Irritable Bowel Syndrome is Making My Life Hell

Question:

Since returning from Spain l6 months ago I’ve suffered from chronic diarrhoea sometimes five or six times a day, with terrible wind and bloating. My stomach feels upset all the time. I’ve had every conceivable test including laparoscopy, colonoscopy, barium meal, CT scan, urine tests, stool samples and blood tests, which have all been negative. My specialist tells me I have irritable bowel syndrome. It is making my life a living hell. What treatment can you suggest?

Answer:

I am sure your specialist is right irritable bowel syndrome( lBS) is not a disease, as no cause is known (although many doctors tend to regard it as a psychological problem). If a specific cause were to be found – such as candidiasis gut fermentation, giardia, parasites, diverticulitis or Crohn’s disease- the diagnosis of IBS would be invalid.

A syndrome is a collection of symptoms that may or may not be linked to one particular organ or system, or to a single cause. IBS is characterized by heartburn or indigestion, constipation, diarrhoea, flatulence, abdominal cramps, fullness of bowels even after evacuation, stomach bloating shortly after eating, and food intolerance manifesting as diarrhoea shortly after eating certain types of food. As you can see, all these are related to the gut.

At my Medical Centre around one patient in five comes to us because of this problem. Twenty years of experience have shown me that the best way is to help the digestive system heal itself by eating food stuffs that are easy to digest and beneficial to the body.

Here are the main points:

Diet

* Eat slowly and chew your food very well so that your stomach doesn’t get exhausted having to churn the food, producing more acid in the process.

* Do not drink water 45 minutes either side of meals, so that the gastric juice doesn’t get diluted, impairing digestion; during the meal sip a little to help swallowing.

* After lunch, rest for 15 to 20 minutes; after dinner, walk slowly for a mile. This helps the digestive organs to function better.

Avoid the following:

* Citrus fruits and sour foods, which contain acid that causes indigestion because it neutralizes bile, which is essential for smooth digestion.

* Yeast which causes gut fermentation, leading to gas, bloating, abdominal cramps and diarrhoea.

* Caffeinated drinks, such as coffee and cola, which cause gut muscles to tense, leading to cramps.

* Fried food, which is difficult to digest and puts a strain on bile production and supply.

* All alcohol, which is particularly bad for IBS sufferers; for example, white wine and champagne cause acidity,. and beer causes gas.

* Sugar and sugary foods, which feed yeast and candida.

* Fizzy drinks.

*Canned products, which contain lots of preservatives, causing acidity and bloating.

* Roughage (fruits, vegetables other than root, cereals and milk) for one or two months until the diarrhoea stops.

This is what I suggest you eat:

Breakfast Soft boiled eggs, or pancakes made from buckwheat flour with cottage cheese and honey, plus milk less tea to drink (ginger and peppermint are good). Lunch/dinner minced meat, chicken or turkey simmered with garlic, ginger and black pepper; olive oil mashed or boiled potatoes (peeled), carrots, parsnips, swedes, turnips; lentils soaked overnight, then cooked. Also boil the peel of one pomegranate in eight cups of water for l5 minutes, then cool and strain. Keep in the fridge and, to settle the stomach, drink half a cup twice daily, morning and evening, for seven days.

Remedies:

* Take a multivitamin and mineral daily for three months to compensate for the lack of fresh fruit and salad.

* Detox Tea: soak in a cup of hot water overnight, strain and drink in the morning for three months.

* Stomach Formula: take two tablets twice daily for two months

* Diarex: take one tablet every other day for two weeks if you have diarrhoea.

Exercise

Regular exercise, such as walking, swimming or yoga, aids digestion.

Relax

Play a relaxation/meditation tape or CD in bed at night.

Massage

Rub and stroke your abdomen clockwise with sesame oil every morning for two minutes.

Diet for Psoriasis – Treatment of Psoriasis via Diet

This article is going to focus on diet to help people with psoriasis.

There are several drug free ways you can help or eliminate your psoriasis. Diet is certainly key in the reduction in the acceleration of psoriasis. Instead of using scientific names I am going to list a good and a bad paragraph of foods that effect people with psoriasis. Good foods include fish, especially trout, mackerel, sardines, salmom as they are high in fatty acids. Stewed apples, plums, quinces, peaches, oranges and apples are also very effective, the rule of thumb is that if the fruit has a seed, it’s a great diet for the person with psoriasis.

Spinach, collard greens, romaine lettuce, kale, bokChoy, broccoli and much more. The rule of thumb for your veggies is that if its green and leafy it’s great for the psoriasis patient. Vegetables give us proteins, essential fatty acids, vitamins, simple sugars and minerals.

It is important that you are aware what kind of oil that you cook with. Good oil’s are olive oil, sunflower oil, corn oil and soy oil are all good. My favorite is olive oil I use it for everything.

As well there are several seeds that have a positive effect for people with psoriasis. Good seeds are flax seeds, celery seeds, pumpkin seeds, linseeds and sunflower seeds. These seeds contain essential fatty acids.

Good dairy products to use should be rice or soy based.

It is obvious that essential good fatty foods that are rich in (Omega-3) are good. The person with psoriasis may be suffering from acid deficiencies. Bad foods include foods that are high in acids like vinegar, citrus fruits, tomatoes, pickles, dairy products that are not rice or soy based,(animal fats),salt, wheat (gluten free), red meat, pork, white sugar flour or rice, fried foods,chocolate,caffeine, and alcohol.

Other natural ways to assist the person with psoriasis are natural elements like the sun.

The UV light in the sun is capable of suppressing the activity of the T cells in people with psoriasis. Sun in moderation is shown to reduce the level of inflammation. (Note to much exposure to the sun can cause different problems.

The ocean is another fine element that can help the psoriasis patient. The cells of marine algae concentrate the minerals found in ocean water. A swim in the ocean can clean your pores and to detoxify the body.

The last element is the air. If you are fortunate to live in an area with plenty of moisture you are good. For those of you that are not as fortunate I suggest purchasing a humidifier to add some moisture to your home.

One of the natural elements I use for my scalp psoriasis is 99.999% water and 10 ppm of silver (kills bacteria).

Diet and environment play a vital role for the person with psoriasis.

Your health is your wealth get well and feels well πŸ™‚

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and Astrology

OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) is an anxiety disorder. It is characterized by distressing intrusive obsessive thoughts or repetitive compulsive actions. Obsessions are ideas, images and impulses that run through the person ‘s mind over and over again. People who have OCD often have other kinds of anxiety, like phobias or panic attacks, also may have depression, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), an eating disorder or a learning disorder such as dyslexia.

Medical Astrologer’s View:

DOB: 18-06-1985, TOB: 06.41 PM IST, LAT 16N34 LONG 82E01

The Native is suffering from nervous disorder, OCD and depression along with severe stress and problems like shivering of body, remembering his own breath, losing concentration so quickly at many times, feeling lonely, mentally hurt and developed a complete negative attitude towards life and lost his Job because of abnormal mental situation and no concentration.

Aries is the first sign of Zodiac and stands for Head and Brain. Mars, the Lord of Aries rules over Head and all diseases related to the Head and Brain. Sun rules the vital fluid in the body. Ascendant is also to be considered. So affliction to Aries and Ascendant and their lords and the planets Sun, Mars in an astrology birth chart will cause disease of the brain.

The fifth house from ascendant in an astrology chart rules over the wisdom or intelligence. Afflictions to the 5th house and to the Moon or Mercury will also cause mental disease. Moon governs the mind intellect and affliction to Moon will cause mental excitement or depression. Mercury controls the entire nervous system and intelligence and any affliction to Mercury will cause mental imbalance. Saturn or Rahu afflicts Moon or Mercury; the native may get to mental depression. Gemini is the sign of reasoning and Cancer is the sign of emotions and severe afflictions to these signs will also cause mental disorder.

For a Sagittarius ascendant, Mars and the Sun are benefics. Venus, Saturn and Mercury are evil and Jupiter and the Moon neutrals in an astrology chart. Here Aries is the 5th House and its lord Mars is placed in 7th house in Gemini and placed in Arudra star ruled by Rahu. Aries is also afflicted by the placement of Venus and Rahu. Venus and Rahu are placed in Bharani star aspected by malefics Saturn and Ketu from Libra. And thus Moon is severely afflicted. Four planets Sun, Moon, Mars and Mercury are placed in Gemini sign and heavily afflicted create mental disturbances. Mars and Mercury are placed in Arudra star ruled by Rahu. Sun and Moon are placed in Mrigasira star ruled by Mars.

Mercury rules the nervous system and Saturn rules the windy pressure in the nervous system. 3rd house from Zodiac is Gemini and rules over nerves. Conjunction or affliction of Sun and Moon in an horoscope causes mental disease. Afflicted Mercury and Moon in Gemini, 3rd house from Zodiac, in astrology birth chart cause mental disease. 6th house, the house of disease is Taurus and its ruler Venus is severely afflicted here. Saturn and Ketu are placed in Libra and Rahu is placed in Bharani star. The Lord of the 6th, Venus is placed in its debilitated sign Virgo and weak. 6th house is aspected by ascendant lord Jupiter.

Rahu’s placement in the 5th house[trine] aspected by Saturn create mental problems. Ascendant lord Jupiter is weak by its placement in Capricorn and afflicted by Saturn. Saturn and Ketu are placed in Visakha Star ruled by Jupiter. In Navamsa chart [D9] Moon is afflicted by Rahu and Sun and Mercury is afflicted by Saturn and debilitated Venus. In Drekkana [D3] Chart Moon is placed in Gemini and afflicted by Saturn, Sun and Ketu. Mercury is also severely afflicted here.

In Shashtamsa [D6] chart, Moon is afflicted by Sun, Venus and Mercury. Mercury too afflicted here by Saturn and Mars. Fifth house of the D6 chart is Virgo and afflicted by Saturn and Sun in D6 is afflicted by Rahu and Ketu indicating mental problems. Conjunction of Sun and Moon in Aries in D6 is the clear indication of mental trouble. A weak Moon in the 12th house of D6 chart indicates mental difficulties. Mercury is afflicted in the 3rd house and Moon is placed in 12th house in D6 indicates mental disease.

The association of Moon and Mercury is not favourable in astrology chart and the native will have the feeling of guilt, insecurity and suspicion. Affliction to the Moon will affect the mind and suffer by his own imagination. All these afflictions to the significators in the astrology birth chart and divisional charts are responsible for nervous disorder and mental depression.

Certain postures of yoga are beneficial for treating depression. The Simhasana (lion pose) yoga posture increases the glow of the face by providing more oxygen to the facial muscles. Matsyasana (fish pose) is posture also helps in providing relief from tension and relaxes the mind and the body.

Rasayana treatment, head massaging (like sirovasti, thalam), meditation are involved in Ayurvedic depression cure treatments. Wearing a three Mukhi Rudraksha will help to get confidence and energy to face any situation. It is very useful for those who suffer from depression, anxiety, and guilt induced complexes.

Depersonalization and Adrenal Fatigue

Those who struggle with anxiety often state they feel fatigued or depleted. They feel flat, exhausted, foggy and lightheaded. Feelings of depersonalization often appear as one becomes frustrated and caught up in the cycle of worry and fear.

There is a logical explanation for these sensations and also a way to overcome the exhausted and unreal state one is now experiencing.

Explanation is of primary importance.

Those who struggle with anxiety often state they feel fatigued or depleted. They also struggle with feelings of unreality and brain fog. This drained sensation is caused by the combination of:

1 – Constant release of adrenaline, in response to the habit of fearful thinking.

2 – A significant decrease in serotonin due to continuous stressful thought, worry and poor diet/nutrition.

This is why so many who struggle with anxiety often find themselves in a state of depletion, due to the overall release of adrenaline. Every worried thought triggers a mild release of adrenaline and every panicky thought an even greater release. It makes perfect sense that one would experience symptoms of adrenal fatigue and depersonalization after a period of time.

Other Triggers:

Generalized Stress
Unresolved Pressures and Issues
Stressful People and Situations
Improper Diet and Nutrition, Refined and Processed Foods
Skipping Meals
Lack of Sleep
Illness
Medication

There is a definite pattern that makes this easy to identify.

One Begins to Experience the Symptoms of:

Feelings of Exhaustion, especially in the early part of day.
Emotionally Flat
Lack of Appetite
Insomnia
Inability to Concentrate
Dizziness and Lightheaded
Hypoglycemic Reactions- Reactive to foods high in carbohydrates.
Feelings of Unreality and Fogginess- Symptoms of Depersonalization

Believe it or not, with the proper approach, these sensations of depersonalization and adrenal fatigue actually dissipate quite quickly. A few corrections in diet/nutrition and behavior will place one back on track and the result is the reconciliation of the above symptoms.

It is important to know how to naturally repair both mind and body from both adrenal fatigue and feelings of brain fog, stemming from adrenal fatigue.

It is Best to Avoid:

Refined and Processed Foods
Caffeine: Coffee, Tea, Sodas, Chocolate
Stressful People
Stress in General
Carbohydrates without proteins. (combination buffers action of carb)
Stimulating Foods and Medications

Healing Regimen:

Retrain the Brain: Learn to switch off stress and replace it with productive behaviors.
Turn off the Racing Mind: Give the depersonalized mind a chance to refresh. Mind Clearing works.
Recreational Therapy in Moderation: Mild outdoor activities that stimulate mind and body.
Anxiety Neutralizing Diet: Stabilizes Blood Sugar Levels, Non-Starchy Foods, Lean Proteins, Good Fats, Vegetables and Fruits.
Serotonin Boosting Diet: Helps body manufacture serotonin in the brain, naturally (Anxiety Neutralizing Diet)
Proper Sleep and Relaxation
4-5 Small Meals a Day
Never Skip a Meal
Use Sea Salt
Pure Water
Supplements: B Complex, Vitamin E, Vitamin C, Multiple Vitamin

The mind and body are able to recharge and rejuvenate. It is up to you to make these changes in order to allow it to do so. Self-nurturing is necessary, especially after one has stressed the system with constant thoughts of fear and worry. It’s time to break this habit, learn to retrain the brain, fuel the body with healthy foods and give both the mind and body a chance to refresh and revitalize.

Toenail Fungus – Natural Remedies for Toenail Fungus

Toenails of people of all ages can undergo a range of changes, some of which are relatively common. They can become thick, brittle, curved, discoloured, infected, clubbed, bumpy and grooved. In some cases, the nail falls off and a new one grows in. As we grow older, we are more likely to develop toenail problems.

Toenail problems are common complaints in the podiatrist’s office. They include thickening, brittleness, discoloration, and ingrown toenails. Nails, like hair, are an appendage of the skin. They are formed by layered sheets of protein with traces of other substances. Contrary to popular belief, there is very little calcium in nails. The normal toenail may be from 0.05 to 1.0 mm thick, and grows its full length in about six to twelve months. Nails are harder than skin, due to their high sulfur content and lack to water. The normal nail is translucent, and one can see the underlying pink nail bed.

Fungal infections are common on both fingernails and toenails. Toenail fungus also known as onychomycosis is caused by a group of fungus called dermatophytes. These fungus are harmful because as they grow they feed on the keratin that makes up the surface of the toe nail. The two fingers that are more likely to be affected are the big toe finger and the little toe finger. Toe nail fungus causes disfiguration and discoloration of the nails. It is a contagious disease and some times it may be hereditary.

Natural Remedies for Toenail Fungus

Put equal amount of tea tree oil and lavender oil on a cotton ball or swab. Dab it under the top edge of the toe nail and surrounding area 2 or 3 times a day. Tea tree oil is natural antibiotic and lavender will help fight the infection and prevent skin irritation.

Soaking the affected nail(s) with distilled vinegar kills off the fungus rather quickly. Apply daily after bathing and let the vinegar dry thoroughly before dressing.

The best shoes to wear are those that allow plenty of air and moisture exchange. Look for air-breather holes on the sides, natural materials (plastic shoes do not allow air and moisture to pass through), and a comfortable fit. If you have a fungal condition already, sprinkle into your shoes a good anti-bacterial powder.

Half soy sauce and half pine sol in a dropper for as long as it takes your toe nails to grow back out, a few drops after every shower, this is an old chinese remedy. My toe nail was brand new in 10 months!

vinegar being used as a non-toxic household cleaner. But most people have probably never heard of it being used to get rid of nail fungus. Vinegar is an acid. Nail fungus does not like an acidic environment. What you are supposed to do is spread the vinegar all around the infected toenail. Be sure to get it under the nail where the toenail fungus lives. You can’t skip a week or even a day! You must keep vinegar on for as long as it takes to get rid of the fungus. Basically that means until every bit of the infected toenail has grown out. If you skip a day the fungus will move right back into the newly grown toenail and you will have to start the process over again.

Kerosene helps reduce the irritation of hemorrhoids and will help stop the bleeding and infection of a cut. While he does not list its use in his book, Duplantis said many people have used turpentine as an arthritis rub and even mixed it with honey and lemon for cough suppressant.

Menstrual Health – Eliminate PMS and Enjoy Easier Periods

As a Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner specializing in Women’s Health, many of the women that come to my practice have menstrual imbalances resulting in painful periods, pre-menstrual syndrome, lack of periods, irregular cycles, uterine cysts and fibroids. For all menstrual issues, there are certain preventative measures to be taken in order to enjoy a smoother period. I have to say that regular acupuncture treatments and a customized herbal formula can have amazing results. Women start to have pain-free periods with minimal pre-menstrual symptoms. With support, women no longer dread their cycles and actually experience them with ease.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine we recommend specific lifestyle changes to be made especially around the menses. My approach is to see this as a time to honor our bodies. Menses is a reminder of this beautiful capacity to reproduce.

First things first, you need to keep track of your cycle. Note the day your menstrual cycle begins on a calendar. Day One of your menses is considered the first day that bleeding begins. By keeping track of your cycle, you can be more connected to your body and your natural hormonal shifts. You can find out how many days between cycles, when ovulation is expected, and when to prepare for the coming cycle.

Generally, fourteen days before your menstrual cycle is when ovulation occurs. Some women experience some lower abdominal cramping, fatigue, or emotional sensitivity around this time. Keeping track of your cycle will allow you to know what to expect. From ovulation until bleeding begins is considered pre-menstrual time. Some women being to experience pre-menstrual symptoms beginning with ovulation, others have symptoms from one to ten days before their menses. Others have no pre-menstrual symptoms at all.

Pre-menstrual symptoms can include breast tenderness, bloating, mild cramping, headaches/migraines, fatigue, food cravings, low libido, insomnia, emotional fluctuations including anger, anxiety, irritability, depression, sadness, and weepiness. All of these symptoms are considered to be affected by the Liver organ in Chinese Medicine. With acupuncture, herbs, diet, and lifestyle changes, we focus on “smoothing” the Liver to have a smoother menstrual experience.

Menses should not be seen as a time for “business as usual.” Rather, it is an opportunity to tune into your body. This is a time to slow down and be gentle with yourself. For some, this might mean canceling regular appointments and commitments in order to do less. In general, you do want more time for rest and this will mean adjusting your schedule whenever possible. Take the time to pamper yourself by taking warm baths and getting more sleep. Schedule a massage the week before your period. This is especially helpful for those who get menstrual headaches and muscle tightness before menses.

Menstruation is a reminder of our ability to create life. Honor this by being more creative at this time of the month. Journal, draw, paint, write, sing, dance, and undertake other creative endeavors for fun and joy.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine we always warn against cold. Cold contracts muscles and slows down circulation. During menses, we want the body to have proper warmth in order to promote circulation. This means that you should avoid overexposure to cold and damp environments. Keep properly bundled up with warm clothing in cold weather. Also avoid eating cold foods including anything with ice – ice cold drinks, ice cream, ice cold popsicles, and frozen fruit smoothies. We also consider raw vegetables to be cold, so eat steamed vegetables instead of salads. Dairy products, including yogurt, cottage cheese and kefir, should not be eaten straight from the fridge, but rather after they have warmed up to room temperature (around 1/2 hour out of the fridge). This is a general recommendation in Chinese Medicine, however it is strongly recommended to avoid cold foods before and during your period. This is a great time for soups and warm teas. For those who experience menstrual cramps, a hot water bottle can be used nightly for a week before menses begins to help warm the uterus and prevent blood stagnation. The hot water bottle will offer soothing relief for cramps as well.

We also want to avoid heavy physical activity before and during the the period. Moderate exercise is often helpful to ease premenstrual symptoms, but extreme amounts of physical activity will deplete the body and create hormone imbalances. So before and during your menses do more stretching, yoga, tai chi, and other relaxing, gentle movements.

Also to integrate in daily life, but especially important before and during menses are breathing exercises. Take slow breaths deep into the lower abdomen, relax your shoulders and neck, and calm the mind. If you have thoughts that come up, just let them gently go. You can listen to relaxing music, you can repeat a positive intention, or just follow your breath as you breathe in and out. Practice this for 10-20 minutes daily. Even just five of these breaths in the middle of your day will produce a significant healing effect.

As for dietary recommendations, avoid alcohol, coffee, and refined flours and refined sugars. Eat whole unprocessed foods such as whole grains, vegetables, fruit, eggs, beans, nuts, organic whole-fat dairy, and meat from animals on pasture (grass-fed). Make sure that the animal products are from hormone-free sources. Most dairy and meat contain artificial hormones that have been fed to the animals to increase production. Not only is this inhumane to the animals, you will then consume these artificial hormones thus disrupting your own natural hormones. I also don’t recommend soy due to the estrogenic quality which will disrupt your own hormone balance. Fermented soy in small amounts is usually not problematic- including miso, tempeh, and soy sauce. Other foods such as edamame, soy milk, tofu, and any artificial meat substitute should be strictly avoided.

Eat regular meals at regular times, and eat snacks if needed. Keeping blood sugars stable will help regulate hormones. Eating good quality nutritious meals and snacks will help keep blood sugar stable. Eating enough protein through meat, eggs, nuts, cheese, dairy foods and beans will help. Minimizing processed sugar and refined flour products will also help reduce spikes in your energy level.

Healthy fats are very important for hormonal balance. Avoid fried foods and foods containing partially hydrogenated fats (also know as trans fats). Fermented cod liver oil, fish oil, flax oil, hemp seed oil, walnuts, fatty fish (sardines, wild salmon, mackerel), egg yolks from pastured chickens, and grass fed meat (with the fat) provide healthy omega 3 fatty acids. Gamma-Linoleic acid, a form of omega 6, can often be very helpful to balance hormones. I recommend 1,000 mg per day (500mg 2 x a day or 1000 mg per day) of Evening Primrose Oil taken 2 weeks before menses is expected to help balance hormones. With Evening Primrose oil, women often experience a decrease in premenstrual symptoms such as breast tenderness, mood swings, headaches, and cramping. B vitamins are very helpful. Foods rich in B vitamins include fermented foods, tuna, turkey, beef, brown rice, wheat, rye, lentils, peas, bananas, and cabbage.

Finally avoid plastics and chemicals in general. Certain plastics, especially #7 plastics contain chemicals that mimic estrogen in the body; thereby causing hormone imbalances. In general, chemicals will affect the entire proper functioning of your body and will indirectly affect your hormone levels. Choose organic and natural cleaning products, body care products, and minimize your exposure to chemicals. Choose glass or stainless steel water bottles and food storage containers.

I invite you to try these recommendations to balance your hormones and enjoy easier periods.

Lower Back Pain – There is Relief

Lower back pain is more common than we might think–seven million Americans suffer from chronic back pain and 80% of Americans will suffer from lower back pain at some point in their lifetime.

The lower back or lumbar region is identified as L1 – L5. The mental/emotional causes for lower back pain have been thoroughly documented through the ages, beginning with ancient Chinese medicine. Louise Hay in her book, “You Can Heal Your Body,” identifies the mental cause and the metaphysical ways to heal the root cause.

Root cause for lower back pain:

L-1: A crying for love and a need to be lonely. Insecurity.

L-2: Stuck in childhood pain. See no way out.

L-3: Sexual abuse. Guilt. Self-hatred.

L-4: Rejection of sexuality. Financial insecurity. Fear of career. Feeling powerless.

L-5: Insecurity. Difficulty in communicating. Anger. Inability to accept pleasure.

Sacrum: Loss of power. Old stubborn anger.

Coccyx: Out of balance with yourself. Holding on. Blame of self. Sitting on old pain.

If you or anyone you know has chronic lower back pain–honestly and earnestly look at the mental and emotional causes and look for ways to release and reestablish a new perception. The fastest and most effective way to heal the root cause of physical dis-ease or skeletal pain is engaging in mind, body, spirit healing.

Managing Seasonal Allergies with Vitamins and Supplements

Seasonal allergy sufferers may find themselves taking antihistamines, using allergy nasal sprays and even asthma inhalers quite frequently. Many people have become concerned about taking so many medications during allergy season that they are starting to look for more natural alternatives. This is especially true for allergy sufferers who are tired of the side effects of allergy medications. Many users experience dry mouth, fatigue, headaches and irritability. For someone that needs something every day, these bothersome side effects are just unacceptable. Some of the side effects can even be dangerous or life threatening. Dangerous side effects include high blood pressure, abnormal heart rhythms or palpitations, allergic reactions and disorders of the blood and liver. There are a few natural antihistamines that are as effective as over the counter and prescription antihistamines, but have very few, if any, negative side effects. The main source of natural allergy relief is vitamin C. Supplements that are also very effective include green tea, grape seed extract, pycnogenol and pantothenic acid. Pantothenic acid is vitamin B-5. It is especially effective for people who chronically suffer from nasal allergies, or allergic rhinitis. It can offer marked relief in as little as ten minutes and continue to suppress cough and mucus secretions for up to twelve hours. Green Tea has compounds that block histamine receptors, acting much like an over the counter antihistamine. Green tea has many health benefits beyond easing allergies. The compounds in green tea are believed to inhibit the growth of cancer cells, lower total cholesterol levels and improve the ratio of good cholesterol to bad cholesterol. Grape seed extract and pycnogenol have the similar compounds to green tea, called bioflavonoids. Bioflavonoids are plant-derived antioxidants that have many health benefits. Different bioflavonoids behave differently in the body. The green tea bioflavonoid has antihistamine properties because it blocks histamine receptors. Grape seed extract and pycnogenol do not block receptors, but inhibit the cell’s production of histamine by up to seventy percent. They are excellent sources of allergy symptom relief and also can help protect you from heart disease and high blood pressure. Vitamin C has been the most respected illness prevention and treatment supplement for years. It is now making its way to the top of allergy treatment lists as well. Vitamin C greatly reduces the amount of histamine production in the body. So much so, that acute attacks, such as asthma, anaphylactic shock, allergic reactions to stings and bites, among other life threatening conditions, can be treated with vitamin C while you seek medical condition. Vitamin C slows down life threatening allergic reactions and can buy you valuable time when seeking help. Vitamin C is also very helpful in treating seasonal allergies. Not only does it nearly stop histamine production, but it also helps to break down and get rid of histamines that are released, giving it the double-punch of allergy fighting power. It doesn’t stop there; vitamin C supplements reduce inflammation throughout your body. This is very beneficial, not only for your overall health, but for asthma or respiratory allergy sufferers. Keeping air passages open with daily doses of vitamin C have show to greatly reduce allergy and asthma attacks. Using <a rel=”nofollow” onclick=”javascript:ga(‘send’, ‘pageview’, ‘/outgoing/article_exit_link/971402’);” href=”http://www.nutri.com”title=”Vitamins and Supplements”>vitamins and supplements</a> to treat your allergy symptoms can have many health benefits on top of relieving allergy symptoms. Plus, they are generally much less expensive than regular medications. Allergy symptoms can sometimes be indicative of other conditions, so make sure that you have an official allergy diagnosis and the advice of a physician before starting a vitamin and supplement regimen.

Seasonal allergy sufferers may find themselves taking antihistamines, using allergy nasal sprays and even asthma inhalers quite frequently. Many people have become concerned about taking so many medications during allergy season that they are starting to look for more natural alternatives.

This is especially true for allergy sufferers who are tired of the side effects of allergy medications. Many users experience dry mouth, fatigue, headaches and irritability. For someone that needs something every day, these bothersome side effects are just unacceptable. Some of the side effects can even be dangerous or life threatening. Dangerous side effects include high blood pressure, abnormal heart rhythms or palpitations, allergic reactions and disorders of the blood and liver.

There are a few natural antihistamines that are as effective as over the counter and prescription antihistamines, but have very few, if any, negative side effects. The main source of natural allergy relief is vitamin C. Supplements that are also very effective include green tea, grape seed extract, pycnogenol and pantothenic acid.

Pantothenic acid is vitamin B-5. It is especially effective for people who chronically suffer from nasal allergies, or allergic rhinitis. It can offer marked relief in as little as ten minutes and continue to suppress cough and mucus secretions for up to twelve hours.

Green Tea has compounds that block histamine receptors, acting much like an over the counter antihistamine. Green tea has many health benefits beyond easing allergies. The compounds in green tea are believed to inhibit the growth of cancer cells, lower total cholesterol levels and improve the ratio of good cholesterol to bad cholesterol.

Grape seed extract and pycnogenol have the similar compounds to green tea, called bioflavonoids. Bioflavonoids are plant-derived antioxidants that have many health benefits. Different bioflavonoids behave differently in the body. The green tea bioflavonoid has antihistamine properties because it blocks histamine receptors. Grape seed extract and pycnogenol do not block receptors, but inhibit the cell’s production of histamine by up to seventy percent. They are excellent sources of allergy symptom relief and also can help protect you from heart disease and high blood pressure.

Vitamin C has been the most respected illness prevention and treatment supplement for years. It is now making its way to the top of allergy treatment lists as well. Vitamin C greatly reduces the amount of histamine production in the body. So much so, that acute attacks, such as asthma, anaphylactic shock, allergic reactions to stings and bites, among other life threatening conditions, can be treated with vitamin C while you seek medical condition. Vitamin C slows down life threatening allergic reactions and can buy you valuable time when seeking help.

Vitamin C is also very helpful in treating seasonal allergies. Not only does it nearly stop histamine production, but it also helps to break down and get rid of histamines that are released, giving it the double-punch of allergy fighting power. It doesn’t stop there; vitamin C supplements reduce inflammation throughout your body. This is very beneficial, not only for your overall health, but for asthma or respiratory allergy sufferers. Keeping air passages open with daily doses of vitamin C have show to greatly reduce allergy and asthma attacks.

Using vitamins and supplements to treat your allergy symptoms can have many health benefits on top of relieving allergy symptoms. Plus, they are generally much less expensive than regular medications. Allergy symptoms can sometimes be indicative of other conditions, so make sure that you have an official allergy diagnosis and the advice of a physician before starting a vitamin and supplement regimen.

Why Do I Always Have To Poop After Eating?

Many folks out there suffer from the I always have to poop after eating syndrome. Some folks have to go around 60 minutes after eating while some literally have to leave the table mid meal to go and poop. Folks that suffer from this condition find it embarrassing and disruptive and many avoid meals out so that they do not have to deal with the situation. There are three main causes for this condition.

  1. Irritable Bowel Syndrome – IBS might actually be an over diagnosed condition; largely it is used to describe any bowel condition that can not fit into any other category. Briefly- IBS does not have any proven cause and the symptoms vary. It is thought that IBS is linked to genetics because it does seem that some families have several members that suffer from the always have to poop after eating syndrome.
  2. Nervous Stomach– if you suffer from anxiety you may also have what is termed as a nervous stomach. Basically folks with nervous stomach have a hard time keeping their food down. They may vomit or find themselves running to the bathroom to poop right after a meal.
  3. An Overactive Liver– in some cases it is an overactive liver that will cause you to constantly be running to the bathroom after meals. The liver may be releasing enzymes and bile to quickly and your body feels the need to evacuate food quicker.

If you always have to poop after eating than you should search for the cause and try different approaches to relieve the symptoms, even if you have been doing this your whole life.

Learning The Advantages And Disadvantages Of Ordering Food And Other Items Online

Lots of people have seen the benefits of ordering stuff online. This also includes ordering food and getting them delivered straight to your home. Most fast food chains now incorporate online ordering into their services and even restaurants are getting into the act. Perhaps you have even experienced doing this at one point. So perhaps, you may also be aware of the advantages that come with ordering your food online which also goes the same for other non-food items. For one, the virtual realm doesn’t sleep, unlike the actual marketplace. Hence, you can place your order at any time, although there are some stores that probably won’t delivery 24/7.

Second, nothing beats the comfort of doing your shopping online, especially your groceries. Lots of housewives have switched to doing this because it allows them time to do their other chores. Instead of wasting time rushing off to the supermarket and waiting long lines, you can just load up your online shopping cart, checkout the items, and wait for them to delivered straight to your doorstep. Third, you get to score lots of great discounts and possibly get your food items at way cheaper prices than in the supermarket. It’s especially true if you’re diligent in scouring the virtual marketplace for discount coupons, promo codes, and other hot deal. Plus, if you’re a first-time customer, lots of online stores love to give complimentary discounts as well.

However, as much as there are lots of benefits, there are also a few drawbacks. We cannot help having them because this is the virtual world after all. In other words, these risks come with the territory. One, you cannot really see the items in actual. When it comes to groceries, this can sometimes be a bit vital. You cannot check the labels for expiry dates, ingredients, and such. So to remedy the situation, stick with those online stores that actually provide complete product descriptions. It’s also highly recommended to do your shopping in general with trustworthy sites. The risk is even greater if you’re trying out a new product, so it’s good to check out sites giving away free samples first. Two, you cannot transact with actual cash. This can present a bit of an inconvenience, especially if you’re trying to refrain from using your credit card.

Nonetheless, a lot of food chains and restaurants allow cash-on-delivery orders. Some online stores selling groceries do as well. But these would usually apply to those stores which are within your neighborhood. This means that if you are going to order non-perishable food items, like maybe canned goods or candies and chocolates and they have to be shipped from outside your area, then you definitely cannot pay with cash. Lastly, even with today’s sophisticated technology, there are still glitches when it comes to paying for your food items online. Errors in billing are pretty common, even when seemingly secured channels are being used. Of course, established online stores will refund you, but you still have to go through some steps. So, just exercise the necessary caution needed when ordering anything online.

Symptoms of Anemia

To understand anemia, it helps to start with breathing. The oxygen we inhale doesn’t just stop in our lungs. It’s needed throughout our bodies to fuel the brain and all our other organs and tissues that allow us to function. Oxygen travels to these organs through the bloodstream β€” specifically in the red blood cells.

You are affected by anemia if your blood does not have enough hemoglobin or enough red blood cells. Since the early symptoms of anemia, are mild, it is easy to mistake the anemia symptoms for symptoms of some serious disease. Anemia could have an adverse impact on the quality of your life. Major symptoms of anemia include: heart palpitation, fatigue, dizziness, loss of concentration, rapid heart breath and pale skin. Unhappiness and depression could also be a major symptom of anemia.

Headache, irritability, syncope and bounding pulse are also symptoms of anemia. Observable signs of anemia are: tachycardia, mild peripheral edema, ejection systolic murmur and venous hums. Angina pectoris among old people is a clear sign of anemia. Females tend to develop abnormal menstruation and amenorrhea if anemia affects them whereas males develop impotence and decrease in libido. Anemia could either be the result of an inherited disorder or it could result due to your environment, such as infection or exposure to a toxin or a drug.

Chills
Fever
Sweating
Headache
Nausea

There are many symptoms of anemia. Each individual will not experience all the symptoms and if the anemia is mild, the symptoms may not be noticeable. Some of the symptoms are: Pale skin color, fatigue, irritability, dizziness, weakness, shortness of breath, sore tongue, brittle nails, decreased appetite (especially in children), headache – frontal.

You may be overly tired, or very weak (fatigued), if you have anemia due to your bleeding (iron deficiency anemia), or due to another underlying disorder. It may be hard for you to do any kind of your normal activities.

If you are severely anemic, you may have shortness of breath, chest discomfort, palpations, or feel faint like you are going to pass out.

If you are anemic due to bleeding or blood loss, you may notice the bleeding coming from your vagina, urine, or from your rectum. However, you may also not notice any bleeding anywhere.

After pregnancy, the fibroids usually shrink back to their pre-pregnancy size. They typically improve after menopause when the level of estrogen, the female hormone that circulates in the blood, decreases dramatically. However, menopausal women who are taking supplemental estrogen (hormone replacement therapy) may not experience relief of symptoms.

Painful crises. Pain can strike the patient in any part of the body without notice. These attacks can occur as rarely as once a year or as often as every few weeks. They can also last for a variable period of time, from a few hours to a few weeks. Pain in the hands and feet are sometimes the earliest symptoms of sickle cell anemia in a child.

Enlarged spleen and infections. Sickle-cell blockages can affect any of the body’s organs. The organs do not receive the oxygen they need to grow normally. The spleen is especially at risk and may become enlarged or it may die completely. This can weaken the immune system and increase the chance that a patient will develop infections.

Subarachnoid Hemorrhage and Intracranial Aneurysms

Aneurysms develop at sites of developmental defects in the media and elastica of the cerebral arteries. Often they are multiloculated and sometimes, multiple. These are called berry aneurysms. They are usually located at bifurcations and branching of the vessels. Approximately 90% of the aneurysms are located on the anterior part of the circle of Willis. The common sites include the anterior communicating artery, origin of the posterior communicating artery (PCA), major bifurcations of the MCA, and the bifurcation of the ICA into MCA and ACA. Other sites include ICA in the cavernous sinus and bifurcation of the basilar artery. Many of them remain silent during life and may be detected at autopsy. Others may rupture giving rise to intracranial bleeding.

Clinical features

Before rupture: Most of the aneurysms are asymptomatic until they rupture. They may however, become symptomatic by causing pressure on the adjacent structures. A large aneurysms of the ICA may produce compression of the optic chiasma, third, fourth and sixth nerves, and Ophthalmic division of the fifth cranial nerve. Posterior communicating artery aneurysms produce pressure on the ipsilateral third nerve.

After rupture: Rupture of an aneurysm results in subarachnoid hemorrhage. The patient usually presents with excrutiating headache of sudden onset followed by loss of consciousness. Sometimes consciousness is lost without any premonitory symptoms. Rarely, the leak is small and only mild headache may develop without further progression. The sensorium may improve within a few hours but usually confusion lasts for ten days or more. In many cases, lateralizing signs may not be present. These signs help to localize the aneurysm in those cases with focal neurological deificits. Signs of meningeal irritation like neck rigidity. Kernig’s sign and Brudzinski’s signs are usually present. Examination of the fundus frequently reveals pre-retinal or subhyaloid hemorrhages. In those with raised intracranial tension papilledema may develop.

Diagnosis

Subarachnoid hemorrhage should be suspected when an otherwise healthy individual suddenly develops severe headache associated with features of meningeal irritation without fever or other signs of infection. Lumbar puncture (LP) confirms the clinical diagnosis. Examination of the CSF is diagnostic. It is under pressure and is uniformly blood-stained. When the CSF is centrifuged, the supernatant is xanthochromic (yellow colored) if the LP is done at least 12 hours after the bleed. The yellow color is due to break down of hemoglobin and formation of bilirubin. Sometimes CSF may be blood stained due to bleeding from veins injured during the LP (traumatic bleeding). In this case the CSF clears up as it flows. On standing, traumatic blood clots whereas subarachnoid bleeding is not xanthochromic. Lumbar puncture is a dangerous procedure in patients with raised intracranial tension. Since CT scan is a very reliable non-invasive method to locate subarachnoid bleeding, it should be done as the first investigation wherever facilities are available.

The CT scan picks up the subarachnoid blood and sometimes the ruptured aneurysm in the first few days, and this is the most accepted noninvasive method to demonstrate them. The direct method to visualize aneurysm is carotid or vertebral angiography. In many cases of the aneurysms are seen. Sometimes, the site of the aneurysm may seal off and the sac may be thrombosed so that angiogram may be negative.

Course: Aneurysm bleed tends to recur after a period of initial hemostasis. This risk is maximum in the first 2 weeks after which the incidence of re-bleed gradually comes down. Mortality is high in spontaneous subarachnoid hemorrhage. Initial mortality is 20-25%. Recurrence of bleeding increases the mortality further.

Management: Definitive treatment of the aneurysm is surgical. Once subarachnoid hemorrhage is diagnosed and aneurysm identified by angiography, the next step is to decide the time of surgery. In deeply comatose patients, surgery carries a high risk. Hence it is better to operate when the patient’s general condition has improved. General management in such instances consists of absolute bed rest, continuous sedation, and control of hypertension and seizures if present. Liquid paraffin 10 ml may be given twice daily to keep feces soft and avoid straining. Administration of the antifibrinolytic agent epsion-amino caproic acid (EACA) in an hourly dose of 1g given orally or through a nasogastric tube for the first 3 weeks to the time of operation has been found to reduce the risk of re-bleed. The adverse side effect is extensive thrombosis. Once the general condition is stabilized, surgical ligation of the aneurysm is advised to prevent recurrence of bleeding. Other surgical procedures include clipping the aneurysm, occluding the aneurysms, and favoring thrombosis by embolization or strengthening the sac by fascial is not possible, ipsilateral carotid ligation may be necessary after confirming the patency of the opposite carotid artery.

Urinary Tract Infection Can Lead to Serious Complications

Are you experiencing any of the following?

  • Painful urination
  • Blood in your urine
  • Dark, cloudy or smelly urine
  • Pain or tenderness in your lower abdomen or back
  • Burning when you urinate
  • Fever
  • General feeling of illness paired with any of the above symptoms

If you are experiencing the above; you may urinary tract infections symptoms. Some mild urinary tract infections symptoms will resolve in a few days with fluids, rest and pain relievers. However if after two to three days your symptoms are not getting better; you may want to consult a physician. These symptoms left untreated can lead to infection in the kidneys (nephritis). Nephritis can lead to serious (even life threatening) complications. Infection treatment with antibiotics is central to overcoming nephritis. Symptoms that lead to nephritis can cause eth following serious complications:

  • Bacteremia or sepsis is a serious infection that occurs when untreated urinary tract infections symptoms let bacteria to enter the bloodstream. Urinary tract infection treatment is needed immediately and may require hospitalization to administer intravenous antibiotics.
  • Permanent kidney damage or failure can occur when urinary tract infections and symptoms are left untreated. Surgery may be required to remove the damaged kidney or dialysis (mechanically cleansing the blood of waste) may be needed.
  • Portal hypertension can occur due to the inability of damaged kidneys to regulate the amount of water and waste in the bloodstream. This can cause an unhealthy increase in the blood pressure. An increase in blood pressure can damage the heart, and blood vessels. Stroke and heart attack can also be caused by untreated tract infections and symptoms.
  • Chronic untreated urinary tract infections and symptoms can lead to scarring of the bladder, kidneys ureters (tubes urine travels from kidneys to bladder) and urethra (tube that removes urine from the body). This scarring can create a malady of problems including pelvic inflammatory disease, urine retention, incontinence (involuntary bladder accidents), fluid retention in the body, congestive heart failure due to the back up of fluid around the heart, and breathing problems due to fluid collection in the lungs.
  • Medications can accumulate in the blood stream due to the inability of the kidneys to breakdown and remove them. This can lead to increased levels of certain medications and lead to accidental overdose.

The urinary tract has a key responsibility of regulating the water ratio in our body and removing harmful toxins and waste. An alteration in this process can lead to detrimental problems. The elderly and children are especially prone to urinary tract infections and symptoms that when left untreated cause serious health issues. Anytime a child or elderly person exhibits these symptoms; close monitoring and treatment is advised. In healthy adults and teens it is advised any symptoms that do not clear up in a few days should be assessed by a physician.

Teenage Depression – is your Teen Depressed? Signs and Symptoms

Depression in teenagers is as high as depression in adults and it can lead to self harm and even suicide so make sure you know the signs of teenage depression before its to late.

Depression in Teenagers – How do I Know of my Teen is Depressed?

Teenagers with depression do not exhibit the same behavior as adults with depression and the difficulty for many parents is that much of the behavior that is diagnostically attributed to teenage depression, are the behaviors that most of experience with out teens at some stage.

A clinical diagnosis of depression may describe the following behaviors:-

β€’ Feelings of not be understood by parents or teachers

β€’ Increasing antisocial behavior

β€’ Wanting to leave home

β€’ Becoming negative and feeling β€˜picked on’ or disapproved of

β€’ Aggression

β€’ Withdrawal from family and other social activities

β€’ Spends more time in own company

β€’ Lack of attention to personal grooming

If your teenager is depressed they may exhibit some or all of these symptoms.

In general, teenage girls with depression may become preoccupied with this of a morbid nature, while teenage boys will act up, becoming aggressive at school or at home, and perhaps getting into trouble with the police.

Depression in Teenagers – Getting Help

Teenage boys will often become aggressive, agitated, and get into trouble at home, at school, or with the law. Teenage girls will sometimes become preoccupied with themes of death or dying, and become decreasing concerned about how they look. Suicidal thoughts are common.

Some studies suggest that 500,000 teens attempt suicide each year, and 5000 are successful.

Increased use of alcohol or other drugs is common, along with other forms of “self-destructive behaviors.” Poor self-esteem is common with teenagers, but especially with those who are depressed.

Parents are often confused and frustrated when their teens begin to act like this.

Sometimes parents become stern disciplinarians, or even put the teen down, which only serves to increase feelings of guilt and depression.

Other times, parents feel helpless, and stand by waiting for adulthood to arrive. Of course neither course is the right one to take.

If you know of a teen whose behaviors have changed to look like what has been described above, let the parents know that there is help available, and encourage the family to seek help from a professional.

With proper diagnosis and treatment a depressed teen, or adult, can be greatly helped.

If someone close to you is suffering from depression, first please understand that depression is a very emotionally painful condition. For some people with depression it turns into a “terminal illness” due to suicide. Please take the situation seriously.

1) Get a medical evaluation. Symptoms of depression can be the result of a wide assortment of illnesses, including thyroid problems, viral infections, and other factors.

2) Deprex is an amino acid and homeopathic medicine for the treatment of depression that we have seen work well with our patients. It may be worth trying as long as the situation is “stable” and there is no suicidal thinking on the part of the depressed person.

3) Medications such as Prozac can be very helpful for more difficult cases. Consult your doctor. These medications are often prescribed by Family Practice Doctors, but in most cases ought to be monitored by Psychiatrists.

4) Increase intake of Protein somewhat. Use a protein powder supplement, just like a weight lifter.

5) Exercise daily. Just get out and walk for about 15 minutes.

6) Seek out counseling from someone who is good at treating depression. This can do a world of good for you. However, always use great wisdom and common sense when choosing a therapist. Some are good, and some are not, so choose wisely.

Teenage depression is something that is hard to see. You look at them and their moodiness that comes just from being teenagers and try to figure out what moodiness is normal and what moodiness is not normal. This can be very hard to tell at times because teenagers are just moody by nature.

Yet, as parents, you have a sense when it is different and you need to take it seriously. Many teenagers die from untreated depression and, more often than not, you hear people saying, “they never saw it coming”.

This is not something that needs to happen. If you feel something is wrong, have them checked out and make sure that it is nothing before you assume that it is nothing to worry about.

There are some signs that you can look for that will help you figure out if it is something to worry about or not. The first thing that you should be thinking about is how long has the moodiness been going on. Sure, they may be moody a lot of the time but you may have noticed that it has changed.

Normal moodiness lasts for a day here and a day there, but the moodiness we are talking about is the kind that goes on for days and stops them from functioning as they would normally.

Look for changes in their behavior, such as how they are around their friends and family members.

Have they stopped doing anything that they used to enjoy doing?

Are they giving away things that have meaning to them? Has the amount of sleep or food they eat suddenly changed?

Have they lost weight or gained weight lately and we are not talking about a 5-pound gain or loss.

Are their grades slipping in a class they have always done well in?

Are they not hanging out with their friends like they used to?

Have they dropped out of any clubs that they were active in?

Have they gotten into an argument or broken up with a significant other recently?

Are there any problems going on at home, like a pending divorce or the death of a family member?

Knowing what is going on in the life of your teenager is hard enough but if you suspect that they may be suffering from depression, it is critical to know what is going on.

The knowledge you gain can help figure out if depression is going on and it may also help to identify what has caused it. There may have been an event that has triggered it and it will be very helpful to know this.

Take teenager depression seriously and remember its easy to put right if you can spot the situation in advance.

Four Foods That Increase HDL – Good Cholesterol

Why do we need HDL?

Our liver manufacturers enough cholesterol for our bodily needs. Cells use cholesterol for important functions. For easy transport to the cells, the cholesterol is wrapped in a protein sheath. These particles are called LDL cholesterol. You can think of them as little dump trucks traveling in the bloodstream to the cells that need them.

In a healthy and well balanced body, any LDL not used is gathered by HDL particles and transported back to the liver where it is recycled or eliminated from the body. If our levels of HDL are low this process is not possible and if this happens for too long, LDL hangs around in the bloodstream available to wreak damage on the artery walls.The result is high cholesterol levels and all its associated health problems. So high HDL cholesterol levels are needed to keep the arteries free of unneeded LDL.

LDL cholesterol is termed ‘bad cholesterol’ while HDL has a heart-protective function and is recognized as ‘good cholesterol’. HDL levels of greater than 40 mg/dL and LDL levels of less than 100 mg/dL are desired. If our levels don’t fall in the desired ranges then in most cases a change of diet can improve them.

What is your daily calorie intake?

Many people just eat too much, so the first step is to eat smaller portions – cut back. Most people can maintain good health with a natural-foods diet of about 2,000 calories a day. Consider just how many calories a day do you eat? And how are the calories spread? Are they high in fat, refined sugars and carbohydrates? If you follow the suggestions below and continue eating too much of the wrong things then it all becomes self defeating. So it is important to understand what your daily diet consists of. Being overweight has been shown to be a contributor to low blood HDL levels.

Can diet help increase HDL?

The short answer is – yes it can. However, it is wrong to assume that we need to avoid all foods that contain cholesterol and eat a diet low in fat. While it can lower our cholesterol levels it can also be responsible for causing a lopsided ratio between HDL and LDL which can increase the risk of heart disease. We need to develop a higher total of HDL to LDL ratio. Ideally, total cholesterol levels which are computed from HDL, LDL, and triglycerides or blood fats should be less than 200 mg/dL.

Which foods can provide the correct ratio?

There are times when we need to increase our HDL levels and generally a diet that includes 70% carbohydrates and 30% saturated fats will result in high cholesterol levels. This is typical of an American diet at this time. We should instead substitute saturated fats with polyunsaturated fats and total fats should not make up more than 10% of our daily diet. Oils such as Omega-3 fatty acids, olive oils or canola oils constitute these good fats as well as nuts.

We need a diet high in fresh fruits and vegetables, high in fibers and low in carbohydrates.

Four foods capable of raising HDL cholesterol

1. Soy products.

Soy proteins provide many unique benefits which makes them super proteins and one of the main sources of nourishment for those who are vegetarians. Soy offers a complete amino acid profile because it contains all essential amino acids necessary for our nutrition and as we cannot create our own source of amino acids, we need to get them from our diet.

Soy protein increases the activity of enzymes responsible for breaking down cholesterol. Sources of soy can be found in supplements, cereals, soy nuts, milk and tofu.

2. Green leafy vegetables

While most fruits and vegetables provide plant sterols which help increase HDL levels there are those that stand out, amongst them being, avocado and dark green leafy vegetables.

Avocado is rich in oleic acid a monounsaturated fat; one per day can increase HDL levels by as much as 17%. Green leafy vegetables such as kale, Swiss chard, collard greens and spinach work much in the same way as an avocado for raising HDL levels.

3. Blueberries

Berries, especially blue berries contain an antioxidant called pterostilbene which is also found in grapes and red wine and which is responsible for the increase of HDL. In fact many fruits that are purplish or bluish in colour produce similar results.

4. Monounsaturated fats

In the form of nuts, oily fish, olive oil, flax seed oil and the like are a good source for increasing HDL levels. As an alternative to animal proteins these fats provide great benefits for our HDL levels.

Aerobic exercise has been shown to raise HDL levels. So an HDL cholesterol diet rich in the above natural foods along with a good exercise plan will raise HDL levels and it will have positive effects on LDL levels and total cholesterol.