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Do-Advice » 2007 » January

Archive for January, 2007

Soda vs Acid Reflux

Posted in Health & Fitness on January 27th, 2007

Do you enjoy drinking carbonated beverages but frequently suffer from acid reflux? Did you know that carbonated beverages are not conducive to your condition? Drinking carbonated beverages on a daily basis can lead to more than just a bad case of heartburn. In fact, research is finding that frequent consumption of these beverages over time, can actually dramatically increase your risk of developing esophageal cancer.

Esophageal cancer was a disease that was non-existent two generations ago, now it’s becoming a common concern. Researchers in India discovered a link between the rise in carbonation consumption and esophageal cancer in America over the past two decades. They found that the average consumption of carbonated soft drinks sky rocketed from less than 11 gallons per year in the late 1940’s to nearly 50 gallons per year by 2000. They also found that since the 1980’s, esophageal cancer has increased by more than 565% among white American men.

Studies have concluded that soft drinks have a direct link to gastric distension, a condition that brings on reflux. It was found that the consumption of liquid from a single standard soda can cause acid levels to remain elevated in the stomach for more than 52 minutes. Thus, if a person were to drink one can of soda a day, for a year, that would add up to more than 32,000 minutes of the esophagus being exposed to elevated acid levels.

Furthermore, the lower esophagus has a much higher chance of being damaged by soft drink consumption than by other non-carbonated beverages. For instance, if you were to drink 8 oz. of a carbonated beverage, your stomach might distend to 16 oz., instead of only distending by 8 oz. when drinking the same amount of water.

The distending that carbonation causes to the stomach results in acid reflux. Recurring acid reflux dramatically increases the risk of developing esophageal cancer, and drinking carbonated beverages increases gastric pressure, which may lead to an increase in reflux.

How exactly does acid reflux and esophageal cancer result from drinking carbonated beverages? The following is a basic breakdown of what occurs:
• The carbonated beverage is ingested
• The carbonation induces a burp – otherwise known as acid reflux
• The burp goes up through the esophagus and carries acid with it
• Over time the carbonation causes mechanical damage to cells causing lesions. Mechanical cell damage increases the risk of cancer.
• Frequent drinking causes a radical increase in the mutation of cells and excessive level of free radicals which can eventually lead to cancer.

Carbonated beverages don’t only include soft drinks like cola, root-beer and ginger ale. Any beverage with carbonation can cause acid reflux. Other beverages that contain carbonation include:
• Soda water – regular or flavored water with carbonation
• Beer
• Champagne
• Fruit juice

To find out if a beverage is carbonated, “carbonated water” is usually listed in the ingredients.

If you suffer from frequent acid reflux or GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease), it’s a good idea to eliminate carbonated beverages from your diet altogether. However, if you really enjoy drinking carbonated beverages, and aren’t ready to go cold turkey, here are some tips for you to keep in mind when it comes to limiting your carbon consumption:

• Take one sip at a time - Don’t gulp down your drinks as this encourages burping, making it more likely for the esophagus to become irritated.
• Limit your intake –Treat yourself to one drink once in a while; don’t make it apart of your daily diet.
• Buy bottles not cans – If you purchase soft drinks, avoid buying cans and opt for a bottle instead. A bottle will allow you to control the amount you drink without making you feel obligated to finish the whole drink as you would with a can.

For more information about acid reflux syndrome and the natural treatments available take a look at Stop Acid Reflux Now .

GETTING YOUR CHILD EVALUATED FOR ADHD

Posted in Health & Fitness on January 21st, 2007

Parents usually see signs of ADHD in their children long before they start school. Children have different rates in their level of maturity and they have very different personalities, attitudes, and energy rates, so it’s helpful to get an expert’s outlook of whether the behavior is appropriate for the child’s age. Parents can ask their specialists to evaluate whether the child has an ADHD or is just being immature, childish or unusually energetic.

If ADHD seems like a possibility, the family can turn to health professionals in the field of ADHD training or in mental disorder diagnosis. There are different specialists trained in different areas, such as psychiatrists and psychologists, developmental and behavioral pediatricians, neurologists and even clinical social workers. Parents should determine which specialist will be most suitable for their child by talking to their family physician and getting recommendations from him or her.

There are a lot of specialists who deal with ADHD. Psychiatrists can prescribe medications and treatments and provide a therapy program. Psychologists are qualified to diagnose and treat ADHD through therapy (but cannot prescribe medication). Neurologists are doctors who deal with disorders of the nervous system and brain, and they are also trained in diagnosing ADHD and can prescribe medication, though they don’t usually provide therapy for the emotional side of ADHD. In choosing a specialist, it’s important to look for someone with specialized training who has experience dealing with the disorder.

In getting the child ready for evaluation of his or her ADHD, the specialist first checks the child’s records, both educational and medical. The child’s needs and personal history are carefully considered and analyzed. The specialist determines what effect the child’s environment has on his or her behavior and how the parent and child deal with it. Then, the specialist collects information related to the child’s recent behavior and compares it with the warning signs of ADHD. The specialist also observes the child’s behavior in different environments, such as at home, school or in the community. People who are in contact with the child are asked for their observations on the child’s behavior. They are presented with evaluation forms or behavior rating scales. After the data gathering and observation, the specialist can now compare the child’s behavior to that of other kids in the same age group.

Most of the time children with ADHD are evaluated for mental health and social adjustment. A specialist conducts tests to check for a learning disability. Once all the information is gathered, the specialist answers different sets of questions to help him or her identify whether the child’s hyperactivity, impulsivity, and inattention are significant and long-standing. Some of these questions are: Which ADHD-like behaviors does the child show? In what situations? How often? How long has the child been doing them? How old was the child when the problem started? Are the behaviors seriously interfering with the child’s relationship in home, school or community? Or does the child have any other related problems?

Providing recommendations to school staff, selecting the right medication, seeking a more appropriate classroom setting, and helping parents and teachers to manage the child’s behavior are vital for an effective social medication. Once the disorder is identified, the child and family can get whatever help they need, whether it’s emotional, educational or medical.

Truly no single treatment is the answer for every child having Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. If a child with ADHD has anxiety or depression, a combined treatment medication and behavioral therapy is usually best.

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

Why Reducing Lactose Intake May Alleviate IBS Symptoms

Posted in Health & Fitness on January 19th, 2007

Many people who suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS syndrome) have problems digesting milk sugar, better known as lactose. Lactose intolerance occurs when there is insufficient lactase in the small intestine.

Lactase is responsible for breaking down lactose so it can be properly absorbed into the bloodstream. When not enough lactase exists, the undigested lactose can ferment in the large intestine, which can lead to the unpleasant symptoms of:
• nausea
• bloating
• cramps
• flatulence
• diarrhea

These symptoms usually present themselves between 30 minutes – 2 hours following ingestion of lactose. Symptoms will vary depending on how intolerant one’s system is to lactose.

As you can see, the above symptoms closely mirror those related to IBS. Therefore, discovering whether or not lactose intolerance is a contributing factor to the symptoms an IBS sufferer experiences, can be difficult to determine without the proper diagnosis.

One of the ways an IBS sufferer can self-determine if they have lactose intolerance is to begin a lactose elimination diet. In other words, ingest a lactose product and find out if you have a reaction within 30 minutes - 2 hours after eating it. If you do, eliminate this item from your diet and try ingesting something else that contains less lactose. Continue eliminating until you no longer have symptoms.

Unfortunately, the problem with an elimination diet is many people are not aware that lactose isn’t only in dairy products. It also exists in small amounts in bake goods, certain breads, cookies, dry cereal, breakfast drinks and instant soups. In addition, lactose is often used for filler or to increase the bulk of capsules and tablets.

The following are a list of lactose ingredient names to look for on food packages: lactose, whey, buttermilk, nonfat milk solids, malted milk, margarine, sour cream, sweet. Furthermore, make sure you ask the pharmacist if any of the medication you are taking contains lactose.

If you have been diagnosed with IBS, it’s a good idea to take a hydrogen breath test to determine whether or not you have lactose malabsoprtion. This is the best way for you to determine what course of action you should take. After all, if you don’t suffer from lactose intolerance, eating a lactose-free diet isn’t going to help the symptoms you are experiencing. Plus, foods that contain lactose are usually high in calcium and are an important part of a healthy diet.

Additionally, if the lactose breath test is negative, your doctor may want to run other tests to rule out other dietary factors you may be allergic too.

If a hydrogen breath tests proves that you are lactose intolerant, the best treatment is to completely eliminate all lactose products from your diet. Due to the fact that this means eliminating many dairy products from your diet, you will need to find other ways to provide your body with the calcium it needs to remain strong and healthy.

The following are a list of food sources that are high in calcium and contain no lactose:

• Fortified soymilk
• Canned salmon
• Canned tuna
• Sardines with edible bones
• Raw broccoli
• Lettuce greens
• Orange
• Pinto beans

There are other foods high in calcium without lactose such as spinach, swiss chard and rhubarb, but they also contain oxalates which block the absorption of calcium so they are counter productive.

Recent research finds that yogurt with active cultures are a good sources of calcium event though it contains lactose. The reason why yogurt appears not to cause problems is because the bacterial culture produces some of the lactase enzyme that is necessary for proper digestion.

Calcium supplements may also be necessary in order to meet the daily requirements. Talk to your doctor about treatment for IBS Syndrome.

If you want to discover other ways to successfully reduce or eliminate IBS syndrome symptoms please visit NaturalIrritableBowelSyndromeRelief.com and sign up for a free newsletter.

Extinguishing the Fire of Athletes Foot Pain

Posted in Health & Fitness on January 16th, 2007

Athlete’s foot is a fungal disease that affects the foot, particularly the area of the skin present between the toes where moisture is highly present. The fungus that causes athlete’s foot almost always targets the feet due to the fact that feet are often enclosed in shoes. Shoes provide a warm, moist and dark environment - perfect fungus growing conditions.

In addition, public locker rooms, showers, and swimming pools are prime fungus breeding grounds. Thus, this is how the term “athlete’s foot” came into play, because the fungal disease was common among athletes who frequently used the above mentioned facilities.

Who is prone to athlete’s foot? Anyone can develop a case of athlete’s foot if they don’t take proper care to ensure the cleanliness of their feet. Those who have excessively sweaty feet and those who don’t regularly change their socks are more prone to the condition than others. It is a fact that many people who develop athlete’s foot already had a present case of the fungus on their skin prior to infection. All it takes is a crack or bruise to allow the fungus to enter into the skin.

The most common symptoms of athlete’s foot include:
• Dry and itchy skin
• Scaly skin
• Inflammation
• Blisters

Blisters usually crack the skin and break. When blisters burst, small raw patches of tissue become exposed and cause pain and swelling in the infected area. If the infection is allowed to spread, symptoms of itching and burning will likely increase.

Athlete’s foot can spread to the toenails and the soles of the feet. It can even spread to other parts of the body (especially the groin and underarms) if a person scratches the infected area and then touches other parts of their body.

Athlete’s foot is contagious and can be passed to others through infected bed sheets, clothing, showers, pools, and directly touching the body.

Athlete’s foot can be treated with out the assistance of a doctor if a person has a mild infection. A mild case of athlete’s foot can be cured by keeping the affected area clean and dry. This means frequently bathing the feet and carefully cleaning between the toes. Washing should be followed by thoroughly drying in-between the toes. It also helps to frequently change socks and keep feet dry by dusting the inside of shoes with foot power.

Should a case of Athlete’s foot worsen, or fail to go away after natural treatment, you should go to your doctor or podiatrist for help. Your doctor will be able to determine if your problem is fungus-related, or is the result of another condition such as an allergic reaction to shoe dye or adhesive, psoriasis or eczema. If athlete’s foot is diagnosed, you will be prescribed topical or oral antifungal medications to clear it up.

Although you may not be able to stop your feet from coming into contact with athlete’s foot, you can prevent an infection from occurring by following these tips - Note: these tips can also help you treat an infection

• Wash your feet every day with soap and water and dry them thoroughly, especially between the toes.
• If you are using a public shower, wear shower shoes
• Use quality foot powder to decrease foot perspiration
• Wear light and well ventilated shoes
• Change shoes regularly
• Wear socks that help to keep your feet dry. A good material is cotton as it helps your feet breath.
• Change socks regularly, especially if you sweat excessively

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

Gout vs Cherries?

Posted in Health & Fitness on January 14th, 2007

Every disease that is faced by man has a colourful history behind it. Stories such as “Your brother’s best friend’s cousin beat leukemia by eating a dozen raw eggs a day” or “A guy in Kentucky woke from a 30-year coma after listening to nothing but William Shatner records for 2 days” litter the rich, social fabric of human history. Is it true or is it all an old wives tale? And if it is true, was this miracle cure just a coincidence or was it actually due to the unorthodox treatment?

One such tale that has been around for decades is the “connection” between cherries and gout. It is believed that if you dine on these ruby red orbs as soon as you begin to show the painful signs of gout, it will speed healing.

The tale goes as far as to say that if you incorporate cherries as part of your daily fruit intake, you may never even get gout to begin with.

While this medical rumour sounds like it was started by the Worldwide Cherry Federation in an attempt to boost sales, the connection between gout and the cherry can be traced back to 1950 and a doctor who cured himself of gout.

Dr. Ludwig Blau discovered that by eating between six to eight cherries a day, you could stave off the return of gout indefinitely, but was the doctor a quack or was he on to something?

As it turns out, cherries do help battle gout on two different fronts. The first is based on what cherries keep together. The collagen in the body is used to create connective tissue and it’s this tissue that gout damages. Cherries help keep collagen strong and less susceptible to attacks of gout.

Cherries also contain a natural enzyme that helps the body to lower the uric acid levels in the blood. High levels of uric acid cause outbreaks of gout.

If that wasn’t enough, cherries also have unique antioxidant properties that can assist in the body expelling larger amounts of uric acid than normal.

A recent study at the University of California – Davis bears out Dr. Blau’s findings. The ten women who took part in the study enjoyed a breakfast of 45 cherries and then the testing began.

The study, performed by the Agriculture Research Service with the United States Department of Agriculture showed that the amount of uric acid that was expelled from the body after a breakfast of cherries was significantly higher. Scientists were able to measure the amount of uric acid present in the body before the subjects dined on their cherry-only meal, and then measured it a second time. The findings were matched by blood samples that were also taken.

While not all myths and legends about diseases and cures are accurate, you do find an occasional truth among the old wives tales, and in this case, cherries might not only be the most effective way to treat gout, but they are certainly one of the tastiest!

If you are looking for more help for Gout symptoms please visit CureGoutNow.com and sign up for a free newsletter.

Candida Nail Infections - more common than you think

Posted in Health & Fitness on January 9th, 2007

Candida is the genus name for a number of bacterial yeasts. The most common variety is Candida albicans. It lives in the small intestine and the mucous membranes, where it generally doesn’t cause any trouble because it is kept in check by the “friendly bacteria” that live there, too. But if the balance is upset, Candida can thrive and start to cause problems, including infections on the fingernails and toenails.

While nail infections are common enough — about 7 percent of adults suffer from them, usually in the toenails as opposed to the fingernails — the leading cause is not Candida but fungi from the genus Trichophyton. Those fungi are responsible for the vast majority of nail infections. Still, Candida is sometimes to blame. Whatever the specific cause, if a fungus invade the nails, it is known as onychomycosis

Studies show that men are twice as likely to suffer from nail infections than women are, and that the likelihood increases with age. Also, those with compromised immune systems (as with HIV) are particularly susceptible to it.

In the most common kind of nail infection, distal subungual onychomycosis (DSC), the fungus enters between the tip of the nail and the toe (or finger, but rarely) and causes the nail plate to separate from the skin underneath it. The nail also turns white, green, or yellow.

There is usually no pain at first, but the nail is ugly, and people suffering from onychomycosis are often embarrassed to let others see it and may avoid social situations where it would be visible. Because of that, while the infection may not be painful or medically dangerous, treating it is more than merely a cosmetic consideration. Psychologically, no one wants to have something dead and ugly attached to their bodies.

As the fungus progresses, the nail becomes thick and hard and separates farther from the toe. Also, dead, dry material collects between the nail and the nail bed. Sometimes it becomes painful, though often, if the nail is thick enough, the pain is negligible or absent altogether.

The most effective treatments for nail infections, whether candida-induced or otherwise, are basic systemic antifungal medications. Slightly less effective are topical treatments (ointments or creams that go directly on the affected area), though better ones are being developed.

There are folk remedies, too, that some people swear by while others scoff. Tea tree oil is a known antifungal that, when applied topically to the nail itself, is generally effective. (It’s one of the few “home remedies” that medical science can back up.) Grapefruit seed extract is also used, but its effectiveness has not been confirmed. Likewise, applying vinegar to the cuticle, a few drops a day for several weeks, may be helpful in some patients.

In general, the home remedies get the basic idea right: Pay attention to your nails! It is so much easier to prevent the condition than to treat it. Keep your feet clean and dry, don’t wear tight or moist socks or shoes, and keep your nails trimmed and clean.

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

Hello world!

Posted in Uncategorized on January 5th, 2007

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