Wednesday, January 26, 2005

the Mail online | Women & family | All you need to know about flu: "All you need to know about flu"
The winter months invariably bring a range of nasties with them. As the weather gets colder, our immune systems appear more vulnerable and colds and infection soon take hold.

Flu is one of the main illnesses to peak in winter, and it can be one of the more dangerous, too. It's infectious and in some circumstances, fatal, especially for the young, elderly and those with chronic conditions, such as asthma.

Here we take an in-depth look at what flu is and the best ways of avoiding, and treating it.

Reduced salt intake cuts heart disease risk

26/01/05 - Diet & fitness section

Reduced salt intake cuts heart disease risk

Older people could immediately cut the risk of suffering a stroke or a heart attack by reducing their salt intake, campaigners have claimed.

At least 26 million people in Britain regularly consume more than the recommended 6g of salt a day for an adult.

Eating too much salt can raise blood pressure but the danger generally increases with age.

Pressure group Consensus Action on Salt and Health (CASH) has calculated over 60-year-olds could slash the chances of a stoke by up to 31% and a heart attack by 24% within days if they reduced their salt consumption to the 6g a day maximum.

Greater risks

It based the figures on papers published in two journals, one on a salt reduction trial in older people and the other looking at the relationship between blood pressure and cardiovascular risk. CASH plans to highlight the issue in its latest Salt Awareness Day tomorrow.

Salt manufacturers responded by claiming a recent study in Germany had shown a low-salt diet could be dangerous for older people.

One of the biggest complaints of health groups is that food manufacturers generally list sodium rather than salt on packets.

Shoppers need to multiply the sodium content by 2.5 to find the salt level.

A survey conducted by CASH of over 50-year-olds found that 63% were unaware that salt contains sodium or got the quantities wrong.

A further 69% of the 103 people questioned in September last year said the labelling of sodium was "incomprehensible"."

Graham MacGregor, chairman of CASH and a professor of cardiovascular medicine at St George's Hospital, London, said: "Older people will have dramatic reductions in strokes and heart attacks if they cut their salt intakes to the recommended levels.

"They are at greater risks and will have immediate and larger falls in blood pressure."

Prof MacGregor analysed the results of 23 patients referred to the blood pressure unit at St George's with hypertension, all of whom claimed to be cutting down on salt or ate none at all.

Just three of the group actually consumed less than 6g a day and one man had a reading of 23.7g.

Food industry targets

The Food Standards Agency say men consume an average of 11g of salt a day - equivalent to almost two level teaspoons - and while women have around 8.1g.

Around 75% of salt in diets comes from processed food with bread, breakfast cereals and biscuits among the worst culprits.

Peter Sherratt, general secretary of the Salt Manufacturers Association, said: "CASH has never acknowledged the fact that there are many experts who totally disagree with it on the suggested link between salt and blood pressure.

"This latest advice carries potential risk for older people. If they suffer from high blood pressure, they should consult their doctors rather than follow what CASH suggests is an 'immediate' cure.

Martin Paterson, deputy director general of the Food and Drink Federation, said: "UK food and drink manufacturers are committed to encouraging consumers to improve their own health through a balanced diet and active lifestyle.

"The industry has already made great strides in reducing the amount of salt in a wide range of processed foods, published a guide to help consumers understand more about salt and is committed to encouraging all its members to provide 'salt equivalent' on labelling as well as the legally required sodium information."

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©2005 Associated New Media

Friday, January 21, 2005

Scented pillows help pre-met infants breathe!:

Sydney, Jan 9 : Vanilla-scented pillows could reduce the incidence of life-threatening respiratory difficulties in premature babies, a new study has found.

Pre-mature babies are often at risk of apnoea, a condition where they stop breathing for no apparent reason. Doctors believe the babies' immature respiratory centres means that they sometimes forget to breathe, particularly when they are sleeping.

Usually the condition is treated with drugs, but doctors at a hospital in Strasbourg, France, found that where drug treatment didn't work, a dab of vanilla essence on the pillows of the newborns reduced apnoea by 36 per cent on average in 12 out of 14 infants.

Researchers discover why olive oil lessens breast cancer risk:

: "Researchers discover why olive oil lessens breast cancer risk:"
Washington, Jan 10 : A team of researchers from the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, have revealed why Mediterranean diets, which include a lot of olive oil, reduces breast cancer risk in women.

The study, which has been published in the "Annals of Oncology" also found evidence that oleic acid, which is found in olive oil, may have a future role in treatment.

Saturday, January 15, 2005


Taking a trip to the doctor is not a fun thing to do unless you have some sort of fetish for pain and bad news. While all doctor visits don’t have to be horrible, the anxiety that is expended while you wait for the verdict is enough to make anyone go crazy. Some people think the answer is to just avoid going to the doctor altogether, but that usually leads to more problems than you originally planned for. If you’re starting to get that funny feeling that something is haywire in your body, you can do some research before you head to the Doc. One site that acts like a medical textbook is MedicineNet.
I'm no health expert, but this site appears to provide some comprehensive information on most anything that could ail you. If you're experiencing curious symptoms that you'd like to identify, the site lets you choose what you're going through, and will then give you suggestions about what the problem may be. You can also learn more about any type of disease that you or a friend may have. So many medications are on the market, and MedicineNet will help you figure out what does what. One of the biggest problems we peasants have to deal with is the inability to understand medical terms. Kiss this problem goodbye, because the site also has a dictionary that you can refer to in times of need. When you get that icky feeling inside, find out what the cause is with this Web site.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

the Mail online | Health | Revolutionary implants help injured children smile again: "Doctors are putting smiles back on the faces of seriously injured and deformed children with the help of a revolutionary new implant to help rebuild their looks."

Friday, January 07, 2005

New Clinical Guidelines Advise When to Treat Flat Feet in Children

CHICAGO, IL -- December 29, 2004 -- Are flat feet in children naturally corrected with age or does the condition require medical attention to prevent further foot problems" To help physicians and parents learn answers to this question and others, the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons (ACFAS) has released new clinical practice guidelines for diagnosis and treatment of pediatric flatfoot.

According to co-author James Thomas, DPM, FACFAS, University of Alabama Birmingham, the bottom-line advice for parents from the new guidelines is to observe your child's gait regularly, with and without shoes, for signs of flattened arches and seek medical attention if the child complains of foot or leg pain or shows a sudden lack of interest in physical activities.

The guidelines appear in the current issue of the Journal of Foot & Ankle Surgery and offer physicians diagnostic and treatment pathways to follow when evaluating pediatric flatfoot patients. "Recommendations in the guidelines will help foot and ankle surgeons, primary care doctors and parents differentiate various types of flatfoot conditions in children and make appropriate choices on treatment options," said Thomas.

Thomas added that a flattened arch is common in young children and usually is an isolated condition known as flexible flatfoot, in which the foot is flat when standing and returns to a normal arch in non weight-bearing positions. According to the ACFAS guidelines, most children with flexible flatfoot have no clinical symptoms other than the flattened arch and the disorder follows "a natural history of improvement over time."

"When parents notice flattened arches in their children they often don't know if the problem requires medical attention," Thomas noted. "Much of the time, treatment isn't required for pediatric flatfoot unless the child has pain in the foot or leg. So parents and their pediatricians should monitor children with flat feet for signs of progression, such as the onset or worsening of pain and possible adjustments in gait to compensate for it," he explained.

Further, the guidelines advise that if a child's flatfoot condition doesn't improve by the age of 10 (the age the arch should be fully developed), a foot and ankle surgeon should be consulted for exact diagnosis of the problem and appropriate treatment.

When medical treatment is required for flexible flatfoot, the ACFAS guidelines recommend first-line therapy that may include activity modifications or limitations, stretching exercises, shoe orthotics and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications. If the patient's response to initial treatment is unsatisfactory, a variety of surgical procedures can be considered to relieve pain and improve foot function.

Another less common and more serious type of pediatric flatfoot covered in the guidelines is rigid flatfoot. This condition is somewhat rare and usually inherited. As the name implies, the arch is rigid and flat, with or without weight bearing, and there is limited motion in the foot. Normally associated with an underlying structural abnormality or deformity, rigid flatfoot requires diagnosis and treatment by a foot and ankle surgeon. Surgery often is required in these cases to correct underlying structural deformities.

For further information follow these links
Flexible Flatfoot
Painful Progressive Flatfoot (Tibialis Posterior Tendinitis)