Monday, February 28, 2011

Acupuncture Quit Smoking Stop

Jane was sitting comfortable in her armchair enjoying her after-diner cigarette. While checking the mail, she spotted an email - “Stop smoking now!” Although it was one of those irritating spam emails, it somehow caught her attention. She has been smoking for a few years and there were some signs that her body was not responding very well to this abuse. “May be it is time to stop smoking…” Jane thought. “But I am not a strong-will person, moreover I am allergic to many medicines… how can I stop smoking?”

She made some quick internet searches and within a few minutes she was carefully reading an acupuncture quit smoking – stop fact sheet revealing a possible way of smoking escape.

If you are in Jane’s shoes, here is some interesting information about acupuncture and how it can help you quit smoking.

Acupuncture is an ancient technique for inserting and manipulating thin needles into specific points of the body. The aim is to restore health and well-being. It is one of the Chinese medicine methods widely used nowadays.

Acupuncture quit smoking stop techniques are suitable for people who are unable to take any kind of stop smoking products due to allergies or medical conditions. The only option for them is to try to quit smoking using the cold turkey way, or in other words depending on their determination and will only. It may sound fair enough for a non-smoker, but most smokers find this way very hard and often unsuccessful.

Acupuncture can help such people as acupuncture quit smoking stop treatment results into reduced cravings and fewer withdrawal symptoms. With these benefits, the chances of successful smoking cessation are much higher. Moreover, in an acupuncture quit smoking stop program is combined with a correct behavioral therapy, the results are almost guaranteed.

If you are eager to try it, than the first thing you should do is to ask your doctor for an acupuncturist who has experience in similar treatment. It is important that you find a good acupuncturist because of the better results and some simple facts – as acupuncture includes inserting needles into your skin it is of utmost importance that you go to a high-standard place with guaranteed hygiene and acupuncture supplies.

The next steps are more than clear. Go to the clinic to have your initial exam and attend the sessions. An acupuncture quit smoking stop program may be over after a single session but in some cases, the sessions might be more.

“Ah, that sounds good for me!” Jane picked up the phone and arranged a meeting with her doctor for a chat about the best acupuncture quit smoking stop clinics in her town…

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Acomplia a weight loss drug to cure obesity.

Acomplia rimonabant is a weight loss drug to assist people suffering from obesity. It is manufactured by ‘Sanofi Aventis' a French pharmaceutical company. Many people who buy Acomplia rimonabant find it a miraculous weight loss drug for obesity.
If you are suffering from obesity and it is causing you physical, mental and emotional problems, buy Acomplia rimonabant. If you buy Acomplia rimonabant, it will help you by blocking the CB1 receptor in the body's endocannabinoid system. The endocannabinoid system regulates the food and energy consumption. The body sends out chemicals called cannabinoids, which latch onto the CB1 receptors located in fat cells and the hypothalamus of the brain and create a signal that the body desires food and results in hunger pangs.
Scientists believe that endocannabinoid system is overactive in overweight and obese people. If you buy Acomplia rimonabant, it makes hunger pangs manageable; you feel hungry less often and these results in weight loss.
One more reason to buy Acomplia rimonabant is that its efficacy is proven in clinical trials. Clinical trials of Acomplia demonstrated that 70% of patients had a weight loss of at least 5% of their bodyweight over 12-month period. Around 39% of patients experienced weight loss of at least 10% of their bodyweight over the same period. It was also noted that most of the weight loss took place within the first nine months of the treatment with Acomplia Rimonabant.
The safety of Acomplia weight loss drug also was tested in the clinical trials. If you buy Acomplia rimonabant, you may experience certain side effects. The most common side effects reported by patients taking Acomplia rimonabant include nausea, depression, irritability, and sleeplessness. However not many people who buy Acomplia rimonabant have reported side effects. Some people who buy Acomplia rimonabant say that the weight loss benefits far outweigh the side effects.
Buy Acomplia for Obesity
If you are overweight or suffering from obesity, you might also have felt many pressures. With more and more people eating junk food, living a comfortable but physically inactive life, and having mental pressures to deal with – the increase in the rate of obesity is obvious.
Since weight loss drugs are now available in the market for the treatment of obesity, there is still hope. If you are suffering from obesity, you should buy Acomplia rimonabant because, as said above, it is lab-tested and clinically-proven to work. If you want to buy Acomplia rimonabant, you need a prescription. You can either go to your local GP and get a prescription or buy Acomplia rimonabant online. Since you are online right now, it will be more convenient and easy for you to buy Acomplia rimonabant online. It will save your time and money.
All you need to do to get the obesity treatment is fill in a consultation form provided by the website. Once you finish the online consultation process, a doctor will check if you can buy Acomplia rimonabant or not. If he finds you suitable for Acomplia, you can get your own obesity treatment very soon!
Buy Acomplia for Obesity
If you are suffering from obesity, you should buy Acomplia rimonabant as it is lab-tested and clinically-proven to work. However, you cannot buy Acomplia Rimonabant just like that. You need a valid prescription to get it. Since you are online right now, it will be more convenient and easy for you to buy Acomplia rimonabant online.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Acne Scars- Treat Them At Home With Tretnoin

Acne scars- why do they form?

When we get acne many times it resolves without getting infected. This kind of acne leaves hyper pigmentation that fades over a time. When acne becomes infected, it spreads deeper inside and damages the collagen in the dermal layer. As the inflammation increases, more of skin tissues are killed and when the acne gets treated, it leaves a scar, which is normally a deep scar. The depth depends upon the damage done by acne, which depends upon it's severity.

Acne scar treatment option-

If the scar is deep, you may have to get deep or medium depth chemical peeling done. Laser is another option while dermabrasion is also effective. Your doctor will decide about how to remove such deep scars because some filler may also be needed to fill the scarred skin. If the scar is not deep, you can do superficial peeling with tretinoin at home.

Superficial acne scars and tretinoin-

Tretinoin peels the upper layer of the skin. By repeated application, your mild superficial scar will become less prominent. You have the option of using an OTC product or a prescription product. Please consult your doctor about that. Along with treating mild scars tretinoin also removes dead skin cells and removes superficial age lines and spots.

This article is only for informative purposes. This article is not intended to be a medical advise and it is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult your doctor for your medical concerns. Please follow any tip given in this article only after consulting your doctor. The author is not liable for any outcome or damage resulting from information obtained from this article.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Acne Skin Care: 8 Simple Tips To Follow

Commonly affecting the skin condition of people between ages 12 to 24 is a disease called acne. The cause of acne is hard to determine. However, over secretion of the sebaceous glands is pointed as the cause to trigger most acne outbreaks.

Pilosebaceous units are the combination of the hair follicles and oil glands in the skin. Except for the surface of the palms and the soles of the feet, pilosabaceous units are found on the skin tissue throughout the body . They are responsible in secreting the oily substance called sebum. However, due to many factors (e.g. hormonal imbalances, stress and the skin's natural condition) the oil glands may be induced to produce more sebum than normal. When this happens, the excess oil plugs the skin pores. This process brings about bacterial infection and stimulate the reaction of the immune system. In the end, acne inflammation results.

Acne can strike at any skin type. An oily skin type is most subseptible to acne. Dry skin on the other hand, may not be as susceptible but serious outbreaks may occur during winter. Normal skin is equally susceptible to acne but the level of severity may not be as high.

Presently, acne is not yet totally curable but can be remedied with several acne skin care methods. Many seek the help of topical medications, which are applied on the surface of the skin. However, employing the use of acne skin care products like "pore strip pads" may remove whiteheads and blackheads but they would not have any effect on the excess sebum produced.

Nevertheless, for remedy and prevention, it is best to employ the following 8 simple tips:

1. A healthy, well-balanced diet must be observed. Therefore, your food intake must incorporate all the essential nutrients the body needs for efficient functioning.

2. Drink plenty of fluids like water, juices. Minimize the intake of carbonated drinks.

3. No make up is recommended.

4. Wash your face with mild soap and water. The logic is to not remove the dirt (as the majority of acne-inflicted person perceive) but to remove the plugs on the skin pores, which may be a combination of dead skin cells, bacteria and hardened sebum. Although dirt is not truly the cause of acne, it may contribute to further infection through its interaction with skin debris and particles and extra oil in the skin.

5. Use topical cleansing pads that may contain one or the combination of the following: salicylic acid, sulfur and benzoyl peroxide to remove excess oil. Another way to minimize the presence of extra oil in the skin is to wash the face with the hottest water you can withstand.

6. Minimize the use of harsh cleansers and use acne skin care items that exfoliate mildly. Do not scrub vigorously to the affected areas.

7. If your hands are dirty, refrain from touching your face.

8. If you have long hair, tie up your hair so that it is kept away from the face. This is especially so if the weather is hot and you have been perspiring.

Preventative acne skin care steps are just as important as the treatment of acne itself. With prevention, at least, you know how to ensure that your acne problem does not escalate and spread to a bigger infected area.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Acne- Proven Cure For Your Acne With Vitamin A Derivatives

Acne and Vitamin A

Vitamin A is considered a very important anti oxidant vitamin. Use of Vitamin A in the form of Beta-carotene kills free radicals and keeps us young for a long time. How vitamin A is used for treating Acne? Let us find out in detail.

Vitamin A side effects- a boon

Doctors warn that Vitamin A in large quantities can be dangerous. In mild doses, it dries the skin and peels it. This side effect has been used to prepare derivatives of Vitamin A called retinoids. Vitamin a is also called retinol. Its derivatives are called retinoids. Isotretinoin is the most famous derivative. Others are tretinoin, Adapalene , tazarotene .

Acne treatment with Vitamin A derivatives

Topical Vitamin A derivatives dry the skin and peel the upper layers off. This quality is very useful in treating acne. Sebum, the skin oil is the most responsible for causing acne. This sebum becomes infected and forms acne. Vitamin A derivatives dry out this sebum on the site of application. The other main cause of acne formation is blocked sebaceous glands. Once the top layer begins peeling because of Vitamin a derivatives, the pores open. This effectively cures acne.

One should be careful in using Vitamin a derivatives. Many cosmetics contain Vitamin A ingredients such as Retinol, tretinoin etc. Excess use will cause redness. Pregnancy is another major concern. Those who are pregnant or are planning to get pregnant should consult their doctor before using any Vitamin A derivative or Vitamin A itself. Vitamin A derivatives area boon in acne treatment.

This article is only for informative purposes. This article is not intended to be a medical advise and it is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult your doctor for your medical concerns. Please follow any tip given in this article only after consulting your doctor. The author is not liable for any outcome or damage resulting from information obtained from this article.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Acne Program - Step 9 Protein and 0ther Food to Eat

Eating the right kind of food is what can give you a strong immune system and help you prevent sickness and all kinds of skin blemishes including acne.

Here are some of the foods that can help you overcome the acne on your face or throughout your body.


Eating excess meat is harmful to your health. Eating too much meat, more than 2-4 ounces per day, has been found to contribute to narrowing of the arteries.

If you do physical labor and are involved in a lot of movement in your work, then you should eat more than 2-4 ounces of protein per day. Just make sure that the meat has a minimum of additives and preservatives.

Remember, meat is high in saturated fat, which blocks the activity of EPA and DHA, which produce prostaglandin and control the activity of your hormones.

Meat and bread is a big contributor to creating constipation. Meat is difficult to digest and many times it will get into the colon partial digested. This condition benefits the bad bacteria and allows them to dominate the colon and create constipation.

Because meat and bread have little fiber, they move slowly in the colon, which leads to constipation and eventually to some type of colon inflammation.

Bad bacteria, decaying meat and other undigested food contribute to the build up of toxic matter in the colon. This is the type of condition you should try to avoid, if you have acne. You need fecal matter in the colon to move regularly and out the rectum, otherwise, toxic matter will build up and end up in your blood stream

Here are the grains you should be eating:

* Brown rice – contain many amino acids that help rebuild skin tissue

* Whole grains – contain folic acid, magnesium, and vitamin E, B vitamins, minerals, and fiber

* Oats – use them in the morning with honey or raisins. Oats have an anti-inflammatory effect on the skin and help to keep you regular.

Seeds and nuts

* Almonds - Almonds contain protein, the B vitamins, calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium, and phosphorus. Use them as a snack. These small nuts help to build muscles and tissue.

* Flax seeds – These seeds are known for containing plenty of omega 3 oil, an essential oil for life. They also contain fiber when used ground up and put into smoothies. Omega 3 is also an anti-inflammatory oil, which is good for acne.

* Pecans – This is one of the good nuts to eat. It contains Vitamin A, B’s, C, calcium, iron, phosphorus, and potassium. Use them as a snack.

* Pine nuts – these nuts also one of the best to eat. They contain vitamin A, C, B’s, protein and iron.

* Sesame seeds – They are high in calcium, phosphorus, and potassium. They are helpful in relieving various skin diseases such as acne by reducing the swelling.

* Sunflower seeds – These seeds should be used as a snack. They are high in protein, calcium and vitamin A. They provide nutrients for building the whole body and are good for dry skin.

All of these nuts and seeds should be eaten raw. Heating and other processing will kill the life force of the nut or seed and also reduce the quantity of the vitamins and minerals.

Eat these nuts and seeds as snacks. Sesame seeds, sunflower, and flax seeds can be put directly into your blender as you make your smoothies.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Acne Patients Seeing the Light

New Laser Therapy Prevents Acne From Graduating to Scars

What’s a four letter word for a skin condition that affects nearly 80 percent of the population in various forms and can cause considerable emotional stress? If you answered acne, then you hit this hard-to-treat condition on the head. While a more difficult question might have been how to treat acne, dermatologists are at the forefront of using laser technology to stop acne in its tracks – and prevent the acne scars that are often a result.

No. 1 Skin Condition

Acne is the most commonly diagnosed skin disorder in the world, topping the list of reasons that patients seek out the help of a dermatologist. While studies show that acne is not caused by diet or stress but by physiological factors such as hormones, excess oil and bacteria, patients often place the blame on their own shoulders.

“Acne patients are often times truly frustrated, and rightfully so,” said by a dermatologist. “They hear mixed messages about the causes of acne and sometimes spend an enormous amount of time and money trying to treat the condition with the latest over-the-counter products. By the time I see them in my office, the acne usually has worsened to the point that it is affecting their self-esteem and social lives. But it’s important to remember that acne is a treatable medical condition.”

Acne lesions are prevalent on parts of the body where there is a high concentration of pores that contain oil-producing sebaceous follicles, such as the face, neck, chest, shoulders, and upper back. When these follicles become clogged and inflamed, blackheads and whiteheads develop. If a whitehead or blackhead ruptures, its infected contents come into contact with the skin and the infection spreads - producing what is classically referred to as a zit. In a worst-case scenario, the zit becomes so badly infected it turns into a cyst that is located deep in the skin. If left untreated, these painful lesions can lead to an acne scar.

Until recently, a combination of topical and oral medications - including antibiotics - has been used almost exclusively with varying degrees of success to combat acne. Now, dermatologists are using non-ablative laser technology to successfully treat active acne and the scarring that often results as well.

One of the main benefits of non-ablative lasers, in contrast to their ablative counterparts, is that they can clear acne without producing a notable injury to the outer layer of the skin. Non-ablative therapy works by targeting the overactive sebaceous glands that are responsible for acne. The laser emits a wavelength of light that is strongly absorbed by water within the skin. This generates heat in and around the sebaceous glands. By creating a mild thermal injury just below the skin’s surface, a non-ablative laser alters the structure and function of the sebaceous gland, leading to prolonged acne clearance.

"I believe that laser-based applications for acne will one day become the preferred treatment option for acne patients, many of which are dissatisfied with topical and systemic treatments and are wary of their risks and side effects," explained by the dermatologist. "I use non-ablative therapy extensively in my practice, and I've found it to be a safe and cost-effective treatment that has dramatically changed my patients' lives for the better."

Non-ablative treatments typically take between five to 20 minutes, during which time the patient experiences a slight snapping or stinging sensation that is alleviated with a pre-treatment topical anesthetic and post-treatment ice application. A series of three to five treatments are delivered at monthly intervals in order to achieve the desired clearance.

Marked reduction in acne lesions often occurs within a couple of treatment sessions, and a series of treatments should result in acne clearance for more than six months. Side effects are limited to mild redness and swelling, which will not interfere with a person’s daily activities.

Acne’s Cruel Reminders

Non-ablative laser therapy is also being used to successfully treat the scars that remain long after the initial acne has been cleared. While acne scars rarely pose a health risk, they are difficult to treat and can be very damaging to a person’s self-esteem. Traditionally, dermatologists have used dermabrasion, surgical excision, and fillers, such as collagen, to diminish scarring. However, the results in many cases were limited.

Over the last several years, laser technology has assumed an increasingly important role in the treatment of acne scars. At first, ablative lasers were used to sculpt or vaporize the skin's surface. Now, techniques involving non-ablative lasers have taken over, thanks primarily to their ability to promote collagen growth beneath an acne scar without creating an external injury.

"Our experience has shown that patients treated with this therapy experience significant improvement in the appearance of their acne scars,” said by a dermatologist. “After a series of three monthly non-ablative treatments, patients have many times exceeded our expectations and often outperformed the results obtained by ablative lasers."

With medical technology advancing at a rapid rate, Dr. Alster cautioned patients to be sure to consult a dermatologist experienced in laser therapy for proper treatment.

"Don’t be afraid to ask your physician questions about his or her experience and qualifications or training with a particular procedure,” said Dr. Alster. “Since any type of laser procedure can carry potential side effects, it’s important to entrust your care to qualified hands."

Kerwin Chang writes for where you can find out more about acne and other skin care topics.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Acne Medications

There may be new information. This information does not take the place of talking with your prescriber (doctor or other health care provider).
What is the most important information I should know about Accutane?

Accutane is used to treat a type of severe acne (nodular acne) that has not been helped by other treatments, including antibiotics. However, Accutane can cause serious side effects. Before starting Accutane, discuss with your prescriber how bad your acne is, the possible benefits of Accutane, and its possible side effects, to decide if Accutane is right for you. Your prescriber will ask you to read and sign a form or forms indicating you understand some of the serious risks of Accutane.
Possible serious side effects of taking Accutane include birth defects and mental disorders.

1. Birth defects. Accutane can cause birth defects (deformed babies) if taken by a pregnant woman. It can also cause miscarriage (losing the baby before birth), premature (early) birth, or death of the baby. Do not take Accutane if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while you are taking Accutane. Do not get pregnant for 1 month after you stop taking Accutane. Also, if you get pregnant while taking Accutane, stop taking it right away and call your prescriber.

All females should read the section in this Medication Guide "What are the important warnings for females taking Accutane?"

2. Mental problems and suicide. Some patients, while taking Accutane or soon after stopping Accutane, have become depressed or developed other serious mental problems. Symptoms of these problems include sad, "anxious" or empty mood, irritability, anger, loss of pleasure or interest in social or sports activities, sleeping too much or too little, changes in weight or appetite, school or work performance going down, or trouble concentrating. Some patients taking Accutane have had thoughts about hurting themselves or putting an end to their own lives (suicidal thoughts). Some people tried to end their own lives. And some people have ended their own lives. There were reports that some of these people did not appear depressed. No one knows if Accutane caused these behaviors or if they would have happened even if the person did not take Accutane.

All patients should read the section in this Medication Guide "What are the signs of mental problems?"

For other possible serious side effects of Accutane, see "What are the possible side effects of Accutane?" in this Medication Guide.

What are the important warnings for females taking Accutane?

You must not become pregnant while taking Accutane, or for 1 month after you stop taking Accutane. Accutane can cause severe birth defects in babies of women who take it while they are pregnant, even if they take Accutane for only a short time. There is an extremely high risk that your baby will be deformed or will die if you are pregnant while taking Accutane. Taking Accutane also increases the chance of miscarriage and premature births.

Female patients will not get their first prescription for Accutane unless there is proof they have had 2 negative pregnancy tests. The first test must be done when your prescriber decides to prescribe Accutane. The second pregnancy test must be done during the first 5 days of the menstrual period right before starting Accutane therapy, or as instructed by your prescriber. Each month of treatment, you must have a negative result from a urine or serum pregnancy test. Female patients cannot get another prescription for Accutane unless there is proof that they have had a negative pregnancy test.

A yellow self-adhesive Accutane Qualification Sticker on your prescription indicates to the pharmacist that you are qualified by your prescriber to get Accutane.

While you are taking Accutane, you must use effective birth control. You must use 2 separate effective forms of birth control at the same time for at least 1 month before starting Accutane, while you take it, and for 1 month after you stop taking it. You can either discuss effective birth control methods with your prescriber or go for a free visit to discuss birth control with another physician or family planning expert. Your prescriber can arrange this free visit, which will be paid for by the manufacturer.

You must use 2 separate forms of effective birth control because any method, including birth control pills and sterilization, can fail. There are only 2 reasons you would not need to use 2 separate methods of effective birth control:

1. You have had your womb removed by surgery (a hysterectomy).
2. You are absolutely certain you will not have genital-to-genital sexual contact with a male before, during, and for 1 month after Accutane treatment.

If you have sex at any time without using 2 forms of effective birth control, get pregnant, or miss your period, stop using Accutane and call your prescriber right away.

All patients should read the rest of this Medication Guide.
What are the signs of mental problems?

Tell your prescriber if, to the best of your knowledge, you or someone in your family has ever had any mental illness, including depression, suicidal behavior, or psychosis. Psychosis means a loss of contact with reality, such as hearing voices or seeing things that are not there. Also, tell your prescriber if you take medicines for any of these problems.

Stop using Accutane and tell your provider right away if you:

? Start to feel sad or have crying spells

? Lose interest in activities you once enjoyed

? Sleep too much or have trouble sleeping

? Become more irritable than usual

? Have a change in your appetite or body weight

? Have trouble concentrating

? Withdraw from your friends or family

? Feel like you have no energy

? Have feelings of worthlessness or inappropriate guilt

? Start having thoughts about hurting yourself or taking your own life (suicidal thoughts)
What is Accutane?

Accutane is used to treat the most severe form of acne (nodular acne) that cannot be cleared up by any other acne treatments, including antibiotics. In severe nodular acne, many red, swollen, tender lumps form in the skin. These can be the size of pencil erasers or larger. If untreated, nodular acne can lead to permanent scars. However, because Accutane can have serious side effects, you should talk with your prescriber about all of the possible treatments for your acne, and whether Accutane?s possible benefits outweigh its possible risks.
Who should not take Accutane?

? Do not take Accutane if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or become pregnant during Accutane treatment. Accutane causes severe birth defects. All females should read the section "What are the important warnings for females taking Accutane?" for more information and warnings about Accutane and pregnancy.

? Do not take Accutane unless you completely understand its possible risks and are willing to follow all of the instructions in this Medication Guide.

Tell your prescriber if you or someone in your family has had any kind of mental problems, asthma, liver disease, diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis (bone loss), weak bones, anorexia nervosa (an eating disorder where people eat too little), or any other important health problems. Tell your prescriber about any food or drug allergies you have had in the past. These problems do not necessarily mean you cannot take Accutane, but your prescriber needs this information to discuss if Accutane is right for you.
How should I take Accutane?

? You will get no more than a 30-day supply of Accutane at a time, to be sure you check in with your prescriber each month to discuss side effects.

? Your prescription should have a special yellow self-adhesive sticker attached to it. The sticker is YELLOW. If your prescription does not have this yellow self-adhesive sticker, call your prescriber. The pharmacy should not fill your prescription unless it has the yellow self-adhesive sticker.

? The amount of Accutane you take has been specially chosen for you and may change during treatment.

? You will take Accutane 2 times a day with a meal, unless your prescriber tells you otherwise. Swallow your Accutane capsules with a full glass of liquid. This will help prevent the medication inside the capsule from irritating the lining of your esophagus (connection between mouth and stomach). For the same reason, do not chew or suck on the capsule.

? If you miss a dose, just skip that dose. Do not take 2 doses the next time.

? You should return to your prescriber as directed to make sure you don?t have signs of serious side effects. Because some of Accutane?s serious side effects show up in blood tests, some of these visits may involve blood tests (monthly visits for female patients should always include a urine or serum pregnancy test).
What should I avoid while taking Accutane?

? Do not get pregnant while taking Accutane. See "What is the most important information I should know about Accutane?" and "What are the important warnings for females taking Accutane?"

? Do not breast feed while taking Accutane and for 1 month after stopping Accutane. We do not know if Accutane can pass through your milk and harm the baby.

? Do not give blood while you take Accutane and for 1 month after stopping Accutane. If someone who is pregnant gets your donated blood, her baby may be exposed to Accutane and may be born with birth defects.

? Do not take vitamin A supplements. Vitamin A in high doses has many of the same side effects as Accutane. Taking both together may increase your chance of getting side effects.

? Do not have cosmetic procedures to smooth your skin, including waxing, dermabrasion, or laser procedures, while you are using Accutane and for at least 6 months after you stop. Accutane can increase your chance of scarring from these procedures. Check with your prescriber for advice about when you can have cosmetic procedures.

? Avoid sunlight and ultraviolet lights as much as possible. Tanning machines use ultraviolet lights. Accutane may make your skin more sensitive to light.

? Do not use birth control pills that do not contain estrogen ("minipills"). They may not work while you take Accutane. Ask your prescriber or pharmacist if you are not sure what type you are using.

? Talk with your doctor if you plan to take other drugs or herbal products. This is especially important for patients using birth control pills and other hormonal types of birth control because the birth control may not work as effectively if you are taking certain drugs or herbal products. You should not take the herbal supplement St. John?s Wort because this herbal supplement may make birth control pills not work as effectively.

? Talk with your doctor if you are currently taking an oral or injected corticosteroid or anticonvulsant (seizure) medication prior to using Accutane. These drugs may weaken your bones.

? Do not share Accutane with other people. It can cause birth defects and other serious health problems.

? Do not take Accutane with antibiotics unless you talk to your prescriber. For some antibiotics, you may have to stop taking Accutane until the antibiotic treatment is finished. Use of both drugs together can increase the chances of getting increased pressure in the brain.
What are the possible side effects of Accutane?

Accutane has possible serious side effects

? Accutane can cause birth defects, premature births, and death in babies whose mothers took Accutane while they were pregnant. See "What is the most important information I should know about Accutane?" and "What are the important warnings for females taking Accutane?"

? Serious mental health problems. See "What is the most important information I should know about Accutane?"

? Serious brain problems. Accutane can increase the pressure in your brain. This can lead to permanent loss of sight, or in rare cases, death. Stop taking Accutane and call your prescriber right away if you get any of these signs of increased brain pressure: bad headache, blurred vision, dizziness, nausea, or vomiting. Also, some patients taking Accutane have had seizures (convulsions) or stroke.

? Abdomen (stomach area) problems. Certain symptoms may mean that your internal organs are being damaged. These organs include the liver, pancreas, bowel (intestines), and esophagus (connection between mouth and stomach). If your organs are damaged, they may not get better even after you stop taking Accutane. Stop taking Accutane and call your prescriber if you get severe stomach, chest or bowel pain, trouble swallowing or painful swallowing, new or worsening heartburn, diarrhea, rectal bleeding, yellowing of your skin or eyes, or dark urine.

? Bone and muscle problems. Accutane may affect bones, muscles, and ligaments and cause pain in your joints or muscles. Tell your prescriber if you plan vigorous physical activity during treatment with Accutane. Tell your prescriber if you develop pain, particularly back pain or joint pain. There are reports that some patients have had stunted growth after taking Accutane for acne as directed. There are also some reports of broken bones or reduced healing of broken bones after taking Accutane for acne as directed. No one knows if taking Accutane for acne will affect your bones. If you have a broken bone, tell your provider that you are taking Accutane. Muscle weakness with or without pain can be a sign of serious muscle damage. If this happens, stop taking Accutane and call your prescriber right away.

? Hearing problems. Some people taking Accutane have developed hearing problems. It is possible that hearing loss can be permanent. Stop using Accutane and call your prescriber if your hearing gets worse or if you have ringing in your ears.

? Vision problems. While taking Accutane you may develop a sudden inability to see in the dark, so driving at night can be dangerous. This condition usually clears up after you stop taking Accutane, but it may be permanent. Other serious eye effects can occur. Stop taking Accutane and call your prescriber right away if you have any problems with your vision or dryness of the eyes that is painful or constant.

? Lipid (fats and cholesterol in blood) problems. Many people taking Accutane develop high levels of cholesterol and other fats in their blood. This can be a serious problem. Return to your prescriber for blood tests to check your lipids and to get any needed treatment. These problems generally go away when Accutane treatment is finished.

? Allergic reactions. In some people, Accutane can cause serious allergic reactions. Stop taking Accutane and get emergency care right away if you develop hives, a swollen face or mouth, or have trouble breathing. Stop taking Accutane and call your prescriber if you develop a fever, rash, or red patches or bruises on your legs.

? Signs of other possibly serious problems. Accutane may cause other problems. Tell your prescriber if you have trouble breathing (shortness of breath), are fainting, are very thirsty or urinate a lot, feel weak, have leg swelling, convulsions, slurred speech, problems moving, or any other serious or unusual problems. Frequent urination and thirst can be signs of blood sugar problems.

Serious permanent problems do not happen often. However, because the symptoms listed above may be signs of serious problems, if you get these symptoms, stop taking Accutane and call your prescriber. If not treated, they could lead to serious health problems. Even if these problems are treated, they may not clear up after you stop taking Accutane.
Accutane has less serious possible side effects

The common less serious side effects of Accutane are dry skin, chapped lips, dry eyes, and dry nose that may lead to nosebleeds. People who wear contact lenses may have trouble wearing them while taking Accutane and after therapy. Sometimes, people?s acne may get worse for a while. They should continue taking Accutane unless told to stop by their prescriber.

These are not all of Accutane?s possible side effects. Your prescriber or pharmacist can give you more detailed information that is written for health care professionals.

This Medication Guide is only a summary of some important information about Accutane. Medicines are sometimes prescribed for purposes other than those listed in a Medication Guide. If you have any concerns or questions about Accutane, ask your prescriber. Do not use Accutane for a condition for which it was not prescribed.
Active Ingredient: Isotretinoin.

Inactive Ingredients: beeswax, butylated hydroxyanisole, edetate disodium, hydrogenated soybean oil flakes, hydrogenated vegetable oil, and soybean oil. Gelatin capsules contain glycerin and parabens (methyl and propyl), with the following dye systems: 10 mg ? iron oxide (red) and titanium dioxide; 20 mg ? FD&C Red No. 3, FD&C Blue No. 1, and titanium dioxide; 40 mg ? FD&C Yellow No. 6, D&C Yellow No. 10, and titanium dioxide.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Acne Medication From Your Dermotologist

You may decide that your acne problem is serious and wish to consult a dermatologist. Before visiting a dermatologist for the first time, it is good to know what to expect especially in the type of acne medication that he or she is likely to prescribe.

While seeking treatment, your dermatologist may prescribe you with more than one type of acne medication. This can be normal as acne is usually assessed on a-case-by-case basis. Therefore, acne medications that work for another does not necessarily imply that it will also work for you. Depending on the seriousness of your acne problem, your dermatologist may be prescribing you with a topical acne medication and/or a systematic approach to reduce the cases of flare-ups and inflammations.

A topical acne medication treatment is one that is applied on the skin surface. It can come in different forms; for example, lotions, gels, soaps and creams. Benzoyl peroxide is a common ingredient in the majority of acne medications as it helps in slowing down the activities of the oil glands in producing skin oil called "sebum". However, continued use of this acne medication may cause the skin to dry and crack up plus a possible irritation and burning sensation may be felt. But this can be resolved pretty easily through minimizing the level of usage of benzoyl peroxide.

It is important that this product is used over the infected area, not just directly to one or two individual pimples. Smearing and flaking are likely to carry the infection to other parts of the skin, like the back, shoulders and neck. So you have to be careful, when you apply this product.

Retin A, a derivative of Vitamin A is not a topical acne medication but it is noted to show great effects on the growth of acne. It works by drying the skin thus preventing new pimples form developing. However, it is suggested that if you should use this, you must at all times, stay away from the sun as this may only aggravate the skin condition.

Meanwhile, systematic acne medication is one that is taken internally to combat acne. It usually comes in the form of antibiotics. The type of antibiotic that you may use will depend largely on the severity of the case and your skin type. At times, you may be prescribed to use small amounts of antibiotic contents like that in Bacitracyn and many over the counter acne medications.

On the average, these acne medications may take six to eight weeks before significant developments take effect.

In certain cases, your dermatologist may prescribe you with hormonal acne medication reatment. The principle in most hormonal treatments is to control the release of hormones such as androgens and testosterone. This happens when the dermatologist decides that hormone imbalances is the cause of your acne.

Of course, it is always best to get a professional and qualified skin specialist or dermatologist for a proper diagnosis. Choose one that comes highly recommended by your friends and relatives. Spend time to search for a good dermatologist.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Acne Cyst

Copyright 2006 Robert Groleau

Acne is a skin ailment that affects millions of people at some point in their life. Over ninety percent of the world’s total populace is affected by acne with a immense number of teenagers. Just like some skin disorders, acne varies to a great extent from mild to severe typically characterized by the incidence of pimples, blackheads, and acne cyst on the face, neck, chest, and back.

When it comes to acne cyst, it is significant to note that it is in reality the outcome of the bacterial infection of cysts itself deep within the skin. The acne cyst, in contrast to the blackheads and whiteheads, is generally huge inflamed lesions that are filled with pus. A concrete reason for its expansion lies on the idea that when the contents of a clogged pore seeps into the skin, a major local immune response is produced. Acne cyst may look like a nodule, and perhaps the only difference between them is that an acne cyst is pus-filled. It is also worth noting that acne cyst typically have a diameter of 5mm or more across. And, acne cyst is just one of the few signs of severe acne that it can be painful and can cause scarring if treated unsuitably.

Acne cyst can be treated and prevented. A number of ways to fight acne cyst and its scarring are in fact there. But of all the approaches, conceivably the best way to treat and prevent ace cyst from forming is in essence not to squeeze, pick or pinch the lesions as it may only cause a deeper infection and much painful inflammation, which may last longer than if you had left it alone.

Basically, an acne cyst is treated with oral and topical antibiotics for these greatly combat acne and acne scarring from forming. In the case of modest to severe acne cyst, the therapy usually relies upon the antibiotherapy that will get rid of the microorganisms like the propionibacterium spp that has been colonizing the sebaceous follicles in the skin.

An acne cyst can also be treated with certain bacterial resistances against certain antibiotics. This is essentially a new trend in the medical field that it emerged just lately. With its introduction, many experts have noted that both the antibiotic and its administration modalities must be addressed so to control the threat of having an acne cyst. One tangible example of this kind of treatment is the oral minocyclines as they are powerful anti-acne therapies. A number of treatments are actually now available on the market, but for a much better result, it is prudent to see your doctor first before opting for one of them.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Acne: There are a lot of treatments to fight acne

Acne is the most widespread skin disorder in the world, according to statistics. Experts spend a lot of time doing research to determine how acne forms and how it is eliminated. Different treatments, medicines, and products have been produced to help control and eliminate this skin disorder.

There exit about 7 different treatments that are used in prevention and elimination of acne. There are also much different products that use these treatments in one way or another.

Some of these acne treatments that help to reduce or eliminate acne problems are: Accutane, antibiotics, Benzoyl Peroxide, herbal remedies, Retin-A and Salicylic Acid, among others.

Accutane (Isotetinoin) is a powerful drug that is normally prescribed for severe acne in cases where other treatments have failed to work. It is normally taken for a 4-6-month period.

Antibiotics were designed to fight bacteria. These are used to control acne mainly from the inside. Some topical antibiotics (clindamycin) are applied directly to the skin. Other antibiotics (tetracycline) are in pill form.

Benzoyl Peroxide is an anti-bacterial agent that has been used to control acne for many years. It has been proven to work very well in the elimination and prevention of acne.

Herbal Remedies are a relative newcomer to mainstream acne fighting. It is thought that certain herbs are effective in regulating oil levels and other bodily functions that are part of acne.

Retin-A (tretinoin) is a combination of retinoic acid and vitamin A acid. It was designed to treat acne, sun damage, and wrinkles. It unplugs follicles and turnovers over dead skin cells.

Salicylic acid helps to slow down the shedding of cells inside the follicle and it is available in many treatments purchasable without a doctor's prescription.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Acne: Determining what really causes Acne

Having acne can be an agonizing experience for any teenage, especially for adults who never seemed to got out of the phase. Tons of acne medications get sold every year, this is a clear indication that people with acne are determined to get rid of them, at all cost.

Some of these acne medications though simply cover up acne and do not really treat them. Getting rid of acne should be from its roots, their cause.

Acne is the result of abundant amount of toxics in the body. These toxics can be an amassing of fat not properly disposed off, or accumulation of hormones the body produces. When the kidney, liver and the bowels could not dispose all of these toxins, they need to dispel them some other way. The body releases them either through the lungs or through the skin.

This is when a breakout of acne can occur. The toxins released through your skin are the dirt and oil that causes the acne to swell up and get the pores infected.

That is why most dermatologists recommend having the face and neck scrubbed regularly with soap and water to rid of these toxins. With a well-cleansed face, you eliminate the chances for the pores to be infected. Untreated acne can cause ugly scarring in the affected area that could be permanent.

This blemish to the face could be quite hard to remove. Therefore, to prevent acne from happening you need to clean your face regularly as well as cut down on foods that are full of fats and hard to digest foods. Also cleanse your bowels and your waste system so that you won't have a build-up of toxins in your body.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Acne - Avoid Comedogenic Products

Acne avoidance needs lot of care. Use of products play a big role in Acne. If you use a product that can cause comedos- whiteheads and blackheads, you are inviting acne. to avoid acne you should use all products that are certified non- comedogenic. Let us find out what is comedogenicity and how to keep skin clear of acne?

Acne And Comedogenicity

Most of the materials that are used for skin and body care are tested for comedogenicity. For that test, the material is applied on the inside of rabbit's ear and the site observed after three weeks. A biopsy is taken and comedones counted. Depending on the comedone formation, the material is classified on a scale of 0 to 5. A material with 0 comedogenic potential will not cause comedones, while one with 5 will cause comedones in the largest quantity.

Acne- Skin Care Formulations

Here, please note that a skin care product may contain more than one ingredient. The manufacturer will label the product as comedogenic or non-comedogenic. Please use non-comedogenic product. Appearance of the product may not indicate its comedogenicity. Mineral oil that looks oily has the no.0!

Acne Care- Select Products

Acne care needs use of products after careful consideration. Use non-comedogenic products and if after using a product for sometime you find comedones increasing, stop usage for sometime and see the result. You r own judgment will guide you. Keep your skin free of acne.

This article is only for informative purposes. This article is not intended to be a medical advise and it is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult your doctor for your medical concerns. Please follow any tip given in this article only after consulting your doctor. The author is not liable for any outcome or damage resulting from information obtained from this article.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Acid Reflux Drugs and Antacids Are Killing You

Doctors and Pharmaceutical giants know that their drugs and antacids do not cure heartburn or acid reflux. They have known for a long time that their drugs simply suppress the condition and continue the cycle of heartburn, acid reflux, and drugs. If you have fallen prey to this medical cycle, for sure you are headed toward serious malnutrition. The inability to feed your body the nutrients it needs will result in the diseases that you now see in most elderly people.

Because your mouth and stomach are the first step in getting nutrients into your body, you don't want to get this step wrong. If you are taking Prevacid, Prilosec, Aciphex, Protonix, Nexium, or even antacid, its time you re-evaluated the use of these drugs.

Fact1: Your stomach is designed to have a pH of 3.0 or less, more acidic

Fact 2: When you stomach pH is consistently higher than 3.0, more alkaline, you create disease

Fact 3: Taking heartburn or reflux drugs or antacids raises and keeps your stomach pH above 3.0 and higher.

When your stomach has the proper pH, it digests your food so that,

The meat you eat is broken down into amino acids that you absorb later

Vitamins are created from the food you eat

Vitamins are separated out from the food you eat

Minerals are kept in solution for later absorption

Stomach digested food moves into the duodenum at the proper pH level and triggers digestive juices from the pancreas and gallbladder.

Bacteria overgrowth is prevented and eliminates their interference with the absorption of vitamin B-12

When your stomach pH gets higher than 3.0, It secretes more acid to keep its pH below 3.0. When heartburn or acid reflux medication interferes with stomach acid by raising it pH above 3.0, the stomach is no longer functioning like a stomach. It is now creating chemical combinations that are not usable by your body. What it now produces is affecting the function of subsequent processes in the duodenum and colon. It causes these body organs to malfunction and they fail to digest and absorb the nutrients from the food you ate.

The cascade effect of a stomach with a high pH over a long period of time results in numerous ill conditions that are not traceable to an inefficient stomach.

So it's your job is to keep your stomach's pH at the proper level and look to solve your heartburn and acid reflux issues using natural remedies. If your condition, has evolved into GERD then you may have to consult a doctor or an alternative practitioner to recover from this disease.

Monday, February 14, 2011

About smoking addiction

The addiction to smoking, which implies addiction to the substance nicotine has several components. The better one is aware of these components and understand them, the better is the chance for succeeding in stopping the smoking habit. Here is a survey of the components that addiction to smoke consist of.


To some extend the habit of smoking is a product of socialization. Socialization is simply the tendency to repeat patterns of behaviour one sees other persons in the society exhibit. Socialisation is one major way children and young people learn social skills. Children and teenagers learn skills necessary to live and work in the society by a socialisation process. Unfortunately also bad habits and bad ways of thinking are learned the same way.

If one lives or works together with other smoking individuals, one will more or less automatic adopt these individuals’ smoking habits. If one then tries to break out of the social structure, one will feel anxiety for not being accepted any more by the social group one is a part of.

If the other individuals also make moves to threaten or freeze out an individual trying to brake this bad social standard, the difficulty of breaking out of the habit will be even greater. The threatening actions may not even be very serious to frighten a person from braking out of such a socially standardized habit, and may not even be meant as a threat.


Every person have a need for sucking and chewing. This need is necessary in early infanthood, but it also persists into adult life to some degree. Some persons use cigarettes or other smoking devices and the smoke as a means to satisfy this need. There is a hypothesis that this need is greater by some adults then by others because this need, or some other similar basic need, has not been fully satisfied in early infanthood.

If you want to stop smoking, you can try to satisfy this need by other means, for example by always keeping something in your pocket that you can put in your mouth to chew at when the need for smoke appears.


When a person have done something many times and frequently enough, there will be created a pattern of automatic repetition of that particular behaviour. This is especially true if the particular action is done in a distinct recognizable situation.

The pattern of automatic repetition also have the effect of making a person feel safer in the daily life and routines.

Such a pattern of automatic repetition is always a component in the smoking habit. It you want to quit smoking, you should make an investigation to find out in which situations and which environments you usually take a cigarette.

Then try to avoid these situations or environments where you use to smoke, or to deliberately alter these situations.


Nicotine has a tranquilizing effect upon nervous feelings. At the same time it has some anti-depressive effect, at least in the short run, and it makes a person feel more awake. A person suffering from nervousness or from depressive symptoms may feel that the smoking helps him against his mental symptoms.

However, gradually there will be a need for steadily higher doses of nicotine to give these good effects, and if there is a lack of nicotine in the body, the nervous or depressive feelings will be greater than before.

This gratification, but with the need for steadily higher doses to get the good effects is a major incentive for the smoking habit. You should consider if this anti-depressive or tranquilizing effect is a reason for your smoking. Then you should try to find other ways to achieve the same effect. Engaging in some sport or outdoor life will often make you feel less depressed. If the depressive feelings are more serious, some appropriate treatment can be necessary.


There is to some degree a plain and direct pleasure connected with smoking. This pleasure is in itself a good effect. This good effect is probably in most cases too small compared to the painful effects of smoking, but will gives a temptation for an individual to continue the habit. However, also this pleasure effect will gradually be difficult to obtain without increasing the doses.

If the plain pleasure of smoking is a main reason for your habit, then you should try to find other sources of pleasure instead, for example some good food, some good music or some erotic action.


Not all people get equally easy dependent of nicotine. There are factors yet not fully understood that make some people more easily addicted than others. Perhaps some persons have receptors on their nerve cells that more easily get trigged by nicotine than others, or perhaps some people have more receptors with the ability to get trigged by nicotine, and this is inherited in the genetic code.


The normal brain has signal substances with a tranquilizing effect, and substances with a stimulating effect upon nerve cells. Like most narcotic substances, nicotine act like a signal substance by fitting into receptors on some brain cells.

Nicotine attaches itself to some receptors and thus give the nerve cell having these receptors a signal. The cells getting such a signal from nicotine, will react by secreting another signal substance, dopamine that influence still other cells. Dopamine will tranquilize some brain cells and stimulate others, and the total effect of this is the pleasurable effects of smoking.

However, when nicotine steadily induces dopamine release, the brain will gradually decrease the production of dopamine when nicotine is not present, and the brain will feel a steadily greater need for nicotine to work normally and feel well.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

About Acne, its Types & Symptoms

What is Acne?

Acne is a chronic disorder of the hair follicles and sebaceous glands. Some of the characteristics of acne include black heads, pimples, cysts, infected abscesses, and rarely scarring. Acne usually occurs during adolescence in both men and women. To be more specific, acne starts during puberty and tends to get worse for people with oily skin. Acne badly affects teenage boys. Only mild to moderate forms of acne occur in middle-aged women. Acne can be seen most commonly on the face. The other places where it can occur include the neck, chest, back, shoulders, scalp, and upper arms and legs. Most forms of acne are the result of heredity and hormonal problems and has nothing to do with a harmful diet or poor hygiene.

Types of acne

Acne starts in a similar way for all but can take different forms and can react in a unique way according to the body conditions of the individual. A basic lesion called the comedo is the begining of acne. The comedo is an enlarged hair follicle plugged with oil and bacteria residing under the surface of your skin, that waits for the right conditions to grow into an inflamed lesion. Whenever the skin produces more oil, the bacteria grows within the swollen follicle. The surrounding skin becomes increasingly inflamed as your white blood cells fight against the intruders. Two main types of acne include non-inflammatory acne and inflammatory acne.

Non-inflammatory acne

Closed comedo:

If the plugged follicle stays below the surface of the skin, the lesion is called a closed comedo. This usually appears on the skin as small, whitish bumps. This condition is otherwise called as whitehead.

Open comedo :

If the plug enlarges and pushes through the surface of the skin, the lesion is called an open comedo. The dark appearance of the plug is not due to dirt, but due to the buildup of melanin, the pigmentation element of the skin. This condition is otherwise called as blackhead.

Inflammatory acne


This appears on the skin as a small, firm pink bump. The papules are tender in nature and are often considered an intermediary step between non-inflammatory and clearly inflammatory lesions.


These are small round lesions that are inflamed and contain visible pus, which appear red at the base with a yellowish or whitish center. Pustules do not contain a large amount of bacteria. The inflammation is caused by chemical irritation from sebum components such as fatty free acids.


These are large pus-filled lesions that are usually present deep within the skin. The cysts are very painful lesions, as they are inflamed. Cysts form as a result of the contents of a comedo spilling over the surrounding skin and due to the response of the local immune system in producing pus. The cysts often leave deep scars.

Acne conglobata:

This is a rare but serious form of inflammatory acne that develops primarily on the back, buttocks, and chest. In addition, to the presence of pustules and cysts, there may be severe bacterial infection.


The common symptoms of acne include persistent, recurrent red spots or swellings on the skin known as pimples. The pimples become inflamed and get filled with pus. The pimples usually occur on the face, chest, shoulders, neck, or upper portion of the back. Some of the other symptoms include dark spots with open pores at the center, which are known as blackheads, bulged spots under the skin without openings, which are known as whiteheads, and red swellings or lumps filled with pus, which are known as pustules. The pustules can develop from blackheads or whiteheads. Inflamed fluid-filled lumps under the skin known as cysts are also a symptom of acne. These cysts can become as large as an inch across.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

A Worldful of Germs

Germs are everywhere. You practically live in a world full of germs. No matter how often you wash your hands and how many times you take a bath, you cannot totally get rid of them. But not all germs are harmful. In fact, some germs can keep you healthy. That is why it is very important that you should know which ones are beneficial and which ones can pose danger to your health.
In every illness such as colds, fever, and sore throat, you can almost be sure that germs are the ones responsible for it. Germs are a multitude of microscopic invaders that include bacteria, viruses, parasites, and other infectious organisms that can be found in the air that you breathe, in water that we drink or on unclean surfaces and not some infected animals. It can also be found in the soil, on plants, on your food, and even inside your own body. They are practically just on every surface that you could think of. They range in size from the microscopic virus to single-celled bacteria to parasitic worms that can grow to more than several feet in length.
Although your immune system can protect you from legions of infectious microbes, there are some bacteria and viruses that prove to be menacing and formidable opponents due to their ability to mutate constantly. which consequently breaks down the immune system.

Single-celled microorganisms like bacteria have the ability to reproduce through cell-division. These are minute living organisms that looks like balls, rods, or spirals when seen through the microscope. They can grow on any non-living surface which may not necessarily pose any danger to your health. Some bacteria are even beneficial to one's health such as Lactobacillus Acidophilus. This particular bacterium helps in the digestion of food in your stomach and fights some disease-causing organisms. It can also give some nutrients to the body. In fact, some bacteria are being used to make health foods like yogurt and cheese.
But there are certain strain of bacteria that when they get inside your body, you will become ill. This is called bacterial infection. These infectious bacteria, like Streptococcus, Staphylococcus, and E.coli, can mutate rapidly and produce chemicals called toxins that can destroy the cells and tissues in your body. Severe gastrointestinal problems from contaminated food is caused by E.coli while gonorrhea is brought about by gonococcus bacterium. Some bacterial infections are considered contagious such as strep throat and tuberculosis. However, infections of the heart valves (endocarditis) or bone (osteomyelitis) are not considered transmissible.

Virus, on the other hand, is not a living organism but a capsule that contains genetic materials such as DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) or RNA (ribonucleic acid). It is not considered a living thing due to its inability to respond to environmental changes which is a characteristic of every living thing. Compared to bacteria, viruses are much smaller. They are not self-sufficient and must have a convenient host in order to mutate. The moment these viruses get to invade your body, they cling to your cells and attack these cells which eventually get damaged during the process. Examples of viral illnesses are Polio, the dreaded AIDS, and the common cold.

Fungi are singe-celled organisms that are somewhat bigger than bacteria. They are found in the air, water, soil and on plants and can live in your body and may not cause any harm. There are fungi that can be helpful in fighting infectious bacteria. Penicillin is an antibiotic against bacterial infections derived from fungi. Some types of fungi can be used in bread-making, cheese and yogurt. Molds, yeast and mushrooms are types of fungi. Some mushrooms may be multi-celled organisms and can be seen by the naked eye. Although mushrooms are not infectious, some yeasts and molds do. Candida is a yeast that can cause thrush, an infection of the mouth and throat among infants and those who are under antibiotics medication or who are suffering from damaged immune system. Candida is also responsible for diaper rash.

Protozoa are microscopic, single-celled organisms that are very much similar to animals in behavior. They are parasites living within your body particularly in the intestines, hunting other microbes for food. Some can be harmless whilers may be harmful to your health. they contaminate the food that you eat and water you drink. Aside from eating and drinking, protozoa can enter your body through sexual contact or through mosquitoes, transmitting the deadly parasite plasmodium which causes malaria.

Literally meaning worms, helminths are considered to be among the larger parasites to enter the body through its eggs or larvae stage and dwells in your intestinal tracts, lungs, liver, skin or brain. Most common example of these are the tapeworms which can grow to as long as 12 inches and roundworms that can grow to be 25 feet or even longer. Tapeworms have segmented bodies which can break off to develop into new tapeworms.

Safety Advice
Although the common colds can always be treated by over-the-counter drugs, always seek medical advice when you suspect that you have infections and you have been experiencing the following:
• Difficulty breathing
• A cough lasting longer than a week
• A fever of 100.4 F (38.0 C) or more
• Periods of rapid heartbeat
• A rash, especially if it's accompanied by a fever
• Swelling
• Blurred vision or other difficulty seeing
• Persistent vomiting
• An unusual or severe headache
• Animal or human bite
Let your doctor diagnose you to be sure if you're infected and to know the severity of the infection as well the proper treatment for each condition.

Friday, February 11, 2011

A Weight Loss Plan For Success

The formula for losing weight is simple: eat less and exercise more. But, it's not really all that simple, is it?

Long-term weight loss isn't impossible, but you do have to be committed. Having a weight loss plan for your success is a good start. Here are ten items that should go into your weight loss plan.

1. Eat breakfast. This keeps you from getting too hungry later and then losing control over what you choose to eat later in the day.

2. Stock your refrigerator and pantry with healthy foods and snacks and limit high-fat, high-salt snacks such as potato chips and cookies.

3. Fill up on Fiber. Eat foods like fruits, vegetables and whole grains. The fibers in these foods will fill you up leaving less room for unhealthy choices.

4. Don't fall into bad habits on weekends. Many people will follow a strict diet on weekends only to fall back into eating more (unhealthy) on the weekends as a reward for "being good" all week. Unfortunately, this can cause you to regain tahe weight you may have lost during the week.

5. Watch portion sizes. Your perception of what a serving size should be and a "true" serving size can differ dramatically. Measuare your portions accurately, especially when you first start your healthy eating regime.

6. Set lifestyle goals - not weight loss goals. Commitment to eating healthy foods does lead to healthy weight loss -- gradually. Looking at your weight daily can cause discouragement and will make many people give up and go back to unhealthy food choices.

7. Take healthy snacks with you when you take road trips. Grab healthy granola bars, bananas, apples and other fruit to prevent the tempation of stopping for a cancy bar or milk shake.

8. Don't deny yourself the foods you love. If you absolutely love chocolate, go ahead and have a small pice - half of a candy bar insteaad of a whole one! And avoid eating your "splurges" every day. Save them for when you really need them!

9. Start moving. Exercise is the key to long term weight loss. You've heard the saying, "Move it or lose it." Too true!

10. Keep a journal. Writing down what you eat, when and how much you exercise and your moods will keep you on track and motivated to continue the course.

Weight loss is achieved by both diet and exercise. It is also achieved by persistence. If you "fall off the wagon" one day, pick yourself up and continue your healthy lifestyle the next. Don't give up!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

A Smart Move for a Smart Look

Who doesn’t want to look fit and stay healthy? Who doesn’t want to stay slim and look adorable? But sometimes what happens due, to our own mistakes we allow our body bulge like a balloon and one day it may burst. Accumulation of fats is a common phenomenon in human body and one does need a bit of fat in body. But too much of fat may lead to hazard. Your body may become prone to various ailments like heart trouble; diabetes, exhaustion and this in return hamper you physically and mentally as well. So when you feel that you are gaining unnecessary fat it is always better to take the necessary precautions.

Apart from dieting and heavy exercises, medications can be a very handy procedure to get rid of your unnecessary fats. Oflate a drug call Phentermine is mesmerizing it’s customers with its unique fat burn qualities. Just within a span of 10 to 12 weeks you can find a “new you” in front of the mirror. You will find lot’s of people being benefited from Propecia. Phentermine first got its approval FDA way back in 1959 as an appetite suppressant.

Let us learn how Phentermine works. Phentermine stimulates our hypothalamus gland in our brain affecting certain neurotransmitters which in turn lowers our appetite and manages body metabolisms. It’s an absolute diet medicine and if it is included in your daily nutritious diet routine along with a bit of exercise, the drug can be very productive.

Clinical trails have found some side effects like dry mouth, dizziness, upset stomach or constipation, but have been proved that these are temporary sings and will fade away as the body get adjust to it. However it is always advisable to consult a doctor before using it, for it is only your doctor who can tell you about its usage and effects.

Nowadays, Phentermine can be easily available and can be ordered online. It is a fact that many like you are benefited from this drug significantly. So you can buy it now online.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

A Shadow Over Your Pregnancy: How Preexisting Health Conditions can Affect You and Your Baby

One of the most important things for a woman to ensure while she is pregnant is that she remains healthy throughout the the nine-month period. This is because anything that affects the mother will affect the baby in her womb. With that into consideration, women should be aware that any preexisting condition they might have and/or the medications that they are taking can have a profound effect on their pregnancy and their baby. In some cases, this may increase the risk of babies being born with birth weight problems (either overweight or underweight), developmental problems, preterm labor, premature rupture of membranes, pre-eclampsia, congenital heart block, or deformities. It may even be the cause of death for both mother and child.

Among the preexisting medical conditions that pose a significant health risk for women during pregnancy are anemia, asthma, arthritis, sexually transmitted diseases, heart conditions, systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), thyroid disorders, kidney diseases, liver diseases, infections, diabetes, hypertension, eating disorders, epilepsy, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), substance abuse, depression, and other mental illnesses. While these conditions can pose complications during pregnancy, it is possible to manage them with medical assistance.

It is highly recommended that women visit their obstetricians monthly during a normal pregnancy, but for women with preexisting conditions this may occur with more frequency so that their healthcare providers can monitor the progress of the pregnancy, how the woman is managing her preexisting condition and how it is affecting the unborn child.

For women with preexisting conditions who are planning to become pregnant, it is important to consult with a doctor before conception happens. A doctor will be able to explain the risks the condition poses to the pregnancy and help a woman weigh the pros and cons of carrying a child. This is called preconception planning, and when followed by early and on-going prenatal care, it is very helpful in ensuring a safe and healthy pregnancy.

Preconception planning can map out a possible plan for every step during the pregnancy, including counseling for the couple who wishes to have the child, the possibility of changing the medications currently being used to manage the preexisting condition, and of any changes in diet for the mother-to-be. In some cases, such as if a woman has an eating disorder or a predilection for substance abuse, the doctor may suggest going through therapy to eliminate these conditions before becoming pregnant. Both diet and medication have been proven to have an impact on the health of the child, since the baby is effectively sharing whatever the mother ingests.

Chronic conditions don't have to threaten a woman's life or the life of her unborn child. Apart from seeking medical advice about her preexisting conditions, it is also important to have the support of her family and friends around her. There are also groups composed of women in a similar situation that remind the the woman that she is not the only person going through this challenge. There are many women out there have triumphed over their illnesses to carry a child to term. Practicing preconception planning is just one of the steps in giving birth to healthy babies.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

A Short History of Herbs

The world of today is a world of progress, no one doubts about that. We have managed to do in 200 years of continuous industrial revolution, what we couldn’t do in thousands and thousands of tumultuous history. And yet, with all these technological breakdowns and synthetic substances, artificial food, not to mention the reign of King Plastic, some people still find the power and the wisdom to ask themselves how people in the past remained healthy and fit without nutritional supplements, drugs, even antibiotics. Their secret was that that they used what Mother Nature gave them: the plants to cure themselves. Fortunately, this knowledge hasn’t been forgotten; even if they’re not so widely used, plants have found their place in our civilization.

The story begins thousands of years ago, before the recorded history, when man didn’t know how to write or read, but knew how to follow their instincts. They discovered that certain herbs could alleviate their pains, others could make a wound disappear and others could even kill them. In the course of time, societies developed and with them appeared the means to transmit their knowledge other than orally.

5000 years ago, in Ancient China, people used rhubarb (Rheune palmatum) as a purgative without knowing anything about the actual active substances they contained. Also, they used Ephedra to treat asthma, even though the substance called ephedrine was discovered much later, in 1887 AD. All oriental ancient civilizations had their insights into the fascinating world of botany, as plants were one of the few elements to which they could resort to heal themselves. The famous king Hammurabi of Babylon (18th century BC) recommended mint to cure constipation and other digestive disorders. Mesopotamian doctors considered that the best time to take a herbal medicine was at night or early in the morning, a principle which is confirmed nowadays by modern studies. The Indians had an entire system of rules, prescriptions, remedies and practices, called Ayurveda, many of which involved the use of plants. They also had strict rules about when, by whom and from where the plants should be collected

People in Ancient Egypt knew and used the castor-oil plant, wormwood, saffron and oregano to heal and disinfect wounds; they also put coriander in their tombs so that the spirit will remain healthy in his afterlife. There are written records of their use of garlic (especially for the workmen who built the pyramids), indigo, mint and opium. The Greek and Roman civilizations have made a major contribution to the medical science. Although much of their studies stemmed from other cultures (Mesopotamian, Egyptian), they added precious information and, in time, they became more and more concerned about the diseases and cures as natural and realistic processes, rather than spiritual or magical. Physicians like Hippocrates, Dioscoride and others have recorded their discoveries; their works would enlighten the pre-medieval civilizations for many centuries after their death. Dioscorides wrote De Materia Medica (1st century AD), which contained a list of hundreds of medicinal plants, along with their description and curative qualities.

The Dark Ages met with a lack of any further recorded herbal studies; the knowledge was probably transmitted from generation to generation – parents taught children, monks, even herbalist taught apprentices. However, there lived a great Persian physician by the name of Avicenna (Abu Ali al-Husayn ibn Abd Allah Ibn Sina) who wrote one of the most famous books in the history of medical science: The Canon, which also contained information about how plants should be used and their properties.

In1527, the Swiss thinker Paracelsus demonstrates that only a small part of the plant has an effect upon the human body (1g per 20 kg of plant), which is what we now call active substance. Later on, scientists have developed methods to isolate these substances.

However, the first complete categorization of all known medicinal plants was printed in a book called Theatrum Botanicum by John Parkinson in 1640 AD. In 1649 Nicholas Culpeper pulished A Physical Directory, which is considered one of the best herbal pharmacopoeia manuals still quoted today.

As chemistry as a science developed, physicians started to use more and more widely synthetic medicines, such as aspirin, which proved to have side effects. Yet all pharmacists and drug producers confirm the fact that, unlike artificially synthesized substances, medicines extracted from plants are more accessible to the metabolism and friendlier with the human body.

Monday, February 7, 2011

A Quick Guide to Vegetable Enzymes

Healthcare is an important issue for everyone. How we take care of our body throughout our life makes a big difference in the way we age and the diseases we may suffer.

Preventive Health Care

Enzymes are an important factor in our body's health. Enzymes are catalysts that start a chemical reaction to help us digest and absorb our food. If we do not have the proper help, our body cannot assimilate and use the nutrients we feed it. Health care will become a dreaded subject.

Many diseases and health concerns could be avoided with the right diet and enzymes. Some people cannot digest their food properly and become overweight while others suffer all manner of upper and lower digestive problems. As we age we lose our ability to digest properly, which causes more health care problems.

What Enzymes Do

There are different types of enzymes that work on a particular food. Amylase works to break down carbohydrates, starches and sugars. Protease breaks down protein in meat, eggs, and cheese. Lipase breaks down fats in dairy products and meats. There are others that are not as general and provide more specific functions.

Proper Nutrition

Because of a lack of good digestion, many people suffer from a deprivation of nutrition. This causes other health care problems. To maintain healthy skin, good cholesterol levels, good memory, healthy bones and joints, we must keep our body nourished and healthy. Lack of nutrition also causes sleep disorders and weight loss or gain and energy loss. Many health care concerns could be avoided with better digestion.

Good Health Care

When someone eats healthy all their life, their organs will be strong and able to fight off disease and illness. But if you cannot get enough nutrients with your food alone, enzymes will help spread the right reactions to each part of the body. Different enzymes will work with others to get each job done. Taking a vitamin supplement with enzymes or making an effort to consume more vegetables could make a vital difference in men's and women's health. Vitamins are much less expensive than healthcare these days!

Raw foods contain healthy enzymes, but heated and processed foods lose most, if not all, of their strength. Eating raw cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and cabbage will provide critical enzymes and also act as cancer blockers. For continuing good health, eating raw vegetables is very important.

Everyone Needs Enzymes

There have been doctors who have treated patients' serious diseases and cancer with diet and enzymes, which show the importance of this factor in our body. Don't neglect the needs of your body. For your own good health care, make sure you do not lack this vital digestive aid.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

A Proven Eastern Medication for Infertility

Getting pregnant can be a big problem for a lot of couples. Some of these couples use the latest technology the modern medicine has offered. According to the National Women's Health Resource Center (NWHRC), five percent of infertility treatments involve in vitro fertilization (IVF) or other kinds of assisted reproductive technologies. It is a method in which a laboratory is used to try to help a couple become pregnant. More than 70,000 babies have been born in the United States using assisted reproductive technologies, including 45,000 born as a result of in vitro fertilization. IVF makes pregnancy possible for more than half of the couples who pursue treatment.

Techniques like IVF have been in use since the 1970s, but they are still something of an inexact or inaccurate science. The success rates for each therapy range from as low as 1% to as high as 50%, and a successful pregnancy depends on a variety of factors. It can include the age of the woman, the cause of infertility, and the skill of the technician performing the procedure.

But there is another procedure for aiding pregnancy that has been in use since the ancient times. Although modern medical science has failed to conclusively explain just how it works, acupuncture is said to be a an effective method for helping a couple to have a baby. Acupuncture is based in the Chinese belief that a balance in the energy flow known as qi and chi through the body is needed in order to stay healthy. When a blockage or imbalance occurs in that flow, one's health is negatively affected. There are 20 major pathways that qi is believed to travel along and these pathways, or meridians, are accessible through 400 different acupuncture points.

Practitioners of traditional Chinese medicines believe that a variety of energy patterns can interfere with becoming pregnant. Acupuncture works in the treatment of infertility by increasing the production of endorphins in the brain, which then helps people de-stress and relax. The traditional treatment can help stabilize hormone levels of a couple trying to have a baby. This can lead to an increase in sperm production for men and the improvement of blood supply in the uterus and the ovaries among women. Doctors believe that integrating acupuncture, at least, helps relieve some stress and anxiety suffered by patients struggling with infertility.

Acupuncture can be used in combination with other Western Medicine treatments for infertility. Acupuncturist Jin Jin Hua claims that the 4,000-year-old practice of using hair-thin needles to penetrate and stimulate organs can work alongside IVF to create a successful pregnancy. It has a surprising success rate of sixty percent among infertile women. And there is some scientific evidence to back this up, said Ms Jin. A German study published in April 2002 showed that 42.5 per cent of women who underwent acupuncture, once before and once after the transfer of the embryos in the uterus, became pregnant.

Moreover acupuncture has helped a lot of women as it has shown promising results in women with polycystic ovarian syndrome in regulating their periods. In another study, almost all women suffering from polycystic ovarian syndrome who undergone acupuncture had their periods regulated.

Acupuncture provides a holistic and a noninvasive approach to reverse infertility, and this traditional method has helped a lot of couples. Soon, getting pregnant will never be a problem, all it takes are some needles with a pinch of a balanced and positive outlook in life.

A New Way To Lose Weight Revealed By Ladies Of The East!

To try to lessen the bad feelings of being called fat or overweight, we tend to use lesser dreaded and offensive words such as "larger size" and "big" instead of plain "overweight" and "fat". But it took just one comment from a buddy friend, a nurse in the local hospital, to bring home a deep truth. She said, " In my entire life working in this hospital, I have yet to see a fat oriental chinese lady", referring to the patients she has seen seeking treatment in the government hospital.

Of course, it is not true that there are no fat oriental chinese ladies in the world, because fat and overweight are universal issues affecting all races and cultures, irrespective of skin and color. But is there a health secret coming from the Orient that makes the chinese lady generally slimer and slender?

Indeed, recent discoveries in Japan showed that a type of chinese tea called the Okuma's Wu Long tea together with a healthy diet and exercise revealed that people who regularly consumed this tea experienced over TWICE the calorie-burning results of those who drank the same amount of authentic Japanese green tea. Drinking this Wu Long tea 15 minutes before eating carbohydrates also helped blunt the rise in insulin that normally comes after eating food that contained a lot of carbohydrates. As carbohydrates causes weight gain by increasing insulin levels, drinking this tea helps to control weight gain.

Like other teas as well, Japan's Shiga University of Medical Science found that drinking Wu-Long tea also daily dramatically clears up skin eczema within just one month, and helps in reducing free radicals, and lower the risk of infections such as the common cold.

Indeed, in the ancient chinese pharmaceutical book "Bencao Shiyi "(The Compendium of Materia Medica), it is said that tea "will make one live long and stay in good shape." Tea, particularly the oriental Wu-Long tea that comes from China's Fujian Province has been used by countless generations of ladies to help melt away body fat, boost energy and even clarify the skin, and these newer scientific discoveries in Japan seem to indicate that it is possible to drink away pounds of unwanted body fat and loose inches from the waistline.

Teas are just a form of natural supplements to help in weight management and fat loss. Taking a supplement to assist in weight loss is just one prong in battling weight and fat, but it is necessary to have a healthy diet and to maintain a program of exercise at the same time if we are to continue to keep the extra weight and fat off our bodies. Therefore, selection of a good supplement, having a balanced diet and having a fitness program will go a long way to get your weight down.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

A More Convenient Approach To Heart Health

Here's news many Americans can take to heart. In addition to diet and exercise, there is a new heart health product with aspirin available to help reduce heart disease risk factors.

Cardiovascular disease poses a major health threat to both men and women in the U.S. According to the American Heart Association, more than 71 million adults in the U.S. have at least one type of cardiovascular disease. These include dysfunctional conditions of the heart, arteries and veins that supply oxygen to life-sustaining areas of the body such as the brain, the heart itself and other vital organs.

These conditions can be caused by a buildup of fatty deposits in the arteries, elevated cholesterol, high blood pressure and poor circulation. Patients with cardiovascular disease are at increased risk for heart attacks, strokes and death.

A healthy diet and regular exercise are important steps in the prevention of cardiovascular disease. In addition, a new and complete heart health product has been developed that combines the known benefits of doctor-recommended, low-dose aspirin with heart health vitamins and other supplements. These ingredients have been clinically shown to reduce the chances of heart attack and stroke, and may help lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels and help manage other cardio risk factors.

Called CardioEA™ Enhanced with Aspirin, each safety-coated caplet contains 81 mg of doctor-recommended, low-dose aspirin plus a complex of vitamins B6, B12, Folic Acid, L-Arginine and Aged Garlic Extract™ (AGE). It provides heart health-conscious consumers with the opportunity to help manage many of the risk factors that contribute to heart disease with a single daily caplet instead of taking various supplements and aspirin every day.

This is the first in a new category of preventive and wellness products called OTCeuticals™, manufactured by the Alan James Group, a health care-focused consumer products company based in Boca Raton, Florida. OTCeuticals are vitamins, minerals, herbs and other supplements that are combined with FDA-monographed, Category 1 USP-grade ingredients in rational, safe, effective and convenient combinations.

In addition to CardioEA Enhanced with Aspirin, the Alan James Group's OTCeuticals pipeline includes products for bone & joint and gastrointestinal health, among others.

CardioEA Enhanced with Aspirin is available in the vitamin section at most major supermarkets, chain drug and discount retailers.

Friday, February 4, 2011

A Natural Remedy for Gingivitis, Toothaches, and Mouth Sores

Everyone has a variety of bacteria in their mouth. Some have more than others. This bacterium helps you by beginning the digestive process.

Excess bacteria in your mouth have now been found to cause more than tooth decay, gingivitis or gum disease. So, you need to know, even though you might not have gingivitis, how to control these plaque-building bacteria in your mouth.

Bacteria that create gingivitis live in your plaque and cause your gums to inflame, bleed, and separate from your teeth. You can also have bad breath when you have gingivitis. In more severe cases, your gums become sore, teeth hurt, gums recede, and teeth loosen.

To stop the inflammation and gum separation use this natural remedy to kill some of these bacteria and strengthen your gums in your mouth.

Here are the herbs and the formula you will need to make a remedy for a mild case of gingivitis:

2 parts white oak bark herb – powder

1 part myrrh gum herb – power or granules

3/4 part Peppermint leaves converted to powder

½ part anise herb – power or seeds

1/8 part clove - powder

If herbs and leaves are not in powder form, grind them in a coffee grinder. Use this formula to make as much powder as you want.

Place the mixture into a small container. I usually use a small-unused vitamin bottle.

I usually mix a small amount and use a tablespoon as my measuring tool. For example, 2 tablespoons of white oak, 1 tablespoon of myrrh gum, ¾ tablespoon of peppermint leaves, and so on. The measurements do not have to be so precise.

How to use it:

To control bacteria in your mouth, use this power once a week. If you have gingivitis, you can use this 3 times a day. Place some powder on your toothbrush and brush your teeth and gums. After brushing spit out, a few time, the saliva and residue powder. Don’t rinse out your mouth since you want to keep the active herb powders in your month. You can swallow any that remains in your mouth with no problem.

This powder combination is bitter, but quite powerful and will get the job done. You can add more peppermint powder to make it less bitter, if you like.

For severe cases of gingivitis and toothaches, you can also moist some powder with distilled water and then place the paste all along the your teeth and gums – front and back. Leave the paste in your mouth as long as you can. Don’t worry about the herbs getting in between your teeth. This remedy works.

My wife was schedule for a root canal last year and a few weeks before her tooth started paining and couldn't sleep. So I made this remedy. She just placed the powers around the painful area. It wasn't long before the pain stopped and she was able to go to sleep.

There have been other clients that have used this remedy for a month and successfully avoided having the dentist apply gingivitis treatment. In cases of severe gingivitis, go see your dentist and at the same time use this remedy.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

A Mother's Battle With Advanced Colon Cancer

In the fall of 2003, Bridget Beranek, a 44-year-old wife and mother of two young girls, was gearing up for a busy holiday season filled with family functions, parties and shopping. So when she began to lose her appetite and energy, Bridget initially chalked it up to holiday stress.

When the New Year came and went, but Bridget's symptoms were still present, she knew it was more than stress. After several visits to her primary care physician, Bridget saw an internist, and underwent a colonoscopy. In March 2004, she was diagnosed with stage IV colorectal cancer that had spread to her liver.

"I know it sounds cliché, but I couldn't believe this was happening to me," said Bridget. "Scheduling a colonoscopy was not a priority for me because I was under 50 and lived a healthy lifestyle. I ate right, didn't drink or smoke, and went regularly for a mammogram. One thing I learned from this experience is that colon cancer is a disease more people, especially women, need to be better informed about."

The American Cancer Society reports that colorectal cancer, commonly referred to as colon cancer, is the second-leading cause of cancer-related death in the United States, second only to lung cancer. It is also the third most common cancer diagnosed in both men and women.

Risk factors for colon cancer include a family or personal history of the disease, intestinal polyps or chronic inflammatory bowel disease, obesity, a high-fat diet, and being age 50 or older. Symptoms may include changes in bowel habits, abdominal discomfort, vomiting, fatigue, blood in the stool or unexplained weight loss, though many people are diagnosed without any symptoms.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends men and women over age 50 who have an average risk for colon cancer receive screening. Higher-risk patients, such as those with a family history of the disease, should talk with their physicians about when they should begin screening.

Fortunately for Bridget, a new treatment for metastatic colorectal cancer had just been approved by the FDA, only weeks before her diagnosis. Her oncologist decided to treat her with a combination of traditional chemotherapy and a targeted therapy called Avastin® (bevacizumab). Though she occasionally has side effects such as fatigue, Bridget's cancer has responded to the treatment and she is doing well. She is thankful to be able to spend time with her husband and daughters, and to practice her favorite hobby, photography.

Typically, metastatic colorectal cancer patients undergo surgery followed by chemotherapy. Today's targeted therapies, which are designed to attack cancer cells in a more specific way than chemotherapy, provide an additional tool for doctors to use in treating this disease. Avastin, for example, is an angiogenesis inhibitor, which means it interferes with the blood vessels that feed cancer tumors, to help prevent tumors from growing and spreading to other parts of the body. Avastin is approved for use in combination with intravenous 5-fluorouracil-based chemotherapy for first-line treatment of patients with metastatic colorectal cancer.

It is important to keep in mind that Avastin has been associated with side effects in colorectal cancer. Serious side effects occur rarely, but can include gastrointestinal perforation and slow or incomplete wound healing and blood clot complications. Other more common side effects seen in clinical trials include nosebleeds, high blood pressure, proteinuria (too much protein in the urine, which may be a sign of kidney damage), weakness, pain, diarrhea, and a reduced white blood cell count.

Because everyone is different, it is not possible to predict what side effects an individual may experience. If you have questions about side effects or treatment with Avastin, talk to your doctor or another member of the health-care team.