Don’t Be a Victim of Acetaminophen Poisoning

Tylenol is one of the most common pain-relievers on the market today. It is a well-trusted brand name, not only for pain relief, but fever reduction as well. The key ingredient in Tylenol, acetaminophen, is found in many other drugs on the market as well, but Tylenol is the most well known. Many people who are afflicted with chronic pain, turn to Tylenol or other acetaminophen based pain killers to help them deal with their pain and be able to function every day.

People who are in considerable pain, will often do anything they can to make the pain go away. Some make the mistake of thinking that taking more acetaminophen will reduce their pain faster and make it stay away longer than the recommended dosage does. Little do these people know, however, having too much acetaminophen in your system can lead to other serious health problems. Just by taking a double dose of acetaminophen, you are subjecting your liver to a possibly lethal dose, which could lead to liver failure. People who are in pain don’t realize the consequences of taking too much medicine, they just want something to help them now. Thousands of people each year are being hospitalized for acetaminophen overdose, and hundreds die each year, not from intentionally overdosing, but misuse.

A common cause for this problem is that acetaminophen is found in most pain relievers on the market today. Many people will take Tylenol, then an hour or so later, turn around and take a different brand name pain killer, not realizing they are taking a double dose of basically the same ingredients. Many diseases and conditions cause chronic pain, such as arthritis, migraines, lupus, even down to the simple cold and flu that we all fall victim to at one time or another. In the search for something to lessen the pain and make day to day living more bearable, many people will inadvertently feed too much acetaminophen into their systems. It is important to understand that just because you may take a different type of pain killer, it is still likely to have the same active ingredients as the one you took before that didn’t work. Taking larger doses will not lessen the pain any faster than a normal dose, however it will put you at a substantially increased health risk.

Some people are more susceptible to the side effects caused by many medicines than others. Even a normal dosage of acetaminophen can sometimes lead these people straight to the emergency room. It is important to keep in mind the effects that medicine have on you individually, before you start popping pills.

It is a good idea to start reading the labels of any medicine you are considering taking, especially to find out what the active ingredients are. You are probably better off not mixing over the counter pain relievers, just pick one that works for you and follow the recommended dosage. Avoid the temptation to take more thinking it will work better, as odds are high that it will do more harm to your system than good. If you are a person who suffers from chronic daily pain, you should see your doctor for recommendations on what to do to help alleviate it, rather than taking treatment into your own hands with over the counter products.

What Parents Should Know About Administering Medicine to Children

Administering medicine to a sick child can be a frustrating experience for parents, with children often resisting medication necessary to help them feel better. According to a recent survey commissioned by McNeil Consumer Healthcare, a division of McNeil-PPC, Inc., and conducted by Harris Interactive, more than 65 percent of parents have experienced difficulty getting their children to take liquid suspension medication, and 62 percent of parents noted that the taste of certain medicines is their children’s primary complaint.

Now, a new product aims to make the medicating experience an easier one. Children’s Tylenol® (acetaminophen) with Flavor Creator is the first customizable over-the-counter medicine. With four possible flavor combinations, Children’s Tylenol® with Flavor Creator makes administering medicine an easier experience for parents by reducing children’s attempts to avert taking medicine due to taste. Parents can create flavor combinations that match their child’s taste preferences, thereby creating a better medicating process.

“There are clear instructions that educate parents about the appropriate dose of medicine to administer to their child, but when children are resisting because of the taste, administering that appropriate dose can be a problem,” said Dr. Tanya Remer Altmann, pediatrician and clinical instructor at the Mattel Children’s Hospital at UCLA. “This product helps parents get their children to take the medicine they need to feel better.”

Maureen Lipscomb has experienced the struggles over taking medication firsthand. As the mother of seven-year-old quadruplets, she struggles to meet the very different tastes of her four children.

“Each one of my children is different; they all have their own likes and dislikes. It’s very challenging for me to get them to take medicine when they don’t like the taste. Struggling with them over taking medicine when they are sick can be upsetting to all of us, so I am always looking for ways to make giving them their medicine less stressful,” said Lipscomb. “Allowing them to have a say in what the flavor of their medication will be makes medicine time less challenging because they are less likely to resist taking their medicine when they need it most.”

Nearly eight out of nine (85 percent) parents surveyed agree that being able to customize the flavor of their children’s liquid medication based on different taste preferences would significantly improve their child’s willingness to take their medicine.

Each pack of Children’s Tylenol® with Flavor Creator contains one bottle of Children’s Tylenol® Cherry Blast Flavor Liquid Suspension and 20 packets of sugar-free crystals in four different flavors: bubblegum, chocolate, apple and strawberry, to create great-tasting flavor combinations. As always, medication should be kept out of reach of children and administered by an adult.

Diabetes Herbal Remedy Works Better Than Insulin?

It is another case of a home remedy waiting to be discovered. A new study suggests that a traditional Indian diabetes herb treatment lowers blood sugar and insulin levels as well as today’s prescription drugs.

39 healthy adults received extracts of the herb Salacia oblonga with promising results. Insulin and blood glucose levels were lowered by a maximum of 29 and 23 percent, respectively. These reductions occurred when test subjects received the largest dose of the herb extract (1,000 mg).

“These kinds of reductions are similar to what we might see with prescription oral medications for people with diabetes,” said Steve Hertzler, a study co-author and an assistant professor of nutrition at Ohio State University.

Salacia oblonga is an herb native to regions of India and Sri Lanka. Researchers found that it can bind to intestinal enzymes that convert carbohydrates into glucose. If the herb binds to these enzymes before the enzymes can turn carbs into glucose, then less glucose sugar enters the bloodstream. Therefore less insulin is required.

“Lowering blood glucose levels lowers the risk of disease-related complications in people with diabetes,” Hertzler said. “Also, poor compliance with diabetes medications often hinders the effectiveness of these drugs. It may be easier to get someone to take an herb with food or in a beverage, as opposed to a pill.”

Although this study was performed on healthy adults, the researchers also want to study the effects of the Salacia oblonga herb in diabetic patients.

Hertzler also commented that, “A lot of studies show that lowering blood sugar levels reduces the risk for all kinds of diabetes-related complications, such as kidney disease and nerve and eye damage. We want to see if this herb has this kind of effect.”

The herb caused an intestinal gas side effect. Researchers measured hydrogen and methane levels in the breath of study participants for a two-day period following each test. Additionally, participants rated the frequency and intensity of any nausea, cramps, or gas they experienced.

The studies will continue, but the herb is difficult to find in the U.S. Some online suppliers do exist.

This study was conducted by Ohio State University (OSU), and supported by the Ross Products Division of Abbott Laboratories in Columbus. It was reported in a recent issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, and on the OSU website at http://researchnews.osu.edu/archive/saloblo.htm where the study researchers can be contacted and the full news release can be found.

A seemingly-obscure herb appears to have the same medicinal properties as some of today’s most-researched diabetes medicines. Just imagine what other home remedy treasures are waiting to be uncovered.

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Evening Primrose Oil And Health Benefits

Evening primrose is an indigenous plant to North America. The flowers have a strong, sweet scent, and only bloom at night during the months of June through October. Evening primrose has been used for hundreds of years to treat various ailments of the skin and muscular system. Several Native American tribes discovered that the entire plant is edible, and could be used as a painkiller in addition to everyday consumption. In Europe it is a proven treatment for PMS. The bark and leaves of evening primrose are said to have astringent and sedative properties. It has been proven to be effective treatment in regards to gastro-intestinal disorders, asthma and chronic or whooping coughs.

Evening primrose is rich in amino acids and essential amino acids such as omega 6. Essential fatty acids magnetize oxygen as well as produce electrical currents. Once in the body amino acids and essential amino acids are transformed into hormone-like substances called prostaglandins, which condense allergic response and inflammation.

Existence without essential fatty acids is impossible because they are vital to the electrical reactions of cells. Essential fatty acids carry vitamins, enhance metabolism and transport oxygen to the tissues. They are indispensable to the adrenal glands, brain cells, retinas, sensory organs, synapses and testes. Essential fatty acids act as solvents to eliminate hardened fat inside the human body. They are also involved in generating the electric currents that maintain regular heartbeats, regulating chromosome stability and will even help with weight loss.

Here is a list of major constituents found in evening primrose: Alanine (0.5%), arginine (1.5%), aspartic acid (1.2%), beta-sitosterol (1.2-2.5%), calcium (1.3-1.8%), cellulose (27%), gamma-linolenic acid (0.5-10%), glutamic acid (2.7%), glycine (1%), fat (15-32%), fiber (43%), histidine (0.4%), isoleucine (0.5%), leucine (1%), lignin (16%), linoleic acid (12-22%), lysine (0.3%), methionine (0.6%), phenylalanine (0.7%), proline (0.6%), protein (15-17%), serine (0.9%) threonine (0.4%), tryptophan (up to 1.6%), tyrosine (0.4%), valine (up to 0.8%) and other lesser constituents.

Gamma linolenic acid is a polyunsaturated fatty acid. Gamma linolenic acid (or GLA) aids the body to manufacture energy, and it also helps to form parts of the structural fats that encompass bone marrow, the brain, cell membranes and muscles. Gamma linolenic acid is transformed by the body into prostaglandins. Prostaglandins help the body because of their anti-inflammatory properties. Prostaglandins can also act like a blood thinner and blood vessel dilator. They are hormone-like substances produced in the body’s tissues.

Prostaglandin deficiency can result in disruption of the nerve impulse transmission, increase blood clotting time, inflammation and weaken immune response. Evening primrose oil with a high concentration of gamma linolenic acid is favorable for ailments related to essential fatty acid deficiency and the inability to metabolize essential fatty acids.

Evening primrose oil is beneficial in the treatment of arteriosclerosis, lowering blood cholesterol levels, asthma, allergies, PMS, headaches, rheumatoid arthritis, skin irritation, rashes, anxiety, water retention, breast soreness, depression, coughs, irritability, and the prevention of benign prostatic hypertrophy. It can also act as a stimulant for the digestive system, liver and spleen.

Evening primrose oil has also been indispensable in the treatment of acne, brittle nails, eczema, hyperactivity, multiple sclerosis, peripheral neuropathy and alcohol related liver damage. There are other conditions where evening primrose is currently being tested for effectiveness, including breast cancer, heart disease, high cholesterol, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, stomach ulcers and inflammatory bowel disease.

Scientists have said that the studies on evening primrose have been promising, however there is not enough conclusive data available at this time. People with seizure disorders should only use omega-6 supplements of any kind, under the care and supervision of a licensed medical doctor, because omega-6 including gamma linolenic acid has had reports of inducing seizures in seizure-vulnerable persons.

When purchasing evening primrose oil it is important that the company states the percentages of gamma linolenic acid as well as the percentage of linoleic acid. Most quality oils will have between 7-10% GLA and 40-75% LA (the higher the percentages the better). If the company you are ordering the evening primrose oil does not list the GLA or LA content with their product it is advised to call them and get the percentage information on the 2 major constituent levels in their evening primrose oil.

The best evening primrose contains 10.3% gamma linolenic acid and 75% linoleic acid, available as carrier oil. Evening primrose can be used all over the body. Use it as a base to blend a therapeutic mix of essential oils for your specific ailment or as facial and body treatment to combat acne, dry, scared, mature, discolored and irritated skin. Of course it can also be used alone to produce beneficial therapeutic action. Evening primrose is a beautiful flowering plant, and an invaluable therapeutic emollient for general well being.

What Is A Home Remedy?

Home Remedies – Facts or Quacks?

Myths and legends often have their basis in a grain of truth. So I wondered if home remedies, alternative treatments, and folklore cures might also be based on truth. First, let’s try to define the phrase home remedy.

There’s No Place Like Home

The name itself proclaims that a home remedy is, well, a remedy that’s administered at home! Prescription drugs are often given at home as remedies, so we need to dig a little deeper. When you think of home remedy, don’t you think of some sort of cure or treatment that’s outside mainstream modern medicine? Me too. Let’s take a look at some choices.

The Holistic View

The dictionary defined holistic medicine as an approach to medical care that emphasizes the study of all aspects of a person’s health, including physical, psychological, social, economic, and cultural factors. The holistic definition is very broad and could apply to many medical approaches.

Peaches & Herbs?

Many people associate herbs with home remedies. The definition for herbal remedy is a plant, or plant part, or an extract or mixture of these used to prevent, alleviate, or cure disease called also herbal medicine. That sounds like a good definition, although home remedies tend to encompass more than herbal remedies. What’s next?

Folk Medicine

Folk medicine is defined as traditional medicine especially as practiced by people isolated from modern medical services, and usually involving the use of plant-derived remedies on an empirical basis. Now we’re getting somewhere! The old-timers practiced medicine not based entirely on plants when modern medicine wasn’t available. Let’s dig a little deeper into the dictionary.

Home At Last

Finally we find the dictionary’s definition of home remedy: a simply prepared medication or tonic often of unproven effectiveness administered without prescription or professional supervision. So – it is a remedy prepared outside the realm of modern medicine, it’s not limited to herbs, but unproven effectiveness? I disagree. I can prove that some of the simplest home remedies have led to some of our greatest medical breakthroughs (but that’s another article).

Is That Your Final Answer?

Based on the research above, let’s agree to define a home remedy as follows:

An experienced-based or even accidental remedy or cure prepared by common folk from herbs, plants, or other available ingredients when modern medical help was unavailable (or hadn’t been devised yet).

That’s my answer, and I’m sticking to it!

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What Is Homeopathic Medicine?

Homeopathy is a safe, natural form of medicine, based on the practice of treating like with like. Homeopathy is derived from the Greek words homios, meaning like or similar, and italios, meaning suffering.

Homeopathy is concerned with treating the whole person rather than the illness alone. The homeopath will consider the patient as a whole, both physically and psychologically, taking into account the patient’s physical appearance, their likes, dislikes and their temperament. It is there fore a highly personalized form of treatment, so patients who apparently suffer from the same ill ness may be given advice for different medicines.

Homeopathy is a well established form of healing. Today many of the leading pharmaceutical companies are researching and mass-producing homeopathic medicines.

Homeopathic Medicines

Homeopathic medicines look very much like conventional medicines, are taken in the same way, but the way they work is entirely different.

The medicines are not synthetic and are derived from natural sources. Over 60% of homeopathic remedies are prepared from vegetable or plant materials. Other remedies are prepared from naturally occurring mineral substances, including metals, non-metallic substances, and mineral salts. Animal sources of homeopathic remedies include: Cuttlefish (the ink or juice provides sepia) and Honeybee.

Homeopathic medicines are prepared by obtaining the remedy in its most concentrated form, and then, through a long process of dilution, by preparing a medicine whose potency is sufficient to effect a treatment. The potency describes the measure of the dilution of the remedy and is denoted by the number which follows the name of the medicine itself. The higher the number, the greater the dilution (up to one part remedy to one trillion parts dilutant).

Homeopathic Medicines

Homeopathic medicines, commonly referred to as remedies, may come from the plant, mineral, or animal kingdom. Some common remedies include: arnica montana, from the Leopard’s bane plant; belladonna, from the deadly nightshade plant; calcarea, calcium carbonate from oyster shells; sepia, from cuttlefish ink; and the element, sulphur.

Homeopathic remedies today are produced using the same dilution principles as in Hahnemann’s day. In a common dilution of 1:100, one drop of the homeopathic substance is added to 99 drops of water and/or alcohol. The mixture is then potentized by a process called “succussion” – repeated tapping on a hard surface for a specific length of time. Remedies may be diluted up to 1000 times, leaving only an infinitesimal trace of the substance. Remedies are typically diluted 10, 100, or 1,000 times, which translate into potencies that are marked with the Roman numerals X, C, and M. Homeopathic remedies range from 6X as the lowest potency to 1M or more as the highest potency.

Remedies can be taken orally in pill, powder, or drop form, rubbed topically, or injected. There are usually no side effects from homeopathic treatments, but a patient can experience what is called a “healing aggravation,” a temporary accentuation of symptoms. This is seen as a positive sign that the remedy is working. Depending on the severity of the symptoms, a homeopath may choose an antidote, which produces the opposite effect of the remedy. The antidote may be another homeopathic remedy, or a strong substance, such as perfume, camphor, or coffee, which are known to block the effects of a remedy.

In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recognized homeopathic medicines as drugs since 1938, working with the Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia Convention to produce and update their reference book of homeopathic medicines. Over the years, the FDA has classified homeopathic medicines as either prescription or more commonly as non-prescription (over-the-counter), depending on their strength. In the United Kingdom, homeopathic medicine has been part of the National Health Service (NHS) since it began in 1948. There are currently 5 homeopathic hospitals in the NHS. Homeopathic medicines are available over-the-counter or by prescription.

Safety of Homeopathic Medicines

Because of the very, very small doses used in homeopathic treatment, the medicines are completely safe, non-addictive and have no unwanted side effects. The curative properties of the remedies are released even in extremely high dilution‹and render the medicine completely safe for the treatment of both children and babies.

Always consult a practitioner before buying homeopathic remedies, and make sure that they are kept safe and out of the reach of all children.

Where dosing instructions have been followed, no case of toxic action has ever been reported in association with homeopathic medicines.

Receiving Homeopathic Treatment

Homeopathic treatment is practiced by fully qualified Health Practitioners who understand the philosophy of homeopathic medicine’s well as patients’ emotional and daily situations.

While some homeopathic medicines are readily available in both regular pharmacies and health stores, you MUST consult your homeopathic practitioner before attempting treatment for any serious ailment or illness.

If you are currently on medication for a serious medical or psychological condition, you should NOT stop taking your medication in order to start homeopathic treatment. Your practitioner will advise you on the best course of treatment, often working with your internist or therapist.

Yasmin Birth Control Pill

Yasmin is a low-dose birth control pill. It uses a combination of two hormones – progesterone and estrogen – to prevent pregnancy. Specifically, Yasmin uses Drospirenone (a form of progesterone) and ethinyl estradiol (a form of estrogen). Yasmin prevents pregnancy in two ways. First, when combined, the two hormones prevent the ovary from releasing an egg. Secondly, in the very unlikely event that you do ovulate, Yasmin has the effect of thickening the uterus lining. This lessens the chances of the sperm ever reaching the egg and fertilizing it.

As with any other birth control pill, the main problem with Yasmin is that you have to be very conscientious about taking it. You need to set a regular time to take the pill so as to maximize its effectiveness and to help you develop the habit of taking it. Missing pills may have dire consequences, depending on the number of pills missed and the week you missed it.

You should also talk to your doctor if you are taking other medication, especially antibiotics. Some antibiotics are known to interfere with the Pill’s effectiveness. I am sure you wouldn’t want to get pregnant just because of an oversight.

Compared to other birth control pills available in the market, Yasmin is a bit pricey. However, I like the fact that it is not supposed to make you gain as much weight as the other pills. In fact, that was my main reason when I chose to use this pill.

Another reason I like Yasmin is that it seems to have helped my acne problem. Ever since I started using it, I haven’t had the major breakouts that I usually experience.

It is not without side effects, though. During the first couple of months that I used it, I had really bad stomach cramps. It was very inconvenient as I couldn’t control the pain and the urge to go to the wash room. Around the third month I think my body got used to it and the stomach cramps went away. Other slight side effects are nausea, migraine headaches, and breast tenderness. Doctors encourage smokers to quit – or at least lessen – smoking when on the pill. So far, I haven’t had any negative experiences regarding this even though I did cut back on smoking.

I would recommend Yasmin to anyone who wants to get on the pill. It claims to be 99% effective in preventing pregnancy and so far, I can guarantee it works.