Archive for January, 2007

Does Losing Weight Help Acid Reflux?

Posted in Health & Fitness on January 27th, 2007

Regular exercise is a must for everyone, regardless if they suffer from chronic acid reflux or not. Exercise is what helps to keep our bodies strong and healthy. Exercise is what also helps us lose those extra pounds; extra pounds that many researchers believe may be encouraging acid reflux.

Research has found that for those who are overweight and obese, losing weight can actually help reduce the risk of heartburn and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) symptoms. Why? Many studies have been conducted on the link between BMI (Body Mass Index –a method of measuring body fat) and GERD. Virtually all studies concluded that as the participants’ BMI increased, so did their GERD symptoms.

How does obesity increase the risk of developing GERD?
Researchers are not entirely sure of the exact cause, but there are many theories being closely considered. For instance, some believe that excess body fat that occurs around the stomach, increases the pressure against the stomach, and causes fluid to rise up into the esophagus. Thus, the more weight a person accumulates, the more fat and pressure is placed on the stomach.

Another theory is that many of those who are overweight and obese tend to lead a more sedentary lifestyle, indulge in a diet rich in fatty foods and overeating. This type of lifestyle dramatically increases the chance of chronic acid reflux, heartburn and GERD.

One recent study that was conducted on women with normal BMI in Boston, Massachusetts, found that as these women increased their weight (gaining 20 pounds or more) during the study, they increased their risk of developing acid reflux symptoms by three times. Thus, this study actually discovered that a person doesn’t need to be obese in order to increase their risk of heartburn and GERD symptoms. Simply gaining 10 pounds, a slight change from their regular weight could tip the scale.

Therefore, if you are prone to acid reflux or have GERD, be mindful of your weight. If you are maintaining a normal weight (BMI 18.5-24..9) there is no reason for you to consider losing weight, unless you have gained a few pounds and notice a change in your heartburn symptoms, even if you are still in the normal weight range. Other than that, keep in mind that a BMI of 25 and over is considered overweight, and a BMI 30 or higher is a sign of obesity. To help monitor your weight, you can find free BMI calculators online.

If you need to lose weight, your goal is to do so effectively and sensibly. This means avoiding crash diets, and adopting a new lifestyle focused on healthy eating habits that involve smaller portions, and include exercise. Your goals is to gradually lose weight and keep the excess pounds off by making a lifestyle change you can realistically live with, which doesn’t compromise the health and wellbeing of your body.

There are many exercise and diet programs and books that can help you lose weight. However, before you jump headfirst into a weight loss program, you should first visit your doctor and discuss your weight loss plans with them before you take action. Your doctor can provide you recommendations and lead you down the path to healthy weight loss.

Another good idea is to visit a licensed dietitian. This is a health care professional who specializes in advising people about meal planning and controlling their weight. They can help you make nutritional and healthy eating choices.

In addition, talk to others who are watching their weight. Find out what they are doing to help keep off the extra pounds. Exercising with others and introducing your family or friends to healthy meal choices, is an effective way to lose weight successfully, because it’s always easier to change when you’re not going it alone.

For more information on how an acid reflux disease diet works please visit Stop Acid Reflux Now and sign up for the free newsletter.

Crohns vs Remicade

Posted in Health & Fitness on January 26th, 2007

Crohn’s disease is a chronic condition with no cure that affects many people. Thus, all a Crohn’s sufferer can hope for is an effective treatment that will alleviate symptoms and put the disease in remission. One such treatment that may be able to achieve this goal for many sufferers is Remicade.

What is Remicade? Remicade, better known as Infliximab, is part of a group of medications called Biological Response Modifiers or TNF (tumor necrosis factor) Blockers. Remicade is a compound created from living organisms and their products - proteins, antibodies, etc. Remicade is designed to improve the body’s natural response to disease, by soothing certain parts of the immune system that is thought to be aggravating the condition and causing symptoms.

Studies have found Remicade successful at helping many moderate to severe Crohn’s sufferers find relief from their symptoms and achieve remission. Some researchers believe Remicade is an effective treatment because it binds and blocks the effects of TNF-alpha, one of the proteins used to create inflammation.

Remicade is often prescribed to those not responding to steroid or other Crohn’s treatment. Remicade is not a steroid drug, therefore, it may also help a Crohn’s sufferer reduce or stop steroid treatment which can have unpleasant side effects.

Is Remicade safe for everyone? No. Remicade can lower the body’s blood cells which help fight infections. Thus, it is easier for a person to catch infections just by being around those who are ill. It also increases the risk of injury and bleeding more than normal.

In addition, Remicade can increase the risk of developing particular types of cancer such as skin cancer, breast cancer and colon cancer. It also increases the risk of autoimmune disorders like lupus

Remicade isn’t recommended for people who have:
• Congestive heart failure
• Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
• Tuberculosis or previous case(s)
• Hepatitis B
• Seizure or epilepsy
• Cancer history
• A disease that affects the muscles or nerves (IE. Multiple sclerosis)
• A current or recent infection

Children under 6 years of age can not use Remicade, and pregnant women or breastfeeding mothers should talk to their doctor before considering treatment. Furthermore, you should never receive a “live” vaccine when on Remicade, and inform your doctor of any drug allergies.

What are the side effects of Remicade? The following are side effects you need to be aware of including, but not limited to -

Common side effects: stuffy nose; sinus pain; stomach pain; mild skin rash, and headache.

Serious side effects: shortness of breath even after little exertion, swollen feet or ankles; hair loss; skin rash that appear red, purple or scaly; joint or muscle pain; sores in the mouth; feeling numb or tingling; weakness in the arms and legs; vision problems; pain or burning sensation when urinating; nausea; stomach pain; mild fever; dark urine; clay-colored stools; loss of appetite; jaundice and seizures.

Signs of allergic reaction: hives; trouble breathing; Swelling in the face, lips, tongue or throat.

Signs of an infection while on Remicade: fever; flu-like symptoms; soar throat; weight loss; chest pain; chronic cough; coughing blood; pale skin; unusual weakness; bruising or bleeding easily.

Should you experience any serious side effect, allergic reaction or signs of infection seek medical attention immediately and notify your doctor. Also, be sure to notify your doctor if you experience common side effects or side effects not listed.

How is Remicade administered? Remicade is administered by a health care provider, usually every 2 – 8 weeks, and is injected into the patient with a needle. Remicade is injected slowly and treatment is about 2 hours. Those who become experienced with the treatment may be allowed to treat themselves at home, but self-treatment requires confidence and effective understanding.

If Remicade is a treatment that interests you, talk to your doctor and discuss all risks.

For more information on crohns disease, please visit Natural Crohn’s Disease Relief, where you can sign up for a free newsletter.

HOW TO HELP YOUR CHILD COPE WITH ADHD

Posted in Health & Fitness on January 21st, 2007

A child with ADHD can control some of his or her behavior problems with medications and therapy. Both the parents and the children with ADHD need extraordinary assistance and support to develop techniques for supervising the patterns of activities. Therapists help children with ADHD cope with their daily problems. The therapists also assist families of children with ADHD in the betterment of their relationships with each other so they can handle the unruly behaviors and encourage change. There are five common therapies that are specially designed to help people cope with ADHD.

Psychotherapy is the most common of all. It works by helping people with ADHD to love, appreciate and eventually accept themselves. Patients learn alternative ways of handling their emotions by talking about hurtful thoughts and feelings. In this way, the patient is able to suppress his or her inappropriate feelings and explore mechanisms of behavior.

Social skills training can help children learn new behaviors that are vital in developing and maintaining social relationships. Social skills training helps the child to develop better ways to play, work and relate with other children of the same age.

BT or behavioral therapy works by helping people with ADHD change their views rather than helping the child realize his or her feelings and actions.

Support groups connect parents and families with other people in the same situation. Sharing experiences with others who have similar problems helps people know that they aren’t alone and gives them a sense of belonging.

Parenting skills training gives parents techniques for supervising their child’s behavior. An example of these techniques is the reward system or gift system, wherein the child is rewarded for his or her good deeds and completed tasks.

Parents’ verbal and nonverbal communication with their children has a direct impact on the way their children talk, act and behave. The more you improve the relationship and communication between yourself and your children, the more you help the child with ADHD to mature into a strong, healthy, productive and responsible person.

Parents must change the way they speak to their children. They must be aware that no one likes to be yelled at. Listening is better than talking and is essential to good parent-child relationship. Listening makes the speaker feel respected and important. Here are few good listening habits: Try to find the positive in what is being said, try to truly appreciate the other person’s point of view , repeat in your own words what you think the child is saying, and most of all listen first before talking.

The more positive interactions the parent and their child have, the better. Parent and child should have time to play together, sing together, dance together, share concerns, and enjoy companionship with each other.

For more information about understanding and managing the effects of ADHD naturally please visit Focus ADHD - proven natural medicine for ADHD treatments.

If you are looking for more ways to experience ADHD relief please go to RecognizingADHD.com where you can sign up for a free newsletter.

Getting a Grip on Menopausal Dizziness and Vertigo

Posted in Health & Fitness on January 19th, 2007

It’s not just the risk of osteoporosis that makes menopause quite the irksome adventure, it’s also all the different symptoms that go along with it. Even though not every menopausal woman will experience the same physical or psychological problems, it is important that you are aware of the most common symptoms. The reason is because you may be suffering from a symptom but are not relating it to menopause.

For instance, many menopausal women who suffer from dizziness have no idea that this is a common symptom of their condition. Dizziness may be directly related to menopause due to changes in the body. For instance, due to lower estrogen levels, changes occur in the blood vessels within the nervous system which can result in dizziness. Furthermore, hot flashes, night sweats and migraine headaches are other menopausal symptoms that can lead to dizziness and vertigo.

Dizziness could also be indirectly related to menopause by being a side effect of medications you are taking to treat other symptoms such as hormone replacement therapy.

Despite the cause of your menopausal dizziness, this symptom can be irritating, and in some cases dangerous. Imagine what could happen if a woman, who suffers frequent dizzy spells, becomes dizzy while driving a vehicle, riding a bike, crossing a street or walking down the stairs. This could result in an accident with possible, serious consequences. In addition, a severe case of dizziness may lead to vertigo.

Vertigo is a serious condition that can cause headaches, dizziness, a spinning sensation, imbalance and falling. Vertigo is often followed by nausea and sometimes vomiting. The condition is made worse with motion. Vertigo occurs when otoliths (calcium carbonate particles) are misplaced in the inner ear’s semicircular canals.

Excessive dizziness and incidences of vertigo should be brought to your doctor’s attention. Your health care provider can examine and diagnose your condition, and provide you with treatment options to help with your symptoms.

That being said, some common ways to treat menopausal dizziness include:

Eating – Most women are constantly on the go and fail to provide their body with the energy and nutrients it needs. Many women do not eat a proper breakfast, nor do they have snacks when they are hungry. Furthermore, they drink too many dehydrating fluids such as coffee, tea and soda, and not enough water to help their body stay hydrated. During menopause, your body is going through too many hormonal changes and cannot handle a poor diet.

Therefore, if you are experiencing dizziness, try improving your diet and eat foods with protein, and natural energy such as fruit. Also, be sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day!

Relax – Stress leads to many negative emotional side affects including depression, anxiety and headaches. You can reduce the stress you feel by engaging in meditation and exercises that promote deep breathing such as Yoga and Pilates. Furthermore, getting a good night sleep can also help with dizziness.

Herbal treatment - A popular herbal remedy is inhaling lavender oil from a cloth. This treatment has been used for centuries to treat swooning (lightheadedness). As an extra bonus, it smells wonderful.

Note: Talk to your doctor before treating your dizzy spells with herbal remedies or over-the-counter medications.

Always remember that while dizziness is a common symptom of menopause, excessive dizziness may be a sign of something far more serious than menopause such as a brain tumor. Thus, before you brush your dizzy symptoms aside, take the time to seek the opinion of your doctor.

For information on the menopause relief or for details about treating menopause symptoms naturally, please visit NaturalMenopauseReliefSecrets.com and sign up for a free newsletter.

Getting a Grip on Menopausal Dizziness and Vertigo

Posted in Health & Fitness on January 19th, 2007

It’s not just the risk of osteoporosis that makes menopause quite the irksome adventure, it’s also all the different symptoms that go along with it. Even though not every menopausal woman will experience the same physical or psychological problems, it is important that you are aware of the most common symptoms. The reason is because you may be suffering from a symptom but are not relating it to menopause.

For instance, many menopausal women who suffer from dizziness have no idea that this is a common symptom of their condition. Dizziness may be directly related to menopause due to changes in the body. For instance, due to lower estrogen levels, changes occur in the blood vessels within the nervous system which can result in dizziness. Furthermore, hot flashes, night sweats and migraine headaches are other menopausal symptoms that can lead to dizziness and vertigo.

Dizziness could also be indirectly related to menopause by being a side effect of medications you are taking to treat other symptoms such as hormone replacement therapy.

Despite the cause of your menopausal dizziness, this symptom can be irritating, and in some cases dangerous. Imagine what could happen if a woman, who suffers frequent dizzy spells, becomes dizzy while driving a vehicle, riding a bike, crossing a street or walking down the stairs. This could result in an accident with possible, serious consequences. In addition, a severe case of dizziness may lead to vertigo.

Vertigo is a serious condition that can cause headaches, dizziness, a spinning sensation, imbalance and falling. Vertigo is often followed by nausea and sometimes vomiting. The condition is made worse with motion. Vertigo occurs when otoliths (calcium carbonate particles) are misplaced in the inner ear’s semicircular canals.

Excessive dizziness and incidences of vertigo should be brought to your doctor’s attention. Your health care provider can examine and diagnose your condition, and provide you with treatment options to help with your symptoms.

That being said, some common ways to treat menopausal dizziness include:

Eating – Most women are constantly on the go and fail to provide their body with the energy and nutrients it needs. Many women do not eat a proper breakfast, nor do they have snacks when they are hungry. Furthermore, they drink too many dehydrating fluids such as coffee, tea and soda, and not enough water to help their body stay hydrated. During menopause, your body is going through too many hormonal changes and cannot handle a poor diet.

Therefore, if you are experiencing dizziness, try improving your diet and eat foods with protein, and natural energy such as fruit. Also, be sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day!

Relax – Stress leads to many negative emotional side affects including depression, anxiety and headaches. You can reduce the stress you feel by engaging in meditation and exercises that promote deep breathing such as Yoga and Pilates. Furthermore, getting a good night sleep can also help with dizziness.

Herbal treatment - A popular herbal remedy is inhaling lavender oil from a cloth. This treatment has been used for centuries to treat swooning (lightheadedness). As an extra bonus, it smells wonderful.

Note: Talk to your doctor before treating your dizzy spells with herbal remedies or over-the-counter medications.

Always remember that while dizziness is a common symptom of menopause, excessive dizziness may be a sign of something far more serious than menopause such as a brain tumor. Thus, before you brush your dizzy symptoms aside, take the time to seek the opinion of your doctor.

For information on the menopause relief or for details about treating menopause symptoms naturally, please visit NaturalMenopauseReliefSecrets.com and sign up for a free newsletter.

Is Foot Pain Making You Neurotic?

Posted in Health & Fitness on January 16th, 2007

Although itching and blistery feet may be a sign of Athlete’s foot, those who have constant numbness or tingling in their feet may be suffering from a condition known as peripheral neuropathy. This is the general term given to disorders that affect the body’s peripheral nerves.

The peripheral nervous system is comprised of nerves that spread from the spinal cord to various parts of the body. This nervous system is responsible for motor and sensory nerves; the nerves that help us move and feel. When a peripheral nerve is damaged, the affected area (particularly the lower extremities) may become increasingly numb or hyper sensitive (sensory nerve) and/or weak or paralyzed (motor nerves). Either one or both sets of nerves can be affected.

Peripheral neuropathy that affects the feet is most common in people with diabetes, and in those who inherit the condition from their parent - hereditary neuropathy. However, foot neuropathy isn’t limited to these groups. It can occur in anyone.

The most common symptoms of foot neuropathy involving the sensory nerve include:
• Pain – sharp, stabbing or electric
• Extreme sensitivity to touch
• Numbness
• Tingling
• Burning or freezing sensation
• Lack of feeling

If the motor nerves are damaged in the feet, a person may experience weakness or paralysis, which can cause the muscles to waste due to the fact that they are no longer working as they should.

There is no cure for peripheral neuropathy. Therefore, without proper foot care, the feet of an infected person are in danger of blisters, thickened calluses and cuts that can lead to ulcers. Ulcers need to be looked after to prevent an infection that can lead to amputation.

Approximately 15% of people with neuropathic feet will develop foot ulcers that become infected. However, amputation can be prevented in 80% of cases by practicing daily foot care such as:

• Thoroughly wash and dry feet
• Inspect the bottom of your feet upon waking up and before going to bed.
o Look for redness, blisters or cuts.
o Touch your feet. If one feels particularly hot, this could be a sign that a bone is broken. Seek your doctor’s attention immediately.
o A callus is a sign that an extreme amount of pressure is being forced upon a particular area of your foot. Almost all ulcers begin as a callus. The most common callus areas are the big toe and the ball of the foot. If you have calluses consult your podiatrist on ways to relieve the pressure.
o If you see openings in the foot or there is blood under the surface of the skin, see your doctor right away.
• Wear shoes that have lots of room. Tight shoes cause pressure and cause and ulcer. Have a qualified pedorthist (shoe specialist) fit shoes to your feet.
• Take a walk. Walking helps increase the flow of blood to your feet. This reduces the chance of ulcers and infection. Note: stay off your feet if you have an ulcer.
• Foot stretches help improve circulation.

People with neruopathic feet should refrain from:

• Smoking
• Excessive alcohol intake
• Walking barefoot
• Soaking feet
• Wearing shoes without socks
• Wearing flip-flops or slip-on shoes
• Sleeping with ankles crossed
• Cutting calluses or corns
• Cutting toenails (a podiatrist or pedicurist should do this for you)

If you are experiencing tingling or numbness in your feet, see your doctor to get your feet checked out. He or she will be able to refer you to the right specialist to help you treat and monitor your condition.

If you are looking for more ways to experience Foot Pain relief please go to FootPainRelief.com where you can sign up for a free newsletter.

Alcohol and High Blood Pressure A potentially dangerous combination?

Posted in Health & Fitness on January 12th, 2007

Do you enjoy wine, beer or other alcoholic beverages on a regular basis? Do you drink a moderate amount of alcohol, or do you go over your limit? Do you even know what the moderate amount is? If you are not sure if you are exceeding a healthy alcohol limit, you could be putting yourself at risk of developing a number of dangerous health conditions such as high blood pressure.

How can alcohol affect blood pressure? The answer to this question is still unknown, even though medical research has discovered that drinking alcohol excessively can cause blood pressure to rise. That being said, it has also been found that regularly drinking moderate amounts of alcohol can actually help keep the body healthy and protect it from heart disease and stroke; conditions linked to high blood pressure.

Drinking in moderation
Before we get into how excessive drinking can lead to high blood pressure, first we’ll take a look at what is considered to be moderate drinking. Drinking alcohol moderately is different for both men and women:

Men - 2 alcoholic drinks per day is considered sufficient for men up until the age of 65. After 65, men should drink the moderate intake recommended for women.

Women - 1 alcoholic drink per day is considered sufficient for women.

A single drink is the equivalent of:
• 12 oz. of regular beer or lager (1 bottle or can)
• 5 oz. of wine (1 standard glass of wine)
• 1 oz. of spirits (1 shot of spirits)

If you are over exceeding the amount of alcohol that is considered sufficient for you on a regular basis, it is highly likely that your alcohol consumption is having a negative affect on your blood pressure and overall health. In this case, it is imperative that you cut back. By decreasing alcohol intake and drinking in moderation, a previous heavy drinker can actually lower their diastolic blood pressure by 1-2 points and their systolic blood pressure by 2-4 points.

People who drink alcohol excessively can raise their blood pressure to unhealthy levels. Not only that, alcohol is also high in calories and can increase your weight. Furthermore, if you are taking blood pressure medication, alcohol can increase the negative side effects of these meds.

On the other hand, if you are drinking moderately, the alcohol you ingest should not be having an affect on your blood pressure. That being said, if you frequently indulge in binge drinking (drinking excessive amounts of alcohol in one sitting as is common on the weekend), drinking moderately on a regular basis can also increase your blood pressure.

Can people with high blood pressure still drink alcohol?
Yes - The average person with high blood pressure and has no other complications can drinking alcohol as long as they stay within the recommended limits, even if they are on blood pressure medication.
No – Someone who has a damaged liver, is an alcoholic, has heart disease, or has already suffered a stroke, should not drink alcohol.

It’s a good idea to talk to your doctor about whether or not moderate alcohol consumption is safe for you. It’s also imperative that you have your blood pressure checked at least once a year by your doctor, at the local clinic, or any place that provides you the opportunity. It is a simple, fast and painless procedure that can give you peace of mind.

If you should discover you have high blood pressure, you can then take the right actions to help you avoid the serious complications associated with the condition.

If you are looking for more help for Blood Pressure Reduction symptoms please visit NaturalBloodPressureReduction.com and sign up for a free newsletter.

Candida linked to Diabetes

Posted in Health & Fitness on January 9th, 2007

If you have diabetes, chances are good you will also have problems with a bacteria known as candida. Why is there a connection? Because every living human has candida in his or her system. Usually the “friendly bacteria” keep the non-friendly candida at bay, but certain factors can allow the candida to flourish — factors that are often brought on by diabetes.

For example, candida is a cause of vaginal yeast infections in women, and while yeast infections are very common, they are even more common among women with diabetes. This is because diabetes impairs the body’s immune system and its ability to fight infections. Candida growths that would be taken care of naturally in non-diabetic people become problematic. Also, high blood sugars (characteristic of diabetes) make the mucous membranes more sugary, which is a perfect environment for yeasts to grow in.

Diabetic women who have candida-caused yeast infections can usually remedy them just about as easily as other women, provided they are properly diagnosed. (Some studies have shown that about one-third of women who diagnosed themselves thought they had a yeast infection when in fact it was something else. Always see a doctor so you can treat the right illness!) Treating a yeast infection often takes longer for diabetic women, though. Usually the 14-day medicinal therapy is necessary to get rid of it for diabetic women, as opposed to a three-day or seven-day program. But it is just as treatable as for non-diabetic women, so the fact that it’s more common shouldn’t be worrisome to you.

Candida causes other conditions besides yeast infections, including many that are common to men, too. (In fact, the vaginal yeast infection is really the only “women-only” condition related to candida.) Candida is a bacteria that can grow into a full-blown fungus, and the entire body is susceptible to it.

For example, oral candidiasis, also known as oral thrush, is a fungal infection in the mouth that manifests itself with white or yellow spots. It occurs more often among diabetics. Antifungal medications, prescribed by your dentist, can take care of it. It’s important for anyone to practice good oral hygiene (brushing, flossing, etc.), but particularly for people with diabetes, since their immune systems are slightly compromised and their blood sugar levels slightly higher, thus creating an environment conducive to candida growth.

So it’s clear that people with diabetes should take extra care to avoid conditions that will lead to trouble with the candida bacteria. But how do you know if you have diabetes? The most common symptoms of type 1 diabetes (the more serious variety) are frequent urination, excessive thirst, and increased appetite. Some patients have blurred vision, fatigue, and irritability, too.

If you suspect you may have diabetes, it’s important to see a doctor right away and be tested for it. Diabetes was once deadly but is now almost always easily treatable — but it does need to be treated. Patients who monitor their blood-sugar levels and take the necessary treatments and precautions usually live normal, healthy lives. They are at greater risk for yeast infections, oral thrush and other candida-caused conditions, but even those can usually be managed.

Jane Symms has an interest in Candida. For further information on Candida please visit understanding Candida or Candida resource blog posts.