2011 October

What Is Sciatic Nerve Pain?

Sciatic nerve pain is more commonly referred to as sciatica. It’s a type of pain that is due to an irritation in the sciatic nerve. Usually, the pain starts on the lower back or lumbar area and then spreads down the thigh, until the knee. The reason behind this is that the sciatic nerve is located from the spinal cord in the lumbar area and extends down the buttocks. It is the largest nerve in the body.

The pain can also radiate to the hips. It can make walking extremely difficult or even impossible. Aside from the pain, sciatica also has other symptoms. A person may also feel numbness and tingling or burning sensations from the lower back area, upper buttocks, thigh or the back of his legs. Sometimes, these symptoms are worsened by bending the waist or by walking. It may be partially or completely relieved by lying down.

There are several causes for lower back pain. Usually it is caused by a lumbar disc hernia that presses directly on the nerve. zithromax mexico. This could either cause an inflammation or irritation in the sciatic nerve. Other causes can include tumor growths, infection, internal bleeding, trauma, and different injuries. The nerve can also be irritated by any adjacent muscle or bone. On some cases, it could also be caused by pregnancy.

The three common causes of sciatica are spinal disc herniation, spinal stenosis and piriformis syndrome. In a spinal disc herniation occurs when a person suddenly bends or twists their waist. When the spinal disc is herniated, it can press on a nerve and cause swelling on the surrounding tissues, which further progresses on the nerve. With lumbar spinal stenosis, the space for the spinal cord is narrowed. It pinches and irritates the nerves including the sciatic nerve. Piriformis syndrome is a condition wherein the sciatic nerve goes through the piriformis muscle instead of underneath it. When this muscle is overused or injured in people with this syndrome, it compresses or strangles the sciatic nerve, causing lower back pain.

In order for lower back pain to be treated, it needs to be diagnosed first. Checking for the symptoms, along with a physical exam and medical history will help with the diagnosis. Diagnostic tests such as electromyogram, X-rays, MRI and CT scans are helpful for determining what the exact cause is.

There are several treatment options for sciatica. Aside from treating the underlying cause, medications and physical therapy are also helpful. The main goal of medications is the relief of pain and inflammation. On the other hand, physical therapy focuses on strengthening the back. Lower back stretching and conditioning exercises greatly help people with their recovery. Although bed rest is not an absolute essential for recovery, it still helps relieve symptoms and it is still being encouraged. On some cases, surgery is needed to treat sciatic nerve pain. It is indicated for persisting and chronic sciatica that is due to a compression of a nerve in the lower back area. Other times, specialists on pain management are consulted to help people treat with chronic sciatic nerve pain.

By Health Care on October 29, 2011 | Back Pain

Will Air Purifiers Help to Reduce Mould and Help Allergies?

Many people suspect that mould in their homes may be causing their health problems, others may find mould or musty smell in their homes unpleasant, but don’t believe it causes problems; they just want their homes to smell fresher and to have a clean indoors. What is the truth about mould? Is it a problem or a part of nature that we have to accept? If it is a problem, how much of a problem is it and is there anything to be done about it?

Some of the most frequently asked questions we receive from visitors to our website involve the issue of mould in the home. Most people understand the seasonal allergy problems associated with pollens, but are confused as to whether or not mould and mildew might be contributing to their asthma and allergy symptoms, or their poor health. The article below explores some of the issues of mould and possible solutions.
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Many people aren’t sure if air purifiers will help with reducing mould in their homes. Mould is a real issue that can cause health problems. The right air purifier especially when used in conjunction with a dehumidifier will most certainly help.

Mould spore size can range from 1 to 100 microns, Air purifiers will trap and kill these mould spores, the spores die inside a HEPA air purifier filter because it is a dry, sterile environment, mould requires dampness to live so if you also reduce the humidity level with a dehumidifier you will solve the problem. A good quality HEPA filter will remove airborne mould spores, if the mould is embedded and can’t be removed such as you may find in mouldy smelling basements, filters that also remove odours such as Blueair Smokestop air purifiers will be best.

In nature mould plays an important part in the decay of leaves and trees. So mould is good… outdoors! Moulds inside your home or workplace are not good. Airborne mould spores inside your home really become a problem when they land on moist or wet surfaces. Then they are free to reproduce via the production of tiny invisible spores, and rapidly increase to amounts which cause humans discomfort and even illness.

Mould particles are small enough to pass through the cilia in your sinuses and are too small to be easily exhaled, so they can become lodged in your lung tissue. In comparison, larger particles such as dust are usually caught by the cilia before they enter the lungs. (Some moulds, called mycotoxins are potentially very toxic). Thus moulds which are inhaled do cause allergic reactions in many people – generally in the form of runny or sneezing noses, red eyes, rashes, and the generally unwell feeling you get when you have a cold or suffer from hay fever. The reaction is often instant but sometimes may be delayed for hours. Asthmatic people can also have allergic reactions to the inhalation of mould. As is often the case, infants, children, and the elderly can be more greatly affected by mould inhalation than healthy adults.

Most mould spores range from 3-100 microns in size but some can be as small as 1 micron. When looking at air purifiers to handle mould, it is important to find one that takes out at least 3-micron size particulates or smaller. All the HEPA air purifiers can remove mould spores.

If you cannot entirely rid your home of mould, however, you can substantially reduce it. If your house is old, there is a greater potential for mould problems as anyone with a musty old basement knows. Newer, tightly built homes that don’t have good airflow can also be problematic. Office buildings, particularly older ones are often rife with mould.

Extensive water damage that has resulted in the significant growth of mould may require removal by a licensed contractor. Smaller, visible areas of mould should be cleaned up with household cleaners and the areas dried. However, the mould is often not visible because it is in hidden places. The mould may reside on a surface but when the surface is disrupted, the spores become airborne and begin to cause problems for people. The spores generally settle down in time but whenever they are disrupted they take to the airflow again. That’s where a continuously running mould air purifier can be of great assistance in getting a clean indoors. If you can’t entirely remove the mould or even find it, you can quickly and easily remove the airborne spores with mould air filters. If you allow the mould spores to remain floating around inside and they subsequently land in a wet area, the process begins again with the growth of new mould.

Mould air purifiers with HEPA (high efficiency particulate arresting) filtration systems are the most effective at removing the airborne spores. Mould spores don’t reproduce without moisture, very often a dehumidifier will also help to reduce the amount of moisture in your home and can be used in conjunction with air purifiers. When airborne mould spores are pulled into an air purifier, the HEPA filter traps them and they die. Mould does not reproduce in the filters since there is no moisture in air purifiers.

In conclusion, whenever possible, remove the mould completely, to prevent re-growth use a combination of dehumidifiers and high quality, HEPA filters such as Blueair air purifiers to continually absorb the airborne spores. These units are made to run 24/7 and actually work more efficiently when allowed to do so. This will greatly help in the reduction of mould spores in the airflow you breathe. Since mould does have the potential to slide right past the protective cilia in the body and end up in the lung tissue, it’s important to stop it before it has the chance to reach your nose, especially infants and children.

By Health Care on October 27, 2011 | Allergies

Screening For Diabetes

Although Type 2 diabetes, also known as adult-onset diabetes and non-insulin dependent diabetes, is the most common form of the disease; there are still estimated to be millions of Americans who have it and are not aware. But this isn’t a case of not being informed. It’s a matter of people not understanding how the screening process works.

There are several ways that someone can be screened for Type 2 diabetes.

One is the fasting plasma glucose test (FBG). In this test, the individual is restricted from consuming food or drink for a period of up to 12 hours, but at least 8 hours prior to the test. The best time to do it is first thing in the morning after fasting all night.

Blood is drawn and any blood sugar reading above 126 mg/dL (7 mmol/L) is considered to be a provisional diagnosis of Type 2 diabetes. Then, another blood drawing on a return trip will be used to confirm the diagnosis.

An oral glucose tolerance test is similar (OGTT). No food for up to 12 hours prior to the first drawing of blood; 75 grams of oral glucose is then given by mouth, and then the blood test repeated approximately 2 hours later.

For this test, a blood sugar reading of 200 mg/dL (11.1 mmol/L) gives a positive sign of Type 2 diabetes. This test also has to be repeated on a different day to confirm the reading.

The random plasma glucose test is different from the other two in that no prior fasting is required. It does not require any previous scheduling and can be drawn at any time.

This test requires a blood sugar reading of 200 mg/dL (11.1 mmol/L) or more. But the reading also has to be accompanied by other diabetic symptoms as well. The individual will have to return for a separate blood drawing in order to confirm diagnosis.

If you are not accustomed to skipping meals, then a fasting episode may make you fell pretty lousy. In this case, it would be a good idea for you to have someone with you at the lab; someone who can drive you home afterwards. It is also a good idea to have the test performed on your day off as the effects could stay with you for several hours.

If having someone take you home isn’t an option, or even taking the rest of the day off, you may want to try a trial test to see how you will react so that you will have a better idea of whether or not you will be okay by yourself. To do this, try skipping a meal to see how your body reacts. Do this for several days in a row to acclimate your body to missing out on food for such a long period.

By Health Care on October 26, 2011 | Diabetes