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Evening primrose oil works in alcoholism because it is rich in gammalinolenic acid. This means it can avoid the enzyme block which prevents linoleic acid from converting to GLA. It increases the body’s supplies of essential fatty acids, and its store of DGLA, and means that PGE1 levels can be raised.
These properties make evening primrose oil useful in a number of conditions associated with alcoholism.
Withdrawal symptoms. Evening primrose oil can alleviate some of the symptoms usually associated with withdrawal from alcohol. In a series of studies conducted by Dr Iain Glen of the Highland Psychiatric Research Group at Craig Dunain Hospital in Inverness, Scotland, patients treated with Efamol while withdrawing from alcohol did much better than the patients on a placebo.
Efamol was found to reduce the amount of tranquillizers needed by alcoholics in the throes of withdrawal. There was also a marked difference in the essential fatty acid content of the plasma and red blood cells after 24 weeks of treatment on Efamol, compared with the group given a placebo. Efamol also lowered the incidence of hallucinations during the withdrawal phase.
This study on human alcoholics confirms earlier work done on mice by Dr John Rotrosen and Dr David Sagarnick at New York University, who got mice addicted to alcohol by giving them an alcohol-rich diet. They then took away the alcohol abruptly and over the next few hours there was a dramatic withdrawal syndrome, similar to what happens with human alcoholics. The doctors then injected either PGE1 or Efamol into the animals. This dramatically alleviated the withdrawal problems of the addicted mice. Tremor, irritability, over-excitability and convulsions were all reduced by about 50%.
Liver and other tissue damage. A common complication of alcoholism is fatty degeneration of the liver. Another study done by Dr Iain Glen in Inverness, Scotland, showed that Efamol can go a long way towards correcting liver damage due to alcohol. The Alcoholic Clinic at Craig Dunain Hospital conducted a double-blind trial with about 100 patients. No one knew who was taking the capsules of evening primrose oil, and who was taking the identical capsules containing liquid paraffin.
The group taking the evening primrose oil (Efamol 500) did much better than the others. The results showed that evening primrose oil can improve liver function and its biochemistry can return to normal much more quickly, compared with a group of alcoholics who were given the placebo.
Hangovers. Evening primrose oil is highly effective in preventing hangovers. Doctors researching this treatment have tried this for themselves, and found that four to six capsules straight after drinking and before going to bed greatly reduce the symptoms of a hangover.
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Constipation commonly occurs with age. For reasons not understood bowel transit times decrease and motions become harder, less frequent and more difficult to pass with increasing age. Occasionally, constipation is a sign of more sinister conditions of the large bowel. Medical investigation is appropriate where the change has been sudden and not explicable in terms of dietary modification. Sometimes constipation is a variation on the Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
Because constipation is so common, there is no end to the preparations on sale for the provision of a soft, gentle and altogether regular bowel motion. The three rules of medicine in the management of constipation are fibre, fibre and more fibre.
Home Remedies
Dietitians recommend an intake of fibre exceeding 30 grams a day. Most people eat far less than this amount. When supplementation of dietary fibre is indicated the p-roper fibre base line before adding over the counter laxatives is six tablespoons of unprocessed bran fibre every day. It is difficult to advise how six tablespoons of bran can be consumed palatably every morning. None the less, such consumption remains the corner stone in the management of intractable constipation.
People looking to the pantry for a once only purgative experience will find that a tea spoon of Epsom salts in a glass of water every two hours invariably produces a loose watery motion within 12 to 24 hours. For gentle regulation of constipation over and above the use of fibre it is necessary to add over the counter preparations to the daily anti constipation ritual.
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Sometimes called ‘controlled crying’, this is a steplike way of achieving the same thing, and may be more acceptable for some parents, though in many ways it is more demanding. When the child starts to cry or call out, the parents should attend to him within a minute. They should go into the room, and stroke and reassure the child without picking him up, changing the nappy, or giving a drink. Once the child has calmed down, even if the crying has not stopped completely, the parent leaves the room. For continued crying, the parent then waits a longer period, say 3 to 5 minutes, before going in again, where the child is soothed by stroking and soothing, and then leaving. The next time the interval is increased again, until finally the child falls asleep. It is important to attend to the child in a less than enthusiastic way, so that he is reassured but not rewarded. This should continue each night until the child gets the message that the parents have no intention of backing down.

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The congestion of the internal veins which occurs from the pressure of the enlarged womb during pregnancy is also a common cause.

It is also said that, when man assumed the upright stance, he not ony threw a strain on his back but on his lower bowel as well. Except for a few old, fat dogs, haemorrhoids are rare in animals.

The most common symptom is bleeding. This tends to be bright blood and to occur at the end of a motion. The blood is not mixed with it but tends to splatter or drip into the pan. It may be noticed on the toilet paper. This is the sign of first degree piles.

Second degree piles prolapse outside the anal margin on straining at stool but go back of their own accord.

Third degree piles prolapse outside and remain there, unless replaced manually. They may also come out when the person stands for long periods or becomes tired.

Prolapsing piles may become squeezed by the tight anal margin and become strangulated. This pressure can lead to thrombosis, the formation of a clot, and is painful.

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It appears everyone agrees induction of labor for purely social or medical convenience is bad medicine.

Normal, uncomplicated labor and delivery usually occur where the standard of pre-natal care is good and complicating factors are recognised and dealt with early in the pregnancy.

In these cases, home delivery would be possible. But most doctors are reluctant to return to this form of obstetrics, because, when complications arise, they are likely to do so quickly and it is then difficult to summon aid promptly.

A compromise, with delivery in surroundings approximating home conditions and with the husband and other family members present, seems to offer the advantages of both extreme positions.

A major objection to induction of labor is that it is difficult to be sure just when the baby has reached birth maturity.

Induction too early, with possible prematurity, constitutes a risk. Conversely, allowing the pregnancy to go on too long is associated with some risks to the baby, in the form of post-maturity (over-term).

The answer to what is best for both the mother and the child has not been universally accepted.

But what is best for the doctor and the hospital must remain subservient to the needs of the two patients involved for each pregnancy.

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This is one of the most serious, and potentially most dangerous surgical emergencies of childhood. It is most common between the ages of five and twelve months. It is not often seen and most family doctors will see only a small number of cases in their professional lifetime, unless dealing with large numbers of infants. In most cases no specific cause can be found.

The chief event is telescoping of one part of the bowel into the part of the bowel that follows on. It can only get worse, and the risk is that the blood supply to the telescoped part is impaired. If this happens, the bowel will die. It is essential that the bowel be disentangled as urgently as possible. Necrosis (death) of the affected part of bowel may take place within 12 to 36 hours.

Symptoms are usually clear cut. The child appears fit and healthy. Then there is a sudden onset of sharp recurring abdominal pain. It comes and goes. The child tends to perspire with the discomfort and draws the legs up in an attempt to gain relief from the pain. For the first two hours, the child seems all right in the pain-free intervals between the attacks. Vomiting may set in, but not necessarily. The condition tends to become progressively more severe with the passage of time.

If left without treatment, the patient tends to become shocked, sweats, looks pale, is listless and in a state of lassitude. A fever sets in. After five hours or more, the patient becomes dehydrated. The eyes tend to sink in. Often a sausage-shaped mass can be detected in the abdomen by the doctor, when carefully felt. If there is a bowel action, it may have a dark red coloration.

Treatment

With symptoms of this nature, urgent medical attention is essential. Never neglect abdominal pain occurring in a child. This is even more vital in a normally healthy child who suddenly complains. If associated with vomiting, a fever or abnormal bowel actions, the situation becomes more acute. Surgery is the usual method of treatment. When carried out early, the results are excellent. The longer the child is left, the higher the risk factor, and the chances of a prompt, successful outcome progressively lessen also.

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At birth, the brain has many inborn factors. But these are constantly being added to or altered by the input from the surrounding environment, via the various sense receptors. Emotions, and tensions and stresses from the environment—such as a family that is constantly feuding and fighting—are similarly transmitted to the subconscious where they are likewise stored. Bit by bit, an individual’s reaction to any situation will be governed by the combined program that the brain’s subconscious computer system holds. It cannot be any other way.

With advancing years, the system tends to attune to situations that are taking place in the surroundings, and learns how to cope with them. But as the input from emotional stresses, frustrations, fights, anxieties and tensions keeps recurring, the reaction often shoots off on an interesting tangent. Instead of passively receiving this material, accepting and storing it all, the mind may suddenly overflow. It’s a bit like a telephone switchboard. As long as the input of calls is normal and steady; the operator can readily cope with the situation, answering each and directing each caller to the number required. But as the board hots up and increasing numbers of lights start flashing, the operator reaches a stage where he simply cannot cope with the massive input. Finally, he might throw up his hands, and run from the board yelling, probably holding his head which by now has a thrashing pain searing through it.

Similarly, as the input to the brain steps up, a stage is easily reached where it cannot cope. Result? Symptoms suddenly loom in some part of the body. It may be a sudden outburst of temper, maybe the sudden development of pains, in the head, abdomen or limbs. It may be a sudden sharp bout of vomiting, or diarrhoea, or the onset of an attack of asthma. Or a young boy may start biting his fingernails, resort to food and overeat, start twitching his face, or have nightmares or night horrors. Blushing, fainting, refusal to eat, rushing headlong into obvious danger and sustaining an accident, are all part of the scene. Infants might develop colic, or hold their breath. The variation is enormous.

Some children will unconsciously channel their tension overflow regularly into the same region. That’s why so many children develop asthmatic attacks. Others get a knot in the stomach, others have sleep disorders. Often it is a recurring pattern for each individual.

Frequently, certain symptoms are related to certain age groups. A list is given at the end of this section setting out the better-known types of disturbance and the age range in which they are most likely to occur. It is not an exact list, and by no means a complete one, but it does give some idea of what parents might expect. They all have the same underlying cause: stress, tension and anxiety.

It is worth noting that children have an enormous capacity for absorbing data. In fact, it is claimed that during the first five years of life more data are absorbed and stored in the brain than during all succeeding years combined. After all, baby starts at zero, and apart from what is naturally programmed into the brain at birth everything else must be learnt; from walking, eating, and performing actions we put down as normal, to everything else.

But children are also frequently a mirror-image of their environment. In short, they tend to reflect what goes on about them, and this includes the actions of their parents. The way those around them behave becomes part of them, for all actions witnessed are also interpreted for storage in their memory system. Therefore, how they will subsequently react to situations is governed by the way in which their parents (and others with whom they have greatest, most intimate and most frequent contact) react. Therefore, infants bred in a family full of obvious stress and with obvious outbursts, will tend to react similarly. If everybody in the family tends to develop aches and pains at every setback, the young child will tend to have that type of personality also. Once established, these patterns will tend to persist throughout life.

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An incurable disease of the nervous system, multiple sclerosis, or MS, results from inflammation and scarring of the sheaths surrounding the nerve fibres of the central nervous system. The symptoms of the disease vary according to which nerves are affected. Characteristic symptoms include weakness or pins and needles in a limb. Pain in moving the eyes and deterioration in sight result when the optic nerve is affected. Vertigo and ataxia (poor balance) are also symptoms.

The first attack usually takes place between the ages of 20 and 40. A course of relapses, or attacks, and remissions over many years is the pattern of the disease. The degree of improvement after each attack diminishes over time. A few sufferers do not have any remission.

Long term results of the disease can be loss of the use of the lower limbs, slurred speech, loss of control over bladder and bowels and muscular tremors. Depression is a common side effect. However about 50 per cent of sufferers are only mildly affected and stay in almost complete remission.

MS affects about one in 2000 people. The cause is unknown and is the subject of much research. Orthodox medicine has no cure, although there are treatments which can help maintain bodily function. It has been shown that levels of certain fatty acids are lower in the bodies of MS sufferers but it is not known whether addition of these acids to the diet (found in sunflower, safflower and evening primrose oils) are helpful.

For advice and support the Multiple Sclerosis Society can be contacted. There are branches throughout Australia and New Zealand.

Yoga can stimulate the nervous system and relax constricted muscles, stimulating the use of affected limbs. Massage also helps to maintain muscle tone. It is advisable to cut alcohol and stimulants such as tea and coffee from the diet and to stop smoking, avoiding passive smoking also. Since depression often affects sufferers, coming to terms with the limitations which may be imposed by the disease is important.

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Convulsions are uncontrolled contractions or spasms of the muscles. If a child who has a fever goes into convulsions, there are two possible causes. The convulsions may be caused by the fever itself or by certain diseases involving the brain that also cause fever.

Febrile convulsions are convulsions that are caused by the fever itself. Five to 10 percent of all children have febrile convulsions. How quickly the temperature rises is more important than how high the temperature is. A sudden rise of only one or two degrees Centigrade may cause convulsions, but a gradual rise of two or three degrees may not.

Febrile convulsions may be thought of as shaking chills that become extreme. They are most common between the ages of three months and three years. Febrile convulsions occur less and less often from age three to age eight. After the age of eight, febrile convulsions are rare. One episode of febrile convulsions usually means the child is more likely to have them in the future. However, the tendency to have febrile convulsions does not mean the child will later have epilepsy.

Diseases involving the brain that cause convulsions include meningitis, encephalitis, and abscess of the brain. When convulsions occur with these diseases, the child will usually have a fever. But the disease (not the fever) causes the convulsions.

Signs and symptoms

During convulsions with fever, a child will fall unconscious, become rigid, and may stop breathing briefly. The child may turn blue, lose control of the bladder and bowels, and vomit. The limbs, torso, jaws, and/or eyelids will jerk uncontrollably. The child will quickly begin normal breathing again. The seizure activity may last two minutes to 30 minutes or longer. After regaining consciousness, the child will not remember that the convulsions occurred. Several traits of febrile convulsions can help you distinguish them from convulsions caused by diseases like encephalitis, meningitis, or brain abscess. A major sign of febrile convulsions is that the child recovers quickly (within minutes). Immediately after a febrile convulsion, the child is alert, can respond, and is not prostrated (not collapsed or exhausted). After a febrile convulsion, the child can bend the neck forward. There is often a family history of febrile convulsions.

After convulsions caused by diseases involving the brain, the child often cannot bend the neck forward and may be in a stage of collapse or exhaustion.

Home care

Do not panic! Your child is in no pain and is in more danger from improper treatment than from the convulsion. Protect the child from injury while the convulsion is occurring. Call your doctor immediately.

Precautions

• Do not give aspirin or any other medication by mouth to an unconscious child. An unconscious person cannot swallow and may choke on the medicine.

• Do not give artificial respiration. Breathing muscles are temporarily in spasm, and forceful artificial respiration may be harmful.

• Do not place a convulsing child in a tub of water to reduce the child’s temperature. Accidents such as scalding and injuries against the sides of the tub have occurred; this practice is not recommended.

• If the child cannot bend the neck forward after the convulsions have ended, or if the child is collapsed or exhausted, report this to your doctor. These may be signs of serious illness.

Medical treatment

Your doctor may give an injection of medication that controls convulsions—usually Phenobarbital or Diazepam. The doctor will perform a complete physical examination, taking blood tests and a spinal tap. If the febrile convulsion is unusual, or if convulsions occur often, your doctor may order additional tests such as an electroencephalogram and CAT (computerized axial tomography) scan. Daily medications to control convulsions are prescribed for several years under some circumstances.

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Lifting weights makes you stronger because your muscles will adapt to the extra stress you’re putting on them. So you look better and you feel better. You’re also healthier, in ways that a lot of people don’t normally associate with muscle building.

For example, strength training builds lean muscle mass, which helps to burn more calories. In doing so, it helps to burn fat, which, of course, helps to maintain an appropriate body weight. And trained muscles metabolize glucose much better and lower your insulin resistance. That helps prevent diabetes.

Where strength training really does its job is making you feel more alive. Think about how much dedicated gym rats like to talk about how great they feel. (Some of them, you may have noticed, talk about it a little too much.) Then think about how much other men talk about how lousy they feel as the years go by. Strength training can turn that gym-rat attitude into an age-proof lust for life.

“If you don’t want to lose a lot of your muscle power as you get past 40 or 50, strength training can have a big effect,” Taranta says. “Without it, you won’t be able to do things as well, so your activity level will decrease. This can lead to heart problems, cholesterol problems, hypertension -all of that.” Here’s how to get the best benefits from strength training.

Shock your system. Lifting weights once in a while when you’re in the mood won’t get the job done. “You have to shock your muscular system on a regular basis or else muscles will lose their strength,” Dr. Baechle says. How often is that? Well, you need to give your muscles a day off after working them with weights, but you shouldn’t let them rest more than three days before “shocking” them again, according to Dr. Baechle. “Two days a week will work,” he says. “Monday and Thursday or Tuesday and Friday are fairly common systems, but three times a week (for example, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday) is a little better.”

Work the major muscles. Those would be your chest, back, shoulders, legs, abdomen, and arms. Some movements with weights work the entire group; others pick out individual muscles, such as your biceps. “Try to do one exercise for each major muscle group to get a balanced effect,” Dr. Baechle advises.

Hit your number. For general health purposes, repeating each exercise 12 to 15 times without stopping is the ideal, according to Dr. Baechle. “That seems to be a number where you can really concentrate on the technique involved, on the breathing and rhythm, and on range of motion, without being so concerned about how much weight you’re lifting,” he says.

Learn to fail. The amount of weight you lift varies with the exercise, of course, but the rule of thumb is that the last time through the movement-in this case, say, the 15th repetition-should be the last you could possibly do. That, in weight room talk, is called working to failure, a case where failure is a good thing. Start light. If making it to 15 repetitions is too easy, add weight. If you can’t make it to 12, lighten up, says Dr. Baechle.

Do it once and for all. When you finish your 15 repetitions of any exercise, you’ve done one set of that exercise. If you rest and do it 15 more times, you’ve done two sets. How many sets should you do? That question starts arguments across the great schism in the church of iron about the relative benefits of multiple sets over a single set. But there’s fairly solid agreement that for the beginner interested in general health there’s no need for time-consuming extra sets. “One set’s enough when you’re starting out,” Dr. Baechle says. “But for continued improvement, try to increase the number of sets and weight loads as you get stronger.”

Get organized. There’s a reason that you see those guys walking around the gym making notes between exercises. They’re keeping track of what they did and how much they did of it. Catch-as-catch-can workouts are better than nothing, but you need a set routine in order to chart and make progress. “Your body really needs to know what you’re expecting of it,” Dr. Baechle says. “When you keep changing the exercises, it compromises the muscles’ ability to adapt and become stronger. Staying with the same routine for about a month provides an ideal opportunity for muscles to adapt to training.”

Besides, there’s something encouraging about being able to quantify your progress. “Part of the fun of training is recording the results of your workout,” Dr. Baechle says. “It’s reinforcing to be able to look back and see how much weight you are using-that is, how much stronger you are.”

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