Men's health blog

May 12, 2011


Filed under: Arthritis — admin @ 1:32 pm

What role does the laboratory play in the diagnosis of RA?The laboratory has a limited role in the diagnosis of RA. Unlike a disease like lupus, where patients make antibodies to several components of the body, the patient with RA has almost none. The only antibody that is common in patients with rheumatoid arthritis is the rheumatoid factor. Other antibodies may be present, but they do not necessarily indicate RA. In addition to the presence of antibodies, there are other laboratory findings that doctors may look for to help them diagnose RA, including anemia (low red blood cell count) and other blood cell count abnormalities. During the course of treatment, doctors often have to monitor the patient’s health with laboratory tests, as several of the drugs used to treat RA can affect the health of many organs.
What is the rheumatoid factor?The rheumatoid factor is an antibody directed against another antibody in the blood. It is present in about 60 percent of rheumatoid arthritis patients; however, its presence does not automatically indicate RA, as it is common to other disorders as well. Conversely, the absence of rheumatoid factor does not rule out a diagnosis of RA. When the rheumatoid factor is present in a RA patient, one is said to have sero-positive disease. When there is no rheumatoid factor, an RA patient is said to have sero-negative disease. Generally, sero-positive disease is more aggressive than sero-negative.
What is an ANA?ANA stands for antinuclear antibody. This antibody is directed against the nuclei of certain cells.
Is an ANA present in those with RA?Some RA patients have antinuclear antibodies, though the strength, or titer, of such antibodies is low. They are more common to other autoimmune conditions, though doctors must not overlook the possibility of rheumatoid arthritis when they detect ANAs. Too often doctors hastily make a diagnosis of lupus when they find ANAs without ruling out RA.
What is an ESR?ESR stands for erythrocyte sedimentation rate. The speed at which red blood cells settle to the bottom of a test tube helps doctors check for inflammation. The faster these cells settle, the more inflammation is present. The ESR is the test conducted to determine the rate at which the red blood cells settle.*26/141/5*

May 1, 2011


Filed under: Gastrointestinal — admin @ 11:29 am

While the digestive tract and the kidneys are the main organs of excretion, the skin has also a very important part to play; it is a great deal more useful than just a waterproof covering that keeps our bits and pieces together. If it is kept healthy it can be a wonderful waste disposal system. It covers such a large area it is worth getting it to work for you.Sweating it OutA fever is nature’s way of helping us to lose toxins through the skin. You can stimulate sweating with some water therapies.Water TherapyRegular swimming is very beneficial; steam baths, saunas and Jacuzzis also encourage detoxification.Caution: consult your doctor before using water treatments if you have heart trouble, high blood pressure, diabetes, epilepsy or any condition which might be aggravated by extremes of temperature.Salt BathsThese encourage detoxification and greatly help muscle and joint pains. Add 2 lbs of salt or three cupfuls of Epsom salts to a comfortably hot bath and lie in it for twenty minutes; add hot water as it cools. If you drink a pint of hot honey and lemon, or peppermint tea while you soak it will further encourage sweating. A cold flannel on the forehead might make you feel more comfortable. The next step is to wrap up in cotton towels and get into a warm bed. You should perspire freely and sleep well. If you have to bathe during the day finish with a cold shower and rest for half an hour. You could do this three times weekly.Foot BathsFor aching feet and to stimulate circulation use alternating bowls of hot and cold water, staying two minutes in each; carry on for about twenty minutes. If you like you could add one cup of salt or1/2 cup of Epsom salts to the hot water. When you have finished wrap the feet in a towel and lie down for half an hour.Skin BrushingThis stimulates the lymphatic system, and involves brushing all over with a natural bristle brush for about ten minutes before you shower or bath. Start with the soles of the feet and work on all areas except broken skin, the face, neck and breasts. It can be boring but the results are worth it. In addition to elimination toxins, because circulation is increased, it will also improve the texture of your skin. Boots, Higher Nature and the Body Shop have skin brushes or you might have an old hairbrush that would do the job; wash it carefully.*56\326\8*

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