Symptoms of a Sore Throat

The signs and symptoms of a sore throat can be:

  • Swallowing pain and discomfort (Dysphagia)
  • Tenderness and pain as well as a scratchy feeling at the throat
  • Tender and swollen neck glands
  • Tonsils that is painful and inflamed
  • Running nose
  • Cough
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Aching muscles
  • Fever around 38 degrees centigrade and above
  • For children refusal to eat – The child should be brought to the doctor if the child does not want to eat (or breastfeed) for unknown reasons.
  • Muffled or hoarse voice
  • Pus or white patches in the tonsils
  • Dry throat
  • Chills
  • Sneezing

A severe sore throat can show symptoms other than the aforementioned ones above like:

  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Earache
  • Pain in the joints
  • Breathing difficulty
  • Sore throat pain and discomfort lasting for at least a week or more
  • Rash
  • Blood in phlegm or saliva
  • Hoarseness that lasts a week or more
  • Fever lasting a week or more

It is time to visit your doctor if:

  • Your fever does not break after three days and which does not respond to medications
  • After two weeks your symptoms stays the same
  • If your throat feels dry which is quite different from a feeling of thirst, you may need to see a doctor. If you have a sore throat, you should not drink any cold fluids to minimize the discomfort of the sore throat. Drink fluids that are warm or hot.  You need to make sure if your sore throat is not a sign of a more serious unknown condition.
  • If you suffer from stridor which is producing a high-pitched sound when you breathe
  • If you start to drool

Your sore throat may be actually a symptom itself of certain conditions like:

  • Quinsy – This is a group of pus, an abscess, that often appears between the throat wall and the back of the tonsil
  • Epiglottitis – The redness and swelling of the epiglottis which in a present untreated condition can result in difficulties in breathing

 

Symptoms of Sexual Dysfunction

Symptoms of Female Sexual Dysfunction

Loss of desire – Also known as lack of sex drive, this problem can be experienced by women at some points in their life (stressful times or pregnancy). Some women experience it occasionally while some can experience it all the time.  There are two reasons why adults suffer from a lack of sex drive: one is physical and the other psychological.

The physical causes of loss of desire can include:

Past traumatic sexual experience
Tiredness
Too much drug and alcohol use
Hormone problems
Relationship problems
Depression
Diabetes

As the female ages, her natural testosterone level drops causing a fall in her sex drive.  The testosterone of a woman comes from her ovaries as well as adrenal glands; if these are removed or if they are not working well, her testosterone level drops.

Orgasm problems – There are two types of orgasm problems: one is termed primary (which is when a woman never experienced orgasm) and secondary (when a woman now cannot experience orgasm unlike before). There are women who enjoy sex without needing to have an orgasm but for some women and their partners, not being able to attain orgasm can be a problem.

Some reasons why women can’t seem to attain orgasm include:

Past traumatic experience
Depression and other mood disorders
Relationship problems
Lack of stimulation
Inability to “let go”
Lack of knowledge or fear of

Pain – Dyspareunia or pain during copulation is experienced by a lot of women and it is even more common after menopause since during this time the woman’s estrogen levels fall causing the vagina to feel dry. This makes the woman hesitant to have sex.

Vaginismus is another type of pain felt by the woman during sexual intercourse. This happens when the muscles surrounding the vagina go into spasm during sex, making the sexual act unbearably painful. It can be very distressing and upsetting. Vaginismus may develop if the woman constantly relates sex to pain or to being something ‘wrong.”  It can come about also from painful conditions in the vagina and its surrounding parts, fear of pregnancy, relationship problems or vaginal trauma like episiotomy or childbirth.

Symptoms of Male Sexual Dysfunction

The symptoms of sexual problems in men include:

Bloody ejaculation
Constant erection not involving sexual desire
Lack of ejaculation
Problem in controlling ejaculation and orgasm – The ejaculation/orgasm is attained very early during copulation, leaving the female dissatisfied
Orgasm achievement only through things that are considered taboo or bizarre – Fetishes, sado-masochistic sex, etc.
Orgasm achievement only through oral sex or masturbation
Attaining orgasm only after an unusually long stimulation time
Failure to reach orgasm no matter what kind of sexual stimulation is given
Failure to achieve and keep an erection long enough for sexual functioning or satisfaction
Failure to have an erection
Paucity of sexual fantasies or sexual desire or no interest in sexual contact

Tonsillitis Tests and Diagnosis

Throat Swab

The most widely used test to diagnose for tonsillitis is a throat swab.  This test entails the use of a sterile swab that is rubbed on the swollen tonsil. The procedure may be a little bit uncomfortable although the whole process may only take a second or two. You may feel like gagging during the procedure. Small children need to be restrained and comforted during the entire process. The sample fluids accumulated on the swab are then examined to see if a streptococcus bacteria strain is the culprit causing the infection. This is often done at the physician’s office and takes only about 5 minutes to do. An overnight culture that is left for one to two days can also be done

Results

If the results of the throat swab test turn out positive for streptococcus, the physician will then prescribe for you a course of antibiotics. A negative result may mean that you suffer from a viral infection instead. This means that the doctor may advise that you either use over-the-counter drugs for your throat pain or rest at home.  Unlike some years back, today’s treatment of tonsillitis rarely entail the surgical removal of the tonsils.

Accuracy

One of the best diagnostic tools for tonsillitis is the rapid strep test that can accurately identify about 95% – 98% percent of tonsillitis infections resulting from Group A strep. The rapid strep test has approximately a 2 % window of error of giving out a false positive.

Blood Test

A blood test is seldom used to help diagnose the correct cause of tonsillitis. A CBC or complete blood count can determine (or not) if a viral infection is causing the inflamed tonsils.  The presence of viruses that cause mononucleosis will spike the white blood cell count which can be detected by CBC.

If a patient has sore throat and exhibits a swollen and tender neck as well, this may indicate tonsillitis. These manifestations are usually seen in children when a bacteria or virus inflames their tonsils making them all swollen and painful.  Fortunately, the physician can utilize a throat swab to easily and quickly diagnose the cause of your pain.

 

Vital Gate Acupuncture
107 W 82nd St
New York, NY 10024
(212) 873-4244
http://www.vitalgate.com/

Sexual Dysfunction Prevention

For Female Sexual Dysfunction

 

You can take the corresponding measures to help prevent female sexual dysfunction.

 

You need to care for your overall health – This means your physical, mental and emotional health.

Constantly communicate with your partner about your desires and needs.

Know intimately your own methods and patterns of sexual arousal. You can try masturbation if you so desire.

Be aware that besides you a lot of women do not always experience orgasms during sexual intercourse. One of the best and most satisfying types of sexual activity is one the gives mutual pleasure which can further bolster sexual intimacy in a couple.

Apply the proper lubrication for your vagina if your vagina is dry. A dry vagina is one of the most common reasons of painful sex.

Delight in closeness and tenderness – Do not anticipate great sexual performance

Masturbation or being sexually active with your partner keeps your vagina healthy.  Having sexual intercourse on a regular basis keeps vaginal tissues from shrinking and preserves vaginal elasticity.

 

For Male Sexual Dysfunction

 

To help prevent male sexual problems, the following suggestions can be recommended:

 

Stop smoking – Doing this can help you avoid getting diabetes, high cholesterol level and high blood pressure. These conditions can affect in a big way circulation of blood throughout the body including the penis.

Stop or avoid using recreational drugs and alcohol – These substances have a way of lowering your sexual desire or weakening your sexual performance.

Talk to your pharmacist or doctor about the side effects of medicines. If the cause of your sexual dysfunction is your medications, ask your doctor for an alternative that has sexual side effects. Never attempt to change your medicines without your doctor’s guidance and approval.

Perform regular exercise, eat a healthy diet, and always get adequate sleep

 

Galina Semyonova is a licensed acupuncturist and massage therapist in New York City. She has studied extensively in the fields of biofeedback therapy, SCENAR therapy, Chinese herbal treatments and Chinese and Western nutrition.

Rashes – Preparing for Your Appointment

Skin rashes can come in mild to severe health symptoms. If you set up an appointment with your doctor or dermatologist, you can make your appointment optimally fruitful and aid your doctor to come up with an accurate diagnosis leading to a successful treatment course by following these helpful advices:

 

Make note of your condition – Taking notes about your rashes can aid your doctor in accurately diagnosing your skin rashes. You can make notes of:

 

  • How long you have had those rashes
  • Any physical changes of your rashes
  • When did you first notice the appearance of the rashes
  • If the rashes got any larger and more widespread since you first noticed their appearance
  • The known and other possible factors that have caused the rashes

 

Also write down if any toiletries or cosmetics like soaps, perfumes, creams or lotions you have used may have generated the rash. You can also tell you doctor if you break out in rashes when exposed to certain detergents, heat or exposure to the sun or even when you’re in severe stress.

 

Preparing for your Doctor’s Appointment

 

On the day of your appointment, your skin should not be exposed to any perfumes, ointments, creams or lotions. When you take a bath, use a soap that uses no scent. You should wear comfortable and loose clothing to enable your doctor to easily examine your skin. Do not wear any metals like watches and jewelries on your appointment. Also do not get new tattoos prior to your appointment.

 

If you have a skin irritation that has lingered for a week or so, then you need to see a doctor to see if you suffer from underlying health conditions.

The doctor will observe closely your rash. You can ask questions to your doctor like:

 

  • What kind of rashes do I suffer from? Are they contagious?
  • Are there many kinds of rashes?
  • What has caused my rash?
  • What are the best treatments for my rash?
  • What are the side effects of rash medications?
  • Can some of these medications be habit forming?
  • Can it be permanently cured?
  • Can may rash lead to serious complications?
  • What changes to my skin care are good for my skin during winter and summer?
  • What other changes do I need to make to care better for my skin?
  • What steps do I need to take if my rash symptoms worsen?
  • How can I stop my itching?
  • Do I need to see other professionals like a dermatologist for my rash?
  • Are there any alternative or complementary therapies I can opt for?
  • Is acupuncture effective for my rashes?
  • What supplements and foods do you recommend for my rash?
  • What foods or supplements do you deem I should avoid?

 

Your doctor will need to ask you questions regarding your rash, hygiene, diet and medical history. He will also:

 

  • Recommend medications to mitigate your symptoms
  • Refer you to a skin specialist like a dermatologist
  • Take samples of your skin for testing
  • Request tests like complete blood count, allergy test or a skin biopsy

 

If you rash is deemed to be very serious and life threatening, the doctor may even recommend surgery for you.

 

After performing a physical examination, your doctor will query you about your symptoms and medical history and symptoms. These questions can be:

 

  • Do you have underlying health conditions like allergies or asthma?
  • Do you suffer from symptoms like scaling or itching?
  • Have you eaten any unusual foods just recently?
  • Have you recently been bitten or stung by an insect?
  • Have you recently been in any wooded areas?
  • Have you tried using new cosmetics, lotions, detergents or soaps just recently?
  • Are there things that make your rash worse or better?
  • What areas of the body are affected?
  • When did your rashes start?

 

BodaHealth
1245 West Broadway #302
Vancouver, BC V6H 1G7, Canada
(604) 733-2632
http://bodahealth.ca/

Rashes – Complications

There are cases when rashes can result in extraneous health complications. Infection of the skin caused by relentless itching is the most typical clinical issue brought by rashes. The other kinds of complications of rashes include:

Medical Complications

Infections – People suffering from rashes are susceptible to skin infection like impetigo. When rashes are caused by viral or bacterial infection like herpes simplex or staphylococcal infection, the itching compels the sufferer to keep on scratching the affected skin until eventually the skin breaks enabling the virus and bacteria to enter the body.  When you see symptoms of fever blisters, cold sores, pus-filled bumps and redness in your rashes, then it’s time to talk to your doctor about these symptoms.

Neurodermatitis – This is a skin anomaly caused by repetitive itching resulting in the darkening, tenderness, reddening and thickening of the skin.

Skin discoloration – Some type of rashes can lead to thickening and permanent discoloration of the skin. Scarring of the skin happens when the skin is exposed to repetitive scratching.

Lifestyle Disruption

Loss of self-confidence – A lot of children and adults suffering from rashes often complain of self-consciousness and embarrassment from their physical symptoms. Getting the right treatment and minimizing stress can keep the rashes under control. There are also support groups that provide morale boosters for the sufferer. The National Eczema Association is one such group that can help you get through your life when suffering from severe kinds of rashes.

Physical activity discomfort – Intensive workouts cannot be possible because sweating can develop rashes that make you extremely itchy all over your body. To overcome this complication, you can dress in layers that can help your body to cool down even when you’re working out. If you have a flare up of rashes, you may need to temporarily forego your exercise until the flare up subsides.

Eye complications – Severe rashes in the body can also lead to eye problems which can even cause permanent loss of sight. Severe rash complications can cause itching around the eyelids causing you to constantly scratch your eyes. Eye complications because of severe rashes can manifest in symptoms like sore eyes, blehparitis and watering of the eye. When these appear, it is best to see your doctor for treatment of these complications.

 

Bailey & Haun Acupuncture
608 Vista Way
Oceanside, CA 92054
Phone: (760) 803-6725
http://www.baileyhaunacupuncture.com/

Irritable Bowel Syndrome Treatment and Drugs

Medicines, exercise and modifications in one’s diet are important factors in addressing IBS symptoms.

 

Treatment for irritable bowel syndrome or IBS will be based on what kinds of symptoms you exhibit and their degree of severity.  Your treatment plan will require your cooperation with your doctor to concoct a course of treatment that will consider all aspects of your life. It is very important that you know everything you need to know about your condition so you may thoroughly talk to your doctor and ask him questions that will enable you to take the right path in addressing your condition.

 

Initial treatment

 

Each individual reacts to treatment in different ways and a treatment that effectively works for one may not necessarily be as helpful to others in treating their IBS symptoms. You and your doctor need to identify your symptom triggers. This may mean changes in your diet and lifestyle that should not affect your daily activities. If your present treatment plan is ineffective, you need to tell your doctor about it.

 

In terms of diet, certain foods are suspected of aggravating IBS symptoms in a lot of people. These foods can include:

 

  • Uncooked broccoli or cauliflower; beans and cabbage – These are foods that cause gas or bloating in your stomach
  • Artificial sweeteners like xylitol and sorbitol and fruits and dairy products – These are products that can cause diarrhea
  • Fatty foods
  • Alcohol and caffeine

 

Eating foods high in fiber content can help prevent constipation. If eat a diet rich in fiber content, you easily avoid constipation caused by irritable bowel syndrome. Foods that are rich in fiber include

 

  • Cereals
  • Whole-grain breads
  • Wheat bran
  • Fresh vegetables – Celery, spinach and peas
  • Fresh fruits – Apples, pears and raspberries

 

Fiber supplements can be used by people who have problems digesting fiber in their foods. One popular type of fiber supplement they can use is psyllium (brand name Metamucil).  To prevent any stomach complications, you can take fiber in small doses initially then gradually increase intake after a month or more. It also helps to drink as much fluids as possible to help clean out your digestive system of toxic elements.

 

Performing exercises like brisk walking, jogging or swimming regularly can alleviate stress in your body and give you a normal bowel movement.

 

To these modifications in lifestyle medications may also be included to help control better your IBS symptoms. IBS meds can include:

 

  • Anti-anxiety meds – Valium (diazepam). These drugs are to be used short-term if you have both anxiety and IBS
  • Antidepressants – Prozac (fluoxetine)
  • Diarrhea drugs – These can include loperamide (Imodium) and diphenoxylate (Lomotil) to slow the movement of your intestines. Drugs like cholestyramine (Questran) inhibit the movement and passage of stools by barring bile acid to stimulate the colon and aid in stopping diarrhea. For women with severe diarrhea alosetron (Lotronex) can slow down the passage of stools from the bowels.
  • Constipation drugs – Amitiza (Lubiprostone). This drug facilitates the passing of stools by increasing fluid in the intestines; Linzess (linaclotide). This should only be taken by constipated people 18 yrs old and above; Osmotic laxatives like Milk of Magnesia and lactulose and MiraLax or polyethylene glycol. These cause body processes that make the stool softer making passing of it mush easier to do; laxatives like Senokot. This drug irritates the intestine linings speeding up stool movement.
  • Anticholinergics – These are antispasmodics like Bentyl (dicyclomine) and they relieve or prevent spasms that cause painful intestinal cramping

 

For long-term cramping and pain, you can use antidepressants like Norpramin (desipramine) that can, in low doses, relieve IBS-caused pain.

 

The aim of drug therapy is to lessen IBS symptoms that will enable you to perform your daily activities since there is no known permanent cure for IBS. Medicines will be prescribed by your physician that address constipation, diarrhea and, of course, the pain. No available medications have been made to address IBS symptoms over the long-term. Few medications have shown to be really effective in a consistent basis for IBS and all medications have undesirable side effects so only medications that can relieve specific symptoms that interfere with a person’s normal routine should be taken.

 

Keeping a diary of your symptoms can help you know the factors that trigger your symptoms. This way, you can effectively avoid these triggers.

 

In cases where one’s IBS symptoms are caused by both stress-related and physical issues, a course of treatment approach that considers both these issues will likely treat irritable bowel syndrome.

 

Treatment for a worsening condition

 

The doctor will likely conduct more tests on you if your IBS condition has worsened to a certain degree. These tests will see if other health problems are aggravating your condition. Fortunately IBS does not lead or worsen to more serious health problems like inflammatory bowel disease or cancer although these conditions can be present in a person with IBS.

 

Psychological treatment

 

Interestingly some types of psychological therapies can help relieve your IBS problems. These therapies may be combined with other therapies like medication, stress reduction or diet modification to get maximum beneficial results. Hypnosis, psychotherapy and cognitive-behavioral therapy are some of the noteworthy therapies that can be used for the relief of IBS symptoms.

 

Other psychological treatments that are sometimes used for IBS include biofeedback, meditation and relaxation therapy.

 

Alternative Therapies

 

  • Herbal remedies – These can include Chinese herbal medicine and Ayurvedic medicine. They both have shown to be effective in treating IBS symptoms
  • Acupuncture – This ancient Chinese treatment is highly effective in treating abdominal pain caused by IBS as well as stomach cramping and frequent urinary and bowel movement urgencies among others.
  • Peppermint oil – Peppermint oil has shown to relieve intestinal cramping and spasms.
  • Aloe – This is a plant that prevent stomach constipation
  • Ginger
  • Probiotics – Some types of bacteria can help neutralize the symptoms caused by IBS

 

Acupuncture Health Center
1303 Astor St #101
Bellingham, WA 98225
(360) 715-1824
http://www.bellinghamacupuncturecenter.com/

Heart Palpitations Prevention

You can prevent heart palpitations by heeding the following recommendations:

Cut down on stress – Too much levels of stress often lead to various kinds of health conditions some of which include certain health problems. Stress can definitely result in heart palpitations. To help control stress, you can do activities that help minimize it. These activities can include relaxation techniques like acupuncture, Tai Chi, meditation or yoga.

Consider carefully the medications you are taking – Using certain types of drugs particularly drugs that are considered stimulants can cause heart palpitations. Some of these drugs include allergy meds, phentermine, nicotine, diet pills, amphetamines, phenylephrine, pseudoephedrine hydrochloride, and other decongestants. Nicotine, alcohol and caffeine likewise have a stimulating effect on the heart and it is best to avoid or at least limit intake of these substances.

Use medicines prescribed by your doctor to prevent or control anxiety or panic attacks – Anxiety or panic attacks can cause heart palpitations. Use medicines that help lessen the number of anxiety or panic episodes and so stop palpitations. Depression interestingly can also cause palpitations and so antidepressants can be taken as well.

Watch how you exercise – Exercise is good for you (especially regular exercise) provided you do it in moderation and not over exert yourself or tire yourself too much. Attempting to exercise way over your body’s condition and limits can result in heart palpitations. Exercise in a slow progressive manner to allow your body to adjust properly to the level of your activity. Exercise if you are above your ideal weight. If your doctor developed an exercise plan for you, then follow it faithfully.

Have routine checkups with your physician to know if you may be suffering from a medical condition that may cause palpitations – Conditions that can lead to palpitations include low or high blood pressure, high cholesterol level, pre-menopause, heart disease, anemia and thyroid disorders. Always follow your doctor’s order if you have high blood pressure. Do not skip doses If you are prescribed with medicines that control your high cholesterol.

 

Some other suggestions to prevent palpitations are:

Eating a healthy diet good for your heart – This can entail eating foods rich in omega-3 fats, a low salt diet, low cholesterol diet and eating foods containing about 10%-15% monounsaturated fats (these are fats found in peanut oil, canola oil and olive oil.

Scaling your fat intake to about 30% of your total calories

Monitor your blood pressure everyday – If you have high blood pressure meds prescribed by your doctor, don’t skip doses of these medicines.

 

Willow Tree Wellnes Clinic
1607 NE 16th Avenue
Portland, OR 97232
Ph: 503-281-0030
http://willowtreeclinic.com/

Low Blood Pressure Treatments and Drugs

For people suffering from long-term hypotension, their condition can effectively be addressed with lifestyle changes and diet.

Your doctor may advise you on doing or avoiding certain things to improve your blood pressure depending on how you happened to develop your symptoms. Some of these advices may include:

Taking in copious amounts of fluids bereft of alcohol content
Eating foods with a little more salt
More fluid intake while sick caused by a virus (the flu or a cold) or during hot weather.
Abstaining or limiting alcohol intake
Doing exercise on a regular basis to improve circulation
An assessment of over-the-counter or prescription drugs you are taking that may be causing your low blood pressure symptoms
Raising the head of your bed before sleeping at night by putting blocks or bricks under the legs on the head of your bed
Being careful when you rise up from a sitting or a lying position – To prevent you from getting orthostatic hypotension symptoms, pump your ankles and feet a number of times before you try to stand up. Stand up slowly, not suddenly. If you are rising from your bed, sit for some minutes on the edge of the bed before you stand up
Try not to strain yourself too much while you are on the toilet
Do not lift heavy objects
You can opt for more frequent but smaller meals to avoid postprandial hypotension symptoms like after-meal dizziness. Lessen your carbohydrate intake. Make it a point not to take high blood pressure drugs before eating. After you eat, rest for awhile.
Try not to take hot spas and hot showers and avoid being exposed to hot water for a long time. Sit down if you begin to feel dizzy. To be on the safe side, you can place a stool or chair inside the bathroom in case you may need to sit down. If possible select a stool or chair that will not tip over and especially made for use in the bathroom.
If you think you need to wear compression (elastic support) stockings that cover the thigh and calf then wear them. The stockings can slow down circulation down to the legs enabling more blood to stay in your upper body.

Drugs for Hypotension

The doctor may prescribe some medicines if he deems it can help you increase your blood pressure. Some of these drugs to treat low blood pressure include:

Midodrine – This drug stimulates nerves receptors on the veins and smallest arteries called arterioles to raise blood pressure. Milodrine addresses postural hypotension symptoms caused by problem of the nervous system helping improve the blood pressure of individuals.

Fludrocortisone – This drug is a type of steroid (mineralocorticosteroid) that has proven to be effective increasing the blood pressure of people with low blood pressure. Fludrocortisone enhances the body’s ability to retain sodium causing in the process some swelling and fluid retention – both are essential to help enhance blood pressure.  However, better sodium retention can result in potassium loss. Hence, when taking fludrocortisones you also need to provide your body with sufficient amounts of potassium. One advantage of fludrocortisone as compared to prednisone or cortisone is that fludrocortisone does not have any anti-inflammatory attributes and is not a drug used for muscle building.

Acupuncture

Acupuncture can be very beneficial for treating mild to moderate low blood pressure. It can also be used to address serious low blood pressure.  This type of alternative medicine works by stimulating the production and release of certain neurotransmitters and body hormones.  Acupuncture may be ineffective when the patient suffers from structural problems like Addison’s disease (or damaged adrenal gland) or when a person is malnourished or dehydrated.  Usually, however, it is regularly utilized to address low blood pressure. According to traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) acupuncture is known to be a great force in regulating the blood pressure of a person regardless if his BP is low or high. TCM explains that the reason for this is acupuncture helps regulate the flow of blood and chi around the body. The view of western medicine towards acupuncture’s effect in stabilizing blood pressure is that acupuncture helps regulate the baroreceptors and hormone levels in the body to normalize low blood pressure.

 

Linda Lesperance is a licensed acupuncturist and the founder of The Lotus Center of Oriental Medicine in Boca Raton, FL.