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Monday, July 8, 2013

First Aid: Asthma

The truth is that a lot of people suffer from asthma. Asthma is a common chronic inflammatory disease in a person’s airways which appears in different forms. It is often a recurring ailment and is believed to be caused by genetic factors as well as environmental factors. If you find yourself looking at someone who seems to be having an asthma attack, you can do the following:

Step 1: Make them sit down and do not expect them to be able to answer any of your questions especially if they are already wheezing. Most asthmatic individuals sit in a tripod position wherein they place their hands on their knees or legs and lean forward in a sitting position. This helps the person relieve pressure swelling in the diaphragm and allows the lungs to expand more, which helps the person breathe better. Make it a point that they are sitting and if they already have collapsed, carry them up and make them sit.

Step 2: Asthmatic individuals always carry an inhaler with them in times like this. It usually appears as an “L” shaped tool.

Step 3: Let them medicate themselves unless you are someone who is qualified to administer medication. Give them their inhaler and do not attempt to do it for them. It needs proper timing and they’re the only ones who are familiar in administering it. Do not panic if they are taking consecutive puffs from it.

Step 4: Inhalers are effective tools to neutralize asthma attacks but it does not mean that they no longer need medical attention. It would still be best to call for professional medical help.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

The Bald Truth About Men’s Hair Loss

Hair loss is a fact of life for men with pattern baldness. Significant hair loss affects more than half of all men, not only in the United States but around the world. Many things can cause men to lose their hair, but most baldness involves heredity and hormones.

The average life cycle of human hair is five years. Men can lose up to 100 hairs a day. In normal conditions, this hair loss is eventually replaced with new hair. In men with pattern baldness, permanent hair loss may be inevitable.

While age can play a role in men's hair loss, it cannot always predict when baldness will occur. This is because male pattern hair loss has more to do with hormones than with age. Because it involves genetic factors, men as young as their twenties and thirties can experience pattern baldness.

Androgenetic Alopecia
Androgenetic alopecia is the clinical term for pattern baldness. It represents almost 95 percent of all hair loss in men. Despite its common occurrence, it can devastate a man’s appearance, confidence and self-esteem. Fortunately, there are several solutions for male baldness.

The most effect treatments address the underlying cause of pattern baldness: dihydrotestosterone or DHT. This potent androgen hormone is a derivative of testosterone. While it is necessary for the development of male sex characteristics, too much of this androgen in the scalp can cause permanent hair loss.

Excess DHT binds to receptors in the scalp hair follicles. This causes them to miniaturize or shrink, making hair growth difficult and hair loss inevitable. Treatments that block DHT or the enzyme that causes it can prevent hair loss or slow its progression. Some products can even grow new hair.

Non-Surgical Treatments
Minoxidil and finasteride are two non-surgical options for male pattern baldness. Both of these drugs have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat hair loss. They are marketed under various well-known brand names.

Minoxidil is an over-the-counter formula that actually regrows hair. It is available in two strengths: a five-percent solution for male pattern baldness and a two-percent solution for female pattern baldness. Some people have scalps that are sensitive to minoxidil, but the drug is effective for most men.

Finasteride is an FDA-approved oral medication. It contains effective DHT blockers that stop hair loss from progressing and prevent further hair loss. It also encourages new hair growth. Unfortunately, finasteride can also unwanted sexual side effects like low libido and impotence.

Laser and Surgical Treatments
The FDA has cleared certain laser therapies to treat male pattern baldness. There is some evidence that lasers can improve blood flow to the treatment areas and stimulate hair growth. Some hair restoration clinics provide hand-held, at-home laser treatments.

Like all surgeries, hair transplants and scalp reductions involve the risk of infections and complications. However, the latest surgical procedures create natural hairlines and lasting effects. They are the most permanent solution for male pattern baldness.

Monday, July 1, 2013

My Waste is the Wrong Colour! What Your Poop Reveals About Your Health

"It's funny but there's something wrong
with  my tummy..."
Pellets, sweetcorn, the fireball and the sticky. Humanity has a habit of baptising our waste with demonstrative nicknames, promoting colourful language and a sense of humour. Aside from toilet jokes and farts cracks, nobody talks about waste in everyday conversation, reserving our concerns for the next check-up or a visit to Doctor Google. A basic search using the phrase, “why is my poop that colour”, reveals approximately 807,000 results; evidently, the health of your nuggets is garnering more action online than off. How do you know you’re healthy from just looking in the toilet bowl?

The next time you pass a successful bowel motion, have a look. What colour is it? Does it float? Is it solid or crumbled? While these questions are considerably more awkward than a light hearted paragraph about poop, the answers divulge the inner workings of your digestive system. If you can’t seem to squeeze out what you need to, maybe you’re just constipated and need Dulcolax fast acting laxative but for other situations continue reading.

Brown

Congratulations, you’re doing well and taking care of your gastrointestinal tract. Brown waste is a sign of healthy bile flow; brown is not an inherent colour but a result of a pigment called bilirubin –when this pigment hops the blood stream into the intestines, bacteria forms in our waste and feasts, turning our waste brown.

Red

Red can mean one of two things. You’ve been eating a lot of beets or your lower digestive tract is bleeding; this means your large intestine, rectum and anus may be torn or irritated. Though the scenarios are mutually exclusive, assess your diet and digestive history; if in doubt, call your doctor.

Green

Green is generally reviewed as a neutral colour; before raising a red flag and freaking out, green waste can signify an avid vege eater or a recent inclusion of antibiotics in your daily diet. Conversely, and quite dangerously, green waste can signal undigested bile or Crohn’s Disease – red and green waste both require an attention to diet and a possible doctor’s appointment to rule out anything health threatening.

Yellowy

Waste on the yellow spectrum switches between completely harmless and incredibly serious. Quite simply, an owner of yellow waste may not break down as many red blood cells as brown waste representatives, changing the colour. The other option is a particularly nasty parasite called Giardia, a contagious and dangerous critter with a taste for intestines.

White

Albino waste is symptomatic of antacids, liver disease or pancreatic disorder. Needless to say, if your waste blends into the porcelain background, hot-foot it to a doctor.

Black

If there’s a colour waste isn’t supposed to be, it’s black. An excess of iron CAN cause a discolouration and lead to a midnight by-product, but if it looks tarry, see a doctor ASAP. Skip the fast acting laxative and make an appointment with a reliable GP. Why? Black waste can indicate intestinal bleeding, an ulcer or cancer.

It’s not a polite or desirable topic to discuss even in the doctor’s office. Though we’d die without our digestive functions, waste colours and consistencies are considerably disgusting to touch on. Though you’d rather not, keep an eye on the colour of your poo – there’s so much it can tell you, with only a glance.

Author Bio: John is a health consultant and has been for the past 2 years. In his spare time he likes to write blogs about health, fitness and all round well-being.