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STD and other Pathogens can cause of Stroke


Scientists believe that common sexually transmitted diseases like chlamydia and the herpes virus could increase the chances of someone having a stroke. They believe that the common pathogens could accelerate arterial disease, which itself increases the chances of someone having a stroke.

The study, published in the online edition of the Archives of Neurology, tracked 1,625 adults in Manhatten from a multi-ethnic communition over a period of 7.6 years. Over the study time, 67 of them suffered a stroke and even when risk factors like diabetes or smoking were taken into account, the team discovered that the majority of them were positive in tests for one of the pathogens.

The results further showed that people with a history of several of the infections, which also included the bacteria that cause stomach viruses and cytomegalovirus, were 40% more likely to experience a stroke.

However the team are unsure how the pathogens harm arterial function. The leader of the study, Dr. Mitchell Elkind, said that possibly the pathogens disrupt the normal functioning of the arterial walls, or that chronic infection leads to the blood vessels becoming inflamed.

If it is definitely proved that herpes and chlamydia, as well as other pathogens, can increase the chance of stroke it could result in a dramatic change in the government’s approach to encouraging people to go for a chlamydia test or practice safe sex.

Herpes has become an increasingly common sexually transmitted infection in Britain and the government are eager to make people more aware of the need to have safe sex to prevent it. Though it was not thought to have any serious consequences for health, it is a chronic infection for which there is no cure, meaning that even if a herpes test is positive herpes treatment can only manage it rather than eradicate it. It can be embarrassing and painful (though herpes treatment shortens the outbreaks), with sufferers developing weeping blisters around their genital area.

Previously, the biggest concern about chlamydia has been the possibility of it leading to infertility, as it can cause the fallopian tubes to become blocked. The possibility of infertility has been a key message health authorities have sought to get across to encourage people to have a chlamydia test.

Over the past couple of years, research has increasingly suggested that pathogens like chlamydia and herpes could be associated with coronary heart disease. There was previously a study that showed that untreated gum disease and other infections in the mouth could be spread throughout the body and result in cardiovascular problems.

Dr. Elkind and his team concluded, “Each individual infection was positively, though not significantly, associated with stroke risk after adjusting for other risk factors. The infectious burden index was associated with an increased risk of all strokes after adjusting for demographics and risk factors.

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That Itch? It May Be Your Husband’s Sperm


When Julie and Mike Boyd, two newlyweds from Ambridge, Pennsylvania, fell into bed on their wedding night neither expected that their sparks would be counter reactive. They had sex for the first time without a condom and instead of a warm post orgasmic rush, Boyd felt a horrible pain that she recently described on Discovery Health’s “Strange Sex,” as “like someone sticking needles inside me.”

Boyd’s immediate fear was that the pain may prevent the couple from being able to conceive a child. But after seeking medical advice thinking that she had a sexually transmitted disease (STD), Boyd learned that she suffered from a condition that often goes undiagnosed and affects an estimated 20,000 to 40,000 couples – Seminal Plasma Hypersensitivity. Simply, Boyd was allergic to her husband’s semen.

Dr. Jonathan Bernstein, the leading immunologist on the condition at the University of Cincinnati’s Academic Health Center says that it’s important for women and couples to understand that the allergy is not a direct cause of infertility.

“The allergy is not to the sperm itself,” he explains.

Instead, the allergy is to a protein in the man’s semen that triggers a powerful immune response that not is unlike hay fever, so it just makes sexual intercourse uncomfortable. Symptoms can include extreme itching, hives, swelling, difficulty breathing, and a drop in blood pressure.

To treat the problem, the first step is standard allergy desensitization.

“We gradually give the woman a low concentration of her partner’s semen and then build up to a higher concentration over the course of two hours so she becomes desensitized to it,” he explains.

If the allergy doesn’t improve with this method then Bernstein has also invented a technique in which he washes out the interfering protein from the semen and then injects a small amount of the processed semen at regular intervals with a subcutaneous needle.

“The condition can becomes stressful on the couple’s relationship because they want to get pregnant and they can’t have intercourse, but it’s generally situational and can be fixed within 24 hours so they can have comfortable intercourse,” he assures.

If the normal course of treatment doesn’t work, then Bernstein says that the couple can turn to conception through intrauterine insemination (IUI), but he says this is a rare course of action.

“Most of our patients have gone on to have healthy children.” he says.

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Primary Insomnia


Primary insomnia is characterized by a few conditions. A person who has primary insomnia has been through at least a month of problems getting to sleep or staying asleep. Or a person who has ineffective sleep (non-restorative). The person also has to display daytime fatigue to the extent that his basic functions are impaired during the day.

Primary insomnia is a form of insomnia that is not the end result of medical, psychiatric or environmental elements. Some medication side effects include restlessness.

Primary insomnia consists of 3 groups of insomniacs. Psychophysiological, idiopathic and sleep state misperception are the three forms of primary insomnia.

Psychophysiological insomnia is associated with the stress level of the person. Generally the stress, tension and anxiety results in poor sleep patterns such as waking up frequently or having problems getting to sleep. These are people who have had good sleep patterns before the stress element invaded their circadian rhythm. In most people, once the stress is eliminated, so is the insomnia. There are some people who because of the stress and the length of time the stress kept them awake, developed bad sleeping habits. The difficulty in sleep starts to be a stress in itself. This can result in learned insomnia or behavioural insomnia.

Idiopathic insomnia is usually a lifelong problem. Although rare, it does happen. It usually happens because of a lesion on the area of the brain that is responsible for arousal. Any neurological abnormality can affect the sleeping waking cycle.

Sleep state misperception is a condition where the subject complains of insomnia although there is no proof of it. Kind of like dreaming you are awake.

Symptoms of psychophysiological may be mild or severe. The sleeplessness can either be trouble initiating sleep or frequently waking up during their sleep. Often these people will have the ability to sleep anywhere except for their bedroom. The psychological profile of a person that suffers from phychophysiological insomnia is usually a person that is more tense and harder to satisfy. They usually are repressors or people who hide their feelings.

Idiopathic insomnia symptoms are usually of a long standing basis. Typically the problem shows up originally in early childhood. People with this form of insomnia frequently complain of low attention levels, poor concentration and or hyperactivity. They, like their psychophysiological insomnia cousins also repress feelings and deny problems. Idiopathic insomniacs regularly suffer for their whole lives. This condition is made worse by stress.

Sleep state misperception symptoms usually manifest themselves as complaints of insomnia while the person is sleeping normally. This condition is usually referred to as sleep hypochondriasis. This condition can be so severe that it leads to depression and anxiety.

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Male Oral Yeast Infection


Oral yeast infection among male patients might not be as common as penile thrush or thrush in infants, but it still needs treatment and must not be taken for granted. Aside from the discomfort it can cause, it might also lead to more serious oral conditions that can cause a lot of problems healthwise.

Thrush in male adults

Although newborn babies are the ones mostly at risk from oral Candidiasis, this condition can also affect adults. Both male and female can suffer from oral Candida infection. Among male adults, those who have weakened immune systems are the most likely to develop this condition. Diabetics, cancer patients, asthmatics, HIV-positive individuals, smokers, excessive beer drinkers, people who wear dentures and those with tongue piercings are also at risk from thrush.

Signs of thrush

Oral Candidiasis is caused by Candida yeast fungi. It usually affects the tongue, the roof of the mouth and the throat. Thrush in adults is also called moniliasis. Male patients who have this condition have curd-like deposits on mucosal membranes. The tongue and other areas of the mouth may also appear red and inflamed. A person who has thrush can suffer from a burning feeling on the mouth that can lead to utmost discomfort.

Treatment for oral yeast infection

Some of the most effective cures for thrush are made of natural and simple ingredients. One of the most commonly used one is vinegar mixed with water. It can be used as a mouthwash at least twice a day. This can help lessen the burning feeling and alleviate discomfort. Another popular natural remedy is a mixture of citric acid and baking soda. This can be swabbed on the tongue and gums and other areas of the mouth affected by thrush.

Coconut oil is another option that natural cure enthusiasts might want to explore. A teaspoon of this oil every night can help stop oral Candidiasis. If the patient has an aversion for the thick feel of oil on his tongue, then use a cotton ball and swab the insides of the mouth to relieve the discomfort. Another highly-favored natural cure is garlic. Crush a few pieces of garlic and dab it on the affected areas of the mouth and the itchiness and soreness will disappear.

Male oral yeast infection is not as common as penile thrush or Candidiasis in other parts of the body. However, this should not be used as an excuse to ignore the condition. The earlier treatment is used, the better the chances of a patient to get better.

Diflucan is a tablet you swallow to treat vaginal yeast infections caused by a yeast called Candida.

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Eat less, live long


A GROWING number of middle-aged Australians are joining a “calorie restriction” movement in a drastic bid to live for longer.

They believe eating about 20 per cent less than the recommended daily intake will extend their lifespans and help them avoid getting sick.

Evidence shows animals given fewer calories, or kilojoules, have longer life expectancies than those that eat an average amount.

Calorie restriction may also reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes and some cancers.

However, critics warn people who drastically restrict their diets may be more likely to develop eating disorders, nutritional deficiencies and fertility problems.

Arthur Everitt, Honorary Associate Professor at Concord Hospital and Sydney University, follows the principles of calorie restriction with a diet high in fruits and vegetables plus some protein.

The 83-year-old, who has been researching ageing and calorie restriction in rats for more than 50 years, warns baby-boomers may be leaving the diet a bit too late.

“Calorie restriction should really be started early in life as a young teenager or adult,” he said.

“It’s extremely difficult to do but I think almost everyone can reduce the amount of food they eat, even if it’s by five per cent.

“I do think people over-consume. When you go to a restaurant, the size of the meal that’s set down in front of you is twice what it would have been 20 years ago.”

Prof Everitt says he cuts large meals in half and takes the remainder home with him for another time.

Claudette Wadsworth, a Bondi Junction nutritionist and naturopath, says focusing on good quality food is more important than limiting quantities.

“Obviously you don’t want to over-eat but I would rather people think about quality of food they are eating rather than the amount,” she said.

“I recommend lots of fruit and vegetables, good quality lean protein and omega oils from deep water oily fish.

“The danger (of calorie restriction) is people can go to extremes, particularly when they are trying to lose weight.”

Calorie restriction is also spawning a new generation of anti-ageing diet books, such as the Beyond The 120 Year Diet.

Celebrity nutrition expert Dr John Tickell agrees Australians are routinely over-consuming and could extend their lifespans if they simply reduced the amount they ate.

He believes one of the main reasons that people live longer and have less illnesses in Okinawa, in southern Japan, is because they eat less.

“I am absolutely on the side of people who say calorie restriction does extend life expectancy,” he said.

“The Okinawans often live until they are in their 90s or over 100.”

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10 Reasons Why Fitness Must Be My Number 1 Priority


Last week while speaking with a friend, the conversation turned to body image and weight – mine. See, back in the day, before I was married or had 3 kids, I was a pretty fit chick. As a kid I did lots of sports and as a young adult I ran 11 miles every Sunday morning, swam for an hour a few nights a week, rode my bike everywhere and ate pretty healthy. Thirteen years later, I still feel like that same person, but when I look in the mirror I see something different.

From the time I got married, I stopped putting myself and my activities first. Once I had fallen out of the exercise habit, it was one that was extremely hard to restart. There have been “spurts” throughout the years where I have tried to reestablish my habit, but somehow Motherhood has always intervened.

So, my friend has challenged me to come up with a list of 10 reasons why I must now put myself first. Since I know many of my readers are probably in a similar situation, I am sharing this list with all of you.

10. I have run out of excuses.9. My kids are now old enough to join me on a walk – they can all ride bikes or scooters.8. My very kind neighbor just gave us a brand new recumbent stationery bike that they salvaged from a house his wife was selling.

7. If I work out I will lose weight and inches which means a good excuse for new clothes – or I can wear some of my old favorites

6. I am ready to throw my perfectionist, all or nothing attitude out the window. Fifteen minutes is better than none – so if that is all I can do one day, then do it!

5. I sleep much better at night when I exercise

4. I will feel better about my body image
3. My heart will be very grateful

2. I have put the rest of my family’s needs first for the past 13 years – now it is my turn

1. Because if I don’t make fitness a priority, no one else will! I know what to do, how to do it and all that good stuff – my biggest hurdle is making fitness a priority. How about you? What are your biggest obstacles to achieving your goals? Is it time to put yourself first?

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