Archive for March, 2007

The Facts About Endometriosis Laparoscopy

Posted in Health & Fitness on March 30th, 2007

Though ultrasound can be used to help find signs of endometriosis, this is something that does not tell the true tale of what is going on in many women. Though ultrasound is a great tool for many things, it does have a disadvantage when it comes to diagnosing this condition. There are times when it just can’t pick up the nodules that often indicate that there is a problem. The next step after this type of diagnostics is to then use endometriosis laparoscopy surgery to get a better look at what is going on.

Laparoscopy is a tool that is used in many different areas of medicine. This tool takes some practice, but gives the doctor eyes to see inside the body without being as invasive. This is a tiny camera that can be put into the body through a very tiny opening. It has a light attached, and can be used to aid in surgeries like gastric bypass, and can also used for exploratory surgery to search for signs of endometriosis, among other things. This greatly cuts down on recovery time for many people.

When a person is getting this for endometriosis, the doctor will probably make a small incision in the belly button. The patient can be either completely knocked out, and in some cases, a local anesthetic can be used so that the patient can remain awake. A small tube containing both light and a tiny video camera are inserted. Many times, some sort of gas (almost always carbon dioxide), is insert so that the abdomen inflates. This allows the camera and the surgeon to see better. This also allows others to view the surgery as well. The spots that are suspected as being areas with endometriosis growth will be explored.

There are times when this is done to see what is going on, and other times, it can be used to help the surgeon see where the endometriosis is located for removal. Though removal is sometimes possible without more incisions, there may be instances when more incisions might be needed to remove the tissues that need to be taken from the body for biopsy purposes. These incisions are usually located down near the pubic area, or what is referred to as the bikini area. A doctor should go over all of the possibilities of what might happen and what might be done during the surgery and anything that they might do as a result.

Once endometriosis laparoscopy is done, a patient should recover rather quickly. Nausea is quite common, and recovery might take a few days. There may be some pain in the shoulders due to the gas that was used during the surgery. That should go away rather quickly. There may be some pain and discomfort, but a patient will be given pain killers to handle it. If pain goes above and beyond what the pills can handle, or if a person develops a fever, they should go back in to their doctor to make sure everything is okay.
Grab your free copy of Shelley Ross’ brand new Endometriosis Newsletter - Overflowing with easy to implement methods to help you find out about endometriosis signs and for information on endometriosis sign and symptoms please visit Treating Your Endometriosis.

The Benefits of Cupping Therapy for Fibromyalgia

Posted in Health & Fitness on March 19th, 2007

Just as it is important to know what medical treatments will be most beneficial to treating your fibromyalgia symptoms, it is equally important to know what alternative therapies can offer you relief.  Why? Unlike medications, the vast majority of alternative therapies do not cause negative side effects.

There are different alternative remedies that have effectively alleviated pain in some fibromyalgia sufferers.  One such therapy that has become a popular treatment for fibromyalgia sufferers is known as cupping therapy. 

What is cupping therapy?  Cupping therapy is an adapted form of traditional Chinese medicine that involves applying glass cups to the skin to help alleviate pain, expel toxins, and restore proper circulation to the body.  Each glass cup acts as a vacuum through the use of heat or a suction pump.  The cups are positioned on a variety of specific trigger points (the same as those used in acupuncture) on the body, and are typically left on the body for ten – fifteen minutes.

There are two main types of cupping therapy used:
1. Massage cupping – During treatment, the glass cups are moved in a massage pattern around the skin to help massage sore joints and muscles.
2. Stationary cupping – During treatment, glass cups are applied to the skin and not moved until the end of the session.

How is a cupping session performed?
A cupping session is generally performed using the following tools: glass cups, cotton balls, rubbing alcohol, candles and matches.  Each of these tools is applied during a session as follows:

- A cotton ball is soaked in alcohol and lit on fire by a burning candle
- A vacuum is created inside a glass cup by holding the lit cotton ball inside the cup.
- Once the vacuum is created the cotton ball is removed and the cup is immediately applied to the designated acupuncture point on the skin.
- Four-six cups are applied during a session and are not left on the skin for longer than fifteen minutes.

Although a cupping session may sound painful, it is nothing of the sort.  In fact, usually the only thing a person feels is a slight suction where each cup is placed.  After a session, you may have circular red marks on your skin from the cups.  These red marks will fade and are a sign that the cupping therapy has successfully increased the blood flow within your body.

How does cupping benefit fibromyalgia? After each session, patients usually report feeling deeply relaxed, and their specific target cupping areas feel light and agile.  This is due to the fact that cupping works to improve circulation, helps release toxins form the body, and promotes quicker healing of muscles, tendons and ligaments.

Other benefits reported by fibromyalgia sufferers include:
- Relief from pain or stiffness in the muscles and tissues
- Reduction of painful trigger points
- Improves flexibility in muscles and overall range of motion
- Reduces feelings of depression and anxiety
- Relieves stress

Cupping is a safe treatment for fibromyalgia sufferers as it does not aggravate their condition.

You should not perform cupping treatment on your own, nor should you let a person not qualified.  If you are interested in finding a cupping therapist, the best place to start your search is at local spas or holistic treatment centers.  It’s also a good idea to ask your massage therapist about cupping therapy.  If you don’t have a massage therapist, try searching online by using your city and “cupping therapy” as the main keywords. 
If you haven’t already done so, sign up for a free newsletter & discover proven natural methods to help you combat the pain and frustration of Fibromyalgia. Discover more about the different fibromyalgia relief options on the rest of the site and whether cupping is an effective natural cure for fibromyalgia.

Endometriosis and Mirena Is it the Right Treatment for You?

Posted in Health & Fitness on March 8th, 2007

Endometriosis and mirena treatment is something else you can consider if you find that controlling your diet by eliminating “bad” foods isn’t providing you with adequate relief. Mirena is used to treat endometriosis symptoms by limiting the amount of blood flow during menses.

What is Mirena? It is a form of contraception and a type of Intrauterine Contraceptive Device, commonly known as IUD’s or colis. Mirena is made up of light plastic, and is in the form of a T-shape. It is properly fitted and inserted into the womb by a doctor. It remains in place for a certain amount of time, and is then removed and a fresh Mirena coli is inserted.

How does Mirena work? As far as the benefits linked between controlling endometriosis and mirena treatment are concerned, mirena makes the bleeding during a menstrual cycle lighter than normal. This is achieved through the hormone levonorgestrel located on the mirena coli. Although Levonorgesterel is an ingredient also found in birth control pills, there is a much smaller dose in mirena.

Furthermore, levonorgesterel in mirena is distributed directly to the womb lining, which means there are no progesterone-like effects that can occur when the hormone travels through the blood stream as is the case with oral contraceptives.

What are the benefits? Studies have found that most women with endometriosis and mirena treatment have experienced the following benefits:

- Reduced dysmenorrhea (pain before and during menses)
- Reduced dyspareunia (pain during sexual intercourse)
- Reduces the risk of developing endometrial cancer

The reduction in pain is likely from limited blood loss during menses, which is due to the fact that blood can not build up because levonorgesterel prevents the womb from building up a lining.

Are there any negative side effects? Some people believe that endometriosis and mirena treatment is not a good match, due to the fact that it does increase the risk of developing benign, fluid filled ovarian cysts. Although not cancerous, these cysts can be quite painful when they break and lead to other complications.

Some other negative side effects that have been reported include:
- Change in menses (IE. Prolonged, frequent or heavy bleeding, spotting, irregular periods, painful periods, or no period at all)
- Weight gain
- Headache or migraine
- Moodiness
- Depression
- Nervousness
- Back pain
- Breast pain
- Vaginal discharge
- Acne
- Hair loss or growth
- Inflamed cervix
- Loss of libido
- Abdominal bloating
- Etc.

Remember, if you are taking mirena and experience any of the above symptoms or those not listed, contact your doctor or pharmacist right away.

Is mirena right for me? To help you decide if your symptoms of endometriosis and mirena treatment might be compatible, the following is information regarding women with health conditions who shouldn’t use this treatment:

- History or severe headaches or migraine
- Past, current, or suspected cases of cancer, especially those stimulated by sex hormones, as well as cervical cancer, liver cancer, and leukemia.
- History of ovarian cysts
- Risk of heart disease
- Angina
- Hypertension
- Diabetes
- Epilepsy
- Past or current case of blood clots, or a blood disorder that increases the risk of blood clots
- Post-menopausal women who have shrunken wombs
- Pregnant women
- Uterine fibroids
- Infection in the uterus
- Etc.

If you have endometriosis and mirena treatment interests you, make sure you consult your health care provider for more information, and to find out if mirena is for you.

By Shelley Ross. Sign up for a free newsletter that uses proven methods to help women combat endometriosis at Treating Your Endometriosis. On the site you’ll also find more about the different stages of endometriosis and how to recognize whether endometriosis and mirena is for you.

Severe Heartburn or a Heart Attack?

Posted in Health & Fitness on March 1st, 2007

Severe heartburn caused by acid reflux and GERD (gastroesphageal reflux disease) is suffered by millions of people across the globe. Heartburn feels as though one’s heart is on fire. However, this feeling is simply caused by stomach acid being pushed back up into the esophagus, which tends to result in a burning sensation behind the breast bone. Thus, the effects of heartburn are not actually causing the heart any damage.

Unfortunately, it is easy to mistaken an attack of severe heartburn for a heart attack or vice versa. In fact, it is estimated that every year over five million Americans with chest pain, who fear a heart attack, are admitted to emergency. Of these five million cases of chest pain, more than half are noncardiac chest pain cases (NCCP), and as many as 60% of these NCCP cases are GERD related.

How can you distinguish heartburn from a heart attack? Although symptoms may be similar, the following are the symptoms associated with each condition to help you determine your personal diagnosis:

Typical heartburn Symptoms - Discomfort and/or burning pain located directly behind the breastbone, which is often accompanied by burping, bloating or gas. Sometimes an acidic taste can be felt in the back of the throat or mouth. Symptoms are generally worse after eating, especially after large meals. They may also worse after ingesting alcohol, caffeine and after using tobacco.

Heartburn usually feels worse when lying down to rest. Heartburn symptoms may subside after taking an over-the-counter (OTC) antacid. However, in severe heartburn cases, prescribed medication may be the only treatment to provide relief.

Typical Heart Pain – A tight feeling in the middle of the chest that may also feel like squeezing, weight or pressure in the chest. Pain may spread into the shoulders, neck and/or jaw. Sweating and shortness of breath may also accompany symptoms. Heart pain usually occurs after being physically active or exertion.

Heart pain will not subside after taking an antacid but can subside when lying down or from general rest.

When should you seek immediate medical attention? Although the above symptoms are typical for each condition, they may not be the same for everyone. Therefore, it is in your best interest to pay close attention to the symptoms you experience. If you have GERD or are prone to acid reflux, write down the symptoms you feel and refer to these each time you experience heartburn to be sure that is what you are experiencing. If for any reason you experience a symptom you’ve never felt before, or are worried that your condition could be more serious than severe heartburn, Seek Medical Attention Immediately. It’s better to be safe than sorry!

If it turns out that you are suffering a heart attack, the first few hours of your symptoms are critical for effectively saving your heart muscle.

In addition, make sure you see your doctor for regular physical checkups to help ensure that you heart is strong and healthy. Furthermore, if you have not been diagnosed with GERD, but experience frequent chest pains, be sure to bring any symptoms to your doctor’s attention to receive a proper diagnosis.

Finally, if you are suffering from severe heartburn, medication is the only effective treatment to provide quick relief. The following are three types of medications that may provide you quick relief:
- OTC Antacids – Tums, Rolaids, Maalox, and Gelusil.
- OTC or prescription H-2 receptor blockers – OTC Pepcid AC, and Zantac 75 – Prescription - while prescription meds may be Axid, Tagamet, Pepcid and Zantac
- OTC or prescription Proton pump inhibitors – OTC Prilosec – Prescription Nexium, Prevacid, Aciphex, and Protonix.

Keep in mind that taking medication all the time to treat your heartburn isn’t the best way to treat your body, so be sure to discuss alternative treatment with your doctor. Try to avoid severe heartburn in the first place by watching your diet and eating smaller meals at a slower pace.
By Kathryn Whittaker. Sign up for a free newsletter that has proven methods for tackling Acid Reflux, Heartburn and GERD head-on at Stop Acid Reflux Now. On the site you’ll also find more about the different kinds of acid reflux help and what to do if you have severe heartburn.