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All about arthritis types of arthritis causes of arthritis risk factors for arthritis signs and symptoms of arthritis diagnosis of arthritis arthritis treatments arthritis pain relief natural remedy to cure arthritis prevention of arthritis Arthritis Foundation osteoarthritis causes of osteoarthritis risk factors for osteoarthritis complications of osteoarthritis symptoms of osteoarthritis diagnosing osteoarthritis osteoarthritis treatment osteoarthritis medications osteoarthritis cures with nutritional supplements osteoarthritis pain relief osteoarthritis exercise osteoarthritis prevention osteoarthritis of the hip rheumatoid arthritis causes of rheumatoid arthritis rheumatoid arthritis symptoms rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis treatment for rheumatoid arthritis rheumatoid arthritis medications rheumatoid arthritis diet juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA) causes of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis symptoms of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis treatments for juvenile rheumatoid arthritis septic arthritis (infectious arthritis) causes of septic arthritis (infectious arthritis) symptoms of septic arthritis diagnosis of infectious arthritis treatment for septic arthritis (infectious arthritis) psoriatic arthritis causes of psoriatic arthritis symptoms of psoriatic arthritis diagnosis of psoriatic arthritis treatment for psoriatic arthritis Reiter's syndrome (reactive arthritis) causes of Reiter's syndrome (reactive arthritis) symptoms of Reiter's syndrome diagnosis of Reiter's syndrome treatment for Reiter's syndrome ankylosing spondylitis causes of ankylosing spondylitis symptoms of ankylosing spondylitis diagnosing ankylosing spondylitis treatment for ankylosing spondylitis gout (gouty arthritis) causes of gout (gouty arthritis) risk factors for gout (gouty arthritis) complications of gout (gouty arthritis) symptoms of gout (gouty arthritis) diagnosis of gout treatment for gout (gouty arthritis) gout medications gout diet prevention of gout (gouty arthritis)
Nutrients are important in arthritis care! Arthritis is not a 'natural part of aging'. Over 100 forms are preventable and potentially curable. Providing the body with the correct nutrients to help this process is a significant step in the right direction in achieving this objective. Pharmaceutical medicines should be a last resort if you suffer from arthritis. This is because of their real and serious side effects. Arthrit-Eze from Xtend Life is a completely natural arthritis supplement and does not contain any pharmaceutical ingredients. It offers potential relief and rejuvenation for all forms of arthritis, safely, naturally and without side effects. You'll find ingredients in Arthrit-Eze that would be rare to find in another natural arthritis formula... mainly because of cost and difficulties of formulations. Some examples are SAMe, Cetyl Myristoleate, Celery Extract and Phellodendron Bark. Learn more about this natural arthritis formula...

What natural remedies are available to cure arthritis?

Glucosamine is a naturally occurring substance in the body, synthesized by chondrocytes for the purpose of producing joint cartilage. Glucosamine stimulates the manufacture of collagen, which is the protein portion of a fibrous substance that holds joints together. Collagen is also the main component of the shock-absorbing cushion called articular cartilage - the white smooth surface which covers the ends of body joints in the fingers, wrists, knees, etc. Glucosamine helps bind water

in the cartilage matrix. It has also been shown to help produce more collagen and also normalizes cartilage metabolism, which helps to keep the cartilage from breaking down. Glucosamine can actually "jump-start" the production of the cartilage's key elements and can also protect these same elements. Glucosamine can help the body repair eroded and damaged cartilage. In addition to providing raw material, the presence of glucosamine seems to stimulate the chondrocytes in their production of these substances. Glucosamine also inhibits certain enzymes such as collagenase and phospholipase, which destroy the cartilage. By blocking pathogenic mechanisms that lead to articular degeneration, glucosamine delays the progression of the disease and relieves symptoms even for weeks after termination of the treatment.

Chondroitin sulfates act like "liquid magnets". It helps attract fluid into the proteoglycan molecules. This is important for two reasons; the fluid sweeps nutrients into the cartilage and the fluid acts as a spongy shock absorber. Chondroitin can protect existing cartilage from a premature breakdown. It does this by inhibiting certain enzymes that destroy cartilage and enzymes that prevent the transport of nutrients. Chondroitin sulfate is a major component of cartilage. It is a very large molecule, composed of repeated units of glucosamine sulfate. Like glucosamine, chondroitin sulfate attracts water into the cartilage matrix and stimulates the production of cartilage. Likewise it has the ability to prevent enzymes from dissolving cartilage. Although the absorption of chondroitin sulfate is much lower than that of glucosamine (10-15% versus 90-98%), a few studies have shown very good results from long-term treatment with chondroitin sulfate, reducing pain and increasing range of motion. Chodroitin sulfates alone have been found to be effective for osteoarthritis sufferers. Often just the glucosamine or chodroitin are used by themselves. However they can work synergisticaaly when taken together to stimulate cartilage production and to help control enzymes that destroy the cartilage. Using both of these supplements can help the body heal itself. A glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate combination is a powerful weapon against osteoarthritis.

Nettle leaf is an herb that has a long tradition of use as an adjuvant remedy in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis in Germany . Nettle leaf extract has been found to contain a variety of active compounds, such as COX and lip o oxygenase inhibitors and substances that affect cytokine secretion. Because nettle leaf works at the level of anti-inflammation, it could also be tried on osteoarthritis, although no studies have specifically been done with it on that condition. In fact, nettle leaf extract is a Native American folk remedy for rheumatic pains. Topical formulations of nettle herb juice have been used to treat joint pain, too, as well as acne, hemorrhoids, and other skin problems. There is now evidence that taking the herb along with a prescription arthritis drug (diclofenac was used in one study) enables arthritis sufferers to reduce their dosage of prescription medication.

SAM-e, (short for S-adenosylmethionine, also spelled SAMe) is made from the amino acid methionine and ATP. SAM-e is a methyl donor involved in the making of dozens of important compounds in the body. SAM-e helps support the incorporation of sulfate groups into proteoglycans which help maintain cartilage and protect joints. Some studies have suggested that SAM-e possesses anti-inflammatory and tissue-healing properties that may help protect the health of joints, and perhaps may lessen pain. SAM-e's involvement in the process of methylation assists the body to grow and repair cells, helps maintain phospholipids in the cell membrane and helps maintain the action of several hormones and neurotransmitters that affect mood, including dopamine, serotonin, and melatonin.

Nexrutine is a proprietary extract from the Phellodendron tree. Nexrutine alleviates the pain associated with arthritis as well as the joint and muscle soreness associated with over-exertion or physical activity. Nexrutine lack the side effects over other painkillers like ibuprofen, naproxen and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Nexrutine is a natural anti-inflammatory ingredient that has a unique mechanism of action: it is a COX-2 gene expression inhibitor without COX-1 inhibition. It inhibits the gene expression of COX-2, rather than inhibiting the COX-2 enzyme directly, achieving a broader inhibition of pro-inflammatory processes and a faster onset of action. Absence of COX-1 activity should result in limited gastrointestinal irritation, a common side effect of many NSAIDs such as ibuprofen (Advil) and naprosyn (Aleve).

Boswellia is an Ayurvedic plant that contains anti-inflammatory triterpenoids called boswellic acids (5-Loxin). Boswellia reduces inflammation. It inhibits proinflammatory 5-lipoxygenase chemicals and blocks leukotriene synthesis. By doing so, boswellia may be helpful in medical conditions involved in inflammation. Boswellic acid is the active component of the Boswellia serrata tree native to India. The aromatic gum resins from this tree have been used by practitioners of the Avurvedic system of medicine to treat arthritis for centuries. An Ayurvedic herbal combination of ashwagandha, boswellia , and curcumin was evaluated in a randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled, cross-over study in patients with osteoarthritis. Treatment with this formulation produced a significant drop in severity of pain.

Ginger is probably the anti-arthritis drug with the longest tradition. Ginger has been used to this end for hundreds of years. It's an antagonist to prostaglandins. On a lower level, garlic also helps control prostaglandins. The dried rhizome of ginger contains approximately 1–4% volatile oils. These are the medically active constituents of ginger and are also responsible for ginger’s characteristic odor and taste. The aromatic constituents include zingiberene and bisabolene, while the pungent constituents are known as gingerols and shogaols. The pungent constituents are credited with the anti-nausea and anti-vomiting effects of ginger. A Danish study of 56 people who had either arthritis or muscular discomfort reported that three - fourths of the arthritis sufferers experienced relief from their symptoms , while 100% of the people who had muscular achiness experienced relief from their painful symptoms.

White willow bark has similar painkilling properties to aspirin, as it contains salicin. People who are sensitive to aspirin should not take willow bark preparations. Willow bark is rich in salicin and related salicylates that metabolize into salicylic acid. Many plants, such as meadowsweet and wintergreen, also contain these compounds. The glycoside salicin, from which the body can split off salicylic acid, is the basis of the anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving effects of willow. They have a long tradition of use in Europe and have far fewer side effects than aspirin. White willow bark is still sometimes used for its aspirin-like effects, though it is considered milder and slower-acting. A fever characterized by hot, red skin can be reduced by white willow bark. As a pain reliever white willow bark may help to alleviate muscle aches, tension headache, and arthritis. Because studies have found that aspirin works as a thermogenic (heat-creating and calorie-burning) agent synergistically with caffeine and ephedrine, white willow bark is sometimes included in weight-loss formulas.

Omega-3 fish oils are a rich source of essential fatty acids (EFAs), such as docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentanoic acid (EPA). Levels of EFAs are typically three times greater in oils from the flesh of the fish such as salmon, herrings, sardines, pilchards, and mackerel than in oils extracted from cod liver. However, techniques have been developed to concentrate these EFAs when making fish oil supplements. Omega-3 fatty acids are converted in the body to series 3 prostaglandins which have a powerful anti-inflammatory action. Omega-3 oils have been shown to suppress the production of PGE-2, which contributes to arthritis by degrading collagen needed for the cartilage that lines the joints. PGE-2 is also a pro-inflammatory prostaglandin that contributes to the arthritis inflammatory cascade. A large number of studies have confirmed the usefulness of omega-3 oils in relieving tender joints and morning stiffness, in some cases eliminating the need for NSAID medication. Omega-3 oils, such as fish oil (which contain the essential fatty acids EPA and DHA) perilla and flaxseed oils, have the ability to suppress the production of inflammatory mediators and thereby influence the course of chronic inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis.

Antioxidants is the name given to a powerful combination of nutrients and enzymes that help to protect our bodies against the ravages of harmful free radicals. Antioxidants help prevent or repair damage done to the body's cells by free radicals. Simply put, a free radical is a molecule with a missing electron. An antioxidant, such as vitamin C, vitamin E or beta carotene, may donate one of its electrons to the free radical. If no antioxidants are present, a free radical takes an electron from vital cell structures, damaging the cell and eventually leading to disease. Antioxidants have been shown to increase immune function and possibly decrease risk of infection and cancer. Based on the research at MSU, tart cherries are a rich source of naturally occurring antioxidants, which could be effective replacements for synthetic antioxidants. Oxidative stress or free-radical damage is a factor of importance in the development of osteoarthritis, just as it is a major cause of most chronic degenerative diseases as well as aging. Insufficient antioxidant presence may allow active free radicals to cause oxidation of the lipids in the synovial fluid of the joints so that it loses its lubricating ability. Painful inflammation is the result. A healthy supply of antioxidant nutrients may be able to prevent this type of damage before it occurs and might even offer some relief to those already suffering pain from this type of disability.

Gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) is an essential fatty acid (EFA) in the omega-6 family that is found primarily in plant-based oils. EFAs are essential to human health but cannot be made in the body. Gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) is a fatty acid found in evening primrose oil, borage oil, and black currant seed oil that has been used to suppress chronic inflammation. Some preliminary information indicates that GLA, from EPO, borage oil, or black currant seed oil, may diminish joint pain, swelling, and morning stiffness. GLA may also allow for reduction in the amount of pain medication used by those with rheumatoid arthritis. The studies to date, however, have been small in size. Additional research would be helpful, including testing a proposed theory that using GLA and EPA (an omega-3 fatty acid from fish and fish oil) together would be helpful for rheumatoid arthritis.

Methylsulfonylmethane, or MSM, is an nonmetallic organic compound which falls to earth as a natural part of the water cycle. MSM is known to relieve pain, as well as swelling and inflammation in joints and other connective tissue. Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) is sold as a treatment for pain and inflammation from rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia and gout. MSM is a natural sulfur compound found in all living things. It is one of the most prominent compounds in our bodies after water and sodium. MSM has been shown to produce a multitude of actions including pain relief, reducing inflammation, dilating blood vessels and increasing blood flow, reducing muscle spasms, and promoting immune normalizing effects.

More information on arthritis (osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, septic arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, Reiter's syndrome, ankylosing spondylitis, gout)

What is arthritis? - Arthritis is a group of conditions that affect the health of the bone joints in the body. Arthritis is painful inflammation of a joint or joints of the body.
What types of arthritis are there? - Types of arthritis include osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, gout, infectious arthritis, fibromyalgia, lupus.
What causes arthritis? - The causes of arthritis depend on the form of arthritis. The cause of arthritis may be an infection, injury, abnormality of the immune system, aging.
What're the risk factors for arthritis? - Risk factors for arthritis include age, gender, obesity, injury, ethnicity. The risk of developing arthritis increases with age.
What're the signs and symptoms of arthritis? - Different types of arthritis have different symptoms. Other arthritis symptoms include fatigue, fever, a rash and the signs of joint inflammation.
How is arthritis diagnosed? - The diagnosis of arthritis is based on the pattern of symptoms, medical history, family history, physical examination, X-rays and lab tests.
What's the treatment for arthritis? - The objectives in the treatment of arthritis are controlling inflammation, preserving joint function, and curing the disease if that is possible.
Arthritis supplements - Natural arthritis supplements can help restore cartilage and glutathione depletion, reduce joint inflammation, and offer potential relief and rejuvenation without negative side effects.
Therapies for arthritis pain relief - Short-term relief for arthritis pain and inflammation may include pain relievers. NSAIDs are used to reduce pain and inflammation.
What natural therapies are available to cure arthritis? - Natural therapies for arthritis pain relief include glucosamine, chondroitin sulfates, nettle leaf, S-adenosylmethionine, and exrutine.
What can be done to prevent arthritis? - Consumption of green tea may prevent arthritis damage and benefit the arthritis patient by reducing inflammation and slowing cartilage breakdown.
What is the Arthritis Foundation? - The Arthritis Foundation is the only nationwide, nonprofit health organization helping take greater control of arthritis in the United States.
What is osteoarthritis? - Osteoarthritis (OA), also known as arthrosis or degenerative joint disease, is a disease featuring pain and impaired function of the joints.
What causes osteoarthritis? - Primary osteoarthritis is mostly related to aging. Osteoarthritis results from a combination of genetic predisposition and joint injuries.
What're the risk factors for osteoarthritis? - Risk factors for osteoarthritis are congenital hip luxation, obesity, osteoporosis, and inflammatory diseases.
What're the complications of osteoarthritis? - The major complication of osteoarthritis is pain. The degree of pain can vary greatly. Osteoarthritis itself is not life threatening.
What are symptoms of osteoarthritis? - The main symptoms of osteoarthritis are is pain that worsens during activity and that gets better during rest.
How is osteoarthritis diagnosed? - The doctor makes the diagnosis of osteoarthritis based on the characteristic symptoms, physical examination, and the x-ray appearance of joints.
What's the treatment for osteoarthritis? - Osteoarthritis is treated with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Severe pain in specific joints can be treated with local injections with lidocaine.
What're the medications for osteoarthritis? - Acetaminophen is used for mild to moderate osteoarthritis. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or COX-2 medications for moderate to severe arthritic pain.
What nutritional supplements cure osteoarthritis? - A combination of glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate is used as a dietary supplement to cure osteoarthritis. Vitamin D and calcium are recommended for strong bones.
Treatments for osteoarthritis pain relief - OTC pain relievers like acetaminophen (Tylenol) and aspirin are familiar choices for the treatment of osteoarthritis pain relief.
What osteoarthritis exercise is suggested? - Regular exercise is very important for successful control of osteoarthritis. Exercise helps patients ostearthritis in the hip or in the knee.
Can osteoarthritis be prevented? - Obese people are at risk of osteoarthritis and that weight loss can help prevent or delay osteoarthritis from occurring.
What is osteoarthritis of the hip? - Osteoarthritis of the hip can cause insidious pain in the groin or inguinal region and, on occasion, pain in the side of the buttock or upper thigh.
What is rheumatoid arthritis? - Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disorder that marked by stiffness and inflammation of the joints, weakness, loss of mobility, and deformity.
What causes rheumatoid arthritis? - The cause of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is unknown. Rheumatoid arthritis involves an attack on the body by its own immune cells (auto-immune disease).
What're the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis? - The symptoms that distinguish rheumatoid arthritis are inflammation and soft-tissue swelling of many joints at the same time (polyarthritis).
How is rheumatoid arthritis diagnosed? - Health professionals diagnose rheumatoid arthritis by examining joints and evaluating ymptoms, medical history, and results of several tests.
What's the treatment for rheumatoid arthritis? - The treatment of rheumatoid arthritis includes the use of non-drug treatment such as rest and physiotherapy, drugs may be required both to control symptoms of the disease.
What rheumatoid arthritis medications are available? - Rheumatoid arthritis medications include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, injectable gold salts, plaquenil or hydroxychloroquine.
What rheumatoid arthritis diet is suggested? - Certain vitamin supplements may be beneficial. Many herbs also are useful in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.
What is juvenile rheumatoid arthritis? - Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA) is a form of arthritis in children ages 16 or younger that causes inflammation and stiffness of joints for more than six weeks.
What causes juvenile rheumatoid arthritis? - Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder. Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis is considered to be a multifactorial condition.
What're the symptoms of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis? - Symptoms of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis may appear during episodes (flare-ups) or may be chronic and continuous.
How is juvenile rheumatoid arthritis diagnosed? - Diagnosis of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis is often made on the basis of the child's collection of symptoms.
What're the treatments for juvenile rheumatoid arthritis? - The treatment of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis centers on decreasing joint inflammation, suppressing pain, and preserving movement.
What is septic arthritis (infectious arthritis)? - Septic arthritis, also known as infectious arthritis or pyogenic arthritis, is an infection in the joint (synovial) fluid and joint tissues.
What causes septic arthritis? - Septic arthritis develops when bacteria spread from a source of infection through the bloodstream to a joint or the joint is directly infected by traumatic penetration.
What're the symptoms of septic arthritis? - The symptoms of septic arthritis (infectious arthritis) include swelling in the infected joint and pain when the joint is moved.
How is septic arthritis diagnosed? - The diagnosis of infectious arthritis depends on a combination of laboratory testing with careful history-taking and physical examination of the affected joint.
What is the treatment for septic arthritis? - The goal of treatment for septic arthritis is to eliminate the infection with antibiotic therapy. Septic arthritis requires immediate treatment.
What is psoriatic arthritis? - Psoriatic arthritis is a chronic inflammation of the joints that occurs in some people with a chronic skin and nail condition known as psoriasis.
What causes psoriatic arthritis? - The cause of psoriatic arthritis is unknown. Psoriatic is triggered by an attack of the body's own immune system on itself.
What're the symptoms of psoriatic arthritis? - Symptoms of psoriatic arthritis include dry, scaly, silver patches of skin combined with joint pain and destructive changes in the feet, hands, knees, and spine
How is psoriatic arthritis diagnosed? - The diagnosis of psoriatic arthritis is made by identifying the typical symptoms of arthritis in a person with psoriasis.
What's the treatment for psoriatic arthritis? - Treatment of psoriatic arthritis focuses on controlling the skin rash and relieving joint inflammation.
What is Reiter's syndrome (reactive arthritis)? - Reiter's syndrome (reactive arthritis) is a group of symptoms consisting of arthritis, urethritis, conjunctivitis, and lesions of the skin.
What causes Reiter's syndrome (reactive arthritis)? - Reiter's syndrome appears to be a reaction to an infection that begins in an area of the body other than the joints.
What're the symptoms of Reiter's syndrome? - The symptoms of of Reiter's syndrome appear within days or weeks of infection followed by a low-grade fever, conjunctivitis.
How is Reiter's syndrome diagnosed? - Diagnosis of Reiter's syndrome is often difficult because there is no specific test to confirm that a person has reactive arthritis.
What's the treatment for Reiter's syndrome? - The objective of treatment for Reiter's syndrome is to alleviate the symptoms associated with the syndrome and to treat any underlying infection.
What is ankylosing spondylitis? - Ankylosing spondylitis is a chronic inflammatory disease that affects the joints between the vertebrae of the spine, and the joints between the spine and the pelvis.
What causes ankylosing spondylitis? - The specific cause of ankylosing spondylitis is unknown, but the disease tends to run in families, indicating that genetics plays a role.
What're the symptoms of ankylosing spondylitis? - Symptoms of ankylosing spondylitis include back pain, loss of appetite, weight loss, fatigue, and anemia.
How is ankylosing spondylitis diagnosed? - Doctors usually diagnose ankylosing spondylitis simply by the patient's report of pain and stiffness.
What's the treatment for ankylosing spondylitis? - Physical therapy for ankylosing spondylitis can provide a number of benefits, from pain relief to improved physical strength and flexibility.
What is gout (gouty arthritis)? - Gout or gouty arthritis is a form of arthritis caused by the accumulation of uric acid crystals (due to hyperuricemia) in joints.
What causes gout (gouty arthritis)? - Gout is caused by a defect in metabolism which results in an overproduction of uric acid or leads to reduced ability of the kidney to eliminate uric acid.
What are the risk factors for gout? - Risk factors for gout (gouty arthritis) include genetics, age, gender, alcohol use, obesity, medications, and medical conditions.
What're the complications of gout? - Gout often accompanies heart problems, including high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, and congestive heart failure.
What are the symptoms of gout (gouty arthritis)? - An attack of chronic gout is similar to an attack of acute gouty arthritis. The affected joints show signs of warmth, redness, and tenderness.
How is gout diagnosed? - The diagnosis of gout is generally made on a clinical basis. Physicians can diagnose gout based on the physical examination and medical history.
What's the treatment for gout (gouty arthritis)? - The goals of treatment for gout consist of alleviating pain, avoiding severe attacks in the future, and preventing long-term joint damage.
What gout medications are available? - Gout medications include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, colchicine, corticosteroids, xanthine oxidase inhibitors, uricosuric agents.
What gout diet is suggested? - The principle of a gout diet is to reduce purines or lower uric acid when we take food. Avoid foods high in purines. Alcohol should be avoided.
How to prevent gout (gouty arthritis)? - Prevention is the best defense against gout (gouty arthritis). Losing weight and limiting alcohol intake can help ward off gout.
Bone, joint, & muscle disorders

Natural arthritis formula
Arthrit-Eze is the most advanced formula on the market today. It offers potential relief and rejuvenation for all forms of arthritis, safely, naturally and without side effects.

Topics in bone, joint, and muscle disorders

Bone diseases
Bone tumors
Bone cancer
Muscle diseases
Spine (neck and back) disorders
Dupuytren's contracture
Costochondritis
Bunions
Plantar fasciitis
Arthritis
Osteoarthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis
Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis
Septic arthritis (infectious Arthritis)
Psoriatic arthritis
Reiter's syndrome (reactive arthritis)
Ankylosing spondylitis
Gout (gouty arthritis)
Tendinitis
Osteoporosis
Whiplash
Fibromyalgia


All information is intended for reference only. Please consult your physician for accurate medical advices and treatment. Copyright 2005, health-cares.net, all rights reserved. Last update: July 18, 2005