DR FRANCA BLOG

ASTHMA SYMPTOMS AND CONTROLS

Asthma is a disease of the airways in the lungs. Its symptoms are caused by inflammation, which makes the airways red, swollen, narrower and extra-sensitive to irritants. This leads to recurrent attacks of wheezing, breathlessness, chest tightness and coughing. Mild attacks can settle down without treatment, but treatment usually helps them to resolve more quickly. Appropriate treatment can also reduce the risk of further attacks. If you experience a serious attack you should seek emergency help.

Asthma is a long-term (chronic) disease. Asthma does not stay the same, but over time, and every person with good and bad days. Asthma is over the world. Around people in the Western at some stage in their life.

What is inflammation in the airways?

Inflammation is reaction to infections and other triggers in the linning of the airways and the underlying tissue. The inflammation makes the airways become red, swollen, narrower and extra-sensitive.

How does inflammation of the airways affect asthma patients?

Inflammation of the airways causes asthma symptoms (wheezing, breathlessness, chest tightness and coughing) by restricting or limiting the airflow to and from the lungs. It does this by causing:

What causes asthma?

The causes of asthma are not fully understood. Asthma is probably usually caused by a mixture of hereditary factors (those you are born with) and environmental factors, but how these factors work together is still largely unknown.

Allergens from house dust mites and pets are the most common causes, but many other allergens, such as pollen and moulds, can cause asthma. Some patients with asthma have no obvious allergies.

Is Asthma a chronic disease?

Yes. Asthma is a chronic (long-term) disease that causes inflammation and narrowing of the airways. Some degree of inflammation is usually present, even at times when the symptoms are not apparent.

If asthma is untreated, you will have repeated attacks of asthma symptoms.

Mild attacks can settle down without nt. but treatment usually helps resolve more quickly.

Appropriate treatment can also reduce the risk of further attacks. If you experience a serious attack you should seek emergency medical help.

Asthma does not stay the same, but changes over time, and every person with asthma has good and bad days (or longer periods of time). However, if asthma is properly treated, you may enjoy long periods without symptoms or attacks.

NATURAL WAYS TO LIVE LONGER

NATURAL WAYS TO PREVENT DISEASES

—LIVE LONGER

How would you like to live longer and feel healthier? The following are advised.

  1. Maintain your weight, so that you are neither overweight or underweight.
  2. Have a regular eating habits with no snacking between meals.
  3. Try and eat a hearty and well balanced breakfast
  4. Try and stop excessive consumption of alcohol
  5. Treat yourself to about seven to eight hours of sleep every
  6. Stay with a moderate and consistent exercise program
  7. Do not smoke

According to this study, “The researchers discovered among other things, that people aged 45 who practiced at least six of these health habits would normally live 33 more years. That means a 150 percent return on the investment and better enjoyment of life as well.

These seven health habits will definitely make a positive impact on the quality and longevity of your life. But the eight golden laws of health will help you live even more healthily, and longer.

These eight natural remedies are: Pure Water, Fresh Air, Rest, Temperance, Sunlight, Exercise, Nutrition and Trust in God.

Heart Health

HOW TO PREVENT HEART ATTACK AND HEART FAILURE

HEART FAILURE (PUMP FAILURE)

When a person does not pass an examination, we say that he has failed. This essentially means that he has been unable to perform up to expectation. So also, we talk about organ failure when a body organ is unable to perform its function up to expectation. Thus we have heart failure, liver failure, renal failure, joint failure. We can even talk about brain failure!

WHAT IS HEART FAILURE?

The heart has failed when it is unable to perform, to fulfill the demands of the body. The heart thus fails to do its job, which is pumping blood throughout the body. Heart failure can be as a result of many heart problems. But it may also be due to too much blood for the heart to pump with resultant overloading of the circulation.

HOW DOES THE HEART FUNCTION AS A PUMP?

The heart together with the blood vessels constitutes the cardiovascular system. Analogy can be made to the water pump at home and the system of pipes of different calibres distributing blood to all parts of the body. The heart is made up of muscles that contract right from the time we are born and duly stop when we die. It is about the only organ in the body that works ceaselessly throughout our lifetime. The heart is divided into four chambers right atrium, right ventricle, left atrium, left ventricle. The blood coming back to the heart gets into the right atrium and is pumped into the right ventricle which in turn pumps out blood to the lungs and then back to the left atrium and finally into the left ventricle. From this very powerful muscular pump, blood is pumped out to all parts of the body through a very big pipe called aorta. From the aorta the blood flows through smaller arteries to all parts of the body and then collected into veins and back to the heart.

The chambers of the heart are linked by valves in either half of the heart. The average person has about five litres of blood, which circulates right around the body all in one minute. However when a person exercises, the heart speeds up and the heart may pump out up to 25to 30 litres in one minute!

WHAT ARE THE CAUSES OF HEART FAILURE?

Probably the commonest cause is hypertension. Other causes include anaemia, diseases of the valves of the heart, heart attack, lung diseases. Sometimes, the heart pump causes failure because it is overloaded with too much body fluid in the same way a pump can fail if it has to do excessive work. If there is too much resistance to the blood flow it can result in an overworked heart, which can result in failure. Similar to a pump working against narrowing of the pipes with sludge. Another cause of heart failure is from a heart that is beating irregularly, (cardiac arrhythmia) or heart that is beating too fast (tachycardia) or too slow (bradycardia).

WHAT IS HEART ATTACK?

Heart attack is a sudden, unexpected form of heart failure. It is due to the blocking of one or more of the blood vessels supplying the heart. Isn’t it ironic that the heart supplying blood to the body itself needs to have part of that blood supplied to itself? As a result of the lack of poor blood supply to the muscles of the heart, the muscles die. This is also called a ‘Coronary’ or myocardial infarction (heart muscle death).

Most times, the blood vessels of the heart become blocked by fat deposits called atheroma. These deposits prevent blood flow and oxygen to the heart. Oxygen in the blood is what the heart and all structures in the body need for existence. It is the ‘gas’ of life. The risk factors for a heart attack include smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, obesity, diabetes, stress, lack of exercise.

Exercise yourself to good health.

Exercise yourself to good health

If you’re considering putting an exercise program together, it’s perfectly normal to have a lot of questions swimming around in your head. What’s the best activity to participate in? How do I get the most out of exercising? How long should exercise?

Often, the hardest part of getting into shape is taking the first step. Here are some simple steps to help you begin your Journey.

Think F.I.T.

To make physical improvements, you need to work your body harder than usual. This is referred to as the overload principle. As your body becomes more conditioned, you need to increase the frequency, intensity, or time of your workouts in order to continue improving your fitness level.

Frequency: How often you exercise. For beginners, consider starting with 2-3 sessions per week.

Intensity: How hard you exercise. For example, the pace you walk or run, the amount of weight you lift, or your heart rate count.

Time: How long you perform an activity. ‘Time” can also refer to the number of sets or repetitions you perform in weight training.

Exercise Component 1: Aerobic Exercise

Aerobic exercise increases the health and function of your heart, lungs, and circulatory system. For maximum effectiveness, aerobic exercise needs to be rhythmic, continuous and involve the large muscle groups (primarily located in the lower part of your body). Walking, jogging, cycling, aerobic dance, and stair climbing are examples of activities that use large muscle groups. Activities combining upper and lower body movements such as cross- country skiing, rowing, andswimming can lead to even higher levels of aerobic capacity.

Exercise Component 2: Strength Training

Strength training is the process of exercising with progressively heavier resistance to build or retain muscle. Unless you perform regular strength exercise, you will lose up to one-half pound of muscle every year of life after age 25. Muscle is a very active tissue with high energy requirements, even when you are asleep, your muscles are responsible for over 25% of your calories. An increase in muscle tissue causes a corresponding increase in the number of calories your body will burn, even at rest.

Exercise Component 3: Flexibility

Flexibility is a critical element of an exercise program but it is often overlooked. Stretching is important for a number of reasons; increases physical performance, decreases risk of injury, increases blood supply and nutrients to the joints, increases neuromuscular coordination, reduces soreness, improves balance, decreases risk of low back pain, and reduces stress in muscles.

Choosing an Exercise

The best exercise is an activity that you enjoy enough to really pursue enthusiastically. Experiment with different forms of activity (cross training). Alternating new activities with old favorites will keep your enthusiasm high. Cross training also helps avoid injury due to repeatedly doing the same activity.

Commitment in marriage.

There are two types of marriages, marriages where people are committed and marriages where people are just involved. I give you a scenario, when you walk into a restaurant and on the menu you have fried rice and fried chicken and on the other side of the menu you have fried rice and fried eggs.  I know the option that most people would go for. Most people would go with the option of fried rice and fried chicken. This is because it is the tastier option, it is the better option.  I tell you the difference between fried rice with fried chicken and fried rice with fried eggs.  The difference is that in fried rice with fried chicken, the chicken was committed. While in fried rice with fried eggs the chicken was just involved, it was just merely involved, it laid eggs and walked away.  So I want your marriage to be like fried rice and fried chicken, that is the committed marriage. You have to be committed in what you do in that marriage.  You have to be committed financially, you have to be committed in the affairs of the home, you have to be committed in looking after the children.  You have to be committed in every aspect of your home. Your spouse, your partner, your husband or your wife has to know that you are committed.  When both parties know that they are committed, that marriage is better, it is sweeter because everybody is on the same page, there is no suspicion, there is trust.  So I want you to go ahead, try and be committed in your marriage if you are not already committed and you will find out that your marriage will be better for it.

WHEN ADVICE BECOMES AN ABUSE

– How to give great advice (and know when to shut up)

There is nothing like a good heart-to-heart discussion. And a problem shared often seems lessened. But there is a fine line between support and interference and if you dish out badly judged advice, it can easily ruin a friendship. So when and how should you speak up and when is it best to keep quiet?

It’s as much as about what you don’t say

Martha Beck, US “life design” counsellor and author of Finding your own North Star, has this to say to people who like giving advice. “Good advice”, she says Is about listening.’ Be empathetic but don’t brandish your own opinion or experience. Encourage your friend to talk and find the best solution herself.

I discovered the truth in this myself when was offered an exciting but uncertain, career opportunity and turned to one Mend for advice. Her unwillingness to offer an opinion was frustrating. Now I realise that she was letting me work through the issues and make the right decision alone. If a friend does demand your opinion on a dilemma, always be measured in your response, says Beck. “Remind her that she’s got the power to make the choice about what to do with your advice and point out that your advice maybe wrong.”

Give Empowering, Not Overpowering Advice

That is imposing your (often uninvited) opinions on someone rather than offering support that will help your friend find their own solutions: what Beck calls “empowering advice”. The first rule of any good advice, she states, is that it is invited. People always resist being what to do.

Be Supportive Rather Than Lecturing

If you see a friend in a damaging situation something that may be affecting their physical or mental health you’ll feel you must give advice. But rather than lecturing about the damage that their drinking/spending/infidelity is doing, simply tell them your concerns, making it clear you care for them without imposing your opinion. Friends need to know you’re there for them, but you’ll never be able to force someone’s will. “Don’t tell someone what to do, but guide them.,” says Valerie Lamont, a chartered counselling psychologist.

PERSONAL & BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT

 “Most people know best thing to do; they need help arriving at point.”

Make Sure Your Advice Isn’t All About You

There are times when you have to consider your motives for what you say and who you say it to. If you are too close to a dilemma, it will be hard to give unbiased advice. Be sure your response isn’t more about your own feelings on a friend’s situation than a genuine concern for them. Likewise, understand your own hidden agenda, Lamont says. “In many friendships there is an element of envy: be aware of that.” If say, you believe a friend is better placed than you financially or socially, it may be hard for you to take problems about these issues seriously.

If you don’t think you can give advice, say so

Sometimes the best thing you can do for a friend is to send them in the direction of someone better able to help. It’s more useful to admit a lack of knowledge or a biased viewpoint than to try to deal with a problem you’re not equipped to sort out. Alternatively, say nothing.

Often when someone asks for advice, they’re really only looking to bounce ideas off someone. Silence is especially golden if a friend is moaning about a partner. While her criticisms will be forgotten when they make up, yours may not be.

The greatest piece of advice you can give may not be at first glance advice.

TIPS ON ADVICE

Worst Advisors

  • People who don’t know you.
  • Those who aren’t supportive.
  • Relatives have a set about you what you need.
  • Friends who want to keep you right where you are.
  • Anyone with an axe to grind
  • Anyone  who condones your attempts to postpone

Best Advisors

  • People who ask questions you see motives.
  • Those who don’t refer back to their own experiences
  • People who give their opinion only after careful consideration

REDUCE YOUR CANCER RISK

Vitamin E – all whole grain cereals including brown rice, oats and whole meal bread, wheat germ, soy beans, cold pressed vegetable oils, nuts.

Selenium – whole cereals, particularly germ and bran, also and garlic.

With all these benefits from a vegetarian diet to reverse the ravages of cancer around the world, we encourage people,             where it is possible, to include more vegetables in their diet to consume 3 or more servings of vegetables and 2 or more servings of fruits every day.

In the American journal of clinical nutrition, ills reported that there is a significant protection from cancers of the oesophagus, larynx, oral cavity and pancreas in those people who eat large amount of fruits and vegetables.

Recommendations to Reduce Cancer Risk:

Summarized from the American Cancer Society and National Academy of Science publication

  • Eat plenty of high fibre foods such as whole grains, beans, fruits and vegetables.
  • Eat plenty of foods that are high in vitamins A and C, such as dark green and deep yellow vegetables, citrus fruits and yellow/orange fruits.
  • Eat more cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage and sprouts
  • Maintain proper body weight.
  • Reduce dietary fat intake to no more than 30 per cent of total calories.
  • Avoid salt- cured smoked and nitrite cured meats.
  • Don’t smoke.
  • Alcohol is not recommended
  • Guard against overexposure to sunlight

Hope For Cancer Patients:

A new drug can deaths among women breast cancer by 39% and reduces the chances of it spreading by 40%. The new drug, Letrozole, has been on trial for the past two and a half years, and the trial was even stopped early as it was so successful, the scientists felt it was unfair to keep some women on a placebo. Already available to women with advanced breast cancer, the makers, Novatis, want it licensed for women who have already tried other treatments such as Tamoxife

Osteoporosis

Qsteoporosis, or brittle bone disease, affects millions of adults all over the world. Not only is it painful, it can also lead to severed disability and even premature death. But there are prevent a five measures you can take.

Thin and brittle bones occur due to the loss of bone mineral, which maintains the strength of our bones. This loss occurs over many years. The risk of osteoporosis depends on the amount of calcium stored in the bones in earlier life and the rate of loss during middle and old age.

There are a number of ways to help our bodies build strong and healthy bones, especially during childhood and adolescence. A diet rich in calcium and an active lifestyle are especially important. After about the age of 30 it is difficult to increase bone mass, but regular weight-bearing exercise can help to maintain your bone strength and reduce the rate of loss of bone mineral.

Protecting your bones can begin at any age. Here are a number of ways you can ensure healthy bone growth:

Include at least 800mg of calcium in your diet each day. This is roughly equivalent to a pint of milk, bog almonds, 50g steamed tofu or a large bar of chocolate. Add green leafy vegetable to your diet

Take regular weight- exercises such as walking running, or high-impact activities such as aerobics.