Quoting: "With this handy skin test, I wa...

Quoting: “With this handy skin test, I was able to discover that I’m allergic to most trees, grasses, a variety of nuts, wheat and canteloupe (both only slightly) and cats.” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Allergies include seasonal allergies, hay fever, pet, dust and mold allergies. Allergies reflect an overactive immune system. Allergic reactions are inappropriate, but otherwise normal responses of the immune system to substances that it identifies as posing a threat. In most cases, however, the things we encounter in our environment that prompt allergic reactions aren’t harmful, such as dog hair, pollen, dust and mold. But when someone has an allergy to one of these substances, his or her immune system treats the irritant as a foreign invader and produces antibodies to it. These antibodies induce immune cells to release inflammatory compounds including histamine, which in turn cause allergic symptoms.

Every time a person encounters that particular substance or allergen, he or she will have an allergic reaction. About 15 to 20 percent of Americans have allergic reactions to airborne substances, which trigger the classic condition known as allergic rhinitis. The pollen-induced variety of allergic rhinitis is usually called “hay fever,” or “seasonal allergy” (because it tends to peak in the spring, when pollen counts are high). Allergies to dust, mold and pet dander can also elicit allergic rhinitis.

The tendency to have allergies is often hereditary, although allergies to specific substances are not, as these are acquired by exposure to the irritant. Allergies and its symptoms usually develop by age 10 and peak in a person’s early twenties; allergies often become less severe or disappear in older adulthood.

Allergies do serve a purpose. Food allergies serve to keep us away from foods that would tend to unbalance our body chemistry. Environmental allergies similarly warn us about chemicals, or pollens that may be damaging to our health. Many individuals in air-polluted areas suffer from allergies, which represent nothing more than their bodies crying out for cleaner air. Continue reading

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Language Disorders/Aphasia

Disclaimer: This information sheet is for education purposes only. Please consult with your doctor or other health professional to make sure this information is right for your child.

What are they?

Language refers to the understanding and use of words and sentences to convey specific thoughts or meaning in connected speech or in writing.

Language disorders following brain injury are commonly referred to as Aphasia‘s. Aphasia is a disorder occurring from damage to the specific language centres of the brain. As a result of a brain injury, children may have difficulties with their receptive language skills (their listening and understanding of language) and expressive language (their speaking skills) or their speech skills (the way they produce words and sounds) see dyspraxia & dysarthria. These areas may also effect a child’s reading and writing skills or in younger children the development of literacy skills.

The most common cause of aphasia is stroke, however traumatic brain injury, brain tumours, and some organic sources of brain damage such as disease can also cause aphasia. The nature and severity of the child’s problems will differ from person to person depending on the amount and location of the damage to the brain.

Receptive Language Disorders

Receptive language refers to a child’s ability to understand and process either spoken or written language. Children may have problems in the following areas:

  • following directions or completing instructions
  • understanding complex sentence structures (eg. passive sentences)
  • understanding the meaning and content of speech
  • discriminating between sounds
  • understanding word meanings
  • understanding lengthy or complex speech
  • may appear to `not be listening’ or to be `ignoring you’ most of the time
  • not keeping up with his/hers classmates either academically or socially
  • may cause behavioural problems or acting up in class etc
  • may be easily distracted or drift off when listen to speech or reading stories
  • may appear to be forgetful ie. only completes part of an instruction or remembers part of a shopping list etc

Expressive Language Disorders

Refers to a child’s ability to express themselves and get their meaning across through either speaking or writing. Children with expressive language disorders often present with symptoms such as:

  • poor sentence or grammatical structure
  • limited content in their speech
  • confused meaning and grammar
  • generally use short simple sentences
  • have difficulty coming to the point
  • have problems initiating conversation or participating in conversations
  • may have difficulties recalling or retelling information
  • difficulty completing oral and written narratives and/or assignments
  • may have trouble finding the right words

Who do I see and how is it diagnosed?

A Speech Pathologist will be able to assess whether a child is experiencing language difficulties or whether they are having other difficulties with their speech and language development. A paediatric speech pathologist experienced in looking after children with brain injury is highly recommended.

Your local brain injury service will usually have a speech pathologist or will be able to advise you how to find a suitable speech pathologist in your area.

What is the treatment?

A speech pathologist will perform a formal language assessment to identify any specific problems and areas of strength your child may have. An assessment and input from a Neuropsychologist can also be helpful in identifying any other cognitive problems that may impact on language functions.

Some children may require, one to one therapy to initially manage and develop specific language skills. School based language intervention is also highly recommended, to assist the child in developing skills and strategies in copying with their difficulties. Schools and special education teachers can help set up individualised education programs for children experiencing language difficulties. Teachers aide support may also be required in the more severe cases of language disabilities.

The Children's Hospital at Westmead Rehabilitation Department
The Children’s Hospital at Westmead
Cnr Hawkesbury Rd & Hainsworth St, Westmead
Locked Bag 4001, Westmead, 2145
Tel: (02) 9845 2132 – Fax: (02) 9845 0685

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Trigeminal Nueralgia

Nerve axon with myelin sheath

Nerve axon with myelin sheath (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Some say there is no cure for the unforgiving trigeminal neuralgia, as someone who as fought with trigeminal neuralgia  I can can tell you that mine is gone. Here is my story about “the suicide disease“. I suffered with the horrific pain of TN like many of you do and was given  anti seizure drugs like everyone else gets, they made me feel terrible and didn’t help much and of course the neuro docs have nothing to say except surgery (micro vascular decompression) or increase dosage well in my business there was no way I could increase dosage and feel any more spacey of loopy then I already did so I quit the pills and just dealt with the horrible pain. well I had been looking into  alkaline water ionizers for a while because I heard they were great for high blood pressure and I had terrible high blood pressure (200/96). So I decided to purchase a Kangen alkaline water ionizers, after I started drinking the Kangen water my blood pressure dropped in less than 7 days to normal I know this because I used to have to check it 2 times a day to make sure it wasn’t so high I was going to have a heart attack. Here is the part that is amazing my trigeminal attacks became less and less and now I don’t remember when the last attack was! I can’t tell you how great it is to be free of this dreadful disease. I wanted to share this with all of you that suffer to tell you there is relief just give it a try.

here is why doctors say it works:

An acidic body is caused by soda, coffee, acidic foods such as dairy products and meat as well as medications. The myelin sheath deteriorates by a diet and lifestyle that causes an acidic condition in your body. You can monitor your body’s alkalinity by pH testing of your saliva. You correct any acidic condition by eliminate acid causing foods and maintain an alkaline state by drinking alkaline water.

Importance of water – Your body needs water for all its functions, but be sure that this water is pure and healthy and consumed in the proper way. In the morning hours, your body is going through its elimination cycle. An early morning glass of water will assist in this process. Drinking water with a meal will impede digestion, but water spaced between meals throughout the day will facilitate proper hydration, digestion and elimination. It is recommended that the water you drink be alkaline water.

The best way to reverse this disease

The best way to reverse this insidious condition is to first and foremost make a dietary change – eliminate all meat, dairy products, refined grains, refined starches, sugar, salt, and acidic beverages, i.e. milk, alcohol: wine, beer, champagne, etc.; lattes, coffee, hot cocoa, soda pop, etc.

Eat predominantly raw or perhaps, 75% raw foods and 25% cooked but vegan foods.

Drink alkaline ionized water preferably * this is the fastest way to alkaline the body*

I hope that this helps some one that is suffering throw this horrible disease

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An Alternative Antihistamine

Acupuncture to treat hay fever.

Shannon Stapleton / Reuters

Acupuncture to treat hay fever.

After a long winter, you gotta love spring’s green grasses, budding bushes, and leaf-sprouting trees – unless they turn you into a sneezing, wheezing, watery-eyed mess. It’s a big-time bummer, but hay fever can quickly make March, April, and May miserable. And while antihistamines and other medicines may help ease the symptoms, they can also leave you in a groggy, doped-up haze.

If you’re already dreading allergy season and know you’d love some relief without relying so heavily on drugs, you might want to give acupuncture a whirl. A study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine‘ in February found that hay fever sufferers who received 12 acupuncture treatments over eight weeks had fewer symptoms and needed less antihistamine meds than patients who didn’t do the needles. Continue reading

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Spine MRIs Often Show Harmless ‘Defects,’ Study Finds

Harmonic magnetic resonance

Harmonic magnetic resonance (Photo credit: d4yw41k3r)

, March 13 (HealthDay News) — Even though expensive MRIs produce very detailed images for assessing back pain, they may not be very good at evaluating results after treatment, research suggests.

Many physicians order an MRI before and after treatment of patients with lumbar-disk herniation and persistent sciatica. But some experts say spine imaging is overused and not necessarily accurate in certain cases.

This new study used MRI scans from a study initially designed to compare surgery to conservative care for sciatica, which is pain or weakness that radiates from the back down the leg. The researchers compared a person’s first MRI to their follow-up MRI taken a year later. They couldn’t tell from the follow-up MRIs who had good results and who didn’t.

“The discriminative power of MRI is much less than expected in patients who had sciatica before or who have had persistent complaints for more than one year,” said the study’s senior author, Dr. Wilco Peul, professor and chairman of neurosurgery at Leiden University Medical Center in the Netherlands.

Peul said that the decision to have a second surgery shouldn’t be based on MRI findings alone. Continue reading

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Clay Walker, Country Music Star and Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis Patient Urges Others to “Stick With It”

Country music singer Clay Walker announced the launch of “Stick With It!,” a national public service announcement campaign to educate relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) patients about the importance of remaining adherent to a disease management routine for the long-term. Teva Pharmaceuticals and Band Against MS (BAMS) — the charity Walker founded a decade ago to help those living with the disease — have teamed up for this campaign. The kick-off of “Stick With It!” is in conjunction with Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Week and will raise money to fund MS research via the campaign Facebook page

For every action the public takes to promote awareness, Teva will make a $1 corporate donation for MS research (up to $25,000). Actions include: liking or asking the public to share their favorite “Stick With It!” routine. In addition to supporting a worthy cause, the public can access tips and helpful information on the site such as questions to ask the doctor and the importance of adhering to a routine to manage RRMS.

Research has shown that combining a treatment regimen with lifestyle management including proper diet and exercise can actually reduce the frequency of relapses. But clinical studies show that patients who had gaps in therapy lasting ≥90 days were nearly twice as likely to experience a severe relapse. Continue reading

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New Studies Reveal How Acupuncture Works

English: I took this photo. It is a self-portr...

English: I took this photo. It is a self-portrait for my user page, and useful for the Acupuncture page. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Researchers at the Georgetown University Medical Center found that in laboratory rats electronic acupuncture stimulation resulted in the reduction of a key stress hormone.

“Many practitioners of acupuncture have observed that this ancient practice can reduce stress in their patients, but there is a lack of biological proof of how or why this happens,” said the study’s lead author, Ladan Eshkevari, PhD, an associate professor of nursing at Georgetown University’s School of Nursing and Health Studies, a part of GUMC. “We’re starting to understand what’s going on at the molecular level that helps explain acupuncture’s benefit.”

Rats were chosen because they are used in medical research to test stress responses. They start exhibiting stress responses when exposed to cold air temperatures for just one hour a day. The research was conducted over a period of 10 days and consisted of groups that had been stressed, a group that had been stressed and received acupuncture therapy, a group stressed that received a mock acupuncture therapy and a group that just received the acupuncture with no stress. Continue reading

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Series of studies first to examine acupuncture’s mechanisms of action

NYCTCM Acupuncture Clinic visit

NYCTCM Acupuncture Clinic visit (Photo credit: NYCTCM)

While acupuncture is used widely to treat chronic stress, the mechanism of action leading to reported health benefits are not understood. In a series of studies at Georgetown University Medical Center (GUMC), researchers are demonstrating how acupuncture can significantly reduce the stress hormone response in an animal model of chronic stress.

The latest study was published today in the April issue of Journal of Endocrinology.

“Many practitioners of acupuncture have observed that this ancient practice can reduce stress in their patients, but there is a lack of biological proof of how or why this happens,” says the study’s lead author, Ladan Eshkevari, PhD, an associate professor of nursing at Georgetown University School of Nursing & Health Studies, a part of GUMC. “We’re starting to understand what’s going on at the molecular level that helps explain acupuncture’s benefit.”

Eshkevari, a physiologist, nurse anesthetist and certified acupuncturist, designed a series of studies in rats to test the effect of electronic acupuncture on levels of proteins and hormones secreted by biologic pathways involved in stress response. Continue reading

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Intense acupuncture can improve muscle recovery in patients with Bell palsy

English: Bell's palsy

English: Bell’s palsy (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Patients with Bell palsy who received acupuncture that achieves de qi, a type of intense stimulation, had improved facial muscle recovery, reduced disability and better quality of life, according to a randomized controlled trial published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

Bell palsy is sudden onset of facial paralysis that is usually temporary, resolving within weeks or months, although it can sometimes be permanent.

Acupuncture is used to treat a variety of conditions and is gaining acceptance worldwide. De qi is a combination of sensations stimulated by manipulation of acupuncture needles — soreness, tingling, coolness, warmth and others radiating at the insertion points — but has not been validated by randomized controlled trials. Continue reading

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Histamine, Allergies, and Alkaline Ionized Water


histamine (Photo credit: Henry C)

Fight Allergies! Is Alkaline Water the Ultimate Antihistamine!?

Studies have shown that an estimated 75 percent of the population has some degree of dehydration, significant enough to affect their health. Along with dehydration, the majority of people’s body state is acidic due to our typical North American diet. The acidity in our bodies causes irritation and inflammation which triggers histamine production.

Allergies plague thousands of people every year. Some people experience wheezing as part of their allergic response but they don’t have a diagnosis of asthma. The weepy eyes, runny nose, pounding headache and cough are characteristic signs of an allergic response. The root causes may shock you.

Allergies are caused by a histamine reaction in the body. Histamine is one of the body’s main neurotransmitters. It has two functions in the body hydrated and it becomes increasingly active when the body becomes dehydrated. It is also triggered when the body is acidic in combination with being dehydrated.

According to recent research, allergies are a sign of dehydration that are triggered when the body starts conserving its water resources. When dehydration occurs histamine is produced to begin the process of water regulation. It will prioritize where the limited available water will be used. Histamine is the good guy, delegating where the available water is to be used. Continue reading

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