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Archive for June, 2008

A Review of Common Gout Medications

Posted in Health & Fitness on June 27th, 2008

There are many different types of gout medications currently available, each with their own benefits and side effects that should be considered before beginning treatment.

Non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID’s) are often prescribed in order to reduce the swelling and alleviate the pain associated with acute gout attacks.  However, medications are also being developed and are currently in use that are taken to prevent attacks from recurring – as well as to reduce symptoms should attacks occur.

Ensure you talk to your doctor about the various medications, and make sure you have the proper tests to determine the level of uric acid in your body (this may involve a fluid sample from the gouty joint or a simple urine test). Without the appropriate tests it’s hard to make the proper decisions regarding choice of medication and progress is difficult to monitor. Also make sure you understand any possible risks and potential side effects prior to beginning treatment.

Two gout medications that are often prescribed for gout patients are Zyloprim® (allopurinol) and Adenuric® (febuxostat).

Allopurinol is taken orally in tablet form.  This medication has been designed for small initial doses, which are then increased gradually in order to control the uric acid levels in the body.  It functions by preventing xantine oxidase from being released by the body, which prevents uric acid formation. As gout attacks are caused by uric acid crystallization buildup in the joints, preventing the formation of uric acid makes allopurinol an effective method of treating and preventing the condition.

When taking allopurinol, patients will usually see their uric acid levels returning to normal within two to four week’s time, and should witness a reduction in their gout attacks.  When taking allopurinol, it’s important to maintain regular doctor’s visits so that uric acid levels in the body can be carefully monitored.

There are some side effects thought that patients should be made aware of prior to treatment. A common reaction to allopurinol includes skin rashes due to allergies.  Rare side effects includes liver inflammation, failure of blood cell production by the bone marrow, blood vessel inflammation and Allopurinol hypersensitivity syndrome.

Febuxostat is also taken orally but only taken once a day and is designed to stop xanthine oxydase formation. With or without food, the typical dose of febuxostat is 80 milligrams.  Though this is typically enough to bring uric acid levels to normal within two weeks, a higher dose of 120 milligrams may be considered if uric acid levels need to be lowered further. Reduction in gout attacks should occur as early as two weeks, but more often at four weeks into the treatment. Side effects reported for febuxostat include headache, diarrhea, nausea and abnormal liver function tests.

Of course, not everybody is comfortable taking gout medications for an extended period of time if they can be offered a more natural alternative.  If you wish to look into alternative treatments to medications, it is a good idea to speak to your doctor about herbal and naturopathic remedies – just as you would discuss any prescription drug that you would consider taking.  You may be surprised to discover that there are as many non-prescription natural ways to fight arthritis gout, as there are prescriptions to perform the same tasks. Have a browse through the rest of the blog, as there are a number of articles covering natural gout remedies.

Grab your free copy of Lisa McDowell’s brand new Gout Newsletter - Overflowing with easy to implement methods to help you find out about gout medications and for information on getting rid of gout naturally please visit Cure Gout Now

Are Aspergers and High Functioning Autism the Same Thing?

Posted in Health & Fitness on June 6th, 2008

One of the most common mistakes made about autism is that Asperger’s Syndrome and high functioning autism are the same thing.  Many parents struggle with this problem because there is so much information out there that uses the two terms interchangeably.  There are many crossover symptoms between Asperger’s Syndrome and high functioning autism which can make it very challenging to tell the difference between the two.  Furthermore, many doctors and scientists differ in their definitions of the two disorders.

High functioning autism is an unofficial designation for people who have autism but whose symptoms are not severe.  High functioning autistic children have an average or above-average intelligence level and will generally maintain an adequate vocabulary.  However their learning comprehension is typically behind other children at the same age.  Furthermore, high functioning autistic children will generally not express much emotional detail in their speech, and struggle with interpreting non-verbal cues.

There is no solid line between the diagnosis of low functioning and high functioning autism.  Though some doctors use an IQ score as an indicator to help with the diagnosis, the function level of autism is not based on IQ alone.  There are also elements of language processing, behavioral elements, and other non-verbal details, which must be considered above and beyond measurable intelligence levels.  Furthermore, standard IQ testing is typically inaccurate for autistic children as the testing itself may involve skills with which an autistic child struggles. 

Whether high or low functioning, autism will typically present in around the age of two years old with a sudden regression or presentation of autistic symptoms.

On the other hand, Asperger’s Syndrome is a separate autism spectrum disorder. Children with Asperger’s Syndrome struggle with social interactions and restrictions, and tend to have intensely narrow interests in subjects and activities.  However, unlike with autism – even high functioning autism – there is no cognitive development or language delay.  Though language may be used atypically and motor skills may be clumsy at times, their development is normal.

Asperger’s Syndrome will typically present in children at about the age of three.  Brain imaging has shown structural and functional differences within certain brain regions among children without autism spectrum disorders, children with Asperger’s Syndrome, and children who are high functioning autistics.

Children with Asperger’s Syndrome often fail to display empathy in their behaviors.  It is social interaction where these children face their deepest challenges.  Many struggle or fail to develop friendships, don’t take pleasure in achievements or spontaneous activities with others, lack in emotional and social reciprocity, and have diminished non-verbal communication behaviors such as facial expressions, postures, eye contact, and overall gestures.

However, children with classic autism (even those who are high functioning), Asperger’s Syndrome children will not typically withdraw from other people.  In fact, even if they are awkward in their method, they will often approach others and begin a discussion.  It is conversation where their struggle may occur, as a discussion for a child with Asperger’s Syndrome may simply consist of a long-winded single-sided speech about something the child truly enjoys, without any need for contribution from the other people present. 

Grab your free copy of Rachel Evans’ brand new Autism Newsletter - Overflowing with easy to implement methods to help you and your family find out about aspergers symptoms and for information on high functioning autism please visit The Essential Guide To Autism