Headache that can cause Blindness
The experience of 60 years old male
He often had to work until midnight because of the time difference of the country where the company was trading with. Headache like the head was squeezed occurred accompanying with nausea. He didn’t take it seriously because the headache got better with over-the-counter headache medicine and the nausea got better if he threw up. A year after the headache started, he had a sty on his eye on the day he was going out for dinner with his friend. When his friend saw his eye, he told him to go see a doctor. His friend happened to be an oculist. As a result of the inspection, he had glaucoma (Though the sty on his eye was not related to glaucoma).
Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases which results in damage to the optic nerve that transmits visual information from the retina to the brain and vision loss. Vision loss from glaucoma, once it has occurred, is permanent.
There are a few types of glaucoma. In his case, it was closed-angle glaucoma which can present gradually or suddenly. The sudden presentation may involve severe eye pain, blurred vision, mid-dilated pupil, redness of the eye, and nausea.
In the eye, there is flow of fluid to deliver nutrition or to control pressure within the eye. Because the exit of the fluid becomes narrow or gets clogged, the pressure within the eye increases. In the worst case, there is a possibility of blindness due to the damage of the optic nerve. After he had treatment, the headache and nausea disappeared.
Why do headache and nausea occur with glaucoma?
It is thought that increased pressure within the eye stimulates the nerves around the eye. The stimulation is transmitted through the trigeminal nerve and the autonomic nerves is stimulated, causing headache and nausea.
Other eye diseases accompanying with headache: optic neuritis, uveitis, Scintillating scotoma (visual migraine)
The experience of 16 years old female
The headache suddenly started when she was an elementary school student and was acute pain like temples were pressed. The headache lasted for 10-20 minutes but stopped if rested. The headache became more frequent and intensive when she was a junior high school student and it disturbed her school life. When she became a high school student, she needed pain medication every time she had the headache. The cause of the headache was discovered at a dentist where she had a part-time job.
The cause was Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD), which causes pain in the muscles that move the jaw or restricted movement of the jaw such as the difficulty of opening the mouth wide. It is thought to be caused by arthritis, clenching or grinding the teeth or stress, but the exact cause is difficult to determine. Females between 20 and 40 are affected more.
In her case, it is thought that malocclusion of the teeth put a burden on the muscles from the jaw to the head, which was connected to the trigeminal nerves, resulting in the intensive headache.
TMJ disorder can lead to pain and numbness in the shoulder, hands and feet or the whole body, or sometimes causes depression if proper treatment is not provided.
Dangerous headache if ignored
Dangerous headache experienced by 48 years old male
It started with itchiness around the left eye and the itchiness spread to the forehead. 4 days later, headache occurred on his left head. 7 days after the first itchiness, it worsened and became severe squeezed pain in his left head. He went see a doctor and was diagnosed as meningitis.
Meningitis is an acute inflammation of the protective membranes covering the brain and spinal cord, caused by infection with virus, bacteria or other microorganisms. If the proper treatment is delayed, it can become serious condition, resulting in aftereffects such as a long-term dementia.
Shingles that is caused by a herpes virus causing chickenpox as well is characterized by a painful skin rash with blisters.
Why does shingles cause meningitis?
A herpes virus causing chickenpox doesn’t disappear even after chickenpox gets better. It remains in the deep part of nerves and lives in a dormant state even if the person becomes an adult. A few decades later when the person’s immune system is weak, the dormant herpes virus is active again and causes rashes and blisters of a belt-like pattern. Shingles mostly occur at the age of 50-70s which the immune system becomes weaker. The symptoms of shingles usually appear on the skin, but sometimes the virus is activated deep inside nerves and spreads along the nerves, causing inflammation in the body. In that case, it is difficult to diagnose as shingles, leading to the delay of the detection. Lack of characteristic symptoms delays the detection of shingles, resulting in meningitis.
The trigeminal nerve is a nerve responsible for sensation in the face and motor functions such as biting and chewing, which is the largest nerve in the brain and around the face. When the trigeminal nerve is damaged by a herpes virus, strong headache occurs, but the lack of characteristic symptoms appearing with shingles delays the detection, sometimes resulting in meningitis or resulting in facial neuralgia which is very painful or facial paralysis. In the worst case, it results in encephalitis which is an acute inflammation of the brain.
Watercress Can Prevent Cancer
Watercress is a member of the family Brassicaceae. These vegetables contain Isothiocyanate which is a nutrition having anti-oxidant action.
Isothiocyante is a kind of pungent component and when it goes into the body, a lot of anti-oxidant substance started to be produced by the action of Isothiocyanate. The increased anti-oxidant substance detoxicates harmful active oxygen in the cells. As a result, occurrence of cancer is suppressed.
According to a report of International Agency for Research on Cancer, “Consumption of cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, watercress and Brussels sprouts, was shown to be associated with decreased risks for cancer.”
Watercress contains more Isothiocyanate than other Brassicaceae families.
(Watercress: 81.3 µmol/100 g, Broccoli 38.6, Cabbage 27.5, Cauliflower 11.6)
However, it is not clear yet how much watercress we should eat a day.
6 watercress farms’ people who were eating a lot of watercress every day had blood test.
The amount of anti-oxidant substance in blood was measured.
4 out of 6 people had more than average of anti-oxidant power at their ages.
A Food Prevents Arteriosclerosis
Blood vessels become easy to be damaged with age.
LDL cholesterol invades blood vessels from the damaged place and forms plaque which is a mass of fat.
The wall of the blood vessel becomes thicker and becomes easy to be broken any time soon.
This is hardening of the arteries (arteriosclerosis).
Blood vessels are sometimes filled with cholesterol as shown in Fig. 1
One of the major causes of hardening of the arteries is LDL cholesterol.
What increases LDL cholesterol is irregular diet, lack of exercise, etc.
A lot of people have lost their lives due to heart and brain diseases caused by hardening of the arteries.
A food decreases LDL cholesterol
The biggest cause of vascular diseases such as stroke or heart attack is hardening of the arteries.
According to a report of United States Department of Agriculture in 2004, age of 30-50 whose cholesterol is higher than normal ate the food for 5 weeks and their LDL cholesterol decreased by 13.8-17.4%.
According to a research of University of Minnesota in 2007, 155 people whose cholesterol is higher than normal ate the food for 6 weeks and their LDL cholesterol decreased by 9-15 %.
The food which decreases LDL cholesterol and prevents hardening of the arteries is Barley.
Barley beta-glucan which is a type of dietary fiber and is contained a lot in barley has the function to excrete bile acid made of cholesterol from the body. When barley beta-glucan which is water soluble dietary fiber comes to the intestines, it dissolves in water, transforms into gel holding water, envelopes bile acid in the intestines and excrete it from the body with stools. Liver collects cholesterol from the blood to supplement the shortage of bile acid. As a result, LDL cholesterol in the blood decreases, leading to the prevention of hardening of the arteries.
Does drinking beer or barley tea get the same effect?
No, because beta-glucan is filtered out in the production process.
Barley suppresses blood sugar after meals
Barley beta-glucan is mixed with carbohydrate and makes digestion and absorption slow down, resulting in suppressing the sudden elevation of blood sugar after meals.
How much barley a day should we eat to prevent the hardening of the arteries?
According to a report of University of Minnesota, taking 3 g of barley beta-glucan a day decreases LDL cholesterol. That makes 4 cups of 30% barley rice (barley 30% and white rice 70%). It seems too much to eat so it is necessary to include barley in other dishes such as a soup, source of pasta or hamburger.
A 49 years old female’s LDL cholesterol is 151.2 mg/dl (Reference value: less than 140 mg/dl) due to having cookies and other snack while she works and eating slices of bread right before going to bed in addition to dinner. She tried barley meals for 2 weeks. Eating barley dishes made her stop eating while she was working and at midnight. In 2 weeks later, her LDL cholesterol became 121 mg/dl which is within the reference value.
Ginger improves knee pain?
Gingerol which is a pungent ingredient contained in a fresh ginger is effective to suppress the inflammation of the knee.
In 2014 Osteoarthritis Research Society International, it was reported, “Based on the empirical evidence, our data support that oral ginger is able to reduce pain and disability in OA.”
The inflammation of the cartridge of the knee not only worsens the pain but also progresses the wearing of the cartridge.
Ginger suppresses the inflammation, resulting in no pain and also prevents the wearing of the cartridge, resulting in keeping youthful knees.
There is usually some wearing if you are over 60. The conditions of the cartridges of people who put a lot of stress to their knees for years but eat a lot of gingers every day were checked with MRI. As a results, the conditions of their cartridges are mostly normal including a person of 80s.
How much ginger should we eat to prevent and improve Osteoarthritis of the knee?
About 60 g (2.1 oz) of ginger (a piece of ginger) a day is recommended. Ginger paste in tube sold on the market contains about 40 g so 1.5 piece of the tube is about 60 g. It is necessary to eat this much of ginger every day to expect the effect, but it would be difficult.
Dried ginger that ginger is dried in the sun is good to use because 90 % of ginger is water so 6 g of dried ginger is equal to raw ginger.
She was 55 years old. It started with small cough with phlegm. She judged it as a summer cold and took some over counter medicine and didn’t go see a doctor. She was confident about her health because she had been a nurse for 30 years and had just quit it. A week later small cough changed to strong cough. She woke up with strong cough and couldn’t sleep.
She felt something wrong and went to a respiratory specialist and she was diagnosed as Pulmonary Mycobacterium Avium Complex (MAC) infection, which is a disease that Mycobacerium Avium Complex (MAC) goes into lungs by breathing and destroys lungs’ cells, leading to lowering of breathing function. Serious cases cause respiratory failure and in the worst case, it results in death. Recently this disease increases rapidly.
What makes this disease dreadful is that it is impossible to specify the source of infection because MAC lives anywhere in soil and water so it is possible to infect MAC from a place where water is used such as shower or a bathtub and from gardening or playing with dirt. It means that it can happen to anyone at anytime and anywhere. Also once it occurs, it is difficult to cure and sometimes it is necessary to continue treatments throughout their lives. In her case, the symptom subsided after 2 years of medication.
How to distinguish Summer-type Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis and Pulmonary MAC infection from a summer cold
A summer cold is caused by viruses and usually subsides within 7-10 days. If the symptoms such as slight fever, cough or phlegm continue for more than 2 weeks, it is possible that it is no longer a summer cold.
She was 56 years old. It started with small cough. She went to see a doctor and was diagnosed as a summer cold. But one month later, it changed to heavy and strong cough. Also she started to feel difficulty of breathing and shortness of breath so that it became difficult to climb up stairs. Her husband and son started coughing as well. But their condition started getting better soon, but her condition got worse. There were differences about the condition among family members.
Then she went to a respiratory specialist and was diagnosed as Summer-type Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis, which is a type of pneumonitis that occurs as an allergic reaction caused by breathing in a substance of 1/300 mm increasing in summer. If the inflammation is repeated and it becomes chronic pneumonitis, the cells in lungs are gradually destroyed, resulting in disabling you for taking in oxygen. In the worst case, respiratory failure leads to death. Even if death is avoided, the destroyed cells in lungs won’t be recovered so you will possibly need ventilator throughout your life.
The substance causing Summer-type Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis is something possible to appear in all houses in the coming season. That is Trichosporon which is a type of molds, and likes dampness and increases somewhere woods are used. In the case of the above woman, the floor of the bathroom rotted because a water pipe under the floor was leaking. Since the color of trichosporon is white or yellow so it is not noticeable, it increases at places where water is used such as a bathroom or a kitchen and also increases in a bed absorbing sweat.
In the case of the above family, all three of them had Summer-type Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis. Her husband and son had mild symptoms because they went out for work and were not at home for a long time, but she had severe symptoms because she stayed home for a long time. After the renovation of the bathroom, her condition was improved.
GGT (Gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase) is used as a diagnostic marker for liver disease, but even if GGT is within the reference range, it is possible to have serious liver disease.
The disease is NASH (Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis).
NASH is the most extreme form of Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
Most people have few or no symptoms except fatigue, malaise or low appetite so when it is found, there is a progressed case.
5-20% of people who were diagnosed as NASH will have cirrhosis within 5 to 10 years and in 5 years, at most, 15% of people who had cirrhosis will have liver cancer.
The cause of NASH is fatty liver which is the condition that a lot of fat is accumulated in liver.
There are two main causes of fatty liver disease.
1. Drinking too much alcohol. Liver puts priority on the metabolism of alcohol which is high in toxicity, postponing the metabolism of fat. As a result, the postponed fat is stored in liver.
2. Obesity caused by lack of exercise and disordered eating habit.
If your weight is gained by 20 kg (45 lbs.) compared to the weight of when you were age of 20s, you should have visceral fat in addition to fat around your body and it is no wonder that you have fat in your liver.
Foods good for liver
Natto: high protein and low fat
Squid and octopus: a lot of taurine which encourages reproduce of liver cells
Edamame: contains inositol which suppresses liver’s fat synthesis so prevents the progression of fatty liver. Also it contains vitamin and mineral a lot.
Adlay (Job’s tear): strengthens the function of liver’s detoxification and cleanses the skin.
Paprika: contains β-carotene which has the function of strong anti-oxidation and prevents fibrosis of liver becoming vitamin A in our body, leading to prevention of cirrhosis.
This Blog is for a memo of my clinical realizations, information about health I have learned recently and update information.