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hammer6

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Please use the following link to understand whatever causes your ailment:


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Admin

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Hi Hammer6... thanks for your post, and indeed, new topic, 'A-Z of HEALTH'.

 

An absolute wealth of information, which was very interesting, as I'm sure that there will be many subjects that are of particular interest to many members.

 

I hope everyone will find this as informative as I did, as well as being somewhat of an education!


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hammer6

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10 July 2006
DRUG HOPE FOR CANCER

A DRUG which dramatically improves head and neck cancer survival rates will be made available in Scotland.

Erbitux is the first new treatment for the disease in more than two decades.

The drug will be approved for use on the NHS in Scotland today - months ahead of the rest of the UK.

Dr Elizabeth Junor, of Edinburgh's Western General Hospital, said: "A study has found it significantly improves patient survival."


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Post-traumatic stress disorder
mental health
Trauma can lead to feelings of isolation and lack of control
Those recovering from a traumatic event - such as a school shooting or a major crash - are at risk of severe psychological harm.

The main risk is that they will suffer post-traumatic stress disorder, which can lead to painful memories striking the victims at any time.


What is post-traumatic stress disorder?

The syndrome is a disturbing psychological condition where people relive painful memories against their will.

This leads to feelings of isolation and a sense of losing control - patients sometimes turn to alcohol or other drugs as they attempt to get rid of the memories.

It is also known as shell shock because it first came to prominence when soldiers in the First World War were afflicted by memories of the horrors they saw in the trenches.

Dr Matthew Freidman, of the US Department for Veteran Affairs, says the experience is like living through the original event a second time.

"It is like a psychic time machine," he says.

Who gets it and what causes it?

Anyone who has witnessed acts of violence - either on themselves or others - is particularly prone to the syndrome.

Severely disturbing event such as being raped or robbed, or exposure to a highly stressful environment, such as a war zone, are known to trigger post-traumatic stress disorder.

However, an individual's personality is also responsible for determining a person's susceptibility to the syndrome.

The memories can be triggered by the slightest detail reminiscent of the original traumatic event.

Ms Margaret Searle is a clinical psychologist who for more than ten years has helped military personnel overcome the condition.

She says no-one fully understands the mind's workings but latest research suggests memory works by connections rather than being stored in neat units.

This makes it easier for unpleasant memories to occur unsummoned.

She says: "The memory for an event is distributed among various sites and the process of remembering involves the creation of a variety of connections."

A memory can be called up by various means, she added. "It can be called up by a particular sound, it can be called up by a particular sight, or a particular smell."

Memories which have many of these sensory elements - as is often the case with traumatic memories - can suddenly be called into a person's mind unrequested.

How does the disorder affect children?

The Global Information Networks In Education project says children of different ages will respond differently to traumatic events.

It says symptoms adults can spot include:

  • Depression
  • Dissociation
  • Emotional detachment
  • Fear
  • Feelings of guilt
  • Excessive vigilance
  • Irritability
They can also have difficulties concentrating and sleeping, or may be plagued by nightmares.

What is the treatment?

The psychiatric journal Harvard Mental Health Letter outlines a typical treatment pattern for post-traumatic stress disorder.

It says: "Most psychotherapists who treat PTSD try to provide an opportunity for the patient to feel safe in confronting the traumatic event and understanding its connection with their symptoms.

"Patients are helped to think about the trauma without intrusive reliving and exercise self-control without avoidance and emotional numbing."

It says seeking help as soon after the traumatic event as possible is essential. Patients can then receive "emotional first aid" in the form of group or individual counselling.

"They will be encouraged to review the experience, tell their stories, and express their feelings.

"They will learn that their responses are normal and be advised to resume everyday activities as soon as possible."

It says such early intervention can prevent short-term trauma having an impact in the long term.

However, it also says that some patients will be reluctant to discuss their experiences, and, because of the cause of the disorder, perhaps with good reason.

The challenge for the therapist, it says, is to remain calm while listening to horrifying stories.

"Therapists have to avoid both over-commitment and detachment. They should not identify themselves with the patient or see themselves as saviours," it says.

It notes that some patients find it easier to discuss their memories under hypnosis.

Other therapists, it says, feel it is not so important to relive and deal with the traumatic memory itself as to cope with present symptoms and problems.

They use the same techniques that are used to help people overcome phobias to help people overcome fear of things that evoke the trauma.

In severe cases drugs such as Prozac can be used.

Is there help?

Ms Searle says the syndrome requires professional attention.

She advises: "If people are experiencing problems then a good route to try and access help is via the NHS, via their GP and a referral to psychiatric and psychological services.

"There are tremendous problems about resources in the NHS, but there are also tremendous problems for people experiencing these kind of difficulties."

However, David Bennett, director of the UK Trauma Centre, warned the average wait to see a specialist - if one was available at all - varied from nine to 18 months.

He told BBC News Online: "At present for any patient to receive treatment for PTSD it is near impossible."

Mr Bennett said PTSD was often misdiagnosed as depression or anxiety, or even ME.

"It is a sad state of affairs. Many who profess to be so called experts, counsellors and psychologists do not appreciate the seriousness of this illness," he said.

"It sometimes breaks my heart when I deal with these individuals who are now broken human beings, even unable to leave their homes for treatment."

This page contains basic information. If you are concerned about your health, you should consult a doctor.


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hammer6

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24 August 2006
PILLS? ..TAKE A HIKE...

SICK and depressed people are to be prescribed woodland walks as part of a new scheme.

The NHS and Forestry Commission yesterday officially launched the project.

Instead of handing out pills for a range of ailments, GPs will introduce patients to guided group walks starting at health centres across Glasgow.

The scheme is believed to be the first of its kind and will be used to help people suffering from obesity, high blood pressure and stress.

The walks will last up to 30 minutes each.

Kevin Lafferty, of the Forestry Commission, who is in charge of the scheme, said: "Where appropriate, as an alternative to pills, doctors now have the option to prescribe a programme of health walks.

"Woods and forests are great places to help us feel better, to improve our mental and physical health, to combat stress, to help us raise confidence."

Forestry Minister Rhona Brankin said: "This can be prescribed rather than pills but also in addition to them.

"The outdoors is nature's health service and this makes it easy for patients who perhaps do not feel safe on their own."

The walks will take place in Drumchapel and Easterhouse, with another project planned for Cathkin Braes near Castlemilk.


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frankie

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Thanks for the link hammer6 very intresting and a great help
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Hug a Tree, works for me.

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The only tree I hugged when out walking was to stop me from falling over after a few brandies but walking does improve your health.

 

here are a few more links for you frankie......Oh and yer no walking fay bonnie Dundee to Glasgow for the book event?

 

Walking for good health

 
 

Physical activity does not have to be vigorous or done for long periods in order to improve your health. Walking is suitable for most people. Regular walking can help you lose body fat, maintain a healthy weight, improve your fitness, and reduce your risk of developing conditions such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis and some cancers.

Walking is low impact, requires minimal equipment, can be done at any time of day and can be performed at your own pace. You can get out and walk without worrying about some of the risks associated with other more vigorous forms of exercise. It’s also a great form of physical activity for people who are overweight, elderly or those who haven’t exercised in a long time.

Benefits of walking
You carry your own body weight when you walk. This is sometimes called ‘weight bearing’ exercise. Some of the benefits include:

  • Increased cardiovascular and pulmonary (heart and lung) fitness
  • Reduced risk of heart disease and stroke
  • Improved management of conditions such as hypertension (high blood pressure), high cholesterol, joint and muscular pain or stiffness, and diabetes
  • Stronger bones and improved balance
  • Increased muscle strength and endurance
  • Reduced body fat.
Walk for 30 minutes a day
To get the health benefits, try to walk for at least 30 minutes as briskly as you can most days of the week. ‘Brisk’ means that you can still talk but not sing, and you may be puffing slightly. Moderate activities such as walking pose little health risk but, if you have a medical condition, check with your doctor before starting any new exercise program of physical activity.

Build physical activity into your life
If it’s too difficult to walk for 30 minutes at one time, do regular small bouts (10 minutes) three times per day. If you want to lose weight, you will need to do physical activity for longer than 30 minutes each day. You can achieve this by starting with smaller bouts of activity throughout the day, as suggested above, and eventually building up to sessions of more than 30 minutes.

Physical activity built into a daily lifestyle plan is also one of the most effective ways to assist with weight loss and keep weight off once it’s lost. Here are some ways to build walking into your daily routine:
  • Try taking the stairs instead of the lift (for at least part of the way).
  • Get off public transport one stop earlier and walk to work or home.
  • Do housework like vacuuming.
  • Walk (don’t drive) to the local shops.
  • Walk the dog (or your neighbour’s dog).
Walk regularly if you can
Try to make walking a routine - for example, try to walk at the same time each day. Remember, you use the same amount of energy no matter what time of day you walk, so do what is most convenient for you. You may find that asking someone to walk with you will help make it a regular activity. Some people find that keeping an ‘activity diary or log’ also makes it easier.

Wear a pedometer
A pedometer measures the number of steps you take. You can use it to measure your movement throughout a day and compare it to other days or to recommended amounts. This may motivate you to move more. The recommended number of steps accumulated per day to achieve health benefits is 10,000 steps or more.

Set a comfortable intensity
For most people, there is little difference in the amount of energy used by walking a kilometre or running a kilometre - it’s just that walking takes longer. Plan to cover a set distance each day and monitor how long it takes you to walk this distance. As your fitness improves, you will be able to walk a longer distance and use more energy.

Walking fast burns more kilojoules per hour than walking slowly, but this doesn’t mean you have to push yourself until you’re breathless. Instead, pace yourself so that you can still talk. This simple rule of thumb enables you to walk safely within your target heart rate, which brings about health gains. The body has a tendency to get used to physical activity, so continue to increase your intensity over subsequent sessions and thus improve your fitness levels. You can increase the intensity of your walks by:
  • Walking up hills
  • Walking with hand weights
  • Increasing your walking speed gradually by incorporating bouts of quick walking
  • Increasing the distance you walk quickly before returning to a moderate walking pace
  • Walking for longer.
Warming up and cooling down
The best way to warm up is to walk slowly. Start off each walk at a leisurely pace to give your muscles time to warm up, and then pick up the speed. Afterwards, gently stretch your leg muscles - particularly your calves and front and back thighs. Stretches should be held for about 20 seconds. If you feel any pain, ease off the stretch. Don’t bounce or jolt, or you could overstretch muscle tissue and cause microscopic tears, which lead to muscle stiffness and tenderness.

It’s best to dress lightly when you do physical activity. Dressing too warmly can increase sweating and build up body temperature, which can make you uncomfortable during a walk or possibly cause skin irritations. A gradual cool down will also prevent muscular stiffness and injury.

Footwear is important
Walking is a low cost and effective form of exercise. However, the wrong type of shoe or walking action can cause foot or shin pain, blisters and injuries to soft tissue. Make sure your shoes are comfortable, with appropriate heel and arch supports. Take light, easy steps and make sure your heel touches down before your toes. Whenever possible, walk on grass rather than concrete to help absorb the impact.

Make walking a pleasure
To make regular walking a pleasurable form of physical activity:
  • Wear loose, comfortable clothing.
  • Protect yourself from the sun with clothes, sunglasses, a hat and sun block.
  • Wear waterproof clothing to avoid getting wet if it rains.
  • Drink plenty of fluids before and after your walk. If you are taking a long walk, take water with you.
  • Vary your walking routes so you can enjoy the change in scenery.
  • Walk with a friend and combine physical activity with socialising.
  • Join a local walking club.
  • If you have a medical condition or any health concerns, check with your doctor before you start any type of physical activity program.
Where to get help
  • Your doctor
  • Your local council (for information about walking groups, walking tracks and parks)
  • Go for your life Infoline service Tel. 1300 739 899
  • Federation of Victorian Walking Clubs (VicWalk) Tel. (03) 9455 1876
  • Walking Clubs of Victoria, Department of Human Services Victoria http://www.health.vic.gov.au
Things to remember
  • Aim to walk for 30 minutes a day or more on most days of the week.
  • Movement for health and fitness should be carried out most days of the week.
  • Plan to cover a set distance each day, regardless of the speed or time taken.
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  Related articles:
Arthritis and exercise.
Breathing problems and exercise.

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For references, related links and support group information, go to More information


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frankie

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Yes admin 2 i think i will go for a walk to glasgow for the event, i better leave now though,there will be many a tree i will have to hug on the way down

hammer6

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frankie Where's Yer Troosers?
   ------Real Mckenzies

I've just come back from the Isle of Skye
Im no very big and I'm awful shy
And the lassies shout when I go by
"Donald where's yer troosers"

A lassie took me to a ball
And it was slippery in the hall
And I was feart that I would fall
Fur I hadnae on ma' troosers

To wear the kilt is my delight
It isna wrong, I know its right
The islanders would get a fright
If they saw me in the troosers

Let the wind blow high, let the wind blow low
Through the streets in my kilt I'll go
And all the lassies shout hello
"Donald where's yer troosers"


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Hi All...thanks for all the posts with regards to 'A-Z of Health'. 

 

I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised to read about the Hug A Tree initiative, as this is something that I have often 'embraced' myself.  Fair enough, it was only usually at the weekends, when I was on my way home from some social event or other and generally too pissed to stand up unaided.

 

However, I have to say, that in the case of depressed patients, who are now to be prescribed woodland walks as an alternative to medication, the only downside I can see to this, having suffered from severe depression myself, is that how are people expected to tart themselves up and get out of the house when they struggle to even get out of their bloody beds each morning?  Call me a cynic, but I doubt a leisurely stroll in the woodland would be enough to cure anyone of even the mildest depression.  Sounds more like a penny pinching exercise by the Government on behalf of the NHS if you ask me.

 

Anyway, glad to say that depression is now well and truly in my past, and there is lots to be thankful for, and celebrated, in life.  Like our beautiful children.

 

 

PREGNANCY: THE FACTS


5 month old baby in womb Timeline
A week by week guide to what happens to mother and baby during pregnancy


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Migraine
Brain image
Migraine is associated with chemical changes in the brain
Migraine, a debilitating condition characterised by severe headaches and a range of other physical symptoms, affects approximately 10% of the UK population. A majority of sufferers are women, half of whom relate their migraine attacks to their hormonal cycle.


What is migraine?

There are two types:

Migraine without an aura (common migraine)

This consists of a severe, throbbing headache, usually located on one side, with abdominal symptoms including loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, dislike of food, constipation or diarrhoea. This affects about nine out of 10 sufferers.

Sufferers may also experience sensitivity to smell, light and noise, which leads them to rest in a quiet, darkened room.

Migraine with aura (classical migraine)

The headache is preceded by visual disturbances such as flashing lights, zig zag lines and blind spots, or tingling limbs.

The average length of a migraine attack is 22 hours and sufferers generally feel washed out for another one to two days afterwards.

The average number of attacks per sufferer is 13 per year.

What causes migraine?

The exact reason why migraine occurs is unknown. However, research suggests that attacks are linked to chemical changes in the body and that blood vessels and certain nerve cells in the head are involved.

These changes appear to be triggered in susceptible people by stress.

Other triggers are:

  • Physical fatigue or lack of sleep
  • Too much sleep
  • Certain foods such as cheese and alcohol
  • Extreme emotions
  • Missed meals
  • Hormonal factors, such as use of the contraceptive pill and periods

What treatment is available?

The most common medicines for treating an attack are painkillers such as aspirin or paracetamol.

Some medicines also have an anti-sickness ingredient, or this can be taken separately.

If over-the-counter treatments do not help there are medicines available on prescription, which are specifically for migraine.

These acute treatments, known as triptans, work in a similar way to a naturally occurring brain chemical called serotonin which is in short supply during a migraine attack.

They are available in a range of formulations, such as tablets, injections and a nasal spray.

Preventive treatments, in the form of tablets taken every day, may be given to patients experiencing four or more migraine attacks per month.

However, since these medications seldom completely banish attacks an acute treatment should be close to hand to treat those attacks that still occur.

Is advice available?

It is important to seek advice from your GP. The Migraine Action Association also runs a helpline on: 01932-352468.


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Quote:
Originally Posted by hammer6

Please use the following link to understand whatever causes your ailment:

 

By oldbill-

"At present for any patient to receive treatment for PTSD it is near impossible."

Mr Bennett said PTSD was often misdiagnosed as depression or anxiety, or even ME.

"It is a sad state of affairs. Many who profess to be so called experts, counsellors and psychologists do not appreciate the seriousness of this illness," he said.

"It sometimes breaks my heart when I deal with these individuals who are now broken human beings, even unable to leave their homes for treatment."


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Drugs
An overview

People have taken drugs for centuries, with fashion and availability dictating use.

But in recent years, the availability of drugs has become more widespread, particularly with the advent of recreational drugs like ecstasy.

Drug use is thought to have risen by 30% in the last five years.

Use of hard drugs like heroin and cocaine, which are estimated to be used by 2% of the population, is also rising as they become cheaper and more accessible.

Young people in Britain are reported to be taking up to five times more illegal drugs than their European counterparts - particularly ecstasy and amphetamines. As many as one in 12 12-year-olds is said to have taken drugs.

The Standing Conference on Drug Abuse says use of illegal drugs has increased eightfold among 15 year olds in the last 10 years and fivefold among 12 year olds.

Some problems with drugs are caused by the fact that users mix drugs which have different effects or they make take drugs which are cut with other substances.

New drugs are always emerging on the UK scene.

One of the latest is shabu or methamphetamine hydrochloride, also known as "poor man's cocaine" and "Ice".

Originating in the Far East, it is reported that illegal laboratories in the UK are producing it.

The drug comes in tablet or rock form and can be swallowed, smoked or injected.

Side effects include paranoia, suicidal urges and kidney disorder.

Click on one of the links below to find out more about a particular drug.

Ecstasy I Cocaine I Heroin I Amphetamines or speed I LSD and magic mushrooms I Cannabis


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hammer6

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16 September 2006
WE ARE WINNING WAR ON CANCER  

CANCER patients are beating the disease in increasing numbers, figures revealed yesterday.

Experts say better detection and treatments are behind the reduced death toll among Scots sufferers.

Men in Scotland who are diagnosed with cancer are now 12 per cent less likely to die from it than 10 years ago.

Women sufferers are six per cent less likely to die.

Figures also show most cancer patients across Scotland are being treated quicker after diagnosis.

Health minister Andy Kerr welcomed the new statistics yesterday and vowed to continue improving care.

He said: "Tackling cancer has been one of our top priorities and it's a great credit to the work we are doing across the service.

"People are now less likely to contract the disease, and if they do, less likely to die."

Despite the drop in cancer deaths, one in three Scots are still at risk of getting the illness in their lifetime - a figure that has remained the same for the last few years.

Lung cancer is the most common form in men, followed by prostate and colon.

But survival rates for all three have improved significantly in the last decade.

Patients with one of the three main cancers are about 15 per cent less likely to die from the illness now.

In women, breast cancer is the most common, followed by lung, colon and ovarian.

Breast cancer deaths have dropped 14 per cent in women in the last 10 years and colon cancer 24 per cent.

But lung cancer deaths remain almost unchanged in women.

Last year, 7637 men and 7450 women died from some form of cancer in Scotland.

Latest figures show 79 per cent of cancer patients are being treated within two months of urgent referral.

The Executive had hoped no patient would wait more than two months by the end of 2005.

But that figure was revised to 95 per cent of patients earlier this year as it was claimed the nature of some sufferers' illness meant treatment within two months was not practical.


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