New Drugs for Gout and Ulcerative Colitis
New drugs for gout and ulcerative colitis, two diseases that plague millions of people worldwide have been found.
Identifying the Signs of Breast Cancer
The early stages of breast cancer may not have any symptoms. That is why you must learn how to identify the signs of breast cancer before it's too late!
Full Body Detox
Lose 10 - 50lbs in 3 week with detox!
Do I Have Healthy Prostate Gland?
Don't wait until it's too late! Make sure you have healthy prostate gland.

Friday, December 30, 2005

Alzheimer's May Be Another Form of Diabetes

A study from Brown University Medical School shows that Alzheimer’s disease may be another form of diabetes, and all the recommendations for avoiding diabetes may also protect your memory (Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, November 2005.)

Like the pancreas, the brain produces insulin. Professor Suzanne M. de la Monte showed that brain levels of insulin and insulin receptors fall during the early stages of Alzheimer's and continue to drop progressively as the disease progresses. Other features of Alzheimer's, such as cell death and tangles in the brain, could be caused by abnormalities in insulin functions. Furthermore, lack of insulin lowers brain levels of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which is seen regularly in Alzheimer's disease.

This would explain why every factor known to increase risk for heart attacks also increases risk for Alzheimer’s disease. Anything that increases your chances of developing a stroke or a heart attack also increases your chances of developing Alzheimer's disease. So the risk factors for Alzheimer's disease include smoking, being overweight, not exercising, eating a high-fat diet, taking in too many calories, or having high blood pressure or high blood cholesterol levels. Dietary risk factors include not eating enough vegetables; lack of omega-3 fatty acids; and eating too much meat.

Even though these studies on insulin and Alzheimer's are preliminary, it is a good idea to reduce susceptibility to developing diabetes by markedly reducing your intake of sugar and flour; increasing your intake of fruits, vegetable, whole grains, beans, and nuts; avoiding weight gain and exercising regularly.

by Gabe Mirkin, M.D.

How Acid Reflux Can Worsen Your Asthma

Asthma is a chronic lung condition that is characterized by difficulty in breathing, wheezing, and mucus accumulation. People with asthma have extra sensitive or hyper-responsive airways. During an asthma attack, the airways become irritated and react by narrowing and constructing, causing increased resistance to airflow, and obstructing the flow of the air passages to and from the lungs.

Some research indicates that the symptoms of asthma may get worse when you have heartburn or acid reflux. Acid reflux occurs when your undigested stomach content moves back up into your esophagus.

Acid reflux can cause painful heartburn which you can relieve with antacid medicines or natural remedies. Antacids simply neutralize your stomach's acid, which reduces the burning sensation in your esophagus tube. It is best to use natural remedies first because neutralising stomach acid is a temporary method and only serves to suppress the cause of acid reflux.

For acid reflux, it is best to use digestive enzymes. Take a good digestive enzyme with every meal you eat. The next step would be to learn how to eat so you don't get acid reflux or heartburn.

Acid reflux happens mostly in people who are older and overweight. But sometimes it can happen in children and in all types of people.

In some studies, researchers have injected acid into the esophageus of people with asthma, and it had a significant impact on their asthma and increased their asthma symptoms.

These is also evidence to suggest that people who have asthma get acid reflux more often than people without asthma. This is probably because of the big pressure changes in the chest during breathing in people with asthma. These high pressures could force liquid to travel the wrong way up the esophagus.

In these cases, asthma sufferers seem to lose out twice: they suffer from asthma and they may suffer from acid reflux more often than non asthma sufferers.

However, this is not the whole story. If acid reflux really was an important cause of asthma worsening, then treatments against acid reflux should make the asthma better, however, this is generally not the case.

In the meantime, if you have asthma and you also have acid reflux, it could just be that careful treatment of your reflux will make your breathing better.

If your asthma is bad and no-one knows why, some doctors would check whether you have or had acid reflux by conducting tests to measure the acidity in your stomach. If the result showed a tendency for acid reflux, then your doctor should help you eliminate this condition.

Using a doctor who uses natural methods to treat acid reflux is the best way to go. Using drugs to eliminate acid reflux when you are already taking drugs for asthma is asking for addition health problems in the future. Drugs do not cure acid reflux and cause Theis condition to worsen. It is best to use natural remedies and diet to eliminate acid reflux and heartburn.

by Rudy Silva

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Osteoporosis: Exercise; Watch the Alcohol

If they live long enough, almost every woman and most men will suffer from osteoporosis. Women who break their hips from osteoporosis must have a hip replacement immediately. Otherwise, they have a 20 percent chance of dying from complications within a year. A study from Australia shows that running strengthens the leg bones of both older and younger women (Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, October 2005.) However, the research shows that bones used in an exercise are the only bones that are strengthened by that activity. So running strengthens leg bones, rowing strengthens arms and back, and lifting weights strengthen bones that are used for each lift.

Bones are not static. Certain cells called osteoblasts constantly bring calcium into bones to make them stronger and osteoclasts take calcium from bones. Exercise increases the rate that osteoblasts strengthen bones. Inactivity slows osteoblastic activity to weaken bones. So any exercise that places force on a bone will strengthen that bone.

The person most likely to suffer from osteoporosis has pale skin, is very thin and drinks a lot of alcohol. Pale people often do not get enough sunlight to meet their needs for the bone-strengthening vitamin D; skinny people often miss essential nutrients necessary for bone health; and heavy drinking inhibits new bone from forming (Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research, December, 2005). So far, most studies show that people can take up to two drinks a day without harming their health. A drink is five ounces of wine, 12 ounces of beer, or two thirds of a shot glass of hard alcohol. However, exceeding that amount can hasten the onset of osteoporosis, in which the slightest trauma can break bones and they will heal much more slowly than normal.

by Gabe Mirkin, M.D.

Related articles:

Detoxification By Using Juice Diet Therapy

Nature cure depends for effectiveness on elimination of the toxic substances causing the condition, whereas the more dramatic results of the orthodox physician are more concerned with the suppression of the symptoms.

For conditions which have appeared to become serious, self-diagnosis can lead to errors. There is really no substitute for the objective opinion of a trained and experienced practitioner, but the great advantage of raw juice diet is that it is not normally made less effective when combined with other treatments.

An elimination of the toxic substances in the tissues begins with the therapy. The strength of this activity can develop and grow so that the wastes that have accumulated are first of all loosened and then mobilized. They are absorbed again by the blood-stream and afterwards excreted.

This often causes an aggravation of the symptoms, or sometimes colds or boils or digestive upsets. In the young and vigorous this healing crisis may take place in the first six weeks of treatment; older or weaker people, especially when a chronic illness is present, often have no crisis at all. Or when they do, it may be delayed for many months and be quite mild as the toxic material is disposed of slowly.

Today advertising encourages the mother to use baby milks so that the natural protection and immunity which is the child's birthright and comes from breast feeding is denied. As a distinguished British pediatrician said: 'I simply cannot see why all normal mothers do not breast feed, for not only is the mixture just right, it is more healthy, free of charge, at the correct temperature, there when you need it and beautifully packed".

Nature is complete and whole - we must extract the whole of the juice from the fruit or vegetable in the same way as we should use the whole of the grain in our cooking. So natural cures necessitate moving away from the sophisticated and refined, partially synthetic foods that are everywhere about us, back to those living cells which are composed of the same organic building blocks as comprise all living things. If you think this may not make for an exciting cuisine, I am glad to say that you are mistaken, for imaginatively prepared pure foods can be both complex and sublime.

by Kevin Pederson
Kevin Pederson has been managing a number of natural home remedies websites which have information on home based natural cures and methods of detoxification by use of juice therapy.

How to Remove Stretch Marks

If we had the answer to this one, we'd all be millionaires. But we don't. Because once you have them, stretch marks are forever, although with time, they usually do fade.

Stretch marks on your skin, are caused by overextension of the collagen, which is the fiber under the skin. This can be caused by pregnancy, excessive weight gain, obesity, and even body builders who have "pumped up" their muscles may experience them.

As the fiber tears, you may see a thin red line that eventually turns white as it heals. Technically speaking, this is scar tissue, in such thin and hard to handle layers, that it would be impossible to remove through surgery, not to mention extremely invasive given the network of lines that many pregnant women develop on their hips, stomach and buttocks.

Laser surgery is being touted at the newest method for removal. It is a very precise science that may remove some of the marks, but cannot repair the damaged fibers.

As is often the case with many things, prevention is better than looking for a cure that isn't there. Avoid excessive weight gains, and when pregnant, continue to exercise during the pregnancy and afterwards, to tighten up skin fibers. While coco butter based creams are often pushed as a cure, the most they can do for you is to soften the skin, which will keep your skin more supple, but won't remove stretch marks. Another tip is to keep yourself well hydrated, since dry skin has less flexible tissue, making it more prone to the tears.

by Brenda H. Murphy

Also read: Natural Way to Treat Stretch Marks

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Obesity And The Lack Of Motivation To Lose Weight

Why is it that many obese individuals lack the motivation to lose weight? Well there are several that most weight loss schemes miss. Some include the following;

1. Many obese individuals have an emotional investment in remaining obese. They use food as a way of numbing themselves to emotional pain, of avoiding engaging in satisfying relationships, of engaging in more creative interests, of taking responsibility for their lives, of asking others to rescue them and so on.

2. Many obese individuals become desensitized to how they actually feel both physically and emotionally. Compulsive over eaters who are emotionally prone to obesity often use food to numb their emotional pain. By doing so they are also numbing out the physical and emotional discomfort that naturally goes with being obese. When they lose touch with how awful they actually feel there is little left to fuel any motivation to change.

3. Many obese individuals lack the energy required to make a consistent effort to take better care of themselves. Carrying extra weight inherently drains one's energy. As obesity, in my view, is often emotionally determined, such individuals are also carrying a great deal of emotional pain that requires energy to keep it unconscious.

4. Many obese individuals are eating foods that they are sensitive to and which actually make them depressed. Dr. Peter D'Adamo has written a wonderful dissertation (see "Eat Right 4 Your Type") on the relationship between one's blood type, food sensitivities, obesity and depression. It appears that individuals who eat foods they are sensitive too not only are unable to metabolize them, they also become susceptible to developing obesity, depression, and other chronic illnesses.

So in summary how can one address this motivational issue?

1. See Dr. D'Adamo's book and follow it strictly for at least 6 months to see changes.

2. Address and release the emotional needs to remain obese i.e. old traumatic pain. This can be done via the Mind Resonance Process(TM) (MRP) (see the web link below for more on this). MRP will also help restore your energy and re-sensitize you to how you actually feel so that you can be guided by such feelings in your journey back to complete health and happiness.

by Dr. Nick Arrizza, M.D.

Anti-Smoking Vaccine Shows Promise

A nicotine vaccine called NicVax appears to be a safe, well-tolerated and potentially effective aid in helping people quit smoking, researchers find.

The 38-week study included 68 current smokers who received one of three different doses of the vaccine or a placebo. The study wasn't designed to evaluate the treatment effect of the vaccine, but the researchers did find that 38 percent of the people taking the high dose of vaccine quit smoking for at least 30 days.

"This result was an impressive and completely unexpected finding because the study was not focused on helping smokers quite smoking. In fact, to participate in the study, smokers had to attest that they did not have a planned quit date for the next six months," study author Dorothy Hatsukami, director of the University of Minnesota Cancer Center's Transdisciplinary Tobacco Use Research Center, said in a prepared statement.

News source

Grapefruit for Gum Disease

Good news for those with gum disease. You just have to eat two grapefruits a day to fight the gum disease. BBC Health writes:
Eating grapefruit could help fight gum disease, a study suggests.

Researchers found people with gum disease who ate two grapefruits a day for a fortnight showed significantly less bleeding from the gums.

They believe this is due to an increase in blood levels of vitamin C, known to promote wound healing and cut damage by unstable free radical molecules.

The research, by Friedrich Schiller University in Germany, is published in the British Dental Journal.

The study of 58 people with chronic gum disease found that eating grapefruits had a positive effect on both smokers and non-smokers.

Monday, December 26, 2005

Fat and Cancer

Tee Shiao Eek wrote an article about fat and cancer: Linking Fat to Cancer. It said:
The United States National Cancer Institute (NCI) estimates that about 3.2% of all new cancers in 2002 were linked to obesity. The US revealed even more alarming statistics in a recent report. An estimated 14% of deaths from cancer in men and 20% of deaths from cancer in women were due to overweight and obesity.

So is obesity linked to just any cancer?

No. Experts have concluded that obesity may account for 25-30% of the following major cancers: cancers of the colon, breast (in postmenopausal women), endometrium (the lining of the uterus), kidney, and oesophagus.

Some studies have also reported links between obesity and cancers of the gallbladder, ovaries, and pancreas.

What’s to be done then? Don’t become overweight or obese in the first place. Preventing weight gain not only reduces the risk of many cancers, but also the risk of other equally debilitating diseases, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart attack and stroke.

If you are already pushing it on the weighing scale, don’t despair. You can still reduce your risk by avoiding more weight gain, and attempting to lose weight.

Even a weight loss of only five to 10% of your total weight can provide health benefits, says the NCI.
Read the whole article here.

Young Adults and Anti-Aging Products

From USA Today:
Forget "40 is the new 30." Now even twentysomethings are joining the quest for eternal youth by using anti-aging products and wrinkle treatments. Some young adults say they want to reverse the effects the sun has already had on their skin. Others already are feeling social pressure to retain their fresh-faced looks.

"Instead of starting when you're 40 or 45, you might as well start now," says Joanne Katsigiannis, a 24-year-old from suburban Chicago who's been using anti-aging products for about two years.

Keeping your New Years Health & Fitness Resolutions in 2006

Yes, it is that time again when most of us decide to make some changes in life. These are normally related to our health. Stop smoking, start training, lose some body fat, start eating healthier and so forth. According to a study conducted by GNC, 55% promised to eat healthier, 50% resolved to exercise more, and 38% wanted to lose weight.

This is the probably the worst time to make changes in your life. For one, it is highly ineffective and from previous experience, there are very few of us who actually stick to them! Only 20% of us actually stick to our new promises we make to ourselves. Most new years resolutions are the same every year, and, tend to fade away come February.

Don’t let the statistics determine your success. Here we will offer you some inside tips to help you become that 20% and ensure you resolutions remain in tact and become achievements. Never again will you need to make these New Year resolutions.

Develop a Support System
Tell your friends and family about your gaols and how you will achieve them. Better still, set some mutual goals with your friends and work together. Ask them to follow up with you on your progress from time to time to ensure you are on top of things.

Make your Resolutions Attainable
Don’t try to conquer Rome in a day. All goals must be realistic and achievable. Give yourself the best chance possible at achieving them. Don’t plan to run a Marathon by March. Aim to participate in a 10km walk or a fun run for charity. There are plenty of small events in Bangkok that you can choose from.

Make a Plan
If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Just as a business is only as successful as its business plan, your lifestyle works on the same principles. Write down specific dates to achieve your goals.

Break it Down
If your goal is to lose say 5kgs, the write out step by step, just how you will achieve this. If you have tried to achieve this before, also write down the obstacles you experienced that prevented you from achieving them. Then set out to minimise them. If work is one reason why you can get to the gym, then go for a walk at lunch time or speak with your superiors or HR department to introduce workplace health and fitness initiatives.

We all know diets don’t work. Changing your eating habits does not constitute dieting. Eat sensibly. Eat 4-5 smaller meals pre day. Include plenty of vegetables, protein and minimise carbohydrates. Do not eliminate them,

Reward Yourself
Reward yourself with gifts, holidays and weekends away, a spa package, massage or go shopping. Refrain from using food as a reward. You can also set yourself financial rewards. Set aside a certain amount of money each day or week for getting to the gym x times or eating your five planned meals for the day.

Keep a Journal
Write down everything you eat and what time you eat it. Record your exercise duration and if possible your total energy expenditure (calories). When things aren’t going to plan, you can look through your journal and make adjustments accordingly.

Get professional Assistance
Employ the services of a professional. Find a personal trainer or fitness coach who can devise the most appropriate exercise and nutrition program that you enjoy and can stick with. They will help you stay on track and help you work through the tough times.

Make sure your New Years Resolutions for 2006 are not on your list for 2007!

by Daniel Ramon

New warning issued against mung bean sprouts

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is again warning consumers in Ontario and parts of Quebec to avoid eating mung bean sprouts distributed by Toronto Sun Wah Trading Inc., also known as Hollend Enterprises, because they may be contaminated with salmonella.

"We are working to remove the affected product from the marketplace," CFIA food safety and recall officer Davendra Sharma told, but he would not comment on what led the agency to issue the warning.

In an advisory released Saturday, the government agency warned that the sprouts have been distributed in Ontario and may also have been distributed in the Abitibi-Témiscamingue area of Quebec.

The sprouts are sold in packages of various weights and may also be packaged under various store names or without the Sun Wah name.

"This alert is a part of an on-going investigation," the CFIA said in the written statement.

"Although the exact source of contamination has not been confirmed, there is sufficient risk of contamination to warrant this alert."

About a month ago, at least 379 people had been confirmed with salmonella poisoning from contaminated bean sprouts.

Great Health, Beauty, Nutrition Means A Full Fat Salad

Fat free has almost become a cornerstone in many households. It is certainly something of a fixture on modern restaurant menus. And industries have catered to the fat free preoccupation by supplying foods labeled fat free and low fat, as well as herbal and medical products that block fat metabolism. But the bottom line on the beauty and health fronts, is that if you want beautiful skin with fewer wrinkles, or to speed up your metabolism, you need to eat the right kind of fats.

The benefits to your skin of eating the right fats daily are many. Beneficial fats stimulate the production of collagen, improves the blood flow in the layer below the skin that supplies nutrients for the creation of new, healthy skin cells. Poor quality blood flow here means under performing new skin cells. Fats keep the skin moist, from the inside. Fats are crucial for the absorption of the fat soluble vitamin - A, D, E, and K. And the beneficial phytonutrients like carotene, lycopene and lutein need fat to be absorbed also.

For example, eating salad with a dressing containing fats increases the absorption of these phytonutrients. A study, published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition (and referenced in Gorgeous Skin by E Angyal) found that those who ate a salad with a low fat dressing had very little alpha-carotene, beta-carotene and lycopene in blood tests taken afterwards. Those who had a full fat dressing with the salad had noticeably higher levels of these carotenes and lycopene metabolites in their blood.

Fats also help produce and regulate hormones, reduce inflammation (the right fats anyway), and prevent eczema, psoriasis, and hair loss.

According to Erica Angyal, you need about 2tbsp, or 20 grams of fats per day so the skin can lubricate itself, and so enough vitamin A can be absorbed. Vitamin A prevents premature aging.

Erica Angyal recommends olive oil, flaxseed oil, walnut oil, pumpkin seed oil, coconut oil, mustard seed oil, avocado oil, soy oil, macadamia oil, and canola oil. She suggests using extra virgin, virgin, cold pressed oils where they are available, as these are always much better quality, and the way they are processed means unhealthy chemical changes to the oils are avoided. Of the oils here, the mono unsaturated oils are olive oil, avocado oil, macadamia oil, as well as the oil from cold water fish, like swordfish, mackerel and salmon. Mono unsaturated oils can reduce wrinkles. The polyunsaturated oils are flaxseed, walnut, pumpkin seed, and canola oil. For the reasons outlined below, I would not personally use these to gain the bulk of needed daily fats. Coconut oil is a saturated fat, but extremely good for you.

Coconut Oil

I love this stuff. Not only does it have a beautiful aroma when it is good quality, cold pressed coconut oil, but it has amazing health benefits that go beyond great looking skin. Aging, including aging of the brain and skin, is associated with a process called 'peroxidation'. This simply means that free radicals remove an oxygen electron from the fats (lipids) in our cellular membranes. Ultraviolet light, from the sun, causes peroxidation in unsaturated fats, both in the laboratory and in your skin. This increases the rate at which wrinkles form.

And unsaturated fats, like regular vegetable oils, decrease the metabolic rate. Unsaturated fats suppress the response of the body's tissues to thyroid hormone. Unsaturated fats inhibit the protein digestive enzyme that forms thyroid hormone, as well as damaging the mitochondria in cells, which relates to cellular energy production. Coconut oil counteracts these unwelcome effects of unsaturated fats.

Coconut oil it is incredibly versatile. Because it is so stable, it can be used in cooking without becoming hydrogenated. And it doesn't change the flavor of the food, despite its strong aroma. Coconut oil contains medium chain fatty acids. These are not stored in the cells like other fats but go directly to the liver which converts them into energy. The shorter chain length allows them to bypass the metabolic pathway that other longer chain fats need to use. Coconut oil is the only saturated fat that is good for the body.

Interestingly, Dr Mercola's website quotes an article by Dr Ray Peat in which he mentions that when so called essential fatty acids were used in patients fed intravenously, their immune systems were suppressed. Consequently, coconut oil is used instead. The only exceptions are in cases where immunosuppression is needed, such as in organ transplant patients. The essential fatty acids are the omega 3 and omega 6 polyunsaturated fatty acids. Examples are flaxseed oil, the oils of cold water fish like salmon, evening primrose oil, and sunflower oil.

2. Erica Angyal, Gorgeous Skin In 30 Days (Lothian Books, 2005)

by Rebecca Prescott

Ashwagandha- the Indian ginseng

Ashwagandha - also known as Indian Winter Cherry has the Botanical name Withania Somnifera -It is a shrub belonging to Solanace family. It is grown in the western India, Gujarat, MP, Punjab and in Himalayas.

Ashwagandha gets its name because its roots have the odor of horse. (Ashwa = horse , gandha = odor). It is called by another name Varaha karni because its leaves resemble pig's ear.

Ashwagandha has light (laghu) and sticky (snigdha) properties, bitter and sweet taste. On digestion the sweet taste dominates. The main part used is root of this herb.

Medicinal properties of Ashwagandha

The various medicinal properties of ashwagandha is attributed to compounds known as withanolides which are present in it.

Ashwagandha is used as an adaptogen (as it enhances endurance), rejuvenating tonic and sedative. Hence many herbalists refer this herb as Indian ginseng.

Effects on mind: As it balances vata and kapha, it improves memory, counteracts the effects of stress and calms mind. It has an ability to relieve stress. It acts as sedative. Stressed patients with insomnia are benefited by this herb.

This herb can be used in Alzheimer's disease, memory loss and insomnia.

Effects on general health : It acts as balya and strengthens the body. Generally, ashwagandha stimulates the immune system and strengthens it. It increases body energy level.

Convalescent patients' gain more energy and can spring back to normal routine quicker when this herb's preparations are used after illness. The immediate relapse of disease is prevented on use of Ashwagandha. This supports HIV patients by strengthening their immune system.

Anti-inflammatory properties: It has anti-inflammatory properties and has been successfully used in adjuvant therapy for arthritis. It reduces inflammation of joints and eases movements.

Effects on digestive system: Ashwagandha increases appetite . It normalizes digestion and bowel movements.

Effects on reproductive system: This magic herb increases shukra dhatu, sperm count and sperm motility. It increases libido and known as best Vajikara dravya (aphrodisiac)

It is also used as uterine tonic and to enhance female libido.

Ashwagandha retards ageing process when used as rasayana (rejuvenating preparation).

It reduces hypertension and also acts as diuretic.

Effects on pregnant woman: Ashwagandha is very effective in conditions like habitual abortion, threatened abortion. It stabilizes pregnancy and balances harmones which stabilize pregnancy.

Usefull preparations of Ashwagandha:

1. A paste of ashwagandha leaves when applied on a local inflammation acts as anti inflammatory. 2. The herbal massage oil which includes this herb is useful in many conditions like paralysis, epilepsy, sleeplessness etc.

3. The preparation of Ashwagandha which is processed with ghee, sugar and honey is a very good aphrodisiac and increases semen quantity, sperm count and motility. It is effectively used in Erectile dysfunction, low libido and premature ejaculation.

4 Ashwagandha roots when used regularly helps to improve the conditions like emaciation of children, senile debility, rheumatism, in all cases of general debility, nervous exhaustion, brain-fag, low of memory, loss of muscular energy and spermatorrhoea. It increases body energy and vigor . It helps to rebuild the body system which is worn out due to chronic diseases like syphilis, rheumatism etc. It also replenishes the lowered energy of body due to over-work, mental exertion thus preventing early ageing.

5 Ashwagandha when used regularly , is very useful in emaciated children. It increases body weight and body energy.

6 Regular use of ashwagandha helps to reduce blood sugar and cholesterol levels.

7 Fine powder of ashwagandha well mixed with oil is very use full in many skin conditions.

8 Ashwagandha also acts as galactogogue and thickens the milk when given to nursing mothers.

This article is copy righted. The author Dr.Krishna.R.S is an Ayurvedic Physician and web master of and

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Renewed warning of malaria risks

Health experts have renewed calls for people travelling to malaria-affected areas to ensure they take medication.

The warning from the Health Protection Agency comes after three more people from Britain were diagnosed with malaria.

There have been a total of nine cases since mid-November. Two people returning from Gambia died.

None of the nine had followed medical advice to take anti-malarial medication, the HPA said.

It is particularly concerned about people going to Gambia in west Africa.


Thursday, December 22, 2005

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

Alcohol is a teratogen. A teratogen is an agent that can cause malformations of an embryo or fetus. Continuous heavy drinking during pregnancy causes Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS). FAS is the number one recognized cause of mental retardation. When expectant mothers drink during their pregnancy, the alcohol carries to all organs, tissues, and passes through membrane and fetal blood systems. Because of this, the alcohol goes straight to the fetus and all its developing tissues and organs. The amount of alcohol concentration in the fetus is the same amount, or sometimes more, as the mothers’. The liver of an adult can process alcohol at the rate of one ounce every two hours, while the liver of the fetus is not able to process alcohol as quickly. Sometimes it takes nearly twenty-four hours.

Not all women who drink during their pregnancy give birth to children with FAS, even those who drank frequently. Some child that are born to alcoholic mothers appear to be normal as an infant but develop physical, intellectual, and psychological problems as they grow older, due to exposure of alcohol as a fetus. According to most studies, there is no such thing as a safe amount of alcohol consumption.

The effects of alcohol on the infant vary in each trimester. The first trimester is the most critical stage. The earlier the exposure, the greater the risk for FAS. In the second trimester, miscarriage is a huge risk. In the third trimester, the fetus normally experiences rapid growth and substantial growth. The mother’s consumption of alcohol could impair the infant’s growth. This is also the time where the most important part of the brain development occurs. According to research, the brain and central nervous are at the greatest risk during the third trimester.

Children born with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome develop symptoms such as: low birth weight, small head size, narrow eye slits, flat midface, low nasal ridge, loss of groove between nose and upper lip, muscle problems, bone and joint problems, genital defects, heart defects, and kidney defects.

In addition to physical handicaps, FAS also affects the central nervous system. The child develops symptoms such as mental retardation, alcohol withdrawal at birth, poor sucking response; sleep disturbances, restlessness, irritability, and learning disabilities.

FAS also affects the child’s behavior, causing behavioral impairments. One of the behavior traits effect by FAS is the child’s verbal learning. The child has difficulty with language and memory. Studies showed that children and teens with FAS learned fewer words than normal, but were able to recall information learned. FAS-related learning problems happen during the initial stages of memory formation. Once the formation is finished, verbal information can be remembered and subject to normal rates of forgetting. This helps distinguish FAS from Down syndrome.

Another behavioral trait affected by FAS is visual-spatial learning. The child does poor on learning spatial abilities. For example if the child were to remove an object from somewhere, he would have great difficulty putting the object back to its original place.

The next behavioral impairment is attention. Attention problems happen most often because of prenatal exposure. In several cases, FAS is often mistaken for attention defect hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and treated incorrectly. Children with ADHD have difficulty focusing and sustaining attention over a certain period, while children with FAS have difficulty moving their attention from one task to another.

The child processes information slower than the average child does. The brain processes slower, less efficient information.

Not all children with FAS have mental retardation. A recent study showed that sixty-one adolescents and adults with FAS revealed IQ scores with a range of 20 to 105 with an average of 68. Fifty-eight percent of these individuals had an IQ score of seventy or below.

There is no cure for Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, but the question is, Can it be treated? Birth defects related to alcohol use are permanent. Surgery can repair some of the physical problems, and school programs can improve mental and physical developments.

How can FAS be prevented? Research has shown that pregnant women will reduce or cease their alcohol consumption if they are made aware of the harmful effects of alcohol on their infants. However, the best way to avoid fetal alcohol syndrome is not to drink alcohol during any part of the pregnancy. Even small amounts of alcohol can cause FAS.

by Mia Pleasant

Dizziness and Vertigo: Two Symptoms You Shouldn't Ignore

This may come as a shock to you, but we all have rocks in our heads. Actually the "rocks," tiny crystals of calcium carbonate, are deep inside our ears and help us to sense and respond to motion. Sometimes the crystals (called otoconia) shake loose and float to other parts of the inner ear. The result is Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV) and it's awful.

I know because it happened to me. My BPPV is the result of an accidental blow to my jaw bone. It wasn't a big blow, just enough to shake up things. Within an hour I was feeling dizzy. Eight hours later I was lying in bed and moaning. My entire world was out of whack.

The bed felt like it was spinning and the room felt like it was spinning, too. I was so dizzy I couldn't take a step, let alone walk. In addition to these symptoms I had bouts of sweating, followed by bouts of chills. Light bothered my eyes and I tried covering them with a blanket, but the blanket made my vertigo worse so I uncovered them again. Constant nausea was the worst symptom and I thought I would throw up at any minute.

Mayo Clinic lists symptoms of BPPV on its Website,, and I had most of them: dizziness, vertigo, lightheadedness, unsteadiness, loss of balance, and nausea. Blurred vision after quick movements was the only symptom I didn't have have. Health experts describe BPPV as a "balance and dizziness disorder," a "bothersome" and "temporary" condition. These words don't tell the real story.

Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo is debilitating. I've had it several times and it knocks me flat.

Because I'm a health care journalist I decided to learn more about BPPV and looked it up on the Internet, using the words "canalith repositioning maneuver." More than 1,450 references popped up and the most comprehensive is by Timothy C. Hain, MD, "Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo." Reading it was like reading my own case history.

According to Hain, head injury is the most common cause of BPPV in people under 50 years of age. This statistic includes kids. "About 50% of all dizziness is due to BPPV," Hain goes on to explain. Rolling over in bed and getting out of bed can cause BPPV, Hain says, and it can return after a visit to the beauty shop or dentist - things that also happened to me.

What can you do about BPPV? If you have a mild case you can wait it out and hope the "ear rocks" go back to their original place or dissolve naturally. And if you wait it out Hain recommends using two pillows at night, not sleeping on your "bad" side, getting up slowly, and sitting on the edge of the bed a few minutes before walking.

Your other options are office treatment, home treatment, and in severe cases, surgical treatment. Fortunately, my husband is a physician and knew what to do. He helped me with the Canalith Repositioning Procedure, described by John M. Epley, MD in 1992. Only a trained professional should perform this procedure, according to The Vestibular Disorders Assocciation.

Scary as it may sound, the procedure is quite simple and Mayo Clinic has posted a slide presentation about it on its Website, As Mayo Clinic explains, the goal of the procedure is "to move particles from the fluid-filled simicircular chambers of your inner ear to a tiny bag-like structure (utricle) where these particles don't cause trouble."

During the procedure your physician watches your eyes closely. The movement of your eyes tells him or her which ear has the loose crystals.

After the procedure you must sit up for 48 hours. If you lie flat while you're sleeping the procedure has to be repeated and you go back to square on on time. Even if you do it right the Canalith Repositioning Procedure may have to be repeated. The Vestibular Disorders Association describes the procedure as "very effective, with an approximate cure rate of 80%."

The procedure helps me, but it isn't a quick fix, and I usually repeat it. At night I sleep on the couch, with pillows behind my back to prop me up and a small pillow at my neck to hold it in a vertical position. Your doctor may recommend a neck collar to hold your neck in place.

Trained health professionas may perform other procedures to ease your BPPV. Again, The Vestibular Disorders Association says these procedures "must only be performed by a professional who is trained in the maneuvers and safeguard against possible neck or back injury . . . ."

Have you had sudden dizziness or vertigo? Don't ignore these symptoms and get a checkup now. Your physician will conduct and/or order tests to rule out detaching retina, esophageal reflex, brain tumor, and other diseases. Watch for symptoms of BPPV if your child is hit in the head.

Having BPPV has made me appreciate things I used to take for granted, like keeping my balance and walking straight. I'm amazed by the spiral design of the ear and its "ear rocks." Yes, I have rocks in my head an I'm glad of it!

Copyright 2005 by Harriet Hodgson

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: Pinched Median Nerve at the Wrist

Carpal tunnel syndrome is by far the most common and widely known of the "pinched nerve" conditions. This article addresses: What is it? Who is at risk for this condition? How is it diagnosed? What kinds of treatments work best?

Carpal tunnel syndrome refers to symptoms caused by entrapment of the median nerve in the carpal tunnel. "Carpal" itself means "wrist," so a carpal tunnel is nothing more than a wrist tunnel. This particular tunnel can be a crowded place, as it contains not just the median nerve, but nine tendons as well. The "syndrome" consists of some combination of pain, numbness and weakness.

Pain, numbness, or both, are the usual earliest symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome. Pain can affect the fingers, hand, wrist and forearm, but not usually the upper arm or shoulder. Numbness affects the palm side of the thumb and fingers, but usually spares the little finger because this finger is connected to a different nerve.

When weakness is present, it usually indicates that the condition is already severe, and when muscles atrophy (wither) it means the condition is even worse. The affected muscles are those downstream from where the nerve is pinched, and can include those controlling any of three motions of the thumb. In addition, bending of the first knuckles of the index and middle fingers can be affected, as can straightening of the second knuckles of the same fingers. When muscle atrophy is present, it is most evident in the muscular ball at the base of the thumb.

Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs more frequently in women than in men. People who work with their hands a lot - for example to sew, operate hand-tools or perform assembly-line work - are at increased risk for developing this condition. Various medical conditions can also increase the risk of carpal tunnel syndrome, including injuries, arthritis, diabetes, low levels of thyroid hormone and pregnancy. In the case of pregnancy, carpal tunnel syndrome often appears in the third trimester and resolves after the woman delivers.

Optimum diagnosis of this condition combines the time-honored methods of a doctor's history-taking and physical examination with tests of nerve function called nerve conduction studies. Nerve conduction studies are exquisitely sensitive in detecting impairment of the median nerve at the wrist, particularly when the median nerve is compared with a nearby healthy nerve in the same patient.

In nerve conduction studies, the nerve on one side of the carpal tunnel is activated by a small shock to the skin. An oscilloscope measures how long it takes for the resulting nerve-impulse to arrive on the other side of the carpal tunnel. When the median nerve is pinched, the nerve-impulse is delayed or blocked. Nerve conduction studies are so sensitive that sometimes they show problems that aren't even causing symptoms. That's why nerve conduction studies don't stand alone in diagnosing carpal tunnel syndrome. The examining physician needs to decide if the results make sense for the particular patient in question.

Nerve conduction studies not only show whether or not the median nerve is impaired at the wrist, but also provide precise data concerning how bad the impairment is. In addition, these studies survey the function of other nerves in the arm and hand. Occasionally, a nerve in an adjacent tunnel (the ulnar nerve in Guyon's canal) can also be pinched. In other cases, nerve conduction studies show that the problem is not one of single nerve-pinches, but rather a more diffuse pattern of nerve-impairment called polyneuropathy. Of course, sometimes the studies are completely normal and suggest that the symptoms are due to something else.

To treat carpal tunnel syndrome, starting with "conservative" treatment makes sense in most cases, especially when the symptoms are still in the mild-to-moderate range. Conservative treatment usually includes a wrist-splint that holds the wrist in a neutral position. In a study published in 2005 researchers at the University of Michigan investigated the effectiveness of wrist-splinting for carpal tunnel syndrome in workers at a Midwestern auto plant. In a randomized, controlled trial - the gold standard method for judging treatments - about half the workers received customized wrist-splints that they wore at night for six weeks. The remaining workers received education about safe workplace procedures, but no splints. After treatment the workers with splints had less pain than those without, and the difference in outcome was still evident after one year.

Conservative treatment might additionally include use of anti-inflammatory medications like aspirin or naproxen, or even steroid drugs. A more intrusive, though still non-surgical, treatment consists of injecting steroid medication into the carpal tunnel itself. This might benefit selected patients, but in a 2005 randomized, controlled study of patients with mild-to-moderate symptoms, researchers at Mersin University in Turkey showed that patients receiving splints did better than those who received steroid injections.

Surgeons can relieve pressure on a pinched median nerve by cutting a constricting, overlying band of tissue. A 2002 study at Vrije University in Amsterdam compared surgical treatment to six weeks of wrist-splinting. After 18 months 90% of the operated patients had a successful outcome compared with 75% in the splinted group.

In some cases it can be reasonable to try conservative treatments without first confirming the diagnosis with nerve conduction studies. However, in the author's opinion, this risk-free form of testing should be performed prior to any carpal tunnel surgery. (Full disclosure: The author performs nerve conduction studies!)

(C) 2005 by Gary Cordingley
Gary Cordingley, MD, PhD, is a clinical neurologist, teacher and researcher who works in Athens, Ohio. For more health-related articles see his websites at: and

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Tylenol Most Common Cause of Liver Failure

Acetaminophen poisoning is now the most common cause of acute liver failure in the United States. Attempted suicides account for many cases, but almost half are the result of unintentional overdose.

Unintentional Overdose Worse Than Intentional

Some 36 percent of Americans take acetaminophen at least once a month, making it the most widely used pain reliever in the United States. Taking more than the recommended dose, however, can lead to fatal liver injury.

And those who had unintentionally taken overdoses usually have even worse outcomes than those who has done so intentionally, since unintentional overdoses are usually not recognized as such immediately.

Cases Nearly Doubled Over Five Years

Researchers examined the case histories of almost 700 liver-failure patients over a six-year period. They found that:
  • Cases of acute liver failure blamed on acetaminophen use rose sharply from 28 percent in 1998 to 51 percent five years later.
  • More patients overdosed unintentionally on acetaminophen (48 percent) than did so intentionally (44 percent)
  • Sixty-three percent who accidentally overdosed used a prescription acetaminophen compound while 38 percent had been taking two acetaminophen meds at the same time.
  • Some patients had been taking less than 4 grams of acetaminophen daily before their livers failed.

As Little as 7.5 Grams Per Day

The data suggests that consistent use of as little as 7.5 grams of acetaminophen a day may be hazardous. Rather than resulting in chronic illness, acetaminophen injury has a threshold of safety that, when exceeded, can have immediate and devastating results.

Hepatology December 2005; 42(6): 1364-1372EurekAlert November 29, 2005

Dr. Mercola's Comment:
You probably already knew that acute liver failure is one of the more health-harming side effects of acetaminophen. Experts believe acetaminophen causes its damage by depleting your body of glutathione. If you keep your glutathione levels up, the damage from acetaminophen may be largely preventable.

Even conventional medicine recognizes this, as anyone who overdoses on it receives large doses of N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) in the emergency room. NAC is a precursor of glutathione and helps restore this necessary and important bionutrient when Tylenol suppresses it.

Pain is an important "clue" that your body provides you and it is typically seeking to warn you to correct the underlying disorder. So the best and foremost action you can take is to seek to identify the cause of your pain.

If you are unable to address the cause immediately, such as an accident, then you will certainly want to consider using the amazing tool of EFT. Last month I ran a story of how you can use it for burns and muscle injuries. But you could use it for just about any type of pain.

Tylenol is effective fordiscomfort due to inflammatory and non-inflammatory pain. If you want to treat any inflammatory pain without harming your health, you'll want to review my recent piece on seven safe and effective treatments, none of which have anything to do with a drug but are useful for inflammatory-type pain:

Ginger: This herb is anti-inflammatory and offers pain relief and stomach-settling properties. Fresh ginger works well steeped in boiling water as a tea or grated into vegetable juice.

Boswellia: This herb contains specific active anti-inflammatory ingredients, referred to as boswellic acids that animal studies have shown significantly reduce inflammation. This is one of my personal favorites as I have seen it work well with many of my rheumatoid arthritis patients

Fish Oils: The omega-3 fats EPA and DHA found in fish oil have been found, by many animal and clinical studies, to have anti-inflammatory properties that reduce joint inflammation and promote joint lubrication.

Those of you who read the newsletter regularly know that I'm a fan of Carlson's brand fish oil and cod liver oil as I have seen clear and often substantial improvements in my patients who use it. It has shown particularly positive benefits in those with rheumatoid arthritis.

Bromelain: This enzyme, found in pineapples, is a natural anti-inflammatory. It can be taken in supplement form, but eating fresh pineapple may also be helpful.

Cetyl Myristoleate (CMO): This oil, found in fish and dairy butter, acts as a "joint lubricant" and an anti-inflammatory. The delicious raw butter we carry from organic pastures contains "Wulzen anti-stiffness factor." This factor has been found to be highly effective in reversing arthritis and protects against calcification of joints.

Evening Primrose, Black Currant and Borage Oils: These contain the essential fatty acid gamma linolenic acid (GLA), which is useful for treating arthritic pain. I personally prefer the use of GLA supplements from evening primrose oil, but borage oil contains a higher concentration of GLA, which means you need fewer capsules, and it tends to be less expensive.

Cayenne Cream: Also called capsaicin cream, this spice comes from dried hot peppers. It alleviates pain by depleting the body's supply of substance P, a chemical component of nerve cells that transmits pain signals to the brain.

by Dr. Joseph Mercola

Sharpening Your Memory With Coffee?

One hundredmilligrams of caffeine, the equivalent of two cups of coffee, can increase activity in the part ofyour brain that is responsible for short-term memory. A study showed improved performance on a memory test as a result.

The functions of this region of the brain also include prioritizing information efficiently, planning new tasks, and dealing with stored information.

Memory and Attention Brain Regions

Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) on a sample of 15 men showed that caffeine increased activity in a brain region in the frontal lobe (part of the working memory network) and in the anterior cingulate cortex, which controls attention. When the men were given a placebo instead, there was no increase in activity in these areas of the brain.

Quicker Response

When given caffeine, they also demonstrated improved reaction time on a test involving a randomized sequence of capital letters, in which they had to decide, as quickly as possible, whether the current letter was the same as or different from the letter presented two letters previously.

The mechanism by which the caffeine acts on the brain is largely unknown, but it may be related to the way the chemical reacts with the brain's small blood vessels and nerve cells. November 30, 2005

Dr. Mercola's Comment:
There seem to be an increasing number of studies extolling the virtues of drinking coffee as of late, including this new one that suggests drinking two cups may be enough to keep your memory sharp.

Coffee is the most widely used and cheapest drug in the world. But all the good news aside, drinking coffee is, at best, problematic, as it can interfere with your body's ability to keep cholesterol levels in check and increases your risk of stroke. It is also imperative that you avoid any coffee if you are pregnant.

And, if you think going decaf is any safer for you, guess again. Decaffeinated coffee can increase risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

So if you have the coffee habit it is time to consider stopping. However, please avoid the mistake that most people make when deciding to eliminate coffee from their diet. Caffeine is a drug and if you go off cold turkey you will needlessly suffer.

I recommend weaning yourself off coffee by cutting down the amount you drink gradually over a period of days or even weeks. It's important to drink plenty of water during the process in order to keep your body well hydrated.

While you're doing that, here are some tips to reduce the chance of harmful effects until you can completely eliminate it:
  • Use organic coffee. Coffee is a heavily sprayed crop, so drinking organic coffee might reduce or eliminate your exposure to toxic herbicides, pesticides and fertilizers.
  • Try "Swiss Water Process" decaf. If you are going to drink decaffeinated coffee, be sure that it uses a non-chemical based method of decaffeination. The "Swiss Water Process" is a patented method and is the best choice. Most of the major brands are chemically decaffeinated, even if it says "naturally decaffeinated" right on the container.
  • Avoid sugar and milk. These are actually much worse for you than the coffee itself.
  • Only use unbleached filters. If you use a "drip" coffee maker, be sure to use non-bleached filters. The bright white ones, which most people use, are chlorine bleached and some of this chlorine will be extracted from the filter during the brewing process.

by Dr. Joseph Mercola

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Ginkgo: Nature's Way to Improve Intellectual Functioning

Humans are starting to live longer. Unfortunately, for some people, the aging process can result in impaired intellectual functions. However, this need not happen. Maintaining a good and nutritious eating plan, continuing physical activity, and engaging in challenging mental activities can all help one retain their mental clarity for years.

Why Humans Can Suffer from Impaired Mental Functioning

Why are humans potentially suffering from impaired mental functioning? There appears to be three primary reasons for this: The first reason is because the brain cells begin to decline. This can be caused by damage from free radicals. Also, there appears to be a gradual loss of some of the conductivity of the brain's neuron membranes.

Second, at the body begins to age, it does not absorb nutrients as effectively as it did in the younger years. The science team from USANA Health Sciences states: "The brain requires adequate amounts of oxygen and nutrients to form properly. As we age, our gastorointestional system absorbs essential nutrients from food less efficiently, and the cirulatory system becomes less effective in delivering oxygen to the tissues. To function optimally in our later years, the central nervous system needs help to obtain the nutrients it needs."

Third, one's intelluctual functioning can be impacted by the earth's toxic environment. The environment subjects everyone to pollutants such as insecticides, solvents, and heavy metals that can cause damage to brain tissue. In addition, the body's response to stress restricts blood circulation in the brain, which, in turn decreases the supply of oxygen and nutrients. Research has shown that long term stress can cause damage to brain cells.

The Benefits of Ginkgo

The question is, how can Ginkgo help support the brain's cells? As it turns out, this herbal supplement has many benefits. The Chinese have used this herb for many, many years and Europeans have been using Ginkgo leaves for decades to enhance memory, attention span, and other neurological activity. Another good thing about Ginkgo is that extracts from it helps promote the antioxidant activity in the brain. This increases the brain's ability to fight free radical damage.

The most important role, once more according to USANA Health Sciences' science team, is Ginkgo's ability to enhance bloor circulation throughout the body and improve oxygenation to the brain. More oxygen to the brain means more efficient use of nutrients which, in turn, results in better mental performance, memory, and overall cognitive functioning.

The good news is that aging does not have to mean a person will suffer from decreased cogntive funtioning, decreased memory, or a overall poor functioning brain. Everyone has the potential to be mentally alert, be in optimal health, and live a long and full life.

Copyright 2005 Monique Hawkins

Warts? Try Duct Tape

A study from Cincinnati Children's Hospital shows that common duct tape is significantly more effective in curing common warts than the standard treatment of liquid nitrogen. Most dermatologists treat warts by applying liquid nitrogen until the warts turn white and then a painful blister forms raising the wart to the top of the blister.

In this study, the authors treated half their wart patients by applying liquid nitrogen to each wart for 10 seconds every 2-3 weeks for a maximum of 6 treatments. The other half were treated by applying duct tape directly to the wart for a maximum of two months. The cure rate for the duct tape was 85 percent, while the cure rate for liquid nitrogen was 60 percent. The duct tape, or any other tape, macerates the wart so that blood vessels grow into it, allowing the body's immune system to kill the wart. Children with multiple warts have a much lower cure rate with liquid nitrogen.

When a person has more than four warts, any destructive procedure to get rid of the warts usually fails. After your skin is damaged by cutting, scraping, freezing or burning, the wart virus usually grows back into the healing tissue and the wart returns.

A report in the Journal of Dermatological Treatment describes how applying a cream containing a chemical that causes allergies helps to get rid of warts. Diphencyprone (DPC) acts like poison ivy on the skin. It causes redness, itching and blisters. Applying a cream with DPC to just a few warts caused a reaction in which all the warts turned red, even the ones that did not have the DPC cream and the warts disappeared.

Another treatment is Aldara, a chemical that stimulates the immune system to kill the wart virus. Three times a week you put Aldara cream on the wart and make a lot of punctures through the cream into the wart. Often after three or more weeks of this treatment, the warts turn red and disappear. Check with your doctor.

by Dr. Gabe Mikrkin

Also read: A Closer Look at Wart Removal

Is Your Insomnia Just a Bad Habit?

Many of us that suffer with insomnia can actually pinpoint the time it started. It could be the death of a loved one, exams or a stressful relationship. But ever since then we’ve not been able to sleep well.

Even if the triggering event has passed and no longer concerns us, our sleep continues to suffer. This means we’ve actually learned to sleep badly and this is what we’ve come to expect. We believe we’re poor sleepers and therefore we will continue to sleep poorly.

Our insomnia is actually just a bad habit!

Hey, that’s actually good news! Habits can be broken and beliefs can be changed with a bit of effort. Sometimes just realising this can be enough to allow us to experience better sleep.

Usually though, it will take a bit more work. Habits can become pretty firmly entrenched (as any smoker would attest to!) We’ve got to change the belief that we don’t sleep well into the belief that we enjoy deep and restful sleep every night.

Affirmations work well. An affirmation is when we repeat positive statements to ourselves over and over again until our sub conscious mind accepts it and changes our bad habits into good ones.

Many people poo pah affirmations saying, “I’ve tried them and they don’t work” Well they do work but you must keep them up. Don’t affirm for a few days and give up. Affirmations can take weeks to have a beneficial effect.

Another reason affirmations may not work is that we have trouble believing them. Our rational mind agues all the time. For instance if we affirm, “I sleep well for 8 hours every night”, we think to ourselves, “That’s rubbish! I’m lucky if I get 4 hours a night!”

So make your affirmations believable. Try affirming, “I am sleeping better and waking up more refreshed”.

Another useful tip is to say your affirmations when you’re relaxed. This is when your sub conscious mind is most receptive and will accept the suggestions more readily. Try it during a relaxing meditation, last thing at night or when you’ve just woken up.

A natural sleep aid is very useful during this time as you’re learning to sleep better. The site below will recommend safe and natural sleep medications.

If you have the odd night when sleep refuses to come no matter what, try to relax and accept this as part of being normal. Even the best sleepers have nights like these. Just lie still and remember that you will still get some benefit from just lying back and relaxing.

So don’t tell yourself you suffer from insomnia. Instil positive affirmations into your mind and watch your sleep improve.

Copyright 2005 Wendy Owen

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Herpes: More Common Than You Think

One of eight North Americans (30 million) has genital herpes, even though only one in five knows that he or she has it. Herpes is classified into type I that affects primarily the mouth ("canker sores"), and type II that affects primarily the genitals, although both types can go both places. According to a study in the American Journal of Epidemiology almost one percent of North Americans acquire new cases of recurrent genital herpes each year. That's 1,640,000 new cases of recurrent genital herpes, in 730,000 men and 910,000 women.

To get herpes, you need the virus and broken skin. Since rubbing breaks skin, sexual contact with infected partners is a frequent cause of herpes. Typically, a person develops grouped painful or itchy blisters that look like poison ivy and disappear after one to six weeks. For some, genital herpes never recur, but almost all people who have a painful first episode will have recurrent blisters in exactly the same place.

A person who has herpes can be contagious, even when there are no visible blisters. The only way to diagnose herpes is to have a culture done on a wet blister. There are no dependable blood tests to tell if you have herpes because more than 92 percent of all Americans have had herpes and therefore have positive blood tests.

Herpes is the most common cause of swelling and pain around the rectum or vagina; anyone with these symptoms should get a culture for herpes, even if they are not sexually active.

Almost all North Americans have had herpes, but only seven percent get blisters recurrently. If you have had only one bout of herpes, you do not need treatment. If you have fewer than four recurrent genital herpes attacks per year, your doctor will probably prescribe 21 500mg tablets of Famvir or Valicyclovir that you keep on hand all the time and take them at the first tingling or itching that precede an outbreak. If you have more than 4 attacks a year, your doctor will probably prescribe valicyclovir or Famivir. By the third year on that regimen, as many as 82 percent have no outbreaks at all. Taking acyclovir every day can help to prevent a person from being contagious. Valicyclovir and Famvir are both approved by the FDA for long-term use.

People with recurrent herpes can be contagious any time, but they are less likely to be contagious when they do not have blisters. Virtually everyone in North America has had herpes, but only seven percent get it recurrently. If a person with recurrent herpes is on Valtrex every day, he or she will not shed as much and not be as contagious. Personally, I would not ruin a relationship because of herpes because you are not likely to find anyone who has not had herpes.

by Dr. Gabe Mirkin, M.D.

Hemorrhoids-Causes, Symptoms, Prevention, Treatment

Hemorrhoids, often called piles, are swollen and inflamed veins in and around the anus and lower rectum. They are much like varicose veins you might see on a person's legs.

Hemorrhoids are a very common health problem. Hemorrhoids cause serious problems in about 4% (over 10 million) of people in the United States. Prevalence of hemorrhoidal disease increases with age until the seventh decade and then diminishes slightly. Hemorrhoids also increase in pregnancy due to direct pressure on the rectal veins.

Causes of hemorrhoids

Hemorrhoids are caused by too much pressure in the rectum, forcing blood to stretch and swell the blood vessels. People whose parents had hemorrhoids may be more likely to get them.

Most common causes of hemorrhoids:
  • straining with bowel movements (from constipation or hard stools)
  • diarrhea
  • constant sitting
  • sitting on the toilet for a long time
  • childbirth
  • pressure of the fetus in pregnant women
  • heavy lifting
  • familial tendency
  • obesity

Symptoms of hemorrhoids include:
  • rectal bleeding
  • pain around the anus and rectum
  • irritation and itching
  • bulge or lump at the anus
Excessive straining, rubbing or cleaning the anus may worsen symptoms. In most cases, the symptoms of hemorrhoids will only last a few days. Not every one with hemorrhoids will experience symptoms.

Types of hemorrhoids

The type of hemorrhoid depends on where it occurs. There are two types of hemorrhoids: internal and external.

External hemorrhoids develop around the rim of the anus. External hemorrhoids cause most of the symptoms associated with hemorrhoids (pain, burning, and itching) because the skin around them is very sensitive. If an external hemorrhoid becomes strangulated (cut off from blood supply), a clot can form in it and become an excruciatingly painful thrombosed hemorrhoid. Thrombosis of an external hemorrhoid causes an anal lump that is very painful and often requires medical attention.

Internal hemorrhoids
develop inside the passageway of the anus. Internal hemorrhoids are often present without causing any discomfort or even awareness of their presence. Internal hemorrhoids are usually painless, although they sometimes cause discomfort and bleeding if a hard stool rubs against them during a bowel movement. Internal hemorrhoids also may prolapse outside the anus, where they appear as small, grape-like masses. These can be painful. A prolapsed hemorrhoid will go back inside the rectum on its own, or you can gently press it back into the anus with your fingertips.

Internal hemorrhoids are classified by the degree of tissue prolapse into the anal canal:
  • First-degree - hemorrhoids that bleed but do not prolapse
  • Second-degree - hemorrhoids that prolapse with straining or defecating and retract on their own
  • Third-degree - hemorrhoids that prolapse and require manual reduction
  • Fourth-degree - hemorrhoids that chronically prolapse and, if reducible, fall out again
Mixed hemorrhoids are confluent internal and external hemorrhoids.


You often can prevent hemorrhoids by preventing constipation and straining to have bowel movements. Some of the following diet and lifestyle changes may help you to soften the stool, and avoid the straining that can lead to hemorrhoids:
  • Include more fiber in your diet - fresh fruits, leafy vegetables, and whole-grain breads and cereals are good sources of fiber.
  • Drink adequate amounts of fluids - 6 to 8 glasses of water daily.
  • Exercise regularly
  • Do not strain or sit on the toilet for long periods of time. Straining for more than 5 minutes can be harmful. Try not to stay on the toilet any longer than necessary.
  • Use a soothing wipe, such as baby wipes or witch hazel pads, to clean after each bowel movement and to ease the pain.
  • If your main job activity is seated, always stand or walk during your breaks. Make it a point to stand and walk at least 5 minutes every hour and try to shift frequently in your chair to avoid direct rectal pressure.
  • Avoid heavy lifting, which puts pressure on the anal opening.

A number of surgical methods may be used to remove or reduce the size of hemorrhoids:

  • Rubber band ligation - A rubber band is placed around the base of the hemorrhoid inside the rectum. The band cuts off circulation, and the hemorrhoid withers away within a few days.
  • Sclerotherapy is one of the oldest forms of treatment. A chemical solution is injected directly into the hemorrhoid or the area around it. This solution causes a local reaction that interferes with blood flow inside the hemorrhoid, making the hemorrhoid shrink.
  • Laser or electro-coagulation techniques - Both techniques use special devices to burn hemorrhoidal tissue.
  • Cryotherapy uses cold temperatures to obliterate the veins and cause inflammation and scarring. It is more time consuming, associated with more posttreatment pain, and is less effective than other treatments. Therefore, this procedure is not commonly used.
  • Hemorrhoidectomy - Occasionally, extensive or severe internal or external hemorrhoids may require removal by surgery known as hemorrhoidectomy. This is the best method for permanent removal of hemorrhoids. Hemorrhoidectomy is the treatment for severe third-degree and fourth-degree hemorrhoids.
Sclerotherapy, ligation, and heat coagulation are all good options for the treatment of hemorrhoids.

Neo Healar - herbal remedy for hemorrhoid

Neo Healar is a 100% herbal product that is composed on four natural occurring plants: Lupinus Albus, Vateria Indica, Mentha Piperita and Aloe Vera. Neo Healar is available in two forms: 30 g ointment and suppositories (in 10s).

by Yury Bayarski

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Tea Reduces Ovarian Cancer Risk

A report in Dec 12/26 issue of the Archive of Internal Medicine shows the benefit of tea to prevent ovarian cancer risk. It is reported that women who drink at least two cups of tea daily may have their risk of developing ovarian cancer reduced up to almost 50 percent (exactly 46 percent as the result of the study), while women who drink one cup daily, may cut their risk by 24 percent and those who drink less than a cup, only may cut their risk by 18 percent compared to non-tea drinkers.
In their study, Susanna C. Larsson and Alicja Wolk, of the National Institute of Environmental Medicine at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, looked at 61,057 women who were 40 to 76 years old.

The women all participated in a population-based study called the Swedish Mammography Cohort. At the beginning of the study, 68 percent of the participants said they drank tea (mainly black tea) at least once a month. During 15 years of follow-up, 301 women were diagnosed with ovarian cancer.

"We found a lower risk of ovarian cancer associated with greater tea consumption," Larsson said.

Larsson and Wolk found that women who drank at least two cups of tea a day reduced their risk of developing ovarian cancer by 46 percent.

"Each additional cup of tea per day was associated with an 18 percent lower risk of ovarian cancer," the authors reported.
This is a good news for women how they can easily reduce the risk of ovarian cancer by increasing tea consumption.


Cholesterol Level Increasing in Some Young Adults

Cholesterol levels in middle-aged and older adults have decreased in the last 20 years, but have increased in younger adults, according to a survey issued in the Dec 20 issue of journal Circulation.

The possiblitity of cholesterol levels decrease in middle-aged and older adults is because of the increase of statin drugs (a type of drug that inhibits cholesterol production in the liver) intake. While the increase of cholesterol levels in younger adults are mostly caused by a decrease in physical activities.
Increased use of statin drugs are probably why older adults have lower cholesterol levels than 20 years ago, said Donna Arnett, chair of epidemiology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and lead author of the study.

Arnett and other researchers analyzed the health data of nearly 5,000 patients who were enrolled in the Minnesota Heart Survey between 1980 and 2002.

While the survey was good news for older adults, young adults in their 20s, 30s and 40s had little to no change in their cholesterol levels over the same period, and among one group — women aged 25 to 34 — a small but statistically significant increase was noted, Arnett said.

Even though there's been an overall decrease, about 50 percent of all the adults surveyed still had total cholesterol concentrations that fell into "borderline-high risk" for heart disease, Arnett said.
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Recommended reading:

Brain Implant Therapy: a Hope for Parkinson's Patients

A team of researchers from Alabama University tested six patients of Parkinson's and found that eye cells that produce levodopa can be implanted safely into the brain without side effects. Levodopa is a prescription drug, commonly used to treat the symptoms of Parkinson's disease, but may leave Parkinson's patients susceptible to involuntary movements such as twitches.
Eye cells that form retinal pigment epithelial tissue produce levodopa and can be isolated from human eye tissue and implanted in the brain.

Research on animals has shown that the cell implants can help treat the symptoms safely.

But the US study showed it can work on humans too and paves the way for a larger, more thorough study.
Kieran Breen, director of research at the Parkinson's Disease Society, said the eye cell implants could eventually be developed to treat the Parkinson's symptoms. Therefore, this technique will be tested comprehensively and objectively in a larger trial for better and acurate results.

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US Health Gains Stalled

America’s Health Rankings report, issued at the American Public Health Association’s annual meeting, shows that US health gains has stalled in the last five years as more and more Americans are overweight and fewer quit smoking. It also shows that 23.1 percent of the US population is considered obese.
It also found that while the number of smokers has fallen by almost a third since 1990 to the current level of 20.8 percent of the population, most of that decline came in the early 1990s with no significant drop between 1993 and 2003.

The report, combining 18 health indicators including smoking, infant mortality and immunization coverage, shows that while U.S. overall health improved by an average of 1.5 percent a year during the 1990s, the rate of increase has slowed to just 0.3 percent since 2000.

Tobacco use remains the biggest preventable cause of premature death in the United States, resulting in some 440,000 deaths from a variety of diseases each year, the report said.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Weight Loss Issues-Can You Be Cellulite Free

One thing I really must say at the outset of this article is, that if you were to ask the majority of men to define cellulite they would most probably be completely baffled.

Then after you explained it to them in detail and told them that you suffered from it, more likely than not the reaction would be to look at you as if you were slightly mad, shrug their shoulders and say that they had actually never noticed it.

So one consolation I suppose, is that most men apparently just do not see it and do not know what all the fuss is about!

(They can be wonderful sometimes can't they!)

From a womans point of view however, cellulite is at best something which restricts what she can or cannot wear, or at worst in extreme cases something which can be downright unsightly.

If we are being brutally honest, dimples on our cheeks can be really cute, but dimples on our thighs and our buttocks most certainly are not.

It has been described as the dreaded "orange peel look" especially in relation to female thighs and buttocks.

Many women can literally spend absolute fortunes to try and find ways to eliminate it.

Having established that it is a big problem (for the majority of women at least), I find myself coming back to the question in my title - Is it possible to be totally free of cellulite!

In truth I think sadly that as things stand at the moment probably not, but there are many many steps that can be taken to minimise the unsightly look of cellulite, and my intention in this article is to outline just a few of them.

It does really help if we try and understand some of the main causes of cellulite, and what if anything we can effectively do to both reduce the unsightly appearance (in our eyes at least), and even to try and banish it completely.

We should remember that the primary cause of cellulite is weight gain, and if a woman does gain excess weight the layers of fat under the skin expand, but sadly not in a smooth uniform way. We have the female hormone estrogen which promotes fat on the thighs and buttocks to thank for this.

When fat cells start to build up on the lower half of the female body, they are more likely to multiply and press against the skin. This process creates the bulged and dimpled look of the dreaded cellulite, and with very very few exceptions, it is completely a feminine problem.

Another important factor is that as we age our skin also tends to lose its tautness, particularly so if we do not take any forms of regular exercise.

So having now determined the main causes of cellulite,let us look in some detail at some of the choices available to us to try and minimize the effects of it.

The first choice is that you can learn to live with it!

Yes, I do actually mean that!

At the end of the day it is not going to detract from you as a woman, and there is no reason whatsoever why you cannot still be very attractive.

Do not let it become an obsession under any circumstances!

The second and for me personally, the most important choice available is to make a seriously determined and long term effort to lose those unnecessary extra pounds. I strongly recommend a low fat diet as the first and vital step to take if you are to succeed in fighting this battle.

Make it a top priority to become much more active!

Simple changes such as walking more frequently, taking up a sport that you really could enjoy(perhaps something you did in the past), or alternatively taking the time to join a few exercise classes, are just some examples.

Join those exercise classes which concentrate primarily on hips buttocks and thighs. This will greatly help in improving and toning up those areas affected by cellulite.

Your third choice is to try out some of the many creams that you can purchase. Use these with a deep massaging technique which will help improve the overall appearance of the cellulite areas.

The fourth and most drastic choice is liposuction which removes excess fat. Another such process is Endermologie, a mechanical massage that will smooth out the dimples.

These methods can be really expensive, so you will have to be prepared to dig deep for them.

Useful Quick Fix Tips To Disguise Cellulite.

Fake Tan - Apply the fake tan normally, but just before you are going to show your legs, rub a layer of hair serum (yes the stuff you use to stop frizz), along your shinbone. This makes the thinner area of your shinbone much more prominent, and will therefore help to disguise those parts which are less firm in appearance.

Wear The Right Shoes - Heels or wedges will make your legs appear much longer, but beware of ankle straps and flat shoes. They really do make your legs look considerably shorter and fatter.

Take a tip from the celebrities. They wear heels with trousers and jeans, and have them made so that the trousers end about an inch below the ankle. The effect of this is to make their legs look really long and slim.

Draw The Eyes Upwards - If you are wearing your jeans on a night out for example, by either wearing a bulky necklace, a glittery scarf, or maybe even a Wonderbra and a V Necked top (if you are feeling slightly daring), you will distract attention away from your thighs.
Wear dark colors as they make your bottom parts look much slimmer.

Try out a Fast Fix Treatment - Treat yourself by going to a beauty salon, and indulge in one of their cellulite instant fix procedures. These can be very expensive but they really do make your thighs look smoother and sleeker.

Unfortunately though, these procedures only last for a short length of time.

The majority of women would love to have thinner cellulite free thighs, but do please remember that it is your overall appearance which matters most.

If you look and feel attractive in yourself that will be the way that others will also see you.

Remember that the aim here is for improvement not perfection. Cellulite has been a femimine curse (as women see it), since the beginning of time. As yet no one has come up with either an instant or indeed permanent cure.

However until they do, and one day somebody just might, stay focussed on your overall health, take serious and meaningful steps to lose weight, and maintain a good exercise program.

That way you can at the very least keep the whole thing in perspective, and in so doing, maintain your self confidence and self esteem at a much higher level than it would otherwise have been.

by Marie K. Gordon

10 Fun Ways To Become More Active – Every Day

You know you should be getting some sort of exercise, you know of all the health benefits that come with a more active lifestyle. You’ve tried the whole Gym thing, but it just wasn’t for you. The temptation to just sit in front of the TV, to curl up with a good book, or to spend a little extra time at your computer is just too big. Who wants to head to the gym right now anyway?

There are many other options to get more active that don’t include jogging, weight lifting or other “traditional” ways to work out. Here are a few ideas to get you moving

1) Chase your Kids around the Yard
You’d be surprised at how much of a work out you’ll get playing catch with your kids. Time will fly while you are having fun and your children will enjoy the extra time with you. Just get out there and play.

2) Turn up the Music and Dance around the Living Room
While you’re dusting, putting up dishes, straightening up the kids’ rooms, or after you’ve been sitting around for too long, just play some of your favorite upbeat music and dance around in the house. Not only will you get your heart rate up, but you’ll also have more fun doing some of those chores.

3) Plant some Flowers
When the weather is nice, just get out there and plant some flowers. Or you could start a little vegetable garden, trim some hedges, cut the grass, or plant a tree. You get the idea. Just get out there, enjoy the sunshine and fresh air, and play in the dirt. Yes, this actually counts as exercise in our book.

4) Go for a Walk with a Friend
Take a walk and invite a friend to come along. I’ve had some of the best conversations while on a walk. Getting to chat with a friend makes the time fly by and before you know it you’ve been walking for 30 minutes.

5) Listen to some Music or an Audio Book while You Walk
Again, keeping your mind on something else will make the time fly by and you’ll get some extra fun out of your walk. You may even want to consider getting an MP3 Player. You can easily add what you want to listen to and go for your walk.

6) Sign up for a Yoga or Pilates Class
Consider starting a yoga or Pilates class. Both of these workouts are pretty low impact and won’t leave you sweaty and sore (mostly). You may also enjoy meeting some new people in the class.

7) Take some Dance Lessons with your Partner
Ok, here is the tough part: Convince your partner to take some dance lessons. Dancing will give you quite the workout and it’s just plain fun and of course romantic. Think about all your options here. You can pick from anything from Ball Room Dancing, to Line Dancing, to Latin etc. Pick something that sounds fun to you and go for it. You’ll enjoy the extra one on one time with your partner as well.

8) Go for a Swim at Your Local YMCA or Aquatic Center
Swimming makes for some great exercise. It is low impact and easy on your joints. Start by swimming a few laps, or play in the pool with your kids.

9) Go for a Bike Ride
Take the entire family on a bike ride. You can ride through your neighborhood in the evenings or plan a longer trip for the weekend. Pack a picnic for extra fun and start peddling.

10) Go for a Hike
Look for some hiking trails in your area and go for a hike. This could be a fun activity for you and a friend, or take the entire family along. Start with some easy trails and work yourself up to some longer or steeper trails.

Go ahead, pick one or two of the activities and get moving. I’m sure you’ll come up with plenty of versions of your own. The most important thing is to find something you enjoy, so you’ll stick with it. Get out there and get moving today.

by Sussane Myers

It's Ok For Weight-Watchers To Eat More At Christmas

It’s OK for Weight-Watchers to Over-eat at Christmas

The upcoming festive season can be a major headache to weight-watchers due to the temptation that started confronting them the moment the stores went into holiday mode. Dieters should never forget that they are human first and weight-watchers second, and that humans do submit to temptation; it’s a natural phenomena and nothing to feel guilty about.

The secret to not being left out at Christmas starts around now with a few simple rules.

Rule 1. For every 3,500 extra calories that you consume you will gain one pound (450 grams)

Rule 2. Set a maximum limit that you are prepared to gain during the holiday. Not forgetting that what you gain you must also lose after the holiday.

Rule 3. Start now to identify foods that you love and check the calorific value per serving. Also check the serving quantity. This is where most weight-watchers hit trouble; they set the serving quantity themselves rather than accepting what the experts say.

Rule 4. When you have identified the special foods that you like calculate how many calories, in total, that you will consume (above your normal calorie intake) and plan to eat that amount and only that amount extra.

Rule 5. Over the holiday move your exercise pattern up to the next level. - If you walk for 30 minutes each day normally, increase it to 45 minutes during the holiday period. You can make this three 15-minute walks if this suits your schedule better. Naturally if you can make it one-hour exercise that is even better but do not over-extend yourself, particularly if you have a medical condition.

Rule 6. Now set the program that will make this extra weight go-away after the festive season. For each pound you wish to lose each week you need to burn off 200 calories each day by exercise and eat 300 calories less each day. 500 calories each day is easy.

Visit this link to determine how many calories you burn on various exercises:

In the developed world the average daily calorie intake is 3,500. The average adult needs 2,000 calories each day to remain healthy so you must never drop below this intake.

The great thing about calories is that although there is only one way to receive them – FOOD. There are two ways we can lose them – LESS FOOD and MORE EXERCISE. When you understand that simple equation you will take back control of your weight.

Note: Never try to lose weight at a rate greater than one-pound (450 g) each week. More than this and you will put it all back on again within a few months.

This article is © copyright David McCarthy 2005. You may reproduce this article on your website or ezine in its entirety only with no additions.

About the Author: David McCarthy is webmaster of a website dedicated to freely sharing knowledge of food and health related issues. It also has recipes for every occasion from entertaining to snacks.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Fungus Toenails? Maybe Not

Fungus infections cause less than five percent of deformed nails. Drying of skin and skin conditions such as psoriasis are more common causes.

The part of nails that you see is dead. Living nails are located underneath the skin at their base. It takes four and a half months for the nail to grow from the nail plate to its end where you cut it off. During this time, the nail dries out and the ends can crack and fray. So the most common cause of deformed nails is drying with aging, best treated by coating the nails with nail polish three times a week. The polish delays sublimation of water and helps to prevent drying.

Most deformed nails are caused by skin conditions such as psoriasis or seborrheic dermatitis. If you have thickened toenails, check with your doctor, a podiatrist or dermatologist who will clip off a piece of the nail and place it in a special bottle to culture it for a fungus.

Since a fungus infection in the nail starts in the plate underneath the skin and no creams can get into the nail plate, pills are the most effective treatment for toenail fungus infections. A special laquer called Penlac can cure some fungus nails when applied for several weeks. Fungus infections can be cured by 2 100 mg itraconazole pills each morning every other week for 4 to 5 months, or by another drug called terbinafine. If no fungus is present, fungus pills will not help. If no fungus is present, most effective treatment is to go to a medical supply store and buy surgical quality nail clippers. They are strong enough to cut thickened toenails without tearing them.

by Dr. Gabe Mirkin M.D.