Medical News You and Your Family

Family Medical NewsNatural herbal medicines have been a part of the medicine world for a long time, and different cultures have used them in various ways. Some people use them for therapeutic purposes while others use them for medicinal purposes. The use of herbs is widely known to be safe because the ingredients are natural hence have very minimal to no side effects when they are taken. Nowadays, different doctors are advocating for the use of herbal medicine to treat various conditions and also for the well-being and the health of the body.

Herbal medicines come in the form of tablets, capsules, teas, tinctures, syrup, oils and also powders, and each of them has different ways into which it is used to benefit the body. The ingredients are extracted from plant roots, leaves, stems or even leaves and then used naturally while they are active.

The main purpose of natural herbal medicines is to help the body return to its normal state so that it can be restored whole. Different herbs when taken will work differently in the body systems and hence bring the desirable healing effects. The benefits of taking herbal supplements include:

· Restores the body’s natural balance and health in cases where the body is sick or has low immunity. They work by boosting the immune system function and also promote the well being of the body before any illness sets in.

· Improve cardiovascular health and circulation as they lower the cholesterol levels in the body and also the blood pressure by ensuring that the blood vessels are wide open, and blood circulation is good.

· Opens up the respiratory system, hence very minimal chances of getting colds,flu, allergies, coughs or tuberculosis.

· Used to improve memory as they improve blood circulation to the brain.

· Natural herbal medicines are used to reduce anxiety, depression, exhaustion, stress, insomnia and also irritability as they help your nerves calm down by increasing the melatonin in the body hence the body relaxes and you get to sleep easily.

· Prevent motion sickness, nausea and stomach upsets as they act by blocking serotonin a chemical that is produced by the stomach and brain and causes stomach upsets and nausea. Some will also improve your metabolism.

· Treat persistent illnesses such as migraines, headache and also burns.

· Some of them have antioxidant properties which, when taken will reduce the radical cells in the body that cause toxic effects in the body such as cancer, diabetes.

· Reduce inflammation in the body, hence reduces the chances of getting inflammatory diseases such as osteoarthritis.

For maximum benefits of herbal medicines, different herbs can be:

· Added to your cooking as spices or marinating foods so as to add flavor.

· Mixed with your drinking water or tea as a single herb or mixed with other herbs

· Taken as a whole before eating or traveling either as capsules or tablets.

· Buy only from reputable herbalists and doctors as they know which offer the maximum benefit to the body.

· You can alternatively grow some of these herbs in your garden and ensure that they are readily available when you need them.

Natural herbal medicines cannot be used in cases where the conventional drugs are supposed to be used. It is important to seek medical advice before taking any herbal drugs while taking the conventional drugs so as to avoid any adverse effects on the body. The herbal medicines can also be bought over the counter, but it is also good to consult your doctor so as to get the correct dosage and also the exact type of drug for the particular ailment that you have. It is also good to be in the know of which type of herb you are taking, so ask before taking.

Definition of health varies from person to person. To some it means that nothing is really serious, for some it means not getting any worse, for other it is the visit to the doctor every year to get a nod of “all clear”. Seldom did it mean zero health problems. And so we get by with taking aspirins and painkillers and live with aches and pains that we associate with certain infective bug, overwork, or aging.

The problem with chemically formulated drugs and medicines is that, one; it remedies a part of the body but destroys another, often the liver. Two, it has questionable benefits that simple observation will tell you that if the medication prescribed by the physician is not getting the desired result, an alternative prescription will be given (a physician that has a reputation for having a higher batting average will be called as “good” and so will the physicians fees be). Third, when a part of the body fails to normally function caused by the drug, it will be termed as side effects. Fourth, when the body acclimatizes to the drug prescribed, we are in effect sentencing our body to a lifetime of medication. Fifth, behind all the advances claimed, it does not really increase the average lifespan. Like the rest of the world, we still are satisfied if we hit the magic mark of seventy years. Sixth, it is so expensive to be a hit and miss thing which often it really is. Scientific claims will be otherwise but everybody can claim. Result though will tell you differently.

For most of us, it has not been recognized that there is an alternative to a life sentence of medication. That there are medications not only to cure whatever ails but to build the reserves and boost the system so that ailments are reversed naturally. When the system is made healthier and reserves are built, we could in part avoid the doctor whose typical remedy is give us drugs, when drugs will not work, chop parts of our body, and prescribe drugs more.

In the ancient world, our forebears have already recognized that there are only two kinds of plants, that which is good for food and that which is better for healing. Even animals know this. Our house pets like dogs, cats, and chickens will forage for a particular grass of herb when they are not feeling well. Sooner this is vomited and the animal heals. In eastern cultures, these natural methods have been the basis for healing. Their life average expectancy is not longer than seventy years but ours is not longer either. The difference lies in the money, the trouble spent and for the most part, the absence of chronic pains and suffering.

Herbal medicines, natural medication and healing do just that. Relieve the suffering and health anxiety naturally so we have time to enjoy more of life without the drugs that gives temporary eight-hour solutions until the pain strikes again.

Medical Treatment Abroad

Various reasons exist for various patients who opt to receive medical treatment abroad. There is no denying, however, that one of the major attractions of this quickly-growing young industry is the affordability and competitiveness of cosmetic, surgical, and dental procedures abroad. If you or someone you love is considering traveling to another country for healthcare purposes, read up on everything you can and be informed. It will help you make better decisions for your or your loved one’s health. Here are some considerations you have to keep in mind.

The Destination

India is often the most popular site for medical tourism because of its very competitive and comprehensive healthcare services being pegged at the cheapest of prices. Other Southeast Asian nations making waves in the health tourism business are Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Singapore. Closer to home are European countries who have recently broken into the business. Belgium and Spain are very well known for their cosmetic surgery industries, while France has long nurtured a reputation for weight loss and obesity treatments. It is imperative that you check the specialization of the country you wish to travel.

The Healthcare Facility

Getting medical treatment abroad entails that you make sure you receive treatment in an up-to-date and well-equipped medical facility. Renowned healthcare organizations issue accreditation certification for hospitals that meet high standards. The health and medical departments of most governments also have the task of overseeing that their hospitals and clinics are safe for the treatment of their people’s health. Be sure to arm yourself with information about the foreign healthcare facility where you wish to receive treatment.

The Medical Practitioner

Many surgeons, dentists, cosmetologists, and other medical practitioners who offer their services to foreigners were trained in the United States or the United Kingdom. Check if they are members of leading medical associations in these countries and in their home countries. It is also important that you meet with your chosen practitioner, either personally or through telecommunications technology, before you fly to the destination so you can consult with him and ask questions.

The Practicalities

If you are receiving medical treatment abroad, then you will need the proper travel documents and other essential items to allow you to travel and have a smooth and problem-free trip. A medical tourism facilitator often arranges all these for you, including passport and visa processing, scheduling flights, hotel reservations, local transportation, meals, and recreational activities. It’s also advisable that you familiarize yourself with the local customs of the country you are flying to, and other things we take for granted, such as the climate.

Role of Medical Treatment

The role of medical treatment in a car accident claim is best illuminated by way of example. A potential client scheduled a consultation in our law office. “John” had been in a car accident six months prior in which the other driver was at-fault. John was seeking compensation for his bodily injuries and felt that third party insurance (the at-fault driver’s insurer) was treating him unfairly. The property damage was quite substantial and his movements were cautious and guarded, consistent with ongoing pain. John confirmed that he was injured in the car accident and was still struggling with daily discomfort and physical restrictions. As an articulate historian, John detailed the sources of his pain and the ongoing havoc in his life as a result of his injuries from this collision. When asked to detail his course of treatment, however, John revealed that he had not been to see any medical providers, traditional homeopathic, chiropractic or otherwise. We informed John that the absence of treatment was going to have a negative effect on the third party’s valuation of his claim. John was appalled. His stressed the mere fact that he had not gone to the doctor did not mean that he was not in significant pain and in no way diminished his inconvenience and suffering.

The problems with John’s claim highlight the crucial role of medical treatment in every personal injury case where the claimant is seeking monetary damages for bodily injury. This article will address only the typical insurance claim for bodily injury following an unintentional car accident where no permanent disability or disfigurement was suffered.

We must begin with an important premise that the typical injured person often does not know or is manipulated into forgetting: Insurance adjusters are not your friend; the insurance adjuster does not have your best interest at heart; and the insurance adjuster will put forth substantial effort to pay as little for your claim as possible. Their job is not to accept your assessment of damages at face value. Their job is instead to investigate your claim and limit compensation for your injuries when said injuries are at all unsubstantiated and possibly unrelated.

That said, if you are injured in a car or motor vehicle accident it is critical that you seek medical treatment. Primarily it is important simply because if you are in pain and suffering, a professional should evaluate the extent of your injuries and ensure that you receive the necessary attention and care. Depending on your current state of health, the extent of the impact, the crash-worthiness of the vehicle, injuries can vary widely. In addition, adrenaline can mask serious injuries and pain symptoms can therefore be delayed. Pain and discomfort associated with soft tissue injuries typically escalates over a forty-eight hour period. Moreover, it is also important to protect your rights and seek a personal injury attorney.

Aside from the obvious – your health and well-being – medical treatment and oversight also greatly affects the value of your personal injury claim. There are a number of reasons for this, the first being that your doctor acts as an autonomous source of corroboration. If a person is evaluated by an independent medical professional who via their experience and expertise substantiates the presence of impairment, contusions, abrasions and injury, insurance is provided with evidence of injury independent of the claimant. The extent and course of treatment and concomitant medical records substantiates ongoing injuries and the need for continued treatment. The necessity of such treatment is able to be assessed, and the progress made toward recovery and resolution of symptoms is able to be tracked.

Secondly, as an injured person making a claim for damages, you the claimant have an affirmative obligation to mitigate your damages. It is known as the doctrine of avoidable consequences and obligates a victim to take reasonable steps to lessen their harm. The rule as stated in C. McCormick, Damages 33, at 128 (1935) is that where one person has committed an unintentional tort, or legal wrong, against another, it is incumbent upon the latter to use such means as are reasonable under the circumstances to avoid or minimize the damages. The person wronged cannot recover for any item of damage which could thus have been avoided. See Labriola v. Pollard Group, Inc., 152 Wn.2d 828, 840, 100 P.3d 791 (2004)( The doctrine of avoidable consequences, or mitigation of damages, prevents an injured party from recovering damages that the party could have avoided through reasonable efforts); 16 David K. DeWolf and Keller W. Allen, Washington Practice: Tort Law & Practice 8.9, at 261 (3d ed. 2006). John will thus have difficulty recovering money for six months of pain in the absence of any treatment. Third party insurance will argue that crawling around his house in pain was simply unreasonable, and that had he pursued some form of medical/rehabilitative/therapeutic treatment, his injuries would have likely resolved in a shorter time and his suffering been minimized substantially. A claimant should also remember that consistent treatment, showing up for appointments and following provider directives are similarly important.

Third, medical treatment and the cost of those services also serves as an imperfect, yet objective, quantifiable measure of damages associated with your care. Imperfect because the cost of medical care can in no way encapsulate the fear, frustration, inconvenience, and physical pain that an injured party experiences on a daily basis. It is difficult to place a dollar value on the extent of a person’s suffering. But that is exactly the calculation a claimant is asking an insurance adjuster to perform. The cost of relieving those symptoms, therefore, serves as a tool for the adjuster, a measurement of value for the period of time the claimant is undergoing treatment. The cost of the actual medical care received, therefore, plays a role in the final settlement offer extended by third party insurance.

The moral of the story is: If you are injured in a car accident, seek medical treatment from your family physician or chiropractor. Don’t wait.

Cost of Medical Treatment

My old distant uncle, who migrated to the states of Ohio two decades ago, came to India for heart surgery. On questioning, he informed that the infrastructure of the hospital with the best in the United States. But the number of patients in cardiac surgery, dental surgery, breast surgery, cosmetic surgery is increasing at the rate of addition, many patients are waiting. There is no waiting list of patients for treatment and surgery in India in the international hospitals like faculties available in India with cost of medical by about 20%.

The U.S. spends more on treatments and medicines that India spends 1.16 billion people and comparative cost of health care continues to rise. Review of records indicates a medical treatment that the United States spends more than two billion dollars is a major percent of gross domestic product.

In India, medical insurance has not yet developed. Government has its hospital for treatment at a nominal cost of all its inhabitants. Various medical treatments and essential medicines are widely available and at a nominal price compared to the United States. Medical procedure used in the United States is not applicable in India. Many people do not consult doctors and buy drugs known to medicine stores. Many people in rural India continue to believe in the medical treatment system with herbal medicines, yoga, meditation and many others that are less expensive. There is no problem for medical care for many seniors because they are supported by the joint family system. Medical practice is not great profession in India. People who seek money in the medical profession and the pharmaceutical industry continue to migrate to developed countries, including the United States.

Activity of medical and pharmaceutical industry directly affects households States and revenue from taxpayers. Most people of U.S get their health insurance from their employer. Not everyone, however. Major trading houses provide medical treatment. But most Americans have health insurance to their level or remain without medical insurance.

The main reason for the high cost of medical and pharmaceutical industry in the United States is the most medical services, infrastructure, technology and medicine is more expensive than in India. The cumbersome procedures for medical treatment such as scanners, MRI for common ailments give more gain for the pharmaceutical industry at the expense of his people.

Some say that U.S industry spends more on medical treatment and medicines for its employees and the marketing of its products that expenditure on the production of its product. The level of media activity in the medical industry continues to influence the minds of common people and hide the reality of profit margins inflated by the press, media and advertising on television..

Here is the basic reason – that the people of the United States to visit India for medical treatment, particularly cosmic and plastic surgery for the same quality available in India at a much cheaper price.

1. The same medical treatment, medicines and services that are available in India for the same surgeries and medical treatments for various diseases is higher in the United States.

2. The infrastructure costs of medical insurance systems of the United States, which adds to the cost of medical treatment, medicines and services.

3. Superior equipment of high technology and procedures for common diseases that adds to the cost of medical treatment, medication and surgery available in India;

4 In India, medical treatment, medicines and medical industry is considered essential and social services that are expected to follow the various controls and the moral advantage. In the United States., The medical and pharmaceutical industry is seen as a company and its profit margins are unchecked.

5. In India, many medicines are commonly used which are ten times cheaper than the same drugs sold in the names of houses patent large pharmaceutical and medical equipment who believe in religion of wealth and nothing else.

People of the United States are victims of inflated margins of its own goods and inflated medical insurance industry and not any competition in India. Pharmaceutical industry in India faces audit costs and costs of expert control room, why it can not be applied to the pharmaceutical industry in the U.S.

United States are now parties to the treaties of human rights which deals with rights related to health. This includes the right to health and other rights concerning the conditions necessary for health. American people should raise voice against abnormally high margins of its pharmaceutical industry and medical facilities in hospitals.

Medical Treatment Refusing

Can a rational person possibly refuse treatment?
Until very recently, it was assumed that there was something wrong with people who refused medical treatment.* It was believed that some irrational fear, incorrect judgment, or suicidal tendency was interfering with the patient’s reaching the conclusion that treatment was the only viable option. Only now has the medical profession become more open to the idea that refusing conventional medical treatment may be a reasoned and informed choice made by someone in full possession of his or her faculties. For example, although in the 1970’s this concept was addressed in the model patient’s bill of rights and implied in the principles of informed consent, it was in 1990 that the Association of American Physicians & Surgeons adopted a list of freedoms that should be guaranteed to all patients that included the freedom to refuse medical treatment even if it is recommended by their physician.

Understandably, doctors find it hard to take when their treatment paradigm is challenged. Often, they are very troubled by the patient’s decision and will keep trying to get them to change their mind; others will be concerned to cover themselves in case the patient or the family later decides to sue for inadequate care.

Refuseniks are not a small fringe group
Treatment refusers (sometimes referred to as “refuseniks”) are often at the beginning of their illness, and the interventions they refuse are considered “active” in that they are intended to cure or control the illness, rather than “palliative” i.e., intended to just comfort the patient. While Christian Scientists relying on prayer or Jehovah’s Witnesses refusing blood transfusions are the ones that make the headlines, most people who refuse treatment are not doing so for religious reasons or out of a deep mistrust of modern medicine. In fact, many patients will accept part of a doctor’s recommendation – surgery to remove a tumor, for example – only to reject follow up therapy such as chemotherapy or radiation.

The cost/benefit analysis
These patients are doing a kind of cost/benefit analysis. For example, in the case of chemotherapy drugs, they cite that unlike most drugs, which provide the high possibility of benefit with the possibility of harm, many anticancer drugs, provide near certainty of harm with only a possibility of benefits. The therapies might prolong life — but for how long? And at what cost? There have been no studies — since withholding treatment from a control group would be unethical — but one survey comparing almost 800 patients who refused all conventional cancer treatment with those who accepted treatment found that refusal shortened the median length of survival by nine months. The survey was extremely broad: subjects suffered from 30 kinds of cancer at varying stages of the disease, and survival ranged from two months to more than six years. But the point is that sometimes treatment buys you a lot of time, and sometimes it doesn’t.

Older patients more likely to refuse treatment
It follows, therefore, and is borne out by the statistics, that older patients refuse treatment more often than younger patients. Often, they feel that they have lived their life, or that the chance of a bit more time alive does not justify the consequences involved in undergoing treatment. In one survey of women with breast cancer, 7% of women 65 or older refused treatment, compared with 3% of women under 65. Older men with prostate cancer often postpone surgery out of concern about adverse effects such as incontinence and impotence, and in fact such watchful waiting and monitoring PSA levels are sometimes a doctor-approved option. Usually, however, a patient is not given enough information nor time to deliberate, a complaint that is often cited by supporters of complementary and alternative medicine.

A value judgment
Generally speaking, refuseniks are intelligent, articulate and fully aware of the possible consequences of their decisions. They don’t use medical evidence as the only — or even the main — factor in their decision-making, although they report collecting lots of research about proposed treatments. Instead, they make choices based on their values, like the belief that the meaning of life is greatly diminished when the ability to live it normally is compromised. They don’t want to live as long as possible if that means a loss of bodily integrity and personal independence. Sometimes they rely on the personal experiences of friends who underwent similar treatments. They believe in the benevolence of the doctor’s intentions and often in the doctor’s skill as well, but in the end, they choose a route that they think will give them a better sense of control, quality of life and dignity.

More options needed
With this new view of refuseniks, the challenge for the medical profession is to provide broader choices, better options, and alternative treatments for those who choose to avoid conventional medical treatment.

Medical Tourism Information

An increasing number of people are looking abroad for medical treatment. This is understandable as the cost of private treatment in most western countries is skyrocketing. This means that many people are forced to do without those treatments that are considered non-essential. If they live in a country that offers free healthcare they can be faced with long waiting lists. It is little wonder then that medical tourism has become so popular. People now realize that it is possible to travel abroad and have the treatments they require completed at a fraction of the cost they would pay at home.

Good Reasons to Choose Medical Treatment Abroad
The internet has been a great boom when it comes to providing people with information, and it is probably this that has been most responsible for the rise in medical tourism. The public are now aware that they have these options and many are choosing to take advantage of this. There are plenty of good reasons for why people might want to choose medical treatment abroad including:

• It is usually possible to find foreign healthcare providers who will be able to provide needed treatments at a fraction of what they would cost at home.

• It is possible for people to receive their treatment in luxuries and high quality facilities that they would never be able to afford at home. Some of these foreign hospitals are more like 5 star hotels.

• Some parts of the world have hospitals that specialize in certain procedures in treatments. This means that traveling abroad can mean receiving the best possible care.

• It is becoming fairly common for people to travel to exotic locations for their medical care. This means that they can recuperate in some wonderful environments.

Plastic Surgery Abroad
One of the most common reasons for medical tourism is to have plastic surgery. This is often a type of elective surgery (non emergency treatments) so people will often be expected to pay for it. Those who choose to have plastic surgery abroad can get the work they needed done by competent surgeons for less than they could expect to pay in their home country. Plastic surgery has been increasing popular in the 21st century, According to statistics released by the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) in April 2011, the demand for plastic surgery procedures increased by 9% in 2010 alone, and has grown by 155% since 1997.

Medical Tourism Information Portal
One of the problems that people have when it comes to understanding their options as a medical tourist is that there are so many options. Those who use the web to dig out the information they need to make a good decision can be faced with a huge challenge – there are just so many websites offering advice and it is often conflicting. This difficult can be overcome by using a medical tourism information portal. This is where all the information you need is collected in one place and is easy to search. This can significantly reduce the amount of time needed to research medical tourism options. It also helps ensure that people make the right choice for them. Choosing to go abroad for medical treatment can be an empowering step but only if people do so with their eyes open.

Comprehensive Medical Tourism

A lot of people still do not fully understand or know what medical tourism is really all about. Before you go on a trip abroad or decide to go for the cheaper health care rates in other countries, you have to be well-informed about your procedure first and the coverage of your treatment and care. This will significantly minimize the risks and the chances of falling prey to dishonest individuals. You should also know more about the right agencies.

What is Medical Tourism?

Medical tourism describes the process of traveling to other countries to avail of medical, cosmetic or dental care. There are several reasons why people choose to move to other countries to get treated, such as the high cost of getting treatment in first world countries, the long waiting lists before you get treatment, the ease and convenience of modern travel, the added benefit of getting a vacation as you recover, the higher standards of care and modern technology availability in developing nations.

Should I Talk to My Doctor?

Yes. It is vital that you consult your local primary physician first and discuss the details and reasons of why you need to seek medical attention elsewhere. Your primary physician can make a diagnosis and have it validated by the one doing the procedure abroad. It might also be possible for your doctor to give you a list of choices regarding the best countries and medical places to go to. Your local doctor may also be sceptical about the idea, but you can help by providing the right documentation and other evidence that you are only seeking help from internationally accredited hospitals and well-experienced doctors.

Why is health care very expensive in first world countries?

Mainly, the fees in the United States and other big countries are influenced greatly by insurance contracts, administrative fees and labor overhead. The WHO or World Health Organization indicates that labor overhead in the United States is significantly greater compared to third world countries. About 70% of the cost is labor related. Patients who travel abroad can expect to pay only 10% to 40% of the cost they are charged in the States.

What kind of treatments can I receive?

Medical tourism now includes virtually any type of treatment, provided that the institution or hospital has adequate facilities, equipment and staff to supervise and conduct the treatment. Some of the most common procedures done to medical tourists include cosmetic surgery, dental work, eye surgery, heart surgery and organ transplant. Other procedures done include weight reduction surgery, physical therapy, alternative medicine, herbal medicine, psychotherapy, orthopaedics and cancer treatment.

What are the best countries to visit?

There are now around 50 countries all over the globe offering quality medical treatment and world class accommodations. The most popular include Thailand, Hong Kong, Israel, Singapore, New Zealand and Germany. These countries are among the best because they boast of state-of-the-art equipment and facilities, accreditation with the biggest agencies and English-speaking and well-trained staff. There are also several sights, sounds and attractions that lure medical tourists to add to their vacation.

Medical Diagnosis Necessary

With my personalised treatment approach to treating low back pain and sciatica, i am a great believer in not getting too carried away with any specific medical diagnosis you may already have been given (if I may just hasten to add, that is not to say you should not go to see a health professional to have the low back pain or sciatica you are suffering with assessed, as this is important, especially if your signs and symptoms are getting no better). The reason I say this is because any medical diagnosis you are given may not actually be the cause of the low back pain or sciatica you are suffering with, as more often than not it may be just a normal sign of the ageing process we all go through as we, well… get older!

If I ever treat someone who tells me they have been given such a diagnosis, I often tell them (after I have carried out a full assessment obviously to make sure there is nothing else going on which may indicate further medical attention/investigations) to more or less ignore the diagnosis. The reason I say this, is because it is more than likely there are plenty of people walking around who would be given a similar diagnosis were that to have the appropriate investigations, yet they will be suffering with no low back pain or sciatica whatsoever. The most important diagnosis we need to concentrate on is what I refer to as the ‘functional diagnosis’ i.e. the diagnosis given after taking the history of the problem, listening to the individuals typical daily activities and assessing how they move and checking for any muscle imbalance which may be present.

A few classic examples of medical diagnosis which can be a bit mis-leading are:

Facet Joint degeneration (wear and tear of the joints in your back)

Degenerative disc disease (wear and tear of the discs in your back)

Facet Joint Arthropathy (basically, there is something wrong with the facet joints, normally wear and tear!)

Herniated Disc (this means there is a disc bulge present, and while this is not necessarily a sign of ageing/wear & tear, it is something that many people walking around with no pain at all would be diagnosed with were they to have the appropriate investigations)

Ideopathic Low Back Pain (it is not known why you are suffering with Low Back Pain. This could just as readily be called ‘I do not know low back pain’)

Lumbar Spondylosis (medical jargon for changes which are taking place, typically as a result of… wear and tear)

I am sure you can see where I am going with this, these diagnostic terms describe ‘problems’ identified following further investigations, such as an X-ray or MRI scan, which may well be picked up if someone who is suffering with no low back pain or sciatica at all were to undergo the same investigations!

When I explain this to a patient, it is sometimes met with a degree of scepticism. I fully understand this as I can relate to someone thinking that if, for example, an MRI scan shows they have a Herniated Disc and they are in pain, then it is thought that this must be the cause of their pain. However it is not always the case and can be a red herring. Mind you, I may not be so understanding when a fellow health professional believes that just because an X-ray or MRI scan picks up something, that this is definitely the cause of the pain.

Medical Resources

Information resources are very important in the medical field. And more importantly, it is important that such information is disseminated to the public. When there are new technological breakthroughs, these are important information worth giving notice to the public. This is disseminated in leading newspapers, posted in public libraries, hospitals and clinics, and even in medical schools.

There is also a wealth of the latest and most up-to-date medical information is available online from various sources. Government agencies, related charity organizations, research universities and colleges, professional associations and even key players in the pharmaceutical industry publish and make available useful information online. Generally, the information is classified into two broad categories: for professionals and for the general public.

Information for professionals seeks to share new techniques and/or recent innovations to help improve practice. Usually, quick tips and information tidbits are freely accessible. Most of these resources sites also point to further sources in localized areas so that if the professional requires more information, they could readily obtain it from an accredited source nearest them.

In other cases, the sources also point information seekers to seminars and fellowships to expand their knowledge and training in specific fields or for specific techniques.

For the general public, information falls on a wide range. A basic set of FAQs or frequently asked questions about the organization sponsoring the website is common to convey credibility. These FAQs also clarify the types of information available on that particular source website and the purpose it seeks to achieve.

Most also contain basic information about the particular disease or condition that the information covers. Some extensive sources include encyclopedic discussions of many diseases or conditions from what-is, diagnosis, prognosis, care and treatment. Most sites include support group information as well.

Another important feature of online information resources for the general public is the contact information. You’d find a contact page on almost every website. However on medical resources site, the contact page is not just for contacting the sponsors of the websites, it also usually points you to other useful contact information. Pages tagged as “Help Near You” would point to tie-ups with local organizations you can get in touch with for more information or professional help.

Contact information for relevant government agencies and offices are also usually included in contact pages. Support groups are also linked with various organizations and their contact information are also readily available. Public information resources would also include authoritative and interactive Q&A type blogs that allow professionals to interact with users.

Another common feature of medical resources websites would be mailing lists or subscriptions to online publications. Whether for professionals or for the general public, newsletters, and magazines are excellent tools for inexpensive, large-scale information dissemination campaigns.

Medical resources information websites are available on every medical subject of interest. Most government agencies involved in public health in various countries contain a directory or listing of relevant information sources. Your search could start from there.There are many lives being changed with this medical resources and information. It is as vital as anyone can imagine it to be.

Online Medical Diagnosis

Everybody knows that there are numerous places on the internet where you can go to type in your symptoms and you’ll get a magical online medical diagnosis. These sites do have a wealth of information on them, but one must remember that some illnesses carry the same symptoms. Diseases that can kill you may have the same symptoms of influenza. That is exactly why relying on online resources solely to find out what illness you have is unsafe and could be hazardous to your health.

Going to the doctor may be expensive and sometimes extremely frustrating so it is no wonder why people are turning to online medical diagnosis. It really is a dangerous trend and should be stopped immediately. The best way to remedy the situation at hand is to gain some type of medical coverage. The best option is going to be private health insurance. With private care the lines are shorter and some say that the doctors are much better at what they do.

When it comes to your health there is no reason to be cheap. If you don’t have your health then how can you enjoy any of the other things in life? It really is vital to your overall happiness. It really isn’t as expensive as most people think it is. In recent years the prices per month have been driven down by extreme competition. So now there is no reason why you aren’t covered. Start caring about your health or you’ll regret it.

Using Probability in Medical Diagnosis

Experienced clinicians begin the process of making a diagnosis upon first laying eyes on a patient, and probability is one of the main tools they use in this process. A glimpse “behind the scenes” from the point of view of a diagnosing physician might help to explain an otherwise mysterious process.

The diagnostic process can begin even before laying eyes on the patient. As an exercise (and to prove a point) I ask medical students who are with me in the office to diagnose the patient we haven’t seen yet who is still in the waiting room. Of course, they look at me like I’m crazy. But I tell them that we already know a lot about the patient and can make some educated guesses. For example, we might already know that the patient is a 34-year-old woman referred by a family doctor because of headaches.

So what have other women in their thirties referred to me for headaches ended up having as their diagnosis? In my neurology practice, as well as in those of most other headache specialists, about a third (33%) have migraine, another third have medication-overuse headaches (in which the treatment has become the problem instead of its solution), and the remaining third fall into an “everything else” category that includes tension-type headaches, arthritis of the neck or jaw-joints, sinus disease, tumors, etc. So before seeing the patient I’m already able to identify the two most likely diagnoses and assign an initial probability for each.

These starting-point likelihoods are called “anchor” probabilities. During the subsequent history, examination and supplemental testing (if necessary) the anchor probabilities will undergo a series of upward and downward adjustments according to what the patient has to say and what does or does not turn up on her physical examination and testing. The physician individualizes the questions asked and items examined so that the outcome of each query forces one diagnosis to be more likely and another to be less likely. Thus, diagnosis is a dynamic and sequential process.

We invite the woman into the examining room and listen to her story. In the headache example given, one key piece of data is how many days per month she takes an as-needed medication – for example, aspirin, acetaminophen or a prescription drug. If she takes as-needed medicine more days than not and has been doing so for a matter of months, then the initial 33% anchor probability of medication-overuse headaches gets adjusted upward and the initial anchor probability of uncomplicated migraine moves downward. This, of course, is just a single distinguishing feature, and cannot be relied upon to tell the whole story. The physician gathers many such data points to refine the diagnosis.

The physical examination provides another source of facts to distinguish among still-viable possibilities. If my patient has migraine or medication-overuse headaches, she might have tender muscles in her scalp and neck but should not have a blind spot in her visual fields, slurring of her speech or clumsiness on just one side of her body. These findings, if present, would cause the probabilities of migraine and medication overuse headaches to be revised downward. By contrast, the probability of a brain disease – like a tumor, for example – that started with a low anchor probability would get revised upwards.

If a blood test or a scan is ordered, it is again with the idea that the test has been individualized to discriminate between competing diagnoses and re-adjust their relative probabilities.

There is an important principle in medical diagnosis called Bayes’ theorem. In a nutshell, Bayes’ theorem states that the probability of a diagnosis after a new fact is added depends on what its probability was before the new fact was added. Another way of saying this is that the same “yes” answer on history-gathering, reflex result on physical exam or dark spot on an MRI scan has different implications in different people. The meaning of each depends on its context. Yet another implication of Bayes’ theorem is that one can’t skip past the history and examination by ordering a test in isolation and expect it to make an accurate diagnosis. A test is an answer to a question. If there was no question, how could the test be an answer?

Let’s say that at a particular point in time we have completed the diagnostic process for a patient. Then what? By the end of the diagnostic process the doctor might have a diagnosis that is nearly 100% likely, but in other cases, the working diagnosis (number one choice) might still be just 70% or 80% probable, with a number two choice less likely, but still on the radar screen. It might make some patients uncomfortable to realize that the diagnostic process does not lead to 100% certainty in every case, but a doctor wouldn’t be doing a patient any favors by pushing the analysis past the outcome that the available information leads to.

When a diagnosis is not 100% likely at the time of initial evaluation, the patient’s course of symptoms over time provides yet another form of data that can lead to revision of diagnostic probabilities. Fortunately, in cases involving uncertainty, even just narrowing down the list of diagnoses to a small number of concrete alternatives allows the doctor and patient to discuss reasonable options and make sensible choices.