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LYME DISEASE

Lyme disease is the most common vector-borne illness in the United States and is an important outpatient “hot topic” because its incidence is on the rise. In fact, Healthy People 2010 lists reduction in the incidence of Lyme disease among its public health goals for the next decade. Lyme disease is caused by the spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi. The organism is transmitted by tick vectors, which require host mammals and seasonal variation to complete the life cycle. Lyme disease remains most prevalent in areas that provide a hospitable environment for ticks and their hosts. Prompt diagnosis and treatment are vital to symptom resolution and prevention of long-term sequelae.The incidence of Lyme disease increased more than 30-fold from 1982 to 1996. In 2000, 17,730 cases were reported, representing an 8% increase from 1999. The incidence is highest in the Northeast (especially Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Jersey, New York, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont), the mid-Atlantic (particularly Maryland), and the Midwest (Wisconsin, Minnesota). Lyme disease has also been identified on the West Coast. There are endemic and hyperendemic counties within these states.The distribution of Lyme disease is bimodal, typically occurring in children 5 to 9 years of age and adults 50 to 59 years of age, with a slightly higher number of males affected. The majority of cases occur in June, followed by July and August. People who live and work in residential or wooded areas are at greatest risk. *160/348/5*

RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS: DEALING WITH FRIENDS AND FAMILY

From their perspective, your loved ones are also struggling with this new situation. They may be uncertain about how to approach you. Should they offer their help? Should they allow you to do what you can? Should they pretend that nothing’s changed? They will need your guidance. You must set the tone and direction for your future interactions. Your messages to others should be clear and concise. You must communicate with them and not expect them to understand simply because they love you. Mixed messages result in misunderstandings and hurt feelings.

Asking for Help
It’s difficult to ask for help with tasks that you once were able to do on your own, but you’ll need to do this from time to time. If you learn to ask for help in a way that lets you keep your sense of independence and confidence, you’re much more likely to ask for the help you need, and then your feelings of frustration or anger can be avoided. Learn to ask clearly, and without ambiguity, so that the person you’re asking knows exactly how you’d like to be helped. Consider the following unproductive approaches:
“I’ll just do it myself.” (Martyrdom is overvalued.)
“Can’t you see I’m in pain and can’t do this?” (It does no good to try to induce guilt in someone else.) “Wash the dishes or else.” (People who feel as if they are being punished for your arthritis will sooner or later come to resent your requests for assistance.) “I can do it, but I think it’s about time for you to do something around here.” (Denial has the potential to develop into antagonism.)
Now consider the following requests, messages that preserve self-esteem while constructively conveying the need for assistance:
“Here’s what I need help with. I know I can count on you.” (Describe the task and show appreciation; the response will almost certainly be positive.)
“I’m certain I can do this part alone, but I could really use your help with the rest of it.” (Be specific about your needs, including what you don’t need help with.)
“I’ll clean up the living room if you’ll vacuum the rug.” (Negotiation allows equal input from everyone.)
Remember, your attitude has a far greater effect on your personal interactions than your disabilities do.
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USE OF HERBAL MEDICINES FOR MASSES: NATURE’S LAW OF CURE

The modern men is so much awed by the nomenclature of diseases, the medical terminologies and the plentitude of drugs and wonder drugs, that he is not ready to believe that God, the almighty has provided us with a very simple and benevolent law of cure. Simple, yet to be realised by the acute observer only. One can easily observe this law in everyday life.

(i)    The bee-sting produces swelling and stinging pains, ameliorated by cold. Yet if, there is swelling, with stinging pain which is ameliorated by cold, it is cured by applying macerated bees on the spot.

(ii)    If there is blood discharge from the eyes excoriating discharge from the nose, which is ameliorated by cold, it is Cured by taking small amounts of diluted onion juice.

(iii)    Continuous intake of juice of peepal leaf produces haemorrhage of bright red blood from the orifices of the body. Yet if there is haemorrhage of bright red blood, it is cured by taking a few drops of juice of peepal leaf.

These are simple examples expressed in a simple way. Every drug has wide range of action on the whole body. For proper application of drugs we have to study minutely the primary action of drugs in large doses on the human body. When we have fully understood and observed it’s action, then the same drug in small doses will be able to cure a similar condition which it is able to produce, and it is the natural law of cure:
“A drug which in large doses produce a disease in a healthy being is in small doses able to cure a person suffering from a similar disease”.

The approach of the so-called modern medicine is to suppress a single aspect of the disease by a number of drugs. The disease remains in the body, complexed with the remaining manifestations of the drug called it’s side-effects. The result is that there is a continuous attack on the immune system of the body resulting in a number of dreadful diseases.
*20\218\2*

SICK BUILDING SYNDROME: FINDING AN INDOOR POLLUTION SOLUTION

If your office building had an ignition system, it could probably be launched into orbit and serve nicely as a space station. That’s because skyrocketing energy costs have caused engineers to seal off the buildings they design as tightly as possible from the outside environment.
The idea—to conserve heat in the winter and air-conditioning in the summer—is a good one, but there’s a catch. The air in your office might have pollutants in it that you’d rather be flushed out the window, pollutants that are believed to cause the array of illnesses and allergies that have come to be called sick building syndrome.
The specific causes of sick building syndrome have proven hard enough to pin down that some researchers still believe it’s more of a psychological than physical malady. But Bill C. Wolverton, Ph.D., an environmental research scientist and consultant and president of Wolverton Environmental Services in Picayune, Mississippi, isn’t one of them. Literally hundreds of chemical by-products of various types have been found in office environments, he says. They range from copy machine chemicals to gases given off by the glues and fibers in carpeting. From formaldehyde emitted by particleboard shelves to cleaning solvents and air fresheners. From insecticides and paint fumes to insulation dust. From molds and mildew to cigarette smoke, not to mention the carbon dioxide exhaled by you and your fellow workers.
Any one of those elements alone may not be present in levels high enough to cause problems, Dr. Wolverton and others believe, but if you mix them all together and combine them with lousy ventilation, you have all the ingredients for a potentially dangerous toxic stew. “There’s no mystery to me why sick building syndrome is happening,” Dr. Wolverton says. “When you have an environment like that, how could it possibly be healthy?”
*563\2578\*

BACH FLOWER REMEDIES: ASPEN’ FLOWER REMEDY

A child suddenly gets up from sleep with a shriek and clings to his mother in extreme terror. After a little while he falls back in peaceful sleep.
A child gets up from sleep at night and insists that all doors are closed and lights of the room kept on, or he cannot go to sleep for fear of what might happen. A young man went for an interview against a call for appointment as cashier in the bank. A cat crossed his path on the way. He had heard that if a cat crossed your way your errand is bound to fail. He was a superstitious person. A sort of fear assailed him that something might happen and he would fail in his mission. This fear assailed him during the interview and he failed.
Creepy sensation of fear, nightmares, superstitions, delusions, fear of an invisible power, of an occult phenomenon, fear of punishment by God for one’s sins where neither the time nor the nature of the punishment is specified, such vague fears which may result in internal or external trembling, fears which may cause great vexation but for which there is no medicine with our allopathic doctors, are relieved by ASPEN’ flower remedy.
*53\308\8*

DRUG THERAPIES FOR HEALTHY BONES: DO YOU NEED DRUG THERAPY?

If a bone scan shows you have bone loss—osteopenia or osteoporosis—you should consider drug therapy. The following recommendations assume you are using diet and exercise to protect your bones, that you’re using the right supplements, and that you have an individualized plan about using hormones if you are in perimenopause or menopause. If your periods are stopping (or have stopped), HRT is strongly recommended—with variations and “alternatives” recommended if you don’t want or can’t take standard traditional HRT. Remember, though the specific way to do it will vary from person to person or over a lifetime, the goal is always the same: to improve bone formation and slow bone loss.
If you have not reached perimenopause or menopause yet, significant bone loss most likely indicates another problem, like hyperthyroidism, or use of corticosteroids, or some other metabolic disorder. Get to the heart of that matter first, and treat what’s treatable and compensate for whatever can’t be eliminated. With that corrected, you may not need anything else. But if you’ve had enough loss, or the rate of progress is rapid enough, you may want to take one of these prescriptions just until you get back to normal density. The greater the extent of the bone loss you’ve had, the more aggressive your approach should be.
If you are menopausal or perimenopausal, and have osteopenia but an NTX under 50, so the progression of your bone loss is slow, you may want to give diet, exercise, and supplements a chance to work before you start a prescription. You may want to consider one of the gentle natural hormonal options for bone health, like natural progesterone, ipriflavone, or isoflavones, just as a few examples (which you may be able to use together with HRT).
If you are menopausal or perimenopausal, and have osteoporosis but an NTX under 50, so the progression of your bone loss is slow and your fracture risk manageable, again, you have time on your side. You have enough loss that you should seriously consider Fosamax or Miacalcin, or Evista if you are not taking HRT, or some combination thereof. You could also consider working first with just diet, exercise, supplements, and “alternatives,” including natural hormones. To build your bones that way, you’ll have to take an aggressive approach to all these things, really buckling down to the exercise, calcium foods, and tofu and using high-quality supplements religiously. Have your bones checked again in six months to a year to make sure you’re making improvements, and if you’re not, you should try a drug therapy.
If you are menopausal or perimenopausal, and have osteopenia and an NTX over 50, the progression of loss is rapid and the risk of fracture is higher, so you should carefully consider Fosamax, Miacalcin, or, if you’re not taking HRT, Evista—or some combination of those, in addition to the strategies above.
If you are menopausal or perimenopausal, and have osteoporosis and an NTX over 50, the progression of loss is rapid enough and the risk of fracture is high enough that a drug treatment is strongly recommended in combination with HRT. If you are not taking traditional HRT, then it would be important to use Evista or one of the alternative hormones.
*161\228\2*

USE OF HERBAL MEDICINES FOR MASSES

Herbs are available almost everywhere, where there is vegetation. If one tries to find out some literature on herbal medicines, he is usually encountered with volumes which gives detailed description of plants and their general use. It is very difficult for a person to differentiate among the use of plants. For example, Abroma augusta, Cephalandra indica, Gymnema sylvestris, Syzigium jambolana, etc. are all mentioned for treating diabetes. But it is difficult to find scientific guidelines for differentiation among them, so that a person is able to select a particular drug for a particular patient. The reason is very simple. In the sphere of drug therapy there is definite scientific law which is generally not adhered to. This results in the groping in the dark of the different drug therapies. The so-called modern medical system is further astray with it’s heavy doses of chemical and synthetic drugs.

When we talk of herbal medicines we generally talk of its economics. It is fashion to talk about tribal development through sale of herbal medicines. It is an irony that a tribal, surrounded by a treasure of medicinal plants is advised to be dependent on chemical and harmful drugs for common ailments. The treasure of medicinal plants should first be utilized for the physical and mental well-being of the tribals and the near by villagers.
*19\218\2*

RELIEVING TENSION DURING RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS: DEALING WITH ANXIETY, FEAR, AND STRESS

There are numerous techniques you can use to minimize anxiety, fear, and stress, ranging from the simple to the exotic. It’s worth mentioning here that it is often difficult to separate emotional tension from muscle or physical tension. We know that decreasing tension in one area often relieves tension in the other area, so, as you’ll see, many of these tactics for relieving emotional tension involve physical activities.
Simple tactics include taking short breaks during your workday to relax, away from the noise and bustle of the workplace. While you relax, collect yourself and redirect your energies that are being drained by stress. At home, a long bath combined with relaxing music can ease your mind and body of tension. Making a detour to the whirlpool or sauna on your way home from work is a good way to wind down from an exhausting day. Gentle muscle massage administered by a friend, spouse, or professional masseuse can relax tired, tense muscles and decrease your level of stress.
Often, just relaxing your mind by engaging in an enjoyable task or talking with a friend can reduce emotional and physical tension. Taking slow, deep, and regular breaths (preferably from the diaphragm rather than the chest) is another simple but effective way to decrease muscle tension and stress.
One of the more exotic techniques is a deep muscle relaxation technique called progressive relaxation. Many people incorporate this technique into their daily and nighttime routines. Begin by finding a quiet place and getting into a comfortable position. Close your eyes. Strongly tense up (clench) your toe muscles for about five seconds. Then relax them, feeling the difference between tension and relaxation. Proceed by alternately tensing and relaxing all of the major muscle groups in your body, from toes to head. When done correctly (doing so takes practice) this technique will leave your body loose and relaxed. Dr. Edmund Jacob-son, who first described this technique in 1929, has discovered that it is physically impossible to feel nervous or anxious in any part of our body if our muscles are completely relaxed. This suggests that if we are able to relax the muscles successfully other features of anxiety will be eliminated.
Some individuals incorporate imagery into their relaxation techniques. Closing your eyes and imagining yourself in a pleasant, restful place may help you achieve a peaceful state.
Some people have found biofeedback to be helpful in controlling chronic tension and pain. This technique involves measuring involuntary body functions such as heart rate, blood pressure, skin temperature, and muscle tension with monitoring equipment that is painlessly attached to the skin. Information about the physical (biological) changes taking place in the body is directly fed back to the subject from the equipment. The person being monitored can use this feedback to identify behaviors that bring about pain or tension and can then modify thoughts that induce these changes. The ultimate goal of biofeedback is to achieve mental mastery of the body’s responses.
Eastern concepts of the mind-body connection through meditation, including yoga, are very helpful to some people with RA. The three basic elements of yoga are physical posture, breathing control, and meditation. Yoga exercises include range of motion, stretching, and flexibility routines. When yoga is practiced successfully it can result in the development of intense powers of concentration which can be used to master tension and pain.
Acupressure is an alternative therapy some people use to relieve muscle tension. The technique involves applying gentle but firm finger pressure to points on the body where muscle tension and pain accumulate. Acupressure, like acupuncture, is based on the principle that energy flows through pathways called meridians.
People who are feeling anxious or afraid or whose lives are being adversely affected by stress can use any of these techniques to obtain relief. There are many other effective relaxation programs described in books, on tapes, and on videos. It is important to keep in mind, though, that these techniques are only one component of a comprehensive treatment plan. They should not be used as a replacement for the medical treatment of RA.
Your loved ones need to progress through these emotional changes with you. You will want their help and empathy, for example (but not their pity). You will probably want them to acknowledge your limitations without viewing them as weaknesses. You will need the support of your loved ones, but you won’t want them to hover or be over-solicitous.
*60/209/5*

THE ENDOMETRIOSIS DIET: HOW WILL YOU FEEL ON THIS DIET?

The goal of this plan is to structure your dietary intake and relieve or prevent some of the more disabling symptoms of endometriosis. The plan has been designed to work over the long run to decrease your estrogen level and stabilize hormones, increase energy, alleviate extreme menstrual cramping, and work as a calmative for emotional and physical distress. You will need to analyse your own case and judge your own needs, following the Calendar to chart mood changes, bleeding patterns, and pelvic pain.
Tins diet is a basic regimen that stresses low-fat, low-sugar, low-salt, low-cholesterol, low-dairy-product intake, which is especially advisable during the menstrual cycle and for at least ten days preceding it. This is not a weight-loss diet, although you might indeed stabilize your weight or lose a pound or two. If you are unable to stay on the diet for ten days of the month, try to follow the suggestions on alternate days, h will help to work as a “cleansing” or balancing diet.
Some women will have an immediate sense of well-being after only a week on the diet. Others may not respond as quickly. One reason is that ovaries are sensitive to dietary changes, especially to an increase in B complex vitamins and a withdrawal or lessening of tats and sugar. The liver will continue to degrade estrogen to estriol, but the ovaries may respond in a contrary fashion. Instead of estrogen output being controlled by diet, the ovaries are. so to speak, tricked into believing that they are lagging behind an producing the hormone and may speed up production for a few days. Eventually, however, the body adjusts to a different dietary mode. The endometriosis recovery diet should foster a sense of relief and well-being. Because of it, some women may be able to free themselves from painkillers, tranquilizers, and, in selected cases, hormone treatments.
*88\43\4*

FEVER: QUENCHING THE FLAMES

Even though it’s not true that a high temperature can boil your brain, it can make you feel as though something is cooking up there. To beat the heat and keep yourself more comfortable, here’s what experts recommend.
Cool off with an OTC. Perhaps the quickest way to turn down the heat is with medications, like aspirin, acetaminophen, ibuprofen or naproxen—nonprescription painkillers that have the additional effect of inhibiting the enzyme that’s responsible for turning up the thermostat.
Never, however, give aspirin to children because of the risk of Reye’s syndrome, a serious neurological condition. Give them acetaminophen instead.
Stick to a schedule. When taking aspirin or other fever-lowering medications, it’s important to take them regularly, following the directions on the package. Otherwise, you may experience uncomfortable temperature swings as your fever drops after you take the medication and then peaks again after its effects wear off, says Dr. Rosenthal.
Stay fluid. When you have a fever, it’s not unusual to sweat away two or even three times the usual amount of water. To prevent yourself from becoming dehydrated, drink plenty of fluids. This is particularly true if you’re not taking medications to turn down the heat. “For every degree that your temperature is above normal, drink about four glasses or more of water a day,” says Dr. Rosenthal.
Take a lukewarm soak. Settling in for a relaxing bath can help relax muscles and generally make you feel cooler. Forget, however, the notion of cooling yourself with a cold bath or by dousing yourself with rubbing alcohol. This will just cause your body to struggle to maintain the feverish temperature possibly making you even more uncomfortable, says Dr. Rosenthal.
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