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Monday, October 02, 2006

Heartburn Acid Reflux Diet Recommendations

An acid reflux diet typically restricts the intake of certain foods that are known to increase stomach acid. Some people even claim that there are foods that “cure” the syndrome.

You can currently find for sale acid reflux diet books, alongside other popular diets and cookbooks. One author states that apples “cured” his acid reflux. He is now selling a report in which he details “three natural remedies” for acid reflux.

These are supposed to be foods that cured his acid reflux. He does admit, however, that they may not work for everyone. In our opinion, it may be more effective in the long run to design your own acid reflux diet, using a food and symptoms diary to record what foods seem to trigger symptoms.

Natural remedies for acid reflux include changing the foods you commonly eat and even when you eat, how much you eat, and in what circumstances you eat. Such changes, believe it or not, may be effective for reducing symptoms of acid reflux.

Most doctors and other healthcare professionals recommend that in order to control symptoms, an acid reflux diet should exclude certain foods that are known to increase stomach acid. Tomatoes and citrus fruits, for example, are highly acidic. So is chocolate. And fried or fatty foods can also increase stomach acid and worsen symptoms.

You may think that an acid reflux diet must be bland, but while some spices trigger symptoms, some commonly used cooking herbs are considered natural remedies for acid reflux.

Changing from garlic and chili powder to ginger, fennel seed and turmeric may help. Ginger, fennel seed and turmeric were used in traditional medicine to treat indigestion and heartburn. Modern herbalists have combined some of these “herbs for heartburn” to create natural remedies for acid reflux.

In addition to following an acid reflux diet that limits highly acidic foods, experts say that eating less than three hours before bedtime increases the likelihood that you will have nighttime symptoms.

This is because lying down after eating allows gravity to work against you and makes it easier for stomach acid to creep up into the esophagus. Knowing this, some companies sell wedge-type pillows calling them natural remedies for acid reflux, but some doctors who specialize in treating the syndrome maintain that these pillows may actually worsen symptoms by “folding” the stomach.

These doctors recommend raising the head of the bed (with blocks, for example) 6 inches higher than the foot of the bed, so that gravity can still help keep acid in your stomach, without “folding” and creating extra pressure on the stomach.

If it isn’t what you eat or when you eat, it could be how much you eat. An effective acid reflux diet plan may include several small meals every few hours throughout the day, rather than one or two large meals. The more food that is in the stomach, the more likely that acid will reflux.

Another one of the often suggested natural remedies for acid reflux is simply losing some weight. Extra pounds put extra pressure on the stomach and more acid creeps up. At night, this can lead to sleep disturbances, coughing, snoring and even sleep apnea.

Following an acid reflux diet plan that is low in fatty and fried foods and calls for meals every couple of hours is not only one of the effective natural remedies for acid reflux, but it could help you lose weight since it primes the metabolism.

Doctors typically recommend antacids or proton pump inhibitors, at least for short-term use, to prevent or neutralize stomach acid. There are a number of herbal and botanical products that may do the some thing.

For example, mangosteen juice (a health drink), taken before meals, effectively dilutes stomach acid and may be considered one of the natural remedies for acid reflux. An acid reflux diet alone may not be enough. If not treated, acid reflux can lead to damage of the esophageal lining, which can lead to esophageal cancer.

Components of the mangosteen have been shown to reduce inflammation and actually prevent the formation of cancerous tumors in laboratory studies. Tell your doctor about which acid reflux diet and what natural remedies for acid reflux you are using and get regular check-ups, even if your symptoms seem to be under control.

by Mike Leuthen

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Weight Gain Between Pregnancies Raises Health Risks

Doctors have long advised women that are overweight and plan to become pregnant to lose their weight because a number of studies has been conducted and shows that there is a link between obesity and pregnancy complications, such as pre-eclampsia (high blood pressure or hypertension), gestational diabetes and stillbirth.

But recent study, as published in the British medical journal, The Lancet, found that an increase in body mass index or BMI between your first and second pregnancies also may increase the risks of above pregnancy complications.
The results showed that weight gain between first and second pregnancies was associated with an increased risk of all these overweight and obesity-related adverse outcomes. A gain of one to two BMI units increased the risk of gestational diabetes, gestational hypertension or large-for-gestational age birth an average of 20 to 40 percent. A gain of three or more BMI units showed a 63 percent greater chance of stillbirth compared to a gain of less than one BMI unit and also a greater effect on all other complications. Additionally, the researchers found that the risk of adverse outcomes increased even in women who were not overweight, but who gained a modest amount of weight between pregnancies. For example, if a woman who was 5 ft., 5 in., tall and weighed 139 lbs. (giving her a BMI of 23, not considered overweight) gained 6.6 lbs. (1 BMI unit) between her first and second pregnancies, her average risk of gestational diabetes would increase by more than 30 percent. If she gained 12.2 pounds (2 BMI units), her risk would increase 100 percent. The risk would continue to climb if she gained more weight and became obese.
So, it turns out that even only a relatively modest increase in weight between pregnancies would lead to serious illness. And of course the only key to prevent the risks is that women of normal weight should avoid gaining weight between their pregnancies, while obese and overweight women is highly recommended to lose weight if they have a plan on getting pregnant.


Acid Reflux May Cause Esophageal Cancer

New research has proven that there is a connection between acid reflux and esophageal cancer and Barrett's esophagus.

Mayo Clinic's gastroenterologists, G. Richard Locke III, M.D., and Yvonne Romero, M.D., say that only five percent of individulas who experience acid reflux will develop Barett's esophagus and once it is diagnosed, the patients will have a 30- to 125-fold increased risk of developing esophageal cancer.

Barrett's esophagus is a condition which damage to the cells that line the esophagus and causes these cells to become abnormal. The damage is mostly caused by chronic acid reflux, also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or inflamed esophagus.

Acid reflux is a common and one of the most frequent causes of indigestion.

If you have Barrett's esophagus symptoms, such as heartburn pain at night, blood in the stools, swallowing problems and vomiting, please visit your doctor and tell him or her your symptoms before it get worse.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

LASEK or LASIK is Better to Correct Your Vision?

LASIK surgery is a very popular eye surgery among people who wear contact lenses or glasses. LASIK eye surgery has been proved to successfully correct common vision problems (myopia or nearsightedness, hyperopia or farsightedness, astigmatism and a combination thereof) in most of LASIK patients.

Studies on LASIK outcomes reported that at least 90% of LASIK patients achieve 20/40 or better visual acuity after LASIK surgery. This means that only 1% or less of LASIK patients that experience complications after the surgery and even most of the complications are treatable with enhancement surgery.

LASEK is a relatively new eye surgery, developed for patients that will not do very well with LASIK. The condition is probably because they have too thin or too flat of cornea. LASEK is an abbreviation of Laser Epithelial Keratomileusis. It is basically a variation of PRK (Photo Refractive Keratectomy). PRK is an eye surgery that has existed before LASIK eye surgery.

Studies show that LASEK procedure may helps in reducing risk of LASIK complications that usually occur when cutting the corneal flap during the LASIK surgery - not ideal in thickness and diameter.

The Procedure of LASEK Eye Surgery

The procedure of LASEK eye surgery consists of three steps:
1. There is no hinged corneal flap created with microkeratome blade or laser as in LASIK surgery. Instead, a finer blade called trephine and an alcohol solution is used to loosen the edges of epithelium. Then, the surgeon used a tiny hoe to gently lift the edge of epithelium and hold it back out of the way.

2. Excimer laser is used to remove the underlying corneal tissue.

3. The last step is to place back the epithelial flap into its original position by using a kind of spatula.

What you can expect from LASEK is almost similar to what you can expect from LASIK, only with some differences. The epithelial flap heals in about a day, but you will have to wear a bandage contact lens for about four days. Eye irritation is something that is avoidable for a day or two. The time for LASEK patients to recover good vision is often longer than LASIK patient, but of course it may vary from one person to another. Usually, it takes four to seven days.

Lina Lee is a successful webmaster and publisher of, a website that provides complete guide and infomation about LASIK Surgery and Custom LASIK.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Cured Meats Reduce Your Lung Function

Cured meats, hmm... delicious! But don't eat cured meats in large portions. Recent study shows that people who consume large amounts of cured meats have about 3% reduction in lung function compared to those who never eat cured meats.

The study conducted by Graham Barr at Columbia University Medical Center in New York, U.S. surveyed more than 7500 people - 20% of them never ate cured meats, while another 20% were regular consumers of cured meats at least 14 times a month.

During the study, participants breathed into a machine that is used to measure lung function and test on how quickly they could blow out air. Participants who were regular consumers of cured meats blew out 115 milliliters of air less per second than those who never ate cured meats. A healthy person usually is able to expel about 2.5 litres to 3.0 litres of air from lungs per second.

According to Graham Barr, a link between processed meats and cancer has been found on previous studies and this is the first study to show an affect on lung function in humans.

The nitrogen-containing compounds that food producers use to cure meats may become reactive in the body and attack proteins that give lungs their elasticity. A 3% drop in lung function may not be noticed by average person, but it is a significant and noticeable reduction for those with lung disease.

However, more researches need to be done and this preliminary analysis should not stop you from eating cured meats, just watch out your portion, please!

FDA to Ban Skin Lightening Products

FDA is going to ban several counter skin lightening products that contain hydroquinone because studies on rodents has shown that hydroquinone, a kind of bleaching agent that may cause cancer. While the actual risk of hydroquinone is still unknown, FDA said the products should be restricted to prescription use under medical supervision. Before hydroquinone, another skin bleaching drug, ammoniated mercury, has been declared unsafe in 1990.

The fact that hydroquinone links to a disfiguring condition called ochronosis has been widely documented since 1975 in black women and men in South Africa, Britain and the U.S. The ochronosis is a condition marked by the darkening and thickening of the skin and appearance of tiny dome-shaped and grayish-brown spots.

Skin lighteners are usually used to treat skin problems such as freckles, blemishes, sun spots or age spots. While in some countries skin lighteners are not very popular, in other countries skin lighteners have been over used to gain a whiter complexion. Hydroquinone has been banned in some European countries, Australia and Japan.

FDA has published the proposed rule on August 29th, 2006 in the Federal Register and will accept public comments through December 26th, 2006. It has not confirmed when the rule will become permanent.