Healthy Veins: More Than Just Looks

If you are already a sufferer of either varicose or spider veins, then you know that these can cause you more serious health problems than just looking awful.  In some cases, if not varicose veins are not treated they can even lead to blood clots, which can prove to be fatal.  Luckily, there are a variety of treatments out there, most commonly Sclerotherapy, which can be used to prevent these serious complications from arising.

First of all, you must understand that not all sufferers of varicose or spider veins have cause for concern.  You should definitely be talking with your health physician regarding your questions and fears about whichever one you suffer from before worrying about it any further.  They can monitor the situation and help you make the right choices for you to stay in the best of health.

There are many treatments being used today to treat or stop a vein issue from becoming worse.  Vein treatments in Manhattan (the clinic at which I practice), or anywhere in your local area should be able to provide more information.  First, if the veins are not causing you any immediate health concerns, a doctor will typically suggest some lifestyle changes to help prevent any more complications.  These lifestyle changes can include a better diet, a change in jobs, or limiting your sun exposure.

If your problem is more than just a bit of discomfort, there are other options available.  Compression stockings are a first step in helping alleviate the pain and discomfort that can occur with varicose, and sometimes spider veins.  There are 3 different gradients of pressure that compression stockings can offer, and which one your doctor prescribes will depend on the level of help you need.

Another treatment, also mentioned above, is called Sclerotherapy, or vein treatment.  This can be done at any reputable vein clinic.  Although the procedure may sound daunting, it is actually quite common, and proves to be very successful.  The doctor will insert a liquid into the vein, which will make the walls of the vein close up. As this happens, blood will stop flowing to this vein, and then the vein will become scar tissue.  Though you may have to treat the same vein more than once, the great thing about this procedure is you resume normal activity directly after the procedure.

Surface laser treatments are also used, though this procedure can actually be quite painful, and doesn’t have as good an outcome as Sclerotherapy.  Your doctor will help you determine which type of treatment is right for you.

Posted by Zachary Grimes - April 4, 2013 at 12:20 am

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New CNA Practice Test Options For Nursing Assistants In 2013

Healthcare jobs in the United States have seen explosive growth in recent years, many dedicated students are looking for entry level jobs in nursing schools. Why nursing? Nursing technicians and assistants have one of the highest salary to years-of-education ratios. The nurse aid position is the first step into the exciting healthcare field and nursing niche. 

CNA Testing Online

For aspiring nursing assistants and aids, the CNA Exam (also known certification test) as the CNA is a potential gateway into a successful career in healthcare.

The outcome of the exam can the deciding factor between good and great nursing assistant schools.

Ambitious students are resorting to prep courses and practice tests to learn everything possible before the exam.

Once such preparation measure is the online CNA Practice Test, which evaluates their knowledge of the subject matter as well as measures their test.

Online CNA Practice Test Options in 2013

Taking the practice test to prepare is not required but it is highly recommended. There are, however, other prerequisites that potential CNAs must complete before they are allowed to sit in on the practice test. The foremost of these: passing the CNA training program.

The CNA training program is offered through the following institutions:

  • High schools
  • Post secondary schools
  • Community and vocational colleges
  • Trade schools
  • Technical institutes
  • Long term care facilities. 

After completing the program, students are permitted to sit in on the test.

Students who consistently take the CNA Practice Test score significantly higher than those who show up on exam day with nothing more than the training program under their belts. Students often say that the hardest part about the practice test is not the test itself, but the uncomfortable feeling of staring your shortcomings in the face and taking the necessary steps to improve.

How Does the Practice Test Compare to the CNA Exam?

The absolute first thing to do before earning the title of certified nurse assistant is to earn CNA Certification by passing the CNA Practice Test. Seems simple enough, right? Well the nursing field is a complex jungle which requires not just nursing knowledge, but also an understanding of the skills required to safely apply that knowledge in the care of the patient.

As was previously mentioned, the certification test requires preparation. Many students do not pass the exam due, due to a lack of proper knowledge about the exam or knowledge of the test structure. Others are overcome with nerves and anxiety, severely limiting their memory recall and hurting their scores.

How to Prepare for the CNA Exam

The CNA exam examines candidates on two different levels with the CNAwritten test and the CNA skills test. The CNAwritten test evaluates students based on the general knowledge that they have acquired through the CNA training program.

Find Your State’s Minimum Score

Test problems in this section include are almost entirely multiple choice questions that measure the candidate’s knowledge of the program’s material. This is in contrast to the skills-based part of the test, which focuses almost exclusively on tangible skills that the candidate might use when interacting in clinic.

A minimum score, determined by a distribution of scores within each state, is required to pass the exam.

In addition to administering CNA practice tests to their students, testing centers also provide study material. Many of the more rigorous schools do not allow students to sit for the state nursing assistant exam unless they meet the minimum on the practice exam.

Use an Online Resource or Training Program

Many students opt for online services as a study buddy for the test. Many ISPs offer online training, and these programs include written portions and videos that are required to pass the real exam sections.

This is an excellent resource: http://cnatestcoach.com

Posted by Zachary Grimes - February 8, 2013 at 2:17 pm

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Heart Disease Statistics

The heart is the organ that pumps blood, with its life-giving oxygen and nutrients, to all tissues of the body. If the pumping action of the heart becomes inefficient, vital organs like the brain and kidneys suffer. And if the heart stops working altogether, death occurs within minutes. Life itself is completely dependent on the efficient operation of the heart.

There are many kinds of heart disease, and they can affect the heart in several ways. But the ultimate problem with all varieties of heart disease is that, in one way or another, they can disrupt the vital pumping action of the heart.

Heart disease is the number one cause of death for both men and women in the United States, claiming approximately 1 million lives annually. For every 33 seconds someone in the United States dies from cardiovascular disease which is roughly the equivalent of a September 11th-like tragedy repeating itself every 24 hours, 365 days a year. More die of heart disease than of AIDS and all cancers combined.

By 2020, heart disease will be the leading cause of death throughout the world. This year more than 920,000 Americans will have a heart attack; nearly half of them will occur without prior symptoms or warning signs. There are 250,000 Americans die annually of Sudden Cardiac Death – 680 every day of the year. One-half of the victims of Sudden Cardiac Death are under the age of 65. An estimated 80 million Americans have one or more types of heart disease.

About 8.9 million Americans have chest pain (angina) caused by reduced blood flow to the heart muscle which occurs when the coronary arteries become blocked with a build-up of plaque. Currently about 7.9 million Americans are alive who have had a heart attack.

In 2008, the total cost of cardiovascular disease (coronary heart disease, hypertensive disease, heart failure and stroke) in the U.S. was estimated at $448.5 billion.  (This includes direct costs such as costs of doctors, hospital services, medications, etc., and indirect costs such as lost productivity.)  In comparison, the estimated economic cost of cancer in 2007 was $219 billion.

Women account for just over half of the total heart disease deaths in the United States each year, although many women continue to think of heart disease as a man’s disease. Worldwide, 8.6 million women die from heart disease each year, accounting for a third of all deaths in women. 42% of women who have heart attacks die within 1 year, compared to 24% of men. Under age 50, women’s heart attacks are twice as likely as men’s to be fatal.

8 million women in the US are currently living with heart disease; 35,000 are under age 65. Four million suffer from angina. There are 435,000 American women who have heart attacks annually; 83,000 are under age 65; 35,000 are under 55. 267,000 women die each year from heart attacks – six times more than the number of women who die from breast cancer.

 

 

 

 

Posted by Arbyna Morales - October 18, 2012 at 9:36 pm

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Migraine Caused by Allergic Reactions

Migraine, like asthma, is paroxysmal in type. It frequently recurs with great regularity, often coming on the same day of the week. Patients find that much the same factors predispose to an attack, viz. emotion, fatigue, loss of sleep, etc.

French medical authors have led in the claim that migraine is an anaphylactic disturbance. They have reported some success in treatment by giving peptone by mouth for its non-specific effects. In many cases it is successful but must be given continuously in most cases. When stopped the old condition recurs rather quickly. J. L. Miller and others in this country have reported some success by the hypodermic use of peptone. It frequently fails and practically all patients relapse soon after stopping treatment.

Results of Protein Sensitization Tests

Additional evidence for the anaphylactic basis is furnished by protein sensitization tests and results found by acting on the information gained by that means. I have found that a careful testing of cases almost always gives a reaction to some food substance. At times multiple reactions are had, sometimes single. The reactions are not so well marked as in other allergic disturbances and are frequently different in appearance from the ordinary reaction as generally accepted. This is, I believe, the reason why others who have made these tests have not had success.

Finding substances to which the patient reacts does not, of course, prove that they are the cause of the headache. They may be the cause of some other disturbance of which the patient makes no complaint. However, if we eliminate the foods from the diet entirely and the headaches fails to appear as usual we can begin to suspect that we have found the cause. After a sufficient period of time I advise patients to resume eating the food or foods. Usually this brings on an attack rather quickly. If so, the foods are again eliminated. As a rule the attacks stop again. In case of multiple reactions an attempt is made to find which one is really the cause of the attack.

During the last three years I have had quite a large number of cases which I have tested out more or less completely and have had opportunity to follow up for final results. The results have been so very good that I believe all severe cases should have the tests made to discover the cause if possible. In addition to my own work I have had a verbal report from another specialist in allergic diseases that he has had results comparable to mine.

To illustrate the wide variety of foods causing the trouble I will cite a few typical cases.

Case 1.—W. B., male, age 54.

Family History: Mother had some asthma in later life. One sister had attacks of asthma or migraine, one substituting for the other. One period of several years elapsed without asthma, but with regular migraine attacks, followed by a period of one and a half years of asthma, without migraine. As a rule the attacks are more or less alternated. Another sister had very frequent attacks of migraine.

Patient’s earliest recollection was of having headaches often. For the last twenty years attacks were regular and weekly, usually on Sunday, lasting for either twelve or eighteen hours. Frequently attacks came on during the week. Tests showed only a slight reaction to wheat. The complete elimination of wheat resulted in stopping all attacks for a period of seven weeks. A break in the diet at that time caused a mild attack. A resumption of the diet gave four weeks of relief; then another mild attack after eating a small amount of food containing wheat. After a further period of about a month a full diet of wheat was advised with a quickly following headache. A densitization was attempted but never fully carried out. At present the patient reports he only has attacks when he indulges in too much wheat.

Case 2.—A. E., male, age 27.

Family History: Father had asthma.

Patient began to have migraine at about sixteen years of age. At first attacks were only once or twice a year; now more frequently, once a month or so, but irregular in time. Pain was so severe that patient said if he did not get relief he did not care to live. Attacks lasted one to three hours. Tests showed a slight reaction to onions. Elimination of onions from diet seems to have permanently stopped the attacks.

Case 3.—S. M., female, age 18. No family history of allergy. She had headaches for last two years which she believed were caused by milk, cream or butter. Attacks began one to three hours after eating. Formerly she had daily headaches which were relieved by glasses. Sick headaches lasted for a variable time. Tests were all negative except “suspicious” to wheat and positive to tuna fish. Patient was
advised to eliminate tuna fish from diet. She returned in about three months and stated that she had tried eating tuna fish and that each time she promptly had an attack. No attacks had occurred except when she had eaten the fish.

Case 4.—Mrs.. P. H., age 51. Family history negative. Attacks began when thirteen years of age and at that time were almost daily. More recently attacks were variable in occurrence but from one to three times a week. Tests showed a sensitization to egg and veal. Elimination of these stopped all attacks for five weeks and then an egg was eaten. An attack promptly followed. She had no further attacks unless eggs are eaten in some form.

Case 5.—Female, age 30. Sister has hay fever. Patient also has fall hay fever. Has had migraine only last few months. Attacks come on one to three times per week and are very severe, with profuse vomiting. Tests showed ragweed as a cause of the hay fever and also a sensitization to olives. Elimination of. olives stopped all headaches.

Conclusions

Migraine occurs sufficiently often in the family history of patients suffering from diseases of known allergic origin to make it probable that there is an allergic basis for the condition.
Protein tests in migraine cases shows in a majority a reaction indicating a sensitization to some food substance, the withdrawal of which from the diet stops further attacks.

Medical treatment directed towards prevention of attacks of migraine has so generally failed and the condition interferes so much with the patient’s welfare that any means which promises relief should be tried.
Migraine treated as an allergic disease gives results so generally good that physicians are urged to cease saying that nothing can be done and to adopt this method in order that they may bring relief to their patients.

Posted by Zachary Grimes - October 17, 2012 at 11:37 am

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Migraine vs. Headache

For the benefit of the non-medical portion of my audience I will state that the term migraine or sick headache is applied to a combination of symptoms of which the headache is only a part. There are frequently premonitory symptoms by which the patient knows an attack impends. Among these are flashes of light and other disturbances of vision. Dizziness occurs in some cases. Palpitation of the heart at times precedes the attack and in some cases even seems to substitute for the headache. Some patients are greatly depressed and some are very irritable before the attack begins. The headache, as a rule, follows a short time after the premonitory symptoms appear. The pain usually begins in a small spot, more or less constant in location for each patient. It may be on the forehead, the temple or the eyebrow. It is usually confined to one side of the head, but may be frontal or invade both sides.

The pain spreads gradually until it reaches the neck when the nausea usually begins. The pain may be severe or mild and the nausea likewise. There is much prostration, in fact few affections are more prostrating. During the attack the patient may not be able to raise the head from the pillow. Noise or light aggravates the condition. The duration of the attack is variable but is usually constant in the individual. The disease recurs for years, but in some cases ceases to trouble so much after fifty years of age. Severe cases may persist throughout life. The usual medical treatment of migraine has been entirely unsatisfactory, except that more or less relief of the acute attack was usually possible. In the past all treatments designed to prevent attacks failed in the majority of cases. In the light of the probable anaphylactic basis of the condition it seems possible that when the treatments did seem to help it was because the case was not true migraine.

In advancing allergy or protein sensitization as a cause of migraine I do not wish to be understood as claiming that all “sick headaches” are allergic. Certainly many cases diagnosed as migraine have been relieved by the oculist’s skill. Some have found relief after nasal or other operations; some by attention to the gastro-intestinal tract. In the operative cases and the gastro-intestinal cases it is probable that some were allergic reactions from bacterial or other foreign proteins.

After all these cases are eliminated from consideration there remains much the greater number of cases that are not relieved. These cases are, I believe, mostly if not entirely due to food sensitizations.

In the consideration of cases as possibly anaphylactic, an earnest effort was made to eliminate all but true migraine. Not all headaches accompanied by nausea are migraine. The so-called “bilious headache” is an example. Pituitary headache and the headache at menstrual period, which is probably often a pituitary disturbance, are often mistaken for migraine. These were eliminated.

It is now conceded by medical men that asthma, hay fever and urticaria are due to protein sensitization or allergy. In these diseases we find a definite hereditary tendency, not always to the same disease, but to some one or more of the group. In taking the family history of patients suffering with asthma, hay fever, or urticaria I have found a remarkably frequent history of migraine in some one or more members of the family. Likewise in taking a family history of migraine cases I have found an equally frequent history of some of the well recognized allergic diseases. In each condition a positive family history of allergy can be found in about fifty per cent of the cases.

Posted by Zachary Grimes - October 17, 2012 at 11:24 am

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