Archive for the 'First aid' Category

On Muscle Cramps

Here is a very informative article from NPR on muscle cramps, particularly in the  over 65  population.  If you follow the link at the end of this excerpt, you’ll find  home remedy advice from the physician expert.

Like our policy at OHOM, the good doctor encourages people to eat beneficial foods, drink plenty of fluids and do daily stretching exercises.

We agree with his recommendation and  supplement this advice with inexpensive nutritional supplements, a herbal formula for cramps and spasms and teach simple stretching techniques along with useful acupressure point you can use at home.

If you’re over 65, you probably know what a “charley horse” is. You may have gotten them during strenuous exercise as a younger person. But in older age, muscle cramps can be unlike any you’ve ever had before. That’s because like so many other things in our bodies, our muscles and nerves wear out and function less effectively as we age.

“A cramp is a sudden painful contraction of a muscle that becomes rock hard,” says Dr. Robert Miller, a neurologist who specializes in muscle cramps at the California Pacific Medical Center and teaches at University of California, San Francisco. “The muscle goes into a spasm and squeezes all the little nerve endings inside the muscle, and creates pain, and definitely … gets your attention until you do something about it.”

Uncontrollable Muscle Spasms

For Ken Holladay, 71, his muscle cramps started off mild and irregular. At first, he got them once every few weeks, but then they started to get more frequent. Eventually, they occurred every single night — often twice, between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. It was a painful version of a charley horse, only it was in his feet and toes: “The big toe was at 90 degrees to the bottom of the foot; put your foot on the floor, and this big toe would be pointing straight up toward the ceiling; and I don’t believe you can voluntarily pull a big toe that high.”

But as it turns out, your muscles can, all on their own. Holladay says that one time his toe actually curled down, “and I leapt out of bed to try and get rid of the pain and landed on that toe and broke the toe, broke the bone underneath that big toe, broke the toenail off.” It was terrible, he says.

via Warding Off Muscle Cramps As We Age : NPR.

Ginger helps nausea caused by cancer treatments

Ginger has been a part of herbal medicine for hundreds of years.  I am delighted to see that now it has been “researched” and therefore, will be used as an easy effective treatment for nausea in cancer patients.

You can use it by brewing ginger tea, taking it in capsules or including it in recipes.

Ginger helps most types of nausea and digestive discomfort.

May 15, 2009
Ginger Found to Ease Nausea of Cancer Treatment
By ANDREW POLLACK

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/15/health/15cancer.html?partner=rss&emc=rss

Grandma was right when she recommended ginger for an upset stomach —
at least for cancer patients.

A randomized clinical trial has confirmed what many people suspect —
that ginger can decrease nausea caused by chemotherapy. The effect
goes beyond that provided by standard anti-vomiting drugs.

The results will be presented at the annual meeting of the American
Society of Clinical Oncology, which begins May 29 in Orlando, Fla.
Abstracts of most of the studies to be presented at the conference
were made public Thursday.

The trial, financed by the National Cancer Institute, involved 644
patients, mostly women with breast cancer, who were undergoing
chemotherapy at 23 oncology practices in the United States.

All patients took a standard anti-vomiting drug on each day of
chemotherapy. They also took specially made capsules containing either
extracts of ginger root or a placebo for six days, starting three days
before each round of chemotherapy.

They then rated the severity of their nausea four times a day. Those
taking the ginger had a reduction of about 45 percent in severity
compared with a previous round of chemotherapy in which they did not
take the ginger. Those on the placebo had almost no change, said Julie
L. Ryan of the University of Rochester, the lead author of the study.

Previous studies have yielded inconsistent results. Dr. Ryan said the
new study might have succeeded because the ginger was given before
chemotherapy.

The best results corresponded to a quarter to a half teaspoon of
ground ginger, she said. She added that either the ginger that comes
in spice bottles or the ginger capsules sold in health food stores
would probably work.

She was less sure about ginger cookies, ginger tea or ginger ale,
though they might if they contained real ginger in the proper amount.
“It’s a higher dose than you would get in one cookie,” she said.