Self Health Care

Articles about alternative ways of treatment and self health care

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What happens when the uninsured go to the emergency room?

The U.S. Census Bureau reports that an increasing number of people are now unable to afford medical insurance. Some 47 million people do not have medical insurance. When they begin to fall sick, there is nothing that can be done if money is short. When it comes to a choice between food on the table and treatment, most people decide to eat. They hope they will get better. When health does not improve, there is no improvement in the choice to be made. If treatment remains unaffordable, they have to wait until their sickness worsens to the point it can be considered an emergency. At this point, people decide to go to the emergency room at their local hospital. Federal law is very clear. Hospitals are under a positive legal obligation to treat everyone who walks in through the door. It does not matter whether the emergency is real, in the sense of a traffic accident inflicting unexpected injury, or to some extent manufactured, where the condition only becomes an emergency because of a deliberate delay. People must be given treatment. The difficulty is that most of the uninsured cannot afford to pay their bills. The hospitals can and do issue invoices for the treatment given and drugs supplied. This is also a part of the law. People have a responsibility to pay for their treatment. But hospitals are realistic about their chances of collecting. Continued pursuit for payment usually results in bankruptcy and the creditors only get a few cents in the dollar. So, hospitals make a rational decision. They spread all the unpaid bills among all those who can pay. In other words, whether you are paying out of your own pocket or you are relying on your own health insurance to pay for your treatment, a percentage of every hospital’s bill is a provision against bad debts from the uninsured. The irony is that everyone who is insured is also insuring all the uninsured for their emergency room visits. If you have been wondering why your own health insurance premiums have been going up so sharply of late, it’s because there is a wave of uninsured people going to the emergency rooms around the country. The health insurers are having to pay more and this additional cost gets passed on in the premiums. Is it going to get any better? No. It’s actually going to get worse. Ever more people are finding health insurance unaffordable. Even with sites like this which allow people to find the cheapest insurance around, many still find the premiums too much. That does not mean you should give up. Using this site will get you offers. Then it’s up to you to negotiate directly with the insurer or its agents to get the best actual premium for the cover. It’s not worth the risk of being uninsured. If at all possible, get some cover.



Sexual athletes of the world face drugs test

I have never been able to make up what I think about people who use drugs to improve their performance in sport. Having suffered from asthma all my life, I have relied on inhalers to keep me going. Since I also play games requiring significant physical exertion, the inhalers let me play. Of course, there’s a difference between letting an average player like me stay in the game and giving a top performer an extra edge over his or her competitors. But the principle is the same. However you look at it, we are both playing at our best level because of the drugs. So let’s take an everyday drug like viagra – that rather notorious little blue pill that gives a man a little performance boost when he needs it most. It seems that top athletes have been using the pill for slightly different performance enhancements. When the drug that was to become viagra was first being tested, it was aimed at dilating the main arteries that carry blood through the lungs. In fact, a version of the drug is now on the market for this purpose under a different brand name. Reading the background history to the drug’s development gave athletes and their trainers an idea. If the supply of blood is improved through the lungs, this improves the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide, and carries more oxygen to the muscles. They guessed this would improve endurance so started using it in training. Now the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has commissioned a high-powered research team to test whether the performance advantage is sufficiently real to justify placing viagra on the list of prohibited substances. Now please don’t get too amused by the apparent irony in banning the use of viagra by top athletes. What will those poor men do if they suffer from erectile dysfunction? What a choice to have to make. Win a gold medal or be a success in bed. Think just how much money a top athlete can earn so long as he is at the top of his game! Millions of dollars are at stake. This is a powerful incentive to use any and every substance to get to, or stay at, the top for longer. So here come the team from Marywood University. They have found some willing volunteers to start taking viagra during training. The results of their experiments will be known next year. While you’re waiting, there’s always sex to enjoy with a little help when you buy Viagra before it’s banned.



How to treat men diagnosed with cardiovascular disease?

Because diagnosis and treatments have been improving steadily over the last decades, more men than ever before are now living longer with cardiovascular disease. In the last century, heart attacks were the most common cause of death by a significant margin. Now with better drugs and lifestyle changes, deaths from cardiovascular disease have been falling. But this does not mean that these men have a satisfactory quality of life. The majority of men are now older, overweight, living in deprived areas and depressed. Many also find themselves affected by Type 2 Diabetes as the weight increases. It’s difficult to prevent this development because, with limited budgets, most men cannot afford healthy food options. Cheap processed food has a high fat content and excess salt. General risks are increased significantly if the men also smoke and neglect to take any physical exercise.

As a routine, men should be encouraged to monitor their waist measurements as a simple means of judging when the risks are rising. Anything over 37 inches for men (and 31.5 inches for women) is in the danger zone and suggests the need to check blood pressure. Once a person is at risk, there should be positive intervention to counsel lifestyle changes, starting with quitting smoking and eating a more healthy diet to reduce the cholesterol levels. However, there is a significant link between cardiovascular disease and erectile dysfunction (ED). It may be a side-effect of the drugs to control the cardiovascular problems, damage to the arterial system or nerve endings, or it may be linked to the depression many experience. The interaction between these factors can produce a vicious cycle. As the ED worsens, depression deepens justifying more powerful drugs that further affect sexual performance.

All men at risk should be asked a direct question, “Are you suffering from ED?” If the answer is, “Yes.” this should trigger a review of the drugs being taken, and the prescription of viagra to begin restoring sexual activity. However, to be effective, men must be convinced that ED is a symptom of cardiovascular disease and be prepared to answer the question honestly. Too many consider such a question to invade their privacy, and either lie or refuse to answer. In its own right, this process is difficult because those who live in poverty and in deprived areas are often not contacted as easily and are reluctant to come into clinics for any type of treatment. It may be necessary for local health providers to physically go into the community to provide health screening and health assessments. This is preventative medicine as it should be practised. The earlier ED is identified as a predictive symptom of cardiovascular disease, the more men may be saved the trauma of a stroke or heart attack. This will require a diversion of funding to community-based medicine and to state funding of medications such as viagra to help treat the ED. But it should save money in the long term.



Age is no barrier

Life is never fair. Even though the majority may avoid some of the worst possibilities, there are always the few who seem to have the worst of luck. Look around the media and it’s impossible to avoid the stories. Sometimes, it’s news of accidents and crimes where we are shown the victims and their suffering. Sometimes it’s the way of collecting charitable donations. Images of young and old are everywhere reminding us that there will always be some who need our help. One of the ways in which we prove we are human is through empathy. By our willingness to put ourselves in the position of others and to imagine what it would feel like to have their problems.

For both men and women, there are hormones and biological drives which guide physical growth and give us an interest in reproduction. Because of the physical gender differences, boys and girls are nurtured to have different functional expectations. Being a man means fertilizing the eggs. Being a woman means having the resulting babies. In later life, should something happen to interfere with reproductive abilities, those affected can at least look back on some life where pleasure and function worked together. But it is emotionally difficult when nature or an accident denies you the chance to experience sexual activity. Although those affected never know what they have missed, there is an underlying sadness and frustration.

For teenage boys, erectile dysfunction (ED) is not a common problem. As a result, there is little research. Most healthcare providers prefer a simplistic and dismissive diagnosis of psychological dysfunction and, where there is medical insurance to cover it, refer those affected for counseling. Such research as there is actually prefers formal assessment of the vascular system. A recent meta-research study examined research carried out between 1998 and 2003, looking for common factors in diagnosis and treatments for teenagers under the age of 19 years. On average the young men had suffered symptoms of ED for an average of two years with the most common causes being perineal and penile trauma, and surgery. Formal vascular examinations were carried out in 60% of all cases and almost half were found to have serious problems justifying further angiographic study or surgery.

In other words, half the teenagers given a formal test were found to have abnormal blood flow as the explanation for their ED. The practice of routine referral for counseling is expensive and ineffective because, in most cases, the usual consequence of recommending viagra will not represent the best treatment. Indeed, because of the expense, most healthcare providers simply write out a prescription for viagra and send the patients away with the reassurance that they will grow out of it, or everything will work out fine when they meet the right woman. At the very least, there should be a detailed survey of medical history to see whether there is evidence of traumatic injury as the trigger for haemodynamic testing. Our young always deserve the best treatment.



Does this site comply with US law?

In October, the US enacted the Ryan Haight Online Pharmacy Consumer Protection Act, named after a young man who died after abusing drugs bought over the internet. Except the law only applies to online pharmacies based inside the US so this site doesn’t have to comply. It can do whatever it wants. That doesn’t sound very good does it? So let’s look at one of the key requirements. Whenever you buy a drug, you want to know that it’s safe to take it. This involves two quite separate issues. Every drug offered for sale in the US, whether branded or generic, has to get FDA approval. Naturally, the FDA looks at all the research and the results of the clinical trials before deciding whether you should be allowed to use it. Be reassured. All the drugs supplied by the online pharmacies through this site are FDA approved. There are risks and benefits when using any drug. Take accutane as an example. This is a very powerful drug used to treat acne. It’s highly effective but the FDA and the manufacturer were worried. Although this drug is “safe” within the usual limits when used by men, it can damage babies in the womb. So it should never be taken by women who are pregnant. To protect women, it was agreed that accutane should only be supplied through the iPledge system. This warning is prominently displayed on the labeling and, in addition, we are highlighting the issue in our posts to this blog. Everyone has your interests at heart. Except that the manufacturer of accutane did not want any other possibly serious side effects to be mentioned on labels. A drug like accutane is in big demand. It offers a real treatment for a condition that causes distress and heartache to millions of teenagers and adults around the world. So anything that would slow down sales is resisted by the manufacturer. The more people talk about side effects, the more consumers might worry and stop buying. It’s always a balancing act. Does a responsible website always give you full details about all the side effects? Well, it should. In fact, you should use this as a test of the honesty of the site. We do not have to comply with US law but we do on this point. For example, there’s a link between accutane and severe inflammatory bowel disease. It affects less than 1% of people who take this drug and people who use the drug as directed by the pharmacist are not significantly at risk. But the manufacturer, which has known of the problem from 1994, tries to keep it a secret. Now ask yourselves who is the more responsible. This site for telling you of a remote risk, or the manufacturer for trying to hide it? Summary The article looks at the new law which requires websites to disclose the side effects of the drugs it sells and, on the issue of patient safety, confirms that all sites should be honest about possible side effects to the drugs offered for sale.