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What Are The Common Signs Symptoms Gout Causes?

Posted in Health & Fitness on April 27th, 2007

Though the crystallization of uric acid in the joints is the cause of gout, it is not something that will be obvious right away. The signs and symptoms may or may not show up for years before pain is felt. There are some signs symptoms gout sufferers might experience that might not be thought of as part of this condition right away, and are often related to a painful flare up.

Gout may not be diagnosed until flare up occurs. Many times they will show up and be confused with something else before more telling signs show, and a doctor then might know to look for gout.

When a gout flare up is about to occur, a person might have a wide range of symptoms. These are common to may different conditions, and someone with these might think they are getting the flu or are just feeling under the weather.

Some people have similar feelings after eating or drinking too much of the wrong things, and they may just think the feelings are a result of that. They may experience dehydration and may have had an injury in a joint area. Surgery or stress can bring about a flare up, so if someone has just experienced either, they should look for the secondary signs.

Right before the flare up occurs, a patient will notice something is going on up to twenty-four hours before the pain sets in. Having a fever is very common, and this might also come with having the chills. The chills are often a direct result of fever, as the body is too hot and the air feels cooler on the skin. The problem with this is that those symptoms can mean almost anything, and they might not be attributed to a gout flare up until a person knows that they do indeed have gout.

When someone goes to see a doctor about gout, there are specific things they will look for. Some of these things might be evident to the patient as well, but they may not know what they mean. A doctor will test for high levels of uric acid and the crystals that they form. This is a blood test. These crystals might then be located in the joints, and this is most common in the big toe. There will be tenderness around any joints that are involved, and there may be skin problems. Movement of involved joints may very well be painful.

A patient will know they are having a gout attack when they feel pain in the affected joints. This might be very severe pain that is accompanied by stiffness. The joint might feel hot to the touch and extremely tender.

When the signs symptoms gout produces appear, and it is obvious a flare up is occurring, a person should lie down and rest as much as possible. It is important to keep weight off of the joint. Ice or heat might help with the pain, and something like ibuprofen can be taken for inflammation. Once someone is sure they are experiencing a bout of gout, they should call their doctor for advice and the possibility of a prescription if needed.

Grab your free copy of Lisa McDowell’s brand new Gout Newsletter - Overflowing with easy to implement methods to help you find out about gout recipe and for information on gout symptom please visit Cure Gout Now.

Should You Be Worried About Diabetes and Hypertension?

Posted in Health & Fitness on April 13th, 2007

Though not commonly considered, there is a direct link between diabetes and hypertension. Many overlook this fact, because they believe the two to be unrelated. After all, diabetes deals with blood sugar levels and hypertension deals with blood pressure. This misconception is quite false, however. There is an easily proven, easily seen correlation between diabetes and hypertension. It is important to understand this in order to maintain your highest degree of health when faced with either or both of these conditions.

The link between them, to simply explain it, is this: when your body produces more insulin than normal, it can effect certain key points, such as blood vessels found in the kidneys. These vessels can expand with the insulin and begin to retain salt. Your kidneys can malfunction with that. Also, diabetes can cause the vessels to harden. This restricts the flow of fluids and causes blood pressure to rise, resulting in hypertension.

As shown above, having diabetes puts you at high risk for developing hypertension. Hypertension is twice as likely to occur in individuals with diabetes than those without and it will develop in over sixty percent of people with Type II diabetes.

Because of this, it is essential that you understand how to avoid  hypertension. Diabetes takes enough of a toll on your body without adding
these serious effects. Together, diabetes and hypertension can raise the risk for heart attack, kidney malfunction, heart failure and more. So you must learn the steps to take to avoid hypertension. Discuss this with your doctor and also note some of the basic lifestyle changes listed below:

One: lower your blood pressure with a diet rich in fruits and vegetables. Meat and dairy products can raise your pressure levels. Try to substitute them with a vegetarian diet. While you do not have to completely cut meat and dairy products out entirely, you should to eat them moderation.

Two: exercise. The easiest way to keep both your blood pressure down and also maintain a healthy insulin level is to exercise. Consult with your doctor to discover your healthy bodyweight and then take the steps to achieve it. Steady, daily exercise will do much for your body.

Three: medication. There are some medications available that could help keep your blood pressure in check. You must, of course, make sure that these will not combat against any other medicine you are taking. Your doctor will be able to prescribe them to you and explain just what they do.

Diabetes and hypertension are related. Yes, it is possible to have one  without the other and, yes, there are certainly millions of people who do. That does not change the fact, however, that you are twice as likely to develop high blood pressure when you have diabetes.

It cannot be stressed enough that diabetes and hypertension are linked together and you it pays to do everything you can to stop them both from forming in your body. Of course, some may suggest different types of therapy, along with the lifestyle changes we mentioned above. Techniques such as color therapy are quite popular these days and have sparked much debate over their efficacy. Should you decide to try these methods to replace or compliment your other efforts, it is important to understand the way they work, and to consult with your doctor.

Grab your free copy of Paul Johnson’s brand new Blood Pressure Newsletter - Overflowing with easy to implement methods to help you find out about anti hypertension and for information on hypertension exercise please visit Natural Blood Pressure Prevention.

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.

Managing High Blood Pressure with Coenzyme Q10

Posted in Health & Fitness on February 27th, 2007

For some people, regulating their high blood pressure can be a real problem.  Unfortunately, this means, many people take long-term medications to help control it.  However, many studies are being conducted on different non-drug alternative remedies that may prove useful in reducing and controlling high blood pressure.  One such remedy being studied is coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10).

What is CoQ10?  CoQ10 is a coenzyme, which means that it is an enzyme with two parts.  One part is a vitamin-like substance that is found in each cell in the body, and plays a vital role in the production of energy within every cell.  CoQ10 is needed in order to maintain the health of cells, tissues and organs. 

The second part is an enzyme, which means it is also required to facilitate numerous chemical reactions within the body and act as a catalyst to these reactions.  CoQ10 is a powerful antioxidant and is effective at destroying free radicals in the body. 

CoQ10 is manufactured by the body.  It is believed that the vitamins including vitamin B6, vitamin B12, vitamin C, niacin, and folate, help the body convert tyrosine (an amino acid) into coenzyme Q10.  Although it exists throughout the body, CoQ10 is stored in the heart, liver and kidneys, and the heart and liver contain the highest levels.

How does CoQ10 help lower blood pressure?  Many people who have hypertension are deficient in Coenzyme Q10.  Furthermore, they require increased tissues levels of CoQ10.  The reason is because CoQ10 helps to prevent fatty acids from accumulating within the heart muscle and coverts them and other compounds into energy.  Thus, it is believed that CoQ10 helps remaining muscle cells work more effectively.

A number of studies have discovered that when used as a supplement, CoQ10 has modest blood pressure lowering effects.

One 10 week study conducted on 10 participants with hypertension treated the participants with 100 mg of CoQ10 supplement once a day.  When the study was complete, there was an average 10% drop in systolic pressure (161 mm HG to 142 mm Hg) and in the diastolic blood pressure (98 mm HG to 83 mm Hg).  Improvement was even seen in the cholesterol levels of these same participants.

Another study examined the affect CoQ10 supplements would have on those who suffer from isolated systolic hypertension (ISH).  This form of high blood pressure is the most common in America and is predominant in people older than 65.  ISH is characterized by having a systolic blood pressure of more than 140 mm HG, and a normal diastolic blood pressure that is less than 90 mm Hg. 

The 12 week study involved just over 80 participants with ISH.  Half of the participants were given a placebo and the other half 60 mg of CoQ10 supplement to be taken twice a day.  Throughout the entire study, each participant had their blood pressure checked twice per week.  At the end of the study, it was found that on average those who took CoQ10 had an 18 mm Hg reduction (165 mm Hg to 147 mm Hg) in systolic pressure.

Most studies have found CoQ10 to be beneficial for some individuals with different forms of hypertension; however, although the findings are promising, CoQ10 usually doesn’t show much of an improvement until 4 – 12 weeks after treatment begins.  Furthermore, it has yet to prove that it offers a significant benefit to most who suffer from hypertension.  More studies still need to be conducted.

If you are interested in taking CoQ10 for lowering your blood pressure talk to your doctor.

By Paul Johnson. Sign up for a free newsletter & discover anti hypertension treatments. On the site you’ll also find more about the various hypertension symptom and how to lower blood pressure naturally

Lupron And Endometriosis What You Need to Know

Posted in Health & Fitness on February 23rd, 2007

Lupron and endometriosis is something a woman can consider if she has been properly diagnosed by her doctor, and knows that the symptoms she is suffering are caused by endometriosis and not interstitial cystitis.

What is lupron? Lupron Depot, or simply Lupron, is a hormone that has two main stages. First, it stimulates the ovaries so that they increase production of estradiol, which is the strongest of the three estrogens women produce. Second, the hormones that send messages to the ovaries to produce estrogen significantly decline. Therefore, lupron causes a dramatic decrease in estrogen levels in the body which cause women to experience side effects that mimic menopause.

Lupron and endometriosis treatment is short term therapy that last no longer than six months. Lupron is administered to patients by doctors or nurses via an injection.

After the first injection, the fist stage of lupron (increase in estradiol) occurs. During this time, the patient will likely experience an increase in their symptoms. These symptoms will begin to subside after a few weeks when more injections are administered and stage 2 (dramatic decrease in estrogen levels) occurs. As treatment progresses, women generally have lighter or heavier periods, or may experience a complete stop in their menstrual cycle.

Unlike many of the medical treatments for endometriosis, lupron is not a contraceptive, and lupron and endometriosis treatment is not considered safe during pregnancy. Therefore, you will need to abstain from sex or use other forms of contraceptives (I.E. condoms, diaphragms, or non-hormonal oral contraceptives). Should a woman suspect she is pregnant while taking lupron, she should contact her doctor immediately.

Is lupron right for you? Lupron and endometriosis treatment has been FDA approved; however, before you determine whether or not this treatment is right for you, it is essential that you first know the pros and cons of lupron prior to making your decision, and consulting your doctor for more information and recommendations.

The postive side effects – While Lupron can provide pain relief during treatment, its purpose is to provide considerable pain relief for several years. One clinical trial found that more than 60% of women that suffered from mild endometriosis, who participated in the study, were successfully symptom free for five years after stopping treatment. On the other hand, just over 25% of women who suffered from severe endometriosis had the same successful results.

The negative side effects – The following are the negative side effects that may occur from lupron and endometriosis treatment:
• Hot flashes
• Night sweats
• Palpitations
• Syncope (fainting or dizziness caused by insufficient blood flow to the brain)
• Tachycardia (rapid heartbeat)
• Headache
• Depression
• Nervousness
• Vaginitis (vaginal inflammation often resulting from bacterial infection)
• Loss of libido
• Tenderness or pain in the breasts
• Acne
• Weight gain

Many of the above symptoms mirror menopause symptoms, which is to be expected especially during treatment, due to the low levels of estrogen in the body.

Some women believe that lupron and endometriosis is a dangerous combination. Many women who have received the injections claim to have suffered from severe side effects such as cardiac arrhythmias (irregular heartbeat), chest pain, confusion, depression, bone pain, loss of vision, extreme fatigue, and high blood pressure. Some women claim that these side effects lasted for a prolonged period of time after treatment was stopped.

Nevertheless, lupron is considered an effective and medically safe treatment for endometriosis, and most of the women who undergo the treatment find that the negative side effects they may experience during treatment are a small price to pay for the long-term relief of their painful endometriosis symptoms.

Are their alternatives to lupron? Yes. If you feel lupron and endometriosis are a risky combination, talk to your doctor about alternative remedies such as –
• Medical remedies - oral contraceptives, progestins, etc.
• Holistic treatments - acupuncture, hypnosis, elimination diet, etc.
• Surgery – Laparoscopy, etc.

By Shelley Ross. To find out more about endometriosis diagnosis and for information on endometriosis characteristics please visit Treat Endometriosis, where you can also sign up for a free newsletter focusing on treating endometriosis.

Is Treating Fibromyalgia with Medication For You?

Posted in Health & Fitness on February 22nd, 2007

Joining a fibromyalgia support group can be excellent psychological and emotional therapy. However, talking and sharing your experiences with others is not likely to take away any of the painful physical symptoms or fatigue you feel. Therefore, many fibromyalgia sufferers need to turn to alternative and medical remedies to find relief from their symptoms.

There are different over-the-counter (OTC) and prescribed medications that a fibromyalgia sufferer may find beneficial to their condition. That being said, not every person with fibromyalgia will have the same response to medical treatment, and may require different treatment to address their specific symptoms.

Although there are a number of medications that can be prescribed for specific symptoms, or those currently being used in clinical trials, the following are the most common medical treatments prescribed:
Analgesics – Analgesics are drugs designed to relieve bodily aches and pains and are also known as painkillers. OTC analgesics include acetaminophen and the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen. Although NSAIDs are primarily used to reduce inflammation and inflammation is not a symptom of fibromyalgia, they offer effective pain relief. The problem with using NSAIDs for pain relief is that prolonged use of this medication can irritate the stomach lining, lead to digestive upset and cause stomach ulcers.

Aside from OTC analgesics, doctors may prescribe opioid analgesics such as tramadol. Tramadol is a narcotic used to treat moderate to severe pain, and is typically used to treat surgical, arthritic and fibromyalgia pain. However, other stronger narcotics may be prescribed for sufferers with severe muscle pain.

The problem doctors have with prescribing narcotics is that although effective, there is a high risk that those who take them will become addicted and dependent on these drugs. Furthermore, narcotics can have many side effects including altering moods, behaviors and fatigue.

Antidepressants
Antidepressants are one of the most common medications prescribed for fibromyalgia sufferers. This is because antidepressants elevate the levels of specific brain chemicals such as norepinephrine and serotonin. Low levels of these and other brain chemicals can result in depression, pain and fatigue. By increasing chemical levels these symptoms can be improved.

Doctors provide different types of antidepressants to fibromyalgia sufferers based on how they feel. For instance, tricyclic antidepressants are provided to fibromyalgia patients who suffer from insomnia, as these meds help restore sleep. In addition, tricyclic antidepressants can help painful muscles relax and stimulate endorphins (body’s natural painkillers). Different tricyclic antidepressants that may be prescribed include: amitriptyline, doxepin, cyclobenzaprine and nortriptyline.

Additional antidepressant that may be used to treat depression and other fibromyalgia syptoms are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). These include – fluoxetine, sertraline and paroxetine.

Antidepressants can be habit forming and may cause side effects such as dry mouth, weight gain, anxiety, gastrointestinal upset, loss of libido, insomnia, and fatigue. Note: each antidepressant will have different side effects.

Benzodiazepines
Benzodiazepines are psychotropic drugs that have been known to help fibromyalgia sufferers relax tense and painful muscles, and with restless legs syndrome, and insomnia. Benzodiazepines have hypnotic and sedative effects, and like antidepressants, dependence and addiction can occur in some patients. Other side effects may include depression, memory impairment, slow motor skills, etc.

Benzodiazepines are usually prescribed to fibromyalgia sufferers who have not responded well to other treatments. Some Benzodiazepines meds prescribed include: diazepam, temazepman, clonazepam, and triazolam.

Despite what medication you may be interested in or your doctor may recommend, you need to make sure you ask your doctor important questions before taking any medication so you can receive the most effective treatment that is right for you.

6 important questions to ask your doctor
1. What are the medications you recommend for my specific symptoms?
2. What side effects can I expect and will this medication have negative interactions with other medications, foods or activities?
3. Should I continue taking medications even if I feel better?
4. What are the long-term effects this medication will have on my health?
5. Can I take any alternative therapies with this medication, or are there any alternative therapies I can try which might provide me with relief for my symptoms?
6. Are there any clinical trials I may be eligible for?

By Jane Thompson. Sign up for a free newsletter & discover proven natural methods to help you combat the pain and frustration of Fibromyalgia. On the site you’ll also find more about the different fibromyalgia symptoms.

Why antibiotics could make your Candida worse

Posted in Health & Fitness on January 27th, 2007

Candida, or Candida albicans, is a type of yeast that is generally found in the regular flora of the skin, intestinal track and the mouth, rectum, and vagina. Although Candida is naturally present in the body, it can cause problems if there is an overgrowth, resulting in Candidiasis.

Candidiasis usually occurs when there is a disruption of bacterial flora in the body, and in people who have compromised immune systems. There are different factors which can lead to Candida overgrowth such as a person’s diet. However, research is finding that prolonged use of antibiotics can also play a major role in the development of Candidiasis.

Why do antibiotics cause Candidiasis? Antibiotics are designed to eradicate the bad bacteria that cause certain diseases and infections. While antibiotics destroy bad bacteria and stop the spread of infection, they also destroy the good bacteria that help to keep the Candida in the body under control.

Prolonged or strong doses of antibiotics can lead to an imbalance in gut flora, an imbalance that allows bad bacteria, yeasts and parasites to overgrow in the stomach. If not controlled, the affected person can begin to suffer a slew of negative side effects and yeast infections including:

Oral Thrush (“oropharyngeal Candidiasis”) - is an infection that occurs along the lining of the mouth and/or the throat, and characterized by inflammation of the tongue, which is also coated with bluish-white or creamy patches.

Intetrigo – Skin irritation that is caused by two moist surfaces adjacent rubbing against one another and accompanied by a fungal or bacterial infection.

Vaginitis (“Candida vulvovaginitis” and “Moniliasis”) - Commonly referred to as a “vaginal yeast infection”, it is characterized by a thick white or yellow, odorless discharge. It often causes itching in the affected area and may cause burning or pain during intercourse.

Systemic yeast infections – Dangerous infections that often affect the vital organs of those with compromised immune systems such as people with AIDS, diabetes, or those receiving chemotherapy.

Note: Over 90% of Thrush and Vaginitis is caused by Candida overgrowth.

How can you protect yourself against developing Candidiasis from antibiotics?

Don’t take antibiotic treatment unless it is absolutely necessary – Illnesses such as the common cold, flu and sinus infections do not require antibiotics unless they prolong for more than two weeks, cause irregular symptoms, or produce a high fever.

Unfortunately, many people believe that antibiotics are a fast way to get rid of common infections. Although this may be true, those who take antibiotics for these illnesses do not allow their immune system the chance to fight off the infection and become stronger. Instead, they allow their body to become dependant on antibiotics. The result – eventually they will develop a resistance to these medications, and will require a higher dosage the next time they become sick.

In addition, antibiotic overuse is exceptionally bad for children. Children are in a state of constant growth which makes them highly susceptible to common viruses. A child who is administered antibiotics to treat every infection they experience only causes their immune system to weaken and develop poorly. Essentially, by the time they are adults, their body will depend on antibiotics to be cured from the smallest infection.

Consider holistic remedies - There are plenty of holistic and alternative drug treatments. Research different remedies and consult your doctor.

If you must take antibiotics keep the following in mind -

Eat a healthy balanced diet - limit your intake of yeast and sugar and drink plenty of water to help clean your system of impurities.

Eat yogurt – Yogurt contains active cultures that can help restore the good bacteria your body requires.

Exercise – Exercise helps keep your body and immune system strong

Talk to your doctor - Find out if you can take a lower dosage of antibiotics or complimentary treatment.

For further information about effective herbal treatment for candida albicans symptoms please visit Naturally Eliminating Candida, where you can sign up for a free newsletter.