Cardiac Arrhythmias

Many people have abnormal heart rhythms during their lifetime. Healthy people sometimes notice that a beat skips or the heart stumbles. Such extra blows (so-called extrasystoles) are to a certain extent harmless and harmless (especially for young people). But sometimes these stumbling blocks indicate serious heart disease. Here you will find everything about the symptoms, causes, and treatment of cardiac arrhythmias.

Definition

In the case of cardiac arrhythmias, the sequence of heartbeats is disturbed: the heart beats too fast, too slowly or too irregularly. In healthy adults, the heart beats about 60 to 80 times a minute when at rest and without exertion. With excitement, anger, fear, or stress, as well as physical strain, the heartbeat accelerates. On the other hand, it decreases during sleep. These changes are normal and important. In the case of cardiac arrhythmias, this adjustment of the heartbeat does not work properly.

Sinus nodes and AV nodes – clocks for the heart rhythm

The so-called sinus node in the heart indicates how fast and often the heart beats. However, this sinus node is not a palpable or tactile node. Rather, it is an accumulation of specialized heart muscle cells.

The sinus node is the first clock of the heartbeat. It is located in the upper area of ​​the right atrium and generates around 60 to 80 so-called excitations per minute. From there, these electrical impulses reach the AV node via the walls of the atria. This node lies at the transition between the atrium and the ventricle and steps in when the sinus node fails. It is like a downstream (secondary) pacemaker. However, the AV node produces only 40 to 50 excitations per minute. From the AV node, the electrical stimuli pass through specific conduction pathways into the muscles of the heart, which make the heartbeat.

Classification Of Cardiac Arrhythmias

Cardiac arrhythmias are classified according to their place of origin. They can arise in the atrium or the ventricle as well as in the stimulation and conduction system. There are also classifications according to speed and danger, as well as congenital and acquired cardiac arrhythmias. We limit ourselves to the classification of cardiac arrhythmias according to their place of origin.

Cardiac Arrhythmias

Atrial Arrhythmias

Arrhythmias that arise in the atrium of the heart are called supraventricular arrhythmias. As a rule, pathological changes in the sinus or AV node are the cause.

Typical atrial arrhythmias are:

    • Atrial fibrillation (most common significant cardiac arrhythmia. With atrial fibrillation, non-directional electrical excitations run across the atria at an immense speed.
    • Atrial flutter (abnormal heart rhythm in which the auricles beat regularly but very quickly per minute)
    • Conduction disorder from the sinus node to the atrial muscles (sinoatrial block).
    • Heartbeats outside the normal heart rhythm, originating in the atrium (supraventricular extrasystoles).

Cardiac Arrhythmias In The Ventricle

Arrhythmias that arise in the chambers of the heart are called ventricular arrhythmias. Typical cardiac arrhythmias in the ventricle are:

    • Heartbeats outside the normal heart rhythm from the ventricle (ventricular extrasystoles)
    • Rapid, sometimes life-threatening cardiac arrhythmias that originate in the ventricles (ventricular tachycardia)
    • Ventricular flutter (rapid sequence of relatively regular ventricular actions)
    • Ventricular fibrillation (life-threatening and pulseless cardiac arrhythmia with disordered ventricular excitation, whereby the heart muscle no longer beats properly. If left untreated, ventricular fibrillation leads directly to death due to the lack of pumping capacity).

Cardiac Arrhythmias Of The Excitation And Conduction System

    • Malfunction of the sinus node and conduction in the atria (e.g. sick sinus syndrome, sick sinus node syndrome)
    • Delayed or interrupted conduction of excitation at the AV node (AV blockages)
    • rapid and regular heartbeats that begin suddenly and end abruptly (AV node reentry tachycardia)
    • Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome (WPW syndrome, a frequent cardiac arrhythmia in young people that is triggered by an electrical circuit between the auricles and the ventricles.)
    • Ventricular reserve rhythm after failure or blockage of sinus nodes or AV nodes.

Symptoms

A cardiac arrhythmia can also be seen when feeling the pulse wave, for example on the wrist. The pulse can really race, go very slowly or bump irregularly, be hard or flat and weakly palpable, and sometimes it can hardly be felt, if at all. Depending on the severity of the heart damage, shortness of breath, disorientation, dizziness, and temporary speech and vision disorders are possible. Very severe cardiac arrhythmias can lead to loss of consciousness or even death.

An overview of the symptoms of cardiac arrhythmias

    • slow, fast, or stumbling heartbeat (palpitations, palpitations)
    • Stopping the heartbeat (palpable pause in beat)
    • Feeling the heartbeat – sometimes up to the throat (palpitations)
    • Pulse changes (racing, slow, hard, soft, weak, or barely noticeable)
    • Heart pain, chest tightness (angina pectoris)
    • temporary speech and vision disorders
    • Difficulty breathing, disorientation, dizziness, drowsiness, confusion
    • Seizure, collapse, loss of consciousness.

Complications from cardiac arrhythmias

Arrhythmias can lead to dangerous complications. Vascular occlusions (embolisms), heart attacks, strokes, increasing heart failure or sudden cardiac death are particularly feared.

Causes

The cause of an arrhythmia can be in the heart itself or it can be a disease outside the heart. For example, febrile infectious diseases are often accompanied by a heartbeat that is too fast. An underactive thyroid usually causes a slow heartbeat.

Furthermore, electrolyte deficiencies (such as potassium deficiency or calcium deficiency) or an excess of minerals (such as potassium excess) can trigger cardiac arrhythmias of all kinds. For some people, eating 6 bananas is enough to cause cardiac arrhythmias. Because bananas contain a lot of potassium.

There are also congenital disorders of the cardiac excitation or everyday situations that change the heart rhythm (for example excessive alcohol or coffee consumption). Heart diseases that cause irregular heartbeat include:

Other diseases that can cause irregular heartbeat to include:

Hypersensitive carotid sinus in carotid sinus syndrome. The carotid sinus is a receptor on the main artery in the neck that can be irritated by pressure (for example when shaving, by a tight scarf or collar, or when the head is overstretched). As a result, the heartbeat slows down so much that the person affected sometimes passes out.

The following situations can trigger cardiac arrhythmias:

    • Fear, anger, nervousness
    • emotional stress and physical strain
    • excessive consumption of caffeine or teine ​​(coffee, tea, or cola)
    • excessive alcohol consumption
    • Smoke
    • Use of drugs or other poisons
    • Taking medication (e.g. side effects of thyroid hormones or antidepressants).

Examination

The typical complaints and previous or concomitant illnesses point the doctor to the diagnosis of cardiac arrhythmia. To confirm the diagnosis, the doctor will listen to your heart and measure your pulse, followed by a resting electrocardiogram (resting ECG) and, if necessary, a stress ECG. As a rule, these examinations are sufficient to determine cardiac arrhythmias.

Treatment

The doctor decides on an individual basis whether a cardiac arrhythmia needs treatment at all. Sometimes cardiac arrhythmias do not require treatment. Otherwise, the therapy depends on the type and cause of the cardiac arrhythmia. If illnesses are responsible for the disturbed heartbeat sequence, these must first be treated. There are many treatment approaches for cardiac arrhythmias themselves.

Drug Therapy For Cardiac Arrhythmias

Drugs for arrhythmias are called antiarrhythmics. Active ingredients from the following groups are used to treat cardiac arrhythmias with drugs:

    • Class I antiarrhythmics: sodium channel blockers such as ajmaline or quinidine
    • Class II antiarrhythmics: beta-blockers, e.g. bisoprolol, nebivolol, or metoprolol
    • Class III antiarrhythmics: potassium channel blockers, e.g. amiodarone, dronedarone or sotalol
    • Class IV antiarrhythmics: calcium antagonists, such as diltiazem and verapamil.

Other antiarrhythmics are:

    • Adenosine (is often used for the acute therapy of cardiac arrhythmias of the AV node)
    • Digitalis glycosides (strengthen the heart muscles, typical representatives are digoxin and digitoxin)
    • Parasympatholytics (such as atropine and ipratropium bromide)
    • Sympathomimetics (such as adrenaline and noradrenaline)
    • If channel inhibitors (a new group of active substances with the only representative so far ivabradine)

Cardioversion To Restore Normal Heart Rhythm

Cardioversion is designed to restore the heart’s normal sinus rhythm. This rhythmization is mainly used as an emergency treatment for ventricular flutter, ventricular fibrillation, and supraventricular or ventricular tachycardias. Cardioversion can be medicated or electrically (with the help of a defibrillator or cardiac shock). A strong current surge interrupts the electrical activity of the heart. This time-out allows the sinus node to resume its function and then rhythmically pace the heartbeat.

Ablation In Cardiac Arrhythmias

In the case of cardiac arrhythmias such as WPW syndrome, AV node reentry tachycardias, or with certain ventricular tachycardias, high-frequency current ablation can be useful. The starting point of the cardiac arrhythmia or additional conduction pathways (as in the WPW syndrome) is obliterated by electricity via a cardiac catheter.

Pacemaker For Cardiac Arrhythmias

Sometimes a pacemaker (Pacer, Pacemaker) is implanted if the heartbeat is too slow. In the case of life-threatening cardiac arrhythmias, the use of an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) may be necessary to prevent cardiac arrest.

The pacemaker works like a pulse generator. It monitors the heartbeat and gives electrical impulses to the heart if it beats too slowly. The cardioverter-defibrillator is slightly larger than the pacemaker and monitors the heart rhythm. Depending on the rhythm disturbance, electrical impulses are emitted and over-or under-stimulation corrected. If necessary, cardiac shock therapy is carried out: defibrillation.

Both devices are implanted under the collarbone during a minor surgical procedure. Electrodes connect the devices to the heart. If the heartbeat drops too much, the pacemaker steps in. An implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) is used, among other things, for atrial flutter and atrial fibrillation as well as for ventricular fibrillation.

How Does A Corona Test Actually Work?

Who will determine if I need to be tested? Where can I get tested? How does the corona test work? And how meaningful are the results? Under what conditions are testing at all?

For the official test for infection with the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, two conditions must generally be met. On the one hand, there must be symptoms (from a mild cold to signs of pneumonia) that justify the suspicion of an infection. On the other hand, there must have been contact with a verifiably infected person within 14 days of the onset of symptoms.

Tests are also possible in people with previous illnesses (see also risk groups: Who is most at risk from COVID-19?) Or if respiratory problems (and/or fever) worsen. The decision about this is ultimately made by the attending physician.

It is also possible to test who comes into contact, professionally or on a voluntary basis, with people who are at high risk of a serious disease course with COVID-19.

Until recently, the combination of cold symptoms and staying in an official corona risk area was considered a sufficient requirement for the test. Since April 10th, however, the Robert Koch Institute has no longer identified any risk areas due to the worldwide spread of SARS-CoV-2. The RKI recommends that returnees to Germany go into voluntary quarantine for 14 days.

Where can I do a corona test?

Official corona tests are mainly done in hospitals or specially set up test centers. Sometimes doctors in private practice also offer the corona test. Health authorities also carry out the test on-site, especially for the elderly and/or people with restricted mobility.

If you suspect a corona infection, you should not go to the doctor, but first, inquire by phone. Nationwide, you can call the medical on-call service. The employees can best explain to you how the corona test organization is regulated in your place of residence.

How Does A Corona Test Actually Work

What is done with the corona test to detect SARS-CoV-2?

In the corona test for the detection of SARS-CoV-2, a swab is taken from the mouth, nose, and throat with a cotton swab. Occasionally sputum is saved as a sample.

These samples are then examined in a laboratory. In the meantime (April 10th) these samples can also be evaluated in many hospitals.

How are the coronaviruses detected in the smear?

The common corona test is a so-called PCR test. PCR stands for a polymerase chain reaction, i.e. polymerase chain reaction. PCR tests are considered to be the safest method for detecting viruses such as SARS-CoV-2. Polymerases are very specific proteins that are involved in the construction of the genetic code, DNA. The test can detect even the tiniest amounts of the Coronavirus genetic material.

How safe is the result of the corona test procedure?

The test results are not entirely certain. There can be both false positives and false negatives. Therefore, a first positive test is checked by a second test.

False-negative results are usually checked if the symptoms or the circumstances of possible infection (return from severely affected countries, contact with sick people, or high-risk groups) give a cause.

Sometimes samples are taken incorrectly, damaged during transport, or incorrectly processed in the laboratory.

Are corona rapid tests from the Internet recommended?

The corona rapid tests, which are mainly offered on the Internet, are generally not a PCR test for the detection of viral genetic material, but rather tests that are intended to detect antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 in the blood. Reliable antibody tests play a major role in the therapy of corona because they demonstrate immunity to SARS-CoV-2.

For private use, corona antibody rapid tests from the Internet are not a recommended alternative.

The rapid tests available to date are not fully developed and very likely often give false results – false positive as well as a false negative. Such test results are worthless and do not provide any security. In addition, one can assume that by no means do all of the corona rapid tests offered on the Internet come from reputable providers.

How Dangerous Is Covid-19 For Children?

How Dangerous Is Covid-19 For Children?. According to the Robert Koch Institute, corona infections in children are mostly mild or unnoticed. At the same time, however, the experts agree that there is so far too little data to make a scientifically tenable statement about the COVID-19 risk in children. The reason for this is simple: Parents understandably do not bring their children to the doctor or hospital if things go slightly or unnoticed. Therefore, children are rarely tested. The proportion of patients who tested positive has so far been around 2 percent for children and adolescents and 6 percent for young adults up to the age of 20 (see sources, section 2). However, it is not currently possible to say with certainty whether this corresponds to the actual prevalence.

More frequent severe courses in children with previous illnesses

So it is currently not possible to answer with final certainty whether COVID-19 is actually almost always mild in children. But there is much to be said for it. Nevertheless, there are also difficult courses for children. According to the RKI, infants and toddlers are treated as inpatients for COVID-19 more often than other children and adolescents. Children with pre-existing conditions such as cardiovascular diseases or diabetes make up around a quarter of the children admitted to the hospital and half of all children who had to be treated in an intensive care unit because of COVID-19. According to the German Society for Pediatric Infectious Diseases (22), there was only one death associated with COVID-19 in this patient group in Germany until May 18.

Why is COVID-19 often symptom-free or mild in children?

This question cannot be answered at the moment, as the relevant research has not yet been possible. Experts suspect that the child’s immune system, which is not fully developed, enables a broader non-specific defense system than the “ready-made” immune system of adults. Another possibility would be that the child’s cells offer the virus fewer docking options because the corresponding binding sites (receptors) for the virus are not yet developed or are less strongly developed in the child’s cells.

Are children infected more easily than adults?

According to the current state of research, it looks like children are actually less likely to become infected with Sars-CoV-2 than adults. As with many other questions about corona infections, this question cannot currently be answered conclusively.

According to the RKI, studies come to very different results. In the majority of studies, however, the infection rate in children is significantly lower than that of adults. A study from China puts the infection rate in children under 15 years of age at a third of the risk for people between the ages of 15 and 64. The study “Changes in contact patterns shape the dynamics of the COVID-19 outbreak in China” was published by Science at the end of April.

How Dangerous Is Covid-19 For Children

How contagious are children to other children or adults?

The study situation is currently not clear on this question either. Germany’s leading virologist Christian Drosten published an evaluation of the laboratory tests at the Berline Charité at the end of April. According to this, the viral load of infected children is essentially as great as that of adults. Therefore, it could be possible that children are just as contagious as adults, Drosten concludes. At the same time, he admits that the number of children recorded in this analysis is very small. In his podcast, Drosten says “You should actually have ten times as many children, but we don’t have that many”.

Study in Baden-Württemberg: Children are not drivers of infections

The state of Baden-Württemberg had 2,500 children aged up to 10 years and one parent each tested for corona infections and antibodies. The complete results of this investigation by the university hospitals in Heidelberg, Freiburg, and Tübingen are not yet available. According to the state government, however, the interim results show that children are significantly less contagious and infectious than adults. The difference is significant, said Prime Minister Winfried Kretschmann (Greens) during a press conference on May 26th. And further: “We can rule out that children are drivers of the infection process”. These are reliable interim results with a stable trend “.

Professional societies: Children do not play a prominent role in the spread

In their joint statement “Children and adolescents in the COVID-19 pandemic”, 4 medical societies had previously assessed the study situation. They come to the conclusion that the risk of infection in children is significantly lower than that of adults. Accordingly, children do not play a prominent role in the spread of COVID-19. Rather, the infection in the family usually occurs through infected adults.

Do parents need to be concerned about the number of cases of Atypical Kawasaki Syndrome?

In the past few weeks, reports of severe inflammation in children with COVID-19 have created great concern among many parents. Accordingly, especially in the USA, Italy, Spain, France, and Switzerland, a noticeable number of children showed severe symptoms that resemble Kawasaki syndrome.

The German Society for Pediatric Infectious Diseases (DGPI) and the German Society for Pediatric Cardiology and Congenital Heart Defects (DGPK) point out in a joint statement that the reported cases do not always correspond to the typical clinical picture of Kawasaki syndrome. Therefore, in their opinion, the experts speak of an excessive inflammatory reaction with inflammation of the blood vessels (vasculitis). Such hyper inflammation syndromes were already well known before COVID-19. There is currently no evidence that infections with Sars-CoV-2 are the trigger for the corresponding symptoms.

At the same time, the experts point out that hyper inflammation syndromes can be treated “very well with cortisone or other immunosuppressants and immunoglobulins”. Therefore, there is no reason for parents to be concerned about the number of cases of atypical Kawasaki syndrome.

New evidence of a lower risk of infection for and by children

Update from June 17th

The University Hospitals of Freiburg, Heidelberg, Tübingen, and Ulm have now presented the first results of the study commissioned by the State of Baden-Württemberg on the risk of infection in children. According to the medical director of the children’s clinic at Ulm University Hospital, children are not to be seen as drivers of the wave of corona infections. However, the cause is still unknown, said Klaus-Michael Debatin on June 16 at a press conference. It may be because children have fewer binding sites (ACE receptors) to which the virus can dock. But it is also possible that the child’s immune system successfully combats SARS-CoV-2 in the nasopharynx.

For the study, the doctors tested around 2,500 children under 10 years of age and one parent each for SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 antibodies from April 22 to May 15. Of the 5,000 participants, only one parent-child pair was infected during the survey period. Antibodies could be detected in 64 people – 45 adults and 19 children.

Low number of infections in the families studied

The scientists summarize: “The preliminary analysis of the study shows that the most important results are that only a small number of infections occurred in the families examined and that children apparently not only contract COVID-19 less, which has been known for a long time, but also less often be infected by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. ”

The scientists point out that they could make statements about whether children infected their parents or parents infected their children. The study also did not examine how infectious children are in principle. Like many other studies in connection with Corona, the study has not yet been reviewed by experts.

Symptoms And Course Of Covid-19 Pneumonia

Symptoms of atypical pneumonia tend to develop slowly

Infections with the new coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 are so dangerous because they cause atypical pneumonia in up to 20 percent of cases. Doctors call this form of pneumonia atypical because it is not – as is usually the case – caused by an infection with bacteria. Pneumonia caused by bacteria is known as typical pneumonia. The most common culprits are bacteria such as pneumococci and Haemophilus influenza B (HiB).

Atypical pneumonia such as COVID-19 usually develops more slowly than typical pneumonia. In COVID-19 pneumonia, both lungs are usually affected. As a result of the infection, the lungs swell, and fluid collects. The cause: In the fight against viruses, defense cells of the body’s immune system (lymphocytes) produce certain proteins (cytokines) that trigger an inflammatory reaction in the lung tissue. Fluid flows into the alveoli. The combination of inflamed cells and fluid entry into the vesicles means that less oxygen enters the blood. At the same time, less used carbon dioxide is released from the blood through the lungs and breath. Shortness of breath, paleness, and other symptoms are the result. If this process continues untreated, it leads to a slow and excruciating death from suffocation.

Course Of Covid-19 Pneumonia

Sepsis As A Life-Threatening Complication Of Covid-19

A life-threatening complication of COVID-19 pneumonia is sepsis, which is also known colloquially as blood poisoning. Sepsis is a very dangerous condition. In the course of blood poisoning, more and more vital organs fail. Such multi-organ failure is fatal if left untreated. Even with maximum intensive care medicine, around 40 percent of those affected do not survive sepsis.

Lung Damage Possibly Even After A Mild Course

Mild infections with SARS-CoV-2 may also cause permanent lung damage. A small study by the Princess Margaret Hospital in Hong Kong is often quoted in the media, in which the lung capacity of the patients was restricted after healing and the lungs were damaged – possibly by lung fibroids. So far, however, it is not clear whether the lung function impairments were caused by COVID-19 pneumonia or, for example, did not exist before the corona infection.

Lose Weight Healthily Without Dieting

Healthy weight loss is easier than most people think. A change in diet works best when the food is enjoyable, tasty, and full. Diets can almost never achieve this: They also increase the yo-yo effect and also harbor health risks. Read how to lose weight healthily without dieting. Healthy weight loss is only possible through a change in diet that must be suitable for everyday use, fill you up, and taste delicious. Then healthy weight loss is much easier.

3 tips to make the change in diet work

The sun is laughing. Or vacation is approaching. Suddenly, when you look in the mirror, the pillows catch your eye even more. Before the bikini season starts, millions of Germans think: Get rid of a few pounds quickly! It is possible. But how? In fact, there are sensible and less sensible or even harmful diets. With a few very simple considerations, you can tell the difference between sensible nutrition programs and diets that are better to be cautious about.

Sensible diets can be implemented easily and sustainably

The first and fundamental tip for healthy weight loss, just asks yourself if you can and want to stick to the diet of your choice for the rest of your life. At this point, it quickly becomes clear that you don’t want to eat pineapple or cabbage soup all the time for the next few years. If you’ve been on a one-sided diet of any kind for 1, 2, or 4 weeks, you are probably a few pounds lighter. But with the return of normal, accustomed eating habits, they are back on just as quickly. You also run the risk of deficiency symptoms. In addition, diets accelerate the yo-yo effect.

Appropriate diets are inexpensive

You can confidently cross off the list of healthy and sustainable diets that involve extra spending on powders or tablets. Whether formula diets, alkaline fasting with food supplements, or HCG diet with homeopathic medicines: none of these diets is suitable for a long-term change in diet. In the long run, such diets are simply too expensive for most people. The manufacturers themselves recommend using their formula diets only for a limited period of a few weeks.

Lose Weight Healthily Without Dieting

Healthy weight loss doesn’t need any light products

Don’t get chained to a particular diet system. Weight Watchers and Ko. The main focus is not on your health, but on your money. An indication of this: the expensive and irrelevant light products in the food retail sector. Contrary to what was promised, these are usually no real help in losing weight. According to the Health Claims Regulation, they contain 30 percent less fat or sugar. Nutrition experts point out, however, that light products tempt you to simply eat more of them than you would with a normal product. Light products that contain sugar substitutes even carry the risk of allergic reactions and digestive problems such as diarrhea or flatulence.

The Risks of Dieting

The most well-known risk of dieting, whatever its form, is the yo-yo effect. The pounds are back after the diet faster than you would like to believe. This not only has to do with the fact that we return to our usual eating habits after a diet. And thus to the behavior that has made us fat over the years. More and more studies are providing evidence that short- and medium-term diets change metabolism significantly. As a result, the basal metabolic rate, i.e. the calorie requirement that the organism needs for our vital functions, falls – and this permanently. Diets promote the yo-yo effect.

Deficiency symptoms due to diets

In healthy people who want to lose a few pounds in a limited period of one or two weeks, deficiency symptoms from the diet are not to be expected. The situation is different if one-sided forms of nutrition are used over many weeks or even months. Then mineral deficiencies or vitamin deficiency diseases are not uncommon. Typical indications of such illnesses are tiredness, skin changes, headache, or dizziness. Brittle nails can indicate an iron deficiency, muscle cramps indicate a magnesium deficiency. Zinc deficiency often leads to hair loss, but also to depression or impotence.

From diet to eating disorder

Not infrequently, diets even lead to eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia. This is especially true for girls and young women, but increasingly also for boys. Girls and boys alike have one main reason for dieting: unrealistic role models that are shaped by advertising and TV formats. In a study by the International Central Institute for Youth and Educational Television in cooperation with the Federal Eating Disorders Association, a third of the girls with eating disorders surveyed stated that the model shows Germany’s Next Top Model had played a very important role in their way into bulimia and anorexia. Another third speaks of slight influences of the program on the development and course of the eating disorder.

Book tip: eat full and lose weight

No more diets, no more yo-yo effect. The Munich nutritionist Volker Schusdziarra and the nutritionist Margit Hausmann with the program “Eat and lose weight”. Lose weight healthily without dieting – and still eat full with pleasure? It does not work? Go then! This is shown by Professor Dr. Volker Schusdziarra and the nutritionist Margit Hausmann with their sustainable nutrition program “eat enough and lose weight”. It puts an end to diet frustration: With this nutritional program, you are in charge, not the diet. It’s about your needs. And about ensuring that you feel comfortable with your diet over the long term. Eating is part of the quality of life. With “eat enough and lose weight” you can enjoy this quality of life with a clear conscience – and do a lot for your health in the process.

Living With A Healthy Heart

Living With A Healthy Heart – Heart Failure, Infarction, Stroke

With a healthy heart, you open the horizon for a life without a heart attack, heart failure, or stroke. The best thing to do is to start right away. Cardiovascular diseases are by far the most common cause of death in Germany. More than 200,000 women and men die as a result of heart attacks, strokes, and heart failure alone. Many – some experts say almost all – of these people could still be alive if they had taken a little precaution – by living with a healthy heart. It’s a lot easier than most people think.

More Than 200,000 Heart Deaths Per Year

Before we get to the precautionary recommendations, a few more depressing figures about the current state of German heart health. 300,000 Germans experience a heart attack every year – around 60,000 women and men do not survive it. 270,000 suffer a stroke – around 100,000 of them die within the first year. And 70 percent of the survivors remain disabled in the long term – many of them are dependent on a nursing home. In addition, around 50,000 Germans die every year as a result of cardiac insufficiency (in almost 600,000 cases). Many cardiovascular diseases are preventable About 90 percent of all heart attacks are preventable, writes Dr. Norbert Smetak, the chairman of the Federal Association of Resident Cardiologists on the website for the German World Heart Day (September 29, 2015). He would like people to take more responsibility for their health and take advantage of the opportunities provided by prevention.

Live With A Healthy Heart

To live with a healthy heart – to some people that sounds a lot like asceticism and exertion. It is relatively easy to reduce the risk of high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, or heart failure. The focus is on exercise, nutrition, the conscious use of luxury foods, and regular medical checks. Movement keeps the heart fit No matter what age and no matter what medical history: Our body is designed so that we can move. The movement clearly activates the body’s self-healing powers. Movement is essential for targeted preventive care – and it even speeds up healing after serious illnesses. While exercise cannot heal a seriously ill heart, it does improve the prospects for longer life. Privatdozent Dr. med. Friedhelm Späh told the German Heart Foundation: “Regular physical activity leads to a considerable decrease in mortality, especially for people over 65.” It also improves the quality of life in many ways. Nobody needs to do sports to strengthen their heart and circulation. Just 20 minutes of exercise in the fresh air a day can help you live a healthy life, whether it’s a walk, a short bike ride, or a few laps in the swimming pool.

Living With A Healthy Heart

Pay Attention To The Diet

Regularly fresh fruit and vegetables not only enrich the menu, they also taste good and, with their vitamins and trace elements, promote heart health and the immune system. A sedentary lifestyle and obesity are the most important risk factors for cardiovascular diseases. Living with a healthy heart means avoiding or reducing excess weight. Strict diets do not help. As a rule, they only lead to the yo-yo effect. What you lose in months with great abstinence is usually back on in a few weeks after the diet. Sustainable weight loss is especially successful if you change your diet so that you like to eat this way over the long term. A low-calorie mixed diet with lots of fresh regional and seasonal foods, preferably fruit and vegetables, is ideal. Even low-fat meat is not taboo – just in moderation. Whole grain products are a useful addition to the fresh menu. They make you feel full in the long term – and through dietary fiber and trace elements, they promote digestion as well as the metabolism and the immune system.

Check-Up Every Two Years

If you exercise enough, eat a healthy diet, and are of normal weight, the risk of heart attack, stroke, heart failure or high blood pressure is dramatically reduced. If you now have your family doctor checked you up every two years, the chances of a long, heart-healthy life are particularly good. Men and women from the age of 35 are also entitled to a check-up every 2 years with statutory health insurance. Among other things, you should have your blood lipid levels checked. Because elevated cholesterol levels can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. The main concern is atherosclerosis, which leads to constricted or brittle blood vessels. Do not postpone a visit to the doctor in the event of acute symptoms A heart-healthy life also includes going to the doctor in the event of heart or circulatory problems without a clearly identifiable or known cause.

Typical signs of cardiovascular disease are, for example:

    • Pulse irregularities with no apparent cause
    • recurring pain in the heart area
    • unusual spells of dizziness
    • inexplicable inefficiency
    • decreased resilience
    • pronounced fatigue
    • shortness of breath
    • increased sweating
    • swollen legs
    • severe weight gain for no explainable cause

The heart benefits from serenity – you too!

“This is dear to my heart” or “It breaks my heart” – we call the heart the seat of our feelings. Even if this is not anatomically correct (feelings arise through mental evaluations in the brain), these sentences show an important connection. Our heart is very sensitive to stress. No wonder: stress is a defense reaction that puts the body in a state of alarm. We drive at full throttle, so to speak – and even the best engine cannot withstand that in the long run. The most pleasant side of a healthy-hearted life looks like this: Let your legs – and your soul – dangle more often. Just do what you enjoy doing. So that you can enjoy your heart-healthy life to the full for a long time. And as at the beginning of this article, something that you have known for a long time with some certainty: Smoking and excessive alcohol consumption is harmful to the heart and health. Not that we are accused of forgetting.

Benefits of a Healthy Diet for Rheumatoid Arthritis

Benefits of a healthy diet for rheumatoid arthritis, Doctors and patient organizations agree: a needs-based diet can significantly alleviate the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. It is not uncommon for individually tailored diets to reduce the drug dosage by up to half. In addition, an adapted diet helps to manage common complications such as osteoporosis better. In addition, a diet low in fat and meat reduces the risk of new flare-ups of rheumatoid arthritis.

Diet guidelines for rheumatoid arthritis

Experts agree that rheumatoid arthritis diets should be based primarily on plant-based foods. Milk and dairy products as well as fatty sea fish are considered useful supplements. In this respect, an ovo-vegetarian diet is the best choice for living better with rheumatoid arthritis. If you don’t want to do without meat, you should at least seriously reconsider the consumption of red meat.

In principle, you should discuss your diet in rheumatoid arthritis with your doctor. The information in this article cannot and is not intended to replace medical advice.

Fight the causes of rheumatoid arthritis with diet

To understand how diet can fight the causes of rheumatoid arthritis, a brief explanation is needed. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease. These are diseases of the immune system. In the case of rheumatoid arthritis, the immune system causes an ongoing inflammatory response. It is not known why the immune system attacks and ultimately destroy joints in rheumatoid arthritis.

Inflammatory messenger substances from food

However, medicine knows much more about how the joints are attacked. Inflammation mediators play a major role. The inflammation-mediating messenger substances include cytokines such as tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) and interleukins. Another group of inflammatory messengers is known as eicosanoids. These include prostaglandins and leukotrienes. A precursor to eicosanoids is arachidonic acid. It belongs to the fatty acids.

Decrease your dietary arachidonic acid intake

Arachidonic acid is a polyunsaturated omega-6 fatty acid and is found in many animal foods. In addition, arachidonic acid is formed in the body from another omega-6 fatty acid, linoleic acid. Linoleic acid is found in some vegetable oils and animal fats and also enters the body with food.

So you can reduce the concentration of inflammatory messengers by reducing your dietary intake of arachidonic acid and linoleic acid. This reduces inflammatory reactions and improves symptoms such as the progression of rheumatoid arthritis.

Omega-3 fatty acids against inflammatory messengers

But that’s not all. The most important antagonist of arachidonic acid is eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), an omega-3 fatty acid. The targeted absorption of eicosapentaenoic acid helps to displace arachidonic acid from the body.

So, diet can help combat the causes of rheumatoid arthritis by consuming little arachidonic acid and high levels of omega-3 fatty acids.

Rheumatoid Arthritis Diet

Foods high in arachidonic acid (avoid)

Foods with a particularly high proportion of arachidonic acid are, according to the German Nutrition Advice and Information Network, for example:

    • Lard: 1,700 mg / 100 g
    • Butter croissants: 1,070 mg / 100 g
    • Soup chicken: 730 mg / 100 g
    • Pork liver: 520 mg / 100 g
    • Veal chop: 320 mg / 100 g
    • Roast chicken: 230 mg / 100 g
    • Egg yolk: 200 mg / 100 g
    • Pork 120 mg / 100 g

Foods low in arachidonic acid (prefer)

Arachidonic acid is only found in foods of animal origin. Therefore, if you have rheumatoid arthritis, you should give preference to all plant-based foods. But there are also some foods of animal origin that are part of a healthy diet for rheumatoid arthritis for various reasons. These are for example:

    • Whey: 0 mg / 100 g
    • Quark (lean): 0 mg / 100 g
    • Quark (20% fat): 5 mg / 100 g
    • Vegetable oils (wheat germ, peanut oil): 0 mg / 100 g
    • Cow’s milk (1.5% fat content): 2 mg / 100 g
    • Cow’s milk (3.5% fat content): 4 mg / 100 g

Foods high in omega-3 fatty acids (preferred)

Omega-3 fatty acids help to alleviate inflammation and also have other protective properties. The omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are particularly biologically effective. These omega-3 fatty acids, which are useful for the human metabolism, are mainly found in high-fat cold-water fish such as :

    • Sardines: 2,084 mg / 100 g
    • Baltic herring: 1,910 mg / 100 g
    • Salmon: 1,748 mg / 100 g
    • Mackerel: 1,327 mg / 100 g
    • Trout: 1,024 mg / 100 g
    • Tuna: 816 mg / 100 g.

Fish oil capsules as an alternative

For the intake of omega-3 fatty acids, sea fish should be on the menu at least twice a week. If you don’t like that, you can consume 30 mg fish oil fatty acids per day per capsule. Similar positive effects can be found for alpha-linolenic acid (not to be confused with linoleic acid), which occurs in linseed, rapeseed, wheat germ, and walnut oil. Their positive effect is based on the fact that the body can produce eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) from alpha-linolenic acid, the antagonist of the pro-inflammatory arachidonic acid (see above).

Healthy ingredients from plants

People with rheumatoid arthritis benefit from a plant-based diet not only from the reduced intake of inflammatory messenger substances. According to the German Rheuma League, other plant ingredients also have anti-inflammatory effects. This applies, for example, to:

    • Resveratrol found in red grapes, raspberries, and peanuts
    • Genistein (soy)
    • Catechins (black and green tea)
    • Bioflavonoids such as quercetin (apple, onion)
    • Myristicin (nutmeg, parsley)
    • Sulforaphane (broccoli)
    • Isothiocyanates (mustard, cabbage, radish, and rocket)
    • Polyphenols (coffee)

Drink enough water

Many people underestimate the importance of water for their metabolism and drink too little – or the wrong thing. According to the German Rheumatism League, people with rheumatoid arthritis should drink more than healthy people. The Rheumaliga recommends at least 30 milliliters per kilogram of body weight per day for women. A woman weighing 50 kg, therefore, needs 1.5 liters, and a man weighing 85 kg 2.5 liters per day.

Water, unsweetened fruit teas, and fruit juice spritzers (two parts water / one part fruit juice) are particularly suitable. Coffee can be included in fluid intake. That coffee is supposed to remove fluids from the body is just a persistent fairy tale.

Alcohol in moderation

Alcohol is a cell poison and an addictive substance – and should therefore always be viewed critically from a medical point of view. In the case of rheumatoid arthritis, however, there are credible studies that show a positive influence. Accordingly, moderate alcohol consumption can lower the risk of rheumatoid arthritis. In an English study (Sheffield cohort), the AR risk in non-drinkers was more than four times higher than in study participants who reported drinking alcohol for more than 10 days a month. Studies on the course of the disease have also produced similar effects. One possible explanation: alcohol probably helps to reduce the concentration of individual inflammatory messengers.

Inflammation Of The Lungs (Pneumonia)

Inflammation of the lungs (pneumonia) is an infection of the lungs that is treated with antibiotics. Pneumonia causes more hospitalizations than heart attacks or strokes. Read more about the symptoms, causes and treatment of pneumonia here.

Definition

Pneumonia is an infection of the alveoli (alveoli, alveolar pneumonia) and / or the lung tissue in between (interstitium, interstitial pneumonia).

But what actually happens when the lungs become inflamed? In most cases, pneumonia is caused by bacteria or viruses, and rarely by fungi and parasites. The pathogens spread from the upper respiratory tract into the lungs, especially into the alveoli and the lung tissue in between. This invasion of the pathogen inflames certain areas of the lungs.

In addition, the body’s own immune system reacts: Certain immune cells (lymphocytes) produce proteins (cytokines) and fluid flows into the alveoli. The combination of inflamed cells and fluid entry into the vesicles, which are involved in gas exchange, means that less oxygen can be absorbed from the lungs into the blood. At the same time, less used carbon dioxide is released from the blood through the lungs and breath. Shortness of breath, paleness and other symptoms are the result.

Frequency

Pneumonia is a widespread disease, but its frequency is often underestimated by the public. It is true, however, that more people have to go to hospital with pneumonia than with heart attacks or strokes. Almost 280,000 (2014: 278,783) people in Germany are admitted to hospital with pneumonia every year, and there are even more in the case of influenza epidemics.

Most people with pneumonia are children under one year of age and adults over 65 years of age because their immune systems are not fully developed or are weakened with age. If the course is uncomplicated, pneumonia usually lasts two to three weeks, but it can lead to death if the immune system is severely weakened.

Pneumonia Deaths

The exact number of deaths from pneumonia in Germany is not known. The main problem: inaccurate information on death certificates. For example, old people often die of cardiac arrest. Then it is entered in the death certificate and counted as cardiac death in the statistics. You could just as easily list flu or pneumonia as the cause of death. Because this exemplary patient actually “only” had the flu. In the course of this, he acquired pneumonia and only went to the doctor when there was no other way. And in the hospital the already weakened heart stopped for good.

The Federal Statistical Office reports deaths from flu and pneumonia. These numbers vary a lot. In 2011 there were almost 12,000, in 2014 around 8,500. According to experts, the real number is likely to be at least twice as high. Some pulmonologists estimate up to 35,000 deaths.

A cough with a suddenly high fever of up to 40 degrees and a pronounced feeling of illness is one of the first symptoms of bacterial pneumonia (also called typical pneumonia). In addition, there are often fatigue, loss of appetite, chills, pain in the limbs and head as well as chest pain when breathing. Rapid, shallow breathing with occasional breathlessness is another symptom of pneumonia. If the lower lungs are affected, abdominal pain can be the only sign of the disease.

The lack of oxygen due to pneumonia can be recognized by blue lips and fingernails and a pale complexion. When there is a lack of oxygen, the body tries to compensate for this by increasing breathing and increasing the heartbeat. This can be recognized by accumulating breaths and an increased pulse. From about the 2nd day of pneumonia, a dry cough with little sputum develops, which can be rust-brown in color because it contains blood.

Inflammation Of The Lungs (Pneumonia)

Atypical Pneumonia

In addition to bacterial or typical pneumonia, there is atypical pneumonia. This form is less common and is usually caused by viruses (or rare bacteria such as mycoplasma, legionella, or chlamydia). Atypical pneumonia is usually much milder than typical pneumonia. It does not begin acutely, but rather insidiously. The symptoms only appear after a few days. Often headache and body aches, coupled with fatigue, are the only symptoms. High fever and chills rarely occur. The cough also differs from the typical form. It is often described as excruciating and dry. Sputum is produced very rarely.

Causes

It is often pathogens such as bacteria or viruses that cause pneumonia, less often fungi or parasites. The pathogens penetrate the protective mechanisms of the lungs because the immune system of the person affected is weakened or because the pathogens are very aggressive. The infection usually takes place via droplet infection, for example when speaking, coughing or sneezing. The pneumonia can also be the result of the flu or bronchitis.

Overview Of Causes

    • Infection with bacteria (Pneumococci, Haemophilus, Legionella, Mycoplasma, Pseudomonas)
    • Infection with viruses (such as flu viruses), fungi (often Candida and Aspergillus species), and parasites (such as toxoplasma)
    • Effects of chemical irritants, dust particles and toxic gases (e.g. gasoline or flour)
    • allergic diseases such as asthma
    • Inhaled foreign objects such as bites of food or stomach acid
    • Circulatory disorder in individual sections of the lung, for example in the case of heart failure or pulmonary embolism
    • Tumors or foreign bodies that block a trunk of air (bronchus).

These factors promote pneumonia:

    • Weak immune systems as in children under three years of age or adults over 60 years of age
    • Conditions such as heart failure, asthma, chronic bronchitis, diabetes, liver and kidney diseases, leukemia
    • Organ transplants, spleen removal, HIV infection
    • Flu, bronchitis
    • Smoke
    • Alcohol addiction
    • severe neurological diseases
    • immune suppressive therapies such as B. Immunosuppressants (corticosteroids), chemotherapy, radiation therapy
    • artificial respiration
    • Bedridden, hospitalization, operations

Examination

The characteristic noises when listening to the chest give the doctor an initial clue to the diagnosis of pneumonia. If in doubt, the lungs are x-rayed to determine the extent and location of the inflamed areas of the lung tissue. Finally, a blood test can determine the type and extent of the inflammation. In bacterial pneumonia, for example, the number of white blood cells is significantly increased (leukocytosis). An examination of the sputum serves to identify the pathogen and the inflammatory cells involved.

Bronchoscopy

In rare cases of pneumonia without expectoration, tissue must be removed when the bronchi are rinsed (bronchoalveolar lavage) in order to determine the causative agent of the pneumonia. Because determination is important for choosing the right medication. For bronchoscopy, a bronchoscope (a tube-shaped or tubular device) is inserted through the mouth. Depending on the type of procedure, the patient is given a local or general anesthetic.

Treatment

The medical treatment of bacterial pneumonia is comparatively easy. As a rule, so-called broad spectrum antibiotics are used right from the start. In the vast majority of cases, they turn out to be very effective. Such broad spectrum antibiotics are, for example, aminopenicillins or cephalosporins, possibly in combination with macrolides (another group of antibiotics).

If the symptoms of pneumonia do not improve within 2 to 3 days with broad spectrum antibiotics, the causative agent of the disease is determined more precisely. And then prescribed an antibiotic that specifically switches off this pathogen.

Acetylcysteine ​​and ambroxol are particularly suitable for dissolving the mucus. Pronounced dry coughs are dampened with pentoxyverine or codeine, for example.

Therapy Of Atypical Pneumonia

The treatment of atypical pneumonia is much more difficult. It starts with the search for the right medication. Depending on the pathogen, special antibiotics against non-typical bacteria (such as ciprofloxacin, doxycycline, erythromycin or levofloxacin), antifungal agents (such as caspofungin or fluconazole) or anti-virus agents (such as acyclovir or ganciclovir) are given. In the case of pneumonia caused by inhaled foreign bodies, inhaled secretions must first be sucked off or the foreign body removed.

Inpatient Treatment

Whether bacterial causes or others: In the case of pneumonia, hospitalization is often necessary. This applies, for example, to complicated processes or when large parts of the lungs are affected. For example, it is not uncommon for pneumonia drugs to be infused directly into the bloodstream. That alone requires stationary monitoring. Artificial ventilation is another reason why pneumonia often requires hospital treatment.

Self-Help With Pneumonia

If your family doctor or pediatrician agrees, you can cure pneumonia at home. You should take care of the weakened body and keep strict bed rest. It is helpful if you drink a lot to help dissolve the inflammatory secretions in the lungs. In addition, you compensate for the fluid loss caused by fever and sweating.

Many patients find inhalations (with table salt) or steam baths with anise, camphor, menthol, eucalyptus, thyme and chamomile helpful. In any case, you should make sure that the air in the hospital room is not too dry. Here, scented bowls with the essential oils mentioned can also bring moisture into the room air.

Medicinal plants for coughs and colds help relieve the annoying symptoms. The guidebook “Many herbs are grown against colds” offers further suggestions for gentle help.

No Fragrance Oils In Young Children

Caution: Aromatic oils, herbs and herbal bath additives can sometimes be dangerous for babies and toddlers. Agents containing menthol, for example, irritate the child’s airways and can even cause life-threatening larynx cramps.

Course of Disease

Pneumonia heals in an otherwise healthy person in about two to three weeks if treated. The fever usually subsides after 7 to 9 days. With typical pneumonia, patients feel significantly sicker than with the atypical form.

With or after pneumonia, secondary diseases can occur. These are, for example, pleurisy or pleurisy. Sometimes capsules of lung tissue form in the lungs in which pus collects (lung abscesses). Changes in the lung tissue (pulmonary fibrosis) become noticeable as severe breath-dependent pain.

However, the consequences of pneumonia need not be limited to the lungs. If bacterial pathogens causing pneumonia spread through the blood in the body, they can cause meningitis, otitis media, heart inflammation (endocarditis) or pericarditis. Even brain abscesses are possible.

Special Forms Of Pneumonia

    • Nosocomial pneumonia: Infection occurs in hospitals, especially in intensive care units, often through germs that could develop resistance to antibiotics.
    • Fungal pneumonia: Severely immunocompromised people are affected, such as those suffering from AIDS and leukemia or people who take drugs that suppress the body’s immune system (immunosuppressants, corticosteroids).
    • Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP): This pneumonia is caused by a hose fungus. There is a highly acute and a creeping form. Early diagnosis can save lives. In HIV-positive patients, the so-called Pneumocystis carinii is a typical causative agent of pneumonia. In this form, both lungs are usually affected, often with a very severe course.
    • Aspiration pneumonia: Foreign bodies can get into the lungs in different situations and cause infections there. Patients with impaired consciousness (therefore never give them anything to drink) or people with reflux – i.e. acidic belching of stomach acid – have an increased risk.
    • Chronic pneumonia: Pneumonia can become chronic. This particularly affects patients with a weakened immune system and existing changes in the lungs such as COPD, bronchitis, chronic bronchitis or other lung diseases. Alcoholics and patients with diabetes are also prone to chronic disease.

Prevention And Vaccination

The best protection against pneumonia is vaccination against influenza and vaccination against pneumococci, one of the widespread pathogens causing pneumonia.

Why Does The Flu Shot Protect Against Pneumonia?

The real flu, influenza, is not the harmless common cold that many people confuse this infection with. In particular for small children, the elderly, people with chronic illnesses and weakened immune defenses, the flu is a life-threatening illness. Because the flu viruses often severely weaken the body and the immune system. Then bacteria and other pathogens causing pneumonia have an easy job – and often conjure up very complicated infections.

Vaccination Against Pneumococci

The pneumococcal vaccination protects against one of the common pathogens causing pneumonia. This vaccination can save the lives of old and sick people in particular. The risk of dying as a result of pneumonia drops by more than 90 percent after the pneumococcal vaccination.

Vaccination Recommendations

The Standing Vaccination Commission (STIKO) recommends the pneumococcal vaccination for all children (from the 2nd month of life) as well as for adults over 60 years. The recommendation also applies to patients with cardiovascular diseases, asthma, chronic bronchitis, diabetes, liver and kidney diseases as well as people with organ transplants, people without or with a functionally impaired spleen, people infected with HIV or leukemia patients.

Vaccines

Various vaccines are available for the pneumococcal vaccination. So-called conjugate vaccines are usually used in infants and young children. This conjugated vaccine contains antigens bound to a protein – mostly from fragments of the bacterial shell of the respective pathogen. The 10-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV10) protects against 10 pneumococcal subsets (1, 4, 5, 6B, 7F, 9V, 14, 18C, 19F and 23F). PCV13 is also effective against serogroups 3, 6A, and 19A. An adult polysaccharide vaccine protects against 23 types of pneumococci.

Vaccination Schedule

  • Infants: Since 2015, the STIKO has generally only recommended 3 instead of the previously usual 4 vaccination appointments: 1st vaccination at 2 months, 2nd vaccination 2 months later and the 3rd vaccination 6 months later at the earliest. According to the latest STIKO recommendation from August 2020, the STIKO recommends an additional vaccine dose for premature babies at the age of 3 months, i.e. a total of 4 vaccine doses. The basic immunization should ideally be completed before the age of 2 (U7).
  • Adults aged 60 and over who are not or not fully vaccinated should be immunized once with the 23-valent polysaccharide vaccine.

Contraindications / Vaccination Bans

  • Hypersensitivity to active substances or other components
  • The pneumococcal vaccination should be postponed in the event of severe illnesses requiring treatment. Other vaccinations can be given at the same time as the PCV vaccination.

Side Effects

In the vast majority of cases, there are no side effects of the pneumococcal vaccination. However, among other things, redness and swelling at the puncture site and allergic reactions in the form of hives are possible. Fever, tiredness or gastrointestinal complaints are also typical vaccination reactions, which usually go away by themselves after 2 to 3 days. If not, or if symptoms are severe, please contact your doctor.

Infants and young children rarely develop febrile seizures after vaccinations, which usually go away quickly.

Anthroposophic Medicine

Anthroposophic medicine sees itself as a humanities extension of conventional medicine. In the anthroposophical attitude of mind, there are elements of different philosophical and medical schools of thought from East and West. Anthroposophic medicine sees itself as a humanities extension of conventional medicine. Natural scientific medicine forms the basis on which anthroposophic physicians build their understanding of being human. At the center of anthroposophic medicine is the consideration of the connection between environment, body, soul, and spirit. The treatment of diseases aims to restore the original, healthy harmony between these factors. For this purpose, anthroposophic physicians try to understand the causes of disease as holistically as possible. The therapy is determined not only by the diagnosis but also by the course of the disease, the CV, the social environment, and the personality of the patient.

The emergence of anthroposophic medicine

The anthroposophical spiritual science goes to the Austrian Dr. Phil. Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925) back. He studied natural sciences and mathematics in Vienna but earned his doctorate in philosophy. In numerous writings, Steiner showed how knowledge based on perception and thinking can be further developed through systematic training to higher, supernatural cognition. Steiner dealt with many aspects of human life and developed in addition to a new pedagogical direction (Rudolf Steiner schools) biodynamic farming. Anthroposophical healing was developed in collaboration with the Dutch doctor Ita Wegmann (1876-1943). Today there are numerous anthroposophic institutions and clinics. In the latter, orthodox medical doctors work with additional anthroposophic training.

Philosophy of anthroposophic medicine

In anthroposophical philosophy, the human being with its physiological functions is divided into three areas: The first area includes all metabolic processes as well as the limbs, which serve the arbitrary movement. In this area, the processes related to the construction and restoration of functions predominate. These processes take place in a healthy state deep in the subconscious mind. In contrast to this area, the human sensory organs and the associated nervous system are the second areas. In this functional area, the processes of the awake consciousness take place. If it comes to the degradation of sensory organs or brain cells, this has an effect on the awakened consciousness. The two mentioned, opposing areas are connected by a third, by the area in which the rhythmic processes take place. These include, above all, the cardiovascular system and the lungs. This area compensates for the other two conflicting systems. Rudolf Steiner described the essence of man as four essential elements that contain all the laws and contexts of life:

    • The physical body is the visible body
    • The etheric body is the sum of the life force vitalizing the body
    • The astral body allows sensations and awareness
    • The ego is the center of the personality, disease, and cure with an anthroposophic approach

The interaction of the four essences determines a person’s health and illness. If all four forces are in harmony with each other, the human being is healthy. In anthroposophic medicine, all illnesses, according to the four essential forces, are divided into four types:

    • Physical body sclerosis-like
    • Etheric body – tuberous
    • Astral body – inflammatory
    • I – due to paralysis

If the influence of one of the four members of the being strongly outweighs, the entire system gets out of balance. For example, as a result of a long-lasting dominance of the etheric body in the view of anthroposophic medicine, cancer may arise. Until cancer physically breaks out, the organism is in a sort of pre-cancerous condition. At this point, neutralizing and shaping forces can be strong enough to curb the physical development of cancer. Thus, the goal of treating a disease is to balance the basic forces of the entities. For anthroposophic medicine there are various therapy options available:

    • School medical or anthroposophic medicines
    • Individually compiled bio-dynamic diet Creative artistic forms of therapy such as painting, modeling, singing, speaking, and especially eurythmy therapy (the connection between movements, gestures, words, and sounds)
    • Extensive discussions with the attending physicians
    • Anthroposophic remedies

Anthroposophic Medicine

Anthroposophic remedies

In anthroposophic medicine, the remedies are of outstanding importance. The concept of anthroposophic medicine knows a balancing agent for every imbalance between the four essences. The most well-known medicinal plant of anthroposophists is mistletoe. It is mainly used as a remedy for combating cancer. The healing properties of various plants can be transferred to humans, taking into account not only a special processing but also the different nature of the plants. For example, a plant like the stinging nettle, which can absorb iron very well, is given to someone with iron deficiency. The stinging nettle should give the body the impulse to pick up iron. The anthroposophic remedies are derived from plant substances, animal substances, and minerals. For almost every raw material, there are different processing options. For example, at the Arnica plant, preparations are obtained from the whole plant, from the root, or only from the flower. All three basic substances can be processed by potentiating (diluting) anthroposophic medicines. Anthroposophic remedies are available in various dosage forms, for example as oils, drops, tablets, powders or ointments. In this way, as individual as possible treatment should be possible for all complaints.

The production of anthroposophic remedies is usually done in complex procedures. In order for the substances necessary for healing to be able to implement their effectiveness in accordance with the human organs, they must be “transformed”. For example, Rudolf Steiner developed such a special transformation process for the production of active substances for the “vegetabilized” (literally “transplanted”) metals. According to Rudolf Steiner’s teachings, all metals are connected to a specific human organ and can be assigned to the moon and the planets at the same time:

    • Metal
    • lead
    • tin
    • iron
    • gold
    • copper
    • mercury
    • silver

These metals are combined with plants that are related to the same organ as the metal. For this plants are fertilized with metal salts, later harvested, and then composted. This compost is used as fertilizer for new plants. Finally, the plant and the metallic substance form a unit. In this way, the metal can be absorbed by the corresponding organ.

Application of anthroposophic medicine

Anthroposophic medicine is a whole medical system with a variety of applications. Anthroposophical trained physicians only determine after a careful clarification with which therapy methods and remedies a disease should be treated. In anthroposophic clinics, many cancer patients are cared for. In an environment in which the broad range of therapies strengthens and supports different areas of physical and mental wellbeing, patients feel well looked after and taken seriously. At different levels, they return to a positive attitude to life. Anthroposophic medicine, with its holistic view of man, is therefore particularly helpful for people with long-term or long-term illnesses. There are a number of anthroposophic remedies available for minor complaints that can be treated without medical examinations

Side effects of anthroposophic medicine

Because anthroposophic medicine is practiced by trained medical doctors, serious and careful care and treatment can be expected. Sometimes the patient has to decide for himself whether he wants to be treated in conventional medicine or in the sense of anthroposophic medicine. Some people choose to stay in an anthroposophic clinic for the aftercare of conventional cancer treatment.

Diet For Osteoarthritis

What is Osteoarthritis?

Doctors call osteoarthritis the excessive wear and tear of joint cartilage. They differentiate between silent and activated osteoarthritis.

  • Silent osteoarthritis is the hardly noticeable initial stage. It often begins around the age of 35. In the further course – more often from the age of 60 – pain sometimes occurs, which manifests itself primarily as start-up pain (when starting a movement) or stress pain (when loading a joint).
  • Activated osteoarthritis is what doctors call joint wear, which leads to more or less severe inflammation attacks. The attacks of inflammation are often associated with severely restricted mobility of the joints and feelings of tension. Sometimes the joints stiffen and deform.

Detailed Information About Osteoarthritis

Lost articular cartilage is irretrievably lost. He cannot reform himself. For more information on symptoms, causes, and treatment of excessive joint wear, see the disease picture osteoarthritis.

Basics Of Nutrition In Osteoarthritis

The basics of a healthy diet for osteoarthritis and the prevention of excessive cartilage wear can be easily summarized. If you eat a very varied and low-meat diet and replace industrial finished products with fresh foods, then you are doing a lot right. Because in this way you supply the organism with a multitude of nutrients. This diversity almost inevitably means that you supply the remaining cartilage with everything that is important. According to the unanimous opinion of medical research, food supplements are not useful. On the contrary, they can even do harm. More on this below.

Avoid And Reduce Excess Weight

At the same time, a fresh and varied diet is a very good basis for avoiding obesity or for shedding extra pounds. Reducing obesity is one of the basics of the osteoarthritis diet because every kilo too much puts unnecessary stress on the joints. In addition, there is no longer any doubt in medicine that fat cells release messenger substances that promote inflammation. Obesity, therefore, increases the risk that silent osteoarthritis will turn into activated osteoarthritis with significantly more stress symptoms.

Inhibit Inflammatory Processes From Food

Diet can promote or reduce inflammation. That depends on the choice of food. The post Diet for Rheumatoid Arthritis provides detailed information on which anti-inflammatory foods to prefer and which anti-inflammatory foods to avoid. 

Food Recommendations For Nutrition In Osteoarthritis

Nutritionists recommend a high-fiber diet with lots of fruit and vegetables to prevent or treat osteoarthritis. Meat and sausage products should therefore rarely be on the menu. Milk and dairy products as well as cold-water fish, on the other hand, should be an integral part of the osteoarthritis diet.

Diet For Osteoarthritis

Recommended Foods For Osteoarthritis

According to the NDR nutritional docs, the following are particularly recommended:

    • Bread, cereals, and side dishes (2 palm-sized portions/day): Whole grain bread; Oatmeal, muesli without sugar; Whole grain pasta, whole grain rice, jacket potatoes
    • Fruit (1-2 handfuls/day): all types of fruit that are low in sugar; in moderation high-sugar varieties such as pineapple, banana, pear, honeydew melon, persimmon (Sharon), mango, sweet cherry, and grapes
    • Vegetables (3 times 2 handfuls/day): all types of salad, preferably with bitter substances (chicory, dandelion), all types of cabbage, artichokes, fennel, cucumber, legumes, kohlrabi, carrots, radishes, sauerkraut, asparagus, spinach, zucchini and all types of mushrooms as well Herbs
    • Fats and oils (2 tbsp/day): chia oil, hemp oil, linseed oil, olive oil, rapeseed oil, walnut oil, wheat germ oil; little butter; for frying: coconut oil
    • Fish and seafood (2 servings/week): eel, trout, halibut, herring, cod, carp, salmon, mackerel, sardine/anchovies, plaice, sole, turbot; Shellfish like crayfish, shrimp, lobster, crab, shrimp
    • Sausage products and meat (1 to 2 servings/week, up to 100 g gross weight each): sliced ​​turkey breast, chicken; less often: beef fillet, veal, game; Corned beef
    • Eggs: max 2 to 3 weeks,
    • Milk and milk products, cheese in moderation (up to 300 ml daily): milk 1.5% fat, buttermilk, quark up to 20% fat, natural yogurt 1.5% fat; Harzer cheese, grainy cream cheese; rarely: cream, sour cream, crème fraîche; Cheese up to 45%: semi-hard cheese, soft cheese, feta, mozzarella, cream cheese
    • Nuts and seeds (approx. 1 handful/day): chia seeds; Cashew nuts, hazelnuts, pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, macadamia nuts, almonds, pine nuts, walnuts; in moderation: sunflower seeds
    • Snacks and nibbles: seldom dark chocolate with a cocoa content of 70 percent or more.
    • Drinks (approx. 2 liters/day): water, unsweetened tea, especially green tea, and herbal tea; up to three cups of coffee without milk.

Not Recommended Foods For Osteoarthritis

According to the NDR nutrition docs, it is better to avoid these foods if you have osteoarthritis:

    • Bread, cereals, and side dishes: croissants, crispbread, pretzels, milk rolls, toast bread, white bread, wheat rolls, rusks; peeled rice, durum wheat noodles, mashed potatoes, potato pancakes, croquettes, pancakes, french fries
    • Fruit: sugared canned fruit, candied dried fruit, and fruit puree
    • Vegetables: Only rarely use vegetable mixes with butter or cream
    • Fats and oils: safflower oil, goose lard, mayonnaise, palm fat, lard, sunflower oil
    • Fish and seafood: fish pickled in mayonnaise or cream, breaded fish
    • Charcuterie and meat: all charcuterie except turkey breast and chicken; generally no pork (due to the high content of arachidonic acid)
    • Eggs: max. 2 to 3 weeks
    • Milk and dairy products: no sweetened finished products such as fruit buttermilk, fruit yogurt, fruit quark, rice pudding, cocoa preparations, pudding
    • Nuts and seeds: no peanuts and salted nuts
    • Snacks and nibbles: no sweets such as chips, ice cream, savory biscuits, sweet baked goods, sweet dairy products
    • Drinks (approx. 2 liters/day): no fruit juices, soft drinks, soy drinks, or mixed milk drinks

Dietary Supplement Against Osteoarthritis

Most experts believe that dietary supplements against osteoarthritis are not useful, and sometimes even dangerous. Nonetheless, they are very good business for manufacturers. According to the health service provider IMS Health, Germans spend a good 100 million euros annually on supposed cartilage protection agents (so-called chondroprotective agents).

No Evidence Of The Effects Of Chondroitin, Glucosamine Or Hyaluronic Acid

Over-the-counter medicines and dietary supplements for osteoarthritis mainly contain substances such as chondroitin, glucosamine, and hyaluronic acid. The promise of the advertising: The chondroprotective are supposed to strengthen and protect the cartilage. Unfortunately, in the unanimous opinion of serious experts, this is an empty promise.

Chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine are important players in cartilage metabolism. After ingestion, however, they do not even reach the joints, but rather are destroyed in the gastrointestinal tract. According to independent studies available to date, chondroprotective are no more effective than products that do not contain active substances (placebos). This was confirmed, for example, by the American GAIT study (Glucosamine-Chondroitin Arthritis Intervention Trial, see sources) from 2010. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) found in 2009 that there was no positive effect of glucosamine alone or in combination with chondroitin sulfate would give the preservation of joints.

Dangerous Interactions Of Glucosamine

Rather, the ESA, together with the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (see sources), warns of dangerous interactions. According to this, drugs and food supplements containing glucosamine can increase the effect of anticoagulant drugs from the group of coumarin anticoagulants and, in the worst case, even cause cerebral hemorrhage.

Another example of undesirable effects of preparations containing glucosamine or chondroitin is allergic reactions. Many of these preparations are made from shellfish or fish proteins and can trigger allergic reactions up to anaphylactic shock.

Better Not To Take Vitamin And Mineral Supplements For Osteoarthritis

There are a large number of vitamins and minerals or trace element supplements that manufacturers claim to protect joints and cartilage. Common ingredients are, for example, vitamins A, C, and E or selenium. The Federal Association of Consumer Organizations has examined many dietary supplements. The result: there is therefore no positive effect on joints and cartilage (see sources). In addition, many dosages go well beyond the maximum recommended intake values. This in turn increases the risk of drug interactions or other complications.