Making Use of Your Doctor

When a busy person goes to see his doctor, it is because he wants to get better. This may sound obvious – but often things happen so quickly, or the tests and treatment sound so complicated, that one can lose sight of one’s original goal. It can even happen that one ends up feeling worse than one was before!

Here are some practical hints to help you get the best possible treatment from your own doctor. Decide before you actually go to see your doctor, in what way you are feeling unwell. Plan how you will describe these symptoms to your doctor. Thinking about them beforehand and even writing down exactly what bodily changes you feel which make you think that you are unwell, will help clarify things in your own mind and so will help your doctor get a clearer picture of what is going on. Remember – doctors can only diagnose from the information which you, the patient, reveal to them!

Don’t underplay your symptoms – either because you feel that the symptoms are trivial, or because you are frightened that they will cause the doctor to suspect that you have some serious disease. This may sound silly but I have met patients who did not reveal to their doctor that they had a lump in the breast “because it might have been cancer”. It is far better to voice one’s fears to the doctor, get him or her to do a full examination and reassure you that you have no serious cause for worry(or, on the other hand, detect in its early stages some major ailment) rather than keep one’s symptoms hidden.

At the same time, don’t exaggerate your symptoms either.

How to Maintain Proper Health?

Everyone feels that happiness lies in the health. So, maintaining proper health all the time is necessary. It can be done by taking all the necessary care and by opting for a proper health insurance too.

Health insurance policies are mostly offered by private insurance companies which estimate health care expenses of an individual and develop a structure that ensures good profits for the company and also provides health care benefits to an individual as specified in the insurance agreement.

Mostly people opt for a health insurance assuming that it takes care and pays for our medical expenses. Health insurance actually provides a minimal coverage than what is expected. People, sometimes, will be asked to pay all the health care costs out of their own pockets saying that the amount will be reimbursed later. This causes a lot of infuriate and distress for the people. However, most of the people are getting to understand how things work out and are not opting insurance policies.

However, not having a health insurance will also be a problem as the individuals’ have to pay the health care costs from their own pocket. This makes the situation worse than ever. This has made some companies like Ameriplan to start discount health plans that offer huge discounts of up to 80% on the health care bills. Discount plans cover various services such as vision, dental, prescription, and chiropractic services with no waiting periods, instant savings, ancillary services, nurse line and hospital advocacy which would be really helpful for every individual. These features also made discount plans user-friendly and are being opted by majority of the individuals.

Cold or Flu – Which One Does Your Child Have?

Both the cold and the flu are respiratory illnesses, but they are caused by different viruses. Typically, the cold is milder than the flu and generally doesn’t result in serious health problems.

Sometimes it may be difficult to tell the difference between the two, but according the National Institutes of Health there are some obvious differences in symptoms.

Symptoms the cold and flu may have in common:

General aches & pains – colds sometimes have these, but they are common and often severe with the flu

Fatigue & weakness – colds are sometimes associated with this, but it usually occurs with the flu and can last up to 2-3 weeks

Stuffy nose & sneezing – common with colds and sometimes occurs with the flu

Sore throat – common with colds and sometimes occurs with the flu

Chest discomfort & cough – mild to moderate with a hack for colds, but can be more severe with the flu

Symptoms that are not shared by colds and flu’s:

Fevers – rare in colds, while usually occur with the flu (100°F-102°F, occasionally higher in younger children)

Headache – rare in colds, but common with the flu

Extreme Exhaustion – never occurs with colds, but it usually occurs with the flu, especially at the beginning of the illness

Complications of the cold vs. the flu:

The Cold – sinus congestion, middle ear infection, and asthma

The Flu – Bronchitis, pneumonia, and can be life threatening

If you think your child is suffering from the flu be sure to contact your child’s pediatrician right away.

If you’re still not sure, play it safe and talk to your child’s pediatrician.

This article was brought to you by ReliaDose® – The Easy & Accurate Way to Give Medicine to Your Baby.

Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, and National Institutes of Allergy & Infectious Diseases – September 2005.

Healthcare MVNO, Weight Loss or Health Mangement Solution?

Can the MVNO phenomena really extend to healthcare? Qualcomm thinks so, as in May 2007 they announced plans to create LifeComm a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) with a healthcare focus. What’s important in Qualcomm’s plans and what will perhaps be the most important factor in determining the long term success of LifeComm is their plans to integrate some of the core health care monitoring functions in to a range of custom handsets coupled with network based services.

It is not farfetched to imagine a mobile phone (cell phone) based solution that encourages the improvement of ones diet and to encourage weight loss. For example it is suggested that the mobile device could monitor a number of body functions and parameters. A patient’s clinician could remotely monitor such data from the web, setting the patient new targets, send text messages of encouragement or indeed warnings of deviation from the health care program. Such proactive healthcare technology could have a revolutionary effect on diet and weight-loss programs.

Critical to the success of healthcare MVNOs is a range of clever biometric sensors linked to the web via the patients mobile phone (cell phone), all integrated with a proven clinical program.

Whether or not one really needs a MVNO to deliver these services is unclear. Could the airtime service be provided using the patients existing mobile (cellular) provider? Or, are these applications strong enough to force the consumer to switch providers, bringing over their mobile spend? In Piran Partners experience this very much depends on the attitude of consumers in a particular target segment, whether that be by geographic region or interest group.

Read This Article if You Want Health Care

Are you one of the 180 million Americans who wants Health Care? Did you know that a recent study showed that the number one concern of those seeking employment was; Health Care Benefits? Health Care benefits are a big concern, especially for families and the costs have skyrocketed for employers. In fact General Motors had considered filing bankruptcy due to the increasing health care costs dragging down its auto manufacturing division. Instead the Union and GM management made a deal to reduce some of the benefits but keep operating as usual and instead shed its under performing finance arm GMAC.

Recently The Boeing Company Aerospace workers went on strike, not over pay so much as the benefits package and a better health care program. If you are concerned about Health Care you are not alone. Small Businesses across America now know that to attract and retain the best workers they need to provide health care benefits and if they don’t many of the top potential employees simply are not interested in working there. It is an extremely important issue to Americans one which employers must address to the satisfaction of the work force, a work force, which demands health care benefits.

One trip to the doctor for a kid’s broken arm could put a family in the poor house and they know this. Drugs are not cheap either for those who have medical conditions. Health Care is something that is on everyone’s minds these days but the costs are going through the roof and many companies and families are nearing a breaking point. Think on this.

Three Important Things to Know About Radicava

The ALS Association is the largest charity for people with Lou Gehrig’s disease in the United States. Not only do they provide excellent patient provision through care takers and support groups, they are also the leading fundraiser for new research when it comes to ALS treatment and a possible cure. During the summer of 2014, the ALS Association’s Ice Bucket Challenge went viral online and raised over 100 million dollars. This was the largest amount of donations the fundraisers at ALS had ever seen. They were ecstatic! This boost in funding led to the research and development of three new treatments for Lou Gehrig’s disease, one being Radicava, which will likely be available August of this year. Here’s what you need to know:

  1. Radicava slows the progress of ALS by reducing oxidative stress in the body. ALS is essentially a slow reduction in the body’s ability to function overall. This eventually leads to the shutdown of vital organs within the body. One of the first signs of ALS is the presence of oxidative stress, which is an imbalance between the presence of toxins in the body and the immune system’s ability to detoxify. These effects will first manifest themselves as a general slowing of autoimmune abilities followed by the more sinister effects of ALS, such as major organ failure. Radicava offers a time out to these unfortunate realities. The new medication has been shown to slow oxidative stress, and most patients see a 33% reduction in the decline of their physical abilities. Additionally, all Radicava test patients had higher scores on the ALS Functional Rating Scale
  2. First new medicine in 22 years. Because the origins of ALS are still largely misunderstood, it is incredibly difficult to approve and test new medications. Since the mid nineteenth century, our knowledge of what causes ALS has not kept up with other medical advancements. Because of this, it is incredibly difficult to find funding for new treatments when legislatures do not understand the medicinal premise. The first and last drug to be approved for treatment of ALS was Riluzole, which slowed lung failure. Unfortunately, the relatively small benefit offered to ALS patients compared to its astronomical costs essentially relegated Riluzole to pipe dream status. The mystery surrounding its origins combined with a lack of funding lead to a two decade ASL treatment dry spell. However, after the 2014 Ice Bucket Challenge, three new medications were presented to the FDA for approval. The first to reach the pharmaceutical market will be Radicava in August!
  3. Administered by infusion. At this point you’re probably wondering how Radicava will be administered to patients. Is it overly intrusive or painful? Will it even be worth it? For those who participated in the testing of the drug, Radicava absolutely is. The treatment is administered intravenously over a fourteen day period, followed by a fourteen day rest. After the initial treatment, patients will receive injections for ten out of every fourteen days. While this is a time-consuming treatment, this is the first ASL medication with legitimate promise for, not only extending the lives of those with Lou Gehrig’s disease, but also improving their quality of life!

After so many years of failed treatments and questions surrounding the origins of ALS, Radicava’s approval is a beacon of hope for patients and their loved ones.

Primary Care Physicians Pay Disparity Gap Widens

Acronyms have always dominated the practice of medicine and one of the older ones is RVS or Relative Value Scale. Simply stated, although far more complicated in reality, the RVS sets the fee structure that physicians will be paid by insurance companies and agencies such as Medicare and Medicaid. A lesser known acronym is RUC which represents the real power behind the RVS. This entity, the Relative Value Scale Update Committee (RUC), evaluates physician’s procedures and makes recommendations to the CMS or better known at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. These reimbursement recommendations are almost always followed, i.e., ninety percent of the time. More alarmingly, they almost always favor dramatic increases for specialists rather than primary care physicians…six times more frequently.

Why is this disparity so important one might ask? It is terribly important for a whole host of reasons. These include:

The compensation disparity between specialist and primary care docs widens geometrically. Specialists now earn $135,000 per year and $3.5 million during a career more than a primary care doctor;

  • Clearly, with this type of incentive, many more docs are becoming specialists and eschewing the field of primary care;
  • The PCP base is shrinking at exactly the time we need it most;
  • The new Health Care legislation is heaping 37 million more Americans into the health care system and they all need a PCP

Income disparities shape medical student specialty choice Specialty and geographic distribution of the physician workforce: what influences medical student and resident choices? March 2009. Accessed January 4, 2010

It is not just “Houston” that has a problem…it is the American health care system and all Americans. Soon the waiting time for a PCP appointment will lengthen to dangerous intervals. Overworked and underpaid docs will be the norm and that isn’t good for anyone.

One solution is concierge medicine or often referred to as Direct Care. A Direct Care practice denotes an experienced primary care physician who limits his or her practices to 300 to 400 patients and works for an annual fee rather than accepting insurance payments. This allows patients to receive the care they need and deserve and PCP to practice medicine in a thorough and safe manner while achieving a reasonable earnings level.

The Best Health Tips for 2011

In the New Year, most people want to get distinctions when it comes to their health. Health must be cultivated and this is a season to begin applying new things as well as old things that have fallen on deaf ears regarding healthy choices. The following is a highlight of the best yet simple health tips for this New Year. First, let us look at what you want to achieve before putting the tips into action.

1. You want to remain positive and happy; feeling good about yourself and life in general.
2. Another thing you will appreciate is promoting weight loss to shed a few
3. Your energy levels may be low or very low and increasing energy and activity will improve the quality of your life.
4. You also want to rid anxiety and find an effective yet natural way to keep you above the water in this regard.
5. This year, you want to do everything possible to keep lifestyle conditions like diabetes at bay.

The good news is that you can achieve all the above by doing the following each day or constantly.

* First, to activate the feel-good hormones that will keep you away from depression and other negative emotions, you need the right brain foods. Oily fish and avocados are the best foods that you can take every day to achieve and maintain optimism and joy in your life.

* Green tea will not just help you loose the pounds you want this year but will also help keep away or reduce the chances of developing cancer. Sugar-free green tea is best. However, natural honey can be used to add wholesome sweetness.

* Co-enzyme Q10 is formulated to help increase energy levels. Consult with your health care provider with this respect.

* Calcium or magnesium will actively work to reduce stress and anxiety. Vitamin B complex is also advised to do the same. Supplement as directed by an expert to see the results.

* Chromium supplements are known to reduce the risk of getting diabetes. The supplement will make sure that you do not constantly crave for sugar.

Above tips for this year are enough to activate your life and get you on the right path regarding health. Getting out and about and keeping the right attitude will help many sail through the year healthy and happy.

Things To Keep In Mind When Choosing Laser Resurfacing Treatment

Gone are the days when you had to undergo invasive cosmetic surgery to take years off your skin. Today, laser resurfacing treatment helps to do away with wrinkles, fine lines, blemishes and the appearance of pores in a faster and more efficient way. Here are a few things to keep in mind, when opting for laser resurfacing procedure.

The Time When You Have Laser Treatment Conducted

Laser treated skin is more sensitive to sun exposure for at least one year after you perform the procedure. Many surgeons recommend going in for acne scar treatment and other kinds of skin treatment during the winter months. This is because, daytime hours are shorter and you spend most of your time indoors.

Laser Treatment May Or May Not Hurt

Most patients and doctors tell you that the pain can resemble a rubber band snapping against your skin. But all in all, it depends upon the area and depth of treatment, the laser and an individual’s endurance level. Some types of skin treatment require an anesthetic injection or intravenous sedation.

Choose Your Laser Treatment Professionals Wisely

It goes without saying that skin tightening, microdermabrasion or laser hair removal is the most effective and result oriented when performed by a qualified professional. An amateur won’t be able to offer accurate and desirable results. Opt for a professional based on their qualification, experience and training.

Your Skin Reacts To Certain Medications after Laser Treatment

Make sure your practitioner is well aware about your medical history and the kind of supplements and medication you are currently taking. A surgeon, who is unaware about your situation, can unknowingly prescribe medications which can cause skin reactions. It is best to keep all your cards on the table to avoid complications and speed up recovery.

Consider Going In For Multiple Treatments

Sometimes you may need more than one treatment to feel satisfied with the results. In these situations you need to be patient, take your prescribed medications and ensure you follow the doctor’s advice to the T. Once the treatment is complete, you are sure to be rewarded as the results you obtain are long lasting.

If you are thinking about going in for a laser treatment, make sure you consult a knowledgeable and well experienced professional who knows the nuances that go into these kinds of procedures. Rest assured, you get the skin you want and look younger even though age tells you otherwise.

Beyond Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy in its simplest definition is the smelling of vapors for health & well-being effects, howsoever gained. This article examines a cross-section of the art and proposes a future course of direction for those professionals not wishing to be tarred with an aromatherapy brush.

Of course the fragrance of a nice perfume will leave you in a better frame of mind than the smell of rotting cadavers. The general intuitive appeal of a nice smell (etc) has launched a blind universal hype on essential oils, the mainstay of aromatherapy. Over the years it has attracted a large following of uncritical persons eager to believe good news. By contrast it has produced research well beyond the scope of aromatherapy.

Much opposition has been leveled against the wild claims that border on or even cross the line of fraud. Where there’s money to be made, there is opportunism. The truth is often the first casualty.

Then there is the medical profession. They are the stalwarts to uphold and defend the medical truth. Unfortunately there is opportunity to denigrate the practice of aromatherapy for motives other than altruism, leaving academia to the rescue. Disappointingly, much academic research is in effect unavailable to the general public as good research papers can be expensive.

Deserved or otherwise, alternative medicines such as Acupuncture, Ayurveda, Chiropractic, Homeopathy, Kinesiology, Light Therapy, Phrenology, etc. have been slow to gain traction in mainstream medicine. Within each field there may be something worthwhile. There is risk of throwing the baby out with bathwater.

Aromatherapy by semantic definition is in lockstep with things smelled, the nose being solely equipped to perceive things smelled. Thus aromatherapy armoury consists solely of essential oils. “Essential” not because we can’t live without them but because essential is merely the adjective from the noun “essence” being a vapor from a liquid at a low boiling point.

This semantic deception taken together with people such as those involved in routinely claiming these potions to cure things like ADHD, arthritis, high cholesterol, lupus, asthma, migraines, cancer, fibromyalgia confuses even more. It is there, on offer, all without the rigours of scientific validation. Long Live The Placebo!

Then there are the others making ambiguous claims that leave lots of wiggleroom such as “cleanses air of negative energies”, “restoring harmony and balance between the mind and body”, “restore psychic energy flow”, “return to one’s center and chakra”. These and more have become aromatherapy’s articles of faith in some circles. Most are seen as nonsense to the mind versed in scientific methods.

Contrast these with Moss et al in the peer-reviewed paper “Aromas Of Rosemary And Lavender Essential Oils Differential Affect Cognition And Mood In Healthy Adults” where they showed the efficacy of Lavender and Rosemary oils. 144 persons took part in the study and no one was informed of the study nature. Before and after inhalation tests included 15 words to be flashed on a screen for 1 second and participants were asked to remember as many words as they could in the space of 60 seconds. More tests were done using 20 photographs enabling researchers to test recall and reaction time.

Nominal recall improved from 5.5 for the control group to 6.2 for the Rosemary and showed little change for the Lavender. Nominal reaction time improved from a score of 246 for the control group to 259 for the Lavender. Little change was reported for the Rosemary tests. They concluded that essential oils can significantly affect aspects of cognitive performance.

Worth considering is a paper by Sayorwan et al, who, using electroencephalography (EEG), measured the changes in blood pressure, heart rate, and respiratory rate before and after Rosemary oil inhalation by uniformed groups of subjects and controls. Their findings provided evidence that brain wave activities, autonomic nervous system responses, and mood states could all be modified with Rosemary

Aromas may well have a placebo effect and as such it is a good thing. However it is not the smell that gives essential oils their efficacy but the compounds that comprise the oils. Compounds such as Eugenol, Carvacrol, Thymol, Geraniol, and Menthol appear to stimulate while Linalool appears to calm or relax. Then there is Eugenol, a very powerful antioxidant as well. These compounds can enter the bloodstream via the olfactory system and the lungs through breathing. The bloodstream can also be fed via the skin by massage and contact patches. Other possible routes are ingestion and intravenous injections. The latter are subject to much more research than currently appears in the literature.

In conclusion, the subject of essential oils is therefore a much wider field, rich with potential discovery. Thus it is important that practitioners who prescribe the use of essential oils in their practice divest themselves of any stigma that has grown around aromatherapy. A whole new name for their practice would help to distance themselves from any hint of quackery and dogma.

The general public may well be sceptical as a result of conflicting opinions. The misnomer “essential” does not help. Volatile Oil Therapy (VOT) as a name may engender some trust especially if the practitioners of VOT confine themselves to proven effects.