Monthly Archives: January 2014

New Advancements in Chronic Pain Management

It has been estimated that chronic pain affects 1.5 billion people around the world. In U.S. alone the number is around 100 million. While there are no effective treatment options, there are ways to relieve the pain, some options being more effective that the others. Treatment options for chronic pain vary from over the counter meds to physical therapy, prescription drugs as well as surgery. Additionally there is also SCS which has shown good results in relieving pain.

What is it?
It’s a reversible therapy that send electrical impulses along the spinal cord, masking the pain message that travels to the brain. The pain message is replaced with soothing, tingling sensation. SCS can be used for chronic pain in limbs, also pain associated with failed back surgery, low pack pain and so on. For more information where and how it can be used see And there’s also a new Precision Spectra SCS System available, system that has more contact points and more power sources than any SCS system below, making it more flexible and give physicians more choices to treat the pain.

What are the causes of chronic pain?
In the U.S. roughly 1/4 of the people suffer from chronic pain due to diabetes, another 1/4 due to heart disease and stroke, another 1/4 have frequent back pain and roughly 1/10 have due to cancer. However, for many patients, the chronic pain becomes a disease in its own right soon after.

Disclosure: This post was requested by an advertiser.

Cystic Fibrosis Diet

 Nutritional Needs of Cystic Fibrosis Child:

Generally, kids with Cystic Fibrosis need more calories than other kids in their age group. The amount of additional calories they need will vary according to each child’s lung function, activity level, and illness.

A child’s caloric needs might be even higher during an illness (even a low-grade infection can greatly increase the calories required). A CF dietitian can help you determine how many calories your child needs each day, and track growth and weight gain over time in order to provide a good nutrition plan.

Essential fatty acids. Patients with cystic fibrosis have altered levels of plasma fatty acids. Found in plant oils, safflower oil, and soybean oils, they help in the building of cell membranes and may play a role in lung function. It is suggested that CF patients try to incorporate more omega 3 fatty acids into their diet, which can be done with either food sources or supplements. Salmon, flax seeds, and walnuts are excellent food sources of omega 3 fatty acids. Your CF dietician wll guide you with that.

Calcium. Patients with pancreatic insufficiency have difficulty absorbing calcium and are especially at risk for developing osteoporosis (weak, brittle bones), as are all kids with CF. Dairy products are good sources of calcium (and the full-fat varieties also are good sources of fat and calories). Many juices also are fortified with calcium.

Fat-soluble vitamins (vitamins A, D, E, and K  These vitamins are important for immune function, growth, and healing. They are absorbed along with fat. Most kids with CF have trouble digesting fat, they often have low levels of fat-soluble vitamins and need to take vitamin supplements.

Iron. Children with CF are at risk for developing iron-deficiency anemia, which can cause fatigue and poor resistance to infection. Fortified cereal, meats, dried fruits, and dark green vegetables are good sources of iron.

Salt. Kids with CF lose a lot of salt in their sweat, especially during hot weather and when they exercise. So a CF dietitian may suggest adding salt to an infant’s formula and giving an older child salty snacks. During hot weather and when your child plays sports, he may need sports drinks along.

Zinc.  is found in meats, liver, eggs, and seafood. It is important for growth, healing, and combating infection

Meals at Home and Away

If your child is a choosy eater, pay attention to the foods your child especially likes and adapt the menu as these preferences change. Ask an older child with CF to try one new food a week. It’s also important to model good behavior for kids of all ages. Eat a well-balanced diet with a variety of foods and make sure you try new things yourself.

To make meals a pleasant experience:

  • Try to keep meals to about 20-30 minutes for toddlers and young kids, who can’t sit still for extended periods.
  • Eat in a comfortable environment with few distractions.
  • Don’t give huge portions that might seem irresistible.
  • Offer praise for eating well. Encourage kids to eat as much as they can comfortably.
  • Keep food choices simple, especially for younger kids.
  • Make foods as attractive and appealing as much as possible.

All childcare providers and teachers should know that your child has CF and be aware of his or her nutritional and caloric needs. Work with the staff to plan high-calorie meals and snacks or send food if the menu can’t accommodate your child’s needs. Young kids need help taking their enzymes and supplements, and the staff should understand that they need to be taken before all meals.

As kids with CF grow into teens, they’ll probably begin eating more meals away from home and may feel pressured to eat in certain ways. Work with your teen, emphasizing the positive and monitoring any weight changes that are of concern. If you’re packing lunch, include high-calorie options like ranch dressing and increasing Caloric Intake.

Make sure that kids with CF eat enough fat and calories. One way to increase calories without creating an entirely separate menu is to increase the calories and fat in one part of the meal.

Here are some simple ways to do so:

  • Add extra butter or margarine to sandwiches, sauces, and potatoes.
  • Use dressings on salads or vegetables; add extra oil to the dressing.
  • Prepare meals with gravies and creamy sauces.
  • Add bacon to burgers and chicken.
  • Add dried skim milk powder to sauces and beverages.
  • Add extra cheese to garnish potatoes or macaroni and cheese; order extra cheese on pizza.
  • Top salads and sandwiches with avocados.
  • Add nuts to cookies, cakes, pancakes, and salads.
  • Add extra cheese and deli meats to sandwiches.
  • Grill sandwiches in butter or margarine.
  • Use heavy whipping cream and whole milk when cooking.
  • Make milkshakes.
  • Add instant breakfast mixes to milk-based beverages.
  • Make high-calorie smoothies.
  • Prepare calorie-rich desserts such as pudding and cheesecake.
  • Top hot chocolate, pudding, and other desserts with whipped cream.
  • Provide high-calorie snacks like peanut butter crackers or trail mix.
  • Prepare high-calorie versions of popular family recipes.

When you’re shopping, be sure to compare the labels on similar prepared foods and purchase those that have higher fat and calorie content. Avoid diet foods — anything that claims to be nonfat, low fat, reduced calorie, or light/lite.

Look for whole-fat versions of dairy products such as sour cream, cottage cheese, and yogurt. Don’t forget to check baby food labels. You’d be surprised at how the caloric level varies between brands.


Beyond Food: Enzymes and Tube Feeding


A child with pancreatic insufficiency will need to take enzymes with meals and snacks to help digest food properly and to get the nutrition and fat needed to grow and gain weight.

Signs that your child may need enzymes or an enzyme dose adjustment include:

  • failure to gain weight, in spite of a strong appetite
  • frequent, large, greasy, or smelly bowel movements
  • bloating or gas

The CF dietitian or doctor will prescribe enzymes based on weight, growth, and how much a child eats at a time. An increased enzyme dose doesn’t necessarily mean that a child is doing poorly. It may mean that he or she has gained weight and now requires more enzymes.

Enzymes need to be taken with every meal and most snacks. They come in capsules, full of tiny beads, that can be broken open for kids who are too young to swallow entire capsules. They should only be mixed with foods that are acidic, like applesauce. They should not be chewed or crushed. Never change the dose of enzymes without first consulting your child’s dietitian or doctor.


Low Blood Pressure Symptoms

Symptoms of Low Blood Pressure:

Symptoms of low blood pressure may include:

  • Blurry vision
  • Confusion
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting
  • Light-headedness
  • Sleepiness
  • Weakness.
  • When there is insufficient blood pressure to deliver blood to the coronary arteries (the arteries that supply blood to the heart’s muscle), a person may develop chest pain or even a heart attack.
  • When insufficient blood is delivered to the kidneys, the kidneys fail to eliminate wastes from the body, for example, urea (BUN) and creatinine, and increases in their levels in the blood occur.
  • Shock is a life-threatening condition where persistently low blood pressure causes organs such as kidney(s), liver, heart, lung, and brain to fail rapidly

Is low blood pressure good or bad for your health?

People who have lower blood pressures have a lower risk of stroke,heart and kidney disease. Athletes, people who exercise regularly, people who maintain ideal body weight, and non-smokers tend to have lower blood pressures. Therefore, low blood pressure is advantageous as long as it is not low enough to cause symptoms and damage to the body organs.

Signs of Low Blood Pressure:

The doctor will examine you and try to determine the cause of low blood pressure. Your vital signs (temperature, pulse, rate of breathing, blood pressure) will be checked frequently. The common question which doctor will ask are:

  • What is your normal blood pressure?
  • Have you had any recent illness, accident, or injury?
  • What other symptoms do you have?
  • Have you been eating and drinking normally?
  • Did you faint or become less alert?
  • Do you feel dizzy or light-headed when standing or sitting after lying down?
  • What medications do you take?

Tests for Low Blood Pressure:

  • Complete blood count (CBC), including blood differential
  • ECG (to detect Pericarditis, abnormal heart beats, heart attck)
  • Urinalysis
  • Blood and urine cultures to check for infection
  • X-ray of the abdomen and chest.
  • Blood electrolyte measurements may show dehydration and mineral depletion, renal failure (kidney failure), or acidosis (excess acid in the blood).
  • Cortisol levels can be measured to diagnose Addison’s disease.
  • Ultrasound examinations of the leg veins and CT scans of the chest can detect deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism.
  • Holter monitor recordings are used to diagnose intermittent episodes of abnormal heart rhythms. . A Holter monitor is a continuous recording of the heart’s rhythm for 24 hours that often is used to chart intermittent episodes of bradycardia or tachycardia.ECG may miss if abnormal rhythms occur intermittently
  • Patient-activated event recorder. If the episodes of bradycardia or tachycardia are occasional, a 24-hour Holter recording may not capture these sporadic episodes. So  a patient can wear a patient-activated event recorder for up to four weeks. The patient presses a button to start the recording when he or she senses the onset of an abnormal heart rhythm or symptoms possibly caused by low blood pressure. The doctor then analyzes the recordings at a later date to recognize the abnormal heart beats.
  • Echocardiograms are examinations of the structures of the heart using ultrasound. Echocardiograms can detect pericardial fluid, the extent of heart muscle damage from heart attacks, diseases of the heart valves.
  • Tilt-Table tests are used to evaluate patients having postural hypotension or syncope due to abnormal function of the autonomic nerves. During a tilt-table test, the patient lies on an examining table with an intravenous infusion administered while the heart rate and blood pressure are monitored. The table then is tilted upright for 15 minutes to 45 minutes. Heart rate and blood pressure are monitored every few minutes whether he develops postural hypotension or not.

Next> (3) Low Blood Pressure Treatment