Health Intuitive

Monthly Archives : February, 2014

Tinnitus Risk Factors

Are there individuals who have a higher likelihood for developing tinnitus than others? The quick answer to that question is yes; however, there are also cases where even low risk individuals have developed tinnitus. This article will talk about certain risks you may encounter each day that may cause you to develop tinnitus.

Noise Induced Hearing Loss

When you live in an environment that everyday exposes you to loud noises, you are considered a high risk for developing tinnitus. You may argue that the everyday noise you hear falls within a safe level. This may be true but there are times when you have to encounter continuous noise or exceptionally loud noises that can have an injurious impact on your hearing and may result in the development of tinnitus.

A person’s ears are complex and fragile organs. They can be easily injured or damaged if they’re uncared for. The ear possesses very sensitive hair cells inside the inner ear. The hair cells’ function is to turn sound waves into electrical impulses which are sent to the brain that again turns back the impulses into sound. Loud noise exposure can harm the hair cells causing them to either break or bend. When these hair cells are destroyed or damaged, they can start to send “wrong” electrical impulses to the brain making it produce the constant noise (ringing) in the ear that we know as tinnitus. When the hair cells in the inner ear are damaged, the damage is irreversible or permanent since these hair cells are incapable of rejuvenating themselves.

The level of sound can be measured in decibels (dB). Here are the measurements of some of the everyday sounds you hear in terms of decibel ratings.

  • Refrigerators – 45 dB
  • Ordinary chatter – 60 dB
  • Traffic in a city – 85 dB
  • Small firearms, firecrackers or motorcycles – around 120 dB to 150 dB

If you are constantly exposed to sound ranges 85 decibels and above, you can be considered a likely candidate for tinnitus. Even if you are exposed to loud sound for a short while, it is still substantially probable that you can develop tinnitus or hearing loss. The louder the sound you hear even if it’s just for a few seconds, the higher the likelihood for you in getting tinnitus.

Hearing Loss Caused By Aging

As one gets older, his probability for developing tinnitus gets higher as well. In fact, about a third of seniors (around 65 to 75) experience the symptoms of tinnitus. The reason for this is that as people age, their inner ear hair cells start to lessen and deteriorate leading to age-related persistent tinnitus and hearing loss. Persistent tinnitus is typically a benign condition but it can severely impact a person’s life if it is not treated.

Tinnitus can also develop if you suffer from other conditions associated with your age like thyroid problems, diabetes or circulatory problems and are required to take both over-the-counter and prescription drugs.

High Risk Professions for Tinnitus

A common consensus is that certain occupations like industrial work, machinery and the music profession are high risk professions for the development of tinnitus compared to other occupations that do not deal with noise. Interestingly, another profession that is not necessarily related to noise exposure but has a higher-than-normal percentage of tinnitus cases is teaching. A Danish study concluded that teachers who are male have tinnitus cases that are 84% higher compared to males with other occupations. One reason for this is poor acoustics within classrooms and school buildings. Female teachers strangely are not as affected to the poor acoustics as their male counterparts. Another high risk occupation for tinnitus this time for women is daycare providing. Females who work in nurseries who are daycare providers are 1.13 times more likely to suffer from tinnitus compared to females working in other occupations.

Other Factors

Besides tinnitus, impaired hearing and hearing loss being caused by the aforementioned factors, there are other causes like nicotine, caffeine, high salt diets, anxiety and stress that can also be associated with causing tinnitus.
Buckhead Acupuncture & Herbal Center
2964 Peachtree Rd NW, #350
Atlanta, GA 30305
Phone: 678-549-7848
http://atlanta-acupuncture.net/ 

Sore Throat Risk Factors

Some factors that make certain people at higher risk to sore throat include:

  • Allergies – Hay fever, seasonal allergies, animal dander, molds dust, etc.
  • Poor immune function – You are at a higher chance to develop sore throat if you eat a poor quality diet, or suffer from fatigue, stress, from the devastating side effects of chemotherapy drugs, steroid use, diabetes, organ transplant, AIDS or HIV.
  • Stress – One of the reasons for weak immune function
  • Cigarette smoking – Primary or secondary smoking. The smoke from cigarettes contains a myriad of toxins that not only inflames the pharynx but can lead to cancer of the voice box, throat or mouth as well.
  • Sinusitis – The throat can be infected from the constant drainage coming from the nose causing infection of the throat.
  • Reflux esophagitis
  • Hot and dry climate
  • Contamination – Being near people with sore throat or infection of the ears, nose or throat can infect you as well and can cause sore throat. Bacterial and viral infections can be passed quickly on close quarters like classrooms, prisons and homecare settings among others
  • Exposure to harmful fumes – This can be smoke coming from toxic chemicals like fumes from car fuel and certain household chemicals.
  • Chronic cough
  • Age – Children, teens and older people around 65 years above are highly prone to getting a sore throat. Children are the age group highly likely to develop strep throat
  • Air conditioning

People that are at high risk for sore throat infection can be those who:

  • Intake medications called DMARDs or disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs that are used to address arthritis
  • Avail of anti thyroid drugs like carbimazole
  • Presently take immunosuppressant drugs for the care of their new organs from organ transplant surgery
  • Are under chemotherapy
  • Have aplastic anemia
  • Have aspleniea
  • Have leukemia

The medications mentioned should not be stopped unless said so by your doctor.

 

Harmony Wellness Center
110 N Orlando Ave
Maitland, FL 32751
(407) 234-6454
http://www.harmonywellnesscenter.com/

Psoriasis Tests and Diagnosis

Most of the time your doctor can easily diagnose your psoriasis based on the history of your skin condition and the unique appearance of this disease. Sometimes, however, if the doctor may not seem a hundred percent sure, he may decide to perform special tests to know exactly what you are suffering from. These tests are generally quick, not painful, informative and simple.

Test for Ringworm Infection

This is a test to identify or rule out whether your skin disease is caused by ringworm infection. The doctor scrapes some of the scales off a patch where it is sent to a lab where it is microscopically examined to see whether or not a fungal infection is the cause of your skin condition.

Patch Test for Eczema

If your physician suspects you have eczema that is probably triggered by an allergic reaction, he may recommend you for a patch test. During a patch test, sticky plasters comprising of substances you might be allergic to are placed in your skin, typically on your back.  If the patch contains something you are allergic you to, the site where the patch was applied will develop rashes two days after.

Biopsy

If any of these tests still do not provide an accurate diagnosis, your doctor may perform a skin biopsy on you. A skin biopsy entails an extraction of a small piece of the affected skin to be microscopically observed. This is a safe, fairly easy and uncomplicated procedure normally done in a health center or hospital outpatient department setting. Before removing the abnormal skin patch, the site is injected with a local anesthetic to numb that part of the body. After the site is numb, a small patch of skin is surgically extracted. Afterwards the site is stitched up to close the wound. The entire procedure takes no more than ten minutes to finish.

Blood and Urine Tests

Sometimes the dermatologist may recommend other examinations if he suspects that your general health may be the likely cause of your skin suffering. He may require you to undergo blood and urine tests to diagnose your overall health and to identify certain types of rashes.
 

Symptoms of Pneumonia

The symptoms of pneumonia often will depend on its cause. All types of pneumonia will nevertheless show common symptoms like chest pain, fever and cough.  Pneumonia caused by viruses account for more than a half of all pneumonia cases and is termed viral pneumonia.

 

The symptoms of viral pneumonia include:

 

  • An overall feeling of exhaustion and weakness of the sufferer
  • A dry cough
  • A chest pain that is accompanied by fever and headache

 

When pneumonia is caused by bacteria some of its symptoms can consist of:

 

  • Bluish color of the skin
  • A green liquid expelled during cough
  • High fever
  • A general feeling of cold that leads to shivering and a rapid heart beat

 

Young children and older people are the age groups that are at high risk for developing pneumonia. Older people are likely to get bacterial or viral pneumonia while people 40 years and lower usually catch what is called mycoplasmal pneumonia. Mycoplasmal pneumonia is quite contagious and when a person catches it, can easily infect the other members of his family. This type of pneumonia, however, is not as likely to cause serious complications compared to the other two types of pneumonia. Some of the typical symptoms of mycoplasmal pneumonia include:

 

  • Pain in the joints
  • An overall feeling of fatigue and weakness
  • Sore throat
  • Dry cough along with fever

 

Young children affected by pneumonia tend to become very sick (often having trouble breathing and high fever). The pneumonia also causes their skin to turn a light shade of blue.

 

If you exhibit two or more of the aforementioned symptoms of pneumonia, you may need to get in touch with your doctor for treatment as soon as possible to avoid possible and serious complications.  A symptom of coughing up blood means that your pneumonia has progressed to a more serious level and entails immediate treatment. An early detection of pneumonia can mean easy treatment with some antibiotics; if the patient has an advanced type of pneumonia, he will need immediate hospitalization.

 

Dr. Yelena Pakula is a licensed acupuncture doctor and the medical director of Vita-Health Acupuncture and Wellness Center in Pembroke Pines, FL.

Psoriasis Symptoms

The main symptoms of psoriasis are skin with red, raised spots superimposed with silvery loose scales generally developing in the elbows or knees.

 

Psoriasis has many types and each type has symptoms that can differ in seriousness and can manifest in a wide range of combinations.  The main symptoms of psoriasis are:

 

  • Itching- During psoriasis flare-ups the itching is one the most distressing symptoms of psoriasis. Itching is also considerable when the psoriasis spots are located in body folds.
  • Auspitz’s sign – This is the bleeding of the skin after psoriasis scales have been scratched out for the skin.
  • Formation of mild or thickened crusts of plaque on the scalp
  • Blazing red and elevated plaques on affected parts of the skin usually topped with silvery loose scales. Most of the time, plaques develop on the knee.
  • Nail abnormalities – This happens often in extreme cases of psoriasis. Characteristics of nail abnormalities can include:

 

  • Accumulation of skin debris below the nails
  • The end of the nail separated from the nail bed
  • Discoloration of the fingernails (occasionally) and the toenails
  • Very small pits developing in the nails

 

Other psoriasis signs and symptoms can involve:

 

  • Joint pain, tenderness and swelling (psoriatic arthritis)
  • The development of several raindrop-shaped patches during flare-ups – This condition is seen in guttate psoriasis and occurs after a strep infection. Guttate psoriasis is the second most prevalent kind of psoriasis and 10% of psoriasis sufferers have this kind of condition.
  • Development of plaques in the body bilaterally (ex. Both arms, both knees, etc.)

 

A condition called Koebner’s phenomenon can happen when a psoriasis sufferer has a skin injury like excessive sun exposure, burn or cut on a part of the skin unaffected by psoriasis. About a number of days to about a few weeks, psoriasis lesions start to develop on the injured skin or on any unaffected parts of the body. Koebner’s phenomenon is a common experience among people with psoriasis and that is why they need to avoid damaging or irritating their skin as best as possible.

 

The symptoms of psoriasis can be similar to symptoms of other skin conditions. Certain drugs can cause psoriasis-like symptoms skin reddening. In order to avoid these side effects you need to talk to your doctor about the medications you are using.

 

Aiyana Acupuncture & Chinese Herbs
41 Union Square West, Suite 519
New York, NY 10003
Phone: 212-894-0767
http://healthystuffu.com/

Tremors Symptoms

Essential tremors – Shaking symptoms that occur in the legs, larynx (voice box), tongue, lips, jaw, head and arms. Factors that exacerbate the symptoms include:

Certain prescription drugs
Caffeine
Strenuous activity
Anger
Anxiety
Stress

Parkinsonian tremor – Parkinsonian tremor symptoms include a resting tremor, which is seen as a kind of “pill-rolling” action of the hands that can involve the torso, legs, lips and chin. The tremor initially affects one limb on one side of the body the later on affects the limb of the other side.

Physiologic tremor – Physiologic tremor symptoms include stress, change in body part affected and/or tremor direction, disappearing or substantially lessened tremor activity if the individual gets distracted.  Physiologic tremor usually affects the hands especially when the fingers are extended.

Dystonic tremor – Dystonic tremor symptoms include muscle contraction that causes repetitive motions and twisting and/or abnormal positions or postures like torticollis or the twisting of the neck or writer’s cramp.

Psychogenic tremor – Psychogenic tremor symptoms of this condition include the arising of unexplained contractions of the muscle during stressful situations that happen in several parts of the body and which stops when the attention of the patient’s attention is shifted elsewhere.

Orthostatic tremors – Orthostatic tremors cause uncontrolled contractions of the muscle in the abdomen and legs. This type of tremor is usually known by a person’ sudden unsteady balance just right after he stands up subsiding right after the person seats again.

Cerebellar tremor – Cerebellar tremor is a tremor that occurs when a patient is performing a motor coordination activity such as pushing a button, grasping an object or steadying the hand. The tremor increases when the activity is about to reach its goal (like the button, the object or the hand).

Rubral tremor – These tremors are quite impactful and slow and the uncontrolled and sudden contractions of the muscle affect the entire body. A rubral tremor causes the entire to become contorted and rigid. This type of tremor fortunately occurs rarely.

Intention tremor – The title implies that the tremor and the muscle contraction worsen as the person tries to perform a visually assisted deliberate movement to accomplish a certain aim. The aim is often overshot or undershot and is considered a health condition termed as dysmetria.

Palatal tremor – Symptoms of palatal tremors include the involuntary and rhythmical contraction of the mouth and facial muscles causing the soft palate muscles to create a distressing clicking sound.

 

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.

Tonsillitis Preparing for Your Appointment

You may need to bring your child to your family doctor or to a pediatrician if you begin to notice him/her suffering from symptoms like difficulty swallowing, sore throat or other symptoms that can be signs of tonsillitis. For more specialized care, you may be referred to an ear, nose and throat doctor called an otolaryngologist.

 

In order to properly evaluate your child’s condition, the doctor may be asking you certain questions about your child’s sickness. Here are some likely questions your doctor might ask you:

 

When did you first notice your child’s symptoms?

Has your child experienced a fever?  If so, what was his/her temperature?

Does your child have problems swallowing his foods?  Does he feel pain when swallowing?

Does your child find relief from his symptoms with treatments like warm liquids or over-the-counter drugs?

Has he/she had been previously diagnosed with either strep throat or tonsillitis? If yes, when?

Does your child’s condition prevent him/her to sleep well?

 

You can ask questions to your doctor about your child’s condition. These questions can be like:

 

When will we know the results of the tests?

What is the best treatment plan for my child?

Is it serious if my child frequently suffers from tonsillitis?

How long can he/she return to school or go back to his normal everyday routines?

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

Itching – Tests and Diagnosis

Some of the tests and examinations for diagnosing the cause of your itching skin can include:

Skin Examination

The physician carefully examines your skin to look for any skin disorders that might reveal signs of pemphigus, scabies, eczema, herpetiformis, dermatitis or hives.

Physical Examination

Your doctor will observe you for signs of skin discoloration and perform certain body examinations.

  • Jaundice – When your skin color becomes yellowish, it may be an indication of underlying liver diseases like primary biliary cirrhosis, liver metastases, obstructive jaundice, hepatitis, liver metastases and primary biliary cirrhosis
  • Plethoric facial color – When your face color turns from normal reddish color to blue, it may be an indication of polycythemia rubra vera, which means that the body is producing too much red blood cells than needed.
  • Unusual odor – This can be a sign of diabetic acidosis, liver failure or chronic renal failure.
  • Lymph node examination – This test will help diagnose or rule out lymphoma
  • Stomach examination – This is a test to observe if you have an enlarged liver. If you suffer from an enlarged liver, it can be a sign of primary biliary cirrhosis, carcinoid syndrome, liver metastases, hepatitis or obstructive jaundice

Blood Tests

These tests can involve:

  • Serum protein electrophoresis – This is done when the doctor believes you have multiple myeloma
  • Mitochondrial autoantibodies – Performed if the doctor thinks you are suffering from primary biliary cirrhosis
  • Hepatitis serology
  • Pregnancy test
  • Fasting blood sugar
  • Thyroid functions tests
  • Iron studies
  • Liver functions tests
  • Electrolytes and renal function tests
  • Erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) and full blood count

Urine Tests

These tests can consist of:

  • Urinalysis
  • Skin tests – These can include skin allergy tests and microscopic exam to search for mites and lice
  • Stool tests – A sample of your stool will be microscopically observed to search for cysts and eggs that might indicate infestation
  • 5-HIAA – To rule out or diagnose carcinoid syndrome if suspected

When skin itching cause is not properly identified, some of the following tests can be done to determine its origin. These tests can be:

  • Body temperature reading – Your temperature rises when your body suffers from cancers or infections and so measuring your temperature can help determine if your body has health problems. Weight measurement also can be done if you begin to lose weight for unknown reasons. Weight loss may happen if you are under extreme stress, have eating disorders, cancers or malabsorption among others
  • Body examination – To identify skin changes, sensitive body areas, parasites, rash or jaundice
  • Blood tests – These can be tests for:
    • Red cell levels – More in polycythemia, less in anemia
    • White cells – More in various lymphomas, leukemia and certain infections)
    • Sedimentation rate, C-reactive protein or CRP – Rises in malignancies and in certain infections
    • Glucose or blood sugar – Increases if one has diabetes
    • BUN or blood urea nitrogen, Urea – Elevated during kidney failure
    • Toxic heavy metals – Test for traces of cadmium, bismuth, arsenic, aluminum, lead and mercury among others
    • Zinc level – Gastrointestinal issues and skin itching can come from lack of zinc in the body
    • Vit A level
    • Thyroid and parathyroid hormones
    • Liver enzymes
  • Chest X-ray – To rule out or diagnose for Hodgkin’s lymphoma
  • Stomach ultrasound – Test for gallbladder or liver disease
  • Urinalysis – For high levels of glucose or kidney and liver disease among others
  • Stool tests – For indications of internal or occult bleeding or intestinal parasites

Skin biopsy or skin scraping can also be performed to test for diseases like Crohn’s disease or celiac disease.

Diet tests may be done to observe for any intolerance to certain foods (allergies, celiac disease, fructose malabsorption and lactose intolerance or fructose malabsorption).

Sometimes temporary discontinuance of the medicines you are taking to see if side effects from these drugs are causing you itching or allergies.

 

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