Planning a Tonsillectomy – Helping Your Doctor to Help You Have the Best Care

Most people think of tonsillectomy as a children’s surgery. Indeed, many of us in the United States had our tonsils removed as children. There was a time when the surgery was performed with such frequency that siblings might have their tonsils removed simply because an older brother or sister was having a tonsillectomy. The pendulum swung back hard in the 1970’s. The value of the tonsils in warding off illness was often viewed as reason to keep them in spite of frequent bouts of tonsillitis, strep infections, and tonsil stones.

Today, many adults find themselves facing the possibility of undergoing this, “children’s surgery.” Anyone who has cared for a child after tonsillectomy might assume that the recovery is a fairly short and unremarkable experience. This may be true if you’re eight years old. The fact is that an adult will face a longer and more painful recovery than a child will in almost every case. While children have the benefit of a young and robust regenerative body, a grown man or woman has knowledge and experience to help them through stresses upon the body. If we as adults are to avoid the irony of crying like a child over the difficulty of what we thought was a child’s surgery, we must arm ourselves. We must advocate for ourselves.

Gathering knowledge, asking questions, and clearly articulating one’s expectations can greatly improve the adult’s tonsillectomy experience. Patients need to talk frankly with their doctors about the benefits and risks of surgery, and also the risks of keeping those troublesome tonsils. There is still much for the medical community to learn about obstructive sleep apnea, but all indications are that, left untreated, those suffering from this sleep disorder are at high risk for higher blood pressure, depression, sexual dysfunction, and heart disease. While many ear, nose and throat doctors do not view tonsillectomy as an indicated treatment for the disorder, there is ample anecdotal evidence that many tonsillectomy patients experience improved sleep patterns. The short and long-term effects of recurrent tonsillitis and throat infections is hard to measure, but it’s certainly worth a good college try.

Once the decision to undergo tonsillectomy surgery, adults must have frank discussion with their health care provider about pain management. The time to have this discussion is before surgery, not at 3 a.m. some morning when the prescribed pain medications are exhausted and pain is soaring through the roof. Further, there is no reason for a person with cauterization burns covering an area recently carved at with a knife or other instrument should be expected to swallow pills. It’s shocking how often doctors fail to prescribe liquid forms of the medicines they prescribe to tonsillectomy patients.

A plan should also be made to ween the patient off narcotic pain killers. Most tonsillectomy patients complain of depression symptoms in the second week of recovery. While lack of sleep, poor diet, and lack of social interaction often contribute to these feelings, it appears obvious that there is also a chemical component. Most patients experience an ebb and flow of pain during the two weeks following surgery. Initially, residual anesthesia seems to curb breakthrough pain. After this initial one or two-day honeymoon, pain levels rise. After a week, many patients feel some reduction in pain as the tissues heal. During this time, the patient may try reducing or eliminating the narcotic pain medicine, perhaps in favor of an over the counter medicine like acetaminophen. Pain can elevate to its highest levels in the second week, when scabs begin to detach from the tonsil beds. A serious risk exists in managing these pain levels. Most narcotic pain killers in the United States also contain acetaminophen. If a patient attempts to switch from the prescription drug to an over the counter pain reliever like acetaminophen, they may find it inadequate. Switching back to the narcotic pain medicine, acetaminophen levels continue to rise. For this reason, it seems practical for doctors to prescribe these two drugs separately. Without suggesting or insisting on this, patients are very unlikely to receive prescriptions in this manner.

Finally, to ensure the best tonsillectomy recovery experience, adult patients need to have clear understanding of the period of time that will be required In the U.S., the Family Medical Leave Act protects workers from losing their jobs because of family illness. Approval of this type of leave is usually dependent upon doctor’s orders. Patients must strongly advocate for themselves in this process to ensure adequate time is allowed for recovery. Most adult require a minimum of ten days before returning to work. More often two weeks are needed. Communication between patient, employer, and doctor is imperative.

As adults, our happiness and health are not the responsibility of others. We must arm ourselves with information when facing medical decisions and the resulting conditions. Medical professionals are in the business of caring for patients. They need patients’ help to best deliver this care.

How To Overcome Fear of Heights: 3 Ways To Beat Your Acrophobia

Many people suffer from acrophobia, better known as a fear of heights. If you have this problem, do not be sad because you are not alone. More than 26 million American people suffer from one type phobia or another, including this one.

According to researchers, acrophobia can cause a man or woman to fear things related to being far from the ground. For instance, they may equally fear simply climbing a ladder or being on a high floor of a building. Many people struggling with this problem need to overcome their fear of heights.

Unfortunately, some people thought that it is just an actual part of how a person is and believe there is no cure for it. Whereas, if an acrophobic person is left untreated, she or he becomes miserable and his or her social life can suffer. If you want to get rid of this condition, then here are some simple tips on how to overcome fear of heights.

Method #1. Overcome fear of heights with hypnosis

We know that a person’s fear of heights makes she or he takes care when in dealing with potentially dangerous situation. The worst things will come when this situation becomes overwhelming. It can be both limiting and debilitating.

Hypnosis is one of the greatest methods that will give a sufferer the powerful energy to recondition his automatic response. This way they will literally be training themselves to associate feelings of comfort with a situation that was previously associated with fear.

The hypnotherapy combines indirect and direct suggestion to bring about the desired effect. With a wonderfully easy induction and natural progression after that, hypnosis allows a person to settle easily and quickly into a state of deep relaxation.

Method #2. Overcome fear of heights with natural remedies

Natural remedies can also play a major and positive role in helping you deal with your fear of heights or altophobia. Many companies offering various products, but make sure to determining all of these items should non-addictive, safe, without side-effects and FDA-registered.

The ingredients of natural herbal remedies containing homeopathic ingredients to relive nausea and dizziness and can improve inner ear balance. They can also alleviate sensations and disorientation of swaying or spinning. Generally, natural herbal remedies are presented in small dissolvable tablets available at drug stores.

Method #3. Overcome fear of heights with do an activity that involves heights

Of course, this option may seem ludicrous and not recommended for everyone. For those who want to take the high challenge, then this way is a great start. You can try bungee jumping, skydiving or going with your family members on a high roller coaster. But, if you are not that kind of person, take smaller steps such as standing on the top step of a ladder. No matter what methods you stick with it for good, as long as keep-making progress you will out of this condition.

Well, having fear of heights is not nightmare anymore since many methods can overcome this situation. Be patient and focus with yourself. Keep in mind that your fear will not disappear overnight. It needs effort, energy, and process. It is possible to get over your phobia and have it be a distant memory. Do not give up.

OTC Anti Anxiety Medication

There are numerous reasons why a patient will need to use over-the-counter or OTC anti anxiety medication. Some patients don’t have insurance and can’t afford the expense of these medications. On the other hand, there are some who have discovered that they merely need to use OTC medication whenever they need it. These are the same people who don’t take prescription dosages on a long-term basis.

If you are among of these people, there are different types of OTC anti anxiety medication that you can buy to help in treating and reducing the symptoms of anxiety. Keep in mind though, that these won’t have the same components as the ones used in prescription drugs. For this reason, they may not be as efficient for the symptoms that you have.

One of these over-the-counter drugs is the Valerian root, which is the most preferred type of OTC anti anxiety medication. This is because this helps the body relax and it acts as a sleeping aid. Valerian root is an all-natural ingredient. Its users have reported that they experience no side effects, unless this OTC medication is used in big dosages. In such case, a stomachache or mental confusion may appear. Valerian root can be taken as a supplement to help in treating the signs of anxiety. There are even some individuals that believe this OTC drug can replace the more powerful and potent anti anxiety medications.

Another type of OTC anti anxiety medication is known as kava. Kava is used to deal with anxiety and insomnia. It is available in different medications such as capsules, tablets and teas. Kava is normally safe to take, although there has been some uncertainty on whether or not it causes liver toxicity. Research has shown though, that this isn’t the case. The conducted studies have discovered that liver toxicity has been caused by other medical elements. Despite this discovery, there are still a number of people who are too scared to use kava regularly.

Doxylamine Succinate is another form of OTC anti anxiety medication. As a sedative, it is commonly being used as a sleeping aid. Doxylamine Succinate can be found in numerous OTC cold and sinus remedies and can help calm the body. Rescue Remedy is another OTC anti anxiety medication that makes use of organic flowers to produce a substance that can instantly calm the body, once ingested.

Rainforest Plants – Passion Flower

Family: Passifloraceae

Genus: Passiflora

Species: incarnata, edulis

Common names: Maracuja, passionflower, carkifelek, charkhi felek, maypop, maypop passionflower

General Description: Passion flower is a climbing vine renowned for its beautiful white flowers with purple, blue, or pink calyx crown blooms. This vine is very attractive, sprawling or climbing up, with edible fruits and flowers. It is ten feet to twenty feet long, with alternate leaves.

Location: Passionflower, called maracuja in the Amazon, is indigenous to many tropical and semi-tropical areas – from South America to North America.

Uses: There are over 200 species of Passion Flower vines; the most prevalent species in the Amazon is Passiflora edulis. Indigenous tribes throughout the Amazon have long used Passion Flower leaves for its sedative and pain-relieving properties; the fruit is used as a heart tonic and to calm coughs. Local Amazonians use the leaf tea as a sedative. As an herb used for anxiety, stress, and insomnia for hundreds of years, Passion Flower is considered very safe when taken as directed

The flower is thought to affect the nervous system in several ways. This herb was first investigated scientifically less than one hundred years ago when it was found to possess an analgesic (pain-killing) property and to prevent, without side effects, sleeplessness caused by brain inflammation. This herb is best known as a mild sedative, especially useful for helping to alleviate insomnia and other sleep disorders. Today, it is an ingredient in several sleeping pills. Passion flower may also increase the effects of other drugs and herbals that promote sleepiness.

This strikingly beautiful plant is native to the western hemisphere and is grown in many temperate-climate gardens. Passion Flower vine is attractive on a garden trellis, fence, hanging over a wall or sprawled on a slope. It is popular with gardeners because of its intricate, scented flowers that have an almost plastic-looking appearance. Passion Flower is known historically to have been cultivated in the gardens of Aztec priests and kings.

Passion Flower is widely employed by herbalists and natural health practitioners around the world today, contributing to the sustainability of the Amazon rainforest. And it is one of the most beautiful flowers in all of nature.

Disclaimer: The statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
Any reference to medicinal use is not intended to treat, cure, mitigate or prevent any disease.

PurNail – Does PurNail Work And Is It The Best Nail Fungus Treatment?

Hello Everyone!

There are two main influences which have led me to write this article. First, I am constantly asked “Does PurNail Work?” by close friends who have discovered they have nail fungus, and I recently learned that up to eight percent of the adult population is infected with nail fungus, which is also called dermatophytic onychomycosis, ringworm of the nail, and tinium unguium. I once suffered through this annoying infection and am writing this to share my story.

Before I knew about my nail fungus infection

At one point I thought that my nails were normal until my son asked me about their appearance. From that point I realized they were not healthy or normal and I became extremely self-conscious. After some research I discovered that I did indeed suffer from a nail fungus infection on both my toe and finger nails.

Discovering PurNail

I did a bit of research and stumbled upon a new nail fungus treatment called PurNail. After a bit of cross-referencing, I decided that it seemed like the best alternative to extremely expensive surgery and months of prescription pills that I could not afford and my body could not handle. PurNail arrived faster than expected and here are my results:

Three weeks after starting

I was a bit discouraged because I didn’t see results after week one and in the back of my head was thinking “does PurNail really work?”, but at the end of week two my toe nails and finger nails definitely looked better than they had in years. Come the end of week three, I could see the light at the end of the tunnel and could tell that PurNail was working.

Four months into my treatment

The discoloration had completely improved and I could tell that the fungus was dead and of my body for good. I could also tell that the incoming nail was stronger than I had seen in years. PurNail had helped my nails on both my toes and fingers return to their beautiful health.

Tendinitis – How It Causes Pain In Upper Back, Left Shoulder, Or Neck

Upper back pain, left shoulder pain and neck pain are a condition that is common to most Americans and they suffer from this sort of pain from time to time in their life. This pain is sometimes not too severe but could also be unbearable and beyond tolerance sometimes. Reasons for pain in the upper back, left shoulder and neck is often a problem with the shoulder joint. The shoulder joint is very susceptible to injuries like sprains, strains and tears. Because of this injury there can be inflammation of the joints, muscles, ligaments and of the bursa, causing immense discomfort and pain. A shoulder injury can give rise to pain in the upper back, left shoulder and neck region also. The motion of the arm is allowed by the muscles, joints and tendons of the shoulders and any injury to this portion of the body will result in immediate discomfort and difficulty in movement.

Causes of tendinitis

Tendinitis is a the connecting link of the muscles, tissues and bones which is a cord. Inflammation of this cord caused by too much usage of the muscles and any injury that might have occurred results in this kind of pain in the neck and shoulder regions. Upper back pain, pain in the left shoulder and the neck are caused by rotator cuff injuries. The area for the rotator cuff is very small and any inflammation with swelling can be the cause of a lot of discomfort and pain and also the arm that is affected will be weakened.

A change in lifestyle is a preventive measure

Sometimes a change in one’s life style can prevent this sort of a problem with back pain and pain in the neck and shoulder. Of course, accidents cannot be prevented but you could try and lead a healthier life to avoid degenerative diseases and weakening of the muscles. Keeping fit and exercising regularly is one way to strengthen your muscles and avoiding these sort of discomforts and protecting your back and neck and shoulders. You should ensure that you are careful when lifting weights, keep a good posture and do not let stress cause you these sort of problems. In case there is some physical activity that you have to do that causes you discomfort, try and change the way you do it so that it does not cause you unwanted pain.

See a doctor if pain persists

For a persisting pain it is always better to seek medical advice. The doctor will probably do some diagnostic clinical tests and x-rays and scans to evaluate what the problem is. Once he is sure of what is causing the discomfort in the neck, back and shoulders, treatment will be provided. It may be a neurological problem or something to do with the muscles and ligaments.

Fun Facts About the Kiwi Fruit

Even though it has a larger size and an outer skin with fuzz, the kiwi fruit is really a berry. Chinese khans in ancient days used to consider the kiwi to be an aphrodisiac. Kiwis aren’t bothered by very many irritants, so crops don’t require much pest control. Kiwi pickers in California wear cotton gloves so they don’t bruise the kiwis.

The original name of the kiwi was the Chinese Gooseberry. It was originally grown in China, over seven hundred years ago. Later on, it was introduced to New Zealand, and then California. California kiwi were first grown in about 1960. The average kiwi fruit is about three inches long, and weighs about 2.5 ounces. Nearly ten percent of kiwi grown in California are grown organically.

The vines of the kiwi are deciduous. They will remain dormant from November until March, and the foliage falls off, which makes the pruners’ job easier. All of the pruning on a kiwi plant is done by hand. New leaves start coming out in March. The canes of the dormant kiwifruit are great for flower arrangements.

Kiwis grow like grapes, on shrubs like vines, which are trained to grow on trellises. Their height ranges from five and a half feet to six feet. The vines of the kiwifruit drink in water in the summertime. Each vine drinks about forty one gallons of water a day, in the growing season. Kiwi fruit continue to grow after they are picked. It will ripen as it heads off to the sales markets.

The kiwifruit was originally found in Northern China, in the Yangtze River valley. Missionaries took seeds to New Zealand in their travels, at the turn of the century. It became a popular plant there, and several vines were sent to California. Those very vines are still growing in the Chico Plant Introduction Station. Kiwi are also grown for resale in areas like Chile, South Africa and Italy.

The kiwi plant needs a relatively long growing season, including at least two hundred and forty days without frost. Therefore, there are many areas in the United States where it is not possible to grow them. When the kiwi vine is in its dormant stage, in the winter, it can withstand temperatures as low as 10 degrees F. But they need to be acclimated to the cold slowly, not hit with it all at once. If a sudden and deep freeze hits, the freezing may cause the vines to split, and the plant will die.

Temperatures in the freezing range will kill any kiwi fruit buds that are exposed, so care must be taken to select an area with a mild winter season.

Beware, The EPA Scale ERMI To Assess A Home For Mold Is Misleading!

Don’t ever think that all research is for the advancement of science. Some research actually impedes progress and makes us go backward. Have you heard about the latest breakthrough on testing a home for mold with a single dust sample? It is based on DNA analysis of the concentrations of 36 species of mold. Sounds very scientific indeed. But is this test practical to test a home for mold? We say it is not.

As a result of a research project, EPA researchers devised a scale to assess a home for mold, called ERMI©, for EPA Relative Moldiness Index. Then, the EPA patented their so-called “new technology,” and now the dust sample test along with the ERMI scale is touted as “the standard” for the field of mold testing.

Some background – The EPA Office of Research and Development (ORD), together with the Case Western Reserve University Medical School, conducted a five-year study in the Cleveland area on the effect of mold exposure on children. Their results show that the incidence of asthma in children in mold-remediated homes was extremely low compared to their previous “moldy” home environment. Wow! What a revelation, it took five years to find that out. They should simply have asked us (or you) and we could have told them and spared the taxpayers the cost of such a useless study. No real harm done here, except for 5 million dollars down the drain. Mind you, we are not disputing the obvious results. What is more alarming is that the test they developed for that particular study is now being touted as the latest breakthrough in testing homes for mold. Now, that is damaging! As seasoned mold inspectors we feel that this is going to hinder the progress in accurately assessing a home or building for mold.

Research biologist, Stephen Vesper from the U.S. EPA/Office of Research and Development (ORD)/National Exposure Research Laboratory (NERL), recaps two studies as follows:

Susceptibility to Asthma Controlled by Modifying the Environment

In a just-completed, five-year study in Cleveland-area, water-damaged homes of asthmatics, EPA Office of Research and Development (ORD) researchers, in collaboration with Case Western Reserve University Medical School, established that specific molds were statistically more common in water-damaged homes. When the molds were removed from these homes, the children had a significant decrease in asthma symptoms and symptom days. The result was a statistically significant tenfold reduction in the use of medical interventions (i.e., emergency room visits or hospital admissions) for children living in these homes.

In a just-completed study in Cincinnati, the relationship between mold concentrations and the development of wheeze and/or rhinitis in infants was tested. To measure exposure risk, EPA scientists developed the EPA relative moldiness index© or ERMI© based on the measurement of the concentration of 36 species of molds in floor dust samples by using EPA’s patented “Mold Technology.” The ERMI© values were used to accurately predict the risk for infants developing respiratory illness.

By applying these findings and techniques, we should be able to reduce the asthma burden in the US, reduce the use of medical care, and save lives.

We will spare you the details, but in a nutshell here is how this new patented ERMI© testing works:

A mold inspector collects a dust sample using a cone-shaped HEPA filter trap by vacuuming a specific area of a carpet (or tile or linoleum) in the living room and the main bedroom and the sample is sent to a lab for analysis. You can either combine the two locations or take separate samples, which doubles the cost of the analysis.

We recently had a telephone conversation with Dr. Vesper where he stated that all homes in the US have mold! We say he is mistaken. Unless there is a water or moisture problem causing mold to grow, mold does not grow inside a home, because it simply cannot grow without moisture! Dr. Vesper does not like to say that a home has a mold problem; he prefers to call it “mold burden” and that the range goes from low to high.

The sample is analyzed and the results compared to a national database of homes in the United States and an ERMI© score is derived. For example:

  • An ERMI© score of – 4 means that a given home (client) is in the 25% of homes in the US that have a “low mold burden”.
  • An ERMI© score of 0 means that a given home (client) has an “average mold burden”.
  • An ERMI© score of 5 or higher means that a given home (client) has a “high mold burden”.

So, let us say you plan to buy a two-story home where there is carpet upstairs in the bedrooms, and all rooms downstairs are tiled – living room, dining room and kitchen. A dust sample is collected upstairs in the master bedroom and the tiles in the living room are vacuumed. Results show an ERMI© score of “0”. So, we tell you that a score of “0” is average, and according to the EPA it’s an “average mold burden.” Will you be satisfied with that? Read on.

Although the results of the first project seemed obvious (if you remove mold the wheezing symptoms go away) we question the validity of the dust test and the ERMI© scale. Let us look at the second project: “Relative Moldiness Index as Predictor of Childhood Respiratory Illness”. We find several flaws in that study.

If you were satisfied earlier knowing that your ERMI© score was average, that study reveals that a score of -4.29, yes “-4.29” can predict the incidence of illness. Holy smoke!! Americans are doomed if more than 75% of our homes have enough of a “mold burden” to make us sick! And, if this is true, what is the point of doing any testing at all?

FLAW NUMBER 1

Improper sample selection of “moldy” and “non-moldy” homes

First, the homes were classified as either “moldy” or “non-moldy” based on the following criteria. The paper states:

“A “moldy home”(MH) had at least one of the following: water damage history, visible mold/water damage, or moldy odor. A “non-moldy” home (NMH) had none of these.”

Any experienced mold inspector knows that a visual home inspection is not enough to assess a home for mold, and we cannot rely on our nose to establish whether a mold problem is present. We must also collect air samples. By taking several air samples we can find out 1) how many spores are in the air in a particular room and 2) the species (genera) that are present and their respective amounts of spores. That tells us right away whether there is a mold problem and where.

We certainly cannot rely on a “nose test” because an air test may indicate a mold problem even though neither the occupants nor us could detect a “moldy odor”. Alternatively, on several occasions we have been called to homes because the occupants smelled an odor that they attributed to mold. Our tests revealed normal levels of mold spores, but volatile organic compounds (VOCs) found in new building materials, such as cabinetry or carpet were the culprits, and produced the odor.

We conclude that the samples in that study were improperly selected. Assessing the air quality with air tests would have established scientifically beforehand whether homes had a mold problem or not. Also, the study does not say whether the visual inspections were conducted by “home inspectors” or “mold inspectors.” It only says that the onsite visits were performed by a “trained two-person teams.”

FLAW NUMBER 2

If Plan A does not work, go to plan B

“The Wilcoxon test performed on the mold concentrations for homes grouped by the inspection process into NMH versus MH showed that no species was significantly different in concentration between these two groups of homes.”

” . . . homes were reclassified into “more moldy homes” (MMHs) and “less moldy homes” (LMHs).

It is not proper to choose different groups half way through the study and massage the data with statistics to come up with something meaningful simply because the two original groups, non-moldy homes and moldy homes, did not work out.

FLAW NUMBER 3

The ERMI© scale seemed to have been derived solely with less moldy and more moldy homes.

Referring to the y-coordinate of ERMI© scale “Percent of Homes in the US”, are we to believe that the data representing homes in the US came only from “less moldy homes” and “more moldy homes”? If so, this scale is not representative of homes in the U.S. and is flawed if the “no moldy homes” have been totally omitted.

FLAW NUMBER 4

Improper control of variables of homes with smokers and non-smokers. The researchers state:

“. . . major mold/water damage was observed through home inspection and survey in only 5% of the homes, yet 19.6% of the infants developed wheezing and 49% developed rhinitis at age one. Therefore, most cases of illness were not predictable on the basis of a home inspection. These predictions could have been complicated by other exposures, such as smokers living in the home.”

Indeed, it has long been recognized that children are affected by cigarette smoke. This variable should have been taken into account by selecting only homes with non-smokers.

The researchers added:

” . . . an immediate and obvious improvement to predicting risk of respiratory illness would be to include additional information to the RMI in the predictive model like smoking in the home, pets, dust mites, or other indicators that could be taken from the home survey. Adding these factors to the logistic model might improve the prediction of illness even more.”

Why didn’t they think of that prior to conducting this $5 million study?

FLAW NUMBER 5

The study was biased – The introduction of the research paper indicates that a parallel study of air tests was conducted but the body of the paper hardly mentioned the comparative results. It states:

“A parallel study did not find any associations between the total mold spores count and rhinitis or allergen sensitization. However several associations emerged when mold species were identified.” “However, the methods used in that study are very time consuming and not highly standardized.”

We certainly agree that individual species (or genus) (not the total spore count) should be taken into account as well as their individual amounts of spores and their ratios to be compared to levels found in an outside sample. In addition, the research paper fails to say that air tests are both qualifying (identification of genera) and quantifying (amount of spores).

Researchers made a biased judgment by saying that collecting air tests are “very time consuming and not highly standardized”. We disagree – air test results can be obtained immediately in a lab if you live near a laboratory or as little as one day if the samples are sent overnight to a laboratory. It takes a minimum of five to ten days to get the result from an ERMI© test dust sample. It certainly would have been nice if researchers could have also included the results of air samples as comparison. And, what do the researchers mean by ‘highly standardized?” They talk about standardization when their research is flawed!

FLAW NUMBER 6

Questionable molds found in both moldy and non-moldy homes

Table 1 found in “Relative Moldiness Index as Predictor of Childhood Respiratory Illness” shows Stachybotrys and Chaetomium mold to be present in both “Moldy homes” and “Non-moldy homes”.

We have recapped the information to show the average of mold concentrations for Stachybotrys and Chaetomium as follow:

Stachybotrys: Moldy homes: 3.3; Non-moldy homes 2.3

Chaetomium: Moldy homes: 2.9; Non-moldy homes 2.0

It is known that Stachybotrys mold grows in a wet environment and Chaetomium mold is grows on, among other things, drywall that is wet or has been wet! Both types of mold are often found together in a home with mold problem. How can the researchers explain this?

If we poked around further into the study we would, no doubt, find other flaws. The study does look impressive with all kinds of statistical analyses, but if you read it carefully there are many holes. With statistics all kinds of things can be derived, but massaging the data is not proper. By removing the group of “Non-moldy homes” (NMHs) and then using two groups “More moldy homes” (MMHs) and “Less moldy homes” (LMHs), researchers found something to report. At a score of -4.29 they found a correlation between the incidence of illness in a home with (enough) mold between the “less moldy” and the “more moldy homes.” Give us a break!!! There is no doubt that this study will impress many people because it is based on DNA analysis and many people will accept it at face value and not read it carefully. With all its bells and whistles, we say that ERMI© dust sample testing is flawed.

Until a better tool comes along we will continue to use the traditional method of collecting air samples in different parts of the home with an outside control, and collecting surface samples if mold-like substance is visible. Air samples are not perfect, and things can always be improved but, in our opinion, they give us a better picture than one or two dust samples that are supposed to be representative of the entire home. ERMI© testing does not tell us precisely if and where a mold problem exists. Air tests can. If you had a score of 5 or 10 that would tell you that there is a serious mold problem somewhere (pardon me “high mold burden”). But, we would have to go back to the house and guess what . . . we would have to collect air samples to find the location of the problem. So, why not collect air samples in the first place? Besides, spore trap analysis is very fast, and you could get same day results if you wanted to, while dust sample analysis takes five to 10 days. Clients do not have money to waste on some fancy DNA testing that does not tell them whether a mold problem exists in their house and if so, the location of mold contamination.

Researchers are in their ivory tower and do not have a clue of real situations or budgetary concerns of the average homeowner. Clients want to know three things from a mold inspector:

  1. Do I have a mold problem?
  2. If so where is it?
  3. How do I get rid of it??

This ERMI© scale was designed for a specific study. In our opinion the application of the ERMI© test should not be extrapolated and touted as the “latest technology” to evaluate a home or building for mold, especially because the study was questionable in the first place. Several U.S. laboratories now perform this analysis, and novice and unaware mold inspectors started performing the test for clients. ERMI© testing appears “scientific” because it involves DNA analysis, and thus it sounds impressive for the majority of people. It can identify the species of mold, such as “Aspergillus penicillioides” or “Cladosporium cladosporioides”, or “Cladosporium herbarum” while an air test identifies the genus “Penicillium/Aspergillus”, or “Cladosporium.” We say that knowing the genus of mold is usually enough to assess a home for mold, knowing the species does not really add anything to the testing.

The EPA would have you believe that all homes have a mold problem. A prominent laboratory (not the one we use) states the following in their ERMI© report:

“Mold accumulates in homes over time and can be found in carpet dust and other accumulation sites.”

This is misleading – mold does not accumulate in homes over time. This would mean that older homes have more mold than newer ones. This is not true. During the Florida hurricanes of 2004 we found that most of the mold problems came from homes less than 5 years old. We won’t go into detail here as why this was the case.

Mold is found everywhere on earth and the amount of mold spores fluctuates day by day according to the weather and geographical location. However, if a greater amount of mold spores is found inside a home and/or if the genera are different than the outside it means that a source of mold is growing inside.

It is worth repeating – mold is the result of a water or moisture problem. Mold grows when three things are present – a surface to grow on, organic food, and water. Water being the only thing we can control. Without a source of moisture mold cannot grow. Period!

Dr. Shoemaker, M.D. who treats patients who have been exposed to mold thinks highly of the ERMI© testing, but he warns: “No sampling can replace the skill of the experience mold inspector in investigating mold problems.” What Dr. Shoemaker does not know is that the best mold inspector could miss a mold problem by performing only a visual mold inspection. It is essential to collect air samples in different parts of a home. Then the laboratory results will tell us the amount of mold spores per cubic meter and the genera compared to spores found in an outside sample. With this information we get a picture of what is going on and where. Like air testing, the ERMI© test is a tool to detect a mold problem, but the dust test gives less practical information than the traditional air tests. The score representing the “mold burden” is too vague. If the ERMI© score is elevated, it does not tell the client the location of the problem. Consequently more testing would be required, specifically air tests in various rooms, which would increase the overall cost of testing for the client.

The subject of mold is not well understood and this is why we wrote a book on mold: MOLD MATTERS – Solutions and Prevention, to educate home and building owners about mold from A-to-Z and to teach mold prevention. Much research is needed especially on the effects of mold on health. Since mold affects people differently, there are many people who are not taken seriously when they complain of various symptoms after being exposed to a moldy environment. Research on the effect of mold on health is long overdue and more research should be done in this area.

If researchers come up with better testing that give us more information than air testing in terms of pin-pointing the location of a hidden mold problem (that wall, rather than the other three), and quick turn around analysis, we will jump on it. In the meantime, we feel that the so-called “new technology” of ERMI© testing makes us go backward. It gives us less practical information, it is too vague, and it ends up being more costly to homeowners than air tests. Finally, because the meaning of the ERMI© score is vague, it has the potential of implicating mold inspectors in lawsuits. When mold inspectors get sued because it is found later that a serious mold problem was developing at the time of ERMI© testing, researchers will be far away in their ivory towers and mold inspectors will be by themselves fighting lawsuits against them.

Ruptured Cyst Symptoms – How to Tell If Your Ovarian Cyst Has Ruptured

When you are first diagnosed with an ovarian cyst, you may wonder what will happen. For most women, the cyst will clear up without any problems. However, there are two complications of ovarian cysts that you need to be aware of. These are a ruptured ovarian cyst, and ovarian torsion.

Ruptured Cyst Symptoms

A ruptured ovarian cyst occurs when the cyst grows too large. An ovarian cyst is usually a membrane filled with a clear liquid, kind of like a bubble. When the cyst grows, it stretches the membrane. If it keeps growing, eventually the membrane can not hold everything in, and so it ruptures. This then releases the liquid inside.

When the cyst ruptures, you will first feel a sharp, intense pain. It will be extremely intense. You likely will not be able to talk or move. Usually, this subsides in a few minutes and is followed by a burning. This is caused by the liquid irritating the surrounding area.

In some cases, you may also start bleeding. This is especially true if you had an endometrial cyst. This will be like a period, only generally in the middle of your cycle.

If the ruptured cyst goes untreated, the biggest risk of infection. If this sets in, you’ll have a fever,chills,and sometimes even symptoms of shock. This is why it important to seek medical treatment as soon as you suspect you have a ruptured cyst.

Ovarian Torsion

With ovarian torsion the cyst grows large enough to cause the ovary to twist downwards. This cuts off the blood supply, which will cause intense pain. If it’s not treated right away, the ovary could die and cause further complications.

When to Seek Medical Attention

A good rule of thumb is to contact your doctor any time your pain increases drastically. While some women will experience constant pain with a large ovarian cyst, if it ruptures or twists, the pain will get much worse. It’s best to call your doctor right away to rule out a problem then wait and see if it goes away, because you could get a much worse complication.

Generally, the treatment for a ruptured cyst is to start on antibiotics right away and stay in the hospital overnight to be observed to make sure you don’t have internal bleeding. Most women do not, but if you do, you may need surgery to fix it. Ovarian torsion will require surgery to fix.

The Difference Between Yeast Intolerance And Yeast Infection

Are you wondering if there lies any difference between yeast intolerance and yeast infection? Well the answer is both a YES and a NO. Read along this article to clarify all your doubts concerning yeast infection and intolerance that we tend to develop in different stages of our lives. Both yeast intolerance and yeast infection results due to over production of a kind of harmful bacteria in our intestinal track.

Candiasis is the infection from which we tend to suffer and there are a number of symptoms which are associated with it as well.

Candiasis is a kind of thrush or fungal infection which results in discomfort and inflammation. These rashes develop particularly in the warm and moist areas such as the folds, genitalia area, mouth and lower abdomen. There are practically different kinds of symptoms associated with candiasis.

You might experience infection in the vaginal areas. There may be discomforts such as painful urination, vaginal discharge, soreness, burning and severe itching sensations. The same symptoms are also commonly found among men near the penis and in children due to diapers they wear.

Yeast intolerance primarily results from overgrowth of Candida and some of the commonly manifested symptoms include irritable bowel syndrome, low energy level, bad breath, eczema, bloating and heartburn. Multiplication of yeast production gives rise to further problems and foods take a lot of time to get digested properly. The fermented food stuffs cause over production of yeast.

Problem associated with yeast intolerance does not surface like those of localized inflammation or yeast infection. Medical tests in this case are generally carried out for proper diagnosis of the problem. Food Scan test in this case are considered to be extremely effective for identification of causes behind discomfort in the individuals.

Thus in conclusion it can be stressed that discomforting symptoms associated with yeast intolerance or painful infection are truly problematic and you can not lead a normal life if these are not treated. It is extremely essential that changes in the dietary habits along with this alteration of lifestyle are considered if you want to lead a healthy and active life.

Regular exercise and yeast fee diets are some of the best ways you can combat yeast intolerance or yeast infection.

Visit a doctor for better assistance, alternatively you can also log into the following site to gather more information in this field. Follow the restrictions and look ahead to a better tomorrow.

More information about For yeast infection, yeast and yeast Intolerance <br> free diets to go The Www.naturalhealthandbeautyinfo.com/excess_yeast.html .

Why Diabetics Struggle With Weight Loss

One of the most perplexing problems that diabetics face is weight loss. Many doctors insist it is a simple matter of consuming less calories than are burned. And, in a perfect world that works. But most diabetics will insist that there is more to it, because when they do the same things as non-diabetics, they get no results, while their non-diabetic friends drop pound after pound. Fad diets do not work, diet products do not work, even exercise shows little or no results. The struggling diabetics are right– there is more to it than just cutting calories.

Diabetes is caused by eating a bad diet, and a good diet is a key part of regaining control. But it is the bad diet that has placed a number of conditions in place that must be understood in order to win the fat war. There are a number of interrelated circumstances that contribute to making diabetic weight loss difficult. First, let’s look at how the problem originated, then we can investigate how that information can lead to reversing the problem.

Years of bad diet, containing fats, sweets, high glycemic index foods, prepared foods and dairy products caused inflammation. A complete detailed explanation of how inflammation caused diabetes can be found in the “Diabetics Handbook” (see below). The following will be a gross oversimplification, due to space limitations, but hopefully, it will demonstrate the important aspects of the problem. Pro-inflammatory substances (pro-oxidants) are normally used by the body to fight disease and infection (via the immune system). They play many important roles in the body including digestion, and even breathing. Normally, the body uses antioxidants to control these processes. However, years of bad diet, which is characteristically very low in antioxidants, causes an immune system to lose the ability to shut down. Consequently, the immune system begins to attack healthy cells causing serious damage. In type I diabetes, the beta cells (insulin producing cells) are destroyed. In type II diabetes many cells are damaged setting up a condition known as insulin resistance. Insulin resistance occurs when the body’s cells cannot properly communicate when using insulin to uptake and burn glucose.

When the body digests food, particularly carbohydrates, it is converted into glucose. Glucose is distributed throughout the body in the bloodstream by the liver. The liver will normally control fat levels. When very high levels of fat are in the bloodstream, due to diet, the liver cannot process it all. It begins to fill its cells with sacs of triglycerides (converted glucose for storage) and it places the excess in the adipose tissues (belly fat).

The brain, vital organs and muscle tissue rely on glucose which provides energy to function. As these organs use glucose, the liver will place more in the bloodstream to replace it. In a perfect world, the organs and tissues would use it efficiently, and hopefully in proportion to the amount produced by food. Insulin resistance reduces the amount of glucose that is absorbed and stored by the organs and muscle tissue. Add to that, the fact that most diabetics lead a sedentary lifestyle, meaning that they get minimal amounts of exercise resulting in much less glucose being burned.

When the body is impaired by insulin resistance (type II diabetes), the cells do not use as much glucose. The body senses that glucose levels are building up in the bloodstream, so it instructs the pancreas to release more insulin. The body now has high glucose levels and high insulin levels in the bloodstream. Insulin is a hormone that performs many functions, besides allowing cells to absorb glucose. Insulin will also attempt (vigorously) to remove excess glucose from the bloodstream by placing it in storage as fat. Once in storage, insulin will block the process of breaking fat down to remove it from storage. Many doctors say that the presence of high levels of insulin in the blood causes unnecessary water retention in the body, which is a factor in weight gain. This is a key aspect of beating diabetic obesity, which means that insulin regulation is very important. Insulin also acts on the brain. It promotes cravings that result in eating more and on the liver to manufacture more fat. The liver removes insulin from the bloodstream, but insulin causes fat to be deposited in the liver which, in turn, prevents the liver from removing insulin from the bloodstream. People with belly fat store too much fat in their livers (fatty liver disease – see below), which prevents the liver from removing insulin. consequently, insulin levels rise higher and higher, which can contribute to heart attacks and more abdominal obesity.

Also, fat in the abdominal area functions differently than fat elsewhere in the body, such as the hips. Blood flow from the belly fat goes directly to the liver. The blood flow from other fatty areas, such as the hips, goes into the body’s general circulation. Belly fat has an efficient blood supply and has as more receptors for cortisol (a stress hormone). Cortisol levels vary throughout the day, but will elevate and remain elevated if the body is under stress. High stress and high cortisol levels promote fat deposits in the belly area. It goes to the belly area because there are more cortisol receptors there. Chronically high cortisol levels kill neurons in the brain. They also interfere with neurotransmitters (such as dopamine and serotonin – the good mood neurotransmitters) which leads to depression and feeling more stressed. Depression is common in diabetics, which adds to the problem since depression causes a stress type reaction in the body. In other words, depression promotes the development of belly fat.

The fat that is stored in the adipose tissue (belly fat) is also a characteristic of diabetes. That means that diabetics are genetically prone to belly fat. Belly fat (central obesity) is associated with higher rates of cardiovascular disease, and several types of cancer as well. Heredity plays a role in overall body type (apple vs. a pear shape). Genetics accounts for 25-55 % of the tendency to develop the most serious diseases associated with abdominal fat, the remainder is lifestyle. As belly fat builds up, it does several things. First, it stops the production of the hormone leptin, which normally would curb appetite. Second, it causes insulin resistance to further increase, which has obvious consequences. The cells use less glucose, the body produces more insulin, and guess what… more fat goes into storage. Fat storage is the body’s way of following ancient mechanisms designed to protect the body during lean times. Cave men would sometimes go long periods of time between successful hunting campaigns. So the body learned to take advantage of good times to prepare for the bad times. The body converts glucose into glycogen and triglycerides which are very efficient methods of storing energy.

When the cells of the liver fill up with triglyceride fat sacs, the liver’s function is impaired. It cannot process fats efficiently. It quickly runs out of room to store more fat, and when the body’s tissues and organs are not using as much, the liver simply puts it all into storage as belly fat. The number of fat cells a person has is determined at birth. The numbers remain constant unless the fat cells become full. When they become full, the cells will divide creating new fat cells. The new cells will remain throughout the balance of the person’s life. However, a successful diet will reduce the size of the fat cells. Fat cells are fed by blood vessels in the belly area. Each fat cell is in contact with at least one capillary. The blood supply provides support for the metabolism. The blood flow will depend upon body weight and the overall nutritional state. The number of vessels will increase during fasting or high demand for glucose. Increased numbers of blood vessels can contribute to increasing blood pressure. The heart simply has to work harder to supply the additional vessels.

A liver that has many cells filled with triglyceride sacs is called a fatty liver NAFLD (nonalcoholic fatty liver disease). Any diabetic that has large amounts of belly fat likely has a fatty liver. Fatty liver develops early in the process because of high levels of triglycerides in the bloodstream. Diabetic fatty liver’s second stage is called NASH (nonalcoholic steatohepatitis), meaning that it is not caused by alcohol consumption (but similar), and it mimics damage caused by hepatitis diseases. Oxidation of cells begins to occur causing cell damage. The third stage is cirrhosis which is very serious and dangerous. The first stage of fatty liver is not particularly dangerous, and will go away with proper treatment. Fatty liver is difficult to diagnose. The only reliable test is to conduct a biopsy to determine how much fat is present and if any scarring is present. Biopsies are rarely conducted, because the medical industry cannot agree on how it should be interpreted. The symptoms of NAFLD are nondescript, non-existent or mimic symptoms of other diseases. Certain blood tests will display the presence of certain liver enzymes that are common in hepatitis, which would signify the presence of NASH. Fatty liver will seriously complicate the weight loss process.

Parasites will virtually stall weight loss efforts. Parasites are more common in diabetics than a non-diabetic person, due to their weakened state. Unfortunately, western medicine doctors have little training in recognizing the presence of parasites. Few people are trained in testing for them. Most common tests have a very low accuracy rate. Treating parasites with drugs is rarely effective because they have a very narrow range of effectiveness. There are over 100 common species found in humans and treatments are very specific to specie. Parasites escape diagnosis in as many as 70 chronic diseases, and are now believed to be instrumental in the development of many chronic diseases.

When parasites are present, patients will have virtually no success in losing weight. Reduced portion sizes, carbohydrate counting or elimination, or even vigorous exercise will not produce results. Parasites inflame the lining of the digestive tract, and slow nutrient absorption. They eventually spread to all areas of the body, including vital organs. They disrupt hormonal balance, blood sugar regulation and alter the metabolism. Parasites eat the nutrients ingested, or they eat the host. They leave the host with empty calories, which triggers cravings and over consumption of food (urges to pile it high on a plate). They virtually take over control of the body.

Parasites release toxins that overload the kidneys and liver. The weakened state leads to further reductions in metabolism. They hinder the maintenance of beneficial flora in the intestinal tract that can lead to over production of yeasts. Overdevelopment of yeasts lead to the development of allergies, gas and bloating. Their acids damage organs, breakdown muscle tissue and cause the central nervous system to become sluggish. The body will react to increased acid levels by producing fat cells to store the acid, thus removing it from the system. A lower metabolism encourages the production of fat cells.

The good news is, by now, the reasons for difficulty in losing weight are clearer. So how does one beat these powerful mechanisms? Start by getting rid of any parasites. The safe bet is to assume that they are present, because they probably are present. There is an extensive listing of symptoms, and how to cleanse the body of parasites in the “Diabetics Handbook”. Also read about glycemic index and load. Modify the diet to eat only low glycemic index foods. Stop eating any of the pro-oxidant foods, especially processed foods, which is basically anything in a box or can that has ingredients that you cannot pronounce, or it’s unknown as to why it is in there.

Then assume that you have a fatty liver, because you probably do to some extent. This is the tough part. The most success comes from combining a series of techniques. Fasting and exercise are effective to break the cycles and burn liver fat. But it must be done correctly. If liver and/or kidney damage is present a doctor should be consulted. An alternative to fasting is to start eating 6-8 very light, low glycemic index meals per day, instead of three large meals. That will reduce the glucose spikes that exacerbate the process.

Change the diet. Stop eating the pro-oxidant foods. Processed foods are poison to diabetics, which cannot be stressed enough! Processed flour is very bad for diabetics (actually for everybody). Sodas are high in pro-oxidants and phosphoric acid, drink green tea instead. However, be careful, some bottled green teas have additives in them, including phosphoric acid. Stop drinking coffee. Eat only very lean cuts of meat. Stop eating sweets, sugar substitutes and dairy products. Never cook food at high temperatures (over 400 degrees F) or microwave food. That means that grilling and broiling are out. Microwaves kill as much as 97% of the living nutrients in food. Steaming, stir frying in olive oil or boiling food is best. Diabetics should eat fruit if their system does not react to them (glucose spikes). Pineapple and bananas are very high in natural sugar. Eat low glycemic index foods only. Take a good quality multivitamin daily, such as Rejuvenage 40+, which is sold on the internet. If a multivitamin is being taken, compare the product label to the sample label posted on the internet. This particular multivitamin has the broadest coverage of nutrients found on the market. Eat lots of fiber, especially water-soluble fiber.

Glucose management can be improved if sodium levels are managed, and fiber levels are kept high. Sodium slows the insulin response, which means higher sodium levels can be an advantage for hypoglycemia. High sodium levels prevent a quick rise and fall in insulin levels, and subsequently reduce the blood sugar highs and lows commonly experienced with hypoglycemia. Sodium, along with ascorbic acid (vitamin C) and biotin are among the most important factors in reducing erratic glucose level changes; even between meals. Manganese, chromium and niacin/niacinamide control glucose response as well as the liver’s storage of glycogen. Potassium, vitamin B6, and vitamin C can both, help stabilize, or interfere with glucose management depending on whether a patient is prone to be hypoglycemic, or hyperglycemic. Lower amounts are recommended for patients that are prone to hypoglycemia, and higher amounts for patients that are prone to hyperglycemia. On the other hand, high amounts of potassium can reduce manganese and chromium. High amounts of vitamin C can lower manganese and stimulate insulin. Vitamin B6 stimulates magnesium and potassium, but lowers manganese. It can become complex. It should be noted that too much sodium in the diet is never a good thing.

Eliminate candies, honey, sodas of all types, donuts, cereals (especially sweetened), cakes and bakery goods, over ripe fruits, fruit juices (unless diluted), sugar (both brown and white), syrups (corn, maple and molasses), glucose, sucrose, fructose (of any variety), dextrose, maltose, or any substance ending in “ose”. Eliminate all artificial sweeteners except Stevia. Most of the bakery goods contain synthetic additives, along with processed flour, both of which are highly pro-oxidative.

It will be necessary to start exercising to maximize the burning of glucose in tissues. Power walking for approximately 45 minutes, preferably daily, will burn upwards of 300 calories each day. Exercising other major muscle groups is important. The fasting and exercise program should be alternated with non-fast and exercise programs (3-5 days each). Depending upon health conditions, choose between a water or a juice fast. The water fast is more aggressive. Don’t lose weight too fast. It can damage the liver. Most people lose 3-5 pounds after the first several days and an additional 3-5 pounds the next day, it will level off at a pound per day after the initial loss. It is customary to not lose weight during the non-fast phase. Then repeat the cycle. The “Diabetics Handbook” covers a variety of programs, the most aggressive being a 30 day fast, which will totally detox the entire body as well. It is known to release toxins present since birth. Fasting is safe, and very effective. Exercising a muscle does not get rid of fat over the specific muscles that are exercised. The only way to reduce a fat belly is to lose weight overall, and any type of exercise will help accomplish that. There’s a growing body of research showing that the fastest way to burn off belly fat is by a combination of weight training, aerobic exercise and modified diet. Bear in mind that increased muscle mass, from exercise, will increase body weight as fat is lost.

Physical activity is clearly beneficial for diabetics, including lowering blood glucose levels. However, physical activity can make levels go too low, causing hypoglycemia for up to 24 hours afterward. For those taking insulin, or one of the oral medications that increase insulin production, the breaking of routine (fasting) by having a snack, may be required if the glucose level goes below 100 mg/dL. Adjusting medication doses before physical activity can help avoid hypoglycemia. For some diabetics, it may be necessary to consult a doctor while on aggressive programs. A snack can prevent hypoglycemia, provided that it is a low glycemic index food. Extra blood glucose checks, especially 2 hours after strenuous exercise, may be advised. Place increased emphasis on maintaining blood sugar levels. Hold them as close to normal as possible. In type II diabetes that will reduce the amount of excess insulin in the bloodstream. If insulin-dependent, or type I diabetic, avoid taking more insulin than is required to maintain control. Many diabetics assume that more insulin than is needed is not necessarily a bad thing. This is a critical phase that requires lots of testing and focus. The combination of lower insulin, lower glucose levels and vigorous exercise will allow the body to quickly start burning the liver fat. It takes up to 12-16 hours for the body to start drawing fat from the liver. Exercise will increase the metabolism. However, understanding the metabolism will be helpful, because the metabolic rate will change throughout the process. Exercise reduces stress levels. If high stress is an issue, try stress reducing activities such as deep breathing or meditation. Be certain to take antioxidant supplements during the fasting process. Several recent studies show that omega-3 fats can reduce output of another stress hormone, epinephrine (aka adrenaline). Start taking 4000IU of fish oil twice daily. You cannot overdose on fish oil. The body will produce large amounts of free radicals, which will require large amounts of antioxidants to be controlled. Be certain that 100% of the daily requirements of vitamins and minerals is consumed.

In summary, modify the diet; learn what to eat and what not to eat; take a good quality multivitamin every day; get the glucose levels in tight control; manage the insulin levels; manage the sodium levels; exercise vigorously daily; manage stress; eliminate the possibility of parasite infestation; and consider fasting techniques. Learn as much as possible about diabetes, food, and how to cleanse and maintain all of the vital organs.

If this appears to be a lot of hard work, it is. But it is not unusual for diabetics, that have not had any dieting success at all, to lose 30 pounds the first month. The key to total diabetes control, and improved health, is to lose the belly fat. It is paramount. As the belly fat goes away, it will become increasingly easier to win the fat war. Blood sugar control will become easier, blood pressure, triglyceride and cholesterol levels will improve. Go to http://www.diabeticshandbook.com for a free daily nutrition log, which will make tracking nutrition easier.

Reversing Liver Disease – What to Eat and What to Avoid

If you suffer from liver disease you probably know it can be quite a nuisance. Most likely you also realize that it is a very dangerous disease that can turn your life upside down.

But it is possible to revert almost any sort of liver disease and avoid all the nausea, vomiting, weight gain, and other symptoms related to it using simple substitutions in your daily diet.

First let’s talk about what you should eat in order to reverse liver disease.

The most important food are veggies and raw fruit. They are loaded with fiber and vitamins, as well as many healthy substances that science only now begins to understand. No matter how much of these you eat you can benefit from increasing – aim for at least three pieces of fruit and five of vegetables.

Some specific foods have been shown in studies to improve liver regeneration and a few of these have reversed even cirrhosis and liver cancer. They include artichoke, ginger, turmeric, and milk thistle. There are already some supplements out there that include all these combined.

Now let’s see all the things you should avoid eating if you want to take care of your liver.

The first of these is meat. Read meat is the biggest culprit, but all meat can be substituted for fish, or, ideally, plants. Don’t worry about protein or iron – you can find these in nuts, beans, tofu and other soy products, as well as whole grains.

Another important things to avoid is milk. Milk induces inflammation which perpetuates liver disease. Substituting it for non-cow milks will do wonders not only for your liver but also for any other inflammatory disease you may have, such as rashes, diarrhea, asthma, psoriasis, and allergies.

Greatest Dog Tips Ever (part one)

TOP TIPS FOR YOUR PET(part one)

1. Is Your Dog Regularly Getting the Runs?

Add bio yoghurt to their feed. Quite often this can be a bacterial imbalance. Especially if it is happening on a regular basis. The bio yoghurt normally sorts this sort of problem out fairly quickly.

2. Is Your Dog’s Urine Burning the Lawn?

Yellow spots on the lawn are caused because your dog’s digestive system is too rich in nitrogen therefore the high levels of nitrogen in the urine causes the lawn spots. Go outside and really look at those burn marks. Notice how the outside edge of the mark actually has really nice, green grass? That is because the nitrogen that burned the grass is too strong but the outer edges of the ‘circle’ of urine ended up with just enough nitrogen to help instead of hurt.

There are a few things you can do. If you are observant you can water over the spot where the dog has urinated this will dilute the nitrogen and will be beneficial to the lawn. set aside an area the dog can use as a bathroom where you don’t care what happens. Fill it with shingle or just leave the grass there to get burned. Teach the dog to go in that one spot. This will take time and patience.

Alternatively a dose of one teaspoon to one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar (depending on the size of the dog) per day can correct the pH imbalance and could solve the problem. The apple cider vinegar can be added to the dog’s water or put directly on his food. The natural type from a health food store, not the pasteurized version from the supermarketTwo tablespoons of tomato juice on the dog’s food twice a day will have the same effect.

3. Insect Stings to Dogs or Cats

Slice a raw onion and apply to the sting as soon as possible.If the sting is inside the mouth – Keep “Antihistamine” capsules in your first aid kit. A rapid administration soon after the sting can prevent serious complications. You can also get antihistamine in liquid form which makes it easier to dispense. To administer liquids pull out the jowl near the back teeth it makes a sort of little cup, then just pour the measured liquid in, close mouth, tip head back and massage throat. Some dogs will actually swallow the insect live, which may continue stinging the dog internally and cause anaphylactic shock. In rare cases, death can result. This is caused from internal swelling of the trachea which cuts off the oxygen supply to the lungs. Quick administration of “Antihistamine” can reduce and even prevent serious complications.

SPECIAL NOTE – Dosage will vary depending on the size of the animal. Check with your vet for recommended dosage. Usually they will refer to the animal’s weight as a guideline.

4. Sharp Object and Glass eating

What do you do if your dog eats glass or other sharp objects like staples or small nails etc? Dogs even eat ornaments, Xmas decorations, light bulbs and lots of other things that are sharp and therefore dangerous. Here’s what to do.

Go to the chemist and buy some cotton balls make sure it is cotton balls and not the cosmetic puff things they are made of manmade fibres. Buy a carton of double cream and keep it in the freezer if in the eventuality of your dog eating something sharp. Defrost the cream and pour some in a bowl. Dip cotton balls into the cream and feed them to your dog.

Dogs less than 10 lbs should eat 2 balls which you have first torn into smaller pieces. Dogs 10-50 lbs should eat 3-5 balls and larger dogs should eat 5-7.

You may feed larger dogs an entire cotton ball at once. Dogs seem to really like these strange treats and eat them readily. As the cotton works its way through the digestive tract it will find all the glass and small sharp objects and wrap itself around them. Even the teeniest shards of glass will be caught and wrapped in the cotton fibres and the cotton will protect the intestines from damage. Your dog’s stools will be a bit strange for a few days. You must be careful to check for fresh blood or a tarry appearance to the stool. If either of the latter symptoms appear you should rush your dog to the vet for a check-up, but in most cases, the dogs should be fine

5. Bonding

If you want to quickly bond with a new pup or rescue dog. Masticate a piece of white bread till it is a gooey then feed this as a titbit to the pup/dog for the first 7 days. You only need to do this once a day; it mimics the regurgitation process when pups and cubs are being weaned in the wild, this really makes all the difference and helps them bond more quickly and therefore settle in much sooner.

6. Constipation

If your dog doesn’t move his bowels for a day or two, or if he seems to have difficulty doing so, he may be constipated. Give him a teaspoonful of milk of magnesia first thing in the morning, before his breakfast if you feed him twice a day. If he is often constipated, add more vegetables to his diet and also mix a teaspoonful of mineral oil in his dinner. He won’t taste it with the food. Do this until he is regular again. Also be sure that he gets plenty of exercise. Lack of running, walking, and jumping can make a dog constipated.

7. Car Sickness

Often Ginger helps with this problem either Ginger Biscuits or even better natural ginger fed before the journey. The biscuits can be fed as the dog gets in the car, which has an added incentive of the dog feeling that it being praised for just getting in the vehicle. Cocculus 6C a homeopathic remedy for travel sickness can also be help especially for a dog that has excessive drooling or has been sick. Give one dose then repeat every 30 minutes for a maximum of 4 doses. Sea Legs can also be helpful the human travel sickness but check with your Vet for how much to administer, though I would imagine if you bought a child’s dose it would be fine

8. Grooming

Once a week put a really good shake of Olive Oil “the one you use for salads” into the dogs food, it gives the coat a brilliant shiny healthy look. In conjunction with the oil use a rubber horse curry comb/ brush; you can purchase it cheaply from any tack shop, strips all the dead hair off and shines up the coat better than any other brush on the market. They also do a plastic one that gets all the seeds and bits of debris out. I use both to great affect.

9. Grooming 2

Irrespective of the dogs coat long or short groom daily. Even if it’s only for a couple of minutes and make sure you groom over the withers. This helps in bonding and social status. In the wild the Alpha Male and Female will call over the other wolves or wild dogs individually and groom them in their pecking order. Grooming is an important social gesture. That is why some dominant dogs object to being groomed, they don’t believe you have right or the position to initiate this action.

10. Tears Stains and Bacterial Infections

Wet areas on the face are a breeding ground for bacteria and yeast. Bacterial infections commonly occur in the tear ducts. “Ptirsporum”, red yeast bacteria, is at the root of most yeast infections. Tear stains also often occur at the same time as a gum infection or ear infection. Staining can also occur on a dog’s paws from licking and around his mouth from infected saliva.

Apple cider vinegar (in its natural form from a health food store, not the pasteurized version from the Supermarket) I get mine from horse tack shops. It is a natural antibiotic, antiseptic, and deodorant; It helps digestion and to remove tooth tartar; prevents tooth decay and hair loss (even mange), it also prevents and heals gum disease and skin problems; and will discourage fleas.

Putting a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar per quart of water in your dog’s water bowl or on food can clear up most active yeast infections and prevent future infections. Apple cider vinegar tablets can be used if your dog refuses to drink the treated water or eat the food.

11. Halitosis/Dog Breath

Halitosis, or unpleasant breath, can be caused by a stomach problem, bad teeth or tonsils, or something that is stuck in the dog’s mouth or throat. Look your dog’s teeth to see if any are decayed. If not, then give him 3/4 teaspoonful of bicarbonate of soda in his food twice a day for a few days. If his breath is still offensive, then take him to a vet to see if he needs his teeth cleaned or his tonsils treated.

12. Cuts

If your dog cuts himself slightly, put some boric acid solution or some peroxide on the cut and then leave it alone. You can also buy veterinarian wound powder, the best place to buy this is a horse tack shop it’s much cheaper, Clean the cut or abrasion making sure no dirt or debris is left in the wound and puff the powder onto the area and leave it normally heals up fairly quickly. If the cut is deep, or if it doesn’t stop bleeding, pack gauze or clean rags around it and take him to a vet. If the cut is on his leg or foot and bleeds a lot, tie a piece of cloth tightly around his leg, between the cut and his body, release the pressure every ten minutes, and take him to a vet at once.

13. Electric Shocks

Once in a while, a silly puppy will chew through an electric cord leading to a lamp or a radio or a toaster. Surprisingly the shock he gets is normally not serious (though in certain circumstances has proved fatal); however it can sometimes be strong enough to knock him out. If this happens, put a little household ammonia on a wad of cotton and hold this under his nose. Don’t touch the nose with it, as the ammonia will burn his skin. The sharp odour will bring him round. When he does comes to, give him some cool, strong, black coffee to drink. If his mouth seems burned by the shock, wet a cloth in strong, cool tea and wash the burned place with this. Take him to the vet if he seems burned or injured in any way.

14. What if your dog swallows a dangerous object

It’s a rare puppy that doesn’t swallow at least one strange object which his stomach can’t possibly digest. But a dog’s stomach is so constructed that it can usually take care of most of the odd things that find their way into it. If you should see your dog swallow something you know is bad for him . . . a piece of rubber toy, a large nail, a splinter of bone or sharp metallic object . . . here’s what to do right away.

Give him a large piece of soft bread to eat. Then toss about two teaspoonfuls of salt on the back of his tongue, close his mouth with your hand and keep it closed until he swallows the salt. Now put him on a newspaper or some other place where he can vomit without doing any damage. In a short time, the salt will cause him to throw up the bread and the strange object. If this doesn’t come up the first time give him another dose of salt after about 5 minutes. Once the object is vomited, He should be fine. But if he begins to have diarrhoea, or if his stomach swells up and appears tender when you touch it, give him a tablespoonful of mineral oil. If he still seems to be in pain after a few hours, or if there is any blood in his urine or bowel movement, take him straight to a vet.

15. Eyes

If you want to clean out the “sleep bugs,” you can dip a wad of cotton into a mixture of warm water and boric-acid solution 50/50. Squeeze a few drops of this in each eye. You can also use plain warm milk for this purpose. If your pet has got some mild conjunctivitis try warm used tea bags, if the infection is more than mild then purchase some Golden Eye from the chemist (cream not drops) and treat for three days this clears up most infections, however if he still has problems a visit to the Vet is in order. In case of a real injury to the eyes from a dogfight, or something poked into them, put a pad of gauze soaked in boric-acid solution 50/50 ie warm water and boric acid over the eye that’s hurt. Then wrap a towel loosely around the dog’s head and take him at once to a vet.

16. Commands

Avoid giving your dog commands that you know you cannot enforce. Every time you give a command that is neither complied with nor enforced your dog learns that commands are optional.

One command should equal one response, so give your dog only one command (twice max!), then gently enforce it. Repeating commands tunes your dog out (as does nagging) and teaches your dog that the first several commands are a “bluff.” For instance, telling your dog to “Sit, sit, sit, sit!”, is neither an efficient nor effective way to issue commands. Simply give your dog a single “Sit” command and gently place or lure your dog into the sit position, then praise/reward.

17. The Dog’s Name

Whenever possible, use your dog’s name positively, rather than using it in conjunction with a reprimand, warnings or punishment. Your dog should trust that when it hears its name or is called to you, good things happen. His name should always be positive and responded to with enthusiasm, never hesitancy or fear.

One of best ways to make sure his name is viewed as a positive is to sit the dog between you and your partner or a friend and say the dog’s name. If he doesn’t look at you, give his ear a gentle tug to gain his attention so that he turns his head towards you, As soon as this happens praise and treat enthusiastically, cheese, puffed jerky or dried liver is ideal. Get your partner/friend to do the same and keep repeating back and forth for a few minutes, do this regularly and for the rest of the dogs life and he/she should always respond enthusiastically whenever his name is mentioned.

Some people including myself create a bad dog name so that the dog never hears its real name in any negative situation.

18. Pee Poles

These are very new in the pet shops and are made of hard plastic and look almost like a 1 foot high giant tack. The tack is impregnated with a Pheromone that causes the dogs and bitches to urinate on them. You hammer them in the area you want the dog to urinate and hey presto. Believe it or not it appears to work. These scientists are doing very well with their pheromones, what with the DAP diffuser and now this.

19. Puppy Teething

Most of the teething and chewing as apart from mouthing and nipping starts at about 4.5 months old. This is the time that the little piranha teeth, laughingly called puppy teeth start dropping out, as the new adult teeth start pushing through. It takes anything up to 8 months for these new teeth to set in the jaw, whilst this is happening the pup has a need to chew. To help soothe this and save your fixtures, fittings and furniture. Get the pup a plastic flower pot. Not the thin brittle ones but a fairly thick substantial one, this will help his gums and sooth the itching. Another great help is get a knotted rope you buy as a tug soak it in water and put it in the freezer. The ice that forms really helps hot and itchy gums. Also freeze carrots and whilst frozen give to teething pups a great and nutritious soother.

20. Games of Tug

I don’t like games of tug at any time, except with a particularly timid or frightened dog then I will play and let the dog win to build up some confidence. However I never ever play tug with a puppy whilst it has its puppy/piranha teeth. It actually has little or no jaw muscles at this time therefore you can dislocate the jaw or even misalign the teeth by playing roughhouse tug games. You may also be setting the scene for aggressive confrontations later in the puppy’s growth cycle by playing this type of game. It would be better playing games of find, hide little bits of treats in the house and garden and encourage the dog to search them out, or ball games these all help dispel some of the pup’s energies and to stimulate the mind, rather than stimulate the aggression predatory side of the pup.

See Greatest Dog Tips (part two) for the next fifteen tips

Dealing With Customer Complaints – B.L.A.S.T

In a restaurant, not so far away, in the not so distant future, a telephone rings, a customer complains… and the battle begins!

Handling customer complaints doesn’t have to always be a battle, with the right tools and responses you can use complaints to your advantage; to help you build your business. B.L.A.S.T is a great tool that is used by companies such as Yum! (Parent company of KFC, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, A&W, and Long John Silvers). Training their employees in the basics of handling customer complaints. The acronym stands for:

Believe

Listen

Apologize

Satisfy

Thank

How does your company deal with customer complaints? The easiest way to find out is to pick up the phone and play the role of the complaining customer. What happened? If you were an irritated customer, would you return? Using the B.L.A.S.T guidelines, allows you to create a standardized method for dealing with your complainers and turning them into loyal customers.

Believe

This is the cornerstone of handling a customer complaint. Yes, the customer may be lying and be incorrect about their situation. It is important to understand that your customer believes that your establishment has wronged them.

Listen

Stop and listen to your customer’s complaint. I’m not certain whether it’s natural instinct or just plain stubbornness. As soon as a customer starts to complain, we start to think of how we will respond to the accusation before we are done listening, and too often the case, already have the response ready to fight back. Take a second, relax, and listen. On occasion a complaining customer will be rude, angry, and use vulgar language, stay the course and remain calm and level headed.

When the customer is done venting; in a calm, non-judgmental tone, repeat their problem. An example I used in my KFC for a mispacked order:

“What I hear you saying is that, you came in ordered and paid for 10 Pieces of chicken and when you got home, you only received 8, is that correct?”

By repeating the problem at hand, you’ve demonstrated your ability to the customer that you heard and understood their problem.

Listen and clarify. Never defend or justify. The customer doesn’t care if you were shorthanded or if you’re having a bad day, they only care that they get taken care of. No excuses, just solutions.

Apologize

Always apologize even if you did nothing wrong. From your customers’ perspective, they have a legitimate complaint, and they expect an apology. It could be as simple as “I’m sorry we’ve inconvenienced you.” or “I’m sorry I know how frustrating it is to buy dinner for my family, only not to have everything there when I get home” A sincere apology will usually diffuse a lot of frustration that the customer has. There is an exception to this rule though, if a customer calls with a critical complaint, such as food poisoning, don’t apologize, it may be construed as an acceptance of guilt, instead refer to your company’s procedures for such events.

Satisfy

Make it right. Ask the customer “What can I do to make this right for you”? Be the judge of what is fair of course, but allow them the opportunity to feel empowered over the situation. Many times they may ask for the problem be taken care of on their next visit or maybe that you talk to the person who made the mistake and correct them. We used a great system of sending out a personalized postcard apologizing for the mistake, it was a couple of handwritten sentences (yes, many times with spelling mistakes from my team members), but it was personal and always well received. We always gave them the unexpected as well, maybe a free dessert or an extra side dish just to show that we cared about them.

Thank

At the beginning, at the end, in the middle; it doesn’t matter, thank the customer for calling and complaining.

Why? With the simple act of complaining, your customer is telling you “I care about your business and your success”. They are giving you the opportunity to fix the problem and invite them back so they can give you more of their money. Puts a different spin on it doesn’t it? Thank them for giving you that second chance, for letting you know that something in your restaurant didn’t work like it normally does, for giving you the chance to make it right, and for the opportunity not to damage your reputation!

Reputation? I had to throw that one in. You work hard, day in day out, trying the best to make your business the best, and yet one unhappy customer can take it away from you. A happy customer will tell two or three friends about a good experience, but an unhappy customer will tell at least ten friends about their experience and it always multiplies through word of mouth. Case in point, when I moved cross country to my new hometown, I was at a Chamber of Commerce event and being the new person in the group, I introduced myself and what we did. No sooner than five minutes passed did I get a list of 10 restaurants in my area that in their opinion were in “need of my services”. Only one person gave me a good restaurant. I didn’t ask, I was told. To this day I still haven’t been to those restaurants as a customer, why do I want to give them my hard earned money, when they made my new friends unhappy? It may not be a rational thought, but it is human nature.

Will some people take advantage of your kindness? Of course, a rule of thumb I used in my restaurant was:

First time shame on me,

Second time shame on me, but I’m watching you,

Third time… Shame on you and I will make the decision on how I will deal with you as a customer.

Keep track of who calls to complain, names, phone numbers for follow up, addresses for your postcards. Using a binder and tracking your complaints, you will be able to detect and deter those that would take advantage of your new complaint procedures.

Adding B.L.A.S.T to your expanding toolbox of customer service tools will help you in dealing with customer complaints and turn them around so they can tell their friends what great service you have!

Man Boobs – The Causes of Gynecomastia and How to Beat It

In order to learn how best to get rid of Man Boobs, otherwise known as gynecomastia,it is important that you get to know what the causes of this most annoying and embarrassing condition are.

Here is a summary of the main causes:

1. Excess weight

This is probably the most common cause. Some overweight men are predisposed to carrying a lot of their fat stores around the chest area

2. Hormonal Imbalances

There is a constant flux in the levels of different hormones in the body. The two we are concerned with here, are the male hormone testosterone and the female hormone, oestrogen. When oestrogen levels exceed testosterone, the mammary glands in the male breast tissue are stimulated to produce more fat, resulting in female like breast tissue.. man boobs.

3. Certain medications can cause an overproduction of oestrogen in the body:

These include some antibiotics, anti ulcer drugs, prostate cancer therapies, calcium channel blockers used to treat hypertension and diuretics which can have a testosterone lowering effect.

4. The use of illegal anabolic steroids is a common cause of gynecomastia in bodybuilders, who not known for their subtlety, term the condition, “bitch tits”.

5. Some studies claim that excessive use of marijuana causes a lowering of testosterone levels and lead to development of man boobs.

6. Mass produced beef, lamb and chicken are regularly injected with large amounts of antibiotics and growth inducing hormones. Some men react to eating these, by overproducing oestrogen.

7. Soya products such as soya milk contain pytoestrogens. Phytoestrogens are known to affect the levels of oestrogen in the body.

Now that you have a better idea of the causes of man boobs, the matter of losing them becomes that much easier…

Embark on an exercise routine. The appropriate program should combine weight training with cardio vascular work done in an intensive fashion. The right type of exercise will help you increase your lean muscle tissue, elevate your testosterone levels and lose excess fat. You do not have to resort to expensive surgery.

Eliminate any of the above listed factors that may apply to you.

You will be well advised to switch to organic chicken and get your beef, lamb and pork products from grass fed and naturally reared livestock.

One more tip…I saw a documentary on BBC TV, I reckon, about 15 years ago. It highlighted a study showing that plastic, particularly soft plastic, secretes chemicals which mimic the female hormone, oestrogen. Recent studies have also suggested a link between the increased incidence of breast growth in boys and these chemicals called phthalates that leach from plastics. Incidentally, girls have also been found to develop breast tissue much quicker.

It is interesting to note that phthalates are also present in everyday products such as toys, personal care products such as shampoos and perfumes

I know it is virtually impossible to totally avoid plastic and phthalates, but it is wise to do what you can to minimize your exposure.

Environmental and dietary factors have combined to make the incidence of man boobs…which was previously, almost a rites of passage problem amongst adolescent boys, or largely due to obesity… a growing issue in today’s world of sculpted pecs and 6 packs.

So, the first step in beating this problem of gynecomastia is to be conscious of your environment and the food you chose to eat.

If you can do this, you are half way to losing your man boobs.