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Diseasome
Seeking to Better Understands Disease and How to Manage It
 
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Welcome to Diseasome

There are countless diseases that afflict millions of people all over the world, and diseasome.org works to overcome them by understanding them better first.


Herbal Supplements to Fight HIV

Americans have been aware of AIDS since around 1980, and this new and terrible disease has yet to have a cure. As we continue to research AZT and antiretroviral therapy (since AIDS compromises the immune system through a viral route), we have been fortunate to find some natural remedies that seem to help. Worldwide, an estimated 88.2 people were infected with this disease. With numbers so staggering, it is imperative that we find a solution.

Multi vitamins have been shown in several studies to lessen the onset of symptoms in patients in studies conducted over the world, with vitamin B, C and E being essential to helping support the immune system. Although these supplements do not cure the disease, it does offer hope for patients suffering with AIDS that they can maintain a better quality of life in this battle.

Another new study shows that another simple way to keep their infection contained is through a simple method. Daily doses of mineral called selenium seem to "tame" the virus while strengthening the immune system.

While this supplement is not a replacement, and is not lower the virus enough to improve heath, according to David Pauza at the Institute of Human Virology in Baltimore. It is recommended that patients use selenium as an additional part of the normal treatment regime.

During a study at the University of Miami, 262 patients were divided into two groups; one was given selenium in 200 micrograms of selenium yeast daily, and the control group was given a sugar pill. After 9 months, the HIV patients who had been given the selenium pills had a significant difference in the health as opposed to those not offered selenium.

Although it isn't understood how it works, selenium has been compared to a "virus tamer". Some think the selenium's antioxidant powers allow it repair the immune system, which makes the body better able to fight off viruses such as HIV.

Other studies have shown that traditional Chinese herbs may be able to zap this virus. There are several good prospective herbs, but limited funding and resources have made it difficult to make this an
Obtainable treatment. The dose needed to work in the human body as well as potential side effects are unknown, so even though it works in a small lab does not make it feasible for the public. This is something we have to rally for in order to get funding for further research, so that the work of these clinics is not wasted and a potential cure is there.

As we continue to struggle with this epidemic that has no respecter of persons, continue to keep up on new research and try to find answers. Natural remedies are working to keep this disease at bay. Do speak with your doctor before you take any supplements and consult a nutritionist for proper doses. If we continue to study, maybe nature holds the answers we need.

 


Believe You Are Experiencing Joint Disease? Perhaps It Is One Of The Below Forms

Arthritis is a condition that causes inflammation of one or more joints and there are approximately one hundred different known types of Arthritis. When there is a breakdown of cartilage in the joints, bones can begin to rub together causing inflammation and stiffness. The cartilage, located between bones, is nature's way of providing shock absorption when the body is in motion.

Joint inflammation can be a result of broken bones, an autoimmune disease, infections by bacteria's or viruses, and general wear and tear on exhausted, overworked joints. Often the inflammation will disappear over time or if treated, but if it continues to reoccur, you may be diagnosed with chronic arthritis. Both men and women can become afflicted with debilitating cases of chronic arthritis.

Common Types of Arthritis

Some of the more common types of arthritis being treated by medial professionals today include:

Osteoarthritis

Is usually related to aging and symptoms can appear in middle age, though everyone has some symptoms by age seventy. OA appears equally in men and women before the age of fifty-five, but after fifty-five, it's more common in women. Weight gain can increase the risk of OA in the hips, knees, ankles and foot joints. Long term overuse involving work or athletic activities can also lead to Osteoarthritis.

Gout

This type of arthritis is caused when there is a build-up of uric acid in the body. This build up in the blood and fluid around the joints causes uric acid crystals to form. These crystals begin to cause the joint to swell and become inflamed. Gout is known to run in families. Though Gout is more common in men, it can affect women after menopause. It is also more common in people who drink alcohol.

Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis

Affecting children sixteen years and younger, this disease causes joint swelling, stiffness, as well as reduced motion. It affects individual joints and can also affect internal organs. Children can experience relatively few symptoms or flare-ups, or be affected by symptoms that never go away. Science confirms this as an autoimmune disorder, meaning the immune system which normally fights infection, begins to attack your body's own tissues. Medicine and Physical Therapy are usually prescribed to manage the pain and swelling, and promote range of motion.

Scleroderma

The cause is unknown, but it is known to run in families. This chronic autoimmune disease is known for causing a hardening of the skin and vascular alterations. It occurs in two major forms, Limited Systemic Sclerosis which mainly affects the arms hands and face, and Diffuse Systemic Sclerosis which affects a large portion of the skin and may include one or more organs, such as the kidneys, heart and lungs.

Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

Systemic lupus erythematosus is far more common in women that in men, and while it can occur at any age, it most often afflicts people between the ages of ten and fifty. This disease is most often found in Asians and African Americans.

 


How to Choose a Health Insurance Plan

Years ago choosing a health insurance plan was not a big trouble. Of course there were less health insurance plans to choose from but also people were able to go to almost any doctor and hospital to receive medical care.

Today things are a bit more complicated not only because there is a wide choice of different insurance schemes, but because of the restrictions each one hides. Moreover almost all of the health insurance plans available have some managed care policy that means that it is not possible to use any doctor, any hospital and even a medical service of certain costs.

For the average American picking up the right health insurance plan is a bit complicated especially if he doesn't know much about the plans available. In general there are several insurance schemes Indemnity plan (also called fee-for-service plan), managed care, Health Maintenance Organization (HMO), Point-of-Service plan (POS). each one of these has it advantages and disadvantages so it is best to read about them and see which conditions are best for you and your family.

The next question that might bother you is where you can get one of these plans. The first resource is the group policies. Usually you can get a managed care or indemnity plan through a group policy. The policy can be offered by your employer or through the job of a member of your family.

If your company doesn't offer group policies or if you are self-employed, you can get an individual health insurance policy. Another option is to check if your professional organization is offering group policies. Keep in mind that individual health insurance policies are likely to cost more than the group insurance policies.

Old people can apply for a federal insurance program called Medicare. A choice between a fee-for-service and managed care plan is available. Low-income people can also benefit from a federal health insurance program called Medicaid. It is very popular among children and pregnant women and offers managed care health insurance plans.

The best way to compare health insurance plans is to ask yourself some questions that will show you the right way. What services are offered by each plan? What will be the chose of doctors, hospitals and other medical care institutions? Where you will have to go to receive care? What are the costs? Once you have the answers of these basic questions the right health insurance plan will become obvious.

 


It's Okay To Go A Little Nuts About Nuts

I know it may not seem like nuts are healthy if the only person you ever saw eating them was that chubby guy at the end of the bar at Happy Hour, but trust me nuts are good for you. Some are better than others though so let's take a look.

According to leading nutritionists today, you can eat almonds, peanuts, walnuts, and even Brazil Nuts without increasing your risk of a heart attack from clogging your arteries. The truth is that eating nuts will actually make you healthier and unless you just eat them by the bowlful they will not make you overweight. According to studies at Penn State, it seems the more nuts you eat the lower the risk of heart disease.

The difference is the type of fats that are in nuts. Polyunsaturates and monounsaturates which are found in nuts are good for you plus nuts are high in protein, vitamins, phytonutrients, and fiber. Eating nuts as a regular part of your diet will help to lower bad cholesterol and blood fats while keeping good cholesterol high and cutting the risk of heart attacks.

In the average nuts one ounce has 4 to 8 grams of protein with 14 grams of fat, the majority of which is unsaturated. This is about the same amount of protein is about 8 grams. Nuts are also digested very slowly which helps keep you from being hungry and helps control blood sugar.

A tablespoon of peanut butter or an ounce of nuts five days a week reduced the risk of developing adult-onset diabetes by 20 to 30 percent in a 2002 study by Dr. Frank Hu of Harvard. A recent Australian study suggested walnuts can lower diabetes risk. Another Harvard study showed that men who ate nuts five times a week were significantly less prone to gallstones. And, several studies have shown that people who eat nuts tend to be slimmer, not fatter, and that eating nuts helps people stick to their diets and lose more weight, according to a letter from Hu to the Food and Drug Administration.

The FDA has even allowed the companies packaging nuts place heart healthy labels on peanuts, almonds, walnuts, pecans, and hazelnuts. Nuts like cashews, macadamias, Brazil nuts, and some others are not given the same treatment due to what the FDA considers too much saturated fat.

Another great thing about nuts is that they are easy to add them into your diet. You can put them on salads, in stir-fry, or just eat them raw. They are great for parties and football game get togethers. You just have to eat them in moderation if you are watching calories since one ounce of almonds for example, can have 180 calories. You only need one ounce a day, five days a week to get the health benefits so the idea is to replace another food with the nuts.

So, what are you waiting for go buy a variety of nuts and get a great platter to put them on for your next party.

 


Asthma: the Common Chronic Disease

Asthma is a common chronic disease. It refers to the constriction and inflammation of the airways in response to environmental triggers. The constriction can be accompanied by mucus along the airways which further restricts breathing.

Symptoms of this disease include wheezing, coughing, difficulty of breathing etc. Increased attention is being paid to asthma due to its mounting prevalence among urban populations. Estimates say that as many as one in four urban children suffer from asthma. Medical studies continue to probe into the causes of asthma.

The best understood cause of asthma is the body's response to inhaled allergens. An allergen is a substance that initiates an immune-system response even though the substance is not technically harmful. Research suggests that genetic characteristics are the reason for each individual's response to allergens.

For asthmatics the inhalation of allergens causes the body to produce mucus in the lungs along with chemicals that cause inflammation of the airways. This combination of inflammation and congestion in the airways produces the symptoms associated with asthma. Because the body treats the allergens as it would a bacterial or viral infection the immune system stores a memory of the allergen in order to fight it off more effectively should it return.

This response of the auto-immune system helps prevent symptoms of legitimate repeat infections, but the automatic response to allergens makes it impossible for asthmatics to ignore the complications of losing airflow through the lungs. Another way of describing this phenomenon is to say that asthmatics have "hypersensitive" airways, being hypersensitive to certain triggers (e.g. allergens).

Besides allergens other triggers include pollution, various sulfite compounds produced by industry, chloride based compounds found near pools, certain medications including aspirin, psychological stress and even simple changes in temperature. Since the list of triggers goes on asthmatics need to identify the trigger causing their asthma and take the necessary steps to treat the disease.

The most simple treatment is simply limiting or stopping all exposure to the identified cause of asthma. For example, if pet dander induces an asthma attack in someone, that person should avoid pets and other animals as much as possible.

However, because the source of asthma can be complex, other treatment options should be considered: the use of inhalers for immediate relief or even long lasting relief, oral medications, and possibly alternative methods like the Buteyko method which teaches a specific way of breathing.

In all instances patients should discuss treatment with a competent and trusted physician in order to formulate the best treatment plan possible.

 


Be Aware Of Health Conditions That May "Run In The Family"

When people think about family traits being passed down from generation to generation, they are more likely to think of Grandpa's piercing blue eyes or Great Grandma Myrtle's long tapering fingers which were ideal for piano playing. But did you know that your mother's struggle with diabetes may also become yours? Here are some conditions which are known to or are suspected of running in families.

First, it's important to point out that family members sharing health problems may not necessarily be related to genetics alone. There are a variety of environmental and habitual factors which must be considered in the equation. For example, a family of Type 2 diabetics may develop this condition because of shared eating habits and obesity. They may not have a genetic predisposition at all, but have simply developed this condition because of their environment.

-- Breast cancer is one of several types of the disease which may have a genetic component. Two genes called Breast Cancer Gene 1 and Breast Cancer Gene 2 have been identified as being able to be passed along, especially on the female side of families. All women should have regular breast exams, of course, but if you have a close female relative who has suffered from the disease, consult with your physician to find out if there is more you should be doing to prevent the disease.

-- Another cancer with a possible familial predisposition component is ovarian cancer. If a close female relative has had this type of cancer, your risk of developing it increases to 5%. This may seem like a low percentage, but it's not worth taking the risk when prevention measures are simple. Have regular pap smears.

-- Certain types of skin cancer are deadly, particularly melanomas. Left untreated, a malignancy can metastasize rapidly. The tendency to develop this type of cancer knows no sexual bounds: it affects men and women alike. Knowing that your parent or grandparent has had a melanoma is great advantage because you can be on the lookout for problems with your own skin.

If you have lots of moles, have noticed a change in their shape or if they are causing you pain, contact a doctor immediately. Even if you have no reason for suspicion, it's best to be checked regularly by a professional if you have a family history.

-- Cancers are by no means the only health problems to watch for in families. Hypertension, heart disease, high cholesterol and glaucoma are just a few of the conditions which may be common among family members. It's best to keep your eyes open, ask lots of questions, interview older generations, and keep meticulous records. Knowledge is power.

 




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