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Archive for March, 2007

What Does Age Have To Do With Fibromyalgia?

Posted in Health & Fitness on March 30th, 2007

Fibromyalgia is a medical condition that is closely related to chronic fatigue syndrome, though they are not the same thing. Someone with Fibromyalgia is often weak and tired because the body is not resting at night. It also seems to be related to arthritis and stiffening of joints and ligaments. Though it can be hard to diagnose, doctors often use a patient description of symptoms along with checking a series of points on the body to check for pain and tenderness. Studies and statistics show that age might play a factor in Fibromyalgia.

There are different stages of sleep that cycle each night. The deepest cycle of sleep is when the body and the mind both repair from the damage of the day before. When the sleep is interrupted, this deep sleep is not achieved, and the healing can not be done. This means a person with Fibromyalgia will not only feel like they are sometimes in a mental fog, they will also experience many problems with healing and well being. Sufferers also have problems with muscles and connecting tissues, leaving them feeling sore and stiff upon awakening in the morning.

Women are more likely to be diagnosed with this condition, and it was once thought that the prime age to be diagnosed is between 20 and 50. However, the numbers of those that are diagnosed after the age of 50 are higher, and continue to climb. The numbers of those with Fibromyalgia and their respective ages is hard to gauge though, as there are still many medical professionals who do not think there has been enough evidence to support the claim that this is a real condition. However, the percentages of those diagnosed at an older age are rising.

Though some say that the age of patients means nothing, others say it is significant. It might be that as the body ages the problems with joints and muscles are more common, and thus so are the occurrences of Fibromyalgia. Others suggest that because some doctors do not recognize it, people are not getting diagnosed when they have it at a younger age, and are much older when a doctor finally says that they do indeed have Fibromyalgia. It might even be that this condition is easier to diagnose the younger a patient might be.

The chances of developing Fibromyalgia do seem to grow as a person ages, but there is yet to be an established pattern for diagnosis. The body does not work as well when it ages, and that might lead to more diagnosis. There are many other conditions that mimic Fibromyalgia, so it is hard to determine sometimes exactly what the patient is suffering from.

Often, a doctor will eliminate many different conditions before finally testing for Fibromyalgia. The important thing to remember is that aging can bring about arthritis and diminished mental acuity. Someone with these problems may or may not have Fibromyalgia. It stands to reason that older adults are more likely to have it, but they are also more likely to be misdiagnosed.

Grab your free copy of Jane Thompson’s brand new Fibromyalgia Newsletter - Overflowing with easy to implement methods to help you find out about fibromyalgia treatment and for information on fibromyalgia sign and symptoms please visit Natural Cure to Fibromyalgia.  

5 Simple and Effective Gout Home Treatment Ideas

Posted in Health & Fitness on March 19th, 2007

Gout home treatment may be another alternative remedy you can use instead of, or as a compliment to tissue salts.  There are different home remedies that can help treat gout, and many of them are practical treatments that are easy to use and follow.

Here are 5 gout home treatment options you can consider:

1. Low-purine diet – One of the best natural gout treatments you can follow is to control your diet by eliminating foods that are high in purines, which are known to trigger and worsen attacks of gout.  In fact, it is estimated that half of uric acid produced by the body is a result of purine rich foods consumed in the diet.

Studies have found that by following a low purine diet that focuses on eliminating high purine foods (I.E. organ meats, wild game, meat extract, gravies, sardines, anchiovies, scallops, mackerel, sweetbreads, etc.), and encourages vegetable protein, dairy products and increased water intake, can effectively decrease and prevent sudden painful gout attacks.

Keep in mind that some foods high in purines contain certain essential nutrients your body requires such as protein.  Therefore, you will need to ensure you replace them so your body is receiving adequate nutrients to stay healthy.  Speak to your doctor or dietitian about what foods contain the nutrients you need and are safe for your condition.  You may also want to consider taking a multivitamin.

2. Water – Believe it or not, but water is actually an excellent gout home treatment.  Not only is water safe to drink and side-effect free, but drinking plenty of it daily aids in proper digestion and will actually help you flush excess uric acid out of your system.  Furthermore, drinking plenty of water can help prevent kidney stones and help those suffering from an uncomplicated case of stones pass them.

It is important to lower your intake of beverages that cause dehydration such as alcoholic and caffeinated drinks (I.E. soda, coffee, tea).  Stick to hydrating beverages including water (8 – 10 glasses daily), herbal tea and fruit juice.

3. Cherries or cherry juice – Cherries are an effective gout home treatment.  Cherries, in all their forms (I.E. Fruit –canned, dried, fresh, black, red sour and sweet yellow cherries or cherry juice), have been found to prevent gout attacks and help alleviate inflammation during an attack.

If using cherries as a natural remedy for gout, here are some guidelines:
Cherry fruit – eat at least 10 cherries and no more than half a pound daily…or
Cherry juice – 1 6 oz glass of cherry juice 1-2 times daily.

Note: Although cherries have no known side effects, eating too much of one food can cause stomach distress (I.E. constipation, diarrhea, etc.).  Therefore, while you should keep the above guidelines in mind and not exceed them, you should ingest the amount your body is comfortable with.

4. Charcoal poultice -   Charcoal poultice is a gout home treatment remedy that reduces inflammation.  It is created by mixing half a cup of activated powdered charcoal with 3-7 tbs. of grounded flaxseed.  When the mixture becomes mealy, warm water is then added to turn it into paste.  The paste (charcoal poultice) is placed on the inflamed joint and covered with a plastic or cloth dressing.  Dressings should be changed approximately every 4 hours and can be left on over night. 

Be advised, charcoal poultice will stain virtually any fabric it touches.  Check online or at your local nutritional store for active charcoal powder.

5. Rest and Relaxation – Resting a gout-inflamed joint is a mandatory home gout treatment if you want the joint to heal faster.  Keep the affected joint elevated and stay off it as much as you can so you don’t aggravate the inflammation further.  In addition, make sure you keep the joint warm or cool – whatever makes it feel most comfortable and less tense to reduce joint stress.

Although most gout home treatment remedies are safe and effective, they shouldn’t replace your doctor’s advice.  Make sure you consult your doctor first before staring any gout treatment plan.

By Lisa McDowell. Sign up for a free newsletter & discover how to treat your gout symptoms with a exercise as an effective natural cure for gout. Discover how gout home treatment ideas can get rid of gout.  

Can Vitamin B Help You Manage Your High Blood Pressure?

Posted in Health & Fitness on March 9th, 2007

Garlic contains different vitamins such as vitamins B and C that are required by the body to remain healthy and strong. Clinical studies have found that Vitamin B12 is considered to be one vitamin which is beneficial in lowering blood pressure. Unfortunately, B 12 isn’t one of the B vitamins within garlic. However, some believe foods which contain a particular substance known as inluins - such as garlic - help to stimulate the growth of specific bacteria known as lactobacillus in the colon. These bacteria produce B12 and may supply the body with some of the vitamin.

Nevertheless, in order for vitamin B12 to be used as a serious treatment for controlling hypertension, it must be taken in the form of a supplement or come from food sources that are rich in B12.

How does Vitamin B12 help reduce blood pressure? Vitamin B12, also known as folate or folic acid, plays an essential role in the formation of red blood cells. It is believed to help lower blood pressure by helping blood vessels relax, improve circulation, and by lowering homocysteine levels.

Homocysteine is an amino acid that exists in the blood. It is a toxic waste product that is created during cellular metabolism. If the levels of homocysteine become too high (which could be related to a poor diet or genetics), researchers believe it can damage the inner lining of arteries and encourage blood clots. Elevated homocysteine is also connected to a higher risk of stroke, peripheral vascular disease, and coronary heart disease.

Various studies have been conducted to determine the blood pressure-lowering effects of folic acid taken in the form of a supplement. In one small study involving 24 cigarette smokers, folic acid supplements were found to significantly lower the blood pressure in these individuals.

Another study conducted on young women, found that those who receive a minimum of 1,000 micrograms of B12 daily, either from their diet or by taking supplements, are less likely to develop hypertension; lowering their risk by more than 45%.

Although researchers have already concluded that a diet rich in folic acid can lower high blood pressure, this was the first study to reveal that higher intake of folic acid can lower the risk of developing hypertension.

How can you take vitamin B12? Vitamin B12 is naturally found in leafy green vegetables, lentils and citrus fruits. It can also be found in other food sources including dairy products, eggs, fish, beef, pork and organ meats (especially kidney and liver). Some foods may also be fortified with folic acid including certain bread and cereal products.

Usually, people who have a daily diet rich in folic acid do not require supplements. However, approximately 10-30% of elderly people (65 years and older) may not be able to properly absorb Vitamin B12 from food and will require supplements.

For those who are interested in taking supplements, vitamin B12 can be found as part of a multivitamin, or as an individual supplement. Supplements are usually in the form of a tablet or capsule and are taken daily. Before taking supplements you should read all of the product instructions and talk to your doctor about the recommended dose for treating your high blood pressure.

Is vitamin B12 safe? Vitamin B12 is usually safe and non-toxic when the recommended amount is ingested. That being said, folic acid may cause side effects in some people and interact with certain medications (I.E. certain antibiotics, chemotherapy medications, anti-ulcer medications, etc.) In addition, you should never take any single B complex vitamin by itself for a prolonged period of time, as this can cause an imbalance among other essential B vitamins your body requires.

Thus, when taking B 12 supplements for managing blood pressure, you should be supervised by your health care provider.

By Paul Johnson. Sign up for a free newsletter & discover proven natural methods to help you lower blood pressure naturally. On the site you’ll also find more about suitable hypertension exercise and the most common sign and symptom of hypertension.

10 Foods to Avoid with Endometriosis

Posted in Health & Fitness on March 1st, 2007

There are certain foods to avoid with endometriosis. In fact, many women who suffer from endometriosis can improve their condition and their symptoms naturally by simply controlling their diet. Knowing what not to eat can make a significant difference in the way an endometriosis sufferer feels.

Creating an endometriosis friendly diet is about eliminating foods that increase prostaglandins. Prostaglandins stimulate estrogen, which is the main hormone that wreaks havoc in an endometriosis sufferer. Estrogen is responsible for symptoms including painful menstrual cramps, as well as meorrhagia (heavy menses), diarrhea, nausea and vomiting.

However, when you learn what foods to avoid with endometriosis, you will discover that not all prostaglandin are bad. For instance, prostaglandin E1 (PGE1) actually helps to relieve symptoms, while prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) and prostaglandin F2a (PGF2a) contribute to the symptoms mentioned above.

The following are 10 foods to avoid with endometriosis –

1. Sugar – Sugar, in all its forms (refined, artificial, natural), can produce a more acidic environment which can encourage the inflammatory pain of endometriosis. Therefore, it’s a good idea to limit the consumption of chocolate, sweeteners, drinks and sweets with high levels of sugar, and honey.

2. Wheat – Wheat contains phytic acid which can aggravate endometriosis symptoms. Furthermore, wheat contains gluten, and studies have found that many endometriosis sufferers appear to have gluten sensitivity which can cause and increase painful symptoms. Products containing wheat and gluten should be avoided or limited.

3. Soy products – Like wheat, soy contains phytic acid; however the levels of phytic acid in soy are considerably higher than wheat. Phytic acid is known to irritate the digestive system and reduces mineral absorption, especially calcium. Soy is found in many food products including granola, pasta, imitation meat, soy milk, soy based cheese, etc.

4. Caffeine – Caffeine, especially when consumed in high amounts, has been found to increase estrogen levels, which can trigger endometriosis attacks and cause the condition to develop. Caffeine foods to avoid with endometriosis include coffee, tea and soda. Consuming more than two cups of coffee a day may cause estrogen levels to rise.

5. Alcohol – Alcohol eats up vitamin B stored in the liver. Liver function plays an essential role in clearing out excess estrogen which helps to control endometriosis. Eliminating alcohol from the body puts excessive stress on the liver, hindering it from expelling other items from the body.

6. Dairy products – Dairy products stimulate the production of PGE2 and PGF2a, which can worsen symptoms. The primary dairy foods that you should avoid with endometriosis include milk and cheeses. To help keep calcium levels up you can find other sources of calcium in sesame seeds, almonds, salmon, sardines, seaweed, figs, and calcium fortified foods (I.E. tofu, orange juice, etc.) Note: Remember to be careful when substituting dairy products such as pasteurized milk with soy milk, as soy can also aggravate symptoms.

7. Red Meat – Meat promotes PGF2a production. Furthermore, red meat may contain growth hormones that include estrogen. If meat is your main source of protein, you can obtain the protein you need through other protein-rich foods such as beans, tofu, tempeh, walnuts, cashews, chestnuts, sunflower seeds, flaxseed, sesame seeds, and peanuts.

8. Saturated fats and oils – Foods that are high in fatty acids stimulate the production of PGE2 and PGF2a. Fatty acids are found in saturated fats, oils (IE coconut oil, palm oil, etc.), butter, margarine, lard, organ meats, and plenty of fried foods.

9. Refined carbohydrates – refined carbohydrates (I.E. white bread, pasta, flour, pastry, cakes, etc.) have had most of their natural nutrients removed. Refined carbohydrates deplete the body’s nutritional stores as they are needed in order for the body to absorb the nutrients in the refined carbs. This can lead to endometriosis symptoms. Instead of refined carbs, stick to unrefined carbohydrates such as wholegrain breads, pasta, rice, etc.

10. Additives and preservatives – processed, frozen and pre-packaged are foods to avoid with endometriosis as they are full of additives, preservatives chemicals, and many other ingredients that promote ill-health and PGE2 and PGF2.

By Shelley Ross. Sign up for a free newsletter that uses proven methods to help women combat endometriosis at Treating Your Endometriosis. On the site you’ll also find more about the different stages of endometriosis and natural endometriosistreatments to ease symptoms.