31 July 2008

What Should I Ask to Doctor for My Weight Loss Plan?

Ask your doctor for any educational brochures on topics such as eating habits, counting calories or physical activity.
  • Request for BMI measured, then ask your doctor what it means with regard to your health status Have your waist circumference measured and discuss the significance of the measurement with your doctor
  • Be prepared to describe your current diet and activity level and what changes might promote better health
  • Think about how much change you're willing to make before you visit your doctor
    Ask if specialists are available on your health plan and in your area, such as dietitians or physical trainers

What You Should Know Before You Start a Weight Loss Plan?

There are four important thing you should now before start weight loss :
1. Actual weight in pounds
2. Body Mass Index (BMI)
3. Waist measurement.
4. Consul with the doctor for the best action


What is Body Mass Index (BMI)
  • Your height and weight influence the BMI. BMI is better measure of health risk than your actual weight in pounds.
  • "Overweight" and "Obesity" are based on BMI values.
  • BMI = 25 and 30 is defined as overweight,
    BMI of 30 or more is considered obese.
  • The higher your BMI, the greater your risk of developing a weight-related illness, such as type 2 diabetes or heart disease.

What is your waist circumference?

  • Body fat that accumulates in the stomach area (abdominal obesity) is more of a health risk than body fat that builds up in the buttocks and thigh areas.
  • Waistline provides valuable information about risk for heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and type 2 diabetes.
  • a waist circumference too high if it is 40 inches or more in men, or 35 inches or more in women.
  • The proper location to measure the waist is at the smallest spot under the rib cage and above the belly button.
Consulting your doctor about controlling your weight
  • Talk to your doctor about healthy eating and physical activities that can help you lose weight, improve your fitness and decrease the chances of developing heart disease, high blood pressure or type 2 diabetes.
  • Doctor can offer practical suggestions that do not require a complete overhaul of your current way of life.
  • Some physician may refer you to a nutrition specialist, such as a registered dietitian, for in-depth counseling about food choices.

28 July 2008

Myths and Facts : Flu and Cold

You can catch the flu from a flu shot
The flu vaccine is made from an inactivated virus, so you cannot get the flu from a flu shot. Some people may be sore at the spot where the vaccination was injected, and in a few cases, may develop a fever, muscle aches, and feel unwell for a day or two. In very rare cases when a person is allergic to the vaccine, there may be an immediate reaction.

You can catch the flu or a cold from going outdoors in cold weather
The flu and colds are more common in the winter months because that is when the viruses spread across the country. It has nothing to do with being outside in cold weather.

Large doses of Vitamin C can keep you from catching the flu or a cold, or will quickly cure them
These claims have not been proven. Still, it is important to one’s overall health to consume the minimum daily requirement of Vitamin C.

"Feed a cold and starve a fever (flu)"
This is definitely not a good idea in either case. You need more fluids than usual when you have the flu or a cold. Drink plenty of water and juice, eat enough food to satisfy your appetite, and drink hot fluids to ease your cough and sore throat.

Herbal remedies are an effective treatment for colds
Echinacea and other herbs are getting a lot of publicity as cold remedies. Zinc lozenges are also said to cure colds quickly. To date, none of these claims are solidly supported by scientific studies.

Chicken soup and hot toddies are effective treatments for the flu or colds
A bowl of chicken soup is a popular home remedy. While hot liquids can soothe a scratchy throat or cough, chicken soup has no special power to cure the flu or a cold. As for hot toddies, another folk remedy, any beverage containing alcohol should be avoided when you are sick.

23 July 2008

TNM Classification System

T stands for Tumor
N stands for Node
M stands for Metastasis

T or Tumor Stage is sub-classified into Stage T1 through T4.
T1 : the tumor is very small and difficult to detect, as in Stage A.
T2 : prostate cancer is detectable by DRE or ultrasound imaging, but still confined entirely to the prostate.
T3 : the cancer has spread to tissues surrounding the prostate.
T4 : the tumor has reached other organs but remains within the pelvic area.

N or Node is sub classified into N0 through N4.
These are easy to grasp: 'N0' (zero) means there is no spread of the tumor to your lymph nodes. Stages N1, N2 and N3 mean it has, with 1 being the least severe and 3 being the most severe.

M refers to Metastasis stages, and this level describes a cancerous tumor that has spread far beyond the region of the body in which it originated, such as to the bones and/or other organs. M0 means metastasis has yet to occur, and M1 means the cancer has reached the metastasis stage.

21 July 2008

7 Pains You Shouldn't Ignore !

There are types of pain that require prompt medical attention.

We often ignore pain that we fell, considering it just for a while and will disappear soon. Carefull!! This pain might become a signal for something more serious heapens with your body. That’s why we sholud understand which pains must not ignore and why. And, of course, if in doubt, get medical attention.

No. 1: Worst Headache of Your Life
- Get medical attention immediately.
- If you have a cold, it could be a sinus headache
- It could be a brain hemorrhage or brain tumor
- classic sign of a brain aneurysm

No. 2: Pain or Discomfort in the Chest, Throat, Jaw, Shoulder, Arm, or Abdomen
- Chest pain could be pneumonia or a heart attack. Be aware that heart conditions typically appear as discomfort (hard to breath or feels something sitting on your chest), not pain, Don't wait for pain!
- The discomfort associated with heart disease could also be in the upper chest, throat, jaw, left shoulder or arm, or abdomen and might be accompanied by nausea.
- Could be angina, usually worse in cold or hot weather.

No. 3: Pain in Lower Back or Between Shoulder Blades
- Most often it's arthritis.
- Other possibilities : a heart attack or abdominal problems.
- One danger is aortic dissection; changes of the integrity of the vessel wall. These would include high blood pressure, a history of circulation problems, smoking, and diabetes.

No. 4: Severe Abdominal Pain- Still have your appendix? Don't flirt with the possibility of a rupture.
- Gallbladder and pancreas problems, stomach ulcers, and intestinal blockages are some other possible causes of abdominal pain. Need attention!

No 5: Calf Pain
- One of the lesser known dangers is deep vein thrombosis (DVT), a blood clot that can occur in the leg's deep veins.
- A piece of the clot could break loose and cause pulmonary embolism [a clot in the lungs], which could be fatal.
- Cancer, obesity, immobility due to prolonged bed rest or long-distance travel, pregnancy, and advanced age are among the risk factors.
- Sometimes it’s swelling without pain
- If you have swelling and pain in your calf muscles, see a doctor immediately.

No. 6: Burning Feet or Legs
- Do you have diabetes? Peripheral Neuropathy could be one of the first signs
- It's a burning or pins-and-needles sensation in the feet or legs that can indicate nerve damage.

No 7: Vague, Combined, or Medically Unexplained Pains
- Various painful, physical symptoms are common in depression. Vague complaints of headaches, abdominal pain, or limb pain, sometimes in combination.
- Get help when you've lost interest in activities, you're unable to work or think effectively, and you can't get along with people.

What Is Stomach Flu?

Stomach FluStomach Flu VirusHave you ever heard stomach flu? Well, it’s not a type of flu at all, but it is commonly referred to as such.

Stomach flu causes stomach symptoms including diarrhea and vomiting. It’s caused by a virus that cannot be treated with antibiotic.

There are certain OTC medications which can reduce and relieve the symptoms.
  • Bismuth subsalicylate (brand names: Kaopectate, Pepto-Bismol) may help treat some types of nausea and vomiting, such as from the flu (influenza). It’s also used for upset stomach and as an antidiarrheal (medicine to treat diarrhea).
  • Certain antihistamines may help prevent nausea and vomiting caused by motion sickness. These include dimenhydrinate (one brand name: Dramamine) and meclizine hydrochloride (one brand name: Dramamine Less Drowsy).

18 July 2008

What Should I Do If Get Flu?

Most healthy people recover from the flu without complications. If you get the flu :
  • Stay home and bed rest until symptoms are gone, it is not advisable to go back to full activity.
  • Drink plenty of liquids and nutrition (avoid using alcohol and tobacco), eat healthy food and lots of fruits; are necessary for rapid recovery and to prevent dehydration.
  • There are over-the-counter (OTC) medications to relieve the symptoms of the flu
  • Remember that serious illness from the flu is more likely in certain groups of people including people 65 and older, pregnant women, people with certain chronic medical conditions and young children.
  • Consult your doctor early on for the best treatment, but also be aware of emergency warning signs that require urgent medical attention.
Emergency Warning Signs

In children, emergency warning signs that need urgent medical attention include :
  • Fast breathing or trouble breathing
  • Bluish skin color
  • Not drinking enough fluids
  • Not waking up or not interacting
  • Being so irritable that the child does not want to be held
  • Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough
  • Fever with a rash
In adults, emergency warning signs that need urgent medical attention include :
  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
  • Sudden dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Severe or persistent vomiting
Seek medical care immediately (call your doctor or go to an emergency room) if you or someone you know is experiencing any of the signs above. When you arrive, tell the reception staff that you think you have the flu. You may be asked to wear a mask and/or sit in a separate area to protect others from getting sick.

Treatment
Over-the-counter medications can minimize discomfort associated with flu symptoms, but these medications do not treat the virus infection. Congestion, cough and nasal discharge are best treated with a decongestant, antihistamine, or in combination. There are many over-the-counter flu remedies that contain both of these ingredients.
There are effective treatments that can reduce the duration of the suffering caused by the flu. See your doctor within 2 days of when flu symptoms appear to find out which treatments are right for you.

The following four antiviral medications are available to treat the influenza virus :
  • Oseltamivir (brand name: Tamiflu®)
  • Zanamivir (brand name: Relenza®)
  • Amantadine (brand name: Symmetrel®)
  • Rimantadine (brand name: Flumadine®)
Time is of the essence! Starting treatment with these medications within 2 days after flu symptoms appear will reduce the length of the illness and the severity of symptoms by at least 1 day. Early treatment can lead to faster results, enabling you to resume daily activities in a shorter amount of time.

NOTE: Tell your doctor if you have a chronic lung disease (asthma) because some precautions may be necessary if zanamivir is prescribed. You may need to have a fast-acting reliever bronchodilator in case you have difficulty breathing If that happens, call your doctor and stop taking zanamivir

NOTE: Aspirin should not be used in children under 18 years old because it may play a role in causing Reye Syndrome, a rare but severe liver and central nervous system condition.

What is a Flu Shot?

Flu ShotFlu shot is a flu vaccine for preventing influenza; It’s an inactivated vaccine (containing killed virus) that is given with a needle, usually in the arm.

Who Should Get a Flu Shot?
  1. Adults 50 years or older.
  2. All children aged 6 months to their 5th birthday.
  3. Adults and children ages 2-64 with chronic medical conditions, especially asthma, other lung diseases, and heart disease.
  4. All women who will be pregnant during the influenza season.
  5. Residents of nursing homes and other chronic care facilities.
  6. Health-care workers involved in direct patient care.
  7. Out-of-home caregivers and household contacts of children less than 6 months old.
  8. Any person who wishes to avoid the flu.
Who Souldn’t Get a Flu Shot?
  1. People who had allergic to eggs or any component of the vaccine (The viral material in flu vaccines is grown in eggs)
  2. People who had history of Guillain-Barre Syndrome.
  3. People who had an acute illness and a fever.(shouldn’t get a flu shot until you are feeling better)
Is There any Side Effects and Adverse Reactions to Flu Shots?
  1. The flu vaccine is made from a virus that is no longer active. Therefore, no one can catch the flu from a flu shot.
  2. Less than one out of three people will develop soreness around the injection site for one or two days.
  3. Fever, aches and pains are not common and more severe reactions are rare.
  4. The flu shot does not increase asthma attacks, according to recent American Lung Association study.

How To Prevent Cold Or Flu?

To prevent Cold or flu, we should know how does the Flu Spreads. The flu usually spreads from person to person in respiratory droplets when people who are infected cough or sneeze. People occasionally may become infected by touching something with influenza virus on it and then touching their skin, mouth, nose or eyes.

Healthy adults may be able to infect others 1 day before getting symptoms and up to 5 days after getting sick. Therefore, it is possible to give someone the flu before you know you are sick as well as while you are sick.

What Can You Do to Prevent a Cold?
Colds are extremely difficult to prevent entirely. The following suggestions may help :
  1. Avoid close contact with people who have a cold, especially during the first few days when they are most likely to spread the infection.
  2. Wash your hands after touching someone who has a cold, after touching an object they have touched, and after blowing your own nose. If your child has a cold, wash his or her toys after play.
  3. Keep your fingers away from your nose and your eyes to avoid infecting yourself with cold virus particles that you may have picked up.
  4. Put up a second hand towel in the bathroom for healthy people to use.
  5. Keep an eye on the humidity of your environment so that your sinuses do not dry out.
Do not inflict your cold on others!
Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, then throw the tissue away and wash your hands. Also, stay away from people who are most vulnerable, including anyone who has asthma or another chronic lung disease, or at least try to limit close contact.

Best Protection against the Flu : Vaccination
The single best way to protect yourself and others against influenza is to get a flu vaccination each year. There are currently 2 vaccine options :

The flu shot
  • An inactivated vaccine (containing killed virus) that is given with a needle, usually in the arm.
  • For use in people older than 6 months, including healthy people and people with chronic medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, or heart disease.
The nasal-spray flu vaccine
  • A vaccine made with live, weakened flu viruses that do not cause the flu (sometimes called LAIV for “live attenuated influenza vaccine” or FluMist®).
  • For use in non high risk group; healthy people 2-49 years of age who are not pregnant.
  • You need a flu vaccine every year because the virus is constantly changing and new vaccines are developed annually to protect against new strains.
Early winter season, or rainy season is the best time to get vaccinated.

NOTE: No vaccine is 100% protective and the flu vaccine is no exception. Sometimes a person who has been vaccinated will still come down with the flu.

What Is The Different Between Cold And Flu?

SneezingInfluenza (commonly known as the flu) and colds are among the most common infections of the respiratory system. People often confuse the two, calling a bad cold the flu. Special tests that usually must be done within the first few days of illness can be carried out, when needed to tell if a person has the flu.

There are some key differences between these two unwelcome visitors, even though they are both caused by viruses, and are both likely to occur during the winter months.

What is a Cold?
Colds are minor infections of the nose and throat caused by several different viruses.
  1. A cold may last for about one week, can be longer, especially in children, elderly people, and those in poor health.
  2. Adults get an average of two to four colds per year, mostly in winter or extremely season change.
  3. Colds are highly contagious. They most often spread when droplets of fluid that contain a cold virus are transferred by touch or inhaled.
  4. It cannot be treated with antibiotics. Unfortunately, the only true treatment is to wait until has run it's course.
  5. Colds generally do not result in serious health problems, such as pneumonia, bacterial infections, or hospitalizations.
Cold Symptoms
Between one and three days after a cold virus enters the body, symptoms start developing, such as :
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Congestion
  • Sneezing
  • Weakened senses of taste and smell
  • Scratchy throat
  • Cough
Infants and young children are more likely than adults and teens to develop a fever. Smokers usually have more severe symptoms than non-smokers.

Recognizing the symptoms of the common cold is important for a few reasons. If you realize what symptoms are bothering you the most, you will know which medications will help relieve them. You may also prevent unnecessary doctor visits if you know that you have a cold. Since your doctor cannot cure your cold, there is no reason to see the doctor unless your symptoms last longer than two weeks.

What is the Flu?Flu is similar to the common cold but the symptoms are usually much more severe. It can be very serious and even fatal, can lead to death. The flu is a virus called influenza. It cannot be treated with antibiotics, but may be prevented with a flu shot and new antiviral medications, such as Tamiflu, may help shorten the duration of the flu. If you can take Tamiflu or another antiviral flu medication within 48 hours of the start of symptoms, the flu may be shorter or less severe.

Flu Symptoms :
  • fever (usually high ± 1010 or above)
  • headache
  • extreme tiredness
  • dry cough
  • sore throat
  • runny or stuffy nose
  • muscle aches
  • chills
  • stomach symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, also can occur but are more common in children than adults
Most people recover from the flu within one or two weeks, but others, especially the elderly, may feel weak for a long time even after other symptoms go away.

What Should I Do If I Catch A Cold?

Bed RestIf you catch a cold :
  • Get plenty of Rest.
  • Drink plenty of liquids and nutrition (avoid using alcohol and tobacco), eat healthy food and lots of fruits.
  • There are over-the-counter (OTC) cold medicine to reat the spesific symptoms.
Symptom Relief
  • Over-the-counter medications can provide temporary relief of symptoms and should be used as soon as you feel a cold coming on.
  • Acetaminophen is less likely to upset your stomach than other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen which are used to relieve aches and pains. However, studies have shown that acetaminophen, aspirin or any other NSAID may worsen asthma and/or peptic ulcers. Aspirin should not be used in children under eighteen years old because it may play a role in causing Reye Syndrome, a rare but severe liver and central nervous system condition. Be sure to discuss all medication choices with your doctor.
  • Congestion, cough and nasal discharge may be treated with a decongestant, antihistamine or a combination of the two.
  • There are no antiviral medications available for treating the common cold. Antibiotics are not useful for treating a cold, and should only be taken to treat bacterial complications that arise from it.
Other Remedies
  • Herbs and minerals such as echinacea, eucalyptus, garlic, honey, lemon, menthol, zinc, and vitamin C (up to 500 mg) have gotten a lot of publicity as cold remedies.
  • Adequate liquid intake is recommended. Eight glasses of water and/or juice per day are recommended. This will help keep the lining of the nose and throat from drying out, so that mucus remains moist and easy to clear from the nose.
    Avoid coffee, tea or cola drinks that contain caffeine andavoid any drinks that contain alcohol. Caffeine and alcohol lead to dehydration.
  • Don’t smoke! And Stay away from other smokers; The smoke will further irritate your throat and make the cough even more.
  • Be a good citizen. Use tissues and wash your hands frequently to reduce the spread of your cold germs to the others =)

Antiviral Drugs For Prevention And Treatment of Flu

TamifluAntiviral drugs are an important second line of defense in the prevention and treatment of flu.
  • Antiviral drugs are important in the treatment and prevention influenza.
  • Influenza antiviral drugs can be used to treat the flu or to prevent infection with flu viruses.
  • Treatment with antivirals should begin within 48 hours of getting sick, and can reduce your symptoms and shorten the time you are sick.
  • When used for prevention, antivirals are 70% to 90% effective in preventing infection with influenza viruses.
  • Antiviral drugs are effective across all age and risk groups.
Two antiviral drugs (oseltamivir, brand name Tamiflu®, and zanamivir, brand name Relenza®) are approved for treatment of the flu.
  • Oseltamivir is approved to treat flu in people one year of age and older.
  • Zanamivir is approved to treat flu in people 7 years and older.
  • These are prescription medications, and a doctor should be consulted before the drugs are used.
  • Antiviral treatment lasts for 5 days and should be started within 2 days of illness, so if you get flu-like symptoms, seek medical care early on.