Posted by: Alyssa Morris in Headaches on October 28th, 2010

Migraine headaches are a destructive part of life for nearly 11 out of 100 people. During migraine episodes, they can barely function. They curtail daily activities, and all of life seems distorted. Between episodes, they may feel anxious about the next one, and wish for some form of migraine prevention.

Although guaranteed migraine prevention seems to be more a promise than a reality as of the writing of this article, you do have options for treating symptoms, and, better yet, options for possible migraine prevention.

  • One Size Does Not Fit All
  • Although migraines seem to run in families, migraine prevention does not always run in the same course. For some migraineurs, prevention is as simple as changing a few habits. For others, migraine prevention seems to require strong medication.

    What are the best migraine prevention medicines for you? The ultimate answer must be decided by you and your physician. We offer here a number of medicines for consideration.

  • Common Over-the-Counter (OTC) Medicines
  • This is the first line of migraine prevention – beginning at the minimal strength, minimal dosage to see if it will be a solution. Among these migraine prevention medicines are the following.

    1. Aspirin in a regimen dose, i.e., tiny 81 mg tablets, commonly called “baby aspirin”. For migraine prevention, these would be taken daily, just as they are to reduce risks of heart disease.

    2. Ibuprofen such as Motrin, Nuprin, or Advil may be taken occasionally. Your physician will advise as to how often you should take ibuprofen for migraine prevention. People with active stomach ulcers or sensitive stomachs will not want to use ibuprofen, since it has aspirin-like effects. If you take ibuprofen, take it with food to minimize the effect. You should also be aware that ibuprofen has a blood thinning effect that can reduce the effectiveness of some blood pressure medicines and diuretics.

    3. Naproxen may be effective for you, under its more common name, Aleve. This medicine may reduce the number of your migraines, but is not likely to give total migraine prevention.

    4. A fourth OTC pain reliever you may want to try at the first sign of a migraine is Excedrin Migraine.

    Ask your doctor before taking any of these regularly for migraine prevention.

  • Common Prescription Medicines
  • If OTC medicines fail to provide the degree of migraine prevention you seek, you may want to try a prescription medicine. Prescription strength pain relievers have been found to reduce the number of migraine episodes for more than half of all migraineurs. A few of the many prescription medicines available to you are listed here.

    1. Ponstel, Anaprox, Naprosyn, Naprelan, and Topamax. Topamax claims to be the U.S. #1 prescribed brand for migraine prevention. Prescription strength Naproxen (Naprosyn, Anaprox, Naprelan) thins the blood, so your physician may not choose this as a fit for you if you are taking oral blood thinners or anticoagulants. Naproxen can have adverse gastrointestinal side effects also, so you should not use it if you have an active ulcer or sensitive stomach. Most doctors believe it is better to use medicines of this type continuously over a period of time to build up the effectiveness and provide ongoing migraine prevention rather than just pain relief.

    2. Another class of prescription medicines that may give migraine prevention is Beta-blockers. These drugs, more often used to reduce high blood pressure, are sometimes helpful in cutting down on the number of migraine episodes. Of those that may give effective migraine prevention are inderal, Lopressor, metoprolol, nadolol, and timolol.

    3. Physicians are gradually learning that antidepressants also provide migraine prevention for some patients. It is believed that this is due to the medicines’ effects on serotonin, the brain’s chemical messenger that influences migraine.

  • Which Size Is Right for You?
  • There are many other medicines, both prescription and non-prescription that are thought to provide a measure of migraine prevention. Like shopping for a new pair of dress shoes, you may have to try several before you find the one or two that work for you. Be sure to do your migraine prevention “shopping” with a health care provider, as he or she will know the possible side effects or interactions with medication you are already taking.

    Posted by: Alyssa Morris in Diseases on October 20th, 2010

    I’d like to begin by saying that I am simply giving tips as to how to prevent and treat swine flu naturally. This is not to take the place of visits to or advice from your doctor. That being said, allow me to dive in.

  • 1. Get Vitamin D
  • Vitamin D is essential for building a healthy immune system, which is essential in combating foreign materials (germs, viruses, etc.) The best part is that your body can get it when exposed to sunlight. Try to get at least 20 minutes of sunshine a day. Eating breakfast by an open window is an easy way to do so. For those of you however who are not keen on being in the sun for long (with fears of sunburn or the extremely low risk of cancer, but that’s another story) take foods rich in vitamin D like cod liver oil which is a great source. Keeping a healthy immune system at all times is extremely important.

  • 2. Keep Hands and Surroundings Clean
  • Enough said.

  • 3. Gargle Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)
  • When you get any signs of sore throat associated with the beginning of a cold or flu, gargle a mixture of a tablespoon of ACV and about a mouthful of water for around 2 minutes. It is known for its antiseptic properties and kills most if not all of the offending bacteria/virus. It also brings up mucus which will contain the bacteria/virus for you to discharge easily. Make sure you get to way back in your mouth for maximum effect. Spit, rinse, and there you go. You can even do this multiple times just to be sure.

  • 4. Use Essential Oils
  • Diffuse antibacterial oils like lavender, clove, and thyme in a room to kill a large quantity of the virus in the air and in your respiratory system. You can also use them to massage and in a variety of different applications. However, always be sure to consult a professional aromatherapist before using essential oils.

  • 5. Do The Basics
  • Get plenty of rest, drink lots of clear fluids, and get adequate nutrition.

    So these have been some completely natural tips on how to treat with swine flu. Remember still to consult your doctor to keep abreast of your situation during your period of sickness. Hopefully, some or all of these will aid you in your fight against the swine flu/AH1N1 virus.

    Posted by: Alyssa Morris in Asthma on October 16th, 2010

    As I read through pages and pages of online documentation about Asthma, all I really see is a no win situation for someone that suffers from the horrible disease we call Asthma. Why do we have to give in to this terrible disease? It is my belief that all the research that I have done and the personal experience I have had with Asthma, that asthma can be beat. When my 4 year old son was diagnosed, my first thoughts were “what can I do to help my child overcome this disease?” My parents always taught me where there is a will there is a way. I went out to learn more about how asthma works and how asthma affects each and every person that has it.

    First it causes your airway to tighten so much that air slows going into the lungs, causing stress and panic. There are drugs that help combat this but at what price? My son would take his inhaler at the time of his attacks and he would only get temporary relief. He would then start to pull at his mother’s pants in a desperate attempt to breathe again. He would beg and cry for us to give him more drugs before it was time again. It was heart wrenching to watch as we were helpless in our ability to help him. The drugs dose was 2 inhales maximum, so anymore of it could cause problems like an overdose. He would suffer with panic in his eyes and cry for help with what air he had left to breathe.

    As a parent, our children are the most important things to us. If you are like me, I you would gladly give up my life for my Childs but in this situation, all I could do is watch helplessly. I believe that what we are doing to our planet is what is causing our population to become ill. There are diseases and illness that that are much worse than Asthma. Cancer is now taking 1 out of 3 people. I find it hard to believe that 5 years ago Cancer was 1 out of 229 people, and today’s unbelievable numbers are 1 out of 3. What have we done to our planet to cause this much of a problem? I can tell you that we have done more than our share of damage.

    Over the years we have become dependent on chemicals for cleaning and disinfecting. Just the making of toys for children has left a devastating effect on our earth. There are metric tons of toxins in our jet stream right now. These toxins are raining down on us like a cloud of destruction. We make more and more cars every year that contribute to this phenomenon. This problem doesn’t have any end in the foreseeable future. But there are ways to combat what is happening to our planet. It is my belief that we must work on removing the toxins that have built up in our bodies and give our bodies a chance to combat the many diseases that come from a toxic burdened body.

    Your doctor can get you on your way to prevention. There are many ways to remove the toxic burden that most of us face today. There was a study done some time ago where a woman reporter did a report on children being born with over 250 toxins and heavy metals in their bodies. She was so overwhelmed by this number that she went and had her own blood tested to see what was going on in her body. What she found was staggering… There were PCB’s (a group of about 209 different compounds) that was found in her blood that had been banned in the U.S. 30 years ago. How did that end up in her blood stream after so many years of being banned?

    The answer is the United States banned it but in many other countries it was not. They are still produced today and continue to affect millions if not billions of people around the world. Learn more about how you can rid these toxins from your body. We have discovered a way that has zero side effects and has the ability to achieve amazing results, and in some Asthma cases like my sons, miraculous results.

    Posted by: Alyssa Morris in Alternative on October 14th, 2010

    Joint pain can be due to relatively benign condition like muscle sprain or ligament injury which can subside by some simple treatment or on its own and it can be a symptom of serious disease like arthritis. Some other mild infections like flu and other viral infections can cause inflammation of bursae, which works as cushion pads for joints and known as bursitis, which can cause pain in the joints.

    Joint pain which occurs after strenuous physical activity or repeated use of any particular joint or due to sudden jerk and shock is largely due to muscle pull and sprain. Such pains can be problematic too, massage with any over the counter pain relieving ointment or cream can be a sufficient treatment, if one feel pain in almost every joint of the body due to straining or sudden physical activity, taking a bath with warm water shall help. If there is some inflammation at any joint hot and cold packs can be applied. Hot water tubes and a pack of ice cubes shall be applied at the affected joint one after another, this will improve blood flow to the area and will control the pain and inflammation.

    People who occasionally get involved in strenuous physical activity tend to develop the tendency of joint pain as their body is not used to of taking physical strain. Mix two parts of pure olive oil with one part of kerosene oil to form a paste. This paste can be used in the case of joint pain as and when required. It is safe and effective treatment for joint pain. Rumatone Gold oil is also an Ayurvedic non-prescription treatment for this condition.

    If there is swelling and redness on the joints along with the pain and particularly if the pain surfaces in the morning or after a period of inactivity it can be a symptom of arthritis. In such condition medical advice shall be taken but some alternate treatments can go along with the regular treatment for quicker relief. Mixture of camphor, methyl salicylate, eucalyptus oil and menthol can be applied and rubbed at the aching joints to relieve the pain. Application of hot apple cider vinegar at the joints before going to bed also provide relief from joint pain and inflammation.

    It can be relieved by some supportive diet. Equal parts of carrot juice and lemon juice mixed and a large tablespoon of this mixture consumed everyday helps the body in relieving the joint pain. One clove of garlic consumed with water is also an effective treatment of this condition. Consumption of carrot juice is also helpful in treating recurring joint pain.

    Hot and cold water bath, TENS, therapies and exercises particularly of joints, helps in improving strength and endurance of the joints which eventually helps in relieving pain due to any reason. Mild exercises like aerobics, walking and jogging improve metabolism and blood circulation for better joint functioning. Yoga has few exercises and poses which can relieve the joint pain and also prevent its re-occurrence by strengthening the muscles and ligaments. Breathing exercises in yoga have been found helpful even in rheumatic arthritis conditions as they help the body in flushing the toxins out of the body.

    Posted by: admin in Headaches on October 7th, 2010

    The dictionary tells us that the word “migraine” is a Middle French word, modified from the Latin word “hemicrania”, meaning a pain in one half or “hemi” of the head. To the person who suffers migraine, the pain may seem bigger than that, however. In fact, the current definition of migraine includes not only recurring, excruciating headache, but also nausea and possible vomiting. The dictionary fails to include the many ways in which the aura of migraine affects the body. It fails to describe the visual disturbances, the sounds and smells that are not there.

    Migraine prevention is important to migraineurs because the pain and other symptoms disrupt life almost completely.

    Migraine Prevention Medicines

    We discussed in a previous article entitled “Best Migraine Prevention Medicines” the fact that many medicines, prescription and non-prescription, are claimed to have migraine prevention properties. Some seem to work for some people, while others are more likely to provide migraine prevention for others.

    There is some controversy, however, as to whether one should even try a migraine prevention medicine.

    As of this article’s writing (early 2007), the FDA has approved four drugs for migraine prevention: propranolol, timolol, topiramate, and divalproex sodium. Amitriptyline, an antidepressant, is also prescribed for migraine prevention. Botox has been used successfully, but is not highly recommended.

    The down side of using migraine prevention medicines is the fact that all of them require the patient to take adequate doses of the medicine for a length of time to determine the effectiveness. This can cause a building adverse effect before the sufferer even knows if migraine prevention is being provided. Physicians often must experiment, finding the smallest dose that will work without unwanted side effects.

    Side Effects of Migraine Prevention Medicines

    Merely as an example, consider the side effects of Topamax. The makers of Topamax offer on their website “Important Safety Information about Topamax” under which heading they admit that serious risks are associated with the medicine. Risks such as these are given:

    * Lowered bicarbonate levels in the blood: This increases blood acidity. In severe reactions, the patient might experience irregular heartbeat or changes in their ability to remain alert. This side effect, if not treated, could eventually increase the risk of developing kidney stones or bone disease.

    * Hyperventilation, i.e. deep, rapid breathing with a feeling of not being able to catch your breath.

    * Fatigue.

    * Increased eye pressure. Such pressure can lead to glaucoma and blindness.

    The warnings continue, ending with “more common side effects” such as tingling in your arms and legs, losing your appetite, nausea, diarrhea, and changes in your taste that may lead to weight loss or increase.

    Natural Migraine Prevention

    Many believe the option of migraine prevention medicines is too risky, the side effects too numerous. For those individuals, there are natural migraine prevention options.

    1. Migraine Triggers

    One very natural method of migraine prevention is a migraine trigger diary. Make it important by purchasing a small blank book specifically for the purpose. It will cost less than a prescription, and will help you remember to use it. Place the book in a location where you will see it when you are not busy. Then faithfully record your daily meals, activities, weather, etc. When a migraine episode hits, look back and note what you were doing or eating just prior to its onset. Were you stressed by something? Was the weather different? As you see a pattern develop, try to eliminate those things from your life and see if it aids in migraine prevention.

    2. Biofeedback

    A second natural migraine prevention method is biofeedback. In biofeedback, special equipment is used to monitor physical tension in the migraineur. The goal is to teach the patient to control stress-related physical processes which may cause migraine. As the patient learns to recognize the physical tension without equipment, he can stop a rising migraine episode, or at least reduce the effects. Children seem to have a better response to biofeedback migraine prevention than do adults, probably because they are open to new methods and learn them quickly.

    3. Herbal Remedies

    Herbal remedies are also being used effectively for migraine prevention. Butterbur and feverfew seem particularly helpful.

    Butterbur is a shrub-like plant that grows in northern Asia, Europe, and parts of North America. Butterbur extracts are used to treat migraines. Several studies indicate that butterbur is good for migraine prevention. In the largest of these studies, 245 migraineurs took either butterbur extract or a placebo. After four months of treatment, butterbur was more effective than the placebo for migraine prevention. While 75 milligrams twice a day worked, 50 milligrams twice a day did not. Butterbur’s side effects were mild, and included mild digestive complaints – mostly burping. Possible other side effects that were not experienced in the study include constipation, diarrhea, fatigue, headache, indigestion, nausea, and vomiting. Pregnant or nursing women, children, and people with kidney or liver disease should not take butterbur. Please ask your physician before using this herb.

    Feverfew, the second herbal remedy, has been used in Europe for centuries for migraine. In England, it was especially popular in the 1980s as an alternative to conventional migraine prevention drugs. Several studies have evaluated the effectiveness of feverfew for migraine prevention. One examined the use of a feverfew extract as opposed to a placebo in 170 migraineurs. Those who took feverfew showed a significant decrease in migraine frequency as compared to those who took the placebo. Frequency of migraines decreased by 1.9 migraines per month in the group that took feverfew. In the group taking a placebo, migraine frequency decreased only by 1.3 migraines per month.

    The Choice Is Yours

    The choice between migraine prevention through prescription medications and migraine prevention through natural remedies is yours to make. Migraine is a very personal experience, and the migraine prevention method that works for one will not necessarily work for all. Before you make the choice, get as much information as you can, and take your time.

    Disclaimer: The author is not a trained professional, and provides the foregoing information for educational purposes only. It is recommended that you seek professional advice from your personal physician.

    Posted by: admin in News on October 4th, 2010

    Is your health passing the test?

    Posted on
    • Mon, Oct 04, 2010

    Chronic diseases, like heart disease and diabetes, are among the most common, costly and preventable of all health problems in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Fortunately, health screening tests are an easy way to detect these conditions early, so you can prevent symptoms from worsening. And, if you’re diagnosed with a condition, regular testing can help determine how well you’re managing the disease.

    Knowing your healthy range is key. Strive for these numbers:

    * For total cholesterol, the CDC identifies healthy levels as below 200 mg/dL. When levels reach 240 mg/dL or higher, you become at high risk for heart disease.

    * For blood pressure, look for anything less than 120 over less than 80 mmHg, says the CDC. Levels above that indicate prehypertension, which can lead to chronic high blood pressure.

    Blood glucose levels also should be checked if you are determined to be at risk for diabetes. Risk factors for diabetes include:

    * Age 45 or older
    * Overweight
    * Family history of the disease
    * High blood pressure
    * Abnormal cholesterol readings

    “Both high blood pressure and abnormal cholesterol levels increase your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes,” says CVS Pharmacist Susan Gordon. “For people who’ve been diagnosed with diabetes, consistent blood glucose monitoring is critical to keeping diabetes in control and preventing further complications.”

    According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), the basic goal for people with diabetes is a reading between 70 and 130 on an empty stomach, and less than 180 two hours after the start of a meal. If your blood sugar is too high for too long, you could be at risk for long-term complications.

    Fortunately, at-home testing kits make it easier for people to know their healthy ranges, and some products are covered by insurance if you have to manage a chronic condition like diabetes.

    “There are dozens of brands and styles to choose from when it comes to at-home testing kits,” adds Gordon. “Your doctor or pharmacist can help determine the one that’s best for you. If you have trouble reading small numbers, for example, you’ll need a meter with a large display. Your pharmacist also can identify ways to save on testing products, such as by using generic test strips.”

    More information on diabetes testing can be found at

    Disease-modifying Therapies for Parkinson’s and Alzhiemer’s

    Roche, Basel, Switzerland
    Drug Discovery & Development – October 04, 2010

    According to the latest statistics from the WHO, there are currently around 35 million people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Parkinson’s disease is the most common motor disorder, typically affecting the aged (65+) population. At present, about 0.1% to 0.2% of the western population suffer from Parkinson’s disease.

    With these numbers in mind, Roche is expanding its CNS portfolio to treat a range of unmet medical needs including Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, treatment-resistant depression, and schizophrenia. In a recent deal with Belgium-based reMYND, Roche licensed a series of novel compounds that act as alpha-synuclein and tau toxicity modulators, with potential for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease (PD) and Alzheimer’s disease (AD).

    The compounds are unique in that they have the potential to be disease modifying, while most currently available treatments treat only the symptoms of disease.

    Mode of action
    The technology platform utilizes cell-based methodologies to identify relevant areas of therapeutic intervention within the lysosomal protein-degradation pathway. This approach is a highly promising as it counteracts toxicity arising from misfolded proteins in the brain and has potential applications in a host of neurodegenerative diseases.

    The compounds licensed from reMYND inhibit alpha-synuclein and tau mediated neurotoxicities strongly implicated in PD and AD, respectively. Aggregated alpha-synuclein is the most abundant protein in Lewy bodies, a characteristic pathology in PD, and mutations in alpha-synuclein have been found to be causally associated with this devastating disease. Tau proteins are abundant in neurons in the central nervous system. When tau proteins are misfolded and/or hyperphosphorylated they clump together and form large intracellular aggregates. These so-called tau tangles together with amyloid plaques are pathological hallmarks in Alzheimer’s-type dementias.

    In preclinical studies, the most advanced compound for the treatment of PD fully inhibited disease progression. This lead PD program could become the first disease-modifying treatment of Parkinson’s disease targeting noxious alpha-synuclein pathology to be taken into clinical development. The reMYND-Roche collaboration aims to further optimize the profile of this compound series including follow-up series to enable further development and clinical testing. Similarly, testing of tau-directed compounds in preclinical models showed very promising results.