Monday, March 9, 2009

Nasal Irrigation

Spring is around the corner, you just got a new cat, and with the
pollen, grasses and dander there come the allergies. Allergy induced
asthma is only a small step behind. Read on and find a methodical
guide on homeopathic treatment options for allergy-induced asthma.

Identifying the Culprits

Before you can effectively start a homeopathic treatment of your
allergy induced asthma, you need to find the allergies' causes. The
most likely culprits are pet dander, pollen, certain insects, molds,
and also smoke. Seasonal allergies are easily traced back to the
changes that occur outside, while sudden allergy attacks may point to
a change in your living situation, such as the addition of a new four
legged family member. Knowing what causes your allergic asthma is half
the battle.

Diminishing the Culprits' Influence

The odds are good that you will be voted down if you suggest getting
rid of kitty, so your best bet is to begin your treatment by limiting
the allergens' access to you. For example, if you are allergic to pet
dander, do not allow the animal to enter your sleeping quarter. This
ensures a good night's sleep without allergy induced asthma attacks
requiring the use of stimulant containing inhalers, and thereby also
strengthens your immune system.

Secondly, eliminate external allergens with high quality air filtering
systems. Open windows with regular screens may be augmented with
special allergen blocking overlays. Moreover, you may even find that
mosquito netting over your bed traps more than just the occasional

Humidity Binds a Multitude of Culprits

Keep your home environment humidified. In addition to working with an
air purifier, a humidifier helps to keep the tiny particles causing
your allergy induced asthma to a minimum in the breathable air. This
treatment also helps with drying mucous membranes that cause the
scratchy throat and bleeding noses.

Homeopathic Treatment Options for Allergy Induced Asthma
Invest in a nasal irrigation kit. It feels odd the first few times you
flush out your nasal passages, but after about a week it should feel
like second nature and will help a great deal. The goal is to flush
out any irritants that may keep your allergies flaring and your asthma
reacting. The Mayo Clinic posted an easy to follow instructional video
on the proper procedure for nasal irrigation.

Goldenseal is a homeopathic treatment that can make a huge difference
in the mucous flow and also the inflammation of nasal passages. The
Herbal Information Center suggests that goldenseal should be measured
carefully and must be avoided by pregnant or lactating women.

Caution: Talk to Your Doctor before Using Homeopathic Allergic Asthma Treatments

Remember that your body and its reactions to nasal irrigation and
goldenseal are unique to you. As such, it is crucial that you discuss
any use of homeopathic means to relieve allergy induced asthma with
your doctor prior to using them!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Breathing problem at night

Have you ever woken up in the middle of the night gasping for air, and
a sneaking suspicion that you have...stopped breathing in your sleep?
Not only can identifying and diagnosing nighttime breathing and
respiratory problems be scary, it can be one of the most frustrating
things you'll ever attempt--because many of your symptoms are
occurring while you're asleep! Nighttime breathing problems are very
common, and have many potential causes: a lingering cold or cough,
asthma, allergies, and sleep apnea are some of the most common
diagnoses. There are many steps you can take toward solving your
frightening problem; the first step is to learn more about the most
common nighttime breathing and respiratory problems and get a proper
medical diagnosis.
According to MedHelp, sleep apnea is the most common nighttime
breathing and respiratory problem by far. "Apnea" is a Greek word
meaning "want of breath." If you have any of the three different types
of sleep apnea, you stop breathing while you're sleeping, in some
cases hundreds of times a night. The most common sufferers of this
particular nighttime breathing and respiratory problem are males who
are overweight and snore, but the disorder has been diagnosed in all
ages and sexes. This self-assessment quiz can help you determine if
you have some of the many signs of sleep apnea.If you take one of the
many self-assessment tests available on the internet and realize that
you are at risk for sleep apnea, it is highly advisable that you
consult with your doctor, and seek a sleep center in your area for a
sleep study so you can be properly diagnosed. Sleep apnea is not a
mere annoyance that leaves you groggy in the morning, it can be very
dangerous if untreated! A recent John Hopkins Health Alert announced
that "researchers found that men with untreated severe sleep apnea
were almost three times as likely as healthy participants to suffer
from a fatal heart attack or stroke, and more than three times as
likely to have a non-fatal heart attack or stroke or to require heart
surgery." If you are found to have obstructive sleep apnea (the most
common kind), you will likely be prescribed a CPAP mask to wear while
you sleep at night. Sleep Services of America, a leading provider of
CPAP treatment, offers an excellent Q&A here on what CPAP treatment is
and what it involves. Other treatment options to remedy this
nighttimme breathing and respiratory problem are surgery, or a special
mouthpiece in the case of mild apnea.

Nocturnal asthma is another common nighttime breathing and respiratory
problem. According to "What is Nocturnal Asthma?" an article by
Kathleen MacNaughton, R.N., about 75% of asthma sufferers are affected
by their symptoms at night at least once a week. There are many
different factors involved in ocurrences of nocturnal asthma.
Everything from different levels of hormones in the body at night, to
allergens that are common in bedrooms and bed linens, to the wearing
off of effectiveness of asthma medication. Asthmatics suffering from
asthma-related nighttime breathing and respiratory problems have
several treatment options, including trying different medications for
nighttime, and ridding bedrooms of asthma triggers.

Nasal obstruction, like rhinitis or sinusitis, is a third major cause
of nighttime breathing and respiratory problems, and is the one most
commonly treated with medication. Nasal obstruction can be a symptom
of allergies, like hay fever, or even a symptom of the common cold, or
a sinus infection. According to Respiratory Reviews, antihistamines,
decongestants, and/or intranasal corticosteroids are all common
treatment options for allergic rhinitis, and the timing of the
treatment can be crucial for relieving nighttime breathing problems.
As for nasal obstruction related to the common cold or flu, over the
counter nighttime remedies for the duration of the illness will help
alleviate the problem and help the sufferer sleep, as will saline and
nasal washes, and sleeping with a vaporizer in the bedroom.

Nighttime breathing and respiratory problems are common, but don't
delay if you find yourself suffering--an accurate diagnosis is crucial
for proper treatment.

National Institutes of Health National Heart, Lung, and Blood
Institute, "Breathing Disorders During Sleep", MedHelp

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Pfizer's New Bladder Drug - Toviaz

The urinary bladder is an organ that collects urine from the ureters.
Urine is excreted by the kidneys prior to disposal by urination
through the uretha. 3 The pelvic floor muscles contracts to store
urine in the bladder. Nerve signals from the bladder inform the brain
when it is full. At an appropriate place and time, as a response the
pelvic floor muscle becomes relaxed allowing the bladder to contract,
subsequently urine is passed through the urethra and out of the body
through the male or female anatomical structure. Urinary incontinence
is a loss of bladder control or leakage of urine, result of
physiologic or pathologic (disease) occurrence. 1 Accidental leakage
of urine is less common in girls than in boys. 5 In the United States
estimated one in six people have an overactive bladder (OAB). 2
Urinary incontinence disrupts daily activities including social,
sexual and workplace. 9 Besides frequent trips to the bathroom during
the time of normal sleep and daily activities. 10 "Overactive bladder
may also lead to other health problems, such as falls, and fractures,
urinary tract infections, and skin disorders, sleep problems and
depression. 9

Cause of urinary incontinence except during infancy include: Alcohol,
dehydration, over-hydration (drinking a lot of water), sides effects
of medication, caffeine, related injury or illnesses, enlarged
prostate, urinary traction infection, stress, constipation,
high-impact sports, bladder cancer or bladder stones, obstruction
along the urinary tract, obesity, age ("Up to 35% of the total
population over the age 60 years is estimated to be incontinent, with
women twice as likely as men to experience incontinence." 4) and other
factors. 5 For women, causes related to an over active bladder include
pregnancy, childbirth, menopause, and after hysterectomy. 5
Recommended diagnostic tests for over active bladder: Cystoscopy:("the
doctor inserts a thin a tube with a tiny a camera in the urethra to
see inside the urethra and bladder"), Urodynamics ("Various techniques
measure pressure in the bladder and the flow of urine."), bladder
stress test, ultrasound (Sound waves create images of the kidneys,
ureters, bladder and urethra), and Urinalysis and urine culture
(Testing a sample of urine for infection, urinary stones and other
causes). 7

In October 2008, Food and Drug Administration approved Toviaz
(fesoterodine fumarate) prescribed extended release tablets for the
treatment of overactive bladder or urinary incontinence symptoms
(Include strong urges to go frequently). Toviaz marketed and sold by
Pfizer pharmaceuticals once daily medication. 8 Toviaz was developed
by Schwarz Pharma (Zwickau, Germany 12). In 2006, Schwarz Pharma sold
the rights of Toviaz to Pfizer for as much as $210 million. In June
2007, the drug became available for sale Europe after winning European
marketing approval. 11

During clinical testing of Toviaz, significantly reduced the number of
frequent urinary incontinence episodes over twenty-four hours. "The
approval of Toviaz (by the FDA) is based on two large 12-week Phase
Three clinical studies of 1,964 OAB patients." When participants of
the studies were given Toviaz 8 mg, the affect of the medication was
realized as soon as week two of treatment, eighty-eight percent medium
reductions in urinary incontinence episodes. During clinical testing,
those who had received four milligrams of Toviaz, nineteen percent
experienced dry mouth and thirty-five percent experienced dry mouth
when eight mg was taken. Less than one percent of those experiencing
dry mouth discontinued the medication. Also, few number of
constipation incidences occurred as the amount of medication
increased. During three years Toviaz was under review, continued to
confirm the adverse reaction of the medication. In 2009, Toviaz
expected to be available for sale in the United States. 8Pfizer Toviaz
is not recommended for those who have stomach problems, glaucoma or
trouble getting urine to pass. 8 The dosage of the medication will be
available in four and eight milligrams, allow dosing flexibility
depending on tolerance of side effects and patient response. 10 Prior
approval of Toviaz required the FDA to inspect and approve the plant
facility owned by Pfizer. "The medicine may have about $500 million in
peak, annual sales and will compete with Pfizer's Detrol and Detrol
LA, which work similarly and had combined sales of $1.2 billion last
year (2007), analysts have said." 11