Out first video!

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Tranquility Health and Beauty was invited by Camelot International in Durban, South Africa, to speak to their first year students about the challenges and rewards of starting their own salon.

What a fun experience! To check out the video click the link below.

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Are you anemic?

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Anemia

Do you experience the following?

  • Tiredness
  • Weakness
  • Pallour (paleness)
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fainting
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Restless legs
  • Jaundice (heamolytic anemia)
  • Bone deformities
  • Leg ulcers (sickle cell anemia)
  • Pica (non food cravings – eg. ice)

In this case, you may be anemic, which is diagnosed by a blood count and identifying the shape and size of red blood cells.

Types of anemia:

An iron deficiency – This is caused by a decreased absorption of iron, a loss of iron from the body (usually though bleeding) or an increased iron requirement. Mal-absorption or poor nutrition may result in less iron being absorbed. Premature babies often have very low iron levels. Heavy menstrual bleeding, pregnancy or gastrointestinal diseases may also deplete iron storage.

This type of anemia manifests as depressed moods, mental lethargy, poor attention-span and apathy and is quite common in women and vegetarians/vegans.

Treatment:

Increase intake of foods high in iron such as green leafy vegetables use iron supplements.

Pernicious anemia:

This is the result of the inadequate absorption of vitamin B12. This is caused by an absence of intrinsic factor (a chemical secreted by the stomach lining which assists with the absorption in vitamin B12). This may be a result of an auto-immune disease whereby the body is attacking the cells that secrete intrinsic factor. This anemia can also occur after a stomach operation.

Treatment:

This anemia cannot be cured. Vitamin B12 injections for the rest of the patient’s life are required.

Aplastic anemia:

This is caused by a decreased bone marrow production of red blood cells, platelets and white blood cells, which can result in abnormal bleeding. This type of anemia is normally caused by drugs such as immune suppressants and anti-cancer medication. It can also be caused by an autoimmune disease or severe illness.

Treatment includes isolation, blood transfusions and bone marrow transplants.

Haemolytic anemia:

This is caused by haemolysis (the premature destruction of red blood cells). Cells are destroyed because of abnormalities (sickle cell illnesses, blood transfusions) or because the body is attacking them (the auto-immune system ) and the bone marrow cannot produce enough red blood cells to compensate. Symptoms include jaundice and spleomegaly (enlargement of the spleen).

Source: Camelot international pathophysiology manual (2013)

Chest pains? It could be something more serious

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Chest pain

In some cases chest pain can be due to angina pectoris or angina, and is due to a lack of blood and oxygen supply to the heart muscle – generally as the result of an obstruction or spasm of the coronary atreries. Coronary artery disease in the main cause of angina as it causes an obstruction via artherosclerosis (hardening of an artery). The pain usually lasts for 3-5 minutes. Any chest pain lasting a few seconds is NOT angina.

There is no strong link between the severity of the pain and the amount of oxygen deprivation. Eg. A heart attack can occur without prior pain.

However, worsening angina attacks, the sudden onset of angina at rest, and angina lasting more than 15 minutes are symptoms of unstable angina, which can be a sign of myocardial (heart muscle) infarction (oxygen deprivation) and lead to a heart attack.

Symptoms:

Most persons complain of discomfort rather than pain. The discomfort is described as a pressure, heaviness, tightness, squeezing, burning and choking. Apart from the chest area, anginal pain may be experienced in the abdomen, back, jaw or shoulders and inner left arm. The pain can be accompanied by breathlessness, nausea and sweating.

Causes:

Angina can be triggered by physical exertion or emotional stress. It is also exacerbated by having a full stomach during cold temperatures. Cold temperatures in general, and a blood sugar imbalance, can also be precipitating factors.

Predisposing factors:

Smoking, a diet high in fats, a lack of exercise, excess weight, high blood pressure and diabetes.

Treatment:

This may require lifestyle changes, medication, angioplasty, magnesium supplements, breathing retraining, stress management, acupuncture and exercise.

Source: Camelot international Pathophysiology (2013) pg. 61-62

Everything you need to know about strokes

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Stroke

 

Also known as cerebrovascular accidents, strokes are caused by damage to the arteries which supply oxygenated blood to the brain and are characterised by a sudden loss of neurological function. This loss of neurological function is caused by cerebral infarction (death of the brain tissue). Brain tissue dies when it is deprived of oxygen.

When a stroke damages the motor part of the cerebral cortex often the opposite half of the body becomes paralysed. A stroke in the brain stem results on a coma or death because the vital centres of the body are controlled by this area, such as breathing and blood circulation.

Types of strokes

Cerebral thrombosis: A blood clot forms in one of the carotid arteries and obstructs blood flow to the brain. The clot forms in a section of the artery damaged by artheriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries due to artheromatous plaque).  A clot may also form in the carotid arteries, dislodge and travel to the brain where it cuts off blood supply.

Cerebral haemorrhage: This is less common and is caused by bleeding from a diseased artery in the brain. Bleeding normally occurs at the site of arteriosclesoris (hardening of an artery). The diseased artery may weaken and form an aneurysm which ruptures. Blood then escapes into the brain tissue and the pressure destroys the surrounding brain tissue. This type of stroke is accompanied by a sudden and severe headache and sensitivity to light.

Signs and symptoms

These very according to the part of the brain affected and may occur suddenly or gradually, fluctuating in severity.

Symptoms can include a loss of movement (paralysis), weakness, decreased sensation, numbness, loss of co-ordination, vision problems and difficulty in speaking.

Identifying a stroke

  • Ask the individual to smile – the mouth will be skew.
  • Ask them to speak a simple sentence and check for coherency.
  • Ask them to raise both arms – the affected side will be lower.
  • Ask them to stick out their tongue – it will be off-centre.

 

Managing a stroke

Hospitilisation as soon as possible is crucial. The quicker treatment is received the better will be the outcome. A brain scan is done to rule out bleeding and other lesions and to define the location and extent of injury. If there is bleeding or a clot, surgery is performed.

Thereafter treatment is focused on rehabilitation. Speech therapy, physiotherapy, OT and other therapies are used to re-train the brain to take over lost functions.

Risk factors that can’t be changed

  • Age: The older a person gets the higher risk there is.
  • Sex: Men are more likely to get a stroke but after menopause a woman’s risk rises significantly.
  • Family history: If anyone in your family has had a stroke this increases your risk.
  • Heart attack: Having a heart attack makes one more prone to a stroke.
  • Migraines: If there is a history of migraines then the risk is higher.
  • Sickle cell anemia: People with this condition are at risk from a young age.
  • A prior stroke makes you more at risk.
  • Berry aneurysms: These are small sac-like areas within the wall of an artery with which some people are born. These rupture without cause and cause haemorrhaging.

Risk factors that can be controlled

  • High blood pressure and cholesterol
  • Heart diseases that can be treated with medication.
  • Diabetes type 2
  • Blood clotting disorders.
  • Sleep apnoea. People with this condition are 3 times more at risk for a stroke. It is treated by weight management and devices can be used (CPAP machine).
  • Smoking
  • Alcohol consumption.
  • Smoking combined with birth control pills is a recipe for a stroke.
  • Obesity
  • Lack of exercise
  • Stress

 

Supplements to help prevent strokes:

Alpha lipoic acid, folic acid, calcium, B6, B12, magnesium, Omega 3,6,9, potassium, Vitamin C and E.

 

Sources

Camelot international pathophysiology manual (2013)

Heel pain? It could be plantar fasciitis.

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Heel pain? It could be plantar fasciitis.

The symptom of this type of sprain is pain when waking up and taking your first few steps in the morning. Pain is felt in the arch of the foot, the toes and more commonly in the heel area, and it radiates down the inside of the sole of your foot. Does this sound like something you experience regularly? This condition is called plantar fasciitis (inflammation of the plantar fascia ligament), and is aggravated by activity.

What is the plantar fascia?

It is a fibrous sheath of tissue that runs most of the length of the sole. It is attached to the calcaneus (heel bone) and the metatarsal heads (bones at the base of the toes), forming the longitudinal arch.

Its function is to provide static support of the arch and shock absorption. As you walk or run, the “toe-off” action tightens the ligament and this assists with a pushing force.

The causes of plantar fasciitis

Long-term standing, walking or sporting activities (over-use of the area). In older individuals, the flexibility of the foot becomes limited and the ligament takes strain. It can also be caused by low or high arches, pronation of the feet, inequality of leg length, and tightness of the calf, eoleus muscle or Achillies tendon.

How to test for this condition

Pull your big toe towards your shin – this stretches the ligament and will be extremely painful if you have plantar fasciitis (remember to also check for a fractured heel bone or a bony spur which has similar symptoms).

Treatment

The condition will generally resolve itself within 6-18 months and early recognition will result in shorter treatment times. Being an inflammatory disorder, the cause of the inflammation needs to be found and addressed. Most sporting individuals need rest and strengthening exercises. In the case that the cause is something that cannot be changed (eg. foot abnormalities), a podiatrist needs to be consulted so measures can be taken to address the problem (eg. shoe modifications). Getting new shoes may also bring instant relief.

Stretching and strengthening techniques

  • Stretching the leg muscles is very important, especially the calves. Find a step over which to hang your heels
  • Rolling the heel over a tennis ball is very helpful
  • Rubbing of the ligament is also a great help
  • Toe curls and toe taps and picking up items with the toes will also be of great assistance

Sources

Camelot International sports massage manual (2013)

Fainting

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Fainting

Fainting is also known as syncope, which is a complete or partial loss of consciousness with an interruption of awareness of oneself and one’s surroundings. This loss of consciousness is temporary and there is usually a spontaneous recovery. It is caused by a reduction of blood flow to the brain which causes a shortage of oxygen and leads to lightheadedness or a blackout (loss of consciousness).

Symptoms

Dizziness, clamminess of the skin, dimming of the vision and a weakness in the limbs leading to physical collapse.

Causes

Temporary impairment of blood to the brain can be the result of heart conditions or other causes:

  • Heart related causes: Abnormal heart rhythms (beating too fast or too slow). Abnormalities of the heart valves (aortic or pulmonic valve stenosis). High blood pressure in the arteries supplying the lungs (pulmonary artery hypertension). Tears in the aorta. Widespread disease of the heart muscle (cardiomyopathy).
  • Other causes :
  • Postural (orthostatic) hypotension – drop in blood pressure due to changing body position to vertical after lying or sitting (eg. standing up too quickly)
  • Dehydration -causing a decrease in blood volume
  • Blood pressure medications leading to low blood pressure
  • Diseases of the nerves to the legs (especially in older people, in this case diabetes and Parkinsons plays a role) when the poor condition of the nerves of the legs draws blood into the legs from the brain.
  • High altitude
  • Brain stroke or near stroke (transient ischemic attack)
  • Migraine
  • Some people may also faint during certain events such as giving blood, urinating, defecating, coughing or swallowing excessively.

 

How to stop yourself from fainting once symptoms appear

The blood supply needs to be returned to the brain so the person should be positioned on the ground, on their back, with their legs elevated, or they can sit on the ground with their head between their knees. The dizziness should pass and vision will return. Most feel nauseous, have a sore throat or general shakiness after a faint.

How to prevent fainting

Avoid trigger situations.

  • Get up slowly after sitting or lying down
  • Don’t strain while eliminating
  • Lie down when giving or drawing blood
  • Medication should be reviewed regularly and persons should eat proper meals to prevent a change in blood pressure and sugar
  • In the case of elderly persons who have a history of fainting (normally linked to diabetes), refined sugar must be avoided and they should eat small but frequent meals.

 

Source: Camelot pathophysiology, 2013 manual. Page 34-35.

Coping with ITB

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Coping with ITB injuries

 

An ITB injury is a common cause of pain on the outside of the knee and normally occurs in runners. It is believed to result from constant friction of the ilio-tibial band sliding over the lateral femoral epicondyle (bony prominence) of the femur when the leg moves back and forth.

What is the ilio-tibial band?

It is a continuation of the tendonous portion of the TFL (tensor facia lata) which is a muscle that runs down the outside of the leg that moves the thigh outwards and towards the abdomen. The function of the ITB is to stabilise the knee and help with movement of the thigh and hip. The ITB inserts into the outside of the knee which is where the pain is felt.

 

How the pain starts:

The ITB moves forward as the knee extends and moves back as the knee flexes. Friction occurs when the knee flexes at a 30 degree angle. This continuous friction results in irritation and inflammation.

Causes of ITB injuries

Too much exercise too soon (sudden increased hill training or increased distance.)

Changes in running surfaces.

Unsuitable or old shoes.

Faulty biomachanics of the body eg, excessive pronation of the feet, leg length inequality, weak hip abductors etc.

Running on the camber of the road.

Treatment of ITB injuries

ACUTE: rest, ice, massage and anti-inflammatories.

SUB- ACUTE: Include stretches when inflammation has subsided and later add strengthening exercises.

 

Source:

Camelot international sports massage manual (2013), page 192