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Common Medical Abbreviations and Terms

Wondering why you can’t read what the doctor wrote on your prescription? Ever see the doctor’s notes in your medical record and found peculiar abbreviations and jargon? Doctors commonly use a variety of abbreviations in order to rapidly and succinctly record information about, and give instructions to, their patients. Below is a listing of many common terms and abbreviations defined so that you can decipher those charts Continue reading


Acne Home Remedies – Baking Soda, Egg Yolk & More

The Top Acne Remedies

There are literally hundreds of acne remedies out there, but as I learned back when I was still suffering from acne, not all of them work — at all.  In fact, a lot of them are utter scams of people just wanting to take your money and give you a cheap product that doesn’t do jack.

That’s why in this article, I will not try and sell a single thing.  I will present to you only the acne remedies that I myself have had the best success with and that can be done with simple products you probably already have in your house.  My goal is not to rip anyone off, unlike so many of the companies out there that made a quick buck off of my misfortune in the past.

However, I am happy to say that I no longer suffer from acne thanks to these remedies — especially one of them in particular.

Baking Soda

This is especially effective for treating blackheads.  Just mix a tiny bit of water with a tiny bit of Arm & Hammer baking soda until it forms a paste.

Prepare your skin by taking a wet, warm wash cloth and dampening your entire face.  Apply this past to your skin, gently massaging it into your pores.  Be sure to cover the entire face with this baking soda paste.

Once applied, let it dry on your face for about 5 to 10 minutes and then rinse off with warm water.  Thoroughly pat your face dry and then you are finished.

This acne remedy has a way of drying out the skin, so be sure to use a non-comedogenic moisturizer after you finish and don’t do this more than once a day.


This is a great technique for flushing the bacteria and oil out of your pores and it is also very healthy for your skin.  Even if you don’t have acne, this will help your skin stay looking young and healthy for a very long time, similar to the way a sauna does.

Fill up a pot about half way and set it to boil on the stove top.  Once it is boiling, turn off the stove and wait for the bubbles to stop.  Carefully take it over to the floor and grab a towel.

Hold your face over the heated water with the towel over your head as to trap the heat in the area around your face.  You’ll feel your pores open up and start sweating out all the icky stuff that normally clogs them, causing acne.

Continue to steam your face for as long as 10 to 20 minutes or until you are no longer sweating.  Immediately go rinse off your face with cold water and a mild cleanser after doing this, to prevent the nasty oily sweat from drying back on your face.

You can do this up to twice a day, if your schedule permits.

Egg Yolk Mask

This egg yolk mask is great for tightening your pores, reducing their appearance and making them harder to clog. It also works to pull the impurities out of the top layer of your skin.

Begin by getting 3 or 4 eggs and a small bowl and spoon. Proceed to breaking the eggs and carefully extracting the white of the egg down the drain of your sink, without losing the yolk. This takes a little practice, but you’ll be able to do it just fine given a little time. Once the white is out of the shell, dump the remaining yolk into the bowl. Do this with all three or four eggs and then use the spoon to mix the yolks together into a creamy blend.

Get a white cotton pad, dab a little of the yoke paste on the end of it and apply it to your face. Cover your entire face with the yolk mask and let it sit.

While the yolk is drying onto your face, use plastic wrap to cover the bowl and keep it in your fridge. You’ll be able to use the same yolk mix for up to 2 or 3 days before it starts to lose its quality.

After letting the yolk sit on your face for 10 to 15 minutes, it should start to harden and form a crispy shell. When this happens, head over to your bathroom sink and begin to pull off as much as you can without getting it wet. When you have removed as much as you possibly can with your hands, turn on the faucet and rinse the rest off with warm water. Follow up by washing your face with a mild cleanser.

Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera gel works exceptionally well at taking the redness out of your acne.  While it does not necessarily make the pimple go away, it will reduce swelling and cause your face to appear clearer.  I recommend using it with a combination of the above techniques.

Just get about a quarter-sized amount of the Aloe Vera gel in between your finger tips, rub it together and then massage it into your skin.  Unlike the above acne remedies, you do not need to rinse this off when you are done.  Just let it sit in your skin and take the redness out of it.

You can do this up to twice a day.

3 Day Apple Fast

I saved this for last, because it is by far the best of the acne remedies out there.  However, it also takes the most self control.

That self control is worth it though, considering your acne will be virtually gone in three days, if your case of acne is just mild.  Even if it is severe acne, you’ll hardly have any left at the end of it.

Sure, it takes a lot of self control, but it is completely free and it makes it permanently go away.  You just have to ask yourself how much clear skin is worth to you.  Are you willing to pay the price of sacrifice?

If so, you’ll find that the results are well worth it.  There is not enough room to explain it in this article, so I wrote an entirely separate one for it.  To read how to get rid of acne in three days with an apple fast, click the link below.

weight management

10 Painless Ways to Lose Weight

1. Add, Don’t Subtract

Forget diet denial: Try adding foods to your diet instead of subtracting them. 

Add in healthy goodies you really love, like deep-red cherries, juicy grapes, or crunchy snow peas. Slip those favorite fruits into your bag lunch and breakfast cereal; add the veggies into soups, stews, and sauces.


“Adding in really works, taking away never does,” says registered dietitian David Grotto, RD, LDN, author of 101 Optimal Life Foods, but do remember to keep an eye on overall calories. And don’t forget to add in something physical, too, whether it’s doing a few dance moves before dinner, shooting hoops, or taking a quick stroll.

2. Forget About Working Out

If the word “exercise” inspires you to creative avoidance, then avoid it. Maybe the trick to enjoying a workout may be to never call it working out.

“There’s some truth to that,” Grotto tells WebMD, and once you start your not-calling-it-exercise plan, Grotto says you’ll discover “the way good health feels knocks down the roadblocks that were preventing you from exercising in the first place.”

So burn calories and invigorate muscles by beachcombing, riding bikes, grass skiing, making snow angels, hiking, washing the car, playing Frisbee, chasing the dog around the yard, or even enjoying great sex. After all, a rose by any other name

3. Go Walking

Walking when the weather’s nice is a super-easy way to keep fit, says Diane Virginias, a certified nursing assistant from New York. “I enjoy the seasons,” she says, adding that even when she’s short on time she’ll go out for a few minutes. “Even a five minute walk is a five minute walk.”

No sidewalks in your neighborhood? Try these tips for slipping in more steps:

  • Trade your power mower for a push version.
  • Park your car at the back of the lot.
  • Get out of the office building and enjoy walking meetings.
  • Sweep the drive or rake the leaves instead of using a leaf-blower.
  • Get off the bus a few stops earlier.
  • Hike the mall, being sure to hit all the levels.
  • Take the stairs every chance you get.
  • Sign up for charity walks.
  • Crank the music and get your heart rate up the next time you mop or vacuum.

It all adds up. If you walk twice a day for 10 minutes and try a few of these tips, you may find yourself with a low-impact, 30-minute workout easily tucked under your belt.

4. Lighten the Foods You Already Love

One of the easiest ways to cut back without feeling denied is to switch to lower-calorie versions of the foods you crave. A pizza tastes just as good with reduced-fat cheese, and when you garnish low-fat ice cream with your favorite toppers, who notices those missing calories?

And while you’re trimming fat calories, keep an eye on boosting fiber, suggests registered dietitian Elaine Magee, RD, MPH, author of Tell Me What to Eat If I Suffer From Heart Disease and Food Synergy.

Fiber helps you feel satisfied longer, so while you lighten family favorites, you can easily amp up the fiber by adding a cup of whole wheat flour to your pizza dough, or toss a handful of red bell peppers on the pie.

Don’t forget to lighten the drinks going with that meal. Try switching from high-calorie favorites to diet soda or light beer, or maybe add a spritz of seltzer to your wine.

Hate low-cal drinks? Mix your preferred drinks with a splash of the low-cal option, then increase the ratio as your taste buds adjust. And don’t forget to keep pouring that ultimate beverage, says Magee: water!

5. Because Hydration Helps — Really!

Down some water before a meal and you won’t feel so famished, says David Anthony, an information technology consultant from Atlanta. “Drinking a glass of water before a meal helps me watch what I eat. … I don’t just hog everything, since I’m not so hungry.”

Magee, who also writes the “Healthy Recipe Doctor” blog for WebMD, adds that for the compulsive snacker it’s a great idea to keep no-calorie beverages at hand “as a way to keep your mouth busy and less likely to snack on junk food.”

Going to a party? Grab a low-cal drink in one hand and keep it there. Not only does it make it harder to graze the buffet, but you’ll also be less tempted to sip endless cocktails, too.

Finally, keeping your body refreshed with plenty of water may also help your workout, says Anthony. Staying hydrated means “I can exercise more, and longer, than if I don’t drink water.”

6. Share and Share Alike

With the massive meals served at so many American restaurants, it’s easy to go Dutch — with the dinner plate.

“When we go out, I often share a meal with my wife,” Anthony tells WebMD. “We’ve been known to split a dessert, even a pint of beer. That way, we don’t feel stuffed, and we save some money.”

You can share more than just a meal out. Why not double up on a bicycle built for two? Go halves on the cost of a personal trainer? Maybe split a gym membership?

“When you’re trying to eat better or get more exercise, you can be more successful if you do it with a partner or group,” says Grotto. “The community, the partnership, whether online or in person, it really helps.”

Twice the motivation, without twice the effort — a steal of a deal.

7. Tune In, Tone Up

The American Heart Association knows what we love: television. And they also know we need to get more exercise. So why not combine the two, they ask?

Try dancing to the music when you tune into your favorite music show, or practice some stress-relieving cardio boxing when your least favorite reality contestant is on camera.

During commercials pedal your stationery bike, walk the treadmill, or slip in a little strength training doing bicep curls with cans of your favorite fizzy beverage as weights. Or get inspired to really focus: Put in a high-energy exercise DVD and get motivated by the pros onscreen.

It doesn’t matter exactly what you do, so long as you’re up and active. Aim for at least 15 minutes, says the AHA. But who knows? If you get really engrossed, you just might outlast the last survivor.

8. Size Matters

Eating less without feeling denied is as close as your dinnerware.

That’s because while a small portion served on a large plate can leave you craving more, a smaller plate gives the visual signal that you already have more.

“People go by physical cues,” when they eat, Grotto tells WebMD. We know we’ve had enough because we see the bottom of our bowl or plate. “A smaller plate full of food just feels more satisfying than a large plate with that same amount of food on it.”

And don’t forget smaller bowls, cups, and spoons. For example, try savoring a bowl of ice cream with a baby spoon. Not only does the pleasure last longer, but your body has time to register the food you’ve eaten.

9. Get Involved, or at Least Get to the Table

When your weight loss efforts lead to boredom or too much self-focus, get occupied with something else. “I eat more if I’m bored,” says Virginias, “especially if I’m eating in front of the TV.”

So take a break from the siren-call of the tube, and get occupied with things that have nothing to do with food.

For some, that might mean becoming involved with local politics, discovering yoga, or enjoying painting. Or maybe you want to help a child with a science project, repaint the bedroom, or take a class. The key: Have a life outside of weight loss.

Already busy enough? Then at least eat your meals at the table. “The TV is distracting, and I’m just not conscious of eating,” Virginias tells WebMD. “Once I’m at the table, with a place setting, I’m much more aware of what I’m eating.”

10. Lose It Today, Keep It Off Tomorrow

Finally, be patient. While cultivating that virtue isn’t exactly painless, it may help to know that keeping weight off generally gets easier over time.

That’s the result of a study published in Obesity Research, where researchers found that for people who had lost at least 30 pounds — and kept it off for at least two years — maintaining that weight loss required less effort as time went on.

So if you crave the results reported by successful “losers” like these — improved self-confidence, a boost in mood, and better health — cultivate patience. You may find your way to sweet (and nearly painless) weight loss success.

If 10 tips for painless weight loss (or maintenance) aren’t enough, how about trying some of these ideas from WebMD’s weight loss community members?

  • Eat at the same times every day (including snacks). Sure you can’t do this all the time, but some people find that knowing when to expect their next meal or snack makes them a lot less likely to graze. Our body appreciates rhythms, from seasons to tides, so why not give it what it craves?
  • Make only one meal. Instead of making something high-cal for the family and low-cal for yourself, get everyone on the same healthy-eating page. Weight loss and maintenance is easier when everyone’s eating the same thing — and you’re not tempted to taste someone else’s calorie-dense food.
  • Remember that little things add up.So keep eating a little fruit here, some veggies there, continue grabbing 10 minute walks between meetings. Weight loss is a journey guided by your unique needs, so hook into what works for you — and do it!




Hypertension is increased blood pressure. Two measurements indicate what the blood pressure is. The systolic pressure results from contraction of the left ventricle of the heart, forcing blood into the aorta and out into its branches that form the systemic arterial circulation. The pressure wave of this contraction is measured peripherally. The diastolic pressure results from relaxation of the left ventricle of the heart, and the pressure diminishes to a level sustained by the residual pressure retained by the elasticity of the arteial system.

There can be considerable variation in blood pressure between persons. The average adult blood pressure is around 120/80 mmHg, as measured by a sphygmomanometer with blood pressure cuff around the upper arm while sitting. In general, a sustained diastolic pressure >90 mmHg and a sustained systolic pressure >140 mmHg define hypertension. However, lower is better. Young persons may have a blood pressure of 90/60 mm Hg, and as long as that can be maintained, the better one’s overall health will be. However, sustained increases in blood pressure above 115/75 mm Hg can increase morbidity. (Sacks and Campos, 2010)

The European Society of Hypertension and the European Society of Cardiology (ESH-ESC) guidelines for the management of arterial hypertension define a prehypertensive state in two categories: (1) normal blood pressure with systolic blood pressure of 120 to 129 mm Hg or diastolic blood pressure of 80 to 84 mmHg; and (2) high-normal blood pressure with systolic blood pressure of 130 to 139 mm Hg or diastolic blood pressure of 85 to 89 mm Hg. The Joint National Committee 7 from the USA has combined the normal and high-normal blood pressure categories into a single entity termed ‘prehypertension’. Persons with prehypertension are at increased risk for cardiovascular diseases. (Kokubo and Kamide, 2009)

Hypertension is a silent disease. It is insidious and relentless. The only reliable way to detect hypertension is to regularly check blood pressure. This should be done as part of a physical exam on every adult.

If hypertension is not treated, there will be organ damage to kidneys, heart, and brain which is generally not reversible. Death in persons with hypertension most often occurs from heart failure, chronic renal failure, and stroke. (Law et al, 2009)

Regulation of Blood Pressure

Blood pressure is maintained by the force generated by a pump (the heart), the resistance in the distribution system (the arteries), and the amount of intravascular fluid. Resistance is related to the size of the arterial bed. At the arteriole level, opening and dilating arterioles reduces pressure.

The system requires pressure monitors. The kidney contains mechanisms to control blood pressure. When the glomerular filtration rate (GFR) drops, the stretch receptors in the macula densa signal cells of the juxtaglomerular apparatus to secrete renin.

Renin is converted to angiotensin, which effects vasoconstriction, mainly in peripheral arterioles, which increases peripheral vascular resistance, thereby elevating blood pressure. In addition, renin stimulates release of aldosterone by adrenal cortical cells in the glomerulosa. Aldosterone exerts an effect on the distal renal tubules, causing them to increase sodium reabsorption while secreting potassium. Retention of sodium increases fluid in the vascular system to maintain pressure. (Manrique et al, 2009)

Another factor in blood pressure control is natriuretic factor released from the atria of the heart, which senses filling of blood. Increased volume, and subsequent increased filling, results in release of this factor, which inhibits sodium reabsorption at the distal renal tubule.

Causes for Hypertension

Over 90% of the time, an identifiable cause for hypertension cannot be found. This is known as “primary” or “essential” hypertension. The term “essential” arose from a belief long ago that an increased pressure was essential to maintain blood perfusion through an abnormal arterial system. Autoregulation of blood pressure is based upon vascular changes, and dietary sodium may play a major role in this process. Increased sodium intake leads to increased intravascular fluid volume with resultant increased cardiac output that leads to increased peripheral resistance and an increase in blood pressure. This increased blood pressure then increases renal perfusion pressure that should trigger increased excretion of sodium with water. In essential hypertension the process of sodium excretion is impaired, probably due to multigenic influences. (Sacks and Campos, 2010)

The onset of hypertension is typically in middle age. Some factors that may contribute to primary hypertension include: (Padwal et al, 2008)

  • Genetics: persons whose parents had hypertension are more likely to be hypertensive themselves.
  • Diet: more salt (sodium chloride) in the diet promotes increasing blood pressure.
  • Stress: native peoples of the world are far less likely to develop hypertension than persons living in cities of developed nations.
  • Vascular alteration: over time, hypertension results in thickening of small muscular arteries and arterioles, which makes them less responsive to vasodilators.

Less than 10% of the time, hypertension has an identfiable underlying cause, though this does not necessarily mean that recognition will provide a cure for hypertension. Causes for hypertension may include:

  1. Renal Diseases: just about any renal disease leading potentially to renal failure can result in hypertension. Such diseases can include:
    • Diabetic nephropathy
    • Glomerulonephritis
    • Renal vascular diseases (renal artery stenosis, fibromuscular dysplasia, vasculitis)
    • Dominant polycystic kidney disease
    • Renal cell carcinoma
  2. Endocrine Diseases:
    • Cushing’s syndrome with increased cortisol
    • Pheochromocytoma, with increased catecholamines (tends to be episodic)
    • Aldosterone secreting neoplasm (adrenal cortical adenoma)
  3. Neurogenic Causes: such as increased intracranial pressure (tends to be of sudden onset)
  4. Vascular Diseases:
    • Aortic coarctation
    • Vasculitis (such as polyarteritis nodosa)
    • Fibromuscular dysplasia of renal arteries

Consequences of Hypertension

  1. Renal Disease: the renal vasculature shows changes with hypertension.
    • “Benign” nephrosclerosis: modest elevations in blood pressure over the years result in thickening of small renal arteries and arterioles, known as hyaline arteriolosclerosis. This vascular disease leads to formation of small cortical scars, with reduction in renal size.
    • “Malignant” nephrosclerosis: in a small number of persons with previously mild hypertension, or as the initial event, there is a marked rise in blood pressure. Diastolic pressure may exceed 120 to 150 mmHg. The changes seen in arterioles may include:
  2. Heart Disease: the pressure load placed on the left ventricle results in left ventricular hypertrophy. The heart enlarges and dilates, with hypertrophy more marked than dilation, until the left heart begins to fail, particularly when the heart reaches 500 gm in size. Congestive heart failure and cardiac arrhythmias may result from the failing heart.
  3. CNS Disease: the effect of hypertension on small arteries and arterioles in the brain is to cause thickening and loss of resilience. This hypertensive hyalinization may produce occlusion with resultant small lacunar infarcts, or “lacunes” that appear most commonly in the region of the basal ganglia, internal capsule, thalamus, basis pontis, and hemispheric white matter. This arteriolar sclerosis also results in in vessels that are more prone to rupture. The most common site for rupture is the region of the basal ganglia. Thehypertensive hemorrhage that results from rupture is one of the causes for a “stroke”.

Treatment of Hypertension

Treatment of hypertension depends upon severity and response to interventions. Mild hypertension may respond to lifetyle changes with diet and exercise. Dietary changes include reducing intake of sodium and increasing intake of fruits and vegetables. Weight reduction to a BMI of <25 is beneficial. (Sacks and Campos, 2010)

A reduction in dietary salt intake by 9.5%, which has been achieved in the United Kingdom over the past 5 years, could prevent a million deaths from stroke and myocardial infarction, and reduce health care costs by over 32 billion dollars, among the current U.S. adult population aged 40 to 85 years. (Smith-Spangler et al, 2010)

For milder hypertension with blood pressures above 140 mm Hg systolic and/or 90 mm Hg diastolic, if lifestyle changes are not followed or not effective, then phamacologic therapy can be instituted, One may begin with a single antihypertensive agent. If that doesn’t work, the medication can be continued longer to determine if there is an effect, the dose may be increased, or another agent added. (Chobanian, 2009)

For more severe hypertension with systolic pressures above 160 mm Hg or diastolic above 100 mm Hg, pharmacologic therapy is instituted with two antihypertensive agents. If that doesn’t work, another agent is added. (Frank, 2008)

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