Shad Rasa: The Ayurvedic View on Food and Taste

Ayurveda sees food and spices as medicinal substances and good digestion as one of the main factors to optimal health. This is why it places great emphasis on proper food combining and on the concept of shad rasa, or six tastes. These six tastes –sweet, sour, salty, pungent, bitter and astringent– should be present in balanced proportions in the diet. Understanding them and how they relate to our individual constitution can help us make better choices to promote and maintain health.

According to Ayurveda, we are born with a unique constitution, which is an individual combination of the three doshas, or principles that govern the function of our bodies on the physical, mental and emotional levels. These three energies are vata, pitta and kapha. Disease is caused by an imbalance of any of the doshas and by the presence of ama, or toxic food byproducts (food that hasn’t been totally digested).

Vata is the subtle energy associated with movement. It governs respiration, circulation and elimination, as well as the pulsation of the heart and motor neuron impulses. When aggravated, it can cause disorders such as flatulence, constipation, tremors, spasms, asthma, rheumatoid and osteoarthritis, as well as many neurological problems.

Pitta represents the fire element in the body. It governs digestion, absorption, assimilation, nutrition, metabolism and body temperature. Pitta type of disorders include hyperacidity, ulcers, all sorts of skin eruptions, chronic fatigue, Crohn’s disease, colitis and numerous inflammatory problems.

Kapha is the energy that forms the structure of the body and provides lubrication to the joints and organs. Out of balance, kapha can cause problems such as obesity, high cholesterol, diabetes, edema, asthma, tumors and a variety of congestive disorders.

According to Ayurveda, the best preventive medicine and support of the natural healing process is a diet and lifestyle specific to the constitutional needs of the individual and in line with the seasons and cycles of nature.

Because of their qualities and taste, foods that tend to increase a certain dosha may aggravate it and likewise, foods that decrease that dosha will pacify it and normalize its functions. Vata pacifying foods will have more sweet, sour and salty tastes and less of excessively hot, bitter and pungent tastes. Pitta pacifying foods will be more sweet, bitter and astringent and less sour, salty and pungent. Finally, kapha pacifying foods will be more pungent, bitter and astringent and less sweet, salty and sour. A quick overview of the six tastes can give us an idea of what types of food will aggravate one dosha or the other.

Sweet taste is present in foods such as sugar, milk, rice, wheat, dates, maple syrup and licorice. Its qualities are usually oily, cooling and heavy. In moderation, it promotes the growth of plasma, blood, fat, muscles, bones, marrow and reproductive fluids. In excess, sweet produces many disorders in all doshas. Sweet foods can cause colds, heaviness, loss of appetite, obesity, abnormal muscle growth, lymphatic congestion, tumors, edema and diabetes.

Sour taste is present in foods like citrus, sour cream, yogurt, vinegar, cheese, lemon, unripe mangoes, green grapes and fermented food. Its qualities are liquid, light, heating and oily, and it has anabolic action. In moderation, sour foods are refreshing. They stimulate the appetite, improve the digestion, energize the body and nourish the heart. In excess, this taste can cause hyperacidity, ulcers and perforations. Its fermenting action can be toxic to the blood and cause skin conditions like acne, dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis, boils and edema, as well as burning sensations in the throat, chest, heart, bladder and urinary tract.

All salts, seafood and sea vegetables are examples of salty taste. Salty taste is so strong that it can easily nullify the effect of all other tastes. It is heating, heavy and oily. In moderation, it is laxative and can lessen spasms and pain in the colon. Like sweet and sour, it is anabolic in action. It promotes growth and maintains water electrolyte balance. It stimulates salivation, enhances the flavor of food and aids the digestion, absorption and elimination. Too much salt in the diet makes the blood viscous and thick, can cause hypertension and aggravates skin conditions. Heat sensations, fainting, wrinkling and baldness may be due to excess salt, as well as edema, water retention, ulcers, bleeding disorders, skin eruptions, hyperacidity and hypertension.

Pungent taste is present in foods like hot peppers, black pepper, onions, garlic, ginger and asafoetida. Its qualities are light, drying and heating. In moderation, it improves digestion, absorption and elimination, stimulates circulation, breaks up clots, and kills parasites and germs. In excess, it may cause sexual debility, choking, fainting and fatigue. If it leads to a pitta aggravation, it can cause diarrhea, heartburn, nausea, peptic ulcers, colitis and skin conditions. If it provokes vata, it can cause tremors, insomnia and muscle pain.

Examples of bitter taste are bitter melon, turmeric, dandelion, aloe vera, rhubarb and coffee. It is the taste most lacking in the North American diet. Its qualities are dry and light. It promotes the flavor of all tastes, is antitoxic and kills germs. Bitter helps to relieve burning sensations, itching, fainting and obstinate skin disorders. It reduces fever and stimulates firmness of skin and muscles. In small doses it can relieve intestinal gas and work as a digestive tonic. Because of its drying quality, excess bitter taste may deplete plasma, blood, muscles, fat, bone marrow and semen, which may result in sexual debility.

Unripe bananas, pomegranate, chickpeas, yellow split peas, okra, turmeric, alfalfa sprouts and alumroot are examples of the astringent taste. Its qualities are cooling, drying and heavy. In moderation, it aids in healing ulcers and promotes clotting. In excess, it may cause constipation, distension, heart spasm and stagnant circulation. It may also lead to depletion of sperm and affect the sexual drive, and can give rise to a variety of neuromuscular disorders.

Ayurveda encourages the use of herbs and aromatic spices, which are also considered medicinal substances, to create a balanced mix of all tastes. The most common spices found in an Ayurvedic kitchen are: cumin, coriander, ginger, hing (asafoetida), ajwan, turmeric, fenugreek, garam masala, cinnamon, clove and cardamom. Ingesting small quantities of these aromatic, stimulating and carminative spices on a regular basis helps maintain the health of the digestive fire (agni) and the entire GI tract. Toxins that accumulate from improperly digested food can also be greatly reduced by slowly introducing these spices into the diet.

Obviously, there is more to food than just taste. Yet taste, from the perspective of its qualities, is very important for maintaining good health. Ayurvedic cuisine is unique in that it makes sure each dish is cooked and spiced so as to achieve maximum digestibility, avoid the formation of toxins and nourish all tissues.

Understanding the qualities in food, how they affect the doshas, and how they can be balanced is a great asset to prevent disease. An Ayurvedic clinician can make this a more practical task by providing specific guidelines and food charts for the individual constitution and health needs of each person. Ayurveda knows that the action of any medicinal substance starts in the tongue, so let your food be your medicine!

© Vishnu Dass. This article was originally published on New Life Journal, Feb. 2006.

Steroid-Based Medication and Stomach Problems

We recently received a call from a concerned mother telling us that after her son, who suffers from asthma, was put on the steroid-based medication Perdisone, and then the following day in school began vomiting violently and was sent home. Unfortunately, this is not an entirely uncommon occurrence.

Steroids can have harmful effects on the stomach. Simply put, steroids weakens the lining of the stomach wall. This allows the gastric acid to erode the walls of the stomach so leading to gastritis and possibly even ulcers. Abdominal pain and discomfort are among the most common clinical consequences of gastritis, gastric wall erosions and gastric ulcers. Such symptoms may last days and even weeks if not valued appropriately and promptly.

Medications that reduce gastric acid have been proven to be the most effective way to promote gastric wall healing and provide symptomatic relief. Acid blocking medications may be easily obtained over the counter at any pharmacy or supermarket or obtained by prescription from your physician. Examples of such medications are: Prilosec, Zantac, and Pepcid.

Although they have many side effects, steroids are often necessary and can even be life saving in certain circumstances. They are often a cruel component in the treatment of diseases such as asthma, especially in children and the use of such medicines can not be simply stopped. However, all efforts must be made by the caring physician to decrease the need for and stop the use of steroids as fast as possible, assuming that it is done safely.

The concomitant administration of acid blocking medications is often prudent and will afford the patient adequate gastric protection. Some clinical signs and symptoms related to the gastrointestinal tract to be aware of when taking steroids are as follows: Abdominal pain, fever, nausea, vomiting, dark stools or bleeding. Prompt consultation with a physician must be obtained if these symptoms are encountered.

Endoscopy is a very effective tool that may be used to obtain an accurate diagnosis of disease processes such as gastric ulcers or gastritis. An endoscopy in a young child, if performed appropriately and with competency, is a safe and painless procedure. It is rare to feel anything other than mild nausea (side effect of the anesthetics) and mild abdominal bloating (air that is insuflated during the procedure). That being said, it's usually a quick and simple procedure. An endoscopy is not only diagnostic, but may also be the therapeutic, that is, specific treatments may be administered during the procedure.

Normally, the discontinuation of steroids is enough to afford symptomatic relief in patients. Symptoms of abdominal pain usually subside within a few days, but may last for up to a few weeks. Early recognition of the symptoms as well as the prompt treatment with appropriate medications is sufficient to prevent dangerous clinical outcomes. Also we must always remember the importance and effectiveness of a well balanced diet as well as adequate exercise and rest.

Look For Signs & Symptoms Suggestive Heart Disease BEFORE Starting an Exercise Program

There are several "eye-catchers" that a personal trainer should look for as you consider working with a client. Several of these would warrant examination and then permission from a doctor before the fitness assessment or training. All would require further conversation as a part of the trainer / client relationship.

After securing the medical history form, look for the following signs and / or symptoms that are suggestive of coronary artery disease or heart disease. These absolute contraindications to exercise testing are conditions that must be stabilized or ideally treated before testing. If any of these are evidenced, the client should be referred to appropriate medical personnel prior to assessment or training by you as a personal trainer.

– Pain or discomfort in the chest (angina pectoris), neck, jaw, arms, etc.

– Shortness of breath at rest or mild exertion

– Dizziness or reports of syncope (temporary loss of consciousness with full recovery)

– Paroxysmal nocturnal dyspnea or difficulty breathing appearing suddenly at night, usually waking the client after an hour or two of sleep; caused by pulmonary congestion that results from left-sided heart failure

– Orthopnea or difficult breathing which is brought on by lying flat

– Ankle edema

– Cardiac arrhythmias, palpitations or irregular heart pulsation of the heart, usually only perceptible to the client

– Tachycardia or rapid beating of the heart (usually rates over 100 BPM)

– Intermittent claudication or limping

– Known heart murmur

– Unusual fatigue or shortness of breath with usual activities

– Acute infections

– Suspect or known dissecting aneurysm (weakening of a blood vessel wall)

– Severe symptomatic aortic stenosis (narrowing of a blood vessel wall)

– Recent significant change in an resting ECG (heart scan) that is indicative of ischemia (vessel blockage), MI (heart attack) or other acute cardiac event

– Acute myocarditis or pericarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle or sac around the heart)

– Acute pulmonary embolus or pulmonary infarction (blood clot)

Individuals exhibiting any condition in the precedent listing would automatically be considered high risk or likely to suffer some coronary event with exercise.

High Risk Individuals should always have a medical exam or medical personnel involved in testing them BEFORE any tests or training from the personal trainer. It is HIGHLY recommended that these conditions be met BEFORE working with him / her.

Providing a safe environment for our clients is paramount to personal training. Completing and then discussing a person's medical history with them prior to fitness assessment or training exhibits that precautions have been taken to ensure a safe environment. In this age, when 2/3's of our population is overweight and / or so many many individuals are taking some medication for a disease, disorder, or a condition, it is prudent on the trainer's part to know what s / he is "getting into . "

To learn more about "reading" a medical history, see the article, "BEFORE A Fitness Assessment or Personal Training a Client … Look at the MEDICAL HISTORY for Known Diseases."

What Causes Fluid Retention?

When excess fluids build up in the body it is called water retention, fluid retention or edema. Chances are you've experienced at least mild symptoms, but what causes fluid retention? There are a number of factors, but here are the most common causes:

Excessive sodium intake – The average sodium consumption per person in the US is about 4,000-5,000 mg of sodium compared to a recommended daily intake of 1,500-2,400 mg. Is it any wonder our kidneys have difficulties eliminating all that extra? Sodium aids in regulating fluids through the body and the kidneys control the amount of sodium in the blood by storing or eliminating it as needed. If consumption is too much for the kidneys to keep up with sodium builds up in the blood and tissues, drawing excess fluids with it. This is probably the most common of all fluid retention causes.

Inadequate exercise – The body needs exercise for many different reasons, including improving circulation and assisting in the flow of fluids through cells and tissues. Without enough exercise, fluids tend to pool in the extremities and even in the face and stomach area.

Allergies – Allergic reactions trigger the release of histamines and histamines will encourage water retention as the body movements to isolate and eliminate irritants. Did you know that overeating can cause something like an allergic reaction too? When the stomach is overloaded, particles of food are forced into the bloodstream, causing the body to retain even more water as it attempts to rid itself of the contaminants.

Dehydration – If the body does not have enough fluid coming in it can not eliminate or properly circulate what it already has. Water serves a vital function in keeping the body clean by facilitating the flushing of toxins; insufficient amounts can cause sever damage including kidney failure.

Malnutrition – You can think you're healthy overall and still have malnutrition-related problems. Deficiencies of certain key nutrients such as calcium, magnesium and certain vitamins and minerals can cause mild to severe bloating and fluid retention. Some of these shortcomings can easily be bypassed by a change in diet, but others may require supplementation to effectively correct.

Disease – Serious water retention can be a symptom of a serious medical disorder such as thyroid disease, kidney disease, kidney failure and more. It's always a good idea to consult a doctor to make sure the cause of your retention is environmental rather than medical in nature. Water retention is not just a comfort issue. Excess fluid in the body will make you weigh more, force your heart to work harder and is an indicator that something is not working right to flush potentially harmful toxins from your system. There are many causes, both environmental and dietary, but most of them are fairly easily restricted or eliminated. Diet changes take a lot of personal commitment to be effective and time to exercise is not always easy to come by, but they can make a significant difference in your overall health.

Can not Lose Weight? Maybe You Have a Thyroid Disorder

A thyroid disorder called hypothyroidism means you have an underactive thyroid gland. If you have trouble losing weight no matter what you do, it could be because you are hypothyroid. There are almost 30 million Americans with thyroid disease and women are 7 times more likely than men to have it. Hypothyroid is the most common thyroid disorder and often misdiagnosed by doctors.

You may get this because it is inherited, or because of previous problems, such as nodules, goiter, thyroid cancer, previous thyroid surgery, another autoimmune disease.

This is a condition where the thyroid gland, a small butterfly shaped organ located at the base of the neck, does not produce enough hormone to function properly.

What happens is that it takes in iodine, combines it with tyrosine (an amino acid) and converts it into the hormones T4 and T3. If your thyroid is normal, 80% will be T4 and 20% T3. These hormones travel through the bloodstream, converting oxygen and calories into energy. If this process does not work properly, then the calories and oxygen can not convert the energy properly and you may gain weight or incapability to lose weight.

The symptoms can include: weight gain, depression, forgetfulness, fatigue, hoarseness, high cholesterol, constipation, feeling cold, hair loss, dry skin, low sex drive, tingling hands or feet, irregular periods, infertility. You may even experience recurrent pregnancy loss, resistant high cholesterol, difficult menopause, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, carpal tunnel syndrome, or mitral valve prolapse.

Do you feel sluggish and fatigued on a regular basis, or do you get bouts of depression and sadness? Are you always feeling cold, especially your hands and feet, or do you have brittle nails? These are just some of the possible signs of the disease. There may be other causes, but at least this may give you a clue as to why you do not feel well. Check with your doctor in all cases to be sure.

When your metabolism does not work right because you have this disorder, you may find that there's no amount of dieting or exercise that takes the weight off. You may in fact put on extra pounds, even though you are doing just what you are supposed to.

What can you do? Meet with your doctor and ask if you need a thyroid examination and blood test. These likely will be a TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) blood test, along with T4, T3, Free T4 and Free T3 tests.

A drug called levothyroxine (often called Levo-T, Levoxyl, Synthroid, Unithroid) may be prescribed for you. It is usually inexpensive, has minimal side effects, and has uniform potency. However, all thyroid hormone replacement therapies, whether natural or synthetic, have the ability to restore thyroid hormone levels.

Supplements that contain the following might also help:

-L-Tyrosine – is one of the amino acids that your body needs to make thyroid hormones. It is included in some weight control products because it works to stimulate your metabolism. It's also an element in helping your brain operate more efficiently which makes you feel better.

-Gglipid – an extract from the Indian guggal tree, may improve thyroid function and assist in controlling your weight. Scientists are finding that guglipid lowers bad cholesterol and increases good cholesterol, and that can help someth to prevent heart disease.

There is always hope and lots of help out there for you. If you suspect that you have this condition and you are not sure what to do, talk to your physician for guidance and advice.

Angina Pectoris – Ayurvedic Herbal Treatment

Angina pectoris, typically chest pain, is a common presenting symptom among patients with coronary artery disease, caused by an imbalance between myocardial blood supply and oxygen demand. Myocardial ischemia can result from a reduction of coronary blood flow, abnormal construction of coronary vessels or a reduced oxygen carrying capacity of the blood. Causes of angina pectoris include atherosclerosis, coronary spasm and inflammatory vascular disease. A family history of the disease, cigarette smoking, diabetes mellitus, high cholesterol levels, obesity and systemic hypertension are known risk factors for this disease.

The Ayurvedic treatment of angina pectoris is aimed at relieving the symptoms, slowing the progress of the disease and reducing the possibility of future events like myocardial infarction and premature death. Medicines like Laxmi-Vilas-Ras, Shrung-Bhasma and Bruhat-Vat-Chintamani are used to treat the pain. In order to slow down the progress of the disease, atherosclerosis and hyperlipidemia have to be controlled. Medicin like Triphala-Guggulu, Medohar-Guggulu, Arogya-Vardhini, Amalaki (Emblica officinalis), Haritaki (Terminalia chebula), Pichali (Piper longum), Pichali (Piper nigrum), Vishwa (Zinziber officinalis) Guggulu (Commiphora mukul), Chitrak (Plumbago zeylanica), Psyllium (Plantago ovata), Lashuna (Allium sativum) and Kutki (Picrorrhiza kurroa) are used for this purpose.

Medicines like Sarpagandha (Rauwolfia serpentina), Jyotishmati (Celastrus panniculatus), Arjun (Terminalia Arjuna), Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri), Punarnava (Boerhaavia diffusa), Apamarga (Achyranthus aspera), Tankan (Purified borax) Khurasani Ova (Hyoscymus niger) are used to strengthen the heart muscle and control hyper tension. Medicines like Tapyadi-Loh, Ekang-Veer-Ras, Mahamanjishthadi Qadha, Chandraprabha-Vati, Saarivasav, Chandanasav, Manjishtha (Rubia cordifolia, Saariva (Hemidesmus indicus), Yashtimadhuk (Glycerrhiza glabra), Chandan (Santalum album) and Usheer (Vetiveria zizanioidis ) are used to reduce inflammation in the coronary arteries. To reduce or prevent spasm in the coronary vessels, medicines like Trayodashang-Guggulu, Vish-Tinduk-Vati, Kuchla (Strychnos nuxvomica), Vishwa, Dashmool (Ten roots), Nirgundi (Vitex) negundo), Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) and Shatavari (Asparagus racemosus) are used.

Smoking cessation is a very important factor which can result in a significant reduction of acute adverse effects on the heart. Patients should be educated to adopt a healthy life style, stop smoking and alcohol consumption, adopt a healthy and balanced diet and increase regular physical activity. Exercise training results in improvement of symptoms, increase in the threshold of ischemia and improvement of patients' sense of well being. Yogic asanas and pranayam also help in decreasing symptoms and increasing physical and mental fitness. It is important to reduce stress. Since complications of angina pectoris include unstable angina, myocardial infarction and death, it is important that all people suffering from angina pectoris being under the regular care and supervision of a Cardiologist.

How Not Brushing Your Teeth Could Cause a Heart Attack and Other Diseases

Many studies now have shown a clear link between gum disease known as periodontal disease and the risk of a Heart Attack. Gum disease is caused when teeth are not properly cleaned and plaque builds up allowing bacteria to infect the mouth.

Studies have found that Bacteria in the mouth are significantly associated with heart attacks even when other factors known to contribute to poor heart health such as having high blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes, body weight and smoking, were adjusted for. Regardless of how fit and healthy you are otherwise this could be a serious weak link.

The precaution mechanism is not yet fully understood but there are several probable means all or some of which may result in heart disease. Gum Disease like any disease will cause inflammation as the body tries to counter it. If this continues for long enough it can cause inflammation on the walls of the treaties allowing plaque to attach and narrow the artery walls. Secondly the germs from gum disease create thousands of tiny blood clots, which can also cause a narrowing of the arteries, a common cause of attacks.

A recent study has found that if two specific bacteria are found in the mouth there is a greater chance of a heart attack. One bacterium increased the chance of a heart attack by 50 per cent and the other by 35 per cent. Strokes occur for similar reasons to heart disease so an unhealthy mouth increases that risk as well.

Clinical studies have linked gum disease to respiratory conditions, premature births and diabetes due to the bacteria in the mouth traveling through the body. Another recent study has found a link between gum disease and the risk of rheumatoid arthritis

A good oral health routine should include twice daily brushing with toothpaste. The most effective brushing method is with an electric toothbrush. Whatever toothbrush is used you need to brush for a full 2 ​​minutes and not a quick 30 second clean. Cleaning between the teeth is also important and should be done once-a-day using floss or brushes designed for getting between the teeth.

It is important to cut down on how often you have sugary foods and drinks. Cut down on sugar, sweets and cakes. Visit the dentist regularly, as often as the dentist recommends. Usually this will be twice a year for a regular check-up and twice a year for a though clean clean with a hygienist.

The Cost Effectiveness of EECP

Approximately 6.8 million people in the United States suffer from angina, with 400,000 new cases diagnosed annually, and 80,000-100,000 patients are refractory and suffer from angina or angina equivalent symptoms. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and many other third-party insurance payers provide coverage for patients who have been diagnosed with disabling angina (Class III or Class IV, Canadian Cardiovascular Society or equivalent classification) who, in the opinion of a cardiologist or cardiothoracic surgeon, are not readily amenable to surgical intervention, such as PCI or cardiac bypass because:

1. Their condition is inoperable, or at high risk of operative complications or post-operative failure, 2. Their coronary anatomy is not readily amenable to such procedures; or

3. They have co-morbid states, which create excessive risk.

There are 5 million patients in the United States and approximately 22 million worldwide suffering from heart failure. It is the leading cause of hospitalizations in patients over the age of 65, and is one of the largest burdens on the U.S. healthcare system, costing in excess of $20 billion annually.

EECP therapy has been demonstrated to reduce both emergency room (ER) visits and hospitalizations in heart failure patients with left ventricular dysfunction by 86% and 83% respectively, from 1.4 to 0.2 ER visits and 2.4 to 0.4 hospitalizations per patient per year.

EECP is a non-invasive outpatient therapy for the treatment of diseases of the cardiovascular system, serves to increase circulation in areas of the heart with less than adequate blood supply and helps to restore systemic vascular function; increases blood flow and oxygen supply to the heart muscle and other organs, and decreases the heart’s workload and reduces oxygen demand; and improves function of the endothelium, the lining of blood vessels throughout the body, lessening resistance to blood flow. EECP Therapy treats stable or unstable angina, congestive heart failure, acute myocardial infarction, and cardiogenic shock.

Causes of Sweating Hot Flashes Other Than Menopause

Have you experienced sweating hot flashes (or hot flushes); not only at night but also in the morning? For most women, hot flushes and sweating are taken as signs of perimenopause or impending menopause. But is this the only reason?

Although these bodily heat waves and night sweats are usually associated with women and is believed to be due to hormonal changes in a woman’s body, there are also men who experience the same condition. Causes of sweating hot flashes and night sweats other than menopause include:

  1. Idiopathic hyperhidrosis can cause the body to sweat profusely but no medical cause can be identified.
  2. Tuberculosis is also a common cause of night sweats. People with tuberculosis usually have higher temperatures at night thus activating the sweat glands.
  3. Infections such as endocarditis, which is the inflammation of the heart valvesl HIV/AIDS, which is the infection of the body’s immune system; abscesses, which are the inflammation of the tonsils, boils, or infection of the appendix or osteomyelitis, which is an infection within the bones, are also probable causes of hot flushes or night sweats. These conditions should be attended to immediately by a medical specialist.
  4. Cancer patients often experience night sweats together with fever and consistent weight loss as an early symptom of certain cancers such as lymphoma.
  5. Menstruation is a monthly occurrence in women and a lot of women also experience hot flushes before and after their menstrual period. This is quite normal because the level of estrogen in women’s bodies changes before and after their period. This causes their body temperature to increase triggering the night sweats.
  6. Medications can also lead to night sweats as side effect of antidepressants and other psychiatric drugs. Aspirin, acetaminophen, paracetamol and other medications to lower fever can also lead to sweating. Cortisone, predinisone and prednisolone are medications that can also trigger sweating during the day and night.
  7. Hypothyroidism or an underactive thyroid can also cause hot flushes that strike any time of the day.
  8. Hypoglycemia or low blood sugar – a situation commonly experienced by diabetics who are taking insulin or anti-diabetic drugs – may also cause night sweating.
  9. Hormonal disorders such as pheochromocytoma – tumors of the adrenal glands, carcinoid syndrome – excess hormones released by the gastrointestinal or carcinoid tumors and hyperthyroidism – overactive thyroid can all cause sweating accompanied by facial flushing.
  10. Eating certain foods such as spicy food or hot spices, smoking, excessive drinking of alcohol, obesity, over consumption of sugar are also some of the instigators of sweating and hot flashes.

Both men and women are susceptible to these causes of sweating and hot flashes. If you experience sweating and rising body heat, the best thing to do is to consult with a doctor to help you rule out or identify underlying causes for it.

Protein Is Essential for Your Muscles

Proteins are extremely important for muscle growth: they are broken down into amino acids. These amino acids are used for the manufacture of tissue and provide enzymes which in return are required for metabolism.

  • Proteins provide for the build-up of muscle fibers and connective tissue in the body.
  • This process is called anabolism. When you exercise, your body creates cracks in the muscle fibers and connective tissue. The protein you eat, ensures restoration of cracks and strengthens the muscle fibers.
  • The amino acids are built into new muscle proteins: actin and myosin.
  • These muscle proteins are important in the operation and construction of muscles.

To build muscle, it is necessary that you consume more protein than you lose. It is said that a positive nitrogen balance is a big must. A lack of protein could cause the following:

  • Reduces gain in strength
  • Muscle size and mass
  • May even lead to muscle breakdown, your hard training session.

However there is no direct link between the consumption of protein and muscle growth. Muscle growth is not only dependent on the consumption of proteins, but also the intensity of training and the genetic predisposition for muscle growth.

The body is also more efficient in the protein consumption: experienced strength athletes require less protein than beginners, because the body becomes more efficient at storing protein, so that you break down less muscle during the workout.

In general it is recommended to consume between 1.4 and 1.8 grams of protein per pound of body weight per day. People who do not follow a fitness program, have a requirement of 0.75 grams per pound of body weight per day.

So now you may think: if proteins provide for muscle growth and repair of connective tissue, I better go eat a lot of protein. The more protein I eat, the more muscle I get right?

This is unfortunately not that simple because consuming more than 1.8 grams per kilogram of body weight per day, will not make you stronger or more muscular. There is no direct relationship between the consumption of proteins and muscle strength and size.

A study as published on Whey Protein Reviews, has shown that consuming 2.3 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight a day directed in similar gains in muscle mass as eating 1.4 grams per pound of body weight per day.

Eating more protein does not mean that the result will be greater muscle mass. Because when the optimum consumption of proteins has been reached, the added proteins will not be converted into muscles.

The largest part of your daily requirement of protein should come from your food. The animal sources like chicken, turkey, fish, beef, dairy products and eggs have a higher biological value than vegetable sources such as beans, lentils, nuts, grains and tofu.

Finally to end this article, the most important thing to keep in mind is the protein requirement to comply with as much as variation as possible in terms of eating. A combination of plant and animal sources provide a good combination of amino acids, fiber, vitamins and minerals, as well as carbohydrates.

How to Shrink Fibroid Tumors Naturally Without Surgery?

Fibroids are benign uterine tumors also known as Myomas. Usually women over the age of 35 develop these tumors in their uterus. These are rarely life threatening. However at times when the size of fibroids is large in size or numbers it can cause sever symptoms. These include excessive bleeding and pain during menstruation.

Surgical options and hormonal treatment for fibroids are an option which you can go in for. However the only surgical procedure that provides total relief from fibroids is Hysterectomy or complete removal of the womb. A month or so prior to fibroids surgery you will be required to take hormonal drugs which can cause certain undesirable side effects. Here is best to give natural remedies for fibroid treatment a try before going in for fibroids surgery.

In this article I am going to share simple tips on how to shrink fibroids naturally without making use of any drugs. Fibroids mainly occur due to estrogen dominance or excess estrogen in the body. To restore hormonal balance and reduce estrogen levels you must:

a) Eat at least 1-2 servings of whole grains and beans.

b) Eat organic food as far as possible to avoid indirect intake of pesticides and herbicide.

c) Consume low fat and high fiber diet. Reduce or completely eliminate caffeine and alcohol from your diet which tend to overload the liver. Liver is the main organ responsible for metabolizing estrogen in the body

d) To eliminate harmful toxins from the body and its internal organs consume fresh vegetable juice twice a day. Ensure that you have fresh juice only and not the tinnied variety.

e) To detox liver, the main organ responsible for estrogen metabolizing there are some herbs which are very useful. These include dandelion and milk thistle.

f) Intake of birth control pills also contributes to enhanced estrogen levels in the body. Here it may be worthwhile to discontinue taking these pills in consultation with your doctor.

g) Adopt a healthy lifestyle which includes some form of moderate exercise for at least 30-45 minutes each day.

If you are serious about knowing how to shrink fibroids naturally it is best if you consult a qualified alternative medicine practitioner. For my fibroids treatment I was not able to locate one easily because of which I thought online help. On the internet I found a 7 seven step plan developed by a renounced herbalist whichave me some excellent natural remedies for fibroid treatment.

Anxiety Attack – Chest Pain Symptoms

Because anxiety attack and chest pain symptoms can be so similar they are often confused. There are important differences between anxiety attacks (ie panic attacks) and heart attacks. Chest pains can be shared between the two and is often the reason they are confused. This article will focus on anxiety attack and chest pain symptoms and how to differentiate between them.

Anxiety Attack Chest Pain Symptoms

There are a number of different types of chest pain that you can get. These include but are not limited to the following: pancreas issues, gall bladder and angina, pinched nerves, injured ribs and indigestion pleurisy sore muscles. Because some of these chest pains can be so similar to those caused by a heart attack it can sometimes take a doctor's intervention to determine what is really going on.

One of the primary things you can use to determine the real origin of chest pain symptoms is the location. Anxiety caused chest pain is usually located over the heart area, which can be described as sharp, increases with breathing and has a average duration of just a few minutes. This is in comparison to a chest pain caused by a heart attack which is located in the center of the chest, endures for longer then a few minutes and is accompanied by normal breathing. In fact chest pains from heart attacks usually feel like the chest is being crushed or squeezed with an intense pressure or weight.

Anxiety Relief Methods

If you are experiencing chest pains related to anxiety then you should be able to relate them fairly quickly by utilizing techniques for panic attacks. These include but are not limited to relaxation exercise and deep breathing. You can also manage this state by managing your thoughts. This is accomplished by focusing on pleasant events, humorous things or something as simple as counting in your mind. All of these work by changing your focus from panic to something more rational which allows you to manage the panic attack.

Summary

This article has briefly covered the major differences between chest pains caused by anxiety attacks and chest pains caused by heart attacks. Of course you should seek out competent medical advice when appropriate. Keep in mind that just the fear of having a heart attack because of chest pains can accentuate anxiety. But if you understand beforehand that chest pains alone do not necessarily mean you are suffering from a heart attack can go a long way toward assisting you. In fact understanding anxiety attack and chest pain symptoms more thoroughly may just save you a trip to the hospital.

Types Of Wall Murals

Murals are commonly used as decorations, to brighten up the otherwise dull and staid walls. They add color to the walls and create a delightful atmosphere in the rooms. Murals are used indoors and outdoors and come in different varieties.

The different types of wall murals include painted murals, tile murals and Ceramic murals. Painted murals are those in which the surface of the wall is painted. The basis of the design to be painted on the wall is pre-decided. The designs may be created in clay or on ceramic leaves, before creating the actual murals on the wall. Painted murals are extremely popular with children. They find themselves involved in the whole process, right from conceptualization of the theme, to manufacturing and assembling them. Parents also prefer painted murals, as they are relieved from the worry that accompanies their children occupying the ground space.

Tile murals, as the name suggests, are first painted on the tiles and then fixed on the walls. Tile murals have the quality of making a cold, dull place look attractive and interesting. Ordinary bathroom tiles can be used for the purpose. The tiles are cut into pieces depending on the design. They are then painted using englaze enamel. These murals can be big or small and give a complete new look to the room and even exteriors.

Ceramic murals are made of mosaic, mirror, tiles and ceramic pieces. They are excellent portrayals of artistic and creative skills .The ceramic designs are first made with clay and baked in a kiln. These murals are long and are generally inspired by canvasses.

In addition to the above murals, climbing wall and traversing wall are other versions of wall murals. Wall murals lend a beautiful and colorful ambience to the interiors and the exteriors of a home.

Infectious Bronchitis – What is It?

This is an acute and highly contagious respiratory disease of the chicken. It is characterized by respiratory signs like gasping, coughing, sneezing, tracheal rales and discharge from nasal area. In layers, the distress decreases the egg production and loses internal egg quality and egg shell quality.

Infectious bronchitis is only found in chickens, and it is world wide. Normally experienced during cooler months. It is said to have been first found in 1931 in USA. It was found in young chickens but since then it has been identified in broilers and layers as well.

The virus is spread through droplets expelled during coughing and sneezing by the infected chicken. It makes it easy to spread in a flock very fast. Transmission can also be enhanced by movement of people, equipment and vehicles from farm to farm. The signs are coughing, sneezing and rales may be observed. Also a drop of egg production from 5 to 10%. Eggs produced during this disease have thin shells and loss of pigment in brown shelled eggs. To prevent vaccination is important.

Prevention of infectious bronchitis (IB) is best achieved through an effective bio security program. As a second line of defense, chickens in IB problem areas should be vaccinated with modified live vaccines to provide protection. The multiplicity of stereotypes identified in the field presents a challenge in designing an effective vaccination program.

To be successful in protecting chickens against challenge, it is essential to identify the prevalent serotypes in the region and to determine the cross-protective potential of available vaccines. In North America, the common serotypes used in most vaccination programs are the Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Arkansas serotypes. These serotypes are available in both modified live vaccines and inactivated water-in-oil emulsions.

Conditions You Did not Know Your Podiatrist Could Treat

You are probably very well aware that your podiatrist will treat problems such as sporting injuries, ingrown toenails, nail and skin disorders, joint and bone disorders, circulatory and neurological complaints and even muscular problems but the services offered by your local podiatry clinic extend further than that.

Have you ever had an exhausting day at work, gone home, removed your shoes, kicked your feet up and just breathed a really long sigh of relief?

If you work in one of the many professions that require you to be on your feet all day, every day, a podiatrist could help you come up with practical solutions. Factory workers, hairdressers, nurses and other healthcare professionals – all industries that are renamed for their leg work. As well as helping you find the right footwear to get you through the long days comfortablely, your podiatrist could help you with relaxation techniques and quickly ease tension and aches in your lower limbs as well as massage therapies can easily do at home to alleviate swollen ankles or puffy feet.

In fact there are more than a few conditions you did not know your podiatrist could treat. Take a look at some of these:

Diabetics

If you are a diabetic you can not ignore your feet and with the Australian Diabetes Council (ADC) stating that as many 3.6 million people in Australia have either diabetes or pre-diabetes, it's becoming unexpectedly handsome that we can no longer ignore the disease or the effect it has on other parts of the body.

One of the main causes of concern with diabetics is poor circulation and this can lead to ulcers forming which are not only painful and unsightly but dangerous too. If ignored, infections can form and these can ever lead to necessary life-saving amputations.

You should have an annual foot exam with your podiatrist if you have diabetes and if you find that you are experiencing problems, you should visit as frequently as you need to. Ingrown toenails should not be home-treated and cuts, grazes or scraps should be reported.

Your podiatrist will be able to discuss specially designed shoes for diabetes sufferers and will also be able to advise you on exercises and activities as well foot protection techniques to ensure you keep the effects of the disease to a bare minimum.

Knee Problems

Although a podiatrist will focus mostly on the lower part of the leg limb they will treat knee problems including knee osteoarthritis.

Caused by general wear and tear and getting worse with age, the cartilage surrounding the knee becomes damaged causing problems with the alignment of the leg and even mobility. Working with a podiatrist to use strength-building exercises can help with problems relating to pelvis and leg as well as the knee and foot, and can even refer you for surgery as a last resort.

Toe Nail Trimming

It seems so simple does not it? The truth is that many of us are cutting our toe nails wrong. Whether you're a 17 year old boy or a 70 year old woman, if you are able to cut your toe nails properly and you suffer with ingrown toenails, you could get serious bone infections, foot ulcers and sometimes gangrene which can be fatal. .. All from ignoring that badly cut toe nail!

According to the Australasian Podiatry Council, over 40% of Australians have experienced or reported problems with their feet. Over 60% of Australians have experienced pain in their feet. Many of theses issues, uncommon or otherwise, are reliably easily rated and with the simple change of say, a pair of shoes, could end your pain or discomfort for good.

All from going to the podiatrist!