Jan 22, 2011

Coping With Hypertention

Blood pressure is the force in the blood vessel that transports blood to every part of our body. Blood pressure is described by two numbers: the systolic and the diastolic.

The systolic pressure is the upper number and it measures the pressure in our blood vessel when the heart is pumping out blood. The diastolic is the lower number and it measures the pressure in our blood vessel when it is at its most relaxed stage which is in between heart beats.

So, if your doctor says your pressure is 120/60, it means your systolic pressure is 120mmHg (millimetre mercury) and diastolic 60mmHg. Both measurements are important as either one can pose serious health problems if high.

According to the latest British Hypertension Society (BHS) definition, hypertension is defined as systolic blood pressure equal or greater than 140mmHg, diastolic pressure equal or greater than 90mmHg, or both.

In many people with hypertension, both the systolic and diastolic pressure readings are high. However, in selected elderly people, they suffer only isolated systolic hypertension. In both condition, the risk and complications are the same.

Generally, people should start monitoring their blood pressure from the age of 20. Those with high or moderately high readings should monitor their pressure once every few weeks.

Causes of hypertension
In more than 90% of adults with hypertension, there is no identifiable cause. This type of hypertension is normally known as primary hypertension or essential hypertension.

Even though no cause is linked to this type of hypertension, studies have shown that certain factors can lead to its development. They include high salt intake, lack of exercise, being overweight, excessive alcohol consumption, smoking, family history of hypertension and environmental stress.

In the remaining 5% to 10%, the hypertension can be related to underlying conditions such as kidney disease, heart problem, hormonal disease or selected medications.

This type of hypertension is known as secondary hypertension because a cause is identifiable. Some young people have this type of hypertension and treating the underlying cause may cure the condition.
Symptoms and complications

Hypertension is a silent killer. Most people with hypertension have no symptoms at all. High pressure is only discovered when complications such as stroke or heart attack set in. Some may complain of headache and giddiness. But these symptoms are not specific to hypertension.

In the long run, uncontrolled or unnoticed high blood pressure can lead to severe complications such as stroke, heart attack, heart failure, heart enlargement, kidney failure, bleeding in the retina of eye, damage to peripheral blood vessel, etc.

Most of these complications are preventable if high blood pressure is treated early.

The BHS advocates medication if the systolic pressure is 160mmHg or higher, and the diastolic pressure is 100mmHg or higher, or both. For those with lower readings but above normal (that is, 140/90mmHg) but experience no complications, the society advises lifestyle changes and close monitoring of pressure.

There are many types of medication to treat hypertension and each has its own specific usage. Certain medications are more suitable for hypertensive patients with diabetes while some are suitable for young people. Your doctor will decide which one is the most suitable for you.

If one medication is not sufficient to control your pressure, your doctor may combine it with another type. Sometimes, doctors may use up to three or four different types of medication.

Be compliant with medication – this is very important. One recent local clinical study has shown that Malaysians are not compliant with anti-hypertensive medication. If you have any doubts about the medication, talk to your doctor or get counseling.

Go to your doctor for follow-up treatment. Do not assume that a normal reading during one of the follow-up sessions warrants you to stop taking medication. Hypertension is a lifelong condition. Vigilant treatment and follow-ups can reduce risk of getting severe complications.

• Exercise regularly (aerobic exercise) and maintain an ideal weight.
• Reduce salt and saturated fat intake.
• Stop smoking and reduce alcohol intake.
• Consume at least five portions of fresh fruits and vegetables every day.

(By Dr. Gan Ing Earn, a consultant gastroenterologist and internal medicine physician)

Jan 15, 2011

Cure Ovarian Cysts With Heat & Ice Compress Method

One in ten women these days suffer from problems related to ovarian cysts which need to be treated, especially if one is looking to start up a family. Though there are numerous medications available these days for the treatment of ovarian cysts, and there are some natural relief methods which are safe and effective for you to try.

In a lot of cases ovarian cysts have to be removed by surgery, however the natural home remedies for ovarian cysts provide instant pain relief and several of them will make the ovarian cyst disappear without surgery. The simplest of these natural methods is the heat and ice treatment. The ice and heat treatment only requires a hot compress. You can easily do this at home, so there is no need to buy expensive prescription drugs.

So how does it work? Take a towel, dip it into warm water. After that squeeze the towel and put it onto your lower abdomen for about 30 minutes. You will get instant relief from your ovarian cyst pain. Try and follow the warm compress at least 3 times a day for a minimum of 30 minutes, and you will notice the remarkable change it brings to your body giving you instant pain relief.

Why does the heat generated through the warm compress provide instant pain relief? The answer is simple: the heat starts to breakdown the cyst and is increasing the blood circulation to the cyst as well. As soon as the heat starts to loosen your body, you should use the ice. Repeat your heat compresses with an ice compress as this works towards degenerating the cysts permanently. In a lot of cases the heat / ice compress therapy helps you get rid of your ovarian cyst completely without surgery and without the intake of any drugs. It will only take some days, and you will note that the bloating of your lower abdomen has disappeared and so has your cyst.

Apart from this method, eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, water and fluids and exercise regularly. These are the best and easiest home remedies to get natural ovarian cyst relief.

Sep 17, 2008

Natural Cure For Female Low Libido

Female low libido problems are far common and many women suffer from low libido and while there is no female synthetic drug, as there is for men. Low libido can be cured by diet and some herbs that have been used for centuries and that is the subject of this article.

Physical causes
Anemia - which is very common in women, because of iron loss during periods, pregnancy and child birth. Alcoholism and drug abuse.

Psychological causes
Depression, stress, fatigue and anxiety.

Generalized disorders, such as diabetes
Post-baby coolness (PBC): this is the term used for the extremely common loss of libido that occurs after childbirth. It is almost certainly linked to the violent changes in hormones that occur during the period. The general trauma of childbirth also plays a part and after birth, many women are simply too worn out to consider sex .

Low testosterone levels are also a cause and it's a key issue in terms of female low libido. Low Nitric Oxide Levels are also a problem. This is the chemical that allows blood to flood into the genitals when we become sexually aroused.

Remedies for loss of desire
Some lifestyle changes are needed first if you drink heavily or take recreational drugs, cut down or better still stop. You also need a healthy diet because the fuel you give your body, can repair it and this means eating plenty of raw foods and less processed foods to give you more energy. Eat as "naturally from the earth" as possible and avoid too many processed foods or saturated fats.
Gentle exercise 3 - 4 times a week, also lifts mood and energy levels and it can be a brisk walk or swimming.
Dong Quai is probably the ultimate women's herb and used by herbalists as a treatment for a variety of gynecological complaints from regulating the menstrual cycle to treating menopausal symptoms. It is used as a general blood tonic and is rich in nutrients containing vitamins E, A and B12 and its rich in tannins. It is high in iron which can help prevent iron deficiency and anemia. It helps regulate blood sugar and corrects low blood pressure.

Damiana - In the "Handbook on Medicinal Herbs", Damiana is said to "make every nerve tingle with sexual sensation, whetting the appetite of lustful desire". The herb also helps induce a feeling of mild euphoria and relaxes the body. The herb combats stress, depression and anxiety and relieves headaches during menstruation. Finally, Damiana helps to balance female hormone levels and control hot flushes.

Used to treat menopausal symptoms, Schisandra has a vasodilatory effect which increases blood flow to the female pelvic region and genitals.
Avena Sativa
Avena Sativa helps the body relax and enhances sensitivity in the vagina region.
This herb strengthens and increases muscle tone, moistens dry tissues of the female sexual organs and increases overall body strength, it also helps increase levels of testosterone naturally.

Ginkgo Biloba
Ginkgo has acts as a brain tonic that enhances memory because of its effect on the vascular system and is used for a variety of neurological and circulatory problems. Ginkgo increases blood flow to the brain and throughout the body. It increases metabolism efficiency, regulates neurotransmitters. It is the ultimate circulatory tonic and helps to improve mood and increase energy.

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Many of the best female libido enhancers will blend the above and other proven herbs which if combined with a sensible lifestyle, will cure female low libido problems.