmission have been reported with the presence of high maternal levels of plasma viremia (presence of virus).

Breast feeding is an important mode of transmission of HIV infection in developing countries, where mothers continue to breast-feed for long periods. Factors that increase the chance of transmission include detectable levels of HIV in breast milk, the presence of mastitis (infection of breast), low maternal CD4+T cell counts, and maternal vitamin A deficiency. The risk of HIV infection via breast-feeding is highest in the early months of breast-feeding. Exclusive breast feeding has been reported to carry a lower risk of HIV transmission than mixed feeding. The mechanism is not clearly understood. In developed countries, breast-feeding by an infected mother should be avoided. But, breast milk is the only source of adequate nutrition as well as immunity against potentially serious infections for the infant in developing countries. Present trend is to continue breast feeding, along with anti retroviral (anti HIV) therapy.

A prolonged interval between membrane rupture and delivery is well-documented risk factor for transmission. Other conditions that are potential risk factors include STDs during pregnancy; hard drug use during pregnancy; cigarette smoking; preterm delivery; and obstetrical procedures such as amniocentesis, amnioscopy, fetal scalp electrodes, and episiotomy. Zidovudine treatment of HIV infected pregnant women; from the beginning of the second trimester through delivery and for 6 weeks following delivery reduce the risk of transmission. Anti HIV treatment combined with cesarean section delivery, has reduced HIV transmission dramatically in developed nations. Universal voluntary HIV testing and counseling of all pregnant women should be done. Zidovudine alone or in combination with lamivudine given to the mother during the last few weeks of pregnancy or even only during labor and delivery, and to the infant for a week reduced transmission to the infant. In developing countries a single dose of nevirapine given to the mother at the onset of labor and a single dose to the infant within 72 h of birth, is recommended to prevent transmission. This strategy has reduced HIV transmission to the fetus, and protecting against subsequent transmission by breast-feeding.

In the United States, the rate of mother-to-baby transmission was 0% among women with less than 1000 copies of HIV RNA per milliliter of blood, 16.6% among women with 1000–10,000 copies of HIV RNA per milliliter; 21.3% among women with 10,001–50,000 copies of HIV RNA per milliliter; 30.9% among women with 50,001–100,000 copies of HIV RNA per milliliter; and 40.6% among women with >100,000 copies of HIV RNA per milliliter. But there is no lower “threshold” below which transmission never occurs, because some studies have reported transmission at as low as less than 50 copies of HIV RNA per milliliter. Low maternal CD4+ T cell count is also attributed to increase HIV transmission, because low count is associated with high viremia. Closer HLA match between mother and child is associated with increased mother-to-child transmission.