The Signs of The Times


God Gives Strength

"I can do all things in him who strengthens me."
Philippians 4:13


"My world was shaken when my husband died of a heart attack while we were shopping in a local mall, and I was totally unprepared for the emotional earthquake that followed. My husband was a minister and I was thrown into making decisions of where to live and work, what I would do with all the books and materials in his library and dealing with grief and loss at the same time. I did not want to think of packing for it meant goodbye to what had been; even trying to eat regular meals and the every day responsibilities of a house was too much. I wanted to withdraw from the world completely and be left alone with my misery. To learn to live once more without my husband was the hardest task I had to face.

Yet that is the very thing God requires of us in the hard times - to endure, to continue living among the living. Slowly, painfully, I learned to coy drawing strength from God, my family and friends and repeating every morning, "I can do all things in him who strengthens me."

Although we suffer trials and often feel squashed by the weight of sorrow, God is always close by, watching and caring. God knows and loves each of us and suffers with us, offering the strength to recover.

Prayer: Dear Father, grant us a sense of your presence and strength in the difficult times of our living as well as the good times. Amen.
Thought for the day: God Cares."

Judy Layne
Cumberland UMC
Cumberland, KY
Cumberland United Methodist Church Devotional site.
Jacqueline's Web Page This is how I found out about the sites. She has FM which she submitted her site to my FM webring. According to her site she does a lot which is an inspiration. People with FM can do things & serve the Lord. Check out her site.


"My People are destroyed for lack of knowledge:"
~ Hosea 4:6a





Aspartame Posioning

Scientific evidence of Aspartame Dangers "The following are reports and other collections of facts about aspartame. Many of them were written by doctors and medical researchers."

ASPARTAME POISONING INDEX More information on Aspartame.

Aspartame (NutraSweet) Toxicity Info Center "Detailed scientific and general documentation regarding the toxicity of nutrasweet, Equal, diet coke, diet pepsi, and other aspartame containing items. Web page includes real life reports of acute and chronic toxicity due to long-term ingestion. Also included is extensive scientific and general information and resources."

Brain Tumors

Fractionated stereotactic brain radiosurgery "Fractionated stereotactic radiosurgery represents the leading technologic edge for patients with benign and malignant brain tumors. Work pioneered at Staten Island University Hospital and presented at national and international medical meetings as well as published in major medical journals continues to show the efficacy and safety compared to other methods of treatment." I never heard of this before until my sister sent me an email from a guy she met on line, fahad, who is wanting info on this. He has some type of brain tumor. If anyone reading this can relate from experience or want to share info with him feel free to email him.

Staten Island University Hospital "Through its introduction of state-of-the-art technology to treat cancer patients with radiation therapy, Staten Island University Hospital has earned an important reputation as a major Cancer Center treating patients with the most difficult-to-treat disease from across the nation and throughout the world."

JOHNS HOPKINS Brain Tumor radiosurgery Info on John Hopkins Hospital, research & info on various types of brain tumors.

Massachusetts General Hospital Harvard Medical School " The Proton Beam Unit was founded in 1962 and has the largest experience with stereotactic radiosurgery of any center in the United States. Information regarding non-invasive proton beam radiosurgery and fractionated radiosurgery for brain and spinal tumors and arteriovenous malformations."

Environmental Pollutants

Health Start + "Total load is the term for the build up of things that are disagreeable to your body. You can handle some of them but as they pile up, eventually your body can't keep pulling the load. It is hard to tell how much each factor is affecting you until you remove it. Most of what I have learned about Total load has come from two very good books by Sherry A. Rogers M.D. Tired or toxic and The E.I. Syndrome" Site gives a lot of info & links related to Environmental factors adversely effecting our health.

SIGNS OF OVARIAN CANCER
This is an email my sister-in-law forwarded to me. Apparently there is some controversy about how accurate this test is but if cancer runs strongly in your biological family, you may want to learn more about it & check the links below about this test.

KATHY'S STORY: this is the story of Kathy West
As all of you know, I have Primary Peritoneal Cancer. This cancer has only recently been identified as its OWN type of cancer, but it is essentially Ovarian Cancer.

Both types of cancer are diagnosed in the same way, with the "tumor marker" CA-125 BLOOD TEST, and they are treated in the same way - surgery to remove the primary tumor and then chemotherapy with Taxol and Carboplatin.

Having gone through this ordeal, I want to save others from the same fate. That is why I am sending this message to y ou and hope you will print it and give it or send it via E-mail to everybody you know.

One thing I have learned is that each of us must take TOTAL responsibility for our own health care. I thought I had done that because I always had an annual physical and PAP smear, did a monthly Self-Breast Exam, went to the dentist at least twice a year, etc. I even insisted on a sigmoidoscopy and a bone density test last year. When I had a total hysterectomy in 1993, I thought that I did not have to worry about getting any of the female reproductive organ cancers. LITTLE DID I KNOW. I don't have ovaries (and they were HEALTHY when they were removed), but I have what is essentially ovarian cancer. Strange, isn't it?

These are just SOME of the things our Doctors never tell us: ONE out of every 55 women will get OVARIAN or PRIMARY PERITONEAL CANCER. The "CLASSIC" symptoms are an ABDOMEN that rather SUDDENLY ENLARGES and CONSTIPATION and/or DIARRHEA.

I had these classic symptoms and went to the doctor. Because these symptoms seemed to be "abdominal", I went to a gastroenterologist. He ran tests that were designed to determine whether there was a bacteria infection; these tests were negative, and I was diagnosed with "Irritable Bowel Syndrome". I guess I would have accepted this diagnosis had it not been for my enlarged abdomen. I swear to you, it looked like I was 4-5 months pregnant! I therefore insisted on more tests.

They took an X-ray of my abdomen; it was negative. I was again assured that I had Irritable Bowel Syndrome and was encouraged to go on my scheduled month-long trip to Europe. I couldn't wear any of my slacks or shorts because I couldn't get them buttoned, and I KNEW something was radically wrong. I INSISTED on more tests, and they reluctantly) scheduled me for a CT-Scan (just to shut me up, I think). This is what I mean by "taking charge of our own health care."

The CT-Scan showed a lot of fluid in my abdomen (NOT normal). Needless to say, I had to cancel my trip and have FIVE POUNDS assure you), but NOTHING compared to what was ahead of me). Tests revealed cancer cells in the fluid. Finally, finally, finally, the doctor ran a CA-125 blood test, and I was properly diagnosed.

I HAD THE CLASSIC SYMPTOMS FOR OVARIAN CANCER, AND YET THIS SIMPLE CA-125 BLOOD TEST HAD NEVER BEEN RUN ON ME, not as part of my annual physical exam and not when I was symptomatic. This Is an inexpensive and simple blood test! PLEASE, PLEASE TELL ALL YOUR FEMALE FRIENDS AND RELATIVES TO INSIST ON A CA-125 BLOOD TEST EVERY YEAR AS PART OF THEIR ANNUAL PHYSICAL EXAMS.

Be forewarned that their doctors might try to talk them out of it, saying, IT ISN'T NECESSARY." Believe me, had I known then what I know now, we would have caught my cancer much earlier (before it was a stage 3 cancer). Insist on the CA-125 BLOOD TEST; DO NOT take "NO" for an answer!

The normal range for a CA-125 BLOOD TEST is between zero and 35. MINE WAS 754. (That's right, 754!). If the number is slightly above 35, you can have another done in three or six months and keep a close eye on it, just as women do when they have fibroid tumors or when men have a slightly elevated PSA test (Prostatic Specific Antigens) that helps diagnose prostate cancer.

Having the CA-125 test done annually can alert you early, and that's the goal in diagnosing any type of cancer - catching it early.

Do you know 55 women? If so, at least one of them will have this VERY AGGRESSIVE cancer. Please, go to your doctor and insist on a CA-125 test and have one EVERY YEAR for the rest of your life.

And forward this message to every woman you know, and tell all of your female family members and friends. Though the median age for this cancer is 56, (and, guess what, I'm exactly 56), women as young as 22 have it. Age is no factor.

A NOTE FROM THE RN:
Well, after reading this, I made some calls. I found that the CA-125 test is an ovarian screening test equivalent to a man's PSA test prostate screen (which my husband's doctor automatically gives him in his physical each year and insurance pays for it). I called the general practitioner's office about having the test done. The nurse had never heard of it. She told me that she doubted that insurance would pay for it. So I called Prudential Insurance Co., and got the same response. Never heard of it - it won't be covered.

I explained that it was the same as the PSA test they had paid for my husband for years. After conferring with whomever they confer with, she told me that the CA-125 would be covered.

It is $75 in a GP's office and $125 at the GYN's. This is a screening test that should be required just like a PAP smear (a PAP smear cannot detect problems with your ovaries). And you must insist that your insurance company pay for it.

Gene Wilder and Pierce Brosnan (his wife had it, too) are lobbying for women's health issues, saying that this test should be required in our physicals, just like the PAP and the mammogram.

MayoClinic.Com Cancer antigen (CA) 125: An indicator of cancer? "What is the cancer antigen (CA) 125 marker for cancer? Is it specific to a certain type of cancer? Is it an indicator of cancer in a person who hasn't been diagnosed with cancer?

Tumor markers, such as cancer antigen (CA) 125, are substances that can often be detected in higher-than-normal amounts in the blood, urine or body tissues of some people with certain types of cancer. Currently, the main use of tumor markers is to assess how the cancer is responding to treatment.

CA 125 isn't specific to just one type of cancer. But women with ovarian cancer often have elevated CA 125 levels.

Not all women with elevated CA 125 levels have ovarian or other cancer. Many other conditions can cause elevated CA 125 levels, including:
Endometriosis
Pancreatitis
Pregnancy
Normal menstruation
Pelvic inflammatory disease
Also, some women with ovarian cancer never have an elevated CA 125 level. Because of these limitations, this test isn't useful as a routine screening for ovarian cancer.

CA 125 is primarily used during and after treatment of ovarian cancer. In women receiving chemotherapy for ovarian cancer, a decreasing CA 125 level often indicates that the cancer is responding to treatment. A rising level may indicate a return or continued growth of the cancer.

If you have an elevated CA 125 level but haven't been diagnosed with cancer, your doctor may recommend further testing to look for the cause. Research continues on the use of many tumor markers in detection, diagnosis and treatment of cancer."

Urban Legends, Span Email and the CA-125 Hoax "The Facts
Yes, there does exist a test or "tumor marker" called CA-125. The level of CA-125 is usually elevated in women with ovarian cancer and in primary peritoneal cancer. It is NOT however, a "screening test" for ovarian, or any other type of cancer; nor is it the female equivalent to the PSA test that is performed on men to screen for prostate cancer. In reality, there is no good screening test for ovarian cancer nor are there any "classic symptoms" for ovarian cancer, as stated in the email. In fact, ovarian cancer is most often without symptoms until it is in later stages. Even then these symptoms are often very vague, such as bloating or general gastrointestinal discomfort, which can be attributed to anything from your menstrual cycle to the burrito you ate for lunch. It is this lack of specific symptoms and adequate screening tests that makes early diagnosis and treatment of ovarian cancer extremely difficult.
Andrea N. Price M.D."Dr. Price's website



Our Father, who are in Heaven, Hallowed be Thy Name. Thy Kingdom Come, Thy Will be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil, for thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory, forever and ever Amen.


Cardiovascular / Heart Disease

HeartCenterOnline Very large site with all kinds of info on heart disease, health maintenance & risk factors. Latest news, quizzes and specialty areas on various aspects of heart health & conditions.

THE HEART PROTECTION STUDY "The Heart Protection Study proved that people who suffer from heart disease or diabetes could benefit from treatment with ZOCOR.
In patients with heart disease or diabetesóno matter what their cholesterol levelóZOCOR, along with a healthy diet, is the first and only cholesterol medication that is proven to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke.

ZOCOR is a prescription medicine and isnít right for everyone, including women who are nursing or pregnant or who may become pregnant, anyone with liver problems, and people who are allergic to any ingredients of ZOCOR.
Unexplained muscle pain or weakness could be a sign of a rare but serious side effect and should be reported to your doctor right away. Your doctor may do blood tests before and during treatment with ZOCOR to check for liver problems. To avoid serious side effects, discuss with your doctor medicine or food you should avoid while on ZOCOR."



Hypertension

Journal of Hypertension browse the journals from 1997-present.

Hypertension "Hypertension is usually multifactorial in its causation. A specific cause of hypertension is often elusive. Indeed, no definite cause can be identified in 90% of patients. Patients in whom no specific cause can be identified are said to have essential or idiopathic hypertension. Other causes, such as renovascular, Cushing's disease, primary aldosteronism, or constriction of the aorta are behind secondary hypertension."

PatientLinx Hypertension Articles

Life Clinic Lots of information & links on hypertension, management & possible causes.

Are there different types of blood pressure disorders? Overview of various types of hypertension. White Coat Hypertension, Systolic Hypertension, Malignant Hypertension, Labile Hypertension, Pulmonary Hypertension, Borderline Hypertension, Accelerated Hypertension, Secondary Hypertension, Renovascular Hypertension & Pseudohypertension.

Life Clinic Hypertension info & health maintenance tools.

Do oral contraceptives raise blood pressure? "Soon after oral contraceptives were first introduced, more than 30 years ago, there were a number of reports of high blood pressure associated with their use. The pills contain a mixture of estrogens and progestins, but the amount of each ingredient in the preparations used today is only about one fifth of the original dose, although there is considerable variation between different brands. The Nursesí Health Study has investigated the risk of developing high blood pressure from taking the oral contraceptives now in use. The study followed the health of more than 100,000 American nurses, who were first contacted in 1989. Among other questions, they were asked about their use of oral contraceptives and their blood pressure on three occasions over a four year period. Those who reported having hypertension at the beginning of the study were excluded from this analysis. The principal findings were:

The chances of developing hypertension were about 80% higher in the women who had used oral contraceptives in comparison with those who had not.
The risk was slightly higher in women who had used them for more than six years. The risk did not vary significantly according to the amount of estrogens and progestins in the pills.
Women with a family history of high blood pressure were at increased risk of developing it themselves, but they did not appear to be any more susceptible to the effects of oral contraceptives than those with no family history.
There was no evidence of any racial difference in susceptibility to the effects of oral contraceptives on blood pressure; if anything, black women were at lower risk than white women.
The number of women who were estimated to have developed hypertension as a result of taking the pills was small- the equivalent of 41 cases in 10,000 women over a period of one year, or 0.4%.

Doctorís comments
This study is reassuring for women taking oral contraceptives, because although there is a definite risk of developing high blood pressure, it is quite small. Furthermore, other studies have shown that if the pressure does go up, it will usually go back to its previous level within three months of stopping the pills. One implication is that if you are taking oral contraceptives, it is important to get your blood pressure checked at regular intervals. Women who already have hypertension are generally advised not to take oral contraceptives."

How does magnesium affect blood pressure? "This study reviews all the published articles examining the relationship between the intake of magnesium, (evaluated from people's descriptions of their diets) and blood pressure. It evaluated 30 reports from 12 different countries. The general finding was that people whose diets contain more magnesium have slightly lower blood pressure than those with less magnesium. However, the authors of the analysis concluded that it was not possible to say exactly how big is the effect of magnesium on blood pressure from the existing data.

Doctor's comments
Other studies have suggested that insufficient intake of magnesium may be one of the many factors that lead to heart disease. As this analysis shows, it could also raise the blood pressure. But studies in which people have been given extra magnesium have not shown consistent effects on blood pressure. Most of the magnesium in our diets comes from leafy vegetables, beans, nuts and grains, and about 25% from drinking water. Americans have an average daily magnesium intake of about 250 milligrams - less than the recommended daily intake (350 milligrams for men and 280 for women)."

BRITISH HYPERTENSION SOCIETY Information on medical management of hypertension.



Infectious Diseases

Lyme Info Information & research on Lyme Disease.

National Center for Infectious Diseases Division of Bacterial and Mycotic Diseases Information on this division as well as information on many infectious diseases.

Lung Diseases including Pneumonia
Contrary to popular belief pnuemonia can be contagious to family members living with the infected person. My husband & I shared a pnuemonia bug.

Pneumonia "Pneumonia is when the lungs get inflamed, usually due to infection. Breathing in certain chemical fumes can also cause pneumonia. It's a more common problem than most people think. Usually it's a mild disease, but some forms are very dangerous. In all cases you'll need a doctor's advice." Includes symptoms of bacterial, viral & Mycoplasma pneumonias.

Pneumology "Pneumonia is still a major health problem. It is an infection of the lower respiratory tract that can be caused by a virus, bacteria or mycoplasma and is characteristically accompanied by cough, sputum production, fever, chills and pleuritic chest pain, all of which may be preceded by an upper respiratory tract infection. Physical examination reveals signs of consolidation of the lung parenchyma (increase tactile and vocal fremitus, bronchophony, egophony, bronchial breath sounds, fine rales over the consolidated area). Often there is also an associated pleural effusion, that can produce opposed features in physical examination (distant-to-absent breath sounds, pleural friction rubs which may fade as effusion becomes outstanding, decreased fremitus and flatness to percussion). These signs are most recurrently found with bacterial pneumonia, whereas viral and mycoplasma pneumonias present with very few signs (often, only rales are heard).

Chest X-Ray Pattern
Bacterial pneumonia :
consolidation of an entire or the majority of a lobe (lobar consolidation), producing an opaque lobe, except for air bronchograms.

Viral and mycoplasma pneumonia:
widespread ill defined consolidation with loss of clarity of vascular markings or localized consolidation. Pleural effusion is rare and radiological abnormalities can still be seen many weeks after clinical recovery."

Community-Acquired Pneumonia: Interactive Guidelines Interesting site you can explore to see what common treatment is given for pneumonia depending on the severity & type.
Management of Patients Who are Hospitalized

National Heart, Lung & Blood Institute Information on Asthma, National Emphysema Treatment Trial, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia, Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis, Primary Pulmonary Hypertension & other lung information.

The Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy Section 6. Pulmonary Disorders Includes links to information on various lung conditions.

Respiratory Problems Information on various lung diseases.

Menopause/Perimenopause & Menstrual Cycle Abnormalities

Just the FAQs - What are fibroids? "Fibroids are a benign tumor of the uterus. They are not cancers. However, they do have a rich blood supply and cause bleeding and pain. Fibroids are also known by the names LEIOMYOMA UTERI, LEIOMYOMA, or MYOMA. They are an extremely important public health issue, especially for women.

The majority of fibroids cause no symptoms. However, when symptoms do occur, they can include:
heavy menstrual periods
abdominal distortion
pelvic pressure
pain
infertility
repeated miscarriage
premature labor
frequent urination
constipation"

Fibroids ""Fibroids, or "uterine myomas (short for leiomyoma)", affect 30% of women. The terms "fibroid" and "myoma" are used interchangeably. Most fibroids do not cause symptoms, and do not require treatment. Fibroids may require treatment in the following circumstances:
Fibroids are growing large enough to cause pressure on other organs, such as the bladder.
Fibroids are growing rapidly
Fibroids are causing abnormal bleeding
Fibroids are causing problems with fertility.
Site also includes information on other gynecologic problems.

I DONíT FEEL A THING (EXPECTANT MANAGEMENT FOR WOMEN WITH NO SYMPTOMS) "If you are not experiencing any symptoms from your fibroid(s), deciding how to manage them is straightforward. There really isnít anything much you have to do. Your doctor will probably check your fibroid from time to time to see if it has changed in size. And your physician may request an ultrasound - a technology that uses sound waves to create a picture of the pelvic organs on a monitor - to get a baseline picture of your fibroid or to more accurately measure any changes in size. Ultrasounds are also helpful when there is a question in discerning whether a growth is indeed a benign uterine fibroid, or instead, a potentially serious ovarian tumor."

Women's Surgery Group "Uterine fibroids (myoma) are the most common benign tumor found in the female reproductive tract. A fibroid tumor is comprised of "swirls" of muscle fibers which are virtually identical to those making up the uterine wall. Fibroids vary widely in size, from those that can only be identified under a microscope to those the size of a basketball. Fibroid tumors constitute the most common indication for hysterectomy in the United States."
"Uterine leiomyomas are the most common solid pelvic tumor, occurring in 20% of women over age 35. Most are asymptomatic and can be followed with vaginal ultrasound to rule out ovarian neoplasms and rapid increases in fibroid size. Thus, surgery can usually be avoided. Hypermenorrhea (heavy periods) is the major symptom in women with uterine leiomyomas who seek treatment. Other complaints include infertility and problems after conception including spontaneous abortion, pain from acute red degeneration during pregnancy, premature labor, fetal malposition, dysfunctional labor, obstruction of labor, retained placenta, and postpartum hemorrhage secondary to uterine atony. Fibroids require treatment when hypermenorrhea leads to anemia, pain develops from fibroid degeneration, pressure symptoms develop from large size, size increases rapidly, and when the clinician cannot properly palpate the ovaries, especially if ultrasound is not available."

Center for Uterine Fibroids General info, research, treatment and current studies on uterine fibroids. Also includes info on theories of fibroid formation.
"Overall, estrogen, progesterone, and growth factors likely promote tumor growth, but only after the initiation of tumor formation. This initiating event remains unknown, although recent evidence suggests there is a strong inherited component to fibroid development. Indirect evidence for this hypothesis is as follows. First, fibroids are at least twice as common in black women than in white women. Although racial differences in socioeconomic status and access to health care, as well as racial differences in known risk factors for fibroids, may contribute to this finding, two recent studies suggest that these factors do not completely explain the discrepancy. Secondly, another study found a genetic predisposition for hysterectomy as indicated by a two fold higher twin pair correlation for hysterectomy in identical versus fraternal twins. Thirdly, there exists a rare heritable form of uterine fibroids in association with fibroids of the skin called Reed's syndrome. Finally, a recent Russian studies suggest that women with a family history of fibroids are twice as likely to develop fibroids than women with no family history. Unfortunately, few scientific studies directly examine the genetic component of fibroid development.

Recently, researchers at the Center for Uterine Fibroids have identified mutations in two genes, HMGI(C) and HMGI(Y), that appear to be important in the development of some fibroids. Normally, these genes code for proteins that help control cell growth by indirectly regulating DNA transcription. However, mutations in these genes are probably secondary changes in already genetically susceptible cells. Therefore, it is likely that other gene(s) crucial for fibroid development exist that have not yet been identified."

Endometriosis Research Center "As a well-established non profit organization for Endometriosis support, awareness, education and research facilitation, we offer extensive programs concerning all aspects of Endometriosis."

Endometriosis Association "The EA is dedicated to providing information and support to women and girls with endometriosis, educating the public as well as the medical community about the disease, and conducting and promoting research related to endometriosis."

OBGYN.net Information on women's health related issues & research.

Healthy Women.org More information on women's health & female medical conditions.

North American Menopause Society accurate, unbiased information about menopause -- and the leading nonprofit scientific organization dedicated to improving understanding of this natural biologic event.

Menopause "Menopause is a normal part of the natural aging process. It marks the end of a woman's menstrual periods and her ability to become pregnant (without assistance from technology). Menopause is a process that usually begins 2 to 5 years before a woman's last menstrual period. It is completed when 1 full year has passed without a menstrual period."

Symptoms of menopause that generally improve with time include:
Menstrual period changes.
Hot flashes.
Changes in appearance.
Emotional changes, such as mood swings or a change in sexual interest or response.
Sleep disturbances (insomnia).
Rapid, irregular heartbeat (heart palpitations).
Generalized itching.
Joint pain.
Headaches.

Symptoms of menopause that can be long-term and get worse with time include:
Vaginal changes, such as:
Vaginal dryness and itching.
An increased risk of vaginal infections.
Pain during sexual intercourse (dyspareunia).
Urinary tract changes, such as:
An inability to control the leakage of urine (urinary incontinence).
An increased risk of urinary tract infections (UTIs)."

Columbia University College of P & S Complete Home Medical Guide More information on menopause & detailed information on it's symptoms.

Migraines

The National Migraine AssociationMigraine Awareness Group Migraine resource center offers news and articles, descriptions of medication and treatment options, and a list of places to turn for help.

MSN Condition Centers - MigrainesBrowse news and articles on vascular headaches, investigate migraine risk factors, symptoms, and diagnosis, and learn about treatment options.

JAMA - Migraine Information Center "In-depth resource for migraine headaches contains breaking news stories, clinical guidelines, and patient and professional information."

ophthalmoplegic migraine "Ophthalmoplegic migraine is a rare form of migraine headache that is felt around the eye. It is often connected with weakness of the muscles around the eye.

What is going on in the body?
An ophthalmoplegic migraine causes severe headache. It also may affect the person's vision. The process that causes this type of migraine is not well understood. One possible cause is inflammation of the blood vessels around the eye. Allergic reactions are another possible cause.

What are the signs and symptoms of the condition?
A person who has ophthalmoplegic migraine has specific symptoms involving the eyes. These symptoms may differ from person to person but most likely include the following: ∑ double vision ∑ droopy eyelid, known as ptosis ∑ eye paralysis ∑ other types of vision changes ∑ severe headache pain

What are the causes and risks of the condition?
A migraine occurs when cells in the brain become overly sensitive to stimulation. This type of migraine may start with an allergic reaction. Or it may begin with inflammation of the blood vessels around the eye. Factors that may trigger a migraine are as follows: ∑ alcohol ∑ certain foods, including chocolate and some cheeses ∑ change in hormone levels ∑ fatigue ∑ food additives ∑ foods containing tyramine, such as red wine and organ meats ∑ light or noise ∑ too much or too little sleep ∑ weather changes

What can be done to prevent the condition?
A person can lower the risk for migraine by identifying and avoiding triggers. People who are sensitive to tyramine, for example, should not drink red wine. Medicines used to prevent migraines include the following: ∑ anticonvulsants, such as gabapentin and carbamazepine ∑ beta-blockers, such as atenolol and propanolol ∑ calcium channel blockers, such as diltiazem and verapamil ∑ lithium carbonate ∑ methysergide maleate and methylergonovine maleate ∑ nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen and naproxen ∑ other antidepressants, such as trazodone and venlafaxine HCl ∑ selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, also called SSRIs, including paroxetine HCl and fluoxetine HCl ∑ tricyclic antidepressants, such as amitriptyline and nortriptyline

How is the condition diagnosed?
Diagnosis of ophthalmoplegic migraine begins with a medical history and physical exam. Other eye disorders need to be ruled out before a diagnosis of ophthalmoplegic migraines can be made.

What are the long-term effects of the condition?
Rarely, a person may have permanent vision problems after ophthalmoplegic migraines."

Nutrition & Additives

LAND MARK ANNOUNCEMENT!!!
December 18th, 2002
Did you know...

The AMA now says we must supplement to be healthy? And, the FDA Commissioner Mark McClellan recently announced a major initiative to make available more information concerning the effects of dietary supplements and foods on the prevention of disease. It appears that chronic diseases may be caused by insufficient vitamin intake.

Cardiovascular disease, cancer, and osteoporosis may be caused, in part, by sub-optimal levels of vitamin intake. Randomized evidence from clinical trials shows that the rates of certain clinical disease states decrease when specific vitamins are ingested. Fletcher and Fairfield reviewed clinical evidence on vitamin intake related to chronic disease prevention.
Reference: Fletcher RH, Fairfield KM. Vitamins for chronic disease prevention in adults. Clinical applications. JAMA
June 19, 2002;287:3127-9.

LAND MARK ANOUNCEMENT!
IMPORTANT READ
WASHINGTON, D.C.-On December 18, 2002,
FDA Commissioner

Mark McClellan announced a major initiative to make available more information concerning the effects of dietary supplements and foods on the prevention of disease. The decision is an abrupt departure from the agency's long held view that no nutrient-disease claims should be allowed for foods or dietary supplements unless proven to a near conclusive degree. In 1999, the United States Court of Appeals in a landmark ruling, Pearson v. Shalala, ordered FDA to allow claims for dietary supplements backed by credible, yet inconclusive scientific evidence. For the past three years, FDA has refused to follow that order only to be sued by clients of this firm again and again.

Today FDA abandoned its prior position and agreed to implement Pearson fully. Indeed, FDA announced that it would apply the decision not only to dietary supplements but also to conventional foods. This will mean that far more information about the actual and potential health benefits of dietary supplements and foods will reach consumers than ever before.

The decision is nothing short of revolutionary.

The firm Emord & Associates represented the successful Plaintiffs in Pearson v. Shalala and those who have challenged FDA's failure to implement the decision. The firm also filed comments in a recent First Amendment notice and comment proceeding at FDA recommending many of the changes now brought about by the FDA's action.

Emord says: "Today's decision is a momentous victory for those who cherish freedom. As never before companies will be able to inform consumers of the disease risk reducing and preventive effects of certain foods and dietary supplements. Consumers, in turn, will be able to modify their food choices to improve their health and longevity. There may be no action more important for the health and welfare of American consumers than the one taken by Commissioner Mark McClellan and Chief Counsel Dan Troy. This is a wonderful holiday gift for the American people."

The above message was sent to LynnGroup by Tim Bolen
JuriMed - Public Relations and Research Group
jurimed2@earthlink.net
949-728-0838

A MIRACLE IN WISCONSIN Positive changes in children's behavior when school changed the lunch menu to more nutritous meals. There was a significant improvement in behavior and concentration.

Many learning and behavior problems begin in your grocery cart! Site has a lot of info & links on research pertaining to many additives and other chemicals adversely effecting our health. It advertises the Feingold diet but you can learn a lot by searching around on the site.

Rhabdomyolysis

RHABDOMYOLYSIS "Rhabdomyolysis is a common disorder which may result from a large variety of diseases, trauma, or toxic insults to skeletal muscle. It may be defined as a clinical and biochemical syndrome resulting from an injury which damages the integrity of the sarcolemma of skeletal muscle, leading to the release of potentially toxic muscle cell components into the circulation. This may result in potential life-threatening complications including myoglobinuric acute renal failure, hyperkalaemia and cardiac arrest, disseminated intravascular coagulation, and more locally, compartment syndrome.

The causes of rhabdomyolysis can be broadly divided into hereditary and acquired groups. The hereditary causes consist primarily of enzyme defects causing disorders of carbohydrate metabolism, mitochondrial lipid metabolism, and other inherited disorders such as malignant hyperthermia and neuroleptic malignant syndrome.

Acquired causes may be divided into traumatic, ischaemic, metabolic, infectious, inflammatory, and toxic groups, as well as exercise and heat related causes.

Muscular signs and symptoms
These include pain, weakness, tenderness, and contractures. This may involve specific groups of muscles or may be generalised. Most frequently the involved muscle groups are the calves and lower back, however a significant proportion may show no signs of muscle injury at all.(16) Sometimes haemorrhagic discolouration of the overlying skin may be seen. Typically the muscle disorder is self-limiting and resolves within days to weeks, due to the regenerative capacity of muscle.

General internal disturbances
These include malaise, fever, tachycardia, nausea, and vomiting. Hyperuricaemia may lead to encephalopathy with depression of respiration with hypoxia and respiratory acidosis.

Medical Encyclopedia: Rhabdomyolysis "Definition: A disorder involving injury to the kidney caused by toxic effects of the contents of muscle cells.

Causes and risks
Myoglobin is an oxygen binding protein pigment found in the skeletal muscle. When the skeletal muscle is damaged, the myoglobin is released into the bloodstream. It is filtered out of the bloodstream by the kidneys. Myoglobin may occlude the structures of the kidney, causing damage such as acute tubular necrosis or kidney failure. Myoglobin breaks down into potentially toxic compounds, which will also cause kidney failure. Necrotic (dead tissue) skeletal muscle may cause massive fluid shifts from the bloodstream into the muscle, reducing the relative fluid volume of the body and leading to shock and reduced blood flow to the kidneys.

The disorder may be caused by any condition that results in damage to skeletal muscle, especially trauma.

Risk factors include:
severe exertion such as marathon running or calisthenics
ischemia or necrosis of the muscles (as may occur with arterial occlusion, deep venous thrombosis, or other conditions)
seizures
use or overdose of drugs-especially cocaine, amphetamines (ex.Ritalin), statins (ex.Zocor), heroin, or PCP
trauma
shaking chills
heat intolerance and/or heatstroke
alcoholism (with subsequent muscle tremors)
low phosphate levels"

Skin Disorders
American Academy of Dermotology Search out information on skin conditions as well as news on Bioterrorism.

West Nile Virus

West Nile Virus - West Nile Fever.com "The mission of this West Nile virus website is simple: Inform and educate the general public about the West Nile virus, West Nile virus symptoms, west nile mosquito, and other mosquito-borne diseases."

CDC Overview of West Nile Virus "Symptoms of West Nile Virus

Q. What are the symptoms of West Nile encephalitis?

A. Most infections are mild, and symptoms include fever, headache, and body aches, occasionally with a skin rash on the trunk of the body and swollen lymph glands.

More severe infection may be marked by headache, high fever, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, paralysis, and, rarely, death.

Q. What is the incubation period in humans (i.e., time from infection to onset of disease symptoms) for West Nile encephalitis?
A. Usually 3 to 15 days.

Q. How long do symptoms last?
A. Symptoms of mild disease will generally last a few days. Symptoms of severe disease may last several weeks, although neurological effects may be permanent."

West Nile Encephalitis Site gives more specific medical information on etiology, symptoms, signs and diagnostic information as well as treatment.

West Nile Fever Site has lots of information & links on West Nile Virus.

Surveillance Criteria for Diagnostic Testing of Suspect Human Cases of West Nile Virus Infection in New Jersey Some more symptoms.
"Any adult or pediatric hospitalized patient with a clinical syndrome and laboratory findings that characterize the majority of cases of WNV encephalitis seen previously:

Fever equal to or greater than 38įC or 100į F, AND Neurological symptoms (headache, altered mental status, stiff neck, photophobia) AND CSF pleocytosis with predominant lymphocytes and moderately elevated protein WITH OR WITHOUT Muscle weakness (especially flaccid paralysis) confirmed by neurologic exam or EMG."

SC DHEC West Nile Virus Information and Resources West Nile Virus Fact Sheet Includes a link to a good overview of West Nile Virus.

The Asian Tiger mosquito has been shown in studies at Fort Detrick to be the most efficient and effective transmitter of the disease to humans. Last year [West Nile virus-] positive Asian Tiger mosquitoes were found only in Baltimore City. Asian Tiger mosquitoes are smaller than other mosquitoes and have distinctive black-and-white stripes [a coloration they share with the yellow fever and dengue mosquito _Aedes aegypti_ - Mod.JW]

Be advised:

1. Asian Tiger mosquitoes are backyard container [breeding] mosquitoes. If they are present in your neighborhood, efforts at source reduction are needed, that is, remove any standing water from your yard and encourage your neighbors to do the same.

2. The fact that Asian Tiger mosquitoes have tested positive elevates the potential human health risk of contracting the disease -- because they are out during the day and they prefer to bite humans.

3. Reduction of the Asian Tiger mosquito population needs to be aimed at removal of standing water -- [puddles under] leaky outdoor faucets, clogged gutters, wading pools, bird baths, potted plants, and other containers that hold water for longer than a week.

4. Spraying is largely ineffective for this type of mosquito because there needs to be large numbers of the mosquitoes in a concentrated area. This is not the case in Montgomery County.

5. Because Asian Tiger mosquitoes [usually] fly no more than 300 yards from the containers where they are hatched, the most effective method of controlling them is to remove or drain all containers where they can breed. [Removal is best, because if emptied they tend to fill up again with the next rain or leak. - Mod.JW]

If you need additional information please refer to the following web sites:
http://www.mosquito.org/
www.edcp.org


A ProMED-mail post
http://www.promedmail.org ProMED-mail is a program of the International Society for Infectious Diseases http://www.isid.org





Lab Tests Online "has been designed to help you, as a patient or caregiver, to better understand the many clinical lab tests that are part of routine care as well as diagnosis and treatment of a broad range of conditions and diseases."

Quest Diagnostics "Whether it's a routine lab test such as a CBC, or one of the most technologically advanced tests for detecting genetic deletions and mutations, such as the Spectral Karyotyping test, Quest Diagnostics provides the medical community with the most comprehensive laboratory testing menu available. Through the combined resources of our regional laboratory facilities and Nichols Institute, we provide rapid answers to difficult medical questions. In addition, patients benefit from the convenience of accessing the nation's largest network of specimen collection sites with our more than 1,300 Patient Service Centers located throughout the U.S."

ivillage health News, quizzes, chats & other things of interest pertaining to health.

Merck Search Merck medicines websites.



You can now search within the list of CFS/ME & FM papers in the CO-CURE archive. Type an author or a subject and you will find the publication.

Postgraduate Medicine Online

eMedicine

United We Stand "Whether you do or do not like George W. Bush as our President, this message reveals some thoughts on some plateaus he has reached."

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