Gout: A rich man disease through the ages

I know I usually don’t post about medical stuff – unless discussing troubling issues like Depression, Dementia or Diseases transmitted by mosquitoes or bugs. Some of them have been written for the Mental Health Awareness Month like May 2017 and some of them came out during research for a book I was reading likeThe Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy.

This is the case now. I’ve started reading Alvin Journeyman (from the Alvin Maker series by Orson Scott Card) and in one of the chapters, Calvin, Alvin’s brother, goes to see Napoleon Bonaparte who is said to suffer from gout.
He does not know how to heal him, only how to offer a brief pain respite by numbing the nerves controlling the pain in the leg.

This is the point I got curious. What is gout? Did Napoleon Bonaparte really suffer from it? Is it a rich man’s disease? What causes it? Is there a treatment for it? Does nerve pinching work? Or is it symptom alleviation rather than a cure.
I’ll try to answer these in the following article.


Practical Approach towards Heart Diseases

by Mridula Trivedi
The human heart lies in the fourth part of the body and hence it is represented by the fourth house of the horoscope. The Sun is the main significator of heart. In other words the Sun is the heart of Kaala Purusha. Sun is the source of energy and indicates oxygen too. The heart energizes the impure blood after pouring oxygen into it. So affliction of Sun plays main role in the disease of heart. Affliction of the fourth house also causes diseases of chest. A proper and careful judgment can reveal whether it is a heart disease provided biological knowledge of human body is in the mind of the astrologer at the time of judgment of the horoscope.
The general rule of Astrology that a planet, who is a Karaka or significator of a certain house if located in that house, becomes very dangerous, particularly in case of affliction, association or aspects of malefic planets.
Cancer is a watery sign and also indicates fluid in which the heart is enclosed. Cancer indicates veins too. So afflictions of Cancer sign, fourth house and Sun indicate heart troubles.          


You’re acting Funny

Every since civilization started many people have been suffering from psychological disorders such as sadness and strange and awkward behavior.  There have been many of scientists that have tried to figure out the cure for them and treat these disorders.
Classifying psychological disorders have their roots back far in ancient times with the Romans and the Egyptians.  Even today, classifying psychological disorders follow a medical type model.  However, classifying psychological disorders is not very easy and is harder than it sounds and is very controversial.  Even though the classification system has disadvantages, I think it’s safe to say that the classification system outweighs the disadvantages.  It provides a means of effective communication between psychologists.  Also, the classification system can help psychologists make predictions such as the probability that a disorder will occur and about the individuals that are more likely to develop a certain mental disorder and about the rules for treatment.
IS098-024To help make classifying psychological disorders easier the American Psychiatric Association came out with the first system of grouping psychological disorders in the United States in 1952. This manual was known as the DSM-IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders).  The 1994 edition is the most current version that I’m aware of and includes 17 major classifications and describes more than 200 disorders.  The DSM had undergone changes and probably will go more in the future which shows the advancement in knowledge of psychological disorders over the years. The DSM-IV has added and dropped categories from its manual which has caused some major controversial by psychologist you relied heavily on those techniques. An important feature of the DSM-IV is its multi axis features. It has five axes to accurately diagnose an individual with a mental disorder by characterizing them in terms of a number of factors.  The five axes of DSM-IV include:
Axis I:  Every diagnostic category except for personality disorders and mental retardation.
Axis II:  Mental retardation and personality disorders.
Axis III:  Most medical conditions
Axis IV:  Social and environmental complications.
Axis V: Current functioning abilities.
Axes I-II describes the majority of psychological disorders, and Axes III-V is not really needed in diagnosing a psychological disorder but they are there to consider the person’s over all life situation.  For example, an individual may have high blood pressure which is an example of Axis III, which needs special precautions to treatment because some mediation can worsen the symptoms for individuals.
The DSM-IV was put together by a number of mental health professionals and included a diverse range of audiences which was something missing in the previous manuals because the majority consisted of mostly white male psychiatrists.  The biggest controversial part about the DSM-IV is that the symptoms are still described in a psychiatric manner. Even though more psychologists have participated in it then ever, it still shows a medical model of diagnosing patients which puts less emphasis on external factors such as environmental effects on mental disorders.
There are some common issues with labeling in the DSM-IV.  Some of the categories for mental disorders are what some people would include to be everyday harmless activities. For example, if someone has a hard time learning mathematics, or writing skills than that could be labeled as a mental disorder. Also, an addiction to some substances like a nice cappuccino from Starbucks would be classified as a mental disorder because the individual will be viewed as having a substance abuse problem.  Furthermore some individuals that do not have a mental disorder may turn out to believe that they do by a simple misdiagnoses.
The term that refers to when people believe that they believe something when it is told to them is known as the self fulfilling prophecy.  Labels can also have harmful side effects on the individual and cause them to lose self esteem when they think that they are mentally ill. A lot of time, individuals will avoid seeking help to avoid these labels because they don’t want people to think of them differently.
The DSM-IV may have its critiques and inaccuracies but it’s still the most comprehensive mental categorizing system currently available. Like mentioned earlier, there are many categories for mental disorders. A very common one that affects close to 19.1 million Americans is anxiety disorders. If you constantly worry than that could be an indicator that you have some type of anxiety disorder. An anxiety disorder is a psychological disorder that can cause a variety of abnormalities in the motor function. Examples of anxiety disorder include generalized anxiety disorder, phobic disorders, obsessive compulsive disorder, panic disorder, post-traumatic disorder, and social anxiety disorder.
I’m going to discuss generalized anxiety disorder first because its one of the more common anxiety disorders.
Take this case study for example.  Amy is a thirty year old woman and ever since she and her husband have been arguing she has developed a lot of built up tension and nervousness every time she goes out in public. She feels trembling and usually be perspiring when she comes back from shopping.
These are the common symptoms of an anxiety disorder.  With phobic disorders on the other hand, the individual has an intense fear of a particular object or thing.  A lot of people are informed about some common ones such as the fear of spiders or Arachnophobia, and the fear of closed tight spaces or Claustrophobia. However there are a lot more bizarre ones that people may not be informed about such as Dikephobia or the fear of justice and Geliophobia or the fear of laughter.
A very interesting psychological disorder is obsessive compulsive disorder and the individual has these obsessions to do things in a particular way or order and it is causing them mental distress. For example, they may have a need to get dressed and take their clothes off in a particular manner and if they mess up than they must start over again because they ruined the sequence. These rituals will consume up a vast majority of the individual’s time.
Panic disorder is when the individual has periods of deep fear. This usually doesn’t last too long and some symptoms are the individual will tremble and experience a shortness of breath. Next, post traumatic disorder is the feelings of emptiness and depression an individual will experience after a traumatic event such as after a plane crash or abuse/rape. Even though men and women can experience this disorder is more likely to exist with females. Last, a social anxiety disorder is a fear of being in social situations and being evaluated by others.
A classic example is being extremely uneasy and nervous during a job interview.

Baby Care


woman-changing-newborn-baby-diaper-photo-420x420-ts-80403112Disorder of the stomach and bowels is one of the most fruitful sources of the diseases of infancy. Only prevent their derangement, and, all things being equal, the infant will be healthy and flourish, and need not the aid of physic or physicians.
There are many causes which may give rise to these affections; many of them appertain to the mother’s system, some to that of the infant. All are capable, to a great extent, of being prevented or remedied. It is, therefore, most important that a mother should not be ignorant or misinformed upon this subject. It is the prevention of these affections, however, that will be principally dwelt upon here; for let the mother ever bear in mind, and act upon the principle, that the prevention of disease alone belongs to her; the cure to the physician. For the sake of clearness and reference, these disorders will be spoken of as they occur:

To the infant at the breast

The infant’s stomach and bowels may become deranged from the breast-milk becoming unwholesome. This may arise from the parent getting out of health, a circumstance which will be so manifest to herself, and to those more immediately interested in her welfare, that it is only necessary just to allude to it here. Suffice it to say, that there are many causes of a general kind to which it may owe its origin; but that the most frequent is undue lactation, and the effects both upon mother and child fully dwelt upon.
Anxiety of mind in the mother will cause her milk to be unhealthy in its character, and deficient in quantity, giving rise to flatulence, griping, and sometimes even convulsions in the infant. A fit of passion in the nurse will frequently be followed by a fit of bowel complain in the child. These causes of course are temporary, and when removed the milk becomes a healthy and sufficient for the child as before.
Sudden and great mental disturbance, however, will occasionally drive away the milk altogether, and in a few hours. A Mrs. S., aet. 29, a fine healthy woman, of a blonde complexion, was confined of a boy. She had a good time, and a plentiful supply of milk for the child, which she continued to suckle till the following January, a period of three months, when her milk suddenly disappeared. This circumstance puzzled the medical attendant, for he could not trace it to any physical ailment; but the milk never returned, and a wet-nurse became necessary. In the following spring the husband of this lady failed, an adversity which had been impending since the date when the breast-milk disappeared, upon which day the deranged state of the husband’s affairs was made known to the wife, a fact which at once explained the mysterious disappearance of the milk.
Unwholesome articles of diet will affect the mother’s milk, and derange the infant’s bowels. Once, I was called to see an infant at the breast with diarrhea. The remedial measures had but little effect so long as the infant was allowed the breast-milk; but this being discontinued, and arrow-root made with water only allowed, the complaint was quickly put a stop to. Believing that the mother’s milk was impaired from some accidental cause which might now be passed, the infant was again allowed the breast. In less than four-and-twenty hours, however, the diarrhea returned. The mother being a very healthy woman, it was suspected that some unwholesome article in her diet might be the cause. The regimen was accordingly carefully inquired into, when it appeared that porter from a neighboring publican’s had been substituted for their own for some little time past. This proved to be bad, throwing down, when left to stand a few hours, a considerable sediment; it was discontinued; good sound ale taken instead; the infant again put to the breast, upon the milk of which it flourished, and never had another attack.
In the same way aperient medicine, taken by the mother, will act on the child’s bowels, through the effect which it produces upon her milk. This, however, is not the case with all kinds of purgative medicine, nor does the same purgative produce a like effect upon all children. It is well, therefore, for a parent to notice what aperient acts thus through her system upon that of her child, and what does not, and when an aperient becomes necessary for herself, unless she desire that the infant’s bowels be moved, to avoid the latter; if otherwise, she may take the former with good effect.
Again; the return of the monthly periods whilst the mother is a nurse always affects the properties of the milk, more or less, deranging the stomach and bowels of the infant. It will thus frequently happen, that a few days before the mother is going to be unwell, the infant will become fretful and uneasy; its stomach will throw up the milk, and its motions will be frequent, watery, and greenish. And then, when the period is fully over, the milk will cease to purge. It is principally in the early months, however, that the infant seems to be affected by this circumstance; for it will be generally found that although the milk is certainly impaired by it, being less abundant and nutritious, still, after the third or fourth month it ceases to affect the infant. Is then a mother, because her monthly periods return after her delivery, to give up nursing? Certainly not, unless the infant’s health is seriously affected by it; for she will generally find that, as the periods come round, by keeping the infant pretty much from the breast, during its continuance, and feeding him upon artificial food, she will prevent disorder of the child’s health, and be able in the intervals to nurse her infant with advantage. It must be added, however, that a wet- nurse is to be resorted to rather than any risk incurred of injuring the child’s health; and that, in every case, partial feeding will be necessary at a much earlier period than when a mother is not thus affected.
The milk may also be rendered less nutritive, and diminished in quantity, by the mother again becoming pregnant. In this case, however, the parent’s health will chiefly suffer, if she persevere in nursing; this, however, will again act prejudicial to the child. It will be wise, therefore, if pregnancy should occur, and the milk disagree with the infant, to resign the duties of a nurse, and to put the child upon a suitable artificial diet.
The infant that is constantly at the breast will always be suffering, more or less, from flatulence, griping, looseness of the bowels, and vomiting. This is caused by a sufficient interval not being allowed between the meals for digestion. The milk, therefore, passes on from the stomach into the bowels undigested, and the effects just alluded to follow. Time must not only be given for the proper digestion of the milk, but the stomach itself must be allowed a season of repose. This evil, then, must be avoided most carefully by the mother strictly adhering to those rules for nursing.
The bowels of the infant at the breast, as well as after it is weaned, are generally affected by teething. And it is fortunate that this is the case, for it prevents more serious affections. Indeed, the diarrhea that occurs during dentition, except it be violent, must not be subdued; if, however, this is the case, attention must be paid to it. It will generally be found to be accompanied by a swollen gum; the freely lancing of which will sometimes alone put a stop to the looseness: further medical aid may, however, be necessary.

At the period of weaning.

There is great susceptibility to derangement of the stomach and bowels of the child at the period when weaning ordinarily takes place, so that great care and judgment must be exercised in effecting this object. Usually, however, the bowels are deranged during this process from one of these causes; from weaning too early, from effecting it too suddenly and abruptly, or from over-feeding and the use of improper and unsuitable food. There is another cause which also may give rise to diarrhea at this time, independently of weaning, viz. the irritation of difficult teething.
The substitution of artificial food for the breast-milk of the mother, at a period when the digestive organs of the infant are too delicate for this change, is a frequent source of the affections now under consideration.
The attempt to wean a delicate child, for instance, when only six months old, will inevitably be followed by disorder of the stomach and bowels. Unless, therefore, a mother is obliged to resort to this measure, from becoming pregnant, or any other unavoidable cause, if she consult the welfare of her child, she will not give up nursing at this early period.
Depriving the child at once of the breast, and substituting artificial food, however proper under due regulations such food may be, will invariably cause bowel complaints. Certain rules and regulations must be adopted to effect weaning safely, the details of which are given elsewhere.
If too large a quantity of food is given at each meal, or the meals are too frequently repeated, in both instances the stomach will become oppressed, wearied, and deranged; part of the food, perhaps, thrown up by vomiting, whilst the remainder, not having undergone the digestive process, will pass on into the bowels, irritate its delicate lining membrane, and produce flatulence, with griping, purging, and perhaps convulsions.
Then, again, improper and unsuitable food will be followed by precisely the same effects; and unless a judicious alteration be quickly made, remedies will not only have no influence over the disease, but the cause being continued, the disease will become most seriously aggravated.
It is, therefore, of the first importance to the well-doing of the child, that at this period, when the mother is about to substitute an artificial food for that of her own breast, she should first ascertain what kind of food suits the child best, and then the precise quantity which nature demands. Many cases might be cited, where children have never had a prescription written for them, simply because, these points having been attended to, their diet has been managed with judgment and care; whilst, on the other hand, others might be referred to, whose life has been hazarded, and all but lost, simply from injudicious dietetic management. Over-feeding, and improper articles of food, are more frequently productive, in their result, of anxious hours and distressing scenes to the parent, and of danger and loss of life to the child, than almost any other causes.
The irritation caused by difficult teething may give rise to diarrhea at the period when the infant is weaned, independently of the weaning itself. Such disorder of the bowels, if it manifestly occur from this cause, is a favorable circumstance, and should not be interfered with, unless indeed the attack be severe and aggravated, when medical aid becomes necessary. Slight diarrhea then, during weaning, when it is fairly traceable to the cutting of a tooth (the heated and inflamed state of the gum will at once point to this as the source of the derangement), is of no consequence, but it must not be mistaken for disorder arising from other causes. Lancing the gum will at once, then, remove the cause, and generally cure the bowel complaint.

Baby Care


cute babyCrying is a physiological process in the life of a baby.All normal babies cry to communicate with others.Sine they can’t express their feelings in words crying is the only way for communication. If any uncomfortable feeling comes they simply cry.Normally babies cry in situations like hunger,wetting,too heat or cold,tight clothes,pain etc. Some kids need the presence of somebody otherwise will cry simply.Crying without any cause is habitual in some babies. Even though crying is considered as normal it may worry the family members.Since the reasons for crying ranges from simple causes to serious causes it should not be ignored and hence exact cause has to be identified and managed accordingly.
The following are some points which should be considered while dealing with a crying baby.
1, It is dangerous to shake the baby vigorously.
2,Tight cloaths can cause irritation hence it should be removed.
3,If the room is hot put the fan and open the windows.
4,If the nappy is wet remove it and after cleaning the parts make it dry with a soft towel.
5,Pat her back or stroke her head slowly and let her here your soothing sound.
6,Give breast milk and make her quiet.
7,If the climate is cold cover her in soft towel.
8,Rock her gently in your arms and walk slowly in the room.
9,Take a music making doll and let her listen.
10,Try a pacifier or help her for thumb sucking.
11,If no response change her position.
12,Walk outdors with her.
13,Put her on the cradle and rock gently.
14,If no response ask somebody to carry the baby.
Even after all these steps the baby goes on crying see for the following signs.
( Probable cause is given after every sign)
1,Press her abdomen gently,she may twist or resist you:—Colic
2,Pull her ear gently she may become worse or push your hands away:—Earache.
3,Feel her temperature with the back of your hands:–Fever due to any infection.
4,Examine the skin from head to foot:–Eruptive disease,nappy rash,measles,vesicles,allergy ect.
5,See the nose for any discharge:–Coryza.
6,Move the head gently to feel any neck stiffness:–Meningitis,head injury ect.
7,Keep your ear near her chest to hear any rattling sound:–Increased mucus in wind pipes.
(pneumonia,bronchiolitis,asthamatic bronchitis ect)
8,Examine the anal orifice:–Anal erosion,rectal polyp,crawling of worms.
9,Examine the genitalia:–Any discharge or erosion.
10,In male baby see the testicles which may be swollen or tender:–Orchitis,torsion of testes.
11,also notice the body movements and see for any convulsions,rigors,vomiting,cough,laboured breathing ect.
If you see the above signs or any other abnormal signs consult your doctor for proper treatement.