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Saturday, July 29, 2006

Multiple Intelligences

By Sandi Effendi

In 1983 American psychologist Howard Gardner proposed a theory that sought to broaden the traditional definition of intelligence. He felt that the concept of intelligence, as it had been defined by mental tests, did not capture all of the ways humans can excel. Gardner argued that we do not have one underlying general intelligence, but instead have multiple intelligences, each part of an independent system in the brain.

In formulating his theory, Gardner placed less emphasis on explaining the results of mental tests than on accounting for the range of human abilities that exist across cultures. He drew on diverse sources of evidence to determine the number of intelligences in his theory. For example, he examined studies of brain-damaged people who had lost one ability, such as spatial thinking, but retained another, such as language. The fact that two abilities could operate independently of one another suggested the existence of separate intelligences. Gardner also proposed that evidence for multiple intelligences came from prodigies and savants. Prodigies are individuals who show an exceptional talent in a specific area at a young age, but who are normal in other respects. Savants are people who score low on IQ tests—and who may have only limited language or social skills—but demonstrate some remarkable ability, such as extraordinary memory or drawing ability. To Gardner, the presence of certain high-level abilities in the absence of other abilities also suggested the existence of multiple intelligences.

Gardner initially identified seven intelligences and proposed a person who exemplified each one. Linguistic intelligence involves aptitude with speech and language and is exemplified by poet T. S. Eliot. Logical-mathematical intelligence involves the ability to reason abstractly and solve mathematical and logical problems. Physicist Albert Einstein is a good example of this intelligence. Spatial intelligence is used to perceive visual and spatial information and to conceptualize the world in tasks like navigation and in art. Painter Pablo Picasso represents a person of high spatial intelligence. Musical intelligence, the ability to perform and appreciate music, is represented by composer Igor Stravinsky. Bodily-kinesthetic intelligence is the ability to use one’s body or portions of it in various activities, such as dancing, athletics, acting, surgery, and magic. Martha Graham, the famous dancer and choreographer, is a good example of bodily-kinesthetic intelligence. Interpersonal intelligence involves understanding others and acting on that understanding and is exemplified by psychiatrist Sigmund Freud. Intrapersonal intelligence is the ability to understand one’s self and is typified by the leader Mohandas Gandhi. In the late 1990s Gardner added an eighth intelligence to his theory: naturalist intelligence, the ability to recognize and classify plants, animals, and minerals. Naturalist Charles Darwin is an example of this intelligence. According to Gardner, each person has a unique profile of these intelligences, with strengths in some areas and weaknesses in others.

Gardner’s theory found rapid acceptance among educators because it suggests a wider goal than traditional education has adopted. The theory implies that traditional school training may neglect a large portion of human abilities, and that students considered slow by conventional academic measures might excel in other respects. A number of schools have formed with curriculums designed to assess and develop students’ abilities in all of the intelligences Gardner identified.

Critics of the multiple intelligences theory have several objections. First, they argue that Gardner based his ideas more on reasoning and intuition than on empirical studies. They note that there are no tests available to identify or measure the specific intelligences and that the theory largely ignores decades of research that show a tendency for different abilities to correlate—evidence of a general intelligence factor. In addition, critics argue that some of the intelligences Gardner identified, such as musical intelligence and bodily-kinesthetic intelligence, should be regarded simply as talents because they are not usually required to adapt to life demands.

Microsoft® Encarta® Reference Library 2003. © 1993-2002 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

Monday, July 24, 2006


By Sandy Effendi,
a staff nurse mubarak al kabeer hospital

A progressive, malignant disease of the blood-forming tissues that is characterized by the uncontrolled proliferation of immature leukocytes and their precursors, particularly in the bone marrow, spleen, and lymph nodes. It is the most frequent cancer in the children, with a peak onset occurring between 2 and 5 years of age.

> OBSERVATIONS: Acute leukemia is classified according to cell type: acute lymphoid leukemia (ALL) includes lymphatic, lymphocytic. Lymphoblastic, and lymphoblastoid types; acute nonlymphoid leukemia (ANLL) includes granulocytic, myelocytic, monocytic, myelogeneous, monoblastic, and monomyeloblastic types (the myelocytic and monocytic series are abbreviated AML). ALL is predominantly a disease of childhood, whereas AML occurs in all age groups. The traditional classification of leukemia into chronic and acute types is based on duration or expected course of illness and the relative maturity of the leukemic cells. Although this classification is still used, particularly to chronic, forms of disease, it is no longer valid as a prognostic indication. The exact cause of the disease is unknown, although various factors are implicated, including genetic defects, immune deficiency, viruses, and carcinogenic environmental factors, primarily ionizing radiation. In acute leukemia, large immature leukocytes accumulate rapidly and infiltrate other tissues of the body, especially the reticuloendothelial system, causing decreased production of erythrocytes and platelets. Neutropenia, anemia, and increased susceptibility to infection and hemorrhage, and weakening of the bones with tendency to fracture also occur. Initial symptoms of the disease include fever, pallor, fatigue, anorexia, secondary infections (usually of the mouth, throat, or lungs), bone and join pain, subdermal or submucosal hemorrhage, and enlargement of the spleen, liver, and lymph nodes. Onset may be abrupt or follow a gradual, progressive course. Involvement of the central nervous system may lead to leukemic meningitis. Characteristically, a peripheral blood smear reveals many immature leukocytes. The diagnosis is confirmed by bone marrow aspiration or biopsy and examination, which show a highly elevated number of lymphoblast with almost complete absence of erythrocytes, granulocytes and megakaryocytes. The prognosis is poor and untreated cases, and death occurs usually within 6 months after the onset of symptoms. Survival rates have dramatically increased in recent years with the use of antileukemic agents in combination regimens. Remission of 5 years or longer occurs in 50 % to 70% of children with ALL, with 20% to 30% achieving complete remission. For children with AML, the prognosis is poorer, and remission rate is far less.

> INTERVENTION: Treatment of acute leukemia consists of three-stage process involving the use of chemotherapeutic agents and irradiation. In the first, or remission induction, phase complete destruction of all leukemic cells is achieved within a 4-to 6 week period using a combination drug-therapy regimen. The main drugs used in ALL are the corticosteroids, usually three daily oral doses of prednisone; vincristine, administered intravenously once a week; and 1-asparaginase, given intramuscularly three times a week for a total of nine doses. Allopurinol, a xanthine-oxidase inhibitor, is usually administered to inhibit uric acid production. Other drugs used in various combination regimens in sequential cycles include methotrexate, 6-mercaptopurine, cyclophospamide, cytosine arabiniside, hydroxyurea, daunorubicin, and doxorubicin. In children with AML the primary drugs of induction remission are 6-thioguanine, daunomycin, cytosine arabinoside, 5-azacytidine, vincristine, and prednisone. The child is usually hospitalized for part or all of the treatment because of the many side effects of the drugs and the high risk of complications, especially infection and hemorrhage. If severe hemorrhaging occurs and does not respond to local treatment, platelet transfusions may be necessary, and in cases of severe anemia, especially during induction therapy. Whole blood or packed red cells may be needed to raise hemoglobin levels. The second stage of treatment involves prophylactic maintenance to prevent leukemic infiltration of the central venous system. Because chemotherapy drugs do not cross the blood-brain barrier, therapy usually consists of daily high-dose of cranial irradiation for about two weeks after induction remission and weekly or twice-weekly doses of intrathecal methotrexate, for a total of five or six injections, although in some cases only the drug is given, In small children the irradiation is limited to the cranium to prevent retardation of linear growth, but older children may receive craniospinal radiation. Therapy of maintain remission usually begins after the child is discharge from the hospital and consists of various regimens of drugs in combination. A common schedule includes daily oral doses of 6-mercaptopurine and weekly doses of oral methotrexate, intermittent short-term therapy with prednisone an vincristine, and periodic doses of intrathecal methotrexate for prophylaxis against spread to the central nervous system. Complete blood counts are done weekly or monthly, and bone marrow examinations are performed every 3 to 4 months to detect myelosuppression and drug toxicity. Maintenance therapy is discontinued after a period of 2 to 3 years if initial remission is maintained. Continuous treatment beyond 3 years is not advised, as the adverse affects of the medications increase with prolonged use. Relapse occurs, the child begin treatment cycle again, usually with predisone, vincristine, and a combination of other drugs not previously tried. With each relapse the prognosis becomes poorer. Other treatments for prolonging remission include immunotherapy using periodic inoculation with BCG vaccine or bone marrow transplant, which has been successful in including long-term remissions in about 10% to 20% of the cases, especially those with AML or severe, terminal ALL.

> NURSING CONSIDERATIONS: Nursing care for the child with acute leukemia involves intensive physical and emotional support during all phases of the disease, its diagnosis, and treatment. Foremost is the preparation of the child and parents for the various diagnostic and therapeutic procedures, including venipuncture, bone-marrow aspiration or biopsy, lumbar puncture, and x-ray treatment. Specific medical and nursing management depends on the particular regimen of drug therapy, although most of the chemotherapeutic agents used in treatment cause myelosuppression that may lead to secondary complications of infection, hemorrhage, and anemia. Overwhelming infection is a major problem and one of the most frequent causes of death. Severe neutropenia indicate increased risk of infection. It may occur during immunosuppressive therapy or after prolonged antibiotic therapy. The most common infectious organisms are viruses, especially varicella, herpes zoster, herpes simplex, measles, mumps, rubella, and poliomyelitis, both gram positive and gram-negative bacteria, including Staphylococcus aureus, S. epidermidis, group-A beta-hemolytic Streptococcus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Escerichia coli, Proteus, and klebsiella, and various parasites and fungi, especially pneumocytis carinii and candida albicans. To prevent infection, the nurse isolates the child as much as possible, screens visitors for active infection, institutes strict aseptic procedures, monitors temperature closely, evaluates possible sites of infection (such as needle punctures), encourage adequate nutrition, helps the child to avoid exertion or fatigue, and, at discharge, teaches the child and parents the necessity for voiding all known sources of infection. Primarily the common childhood communicable disease. Preventive measures to control infection also help decrease the tendency toward hemorrhage. Special attention is given to skin care, oral hygiene, cleanliness of the perineal area, and restriction of activities that could result in accidental injury. A major nursing consideration is the management of the many side effects resulting from drug toxicity and irradiation, including weakness and numbing of the extremities and severe jaw pain. Although corticosteroid treatment usually increase the appetite and produces a euphoric sense of well-being in the child, it also cause moon face, which is reversed with cessation of the steroid therapy. During maintenance therapy, the nurse continues to provide emotional support and guidance, specifically teaching parents which side effects are normal reactions to drugs and which indicate toxicity and require medical attention. In terminal stages of the disease, relief of discomfort and pain become primary focus. Effective measures include careful physical handling of the child, frequent position changes, avoidance of pressure on painful areas, and control of annoying environmental factors, such as excessive light and noise. Nonsalicylate analgesics are used as needed, depending on the severity of pain.

Source Mosby’s Dictionary 3rd edition

Friday, July 21, 2006

Exercise can reduce cancer treatment side effects

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Exercising can help cancer patients feel better mentally and physically, a new analysis of data from published research shows.

But it remains unclear what type of exercise is most effective or how much a person needs to work out in order to benefit, lead author Dr. Vicki S. Conn of Missouri University-Columbia's Sinclair School of Nursing and her colleagues note.

The benefits of exercise for healthy people are well known, but the growing body of research on whether exercise can help patients undergoing cancer treatment has produced mixed results, the researchers report in the July issue of Supportive Care in Cancer.

To investigate, Conn and her team combined the findings of 30 previous studies that investigated the effects of exercise on cancer patients. Thirteen of the studies were conducted with breast cancer patients, while 21 looked at supervised exercise rather than at-home workouts.

Exercise had the strongest effect on boosting patients' physical function, such as improving their ability to climb stairs or walk a certain distance. It improved patients' body composition, increasing the percentage of lean muscle mass to total weight.

Exercise reduced some symptoms, such as nausea and vomiting and pain, and modest improvements were seen in fatigue, mood and quality of life.

Given the relatively small benefits for exercise identified by their analysis, Conn and her colleagues suggest combining exercise with other inventions designed to improve cancer patients' physical and mental health.

"Overall, the data support the potential efficacy of exercise interventions among cancer patients," Conn and her colleagues write. "Controlled experiments testing variations in intervention components and delivery are urgently needed to move forward our understanding of effective strategies to improve health and well being outcomes in this population."

SOURCE: Supportive Care in Cancer, July 2006.

Australia's demand for nurses grows

SYDNEY, July 19 (UPI) -- An aging population and an increasing number of people living at home with chronic illnesses are increasing demands for nurses in Australia.

With that nation's healthcare system becoming more reliant on community nursing to care for people with chronic and complex health problems, researchers at the University of Western Sydney reviewed how patients perceive community nurses and the work they do.

UWS School of Nursing Senior Lecturer Dr Jane Cioffi says the study focused on care provided clients of community health nursing services in Greater Western Sydney during a 12-month period.

"Community nurses make a major contribution to Australia's health services, but because the work they do is 'behind closed doors', it's usually only people who receive the service who understand the real value of it," Cioffi said. "Our research has shown that the standard of care people are receiving is good ... but there's a need to look ahead to see how we can plan for the increasing demand for services in the future (since) clients are being discharged from hospitals earlier these days."

The researchers found community nurses provided 147,126 visits during the 12-month period to Greater Western Sydney clients.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Passive smoke increases risk of heart disease, lung cancer

Sandi Effendi, staff nurse in mubarak al kabeer hospital

Kuwait city, July 16, a new comprehensive scientific report issued by the surgeon general in the united state, concluded that there is no risk- free level of exposure to passive or second-hand smoke. The study found that non smokers exposed to passive smoke at home or work increase their risk of developing heart disease by 25 to 30 percent and lung cancer by 20 to 30 percent.
The conclusions of the report one of a major public health concern, due to the fact that a large percentage of all the non-smoking residents in GCC countries are regularly exposed to passive smoke. In the region, non smokers are exposed to passive smoke to a much greater extend than in the most other countries across the world due to the fact that shopping centers, restaurants, and other public facilities, in the region have yet to implement a smoke free policy that has been establish in numerous countries world-wide.
Rany Victor, spokesperson for nicotinell in the region started the report further enhances and adds credibility to all the other studies on passive smoking and the dangers of smoke. Let this be a warning to all the smokers that put the health of others at risk. Its seen by the case of the ten year-old in Dubai who had lung cancer damage equivalent to a person who smokes 50 cigarettes a day, smoking can harm not only smokers but also non-smokers
The report also clearly started that the only real way to guard no- smokers from the 4,000 dangerous chemicals and toxin found in the passive smoke was to eliminate smoking in all public places
Banning smoking in public areas is one step that some high profile people in the UAE have been pushing for, including Dr Ayesha Al-Mutawa Director of the Central Health unit under the Ministry of Health, and Dr Laila Mohammad Al Marzouki of the Department of Health, and Medical Services, Nicotinell are also running campaigns to warn people of the danger of both smoking as well as the dangers that non smokers face and to assist people in giving up their smoking habit
The report went on to emphasize that passive smoke exposure is a leading cause of heart disease and lung cancer in non-smoking adults as well as being a known cause of sudden infant death syndrome, breathing complications, ear, nose and throat infections, and asthma attacks in children and infants

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Women smokers' lung cancer risk twice that of men's, study finds

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

CHICAGO, Illinois (Reuters) -- Cigarette-smoking women run twice the risk of lung cancer as men who smoke but are far less likely to die from the disease than males, according to a study published on Tuesday.

Why women are more susceptible to the cancer-causing agents in cigarette smoke is not clear, the report said, but the findings indicate that women who smoke should be screened sooner and targeted with anti-smoking messages earlier.

The conclusions, from researchers at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York City, were based on 7,498 women and 9,427 men, at least 40 years of age and with a history of cigarette smoking, who were checked for lung cancer between 1993 and 2005.

When the study started none had lung cancer. Later 156 women and 113 men developed the disease.

"Given the same exposure, women are less likely to die from lung cancer than men, but they also have double the risk of getting the disease," said Claudia Henschke, the physician who led the study. "We're not really sure why that might be."

Overall, women were 52 percent less likely to die of the disease, said the report published in this week's Journal of the American Medical Association.

Henschke said public health officials need to warn teen-age girls especially that they face a higher risk of lung cancer.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Circumcision may stop millions of HIV deaths: study

By Maggie Fox, Health and Science Correspondent
Mon Jul 10, 8:10 PM ET

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Circumcising men routinely across Africa could prevent millions of deaths from
World Health Organization researchers and colleagues reported on Monday.

They analyzed data from trials that showed men who had been circumcised had a significantly lower risk of infection with the AIDS virus, and calculated that if all men were circumcised over the next 10 years, some two million new infections and around 300,000 deaths could be avoided.

Researchers believe circumcision helps cut infection risk because the foreskin is covered in cells the virus seems able to easily infect. The virus may also survive better in a warm, wet environment like that found beneath a foreskin.

So if men were circumcised, fewer would become infected and thus could not infect their female partners.

The human immunodeficiency virus or
HIV, which causes AIDS, now infects close to 40 million people and has killed another 25 million. It mostly affects sub-Saharan Africa and the main mode of transmission is sex between a man and a woman.

Several studies have suggested that men who are circumcised have a lower rate of HIV infection. This has been especially noticeable in some parts of Africa, where some groups are routinely circumcised while neighboring groups are not.

Last year, Dr. Bertran Auvert of the French National Research Agency INSERM and colleagues at WHO found that circumcised men in South Africa were 65 percent less likely to become infected with the deadly and incurable virus.

His team then did an analysis to see what would happen if all African men were circumcised.

"In West Africa, male circumcision is common and the prevalence of HIV is low, while in southern Africa the reverse is true," they wrote in the current report, published in the Public Library of Science Medicine.

"This analysis shows that male circumcision could avert nearly six million new infections and save three million lives in sub-Saharan Africa over the next twenty years," they wrote.

Overall, they project that universal male circumcision would reduce the rate of infections by about 37 percent.

"Male circumcision alone cannot bring the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Africa under control. Even circumcised men can become infected, though their risk of doing so is much lower," the journal cautioned in a commentary.

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Saturday, July 08, 2006

Obesity, smoking increase impotence risk

Friday, July 7, 2006

NEW YORK (Reuters) -- Many of the same things that are good for a man's heart may also be good for his sex life, new research confirms.

according to a study that followed more than 22,000 U.S. men for 14 years.

The findings, published in the Journal of Urology, help solidify evidence tying lifestyle choices to ED risk. They may also give men added incentive to make some changes for the better, said study co-author Dr. Eric B. Rimm of the Harvard University School of Public Health in Boston.

Among the men Rimm and his colleagues followed, those who were obese at the study's start were 90 percent more likely to develop ED than normal-weight men were. Similarly, smokers had a 50 percent greater risk than non-smokers.

On the other hand, regular exercise appeared to protect against erectile problems. Men who reported the highest exercise levels at the study's start were 30 percent less likely than their inactive peers to develop ED over the next 14 years.

At one time, Rimm noted in an interview, erectile problems were thought to be largely psychological. But it has become clear that heart disease and ED share many of the same risk factors, he said.

Anything that impairs blood vessel function and blood flow could affect erectile function, and it's known that certain medical conditions that raise the risk of heart disease -- such as high blood pressure and diabetes - can also lead to ED.

Similarly, the lifestyle choices that affect cardiovascular health, for example smoking and exercise habits, influence ED risk.

This knowledge may nudge more men to make lifestyle changes, Rimm said, since heart disease can seem a distant risk, but erectile problems may be more immediate. In addition, he said, with obesity rates climbing among young people, the ED risk associated with obesity may increasingly become apparent at relatively young ages.

Friday, July 07, 2006

mental health:TV, video games promoting violence

Negative use of multimedia cause for concern

TV, video games promoting violence

By Dalal Nasser Al-Otaibi

Television and video games have the power to change our behavior and turn us into more violent people. The spread of games like “Battle Filed”, “Splinter Cell”, “Half Life” and last but not least” Grand Those Auto”, influence violent behavior. Those games have a lot of bloody scenes, especially “Grand Theft Auto” In “”Grand Theft Auto” you are criminal who completes a mission, like assassinating gang members.
The game also has a lot of killing, scenes like killing people with a chain-saw and machine-guns. The more you kill in the game, the better is your reputation. The game influences a person into thinking that if he commits a crime he will become popular and strong person, and more aggression will be brought into his life. Males are influenced by aggression more than females because they want to be strong and act like they are. “ Studies have shown that television’s effect on aggression is stronger among boys than girls”) Eshhcolz and Bufkin 656). These kinds of productions are filling the heads of people with negative ideas and influencing one’s behavior. Newsday had an articles on a real story where a man absorbed violence from the movie Robocop and Robocop II. The man who committed the crimes said that he committed his first of six crimes after seeing Robocop. “Referring to a character in Robocop II, Nathaniel White told WNBC:”I saw him cut somebody’s throat then take the knife and slit down the chest to the stomach and leave the body in a certain position. With the first person I killed I did exactly what I saw in the movie.” (Newsday, August 6, 1992)
Television and video games are shown influence violent behavior and it has been proven by the Department of Psychiatry, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, Indiana and Department of Radiology, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis. ”Violent television and video games have shown short-term increases in aggressive behavior in children, adolescents, and adults and co-relational studies suggest a long-term association between media violence exposure and aggressive behavior in the natural environment.”(Kronenberge and Williams 202).
For people who are already aggressive in nature, it will be a disaster. Researchers have said that aggressive people are the ones attracted to violent material and tend to watch it often to stimulate themselves. People who are aggressive in nature and also normal people may get violent thoughts from watching violent multimedia. ”Evidence indicates that media violence does elicit thoughts and emotional responses related to aggression.” (Felson, B. Richard 1996). The material shown in the multimedia is reshaping the values and is with no doubt escalating the undesirable behavior. The media increasingly shows material that is permissive, has problematic ideas, and images that include violence and drugs.
Televisions and video games are available to every single person, including children. Children can view this material and imitate the violence ;a child can commit a crime by watching a violent movie, or playing a violent video game. “Children imitate the violence they see on television, the process of imitation is emphasized by the social learning theory – a well-established approach in social psychology”(Felson, B. Richard 1996). Incidents have occurred where little children have taken violent ideas from a movie, which is why the situation is dangerous and it is evident, that multimedia does have a violent effect on the behavior of people. “After watching a genie on TV slap someone on both sides of the head, two children in England copied the stunt and suffered perforated eardrums. Other children, in different parts of the country, were also injured in what became known as (the slapping craze)”(The Guardian. March 12,1992).
Children are even more affected by what they see and absorb and it becomes a part of them. “Several studies in the field of psychology have found a relationship between children’s media consumption (particularly television and film) and aggression (Comstock and film) 1991, Hogben, 1998 This relationship is strongest when (1) children are exposed to the media at a young age (2) media exposure is high, (3) media content is violent (Hogben1998), and (4) (when the children are boys”) Eschholz and Bufkin 656. (Sickminded people will commit more crimes and normal people will be pulled towards the world of violence. “It could increase the frequency of violence if people who are motivated to harm someone choose a violent method they have observed on television.” (Felson, B. Richard 1996) Violence Is an addiction and seeing violence on television and video games just makes matters worse. People are getting used to seeing violence on television and video games which make it become normal as time passed by. The famous Nazi twins were influenced by racist and aggressive video games. The twins played those games and recited the aggressive racist songs. The Nazi twins were also a victim of the media violence and their behavior was shaped by the video games. The hate they hold inside towards African-Americans and Jews was formed as they played a certain video game; the negative ideas were forced into their minds without them realizing it at a young age. A child might carry a weapon to school and try applying something he seen in movie the night before. An adult might try doing the same because of a game he played last night. The multimedia has a direct effect on our behaviors and we should stop the negative use of multimedia to sell violent material, because the minds to sell violent material, because the minds of hundreds of young ones are being corrupted day by day. Stop buying violent material and people will stop producing the material. Parents should see what video game his child buys; violence can become, a dangerous addiction. Violence can grow each day because of the negative ideas in some movies and some video games.
In conclusion every one of us should take in consideration that even though we do not realize that television, video games, and the media in general can affect us this strongly we should be careful. Violence is becoming easy for the eye to see and it will be normal when that happens. Movies containing aggression are not to be watched because they will eventually lead to more aggression and violence in the world today.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Alternative Medicine: Drinking plenty of liquid helps check bladder infection

Corn silk effective against UTIs

By Mia Ponzo

Many people suffer from recurring UTIs (urinary tract infections). This can be a particular problem in the hot weather that we are having now, when you don’t manage to get enough liquids into your body and become more dehydrated then you should be. While making sure that you get plenty of liquids helps, some people suffer anyway, no matter how much liquid they drink. Wintertime can also be a problem, since people drink less and less liquids at that time.
Our kidney and bladder need plenty of liquids, preferably plain, fresh water, flushed through them all the time in order to keep all the bacteria that pass through these organs in check. If the intake of liquid falls too low, bacteria are give a chance to grow and multiply, which they do so fast that a UTI is the result. People who are suffering from certain diseases are particularly likely to gets UTIs. Those who have diabetes, etc are more likely to get UTIs. Elderly people are more prone to getting UTIs as well. Also, women are more susceptible than men to bladder infection, due to short distance that the bacteria have to travel from the outside to get into bladder. Pregnant women and those going through the menopause are more likely to get UTIs. While most UTIs are not normally life threatening or seriously dangerous, they are most certainly extremely uncomfortable and can sometimes be excruciating, and left out of control can lead to more severe problems.
You know that you have a UTI if you suffering from the following symptoms:
Feeling of fullness while urine output is minimal, stinging or pain on urination, feeling of constant need to urinate, discomfort in the lower abdomen, pain in the back or sides of the back, bloody urine, fever, chills, nausea, vomiting, discharge (from the urethra(the opening of the bladder) or surrounding areas, particularly for women), referred pain in the thighs, etc, cloudy urine, bad smelling urine, confusion (in more serious cases, or with the elderly)
A simple test will be able to tell you right away if you are suffering from UTI, in fact the one that is used in the government hospitals here now is instant. You will know your results within seconds of dripping the stick into urine. If that type of test is not available in your area, a more traditional urine test will be done with the results in several hours, up to a day or two.
So, what do you do if you are suffering? Naturally, prevention is the best medicine, so do your best to make sure that you eat well and get plenty of liquids in order to keep UTIs away in the first place, but if you end up with one anyway, don’t worry, they are seem to be prone of things you can do. If you seem to be prone to get UTIs then keep out of the bathtub! Make sure that you shower instead, in order to prevent the entry of more bacteria through the urethra. Make sure that you wash very well with water after going to bath room. This is particularly important for those women on their monthly cycles. Wearing cotton underwear instead of synthetics has been shown to help prevent UTIs as well.
Conventional doctors usually treat UTIs with antibiotics, which kill the bacteria. But, the problem with that solution is that the antibiotic kills other good bacteria as well as the bad guys, which causes other problems. The good news is that there are plenty of natural alternatives to treating the UTI with chemicals. Nature has given us many options when it comes to this.
The easiest solution is to drink plenty of water. Flushing out the bacteria is the easiest method of preventing and solving the UTIs. Also make sure your urinate often enough, because leaving the urine to build up bacteria in the bladder is another way the bacteria has a chance to grow. But, if you still end up with something more serious even after taking these precautions, there are several herbs that are great for getting rid of UTIs.
Probably the most potent that I have ever found, is one of the easiest to get and use. Corn silk is one of the best herbs for UTI. Just take it out of the husk while it is fresh and steep (preferably don’t boil) it covered in a big pot of water. The resulting light tea can be drunk hot or cold, and doesn’t have much of a taste at all. If you suffer from frequent UTIs you can dry your corn silk for future use, and some people like to keep it in the freezer.
Cranberry juice (which has always been the old standby) is still a great choice but try to make sure that your juice is pure and not mixed with lots of sugar or other juices. Blueberries and blueberry juice are also good for this problem, but they are not widely available in Kuwait and are very expensive. You can find some lovely frozen blueberries in most freezer sections in most supermarkets.
There are other herbs that are great for dealing with urinary problems. Some of them are : parsey, ginger, juniper berries, dandelion leaf, marshmallow, golden seal, uva ursi, buchu leaf, dong quai, birsh leaf, Echinscea, stinging nettle leaf, horsetail, and more. While most of this are not available in Kuwait, you can certainly find them easily and widely available in any herbs shop in the USA or the UK, so do make and effort.
UTIs are not the way you want to start (or end) your day, but help is certainly on the way. It’s right there in your kitchen or at your local grocery store. So, you don’t have to suffer in silence any more, and you can often get rid of the problem yourself, without having to take chemical medications. So, what are you waiting for?