Archives

QUOTE FOR TUESDAY:

“Nutrition experts advise working out on the days before and after Thanksgiving, and, if possible, on the holiday itself. Taking a walk before or after dinner can help shed pounds. One can play a little touch football before sitting down to watch the game.”

ABCnews.go.com

Part 1 – How to stay healthy but tasty on Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving only comes around once a year, so why not go ahead and splurge? Because gaining weight during the holiday season is a national pastime. Year after year, most of us pack on at least a pound (some gain more) during the holidays — and keep the extra weight permanently.

But Thanksgiving does not have to sabotage your weight, experts say. With a little know-how, you can satisfy your desire for traditional favorites and still enjoy a guilt-free Thanksgiving feast. After all, being stuffed is a good idea only if you are a turkey!

Get Active

Create a calorie deficit by exercising to burn off extra calories before you ever indulge in your favorite foods, suggests Connie Diekman, MEd, RD, former president of the American Dietetic Association (ADA).

“‘Eat less and exercise more’ is the winning formula to prevent weight gain during the holidays,” Diekman says. “Increase your steps or lengthen your fitness routine the weeks ahead and especially the day of the feast.”

Make fitness a family adventure, recommends Susan Finn, PhD, RD, chair of the American Council on Fitness and Nutrition: “Take a walk early in the day and then again after dinner. It is a wonderful way for families to get physical activity and enjoy the holiday together.

Eat Breakfast

While you might think it makes sense to save up calories for the big meal, experts say eating a small meal in the morning can give you more control over your appetite. Start your day with a small but satisfying breakfast — such as an egg with a slice of whole-wheat toast, or a bowl of whole-grain cereal with low-fat milk — so you won’t be starving when you arrive at the gathering.

“Eating a nutritious meal with protein and fiber before you arrive takes the edge off your appetite and allows you to be more discriminating in your food and beverage choices,” says Diekman.

Lighten Up

Whether you are hosting Thanksgiving dinner or bringing a few dishes to share, make your recipes healthier with less fat, sugar, and calories.

“There is more sugar and fat in most recipes than is needed, and no one will notice the difference if you skim calories by using lower calorie ingredients,” says Diekman.

Her suggestions:

  • Use fat-free chicken broth to baste the turkey and make gravy.
  • Use sugar substitutes in place of sugar and/or fruit purees instead of oil in baked goods.
  • Reduce oil and butter wherever you can.
  • Try plain yogurt or fat-free sour cream in creamy dips, mashed potatoes, and casseroles.

Police Your Portions

  • Thanksgiving tables are bountiful and beautiful displays of traditional family favorites. Before you fill your plate, survey the buffet table and decide what you’re going to choose. Then select reasonable-sized portions of foods you cannot live without.

“Don’t waste your calories on foods that you can have all year long,” suggests Diekman. “Fill your plate with small portions of holiday favorites that only come around once a year so you can enjoy desirable, traditional foods.”

  • Skip the Seconds.Try to resist the temptation to go back for second helpings.”Leftovers are much better the next day, and if you limit yourself to one plate, you are less likely to overeat and have more room for a delectable dessert,” Diekman says.
  • Choose the Best Bets on the Buffet.While each of us has our own favorites, keep in mind that some holiday foods are better choices than others.”White turkey meat, plain vegetables, roasted sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, defatted gravy, and pumpkin pie tend to be the best bets because they are lower in fat and calories,” says Diekman. But she adds that, “if you keep your portions small, you can enjoy whatever you like.”

QUOTE FOR THE MONDAY:

 “The general population has about a 1% risk of developing epilepsy.   Meanwhile, children of mothers with epilepsy have a 3 to 9% risk of inheriting this disease, while children of fathers with epilepsy have a 1.5 to 3% risk of inheritence.”  Based on genes research.

Dr. Robert S. Fischer  Ph D. Stanford Epilepsy Center

Part III National Epilepsy Awareness: Types of Seizures, and Types of Treatments for Epilepsy/Seizures!

 

 

Types of seizures whether with a etiology or unknown:

I-Partial seizures (seizures beginning local)

1-simple partial seizures-(the person is conscious and not impaired).  With motor symptoms, autonomic symptoms and even psychic symptoms.

2.)-Complex partial seizures-(the person is with impairment of consciousness)

II-Generalized seizures-(bilaterally symmetrical and without local onset).

3.) Tonic clonic seizures – Grand Mal

Treatment:

1-Epilepsy is sometimes referred to as a long-term condition, as people often live with it for many years, or for life. Although generally epilepsy cannot be ‘cured’, for most people, seizures can be ‘controlled’ (stopped) so that epilepsy has little or no impact on their lives. So treatment is often about managing seizures in the long-term.

Most people with epilepsy take anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs) to stop their seizures from happening. However, there are other treatment options for people whose seizures are not controlled by anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs).

2-The ketogenic diet is one treatment option for children with epilepsy whose seizures are not controlled with AEDs. The diet may help to reduce the number or severity of seizures and can often have positive effects on behaviour.

3-Vagus nerve stimulation therapy is a treatment for epilepsy that involves a stimulator (or ‘pulse generator’) which is connected, inside the body, to the left vagus nerve in the neck. The stimulator send regular, mild electrical stimulations through this nerve to help calm down the irregular electrical brain activity that leads to seizures.

There are several ways to treat epilepsy. How well each treatment works varies from one person to another. Vagus nerve stimulation therapy is a form of treatment for people with epilepsy whose seizures are not controlled with medication.

4-There are different kinds of epilepsy surgery. One kind of surgery involves removing a specific area of the brain which is thought to be causing the seizures. Another kind involves separating the part of the brain that is causing seizures from the rest of the brain.

Surgery may be possible for both adults and children, and might be considered if:

  • you have tried several AEDs and none of them have stopped or significantly reduced your seizures; and
  • a cause for your epilepsy can be found in a specific area of your brain, and this is an area where surgery is possible.

Whether you are suitable for surgery is something that you may like to talk about with your GP or neurologist. If you meet these criteria and are considered for surgery, you will need to have further tests before you can have the surgery.

If you are referred for surgery you will probably go to a specialist centre for tests. There are many different pre-surgical tests you might have before you can be given the go-ahead for surgery. This could include further MRI scans, an EEG (electroencephalogram) and video telemetry (an EEG while also being filmed). Other types of scans may also be done, which trace a chemical injected into the body. This can show detailed information about where seizures start in the brain.

Memory and psychological tests are also used to see how your memory and lifestyle might be affected after the surgery. These types of tests also help the doctors to see how you are likely to cope with the impact of having this type of surgery.

The tests will confirm whether:

  • the surgeons can reach the epileptogenic lesion during surgery and can remove it safely without causing new problems;
  • other parts of your brain could be affected by the surgery, for example the parts that control your speech, sight, movement or hearing;
  • you have a good chance of having your seizures stopped by the surgery; and
  • you have any other medical conditions that would stop you from having this kind of surgery.

The results from the pre-surgical tests will help you and your neurologist decide whether surgery is an option for you, and what the result of the surgery might be.

your specialist will also talk with you about the possible risks and benefits of having surgery.

For many people the results show that surgery is not an option: the majority of people who are recommended for surgery, and have these tests carried out, are unable to have surgery.

Take the action and make your life one without seizures occurring putting your life on HOLD you need to TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF!    That is all up to you, the patient diagnosed with it or questioning if they have seizures.

QUOTE FOR THE WEEKEND:

“Idiopathic seizures are those whose cause is unknown. Unfortunately, about 6 out of 10 seizures are idiopathic.  In the case of focal seizures, we presume that there is an irritation to or scar on some part of the brain, but the scar is invisible to MRI. With generalized seizures, the genetic or metabolic abnormality is unidentified.”
Epilepsy Foundation (epilepsy.com)

Part II National Epilepsy Awareness: Continuation on causes and how its diagnosed.

 

Part II covers what is Idiopathic Epilepsy (Unknown Cause), how to diagnose this condition!

Their epilepsy that is diagnosed with a IDIOPATHIC cause – meaning unknown cause and the patient could grow out of it in childhood in some cases (not all) depending on the type of seizure disorder and if the child doesn’t grow out of it the condition becomes chronic (for life).

Although heredity has been known since antiquity to cause epilepsy, the progress to date in identifying the genetic basis of epilepsy has been limited primarily to the discovery of single gene mutations that cause epilepsy in relatively rare families. For the more common types of epilepsy, heredity plays a subtler role, and it is thought that a combination of mutations in multiple genes likely determine an individual’s susceptibility to seizures, as well as the responsiveness to antiepileptic medications.

Epilepsy can be caused by genetic factors (inherited) or acquired (a etiology—cause) , although in most cases it arises in part from both. The neurology and neurological sciences of Stanford Epilepsy Center Dr. Robert S. Fischer Ph D. presents in the article Genetic Causes of Epilepsy.

He also presents in this article our genes are the instruction set for building the human body. Genes reside on chromosomes.

Going to the basics is every person has 46 chromosomes, carrying a total of about 30,000 genes. We get half our chromosomes from our mother and half from our father. While genes determine the structure of our body, they also control the excitability of our brain cells. Defective genes can make hyperexcitable brain cells, which are prone to seizures.

In recent years, several epilepsy conditions have been linked to mutations in genes, but the matter is complicated by the fact that different genes may be involved in different circumstances.

In general, the most common epilepsy conditions, including partial seizures, seem to be more acquired than genetic.

Gene testing will soon be able to identify predispositions to epilepsy, allowing doctors to help a patient get treatment and to assist with family counseling. One day, doctors may simply be able to swap a patient’s cheek, test his or her genes, and predict response to various epilepsy medicines, eliminating much of the trial and error in medication choice that goes on today. Eventually, we may even be able to repair or replace defective genes that predispose a person to epilepsy, a process called gene therapy.

Lastly, Dr. Robert Fischer Ph D presented in his article, that I found very interesting, the general population has about a 1% risk of developing epilepsy.  Meanwhile, children of mothers with epilepsy have a 3 to 9% risk of inheriting this disease, while children of fathers have a 1.5 to 3% risk of inheritence. Still, the actual risk is upon the specific type of epilepsy. For example, partial seizures are less likely to run in families than are generalized seizures. In any event, with the usual forms of epilepsy, even if a parent does have the condition, there is more than a 90% chance that their child will not. So most epilepsies are acquired than inherited.

Clearly, genes determine a great deal of who we are, including our possible risk for epilepsy but slim versus a actual cause. But what happens to us in life and what we do is still the larger part of the risk for epilepsy.

A person given this diagnosis in the 1970’s, or before  and even up to the early 1990’s was quiet about ever letting people know about this since in the 1970’s and back with lack of knowledge, information to the public and definitely technology versus now.  Epilepsy is much more an accepted disease in the overall community compared to 20-25 years ago and back.  Heck in the 1970’s and back these patients when having a seizure episode were characterized as “Freaks”.  This was due to ignorance and lack of information to society/community but due to the past 20 to 25 years with the computer used more as a must in our lives with media, television and even our government they all have made it possible for society everywhere in the world to learn and understand diseases with acceptance in wanting to help those, particularly the US, but we still need a healthier America. It will take time to get there with the many multicultural lives that all live in the U.S. which practice differently on how important a healthy diet is with exercise balanced with rest.  Also including stress well controlled is not always in America on their top priority list in living.  Stress can even be a catalyst for a seizure but not the cause.

For a person diagnosed with or without a cause of epilepsy these steps in learning about the disease with higher technology and continuous research with medications over the years has allowed them to be able to live a completely healthy life doing the same things other people do without the disease but only if the patient is UNDER COMPLETE CONTROL  which includes being COMPLIANT with your Rx; this does exist in America.

Compliant meaning taking their medications everyday as ordered by their neurologist with yearly or sooner follow-up visits with blood levels of the anti-seizure medications there on.  This is the only way one with chronic epilepsy is guaranteed that living this way MAY stop the seizures from occurring (inactive epilepsy you can call it — meaning you’ll always have the disease but can put the seizure activity in a remission by medications preventing the seizure.)

How Epilepsy is Diagnosed:

The purpose for intial visits is for the Neurologist to determine if the patient is having a seizure or something else and to determine what diagnotic tooling tests to start with to help the doctor to find out the problem.  Apart from the description of the seizure, there are other things that can help to explain why your seizures have happened. Your medical history and any other medical conditions will also be considered as part of your diagnosis.

If you have a seizure you may not remember what has happened. It can be helpful to have a description of what happened from someone who saw your seizure, to pass on to your GP or specialist.

Here are some questions that may help you or someone who witnessed your seizure to record useful information about what happened.

Before the seizure

  • Did anything trigger (set off) the seizure – for example, did you feel tired, hungry, or unwell?
  • Did you have any warning that the seizure was going to happen?
  • Did your mood change – for example, were you excited, anxious or quiet?
  • Did you make any sound, such as crying out or mumbling?
  • Did you notice any unusual sensations, such as an odd smell or taste, or a rising feeling in your stomach?
  • Where were you and what were you doing before the seizure?

During the seizure

  • Did you appear to be ‘blank’ or stare into space?
  • Did you lose consciousness or become confused?
  • Did you do anything unusual such as mumble, wander about or fiddle with your clothing?
  • Did your colour change (become pale or flushed) and if so, where (face or lips)?
  • Did your breathing change (for example, become noisy or look difficult)?
  • Did any part of your body move, jerk or twitch?
  • Did you fall down, or go stiff or floppy?
  • Did you wet yourself?
  • Did you bite your tongue or cheek?

After the seizure

  • How did you feel after the seizure – did you feel tired, worn out or need to sleep?
  • How long was it before you were able to carry on as normal?
  • Did you notice anything else?

For F/U (follow up) visits is for the neurologist to see how well your seizures are under control by taking drug blood levels of the anti seizure medication your taking to make sure the medication is in a therapeutic drug level and if not he or she will make dose changes in the med(s) your on.  Possible do a EEG (electroencephalogram); the only test to decipher if you have spikes in your brain waves indicating you had a seizure determining from which lobe of the brain is having the seizures (a 26 lead to wires on the brain, which is painless).  Go to the expert for keeping you on the right track.  Its just like based on the principle why a person gets a check up on there car by seeing the mechanic (the car’s doctor) who fixes it.  The expert the Neurologist fix your seizures or get them under control.

 

QUOTE FOR FRIDAY:

“Epilepsy is not just one condition, but a group of many different ‘epilepsies’ with one thing in common: a tendency to have seizures that start in the brain. Epilepsy is usually only diagnosed after a person has had more than one seizure. Not all seizures are due to epilepsy (that is why we have diagnostic testing done in determining what caused the seizure so the MD can make the right treatment for that person).”

EpilepsySociety.Org

PART I National Epilepsy Awareness Month-Learn what it is, the metabolic or systemic causes & know the facts!

       epilepsy2

 Most people with epilepsy are otherwise healthy; as long as it is controlled like most other diseases.  A seizure is a physical manifestation of paroxysmal and abnormal electrical firing of neurons in the brain.  Think of it as numerous voltage (hyperexcitability of neurons) going throughout the brain meaning brain waves going in all directions with the brain saying its too much activity.  In simpler terms the brain is saying I don’t know what to do, too much brain wave excitability for the organ to register in what to do and freaks out causing the brain to go into a seizure.

When the seizure occurs there is a decrease in oxygen since the brain isn’t capable to send messages during the seizure.  The problem it too much electrical stimulation is happening in the brain causing the type of seizure to come on.  If the seizure continues to repeat one right after another the person is in status epilepticus and if the seizures do not stop the person can lead to a neuronal death;  like John Travolta’s son who died of this for example.

The term seizure disorder may refer to any number of conditions that result  in such a paroxysmal electrical discharge.  These conditions could be metabolic or structural in nature.

For example, if a metabolic condition this could be “Canavan disease” which is primarily a disease of demyelination.  Your myelin sheath that protects and insulates the nerves is being destroyed and can cause a seizure as one of the symptoms.

*Another example being metabolic is thought to be caused by brain acetate deficiency resulting from a defect of Nacetylaspartic acid (NAA) catabolism (meaning breakdown is occurring).  Accumulation of NAA, a compound thought to be responsible for maintaining cerebral fluid balance, can lead to cerebral edema and neurological injury, like a seizure as one symptoms of the disease.

*A structural condition to cause a seizure could be a tumor in the brain.  Than there is just idiopathic, unknown cause for the epilepsy which if starts in childhood can resolve by the child growing out it, like in petite mal seizures but it not it goes into motor/focal or grand mal that is permanent the individual needs Rx for life.

Remember, not all seizures are due to epilepsy. Other conditions that can look like epilepsy include fainting, or very low blood sugar in some people being treated for diabetes.

Remember, etiology (the cause) of Epilepsy can be generally a sign of underlying pathology involving the brain–knowing the cause.  To find this out diagnostic tooling be a neurologist who specializes in epilepsy is the best resource to go to.  The epilepsy may be the first sign of a nervous system disease (ex. Brain tumor), or it may be a sign of a systemic or metabolic derangement.  Where the treatment may be able to resolve the seizure symptom completely where this wasn’t a seizure disorder or epilepsy but just a symptom due to another disorder that may be 100% cured, like a operable tumor removed surgically from the brain.

Metabolic and Systemic Causes of Seizures:

a.) Electrolyte Imbalance=In the blood having acidosis, heavy metal poisoning, Hypocalcemia (low Ca+) , Hypocapnea (low carbon dioxide), Hypoglycemia (low glucose), Hypoxia (low oxygen), Sodium-Potassium imbalance, and than Systemic  diseases (liver, renal failure, etc…).  Then their is also toxemia of pregnancy, and water intoxication.

b.) Infections like meningitis, encephalitis, brain abcess.  Structural changes due to genetic conditions such as tuberous sclerosis, or neurofibromatosis, which can cause growths affecting the brain.

c.) Withdrawal of sedative-hypnotic drugs=Alcohol, Antiepileptic drugs, Barbiturates, Benzodiazepines.

d.) Iatrogenic drug overdose=Theopylline, Penicillin.

Other causes of epilepsy can be Trauma, Heredity.

Structural causes of epilepsy:

Head trauma/Degenerative Disease like Alzheimer’s or Creutfeldz-Jacob or Huntington’s Chorea or Multiple Sclerosis or Pick’s Disease. There is also tumors or genetic disease or Stroke or Infections or Febrile seizures.

Different epilepsies are due to many different underlying causes. The causes can be complex, and sometimes hard to identify. A person might start having seizures because they have one or more of the following.

  • A genetic tendency, passed down from one or both parents (inherited).
  • A genetic tendency that is not inherited, but is a new change in the person’s genes.
  • A structural (sometimes called ‘symptomatic’) change in the brain, such as the brain not developing properly.
  • A stroke or a tumour. A brain scan, such as Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), may show this.

Tuberous sclerosis  – a genetic condition that causes growths in organs including the brain. Tuberous sclerosis can cause epilepsy.

Neurofibromatosis  – a genetic condition that causes benign tumours to grow on the covering of nerves. Neurofibromatosis can cause epilepsy.

Some researchers now believe that the chance of developing epilepsy is probably always genetic to some extent, in that any person who starts having seizures has always had some level of genetic likelihood to do so. This level can range from high to low and anywhere in between.

Even if seizures start after a brain injury or other structural change, this may be due to both the structural change and the person’s genetic tendency to seizures, combined. This makes sense if we consider that many people might have a similar brain injury, but not all of them develop epilepsy afterwards.

Facts and Statistics on Seizures:

  • Most seizures happen suddenly without warning, last a short time (a few seconds or minutes) and stop by themselves.
  • Seizures can be different for each person.
  • Just knowing that someone has epilepsy does not tell you what their epilepsy is like, or what seizures they have.
  • Calling seizures ‘major’ or ‘minor’ does not tell you what happens to the person during the seizure. The names of seizures used on this page describe what happens during the seizure.
  • Some people have more than one type of seizure, or their seizures may not fit clearly into the types described on this page. But even if someone’s seizures are unique, they usually follow the same pattern each time they happen.
  • Not all seizures involve convulsions (jerking or shaking movements). Some people seem vacant, wander around or are confused during a seizure.
  • Some people have seizures when they are awake, called ‘awake seizures’. Some people have seizures while they are asleep, called ‘asleep seizures’ (or ‘nocturnal seizures’). The names ‘awake’ and ‘asleep’ do not explain the type of seizures, only when they happen.
  • Injuries can happen during seizures, but many people don’t hurt themselves and don’t need to go to hospital or see a doctor.

Check out Part II tomorrow!

 

QUOTE FOR THURSDAY:

“U.S. Antibiotic Awareness Week (formerly “Get Smart About Antibiotics Week”) is an annual one-week observance to raise awareness of the threat of antibiotic resistance and the importance of appropriate antibiotic prescribing and use.”

CDC Center for Disease Control

 

Global Antibiotic Awareness Week

 

In the lead-up to World Antibiotic Awareness Week, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) are together calling for responsible use of antibiotics in humans and animals to reduce the emergence of antibiotic resistance.

Antibiotic resistance is rising to dangerously high levels in all parts of the world and threatening our ability to treat common infectious diseases. Infections affecting people – including pneumonia, tuberculosis, blood poisoning and gonorrhoea – and animals alike are becoming harder, and sometimes impossible, to treat as antibiotics become less effective.

Antibiotics are often overprescribed by physicians and veterinarians and overused by the public. Where they can be bought for human or animal use without a prescription, the emergence and spread of resistance is made worse. Examples of misuse include taking antibiotics for viral infections like colds and flu, and using them as animal growth promoters on farms or in aquaculture.

To tackle these problems, WHO, FAO and OIE are leveraging their expertise and working together in a ‘One Health’ approach to promote best practices to reduce the emergence and spread of antibiotic-resistant microbes in both humans and animals.

“Antibiotic resistance is a global crisis that we cannot ignore,” says Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of WHO. “If we don’t tackle this threat with strong, coordinated action, antimicrobial resistance will take us back to a time when people feared common infections and risked their lives from minor surgery.”

“The overuse of antimicrobials blunts their effectiveness, and we must reduce their misuse in food systems,” says José Graziano da Silva, Director-General of FAO. “Antimicrobial veterinary medicines are a crucial tool for animal health and welfare and safe food production, but they are by no means the only tool.”

“Like in human health, veterinary medicine has tremendously progressed thanks to antibiotics. Preserving their efficacy and availability through their responsible use associated with good husbandry and prevention practices, is therefore essential to preserve animal health and welfare,” highlights Dr Monique Eloit, Director-General of OIE.