July 2014 archive

Diagnosis and quick recovery from Bell’s palsy

Bell’s palsy is a term referring to a form of temporary weakness and paralysis of the muscles on one or sometimes both sides of the face. It can happen to anyone but people in their 40’s are at higher risk of getting it. Usually it appears suddenly, overnight. The symptoms often make people think they had a stroke. The exact causes of Bell’s palsy are not known but it seems like it takes place when the nerves that control facial muscles are swollen. It has been associated with several conditions like stroke, Lyme disease, viral infections, flu or brain tumors.

Bell’s palsy face

Usually people recover spontaneously and achieve normal or near to normal functions. 10 days after the onset people show signs of improvement even without treatment. In many cases people cannot close the eye in the affected side. In this case they must protect the eye from drying up or else it could result in permanent damage of the eye and impaired vision.

The first symptoms if you get Bell’s palsy are paralysis and weakness on one side of the face. Most probably you won’t be able to fully close one eye. But there might other symptoms might include pain in or behind the ear, facial pain, no tears in one eye, altered sense of taste, heaviness or numbness in the face, altered sense of taste and dryness in one eye. Symptoms usually appear at once and it might be difficult for you to talk.

Anyway, if you experience progressive or steady paralysis you should be worried because it is not a sign of Bell’s palsy and it could be something worse. Over a few weeks or months, about 80% of the patients recover completely. There a few people who don’t recover completely and are left with symptoms such as asymmetrical smile, corneal damage, impaired speech and impaired taste. The most serious complication seen in a minority of Bell’s palsy cases is permanent mild facial paralysis.

Bell’s palsy is diagnosed by ruling out other possibilities. It is a diagnosis of exclusion. There is no cure for Bell’s pals as it usually resolves on its own. But to reduce long term nerve damages you should be diagnosed within 72 hours and get proper treatment. Doctors usually recommend treatment with anti-viral medications (valacyclovir or acyclovir) and corticosteroids. Antiviral medications are not very helpful when used alone but they can be effective when used along with prednisone. But more studies and research are necessary to clarify the role of antiviral medication.

I Nice Video Showing Recovery of Bell’s Palsy

Many people resort to alternative medicine, most often acupuncture is said to help. But because the actual studies are of low quality the efficiency of acupuncture remains unknown. Sometimes unusual food cravings occur and it’s OK to follow them especially fats as they are necessary for nerve repair. Also massaging the affected side of the face is recommended. The biggest problem in Bell’s palsy is the eye that won’t close. That eye needs special attention and special protection. The eye might not produce tears and remain open for about a week. Special lotions, eye drops and eye patches are recommended or else it might result in long term damage of the cornea and impaired vision.

For a fast recovery you will need specialized assistance of a neurologist in aventura florida.

How to Keep your Kidneys Healthy

The kidneys are two small organs located just below the rib cage, toward the back. While they are only about the size of a closed fist, they perform a big job. The kidneys are responsible for maintaining fluid balance in the body and cleansing the blood of toxins.

They are also tied to the release of certain essential hormones. When the kidneys begin to fail, there are usually very few signs apparent. It is not until kidney disease becomes severe that symptoms are experienced. Learn the steps you can take to keep your kidneys healthy.

Know your Risk

According to the National Kidney Foundation, 26 million US citizens are affected with CKD (chronic kidney disease). It has become an epidemic in the US, causing loss of function and life. There are several risk factors to be aware of.

  • Diabetes
  • Heart Disease
  • Hypertension (High Blood Pressure)
  • Family history
  • Those older than 60

Some secondary risk factors are obesity, autoimmune conditions and infections present in the urinary tract and throughout the body. If you are at risk for kidney disease, you should ask your doctor about tests to monitor the kidney function.


Steps to Maintain Kidney Health

The steps to maintain kidney health will provide health benefits to your whole body. Talking to your doctor or health professional will ensure that you are making the changes that are the best for your health circumstances.

  • Manage diseases and conditions. By keeping your diabetes, blood pressure and heart disease well-managed, you can decrease your risk for developing kidney disease. Controlling your blood sugar levels and taking all medications as they are prescribed are smart choices. Monitor blood pressure and report elevated readings to your doctor.
  • Healthy Eating. A healthy and well-balanced diet provides adequate amounts of essential vitamins and minerals. Decreasing fat intake will help lower cholesterol levels and assist in preventing a decrease in blood flow to the kidneys. Decrease salt use to help control blood pressure-make your goal less than 2300 mg daily.
  • Control or Lose Weight. Obesity leads to high blood pressure, which causes damage to the kidneys. Work with your doctor to lose weight in a healthy manner, if needed. If you are already at your ideal weight, regular exercise and a healthy diet will help you stay there.
  • Stop smoking. The use of cigarettes is linked to a worsening of kidney damage.
  • Limit Alcohol. Alcohol is a toxin that the kidneys remove. Too much alcohol causes their workload to increase.
  • Hydrate. Staying well-hydrated helps your kidneys function better.
  • Over the Counter Medications. Do not use OTC painkillers or anti-inflammatories more than is recommended. Over-use of these types of medications has been linked to kidney damage.
  • Get Educated. If you are at risk or have a family history of kidney disease, learn all you can about kidney disease.

Knowing your risk factors, controlling weight and following a healthy lifestyle are the first steps to keep your kidneys healthy. Talk to your doctor if you are at high risk for developing kidney disease.