Archive for the ‘Health’ Category
I have two vivid memories of my daughter’s birth last year. One, the event itself; the other, my never-squeamish, six-foot-three-inch husband suddenly going pale and squatting on the floor with his head between his knees, just minutes before she entered the world. Luckily, he was back on his feet in time to witness the birth.
My husband’s wooziness took us both by surprise. After all, here was a male who, only six months before, had unflinchingly pasted my bloodied forehead together with bandages after I had a spill on all icy sidewalk. He joined a motorcycle club! But feeling faint is a common reaction to physical and emotional stress. In my husband’s case, he had been standing for at least six hours of my labor, and he was probably over-whelmed at tile prospect of seeing childbirth for the first time.
One in three of us will pass out at some point in our lifetime. Doctors often can’t pinpoint a cause, because by the time help arrives (if it’s called in the first place), the person is usually fully recovered. So it’s chalked up to a “spell”–end of story.
But sometimes fainting can be the first sign of a serious disorder. Here, what women need to know.
FAINTING HAS A …
New approaches to treating autoimmune disease are producing some of the most promising results in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Dr. Edward Keystone, director of the Centre for Advanced Therapeutics at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto, has played an important role in examining the use in Canada of a number of genetically engineered drugs that appear to work faster, show as much improvement (if not more) and appear to make patients less susceptible to infection than traditional immunosuppressive drugs, such as methotrexate and cortisone. “The patients have shown significant improvement in the early studies. There is less pain, less stiffness and less swelling. On average, patients improve within a few weeks and are substantially better within three months,” says Dr. Keystone.
Rheumatoid arthritis is the most common of the destructive autoimmune diseases, affecting about 300,000 Canadians, of whom about 70 percent are women. The disease, which is generally more dangerous and debilitating than osteoarthritis, causes the joints and connective tissue to become inflamed and deteriorate. “Patients with rheumatoid arthritis die 12 years sooner on average than the normal population,” says Dr. Keystone, also a professor of medicine at the University of Toronto.
The new therapies, which are currently being tested in clinical trials in Canada, the U.S. and Europe, are much …
Snoring is one of the most annoying and problematic problems on the planet. It is exacerbated by the fact that the snorer is the only person who is NOT affected by the snoring. Or are they? Snoring is occurring in half the households in America. Half! It is believed to be a major contributor to obesity.
If you are sleeping next to someone who snores, the implications for your mental and physical health can be disastrous, and in some cases you arenâ€™t even aware of how profoundly it affects you. If you’re in this situation, you have a higher chance of experiencing mental illness, depression, anxiety, weight gain and heart conditions.
For the snorer, itâ€™s even worse. It is possible their snoring is the dangerous condition called sleep apnea. Sleep apnea occurs when the snorerâ€™s airway collapses entirely during sleep. This creates a dangerous lack of oxygen to the brain and body. When the brain is alerted that the snorer is no longer getting oxygen, it will wake the person snoring and they will gasp for air, fall asleep and do it all over again. This can happen anywhere from a handful of times, to hundreds of times during the night. The result, sleep and oxygen deprivation. And unfortunately, this leads to deadlier conditions by way of heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke and more.
Thankfully for us, there are wonderful and amazing anti-snoring devices available today, such as those reviewed at snoringmouthpiecereview.org. If you are lying next to someone who snores, please have them evaluated for sleep apnea by a qualified professional. If that is not possible or you are looking for a solution now, then I highly recommend the Good Morning Snore Solution. It is clinically proven to reduce or completely stop your snoring.
To better understand how this mouthpiece works you need to understand the causes of snoring. When a person sleeps, the muscles and tendons in their nose, tongue, neck and throat tend to relax. This can cause a blockage or in some cases a Read the rest of this entry »
For people like Barb Couves, a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis–or another of the 50-odd autoimmune diseases–spelled a lifetime of debilitating illness. Now, North American research is changing all that.
Three years ago, Barb Couves hit rock bottom. It was just after spring break in March 1995 when Couves, then 45, suffered her second major multiple sclerosis attack in eight months. “My right leg was so weak I couldn’t stand for long,” she says. Her speech was also affected and she felt so tired she could barely move. But the most devastating effect was on her attitude to life.
An elementary and junior high school teacher who lived with her husband and two teenagers in Olds, Alta., Couves had fought valiantly to cope with the terrifying array of stop-and-start symptoms that result when the body’s immune system starts destroying the insulating tissue in the brain and spinal cord. After her first attack on the ski slopes at age 34, she was given the standard drug treatments for her symptoms. But these did nothing to stop the relentless course of the disease.
“I had to kiss my career away,” says Couves, who hated the fact that she could no longer participate in the activities she loved. As her morale plummeted, her …
“You worry at first that the pain will kill you, and then you wish it would,” says Elizabeth McKim, an assistant professor of English at St. Thomas University in Fredericton. McKim’s voice is cheerful, but her office is dim and her eyes are shuttered behind sunglasses. The pain she speaks of is a migraine headache. For McKim, something as simple as a glimpse of the sun’s bright light glinting off the Saint John River can trigger an agonizing headache. The sunglasses, subdued office lighting and avoidance of sunny-day activities help, but when a migraine hits, her only option is to cloister herself in a dark quiet room and wait – sometimes for up to 12 hours – for the pain to abate.
All of us have felt the pounding pain of a headache. But for the millions of North Americans who are flattened by migraines (more than half of migraineurs, as they are called, are women), cluster and tension headaches, that pain can change the way they live their lives. For some, like McKim, it means days off work and less time spent with family and friends. There is good news, though. Specialists in pain management now have a much better understanding of how a headache takes hold, and that’s …
A body that moves with ease and grace. That’s what we all want. We’re actually born that way, but then life happens. We sit at desks all day, lock our necks over phones and hang heavy purses from our shoulders. And when we exercise, our good intentions can do more harm if we tense the neck while lifting weights or round our shoulders while power walking.
We all pick up bad habits that put our bodies out of balance, causing pain and sometimes injury. “We tend to focus on the task instead of our body,” notes Kelly McEvenue, who teaches the Alexander Technique (which focuses on reorganizing the body’s coordination) to actors at the Stratford Festival in Ontario. How can we undo the damage – or prevent it altogether? We consulted experts, from massage therapists to chiropractors, who help soothe the aches of modern life. They offer a decidedly modern workout based on effortless moves you can do anywhere (no leotard required).
These exercises work by diffusing tension before it evolves into a chronic problem. “The key is to …