Sunday, December 23, 2007

The Facts about Sinusitis

Sinusitis Simply put, sinusitis is inflammation of the lining of your sinuses. Sinuses The sinuses are located behind the eyes, the cheeks, and the jaw. They are chambers in which mucous is produced to clean out the bacteria that we take in every day through the mouth and nose. The mucous moves along the cilia, which are tiny, moving hairs that maneuver the mucous. Sinusitis creates difficulties for the sinuses as they try to do their job, because the cilia cease to move and the sinuses either produce too much mucous or too little. Possible Causes Sinusitis can be caused in a variety of ways. The inflammation of the sinus lining is sensitive to changes in temperature or humidity, and often swimming, diving, extreme changes in temperature, and smoking will set off inflammation. The reason these things can cause sinusitis is that they create a friendly environment for bacteria and viruses. For example, smoking paralyzes the cilia, causing the sinuses to think that there are bacteria or a virus and to produce more mucous. Since the cilia cannot move, the mucous just sits there, congests, and becomes a breeding ground for more bacteria, creating a sinus infection. Stagnant water or liquid buildup from water activities can produce similar effects. Or, if a virus has already infected the sinuses and swelling occurs, then the produced mucous will build up even more. Sinusitis is just the beginning of any nasal problem. What many people don’t know is that sinusitis, though beginning in the sinuses can also contribute to an ear infection. The reason is that the sinuses and the ears are connected through the Eustachian tube, and something as simple as sneezing can push infection right out to the ears. Not only can infection move out to the ears but also down to the lungs. Sinusitis is not entirely unrelated to an upper respiratory infection. Often Sinusitis, ear infection, and upper respiratory infection have similar, if not the same, causes. Sinusitis Symptoms As mentioned in previous articles, the culprit is often post nasal drip. Post nasal drip is often part of a cold or flu symptom. It is a sensation of mucous dripping in the back of your throat. Frequent sniffing and swallowing should be indications of proactive sinuses. In other words, sinuses are producing more mucous because they sense bacteria or a virus. Sinusitis and sinus infection do frequently occur in the wake of a cold or the flu. Sinusitis Prevention Prevention is the best way to stay out of the way of sinusitis. Many of the preventions are also treatments. For example, Xylitol, a natural enemy to bacteria, is a time-tested prevention for sinusitis. Xylitol is now being used as the leading ingredient in nasal spray. The regular rinsing of the sinuses is generally helpful in keeping bacteria from settling and mucous from getting over-produced.

How To Quit Smoking

One of the most vicious diseases in today’s times is smoking. It makes a person baffle for air 3 times more than a non-smoker. It has very many repercussions on the life of the smoker and those around him. It leads to lung cancer and various heart diseases like asthma and emphysema. We should thus abhor this deadly disease and quit smoking.

Quitting is not easy

But to actually quit smoking is not easy, because it is an addiction. However there are very many ways and methods that help us to quit smoking for instance we can opt for acupuncture therapy or aromatherapy. We can also opt for non-nicotine cigarettes or go for precise prescription by a doctor.

But first and foremost we need to decide in our heart to stop smoking and should also fix a day for the same. Inform your family about your decision and seek for their help and assistance. Throw away all the cigarette packets, ashtrays and lighters. Stop buying any more cigarettes. Rather think of the more useful and better things that you can buy with the money thus saved. Ask the other family members also, who smoke, to stop smoking. Keep yourself busy. Exercise regularly and meditate occasionally. Eat healthy food.

After doing all this you may still feel severe urges to smoke. You may also actually retort back to it, but that’s no problem, just be persistent and bring back your decision on to the right track after this break, because most of the people are successful only after 2-3 attempts.

Be prepared for withdrawal symptoms

About 80% people retort back to smoking after once leaving it and only 20% successfully accomplish the task. People retort back due to many reasons. Some say they feel agitated. Others say that the aroma when someone lights up is irresistible. But most of them do so due to the fear of symptoms that appears after that last puff viz. weight gain, aggressive thinking, dry throat, fatigue, muscle cramps, constipation, dizziness, hypersensitivity to stimuli, etc. but these are all just temporary symptoms and disappear in a few days. In fact after the initial bout is over the blood pressure, heart rate, pulse arte all get back to normal. You thus need to keep your will power strong and stick to your decision for a few more days.

Some people are not able to continue with the smoke cessation programs because they say that they are costly. But this is a wrong perception because they are not costlier than the price spent for buying cigarettes. And then isn’t it more logical to spend on your health rather on a disease.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Weight Loss Methods

We’re all looking for that magic pill. You know - the one that we can take and lose weight without really trying!

What would you give up to be skinny? How about your health? Well, some of the methods of weight loss may cost you exactly that. Before you decide that the way to lose weight is to follow one of the below regimens, take a second look. Do your research and be sure that you understand the risks.

Are you considering one of these dangerous weight loss methods?

*Prescription diet pills

Amphetamines are available only by prescription, and most doctors are leery of handing them out these days. While they do suppress appetite, you learn nothing about healthy eating, you don’t change your eating habits, and you are likely to gain the weight back the moment you stop taking them. In addition, they can be habit forming. The side effects include high blood pressure, heart arrhythmia, sleeplessness, hallucinations and delusions.


This all natural Asian herb is found in many herbal remedies and weight loss powders. It has a powerful appetite suppressant effect, but has been implicated in over 70 deaths.

*Phentermine Fenfluramine-phentermine (fen-phen)

Fen-phen was a popular weight loss supplement in the 90’s until it was implicated in deaths due to heart-valve damage. Phentermine alone is still sold in many weight loss aids. The side effects include headaches, dizziness, heart arrhythmia, high blood pressure and insomnia.


One of the popular home remedies, used for purging. Regular use and abuse of laxatives can result in low potassium, arrhythmia, and pancreatic damage.

*Artificial Sweeteners

Aspartame, the most commonly used artificial sweetener, has been implicated in multiple lawsuits alleging damages that include blindness, seizures and brain damage.


Afraid you’ll gain weight if you quit smoking? The National Institute of Diabetes says that you’d have to gain 100-150 pounds to match the health risks you invoke by smoking. Instead, set up healthy strategies to help you deal with food cravings and put down the cigarettes.


Like laxatives, purging by forcing oneself to vomit or taking emetics can have very damaging effects on health. Depletion of nutrients like potassium and vitamins, damage to the esophagus from stomach acids, and esophageal rupture are all possible side effects.


Taking diuretics encourages your body to rid itself of fluids - including vital electrolytes. The depletion can lead to dehydration, and cause your body to start retaining water, starting a vicious cycle. Repeated or prolonged use of diuretics can lead to kidney damage and serious electrolyte imbalances, which may result in kidney or heart failure.

*Herbal Remedies

We have a tendency to equate ‘herbal’ with ‘harmless’, but say nutritionists, this isn’t always the case. Remember that many medications are derived from herbs, and because of the lack of regulation, dosages of active ingredients can vary widely from one manufacturer to another. Below is a list of some of the most common ingredients found in herbal weight loss powders, along with cautions about their effects in certain conditions.

Ephedra (ma huang, ephedrine, ephedra extract, epitonin, ephdra sinica and sida cordifolia) should not be taken by people with heart, thyroid or kidney disease, or with hypertension

Cascara and Senna should not be taken by people taking diuretics (both are often found in herbal weight loss teas)

Selenium and Capsaicin should not be taken by people with bowel or digestive disorders

Kava should be avoided by people with mood disorders who are taking mood altering medication, and people with Parkinson’s disease.

Gingko biloba, licorice root, and dong quay should not be taken by people who are taking blood thinners or anti-coagulants.

While weight loss is a worthwhile goal, guarding your health is an even more important one. Be sure that whatever weight loss method you choose it won’t lead to other serious medical conditions.

Little Known Facts About Cellulite

Cellulite is a condition for which cures are commonly sought. The lumpy, rippled skin which typically appears in the thighs and buttocks area known as cellulite is typically associated with a weight problem; however an individual need not be overweight to have cellulite. The condition is caused by water retention and circulatory problems that may resulted from a variety of factors including hormones.

A weakening of the connective tissue located just beneath the skin can also result in cellulite. Although cellulite has been known to occur in men, it is much more typical in women.

Millions of dollars are spent each year on cellulite treatment creams and other types of products to eradicate cellulite, a condition that is considered to be unattractive and believed by many women to be a rare condition. In truth, most women have cellulite and it actually begins to form just after puberty hits. The degree of cellulite varies, but more than 90 percent of all women have it to some degree.

So, if all women have it, is there anything you can do about it? Many people fail to do anything about their cellulite because they believe there is either nothing they can do about it or that it’s simply fat. The truth is that it isn’t fat that there are actually number of steps that women can take to prevent and reduce the appearance of cellulite.

The most important step women who are concerned about cellulite can take to reduce and prevent its appearance, is to eat a healthy, well balanced diet that is low in fat. Women who do this from an early age, and maintain such a diet, are shown to have far less problems with cellulite than women who do not. Exercise helps to keep the body toned and promotes good circulation, another key step in fighting cellulite.

Finally, the benefits of drinking plenty of water have been touted for many health conditions and cellulite is no different. The main purpose of cellulite is to wash away toxins within your body which can help to increase circulation, thus preventing and reducing cellulite.

It has been suggested the genetics as well as the surge of hormones that many women face, may also be among the causes for cellulite development. While there is nothing you can do about your genetics, and little you can do about your hormones, fighting cellulite by living a healthy lifestyle has been shown to produce amazing results.

Studies also indicate that cutting down or quitting smoking altogether can also provide an improvement in the appearance of cellulite. This is mainly due to the fact that smoking causes damage to small blood vessels, which increases the risk for cellulite.

It’s important to keep in mind that while many of the cellulite products on the market today are effective, they can only provide optimal results when combined with a healthy diet and exercise regimen. A gentle skin massage in the areas affected by cellulite can also be beneficial in restoring circulation and reducing the appearance of cellulite.

The information contained in this article is for educational purposes only and is not intended to medically diagnose, treat or cure any disease. Consult a health care practitioner before beginning any health care program.